Friday, February 22, 2008

The Peaceful Realisation of The Palestinian Right of Self-determination

I found this link worth reading:

For nearly four decades, he expressed and symbolised in his person the national aspirations of the Palestinian people.

Now that he is gone, both Israelis and Palestinians, and the friends of both peoples throughout the world, must make even greater efforts to bring about the peaceful realisation of the Palestinian right of self-determination.

It looks like sort of new Gandhi to me...

Whatever, world leaders thoughts are alredy registered. My own comments will be too harsh if i publish them. Yet I wanna know, what do you think?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Jerusalem Our Capital

Via Carl in Jsrusalem:

In response to the murder of fifteen innocent civilians by a suicide bomber at Sbarro's Pizza in Jerusalem earlier that day, on August 9, 2001, Israeli security forces shut down Orient House (pictured at top left), a building just over the 'green line' in 'east' Jerusalem that the 'Palestinians' had made into a quasi government headquarters in violation of the Oslo Accords they had signed with the Rabin government in 1993 and 1995.

In August of this past year, 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen appointed former director of the Islamic Wakf Adnan Husseini as his 'adviser on Jerusalem affairs.' The Wakf is the organization that controls anything the Muslims call a holy site, and that currently controls the Temple Mount; the organization is responsible for multiple, daily violations of Israel's Antiquities Law on the Temple Mount. Husseini is also a cousin of the late Faisal Husseini, who held the position under Yasser Arafat. In an interview with the Jerusalem Post shortly after his appointment, Husseini placed a priority on reopening Orient House.

My only question is: Why isn't Israel making Jerusalem its true capital?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Will Hillary Defeat Obama?

BlackTigrrrr thinks so, and I feel the same way.

The people who hate her [Clinton] have maxed out. If anything, she might win over a small amount of them. Those who love her will fight to the death for her. People have gone to jail for this woman. They have died for her. They will do anything for her. That means anything.

Anything means destroying a man [Obama] who is an image, but largely undefined.

[ Full Article ]

“Progressive” Jewish Thought and the New Anti-Semitism

A worthwile read:

How can there be something “new” about something as old as anti- Semitism? Hostility to Jews—because of their religious beliefs, their social or ethnic distinctiveness, or their imputed “racial” differences— has been around for a long time. But, as this erudite essay by Professor Alvin Rosenfeld of Indiana University demonstrates, hostility to Jews has morphed into hostility toward a Jewish state, and that hatred has acquired the ability to leap across national, linguistic, and religious boundaries.

[ Download, Mirror ]

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Redesign

[ Updated: 14th Feb ]

Hi all!

Any feedback/thoughts with regards to the template so far?

Here is the current off-my-head-to-do-list:

  1. Themes
    • So far I have not created any themes, just a print-view and 2 font sizes. I could, however, completely alter the appearance of the site. Do you have any colour schemes or theme ideas?
    • I was told by someone that the website is hideous, and I need more colour!
  2. Usability Issues
    • Add "more posts" or "previous posts" to the bottom of main/archive.
    • Fix the problem where post elements (such as videos) jump to the bottom of the column when they are too wide for the post area (IE Only).
    • There are no defined accesskeys.
    • I need to include a list of all the tags used in posts in the right-hand-column.
    • Intense Debate has a few glitches every now and again which need to be fixed or taken into account. (Note: The Intense Debate staff absolutely rock! I have complete confidence that these things glitches will be fixed.)
    • List how many comments have been posted prior to viewing the itempage.
    • Date headers (for all but the first date).
  3. Javascript
    • Have some sort of warning to let people know when JS is disabled and that C4A would operate better with JS.

Thanks in advance for the feedback. Constructive criticism is always good - so please be brutally honest.

Steven

RSS Reader

What is RSS?

ProBlogger answers:

RSS is a technology that is being used by millions of web users around the world to keep track of their favorite websites.

In the ‘old days’ of the web to keep track of updates on a website you had to ‘bookmark’ websites in your browser and manually return to them on a regular basis to see what had been added.

I am currently trying to maintain a public RSS Reader with collects updates from various sources all over the web.  I have organised the public reader into 3 levels of priority as follows:

Level 3: Master Feed
This is where all the stories appear as soon as they arrive.  Anything could appear here, even stories that I don't support.  [Link]

Level 2: Selected Stories
When I am browsing the internet and I see a story I want to share, or if I read a story from the Master Feed that I want to share, I add it to this list.  [Link]

Level 1: Starred
When I feel a story is a must-read, it will appear in the "Starred" list.  [Link]

Meaningless Words

How can anyone debate anything in this age when we don't even agree on the definitions of words?

What does it mean to want "Peace"?

What is "Terrorism"?

What is "Barbarism"?

What does it mean to be "Liberal"?

What qualifies as "Torture"?

What does "Palestinian" really mean?

How can we have conversations about so many issues when we often don't agree with the definition of simple words?




The Culture for All Dictonary

I want to regain control of the meaning behind the words I use.

From now on, when anyone has any doubt about a word that I have used, I am going to write a definition on Culture for All and label it with the "Definition" tag.

This dictionary is not authorative, but it will serve its purpose.

Global Warming

I am no expert, however I can identify propaganda and find people who refute it.

I can also weigh up the options... to see what choices are avaliable to us.

Video 1: Propaganda


Video 2: Refutations


Video 3: Choices


Also take note that:

  • Alternative renewable energy will help reduce or eliminate our dependency on oil-exporting countries
  • Oil reserves are finite, so eventually we will be forced to use renewable energy no matter what.
  • Natural renewable energy will not pollute our environment.

Make your choice.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Wrong. Just Wrong!

When I read the following story... I immediately looked towards the chocolate cake picture and felt cravings.

Mmmm. Chocolate cake!

But then I read the headline.

Shop-owners sold chocolate cake sprinkled with human faeces

Two shop-owners were today fined for selling chocolate cake - which had been sprinkled with human faeces.

A horrified customer ate the foul-smelling gateaux but noticed that it didn't taste or smell "quite right" and handed the cake to public health scientists.

The analysts soon established that the sweet treat was covered in faeces and legal proceedings against the shop owners were started.

Shop owners Saeed Hasmi, 25, and Jan Yadgari, 23, were fined £1,500 for selling food unfit for human consumption.

This, is utterly revolting.

I know I don't need to explain that, but - saying it helps!

Yuck.

Yuck. Yuck. Yuck.

"Subsequent examination by the public analyst and national public health service laboratories confirmed the presence of faecal matter.

"There were bits of it all over the top of the cake.

"We cannot say for definite what kind of faecal matter it is, although it is very likely it was human. It would have to go through a DNA test for us to know for absolutely sure."

When I said I would have liked a strong Chocolate industry in my ideal society, this is not what I meant!

The case has taken 18 months to come to court and the pair have both left the Pizzeria.

Shams Mehrabi, who took over the Italiano Pizzeria in March, condemned the actions of the two men. He now has hygiene certificates on the wall and said: "I have the highest standards.

"This is a completely different business now. We have a lot of happy customers - we won't be selling chocolate cake."

Thank goodness, a happy ending!

The moral of the story: Be careful when you eat out!

[ Update: Beware of the Chocolate Conspiracy! ]

[ UPDATE (Red Tulips): I just wanted to inform you that not only is there a chocolate conspiracy...there is a VAST NETWORK of a chocolate conspiracy! Be afraid! There is a plot for worldwide chocolate domination! ]

[ POST-SCRIPT UPDATE: (Red Tulips): FYI, Steven actually prefers white chocolate to dark chocolate! White chocolate is not even really chocolate! Culture for All readers, I declare it is our duty as citizens of the world to show him the error of his ways. He has blasphemed the chocolate faith, dammit! Attica! Attica! ]

[ Update (Steven): Leave the dark side! Its tastes bitter! ;-) ]

Scalia Defends Ticking-Time-Bomb 'Torture'

Justice Scalia of the US Supreme Court recently echoed Alan Dershowitz's 'ticking time bomb' idea on torture. His words are below:

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia said that aggressive interrogation could be appropriate to learn where a bomb was hidden shortly before it was set to explode or to discover the plans or whereabouts of a terrorist group.

"It seems to me you have to say, as unlikely as that is, it would be absurd to say you couldn't, I don't know, stick something under the fingernail, smack him in the face. It would be absurd to say you couldn't do that," Scalia told British Broadcasting Radio Corp.

Scalia said that determining when physical coercion could come into play was a difficult question. "How close does the threat have to be? And how severe can the infliction of pain be? I don't think these are easy questions at all, in either direction," he told the BBC's "Law in Action" program.

[ Source ]

I have had this discussion with many law colleagues of mine. I asked them the following...

Assume, for the sake of argument, that torture works. Let us just assume this - because in fact it has been proven to work in certain instances. If there is a ticking time bomb that could kill thousands of people, would you be willing to torture someone to find/diffuse the bomb? What if your sister, your mother, your niece, the love of your life...is under imminent threat to be raped/maimed/beheaded? Would you advocate a form of torture in order to save them?

My friend said no. He said that - literally even if a million people were to die - he still would not torture anyone. That is what he told me. I think that is not only absurd, it is unrighteous. Then, when pressed, he said that was because he really did not believe torture worked. But with his back against the wall, he said he would torture someone to save his family, to save humanity, BUT, he thinks that he should be punished afterwards for doing so.

So I ask this to the John McCains of the world, knowing that waterboarding was used to get vital information from Khalid Sheikh Mohammed...

Why is it righteous to let a million people die, just so...what? For what? For a 'principle'? What sort of principle? Why is it inherently evil to torture, for any reason whatsoever, even to save a life?

I will put it this way. We believe murder is wrong. But killing in self defense is not wrong. So why is "self defensive" torture - not for revenge, but rather to glean information to save lives, inherently wrong? And what is torture, exactly? Is waterboarding torture? You can recover from waterboarding. Wouldn't REAL torture mean harming someone to the point that they are harmed for life? (such as, to be graphic, hacking off limbs) Why is it so inherently true that waterboarding is torture?

I believe we have a duty to treat prisoners humanely. But why do we have a duty to treat prisoners who have information vital to saving lives SO HUMANELY, that it puts American lives at risk? Why? Under what theory, exactly?

As an aside, I wrote of this subject on Culture for All a while back, and I still agree with what I wrote back then.



[ UPDATE FOR CLARIFICATION ]

I just want to say that I do not think REAL torture is ever justified, but the CURRENT definition of torture DOES find justifications, in my opinion. (under the 'ticking time bomb aegis) I view REAL torture as inflicting permanent injury to a person. (the hacking off limbs scenario) I am simply not convinced that it EVER is necessary - from a security perspective, or getting information perspective - to engage in such barbaric tactics to save lives. And even if it were...where does the slippery slope end of the 'ends justifying the means'?

What is the Target?

In the past few weeks I have argued that people must stop labeling Islam as evil, and to just focus on the issues at hand. This meant, I said, talking directly about Sharia and preventing its spread.

Clearly Sharia (and other Fascist Islamic Supremacist tools) are linked to Islam, however I believe that I can separate the two. Furthermore, I believe that by separating the foundations and constructs of Islam from the broad label "Islam" it will A) protect Muslims who do not wish to impose Sharia on us and B) be more effective at combating the spread Islamism.

I will explain further by quoting from a couple of conversations I have had in the last week.

You [Aka. Me!] claim saying 'anti-Shariaization' is better than saying 'anti-Islamization'.

Why is it better?

Robert Spencer would probably say that you cannot be a devout Muslim and NOT want Sharia to rule over everyone.

If the foundations [Sharia law etc.] are the same as the building itself [Islam]... maybe there is no difference.

I replied as follows:

I may agree with Robert Spencer there - but I don't need to discuss Islam.

Specifically fighting Sharia law will affect Islam, but it will not harm any Muslims who do not wish to impose Sharia law on our societies.

It's the difference between being against Judaism, or being against Halacha.

If someone was anti-Judaism you would be defensive.

If they were anti-Halacha, you could more easily shrug your shoulders.

I think we should fight Sharia on the specifics of what the law actually represents. Muslims can debate the theology themselves.

I believe this would be vastly more successful than the anti-Islam positions that most anti-Sharia groups are propagating.

On a previous occasion I also wrote:

I am sure most people in the UK who are not Muslim, would not take kindly to an organisation that suggests all Muslims are Islamists, unless they are afraid of leaving Islam. If I went around and said Islam is evil to the core and there are either Islamists and Muslims who want to leave Islam - I would look foolish. Muslims are everywhere here. I know Muslims who are not Islamists and don't wish to leave Islam... this simple bit of personal knowledge would be enough to completely discredit the entire anti-Sharia organisation... which is currently not doing buch more than creating climate of suspicion and fear of all Muslims.

Maybe not all these Muslims are "real" Muslims... I don't know - but even if they are not I don't really care. What I do know is that they think they are Muslim and their identities are linked to Islam... yet they are good decent people. Saying that Islam is evil doesn't get us anywhere. It is up to the theologians to discuss religious tenants - and up to the individuals to make up their own individual minds as to whether or not Islam is for them or not.

If we fight Sharia it will force Muslims to discuss Islam... but discussing Islam is their job, not ours.

I do not want to allow the establishment of a state within a state... it will not have positive ends. I think we should make efforts to fight Islamic supremisism, and that includes fighting against the establishment of Islamic law in our societies.

I am open to criticism... please share your views with me. Thanks.

Your Values

I have been speaking to Red Tulips about what values are important for me in society. I came up with this basic list of values:

  • Secular law.
  • Freedom of expression.
  • Freedom of religion.
    • *Any* religion - because religion is a personal matter, not state business.
    • Religious practices that breach secular law will be deemed illegal.
    • A state can have an official religion if it likes, so long as everyone has freedom of religion.
  • A representative and accountable government.
  • A strong chocolate industry. ;-)
  • Standing behind these values and not subscribing to cultural and/or moral relativism.

If you could create any society, what would its values?

Cute Zionist Octopus!

Elder of Ziyon via Israellycool gave me a smile today with a very cute [and evil] "Zionist Octopus".

Here he is!

Evil Zionist Octopus!

"We urge the Muslim and Arab nations to act decisively against the Zionist octopus that threatens the security of Arab and Muslim countries," Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri said.

*Grins*

The dehumanizing antisemitic octopus imagry is not new, as evidenced by two famous examples below:

[ Source ]

[ Source ]

Reuters Whitewash Sharia

Reuters (who are published across the globe, including in countries like India) are again whitewashing the Islamofascists who are attempting to Hijack democratic society and establish a theocratic Global Islamic Caliphet. This time they have decided to whitewash Barbaric Sharia Law, an Islamic legal system. Untill now, Mohammedians have been blamed about "misinterpreting" literature from the "Religion of Peace" - now the blame is pushed towards non-Muslims. (Please see the video embedded at the bottom of this article.)

Sharia discussion was provoked after the suicidal comments of Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who said that Britain should give space to Sharia law. His comments sparked off a global storm from people who want to defend their secular system from religious apartheid Sharia laws which reduce every non-Muslim to a 2nd class citizen.

Here are a few quotes from the Reuters desk:

British Muslims defending him [The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams] stressed most of the Islamic world also rejected the ultra-orthodox model that he clearly ruled out.

Just wait to get a introduction about the British Muslims Reuter's are talking about...

"There are 57 Muslim countries in the world and only two or three of them impose full sharia criminal law. Why on earth would we want to have that here?" asked Sheikh Suhaib Hasan, secretary of the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain.

This is the same preacher from channel 4's 'Undercover Mosque' report, which was preaching Islamic supremacy from Green Lane. MPACUK can still be found defending his Fascist Islamic-supremisist speeches. ( Scroll down one-third of that page. )

Reuters further added:

There are also widely differing interpretations of Sharia, both within the four classical Sunni and one Shi'ite schools of jurisprudence and between traditional and modern thinkers.

And? Does it change the barbarity? Iran is Shia and Saudis are Sunni's... and the introduction of Sharia from both sides look extremely barbaric to me.

"In the Muslim world these days, 'Sharia' means a whole variety of different things," said John Voll, professor of Islamic history at Georgetown University in Washington.

Dr. John voll is right here... 'Sharia' can mean a whole variety of different things. It even includes laws which dictate how to go to the toilet.

Hudoud, the corporal and capital punishment outlined in the Koran, has not been applied there in modern times.

The frequently published news about corporal and capital punishment from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia, Pakistan and so on... must all be hoaxes then.

Muslims cannot convert to other faiths and non-Muslims who convert to Islam are not supposed to leave it, but a court allowed this for 12 people in a landmark case last week.

No comment...

Apart from a few public lashings since Islamisation started in the 1980s, harsh physical punishments have not been imposed. Nobody has been executed under a law banning blasphemy against Islam, but some accused blasphemers have been killed by mobs.

OK, all those news with photos still available on The Religion of Peace.com are complete Hoaxes. Got it! Its a Hindu-Zionist conspiracy to rule the world!

In India, Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains and followers of other faiths can decide whether they want to be bound by secular personal law or their own religious code.

Looks like some Indian Muslims are living in some myth, that there only exist two law boards in India... i.e. Islamic Personal law board, and secular law board for other communities.

Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim nation and quite moderate in Islamic terms. Its western province of Aceh uses sharia law as part of a local autonomy deal granted by Jakarta and people have been caned for adultery, gambling and stealing.

Are they kidding me? What is moderate then?

Nigeria's northern states adopted a harsh sharia code in 2000, but punishments have been rare. A woman convicted of adultery, Amina Laval, was freed on appeal after her sentence of stoning to death caused an international uproar.

So nice of them, at least they follow international preassure. I think its "moderate" like the "moderate" Fatah of West Bank.

About a dozen other women convicted of adultery have also been freed on appeal.

So you want us to be begging to free the 'convicted' in London too?

This approach can accept secular laws as "sharia-compliant" if they reflect Islamic values. "Even simply by trying to respect Muslim ethics, one is already in the process of applying the sharia," Ramadan has written.

Beautiful advice from Reuters and British Muslims, but no thanks. We simply have to say: "NO SHARIA HERE".

Mr. Ramadan can be located in video embedded below, incase if you missed his discussion on BBC... Tariq Ramadan said that the people discussing their legitimate concerns about Sharia law were 'Islamophobic', and 'trying to use controversy to spread fear in British society'.

[ Video Source ]

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The State Department, In a Nutshell

I have trouble believing this story, its too crazy.

The USA will defend the PLO - an anti-American and anti-Israel Jew-Hating Nazi-based organisation against Americans who have been harmed by their bombs....

That can't be right.

Can it?

Palestinians Ask U.S. To Intervene in Suits Over Terrorist Attacks

The State Department is considering supporting the Palestinian Authority in its quest to avoid paying hundreds of millions of dollars in judgements won by American victims of Palestinian terrorist attacks in Israel, according to Palestinian officials and defence lawyers involved in the cases.

There should be nothing to consider.

U.S. officials insist that no decision has been made regarding the complex litigation, which could force the Bush administration to choose between supporting compensation for victims of terrorism and bolstering the Palestinian government as the United States presses for a breakthrough in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

Palestinians do not want co-existence with Israel, the so-called "peace" talks are a complete farce.

Testimony in Israeli courts has connected senior Palestinian leaders -- such as the late Yasser Arafat -- to specific terrorist attacks involved in the lawsuits. But Palestinian officials have argued that it makes no sense for the United States to be providing millions of dollars in aid to the Palestinian Authority while U.S. courts are threatening to bankrupt it.

No kidding, it makes absolutely no sense for the USA to be fighting a "war on Terror" while supporting terrorists.

In response to a plea for assistance from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice 13 months ago sidestepped the issue, writing that "the United States is not party to these enforcement proceedings." But in December, a U.S. federal judge asked the government whether it would get involved, creating the current dilemma for the administration.

"There has been a rethinking in the State Department that I wholeheartedly welcome," said Afif Safieh, head of mission in Washington for the Palestine Liberation Organization. He said the lawsuits were "politically and ideologically motivated to drive the Palestinian Authority into bankruptcy."

It couldn't have anything to do with all those terrorist attacks against innocent men, women and children could it? No, of course not. Do you feel sorry for the Nazi-rooted terrorist organisation?

Victims, who will meet with top State and Justice Department officials tomorrow, said that a U.S. intervention with the courts would make a mockery of the administration's fight against terrorism.

No shit?

Leslye Knox, a 46-year-old mother of six children and widow of Aharon Ellis, a U.S. citizen who was killed in 2002 while singing at a bar mitzvah in Hadera, Israel...

Article Author: Glenn Kessler

[ Full Article ]

[UPDATE: (Red Tulips): Soccerdad, via Meryl Yourish wrote about this subject as well, and has extra details you will want to read about. Run, don't walk, to read his post!]

Dishonour Killings in the UK

Via LGF: Police say 17,000 women are victims every year

Up to 17,000 women in Britain are being subjected to "honour" related violence, including murder, every year, according to police chiefs.

And official figures on forced marriages are the tip of the iceberg, says the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO).

It warns that the number of girls falling victim to forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murder by relatives intent on upholding the "honour" of their family is up to 35 times higher than official figures suggest.

The crisis, with children as young as 11 having been sent abroad to be married, has prompted the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to call on British consular staff in Bangladesh, India and Pakistan to take more action to identify and help British citizens believed to be the victims of forced marriages in recent years.

The Home Office is drawing up an action plan to tackle honour-based violence which "aims to improve the response of police and other agencies" and "ensure that victims are encouraged to come forward with the knowledge that they will receive the help and support they need". And a Civil Protection Bill coming into effect later this year will give courts greater guidance on dealing with forced marriages.

[ Full Article ]

Where is the outrage? Where is the outrage from the British Muslim community?

Question of Legitimacy...

Got it!

I was looking for this video for quite a time in order to answer Red Tulips questions, to explain why we in Eurasia are far more concerned about Sharia law than our American and Canadian counterparts. This Video speaks in itself.

[ Video Source ]

Hope you are not shocked! That is Deobandi Ideology, which is also seen in the majority of Indian Muslims. That interview was shot in the London BBC, not in Al-Jazerra Qatar!

PART 2:

[ Video Source ]

Monday, February 11, 2008

Opposing Sharia law

The Archbishop of Canterbury recently said that "Sharia law is inevitable" in the UK, and claimed that it will "bring about social cohesion." Yeah, right. He is under fire from his statement, though some have stated that somehow it is 'Islamophobic' to be against Sharia law for Muslims in the UK, because the system would be voluntary, anyway. Ali Eteraz (who I have taken issue with in the past) wrote a very compelling entry on his blog, explaining exactly why Sharia would be so terrible for Muslims. (please note that he is a practicing Muslim who wrote this) The important part to note...

2 - Islamic family and inheritance law has issues that have not been resolved.

Men get a presumption when it comes to custody (it should be an issue of best interest of child).

Child support ends after three months (it should be as in US law where children “share in the good fortunes” of their divorced parents).

Boys get more in inheritance than girls (should be equal).

Men get bulk of marital assets (should be equitable distribution).

Apostasy automatically ends the marriage (yeah, I’m sure this one won’t be abused by evil in-laws). Think of how easily Muslims accuse one another of kufr.

In a divorce, a parent revealed to be (or more likely accused to be) a homosexual has no claim over the child (”your dad’s a fag, kid, you are fatherless!”). I mean, jilted women have never been known to demonize their exes like this.

A man can divorce in one sitting but a woman needs the permission of a religious authority.

This list is endless, please feel free to add to it.

The purpose of the law is to reflect and respond to social realities. Many parts of Islamic family law — as it stands today — don’t do that

It is a maxim of fiqh: “Changes of al-ahkam (judgments) are permissible with the change in times.” I don’t see changes.

Eteraz wrote much more, but one thing I take issue with is his moral equivalence - he states that the Beth Din in England somehow would be equivalent to the Sharia courts. Firstly, Jewish law is relatively well settled, after the publishing of the Shulchan Aruch. (at least compared to Sharia law) Yes, rabbis will publish responsa to situations as they come about - but this is nothing like the confusion of Sharia. Eteraz noted it as such...

5 - There is no standardized version of Islamic law

Sharia is not codified. It can be anything based on the whim of the arbitrator. For law to be law, it needs standardization. Who is going to do this? Muhammad Fadel and Khaled Abu el Fadl? Abdullahi an-Naim? Irshad and Reza Aslan? Faraz Rabbani? Taqi Usmani and Nameless Arab Guy? Suhaib Webb and Yasir Qazi? Yale University? Harvard’s Islamic Law Symposium? Remember, we’re a community that still haven’t been able to standardize what day to start Ramadan or celebrate our biggest festivals so let’s not get too carried away with pipe dreams about standardizing Islamic family law. If codification has not even been accomplished in numerous Muslim countries then how can you even think about getting a Sharia court going in the West?

And, I assure you that if you get the standardization issue going, its quickly going to devolve into an Islamic civil war — Sufi v. Salafi v. Liberals v. Right-Wing-Islamophobes (what, you don’t think they are going to show up at the public meetings?)

So that is difference one.

Difference two is what goes to the crux of the matter. Namely, there simply is a difference in Sharia law v. Halacha (Jewish Law). Please read Hugh Fitzgerland's explanation as such. Essentially, there is a difference in the way Jewish law is viewed - certainly not as supreme over the secular laws - and the way it is applied. Moreover, there is a difference in the goal; Jews do not hope to one day rule over England with Halacha.

It is for all these reasons and more that we have to be vigilant in our fight against Sharia law. We have to remind ourselves that Sharia is not just the 'Muslim equivalent' of Halacha. It is not. Unless and until Sharia is a) reformed; b) codified, it remains the law of the dark ages. Under the aegis of 'religious tolerance,' why are we okay with letting women be treated as second class citizens? Why? Why are feminists arguing this is actually a good thing? Did the feminist movement mean nothing? Why are so many liberals acting illiberally?

UPDATE: Christopher Hitchens wrote a great essay explaining the very real dangers of Sharia right here. To sum it up: allowing Sharia will mean that honor killings will go unpunished to a much larger degree. And most importantly, it will lead to oppression of women. Feminists, where are you? *taps feets* I am waiting to hear from you!

Ch-Ch-changes!

After last weekend, it appears that Barack Obama is leading in the polls. And I completely understand the reason why...he stands for CHANGE! And who would not want change, anyway? As Irina said to me in chat,

You want change? Go to the supermarket!

Anyway, people seem to like to get change. They like the feel of it jingling in their wallets. And Barack Obama stands for CHANGE more than any candidate ever did in the history of the world...so you should all vote for CHANGE!

As you can see, Obama really stands for CHANGE! The signs clearly state as such in the background!

And yet...I wonder...does Obama stand for change more than the other candidates in the 2008 elections? I fear...I have a difficult time deciding...who best stands for CHANGE??

Culture for All readers...I ask you...can you please help me figure out this difficult question...which of the candidates best stands for CHANGE? It is the decisive question which must be answered in this election!

UPDATE: Stephen Colbert (Note he spells his name with a 'ph' and not a 'v') and South Park also noticed the curious addiction certain politicians have to 'change' a few months back. Must see video!

One Mans Terrorist is Another Mans Freedom Fighter?

I was sent a link to the following video recently. What are your thoughts in response to the arguments presented?

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Israel Matzav, Badge

I am creating a blog-badge for IsraelMatzav but I am not sure how to go about designing this one.

This is the first badge I have created so far.

[ Update: I will post future designs here. ]

IsraelMatzav's blog is a dedicated news commentary on all things relating to Israel. I don't think this badge that I made represents the blog... yet. So it needs improvement. Perhaps it would help if I actually knew what Matzav meant in English!

[ Update: It means Situation / Mess. ]

I know there is not much to say, but if you have any feedback or suggestions it would be appreciated. :)

[ Update: It is now in use. ]

Hope

To the world: Speak up... because if you don't - who is going to speak for you?

To my friend: I am holding on to hope of humans as free independant human beings... its people I know who give me the strength to hope - including you.  I may think you are wrong with some things, but that doesn't change the fact that your heart is in the right place, you are a good person, a friend, and you give me hope for the future.

[ Video Source ]

Friday, February 8, 2008

Healing Work

I have been in need of positive news. Here is a story about a new School Principle in America, who is also a great unknowing ambassador for the Jewish people.

On his first visit, in October 2004, he found a police officer arresting a student and calling for backup to handle the swelling crowd. Students roamed the hallways with abandon; in one class of 30, only 5 students had bothered to show up. “It was chaos,” Mr. Waronker recalled. “I was like, this can’t be real.”

Teachers, parents and students at the school, which is mostly Hispanic and black, were equally taken aback by the sight of their new leader: A member of the Chabad-Lubavitch sect of Hasidic Judaism with a beard, a black hat and a velvet yarmulke.

“The talk was, ‘You’re not going to believe who’s running the show,’ ” said Lisa DeBonis, now an assistant principal.

At a time when the Bloomberg administration has put principals at the center of its efforts to overhaul schools, making the search for great school leaders more pressing than ever, the tale of Mr. Waronker shows that sometimes, the most unlikely of candidates can produce surprising results.

Despite warnings from some in the school system that Mr. Waronker was a cultural mismatch for a predominantly minority school, he has outlasted his predecessors, and test scores have risen enough to earn J.H.S. 22 an A on its new school report card. The school, once on the city’s list of the 12 most dangerous, has since been removed.

Attendance among the 670 students is above 93 percent, and some of the offerings seem positively elite, like a new French dual-language program, one of only three in the city.

[ Full Article ]

To read the full New York Times article you must have an account. For your convenience, here are some login names you can use, provided by Bug Me Not.

The Problem With All Racism, Ethnocentrism, Religious Intolerance, Etc

Racism, ethnocentrism, religious intolerance, and other forms of bigotry all share a common, significant problem no matter to whom or by whom they are applied. What is this problem? They all divide people and encourage treating people not with compassion as humans, but as groups.

Indeed, they cause a separation in the mind of "us" and "them". "They" are not the same as "us". "They" are less human, dehumanized. "They" are not "humans"; "they" are "'[insert label here]". This opens the door for suspending compassion towards our fellow humans. You aren't killing a child; you are killing a Jew/Muslim/Christian/other-“they”-category. You aren't depriving a human of rights, you are treating a woman like a woman. You aren't persecuting a person; oh no! you are ridding the world of another heretic/witch/etc.

This mindset leads to behaviors that we would otherwise describe as unthinkable and beyond consideration. We have the capacity to treat a member of a dehumanized group in ways we would never treat a human. Acceptance of this mindset leaves us open to indoctrination and manipulation by charismatic leaders who are unscrupulous in their pursuit of their agenda. Indeed, even politicians without spectacularly horrific agendas take advantage of these separations every day.

Humans often do unspeakable evils, and these evils need to be stopped. This doesn't mean we have to tolerate those whose actions harm others. This doesn’t mean we sit in understanding of the person and fail to address, counter, and stop the harm the person is causing. This doesn’t mean that we have to agree with every different viewpoint on this planet. It doesn’t mean we cannot recognize differences with each other.

It does mean, though, that instead of seeing people by their labels - “Jew”/“Muslim”/“American”/”Christian” – we begin to see them as humans who happen to have that corresponding trait. It means that we need to make an effort to recognize and view each person as an individual human with rights and value, and apply laws and standards equally to each. It means that we need to assess people based upon their actions and the content of their character, and not their membership in a labeled group.

What does this mean for me as an individual? This means that I don’t accept or excuse someone harming others just because that person says he/she is one of the “we” and the victim is one of the “they”. It means I denounce a person who acts in such a manner and claims to represent a group I can be identified with. It means that if someone harms me, I hold that person and any other involved individuals responsible for the injury, not all members of any group that the person can be identified with. It means that I cultivate friendships and connections with people on the basis of who they are, not how they can be stereotyped and labeled.

The History of Antisemitism

I have posted on a message board for many years about the dual subjects of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and politics. (Yes, really.) On that message board, the subject of antisemitism came up, and the following things were claimed...

  1. Jews were in some way responsible for antisemitism throughout history, via the laws of 'family purity,' and separation.
  2. Antisemitism as such is not that big a deal today, in the modern world, and other forms of racism are bigger deals.
  3. Antisemitism was not really a bigger deal throughout history than anything else.

So I wrote this in reply...


You are basing your responses on so much misinformation I do not even know where to begin.

I will begin with this. You begin with the premise that maybe maybe maybe Jews "did something" to instigate the Holocaust. No one is completely innocent, eh? So they "did something;" they enforce ritual purity and live separately and despise the "goyim," and so therefore, they brought on the antisemitism themselves.

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

Jews were forced to live in ghettos of Europe (and also the Mideast, via 'dhimmi' laws) for centuries. They had no CHOICE in the matter. They were literally forced to live separately, they were barred from owning land, and they were barred from most professions. (see link on Jews of Middle Ages) As a result, some Jews - a small minority of them - went into finance only because it was one of the only professions open to them. Thus begun the nonsensical lie about Jews controlling the banks. But I have more. Kings knew that Jews were an easy target, so they made them tax collectors. Therefore, when it came time to pay taxes, "don't blame me, BLAME THE JEW!" Then there is the Christian antisemitic liturgies; Jews blamed for killing Christ, and "replacement theology." I forgot to add that Jews have the religious ritual of washing hands; as a result, they were dying less during the Black Death; this was held as "proof" that Jews were "witches" and/or responsible for starting the Black Death.

So this is the background; Jews were forced to live separately and despised for their Jewishness. They were called witches at different times of history and there were pogroms and mass murders. Jews were forced to flee country after country; thus there was the canard of the "wandering Jew." Then, in the early 1800s, Napoleon set about a sort of "Sanhedrin" council, and sought to free the Jews from the ghetto walls. He asked Jews: "Are you French, or are you Jewish?" And Jews answered that they were French. This led to the dawn of Reform Judaism, which rejects much of Halacha (Jewish law) in favour of "fitting in." They rejected the very laws you 'claim' were a 'factor' of the Holocaust.

And the Jew who simply wanted to live their lives and fit in was the Jew of Germany in the 1930s. The German Jew was generally the Reform Jew. So the very basis of your argument is ignorant at best.

But I will go on.

Hitler then targeted the Jews as a RACE. It was not about the Jewish religion. Orthodox Jews and atheist Jews were sent to the gas chambers alike. Hitler based the definition of Jew on whether there was a single Jewish grandparent. Christopher Hitchens, as an example, would be considered a Jew. Under that definition. Hitler saw Jews as a race that was clouding the superior "Aryan" race, and wanted to first expel them...but where to? None of the other "Western" and "enlightened" countries of the world would have them. Where would they go? 'Palestine' was thought to be an option at the time, except it was not an option, because the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem - Haj Amin al Husseini (involved in the founding of the PLO) - was an ally of Hitler's. He wanted 'Palestine' to be Judenrein, rather than as a safe haven for Jews. And he was an architect, with Eichmann, of the "Final Solution".

"Antisemitism" is not a hatred of the Jewish religion. "Antisemitism" is a hatred of the Jewish people (genetically). The term itself was made up by a German 'scientist' to coin an ideology that he felt should be spread.

But then that is the Holocaust. What about present day?

Let's examine present day. Let's examine the fact that in England - YOUR HOME COUNTRY - synagogues across England are not safe. And so there is an organization called CST - Community Service Trust - set up to protect Jews in ENGLAND. (not Iran, not Lebanon, not Morocco - ENGLAND) Let's talk about the fact that Jews - today - 2008 - suffer more hate crimes per capita than any other group in England. Let's talk about the fact that the number of hate crimes against Jews is actually rising. Let's talk about Ilan Halimi - the French Jew who was brutally massacred by Moroccan Muslims a few years ago for the 'crime' of being Jewish. Let's talk about the synagogue and graveyard desecrations. About the fact that there is a whole community of French Jews in New York, Israel, and Miami Beach who are there because they are fleeing France. Because they do not feel safe in France - 'enlightened' France. And let's ask ourselves who is behind these hate crimes. It quite simply are the 'aggrieved' "Asians" you speak of. THEY are the ones who are behind these hate crimes. There is a new antisemitism in Europe. And it is Islamic antisemitism. They use the old Christian antisemitic images and themes and make them Islamic. Or maybe it is not 'new,' insofar as it builds upon an alliance that existed during Hitler's era; alliances such as between the Grand Mufti, the Ba'ath party, the Muslim Brotherhood, and Hitler.

Then let's talk about a friend of mine - a Lebanese Jew - who is on Nasrallah's death list. His 'crime' is being Jewish. He saw his cousin tortured to death by Syrian agents in front of his very eyes. And he decided that he had to refurnish and protect the Jewish graveyard that was vandalized - because his cousin, his sister, his uncle - his whole family - were buried there. So he protected and refurnished the graveyard. That was his 'crime.' And for that he had to flee Lebanon for his very life. Then let's talk about the fact that Lebanese Jews live in hiding in Lebanon. They LOVE the Land of Cedars and only want to live and let live. But Nasrallah and his Final Solution goons want to literally kill every single Jew of Lebanon. For the 'crime' of being Jewish. He also wants to kill every Jew on earth.

This is the mentality of the enemy that Israel faces. Israel faces an enemy that seeks to drive it into the sea, and has tried, non-stop, since its very foundation. And yet despite that, Israel has been more restrained than any other nation on earth in the history of the world in fighting these threats to its very existence. But that is not good enough. Because somehow, there is one standard given to Israel in how it should respond to threats, and another standard given to the rest of the world. Israel is asked to lay down and commit suicide. Unless Israelis walk softly to the gallows, they are committing some sort of a 'genocide'. That ideology is a latent antisemitism.

Antisemitism in fact does exist, and it is not merely some cute thing of the past. Israel has a duty to its citizenry to defend itself. And those who know better who claim Israel is acting 'contrary to international law' in simply defending its borders against genocidal monsters who wish to kill every Jew are guilty of antissemitism. And that is why, in response to that ideology, I say two words.

Never again.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

When Israel Cant Be Blamed

Here is a must-read article from The Sudanese Thinker:

We need Israelis to step into Darfur, because when they do the Arab media will blast the spotlight on the nastiness taking place there… and they’ll blame it on the Jews.

We need a few Zionists to walk around the slums at the outskirts of Khartoum because when they do, people will finally discover and realize the amount of misery that exists there… and then in a fraction of a second, they’ll somehow blame it on the Jews.

At the Altar of Palestine, we sacrifice our issues. Mona Eltahawy isn’t alone in what she thinks because indeed, there can be no denying the obvious.

For decades, successive dictators in the Arab world have sacrificed their respective national concerns on the altar of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, telling us it must be resolved before any kind of progress can be made, whether it’s stopping terrorism, embracing democracy or ending poverty. Unsurprisingly, despite peace with Israel for the past 29 years, Egypt still suffers from all those problems.

[ Full Article ]

The Worlds Richest Arabs

The amazing Sudanese Thinker recently posted an article listing The Worlds Richest Arabs.

Take a look at that article, but not just the article. The comments are good too. For example:

Interesting factoids:

  1. The richest Israeli is a woman
  2. The richest Arab (30 Billion) is richer than the richest Israeli (4 Billion)
  3. Bin Laden is richer than the richest Israeli
  4. Despite the fact that so many claim that Bin Laden fights the rich for the poor
  5. And despite the fact that so many claim that the Jews have all the money and oppress the poor Arab world

But there are two different types of wealth. One is based on bringing new wealth into the world, like inventing a new gadget or creating products. The other is based on claiming what others could claim too if they had the power.

I put it to this forum that most rich Israelis made their money by creating wealth, by contributing to the world what did not exist before or by contributing capital to such enterprises.

And I put it to this forum that a number of the richest Arabs made their money from sitting on oil and related benefits, while contributing nothing to the world’s total wealth themselves.

- Andrew Brehm

I’m surprised that their brothers in Gaza and other Palestinians had to suffer so much considering what that wealth could have done to ease their suffering. [They] could have built power plants, factories, housing and maybe even a new greenhouse? And think of how nice those refugee camps could be. Shoot, they could even build an island or two (AK47 shaped perhaps?) for even more land to live on.

- Lynn

Funny, and true.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Zions Fire

The Middle East: A History of Searching for Peace

  1. From the Depths of Despair to the Heights of Exaltation
  2. How Dark the Night
  3. Can These Bones Live?
  4. A Nation Reborn Through the Faithful Hand of G-d
  5. The Peace Before the Storm

Part 4: A Nation Reborn Through the Faithful Hand of G-d

Written by: Marvin J. Rosenthal
Published in Zion’s Fire Magazine in September/October, 1993

With the United Nations’ resolution of November, 1947, Israel became a “paper” nation. Legally, Palestine was partitioned. The nations of the world had given Israel back a piece of the land that G-d had promised to Abraham and his posterity when He said, “Walk through the land in the length of it and in the breadth of it; for I will give it unto thee” (Gen. 13:17). To be sure, what the United Nations gave was small – less than a fourth of the size which the British proposed in the mandate of 1917 – smaller than the state of New Jersey. But it was something – a land, a home, a place – to which the wandering Jew could return, be welcomed, and lay his head. But, could what was given in theory be sustained in practice? In 1948, there were only 640,000 Jews in all of Israel. The surrounding Arab nations had a combined population of over 80 million, and they threatened to drive the Jews into the Mediterranean Sea. There were only six months to prepare for the inevitable attack. The nearly 100,000 British troops, who had kept a shaky, uneven, largely pro-Arab peace, would then leave.

Many world leaders were agreed. If Israel declared herself a nation, the numerically superior and far-better-equipped Arabs would attack, and Israel would be stillborn. General George Marshall, America’s Secretary of State, counseled his friend, David Ben-Gurion, to bide his time until a more favorable political climate could develop for declaring Israel’s nationhood. Ben-Gurion, later reflecting on the general’s advice, said:

...Marshall could not know what we knew – what we felt in our very bones: that this was our historic hour; if we did not live up to it, through fear or weakness of spirit, it might be generations or even centuries before our people were given another historic opportunity – if indeed we would be alive as a national group.

On the 14th of May, 1948, Ben-Gurion, who would become Israel’s first Prime Minister, stood up in a hastily prepared movie theatre in Tel Aviv (because they did not possess Jerusalem), and declared Israel a nation among the nations of the world. On the 15th of May, the last of the British forces withdrew. The same day, six Arab nations – Egypt, Syria, Transjordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq – invaded Israel. They approached like a fistful of fingers that would close together and squeeze the life out of the infant state.

The invading armies had a carefully devised plan and a precise timetable. The Egyptians were to sweep up the coast from the south and then fork out. One force would take Jaffa-Tel Aviv along the Mediterranean Sea. The second force would join the Jordanian Arab legion and converge on Jerusalem. From the east, Iraqi troops would race westward across Palestine toward the Mediterranean to slice Israel in half. In the north, the Syrians and Lebanese would join forces to secure the Galilee and Haifa.

For the first month, battles raged up and down the land. The Jewish forces – initially without a tank, a fighter plane, or a field gun – suffered heavy casualties. The situation looked very grim. Through the efforts of the United Nations, a truce went into effect on June 11. It would only last until July 9. But, it gave Israel a month’s reprieve. It would prove to be all she needed.

[ Full Article ]

[ Video Source ]

The Real Gandhi

FrontPageMag has an interesting article on the very well known Mahatma Gandhi:

When Hitler, whom Gandhi said was "not a bad man," was at the height of his power, Gandhi urged the Jews to commit collective suicide. As Richard Grenier noted in The Gandhi Nobody Knows, Gandhi later told biographer Louis Fischer, that the Jews died anyway didn't they? To be fair, he also told the English "Let them [the German National Socialist invaders] take possession of your beautiful island with your many beautiful buildings. You will give all these, but neither your souls, nor your minds." Gandhi's letter to Hitler began "Dear friend." Nothing came of it so perhaps it was poorly worded, like his grandson's January 7 screed. The Mahatma's stand on nonviolence, racism and colonialism was also rather shaky.

[ Full Article ]

That FrontPageMag article reminded me of a video I watched recently on YouTube.

I don't completely approve of the following video because it makes a couple of errors. For example, the video groups Iran and the Arab world together. While both the Arab world and Iran are often one unit in their animosity towards Israel, Iranians (Persians) are not Arab by definition.

Having said that, the video relays a powerful and relevent message.

While you watch it, note the following quote by Gandhi:

The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife. They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs.

[ Update: The source / context of this quote ]

Related Content:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday Analysis

So today is the big day...Super Tuesday. I already wrote my predictions for the election right here.

I shall confess something today: I am not voting! I am a registered Democrat, and frankly the choice between Hillary and Obama is so horrifying, I have exercised my right not to vote. Evidently in New York State, delegates are proportionately allocated, so Obama is a threat in NYS. The whole system is nonsensical. I believe that all states should allocate delegates proportionately, or no states. Doing it in the haphazard way we do things is so counterintuitive, it is crazy! Speaking of crazy, it makes no sense that somehow if you live in one state, you vote before another state and have a bigger say than someone else who is supposedly an 'equal citizen' in the same country. All this is an insult to the 'one man, one vote' formula that supposedly this nation claims to stand for. And do not get me started on electors!

But anyway.

One thing people do not realize is the impact of foreign policy advisers on presidents. And so with that in mind, here is a link to the foreign policy advisers of the remaining candidates.

THOUGHTS: It is horrifying to think of Robert Malley and Samantha Power (Obama's advisers) have positions of power. They are well known anti-Zionists. With that said, McCain's choice of advisers is also troubling, notably Brent Scowcroft, he of the Iraq Study Group. I know little of Romney's advisers, except for Dan Senor, who I know is very strong on Iran. With that said, McCain has taken strong foreign policy positions. See them here.

What will become of any of these when they are in office? I do not know. It is easy to fall into the State Department malaise. If a Republican is chosen as president, I most certainly hope they do not fall pray to the State Department vapors that evidently has lately taken ove Bush. And more than ever, I hope the person for the job has the will and knowhow to fight Global Jihad.

Only time will tell what will happen.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Appeasement and Lies

Bill Maher is a TV personality that I used to practically worship in a former life. I say former life, because my opinions and outlook has radically changed in the past few years. Regardless, his latest shenanigans reach an all new low. Bill Maher intimated on his show that the US has troops in Jerusalem (or perhaps that the IDF = American troops?). This is such an obvious and provable lie...words fail me. In any case, Maher also says we should simply appease to the needs of the Islamists, because somehow this will make him safe. Total appeasement, this is the answer.

Watch the video yourself, if you have the stomach. It is not pretty. Is this the future of American discourse? I am troubled...

Sunday, February 3, 2008

"Youths" in London

Source: Holocaust Day Marred by 'Racist' Stone-throwing by Mike Brooke at The East London Advertiser.

Hat Tip: Jewish Tourists Stoned in London from A Canadian Guy.

THE Holocaust Memorial Day marking the genocides of the 20th century was marred on Sunday when a gang of youths stoned Jewish tourists on a guided tour of London's East End.

A group of 96 visitors looking at sites of Jewish interest were attacked by youths hiding behind a fence in a back street in Whitechapel.

Two were struck by the missiles, an American woman just starting a new post at London's Metropolitan University and a Canadian lecturer.

The woman had blood pouring from her head and needed hospital treatment.

[ Full Article ]

Canadian Guy said it all:

Read [the] article full of references to "youths" and "community" and try to guess who the perpetrators are.

[ Full Commentary ]