Archive for December, 2007

What does Benazir Bhutto Have in Common with Hillary Clinton?

Monday, December 31st, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

I knew that trouble had found me yet again when an old Asia hand cautioned me to not “jump off the deep end” and jeopardize my otherwise valuable credibility. Apparently, my second blog about Bhutto’s assassination had begun to ring all kinds of bells and whistles amongst my colleagues, friends, and readers. She felt, understandably, that my bringing a feminist perspective about honor murders to bear on the Bhutto murder revealed a lack of sophistication about Pakistani politics. Point well taken—but read on.

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Musharraf has Bhutto’s blood on his hands

Sunday, December 30th, 2007

By Andrew L. Jaffee

Just where was the security for Benazir Bhutto? In Rawalpindi, the military headquarters of the Pakistan Armed Forces, two men walked right up to Bhutto unchallenged and murdered her in cold blood. It is all on film, and completely contradicts the pathetic story being peddled by President Musharraf and his “government.” Musharraf was supposedly in charge of providing security for Benazir, under “martial law” no less. Bhutto’s blood is on Musharraf’s hands — he was head of Pakistan’s Armed Forces until a few days ago. After watching the video, it is indisputable that the assassination could have been easily prevented. Bhutto was Musharraf’s only viable election opponent. In light of the Channel 4 video, I now believe Pakistan’s “President” either explicitly ordered Bhutto’s execution, or passively allowed it to happen — same difference.

There are myriad reasons to suspect Musharraf’s involvement:

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Bhutto’s Assassination is a Political and Cultural Honor Killing

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

In a sense, the assassination of Benazir Bhutto is a political and cultural version of an honor killing. Bhutto was the first woman Prime Minister of a Muslim nation and she symbolized an unacceptably Western form of female ambition and achievement. She had attended Harvard/Radcliffe and Oxford. She spoke English—perhaps more fluently than she spoke her native Sindi or Urdu. She once dressed as Western women do. Indeed, many Muslim women from wealthy families, including educators and feminists, have done so for a long time. They cannot do so now.

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Who killed Benazir Bhutto?

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

By Kamal Nawash

While there is no conclusive answer to who killed former Pakistani Prime Minister Bhutto. So far the only claim of responsibility has come from an Al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan, who posted the assertion on an Italian web site. Al Qaeda posted the following message: “We terminated the most precious American asset which vowed to defeat the mujahideen (holy warriors).”

Bhutto was an outspoken critic of Al Qaeda and other extremist Islamist groups. Consequently, Al Qaeda and other Islamist groups hated her for her rhetoric, for supporting secularism and for being a woman.

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Immigration, both legal and illegal, puts huge strain on the country

Friday, December 28th, 2007

By Steven A. Camarota

The debate over immigration has become one of America’s most heated. In a new report published by the Center for Immigration Studies, we provide a detailed picture of the nation’s immigrant population. Our conclusions will probably not surprise most Californians: First, legal and illegal immigration is at record levels. Second, immigrants are generally hardworking, yet they create enormous strains on social services. Why? Put simply, many are uneducated.

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CAIR’s Legal Eagle Jumps Ship?

Friday, December 28th, 2007

By Andrew Whitehead

On December 27, 2007, Arsalan Iftikhar, CAIR’s legal advisor was introduced on the Bill O’Reilly TV program as the “former” attorney for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

This raises some serious questions for CAIR, such as:

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R.I.P. Benazir: A Modest Proposal for Preventing Islamists from Killing the Rest of Us

Friday, December 28th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

Yesterday, I wrote about societies choosing to jail anti-Islamist dissidents and innocent Muslim civilians who are being threatened with honor murder or with other atrocities. I asked how big the jail would have to be and whether societies could actually afford to protect the innocent from the fanatically murderous. Clearly, we can not afford to sacrifice them to a political death-cult either.

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Jailing the Intended Victims of Honor Killings for Their Own Good

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

In an attempt to protect high-profile Muslim and ex-Muslim dissidents who have had fatwas issued against them: Taslima Nasreen or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, for example, the “good” people have been forced to jail them, not their attackers. Today, Nasreen says she is a “virtual prisoner” in Delhi where, for her own safety, the Indian government has stashed her after a mob of fanatic Islamists tried to kill her. When Hirsi Ali was similarly threatened, the Dutch government was forced to essentially “jail” Hirsi Ali for her own good.

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The Palestinian Economy in Shambles

Thursday, December 27th, 2007

by Daniel Pipes*

Western financial aid to the Palestinians has, I showed last week, the perverse and counterintuitive effect of increasing their rate of homicides, including terrorist ones. This week, I offer two pieces of perhaps even stranger news about the many billions of dollars and record-shattering per-capita donations from the West: First, these have rendered the Palestinians poorer. Second, Palestinian impoverishment is a long-term positive development.

To begin, some basic facts about the Palestinian economy, drawing on a fine survey by Ziv Hellman, “Terminal Situation,” in the Dec. 24 issue of Jerusalem Report:

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The Year of Acting Dangerously

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

By Barry Rubin

While 2007 didn’t greatly change the Middle East compared to some of its predecessors, here are some of its significant trends which will continue to dominate the year to come.

1. Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip. This is the most important single Middle East event of 2007 because it is a clear, probably irreversible, shift in the balance of power. Four decades of a movement dominated by nationalists has come to an end. Given Fatah’s continuing weaknesses it is conceivable that Hamas will take over the West Bank within a few years and marginalize its rival. To Islamists, this is a great victory. In fact, it is a disaster for Palestinians and Arabs. It deepens divisions and destroys any real (as opposed to the silly superficial events that take up governments’ time and media space) diplomatic option for them. A negotiated resolution of the Arab-Israeli or Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and with it prospects for a Palestinian state, has been set back for decades. Much Western sympathy has been lost. In years to come, struggles between Arab nationalists and Islamists, as well as between Sunnis and Shias, will dwarf the Arab-Israeli conflict. During 2008 we will have to assess whether the Palestinian Authority still ruling the West Bank can meet the Hamas challenge. (We already know it won’t meet the diplomatic challenge but it will take all year for most Western politicians and much of the media to discover that.)

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Refusing to rape = racism if you are an Israeli soldier

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

Hebrew University has just awarded a research prize to a graduate student’s essay in which she claims that Israeli soldiers are “racists for not raping Arab women.”
(See http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/124674 )

This is no joke—anyway, who could make this up? The graduate student is a woman named Tal Nitzan. Her anthropological essay has been published by the Hebrew University’s “Shaine Center.”

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U.S.-Kurdish Relations in Post-Invasion Iraq

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

By Aram Rafaat

The Kurds’ desire to secure and consolidate the freedoms they enjoyed in the decade prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq has reshaped U.S.-Kurdish relations in many ways. In order to keep Iraq united with a strong central government, U.S. policy tries to ensure that the Kurds do not seek independence. At the same time, though, The United States has tried to work with the Kurdish Regional Government. The Kurds have equally tried to support the U.S. presence in Iraq as they too benefit from the cooperative relationship.

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For Whom The Bell Tolls: Ehrenfeld vs Bin Mahfouz

Monday, December 24th, 2007

By Phyllis Chesler

“The Saudis are Coming, the Saudis are Coming”—and this time they mean to tax and silence us via lawsuit, not via military action. Paul Revere’s pre-revolutionary alarm about “The British are Coming” might still apply since British law is now actively aiding and abetting the Saudi crusade against freedom of speech in the West.

Where are all the First Amendment fanatics when we need them? Actually—they are all here. (See below for the incredible line-up of organizations that submitted an amicus curiae brief).

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Was Barack Obama a Muslim?

Monday, December 24th, 2007

by Daniel Pipes*

“If I were a Muslim I would let you know,” Barack Obama has said, and I believe him. In fact, he is a practicing Christian, a member of the Trinity United Church of Christ. He is not now a Muslim.

But was he ever a Muslim or seen by others as a Muslim? More precisely, might Muslims consider him a murtadd (apostate), that is, a Muslim who converted to another religion and, therefore, someone whose blood may be shed?

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Is There A Bottom?

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

by Dr. Steve Carol

As the Olmert government continues its obsession to basically ignore continued Arab rocket attacks on Israeli towns and citizens, to surrender additional territory including Jerusalem, and do the work of previous Arab/Muslim conquerors and uproot Jews from the Land of Israel even before the Arabs achieve victory — news continues to flow in which raises the question again and again, “Is there a bottom to the pit of depravity to which the current Israeli government will sink?”

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