Archive for August, 2007

Lebanese Festival: Muslims Oppressed?

Friday, August 31st, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Maronite Dancer...So “Muslims are an oppressed minority in this country?” One wouldn’t have made this conclusion if attending my hometown’s annual Maronite Christian Lebanese festival, held last weekend here in downtown Middle America. Amongst the throngs of Polish-, German-, Lithuanian-, Franco-, Scottish-, Irish-, Anglo-, African-, Jewish-, Latino-, etc.-Americans were Muslims, too. Several women were sporting their hijab (head scarves). If so oppressed, would Muslims have been there having a good time with the rest of us? Conversely, if these women were radical Islamists, would they have been at a Christian-sponsored festival involving belly-dancing, beer-kegs, and plenty of male/female fraternization? Everybody needs to chill out a little bit.

Festival organizers had a display on Lebanese history, including Phoenician and Maronite factoids. There was no shilling for the Palestinians; no railing against Israel; no anti-Muslim sentiments. It all was in good taste, despite how badly Lebanese Christians have been treated in their homeland by other Arabs and Muslims.

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Saudi Arabian Airlines Cleans Up Its Act

Friday, August 31st, 2007

by Daniel Pipes*

A week ago, at “Uniting to Exclude Saudi Arabian Airlines,” I called on Westerners to deny the Saudi flag carrier access to their airports on the basis of an unacceptable passage in the company’s English-language website (which I saved and have posted on my website):

A number of items are not allowed to be brought into the Kingdom due to religious reasons and local regulations. These include alcoholic beverages, pork and pork products, prohibited drugs and narcotics, firearms, explosives, edged weapons and pornographic materials.

Items and articles belonging to religions other than Islam are also prohibited. These may include Bibles, crucifixes, statues, carvings, items with religious symbols such as the Star of David, and others.

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Old Soldiers never die, they only fade away

Friday, August 31st, 2007

A personal, historical vignette

By Cainnech Ó Sullibhain

When Tom Brokaw wrote the bestseller called “The Greatest Generation,” it only touched the surface of the lives of people who served their country with honour. Beyond that, it did not delve too much into what happened to them and how their lives were changed forever.

So I’ll begin my story on a different note. My father, an officer in good standing, served his country with both honour and dignity in World War II. I could not find a man as dedicated to his job as my father. He served in the Abyssinian campaign against the Italian Legions of Benito Mussolini, who surrendered. From there he went to the Sudan and, when the time came, was sent to Egypt to join the Glorious 8Th Army. He served with distinction in the 52nd Field Hospital on the front line. He saw many of his friends die in the battles against Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Afrika Korps in the Western Desert.

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IMMIGRATION TO ADD 100+ MILLION TO U.S. POPULATION BY 2060

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

New Report Takes Detailed Look at Different Levels of Admissions

WASHINGTON (August 30, 2007) — A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies projects how different levels of immigration would impact the future size of America’s population. The findings, carefully modeled on earlier projections by the Census Bureau, show that the current level of immigration will add 105 million to the population by 2060, while having a small effect on the aging of society.

The report, entitled ”100 Million More: Projecting the Impact of Immigration on the U.S. Population, 2007 to 2060,” will be online at http://www.cis.org. Among the other findings:

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The U.S. Counter-propaganda Failure in Iraq

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

by Andrew Garfield*

Defeat of the insurgency and terrorism in Iraq requires not only a military approach but also a political component. Although the “surge” may stabilize parts of Iraq and reduce the level of violence while the additional troops remain in place, long-term stability requires a more holistic approach.

Frank Kitson, a retired British military officer whose writings influenced British operations in Northern Ireland, argues that the “main characteristic that distinguishes campaigns of insurgency from other forms of war is that they are primarily concerned with the struggle for men’s minds.”[1] To defeat the insurgency, coalition forces must persuade the Iraqi population to reject extremism and deny safe haven to those fighting the new Iraqi political order. This will require dialogue, inducements, and the proportionate use of force to win the battle for “hearts and minds.”

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CAIR: Media Cowers in Face of Islamist Threat

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

By Andrew Whitehead

On August 24th, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), issued a “News Release” trumpeting the role CAIR played in getting the Christian TV program “Live Prayer with Bill Keller” off the air in Tampa, Florida.

http://www.cair.com/default.asp?Page=articleView&id=2929&theType=NR

While this is not a free speech issue (TV stations are free to carry programs as they wish), it is troubling that a national broadcaster would terminate a program based on the demands of an Islamist hate group–especially an Islamic hate group that was not only founded by Islamic terrorists, but now stands as an unindicted co-conspirator in a major terrorism case.

http://www.nysun.com/article/55778

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A New Kind of Boston Tea Party

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

It has been said–and I agree–that it is the better part of wisdom to both understand views with which one strongly disagrees and to support the right of one’s political opponents to speak freely. However, these noble sentiments are not exactly useful when one’s opponent is a gargantuan liar and engages in evil.

Still, I mourn the loss of civilized dialogue among presumably civilized people who no longer exchange views but only insults masquerading as views for which they are applauded, lauded and often well-paid. Everyone’s mind remains firmly closed. Dialogue is increasingly impossible among people who will only talk to those who agree with them 100% on each and every issue.

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Ban Islam?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

by Daniel Pipes*

Non-Muslims occasionally raise the idea of banning the Koran, Islam, and Muslims. Examples this month include calls by a political leader in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders, to ban the Koran — which he compares to Hitler’s Mein Kampf — and two Australian politicians, Pauline Hanson and Paul Green, demanding a moratorium on Muslim immigration.

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Christian Crusaders Also Want a Caliphate: The Gospel According to Christiane Amanpour

Tuesday, August 28th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

In her three part series, Amanpour is far more combative and confrontational with both Jewish and Christian religious leaders than she is with Muslim leaders. She is warmer, softer, more “at home,” with even the most extreme of Islamist leaders, perhaps even more respectful, than she is with their allegedly Jewish or Christian counterparts.

Amanpour completely fails to make the distinction between Islamists who teach hatred of infidels and women and who blow infidel and Muslim civilians up (as well as honor-murder their own women); Israelis who are under perpetual terrorist siege and who are trying to defend themselves against Islamist attacks; and conservative Christians who are trying to mobilize votes, change laws, or win hearts and minds with words, not bombs (although she certainly has lots of footage of the bloody bombings at abortion clinics–bombings I personally abhor and mourn–as do many Christians).

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Engage, Moderate, Split

Monday, August 27th, 2007

By Barry Rubin

Engage, moderate, and split–that’s the mantra for Middle East policy of the wrong-headed in many foreign ministries, newspaper editorial offices, universities, and other places where the rapidly growing international bad-ideas industry is centered.

Yet nothing could seem more self-evident than these propositions. What could possibly be wrong with engaging radical forces, persuading them to change their ways, and breaking up their alliances?

I’m glad you asked. Here is how these apparently obviously correct ideas are dangerous and even disastrous.

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CNN’S Master Plan: Part One

Monday, August 27th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

Dhabah Almontaser, the nearly anointed principal of Brooklyn’s madrassa and CNN’s fully anointed Christiane Amanpour both agree that in Arabic, “Intifada” means a “shaking off.” Amanpour gave an example of how to use the word by saying that “Palestinian (terrorists) were (merely) shaking off the Israeli Occupation;” Almontaser, when challenged about the infamous tee-shirts bearing the words “Intifada NYC,” said that they referred to young Muslim girls “shaking off oppression.”

In November of 2005, Fox’s O’Reilly showed live footage of the French Intifada as it raged in Paris. According to WorldNetDaily, Saudi billionaire Prince al-Waleed bin Talal, (aka Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin AbdulAziz AlSaud), who owns 5-6% of the Fox News Channel, personally called Rupert Murdoch and asked him to change the offensive (but accurate) caption: “Muslim Riots” to the less offensive (and less accurate) “Civil Riots.” Within thirty minutes, the Prince had his way.

To paraphrase New York Post columnist Cindy Adams: Only in America kids, only in America.

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Barbarians kill as West drifts

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

By Salim Mansur, Toronto Sun

There comes a point at which diminishing returns on most issues begin to go negative.

Such a point in denouncing Islamist terrorism and equally the Muslim majority’s silence against this menace was reached sometime ago.

As Islamist terrorism, however despicable, became mundane occurrence in the daily news cycle, the deafening silence of Muslims — except for lonely voices of feeble opposition — has given credence to growing numbers of non-Muslims that Islam is as much a religion of peace as the Klanmen’s politics is an expression of multiculturalism.

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The dynamics of revival

Saturday, August 25th, 2007

By Jonathan Spyer

In a recent article in the British Guardian newspaper, Ed Husain, a former member of the radical Islamist Hizb ut Tahrir organization [which aims to bring about a worldwide Muslim state], sought to draw a parallel between Zionism and radical Islam. The movements were, Husain claimed, “both political perversions of ancient Abrahamic faiths of Judaism and Islam.” Husain’s simplistic claim was made possible by his near-total lack of knowledge of Zionism, the issue of Jewish peoplehood, the vexed issue of secular and religious Jewish identity, and so on. However, the claim is an interesting one, and closer observation of it offers clues as to the dynamics governing the current clash between Israel and radical Islamism, and the likely outcome of the contest.

Both Zionism and radical Islam are, self-consciously, movements of “revival.” They have the following aspect in common, which underlies the tremendous strength of the loyalties to which both have been able to inspire in their followers: They have been able to reach back to motifs, stories and beliefs preceding modernity, which were at the core of the identities of the people to whom they wished to appeal. Here lies the difference between these two movements and, for example, the communism and radical socialism of the 20th century on the other. The latter two preached a radical break with the past, and celebrated an unfamiliar, imagined future. Zionism and Islamism, by contrast, both draw on the deep currents of identification and loyalty felt by Jews and Muslims to their respective traditions and history.

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Putin’s Disastrous Course

Friday, August 24th, 2007

The Economist on how Putin and his goons are destroying Russia’s future:

…[They] have shown they can squash opposition, suborn the courts and stay in charge. But, as in all autocracies, they are acutely nervous about the future. Mr Putin’s popularity will not easily transfer even to a hand-picked successor. More generally, as ordinary Russians get richer, they may grow dissatisfied with their present masters, especially when they see them stealing and mismanaging the economy. Russia has huge problems: crime, poor infrastructure, secessionism and chaos in the north Caucasus, appalling human-rights abuses and a looming demographic catastrophe. To counterbalance these woes, the new elite may resort to even wilder forms of nationalism; and that nationalism could turn into a monster that even its creators cannot control.

In truth, the biggest threats to Russia’s future stem not from its “enemies” but from internal weaknesses, some of them self-inflicted. For a Russian ruler, or ruling class, to accept that truth would take real courage–and real patriotism.

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Immigration to Add 100+ Million to U.S. Population by 2060

Friday, August 24th, 2007

New Report Takes Detailed Look at Impact of Different Levels of Admissions

WASHINGTON (August 2007) — New projections from the Center for Immigration Studies show that the current level of immigration (legal and illegal) will add more than 100 million people to the nation’s population by 2060. The report also shows that immigration has only a small impact on slowing the aging of American society.

While population growth has not been at the center of the immigration debate, polls show the public is deeply concerned about issues related to population size, including congestion, sprawl, preservation of open spaces, and greenhouse gas emissions.

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