Sunday, July 31, 2005

Socialism: The Road to Hell

My country gives more aid per capita to Africa and developing nations than almost any other nation on earth. But does it help, or do we simply do it because it makes us feel good? I asked the question recently about what foreign aid decreased poverty in 19th century Europe? The correct answer is of course: None. It was done by economic dynamism and capitalism. Some time ago, India decided it would no longer accept aid from Western countries, but rely on its own strength and resources. I think that's a smart decision, one indicating that India has the self-confidence necessary to compete in the global economy. If you rely on alms from others, it does something to your mentality. Some scientists have asked whether the numbers showing an African AIDS pandemic have been inflated. Has this been done to keep the aid flowing? Who benefits from that?

This raises a new set of questions about Islamic nations: We keep hearing for every terrorist attack that we need to help Islamic countries with aid to make the recruitment for terrorists for difficult. First of all: Islamic terrorism is Jihad against the infidels and has nothing to do with poverty. It actually gets worse with wealth, as the donors give support to Jihadist groups everywhere. Just look at the Saudis. Second of all: Money given from non-Muslims won't induce any gratitude from Muslims. They will view it as Jizya, the tribute non-Muslims are supposed to pay for the honor of being allowed to remain alive as second - or third-rate citizens in their own country. It will be seen as a sign of submission and thus actually increase Islamic arrogance and aggressiveness. On top of this, experience tells us that aid will frequently at best end up in the pockets of the powerful and corrupt, at worst in the hands of terrorists and extremists. This whole idea of "global redistribution of wealth" is nothing more than Socialism. It doesn't work on a local or national level. Why on earth should it work on a global level? China remained dirt poor as long as it was a Socialist country. As soon as it started experimenting with capitalism, it lifted hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. India's boom has been facilitated by trying to reduce bureaucracy and static thinking. Europe reshaped the entire global economy during its dynamic heydays. Today's declining European welfare states make Europe increasingly look like the "sick man of the world". President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela is thus wrong: Socialism, not capitalism, is the road to hell.

"For God's Sake, Please Stop the Aid!"

The Kenyan economics expert James Shikwati, 35, says that aid to Africa does more harm than good. The avid proponent of globalization spoke with SPIEGEL about the disastrous effects of Western development policy in Africa, corrupt rulers, and the tendency to overstate the AIDS problem. If the industrial nations really want to help the Africans, they should finally terminate this awful aid. The countries that have collected the most development aid are also the ones that are in the worst shape. Despite the billions that have poured in to Africa, the continent remains poor. Huge bureaucracies are financed (with the aid money), corruption and complacency are promoted, Africans are taught to be beggars and not to be independent. In addition, development aid weakens the local markets everywhere and dampens the spirit of entrepreneurship that we so desperately need. As absurd as it may sound: Development aid is one of the reasons for Africa's problems. If the West were to cancel these payments, normal Africans wouldn't even notice.

Economist Blames Aid for Africa Famine

In Niger, a desert country twice the size of Texas, most of the 11 million people live on a dollar a day. Forty percent of children are underfed, and one out of four dies before turning 5. And that's when things are normal. Throw in a plague of locusts, and a familiar spectacle emerges: skeletal babies, distended bellies, people too famished to brush the flies from their faces. To the aid workers charged with saving the dying. "When aid money keeps coming, all our policy-makers do is strategize on how to get more," said the Kenya-based director of the Inter Region Economic Network, an African think tank. "They forget about getting their own people working to solve these very basic problems. In Africa, we look to outsiders to solve our problems, making the victim not take responsibility to change." Even African countries that have food to spare can't easily share it because tariffs on agricultural products within sub-Saharan Africa average as high as 33 percent, compared with 12 percent on similar products imported from Europe. "It doesn't make sense when they can't even allow their neighbors to feed them. They have to wait for others in Europe or Asia to help," he said. "We don't have any excuses in Africa. We can't blame nature. We have to tell our leadership to open up and get people producing food."

The way of the ostrich

Much as we may wish to ignore it, the reality is that ours has become a very violent country, full of lethal militias and vicious, hate-filled ideologies. Now, a Pakistani-looking passenger will inevitably draw suspicious glances whenever he boards a train or a bus. Consider this e-mail I received recently from Steve Cribbs: “...I am a 47-year old, working class, white Englishman, who frequently works in London. I’ve always considered myself to be a moderate man and this series of events ... is extremely worrying. Recently I have heard Afro-Caribbean immigrants demanding that all Muslims be sent back (even those born here!). I don’t feel that’s fair but have grave concerns that our cultures are mutually incompatible. We feel like we have taken in a nest of vipers. We feel betrayed by immigrants who have come here to our homeland who consider us as corrupt and immoral. Our women are branded as whores. Some immigrants say we are not fit to govern our own country and that they seek to make Britain a Muslim state."

I am reproducing excerpts from another e-mail, this time from a Pakistani reader living in the United States: “... a lawyer [of Pakistani descent] at the Justice Department ...informed us that ... more and more mosques are telling people present for prayers that ‘we need to have separate schools so that we could protect our children from American culture’... Finally, wherever we go, Muslims in general and Pakistanis in particular, we create and spread hatred, nothing else. I fear for the time when Christians, Jews and Hindus will put the rest of the work on hold and focus their undivided attention on eliminating terrorism around the globe. We cannot comprehend what will happen, but I guess that’s the only way out.”

Extremists rip off tsunami charity cash

Extremists rip off tsunami charity cash

CHARITABLE donations to help people affected by the Asian tsunami disaster are falling into the hands of radical Islamic groups linked to terrorists in Indonesia, a leading expert on the global al-Qaeda network warned yesterday. Relief money had become the "primary source" of income for two militant groups, including one founded by a Muslim cleric serving a prison sentence in connection with the Bali bombing in 2002 in which more than 200 people were killed. Dr Rohan Gunaratna, head of the international centre for political violence and terrorism research at Singapore's Institute of Defence and Strategic Studies, told the Asia-Pacific Financial Crime Conference that the Boxing Day disaster had given "unprecedented opportunities for these groups to expand their areas of influence". "Around mosques, there are lots of people standing outside with boxes asking people to give to charity," he said. "It is rare that people who donate money know exactly where it is going. Organisations banned in this country - like Hamas - raise funds like that here."

From an older post:

Tsunami aid 'went to the richest'

Six months after the Asian tsunami, a leading international charity says the poorest victims have benefited the least from the massive relief effort. A survey by Oxfam found that aid had tended to go to businesses and landowners, exacerbating the divide between rich and poor. The poor were likely to spend much longer in refugee camps where it is harder to find work or rebuild lives. The survey points to the marginalisation of dalits - outcasts in India - and specific problems in Sri Lanka where aid has gone to businesses and landowners rather than the landless. This poverty gap is worst in Aceh, the Indonesian province which was the most badly affected area.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Saudi Prince Helps Set Up Islamic Art Wing in Louvre

Even though Daniel Pipes thinks France is tough against Islam, I suspect it is too late for them to avoid a civil war of sorts. The Louvre could burn, in spite of this new Islamic Art wing:

Prince Walid Helps Set Up Islamic Art Wing in Louvre

Saudi billionaire Prince Al-Walid Bin Talal has donated a multi-million-euro gift to finance the construction of a new Islamic art wing in the Paris-based Louvre Museum to show off the bright face of the Muslim world. The 4,000-square-meter wing in the world's largest museum will showcase up to 10,000 pieces, one of the greatest concentrations of Islamic art in existence. "Your gesture is a testament to the generosity of the Islamic world," the French Culture Minister Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres told Prince Walid in a ceremony.

Princely gift from Saudi billionaire to house Louvre's Islamic art

The Louvre, once a royal fortress and today the world's largest museum, will get a new wing to showcase its vast collection of Islamic art thanks to a multi-million dollar gift by a Saudi prince bent on mending post-9/11 ties between the West and Arabs. The French state and oil company Total will cover most of the balance, chipping in 26 million and four million euros (31.2 and 4.8 million dollars) respectively, with the rest coming from future donors. The decision to create a new department of Islamic art in the Louvre came directly from French President Jacques Chirac, who is said to maintain very good relations with Al-Walid.

A related story from 2003:

Islamic Art in the Louvre

In a speech last October, President Jacques Chirac proposed the creation of a new department in the Louvre dedicated to Islamic Art. This department, in Chirac’s view, would not only be an instrument of diplomacy but also of interior policy and will “highlight the universal vocation of this museum and will be a living example of cultural dialogue.” Indeed during a period of racial and religious prejudices, the creation of such a department would have an effect on each group’s understanding and perception of the other. Yet so far, and despite Chirac’s resolution, the Louvre has not found the required funds or space to display its collection of Islamic Art.

India to install sensors, floodlights along Bangladesh border

Notice how even India is suffering from illegal Muslim immigration. Muslims everywhere seem to be busy getting to infidel democracies, while at the same time trying to recreate their Islamic failures in their new home countries:

India to install sensors, floodlights along Bangla border

India may soon import advanced sensors and other gadgets from the US to check the influx of illegal Bangladeshi migrants into the northeast region through a semi-porous border. A Border Security Force (BSF) official said a team of experts from the federal home ministry is expected to visit the Sandia National Laboratories in New Mexico, US, to shop for sophisticated electronic devices to arm paramilitary frontier guards in effectively checking infiltration from Bangladesh. "Sensors devised at the Sandia National Laboratories are being used in the United States to check cross-border infiltration and the team of experts would be exploring the possibilities of using the same along the border with Bangladesh," a senior BSF commander told IANS requesting anonymity. India and Bangladesh share a 4,095-km border. There are no estimates as to how many illegal migrants are residing in the northeast - identifying a Bangladeshi from an Indian border villager is almost impossible.

Our prisons are fertile ground for cultivating suicide bombers

TWO OF Britain’s bombers, Richard Reid and Muktar Said-Ibrahim, converted or reconverted to Islam in prison. This is a very small number, of course, but as we have just seen, it does not take large numbers of such people to effect a huge change in a country’s atmosphere. And the omens for the emergence of more of them are not good. First, the number of Muslim prisoners has risen sixfold over the past 15 years. They are mostly of Pakistani descent, and the relative absence of people of subcontinental origin who follow other religions is equally striking.

China: Christian v Communist

Europeans sent missionaries to Africa a couple of centuries ago. Now, Africans are sending missionaries to all those pagan white people and their empty churches. Europe is being Islamized, while China is being Christianized. If I'm not mistaken, Christianity also spread to the disaffected Roman cities first, just as it now seems to be doing in China. If God exists, He must have a sense of humor. I'm not a religious man myself, but neither am I among those stupid atheists who think Christianity and Islam are "all the same". I keep bashing China here, and I do believe it has bigger internal problems than many people realize. My view is close to that of Mark Steyn: China has no chance of rivalling the USA. The 21st century will belong to the Anglosphere, with India as an honorary member. But a capitalist and increasingly Christian China may well leave Socialist and Islamic Europe behind:

Christian v communist

Richard Spencer reports today from Beijing that there may now be more practising Christians in China than there are members of the Communist Party. The precise figures cannot be known, in a country in which Christians are still persecuted. But the evidence suggests that there may be as many as 80 million or even 100 million members of underground Christian churches in China, unapproved by the state. The Chinese Communist Party, meanwhile, has only 70 million members. If those figures for worshippers are even roughly accurate, then we are looking at a very remarkable development in the history not only of Asia but of all mankind. Xun Jinzhen, a Christian convert who runs a beauty salon in Beijing, put it eloquently when he said: "We have very few people who believe in communism as a faith. So there's an emptiness in their hearts."

Christianity is China's new social revolution

Protestantism and Catholicism are among the approved faiths, the others being Budd-hism, Taoism and Islam. Buddhism and Taoism claim most worshippers but the state-sanctioned churches count up to 35 million followers. More significant are the underground or "house" churches, which are said to have 80 or even 100 million members. "City people have real problems, and mental pain, that they can't resolve on their own," said Mr Xun. "So it's easy for us to convert these people to Christianity."

Converts inspired by democracy protests and western values

Among China's Christian converts are some of the most prominent figures from the 1989 Tian-an-men Square democracy protests - now mostly in exile. "I think human beings need something at a spiritual level," he said in Hong Kong, where he now broadcasts on labour issues for Radio Free Asia. "We don't want to believe we are coming from nowhere; going nowhere. "In China we have traditionally followed Buddhism. We had quite a deep religion. But communism destroyed everything."

Iraqi women split on role of Islam in new constitution

Iraqi women are split over how great a role Islam should play in the new constitution, currently being drafted in parliament, with some fearing "a return to the Dark Ages". An early draft of the constitution published in the local Al Sabah newspaper on Tuesday made clear that Islam is to be "the official religion of the State" and "the main source of legislation". The text is supported by the conservative Shia majority in Iraq's parliament. "No law that contradicts the universally agreed tenets of Islam may be enacted," reads the draft, still under discussion by a parliamentary committee and subject to revision. Parliamentary speaker Hajim Al Hasani made clear that he did not believe that this meant the rule of Sharia, or Islamic law. But for women's rights activist Yannar Mohammed any reference to Islam in the constitution "will take us back to the Dark Ages". Mohammed fears that any such language could allow public floggings and stoning of adulterers and granting clerics the last word in matters of marriage, divorce and inheritance. "The liberation of Iraq has unleashed the darkest forces in the country," said Mohammed. "We will be losing the basic protections as women and public citizens" if this language is adopted. Being a woman MP in Iraq is a dangerous job: in late April Lamiya Abed Khaduri, from former prime minister Ayad Allawi's party, was shot dead on her doorstep. And in May Salama Al Khafaji, an independent MP elected on the Shia alliance ticket, survived a fourth attempt on her life in two years.

'Whale burgers' raise a fuss

Seafood producers in both Norway and Japan are turning to new ways of peddling whale-based products, in the hopes of boosting sagging markets for whale meat. Their so-called "whale burgers," however, are already being blasted by anti-whaling groups. The Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society of the UK has issued warnings against the whale burgers, calling Norway's and Japan's efforts to market "fast food" whale products "an attempt to revive a dying industry." Whalers, their opponents claim, are hoping to cash in on "their governments' stated intentions to dramatically increase whaling quotas." Sales of whale products have indeed declined in Norway in recent years, and one seafood producer on the scenic Lofoten archipelago is among those hoping to turn that around. The Karsten Ellingsen Co recently launched its new whale products, targeted at a new generation of consumers.

Where next?

If isolating the United States in Iraq is the terrorists' main objective, we can make a good guess about their next target. Italy and Denmark are where many expect the next strike to occur, partly because of their troop presence in Iraq and partly because of threats made after the London blasts. But Germany, with its 3.2 million Muslims, is due for a hit. Despite its opposition to the Iraq war, Germany has some 2,000 soldiers operating in Afghanistan, and their presence is just as provocative to Al Qaeda as are American forces in Iraq. In one study, the sociologist Wilhelm Heitmeyer and his colleagues at the University of Bielefeld found that almost one-third of those polled agreed that Islam must become the state religion in every country. Most disturbing, some surveys find that the younger generation of Turkish Germans express surprising hostility toward Europe and the West. Even though they live in Europe, 56 percent declared that they should not adapt too much to Western ways, but should live by Islam. More than a third insisted that if it serves the Islamic community, they are ready to use violence against nonbelievers. Almost 40 percent said that Zionism, the European Union and the United States threaten Islam.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Conspiracy Theories in the Middle East

The truth about fiction

Does the Middle East have a propensity for conspiracy theories? Here’s something to think about: Marxism and Salman Rushdie were Jewish plots, Osama Bin Laden is an American agent and after the attacks on Afghanistan he was spotted in Salt Lake City eating tacos, and finally, ayatollahs are either a British or a Communist creation. The obvious logic behind most conspiracy theories is that they divert blame, thus saving theorists from a critical self-examination. Middle Easterners have deeply rooted feelings of suspicion of others, coupled with an outlook of superiority. This, says Dr Bishara, reinforces their lack of self-confidence thus pushing them to look outwards for explanations of their difficult living conditions.

Egyptian Historian Zaynab Abd Al-'Aziz: Vatican Delegated the US to Carry Out 9/11

And how could the US win legitimacy for this without anyone saying that they are perpetrating massacres and waging a Crusader war? It fabricated the 9/11 show. I call it a fabrication because much has been written on this. We are also to blame. Why do we accept a single perspective? Countless books were written, some of which were even translated into Arabic, like Thierry Meyssan's 9/11 The Big Lie and Pentagate. "Pentagate" like Watergate He brings documents to prove that the method used in destroying the three (sic) towers was "controlled demolition." This is an architectural engineering theory, which was invented by the Americans. They teach it in their Universities. They make movies and documentaries about it. They incorporated it in movie scenarios and then carried it out in real life. Why do we accept this?

Iceland’s EU ageing remedy

Europeans are growing older or, more precisely, we are not giving birth in sufficiently high numbers any longer. As a dramatic example of this, Germany’s population is projected to decrease from its current 82.5 million to around 75 million by the year 2050. What’s worse, half the population of the EU’s biggest country will be over 48 at that point and one third will be over 60, which does not bode well for an already struggling welfare system. OECD numbers tell a similar story, indicating that up to 45% of the old EU 15’s population will be over 65 by the year 2020. A tiny community in the North Atlantic seems to have it all figured out. While being at the top of the class in Europe as regards birth rate, Iceland is also on top regarding female labour force participation. At the same time, Iceland has the lowest unemployment rate for both men and women. How is that possible? Part of the explanation may be found in its generous and, perhaps more importantly, highly developed “gender-equality oriented” parental care system. In relative terms, Iceland spends a significantly higher share of its GDP on child and family benefits than the EU average. Nevertheless, at 19.5% of the GDP, overall spending in the social sector is far below the EU average.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Scandinavian Welfare State: “Official figures do not tell the whole story”

Via Finland for Thought:

“Official figures do not tell the whole story”

You seem to believe that the Scandinavian social model is tantamount to stopping growth and progress. Why is this? Sweden had the second highest growth rate in the world from 1890 to 1950, but since the tax rate rose from 20 % in 1950 to 50 % in 1980 we have fallen behind. For example, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Sweden was the fourth richest country per capita in the world in 1970 whereas now it is down to number 14. It is no coincidence that an increase in taxes and the size of the state has resulted in a slowing down of economic growth, both in Scandinavia and the rest of Western Europe. We do not have the highest living standards in Europe. True, we still live off the successes that took place before the state and taxes grew, but we are falling behind. Only one of the 50 largest Swedish companies came into existence after 1970, for example. And the low growth rate is apparent in everyday life; you have to wait for years to have treatment under the national health system. If we look at employment, which is important for people's welfare, it has decreased for four years in a row in Sweden. Only 3 million of our population of 9 million go to work on an average working day.

40 goats for Chelsea Clinton

Via Egyptian blog Rantings of a Sandmonkey:

40 goats for Chelsea Clinton

In 2000 when Chelsea, her father and mother, now Senator Hilary Rodham Clinton, visited East Africa, Chepkurgor, then a Fourth Year student at Moi University, tried to make his intention clear. He wrote to Clinton, offering himself as a suitor for Chelsea. He offered to pay 20 head of beef cattle and 40 goats to the Clintons in accordance to African traditions. He also named as his referees, then President Moi, Maendeleo Ya Wanawake chairman Zipporah Kittony and the Chepkoilel Campus Principal, Prof Margaret Kamar. He also gave the names his two college mates, John Tanui and Joseph Siror. He sent the letter through then Foreign Affairs minister Dr Bonaya Godana and then US Ambassador to Kenya Johnny Carson. But, instead of the positive response he was anticipating, Chepkurgor received visitors from the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS). His letter had sent security chiefs in a spin. It had been intercepted by the Foreign Affairs ministry and intelligence chiefs and he was summoned to a meeting with Godana. National Security Intelligence Service officers began background checks on him both at his Kisanana village in Mogotio and at the university. They interrogated his family, villagers, university colleagues and lecturers. He said he wanted to marry Chelsea but could not discuss the matter with her because, in an African setting, such issues are dealt with by parents, elders and the prospective suitor. He added that he would travel to America to meet with the Clintons.

Blair and Zapatero in anti-terror 'alliance of civilisations'

British prime minister Tony Blair has thrown his weight behind a Spanish idea for an ‘alliance of civilisations’ to form a united front against terrorism. The proposal to bring together Christian and Muslim nations was raised by Spain’s leader Jose Rodriguez Zapatero during a bilateral meeting on Wednesday (27 July). "We discussed the proposal that the Spanish prime minister has made for what he calls an alliance of civilisations, which is the idea that we join together, our countries with Muslim countries", said Mr Blair after the meeting. "I think this is a proposal with possibilities in it that we can develop over the months to come", he added. "It is the terrorists who want to stir up these differences between Islam and the rest of the world", said Mr Blair just days after terrorists tried to detonate more bombs in London and two weeks after bombs killed 56 people in the capital. Mr Blair was keen to stress that Turkey, the huge and mainly Muslim EU-hopeful, would also support the idea. "Turkey is particularly involved in this - to form a coalition of civilised people from whatever race or religion to combat the barbarity of terrorism", he said.

Canada occupies Denmark

Don't Canadians know that occupations always fail? Besides, Greenland is really Norwegian territory, as it was a part of the kingdom of Norway in the Middle Ages, with a significant Norse settlement dating from the age when Leiv Eriksson arrived in Canada. It went to Denmark in the aftermath of the Napoleonic wars, as the negotiators didn't know enough history. Perhaps we should declare a Holy War and get it back? Jihad for Greenland!

Canada occupies Denmark

Foreign troops haven't occupied Danish territory since 1946, when Soviet troops withdrew from the Baltic island of Bornholm, nearly a year after the end of WWII hostilities. Now, however, a new threat to the nation's sovereignty is rising, says Josef Motzfeldt, vice president of Greenland's Home Rule. Motzfeldt is up in arms over the unannounced visit of Canadian Defence Minister to Hans Island, a tiny Arctic island located in the Kennedy Channel between Greenland, a part of the Danish commonwealth, and Canada, reports national broadcaster DR. 'When someone unfairly tries to exercise their influence on the island, which is claimed by both Greenland/Denmark and Canada, I can't interpret the action as anything but occupation,' said Motzfeldt. Hans Island is claimed by both countries and is often visited by each country's naval forces, who make symbolic gestures such as the raising of flags, in order to prove sovereignty. Graham's visit, according to Canadian press, was a move to strengthen Canadian claims to the island. Motzfeldt said the visit highlighted the need for an international solution to the dispute. According to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, a country can claim disputed areas as its own if it is geologically connected to them. Despite the bellicose Canadian action, Motzfeldt sought a more amicable solution to the conflict over the island's ownership. 'Scientists must determine on (geological, ed.) grounds which nations can claim Hans Island,' said Motzfeldt. Danish and Canadian diplomats have taken Motzfeldt's claim in stride and have thus far kept the conflict to a war of words. After the Danish embassy in Ottawa was informed of Graham's visit a week after it took place, the Danish Foreign Ministry said that it planned to file an official protest with the Canadian ambassador in Copenhagen. Peter Taksøe-Jensen, the head of the Danish Foreign Ministry's legal service, said he and the Canadian ambassador agreed that the matter was a case of 'agreeing to disagree' and that though a solution would eventually be found, it would likey be later rather than sooner, as both countries had more pressing affairs elsewhere, reported DR.

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Nigeria state segregates travel

The authorities in the northern Nigerian state of Kano have imposed a ban on Muslim men and women travelling together on public transport. They say the ban is in accordance with Sharia law. Men and women-only buses and motorcycle taxis were paraded in a mass rally at a stadium in the city of Kano. Kano is one of several Muslim majority states that adopted Sharia law in 2000, a move which led to inter-religious riots that left thousands dead. Under the ban, commercial motorcylists seen carrying women could be fined. Correspondents say the scheme has been quite well-received by all communities as Christians will still be able to use existing non-segregated vehicles. The governor of Kano state said a new force of 9,000 uniformed police would enforce the law. Kano is one of 12 northern states which have implemented Sharia law since 2000. The move initially heightened tensions between Muslims and Christians and led to clashes which left thousands dead. Human rights groups have condemned abuses sanctioned under the law including amputations and flogging, and say it discriminates against women. Sharia law appears to have retained popular support in the north. But there is significant opposition to the law, especially among the Christian minority.

Ruling on a Muslim eating with an infidel

So, Muslims suffer from "Islamophobia and racism", but they shouldn't make friends with us or even eat with us "unless it is necessary". Feel the love:

Ruling on a Muslim eating with a kaafir (infidel)

Question :

If a Muslim eats or drinks with a Christian or any kaafir, is that considered to be haraam?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

Eating with a kaafir is not haraam if it is necessary to do so, or if that serves some shar’i interest. But they should not be taken as friends, so you should not eat with them for no shar’i reason or for no shar’i purpose. You should not sit and chat with them and laugh with them. But if there is a reason to do so, such as eating with a guest, or to invite them to Islam or to guide them to the truth, or for some other shar’i reason, then it is OK. The fact that the food of the People of the Book is halaal for us does not mean that we have to take them as friends and companions. It does not mean that we should eat and drink with them for no reason and for no purpose. And Allaah is the source of strength.

Conditions of it being permissible to settle in kaafir countries

What are the conditions of it being permissible to settle in kaafir countries?

Answer :

Praise be to Allaah.

The scholars (may Allaah have mercy on them) forbade settling in or going to countries where a Muslim is not able to practise his religion openly. The one who goes there to study, do business, or earn money, and those who are resident there all come under the same rulings and there is no difference between them. The rulings concerning all of them are the same as the rulings concerning those who are resident there, and there is no difference, if they are unable to practise their religion openly, and they are able to migrate from there. Claiming to hate the kuffaar whilst living among them is not enough. It is haraam to travel to them and settle among them.

Italy: Tuscany may be al-Qaeda target

Blair's preferred holiday spot - the Italian region of Tuscany - may be an al-Qaeda target in the month of August, when the British prime minister and his family are due to spend time at friend's Tuscan country house, according to the Italian newspaper Il Giornale. The newspaper referred to information gathered by German intelligence that spoke of Tuscany as a possible al-Qaeda target by the end of August. The information was picked up by an undercover agent in an al-Qaeda cell. During a religious celebration the agent heard people suspected of being linked to a German Salafist group tell another Muslim "brother" not to go to Tuscany in July and August. "Go where you want to, but don't go to Tuscany. Take heed from us, stay well away from that region until the end of August," the agent is said to have heard them warn. The choice of Tuscany as a terrorist target can be explained by Blair's 10 year-long habit of spending his summer holidays in the region. Il Giornale also indicated the historic Tuscan cities of Siena and Florence as symbolically and politically valuable terrorism targets. The information leaked from German intelligence is now being analised by Italian anti-terrorism analysts.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

I'm Rich! I'm Rich!

But the price of gasoline remains high:

Norwegians become richer

Norwegians have more money to spend. The average income increased by 23 per cent from 1996 to 2003. Luxury goods have become everyday commodities, the newspaper Vaart Land writes. Stores selling consumer electronics tell the newspaper that the sale of LCD and plasma televisions sets is beyond their wildest dreams, with a fivefold increase in sales in the past year alone. Car dealers report that it has become more socially acceptable to by and drive an expensive automobile. The travel industry reports an annual growth of 40 to 60 per cent over the past few years. We want to travel farther and stay at the better hotels. At the same time, fewer people have problems meeting their payments, according to the National Institute for Consumer Research.

Oil prices fuel a 'new reality'

High oil prices continued to drive the Oslo Stock Exchange to new heights on Monday, and analysts are looking ahead. Some say that if prices stay over USD 50 a barrel for the long term, Norway will literally be awash in unexpected riches, and economic fundamentals will change forever. A boom in oil revenues flowing into the country can, for example, make political quarrels over pension plans moot, leave Norway with no economic incentive to join the European Union, and literally provide "money for everything."

Danish Guantanamo prisoner drops case

Danish Guantanamo prisoner drops case

Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane, the Danish citizen arrested by US forces in Pakistan and detained on Guantanamo as an 'unlawful combatant', has decided to give up his lawsuit against the United States government. The statement did maintain that the imprisonment and the situation on Guantanamo were violations of international law. 'Slimane and I found that both the way he was treated and the actual judicial construction that placed the prisoners in a legal vacuum outside of the protection of the conventions violated international laws,' wrote Trier in a short statement. Trier has previously called the situation on Guantanamo 'an unsustainable judicial smorgasbord'. Abderrahmane made no comment himself regarding the decision to drop the case. However, in his last public statement, made at an anti-Bush demonstration during the president's visit to Copenhagen, he rejected Bush's claim that prisoners on Guantanamo are treated humanely. 'We were treated worse than animals,' Abderrahmane said to B.T. 'We were caged in two by two metre cells. There was also a bed there, so we really only had one square metre to move in.' Abderrahmane's move to take the US to court had been backed by the Rehabilitation and Research Centre for Torture Victims. The centre had also urged the government to back the lawsuit, but the government refused to do so. Minister of Justice Lene Espersen also said that Abderrahmane, who was never charged with a crime, could not demand compensation from the Danish state. Abderrahmane was released from Guantanamo in February 2004 after being held prisoner for 741 days. He was taken prisoner in 2001 by US military forces in Pakistan. According to Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller, he was captured during 'a combat situation in Afghanistan'. According to Abderrahmane's explanation, however, he had been in Afghanistan on his way to join the Chechen fight against Russian troops in Chechnya. After the US began attacking Afghanistan after the 11 September terror attacks, Abderrahmane slipped over the border into Pakistan, where he was taken prisoner.

Some older information about Abderrahmane:

Danish Muslim: Danish PM and Defense Minister legitimate terror targets

A Danish born former Guantanamo prisoner did not break the law when he told Danish media that Danish ministers and soldiers are legitimate terror targets. In an interview with the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, former prisoner Slimane Abderahmane identified both the Danish Prime Minister and the Defence Minister as legitimate terror targets for radical Islamic organisations. The Defence Minister said afterwards that he did not know whether these intolerable and offensive threats were illegal. Nonetheless, spokesmen from both the government and the opposition agreed with legal experts in saying that it would not be possible to press charges against Abederahmane on the basis of his statements. Abderahmane himself said later that he while did not intend to promote violence or terrorism, it had to be said that Denmark was at war with an Islamic nation and that made its leaders legitimate targets according to Islam.

Conservatives: Put Abderrahmane in jail

Former Guantanamo prisoner Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane announced yesterday that he has dropped plans to sue the US government and will quit Denmark for Chechnya to aid Muslim insurgents in the country. In response, Conservative Party justice spokesman Helge Adam Møller has urged authorities to jail Abderrahmane. "He's a terrorist," Helge Adam Møller told TV2 news. "He wants to go someplace where he can kill women and children." Slimane Hadj Abderrahmane told DR News Magazine on Wednesday evening that he had decided against suing the US government for his two-year detainment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Although Abderrahmane signed an agreement with the US barring him from engaging in jihad ever again, the Danish-Algerian citizen is prepared to leave Denmark in favour of Chechnya. "Lots of Danes are ready to hang me - a million and a half want me jailed for life, and the rest want me deported," said Abderrahmane, who told DR that he was abandoning his lawsuit against the US government because he had no chance of winning. "Western democracy has no room for people who think differently. There's no room for me here in Denmark, so I'm going to war in Chechnya, where I can support Muslims and be of some use, " said Abderrahmane.

Sweden rejects Saddam trial plea

Signs of intelligent life in Sweden? Saddam has long wanted to have his trial, and to serve a possible jail sentence, in Sweden:

Sweden rejects Saddam trial plea

Deposed Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, who faces trial on charges of crimes against humanity, will not be permitted to stand trial or serve his sentence in Sweden, a Swedish official said on Monday. "We have said 'no'," justice ministry director Ann Marie Bolin Pennegård told AFP, referring to a request from one of Hussein's lawyers for him to either await trial, stand trial or serve his sentence in Sweden. "Sweden has no intention of filing a request to the competent authorities in Iraq for a transfer of Saddam Hussein to Sweden before his trial," Pennegård wrote in the fax. "Nor has Sweden considered the issue of establishing a seat of the Iraqi Special Tribunal in Sweden. It is also to be noted that there is no possibility under present Swedish legislation ... to let Saddam Hussein serve any possible sentence in a Swedish prison after his trial," she added.

Saddam's men in Norway

Some of the men who worked for Saddam Hussein's regime, and carried out torture for him, are living in Norway under refugee status. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported Monday that several of those who tortured Saddam's opponents were granted at least temporary residence permission after arriving in Norway after the invasion of Iraq, to seek asylum. The men were members of Iraq's Baath Party, and, according to NRK, admitted to Norwegian authorities that they conducted attacks and torture on behalf of Saddam. Immigration agency UDI declined to comment on NRK's report. Spokesman Geir Løndal said in general terms, however, that temporary residence permission also can be granted to people who carried out torture, if they face torture themselves or the death penalty back in their homeland.

Swedes take time to learn Danish

For my non-Scandinavian readers: The Scandinavian languages are similar and closely related, but you still make a mistake if you think they are "all the same". As a rule of thumb, educated Scandinavians should be able to read each other's languages (that's why I frequently quote Swedish or Danish newspapers), but it is a bit more complicated when it comes to spoken dialects. It is not unusual for Swedes and Danes in particular to switch to English because they have a hard time understanding each other:

Swedes take time to learn Danish

Unemployed academics in Sweden have begun to look to Denmark as the land of opportunity and have signed up for a weeklong intensive Danish class in record numbers. The programme, which is offered by the Centre for Danish Studies at Lund University, reported a 50 percent increase in the number of applicants. 'There has been a particular increase in ph.d. students this year who want to enter the Danish workforce, but who recognise that good Danish skills are a necessity,' said the programme's co-ordinator Barbro Bergner. Although the Swedish and Danish languages are closely related and share a number of similarities, the differences between them are significant enough to give some Swedes problems when they cross the Øresund Sound to Denmark. The class consists of morning sessions in a language lab where participants can practice their pronunciation and analyse the Danish language. Afternoon sessions include lectures on various aspects of Danish society and culture.

Two Planes of French Jews Immigrate to Israel

Two planeloads of immigrants from France arrived in Israel Monday, marking the largest French immigration to Israel in decades. The 330 new immigrants arrived at Ben Gurion Airport on two flights, from Paris and Mareseille, which arrived simultaenously. The mass Aliyah (immigration to Israel) was organized by the Jewish Agency and AMI, a voluntary organization set up by French Jews to provide assistance for immigrants from France, modeled after the Nefesh b’Nefesh Aliyah assistance organization which assists immigrants from North America. AMI grants financial aid to those who need to pay back loans or move their businesses to Israel, as well as stipends for students making Aliyah. Four Torah scrolls were also brought to Israel together with the new immigrants, signifying a continually increasing flow of France’s Jewish community toward the Jewish homeland. “France still has a Jewish population of about 600,000, but Aliyah continues to increase and we hope all of French Jewry will come home soon,” Bingham said, summing up the sentiments of those who addressed the new immigrants upon arrival.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Scientists seek fresh chance to dig up Stonehenge's secrets

Stonehenge has always mystified. Julius Caesar thought it was the work of druids, medieval scholars believed it was the handiwork of Merlin, while local folk tales simply blamed the devil. Now scientists are demanding a full-scale research programme be launched to update our knowledge of the monument. 'Stonehenge has not been well served by archaeology,' admitted Dr David Miles, chief archaeology adviser to English Heritage. 'Much of the area was excavated in the 19th centur. 'Then they would ransack them, taking away the human remains and grave goods. It was Indiana Jones stuff. We need to get that material back.' 'It is over 50 years since substantial excavations have taken place at Stonehenge' the report notes. Crucially, science can now reveal rich details about prehistoric people from their remains. This is demonstrated by the 'Amesbury Archer', recently found in a 4,000-year-old grave, one of Europe's richest, near Stonehenge. He was surrounded by about 100 items. But his teeth provided the real surprise. Tests on their enamel showed the archer came from the Alps while the ornaments found in his grave were traced to Spain and France. This discovery suggests that metalworkers from the Continent had already begun to trade and work in tin, copper and other metals in Britain 4,000 years ago and may have played key roles in building Stonehenge.

Immigration Rising on Bush's To-Do List

Worried that the tone of the immigration debate is pushing Latinos away from the Republican Party, the White House is working with political strategists to create a broad coalition of business groups and immigrant advocates to back a plan President Bush could promote in Congress and to minority voters in the 2006 elections. The strategists say Bush is planning to make immigration a top priority as soon as this fall. The push is being planned to coincide with next year's campaigns for the House and Senate, in which Latino voters could be crucial in several states. It is part of a broader White House strategy to forge a long-lasting majority by drawing more minority voters. The effort is designed to help Bush take control of an increasingly contentious debate that has threatened to split the Republican Party and undermine its outreach to Latino voters. Although the White House has not laid out details for a plan, in January 2004 Bush proposed a guest-worker program that would be open to many illegal immigrants already in the U.S. and to prospective workers abroad. The party's leading voices favoring stricter limits on immigration, such as Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.), remain undaunted — pledging to intensify their efforts.

The Marx-Mohammed Pact

In 1939, the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact cleared the way for Hitler to start World War II. The Pact caught the world by surprise, because it was an alliance between two bitter enemies, Nazi Germany and Communist Russia. Similarly, what made possible the recent bombings in London, and the many more that will follow in Europe and the U.S., is the Marx-Mohammed Pact. Once again, two sworn enemies, Marxism -- specifically the cultural Marxism commonly known as Political Correctness -- and Islam, have made a Devil's bargain whereby each assists the other against a common enemy, the remnants of the Christian West. Given its history and what its adherents are doing around the world, Islam itself is a threat. Europe, and the United States, need to stop more Islamics (and, in the U.S., Hispanics) from coming, and at least some of the Islamics now in residence must go.London was only a foretaste of what those policies will bring to Europe and America. If we dare rip down the camouflage nets cultural Marxism has erected to blind us, we see Europe has two real choices: an infinity of Londons or second expulsion of the Moors.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Has Huygens found life on Titan?

IF LIFE exists on Titan, Saturn's biggest moon, we could soon know about i. The chemical signature of microbial life could be hidden in readings taken by the European Space Agency's Huygens probe when it landed on Titan in January. Titan's atmosphere is about 5 per cent methane, and Chris McKay of NASA thinks that some of it could be coming from methanogens, or methane-producing microbes. Now he and Heather Smith in Strasbourg, France, have worked out the likely diet of such organisms on Titan. They think the microbes would breathe hydrogen rather than oxygen, and eat organic molecules drifting down from the upper atmosphere. “The microbes might breathe hydrogen rather than oxygen, and eat molecules drifting down from the upper atmosphere” McKay and Smith calculate that if methanogens are thriving on Titan, their breathing would deplete hydrogen levels near the surface to one-thousandth that of the rest of the atmosphere. Detecting this difference would be striking evidence for life, because no known non-biological process on Titan could affect hydrogen concentrations as much.

Quotes on Islam by President Bush

# America treasures the relationship we have with our many Muslim friends, and we respect the vibrant faith of Islam which inspires countless individuals to lead lives of honesty, integrity, and morality. This year, may Eid also be a time in which we recognize the values of progress, pluralism, and acceptance that bind us together as a Nation and a global community. By working together to advance mutual understanding, we point the way to a brighter future for all."

Presidential Message Eid al-Fitr
December 5, 2002

# "Islam brings hope and comfort to millions of people in my country, and to more than a billion people worldwide. Ramadan is also an occasion to remember that Islam gave birth to a rich civilization of learning that has benefited mankind."

President's Eid al-Fitr Greeting to Muslims around the World
December 4, 2002

The Norwegian Government - Covering Up Immigrant Rapes

Note: Update to this post here: Rape: Nothing to do with Islam?

I've touched upon this subject several times here, and I will continue doing so until the problem has been acknowledged and dealt with. I got inspiration to write another post about this after reading once again about the horrific gang rapes by Muslim immigrants of Australian girls in Sydney, this time brought up by LittleGreenFootballs:

Sydney's Gang Rape Trial

They are probably the most violent, prolific gang rapists Sydney has known, with as many as 18 young victims. But until now the extent of the horrific crimes of four brothers from Pakistan has been kept secret. Yesterday, more than three years after they went on a six-month rampage, luring girls as young as 13 to their home in Ashfield to rape them, suppression orders forbidding publication of their trial details were lifted. The brothers, who came to Australia from Pakistan around 2000, had claimed in the face of damning DNA evidence that they were the victims of an anti-Muslim conspiracy. The eldest brother feigned mental illness, they sacked numerous lawyers and aborted trials to ensure delays as they tried to wear down the victims who had agreed to testify. The rapes of at least eight girls took place mostly in the brothers’ Ashfield home between January and July 2002. The girls were invited to a “party”, but would arrive at the house, which was strewn with rubbish and plastered with posters of semi-naked girls, to find no other females there. Some victims were repeatedly raped at knifepoint and told they would be killed if they went to police. The brothers videotaped their rapes, and the tapes show another dozen possible victims. The police have not been able to find them all and some did not want to come forward.

Here are statistics published by the police in Oslo, Norway, September 2001:

Oslo rape statistics shock

Two out of three charged with rape in Norway's capital are immigrants with a non-western background according to a police study. The number of rape cases is also rising steadily.The study is the first where the crime statistics have been analyzed according to ethnic origin. Rape charges in the capital are spiraling upwards, 40 percent higher from 1999 to 2000 and up 13 percent so far this year. Police Inspector Gunnar Larsen of Oslo's Vice, Robbery and Violent crime division says the statistics are surprising - the rising number of rape cases and the link to ethnic background are both clear trends. But Larsen does not want to speculate on the reasons behind the worrying developments. While 65 percent of those charged with rape are classed as coming from a non-western background, this segment makes up only 14.3 percent of Oslo's population. Norwegian women were the victims in 80 percent of the cases, with 20 percent being women of foreign background.

There is every reason to believe that the numbers were real, as Denmark published almost identical statistics at the same time:

Criminologist: immigrants are rape champions

If one leading expert is to be believed, the sharp rise in the number of rapes in this over the last 5 years is largely attributable to a group of unemployed and alienated immigrants. 'Over the last 5-10 years there has an increasing tendency to marginalise and alienate immigrants,' says Professor Flemming Balvig, a criminologist at Copenhagen University. 'As a result, many second generation immigrants have reacted against this through various types of criminal activity, including rape.'

Muslim rape concern

Alarmed at last week's police statistics, which revealed that in 68% of all rapes committed this year the perpetrator was from an ethnic minority, leading Muslim organisations have now formed an alliance to fight the ever-growing problem of young second and third-generation immigrants involved in rape cases against young Danish girls.

The situation in Sweden is probably even worse, but statistics have never been made public.

The numbers published in September 2001 were discussed in at least to out of Norway's three largest newspapers: Aftenposten and Dagbladet. A leading member of the Liberal Party (Venstre), Odd Einar Dørum, demanded all the numbers be put on the table: "A scumbag is a scumbag, regardless of skin color".

Four years later, Dørum is Minister of Justice, and nobody has seen these statistics since 2001. The number of rape charges in Oslo have continued to rise, reaching record levels in 2004. There is ample evidence of brutal gang rapes, something that used to be rare in Scandinavia, being committed by immigrants against native girls. For instance, 21st of July, three men were charged with gang raping a 15-year-old Norwegian girl, who was dragged into a car while waiting for a bus at the bus station in the town of Fredrikstad. All the men were of "foreign origin". Such cases have become almost routine. The only possible explanation for why we are no longer presented statistics showing the percentage of immigrants involved in this is that the government is covering it up. Usually, this would have made the media demand that the Minister of Justice should resign. This has not happened, although I know several journalists have been reading the posts I have made about this topic, both in English and in Norwegian. To make matters worse, while Norwegian women are increasingly unsafe in their own capital, we hear calls for even more immigration, and 85 % of our MPs pass a law saying that we are guilty of discriminating against immigrants until proven otherwise.

We have national elections on the 12th of September. And right now, I'm embarrassed to come from this nation.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Senior Iranian Official: Europe Will Recognize Iran's Right to a Limited Nuclear Fuel Cycle

God, I'm embarrassed to be Europan at this low point in the continent's history. Can't somebody pass me a blue pill, so I can pretend all this isn't happening?

Senior Iranian Official: Europe Will Recognize Iran's Right to a Limited Nuclear Fuel Cycle

The European Union, which is negotiating a long-term nuclear agreement with Iran through the EU-3 ( United Kingdom,Germany, and France), was scheduled to submit a detailed program for Iranian and European guarantees by the end of July 2005. If the talks had not taken place, there would have been a crisis with Iran 's nuclear portfolio in the IAEA Board of Governors, and the major oil and gas contracts that Iran signed with the world would not have been possible. The negotiations with the E.U. have generated an atmosphere enabling Iran to sign long-term gas export contracts with India, China, Pakistan, and the UAE. These contracts are considered to be among the world's greatest economic contracts. Mousavian: "If Europe Offers to Support the Iranian Nuclear Power Plants and to Guarantee their [Nuclear] Fuel Supply,Iran Should Welcome Such a Proposal"

Bloomberg: No Fair Profiling Terrorists

4 years after New York City and the USA was hit by the worst foreign attack on the mainland in its history, Americans seem to have forgotten this already. Americans didn't wake up with 9/11, they are still asleep:

Bloomberg: No Fair Profiling Terrorists

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that terrorists come "in all sizes and shapes and forms" and it wouldn't be fair for police to profile terrorism suspects on the basis of a Middle Eastern appearance. Asked about the city's random stop-and-search policy, which Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said Thursday would forbid racial profiling, Bloomberg told WABC Radio host John Gambling, "I think if we've learned anything, it is you can't predict what a terrorist looks like." Bloomberg acknowledged that his profiling ban would make it easier for terrorists to succeed in their next attack, but still insisted the practice was "unreasonable."

Iran opens garrison to recruit suicide bombers against West

This is a declaration of war. The time has come to deal with Iran and depose the mullahs. Ideally, it should happen as a NATO strike, but if European appeasement blocks this possibility, than I hope the Israelis and the Americans go it alone. Somebody has to do this:

Iran opens garrison to recruit suicide bombers against West

A military garrison has been opened in Iran to recruit and train volunteers for “martyrdom-seeking operations”, according to the garrison’s commander, Mohammad-Reza Jaafari. Jaafari, a senior officer in the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), told a hard-line weekly close to Iran’s ultra-conservative President-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that the new “Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison” would recruit individuals willing to carry out suicide operations against Western targets. “The Lovers of Martyrdom Garrison has been activated and we will form a Martyrdom-seeking Division for each province in the country, organised in brigades, battalions and companies to defend Islam”, Jaafari told the weekly Parto-Sokhan. “The United States should know that we have nuclear weapons, but they are in the hearts of our suicide bombers”, Jaafari added.

Iran tightens control over Internet

The Iranian government has tightened its control over the Internet, increasingly blocking content in its national language of Farsi and restricting what citizens can publish through Web journals, Western researchers say. Iran shows a sophistication in filtering seen only in China and a few other countries, adapting its techniques as use of the Internet evolves, said John Palfrey, a Harvard University researcher who studied censorship in Iran for the OpenNet Initiative.

What Foreign Aid Decreased Poverty in 19th Century Europe?

Should we forever give aid to Africa? Some time ago, India decided it would no longer accept aid from Western countries, but rely on its own strength and resources. I think that's a smart decision, one indicating that India has the self-confidence necessary to compete in the global economy. If you rely on alms from others, it does something to your mentality. It pacifies you:

What Foreign Aid Decreased Poverty in 19th Century Europe?

"A standard myth is there's a "vicious cycle of poverty" that makes economic development virtually impossible for the world's poor nations. This myth holds that poor countries are poor because income is so low that savings cannot be generated to provide the kind of capital accumulation necessary for economic growth. Thus, it is alleged, the only way out of perpetual poverty is foreign aid. A relatively well-off country, like France, experienced several faminesbetween the 15th and 18th centuries as well as plagues and diseases thatsometimes killed hundreds of thousands. In France, life expectancy was 20 years, in Ireland it was 19 years, and in early 18th-century London, more than 74 percent of the children died before reaching age 5. How in the world did these once poor and backward countries break the "vicious cycle of poverty" and become wealthy, without what today'sdevelopment experts say is absolutely necessary for economic growth --foreign aid handouts, World Bank and International Monetary Fund loans, andbillions of dollars of debt forgiveness? The answer is simple: Capitalism started taking root in Europe. Capitalism is an economic system where there's peaceable, voluntary exchange. Government protects private property rights held in goods and services. There's rule of law and minimal government regulation and control of the economy."

Che Guevara isn’t cool

Via the excellent German blog Davids Medienkritik:

Jeffrey Gedmin: Che Guevara isn’t cool

Have you taken note of all those Che Guevara faces you see cropping up everywhere? You see them at soccer matches, book stores, Prenzlauerberg cafes, McDonalds and Hartz IV demonstrations. I am indebted to Alvaro Vargas Llosa, who in the current issue of the center-left "New Republic" magazine, explains a bit about who Che Guevara was. Of course, Che is famous for helping Fidel Castro shape the Cuban revolution. Later, he was in charge of La Cabana prison. It was here that Che oversaw a military tribunal, which condemned hundreds, by some accounts a couple thousand counterrevolutionaries to death without trial in those early, heady days. Javier Arzuaga, the prison’s chaplain, recalls in a recent conversation with Vargas Llosa how strict Che could be, including when it came to the execution of children. “Hatred,” Che once said, is important. It makes you, he reflected, "into an effective, violent, selective and cold-blooded killing machine." Che certainly loved to kill. He once killed a comrade, who he suspected of being disloyal. “I ended the problem,” he boasted, “with a .32 caliber pistol, in the right side of his brain.” During the glorious revolution days he once wrote to his wife, “Here in the Cuban jungle, alive and blood thirsty.” Che loved doing what was best for the people. He once experimented with imposing a kind of sharia law, regulating relations between men and women and the use of alcohol. He helped set up a police state in Cuba and created on the tiny island labour camps for dangerous counterrevolutionaries. These camps were the precursor for the camps that would be later used to confine homosexuals, aids sufferers and other undesirable elements. Che loved Soviet communism. He helped negotiate the stationing of Soviet nuclear weapons on Cuba in 1962, and later became furious when Moscow negotiated their removal with the Americans. “If the rockets had remained, we would have used them all...” He spoke of “unimaginable destructiveness to defend a principle.”

Friday, July 22, 2005

Man linked to London bombings threatens Sweden

This is not the first time Sweden receives terror threats. The man is perfectly right when he says that the London bombers "are not terrorists, as they are doing what Islam requires”: Jihad against the infidels:

Man linked to London bombings threatens Sweden

The 39-year old Swede suspected of involvement in the London bombings has said that Sweden would be “punished” if he was handed over to a foreign power. The man, who is originally from Lebanon, has lived in Sweden since he was 18. In an interview with Dagens Nyheter last October, he denied that he had met Osama Bin Laden but said that he “loved him”. “I am proud of Osama bin Laden. I am proud of everyone who wages war for justice.” The man also told Dagens Nyheter that he thought the September 11th attacks against the United States were “very good.” The man refuted accusations that he had been at a terrorist training camp in Oregon in 1999. He admitted, however, that he had lived with Abu Hamza, a controversial Muslim preacher at the Finsbury Park mosque in London, who is currently awaiting trial in Britain on terrorism and race-hate charges. The Swedish man says that he lived with one-eyed, hook-handed Hamza “for medical reasons, as a nurse.” While denying involvement in the London bombings, the man said that the suicide bombers who attacked three underground trains and a bus were “martyrs,” adding that he hoped also to become a martyr one day. “They are not terrorists, as they are doing what Islam requires,” he said. Sweden, he said, is not threatened by al-Qaeda, although he told Expressen that this could change if the Swedish government handed him over to the British or American authorities. “If Sweden hands me over to another country then it will only have itself to blame. Sweden will then be punished with the greatest punishment.”

Danish Premier urged to extend olive branch to Muslims

Premier urged to extend olive branch to Muslims

Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen is being urged from both sides of the political aisle to reach out in support of Muslims, who are coming under blanket suspicion after the terror attacks in London. The call comes after several prominent members of the PM’s Liberal Party suggested the government end its dialogue with imams. Government support party Danish People’s Party (DF) has also weighed in with their demand that what they call Muslims’ fifth column activity be stopped. Outside the house of parliament, others are also beginning to look suspiciously after their Muslim neighbours and colleagues, such as in the case where the editor of an informational website for taxi drivers said cabbies ought to hold an eye on their Arabic colleagues. The youth organisation for the Liberal Party said it has had enough of such talk, and feels Rasmussen ought to follow Tony Blair’s lead and begin a dialogue with moderate Muslims. ‘If we don’t watch out, then we can easily create an atmosphere of xenophobia, where people make a connection between being Muslim and being a potential terrorist, said Liberal Youth chairman Karsten Lauritzen. ‘If a terror attack strikes Denmark, we could easily end with some deep divides.’ Terror issues spokesman from the leftist Red-Green Alliance suggested that the PM distance himself from government ally DF’s depiction of the Muslims. ‘Attacks and websites that disparage Muslims together with the People’s Party’s description create a situation where a further separation of ‘them’ and ‘us’ looms,’ said Red-Green MP Per Clausen. ‘In this situation, we have a need for a clear statement from the government reinforcing that Muslims are as innocent of terror as everyone else, and that Muslims have the same freedom of speech that we do.’

Dane detained for bomb threat against mosques

A 35-year-old Dane was ordered detained for four weeks on Thursday for allegedly threatening to blow up mosques in Denmark and Sweden. Police say the man made the threats in an e-mail sent to a local newspaper. They say they traced the e-mail to a computer at the man's home in the city of Aarhus. "The threats in the e-mail were fierce and were made shortly after the July 7 terror bombs in London. So, there was no doubt that it was a case for the police," said the editor-in-chief of the Jyllands-Posten daily, which received the e-mail on Monday. The man has denied the allegations, but could face up to two years in prison if found guilty.

The Second Fall of Rome?

I will write several essay in English during the next few weeks, and a handful in Norwegian because of the elections we will have here on the 11th of September. One of the themes I am working on in both languages is that the population movements we are witnessing now are the largest and fastest in human history. In Europe, they can only be compared to the period often referred to as the Great Migrations, following the disintegration of the Roman Empire. However, during the 4th and 5th centuries, the total human population of the world was in the order of 200 million. Today, it is 30 times larger than that, and still growing fast. We also have communications that can transport people anywhere on earth within hours, and media that show ordinary people how much better life is in other countries. On top of that, the Romans didn't have human rights lawyers advocating that millions of barbarians be let into their lands.

Is it a coincidence that the last time we had migrations like this was when large parts of the European continent suffered a complete civilizational breakdown? Is that what we are witnessing now? The second fall of Rome?

I'll quote a couple of posts made at LGF by the always excellent observer DP111:

What we are seeing in the West is the opening salvoes of the continuation of the Jihad against Christendom, that was brought to a close at Vienna in 1683. The new onset has come about as a direct consequence of allowing muslim immigration to the West. Muslims are mandated to the Jihad and it is foolish of us to expect that they will refrain from doing so. It is our foolishness that gave them the opportunity to do so from within.

Muslims and their religion are not yet ready to accept pluralism, democracy and free thinking. Democracy is in fact incompatible with islam, as many muslim imams have openly stated. That is their interpretation of the koran. It should therefore come as no suprise to us, that muslims in the West are waging Jihad against us. In their eyes, if we didnt realise that this would happen, the fault lies with us and not them. I agree.

I do not think our societies, geared as they are to free and open thought, can continue with this continuous assault on freedom. If this assault is not brought to a halt soon, then free society will start to perish, and with that the economy. It may not be evident immediately, but perish it will in the fullness of time. If the current trend of increasing conflict continues, then we are irrevocably headed in the direction of a major armed conflict with the Islamic world. This is also going to lead to a civil war within Europe of unimaginable proportions. Europe's civil wars (WW 1 and 2) have not exactly been powder-puff affairs.

Each day brings news of events that seem to bring us to that inevitable reckoning. We do not wish to fight for religion but we are being engaged in a religious conflict, quite against our will. Our politicians find it difficult to imagine that we are in a religious conflict. So passe - that sort of thing went out of fashion in the Middle Ages. It is all so pointless and avoidable. Time is short, and we need to act now to avert a human tragedy, which this commenter just does not wish to see.

Separation recognises, that at this moment in time, Islam and democracy are irreconcilable. Thus a separation leaves hope for the future for everybody. This is important, as muslims like all humans will reach a stage in their social development, when they do indeed welcome democracy and pluralism. It is just that at this stage in their history, they are not ready for it. A war, which is where we are headed, will stop their progress, as well as cause a split within humanity, that will be hard to patch up.

The basic impulse of Islam is to expand into Infidel territory. Unable to do so, it will collapse quite quickly in historic terms, and thus release the 1.2 billion souls in its enslavement and bring about true freedom for them. What more can one ask for.

I have stated many times over the last couple of years, that we will easily win a full scale war with the islam. What worries me is that in the event of a nuclear event in the West, we will rapidly go for the THIRD CONJECTURE option. Over the last two years I have stated on LGF and Jihad/Dhimmi Watch, that our inevitable large scale nuclear response, will also shatter the foundations of our own civilisation. Our Judeao-Christian civilisation has a built-in guilt complex, and we will not be able to sustain the shock of our victory bought at such expense. That is why the war option is not really a good one unless.. unless we can re-define what this war is about.

To state the obvious, there are two principles in any war. The first is that the home front is secured. The second is to carry the war to the enemy. However, if we do NOT carry the war to the enemy with a correctly defined moral and political purpose, we will not be able to have public backing for the war. The Jihad in the meantime will continue, for in the eyes of the jihadis and the muslim world, they have a clear moral and religious purpose, and divinely sanctioned to boot.

The question is how do we carry the war to an enemy whose ideology we recognise as a religion, while ours is multi-culturelism. You see the difficulty here. There is no way we can conduct a war, so long as we suscribe to either one of those two tenets. Even if we discard multi-culturelism, this in itself is not sufficient. This inevitably leads us to ask, can we somehow re-define Islam, in particular for a Western audience, not as a religion but as a political ideology, and one whose tenets are sufficiently evil, so that it merits destruction, much as Nazism. (Note here that I do not recognise that islam is susceptible to reformation). This construct has to take place so that the Western populace sees it as justifiable to actually give the physical and moral support that is required for such a large scale venture. (In passing it is worth noting the political difficulty that Bush and Blair are having in Iraq in sustaining political support for the war, once they had proclaimed that Islam is a RoP - they had conceded the moral ground). They now have the same problem here in the West, as the bombs go of.

The jihadis have a clear moral purpose, and thus we too have to define an even more powerful moral argument as to why our cause is more just, more moral and better - not just to our public, whose unwavering support we need, but to many muslims around the world. Once we have such a clear moral purpose, then indeed we can go to full scale war and even respond to a nuclear attack in an appropriate fashion without being fatally afflicted by guilt.

Showers 'may damage your brain'

Traces of manganese found in household water could be sufficient to cause permanent brain damage to those who take a regular shower, according to a report published in the US journal Medical Hypotheses. John Spangler of the Wake Forest University School of Medicine in North Carolina and his team suggested that breathing in vapour containing manganese salts could be dangerous over the longer term. "Inhaling manganese, rather than eating or drinking it, is far more efficient at delivering manganese to the brain. The nerve cells involved in smell are a direct pathway for toxins to enter the brain," Spangler wrote. The team used animal studies aimed at showing how much a person who showered for 10 minutes a day would absorb.The effects are dependent on the levels of manganese in household water. In the United States, a limit of 0.5 milligrams a litre of water is imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency, while in the European Union, an upper level of just a 10th of that was set only in 1998. Spangler suggested that even levels below the US upper limit could lead to brain damage.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

China: Lots of wealth, lots of people, lots of flaws

Via China Digital Times:

Will China, despite its lack of freedom, become a true world-class power? China is actually still poor and weak. About two-thirds of the Chinese population have the low living standard typical of a developing nation. While China’s most developed regions, Shanghai and Beijing, were ranked as equivalent to Greece and Singapore, the more populous provinces, like Gansu and Guizhou, were ranked with Haiti and Sudan. China is essentially still a giant labor-intensive processing factory. Many of China’s business leaders hold or seek foreign passports or residency. Capital flight from China has been surpassing foreign direct investment since the late 1990’s. Beijing’s top diplomatic objective has been to gain external acceptance that will prop up the regime. Therefore, predictions that China will quickly become a world power, and will do so peacefully, are premature. Since the late 19th century, only one major non-Western nation, Japan, has risen to become a world-class power, and it did so only by wreaking much havoc. Still, China should and can be powerful and rich. More important, the Chinese people deserve to be free: free from poverty and backwardness, free from the hurtful feelings of past humiliations, free from deeply trenched ethnocentrism and chauvinism, and free from political tyranny.

Look out, world: Here comes booming India

The key to China's coming failure and India's growing success is Bejing's dependence on manufacturing exports for its wealth and New Delhi's focus on its service sector. Because of its low-wage economy and massive manpower, China can undercut the rest of the world in labor costs and produce goods for less than anybody else can. But this race to the bottom of the global economy will be won not by the lowest-wage economy but by robots. In the coming decade, the growth of robotics will end most manufacturing employment. China's impoverished workers will lose out to American and Japanese robots, and the source of its economic growth with likely wither in the coming decades.

Asian scientists 'set to overtake US research output'

The number of scientific papers published by researchers in the Asia-Pacific region could exceed the number from the United States within six or seven years, says a US report published in the July/August issue of ScienceWatch. Asia-Pacific nations, led by China, South Korea, Singapore and Taiwan, produced 25 per cent of the world's scientific papers in 2004, just below the United States with 33 per cent. European researchers produced 38 per cent of the papers. In contrast, Asia was responsible for just 16 per cent of global scientific output in 1990.

Talking books increases interest in literature

Talking books in so-called mp3 format are becoming more and more popular in Denmark and that, say the experts, could mean more Danish men will be taking an interest in literature. The format makes it easy to have a whole book on an mp3 player in your pocket. Many countries have already enjoyed success with mp3 talking books and in Sweden men in particular have shown an interest in the new book format.

Rooting for the Martians

David Koepp, who wrote the screenplay for War of the Worlds, says the Martian attackers in the film represent the American military, while the Americans being slaughtered at random represent Iraqi civilians. The soft and squishy side of the Hollywood mind was on display in Ridley Scott's unintentionally hilarious movie about the Crusades, Kingdom of Heaven. The famous Saladin picks up and admiringly fondles a Christian crucifix he finds on the ground. Somehow I doubt this happened. Muslims had spent several centuries slaughtering Christians or converting them at swords' point. No movie has been made about the terrorists since 9/11, nothing on al Qaeda, the Taliban, Daniel Pearl, Saddam Hussein, the USS Cole, the embassy attacks, the daring and impressive attempts to track down terrorists. Nothing. But wait. Help is on the way. Hollywood is still reluctant to irritate terrorists, but a few movies about 9/11 heroes are on the way. And whom did Paramount pick for the highest-profile one? Oliver Stone, the unhinged director/screenwriter who refers to 9/11 as a justified "revolt" against the established order and the six companies he thinks control the world.

Parents spring rapist son from Swedish courtroom

Parents spring rapist son from Swedish courtroom

An 18 year old convicted rapist was aided by his parents as he slipped away from his guards at the Sundsvall appeals court on Tuesday. News agency TT reported that the man, along with a 17 year old who has a record of serious assault, attempted to sneak away from his prison officers. They stopped him in the courthouse reception, but at that point parents and friends stepped in, "punching and kicking" the guards. In the chaos, the two troublemakers did a runner. They are currently on the run but the parents have been arrested and are now facing charges of aiding an escape and violence against prison officers.

I don't know the ethnic background of the rapist, as Swedish media usually don't tell this. But it is possible to speculate, of course. The case reminded me of a previous incident in Denmark:

Police beat hasty retreat

Six police officers who were summoned to the suburb of Vollsmose in Odense were forced to flee after receiving death threats from a crowd of around 100 second generation immigrants. The police were summoned when three young immigrants attempted to kick their way into the apartment of a family whose 12 year-old son had testified against the three in a rape case. When the police attempted to arrest the three offenders, news spread and a 100-strong gang quickly gathered outside, threatening the police that they would not be allowed out alive if arrests were made. The officers heeded the warning and fled, managing to take the threatened family with them. Authorities in Odense are now fearing that Vollsmose is in danger of becoming a 'no-go area' for police.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Blogosphere: Freedom of Speech vs. Racism and anti-Semitism

I've always had a few weirdos posting here. I got rid of most of them when I limited posting to registered users, after a Muslim guy with Infidelophobia had been pestering me for some time. I still have a couple of readers who like to post openly racist and anti-Jewish material. I don't like it, and I'm not sure how to react to it. I've deleted a few comments, but let most of them pass so far. I think there is too much censorship in general in the West these days, and I am perfectly aware of the fact that many people think my blog is rather controversial, too. I don't like Islam, and never made any secret of that. I can't see what that has to do with race. Islam is a Fascist, anti-democratic and violent ideology that transcends race and nationality. I get better along with Hindus and Sikhs than I do with white Muslims such as Kosovo Albanians. From a principal point of view, I don't think it should be illegal to state that some races are superior to others. However, that doesn't mean that I have to allow it here. It is very difficult to have a genuine debate about immigration, and it becomes almost impossible to be taken seriously if visitors keep reading openly racist and anti-Jewish comments on the blog. People who are obsessed with conspiracy theories involving Jews can burn crosses or something and stop taking it out on Fjordman's blog.

Just a friendly reminder.

"Rich Guys Have More Sex"

I knew I picked the wrong career:

Money can't buy you love, but it can mean that you have a more active sex life

HIGH earners of both genders boast an increased libido but only the wealthy men end up having more sex, the largest survey of its kind has indicated. As their incomes rise, both men and women are more likely to have a higher sex drive, according to a study of almost 30,000 people from 170 countries. Only among men, however, does this translate into more frequent sex: male high earners have sex significantly more often than those on lower salaries, but income makes little or no difference for women. The findings, from an online survey conducted by the BBC, offer fresh evidence for the theory that women tend to be more attracted to men with money and resources, but that a woman’s wealth does not much affect her sex appeal to men.

Agenda for the American-Indian Alliance

Agenda for the AmerInd Alliance

President Bush and India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will continue their meeting today, after beginning important summit talks yesterday. Although the American media were more interested in hectoring the President over a domestic political issue than in exploring the talks during yesterday’s joint press conference, they have a lot to talk about. The emerging AmerInd Alliance is of great importance to both of them. The two nations are rapidly deepening their security, economic, political, and human ties, to great mutual benefit. India is a necessary democratic ally in Asia, an invaluable asset in addressing China, which sees itself as righting historic slights and once again dominating that part of the world. The two largest democracies in the world are natural allies.

'Bush most India-friendly US President'

Washington's decision to reopen access for India to civil nuclear technology is another example of the Bush administration's engagement of the South Asian nation as a counterweight to China, Indian analysts said on Tuesday. "People have it in their minds that in Asia it should not be a wholly China-dominated scene," former Indian foreign secretary Salman Haider told AFP. "Japan has become more assertive and we are seen as a potential counter balance. Whether it should take the form of rivalry with China, that's a separate question. I think the United States would like to bring us into play (vis-a-vis China)."

Turkish and Albanian flags to be hoisted in Macedonia

The EU and its foreign policy chief Javier Solana, otherwise known for his good relations with Hamas, is once again pushing for more concessions to Muslims in Europe:

Turkish flag to be hoisted in Macedonia

Macedonia passed a law allowing the display of the Turkish flag in areas where the Turks form the majority, the Anatolia news agency reported over the weekend. Parliament on Friday approved the measure by 50 votes to four after two weeks of fierce debate.

Macedonian law allows Albanian flag to be flown

Macedonia passed a law on Friday allowing ethnic Albanians to display the Albanian national flag in areas where they form the majority. The law allows the Albanian flag to be hoisted on public buildings alongside the Macedonian flag in areas where Albanians make up more than half the population, which applies to 16 of the country's 84 municipalities. Under the Western-brokered deal, the rebels agreed to lay down their arms and enter politics in return for greater rights for the 25-percent ethnic Albanian minority. The accord has taken four years to reach completion, having been passed piece-by-piece by an often hostile parliament. Nationalists say Macedonia has conceded too much to the ethnic Albanian minority and risks widening the ethnic divide. The European Union has said full passage of the deal is essential to Macedonia's membership application. The government, which includes a party that emerged from the rebel army, hopes to secure EU candidate status next year. EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said implementation of the peace deal "has underpinned a process of rapid normalisation of the situation". He noted that language rights might still have to be ironed out.