CHRONOLOGY / BLOG 5 SUBMISSION TO SELF-APPOINTED LEADERSHIP

• Lecturer queries rebuff

  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au     
   The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), By PAUL LAMPATHAKIS, p 22, January 1, 2006
   PERTH: A PERTH Islamic lecturer who was denied entry to the US without being given a reason has called for immigration procedures to be investigated to stop innocent people being targeted.
   Yahya Ibrahim, assistant deputy principal of the Australian Islamic College, was held for four hours at Detroit airport two weeks ago before being refused an entry visa and sent on to Canada.
   Mr Ibrahim, a respected academic known for his moderate views and condemnation of terrorism, though also a critic of the US-led Iraq invasion, was told only that the refusal was under the Immigration Act.
   Speaking to The Sunday Times from Canada yesterday, he said he had done nothing wrong, the US authorities' actions were not justified and their procedures should be examined.
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   "(The US authorities) just said, 'we don't have to give a reason and you don't have the right to petition us'," said Mr Ibrahim, who had been invited to speak before 4000 people at an Islamic conference in Houston, Texas.
   "But they said, 'you have the right to withdraw the visa application', which we did.
   "In the volatile times we live in, we have to be vigilant, but also we have to be level-headed and treat others with respect and dignity.
   "It is also important to network with other people to ensure decisions being made are correct and there is a path of recourse for people to be able to question decisions.
   "That's a cornerstone of democracy."
   Mr Ibrahim said he hoped Muslims were not being targeted and he did not think it would be US policy.
   But he had contacted the US consulate in Perth and would follow up his inquiries when he returned to Australia.
   Mr Ibrahim is the second known WA Islamic figure to have been delayed during travel in recent months.
   In November, the president of the Daawah Association of WA, Soflane Khalifa, was stopped from boarding a flight for Algeria with his daughters after being mistaken for someone on a US security watch list.
   When The Sunday Times revealed Mr Ibrahim's plight last week it sought comment from US authorities.
   "The only information I can give out is that he was denied entry under the Immigration Act," US customs spokesman Ron Smith said. #
   [RECAPITULATION: Mr Ibrahim said he hoped Muslims were not being targeted and he did not think it would be US policy. ENDS.]
   [DOCTRINE: Sūrah 2, "Al Baqara" (The Cow), āya 193 (or 189):- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.193 .
   Sūrah 3, "The Family of Imran," āya 118 (or 114):- O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 003.qmt.html #003.118 . GUIDELINE ENDS.] [Jan 1, 2006]

• Escape From Slavery

  Sudan / Soudan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   Australian Reader's Digest, editors.au@readersdigest.com , by Francis Bok with Edward Tivnan, pp 128-146, (received December 21, 2005), dated January 2006
   SUDAN: The world has woken up to the brutal Arab militias of Sudan who have terrorised other ethnic and religious groups for decades. This is one young tribesman's story of murder, abduction and enslavement. His attempts to escape ended in success, and he is now based in the USA where he works to free slaves around the world.
READER'S DIGEST  |  JANUARY 2006                                                                                         128

Escape From Slavery


BY FRANCIS BOK WITH EDWARD TIVNAN
The world has woken up to the brutal Arab militias of Sudan who have terrorised other ethnic groups for decades. This is one young tribesman's story of abduction and enslavement
FROM "ESCAPE FROM SLAVERY," COPYRIGHT � 2003 BY FRANCIS BOK WITH EDWARD TIVNAN, PUBLISHED BY ST MARTIN'S PRESS, NEW YORK
"LEAVE YOUR THINGS AND RUN!"
MY FATHER'S FARM was full of family, friends and love. We had chickens and goats, sheep and cows; we had beautiful green trees with yellow mangoes and coconuts as big as your head. My father, it seemed to me, owned the best farm in our village of the Dinka people in Sudan, about 100 kilometres of what the maps call the Bahr al-Arab River, the border between the north and south of the country.
   We lived in two houses - one for men, the other for women - made from mud and topped by straw roofs shaped like upside-down cones. I did not go to school. No-one in my family had any formal education. Like most boys, I spent my days playing games and running in the fields. But what I liked to do most was follow my father around as he worked on the farm. I felt my father's love every day. One day he called me muycharko, which means "12 men." I asked him, "Why do you call me muycharko?"
   He laughed and explained that out of all his children, I was the one who worked the hardest, the one who would never give up. I felt my father's words flow into my body and fill me with happiness. I dreamed of being a great man with a big farm and many cattle.
  [Picture] The crisis in Darfur, Western Sudan, which erupted in 2003, has many echoes of the attacks by militiamen on Francis Bok's native territory in the south of the country 
   When my mother told me she had instructed some village kids to take me with them on their trip to the nearby market town, I saw it as the first step to becoming the important man my father thought I could be.
  [Picture] Government-backed Arab militiamen have inflicted terrible atrocities on minority ethnic groups in Sudan 
This would be my first trip to town on my own, although I had been there with my father when he went to trade animals, and with my mother on market days. Our family also went to the Catholic church there.
   On market day the other kids turned up, and my mother warned me, "When you sell something, give the money to the older children so you do not lose it."
   I grabbed the carrying pole with my goods: two tins of hard-boiled eggs and peanuts. We walked along a dusty road and soon approached the marketplace. People were already set up in the shade, and the market smelled of fish, fruit and vegetables. The big kids picked a spot under a tree. I made some sales and handed over the money, just as my mother had said.
   Then something changed. People began walking faster, talking to each other. They seemed excited; some were pointing towards the river. "Smoke," I heard. "In the villages." More people ran into town with news. "Maybe the murahaliin came," one said. "They came and burned the houses." I had heard people in my village talk of these dangerous men from the north who killed people and stole their cattle. But I had never seen these murahaliin.
   The customers began to rush from the marketplace. The sellers gathered their things. Then we heard bursts of loud noises. Everyone was running. "The murahaliin are coming!" Wherever people scattered they ran into men with guns entering the town. First men on horses, shooting people with bursts from their rifles. Then men on foot, shooting and slashing at people with their swords.
   They were not Dinka, but people with lighter skin than ours, in headdresses and robes. They were shooting the Dinka men, slashing with their swords, chopping off heads with a single swipe. I had never seen such violence and never heard so many screams.   I looked around for help, but all I could see were the bodies of Dinka men  
   "Run!" I heard. "Leave your things and run!" I raced from the marketplace, right into a huge horse with a militiaman pointing a gun at me. I stopped; I could not move. Someone grabbed me from behind - another murahaliin, yelling and waving his gun.
   I was sure he was going to kill me. All around I saw people screaming and falling to the ground and not getting up. He pushed me back into the marketplace with other boys and girls. Everyone was crying and screaming for their parents.
   I looked around for help, but all I could see were the bodies of Dinka men, the blood running from them like water in little rivers. I had never seen a dead body before, and now I saw more than I could count. I wanted my mother; I wanted my father to pick me up onto his shoulders and carry me away from this. My entire body and mind turned numb as I waited to be killed.
   With no Dinka men standing, the killing seemed to be finished. While a few murahaliin guarded us, others began collecting food and loading it into baskets. A man picked me up and set me on a donkey. [***]
   [And the article goes on about his enslavement, escape attempts, and finally escaping to work with the American Anti-Slavery Group (AASG), website Iabolish.com . His parents and two sisters had been murdered, and it was 13 years before he could talk to his elder brother Buk by telephone.]
From Australian Reader's Digest, "Escape From Slavery," by Francis Bok with Edward Tivnan, pp 128-146, dated January 2006. Based on the book ©2003 of the same name, published by St Martin's Press, New York,
http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/subchron4.htm#slavery
   [COMMENT: People from enslaving cultures sometimes kill all the men and enslave the women and children, it seems, though sometimes they murder all the adults. There is approval of slavery and concubinage, the leader being allowed to marry nieces, in the culture of the group exposed in this article and the book. Many people of other cultures are too lazy to check the source documents, and are easy prey to sloppy trendies who blame the Western empires for most of the world's ills. COMMENT ENDS.]
    [THEME DOCTRINE: Sūrah 8, "The Spoils" āya 12 - ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/008. qmt.html #008.012 . ENDS.]
    [OTHER DOCTRINES: Sūrah 2, "The Cow," āya 220 - Marry not idolatresses until they believe; a slave who believeth is better than an idolatress, though she please you more. And wed not your daughters to idolaters until they believe; for a slave who is a believer, is better than an idolater, though he please you. (Rodwell's translation, 1994 reprint, p 23)
   23, "The Believers," 5-6 - And who restrain their appetites, (Save with their wives, or the slaves whom their right hands possess: for in that case they shall be free from blame: (Rodwell's, p 224)
   See also 24:31
   33, "The Confederates," 49 - O Prophet! we allow thee thy wives whom thou hast dowered, and the slaves whom thy right hand possesseth out of the booty which God hath granted thee, and the daughters of thy uncle, and of thy paternal and maternal aunts who fled with thee to Medina, and any believing woman who hath given herself up to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to wed her - a Privilege for thee above the rest of the Faithful. (Rodwell's, 33:49, pp 281-2)
   Read also 33:50 and 52.
   33, "The Confederates," 55 - There is no blame (on these ladies if they appear) before their fathers or their sons, their brothers, or their brother's sons, or their sisters' sons, or their women, or the (slaves) whom their right hands possess. And, (ladies), fear Allah; for Allah is Witness to all things. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 033.qmt.html #033.055 . ENDS.] [(received Dec 21 05) Jan 2006 issue, ]

• [1988: Fatwa ordering deaths of 2800 to 10,000 in Iran] Forgotten massacre; The Ayatollah's hidden legacy.  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 
   New Internationalist, Currents section, currents@ newint.org , "Human Rights: Forgotten massacre; The Ayatollah's hidden legacy," by Veronique Mistiaen, p 25, January-February 2006 issue
Currents section
HUMAN RIGHTS  

Forgotten massacre


The Ayatollah's hidden legacy
   New Internationalist, Currents section; "Human Rights: Forgotten massacre; The Ayatollah's hidden legacy," by Veronique Mistiaen, p 25, January-February 2006 issue
   IRAN: EVERY Friday, families gather on a derelict plot next to the cemetery of religious minorities in the district of Khavaran, in south-east Tehran. They call it 'the rose garden of Khavaran' - for a rose, in a culture where it is often safer to use poetry, represents a fallen freedom fighter. The Iranian leadership calls it the 'place of the damned' or the 'cemetery of the infidels'. There, in unmarked mass graves, lie thousands of political prisoners killed by the Islamic regime.
   In February 1989, the world expressed outrage when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini issued a fatwa, sentencing the writer Salman Rushdie to death for blasphemy. Yet a few months earlier, Khomeini had issued another fatwa ordering the killing of thousands of prisoners of conscience. Silence.
   In July and August 1988, the Islamic regime had executed in secret thousands of political prisoners throughout the country - men, women and teenagers. They were intellectuals, students, leftists, members of opposition parties and ethnic and religious minorities. Many were jailed for no more than distributing leaflets, having a banned book or being accused by 'a trusted friend of the regime'.
   The slaughter was efficient and relentless. All day long, prisoners were loaded on forklift trucks and hanged from cranes and beams in groups of six at half-hourly intervals. Others were killed by firing squad. Those not executed were subjected to horrific torture. The killing was 'an act of violence unprecedented in Iranian history, unprecedented in form, content and intensity,' wrote the historian Ervand Abrahamian in his book on Iranian prisons Tortured Confessions.
   'When they took me to the death committee in (Tehran's) Gohardasht prison, the lobby was piled high with sandals, glasses and blindfolds. That's all that was left of our friends. They are all gone and I am alive. Part of Prison Memoir in Painting by Iranian artist Soudabeh Ardavan. She survived the 1988 massacre but spent eight years in Iranian prisons, painting by using her hair as a brush and toothpaste or tea as paint She now lives in exile in Sweden.
   I am alive to tell their story. That is my only goal,' says Mehdi Aslani, 49, who survived the massacre and now lives in exile in Germany.
   The regime has never acknowledged the massacre, revealed how many were executed, nor why. Amnesty International has recorded the names of 2,800 victims, but survivors believe it was probably between 5,000 and 10,000. The execution of such a large number of people within such a short time, without any due process, violates many international human rights treaties to which Iran is signatory; yet the world has remained largely silent. Most of the perpetrators are still in power today.
   'Nobody has been brought to justice' says Drewery Dyke, Amnesty's Iran researcher. 'Impunity for such appalling crimes only leads to further human rights abuses.'
   The husband and two brothers of Rakhshndeh Hosseinpoor, now 53, were killed by the Islamic regime. She now lives in Germany with her son. 'They have ruined so many lives. I've lost three members of my family, but some families have lost six or seven. So many children are without fathers and mothers, so many young widows, so much pain that never goes away... We need justice.'
   'We need people to know about the massacre of 1988 because it isn't just the problem of the survivors and their families,' says Reza Moini, another survivor, who works as a human rights activist in Paris. 'It was a political act, a social act, not a private one. We need the truth for tomorrow's youth.' [This alleged massacre is noted briefly in a webpage at 1988.] [Jan-Feb 2006]
• The year Rome was sacked 
A book published in the United States offers to the public a comprehensive collection of the major documents on the theory and practice of jihad, from Mohammed until today.

THE YEAR ROME WAS SACKED

 
   Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , by Sandro Magister, pp 6-7, January-February 2006
A  BOOK published recently in the United States lifts the veil on a crucial aspect of Islam, one which too many understand poorly and know too little about: jihad, the holy war.
   It is an aspect that meets with widespread silence, as if it were a taboo. Even among Christians, there are wide gaps on this topic in the general awareness of Church history.
   An example? Many recall what happened in Rome, at St. Peter's Basilica, the night of Christmas Day of the year 800. After the Mass, pope Leo III solemnly placed upon the head of Charlemagne the crown of the Holy Roman Empire.
   That night, the basilica of St. Peter gleamed with breathtaking brilliance. A few years earlier, Leo Ill's predecessor, pope Hadrian I, had covered the entire floor of the sanctuary with plates of silver; he had covered the walls with gold plates and enclosed it all with a balustrade of gold weighing 1,328 pounds. He had remade the sanctuary gates with silver, and had placed on the iconostasis six images also made of silver, representing Christ, Mary, the archangels Gabriel and Michael, and saints Andrew and John. Finally, in order to make this splendour visible to all, he had ordered the assembly of a candelabrum in the form of a huge cross, on which 1,365 candles burned.
   But less than half a century later, none of this remained. And what happened remains generally unknown among Christians today.
   What happened is that in 846 some Muslim Arabs arrived in a fleet at the mouth of the Tiber, made their way to Rome, sacked the city, and carried away from the basilica of St. Peter all of the gold and silver it contained.
   And this was not just an incidental attack. In 827 the Arabs had conquered Sicily, which they kept under their dominion for two and a half centuries. Rome was under serious threat from nearby. In 847, the year after the assault, the newly elected pope Leo IV began the construction of walls around the entire perimeter of the Vatican, 12 metres high and equipped with 44 towers. He completed the project in six years. These are the 'Leonine' walls, and significant traces of them still remain. But very few today know that these walls were erected to defend the see of Peter from an Islamic jihad. And many of those who do know this remain silent out of discretion. 'Bridges, not walls' is the fashionable slogan today.
   The book that lifts the veil on the Islamic holy war is entitled The Legacy of Jihad, and is edited by Andrew G. Bostom. [www.amazon.com/ exec/obidos/tg/ detail/-/1591023 076/qid=1124927694/ sr=8-1/ref=pd_ bbs_1/002-8662893- 4522465?v=glance &s=books&n=507846]
   The book is essentially made up of documents, many of which have been translated for the first time from Arabic or Farsi, or have been reproduced from books of oriental studies that would be difficult for the general public to find.
   The documents range from Mohammed in the seventh century, to the twentieth century. And they include the classic texts on the topic of jihad by Muslim theologians and jurists, accounts of war from ancient and modern witnesses, and analyses of jihad by scholars of varying outlooks.
   The book also contains Islamic miniatures depicting moments of jihad throughout history, and maps that document the military expansion of Islam century after century, from the seventh to the eleventh century. Each map is accompanied by a summary listing the acts of war in each region.
   For example, in the ninth century, during which Rome was assaulted and Sicily was conquered, the Muslim armies occupied Bari and Brindisi in Italy for thirty years; Taranto for forty; Benevento for ten; they attacked Naples, Capua, Calabria, and Sardinia several times; they put the abbey of Montecassino to fire and the sword; they even made skirmishes in northern Italy, arriving from Spain and crossing over the Alps.
   One fact emerges clearly from the documentation compiled by Bostom: jihad is not just one of the forms by which the expansion of Islam took place in particular places and times, but it is an institution inherent to the Islamic system itself; it is a permanent religious obligation.
   One astonishing thing is that it was not a specialist who published this documentation in the West. Bostom is an epidemiologist living in Providence, Rhode Island. But perhaps' this very distance from the academic world of the oriental and Islamic studies scholars leaves him more free from the taboos that gag many of these.
   Biting criticisms of the pro-Islamic sentiment of much of Western culture have been written by, among others, Jacques Ellul, Oriana Fallaci, and Bat Ye'or. The latter of these is a leading specialist in the condition of subordination systematically imposed by Islam upon the non-Muslim subjects of conquered countries. She is also the author of an essay published in 2005, carrying the eloquent title 'Eurabia: The Euro-Arab Axis.'
   One of the central theses of the three authors cited is that Islam is an organic whole and cannot be reformed in its essential elements, and that personal freedom and rights cannot be incorporated into it.
   But even another author who does not share this thesis, and is indeed one of the most decisive proponents of the idea that Islam and democracy are compatible - Bernard Lewis, one of the most authoritative Islamic studies experts alive, professor at Princeton University - has severely criticized the pro-Islamic tendencies in vogue among Western intellectuals and politicians, even among Jewish ones.
   In an essay entitled 'The Pro-Islamic Jews,' Lewis explains how the idea of an early Islamic Spain tolerant of Christians and Jews - evoked by many today as a golden age - is a romantic myth of the nineteenth century, created by Jews themselves in their intellectual conflict with Christians.
   And modern Turkey's aligning itself with the Western world and its support for the state of Israel have also induced a widespread unwillingness to speak about the massacres it carried out last century against the Armenian Christians.
   Other factors encouraging the general silence over the holy wars of yesterday and today - and also over slavery, which is still practiced by Muslims in some regions, over assaults on churches and the killing of Christians - are the effort to establish a good relationship with the increasing numbers of Muslim immigrants in Europe, fear of terrorist attacks, and the desire to create distance from the outlook of the 'clash of civilizations.'
   But the Muslim victims of this reticence and silence on the part of the West are precisely those who are courageously fighting to reform the Islamic faith and reconcile it with democracy and modernity.
   It's a good thing that, with books like the one by Andrew G. Bostom, they aren't being left entirely alone. #
______________________
SANDRO MAGISTER manages Chiesa.com. Sandro Magister's e-mail address is s.magister@espressoeditit [Jan-Feb 2006]
• [Islamism's End Game somewhat like Red terrorists']  Syria flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

  Islamism's End Game  

 
   Annals Australasia, by Sadik J. Al-Azm, p 11, January-February 2006
LOOKING back after 9/11 it seems to me that the left-wing terrorism of the 1970s in Europe was...a futile attempt to break out of the historical impasse and terminal structural crisis reached by communism, radical labor movements, Third Worldism, and revolutionary trends everywhere. The terrorism of that period was the first visible manifestation of that impasse and the prelude to the final demise of those movements, including world communism itself.
   Today the hard-core Islamists' spectacular terrorist violence reflects a no less desperate attempt to break out of the historical impasse and terminal structural crisis reached by the world Islamist movement in the second half of the 20th century. I predict this violence will be the prelude to the dissipation and final demise of militant Islamism in general.
   Like the armed factions in Europe who had given up on society, political parties, reform, proletarian revolution, and traditional communist organization in favor of violent action, militant Islamism has given up on contemporary Muslim society, its sociopolitical movements, the spontaneous religiosity of the masses, mainstream Islamic organizations, the attentism of the original and traditional Society of Muslim Brothers (from which they generally derive in the way the 1970s terrorists derived from European communism), in favor of violence.
-- Sadik J. Al-Azm, an emeritus professor of modern European philosophy at the University of Damascus, Syria, in Boston Review (Oct-Nov. 2004), Quoted, The Wilson Quarterly, Winter 2005.
[Jan-Feb 2006]

• The Difficulties Of Dialogue With Islam  Vatican City / Papal flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

THE DIFFICULTIES OF DIALOGUE WITH ISLAM

 
   Annals Australasia, by Giuseppe Germano Bernadini (Archbishop of Izmir, Turkey), p 23, probably spoken in 1999, January-February 2006
I HAVE been living in Turkey for the past 42 years, a 99.9 per cent Muslim country, and I have been the Archbishop of Izmir - Asia Minor - for the past 16 years. The theme of my intervention is therefore obvious: the problem of Islam in Europe today and in the future. I thank Bishop Pelatre, who already spoke about this theme in this prestigious assembly, dispensing me therefore from the necessity of a long examination and relevant interpretations.
   My intervention is to make a humble request of the Holy Father, above all. To be brief and clear, first I will mention cases that, due to their provenance, I believe to be true.
   1. During an official meeting on Islamic-Christian dialogue, an authoritative Muslim person, speaking to the Christians participating, at one point said very calmly and assuredly: 'Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you'.
   This is to be believed because the 'domination' has already begun with the 'petrol-dollars' used not to create work in the poor North African or Middle Eastern countries, but to build mosques and cultural centres in Christian countries with Islamic immigrants, including Rome, the centre of Christianity. How can we fail to see in all this a clear programme of expansion and re-conquest?
   2. During another Islamic-Christian meeting, always organised by Christians, a Christian participant publicly asked the Muslims present why they did not organise at least one meeting of this kind. The Muslim authority present answered in the following words: 'Why should we? You have nothing to teach us and we have nothing to learn'.
   A dialogue between deaf persons? It is a fact that terms such as 'dialogue' 'justice', 'reciprocity', or concepts such as 'rights of man' and 'democracy' have a completely different meaning for Muslims than for us.
   But I believe that by now this is recognised and admitted by all.
   I end this with an exhortation suggested to me by experience: do -not allow Muslims ever to use a Catholic church for their worship, because in their eyes this would be the surest proof of our apostasy.
-- Archbishop Giuseppe Germane Bernardini, O.F.M. Cap., Izmir, Turkey. Osservatore Romano Nov. 17, 1999. Reporting on the 2nd Special Assembly for Europe of the Synod of Bishops.

   [COMMENT: It is NOT "recognised and admitted by all" that the "rights of man" and "democracy" have different meanings for Muslims than for others. The Vatican from the 1960s under Pope Paul VI and under Pope John Paul II , like other religions and the "politically correct" groups, refused to give full value in their thinking to the Arab-Islamic, Moor-Islamic, and Turkic-Islamic conquests of history, and defying the news each month about human rights atrocities under Islam. Even the 20-year jihad to expel black Africans from both southern Sudan and Darfur in western Sudan has not awakened the dreamers. COMMENT ENDS.]
   [AFTERWARDS: A similar article, with a THIRD case ("a Muslim Arab servant") was published in Fidelity magazine (Australia), fidelity@j23.com.au , p 6, March 2006. [Jan-Feb 2006]

• [Sword and money were irrefutable.]  Egypt flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

  Convincing Proof  

 
   Annals Australasia, p 31, January-February 2006
‘THE Khalif Mu'izz when asked for proof of his descent from the Prophet's son-in-law ['Ali] replied boldly as he drew half his sword from its scabbard, "Behold my genealogy," and then bestowing handfuls of gold to the bystanders he added, "Here are my proofs". All declared the evidence irrefragable.'
- Mu'izz was an Isma'ili, a Fatimid Mahdi, who became Khalif in Egypt in 909 AD. See Journal Asiatique, Series III, tome iii, p.167.
   [DEFINITION: Irrefragable (adjective): (Of statement, argument, person) indisputable, unanswerable. (Concise Oxford Dictionary, Fifth Edition, 1969 reprint, page 643.) ENDS.] [Jan-Feb 2006]

• The Key to Racial Harmony  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
   Repent Australia (Perth, W. Australia), January-February 2006
   AUSTRALIA: The riots in Sydney in December 2005 saw mobs of Australian and Lebanese Islamic youth clash in some of the most violent rampages ever seen in Australia. The bashing of two lifesavers at Cronulla beach by Lebanese youths sparked the race-hate mob violence that escalated into a battleground in several Sydney suburbs resulting in the burning of a church, the destruction of hundreds of cars and police patrolling the streets in record numbers. Worse, it had all the hallmarks of spreading to other cities as anger grows at the destruction of the Australian way of life by these "people of Middle East appearance". ...
   However, though multiculturalism sounds noble and fine it completely ignores the fundamental fact that worshipping many gods will never bring harmony or unity to a nation! Some years ago author John Gully put it this way: "The trendy 'New Class' version of multiculturalism being thrust upon us would reduce Australia from a solid, united sovereign nation down to a political area populated by a Babel of tribes, a kind of human menagerie, with no common loyalty, no core values, minimal intercommunication and no feeling of fellowship". ...
   The point is that Australians are right to be alarmed and their alarm has nothing to do with racism, class or colour, but has everything to do with creed or belief. Now we have an Islamic problem of some sizeable magnitude. For over 500 years either physically or covertly Muslims have been at war with infidel unbelievers - Christians or any other non-believer in Islam. And knowing that Christian countries, such as Australia, are a soft touch, Islamic leaders now have their followers migrate here and when in sufficient numbers demand part of this 'Great Southland of the Holy Spirit' for Islam! ...
   What has happened in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and many other countries is now happening here. All Islamic countries are covertly funding and supporting death and destruction through terrorism against Christian nations while publicly condemning the terrorist attacks in New York, London and Madrid. Before the latest strife in Cronulla, gangs of Muslims brutally dragged women off the street and pack-raped them with their supporters laughing on camera after the case was dealt with in court. And this is just one example of Muslim intolerance of Western women whom they often refer to as sluts and whores for wearing bikinis. ...
Cross growing out of Perth in Australia REPENT
                                            AUSTRALIA
"If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14

VOLUME 11:1-2                                                 JAN/FEB 2006

THE KEY TO RACIAL HARMONY

   The recent riots in Sydney in December 2005 saw mobs of Australian and Lebanese Islamic youth clash in some of the most violent rampages ever seen in Australia. The bashing of two lifesavers at Cronulla beach by Lebanese youths sparked the race-hate mob violence that escalated into a battleground in several Sydney suburbs resulting in the burning of a church, the destruction of hundreds of cars and police patrolling the streets in record numbers. Worse, it had all the hallmarks of spreading to other cities as anger grows at the destruction of the Australian way of life by these "people of Middle East appearance".
Multiculturalism:Yet the issue of why so many young Australian men and women reacted so strongly to continual loutish behaviour by groups of Lebanese troublemakers will no doubt be avoided, because it embraces the vexed subject of multiculturalism, a concept developed without respecting the rule of God, yet loved and protected by left-wing politicians and academics with unlimited support from the media. For the godless media, like many politicians, believe they have some kind of divine right to tell everyone else what is good for them.
   However, though multiculturalism sounds noble and fine it completely ignores the fundamental fact that worshipping many gods will never bring harmony or unity to a nation! Some years ago author John Gully put it this way: "The trendy 'New Class' version of multiculturalism being thrust upon us would reduce Australia from a solid, united sovereign nation down to a political area populated by a Babel of tribes, a kind of human menagerie, with no common loyalty, no core values, minimal intercommunication and no feeling of fellowship". Extreme? No doubt, but containing more than a grain of truth, as we shall see as time goes by.
Accept Christian Standards: As the Australian way of freedom and democracy, under the Lordship of Jesus Christ, has provided true unity in diversity, surely it cannot be asking too much that people who want to come here to live and enjoy our Christian spiritual blessings, should accept our standards and ways and assimilate. For people of a Christian persuasion this is no real problem but for those of vastly different religious backgrounds it is another story. The point is that Australians are right to be alarmed and their alarm has nothing to do with racism, class or colour, but has everything to do with creed or belief. Now we have an Islamic problem of some sizeable magnitude. For over 500 years either physically or covertly Muslims have been at war with infidel unbelievers - Christians or any other non-believer in Islam. And knowing that Christian countries, such as Australia, are a soft touch, Islamic leaders now have their followers migrate here and when in sufficient numbers demand part of this 'Great Southland of the Holy Spirit' for Islam!
Supporting Terrorism: What has happened in Britain, France, Germany, Denmark and many other countries is now happening here. All Islamic countries are covertly funding and supporting death and destruction through terrorism against Christian nations while publicly condemning the terrorist attacks in New York, London and Madrid. Before the latest strife in Cronulla, gangs of Muslims brutally dragged women off the street and pack-raped them with their supporters laughing on camera after the case was dealt with in court. And this is just one example of Muslim intolerance of Western women whom they often refer to as sluts and whores for wearing bikinis.
One-World System: Many people are aware that plans are well in hand to set up an anti-Christian, socialist one-world system to bring the nations of planet Earth under the control of a group of elites via the auspices of the godless United Nations.   < www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/submit/subchron5.htm#key >
In order to accomplish this aim various means have been employed to destroy the homogeneity of countries such as Australia, which is a prime target for fragmentation as this land was founded and established on the Word of God and until recently has virtually honoured one God, God Almighty and His Son the Lord Jesus Christ since European settlement over 200 years ago.
   Our weakness is that, although this nation has been richly blessed over the years, most of us do not understand why. Many give credit to our own cleverness or to the god of luck but not to the God of the Bible whose Kingdom laws for living we Australians received through our British heritage and the English Common Law. Herein lies the key to the downfall of Christian Australia. We do not understand the source of our blessings. Nor do we understand the spiritual war going on all around us between the forces of good and the seducing and deceptive spirits of evil in the spirit world.
Interrelated Keys: So, what is the key to restoring racial harmony in this land of diverse cultures that are threatening to tear us apart? Actually, there are several keys, but all are interrelated. The first is for all of us, both leaders and citizens, to acknowledge that Christianity is our basic culture; that we are not a melting pot of cultures and that the melting pot is itself meant to melt. We must realise that no nation in history has survived with many gods as its source of worship. In fact, God has commanded, "You shall have no other gods but Me".
   Moreover, He has said, "If you ever forget the Lord your God, and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish". It is time to stand firm against the assaults of those who would lead us away from the true God whoever they may be, whether our political masters, the media, Marxist academics or any others of the secular humanist brigade. Whoever we may be, it is time for us all to "nail God's colours to the mast, to make tomorrow sure and fast".
Not Many Roads to God: Secondly, we must be fully convinced that all religions are not equal. There are not many roads to God, as we are so often told. Jesus made it perfectly clear when He said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me". The Scriptures further add, "Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also". (1 John 2:23) Neither Allah, Buddha, Confucius nor any other so-called god can save us. All these roads lead not to Life but to Death! And thirdly, if we are to live in harmony, we must pray fervently to God through Christ Jesus in the power of His Holy Spirit in us. Everyone who wants to see God bring healing to our land must heed the words of Repent Australia's motto: "If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land". (2 Chronicles 7:14) Therein lies the key. Will you use it?
PRAYER
   Lord God Almighty, Spirit of the Great I AM; our Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; how Great Thou art! There is no other God like You, loving Father. As ambassadors and kingdom warriors of the Most High God, cleansed and washed in the blood of Jesus, and fired by Your Holy Spirit, we rejoice and worship You in Spirit and in truth. Thank You, Abba Father for making known to us the End from the Beginning and that in the midst of terrorism, national unbelief, deception, spiritual ignorance and increasing chaos from ethnic conflicts, You have a great sovereign plan of redemption. Moreover, omniscient Father, we acknowledge, that Your plan cannot be thwarted because You triumphed over evil through the blood of Jesus at Calvary. At the Cross too the dividing walls between peoples were broken down to set captives free, and to release from darkness the spiritually blind as the Good News is preached to the lost to find true harmony by becoming one in Christ Jesus.
   Gracious Father, clothed in the full armour of God, we pull down all evil strongholds and destroy every symptom of bigotry, rebellion, pride, false gods and racial hatred and cast them under the feet of Christ Jesus. Holy Father, by Your Spirit of Counsel and Might, renew the minds of both leaders and citizens of this 'Great Southland of the Holy Spirit' to obey God's Word and look to Jesus Christ, the Author and Finisher of our faith. Also, empower Your kingdom warriors with Wisdom and Understanding to boldly preach the Gospel to those lost in materialism and apathy to demonstrate Your true new creation - on earth. By this means, we pray, fulfil Your eternal plan for Christ's coming Kingdom of Love, Truth, Righteousness, Justice, Goodness, Joy and Peace. We pray all this in the majestic name of the King of kings and Lord of lords, JESUS CHRIST, to Your glory. Amen.
R.A.: Led by our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit to glorify God with the Brotherhood of Man and in love and faithfulness to bring glory and honour to His Holy Name. Amen.
REJOICE & SHARE IN FAITH THIS MESSAGE IN PRAYER WITH OTHERS & BE BLESSED TO BE ONE IN CHRIST JESUS. < www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/submit/subchron5.htm#key >
   [COMMENT: In the "Accept Christian Standards" section it says that Muslims have been warring against non-Muslims for over 500 years.  Correct.  In fact, its more than 1350 years.  What started as a few followers in Mecca who fled to Medina and then began raiding some of Mecca's trading caravans, crystalised in 624 AD when Muhammad's forces defeated an army of Mecca at the battle of Badr.  The Muslims lost the battle of Uhud in 625.  In 627 the Muslims massacred the men of the Jewish tribe of Quruyzah, which had supported the Meccans.  From 633-44 Muslim armies invaded Iraq, Palestine, Syria, and Egypt.  (Refer: Karen Armstrong, ©2002, Islam: A Short History, 2003 impression, Phoenix Press, London, pages xii-xiii)
   (The scripture quotation of 2 Chronicles 7:14 near the top, and repeated above the subheading "PRAYER", in RC Douay Bibles will be found at 2 Paralipomenon 7:14.) COMMENT ENDS.] [Jan-Feb 2006]

• Muslims square off in war of words over religious decrees

  Saudi Arabia flag; http://www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags/ 
   The West Australian, by BRIAN MURPHY,Associated Press Religion Writer, p 21, Thursday, January 5, 2006
   [Summary] It is becoming known as the war of the fatwas: ...
   Now some Muslim leaders seek to shift tactics against radicals. Their hope rests in one of Islam's most elemental questions: Who has the real authority to make religious rulings?
   ... Jordan's King Abdullah II ... told the 56-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference last month that failure to establish a clear framework to interpret Islam left the door open for radicals.
   The summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia -- Islam's holiest site -- wrapped up with a statement reinforcing that only "those who are authorised" can issue fatwas. [... ]
   One of the most infamous salvos was the February 1998 "fatwa" by bin Laden and followers that called on Muslims to "kill the Americans and their allies". It has been blamed for inspiring some of the most staggering terrorist strikes, including the September 11 attacks. [...]
   In March, Spain's Muslim leaders issued a fatwa condemning al-Qaida on the anniversary of the 2004 train bombings in Madrid that claimed 191 lives. A similar anti-terrorist fatwa was made by Britain's biggest Sunni Muslim group after the July attacks that killed 52 commuters.
   Jordan announced last month it would prosecute clerics who promoted violence or issued fatwas without state permission. [...]
THE WEST AUSTRALIAN                                                                 THURSDAY, JANUARY 5, 2006 • 21

Muslims square off in war of words over religious decrees

BRIAN MURPHY
It is becoming known as the war of the fatwas: the dizzying exchange of proclamations between Islamic moderates and militants.
   Now some Muslim leaders seek to shift tactics against radicals. Their hope rests in one of Islam's most elemental questions: Who has the real authority to make religious rulings?
   Proposals to control the issuing of fatwas -- the non-binding edicts on Muslim life, law and duties -- are still little more than loose concepts and would require potentially stormy challenges to Islam's traditions of decentralised leadership. But there are some influential backers such as Jordan's King Abdullah II. They argue that bold changes are needed in Islam's hierarchy to isolate radical clerics and discredit terrorist leaders, including Osama bin Laden, who have used self-styled religious decrees to justify their views and actions.
   King Abdullah told the 56-member Organisation of the Islamic Conference last month that failure to establish a clear framework to interpret Islam left the door open for radicals.
   The summit in Mecca, Saudi Arabia -- Islam's holiest site -- wrapped up with a statement reinforcing that only "those who are authorised" can issue fatwas. But Islamic scholars say it would require a fundamental shift away from Islam's traditions to place religious authority under a single leader or institution. Some powerful centres of Islamic learning, such as Egypt's Al-Azhar University, also resist reforms that could diminish their theological voice. "Religious authority is in the eyes of the beholder and not anywhere else," said Abdullahi An-Na'im, an expert in Islamic law at Emory University in Atlanta. "This reality has not changed in 15 centuries of history, and will not change now," he said.
   But now there is the internet and other ways to spread messages to mass audiences -- which some have dubbed "the war of the fatwas". One of the most infamous salvos was the February 1998 "fatwa" by bin Laden and followers that called on Muslims to "kill the Americans and their allies". It has been blamed for inspiring some of the most staggering terrorist strikes, including the September 11 attacks.
   Other militants increasingly have followed suit with fatwa-style declarations of their own -- including statements attributed to terrorist chief Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the alleged mastermind of the November 9 hotel bombings in Amman, Jordan, which killed 60 people. Moderate clerics initially were slow to react to the radical fatwas. But now there is a potent counterattack.
   In March, Spain's Muslim leaders issued a fatwa condemning al-Qaida on the anniversary of the 2004 train bombings in Madrid that claimed 191 lives. A similar anti-terrorist fatwa was made by Britain's biggest Sunni Muslim group after the July attacks that killed 52 commuters.
   Jordan announced last month it would prosecute clerics who promoted violence or issued fatwas without state permission.
   "The fatwa, unfortunately, has become a tool of terrorists," said Abdulssalam Al-Abbadi, Jordan's former religious affairs minister. "We cannot keep having two versions of Islam: the correct and moderate views and the violent and extremists views. It is tearing apart the faith."
   Brian Murphy is an Associated Press Religion Writer.
   [DOCTRINE: Sūrah 2, "The Cow," āya 193 (or 189):- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.193 .
   Sūrah 3, "The Family of Imran," āya 118 (or 114):- O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs, if ye have wisdom. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 003.qmt.html #003.118 .
   4, "Women," 74 (or 76):- ... Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward. www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/004.qmt.html#004.074 .
   5, "The Table," 85:- Of all men thou wilt certainly find the Jews, and those who join other gods with God, to be the most intense in hatred of those who believe; and thou shalt certainly find those to be nearest in affection to them who say, 'We are Christians.' This, because some of them are priests and monks, and because they are free from pride. ENDS.]
   [RECAPITULATION 1: Mecca, Saudi Arabia -- Islam's holiest site. RECAP. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: Many other holy sites, including the homes where Mohammad lived at various times, are being demolished in Arabia, by order of the Wahhabist ruling elite. Nothing is sacred to the really hardline Islamists -- even Moslem funerals, mosques, and hospitals have been suicide-bombed now in the name of religion! As for non-Moslem funerals, remember how the Indonesian militia (Muslims) massacred people attending a funeral in East Timor. COMMENT ENDS.]
   [RECAP 2: ... it would require a fundamental shift away from Islam's traditions to place religious authority under a single leader or institution. ... "Religious authority is in the eyes of the beholder and not anywhere else," said Abdullahi An-Na'im, an expert in Islamic law at Emory University in Atlanta. "This reality has not changed in 15 centuries of history, and will not change now," he said. RECAP. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: Yes, the history of Islam is a history of rebellion from supposed authority (but, so are the histories of other religions, too). The first split was between those who said that a close associate of Mohammad ought to be their military and spiritual leader when he died, and those who opposed him. The murder of Ali is one of the memorable events in that split, which goes on to this day.
   But, wasn't there the Khalifate, centred on Baghdad, giving out religious and legal rulings for a long time? (The statue of Baghdad's founder was felled by Islamists in 2005.) And in the 20th-21st centuries haven't the religious leaders of Iran tried to act as if they could give such rulings? I don't think that it would require a "fundamental shift" for Moslems to submit to a universal leader. The very word Islam means "submission."
   Islam's REAL problem is that it doesn't have the Ten Commandments. "Thou shalt not kill" is not part of what the Prophet salvaged from Judaism. "The eye for the eye, and the tooth for the tooth", stonings, and taking slaves including sex slaves were ideas borrowed from Hebrew religion. There are repeated calls to strike off heads, hands, and; even fingertips are in one verse.
   Any Moslem MAN who feels "oppressed" is entitled to physically attack his oppressor. No Moslem woman may do so. People with such beliefs cannot agree to the rule of law or the rights of minorities, except as a strategem until they are in control. Jihad is a duty, so any self-appointed leader can lead a rebellion or a terrorist cell, if he can convince some others he is following the two religious books, the Koran and the Hadith. Some such leaders simply assassinate a moderate or cautious imam, and his flock lets him take the pulpit!
   Christians who practice suicide murders, bombings, assassination, etc., do so in defiance of the Jesus teachings. The pity is that many Christian leaders in the past have failed to understand this, and have quite failed to condemn, for example, the illegal Iraq war and occupation, and call on their adherents to radically withdraw all co-operation with it.
   [RECAP 3: Abdulssalam Al-Abbadi: "We cannot keep having two versions of Islam: the correct and moderate views and the violent and extremists views. It is tearing apart the faith." ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: There are MORE THAN TWO views of Islam, as a good encyclopaedia can explain. Whom are you fooling, Effendi? The faith has been torn apart since the 600s.
   And why say we "cannot" have two versions? The Shia and the Sunni are just two major versions that, probably, even our politicians and churchmen vaguely know exist. A few other versions exist, too.
   And who are you to say which is the "correct" version? Why doesn't the Deity come down and tell us which is correct? Or is Submission to Self-appointed Leaders your real doctrine?
   Khartoum, Sudan's capital, from whence it is said the drive comes for religious and ethnic cleansing by ethnic Moslem Arabs of the blacks of various religions, is where an international Arab group and a pan-African group plan to next meet. So, do these international leaders care about the human rights violations? Do they back "violent and extremists views", or the "correct" views? [Jan 5, 06]

• [Islamist murderers kill 55 at funeral; US weapons kill family 9.
Abramoff and DeLay cases expose Washington's rot.]

 
   Information Clearing House (USA), www.information clearinghouse. info , "Bombs kill women and children," E-mail 6.02 am January 5, 2006
   55 killed in Iraq violence The funeral attack was the bloodiest single incident since the vote, killing 36 and wounding 40 in the town of Miqdadiya, 100 km (60 miles) northeast of the capital http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1677843,00.html
   U.S. Bombs Kill Women and Children: Enrages Iraqi Officials: United States warplanes killed nine members of an Iraqi family, including women and young children, during a bombing strike Monday night that obliterated a home near the northern industrial city of Bayji, Iraqi officials said today. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11448.htm
   Insurgents burn 19 fuel tankers north of Baghdad : Insurgents attacked a convoy of fuel tankers escorted with police commando in north of Baghdad on Wednesday, setting 19 tankers ablaze and destroying three military vehicles, a police source told Xinhua. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-01/04/content_4009250.htm
   Jobless Iraqis clash with police: Clashes have broken out in Nasiriya in southern Iraq between jobless protesters and police. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/C28596F2-F5AF-4F7F-BA67-57EE6814617F.htm
   Iraqi V.P. Says No New Gov't Until April: Administration officials and supportive lawmakers have argued that the United States gives the detainees unprecedented access to U.S. courts, in some cases more than U.S. military personnel who have been convicted of crimes by military courts. http://www.guardian.co.uk/worldlatest/story/0,1280,-5520676,00.html
   "The country's on the verge of a civil war,": Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, V Corps commander since 2003 http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=34094
   Scott Ritter : Elections in 2005, Civil War in 2006?: When Paul Bremer signed into law his dictate that banned the Ba'ath Party, he forgot the age-old notion that the enemy has a vote. In this case the enemy was the two-million plus members of the Ba'ath party who were suddenly disenfranchised from any legitimate role in determining the future of Iraq. http://www.alternet.org/blogs/themix/30299
   Iraq Wants U.S. Choice Out As Chief Of Brigade: Over the strong objections of U.S. commanders in Baghdad, the Iraqi government has nominated a new leader for a brigade that is set to assume control over some of the capital's most sensitive areas. This dispute appears likely to postpone an already overdue handover by American forces for at least another month. http://www.aina.org/news/20060104113923.htm
   In case you missed it: Draft Iraq Indictment: The 2003 U.S. invasion and its ongoing occupation of Iraq are illegal, immoral and unjust, aimed at furthering U.S. imperialist aims in the Middle East and the world, not liberating the Iraqi people, but rather subjecting them to new, more brutal and direct forms of foreign domination and turning Iraq into a platform for further aggression and imperial maneuvers. http://www.bushcommission.org/iraq.htm
   Billion Dollar Bunker: U.S. plans Baghdad embassy more secure than Pentagon http://tinyurl.com/96785
   Iraq to give $3bn worth of bonds to Saddam-era creditors: NEARLY $3 billion worth of bonds bearing the name of the Republic of Iraq are scheduled to begin trading in London on January 19, in a private placement that will mark the troubled country's first appearance in the international debt markets. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,9063-1969496,00.html
   US threatens action if Iran resumes N-fuel works : "Our view is that if Iran takes an further enrichment-related steps, the international community will have to consider additional measures to constrain Iran's nuclear ambitions," McCormack told reporters. http://tinyurl.com/e4ffj
   Iran to brief U.N. on atomic research plan - diplomats: Iran says its atomic work aims solely to generate electricity and years of IAEA inquiries have found nothing to clearly disprove this. http://tinyurl.com/dnzjq
   War pimp alert: Secret services say Iran is trying to assemble a nuclear missile : The Iranian government has been successfully scouring Europe for the sophisticated equipment needed to develop a nuclear bomb, according to the latest western intelligence assessment of the country's weapons programmes. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11449.htm
   Iran's nuclear capacity 'can be destroyed': Israeli military chief Dan Halutz on Tuesday said that Iran's nuclear program "can be destroyed," Israel's Army Radio reported. http://tinyurl.com/8v7vm
   War pimp alert: Make them drink their sea of oil: Oil makes people crazy, especially if they are world leaders. Oil is what drove the president and the vice president to the lost-cause war in Iraq, and oil is what is now preventing them from removing the bomb from the stalls of the Persian market. http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/665418.html
   Patrick J. Buchanan : Time to Talk to Tehran : Does President Bush intend a preventive war, early this year, to effect the nuclear castration of Iran? Or are we rattling sabers? http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11450.htm
   CIA Gave Iran Bomb Plans, Book Says: The CIA in 2004 intentionally handed Tehran some top-secret bomb designs laced with a hidden flaw that U.S. officials hoped would doom any weapon made from them, according to a new book about the U.S. intelligence agency. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11458.htm
   Iran Elbows Afghanistan From Pipeline Project With Turkmenistan: The US will be dismayed as its oil and gas company UNOCAL's efforts to pass gas pipeline from Turkmenistan via Afghanistan to Pakistan had been delayed because India and Pakistan have opted to sign an accord with Iran, analysts say. http://tinyurl.com/apu2x
   3 killed in explosion in southern Afghanistan : A suicide bomb explosion rattled Afghanistan's southern Kandahar province, the former stronghold of Taliban http://paktribune.com/news/index.php?id=130264
   Militants behead headmaster in S. Afghanistan : "Armed militants entered the house of the headmaster of the Shikh Mati Lycee in Zabul's provincial capital Qalat last night and brutally beheaded him in front of his children," http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-01/04/content_4008097.htm
   At least five die of cold-related ailments in Pakistan : Freezing temperatures have claimed the lives of least five Pakistani earthquake survivors, a U.N. health official said Wednesday, as a trickle of villagers descended from mountain settlements in Kashmir to seek shelter on lower ground. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/world/20060104-1050-southasia-quake.html
   US presses Syria on al-Hariri inquiry: John Bolton said, "Syria's record to date has been one of obstructing the investigation, of tampering with the evidence and not making witnesses available in a timely fashion." http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/F651DB94-EC80-4628-B1BD-814F241754EE.htm
   It is 'showtime' for Syria - UK : The current international pressure on Syria is "entirely deserved" and it is now "showtime" for its president, UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw says. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4579442.stm
   Blair's Cynical Policy on Palestine: The British Government likes to portray itself as an honest broker' in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, seeing "blame on both sides". Perhaps because such a position finds no basis in international law, the Government dislikes international institutions getting too involved -- as seen when it tried to prevent the International Court of Justice ruling on the illegality of the Separation Wall 18 months ago. http://www.counterpunch.com/dearden01042006.html
   Rights group urges US to cut Israel aid: A prominent US human rights organisation has called on the Bush administration to cut back its direct foreign aid to Israel until the latter complies with calls to stop settlement expansion and work on the separation wall. http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/198C6D92-9EB1-46F9-BEFD-C42BBACC422C.htm
   New evidence in Sharon corruption case: According to the late Tuesday report, Sharon's family may have received a bribe from Australian billionaire Martin Schlaff in connection with a scandal involving illegal campaign contributions in 1999. http://www.isn.ethz.ch/news/sw/details.cfm?ID=14171
   Increasing Calls for PM Sharon to Step Down : Calls directed at Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, to step down from office, are resonating from many prominent political personalities following a Channel 10 News report on Tuesday night that the prime minister received a $3 million payment http://www.israelnn.com/news.php3?id=96000
   Bush could bypass new torture ban: When President Bush last week signed the bill outlawing the torture of detainees, he quietly reserved the right to bypass the law under his powers as commander in chief. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11457.htm
   Justice to Try to Toss Gitmo Challenges : The Justice Department will seek dismissal of lawsuits from more than 300 Guantanamo Bay detainees fighting the legality of their confinement, using a new law that the Bush administration says sharply limits existing challenges. Advocates for detainees quickly registered their opposition Tuesday. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11453.htm
   The coverup begins: NSA acted on its own to expand surveillance: Agency moved without directive from Bush after 9/11, declassified documents show http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/3563662.html
   Something to Hide: As the Bush administration downplays its illegal wiretapping, the New York Times' chiefs keep quiet about their role in the scandal. http://www.alternet.org/story/30352/
   They don't tell him anything: Turns out thousands of Americans and resident foreigners have been or are being monitored and recorded by the NSA. It's more like information-mining, which is what, you may recall, the administration said it would not do. But now Bush has to investigate The New York Times because Bush has been breaking the law, you see? http://www.freepress.org/columns/display/1/2006/1290
   Bush to Give Away Abramoff Donations: President Bush's re-election campaign will give the American Heart Association thousands of dollars in campaign contributions connected to lobbyist Jack Abramoff, the White House said Wednesday, as the government pressed forward with a broad-ranging corruption investigation. http://tinyurl.com/ac7nf
   Juan Cole: Abramoff and al-Arian: Lobbyist's "Charity" a Front for Terrorism: Abramoff's dense network of illicit finances and phony charities might end some political careers in the United States. But the investigation into his activities by the FBI also shed light on the ways in which rightwing American Jews have often been involved in funding what are essentially terrorist activities by armed land thieves in Palestinian territory. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11456.htm
   Abramoff Money Halted Sweat Shop Legislation: East Bay Congressman George Miller just couldn't understand why his legislation to end sex and textile sweat shops in the Northern Mariana Islands -- a U.S. protectorate in the Pacific -- was being blocked in the House of Representatives. Now, he has his answer. http://www.ktvu.com/news/5839523/detail.html
   To Russia, Love Tom DeLay : Jack Abramoff's plea is just the beginning. DeLay's dealings with Russia should be one of the biggest stories of the year. http://www.tompaine.com/articles/20060104/to_russia_love_tom_delay.php
   The $4bn industry that is America's guilty secret : Lobbying is Washington's grubby secret. Some say lobbying is part of the democratic process. Others claim it is legalised bribery, even corruption. But love it or loathe it, it is the way Washington works. http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article336396.ece
   The man who bought off Washington : Lobbyist's guilty plea set to expose bribery scandal at the heart of US political system http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article336400.ece
   In case you missed it: Foundation's Funds Diverted From Mission : Records Detail Spending By GOP Lobbyist Abramoff : Tax and spending records of the Capital Athletic Foundation obtained by The Washington Post show that less than 1 percent of its revenue has been spent on sports-related programs for youths. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11455.htm
   Lobbying Plan Was Central to GOP's Political Strategy: The corruption investigation surrounding lobbyist Jack Abramoff shows the significant political risk that Republican leaders took when they adopted what had once seemed a brilliant strategy for dominating Washington: turning the K Street lobbying corridor into a cog of the GOP political machine. http://tinyurl.com/c2a83
   On Father's Day, Send Your Cards to Tom Instead of George: Our history books tell us that George Washington was the father of the abomination America has become. Many around the world, including some Americans, have written off the possibility that the United States is capable of acting with morality and sanity. Yet hope remains on the horizon for our country. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article11454.htm
   Roberts, Alito regarded as allies to business on high court: One represented corporate interests as a private attorney; the other often sided with employers in lawsuits filed by workers http://tinyurl.com/8ubwz
   Business will support Alito: Corporate America should find some cheer in Alito's strictly conservative judicial philosophy. http://money.cnn.com/2005/10/31/news/economy/alito_nomination/
   U.S. Supreme Court Nominee Alito Seen as Ally by Businesses : U.S. business groups, already cheered by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.'s appointment, anticipate getting another ally in Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito Jr. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=washingtonstory&sid=IPD4YP076GHT
   Eminent domain now big business: One day at the age of 82, Irene Angell received an unexpected letter. The city of Des Plaines needed her home and planned to use eminent domain to force her to sell it. http://tinyurl.com/7uhol
   WISE WORDS: "The strongest passions and most dangerous weaknesses of the human breast; ambition, avarice, vanity, the honorable or venal love of fame, are all in conspiracy against the desire and duty of peace." : James Madison - (1751-1836), Father of the Constitution for the USA, 4th US President
   "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the greatest intention.": Kahlil Gibran - (1883-1931) Lebanese-American philosophical essayist, novelist, mystical poet, and artist
   "I have always held firmly to the thought that each one of us can do a little to bring some portion of misery to an end.": Albert Schweitzer - (1875-1965) Humanitarian, Theologian, Philosopher, Physician, Nobel Peace Prize 1952
   To read this newsletter online http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/ or http://snipurl.com/ayzc
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   To help support ICH using PayPal click here. http://tinyurl.com/v1l8 Or if you prefer to send a check [cheque] or money order, Tom, PO Box 365 Imperial Beach, CA 91933. USA.
   Number Of Iraqi civilians Slaughtered In America's War 100,000 + http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article7170.htm
   Number of U.S. Military Personnel Slaughtered (Officially acknowledged) In Bush's War 2182 http://icasualties.org/oif/
   The War in Iraq Costs $231,310,151,426 See the cost in your community http://nationalpriorities.org/index.php?option=com_wrapper&Itemid=182
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   Liberty can not be preserved without general knowledge among people." (August 1765) John Adams
   Peace & Joy - Tom Feeley [Jan 5, 06]

• [Religious gangs shoot at cars and abuse families at school's Christmas carols.]

 
   CathNews (from Church Resources, Australia), "Pell Tells Race Gangs That Christmas Is Sacred," www.cathnews. com/news/ 512/74.php , January 6, 2006
   SYDNEY (NSW), Australia: Cardinal George Pell warned gangs of youths of Middle Eastern descent not to target Christmas celebrations, after families were abused and gunshots fired into cars at a primary school's carols night in western Sydney. [Jan 6, 06]

• German officials given list of questions to ask Muslim citizenship applicants in Baden-Wurtenberg

  Germany flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   MilitantIslamMonitor.org (MIM), www.militant islammonitor. org/article/ id/1524 , January 7, 2006
   GERMANY: Questions to be asked of citizenship applicants in Baden-Wurtenberg (Translated by Beila Rabinowitz, director of MIM) (German text is on original webpage, http://islam.de/4401.php )
   Note :These questions were placed on a webpage with the title 'Islam at a glance' and it is unclear if they were leaked or officially slated for publication.
   A note at the bottom of the webpage asks readers 'How much do you value the work of Islam.de?" (Deutschland) .Please send us your opinion of this news item!"
   ------------------------------------------------------------
   1) The recognition of the free democratic laws of the Constitution of the Bundesrepublik of Deutschland encompasses the values which are set forth in the Constitution, which are the same in content as those in all of the States of the European Union.
   The protection of human rights is one of the areas in which the State has exclusive jurisdiction over the use of aggression, which means that no person can use aggression against another ,and that only in emergency situations. The State itself can only use violence in the context of legally mandated enforcement of the law such as the equality of men and women.
   Are these concepts compatible with your personal views?
   2 )What is your opinion of the following statements?
   Democracy is the worst form of government which we have, but the best which exists.' Humanity had never experienced such a dark phase as during democracy, but for man to free himself from democracy, he has to understand that democracy cannot give anything good to man."
   3) In films, plays, and books, the religious feelings are sometimes insulted of those who have different religious beliefs. According to you which methods are acceptable for individuals to" use to fight against such religious insults and which not.
   4 )How do you feel about criticism about your religion? Do you find this permissible? Could you discuss this?
   5) In Germany political parties and organizations can be banned due to their stated opposition to the constitution and rule of law. Would you,in spite of such a ban, still support such a party and such an organization? Under what circumstances?
   6) What do you think of the statement: That a wife must obey her husband and he can hit her if she does not obey him ?
   7) Do you think it is permissible that a man shuts his wife and daughter into the house in order to prevent them from dishonoring him in public?
   8) In Germany the police can intervene in a violent argument between a married couple, and in order to prevent further threats can send the aggressor out of the house for several days. What do you think about this?
   9) Do you think It is progress that a men and women in Germany are equal under the law? In your opinion what should the country do when men do not accept this?
   10) In Germany everyone can work in any profession according to their education. What do you think about this? Are you of the opinion that certain professions should only be reserved for men or women? If so, which and why?
   11) According to your opinion which profession should not be engaged in by a woman under any circumstances and why ? Do you have difficulty with accepting a woman in a position of authority in certain jobs?
   12) In Germany everyone can decide for themselves if they want to be treated by a female or a male doctor. In certain situations this choice is not available: Emergency, change of shift in the hospital. In such a case would you let yourself be treated or operated on by a female doctor (male citizenship candidate) or a male doctor (female citizenship candidate)?
   13) People often hear that parents forbid their adult daughter to work in certain jobs or to marry a man of their choice, What are your personal views regarding this standpoint?
   14) What would you do, when your daughter marries a man who has a different religion or wants to pursue a course of study in something you disapprove of ?
   15) What is your opinion of parents who push their children into forced marriages? Do you believe that such marriages are compatible with human rights?
   16) In Germany, sports and swimming lessons are part of the normal school curriculum. Would you allow your daughter to participate? If not, why not?) What is your stance on allowing school children to take part in school trips and overnight school vacations?
   17) Your adult daughter/your wife would like to dress like other German girls and women . Would you attempt to prevent her from doing this? If so, with what methods?
   18) For female citizenship candidates: Your adult daughter would very much like to dress like other girls and women too, but your husband is against it - What would you do?
   19) Your daughter /sister comes home and says that she was sexually molested. What would you do as a father/mother/brother/ sister ?
   20) Your son/brother comes home and says that he was insulted. What would you do as father/mother/brother/sister?
   21) According to you does the Constitution permit one to change their religion, or to leave their present religious community, and to live without a religion or to take on another religion. What is your opinion, when a person is punished due to such a change of religions (for example with the loss of sucession )?
   22) You learn that people in your neighborhood or from your friend or acquaintances is has perpetrated or is planning a terrorist attack. How do you react and what do?
   Suggestions for the EEB (Individual Citizenship Official) :The chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany,Dr.Nadeem Elyas, had declared in the ZDF (broadcast) on 15/07/2005 after the attacks in London- that " cooperation between the security services is for Muslims an Islamic obligation and not betrayal"!
   23) You have heard about the attacks on September 11, 2001 in New York and on March 11th 2004 in Madrid. In your eyes were the perpetrators terrorists or freedom fighters? Explain your viewpoint.
   24) In the newspaper one sometimes reads about a case where a daughter or a wife is murdered because of "immoral lifestyle" in order to restore the family honor. How do you feel about such an act?
   25) What do you think when a man in Germany is married to two women at the same time?
   26) How do you judge, when a married man in Germany goes to his former hometown and marries a second time?
   27) Some people say that Jews are responsible for all the evil in the world and even claim that they were behind the attacks of 2001 in New York? What is your view of such claims?
   28) Your daughter applies for a position in Germany. She receives a letter that she was not accepted. You later learn that a black African from Somalia has gotten the position. How would you react?
   29) Imagine this: Your adult son comes to you and declares that he is a homosexual. He says that he would like to live together with another man. How would you react?
   30) In Germany several politicians have openly proclaimed that they are homosexual. What do you think about homosexuals in Germany holding public office?
   Declaration of the Citizenship Candidate,
   My answers and explanations in regard to the questions which were asked correctly reflect and correspond to my own inner convictions. I had no difficulty understanding the questions. In the case where I did not understand, they were explained to me so that I could understand them all. I was made completely aware, that any false declarations would be considered as fraud against the citizenship officals, and could lead, even after several years, to the revocation of my citizenship even in the case where that would render me stateless.
   Place, Date, Signature ,
   ------------------------------------------------- [Jan 7, 06]

• [Addicted to blood, planned to bomb Big Ben, train children -- "Captain Hamza Hook".]

  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Egypt flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   The West Australian, "Cleric's plan to bomb Big Ben," p 10, Friday, January 13, 2006
   LONDON: Radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza said on a tape: "We like blood and are addicted to it," the court was told. "When people say they love Allah they must ask themselves how much kafir (unbelievers') blood they have spilt for Allah."
   He had told followers they had a religious duty to kill non-Muslims and that "blasphemous and dirty" Jews should be removed from the Earth, prosecutor David Perry said. ...
   It also refers to an "external pressure unit" which "belongs to the execution unit which operates abroad" and should be sent to a country "at least 10 years" before the jihad starts.
   ... in 1997 or 1998, Mr Hamza said the role of women should be to encourage their husbands to train children as young as 10 so they could become mujahideen (holy warriors).
   In a tape aimed at young people, he said: "When you meet Allah you will be asked who was killed at your hands?" ...
10 • FRIDAY, JANUARY 13, 2006                                                                 THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
Radical preacher Abu Hamza had terror book which had targets including the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower.
  [Pictures: Bearded man with hook instead of right hand; Statue of Liberty; Big Ben.] On Trial. Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza is said to have had a 10-volume terrorist manual that featured a list of possible targets including New York's Statue of Liberty and London's Big Ben.

Cleric's plan to bomb Big Ben

LONDON: Radical Muslim preacher Abu Hamza had a 10-volume terrorism manual at his home which was dedicated to Osama bin Laden and featured a list of targets, including Big Ben, skyscrapers, airports and football stadiums, the Old Bailey court has been told.
   The Encyclopaedia of Afghani Jihad was written in Arabic between 1989 and 1999 with the help of Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan.
   It featured sections on explosives and sabotage, the court was told on Wednesday at his trial on terror-related charges, including soliciting to murder and stirring up racial hatred.
   "We like blood and are addicted to it," Mr Hamza told his followers in a taped message, the court was told. "When people say they love Allah they must ask themselves how much kafir (unbelievers') blood they have spilt for Allah."
   The one-eyed and hook-handed Egyptian-born preacher fought with the Mujahideen against the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan where a landmine claimed his eye and hand. A former Soho bouncer, he was a preacher at London's Finsbury Park mosque until he was banned for preaching for personal and political reasons.
   He had told followers they had a religious duty to kill non-Muslims and that "blasphemous and dirty" Jews should be removed from the Earth, prosecutor David Perry said. The first volume of the terrorism manual talks of a holy war against English, French and communist "imperialists" who protect Israel. It also refers to an "external pressure unit" which "belongs to the execution unit which operates abroad" and should be sent to a country "at least 10 years" before the jihad starts.

  ‘'We like blood and are addicted to it... people must ask... how much kafir blood they have spilt for Allah.'’   ABU HAMZA 
   Among the high-profile targets suggested are the Statue of Liberty, Eiffel Tower and Big Ben. Targets where there would be a big loss of life are suggested as skyscrapers, ports, airports, nuclear plants and football stadiums
   Mr Perry described the manual as a "blueprint for terrorism", adding: "It includes all anyone ever needs to know if they want to make a homemade bomb or explosive.". Mr Hamza, 47, lived in Britain for several years as a British citizen.
   When police raided his home in west London in May 2004 they found more than 2700 audio tapes and 570 video tapes, some of them labelled "Jihad", meaning holy war, the court was told.
   The jury saw pictures of Mr Hamza's home in Shepherd's Bush. It contained boxes piled with blank tapes and others labelled "master", suggesting they were being prepared for distribution. The tapes included sections on the evils of adultery and drink.
   In a speech delivered to a meeting in London in 1997 or 1998, Mr Hamza said the role of women should be to encourage their husbands to train children as young as 10 so they could become mujahideen (holy warriors).
   In a tape aimed at young people, he said: "When you meet Allah you will be asked who was killed at your hands?"
   Britain and Western nations were "100 per cent anti-Islam", he said in another tape.
   He called on his followers to spread Islam by the sword and adding: "European leaders only respect those that are strong."
   Asked if suicide bombing was permissible, he said: "People call it suicide to put people off. It is not called suicide, it is called martyrdom."
   Mr Hamza refused to answer questions when he was arrested.
   However, he gave a statement claiming he had never read the encyclopaedia, which was given to him as a gift.
   The trial continues. #
   [COMMENT: What false philosophy ever possessed the British to allow an Egyptian to migrate to overcrowded Britain? Is this indiscriminate immigration, or indiscriminate self-immolation? And haven't other countries complained for a few years that Britain has been harbouring terrorism leaders? COMMENT ENDS.] [Jan 13, 06]

• EDITORIAL: Islamic intimidation dashed in Denmark; A firm stand against offended Muslims sets example for West

  Denmark flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   Review Journal (Las Vegas), www.reviewjournal.com/lvrj_home/2006/Jan-12-Thu-2006/opinion/5299429.html , January 13, 2006
   Islamic fundamentalists have an arrogance that matches their intolerance for Western values. How else can one explain their efforts to limit free expression in countries that have graciously allowed Muslim immigrants the freedom to follow even the most radical movements within their faith..." Islamic intimidation dashed in Demark in the Las Vegas  Review Journal [...]
   Last year, Jyllands-Posten, Denmark 's biggest daily newspaper, asked 40 artists to submit caricatures of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.... The newspaper wanted to find out whether the country's freedom of speech had been eroded by Islamic intimidation.... Because Islamic tradition prohibits any depiction of Muhammad -- even positive ones -- Muslims attacked the newspaper. They demanded an apology, then they demanded that the editors and artists be prosecuted. [...]
   Middle Eastern nations, led by Egypt, tried to make the cartoons an international scandal and demanded that Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen hand down swift, severe punishments.
   The demands were frighteningly absurd. The cartoons were published in Denmark, not Saudi Arabia or Egypt, so no laws had been broken. The newspaper and the cartoonists have refused to apologize (although a couple of artists are in hiding) because they have nothing to apologize for. And on Saturday, Danish prosecutor Peter Broendt Joergensen reiterated that no charges would be filed against the artists or the newspaper's editors because the drawings were a form of protected speech.
   "We cannot understand the decision," said Ahmad Akkari, a spokesman for Danish Muslim groups, adding that the caricatures were a "clear offense to Islam." [...]
   Is the Islamic world ready to meet the West in the middle? Unfortunately, Muslims barely have one foot on that bridge. Egypt demonstrated as much when it issued a statement that said its government "respects freedom of opinion and expression" -- as long as those opinions and expressions don't offend Muslims.
   The Danes deserve the Western world's thanks for defending free speech. We can best show our gratitude by following their example. # (By courtesy of Jim Ball's webpage, http://www. jimball. com.au/ . Early hours radio 12 to 5am on 2GB 873.)
   [COMMENT: You noticed that the Islamic spokesperson could not understand the decision? Lives in a free-speech democracy, but can't understand a Free Press! Think! Re-read the part about those gone into hiding. Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered bloodily in 2004 for exposing his beliefs about the way many Muslims treat women. His murder exposes how some Muslims treat men, too! Remember the fatwa against Salman Rushdie? END.] [Jan 13, 06]

• Pope assailant may face draft charges

  Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   The West Australian, p 10, Friday, January 13, 2006
   TURKEY: The Turkish gunman who shot Pope John Paul II in 1981 left prison a free man yesterday after serving more than 25 years behind bars in Italy and Turkey for the plot and killing a Turkish journalist
   Mehmet Ali Agca, 48, was freed five years after he was pardoned by Italy and extradited to Turkey. He had served 20 years in prison in Italy.
   Agca shot the pope as he rode in an open car in St Peter's Square in Rome on May 13,1981.
   It was unclear if Agca, a draft-dodger who escaped from a military prison in 1979, would face criminal charges for evading the military and escaping. #
   [COMMENT: The television pictures showed a crowd in Turkey throwing flower petals on his car, welcoming Agca like a hero. The draft-dodger "danger" looks like a "plant" by a cynical group in Turkey. If the military had wanted to charge him, he would have come out of prison wearing military shackles, not being applauded! COMMENT ENDS.] [Jan 13, 06]

• Destroy non-believers, says Muslim preacher  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Egypt flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
   The West Australian, p 8, Saturday, January 14, 2006
   LONDON: Renegade Muslim preacher Abu Hatnza called for the "blood and destruction" of non-believers in a video produced at his trial on terror-related charges on Thursday.
  In the video made for his followers and played to the jury he quoted the prophet Mohammed and added: "The blood and destruction is the destruction upon you kafirs (unbelievers)."
   The former Soho bouncer was a preacher at London's Finsbury Park mosque until he was banned for personal and political reasons.
   In two videos he described Britain as a country "like the inside of a toilet" [...]
   "We are all under the heavy boots of the kafir (unbeliever)," he said.
   Mr Hamza said democracy was crumbling and laid out a two-stage plan to replace it with a Muslim nation.
   The first stage, he said, was to "bleed them from their sides, their heads, their economy, everything until they surrender". [...]
8 • SATURDAY, JANUARY 14, 2006                                                                 THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

Destroy non-believers,
says Muslim preacher

   LONDON: Renegade Muslim preacher Abu Hatnza called for the "blood and destruction" of non-believers in a video produced at his trial on terror-related charges on Thursday.
  In the video made for his followers and played to the jury he quoted the prophet Mohammed and added: "The blood and destruction is the destruction upon you kafirs (unbelievers)."
   The former Soho bouncer was a preacher at London's Finsbury Park mosque until he was banned for personal and political reasons.
   The jury heard him speak in two videos, in which he described Britain as a country "like the inside of a toilet" and accused Prime Minister Tony Blair of killing Muslim children.
   The first video, called the Holy Way to Khilafa (Muslim nationhood), showed Mr Hamza seated at a table with a banner which read "Al-Jihad" during a London meeting.
  [Picture caption] 'You have to stab him here and there until he bleeds to death, until he dies, then you cut his meat the way you like it or leave it for the maggots.'  RADICAL MUSLIM PREACHER ABU HAMZA  
   "We are all under the heavy boots of the kafir (unbeliever)," he said.
   Mr Hamza said democracy was crumbling and laid out a two-stage plan to replace it with a Muslim nation.
   The first stage, he said, was to "bleed them from their sides, their heads, their economy, everything until they surrender".
   He went on: "Like you imagine you have only one small knife and you have a big animal in the front of you, the size of the knife you can't slaughter him with this.
   "You have to stab him here and there until he bleeds to death, until he die, then you cut his meat the way you like it or leave it for the maggots."
   After that, he claimed: "The people who called you terrorist before, they will call you khalifas (Muslim rulers) and the scholars who used to call you khawarij (rebels against Islam) yesterday, they will write poems about you."
   The second stage involved taking control of the whole world.
   "Don't be a shield for the kafir because we will get you," he said. "Even if you are not a target and you are in the target area. If you fear them, you should fear Allah more. It's a bloody way."
   Mr Hamza told his followers they would eventually see a Muslim ruler in the White House.
   "The whole earth, it will be for Muslims, this is a promise from Allah," he said. "Go and fight, light and heavy, rich and poor, sick and healthy."
   Targets included every court, interest-charging banks and video shops selling 'naked' videos.
   "You have to bleed the enemy, whether you work alone, you work with a group or you work with your own family, work has to be done," he added. "Tease them, make them afraid, show their humiliation.
   "Anybody he sees a deficiency and an enemy of Islam, just go and kill him."
   Laughing when a woman asked him whether she could join the holy war, Mr Hamza told her to tell her children, if they were aged 10 or 12, to "go with their father for training . . . make sure he shows them videos about jihad ideas".
   He described Britain as a kafir country in which most were pagans and churches as places of iniquity.
   The case continues. #
   [RECAPITULATION: "We are all under the heavy boots of the kafir (unbeliever)," he said. ...
   In two videos he described Britain as a country "like the inside of a toilet" ...
   "The whole earth, it will be for Muslims, this is a promise from Allah." ...
   He described Britain as a kafir country ... and churches as places of iniquity. RECAP. ENDS.]
   [COMMENT: See the comment on the January 13 coverage of the trial. ENDS.] [Jan 14, 06]

• Force's new look of diversity

  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
   The Australian www.news.com. au/story/0, 10117,17815528- 28097,00.html , By Alana Buckley-Carr, January 14, 2006
   PERTH: NAVY blue hijabs, loose-fitting shirts and turbans emblazoned with the police logo will be part of a new range of West Australian police uniforms.
   But the institution of religiously appropriate attire to attract to the ranks Muslims and Sikhs was lambasted yesterday by the police union and state Opposition.
   Opposition police spokesman Rob Johnson asked if officers would also be permitted to interrupt their duties to pray to Mecca.
   Victoria and Queensland police have already allowed culturally appropriate uniforms for Muslims and Sikhs on a case-by-case basis, but West Australian Police are the first to introduce blanket uniform exemptions to accommodate religious beliefs.
   Superintendent Duane Bell said under the initiative, officers would be allowed to keep their beards or wear shoes made of synthetic materials rather than leather in order to remain faithful to their customs.
   "In essence, we recognise that the police uniform has been a barrier to people wishing to become police officers, from certain ethnic backgrounds," Mr Bell said.
   Turbans and hijabs will remain in keeping with the rest of the uniform, emblazoned with the metal police badge and checkered hatband. Mr Bell said the hijab would have a velcro section so if offenders tried to pull the cloth, it would become loose rather than strangling the officer.
   "If officers have already come in, they've had to shave their beard off or take off their turban," he said.
   "We are now open to those officers who might wish to meet those observances."
   He said the move was aimed at increasing police numbers and targeting new recruits from a variety of backgrounds.
   But West Australian Police Union spokesman Mike Dean said people of different cultural backgrounds should be required to meet uniform standards. "Special treatment for special groups brings difficulties," he said.
   Mr Johnson said the public might not react kindly to being policed by officers wearing unfamiliar uniforms.
   Historian and author Geoffrey Blainey welcomed the initiative, saying it was an experiment and needed to be introduced slowly.
   "This is an experiment and needs to be looked at as such," Mr Blainey said.
   Multicultural and Ethnic Affairs Minister Margaret Quirk said the Police Service needed more diversity in its ranks.
   "It is very important that the composition of the police is more accurately representative of the composition of the community," she said.
   [COMMENT: Will non-Sikhs be marked in some special way, or Christians, or Jews?  What about Aborigine dress codes?  What if one joins some Indian mountain sect, whose gurus remain nude?  COMMENT ENDS.] [Jan 14, 06]

• Police turbans reverse discrimination

Police turbans reverse discrimination

 
   The West Australian, Various Letters to The Editor, p 18, Tuesday, January 17, 2006
In trying to be politically correct, our Police Commissioner has effectively shot himself in the foot by creating reverse discrimination.
   In being "culturally appropriate" and allowing beards to be worn by Sikhs and others whose religion requires them to be bearded, he then says this relaxation of the regulations does not apply to police officers who do not fit that criterion, thus discriminating against any officer who wishes to grow a beard for reasons other than culture or religion.
   Male police officers in some Australian States are permitted to grow beards, as they do in the UK. When I left England in 1974 my local bobby had a fine ginger beard and British police forces had sanctioned the growth of beards for many years.
   Surely, a simple solution would be to amend the police regulations to allow all policemen to grow a beard, within certain guidelines of course. This is 2006, for goodness sake, what difference is it going to make if an officer wears a beard or not?
   Perhaps Mr O'Callaghan is thinking back to the 1860s when the police wore beards to make them look fiercer and more threatening (allegedly), something definitely non PC. Tony Adams, Parkwood.
Going too far
I read with amusement and disbelief the latest comments from the Police Commissioner about changes to the dress code for our police (report, 14/1). I believe that respect for others, and their beliefs, is one part of our Australian psyche that makes us such a wonderful and diverse country.
  [Picture] Mr O'Callaghan
   But surely we are going too far to be bending the rules for the minorities like this? Are we selling ourselves out to make friends?
   For too long we have been making exceptions to our rules, and how have we been repaid? With acts of violence, terrorism and civil unrest. Are we allowed to dress "culturally appropriately" in countries that aren't so liberal in their views? No, I think not. And there is nothing wrong with that. It is all about experiencing the culture of different lands and enjoying our differences.
   But are we really going to sell out our Australian culture and identity to make sure that people with different cultures feel accepted and safe in our society?
   When are we going to stand up and say, welcome to our country, feel free to practise your beliefs in ours?
   Get some courage, Australia, and stand up for what we believe in: giving everyone a fair go and relishing our freedom in the best country on Earth. Natika Hawes-Right, Wyndham.
Kilts next?
This is ridiculous. Do we have a police force or a politically correct force? Just out of curiosity, are the Scottish police going to wear kilts on duty.
   Is a Jewish policeman going to wear a skull cap? I can't wait to see what the Japanese police are going to wear, maybe a samurai sword instead of a gun.
   Respect for the law is pretty slim now. This will just make it worse. Mr O'Callaghan says it's culturally appropriate. That's fine, we live in Australia. We took a vow when we became Australians, and that's what we are -- Australians.
   They are Australian police officers, and that's what they should be. When they are off duty they can be whatever they like. Garry Frank, West Perth.
Standard dress
I am absolutely furious about variations to our police uniforms. This would have to be the ultimate kowtow to political correctness.
   A uniform is just that, a recognisable standard dress for all who are in the service, regardless of their religious beliefs or preferences.
   Please tell the Police Commissioner to get on with the core business of the police force and stop listening to the fairies. Keith Jones, Balga.
[Any policing between bowing and smoking?] In between bowing to Mecca and smoking joints, I wonder whether Karl and his cronies can actually get some police work done. Danny Cullen, Bayswater.
   Letters to the Editor, WA Newspapers, GPO Box N1027 Perth WA 6843. Fax 08 9482 3830. E-mail to: letters@wanews.com.au
[Jan 17, 06]
• Different dress will make officers targets
PC HEADGEAR
   The West Australian, Various Letters to The Editor, p 19, Tuesday, January 17, 2006
Surely Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan was joking when he said there may be a possibility of some members of our police force wearing dreadlocks. The picture on the front page of Saturday's The West Australian (PCs don PC headgear and beards to beat cultural difference on the beat) was bad enough.
   One can see the "clean-cut" image of our police force slowly disappearing as long as we keep grovelling to all these different religious factions.
   We have one police force. Why can't there be one uniform? What's going to happen if an American (of Red Indian culture) joins the police force and wants to wear his religious head-dress? Be interesting, wouldn't it? By the way, I'm not a racist either -- a long way from it.
[Will Rastafarians smoke marihuana, and pig-meat be banned?]
I am incensed that the police will now allow ethnic dress and, among other things, perhaps Rastafarian hairstyles. What about nudism for nudists? The whole idea should be to get immigrants to integrate and not to perpetuate cultural differences.
   Will the next step be that Muslim police officers get Friday off, stop for prayers five times a day, have prayer rooms in the local station and a ban on pork dishes at police functions? Will Rastafarians be allowed to smoke dope on duty as it is part of their culture?
   We are continually subjected to leftist social engineering irrespective of the views of the wider community. This is another example of multiculturalism gone mad.
   Was this decision a Government one foisted on the police or a police one? In any event, who were the people who made it? What do the rank and file police officers think about it? Talk about stupidity.
[Let others fit into our lifestyle, or return overseas]
Will the Police Commissioner please remember this is Australia. It is not the Punjab or the Middle East. We are Australians and have our own culture and dress styles.
   We do not need to cater for non-Australian beards, turbans, hijab headscarves and such items. Let us stop this stupidity and let others fit into our lifestyle or else they can return to where they came from. Enough is enough.
[T-shirts and flip-flops in Singers to arrest Aussies?]When I'm next in Singapore, or anywhere else overseas for that matter, can I expect to see police in shorts, t-shirts and thongs just in case I need to be apprehended? I'd like to see that.
[Keep religion out of law enforcement]
This is the last straw -- mixing religion and law enforcement. What an unnecessary and stupid move. It is a potent mix for trouble which reflects shallow and naive management decision-making.
   This happens to be Australia. No matter what the pollies may think, there is no multiculturalism. We are all Australian and our service uniforms should reflect that fact.
   Our police officers are enforcing the laws of Australia which have nothing whatsoever to do with religion. Remember the separation of powers? Keep religion out of our law enforcement.
   If they go ahead with this, please ensure the officer who checks me at the next booze bus is wearing a Uniting Church modified uniform -- otherwise I will be culturally offended.
[Won't it accentuate racial tensions?] Will the attempt by the police force to be culturally appropriate exacerbate growing racial tensions?
[Heads down, tails up?]
Will we soon be able to see members of our police force with their heads down and their b*ms up praying in the Hay Street Mall five times a day?
   Will they be allowed to carry prayer mats on their utility belts? And what would happen if they were chasing a criminal and it becomes time to pray? It seems that this once wonderful country is now finished.
[Opens the door to bow to Muslim way of life]
Well, one of our biggest government departments has sold itself out to foreign religion by relaxing the dress code in the police force.
   Not only does this expose the potential for preferential treatment of offenders of certain faiths, it also opens the doors for the rest of Australia to bow to the Muslim way of life.
   I'm sure if we went overseas and expected our religion to dictate what we would like to wear in our line of work we would be sent packing pretty quick.
   This is Australia and we do things the Australian way, so if it doesn't fit with certain religions, then maybe it isn't for these people. Multiculturalism -- give me a break.
[Thin end of wedge for Muslim thought police]
This blatant piece of multicultural dogma is an insult to the police force and to most Australians. It is the thin edge of the wedge of the Muslim thought police. God help Australia if we let this pass muster.

Today's text
May kindness and peace be yours from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness. -- REVELATION 1:5. (The Bible for Today). From the Bible Society.

Different dress will make officers targets

 
I absolutely support Karl O'Callaghan in his efforts to attract recruits for the police force from our ethnic communities. Police officer diversity in WA must occur if the first recruitment principle of the founder of the modern police force, John Peel, is adhered to: officers must come from all the communities they police.
   However, I have misgivings about the proposed "culturally appropriate" uniform as the term appears a euphemism for politically correct and raises fear of inappropriate outside influences.
  [Picture of woman with black side-veil under police cap, and man wearing turban with police badge on it.] Saturday's front-page picture.
   The use of culturally appropriate uniforms also raises the prospect of undermining the commissioner's authority when dress considered inappropriate, on appeal to the Equal Opportunity Commission, could see instructions that the dress be allowed and the complainant granted a sum of money for discrimination.
   Further, in this period of heightened concern, real or imagined, of a diminishing Australian culture through multiculturalism, it does little for the reduction of these fears and promotion of social cohesion as "culturally appropriate" uniforms will be seen as undermining our institutions.
   The actual dress will make the wearers targets, particularly in mob confrontations. The "culturally appropriately" dressed members may be rostered to avoid such duty and police only those within their own culture.
   This may cause resentment as well as inappropriate actions or inactions because of particular cultural influences on the attending officer.
   Officers, although welcoming ethnic colleagues, may feel that it is discrimination by denying them similar permission to adopt a particular dress, haircut or visage.
   The police force has always required its recruits to accept and conform to its uniform standards. It must not favour particular members. To do so would attack the code that effective discipline avoids preferential treatment of some.
[Jan 17, 06]
• Exchanging hedonism for the headscarf. 

Exchanging hedonism for the headscarf

 
   The Record (Western Australian Roman Catholic newspaper), By Carolyn Moynihan, Vista liftout pp 2-3, Thursday, January 19, 2006
   Despite the fact that Islam is often regarded in western societies as repressive of women and femininity, western women, it seems, are not so sure. Growing numbers are turning to it as a focus of their spiritual and religious faith. What's going on?
Thousands of western women each year are exchanging hedonism for the headscarf and fasting at Ramadan. Does Islam have something to offer women that Christianity does not? Images of Muslims, white-robed and sandaled, flocking to the Hajj in recent days have been yet another reminder of the vitality of Islam, a faith that increasingly makes itself felt in the heart of Europe and the rest of the Christian - or, as some would have it, post-Christian - world. Large-scale immigration has resulted in significant populations of Muslims living in western countries. No-one knows the exact numbers but estimates suggest 4 million in France, 1.6 million in Britain, nearly 1 million in Italy and between 2 and 7 million in the United States.
   Many of these are cultural Muslims rather than regular mosque-attending, Ramadan-observing faithful. In France it is estimated that about 1.5 million would be observant. But those who do practice their faith are showing their Christian or secu�lar neighbours a way of life that some find very appealing. Even as Muslim terrorists, political hardliners and rioting youths grab the headlines and alienate many in the host countries, thousands of Europeans and Americans - and, no doubt, some Australians and New Zealanders - are turning up to mosques for prayer and donning the hijab.
   Once again, numbers are hard to come by since there are no official statistics on conversions, but a couple of figures may be indicative. In 2000 the French Interior Ministry estimated that there were 40,000 French converts to Islam. The same year a large-scale survey of religious congregations in the United States (Faith Communities Today) indicated that 30 per cent of mosque participants were converts - 64 per cent of them being African Americans and 27 per cent Caucasian. British convert and promoter of Islam Sarah Joseph claims that between 10,000 and 50,000 people in the UK convert each year.[l]
   Whether the numbers are small or large they are surprising. We are constantly being informed by the western media that people are no longer interested in organised religion - although they may be interested in free-wheeling spirituality. Yet, on the face of it, nothing seems more organised and conformist than Islam, with its outward signs of membership, set times of prayer and chanting of the Qur'an.
   What is more surprising is that women appear to make up the majority of converts. The head of the French domestic intel�ligence agency, Pascal Mailhos, told Le Monde recently that the "booming" phenomenon of converts and particularly of women converts was a worry. As one security expert put it, women "have added operational benefits in very tight security situa�tions" where they might not attract attention. The suicide attack on US troops in Iraq in November by Belgian convert Muriel Degauque illustrates the risk. [2]
   Degauque was one convert among thousands across Europe and her case is exceptional. What makes so many other western women, brought up on a cultural diet of feminism and secular�ism, embrace a faith that veils its women and is evidently patri�archal?
   One obvious reason is marriage. It seems no amount of patri�archy can deter a woman who has fallen in love. Perhaps it even had its attractions for the 20,000 Italian Catholic women who married Muslims last year. This growing trend, by the way, wor�ries the Church. Both the Vatican and the Italian bishops have drawn attention to it because of the difficulties experienced by the women in such mixed marriages - especially when it comes to the faith of the children. The Church requires children of mixed marriages to be baptised and brought up as Catholics. [3]
   Those difficulties would not arise for women who were not practicing their faith, whether Catholic or otherwise, and such women are presumably the majority marrying into the Muslim community. Islam does not require that they convert, on the assumption that the husband's faith will dominate in the family. (For the same reason, a non-Muslim man must convert in order to marry a Muslim woman.) Under these circumstances it is understandable that marriage has been the main path to conver�sion for the majority of women converts in the past.
   But what of the women - an increasing number, according to Muslim academic Haifa Jawad of Birmingham University in the UK[4] - who embrace Islam independently, out of conviction? What attracts them?
   Consider Mary Fallot, a young French woman who featured in a Christian Science Monitor story on this subject. Like more than 80 per cent of French citizens, she had a Catholic background, but when she began her own spiritual quest she found no answers in the faith of her childhood. In Islam she found a faith that "demands a closeness to God ... is simpler, more rigorous", she says. "I was looking for a framework; man needs rules and behaviour to follow. Christianity did not give me the same reference points."[5]
   Or Noora Brown, an American housewife and mother in her 30s. Brought up in the Episcopal Church, she travelled briefly in the Muslim world while at college, at a time when she was searching for the meaning and purpose of life. She had shunned religion and yet she was struck by the fervour of Muslim friends and began studying Islam and the Qur'an. She converted before marrying a Muslim. Although she found the fasting, dress code and other rules of Islam difficult at first, eventually she found them liberating. She felt at home as part of a community of peo�ple from all different nations. "It gave me self-respect, dignity that I hadn't known before.... I feel happier now. I feel, actually, at peace." [6]
   Or Caroline Bate, described as "Middle England's dream daughter or daughter-in-law" in a British newspaper article on "educated, white, middle-class English converts to Islam". A Cambridge graduate working for an investment bank in London, she began reading about Islam after a friend announced she was marrying a Muslim. She was not on any spiritual quest at the time, but she found the literature stimulating. "And Islamic teaching made perfect, logical sense. You can approach it intel�lectually and there are no gaps, no great leaps of faith that you have to take." As for the position of women in Islamic society, she considered it "fantastic" and not at all inferior. [7]
   These few experiences point to some of the commonly-cited attractions of Islam:
  • Those searching for spiritual meaning - or even those who are not - find among Muslims a tangible religious life with clear and simple beliefs and rituals to follow.
  • It is closely integrated with daily life and brings a sense of closeness to God.
  • It has clear moral norms expressed in rules for dress and behaviour. These protect women's dignity by preventing them from becoming sex objects.
  • Its idea of manhood and womanhood is liberating for women, allowing them to reclaim their role and power as moth�ers and nurturers in the family.
  • It entails close family and communal bonds which give people a strong sense of belonging.
       Sociological research shows that the sexual values of Islam have a strong appeal for women converts, reacting to the sexual chaos of Western society and the conflicting demands on women to be both wage workers and mothers.[8]
       Ironically, nearly everything in the above list could be found in the Christian tradition so many converts have turned their backs on.
      ‘ Thousands of Europeans and Americans - and, no doubt some Australians and New Zealanders - are turning up to mosques for prayer and donning the hijab... What is more surprising is that women appear to make up the majority of converts. ’  
       In the area of belief, the appeal of "simplicity" cited by many converts indicates the main divergence between the traditions - absence of the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation in Islam, and consequently the forms of mediation involved in Christian life. Christianity is more intellectually demanding than Islam, but this does not mean clarity of doctrine is not available 'to all Christians. Nor does it mean that the Christian faith lacks anything in the way of concrete expression and potential to be integrated with daily life.
       Christianity most certainly has a rich tradition of prayer and public worship, clear moral norms and rules, communal life and a concept of belonging to one big family known as the communion of saints. What is more, it has a concept of femi�nine dignity second to none, based on the doctrine that Mary -- whom Muslims honour as merely the mother of the "prophet" Jesus -- is the Mother of God. Together with this goes an esteem for motherhood, a reverence for sex and a position of centrality for the family that could satisfy any woman searching for the meaning of her femininity today.
       If women from Christian backgrounds are turning to Islam, therefore, it is not because there is nothing comparable in their own traditions. It must be because these traditions are not lived and taught in the way Muslims live and teach their faith. The things that the Christian churches have been hiding for fear of driving some people away turn out to be the very things that other people - and especially women - are looking for.
       The European women in their hijabs have a lesson for the Church as well as secularists, though it may not be precisely the one they think they are teaching.
    - Carolyn Moynihan is deputy editor of MercatorNet.com
    ____________________
    Notes
    [1] Islam 'will be dominant UK religion', Gulf Daily News, Bahrain, Mar 10, 2004
    [2] Why European women are converting to Islam, Christian Science Monitor, Dec 27, 2005
    [3] Cardinals issue marriage warning, BBC News, Dec 26, 2005; See also: Vatican Cautions Against Muslim-Catholic Marriages, Radio Free Europe, May 18, 2004
    [4] Why European women are converting to Islam
    [5] Why European women are converting to Islam
    [6] Muslim Converts, PBS broadcast, Oct 8, 2004
    [7] The new face of Islam, London Evening Standard, Mar 15, 2002
    [8] Women Embracing Islam: Gender and Conversion in the West, by Karin van Niieuwkerk. (To be published by the University of Texas Press, August 2006.)
  •    [DOCTRINE: 2:282:- ... When ye contract a debt ...call to witness two witnesses of your people: but if there be not two men, let there be a man, and two women of those whom ye shall judge fit for witnesses. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.282
       4:3:- ... marry but two, or three, or four ... or the slaves whom ye have acquired.
       4:11 (or 12):- With regard to your children, God commandeth you to give the male the portion of two females. ...
       4:34 (or 38):- Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God hath of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them; but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 004.qmt.html #004.034 .
       33:50 (or 49):- O Prophet! we allow thee thy wives whom thou hast dowered, and the slaves whom thy right hand possesseth out of the booty which God hath granted thee, and the daughters of thy uncle, and of thy paternal and maternal aunts who fled with thee to Medina, and any believing woman who hath given herself up to the Prophet, if the Prophet desired to wed her - a Privilege for thee above the rest of the Faithful. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 033.qmt.html #033.050 DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Jan 19, 06]

    • ‘Jews, Christians, must work together’  Vatican City / Papal flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  

    ‘Jews, Christians, must work together’

     
       The Record (Western Australian Roman Catholic newspaper), CNS, January 19, 2006
       VATICAN: Christians and Jews, sharing faith in the same God, are called to work together for justice, peace and the good of human souls, Pope Benedict XVI told Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, the chief rabbi of Rome.
       "The Catholic Church is close to you and is your friend," the Pope told the rabbi on January 16 during a meeting at the Vatican.
       Pope Benedict said Christians believe that, in Christ, they have become part of God's chosen people, sharing the blessings and the call to serve the Lord.
       "That makes us Christians aware that, together with you, we have the responsibility to cooperate for the good of all peoples in justice and peace, in truth and freedom, in holiness and love," the Pope said.
       Sharing a mission with the Jewish people, he said, Christians must fight "hatred and misunderstanding, injustice and the violence which continues to sow concern in the souls of men and women of good will. In this context, how can we not be saddened and worried by the renewed signs of anti-Semitism that are sometimes seen."
       Pope Benedict told Rabbi Di Segni that he thanked God for remaining faithful to his covenant with the Israelites and for protecting and saving the Jewish people.
       "The people of Israel were freed several times from the hands of their enemies, and through centuries of anti-Semitism, in the dramatic moments of the Shoah (Holocaust), the hand of the Almighty has supported and guided them," he said.
       The Pope also told the rabbi that the many challenges facing people in Rome and in the world, "call us to join our hands and hearts in concrete initiatives of solidarity, 'tzedek' (justice) and 'tzedekah' (charity)."
       Rabbi Di Segni told Pope Benedict that a fresco in a Rome chapel shows a Pope and a rabbi standing before the emperor, engaged in a contest to demonstrate who had greater power.
       If any competition is valid today, he said, it is only competition in demonstrating fidelity to one's faith, service to others and ways to witness to and apply the values Jews and Christians share.
       The Jewish Rome and Christian Rome which meet each other, respect each other, live together in peace and collaborate, but remain faithful to themselves, are an example for a world torn by conflicts, often inflamed by supposedly religious ideals, he said. - CNS #
       [COMMENT: Well, if the Pope thanks God for saving the Judaists, when it is certain that the Nazis did a mass-murder of at least 4,000,000 and possibly a figure closer to 6 million, all one can say is: "God help us! But better than that, we beg!" COMMENT ENDS.] [Jan 19, 06]
    • Islam's goal is domination

    Islam's goal is domination

     
       The West Australian, Letter to The Editor, p 18, Monday, January 23, 2006
    By allowing Muslim and other foreign headwear to be worn by our constabulary, Police Commissioner Karl O'Callaghan is surely leading us further down the rocky road to complete capitulation to the relentless advance of Islam. Paul T. Meakin (Letters, 19/1) is full of praise for the London police which accepted these dress changes "and the sky has not fallen in".
       Maybe not -- yet. But, like our commissioner, the British Government cannot seem to comprehend that its blindly obstinate commitment to politically correct conduct is hamstringing its once second-to-none police force whose officers must even remove their shoes when conducting a raid on suspected terrorists for fear of offending Muslims.
       Moreover, British Muslims now have sharia in areas of finance, halal food in schools, hospitals and prisons, and prayer rooms in every London police station as the flawed philosophy of multiculturalism has opened the door to followers of Mohammad to create an alternative society in the UK.
       Like so many in authority here and in Britain, Mr O'Callaghan seems to have no real understanding of the ultimate goal of Islam -- universal domination. Though many Muslims disagree with the violence perpetrated by Islamist terrorists, it is not because they condemn killing innocent people but because non-violent methods work better. In fact, the "silent spread" of Islam, by reproduction, conversion and immigration is seeing a rapid expansion of Islamic culture in many countries, including Australia, where it is now the second-biggest religion.
       It's time the likes of our police commissioner, Paul T. Meakin and others of their ilk came to understand the methods of this powerful force within our nation that is strongly opposed to our way of life. It is far more subtle, far more committed and far more resolute in the pursuit of its goal than they apparently realise. Wishy-washy, ostrich-like acquiescence to their infiltration of Australian society is not the way to go. We must take a strong stand for our Christian culture and not yield to this undeclared foe in our midst. Otherwise it will engulf us. Don Jackson, Ballajura.
    [Jan 23, 06]

    • Two face charge over Cronulla bashing

      Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
       News.com.au , www.news.com. au/story/0, 10117,1792 0908-1702, 00.html , ll face a Sydney court today accused of attacking a man at Cronulla, beating him with a lump of concrete and stomping on his head.
       The attack was one of several revenge attacks linked to Sydney's Cronulla riot, police alleged.
       Two 19-year-old men were arrested at their homes in Regents Park and Riverwood, in Sydney's southwest, during early morning raids by Strike Force Enoggera detectives.
       Police expect to charge the pair with being involved in a midnight attack on a 20-year-old Blakehurst man at Cronulla on December 11.
       The man was walking along Hume Road at Cronulla when a car containing four men of Middle Eastern appearance pulled up beside him.
       All four men jumped from the car, beating the man repeatedly, striking him with a lump of concrete and stomping on his head and body several times before stealing his phone and keys.
       The man suffered serious injuries, including a fractured eye socket and nose, and two stab wounds.
       Patrolling police arrested three of the four men that night, but later released them because of insufficient evidence. ... [Jan 24, 06]

    • Riot revenge accused 'stupid'

     
       News.com.au , www.news.com. au/story/0,101 17,17926918- 29277,00.html , From: Agence France-Presse, By Paul Carter, January 24, 2006
       SYDNEY: FUELLED by racial hatred of Australians, a youth assaulted a man with a pole during a revenge attack following Sydney's Cronulla riot, a court heard today.
       The 16-year-old faced Sutherland Children's Court today over revenge attacks that followed the December 11 Cronulla riot, in which people of Middle Eastern appearance were chased and attacked.
       The Australian-born youth, of Middle Eastern descent, was refused bail when he appeared on charges of assault, malicious damage, riot and two counts of affray.
       Two men charged in relation to a separate attack, in which they allegedly hit a man with concrete blocks and stomped on his head, were also refused bail in Sutherland Local Court today.
       Magistrate Paul Falzon said the youth had screamed "f***ing Aussie" as he used a pole to attack the driver of a car in Carlton on December 12 -- the day after the Cronulla riot.
       The driver suffered cuts to his arm before driving off. Summarising the police facts to the court, Mr Falzon said the youth was travelling with two co-accused when they stopped their car next to another and quizzed the driver about his nationality.
       The trio later joined a riot in the Kingsway at Cronulla, Mr Falzon said.
       He said based on the facts before him, "this young man got himself involved with a mob".
       "The community has every right to fear this type of behaviour," Mr Falzon said.
       "The facts in this case, if founded, fit squarely in the racial vilification category by the query "what nationality are you?"
       "...His actions were more than stupid if you factor in the words that were used, combined with an element of hatred as well."
       Remanding him in custody to reappear in the same court on January 31, Mr Falzon said he was refusing bail based on the likelihood of the youth committing a similar offence.
       Defence solicitor Peter Schoua said his client, who had no criminal record, denied all the charges and was not at the site of the alleged incident when it occurred.
       Mr Schoua said the youth had not been identified by the victim.
       The two men to be charged today, Wael Tahan and Mahmoud Eid, both 19, were allegedly among a group of men who jumped out of a car to attack a man with concrete blocks and stomp on his head.
       The 20-year-old alleged victim of the attack, Jake Schofield, suffered serious injuries, including a fractured eye socket and nose, and two stab wounds.
       Both men were arrested on December 12 but were released without charge. They were then arrested again before police seized items from their homes.
       The pair are charged with robbery in company, maliciously wounding causing grievous bodily harm and affray.
       Mr Eid's lawyer Patrick Conaghan told the court political reasons were behind his client being arrested again today.
       "This is a political hot potato and some results are expected," Mr Conaghan told the court.
       "Lock them up, let's bail refuse them, and let's appease the powers that be. That's not the role of this court," he said.
       Mr Eid has pleaded not guilty to the charges, while Mr Tahan did not enter a plea.
       Both men were on bail at the time of the alleged attack of Mr Schofield, accused of separate assaults.
       They were remanded in custody to reappear in Central Local Court on January 31
       [DOCTRINE: 2.191:- And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.191
       2.193:- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.193
       2:212:- War is prescribed to you.
       2:245:- Fight for the cause of Allah. ENDS.] [Jan 24, 06]

    • [Writer contends that Islam somewhere has traditions of pluralism, nonviolence]  Vatican City / Papal flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       VATICAN CITY: Scott Appleby, ... of ... the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, told a Rome conference on January 17 that internal pluralism exists in Islam and ... "there are competing traditions and voices and interpretations of what 'jihad' might mean and how it might be applied," ...
       He cited the emergence of coura�geous Muslims who speak about the options of nonviolence in Islam, about democratisation and about acceptance of a pluralistic society. ... Appleby noted that an 1832 encyclical by Pope Gregory XVI described religious freedom as "madness."

    Islam not alone in persecution

     
       "It's good news for Islam that there are competing traditions and choices and inter�pretations of what 'jihad' might mean and how it might be applied..."
       Muslims could learn from past persecution of Catholics.
       The Record (Western Australian Roman Catholic newspaper), CNS, p 8, January 26, 2006
    Catholic history could be rel�evant to Muslim struggles The story of the Catholic Church's embrace of religious lib�erty may have relevance to the current internal struggles of the Muslim world, said a US expert on Church affairs.
       Scott Appleby, director of the Joan Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana, told a Rome conference on January 17 that internal pluralism exists in Islam and "this is good news."
       "It's good news for Islam that there are competing traditions and voices and interpretations of what 'jihad' might mean and how it might be applied," he said.
       He cited the emergence of coura�geous Muslims who speak about the options of nonviolence in Islam, about democratisation and about acceptance of a pluralistic society.
       It's a long process, but this kind of internal debate ultimately opens up alternatives to violence, he said. Ultimately, he said, demographic and economic pressures favour the pluralists in the Islamic world. Appleby s speech detailed the inter�nal evolution within the Catholic Church that led to the Second Vatican Council's Declaration on Religious Freedom ("Dignitatis Humanae.")
       That document said religious lib�erty is a human right and that peo�ple should not be forced to act in a way contrary to their beliefs. Appleby noted that an 1832 encyclical by Pope Gregory XVI described religious freedom as "madness."
       But dialogue continued in the Church, and the Vatican II decree can be described as the product of internal pluralism at work, he said.
       "By any reasonable assessment, 'Dignitatis Humanae' was a strik�ing reversal, by which the Church abandoned its previous claims to political privilege, renounced the theocratic model of political order, and laid the groundwork for its new role as global proponent of religious liberty and universal human rights," Appleby said.
       The conference, sponsored by the US Embassy to the Holy See, also featured speeches by Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of Washington and James Towey, director of the White House Office for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.
       Cardinal McCarrick said two fun�damental premises of "Dignitatis Humanae" were the dignity of the human person and the proposition that constitutional limits should be set on the powers of govern�ment to prevent encroachment on religious freedom and practice.
       He praised a succession of steps by the US government and Congress to protect religious freedom at home and abroad.
       But, responding to a question, the cardinal also identified a new dan�ger to religious freedom in the United States: legislative attempts to impose on church institutions "that which we cannot morally do. I see this as a growing threat," Cardinal McCarrick told the Rome audience.
       He said one example was trying to oblige Catholic hospitals to offer abortion procedures; another was an effort to require church agen�cies to provide spousal benefits to unmarried employees. -CNS
       [COMMENT: Before this was published, attacks on non-Muslims were taking place in Australia in the Cronulla area, and counter-attacks also occurred. While this was being published mobs in other countries, backed by their civil and religious leaders, were attacking Danish and other European embassies, burning and killing, supposedly over cartoons published the previous September-October originally. Within a month of this article being published, persons unknown destroyed a famous Iraqi Shi'ite mausoleum honouring two historical imams, and soon ground-to-ground rockets began to be fired into suburbs of rival sects. In other words, the rival sect was being treated like the Israeli invaders of Palestine (which the Muslim Arabs had taken off the previous owners hundreds of years before). The rival sect were being treated as if defined as "kufar" and/or "apostate." There was no unanimous "fatwa" or other threats on the rocket-firers from around the Islamic mosques of the world. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [QUESTIONS: Ask any Islamophile five questions. 1. Does Moses figure in the two authorative books of Islam? (The Koran and the Hadith.) 2. Are the Ten Commandments listed in those books? If so, where? 3. Was the killing of disbelievers, and of apostates, reported and/or sanctioned in those books? 4. Was enslavement part of the punishment of peoples who resisted the attacks of the Muslims as reported and commented on in those books? 5. What was the fate of female slaves? END.]
       [RECAPITULATION of PREVIOUS VATICAN TEACHING: Appleby noted that an 1832 encyclical by Pope Gregory XVI described religious freedom as "madness." END.]
       [REJOINDER: What need do we have of further witnesses? END.] [Jan 26, 06]

    • Silver Lining; Why Hamas's Victory Isn't Such A Bad Thing

      Palestine Authority flag; Palestine Authority website 
       The New Republic Online (USA), https://ssl. tnr.com/p/ docsub.mhtml? i=w060123&s= karsh012606 , by Efraim Karsh, Only at TNR Online, Posted January 26, 2006
       PALESTINE: Hamas's apparent victory in the elections for Palestinian parliament creates a thorny dilemma for Israel, the United States, and the European Union: how to deal with a Palestinian government dominated by what all three have branded a terrorist organization.
       Yet there is a potential silver lining in this development. Not because it may transform Hamas into an ordinary political party that eschews violence and terrorism in favor of "more moderate policies," as suggested by Jimmy Carter among others, but because Hamas's win might trigger a widespread disillusionment with the mirage--created by the Oslo process--of a democratic and peace-loving Palestinian government.... (This Article is Available to Subscribers Only)
       [RECAPITULATION: ... the mirage--created by the Oslo process--of a democratic and peace-loving Palestinian government ... RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: What about that other smoke-and-mirrors belief, that the Creator of the Universe set aside Jerusalem and its surrounds for Judaists, for ever! COMMENT ENDS.] [This is also at: ../ Cont18.htm ] [Jan 26, 06]

    • Rendition of prisoners

      European Union (EU) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
       UNITY (United Nations Association of Australia), www.unaa.org.au, No 446, January 27, 2006
       Amnesty International supports the call of Dick Marty, the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly Rapporteur, for a full committee of inquiry, with extensive investigatory powers into the US practice of "rendition" - the unauthorised ferrying of its prisoners to countries where interrogation does not exclude torture. [...]
       The report recognises that there is "a great deal of coherent, convergent evidence pointing to the existence of a system of 'relocation' or 'outsourcing' of torture' ". What is needed now is the cooperation of all countries to ensure that they actively look at what is happening within their territory which may facilitate torture and take appropriate action.
       "European countries have the duty to fully collaborate in the investigations of gross human rights violations committed in their own territory. Not cooperating with those investigations is tantamount to collaborating with the abuses," said Claudio Cordone, Amnesty International's Senior Director of Regional Programs. [...]
       For more information on renditions: http://amnesty- news.c.topica. com/maaeqjyabn KVdbfE1obb/ .
       A full version is at: ../ Cont18.htm [Jan 27, 06]

    • Attacks Hit Near Baghdad Religion Centers

      Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       Crosswalk, Religion Today Summaries, www.cross walkmail. com/vkzztjj_ upmqqpb.html , January 31, 2006
       BAGHDAD, Iraq: Car bombs exploded in quick succession yesterday near four Christian churches and the office of the Vatican envoy in Baghdad, Iraq, killing three people and raising new concerns about sectarian tensions. At least 17 other people were killed in other violence around the country.
       Also, the co-anchor of ABC News, Bob Woodruff, and his cameraman, Doug Vogt, were seriously injured yesterday when the Iraqi army vehicle in which they were traveling was hit by a roadside bomb and small-arms fire near Taji, about 12 miles north of Baghdad.
       Both suffered serious head injuries and underwent surgery at a U.S. military hospital in Balad. Also Sunday, the governor of Baghdad said in an interview that investigators had collected names and addresses of suspects in the abduction of American reporter Jill Carroll and the killing of her translator more than three weeks ago.
       Gov. Hussein Taha said that the suspects have ties to the Amariya neighborhood of Baghdad and that an undisclosed number of arrests had been made.
       The attacks on the Christian sites came at a time of rising sectarian tensions, including reprisal killings and raids that threaten to complicate efforts to form a broad-based government after the Dec. 15 parliamentary elections. No group claimed responsibility for the bombings. [Jan 31, 06]

    • [Global gangs seize EU office, beat workers, issue death threats -- Danish newspaper capitulates]

      Denmark flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Palestine Authority flag; Palestine Authority website  Saudi Arabia flag; http://www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags/  Yemen flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags/ 
       The West Australian, "Muslims accept Danish paper's Mohammed apology," p 30, Wednesday, February 1, 2006
       COPENHAGEN: The Muslim group that spearheaded criticism of a Danish newspaper for publishing caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed yesterday accepted the paper's apology.
       They "were not in violation of Danish law but have undoubtedly offended many Muslims, which we would like to apologise for", the Jyllands-Posten's editor-in-chief Carsten Juste said.
       A spokesman for the Islamic Faith Community in Denmark, Kasem Ahmad, said that "we will clearly and articulately thank the prime minister and Jyllands-Posten for what they have done."
       Although the caricatures were published in September, anger over them has spread this month through Muslim countries, prompting boycotts of Danish goods.
       Masked gunmen briefly seized a European Union office in Gaza City to protest at the caricatures and the Danish dairy group Aria Foods reported that two of its employees in Saudi Arabia were beaten by customers.
       The Danish Red Cross said it was evacuating two of its employees from Gaza and one from Yemen after receiving death threats.
       In a television interview, Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the Danish Government "cannot make apologies on behalf of a Danish newspaper . . . that is not how our democracy works".
       Asked his private opinion, Mr Fogh Rasmussen said: "I have such a respect for people's religious belief that I personally never would have depicted Mohammed, Jesus or any other religious character in a way that could offend other people." [Feb 1, 06]

    • Iraqi churches bombed: Link with Danish cartoons?

      [At least three dead.]
       Barnabas Fund, www.barnabas fund.org , info@barnabas fund.org , Britain, E-mailed Feb 02, 2006
       IRAQ: A spate of car bombs exploded outside churches in Iraq last Sunday 29th January in what appears to have been a coordinated attack. The explosions occurred within a half hour period, apparently chosen to coincide with the time at which Christians would be going to church.
       Two churches in the northern city of Kirkuk and at least two others in the capital Baghdad were targeted. At least three people, including a 13-year-old boy, were killed and an estimated 16-20 people injured. According to some reports as many as seven churches were bombed.
       The bombings were condemned by some Muslim political leaders including Ali al-Adeeb (Shi'a) and Naweer al-Ani (Sunni).
       A similar incident of near-simultaneous explosions at Iraqi churches happened on Sunday 1st August 2004 during the time of the evening service. Four churches in Baghdad and one in Mosul were bombed on that occasion, with some 15 fatalities.
    LINKS WITH DANISH CARTOONS?
       Many Christians in Iraq are connecting this week's church bombings with the growing furore across the Muslim world caused by the publication of some cartoons caricaturing Muhammad in a Danish newspaper on 30th September 2005.
       These cartoons have been republished this week by newspapers in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland.
    IRAQI CHRISTIAN STUDENTS BEATEN UP FOR DANISH CARTOONS
       On the same day, 29th January, Christian students at Mosul University were beaten up by Muslim students. Some days earlier a number of fatwas had been issued by sheikhs in Mosul, acting in response to pressure from Islamic militias in the city. The fatwas called for their followers to "expel the crusaders and infidels from the streets, schools and institutions because they insulted the person of the prophet in Denmark".
    FATWA FOR KILLING OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR CARTOONS
       Yesterday, 1st February, a Kuwaiti newspaper reporting on the Danish cartoons stated that Islamic cleric Sheikh Nazem Mesbah had issued a fatwa calling for the killing of people who insulted Muhammad in this way. Other Islamic clerics rejected this fatwa citing the need to comply with the realities of the modern era.
    PRAYER ITEMS
  • Pray for the protection of Christians in Iraq from those Muslims who want to punish them for the actions of other people in "Christian countries" like the US, UK and Denmark. Pray that Christians will be recognised as loyal citizens instead of constantly mistrusted. Pray that Christians will not give way to fear, despite the efforts of those who want to intimidate them into fleeing from their homeland.
  • Pray that the Muslim political leaders who condemned the bombings will have greater influence in society at large than the radical leaders who encourage such anti-Christian violence. Pray for courageous Muslim clerics to issue fatwas calling for justice and security for Iraqi Christians.
  • Pray for stability and peace in Iraq, remembering all who mourn those of every nationality who have died in the violence there.
  • Pray that the republishing of the Danish cartoons in other European countries will not result in violence against Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries.
    BARNABAS FUND E-MAIL NEWS SERVICE
       Barnabas Fund's e-mail news service provides the media and our supporters with urgent news briefs concerning suffering Christians around the world.
       [CONTACT: Barnabas Fund, The Old Rectory, River Street, PEWSEY, Wiltshire, SN9 5DB, UK. Tel: +44(0)1672 564938, Fax: +44(0)1672 565030, E-mail: info@barnabasfund.org Web: www.barnabasfund.org . CONTACT ENDS.] [Feb 2, 06]

    • Islam and Western Democracies 

    Islam and Western Democracies

     
       Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney website, www.sydney. catholic.org. au/Archbishop/ Addresses/ 200627_681. shtml , Address at Legatus Summit, Naples, Florida U.S.A., By + Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, February 4, 2006
       September 11 was a wake-up call for me personally. I recognised that I had to know more about Islam.
       In the aftermath of the attack one thing was perplexing. Many commentators and apparently the governments of the "Coalition of the Willing" were claiming that Islam was essentially peaceful, and that the terrorist attacks were an aberration. On the other hand one or two people I met, who had lived in Pakistan and suffered there, claimed to me that the Koran legitimised the killings of non-Muslims.
       Although I had possessed a copy of the Koran for 30 years, I decided then to read this book for myself as a first step to adjudicating conflicting claims. And I recommend that you too read this sacred text of the Muslims, because the challenge of Islam will be with us for the remainder of our lives - at least.
       Can Islam and the Western democracies live together peacefully? What of Islamic minorities in Western countries? Views on this question range from n�ive optimism to bleakest pessimism. Those tending to the optimistic side of the scale seize upon the assurance of specialists that jihad is primarily a matter of spiritual striving, and that the extension of this concept to terrorism is a distortion of koranic teaching[1]. They emphasise Islam's self-understanding as a "religion of peace". They point to the roots Islam has in common with Judaism and Christianity and the worship the three great monotheistic religions offer to the one true God. There is also the common commitment that Muslims and Christians have to the family and to the defence of life, and the record of co-operation in recent decades between Muslim countries, the Holy See, and countries such as the United States in defending life and the family at the international level, particularly at the United Nations.
       Many commentators draw attention to the diversity of Muslim life - sunni, shi'ite, sufi, and their myriad variations - and the different forms that Muslim devotion can take in places such as Indonesia and the Balkans on the one hand, and Iran and Nigeria on the other. Stress is laid, quite rightly, on the widely divergent interpretations of the Koran and the Shari’a, and the capacity Islam has shown throughout its history for developing new interpretations. Given the contemporary situation, the wahhabist interpretation at the heart of Saudi Islamism offers probably the most important example of this, but Muslim history also offers more hopeful examples, such as the re-interpretation of the Shari’a after the fall of the Ottoman empire, and particularly after the end of the Second World War, which permitted Muslims to emigrate to non-Muslim countries[2].
       Optimists also take heart from the cultural achievements of Islam in the Middle Ages, and the accounts of toleration extended to Jewish and Christian subjects of Muslim rule as "people of the Book". Some deny or minimise the importance of Islam as a source of terrorism, or of the problems that more generally afflict Muslim countries, blaming factors such as tribalism and inter-ethnic enmity; the long-term legacy of colonialism and Western domination; the way that oil revenues distort economic development in the rich Muslim states and sustain oligarchic rule; the poverty and political oppression in Muslim countries in Africa; the situation of the Palestinians, and the alleged "problem" of the state of Israel; and the way that globalisation has undermined or destroyed traditional life and imposed alien values on Muslims and others.
       Indonesia and Turkey are pointed to as examples of successful democratisation in Muslim societies, and the success of countries such as Australia and the United States as "melting pots", creating stable and successful societies while absorbing people from very different cultures and religions, is often invoked as a reason for trust and confidence in the growing Muslim populations in the West. The phenomenal capacity of modernity to weaken gradually the attachment of individuals to family, religion and traditional ways of life, and to commodify and assimilate developments that originate in hostility to it (think of the way the anti-capitalist counter-culture of the 1960s and 70s was absorbed into the economic and political mainstream - and into consumerism), is also relied upon to "normalise" Muslims in Western countries, or at least to normalise them in the minds of the non-Muslim majority.
       Reasons for optimism are also sometimes drawn from the totalitarian nature of Islamist ideology, and the brutality and rigidity of Islamist rule, exemplified in Afghanistan under the Taliban. Just as the secular totalitarianisms of the twentieth century (Nazism and Communism) ultimately proved unsustainable because of the enormous toll they exacted on human life and creativity, so too will the religious totalitarianism of radical Islam. This assessment draws on a more general underlying cause for optimism, or at least hope, for all of us, namely our common humanity, and the fruitfulness of dialogue when it is entered with good will on all sides. Most ordinary people, both Muslim and non-Muslim, share the desire for peace, stability and prosperity for themselves and their families.
       On the pessimistic side of the equation, concern begins with the Koran itself. In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages. I will return to the problems of Koranic interpretation later in this paper, but in coming to an appreciation of the true meaning of jihad, for example, it is important to bear in mind what the scholars tell us about the difference between the suras (or chapters) of the Koran written during Muhammad's thirteen years in Mecca, and those that were written after he had based himself at Medina. Irenic interpretations of the Koran typically draw heavily on the suras written in Mecca, when Muhammad was without military power and still hoped to win people, including Christians and Jews, to his revelation through preaching and religious activity. After emigrating to Medina, Muhammad formed an alliance with two Yemeni tribes and the spread of Islam through conquest and coercion began [3]. One calculation is that Muhammad engaged in 78 battles, only one of which, the Battle of the Ditch, was defensive[4]. The suras from the Medina period reflect this decisive change and are often held to abrogate suras from the Meccan period[5].
       The predominant grammatical form in which jihad is used in the Koran carries the sense of fighting or waging war. A different form of the verb in Arabic means "striving" or "struggling", and English translations sometimes use this form as a way of euphemistically rendering the Koran's incitements to war against unbelievers[6]. But in any case, the so-called "verses of the sword" (sura 9:5 and 9:36)[7], coming as they do in what scholars generally believe to be one of the last suras revealed to Muhammad[8], are taken to abrogate a large number of earlier verses on the subject (over 140, according to one radical website[9]). The suggestion that jihad is primarily a matter of spiritual striving is also contemptuously rejected by some Islamic writers on the subject. One writer warns that "the temptation to reinterpret both text and history to suit 'politically correct' requirements is the first trap to be avoided", before going on to complain that "there are some Muslims today, for instance, who will convert jihad into a holy bath rather than a holy war, as if it is nothing more than an injunction to cleanse yourself from within"[10].
       The abrogation of many of the Meccan suras by the later Medina suras affects Islam's relations with those of other faiths, particularly Christians and Jews. The Christian and Jewish sources underlying much of the Koran[11] are an important basis for dialogue and mutual understanding, although there are difficulties. Perhaps foremost among them is the understanding of God. It is true that Christianity, Judaism and Islam claim Abraham as their Father and the God of Abraham as their God. I accept with reservations the claim that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship one god (Allah is simply the Arabic word for god) and there is only one true God available to be worshipped! That they worship the same god has been disputed[12], not only by Catholics stressing the triune nature of God, but also by some evangelical Christians and by some Muslims[13]. It is difficult to recognise the God of the New Testament in the God of the Koran, and two very different concepts of the human person have emerged from the Christian and Muslim understandings of God. Think, for example, of the Christian understanding of the person as a unity of reason, freedom and love, and the way these attributes characterise a Christian's relationship with God. This has had significant consequences for the different cultures that Christianity and Islam have given rise to, and for the scope of what is possible within them. But these difficulties could be an impetus to dialogue, not a reason for giving up on it.
       The history of relations between Muslims on the one hand and Christians and Jews on the other does not always offer reasons for optimism in the way that some people easily assume. The claims of Muslim tolerance of Christian and Jewish minorities are largely mythical, as the history of Islamic conquest and domination in the Middle East, the Iberian peninsula and the Balkans makes abundantly clear. In the territory of modern-day Spain and Portugal, which was ruled by Muslims from 716 and not finally cleared of Muslim rule until the surrender of Granada in 1491 (although over half the peninsula had been reclaimed by 1150, and all of the peninsula except the region surrounding Granada by 1300), Christians and Jews were tolerated only as dhimmis[14], subject to punitive taxation, legal discrimination, and a range of minor and major humiliations. If a dhimmi harmed a Muslim, his entire community would forfeit protection and be freely subject to pillage, enslavement and murder. Harsh reprisals, including mutilations, deportations and crucifixions, were imposed on Christians who appealed for help to the Christian kings or who were suspected of having converted to Islam opportunistically. Raiding parties were sent out several times every year against the Spanish kingdoms in the north, and also against France and Italy, for loot and slaves. The caliph in Andalusia maintained an army of tens of thousand of Christian slaves from all over Europe, and also kept a harem of captured Christian women. The Jewish community in the Iberian peninsula suffered similar sorts of discriminations and penalties, including restrictions on how they could dress. A pogrom in Granada in 1066 annihilated the Jewish population there and killed over 5000 people. Over the course of its history Muslim rule in the peninsula was characterised by outbreaks of violence and fanaticism as different factions assumed power, and as the Spanish gradually reclaimed territory[15].
       Arab rule in Spain and Portugal was a disaster for Christians and Jews, as was Turkish rule in the Balkans. The Ottoman conquest of the Balkans commenced in the mid-fifteenth century, and was completed over the following two hundred years. Churches were destroyed or converted into mosques, and the Jewish and Christians populations became subject to forcible relocation and slavery. The extension or withdrawal of protection depended entirely on the disposition of the Ottoman ruler of the time. Christians who refused to apostatize were taxed and subject to conscript labour. Where the practice of the faith was not strictly prohibited, it was frustrated - for example, by making the only legal market day Sunday. But violent persecution was also a constant shadow. One scholar estimates that up to the Greek War of Independence in 1828, the Ottomans executed eleven Patriarchs of Constantinople, nearly one hundred bishops and several thousand priests, deacons and monks. Lay people were prohibited from practising certain professions and trades, even sometimes from riding a horse with a saddle, and right up until the early eighteenth century their adolescent sons lived under the threat of the military enslavement and forced conversion which provided possibly one million janissary soldiers to the Ottomans during their rule. Under Byzantine rule the peninsula enjoyed a high level of economic productivity and cultural development. This was swept away by the Ottoman conquest and replaced with a general and protracted decline in productivity[16].
       The history of Islam's detrimental impact on economic and cultural development at certain times and in certain places returns us to the nature of Islam itself. For those of a pessimistic outlook this is probably the most intractable problem in considering Islam and democracy. What is the capacity for theological development within Islam?
       In the Muslim understanding, the Koran comes directly from God, unmediated. Muhammad simply wrote down God's eternal and immutable words as they were dictated to him by the Archangel Gabriel. It cannot be changed, and to make the Koran the subject of critical analysis and reflection is either to assert human authority over divine revelation (a blasphemy), or question its divine character. The Bible, in contrast, is a product of human co-operation with divine inspiration. It arises from the encounter between God and man, an encounter characterised by reciprocity, which in Christianity is underscored by a Trinitarian understanding of God (an understanding Islam interprets as polytheism). This gives Christianity a logic or dynamic which not only favours the development of doctrine within strict limits, but also requires both critical analysis and the application of its principles to changed circumstances. It also requires a teaching authority.
       Of course, none of this has prevented the Koran from being subjected to the sort of textual analysis that the Bible and the sacred texts of other religions have undergone for over a century, although by comparison the discipline is in its infancy. Errors of fact, inconsistencies, anachronisms and other defects in the Koran are not unknown to scholars, but it is difficult for Muslims to discuss these matters openly.
       In 2004 a scholar who writes under the pseudonym Christoph Luxenberg published a book in German setting out detailed evidence that the original language of the Koran was a dialect of Aramaic known as Syriac. Syriac or Syro-Aramaic was the written language of the Near East during Muhammad's time, and Arabic did not assume written form until 150 years after his death. Luxenberg argues that the Koran that has come down to us in Arabic is partially a mistranscription of the original Syriac. A bizarre example he offers which received some attention at the time his book was published is the Koran's promise that those who enter heaven will be "espoused" to "maidens with eyes like gazelles"; eyes, that is, which are intensely white and black (suras 44:54 and 52:20). Luxenberg's meticulous analysis suggests that the Arabic word for maidens is in fact a mistranscription of the Syriac word for grapes. This does strain common sense. Valiant strivings to be consoled by beautiful women is one thing, but to be heroic for a packet of raisins seems a bit much!
       Even more explosively, Luxenberg suggests that the Koran has its basis in the texts of the Syriac Christian liturgy, and in particular in the Syriac lectionary, which provides the origin for the Arabic word "koran". As one scholarly review observes, if Luxenberg is correct the writers who transcribed the Koran into Arabic from Syriac a century and a half after Muhammad's death transformed it from a text that was "more or less harmonious with the New Testament and Syriac Christian liturgy and literature to one that [was] distinct, of independent origin"[17]. This too is a large claim.
       It is not surprising that much textual analysis is carried out pseudonymously. Death threats and violence are frequently directed against Islamic scholars who question the divine origin of the Koran. The call for critical consideration of the Koran, even simply of its seventh-century legislative injunctions, is rejected out of hand by hard-line Muslim leaders. Rejecting calls for the revision of school textbooks while preaching recently to those making the hajj pilgrimage to Mount Arafat, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia told pilgrims that "there is a war against our creed, against our culture under the pretext of fighting terrorism. We should stand firm and united in protecting our religion. Islam's enemies want to empty our religion [of] its content and meaning. But the soldiers of God will be victorious"[18].
       All these factors I have outlined are problems, for non-Muslims certainly, but first and foremost for Muslims themselves. In grappling with these problems we have to resist the temptation to reduce a complex and fluid situation to black and white photos. Much of the future remains radically unknown to us. It is hard work to keep the complexity of a particular phenomenon steadily in view and to refuse to accept easy answers, whether of an optimistic or pessimistic kind. Above all else we have to remember that like Christianity, Islam is a living religion, not just a set of theological or legislative propositions. It animates the lives of an estimated one billion people in very different political, social and cultural settings, in a wide range of devotional styles and doctrinal approaches. Human beings have an invincible genius for variation and innovation.
       Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant religion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely limited. To stop at this proposition, however, is to neglect the way these facts are mitigated or exacerbated by the human factor. History has more than its share of surprises. Australia lives next door to Indonesia, the country with one of the largest Muslim populations in the world[19]. Indonesia has been a successful democracy, with limitations, since independence after World War II. Islam in Indonesia has been tempered significantly both by indigenous animism and by earlier Hinduism and Buddhism, and also by the influence of sufism. As a consequence, in most of the country (except in particular Aceh) Islam is syncretistic, moderate and with a strong mystical leaning. The moderate Islam of Indonesia is sustained and fostered in particular by organisations like Nahdatul Ulama, once led by former president Abdurrahman Wahid, which runs schools across the country, and which with 30-40 million members is one of the largest Muslim organisations in the world.
       The situation in Indonesia is quite different from that in Pakistan, the country with one of the largest Muslim populations in the world. 75 per cent of Pakistani Muslims are Sunni, and most of these adhere to the relatively more-liberal Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence (for example, Hanafi jurisprudence does not consider blasphemy should be punishable by the state). But religious belief in Pakistan is being radicalised because organisations, very different from Indonesia's Nahdatul Ulama, have stepped in to fill the void in education created by years of neglect by military rulers. Pakistan spends only 1.8 per cent of GDP on education. 71 per cent of government schools are without electricity, 40 per cent are without water, and 15 per cent are without a proper building. 42 per cent of the population is literate, and this proportion is falling. This sort of neglect makes it easy for radical Islamic groups with funding from foreign countries to gain ground. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of religious schools (or madrasas) opening in Pakistan, and it is estimated that they are now educating perhaps 800,000 students, still a small proportion of the total, but with a disproportionate impact[20].
       These two examples show that there is a whole range of factors, some of them susceptible to influence or a change in direction, affecting the prospects for a successful Islamic engagement with democracy. Peace with respect for human rights are the most desirable end point, but the development of democracy will not necessarily achieve this or sustain it. This is an important question for the West as well as for the Muslim world. Adherence to what George Weigel has called "a thin, indeed anorexic, idea of procedural democracy"[21] can be fatal here. It is not enough to assume that giving people the vote will automatically favour moderation, in the short term at least[22]. Moderation and democracy have been regular partners in Western history, but have not entered permanent and exclusive matrimony and there is little reason for this to be better in the Muslim world, as the election results in Iran last June and the elections in Palestine in January reminded us. There are many ways in which President Bush's ambition to export democracy to the Middle East is a risky business. In its influence on both religion and politics, the culture is crucial.
       There are some who resist this conclusion vehemently. In 2002, the Nobel Prize Economist Amartya Sen took issue with the importance of culture in understanding the radical Islamic challenge, arguing that religion is no more important than any other part or aspect of human endeavour or interest. He also challenged the idea that within culture religious faith typically plays a decisive part in the development of individual self-understanding. Against this, Sen argued for a characteristically secular understanding of the human person, constituted above all else by sovereign choice. Each of us has many interests, convictions, connections and affiliations, "but none of them has a unique and pre-ordained role in defining [the] person". Rather, "we must insist upon the liberty to see ourselves as we would choose to see ourselves, deciding on the relative importance that we would like to attach to our membership in the different groups to which we belong. The central issue, in sum, is freedom".[23]
       This does work for some, perhaps many, people in the rich, developed and highly urbanised Western world, particularly those without strong attachments to religion. Doubtless it has ideological appeal to many more among the elites. But as a basis for engagement with people of profound religious conviction, most of whom are not fanatics or fundamentalists, it is radically deficient. Sen's words demonstrate that the high secularism of our elites is handicapped in comprehending the challenge that Islam poses.
       I suspect one example of the secular incomprehension of religion is the blithe encouragement of large scale Islamic migration into Western nations, particularly in Europe. Of course they were invited to meet the need for labour and in some cases to assuage guilt for a colonial past.
       If religion rarely influences personal behaviour in a significant way then the religious identity of migrants is irrelevant. I suspect that some anti-Christians, for example, the Spanish Socialists, might have seen Muslims as a useful counterweight to Catholicism, another factor to bring religion into public disrepute. Probably too they had been very confident that Western advertising forces would be too strong for such a primitive religious viewpoint, which would melt down like much of European Christianity. This could prove to be a spectacular misjudgement.
       So the current situation is very different from what the West confronted in the twentieth century Cold War, when secularists, especially those who were repentant communists, were well equipped to generate and sustain resistance to an anti-religious and totalitarian enemy. In the present challenge it is religious people who are better equipped, at least initially, to understand the situation with Islam. Radicalism, whether of religious or non-religious inspiration, has always had a way of filling emptiness. But if we are going to help the moderate forces within Islam defeat the extreme variants it has thrown up, we need to take seriously the personal consequences of religious faith. We also need to understand the secular sources of emptiness and despair and how to meet them, so that people will choose life over death. This is another place where religious people have an edge. Western secularists regularly have trouble understanding religious faith in their own societies, and are often at sea when it comes to addressing the meaninglessness that secularism spawns. An anorexic vision of democracy and the human person is no match for Islam.
       It is easy for us to tell Muslims that they must look to themselves and find ways of reinterpreting their beliefs and remaking their societies. Exactly the same thing can and needs to be said to us. If democracy is a belief in procedures alone then the West is in deep trouble. The most telling sign that Western democracy suffers a crisis of confidence lies in the disastrous fall in fertility rates, a fact remarked on by more and more commentators. In 2000, Europe from Iceland to Russia west of the Ural Mountains recorded a fertility rate of only 1.37. This means that fertility is only at 65 per cent of the level needed to keep the population stable. In 17 European nations that year deaths outnumbered births. Some regions in Germany, Italy and Spain already have fertility rates below 1.0.
       Faith ensures a future. As an illustration of the literal truth of this, consider Russia and Yemen. Look also at the different birth rates in the red and blue states in the last presidential election in the U.S.A. In 1950 Russia, which suffered one of the most extreme forms of forced secularisation under the Communists, had about 103 million people. Despite the devastation of wars and revolution the population was still young and growing. Yemen, a Muslim country, had only 4.3 million people. By 2000 fertility was in radical decline in Russia, but because of past momentum the population stood at 145 million. Yemen had maintained a fertility rate of 7.6 over the previous 50 years and now had 18.3 million people. Median level United Nations forecasts suggest that even with fertility rates increasing by 50 per cent in Russia over the next fifty years, its population will be about 104 million in 2050 - a loss of 40 million people. It will also be an elderly population. The same forecasts suggest that even if Yemen's fertility rate falls 50 per cent to 3.35, by 2050 it will be about the same size as Russia - 102 million - and overwhelmingly young[24].
       The situation of the United States and Australia is not as dire as this, although there is no cause for complacency. It is not just a question of having more children, but of rediscovering reasons to trust in the future. Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. Belief in a benign God who is master of the universe has a steadying psychological effect, although it is no guarantee of Utopia, no guarantee that the continuing climate and geographic changes will be benign. In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
       Most of this is a preliminary clearing of the ground for dialogue and interaction with our Muslim brothers and sisters based on the conviction that it is always useful to know accurately where you are before you start to decide what you should be doing.
       The war against terrorism is only one aspect of the challenge. Perhaps more important is the struggle in the Islamic world between moderate forces and extremists, especially when we set this against the enormous demographic shifts likely to occur across the world, the relative changes in population-size of the West, the Islamic and Asian worlds and the growth of Islam in a childless Europe.
       Every great nation and religion has shadows and indeed crimes in their histories. This is certainly true of Catholicism and all Christian denominations. We should not airbrush these out of history, but confront them and then explain our present attitude to them.
       These are also legitimate requests for our Islamic partners in dialogue. Do they believe that the peaceful suras of the Koran are abrogated by the verses of the sword? Is the programme of military expansion (100 years after Muhammad's death Muslim armies reached Spain and India) to be resumed when possible?
       Do they believe that democratic majorities of Muslims in Europe would impose Sharia law? Can we discuss Islamic history and even the hermeneutical problems around the origins of the Koran without threats of violence?
       Obviously some of these questions about the future cannot be answered, but the issues should be discussed. Useful dialogue means that participants grapple with the truth and in this issue of Islam and the West the stakes are too high for fundamental misunderstandings.
       Both Muslims and Christians are helped by accurately identifying what are core and enduring doctrines, by identifying what issues can be discussed together usefully, by identifying those who are genuine friends, seekers after truth and cooperation and separating them from those who only appear to be friends.
       --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
       [1]. For some examples of this, see Daniel Pipes, "Jihad and the Professors", Commentary, November 2002.
       [2]. For an account of how some Muslim jurists dealt with large-scale emigration to non-Muslim countries, see Paul Stenhouse MSC, "Democracy, Dar al-Harb, and Dar al-Islam", unpublished manuscript, nd.
       [3]. Paul Stenhouse MSC, "Muhammad, Qur'anic Texts, the Shari’a and Incitement to Violence". Unpublished manuscript, 31 August 2002.
       [4]. Daniel Pipes "Jihad and the Professors" 19. Another source estimates that Muhammad engaged in 27 (out of 38) battles personally, fighting in 9 of them. See A. Guillaume, The Life of Muhammad by Ibn Ishaq (Oxford University Press, Karachi: 1955), 659.
       [5]. Stenhouse "Muhammad, Qur'anic Texts, the Shari’a and Incitement to Violence".
       [6]. Ibid.
       [7]. Sura 95: "Then, when the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush. But if they repent, and perform the prayer, and pay the alms, then let them go their way; for God is All-forgiving, All-compassionate."
       Sura936: "And fight the unbelievers totally even as they fight you totally; and know that God is with the godfearing." (Arberry translation).
       [8]. Richard Bonney, Jihad: From Qur'an to bin Laden (Palgrave, Hampshire: 2004), 22-26.
       [9]."The Will of Abdullaah Yusuf Azzam", www.islamicawakening.com/viewarticle.php? articleID=532& (dated 20 April 1986).
       [10]. M. J. Akbar, The Shade of Swords: Jihad and the Conflict between Islam and Christianity (Routledge, London & New York: 2002), xv.
       [11]. Abraham I. Katsch, Judaism and the Koran (Barnes & Co., New York: 1962), passim.
       [12]. See for example Alain Besan�on, "What Kind of Religion is Islam?" Commentary, May 2004.
       [13]. Daniel Pipes, "Is Allah God?" New York Sun, 28 June 2005.
       [14]. On the concept of "dhimmitude", see Bat Ye'or, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam: From Jihad to Dhimmitude, trans. Miriam Kochman and David Littman (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, Madison NJ: 1996).
       [15]. Andrew Bostom, The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non Muslims (Prometheus Books, Amherst NY: 2005), 56-75.
       [16]. Ibid.
       [17]. Robert R. Phenix Jr & Cornelia B. Horn, "Book Review of Christoph Luxenberg (ps.) Die syro-aramaeische Lesart des Koran: Ein Beitrag zur Entschl�sselung der Qur'ansprache", Hugoye: Journal of Syriac Studies, 6:1 (January 2003). See also the article on Luxenberg's book published in Newsweek, 28 July 2004.
       [18]. "Hajj Pilgrims Told of War on Islam", www.foxnews.com, 9 January 2006.
       [19]. The World Christian Database (http://worldchristian database.org) gives a considerably lower estimate of the Muslim proportion of the population (54 per cent, or 121.6 million), attributing 22 per cent of the population to adherents of Asian "New Religions". On the WCD's estimates, Pakistan has the world's largest Muslim population, with 154.5 million (or approximately 96 per cent of a total population of 161 million). The CIA's World Fact Book (http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook) estimates 88 per cent of Indonesia's population of 242 million is Muslim, giving it a Muslim population of 213 million.
       The Muslim proportion of the population in Indonesia may be as low as 37-40 per cent, owing to the way followers of traditional Javanese mysticism are classified as Muslim by government authorities. See Paul Stenhouse MSC, "Indonesia, Islam, Christians, and the Numbers Game", Annals Australia, October 1998.
       [20]. William Dalrymple, "Inside the Madrasas", New York Review of Books, 1 December 2005.
       [21]. George Weigel, The Cube and the Cathedral: Europe, America and Politics without God (Basic Books, New York: 2005), 136.
       [22]. For a sophisticated presentation of the argument of the case for the moderating effect of electoral democracy in the Islamic world, see the Pew Forum's interview with Professor Vali Nasr (Professor of National Security Studies at the US Naval Postgraduate School), "Islam and Democracy: Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan", 4 November 2005, http://pewforum.org/events/index.php?EventID=91.
       [23]. Amartya Sen, "Civilizational Imprisonments", The New Republic, 10 June 2002.
       [24]. Allan Carlson, "Sweden and the Failure of European Family Policy", Society, September-October 2005.

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    This story was found at: http://www.sydney.catholic.org.au/Archbishop/Addresses/200627_681.shtml
       [COMMENT: In following the "Mecca" and "Medina" surahs, has this speaker forgotten that Mohammed gave out his texts first in Mecca, then in Medina, and later returned to Mecca? COMMENT ENDS.] [Discovered by news media early May 2006. Traced and to this website 05 May 06] [Feb 4, 06]

    • [Burning, killing, smashing because of a belief that violence is a private matter; Rest of world keeps arming Islamic states.]

     
       NEWSpulse from NEWS.com.au , http://email.news.com.au/ , Various articles about the violence of Islam, and the nuclear work of Iran, February 05, 2006
       Vienna: IAEA REPORTS TEHRAN TO UN; THE UN nuclear watchdog has reported Iran to the Security Council over its nuclear activities, sparking an immediate and defiant response from Tehran. US: Rice warns Iran to heed 'clear message'. Reaction: IAEA inspections shut down. Retaliation: Tehran resumes nuclear enrichment, http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=ab-ZcXKQYpIiyCKftPXyR9G0w7dsRRR
       Syria: Protesters attack embassies; CROWDS set fire to the Danish and the Norwegian embassies in Syria in protest at cartoon depictions of Mohammad. http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=d5-p~SiQzL_GR5CYj2HCFRXN4g3ysRR
       AWB: Nerve drug enters wheat scandal. ANOTHER Australian company has become embroiled in the oil-for-food kickbacks scandal, with revelations it sold Iraq a drug that could be used in nerve gas antidotes and political assassinations. http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=ea-fjpyQhVGXVGtrBzAwWRAAhhj9sRR
       Canberra: Hamas win won't end Palestine aid; AUSTRALIAN aid worth more than $16 million will continue to flow into the Palestinian territories despite Hamas being declared a banned terrorist organisation. http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=ff-sVHVQmsGmyrDiMnZxPWWmV0mvdRR
       SIX STABBED IN TEEN FIGHT. SIX teenagers were stabbed during a violent street brawl at Sydney's Bondi beach early yesterday. Charges: Teen in court over attack. http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=e6-qG~rQwyRDKYBdlFXGFJf636qtsRR
       Bad habit: Doctors call for fatwa on smoking; A GROUP of British Muslim doctors has called on Islamic leaders to issue religious rulings against smoking as part of efforts to stamp out the habit. http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=b8-smc2QQUg~0kTxIKlqs73p1NOP9RR
       To subscribe, go to http://email.news.com.au/ct/click?q=75-whVtIKUTMcYGrj5_rEPPsvJBBRRR
       We welcome your comments at replies@help.NEWS.com.au Copyright 2003 News Limited [Feb 5, 06]
    • [Youth, 16, shouts, shoots Rev. Andrea Santoro.]  Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Andrea Santoro

     
       Andrea Santoro, From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/ Andrea_ Santoro (accessed Apr 23, 2007), murdered February 5, 2006
       Father Andrea Santoro (September 7, 1945 in Priverno - February 5, 2006 in Trabzon) was a Catholic priest who was murdered in the Santa Maria Church in Trabzon, Turkey, where he served as a member of the Catholic church's Fidei donum missionary program. He was shot dead from behind while kneeling in prayer in the church. A witness heard the perpetrator shouting "Allahu Akbar".[1] A 16-year-old high school student was arrested two days after the shooting carrying a 9mm pistol. The student told police he had been influenced by the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.[2] The murder was preceded by massive anti-Christian propaganda in the Turkish popular press.[3]
       On October 10, 2006, the accused Oğuzhan Akdin was sentenced to 18 years and ten months in jail for "premeditated murder" by a court in Ankara.[4] According to the apostolic vicar to Anatolia, Msgr. Luigi Padovese, neither the killer nor his mother showed any remorse during the trial. She even compared her son to Mehmet Ali Ağca, who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, and said that his deed "was committed in the name of Allah and was a gift to the state and the nation".[5] As the murderer of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink also came from Trabzon and also under 18 years of age, Turkish police is investigating possible connections between the slayings of Santoro and Dink.[6]
       At Don Santoro's funeral at the Basilica of St. John Lateran Cardinal Camillo Ruini, the vicar of the Diocese of Rome, mentioned in his homily that the possible beatification process for Don Santoro may be opened after February 2011. #
    http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/submit/subchron5.htm#youth
       [RECAPITULATION: He was shot dead from behind while kneeling in prayer in the church.  A witness heard the perpetrator shouting "Allahu Akbar". ... his mother ... compared her son to Mehmet Ali Ağca, who tried to assassinate Pope John Paul II in 1981, and said that his deed "was committed in the name of Allah and was a gift to the state and the nation".   ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: People who watched the Cowboys and Indians films, the "Westerns," of the 1920s to 1940s knew what judgement to make of someone who shot anybody from behind.  Sensible people of the 2000s know to shudder when they hear a murderer crying the blasphemous Muslim warcry as he commits murder in a sacred site, and whose mother praises him on religious and nationalistic grounds.  No Muslim fatwa against him has come to the attention of this Website.   COMMENT ENDS.]
       [For LINKS to REFERENCES shown in [brackets]: Visit the Wikipedia webpage.   ENDS.] [Feb 5, 06]

    • [Disown the violent fanatics.] World has had enough of Muslim fanatics. [Kill editors call] 
       The West Australian, Editorial, p 18, Tuesday, February 7, 2006
       PERTH (W. Australia): ... Once again, militant Muslims have shown the world the ugly face of bloodthirsty extremism and belied assurances that theirs is a religion of peace. ... Ironically, it was evidently the depiction of Mohammed as violent that drew violence from those who call themselves his followers. ... A radical Islamic cleric called for the murders of 27 editors from 13 countries. ... Some Muslims go to non-Muslim nations, ... Sometimes their contempt for the West and support for terrorist attacks on it are barely concealed. ...
    18 • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2006                                                                 THE WEST AUSTRALIAN
    Opinion

    World has had enough of Muslim fanatics


    This newspaper will not publish the cartoons of Mohammed that have drawn protests from Muslims around the world. We accept that such depictions of the prophet are regarded as blasphemous by Muslims.
       Publication of the cartoons would be gratuitously offensive to law-abiding moderate Muslims. It is not necessary to publish the cartoons as a means of asserting the freedom and right to do so, which we uphold completely.
       In this case, publication would serve no worthwhile purpose that would outweigh the offence that is known would be taken by some readers. At the same time, this newspaper condemns without reservation the violent overreaction by extremists to the publication of the cartoons elsewhere.
       Once again, militant Muslims have shown the world the ugly face of bloodthirsty extremism and belied assurances that theirs is a religion of peace. Muslim mobs launched arson attacks on Scandinavian embassies in Damascus and on the Danish mission to Lebanon as retaliation against countries where the cartoons were published. Ironically, it was evidently the depiction of Mohammed as violent that drew violence from those who call themselves his followers.
       There were also angry protests in other nations. A radical Islamic cleric called for the murders of 27 editors from 13 countries.
       These extreme responses to satire reinforce the growing view around the world that Islam, certainly of the fundamentalist variety, is isolated by its intransigent authoritarianism and blind zealotry from the rest of the world. Militant Muslims demand respect for and understanding of their beliefs, but show neither of these for the views of others.
       Respect must be earned, and it will not be by extremists who act like hoodlums in the name of religion. There is mutual respect among many religions that preach and practise compassion, tolerance and understanding and accept individual liberties and fundamental human rights -- but self-obsessed extremists have given Islam an appalling reputation and alienated it from other religions. Christians, by and large, have learnt to accept satire, on their churches and the followers of Buddha would hardly be likely to resort to violence if his image were satirised.
       Some Muslims go to non-Muslim nations, often to escape oppression in their countries of origin, then reject and attack the very foundations of liberty and prosperity which attracted them in the first place. Sometimes their contempt for the West and support for terrorist attacks on it are barely concealed.
       It is evident that the rest of the world has had a gutful of the type of Muslims who rioted over the cartoons. Moderate Muslims must unequivocally disown the violent fanatics if they want the world's respect. #
       [COMMENT: Support for immoral terrorist attacks on the West are not just "barely concealed" -- after the unprovoked 9/11 attack on the USA there was jubilation in the streets in some places around the world. To find a clue, look in the book to see if there is a list of Ten Commandments of this supposedly Abrahamic religion. You will find a prohibition of suicide (4:33), but dozens of calls to attack people who are not of the faith.
       Amazingly, the cartoons were first published in a Danish paper in September 2005, but it was not until recent weeks that the violence, now extended even to attacking peacekeepers in Afghanistan, has started. COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 7, 06]

    • Cartoon violence condemned  Lebanon flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Denmark flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Norway flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Syria flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Palestine Authority flag; Palestine Authority website  Jordan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       The Record (W. Australian Roman Catholic newspaper), Catholic News Service, p 8, February 9, 2006

    Cartoon violence condemned

     
       The Record (R.C. Perth W. Australia weekly), CNS, p 8, February 9, 2006
    Catholic, Muslim leaders
    condemn Beirut riots
    against cartoons
  • By Doreen Abi Raad

  • Catholic and Muslim religious leaders condemned the riot that erupted in Beirut when an estimated 30,000 Muslims protested against the publication of satirical cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in European newspapers.
       The Danish Consulate was set ablaze, a Maronite Catholic church and the headquarters of the Greek Orthodox archbishop were vandalised, and numerous roadside shrines were smashed in the February 5 violence. Many of the protesters wielded pipes and various weapons; many wore headbands and waved flags imprinted with the slogan "Prophet's soldiers."
       Archbishop Paul Youssef Matar of Beirut told Catholic News Service he believed the motivation behind the violence was political. Religious and political leaders in Lebanon denounced the violence, attributing it to outside interference to instigate chaos in the country.
       Many Lebanese believe that Syria, which ended its 30-year occupation of Lebanon in April, was behind the incident, and the Archbishop speculated that many of those involved in the disruption were paid to participate and were incited to be violent.
       Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, a Sunni Muslim, said "what happened today was an attack against Islam and the principles of the Holy Quran." He pointed out that "the protesters took a definite stand by taking arms; consequently, they came for war."
      [Picture] Jordanian women hold up a banner that reads "Boycott Danish and European Products" during a protest outside the Danish Consulate in Amman, Jordan, on February 6.    Photo: CNS  
       Siniora visited Archbishop Matar and Beirut's Orthodox Archbishop Elias Aoude before inspecting damage at St Maron Catholic Church. Later, in an interview on Voice of Lebanon radio, Siniora said intruders "came to stir strife among the Lebanese themselves and between the Lebanese and the world."
       More than 29 people were wounded in the violence and one was reported killed. Lebanon's An Nahar newspaper reported that of the 192 protesters arrested by security forces 77 were Syrian, 42 were Palestinian and approximately 25 were Bedouin, members of an Arabic nomadic people.
       Father Elias Feghali, pastor of St Maron Catholic Church, said he was in the sacristy preparing for the 10.30am Mass on February 5 when he first heard the mob. Moments later, he heard glass shattering from inside the church and became even more frightened when he heard shooting coming from the streets. Some of the demonstrators attempted to climb up the exterior of the chyurch.
       "I thought, 'These are not people. These are monsters'," Father Feghali told Catholic News Service. He said it was impossible to celebrate Mass, because parishioners could not make their way to St Maron's in the violence.
       The church is in the same neighbourhood as the Danish Embassy; the cartoons originally were published in a Danish newspaper last fall. The cartoons are considered blasphemous because, first of all, Islam does not allow depictions of Mohammed, and, second, they show Mohammed in a number of disrespectful ways. One cartoon, for example, shows Mohammed in a turban shaped as a bomb. One Muslim cleric was reported to have shouted from a loudspeaker, "Do not harm the holy church; the anger is against Denmark and not Christians." Three windows in St Maron's were broken. "It's not a matter of the damage. It's a matter of symbol," Archbishop Matar said.
       He said one of the protesters was seen climbing up the building and trying to pry open a window to plant a bomb in the church.
       "Thank God, the window didn't open, but the danger was very present," the Archbishop said. "The government's role was blatant and unacceptable when it comes to protecting churches and worshippers," said Archbishop Matar. "They knew 24 hours in advance" that the demonstration would take place.
       "This represents a weakness in the government," he said, particularly in light of violence in Syria the day before, in which demonstrators set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies.
       Cardinal Nasrallah P. Sfeir, Maronite patriarch, said he was "greatly disturbed" and called upon all Lebanese to "adhere to a national unity that is strongly needed."
       A delegation of Muslim clerics met with the patriarch late February 5 and urged Lebanese citizens not to react "because we are all Lebanese who are keen to create national unity."
       Archbishop Matar commended " the residents of the predominantly Christian neighbourhood around St Maron's for remaining calm.
       "They were very wise; they didn't react. It was very dangerous. They saw their cars burned, their houses broken into," he said.
       "I think the Lebanese people have shown that they don't want.to come back to the war," said the Archbishop. "They don't want a fight between Muslims and Christians. If we were to have responded in the same way (as the protesters), we would have a civil war," said Father Feghali.
       Michel Aoun, a Maronite Catholic member of Parliament and leader of the Free Patriotic Movement, speaking from St Maron Church said, "What happened is a plan to instigate strife in the country" and demanded the resignation of Lebanon's government for its failure to protect its citizens. If the rioters were Syrian and Palestinian, he said, "Isn't Lebanese law applicable to them?" - CNS #
       [RECAPITULATION: More than 29 people were wounded in the violence and one was reported killed. Lebanon's An Nahar newspaper reported that of the 192 protesters arrested by security forces 77 were Syrian, 42 were Palestinian and approximately 25 were Bedouin, members of an Arabic nomadic people. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: The "Bedouin" are the GENUINE ORIGINAL Arab people, not just "an Arabic nomadic people". More importantly, what are 77 Syrians doing in Lebanon, which had recently removed Syrian dominance? Palestinians might be the refugees, descendants of people driven out or terrorised out of Palestine when the Jewish state "shot its way into the United Nations" more than 50 years ago. 2nd thought: Why were weapons taken to the protest, one killed, and 29 wounded? COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 9:29:- Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in God, or in the last day, and who forbid not what God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled.
       66:9:- O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them. ...
       71:27-28:- And Noah said, 'Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels on the Earth: For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only sinners, infidels. DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [MOCKERY CONDEMNED: On the same page there was another CNS article "Freedom of expression should rise above mockery; Vatican says freedom of expression does not mean offending religions;" by John Thavis. [Feb 9, 06]

    • Can liberty survive a clash of cultures?

     
       The West Australian, By ANDRE MALAN, andre.malan@ wanews.com.au , p 18, Tuesday, February 7, 2006
       PERTH (W. Australia): A few years ago I made a light-hearted reference in a column to people who carried on "like mad mullahs". The following day I received a nasty phone call from a man who warned in a heavily accented voice that I would be punished if I continued to insult Muslims.
       I didn't take the threat seriously, and nothing came of it, but the incident was an example of how easily some Muslims are offended, and how ready they are to use violence -- or, at least, the threat of it -- to try to influence media coverage.
       From outside its newsrooms the press probably appears all powerful, but it does have its vulnerabilities. One of these was exposed in Perth in 1974 after a columnist, Bill Bailey, wrote a humorous piece poking fun at wharfies.
       The article enraged the Fremantle branch of the Waterside Workers' Federation, which immediately slapped a ban on handling newsprint consigned to The West Australian. At first the company resisted demands that it apologise for Bailey's column, but when it became apparent that the ban would halt the production of the paper, the carefully worded apology was published, and life returned to normal.
       However, that incident still rankles with some idealistic believers in the words spoken by US President Thomas Jefferson in 1786: "Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it."
       The violent response by militant Muslims in Europe and the Middle East to a series of cartoons first published in a Danish publication last September raises the question of whether the crucial principle expressed by Jefferson will survive the clash of cultures brought about by globalisation.
       In Western countries Christians are a soft target for blasphemers who insult their beliefs, under the protection of freedom of expression. An extreme example was the infamous "Piss Christ", a picture of a crucifix immersed in urine, that even made its way into the publicly funded National Gallery of Victoria.
       In that case, some offended Christians attempted to vandalise the picture, and the gallery ultimately removed it. Although most people reluctantly accepted the artist's right to produce such an offensive work, displaying it in a public gallery was a step too far.
       Some Western publications may occasionally test the limits, but in practice very few editors deliberately publish material which they think may be offensive to any members of the community, be they Christian, Muslim or any other religion.
       The irony about the controversial Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed is that they would quickly have been forgotten and would not have been seen outside one publication if it had not been for the violent and hysterical response to them. Eruptions of Muslim anger at slights against their religion are also selective and inconsistent. Far from being rare, depictions of Mohammed, both flattering and insulting, and created by both Muslims and non-Muslims, have been common throughout the ages.
       An email that is rapidly spreading throughout the world carries an archive of dozens of these images. They range from depictions in centuries-old manuscripts to extracts from Dante's Inferno, to advertisements and modern satirical cartoons. As far as I know, few of these have ever created much controversy.
       It makes you wonder whether the outrage over the pictures is the result of genuine hurt over an insult to people's belief, or just another outpouring of the blind hatred Muslim extremists have for everything Western democracies stand for.
       [COMMENT: It would be instructive to check this columnist's past comments to see if he was in favour of the indiscriminate immigration of peoples and cultures around the globe, which became the fashion beginning around the 1950s. It is easy to see the folly of the "new morality" after such policies have proved dangerous. Those who opposed them before were branded "racist" or "redneck," of course!
       Many ordinary past opponents didn't even know they were possibly cultural discriminators, to coin a term, who would have opposed such horrors as clitoral mutilation of 8-year-old girls, for example, if they had known about it. The horse has bolted, Mr M., and the chattering classes had a lot to do with it.
       The part that the arms makers and traders have had in the horrendous persecutions and lamentable poverty in nominally "Muslim" lands is worth an article or two in itself. The result has been strong emigration pressure to the West, which has been in a Recession since the late 1960s. The immigrants perceive discrimination and lack of opportunity, so they and their impressionable children are then taught by "religious leaders" imported from the Arabic conquest areas of past centuries! It's like the spread of the European empires -- first came the traders, then came the preachers, then came the soldiers! COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 7, 06]

    • Another excuse for Muslims to threaten us; Civilised world is threatened.

    Another excuse for Muslims to threaten us

     
       The West Australian, Various Letters to The Editor, letters@wa news.com.au , p 20, Tuesday, February 7, 2006
       Once again we see the Islamic world up in arms with yet another excuse to threaten us with violence. This time it is over the publishing of cartoons depicting their prophet and, as we have come to expect, we have the usual limp-wristed sops who would have us capitulate to their demands saying how we must respect their sensitivity.
       Just when is the world going to wake up and realise that these people are just looking for excuses to threaten us, no matter what we say or do? They will always find some excuse to do so. Whether it's in Denmark, Paris, London, Bali, Manhattan or Israel, there will always be some real, or imagined, slight that they can turn into an excuse to frighten us with. And usually we allow them to be successful with it.
       They play on our paranoia about respecting human rights so that they know there will always be another incremental win for them in their determination to make us conform to what they want, until eventually they hope to totally dominate our way of life and thinking.
       Just when is the world going to have the guts to say that the problem is not with all the other people of the world whom Muslims like to call their enemies. The problem is within Islam itself, in the lack of control it has over myriad self-proclaimed spiritual leaders whose only means of gaining and keeping power is to inflame their followers by preaching hate.
       It's not Christians against Muslims, Buddhists against Muslims or Hindus against Muslims; it is in fact Islam against Muslims. It has little to do with real religion, or God, but is just another form of primitive and crude power politics. #. ). %!^^#$, Coolbellup.
    Islam attacked
       Many in the West have been confused by the Muslim reaction to the publishing of cartoons of Prophet Mohammed and have considered it a reaction against Western values, including freedom of speech.
       Well, these freedoms once allowed the publishing of cartoons depicting "blacks" as being sub-human, more ape than man. Similarly, European papers were once rife with anti-Semitic cartoons depicting Jews as greedy and evil.
       However, over time and with the maturing of these democracies, the people came to realise that freedom of speech and freedom of the press didn't allow you unfairly to stereotype communities or to use commonly held stereotypes to incite hate against a particular community.
       The cartoons published about the Prophet Mohammed have no basis in fact and attack the very core of Islam and Islamic beliefs. This last point is not merely my belief or the belief of Muslims in general, rather it is the opinion of people such as George Bernard Shaw, Mahatma Gandhi and Thomas Carlyle, among many others.
       Please, let's use our freedoms to abolish hate and unjust stereotypes rather then to perpetuate them. N. Brkich, Noranda.
    CARTOON RAGE
    Greatest threat to world peace
       Embassies burned, people hurt and death threats against European newspaper editors all because of what? Some bloody cartoons. Once again, Islamic fundamentalists have shown the world what a bunch of morons they are. They need to be eradicated from society as soon as possible.
       These incidents once again show why more and more people are turning their backs on religion, which is now the greatest threat to world peace and happiness.
       The sooner religion is banned worldwide the better off everyone will be and the sooner I can win Lotto and retire to a deserted island away from all of this blatant hatred the better off I will be.
       Good luck to the world. It is rapidly heading towards the path of self-destruction. Steve Curry, Corrigin.
    We're living in dangerous times
       I honestly did not believe I had any prejudices; I lived in many areas in the UK and Europe and never realised the hatred felt by many English against the Irish and Americans until I became an adult. At the time I felt this was very sad.
       After many years of working in Australia with Muslim nurses and doctors, I found them to be delightful people. Now, however, I feel a real dislike for Islam. If the Muslims require an apology from the Danish people for a cartoon, for goodness sake what about the people in the embassy that was burnt?
       What did the cartoon have to do with them? The world is becoming a decidedly intolerant and dangerous place. Jenny Thomas, Darlington.
    Why treat embassies with contempt?
       I condemn the Danish cartoonist's caricature of Prophet Mohammed. However, I also deeply condemn the Muslims who attacked the Danish embassies worldwide.
       An ambassador and his or her embassy are guests in respective countries. To treat the embassies with contempt is deplorable. Nahid Kabir, Churchlands
    Muslim religion is not so soft
       Secularist, left-wing journalists who insist they have a "right" to blaspheme and ridicule religious figures, whether they are Jewish, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist, might find they have bitten off more than they can chew by ridiculing Mohammed (Papers slam Muslim censors, 3/2).
       They won't find the Muslim world as soft as the so-called Christian world. In my opinion this so-called right is an excuse for downright spite, rudeness and sheer provocation. Atheist, agnostic or humanist I assume they all have mothers they are fond of. Would they like them ridiculed? Patricia Halligan, Mandurah.
    Civilised world is threatened
       It just goes to show that we are not dealing with normal-thinking people here. When is our Government going to wake up and realise that these people will be the death of the civilised world? Hasn't anyone noticed how they are slowly taking over western Europe?
       Haven't the recent Cronulla riots and other incidents been enough? No, we keep flying them in so they can bleed our welfare and medical agencies dry at the expense of Australians and people who want to live here peacefully.
       I have seen many cartoons and jokes about Jesus, Catholics and Jews. We even joke about people from New Zealand and Ireland. It is all taken on the chin. G. Barker, Hillarys.
    Why did our servicemen bother?
       Cities around the world are subjected to rioting and arson because Muslims are offended by the publication of a couple of cartoons.
       After the recent riots in Paris and Cronulla, our political leaders continue to defend their determination to continue with non-discriminatory immigration and multiculturalism and to increase the intake of refugees from non-European countries.
       They seem to think that Australia doesn't have enough problems of its own, we need to import them. In other words, our ruling elites are nothing more than modern-day Neros. Our returned servicemen must wonder why they bothered risking their lives to defend this country. Ernest Della, Nollamara.
    [Feb 7, 06]
    • Community must make a stand

    Community must make a stand

     
       The West Australian, Letters to The Editor, p 21, Tuesday, February 7, 2006
       It would seem the global Islamic community is quite happy to sit idly by and watch the extreme followers of their faith bomb, maim and kill innocent people all in the name of their Prophet Mohammed and God Allah, but is so absolutely aghast at the very idea of someone taking the micky out of it in the form of cartoons that it retaliates with violence.
       The reaction to this fundamental form of free speech has me considering placing the Islamic faith and its followers in the same sin bin as the Christian ones.
       No wonder the public is beginning truly to wonder about the sanity of followers of the Islamic faith when this type of behaviour occurs.
       To the Islamic faith I would say, sort out your laundry. To the rest of the global community I would say stand up to this type of bullying. Do not for one minute let them get away with it.
       These types of standover tactics have gone on far too long, on both sides of the fence. I dread to think what would happen if someone ever wrote a book about the Islamic faith along the lines of the Da Vinci Code -- global violence? Islam against the rest of the kaffir world? Sounds familiar. David R. Jones, Inglewood.
    Chilling contrast
       As a Christian who just about every day hears Jesus Christ's name blasphemed, I can well understand the grief which Muslims must feel about what they consider blasphemy against Mohammed.
       However, what I fail to accept is the violence perpetrated because of this. The sight of these emotionally unrestrained people is enough to send a chill up one's spine. I saw on a TV report little girls with their Islamic veils on, kindergarten age, and beside them were mothers and teachers.
       These tots were holding placards depicting their devotion to Mohammed, but they were also burning a cardboard crayon-coloured Danish flag, no doubt something they had drawn in kindergarten.
       Contrast this with another picture - little girls in tutus, dancing about, smiling, laughing, singing "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam". You get the picture.
       Jesus said "by their fruits you shall know them". Hmm, let's see, which fruit would I rather my children and grandchildren eat? I wonder.
       One says burn the infidels, cut off their heads, burn flags, embassies, destroy, destroy, destroy and the other says love your enemies, turn the other cheek, bless those who curse you, bless and curse not. The contrast is startling, to say the least. S. Anderson, Marangaroo.
    [Feb 7, 06]

      • Jury to decide on Moussaoui  

      United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       The West Australian, by p 24, Tuesday, February 7, 2006
       WASHINGTON: A US court has begun selecting 18 jurors whose identities will never be revealed to decide if Moroccan-born, British-educated Zacarias Moussaoui is eligible for the death penalty for not giving warning of the September 11,2001, terrorist conspiracy.
       Moussaoui, 37, the only person charged over the conspiracy, was arrested a month before the attacks. He had raised suspicions by enrolling for jumbo jet training in Minnesota using $US6800 ($9118) in $100 bills. He pleaded guilty in April to conspiring to fly a plane into the White House.
       His case will be the first time the Government has laid out in a public courtroom how America's enemies conspired to hijack four jetliners and left nearly 3000 people dead.
       A panel of 500 potential jurors was summoned. They were handed a 50-page questionnaire to assess their suitability for the case. The process will take a month.
       [GUIDELINES: 22.19:- ... But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 022.qmt.html #022.019 .
       33:1:- O Prophet! Keep thy duty to God and obey not the disbelievers and the hypocrites. ... GUIDELINES END.]
       [COMMENT: For some years Britain has been criticised by sensible Arab and other governments for being a "Safe Haven" for extremists and terrorists. The United States has been like a sieve since it reversed its immigration laws years ago. U.S. educational and training establishments, like Australia's now, are addicted to foreign money. The Ancient Greek city-states had similar weaknesses of character before the Macedonians overwhelmed them. COMMENT ENDS.]
       OTHER HEADINGS of some interest, in same issue:
       p 1, "Iraq rort was so obvious: insider"
       p 24, "Palestinians hunt missing $930 million" GAZA CITY
       p 24, "Hamas leader casts doubt on key platform" ATHENS
       p 26, "Terror suspect returned" INDONESIA: Mas Selamat Kastari is believed to have planned bomb and plane-crash attacks on Changi Airport in 2002. He fled [from] Singapore in 2001.
       p 36, "Kickback fallout could halve AWB's share price" (re Iraq wheat alleged bribes to the Saddam dictatorship) [Feb 7, 06]

    • [Fear could be the reason that inciting violence against non-Muslims didn't merit arrests; Police stopping Christian evangelism.]

      Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
       From Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, Barnabas Fund e-mail news, "For Church Of England Newspaper," by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, February 7, 2006
       BRITAIN: Sir Iqbal Sacranie, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has said that he wishes to see Muhammad protected from insult or disrespect.
       Interestingly, he did not make this remark in the context of the current furore over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad. He said it much earlier, in a debate on BBC Radio 4's The Moral Maze on the subject of legislation to ban incitement to religious hatred. Sacranie's hope was that the new law once passed would be used to protect Muhammad from any negative criticism.
       Sacranie was greatly disappointed with the form in which the religious hatred bill was eventually passed on 31st January, and complained of injustice and impediments to the promotion of a cohesive and harmonious society in Britain. However, he may soon find his hopes for the protection of Muhammad are fulfilled in the wake of the international response to the Danish cartoons of the Islamic prophet, a response which appears to have been not only orchestrated but deliberately aggravated.
       The worldwide responses to the cartoons have raised two questions. (1) Why are Muslims, even "moderate" Muslims, so passionate in the defence of Muhammad from any kind of slight? (2) Why do British politicians and church leaders feel the need to tread so delicately around Muslim sensibilities?
       The answer to the first question lies in the veneration of Muhammad. This is a paradoxical aspect of Islam, which in theory affirms the believer's direct access to God without the need for any intercessor. Accordingly, Muhammad should be viewed by Muslims as simply a human channel for God's revelation. In practice, however, Muhammad's figure towers over Islam not just as its founder, but as the "perfect man" who was divinely inspired not only in his Qur'anic revelations, but in all his sayings and deeds. He is considered infallible, free from sin, and serves as the supreme example which all Muslims are obliged to emulate in every small detail.
       Muhammad is also seen as the intercessor with God who can change the divine decrees and admit those he intercedes for into paradise. Love for Muhammad (and his family) is deeply inculcated into most Muslim children. Many Muslims, especially in the Indian subcontinent, hold that Muhammad was created from an eternal heavenly substance (Muhammadan light) that pre-existed with God. He is a logos-like figure similar to Christ - a sinless saviour, mediator and intercessor.
       A main concern of Muslims is the person of Muhammad who must be protected from any criticism or slight. Protecting his honour is an obligation on all. Any suspected denigration of Muhammad immediately creates disturbances and riots in many Muslim countries and communities, more so than blasphemy against Allah himself.
       The antipathy towards pictures of Muhammad stems from several of his own comments, as recorded in traditions which Muslims call hadith. An example is his statement that "angels do not enter a house in which there is a dog or a picture" (Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 5.338). However, this has not been taken as an absolute prohibition in all kinds of Islam at all times, as witness the numerous examples of Muslim paintings of Muhammad in earlier centuries.
       Many Muslims have vocalised their outrage that the Danish cartoons could be interpreted as suggesting that Muhammad was a "terrorist". Here too is a paradox. For these Muslims seek to portray Muhammad as a Jesus-figure, a peace-maker and channel of God's mercy, motivated by a profound love for humanity, who treated his enemies with forbearance, even kindness. They say that Muhammad (himself) never killed anyone. Yet Muhammad was a general who led his army in wars of conquest against non-Muslims, and under whom brutalities were committed against some of his opponents. His words and example are cited by the most militant of Muslims today as the justification for their violence which others would call terrorism.
       The second question concerns the reason for the special treatment of Muslims, in contrast to that of other groups. Ask a British politician or church leader why they feel Muslim feelings should be protected and their reply will probably include words like "respect", "sensitivity", "courtesy" etc. But is this the real reason? It can be tested by comparing the treatment of Muslim sensibilities with the treatment of another faith's sensibilities, say, Christians. Do the same voices protest against the numerous shows, artworks and writings which Christians find offensive and blasphemous? Do they call for Christian feelings to be protected? The answer is no.
       The reason for this double standard appears to be not "sensitivity" but "fear". Non-Muslim society - including the Church - is afraid of angering Muslims because of what they might do in retaliation. And what some of them might do was clearly seen in the placards carried by Muslim marchers in Britain last weekend with slogans such as "Massacre those who insult Islam" or "Whoever insults a prophet kill him."
       The motive of fear also explains the double standards of the Metropolitan Police during the demonstrations in London against the cartoons. None of those carrying placards calling for murder or beheading was arrested. Scotland Yard explained that the decision not to arrest was taken because they feared a riot would have ensued. They did, however, arrest two other protestors, who were carrying cartoons of Muhammad. Police said they were detained to "prevent a breach of the peace". Evidently they did not fear a non-Muslim riot, only a Muslim riot.
       The police have also shown double standards in their treatment of Christian evangelists, especially in Muslim areas of the UK. There have been several incidents where police have intervened to prevent such evangelism, but Islam is strangely untouched.
       Fear could also explain the strangely arrogant attitude of the government whereby they expect the public to formulate an opinion on the matter of the cartoons without having actually seen them. Unless fear is invoked as a motive, this would seem to imply an astonishing lack of respect for the British people, treating them like children.
       As a result of this fear we are on the verge of creating a no-go area in society which would allow Muslims to dictate the terms on which they will relate to the rest of the population and ban the discussion of certain subjects. The suggestion is that there are religious taboos linked to "core identity" which should be off-limits to others.
       At first sight this seems a very generous and compassionate response to a minority in our midst. Yet it could prove to be the thin end of the wedge. It could soon be followed by Muslim requests to have the voluntary self-censorship enshrined in law, by means of new blasphemy legislation to protect Muhammad from criticism.
       The thick end of this particular wedge might be laws like those in Pakistan where since 1991 there has been a mandatory death penalty for "defiling the name of" Muhammad (Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code). Furthermore, Muslims might seek a news/debate black-out on other issues connected with their "core identity" such as the treatment of women in Islam, honour killings, or the death penalty for Muslims who convert to another faith. Then these important human rights issues could no longer be discussed in the UK.
       The uneven playing field is a characteristic of Islam. While Muslims rampage in fury about cartoons of Muhammad, no mention is made of the highly offensive anti-Christian and anti-Jewish cartoons produced by some Muslims, including blasphemous depictions of Christ. Contrary to what Jack Straw has said, there is an open season to vilify Christianity.
       A compliant press, an insipid Church and a pusillanimous government - all three erring on the side of pragmatism - are effectively allowing the playing field to be tilted in favour of Islam. If ordinary British non-Muslims perceive this tilt, i.e. that non-Muslim society has in effect submitted to Muslims, a submission borne of fear, how will they react? Is it possible that the British National Party will be the beneficiaries, being viewed as the only true protector of British values and Britain's Christian heritage?
       Has the time come for Christians to be more assertive and demand their rights, that is, the freedom to proclaim the Gospel without intimidation even in Muslim areas of Britain and the withdrawal of material from the public domain which blasphemes against Christ? Should not the Church speak out to affirm the continuing importance of Britain's Judaeo-Christian heritage? And should we not all remember our history? Appeasement does not ultimately bring peace. -- Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, 7 February 2006
       [GUIDELINE: Sūrah 8, "The Spoils," āya 12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.012 . GUIDELINE ENDS.]
       [CONTACT: Barnabas Fund, The Old Rectory, River Street, PEWSEY, Wiltshire, SN9 5DB, UK. Tel: +44(0)1672 564938, Fax: +44(0)1672 565030, E-mail: info@barnabasfund.org Web: www.barnabasfund.org . CONTACT ENDS.] [Feb 7, 06]

    • Outrage over failure to arrest pedlars of hate  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags   Denmark flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Lebanon flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Outrage over failure to arrest pedlars of hate


    Violence continues across the world as Muslims protest at cartoons 
       The Weekly Telegraph Issue No. 759 (Britain, Australian edition), by George Jones and Ben Fenton in London, and Ramsay Short in Beirut, Pages 1 and 2, Wednesday February 8 to Tuesday February 14, 2006
       POLICE were under pressure this week to adopt "a no tolerance" approach to Muslim demonstrators threatening violence in Britain after a third embassy was set on fire in the Middle East.
       Government ministers and religious leaders appealed for calm as violent protests intensified across the Muslim world over cartoons mocking the Prophet Mohammed, first published in Denmark.
       The Conservatives called for firm action against any further militant demonstrations as police faced growing criticism over their failure on Friday to arrest protesters in London who chanted and carried placards glorifying the July 7 London bombings and threatening beheadings.
       Scotland Yard said it was studying film of the protests but refused to say if any prosecutions would go ahead.
       Television broadcasts that evening showed the majority of placards in similar hand-writing. One of three veiled women - or at least people who appeared to be women - was seen writing placards and distributing them. Most were held by men who had also hidden their identity.
       Among the slogans were "Europe, your 9/11 will come" and, in an apparent reference to the four July 7 suicide bombers, "Europe you will pay, fantastic 4 are on their way". One protester was dressed as a suicide bomber.
       The only arrests were of two counter-demonstrators, who police said were held after apparently attempting to hand out caricatures of Mohammed. Both were released without charge after a few hours.
      [Picture] A Muslim protester expresses his anger on Sunday in front of the blazing Danish consulate in a Christian neighbourhood.  
       Inayat Bunglawala, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain umbrella group, said on Sunday night: "The placards were quite disgraceful and seemed to constitute a clear incitement to violence, even murder."
       He told Channel 4: "I think people will understand that the police did not step in to make matters worse and were waiting for a more propitious time to charge these people. Most Muslims feel enormous distress and anguish at what has occurred. There will be no sympathy for [the extremists] when they are charged."
       A mob of 20,000 attacked Denmark's consulate in a Christian neighbourhood of Beirut on Sunday. Denmark urged its citizens to leave Lebanon as soon as possible. On Saturday Syrian demonstrators set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus.
       Lebanon apologised to Denmark on Monday. "The cabinet denounces the riots and the targeting of the Danish Embassy which harms the image of a civilised Lebanon," the government said in a statement after a late-night crisis meeting.
      INSIDE   
  • New security law in the spotlight Page 2
  • London demonstration Page 4
  • Unleashing the wrath of millions Page 5
  • Charles Moore on Facing Down Our Fear Page 22
  • Editorial Comment Page 23
       Fresh protests erupted across Asia and the Middle East on Monday, despite calls by world leaders for calm. UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan expressed alarm and urged restraint but Iran vowed to respond to "an anti-Islamic and Islamophobic current".
       In Teheran, about 200 people pelted Austria's embassy with fire bombs over the cartoons and Iran's nuclear confrontation with the West. The mission did not catch fire and police prevented people from storming it.
       Ukraine became the latest country where newspapers published the cartoons, joining Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Hungary, New Zealand, Poland, the United States, Japan, Norway, Malaysia and Australia.
       Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and Peter Hain, the Northern Ireland Secretary, led Government appeals for calm but stopped short of endorsing Tory calls for the police to arrest militant protesters in future.
       Mr Straw said the violence, particularly the burning of Danish missions, was "totally unjustified and what we want to see is this matter being calmed down". He praised the vast majority of Muslims in Britain who had protested peacefully.
       Mr Hain called on all sides to "cool it" and said that politicians must not try to "second guess" police: "If people are on our streets inciting terrorism or promoting suicide bombings, they should be dealt with and dealt with toughly and firmly - and they will be. But that is the police's responsibility and they will discharge that."
    Continued on Page 2
    Protests over cartoons
    Continued from Page 1
       David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said that slogans such as "Massacre those who insult Islam" amounted to incitement to murder and that police should take "a no tolerance" approach to them.
       Scotland Yard, which has received at least 100 complaints from members of the public so far, defended the decision not to make arrests.
       It said the officer in charge at such scenes had to weigh the need to make arrests against the likelihood of provoking more serious unrest.
    [A harmless cartoon also appeared.]
       A spokesman said: "We have stated that arrests, if necessary, will be made at the most appropriate time.
       "This should not be seen as a sign of a lack of activity. Specialist officers were deployed to record any potential event, should it be needed at any point in the future." The Crown Prosecution Service was responsible for deciding whether to press charges.
       In Beirut during the early hours on Sunday, a large group of mainly Sunni Islamic extremists broke through military blockades in the Christian Beirut suburb of Achrafieh, defying tear gas and water cannon to reach the Danish consulate, which had been evacuated two days earlier.
       Security officials said at least 30 people, some protesters and some policemen, were injured in the clashes.
       As furious demonstrations were staged across the Muslim world, from Lahore to Gaza, a Roman Catholic priest was shot dead in a church courtyard in north-east Turkey. Fr Andrea Santoro, 59, was shot twice in the entrance of the Santa Maria Church in Trabzon after Sunday Mass. #
       [COMMENT: The murder of the RC clergyman reported in the last sentence speaks volumes. Regarding the Conservative Party spokesperson's empty rhetoric, the party of the "shadow home secretary" had many years, when in government, to tighten up immigration and other laws, to enforce them, and to warn the public, but were carried away with cloudcuckooland principles that Britain could be a haven for everyone who felt agrieved, even if their whole culture was contrary to modern Europe's. COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 8, 06]
    • 'What is point of new security law?'  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  

    'What is point of new security law?'

     
       The Weekly Telegraph Issue No. 759, (Britain, Australian edition), BY AMY IGGULDEN, p 2, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
    LONDON: IN FIVE weeks' time, Milan Rai is to be prosecuted for organising a remembrance ceremony without a permit He was arrested at the Cenotaph in Whitehall last year with Maya Evans, a fellow anti-war campaigner, under security legislation designed to protect politicians.
       Evans has already been prosecuted, convicted and fined for reading out the names of British soldiers killed in Iraq. But Rai's criminal record has been longer coming, because his organisational role in the peaceful protest was greater, and required the attentions of the Crown Prosecution Service.
       He has been told to appear at Bow Street magistrates' court, central London, on March 16, and faces a three-month prison sentence or a fine.
       This week the campaigners said that the failure of police to arrest protesters who called for murder outside the Danish embassy in London showed serious inconsistencies in security legislation.
       Evans, 26, a vegan chef from Hastings, East Sussex, said: "I think those extremists who were inciting violence should be asked to justify their actions. But the police are left in a very awkward situation if a woman can be arrested for holding a remembrance ceremony while others are rightly allowed their freedom of speech."

      [Picture] Maya Evans: convicted  
       She said the demonstration also illustrated that the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, introduced last year, is "completely impractical". She added: "Part of the Act says that you must apply for permission to hold a demonstration in Westminster, yet 60 people held an unplanned demonstration when the 100th British soldier was killed in Iraq... What is the point of this legislation?"
       Rai, 40, a campaigner for the group Justice Not Vengeance, said: "There is a lot of inconsistency going on and the police are in limbo."
       Mark Wallace, a campaigner with the lobby group The Freedom Association, is less charitable.
       He was stopped by police under counter-terrorism laws last autumn after asking passers-by to sign a petition against ID cards. He was filmed and questioned under Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
       "It's astonishing that the police will tolerate people calling for bloodshed... while they are prepared to target someone who is just collecting signatures." #
       [COMMENT: "Crimes" under "New Labour" include reading out names of the British victims of the Iraqi invasion, and taking up a petition against Identity Cards proposals (like the Nazis, Communists, and other dictators had/have). Yes, warlords also attack their own people! COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 8, 06]
    • 1,000 Islamic protesters demonstrate in London  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags   Denmark flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Syria flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Vatican City / Papal flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
    CARTOON PROTESTS

    1,000 Islamic protesters demonstrate in London

     
       The Weekly Telegraph Issue No. 759, (Britain, Australian edition), By ANDREW ALDERSON, NINA GOSWAMI, JAMES ORR AND CHRIS HASTINGS, p 4, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
       PROTESTS against cartoons satirising Mohammed continued around the world over the weekend.
       In London on Saturday, a crowd of 1,000 Muslims demonstrated outside the Danish embassy. Two dressed as suicide bombers were allowed to stand next to a police van while officers - who had made no arrests the previous day - tried to prevent photographers from taking pictures of them.
       The protesters chanted Allah Aqbar (God Is Great), and their placards bore slogans including: "Free Speech Equals Cheap Insults"; "Leave Muslims alone" and "Freedom is hypocrisy".
       There were sporadic skirmishes but emotions were not running as high as on Friday. The uniformity of the placards suggested that the protest had been organised to prevent a repetition of the scenes the previous day when demonstrators carried placards declaring "Butcher those who insult Islam", and chanted slogans threatening a July 7-style attack.
       The group behind Saturday's more controlled protest was Hizb ut-Tahrir, an Islamic splinter group with a reputation for shrewd dealing with the media and the police.
      [Picture] Above: police hinder photographers as they try to get further pictures of a Muslim protester dressed in a 'bomb vest' (below)  
       Across many countries, anger over the cartoons appeared to be growing more organised and determined. In the most serious incidents of the weekend, hundreds of demonstrators set fire to the Danish and Norwegian embassies in Damascus, the Syrian capital.
       In Pakistan, the foreign ministry called in ambassadors from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, Norway and the Czech Republic to protest at the cartoons.
       The Vatican, while deploring violence, said that certain forms of criticism represented an "unacceptable" provocation. "The right to freedom of thought and expression cannot entail the right to offend the religious sentiment of believers," a statement said.
       The fresh protests came as the journalist who approved publication of the cartoons last September said he was merely upholding Denmark's tradition of satire. Flemming Rose, the culture editor of the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, justified the images by saying Denmark simply wanted to treat Muslims "as we treat everybody else". #
    [Feb 8, 06]
    • US condemns images that 'incite hatred'  United  States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    US condemns images that ‘incite hatred’

     
       The Weekly Telegraph (Britain, Australian edition), p 4, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
       AMERICA sided with Muslim protests about cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in European newspapers. In its first comment on the furore, the State Department said on Friday: "These cartoons are indeed offensive to the belief of Muslims."
       Answering a reporter's question, its spokesman, Kurtis Cooper, said: "We all fully respect freedom of the press and expression but it must be coupled with press responsibility. Inciting religious or ethnic hatred in this manner is not acceptable."
       Meanwhile, America's military commanders have reacted furiously to a "callous" cartoon that lampoons Donald Rumsfeld. In the drawing, by the Washington Posfs chief cartoonist, a heavily bandaged soldier with no arms and no legs appears with the US defence secretary, dressed as a doctor, at his side.
       "I'm listing your condition as battle hardened," says the Rumsfeld character. The quote echoes remarks he made last week in response to claims that the Iraq war risks stretching the US army to breaking point. Mr Rumsfeld replied that it was "battle-hardened". #
    [Feb 8, 06]
    • Media-savvy group Blair wants to outlaw  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  

    Media-savvy group Blair wants to outlaw

     
       The Weekly Telegraph (Britain, Australian edition), BY ANDREW ALDERSON, p 4, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
       THE group organising the protests against the cartoons that satirise the Prophet Mohammed is well organised and media savvy.
       Yet behind the apparently acceptable face of Hizb ut-Tahrir lies an organisation with views so radical that Tony Blair believes it should be outlawed. An investigation more than two years ago by BBCs Newsniyht programme discovered that its website promoted racism and anti-Semitic hatred and urged Muslims to kill Jews.
       An influential British Muslim told Newsnight, a year before the London bombings of July 7, that the group was capable of extreme violence. The senior figure, who was not identified, said that unless action was taken against Hizb ut-Tahrir, Britain could be hit by terrorist attacks.
       The Islamist splinter group was founded half a century ago in Jerusalem by an Islamic jurist, Taqiuddin an-Nabhani. It aims to establish a Muslim state across the Middle East under religious law and preaches that Western-style democracy is unacceptable. The group is most active in central Asia, but has been outlawed by many states amid fears that its recruits may also be attracted to terrorism.
       Germany banned the group after the September 11 attacks, as have some Arab countries. Fadi Abdelatif, one of its spokesman, was found guilty of distributing racist propaganda in Denmark in 2002.
       Mr Blair hopes to ban Hizb ut-Tahrir and another radical Islamist group, Al-Muhajir-oun, under new laws contained in the Terrorism Bill. The National Union of Students has already barred it from university campuses.
       Hizb ut-Tahrir activists insist, however, that it is against violence and has no connection to terrorism. They also maintain it is not anti-Semitic and merely objects to the state of Israel rather than Jews in general.
       When asked about Friday's protests in London, Taji Mustafa, a Hizb ut-Tahrir spokesman, said: "We do not condone violent protest. What happened on Friday was wrong, dragging Muslims to the low levels of those who offended Islam with the cartoons. We urge Muslims to engage in peaceful protests." #
       [DOCTRINE (Koran/Quran): 5:64-65:- O people of the Book! ... some of them hath he changed into apes and swine ...
       5:85:- Of all men thou wilt certainly find the Jews, and those who join other gods with God, to be the most intense in hatred of those who believe; and thou shalt certainly find those to be nearest in affection to them who say, 'We are Christians.' ...
       [GUIDELINE: Hadith, 41:6985 (Sahih Muslim's collection):- ... Allah's Messenger ... saying The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree ...
       In The Bounteous Koran, translated by Dr M.M.Khatib, 1986, Macmillan Press, London, a footnote on page 729 reads: "... the second Caliph, Omar b al Khattab, expelled all Jews from the Arabian peninsula." GUIDELINE ENDS.] [Feb 8, 06]

    • How a few cartoons unleashed the wrath of millions of Muslims 
       The Weekly Telegraph (Britain, Australian edition), By James Langton and Justin Stares, p 5, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006

    How a few cartoons unleashed the wrath of millions of Muslims

     
       The Weekly Telegraph (Britain, Australian edition), p 5, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
    It began innocently enough but, as James Langton and Justin Stares reveal, this story from the home of fairy tales is unlikely to end happily
    ONCE upon a time, in the land of Hans Christian Andersen, there was a man who wrote children's books who wanted a picture of the Prophet Mohammed. But, he complained to his friend, the newspaper editor: "No one is brave enough to draw me one."
       This is no fairy tale fit for bedtime, however, and it seems increasingly unlikely that there can be a happy ending, in this story of how a few cartoons in a small Danish newspaper unleashed the wrath of millions of Muslims across the world.
       Instead, it is the latest chapter in the unhappy chronicles of the early 21st century, a culture clash of values in a modern world, punctuated by intolerance and misunderstanding, and orchestrated with the sound of chanting mobs and the threat of the gun and the bomb.
       From these innocent - and, some would argue, naive - beginnings, Kåre Bluitgen, a children's author on religious themes, had hoped to follow the success of his last book, A Boot Fell from Heaven, with a more serious tome: an account of the life of Mohammed. There was one major problem, as he told the Danish newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, last September; he couldn't find an illustrator prepared to accept the task for fear of offending the Islamic faith, which forbids any imagery that depicts Mohammed.
       It was then that Flemming Rose, the cultural editor of Jyllands-Posten, a conservative paper based in Jutland, came up with what he thought was a brilliant idea that may haunt him for some time. Why not, as he now puts it, devise a "test of self-censorship in Denmark?" Of 25 cartoonists contacted by Mr Rose, 13 turned him down at once. The remaining 12 produced a variety of drawings on the theme of Mohammed "as they saw him". No anonymous submissions were allowed. The resulting works were printed on a single page on September 30. Several were innocuous. One made fun of Jyllands-Posten's "reactionary" culture section. Another took the opportunity to caricature a Danish politician. But one now-infamous drawing depicts the Prophet's turban as bomb with a lit fuse. In another, he turns suicide bombers away from paradise, saying: "Stop, stop, we ran out of virgins!"
       While most of the world knew nothing about the row until recently, the outcry in Denmark was instant The storm has built until now, four months later, all the cartoonists are under police guard. There have been three arrests following specific death threats to the paper and the cartoonists: two in Denmark and one in Norway. One threat was made by email, one in a phone call by a 17-year-old boy, and a third on a piece of paper: police found the names of two cartoonists on a man who was arrested on his way to Copenhagen.
       Last week, the editor of the paper, Carsten Juste, sought to reassure his journalists. The paper's Copenhagen offices are in a stone-faced period building on beautiful central square opposite the Royal Theatre. The idea that this peaceful place is the heart of a clash between civilisations seems almost unimaginable.
       Mr Juste told the staff of his determination to carry on as normal. Newspaper production would only be interrupted in the future, he said, if the threat were considered credible; no upstart teenager had the right to close down his paper by simply picking up the telephone.
       But, according to insider reports of the meeting, he also told his troops: "If I had known Danes would have been put in harm's way as the result of printing these cartoons, I would not have done it." Despite this, the editor is maintaining the fine semantic line he has stuck to for several weeks: we regret any offence caused, but we do not apologise for publishing.
       Afterwards, Mr Rose, a former foreign correspondent in the Soviet Union, was unrepentant. As he sat in his office, sifting through the latest hate emails - all of which he forwards to the police - his position was immovable. "This is the essence of plurality," he said. "If every single person's feeling of offence were taken into account, this newspaper would look like Pravda."
       Offence, however, has been taken by the majority of the world's 1-2 billion Muslims. The fury over the cartoons seems to be multiplying daily. In October, the outrage was restricted to Denmark's Muslim population, barely 200,000 strong. At Friday prayers in local mosques, imams denounced the publication of the cartoons from their pulpits.
       In December, 11 ambassadors from Islamic countries sought a meeting with the Danish government and were rebuffed.
      [Picture showing a masked person holding a large placard "Behead those who insult Islam"] Feelings run high: a protest at the Danish embassy in London  
    Finding no redress, local Muslims took their complaints to the Islamic strongholds of the Middle East, taking with them a 43-page dossier of what they saw as rampant racism and Islamophobia in Denmark. Included in the dossier, presented to religious leaders in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, were three unpublished cartoons, depicting Mohammed and Islam in obscene terms. Many supporters of Jyllands-Posten suspect that the Danish Islamic delegation passed off these coarse scribblings as the original cartoons. The Muslim delegation insists that it included them as crude examples of the Islamophobia provoked by the publication of the original images. Whatever the truth, the seeds of a bitter row had been sown.
       By the time the Danish Muslims returned home in mid-January, the story of the 12 cartoons had become an international row. Three weeks ago, it reached critical mass, when a Saudi Arabian company with 60 supermarkets in the Middle East announced a boycott of all Danish products. Other countries in the region followed suit. Corner shops and supermarkets pulled Danish butter and biscuits from their shelves and laid the Danish flag across their doorsteps for customers to trample.
       Ahmed Akkari, a Muslim theologian from Copenhagen, said he had met the Danish intelligence service last week, which called the situation "very, very tense". He said that a text message had been sent to the mobile telephones of young Muslims "telling people not to react to provocations from Right-wing extremists, like burning the Koran, but I know some Muslims will not listen to our message".
       In Gaza, where the terrorists of Hamas had just won a famous electoral victory, masked gunmen surrounded the local offices of the European Union and threatened with kidnap anyone they suspected might be Scandinavian.
       European newspapers then rallied to the side of their embattled Danish colleagues. Last week saw the cartoons reprinted in Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Spain and half a dozen other European nations. In America, where Right-wing blogs had made the images available over the internet, the New York Sun also printed two of the cartoons.
       Like former President Bill Clinton, who has branded the images "totally outrageous", British politicians have been quick to add their condemnations and to praise British newspapers who have decided not to publish the drawings. The Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw, called the cartoons "insulting", saying their republication "has been insensitive, it has been disrespectful and it has been wrong".
       The conflagration is the worst flare-up over free speech since the Satanic Verses saga. It was nearly 18 years ago when the writer Salman Rushdie discovered the danger of crossing militant Islam. His novel was condemned for its irreverent depiction of the Prophet Mohammed, and in the months after publication violent demonstrations against the book across the Muslim world left nearly a dozen people dead.
       By Valentine's Day 1989, the then-ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, had labelled the book blasphemous, calling on all "zealous Muslims" to execute Rushdie. A bounty of $3 million was placed on his head, with the author forced into hiding with protection from Special Branch. Islamic extremists eventually murdered or badly injured several of those involved in the production of the book, including Rushdie's Japanese translator and his Norwegian publisher.
       Last week, Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Lebanese fundamentalist movement Hizbollah, claimed that if Muslims had executed Rushdie, others would not have dared to insult Islam. "If there had been a Muslim to carry out Imam Khomeini's fatwah against the renegade Salman Rushdie, this rabble who insult our Prophet Mohammed in Denmark, Norway and France would not have dared to do so," Nasrallah said. Rushdie has so far declined to comment on the current row.
       Much of the Islamic fury carries echoes of the Rushdie affair - and Britain has not been exempted from it. Tensions were heightened by the acquittal of two British National Party leaders late last month on charges of inciting hatred against Muslims and by the Government's humiliating defeat over its Racial and Religious Hatred Bill in the Commons.
       After the BBC showed fleeting images of the cartoons on its Thursday evening news bulletin, Islamic militants gathered outside Broadcasting House for a noisy demonstration. Their spokesman, Abu Yahya, is the leader of the radical Islamic group Ahl ul-Sunnah Wa al-Jamma, formed by ex leaders of Al-Muhajiroun, and led by the extremist cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed, a notorious apologist for the 9/11 terror attacks.
       "I'm pretty sure in days to come a fatwah will be issued against perhaps the corporation, the newspaper and, in particular, perhaps against the individuals who have shown such a picture, and anybody who wishes to support them," Yahya said. (Although a fatwah is reported to have been issued already, there is debate over whether it is genuine.)
       Asked by the BBC if violence was justified, Yahya added: "If any Muslim was to decide to do that, then, this person is honourable in Islam, and this person, we pray that he goes to heaven."
       In a protest at the Danish Embassy in London as part of an international Muslim "day of anger" on Friday, chanting protesters held banners reading: "Butcher those who mock Islam", "Behead the one who insults the Prophet", and"Europe, you will pay. Demolition is on its way".
       On the internet, the British-based extremist Islamic group, Al Ghurabaa, posted a message that began "kill those who insult Mohammed", adding: "The kuffar in their sustained crusade against Islam and Muslims have yet again displayed their hatred towards us, this time by attacking the honour of our beloved Messenger."
       In Denmark, Mr Bluitgen, the author of The Koran and the Life of Mohammed, which provoked the whole row, eventually found an illustrator. The fifth he approached agreed, but insisted on anonymity. The first edition run of 2,000 copies hit the local bookshops last week and sold out within two days. The second edition was due to be delivered this week and is presold out. The third edition is now in print. "You could say, I suppose, that there is no such thing as bad publicity," said Mr Bluitgen. "I live in the Muslim neighbourhood of Copenhagen and I thought that if they have to learn about our culture, we should learn about theirs."
       Imam Abdul Wahid Pedersen, a Swedish-born Dane who converted to Islam as an adult, and might be regarded as a moderate, says the expressions of regret from his and Mr Bluitgen's countrymen are not enough. "If I slap you in the face, it is ridiculous to say afterwards that I am sorry it hurt you, but I am not sorry I slapped you," he says. "We cannot accept the excuse of freedom of speech as meaning freedom to insult. Freedom of speech is the right of the smaller man to kick the establishment without it crushing him. It does not give one group the unquestionable right to slander; that is abuse of freedom of speech. We want a proper apology."
       On Saturday, Hizb ut-Tahrir said it stood "shoulder to shoulder" with its Muslim brethren around the world. The radical Islamicist religious group, which will take part in a national unity demonstration in London on February 18, also demanded the refraction of the caricatures and an apology for the offence caused.
       At Jyllands-Posten, Flemming Rose was himself full of fury at the events of the past week. "Apologising would imply that if you intimidate us enough we will follow your demands," he insisted. "This is blackmail. You cannot edit this newspaper according to mafia rules."
       Did he regret the decision to defend free speech that might conceivably cost his Me and those of the cartoonists he commissioned? "I do not regret it," he said. "It is a bit like asking a rape victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt at a disco." #
       [RECAPITULATION: ... local Muslims took their complaints to the Islamic strongholds of the Middle East, taking with them a 43-page dossier of what they saw as rampant racism and Islamophobia in Denmark. Included in the dossier, presented to religious leaders in countries such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, were three unpublished cartoons, depicting Mohammed and Islam in obscene terms. Many supporters of Jyllands-Posten suspect that the Danish Islamic delegation passed off these coarse scribblings as the original cartoons. The Muslim delegation insists that it included them as crude examples of the Islamophobia provoked by the publication of the original images. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 8:30:- ... the unbelievers plotted against thee ... but God plotted : and of plotters is God the best! ENDS.]
       [2nd RECAP.: The conflagration is the worst flare-up over free speech since the Satanic Verses saga. It was nearly 18 years ago when the writer Salman Rushdie discovered the danger of crossing militant Islam. His novel was condemned for its irreverent depiction of the Prophet Mohammed, and in the months after publication violent demonstrations against the book across the Muslim world left nearly a dozen people dead.
       By Valentine's Day 1989, the then-ruler of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, had labelled the book blasphemous, calling on all "zealous Muslims" to execute Rushdie. A bounty of $3 million was placed on his head, with the author forced into hiding with protection from Special Branch. Islamic extremists eventually murdered or badly injured several of those involved in the production of the book, including Rushdie's Japanese translator and his Norwegian publisher. ENDS.]
       [2nd DOCTRINE:
       8:12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/quran/008.qmt.html#008.012 .
       9:80:- Whether thou ask for their forgiveness, or not, (their sin is unforgivable): if thou ask seventy times for their forgiveness, God will not forgive them: because they have rejected God and His Messenger: and God guideth not those who are perversely rebellious. www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/ quran/009.qmt.html#009.080 .
       49:1:- O Believers! enter not upon any affair ere God and His Apostle permit you ... ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE: 2, 19:173 (Bukhari's collection):- Later on, I saw him killed as a non-believer. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ fundamentals/ hadithsunnah/ bukhari/019. sbt.html #002.019.173 ENDS.] [Feb 8, 06]

    • [More than 70 Labour members defied Blair and saved Free Speech on religion, etc.]  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  

    Scale of the Commons fiasco

     
       The Weekly Telegraph (Britain, Australian edition), p 7, No. 759, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
       MORE than 70 Labour MPs either rebelled or did not vote in the two key Government defeats. Some 26 rebels openly defied Tony Blair, who did not take part in the second vote, which the Government lost by one.
       Besides Mr Blair, however, another 44 Labour MPs did not take part in one or both votes last Tuesday. In a particular embarrassment for the Chief Whip, Hilary Armstrong, Frank Roy, a member of the Labour whips' office, did not vote. He was away co-ordinating Labour's campaign at the Dunfermline and West Fife by-election.
       However, 12 of the 196 Tory MPs did not vote in the crucial second vote. Liberal Democrats claim 6O of their 62 MPs did take part. Twelve Labour MPs, including Mr Roy, were in Dunfermline. Of those not voting, 16 represent Scottish seats.
       Five ministers did not vote, including Richard Caborn, the Sports Minister, and Adam Ingram, a defence minister.
       The first defeat restricts the offence of inciting religious hatred to threatening words and behaviour. The second defeat now requires the offence to be intentional. The Bill now specifies that proselytising, discussion, criticism, insult, abuse and ridicule of religion, belief or religious practice will not be an offence. #
    [Feb 8, 06]
    • Facing down our own fear 

    Facing down our own fear

     
       The Weekly Telegraph (Britain, Australian edition), By Charles Moore, p 22, No. 759, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
      [Picture, showing cartoonist at desk but behind him were four figures wearing headgear hiding their faces, with firearms and a long knife or short scimitar.]
     “THERE’LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND...”  
    IT'S SOME time since I visited Palestine, so I may be out of date, but I don't remember seeing many Danish flags on sale there. Not much demand, I suppose. I raise the question because, as soon as the row about the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed infyUands-Posten broke, angry Muslims popped up in Gaza City, and many other places, well supplied with Danish flags ready to burn. (In doing so, by the way, they offered a mortal insult to the most sacred symbol of my own religion, Christianity, since the Danish flag has a cross on it, but let that pass.)
       Why were those Danish flags to hand? Who built up the stockpile so that they could be quickly dragged out right across the Muslim world and burnt where television cameras would come and look? The more you study this story of "spontaneous" Muslim rage, the odder it seems.
       The complained-of cartoons first appeared in October; they have provoked such fury only now. It turns out that a group of Danish imams circulated the images to brethren in Muslim countries. When they did so, they included in their package three other, much more offensive cartoons which had not appeared in Jyllands-Posten but were lumped together so that many thought they had.
       It rather looks as if the anger with which all Muslims are said to be burning needed some pretty determined stoking. Peter Mandelson, who seems to think that his job as European Trade Commissioner entitles him to pronounce on matters of faith and morals, accuses the papers that republished the cartoons of. "adding fuel to the flames"; but those flames were lit (literally, as well as figuratively) by well-organised, radical Muslims who wanted other Muslims to get furious. How this network has operated would make a cracking piece of investigative journalism.
       Now the BBC announces that the head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars has called for an "international day of anger" about the cartoons. It did not name this scholar, or tell us who he is.
       He is Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi. According to Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, Oaradawi is "the most progressive force for change" in the Muslim world.
       Yet if you look up Qaradawi's pronouncements, you find that he sympathises with the judicial killing of homosexuals, and wants the rejection of dialogue with Jews in favour of "the sword and the rifle". He is very keen on suicide bombing, especially if the people who blow themselves up are children - "we have the children bomb". This is a man for whom a single "day of anger" is surely little different from the other 364 days of the year.
       Which leads me to question the extreme tenderness with which so many governments and media outlets in the West treat these outbursts of outrage. It is assumed that Muslims have a common, almost always bristling, view about their faith, which must be respected. Of course it is right that people's deeply held beliefs should be treated courteously, but it is a great mistake - made out of ignorance - to assume that those who shout the loudest are the most representative.
       It's as if the Muslim world decided that the views of the Rev Ian Paisley represented the whole of authentic Christianity. There is no reason to doubt that Muslims worry very much about depictions of Mohammed. Like many, chiefly Protestant, Christians, they fear idolatry.
      [Picture] Charles Moore  
    But, as I write, I have beside me a learned book about Islamic art and architecture which shows numerous Muslim paintings from Turkey, Persia, Arabia and so on. These depict the Prophet preaching, having visions, being fed by his wet nurse, going on his Night-Journey to heaven, etc. The truth is that in Islam, as in Christianity, not everyone agrees about what is permissible.
       Obviously, in the case of the Danish pictures, there was no danger of idolatry, since the pictures were unflattering. The problem, rather, was insult. But I am a bit confused about why someone like Qaradawi thinks it is insulting to show the Prophet's turban turned into a bomb, as one of the cartoons does. He never stops telling us that Islam commands its followers to blow other people up.
       If we take fright whenever extreme Muslims complain, we put more power in their hands. If the Religious Hatred Bill had passed unamended last week, it would have been an open invitation to any Muslim who likes getting angry to try to back his anger with the force of law.
       On the Today programme last week, Stewart Lee, author of Jerry Springer: The Opera - in which Jesus appears wearing nappies - let the cat out of the bag. He suggested that it was fine to offend Christians because they had themselves degraded their iconography; Islam, however, has always been more "conscientious about protecting the brand".
       The implication of the remark is fascinating. It is that the only people whose feelings artists, newspapers and so on should consider are those who protest violently. The fact that Christians nowadays do not threaten to blow up art galleries, invade television studios or kill writers and producers does not mean that their tolerance is rewarded by politeness. It means that they are insulted the more.
       Right now, at the fashionable White Cube Gallery in Hoxton, you can see the latest work of Gilbert and George, mainly devoted, it is reported, to attacks on the Catholic Church. The show is called Sonofagod Pictures and it features the head of Christ on the Cross replaced with that of a primitive deity. One picture includes the slogan "God loves F***ing".
       Like most Christians, I find this offensive, but I think I must live with the offence in the interests of freedom. If I find, however, that people who threaten violence do have the power to suppress what they dislike, why should I bother to defend freedom any more? Why shouldn't I ring up the Hon Jay Jopling, the proprietor, and tell him that I shall burn down the White Cube Gallery unless he tears Gilbert and George off the walls? I won't, I promise, but how much longer before some Christians do? The Islamist example shows that it works.
       There is a great deal of talk about responsible journalism, gratuitous offence, multicultural sensitivities and so on. Jack Straw gibbers about the irresponsibility of the cartoons, but says nothing against the Muslims threatening death in response to them. I wish someone would mention the word that dominates Western culture in the face of militant Islam - fear. And then I wish someone would face it down. #
       [RECAPITULATION: If the Religious Hatred Bill had passed unamended last week, it would have been an open invitation to any Muslim who likes getting angry to try to back his anger with the force of law. RECAP. ENDS.] [Feb 8, 06]
    • Democracy has a gun held to its head  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  
    SUNDAY TELEGRAPH

    Democracy has a gun held to its head

     
       The Weekly Telegraph Issue No. 759 (Britain, Australian edition), Editorial Comment, p 23, Wed February 8 to Tue February 14, 2006
    LAST WEEK, Muslims marched in the centre of London chanting "Freedom go to Hell!" There could be no more graphic illustration of the paradox at the heart of the cartoon row. These protesters were exercising - and in many cases abusing - the freedom of protest and freedom of assembly that are foundation stones of British democracy. Yet, even as they exploited these hard-won liberties, they were calling for them to be abolished.
       This newspaper would not have published the cartoons of Mohammed at the centre of this controversy, images which we regard as vulgar and fatuously insulting. But - and this is the crucial point - we reserve absolutely our right to make our own decision, free of threat and intimidation. The difficulty is that what started as an issue of editorial judgment has become a question of public order.
       The protesters in London with their disgraceful slogans - "Behead those who Insult Islam", "Britain you will pay - 7/7 is on its way" - have made it all but impossible for a genuinely free debate on this issue to take place. All such debate is now being carried out in the shadow of murderous intimidation.
       In this wretched affair, no sight has been more wretched than that of Jack Straw last week kowtowing to militant Islam. "There is freedom of speech, we all respect that," the Foreign Secretary said, "but there is not any obligation to insult or to be gratuitously inflammatory." How pathetic that Mr Straw did not find time to condemn the outrageous behaviour of protesters at home and abroad. Where, also, was Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, as Islamic militants called for bloodshed?
       The Government's response is especially feeble when compared to Margaret Thatcher's behaviour during the Rushdie Affair. Whatever her private feelings about the author, she and her Cabinet colleagues were resolute in their defence of his rights. Even before the fatwah, she declared that "it is an essential part of our democratic system that people who act within the law should be able to express their opinions freely".
       In this controversy, Mr Straw has been put to shame by the German home minister, Wolfgang Schauble, who robustly defended the freedom of newspapers to make their own decisions. "Why should the German government apologise?" he said. "This is an expression of press freedom." In contrast, the British Government's craven response has sent a terrible signal: those who wish to see free expression curtailed need only light a flame, issue a threat and wave an angry fist.
       The bitter irony of the protests is that Britain proved itself after the July 7 bombings to be a tolerant, multi-cultural society. Quite rightly, the citizens of this country drew a sharp distinction between their law-abiding Muslim compatriots and the extremists responsible for the atrocities.
       The problem is that militant Islam is not seeking a level playing field - equality before the law, for instance - but special treatment. Muslims expect, as they should, the benefits and protections of British pluralism but, in too many cases, baulk at the duties that are their corollary. One of those duties is to accept that, in a free society, there are occasions when each of us is bound to be offended.
       "Everyone is in favour of free speech," remarked Churchill. "Hardly a day passes without its being extolled. But some people's idea of it is that they are free to say what they like - but if anyone says anything back, that is an outrage." There is no excuse for gratuitous offence, of course. But some Muslims might like to consider how insulting their own views on women's rights, theocracy and Western practices are to many non-Muslims. This offensiveness is no reason to close British mosques or Islamic newspapers.
       The abrasions of a modern, multi-faith society are constant and need to be negotiated calmly and diplomatically. The proper boundaries of speech, art and humour are matters for continuous democratic review and consultation. What is completely unacceptable is that this debate should be carried out in a climate of fear. For let us not delude ourselves: it is violence, or the threat of violence, that has driven the decisions that have been made in the past week. At a time when reasonable dialogue is most needed, the supposed custodians of our democracy are allowing a gun to be held to its head. #
       [RECAPITULATION: "Freedom go to Hell!" "Behead those who Insult Islam", "Britain you will pay - 7/7 is on its way".
       ... some Muslims might like to consider how insulting their own views on women's rights, theocracy and Western practices are to many non-Muslims. ENDS.] [Feb 8, 06]

    • [Killing non-believers OK even if there is no reason - 7 yrs prison for Abu Hamza.]  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  
       The West Australian, "Jailed imam preached to London suicide bombers," p 10, February 9, 2006
       LONDON: Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza Masri, who was jailed in London for seven years for inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder, preached to three of the four London bombers, it was reported yesterday. Some of his sermons had included:
       Killing of the Kaffir (non-believer) for any reason you can say it is OK, even if there is no reason for it
       Abu Hamza said the aim of jihad was to humiliate non-believers, claim victory and convert them to Islam, and added: "Now look at the suicide bombs. Does it fulfil all these purposes? Yes all of them."
       Britain is like the "inside of a toilet" and "we are all under the heavy boots of the Kaffir."
    10 • THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 9, 2006                                                                 THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

    Jailed imam preached to
    London suicide bombers

    LONDON: Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza Masri, who was jailed in London for seven years for inciting racial hatred and soliciting murder, preached to three of the four London bombers, it was reported yesterday.
       The London Times said it had learnt that Mohammed Sidique Khan, 30, Shehzad Tanweer, 22, and Germaine Lindsay, 19, heard Abu Hamza's sermons at Finsbury Park mosque in north London.
       On Tuesday, the one-eyed, hook-handed imam was found guilty on 11 of 15 counts, including incitement to murder, fomenting racial hatred, possessing a terrorist document and possessing abusive recordings.
       The report said the bombers' ringleader, Khan, and Tanweer heard Abu Hamza preach inside the mosque, while all three heard him preach on the street outside after the mosque was closed in 2003 following a police raid.
       Police said Khan, Tanweer and Lindsay -- plus 18-year-old Hasib Hussain -- blew up three London Underground trains and a double-decker bus on July 7 last year, killing 52 commuters and themselves.
       The paper added that the link between Abu Hamza and the three alleged bombers who listened to his sermons raised a possible new explanation for the timing of the attacks.
       It was also claimed that detectives were examining surveillance footage to establish if the fourth bomber, Hasib Hussain, had ever been among the crowds at Finsbury Park.
      [Picture, included pistol, knife, and gasmask.] Equipment found at the mosque.
       However, a Scotland Yard spokeswoman said: "The investigation into the July 7 bombings is continuing.
       "We have no evidence at this stage that any of those involved had connections with Abu Hamza. "
       On the morning of July 7, he was in a London court about to stand trial, but his case was delayed for six months before resuming in January.
       While sentencing him, Judge Anthony Hughes said Abu Hamza used his authority to tell audiences killing was a religious duty, endangering lives around the world.
       Police said later Abu Hamza was likely to have met "shoe bomber" Richard Reid and Zacarias Moussaoui, the only person charged in the US over the September 11, 2001, attacks, while at the mosque.
       The cleric also faces extradition to the US over claims he aided a terrorist camp in the Pacific North-West.
      [Picture] Cleric's link to killers: Jailed race hate cleric Abu Hamza Masri is believed to have preached to the London bombers as well as 'shoe bomber' Richard Reid.

      HAMZA'S SERMONS  

     
    NON-BELIEVERS
    Killing of the Kaffir (non-believer) for any reason you can say it is OK, even if there is no reason for it
    CHURCHES
    Most of them are pagans, preachers have become homosexuals, churches have become places of dancing, iniquity, business, black magic, you name it.
    TARGETS
    Every court and every brothel as well as interest-charging banks, and every video shop which is selling naked videos.
    BLOOD
    There is no drop of liquid loved by Allah more than the liquid of blood. We are people who like to drink blood and we are addicted to blood.
    SUICIDE BOMBS
    Abu Hamza said the aim of jihad was to humiliate non-believers, claim victory and convert them to Islam, and added: "Now look at the suicide bombs. Does it fulfil all these purposes? Yes all of them."
    BRITAIN
    Britain is like the "inside of a toilet" and "we are all under the heavy boots of the Kaffir."
       [COMMENT: Caution is recommended about the second paragraph, because no source is quoted by name. The London Times, while trying to be a quality journal of record, is owned by a tycoon, and is fallible. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [TERMS WRONG: "Race hate" is the almost universally-quoted term of abuse given to anyone who objects to other people's religious and/or cultural beliefs. But it is still a wrong term. Abu Hamza hates the Enlightened West, most of which has a different ethnicity and/or colour to him, true, but he also hates any Muslim or other person who wants the fruits of centuries of trial and error in the West -- a fair amount of freedom, the right to believe or not believe, freedom of enquiry, the right to be left in peace, reasonable taxation and access to public goods and services, a fair trial, and no cruel or unusual punishments. Muslim women who get acid thrown in their faces, and progressive Muslims of whatever race, are suffering from the viewpoints of clerics like Abu Hamza, and the main clerics in Egypt, Arabia, Syria, and Iran. Moderate clerics get knifed or blown up. Some ordinary Muslims would echo the sentiments of a Muslim leader commenting on the fact that some of the victims of the Bali bombings might be friendly to Islam. "They were all white" was the gist of his answer. That is racism. END.]
       [COMMENT on SUPPOSED BLOOD ADDICTION: The addiction to blood claim is unlikely; however, this and other hate passages ought to be carefully checked to the Koran and the Hadith. ENDS.] [Feb 9, 06]

    • [In Muslim Turkey, Christian pastor praying, murdered.]  Vatican City / Papal flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    • Priest gunned down

     
       The Record (R.C. Perth W. Australia weekly), CNS, p 9, February 9, 2006
       VATICAN CITY: Pope Benedict XVI condemned all forms of violence as he mourned the death of an Italian missionary priest gunned down while praying in a church in Turkey.
       The Pope noted the "generosity and apostolic zeal" with which Father Andrea Santoro carried out his work as a missionary priest "in favour of the Gospel and in service of those mar�ginalised and in need."
       The Pope made his remarks in a telegram addressed to Bishop Luigi Padovese, apostolic vicar of Anatolia, the Asian part of modern Turkey.
       In the telegram released on February 6 to journal�ists, the Pope assured Father Santoro's small Catholic community of his spiritual close�ness to them "at this moment of sorrow" as he "firmly deplored" every form of violence.
       The 60-year-old Italian priest was part of the Vatican's "Fidei Donum" program, which sends priests to help in the missions for a fixed period of time.
       [RECAPITULATION: ... Anatolia, the Asian part of modern Turkey. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Modern Turkey IS ASIAN, with a much smaller part in Europe. The ancestors of the Turkish elements in Turkey possibly came from the vicinity of the areas now called Turkmen Republic and/or Turkmenistan.
       The writers don't seem to realise that Anatolia was part of the Christian Byzantine Roman Empire for centuries, until violently attacked and taken off the Christians. Now the writers try to imply somehow that Turkey has a, sort of, Asian part!
       The Vatican fondly imagines that some preaching and some intercultural exchanges, and the leopard will change his spots! Christians ought to read history books, and ask themselves why the presence of Christian landholding communities/tribes in Arabia at the time of Mahommed did not convert him to follow Jesus! Instead, he adapted the Kaaba cult centre practices and a few other ideas, omitting the Ten Commandments though including Moses! COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 9, 06]

    • "No aggression," yet the Arabs expanded from the Pyrenees to India !!!

     
    "No aggression," yet the Arabs expanded from the Pyrenees to India !!! 
       To Rev Fr Paul Bird, CSsR, The Editor, The Majellan, www.majellan. org.au , majellan@ hotkey.net. au , PO Box 43, Brighton, Vic, 3186, Australia. Sent by an Unusual Suspect, February 13, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: The December issue in the Youth Section says, page 44, "None of Islam's key beliefs or practices requires an aggressive attitude to others." Oooops! Bad timing! In recent days there have been mobs in streets around the world carrying placards with wording such as "Death to those who say Islam is violent," and "Kill those who criticise Mohammed." Q.E.D.
       These mobs have killed a few people, and burned down a Danish Embassy, in an orchestrated outburst of supposed rage -- over cartoons that appeared in Denmark last September! It's an organised conspiracy, just like Communism was! As an important separate issue, would you say that cutting girls' clitorises out without chloroform or antiseptic shows aggression, or some other trait? About 135 million Muslim females have had this operation -- and it continues to this day. I won't talk about male circumcision, and the bleeding to death of live animals the halal way.
       Might I ask how did a movement that started as one man, then grew to about 30 or so, began raiding trading caravans originating from the founder's home town Mecca, and within a few years had destroyed the Jewish and Christian peoples in Arabia (killing the men, and enslaving the women and children), absorbing the pagans, later overthrowing the heartland of Christianity in the Near East, Middle East, north Africa, and Spain, and conquered the Persian empire, do all this without violence or aggression? By sermons?
       How did the bishopric of Hippo (Augustine's see) fare? And the hundreds of others, given as titular sees to assistant bishops and assistant archbishops in the Catholic Church to this day? Did the Arab Muslim intruders beat the Christians at praying? No, we lost our heartlands by the scimitar. What is happening in Sudan today? Indonesia? Pakistan? And who murdered Theo Van Gogh -- a Bush Baptist?
       Booty features in the Koran. Check 8:1, 8:42, 4:75, 48:19-20. And, "How many cities have we destroyed! By night, or while they were in their midday slumber, did our wrath reach them!" (Koran, "Al Araf," 7:3)
       When The Annals Australasia (Sydney, NSW, Australia), published "Militant Islam: A wake-up call for Catholics and the West; Confronting the Spiritual Vacuum in a Secularized West." by Paul Stenhouse, MSC, PhD, Editor, pp 3-8, October 2004, I had thought that the dreamworld deviation of the Church was about to come to an end. You know -- we're all brothers and sisters, let's forget past differences. The last Pope even apologised for Western expeditions to return lost Christian lands to their owners!!! Yes, Christians had private property all those centuries ago! Modern Palestinians want their property back, but their leaders never admit that they had stolen Palestine from Christians, Jews, Samaritans, and other groups centuries before!
       In addition, unless you regularly read the Koran and its companion book the Hadith you won't realise the depth of the author's vilification of the People of the Book (the you-know-whos), and Those who join other gods with God (people who profess the Trinity). After the Bali bombing I went to the public library to check if the quotes on the Internet that Jews and Christians were filthy were really there. All the quotes were there, and much more. People can also use a Search Engine to illuminate the mind!
       The threats of striking off heads, hands and feet, and fingertips of disbelievers, and cutting garments of fire for them seem just symbolic stuff and seem unbelievable, until you realise that these ayas (verses) are taught parrot-fashion in Arabic to children. Even children in Australia are learning them off. Yes, the Australian Reader's Digest exposed this, but did not add that such schools are being subsidised by the taxpayer. -- "Saudi Arabia's deadly export," by Brian Eads, February 2003, pp 119-125.
       That magazine still presumably had a belief that Muslim moderates could reverse the teachings when it published "The War Within Islam; The West can't save the world from radical jihadists. But brave Muslims can," by Fouad Ajami, pp 110-15, April 2005.
       Back to reciting the Koran in school. Many children will not doubt their religious teachers and parents who say they are the words of Allah (God)? Why wouldn't some brave pious children feel a vocation to carry out the will of the Divinity? The way Western young parents are dressing their young girl children to look like whores has convinced religious people (of various religions) that we are an immoral people, urgently needing God's wrath. Please explain Quran (Koran) 4:74 (or 76) "... Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward." What is the Jesus quotation to match that?
       Your State, Victoria, has the dubious honour of having a racial vilification law that so far has penalised two preachers, and actually admonished a lawyer for reading from the Koran to defend the preachers' actions, saying the reading vilified Muslims! If you read enough of the Koran, you would think the book was vilifying non-Muslims!
       Reported on March 1, 2004, "Australia's Muslim leader Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali's description of the September 11 terrorist attacks as God's work against oppressors was appalling, Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer said. Mr Downer said he had read a transcript provided by the Australian Embassy in Beirut of a sermon the Mufti of Australia had given in Lebanon earlier. 'His support for the events of September 11, which is pretty manifest from his remarks and, secondly his support for the suicide-homicide bombers against Israeli civilians -- I think these are appalling comments to make,' Mr Downer told the Nine network." -- The West Australian, "Downer condemns Mufti's September 11 remarks," Australian Associated Press, p 27, Monday March 1, 2004.
       Mr Downer or his Department have, it seems, subsequently forgotten that Alhilali (or Al Hilali) made such remarks, and supported his expedition to Iraq to help free an Australian businessman. Al Hilali even said he had contacted people in touch with the kidnappers -- this was not true, it seems. Evidently politicians are easy to fool!
       By the way, the one Koranic verse condemning suicide (4:33) is trotted out over and over by apologists -- but all the verses praising warfare are conveniently left out. What do you think of the verses permitting sex with any woman whom the Muslim holds by force of arms? Aggression?
       The rot about Islam being in the line of Abraham ought to have been easily spotted by modern Christians (our forefathers called it paganism). Ask if there are the 10 Commandments in the Koran or the Hadith. Think! How can a book that pretends to cover from Adam through Abraham leave out the Decalogue? The pagan and/or heretical nature of the Koran is shown by its claim that a pretender was crucified instead of Jesus (4:156). By the way, the Koran had been translated into Latin many centuries ago, and there are such characters in history as Charles Martel of France and a Polish king who helped save Vienna at one of the Muslim sieges of that non-Arabian city. Did the desert dwellers reach there by singing hymns? Is warfare one of the Muslim practices? If not, read about the institution of the feast of Our Lady Help of Christians, and let your readers know. Some other catchwords to help you recover from "political correctness" might be Lepanto, Don John of Austria, the Janissaries, and the saint who ransomed Christian slaves. (There is a modern-day lady "saint" doing that to this day -- and she ain't payin' the Eskimos!)
       Perhaps you ought to have read News Weekly, www.newsweekly. com.au , Opinion, "The tsunami of bias," by Babette Francis, pp 18-19, February 26, 2005
       Enc.: The Koran 6pp; Arab Empire map 7th-8th century; World has had enough ... Feb 7; Police turbans reverse discrimination Jan 17; Reading: Submission ... (4pp).
       [Note on back of envelope: Check TV Channel 7, Today Tonight, Feb 13, 2006, on WWW] [Feb 13, 06]

    • [Death threat by father if son marries non-Muslim.]

     
       Television Channel 7, "Today Tonight" February 13, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: A segment stated that a Muslim man was being threatened with death by his father if he continued with plans to marry a non-Muslim woman.
       The segment went on with a reminder that Australia had passed a law to prevent the forced marriages that seem to be popular with some people, ostensibly on religious grounds. [Feb 13, 06]
    • Abortion will lead to Muslim state: Vale  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
       The West Australian, by BEN RUSE, p 6, Tuesday, February 14, 2006
       CANBERRA: Australia must reduce its abortion rate to avoid becoming a majority Muslim nation in 50 years, former Liberal minister Danna Vale said yesterday. ...
       "What concerns me is the impact on our future as a nation," Ms Vale said. "I've actually read in the Daily Telegraph that a certain imam has said that Australia is going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years.
       "I didn't believe him at the time but when you actually look at the birthrates and the fact we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence . . . (over 50 years) that's five million potential Australians." ...
    6 • TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 14, 2006                                                                 THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

    Abortion will lead to Muslim state: Vale

    BEN RUSE     CANBERRA
    Australia must reduce its abortion rate to avoid becoming a majority Muslim nation in 50 years, former Liberal minister Danna Vale said yesterday.
       Ms Vale, who was accused by Muslim leader Keysar Trad of pandering to xenophobia, was explaining her decision to vote against legislation lifting a veto by Health Minister Tony Abbott on the RU-486 abortion pill.
       The private member's Bill, which has already cleared the Senate, would transfer approval powers from the Minister to the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Debate on the Bill will begin in the House of Representatives today.
       Ms Vale said there were economic as well as moral reasons to oppose abortion.
       "What concerns me is the impact on our future as a nation," Ms Vale said. "I've actually read in the Daily Telegraph that a certain imam has said that Australia is going to be a Muslim nation in 50 years.
       "I didn't believe him at the time but when you actually look at the birthrates and the fact we are aborting ourselves almost out of existence . . . (over 50 years) that's five million potential Australians."
       Ms Vale's comments came at a press conference organised by five female coalition MPs who are supporting an amendment to the Bill which would allow Parliament, rather than the Health Minister, to have the ultimate control over regulating RU-486.
       The compromise attempts to address concerns that the current system relies too much on the whims of the Health Minister, but a similar amendment was rejected in the Senate.
      [Picture] Surprise attack: Liberal MP Danna Vale has warned that too many abortions could result in Australia being a Muslim state.
       Ms Vale's view surprised the other four MPs, with fellow Liberal Jackie Kelly saying: "I think Danna is on her own on that one."
       And Keysar Trad, head of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, likened the comments to a child throwing a tantrum.
       He accused Ms Vale of pandering to xenophobia to achieve a political outcome.
       "It's a ridiculous statement to make. It's using stereotypical fears of Islam to get her way," Mr Trad said.
       "It's like when a child chucks a tantrum so the parents will give them what they want," Mr Trad said.
       Ms Vale said that she did not believe a majority Muslim nation would necessarily be undemocratic or hostile to Australian values but said it was the sort of ramifications that Parliament needed to consider when it debated RU-486.
       The former veterans affairs minister has a reputation for thinking aloud in front of the cameras.
       She recently proposed that a replica of the Gallipoli battlefield be built in Victoria, a plan that was quickly abandoned.
       Ms Kelly said the controversy about RU-486 showed it was more than a normal drug and it should remain regulated by elected representatives.
       But Democrats leader Lyn Allison said that the Kelly amendment would lead to the abortion issue being refought in Parliament every time a new abortion drug came on to the market.
       Pro-RU-486 MPs are still confident they have the numbers to win this week's vote but the margin may be closer than the 45-28 victory in the Senate.
       Mr Abbott is lobbying coalition colleagues to vote down the Bill and Prime Minister John Howard has already indicated he will vote against it.
       Treasurer Peter Costello and Foreign Affairs Minister Alexander Downer have not said how they will vote. #
       [OTHER NEWS SOURCE: www.news.com. au/story/0, 10117,18137 610-2,00. html . END.]
       [COMMENT: So shines a good deed in a naughty world! The decadence of Australia is shown by its settling in to 10 per cent unemployment for 40 years straight, low levels of morality in honesty and sex, and allowing its defence forces to be so enfeebled that the unchecked increase in fishpoaching from Indonesia has led to China entering the same trade. Muslim or Maoist future? COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 14, 06]

    • Salute Danna Vale  

    Salute Danna Vale

      
       The Australian, by Mark Steyn, Thursday, February 16, 2006
    The backbencher raises legitimate questions about demographic changes, argues Mark Steyn
       MY interest in demography dates back to September 11, 2001 when a demographic group I hadn't hitherto given much thought managed to get my attention. I don't mean the, ah, unfortunate business with the planes and buildings and so forth, but the open cheering of the attacks by their co-religionists in Montreal, Yorkshire, Copenhagen and elsewhere. How many people knew there were fast-growing and culturally confident Muslim populations in Scandinavia? Demography doesn't explain everything but it accounts for a good 90 per cent. The "who" is the best indicator of the what-where-when-and-why.
       Go on, pick a subject. Will Japan's economy return to the heady days of the 1980s when US businesses cowered in terror? Answer. No. Japan is exactly the same as it was in its heyday except for one fact: it stopped breeding and its population aged. Will China be the hyperpower of the 21st century? Answer No. Its population will get old before it gets rich.
       Check back with me in a century and we'll see who's right on that one But here's one we know the answer to: Why is this newspaper published in the language of a tiny island on the other side of the earth? Why does Australia have an English Queen, English common law, English institutions? Because England was the first nation to conquer infant mortality.
       By 1820 medical progress had so transformed British life that half the population was under the age of 15. Britain had the manpower to take, hold, settle and administer huge chunks of real estate around the planet. Had, say, China or Russia been first to overcome-childhood mortality, the modern world would be very different
       What country today has half of its population under the age of 15? Italy has 14 per cent, the UK 18 per cent, Australia 20 per cent -- and Saudi Arabia has 39 per cent, Pakistan 40 per cent and Yemen 47 per cent. Little Yemen, like little Britain 200 years ago, will send its surplus youth around the world -- one way or another.
       So, whether or not her remarks were "outrageous" (the Democrats' Lyn Allison), "insensitive" (the Greens' Rachel Siewert), "offensively discriminatory" (Sydney's Daily Telegraph) and "bigoted" (this newspaper), I salute Danna Vale. You don't have to agree with her argument that Australia's aborting itself out of recognition and that therefore Islam will inherit by default to think it's worth asking a couple of questions:
  • Is abortion in society's interest?
  • Can a society become more Muslim in its demographic character without also becoming more Muslim in its political and civil character?
       The first one's easy: One can understand that 17-year-old Glenys working the late shift at Burger King and knocked up by some bloke who scrammed 10 minutes after conception may believe it's in her interest to exercise "a woman's right to choose", but the state has absolutely no interest in encouraging women in general to exercise that choice.
       Quite the opposite: given that today's wee bairns are tomorrow's funders of otherwise unsustainable social programs, all responsible governments should be seriously natalist The reason Europe, Russia and Japan are doomed boils down to a big lack of babies. Abortion isn't solely responsible for that but it's certainly part of the problem.
       In attempting to refute Vale's argument, this newspaper praised the nation's maidenhood for lying back and thinking of Australia and getting the national fertility rate up from 1.73 births per woman in 2001 to 1.77, "well above rates in developed nations such as Italy, Spain, Japan, Germany and South Korea".
      Where Danna Vale goes wrong is in consigning the Lucky Country to the same trash can of history as Old Europe  
       Well, pop the champagne corks! That's like saying Mark Latham's political prospects are better than Harold Holt's. The countries cited are going out of business. Seventeen European nations are now at what demographers call "lowest-low" fertility - 13 births per woman, the point at which you're so far down the death spiral you can't pull out. In theory, those countries will find their population halving every 40 years or so. In practice, it will be quicker than that as the savvier youngsters figure there's no point sticking around a country that's turned into one big undertaker's waiting room: not every pimply burger flipper is going to want to work himself into the ground to pay for new shuffleboard courts at the old folks' home
       In 2005, some 137 million babies were born around the globe. That 137 million is the maximum number of 20-year-olds who'll be around in 2025. There are no more, no other sources; that's it barring the introduction of mass accelerated cloning (which is by no means an impossibility). Who that 137 million are will determine the character of our world.
       The shape's already becoming dear. Take those Danish cartoons. Every internet blogger wants to take a stand on principle alongside plucky little Denmark. But there's only five million of them. Whereas there are 20 million Muslims in Europe -- officially. That's the equivalent of the Danes plus the Irish plus the Belgians plus the Estonians.
       You do the mathematics. If you want the reality of Europe in a nutshell, walk into a supermarket belonging to the French chain Carrefour. You'll be greeted by a notice in Arabic "Dear Clients, We express solidarity with the Islamic and Egyptian community. Carrefour doesn't Carry Danish products." It's strictly business: they have three Danish customers and a gazillion Muslim ones. Retail sales-wise, they know which way their bread's buttered and it isn't with Lurpak.
       That's Vale's second point If a society chooses to outsource its breeding, who your suppliers are is not unimportant "I've heard those very silly remarks made about immigrants to this country since I was a child," says Allison.
       "If it wasn't the Greeks, it was the Italians or it was the Vietnamese."
       Those are races or nationalities. But Islam is a religion, and an explicitly political one -- unlike the birthplace of your grandfather it's not something you leave behind in the old country. Indeed, for its adherents in the West, it becomes their principal expression -- a Pan-Islamic identity that transcends borders.
       Instead of a melting pot, there's conversion: A Scot can marry a Greek or a Botswanan, but when a Scot marries a Yemeni it's because the former has become a Muslim. In defiance of normal immigration patterns, the host country winds up assimilating with Islam: French municipal swimming baths introduce non-mixed bathing sessions; a Canadian Government report recommends the legalisation of polygamy, Seville removes King Ferdinand III as patron of the annual fiesta because he played too, um, prominent a role in taking back Spain from the Moors.
       When the fastest-breeding demographic group on the planet is also the one most resistant to the pieties of the social-democratic state that's a profound challenge. Yes, yes, I know Islam is very varied, and Riyadh has a vibrant gay scene, and the Khartoum Feminist Publishing Collective now has so many members they've rented lavish new offices above the clitorectomy clinic. I don't claim to have all the answers, except when I'm being interviewed live on TV. But that's better than claiming, as most of Vale's disparagers do, that there aren't even any questions.
       Where she goes wrong is in consigning the Lucky Country to the same trash can of history as Old Europe. For Australia, this is not hail and farewell -- or, as the Romans put it, ave atque (Danna) vale. Japan is unicultural: a native population ageing and dying. Europe is bicultural: a fading elderly population yielding to a young surging Islam.
       But Australia, like the US, is genuinely multicultural, at least in the sense that its immigration is not from a single overwhelming source The remorseless transformation of Eutopia into Eurabia is already prompting the Dutch to abandon their country in record numbers, for Canada and New Zealand.
       In the years ahead, North America and Australia will have the pick of European talent and a chance to learn the lessons of its self-extinction, as they apply to abortion and much else.
       In the '70s and '80, Muslims had children -- those self-detonating Islamists in London and Gaza and Bali are a literal baby boom -- while westerners took all those silly books about overpopulation seriously. A people that won't multiply can't go forth or go anywhere. Those who do will shape the world we live in.
    Mark Steyn, a columnist with the Telegraph Group, is a regular contributor to The Australian's Opinion page.
  •    [COMMENT: See first paragraph. The open cheering of the September 11, 2001 sneak mass murders in the USA even extended to Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia. A large banner welcoming the attack was seen by motorists. It disappeared after a few hours. Television news showed overseas Muslim men dancing for joy in the streets. A traitorous attack like Pearl Harbour killing thousands -- and Islamists saw it as a joyous affair. And were not condemned by their mosque operatives. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [EXPLANATION for non-Australians: The satirical paragraph beginning "Well, pop the champagne corks!" goes on about Mark Latham (short-term federal Labor leader who has since losing the election bitterly attacked his own party in a book) and Harold Holt (Deceased Liberal Prime Minister, lost in a swimming accident years ago). ENDS.]
       [SATIRE: The paragraph beginning "When the fastest-breeding demographic group ..." has a reference, possibly fictitious, of a Sudanese feminist publishing group renting new offices above the clitorectomy clinic. "Clitorectomy" is female genital mutilation (called circumcision by some) generally done -- not in a clinic -- with non-sterile household or fighting implements, with no antiseptics and no painkillers, on girls around the age of eight, for supposedly religious reasons. They even sew up the lips of the vagina.
       The reason given for this cruelty is so that when the girls become women they won't have sexual climaxes, and so won't be tempted to commit adultery with any man. This shows the ignorance of the male-dominated cleric system about why women commit adultery. By the way, in Muslim countries they execute women charged with adultery, but the men often escape scot-free! ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: Koran 2.193:- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.193 .
       8:55 (or 57):- Lo! the worst of beasts in God's sight are the ungrateful who will not believe. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.055 .
       Hadith / Sunnah 8, 82:815:- ... The Prophet said, "By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I will judge you according to the Laws of Allah. Your one-hundred sheep and the slave are to be returned to you, and your son has to receive one-hundred lashes and be exiled for one year. O Unais! Go to the wife of this man, and if she confesses, then stone her to death." Unais went to her and she confessed. He then stoned her to death. ENDS.] [Feb 16, 06]

    • [$1.8m for building up mullahs]

     
       Various news media ~ February 18-19, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: The Australian Federal Government has been reported as going to spend $1.8 million on providing a premises for an Islamic training school for imams.
       [PROVERB: Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. ENDS.] [~ Feb 18-19, 2006]

    • [Some of the mullahs' congregations believe in holy war]

     
       Electronic news media, Monday, February 20, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: Prime Minister John Howard said today that a minority of Muslims in Australia believed in jihad, and a minority had the wrong idea of how to treat women. They didn't want to integrate into Australian society, he said.
       [COMMENT and DOCTRINE: Read the verses quoted elsewhere. ENDS.] [Feb 20, 06]

    • [PM slams 'jihadist' Muslims, bad attitude of some towards women.]   By George Megalogenis, February 20, 2006 Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    PM slams ‘jihadist’ Muslims


       News.com , www.news.com. au/story/0, 10117,1820 2786-421,00.html , By George Megalogenis, February 20, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: JOHN Howard has strongly criticised aspects of Muslim culture, warning they pose an unprecedented challenge for Australia's immigration program.
       While he remained confident that the overwhelming majority of Muslims would be successfully integrated, the Prime Minister said there were two unique problems that previous intakes of migrants from Europe and Asia did not have.
       "I do think there is this particular complication because there is a fragment which is utterly antagonistic to our kind of society, and that is a difficulty," Mr Howard told The Australian.
       "You can't find any equivalent in Italian, or Greek, or Lebanese, or Chinese or Baltic immigration to Australia. There is no equivalent of raving on about jihad, but that is the major problem."
       The Prime Minister also expressed concern about Muslim attitudes to women. "I think some of the associated attitudes towards women (are) a problem," he said.
       "For all the conservatism towards women and so forth within some of the Mediterranean cultures, it's as nothing compared with some of the more extreme attitudes.
       "The second one of those things is a broader problem, but to be fair to them, it's an attitude that is changing with the younger ones."
       The comments are contained in a new book to mark the 10th anniversary of Mr Howard's rise to power. Written by The Australian's team of journalists and commentators, The Howard Factor - a decade that changed the nation will be published on February 27 and launched by the Prime Minister on March 2.
       Mr Howard conducted a series of interviews for the book on December 9, the final sitting day of the parliamentary year for 2005. This happened to be just two days before the race riots in the Sydney beachside suburb of Cronulla.
       The Prime Minister did not specify which Muslim source nations he was concerned about. But by placing Lebanese immigrants in the same category as the Italian, Greek, Chinese and Baltic, he appears to have been referring to the Christian rather than the Muslim intake from the Middle East.
       The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ameer Ali, said the conservative Muslims about whom Mr Howard was talking represented only a "tiny fraction".
       "There is (also) a tiny fraction of Australians who believe in white supremacy," said Dr Ali, who chairs Mr Howard's Muslim advisory group.
       "I think he (Mr Howard) understands that the large majority of Muslims are like everyone else.
       "In any society there are immigrants who try to hold on to their traditions, and it takes time to change. My faith is in the following generation -- the next generation will be more adaptive."
       In the interview, Mr Howard was upbeat about the immigration program.
       Australia crossed two immigrant thresholds in 2003-04, which is the latest year for which Bureau of Statistics tables are available.
       The overseas-born population rose to 24 per cent - its highest proportion since the 1890s. And the European share of the immigrant total fell below 50 per cent for the first time.
       The previous Labor government of Paul Keating had the overseas-born at 23 per cent of the population, and the European component was 57 per cent.
       Mr Howard seemed genuinely pleased when the numbers were read out to him.
       "Really? I think what it demonstrates is that we have run a truly non-discriminatory immigration policy."
       After slashing immigration in his first term between 1996 and 1998, Mr Howard has steadily ratcheted up the intake to levels that now exceed those under Labor's Bob Hawke in the 1980s.
       As Opposition Leader in 1988, Mr Howard attacked Asian immigration. He has since apologised for the comment and conceded it cost him his job at the time.
       His comment in August 1988 was: "I wouldn't like to see it (the rate of Asian immigration) greater. I'm not in favour of going back to a White Australia policy. I do believe that if it is in the eyes of some in the community that it's too great, it would be in our immediate-term interest and supporting of social cohesion if it were slowed down a little, so the capacity of the community to absorb it was greater."
       Mr Howard's latest observations on Muslim culture are not in the same category, because they do not suggest the rate of Muslim immigration should be slowed down in the interests of social cohesion.
       "The public sometimes mixes up attitudes to immigration with attitudes to our identity and our history," he told The Australian.
       "I think one of the reasons why people have been accepting of all of this is that they feel they have a government and a prime minister that is in favour of what I might call a slightly less zealous multiculturalism than was practised by my predecessor.
       "Not a return to assimilation so much, but somewhere in between, which is what people want.
       "What resonates most with people, I find, is they don't mind where new people come from, as long as they've got skills, and as long as they become Australians when they arrive.
       "But that doesn't mean they should forget where they were born, that is really what the average person thinks."
       [COMMENT: Enoch Powell warned Britain about 50 years ago, and he was driven from politics. The two bombings of London transport have not, yet, awakened the Blair loony-lefties, nor, it seems, Mr Howard. The UK and Australian public keep voting for the pro-opendoor parties (whose pre-selection procedures are a scandal), so both nations will get what they deserve.
       Mr Howard has so orchestrated things that the anti-immigration voters think he is trying to stem indiscriminate inflow, but at the same time he has increased the numbers of such students, migrants, and refugees. It is a conjuring trick worthy of admiration, if the results were not so serious! Whether he wants rampaging mobs trying to kill Australian embassy staff, businessmen, and holidaymakers abroad or elsewhere, is not clear. Has he stymied any hope that the Australian Wheat Board (which was bribing Saddam Hussein, it seems) has of selling wheat to the "new" Iraq? COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 20, 06]

    • Christian Nursing Student Apparently Kidnapped in Nigeria

      Nigeria flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       Religion Today Summaries, www.crosswalk mail.com/ xwiacrk_ ajrvvju. html , February 20, 2006
       NIGERIA: A nursing school was closed down in Nigeria following the suspected kidnapping of a Christian student by Islamic militants on Friday, February 10.
       The extremists had accused Ladi Mohammed, a female student of the School of Nursing and Midwifery in the capital city of northern Nigeria's Sokoto state, of blasphemy against the prophet Muhammad.
       "For this reason, the militants, who threatened to cut off her head, hunted and kidnapped her after she had fled from the school," said John Usman, a Christian student at the institution.
       School authorities closed the school for security reasons. They had had already expelled Mohammed from the institution last week for the alleged remarks. [Feb 20, 06]

    • Nigeria: State Accused Of Seeking To Train Jihadists

     
       Religion Today Summaries, Compass Direct News Service, www.crosswalk. com/news/ religion today/ 1379436.html , ~ February 20, 2006
       NIGERIA: The Nigerian government says intelligence agents have found that Kano state in northern Nigeria was seeking foreign support to train 100 jihadists among vigilante enforcers of Islamic law.
       The state sought to train the militants in "intelligence" and the "practice of jihad " with the help of foreign Islamic governments, said Nigerian Information and National Orientation Minister Frank Nweke Jr. The government had previously accused the state of seeking militant aid from Iran and Libya, which Kano officials have denied.
       In its broadest sense jihad means "struggle," referring to the Muslim struggle for righteousness, though that can include armed struggle, and Nigerian officials employed the term in that narrower sense.
       In a press statement on February 9 in Abuja, Nweke Jr. announced a ban on the vigilantes, called Hisbah, that enforce Islamic law (sharia) in several northern states. Nweke Jr. said that the Hisbah volunteers usurp the federal government's law enforcement role.
       "The establishment of Hisbah is in violation of the provisions of Section 214, subsection 1 of the 1999 Constitution, which recognized the Nigeria Police Force as the only agency so entrusted with the policing of the federation," Nweke Jr. said. "The federal government wishes to state emphatically that it will not tolerate the establishment of unconstitutional and illegal security outfits by governments, groups or individuals in any part of the country under any guise."
       Nigerian Inspector General of Police Sunday Ehindero said in a separate press statement that the existence of Hisbah agencies in Kano and other northern states undermines Nigeria's national security. Noting that Hisbah groups are already creating religious tension in the country, Ehindero vowed to clamp down on them if they continue their activities. Police detained Kano state's Hisbah leader and deputy last week.
       Hisbah groups are most visible in Kano and Zamfara states, where they receive state support.
       The government of Kano, which denied the allegations by the federal officials, responded on February 13 by filing a lawsuit with Nigeria's Supreme Court challenging the ban on Hisbah.
       Kano Gov. Ibrahim Shekarau, whose Hisbah Commission trained 9,000 Islamic vigilantes last year, asserted that Kano's 2003 and 2005 laws establishing the corps were necessary to provide good governance. The lawsuit seeks an injunction to keep the federal government from interrupting Hisbah operations.
       The other 11 northern states enforcing sharia are Bauchi, Gombe, Niger, Yobe, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Jigawa, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Zamfara.
    'Terror Machine'
       Nigerians wait anxiously for the outcome of the legal battle, the latest in a constitutional crisis for President Olusegun Obasanjo, as it could mark a turning point in the country's religious history.
       Christians in sharia states have complained of assault, harassment, intimidation, and flagrant violation of the religious rights of Christians by the Hisbah, which one leader said is a "terror machine" in the hands of fanatical Islamic governments aimed at strangulating Christianity in northern Nigeria.
       The Rev. Murtala Marti Dangora, Secretary of the Kano District Church Council of the Evangelical Church of West Africa (ECWA), said the Hisbah has been used as an instrument of coercion, intimidation, and harassment of Christians - most recently of Christian women.
       "Christian women are daily being assaulted by men of the Hisbah on claims that they are not dressing in conformity with Islamic religion," Rev. Dangora said. "Why should this be the case?"
       He said the Hisbah also have assaulted Christian women for riding on motorbike taxis.
       "This is so even when the government is aware that there are limited means of transportation in the state," he said. Since Muslim women are in purdah (seclusion in accordance to Islamic tenets) and only Christian women are engaged in productive activities, he said, they are the only ones stopped for riding on the motorbikes taxis.
       According to sharia, men and women are not allowed to travel together on public transport, though women are supposedly allowed to travel with their male relations.
       But the Rev. Seth Saleh, a priest of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), said Hisbah have prohibited Christian women from traveling even with their husbands in Zamfara state.
       "If you are a Christian in Gusau and you do not have a car, it is impossible for you to move with your family," he says. "You cannot travel or move together with your wife in the same car. So your wife has to trek to wherever she is going."
       The Rev. James Obi, pastor of Channel of Blessings Church, Gusau, said Hisbah activities have been humiliating to the church in Zamfara.
       "Cases of rape and assault of Christian women by Hisbah corps and Muslim fanatics are on the increase in this state," he said. "In December 2005, a Christian lady from the Living Faith Church here in Gusau town was attacked and pulled off from a speeding motorcycle by some Hisbah members."
       She sustained injuries and was hospitalized, said Rev. Obi, who is also secretary of the Zamfara State Chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria.
       "Within the same period, a Christian lady from the Roman Catholic Church here in Gusau had gone to church for mass, and on her way home, she was attacked, stripped naked, raped and beaten into coma by some Hisbah corps and Muslim fanatics," he said.
       Rev. Obi says the Christian leaders in the state have taken up these cases with the Zamfara state government, to no avail.
       "The government has always told us that this is an Islamic state, and they will enforce the tenets of Islam on all who live in the state, and if we don't like it we can go to hell," Obi said. "So, unless the Nigerian government acts to protect us, we have nothing to do - we are hopeless here." Copyright © 2006 Compass Direct
       [GUIDELINE: 33:50 (or 49):- O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom God hath given thee as spoils ... GUIDELINE ENDS.] [~ Feb 20, 06]

    • Howard comments unhelpful, say Islamic leaders

     
       Australian Broadcasting Corporation, PM programme, www.abc.net. au/pm/content/ 2006/s157 4311.htm , Reporter: Melanie Christiansen, 18:21:00, MARK COLVIN, Monday, 20 February , 2006
       AUSTRALIA (PM): Members of the Islamic community in Australia have condemned warnings by the Prime Minister that a small minority of extremist Muslims are a problem for the Australian community.
       John Howard says he's concerned about Muslims with extreme views on jihad and attitudes towards women that are out of step with mainstream Australia.
       But the Islamic community leaders say those comments are unhelpful and could provoke harassment and discrimination against Muslims...." [Feb 20, 06]

    • Muslim leaders disturbed

     
       The Australian, www.the australian. news.com.au/ common/story_ page/0,5744, 182 12111% 255 E1702,00. html , By Sandra O'Malley and Warwick Stanley, February 20, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: ISLAMIC leaders are disturbed Prime Minister John Howard has singled out the Muslim community as extremist and unwilling to becoming part of mainstream Australia.
       Mr Howard believes some Muslims migrating to Australia are bringing problems such as jihadist views and conservative attitudes to women not encountered with other immigrant groups.
       The Prime Minister's views, contained in a book to be published later this month, have drawn fire from Islamic leaders, who say every community has its bad elements.
       Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has stressed it is a tiny minority of the Islamic community that is a concern. "
       (Those) who have shown sympathy for, or enthusiasm for, the jihadism movement and obviously ... they have been a preoccupation and a concern for us," he said..." [Feb 20, 06]

    • Aussie Muslims Slam Howard's "Ignorant" Remarks

     
       Islam Online, www.islamon line.org/English/ News/2006-02/20/ article01.shtml , February 20, 2006
       SYDNEY (IslamOnline.net & News Agencies) -- Australian Muslims lambasted on Monday, February 20, Prime Minister John Howard for criticizing Muslim immigrants as people who do not fit into Australian society, saying that his remarks would only fan prejudice against Islam.
       Islamic Council of New South Wales spokesman Ali Roude said the remarks were "offensive and ignorant" while the Islamic Friendship Association said Howard was "unfortunately playing on pre-existing Islamophobia," reported Agence France-Presse (AFP).
       The president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, Ameer Ali, said the Muslims referred to by Howard represented only a "tiny fraction" of the Muslim minority. "There is also a tiny fraction of Australians who believe in white supremacy," Ali said.
       Howard's comments were made in interviews in December for a book by journalists from The Australian newspaper to mark his 10th anniversary in power next month, the paper reported on Monday.
       The book quotes him as saying that Muslim immigration to Australia had presented problems not seen in previous waves of migration from Europe and Asia.
       "I do think there is this particular complication because there is a fragment which is utterly antagonistic to our kind of society, and that is a difficulty,"
       Howard said. "You can't find any equivalent in Italian, or Greek or Lebanese or Chinese or Baltic immigration to Australia. There is no equivalent of raving on about jihad, but that is the major problem," he argued.
       "I think some of the associated attitudes towards women are a problem. For all the conservatism towards women and so forth within some of the Mediterranean cultures, it's as nothing compared with some of the more extreme attitudes."
       Australia is home to some 300,000 Muslims out of a population of 20 million.
       Defending the comments Monday, Howard said it was his "right and duty" to express his thoughts.
       "I stand by those comments that there is a small section of the Islamic population in Australia that, because of its remarks about jihad, remarks which indicate an extremist view, that is a problem.
       "It is not a problem that we have ever faced with other immigrant communities who become easily absorbed by Australia's mainstream. We want people when they come to Australia to adopt Australian ways."
       Howard also stood by his remarks about the attitudes held by some Muslims towards women, saying they were "out of line with mainstream Australian society."
       He said it was important people realized he had made the comments about Muslims before race riots erupted at Sydney's Cronulla beach on December 11 between whites and ethnic-Arab Australians.
       "I was not trying to make some kind of tawdry political point, it is a view that I have held for some time." [Feb 20, 06]

    • Howard accused of inflaming tensions

     
       The Age (Melbourne, Australia), www.theage. com.au/news/ national/howard- accused-of- inflaming- tensions/ 2006/02/20/ 1140284 007959.html , By Misha Schubert, February 21, 2006
       CANBERRA: MUSLIM leaders have accused Prime Minister John Howard of peddling stereotypes and inflaming tensions with his criticisms that a fragment of the Islamic community is "utterly antagonistic to our kind of society".
       But Mr Howard stood by his comments, first made in an interview two days before last December's Cronulla race riots, that the extremism found in a very small section of the Islamic community made it different to other migrant intakes.
       While the overwhelming majority of Muslims held mainstream Australian values, he argued talk of jihad and extreme attitudes towards women had no precedent in Australia's immigration program."It is not a problem that we have ever faced with other immigrant communities who become easily absorbed by Australia's mainstream," he said.
       "We want people, when they come to Australia, to adopt Australian ways."
       But Waleed Aly, a board member of the Islamic Council of Victoria, said the comments were misleading and ignorant.
       "Why would you specify the Muslim community as a trouble spot when you can find antisocial views, criminal views, in splinters of all sectors of our community?" he said. "It's just wrong. It's grounded in myth, in stereotype." Mr Aly rejected the suggestion that Muslim migration posed unique challenges.
       "The greatest hostility towards the West ... tends to be more common in a very small number of disaffected second-generation youth, so to reduce it to some kind of migration issue is wildly inaccurate," he said.
       Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ameer Ali said Mr Howard's comments were inflammatory. "There is a tiny element (in our community) who refuse to toe the line of the mainstream community and there is a tiny minority of white supremacists -- they are a challenge to our society and a worse threat than any Muslims," Dr Ali said."This is the fear of the unknown. The Prime Minister's contact with the Muslim community is rather limited and I think the solution is to build bridges."
       Mr Howard yesterday insisted he was "not trying to make some tawdry political point" in the wake of the Cronulla upheaval. "It's a view I have held for some time and it's a view it's my right and duty to express," he said. Denying any plans to change the immigration intake, the Prime Minister instead argued that all migrants should "become Australians". 'The overwhelming majority of Islamic Australians are as committed to the mainstream Australian values as you and I are," he said.
       [RECAPITULATION: Mr Howard: ... talk of jihad and extreme attitudes towards women had no precedent in Australia's immigration program ...
       Mr Aly: The greatest hostility towards the West ... tends to be more common in a very small number of disaffected second-generation youth, so to reduce it to some kind of migration issue is wildly inaccurate. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Mr Aly is right, if "migration issue" is read a certain way. However, if the second generation can turn against the easygoing Australian democratic free life, the wisdom of Mr Howard is only proved the more. It's not ethnic issues, it's IDEAS, POLICIES, and BELIEF SYSTEMS that need addressing. That won't come from importing more imams, or paying taxpayers' funds for buildings to train new ones here. COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 21, 06]

    • Muslim fury at Howard

     
       Herald Sun (Melbourne), www.heraldsun. news.com.au/ common/story_ page/0,5478,18 216438%255 E662,00.html , By Michael Harvey, February 21, 2006
       AUSTRALIA'S Islamic leaders have warned that comments by Prime Minister John Howard risk inflaming tensions and reinforcing negative stereotypes.
       Mr Howard yesterday criticised a Muslim minority promoting jihadist views and conservative attitudes to women -- beliefs he said that were not detected in other migrant groups.
       But Muslim leaders said it was unfair to single out their community because all groups contained undesirable and extremist elements. ..."
       From Keysar Trad .. "Islamic Friendship Association head Keysar Trad said that Mr Howard was reinforcing incorrect stereotypes. "To single out the Muslim community like this, the Prime Minister is unfortunately playing on pre-existing Islamaphobia," Mr Trad said. ...
       [THOUGHT POINT: Check if there is some Kufarophobia (unreasoning hatred of non-Muslims) in some of these texts: END.]
       [GUIDELINES (also, click Submission Texts, Islam):
       2:193:- "... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left. (on the Internet at www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.193 )
       8:12:- "I shall strike terror into the hearts of the infidels. Strike off their heads, strike off the very tips of their fingers!" ( www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.012 )
       5:33:- "The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides ..." ( www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 005.qmt.html #005.033)
       4:34:- "... good women are therefore obedient, ... and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them ..." ( www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/004. qmt.html #004.034 GUIDELINE ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: But Mr Howard and Mr Costello are going to spend $1.8 million to build a building where such doctrines will be taught in Australia! And they say they have no intention of cutting back the immigration programme (which goes hand in hand with deskilling and downsizing the mainstream workforce). And they don't mind if overseas investors of any sort start taking over previously public duties such as port employment. Page 18 of the issue of February 24th reports that an Arab company in Dubai is taking over some U.S. ports.
       Are the Liberals trying to be removed from Parliament by the stacking of party branches? Mr Turnbull removed a sitting member through that stratagem. Are they trying to lose all hope of regaining the Iraq wheat sales, lost through AWB being one of the world's 2000 or so companies that was passing money to Saddam Hussein's dictatorship during the corrupt United Nations oil-for-food programme?
       Will Howard and Costello magically find enough navy ships to stop the Islamic Indonesian fishing boats (140 supposedly ready) and the Communist Chinese fishing boats from coming to skim the Australian territorial fishing zone? I would like to see that!
       Or are the Liberals hoping to hold those patriotic votes that swung away from them at a previous election, then came back to them? Will "hot air" alone trick those voters yet again? COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 21, 06]

    • [Murder $1.35m offered by Pakistani Muslim cleric. But anti-Christian television leads to no violence or threats.]

     
       The West Australian, "Bleeding Virgin Mary cartoon tagged offensive," p 11, Tuesday, February 21, 2006 New Zealand flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
       WELLINGTON: New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark, an avowed agnostic, says she finds a television cartoon offensive in its depiction of a statue of a menstru�ating Virgin Mary.
       Channel 4 said it would show the controversial Bloody Mary episode of the South Park cartoon series despite a call for a boycott from Catholic bishops that was read on Sunday at Masses throughout New Zealand.
       "I'm not a religious person myself, but I think it is important to show religious faiths respect and tolerance towards each other," Ms Clark said.
       "It comes down to issues of taste and judgment. From what I've heard of it, I consider it quite offensive personally. As a woman, I find it offensive."
       New Zealand's seven Catholic bishops signed a pastoral letter that was read to worshippers at services yesterday and dubbed the episode, which Channel 4 said it will screen in May, "ugly and tasteless".
       The bishops urged the country's 500,000 Catholics to boycott the channel and its sister TV3 and adver�tisers if the episode is screened.
       The episode shows a statue of Mary bleeding, which is taken to be a miracle, until Pope Benedict suggests she is simply menstruating.
       The statue then starts spurting blood.
       It was to be shown on SBS in Aus�tralia on March 6 but reports suggest the station has deferred the episode.
    [Cleric offers $1.3 million to kill; 2 churches burnt] Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       The controversy flares as police in the Pakistani city of Islamabad fired teargas and rubber bullets to break up a banned protest against cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad and Den�mark said its ambassador to Pakistan had returned home.
       In southern Pakistan yesterday, hundreds of Muslims ransacked two churches before setting them on fire after allegations that a Christian had desecrated the Koran.
       Police said no one was injured in the attack. There were 30 arrests..
       Denmark and Norway condemned a Pakistani cleric's offer of a reward for anyone who kills any of the 12 Danish cartoonists.
       "It's murder and murder is also forbidden by the Koran," Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller.
       A Pakistani Muslim cleric and his followers offered rewards last week amounting to more than $1.35 mil�lion for killing one of the Danish cartoonists, who have been under police protection since the storm of protest started last month.
       Protests have turned violent in several countries, including Libya, where 11 people died, and Nigeria, where 16 people were killed in rioting.
       [COMMENT: The Danish minister said that murder was forbidden by the Koran. Could someone send him some texts, please! COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 2:191:- And kill them wherever you find them ... (And see 2:193, 8:12, and 5:33, for example) ENDS.] [Feb 21, 06]

    • PM inciting hatred, says cleric.  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    PM inciting hatred, says cleric

     
       News.com.au , www.news.com. au/story/0, 10117,1821 5940-2,00. html , By Richard Kerbaj and George Megalogenis, [as accessed 23/02/2006] February 21, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: ONE of Australia's most senior Islamic clerics has accused Prime Minister John Howard of inflaming public hatred towards the wider Muslim community.
       Sheik Taj al-Din al-Hilaly said the Prime Minister's criticism of the extremist views held by a fragment of the Muslim Australian population had been "childish, irresponsible and uninformed".
       MP3: Listen to this story (Powered by Audio Read) [Link may be made later.]
       "His comments will only magnify the wave of antagonism and hate towards Muslims," the Mufti told The Australian in an interview conducted in Arabic.
       The Prime Minister also said he believed Australians wanted immigrants to adopt Australian values when they arrived.
       NEWS.com.au readers have overwhelmingly backed this view in an online poll opened yesterday. More than 12,000 readers have now voted and 80 per cent say immigrants should be forced to adopt Australian values.
       Mr Howard's views also received widespread support in our forum.
       Sheik Hilaly said Mr Howard should take a crash course in Islam "because if a prime minister does not understand the true meaning of jihad, then how can we blame the general public for not understanding it?"
       But Mr Howard was supported yesterday by both the Labor Opposition and a moderate Muslim leader who said those who advocated terrorism had no place in Australian society.
       The debate was ignited by the publication yesterday of Mr Howard's long-held concerns that "raving on about jihad" by a minority of the Islamic community and the conservative attitudes towards women were two problems that Australia had not faced with previous immigrant groups.
       Mr Howard revealed his thoughts in an interview with The Australian for The Howard Factor, a book to be published next week to mark the 10th anniversary of his rise to power.
       "I stand by those comments," Mr Howard said in Sydney yesterday.
       "These attitudes are not typical of all Muslims but they do represent the attitudes of a small section of the Islamic population and there's no point in not saying so.
       "I hope it will encourage the broader Islamic community to understand that it is an issue."
       Prominent Melbourne cleric Sheik Fehmi Naji El-Imam conceded that there was a radical minority who should probably leave the country.
       "These (extremists) can be found, but the mainstream are not extremists," the imam of Preston Mosque, in Melbourne's north, said.
       "But we should ask why the extremist have such views. In the case of Palestine and the double standards of the West, what do you expect?"
       Sheik Fehmi, who is regarded as a moderate, said he understood why Muslims would fight overseas. But he said Muslim Australians had no business preaching and pursuing violence here.
       "It's not wrong to fight the invasion in Iraq, it's not wrong to assist the Palestinians but here (in Australia), we cannot go ahead to do some terrorist (attack) to help the people over there," Sheik Fehmi said.
       "If you live here, you have to keep (extremist views) to yourself. If you cannot keep it to yourself, then leave."
       Opposition immigration spokesman Tony Burke welcomed Mr Howard's statement, but said it was long overdue: "Finally, he's recognised that the Department of Immigration is one of the departments that's relevant to national security."
       Mr Burke said the deportation of Australian citizen Vivian Aivarez Solon and the detention of Cornelia Rau showed that the minister, Amanda Vanstone, had betrayed the national interest.
       "If you don't know who you are kicking out of the country, you don't know who you are letting in," Mr Burke said.
       Sheik Hilaly, head of Lakemba mosque in Sydney's southwest, said Mr Howard did not know what he was talking about.
       "His views on both jihad and the treatment of women in Islam are reflective of a primary school student's views," he said.
       He accused Mr Howard of playing politics with Muslim Australians. "The easiest way to claim public votes these days is to attack Islam and Muslims," the Mufti said.
       "By making such statement about Muslims, he is telling the Australian public that Muslims are different, not human beings."
       Related links [Linkage only on original webpage] Reaction: Muslims condemn 'ignorant' Howard
       Comment: Keith Windschuttle on Howard's vision
       What you said: Readers debate PM's comments
       Vote: Should immigrants adopt Australian values?
       Search for more stories on this topic on Newstext, our news archive service. Click Here
       FREE DELIVERY - DELL
       Copyright 2006 News Limited. All times AEDT (GMT + 11). #
       [COMMENT: Everyone's ignorant except the "leader". Where did we hear that before? The "moderate" thinks that people living in Australia who don't like some happenings overseas are entitled to go there to fight. Hasn't the "moderate" heard of an Act of Parliament that Australia passed a few years ago to stop that sort of international interference? There are penalties in our law -- does "our law" hold any power in his thought processes? COMMENT ENDS.] [Feb 21, 06]
    • Threats may force Britain to adopt tough Muslim laws  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       The West Australian, p 10, Wednesday, February 22, 2006
       BRITAIN: Muslim clerics in Britain think they have won the debate about the Mohammed cartoons first published in Denmark, says Dr Patrick Sookhdeo.
       "They believe that the British Government has capitulated to them, because it feared the conse�quences if it did not.
       "The cartoons, you see, have not been published in this country, and the Government has been very critical of those countries in which they were published.
       "To many Islamic clerics, that's a clear victory. It's confirmation of what they believe to be a familiar pattern: if spokesmen for British Muslims threaten what they call 'adverse consequences' -- vio�lence to the rest of us -- then the British Government will cave in. It is a very dangerous precedent." ...
       "The Government, and Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, are deluded about the nature of Islam," he said.
    10 • WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2006                                                                 THE WEST AUSTRALIAN

    Threats may force Britain to adopt tough Muslim laws

    For the past few weeks, Patrick Sookhdeo has been canvassing the opin�ions of Muslim clerics in Britain on the furore over the cartoons featuring images of Mohammed that were first pub�lished in Denmark and reprinted in other European countries.
       "They think they have won the debate," he said with a sigh.
       "They believe that the British Government has capitulated to them, because it feared the conse�quences if it did not.
       "The cartoons, you see, have not been published in this country, and the Government has been very critical of those countries in which they were published.
       "To many Islamic clerics, that's a clear victory. It's confirmation of what they believe to be a familiar pattern: if spokesmen for British Muslims threaten what they call 'adverse consequences' -- vio�lence to the rest of us -- then the British Government will cave in. It is a very dangerous precedent."
       Dr Sookhdeo believes parts of English cities will be controlled by aspects of Muslim sharia law inside a decade. It is already starting to happen and, unless the Govern�ment changes the way it treats the so-called leaders of the Islamic community, it will continue.
      [Picture: Men, one masked, holding forefinger and thumb up, and placard "Europe is the cancer, Islam is the answer."] Militants: Fierce protests such as this may become more sidespread in Britain.
       Dr Sookhdeo speaks with authority on Islam, as it was his first faith. He was brought up as a Muslim in Guyana, the only Eng�lish colony in South America.
       "Islamic instruction was very different in the 1950s when I was at school," he said.
       "There was no talk of suicide bombing or of violence of any kind. Islam was very peaceful."
       Dr Sookhdeo's family migrated to England when he was 10. In his early 20s, when he was at univer�sity, he converted to Christianity.
       Dr Sookhdeo continued to study Islam, doing a PhD at London University on the religion. He is now director of the Institute for the Study of Islam and Christian�ity. He also advises the army on security issues related to Islam.
       Several years ago, Dr Sookhdeo insisted that the next wave of radical Islam in Britain would involve suicide bombings. His prediction was depressingly confirmed on July 7 last year.
       So his claim that, in the next decade, the Muslim community in Britain will not be integrated into mainstream British society, but will isolate itself to a much greater extent, carries weight.
       "The Government, and Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, are deluded about the nature of Islam," he said.
       "Tony Blair revealed his igno�rance when he said, in an effort to conciliate Muslims, he had 'read through the Koran twice' and that he kept it by his bedside.
       "But most Muslims thought it was a joke, if not an insult. Because, of course, every Muslim knows that you cannot read the Koran through from cover to cover and understand it.
       "The chapters are not written to be read in that way. The chapters of the Koran are ordered according to their length, not according to their content or chronology. The longest chapters are first, the shorter ones are at the end.
       "You cannot simply read it from beginning to end and expect to learn anything."
       The policy towards radical Islam is based on the hope that if it makes concessions to its leaders, they will reciprocate.
      [Picture of blown-up bus.] Bomb terror: The double-decker bus ripped apart in London in July.
       "It is a very big mistake," Dr Sookhdeo said.
       "Look at what happened in the 1990s. The security services knew about Abu Hamza and preachers like him. London was becoming the centre for Islamic terrorists. The police knew. The Govern�ment knew. Yet nothing was done.
       "The approach to Muslim mili�tants was based on appeasement. July 7 proved that doesn't work yet it is still being followed."
       One of the notions of a secular society was the moral importance of freedom, of individual choice.
       "But in Islam, choice is not allowable." he said. "There cannot be free choice about whether to choose or reject any of the funda�mental aspects of the religion.
      ‘I fear for the future, because Islamic communities within Britain will form a state within a state. ’  
      PATRICK SOOKHDEO  
       "Islamic clerics do not believe in a society in which Islam is one reli�gion among others in a society ruled by basically non-religious laws. They believe it must be the dominant religion."
       In 1980, the Islamic Council of Europe laid out its strategy for the future. That is, concentrate Mus�lim presence in a particular area until you are a majority in that area, so that the institutions of the local community come to reflect Islamic structures.
       The education system will be Islamic, the shops will serve only halal food, there will be no adver�tisements showing naked or semi-naked women, and so on.
       That plan, says Dr Sookhdeo, is being followed in Britain.
       "That is why you are seeing areas which are now almost totally Muslim. The next step will be pushing the Government to recog�nise sharia law for Muslim com�munities," he said.
       "There's already a Sharia Law Council for the UK. The Govern�ment has already started making concessions. It has changed the law so that there are sharia-compliant mortgages and sharia pensions.
       "Some Muslims are now press�ing to be allowed four wives. They say it is part of their religion."
       So what should the Government be doing? "First, it should try to engage with the real Muslim majority, not with the self-appointed 'commu�nity leaders' who don't actually represent anyone. They have not been elected, and the vast majority of ordinary Muslims have nothing to do with them," Dr Sookhdeo said.
       "Second, the Government should say no to faith-based schools, because they are a block to integration. There should be no compromise over education, or over English as the language of education.
       "The policy of political multiculturalism should be reversed. The hope was that it would ensure communities would soften at the edges and integrate.
       "But the opposite has hap�pened.
       "Islamic communities have hardened. There is much less inte�gration than there was for the gen�eration that arrived when I did. There will be much less in the future if the present trend con�tinues.
       "Finally, the Government should make it absolutely clear: we welcome diversity, we welcome different religions, but all have to accept the secular basis of British law and society.
       "If the Government does not do all of those things then I fear for the future, because Islamic com�munities within Britain will form a state within a state." #
       [RECAPITULATION: ... "They think they have won the debate," he said with a sigh. "They believe that the British Government has capitulated to them, because it feared the conse�quences if it did not. ...
       Several years ago, Dr Sookhdeo insisted that the next wave of radical Islam in Britain would involve suicide bombings. His prediction was depressingly confirmed on July 7 last year. ...
       "There's already a Sharia Law Council for the UK. The Govern�ment has already started making concessions. It has changed the law so that there are sharia-compliant mortgages and sharia pensions. "Some Muslims are now press�ing to be allowed four wives. They say it is part of their religion. ...
       "Second, the Government should say no to faith-based schools, because they are a block to integration. There should be no compromise over education, or over English as the language of education. ... RECAP. ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: See other doctrine lists. ENDS.]
       [AUTHOR: Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the author of A People Betrayed, 2002, Christian Focus Publications, Fearn, and Isaac Publishing, Pewsey. For more details click: Reading # Betrayed [Feb 22, 06]

    • [Threatening people ought to leave: Costello]  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Costello warns Muslims...
    Live by our ways or leave

     
       The West Australian, by ANDREW PROBYN, FEDERAL POLITICAL EDITOR, Page One, Friday, February 24, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: Peter Costello has launched an attack on radical Muslims and called for them to abide by Australian values or stay out of the country.
       In a foray into a key social issue that will be seen as part of his bid to widen his leadership credentials, the Treasurer said last night that dual citizens who threatened the rights and liberties of other Australians should be stripped of their citizen�ship and expelled.
       Mr Costello said that multiculturalism did not mean Australia toler�ated people who did not acknow�ledge the supremacy of the law over sharia, or Islamic, law.
       "Mushy" interpretations of multiculturalism were undermining the responsibility of new citizens to adopt the Australian way.
       Mr Costello said the Australian citizenship test should be more demanding to ensure greater loyalty to values such as democracy, respect for women and the rights and liber�ties of others.
       In a speech to the Sydney Insti�tute [ www.thesydney institute. com.au ], he cited cleric Abdul Nacer Benbrika, the Melbourne spiritual leader of a group allegedly planning terrorist attacks when arrested last November, who told the ABC there were two laws: "This is a big prob�lem. There is an Australian law and there is an Islamic law."
       Mr Costello said: "This is not a big problem. There is one law and we are all expected to abide by it. If you can't accept that then you don't accept the fundamentals of what Australia is and what it stands for. And the citizenship pledge should be a big flashing warning sign to those who want to live under sharia law."
       In a broader reference to Muslims, Mr Costello said: "Before entering a mosque visitors are asked to take off their shoes. This is a sign of respect. If you have a strong objection to walking in your socks, don't enter the mosque. Before becoming an Australian you will be asked to sub�scribe to certain values. If you have strong objections to those values, don't come to Australia."
       He said he recently heard a Victo�rian State MP at a citizenship cere�mony extolling multiculturalism, telling attendees that becoming Aus�tralian did not require giving up cul�ture, language, religion or opinions "and it certainly did not mean giving up the love of their country of birth".
       "The longer he went on about how important it was not to give up any�thing to become an Australian the more it seemed to me that, in his view, becoming an Australian didn't seem to mean very much at all -- other than getting a new passport," Mr Costello said.
       "People will not respect the citi�zenship that explains itself on the basis of the mushy multiculturalism I have described."
       Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ameer Ali said he did not believe in the concept of dual citizenship and would be happy to see it scrapped. "You are either a cit�izen of one country and you obey the law of that country or you are not."
       [FAUX PAS: "Live by our ways" -- is that wise? Islam has a puritanical sexual and modesty code, in spite of having a history of the Near East being the home of the belly dance. Right next to this front-page lead newsitem was a picture of Kae Neilson, showing her bare skin down to the bustline, and from above the navel to well down the thigh.
       On page 7 it was reported that about one-third of Australian babies were now born outside of marriage; this represents a doubling of the figure in 20 years. The abortion rate in Australia worries even the pro-Choice people. These trends are evidence of decay, and lack of self-respect.
       Around this time yet another ex-parliamentarian in WA was about to be imprisoned for alleged corruption, a convicted arsonist was let out on bail about three weeks before his trial and he then disappeared, and another man supposedly with a silencer gun at his premises, allied to Northbridge identities, was released on bail by a judge appointed by the trendy-lefty WA Government. And some so-called Aussie knifed a woman to death, a court was told.
       Unfortunately, some well-meaning Australians who oppose Ms Neilson-type skin displays, extramarital births, and abortion at dangerous levels, fondly believe that if Islam became more powerful such would be suppressed, and they imagine that to do so is "family friendly." Poverty, wife beatings, acid throwing, stonings of rape victims, domestic murders, kidnappings and drug production abound in many such "family-friendly" countries, both Muslim and otherwise. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: It's funny that the trendies and the holier-than-thou anti-discrimination people of 60 or so years ago didn't know how determined and unbending Islam is, at least outwardly. (The word Islam in Arabic means "submission," not "peace" as the ill-educated George W. Bush and many others state without looking in a book!) If Prime Minister John Howard and Treasurer Peter Costello can clean up the "curate's egg" that the major parties have made of what was a near-homogenous Australian population, God bless them! The major parties have set the stage for Australia to go the way of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Arabia, with religious police, attacks on worship centres and embassies, and the suppression of women.
       [INFORMATION about BENBRICKA: www.farisqc. observation deck.org/? page_id=359 . [Feb 24, 06]

    • [Islamic moves and some counter-moves]

     
       The West Australian, Various newsitems, Friday, February 24, 2006
  • Page 7: About one-third of Australian babies were now born outside of marriage; this represents a doubling of the figure in 20 years. The overall birthrate has fallen badly. [No religious or ethnic breakdown was given.]
  • P 13: New Federal Fisheries Miniser Eric Abetz has decided against having a summit of national, state, and territory leaders to face the problem of illegal fishing. [Indonesia with 140 boats ready to come, and now China, are main offenders. Unfortunately, Australia's navy is far too small, as per the two-party policy.]
  • P. 14: Cartoon: Treasurer Costello is shown as a muezzin, but miscalled an imam. He is pictured in a minaret, and his call is: "Aieeeeee!!.. If you don't like pies and beer... Then it's no good coming here ... And I hope it's just a rumour -- That you don't have any humour! ... Sheilas here are empowered ... Talking back to us is allowed. ... So, become a dinkum Aussie, man ... Or the Shi-ite'll hit the fan!"
  • P. 17: Letter from Ernest Della, Westminster, saying that letter-writer Ramdas Sankaran (23/2) said that PM Howard wanted something in between multiculturalism and assimilation, and no such option exists. He also said that European immigration fell below 50% for the first time, and 93% in a TV poll opposed multiculturalism.
  • P. 17: Dominique Shiosald, Geraldton, saw bigotry in some current items, and claimed that Muslims had lived peacefully as Australian citizens. But we don't need Muslim extremists coming into our country. [Comment: No, we'll have home-grown ones, please!]
  • P. 17: Bob Webb, Belmont, letter, sees venom spilling out at Muslims, Poms, and Aboriginals. We must be hanging on to our sense of humour, though, because we sing "we are one," and "you are, we are, Australians."
  • P. 18: P. 18: A Dubai-based company is taking over six key United States ports. Congressmen from both parties oppose this on security grounds. President George W. Bush threatens to veto any bill that tries to stop the takeover. The impending takeover had been in the financial news media for weeks before congressmen began opposition. [Comment: The US has such a huge accumulated trade deficit that it is technically bankrupt. Only war, armaments sales, and selling out is keeping it afloat, though even its richer classes don't recognise the symptoms.]
  • P. 25: In Indonesia "Islamic study groups" are the way that Jemaah Islamiyah suicide terror network is keeping alive while evading capture by police. Nasir Abbas is co-operating with authorities now. [Feb 24, 06]
    • [Shi'ite Golden Mosque destroyed. Whose Bombs were they? > 100 murdered, 90 mosques attacked, after.]  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Whose Bombs were they?

     
       Information Clearing House, www.inform ationclearing house.info/ article120 63.htm , By Mike Whitney, Feb/25/06
       "ICH" -- "We should stand hand in hand to prevent the danger of a civil war. We are facing a major conspiracy that is targeting Iraq's unity." Iraqi President Jalal Talabani.
       There's no telling who was behind the bombing of the al-Askariya Mosque. There were no security cameras at the site and it's doubtful that the police will be able to perform a thorough forensic investigation.
       That's too bad; the bomb-residue would probably provide clear evidence of who engineered the attack. So far, there's little more to go on than the early reports of four men (three who were dressed in black, one in a police uniform) who overtook security guards at the mosque and placed the bombs in broad daylight.
       It was a bold assault that strongly suggests the involvement of highly-trained paramilitaries conducting a well-rehearsed plan. Still, that doesn't give us any solid proof of what groups may have been involved.
       The destruction of the Samarra shrine, also known as the Golden Mosque, has unleashed a wave of retaliatory attacks against the Sunnis. More than 110 people were reported killed by the rampaging Shia. More than 90 Sunni mosques have been either destroyed or badly damaged. In Baghdad alone, 47 men have been found scattered throughout the city after being killed execution-style with a bullet to the back of the head. The chaos ends a week of increased violence following two major suicide bombings directed against Shia civilians that resulted in the deaths of 36 people.
       The public outrage over the desecration of one of the country's holiest sights [sites] has reached fever-pitch and it's doubtful that the flimsy American-backed regime will be able to head-off a civil war.
       It is difficult to imagine that the perpetrators of this heinous attack didn't anticipate its disastrous effects. Certainly, the Sunni-led resistance does not benefit from alienating the very people it is trying to enlist in its fight against the American occupation. Accordingly, most of the prominent Sunni groups have denied involvement in the attack and dismissed it as collaboration between American and Iranian intelligence agencies.
       A communiqué from "The Foreign Relations Department of the Arab Ba'ath Socialist Party" denounced the attack pointing the finger at the Interior Ministry's Badr Brigade and American paramilitaries.
       The Ba'ath statement explains:
       "America is the main party responsible for the crime of attacking the tomb of Ali al-Hadi...because it is the power that occupies Iraq and has a basic interest in committing it."
       "The escalation of differences between America and Iran has found their main political arena in Iraq, because the most important group of agents of Iran is there and are able to use the blood of Iraqis and the future of Iraq to exert pressure on America. Iran has laid out a plan to embroil America in the Iraqi morass to prevent it from obstructing Iran's nuclear plans. Particularly since America is eager to move on to completing arrangements for a withdrawal from Iraq, after signing binding agreements on oil and strategy. America believes that without the participation of "Sunni" parties in the regime those arrangements will fail. For that reason 'cutting Iran's claws' has become one of the important requirements for American plans. This is what Ambassador Zalmay spoke of recently when he declared that no sectarian would take control of the Ministries of the Interior or Defense. Similarly, America has begun to publish information that it formally kept hidden regarding the crimes of the Badr Brigade and the Interior Ministry."
       Whether the communiqué is authentic is irrelevant; the point is well taken. The escalating violence may prevent Iraq from forming a power-sharing government which would greatly benefit the Shia majority and their Iranian allies. Many critics agree that what is taking place Iraq represents a larger struggle between the United States and Iran for regional domination.
       This theory, however, is at odds with the response of Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei following the bombing. Khamenei said, "The occupation forces and Zionism, which seeing their plans dissolve, have planned this atrocity to sew hate between Muslims and fuel divisions between Sunnis and Shiites ... .Do not fall into the enemy trap by attacking mosques and sacred places of your Sunni brothers....The enemy wants nothing more than weakening of the Islamis front right as Muslims with a single voice have been protesting against the continual provocations of their enemies."
       The belief that the attack was the work of American and Israeli covert-operations (Black-ops) is widespread throughout the region as well as among leftist political-analysts in the United States. Journalist Kurt Nimmo sees the bombing as a means of realizing "a plan sketched out in Oded Yinon's "A Strategy for Israel in the Nineteen Eighties" (the balkanization of Arab and Muslim society and culture.) Nimmo suggests that the plan may have been carried out by "American, British or Israeli Intelligence operatives or their double-agent Arab lunatics, or crazies incited by Rumsfeld's Proactive Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG) designed to 'stimulate' terrorist reaction."
       Nimmo is not alone in his judgment. Other prominent analysts including, Pepe Escobar, Ghali Hassan, AK Gupta, Dahr Jamail, and Christian Parenti all agree that the Bush administration appears to be inciting civil war as part of an exit strategy. Certainly, the Pentagon is running out of options as well as time. Numerous leaked documents have confirmed that significant numbers of troops will have to be rotated out of the theatre by summer. A strategy to foment sectarian hostilities may be the last desperate attempt to divert the nearly 100 attacks per day away from coalition troops and finalize plans to divide Iraq into more manageable statelets.
       The division of Iraq has been recommended in a number of policy-documents that were prepared for the Defense Department. The Rand Corporation suggested that "Sunni, Shiite and Arab, non-Arab divides should be exploited to exploit the US policy objectives in the Muslim world." The 2004 study titled "US Strategy in the Muslim World" was to identify key cleavages and fault-lines among sectarian, ethnic, regional, and national lines to assess how these cleavages generate challenges and opportunities for the United States." (Abdus Sattar Ghazali; thanks Liz Burbank)
       This verifies that the strategy to split up Iraq has been circulating at the top levels of government from the very beginning of the occupation. A similar report was produced by David Philip for the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) financed by the Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation a conservative think-tank with connections to the Bush administration and the American Enterprise Institute. According to Pepe Escobar:
       "The plan would be 'sold' under the admission that the recently elected, Shi'ite dominated Jaafari government is incapable of controlling Iraq and bringing the Sunni-Arab guerillas to the negotiating table. More significantly, the plan is an exact replica of an extreme right-wing Israeli plan to balkanize Iraq -- an essential part of the balkanization of the whole Middle East."
       Is the bombing of the Golden Mosque the final phase of a much broader strategy to inflame sectarian hatred and provoke civil war?
       Clearly, many Sunnis, Iranians, and political analysts seem to believe so. Even the Bush administration's own documents support the general theory that Iraq should be broken up into three separate pieces. But, is this proof that the impending civil war is the work of foreign provocateurs?
       The final confirmation of Washington's sinister plan was issued by Leslie Gelb, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, in a New York Times editorial on 11-25-03. The CFR is the ideological headquarters for America's imperial interventions providing the meager rationale that papers-over the massive bloodletting that inevitably follow. Gelb stated:
       "For decades, the United States has worshipped at the altar of a unified Iraqi state. Allowing all three communities within that false state to emerge at least as self-governing regions would be both difficult and dangerous. Washington would have to be very hard-headed and hard-hearted, to engineer this breakup. But such a course is manageable, even necessary, because it would allow us to find Iraq's future in its denied but natural past."
       There you have it; the United States is only pursuing this genocidal policy for 'Iraq's own good'. We should remember Gelb's statesman-like pronouncements in the years to come as Iraq slips further into the morass of social-disintegration and unfathomable human suffering.
       Translate this page www.fagan finder.com/ translate/ ref.php? from=en
       (In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. Information Clearing House has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is Information Clearing House endorsed or sponsored by the originator.)
       [COMMENT: The partitioning of Iraq, discussed by the American Foreign Policy Council (AFPC) and the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) are NOT just being peddled by the Insiders, oil barons, and their lackeys. No, independent thinkers without links to Big Business are also leaning that way. It is possibly the only way that Iraq (part of former Mesopotamia, with what was a sizeable Assyrian Christian community, worn down by persecutions for centuries) can be healed.
       There is seemingly incurable hate between the Sunni (who say that Shi'ites are polytheists because they revere saints and shrines) and Shi'ites. Other Islamic sects also get persecuted. They are still acting out what Protestants and Roman Catholics, for example, were doing to each other almost universally until about 200 or so years ago, and still are in Northern Ireland, and the Orthodox and Catholics to this day in the Balkans.
       (The strife in Western Europe and its colonies gradually subsided -- perhaps some of the Christians had began trying to emulate their -- mainly -- non-violent founder's main beliefs, even going further by AGAIN giving up slavery. Not much similar progress was noted in other religions, except the non-violent Buddhists.)
       Anyone old enough to remember the Allied occupations of Germany, Austria, Hungary, and Italy after World War II well remembers the orderly nature of the populations of those countries. What was the difference between those peoples, and the peoples of Iraq? Ideology provides the only answer, unless someone wants to unfashionably put it down to genes.
       The murdering will go on in Iraq, because even oaths of peace will be disregarded. It is part of their ideology (Koran 66:2). And, the Koran gives a few passages about Moses, but no mention or listing of the Ten Commandments. (You know -- Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not kill, and so on.) Does that help explain things? COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE:
       3:80 (or 74):- Nor would he instruct you to take angels and prophets for Lords and patrons. What, would he bid you to unbelief after ye have bowed your will (To God in Submission)? www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/003. qmt.html#003.080
       4:76 (or 78):- Believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan.
       7:3:- How many cities have we destroyed! ...
       8.12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/008. qmt.html #008.012 .
       9:28:- O Believers! only they who join gods with God are unclean! ...
       66:2:- God hath allowed you release from your oaths. ...
       98:5 (or 6):- But the unbelievers among the people of the Book, and among the Polytheists, shall go into the fire of Gehenna to abide therein for aye. Of all creatures are they the worst! ENDS.] [Feb 25, 06]

    • Being mocked: The essence of Christ's work, not Muhammad's 

    Being mocked: The essence of


    Christ’s work, not Muhammad’ s  
       Life News, www.life ministries. org.au , (Western Australia) , by John Piper, Page 2, February/March 2006
    What we saw this past week in the Islamic demonstrations over the Danish cartoons of Muhammad was another vivid depiction of the difference between Muhammad and Christ, and what it means to follow each.
       Not all Muslims approve the violence. But a deep lesson remains: The work of Muhammad is based on being honoured and the work of Christ is based on being insulted. This produces two very different reactions to mockery.
       If Christ had not been insulted, there would be no salvation. This was his saving work: to be insulted and die to rescue sinners from the wrath of God. Already in the Psalms the path of mockery was promised: "All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads" (Psalm 22:7). "He was despised and rejected by men ... as one from whom men hide their faces ... and we esteemed him not" (Isaiah 53:3).
       When it actually happened it was worse than expected. "They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head. ... And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, 'Hail, King of the Jews!' And they spit on him" (Matthew 27:28-30). His response to all this was patient endurance. This was the work he came to do. "Like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth" (Isaiah 53:7).
       This was not true o� Muhammad. And Muslims do not believe it is true of Jesus. Most Muslims have been taught that Jesus was not crucified. One Sunni Muslim writes, "Muslims believe that Allah saved the Messiah from the ignominy of crucifixion." 11 Another adds, "We honour [Jesus] more than you ' Christians] do. ... We refuse to believe that God would permit him to suffer death on the cross." 2 An essential Muslim impulse is to avoid the "ignominy" of the cross.
       That's the most basic difference between Christ and Muhammad and between a Muslim and a follower of Christ. For Christ, enduring the mockery of the cross was the essence of his mission. And for a true follower of Christ enduring suffering patiently for the glory of Christ is the essence of obedience. "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account" (Matthew 5:11). During his life on earth Jesus was called... a drunkard (Matthew 11:19), a blasphemer (Matthew 26:65), a devil (Matthew 10:25); and he promised his followers the same: "If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household" (Matthew 10:25).
       The caricature and mockery of Christ has continued to this day. Martin Scorsese portrayed Jesus in The Last Temptation of Christ as wracked with doubt and beset with sexual lust. Andres Serrano was funded by the National Endowment for the Arts to portray Jesus on a cross sunk in a bottle of urine. The Da Vinci Code portrays Jesus as a mere mortal who married and fathered children.
       How should his followers respond? On the one hand, we are grieved and angered. On the other hand, we identify with Christ, and embrace his suffering, and rejoice in our afflictions, and say with the apostle Paul that vengeance belongs to the Lord, let us love our enemies and win them with the gospel. If Christ did his work by being insulted, we must do ours likewise.
       When Muhammad was portrayed in twelve cartoons in the Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten, the uproar across the Muslim world was intense and sometimes violent. Flags were burned, embassies were torched, and at least one Christian church was stoned. The cartoonists went into hiding in fear for their lives, like Salman Rushdie before them. What does this mean?
       It means that a religion with no insulted Saviour will not endure insults to win the scoffers. It means that this religion is destined to bear the impossible load of upholding the honour of one who did not die and rise again to make that possible. It means that Jesus Christ is still the only hope of peace with God and peace with man. And it means that his followers must be willing to "share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death" (Philippians 3:10).
       1. Badru D. Kateregga and David W. Shenk, Islam and Christianity: A Muslim and a Christian in Dialogue (Nairobi: Usima Press, 1980), p. 141.
       2. Quoted from The Muslim World in J. Dudley Woodberry, editor, Muslims and Christians on the Emmaus Road (Monrovia, CA: MARC, 1989), p. 164.
       This article, one in a series titled "Fresh Words", can be found on Dr John Piper's website at www.desiring god.org
       [COMMENT: This article might have been written before there were killings and church destruction as a result of the supposed Denmark cartoons. The Denmark cartoons had been printed around September-October 2005.
       Weeks passed, then the criminal riots erupted. After they started, it was reported that it was not until a hate-maker ADDED ANOTHER CARTOON, containing a depiction of a pig, to the cartoons in the newspaper, and then sent a FOLIO OF THEM to Muslims around the world, that the rioting began -- sensible observers say the crimes were organised.
       (Pigs are unclean to Muslims, because this was one of the aspects of Judaism that were added to the Kaaba customs and other traditional practices that were woven into Islam.)
       The article also fails to mention that when people mocked Muhammad, he approved their being assassinated. (Search for it in the literature; one was a poet.) COMMENT ENDS.]
       [CONTACT: Life News, Life Ministries, 4 / 334 Wanneroo Rd, Nollamara, WA, 6061, Australia
    www.lifeministries.org.au . CONTACT ENDS.] (A copy is on Religion / Religion Chronicle) [January-February 2006]

    • More weasel words 
       MELBOURNE (Victoria), Australia:

    More weasel words


       Life News (Western Australia) , by Andrew Bolt, Page 4, February/March 2006
    Premier Bracks fails to deliver on his promise to soften his racial vilification laws. They are oppressive, divisive and deceitful.
    Steve Bracks has broken the September vow he gave to religious leaders to make his vilification laws less dangerous.
       Last week, the Premier's representatives finally revealed what he actually had in mind.
       Surprise. He will in fact make the bureaucrats running these "shut-up" laws not less powerful, but more.
       He will ensure they operate not in less secrecy, but more.
       And people who say "bad" things about, say, witches or the Koran, face not less punishment, but more.
       In a deep hole, Bracks has called for a longer shovel. And with it, he'll bury your right to free speech.
       You'd think a sensible man would realise these laws, introduced in 2001, should be scrapped, given the strife they've caused in what was a wonderfully tolerant state.
       After all, they have been used by a paedophile witch objecting to the Bible class of a Salvation Army prison chaplain, by a transgender witch upset by a Christian councillor's warnings against covens and by a One Nation candidate, who was cross I'd praised Jews and Asians.
       Even the Minister Assisting on Multicultural Affairs, ethnic Greek John Pandazopoulos, was taken to the Equal Opportunity Commission by touchy Macedonians.
       Most notoriously, these laws caused two Christian pastors to be punished for, in large part, simply quoting the Koran to their followers in a way the judge found got "a response from the audience at various times in the form of laughter".
       God forbid that Christians should privately laugh at the Koran. There orta be a law.
       And thanks to Bracks, there now is, with effects that have horrified even his most senior Labor colleagues, especially the sight of Christians and Muslims arguing heatedly outside the guarded court in which the pastors were convicted. Wasn't that the kind of tension these laws were meant to stop, rather than start?
       So the Labor Governments of both NSW and South Australia hastily dropped plans for their own vilification laws. As then NSW premier Bob Carr said: "The Victorian experience spells out how anti-religious vilification can be misused."
       And a month ago federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said Bracks should kill his laws, adding: "I don't think that it's a good thing to have one section of the community, invited if you like, to take action against another section of the community."
       Meanwhile, church leaders who once foolishly applauded these laws at last realised they'd been cheering their own crucifixion. The Catholics, Anglicans and Presbyterians all asked for changes, if not repeal.
       They thought they got that promise from Bracks in meetings three months ago, and an offer to consider their own ideas. The Presbyterian Church started drafting suggested amendments to ensure no minister need fear prosecution for proclaiming his faith, and honestly criticising the alternatives.
       But for many weeks, the churches heard nothing more from the Government, until it summoned them a fortnight ago to meetings just four or five days later. So short was the notice that some couldn't make it.
       Those who did attend were handed just a page and a half, listing three possible "reforms". Some were astonished, even angered, by what they read. Weren't the laws meant to be made weaker, not stronger?
       Let's go through the Government's proposals so you can see what it has in store for those who speak frankly. First, and best, Bracks wants to give the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal [VCAT] the power to throw out a case even before holding any hearings, to weed out the more worthless complaints.
       But this is only a partial cure to the disease. As it now is, a crank activist upset by something you've said can first take you to the Equal Opportunity Commission [EOC], where you must defend yourself -- hiring lawyers, if you can afford it.
       Even if the EOC decides the case is crazy, the crank can still demand to go on to a hearing at VCAT, which will cost you even more.
       The Government's proposed change might save some defendants the cost of a full VCAT hearing, but the crank still gets two free whacks at you.
       The remaining two proposals are even worse.
       The first is to give the EOC even more power in the first conciliation stage -- usually held in private. It would be able to demand that you and the crank give information and attend conciliation meetings, and to fine you if you refuse to "comply with any directions". Fancy your chances with a tolerance commissar who can fine you for being unco-operative?
       It you think the Government actually means by this to crack down on the crank rather than you, read its scrap of paper: this change is to "encourage" conciliation and "resolve tensions between persons who (as a result of their ignorance of the attributes of others and the effect that their conduct may have on others) vilify others on the ground of race or religious belief and activity and those who are vilified".
       As you see, it's the accused, not their accusers, who have most to fear. Who are presumed guilty. Who must have their "ignorance" corrected by a campaigning bureaucrat armed with fines.
       The Government's final proposal proves it. It suggests more "remedies for non-compliance of VCAT orders", with VCAT "able to implement a non-monetary order and charge that back to the respondent".
       You probably have no idea what that means. So let me explain, using the Christian pastors as an example.
       The two pastors tell me they will not do what VCAT has now ordered -- place expensive advertisements in the papers saying they were wrong in criticising the Koran. They cannot bear false witness, they say.
       Under the Government's proposals, those pastors -- who already have immense legal bills -- will find VCAT can place those ads for them, and bill them the cost.
       And if they refuse to pay ...
       As I said, Steve Bracks has broken his promise to make his laws less sinister.
       But worse, he has made it even more dangerous for us to speak our mind on some of the most pressing issues before us -- religion and culture. How oppressive. How divisive. How deceitful.
       Andrew Bolt writes a regular opinion column for the Melbourne newspaper, the Herald Sun. This article was first published in the Herald Sun on 2 December 2005 and is republished by permission.
       [COMMENT: The war of the minority against the majority, of mediaevalism versus modernism, of wrong versus right, continues, evidently. COMMENT ENDS.] [January-February 2006]

    • [Multiculturalism deception twisted to mean losing own culture, adopting others' rules.
    Vilification in lands of origin often ends in murders, burnings, etc. ]
     
       MELBOURNE (Victoria), Australia: Danny NALLIAH, 11.7kb, by courtesy of Life News

    Are we deceived by


    multiculturalism ? 
       Life News (Western Australia) , by Danny Nalliah, Page 6, February/March 2006
    Danny Nalliah, a Sri Lankan with Australian citizenship, knows firsthand about vilification and prejudice. He has been subjected to appalling vilification by some Victorian Muslims, who dragged him before the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal for daring to speak frankly and factually about Islam. Below are excerpts from an article in which Pastor Nalliah maintains that multiculturalism, not racism, is responsible for the sort of hostilities that erupted in the "Sydney riots" in December last year.
    The Sydney riots were not a recent phenomenon: they were a manifestation of a far deeper problem --multicultural deception.
       Men from both the Anglo-Saxon and Lebanese Muslim communities have perpetrated cowardly actions leading to this defining moment in Australia's history. However, is it really all about racism?
       I find it hard to believe that Australians, the same demographic who watch TV shows like Big Brother and elected as their first Australian Idol, Guy Sebastian, whose parents come from South-East Asia, are really all that racist.
       While visiting Sydney from Melbourne recently, I noticed that there were Tongan and Chinese immigrants on a Sydney beach who were not being attacked. So why didn't the white Aussies attack the non-Lebanese looking people?*
       Many believe the recent attack on two [Anglo-Saxon] surf lifesavers fuelled the violence. They had been assaulted, in what was believed to be an unprovoked attack, by a large group of men of Middle Eastern appearance. However, I believe the truth is much more profound and it strikes at the heart of multiculturalism..
       As a dark-skinned immigrant, I have encountered large blocks of unassimilated Australians along with the continual use of the word "multicultural". During my 31 years in Sri Lanka and two years in Saudi Arabia, multiculturalism was a word I never heard [or] uttered -- unusual considering both of these countries have people from many nations living there, especially Saudi Arabia.
       Since moving to Australia in 1997 I have travelled to more than 20 countries across the Middle East, Asia, Africa, Eastern and Western Europe and the US. What amazes me is that wherever there is a Western society, I hear the word "multiculturalism", but I never hear this word in other parts of the world.
       "Multiculturalism" is a tool that can be used to destabilise a nation. Australia welcomes people from all over the world. All who choose to come to Australia should be willing to become Australian. It is unfair that some immigrants would push towards Australia becoming like their country of origin. The government cannot and should not bend over backwards to trade the Aussie way of life for other ways. ...
       I fail to understand how politicians can knowingly lower their standards in order to get votes and not look at what is best for their country's future. ... why are politicians trying to appease the minority by sacrificing the freedom and values of the majority? I believe it is because of a lack of knowledge and understanding.
       This is not just the politicians' fault. I implore my fellow Australian immigrants: let's grow up and stop playing the victim "card" all the time. Let's value the freedom and quality of life we enjoy in Australia. Let's become truly Australian and stop this nonsense of hiding behind "multiculturalism".
       One has to ask, why on earth are the countries which espouse Western democratic values bending over backwards to accommodate other cultures -- to the point of losing their own identity -- when some immigrants do not have any intention at all of assimilating into their new-found home or society? ...
       I have met so many immigrants only comfortable within their own communities, making little effort to reach out to other people in their new home town. There are those I have met who have lived in Australia for 20-30 years and still can hardly speak a word of English, yet they are quick to say that Aussies are racist. I salute the many immigrants who have become vitally integrated into their new homeland and call themselves Australian.
       Let me give you a few examples I have seen:
       I have met people whose applications for residency have been turned down because they have not met the needed requirements -- and if they happen to be from Asia, Africa or the Middle East, they would say, "John Howard's Government is racist". Little would they realise that many applications for residency have been turned down for people from Western countries as well.
       I was about to board an aircraft once when the announcement invited those sitting in the first 15 rows to board first. There was a man from Asia who queued, but the official discovered this man was not sitting in the first 15 rows and asked him to wait. He promptly responded to the official, "You are a racist! You let the white people go first". The official at the boarding gate was so shocked that he let him board.
       I felt so terrible I went up to the official and apologised on behalf of those who have my darker skin colour. ...
       Very often I hear the statement "racism", and many believe it to be white against black. I believe it is more common the other way around -- but few will admit it, as too often people will instead cleverly play the victim card.
       I believe Australia is one of the most racially tolerant countries in the world. Since my arrival in Australia I have never personally faced racism. I have heard from others that the comment "black bastard" has been spoken -- which is not acceptable, but may we compare this situation with that of some of my fellow immigrants?
       A large number left their countries for a better life in Australia because of racial tensions they faced back home. The racial problems in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Eastern Europe have caused tens of thousands to lose their lives or their belongings, have their homes burnt down, their businesses completely destroyed, and so on. So how dare we (immigrants) afford to grumble in Australia?
       * Readers will remember that the crowds at Cronulla beach did not express hostility to all non-whites, but focused their hostility exclusively on Muslims of Middle Eastern appearance. Ed.
       Danny Nalliah's article was posted on the internet by Online Opinion on 6 January 2006. The full article can be read at: www.online opinion. com. au/ view.asp? article=4020

       [GUIDELINE: 9:29:- Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given as believe not in God, or in the last day, and who forbid not what God and His Apostle have forbidden, and who profess not the profession of the truth, until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled.
       9:123 (or 124):- O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil). www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/009.qmt. html#009.123
       47:37:- Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand ... GUIDELINE ENDS.] [January-February 2006]

    • [History: 10,000 galley slaves freed after Lepanto, Oct. 7, 1571]  Vatican City / Papal flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
    ISLAM: The Vatican updates its outlook on the history of relations between Christianity and Islam.

    CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM IN HISTORY

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaustralasia@nareg.com.au , By WALTER BRANDMÜLLER, p 7, March 2006
    I WILL address the topic of Christianity and Islam by limiting myself to a brief presentation of historical facts, without entering into the specifics of religious and theological dialogue. This seems useful to me, because the celebration of the fifth centenary of the birth of Pius V was a bit muted, especially in academic circles. The victor at Lepanto in 1571, this pope who had the courage and the energy to construct an alliance of almost all the Christian kingdoms against the Ottoman empire - which was advancing to threaten Europe and had already established dominion over the Balkans - today, precisely on account of the unhappy restoration of hostility between the two worlds - one formerly Christian, and to a certain extent still Christian, and the Muslim world - seems to many to be an obstructing presence best left in the shadows.
       The so-called 'secularism' that would silence all the monotheistic religions through accusations of fundamentalism, or that exalts dialogue by negating their differences, intends to blot out the age-old conflict that has pitted the two religious communities against one another. Above all, it intends to neutralize the Roman pontiff, who has shown himself capable of blocking the Islamic advance and saving Christian civilization.
       Although the two monotheistic religions in question share, among other things and to different degrees, the Jewish tradition -- a specialist like Samir Khalil Samir emphasizes how before Mohammed the Arab Jews and Christians called their God by the name of Allah -- there are many differences between Christianity and Islam, and the differences are fundamental.
      [Picture] The battle of Lepanto, Oct. 7, 1571. The combined Catholic fleets of Spain, Venice, Genoa, Malta and the Papal States of Pius V under the command of Don John of Austria defeated the entire maritime force of Turkey, freed more than 10,000 Christian galley-slaves and destroyed the myth of Ottoman naval invincibility. Lepanto put an end to Turkish dominance in the Mediterranean, and to the threat that the Ottomans posed to Europe.
       Since their very beginnings, there have been differences in how Christians and Muslims think of conversion and the use of violence.
       For the Christians, conversion was something that must be voluntary and individual, obtained primarily through preaching and example, and this is how Christianity did in fact spread during its first centuries. Obviously, we must immediately note that this conception of early Christianity underwent changes in later eras, connected with the diffusion of a spirit of religious intolerance in Western culture. John Paul II himself acknowledged that in this regard the Church's children 'must return with a spirit of repentance [for] the acquiescence given, especially in certain centuries, to intolerance and even the use of violence in the service of truth.' (Tertio Millennia Adveniente, 35).
       But on the part of the Muslims, from the earliest times, even while Mohammed was still alive, conversion was imposed through the use of force. The expansion and extension of Islam's sphere of influence came through war with the tribes that did not accept conversion peacefully, and this went hand in hand with submission to Islamic political authority. Islamism, unlike Christianity, expressed a comprehensive religious, cultural, social, and political strategy. While Christianity spread during its first three centuries in spite of persecution and martyrdom, and in many ways in opposition to Roman domination, introducing a clear separation between the spiritual and political spheres, Islam was imposed through the power of political domination.
       It therefore comes as no surprise that the use of force occupies a central place in Islamic tradition, as witnessed by the frequent use of the word 'jihad' in many texts. Although some scholars, especially Western ones, maintain that jihad does not necessarily mean war, but instead a spiritual struggle and interior effort, Samir Khalil Samir again clarifies that the use of this term in Islamic tradition - including its usage today - is essentially uniform, indicating warfare in the name of God to defend Islam, which is an obligation for all adult Muslim males. Those who maintain that understanding jihad as a holy war constitutes a sort of deviation from the true Islamic tradition are therefore not telling the truth, and history sadly demonstrates that violence has characterized Islam since its origin, and that Mohammed himself systematically organized and led the raids against the tribes that did not want to convert and accept his dominion, thus subjecting the Arab tribes one by one. Naturally, it must also be said that at the time of Mohammed warfare was part of the Bedouin culture, and no one saw anything objectionable about it.
       The interpretation that Muslims today try to make of the crusades -- an interpretation that finds many followers among Western historians -- also fails to correspond to historical reality.
       According to this representation, Western Christians were invaders in a peaceful region that was respectful of the different religions -- the Holy Land, which back then was part of Syria -- using religious motives to disguise imperialist ambitions and economic interests.
       But the idea of the crusades emerged, above all, as a reaction to the measures that the Fatimid caliph Hakim bin-Amr Allah took against the Christians of Egypt and Syria. In 1008, al-Hakim outlawed the celebrations of Palm Sunday, and the following year he ordered that Christians be punished and all their property confiscated. In that same year of 1009, he sacked and demolished the church dedicated to Mary in Cairo, and did not prevent the desecration of the Christian sepulchres surrounding it, or the sacking of the city's other churches. That same year saw what was certainly the most severe episode: the destruction of the Constantinian basilica of the Resurrection in Jerusalem, known as the Holy Sepulchre. The historical records of the time say that he had ordered 'to obliterate any symbol of Christian faith, and provide for the removal of every reliquary and object of veneration.' The basilica was then razed, and Ibn Abi Zahir did all he could to demolish the sepulchre of Christ and any trace of it.
       Today in many intellectual circles there is a lot of talk about the religious tolerance shown over many centuries by the Islamic authorities, because - while in terms of the pagan populations the saying 'embrace Islam and your life will be spared' held true, and the pagans who did not convert were killed - the 'people of the book,' the Jews and Christians, were able to continue practicing their religion.
       In reality, the situation was much less idyllic: the Christians and Jews could survive only if they accepted Muslimpolitical dominion and a situation of humiliation, which was aggravated by the obligation to pay increasingly burdensome taxes. So it's no wonder that most of the Christians, even though they were not constrained by force, converted to Islam on account of the constant economic and social pressure.
       This led to the total disappearance of a form of Christianity that had flourished for more than half a millennium, as in the part of Africa ruled by the Roman empire, the land of Tertullian, saint Cyprian, Tyconius, and above all saint Augustine.
       But the biggest difference between Christianity and Islam concerns the crucial issue of understanding the human person.
       This is shown by the fact that many Islamic countries have not accepted the declaration of human rights promulgated by the United Nations in 1948, or have done so with the reservation of excluding the norms that conflict with Qur'anic law - which means practically all of them. From an historical point of view, therefore, it must be recognized that the declaration of the rights of man is a cultural fruit of the Christian world, even though these are 'universal' norms, in that they are valid for all.
       In Islamic tradition, in fact, the concept of the equality of all human beings does not exist, nor does, in consequence, the concept of the dignity of every human life. Sharia is founded upon a threefold inequality: between man and woman, between Muslim and non-Muslim, and between freeman and slave.
       In essence, the male human being is considered a full titleholder of rights and duties only through his belonging to the Islamic community: those who convert to another religion or become atheists are considered traitors, subject to the death penalty, or at least to the loss of all their rights.
       The most irrevocable of these inequalities is that between man and woman, because the others can be overcome -- the slave can be freed, the non-Muslim can convert to Islam -- while woman's inferiority is irremediable, in that it was established by God himself. In Islamic tradition, the husband enjoys an almost absolute authority over his wife: while polygamy is permitted for men, a woman may not have more than one husband, may not marry a man of another faith, can be repudiated by her husband, has no rights to the children in case of divorce, is penalized in the division of the inheritance, and from a legal standpoint her testimony is worth half as much as a man's.
       So if Islam implied, and still implies, not merely religious membership, but an entire way of life, sanctioned even at the political level -- a way of life that naturally involves and prescribes how to act with other peoples, how to behave in questions of war and peace, how to conduct relations with foreigners -- it is very easy to understand how the victory of Lepanto guaranteed for the West the possibility of developing its culture of respect for the human person, for whom equal dignity regardless of his condition came to be guaranteed.
       If this characterization of Islam is destined to remain unchanged in the future, as it has been until now, the only possible outcome is a difficult coexistence with those who do not belong to the Muslim community: in an Islamic country, in fact, the non-Muslim must submit to the Islamic system, if he does not wish to live in a situation of substantial intolerance.
       Likewise, on account of this all-embracing conception of religion and political authority, the Muslim will have great difficulty in adapting to the civil laws in non-Islamic countries, seeing them as something foreign to his upbringing and to the dictates of his religion. Perhaps one should ask oneself if the well-attested difficulties persons coming from the Islamic world have with integrating into the social and cultural life of the West are not explained in part by this problematic situation.
       We must also recognize the natural right of every society to defend its own cultural, religious, and political identity. It seems to me that this is precisely what Pius V did. #
    MONSIGNOR WALTER BRANDMÜLLER is president of the Pontifical Committee for Historical Sciences. 'Christianity and Islam in History,' was an address delivered at 'Christianity and Islam, Yesterday and Today' conference held at the Pontifical Lateran University, December 2005. Text provided by Sandro Magister. English translation by Matthew Sherry: traduttore@hotmail.com. Copyright © 2005 Chiesa. Reprinted with permission.
       [RECAPITULATION: This led to the total disappearance of a form of Christianity that had flourished for more than half a millennium, RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Wrong. About 20% or more of Egypt's modern population has continued as members of the Coptic Greek Orthodox Church. Branches of that Church are in Australia and presumably many other countries. Proclaiming themselves with the word "Greek" (the language of the New Testatment Churches), many use Arabic in their ceremonies. Other Churches of oriental Christians also persist in other Near East and Middle Eastern lands stolen by the Muslim attackers. ENDS.] [March 2006]

    • [Sunnis versus Shi'ites continues in Iraq, with Iran's mullahs possibly interfering]  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 
    MIDDLE EAST: The ongoing Iraqi instability

    FORGET KHOMEINI AT YOUR PERIL

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , By PAUL STENHOUSE, PH. D., pp 15-16, March 2006
    THE escalating terror in Iraq, like Federal government's efforts to clarify the position of disaffected and disloyal Islamists in the Australian community seem to attract pundits and the politically compromised as casinos attract gambling addicts or the latest investment scam attracts suggestible investors.
       Both these issues have been bombarded with words like mortar shells; and with effects often just as unpredictable and unsubtle.
       Mark Steyne ['Listen to the word on the Arab street,' The London Daily Telegraph, Tuesday November 22] concluded that demonstrations against Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi in Jordan on Thursday November 10 in the wake of a suicide bombing the previous day that killed 30 members of a Sunni wedding party, proved that the terrorist who was their fellow-Jordanian has 'outlived' his 'usefulness' to the jihad. He further implied that this was a vote against al-Qa'ida and bin Laden.
       The most that can be argued is that Jordanian Sunni Muslims not unreasonably objected to being targeted by fellow Sunnis; that a Sunni wedding was not the place for Muslim suicide bombers to ply their murderous trade. Some of the protesters in Amman carried placards asking simply 'Why?' Why would Zarqawi target their country, where so many people had supported his jihad in Iraq? It didn't prove that the grieving demonstrators were in principle against a jihad targeting infidels/non-Muslims perceived as threatening Sunni hegemony in the Middle East.
       Where were the Jordanian demonstrators over the past 18 months when Iraqi Shi'ite Muslims were blown ap almost daily by suicide bombers in mosques, police stations, army barracks, market-places and at funerals and weddings? Where were the Jordanian demonstrators when at least 16 people were killed and 40 wounded in a blast near a Shi'ite mosque and market north of Baghdad on February 28? Or when one of Shi'ite Islam's holiest shrines was bombed in Samarra on February 22? The Golden Dome and the main building of the Mosque were destroyed. It is said to house the remains of Ali al-Naqi and his son, Hasan al-Askari. A second shrine marks the place where the hidden - or 12th - imam, Al-Mahdi, son of Hasan, went into hiding. 379 people died in the subsequent violence. Only a day after killing his fellow Sunni Muslims in Jordan, al-Zarqawi reportedly apologised and said that the Muslims who were killed were not targeted. But there were no non-Muslims at the wedding. The word of a mass-murderer, especially of one who kills in the name of Allah, is a notoriously frail reed to lean upon.
       And if he is saying that he does not target Muslims, does this mean that for Abu-Musab al-Zarqawi the Shi'ites his suicide bombers target and kill are not regarded as Muslims? The answer is yes. This is the message from the murder of the defenceless victims he targeted at a Shi'ite funeral, the day after the wedding debacle in Jordan, as he was making his declaration of sorrow to his fellow 'Muslims'.
       This would be in keeping with al-Zarqawi's declaring 'total war' on Shi'ites in Iraq in mid-September last year.1 Some sects of the Wahhabis in Pakistan are reportedly demanding that Shi'ites be declared to be non-Muslims, like the Sunni Ahmadi sect.2
       Ongoing hostility between the Wahhabi sect of the Sunni of Saudi Arabia and Shi'ites was the reason for the suspicion among Shiite Muslims in 1987 that the deaths of 400 mainly Shi'ite pilgrims killed by troops in Mecca during anti-Western riots were not fortuitous.
       'Concentrated in the oil-rich province of Al-Sharqiyah, Saudi Shi'ites form a good part of the kingdom's urban middle class. They are also strongly present in the liberal professions and the private business sector. Yet of the top 400 government positions, only one is held by a Shi'ite undersecretary of state. Of the 120 members of the all-appointed Saudi Parliament, only two are Shi'ites. Worse still, the official theological organs of the state, exclusively held by clerics from the Hanbali Sunni school of Islam, publicly castigate Shi'ites as non-Muslims. Courts, controlled by the Hanbali clerics, do not admit testimony by Shi'ites. The same clerics have banned marriages between Hanbali Sunnis and Shi'ites and declared all Shi'ite marriages as 'illegal".' 3
       In the article in Asia Times cited above Sultan Shahin descibes how sheikh bin Baz of Saudi Arabia
    'is said to have gone to the extent of declaring in an edict that the meat of the people of the book [Jews and Christians] is permissable for Sunni Muslims to eat, but not the meat slaughtered by the Shi'ites'. 4
       According to Amir Taheri, radical Sunni theologians believe that they become 'unclean' even by shaking the hand of a Shi'ite. 5
       Steyne raises a further question in his efforts to justify the intervention of US troops in Iraq: why have there been no demonstrations against the American presence in Baghdad or Mosul?
       The answer he suggests, is that most Iraqis support the American presence.
       I should like to believe this, but the absence of anti-American demonstrations doesn't prove it. If most Iraqis supported the presence of US and other foreign soldiers on their soil, the murderous 'insurgents' would have nowhere to hide from justice and retribution at the hands of the democratically elected government of Iraq.
       Since the fall of Baghdad and the subsequent interim government, new constitution, and now the new government, the Shi'ite hold most of the aces; the continuing acts of terror, mainly aimed at the Shi'ite and the American and coalition forces, proves this to be the case.
       The Shi'ite would be foolish to demonstrate to oust the US forces: it was the much hated 'crusaders' [to use al-Qa'ida's favoured epithet] who put legitimate power finally into their hands. Shi'ites are the majority, and for once Democracy makes sense to them, at least in the initial stages of their much longed-for power grab.
       The Sunni wouldn't risk taking to the streets to demonstrate when the security forces are -- post-Saddam Hussein -- in the hands of their traditional enemies. The Sunni policemen who were allegedly tortured by Shi'ite security forces are a timely warning to restive Sunni to keep their heads down
       While there are US and other non-Muslim forces willing to take the brunt of the Sunni resentment, why should the Shi'ite power brokers [inspired if not led from Iran] upset the status quo! Is it any wonder that the mainly Catholic Chaldaen [? Chaldean] and Assyrian Christians of Iraq, the second largest minority, have chosen to throw in their lot with the largest minority, the Kurds?
       As I write, bewildered commentators in the West who should know better puzzle over the future for a Shi'ite dominated Iraq, and the possibility/probability of all-out civil war.
       It remains to be seen if the Shi'ite 'democrats' empowered by George Bush and his advisers, can rein in their extremist elements, resist the temptation to take revenge on their former Sunni overlords, and be an improvement on the secular regime of Saddam Hussein.
       The Ayatollah Khomeini, their model and hero, seized power in Iran after the Shah, to a feeble chorus of disapproval from the US, the UK and West Germany, was ousted from Persia in 1979. The Ayatollah's regime proved to be a two-edged sword that cut, and is still cutting deeply, into the hands that by default or by design made his return from exile in France and his subsequent reign of terror possible.
       The Iranian revolution of 1979 spawned a revival of radical Islam and began with the seizing of the American embassy by Iranian revolutionaries a million strong chanting, 'Death to America.' To support its hatred of America and the imperial ambitions of radical Islam, the Iranian regime developed long-range missiles and probably nuclear warheads to tip them with. It became sponsor and host to Hizbollah, the largest terrorist army in the world, which in 1983 blew up a U.S. marine barracks in Lebanon, killing 245 servicemen. 6
       Though present indications are to the contrary, let's hope that the US and the West have better luck with a Shi'ite dominated regime in Iraq than they have had with a radical Shi'ite regime in Iran.
    ______________
    1. See MEMRI Special Dispatches No. 987.
    2. See Asia Times, Sultan Shahin, 'The Shi'ite Sunni Divide', August 26-27, 2003.
    3. 'Apartheid, Saudi Style', by Amir Taheri, New York Post, May 22, 2003.
    4. 'The Shi'ite Sunni Divide!
    5. art. cit.
    6. David Horowitz, Unholy Alliance, Regnery, 2004 p. 110. [March 2006]

    • [Muhammad got convert through murder order -- or so it is written.] 

      The Example of Muhammad  

     
       Annals Australasia, by Ibn Ishaq, p 16, March 2006
    THE apostle [Muhammad] said, 'Kill any Jew that falls into your power.' Thereupon Muhayyisa bin Mas'ud leapt upon Ibn Sunayna, a Jewish merchant with whom they had social and business relations, and killed him. Huwayyisa was not a Muslim at the time though he was the elder brother. When Muhayyisa killed Ibn Sunayna Huwayyisa began to beat him, saying, 'You enemy of God, why did you kill him when much of the fat on your belly comes from his wealth?' Muhayyisa answered, 'Had the one who ordered me to kill him ordered me to kill you I would have cut your head off.' Huwayyisa replied, 'By God, if Muhammad had ordered you to kill me would you have killed me?' He said, 'Yes, by God, had he ordered me to cut off your head I would have done so.' Huwayyisa exclaimed, 'By God, a religion which can bring you to this is fantastic!' and he became a Muslim.
    - Ibn Ishaq, biographer of Muhammad. From the Arabic text of as-Sirat al-Nabawi. Dar Ehia al-Tourath al-Arabi, Beirut, vol.iii, p.65. [March 2006 issue]

    • [Nigerian Christians murdered, 40 churches, hundreds of businesses and homes burnt -- behind mask of religion! Police ineffective.]  Nigeria flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
    The Maiduguri riots: Fifty Christians murdered, hundreds injured, forty churches and other church buildings, and hundreds of homes and business premises of Christians razed to the ground

    NIGERIAN BISHOPS SPEAK OUT

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , By REV. FR. GEORGE EHUSANI, p 35, March 2006
    THE Catholic Bishops' Conference of Nigeria views with grave concern the killing of scores of Christians, including a Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Michael Gajere, and the wanton destruction of many Christian Churches, homes and business premises in Maiduguri on Saturday February 18, 2006, allegedly following a public protest over an offensive cartoon that was published in a newspaper in far-away Denmark, in September 2005.
       Reports reaching us show that when, after several hours, the ominous dust settled over Maiduguri, as many as 50 Christians had been murdered in cold blood, hundreds had been wounded or maimed, 40 Church buildings had been razed, and several hundreds of homes and business remises belonging to Christians, had been destroyed. Included in the destruction spree were the residence of the Catholic Bishop of Maiduguri, and at least six Catholic parish premises.
       As has now become usual, these reprehensible acts of savagery that were perpetuated in Maiduguri, as well as the reprisal killings witnessed in Onitsha and elsewhere in the country, have been blamed on faceless hoodlums and extremists. Even that does not make the tragic incidents any less condemnable.
       It seems to us that the Nigerian state has once again failed to secure the lives and properties of innocent citizens against the criminally minded in the society. The Police in Maiduguri seem to have been taken totally unaware even when earlier incidents should have warned them that in the prevailing circumstances such an attack on Christians as an imminent possibility in the major cities of Northern Nigeria. Or are we to conclude that they simply looked the other way while the carnage lasted for several hours? Indeed many surviving Christians in Maiduguri are already expressing their suspicion that the Security Agencies in that State were engaged in a criminal conspiracy with the murderers and arsonists. This is not good for our country.
       What is even more disturbing to us is that nearly one week after such a tragic event that challenges the very basis our corporate existence, with potentially destabilizing effects on our nation state, the Federal Government has not yet seen fit to address the nation on this tragedy.
       In other societies where human lives are regarded as sacred and where governments see it as their foremost responsibility to protect and defend the lives of their citizens, what happened in Maiduguri would not only call for a national day of mourning, but also lead to the willful [sic] resignation or otherwise immediate suspension from office of those responsible for security in the State while a process of investigation and prosecution of the culprits is put in place.
       The new dimension of reprisal killings in the South after every major attack on Christians in the North is unfortunate and is to be condemned without reservation. But it is also a sad commentary on the extent to which the ordinary Nigerian has lost faith and confidence in the institutions of State and in the ability or willingness of those in authority to pursue justice, to defend the innocent citizen and to apply the Rule of Law at all times without fear or favour. Something convincing has to be done to stop the ominous growing tendency among Nigerians to take recourse in jungle justice.
       No murderer or arsonist should be allowed to hide behind any mask of religion, no matter how highly placed. The recommendations of such a panel, especially as regards punishment for originators and perpetrators, compensation for families of dead victims and restitution for destroyed property, should be seriously followed up and implemented.
       We have reasons to believe that the majority of Muslims in this country are peace-loving and law-abiding neighbours and fellow-citizens. We call on them, especially the leaders, to link hands with us in isolating and eliminating from our society all those who promote and perpetrate violent atrocities in the name of the religions that we hold dear. At this point, we expect that the voice of the Muslim leadership be heard loud and clear in condemnation of the crimes of Maiduguri and elsewhere, lest their silence be construed as complicity.
       We have already condemned the reprisal killings in the South, and dissociated the Christian community from the violence. In conclusion, we call upon Christians, especially our long-suffering brothers and sisters in Northern Nigeria to remain faithful to Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace. We encourage them to constantly struggle with all constitutional means to assert their rights as free citizens in a democratic Nigeria, who can reside and practice their religion freely anywhere in the country. We therefore urge them to avoid violence as incompatible with our Christian faith and with any authentic religion. Let us never tire of conquering evil with goodness, sowing love wherever there is hatred, and overcoming discord with peace.
    ____________________
    REV. FR. GEORGE EHUSANI, Secretary General, for and on behalf of the President, Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria, February 24, 2006.
       [DOCTRINE: 2:191:- And kill them wherever you find them ...
       48:16:- ...Ye shall do battle with them, or they shall profess Islam. ...
       66:9:- O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them. DOCTRINE ENDS.] [March 2006 issue]

    • [A prophecy of 9/11 from the Archbishop of Smyrna in 1999]  European Union (EU) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags   Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    9/11 : A Prophecy

       Fidelity magazine (Australia), fidelity@j23.com.au , By Giuseppe Bernardini, p 6, March 2006
    Two years before 9/11, Giuseppe Germano Bernardini, a 72-year-old Italian who is archbishop of Izmir, (i.e. the biblical Smyrna) in Turkey, bluntly warned the European Synod of Bishops that Muslims have a "clear program of expansion and re-conquest" of Europe ...
       I have been living for the past forty-two years in Turkey, a country 99.9 percent Muslim, and I am the Archbishop of Izmir--Asia Minor--for the past sixteen years. The theme of my intervention is therefore obvious: the problem of Islam in Europe today and in the future ....
       My intervention is to make a humble request of the Holy Father, above all. To be brief and clear, first I will mention three cases that, due to their provenance, I believe to be true.
       1. During an official meeting on Islamic-Christian dialogue, an authoritative Muslim person, speaking to the Christians participating, at one point said very calmly and assuredly: "Thanks to your democratic laws we will invade you; thanks to our religious laws we will dominate you."
       This is to be believed because the "dominion" has already begun with the "petrol-dollars," used not to create work in the poor North African or Middle Eastern countries, but to build mosques and cultural centers in Christian countries with Islamic immigration, including Rome, the center of Christianity. How can we ignore in all of this a clear program of expansion and re-conquest?
       2. During another Islamic-Christian meeting, always organized by Christians, a Christian participant publicly asked the Muslims present why they did not organize at least once a meeting of this kind. The Muslim authority present answered [in] the following words: "Why should we? You have nothing to teach us and we have nothing to learn."

      By Giuseppe Bernardini  

       A dialogue among deaf persons? It is a fact that terms such as "dialogue," "justice," "reciprocity," or concepts such as "rights of man," "democracy," have a completely different meaning for the Muslim than for us. But I believe this to be recognized and admitted by all, by now.
       3. In a Catholic monastery in Jerusalem there was and perhaps still is a Muslim Arab servant. An honest and gentle person, he was respected greatly by the religious who in turn were respected by him. One day, he sadly told them: "Our chiefs have met and have decided that all the 'infidels' must be killed, but do not fear because I will kill you without making you suffer."
       We are all aware that we must distinguish between the fanatic and violent minority from the tranquil and honest majority, but this, at an order given in the name of Allah or the Qur'an, will always march compact and without hesitations. Anyway, history teaches us that the secure minorities always manage to impose themselves over the renouncing and silent majority.
       It would be naive to underestimate or, worse yet, smile on the three cases I have referred to; I feel that their dramatic teaching must be reflected upon.
       This is not pessimism on my part, despite the appearance. The Christian cannot be pessimistic because Christ is Risen and Alive; He is Cod, as opposed to all other prophets or those calling themselves such.
       The final victory will be Christ's, but God's times may be long, and often are. He is patient and waits for the conversion of sinners: in the meantime He invites the Church to organize herself and to work to quicken the coming of His Kingdom.
       I end this [with an] exhortation, suggested to me by experience: do not allow the Muslim to ever use a Catholic Church for their cult, because this would be, in their eyes, the certain proof of our apostasy. #
    The Two Faces of Islam
    Saudi Fundamentalism
    and its Role in Terrorism
    Stephen Schwartz
    "Minces no words.. Schwartz's opinions are not just forcefully expressed; they are born out of a sophisticated and informed vision of history." 346 pp softcover. [PICTURE of front cover]

    $30.00
    [March 2006]
    • [All cultures embraceable, part of the family: Abbott] Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/   

    We should embrace all cultures, says Abbott

     
       The West Australian, p 6, Wednesday, March 1, 2006
    CANBERRA: Multiculturalism is a good thing and people from different cultures should not have the Australian way imposed on them, Federal Health Minister Tony Abbott says.
       Mr Abbott's stance, which he spoke about on ABC TV last night, puts him at odds with Treasurer Peter Costello over the issue of multiculturalism.
       Mr Costello raised the ire of many Muslims last week when he gave a speech in which he said dual citizens who did not embrace Australian values should have their Australian citizenship revoked.
       He also denounced "mushy, mis�guided multiculturalism" and singled out Muslims by saying people who wanted to live under Islamic sharia law should move elsewhere.
       Mr Abbott said he supported multiculturalism. "Multiculturalism is a very good thing as a way of encouraging newcomers to this coun�try to become contributing members of Australian society sooner rather than later," he said.
       "Multiculturalism is about recog�nising people from different coun�tries and cultures are part of our extended Australian family.
       "It's not about imposing Austra�lian-ness tests on them. It's about allowing them to join the team in their own way at their own pace."
       He said multiculturalism had worked well over the 10 years of the Howard Government.
       Mr Abbott said it was also a mistake to dismiss sharia law as un-Australian. "I do not find sharia law, as I understand it, to be particularly appealing but I think that people are perfectly entitled to make a case for anything that is not inconsistent with the law of this land," he said.
       "And the way to tackle that which you find objectionable is not to pro�scribe it but say there are better ways of handling it." # [Wed., Mar. 1, 06]

    • Stoning women, cutting off body parts next?

     
       From an informed source to some newspapers, Church papers, and politicians, March 1, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: Let's comment about "We should embrace all cultures, says Abbott" (1/3).
       Is this the same Mr Tony Abbott who, months ago, after announcing more funds for religion-based schools, could not recall visiting Cardinal Pell, until challenged with the time, 7 a.m., and the date?
       Is Mr Abbott part of a government that used its overpriced wheat deals to pay about $300m for Saddam Hussein's bloodthirsty warmongering dictatorship in Iraq to buy explosives and guns?
       That is, Australia helped pay for the elusive Weapons of Mass Destruction that were one of the dishonest reasons given for the invasion of Iraq, defying international law, following the oil-hungry Bush and Blair governments.
       And the government exports live cattle to the cruelty of Egypt.
       And he is in a government that is pretending that a radical Sydney imam whom Mr Downer originally condemned is really a moderate! And is spending $1.8m to build a college to train imams!
       Yet he contradicts his same government's two leaders who want newcomers to adopt our ways, or leave.
       Might I echo a multicultural saying "God is the best plotter!" (8:30). Might I add, politicians must come a close second!
       And, if sharia law is so harmless, will he be the first to throw stones at rape victims, and cut off thieves' hands?
       And perhaps they could pay medical benefits to have girls' clitorises cut out.
       ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS (not in the letter sent): Will the Coalition pressurise State governments to make men's evidence in courts worth two women's? And to allow four wives, on religious grounds? And to drop the Lord's prayer in Parliament and God Save the Queen, because they offend certain non-Christians? [Wed., Mar. 1, 06]

    • Obey the law but let differences flourish

     
       The West Australian, by MIRKO BAGARIC, p 18, Wednesday, March 1, 2006
    Comments by Treasurer Peter Costello that new migrants should adopt Australian values or get out of Australia are, in an increasingly racially divided Australia, regret�table.
       The racial divide can only increase after Muslim convert Joseph Thomas became the first person in Australia to be convicted under new terrorist funding laws.
       Of course we should have a zero tolerance policy towards people who threaten our safety. All people need to obey the law -- although they should remain free to peace�fully agitate for changes to the law.
       But it is small-minded and misguided for the Government to talk about entrenching a provincial value base which was developed by historical accident, at times fuelled by intolerance and bigotry.
       Mr Costello believes that there are some values that are "so core to the nature of our society that those who refuse to accept them refuse to accept the nature of our society".
       While he is right on this score, the values that he should be preaching are not good old Aussie ones.
       Instead, like all nations, we should be working towards achieving a morally enlightened cultural mindset. [...]
       Think again. Ethics is not personal. It's also not subjective. It is an objective school of complex learning, not something you stum�ble upon as you get older.
       The fact that people disagree about the content and scope of ethical principles and that moral principles have changed over the ages does not entail that ethics is a subjective field of inquiry. Practices and theories in the areas of medicine, engineering and econom�ics have also changed massively and no one believes that the best way to treat patients, build bridges and develop market structures is a matter of personal preference. [...]
       Ethics has been the hot ticket item for phi�losophers over the past few centuries. They have gone around in a lot of circles, but finally we are getting some convergence regarding the moral principles that apply to all cultures. The list is short, but important:
       Don't kill or otherwise violate the physical integrity of others. Don't steal. Don't lie (this includes keeping promises). Assist others in serious trouble when assistance would help them immensely at no or little inconvenience to oneself. None of these rules are absolute.
       The closest thing that we get to an abso�lute moral principle is that we should pursue the course of action that maximises net flourishing, where each person's interest counts [...]
       This takes us back about 150 years when famous British philosopher John Stuart Mill stated: "The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilised community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant". Mill didn't have the benefit of the work of contemporary social scientists. But he was very close to the mark.
       The upshot is that we are morally com�plete and virtuous individuals if we do as we wish so long as our actions do not harm others and we "kick in" to help the needy when this does not set us back much. The Government has no basis for expecting more from us, except if it can demonstrate that it will increase observance of the four golden moral rules or advance our health. [...]
       An appeal for some people in the commu�nity to abdicate some of their customs and values is ill-founded and ultimately destructive to a harmonious and just com�munity.
       This means that multiculturalism, even of the "mushy" variety, should be celebrated, not derided. Failure to do so will diminish us as a society.
       Professor Mirko Bagaric is head of Deakin Law School and author of How to Live: Being Happy and Dealing with Moral Dilemmas.
       [RECAPITULATION: Don't kill or otherwise violate the physical integrity of others. Don't steal. Don't lie (this includes keeping promises). Assist others in serious trouble when assistance would help them immensely at no or little inconvenience to oneself. None of these rules are absolute. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Well, that's Prof. Bagaric's Four Commandments. He ought to look in the Koran, but he won't find the Ten Commandments of Moses there. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINES: 2.191:- And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.191
       33:26-27:- And He caused those of the people of the Book (the Jews), who had aided the confederates, ... And He gave you their land, and their dwellings, and their wealth, for an heritage -- even a land on which ye had never set foot: for the might of God is equal to all things.
       66:2:- God hath allowed you release from your oaths. ...
       47:37:- Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand ... END.] [Mar 1, 06]

    • Anglican Shame [tries to stop Israel defending itself]  United Kingdom / Britain flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Anglican Shame

     
       Virtue Online (the voice of orthodox Anglicanism), www.virtue online.org/ portal/modules/ news/article. php?story id=3683 , As Eye See It, By Hal G.P. Colebatch (of Australia), March 1, 2006
       BRITAIN: With impeccable timing, the British Anglican General Synod -- the Anglican Church's highest governing body -- has voted for a campaign of economic attacks on Israel just as Hamas is settling into power.
       The General Synod resolved to disinvest in "all companies profiting from the illegal occupation." Singled out is Caterpillar tractors, whose machinery has been used to build Israel's security wall and to level buildings suspected of being used by terrorists. (It apparently escaped the General Synod's notice that Caterpillar machinery is also used by the Palestinians.) The Church Commissioners hold about $3.65 million in Caterpillar.
       The subtext behind this is that it is illegitimate for Israelis -- or, let us be frank, Jews -- to try to defend themselves from terrorism. Dr. Irene Lancaster, of the Centre for Jewish Studies at Manchester University, said the vote marked "a very black day for Anglo-Jewish relations... The writing is on the wall for the Jews of Great Britain, 350 years after they settled here."
       Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey, normally the most gentle and diplomatic of men, told the Jerusalem Post that the vote made him "ashamed to be an Anglican." Lord Carey previously warned that such a policy would "disastrous" for peace efforts in the region. He said Israelis already felt traumatized by attacks on them and this would be "another knife in the back." The chairman of the Council of Christians and Jews, the Rt. Rev. Christopher Herbert, Bishop of St. Albans, also attacked the vote as "unbalanced." A counter-motion by pro-Israeli Anglicans was not allowed to be put.
       The present Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, supported the vote, but the second most senior Archbishop, John Sentamu of York, abstained. Bewilderingly, Williams then apologized to the British Chief Rabbi, regretting the vote which he had supported as "specially unfortunate... at a time when, as we are well aware, anti-Semitism in a growing menace and the State of Israel faces some very particular challenges." That, I suppose, is Anglicanism for you.
       The Bishop of Chelmsford, the Right Rev. John Gladwin, said Christians in Palestine were in despair. Although recent reports have indicated a high level of Muslim persecution of Christians in Israel, Bishop Gladwin blamed the Israeli government for their plight.
       Bryan Reuben, Emeritus Professor of Chemical Technology at London South Bank University, wrote in the (London) Times of 21 February: "Where are the protests about the banning of churches in Saudi Arabia; about the destruction of Taibe, a West Bank Christian Village, by Palestinian Arabs; about the persecution of Burmese Christians, and so on? What about divesting from the firms supplying the bulldozers that Robert Mugabe uses to destroy Zimbabwean villages?"
       Numerous statements have been put out by various church bodies attacking Israel security measures with no criticism of terrorism against Israel or with weasel-word attempts to justify it, like the Anglican Peace and Justice Network's statement that "it is the Occupation in its many facets that foments violence and fuels the conflict," as though Israel is to blame if Hamas fits out brainwashed children as suicide-bombers.
       To emphasize further the brilliant timing of the general synod, an all-party Parliamentary committee inquiring into anti-Semitism in Britain has just begun hearing evidence. Henry Grunewald, president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, said anti-Semitism had increased since 9/11 and "it's worse in some ways than at any time since Jews have lived here." The number of anti-Semitic incidents in Britain has doubled in the past five years, a period that has seen literally thousands of terrorist attacks on Israel.
       The temper of the times -- and the peril facing the people of Israel -- is indicated not only by the murder of Jews in France and elsewhere and the international Cartoon Jihad (in which Williams apparently supported the Islamicist position, claiming the cartoons "cast a shadow over Christian-Muslim relations"), but also by the fact that a recent poll of British Muslims found that two-fifths regard Jewish civilians as legitimate targets. Abu Hamza, recently and very belatedly jailed for inciting murder and race-hatred, has claimed: "We do not want Jews to pull away from Palestine, we want them to be buried there," with "their skulls and bodies" used as landfill under the Temple Mount in Jerusalem. British poet and Oxford don Tom Paulin called for the killing of Jews on the West Bank, claiming in an Egyptian paper: "I think they should be shot dead. I think they are Nazis, racists and I feel nothing but hatred for them," and that "I never believed Israel had the right to exist at all." Paulin continued after this to be a regular contributor on BBC2's "Newsnight Review" arts program. There have been several cases of students and others being refused admission or publication by British academic institutions for the simple -- and admitted! -- reason that they were Israelis or Jews.
       Oxford University simultaneously held an anti-Semitic "Israel Apartheid Week," hosted by the Palestinian Society (not a registered University society, and which was acting illegally in using the University's name), sanctioned by the University's Student Union. Flyers stated it was to commemorate the "30th anniversary of the international convention for the suppression and punishment of the crime of apartheid." Posters put out to publicize the festival showed Israeli soldiers beating a Palestinian man with maps of Israel (described as Palestine) and South Africa. The festival's themes were Apartheid and Zionism, divestment and resistance. Despite protests by Jewish students, university authorities failed to intervene, thus condoning the intimidation which many Jewish students obviously felt.
       Mark Steyn has quoted Paul Oestreicher, Anglican chaplain of the University of Sussex: "I cannot listen calmly when an Iranian president talks of wiping out Israel. Jewish fears go deep. They are not irrational. But I cannot listen calmly either when a great many citizens of Israel think and speak of Palestinians in the way a great many Germans thought and spoke about Jews when I was one of them and had to flee."
       This suggests, as Steyn points out, a kind of moral equivalence between building a defensive security wall to protect civilians from terrorism and threatening to launch a nuclear Armageddon. Archbishop Carey is right to feel shame for his church.
       Hal G.P. Colebatch's book Blair's Britain was selected as a Book of the Year in the London Spectator. He is a journalist, lawyer, and author and lectures part-time in International Law and International Relations at the University of Notre Dame in Western Australia.
    http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/submit/subchron5.htm#anglican
       [COMMENT: Evidently the British Anglicans had seen television images of the bulldozers smashing the fruit and olive trees of Palestinians (whether Muslim or Christian) tended for generations in a harsh water-deficient climate.  Terrorism does not always come with a bomb vest.  The Torah and the Koran have much in common!   COMMENT ENDS.] [Found 14 Apr 07] [Mar 1, 06]

    • [Afghan converted to Christianity, therefore faces death sentence]  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Afghan Christian faces death sentence

     
       Ekklesia (Britain), www.ekklesia. co.uk/content/ news_syndication/ article_060319 afghan.shtml , March/19/2006
       KABUL, Afghanistan: An Afghan man is being prosecuted in a Kabul court and could be sentenced to death on a charge of converting from Islam to Christianity, a judge said this weekend.
       The news comes less than three weeks after US President George W Bush made his first visit to the country, and talked about religious liberty in the country.
       But it also comes shortly after the appointment of a religious affairs official of Afghanistan's former Taliban regime to the country's new parliament which prompted concern among international human rights advocates. The trial is believed to be the first of its kind in Afghanistan. It comes four years after the invasion which got rid of the fundamentalist Taliban regime.
       In a surprise visit to Afghanistan on March 1st George Bush implied in a speech that the US invasion had brought religious freedom to the country.
       "Under the Taliban and Osama bin Laden, there is no religious freedom. You have no chance to express yourself in the public square without being punished. There is no capacity to realize your full potential" he said.
       But 41-year-old Abdul Rahman was arrested last month after his family accused him of becoming a Christian.
       Rahman was charged with rejecting Islam.
       The defendant has confessed that he converted from Islam to Christianity 16 years ago while working as a medical aid worker for an international Christian group helping Afghan refugees in the Pakistani city of Peshawar.
       "We are not against any particular religion in the world. But in Afghanistan, this sort of thing is against the law," the judge said. "It is an attack on Islam."
       A ruling on the case is expected within two months.
       Afghanistan's constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death, said Ahmad Fahim Hakin ... chairman of the state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.
       This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial in England & Wales License.Although the views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Ekklesia, the stories do try to reflect Ekklesia's values.
       [DOCTRINE (Koran): 2:193:- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.193 .
       8:12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.012
       8:38 (or 40):- Make war on them until strife shall be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's.
       16:108:- ... whoso openeth his breast to disbelief -- on such shall be wrath from God, and a severe punishment awaiteth them.
       33:61:- Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter. DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE (Hadith): 2, 19:173 (Bukhari's collection):- Later on, I saw him killed as a non-believer.
       9, 84:57:- "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him." GUIDELINE ENDS.] [Mar 19, 06]

    • Book by Mariwan Halabjaee, "the Salman Rushdie of Iraqi-Kurdistan," now online.  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq flag; http://theisoughtproblem.blogspot.com   Sweden flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Book by Mariwan Halabjaee, “the Salman Rushdie of Iraqi-Kurdistan,” now online

     
       The Is-Ought Problem blogspot, http://theisought problem.blog spot.com/ 2006_03_01 _theisought problem_ archive.html , (Author not clear), (later updated Apr 3, 06), Friday, March 31, 2006
       UPDATE Apr/3/06: See the most recent article, Iraqi-Kurdistan: Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam published on the Internet. The Kurdistani - Photo of book cover - Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam, by Mariwan HalabjayeeAs first reported by the The Kurdistani, the book Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam by Mariwan (sp. Marywan) Halabjaee (sp. Halabjay, Halabjayee, Halabjaye, Halabjayi), "the Salman Rushdie of Iraqi-Kurdistan," is now available online.
       The book is about how Islam is allegedly used to oppress women. "I wanted to prove how oppressed women are in Islam and that they have no rights," said Halabjaee. The book was made available online by BoPeshawa.com, along with information about Halabjaee. In addition, BoPeshawa.com provides contact information for the representative of Halabjaee's campaign in the United Kingdom, Shapol Said [ shapoldarya@yahoo.co.uk ].
       The site also provides a list of some of Halabjaee's supporters in the United Kingdom. The book was originally (and continues to be) hosted by The Kurdistani in compressed RAR format.
       The book has now been mirrored in Adobe Acrobat PDF format at the following sites: Rapid Share Badongo.com YourFileLink.com OxyShare RapidUpload.com Up-File.com BestSharing.com Content-Type.com Megashares.com FileFactory.com SaveFile.com
       As previously reported, Halabjaee was forced to flee to Sweden after the Islamic League of Kurdistan issued a "conditional" fatwa to kill him if he did not repent and apologize for writing his book.
       The "conditional" nature of the fatal fatwa was uncertain. Halabjaee reported that "a couple of weeks ago in Halabja, the mullahs and scholars said if I go to them and apologize they will give me 80 lashes and then refer me to the fatwa committee to decide if I am to be beheaded. They might forgive me, they might not." As a result, Halabjaye went into hiding with his pregnant wife and three children. Photo of Mariwan (sp. Marywan) Halabjaee (sp. Halabjay, Halabjayee, Halabjaye, Halabjayi)
       Halabjaee was forced to flee Iraqi-Kurdistan after the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) refused to offer him any protection or to arrest those who threatened his life. "The Kurdish authorities have not provided any protection from threats and fatwas," said Halabjaee, "any moment I am expecting a bullet or a hand grenade to be thrown into where I live." In response to the Halabjaee affair, the KRG Minister of Religious Issues, Dr. Mohammad Gaznayi, told protestors that according to the law of Iraqi-Kurdistan, "defamation" or "criticizing" religion or religious figures is a crime and its punishment is severe. "We will give those who attack our prophets a sentence so that they can be a lesson for everyone," said Gaznayi.
       Halabjaee was in possession of a warrant for his arrest issued by the Suleimaniya police department when he fled Iraqi-Kurdistan. The irony is that the only thing accomplished by those who sought to suppress publication of Sex, Sharia and Women in the History of Islam was to cause it to be published to the entire world. The Internet publication of the book also serves as a powerful lesson. For everyone.
      Posted by Charles Chapman at 3/31/2006 12:59:00 AM
       [GUIDELINE, Hadith/Sunnah: 3, 17:4206 ff (Muslim's collection):- There came to him a woman ... and said:  Allah's Messenger, I have committed adultery, so purify me.  ... she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her. ... he prayed over her and she was buried.
       8, 82:815:- ... The Prophet said, "By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, I will judge you according to the Laws of Allah.  Your one-hundred sheep and the slave are to be returned to you, and your son has to receive one-hundred lashes and be exiled for one year.  O Unais! Go to the wife of this man, and if she confesses, then stone her to death."  Unais went to her and she confessed.  He then stoned her to death.   GUIDELINE ENDS.] [Mar 31, 06]

    • [Islamic school funds going to political action; rent now $900,000]  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Islamic body ‘using school to milk funds’

     
       The Weekend Australian, by Natalie O'Brien, p 9, March 25-26, 2006
       SYDNEY (NSW): AUSTRALIA'S peak Islamic council has been accused by its own internal investigators of funding its activities with public money siphoned off from a nonprofit Muslim school.
       A leaked report alleges the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils is artificially inflating rents to milk federal and state government funds from the popular Malek Fahd school in western Sydney, possibly contrary to government rules.
       The report obtained by The Weekend Australian says AFIC, which advises the Howard Government on Islamic issues, should seek legal advice about the $900,000 in rent it charges the school a year - up to four times more than average commercial rates.
       The private school, which receives more public funds than any other in NSW, is situated on land owned by AFIC. While it operates as a separate non-profit organisation, it has four AFIC executives or office holders on its governing board.
       AFIC charges the school rent, accounting fees, cleaning costs and other charges which provide two-thirds of AFIC's budget of more than $2 million a year.
       The school receives $11 million a year from the federal Government on condition the funds are used only for educational purposes and the school only uses surplus profits for its own activities.
       But the investigation into AFIC's finances by forensic accountant Robert Smith reveals that the rental income is used to support the political activities of dozens of Muslim groups in the country.
       "Arguably there is a diversion of 'profit' from the school to AFIC," Mr Smith warns in his report, prepared for AFIC.
       "Such a diversion is what I have speculated that governments will be concerned about - educational funding being diverted to other entities for purposes other than education."
       AFIC has nine Islamic councils and dozens of smaller affiliates as members. It spends its funds on a range of activities, including grants to Islamic societies and donations to individual imams around the country.
       The chief executive officer of AFIC, Amjad Mehboob, said Mr Smith had got it wrong.
       "He overstepped the mark, he did not have enough information to support that conclusion," Mr Mehboob said. "He did not get all the facts."
       Mr Mehboob also pointed out that Mr Smith found no evidence of wrongdoing or corruption within AFIC.
       Mr Smith, managing director of Sydney-based accounting firm Worrells, was commissioned to prepare a report on AFIC's finances after a split between members at last year's AFIC annual general meeting.
       Some members called for the inquiry after concerns were raised about payments being made to executive committee members and alleged conflicts of interest with associates of the executive committee.
       There was also concern that the rent charged to Malek Fahd, which has about 1750 students from kindergarten to Year 12, was to rise even higher to $1.5 million a year.
       Mr Smith was commissioned to examine AFIC's accounts, its schools, its adherence to its own constitution and the corporations law, and to probe all payments made in the past six years to AFIC executive committee members, contractors and associates.
       AFIC was compelled to hand over documents and give Mr Smith access to its financial accounts.
       AFIC has increased the rent by more than 1000 per cent on the 3.62ha property leased by Malek Fahd. It rose from $67,500 in 1999 to $418,750 in 2000 and then $900,000 in 2001, where it has remained.
       But the property, zoned general rural, has a current unimproved land value recorded by the Bankstown Council - which has not been reviewed since 1992 - of $3 million. Local real estate agents told The Weekend Australian this value would give it an annual average rental return of about $240,000.
       Mr Smith warned AFIC it was charging the Sydney school based on an "improved land value", believed to be $5.1 million, even though AFIC had made no contribution to those improvements.
       Mr Mehboob told The Weekend Australian AFIC had not charged rent in the early years after AFIC founded the school in the early 1990s.
       He also said AFIC had a valuation done on the property and the valuer recommended that Malek Fahd be charged more than the $900,000 rent.
       Mr Smith wrote that during his inquiries he was "continually informed of the need for confidentiality".
       "It was clear to me that people were happy to talk about certain issues behind closed doors but not in a public forum," he wrote in his 37-page report. "Many people expressed concern about perceived conflicts of interest where persons associated with AFIC were appointed to provide goods and services."
       But Mr Mehboob said AFIC was an open and transparent organisation that "had nothing to hide".
       Mr Smith's report found that some of AFIC's accounting practices were breaching its own constitution. Payments were being made without the proper authority and in some cases, where there was no access to documentation, it could not be determined if AFIC was complying with the Corporations Law. AFIC declined to respond to questions about perceived conflicts of interest. #
       [COMMENT: The people who opposed State aid to religious schools were right, weren't they? COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 8:30:- ... God plotted : and of plotters is God the best!
       66:2:- God hath allowed you release from your oaths. ... DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Mar 25-26, 2006]

    • How Islam is Presented and Explored in "The Prophet's Hair." 

    How Islam is Presented and Explored in “The Prophet’s Hair”

     
       The Is-Ought Problem website, http://the isought problem. blogspot. com/ , By Jamal Muhsin, jmuhsin [at] yahoo.com , April 8, 2006
       'The Prophet's Hair', a short story by Salman Rushdie, called 'a moral fable' reveals much about Islam.  The story was written in 1981 in which it was not controversial.  In a different era – namely after Rushdie's The Satanic Verses, when the fatwa was issued against him and recently when Muhammad's cartoons have caused chaos and the world faces threats of Islam – it can be provoking.  In this essay, I will be dealing with Islam and how it is pictured in the story.  I think to get a good picture of it, one needs to look at Qur'an and compare some verses to the fictional manifestations in this story.  Thus, I will be mentioning some verses from Qur'an that, I think, cohere with the fiction and the life of Hashim's family and the main idea in the story.   It is worth mentioning too that the incident of the stolen relic is a suggestion of the actual one in which the relic in Hazratbal mosque was stolen in the early 60's of the twentieth century.  Hazratbal is the most important and 'holy' mosque in Kashmir because, as it is said, it enshrines a strand of Prophet Muhammad's beard – Mo-i-Muqaddas, which means 'the holy hair' in Persian language.  This strand which is considered sacred and supposed to be worshiped is broadly satirised in 'The Prophet's Hair'.  The relic has wreaked havoc in the splendid charming valley of Kashmir.
       At the very beginning of the story one is puzzled why young Atta is in 'prone form' [1] and beautiful Huma's face is 'bruised', and she and her mother had not 'slept a wink from worrying' (2843).  One wonders why Huma is 'lying motionless amidst the funereally stunted winter blooms of the hopeful florist' and Atta is 'suffering terribly from exposure as well as a broken skull, entered a coma' (2843).  Being beaten and humiliated as we will see in the other episodes of the story, can be interpreted as the state of the members of many families in which Islam is dominant.  It is not important whether Hashim was a Muslim believer (a moderate one) before finding the relic or not; what he does later is derived from Islam.  So, being a moderate or so-called 'fanatic' or 'fundamentalist' alters neither the essence of Islam, or the verses of Qur'an, nor the misery that the 'holy hair' brings to Hashim's family.
       After Hashim finds the relic, he begins to behave like a typical Muslim and apply Islam Shari'a.  Although Hashim does not take the vial for the sake of the relic, he is magically and miraculously affected by it.  He speaks with himself:
    the Prophet would have disapproved mightily of this relic-worship.  He abhorred the idea of being deified!  So, by keeping this hair from its distracted devotees, I perform? do I not? ? a finer service that I would by returning it!  Naturally, I don't want it for its religious value… I'm a man of world, of this world.  I see it purely as a secular object of great rarity and blinding beauty.  In short, it's the silver vial I desire, more than the hair. (2846)
       He says that he does not take care about its religious value and only sees it as a 'secular object' but 'the holy hair', just like Moses' rod, made him 'looked swollen, distended.  His eyes bulged […], they were red-rimmed, and his knuckles were white'. (2847)  Furthermore, 'He seemed to be on the point of bursting! […], under the influence of the misappropriated relic, he had filled up with spectral fluid which might at any moment ooze uncontrollably from his every bodily opening'. (2847)
       As soon as this change happens, he acts like a Muslim father and husband.  Now, the necessity of quoting some verses from Qur'an seems to be inevitable here.  Hashim tells his wife that 'far from being the principal beneficiary of his will, she would receive no more than the eighth portion which was her due under Islamic law.' (2847)  This is an application of Qur'an:  '[…] And they shall have a fourth of that which you leave, if you have no child; but if you have a child, then they shall have an eighth of that which you leave […]' [2].  He accuses Huma of 'lasciviousness, because she went around the city barefaced, which was unseemly for any good Muslim girl to do.  She should, he commanded, enter purdah forthwith.' (2847)  This is apparently a mirror of Qur'an: 'And stay in your houses with dignity, and do not show off yourselves like the showing off the former days of ignorance […]' (Al-Ahzab 33, 34, 414) [or 33:33] or: 'And say to the believing women that they restrain their eyes and guard their private parts, and that they disclose not their natural and artificial beauty except that which is apparent thereof, and that they draw their head-coverings over their bosoms […]'. (Al-Nur, 24, 32, 341) [or 24:31].
       Another verse can be linked to this issue is: 'O children of Adam! We have indeed sent down to you raiment to cover your shame, and to be an elegant dress; but the raiment of righteousness? that is the best. That is one of the Signs of Allah, that they may remember.' (Al-A'raf, 7, 27, 142) [or 7:26]. Hashim is not only suggesting an Islamic dress or making her follow the Islamic disciplines but also imposing that on her, as we see later when he issues an ultimatum to expel her from the house because she resists. Hashim becomes a regular prayer and '[…] forced his family to rise, wash and say their prayers. From then on, he began to pray five times daily for the first time in his life, and his wife and children were obliged to do likewise.' (2847-48) Burning all the other books except the Qur'an, he orders 'each member of the family to read passages from this book for at least two hours per day' (2848) because according to Qur'an, 'This messenger of Ours believes in that which has been revealed to him from his Lord, and so do the believers: all of them believe in Allah, and His angels, and His Books […]. (Al-Baqarah, 2, 286, 46) [or 2:285] Muhammad's strand of beard has made Hashim a 'good' and 'honest' believer and, therefore, his family members, having no other way or choice, should follow the same belief.
       But we see 'worse to come' as the narrator says. Although Hashim is doing something that contradicts Islam (usury), he makes use of Islamic means of punishments against one of the poor debtors who asks for giving him much time. Calling the debtor as a thief of others' money, Hashim 'tried to cut off the wretch's right hand' (2848). Here, he is like a ruler in Islam ordered to do his job: 'And as for the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off their hands in retribution of their offence as an exemplary punishment from Allah […].' (Al-Ma'idah, 5, 39, 105) [or 4:38]. This is used ironically by Rushdie to affirm that the 'discipline around' the house is none but from Shari'a. There will surely be some 'disciplines':
    Men are the Guardians over women because Allah has made some of them excel others, and because they (men) spend of their wealth. So virtuous women are those who are obedient, and guard the secrets of their husbands with Allah's protection. And as for those on whose part you fear disobedience, admonish them and leave them alone in their beds, and chastise them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them […]. (Al-Nisa, 4, 35, 78) [or 4:34]
       As we see, when the mother wants to 'calm Hashim down, he struck her on the face with an open hand. Atta leapt to his mother's defence and he, too, was sent flying.' (2848). Moreover, the wife that cannot bear such harshness, but has to obey, 'began a fit of hysterics which continued throughout that night and the following day, and which so provoked her husband that he threatened her with divorce'. (2848) This is the daily fate shown to women in Islam-ridden countries, as in Afghanistan under Taliban's rule and nowadays Islamic rule too, Iran, Saudi Arabia…etc., to put aside Huma's being disowned and being given 'one week in which to pack her bags and go'. (2848) The answer to why this happens in the story as a stereotype of women's status in those countries can be seen in the mentioned verses and many others from Qur'an.
       Rushdie has ridiculed and satirised Islam in many ways, either by bringing these things I discussed or by giving some icons in the story. The word Sheikh means chief of a tribe or alike, and at the same time it is used for a high social and religious rank of a person. Sheikh Sin in 'The Prophet's Hair' is not a man of Allah. This Sheikh is 'The Thief of Thieves' (2850) and a 'professional burglar'. This irony simply mocks Islam and Islam's symbols. As we see in the opening of the story that Atta is entering 'the most wretched and disreputable part of the city' (2843) and searching for a burglar to save them. What is also more satirical is that because of the disaster the 'holy hair' of Muhammad brings about to Hashim's family, Huma seeks help from the thief of thieves who lives in an 'ever darker and less public alleys'. (2844) Atta and Huma really want to get the relic out of their house seeing it the source of their misery. The thing considered as 'holy' is devastating and people are furious over it; the 'crook' has sought to be a rescuer. Another satiric tone is Atta's speech. When he realizes that the cause of their disaster is the vial, he says to his 'shock-numbed' sister: 'We are descending to gutter-level'. (2848) This implicitly means that Islam and Muhammad's 'holy hair' disgraced and lowered them.
       The relic will be enshrined again in its 'appropriate' place but after having destructed everything. When it came to Hashim's house it brought the enormous catastrophe – the father, the son and the daughter all die and the mother is driven to madness and the Sheikh is shot dead. Sheikh Sin's family seems to have got benefit from it, but it is ironically mentioned that when the four crippled sons have healed, they were 'very properly furious, because the miracle had reduced their earning powers by 75 per cent, at the most conservative estimate; so they were ruined men' (2852).
       After The Satanic Verses and the fatwa against Rushdie, the significance of 'The Prophet's Hair' emerged. I would like to pick out Fiona Richards' point that after the fatwa in 1989, this story had been republished in a collection and then in 1994 in a compendium named East, West. She claims that 'The Prophet's Hair' was a defiance of the Fatwa. She quotes Rushdie's emphasis about that. I would like to quote it again from her article: '"The Prophet's Hair" is the answer to the intimidation question. If I was being scared off writing about Islam it wouldn't be in the collection, would it?' [3]  This asserts that Rushdie undoubtedly criticizes Islam, and even mocks it in 'The Prophet's Hair', since it is not sacred for him.
       The storm ends, and the relic is eventually 'authenticated' by 'the holiest men' because it caused that entire miracle. Nonetheless, the question that remains is the sacredness of Islam. If we just imagine and suppose that the relic is stolen again and this time the police do not find another 'Sheikh Sin' to get it back, and rumours spread that it is a group that has taken it, what would then happen? It would happen what happened in 2002, an immense conflict among the Muslims and the Hindus over the speech of one of the MPs that the relic belongs to a holy Hindu man. The relic was not stolen but someone suspected its Islamic genuine origin and 'questioned the authenticity of a holy Muslim relic' [4].  'The Prophet's Hair' wants to give a message that no religion is sacred. I would conclude by Rushdie's sentence that 'To respect the sacred is to be paralysed by it'. [5]  This short story conducts readers to 'iconoclasm'. One may claim that to let not the relic destroy Hashim's family, or as an icon of the whole society, per say, one has to destroy the vial that enshrines the relic or 'the holy hair'. Otherwise, one will be paralysed by the sacred images portrayed as taboos that cannot be broken. The story gives the perception that Islam is what essentially is and its values cannot be altered. It is pretty true that 'The person who wants to modernize Islam is like that forgetful genius who wants to invent a machine in his/her garage, which can turn copper into gold!' [6]
       Footnotes
    [1] M. H. Abrams, The Norton Anthology of English Literature, 7th.ed, vol.2, p. 2843. Further quotations will be mentioned only by the number of the page.
    [2] The Holy Qur'an, translated by Maulawi Sher Ali. Alnisa chapter, 4, verse 13, [or 4:12] p.75. Further verses will be taken from the same version with mentioning the name and number of the chapter followed by the number of the verse and then the page.
    [3] Fiona Richards, The Desecrated Shrine: Movable Icons and Literary Irreverence in Salman Rushdie's 'The Prophet's Hair', SOAS Literary Review (2), July 2000, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London
    [4] BBC News, MP faces trial in relic row
    [5] Salman Rushdie, 'Is nothing Sacred?' Imaginary Homelands. (London: Granta Books, 1991), p.416.
    [6] Mansoor Hekmat, 'Islam is part of the "Lumpenism" in Society'. P.360
       Bibliography
       1. Hekmat, Mansoor. "Islam is part of the 'Lumpenism' in Society". Mansoor Hekmat: Selected Works. London: Mansoor Hekmat Foundation, 2002. 356-60.
       2. Rushdie, Salman "The Prophet's Hair", The Norton Anthology of English Literature, ed. by M. H. Abraham and Stephen Greenblatt. 7th ed., vol.2. New York: Norton, 2000. 2842-52.
       3. Rushdie, Slaman. "Is nothing Sacred?" Imaginary Lands. Salman Rushdie. London: Granta Books, 1991. 415-429
       4. The Holy Qur'an. Translated by The late Maulawi Sher 'Ali. Pakistan, Rabwah: The Oriental and Religious Publishing Corporation Ltd., 1979.
       5. SOAS Literary Review (2), July 2000, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
       6. BBC News, MP faces trial in relic row.
       [Editor's Note: The author of this essay, Jamal Muhsin, is currently studying for his Master's degree in English literature at the University of Oslo.]
       Posted by Charles Chapman at 4/09/2006 05:59:00 PM 1 comments #
       [FOOTNOTE: The grammar is as it was copied on Feb 18, 2007.   ENDS.]
       [RECAPITULATION - WOMEN'S INHERITANCE: And they shall have a fourth of that which you leave, if you have no child; but if you have a child, then they shall have an eighth of that which you leave.   RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT ON THAT: The author gives the reference to the wives' eighth share as Alnisa chapter, 4, verse 13.  Dawood's 2003 revision shows it as Al-Nisa' ("Women"), surah 4 (page 62).  Rodwell's 2001 edition shows it as surah 4, aya 14 (page 50).  Yusuf Ali's shows it as 4:12.
       In Australia during the so-called "demonisation" of Muslims after the Bali bombing, earnest and bright women Muslims have been seen on television and heard on radio averring that women have equal inheritance rights to men.  Besides the eighth portion to "your wives" if they have children (what about a polygamous household?), there is the previous verse, 4:12 "With regard to your children, Allah commandeth you to give the male the portion of two females ..." and a rigmarole of examples.
       It is not reciprocal, as reading 4:13 shows: "Half of what your wives leave shall be yours, if they have no issue; but if they have issue, then a fourth of what they leave shall be yours, after paying the bequests they shall bequeath, and debts." (Spot the unclearness of that aya!)
       Evidently the journalists and interviewers who accept these television and other protestations of fair inheritance laws for women do not have a Search Engine to look up the Quran/Koran.  If a reporter challenged these assertions by quoting the text, one suspects he would be labelled as an Islamophobe! -- Comment written Feb 18, 2007. ENDS.]
       [QURAN / KORAN EXPLANATION: The author gives the Arabic name of the surah (chapter) in roman letters, then the surah number, then the aya (verse), then the page number where it may be found in the book referred to in his footnote number 1.   ENDS.] [Apr 8, 06]

      • The Silence of the Experts  

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 8, April-May 2006
    SCHOLARS and nonspecialists alike should be grateful to Dr. Bostom for making these documents available for further research. I wrote 'should be grateful' - but will everyone be pleased to have this comprehensive anthology that gainsays the myth of Islamic tolerance in an irrefutable way?
       And why did it take a nonspecialist such as Dr. Bostom, a scholar from another discipline - clinical epidemiology and randomized clinical trials in medicine - to discover, and have translated and published for the first time in English, this primary and secondary source material? Where were the Orientalists, Islamologists, and professors of Near Eastern studies?
       There are a number of scholars writing and living in the West whose works are widely read, respected, and influential but who, for various reasons, wish to play down the history of the dhimmis*, including the Armenian genocide, and the periodic but persistent massacres not only of Jews and Christians, but the oft-neglected Hindus, Zoroastrians, and Buddhists, living under Islam.
       Some are concerned for the security of Israel and are grateful to Turkey for their treaties with Israel; hence these scholars do their best to deny or at least minimize the Armenian massacres.
       Since any discussion of dhimmis often ends in a discussion of the Armenian genocide, the negationist scholars are hostile to any works highlighting the plight of Jews and Christians under Islam in general.
       Others are simply Turkophiles, having made Turkey their field of speciality, and have friends and colleagues and even girlfriends or wives from Turkey. Others again are grateful to Turkey for its support during the cold war.
    - Ibn Warraq, Forward to The Legacy of Jihad, ed. Andrew G. Bostom, Prometheus Books, New York, 2005, p.21.
    * Dhimmis: 'tolerated' non-citizens - the name given to non-Muslims in Islamic countries.
    [April-May 2006]
    • Iraq: 'Christians Are Desperate'  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
    Bishop Abouna gives worst situation report to date.

    IRAQ: 'CHRISTIANS ARE DESPERATE'

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , By JOHN PONTIFEX, p 10, April-May 2006
    BAGHDAD'S Bishop Andreas Abouna has given his bleakest assessment yet of the situation in Iraq, speaking of the despair that is driving more and more Christians to leave the country.
       Describing a worsening of the security situation since last December's parliamentary elections, the Chaldean bishop told how people were living in fear of their lives.
       Speaking to Aid to the Church in Need, Bishop Abouna said: 'The Christians feel desperate and so many are leaving.
       'In their hearts they do not want to leave their country,' he added, 'but because of the situation, they prefer to be outside Iraq.'
       Throughout the interview, the bishop highlighted a security crisis. 'Security is now very bad,' he said. 'There are a lot of police in Iraq, especially around Baghdad - you can find them everywhere and they are increasing all the time.
       The problem is that the quality of the policing is indifferent,' explained the bishop. 'Sometimes people feel afraid because - more so than before - they do not feel secure.'
       The interview comes after Bishop Abouna's superior, Emmanuel III Delly, Patriarch of Baghdad for the Chaldeans, called a two-day fast for peace to take place next Monday and Tuesday (April 3 and 4).
       Zenit news service quoted Patriarch Delly as saying: 'We have moved away from piety and virtue, from forgiveness...because of this, the blood of so many brothers has been shed and so many children have remained orphans'
       Emphasising that Christians have suffered no worse than others, Bishop Abouna said:  'We still hope that Iraq will rise again but it is very difficult when we have a government who cannot decide anything.  Can you imagine what life is like without any real form of government?'
       He echoed concerns of a full-scale descent into civil war but added that it was unlikely, saying such conflicts were unprecedented in Iraq's history.
       The interview, staged in London, where Bishop Abouna was attending an international conference on religious freedom, comes amid reports showing the clergy stepping up efforts to discourage the faithful - especially the young - from leaving the country.
       'Christians are getting fewer and fewer,' said Bishop Abouna, who went on to say that despite the exodus, churches were packed for services. 'When you look inside the churches, they are full of Christians. But when you go outside you feel that Christians are finished in Iraq.'
       Latest estimates give the number of Christians in Iraq as about 750,000, down from more than one million before the Allied invasion.
       Bishop Abouna, who has responsibility for church youth initiatives, described holding retreat weekends in Baghdad for college students, with Mass, spiritual discourses and workshops on leadership and vocational subjects.
       He said: 'When the young people came together last time, the bombs were falling everywhere. The roads were blocked. And yet somehow 1,500 people came. It was amazing. I said to them: 'The fact that so many of you have come encourages us to lead you.' They were very, very happy. #
       [COMMENT: Readers, if you have deep knowledge of Iraqi and Mesopotamian history, please communicate with this website regarding his claim that there had been no civil war in Iraq. Remember right back to when the Arabs came and took it off the owners around the seventh century, please. COMMENT ENDS.] [April-May 2006]
    • Under The Scimitar Of Damocles  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 
    If any person kills an apostate.... Nothing [i.e. no punishment]... is incurred by the slayer. - The Hidaya by al-Marghiniani [died 1197 AD].

    UNDER THE SCIMITAR OF DAMOCLES

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , By ANDREW G. BOSTOM, pp 34-36, April-May 2006
    ABDUL Rahman faced death at the hands of our Afghan allies for the 'crime' of converting to Christianity. This fate is no fluke, not a brutal Afghan variant on the practice of 'tolerant' Islam. Death for apostasy is part and parcel of Islamic scripture and tradition. When Afghanistan's leading clerics endorse his death, they are on solid ground. Thus, in the wake of appeals by world leaders, including the Pope, even though Mr. Rahman appears to have received a 'dispensation' by the Karzai Government - for 'mental health' or other reasons, unfortunately, he is and remains guilty as per Afghan religious leaders, and Shari’a.
       John Ralph Willis, Princeton University Professor of Near Eastern Studies, has described the 'apparent paradox' that jihad wars and razzias (p.343) - rationalized as struggles to liberate men from unbelief - became, through the mass enslavement intrinsic to these campaigns, 'a device to deprive men of freedom.' And freedom, in the Muslim conception, 'being perfect slavery' to Allah, the sole (distant) hope of earthly freedom from the bondage and humiliation of slavery for the subjugated infidel - whose dignity and very legal essence were annihilated by jihad - was to '...incarcerate his spirit in Islam,' and await manumission at the discretion of his Muslim overlord.
       Another respected Princeton scholar of Islam, Patricia Crone, has stated bluntly (or one might argue, self-evidently) regarding such jihad enslavement - a major historical modality for Islamization -
    ... it would be absurd to deny that force played a major role in their [the vanquished infidels] conversion [to Islam].
       A strikingly similar 'paradox' of Islam is the contention epitomized by Koran 2:256, 'There is no compulsion in religion.' The poignant ongoing travails of Afghan Muslim convert to Christianity Abdul Rahman illustrate another uniquely Islamic fusion of absurdity and denial: in light of Koran 2:256 and repeated claims that Islam is characterized by freedom of belief and creed, devoid of compulsion, why has apostasy from Islam always been punished so harshly, for thirteen centuries, into the present era? Ibn Warraq's seminal 2003 study of apostasy, Leaving Islam (p.31), distinguishes transient doubt - edified by discovering the 'truth' of Islam - from apostasy:
       Doubt is a very good passageway, but a very bad place to stop in. However, apostasy is a matter of treason and ideological treachery, which originates from hostility and hypocrisy. The destiny of a person who has an inborn handicap is different from the 'destiny of one whose hand should be cut off due to the development of a dangerous and infectious disease. The apostasy of a Muslim individual whose parents have also been Muslim is a very infectious, dangerous and incurable disease that appears in the body of an ummah (people) and threatens people's lives, and that is why this rotten limb should be severed.
       And punishment by death for apostasy from Islam is firmly rooted in the most holy Muslim texts - both the Koran, and the hadith - as well as the sacred Islamic Law (the Shari’a). Koran 4:89 states* :
       They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill them wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.
       One of the most authoritative Koranic commentators, Baydawi (d. 1315/16) interprets this passage thus:
       'Whosoever turns back from belief (irtada), openly or secretly, take him and kill him wheresoever ye find him, like any other infidel. Separate yourself from him altogether. Do not accept intercession in his regard' (cited in Zwemer, The Law of Apostasy in Islam, 1924, pp. 33-34).
       Ibn Kathir's (d. 1373) venerated commentary on Koran 4:89 concurs, maintaining that as the unbelievers have manifested their unbelief, they should be punished by death. These draconian judgments are reiterated in a number of hadith (i.e. collections of the putative words and deeds of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, as compiled by pious transmitters). For example, Muhammad is reported to have said 'Kill him who changes his religion' in hadith collections of both Bukhari and Abu Dawud. There is also a consensus by all four schools of Sunni Islamic jurisprudence (i.e. Maliki, Hanbali, Hanafi, and Shafi'i), as well as Shi'ite jurists, that apostates from Islam must be put to death. Averroes (d. 1198), the renowned philosopher and scholar of the natural sciences, who was also an important Maliki jurist, provided this typical Muslim legal opinion on the punishment for apostasy (vol. 2, p. 552):
       An apostate ... is to be executed by agreement in the case of a man, because of the words of the Prophet, 'Slay those who change their din [religion]'. ... Asking the apostate to repent was stipulated as a condition ... prior to his execution.
       The contemporary (i.e. 1991) Al-Azhar (Cairo) Islamic Research Academy-endorsed Shafi'i manual of Islamic Law, 'Umdat al-Salik (pp. 595-96) states:
       Leaving Islam is the ugliest form of unbelief (kufr) and the worst ... When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostasizes from Islam, he deserves to be killed. In such a case, it is obligatory ... to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed.
       Finally, Warraq (p. 19) summarizes the means by which convicted apostates have been killed, typically by the sword (i.e. beheading)
       ... though there are examples of apostates tortured to death, or strangled, burned, drowned, impaled, or flayed. The Caliph 'Uraar [d. 644] used to tie them to a post and had lances thrust into their hearts, and the [Mameluke] Sultan Baybars II (1308-09) made [their] torture legal.
       Thus even if Mr. Rahman gets a 'dispensation' by the Karzai Government - for 'mental health', or other reasons, unfortunately, he is and remains guilty as per Afghan religious leaders, and Shari’a. As such, once released from prison, should any pious Afghan Muslim kill him (heeding the calls of local Afghan clerics), according to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence (which prevails in Afghanistan), specifically the important legal text The Hidaya by al-Marghiniani (d. 1197),
       If any person kills an apostate .... Nothing [i.e. no punishment] ... is incurred by the slayer.
       At this stage, perhaps the only way to assure that Mr. Rahman avoids a tragic and gruesome fate ('We will call on the people to pull him into pieces so there's nothing left,' maintained Abdul Raoulf, a 'moderate' cleric jailed for his previous opposition to the Taliban), is to find sanctuary for him outside of Afghanistan.
       For a decade, three courageous, prescient scholars - Ibn Warraq, David Littman, and Bat Ye'or - have warned about the grave dangers posed by Shari’a-based 'human rights' constructs, such as the 1990 Cairo Declaration (i.e. the so-called Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam, to which all member states [now 57] of the Organization of the Islamic Conference - including 'secular' Turkey - are signatories). Indeed the intrepid Senegalese jurist Adama Dieng (a Muslim, who subsequently became a United Nations special rapporteur), then serving as secretary-general to the International Commission of Jurists, declared forthrightly in February 1992 that the Cairo Declaration, under the rubric of the Shari’a,
       ... gravely threatens the inter-cultural consensus on which the international human rights instruments are based; introduces, in the name of the defense of human rights, an intolerable discrimination against bodi non-Muslims and women; reveals a deliberately restrictive character in regard to certain fundamental rights and freedoms, to the point that certain essential provisions are below the legal standard in effect in a number of Muslim countries; [and] confirms the legitimacy of practices, such as corporal punishment, that attack the integrity and dignity of the human being.
       And distracting, fatuous conceptions such as 'Extreme Shari’a' are mere enervating delusions which do nothing to combat this growing, lethal threat to the most fundamental rights of free societies. Invoking the difficult lessons learned from Cold War experiences, David Littman stated with the requisite moral clarity that
       ... only a firm and uncompromising stand on the most fundamental questions can bring about the effective implementation of the ideals set forth in the International Bill of Human Rights. Diplomatically correct words and gestures are not enough.
       More than 80 years ago, in his 1924 The Law of Apostasy in Islam, Samuel Zwemer made these observations, still depressingly relevant today, and extending beyond the 'Near East', to the entire Muslim world:
       The story is told that Damocles, at the court of Dionysius of Sicily, pronounced the latter the happiest man on earth. When, however, Damocles was permitted to sit on the royal throne, he perceived a sword hanging by a horse-hair over his head. The imagined felicity vanished, and he begged Dionysius to remove him from his seat of peril. Today [circa 1924] we read of new mandatories, of liberty, and of promised equality to minorities under Moslem rule; and newspapers assert that a new era has come to the Near East. Economic development, intellectual awakening, reforms, constitutions, parliaments and promises. Does the sword of Damocles, however, still hang over the head of each convert from Islam to Christianity? Is the new Islam i more tolerant than the old? Will the lives and property of converts be protected, and the rights of minorities , be respected? ....
       Again and again has European pressure, aided by a few educated Orientals, endeavored to secure equality before the law for all religions and races in the Near East. But as often as the attempt was made it proved a failure, each new failure more ghastly than the last. The reason is that the conscience and the faith of the most sincere and upright Moslems are bound up with the Koran and the Traditions. Civilization cannot eradicate deep-seated convictions. Rifles and ironclads, the cafe, the theatre, written constitutions, representative parliaments; none of these reach far below the surface. A truer freedom ... than the one supplied by their own faith, must come before Moslems can enter into the larger liberty which we enjoy.
       Denial or obfuscation of the role played by the very essence of Islam - by Shari’a - will never remove this murderous scimitar of Damocles hanging over the heads of hapless 'apostates' such as Abdul Rahman, and others, perhaps untold thousands, if not more, like him, throughout the Muslim world. And burgeoning, often irredentist Muslim populations in the West, especially Western Europe, have established de facto Islamic colonies within their host countries, punctuated by demands for local jurisdiction under Shari’a Law.
       Should nothing be done to desacralize the Shari’a and divorce it entirely from the governance of civil societies, future Western generations, may face the same brutal application of Shari’a punishments for 'apostasy', or as the Danish cartoon jihad demonstrated, for 'blaspheming' the Muslim Prophet Muhammad. If that frightening scenario unfolds, Westerners may be forced to experience Mr. Rahman's current dire predicament - to paraphrase (albeit inelegantly) John Donne: 'Do not ask over whom the scimitar hangs, it hangs over thee'.
    __________________
       [*For three simultaneous translations of Koran 4:89, see here:
       YUSUFALI: They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (from what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks;
       PICKTHAL: They long that ye should disbelieve even as they disbelieve, that ye may be upon a level (with them). So choose not friends from them till they forsake their homes in the way of Allah; if they turn back (to enmity) then take them and kill them wherever ye find them, and choose no friend nor helper from among them;
       SHAKIR: They desire that you should disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you might be (all) alike; therefore take not from among them friends until they fly (their homes) in Allah's way; but if they turn back, then seize them and kill wherever you find them, and take not from among them a friend or a helper.] [ www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/004. qmt.html #004.089 ; shown as the start of 4:91 in some books. ]
    ____________________
    ANDREW G. BOSTOM is the author of The Legacy of Jihad. #
       [COMMENT: Since this was written, "In a surprise visit to Afghanistan on March 1st George Bush implied in a speech that the US invasion had brought religious freedom to the country." Abdul Rahman's release (supposedly insane) and flight to safety overseas were followed by demands of hundreds of clerics, in Afghanistan, for their government to be punished for failing to execute him. COMMENT ENDS.] [April-May 2006]

      • Omar Sharif: Death Threat for being an 'Apostate'  

      Italy flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 34, April-May 2006
    A message on a website linked to al-Qaida has threatened death to the veteran Egyptian actor Omar Sharif after he played St Peter in an Italian TV film.
       In remarks widely reported in Italy earlier this month, the 73-year old actor, a convert to Islam, said he had 'seemed to hear voices' during the filming of St Peter, a two-part mini-series shown last week.
       Sharif was quoted as saying: 'Playing Peter was so important for me that if even now I can only speak about it with difficulty. It will be difficult for me to play other roles from now on.
       The Italian news agency Adnkronos International said that a message on a web forum used in the past by al-Qaida had a link to a site carrying the threat. 'Omar Sharif has stated that he has embraced the crusader idolatry,' it said. 'He is a crusader who is offending Islam and Muslims and receiving applause from the Italian people. I give you this advice, brothers, you must kill him.'
    - John Hooper, 'St Peter Role Prompts Death Threat' in The Guardian, October 31, 2005.
    [April-May 2006]

      • Tablighi Jamaat' - Islamic Fifth Column  

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 36, April-May 2006
    EVERY fall, over a million almost identically dressed, bearded Muslim men from around the world descend on the small Pakistani town of Raiwind for a three-day celebration of faith. Similar gatherings take place annually outside of Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Bhopal, India.
       These pilgrims are no ordinary Muslims, though; they belong to a movement called Tablighi Jamaat ("Proselytizing Group"). They are trained missionaries who have dedicated much of their lives to spreading Islam across the globe.
       The largest group of religious proselytizers of any faith, they are part of the reason for the explosive growth of Islamic religious fervor and conversion. Despite its size, worldwide presence, and tremendous importance, Tablighi Jamaat remains largely unknown outside the Muslim community, even to many scholars of Islam.
       This is no coincidence. Tablighi Jamaat officials work to remain outside of both media and governmental notice. Tablighi Jamaat neither has formal organizational structure nor does it publish details about the scope of its activities, its membership, or its finances.
       By eschewing open discussion of politics and portraying itself only as a pietistic movement, Tablighi Jamaat works to project a non-threatening image.
       The prominent Deobandi cleric and scholar Maulana Muhammad llyas Kandhalawi (1885-1944) launched Tablighi Jamaat in 1927 in Mewat, India, not far from Delhi.
       From its inception, the extremist attitudes that characterize Deobandism permeated Tablighi philosophy. Ilyas's followers were intolerant of other Muslims and especially Shi'ites, let alone adherents of other faiths.
       Indeed, part of llyas's impetus for founding Tablighi Jamaat was to counter the inroads being made by Hindu missionaries. They rejected modernity as antithetical to Islam, excluded women, and preached that Islam must subsume all other religions.
    - Alex Alexiev, 'Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad's Stealthy Legions,' Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2005.
    [April-May 2006]

    Disturbance in the force

      Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  
       News Weekly, www.news weekly. com.au, Melbourne, Australia, by Alan Barren, Grovedale, Victoria, p 18, April 1, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: According to the BBC news, the Brits want a police force that reflects the "diversity of the community".
       Apparently they are aiming to pro�duce a force of short, "height to weight proportionate" (read overweight), force made up of females, ethnic minorities and disabled persons in order to reflect the diversity of the community.
       I guess it won't be long therefore -- if the force wants to be truly inclu�sive -- to have recruiting policies fa�vouring drug-addicts, homosexuals, alcoholics, mature-aged persons, short people, overweight and dole-bludgers etc. And I wonder if they will consider recruiting juveniles over 14 years of age? (Children are clearly under-represented in the force).
       In 20 years time it shouldn't be too hard to rob a bank, as in all probability a 155cm, plump 55-year-old female with a limp, will be sent to "apprehend" you.
       If this ever comes to be, then, well may we say, "May the force be with you" -- because society will need it. [Apr 1, 06]
    • [Weak school leaders -- knives, spitting, insults. 80% non-Germans]  Germany flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags   Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Lebanon flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Saudi Arabia flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags/ 

    Close school from hell, say teachers

     
       The West Australian, p 26, Monday, April 10, 2006
       BERLIN: Teachers at Berlin's Ruetli school have decided enough is enough.
       They will no longer tolerate being spat at, insulted and attacked by pupils, some of whom speak hardly any German and many of whom carry knives.
       Things had deteriorated to such an extent at the state school - in a district where 80 per cent of pupils are from Muslim immigrant fami�lies - that it had become virtually impossible to teach, and some staff feared for their lives.
       In a letter to the authorities pleading for the school to be closed, staff said: "We are desper�ate. Our teaching is met with flat rejection. The mood in the class�rooms is one of aggression, com�plete lack of respect and ignorance. Instructions are ignored.
       "Few students bring relevant material, and many of us will only enter a lesson with a cell phone in order to call for help in an emer�gency. "
       Students carry knives, they said, supposedly "to defend them�selves", and many came from fam�ilies with no breadwinner and no hope for the future.
       When the letter - sent in Feb�ruary - was leaked to the media last month, the extent of the crisis in the country's once-prized edu�cation system finally burst into the public arena.
       Remarkably, the furore has coincided with the release of the German film Brutally Tough, a fictional portrayal of the criminal youth subculture in Neukoelln, the Berlin neighbourhood where Ruetli school is situated.
       Detlev Buck, the director, said his film was meant as a wake-up call to the German authorities about the parlous state of the nation's immigrant communities.
       For the staff of the school, the film has proved eerily realistic.
       "In many families, the pupils are the only ones who have to get up in the morning," one teacher said. "I feel as though we are rais�ing criminals and terrorists here."
       Since the teachers spoke out, headmasters, staff and pupils at secondary and comprehensive schools across Germany have com�plained of similar deficiencies in the state system.
       Stung into action, Chancellor Angela Merkel's Government last week launched an action plan to try to come to grips with the prob�lem amid warnings that the immi�grant rioting in France last year was imminent in Germany.
       Turkish leaders say the prob�lems in areas such as Neukoelln are to do with deep social problems, not simply the fault of the immi�grant population.
       "Young Arabs who live in Ger�many are raised in an authoritarian manner. The problem is that the school authorities are weak," said Nazar Mazood, head of an Arabic culture institute in Neukoelln.
       Most of Germany's 3.3 million Muslim immigrant population are of Turkish or Lebanese descent. Critics note that for decades, the Turks were officially regarded as "guest workers" who were in the country on only a temporary basis. #
       [RECAPITULATION: ... Germany's 3.3 million Muslim immigrant population ... RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Why? And, do people taught they are superior see any need to learn how to earn a living? COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE (Koran/Quran): �� 3:73 (or 66):- And believe no one unless he follows your Religion. Say: "True guidance is the Guidance of God" www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 003.qmt.html #003.073 .
       5:59:- ... haughty towards the infidels.
       33:1:- O Prophet, fear thou God and obey not the unbelievers and the hypocrites; -- Truly God is Knowing, Wise:
       33:48 (or 47):- And obey not (the behests) of the Unbelievers and the Hypocrites, and heed not their annoyances, but put thy Trust in God. For enough is God as a Disposer of affairs. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 033.qmt.html #033.048 . DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Apr 10, 06]

    • [Submit and be flogged or stoned, or fight and be hanged.]  Canada flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Plea to save teenager from Iran’s hangman

     
       The West Australian, p 31, Monday, April 10, 2006
       OTTAWA: A Canadian beauty queen's cam�paign to save the life of an Ira�nian teenager is drawing world�wide interest, with more than 7000 people signing a petition.
       The petition, addressed to the United Nations and the Islamic Republic of Iran, asks that the death sentence of a young woman named Nazanin be com�muted.
       Amnesty International has said the woman was 17 when she reportedly admitted stabbing to death one of three men who attempted to rape her and her 16-year-old niece in a park in March 2005. Now 18, Nazanin was convicted of murder and sentenced to death by hanging.
       Amnesty International and human rights workers in the case said they had not been able to contact her family or lawyers and did not know if legal appeals were scheduled.
       "It is a horrific story, and her name being Nazanin shocked me," said Nazanin Afshin-Jam, who came as a baby with her family to Canada, fleeing Iran's revolution. "I could have been in the same situation," she said, "but I'm lucky I live in a country (Canada) that knows what jus�tice is about."
       Ms Afshin-Jam, an aspiring singer with a university degree in political science and interna�tional relations, represented Canada and was runner-up in the 2003 Miss World contest.
       She said she hoped her Miss World profile would help save the Iranian girl.
       The petition notes that when Iranian women such as Nazanin are threatened with rape, they are caught between two undesir�able options.
       "On one hand, Iranian Penal Code severely limits the possibil�ity of using self-defence as a legitimate defence to aggres�sion," it says.
       "On the other hand, if Nazanin had allowed the rape to take place, she could still be imprisoned, flogged or stoned for having sex outside of mar�riage unless four male witnesses to the actual rape would testify on her behalf."
       The petition notes that Iran has signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in which it agreed not to execute anyone under age 18.
       Refugee lawyer Negar Azmudeh said at least one previous death sentence of a child in Iran had been overturned because of international pressure. #
       [DOCTRINE (Koran): 24:33:- ... Force not your female slaves into sin, in order that ye may gain the casual fruitions of this world, if they wish to preserve their modesty. Yet if any one compel them, then Verily to them, after their compulsion, will God be Forgiving, Merciful.
       33:50 (or 49):- O Prophet! we allow thee thy wives whom thou hast dowered, and the slaves whom thy right hand possesseth out of the booty which God hath granted thee, ... www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 033.qmt.html #033.050
       33:50 (or 49):- O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom God hath given thee as spoils ... DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Apr 10, 06]

    • Converts from Islam - free to choose?  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  

    Converts from Islam - free to choose?

     
       Barnabas Fund, www.barnabas fund.org , info@barnabas fund.org (Britain), by Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, April 11, 2006
       The case of Abdul Rahman, on trial last month in the Afghan capital Kabul for converting from Islam to Christianity, made the international headlines for some days. Both judge and prosecutor stated that, if found guilty, he would face the death sentence in line with the teachings of Shari’a [Islamic law]. Many Western leaders urged that he should be released and the Afghan authorities duly found a pretext for doing so.
       The response of other Muslims was more mixed. Senior clerics in Afghanistan said that if the state failed to execute him they would incite the people to murder him - a people who by and large appear to agree that death is appropriate for those who leave Islam. But a number of Muslims in the West have denied the existence of the classic Islamic teaching on apostasy. For example, London-based Mufti Abdul Barkatullah said that the Shafi'i school of Islamic law eschews the death penalty for apostasy. This assertion is so easily refuted from the Shafi'i texts that one can only think the mufti assumes that no non-Muslim would ever bother to check his words.
       The classical Shafi'i manual of law, "'Umdat al-Salik" [The Reliance of the Traveller] by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (died 1368) is unambiguous on this point. I quote from an English translation by Nuh Ha Mim Keller, published in the USA in 1997:
       "8.1 When a person who has reached puberty and is sane voluntarily apostatises from Islam, he deserves to be killed.
       8.2 In such a case, it is obligatory for the caliph to ask him to repent and return to Islam. If he does, it is accepted from him, but if he refuses, he is immediately killed."
       Anwar Ahmad Qadri, a Pakistani lawyer, published "A Sunni Shafi'i Law Code" in Pakistan in 1984. This work is a translation of "Mukhtasar fil Risalah" by the classical Shafi'i jurist Abu Shuja al-Isfahani (died 1106), and states, including footnotes:
       "Art. 113 Rules for Apostates. It is obligatory to ask the person apostatising from the religion of Islam, or on irtidad, (1) to offer taubah three times; then it is good if he did it, otherwise, he shall be killed (2); then, he will neither be given a bath, nor any funeral prayer, and so also, he will not be buried in the graveyard of Muslims.
    1 May be a male or a female, as he or she refuses to accept Allah, or falsifies any of the Prophets or holds as legal the things held haram by consensus or ijma'.
    2 If a free man, the imam will kill him but not by burning; if anyone kills him except the imam, he will be punished by ta'zir; if the apostate is a slave, the master will kill him."
       Another Muslim response to the Abdul Rahman case was published in the "New Zealand Herald" by an Australian Muslim lawyer, Irfan Yusuf, who is an occasional lecturer in the School of Politics at Macquarie University. Mr Yusuf's article is a masterpiece of propaganda, blending fact and fiction, passing off exceptions as the rule. He states rather curiously that "the alleged law of apostasy doesn't exist in sharia. And if it does, there is little consensus on its application among Muslim legal experts." His confusion about the existence or not of an apostasy law in Shari’a could easily be solved if he were to check some Islamic texts both ancient and modern, for example, those I have cited above. He would discover that all four schools of Sunni law as well as Shi'a law agree on the death sentence for sane, adult, male apostates. This is hardly the "minority of medieval Muslim scholars" which Yusuf claims were the only ones who supported the death sentence for apostasy.
       Yusuf's short article is worth examining in some detail because it incorporates a number of spurious arguments which are often used by Muslims seeking to present this aspect of their faith in an acceptable light to Westerners. First he repeats the familiar adage that the Qur'an says that "there is no compulsion in religion" and suggests that everyone is free to choose their own faith. The quote is accurate (from sura 2, verse 256) but the interpretation is a special one for Westerners. The normal Muslim interpretation of this verse is that Muslims will not be forced to fulfil all their religious duties, it is up to them whether they do so or not. This verse has nothing to say about freedom of conscience. In any case, it is a verse that was "revealed" relatively early to Muhammad and therefore many Muslims would consider that it has been abrogated [cancelled] by less tolerant-sounding verses which were revealed to Muhammad in later years.
       Yusuf goes on to consider the death sentence for treason, which he believes to be mandatory today "even in the most civilised Western countries". (Presumably he does not consider to be very civilised the UK, Australia, New Zealand, France, Germany, Norway, Canada and the many other Western countries who do not have the death penalty.) He states that Islam's death sentence for apostasy is actually a death sentence for treason because any Muslim who left their faith and yet wanted to remain in the Islamic city-state of early Islam was "effectively committing treason". But why should it be considered treasonable to stay in one's homeland after changing one's religion? Yusuf's argument is nothing but a re-statement of the classical Islamic position that a convert from Islam is by definition a traitor. He does not require any evidence of treacherous activity against the Islamic state; simply to have left Islam without going into self-imposed exile is treachery enough.
       Yusuf attempts to support his case by a further selection of examples. He says that "it isn't the practice in the overwhelming majority of Muslim countries to kill people who leave Islam." I thank God this is true, with only five modern states to my knowledge including the death sentence for apostasy in their legislation (possibly plus Afghanistan whose legal position remains unknown following Abdul Rahman's release) and none of them putting it into practice very often. Even taking into account murders by family and community, and illegal assassinations by the security forces, the vast majority of Muslim converts to Christianity today do not lose their lives. But why should there be a death penalty even in theory?
       Yusuf cites the Swiss Muslim Tarik Ramadan as arguing against capital punishment in Muslim countries because the corrupt police and judiciaries "will make sharia an instrument of injustice". In other words, it is not that Shari’a is unjust but that bribe-taking officials might not apply it impartially. This is not an argument against the rightness of the death sentence for apostasy, but a counsel of despair from one who thinks corruption can never be rooted out.
       Yusuf then gives the example of Indonesia where Muslims can convert freely to Christianity without being imprisoned. Although he does not say so, Indonesian converts are unlikely to face much prejudice or discrimination of any kind (except in Aceh). But there are some fifty Muslim-majority countries, and Indonesia is the only one of which this is true. Indonesia has for many years been a byword amongst Muslims for its lax attitude to Christian evangelism and conversion from Islam, an attitude which many other Muslim nations roundly condemn.
       Yusuf's crowning argument concerns the high rate of illiteracy in Afghanistan, which he says accounts for their ignorance of Islamic law. Again he is determined to disbelieve in the existence of the abundance of Islamic texts which endorse the death sentence for apostasy.
       In fact it is Irfan Yusuf's readers who are likely to be ignorant of Islamic law, not the Afghan people. If he were not so certain of the ignorance of most New Zealanders, indeed of most Westerners, he surely would not have dared to write such an article.
       It is better for Muslims to be completely honest about their faith. The late Dr Zaki Badawi, who was president of the Muslim College in London, wrote a paper on "Freedom of Religion in Islam" tracing the history of the development of the apostasy law. He stated that "earlier jurists, with a few exceptions, supported the death penalty for the apostate and this remains the case to the present day". Muslims can claim that the death sentence for apostasy was never intended by their founder (and this may well be true), but to claim that it was not taught by his followers as a basic doctrine for the next fourteen centuries is ludicrous.
       It is only when Muslims have admitted the true situation that there is the possibility of change. A number of scholars of Sunni Islam's leading Al-Azhar University in Cairo have in recent decades suggested that the apostasy law should be abandoned and genuine religious freedom allowed. We non-Muslims must do all we can to encourage this move within Islam. It was at Al-Azhar on 21st March that the Prince of Wales gave an outstanding speech urging mutual respect between the faiths, indicating in particular the need for reciprocity of treatment of each other's minorities.
       Muslims are rightly permitted to share their faith freely in the West and to win converts who rightly suffer no penalty. But this religious freedom must be reciprocated. Afghanistan is far from being the only Muslim country which has signed up to international agreements guaranteeing freedom of religion (such as Article 18 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights) and has also asserted the supremacy of Shari’a (complete with apostasy law), thus creating a serious ambiguity over issues such as freedom of conscience.
       Al-Azhar has begun to grapple with the subject of religious freedom in Islam. What can be done to help them with this ground-breaking task, which is sure to face tremendous opposition from certain sections of the Muslim community? Could the Prince of Wales, Jack Straw and the Archbishop of Canterbury jointly urge Al-Azhar to issue a fatwa condemning the execution of apostates? Could the Lambeth-Al-Azhar initiative issue a joint statement? Now is the time to act, while the example of Abdul Rahman, who was willing to die for his faith, is fresh in our minds. For although he may now be safe in exile, the plight of other converts is, if anything, even more acute as Muslim governments may decide it is better to let them be quietly murdered than for them to become an international cause.
    A shortened version of this article was published in the Church of England Newspaper, UK (April 7, 2006)
       RELATED NEWS ITEMS
       [a] - Don't forget him now: Standing with Abdul Rahman - A challenge to Christians www.barnabas fund.org/archive news/article. php?ID_ news_items=140
       [b] - AFGHAN CHRISTIAN FACES DEATH SENTENCE IF HE WILL NOT RETURN TO ISLAM www.barnabas fund.org/archive news/article. php?ID_ news_items=137
       [DOCTRINE (Koran): 2:106 (or 100):- Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things?
       2:193:- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left.
       2:212:- War is prescribed to you. ...
       66:2:- God hath allowed you release from your oaths. ... DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE (Hadith): 9, 84:57:- "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."
       9, 84:58:- Regarding a Jew who had become a Muslim, then returned to Judaism: "Mu'adh said, I will not sit down till he has been killed. ... and he was killed. GUIDELINE ENDS.]
       [CONTACT: BARNABAS FUND E-MAIL NEWS SERVICE: Barnabas Fund's e-mail news service provides the media and our supporters with urgent news briefs concerning suffering Christians around the world.
       Barnabas Fund, The Old Rectory, River Street, PEWSEY, Wiltshire, SN9 5DB, UK. Tel: +44(0)1672 564938, Fax: +44(0)1672 565030, E-mail: info@barnabasfund.org , Web: www.barnabasfund.org .  CONTACT ENDS.]  [Apr 11, 06]

    • Forty dead in blast at Pakistan religious gathering  Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Forty dead in blast at Pakistan religious gathering

     
       Yahoo! News, news.yahoo. com/s/afp/ 20060411/ ts_afp/pak istanrelig ionblast_ 0604111 60636 , AFP, 12:24 PM ET, Tue Apr 11, 2006,
       KARACHI (AFP) - A powerful bomb ripped through a gathering of Sunni Muslims celebrating the Prophet Mohammed's birthday in the Pakistani port city of Karachi, killing at least 40 people.
       The bomb tore through a stage set up in a crowded park when speakers were offering sunset prayers, scattering bodies dressed in white ceremonial outfits and limbs across the area, officials and witnesses said.
       "There are at least 40 dead," interior minister Aftab Sherpao told AFP. Police said at least another 80 people were wounded.
       Witnesses said the massive blast triggered panic in the crowd of around 50,000 Sunnis who were celebrating the festival in the city's historic Nishtar Park.
       "I was near the back of the stage when I heard a huge explosion and something hit my head," said 40-year-old worshipper Mohammed Osman. "When I woke up there were pieces of flesh everywhere."
       Angry mobs of turbaned youths waving black flags and sticks rampaged through the smoke left by the blast, burning motorcycles and shouting slogans, witnesses said.
       Police then fired in the air to disperse the crowd, they said.
       Ambulances were ferrying the dead and injured to hospital, witnesses said.
       An AFP reporter saw three bloodstained bodies at the city's Civil Hospital while an official at Jinnah Hospital said 20 corpses had been brought in. Other bodies were reportedly taken to a third clinic.
       "Some of the bodies are badly mutilated and their injuries suggest there was a suicide attacker in the crowd," one rescue services official said on condition of anonymity.
       Police were unable to confirm whether it was a suicide bombing. No one claimed responsibility for the attack.
       However militants from Pakistan's majority Sunni and minority Shiite communities have a history of violence that has claimed thousands of lives in the past ten years. #
       COMMENT: Later reports said that 55 had been murdered; 2 suicide bombers also died.
       DOCTRINE: 24:21 O you who believe, do not follow the steps of Satan. ... www.godweb.org/Quran/24.html#21 [Apr 11, 06]

    • [Rape permitted, says Pakistani migrant]  [2002, 2006] - Islam. Girls. Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/  Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Victim defies stigma attached to rape

     
       The West Australian, "Victim defies stigma attached to rape," By MIRANDA DEVINE, devinemiranda@hotmail.com , p 24, Wednesday, April 12, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: Few question the law that suppresses rape victims' identities. It has been seen as protecting their privacy and, by implication, concealing their shame. But in one impulsive, heroic moment last week, 18-year-old Tegan Wagner threw away that legal protection and revealed to the world her face and her name.
       "We're not ashamed of what happened to us," she said. Four years ago, Tegan, then 14, was raped by brothers MSK, 27, and MAK, 26, in their Ashfield home. The two men and their younger brothers MMK, 19, and MRK, 21, are already in jail for gang-raping two other girls at knifepoint.
       None of the Pakistan-born brothers, who have identical first names, can be identified because two were minors at the time. Police have evidence that alleges more victims of the brothers have not come forward.
       Standing in the NSW Supreme Court last week after MSK and MAK were sentenced, Tegan yelled: "F... you, go to hell."
       "I'd like to say, 'Have fun in prison, boys, I won'," she told reporters, as she waived her right to anonymity.
       "We're not telling people so they know we've been raped," she told Channel 9's A Current Affair. "We're telling people so other victims know they have support... to just show that you need to be confident if you're a rape victim, especially from these boys. You need to come forward.
       "We all need to be strong and stick together and convict these people."
       Sitting alongside Tegan was Cassie Hamim, who was 13 in 2002 when she was lured home by the brothers and raped. It was just a month after Tegan's ordeal.
       Inspired by Tegan last week, Cassie, too, waived her right to anonymity. "Tegan's grown stronger," she said. "I realise I need to be strong and move on."
       Cassie also said that her Muslim father was "disgusted" by the fact the rapists used their religion in court as an excuse.
       MSK, a married Australian citizen and one of seven brothers who migrated to Aus�tralia in 1997, blamed cultural misunderstanding for his actions, claiming his upbringing in a small Muslim village in Paki�stan taught him he had the right to rape pro�miscuous girls. Tegan qualified as promiscu�ous, he told an earlier hearing, because she did not wear a headscarf and had come to his house unchaperoned.
       But Justice Peter Hidden dismissed this excuse: "He must have had sufficient expo�sure to the Australian way of life to be aware that the place occupied by women in the tra�ditional culture of his area of origin is far removed from our social norms."
       Despite Tegan's elation after last week's sentencing, the result was more symbolic than satisfying. MSK's jail term was increased by five years and MAK's by two.
       "It is as if there is some kind of discount if you do many rapes," Crown Prosecutor Margaret Cunneen said on Friday.
       But Ms Cunneen, who ran this prosecu�tion and several other successful rape trials, said she was proud of Tegan and Cassie.
       "It is wonderful how they realise in their generation that no shame attaches to being raped," she said. "Part of the idea that (rape victims) not be named is the residual idea that they are also somehow to blame... that it remains a stain on their character."
       Ms Cunneen's compassion for the victims ensured they persevered through long, arduous legal processes.
       But she has suffered through the percep�tion by some colleagues that she has become too involved with a cultural issue that makes them uncomfortable: a series of sexual assaults in Sydney in which most perpetra�tors were Muslim men who regarded non-Muslim women as fair game.
       To some in the legal establishment she prosecuted these men too aggressively, advocated for the victims too passionately and received too much publicity.
       But in the eyes of Tegan and Cassie, Ms Cunneen helped them achieve justice, and protected other women from suffering as they did.
       Together, victims and prosecutor have achieved a profound shift in the perception of rape victims, now seen as heroes rather than shamed victims. #
       [RECAPITULATION: MSK, a married Australian citizen and one of seven brothers who migrated to Aus�tralia in 1997, ... claiming his upbringing in a small Muslim village in Paki�stan taught him he had the right to rape pro�miscuous girls. ... she did not wear a headscarf and had come to his house unchaperoned. *** Muslim men who regarded non-Muslim women as fair game. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: He's MARRIED, and he has a RIGHT to JUDGE whom he may RAPE! Is it the village culture, or was he taught about seizing the spoils? And his wife's emotions and health are of no account, it seems. (Cassie says her Muslim father was disgusted by the rapists using religion as an excuse, but check the theology about fate of women seized as spoils.) COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 23:1, 5, 6:- Blessed are the believers ... who restrain their carnal desires (except with their wives and slave-girls, for these are lawful to them ...) www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/023. qmt.html #023.001
       24:33:- ... Force not your female slaves into sin, in order that ye may gain the casual fruitions of this world, if they wish to preserve their modesty. Yet if any one compel them, then Verily to them, after their compulsion, will God be Forgiving, Merciful. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/024. qmt.html #024.033
       33:50 (or 49):- O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom God hath given thee as spoils ... www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/033.qmt.html #033.050 DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [MORE COMMENT: 24:33 graciously forgives the captured women if males "compel" them !!! How kind !!! So, one wonders why the mullahs are stoning rape victims to death ! And here in 2006, the Australian court sentence brought the sarcastic comment from the prosecution: "It is as if there is some kind of discount if you do many rapes." Don't the Australian courts, also, need to straighten up their thinking? Perhaps more women judges are needed? END.] A copy of this is also on ethics/ethcont123.htm [Apr 12, 06]

    • [Iran now in Nuclear Club; Samudra Bali bomber left to fate; death threats to Iraq beauty queens; Iraq bombs; Pakistan prayer bombs; reformist books, music, approved in Arabia; $37m to ex-Iranian woman] 
       The West Australian, Various newsitems, Thursday, April 13, 2006
  • TEHERAN, Iran: "Defiant Iran plans for large-scale enrichment," [but of uranium, not of its people, alas. It joins Israel, Pakistan and India in defiance of the Non-proliferation Treaty and pact.] p 4
  • INDONESIA: "Bali killer Samudra heads for firing squad." Samudra greeted the death verdict with the cry: "Infidels die." His family declines to appeal for clemency. His brother Lulu Jamaljudin refused to seek clemency. p 4.
  • BAGHDAD, Iraq: "Miss Iraq in hiding after militant threats." Iraq's new beauty queen Silva Shahakian, a Christian, has gone into tiding. The initial winner Tamar Goregian stepped down after getting death threats, and two runner-ups also bowed out. ALSO, Car bombs in three cities left at least nine people dead. Gunmen in Baghdad hunted down and shot three government workers dead on their way to work. They had worked for the Ministries of: Interior, Housing, and Oil. p 24.
  • BAGHDAD, Iraq: "Saddam defies judge's order on his signature." p 24.
  • KARACHI, Pakistan: "Bombing deaths ignite violence." Officials closed schools yesterday because of violence following a suspected suicide bombing attack on Tuesday at a Sunni Muslim prayer gathering to celebrate the birthday of Prophet Mohammed. 57 had died. Protest riots, breaking of shop windows, etc. followed. In 1987 two car bombings killed 74. On March 19, 2005, a bomb killed 43 at a Shi'ite Muslim shrine. [Not in this article: At least two bombing threats have been made on the life of the Pakistani dictator.] p 29.
  • JAKARTA, Indonesia: "Muslims attack new Jakarta Playboy office." About 150 members of the Islamic Defenders' Front stoned the office, and smashed windows, doors, and a gate. In Indonesia Playboy has no nudes. Muslim leader Yusuf Hasyim says it "destroys the way of the life of the nation." p 29.
  • LONDON, England: "Nuremberg defence given a new twist." Flight-Lieutenant Malcolm Kendall-Smith, 37, who refused to go to the Iraq war, pleaded not guilty in a military court to five charges of refusing a lawful order. "I refused the order out of duty to international law, the Nuremberg principles and the law of armed conflict." p. 30.
  • RIYADH, Saudi Arabia: "Saudis celebrate liberal life under their new monarch." Female authors are allowed at a book fair, attended by King Abdullah (82), and books backing liberalisation were allowed. Music is now allowed on television stations, and colour in women's long robes. p 37.
  • UNITED STATES: "Woman WINS $37m case." Samantha Carrington won a court decision for $US 27.5m in damages after an airline mistook her for a terrorist. p 37.
       [COMMENT: The "liberal life" in Arabia brings a smile! Balanced out in the Islamic world with the threats to women and cowardly bombings, at this rate modernisation ought to take another 1000 years! But, the various riots, deaths and threats are following the ancient texts! Even prayer gatherings are not sacred! Nor are weddings, funerals, or places of prayer respected.
       On the other hand, one could question the sanity and/or probity of Westerners who try to insert beauty contests (remember the Nigerian riots and deaths?) and a pornographic magazine title into such societies. There is no need to lead them into the same sex-crazy haze as Westerners, is there? COMMENT ENDS.] [April 13, 06]

    • [Clash is civilisation v. barbarity, women as human beings v. as beasts.  Wafa Sultan brilliant.] 

    MY POINT

     
       The West Australian, Letter, p 24, Thursday, April 20, 2006
       PERTH: Recently I happened to come across the transcript and video clips of a remarkable debate on "the clash of civilisations" that took place on al-Jazeera TV between Wafa Sultan, an Arab American psychologist, and Dr Ibraham al-Khouli, a mullah.
       Wafa obliterated her opponent. What she had to say was so insightful and her courage in saying it so inspirational that I wanted to share it with your readers. A full transcript should be published in every newspaper, viewed on every TV channel and shouted from every rooftop. It won't be, but here is an excerpt:
       "The clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilisations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras. It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilisation and backwardness, between the civilised and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality. It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights on the other hand. It is a clash between those who treat women as beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilisations. Civilisations do not clash, but compete."
       That a Muslim apostate, and a woman to boot, would dare to so speak out in truth to the whole Arab world on al-Jazeera is truly heroic. She has received death threats. Let us hope and pray that this brave lady stays safe.
    [Apr 20, 06]
    • London imams learn texts which call unbelievers 'filth'  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; 
Mooney's MiniFlags  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    London imams learn texts which call unbelievers 'filth'

     
       The West Australian, p 14, Friday, April 21, 2006
       LONDON: Trainee imams at an Islamic school in London with links to Iran told a Brit�ish newspaper they are being taught fundamentalist texts that describe non-Muslims as "filth".
       The medieval doctrines are taught at the Hawza Ilmiyya of London, a religious school, which is in the same building as the Islamic College for Advanced Studies - a sister institu�tion, The Times reported.
       The two colleges share many of the same staff.
       The Muslim students, who spoke to the newspaper on condition of anonymity, study their religious courses alongside a degree course in Islamic studies at ICAS, which is backed by Middlesex University.
       Their spokesman said the high�lighted text, written by 13th century scholar Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, was just one of a number of books that some students found "disturbing" and "very worrying", according to The Times.
       "They are being exposed to very literalist interpretations of the Koran. These are interpretations that would not be recognised by 80 or 90 per cent of Muslims, but they are being taught this at school," he said.
       "A lot of people in the Muslim community are very concerned about this. We need to urgently re-examine the kind of material that is being taught here and in other colleges in Britain," the spokesman said. Mohammed Saeed Bahmanpour, a teacher at Hawza and ICAS, con�firmed that the Hilli text was used, but denied it was taught as doctrine.
      ‘They are exposed to literalist interpretations of the Koran ’  
      STUDENTS'SPOKESMAN  
       "We just read the text and trans�late for them, but as I said I do not deal with the book on purity. We have left that to the discretion of the teacher whether he wants to teach it or not," Dr Bahmanpour said.
       "The idea is not to teach them jurisprudence because most of the fatwas of Muhaqqiq are not actually conforming with the fatwa of our modern jurists. The idea is that they would be able to read classical texts and that is all."
       As well as allegedly likening unbe�lievers to pigs and dogs, the Hilli text includes a chapter on jihad, laying out the conditions under which Mus�lims are supposed to fight Christians and Jews, The Times said.
       It also reported that one of the managing trustees of Hawza and ICAS was Abdolhossein Moezi, an Iranian cleric and a personal repre�sentative of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran's supreme religious leader.
      [Picture] Ayatollah Khamenei: Iran's supreme religious leader linked to UK school.
       [DOCTRINE (Koran): 9:28:- O Believers! only they who join gods with God are unclean! ...
       5:64-65:- O people of the Book! ... some of them hath he changed into apes and swine ...
       8:38 (or 40):- Make war on them until strife shall be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's.
       8:55 (or 57):- Lo! the worst of beasts in God's sight are the ungrateful who will not believe. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/008. qmt.html #008.055 . DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINES:
  • Fiqh-us-Sunnah, Volume 1: Purification:
    Volume 1, Page 6a: Water left in a pot after a pig or dog has drunk from it
    Such water is considered impure and must be avoided. Al-Bukhari and Muslim have recorded, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, that the messenger of Allah said, "If a dog drinks from one of your containers, wash it seven times." Ahmad and Muslim also have this addition, "Cleanse one of your containers if a dog licks it by washing it seven times, the first washing being with dirt." As for the leftover water of a pig, it is clearly considered filth and impure. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ law/fiqhus sunnah/ fus1_01.html #1.6a
       [Note that 4a states that using leftover water in a pot from which an unbeliever has drunk is allowed.]
  • Aalulbayt Global Information Center, Al-Shia.com, "Islamic Laws," www.al-shia. com/html/eng/ books/fiqh &usool/ islamic-laws/ 18.html
    107. An infidel i.e. a person who does not believe in Allah and His Oneness, is najis. Similarly, Ghulat who believe in any of the holy twelve Imams as God, or that they are incarnations of God, and Khawarij and Nawasib who express enmity towards the holy Imams, are also najis. And similar is the case of those who deny Prophethood, or any of the necessary laws of Islam, like, namaz and fasting, which are believed by the Muslims as a part of Islam, and which they also know as such.
    As regards the people of the Book (i.e. the Jews and the Christians) who do not accept the Prophethood of Prophet Muhammad bin Abdullah (Peace be upon him and his progeny), they are commonly considered najis, but it is not improbable that they are Pak. However, it is better to avoid them.
    108. The entire body of a Kafir, including his hair and nails, and all liquid substances of his body, are najis. [...]
    [Comment: The "people of the Book" might not be both Jews and Christians, but only Jews, according to some observers. "Those who join other gods with God" are usually criticised before or after the "people of the Book," and are generally believed to be the Christians, all of whom known in Arabia to Mohammad reverenced pictures or statues, and believed in the Trinity, that is, three persons in one God.]
  • Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project, www.al- islam.org/laws/ najisthings.html .
    These are the Islamic Laws according to the Fatawa of Ayatullah al Uzama Syed Ali al-Husaini Seestani. This is the English Version of Taudhihul Masae'l, translated by the World Federation of KSI Muslim Communities, P.O. Box 60, Stanmore, U.K. HA7 4LQ. See also a downloadable version of this book in HTML Help format.
    Note: The * sign after a number denotes that there is a total or partial variation from the fatwa of Marhum Ayatullah Al Uzama Syed Abul Qasim El Khui. These laws are also available online at Al-Islam.org.
    See also more laws of Ayatullah Seestani with Contemporary Rulings in Shi'i Law [ www.al-islam. org/laws/ contemporary/ ]
    For a full list of Islamic resources on Al-Islam.org please see the Subject Index
    [Seestani = Sistani.] END.]
       [LINKS: Times On Line, "Muslim students 'being taught to despise unbelievers as filth'," www.timeson line.co.uk/ article/0,, 2-2142403, 00.html , The Times, By Sean O'Neill, April 20, 2006.
       World Peace Herald, "London Muslim school disturbs some students," By UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, Published April 20, 2006, http://www.wpherald.com/storyview.php?StoryID=20060420-012551-1719r . END.]
       [READING ABOUT HOLY WAR: Amazon Books, The Legacy of Jihad, Dr. Andrew G. Bostom (ed.), to see front cover and prices visit: www.amazon. com/gp/product/ 1591023076/ qid=1124927694/ sr=8-1/ref=pd_ bbs_1/002- 3159724- 1740009?n= 507846&s= books&v=glance
  • FrontPageMagazine.com , "The Legacy of Jihad," www.frontpage mag.com/ Articles/ ReadArticle. asp?ID=19406 , Review of: The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, edited by Dr. Andrew G. Bostom, Prometheus, 759 pp. REVIEW By Alyssa A. Lappen, September 9, 2005
  • JihadWatch.org, "Lappen: The Legacy of Jihad", www.jihad watch.org/ archives/2005/ 09/008038 print.html , September 09, 2005. END.] [Apr 21, 06]
    • World Vision gives prayer mats to Muslims  Indonesia flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    World Vision gives prayer mats to Muslims

     
       Life News (Western Australia), p 4, April-May, 2006
    I was recently advised that World Vision, while carrying out a massive aid programme to Aceh and Indonesia in response to the tsunami, also donated thousands of Muslim prayer mats to Muslim recipients of aid.
       Without deprecating the enormous value of the humanitarian work done by World Vision to otherwise destitute people, the above fact, if true, causes me a great deal of alarm.
       First, I interpret this action as a declaration that World Vision has become a purely secular organisation. Secondly, to contribute to another creed and the worship of another god is a flat denial of the uniqueness of Christ and a denial of the very motive of Christian charity of the givers, from which the aid historically arose and economically flows.
       I do not subscribe to any notion that Christ�ian charity or aid should have strings attached to elicit quasi conversions. However Christian donors can surely expect that the world knows that this aid comes largely from Christians. I submit that, if true, the sending of Muslim prayer mats is a misuse of Christian donors' money of which many may not approve if they knew.
       Perhaps some representative of World Vision will refute these facts, or if true, acknowledge these facts to disabuse supporters of any notion that World Vision is a uniquely Christian organisation. If the above facts are true, perhaps the organisers of World Vision will promise to revoke this policy of appeasement of other gods and promptly say so to reassure Christian donors.
       - name supplied
    Reprinted by permission from letters to the editor, New Life, 9 February 2006
       [COMMENT: "If the blind lead the blind, ..." COMMENT ENDS.]
       [CONTACT: Life News, Life Ministries, 4 / 334 Wanneroo Rd, Nollamara, WA, 6061, Australia, www.lifeministries.org.au . CONTACT ENDS.] [Apr-May, 2006]

    • Transcript: Bin Laden accuses West 

    Transcript: Bin Laden accuses West

     
       Aljazeera.Net , http://english. aljazeera.net/ NR/exeres/F96 94745-060C- 419C-8523-2E093 B7B807D.htm , 0:26 Makka Time, 21:26 GMT, Monday, April 24, 2006 (televised April 23, 2006)
    The following is an edited translation of an audiotape attributed to al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, parts of which were aired by Aljazeera on April 23, 2006. (It is not known where or when the recording was made.)
       [Picture]
       Praise be to Allah, Lord of the world, prayer and peace be upon our prophet Muhammad, his kin and all his companions.
       Peace, Allah's mercy and blessing be upon you, as I am directing this speech to all the Islamic Umma, to continue talking and urging them to support our prophet Muhammad, and to punish the perpetrators of the horrible crime committed by some Crusader-journalists and apostates against the master of the predecessors and successors, our prophet Muhammad.
       The holy verses of the Quran and the holy prophetic teachings have all clarified the need for according love, respect and obedience to our prophet. Allah, the Almighty, has made it a taboo to offend him, saying in the Quran those who harm Allah and his messenger would be damned and severely punished.
       It was also confirmed by an authentic source that prophet Muhammad said no one could be faithful until he loves me more than he loves his parents, his sons and all other people. Therefore, the Umma has reached a consensus that he who offends or degrades the messenger would be killed. Such offence is regarded as kufr (infidelity).
       We ask Allah to give his blessings to whoever decried the behaviour of the infidels who have offended the prophet in every part of the world, and blessings to those who have died in the process, while we vow to Allah to avenge for those whose blood have been spilled.
       The West is incapable of recognising the rights of others. It will not be able to respect others' beliefs or feelings. The West still believes in ethnic supremacy and looks down on other nations. They categorise human beings into white masters and coloured slaves.
       This is why they established institutions and enacted laws to maintain their supremacy by creating the United Nations and the veto power ... . They regard jihad for the sake of God or defending one's self or his country as an act of terror. US and Europe consider jihad groups in Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan as terrorist groups, so how could we talk or have understanding with them without using weapons?
       On their part, the rulers of our region consider the US and Europe as their friends and allies while looking at the jihad groups that fight against the Crusaders in Iraq and Afghanistan as terrorist groups as well. So how can we reach understanding with those rulers who deny us the right to defend ourselves and our religion without carrying arms?
       The net result of their thinking is for us to abandon jihad and acquiesce to remaining as their slaves. This is impossible, God willing.
       The Palestine question is a manifestation of such injustices when the allied forces of the Crusaders and the Zionists decided to hand over Palestine to the Zionists to establish a state after committing massacres, displaced the indigenous Palestinians and brought Jews from all over the world to settle in Palestine.
       The ongoing injustice and aggression did not stop in the last nine decades, while all attempts to reclaim our rights and exact justice on the Israeli oppressors, were blocked by the leadership of the Crusaders and Zionists' alliance by using the so-called veto power.
       Such attitudes were also reflected by their rejection of the Hamas movement and its victory in the elections ... . Their rejection to Hamas has reaffirmed that they were waging a crusade against Islam.
       The US sought to reach southern Sudan, recruited an army of southerners, supported them with weapons and funding and directed them to seek separation from Sudan. Then it exercised pressure against Khartoum government to sign an unjust agreement which permits south Sudan to gain independence from the north within six years.
       [Sudanese President Omar] al-Bashir and [US President George] Bush should have been aware that this agreement is not worth the ink by which it was written, and we do not accord the least concern to it. Nobody, whoever he was, has the right to accede an inch of the land of Islam and the south will remain an inseparable part of the land of Isalm, God willing, even if the war continued for decades.
       The US was not satisfied by all the sedition and crimes, but went on to incite sedition, the largest of which was the west Sudan sedition by exploiting some disputes between the tribes and sparking a savage war between them that will spare nothing, prior to sending in Crusader troops to occupy the region and steal its oil wealth under the pretext of peacekeeping.
       This is a continuous Crusader-Zionist war against Muslims. In this respect I am inviting the mujahidin and their supporters in the Sudan and other countries around, including the Arabian peninsula in particular, to prepare all that is needed for a long-term war against the Crusaders and thieves in western Sudan.
       Our objective is obvious, that is defending Islam, the people and the land but not Khartoum government since our differences with them are so enormous, mostly when it backtracked in implementing the Sharia law and abandoned south Sudan.
       I urge the mujahidin to get acquainted with Darfur state tribes and land and its surroundings, keeping in mind that the region is about to face the rainy season that hampers means of transport.
       This is one of the reasons why the occupation was adjourned for six months. So it is imperative to speed up action and benefit from the time factor by stocking a large amount of landmines and anti-armour grenades such as RPGs [rocket propelled grenades].
       What was the aim behind barring arms from the unarmed people in Bosnia and letting the Serb army to massacre Muslims and spill their blood for years under UN cover? It was a Crusader war against Muslims.
       What was the aim of the pressure against Indonesia by the Crusaders countries until East Timor, 24 hours after a warning by the UN? A Crusader-Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims.
       Meanwhile, a UN resolution passed more than half a century ago gave Muslim Kashmir the liberty of choosing independence from India and Kashmir. George Bush, the leader of the Crusaders' campaign, announced a few days ago that he will order his converted agent [Pakistan President Pervez] Musharraf to shut down the Kashmir mujahidin camps, thus affirming that it is a Zionist-Hindu war against Muslims.
       With respect to Pakistan, some Muslims have done a good job by assisting their fellow Muslims, God bless them, but the Pashtun tribes must be aided after the Pakistan army devastated their homes in Waziristan in order to satisfy the US.
       What does the silence over Russian atrocities inside Chechnya mean, along with mutilating their bodies by tying them to tanks while the so-called free world gives its blessings and even secretly supports the aggression ? This is a Zionist crusade.
       What does the humiliation of Muslims in Somalia and killing 13,000 Muslims mean, along with torching Muslims' bodies? This is a Zionist-Crusaders war.
       I will remind Muslims to fear God and to save their brothers in the African Horn from the famine that hit them.
       What does the destruction of the infrastructure in Iraq mean and the tragedy that befell them mean? And the use of depleted uranium, besieging Iraq for years, causing the death of more than one million children which amazed all who had visited Iraq, including the Westerners themselves? It is a malicious crusade against Muslims.
       What does the reoccupation of Iraq mean by using lies and deception along with murder, destruction, detention, torture and creation of huge military bases to dominate the whole region? It is a Zionist crusade against Muslims.
       What about the continuous cultural domination through the setting up of radio stations and TV channels along with the Voice of America, London and others to continue the cultural domination of Muslims, combat our beliefs, change our values, encourage vice and even interfere with school curricula?
       How can we explain France's stance on the headscarf and the banning on wearing it at schools, its relentless dealing with the Muslim community and its plan to establish a TV channel in Morocco to combat Islamic awareness there? This is a Zionist-Crusader war.
       In conclusion, a war is under way to offend the messenger of Allah, his religion and his Umma (nation). The Muslim preparedness and their jihad should be on a par with these events. The duty of our Muslim nation over this Crusaders' campaign with its different aspects is to focus on supporting the prophet, his religion and the Umma to the best of our ability in all fields.
       Despite the numerous Crusader attacks against our Muslim nation in military, economic, cultural and moral aspects, but the gravest of them all is the attack against our religion, our prophet and our Sharia tenets. The epicentre of these wars is Baghdad, the seat of the khalifate rule. They keep reiterating that success in Baghdad will be success for the US, failure in Iraq the failure of the US.
       Their defeat in Iraq will mean defeat in all their wars and a beginning to the receding of their Zionist-Crusader tide against us. Your mujahidin sons and brothers in Iraq have taught the US a hard lesson while in the fourth year of the Crusaders' invasion, they are steadfast and patient and keep killing and wounding enemy soldiers every day.
       It is a duty for the Umma with all its categories, men, women and youths, to give away themselves, their money, experiences and all types of material support, enough to establish jihad in the fields of jihad particularly in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Sudan, Kashmir and Chechnya. Jihad today is an imperative for every Muslim. The Umma will commit sin if it did not provide adequate material support for jihad.
       O fellow Muslims, pay no heed for the number of the enemy and their arsenal of arms because victory is a gift of God while the enemy, praise be to God, is experiencing a critical situation.
    A full Arabic transcript of the audiotaped message can be read on Aljazeera's Arabic website [ www.aljazeera. net/NR/exeres/271E CD8F-E577-4E BA-9824-E7BD0E EF5B10.htm. ]
       [COMMENT: Excuse me, but what are Arabs doing saying that Baghdad was the centre of the Khalifate rule, and objecting to the historic Crusades in Palestine and nearby areas? Don't Arabs who were in those areas originate in ARABIA? Why were, and are, they so far from home? He says it is unjust for the southern Sudanese to be able to be independent from the Sudanese (Arab) government in six years. Look in an atlas - Arabs from Arabia come from Asia. Sudan is in a different continent, Africa. Bin Laden thinks the Lord of the World/s has approved his imperialistic attitude, it would seem from the above.
       Mind you, the so-called Jews and Israelites, according to their own holy books, took over Palestine in a warlike and murderous manner, approved, they wrote, by the God of Hosts. Bin Laden parroted the term "indigenous Palestinians" -- even King Solomon would not be able to define them!
       Fisk is quoted as saying reporters ought to carry a history book when on foreign assignments. Shouldn't some of the terrorist leaders (whether Israeli, Muslim, or Western), and torture leaders (such as those disgraced in Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq and Guantanamo Bay) also read history?
       Perhaps they ought to also read The Life and Religion of Mohammed, by J.L. Menezes, www.wndbook service.com/ products/ BookPage. asp?prod_ cd=c6614 . COMMENT ENDS.] [televised Apr 23, 2006 ]

    • We’ll strike US targets around world, says Iran  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  France flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  United States of America flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags   Israel flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  North Korea flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  Soviet flag (superseded ~ 1990); Mooney's MiniFlags  Russia flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  China (People's Republic of China) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    We’ll strike US targets around world, says Iran

     
       The West Australian, om Washington and Teh�ran have escalated in the lead-up to today's deadline for Iran to halt uranium enrichment, with Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, warning of strikes against US targets around the world if Iran is attacked over its refusal to curb its nuclear program.
       "If the US ventured into any aggression on Iran, Iran will retaliate by damaging US interests worldwide twice as much as the US may inflict on Iran," Ayatollah Khamenei said.
       His statement adds to a campaign of defiance by senior Iranian officials in advance of a report today by the United Nations atomic watchdog, which analysts predict will cite Iran for defying UN Security Council demands to halt its uranium enrich�ment program.
       Ayatollah Khamenei's threat was given further clout by the head of Israeli military intelligence, Gene. Amos Yadlin, who was quoted by Haaretz newspaper in Jerusalem yesterday as saying Iran had bought North Korean long-range ballistic missiles capable of hitting Europe.
      [Picture] Ayatollah Khamenei: Steps up warnings as deadline looms.
       While Iran's arsenal already could hit Israel, it now could threaten Europe and other Middle East nations, he said. Some of the missiles, which have a range of 2500km and are known in the West as BM-25, had already arrived in Iran, Gen. Yadlin said.
       They were originally manufac�tured in the Soviet Union and are able to carry a nuclear warhead.
       The heightened tensions between the US and Iran have helped drive oil prices to record highs and have sparked intense diplomatic meetings aimed at heading off greater destabilisation in the Middle East. This week, Iranian officials also threat�ened to cut oil production, export nuclear technology, bar international nuclear monitors, make their nuclear program entirely secret and quit the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
       But Iran on Wednesday also sent its Vice-President to Vienna for llth-hour talks with the Interna�tional Atomic Energy Agency.
       While Bush administration officials have said they have no plans to attack Iran, they have repeatedly said they have not ruled out that step.
       US military experts are confident that US forces could carry out exten�sive airstrikes against Iranian targets, but disagree on how much of a set�back such raids would impose on the Iranian nuclear program.
       Iran says it will not stop enrich�ment, which it says is purely for civilian purposes.
       Washington, backed by Britain and France, has been pushing for sanctions if, as it expects, the nuclear watchdog reports that Iran has flouted UN demands.
       But Russia and China, the UN Security Council's other two veto-wielding permanent members, oppose any embargo.
       The stand-off with the West is expected to dominate talks between US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and her counterparts from NATO. #
       [Doctrine and comment on "We'll strike US targets around world, says Iran," The West Australian, p 12, Fri, Apr 28, 2006]
       [DOCTRINE (Koran): 2:191:- And kill them wherever you find them ...
       9:5:- ... slay the idolaters wherever you find them ...
       22:19:- ... But as for those who disbelieve, garments of fire will be cut out for them; boiling fluid will be poured down on their heads. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 022.qmt.html #022.019 .
       47:37:- Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand ...
       49:1:- O Believers! enter not upon any affair ere God and His Apostle permit you ...
       71:27:- And Noah said, 'Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels on the Earth ... DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: It looks as if the Iranian leader, being backed by Russian technical aid, is threatening a world nuclear war. Even at a lesser level, if Ayatollah Khamenei is going to be another Osama Bin Ladin, the risk to USA people and other Westerners has been accentuated by indiscriminate movement of people, as was shown by the "home-grown" London train tube bombers.
       Politicians' cure? The front page of the same newspaper has the heading "Aussie values test for citizens-to-be." Will one question be: Paraphrase the 2006 tourist slogan "Where the bl**dy hell are YOU?"? Is THAT the culture Australians want them to copy?
       A recent heading was that about 200 temporary workers, filling a supposed shortage of skilled labour, were arriving each week in one State, Western Australia, with wives and children -- a total of 1000 p.w. They did not (and do not) even have to submit to a medical check! A school was objecting to having to put on extra staff to teach children who do not speak English! No finance came from the Federal department responsible for this self-perpetuating "skills shortage" immigration.
       Meanwhile, a Perth pottery factory announced recently it would be relocating -- to Brazil! One presumes that those who are being "hooked" on coming to Australia to fill a "skills shortage" won't be able to find a job in a pottery! So, some of them or their descendants will be tempted to believe the "pie in the sky" and "Paradise now" teachings in their religious buildings. COMMENT ENDS.] [Apr 28, 06]

    • [Historic Christian cemetery obliterated.]

     
       The West Australian, Some time ~ April or May 2006
       IN THE CAUCASUS: A historic oriental Christian cemetery in the Caucasus around Georgia etc. has been completely obliterated.
       It had tombstones covering about three or four centuries from the Middle Ages or before. Now it is just a sandy waste.
       [COMMENT: In modern times, the Orthodox Christian monasteries and churches in Kosovo province are being systematically turned to powder, it was reported in the past 12 months or so. COMMENT ENDS.] [~ Apr or May, 2006]

    • Pell sees dark side of Islam's holy text 

    Pell sees dark side of Islam’s holy text

     
       The West Australian, p 12, Friday, May 5, 2006
       SYDNEY: Australia's top Catholic clergy�man, Cardinal George Pell, says -the Koran is riddled with "invoca�tions to violence" and the central challenge of Islam lies in the strug�gle between moderate and extrem�ist forces as the faith spreads into a "childless Europe".
       Sydney's Archbishop said read�ing the Koran, the sacred text of Islam, was vital "because the chal�lenge of Islam will be with us for the remainder of our lives".
       In a speech to Catholic business people in the US, Dr Pell also said Western democracy was suffering a crisis of confidence as evidenced by the fall in fertility rates.
       "Pagan emptiness" and West�ern fears of the uncontrollable forces of nature had contributed to "hysteric and extreme claims" about global warming.
       "In the past, pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today, they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emis�sions," he said.
       Dr Pell said the September 11 terrorist attacks had been his per�sonal wake-up call to understand Islam better. He had tried to reconcile claims that Islam was a faith of peace with those that sug�gested the Koran legitimised the killings of non-Muslims.
       While there was room for opti�mism in fruitful dialogue between faiths and the human desire for peace, a pessimistic response began "with the Koran itself.
       Errors of facts, inconsistencies, anachronisms and other defects were not unknown to scholars but difficult for Muslims to debate.
       "In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invo�cations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages," he said.
      [Picture] Violent reaction: Cardinal George Pell says while there is room for optimism in inter-faith dialogue, a pessimistic response begins with the Koran itself.
       Last year, Dr Pell courted con�troversy when he drew a link between Islam and communism. This most recent speech on Islam and Western Democracies was delivered in the US on February 4 but only appeared on the arch�diocese's website on Wednesday.
       Dr Pell said every nation and every religion, including Catholi�cism, had "crimes in their histo�ries". In the same way, Islam could not airbrush its "shadows".
       Claims of Muslim tolerance of Christian and Jewish minorities were largely mythical and he won�dered about the possibility of theo�logical development in Islam when the Koran was said to come directly from God.
       "Considered strictly on its own terms, Islam is not a tolerant reli�gion and its capacity for far-reaching renovation is severely lim�ited," he said.
       However, like Christianity, Islam was a living religion and the existence of moderate Islam in Indonesia was proof of the soften�ing impact of human intervention.
       But democracy and moderation did not tally and there were "many ways in which President Bush's ambition to export democracy to the Middle East was a risky business".
       To assist moderate Islam, Dr Pell said the world needed to understand the "secular sources of emptiness and despair and how to meet them, so that people will choose life over death". #
    [May 5, 06]
       [COMMENT on newsitem "Pell sees dark side of Islam's holy text," The West Australian, (5/5).
       Cardinal George Pell did NOT draw a link between Communism and Islam, neither was it "last year". In 2004 he had said in a speech in the US that Islam might this century provide the attraction that communism provided in the last. See "Democracy must change to counter Islam: Pell" (The Age 12/11/04) http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Democracy-must-change-to-counter-Islam-Pell/2004/11/11/1100131136231.html .
       Dr Pell said: "The small but growing conversion of native Westerners within Western societies to Islam carries the suggestion that Islam may provide in the 21st century the attraction which communism provided in the 20th, both for those who are alienated or embittered on the one hand, and for those who seek order or justice on the other."
       I must ask Dr Pell to continue his studies. He ought not to have stopped counting Koran invocations to violence after 50, 94 60, or 70 pages. He ought to have listed every one.
       In fact, his Church ought to have known the number centuries ago, when the Koran text settled down and after the huge losses of Christian territory due to the Arab Jihad conquests, and the Koran was translated into Latin. The later attacks led by the Turks also ought to have increased Christian scholarship.
       His Church did not have to leave the listing of anti-peace verses to an Antipodean cleric, moved to act after the September 11 fulfilment of these passages.
       However, he and the Roman Catholic Church have another duty about "holy texts." They ought to declare that the Lord did NOT order the ancient Israelites to "utterly destroy" the indigenous peoples of Palestine as they slaughtered and raped their way in conquest after the exodus from Egypt.
       There are even taints of "wargod" texts in the Psalms. Jesus opposed the "hate your enemy" teachings given to the ordinary people of Palestine in his day.
       Finally, what a pity that Dr Pell claimed that the warnings about global warming were hysteric and extreme. This blindness to the looming ecological danger will cause many of his audience to switch off.
       Islam like Catholicism has such blind faith in Divine Providence that even as the desert sand blows over former forests they will be complacent about it all. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [LINK to speech: "Islam and Western Democracies," Legatus Summit, Naples, Florida U.S.A, By + Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, February 4, 2006, www.sydney. catholic. org.au/ Archbishop/ Addresses/ 200627_681. shtml .]
       FOLLOW-UP NEWS: Sydney Morning Herald, "Howard stands by Cardinal Pell on Islam," www.smh.com. au/news/ National/ Howard- stands-by- Cardinal- Pell-on- Islam/2006/ 05/05/114633 5890691.html , 5:54AM, May 5, 2006.
       Prime Minister John Howard says Cardinal George Pell brings a great intellect to questions of Christian-Muslim relations.
       Australia's highest ranking Catholic clergyman has told an American audience the Koran is punctuated with "invocations to violence" and the central challenge facing Islam lies in the struggle between moderate and extremist forces. [...]
       "I know for a fact he's been a strong proponent of good relations between Christianity and Islam." #
       [PELL'S PREVIOUS TALK WITH AN ISLAMIC CLERIC: Use search engine to get more detail of March 31, 2004, Dhimmitude in Australia: Cardinal Pell to host Muslim cleric at Cathedral Interfaith Prayer, on Dhimmi Watch website, www.jihadwatch. org/dhimmi watch/ archives/ 001358.php .] [May 5, 06]

    • Cardinal Pell Committed To Dialogue With Muslims 

    Cardinal Pell Committed To Dialogue With Muslims

     
       Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney, www.sydney. catholic. org.au/News/ MR/200655_ 770.shtml , Media release, By + Cardinal George Pell, Archbishop of Sydney, May/5/2006
       Isolated suggestions that I am uninformed on Islam are clichés, smokescreens to distract, to divert attention rather than address basic issues which need to be discussed.
       Islamic terrorists are not a figment of anyone's imagination and the history of relations with Islam is full of conflict.
       I continue to be completely committed to dialogue with Muslims, to supporting moderate forces on all sides.
       I recommend that people read the Quran and my article in Quadrant (also on the Sydney Archdiocese website, www.sydney. catholic.org.au ) and judge for themselves.
       We need a lot of continuing dialogue, based on truth, history and the current situation. #
       [COMMENT: Cardinal Pell might be prosecuted by the Victorian "Ministry of Truth" under the law against religious villification, for words that might cause a group to feel uncomfortable! COMMENT ENDS.] [May 5, 06]
    • Intolerance shows ignorance of Islam 

    Intolerance shows ignorance of Islam

     
       Aljazeera Net (Arabic independent TV), http://english. aljazeera. net/NR/exeres/ 347E49BD- B8A3-47A1- AF19-5EBC40 5A8B9F.htm , By Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, 10:29 Makka Time, 7:29 GMT, Wednesday May 10, 2006
       Eighty years ago, Marmaduke Pickthall, the British scholar of Islam and translator of the Quran, wrote: "It was not until the Western nations broke away from their religious law that they became more tolerant, and it was only when the Muslims fell away from their religious law that they declined in tolerance."
       Tolerance was regarded as irreligious in the Christian world, but was an essential part of Islam, but it is no longer credited to Muslims.
       Nowadays, the more "religious" some Muslims regard themselves to be, the less tolerant they are. The cause is a troubling intellectual decline of the Islamic civilisation.
       While Muslims complain about the Western lack of understanding of Islam, this misconstruction in the interpretation of religious texts is unfortunately prevalent in the Muslim mind today.
       The conversion to Christianity by Abdulrahman, the Afghan recently pardoned from his death sentence after much pressure from the West, and its repercussions illustrate this confusion.
    “If we followed Islam the way it ought to be, many of our problems in our homelands would not exist today.”
    Anwar Hussain, Canada
    More comments

       Killing a person because of his intellectual choice contradicts the essence of Islamic principles of freedom of faith and worship, repeatedly emphasised in the Quran and the practice of Prophet Muhammad, may peace be upon him.
    No compulsion in religion
       Changing one's Islamic faith is a grave sin. It is a gross violation of the individual covenant with his God, but it does not, in any way, violate Islamic law.
       The Quran repeatedly condemns those who change their Islamic faith, and warns them of a severe punishment on the Last Day.
       But the Quran never prescribed a worldly penalty for apostasy. Therefore, if a Muslim wants to change his faith, so be it. Belief by definition emanates from the individual's heart. Islam is for brave believers, not fearful hypocrites.
       The Quran is unequivocal that faith is a matter of personal choice and conviction; therefore no compulsory power should be used to compel people to adopt a certain belief or prevent them from changing their faith.

    One of the most unfortunate phenomena in Islamic culture today is the lack of distinction between morality and legality.


       The Quran says: "Let there be no compulsion in religion: truth stands out clear from falsehood" (2:256); "Say (O Muhammad): This is the truth from the Lord of you all. Then whoever wishes, let him believe, and whoever wishes, let him disbelieve" (18:29).
       Moreover, Muhammad was told in the Quran that his mission was to teach and preach, not to impose or compel: "remind them, for you are only a reminder. You are not a coercer over them" (88:21-22); "You are not one to overawe them by force. So admonish with the Quran those who fear My Warning!" (50:45).
       Following this Quranic guidance, Muhammad never punished people for abandoning Islam, even though some of his contemporaries renounced their faith repeatedly, as recorded in the Quranic condemnation of "those who believed, then rejected faith, then believed again, then rejected faith again, and went on increasing in unbelief ..." (4:137).
       This is clear evidence that Muhammad did not want to punish people on account of their spiritual and intellectual choice.
       Had there been a worldly punishment for apostasy in Islam, Muhammad would have been the first one to apply it. But he knew that he had no such authority from God.
       Consequently, judgment of the matters of faith should be left to God on the Day of Judgment.
    Morality vs legality
       One of the most unfortunate phenomena in Islamic culture today is the lack of distinction between morality and legality.
       Judging a specific human behaviour in terms of right and wrong is relatively straightforward and easy. But to be comprehensive and practical requires us to go a step further and determine whether that behavior should be categorised as illegal or immoral.

    Tolerance was regarded as irreligious in the Christian world, but was an essential part of Islam, but it is no longer credited to Muslims.


       This distinction is very important once people or institutions decide to react to something that they believe to be wrong. An action can be legal but immoral, or vice-versa.
       In Sharia (Islamic teachings) there is a clear distinction between morality and legality: nearlly all Islamic teachings fall under the category of morality.
       It is the responsibility of the individual believer to adhere to this morality in his personal life - a responsibility before God, not before people. No coercive means are to be used to impose Islamic morality.
       This is because any coercion of this kind will have negative consequences; it will corrupt the moral conscience of the individual by transforming him from a God-conscious believer to a state-fearing hypocrite.
       Islam wants the individual to be a servant of God, not a slave of the state. In Islam, all matters of faith and most of those of personal behaviours and preferences are of moral � not legal - nature.
       Only about one per cent of Islamic teachings fall under the category of legality. This category is a set of laws (family laws, civil laws, penal laws, etc) that the legitimate Islamic government must impose, by exercising the authority of the state.
       Only actions that harm other people or represent potential harm are a part of this category.
       This includes the punishment for murdering innocent people or stealing their property.
       It is generally agreed, in divine and secular laws, that the primary responsibility of governments is to protect people's lives and possessions.
       Unfortunately many Muslims today, including some self-appointed "scholars", do not clearly distinguish between morality and legality, a distinction that any keen student of law understands well.

    Islam wants the individual to be a servant of God, not a slave of the state.


       This intellectual confusion allows some Muslim governments to intrude into personal convictions and preferences of their citizens, claiming that they are applying God's law.
       By doing this, they simply cover up their illegitimacy and irresponsibility by infringing upon people's rights, and delving into issues that are not within their area of jurisdiction in Islam.
    Treason vs apostasy
       A question might arise: If the Quran explicitly affirms the freedom of faith, why is there all of this controversy about killing apostates? Good question.
       The problem starts with the misinterpretation of a few hadiths (sayings of Prophet Muhammad) suggesting capital punishment as a penalty for apostasy.
       However, what the Prophet meant by those hadiths had nothing to do with intellectual choices related to faith; rather it is the political treason and military sedition within the community, which Muhammad was concerned about as a part of his political responsibility.
       The source of this confusion is that the term "apostasy" (riddah in Arabic) was used in Islamic scripture with two distinct meanings: The first was private apostasy, which is an intellectual choice and has no punishment in Islam. All that Muslims are asked to do with a person who decides to renounce his faith is to remind him of the sacred covenant with his creator (God), and to advise him to repent.
       The other use of the term is related to politico-military apostasy, which includes violent rebellion against the social peace of the community and its legitimate leadership.

    Had there been a worldly punishment for apostasy in Islam, Muhammad would have been the first one to apply it.


       Any person judged guilty of this crime is punishable under Islamic law, unless he repents and surrenders himself before he is caught by the authorities. This kind of apostasy is the equivalent of what we call high treason today.
       Betraying one's society, through acts of high treason and military rebellion against its peace and harmony, is punishable under all divine and secular laws. Islamic law is no exception in this regard.
       There are plenty of treacherous politicians and tribal leaders in Afghanistan today who are deservedly eligible for the punishment of high treason in Islamic law.
       Some of them are now among the "respected" leaders of the new Afghanistan. Abdulrahman is evidently not one of them.
       Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti is a Muslim scholar from Mauritania, living in the US.
       The opinions expressed here are the author's and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position or have the endorsement of Aljazeera. #
       [COMMENT: Most of this article is in error. Enforcing Islam was one of the earliest theories and practices. For example, at the conquest of Mecca, Mohammad ordered that no non-Muslim could set foot in the city!!! This meant that nearly all of the citizens were ordered out of their homes and businesses, or had to convert!!! The murder of a captured Jewish tribe is a disgrace that still echoes down history, as well as the massacres of the Christian and Persian garrisons later, and the enslavement of blacks, plus for centuries white Christians. The scripture quoted is contradicted elsewere in several places in the Koran and the Hadith, let alone in Sharia Law. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [RECAPITULATION: But the Quran never prescribed a worldly penalty for apostasy. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE (Quran / Koran):
       8:12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.012
       8:38 (or 40):- Make war on them until strife shall be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's.
       2:278-79:- O believers! fear God and abandon your remaining usury ... But if ye do it not, then hearken for war on the part of God and his apostle: ...
       2:286:- ... O our Lord! ... give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.
       4:76 (or 78):- Believers fight for the cause of God, but the infidels fight for the devil. Fight then against the friends of Satan.
       5:85:- Of all men thou wilt certainly find the Jews, and those who join other gods with God, to be the most intense in hatred of those who believe; and thou shalt certainly find those to be nearest in affection to them who say, 'We are Christians.' ...
       9:29:- Make war upon such of those to whom the Scriptures have been given ... until they pay tribute out of hand, and they be humbled.
       9:123 (or 124):- O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil). www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 009.qmt.html #009.123
       33:61:- Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.
       47:9:- But as for the infidels, let them perish: ...
       47:37:- Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand ...
       48:16:- ...Ye shall do battle with them, or they shall profess Islam. ...
       59:5:- Your cutting down some of their palm-trees and sparing others was by God's permission ...
       66:9:- O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them. ...
       71:27-28:- And Noah said, 'Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels on the Earth: For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only sinners, infidels. DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE (Hadith):
       2, 19:173 (Bukhari's collection):- Later on, I saw him killed as a non-believer. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ fundamentals/ hadithsunnah/ bukhari/019. sbt.html #002.019.173
       3, 39:519:- The Prophet got the date palm trees of the tribe of Bani-An-Nadir burnt and the trees cut down at a place called Al-Buwaira. Hassan bin Thabit said in a poetic verse: "The chiefs of Bani Lu'ai found it easy to watch fire spreading at Al-Buwaira."
       41:6985 (Sahih Muslim's collection):- ... Allah's Messenger ... saying The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree ...
       9, 84:57:- "Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him."
       9, 84:58:- Regarding a Jew who had become a Muslim, then returned to Judaism: "Mu'adh said, I will not sit down till he has been killed. ... and he was killed. GUIDELINE ENDS.]
       [ANOTHER RECAPITULATION:
       Unfortunately many Muslims today, including some self-appointed "scholars", do not clearly distinguish between morality and legality, a distinction that any keen student of law understands well.
       This intellectual confusion allows some Muslim governments to intrude into personal convictions and preferences of their citizens, claiming that they are applying God's law.
       By doing this, they simply cover up their illegitimacy and irresponsibility by infringing upon people's rights, and delving into issues that are not within their area of jurisdiction in Islam. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: The above is quite misleading. The doctrines of the umma or community of Moslems is so entrenched in Islamic Sharia Law and the customs since Islam's foundation, that one can only shake one's head! Islamic doctrines are based on cruel practices as old as the tribal laws that preceded humanity's first faltering steps towards civilisation. Modern people can see (mostly) that such a law screeched by a befeathered witchdoctor, or practiced by the Vikings or Aztecs, is/was primitive and superstitious, but if intoned from a beautiful scroll or book they want to treat it as part of humanity's rich tapestry!
       [ANOTHER LINK: Submit / Submission Texts #Islam Texts. ENDS.] [May 10, 06]

    • Pell ignites Koran controversy 

    Pell ignites Koran controversy

     
       The Record (R.C. Perth W. Australia weekly), By Paul Gray, pp 3-4, May 11, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: Cardinal George Pell has ignited nationwide controversy by highlighting the presence of violent texts within Islam, and urging Catholics to read the Koran.
       Responding to the controversy, the Cardinal said this week that "basic issues" must be addressed in the dialogue between Christianity and Islam. "Islamic terrorists are not a figment of anyone's imagination and the history of relations with Islam is full of conflict," he said.
       The Cardinal's comments were made as further examples of Islamic terrorism around the world were reported, including the savage murder of respected female journalist Atwar Bahjat in Iraq.
       Bahjat was stripped and then filmed as she was tortured and had her throat slowly cut by men dressed in army fatigues yelling "Allahu akbar" ("God is greatest")
      [Picture] Cardinal Pell  
       Cardinal Pell said that dialogue with Muslims must be based on "truth, history and the current situation."
       Cardinal Pell said that the holiest book of Islam, the Koran, is replete with statements urging violence in the name of God.
       "In my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages."
       Cardinal Pell's comments appear to open up a new chapter in the Muslim-Christian relations in Australia.
       Since September 11, 2001, many interfaith efforts have been made by moderate and tolerant forces both within the Muslim community and the churches to promote better mutual understanding and networking.

    Pell urges reality-check in the ongoing dialogue with Islam

     
    Continued from page 2
       Prominent members of the Australian Jewish community have also joined in this project.
       One outcome has been the Abraham Interfaith Dialogue, where dozens of representatives of the three "Abrahamic" faiths -Islam, Christianity and Judaism - have joined together for formal discussions and workshops and, in Victoria, two annual live-in conference weekends.
       The focus of these initiatives, so far, has been on exploring religious and philosophical principles which are held in common between the faiths, in the interests of advancing mutual co-operation.
       Cardinal Pell's remarks appear to take this process a step further, by openly focusing attention not just on the commonalities, but on the differences between Christianity and Islam. Critics of the Cardinal are saying that this is merely promoting ignorant attitudes towards Islam.
       However, the Cardinal has countered this argument by stating that people should read the Koran.
       Another new aspect in the Cardinal's argument is the need to promote Christian support for moderate forces within the Islamic communities, at the expense of Muslim radicals and those sympathetic to terrorism.
       "I continue to be completely committed to dialogue with Muslims, to supporting moderate forces on all sides," he said this week.
       In this respect, Cardinal Pell is in line with the views of many secular political thinkers throughout the West, who argue that collaboration with politically moderate forces within Islam is essential to combating terrorism.
       Despite clear evidence that this kind of reasoning lies behind the Cardinal's recent statements, he is likely to continue to be opposed by some critics who decry all mention of the religious underpinning of violence within Islamic culture.
       Also in Sydney this week, Parramatta Bishop Kevin Manning was given an Arabic Heritage League Award. Receiving the award, Bishop Manning told the Arabic Heritage League: "Your organisation is one which models the fact that Christians and Muslims work together for a common purpose.
       "It is in this context that the Arab Heritage League has a role to play in building harmonious relationships between our two communities," the bishop said.
       Bishop Manning also spoke of the need for interfaith dialogues, particularly Christian-Muslim dialogue. #
       [DOCTRINE (Koran): �� 3:118 (or 114):- O ye who believe! Take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks: They will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: Rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths: What their hearts conceal is far worse. ...
       4:156 :- And for their saying 'Verily we have slain the Messiah, Jesus the son of Mary, an Apostle of God.' Yet they slew him not, and they crucified him not, but they had only his likeness.
       5:64-65:- O people of the Book! ... some of them hath he changed into apes and swine ...
       5:76:- Infidels now are they who say, 'God is the Messiah, Son of Mary.'
       8.12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them.
       8:30:- ... the unbelievers plotted against thee ... but God plotted : and of plotters is God the best!
       66:2:- God hath allowed you release from your oaths. ... DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE (Hadith/Sunnah): 2, 19:173 (Bukhari's collection):- Later on, I saw him killed as a non-believer. http://www.usc.edu/dept/MSA/fundamentals/hadithsunnah/bukhari/019.sbt.html#002.019.173 . GUIDELINE ENDS.]
       [BACKGROUND: Paul Gray is a pro-Islam Melbourne journalist.] [May 11, 06]

    • Ahmadinejad becomes pin-up boy for Muslims  Indonesia flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Ahmadinejad becomes pin-up boy for Muslims

     
       The West Australian, p 27, Saturday, May 13, 2006
       JAKARTA: Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the man at the centre of the showdown over Tehran's nuclear ambitions, doesn't look the part of a firebrand. But among many Muslims, he's fast becoming the poster boy for defiance.
       In Jakarta and elsewhere in the Muslim world, Mr Ahmadinejad is working to build a reputation as a leader unafraid to stand up to the West.
       To a cheering audience at the University of Indonesia on Thursday, he called Israel a tyrannical regime that one day would be destroyed.
       Many students held up posters of support.
       Before about 1000 students at the Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, on Jakarta's southern outskirts, he later lashed out at the "double standard" of the big powers, eliciting loud applause when he asked: "If nuclear technology is bad, why do they have it?"
       Despite the growing pressure on Iran to allow international inspections of its nuclear facilities or possibly face United Nations sanctions, Mr Ahmadinejad was on friendly ground in Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation.
       "He impresses me," said Riswanto Hidayat, 21, who attended the rally at Islamic University.
       "He gives a voice to the opposition of Muslims to the arrogance of the United States."
       It is often an angry voice. In a letter to US President George Bush earlier this week, Mr Ahmadinejad brushed aside the concerns over Tehran's nuclear program.
       "We want to use technology for peace and the welfare of the Muslim people around the world," he said. "But they want to use it to invade other countries. This is the difference between us and them."
       Mr Ahmadinejad has repeatedly said he welcomes further negotiations. But he has just as frequently vowed not to kowtow to the West. #
       [COMMENT: President Bush and his confederates have recently given official recognition to India's nuclear industry, founded outside the non-proliferation treaty system, and breaking some U.S. laws. USA's lapdog Australia is hastening to sell uranium to India (run by the elites) and China (dictatorship). The Australian Opposition Labor Party is already showing signs of giving in. Big Business (and Big Unions) will, when it is profitable, rush to sell uranium to Iran (run by fanatics), possibly in the near future. Or, sell to countries that are onselling uranium to such regimes. COMMENT ENDS.] [May 13, 06]
    • 'I'm Lonely, But I Have to Go On' [Oppressed women from over-conformist families have a defender in Ms Ali.]   rder= "1" alt= "Netherlands = Holland flag; Mooney's MiniFlags">  Somalia flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
       Australian Reader's Digest, editors.au@readersdigest.com , By SUSANNAH HICKLING, pp 78-83, Dated June 2006, received ~ May 16, 2006
       NETHERLANDS:
    READER'S DIGEST  |  JUNE 2006                                                                                         79

    RD European of the Year Ayaan Hirsi Ali risks her life to fight for oppressed women in her adopted country

    I’m Lonely,
    But I Have to Go On

    BY SUSANNAH HICKLING

    WHEN SOMALI-BORN DUTCH MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali took part in a television programme about Islamic Sharia law in 2003, she ended up contributing much more than her opinion on Islam and its treatment of women. A young woman from a Muslim family told the programme makers she was in fear of her life from her relatives, who hit her and called her a whore for wanting to go out
    with her friends and wearing Western clothes. Hirsi Ali listened to her story, then took the young woman to the police, only to be told: "We can't help you. There are so many girls like you and this is not police work."
       It is not usually a politician's job to look after threatened Muslim girls, either, but that is what Ayaan Hirsi Ali did. She took the girl into her own home for nearly a year, enabling her to finish higher education.
       "She encouraged me every day," says her protege, who now has a job and a flat. "Because of her I am stronger. It's very difficult and dangerous for women from my community to speak out. Ayaan does that for us. We need her."
       Ayaan Hirsi Ali, 36, believes with a passion that showing Europeans - and those in other Western countries - what goes on in some Muslim homes in their midst will kick-start a process of emancipation.
       "If only people were aware of the sheer number of girls living in terror," she says. "Just going outside without your father or your brother's permission can lead to your being taken to the home country of your parents and being shot dead. You can be forced into marriage with someone who's going to rape you every night. You will conceive children year after year when you don't want to be pregnant."
       She campaigns on both a political and a personal level - and in the face of extreme personal danger. In November 2004, an Islamic fanatic ritually murdered her friend Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker. He was shot in broad daylight and a chilling letter to Hirsi Ali was pinned to his chest with a knife. "Wish for death if you are really convinced you are right," it said.
       Their crime? Collaborating on a short film called Submission, highlighting the abuse of Muslim women at the hands of their menfolk. [...]
       In just three years in the Dutch parliament, she has pushed through a raft of measures designed to improve the lives of Muslim women ... has been named Reader's Digest European of the Year 2006. [...]
       She has helped make divorce easier for victims of domestic abuse ... "Honour" killings will be recorded ... Female circumcision, widely condemned but illegal in only three EU countries ... pledged to make a sequel to Submission [...]
       [And, read the rest in the June issue of Australian Reader's Digest.] [Page 78 is a picture, presumably of Ayaan; p 80 has pictures of her, and of some floral tributes left at the scene of the murder of Theo Van Gogh in an Amsterdam street.]
       [FOR INFORMATION about ritual murder of Mr Van Gogh: See newsitem of November 25, 2004. For information about Ms Ali featuring in an immigration dispute fueled by her lying on her application form, and the subsequent fall of the Netherlands government, see newsitem of July 1, 2006 ] [Dated June 2006, received ~ May 16, 06]
    • [Body politics - Female genital mutilation]  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
       Australian Reader's Digest, editors.au@readersdigest.com , By HEIDI KRAUSE, p 82, Dated June 2006, received ~ May 16, 2006
       AUSTRALIA:
    READER'S DIGEST  |  JUNE 2006                                                                                         82

    Body politics


    FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) is illegal in Australia. However, some 50,000 women have migrated here from countries where FGM is practised. These include Horn of Africa nations such as Somalia and Sudan, where up to 90% of women undergo the procedure. Campaigners against FGM, which involves the cutting or removal of external female genitalia, are keen to stress that it is primarily a cultural rather than a specific religious practice.
       In Australia, local health workers report continuing support for FGM within some migrant communities. And now state education departments, led by Queensland, are introducing monitoring laws to stop schoolgirls being sent overseas to have the procedure done. A national awareness programme is also in place that will try to change attitudes.
       Eritrean-born Samia Baho, now 41, the first woman from the Horn of Africa to be employed in the welfare sector in Australia, is now the coordinator of the Family and Reproductive Rights Education Program (FARREP) in Victoria. FARREP workers visit hospitals and community health centres to assist migrant women, who often have difficult and especially painful labours and problems conceiving.
       The issue of FGM is complex and highly sensitive and cannot be dealt with in isolation, explains Baho. "FGM is about dignity. It's about your whole being. Imagine if your body has been one way since you were very young and then someone suddenly tells you it's wrong. It's very confronting. It's about giving these women back their confidence and self-esteem."
       One important challenge for FARREP has been to empower women while at the same time engaging the men from their communities in dialogue. "These women are more at risk if we educate them [by themselves] but then send them back to the same husband," says Baho. "Imagine knowing all your rights but not being able to exercise them."
       Changing cultural attitudes is a slow process. "Young men still say they wouldn't marry an uncircumcised girl," she says. "That's why we get the imams and priests involved in the education. They quote from the Koran and remind the men of women's rights."
       Baho says what is also disturbing is a new wave of refugees who include uncircumcised mothers arriving with daughters who have been circumcised. "The mothers know they are coming to a 'permissive' Western society and are worried that they will not be able to control their daughters."
       For more information on this issue, go to readersdigest. com.au .   HEIDI KRAUSE #
    [Dated June 2006, received ~ May 16, 06]
    • Guantanamo inmates riot  United  States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Cuba flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Guantanamo inmates riot

     
       Sunday Tasmanian, www.themercury. news.com.au , AFP, p 22, May 21, 2006
       Washington: GUANTANAMO inmates staged a fake suicide bid to lure US guards into a trap and attack them with fan blades and other improvised weapons, the commander of the US detention camp in Cuba said.
       Guards fired rubber bullets and six prisoners suffered minor injuries in what Rear Admiral Harry Harris, commander of Joint Task Force Guantanamo, called "the most violent outbreak" at the prison since it was opened in January 2002.
       The ambush was reported on the day a UN panel called on the United States to close the camp for al-Qaeda and Taliban "enemy combatants".
       Australian David Hicks has been held at the camp for more than four years since being arrested in Afghanistan. His father Terry Hicks yesterday said his son would not have been involved in the riot.
       Prison commander Harris said detainees smothered the floor with excrement and soapy water to make it slippery before guards rushed in believing they were saving a man who was seen preparing to hang himself.
       The guards were then attacked with "broken light fixtures, fan blades" and other improvised weapons, Harris said.
       The fighting lasted four to five minutes but it took about an hour to move all the prisoners and clear up the block, Harris said.
       Two real suicide bids were staged before the unrest. Harris said two inmates took an overdose of prescription drugs and were unconscious but in "stable" condition in the main hospital at the US navy base.
       Civilian lawyers who have visited the camp say there is widespread depression among the approximately 460 inmates.
       Harris said about 18 per cent of the inmates had "some form of mental issue" and between eight and 10 per cent had "serious mental issues".
       The UN Committee on Torture, in a report compiled after hearing evidence from senior US officials, yesterday called on the United States to close Guantanamo and any secret prisons it operates around the world.
       But Washington brushed aside charges that Guantanamo inmates were mistreated, insisting that interrogations carried out there were fully within US legal guidelines.
       "It is important to note that everything that is done in terms of questioning detainees is fully within the boundaries of American law," White House spokesman Tony Snow said. #
       [RECAPITULATION: ... detainees smothered the floor with excrement and soapy water to make it slippery before guards rushed in ... ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 8:30:- ... the unbelievers plotted against thee ... but God plotted : and of plotters is God the best! END.]
       [COMMENT: Well, you pick an aya (verse) to match their tactics! END.]
       [2nd RECAPITULATION: The UN Committee on Torture, ... yesterday called on the United States to close Guantanamo and any secret prisons it operates around the world. But Washington brushed aside charges that Guantanamo inmates were mistreated, ... RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Anyone held without an ordinary trial in ordinary courts IS BEING MISTREATED. Some of those locked up there have been released without charge -- even the US doesn't know why they were taken there! Read the US Constitution, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and Magna Charta.
       Ask yourself: Will such heartless treatment by the West help the unfortunate people trapped in religions of violence to amend their thinking? COMMENT ENDS.] [May 21, 06]

    • Dublin cathedral under police siege  Ireland, Republic of / Eire, flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Dublin cathedral under police siege

     
       Sunday Tasmanian, AP, p 22, May 21, 2006
       Dublin:: ABOUT 40 Afghan asylum-seekers who have waged a six-day hunger strike yesterday threatened to kill themselves if police try to expel them from St Patrick's Cathedral.
       Mediators and human rights activists sought to broker a peaceful solution after 100 police, determined to end a protest that has shut down a major tourist attraction, surrounded the 13th-century Dublin landmark.
       The Church of Ireland, which owns St Patrick's, said the threat to commit suicide on church property was morally unacceptable. #
       [COMMENT: Nothing is sacred in certain cultures. For example, in the past few years news of clerics being knifed and bombed in mosques, the riots at the Kaaba in Mecca, a massacre during a funeral in East Timor, the attack on the school in Beslan, and on a theatrical performance, also in Russia, the uprooting of European bodies and gravestones in Africa, the complete disappearance of all the gravestones in an oriental Christian cemetery around the Caucasus, the kidnappings and beheadings of women and men, religious police refusing to let boarding school girls escape from their burning school because they were not clothed "correctly", the canings of women in the streets of Afghanistan and Iran, the cutting without pain-killers of girls' clitoruses, the stonings of rape victims, the suicide bombings at Jordan weddings, and the Taliban's fixation on the length of men's beards, enlighten us more than any book or texts! COMMENT ENDS.] [May 21, 06]
    • Iraqi unity forged at last  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Iraqi unity forged at last

     
       Sunday Tasmanian, Reuters, p 22, May 21, 2006
       Baghdad: IRAQ'S parliament approved the country's new Cabinet yesterday, opening the way for the inauguration of a national unity government.
       Incoming Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki told the 275-member parliament that he would make restoring stability and security the top priority of his new administration.
       The milestone came just hours after a bomb killed 19 people and wounded 58 others among a crowd of Shi'ite labourers gathered to look for work in Baghdad's poor Sadr City district.
      [Picture] FEARFUL: A woman whose son was seriously injured in yesterday's blast in Sadr City gives way to tears as she waits at the hospital.  Picture: AP  
       Parliament's approval of the Cabinet, which should govern for the four-year term of the legislature, ended months of inertia that have seen sectarian bloodshed mount amid talk of impending civil war.
       The 37-member Cabinet, led by Prime Minister al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, took months of negotiations to form after the December 15 elections and will be made up of members from all of Iraq's religious, sectarian and ethnic groups.
       It will be Iraq's first constitutional government since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
       The new government can be sure of an enthusiastic welcome in Washington, where frustration with Iraqis' sectarian and ethnic haggling has grown since the election. #
       [COMMENT: The election was months ago! The country has been in chaos ever since the Coalition of the Killing (US, UK, and Australia) displaced the cruel dictatorship of the Baathist, Saddam Hussein, in 2003. COMMENT ENDS.] [May 21, 06]
    • Thai teachers set on by mob  Thailand flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Thai teachers set on by mob

     
       Sunday Tasmanian, p 22, May 21, 2006
       Thailand:: A THAI teacher who was beaten into a coma by a mob demanding the release of Islamic insurgents had only a slim chance of survival, her doctor said.
       About 200 villagers surrounded a school in Narathiwat province and took three teachers hostage to demand the release of the two suspected Muslim rebels.
       [COMMENT: Even a woman is not sacred in certain cultures. COMMENT ENDS.] [May 21, 06]
    • Turkish truck crash kills 40  Turkey flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  Bangladesh flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Turkish truck crash kills 40

     
       Sunday Tasmanian, p 22, May 21, 2006
       Turkey: A SMALL truck packed with illegal immigrants from Afghanistan and Bangladesh crashed into a parked transport truck in southern Turkey yesterday, leaving 40 people dead and six others injured.
       [COMMENT: Why are people leaving the supposedly "freed" Afghanistan, and the free Bangladesh? Aren't there countries closer to them that they could migrate to if they felt the need? Did these illegal immigrants consider that laws (such as about immigration) govern them as part of the world community? The reality is they were probably on their way to the decadent states of Europe. COMMENT ENDS.] [May 21, 06]
    • Islamic 'hate books' face ban  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Islamic ‘hate books’ face ban

     
       The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), p 32, May 21, 2006
       CANBERRA: THE Federal Government may ban the sale of "hate books" and outlaw the glorification of terrorism.
       Islamic books that support violent jihad can be sold because sedition and incitement laws do not specifically ban them, according to legal advice to the Australian Federal Police.
       But Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said this week the Government would consider strengthening legislation to outlaw the texts.
       However, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions said authorities could not stop sales and, according to security analysts, a ban on the books would achieve little because similar violent material could be found on the internet. #
       [COMMENT: Instead of banning the books, they ought to be set for classwork in schools, in conjunction with proper courses in history, so that children and their teachers will understand that mixing cultures has some downsides. COMMENT ENDS.] [May 21, 2006]
    • [Uncivilised for Iran to tag Jews, Christians, etc.: Howard; nuclear power also desired by Iran.]  Canada flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/  United Nations flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  

    Iran tags Jews and Christians

     
       The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), p 38, May 21, 2006
       OTTAWA: Prime Minister John Howard has reacted with horror to a new Iranian law forcing Jews and Christians to wear coloured badges.
       The Iranian Parliament passed a law this week requiring all Iranians to wear almost identical "standard Islamic garments", Canadian newspaper National Post has reported.
       The law, which has yet to be formally approved, also establishes special insignia to be worn by non-Muslims - a yellow strip of cloth for Jews, a red badge for Christians and blue cloth for Zoroastrians.
       Mr Howard said he had not been formally briefed on the law, but if the report was true, it would be repugnant.
       "It obviously echoes the most horrible period of genocide in the world's history and the marking of Jewish people with a mark on their clothing by the Nazis, and anything of that kind would be totally repugnant to civilised countries," Mr Howard said.
       The UN is trying to resolve a standoff over Iran's nuclear program.
       Mr Howard's Canadian host and counterpart, Stephen Harper, said the new law should help firm the UN's resolve.
       "I would hope that as our allies wrest with the difficult issues surrounding Iran's apparent desire to obtain nuclear capacity, they will reflect carefully on the nature of a regime that would even contemplate such actions," Mr Harper said. #
       [COMMENT: Labelling non-Muslims was practised in Muslim empires for centuries (as was kidnapping and slavery) and only stoppped (outwardly) when Europeans' navies and armies proved vastly superior. Poor Mr Howard evidently doesn't know that genocide existed long before the Nazis came on the scene!
       Iranians and others have been trained in nuclear power in Europe and other countries. As is usual with trade, selling nuclear secrets is considered more important to some business people than preserving world peace. "Without vision, the people perish." Mr Howard's predecessors in the "democracies" acted as if they believed that training potential enemies will turn them into friends! COMMENT ENDS.] [May 21, 06]

    • [Pell's points about Muslims valid, correct] 

    [Pell’s points about Muslims valid, correct]

     
       The Record (R.C. Perth W. Australia weekly), Letters to the Editor, p 6, May 25, 2006
    Pell’s points valid
    Speaking in the US in early February Cardinal George Pell of Sydney said:
       "These are also legitimate requests for our Islamic partners in dialogue: Do they believe that the peaceful suras [chapters] of the Koran are abrogated by the verses [in the later suras] of the sword? Is the program of military expansion (100 years after Muhammad's death Muslim armies reached Spain and India) to be resumed when possible?
       "Do they believe that democratic majorities of Muslims in Europe would impose Sharia law? Can we discuss Islamic history and even the hermeneutical [interpretative] problems around the origins of the Koran without threats of violence?"
       These are very valid points if there is to be useful dialogue in this country both within the Muslim community and between Muslims and non-Muslims. Geoff Taylor, Riverton
    Pell is correct
    Cardinal George Pell is right when he says that the Koran is riddled with invocations to violence. However it will surprise many to learn that the Bali bombers justified their actions with the verse in the Koran that asks believers "to do good and prevent evil deeds."
       Why this should be so is adequately explained by the New Statesman's cover story entitled "The Struggle for Islam's Soul," Ziauddin Sardar (July 18, 2005) which I recommend to all readers of The Record. Adrian Reutens, Ferndale
       [DOCTRINE about conquest, jihad, and violence: 2:193:- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left. \   2:212:- War is prescribed to you. ... \   2:245:- Fight for the cause of God. ... ENDS.] [May 25, 06]
    • [Bank asks Islamic grouping who is in charge, and to repay $230,000; one school $AUD 11m p.a. taxpayers' funds.]  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Bank in warning to Islamic grouping

     
       The Weekend Australian, by Richard Kerbaj, p 3, May 27-28, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: WESTPAC is demanding the leadership of the nation's main Muslim body prove that it was properly elected before it authorises new executives accessing the organisation's bank accounts.
       With five of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils' nine state bodies rebelling against the new eight-member board and insisting on fresh elections, the bank is demanding clarification about who is actually in charge.
       "We would like a copy of the minutes giving confirmation of the members elected and therefore their authority to appoint signatories to bank accounts," says a letter from the bank dated May 22 and marked "urgent action required".
       Westpac also warns AFIC, a key adviser to the Howard Government on the Muslim community which also helps run Islamic schools across the nation, that its main account is overdrawn by $230,000 and insists the problem be rectified "as soon as possible".
       The bank cites revelations in The Australian about the power struggle within AFIC that has divided the council since elections last month and adds: "We trust that the position will be satisfactorily and speedily resolved."
       The Westpac letter prompted AFIC's new secretary, Mohammed Berjaoui, to send an email to AFIC's nine member councils and their affiliates warning them that the bank may freeze the accounts.
       "There is also serious threat that the AFIC accounts could be frozen by the bank which would leave a number of AFIC schools in serious financial difficulty," his email says.
       AFIC derives most of its income from rent on land that houses its five Muslim schools across the country. Malek Fahd, AFIC's largest school in western Sydney, receives $11 million a year in public funds, more than any other private school in NSW. It also has schools in Brisbane, Perth, Canberra and Adelaide.
       The Weekend Australian revealed last week that five member organisations - including the powerful Islamic Council of Victoria and the Muslims Council of NSW - were pushing for a conference to overthrow the newly elected executive, claiming that last month's elections were invalid.
       Yesterday, AFIC failed in a bid in the Victorian Supreme Court to gag The Australian from publishing stories about the organisation after winning an interim injunction last week.
       Westpac refers to stories in The Australian about the disputed election.
       "It has come to our attention from newspaper media ... that the elections that were held end of April 06 for new AFIC board members may be in dispute.
       "We also note that there is a push 'for a special meeting next month to re-elect an executive committee'."
       AFIC's new president Rahim Ghauri threatened the dissenting councils with legal action, ordering them not to go ahead with a special meeting called to annul the council elections.
       But the email from Mr Berjaoui, the AFIC secretary, assures the five councils of their legal rights and calls on them to dismiss the president's "scare tactics".
       "To demonstrate that we are all living in a free and democratic country, where the constitutions and rules of governance are cherished and protected by the law... we will not be intimidated.
       "Be assured brothers and sisters that the decision to call this special congress by the five state councils has been approved by some of the best legal brains and we are very confident of our legal position." #
    [May 27-28, 2006]
    • JI planned Holocaust gas attack in buildings  Indonesia flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Philippines flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    JI planned Holocaust gas attack in buildings

     
       The Weekend Australian, by Natalie O'Brien, p 5, May 27-28, 2006
       INDONESIA: INDONESIAN terrorists planned to attack Western targets by spreading hydrogen cyanide, a deadly gas used during the Holocaust, through the air-conditioning systems of large buildings.
       Details of the method of the proposed attack, designed to maximise the number of victims, were revealed in a 26-page training manual produced by members of Jemaah Islamiah, the terrorist group blamed for the Bali bombings.
       Hand-written in the Indonesian language Bahasa, the document expresses optimism that victims exposed to the poison gas will die within 30 seconds.
       But the plans went awry when police raided a JI safe house in the southern Philippines and discovered the training manual.
       The details have been revealed for the first time by Rohan Gunaratna, of the International Centre for Terrorism and Political Violence Research's Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies.
       Dr Gunaratna said the document discussed several chemical gases, pesticides, narcotics and biological toxins. Among them were hydrogen sulfide, phosgene, chlorine and arsenic.
       "The chemical weapons section of the manual discusses fairly accurately the production of several highly potent agents that theoretically could cause the death of a large number of people," Dr Gunaratna said.
       "The document surveys several agents of disturbing potency and expresses considerable optimism and fascination with regard to how minuscule amounts of the respective agent are needed to kill a large number of people." In particular, when discussing one toxin, it said: "30ml of the agent can kill 60 million people, God willing.'
       The manual carried the most detail about hydrogen cyanide, also known as Cyclone B, which was used to kill millions of Jews during World War II. It suggested hydrogen cyanide be the killing agent of choice because of its ease of production and delivery. It was also easy to produce.
       Dr Gunaratna said the production and delivery methods described in the manual for chemical attack were accurate. The Australian Federal Police is setting up a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear data centre, which will be responsible for collating and co-ordinating the latest information on such threats, as well as strategies to combat them.
       Dr Gunaratna said a faction of JI that embraced al-Qa'ida leader Osama bin Laden's ideals could be expected to search for "increasingly destructive means in order to keep escalating their struggle". But he said the manual revealed that JI was nowhere near ready for a chemical or biological attack.
       "At best the group may be able to mount a small-scale hydrogen cyanide attack that may succeed in killing a handful of individuals," Dr Gunaratna said.
       But he warned that it was just "a question of time" before they acquired the capability. #
       [RECAPITULATION: The manual carried the most detail about hydrogen cyanide, also known as Cyclone B, which was used to kill millions of Jews during World War II. But the plans went awry when police raided a JI safe house in the southern Philippines and discovered the training manual. [...] In particular, when discussing one toxin, it said: "30ml of the agent can kill 60 million people, God willing.' RECAP. ENDS.]
       NOTE: "Cyclone B" is often printed as "Zyklon B" in books about the Nazi German genocide.
       [DOCTRINE: 66:9:- O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them. ...
       71:27-28:- And Noah said, 'Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels on the Earth: For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only sinners, infidels. DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Did reverent people wince at reading the "God willing" prayer added to a plan for mass-murder? Read the religious texts to see why such sayings go together. COMMENT ENDS.] [May 27-28, 2006]

    • US troops held over atrocities  United States of America flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    US troops held over atrocities

     
       The West Australian, p 22, Monday, May 29, 2006
       LOS ANGELES: Several US Marines are in the brig at the giant Camp Pendleton in California and more are restricted to the base as two cases of Iraq war atrocities are investigated.
       One involves the possible murder of an Iraqi civilian in the town of Hamandiya on April 26 and an attempt to make him appear to have been an insurgent, US Marines officials said yesterday.
       The second case, which might amount to the worst US atrocity of the war, involves the slaughter of 24 unarmed men, women and children in Haditha on November 19.
       Investigators have already concluded that Marines killed the 24 after an insurgent bomb killed one Marine and injured several others.
       Haditha resident Aws Fahmi, who said he watched from his home as Marines went from house to house killing members of three families, recalled hearing neighbour Younis Salim Khafif beg in English for the lives of himself and his family.
       "I heard Younis speaking to the Americans, saying: 'I am a friend. I am good'," Mr Fahmi said. "But they killed him and his wife and daughters."
      [Picture] Lest they forget: A volunteer helps place 2758 crosses, Stars of David and Muslim crescents on Santa Monica beach, Los Angeles, on Saturday to remember Iraq war casualties as part of the US Memorial Day weekend.  Picture: Associated Press  
       Photographs of the bodies taken by a Marine intelligence unit have convinced investigators the civilians were defenceless and some were killed "execution-style", officials close to the investigation said.
       The pictures are said to show wounds to the upper bodies of the victims, who included six children. Some were shot in the head and some in the back.
       A US Government official said the pictures showed that Marines "suffered a total breakdown in morality and leadership with tragic results".
       In the Hamandiya incident, an Iraqi was allegedly taken from his home and shot dead, officials said.
       Marines might have planted an AK47 automatic rifle and shovel near the body to give the appearance that he was an insurgent planting an improvised explosive device to detonate against US forces.
       More than a dozen Marines from the 3rd Battalion, 5th Regiment are being investigated in the Hamandiya killing. A dozen from the 3rd Battalion, 1st Marine Regiment, are under suspicion for the Haditha killings.
       A report by an army general on the Haditha incident is expected within days.
       In London, the BBC reported that more than 1000 members of the British armed forces had deserted since the start of the war in Iraq three years ago.
       Last week, Labour Party MP John McDonnell told the House of Commons that the level of desertion had trebled since 2003.
       British MPs are debating a new Armed Forces Bill that would make refusal to participate in the occupation of another country punishable by a sentence of up to life in jail. #
       [COMMENT on the alleged US atrocities: The whole invasion and occupation is, in a sense, an atrocity. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [RECAPITULATION: British MPs are debating a new Armed Forces Bill that would make refusal to participate in the occupation of another country punishable by a sentence of up to life in jail. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: And that's supposed to be the "Labour" Party of Britain! An illegal occupation is still illegal, no matter how many of the Establishment say it isn't. COMMENT ENDS.] [May 29, 06]

    • [Tennis Shorts bring death in Iraq]  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

      Shorts bring death in Iraq  

     
       The West Australian, p 22, Monday, May 29, 2006
       BAGHDAD: An Iraqi tennis coach and two of his players have been shot dead in Baghdad because they were wearing shorts, authorities said, reporting the latest in a series of recent attacks by Islamic extremists.
       Gunmen stopped the car carrying the Sunni Arab coach and two Shi'ite players, asked them to step out and shot them, said Manham Kubba, secretary-general of the Iraqi Tennis Union.
       Extremists had distributed leaflets warning people in the mostly Sunni neighbourhoods of Saidiyah and Ghazaliyah not to wear shorts, police said.
       No one claimed responsibility for the slayings, which come amid worries that Islamic extremism is spreading in the war-torn country.
       More than 30 people were killed in attacks across Iraq on Saturday, including four who died when a bomb in a parked car exploded near a busy bus station in southern Baghdad.
       Seven people were wounded in the blast.
       A US Marine AH-1 Cobra helicopter crashed on Saturday and its two crew members were missing in Anbar province, a volatile area west of Baghdad where insurgents are active.
       Hostile fire was not suspected as the cause of the crash, the US military said. #
       [RECAPITULATION: Extremists had distributed leaflets warning people in the mostly Sunni neighbourhoods of Saidiyah and Ghazaliyah not to wear shorts, police said. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Anyone for tennis? A religion, or religious mania? COMMENT ENDS.] [May 29, 06]

    • 'I'm Lonely, But I Have to Go On' [Oppressed females from over-conformist families have a defender in Ms Ali.]   Netherlands = Holland flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Somalia flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
       Australian Reader's Digest, editors.au@readersdigest.com , By SUSANNAH HICKLING, pp 78-83, Dated June 2006
       NETHERLANDS: [...] Ayaan Hirsi Ali ... "If only people were aware of the sheer number of girls living in terror," she says. "Just going outside without your father or your brother's permission can lead to your being taken to the home country of your parents and being shot dead. [...]
       In November 2004, an Islamic fanatic ritually murdered her friend Theo Van Gogh, a filmmaker. He was shot in broad daylight and a chilling letter to Hirsi Ali was pinned to his chest with a knife. ...
       Their crime? Collaborating on a short film called Submission, highlighting the abuse of Muslim women at the hands of their menfolk. [...]
       [Check above at May 16 for fuller version, or better still, read it all in the June issue of Australian Reader's Digest.] [received ~ May 16, 06, Dated June 2006]

    • [Body politics - Female genital mutilation]  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
       Australian Reader's Digest, editors.au@readersdigest.com , By HEIDI KRAUSE, p 82, received ~ May 16, 2006, Dated June 2006
       AUSTRALIA: FEMALE GENITAL MUTILATION (FGM) is illegal in Australia. However, some 50,000 women have migrated here from countries where FGM is practised. These include Horn of Africa nations such as Somalia and Sudan, where up to 90% of women undergo the procedure. Campaigners against FGM, which involves the cutting or removal of external female genitalia, are keen to stress that it is primarily a cultural rather than a specific religious practice. [...] Changing cultural attitudes is a slow process. "Young men still say they wouldn't marry an uncircumcised girl," she says. "That's why we get the imams and priests involved in the education. They quote from the Koran and remind the men of women's rights." Baho says what is also disturbing is a new wave of refugees who include uncircumcised mothers arriving with daughters who have been circumcised. [...]
       For more information on this issue, go to readersdigest. com.au .
       [Check above at May 16 for fuller version, or better still, read it all in the June issue of Australian Reader's Digest.] [received ~ May 16, 06, Dated June 2006]

    • The Meaning Of Jihad 

    THE MEANING OF JIHAD

     
       The New Republic Online (U.S.A.), www.tnr.com/ blog/thep lank?pid= 19225 , The Plank, by Martin Peretz, June 03, 2006
       UNITED STATES of AMERICA: The New York Times this morning carries a story about how Muslim staffers on the Hill have organized the Congressional Muslim Staffers Association to educate their peers and the Congress about Islam.
       Inevitably, they have fixed on "jihad" as the most misunderstood concept in the Islamic vocabulary. The spokeswoman pointed out that jihad also means "inner spiritual struggle."
       So what! It's not inner spiritual struggle that offends us. It's murder.
       (Oh yes, and also the fact that organized Muslims are not often heard to condemn this oh, so innocent concept that kills.)
       This particular disingenuous parsing was also used by that Harvard senior who, a few years ago and egged on by especially tendentious and mischievous faculty, gave a speech at commencement exercises that was meant to extract the venom from the idea.
       The idiot propagandist at Georgetown, Professor John Esposito, once observed that jihad was also used when a town was trying to get itself cleaned up.
       But jihad is jihad, and the world is now spinning from so many jihads issued by so many Muslim clerics based on so many citations to the Koran and hadiths of the prophet that ordinary men and women will be excused for not taking the recherché explanations seriously and focusing on the jihads which shed blood, like the ones in Iraq and Indonesia and India and Israel and Egypt and the Philippines and Great Britain and Spain and (yes, even) France and, lest we forget, these United States of America, one clear morning just five years ago.
       Militant Islam and militant Arab nationalisms have a cohort of self-deployed apologists. I know one is not supposed to talk ill of the dead. But Peter Jennings was the most present among these.
       His career in this vein actually started at the 1972 Munich Olympics where, after the massacre of Israeli athletes, he reported on ABC that Palestinians were so desperate that one had to understand their, well, their desperation.
       Immediately after September 11, he did a TV show explaining how well women were treated in Islam. Of course, this was a non sequitur: It had nothing to do with the atrocities at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. It was also false.
       A new book, Warrant for Terror: Fatwas of Radical Islam and the Duty of Jihad by Shmuel Bar (Rowman and Littlefield), has just been published that clarifies these matters.
       Fatwas are intrinsic to the idea of jihad; they are its marching orders, so to speak ... and marching orders for suicide attacks, beheadings, mutilation of bodies, all of the techniques the jihadists use to call attention to their own crimes against human dignity.
       Yes, the author is an Israeli, a particularly knowledgeable one.
       As the United States might learn from Israel how to win an insurgency so also might we learn from Israelis who have watched the jihad phenomenon unfold for decades. #
       LINK: Warrant for Terror book: www.powells. com/partner/ 24626/biblio/ 0742551202 . [June 03, 06]
    • Zarqawi calls for civil war  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
       The West Australian, p 22, Monday, June 5, 2006
       BAGHDAD: Iraq's most prominent insurgent leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has called for war between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims in place of his previous policy, which was to fight the US and its allies.
       Within hours, gunmen dragged 26 people off three minibuses, sorted four Sunnis to one side and shot the others, killing 21, including 12 high school students, and wounding one.[...]
       Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, responded by saying ... "I don't think Iraqis would listen to these miserable words and reject reconciliation," ...
       However, political and sectarian divisions have prevented Mr al-Maliki from filling three security ministry posts in his 13-day-old Government. [...]
       Since 2003, at least 30,240 bodies had been taken to the morgue, most shot by gunmen who are seldom caught or prosecuted. [...]
       ... Margaret Hassan, ... murdered in Iraq, ... kidnapped in 2004. Three men arrested in connection with her kidnap and murder are due to go on trial in Baghdad today.

    Zarqawi calls for civil war

     
       The West Australian, p 22, Monday, June 5, 2006
       BAGHDAD: Iraq's most prominent insurgent leader, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, has called for war between Shi'ite and Sunni Muslims in place of his previous policy, which was to fight the US and its allies.
       Within hours, gunmen dragged 26 people off three minibuses, sorted four Sunnis to one side and shot the others, killing 21, including 12 high school students, and wounding one.
       Mayor Serwan Shokir said the incident occurred yesterday after the buses left his town of Qara Tappah.
       In the city of Basra, a Sunni religious group accused security forces of killing 12 unarmed worshippers in a mosque yesterday but police said they had returned fire and shot dead nine terrorists.
       Earlier, a suicide car bomber blew himself up in a crowded market in the city, killing 28 people.
       Al-Zarqawi exhorted Sunnis in a four-hour sermon, excerpts of which were played on Arab-language television at the weekend, to rise to the defence of their sect against Shi'ite enemies he called snakes and traitors.
       "Forget about those advocating the end of sectarianism and calling for national unity," he said.
      [Picture] Body find: A blindfolded skull lies in a mass grave that holds skeletons of people allegedly executed during the rule of Saddam Hussein.  Picture: Associated Press  
       Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, a Shi'ite, responded by saying the tapes came from a fanatic with a deranged mentality.
       "I don't think Iraqis would listen to these miserable words and reject reconciliation," he said.
       "Reconciliation is the hope of all Iraqis."
       However, political and sectarian divisions have prevented Mr al-Maliki from filling three security ministry posts in his 13-day-old Government. Talks were to continue on the issue last night.
       The call from al-Zarqawi, whose organisation al-Qaida in Iraq has claimed credit for the most deadly attacks on coalition forces and Iraqi civilians, coincided with an upsurge of violence in the country that made May the bloodiest month since the allied invasion in 2003.
       The Ministry of Health said 1398 bodies of civilians were taken to the central morgue in Baghdad alone, 243 more than in April. The count did not include soldiers or civilian victims of explosions, on whom autopsies are not usually conducted.
       Since 2003, at least 30,240 bodies had been taken to the morgue, most shot by gunmen who are seldom caught or prosecuted.
       US military commanders investigating reports carried by the BBC that US Marines killed civilians in the town of Ishaqi on March 15 said at the weekend that the troops had used "appropriate force" in the security operation.
       In other developments, 28 skeletons were exhumed from mass graves south of Baghdad at the weekend in preparation for trials against members of the toppled regime of Saddam Hussein over the suppression of an uprising in 1991.
       In Britain, the family of aid worker Margaret Hassan, who was murdered in Iraq, said yesterday that the British Government refused to communicate with her captors and that cost the Care Australia worker her life.
       Mrs Hassan, whose body has not been found, was kidnapped in 2004.
       Three men arrested in connection with her kidnap and murder are due to go on trial in Baghdad today. #
       [BACKGROUND on rebel leader -- See "Jihad killing 'justified'," The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), October 9, 2005. DUBAI: Iraq's al-Qaida leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi says militants are justified under Islam in killing civilians as long as they are infidels, according to an audio tape on the internet attributed to him yesterday.
       [COMMENT on U.S. posturing: Do readers remember the sign "Mission Accomplished" on a US aircraft carrier, with President George Bush Junior making a speech, in 2003? And, did readers smile about the Iraq 13-day-old government? The elections were months ago! COMMENT ENDS.] [June 05, 06]

    • Falafels added to banned list  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

      Falafels added to banned list  

     
       The West Australian, p 22, Monday, June 5, 2006
       BAGHDAD: As purveyors of nothing spicier than the odd dash of chilli sauce, Baghdad's falafel vendors never imagined their snacks might be deemed a threat to public morality.
       Now, their simple offerings of ground chickpeas fried in breadcrumbs have gone the same way as alcohol, pop music and foreign films - labelled theologically impure by the country's growing number of Islamic zealots.
       In a bizarre example of Iraq's creeping "Talibanisation", militants visited falafel vendors, telling them to pack up their stalls by yesterday or be killed.
       At first, most laughed off the threat - then two were shot dead as they plied their trade.
       "They came telling us, 'You have 14 days to end this job' and I asked them what was the problem," said Abu Zeinab, 32, who packed up his stall for good on Saturday in al Dora, a hardline Sunni suburb.
       "I said I was just feeding the people, but they said there were no falafels in Mohammed the Prophet's time, so we shouldn't have them either. I felt like telling them there were no Kalashnikovs in Mohammed's time either, but I wanted to keep my life." #
       [RECAPITULATION: ... they said there were no falafels in Mohammed the Prophet's time, so we shouldn't have them either. RECAP. ENDS.] [June 05, 06]
    • London duo held in gas attack probe  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  

    London duo held in gas attack probe

     
       The West Australian, p 25, June 5, 2006
       LONDON: British police are questioning two brothers held on suspicion of being involved in a plot to pull off a chemical attack in London similar to the outrage on the Tokyo underground.
       Abul Koyair and Mohammed Abdul Kahar were seized during a raid on a terrace house in Forest Gate, east London, in the early hours of Friday.
       Mr Kahar was shot in the shoulder during the raid, which involved 250 police, MI5 officers and bio-chemical experts.
       Police said the raid was in response to specific intelligence. Detectives believe a plot was being hatched to use a chemical device in the UK but do not believe it was linked to the July 7 bombings in London last year.
       [COMMENT: Thorough searching failed to find any trace of the supposed bomb, suitable chemicals, etc. Observers will hope that a video team accompanied the police, so that the circumstances of the shooting might be honestly explained to the world. COMMENT ENDS.] [June 5, 06]
    • Toronto raids net terror bomb suspects, cache of explosives   Canada flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Toronto raids net terror bomb suspects, cache of explosives

     
       The West Australian, p 25, June 5, 2006
       TORONTO: Intelligence agents and police arrested 17 people who had amassed a huge cache of explosives and were ready to bomb public targets, Canadian authorities said yesterday.
       Police said the 12 men and five juveniles, who were seized in weekend raids in the suburbs of Toronto and were believed to be Canadian citizens, had assembled three tonnes of ammonium nitrate and turned a mobile phone into a detonator.
       In 1995, two tonnes of the same chemical fertiliser packed in a truck destroyed the US Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
       Authorities would not identify the group's targets but a report in the Toronto Star said they included the Parliament buildings in Ottawa and the Canadian Security Intelligence Service offices in Toronto.
       Authorities denied a report that Toronto's mass transit system was a target.
       The suspects appeared in a Toronto court on Saturday charged under Canada's terrorism laws, passed after the September 11, 2001, attacks.
       Authorities divulged few details about the men, who all had Arabic names and ranged in age from 19 to 43, and would not discuss the juveniles. Most were young students or workers.
       Since the London public transport system bombings last July, Canadian authorities have warned of possible attacks amid anger in the radical fringes of the country's growing Muslim enclaves and the presence of Canadian troops in Afghanistan. They said they knew of clandestine contacts between Canadian Muslims and extremists, including two Muslim Americans arrested this year in Georgia on terrorism charges.
       "An attack on Canadian soil is now probable," Canada's spy agency warned Parliament last month. A top official of the intelligence service repeated the warning to Senators last week, emphasising the threat of home-grown terrorists.
       Police said the suspects had trained together outside Toronto.
       Luc Portelance, assistant director of operations for the intelligence service, said the accused "appear to have become adherents of a violent ideology inspired by al-Qaida", although investigators had not found a link to the terrorist network. #
       [COMMENT: Be fair. There is no Muslim link to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing of a federal building. It was carried out by Westerners, fanatically opposed to centralism. There was no Islamic link. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [FURTHER COMMENT: After the London botch-up, cynics are entitled to wonder whether the report of a supposed plan to behead the PM is a colourful attempt to get Canadians and others to give up more of their civil liberties. ENDS.] [June 5, 06]

    • Abbas vote plan 'illegal'  Palestine Authority flag; Palestine Authority website  Israel flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

      Abbas vote plan 'illegal'  

     
       The West Australian, In Brief, p 27, June 5, 2006
       ISRAEL/PALESTINE: The Hamas-led Palestinian Government has rejected a deadline to accept a proposal that implicitly recognises Israel, saying yesterday that President Mahmoud Abbas' plan for a referendum on the matter was illegal.
       Mr Abbas has given Hamas until tomorrow to decide on the proposal or face a national referendum he is expected to win.
       Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said legal advice said referendums were "not permitted on the Palestinian land".
       But he said he would try to continue talks with Mr Abbas over the plan. #
       [DOCTRINE: 2:212:- War is prescribed to you. ...
       4:91 (or 89):- ... Take therefore none of them for friends ... If they turn back, then seize them, and slay them wherever ye find them ... www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/004. qmt.html #004.089 .
       8:12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/008. qmt.html #008.012 . DOCTRINE ENDS.] [June 5, 06]

    • Violence, intolerance are Islamic hallmarks: Pell  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Violence, intolerance are Islamic hallmarks: Pell

     
       The West Australian, p 9, Tuesday, June 6, 2006
       SYDNEY: Cardinal George Pell has angered Muslim leaders for a second time in a month, declaring Islam a much more warlike culture than Christianity.
       Sydney's Catholic Archbishop said Australia had not been changed much in the wake of September 11, 2001, but this could change depending "on how many terrorist attacks" Islamic extremists could "bring off successfully".
       "The million-dollar question" was whether intolerance was a modern distortion of Islam or arose out of internal logic.
       "It's difficult to find periods of tolerance in Islam. I'm not saying they're not there, but a good deal of what is asserted is mythical," he said.
       His comments came in an interview in Rome with the National Catholic Reporter.
       Cardinal Pell stirred controversy last month in a speech to US Catholic businessmen in which he asserted the Koran was riddled with "invocations to violence", and that, strictly speaking, Islam was not a tolerant religion.
       He said in the Rome interview he was willing to talk to hardline Islamic leaders in Australia, if ever that was a possibility, and wanted to develop a substantial agenda for dialogue with mainstream groups.
       Asked to elaborate on his assertion that Islam was not necessarily tolerant, Cardinal Pell said: "I'd be thinking about the general historical and political record of Islam.
       "Now, you might say that for a lot of our history, we weren't particularly tolerant either. To that objection, I'd say, 'Show me where they're tolerant'."
       Keysar Trad, president of the Islamic Friendship Association, said Cardinal Pell's statement that Islam fostered a warlike culture was terrible and totally untrue.
       "It shows that the person making the statement has absolutely no understanding of Islam," he said.
       The founder of the Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations, Kuranda Seyit, said Cardinal Pell appeared to hold a belligerent view of Islam based on a limited understanding of the concept of jihad.
       Cardinal Pell said US President George Bush's ambition to democratise the Middle East was risky because "you're likely to get extremists in, and they'll just change the rules".
       The President of Iran was democratically elected but was typical of the "worst of Islam".
       [DOCTRINE: For samples of Islamic scriptures (the Koran) and traditions (Hadith), click Submission Texts / Islam Texts. DOCTRINE ENDS.] [June 6, 06]
    • [Cover-up coming? Had lipstick, questioned for prostitution! Kissing - 5yr prison!]  Indonesia flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Big cover-up exposes rifts in Indonesia

     
       The West Australian, p 26, Tuesday, June 6, 2006
       JAKARTA: The Indonesian Parliament is considering a ban on "pornoaksi", or porno action, a newly created offence so broad that it could include wearing a miniskirt or baring a navel.
       Kissing in public would be punishable by up to five years in prison. Dancing erotically could bring seven years. Exposing body parts that could be deemed erotic would be punishable by as much as 10 years.
       "If you wear something sensual or sexy, it will be considered pornography," said Gadis Arivia, a professor of human rights and Western philosophy at the University of Indonesia, who has helped organise opposition to the Bill. "It will criminalise a lot of women in Indonesia."
       Opposition to the measure has been especially strong in Bali, the predominantly Hindu island that depends heavily on tourism. Some worry that restrictions on attire could ban traditional Balinese dress and scare off foreign tourists accustomed to wearing revealing clothing.
       Opponents of the Bill point to the adoption of Islamic law in Tangerang, a city of two million next to Jakarta, as reason to be concerned.
       During a police sweep in February, Tangerang authorities arrested Lilies Lindawati, 35, a married waitress, as a suspected prostitute.
       The pregnant mother of two, who had been on her way home from work, was found guilty of prostitution because she had make-up and lipstick in her purse.
       Police called model Andhara Early in for questioning after she posed for Indonesia's first edition of Playboy. Investigators asked her to explain what she was doing in each of the five photographs in her eight-page spread. It made no difference that she did not pose nude or even topless.
       Advocates of the anti-pornography legislation say it is needed because existing laws are not "repressive" enough.
       Fauzan Alanshari, spokesman for the Indonesia Mujahideen Council, said that, under today's standards, people might become too accustomed to seeing sensual dress or behaviour.
       "People might say that breasts are not pornography because they get used to seeing breasts," he said. "People might lose their sensitivity. We need the Bill so that it will be more specific and thus it will be more repressive."
       President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has not taken a public position on the issue. But he recently stopped a singer from appearing at a presidential function because her navel was showing. #
       [COMMENT: Re-read the last paragraph. Surely the singer ought to have enough brains not to show her bare belly in public. Some of the maniacal backlash is brought on by silly people trying to stretch the boundaries of self-respect. There is no sense in Indonesians copying the modern-day stupidity of other cultures. COMMENT ENDS.] [June 6, 06]

    • [Destruction of non-Muslims, and internal feuding, continue]

     
       The West Australian, Various newsitems, Tuesday, June 6, 2006
  • Network of terror may be linked to Canada, p 27. WASHINGTON: ... possible connection with at least 18 Islamist militants who had been arrested in the US, Bangladesh, Bosnia, Britain, Denmark and Sweden. [...] ... the internet had been the link among the suspects ... the Royal Canadian Mounted Police delivered three tonnes of bomb-making material to suspects ... a sting ... ammonium nitrate fertiliser ...
  • Flaws found in bomb response, p 27. LONDON: Flawed emergency planning and communication breakdowns marred the response to the deadly bombings on London's transport system last July, an official British report published yesterday says. ... the bombs killed 52 commuters and four bombers and left about 700 people injured. ... rescuers' phones and radios failed ...
  • Faction clash kills mother, p 28. GAZA, Palestine: A pregnant woman was among at least five Palestinians killed ... Gaza City ... as ... factions continued to clash ...
  • Islamic fighters claim to control Somali capital, p 28. MOGADISHU, Somalia: An Islamic militia said yesterday that it had seized Somalia's capital after weeks of bloody fighting, raising fears that the nation could fall under the spell of al-Qaida. [...] ... country ... 15 years of anarchy.
  • NATO plans Afghan troop boost, p 29. KABUL: NATO will double the number of troops in southern Afghanistan when it takes over security from US forces next month ... The move is to deal with the worst rebel violence since the fall of the Taliban in 2001. ... weekend ... at least 28 people killed ... Lt-Gen [David] Richards ... said ... not had enough troops in southern Afghanistan [...] ... large number of civilians killed mistakenly [...] The US ... troop levels ... from 18,000 to 23,000
  • Loan defaulter set on fire, p 29. KUALA LUMPUR: Loan sharks set fire to a street vendor ... who defaulted on a $70 loan, ... burns to 40 per cent of his body ... ethnic Chinese ... in a stable condition ... in hospital.
  • Bashir to walk free next week, p 30. JAKARTA: Indonesian militant cleric Abu Bakar Bashir, who was jailed in connection with the Bali bombings in 2002, will be freed next week. ... teachings at Ngruki school ... has been attended by many of Indonesia's convicted terrorists ... nightclub blasts ... killed 202 people, many of them Australians.
  • Iraqi students shot dead on bus, p 31. BAGHDAD: Eleven students from a technical college were killed in Baghdad yesterday when gunmen in two cars stopped their bus and riddled it with bullets ... at least 50 people from travel agencies ... had been kidnapped ... uniforms ... security forces, some of which are believed to have been infiltrated by militias.
       [DOCTRINE: 2:212:- War is prescribed to you. ...
       49:1:- O Believers! enter not upon any affair ere God and His Apostle permit you ...
       49:7:- ... God hath endeared the faith to you ... and hath made unbelief, and wickedness, and disobedience hateful to you. ... DOCTRINE ENDS.] [June 6, 06]

    • [Bali 2005 bomb trial, and other items]

     
       The West Australian, Various articles, Wednesday, June 7, 2006
  • Top men meet, p 5. INDONESIA: The leaders of Indonesia and Australia will meet this month for the first time since a diplomatic rift over visas approved for [West] Papuan asylum seekers in March. ... Yudhonyono and ... Howard ... Batam island.
  • Bali bomb accused agreed to suicide, p 10: DENPASAR, Indonesia: An Islamic militant told a court yesterday he offered to be a suicide bomber before blasts in three packed Bali restaurants last year. ... October 1, 2005 ... killed 20 people, including four Australians. ... Anif Solchanuddin ... Abdul Aziz ... Noordin Top ... Azahari bin Husin (both Malaysians) ...
  • Iran welcomes incentive package to stop its nuclear program, p 11. TEHERAN:
  • Bandits get Free rein on mean streets, p 34. BAGHDAD, Iraq: Clad in camouflage uniforms ... gunmen ... seized more than 50 bystanders ...brilliant morning sunlight ... after the ransom. [...] ... bloodshed in Baghdad, and across Iraq, has spiralled. ... the kidnappers wore uniforms of the special forces of Iraqi police ...
  • Abbas extends deadline, p 36. ISRAEL/PALESTINE: Palestinian President ... has given the Hamas Government until the end of the week to accept ... implicitly recognising Israel or face a referendum ... a deadline ... expired yesterday.
  • US fears Somalia as terrorist haven; Osama bin Laden loyalists aim to put all of Mogadishu under Islamic law after 15 years of secular warlords' rule, p 40. WASHINGTON: The U.S. ... concern that Somalia could become a haven for extremists ... State Department spokesman Sean McCormack ... "... We're very interested in seeing that the Somali people build institutions that respect the rights of all the individuals there." ... The Islamists said preparations were being made to bring it under Islamic law. [...] "We don't want Islamic courts, we want peace," chanted supporters of the Abgal clan, which has controlled northern Mogadishu since 1991. ...
  • Muslim extremists started life as crime-fighting vigilantes, p 40. MOGADISHU: The militia that began as a band of vigilantes fighting petty crime, drunkenness and pornography is now Somalia's most powerful military force. ... Somalia's last central government collapsed in 1991 ... rebels drove out dictator Mohammed Siad Barre ... courts ... reflected the traditional, peace-loving Sufi form of Islam ... in 2004 radical Islamic clerics led by Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys began to take control of the courts ... US ... said ... Islamic leaders ... were sheltering three al-Qaida leaders indicted in the 1998 US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania [June 7, 06]

    • [Pakistan church-burnings show Pell is right; Past persecutions recalled]

      Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/  Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
    IN SHORT
       The West Australian, Two letters, p 22, Thursday, June 8, 2006
       The people who have criticised Cardinal Pell for his outspokenness on the Koran's violent passages expressed by militant Islamists are either uninformed or feel safer hiding their heads in the sand.
       Who do they think is responsible for the ongoing persecution of the Christian minority (1.3 per cent of the population) in Pakistan, which is the worst in this Islamic nation's 60-year history? It certainly isn't Christians who have burnt down their own churches but militants in the name of Islam and sanctioned by the Koran.
       The situation has been so serious that Bishop Saldanha was summoned to an emergency meeting on security by Prime Minister Aziz. The sooner that fact is faced up to the better. Patricia Halligan, Mandurah.
    [Crusades, Inquisition, heretic burnings]
       As an unbeliever I hate to quote scripture at Cardinal Pell, but considering his church's record of the Crusades, Inquisition and burning of heretics (read Church of England) in Queen Mary's reign I suggest he refrains from casting the first stone at Islam. Frank Smith, West Perth.
       [COMMENT: The Crusades were wars to regain stolen lands and clear the way for safe pilgrimages. The murder of the Jerusalemites was in defiance of the Jesus teaching to do unto others as you would they do unto you. It is now quite a few decades since the Roman Catholic Church sanctioned wars and persecutions, and Cardinal George Pell is right to oppose the bad teachings of militant political or religious groups. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE: Burn or destroy the bastions of kufar. GUIDELINE ENDS.] [June 8, 06]

    • Court told of threat to behead PM  Canada flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Court told of threat to behead PM

     
       The West Australian, p 26, Thursday, June 8, 2006
       TORONTO, Canada: Terror suspects planned to storm the Canadian Parliament and hold politicians hostage, and at least one wanted to behead the Prime Minister if demands to withdraw Canada's 2300 troops from Afghanistan were not met, according to prosecution statements read in court yesterday.
       The evidence summary said the group also planned to bomb power plants in Ontario and invade studios of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
       The statements offered the first details of the plot that police and intelligence agencies said they had disrupted in a series of raids last Friday. Twelve men and five teenage boys were arrested.
       Fifteen suspects appeared in court in the Toronto suburb of Brampton, shackled together and wearing prison T-shirts. Most were remanded for a bail hearing on Monday.
       The other two suspects did not appear because they are serving sentences at an Ontario prison for trying in August to smuggle weapons into Canada across the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, New York.
       Defence lawyer Gary Batasar said: "The allegations are very serious, including storming and bombing of various buildings."
       Mr Batasar, who represents Steven Vikash Chand, 25, also said: "There is an allegation apparently that my client personally indicated that he wanted to behead the Prime Minister of Canada (Stephen Harper)."
       The arrests, carried out by a team of 400 police, have added tension to the issue of US-Canada border security. Canadian politicians are furious over comments by some US politicians that the charges were evidence of the danger of terrorism moving south across the long, lightly guarded border.
       Canadian Liberal MP Mark Holland said: "I'm very concerned about the amount of play in the US that Canada poses as a gateway to terrorism. It's certainly not true."
       Mr Batasar portrayed the allegations as an attempt by the Government to frighten the public.
       "It appears to me that whether you are in Toronto or Ottawa or Crawford, Texas, or Washington DC, what is wanting to be instilled in the public is fear," he said.
       Several women in black Islamic dress came to watch the proceedings, but would not talk to reporters outside the courthouse.
       Also present was Tariq Abdelhal-een, father of Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, an alleged plot leader.
       [COMMENT: Lawyer Gary Batasar said it was an attempt by the Government to frighten the public. Well, people obtaining three tonnes of fertilisers and studying how to make bombs out of it, and smuggling weapons across a border, do frighten the public more than most deceitful Government trickery! COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE (Koran): 5:33 (or 37):- The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/005. qmt.html #005.033 .
       8:12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.012 .
       33:61:- Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.
       47:9:- But as for the infidels, let them perish: ...
       66:9:- O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them. ... DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE (Hadith): 2, 19:173 (Bukhari's collection):- Later on, I saw him killed as a non-believer. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ fundamentals/ hadithsunnah/ bukhari/019. sbt.html #002.019.173 . GUIDELINE ENDS.]
       [BEHEADING and threats to behead, other report dates include: November 7, 2003, Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan was threatened; September 21, 2004, Three Kurdish truckdrivers beheaded in Iraq; September 21, 2004, terrorists in Kashmir dragged three informants out of their homes and beheaded them; September 21, 2004, of 12 Nepalese laborers abducted in Iraq; one was beheaded, the other 11 were shot; September 21, 2004, A Turkish truck driver was taken hostage and threatened with beheading; September 21, 2004, A grisly videotape shows the beheading believed to be of Eugene Armstrong; September 21, 2004, Nick Berg was beheaded; October 8, 2004, Briton Kim Bigley made a statement before one of the six kidnappers in Iraq cut his head off with a knife; October 8, 2004, two American colleagues, Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong [see above] have been beheaded; October 29, 2005, Three Christian girl students were beheaded this morning in central Sulawesi, Indonesia -- Yusriani Sampoe (15), Theresia Morangke (16), and Alvita Polio (19); ~ November 20, 2005, An Islamist criminal leader declared that the gang would behead the king of Jordan; and, Jan 5, 2006, Headmaster of the Shikh Mati Lycee at Qalat was beheaded in front of his children. Regular reports are published of human heads being found in various places in Iraq.
       Please inform this website of the details if any ayotollah, mufti, sheikh, mullah, or imam has declared a fatwa and offered a reward for the conviction of the perpetrators of these beheading crimes. END.] [Jun 8, 06]

    • Vatican might wake up if Pell keeps warning  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Vatican might wake up if Pell keeps warning

     
       Letter to The Editor, The West Australian, sent June 8, 2006
       Good on you Patricia Halligan (letters, 8/6) for backing Cardinal George Pell's forthright statements about the Koran's texts that are quoted by criminals masquerading as "religious" people.
       Cardinal Pell's remarks might wake up the dozy higher-ups in the Vatican and in Australia too that roadside bombs, suicide raids on Westerners and on others including Muslims, attacks on schools and theatres, and videotaped gruesome beheadings of people, will become commonplace around the world unless the public and their leaders wake up to the dangers of accepting such teachings and cultures into civilised society.
       Before his US February speech, widely reported in recent weeks, Cardinal Pell had been shocked enough to issue in January, here in Australia, a warning to gangs of youths of Middle Eastern descent not to target Christmas celebrations, after families were abused and gunshots fired into cars at a primary school's carols night in western Sydney. -- CathNews (from Church Resources, Australia), "Pell Tells Race Gangs That Christmas Is Sacred," www.cathnews. com/news/ 512/74.php , January 6, 2006
       In reply to Frank Smith's letter talking about the Crusades (a war to regain Christian lands), the Inquisition (indefensible, I grant), and the burnings of heretics (quite un-Christian, too), it is some decades since the Roman Catholic Church embarked on such campaigns.
       People pretending to be following divine law beheaded the aid worker Margaret Hassan, on video. Other beheadings are regular in Iraq and are taking place in Afghanistan and Indonesia.
       In Canada it is reported that a militant group had gathered ingredients for a bomb, and planned to storm Parliament House and behead the PM (newsitem 8/6).
       Wise citizens will check the facts about the Wahhabi leadership in Arabia, the Iranian ayatollahs, and the teachings of the Koran, the Hadith, and the Sharia law, before they denigrate modern-day prophets.
    [A lightly-edited version was published in the letters page, p 21, "Cardinal Pell's warming a wake-up call," on Monday, June 12, 2006] [June 8, 06]
    • Obituary: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi  [Birthname: Ahmad Fadil al-Khalayleh] Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Jordan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Obituary: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi

     
       BBC, http://news. bbc.co.uk/2/ hi/middle_ east/505 8262.stm , June 8, 2006
       Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was Iraq's most notorious insurgent - a shadowy figure associated with spectacular bombings, assassinations and the beheading of foreign hostages.
       The Jordanian-born militant first appeared in Iraq as the leader of the Tawhid and Jihad insurgent group, merging it in late 2004 with Osama Bin Laden's al-Qaeda network.
       But most information on him was restricted to what his enemies and supporters have attributed to him.
       While many analysts argued he had used the Iraqi insurgency as a springboard to expand his operations, sceptics said his influence was exaggerated.
       In the style of Bin Laden, Zarqawi apparently released a number of audiotapes rallying support and challenge [? challenging] the US and its allies - but he only appeared in one video message, less than two months before his death.
       However, videotapes did appear in the name of Tawhid and Jihad - horrific footage showing the beheading of foreign hostages, with Zarqawi himself said to be the man wielding the knife.
    Pretext for war
       In the run-up to the Iraq war in February 2003, US Secretary of State Colin Powell told the United Nations that Zarqawi was an associate of Osama Bin Laden who had sought refuge in Iraq.
       Intelligence reports indicated he was in Baghdad and - according to Mr Powell - this was a sure sign that Saddam Hussein was courting al-Qaeda, which, in turn, justified an attack on Iraq.
       But some analysts at the time contested the claim, pointing to Zarqawi's historical rivalry with Bin Laden.
       They had both risen to prominence as "Afghan Arabs" - leading foreign fighters in the US-backed struggle against Soviet forces in Afghanistan in the 1980s.
       It was a far cry from Zarqawi's youth as a petty criminal in Jordan, remembered by those who knew him by his real name - Ahmad Fadil al-Khalayleh - as a simple, quick-tempered and barely literate gangster.
       But after the defeat of the Soviets, Zarqawi went back to Jordan in 1992 with a radical Islamist agenda.
    Sentenced to death
       He spent seven years in prison there, accused of conspiring to overthrow the monarchy and establish an Islamic caliphate.
       Not long after his release under a general amnesty in 1999, he fled the country.
       Jordan tried him in absentia and sentenced him to death for allegedly plotting attacks on American and Israeli tourists.
       Western intelligence indicated Zarqawi had sought refuge in Europe.
       German security forces later uncovered a militant cell which claimed Zarqawi was its leader.
       Cell members told their German interrogators their group was "especially for Jordanians who did not want to join al-Qaeda".
       According to the German intelligence report, this "conflicts with... information" from America.
    Kurdish connection
       The next stop on his itinerary was said to be his old stamping ground - Afghanistan.
       He is believed to have set up a training camp in the western city of Herat, near the border with Iran.
       Students at his camp supposedly became experts in the manufacture and use of poison gases.
       It is during this period that Zarqawi is thought to have renewed his acquaintance with al-Qaeda.
       Following the 11 September 2001 attacks and the US invasion of Afghanistan, he is believed to have fled to Iraq after a US missile strike on his Afghan base.
       US officials say that it was at al-Qaeda's behest that he moved to Iraq and established links with Ansar al-Islam - a group of Kurdish Islamists from the north of the country.
    Sectarian strategy
       In October 2002, Zarqawi was blamed for the assassination of US aid official Laurence Foley in Amman.
       But it has been in Iraq, though, that he was said to have been most active.
       He was blamed for some of the first big insurgency attacks to shake Iraq following the US-invasion to overthrow Saddam.
       These included the truck bombing that killed 23 people including UN envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello at the world body's headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003 and the blast in Najaf 10 days later that killed a senior Shia cleric and more than 85 others.
       A letter released by the Americans in February 2004 seemed to support their claim that targeting Shias is central to Zarqawi's strategy in Iraq.
       In it, Zarqawi appeared to share his plans for igniting sectarian conflict in Iraq as a means of undermining the US presence there.
       Within days of the letter's release, bomb attacks on recruiting centres for the Iraqi security forces had killed nearly 100 people.
       Another approach that sent shockwaves around the world was the beheadings of foreign hostages, which were posted on the internet in video footage attributed to the Tawhid and Jihad group.
       In some of them, Al-Zarqawi himself was said to be the man wielding the knife.
    Bin Laden rival?
       The US military claimed to have injured Zarqawi in an assault in 2005. A statement released by al-Qaeda appeared to confirm this but said the injuries were minor.
       Several men alleged to be key aides of Zarqawi have also been killed or captured - but these appeared to have had no effect on his group's ability to operate.
       The US offered a $25m bounty on Zarqawi's head - the same sum they offered for Bin Laden himself.
       But in the last year, he seemed to have been able to move his campaign beyond Iraq's borders again, claiming responsibility for a triple suicide bombing in the Jordanian capital Amman in November 2005, as well as other attacks.
       Shortly afterwards, the al-Qaeda in Iraq group posted a web statement saying that it had joined five other insurgent groups in Iraq to form a new umbrella group, the Mujahideen Shura Council.
       It was also reported that Zarqawi was forced to step down as leader of his group.
       A leading Islamist who was behind the reports, Huthaifa Azzam, said some followers had been unhappy about Zarqawi's tactics and tendency to speak for the insurgency as a whole.
       But like so much else about Zarqawi's life, the true facts seem likely to remain shrouded in uncertainty. # [3 pictures]
    Also see Aljazeera Net at http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/036F8D00-00D5-4FCA-A378-027C9E4BA23E.htm , and search Al Arabiya Net http://www.alarabiya.net/ , perhaps (Arabic) at http://www.alarabiya.net/Articles/2006/06/08/24475.htm [June 8, 06]
    • Police probe indecent-dealing claim  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Police probe indecent-dealing claim

     
       The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), p 7, June 11, 2006
       PERTH: POLICE are investigating a case of indecent dealing involving a 10-year-old boy at a Perth mosque.
       The boy spent Friday night at the mosque in William St, Northbridge, with his father and some other people.
       Police were called about 8am yesterday after a complaint that the boy was indecently dealt with by a man staying at the mosque.
       The boy will be interviewed by Child Interview Squad detectives tomorrow.
       A man was arrested and interviewed by police, but last night no charges had been laid. #
    (Copied also to Clergy Sex Abuse Chronology at Ethics / Ethics Chronology 125. [Jun 11, 06]
    • Who's next? The US got its man. Now it must target the real threat in Iraq  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  United States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Who's next? The US got its man. Now it must target the real threat in Iraq

     
       The Independent (London), http://news. independent. co.uk/world/ middle_east/ article756 016.ece , by Patrick Cockburn, June 11, 2006
       Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was never as important a figure in the insurgency as was claimed, and the manner of his death proved it, says Patrick Cockburn
       In the days before he was tracked down and killed by US laser-guided bombs, Iraq's most wanted man was living with almost no guards and only five companions, two of whom were women and one an eight-year-old girl, it emerged yesterday.
       The US military displayed the few tattered possessions of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of al-Qa'ida in Iraq, and those who died with him in the rubble of an isolated house half hidden by date palms outside the village of Hibhib in Diyala province, north-east of Baghdad.
       The ease with which Iraqi police and US special forces were able to reach the house after the bombing without encountering hostile fire showed that Zarqawi was never the powerful guerrilla chieftain and leader of the Iraqi resistance that Washington has claimed for more than three years.
       Amid the broken slabs of concrete and twisted metal was a woman's leopardskin-print nightgown, a magazine with a picture of Franklin Roosevelt and a leaflet apparently identifying a radio station in Latafiyah which might be a potential target for attack. It is not clear how long the little group had been in the house.
       Zarqawi himself was dragged dying from the ruins of his house by Iraqi police and strapped to a stretcher. "Zarqawi did in fact survive the air strike," said Major General William Caldwell, the US military spokesman. Covered in blood, he survived a few minutes after the Americans arrived and muttered a few unintelligible words. "Zarqawi attempted to sort of turn away off the stretcher," said Gen Caldwell. "They - everybody - re-secured him back on to the stretcher, but he died almost immediately thereafter from the wounds he received from the air strike."
       The only resistance encountered by American commandos was from local Sunni villagers in the village of Ghalabiya, near Hibhib, who thought the strangers were members of a Shia death squad. Villagers who were standing guard fired into the air on seeing the commandos, who in turn threw a grenade that killed five of the guards. American regular army troops later came to Ghalabiya to apologise and promise compensation to the families of the dead men.
       By the time he died, Zarqawi's list of enemies included the US, the Iraqi government, many of the Sunni tribes and insurgent leaders. The biggest surprise surrounding his death last week was that it took so long to happen. And the manner in which he died confirms the belief that his military and political importance was always deliberately exaggerated by the US. He was a wholly obscure figure until he was denounced by then US Secretary of State, Colin Powell, before the US Security Council on 5 February 2003. Mr Powell identified Zarqawi as the link between al-Qa'ida and Saddam Hussein, though no evidence for this was ever produced.
       Indeed, Iraqi police documents, discovered later, showed that Saddam Hussein's security forces, far from collaborating with Zarqawi, were trying to arrest him. Arriving in Iraq in 2002, he had taken refuge in the mountain hideout of an extreme Islamic group near Halabja in Kurdistan, in an area which the Iraqi government did not control. As for al-Qa'ida, in Afghanistan Zarqawi had led a small group hostile to it, and was never a close adherent of Osama bin Laden.
       Over the past three years Zarqawi has had a symbiotic relationship with US forces in Iraq. After the capture of Saddam in December 2003, Zarqawi was once again heavily publicised by US military and civilian spokesmen as the pre-eminent leader of the resistance. The aimwas to show that by invading Iraq, President Bush was fighting international terrorism. The US denunciations, and videos of Zarqawi beheading Western hostages, combined to spread his fame throughout the Muslim world, enabling him to recruit men and raise money easily. But for all his vaunted importance, US spokesmen admitted that Zarqawi's suicide bombers concentrated almost entirely on soft targets, and were responsible for very few of the 20,000 American casualties in Iraq.
       It is difficult to track the movements of Zarqawi over the past three years, but until the summer of 2005 he appears to have lived in or around Ramadi in Anbar province west of Baghdad. The area is almost entirely Sunni, and largely under the control of the resistance, but increased US military activity in Ramadi last year reportedly forced him out. He was also heavily criticised by some other resistance groups and tribes for launching a sectarian war against the Shia which blackened the name of the insurgency at home and abroad.
       In moving to Diyala province, north-east of Baghdad, Zarqawi was in more danger. The province is divided between Sunni and Shia along with some Kurds, who have been fighting a ferocious local civil war. Yesterday, for instance, police found the severed heads of two Sunni Arab brothers in the small town of Khan Bani Saad near Baquba, in Diyala province, where they had been kidnapped a week ago.
       Also yesterday, and as if to demonstrate that there has been no let up since Zarqawi's death, one group, Ansar al-Sunna, posted a gruesome video showing militants interrogating and then beheading three Iraqis said to be part of a Shia "death squad". Such videos have become rare, so posting one now on a militant internet forum could be to show that the insurgency will remain as fierce as ever.
       It is not clear how far American or Iraqi government statements about how they located Zarqawi should be believed. It appears unlikely that he was meeting his lieutenants, as was first suggested, given that only two other men died with him.
       There are already signs that in propaganda terms, the US military - as well as the media - is missing Zarqawi as a single demonic figure who could be presented as the leader of the resistance. The myth of Zarqawi was attractive to Washington because it showed that anti-occupation resistance was foreign-inspired and linked to al-Qa'ida.
       In reality the insurgency was almost entirely home grown, reliant on near-total support from the five million-strong Sunni community. Its military effectiveness was far more dependent on former officers of the Iraqi army and security forces than on al-Qa'ida. They may also have helped to boost Zarqawi's fame, because it was convenient for them to blame their worst atrocities on him.
       One impact of the death of Zarqawi may be to lessen the threat of attacks in Jordan, his home country. It was he who was behind the bombing of hotels in Amman last year which killed 60 people. He was also the most unrelenting advocate in the resistance for attacks on Shia Muslims - 60 per cent of the Iraqi population - as heretics and enemies of the Sunni.
       The killing of Zarqawi is a boost for the newly formed government of Nuri al-Maliki, but Iraqis did not fail to notice that when announcing it, he stood at the podium between Gen George Casey, the top US commander in Iraq, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the US ambassador. "It showed the limits of Maliki's independence from the Americans," noted one Iraqi commentator. "It would have been better if they had let him make the announcement standing alone."
       Such moments demonstrate the gulf that remains in the Americans' understanding of what motivates so many Iraqis to take up arms against them. It also helps to explain why Zarqawi's demise may make very little difference to the strength of the insurgency. #
    [A cut-back version is at Contents 18] (By courtesy of Michael P.) [Jun 11, 06]

    • Cardinal Pell's warning a wake-up call

      Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
       The West Australian, Letter to the Editor, p 21, Monday, June 12, 2006.
       Good on you Patricia Halligan (letters, 8/6) for backing Cardinal George Pell's forthright statements about the Koran's texts that are quoted by criminals masquerading as religious people.
       Cardinal Pell's remarks might wake up the dozy higher-ups in the Vatican and in Australia to the fact that roadside bombs, suicide raids on Westerners and on others including Muslims, attacks on schools and theatres, and videotaped gruesome beheadings of people, will become commonplace around the world unless the public and their leaders wake up to the dangers of accepting such cultures into civilised society. [...]
       [And so on, in the main as the letter sent to the newspaper on June 8.] [Jun 12, 06]

    • KOSOVO'S ETHNIC STRIFE CONTINUES. Final Status Quo 

    KOSOVO'S ETHNIC STRIFE CONTINUES. Final Status Quo

     
       The New Republic (U.S.A.), www.tnr.com/ doc.mhtml? i=20060626&s=kahn 062606 , by Jeremy Kahn, Posted to internet June.15.06 | Issue date June.26.06
       Kosovo
    Seventy-year-old Svetislav Jovicic sits in the noonday sun on the dusty steps of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Orahovac and laments what his life has become. He used to own a winery in the lush green hills surrounding this south central Kosovo town, a place his ancestors have lived for more than three centuries. As a younger man, he played for an amateur soccer club, earning the friendship of many of his ethnic Albanian teammates. "For many, many years in Orahovac, everyone lived very well with Albanians," Jovicic says.
       But now, his winery is gone, destroyed by the Albanians who seized the land six years ago. His Albanian soccer buddies never visit anymore. Today, Jovicic lives as a virtual prisoner in the tiny warren of garbage-strewn streets that make up the town's Serbian enclave. Located just uphill from Orahovac's town center, the enclave's border with the surrounding Albanian neighborhood is demarcated by rolls of barbed wire that can be used to seal off the tiny ghetto in the event of ethnic violence. On a number of occasions since 1999, Albanians here attacked Serbs and their property. During major ethnic violence in March 2004, two Serbian Orthodox churches in nearby villages were burned to the ground. "Recently, it has been mostly peaceful, but it is not safe to go down," Jovicic says. He and other residents of the Serbian enclave fear they will be attacked if they wander into the town center. "They say it is open for free movement, but that is not the reality."
       The reality is bleak. Jovicic complains that there are no jobs for his children here; Albanians refuse to hire them. He subsists on the 40 euros per month he receives from international aid organizations. Faced with such conditions--and with the occasional waves of ethnic strife--many of Orahovac's Serbs have left, moving to new homes and new lives in Serbia. Once, the town had a Serbian population of more than 2,500. Today, 500 at most remain--all of them living within the enclave, guarded day and night by a contingent of Austrian soldiers.
       The Austrians are part of a 17,000-man NATO force that continues to keep the peace in Kosovo seven years after a NATO bombing campaign drove the Serbian military out of the province. Since then, Kosovo has been administered by a U.N. special representative, although the province has remained technically a part of Serbia. U.N.-brokered talks currently underway in Vienna between negotiators from Belgrade and Pristina are supposed to decide the province's "final status" by the end of the year--that is, whether it remains a part of Serbia, becomes its own state, or is offered something in between. While Serbian President Boris Tadi�c has proposed "more than autonomy, less than independence" for the breakaway province, most observers believe the negotiations will result in an independent Kosovo. When that happens, one of the most significant pieces of unfinished business from the 1990s humanitarian interventions in the Balkans will be concluded--but only on paper.
       In the United States, the American-led intervention in Kosovo is widely perceived as a success, especially by liberals who are fond of contrasting it to the mess President Bush has made in Iraq. NATO went to war in 1999 to end a brutal campaign of repression and ethnic cleansing against Kosovar Albanians launched by then-Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic, in which at least 10,000 Albanians were killed. In this, the NATO campaign succeeded. But ending Milosevic's reign of terror was not the only goal of NATO intervention. For the last seven years, the United States and the international community have invested billions of dollars in Kosovo in the hopes of building a peaceful, democratic, and multi-ethnic society. "Failure to secure a multi-ethnic Kosovo would be a failure of our efforts over the last six years, and indeed, the last decade," Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Nicholas Burns told a congressional committee last year.
       Yet this multi-ethnic dream remains almost as distant as it was on the day NATO forces arrived. Freed from Serbian oppression, Albanians--who make up about 90 percent of Kosovo's 2.2 million people--have taken revenge on their Serb neighbors. They killed at least 1,000 Serb civilians during and in the immediate aftermath of the NATO bombing campaign, and, since then, as many as 100,000 Serbs have been driven from their homes. Those that remain, such as Jovicic, live in ghettos, their movement and ability to work severely restricted. Meanwhile, in northern Kosovo, which still hosts a large Serb population, ethnic Albanians live similarly precarious lives. Following the last major spasm of ethnic violence in March 2004, an uneasy calm has descended across Kosovo. Mainstream Albanian politicians, conscious that continued ethnic strife would hurt the chances for independence, say pleasant things about building multi-ethnic institutions and protecting the rights of the Serb minority. Beneath the surface, however, darker political currents swirl.
    Albin Kurti does not look like a dangerous man. With his tousled brown hair, Elvis Costello glasses, and faded blue sweater, the 31-year-old sitting in the lobby of Pristina's Grand Hotel sipping a macchiato could pass for a typical Williamsburg hipster--or at least the talented computer science student he once was. But, to hear some tell it, Kurti poses a grave threat to Kosovo's future as a peaceful, multi-ethnic state.
       Kurti is something of a cult hero to the worldwide Albanian diaspora. As a student at the University of Pristina in the late '90s, he led an underground movement that organized sit-ins and other nonviolent demonstrations against Serbian control of the university. Sporting long hair and a mustache (think Yanni), he quickly became a recognizable face of opposition to Serbian power in Pristina. He later worked as an assistant to Adem Dema�i, the political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), the guerrilla group that was fighting to liberate the province from Serbia. During the NATO bombing campaign in 1999, Serbian police arrested Kurti. When Serb forces withdrew from Kosovo that summer, they took him and other Albanian prisoners with them. Kurti was held largely incommunicado for nine months and endured savage beatings at the hands of his jailers. Almost a year after his initial arrest, he appeared, hair and mustache shorn, in a Serb court, where he was tried and sentenced to 15 years for subversion and conspiracy to commit terrorist acts. "Free Albin Kurti Now!" became a rallying cry among ethnic Albanians from Pristina to San Francisco. t-shirts and posters were printed with the slogan, and rock concerts were held to support the cause. International pressure for his release mounted, but with Milosevic still in power in Belgrade, Kurti remained in a cell. Only after Milosevic's ouster did his successor, Vojislav Kostunica, finally let Kurti go in December 2001.
       Back in Pristina, Kurti now leads Self-Determination!, a movement that claims thousands of supporters in 17 cities and towns throughout Kosovo. Self-Determination! is opposed to the U.N. presence in Kosovo and also to the final-status negotiations. "People don't want status, they want freedom," Kurti tells me. He argues that independence should not come through a negotiated settlement with Serbia--which, he says, has shown "no remorse, no repentance" for its persecution of Albanians during the '90s--nor through U.N. decree (a possible outcome if the Serb negotiating team walks out of the talks, as some think likely). Instead, he wants to hold an immediate referendum of Kosovo's citizens. "A referendum is democratic. The current situation is not democratic," he says. "The [U.N. special representative] makes a decision with four or five people and that decides the fate of 2.2 million people. What is democratic about that?"
       Kurti says he has no problem with the Serbian community in Kosovo--"we are fighting a system, not the people," he says--but he talks in paranoid tones about Serbia's continued designs on Kosovo. He speaks darkly of "50,000 spies--Kosovar Albanians--here working for Serbia." And he accuses the Serbs of using the final-status negotiations to continue Milosevic's campaign of ethnic cleansing. From a blue folder he carries with him, Kurti produces a set of maps and points to areas where he claims Serbia is trying, through the final-status negotiations, to resettle Serbs. "They are trying to surround Kosovo Albanians, and they will be a backdoor for Serbia to seize territory," he says. He thinks Serbia wants to partition Kosovo. (The United States, its European allies, and Russia have all said that partition is not on the table.) "This will bring war! This will bring violence! We want to stop this," Kurti says, pointing emphatically at his maps.
       Kurti claims to be a fervent believer in nonviolence. And so far, Self-Determination!'s "actions," as he likes to call them, have indeed been peaceful. Kurti and his followers have held numerous protests outside the U.N. headquarters in Pristina, surrounded the compound with yellow tape reading crime scene--do not cross, blocked access to the compound with bales of hay, trashed U.N. flags, and spray-painted slogans on the compound's walls. Just last week, Kurti and more than 80 supporters were arrested for protesting outside the U.N. compound; Kurti got ten days in jail. They have also tossed rotten eggs at the motorcades of Serb politicians when they have visited Pristina. ("Here you do this and they call it radical. In Palestine, it would be ridiculous," Kurti says.) But some of Kurti's actions have moved in a more sinister direction.
       Next: "On April 14, Kurti led a demonstration of several hundred people in the western Kosovo town of Decani, blocking the entrance to the U.N. offices there to protest the U.N.'s decision to designate 800 hectares surrounding Decani's Serbian Orthodox monastery a 'protected zone.'"
       [RECAPITULATION: But now, his winery is gone, destroyed by the Albanians who seized the land six years ago. His Albanian soccer buddies never visit anymore. Today, Jovicic lives as a virtual prisoner in the tiny warren of garbage-strewn streets that make up the town's Serbian enclave. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 9:123 (or 124):- O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness; and know that Allah is with those who guard (against evil). www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 009.qmt.html #009.123
       33:26-27:- And He caused those of the people of the Book (the Jews), who had aided the confederates, ... And He gave you their land, and their dwellings, and their wealth, for an heritage -- even a land on which ye had never set foot: for the might of God is equal to all things.
       47:9:- But as for the infidels, let them perish: ...
       47:37:- Be not fainthearted then; and invite not the infidels to peace when ye have the upper hand ... DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Issue date June.26.06 | Post date June.15.06]

    • Bali bombs were God's will, says Bashir 

    Bali bombs were God's will, says Bashir

     
       The Australian, www.news.com. au/story/0, 10117,19482 261-2,00.html , By Stephen Fitzpatrick and Patrick Walters, Additional reporting: Cath Hart, Simon Kearney, June 16, 2006
       TERRORIST leader Abu Bakar Bashir yesterday taunted Australia, saying the Bali bombing victims had to die "because it was God's will".
       As John Howard sent a terse letter to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono over this week's release of the radical cleric, Bashir insisted the terrorists behind the Bali bombings were "were not the killers, but only Allah's conduit" for the deaths.
       Bashir was released on Wednesday after serving 26 months of a 30-month sentence for condoning the first Bali attack, in October 2002, which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
       The Prime Minister's four-paragraph letter told Dr Yudhoyono of the "very deep personal concerns and the distress" felt by Australians at the release of Jemaah Islamiah's spiritual leader.
      [Picture] Taunting ... Abu Bakar Bashir after his release this week / AFP  
       It comes just 10 days before the leaders are to meet on the Indonesian island of Batam, their first meeting since diplomatic tensions emerged over Australia's decision to grant visas to 42 Papuan asylum-seekers.
       But Bashir, speaking at an Islamic school in the central Java city of Solo, where at least two of the Bali bombers studied, warned Mr Howard to "stay out of Indonesia's affairs".
       "I urge the families of the victims, those who are not Muslims, to immediately convert to Islam so they can be saved and comforted by Allah," he said.
       Families of Bali bombing victims last night called on Mr Howard to do more to protest to Indonesia about Bashir's release.
       Peter Iliffe, whose 28-year-old son Joshua was killed in the 2002 bombings, said Australia had to stand up for itself. "I think we've got to take a much stronger stance. We seem to cower at whatever the Indonesians do, we seem terrified of offending them," he said.
       Don Howard, whose son Adam was also killed in Bali, said Bashir should never have been released and Mr Howard should try to do something to silence him. "Why should we have to put up with the rantings of an idiot," he said. "Now once he's out he wants to inflame the whole thing."
       In his letter, Mr Howard said Bashir's inflammatory statements on release "were affronting to the families of victims and all Australians". "While fully recognising and respecting the adherence to due process in the Indonesian courts in regard to (Bashir's) release, you would nonetheless appreciate the strength of the Australian people's reactions, particularly in view of his links to the 2002 Bali bombings," he wrote.
       Mr Howard also reminded Dr Yudhoyono that Indonesia had an obligation under UN Security Council resolution 1267 to restrict Bashir's movements and prevent him becoming a security risk.
       Mr Howard told Parliament most Australians were appalled that Bashir was now a free man, saying the national feeling was one of "hostility and disgust".
       He pledged that Australia was committed to working closely with Indonesia to combat terrorism, stressing that combined counter-terrorism efforts should be a focus of the leaders' next meeting.
       Australia's acting ambassador in Jakarta conveyed to Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda Australia's concerns over Bashir's release.
       Opposition foreign affairs spokesman Kevin Rudd said Mr Howard should ask Jakarta to put Bashir under 24-surveillance and to shut down the cleric's schools if they expressed "anti-Australian, anti-Western hatred".
       "The Australian Government spends a lot of time telling us that we should listen to Indonesian sensitivities - it is time that the Australian Government told Indonesia that they need to listen to Australian sensitivities," Mr Rudd said.
       Last night, the World Food Program announced it would no longer use Majelis Mujahidin Indonesia, an organisation linked to Bashir, to distribute food to survivors of last month's earthquake in Central Java, which killed 6000 people. The move came after a protest from Foreign Minister Alexander Downer.
       Turning on Mr Howard and George W. Bush, Bashir said the two world leaders must also convert to Islam if they were to be saved - a demand he previously put to hundreds of supporters on his return from Jakarta on Wednesday night. "My message for John Howard is that he should become a Muslim if he wants to be saved and avoid hell," Bashir said to cheers. "He also should not try to make war on Islam, because he will certainly lose."
       Bashir said there was a possibility he would visit the Bali bombers in their death-row cells in Central Java. #
       [DOCTRINE: 66:9:- O Prophet! make war on the infidels and hypocrites, and deal rigorously with them. ...
       71:27-28:- And Noah said, 'Lord, leave not one single family of Infidels on the Earth: For if thou leave them they will beguile thy servants and will beget only sinners, infidels. DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Jun 16, 06]

    • Does Bashir speak for all Muslims?

    Does Bashir speak for all Muslims?

     
       The West Australian, Various Letters to The Editor, p 21, Saturday, June 17, 2006
    [Do Muslim leaders publicly denounce murder activities?]
       Anyone reading yesterday's headline (Bali bomb deaths God's will: Bashir) will be left in no doubt about the danger of Abu Bakar Bashir. What will he whip up next? Who will he get his boys to target next? Two hundred last time - let's go for 1000 next time because they are only "non-Muslims" and therefore deserve to die. This is a worry.
       There is, however, a far greater worry than letting this man loose and that is the perception that he speaks for all Muslims when he says these things and many of us are left wondering whether this is the way of the Muslim faith.
       We continually hear of radical Muslim activity around the world that has turned murder into an art form in the name of a God who wants to wipe out non-believers. Is this the belief of the Muslin faith? Does the Koran teach this nonsense or not?
       The leaders of the Muslim faith never seem to come out publicly and denounce these activities. Do we then take it that they condone it? Where are they? Why don't they tell us that this is not the way of the Koran?
       Deadly silence yet again from the Muslim leadership, therefore we non-Muslims are left yet again to make up our minds. No wonder there is a great divide between us. Paul Stinson, Leederville.
    It's not my God
       You can call it God's will if you like, Abu Bakar Bashir, but it is not the God I believe in. What your misled bombers did to those 200 people is and always will be murder.
       It is as unjustifiable in the name of God as the Crusades, The Inquisition, the Ku Klux Klan and the blowing up of abortion clinics by fanatical Christians.
       God's will is for people to turn from their sins, but salvation does not come by actions, whether good deeds or blowing people up, but by God's mercy in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
       How about it, Bashir? Don't tell us to convert to Islam, but consider Jesus as more than a prophet. The truth may set you free from the hatred you have of us Westerners. Arthur Morgan, Ellenbrook.
      [Picture] FLASHBACK YESTERDAY; Abu Bakar Bashir 
    The Koran
       Respect for other religions has been advised in the Koran. Both Archbishop George Pell (a critic of the Koran) and the Muslim spiritual leader Abu Bakar Bashir (who urged our Prime Minister to convert to Islam) should be informed of the following passage of the Koran:
       Surah AlKafirun. Surah 109:1-6.
    "Say: O ye
    That reject faith!
    I worship not that
    Which ye worship,
    Nor will ye worship
    That which I worship.
    And I will not worship
    That which ye have been
    Wont to worship
    Nor will ye worship
    That which I worship.
    To you be your way,
    And to me mine." Nahid Kabir, Churchlands.
    Cut all ties
       What a joke. It's about time that Messrs Howard and Downer had the jelly removed from their spines and cut all ties with Indonesia.
       This Bashir nutter helped to kill 200 innocent people. Corby killed no one and she's left to rot in prison.
       Why is Mr Howard too spineless to do anything? It's not that Indonesia is anything to be afraid of. It can't even feed its own people let alone attack anyone.
       Cut all ties and maybe then the Indonesian Government will listen and take this issue more seriously. I'm sure it would wipe the smiles off their faces very quickly. Steve Grades, Bouvard.
    IN SHORT
    [Murderous hate]
       I feel sorry for the bespectacled cleric on the front page of The West Australian (16/6), so consumed by hatred, so filled with murderous hate for innocent people he is responsible for killing by inciting his Muslim brothers to murder.
       But I suppose he is amused by every person he has murdered in the name of Islam. Peter Fitzgerald, Bunbury.
    [God's will, or no god?]
       So, Abu Bakar Bashir thinks we should all convert to Islam, that the Bali bombings were God's will and the bombers are innocent.
       Well, Mr Bashir, the fact that there are people like you in the world, and there were also people like Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Idi Amin and now Osama bin Laden, is proof that there is no God.
       When murder becomes God's will, what hope does the human race have?
       One can only hope the next picture of you we see is of your dead body, then maybe our faith will be restored.
       Alston, your cartoon yesterday hit the nail right on the head. Steve Curry, Corrigin.
    [Shame! Cult built on domination.]
       The Indonesian Government should hang its head in shame for allowing Abu Bakar Bashir out of jail.
       Maybe we should take to the streets and riot, burn Indonesian flags and demand justice for our nation's victims.
       Our Government should recall our ambassador and send their ambassador packing. I say we should turn our back on Indonesia for good.
       Its Government can go straight to hell with Bashir chanting all the way.
       Islam is a cult built on world domination. We have to stop apologising for the truth and stand firm in our own faith. Karen Mcilwain, Doubleview.
    [We ought to stop Bali visits.]
       Bravo! A pithy editorial (15/6) that clearly demonstrates the hypocritical insensitivity of our northern neighbours.
       If every Australian tourist stopped choosing Bali as a holiday destination, the Indonesian Government would soon get the message.
       When Australian dollars are withdrawn, Indonesian power-brokers will mourn. Illana Klevansky, Noranda.
    Today's text
    Your heart will always be where your treasure is. -- MATTHEW 6:21. (The Bible for Today). From the Bible Society.

       Letters to the Editor, WA Newspapers, GPO Box N1027 Perth WA 6843. Fax 08 9482 3830. E-mail to: letters@wa news.com.au
    [Jun 17, 06]
    • Koran, respect non-Muslims, or strike off heads? 

    Koran, respect non-Muslims, or strike off heads?

     
       Letter to The West Australian, Sent Sunday, June 18, 2006
       In spite of Mr Nahid Kabir quoting the Koran 109:1-6 (17/6) about tolerance advised in the Koran, who can forget the 300 mullahs recently gathering in Kabul and issuing a fatwa (condemnation) against the Afghan government for freeing a man who had avoided the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity?
       And who can forget these other verses of the Koran?
       8:12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.012
       8:38 (or 40):- Make war on them until strife shall be at an end, and the religion be all of it God's.
       8:55 (or 57):- Lo! the worst of beasts in God's sight are the ungrateful who will not believe. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.055 .
       The few tolerance verses in the Koran are abrogated (overridden) by the many verses advising persecution and violence. How do I know this? The failure of the Islamic world to issue fatwas against bloodthirsty leaders, such as those who sliced off the head of aid worker Margaret Hassan [Mistake: She was shot, not beheaded] and many others, including Iraqi police and soldiers, in Iraq.
       And recite:
       2:106 (or 100):- Whatever communications We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring one better than it or like it. Do you not know that Allah has power over all things? (And recite 4:84 and 16:103.)
       Then read the Hadith:
       9, 84:57:- Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.
    [Jun 18, 06]
    • Let me preach to Aussies: Bashir.  Indonesia flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Let me preach to Aussies: Bashir

     
       The West Australian, www.thewest. com.au/200606 26/news/ general/tw-news- general- home-sto 134514.html , By STEVE PENNELLS, pp 1 and 4, Monday, June 26, 2006
       YOGYAKARTA, Indonesia: Accused terrorist leader Abu Bakar Bashir is seeking permission to visit Australia to preach to the country's Muslims, saying it was his "duty and obligation".
       The hardline Indonesian cleric, who is believed by the West to be the spiritual head of the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah, said many of Australia's Muslims were more devout than their Indonesian counterparts and had sought him out.
       In an exclusive interview with The West Australian at his Majelis Mujahadin base in Yogyakarta, Bashir also revealed plans to visit the Bali bombers, whom he called Muslim fighters, in their prison in Central Java - a move certain to outrage the Australian Government.
       His comments came as Prime Minister John Howard flew into Indonesia last night for talks with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in which the Bashir issue is certain to be raised.
       Bashir was released from prison two weeks ago to strong objections from Mr Howard. He was convicted of being part of a conspiracy behind the Bali bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.
       On his release, he claimed the deaths in Bali were "God's will" and the bombers were God's agents.
       Bashir said yesterday that his conviction over the bombings was a "misunderstanding".
       Australia has sought to have Bashir's movements restricted and 24-hour monitoring of his activities.
       But yesterday, he openly sought new supporters in earthquake-devastated Yogyakarta and indicated plans to tour Indonesia and rally support for the introduction of Sharia Islamic law in Indonesia.
       Bashir said Mr Howard's meeting with Mr Yudhoyono on the island of Batam today was "their own government business".
       "But I hope John Howard understands that I had nothing to do with the Bali bombing and that I knew nothing about it," he said. "It was just a misunderstanding. The courts are just making up stories.
       "So I hope John Howard respects Indonesia's laws and doesn't intervene because that is not good and could cause a split."
       He criticised the Prime Minister at length but praised former prime minister Paul Keating, saying he would not have interfered in his life like the current government had.
       Bashir has spent the days since his release preaching in small mosques across Solo and revealed plans yesterday to step back from his involvement with Al-Mukmin school in Solo, the alma mater of several of Indonesia's terrorists, so he could take his message across the country.
       Bashir's push for sharia law is an attempt to tap into the political powderkeg of sharia, which has sparked a passionate debate in Indonesian political circles in recent months.
       Speaking to a crowd of more than 5000 people on a field in Yogyakarta yesterday, just blocks away from areas devastated by last month's earthquake, he blamed them for the disaster, saying it was a warning that they had not been good Muslims.
       "The government sees the disaster from the scientific view and then they study it so then they can make a step forward and anticipate the another disaster. But disaster is not only scientific, it is also religious," he said. "It is punishment because they've turned around from the real Islam rules and that they don't remember Allah any more."
       He again baited Mr Howard, calling on him to convert to Islam, and criticised the Indonesian Government's non-Muslim ministers.
       The crowd, many of whom had travelled from across Indonesia and were separated according to sex, cheered Bashir and mobbed him as he left the stage.
       He broke into English once, pointing to The West Australian, the only Western face in the crowd, and demanding a conversion to Islam.
       Later, he told The West Australian that Australia was being controlled by "Americans and Jews" and needed to respect the rights of Muslims.
       "Poor Australian people, they know nothing about it - Muslims really want to live in peace as long as those people stop bothering the religion," he said. "If they are bothering about something else, Muslims will forgive them but if it's related to the religion, we are not sorry for them."
       Bashir said he would visit the Bali bombers soon.
       "Their cases are their own business. Not all the cases I agree with," he said.
      [Picture] Hardliner: Abu Bakar Bashir addresses a crowd of more than 3000 supporters in Yogyakarta yesterday.    Picture: Steve Pennells  
       "But Islam says that you have to take care of your brothers.
       "And that's not because of the politics or anything else. If they've done something wrong, we should talk to them and show them that what they were doing was wrong but still we have to help them.
       Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone would not comment on the issue yesterday saying any request by Bashir to enter Australia would be processed by the Immigration Department.
       But a spokeswoman for the department said Bashir's criminal convictions mean he would not pass the character test applied to prospective visitors to Australia.
       [RECAPITULATION: Speaking to a crowd of more than 5000 people on a field in Yogyakarta yesterday, just blocks away from areas devastated by last month's earthquake, he blamed them for the disaster, saying it was a warning that they had not been good Muslims. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: This line of erroneous thinking was "knocked on the head" by a far more credible teacher around 27 to 30 A.D. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [2nd RECAPITULATION: Later, he told The West Australian that Australia was being controlled by "Americans and Jews" and needed to respect the rights of Muslims.
       "Poor Australian people, they know nothing about it - Muslims really want to live in peace as long as those people stop bothering the religion," he said. "If they are bothering about something else, Muslims will forgive them but if it's related to the religion, we are not sorry for them." ENDS.]
       [2nd COMMENT: This passage is a threat. To understand the first sentence, see the relevant guideline below. END.]
       [DOCTRINE: 2:193:- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left.
       2:286:- ... O our Lord! ... give us victory therefore over the infidel nations.
       9:73:- O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.
       9:80:- Whether thou ask for their forgiveness, or not, (their sin is unforgivable) ...
       49:1:- O Believers! enter not upon any affair ere God and His Apostle permit you ... DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE: 41:6985 (Sahih Muslim's collection):- ... Allah's Messenger ... saying The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree ... ENDS.]
       [3rd COMMENT: If a convicted conspirator of a murder plot can attract crowds of 5000 to hear his explanations for the Islamist bombings which killed both non-Muslims and Muslims, and his ridiculous blaming of the unfortunate Muslim Indonesian victims of the earthquake, and other dangerous teachings, Australians might need to re-think their soft line on many aspects of policy. [Jun 26, 06]

    [Who are the gullible drones want to hear lunatic, superstitious Bashir?]

    BASHIR 
       The West Australian, Letters to The Editor, p 18, Wednesday, June 28, 2006
       Abu Bakar Bashir says that "many Australian Muslims are more devout than their Indonesian counterparts and had sought him out" (Let me preach to Aussies: Bashir, 26/6). Who are they? It is important that we know which Australians are supporting him.
       As for his comments that the Yogyakarta earthquake was as much a "religious event" as it was a "scientific event" which occurred "to punish Indonesian Muslims who had turned around from the real Islam", they confirm that the man is a certifiable lunatic who will stop at nothing to peddle his evil and deranged thoughts to gullible, unbalanced drones.
       Surely there are passages in the Koran which say that peddlers of lies and murderers will rot in hell? Philip Achurch, West Perth.
    [Keep your primitive superstitions, sharia law.]
       Bashir, we are not interested in your primitive superstitions or your opinions. Keep your Stone Age convictions and your sharia law to yourself.
       To paraphrase the great philosopher Ringo Starr, we do not subscribe to your religion. If you were allowed into Australia you would never get out alive, which is probably exactly what you want. It is not going to happen.
       Note to The West Australian: I'm sure I am not the only reader annoyed by the prominence you give to this man.
       If you must publish pictures of and reports about him, could you please put him in the back of the paper next to the obituaries where he belongs? Ben Juniper, Wembley.
    [Jun 28, 06]
    • [Preach, but no hatred sermons if guilty Bashir comes here.] Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    IN SHORT

     
       The West Australian, Letters to The Editor, p 22, Thursday, June 29, 2006
    [No hatred sermons, and let Aussie clerics preach in Indonesia.]
       I think it is fair enough that Abu Bakar Bashir be permitted to lecture freely on Muslim doctrine in Australia, but with two provisos.
       One, he doesn't preach hatred and murder or laud the achievements of murderers while in Australia and two, either of clerics Carnley or Pell be permitted free access to preach to all in Indonesia.
       As a gesture of good intent, the Antipodean clerics should be permitted to "go first" just in case Bashir has a change of heart after lecturing here. Malcolm Rowe, Swan View.
    [Did 'devout' Muslims in Australia seek out a convicted man?]
       After all the claims from Australian Muslims that they are a peace-loving people, tolerant and with good will towards others, I could hardly believe your report (Let me preach to Aussies: Bashir, 26/6).
       The cleric claimed that "many Australian Muslims were more devout than their Indonesian counterparts and had sought him out". One can only wonder why they had done so and what he means by "devout".
       The cleric is a man found guilty and sentenced in his own country. Surely he is not a person who would be welcome in any peace-loving and tolerant group having good will towards others. I hope that some explanation is offered to the uninformed Muslims and non-Muslims in Australia who have not been in contact with this criminal. Vincent J. McCudden, Bayswater.
    [Jun 29, 06]
    • [Death threats, black robes, as women queue for first chance to vote.]  Kuwait flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  

    Women queue for first chance to vote

     
       The West Australian, p 28, Friday, June 30, 2006
       Kuwaiti women turned out in force yesterday to vote for the first time in parliamentary elections in the oil-rich Gulf state after a heated campaign focused on electoral change and corruption.
       Women voters, who represent 57 per cent of the eligible electorate, started queuing in front of their designated polling stations from early morning.
       Outside Nafissa bint al-Hassan School, in Sabah al-Salem tribal district, which has the biggest number of eligible voters, women clad in black abaya robes lined up under a blazing sun.
       "I insisted on being the first to vote," Zahra Ramadan Benbehani, 54, who arrived in a wheelchair pushed by her daughter, said. "I am so happy that I could not sleep last night."
       Although two of the 10 candidates in her constituency were women, Ms Benbehani said she had voted for two "more capable" male candidates. "It is my choice and that of my family," she said. "No one dictated my choice of candidates."
       Twenty-eight women are among 249 candidates running for a four-year term in the 50-seat legislative body.
       Candidate Fatima al-Mutairi arrived at the polling station with a scarf bearing the colours of the Kuwaiti flag wrapped over her black abaya.
       "Even if I get only one vote, it will still be a testimony to tell the men and women of my country that I took on the challenge and that I have entered history," she said.
       In al-Jabirya district, 12km south of the capital, Buthaina Madi, a single businesswoman in her late 20s, was the first to cast her vote shortly before flying out of Kuwait.
       "I did not want to miss this historic chance despite my trip," she said. "This is an historic event and I do feel the victory achieved by Kuwaiti women."
       Mona al-Baghli, a mother in her 30s, said she wanted to be among the first women to vote in "this celebration of democracy".
       "This is our right and they have been very late in granting it to us," she said.
       Despite winning full political rights a year ago, some female candidates said they faced intimidation during the campaign. One of them said she had even received death threats which forced her to withdraw her candidacy.
       The election is being held against the backdrop of a political crisis between the Government and Parliament that led Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah to dissolve the chamber on May 21.
       [DOCTRINE: 2:282:- ... When ye contract a debt ...call to witness two witnesses of your people: but if there be not two men, let there be a man, and two women of those whom ye shall judge fit for witnesses. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 002.qmt.html #002.282
       4:34 (or 38):- Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God hath of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them; but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 004.qmt.html #004.034
       5:8-9:- O believers! when ye address yourselves to prayer, wash your faces ... purify yourselves. But ... if ye have touched women, and ye find no water, then take clean sand and rub your faces and your hands with it. DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Jun 30, 06]
    her ordered honour killing; 9 in family gang's 3-week murder hunt; prison, expulsions.]  Denmark flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Father ordered honour killing

     
       The West Australian, p 28, Friday, June 30, 2006
       COPENHAGEN: A Danish court has sentenced Pakistani-born Ghulum Abbas to life in prison for the so-called honour killing of his 18-year-old daughter.
       The brother who shot her, Akhtar Khan, and two uncles each received 16 years in prison.
       Newlywed Ghazala Khan was gunned down in daylight as she stood beside her Afghan husband, Emal, in front of a provincial railway station in eastern Denmark. Her husband survived but now lives under police protection.
       "In the sentencing, the court considered that the murder of Ghazala and the attempted murder of Emal were carefully planned and committed by several people in collusion," the court said.
       The murder has sparked debate about the integration of a conservative Muslim community at odds with Danish society, months after the publishing of cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in a Danish newspaper led to worldwide protests by Muslims.
       Police said family members decided at a meeting to kill Ms Khan because they did not approve of her marriage to her long-term boyfriend.
       The court said that when sentencing the father on Wednesday it had weighed that he had commanded the killing of his daughter and later repeatedly sought to kill his son-in-law at a hospital.
       On Tuesday, the court convicted nine people over the murder. Other family members and relatives were handed sentences of between eight and 16 years.
       They were all involved in a three-week hunt for the couple or had accompanied Khan to the scene of the crime. Some of those convicted face expulsion from Denmark after serving their sentences.
       [DOCTRINE: 4:34 (or 38):- ... Virtuous women are obedient ... www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 004.qmt.html #004.034
       6:70:- And leave those who have taken their religion for a play and an idle sport, and whom this world's life has deceived, ... it shall not have besides Allah any guardian nor an intercessor, and if it should seek to give every compensation, it shall not be accepted from it; these are they who shall be given up to destruction for what they earned; they shall have a drink of boiling water and a painful chastisement because they disbelieved.
       49:7:- ... God hath endeared the faith to you ... and hath made unbelief, and wickedness, and disobedience hateful to you. ... DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Jun 30, 06]

    • Religious Persecution in Saudi Arabia  Saudi Arabia flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags/  India flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  
       SAUDI ARABIA:

    Religious Persecution in Saudi Arabia

     
       Annals Australasia (Sydney), annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , Asia-News, p 5, June 2006
    A Catholic Indian priest was forced to leave Saudi Arabia. He was discovered by the religious police as he organised a prayer meeting in the lead-up to Easter. Arrested on 5 April, he remained in police custody for four days and on Saturday 8 April he left for India. The practice of any religion other than Islam is forbidden in Saudi Arabia. Meetings held privately in people's homes, among friends, are also banned.
       The priest, Fr George Joshua, belongs to the Malankara rite of Kerala (India). His visit to Catholic Indians in the Saudi Kingdom was planned with his bishop's permission.
       On 5 April, Fr George had just celebrated Mass in a private house when seven religious policemen [muttawin] broke into the house together with two ordinary policemen. The police arrested the priest and another person.
       The Saudi religious police are well known for their ruthlessness; they often torture believers of other religions who are arrested.
       Asia-News sources said there were around 400,000 Indian Catholics in Saudi Arabia who were denied pastoral care.
       Catholic foreigners in the country number at least one million: none of them can participate in Mass while they are in Saudi Arabia. Catechism for their children - nearly 100,000-is banned.
       Often, for feasts like Easter and Christmas, Catholics plan holidays in the Emirates, Bahrain or Abu Dhabi, where at least for once, they are free to attend Mass. - Asia-News.
    [Issue: June 2006]
    • Clash between Civilization and Backwardness 

    Clash between Civilization and Backwardness

     
       Annals Australasia (Sydney), annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , Wafa Sultan (being interviewed on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21, 2006), p 13, June 2006
    THE clash we are witnessing around the world is not a clash of religions, or a clash of civilizations. It is a clash between two opposites, between two eras.
       It is a clash between a mentality that belongs to the Middle Ages and another mentality that belongs to the 21st century. It is a clash between civilization and backwardness, between the civilized and the primitive, between barbarity and rationality.
       It is a clash between freedom and oppression, between democracy and dictatorship. It is a clash between human rights, on the one hand, and the violation of these rights, on other hand.
       It is a clash between those who treat women like beasts, and those who treat them like human beings. What we see today is not a clash of civilizations. Civilizations do not clash, but compete. - Wafa Sultan, an Arab-American psychologist interviewed on Al-Jazeera TV on February 21 , 2006.
    [Issue: June 2006]
    • Many communities, one democracy  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Algeria flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 
    MIDDLE EAST: A positive response to the recent elections in Iraq, and hopes for a democratic future for the war-torn country.

    MANY COMMUNITIES, ONE DEMOCRACY

     
       Annals Australasia (Sydney), annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , By KHALED FOUAD ALLAM, pp 15-16, June 2006
    WE are beginning, paradoxically, to grow accustomed to a certain 'normalization' of the electoral process in Iraq. The December 15 elections consecrated a point of arrival for the democratization of Iraqi society.
       The statistical data are clear: the first of these is the 70 percent participation in the voting. Then there is the stark reduction of the terrorist threat during the voting process, and - contrary to what one might have expected - an enormous turnout at the ballot boxes in the zone of Fallujah, symbol of the Sunni triangle.
       Even Iran's Arabic television news outlet, al-Alam, which has a large audience among the Shiite Iraqis, emphasized the vast participation of all the components of Iraqi society. The definitive results on the composition of the new Iraqi parliament, whose members will remain in office for four years, will be made known in around two weeks.
       All this is undoubtedly a success, both for the Iraqi people and for the United States, in the face of those who disputed, and still dispute, the exporting of democracy, a question that is feeding a philosophical debate that will mark all the geopolitical transformations of the twenty-first century.
    Annals happily offers its readers the following response by Khaled Fouad Allam to the recent elections in Iraq. It has always been our editorial policy to offer our readers both, or as many other sides of a question, as there are. In this instance the author proposes grounds for optimism in the wake of the Iraqi elections and suggests that the new Constitution offers hope for the future of democracy in the new Iraq. His views are commonly aired by supporters of the military intervention of the US and her allies in Iraq. Ed.

       In any case, the widespread participation in the electoral consultation and the success of the electoral process in spite of the dramatic lack of security in the country require a more profound interpretation.
       What is the mechanism by which, in wartime, a people feels called so urgently to the polls? In reality, we have undervalued the fact that, even though the tanks entered into Iraq, the premise of this was a precise American plan for the reformulation of the Iraqi nation, which most Europeans probably did not realize.
       And they also did not understand that this reformulation of the Iraqi nation - meaning the significance that the notion of Iraqi identity can assume - no longer passes through the equation of Iraqi identity with belonging to the Arab nation, but rather through the possibility granted to the Iraqi to be an integral part of the Arab nation, this time through community membership: Shiite, Sunni, or Kurdish.
       From the beginning, the Americans have kept in mind the fact that the Iraqi mosaic is a patchwork of ethnic-national communities - as, for example, the Kurds, who find their identity in the formation of a national Kurdish community - and confessional communities (Shiite, Sunni, and Christian) which can be multiethnic, because there are, for example, Christian and Sunni Kurds.
       The problem is structuring this communitarian universe through political construction, through the creation of new relationships, knowing that the nationalist Arab system, in the name of the Arab nation, made a 'tabula rasa' of all the other forms of membership, marginalizing the most important of these, beginning with the Shiites.
       The new constitution completely overturned the Iraqi political perspective, asserting in chapter 1, article 3, that Iraq is a multiethnic and multireligious country, that it is part of the Islamic world, and that its Arab population is part of the Arab nation.
    Editorial Comment
    We suspect that events [in Samarra and elsewhere] have already overtaken our author, and that his thesis is regrettably untenable. If Iraq is not an Arab nation [as it isn't] and if Iraqi Arabs can be part of the Arab 'nation' even beyond Iraq's borders, well and good. This is not much different from Britons living in Australia retaining their UK citizenship. But when the Arab Nation [the Umma] is coextensive with the Islamic Nation [Umma] which is the antithesis of Democracy how secure can the other members of the so-called multi-Ethnic and multi-religious country of Iraq be in their 'democracy'? Shi'ites, Kurds and Christians speak Arabic, but they are not 'Arab'. And the Shi'ite, in the eyes of many Sunni, are not even Muslims. 'Ay,' as Shakespeare wisely warns, 'there's the rub'.

       The last sentence is the most important for gaining perspective on the change taking place in Iraq, and it explains in part the Iraqis' enthusiastic participation in the vote. The difference in comparison with the past is noteworthy: in reality, Iraq ceases to be an Arab nation or part of the Arab nation, but the Arabs of Iraq reserve the right to belong to this community even beyond Iraq's borders.
       Today, the Iraqi society that is being constructed makes itself visible to the world by participating in political elections, but the new nation must still be constructed, and no one can say today whether this will work or not. Because it will be precisely on the terrain of politics, of the forces in play and the game of alliances, that the new Iraqi society's capacity to define itself politically will be demonstrated. Politics is the very strange art of living together: but to practice it, the Iraqis need to rediscover their liberty, which was taken from them in the name of the nation, eliminating what a society is, meaning its ethnic, religious, and cultural complexity. I maintain that the Americans saw things properly in considering the communitarian perspective an obligatory step for the reformulation of Iraqi society.
       There remains a fundamental problem: the situation in Iraq, if it does work, will work only in the context of a homogeneous Middle East. If this new democracy remains surrounded by countries governed by antidemocratic forces, the risk is a weakening of what has just been constructed.
    ___________________
       A native of Algeria, KHALED FOUAD ALLAM is a sociologist and a specialist of the Muslim world who teaches at the University of Trieste and the University of Urbino as well as the Stanford program in Florence. In addition to his academic commitments, Professor Allam has been an editorialist and columnist for the national Italian newspaper La Repubblica since 2003.
       NOTE: The square brackets ("[" and "]") above are in the Editorial Comment as printed in the magazine.
       COMMENT: For a Westerner to imagine there can be a "homogenous Middle East", or to be so ignorant of the centuries-old hatreds festering in the whole region including Iraq, or to be fooled by Bush, Blair and Howard's pretence they want democracy there, is bad enough; but for someone with the writer's background and high qualifications to be so deceived is amazing, almost unbelievable. [Issue: June 2006]

    • [Islamic Protestors Undermine Religious Rights Forum in Malaysia]  Malaysia flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Protestors Undermine Religious Rights Forum in Malaysia

     
       Religion Today Summaries, E-mail, Friday, June 30, 2006
       MALAYSIA: Hotels in Malaysia have refused to host a series of religious rights forums after angry protestors shut down an event on May 14 and accused the organizers of being "enemies of Islam."
       According to Compass Direct, Article 11, a coalition of 13 religious and human rights groups, had organized a series of forums to discuss constitutional rights and the dilemma created by a dual legal system incorporating both civil and sharia law.
       On May 14, police cordons and a crowd of roughly 500 demonstrators greeted participants arriving for a forum in Penang. Eventually police insisted that the forum be shut down, despite having issued an official permit for the event.
       "This incident shows how serious the breakdown in constitutional values is," National Human Rights Society deputy president and lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, a speaker at the forum, told local reporters.
       "If we cannot speak on the constitution, where are we as a nation?"
    [Jun 30, 06]
    • Islam: Cardinal Pell's View. 
       Fidelity magazine (Australia), fidelity@j23.com.au , by Cardinal George Pell (of Sydney, Australia), pp 43-44, June 2006 issue.
       UNITED STATES: Earlier this year Cardinal George Pell of Sydney, Australia, gave an assessment of Islam etc. to Catholic businessmen in the U.S. The Koran has many invocations to violence. And, one calculation is that Muhammad engaged in 78 battles, only one of which, the Battle of the Ditch, was defensive.
       The predominant grammatical form in which jihad is used in the Koran carries the sense of fighting or waging war.
       The claims of Muslim tolerance of Christian and Jewish minorities are largely mythical, as the history of Islamic conquest and domination in the Middle East, the Iberian peninsula and the Balkans makes abundantly clear.
    Fidelity -- June 2006   p. 43   http://www.j23.com.au

    Islam: Cardinal Pell’s View

       His Eminence recently gave a frank assessment of Islam and Christian/Muslim relations to Catholic Businessmen in the US. Some of the highlights:
    Can we live together peacefully?
    September 11 was a wake-up call for me personally. I recognised that I had to know more about Islam. In the aftermath of the attack one thing was perplexing. Many commentators and apparently the governments of the "Coalition of the Willing" were claiming that Islam was essentially peaceful, and that the terrorist attacks were an aberration. On the other hand one or two people I met, who had lived in Pakistan and suffered there, claimed to me that the Koran legitimised the killings of non-Muslims.
  • Although I had possessed a copy of the Koran for 30 years, I decided then to read this book for myself as a first step to adjudicating conflicting claims. And I recommend that you too read this sacred text of the Muslims, because the challenge of Islam will be with us for the remainder of our lives - at least.
  • On the pessimistic side of the equation, concern begins with the Koran itself, in my own reading of the Koran, I began to note down invocations to violence. There are so many of them, however, that I abandoned this exercise after 50 or 60 or 70 pages.
       ... it is important to bear in mind what the scholars tell us about the difference between the suras (or chapters) of the Koran written during Muhammad's thirteen years in Mecca, and those that were written after he had based himself at Medina. Irenic interpretations of the Koran typically draw heavily on the suras written in Mecca, when Muhammad was without military power and still hoped to win people, including Christians and Jews, to his revelation through preaching and religious activity.
       After emigrating to Medina, Muhammad formed an alliance with two Yemeni tribes and the spread of Islam through conquest and coercion began. One calculation is that Muhammad engaged in 78 battles, only one of which, the Battle of the Ditch, was defensive. The suras from the Medina period reflect this decisive change and are often held to abrogate suras from the Meccan period.
  • The predominant grammatical form in which jihad is used in the Koran carries the sense of fighting or waging war. ... The suggestion that jihad is primarily a matter of spiritual striving is also contemptuously rejected by some Islamic writers on the subject. One writer warns that "the temptation to reinterpret both text and history to suit 'politically correct' requirements is the first trap to be avoided", before going on to complain that "there are some Muslims today, for instance, who will convert jihad into a holy bath rather than a holy war, as if it is nothing more than an injunction to cleanse yourself from within".
  • Different Ideas of God
  • It is true that Christianity, Judaism and Islam claim Abraham as their Father and the God of Abraham as their God. I accept with reservations the claim that Jews, Christians and Muslims worship one god (Allah is simply the Arabic word for god) and there is only one true God available to be worshipped!
       ... It is difficult to recognise the God of the New Testament in the God of the Koran, and two very different concepts of the human person have emerged from the Christian and Muslim understandings of God. Think, for example, of the Christian understanding of the person as a unity of reason, freedom and love, and the way these attributes characterise a Christian's relationship with God. This has had significant consequences for the different cultures that Christianity and Islam have given rise to, and for the scope of what is possible within them. But these difficulties could be an impetus to dialogue, not a reason for giving up on it.
  • The history of relations between Muslims on the one hand and Christians and Jews on the other does not always offer reasons for optimism in the way that some people easily assume. The claims of Muslim tolerance of Christian and Jewish minorities are largely mythical, as the history of Islamic conquest and domination in the Middle East, the Iberian peninsula and the Balkans makes abundantly clear.
  • I suspect one example of the secular incomprehension of religion is the blithe encouragement of large scale Islamic migration into Western nations, particularly in Europe. Of course they were invited to meet the need for labour and in some cases to assuage guilt for a colonial past.

  • Fidelity -- June 2006   p. 44   http://www.j23.com.au
  • If religion rarely influences personal behaviour in a significant way then the religious identity of migrants is irrelevant. I suspect that some anti-Christians, for example, the Spanish Socialists, might have seen Muslims as a useful counterweight to Catholicism, another factor to bring religion into public disrepute. Probably too they had been very confident that Western advertising forces would be too strong for such a primitive religious viewpoint, which would melt down like much of European Christianity. This could prove to be a spectacular misjudgement. ...
  • Secularism No Match For Islam
  • If we are going to help the moderate forces within Islam defeat the extreme variants it has thrown up, we need to take seriously the personal consequences of religious faith. We also need to understand the secular sources of emptiness and despair and how to meet them, so that people will choose life over death. This is another place where religious people have an edge. Western secularists regularly have trouble understanding religious faith in their own societies, and are often at sea when it comes to addressing the meaninglessness that secularism spawns. An anorexic vision of democracy and the human person is no match for Islam....
  • It is easy for us to tell Muslims that they must look to themselves and find ways of reinterpreting their beliefs and remaking their societies. Exactly the same thing can and needs to be said to us. If democracy is a belief in procedures alone then the West is in deep trouble. The most telling sign that Western democracy suffers a crisis of confidence lies in the disastrous fall in fertility rates, a fact remarked on by more and more commentators, in 2000, Europe from Iceland to Russia west of the Ural Mountains recorded a fertility rate of only 1.37. This means that fertility is only at 65 per cent of the level needed to keep the population stable. In 17 European nations that year deaths outnumbered births. Some regions in Germany, Italy and Spain already have fertility rates below.
  • It is not just a question of having more children, but of rediscovering reasons to trust in the future. Some of the hysteric and extreme claims about global warming are also a symptom of pagan emptiness, of Western fear when confronted by the immense and basically uncontrollable forces of nature. Belief in a
  • benign Cod who is master of the universe has a steadying psychological effect, although it is no guarantee of Utopia, no guarantee that the continuing climate and geographic changes will be benign. In the past pagans sacrificed animals and even humans in vain attempts to placate capricious and cruel gods. Today they demand a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • The war against terrorism is only one aspect of the challenge. Perhaps more important is the struggle in the Islamic world between moderate forces and extremists, especially when we set this against the enormous demographic shifts likely to occur across the world, the relative changes in population-size of the West, the Islamic and Asian worlds and the growth of Islam in a childless Europe.
       Every great nation and religion has shadows and indeed crimes in their histories. This is certainly true of Catholicism and all Christian denominations. We should not airbrush these out of history, but confront them and then explain our present attitude to them.
  • Useful Dialogue = Tough Questions
       These are also legitimate requests for our Islamic partners in dialogue. Do they believe that the peaceful suras of the Koran are abrogated by the verses of the sword? Is the programme of military expansion (100 years after Muhammad's death Muslim armies reached Spain and India) to be resumed when possible?
       Do they believe that democratic majorities of Muslims in Europe would impose Sharia law? Can we discuss Islamic history and even the hermeneutical problems around the origins of the Koran without threats of violence?
       Obviously some of these questions about the future cannot be answered, but the issues should be discussed. Useful dialogue means that participants grapple with the truth and in this issue of Islam and the West the stakes are too high for fundamental misunderstandings.
    Both Muslims and Christians are helped by accurately identifying what are core and enduring doctrines, by identifying what issues can be discussed together usefully, by identifying those who are genuine friends, seekers after truth and cooperation and separating them from those who only appear to be friends.
       [COMMENT: For fuller version, see "Islam and Western Democracies," an address by Cardinal George Pell, of Sydney, Australia, to Legatus Summit, at Naples, Florida, USA, on February 4, 2006, shown in date order above. Source: Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney website, www.sydney. catholic.org. au/Arch bishop/ Addresses/ 200627_681. shtml . ENDS.]
       [NOTE: The forces under Muhammad won the Battle of the Ditch, often called the Battle of the Trench. Muhammad then ordered that all 700 surviving male Jews of the Qurayzah be killed, and that their dependants be enslaved. ENDS.]
       [CONTACT: Fidelity, www.j23.com.au , fidelity@ j23.com.au , 443 North Rd, Ormond (Melbourne), Vic, PO Box 22, Ormond, Vic, 3204, Australia, Tel / Facsimile + 61 (0) 3 9578 2706. CONTACT ENDS.] [Jun 2006 issue]

    [The perils of Islamic culture, pushing other cultures out.]

      Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 
       The Australian, p 17, June 30, 2006
       AUSTRALIA: [Former treasury secretary John Stone recently spoke at a Quadrant dinner on the topic of the "perils of Islamic culture". He said:]
       "So far as I can see, however, Muslims do not so much move out as move in.
       "In communities where large numbers of Muslims gather, non-Muslims are gradually driven out. It is then not long before there are established no-go areas where Muslim gangs flourish on the proceeds of drugs, extortion, armed robbery and so on.
       "In turn, as the host country's own laws are set aside in these no-go areas, there develop demands for the recognition of these areas as small states within the state, to be governed by sharia law, administered not by national courts but by sharia-type courts overseen by local imams.
       "In France, we have begun to see the ultimate expression of such developments. There, a public official is reported to have agreed to meet an imam outside the predominantly Muslim district of Roubaix which, according to the imam, was Islamic territory and closed to non-Muslims.
       "Similar demands can already be heard in Britain. To a more limited extent (so far) we have begun to hear them in Australia."
    [Jun 30, 06]
    • [Women's rights fighter's nationality row topples Government; murdered reformist filmmaker's scriptwriter lied.]  Netherlands = Holland flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Somalia flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  

    Nationality row topples Government

     
       The West Australian, p 26, Saturday, July 1, 2006
       THE HAGUE: Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has announced that his Government would resign after the smallest coalition member said it could no longer work with hardline Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.
       He was to tender his resignation to Queen Beatrix yesterday, signalling the end of his three-year-old Government. The resignation was expected to trigger early elections, possibly in October.
       Mr Balkenende's announcement to Parliament in The Hague capped 36 hours of political drama centring on Ms Verdonk and her unsuccessful attempt to strip Somali-born MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali of Dutch citizenship.
       Ms Hirsi Ali, 36, rose to international prominence after writing the script for a film criticising the treatment of women under Islam - a film that prompted a young Muslim fanatic to murder the filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, in 2004.
       In May, Ms Verdonk threatened to strip Ms Hirsi Ali of her citizenship for applying under a false name when she first arrived in the country in 1992.
       Ms Hirsi Ali resigned as an MP but, after an international outcry, Parliament ordered Ms Verdonk to reconsider her decision.
       This week, she changed her mind.
       Ms Verdonk survived a no-confidence vote, but the parliamentary faction of the smallest member of Mr Balkenende's conservative coalition, the centrist D-66 Party, said it would not support any Cabinet that included her.
       The party's three ministers resigned and Mr Balkenende said that meant the rest had to follow.
       Ms Verdonk has introduced policies that forced citizenship classes for immigrants, jailed asylum seekers and deported illegal immigrants. Immigration to the Netherlands has halved since 2000.
      [Picture] Ayaan Hirsi Ali  
       On Tuesday, Ms Verdonk reluctantly reversed her decision to revoke Ms Hirsi Ali's passport, having found a loophole she hoped would avert the political crisis: under Somali law, Ms Hirsi Ali's false name was technically legal because it was her grandfather's name, Ms Verdonk argued.
       But Ms Hirsi Ali was forced to sign a statement acknowledging that she had misled Ms Verdonk by saying she had lied - essentially accepting blame for the whole affair.
       She is now in the US, where she is house-hunting after landing a job with the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank in Washington.
       [RECAPITULATION: Ms Verdonk has introduced policies that forced citizenship classes for immigrants, jailed asylum seekers and deported illegal immigrants. RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: Holland spent years and years building dykes and pumping out salty water, reclaiming a huge bay, because of perceived over-population, or insufficient land. Why would it have ANY immigration? The centrist party members are, perhaps, more devoted to non-Dutch people's welfare, than to the people who pay their salaries. The long-term ecological and social welfare of this heavily-populated world is not served by allowing the refugees from bad government and bad values-systems to swamp out already crowded countries. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [LINK: "I'm lonely but I have to go on," the story of Ms Ali's fight to free Muslim women in the Netherlands from cruel and unjust practices, dated June 2006. ENDS.] [Jul 1, 06]

    • Row dissolves Dutch cabinet 

    Row dissolves Dutch cabinet

     
       The Weekend Australian, Correspondents in The Hague, AFP, p 14, The World, July 1-2, 2006
       THE HAGUE: THE Dutch Government has resigned after losing the support of its junior coalition partner in a row over controversial Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk.
       Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende announced in parliament his Government would tender its resignation to the Dutch head of state, Queen Beatrix, overnight.
       The reformist D66, the junior coalition party that has just three ministers in the Government, effectively pulled the plug on Mr Balkenende when it withdrew its support in a row over Ms Verdonk's handling of the controversy surrounding the citizenship of Somali-born Islam critic and former MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
       Ms Verdonk, nicknamed "Iron Rita" for her tough stance on immigration, announced in May that Ms Hirsi Ali, a politician known for her criticism of Islam who admitted publicly that she lied about her name and birth date on her asylum application, could not keep her Dutch citizenship.
       Ms Hirsi Ali, 36, gained international attention in 2004 after Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim extremist. Van Gogh had produced a controversial film written by Ms Hirsi Ali about the treatment of women under Islam.
       The resignation of the Government is likely to lead to new elections in October.
       However, there is also a slim chance the coalition parties will try to cobble together a minority government supported by various small opposition parties.
       Upon the D66 ministers' resignation, Mr Balkenende said the rest of the cabinet should also hand in their resignations.
       After enormous political pressure from parliament, Ms Verdonk softened her hardline position on Ms Hirsi Ali.
       On Tuesday she announced that Ms Hirsi Ali, who has since stepped down as a member of parliament for the WD party and plans to move to the US to work for a conservative think tank, could keep her Dutch passport.
       Ms Verdonk used complicated legal reasoning to justify her turnaround, concluding that Ms Hirsi Ali actually lied about lying about her name because she could legally use the name Ali under Somali law.
       The minister also produced a declaration signed by Ms Hirsi Ali in which she said she was to blame for the situation. However, Ms Hirsi Ali later told Dutch media that she signed the document under pressure because she wanted the affair to be over and that she needed a valid Dutch passport to complete her move to Washington.
       The mea culpa letter was the straw that broke the camel's back for the D66 party, which had already had several clashes with Ms Verdonk.
       The D66 Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Economic Affairs, Laurens Jan Brinkhorst, told parliament his party's ministers "could no longer bear responsibility for the policies of the Immigration Minister".
       A poll carried out last Friday, before the latest controversy over Ms Hirsi Ali and Ms Verdonk erupted, projects that the opposition PvdA Labour party would be the winner if an election were held now, with 43 seats, while Mr Balkenende's ruling CDA Christian Democrats would lose eight seats to end up with 36.
       The current coalition would lose its majority, according to the poll, but the three left-wing opposition parties would not get a majority either. #
    [July 1-2, 2006]
    • Scola centre backs dialogue in Cairo.  Vatican City / Papal flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags   Egypt flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Algeria flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  Syria flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Scola centre backs dialogue in Cairo.

     
       The Tablet (RC paper, Britain), www.thetablet. co.uk/cgi- bin/citw.cgi/ past-00288 #ROME , July 1, 2006
       ROME: A VENICE-based research centre that promotes dialogue between religions, especially in the Mediterranean world, says its recent two-day conference in Cairo will help already warming relations between Christians, Muslims and Jews.
       More than 65 representatives of the three monotheistic faiths gathered in the Egyptian capital on 19 and 20 June to discuss fundamental rights in democratic societies.
       The Oasis International Studies and Research Centre - an institute founded in 2004 by Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Venice, and funded by Communion and Liberation, the ecclesiastical community of which Cardinal Scola is a member - sponsored the gathering.
       Participants included prominent church figures from the Vatican, Egypt, Algeria, Syria and Pakistan. Also on hand were representatives of the World Jewish Congress.
       A spokeswoman for Cardinal Scola, Marialaura Conte, told The Tablet that the gathering was not given high public visibility because of security concerns. However, a statement released this week said that the two days of discussions were frank and constructive.
       [COMMENT: Whom are they fooling? Even in once-tolerant Malaysia a similar meeting cannot be held, due to crowds threatening any "anti-Islamic" discussions. COMMENT ENDS.] [Jul 1, 06]
    • [History ignored of gradual external takeover.] 

    History ignored

     
       The Sunday Times (Perth, W. Australia), Letter to the Editor, p 54, July 2, 2006
       IN the past 20 years, I have watched Western countries slowly being taken over by mainly Islamic and African races. Not only have these people rapidly expanded within their host countries, they have changed the entire structure and foundations of those countries.
       Now, unfortunately, this is being forced on the people of Australia by the likes of Judi Moylan, Petro Qeorgiou and vocal refugee activists, all of whom I'm quite sure have the best intentions at heart.
       But as we've seen with so many other experiments throughout history which started with the best intentions, most, like the stolen generation, have turned out to be disasters.
       What a shame the politicians who have changed our lives in such a short period did not have the decency to complete an in-depth study on other Western countries and the terrible effects mass immigration has had on their inhabitants.
       I lost a friend in New York in the World Trade Center attack and saw Muslims cheer over the sight of the smouldering ruins. I knew then what they had in store for us, confirmed in the Ball 2002 bombings, long before any invasion of Iraq.
       We are at war, whether we like it or not. We are taxed out of existence, our children get hooked on horrible drugs and become unemployable misfits, affordable housing climbs out of the reach, and jobs are rapidly lost to "foreign skilled workers".
       To top this off, it's only time before we too become another Western statistic of a major terrorist attack. ASIO can't get lucky all the time.
       All I ever wanted was to work hard and have a safe and happy life, never to hurt anyone. But people like Ms Moylan, Abu Bakar Bashir, Osama bin Laden and the likes have taken those rights away from me and I can never forgive them for that. M. MONROE, Victoria Park
    [Jul 2, 06]
    • Citizen test asks about our values  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Citizen test asks about our values

     
       The West Australian, By RHIANNA KING, EXCLUSIVE, p 4, Monday, July 3, 2006
       CANBERRA: The Federal Government is forging ahead with plans to impose a citizenship test on newcomers to Australia to ensure they understand the nation's history, values and way of life.
       The proposed test could be put before Cabinet by the end of the year.
       Parliamentary Secretary for Immigration Andrew Robb confirmed he was preparing an Australian version of the test after spending the past two months looking at citizenship tests around the world.
       "I am consulting with a variety of experts and stakeholders to find appropriate, workable processes that would translate well into an Australian test," Mr Robb told The West Australian. "That process is nearly finalised and I'm starting to prepare something concrete for consideration by Cabinet."
       It is understood Mr Robb consulted tests from Germany, the Netherlands, Britain, Canada and the United States in coming up with a version for Australia.
       Mr Robb mooted the idea in April, saying it would be in the interests of both the Australian community and prospective citizens if a test requiring them to demonstrate their commitment to the country was introduced.
       He said migrants should be asked to show a high standard of English and be knowledgeable about Australian history, laws and values.
       The concept was met with resistance by the WA Chamber of Commerce and Industry, which warned it could exacerbate the skills shortage, while the Greens attacked it as a step back towards the White Australia policy.
       To get citizenship, people now have to show they understand the rights and responsibilities of being Australian citizens and have basic English.
       Britain introduced a citizenship test last year, with 24 questions based on the handbook Life in the United Kingdom: A Journey to Citizenship.
       Ethnic Communities Council president Ramdas Sankaran accused the Government of using migrants as a political football, saying they had bought up the issue of citizenship test as a diversionary tactic.
       "The Howard Government is again playing wedge politics to divert attention away from the Iraq war and their WorkChoice changes," he said. #
    [Jul 3, 06]
    • Bin Laden threat to Iraqi Shi'ites  Iraq / Irak flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
    As more bombings rock Baghdad, al-Qaida leader warns of bloody retribution for Violations' against Sunni cities

    Bin Laden threat to Iraqi Shi’ites

     
       The West Australian, p 6, Monday, July 3, 2006
       BAGHDAD: Osama bin Laden has threatened Iraq's majority Shi'ite population with bloody retribution if the "annihilation" of the country's Sunni Muslims continues.
       The al-Qaida leader, an adherent of the extremist Wahabi sect of Sunni Islam, delivered his most strident sectarian message in a new audiotape released on an Islamist website on Saturday.
       In his second pronouncement in two days, bin Laden accused Iraqi Shi'ites of siding with America and its allies in "violating" the predominantly Sunni cities of Ramadi, Fallu-jah and Mosul. He warned that Shi'ite areas would face "retaliation and harm" as a consequence.
       The threat was made public within hours of a car bomb ripping through a market in a predominantly Shi'ite district of Baghdad, killing at least 66 people in the bloodiest attack in Iraq for three months.
       Yesterday, three car bombs in Baghdad's central Karradah district killed at least killed three people and wounded 16. Three bystanders were wounded when a roadside bomb exploded in the path of a convoy carrying lyad Jamaleddin, a Shi'ite MP with the Iraqi National List parliamentary bloc of former premier lyad Allawi.
      [Picture] City chaos: Hundreds gather around the scene of Saturday's car bombing that killed at least 66 people.   Picture: Associated Press  
       Saturday's blast fuelled fears of another upsurge in sectarian violence after a previously unknown Sunni group said it carried out the bombing in revenge for the killings of Sunnis by Shi'ites.
       The bombing came only days after the new Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri al-Maliki, held out an olive branch to the Sunni minority dominant under Saddam Hussein, unveiling a feroad plan for national reconciliation.
       In the latest tape, bin Laden also warned that his fanatical followers would "punish" the US on American soil if it sent troops to Somalia following the Islamic takeover.
    ‘ You are God's trusted soldiers who will liberate the ummah (Islamic nation).’
    OSAMA BIN LADEN

       In a clear sign that he wanted to deliver his verdict on recent international developments, bin Laden gave his blessing to the new al-Qaida leader in Iraq and backed the Islamic fundamentalists who had seized power in Somalia.
       He told militants in both countries: "Your Muslim nation is looking for you and praying for your victory. You are their hope after God. You are God's trusted soldiers who will liberate the ummah (Islamic nation) from the serfdom of the crusaders in our countries."
       Bin Laden again released his message without video images. He is thought to have opted for audiotapes after US forces used a video released by Abu Musab Zarqawi to help track down and kill the terrorist leader. #
       [DOCTRINE: 5:45 (or 49):- And we decreed for them in it that: the life for the life, the eye for the eye, the nose for the nose, the ear for the ear, the tooth for the tooth, and an equivalent injury for any injury. ... www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/005. qmt.html #005.045
       7:3:- How many cities have we destroyed! ...
       49:9:- If two bodies of the faithful are at war, then make ye peace between them: and if the one of them wrong the other, fight against that party which doth the wrong, until they come back to the precepts of God: ... DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Jul 3, 06]

    • [Mullah leads renewed Taliban reign of terror; fond of beheadings.]  Afghanistan flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Mullah leads renewed Taliban reign of terror

     
       The West Australian, p 23, Monday, July 3, 2006
       KABUL: The camera pans in on a black-turbaned mullah, who solemnly signs a slip of paper and hands it to the young fighter sitting beside him. It turns out to be the recipient's own death warrant: the slip identifies him as Suicide bomber 116.
       Off goes yet another volunteer to die in the Taliban's increasingly savage campaign against coalition troops in Afghanistan, but the cleric who sends him on his way remains alive and very dangerous. Mullah Dadullah Akhund, the ruthless fanatic in charge of the Taliban's new campaign, is fast becoming to Afghanistan what Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was to Iraq. Just like al-Zarqawi, his starring role in propaganda DVDs has successfully drawn in scores of suicide bombers and thousands of fighters to the cause. And just like al-Zarqawi, his fondness for beheadings means his followers fear him almost as much as his enemies.
      [Picture] Mullah Dadullah  
       Mullah Dadullah has developed almost mythological status among his compatriots, which is partly why he was dispatched by the Taliban leadership to front a recruitment campaign for jihad in the seminaries of northern Pakistan. His success can be seen in the surge in suicide bombings, school burnings and ambushes that have killed more than 100 Afghan civilians and at least 40 coalition soldiers this year. Mullah Dadullah boasts that he has 200 suicide bombers awaiting his orders.
       Afghan villagers testify that increasing numbers of Taliban fighters are roaming the countryside with impunity, warning local people not to co-operate with coalition troops. To emphasise the point, one of Mullah Dadullah's videos shows his fighters slitting the throats of six men accused of spying for the Americans. Mullah Dadullah is aged about 40 and is said to come from the Kakar tribe in the Kandahar region, which is renowned for its fighting prowess. He lost a leg after stepping on a landmine shortly after joining the Taliban in 1994.
       Despite the disability he became renowned as a fearless fighter, leading battles against the Northern Alliance throughout the 1990s. In 1998, he massacred hundreds of civilians during a campaign to "pacify" the ethnic minority Hazaras. It was too much even for Mullah Mohammed Omar, the Taliban's one-eyed spiritual leader, who relieved him of his command.
       But soon he was back in battle though, his reputation so fearsome that Taliban radio would often report his presence on the front lines, even when he was days away from the fighting, to unnerve opponents. Having escaped to Pakistan after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, he helped rebuild the movement from there and was recently promoted to Taliban military commander. #
       [Also read: "UK troops face Afghan crisis," on the same page. The insurgents even attacked a British base for three nights.]
       [DOCTRINE: 8:12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/quran/ 008.qmt.html #008.012 . DOCTRINE ENDS.] [Jul 3, 06]

    • Muslims who reject extremism  Australia flag; www.flagaustnat.asn.au/ 

    Muslims who reject extremism


       News Weekly (Australia), Letter from Dermott Kelly, St Georges, South Australia, p 19, Dated July 8, 2006, received July 7, 2006
       My question is directed to Dr Sharif Shuja, who wrote the article, "Islam: Why Indian Muslims reject extremism" (News Weekly, October 22, 2005).
       He said that Indian Muslims rejected extremism because they had equal opportunity in Indian society and because they had many positive role models.
       What, then, is his explanation for the home-grown terrorists in Britain, Canada and Australia?
       Is it a lack of equal opportunity and positive Muslim role models in these societies, or because these societies lack the moral conservatism of Indian society?
       [COMMENT: There have been a few extremist actions by Muslims in India. There are also Hindu horrors. The unjust Kashmir grab by India ramped up the latent hatred and fear on the sub-continent. If the USA keeps financing and arming Israel, even the most conservative Muslim communities will breed angry activists. There is little or no "turn the other cheek" in Arab-Muslim customs and teachings! COMMENT ENDS.] [Dated Jul 8, 06, received Jul 7, 06]
    • [Book explains everlasting war to conquer the world.] 
       News Weekly (Australia), July 8, 2006

      BOOKS  

    Fury from the East

    THE SWORD OF THE PROPHET:
    Islam - History,Theology, Impact on the World
    by Serge Trifkovic
    (USA: Regina Orthodox Press)
    Paperback: 312 pages
    Rec. price: AUD$29.95
    Reviewed by Bill Muehlenberg

    There has been a flood of books on Islam penned in the past few decades, and especially since September 11, 2001. This volume appeared just after the New York tragedy, and is one of the better volumes on Islam and its impact on the world.
       Serbian-born historian, journalist and political analyst Dr Serge Trifkovic - now a U.S. citizen - provides a brief look at the life of Muhammad, a detailed account of Islamic beliefs, and a discussion on how Islam in the modern world is faring. The book has meaty chapters on jihad, the outcomes of Islamic thinking, Western appeasement and Islamic immigration.
       He begins by noting that "beliefs have consequences" and argues that Islamic beliefs lead to some very serious consequences. Islam is not just a religion, but an all-inclusive way of life.

    NEWS WEEKLY, JULY 8, 2006 -- PAGE 22
       After examining in detail some of the core beliefs of Islam, Trifkovic states that, of all the world religions, "the teaching of Islam makes it the least amenable to dialogue with other faiths".
       While many people in the inter-faith dialogue camp are happy to hold ecumenical discussions with Muslims, we are reminded that Islam "seeks converts or obedient subjects, not partners in a dialogue".
      [Picture of front cover of The Sword of the Prophet]  
       Later in the book, the author picks up this theme and bewails the fact that many Christians are quite happy to compromise their core beliefs in order to get along with Muslims. This is not the way to proceed. For Christians to survive, they "need to rediscover theological firmness and doctrinal clarity".

    Meaning of jihad

       The chapter on jihad is perhaps the one most readers would be interested in. Just what does jihad mean? Is Islam a religion of peace? Are Muslim suicide-bombers aberrations in Islam, or a natural by-product of it?
       Trifkovic answers these questions in the context of an important Islamic distinction. Muslims believe that the world is divided into two camps, the Dar-al-Islam (the House of Islam)
    and Dar-al-Harb (the House of War). There can be no lasting peace until the House of War (those who are non-Muslims) finally submit to the House of Islam.
       Says Trifkovic: "The House of Islam is in a state of permanent war with the lands that surround it; it can be interrupted by temporary truces, but peace will only come with the completion of global conquest." Thus, the real meaning of jihad is the perpetual and obligatory war of Muslims against unbelievers.
       But what about the distinction so often heard between the greater and lesser jihad? The greater refers to the spiritual struggle one goes through, while the lesser is the militant, armed variety. Yet, as the author demonstrates so well, the life and teaching of Muhammad, the Hadith and the early centuries of Islamic expansion all point to armed struggle as the main understanding of jihad.
       Islam really teaches that the greater jihad of personal spiritual struggle can only come about when the lesser jihad has been accomplished, with Islam in global dominion. Real peace (the cessation of inner spiritual struggle) can only be achieved when global Islamic rule is established. Indeed, a good Muslim is one who believes that Islam must rule the world.

    WWW.NEWSWEEKLY.COM.AU
    Multiculturalism or the clash of civilisations?
    LONDON: Placard-waving Muslim extremists, angry at the publication of cartoons of Muhammad by the Danish newspaper Jyllends-Posten (September 30, 2005), staging protests on February 3, 2006.
    [Wording on placards: Slay those who insult Islam. Europe you will pay, demolition is on its way. Behead those who insult Islam. Butcher those who insult Islam. (Not deciphered). Europe you will pay, extermination is on its way. (Not deciphered). Massacre those who insult Islam. Exterminate those who slander Islam. Europe you will pay, extermination is on its way. Be prepared for the real Holocaust!]



    This seems plain enough from the teachings of the Koran.
       So, do all Muslims want the world to be subject to Sharia law? No, but that may just mean that not all Muslims are fully committed to their faith, and are simply nominal.
       In the same way, we can answer this question: are there moderate Muslims? Yes, is the clear answer. But it is perhaps the wrong question. The real issue is, is Islam moderate? Trifkovic clearly thinks that it is not, and to be a serious follower of Islam means to abandon moderation.

    Intolerance

       He writes: "Islam is and always has been a religion of intolerance, a jihad without an end. Despite the way the apologists would like to depict it, Islam was spread by the sword and has been maintained by the sword throughout its history."
       Thus, contemporary "radical Islam" is not in fact a deviation but a natural expression of the teachings and history of Islam. Therefore, the Wahhabi movement, for example, in its desire to recover pure Islam on a global basis, is not tangential to Islam but is in fact mainstream Islam.
       As such, says Trifkovic, Islam is no different from its 20th-century totalitarian counterparts: fascism and communism. The Nazi and Stalinist terrors were based on force,
    WWW.NEWSWEEKLY.COM.AU
    bloodshed, and repression. Islam's history and practice have been markedly similar.
       His chapter on the fruits of Islam further makes this case. The way women are viewed in Islamic societies, the way dissenters are treated, the continuing problem of slavery, the inherent anti-Semitism - these are all examples of the totalitarian, anti-democratic nature of Islam.
       He says: "The all-pervasive lack of freedom is the hallmark of the Muslim world. Discrimination against non-coreligionists and women of all creeds, racism, slavery, virulent anti-Semitism, and cultural imperialism can be found - individually or in various combinations - in different cultures and eras. Islam alone has them all at once, all the time, and divinely sanctioned at that."
       Western appeasement has also been a major problem. Trifkovic laments the West's efforts to support "moderate" Muslim states, noting that all such support has been counterproductive. For various reasons, including dependence on Arab oil, the West has sought to get along with Islamic nations, instead of challenging their many shortcomings.
       And the struggle is ultimately a religious one: "To face the war of religion that has been imposed on it, the West also needs to rediscover its own religion, or at least to stop denying its value."
       As to the immigration issue, the author reminds us that many mosques in Western nations are simply breeding grounds for hate and centres for the recruitment of more martyrs. Mirroring the recent remarks of Australian federal politician Peter Costello, Trifkovic calls for thorough background checks of all Muslims seeking to take up residence in Western nations.

    Servitude

       He concludes by saying we need to be doing two things: rejecting anti-democratic and totalitarian religions and worldviews of any stripe, and proclaiming loudly and proudly the virtues of a free and open society. He asserts: "We have no obligation to 'respect other cultures' and ideas when those cultures and ideas lead to human suffering, misery and servitude."
       Of course, in an age of political correctness and guilt manipulators, such advice may be hard to follow. But if we at all value the freedoms and privileges of living in the West, even with all its faults, then we need to start displaying some moral and intellectual clarity.
       Making distinctions is part of that clarity. And the distinctions raised in this book are an important contribution to the struggle in which we find ourselves. #

    NEWS WEEKLY, JULY 8, 2006 -- PAGE 23
       [RECAPITULATION: Islam was spread by the sword and has been maintained by the sword throughout its history. Thus, contemporary "radical Islam" is not in fact a deviation but a natural expression of the teachings and history of Islam. RECAP. ENDS.] [Issue date: Jul 8, 06]
    • [109 known "honour" murders in Britain.]  Britain and Northern Ireland, United Kingdom of, flag; Mooney's MiniFlags  

    Honour killings rise brings alarm

     
       The West Australian, p 20, Tuesday, July 18, 2006
       LONDON: The rising number of defiant women being killed to avenge the traditional "honour" of ethnic families is causing alarm in Britain.
       The rising trend came to light after the brother and cousin of Samaira Nazir, 25, were sentenced to life imprisonment last week for her barbaric murder.
       Ms Nazir, a recruitment consultant in Southall, west London, was killed in April last year after rejecting a marriage arranged by her Pakistani family. She was strangled with a silk scarf, stabbed 18 tunes and had her throat cut.
       Her nieces aged two and four were made to watch the murder and were found spattered with her blood.
       Diana Nammi, co-founder of the London-based International Campaign Against Honour Killings, said the number of women seeking help from her organisation had risen from 50 to 200 in the past year.
       "The number of honour killings has gone up because more women are realising that they have rights," she said.
       The organisation had saved at least a dozen lives in a year, she said. The women were all Muslim, mostly from Afghan, Iranian and Kurdish families.
       "Believe me, many of these women were in danger," Ms Nammi said. "Sometimes, families were paying for bounty hunters to look for them."
       Between 1993 and 2001, there were 109 known "honour killings" in Britain after relatives of the victims decided that the women had brought dishonour on their families through relationships disapproved of or for rejecting arranged marriages. In 2004, Scotland Yard detectives began to re-examine 81 cases in London that they suspected could have been "honour killings".
       In one case, a young woman in Bradford was believed to have been kidnapped and murdered by her family after a love song was dedicated to her on a radio station.
       In 2003, Heshu Yones, 16, of Acton, west London, bled to death after her father cut her throat. He had been "disgusted and distressed" by her relationship with a Lebanese Christian student. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
       Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain, said of the phenomenon: "It occurs more and more as people migrate to Britain from the rural, tribal areas of the Indian subcontinent. They bring the customs with them."
       [RECAPITULATION: ... rural, tribal areas of the Indian subcontinent. They bring the customs ... RECAP. ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: That's a "porky pie"! COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE (Koran/Quran): 4:34 (or 38):- Men are superior to women on account of the qualities with which God hath gifted the one above the other, and on account of the outlay they make from their substance for them. Virtuous women are obedient, careful, during the husband's absence, because God hath of them been careful. But chide those for whose refractoriness ye have cause to fear; remove them into beds apart, and scourge them; but if they are obedient to you, then seek not occasion against them: verily, God is High, Great. www.usc.edu/ dept/MSA/ quran/004. qmt.html #004.034 . DOCTRINE ENDS.]
       [GUIDELINE (Hadith): 3, 17:4206 ff (Muslim's collection):- There came to him a woman ... and said: Allah's Messenger, I have committed adultery, so purify me. He turned her away. ... go away until you give birth ... wean him ... He entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and ... she was put in a ditch up to her chest and he commanded people and they stoned her. ... he prayed over her and she was buried.
       8, 82:815:- ... The Prophet said, ... O Unais! Go to the wife of this man, and if she confesses, then stone her to death." Unais went to her and she confessed. He then stoned her to death. GUIDELINE ENDS.] [Jul 18, 06]

    • Iranian human rights lawyer jailed  Iran (formerly Persia) flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags 

    Iranian human rights lawyer jailed

     
       Aljazeera Net (Arabic independent TV), http:// english. aljazeera. net/NR/ exeres/E08 EA014-1B3D- 45CC-A440-F96 9876A0 869.htm , 16:54 Makka Time, 13:54 GMT, Tuesday, July 18, 2006,
       IRAN: Abdolfattah Soltani, an Iranian human rights lawyer, has been sentenced to five years in jail on charges of disclosing confidential information and opposing the regime.
       Soltani, a colleague of Shirin Ebadi, the Nobel laureate, was arrested a year ago while defending two people accused of spying on Iran's nuclear programme.
       The judiciary said he had shared confidential case details with outsiders.
       Soltani said: "I have been cleared of spying charges, but received four years for disclosing confidential documents and one year for propaganda against the system.
       "Neither my lawyers or I were called for the court session mentioned in the verdict. [...]
    [Jul 18, 06]
    • [Mass Enslavement of Christians in Spain -- 8th to 14th century]  Spain flag; www.edwardmooney.com/miniflags  

    Mass Enslavement of Christians in Spain

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , by Hugh Thomas, p 5, Received August 7, 2006, Dated July 2006
    JUST as the entire population of Carthage had been enslaved after its capture by Rome, so, in the early eighth century, the swift conquest of Visigothic Spain by the Moors was followed by mass enslavements of Christians.
       Thirty thousand Christian slaves are said to have been sent to Damascus, as the prescribed fifth of the booty due to the Caliph after the fall of the Visigoths.
       These slaves were fortunate, since the Koran allowed the killing of all males in cities which resisted, and merely the enslavement of their wives and children.
       Years later, Willibald, a Kentish pilgrim to the Holy Land, was helped by a Spanish 'Chamberlain to the King of the Saracens,' who may have been a survivor of these.
       In Medina it was for a long time easy to meet Christian slaves of Spanish origin.
       Abd ar-Rahman III, the most gifted of the caliphs in Cordoba, in Spain itself, employed nearly 4,000 Christian slaves in his palace of Madinat az-Zahra, outside that city.
       The great al-Mansur, Grand Vizier of that caliphate in the late tenth century, launched over fifty attacks on Christian territories, from all of which he brought back slaves: 30,000, it is said, after his conquest of Leon.
       When he died, at Medinaceli in 1002, his friends lamented that 'our provider of slaves is no more.'
       As late as 1311 Aragonese ambassadors at the General Council of the Church at Vienne claimed that there were still 30,000 Christian slaves in the kingdom of Granada. ... - Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1440-1870, Picador, 1997, p.37.
       [COMMENT: The third sentence mentions the Koran. Any reader is invited to quote the chapter and verse. ENDS.] [July 2006]
    • Early Muslim Conquests 

    Early Muslim Conquests

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , by Chase F. Robinson, p 9, Received August 7, 2006, Dated July 2006
    EARLY Muslims were less religious missionaries than they were religiously motivated imperialists.
       From the perspective of Muslim Arabs, then, God was delivering them from the 'ignorance' of pre-lslamic Arabia (the Jahiliyya), and installing them as rulers of most of the known world:  between ca. 645 and 715 AD, Islamic rule was established in a great swathe of lands that stretches from present-day Mauritania and Spain to the borders of India.
       Christians and Jews, by contrast, now belonged to obsolete faiths, and although their religious practices were tolerated (and occasionally even encouraged), their exercise of any political authority was unthinkable, since it would have perverted God's will
       ... compared to their prosperous, cultured and cosmopolitan neighbours in Byzantium and Sasanian Persia, the conquering Arabs were barbarians, just as Germanic tribesmen had been barbaric compared to the Roman societies they had overrun two centuries earlier.
       Their political role had been marginal in a region dominated by two superpowers, and they possessed no learning to speak of; if they claimed anything, it was only fearlessness, reckless abandon, and 'obstinate impetuosity', which is as good a translation for 'Jahiliyya' as any. - Chase F. Robinson, Islamic Historiography, Cambridge University Press, 2003
    [July 2006]
    • Catholic youth murdered in Pakistan.  Pakistan flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
    Fighting for justice after the death of Javed, aged 19

    CATHOLIC YOUTH MURDERED IN PAKISTAN

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , Catholic Life column, by JOHN PONTIFEX, p 13, July 2006
    A  PAKISTAN bishop has given an impassioned account of his struggle to achieve justice for the family of a man allegedly bludgeoned to death for failing to convert to Islam.
       Javed Anjum, 19, was visiting his mother's family in eastern Pakistan when he was reportedly lured to an Islamic school (madrassa) and called upon to renounce his Catholic faith.
       It is alleged that when he refused, he was severely beaten before being taken to a police station close to where the incident took place in Toba, 50 miles from Faisalabad city.
       Mr Anjum then dramatically revealed on video camera the identity of his attackers - an Islamic leader. Moments later, he lost consciousness and died.
       In his account of the tragedy, Bishop Joseph Coutts of Faisalabad told a conference in the Portuguese capital, Lisbon, that two years on from the attack, the case was in risk of disintegrating despite compelling prosecution evidence.
       Bishop Coutts, who confirmed the youngster in a ceremony only a few years ago, spoke of the 'struggle for justice' at the event organised by Aid to the Church in Need, the Catholic charity for persecuted and poverty-stricken Christians.
       According to reports, the man held chiefly responsible for the death was the rector of the madrassa in Toba, and that a prosecution was brought resulting in a trial.
       But the Church-funded lawyer fighting Mr Anjum's case has received threats, as have his wife and three young children who have fled to safety to the southern Pakistan city of Karachi.
       Bishop Coutts has intervened amid growing fears that the case could be quashed by Islamist-led intimidation and bribery of the courts.
       Mr Anjum's father worked for a brigadier in the Pakistani army and Bishop Coutts has appealed to him to help bring justice for his grieving employee.
       Speaking after the conference, Bishop Coutts said: 'We must keep up the pressure for justice.' He added: 'These Islamic groups are very powerful. They can make it look like an accident.'
       Bishop Coutts said: 'They must admit that they have done something wrong. They must admit that they have committed murder. This is against their religion.'
       The bishop said that the Muslims needed to be reminded that it was against their religion to bring about a conversion 'by compulsion'.
       But he added: 'These Muslims believe that if you convert somebody to Islam, you have reserved a place for yourself in heaven.'
       Bishop Coutts was speaking at a conference on religious freedom, coinciding with the launch of a book in Portuguese about persecution and discrimination.
       Among the other speakers was Dom Willem de Smet OSB, a Benedictine former President of ACN, who has served in monasteries and churches as far afield as Haiti and Syria.
       For information about Aid to the Church in Need in Australia contact Philip Collignon on 02-9679-1929. #
       [COMMENT: Although the bishop states that murder and forced conversions are against the religion of Muslims, these are not correct statements. COMMENT ENDS.]
       [DOCTRINE: 2:193 (or 189):- ... Fight the unbelievers until no other religion except Islam is left.
       8.12:- ... I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them. 9:5:- So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.
       48:16:- ...Ye shall do battle with them, or they shall profess Islam. ... DOCTRINE ENDS.] [July 2006 issue]

    • Who started this clash; started this war? 

    Who started this clash; started this war?

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , Words of Wafa Sultan in an Al-Jazeera TV interview of Feb 21 "06, republished on p 13, July 2006
    HOST: Who came up with the concept of a clash of civilizations? Was it not Samuel Huntington? It was not Bin Laden. I would like to discuss this issue, if you don't mind...
       Wafa Sultan: The Muslims are the ones who began using this expression. The Muslims are the ones who began the clash of civilizations. The Prophet of Islam said: 'I was ordered to fight the people until they believe in Allah and His Messenger.' When the Muslims divided the people into Muslims and non-Muslims, and called to fight the others until they believe in what they themselves believe, they started this clash, and began this war. In order to stop this war, they must reexamine their Islamic books and curricula, which are full of calls for takfir and fighting the infidels.
       My colleague has said that he never offends other people's beliefs. What civilization on the face of this earth allows him to call other people by names that they did not choose for themselves? Once, he calls them 'Ahl al-Dhimma,' another time he calls them the 'People of the Book,' and yet another time he compares them to apes and pigs, or he calls the Christians 'those who incur Allah's wrath.'
       Who told you that they are 'People of the Book'? They are not the People of the Book, they are people of many books. All the useful scientific books that you have today are theirs, the fruit of their free and creative thinking. What gives you the right to call them 'those who incur Allah's wrath' or 'those who have gone astray," and then come here and say that your religion commands you to refrain from offending the beliefs of others?
       - excerpts from an interview with Arab-American psychologist Wafa Sultan, aired on Al-Jazeera TV, February 21, 2006.
    [July 2006]
    • The Phoenix routs the Lion; Michel Aoun's Pivotal Role in Lebanon's Future  Lebanon flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 
    MIDDLE EAST
    Michel Aoun's Pivotal Role in Lebanon's Future

    THE PHOENIX ROUTS THE LION

     
    By PAUL STENHOUSE
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , pp 15-17, issue of July 2006
    ON October 13, 1990 Syrian soldiers occupied the ruins of the Lebanese Presidential Palace at Baabda, Beirut, after General Michel Aoun, the Prime Minister, had been forced to surrender and to take refuge in the French Embassy. With his wife and two young children Dany Chamoun, leader of the National Liberal Party, who had stood virtually alone in his support for General Aoun, was brutally murdered a week later, on October 21st, 1990. No one doubted the responsibility of Damascus - and the murders were seen as a warning to Lebanese politicians not to challenge Syrian control in the 'post-Aoun' future.
       A few days later, The Washington Post quoted an adviser to pro-Syrian President Hrawi [who succeeded Rene Mouawad assassinated on November 22, 1989 only 17 days after his appointment by Syria as Lebanese President] who paraphrased a message sent by President George Bush Snr to Syrian President Hafiz al-Assad.
       The message supported Syria's aerial bombardment of Baabda and eventual take-over of Lebanon, in return, it should be said, for Syria's dubious support against Saddam Hussein during the 1990-1991 war in the Persian Gulf against Iraq:
    'If the battle [for Baabda] is prolonged, we will have to express our regret over the continued violence in Lebanon. If you fail, we will not condemn the action but will'call on the Lebanese to dialogue in order to sort out their differences. Israel will not interfere as long as Syria does not approach South Lebanon or threaten [Israel's] security'. 1
       Michel Aoun, a Maronite Catholic, had been appointed Prime Minister of Lebanon on September 23rd 1988 by the then out-going President Amin Gemayal whose term of office expired fifteen minutes later. Even though the appointment was in accord with the Constitution, opposition from Syria and Syrian allies in West Beirut, especially Selim al-Hoss the former Prime Minister, resulted in rival governments being set up: one under al-Hoss in [Muslim] West Beirut, and the other under General Aoun in [Christian] East Beirut.
      [Picture] General Aoun, Commander of the Lebanese Army, in Beirut in August 1988, less than a month before his appointment as Prime Minister.  
       On October 13 - a dark day for Lebanese democracy and independence - the pretence of Syrian benevolence towards its militarily weak neighbour was dropped, and the face of the rapacious Syrian lion (Assad means lion, or a beast of prey, in Arabic) was bared for all to see.
       Had Aoun said, as Mahler is supposed to have said in a moment of depression at the relative lack of success of his symphonies in his lifetime 'My time will come,' he would have been right.
       He had been right when he wrested power from the militias that controlled most of Lebanon. He seized the port of Beirut from the Christian militia, the Forces Libanaises, in February 1989. Then he blockaded the illegal ports controlled by pro-Syrian Druze and Shi'ite militia. This was the first time that the Lebanese Government had succeeded in controlling these areas since the phony Syrian-backed civil-war broke out in 1975.
       As soon as Aoun showed signs of asserting Lebanese sovereignty over Lebanese territory, Syria responded by shelling East Beirut. Aoun then did what President Suleiman Frangieh should have done in 1976 - declared openly that Syria was the problem and demanded the withdrawal of Syria from Lebanon. Despite the devastation wreaked by the Syrians over the next six months of open war, and the exodus of over a million people from Beirut, the mood across confessional boundaries was defiant and exultant. The Washington Post declared:
    'Aoun has reached across religious ' boundaries and into the hearts of many Lebanese. If the groundswell of his public support endures through more war and destruction, many observers say, Aoun could go down as a revolutionary hero in Lebanon's history.' 2
    [.. And obtain an Annals to check the footnotes and read the rest] [July 2006]
    • The Muslim Brotherhood 

      The Muslim Brotherhood  

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 22, issue of July 2006
    GIVEN that political subjugation of non-Muslims is built into Islamic law, and that the M[uslim] B[rotherhood] desires to return to 'classical Islam,' it is not surprising that the organization was the fountainhead from which all Sunni terrorist organizations have flowed.
       Its offspring include AI-Qaeda, HAMAS, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Gamaat Islamiyyah, the Philippine Abu Sayyaf group, and the Algerian Group for Preaching and Combat (GSPC) and Armed Islamic Group (GIA).
       Between 1992-1998, the Algerian terrorists murdered an estimated 200,000 people.
       Today, according to Italian security agencies, and as reported by Kathryn Haahr-Escolano of the Center for Intelligence Research and Analysis, GSPC cells in Italy not only target Italy, but 'employ a dual-track approach to planning terrorist attacks and provide support infrastructure - safe houses, communications, weapons procurement and documentation - to GSPC networks in other European countries.'
       The ties of all these terrorist groups to the MB are evident from their identical strategies and overall Islamist agenda, and they often carry out joint operations.

       -- Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen, FrontPageMagazine.com , June 16, 2006.
    [Issue: July 2006]
    • Not banned in Australia 

      Not banned in Australia  

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 24, issue of July 2006
    IN Egypt, where the [Muslim Brotherhood] was founded in 1928 and later banned, the Brotherhood worked under the Islamic doctrine of "concealment" [kitman] in order to "Islamize" the country.
       In the 1930's and 1940's, the MB collaborated with the Nazis. Hajj Amin al-Husseini, the MB chief in British Mandate Palestine, strongly supported Arab links with the Nazis, particularly in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq, where he backed the shortlived pro-Nazi regime of Rashid All al-Gailani in 1941.
       In Egypt too, the MB orchestrated riots, occupied police stations and attempted coups d'etat.
       Following their failed 1954 attempt to assassinate Gamal Abdel Nasser, MB loyalists fled Egypt to the universities of Saudi Arabia, where they were granted business monopolies to finance their future reemergence; in 1961 the sympathetic King Sa'ud even funded their establishment of the Islamic University in Medina.
       In October 1981, an MB offshoot group assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.
       In the last decade alone, MB offspring including Gama'a al-Islamiya and the Abdullah Azzam Brigades repeatedly attacked Western tourists, killing hundreds and wounding many more.
       Since the history of the MB is full of instigating civil wars and committing atrocities in countries such as Egypt, Syria, Sudan and Algeria, their expansion and success elsewhere is destined to wreak more havoc and destabilize every nation in which they are allowed to operate freely.

       -- Rachel Ehrenfeld and Alyssa A. Lappen, FrontPageMagazine.com , June 16, 2006.
       NOTE: The square brackets "[" and "]" above are as printed in the magazine. [Issue: July 2006]
    • Islam and the Slave Trade 

      Islam and the Slave Trade  

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 30, issue of July 2006
    CARAVAN routes across the Sahara had existed from recorded times, and slaves formed a part of Africa's export trade to the Mediterranean from pre-Roman to modern times.
       But a new dimension to that trade occurred with the expansion of Islam in the 8th century. As the Islamic world spread into India and the eastern Mediterranean, Islamic merchants came to play an ever more important part in the African slave trade.
       The frontier zones of the sub-Saharan savannas, the Red Sea region, and the east coast ports on the Indian Ocean in turn became major centers for the expansion of Muslim influence.
       From the 9th to the 15th century a rather steady international slave trade occurred, with the majority of forced migrants being women and children.
       Some six major and often interlocking caravan routes and another two major coastal regions may have accounted for as many as 5,000 to 10,000 slaves per annum in the period from 800 to 1600 A.D.
       The primary route remained North Africa, followed in order of importance by the Red Sea, and the East African trades.

       - Herbert S. Klein, African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean, OUP, 1986, pp.10-11.
    [Issue: July 2006]
    • Stop Bombing Lebanon 

      Stop Bombing Lebanon  

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 34, issue of July 2006
    AS we go to press Israel has commenced bombing Beirut and South Lebanon in her efforts to eliminate the leadership and military resources of the Shiite Hizballah [Party of God] militia based in south Lebanon.
       Annals deplores this escalation of hostilities. Lebanon -an unwilling host to the Shiite militia whose indiscriminate shelling of Israeli settlements and kidnapping of Israeli soldiers has provoked this response - is a soft target, and the Israelis have over-reacted on this, as on other occasions, to provocation. Like many other countries, they seem still to have difficulty in identifying their real enemies.
       The Holy Father has spelled it out: 'the Lebanese have the right to see the integrity and sovereignty of their country respected, the Israelis the right to live in peace in their State, and the Palestinians have the right to have their own free and sovereign homeland'. Ed.
       NOTE: The square brackets "[" and "]" above are as printed in the magazine. [Issue: July 2006]
    • The Children's Crusade [1212 AD] 

      The Children's Crusade [1212 AD]*  

     
       Annals Australasia, annalsaust ralasia@nareg. com.au , p 39, issue of July 2006
    THE [Children] Crusaders from France experienced a nearly similar fate [to those from Germany]; a very slender portion of them returned: the rest either perished in the waves, or were preyed upon by two Marseilles merchants, Hugh Ferrers and William Porcus, who carried on a trade with the Saracens, of which the sale of young boys formed a considerable part.
       No opportunity for an advantageous speculation could be more favourable; they offered to transport to the East all the pilgrims who arrived at Marseilles, without any kind of charge for the voyage; assigning piety as the motive for this act of generosity.
       This proposition was joyfully accepted; and seven vessels, laden with these pilgrims, set sail for the coast of Syria. At the end of two days, when the ships were off the isle of St. Peter, near the rock of the Recluse, a violent tempest arose, and the sea swallowed up two of them, with all the passengers on board.
       The other five vessels arrived at Bugia and Alexandria, and the young Crusaders were all sold to the Saracens or to slave-merchants.
       The caliph bought forty of them, all of whom were clerics, and caused them to be brought up with great care in a place set apart for the purpose: twelve of the others perished as martyrs, being unwilling to renounce their religion.
       None of the clerics purchased by the caliph, according to the account of one of them who afterwards obtained his liberty, embraced the worship of Mahomet - all, faithful to the religion of their fathers, practised it constantly in tears and slavery.
       Hugh and William having at a later period formed the project of assassinating [the Emperor] Frederick, were discovered, and perished in an ignominious manner, with three Saracens, their accomplices, receiving, in this miserable end, the wages due to their treachery.
       Pope Gregory IX afterwards caused a church to be built in the island of St. Peter, in honour of those who were shipwrecked, and instituted twelve canonships to provide for the duties of it.
       In the time of Alberic the spot was still pointed out where the bodies cast up by the waves were buried. * The Children's Crusade, a popular movement which arose spontaneously, with little support from the clergy, with the intention of recovering Jerusalem for Christians. This account is furnished by the Chronicle of the Cistercian monk Alberic which ends in 1241 AD; it is confirmed by the Augustinian Thomas of Champré [1201-1270 AD] and the English Franciscan Roger Bacon [1214-1294 AD]. See Michaud's History of the Crusades, trans. W. Robson, vol. 3, London 1852, Appendix p. 445.
       NOTE: The square brackets "[" and "]" above are as printed in the magazine.
       [COMMENT: Well, the Webmaster doesn't believe that The Children's Crusade was "a popular movement which arose spontaneously, with little support from the clergy."  What sensible mother or father would send their children away from home and from the care of adults they trusted, to go across the oceans to a far-away land, unless captivated by some sort of hysterical fervour?  What parish clergy today would not preach thunderous sermons against such a ridiculous venture?  Think!  It is obvious it was a madcap idea of Church ideologues.   END.] [Issue: July 2006]

    • [Mel Gibson attacks Judaists, uses impure language; later backflips.]  United  States of America flag; Mooney's MiniFlags 

    Mel Gibson DUI incident

     
    From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
       Wikipedia (the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit), http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/ Mel_Gibson_ DUI_incident , Date of occurrence July 28, 2006
       [NOTE: Except for the "mugshot," do NOT click the internal links.  ENDS.]
       MALIBU, California, U.S.A.:
      [Picture] Mel Gibson's mugshot from his July 28, 2006 arrest for DUI.   
       On July 28, 2006, at 2:36am PDT,[1] American actor, director, and producer Mel Gibson was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence while speeding (87 miles per hour in a 45-mph zone) in his 2006 Lexus LS 430[2] on Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California.[3] The arrest was supported by blood-alcohol testing reported as "0.12%" (the state's legal limit is 0.08%) and an open container, 750ml at 75% full, labeled "Cazadores Tequila".[4] During the incident, Gibson was described as cooperative until arrested, then became threatening, shouting anti-Semitic remarks and asking "Are you a Jew?" to the arresting officer, Deputy James Mee, who is Jewish[5]; more officers met the patrol car at the station, and Gibson reportedly made anti-social remarks to other officers.[4][6] On balance, there was no report of what the officers said that could have angered Gibson, but he was described as "cooperative" until told he was being arrested for drunk driving by Deputy James Mee. Gibson was videotaped by Sgt. T. Palmer upon reaching the police station.[4] He asked her, "What are you looking at, sugartits?" Mel Gibson's bail was set at $5,000, he was released near 9am PDT[1][7] and driven 10 miles in a marked patrol car [8] to retrieve his Lexus sedan.
       The incident almost immediately prompted a small media frenzy (in both the regular news media and satrical shows), becoming somewhat infamous almost overnight and prompting two separate public apologies from Gibson. #
    http://www.multiline.com.au/~johnm/submit/subchron5.htm#mel
       [NOTE: Except for the "mugshot," do NOT click the internal links.  The Webmaster might tackle the task of making them work later; in the meantime go to the source Wikipedia webpage, please.   ENDS.]
       [RECAP.: Gibson was described as cooperative until arrested, then became threatening, shouting anti-Semitic remarks and asking "Are you a Jew ... He asked her, "What are you looking at, sugartits?" ENDS.]
       [COMMENT: His backflip is similar to the previous one of Marlon Brando.  See newsitems around April 9, 1996.
       All people who try to blame the Jews / Judaists for the world's wars ought to ask themselves if Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Genghis Khan, and Zulu King Shaka were Jewish.  And don't the goyim/Gentiles support the wars, and allow the poor in their communities to become cannon fodder?   COMMENT ENDS.]
       ["ANTI-SEMITIC": The Judaists or Jews are just one of the several Semitic peoples, some using Semitic languages.  Arabs are Semites.  So are several other peoples.  The term "anti-semitic" has been used as a political "swearword" to stifle criticism of certain policies.  It is an imprecise and "loaded" word. &nbps; ENDS.] [Jul 28, 06]

    • [Mel Gibson's anti-Jewish remarks cited in official police report.] 

    Mel Gibson’s anti-Semitic remarks cited in official police report

     
       SFGate.com , www.sfgate. com/cgi-bin/ article.cgi? f=/n/a/ 2006/07/31/ entertainment/ e143903D69. DTL&type= politics , By JEREMIAH MARQUEZ, Associated Press Writer, (AP Entertainment Writer Sandy Cohen contributed to this report), Monday, July 31, 2006
       LOS ANGELES (AP), (07-31) 15:15 PDT: An official police report on Mel Gibson's arrest on drunken driving charges substantiates claims that he made anti-Semitic remarks and threatened a deputy, a law enforcement official said Monday.
       On Monday, Sheriff's Department officials sent prosecutors their case, which also says a tequila bottle was found in Gibson's car when he was pulled over on the Pacific Coast Highway.
       Gibson had released a lengthy statement Saturday apologizing for saying "despicable" things to sheriff's deputies when he was arrested, but he did not elaborate. The entertainment Web site TMZ.com had reported that the sheriff's department was considering eliminating the anti-Semitic remarks from its official report.
       The report forwarded to prosecutors cites Gibson as making disparaging comments about Jews, according to the law enforcement official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.
       TMZ reported that Gibson said, "The Jews are responsible for all the wars in the world," and asked the arresting officer, "Are you a Jew?"
       The district attorney's office confirmed prosecutors had received the case and it was under review. A tentative arraignment date was set for Sept. 28.
       A sheriff's spokesman Monday defended the department's handling of the case.