Thursday, April 27, 2006

Saudi Money, Why and… What do They Want in Return?

With so many South East Asian leaders recently either going to, or receiving guests from Saudi Arabia it makes you wonder if all is forgotten and forgiven and if is there a danger of some of our leaders (even unwittingly) selling out their constituent’s possibly fading chances of a liberal and enlightened future.

“Arab News” 18/8/02 “In 2001: the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO) spent some $33 million on 2,800 projects and more than 44,000 orphans. It maintains offices in many countries, mostly in Africa and Asia.”

Sydney Morning Herald 25/11/02: “About half of the funds for Sydney's oldest mosque, Lakemba - opened in 1977 - came from the Middle East. The largest donation, $320,000, was from the Saudi royal family.” “In fund-raising circles, Saudi Arabia is a five-star destination. The Saudi government first gave to Australian Muslims in 1974 - a donation of $1.2 million - and since then, some observers guess, about $100 million has followed.”

The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) 20/12/02: According to 'Ayn-Al-Yaqeen, the list of countries where the Saudis have established schools includes (among others): the United States, Canada, Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Belgium, New Zealand, Spain, Austria, Scotland, Italy, Croatia, Bosnia, Hungary, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, Palestinian Territories, Jordan, Lebanon, Yemen, Japan, Indonesia, South Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Burundi, Fiji, Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, Algeria, Nigeria, Chad, Kenya, Cameroon, Senegal, Uganda, Mali, Somalia, Sudan, Brazil, Eritrea, and Djibouti. (full article if you have the time)

Saudis Quietly Promote Strict Islam in Indonesia by Jane Perlez August 2003 (edited excerpts): “In high school, Atep Arofiq was fascinated by Islamic studies, and with meagre means for higher education, a free institution financed by Saudi Arabiais the Educational Institution of Indonesia-Saudi Arabia seemed a natural choice. There was an added attraction: the best students could graduate to further study in Saudi Arabia, all expenses paid. He lasted two years… "There were too many forbidden things," he said of the school where the Arabic language, taught by teachers from Saudi Arabia, is the focus of the curriculum. "You were not allowed to join any other student organization. Jeans were out, and they preferred that you wear a beard and long Arabic clothes," and “the strict Wahhabi form of Islam was the basis of the teaching.”

The article also states: “From the financing of educational institutions to giving money for militant Islamic groups, the influence of Saudi Arabia, and Saudi charities, has been growing steadily here in the world's most populous Muslim country.” (Full Article)

And the other interesting titbit: “the Pew Global Attitudes Project, an international poll conducted by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press [July 03 I think], showed striking support among Indonesians for the Saudi leader, Crown Prince Abdullah, whom Indonesians rated as one of the three leaders they trusted the most, and a huge drop in support for the United States. In 2000, 75 percent of Indonesians said they had a favourable opinion of the United States. This year, 83 percent said they had an unfavourable opinion.”

“Asia Times” 19/8/03: ‘Terrorists regroup in southern Thailand there is cause for concern as many young Thai Muslims have been schooled in pendoks (Muslim religious schools) in the past three decades and embraced the more fiery brand of Wahhabism from Saudi Arabia, thanks to generous Saudi funding for mosques and schools.’

“Al-Ahram” Cairo, May 2004: ‘Southern Thailand is home to the Yala Islamic College, run by hard-line Wahhabi cleric Ismail Lufti. He has an estimated 8,000 followers installed throughout southern Thailand in key Islamic posts and the college, which like most Islamic institutions in southern Thailand is funded by Saudi money, has about 800 students who are reportedly taught hardcore Wahhabi doctrine.’

Second Report of an Independent Task Force on Terrorist Financing, Sponsored by the (US) Council on Foreign Relations 15/6/2004 (edited): “David Aufhauser, the then-general counsel of the Treasury and chairman of the National Security Council’s Policy Coordination Committee on Terrorist Financing, testified before Congress that “in many ways, [Saudi Arabia] is the epicenter” of the financing of al-Qaeda and other terrorist movements. This statement of fact—clear to U.S. officials of two administrations since the late 1990s.” “The growth of the Wahhabi sect around the world…has been patronized by the Saudi royal family, the Saudi Arabian government, and especially Saudi-based charities, which have financed thousands of Islamic schools around the world as well as new mosque construction. The financial power of Saudi Arabia has ensured that its predominant Islamic sect has been able to propagate itself, including in places like Southeast Asia that have always had very tolerant and undoctrinaire interpretations of Islam. Even in devoutly Buddhist Cambodia nearly 15 percent of Cham Buddhists are Wahhabi, the result of Saudi aid and scholarships.” “And madrasas are increasingly beyond state control. Of the 37,362 madrasas in Indonesia, only 3,226 (8.6 percent) are run by the state; and 81 percent of the 5.6 million students enrolled in madrasa attend privately funded and run Islamic schools. In the Philippines only thirty-five of 1,600 are controlled by the state, with alarming consequences. As one education official put it, the privately funded madrasas “tailor their curricula to the wishes of whoever subsidizes them.”

Have the Saudi’s repented and stopped all this activity, or has it just become more clandestine?

More in-depth article the Thai situation where killings continue, from Yale Global Online

Makes you think?


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Islamic and Christian ‘Wise Men’ or ‘Nutters’ [you decide] and Tsunami Causes

Recently the supposed role of ‘badly behaved’ women in causing the tsunami has risen its ugly head in Indonesia again. Religious police are once more vigorously harassing the poor women of Aceh. After all they have suffered you would think a truly democratic government interested in protecting its most vulnerable citizens would put a stop to this kind of behaviour. After all isn’t the true purpose of a democracy to protect the weakest members of its society? This situation reminded me of all the wonderful men of religion and how they admonished their relevant flocks at the time of disaster with their ‘I told you so, do what I tell you” crap.

Just a few reminders…

Saudi justice minister, Ibrahim Al-Bashar; "Whoever reads the Koran, given by the Maker of the World, can see how these nations were destroyed. There is one reason: they lied, they sinned and (they) were infidels."

Palestinian prayer leader Sheik Ibrahim Mudeiris; ‘the waves were sent by Allah against "corrupt oppressors” as a result of the “universal law of equilibrium...” and “Allah unleashes his soldiers [the waves?] in action to take revenge."

Saudi professor, Sheikh Fawzan Al-Fawzan; ‘a divine punishment for homosexuality and fornication:’ "It happened at Christmas, when fornicators and corrupt people from all over the world come to commit fornication and sexual perversion."

Saudi cleric, Muhammad Al-Munajjid; "Those celebrating spent (the holiday) in vacation resorts, pubs, and hotels. Allah struck them with an earthquake. He finished off the Richter scale. All nine levels gone. Tens of thousands dead."

Mohamed Faizeen, manager of the Centre for Islamic Studies in Colombo [looking at a photo of the tsunami wave patterns] said "This clearly spells out the name 'Allah' in Arabic. He sent it as punishment. This comes from ignoring His laws."

Sheik Fawzan al-Fawzan (influential Saudi cleric); “These great tragedies and collective punishments” “are Allah’s punishments” and ‘especially at Christmas [as] fornication and sexual perversion of all kinds are rampant.’

Rev. John MacLeod of the Free Presbyterian Church of Scotland; "Some of the places most affected by the tsunami attracted pleasure-seekers”… ‘…The wave arrived on the Lord's day, the day God set apart to be observed as a holy resting from all employments and recreations that are lawful on other days.’ "To rule out the hand of God in this ... is to forget that He is in sovereign control of all events.”

Jennifer Geroux (Catholic spokeswoman) ‘the tsunami was a result of abortion and homosexuality in the United States.’

‘At a conference on Shariah law in early 2003 in Lhokseumawe [at town a couple of hundred kilometres east, or five hours drive of Banda Aceh] , Fatimah Syam, of the Indonesian Women for Legal Justice received a loud cheer for asking why the “Wilayatul Hisbah” who are the “Syariah/Islamic law police” did not target corrupt officials [of which Indonesia seems to have many].’ ‘Yet there also were cheers for Marluddin Jalil, an Islamic judge, after he told the assembled: "The tsunami occurred because of the sins of the people [read women] of Aceh. The Holy Qur’an says that if women are good, then a country is good."

Plus… Islamic and Christian Men of God/Allah and Hurricane Katrina Causes

Steve Lefemine, US an anti-abortion activist saw a fetus in full-colour satellite map of Katrina; "In my belief, God judged New Orleans for the sin of shedding innocent blood through abortion," and on his answering machine "Providence punishes national sins by national calamities."

Muhammad Yousef Mlaifi (Kuwaiti official); "It is almost certain that this is a wind of torment and evil that Allah has sent to this American empire," and "The Terrorist Katrina is One of the Soldiers of Allah . . ."

Stan Goodenough (Israel, Christian journalist) "What America is about to experience is the lifting of God's hand of protection; the implementation of His judgment on the nation most responsible for endangering the land and people of Israel."

Michael Marcavage of “Repent America”, an evangelistic organization “God is in control of the weather," "The day Bourbon Street and the French Quarter was flooded was the day that 125,000 homosexuals were going to be celebrating sin in the streets… We're calling it an act of God."

Link to a good article from the Times

Salim Mansur, Toronto Sun 07/01/05

Monday, April 24, 2006

Richard’s Hominini Tribal Awards “The Chimp” and “The Bonobo”

Chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) & bonobos (Pan paniscus) depending on which research you read, share 96% to 98% of our human genetic profile. The divergence of the chimpanzee and the bonobo lines came much later than the original split between humans and chimps from our common hominin tribal ancestor. Much of what we see today suggests that humans have perhaps done the same. The “Pet-1” gene is required for normal development of serotonin cells and if defective can lead to low serotonin (5-HIAA) levels throughout the young developing brain, which in turn results in altered behavior in adults. It is also reported that low 5-HIAA has been found in children with disruptive behaviour and in adults that display impulsive, antisocial aggressiveness. According to the TV programme “Passion And Fury: The Emotional Brain, Anger” low levels of 5-HIAA when combined with abusive or poor parental nurturing produced aggressive and antisocial adults. A thirty year study of 1000 children showed the combination was a factor in the 300 ‘problem or antisocial adults’ from the study group.

Chimpanzee social characteristics: Chimpanzees are course and hot tempered, males dominate, engage in spectacular charging strength displays, different communities engage in lethal battles and males in gangs heavily rely on each other. Males form a distinct social hierarchy with high levels of both competition and association. The adult ratio of chimpanzee populations has considerably fewer males than females. They hunt for meat, destroy their own kind and indulge in cannibalism. Chimpanzee females move to other groups, are not receptive to sex for three to four years after giving birth, then resume sexual activities for one to six months until conception.

Bonobo social characteristics: Bonobos sensitive, lively and nervous, female bonobos are much smaller than the males, however they seem to rule. Bonobos are imaginative in play, have a far more (than chimps) sensitive temperament, use sexual behaviour as a mechanism to overcome aggression even when they are out of season. On arrival in another community, young bonobo females single out one or two senior resident females for special attention to establish a relationship. Bonobo males remain attached to their mothers all their lives and are dependent on them for protection in aggressive encounters with other males. As a result, the highest-ranking males of a bonobo community tend to be sons of important females.

With all that in mind I thought it might be an idea to start special awards for those that deserve our derision and those that deserve our appreciation.

“The Chimp Award” for individuals I have called “The Trog” this year’s individual top Trog contenders so far…

Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
North Korea leader Kim Jong-il
President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe
Russian President Vladimir Putin
Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
King Gyanendra of Nepal
Fred Waldron Phelps, Sr. leader of the Westboro Baptist Church

“The Bonobo Award” for individuals I have called “The Pani” this year’s individual top Pani contenders so far…

Aung San Suu Kyi rightful Prime Minister of Myanmar/Burma
Irene Khan, Amnesty International’s Secretary General
Sumi Khan, correspondent Bangladesh
Mohamed ElBaradei Head of the IAEA
Bono (Paul David Hewson) Entertainer Activist
Former British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook,

“The Chimp Award” is for groups, this year’s group contenders so far…

Janjaweed Militias Muslim Shuwa Arabs Sudan/Darfur
Saudi Religious Police (CPVPV) Saudi Arabia
The Government of Saudi Arabia
The Russian Federation
Syria’s Baath Party
Indonesia’s military the Tentara Nasional Indonesia (TNI)
US, Queens-based Islamic Thinkers Society (ITS)
Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas USA

“The Bonobo Award” is also for groups, this years group contenders so far…

We, the World Organization
Greenpeace International
The Hague Appeal for Peace
The Jane Goodall Institute
The Australian Peace Committee
The “everyday gandhis” Organization

Vote or suggest a potential recipient by leaving a comment!

Ps: I suggest the winners could be given a plaque and perhaps free 'serotonin level' tests.


Friday, April 21, 2006

Insults May Hurt – However Respect Must Be Earned

According to the Wikipedia PRIDE (which is interestingly bracketed with vanity and narcissism) is “a desire to be more important or attractive to others, failing to give credit due to others, or excessive love of self.” Dante defined it as “love of self, perverted to hatred and contempt for one’s neighbour.” Website ‘’ offers what ‘Medieval theologian Thomas Aquinas said of Pride, “inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin (1,77)… the root of pride is found to consist in man not being, in some way, subject to God and His rule.”’

It seems that many leaders today of less than desirable regimes or nations are crying ‘don’t hurt our pride’, ‘don’t insult us’.

Again the Wikipedia offers… “An insult is a statement or action which affronts or demeans someone. Whether speech or behaviour is insulting, in practice and sometimes by the terms of local assault statutes and is often a product of the subjective sense of the person insulted.” Sound leaders need to be objective not subjective.

WorldNetDaily Iran 15.04.06

“When Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad got an anonymous text message suggesting he didn’t wash enough [an insult I guess], he did not take it lying down. He fired the president of the phone company, had four people arrested, took other legal action and accused those involved of conspiring with the Israeli foreign intelligence service Mossad.”

This is the same guy who said he was surrounded by light, presumably heavenly, when he addressed the United Nations. Iran 08.09.05

President Mahmood Ahmadinejad dismissing a European Union offers of nuclear, commercial and political cooperation made by the Europeans in exchange for Iran renouncing ultra-sensitive nuclear activities said the offers were an “insult to the Iranian people”. Iran Khatami 01.09.04

And on interference in Iraq the home of the butcher “Any inappropriate interference in Iraq’s internal affairs and the changing of people’s paths would be a great insult to the Iraqi people,” Iran’s Official News Agency (IRNA) quoted Mohammad Khatami as saying. He was referring to Iran’s claim of ‘non-nivolvement’, however his message to all is clear. 12.12.03

Hardliners hold demos over “insult” to [Mohammad] Khomeini. The ‘Hayate No’ daily re-printed a caricature published in US papers in 1937 showing former US president Franklin D. Roosevelt pressing his thumb to the head of a US Supreme Court justice. In Qom, dozens of protestors wore white shrouds splattered with red paint and carried black flags as if in mourning. They demanded the courts punish Hayate No’s editors and “take action against all those who insult the values of Islam and the revolution.”

The KAZEMI atrocity, a real insult, to humanity, by the grubby Iranian regime and they ask why the world questions those wonderful superior ‘Islamic values’!

ZAHRA KAZEMI Iran’s changing story CBC News Online 16.11.05

‘Iran’s official news agency reported that Kazemi [Canadian Photo journalist] had died in hospital, after suffering a stroke while she was being interrogated. On July 16, 2003, the story changed. Mohammad Ali Abtahi, Iran’s vice-president, conceded that Kazemi died as a result of being beaten. Later, the Iranian government would charge an Iranian security agent in Kazemi’s death. He was acquitted of a charge of “quasi-intentional murder". In July 2004, Iran’s judiciary said the head injuries that killed Kazemi were the result of an “accident.” March 31, 2005, stunning revelations of Shahram Azam, a former staff physician in Iran’s Defence Ministry who he examined Kazemi in hospital, four days after her arrest.’ Azam said Kazemi showed obvious signs of torture, including: Evidence of a very brutal rape, a skull fracture, two broken fingers, missing fingernails, a crushed big toe and a broken nose, severe abdominal bruising, swelling behind the head and a bruised shoulder, deep scratches on the neck and evidence of flogging on the legs.

What is astounding is that they seem to think the world shouldn’t worry over their atomic ambitions!

Punjabilok News Pakistan 26.08.05

‘Hardline Islamists Jamaat-e-Islami urged President Musharraf not to pardon an Indian spy.’ Munawar Hassan, secretary general of the [according to the Guardian “radical party committed to the establishment of an Islamic state in Pakistan ruled by sharia law”] said “even to talk about pardoning the spy was an insult to the nation. This Islamic group according to Rediff [News] in 1999 posed a grave threat to Musharraf’s personal security.” “The threat was by Hassan warning that “those who sabotage the successes of the mujahideen [in Kargil] will meet the fate of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman”, who was Bangladesh’s first Prime Minister and later its President, who was assassination in 1975.”

Keep Media Pakistan 01.02.04

When the government sacked Abdul Qadeer Khan, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear programme, as an adviser to “facilitate” the investigation into the suspected sale of nuclear know-how to Iran and Libya, the action provoked a statement that the sacking “is the ultimate insult to the people of Pakistan.” The statement was by senator Saadia Abbasi of exiled premier Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League. Khan has “confessed to having been involved in a clandestine international network of nuclear weapons technology proliferation from Pakistan to Libya, Iran and North Korea.”

These are the upstanding guys that of course have nothing to do with training a large number of the world’s deadliest militants, not to mention their suspect child schooling practices!

The Hindu Newspaper India 19.03.05

The Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, has described the denial of a visa by the United States to him as “an insult to the Constitution of India and its people” and [a] threat to [the] sovereignty and democratic traditions of the country.’’ According to BBC News, Delhi Monday, 21 March 2005 “Mr Modi used to be known as a back-room operator but during the elections turned into a pro-Hindu firebrand and campaigned openly on a platform of hardline Hinduism.”

Wasn’t it hardline Hindu’s that burnt a Mosque and are often involved in sectarian violence all in the name of some more gods!

Jakarta Post Indonesia ‘Howard Won’t Apologise’ reported 18.04.06

President Susilo Bambang, says to those interfering Australians who granted the Papuans visas while they investigate their claims for asylum… “Don’t insult us, don’t toy with us and don’t deny us justice.” 18/04/06

Can I with respect and humility suggest he hops on a computer and reads what Human Rights Watch has to say…

Here’s part of it… Impunity and the TNI

“The Indonesian armed forces (Tentara Nasional Indonesia, TNI) continue to violate international human rights and humanitarian law with impunity. Military operations in Papua and Aceh are characterized by undisciplined and unaccountable troops committing widespread abuses against civilians, including extrajudicial executions, torture, forced disappearances, beatings, arbitrary arrests and detentions, and drastic limits on freedom of movement. Torture of detainees in police and military custody is also widespread across the country; some of the detainees tortured are children. Indonesia’s executive and judicial branches regularly fail to address such abuses.”

The legality of Indonesian occupation is best summed up in the Wikipedia as follows…”Amnesty International has estimated more than 100,000 Papuans have died as a result of government-sponsored violence against West Papuans, while others have set the number at more than 200,000.”

Looks like the president is very sensitive to all insults, cartoons of dogs, etc and he takes action as any proud man would.

Los Angeles Times “Insult to president may jail protester” 01.05.05

“For the last four months, Wayan Suardana has been jailed here on the island of Bali, accused of committing a crime he believes should not exist: insulting the president. On New Year’s Eve, the 29-year-old student activist attended a demonstration protesting an increase in fuel prices and, according to police, burned a photograph of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He also called the president “a dog,” “a clown” and “a scoundrel,” authorities say. For that, he faces six years in prison.

The Jakarta Post 30.01.03

The Indonesian Criminal Code regulates insults against the heads of state as well as among citizens. Articles 134 to 137 stipulate that those who insult the president and vice president either directly, in public or during meetings, either through writing, pictures or publications could face a prison term of between one to six years. But there is no explanation as to what would qualify as an insult.”

Munir Said Thalib, a great Indonesian, poisoned, who did he insult I wonder?

From the Bali BS News “Be of no doubt, it is not just Polycarpus Priyanto who is on trial right now, it is the Indonesian Government. There will be no court room verdict on the authorities, but do not mistake for one moment there will be in every living room with a TV throughout Indonesia and wherever in the world people give a damn about others. It is not just about Munir’s murder, it is the extent to which it was authorized, how far up the ladder it goes, and the fact that his family have subsequently been sent dead chickens [is this insulting?], with warnings not to connect his murder with the Indonesian Intelligence Service and / or the Indonesian authorities. So not once ounce of decency is involved, not even with his grieving family, even after "they" got rid of the threat called "Munir".

By the way… “It is [also] a crime to insult the army in Turkey.”

CBS News Malaysia 16.12.02

‘Malaysia’s Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin said the government recently pulled the plug on advertisements for Toyota Altis cars featuring Pitt. The campaign ran for at least several weeks in mid-2002 in newspapers and on television in Malaysia and many other Asian countries. “We cancelled the ads because they were considered an insult to Asians,” he said.’

Now does that border on being just plain narcissistic rubbish or what?

South China Morning Post 14.01.04

Three journalists have been freed on bail following their arrest at the weekend for allegedly insulting President Robert Mugabe. The trio were accused of criminally defaming Mr Mugabe in their story that appeared last Friday and alleged that he commandeered a national airline plane to fly him around Asia for his annual holiday.

Now there’s a guy with a wonderful reputation and lots to be proud of!

False Pride Condemned in Muslim Teachings

From - “It is narrated by Abdullah b. Masud that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him, said: "He in whose heart is as much as a grain of false pride will not enter Paradise." A man remarked: "O Messenger of God! A man likes his garment to be beautiful and his sandals to be beautiful. Would it be considered as arrogance or haughtiness?" He replied: "No, not at all, indeed God is Beautiful and He loves beauty. Arrogance is to disregard what is right and true, and to hold people in contempt." “Messenger defined 'al-Kibr' or false pride, as disdaining or not submitting to what is true and right and despising people and thinking less of them.”

And the final insult, to think the rest of us are stupid and don’t know what those mentioned above (or at least those they ‘control’ and are responsible for) are up to... and perhaps worse, that we will keep silent out of fear.

/?ArchiveNews=Yes&NewsCode=25069&NewsKind=CurrentAffairs"A Study of Hadith" - By Khalid Mahmood Shaikh, pp. 98-100”

Monday, April 17, 2006

Looking for God, without the ‘Know it all Nutters’ Bias

The scientific roots of religious belief and superstition – “Brunton” (excerpt edited and abridged)

‘When faced with imminent disaster, our first thought is "What was that?” It's called the cognitive imperative, the uniquely human, hardwired instinct to link cause with effect that gave us a vital evolutionary advantage over other animal species.’

’The cognitive imperative described in Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, British developmental biologist Lewis Wolpert's enquiry into the evolutionary origins of belief is another chapter in the search for scientific roots of religious faith, a heatedly debated, issue of the day. In his book The God Gene, U.S. molecular biologist Dean Hamer claimed to have located one of the genes he said was responsible for spirituality. Recently, the US philosopher and evolutionary theorist Daniel Dennett provoked more controversy by casting religion in terms of memes that are defined as cultural ideas that can spread, mutate and survive in our minds.’
According to Brunton, ’Wolpert in his book attempts to survey the science underpinning all intuitive beliefs humans stubbornly cling to, including religion. Our belief engine, Wolpert concludes, works on wholly unscientific principles: "It prefers quick decisions, it is bad with numbers, loves representativeness and sees patterns where there is only randomness. It is too often influenced by authority and it has a liking for mysticism." It is no coincidence that the stubbornest of our "irrational" beliefs correspond to our fears of the unknown, the unknowable and the unstoppable, of disease, death and natural disaster. Wolpert argues that the of language, enabled early humans to explain the technology arising from our use of tools and in the evolutionary twinkling of an eye we found ourselves genetically wired to seek a cause for every effect we see.’

Obviously if we cannot reconcile cause and effect in any situation what is occurring must be a god’s work.

A Current Example

Morality police back with a vengeance in Aceh – Jakarta Post - Sunday, April 16, 2006
(abridged and edited excerpts)

‘Many Acehnese are now demanding that the morality police redouble their efforts to ensure people's compliance with sharia. Anyone who gambles, commits adultery or steals must be punished without mercy. "We need strong action. God already punished us. We don't want another tsunami," are the comments frequently heard.’

The article later continues; “Sari a woman who lives in Banda Aceh, was not happy when her youngest daughter was forced to wear a jilbab (Muslim headscarf) by the morality police. "She is only 10, she hasn't even had her first period yet. Let her grow up and think for herself what's best," she said. Sari did not wish to reveal her identity since her thoughts on jilbab are considered heretic. "People will get angry with me," she said, "They will say, this is exactly the thing that invites a tsunami." "I do not like this situation," Sari said after a long pause. "If my daughter wants to wear the jilbab, it has to be her own decision. Besides, who are they to judge?”

‘Back in 1999, Jakarta the government officially declared the application of sharia in Aceh, names of stores, offices, streets and schools were all written in Arabic. Headscarf-mandatory areas were declared all over the province.’ The sharia implementation was supposedly to help quell the historic violence in the province.

“Then came the catastrophic tsunami in December 2004. For a year the morality officers had no energy to do their job.” The priority for all became humanitarian work. “For the moment, the headscarf issue appeared to have taken the back seat.”

‘More than one year after the giant tidal waves, however, the sharia officers are back with a vengeance. The "we-don't-want-another-tsunami" line is often used to justify harsh treatment against people allegedly violating sharia. And obviously, women are the most vulnerable group. Going by a local saying that the ups and downs of a country (province) depends on the "quality" of its women; some have openly accused women of ignoring Islamic law, a sin that triggered the killer tsunami.’

(The writer Mardiyah Chamim is a journalist and the author of the book, History Grows in Our Village - A Journal of Aceh-Tsunami Hot Zones)

Danah Zohar, physicist, philosopher and author of books on SQ of Intelligence

‘There is a region of the brain, in the temporal lobe, that some are labelling the "God spot" because it is where activity increases when we ponder ultimate questions. Epileptics routinely evidence heightened activity here during seizures and report it as spiritual thought and experience. Zohar does not identify this God spot as the source of SQ - but notes that it is fascinating that even experiences we have always classified as supernatural have a biological component.’ ‘Spiritual intelligence is not necessarily about being religious. It is about the human need and talent for finding meaning in experience. It is the force underlying religion, and much else besides.’

Why God Is or Isn’t – One Scientist’s Perspective

Excerpts from a 1996 Talk by Dr. Norman F. Hall - “HAS SCIENCE FOUND GOD? (edited and abridged)

Dr Hall’s remarks regarding the attempt by some scientists to reconcile religion and the miraculous with science are insightful and interesting.

“By pretending that unknown and hypothetical information that cannot be scientifically proven exists in the "absolute elsewhere,"’ and by claiming to posses a great and uncommon sensitivity (a claim which is all too common among the religious) and by professing an ability to intuit the truth, even when it is undecidable, ‘Christian believing scientists’ allow themselves to have a scientifically respectable justification for telling the rest of us (and particularly the science community) how to run our lives’.

“Why do they do it? Why do they try to pretend that science justifies a leap into the irrational? For a hoped-for cosmic meaning, for belonging, for a personal relationship with the infinite, to gain an imagined cosmic purpose, when they can see no point in building their own real local purpose. Most of all, it is because of the moral argument. Science must be kept in its place, and not allowed to subsume all of humanity into its explanatory web.”

Some argue, ‘If mankind is material, shaped by the forces of chance and necessity, what reason does he/she have not to lie, rob, rape, pillage and kill?’ “Because love is not the exclusive territory of believers in God” and ‘because bank robbery (as an example) may not be consistent with an individuals plans to become say, a leading biochemist.’

Science is rejected and dismissed, and falsely labelled as "value free," Far from being value free, science is a value system, based on a faith in the value of material understanding, and in a social commitment to telling the truth, a commitment more stringent and more self-policing than any commandment. In contrast we have a society that pretends to live by religious morality, based in miracle stories and a myth that holds that the human ideas recorded two and three thousand years ago were not really human, but were inspired by the maker of the very fabric of the universe.

As an aside and In Light of Recent Religious Events/Trends Dr. Hall’s following statement is of significant importance!

“Which one, I put it to you, is better qualified to shape the ethics of the 21st century: a system that calls for faith in the potential of human beings, as best we can come to understand what that is and a commitment to individuals telling the truth and taking responsibility for their own beliefs; or a system that takes human ideas, wraps them in a flimflam game as old as civilization and then pretends that modern humans can live morally by following a set of beliefs for which no human will take responsibility or admit authorship? For how many more millennia will we continue to claim to be moral animals, while pretending that we are merely responsible to, but not for, our morality?”

If the Muslim world took more responsibility for the rotten element in its own ranks maybe the so-called “Satan America” would be able to leave its troops at home. It’s about time the Arabs in particular cleaned up their own backyard. But then its not their fault, they are just following Gods/Allah’s wishes aren’t they.

Where scientists are looking for God Dr Raj Persaud (16/01/2002) (Excerpt)

A “recent study found that by brain scanning the ‘spiritual’ [read religious] while they were meditating, it was possible neurologically to account for the religious sense of transcendence, oneness with nature or unity with God. The brain scanner showed that during meditation the part of the brain responsible for orientation of the body in physical space, the parietal lobe, near the top of the brain, went to sleep. People who have suffered damage to this area have difficulty negotiating their way around their surroundings. The sense of a self as separate from your environment could reside in this part of the brain, so now scientists can explain why the sense of self disappears during religious states.”

What has Religion and God got to do with Spiritual Wellbeing?

Permanent Spiritual Growth, by Ian J. Thompson of Theistic Science (excerpt)

Spiritual Growth according to Swedenborg, comes from joint action of (good) love with (true) wisdom.

Spiritual Growth does NOT come from any one of the following [often indulged in activities by “the religious”] things by itself:

“Belief (faith), Personal acceptance of vicarious atonement, Obedience, Knowledge even of truths (wisdom), Good intentions or love, suffering, elevated expanded rotated vibrated or what ever forms of consciousness”

He’s right; it’s about intelligence and a willingness to accept responsibility for our own wellbeing and understanding that as social creatures we are responsible for the wellbeing of those around us as well. ‘Those around us’ used to be small local groups however because of a shrinking globe it now virtually means the entire population of the planet. Why the entire world population? Because missiles travel further than stones and they create larger levels of destruction when they arrive.

Another couple of pieces to the puzzle and some good reading at that...

I guess wether god exists or is imagined, it really doesn’t matter, what ever keeps you sane and contributes to an improved and peaceful civil society is a primary benefit. However whenever a god-bothering priest, mullah, rabbi or any other so called singular perspective expert, through coercion or force, claims a god’s right to enforce his or her (usually it appears his) power over another it should be considered a crime against humanity and be prosecuted as such.

Six Impossible Things Before Breakfast, scientist Lewis Wolpert
The God Gene, molecular biologist Dean Hamer
Breaking the Spell, philosopher Daniel Dennett
Apr. 10, 2006 issue of TIME Europe magazine
The Evolution of Faith - Michael Brunton (Saturday, Apr. 01, 2006)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Paranoid Personalties and God’s Holy Warriors

Symptoms of a Paranoid Person (edited & abridged)

‘Suspicious, doubt outweighs belief, preoccupied with sadness, suffering and death, fears being harmed or controlled, bitter, looks for hidden meaning in things, personality is centred around low self esteem issues, feels misunderstood, defensive, often experiences disgust, love-hate relationships with most things, likes to test people's loyalty, thinks life is overrated, feels like an outsider, existentially depressed, prone to shame, suffers from depression, makes enemies. The patient is sentimental, irritable, introverted, obstinate, jealous, selfish, unsocial and bitter. Here the person does not acknowledge his/her own failures or faults.’

A couple of pertinent types of Paranoia

Persecutory paranoia - This is the most prevalent type of paranoia and in this patient makes himself/herself believe that all those around him/her are his/her enemies, bent on harming him/her or even taking his/her life. In this delusion people of an aggressive temperament often turn into dangerous killers.”

The news says it all… every day and every night… ad-nauseam!

Religious paranoia - Here the patient suffers from a permanent delusion of a primarily religious nature. He/she for example believes, that he/she [actually usually only he] is the messenger of God who has been sent to the world to propagate some religion.

Holly rollers of many brands including… Preachers, Clerics, Mullahs, Evangelists, Monks, Cardinals Bishops, Rabbi’s and Popes, you need to decide which do, or do not really know anything and which are just delusional maniacs… lots of luck.

Delusions of Grandeur - In this patient believes himself/herself to be, a great individual, and according to Bleuler, this delusion of grandeur accompanies a persecutory delusion.”

According to a number of Islamic websites Islam outranks the rest so we are all born Muslims and we all apparently actually profess our allegiance to Allah before we are born. (I don’t actually remember doing that)

From “” “Allahu ta'ala created mankind. All people are the born slaves of Allahu ta'ala. Allahu ta'ala is the creator, the Rabb, not only of a certain nation or race or only of the world, but also of the entire humanity as well as of all the worlds of existence. In the view of Allahu ta'ala, all people are the same, and no one is different from another. In addition to a body, He has given a soul to each one of them. He has sent them Prophets 'alaihimus-salawatu wattaslimat' to lead them to spiritual and physical perfection and to guide them on the right way. The greatest ones of these Prophets are Adam, Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Issa (Jesus), and Muhammad s.a.s. The tenets of belief that they taught are the same. The final and the most perfect system is Islam, taught by Muhammad a.s.. No Prophet will come after Muhammad a.s.. For the religion he brought is at the uppermost point of perfection and has no deficiency to be made up; and Allahu ta'ala has declared that mankind will never be able to change or interpolate this religion.”

Reformatory paranoia - In this the patient turns to considering himself a great reformer. He accordingly looks upon all those around him as suffering from dangerous disease, and believes that he is their reformer and curator.”

“Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the dour cleric who led an Islamic revolution in Iran, perceived himself above all as an avenger of the humiliations that the West had for more than a century inflicted on the Muslims of the Middle East” (Time Magazine). He wasn’t real keen on the Shah’s effect on Iranian society either, no modern outlook please… and he said “If one permits an infidel to continue in his role as a corrupter of the earth, his moral suffering will be all the worse. If one kills the infidel, and this stops him from perpetrating his misdeeds, his death will be a blessing to him.”

A number of Islamic websites also proclaim that all other religions are forced on us a infants when we are too young to resist (I agree, however so does Islam) and that Allah will help us overcome these ‘false religions’ and ‘cults’ as we become more mature and if we seek his [and I guess our local clerics] help. Infidels are obviously suffering from a “dangerous disease”.

Current Iranian leaders speak out April 2006

‘Ayatollah Khamenei said liberal democracy was like a poison’ and that “global imperialism led by the US president openly threatened the Muslim world by talking about launching a crusade against it” followed by President Ahmadinejad who widened the attack [on the west] to include Israel, which he said was "a rotten, dried tree that will be eliminated by one storm". [This is the same guy that provoked an international outcry October 2005 when he cast doubts on the Holocaust and said Israel should be "wiped off the map"]. He continued; "We are prepared to eat salt and olives, and we will not bow our heads, but to God almighty, because we are faithful and because we take our responsibility seriously,"

Any Paranoia amongst the common people? Egypt church attack April 2006… ‘The interior ministry named the assailant as Mahmoud Salah-Eddin Abdel-Raziq, 25, and said he was "psychologically disturbed". It said the man attacked two churches and was arrested as he tried to enter a third. A doctor told AP that one policeman refused to fire on an attacker, saying he did not have orders.’

And the victims… “In Iraq, the Christian middle class is emigrating in droves, fearful of the daily violence and the hostility it now encounters from Islamists. In Saudi Arabia, churches and other places of non-Muslim worship are banned and foreign workers who try to hold secret Christian services are jailed, flogged and often deported. In the land of its birth, Christianity is in sad decline as the pressures of life under Israeli occupation and the growth of militant Islam push Palestinian Christians from Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

Erotic paranoia - Here the patient often tends to believe that some members of the family of the opposite sex, belonging to an illustrious family, want to marry him. Such people even write love letters and there by, cause much botheration to other people.”

Who knows, I guess you would have to count up how many women have been stoned to death over the centuries. One should note however that great lengths are taken, I guess to avoid this problem, as women and men are separated as much as possible, maybe it is a major mental condition. Then again, four wives and an easy divorce system… you tell me.

Litigious paranoia - In this kind the patient takes to feeling meaningless cases against other people and feels that people are linked together to bother him/her and will sometimes even resort to murder.

Yasser Arafat as quoted by Yediot Achronot, May 21, 1997 “Our law is a Jordanian law that we inherited, which applies to both the West Bank and Gaza, and sets the death penalty for those who sell land to Israelis. It is our right to defend our land.”

Causes of Paranoia (see reference for source)

1) Feelings of inferiority: Here the psychologists have found that the main cause of paranoia is a sense of inferiority that may be caused by a variety of condition such as failure, disgust, sense of guilt.
2) Homosexual fixation: According to Freud, the patient suffering from the disease has repressed his tendency to homosexual love to such an extent that he develops a fixation concerning it. Freud's view has been found correct in many cases, but it does not explain each and every case of the disease.
3) Emotional complexes: Some psychologists point out emotional complexes and also believe that they are seen to be present in other mental diseases as also in normal individuals.
4) Personality type: Cameron believes a certain type to be more susceptible to this disease, a personality that has sentimentally, jealousy, suspicion, ambition, selfishness and shyness etc. Patients of paranoia do exhibit these peculiarities of personality but on this basis they cannot be said to belong to definite personality.
5) Heredity: In the opinion of Fisher the main responsibility of paranoia lies fairly and squarely upon heredity, although he does not deny the importance of repression and emotional complexes. The causes of paranoia are not physical because no patient exhibits any signs of physical deformity and among the causes there are many important" ones, such as defects of personality, sense of inferiority, repression etc.

Note - 48% of people who have both parents that suffer from paranoia will also be paranoid.

Um Nidal, a mother of suicide terrorists, participated in a farewell ceremony in which she sent her 17-year-old son to die through terror, "ordering him not to return except as a shahid [martyr for Allah]." In an interview recorded after her son murdered five Israeli teenagers in a suicide mission, she explained that it was a mother's love for her son that motivated her to be joyous over his Shahada death. Um Nidal (explaining why she sent her son to die): "My son is not dearer than Islam. I have offered him as a gift and a sacrifice to Allah, may he be glorified, and to His true faith...." Um Nidal didn't stop at one son. She has proudly sent three of her sons to their death as terrorist shahids.” (see reference for source)

Treatment of Paranoia

“A cure of paranoia is very difficult and it is essential that treatment should be started immediately the disease comes to be known. Once it grows on a person there is no curing to it. Compared to other mental diseases, this disease does not respond immediately to psychoanalytic treatment because, being suspicious, the patient does not cooperate with the therapist.”

Some doctors believe insulin can help treat paranoia. With the way things are going some politicians could be considering a well placed dose of cordite, or even worse, a severe dose radiation therapy, now there an unsettling thought.


Friday, April 14, 2006

Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald surveys the situation in "tolerant," "progressive" Malaysia

Fitzgerald: "Progressive" Malaysia

"Malaysia is, quite incorrectly I'm afraid, always adduced as an example of a progressive, forward-looking, prosperous Muslim state. In fact its prosperity would be considerably diminished but for its Chinese and Hindu population. All Malays are required to be counted as Muslims, and all Muslims benefit from a disguised jizyah tax on non-Muslims which is called the "Bumiputra" or "Sons of the Soil" system. Most Westerners are unacquainted with the "Bumiputra." But anyone living in Malaysia who is unaware of the "Bumiputra" system has not yet sunk beneath the surface of Malaysian life. Although the word means "sons of the soil," it is not the indigenous Malaysian tribes that benefit from the "Bumiputra" policy, but Malay Muslims alone."

A very interesting article and readers comments... worth a look

Full article

link above

Friday, April 07, 2006

When Rhetoric Renounces Reason - Palestine and the Charge of the Light Brigade

The dramatic imagery of the fighting British spirit and the outstanding actions of the brave Light Brigade as they charged into the “Valley of Death” has stayed with many of us as truth for a long time. Those poor brave individuals with… “Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon in front of them” and in a later verse even “Cannon behind them”, all riding gallantly to their destruction supposedly to save the British guns. Why where the guns at risk... because of the cowardly flight of their allies, the undisciplined and unruly Turks.

However… ‘The latest evidence from the Crimean battlefield itself tells a rather different story than the initial myth seems to indicate’. It appears the legends of the 'noble six hundred' and of course ‘the thin red line' are far from the truth ... and the story of the soldiers who actually saved the day has until now, lay untold. The program “Battlefield Detectives” reveals the heroic role played by the Turks who rather than running, gallantly endured three hours of Russian shelling in redout no.1, mainly because the Brit command turned up 2 hours late at the battlefield. Then to top it off the Turks, in a ratio of two to one, were the major contingent of the regrouped troops that became the famous ‘the thin red line’, which we all were led to believe was exclusively made up of the 93rd (Highland) Regiment, (as depicted in one particularly famous painting of the battle).

This British myth founded by senior officer’s ‘butt-covering’ lies, was then beat up and sold to the world by and unscrupulous hysterical press, particularly William H. Russell a journalist for “The Times”. It was then further embellished by various patriotic painters and of course the famous poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson. As for W. H. Russell esq. one reference states, “his reports reflected the prevailing viewpoints of his times (anti-Ottoman and anti-French) and included descriptions of events he could not have possibly seen for himself, they were [nevertheless] hugely significant.” By the way, it appears there were 673 chargers of which perhaps 110 or less where killed (accounts vary). The Brigade was never fired on by all three gun batteries at once and were moving targets, unlike the unfortunate Turks who were pinned down behind an earthen wall. Additionally, the charge took about 10 minutes and the entire battle 30 minutes as against 3 hours for the Turks and the Brigade probably only faced about 200 rounds fired by mostly unsighted gunners.

So How Do The Palestinians Fit In?

For years night after night we have been bombarded by the images of Palestinians fighting for their home, stolen from them by the Jews, who where of course initially aided by the British. Palestinian politicians line up for a frenzied press core an bemoan there unfair treatment and demand there rights and the return of their God (Allah) given traditional holy homeland. Cannon to the left of them, cannon to the right of them etc…

The history of Palestine is complicated however to give a framework for thinking here are some dates and names. I have not thought it really necessary to describe who killed who, just understand the level of mix and ongoing ownership changes:

Homo Erectus, Neanderthal and transitional types between Neanderthal 8,000 B.C.

Amorites, Canaanites, and other Semitic peoples related to Phoenicians 2000 B.C.

Jewish people evolved out of native Canaanite peoples and invading tribes, some time between about 1800 and 1500 B.C.

It is estimated that king David conquered Jerusalem about 1000 B.C. The kingdom was divided into Judea in the south and Israel in the north following the death of David's son, Solomon.

The Assyrians conquered Israel in 722 or 721 B.C.

The Babylonians conquered Judah around 586 B.C.

The Persians ruled from about 530 to 331 B.C.

Alexander the Great then conquered the Persian Empire. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., his generals divided the empire.

One of these generals, Seleucus, founded a dynasty that gained control of much of Palestine about 200 B.C.

A later Seleucid king, Antiochus IV, tried to prohibit it Judaism in 167 B.C., the Jews revolted established a large degree of autonomy, forming a kingdom with its capital in Jerusalem.

The kingdom received Roman "protection" when Judah Maccabee was made a "friend of the Roman senate and people" in 164 B.C.

About 61 B.C., Roman troops under Pompei invaded Judea and sacked Jerusalem in support of King Herod. Judea had become a client state of Rome.

Roman rulers put down Jewish revolts in about A.D. 70 and A.D. 132. In A.D. 135, the Romans drove the Jews out of Jerusalem.

In the fourth century A.D. (300's) under the Byzantine Empire, Christianity spread to most of Palestine.

Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim Arab armies about 638 and Caliph Umar (Omar) gave his protection to its inhabitants. Muslim powers controlled the region until the early 1900's.

By 1914, the total population of Palestine stood at about 700,000. About 615,000 were Arabs and 85,000 to 100,000 were Jews.

In 1916, Arabs led by T.E. Lawrence and backed by Sharif Husayn revolted against the Ottomans in the belief that Britain would help establish Arab independence in the Middle East.

In November 1917, Britain issued the Balfour Declaration, that stated Britain's support for the creation of a Jewish national home in Palestine, without violating the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities.

1919 Arabs lobbied the American King-Crane commission, in favour of annexation of the Palestine mandate area to Syria, and later formed a national movement to combat the terms of the Mandate. At the instigation of US President Wilson, the King Crane commission had been sent to hear the views of the inhabitants. At the commission hearings, Aref Pasha Dajani expressed this opinion about the Jews, "Their history and their past proves that it is impossible to live with them. In all the countries where they are at present, they are not wanted...because they always arrive to suck the blood of everybody..."

1919 David Ben Gurion, who would lead the Yishuv (the Jewish community in Palestine) and go on to be the first Prime Minister of Israel, told a meeting of the governing body of the Jewish Yishuv in 1919 "But not everybody sees that there is no solution to this question...We as a nation, want this country to be ours, the Arabs as a nation, want this country to be theirs." By this time, Zionists had recognized the inevitability of conflict with the Palestinian Arabs.

“The word 'Zion', which designates the land of Israel and its capital Jerusalem, exists in texts dating back almost three millennia. It was the Emperor Hadrian who called the country Palestine in 135 C.E. In this Palestine, Arabic was not the spoken language, the Torah the Bible were the religious books and not the Koran, and the population was mainly Jewish.”

“Palestine was colonized five centuries later by the Arab armies of the Islamic jihad. Many Jews were massacred at that time, others deported to Arabia as slaves, the whole population expropriated and reduced to the condition of dhimmis.” Dhimmis are ‘protected’ non-Muslim residents of lands conquered by jihad that are then subjected to sharia law and allowed to exist as ‘lesser beings’ with limited rights. For example they cannot testify in court against Muslims, find it difficult to buy and hold property, are unable to build new places of worship and are subject to a special protection/pole tax known as jizya or jizyah.

‘Arab racism consists of calling the country of Israel, Arab land, whereas no Palestinian province, village or town, including Jerusalem are mentioned either in the Koran or in any Arabic text before the end of the ninth century C.E. They are, on the contrary, mentioned in the Hebrew Bible, which represents the religious and historical heritage of the Jewish people. The Bible, which tells the history of Israel/Palestine, tells it in Hebrew, the language of the country, and not in Arabic.’

“By the early 19th century, Judaism was nearly extinguished in Palestine, the very cradle of Jewish history and civilization. A similar historic process was at work for Eastern Christianity, whose roots are in the Middle East, nowadays usually referred to as Arab-Muslim lands. Except for the Copts of Egypt who still form a sizeable minority, Christianity would hardly have survived in its Oriental homeland - especially in Palestine - without the permanent support and protection of Europe.”

What may be seen as “Palestinian racism consists of asserting that the whole history of Israel, biblical history, is Arabic, Islamic and Palestinian history. The kings and prophets of Israel were Arabic, Palestinian and Muslim kings and prophets, as were Jesus, his family and the apostles. This Islamization of the Bible thus robs not only the Jews but also the whole of Christianity of their history. New theologies of substitution are developed, transferring Israel's heritage to Arabic and Muslim Palestine.”

So if its ‘first in first served’ you have to on balance give the disputed lands to the Jews, or if its might is right perhaps you would say the Arabs one it fair and square. Point: In a territorial dispute settled under international law (Indonesia vs. Malaysia) in 2002 the International Court of Justice awarded Malaysia the islands of Sipadan and Ligitan, off Borneo. The reason the case went Malaysias way was because Kuala Lumpur had asserted authority over the islands since the 1930s and could prove an administrative and physical presence on the Islands over a long period. On this basis the Jews probably win by 3000 years.

Building the Palestinian “Truth”, Some of the Rhetoric

"We are people under occupation, and we are freedom seekers so that we would like the whole world really to emancipate us from the slavery of occupation," said Palestinian parliament speaker - Abdel Aziz Duwaik

"We have made a historic compromise, agreeing to accept 23% of our original Palestine. If they want one unified secular state, we will agree. If they want to return to the boundaries before 1967, the ones the UN had outlined, we agree. But if they want to keep occupying our lands and keep their settlements, no, we cannot agree." - Saeb Erakat

"Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation." - Palestinian National charter 1968

"The liberation of Palestine, from an Arab viewpoint, is a national (qawmi) duty and it attempts to repel the Zionist and imperialist aggression against the Arab homeland, and aims at the elimination of Zionism in Palestine." - Palestinian National charter 1968

"Our law is a Jordanian law that we inherited, which applies to both the West Bank and Gaza, and sets the death penalty for those who sell land to Israelis. It is our right to defend our land." - Yassar Arafat 1997

“It is an important day in our people's history in Gaza Strip and northern West Bank, where all settlements will be removed out of our lands forever,” - Mahmoud Abbas

“PM Haniyeh, on the fact the [Palestinian Legislative] Council did not assemble in Jerusalem "proves the cruelty of the occupier that continues its aggression against the Palestinian people, and continues to incite against its elected government." - Prime Minister Haniyeh

When reality is smothered by a limited and biased view called ‘truth’, tragedy is its legacy and injustice is its consequence.

Battlefield Detectives – The Charge of the Light Brigade

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Arabization/Islamization of Other Lands

The articles by Bat Ye'or on are a ‘MUST READ’ for those who seek a peaceful and just future for their children.

About the author: ‘Bat Ye'or, born in Cairo, became a stateless refugee in 1957. On her marriage in 1959, she acquired British citizenship, and a year later settled in Switzerland and is the mother of three children’. Since 1971 she has written a number of insightful and historical books and numerous articles on non-Muslims or “dhimmis” under Islam. Her second book’s Le Dhimmi (Paris/1980), translation into English (1985; Hebrew/1986; Russian/1991) brought her international recognition. Her fourth book and second major work, The Decline of Eastern Christianity under Islam. From Jihad to Dhimmitude (French/1991; English/1996; German/2002), placed the study of Arab/Islam and its relationship with “others” ‘on a new footing that could no longer be ignored and confirmed her reputation as a pioneer thinker in a new field of research.’ This work was greatly enhanced by Islam and Dhimmitude. Where Civilizations Collide, (2002, 2nd print 2003) which examines the trend toward dhimmitude in the 20th century.

Her latest book, EURABIA: The Euro-Arab Axis (31 January 2005), describes the gradual transformation of Europe into "Eurabia," a cultural and political appendage of the Arab/Muslim world. A serious assessment of the traditional "Jihad Ideology" and of Dhimmitude became all the more essential not only in the aftermath of the terrorist Jihad-war against America on September 11, 2001 but in light of the aggressive push Islam is making toward what many of it proponents consider the inevitable coming of the true golden age of Islam and the realisation of its stated aim of final conversion of the world.

To quote ‘In the Islamic system, politics and religion are united. The definition given by the great 14th century historian, Ibn Khaldun, is worth quoting briefly: "In the Muslim community, the holy war is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the (Muslim) mission and (the obligation) to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force.”

So the Mission is a worldwide caliphate i.e. the rulership of Islam by a caliph who is both the spiritual head and temporal ruler of the Islamic state), where both ‘royal’ and religious authority “are united (in Islam), so that the person in charge can devote the available strength to both of them (religion and politics) at the same time".


Sunday, April 02, 2006

Is The ‘Freedom Alliance’ Holding Oily Hands With An Enemy?

The Islamic Problem’s Centre? - Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is called "the land of the two holy mosques", a reference to Mecca and Medina, Islam's two holiest places and as such can perhaps be considered the ‘centre of Islam’.

Human rights in Saudi Arabia (Wikipedia)

“The situation of human rights in Saudi Arabia is generally considered to be very poor. Under the authoritarian rule of the Saudi royal family, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has enforced strict laws under a doctrine of Wahabism (a fundamentalist interpretation of sharia, Islamic religious law). Many basic freedoms as described in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights do not exist; it is alleged that capital punishment and other penalties are often given to suspected criminals without due process. Saudi Arabia has also come under fire for its oppression of religious and political minorities, torture of prisoners, and attitude toward foreign expatriates, homosexuality, and women”.

Amnesty International – Saudi Arabia and the Death Penalty (abridged and edited)

’Saudi Arabia has one of the highest rates of executions in the world in both absolute numbers and per capita and has expanded the scope of the death penalty to cover a wide range of offences, including offences without lethal consequences. Saudi Arabia’s scope of the death penalty is so wide that it can apply to any act deemed by the government and the courts to amount to ''corruption on earth”. Scores of people are executed, after summary trials that offer them no opportunity to defend themselves and almost no protection against miscarriages of justice. Often, the first warning a prisoner has of their imminent death (by beheading) is when they are taken out of their cell in handcuffs on a Friday [the day of prayer] and taken to a public square and forced to kneel.’

‘Amnesty International does not know whether they are allowed to see a representative of their religious faith before they are executed, or whether an appropriate religious ceremony is conducted before, during or after death. What it does know, from testimonies given by former prisoners and relatives of the victims, is that foreign nationals are rarely if ever allowed to see their loved ones before they are executed and that remains cannot be shipped home (outside countries) for burial.’

A particularly unsavoury aspect of Saudi Arabian law is “the lack of safeguards to ensure that the death penalty is not imposed on anyone aged under 18 at the time of the offence. This defect remains despite Saudi Arabia's accession to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1996, which explicitly prohibits capital punishment for anyone aged under 18.” ‘It is noteworthy that the Islam-based regulations applicable in Saudi Arabia never impose capital punishment for offences committed by persons below the age of puberty,'' but it does not define when puberty is reached.’ That implies that it is likely perhaps that 12 to 17 year olds can and are being executed.

Amnesty International's recommendations for the Saudi Authorities to improve this situation apparently go unheeded.

Amnesty International’s advice to the rest of the world, should best not go unheeded

The scale and gravity of human rights violations in Saudi Arabia is untenable by any legal or moral standard. However, the responsibility for the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia is not the government's alone. It is also the responsibility of the international community [all of us], which has failed to hold Saudi Arabia to account for its persistent violations of human rights.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Reinstate Ijtihad, Or Is It, Hey George, Do We Need A ‘War on Islam’?

History – “Bush Praises Islam as Religion of Tolerance” (Reuters/Oct. 22, 2003)

Some time back ‘President Bush praised the world's most populous Muslim nation for its support in the war on terror and said Islamic terrorists defiled one of the great faiths.’ He also said, “We know that Islam is fully compatible with liberty and tolerance and progress because we see the proof in your country [Indonesia] and in our own.” That makes about as much sense as saying a dog has four legs and a cat has four legs therefore a cat is a dog… and it just doesn’t wash. Blair’s more recent statements in a similar vein could lead one to suspect that they are both crumbling under pressure or worse, in spite of their legions of advisors, are of a out of touch with reality.

The most disturbing question is; are they and their constituents losing their resolve? If the answer is yes, we are likely headed for an even more aggressive exporting of Arabic culture, with its draconian outlook and an ever more confident Muslim effort to convert others. Recent events would seem to indicate that Bush’s ‘tolerant Indonesia’ for example, is seemingly becoming more radicalised and ‘Arabized’ by the day.

Before Any Progress Toward A More Peaceful World Can Be Made, Difficult As It May Be, Muslims Will Need To Recant

According to the Muslim tradition the Qur’an contains the words of God and is to be read as if God himself had spoken the words exactly as stated in it. As the word of God it should not contain any errors and it supposedly should hold true for all times. According to many who have studied the Qur’an however, their belief is that it does contain errors. A quick search of the Internet can provide the detail of these studies and the resulting conclusions. Muslims however are taught, enticed, cajoled and forced to follow the Qur’anic verses as ‘God’s actual words’ and to follow those words to the letter. Often much of a child’s early teaching of ‘God’s word’ is designed to develop their ability, by rote learning, to eventually be able to recite of the entire document, even before they can understand it.

For those of other religions or of no religion at all (the rest of us) it should be obvious that until Muslims can change their fundamental view of the Qur’an to one of; ‘perhaps its man’s interpretation of God’s word’, no reduction in what really is the ‘clash of civilizations’ can be achieved. Additionally until Islam and its followers can walk away from (as a minimum) the following versus of the Qur’an it will be impossible for the non-Muslim world to accept those that adhere faithfully to its tenants as anything more than promoters and/or perpetrators of crimes against humanity.

A few hate-laden ideas from verses of the Qur’an

9.005 slay idolaters, 9:029 & 9:123 fight (kill?) disbelievers, 2:193 fight (kill?) non-believers until the only religion is that of Allah (Islam), 3: 028 Muslims are advised (not permitted?) to have friends (or helpers) that are unbelievers “except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them”

Bush’s statement, as with Blair’s more recent assertions that ‘its only a few radicals’ (see previous post) could lead one to believe our political leaders are acting out of fear, or the need for oil/energy, or perhaps an unwillingness to honestly inform their comfortable electorates as to the full extent of humanity’s most pressing threats. Will their ‘forced’ political correctness end up by leading ‘the faithful’ to believe the ‘kafir-world’ are appeasers who are bargaining from a position of weakness. Are we all ready for greater levels of conversion, or worse, more aggressive attacks? Much of the Qur’an is more peaceful in its message than the above verses, however these verses are always going to cause a problem.
Much as with those that take the Bible literally, there are many contentious ‘laws’, ‘rules’ and stances taken by followers of the Qur’an, Hadith and Shariah that will continually lead to conflict. So… now more than ever the world needs intelligent people of conscience that will actively stand up and resist those who are blinkered by unquestioning faith.