Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Allah Takes Over Catholic Church | The Brussels Journal

Allah Takes Over Catholic Church | The Brussels Journal


Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Outrage of the Day

From Drudge Report: U.S. tipping Mexico to Minuteman patrols.

While Minuteman civilian patrols are keeping an eye out for illegal border crossers, the U.S. Border Patrol is keeping an eye out for Minutemen — and telling the Mexican government where they are.

According to three documents on the Mexican Secretary of Foreign Relations Web site, the U.S. Border Patrol is to notify the Mexican government as to the location of Minutemen and other civilian border patrol groups when they participate in apprehending illegal immigrants — and if and when violence is used against border crossers.

A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman confirmed the notification process, describing it as a standard procedure meant to reassure the Mexican government that migrants’ rights are being observed.

“It’s not a secret where the Minuteman volunteers are going to be,” Mario Martinez said Monday.

“This ... simply makes two basic statements — that we will not allow any lawlessness of any type, and that if an alien is encountered by a Minuteman or arrested by the Minuteman, then we will allow that government to interview the person.”

Minuteman members were not so sanguine about the arrangement, however, saying that reporting their location to Mexican officials nullifies their effectiveness along the border and could endanger their lives.

“Now we know why it seemed like Mexican officials knew where we were all the time,” said Chris Simcox, founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps. “It’s unbelievable that our own government agency is sending intelligence to another country. They are sending intelligence to a nation where corruption runs rampant, and that could be getting into the hands of criminal cartels.”

“They just basically endangered the lives of American people.”

09:49 AM PDT | link: 329 comments | link only
last comment: ploome hineni 1:00:06 pm 5/9/06
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Harvard Today

In an event open to the public, Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be speaking from 2:30 to 4:00 PM at Weiner Auditorium, Taubman Building, just off Harvard Square. Details here: Center for Public Leadership :: John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. (Hat tip: NuclearTinkerbell.)

UPDATE at 5/9/06 9:26:54 am:

Allahpundit has found another interview with her: More audio: Ayaan Hirsi Ali on WNYC.
09:18 AM PDT | link: 50 comments | link only
last comment: Beagle 12:57:46 pm 5/9/06
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A Vacation with Al Qaeda

Visit beautiful Saudi Arabia, and experience the religious apartheid kingdom in all its glory! Witness beheadings in Riyadh’s picturesque Execution Square! Stroll down crime-free Jeddah’s fabulous Corniche! And ah! The nightlife! (Jews not allowed.)

FOR the first time, Saudi Arabia is looking to encourage non-Muslim tourists, touting a unique experience and even nightlife in a country where alcohol and the mixing of the sexes are banned.

“We promise you an experience that will hit your soul, mind and spirit ... (with) lots of nightlife,” Prince Sultan bin Salman, who heads the kingdom’s Supreme Commission for Tourism, told reporters in Dubai at the opening of a tourism promotion expo.

“We have nothing to hide, we will open up so the world can see,” he said, emphasising that the term ‘nightlife’ for Saudis tends to mean wholesome family activities - rather than what may be enjoyed after dark in the West.

Saudis are known for their love of night-time picnics during which they smoke water-pipes and consume large quantities of bitter coffee and tea.

And another twist that is also likely to keep Saudi Arabia from becoming the next hot destination, is the fact tourists will only be allowed to come in via licensed tour operators. Prince Sultan promised visas in 24 hours and even upon arrival for some nationals, which would be a far cry from the current cumbersome process that takes weeks if not months in some cases.

The kingdom, the birthplace of Islam and home to two of its holiest sites, has long been viewed by most Westerners simply as a forbidding and xenophobic place where a strict interpretation of Sharia (Islamic law) reigns.

09:12 AM PDT | link: 90 comments | link only
last comment: Zombie_Killian 12:51:09 pm 5/9/06
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Quartet Talks Aid, Palestinians Smuggle Explosives

The so-called “Quartet” is meeting today, and there will be huge pressure from Russia, the UN, and Europe for the United States to stop worrying and learn to love giving money to Hamas: Middle East power brokers hammer out Hamas strategy.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Middle East peace brokers meet on Tuesday to hammer out how to deal with a Hamas government, with pressure growing to pay beleaguered Palestinian Authority workers and Washington trying to hold its tough line on direct aid.

Several proposals, including a French one to allow the World Bank to channel funds to pay salaries, are expected to be presented at the meeting in New York of the so-called quartet of powers handling the Middle East — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations.

The Bush administration says it will listen to proposals over how to pay 160,000 unpaid government employees but is unlikely to stray from its strategy of isolating Hamas until the militant group renounces violence, recognizes Israel and agrees to previous deals between Palestinians and Israelis.

“The principle for us remains the same. We want to address the humanitarian needs of the Palestinian people, but we are not going to provide money to a terrorist organization,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

Hamas claims to have no money to pay salaries and provide services, yet someone around there seems to have the pocket change necessary for a large smuggled shipment of high-grade explosives.

JERUSALEM (AFP) - Israel last week seized a large cargo of high-grade explosives which an Egyptian boat tried to transfer to two Palestinian boats from the Gaza Strip, the army told AFP.

According to a military source on Tuesday, an Israeli navy patrol off the Mediterranean coast of Sinai last Wednesday spotted “an Egyptian boat transferring a cargo to two Palestinian boats”. The suspicious cargo was dropped off by the Palestinian boats once their crews noticed the Israeli ship, the source told AFP.

“Navy divers later retrieved the cargo from the seabed and found it contained 550 kilograms (1,200 pounds) of full-grade TNT (trinitrotoluene) explosives,” he said. ...

The incident marks Israel’s largest seizure of arms heading to Palestinian territories since the foiled attempt to smuggle 50 tonnes of weapons aboard the Palestinian-captained ship Karine A in 2002.

08:31 AM PDT | link: 48 comments | link only
last comment: Dom 12:29:53 pm 5/9/06
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Al Qaeda in Gaza

Al Qaeda is officially in business in Gaza, under the auspices of Hamas: Al-Qaeda distributes first communique in Gaza.

Gaza - A hitherto unknown Palestinian militant group announced Tuesday it was an off-shoot of the terror network al-Qaeda.

In leaflets telefaxed to reporters and pasted on street corners in Gaza City, the ‘al-Quds (Jerusalem) Islamic Army’ said that, like its parent organization, it would target ‘the crusaders and every enemy of Islam and Muslims and their collaborators.’

‘We will blow up our bodies in their positions’ and ‘strike with an iron fist at all the crusader, American and Zionist campaigns,’ said the statement, adding the group adhered to the principles of al-Qaeda leaders Sheikh Osama Bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahri and Musab al-Zarqawi.

The authenticity of the statement was hard to verify, but it bore the signature of al-Qaeda. It was the first such leaflet signed by al-Qaeda in Gaza and openly announcing the formation of an al-Qaeda wing in the Palestinian territories. ...

Tuesday’s leaflet said the al-Qaeda Palestine off-shoot would soon release a video, showing Palestinian al-Qaeda members training.

08:16 AM PDT | link: 33 comments | link only
last comment: Sajoie DeVie 12:04:49 pm 5/9/06
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RoP Bomb Attack in Denmark

A Danish politician was the target of a firebomb attack last night, after threats signed “Al Qaeda” were received: Bomb attack targets local politicians. (Hat tip: Fjordman.)

And Danish sociologists know who to blame: Danish society.

Elected officials fear that a culture of political violence is emerging in Denmark after a firebomb was thrown at the home of a councillor in the city of Korsor in western Zealand on Monday night.

The bomb missed its target, and Fritz Neumann, a member of the Danish People’s Party, and his family escaped unharmed, but police say the attack is just the latest in a string of similar incidents.

Six other city council members in Korsor have received written and electronic threats signed ‘Allah is great’ and ‘Al Qaeda-network’ in the past three months. Police believe they were related and could have to do with a rejected application for asylum.

The latest bombing renewed concerns that Denmark’s relaxed politicial culture made politicians particularly vulnerable to attacks. Monday’s attempted arson brought back memories of a similar attack on the home of the minister of integration, Rikke Hvilshoj, last year. In two separate incidents, police also recently arrested young men who issued death threats to PM Anders Fogh Rasmussen and Social Liberal MP Naser Khader.

Political observers were unable to single out a motive for the attacks. Many of the incidents have targeted right-of-centre politicians, but they dismissed the idea that left-wing militants could be the source.

‘The crisis about the cartoons of Mohammed could have been a clear chance for more militant groups to make an impact, because there was such a clear polarisation. Nevertheless, you didn’t see those groups step forward,’ RenĂ© Karpantschof, a sociologist at Copenhagen University, told daily newspaper Berlingske Tidende.

Lack of respect was one likely cause, according to Niels Jorgen Cappelorn, the director of the Soren Kierkegaard Research Centre. ‘I don’t think this is an expression of a political rebellion. I think it’s a desperate yell by people who cannot figure out how to communicate in a society that’s racing ahead with the speed of a bullet train,’ said Cappelorn.

08:14 AM PDT | link: 66 comments | link only
last comment: dmjboose 12:41:58 pm 5/9/06
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Monday, May 08, 2006
Palestinian Civil War Watch

Nine hurt in new Palestinian gunbattle: witnesses.

GAZA (Reuters) - Nine people were wounded in a gunbattle between Fatah and Hamas fighters in Gaza on Tuesday, a day after three gunmen were killed in clashes, witnesses said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, backed by Fatah, and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, head of a Hamas-dominated government, failed to resolve security issues in weekend talks. Abbas and Haniyeh, whose militant Islamist group won parliamentary elections in January, are embroiled in a power struggle over control of security forces that has intensified Palestinian fears of a civil war.

The witnesses said Tuesday’s clash occurred when hundreds of gunmen roamed the streets of Gaza City’s Tuffah neighborhood. Four of the nine people wounded were Palestinian teenagers on their way to school, said medical staff. Three gunmen were also among the wounded.

10:15 PM PDT | link: 756 comments | link only
last comment: m 12:59:40 pm 5/9/06
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Monday Night Orbs

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last comment: Clutch 11:10:24 am 5/9/06
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The International Religious Court

It takes a lot to make my jaw drop these days, but here’s an op-ed in Baltimore’s Jewish Times that achieved this near-impossible feat: Preventing New Cartoon Crisis. (Hat tip: Soccer Dad.)

While the Danish cartoonists may have sought to show, through their cartoons, that some Muslims were citing the Koran, and Muhammad, to justify suicide bombings, the cartoons had a very negative impact in the Muslim world where Muhammad is revered.

Complicating the situation further was the reaction of many in the West to the violence perpetrated by the Muslims protesting the cartoons. The Muslims were accused of double standards, since anti-Semitic and anti-Christian cartoons are widespread in the Arab and Muslim worlds, and when complaints are made about them, the response is usually “we have a free press” — precisely the words used by the Danes to justify their cartoons. ...

To solve that problem, I propose the creation of an International Religious Court, composed of Christian, Muslim and Jewish clergymen with one clergyman representing each of the three religions. Anyone feeling that his or her religion was insulted could appeal to the International Religious Court for a ruling on the matter, and the court would then determine whether a penalty should be invoked. It would be the responsibility of the government on whose territory the action took place to impose the penalty. ...

Given the very severe costs of the Danish Cartoon Crisis, establishing both an international code of conduct to prevent negative media depictions of religion, and an International Religious Court to determine whether that code has been violated, are needed to defuse future crises such as the one over the Danish cartoons. I urge the international community to create the code of conduct and establish the International Religious Court as quickly as possible.

08:50 PM PDT | link: 154 comments | link only
last comment: BeckoningChasm 10:50:25 am 5/9/06
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Stupidest Lefty Meme of the Day

Markos Moulitsas “Screw Them” Zuniga is yelling “Bush lied! Fish died!” about a remark President Bush made to the German weekly Bild, but the only things dying around here are the embers of Kos’s Kredibility: Kos Goes Fishing.
08:16 PM PDT | link: 77 comments | link only
last comment: triticale 9:27:07 am 5/9/06
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Moussaoui Wants to Withdraw Guilty Plea

It took only a few days for Zacarias Moussaoui to begin trying to work the American legal system again: Moussaoui asks for new trial. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

Less than a week after he was jailed for life over the September 11 attacks, Al-Qaeda plotter Zacarias Moussaoui submitted a motion asking to withdraw his guilty plea so he can have a new trial.

“Moussaoui wishes to withdraw his guilty plea because when he entered the plea his ‘understanding of the American legal system was completely flawed’,” his lawyers said in the motion.

Moussaoui said in an affadavit “I now see that it is possible that I can receive a fair trial” in the United States.

In other words, he now sees what suckers we are. And he thinks we might be big enough suckers to give him another trial.

I wish I were completely confident that he’s wrong.

“Even with Americans as jurors,” he went on, “I can have the opportunity to prove that I did not have any knowledge of and was not a member of the plot to hijack planes and crash them into buildings on September 11, 2001.”

“I wish to withdraw my guilty plea and ask the court for a new trial to prove my innocence of the September 11 plot,” he said.

06:45 PM PDT | link: 202 comments | link only
last comment: zhorkon 8:11:09 am 5/9/06
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New Zarqawi Video

Abu Musab al-Zarqawi (Zarkie for short) just loves to ham it up for the cameras. Italy’s La Repubblica Online has posted a previously unseen video of Zarqawi giving his blessing to a suicide bomber, who then blows himself up in Ramadi in an attack purportedly against an American base. (Hat tip: hiddentruths.)

There’s a date stamp on the video: April 17, 2006.

(Click picture to play video. Requires Windows Media Player.)

05:23 PM PDT | link: 81 comments | link only
last comment: FrogMarch 5:52:55 am 5/9/06
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Frontline: Looking Inside Hamas

Tomorrow night on PBS Frontline at 9 pm Eastern, a special about Hamas that (judging from this review) seems like it may be accurate: Looking Inside Hamas: Search for Martyrdom, Hatred of Israel. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

Reporter Kate Seelye begins in Gaza, “a 6-by-25-mile sandbox” that doubles as a powder keg. The streets are teeming with angry young warriors bearing automatic weapons and deep grudges, all strutting their stuff beneath posters of martyrs.

“I’ve come to find out if Hamas will lay down their arms and transform themselves now that they’re in power,” Seelye says.

This is high idealism, we soon learn.

Gaza is a beehive of discontent. Supporters of the deposed Fatah regime complain that the new government isn’t doling out the expected benefits. Israel has closed the border, creating food lines. No matter, grump Hamas officials, the people “can survive on salt and olives.”

When Seelye presses on the sorest subject — recognizing Israel’s right to exist — teeth bare. She asks Mahmoud Zahar, a founder of Hamas and foreign minister of the new government, if the group will change its charter and recognize Israel.

“Why?” he responds. “To satisfy you?”

Hamas’s victory in January has brought several changes to the region. “We are facing a lot of sanctions,” admits Zahar, “but believe me the Arab states are going to help us.” There also has been a flowering of Islamic fundamentalism, including a total ban on alcohol and a return to the veil for increasing numbers of women.

04:06 PM PDT | link: 93 comments | link only
last comment: Axiom 10:32:37 am 5/9/06
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Egypt Arrests Blogger

Reformist Egyptian blogger Alaa has been arrested by the Egyptian government, and fellow bloggers are urgently appealing for help. Rantings of a Sandmonkey has more details and contact information for you to make your voice heard.
01:46 PM PDT | link: 83 comments | link only
last comment: ratherdashing 8:18:41 pm 5/8/06
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Atwar Bahjat Beheading Video a Hoax

The gruesome video reported by the Sunday Times to show the beheading of Iraqi journalist Atwar Bahjat is a cruel hoax; the video does depict an Islamic torture killing, but the victim is not Atwar Bahjat.

Rusty has the details: The Jawa Report: Atwar Bahjat Beheading Video a Hoax. (Warning: graphic images at bottom of page.)

The video actually shows the murder of a Nepalese man by the Army of Ansar al-Sunna in Iraq from August of 2004. The man was one of 12 victims executed by the terrorist organization—the other 11 were shot.

12:26 PM PDT | link: 175 comments | link only
last comment: Geepers 6:40:14 pm 5/8/06
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Hate Speech at CSULB

Last week the Muslim Student Association at California State University, Long Beach sponsored a speech by Amir-Abdel Malik-Ali.

LGF featured video clips of Malik-Ali’s anti-American and antisemitic speech at UC Irvine in 2005.

In last week’s speech at CSULB he explicitly supported terrorism and suicide bombing—and clearly, by inviting this hate-spewing lunatic, so does the Muslim Student Association: Beach Hillel protests MSA speaker. (Hat tip: Terp Mole.)

Ali’s speech, titled “Resisting Occupation by Any Means Necessary,” hit the event’s purpose “right on the nose,” according to Naadiya Patel, events coordinator and MSA member. Ali, who is from the Masjid Al-Islam in Oakland, spoke to students outside the University Bookstore at the Speaker’s Platform about the Palestinian people’s plight, controlled media, foreign policy and American consciousness. ...

Ali contrasted the weapons available to Israel and Palestine and explained to students what he meant “by any means necessary.”

“By any means necessary? Yes, by any means necessary. We’ll do it peacefully if we have to; we’ll fight if we have to; we’ll strap bombs if we have to. We will. Why? Because we are fighting against occupation and we don’t have the weapons that they have.”

He said while detractors may call Thursday’s speaking, “hate speech,” he said it is not.

“We are teaching love, we’re not teaching hate,” Ali said, “The only hate we’re teaching is to hate the imperialism, hate oppression, hate racism. Hate any type of oppression that you see, no matter what color the oppressor is.” ...

“I don’t see the point of bringing a speaker to campus who is going to incite hate speech and promote terrorism and suicide bombing,” said Jordan Antonoft, a silent protester and member of Beach Hillel. “By any means necessary alludes to the idea of strapping bombs onto 15 year olds and sending them to kill innocent people, and this is what [Ali] is up there promoting on a college campus. I don’t see any benefit coming out of [Ali’s] speaking.”

11:34 AM PDT | link: 86 comments | link only
last comment: brickas 12:02:39 am 5/9/06
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The Legacy of Jihad

If you’re in the Washington DC area here’s an event you may want to attend, as Andrew Bostom and Laurent Murawiec give a talk entitled The Legacy of Jihad: Islamic Holy War and the Fate of Non-Muslims, at the Heritage Foundation’s Lehrman Auditorium.
10:18 AM PDT | link: 95 comments | link only
last comment: Senior Ferrari 11:24:41 am 5/9/06
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Harvard Bookstore

Courageous critic of Islam Ayaan Hirsi Ali will be at the Harvard Bookstore tomorrow at noon, in an event open to the public: Harvard Coop. (Hat tip: Andrew Bostom.)

Her talk later in the evening requires a Harvard ID: Ayaan Hirsi Ali at Harvard, May 9, 2006.
09:27 AM PDT | link: 64 comments | link only
last comment: BlitzWhite 6:55:37 pm 5/8/06
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Steyn: New Coalition of Willing Needed

Here’s Mark Steyn on the warmongering, interventionist, unilateral American left: New coalition of willing needed in Darfur.

The American Prospect’s Mark Leon Goldberg penned an almost comically agonised piece fretting about the circumstances in which he’d be prepared to support a Bush intervention in Darfur: Who needs the Janjaweed when you’re prepared to torture your own arguments the way Goldberg does? He gets to the penultimate paragraph and he’s still saying stuff such as: “The question, of course, is whether the US seeks Security Council support to legitimise such airstrikes.”

Well, no, that’s not the question. If you think the case for intervention in Darfur depends on whether or not the Chinese guy raises his hand, sorry, you’re not being serious. The good people of Darfur have been entrusted to the legitimacy of the UN for more than two years and it’s killing them. In 2004, after months of expressing deep concern, grave concern, deep concern over the graves and deep grave concern over whether the graves were deep enough, Kofi Annan took decisive action and appointed a UN committee to look into what’s going on. Eventually, they reported back that it’s not genocide.

Thank goodness for that. Because, as yet another Kofi-appointed UN committee boldly declared, “genocide anywhere is a threat to the security of all and should never be tolerated”. So fortunately what’s going on in the Sudan isn’t genocide. Instead, it’s just hundreds of thousands of corpses who happen to be from the same ethnic group, which means the UN can go on tolerating it until everyone’s dead, at which point the so-called “decent left” can support a “multinational” force under the auspices of the Arab League going in to ensure the corpses don’t pollute the water supply.

09:13 AM PDT | link: 125 comments | link only
last comment: mich-again 11:23:06 am 5/9/06
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Mash Note from the Mullahs

Ever have one of those Mondays when it feels like you’ve woken up in an alternate universe? Iran’s Leader Writes to President Bush. (Hat tip: LGF readers.)

TEHRAN, Iran - Iran’s leader has written to President Bush proposing “new solutions” to their differences in the first letter from an Iranian head of state to an American president in 27 years, a government spokesman said Monday. Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki delivered the letter to the Swiss ambassador on Monday, ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi told The Associated Press. The Swiss Embassy in Tehran houses a U.S. interests section.

In the letter, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proposes “new solutions for getting out of international problems and the current fragile situation of the world,” spokesman Gholam-Hossein Elham told a news conference. Elham declined to reveal more, stressing “it is not an open letter.” Asked whether the letter could lead to direct U.S.-Iranian negotiations, he replied: “For the time being, it’s just a letter.” Elham did not mention the nuclear dispute — the main obstacle between Washington and Tehran. The United States is leading Western efforts to pass a U.N. Security Council motion censuring Iran for refusing to cease enrichment of uranium.

In Turkey, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator said the letter “could lead to a new diplomatic opening,” but also warned that it did not reflect a softening in Tehran’s position.

Jihad Watch has an exclusive first look at Ahmadinejad’s mash note: ‘Dear unclean infidel dog...’

UPDATE at 5/8/06 8:56:20 am:

US: Iran letter may be timed for UN debate.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte said on Monday a letter Iran sent to the United States over its nuclear ambitions may have been timed to influence a UN Security Council debate on Iran.

Gee. Ya think?
08:37 AM PDT | link: 110 comments | link only
last comment: BingoBunny 7:50:48 am 5/9/06
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Sunday, May 07, 2006
Ayaan Hirsi Ali Interview, February 2006

Here’s a fascinating interview with Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, on Norway’s NRK television in February 2006, talking about her film Submission, Theo Van Gogh, her views on Islam, the Danish cartoons, and her need for constant protection from Islamic threats of death. The clip starts with a short segment in Norwegian, then switches to English for the interview. (Hat tip: Sugiero.)

(Video player requires Flash Player 8.)

UPDATE at 5/7/06 9:41:22 pm:

And remember, she is speaking at Harvard on May 9.

UPDATE at 5/7/06 9:59:26 pm:

If you have trouble playing the video, make sure you have the latest version of the free Macromedia Flash Player.
09:36 PM PDT | link: 646 comments | link only
last comment: Nekama 6:51:37 pm 5/8/06
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Sunday Night Road

This road climbs up out of a section of Palos Verdes we call “the ghetto.”

09:01 PM PDT | link: 154 comments | link only
last comment: Geepers 8:23:26 pm 5/8/06
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Palestinian Civil War Watch

Three dead in Hamas-Fatah gunbattle in Gaza: medics.

GAZA (Reuters) - At least three Palestinians were killed on Monday during a gun battle between members of the rival Hamas and Fatah groups in the Gaza Strip, medics said.

It was the most serious internal Palestinian violence to erupt since Hamas, an Islamic militant group dedicated to Israel’s destruction, defeated the long-dominant Fatah faction in a January election and formed a government.

Medics said three gunmen, two from Fatah and one from Hamas, were killed in the fighting near the town of Khan Younis and several other participants in the battle were wounded.

The clash broke out after Hamas accused Fatah of having kidnapped three of its members, security officials said.

08:30 PM PDT | link: 55 comments | link only
last comment: slotgun 8:04:26 pm 5/8/06
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Jimmy Carter Shills for Hamas

Good lord. I know Jimmy Carter is a lifetime honoree of the LGF Idiotarian Award, but this is really something else, as he argues in the International Herald Tribune that Hamas is dedicated to peace.

He acknowledges that Hamas has refused to recognize Israel’s right to exist, but helpfully adds, “while their territory is being occupied,” even though Hamas themselves do not. (Maybe Jimmah was impressed by their nice new suits.)

He doesn’t seem to notice the little details, though. Like recent news reports that Hamas threatened to decapitate their opponents, and plotted to kill Fatah “president” Abu Mazen/Mahmoud Abbas.

Oh yeah. These are really peaceful folks. Just bursting with peace. Exploding with peace.

But in JimmahWorld, Israel is the obstructionist, by refusing to have “substantive peace talks” with people who openly preach genocidal murder. Punishing the innocent is a crime. (Hat tip: what if?)

One clear reason for the surprising Hamas victory for legislative seats was that the voters were in despair about prospects for peace. With American acquiescence, the Israelis had avoided any substantive peace talks for more than five years, regardless of who had been chosen to represent the Palestinian side as interlocutor. ...

With all their faults, Hamas leaders have continued to honor a temporary cease-fire, or hudna, during the past 18 months, and their spokesman told me that this “can be extended for two, 10 or even 50 years if the Israelis will reciprocate.” Although Hamas leaders have refused to recognize the state of Israel while their territory is being occupied, Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh has expressed approval for peace talks between Abbas and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel. He added that if these negotiations result in an agreement that can be accepted by Palestinians, then the Hamas position regarding Israel would be changed.

Regardless of these intricate and long-term political interrelationships, it is unconscionable for Israel, the United States and others under their influence to continue punishing the innocent and already persecuted people of Palestine.

06:23 PM PDT | link: 204 comments | link only
last comment: EE 7:11:34 pm 5/8/06
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Britain Caves In to Hamas

I’m very sorry to report that the UK is caving in to Hamas: Britain backs Palestinian trust fund.

A PROPOSED trust fund for donors to pay overdue Palestinian salaries would undercut Hamas, not strengthen it, says a British document meant to increase pressure on the US to drop objections to the plan.

Britain circulated the memo on the proposal, aimed at averting a collapse of basic services provided by the Palestinian Authority, to major donors before tomorrow’s meeting of the Quartet of Middle East mediators.

The four-page document argues, in response to US efforts to block creation of such a fund, that it “will not undermine the diplomatic effort” to persuade Hamas to renounce violence, recognise Israel and abide by interim peace accords.

The US is concerned that allowing the international community to pay Palestinians’ salaries would take pressure off Hamas, Western diplomats said.

But Britain argues that if Palestinians end up receiving crucial aid through channels other than Hamas, the Islamic militant group stands to lose “a big part of its street credibility and hence have an incentive to come closer to what the international community wants”.

This rationale for bailing out Hamas is a perfect summation of the socialist European left’s bizarre disconnect from reality. Wishful thinking as international policy.

From Friday’s post-mosque demonstrations in Gaza:

UPDATE at 5/7/06 4:47:06 pm:

As the Quartet prepares to meet this week, pro-Palestinian forces are starting the big push to legitimize Hamas; now it’s the World Bank’s turn: World Bank says underestimated Palestinian crisis.

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The World Bank warned donors on Sunday that the financial crisis gripping the Palestinian Authority since Hamas won election was deeper than it first thought and could render the West Bank and Gaza ungovernable.

In a memo circulated among major donors and obtained by Reuters, the World Bank also said an existing aid program could be expanded to pay for the salaries of employees of the Hamas-led government.

In March, the World Bank projected that by the end of 2006 Palestinian poverty and unemployment levels would rise to 67 and 40 percent, and personal incomes would drop by 30 percent.

“We now consider these figures underestimates,” it said in the memo.

Western diplomats said the World Bank circulated the memo ahead of a meeting in New York on Tuesday of the Quartet of Middle East negotiators — the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations.

04:29 PM PDT | link: 178 comments | link only
last comment: EE 9:05:37 pm 5/8/06
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Belgian Churches Becoming Mosques

To pressure Belgian authorities into allowing illegal immigrants to stay in the country, Belgian Bishops have been inviting the immigrants—most of whom are Muslim—to take up residence in Brussels churches.

And the squatters are turning the churches into mosques, moving the altars out of the way, holding Islamic prayer services, hanging Islamic banners, building fires, and covering statues of the Virgin Mary

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