UNHRC: Freedom of Religion Trumps Everything Else

I often write derogatorily about Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), the quasi-independent groups that assist the UN, the EU, and various national governments in a number of fields. They are frequently leftist organizations, growing out of the various non-profit foundations which push notorious Marxist, feminist, or radical environmental positions on governments and international bodies.

But some of the NGOs are on our side, and David Littman is involved in several of them. Nobody has done more than he to expose the corrupt chicanery and dangerous appeasement practiced by the UN and the EU.

And for that reason, the United Nations Human Rights Council has attempted to silence him:

The top U.N. human rights official said Wednesday she was concerned at possible “taboo” subjects at the U.N. Human Rights Council after the chair blocked any discussion on Islamic Sharia law.

The 47-member council “should be, among other things, the guardian of freedom of expression,” Human Rights Commissioner Louise Arbour told journalists.

“There are obstacles at the council level,” said Arbour, who steps down from her post at the end of the month.

David LittmanHer comments follow the decision of Council chair Doru Romulus Costea on Monday to cut off a speaker who raised the subject of Islamic Sharia law in relation to human rights.

David Littman, reading a joint declaration by two NGOs, the Association for World Education and the International Humanist and Ethical Union, had highlighted the plight of women in countries which apply Sharia law, including the death penalty by stoning for alleged adultery.

– – – – – – – –

His words sparked a furious response from Arab and Islamic members of the council, with Egyptian ambassador Amr Roshdy declaring: “Islam won’t be crucified before this Council”.

The chair intervened to say that “this Council is not prepared to discuss religious matters in depth,” and warned Littman he would be interrupted should he try to raise the issue again.

Costea defended his stance Wednesday, insisting that “the Council doesn’t have the expertise to debate about the fascinating links between religion and human rights.”

“It’s a matter in which we have to be very careful,” he added.

The Council doesn’t have the expertise to debate about the fascinating links between religion and human rights.

In other words, if your religion makes you commit atrocities, they’re not atrocities in the eyes of the United Nations. If people are oppressed in the name of religion, then it’s not oppression.

According to the United Nations, freedom of religion gives Muslims carte blanche to do whatever they want to anyone at any time, and it’s of no concern to the UNHCR.

Human rights? We don’t need no stinkin’ human rights!

We’ve got Islam instead.

Hat tip: Frontinus.

The Greatest Betrayal in History

The Fjordman Report

The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.

This post was compiled from comments made on one of last night’s posts.

Swedish RapeThe scale of violent crime white people are being subject to in countries such as Sweden resembles warfare. Not only does the state not protect people against this racist violence, it actively sides with the attackers. Which means that the social contract is now dead and buried in most Western countries. The state is either expensive and irrelevant or it is an outright enemy.

The numbers in Sweden, and no doubt elsewhere, are worse than we are told. They are being heavily manipulated by the authorities and the media, who claim that the massive increase in rapes is caused by:

A.   The warm weather/global warming,
B.   Alcohol,
C.   Internet dating sites, and
D.   A technical increase due to the fact that women suddenly report rape more frequently than before.

These are the explanations that are mentioned. There is no other.

Suggesting that it has something to do with mass immigration of alien cultures is quite literally banned by law. A Swedish man was arrested, brought in front of the local court and sentenced for “hate speech” for carrying a sign during a demonstration suggesting that rape was linked to immigration.

Meanwhile, Norwegians are being told that we need to hire thousands of more cops to contain the massive increase in crime brought on by mass immigration (which is still supposed to be “good for the economy), a mass immigration that will not only continue but increase. Nobody among the Leftist media elites says it should stop, they say it should continue indefinitely, and there are more and more hysterical witch-hunts against “racism” by the white indigenous people. It’s state-sponsored ethnic cleansing of the native population, cheered by our own media and intellectuals, in short: The greatest betrayal in history.

Fredrik ReinfeldtThis is part of a massive and prolonged campaign of psychological warfare against whites in general that has been going on for several generations now, to strip whites of any sense of pride or self-respect. The current Swedish “conservative” prime minister has stated in public that his county’s traditional culture was merely barbarism, and that anything good was imported from abroad. While Swedish girls get gang raped by Muslim immigrants who are met with “respect for their diverse culture,” Swedish boys are being systematically indoctrinated with radical Feminism, in the most extreme cases being forced to wear female clothes and take female names by kindergarten teachers.

On the International Women’s Day, March 8 2008, the columnist Marte Michelet in the left-wing pro-Multicultural Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet attacked “brown” feminists. And no, by that she did not mean feminists with a dark skin, but those championing “Fascist,” racist and Islamophobic forces. She is the daughter of the Communist writer Jon Michelet and was until 1998 the leader of the Red Youth, the country’s “revolutionary youth league.”

Many Marxist feminists, who have for generations worked to break down Christianity and the nuclear family in the West, now passionately embrace Islam, the most repressive religion on earth. Marxists do not care about “women’s liberty.” They do not care about anybody’s liberty. They support anything that can destabilize the West. The fact that a newspaper that has been at the forefront of radical Feminism for generations now suddenly warns against “Islamophobia” and “prejudice” against the world’s most anti-female religion is highly revealing.

Attacks on Western history in order to instill shame into Western youths, a shame that militates against their thinking that their civilization is worth defending, are very common, especially targeting female students. Here is a quote from the book Religion of Peace?: Why Christianity Is and Islam Isn’t by Robert Spencer:
– – – – – – – –

Spencer: Religion of Peace?A white American student, ‘Rachel,’ unwittingly summed up this attitude when she told American Indian professor Dr. David Yeagley in 2001: ‘Look, Dr. Yeagley, I don’t see anything about my culture to be proud of. It’s all nothing. My race is just nothing…. Look at your culture. Look at American Indian tradition. Now I think that’s really great. You have something to be proud of. My culture is nothing.’ Yeagley mused: ‘The Cheyenne people have a saying: A nation is never conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground….When Rachel denounced her people, she did it with the serene self-confidence of a High Priestess reciting a liturgy. She said it without fear of criticism or censure. And she received none. The other students listened in silence, their eyes moving timidly back and forth between me and Rachel, as if unsure which of us constituted a higher authority….Who had conquered Rachel’s people? What had led her to disrespect them? Why did she behave like a woman of a defeated tribe?’

I have engaged in endless debates with people who see no relationship between traditional economic Marxism, as promoted by Karl Marx himself, and today’s “cultural Marxism.” But they miss the point. The most important mutation that happened with the various strains of Marxism during the twentieth century was that they understood that the traditional doctrine that a Socialist society was “inevitable” was incorrect. Their revolutions didn’t happen, in the West at least. But this didn’t mean that they gave up their end goals, which have largely remained the same.

Red FeminismThey just changed the strategy needed in order to achieve these main goals, and focused on breaking down Western culture in every way, until there was no resistance left to implement their totalitarian society. That’s what has been going on for decades now, where traditional attitudes to marriage etc. have gradually become banned by law. Turning Western women, especially white women, into weapons of mass destruction against their own civilization has been a key component of this strategy, and unfortunately a rather successful one.

Also, I don’t buy this “blaming Western men” stuff. I’m tired of it. If we are guilty of anything, it is of being too kind too Western women, and letting them get away with their nonsense too often.

If women want to be taken seriously, they should take responsibility for their own actions. Women cannot attack men for decades and blame them for being male chauvinist pigs, generally evil, stupid and weak and then expect men to come rushing to their defense to clean up the problems women themselves voted to create.

There are still a few sensible self-designated feminists left in the West, but they clearly constitute a minority. I’ve been told by radical feminists that rape is a weapon used by men — that is, men in general — to keep women down. This is also the line Swedish feminists usually take regarding rapes: It’s about the “patriarchy,” not about mass immigration. Swedish men are just as bad as the Taliban, as one prominent feminist famously said.

As one of Marilyn French’s characters said, “All men are rapists, and that’s all they are.” In Norway in 2008, we had a case where a native teenage girl had been gang raped by Muslim immigrants, and the four female judges voted in favor of giving the rapists a “discount” on the minor compensations they were sentenced to pay to the victim. The one dissenting judge was the one male. As the female blogger Nina commented, this and other cases indicate that we need fewer female judges, not more.

Women are simply too soft and emotional to be performing these kinds of tasks. The effect of radical Feminism is to treat all men as criminals, except those who really are criminals, who should receive soft treatment. All men are rapists, except those who actually are. They are victims of “society.” Despite the fact that Muslim immigration has triggered an unprecedented wave of anti-female violence, women still vote disproportionately for pro-immigration parties, and yell “racism” at men who suggest it’s not a good idea.

Women cannot be cruel to decent men and kind to evil men and expect that this has no consequences in the long run. Why should Western men worry about women who show us nothing but hostility? Maybe we’ll just be patriarchal simpletons, drink beer, fart and watch football on TV?

What we are dealing with in the Western world is demographic warfare closely aligned with psychological warfare, aimed at breaking down our self-confidence and self-awareness to the point where our technological superiority is rendered useless because we are ashamed of ourselves or incapable of articulating what we should fight for. Sun Tzu in The Art of War said that wars are won in the temples before they are fought. The mass media are the temples of our time, which means that we are currently losing badly.

The MinutemanRobert D. Kaplan says that he “re-read both The Art of War by the 6th-century BCE Chinese court minister Sun-Tzu and On War by the early 19th-century Prussian General Carl von Clausewitz. What struck me straight away, thanks to my recent travels-in-arms, was not what either author said, but what both assumed. Both Sun-Tzu and Clausewitz believe — in their states, their sovereigns, their homelands. Because they believe, they are willing to fight. This is so clear that they never need to state it, and they never do… Both oppose militarism, but accept the reality of war, and from that acceptance reason that any policy lacking martial vigor — any policy that fails to communicate a warrior spirit — only makes war more likely.”

According to Clausewitz, “In affairs so dangerous as war, false ideas proceeding from kindness of heart are precisely the worst…The fact that slaughter is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords in the name of humanity. Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharp sword and hack off our arms.”

As a final note on this whole sorry state of affairs — the Swedish parliament passed a law yesterday which orders comprehensive electronic surveillance of all citizens:

Swedish lawmakers voted late on Wednesday in favour of a controversial bill allowing all emails and phone calls to be monitored in the name of national security.

This law will make Sweden more totalitarian than even the former Communist dictatorship of East Germany.

Libya is Bullish on Bosnia

According to ANSAmed:

Libya Announces Investments in Bosnia

Sarajevo, June 18 — Libya’s Finance Ministry, on the occasion of a bilateral meeting that took place in Sarajevo, announced the launching of a plan for investments in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The initial investment worth a total of 500 million euro should be carried out through the development bank of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Sarajevo office of the Italian Foreign Trade Institute (ICE) reported. Libya is willing to continue with the investments in the public and private sectors of the country, both independently and in collaboration with Bosnian and foreign partners.

In May the governments of the two countries signed the decree on cooperation, which envisages the commitment of both Libya and Bosnia-Herzegovina to stimulate the investments in the sectors of primary interest to the two countries.

Hat tip: insubria.

[Nothing follows]

The Dog Didn’t Bark at the Elephant in the Room

Fjordman has written numerous articles about the immigrant rape wave in Sweden. See the bottom of this post for links to his posts on the topic.

He has emphasized repeatedly that the authorities in Sweden are in denial about the nature of the rape epidemic, and that they attempt to explain it away without ever mentioning the number of rapes committed by Third World immigrants, especially Muslims.

The latest batch of statistics from Sweden confirms the pattern: the incidence of rape has increased dramatically in the last decade. Sweden, a historically peaceful country with a low rate of violent crime, is undergoing an unprecedented epidemic of rapes.

Since the government doesn’t keep statistics on the ethnicity of perps and victims, no one really knows the significance of immigration as it applies to the current crime wave. But anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that most of the perpetrators are young Muslim immigrants, often gang members, and the victims are “persons of Swedish background”. Read some of Fjordman’s articles for the details that point to this conclusion.

The latest report is notable for what it doesn’t say. The immigrant elephant is in the room, but the Swedish government and media are unwilling to acknowledge it:

Swedish rape stats rise

The number of reported rapes in Sweden has risen sharply in the last ten years, according to a new survey by Brå, the Swedish national council for crime prevention.

The report highlights other interesting statistics about the changing face of rape crime in Sweden.

Victims and rapists are less likely to know each other well and there have been less so-called random attack rapes in the last ten years.

The number of reported rapes on people over the age of 15 years has doubled since ten years ago. Around 3,500 rapes were reported in 2007.

According to the crime prevention council, rapes reported most occurred between people of no or little acquaintance. This type of rape has risen by 10 percent between 1996 and 2006.

– – – – – – – –

“Rape is one of the most violating crimes against a person. The last decade has seen strong opinions voiced against men’s violence towards women, and the law regarding sexual offences has been reworked several times.

Now comes the most common explanation for the increase — more rapes are being reported nowadays:

“A change in the law also means that many more of the more minor sexual assaults are now considered a crime and are being reported. As a result, more rapes are reported, which is positive”, said Jan Andersson, director general of Brå in a statement.

The incidence of rape has doubled because more of the “minor assaults” are being reported?

OK. Now pull the other one.

Also: what used to be called “sexual assault” or “sexual abuse” is now called rape:

The law was changed in 2005 so that criminal actions that had once been classified as sexual assault or sexual abuse are now judged as rape. This also goes some way toward explaining the rise in rape statistics.

All right, I believe that. Now tell me the relative proportions: how many of the incidents now labeled “rape” would likely have been designated otherwise under the old system?

Reported rapes where the parties concerned don’t know each other often occur in a private home which doesn’t belong to either victim or rapist. The growing prevalence of this type of rape is not only due to an increase in reported rapes, but also to a change in people’s lifestyles.

So the atomization of society contributes to an increase in rape. I’ll buy that, but once again: give me the numbers. How much of the increase is attributable to such things? Remember, we’re talking about a doubling of the incidence of this crime.

And, when all else fails, blame the internet:

According to Klara Hradilova Selin of Brå, it should also be taken into account that “a more active night life and a flurry of internet dating websites enable contacts, often for purely sexual reasons”.

For some reason, all the rape-wave stories seem related to this one:

Fire-fighters given police escort to rowdy Malmö suburb

Before we go any further, notice the adjective chosen here by The Local: “rowdy”.

This word is used to characterize the rambunctious residents of Rosengård, a suburb that is made up almost entirely of Muslim immigrants.

Arson, theft, mugging, looting, and rape: put it down to simple “rowdiness”.

These kids, they’re like the high-spirited Taliban. Or maybe those zany cut-ups from Al-Qaeda.

Malmö fire-fighters will in the future be given a police escort when visiting the suburb of Rosengård. Fire-fighters have demanded protection after having been repeatedly subjected to stone throwing and death threats.

Authorities decided on Thursday to provide protection to fire-fighters after a call-out on Thursday evening turned violent. Fire-fighters were subjected to stone-throwing and received death threats when battling a blaze in Rosengård, according to SVT.

Fire-fighters are now required to await a police escort before entering the area.

So the firemen require a police escort.

What about those unfortunate girls “of Swedish background”? The ones who dye their hair a darker shade in hope of passing by a group of “rowdy” youths without attracting their attention?

It’s important to remember that these high-spirited youths are in the habit of setting schools on fire and then waiting for the fire brigade so they can pelt them with stones.

And while they’re waiting, they keep an eye out for some of those cute little blonde chickies to help them pass the time…

Steen, Fjordman, and TB all deserve hat tips for this stuff.

Posts by Fjordman concerning the wave of rapes perpetrated by immigrants in Sweden:

The Protest at the Islamic Saudi Academy

I reported Monday night on the upcoming demonstration at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria. The event went off as planned early the yesterday morning. One of the protesters emailed me this afternoon with this brief account:

ISA demoThe demonstration made both The Washington Times and The Washington Post, and got a lot of TV coverage. This is the kind of thing — against the Saudis — that will get MSM coverage. Also, the sex abuse charges contributed to the media attention.

Gerald Connolly, the chairman of the Fairfax Board of Supervisors, is on the videotape, and he gets quite testy and silly — says we’re all bigots. All this has happened due to his support — the whole Islamization of Northern Virginia.

ISA demo

I didn’t look for the WaPo article — I stay away from that paper as much as I can — but here are some excerpts from the online version of the Times article :

Islamic school draws fire

Protest follows arrest of top official on obstruction charge

ISA demoThe arrest of a top official at a Saudi-financed school in Northern Virginia has fueled further criticism of the institution following findings released last week that say its textbooks contained violent and intolerant language.

“They’re free to come here and worship, but they are not free to come here and teach hate,” said Andrea Lafferty, executive director of the Traditional Values Coalition and one of about 15 protesters that gathered Tuesday morning outside the Islamic Saudi Academy’s main campus in Alexandria.

The academy — a 900-student private school with campuses in Alexandria and Fairfax — has been the subject of renewed scrutiny after an investigation by the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom found that textbooks used in the school contained passages that blame Jews for “discord” and say it is sometimes permissible to kill non-Muslims.

The school’s director general, Abdalla Al-Shabnan, was arrested June 9 and charged with obstruction of justice — a misdemeanor count that follows accusations that he failed to report an allegation of child abuse made by a student at the school.

A 5-year-old girl at the academy’s campus in Fairfax said she had been sexually assaulted by a family member, according to court documents. Mr. Al-Shabnan, 52, met with the child’s parents, documents show, but did not notify authorities of the complaint within a 72-hour period required by Virginia law.

“At no time did [Mr. Al-Shabnan] report the allegations to any child protective agency or law enforcement agency,” an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court says. “He further stated that he was not aware that he was required to make such a report.”

– – – – – – – –

Court documents also say Mr. Al-Shabnan “stated he did not believe [the girl’s] complaint and felt she may be attempting to gain attention.” He ordered a written report of the incident deleted from a secretary’s computer at the Fairfax campus, documents say.

As part of the investigation, Fairfax County Police searched school offices last month and seized computers, notebooks, student files and disks.


Protesters on Tuesday said the director’s arrest was another sign of trouble at the academy. The textbook review conducted by the federal panel focused on 17 books used during the last school year and obtained from independent sources.

The passages found in the review include a 12th-grade Koranic interpretation textbook that states it is permissible for a Muslim to kill those who have left the faith and one that says “the Jews conspired against Islam and its people.”


“That’s absolutely not true,” said Rahima Abdullah, the school’s education department director. “What we teach here is love and tolerance.”

The school has since released a statement calling the panel’s report “erroneous” and saying it “contains mistranslated and misinterpreted texts.”

“We have new books now, and the ones the commission is talking about have been out of use for some time, and were misinterpreted then,” Ms. Abdullah said.

Ah, yes — misinterpreted again. Happens a lot, doesn’t it?

“Jihad” doesn’t mean “holy war”. It means “peace, love, and understanding”. Everyone knows that.

This school would not be attracting all the media attention if it hadn’t been for the child sex abuse charges. The Islamization of Northern Virginia isn’t news enough by itself — somebody had to hurt an innocent little kid before the TV and the newspapers could interest themselves in it.

But the spotlight is on the Islamic Saudi Academy now. We’ll see what happens next.

Several videos of the demonstration can be found here.

Credit for the first two photos: Pakay Media.

It’s a Fish-Eat-Fish World

Last night, in a post that described the opposition of various European socialist parties to the Treaty of Lisbon, I asked the following question:

What’s going on? Why has the European Union, for two generations the great wet dream of European socialism, suddenly become a bad idea?

In the comments section on the post, Ypp came up with an answer that makes sense to me (edited slightly for clarity):

Fish-eat-fishThat always was the fate of the left. Those who offered the ideas were later overcome by those who grabbed more power using their ideas.

The “idealists” then go into opposition, claiming lack of democracy. The same happened with the Russian Social-Democrats, Social-Revolutionaries, and various types of opposition within the Bolshevik party itself.

– – – – – – – –

Now it’s happening with Clinton supporters. They’ve lost their power and recalled democracy. Which is not bad, by the way. We all learn.

So the big socialist fish is eating all the little socialist fishes, and the little fishes don’t like it.

But the socialist fishes aren’t the only little fishes being gobbled up. Any political party which has been participating democratically at the national level in the EU member states is finding itself marginalized.

Not only that, the elected members of the European Parliament do not have the power that they would have in a properly-functioning legislative body. The important legislation is drafted in other non-democratic organs of the European superstate, mostly in the European Commission.

The MEPs are really just window-dressing on a huge dictatorial edifice, just as the “legislative” bodies of the Soviet Union were. The real power lies elsewhere.

Fish-eat-fishSo it’s no surprise that the little fishes are now acting in concert and turning on the big fish whose gaping jaws were about to swallow them.

Fjordman on the Causes of Anti-Semitism

Fjordman has written previously here about the causes of anti-Semitism. Last night he published a more extensive analysis of the subject at Atlas Shrugs. Below are some excerpts:

AMDG, a Spanish contributor to the Gates of Vienna blog and writer at the website La Yijad en Eurabia, has suggested that I should start with pre-Christian anti-Semitism, since anti-Semitism is much older than Christianity. He has a point. Greeks and Romans (Europeans, or proto-Europeans) could display real anti-Semitism. Jewish and Greek civilizations clashed with regards to nudity in art, the representation of man etc. Traditional Jews resisted Hellenization successfully, which is some of the background for why Hanukkah, or the Festival of Lights, is celebrated today.

The Romans did destroy the Second Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70, but I would be careful with saying that this was because of “anti-Semitism” in the modern understanding of the term. The Romans could be brutal; you don’t create the world’s largest empire by being fluffy little bunnies. However, they were “tolerant” in the sense that they didn’t much care about which religion their subjects adhered to as long as they accepted the political supremacy of the Roman state. Most religious communities did, but the Jews were different. Some of the same applies to the early Christians, who were sometimes persecuted by Roman authorities. They too were “different,” and they were reluctant to honor the emperors as semi-divinities because this was considered to be idolatry and thus conflicted with the Ten Commandments (which they had inherited from the Jews). Jesus of Nazareth himself was executed (according to all four canonical gospels) at the hands of the local Roman Prefect, Pontius Pilate.Although Jews have sometimes been vilified as “Christ killers,” those actually carrying out the crucifixion were Romans. So why don’t we hate the Romans?

Among the more recent accusations I’ve heard against Jews among the post-Christian crowd (who don’t care about who did or did not kill Jesus) is that Jews are overrepresented among Marxists and Multiculturalists. It is true that there are quite a few Jews among prominent Multiculturalists. That’s not “anti-Semitism,” it’s a factual statement. I’ve never been able to understand why American Jews vote so overwhelmingly for the Democrats, even for Obama, but they do. I don’t see how that makes Jews substantially different from Christian or post-Christian Westerners, though. There is a suicidal streak to Western culture right now, and it’s almost universally shared by all groups. Those who think that Jews are “conspiring against us” should reflect over the fact that Jews are disproportionately represented among those defending European civilization (Andrew Bostom, Bat Ye’or etc.). Moreover, many of the most prominent “suicide Jews” are suicidal on behalf of Jews, not Gentiles. The prominent left-wing intellectual Noam Chomsky has met on friendly terms with leaders of Hezbollah, an Islamic terrorist organization that wants to murder Jews and destroy the Jewish state of Israel.

One possible reason for hatred against Jews is plain old envy, and here there are parallels with ethnic minorities elsewhere.

– – – – – – – –


Hatred of Jews among Christians does exist, but Jew hatred has a much stronger scriptural basis in Islam than it has in Christianity. The Australian Jihadist David Hicks, who has trained with Islamic terrorists in Afghanistan, writes that “Muslims fight against Jews and they kill them.” He can base this directly in Islamic religious scriptures, both the Koran and the hadith. For instance, one authentic (according to Sunni Muslims) hadith states that: “Allah’s Apostle said, ‘The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.’“ (Bukhari 4.52.177)

There is nothing like this in the Christian Gospels. After all, Jesus of Nazareth was himself as Jew, as were many of his early disciples. Muhammad was not. He spent his days murdering many Jews, among them the Medinan tribe of Banu Quraiza. Jesus never killed anybody, nor did he encourage others to do so for him

Will the Greeks Get a Referendum?

If several Greek political parties get their way, Greece will hold a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon. According to ANSAmed:

EU: Treaty, Greek Parliament Votes on Referendum

Athens, June 17 — The Greek parliament gathers today to discuss and vote on a proposal put forward by socialist party PASOK for a national referendum on the European Treaty, despite the fact that the treaty was already approved by the single-chamber parliament last week.

The proposal of PASOK, which voted for the ratification, has symbolic value as the ruling New Democracy (ND, centre-right) of Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis has the sufficient absolute majority to reject the initiative of George Papandreou. Together with PASOK’s proposal, the parliament will also vote on three similar motions presented by the left-wing coalition Syriza, the communists (KKE) and the small right-wing party Laos.

– – – – – – – –

The parliamentary debate is interesting not so much for the results but for the possible position against the referendum to be taken by MPs of PASOK close to former Prime Minister Costas Simitis. Simitis was recently expelled from the party’s parliamentary group for criticising Papandreou’s position on the referendum, and for that matter the polls show strong divisions within PASOK and there are serious concerns of a split.

According to some observers, Simitis’ attack could be the beginning of an action aimed at challenging the leadership of Papandreou who is accused of making PASOK lose much of its supporters.

There are a couple of interesting things at work here. One is the split within a major political party over the Lisbon Treaty, which echoes what is happening in Britain.

It’s also worth noting that so many opponents of Lisbon (or at least so many proponents of referenda) are from various socialist parties. There are Euro-skeptics in the British Labour Party, and the Socialist Party in the Netherlands wants the Dutch government to halt the ratification process.

What’s going on? Why has the European Union, for two generations the great wet dream of European socialism, suddenly become a bad idea?

I’m open to suggestions.

Hat tip: insubria.

The OIC’s Plan for Fighting Islamophobia

Just for the sake of argument, pretend that you have no opinion about Islam or the mass immigration of Muslims into the countries of the West. Imagine that all the information about it is available to you, but that you have drawn no conclusions.

Now, after looking at the situation, would you conclude that virtually all the problems faced by the world’s Muslims were caused by Western Islamophobia?

Not by endemic ignorance, poverty, disease, internal political oppression, and fratricidal violence, but by Islamophobia?

Me neither.

OIC logoBut that’s what the Organization of the Islamic Conference has concluded after a two-day conference in Kuala Lumpur. My original intention was to post a short excerpt from this report, but there is so much in it worth noting that I’m going to paste most of the text below and intersperse it with comments.

Here’s what Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Secretary General of the OIC, has to say, according to the OIC website:

Statement by OIC Secretary General at the Third International Conference on the Muslim World and the West: “Bridging the Gap: From Definition to Action”

The theme of this conference is to move forward from “definition to action” in the efforts to bridge the gap between the West and the Muslim World.


The west has allowed the gap to widen by not taking some timely courageous steps. The Palestine question is perhaps the most glaring example. 60 years have elapsed, and the resolution of the Palestine question still remains on the negotiating table. Many peace initiatives taken by various stakeholders failed make progress because the west remained indifferent to Israeli intransigence to carry on with its illegal occupation of Palestine and Arab territories, building new settlements in the occupied territories and deny the Palestinians of their inalienable right to statehood. The situation in Iraq, Lebanon and Afghanistan are just some other examples which have contributed to the gap between the Muslim and the Western World.

First of all, notice that the single significant problem for the entire Muslim world is Palestine. All the other issues are afterthoughts. Never mind the fact that Iran and Iraq killed a million of each other with no help whatsoever from any Jews or Crusaders. Never mind the fact that Muslims were mired in poverty and ignorance for centuries before the naqba, and that untold millions of them have been slaughtered by other Muslims over petty doctrinal differences.

It’s still all Israel’s fault.

In my estimation, the first and foremost action for us would be to determine our priorities and to bring focus of the international community to the core of the issue, which is accepting the reality of the peaceful coexistence in diversity. The bridge that we envisage must be laid on strong foundations of a committed political will not only to talk, but also to listen and to agree on a solution. In this task, all the stakeholders would have to come out of the confines of preconceived mind sets and to interact constructively and frankly towards a set target.

OK, I’m ready for “peaceful coexistence in diversity”? Where can we find this?

Saudi Arabia? Well, it’s peaceful there, but not much diversity, at least in the field of permissible religious worship.

Let’s look at the UK instead. Plenty of diversity, especially of Muslims. And there’s “peace”, in the sense that the UK hasn’t declared war on anyone recently. A lot of rape, assault, muggings, robbery, murder, drug-dealing, and gang wars…

Oh, and a lot of Muslims. Did I mention that?

We must have the strength to take a hard look at ourselves to determine our strengths and accept our weaknesses. At the same time we must not stoop low to judge the other as a lesser partner, nor should we try to impinge on the values and beliefs that may not conform to those of our own. We must demonstrate our courage and determination to isolate those who pose impediments in the way of our efforts of bridging the gap.

What weaknesses? Besides not having nuclear bombs for every Muslim state, what weaknesses do you acknowledge?

And now comes the call to reclaim al-Andalus and the European portions of the Ottoman Empire:
– – – – – – – –

I wish to call your attention to the historical truth that Muslims as a community were never aliens in the West. The expanded European Union of today has in its folds millions of indigenous Muslims who constitute a considerable principal demographic, intellectual and cultural component of Europe dating from the 8th and the 15th centuries.

No mention of how the Muslims became a considerable principal demographic, intellectual and cultural component of Europe. Nothing about the churches that were razed, the cities put to the torch, or the millions of people slaughtered or enslaved.

And then there’s the wealth of learning and culture that Islam stole from the Jews, the Hindus, the Persians, and the Christians and somehow “enriched” us with:

The eight hundred years of Muslim culture in Spain and in other parts of Europe have enriched Western culture and made vital contribution in many fields of human endeavor — in science, astronomy, mathematics, algebra (itself an Arabic word), law, history, medicine, pharmacology, optics, agriculture, architecture, theology, music, etc. When we consider the geographic dimension and demographic reality, we find that Europe’s boundaries from the 14th to the 21st century include parts of the Muslim world, particularly in its Southern and Eastern regions. Demographically, many Muslims in Europe such as Albanians, Bosnians, Pomaks, Torbich, Romans [sic — what “Roman” Muslims? Does he mean the Rom? They are hardly Muslims. — BB], and the Turks etc. are actually ethnicities of indigenous European origin.

And the chilling finale:

Besides, the millions of Muslims who have emigrated to Europe, the US and other Western countries over the past decades and who have become an integral component of Western societies, are proud of their Western identity. Then why this gap that should have never been allowed to be created in the first place.

In other words: The Europeans should never have been allowed to secede from the Ummah.

Now a little bragging is in order:

The OIC today is the second largest international organization outside the United Nations.

Indeed it is. More to the point, the OIC votes as a bloc, and has thus gained effective control of the UN General Assembly.

We can justly take pride that our Organization has been a pioneer in bringing the concept of Dialogue among Civilizations into the agenda of the international relations as early as 1998 at the UN General Assembly. Since then, we have remained firm and committed in our outreach to the West for meaningful dialogue among civilizations.

But what is meant by “dialogue” here? To Islam, “dialogue” means that Muslims tell the infidel what to do, and the infidel obeys, if he knows what’s good for him. When the infidel talks back, that’s Islamophobia.

In all our interactions, I have made it clear that the Muslim World should not be perceived as an adversary but a partner in peace. We underscored the point that our objective was not to preach but to communicate; to understand and to be understood. We emphasized that the commonalities between Islam and the Christian traditions and culture of the West far outweigh the differences and that these commonalities are the foundations that will hold us together and not set us apart. In this I have on several occasions called for a historical reconciliation between the Muslims and the Christians similar to what has been achieved between Christianity and Judaism. I firmly believe that this is an achievable target and would go a long way in bridging the gap between the two worlds that we are speaking about. Is the West necessarily Christian? It is not, because Europe is also home of Islam, therefore, we should mention it as a Judeo-Christian-Islamic continent.

So here’s the logic: because Muslims took parts of Europe by the sword over the course of seven centuries, Europe remains somehow Islamic, even after expelling the invaders.

But even though the Arabian Peninsula was conquered and occupied by Christians at various times, is any of it considered to be Christian? No?

Funny about that.

In fact, the presence on the edge of Arab territory of a tiny sliver of land occupied by non-Muslims has kept the entire Muslim world in paroxysms of violent indignation for sixty years. No talk is ever heard of a “Judeo-Christian-Islamic” Middle East.

No, the historical reconciliation runs in one direction only: we reconcile to them what historically was theirs, while they get to keep everything they’ve got now.

Nice deal they’ve worked out there.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

But now we get to the meat of the speech: Islamophobia.

I would be remiss if I do not devote a part of my discourse on the scourge of Islamophobia as it is perhaps the biggest impediment that is keeping alive the gap between the West and the Muslim World. A marginal group of individuals and organizations are actively involved in targeting Muslims and Islam in a campaign of hate and discrimination.

Obviously, we’re part of the “marginal group” described in that last sentence.

Of late, this trend is on the rise. I do not have to relate to this august body of the innumerable incidents where Muslims have come under attack of hate and prejudice and made to suffer discriminatory treatment. The hate mongers have resorted to incite passion and unrest by inflammatory and incendiary remarks and publications against symbols that are sacred to Muslims. The most recent incidents in the campaign of Islamophobia are the reprinting of the cartoons and the film Fitna denigrating Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and the Holy Quran.

Notice that the only incidents that Mr. Ihsanoglu can cite involve speech and other forms of expression — cartoons, movies, books, etc. He doesn’t cite violence against Muslims because hardly any of it exists.

And what about the more than 11,000 violent terrorist acts committed in the name of Islam since September 11th, 2001? A trifle! A negligible irritation at most, hardly worth noticing!

This is not to say that I am absolving those few in the Muslim world who are involved in preaching intolerance.

Ah yes, the few, the proud, the intolerant. Anybody want to take a head count?

But the technological advancement and the ownership of the media being almost entirely in Western possession, make this unholy competition almost totally lopsided. I believe that the media can be a dominant and effective partner in the bridging process by rejecting the proponents of hatred and intolerance totally. Such reality is well documented in the OIC Observatory Report on Islamophobia that was circulated in the present conference.

And this is the biggest joke of all: the idea that the Western media are primarily responsible for fostering and spreading Islamophobia. Obviously the man has never looked at Swedish television, where the immigrant status of any violent criminal is never specified. Or visited Britain, where one can be arrested for simply mentioning in public a negative feeling about a Pakistani. Or been to Canada, where it is a hate crime for a non-Muslim to read certain verses from the Koran. Or looked at the latest Hollywood productions, in which Islamic terrorists simply don’t exist, despite the fact that in the real world 99% of violent terrorist acts are perpetrated in the name of Allah.

And the media are the cause of Islamophobia?

Just think how Islamophobic the people of the West would be if the media didn’t push so hard in the opposite direction.

We are encouraged to see however, that an awareness of the dangers of Islamophobia is gradually setting in the West. The condemnation by many Western leaders and governments of Islamophobic acts such as the Fitna are positive confidence building measures that lead us to believe that all is not lost and that the gap can be closed in time. But mere condemnation or distancing from the acts of the perpetrators of Islamophobia will not resolve the issue as long as they remain free to carry on with their campaign of incitement and provocation on the plea of freedom of expression. [emphasis added]

“As long as they remain free…”

Obviously, the intention of the OIC is to do everything within its power to make sure that the citizens of the Western democracies do not remain free.

The Islamic countries have made it clear what they are trying to do, and Mr. Ihsanoglu lays out the blueprint for how it will be done. Needless to say, the vectors for the illiberal infection of the West will be 21st century equivalent of the smallpox-ridden blanket: the United Nations and various other unaccountable international bodies.

We at the OIC have tabled several resolutions at the Human Rights Council in Geneva and at the UN General Assembly calling for coordinated actions to be taken through various means in order to prevent intolerance, discrimination, prejudice and hatred on the grounds of religion and defamation of religions and to promote and ensure respect of all religions. These resolutions were adopted by a significant number of votes. However, these could not obtain consensus since, the West has been reticent in giving their full support. Based on the OIC’s approach to engage with our partners in the West, we are busy working out to reach an agreed language that address our concerns. We believe that adoption of such a resolution along with strict implementation of other existing international instruments including the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights and national legislations against incitement of hatred on religious grounds would be an effective deterrent against the proponents of religious hatred.

The poisonous mixture of corrupt impenetrable bureaucracy with high-minded do-gooders is what makes it possible for the OIC to do its ugly work among us. Our civil liberties would not be at risk if our leaders hadn’t effectively ceded authority to international bodies over which we have no control.

Mr. Ihsanoglu has a ten-point program that he proposes in order to meet the OIC’s ambitious goals. I include the entire list, with my exegeses interspersed in italics:

To help in bridging the gap separating the Muslim world and the West, I would like to propose the following:

1.   An open and critical dialogue between stakeholders in the West and the Muslim world including political leaders with strong commitment, to address the root causes of misunderstandings and conflicts and to come up with a realistic approach towards reaching a Historical Reconciliation Pact between Islam and Christianity is necessary.

“Critical dialogue” about Islam is already a working definition of Islamophobia. Obviously, a critical monologue is what he’s really talking about.

2.   Western Governments should not be shy in publicly condemning Islamophobic incidents and thus restore the confidence of the Muslim world.

This means that everyone must follow Norway’s example after the Motoon Crisis erupted: publicly apologize and abase yourselves over any perceived offense against the Prophet, and include massive financial aid as evidence of your good faith.

3.   Quality and fair education based on shared values and principles of peace, human rights, tolerance etc should be promoted. This may involve parents, teachers, educationists and communities. The above elements should be taken into consideration in the revision of the curricula and the text books.

In other words: your schoolbooks, even with all their Islam-is-peace revisions, still do not contain enough taqiyya. From now on we will write them for you.

4.   To this end, national legislation and international normative standards or instruments should also be promoted to guard against the defamation of other’s values and faiths particularly in school curricula.

While we’re at it, we’ll give you the template for the new laws that we require your legislatures to pass.

5.   International and regional organizations should identify, document and analyze best practice approaches at various levels in support of dialogue among cultures and civilization.

The NGOs will write the new rules!

6.   Communication and media have to play their role in order to avoid parochialism and contribute to the creation of conditions for intercultural dialogue. Discussions may be conducted among media professionals about the ethics and professional standards. Moreover, joint projects of broadcasts, newspapers, magazines and websites by journalist from different cultural backgrounds should be encouraged.

Time to institute censorship. All media outlets will consult with special boards of Muslim advisors to make sure that their productions are free of Islamophobic content.

7.   The OIC and the Western Groups at the UN offices in Geneva and New Work [sic] should work towards a consensus resolution on Combating Discrimination against Muslims and incitement of hatred and violence based on faith.

From now on, there will be quotas for Muslims in all fields, and anyone who publicly objects will be arrested.

8.   The dialogue on tolerance and peaceful cohabitation among diverse faiths has to be taken to the grassroots and the ordinary people.

We insist that you institute a system of block wardens, emulating the successful example of Cuba.

9.   Efforts should be made to reduce the digital divide between the two worlds and invest on development of human resources.

You will buy our computers for us. We have better things to do with our oil money.

10.   Youths should be involved actively in bridging the Muslim-West divide.

Ah, those rowdy, high-spirited youths! Bridging the divide between Muslims and the West with petrol bombs in the banlieues of Paris, with knives in Greater London, with iron bars in Slotervaart, and with their own manly equipment among the “schoolgirls of Swedish background” in Gothenburg.

As Mark Steyn likes to say, the future belongs to those who show up for it.

Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu and the Organization of the Islamic Conference are counting on the youths of Islam to show up for their Islamophobia-free future. They’re also counting on the West to sit this one out.

To date their methods have worked fairly well, so they may yet succeed. But if they do, none of us can say that we didn’t know what was coming.

The plan is all there, laid out in black and white for anyone to read.

Hat tip: TB.

Political Correctness is not Politically Correct

Our Austrian correspondent ESW has sent us another translation from the Austrian press, this one an editorial about political correctness.

First, ESW’s introductory note:

Here’s a commentary I found excellent because it highlights Austria’s MSM. Die Presse was the only newspaper featuring Al-Rawi’s latest coup, and the rest of the media ignored it. The entire country is consumed by PC, and it is sickening to see and experience.

I have a friend, for instance, who called me up when the Susanne Winter incident broke (she called Mo a pedophile), asking me whether I had told her that. When I said no, and told her that what Winter had said was the truth, my friend was shocked. “You can’t say it that way,” she said.

I asked her how one can say that Mo was a pedophile, she said you should simply put it another way. Which way, she did and could not say. And my friend considers herself to be non-PC!

Below is ESW’s translation of the editorial in Die Presse :

Political Correctness is not politically correct

By Hans Winkler

If supposedly considerate speech is extended concerning “right” and “wrong” content, political correctness will be a threat to itself and a danger to freedom of expression.

“Don’t call me nigger” was the title of a paperback series in the 1950’s published by the Catholic Herder publishing house. The young reader in me back then got a first lesson of what would later be called “political correctness” around the world and what would become an important intellectual movement. PC, meanwhile, as the abbreviation is known, originally comes from the U.S., where in a multiethnic society different groups fight for recognition and representation. In order to help the traditionally disadvantaged, practical measures for equality like “affirmative action” (“positive discrimination”) were instituted, particularly quotas in the education system.

When discrimination against minorities by the majority culture appeared not to be effectively ended, an extensive system of handling the alleged sensitivities of minorities and outsiders by linguistic twists soon developed, especially in the academic world of the east and west coasts. The white, heterosexual, Anglo-Saxon man should be no longer be considered as quintessential. The word “Caucasian” has its source in the PC world.

Discrimination in both directions

– – – – – – – –

It is understandable that blacks as a group in the United States were primarily identified as those requiring most of the political correctness. The scornful words “nigger” and “Negro”, which is a loan word from the Spanish, were initially replaced by “black”. But even this reference to skin color seemed discriminatory, so that today in the stilted and informally used “African-American” prevails.


Serious business or invented to ridicule?

The iron determination and moral seriousness with which the representatives of political correctness have operated their cause have also led to excesses, and we do not know whether they are serious or were invented to be ridiculed. We know that today a child may not be called “difficult” any more than he may be said to be “showing signs of behavioral problems” — the stopover on the way to total political correctness — but as “exhibiting original behavior”. It would be wise to ask whether these tortured words stigmatize these children even more than they are already stigmatized in real life.


There is a special form of PC in the struggle for equality for women. In order to escape the accusation that they are discriminating against their students, American professors have started to use only the plural form of “students” or, alternately, “she” and “he”. In the German-speaking countries women have been very successful in this matter, and the German language has proven particularly vulnerable to rape on behalf of PC. All word forms remotely sounding as if they were male have been replaced by the word “inclusive” — meaning: including the female.


The core of PC is not using names for something or someone that one would not want be called oneself, because it could hurt or offend. There is a new and different dimension in political correctness when it is no longer just a new word that is introduced in order to help minorities or help those too weak to be emancipated, but views and opinions on minorities, the weak, or ethnic and religious groups are seen as non-admissible.

A case in point that we have experienced recently in Austria was hardly noticed in the public and in the media, apart from a few commentaries in this newspaper. In [the city of] Traun a parish had invited the German Islamic scholar Christine Schirrmacher to take part in a lecture. Schirrmacher teaches in Löwen, Belgium, and is director of the Islamic Institute of the German Evangelical Alliance. The integration official of the Islamic Community in Austria and member of the Vienna city council for the Socialist Party, Omar Al-Rawi, intervened in advance of the event, and was successful in demanding that the speech be canceled.

Al-Rawi cited as the reason for his intervention that the speaker encourages “Islamophobia”. This is an allegation that does not need to be proven, and for which there is no counter-evidence, because it is considered simply a position of hostility toward Islam. There is no “Islamophobia” anywhere in Schirrmacher’s speech, which can be read online. If it had been given, it would have taken stock of the history of Islam in Europe and included a friendly plea for a “coexistence” between Islam and European-Western civilization. However, Schirrmacher does warn of the advancement of political Islam and a “shariah-friendly” legal opinion among Muslims, which will undoubtedly lead to the establishment of legal double standards.

Small piece of freedom lost

Al-Rawi’s action follows a thinking and pattern of activity which Schirrmacher knows well: “Some Islamic organizations today urge that nothing negative about Islam should be published, as this is discrimination against Islam. If it is not written from a Muslim perspective, it is to be stopped.” It will be important to follow closely to what extent the Western society is prepared to defend its hard-won freedom of the press and of expression. In Traun, at least, a small piece of it has been lost. Al-Rawi’s impertinence is not surprising, but it is shocking that the parish in Traun was intimidated by him. He, however, says it was “convinced”. “Mrs. Schirrmacher can speak wherever she wants,” he generously says, but not where his arm is long enough to reach her.

The former German president Roman Herzog wrote the following words: “Political correctness cannot act as the legitimate limit to freedom of expression.” One could also say that political correctness can and should also cease to be politically correct.

Related links:

Demo Tomorrow Morning at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria

Readers who live in the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy, a.k.a. Northern Virginia, may want to brew a pot of joe a little earlier than usual tomorrow morning and swing by the demonstration at the Islamic Saudi Academy in Alexandria. It’s on Richmond Highway — which I think of as Route 1 — down near Mt. Vernon, between Hybla Valley and Woodlawn.

Here’s the press release that was just sent out by a coalition of Counterjihad groups. It will give you an idea of what the demonstration is about.

June 16, 2008

Contact: Jessica Dues
(202) 547-8570

Tuesday a.m. Contact: James Lafferty
(202) 997-1968


The Traditional Values Coalition, ACT! For America and the Virginia Chapter of the United America Committee and other national and Virginia groups will hold a demonstration:

Tuesday, June 17 @ 8:00am

Islamic Saudi Academy
8333 Richmond Highway
Alexandria, Virginia

Google Map Location

A federal commission reported the academy uses textbooks which advocate violence against and intolerance of non-Muslims. TVC has asked the U.S. Justice Department to investigate activities at the academy and the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors’ role in leasing the county-owned building to the Saudi Embassy in Washington.


From saudiwatch.wordpress.com

Islamic Saudi Academy Director Arrested for Obstruction of Justice

June 16, 2008

Fairfax, VA

Islamic Saudi AcademyOn June 9th, Fairfax County Police arrested the Director General of the Islamic Saudi Academy (ISA), Mr. Abdalla I. Al-Shabnan, on the charges of Obstruction of Justice without Force (VA Code 18.2-460). Charged and released on the same day, Mr. Al-Shabnan is out on his own recognizance as he awaits his first hearing at Fairfax County General District Court on August 1, 2008, at 9:30 a.m.

Mr. Al-Shaban’s arrest stems from an investigation into the ISA’s alleged failure to comply with State requirements for reporting child abuse. According to authorities, instead of reporting the child abuse, Mr. Al-Shabnan deleted the report, contacted the student’s parents, and recommended psychological counseling for the young victim. Mr. Al-Shaban’s June 9 arrest comes after a May 23rd police search of the ISA where they gathered evidence that has contributed to the charges against Mr. Al-Shabnan.

Years of Controversy Continue

The ISA has been at the center of controversy for many years. A 2007 United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) report recommended to the State Department to call for the closure of the school. The 2007 USCIRF report prompted a coalition of concerned grassroots organizations to request the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to delay the renewal of the ISA lease until a Federal investigation into the ISA was completed. During the May 19 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors hearing, County Supervisors dismissed concerns as slanderous, bigoted, and unfounded. During the course of the hearing, Gerald Connolly, Fairfax County Chairman and Democratic Candidate for the 11th Congressional District, apologized to Mr. Al-Shabnan for what he deemed slanderous accusations that impugned the integrity of the Islamic Saudi Academy.

Since that May 19 hearing, the Mr. Al-Shabnan has been arrested and the USCIRF has confirmed ISA textbooks justify murder as an Islamic right.
– – – – – – – –
Only Supervisor Gross has responded to the issue, and she continues her support for the ISA, and its textbooks that contain passages filled with hate and incitement to violence. Chairman Connolly has yet to retract his apology to the ISA and Mr. Al-Shabnan. Supervisor Hyland has not yet commented on whether the texts cited in the USCIRF report are the similar to those he identified as “texts of concern” during his independent and undocumented investigation of the ISA.

These hateful passages remain despite a 2006 US State Department request for the ISA to remove all insensitive and offensive content from textbooks. The ISA’s non-compliance with the 2006 US State Department request has not been accounted for and raises concerns about what the ISA, as an extension of the Saudi government, considers offensive, and the level of accountability they have to their local hosts and Federal government.

Since the US Treasury Department still considers Saudi Arabia as one of the leading financiers of terrorism, and USCIRF reports identify Saudi Arabia’s education as filled with incitements to murder as a religious freedom, the US State Department has not commented as to whether they will extend this policy and allow Iran and North Korea to open official schools in the US as well.

The ISA has run afoul of Virginia law before in hiring a bus driver, Abdelrazeg Abdalla, who had a suspended license, seven traffic violations, a misdemeanor for kidnapping his wife and child at knife point, and a six month detainment by Homeland Security. Nevertheless, the ISA hired Mr. Abdalla as a bus driver. Mr. Abdalla, operating a faulty ISA, bus was responsible for a 2005 multi-car accident.

Additionally, the ISA winner of the superlative Most Likely to Be a Martyr, and 1999 class valedictorian, Ahmed Omar Abu Ali, has been convicted on charges of terrorism and attempting to assassinate President Bush. On June 6, 2008, that conviction was upheld by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals.

As a result for the a May 19 hearing, the ISA’s lease of Fairfax County property continues for another year, as the Board of Supervisors unanimously supports the ISA as a model school beyond reproach.

A video of the complete May 19 Fairfax County Board of Supervisors Hearing on the Islamic Saudi Academy can be found at: www.fairfaxcounty.gov/cable/channel16/vod.htm

Select “Public Hearings” from the May 19 links.

Of note in the video of the May 19 meeting:

42:58 Fairfax County Chairman Connolly charges of slander remarks
49:35 Supervisor Gross: Latin can be violent and Parochial Schools contain material as equally offensive as the ISAs.
1:02 Supervisor Hyland begins testimony about why and how they’re is no documentation on his investigation

Hat tip: Frontinus.

Is Sharia the Basis for English Common Law?

Update: Since I first posted this, one of our readers has amended the Wikipedia article cited here. How’s that for fast?

Readers of a certain age will remember the heyday of the USSR, when Soviet propagandists repeatedly claimed that the world’s most important inventions could be credited to Russia. The steam engine, safety pins, baseball, Roberts’ Rules of Order — you name it; the Russians invented it.

In one of the many parallels between Islam and Communism, it seems that Muslims have a tendency to do the same thing, to claim as their own inventions and cultural innovations that have nothing to do with Islam.

The latest bizarre assertion to be brought to my attention is that English Common Law is derived at least in part from Islamic law. A reader sent us this email yesterday:

The Magna CartaAs a long-time reader of the Gates of Vienna weblog, I was hoping you might be able to help me. The reason I ask is because it was recently brought to my attention that it’s being suggested in some places that English Common Law is actually derived in great part from Islamic religious laws, supposedly through transmission by the Normans and Crusaders.

I don’t know if this has ever been addressed on the weblog, but the discovery of yet another claim of the West supposedly owing something to Islam was disturbing, particularly given the importance of English Common Law in contemporary Western culture, and so I was wondering if you might be able to point me in the direction of any contradictory information, if you have any available and if you’re in the habit of doing that sort of thing.

I immediately forwarded the message to several contacts who might have some expertise in this field. Not all of them have responded, but so far no one has ever heard of such an idea.

The source for the information is Wikipedia, and we all know how reliable that is. Fjordman had this to say:

I have never heard this claim before in my life, and I highly doubt it. It sounds like yet another case where Muslims steal other people’s cultural heritage and take credit for their inventions. I use Wikipedia, too, but you should always use it with caution. Always. It is not a credible academic source.

El Inglés added his opinion:

Certainly the most natural response would be to file it away with all the other ridiculous claims of Muslim ‘inventions’: democracy, feminism, science, maths, the internet, the microwave, etc. My personal favorite to date is the ‘discovery’ that the Amerindians were all Muslims. Next they’ll be claiming to have invented sushi.

Here’s the section of the article in question:
– – – – – – – –

Influence of medieval Islamic law

Main article: Sharia

Several fundamental common law instutitions [sic] may have been adapted from similar legal instututions [sic] in Islamic law and jurisprudence, and introduced to England after the Norman conquest of England by the Normans, who conquered and inherited the Islamic legal administration of the Emirate of Sicily, and also by Crusaders during the Crusades. In particular, the “royal English contract protected by the action of debt is identified with the Islamic Aqd, the English assize of novel disseisin is identified with the Islamic Istihqaq, and the English jury is identified with the Islamic Lafif.”[14] The English trust and agency institutions in common law were possible [sic] adapted from the Islamic Waqf and Hawala institutions respectively during the Crusades.[16][17] It is worth noting, however, that transferring property to another for the “use” of another developed largely in response to the requirements of feudal inheritance law. Trust law, in particular, is a creature of equity which derived from the parallel jurisdiction of the Lord Chancellor to decide matters independently to the Royal Courts.

Other English legal institutions such as “the scholastic method, the license to teach,” the “law schools known as Inns of Court in England and Madrasas in Islam” and the “European commenda” (Islamic Qirad) may have also originated from Islamic law.[14] The methodology of legal precedent and reasoning by analogy (Qiyas) are also similar in both the Islamic and common law systems.[18] These similarities and influences have led some scholars to suggest that Islamic law may have laid the foundations for “the common law as an integrated whole”.[14] [emphasis added]

The phrases I have bolded show two trends:

1.   Weasel words — “may”, “possible”, “similar”, “some scholars”, etc. These remove the requirement that any relationship between the sharia and English Common Law be proven.
2.   The passive voice — “is identified”. By whom? Who did the identifying?

Perhaps the external sources cited for the section will shed some light on the subject. The relevant ones are listed below. Refer to the Wikipedia article for hotlinks to some of the publications:

[14]   Makdisi, John A. (June 1999), “The Islamic Origins of the Common Law”, North Carolina Law Review 77 (5): 1635-1739
[16]   Gaudiosi, Monica M. (April 1988), “The Influence of the Islamic Law of Waqf on the Development of the Trust in England: The Case of Merton College”, University of Pennsylvania Law Review 136 (4): 1231-1261
[17]   Badr, Gamal Moursi (Spring, 1978), “Islamic Law: Its Relation to Other Legal Systems”, The American Journal of Comparative Law 26 (2 — Proceedings of an International Conference on Comparative Law, Salt Lake City, Utah, February 24-25, 1977): 187-198 [196-8]
[18]   El-Gamal, Mahmoud A. (2006), Islamic Finance: Law, Economics, and Practice, Cambridge University Press, p. 16, ISBN 0521864143

I have neither the time nor the expertise to follow up on these leads, so I invite any of our readers who come from a legal background or possess some expertise on medieval English jurisprudence to weigh in with their opinions.

My amateur opinion is that this is part of an ongoing Islamic disinformation campaign aimed at undermining the basis for the public institutions of the West. This particular example will come in handy in the next decade or so as a justification for the gradual imposition of sharia law in Britain. After all, if it’s part of a venerable English tradition, who could possibly object?

A request: please don’t use the comment thread on this post simply for making complaints about how bad Islam is. We all already know that, but this is a serious scholarly question, and I’d be interested in reading some serious scholarly opinions on the topic.

An Acorn Hoping to Be an Oak Tree

A reader sends information on a blog devoted to voting on the Lisbon Treaty. He says (and this may be a quote from one of the pages at the website; I’m not sure. I looked without finding it so perhaps these are his own words:

Do you think Free Europe Constitution should continue its referendline?

The Irish referendum was a victory for the No votes. No to the Lisbon Treaty.

What will now happen? Will the EU Commission continue as if nothing has happened? Will the politicians in the EU member states take NO for an answer – or just a failure of communication?

Welcome to give advice to Free Europe under “DISCUSSION” at the front page of [the website]. The responses will determine the future of this vote-online site.

Free Europe is a private, positive initiative. It is a contribution to a widening public agenda in Europe. It is independent from parties and organizations. It is the first possibility for all Europeans and their friends worldwide to have a common say about the future path of European affairs.

Astonishing, fascinating, and promising.

There are several interesting things about this site…
– – – – – – – –
For one thing, the Yes vote significantly outdraws the No category. I don’t know if they have set up procedures to prevent people from voting more than once. I say this not because I am in favor of a No majority (though I am), but because those Europeans who tend to read blogs would be more likely to vote No. The vote is so overwhelmingly skewed to a positive outcome that it makes me wonder if the administrators of the blog have any security measures in place to prevent multiple votes.

The second thing is that the blog is not new. There are comments dating back to last year, so it’s been around for a while.

Third, I think the idea deserves to go viral, just to give a relief valve for high feelings, and, in addition, to measure the pulse of this movement. If the €U had any testicular fortitude or integrity, they’d have put up something like this for its citizens a long time ago.

But you don’t rise to the top of bureaucracies by displaying either of those virtues, so it remains to the average Tommy, François, or Guglielmo to make his voice heard in one form or another.

It may be that the €U is favored by a majority of people who live on that continent. But there isn’t any way to determine this because their governments are so cravenly greedy and want desperately to snatch their part of the booty.

The €U upper echelon are definitely pirates. Just more organized.

Hat tip: KGS @ Tundra Tabloids

The Handwriting on the Wall

Recent events in Ireland have shaken up the political classes all across Europe, and the UK is no exception. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who is also the leader of the Labour Party, has come to a somewhat different conclusion about the Irish referendum than have his colleagues in France and Germany.

According to today’s Times Online:

No 10 admits EU treaty is finished

Gordon Brown is privately ready to sacrifice the Lisbon treaty rather than allow the Irish no vote to create a two-tier Europe.

Despite the Irish referendum, France, Germany and senior Brussels officials have insisted there should be no delay in implementing the European Union blueprint. But No 10 sources say the prime minister would rather see the entire constitutional treaty collapse than allow individual member states to be left trailing in a two-speed Europe.

The collapse of the Lisbon treaty would take the heat off Brown as he faces down renewed calls for Britain to have its own referendum. If Europe presses ahead without Ireland, it would set a precedent for a two-speed club, with Britain likely to be stuck in the second tier.

A Downing Street source said: “The legal position on this is very clear: the treaty cannot come into force until all 27 countries have ratified it.”

Mr. Brown is quite right. But Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy aren’t sweating the legal niceties, so why should Britain?

The motto of the EU has long been “We don’t need no stinkin’ legality.” Why should it change just because a few thousand disgruntled Irishmen got the wind up?

Perhaps Mr. Brown has been browsing through the latest poll results and has noticed the new lows to which the Labour Party has sunk.

The article continues:
– – – – – – – –

One senior government official said anyone who thought the Irish vote could be ignored was “living in cloud-cuckoo-land”. The leaders of the EU’s 27 members states will meet this week in Brussels, but yesterday the Irish government ruled out forcing through a second referendum.

William Hague, the shadow foreign secretary, said European leaders had to heed the no vote or risk looking “remote, out of touch and more undemocratic than ever”.

Nice touch, that: “more undemocratic than ever”. A quiet acknowledgement of how undemocratic the European Union has been all along.

However, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president who will take over the rotating EU presidency next month, dismissed the Irish vote as a “hiccup” that should “not become a political crisis”.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Germany’s foreign minister, went further, stating that the Lisbon treaty provisions, which include the creation of a permanent EU president and the widespread abolition of national vetoes, could be implemented without Ireland.

In other words — legality be damned! — the hiccups of all those drunken Irish people don’t mean anything to the EU.

Even though the Labour Party disagrees, the government will continue its push to ratify a dead treaty:

In the short term, Brown will press ahead with Britain’s own ratification process. Despite calls by the Tories and Labour Eurosceptics for a delay, the treaty bill will still have its third reading vote in the House of Lords on Wednesday. “We have come so far,” said one senior government figure, “there is little point in stopping it now.”

And the EU apparatchiks are busy looking for the lipstick and rouge to put on the Lisbon pig:

In Brussels, meanwhile, after the initial shock of the Irish result, senior officials have already begun considering the complex legal mechanisms that might still allow the stricken treaty to be implemented. The details of any “two-speed” plan have yet to be worked out, but it is likely to involve devices such as “opt-outs” and “protocols”. One exotic idea being considered is a “legal bridge” linking Ireland with the rest of the EU.

Another scheme is to link aspects of the Lisbon treaty to the “accession treaty” of Croatia when it joins the EU in late 2009 or early 2010.

However, at this week’s Brussels summit, Brown will refuse to agree to anything that could leave the Irish out in the cold, according to aides.

Gordon Brown is presumably taking into account the facts on the ground, which are not auspicious for supporters of the EU and the current Euro-establishment. These are not good times for a pro-EU politician to stand for election in Western Europe. Ms. Merkel and Mr. Sarkozy may be insulated for the time being from any trivial concerns about the opinion of the electorate, but Mr. Brown doesn’t have that luxury.

He has seen the writing on the wall.

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In a related development, a Conservative member of Parliament resigned his position in the shadow cabinet to launch a quixotic by-election campaign on the issue of civil liberties.

David Davis, like many others in the UK, has noticed that Britons are no longer free to speak their minds. Their ancient liberties have been eroded, if not altogether destroyed, and ordinary people risk arrest if they make public their politically incorrect “racist” opinions.

Mr. Davis has decided to stake his political career on the issue of civil liberties, and members of the Labour party are publicly supporting him. Once again, from the Times Online:

Rebel Labour MPs join David Davis campaign

The maverick Tory’s civil liberties fight suddenly looks a threat to Gordon Brown

Tory maverick David Davis yesterday received an unexpected boost in his one-man campaign to preserve civil liberties as rebel Labour MPs announced that they were ready to support him.

The MPs, who are risking expulsion from Labour, may yet turn Davis’s campaign into a problem for Gordon Brown, the prime minister.

Davis unexpectedly resigned last week as shadow home secretary to force a by-election and campaign against the “slow strangulation” of civil liberties. He was spurred to do so after the House of Commons voted to allow police to detain suspects for up to 42 days without charge.

Davis faces continued criticism from fellow Conservatives for his action, with one MP publicly accusing him of “folly and vanity”. However, Bob Marshall-Andrews, Labour MP for Medway and a leading critic of Brown’s terrorism legislation, said yesterday that he would travel to Davis’s Yorkshire constituency to lend his support.

“I applaud David Davis’s decision to resign and fight a by-election on the single issue of civil liberty,” said Marshall-Andrews.

The MP criticised the Labour leadership for its decision not to field a candidate to fight Davis and added: “The election will obviously transcend party politics and I have written to David Davis to inform him that I will be happy to accept any invitation to speak during the course of his campaign to ensure that the voice of a substantial part of the Labour party may be heard.”

Ian Gibson, Labour MP for Norwich North, said: “Davis has a good argument. You can call it a stunt or a gimmick, but there is a serious side to this. I’m quite happy to join in. I’d be quite happy to share that platform to talk about what I think.”

Both Mr. Davis and his Labour supporters are risking the ire of their parties’ enforcers by breaching party discipline. But, having thrown the dice over the issue, they seem willing to take their chances with the result.

The violation of party norms here is so serious that the Tories have abandoned all discretion and have publicly chastised their colleague:

Nicholas Soames, Tory MP for Mid Sussex and a close ally of Cameron, said: “It is a disaster for David personally. Words cannot express how foolish he has been.”

Soames added that Davis had let down his party. “Politics is at all times a team game,” he said. “Reliability is all in politics.”

Although other Conservative MPs have expressed private anger at Davis’s resignation, Soames is the first senior party figure to attack him so bluntly in public.

So that’s it for David Davis. Having had the temerity to insist on the primacy of traditional British liberties, he is now considered “unreliable”.

It’s easy to see why this sudden and principled decision by Mr. Davis makes the Tory leadership nervous. Mr. Cameron is viewed as a relatively weak leader, with little to distinguish him from the ruling Labour party in matters of substance. Now he is faced with someone who has the sand to challenge him on a matter of principle, someone who is actually willing to remind voters of what the Conservative Party used to stand for.

No wonder Mr. Cameron is worried.

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The Labour Prime Minister says the Treaty of Lisbon is dead.

A Conservative leader breaks ranks and Labour Party members support him.

Democrats who back Hillary Clinton say that they will vote for John McCain.

Some Republicans insist that they will stay home and let Barack Obama win rather than vote for John McCain.

Black conservative columnist Armstrong Williams may vote for Barack Obama out of racial solidarity.

Are the ice floes beginning to crack and shift?

Is it possible that the political arrangements of the last half-century, which until quite recently seemed set in stone, are finally starting to change?

We’ll know soon enough. Keep an eye on electoral politics in Europe and the United States.

We live in interesting times.

Hat tips: Gaia and Lawrence Auster.