Thursday, July 23, 2009

Tursun Gul

Pursuant to a recent Mona Eltahawy article that I came across while setting up the last post.

Google it.

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That happy post that confuses you

From award-winning Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy.


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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Die, CanWest, Die!

So it looks like Canada's largest purveyor of fascist-minded diatribes is in considerable financial difficulty. Obviously, this isn't exactly a victory for any of their detractors, as much as it is vindication for those of us who thought that they couldn't support a crappy, ideologically-driven publication like the National Post forever.

Of course, the fact that some of its creditors might approve of the work CanWest is doing might be one reason why the company has managed to "stave them off" for so long. They don't want to see the country's main source of popular fiscal Konservatism go out of business.

It's not all roses, however; If CanWest is forced to sell off its assets, who will buy them? BCE? The only thing worse than a print and broadcast oligopoly is a print and broadcast monopoly.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009

JihadWatch Tolerance Epic Fail!

The professional fearmongers over at Robert Spencer's "JihadWatch" recently posted this article from the distressingly confused Anti-Defamation League (ADL), complaining that the WhyIslam? website linked to other websites that "feature extreme anti-Semitic and anti-Israel invective."

While two of the examples cited at least complain of what could legitimately be called anti-Semitic, or at least Anti-Jewish sentiments, this one was interesting:

"- IslamOnline, a Web-based publication connected to Sheik Yusuf Qaradawi, a radical Muslim brotherhood ideologue based in Qatar. The publication promotes anti-Israel terrorist groups, has referred to Zionism as a "cancer," and has repeatedly claimed that the close ties between the U.S. and Israel demonstrate their mutual desire to oppress Muslims. In January 2008, IslamOnline published a poem in its Arts and Culture section that gave graphic instructions on how to behead someone."

Thanks for giving us the whole story, guys. It's also nice to see the ADL reiterating its position that Zionism = Judaism.

Now, let's see what we can find on the front page, sans disclaimer, of the lovely JihadWatch website - leave alone the site's own numerous calls to end Muslim immigration to Western countries.
  • One doesn't have to scroll far down to find "Bare Naked Islam," a site hosting stories like "Islam's rules for having SEX WITH ANIMALS" and a banner slogan at the head of the site stating "It isn't Islamophobia when they really are trying to kill you!" along with such gems as

Arab presence in the land called Israel was VIRTUALLY NON-EXISTENT until the late 19th-early 2oth Centuries when the Zionists took over.

Only the mentally unstable deny the existence of Palestinians, while posting in turquoise.

  • If that doesn't do it for you, how about the infamous "Religion of Peace" website! The content speaks for itself, as does the fact that it was one of the earliest links added to the JihadWatch sidebar. My personal favourite gem from this one: "Muslim immigration into the UK has left a trail of rape victims, but as long as the political elite place a higher value on multiculturalism, Britain's women will just have to keep taking one for the team!
  • Or how about the "Stop the Islamisation of Europe" site. The graphics accompanying its campaign to end Mosque construction speak for themselves.

  • Then there's this lovely gem from the "What should a free man do?" blog: More mayhem in Europe. More blatant, in-your-face disobedience here. More recruitment into state-side versions of these once sand-bound savage tribes.
  • Or how about this lovely passage from yet another "essay" by European "essayist" Fjordman, whom Spencer has gone to lengths to defend:
"Muhammed was a brilliant intuitive lea der/general, and he and his companions devised a near perfect closed system of war aginst the rest of humanity. Only by showing that Allah is not infallible can we be victorious in keeping our freedom, our life, our liberty and pursuit of our happiness. Muslims are extremely childish in their view of themselves and the world - they are superstitious and thus afraid of dogs, of the Koran getting dirty etc. T hey continually tell us the truth about their paranoia, and their intentions. Therefore, one of the best tactics for us to take in the War on Terror is to mock them and exploit their childishness, so that they will expose themselves to everyone."
You don't need, however, to go hunting (or actually, randomly clicking) on links from the Jihadwatch sidebar to find the fearmongers. The site itself is dedicated to the purpose, as are all of Spencer and co.'s hate-filled screeds about Islam and Muslims.

Did the editors of the WhyIslam site display some bad judgment on their Resources page? Perhaps, but for JihadWatch to complain . . .

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

PHR - Afghan Massacres

The editing is a little melodramatic, and the use of the word "massacre," while technically appropriate, does not quite convey what happened. 2,000 Afghans were not lined up and machine-gunned down; they died as a result of being stacked into unventilated steel containers for several hours.

Still, criminals are criminals, and if your neighbour were responsible for something like this - or even involved in it - you would not sympathize with him. The President of the United States should be held to at least that meagre moral standard.

Now before my right-leaning readers (and I apparently have them) roll their eyes and say "Yet another 'human rights NGO' dedicated to bashing the Bush admininstration" let me point out that PHR does not discriminate. The organization has ongoing campaigns to free the Alaei brothers, two physicians who were jailed in Iran without charge (but probably because of their HIV/AIDS advocacy work), and to provide a solution for Zimbabwe's "man-made" health care crisis.

Those problems, however, are not something that North Americans can have much of an impact upon; at the most, we can pressure our governments to pressure their governments. Moreover, they are not controversial - everybody agrees that the Alaei brothers should either be charged or released, and that Robert Mugabe has ruined his country's economy.

The great shame is that the criminality of White House staff, including the U.S. President is controversial; whether our government in Canada is Liberal or Conservative, both Ignatieff and Harper would gladly shake the hand of George W. Bush.

Any other serial killer would be treated differently.

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Monday, July 6, 2009

Heroism at Sea

From Al-Jazeera's English service:

It should be noted that the siege of Gaza was imposed not as a response to rocket attacks, which it pre-dated, but as a response to the 2006 Palestinian elections, in which Hamas won a democratic majority over the notoriously corrupt and ineffectual leadership of Fatah.

One of the few Israeli journalists of conscience, Gideon Levy, puts it well:

The Israel Defense Forces has once again used its power to overcome the weak; the navy has once again acted like pirates. The Arion was abducted in the framework of protecting Israel's security for all eternity, blah, blah, blah. . .

. . . This then is the great progress of the "people's army" to train women to kill, while their comrades, soldiers and Border Police, are routinely sent to shoot live fire at unarmed demonstrators at Bil'in and Na'alin. This, for the most part, is the IDF's balance sheet. This is what largely preoccupies the best, most moral army in the world. Pilots who have never fought in an air battle and soldiers with no army against them now spend most of their time maintaining the occupation in a kind of pathetic combat, and they are our protective shield. When the day of reckoning comes, we will remember this.

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On the thorny issue of homosexuality

A thought-provoking essay from Tariq Ramadan:

. . .

To affirm one’s convictions and respect others is no longer sufficient. Muslims are now being called upon to condemn the Qur’an, and to accept and promote homosexuality to gain entry into the modern world. Not only is such an attitude doomed to fail (the majority trends in both traditional and reformist Islam, as in other religions, will never waver on this question) but it also reveals a new dogmatism—and a whiff of colonialism, not to mention xenophobia—at the heart of so-called modern, progressive thought. Certain prominent intellectuals and lobbies have ordained a new form of political correctness; they would like to force everyone to be “open” or “liberal” in the same way. At first glance, this open, liberal thought would seem to warrant respect; but it reveals a troubling tendency to impose its own dogmas, leaving little or no room for the convictions of traditional philosophical, spiritual or religious world-views. Betraying the ultimate goal of modernity, which should help us manage freedom and diversity, we are now told that there is only one way to be free and modern. Both dogmatic and dogmatizing, this trend, in the name of liberal thought, is a dangerous one, and should alarm all women and all men, whether atheists, agnostics, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians or Muslims. It strikes at the very heart of our freedom of thought, of the most intimate aspects of our lives, of the ways we strive for social and intellectual emancipation. . . .

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