Saturday, June 10, 2006

Where did he go?

E. M. Zanotti posted this humorous clip Samantha Bee talks about the major job the Virgin Wrangler in Muslim Heaven must have had to go through.

The clip is very funny, but remember, Zarquawi killed a lot of Muslims, and Surat an-Nisa,093 (Quran 4.93) says "If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (For ever): And the wrath and the curse of Allah are upon him, and a dreadful penalty is prepared for him."


Teacher witnessed transformation of some bomb-plot suspects

CBC News reported A Muslim religious leader in Toronto who knows some of those charged in the suspected bomb plot says the young men underwent rapid transformations from normal Canadian teenagers to radicalized introverts.... Amiruddin says Khalid used to come to his mosque to pray, sometimes in the company of Zakaria Amara and Fahim Ahmad, two of the alleged ringleaders. "They would enter into the mosque to pray, and they would pray in a very aggressive manner, and they would come in military fatigues and military touques and stuff. It looked to me that they were watching a lot of those Chechnyan jihad videos online and stuff."

Moderate Muslims need to identify such people to the authorities.
Amiruddin is a teacher of Sufism, a traditional brand of Islam that rejects the ideology of jihad. Amiruddin says the group was seduced by hardline propaganda financed by the Saudi government and promoting a strict, Wahhabi brand of Islam. He says the Saudis have flooded Canada with free Qur'ans, laced with jihadist commentary.
Our "friends" the Saudis. Protecting their behinds by exporting radicalism, and encouraging the radicals in their country to go join the global jihad.
"In the back of these Qur'ans that are being published in Saudi Arabia, you have basically essays on the need for offensive jihad and the legitimacy of offensive jihad and things like that. Very alarming stuff," he said. Amiruddin said many mainstream Muslim organizations in Canada are really part of the problem, standing by as extremist propaganda spreads in the mosques.
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing
He cites the Al-Rahman centre in Mississauga, Ont., which he links to the Al-Maghrib Institute, which runs a popular educational website. It's nominally run out of Ottawa, but Amiruddin says it's really a Saudi operation. Amiruddin says Khalid underwent a rapid transition from a clean-cut Canadian teenager to a long-haired, radicalized introvert. He says the young men would pray by themselves, and try to recruit younger teens to the fundamentalist Wahhabi view.

Robert Spencer blogged What did Amiruddin do to try to stop that recruitment? Did he implement a comprehensive program to teach young Muslims the errors of the "Wahhabi view"? Or did he just stand by passively?


Iraq war foe Murtha eyes Democratic leadership

Reuters reported Rep. John Murtha, an outspoken opponent of the war in Iraq, unexpectedly announced on Friday he will run for the No. 2 leadership post in the U.S. House of Representatives if Democrats regain control of that chamber in elections this fall.

The rumor is that Pelosi urged him to do this, to prevent a moderate like Hoyer from getting the post.
"If we prevail as I hope and know we will and return to the majority this next Congress, I have decided to run for the open seat of the majority leader," Murtha, a Pennsylvanian, said in a letter sent to House Democrats.
This really shows how the extreme left wing of the Democratic party has taken over that party.
"I would appreciate your consideration and vote and look forward to speaking to you personally about my decision," Murtha said in the letter. The announcement from the decorated Marine veteran appeared to take his party and Capitol Hill by surprise. The man who holds the No. 2 position in the Democratic caucus, Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, immediately made clear he had no intention of stepping aside.

Mark Noonan blogged If the Democrats do win, then there would really be nothing more appropiate than to have a Speaker who is a left-coast liberal, and a Majority Leader who has betrayed our men and women in uniform - it would exemplify the modern Democratic Party.

We will, of course, be spared a Majority Leader Murtha - the chances of the GOP actually losing its majority to the pack of losers and traitors who make up the Democratic leadership is just about nil, but Murtha's annoucement does show how the treasonous, so-called "anti-war" left is completely taking over the Democratic Party.

Lawhawk blogged This move could potentially expose just how strong or weak the anti-war left of the Democrat party truly is. And do Democrats nationally want to head in this direction? Apparently not, as some in the caucus are quite pissed at Murtha's stunt. They are trying to unify the party so that they can win in November, and now GOPers can smear the entire party with a broad brush by latching onto Murtha's statements. Or Pete Stark, or any of the other far left anti-war types who have railed against the courageous efforts of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan who are fighting to eliminate terrorists where they hide - not deal with them on our own soil.

Lorie Byrd blogged When I first heard that Murtha planned to run for majority leaderr, I thought it was a joke, but evidently it is for real. I can't help but wonder how much of the grandstanding he has done over the past year, both during unveiling his "cut and run" plan and declaring U.S. troops cold-blooded killers, was done more out of political posturing than conviction. I still don't think Democrats have a great chance of regaining their majority in the House, but the elections are still five months from now and in politics that is an eternity. I guess anything is possible. Is attacking the military really the best way, though, to run for majority leader? Maybe it is on the Democrat side of the aisle.

Blue Crab blogged Well, we here at Blue Crab Boulevard heartily endorse that John Murtha is, and always will be in our book, a really big number two. Which is why we suggest our readers support Diana Irey so she can send Murtha into retirement.

Brian blogged So now we know what's been behind the last several months of his "cut and run" campaign: he wants to be the House Majority Leader. First thing's first, Mr. Murtha. First, your party has to take control of the House, and I think it's a bit presumptious of you to think that's going to happen.


Friday, June 09, 2006

Race-Based Government in Hawaii Defeated

Senator Bill Frist blogged It is a core moral and constitutional principle of the United States that equal protection of our laws and equal participation in our government should never again be denied to Americans because of race or ethnicity. And it is a clear provision of our Constitution that American states be guaranteed a “Republican Form of Government.” Both would be endangered by Senator Akaka’s Native Hawaiian Government Reorganization Act, which was just defeated on the Senate floor moments ago.

Good job. My only regret is that it had to go down by a filibuster, and that it was not defeated on its own.
Senator Akaka’s legislation would have created a new, independent government within our country – a government defined by and composed of a specific racial group. Worse still, Senator Akaka recently made clear that this race-based government would have been under no obligation to remain within the United States or to adhere to the most basic of our political principles: “[T]he governing entity will make a decision as to what happens to independence or returning to the monarchy.”
If Hawaii wants to vote to succeed that is fine with me, but we should not give a minority of its residents special rights.
I am amazed and saddened that some would undo the great success story of Hawaiian assimilation into our country that we’ve seen since the people of Hawaii voted overwhelming to become America’s 50th state in 1959.

Vital issues of the greatest consequence face our Nation. If this to be another American Century, we must affirm and strengthen those principles and values that unite our people and oppose the fragmentation of our government and our society along racial and ethnic lines. That’s why I am proud to have voted to defeat Senator Akaka’s proposal and proud that the United States Senate has shown the common-sense to reject this divisive legislation once and for all.


Islam Incompatible with Europe, Say Dutch

Angus Reid reports Many adults in the Netherlands hold strong views on the way Muslims adapt to the European continent, according to a poll by Motivaction released by GPD. 63 per cent of respondents believe think Islam is incompatible with modern European life.

The warped version of Islam being spread by the Islamists is incompatible with Civilized Life, in Europe, or anywhere else.
Bryan blogged sarcastically It could be that plus 9-11 plus the daily carnage emanating from the regions controlled by the religion of peace. Or the Dutch are just a bunch of unreasonable, knuckle-dragging Islamophobes.


Akaka Bill Fillibustered

TheHawaiiChannel. reported The U.S. Senate began debating on Wednesday the long-stalled Native Hawaiian Recognition Bill at the U.S. Capitol. The bill needed 60 of the 100 senators to vote for it, but only 56 did with 41 voting against it. Thursday's vote effectively kills the bill.

Finally the Fillibuster has been used to block a bad bill
Proponents of the legislation said the Akaka Bill would have established a process to clarify the political and legal relationship of Native Hawaiians and the federal government, relating to the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. The Akaka Bill was introduced six years ago.
Actually it would have opened up a can of worms, enabling some Native Hawaiians to get concessions like are given to Indian Tribes, when they have never lived together like Indian Tribes.
The bill had faced opposition from a number of groups including several Native Hawaiian groups and the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. The commission spoke out against the measure. The commission's draft report said the Akaka Bill was discriminatory and divisive.


‘Islamic indoctrination’ taken to Supreme Court

Jay at Stop The ACLU blogged Imagine the moonbat screams that would come from the ACLU if a middle school were to implement a three week course on how to “become a Christian.” Imagine that children of all religions were required to wear identifaction tags that displayed their “new Christian name” and the symbol of a cross. Can you imagine the outrage if they had to memorize the Lord’s prayer, the ten commandments, and various Bible verses? The ACLU would trumpet a case against this all across the country, and rightly so. However, when the religion is Islam the ACLU are nowhere to be found. This case has been so controversial it may end up at the Supreme Court level, and still not one peep from the organization that brags about protecting “the seperation of church and state.”

That is because their interpretation of separation of church and state (which is not in the constitution), means supressing Christianity. They are not worried about separation of Mosque and state.
A public-interest legal group is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals allowing a California public school to engage in a three-week intensive course for 7th graders on how to “become Muslims.”

A California federal trial court and the 9th Circuit, widely considered the nation’s most liberal appeals court, determined the class did not violate the Constitution.
This is the same Court that ruled the pledge of alligience unconstitutional because it included the words, “under God”. If ever there were a questionable court it would be this one. They have made quite a name for themselves through controversial rulings.
The 2001 course had students take Islamic names and wear identification tags that displayed their new Islamic name and the Muslim star and crescent moon. They also were handed materials that instructed them to “Remember Allah always so that you may prosper”; complete the Islamic five pillars of faith,
One of those is visiting Mecca; how many went to Mecca.
including fasting; and memorize and recite the “Bismillah,” or “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,” which students also wrote on banners hung on the classroom walls. Students also played “jihad games”
What is a "Jihad Game"? Did they behead anyone? Did they blow themselves up, killing others?
during the course, which was part of the school’s world history and geography program. Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, said the “case cries out double standard.” “The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals is the same court that held our Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional because it contained the phrase ‘under God,’ and yet they allow a three-week intensive course on how to become Muslims, including class memorization of Islamic prayers and participation in Islamic religious rituals,” Thompson said. Edward L. White III, the Law Center’s trial counsel handling the case, argued that although a public school may teach about religion, the school district “went far beyond an explanation of the historical or literary significance of Islam and placed these seventh graders into the position of becoming trainees in that religion.” “These young children were indoctrinated in Islam, which the Constitution forbids,” White said.
The Supreme Court will decide within the next few months whether to review the case.

When it comes to Christianity we have seen that even voluntary student prayer is not exempt from attack by the ACLU. However, when it comes to true indoctrination of the Islamic faith , the “seperation of church and state” folks at the ACLU are nowhere to be found. Thankfully The Thomas More Law Center is.


Black Caucus opposes Jefferson treatment

Yahoo! News House Democratic leaders are determined to sanction Rep. William Jefferson, scandal-scarred but unindicted, despite a blunt reminder from the Congressional Black Caucus that he is entitled to a "presumption of innocence."

That just means that he will not be sent to prison until he is convicted. It does not mean that the police cannot get a warrent to search his home or office, or cannot supponea records.
"It's about to blow up in their face," predicted Rep. Melvin Watt, chairman of the CBC. The North Carolina Democrat added Thursday night that black voters might wonder why a "black member of Congress" would be stripped of his committee post with neither rule nor precedent to justify it.
The Democrats may not have such a rule, but the Republicans do, and that is why Delay was stripped of his position. It is interesting that the CBC is complaining today, which is Delay's last day in Congress.


In his hometown, relatives pray for 1,000 Zarqawis

Reuters In the bleak Jordanian city where Abu Musab al-Zarqawi grew up, shocked relatives mourned the al Qaeda leader's death as a loss to Islam and prayed for 1,000 "Zarqawis" to fight the Americans in his place.

This is interesting, since afte he bombed the Wedding Party in Jordan, his family members could not wait to disown him, taking out ads in the local paper saying they did not want anything to do with him. I guess this just shows what the Arabs really think. Or could it be Reuters distorting the news again?


Thursday, June 08, 2006


Sisyphus blogged Top 11 Things That Anti-War Protesters Would Have Said At the Normandy Invasion on D-Day (Had There Been Anti-War Protesters At Normandy)

11. No blood for French Wine!

10. It’s been two and a half years since Pearl Harbor and they still haven’t brought Admiral Nagumo to justice

9. In 62 years, the date will be 6/6/6. A coincidence? I think not.

8. All this death and destruction is because the neo-cons are in the pocket of Israel

7. The soldiers are still on the beach, this invasion is a quagmire

6. Sure the holocaust is evil, but so was slavery

5. We are attacked by Japan and then attack France? Roosevelt is worse than the Kaiser!

4. Why bring democracy to Europe by force and not to Korea or Vietnam? I blame racism

3. This war doesn’t attack the root causes of Nazism

2. I support the troops, but invading Germany does not guarantee that in 56 years we won't have a President who's worse than Hitler

1. I don't see Roosevelt or Churchill storming the beaches -- they're Chicken Hawks


Warning - Movie Contains Christian Message

Scripps Howard News Service reports The Motion Picture Association of America is crystal clear when it describes why its "PG" rating exists _ it's a warning flag. "The theme of a PG-rated film may itself call for parental guidance," states the online explanation of the rating system. "There may be some profanity in these films. There may be some violence or brief nudity. ... The PG rating, suggesting parental guidance, is thus an alert for examination of a film by parents before deciding on its viewing by their children. Obviously such a line is difficult to draw." Disagreements are a given. The Christian moviemakers behind a low-budget film called "Facing the Giants" were stunned when the MPAA pinned a PG rating on their gentle movie about a burned-out, depressed football coach whose life _ on and off the field _ takes a miraculous turn for the better.

"What the MPAA said is that the movie contained strong 'thematic elements' that might disturb some parents,"

It actually mentions God and Jesus.
said Kris Fuhr, vice president for marketing at Provident Films, which is owned by Sony Pictures. Provident plans to open the film next fall in 380 theaters nationwide with the help of Samuel Goldwyn Films, which has worked with indie movies like "The Squid and the Whale." Which "thematic elements" earned this squeaky-clean movie its PG? "Facing the Giants" is too evangelistic.

The MPAA, noted Fuhr, tends to offer cryptic explanations for its ratings. In this case, she was told that it "decided that the movie was heavily laden with messages from one religion and that this might offend people from other religions. It's important that they used the word 'proselytizing' when they talked about giving this movie a PG....
The fact that 85% of this country profession to be Christian is immaterial. Now if the film had promoted Islam, I am sure there would have been no PG for that.
"It is kind of interesting that faith has joined that list of deadly sins that the MPAA board wants to warn parents to worry about.".... "Facing the Giants" cost $100,000 and resembles a fusion of the Book of Job and a homemade "Hoosiers," or perhaps a small- school "Friday Night Lights" blended with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association movies that used to appear in some mainstream theaters. Sherwood Pictures used local volunteers as actors and extras, backed by a small crew of tech professionals.

The movie includes waves of answered prayers, a medical miracle, a mysterious silver-haired mystic who delivers a message from God and a bench-warmer who kicks a 51-yard field goal to win the big game when his handicapped father pulls himself out of a wheelchair and stands under the goal post to inspire his son's faith. There's a prayer-driven gust of wind in there, too.


U.S. airstrike kills al-Zarqawi

CNN reported Terrorist leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the coalition's most wanted man in Iraq, was killed in an airstrike near Baquba, jubilant U.S. and Iraqi authorities announced Thursday. Al-Zarqawi's death gives Iraq a chance to "turn the tide" in the fight against the nation's insurgency, President Bush said at the White House. "The ideology of terror has lost one of its most visible and aggressive leaders," Bush said. "Zarqawi's death is a severe blow to al Qaeda." "Special Operations forces, acting on tips and intelligence from Iraqis, confirmed Zarqawi's location and delivered justice to the most wanted terrorist in Iraq," Bush said.

This is certainly good news, but equally good news is that the Iraqi PM has finally filled the last three positions in his cabined. As CNN reported Lawmakers Tuesday approved Jawad Bolani, a Shiite, for interior minister; Gen. Abdel Qader Jassim, a Sunni who has been Iraq's ground forces commander, for defense minister; and Shirwan al-Waili, a Shiite, for minister of state for national security.... Jassim gained 142 out of 198 votes. Bolani received 182 of 198. A-Waili got 160 of 198. I am surprised he did not have to pick a Kurd for one of the three, but I guess the Kurds are so happy with what they have, that as long as the Iraqi military stays out of their area they will be happy.


Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Hamas' Deep Game

The Reality-Based Community blogged These last two weeks seem to have been pretty good ones for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Faced with a direct challenge to his leadership from the Ismail Haniyeh's Hamas government, he has challenged Hamas to put up or shut up. A group of Fatah and Hamas prisoners came up with the document advocating for a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders, and Abbas has told Hamas that if it doesn't accept it, he will take it to a referendum.

Abbas actually made a mistake with the proposed referendum. Rather than advocating a state within the 1967 borders he should have advocated immediate negotation for a state. There is no way that Israel is going to agree to go back to the 1967 borders, which were not defensible, and they are not going to give up Jerusalem. He might be able to get Israel to agree to something like what Arafat rejected, which included a part of Jerusalem, but if he gets them to approve a referendum to set one up on 1967 borders, and that does not happen, Ababas is gone.
Hamas now has until Saturday to accept it. This has obviously put the Islamists in a quandary, as evidence by their arguments that a referendum is illegal--a rather strange argument coming from a terrorist group, but one that isn't implausible (the PA basic law makes no provisions for referenda, so it's unclear whether it is legal.) The populace will most likely approve the document.

But I think that Hamas is playing a deeper game here. They indeed have a problem, but not the one that the press says they do. Hamas did not want to take over the PA government--essentially, it was forced to when it won the parliamentary elections in January.
That is the problem with elections; you just might be elected.
It's task now is how to get out of this mess, and the referendum may give it the opportunity. Hamas has threatened to boycott the plebescite, which would virtually ensure its success. But that is exactly what Hamas wants. A successful plebescite would be read as a vote of no-confidence, "forcing" the government to resign. New elections would most likely result in a victory for Fatah, putting Hamas back in the opposition--exactly where it wants to be.

Islamists don't want responsibility: they want absolute power.
Having absolute power is nice, and if you can get it without responsibility it is even better, but holiding on to absolute power, without takeing care of your responsibilities, is hard.
They don't want the headaches of arranging to pay thousands of civil servants. They would prefer to criticize and build their credentials as radical revolutionaries, which they can't do in the current situation. They certainly don't want to share power with the likes of Abbas.
But if Abbas gets the power, and is then able to get a state of their own, even if not at the 1967 borders, it may prove hard to get support for their radical revolution.
Hamas' task, then, is to get out of the government without suffering an embarrassing electoral loss. I suspect that they are now debating ways to lose the plebescite but being able to spin it as some sort of western-Israeli-Fatah conspiracy.

Ha'aretz superb political correspondent, Danny Rubenstein, accurately points out that Fatah and Hamas have 40 days to work out a face-saving compromise for both sides because that is the date scheduled for the referendum to take place. Perhaps he is right, but there is another possibility here: Hamas will tell its supporters to boycott the elections, and use subtle means to stop people from going to the polls. Even if the referendum is passed, Hamas will point to lower turnouts to show that the people don't really support it, and then angrily resign as the victims of a corrupt process. Abbas will get what he wants: a Fatah government. But Hamas will get it what it wants, too: the ability to build itself for an eventual Islamist takeover of the territories without having the responsibility for Fatah failures. It turns out that the Middle East isn't a zero-sum game after all.


Computer running slow???

Australian IT reported Microsoft executives love telling stories against each other. Here's one that platforms vice-president Jim Allchin told at a recent Windows Vista reviewers conference about chief executive Steve Ballmer.

It seems Steve was at a friend's wedding reception when the bride's father complained that his PC had slowed to a crawl and would Steve mind taking a look. Allchin says Ballmer, the world's 13th wealthiest man with a fortune of about $18 billion, spent almost two days trying to rid the PC of worms, viruses, spyware, malware and severe fragmentation without success. He lumped the thing back to Microsoft's headquarters and turned it over to a team of top engineers, who spent several days on the machine, finding it infected with more than 100 pieces of malware, some of which were nearly impossible to eradicate. Among the problems was a program that automatically disabled any antivirus software. "This really opened our eyes to what goes on in the real world," Allchin told the audience.

You should leave your ivory towers more often.
If the man at the top and a team of Microsoft's best engineers faced defeat, what chance do ordinary punters have of keeping their Windows PCs virus-free?


Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Is political Islam on the march? wrote Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks nearly five years ago, Americans have come increasingly to believe that political Islam is a mortal threat to the West, an aggressive and totalitarian ideology dedicated to random destruction and global subjugation.

Fueling Western fears is the migration of political Islam into tiny, but important, communities of Muslims living in Europe. The victory by Hamas in Palestinian parliamentary elections and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt reinforced perceptions that political Islam is inexorably on the march.

Some American commentators have called for an all-out war against all manifestations of political Islam. Disentangling myth from reality about this movement, whose goal is to establish governments based on sharia, Koranic law, is an intellectual challenge fraught with difficulties.
Where do they want to establish such governments? In Muslim nations, or the entire world? And how do people living under Sharia Law like it? The people in Iran would love to get out from under the rule of the clerics, and the people in Afganistan did not seem to like living under the Taliban.
Here are five facts to consider:

Fact 1: The political Islamist movement is highly complex and diverse. It encompasses a broad spectrum of mainstream and militant forces. Mainstream Islamists - that is, Muslim Brothers and other independent activists - represent an overwhelming majority of religiously oriented groups (in the upper 90th percentile, whereas militants or jihadists are a tiny but critical minority); they accept the rules of the political game, embrace democratic principles, and oppose violence.
Do they really, or is that just because they are not in control yet.
In the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s the Muslim Brotherhood - the most powerfully organized of all Islamists, with local branches in the Arab Middle East and Central and South and Southeast Asia - flirted with violence. But since the early 1970s Muslim Brothers have increasingly moved to the political mainstream, and aim to Islamize state and society through peaceful means.
And once they have achieved that goal, what will they do then? Just oppress the people in that country with Sharia law, or will they seek to take over other countries?
Although Muslim Brothers are often targeted and excluded from politics by ruling autocrats, they no longer use force or the threat of force to attain their goals.

Fact 2: Mainstream and enlightened Islamists are playing an active role in expanding political debate in Muslim societies. They have forced existing secular dictatorships - such as those in Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria, Turkey, Jordan, and even Saudi Arabia - to respond to their challenge to open up the closed political system and reform government institutions. Without such pressure, these authoritarian Arab rulers would have no incentive to respond to demands for inclusion and transparency.
Are they really responsible, or is it pressure from the West, particularly the US?
Historic opponents of Western-style democracy, Islamists have become unwitting harbingers of democratic transformation. They formed alliances with their former sworn political opponents, including secularists and Marxists, in calling upon governments to respect human rights and the rule of law.

Mainstream or traditional Islamists are not born-again democrats and never will be. They are deeply patriarchal, seeing themselves as the guardians of faith, tradition, and authenticity. In Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Islamists have vehemently opposed efforts to give women the right to vote or to drive cars. In Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Pakistan, and other Muslim countries, they denounce any legislation that would enable women to divorce abusive husbands, travel without male permission, or achieve full representation in government.
And who would want to live under their rule?
Nonetheless, many Islamists are gradually becoming initiated into the culture of political realism and the art of the possible. They are learning to make compromises with secular groups and rethink some of their absolutist positions. Events have forced them to come to grips with the complexity and diversity of Muslim societies. More and more, they recognize the primacy of politics over religion and the difficulty, even futility, of establishing Islamic states.

Fact 3: There is a tendency among Western observers to stress the "Islamic" factor in Muslim politics. Most Muslim governments are secular and hostile to political Islam and Islamists.

Governments which claim to be "Islamic," such as the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Sudan, and, formerly, Afghanistan under the Taliban, though fully clothed in Islamic dress, have much in common with their secular authoritarian counterparts elsewhere. There is nothing uniquely "Islamic" about their internal governing style except the rhetoric and the symbolism.
In other words the only difference between them and the Muslim Brotherhood, is that they are in charge.
They have not offered up an original model of Islamic governance. Political Islam is more an ideal type than a concrete, well-delineated sociopolitical program. Once in power, Islamists face a Herculean task of coping with political reality. Their ideal model of an Islamic state does not translate into the concrete currency of jobs and bread and butter.

Fact 4: Mainstream Islamists may serve as a counterweight to ultramilitants like Al Qaeda. Immediately after Sept. 11, leading mainstream Islamists - such as Hassan al-Turabi, formerly head of the Islamic National Front and now of People's Congress in Sudan who, in the early 1990s, hosted Osama bin Laden and Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah (spiritual founding father of Lebanon's Hizbullah) - condemned Al Qaeda's Sept. 11 attacks on the United States as harmful to Islam and Muslims, not just to Americans.

Youssef al-Qardawi, an Egyptian-born conservative Islamic cleric based in Qatar, issued a fatwa denouncing Al Qaeda's "illegal jihad" and expressed sorrow and empathy with the American victims: "Our hearts bleed because of the attacks that have targeted the World Trade Center, as well as other institutions in the United Stated." Mr. Qardawi, who is widely listened to and read by a huge Muslim audience, wrote that the murders in New York could not be justified on any ground, including "the American biased policy toward Israel on the military, political, and economic fronts."

Little wonder why Al Qaeda's leaders, including bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, often attack mainstream Islamists and accuse them of treachery.
Everyone wants to be in control, and they criticize those that are.
Fact 5: Like their secular counterparts, Islamists are deeply divided over tactics and strategy. They do not see eye to eye on the pressing issues facing their communities and societies. Lumping all Islamists together is not only simplistic but also false. The depth and intensity of internal fault lines within the Islamist and jihadist movements are very real.

These internal fault lines are as important, if not more so, than the so-called clash of cultures or religions between the Christian West and the world of Islam. Instead of a clash of civilization, there exists a clash of fundamentalism - tiny minorities in both camps who are beating the drums of a cultural war.


Moderate Western Muslims, speak up!

CSmonitor wrote Toronto's mayor, David Miller, after commending the excellent work of Canada's security forces, wondered aloud why young people might get involved in terrorist activities. We need "strategies to try to prevent that from happening again," he said. His earnestness awed me. Can he truly believe there is some "thing" Canadians can do (hold a "Hands Across Canada" event?) to prevent this kind of occurrence?

The man is an idiot.
Canada is not France.
So they are not going to surrender, at least not right away???
Canada's Muslim population is not marginalized out of fear and contempt, not left alone to manage its own affairs. Even though a Toronto mosque had its windows smashed following the arrests, that sort of thuggery and stupidity is not systemic or common. Canada's Muslims are not prevented from attending good schools or holding high-powered jobs. Nor are they, for the most part, unwilling or unable to fit in peacefully and productively. So the mayor's concern was misplaced. His comment should have been something along the lines of, "I wonder what Canada's Muslim leaders/moderate Muslim citizens can do to prevent this kind of thing in future?"
That is a very good question.
In countries like Canada, or England, or Spain, where citizens have been shocked by the news of home-grown cells, I believe more needs to be asked of Muslim religious and community leaders. Western Muslims are a powerful potential ally in the broader "war on terror." It is true that most Muslims are not terrorists. But we need Muslims themselves to admit that most of the terrorists who threaten us are Muslim.
And there are people working in every country to convert Moderate Muslims into Jihadists, and they need to help expose them before they convert the young people.
Aly Hindy, a high-profile imam in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough, called the arrests "an attack on the Muslim community." He went on to say that, "We are abusing our boys for the sake of pleasing George Bush." Rather than speaking out against extremism, or entertaining the notion that perhaps his country's security forces know what they're doing, Hindy called the charges against the men "home-grown baloney."
Hindy may just be an idiot, but he is an idiot that needs to be watched carefully.
Even moderate Canadian Muslim groups, willing to show faith in Canada's justice system, are mitigating their statements. The Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) praised the work of Canada's spy agency and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. But then they scolded the Canadian government for not funding "academic research to diagnose this serious social problem and provide scientific solutions to it." A scientific solution to Islamofascism? Bring it on.
The group also chastised Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper for portraying events "as a battle between 'us' and 'them.'
It is. And whose side are you on?
" Following the arrests, Mr. Harper stated that "we are a target because of who we are. And how we live." One wonders - do the members of the CIC not consider themselves part of the "we" Harper referred to, when he spoke of Canadians? If so, that is indeed revealing.

The Muslim Canadian Congress fared only a tad bit better. They praised the police, and expressed dismay that members of their community might be guilty as charged. And then they managed to blame President Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, and even Harper for the fact that any such terror cells might exist. So far, only the Council on American-Islamic Relations Canada (CAIR-CAN) has managed to issue a condemnation of terror, and praise of the police, without tacking on a "but," a "Bush," or a "Canadian troops in Afghanistan."
It is easy to issue a comdemnation. What is CAIR willing to do to help uncover plots like this in the future.


Come to Londonistan

Times Online According to remarks attributed in the past few days to security sources, no fewer than 1,200 Islamist terrorists are biding their time within British suburbs. Yet does Britain even now fully understand the nature of the threat it is facing, let alone have the will to deal with it?

You better get the will to deal with it, and get it fast.
The recent report by the Commons Intelligence Committee on last July’s London bombings barely scratched the surface of the failure by the security establishment. It failed to note, for example, Britain’s dirty little secret: that from the 1990s, Islamist radicals had been given free rein in Britain in a “gentlemen’s agreement” that if they were left alone, they would not turn on the country that was so generously nurturing them. The result was “Londonistan”, as Britain became the hub of al-Qaeda in Europe.
How can you have a Gentlemen's Agreement when they are the furthest thing from being Gentlemen. Chamberlain comes to mind.
This intelligence debacle, however, was only the tip of the iceberg. Among Britain’s governing class — its intelligentsia, its media, its politicians, its judiciary, its Church and even its police — a broader and deeper cultural pathology persists to this day. Londonistan is more than the physical presence of Islamist extremists. It is also a state of mind. To a dismaying extent, the British have signed up to the false narrative of those who are laying siege to their society. The problem lies in a refusal to acknowledge that Islamist extremism is rooted in religion. Instead, ministers and security officials prefer to think of it as a protest movement against grievances such as Iraq or Palestine, or “Islamophobia”. They simply ignore the statements and signs that show unequivocally that the aim is to Islamicise the West.
The chickens are about to come home to roost.
In large measure, this is the outcome of a profound loss of cultural nerve.
And the fact that you are too close to Europe.


Monday, June 05, 2006

Estate Tax Nonsense

Outside The Beltway blogged Sebastian Mallaby posits that, “It doesn’t matter if you are liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican. There is no possible excuse for doing what Congress is poised to do this week: Abolish the estate tax.”

I believe that aboloshing the estate tax makes a lot of sense, and my parents estate was not big enough to be caught by it when they died, and when I die, my estate will not be big enough to be hit either.
This is a rather odd position to take for something that has wide, bipartisan support among both the American people and their elected representatives [The House voted 272 to 162 for the phase-out in April 2005] and the opposition to which can not even muster a sufficiently sizable minority to mount a credible filibuster.
For most of the past century, the case for the estate tax was regarded as self-evident. People understood that government has to be paid for, and that it makes sense to raise part of the money from a tax on “fortunes swollen beyond all healthy limits,” as Theodore Roosevelt put it. The United States is supposed to be a country that values individuals for their inherent worth, not for their inherited worth. The estate tax, like a cigarette tax or a carbon tax, is a tool for reducing a socially damaging phenomenon — the emergence of a hereditary upper class
And to force family farms to be sold to big agribusinesses, and to cause small businesses to be liquidated when the owner dies, thus putting his employees out of a job.
as well as a way of raising money.
Of course, the estate tax has not actually succeeded in this goal. Names like Bush, Kennedy, Rockefeller, DuPont, and others remind us of that. Indeed, of the top ten people on the most recent Forbes 400 list of richest Americans, five spots are taken by the Walton Family. The Cox and Mars families are getting by, too. One suspects that, a couple decades hence, so will the Gates, Buffett, Allen, Dell, and Ellison heirs.
If the abolitionists succeed, some other tax will eventually be raised to make up for the lost revenue. So which tax does Congress favor?
None. Reduce all as much as possible.
The income tax, which discourages work? A consumption tax, which hits the poor hardest? The payroll tax, which is both anti-work and anti-poor? Really, which other tax out there is better?
After all, the guy you are taxing is dead, so he can't vote anymore, unless he is a Democrat.
An income tax only “discourages” work if it is so graduated as to be confiscatory. The days of 90 percent, or even 70 percent, tax rates on the upper reaches are thankfully over. And a consumption tax can certainly be targeted so that food, medicines, and other basic necessities are omitted with “luxury” items hit at a steeper rate. And the payroll tax–i.e., the Social Security tax–exists solely to provide for the poor; the very wealthy surely do not need the government pay them a retirement stipend.
People often remark on the perversity of popular support for estate-tax repeal. A majority wants to abolish the tax, even though only the richest 2 percent of households have ever had to pay it. Yet this shoot-your-own-foot weirdness is easily explained: Most people just don’t know that, under the law’s current provisions, a couple can bequeath $4 million without paying a penny to the government.
Perhaps Americans simply understand a basic principle: Earnings belong to the earner, not the state.
Not as far as Democrats are concerned. They believe you should keep only what the government is willing to let you keep.
Microsoft pays corporate taxes and Bill Gates and Paul Allen pay hefty income taxes on their shares, in addition to various sales taxes and fees. The idea that the state has the right to take another huge chunk of their money when they die, rather than allowing them to pass it on to their children, simply strikes most of us as outrageous.


England afraid to fly its own flag

Ynetnews Following warnings by extremist Islamic group al-Muhajiroun, in which the group said that the red cross in the England flag symbolizes the 'blood thirsty crusaders' and the occupation of Muslims, some of the largest companies in England have ordered their workers not to wave the flags.

If the Muslims don't like the British flag, why don't they leave Britain, and move to an Islamic coountry?
The flag has recently appeared in England on everything from bikinis to cars, and sold in endless versions in stores. But the Islamic protest forced some corporations, such as cable companies NTL, and even the Drivers and Vehicles Licensing Agency to ban the flag in every form due to fears from reactions of Muslims.
If you let the nutcases back you down on flying your own flag, how long will it be before they insist on flying an Islamic Flag over Londonistan?
Sister Toldjah blogged Mark Steyn’s cautionary piece about caving to multicultural sensitivity comes to mind.

I agree with Tigerhawk who says: “It is time to fly the Union Jack“.


Toronto Police chief urges calm

TheStar reported Toronto police Chief Bill Blair called on Muslims and non-Muslims alike to let cooler heads prevail Sunday after 17 people were arrested in connection with what authorities say was a plan to stage a massive terrorist attack.

Cooler heads are fine, but don't stick them in the sand.
The 17 suspects who were arrested Friday, men and youths alike, were allegedly “motivated by an ideology based on politics, hatred and terrorism, and not on faith,” Blair told a gathering of Muslim leaders and concerned community members.
They have warped their faith so that it includes hatred and terrorism.
The suspects will be considered innocent until proven guilty, Blair said, who noted that any anger or fear spawned by allegations of a home-grown terrorist ring should not be directed at the Muslim community.
I agree, but I recommend that the Muslim community work to identify and report extremist groups like these 17.


Sunday, June 04, 2006

Senate 'Compromise' Unconstitutional?

RedState blogged Those of us hoping that this Congress will not pass an immigration law, given the extreme nature of the Senate's radical reform bill, may have some good news: The Washington Times reports that a Constitutional technicality may be used to kill the bill. Specifically, it may be claimed that because the Senate bill raises tax revenue from illegal aliens in a new way, that the bill's origination in the Senate violates the Constitutional requirement that revenue bills originate in the House of Representatives.

This is interesting. I hope it works.
Senator Reid claims that the Republicans should just ignore the Constitution
Typical of a Democrat
and "work their will," and Senator Frist is noncommittal, but I am hopeful that this opportunity, or excuse if you prefer, to save the Republican party from self-inflicted trauma will be taken swiftly.


Broad strata

Michelle Malkin blogged Oh, dear Lord. A jihadist plot, possibly of global scale, possibly imminent, unravels in Canada...and what do law enforcement officials do? Try to whitewash the obvious jihadi profile from the public's mind.

At the press briefing held by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police today, the suspects who appeared in court--all sporting traditional Muslim male beards and requesting Korans--were described as coming from a "broad strata" of society. (Hat tip: reader Ed)

Yes, the same "broad strata" from which the 9/11 hijackers, 1993 World Trade Center bombers, USS Cole bombers, etc., etc., etc., came.

The 12 adult suspects, again:

1. Fahim Ahmad, 21, Toronto;
2. Zakaria Amara, 20, Mississauga, Ont.;
3. Asad Ansari, 21, Mississauga;
4. Shareef Abdelhaleen, 30, Mississauga;
5. Qayyum Abdul Jamal, 43, Mississauga;
6. Mohammed Dirie, 22, Kingston, Ont.;
7. Yasim Abdi Mohamed, 24, Kingston;
8. Jahmaal James, 23, Toronto;
9. Amin Mohamed Durrani, 19, Toronto;
10. Steven Vikash Chand alias Abdul Shakur, 25, Toronto;
11. Ahmad Mustafa Ghany, 21, Mississauga;
12. Saad Khalid, 19, of Eclipse Avenue, Mississauga.
Such a diverse lot! A veritable Benetton ad. Can't think of a similarity among them!
They did come from Somalia, Egypt, Jamaica, and Trinidad, but all are residents of Canada and "for the most part" all are Canadian citizens, police said. Maybe Canada needs to review its immigration policies.
Kim Priestap blogged We can surmise that the elder terrorists were teaching the youth that their allegiance was to jihadism, not to their country. At some point, once the shock wears off, the anti-war activists in Canada, and there are plenty of them as there are here in the US, will insist that the terror plot was a reaction to Canada's having troops in Afghanistan and will demand that Canada pull out.


British brigade of Islamists join Al-Qaeda foreign legion in Iraq

Times Online reported Up to 150 Islamic radicals have travelled from Britain to Iraq to join up with a “British brigade” that has been established by Al-Qaeda leaders to fight coalition forces. Senior security sources say leaders of the Iraqi insurgency have set up a “foreign legion” composed entirely of westerners to fight alongside the insurgents in the war against British and American forces.

I am very happy that we can fight these Islamists in Iraq, rather in the US: i.e. confront them in Baghdad and Basrah rather than Boston, Baton Rouge, Birmingham, Bismarck, Boise, Buffalo, Broken Arrow, or Beaumont; in Mosul rather than Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Mobile, Memphis, Muskogee, or Mesquite; in Karkuk and Karbala rather than Kansas City, Knoxville, Ketchum, or Kilgore; in Tall Afar and Tikrit rather than Tulsa, Tallahassee, Tampa Bay, Terre Haute, Toledo, Topeka, Tucson, Tahlequah, Texas City, or Texarkana.
Some are preparing to carry out suicide attacks while others have received basic combat training for attacks on western troops The so-called “British brigade” is said to be operating under the direct command of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq. Members of the unit are thought to be in the Sunni triangle, a combat zone and Al-Qaeda hotbed west of Baghdad.


NYC, D.C.'s terror fund complaints

MSNBC reported Officials in New York and Washington, the two cities targeted in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, were anything but happy after learning that Homeland Security was giving them far fewer counterterrorism dollars this year than in 2005.

Maybe the problem is that they got too much in previous years, and were not spending it well.
New York City will receive $124 million — the largest amount under the Urban Area Security Initiative.
But they are greedy, and want even more
But that's just 60 percent of the $208 million given in 2005. The cut comes primarily because the Homeland Security Department determined that New York has no national monuments or icons
That is ridiculous. They may have failed to fill in that box in their request, but they also just said they wanted the money for day to day maintenance of existing programs, while the other cities needed seed money to start their own programs, where they had nothing. Also the Urban Area Security Initiative is not just about terrorism, but also planning for Bird Flu and other threats. Here is the City of New Orleans's page for the UASI, which states the goal is "maintain an “all hazards” approach, meaning looking toward and planning for all possible natural (hurricanes, flooding, etc.) and man-made disasters (Chemical, biological, nuclear, radiological and explosive terrorist attacks)"
“We’re going to continue to do what it takes to keep this city safe and then worry about the money but do I think they should have given us more, I don’t think there’s any question,” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at a news conference after the grants were announced Wednesday. “When you stop a terrorist, they have map of New York City in their pocket, they don’t have a map of any of the other 46 places or 45 places,” the Republican mayor added, referring to the total number of cities that share the funds.
If you stop them in NYC, that seems very reasonable, but the Feds may have other ideas about plans that they have blocked.


Canadian terror plot has worldwide links

National Post A Canadian counter-terrorism investigation that led to the arrests of 17 people accused of plotting bombings in Ontario is linked to probes in a half-dozen countries, the National Post has learned.

All countries need to take note.
Well before police tactical teams began their sweeps around Toronto on Friday, at least 18 related arrests had already taken place in Canada, the United States, Britain, Bosnia, Denmark, Sweden, and Bangladesh.
Thank God President Bush is in the White House.
The six-month RCMP investigation, called Project OSage, is one of several overlapping probes that include an FBI case called Operation Northern Exposure and a British probe known as Operation Mazhar.