Wednesday, December 31, 2003

GIVE ME A BREAK: In Orange County in 1987, three veterans of the Afghan Jihad against the Soviets visited Orange County. They were greeted at John Wayne Airport with this sign: "Welcome to Orange County, Wounded Afghan Mujahideen." It didn't make self-righteous bloggers or Jewish rabbis upset. Things and times have changed. And how!

Take Rabbi Cooper. Instead of speaking out against real anti-Semitism, he whines and bitches about the names of Muslim football teams in California.

The issue is these are words that are linked to real terrorists, real threats, real murders today," said Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

"There shouldn't be young Americans chanting the name Mujahideen as American soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq are put in danger and attacked daily," Cooper said. "As for Intifada, it has been a disaster for the Palestinians and the nearly 1,000 Israeli children and parents murdered by suicide bombers."
Cooper happily ignores the fact that Afghan and Iraqi Muslims risk their lives alongside those same American soldiers. The same goes for the thousand dead Israelis. At last count, there were about 700 of them, alongside more than 2,100 murdered Palestinians.

Give me a break! It's just some Muslim kids declaring themselves warriors in a nice game of football. Other kids named themselves after Snoop Dogg. Give it a rest, will ya? Nobody called themselves "Fighter of the Zionists," "Sheikh Yassin's Soldiers" or "al-Qaeda Supermartyrs."

Now, go read the Top 10 Good News Stories of 2003 and have a happy New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2003

9/11 REDO: You know what the attempts on Pervez Musharraf's life made me think of? Ahmed Shah Masood. Anyone with a good memory (in general, or of this blog) would remember the assassination of the Northern Alliance leader on September 9th 2001. Two days later, the cities of New York and Arlington were attacked. I don't think it would be paranoid to assume that we may be facing the same kind of scenario sooner or later. Hopefully we can avoid this for logical reasons but also because our good friend Pervez (plus a big element of the military) is the only obstacle in al-Qaeda's goal to obtain the bomb, especially with a good amount of men with black turbans on motorcycles roaming freely.

RAMADAN'S THE REAL DEAL: Time to catch up with Tariq Ramadan, the man who's supposed to satisfy those calling for Islamic "reformation" yet is bitterly hated. I stumbled on to this Voice of America article, which describes a debate between Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy, far-right leader Jean-Marie Le Pen, and Tariq Ramadan.

Mr. Kaci says Mr. Ramadan's claims to advocate a modern, moderate interpretation of Islam are only for Western consumption. The politician says when Mr. Ramadan speaks to young Muslims living in Europe his message is exactly the opposite.

Indeed, Mr. Ramadan's remarks offer support for critics and supporters alike. He blasts the French government for trying to cut French Muslims off from their religious heritage, for example, by barring girls from wearing headscarves at public schools. At the same time, he tells French Muslims to integrate into French society.
The sad thing is that this is their best shot: Ramadan opposes the French government's decision to ban scarves and "other" religious symbols at public schools which makes him, his opponents say, an extremist. I've taken a look around the web but I haven't seen a single columnist critical of Islam (or militant Islam for that matter) to also denounce the decision. No, not even Miss (or is it Mrs.?) West.

Speaking of the "critics" of Islam, Jesse Taylor (who, strangly, still hasn't been offered a job by anyone) wrote this not to long ago:
hat I wonder, however, is how the Franco/Islamophobes (they're the same thing, y'know) will reply to this. It's France...so it's bad. But they're punishing Muslims...so it's good. They're punishing Jews and Christians, though...so it's bad. But they're trying to stop anti-Semitism by clamping down on Islam...so it's good.

Eh. Just flip a coin. Heads, Muslims suck, tails, the French suck. Such hard decisions when your hate of everyone comes into conflict with your hate of everyone else...
The man's a genius. By the way, the same goes for the Crusades. Sure, they kept Europe from being Muslim and speaking Arabic, but they also killed all the Jews they could find along the way. Flip a coin again?

NOTE: Ramadan has captured my "heart and mind" too, I can say. I ordered myself his book as a Christmas gift. If you're reading this at a bookstore, go take a look at page 29. It has a nice chart on the different kind of Salafis. It's the only chart on Islam that I've found helpful.

Friday, December 26, 2003

LOYA JIRGA UPDATE: Time for an update. And the people of the Washington Times were right. He's not the the "excellent power-broker" that he was labeled, but he seemed to get everyone behind him. This Christian Science Monitor piece summarizes everything nicely.

The Pashtuns:

Another factor in Karzai's success was his ability to unite the Pashtuns, who make up 47 percent of the delegates, into a single block, even as the Tajiks fragmented. Some delegates have complained "that the Pashtuns are throwing their weight around,'' one observer said.

"To my Tajik brothers I say, 'you will get the rights you are due and not more,'" said Abdul Hakeem Muneeb, a delegate whose views were typical of many Pashtuns.
The Pashtuns were bothered by the fact that Karzai is America's puppet, but they were satisfied nonetheless. He's still their man and a Pashtun is a Pashtun after all, right?

The Tajiks/Northern Alliance:
Many who opposed Karzai's draft constitution, particularly Northern Alliance leaders in the government, were won over by debate, lobbying, and political horse-trading in the early days of the loya jirga, which began Dec. 15.

For example, Defense Minister Mohammed Qasim Fahim, the leader of the ethnic Tajik mujahideen who dominate the government, was considering whether to challenge Karzai. Now, "he agrees with Karzai and he supports a presidential system,'' says Brigadier Mar Jan, a spokesman for Mr. Fahim.

"In Afghanistan it is mostly a matter of what people sense you are promising or sense you are threatening," explained a Western diplomat who asked not to be named. "Fahim sensed he would be given the post of vice president" after elections next year.
The Tajiks aren't satisfied with losing their power to the Pashtuns but the post of Vice-Presidency for Fahim as an appeasement may have helped. And the fact, that Fahim's tanks still control Kabul.

The Mujahedin: I'm not sure how, but I suppose they've thrown their weight behind Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, a conservative and piratical warlord.
Early last week, when a group of delegates, most from the Jamiat Islami party, protested the appointments, Mr. Sayyaf defended Karzai, in starkly Islamic terms, as the country's "emir." Convention chairman Sibghatullah Mujaddedi seconded the theme, telling the rebelling delegates that as "ululamr,'' or emir, Karzai had a right to appoint his own delegates.
More worrisome though, is the reality of Sayyaf as head the new judiciary.

A final analysis later on.

Thursday, December 25, 2003

IN BAD FAITH: Shame on the editors of the New York Times Magazine for allowing self-hating Muslim lesbian Irshad Manji in their magazine. Take the first question and her answer for example:

Q: Your book, ''The Trouble With Islam'' is a best seller in Canada, where you live, and is due out here in January. So what is the trouble with Islam?

A: In my view, ever since the birth of my religion, with few exceptions, individual lives have been too small and the lies Muslims tell have been too big.
Our lies are too big? I'm also astonished by the fact that her book is a best seller. Amazing.

Oh, and she's a lesbian.
Q: Homosexuality is not permitted in Islam. How do you reconcile your open homosexuality with your faith?

A: I accept the possibility that my sexual orientation might be a sin. But only my creator can make that judgment. But here's a question: The Koran says that everything God made is, quote, excellent, and that nothing God has made is, quote, in vain. If the creator did not wish to create me, a lesbian, then why didn't he create somebody else in my place? And given how explicit the Koran is that God has deliberately designed the world's breathtaking multiplicity, I wonder how my critics can justify their utter condemnation of homosexuality.
Uhm, by quoting the Qu'ran maybe? As Almighty Allah revealed in the Holy Qur'an:
"And Lot! (Remember) when he said unto his folk: Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?" -- [7:80]

"Lo! ye come with lust unto men instead of women. Nay, but ye are wanton folk." -- [7:81]
Let's face it: Manji's a Muslim-hating, self-promoting wannabe. When you bring up "Muslim complicity in the Holocaust" in your book, it's not a "searing critique" you give but more gunpowder to the Muslim-bashers.

Wednesday, December 24, 2003

Last week I was watching this show called "This is America with Dennis Wholey." It wasn't the first time I caught it but it was the first time I didn't skip it. I saw a lady called Diana West. She's a conservative columnist for the Washington Times who's been writing about Islam, with hostile, for the past two years. Also at the table discussing current affairs were Pat Buchanan, E.J. Dionne, Jr. and Clarence Page. At one point Page said along the lines of: "Let's not make enemies out of the Islamic World... Jordan, for example, is not a theocracy. West interrupted by saying: "But honor killings can't be outlawed..." Apparently the other guests were just as ill-informed, deceptive and dimwitted as West, and didn't respond to the erroneuous and slanderous claim of link between Islam and honor killings.

I won't be watching Dennis Wholey, but I will certainly be reading Diana West. She's on the second to last page of the A-Section of the Washington Times. I already got myself a free subscription.

THE LOYA JIRGA: It seems like Hamid Karzai has proved himself to be an excellent power-broker. Uhm, Or not. So either Karzai has shamelessly adopted to the current culture of corruption... or is still weak and defiantly opting to have the U.S. as his only ally. I don't know, but I'd bet on the latter. Consider the following from the same Washington Times article that argues how great Karzai is:

"This is a short-term strategy," said Vikram Parekh of the International Crisis Group, an independent think tank. "It doesn't give him long-term political support, and it doesn't build a representative political system...
I currently have an uncle in residening in Kabul temporarily whom I'm have contact with. More on this soon.

In other news, some Afghan newspapers are reporting that President Bush has agreed to visit Kabul after Karzai spoke to him on the phone. Just a rumor and unconfirmed. But reporting it here in just in case...

CUTE CHRIS: Avid readers know I'm an, well, avid Hitchens-basher. But in his latest piece for Slate, Hitchens... commits the ultimate sin.

Then it would be nice if Gen. Ariel Sharon was asked to declare his own stocks of nuclear weapons and was questioned rather closely about what contribution they make to regional security. For a start, where was Israel thinking of using such devices and under what circumstances? In the war against jihad, Israeli nuclear weapons are even more useless than our own. Precision-guided munitions, which take out the tyrant and spare the population, are the wave of the future.
Hitchens argues that it was the war on Iraq that convinced the Colonel to side with the good guys. Recent history argues differently. The Colonel has been trying to join the international community for the past 10 years. He handed over the two Libyan agents responsible for the Pan Am bombing to Scotland (who prosected the two in a Scottish court in Zeist, the Netherlands) and repayed its victims.

Back to Chris. I like his reference to Sharon as General. It's cute.

Sunday, December 14, 2003

HOORAY: We got him. Good news, period.

On a day when some liberal bloggers shoot themselves in the foot, Andrew Sullivan does too by saying this:

This event must, of course, come as a terrible blow to many ordinary Arabs, who have been fed for years on the possibility that Saddam might be the next Caliph.
How can such an highly educated man be typing this kind of crap? The mind boggles.

I haven't blogged in the past two weeks and I don't expect to until around Christmas. Later.

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

"TRAITOR" WOULD BE APT: Right-wing magazine Frontpage exposes and details Grover Norquist’s dealings with terrorists. Not only did he support the enemy and help the so-called Fifth Column, he helped tarnish the image of Muslims in the United States. For that, he should be forcefully condemned and investigated.

Although Reynolds tries to find a way to blame Democrats in the process, he has missed Atrios’ exposé weeks ago.

Sunday, December 07, 2003

SECULAR EXTREMISM: I can't understand the amount of crap coming from France. A 12 year old girl was expelled for--get this--insisting to wear clothes "of ostentatious religious sign on purpose to harass her colleagues, which runs counter to the secular nature of the school." Furthermore, Jacques Chirac said there's "something aggressive" about the hijab. Oh, and it's also "ostentatious [sic] signs of religious proselytism." Edit your dictionaries, people.

Hijab: weapon of harassment; agressive; sign of religious proselytism

Al-Muhajabah has an excellent response. Kudos, once again. Makes your blood boil, doesn't it? If the Muslim ghettos in France start to riot, it'll be for the good. A fatwa will do some good too.

UPDATE: Say shalom to Grand Rabbi Joseph Sitruk! Kudos to the Rabbi for opposing militant secularism.

HE DOESN'T WANT MONEY: How do you know when people haven't listened to hip-hop? When they claim that Eminem is threathening the President's life. These are the alleged lyrics:

Fuck money/
I don't rap for dead presidents/
I'd rather see the president dead/
"Dead presidents" refers to the dead Presidents on bills, hence "fuck money." Get it? There's a group called "Dead Prez" and another called "Dead Presidents." Dead Prez raps about the white order and how to defeat it. (They actually called Bush as bad as bin Laden.) Dead Presidents raps mostly about pimping, hos and bitches. And how to make money, of course.

Stick to blogging about how Howard Dean is an appeaser to the Islamofascists and how liberals are destroying this country. It's amusing enough.

SULLIVAN WELCOMES KILLING OF MUSLIMS: I never realized that Andrew Sullivan regularly writes for the Washington Times--better known as the "Moonie Times" because of its infamous owner. But thanks to the good people of Sullywatch and Bob Somerby, I found my way to last Friday's op-ed by Sully. But Sully's standard, many liberals, is so low that it's not an odd thing to be dissappointed after reading him. This time, however, the dissappointment is stranger than usual. Or more hateful and uglier than usual.

It might seem odd, but this past week has made me more optimistic about the chances of success in Iraq. I didn't see it that way at first, because the news of the Ramadan suicide bombing campaign seemed so dispiriting. But, onreflection, thesehideous murders mark a new era. For the first time, the Islamist forces of terror are targeting Arabs. They are targeting innocent civilians in Iraq; and they are doing so with no concern for any religious propriety or military decency. They have bombed mosques and the International Red Cross. At some point, Iraqis will see something that was obscured before. These terrorists are the enemies of Arab self-government, of Arab democracy, of Arab freedom and of Islam itself. While they targeted Western targets and murdered Westerners, this truth was obscured. Now it isn't. Iraqis are beginning to see this more clearly; and the free press in that country will help illuminate it even more.
Hey, Roger Simon, who's being the pro-fascist now?

Anyway, the basic message: "Muslims need to experience the terror that we poor Jews, Christians and atheists experience. That'll teach 'em." Yeah... because oppression by their own governments for, well, as long as they've lived, isn't enough right? Oh, and the piece is titled "Reasons to be cheerful." Disgusting, indeed. Sullivan has managed to get himself on the same-level as those who sent this guy hate-mail because of his sexuality.

Friday, December 05, 2003

TOM FRENCH-FRIED MAN: Has Thomas Friedman been reading Tacitus? After reading his latest op-ed, one would suspect so.

ISLAM WILL DESTROY THE LEFT: I found this rather strange denounciation of the anti-war people as "pro-fascists" by Roger Simon, who than changes course a bit and says:

What is presently going on in Europe is the hijacking of the left by the Islamic cause, an Alice-in-Wonderland inversion of reality considering Islam's institutionalized oppression of women and homosexuals, once mainstays of the left (not to mention the separation of church and state, etc.). People here who support the European left are essentially agreeing, or at least acquiescing, with this, whether they like or not. It is time to face reality, folks. That's why I used such a harsh (and, yes, insulting) term as "pro-fascist."
I don't know if it's me, but I don't quite understand what point is being made.

The blog being linked to is called "Belmont Club." The author touches upon the subject of Tariq Ramadan's admission to the European Social Forum--a moderate Muslim joining the ranks of the Left is horrific, of course--which, according to the author, translates into the overtaking of the left by Islam. (The author put it more bluntly: the Left is "staring up at a patch of ceiling from the bottom of an Islamic dustbin.")

And evidence of all this? Tariq. Ramadan. His grandfather was the founder of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and his brother is somehow linked to an al-Qaeda financier, which makes Ramadan an evil radical. Not quite so. He's an outspoken critic of anti-Semitism and calls for the integration of disaffected Muslim populations in Europe. Recently, he criticized a number of Jewish intellectuals and one non-Jewish intellectual (an half-assed attack, I admit) for supporting the war in Iraq.

Deride the European left all you want, although I find it a waste of time. I have one question, however: How does the admission of Ramadan, a renowned reformist, at an anti-globalism conference translate into support of the "oppression of women and homosexuals." Had there been posters of Osama bin Laden or Mohammad Atta all over the place, than I'd have agreed with you. But that wasn't the case.

NOTE: Ramadan sees a concern for the rights of the poor as integral to Islam, which also prohibits interest-bearing loans, such as those from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. This train of thought is the one that leads Ramadan to be active in Europe's antiglobalization movement.

Furthermore, in the wake of the controversy three Socialist Party leaders disowned their collaboration with Ramadan in the antiglobalization movement, writing in Le Nouvel Observateur that Ramadan preached hate and echoed the rhetoric of far-right leader Jean-Marie LePen, a stance only to accomodate political correctness.

As for the accuastion of him being connected to Al-Qaeda: the Swiss government has cleared him of suspicion and Ramadan has continued to condemn terrorism.

GENEVA ACCORDS: My thoughts on the Geneva Accords: The most common misconception about the Accords is that it’s a replacement of the (currently half-dead) Roadmap, but it’s not. The Accords are complimentary to the Roadmap and it serves as the final plan which resolves all the issues that Oslo didn’t touch—Jerusalem, the refugees, the borders, etc. This is what I said a while ago:

You need to deal with the issues and root causes. The current roadmap lacks a destination. Freeze the settlements? Alright. Ending terrorism? Of course. So what comes next? What about Jerusalem? How do the millions of refugees end up? How are you going to deal with the wall? What are the borders going to be? How are we going to guarantee to security? If none of these issues are addressed, we're going to end up in destination "unknown”… If issues aren't solved, you are left with a process without substance and a roadmap to nowhere.
The Accords simply add the missing piece of the puzzle—and a (previously missing) destination for the Roadmap.

DAMNIT: An assistant professor of Philosophy (!) writes a piece on why Islam needs a pope and it automatically translates into expert opinion. Glenn, Andrew: I beg you. Stick to blogging about South Park and gay-marriage alright? Thanks.

Monday, December 01, 2003

PUBLIC SERVINCE ANNOUNCEMENT: There will be light blogging into the coming weeks and I'll be posting on the weekends only.