Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Financing Iran's nuclear program

On September 24, a group called Stop the Bomb protested in front of the European-Iranian Trade Bank headquarters in Hamburg. They demanded it be closed because of its involvement in Iran's military and nuclear programs.

Indeed, the U.S. government has been leaning on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to close down the bank's Hamburg operations, thus far to no avail. It's doubtful this protest will cause her to change her mind, given the importance of German-Iranian trade ties, but one can always hope. (Thanks to Michael.)

Taking over the streets

A friend told me about this video which secretly films massive Islamic public prayers in Paris. The purpose of these prayers is political; to show that Muslims control at least part of France. While the activity is illegal, the authorities have instructed the police to do nothing. Meanwhile, even residents are blocked from coming and going during the prayers.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Dr. Seuss and the tea party

OK, OK, I realize I'm straying far from this blog's purpose, but this takeoff on Dr. Seuss was forwarded to me by Joe and is too cute to pass up:

I do not like this Uncle Sam,
I do not like his health care scam.
I do not like these dirty crooks,
Or how they lie and cook the books.

I do not like when Congress steals,
I do not like their secret deals.
I do not like this speaker Nan,
I do not like this 'YES, WE CAN'.
I do not like this spending spree---
I'm smart, I know that nothing's free.

I do not like your smug replies,
when I complain about your lies.
I do not like this change and hope.
I do not like it. nope, nope, nope!

Go Green - Recycle Congress in 2010!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

9/11 rally against the mega-mosque

I realize this blog is supposed to be primarily about foreign policy, but this post from Jihad Watch is so interesting you need to take a look at it. The MSM mentioned a rally by the mosque opponents, but it sounded small and unattractive.

Well, guess again; take a look at the picture in the link. The streets are clogged with people who, since it was intended as a 9/11 rally rather than a demonstration, carry flags primarily instead of placards.

It's a good thing there's an internet so that sooner or later we can find out what's going on.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

No, it's not a tradeoff

Barry Rubin provides excellent perspective on the ongoing dispute over the Ground Zero mosque in New York. He notes that this is a project that should never have gotten off the ground, for a number of excellent reasons that have nothing/nothing to do with religion:

-- "The developer has a bad record and is incapable of implementing the project, the financing isn’t there, and they don’t even own half the property in question."

-- The imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, turns out to be a slumlord: "the owner of two New Jersey apartment buildings where he has refused to make repairs, endangering tenants' lives, and now is defying a court."

The tradeoff on this project is not between freedom of religion and protecting the sensitivities of 9/11 families. Rather, it's between good governance and breaking the rules to pander to people perceived to be influential, such as not-so-moderate Imam Rauf.

Read Rubin's piece for more details.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Disrobing the Left

Professor Fred Gottheil of the University of Illinois performed an unusual experiment. He researched the backgrounds of some 900 academics who signed a petition against Israel, and discovered that many of them were in gender or women's studies departments.

Gottheil then prepared a petition protesting human rights violations in Middle Eastern countries, primarily those against women, gays and lesbians and emailed 675 signatories of the original petition, asking them to sign his. Almost none did so.

His explanation: these academics are primarily anti-US or anti-capitalist, with the defining issue being opposition to Israel. They are interested in their academic specialities primarily because those fields allow them to criticize the status quo here. Actually caring about women or minorities is in last place.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Flushing out Islamists

Bill asked just what it is that Zuhdi Jasser would ask Islamists in public in order to make them reveal their true positions. Here's a recent analysis Jasser did of a video purporting to turn Muslims against terrorism. It's rather long and detailed, but gives an idea of his approach. Essentially, he argues that meaningless verbiage about 'extremism' is just that - meaningless.

For a short version of the key questions to ask, here's a 'quiz' developed by Dr. Tawfik Hamid, an Egyptian-American who once belonged to a radical group and is now an outspoken opponent of Islamism. Dubbed the Radical Islam Support Test, it's presented in his excellent book, Inside Jihad (pp. 114-15):

Apostates: Do you support killing them? Should leaving the faith of Islam be punishable by death?

Beating women: Is beating women ever acceptable and if not, do you reject those decrees of Islamic law that sanction the beating of women? Do you also accept stoning women to death for committing adultery?

Calling Jews 'pigs and monkeys': Do you believe that Jews are in any way sub-human and if not, do you reject Quranic interpretations that claim they are?

Declaring Holy War: Do you support declaring war against non-Muslims to subjugate them to Islam? Do you believe that it is fair and reasonable to offer non-Muslims three options: Conversion, Paying the Jizya (discriminatory poll tax), or Death?

Enslavement: Do you support the enslavement of female war prisoners and having sex with them as concubines? If not, do you reject those interpreations in Islamic Law ... which justify such actions?

Fighting Jews: Do you support perpetual war against Jews to exterminate them, and if not, should those Muslims who incite such war be punished?

Gays being killed: Do you believe it is acceptable to kill Gays, and if not, do you reject those edicts in Sharia Law which claim it is?

Hamid concludes: "If a Muslim or Islamic organization fails this quiz, they can safely be regarded as Salafists (Islamic fundamentalists) regardless of any title they use to describe themselves."

Mideast peace - just around the corner?

As Israeli and Palestinian negotiators meet under U.S. auspices to hammer out a peace agreement, Palestinian TV broadcasts a song calling for Palestinians to retake the land of Israel by force.

I can't say as it's great music, but listen to it and you'll get the flavor of how the Palestinian Authority communicates with its people. Peace, my foot! (Thanks to Palestinian Media Watch.)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Bye bye First Amendment rights

Let's see: burning the U.S. flag is protected under the First Amendment, but not burning a Koran.

At least, that appears to be the reaction of Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer. He speculated that, in this age of globalization, Koran burning could be compared to shouting 'fire' in a crowded theater.

So, if some radical imams in Pakistan or Egypt take offense at some cartoon which 99.99% of Americans believe to be inoffensive, where does Breyer draw the line?

Doesn't he understand that 'Muslim rage' isn't just a 'natural' reaction: that Muslim authorities can and should can be held responsible for either calming or inflaming the situation? Tawfiq Hamid last week in the Wall Street Journal (sorry, but I can't link to it) laid out ways in which this could be done.

And why is it that a Supreme Court Justice doesn't know this? Or, if he doesn't, why doesn't he inform himself before speaking out on the topic? (Thanks to CNS News.)


In the current wave of accusations that Americans are extremists and Islamophobes, Raymond Ibrahim offers a sobering look at the question of Muslim loyalty to America. He notes:

"Prominent American Muslim jurists have ... proclaimed that 'It is forbidden to work for the FBI or for U.S. security services because these harm Muslims.' Another Muslim jurist said it is permissible for Muslims to serve in the U.S. military — provided they are not 'involved in fighting, harming, or even bothering Muslims at all.' Similarly, the authoritative Assembly of Muslim Jurists of America issued a fatwa stating that it is 'not permissible' for American Muslims to send aid, even food, to American troops serving in Muslim countries."

But what about those not in the military? Well: "when necessary, Muslims are permitted to feign friendship and loyalty to non-Muslims, or, in the words of Abu Darda, a pious companion of Muhammad, 'We smile in the face of some people although our hearts curse them.'"

Zuhdi Jasser of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy tries to 'out' Islamists by challenging them to public debates in which he asks pointed questions designed to reveal this kind of deception. Many more people need to do the same. It may not fix the problem, but it will raise the stakes for those Muslims who are indeed disloyal to the United States.

I have no way of knowing how many American Muslims are loyal and how many are not, but this is not/not a religious question and should not be obfuscated under the rubric of 'religious freedom.' It will keep coming up, every time an 'extremist' tries to kill other people. Our elites may refuse to acknowledge this problem, but the average American knows it's there, lurking.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Thuggery revealed

For those few (including President Obama and Mayor Bloomberg) who still think Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a 'moderate', here's proof he's not. According to the Associated Press: "The imam behind a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero cautioned Wednesday that moving the facility could cause a violent backlash from Muslim extremists and endanger national security."

Yes, and if you don't do exactly as I wish, my goons will come visit you.

Most Americans seem to have figured out who Rauf really is, but I do wish our political leaders were smart enough to do so too. (Thanks to Joe and Jihad Watch.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Louisiana pushes back

Earlier this year, the State of Louisiana passed a law requiring Louisiana courts to base their decisions on American and Louisiana law, not Islamic sharia law. The goal is to pre-empt judges who seek to make exceptions for Muslims - usually at the expense of a woman, in spousal abuse or divorce cases.

As the Louisiana statute puts it: "The legislature finds that it shall be the public policy of this state to protect its citizens from the application of foreign laws when the application of a foreign law will result in the violation of a right guaranteed by the constitution of this state or of the United States, including but not limited to due process, freedom of religion, speech, or press, and any right of privacy or marriage as specifically defined by the constitution of this state."

Oklahoma may follow suit. Let's hope the other 48 states do the same; sharia law is incompatible with our laws and no amount of political correctness can disguise that fact.