Archive for November, 2007

Pakistani girl axed to death by her father

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Another example of Islam’s “tolerance?” — where “merely the allegation is enough to bring dishonour on the family and therefore justifies the slaying.” From The Times of India:

A girl in Pakistan’s Punjab province became victim of ‘honour killing’ when she was axed to death by her father and close relatives for allegedly having an affair with a boy of her locality.

The girl was killed after her father, Farooq Khan Baloch, became suspicious that his daughter was having an affair with Amjad, a youngster in Jhang tehsil in Punjab province.

Seeing them together, Farooq along with relatives Sher Khan, Asghar Khan and Riaz Khan, axed the girl to death, while the boy managed to escape, the Dawn daily reported.

The police have registered a case, it said. ‘Honour killing’ is widespread among rural Muslim tribes in Pakistan where the victim is mostly female. The spilling of blood under the garb of honour is mostly at the behest of close family members with the aim of undoing the perceived loss of wider family status owing to the actions of the victim.

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Up Close and Personal: The Shunning of Israel

Friday, November 30th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

At the recent Annapolis meeting, behind closed doors, up close and personal, the assembled Arab foreign ministers refused to shake hands with Tzipi Livni, Israel’s Foreign Minister. She asked her Arab counterparts, especially her Saudi counterpart, why they did not want to shake hands with her. “I am not plague-ridden” Livni said. According to the Dutch minister, all the Arab ministers backed away from her as if “she were Dracula’s sister”. (These details are contained in both today’s Washington Post and in Guysen International News).

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Sudan: Teddy Bear Savagery

Friday, November 30th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Once again, we see how easy it is for the Muslim world to get whipped up into a frenzy of hatred over nothing (a teddy bear?). Do we need further proof of the prevailing attitude of hatred that exists in much of Islam — especially when thousands of people tell us that they’re intolerant (or when we see Iraq’s Sunnis and Shiites, both Muslim groups, kill each other by the thousands)? From the AP:

Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, rallied Friday in a central square and demanded the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad.” …

They [the protestors] called for Gibbons’ execution, saying, “No tolerance: Execution,” and “Kill her, kill her by firing squad.”

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Sudanese Imams Fan the Flames

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Sudan’s Muslim “clerics” are stoking the fires of anti-Western hatred — just as Danish imams threw gasoline on the cartoon “controversy:”

A Sudanese court convicted a British teacher Thursday of insulting Islam for letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad and sentenced her to 15 days in prison, avoiding a heavier punishment of 40 lashes. The teacher wept in court, insisting she never meant to offend. …

The defense said the case was sparked by a school secretary with a grudge. But it escalated as Muslim clerics sought to drum up public outrage against what it called a Western plot to insult Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and demanding Gibbons be punished.

Of course, most of the Muslim parents have taken absolutely no responsibility for anything. The British teacher in question asked her Muslim pupils to choose a name for the teddy bear:

… Ms Gibbons suggested the name “Faris”, which is Arabic for “horseman”. In spite of her recommendation, 20 out of the total 23 class members voted in favour of calling the mascot Mohamed — the name of one of the most popular boys in the class. …

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Integrating Education in Jewish Day Schools: Toward a Jewish Great Books Program

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

By Jonah Cohen

Recent studies show that, relative to their small population, the Jewish people have disproportionately and significantly contributed to “the top ranks of the arts, sciences, law, medicine, finance, entrepreneurship, and the media.” Oddly, Jewish day schools have yet to highlight such intellectual accomplishment in a coherent curriculum. This article argues that Jewish day schools are in need of a “Jewish Great Books” program which would introduce Jewish youth to the original works of eminent Jewish intellectuals in the various academic and artistic fields.

Quid ergo Athenis et Hierosolymis, quipped Tertullian, what has Athens to do with Jerusalem? Answer: quite a bit. The metaphor that western civilization rests on two opposing cities, Athens and Jerusalem, highlights one of the major difficulties confronting Jewish day schools nowadays. How do we coordinate secular curricula and influences (Athens) with Jewish courses and values (Jerusalem)?

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The City and the Writer in Winter

Thursday, November 29th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

This year, summer eerily, languorously, lingered on. We enjoyed balmy days in New York City clear through November. Even now, the trees outside my window remain in full, green leaf. But winter is also here and the days are becoming bitterly cold and windy.

This is the first time in seven years that I have remained silent about so-called “peace” initiatives in the Middle East. What can I possibly add to what has already been said about the meeting in Annapolis? Or, for that matter, about the witch-hunt against AIPAC and the continued, ghastly imprisonment of Jonathan Pollard?

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Accept Israel as the Jewish State?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

by Daniel Pipes*

Surprisingly, something useful has emerged from the combination of the misconceived Annapolis meeting and a weak Israeli prime minister, Ehud (“Peace is achieved through concessions”) Olmert. Breaking with his predecessors, Olmert has boldly demanded that his Palestinian bargaining partners accept Israel’s permanent existence as a Jewish state, thereby evoking a revealing response.

Unless the Palestinians recognize Israel as “a Jewish state,” Olmert announced on November 11, the Annapolis-related talks would not proceed. “I do not intend to compromise in any way over the issue of the Jewish state. This will be a condition for our recognition of a Palestinian state.”

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Support Michael Savage against Islamic supremacists

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

By Bill Levinson

Office Max recently pulled its advertising from the Michael Savage Show in response to the Council on American Islamic Relations’ campaign to destroy the radio show. CAIR posted to the Internet excerpts in which Savage denounces the Koran, “cutting the clitoris off women,” Muslim immigration, and compulsory Islamic garb for women.

Savage’s program is obviously as much showmanship as it is news, and intelligent listeners must separate the wheat from the chaff. Furthermore, we will say up front that Savage should use a selective term like “Islamic supremacists” as opposed to “Muslims” or even “Islamofascists.” Most people understand “Islamofascist” to mean someone who invokes Islam as an excuse to behave like a fascist, but the Left claims that it equates all of Islam with fascism. The Left’s misinterpretation may or may not be intentional, but “Islamic supremacist” removes all doubt and ambiguity.

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CAIR: Exploiting Children for Jihad Propaganda?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

By Andrew Whitehead

Choked for eight seconds against a wall, threatened with death by BB-gun, punched in the arm, and having a head scarf pulled off. Pretty scary stuff, especially if you are an 11 year old.

CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) recently pressed local school officials in Pinellas County (Florida) to investigate a threat it says was made against Hannah Chehab, an 11 year-old female Muslim student.

CAIR’s local executive director, Ahmed Bedier, said that CAIR’s primary concern is the safety of Hannah and the other students at the school.

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Little Hope for Peace in Annapolis

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

By Fern Sidman

As the world focused its attention on yet another round of Middle East peace negotiations, this time orchestrated by the Bush administration and held at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, it was clear that hope does not spring eternal for any kind of meaningful and long lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians in the imminent future.

Despite proclamations from President George W. Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas asserting a commitment to forge ahead with the US sponsored “roadmap to peace” in the region, there remains a multitude of stumbling blocks and endemic policy disagreements between the sides.

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Mr. Palestine?

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

by Daniel Pipes*

Some thoughts on the eve of the Annapolis meeting:

Called the best friend Israel ever had in the White House, George W. Bush is, in my view, worrisomely over-confident. He believes he has discovered the solution to a highly complex and subtle century-old conflict. But I expect major problems.

The cover of the Nov. 24 Economist shows a picture of Bush under a bold headline that reads “Mr Palestine.” The subtitle deems him “The only man who could make it happen” – with “it,” of course, being a Palestinian state. The title is especially provocative when one recalls that for many years Yasir Arafat was the one known as “Mr. Palestine.”

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Putin’s New (новый) Soviet Union (CCCP)

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Russians spent 70 years under the thumb of communist apparatchiks, enjoyed a brief period of relative freedom, only to end up with another commissar/czar, Vladimir Putin. Today’s news out of the Motherland reminds me of the Soviet “elections” where communist party candidates always received 99% or greater of the “vote.” From the AP:

Russian workers told where, how to vote

With the Kremlin determined to see a high turnout in Sunday’s election, many Russians say they are being pressured to vote at work under the watchful eyes of their bosses or risk losing their jobs.

They say they also are being told to provide lists of relatives and friends who will vote for United Russia, the party of President Vladimir Putin.

United Russia is expected to win handily. But Putin has turned the parliamentary elections into a plebiscite on his rule, and the Kremlin appears to be pushing for nothing short of a landslide. …

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Drilling a Hole in the Lifeboat

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

By Barry Rubin

What would you do if your foreign policy agenda had these priorities:

  • Get Arab and European support for solving the Iraq crisis.
  • Mobilize Arab and European forces against a threat led by Iran and its allies, Syria, Hamas, and Hizballah.
  • Get Iran to stop its campaign to get nuclear weapons.
  • Reestablish American credibility toward friends and deterrence toward enemies.
  • Reduce the level of Israel-Palestinian conflict.

That pretty much describes the U.S. framework for dealing with the Middle East nowadays. The Annapolis conference is not going to contribute to these goals. The most likely outcome is either failure or a non-event portrayed as a victory because it took place at all. No one is going to say: We are so grateful at the United States becoming more active on Arab-Israeli issues that we are going to back its policy on other issues.

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The Peaceable, Celestial Kingdom: Some Words About A Wedding Celebration

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

In the midst of my unshakable preoccupation with Hell, I suddenly found myself flung back into the Garden of Earthly Delights, where for six full hours I experienced holiness right here on earth. Time stood still, time no longer existed: a small, sure sign of eternity.

Ambassadors from many universes all came together to celebrate a peaceable, celestial, wedding. I felt as if we were participating in an episode of Star Wars—except we were not actors and the gathering was both real and yet beyond reality. So many different kinds of people were there. Jews, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, pagans, and atheists, feminists and traditionalists, leftists, and rightists, gay and straight, and people with no overriding view of the events of the day whatsoever.

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Another cartoon, er, ah, teddy bear crisis (Islam)

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Radical Islam sure seems to be a problem looking for a solution:

A British schoolteacher has been arrested in Sudan accused of insulting Islam’s Prophet, after she allowed her pupils to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Colleagues of Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, said she made an “innocent mistake” by letting the six and seven-year-olds choose the name.

Ms Gibbons was arrested after several parents made complaints.

The BBC has learned the charge could lead to six months in jail, 40 lashes or a fine. …