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Italy Travel Ideas

Friday, 31 August 2012


I am going on vacation on 31st August and will be back on 17th September, when I'll restart posting here regularly.

Al Gore Complains about Media Not Addressing Global warming

If Al Gore is mad about media, public figures and people not talking about global warming anymore, it is a very good sign.

In fact, I've noticed that in the last year or so there has been little mention of climate change: even in the face of extreme weather events which only a few years ago would have been attributed to climate change.

The reason is that even the mainstream media had to realize that many of these attributions had proved totally wrong, so now they are obviously more cautious.

Generally speaking, the global warming theory, having been discredited in so many different ways - chiefly because of computer models based on it predicting higher temperatures, when temperatures globally have been decreasing for several years, but also due to the odd and unreliable behaviour of so many Western universities' and UN's "climate scientists" - is gradually, maybe tacitly, being put aside.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

2012 Republican National Convention Second Day

Ohio Senator Rob Portman speaking at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida

Last night I watched on BBC Parliament the coverage of the US Republican Party's National Convention in Tampa, Florida.

For the first time I saw Paul Ryan, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, give a speech. I had heard that he was good (someone even said he was better than Mitt Romney), and indeed he was good.

I also liked many other speakers I saw, especially Fox News' Mike Huckabee, former Arkansas governor and candidate for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008, who tore Obama to pieces; Steven Cohen, a small-business owner who spoke on behalf of small businesses oppressed by this administration's taxes and regulations - and the fact that he got government contracts for his company (who he said are only a “minute, fractional” portion of his business) is irrelevant to his arguments; and Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who rightly confronted the left's tendency to denigrate Romney for being a wealthy man, when in fact that shows the entrepreneurial, courage, and leadership qualities of this self-made man who, unlike Obama, has created lots of jobs.

"And yes, he made money," Portman said. "He made it the old fashioned way. He earned it.

"Then you have Barack Obama, who has never started a business – never even worked in business."

Which one, he asked, "knows how to turn this economy around?"

Portman said Obama lacks leadership, blamed him for the Senate's failure to pass a budget, and for the millions of US citizens out of work "or the millions more who have given up looking."

I hope the Romney-Ryan ticket wins, opinion polls or not. I can't imagine how any American might want to re-elect Obama, unless s/he is a sado-masochist bent on the destruction of self and others.

John Cleese: London Is No Longer English

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Christian Theory of Just War and International Law

The "just war" theory was developed over the centuries by Christian philosophers and theologians, chiefly Saint Thomas Aquinas (the doctor angelicus), Saint Augustine, the School of Salamanca.

This doctrine asserts that the use of force should not be completely ruled out since peacefulness, when we are confronted by a grave wrong that could only be stopped by violence, is a sin. There are cases when defence of oneself or others may be a necessity.

But, because war is one of the worst evils endured by mankind, the use of force should always be subject to strict conditions, including the following.

War should always be defensive.

There should be a reasonable chance of success. If failure is a certainty, then it is just an unnecessary spilling of blood.

War is only legitimate as the last resort, all peaceful means of achieving the war aims, like dialogue and negotiations, must be exhausted first.

There must be a just cause and purpose. A just cause would include self-defence, protection, prevention of an even greater evil and preventive war against a tyrant who is about to attack, but not self-gain, power, revenge, greed or pride. There was no just cause when Hitler invaded Poland in 1939 with the purpose of obtaining land, or in the Boer war in which the British immigrants rebelled against the Afrikaans as a feebly disguised attempt to annex South Africa to the British Empire.

Law and order must always be restored, and it is obligatory to go back to normal life after the war.

It is imperative to use proportionate force, namely that the response be commensurate to the evil. Use of more violence than strictly necessary would represent an unjust war. Civilians must be spared. This was not the case in the bombing of Nagasaki or Hiroshima, when thousands of non-combatants were killed.

There are moral limits to action in war. It is not permissible to kill hostages or attack innocents.

Just war must be waged and authorized by a legitimate, properly instituted authority like the state.

Even when legitimate governing authorities declare war, their decision is not a sufficiently just cause to start a war. If the people oppose a war, then the war is illegitimate. The people have a right to depose an authority or government that is waging, or is about to wage, an unjust war.

The just war theory later developed into international law theory, founded by jurists like the Italian Alberico Gentili and the Dutch Hugo Grotius.

This codified a set of rules which still today frames the fundamental principles of war and international law.

It is interesting to note how much our current legal and moral ideas owe to our Christian traditions.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Dog-Walking Protest Outside Canada Mosque

I love this. It's payback time for all the Muslim drivers who have kicked dogs out of their buses or taxis in Europe, Australia, North America.

Islam considers certain animals impure, notably dogs and pigs. This is not a “cultural” thing, it’s a “religious” thing: the Koran says this explicitly and repeatedly.

There have already been many cases of Muslim taxi and bus drivers who have refused to accept even blind passengers with guide dogs, because they consider the animals impure. This makes you wonder: what future will dogs have in a Muslim-majority UK, or Holland, or Germany, or Italy and so on?

Generally speaking, what will be the future of all animals, not just dogs, in a Muslim-majority Europe? Will the conquests (albeit small but still conquests) already made for the animals continue, will they be maintained or will they be eroded?

I very much doubt that we can be optimistic, if we look at how animals are treated in the rest of the world.

Dog-walking protest planned for Toronto mosque
TORONTO - A Facebook event has been launched inviting people to walk their dogs outside an east-end mosque during Islamic prayer sessions.
The call to action was launched to protest a man being arrested while walking his English mastiff at an anti-Israel rally at Queen's Park last Saturday.

The Facebook page encourages people to bring dogs "of all colours and breeds" to the Salahuddin mosque in the city's east end on Sept. 14.

On Saturday, a Jewish man was arrested while his dog near a rally held outside Queens Park by an Islamic group marking Al-Quds Day, a yearly event calling for the destruction of Israel and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Allan Einstoss, a Jew who opposes the Al-Quds doctrine, showed up at the rally with his big-yet-friendly English mastiff, Cupcake. After Einstoss was allegedly told by an Al-Quds demonstrator to keep the dog away, he claims to have been punched in the chest by another. When Einstoss pushed back, he was handcuffed and held by Toronto police.

Cupcake was also reportedly kicked by one of the Al-Quds demonstrators.

Some devout Muslims believe dogs to be unclean and vehemently avoid the animals.

As of midday on Wednesday, five people had signed up for the mosque dog-walk and 253 others had been invited to the event.

One of those who signed up for the event is Brampton resident Walter Sapienza, a 58-year-old owner of two Yorkshire Terriers.

"I thought it was pretty disgusting, the way (Einstoss) was arrested," Sapienza said, adding if Al-Quds demonstrators have a right to call for the destruction of Israel, than others should have the right to walk a dog while they do it.
The crazy episode mentioned in the article is about a Canadian citizen, Allan Eintoss, walking his dog Cupcake in a public park in Toronto. The man was physically assaulted and his dog was kicked, but the police, instead of arresting the Muslim assailants, arrested him because the presence of the dog (a licensed, well-behaved, leashed care dog) had "insulted" the Muslims who were holding an annual anti-Israel rally nearby.

The annual hate-the-Jews day called Al-Quds Day, by the way, invented by the late Iranian dictator Ayatollah Khomeini, at which one protester showed up with the flag of the banned terrorist group Hezbollah - a picture of a fist grasping a machine gun - is a permitted display of anti-Israel demonization and pro-Iran propaganda.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Politics and Islam in Dhimmi Europe

Jihad Watch has published my article Politics and Islam in Dhimmi Europe:
Is Italy going to follow Britain in its path to advanced multiculturalism?

That is what part of the political leadership is trying to do, from Italy's President
Giorgio Napolitano, who said that "it is insane that Italian-born children of immigrants are not citizens" to the leader of the left-wing party Partito Democratico (PD), Pierluigi Bersani, who declared that one of his first moves, if voted into government at the next general election of 2013, will be to grant the right of citizenship to second-generation immigrants.

Some of Bersani's other priorities, as he announced addressing the organizers of Bologna's national 2012 Gay Pride, will be a law to give legal status to homosexual civil unions, a law against homophobia and transphobia, and another to speed up divorce cases. In sum, a real recipe to boost the family and with it the reproductive capacity of native Italians, who at the current birth rate will be reduced from today's 60 million to 37 million in 2050 and 15 million in 2100, when sharia will be definitely easier to implement.

Many comments to the post of this news item, predictably, highlight how the Italian people have very different priorities from Bersani's, like the economic crisis, unemployment, rising taxes and diminishing public services.

The country's current debate about whether to give Italian citizenship to the so-called "new Italians" is important for the problem of Islamization, because about one third of Italy's immigrants are Muslim.

Although Italy is not one of the European countries with the largest Muslim populations, the number of Muslims in Italy, like in the rest of Western Europe, has steadily increased: they were 600,000 in the year 2000, over 1,300,000 in 2009 (35 million in Europe), over 1.5 million (about 2.7% of the population) today, and they are expected to get to 2.8 million by 2030.

France, with 4.7 million Muslims in 2009, remains the continent's most Islamic country, but nevertheless in Italy a new Islamic place of worship is established on average every 4 days. And there are now jihadists with Italian citizenship.

The critics of Bersani's proposals point out that immigrants' children born in Italy, or even immigrants born abroad after 10 years' residence, can already apply for citizenship, the only requisite being that they live permanently in Italy to prevent exploitative behaviour of the welfare system on their part. So what's the need for a new law?

The PD also aims to abolish the crime of illegal immigration, which the party says has been practically made meaningless by the verdicts of the European Court, but still exists as an "abomination" in the Italian legal system.

The blog Qelsi writes: "They [left-wing parties] don't care about Italy and Italians: what matters is gaining power and everything is acceptable to get to Palazzo Chigi, even the Islamization of the cradle of Christianity and the humiliation of the ideals and aspirations of real Italians. Bersani talks about his proposed 'reform', which is in fact our de-Christianization."

The PD and other parties of the left have been accused of being after the immigrants' votes which, in a divided country as Italy is now, may have a big influence. After all, the socialist Hollande in neighboring France was put in office by the Muslim vote, which made the crucial difference. The numerical analysis of the various groups' votes showed that, without Muslims in France, Sarkozy would have won the election.

And the UK has led by example in a big way in this. As unintentionally whistle-blowing speech writer for the Labour Party Andrew Neather was later to reveal in a London Evening Standard newspaper's 2009 article paradoxically in favour of unrestricted immigration:

"What's missing is not only a sense of the benefits of immigration but also of where it came from. It didn't just happen: the deliberate policy of [Labour] ministers from late 2000 until at least February last year, when the Government introduced a points-based system, was to open up the UK to mass migration." [Emphasis added]

He then explains how the "major shift from the policy of previous governments" regarding immigration came after "I wrote the landmark speech given by then immigration minister Barbara Roche in September 2000, calling for a loosening of controls", which was largely based on drafts of a report by a Blair's Cabinet Office think-tank.

The final published version of the report supported immigration only because of the benefits it brings to Britain in terms of labour market; but previous, unpublished versions contained other reasons, he writes:

"Earlier drafts I saw also included a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural.

"I remember coming away from some discussions with the clear sense that the policy was intended – even if this wasn't its main purpose – to rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.

"... Ministers were very nervous about the whole thing. For despite Roche's keenness to make her big speech and to be upfront, there was a reluctance elsewhere in government to discuss what increased immigration would mean…

"Part by accident, part by design, the Government had created its longed-for immigration boom.

"But ministers wouldn't talk about it. [Emphasis added]

In short, it was an experiment in demographic engineering for political and electoral purposes. Muslims tend to vote for the left partly to get the welfare state money, and partly because socialists suffer from a guilt complex associated with European past colonialism, in their view a moral debt for which native Europeans are supposed to pay back the Third World immigrants beneficiaries.

The chairman of the Migrationwatch think tank Sir Andrew Green said just after the Labour policies revelations: "Now at least the truth is out, and it's dynamite. Many have long suspected that mass immigration under Labour was not just a cock up but also a conspiracy. They were right. This Government has admitted three million immigrants for cynical political reasons concealed by dodgy economic camouflage."

The chairmen of the cross-party Group for Balanced Migration, Member of Parliament Frank Field and Nicholas Soames, added: "It is the first beam of truth that has officially been shone on the immigration issue in Britain."

A glaring example of ethnic-oriented electioneering is the maverick ex-Labour politician George Galloway, founder of the Respect party and of the Viva Palestina convoys, who won a by-election campaign in Bradford West, northern England, unashamedly pandering to Muslims.

The Muslim vote in many parts of Europe is already changing the political landscape and creating a new one in its own image.

I'll conclude with an item that may potentially make you laugh or cry. The devout and practicing Muslim Demba Traoré, from Mali, has become in December 2011 the leader of the Italian far-left Radical Party, not new to maverick choices, like that of having the porn star Ilona Staller (Cicciolina) among its candidates elected to Parliament in 1987, coming second in number of votes only to the then party leader Marco Pannella.

The absurdity of having as its new leader - voted almost unanimously - a follower of the theocratic religion par excellence can be seen when one knows that the Radical Party is and has always been ferociously anti-clerical (but evidently only if the clerics are Christian).

The historical head of the party Pannella said it's important that "the Radical Party, non violent, transnational and cross-party, has elected as its secretary a faithful and practicing Muslim - in Rome, in the heart of Christianity, there is a party secretary who is a firm Muslim believer."

Classical Liberal Human Rights Are Not Today Socialist Human Rights

The principle of human rights is derived from the political doctrine of classical liberalism (not to be confused with "liberalism" in the modern American sense of left-wing political orientation).

Consistently with the liberal theory's emphasis on the individual's need to be protected from state interference and power, the concept of human rights has an originally negative connotation (permitting or obliging inaction), as the right not to be killed or physically attacked (right to life), not to be unduly restricted by the state (right to liberty), or not to be hindered in one's legitimate ambitions (right to pursuit of happiness). These are also called liberty rights, i.e. not entailing obligations on other parties, but rather only freedom or permission for the right-holder.

The human rights principle that has been used in recent times has the same name but little else in common with the liberal, original one.

It has a positive connotation (permitting or obliging action): right to a job, a house, a minimum income, free health care, free education, social security, financial support during unemployment, sickness or retirement, welfare, and many more: the list is endless. These are also called claim rights, i.e. entailing responsibilities, duties or obligations on other parties regarding the right-holder.

The state in this perspective has become a provider, like a parent, it is a "paternalistic" state. Far from trying to limit its reach and power to control, people who advocate these ideas cause the state to expand its authority, become bigger and more influential on people's lives. The state becomes more and more like, well, a socialist state.

Karl Marx's formula for communism, his final goal after the intermediate, transitional socialism of the dictatorship of the proletariat, was: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

This formula, especially in its latter part, is no other than the new re-definition of "positive" human rights by socialists.

Every need gives rise to a new human right.

The governed then expect everything from the state. But as rights are the other side of duties, and freedom is the other face of the coin of responsibility, inversely to delegate responsibility is to abdicate power and renounce some freedom. The more people expect from the state, the less control they have over their own lives.

So, what happened to "human rights" is what happens to a concept when used in a different theoretical context.

"Time" and "space" have very different meanings in Newton's classical physics than in Einstein's relativity theory.

Time and space are absolute in the former, relative in the latter. In addition, time becomes the fourth dimension of space in the theory of relativity.

Each theory redefines its concepts. So, modern-day socialists, who have virtually all ideological and doctrinal power in the Western world since the end of the Second World War, have redefined the liberal concept of human rights and transformed it into something antithetical to it.

Time and space are absolute in classical mechanics but relative in modern mechanics.

Human rights in classical liberalism are a protection from state power, but in contemporary socialist view they are a way to make that power never-ending. These two concepts, under the deceitful guise of the same name, couldn't be more in opposition to each other.

Consenting Adults, Homosexuality, Incest, Polygamy, Bestiality: Defining Acceptable Sexuality

I don't normally watch The Jeremy Kyle Show, a sort of TV programme on the British underclass and its troubles, although it can be interesting at times.

Last night I watched it. There was a homosexual couple of two men, said to love each other very much. One had been adopted as a child, so he didn't know who his family were. The couple discovered that they were in fact half brothers. This revelation caused them much grief and an emotional state which was repeatedly described as "devastation".

Now I am genuinely asking this question.

What is the moral difference between incest and homosexuality? Not many years ago homosexuality was considered reproachable, now it isn't but incest is, in a few years' time, if current visible trends continue, incest will no longer be.

Let's start from the beginning. Initially, there was a prevailing position condemning homosexuality both morally and criminally.

This was, I believe, wrong, and so started believing many people.

The idea that homosexual orientation and behaviour were not per se unethical began to prevail, leading to a liberal attitude towards them.

So far, so good. What happened next was not so good, though.

Homosexuality, in the common usage, refers to two things: the inclination or orientation of sexual attraction for people of the same sex and the behaviour that acts on that inclination.

There has been a leap from decriminalising homosexuality and considering it as a legitimate and acceptable behaviour to assuming that same-sex sexuality is not a problem, in any sense of the word: and this is a big leap.

The new concept that established itself in public opinion about sex was that everything was morally acceptable among consenting adults.

But is this simple formula really standing even a superficial scrutiny?

For instance, what about incest? If the people "committing" it (and the very fact that we can still use this verb which we couldn't use in reference to homosexuality shows the double standard) are consenting adults, what then? Is it considered OK?

An obvious objection to putting the two on the same level could concern the biological problem of the increased genetical handicaps of the offspring from two close blood relatives. This, though, is easily surmountable by assuming that a) the incestuous couple is homosexual (as in our TV show case), or b) the incestuous couple is infertile for several reasons (the woman is past menopause, or the individual(s) involved are sterile through natural or induced causes).

In that case there is nothing to object to incest, if we accept that all sex between consenting adults is right. And if we do object to incest but not homosexuality, why then? There is here a glaring contradiction, which shows how confused and inconsistent our ideas about sexual morality are.

In fact, incest will in all likelihood become acceptable probably quite soon:
Most European countries have laws against incest between lineal ancestors/descendants, and between full siblings. However, in most countries these laws are no longer enforced if the incest takes place between consenting adults.

... UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh has questioned the rationale behind laws prohibiting incest, at least as they apply to sex between adults.[Emphahsis added]

In Argentina and Brazil, similarly, incest between individuals above the age of consent is permitted.

In Italy, a new law implicitly recognizes incest by recognizing children of incestuous relationships.

Once upon a time, there was a witch hunt mentality against homosexuals, now there is a witch hunt attitude against so-called "homophobes", i.e. people who disagree with the current orthodoxy and received wisdom on homosexuality. Nothing has changed ethically in this 360-degree reversal in public opinion, except the victims.

The question is: if homosexuality is accepted not simply in the sense of society's and state's non-interference with somebody's personal choices but also in the sense of suspending any judgement, moral, psychological, psychiatric and medical, about homosexuality and its consequences, that means much more than liberalism and tolerance. That means dangerous limitation to freedoms of thought and speech, fundamental human rights.

If we then move to same-sex marriage, moreover, this is no longer just a personal choice: it's a choice that concerns all society, because marriage is a social institution, as well a Christian sacrament, and is central to society, so what happens to it concerns us all and will have consequences for us all, not just homosexuals.

This is a genuine question, not a rhetorical one: is anyone capable of offering rational (I underline "rational") reasons why homosexual marriage should be allowed and not marriage of an incestuous couple, marriage of a threesome, or marriage between a man or woman and his/her pet or any other animal, or indeed any other form of marriage, if desired by the relevant parties?

If anybody has such reasons founded on rationality and logic, I'd be interested to hear them.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Can Mass Immigration and Multiculturalism End?

It's so true that, as philosopher Hegel said, the consciousness of a historical age comes at the end of it. Contemporaries usually think in terms of explanations, theories and the concepts defined by them derived from a previous epoch, which are inadequate to understand the new, developing realities.

This is related to an observation which could bring some hope.

Blogger Julia Gorin quotes James George Jatras, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and foreign policy analyst for the U.S. Senate Republican Policy Committee, as saying:
In some ways, we [Bukovsky, Jatras, and their friends] were the heart of the Administration’s anti-communist line and the “fathers” of the National Endowment for Democracy. (As opposed to the prevailing view that communism was forever and we needed permanent detente with the Soviet regime. Looking back from today, it’s hard to believe how ingrained that view was). [Emphasis added]
Similarly, today Europeans think that mass immigration from the Third World and multiculturalism are here to stay for good.

Journalist and author Christopher Caldwell writes in his book Reflections on the Revolution In Europe: Can Europe Be the Same with Different People in It? (Amazon US) (Amazon UK):
It is often noted with shock how long it took for European natives to realize that immigrants had settled in Europe to stay. Europeans went on thinking that immigrants would simply “go home” until at least the 1970s, when France first established programs to pay immigrants to repatriate themselves, and in some cases well into the 1980s. Today, however, Europeans often make the opposite mistake. They exaggerate how well established immigrants are in Europe. In high-immigration countries like Spain and Italy, the overwhelming majority of immigrants are first generation, and even in the oldest immigration countries, the immigrant population is much less rooted than it appears. In 2000, 60 percent of Germany's vast foreign population had arrived after 1985. Plenty of immigrants are full members of the society of their new homeland, with full claims on it. Just as many are not. [Emphasis added]

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Anti-Halal-Meat Campaigns on Facebook

There is a new flurry of activity of mostly British anti-halal-meat campaigns on Facebook. I have liked, joined, friended, subscribed to all I found, signed petitions, encouraged them and posted on their walls.

I invite you to do the same if you like them. Here they are.


Say NO to Halal slaughter in Skegness - it collects signatures for a petition to the East Lindsey District Council (E.L.D.C.) to stop a new halal slaughterhouse from opening in in Skegness, Lincolnshire, England. The page started less than a month ago, on 27 July, and they have already collected 566 signatures; 434 are still needed.

E.L.D.C.: Stop the Halal slaughter house opening in Skegness - this is the petition page where to sign.

Say No To Skegness Halal Slaughter House!

Boycott Halal - liked by almost 7,000 people. It's the Facebook page of the website Boycott Halal, with the tagline "It's wrong for so many reasons", which is also the collaboration of Infidels United (United we stand in defense of freedom), Boycott Halal Cause, BOYCOTT HALAL in USA, Canada, NZ & Australia.

SAY NO to Halal MEAT at Toby Carvery - targets this restaurant chain.

Say No To Halal !

Say no to halal this is my country and thats not the way we do it

I'll update this list as new campaigns and groups are formed.

Does Madonna Care about Young Pakistani Girl Lynched and Imprisoned for Being Christian?

No protest from Madonna, Paul McCartney, Sting, Peter Gabriel and others of their ilk here.

Of course, a Christian 11-year-old girl with Down's Syndrome beaten up by a mob, arrested and put in jail in Pakistan, facing the death penalty for having allegedly burnt pages of Islam's Holy Book, under the country's blasphemy laws - portrayed as "strict" by the Western media but in fact simply following the Quran as good Muslims should - is not remotely as bad as a bunch of talentless, publicity-seeking, balaclava-wearing female hooligans trespassing into the Christian Orthodox Cathedral which is the symbol of Russia's liberation from state-imposed atheism, barging into its sanctuary containing the altar, offending the congregation with a vulgar and insulting song and dance full of expletives mocking a Christian prayer and then, after having shown their courage by denying their presence in the church, eventually having to face the consequences of their criminal actions.

First, the facts. The girl, Rimsha, living in a poor outlying district of Islamabad, is accused by her Muslim neighbours of burning pages of the Quran, of which police officials say there is little evidence.
But hundreds of angry neighbors [500 to 600, according to the police] gathered outside the girl's home last week demanding action in a case raising new concerns about religious extremism in this conservative Muslim country. [Emphasis mine; note the term "conservative" in this context]
The police intervened apparently for her protection, because the angry mob wanted to set her alight. As even the BBC says, in Pakistan just being accused of blasphemy, even without solid evidence, carries a death sentence from the mob, if not the state.
Almost everyone in the girl's neighborhood insisted she had burned the Quran's pages, even though police said they had found no evidence of it. One police official, Qasim Niazi, said when the girl was brought to the police station, she had a shopping bag that contained various religious and Arabic-language papers that had been partly burned, but there was no Quran.

Some residents claimed they actually saw burnt pages of Quran _ either at the local mosque or at the girl's house. Few people in Pakistan actually speak or read Arabic, so often assume that anything they see with Arabic script is believed to be from the Quran, sometimes the only Arabic-language book people have seen.
As many as 600 Christians have fled their homes in the area where the girl lives, fearing for their lives.

It is well known that in Pakistan blasphemy laws are often used to harass and persecute non-Muslims, especially Christians, and even for personal vendettas.
"It has been exploited by individuals to settle personal scores, to grab land, to violate the rights of non-Muslims, to basically harass them," said the head of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Zora Yusuf.

Those convicted of blasphemy can spend years in prison and often face mob justice by extremists when they finally do get out. In July, thousands of people dragged a man accused of desecrating the Quran from a police station in the central city of Bahawalpur, beat him to death and then set his body on fire.
Actually, he was burnt alive
Attempts to revoke or alter the blasphemy laws have been met with violent opposition. Last year, two prominent political figures who spoke out against the laws were killed in attacks that basically ended any attempts at reform.

The girl's jailing terrified her Christian neighbors, many of whom left their homes in fear after the incident. One resident said Muslims used to object to the noise when Christians sang songs during their services. After the girl was accused he said senior members of the Muslim community pressured landlords to evict Christian tenants.
Pakistan's Minister for National Harmony (you need an office like that in a Muslim country) Dr Paul Bhatti is the brother of murdered Minister of Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, the country's only Christian government minister, killed for criticizing the blasphemy laws. The Minister said to the BBC that he really fears an umpteenth tragedy, and that the girl with her family should be taken to a safe place possibly out of Pakistan.

There are so many things to say on this, I don't even know where to start.

The media, Western and non, are incredible: they call Pakistan's blasphemy laws "strict" and Pakistan "conservative", not "Christianophobic", "racist", "fascist", "nazi", although in this case these terms, much overemployed (changing "Christianophobic" for some other "phobic") and inappropriately used in the public discourse, would for once be apt.

Somebody who, in a moment of rage during a heated row accompanied by verbal abuse on both sides, utters the word "nigger" (and, if he is the captain of the England football team, even just the word "black") is "racist" and risks being dragged to court; someone who beats up and tries to burn alive Rimsha is "conservative".

Does that sound right to you? Are you sure that the media you read and watch help you to make sense of the world we live in, or do they instead confuse the picture completely?

The behaviour of the Muslim mob in Islamabad, Pakistan's capital city, not some remote rural area, also deserves some reflections.

Who should reflect, in particular, are those who like to talk of great differences between radical and moderate Muslims, and of Islam as a jolly nice religion "highjacked" by what Robert Spencer calls its "misunderstanders".

From the many episodes of this kind that we've seen for a long time, it's obvious that in Pakistan Muslim people who hold these "extreme" views on blasphemy are not extreme at all, in the sense that either they are in effect a majority or their views are tolerated and accepted by a majority, so much so that they are reflected in the law of the country.

If you want to have an idea of the relative numbers, while fewer than 100 demonstrated in Karachi to condemn the murder in 2011 of Minister of Minorities Shahbaz Bhatti, thousands rallied in major Pakistani cities demanding punishment for Asia Bibi (a Christian woman condemned to death for blasphemy) and threatening further protests and anarchy if the government moves to amend the blasphemy laws, and nearly 50,000 rallied in Karachi against the amendment of blasphemy laws and hailing Qadri, the killer of Salman Taseer, the provincial governor who was trying to achieve that amendment, as a hero.

If you want to do something about the fate of Rimsha and her family, the Asian Human Rights Commission has a sample letter and relevant email, fax, address contact details (via Jihad Watch).

Monday, 20 August 2012

Muslims Demand Sharia-Controlled Enclave in Oslo, or Else

And pro-Islam leftists think that these are just nightmares dreamed up by "Islamophobes"!

On 14th August a group of Muslims living in Norway, called Ansar al-Sunna, sent an incredible (or not so much anymore) letter to several Norwegian politicians and journalists. In it they expressed their desire not to mix with infidels "and your dirty values ​​and attitudes", including women allowed to walk around "half-naked", promiscuity, drug and alcohol abuse.

They then requested to be handed over a largely Muslim neighbourhood in Oslo, Grønland, "which we can control completely with our own ministers, border guards, police and legal system governed by Sharia law, and prohibit the wickedness you stand for which is contrary to Allah's Laws".

They continue: "We will not be part of the Norwegian society. And we don't see the need to move out of Norway since we were born and raised here. And Allah's earth belongs to everyone. But let Grønland be ours. Cordon off the area and let us control it the way we want. This is to the benefit of both parties. We do not want to live with filthy beasts like you."

The authors of the letter also threaten to carry out a new, bigger 22 July or a 9/11 on Norwegian soil:
Now the government must wake up and take responsibility before this war is going to Norway. Before Muslims take the necessary step. Do not confuse the Muslims' silence with weakness. Do not take advantage of the Muslim patience. Do not force us to do something that can be avoided. This is not a threat, just a word of truth. Justice words. A warning that the consequences could be fatal. A warning about a September 11 on Norwegian soil, or bigger than the July 22 attacks. This is for their own good and for their own interest.

The group Ansar al-Sunna is well known to Norway's media.

The Norwegian press, however, did not consider this letter as important enough to be reported.

Source: Document via FrontPageMag

Should Human Rights Be Rejected?

In Europe in particular, “human rights” have become dirty words.

For that we have to thank supranational bodies like the European Court of Human Rights, that have given this concept a bad name through a never-ending proliferation of entitlements that often have very little to do with the concept’s original and true meaning.

Parts of the European counterjihad have also started systematically attacking the idea of human rights. And there were some who did not sign the Brussels Declaration at the conference of July 2012 because they had problems with its human rights strategy.

The phenomenon of so-called “judicial imperialism”, by which unelected judges through their verdicts supersede laws passed by elected representatives of the people, has long been recognized by many brilliant writers, from the British journalist Melanie Phillips to the Italian philosopher Marcello Pera, former President of the Italian Senate — the second highest office in the country — author of the book Why We Should Call Ourselves Christians, and incidentally the professor with whom I prepared my undergraduate thesis, who wrote:
It was not a law of the United States Congress that first liberalized abortion in America, but a ruling of the Supreme Court. The Italian parliament has never authorized euthanasia, but court rulings have. No public debate preceded a court decision in the Netherlands that euthanasia may be performed on twelve-year-old children. Not by parliamentary law was same-sex marriage first granted equal status to marriage between a man and a woman in some countries. Not by parliamentary vote has eugenics become a right. No parliamentary decisions allow for polygamy to be freely practiced, as often occurs, or for the recognition of transgender rights. Nor is it the will of the people that distinctions be made between terrorists and ‘resistance fighters’ who plot to carry out massacres, or that migrants be allowed to remain in a country they have entered illegally.
However, these authors do not think, and I agree with them, that we should throw away the human rights baby with the bathwater of its distortions.

To bring clarity to this discussion, we need to look at the philosophical basis and origin of “rights”. People sometimes scoff at philosophy, but they probably don’t realize that practically all major views that are held today, mainstream or not, have at one point been formulated by philosophers.

Without delving too much into a historical analysis, the contemporary idea of human rights derives from the concepts of rights, natural rights and God-given rights in ethics, established by the 16th- and 17th-century thinkers Thomas Hobbes and John Locke, the 18th-century Enlightenment philosopher Immanuel Kant, and other philosophers, continuing a Christian tradition.

In politics, classical liberalism is the doctrine that has at its centre the theory of the fundamental rights of human beings, namely that all humans are naturally free and equal, and their basic freedoms exist before, are independent from, and incoercible by the state.

Human rights are individual rights, not group rights. Liberalism does not recognize the right of cultures to exist or to be protected, which is one of the dogmas of multiculturalism in open contradiction with the theory of human rights, showing once again how the latter has been distorted beyond recognition — even transformed into its opposite — by its current usage and applications. Cultures that violate individual rights should not be protected at all.

The criticism levelled against human rights, that they conflict with each other so someone, usually a judge, has to decide on their relative weights, describes a situation that is common to all legal or ethical principles, so is not a good reason to reject human rights. Even a summary knowledge of the law will show you that laws constantly contradict other laws, so a balancing act is always required.

The problem, highlighted by “anti-humanrightists”, of the infinite, ever-expanding number of new “rights”, often used to help Muslims in the West, illegal immigrants and jihadists, is real, but the target here is this proliferation, not human rights.

Bear with me while I bring in philosophy again. In logic, a concept has two dimensions: meaning and sense. The former is the class of objects to which the concept refers, the latter the information it conveys. There is an inverse proportion between the two: the larger the meaning the narrower the sense and vice versa. If you ask me what happened today and I answer “everything”, this reply’s descriptive power is almost nil because its meaning is so all-comprising.

The extension of the meaning of “right” has decreased its sense, to the point that today it just describes nothing more than a desire for something. In these times of public spending cuts I found even a “right to our library”.

In fact, many of the current “human rights” policies are violating real rights. The distinction between negative and positive rights is also crucial.

But I think that we cannot do without the principle of rights.

You can see why we need the concept of human rights when you think of free speech. Presumably all counterjihadists support free speech, but what does that mean if not the “right to” free speech? It’s impossible even to formulate the idea without a reference to rights or some very similar principle.

Anti-jihad people (in the comments section of the linked post) who say they only believe in democracy, narrowly defined as majority rule, and nationalism will find it impossible to derive the case for free speech from those two beliefs alone: if a nation’s majority decided to abolish free speech, they would have nothing to oppose this undesirable result.

It is no coincidence that we need the concept of rights, and it’s not just for semantic or political reasons. It goes deeper than that, to the foundations of our beliefs. It may be true that there have been great political movements without an ethical basis theoretically formulated, but I think that, in the same way as we need ethical guidance in our personal lives, so we do in our political actions.

Throughout this debate on human rights, I have encountered many references to “gut instincts” and similar, as bases for making political decisions. I believe that it’s dangerous to leave everything to that, for a simple motive. As individuals, we all have “instincts”, feelings, emotions which are entirely subjective and not shared by anyone else.
What we have in common is reason, which is universal.

Once we do away with a rational ethical foundation, which the rights’ view provides, we can no longer be sure of what other people in the same movement really want, what are their motives behind what superficially may appear the same aspirations: different people may be for democracy for all the wrong reasons, for example, as the Muslim Brotherhood clearly shows.

There are other ethical theories, but the only real rival of the rights’ view is utilitarianism which, as I explained here, would be a worse substitute.

In conclusion, human rights should not be discarded but, far from it, returned to their original meaning. Their present use, deriving from a quasi-socialist interpretation of them, is in conflict with the liberal doctrines and the spirit from which they originated.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Pussy Riot Are Not Supported by Ordinary Russians

These Pussy Riot women are definitely not political martyrs. The very fact that at first, advised by their lawyers, they even denied having been in the church during the concert shows that: if they were prepared to retract, what courageous political message can that be? In the UK The Times even took that denial seriously.

What will its position after thier admission, wonders in a post's comments Alexander Mercouris, who then adds and clarifies the legal case:
Also by admitting that an offence was committed the girls have confirmed that they are not adopting the defence adopted for them by Amnesty International and their western admirers that they were entitled to do what they did as an exercise of their right of free speech under Article 10(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights. Please note: any such defence of the girls you now read in the western media or on the part of assorted worthies such as Amnesty International, Sting, Madonna, Red Hot Chilli Peppers etc, is not being made by the girls themselves in their defence and never has been. They could not previously make this defence because up to now they were not admitting that they were present in the Cathedral so they could not claim a defence of free speech for actions they were not admitting they ever made. Now that they admit that they were present in the Cathedral the girls are also admitting that what they did was an offence albeit only an administrative offence. This is an admission that they were not entitled to do what they did so the defence that they were entitled to do what they did as an exercise of their right of free speech under Article 10(1) of the European Convention of Human Rights does not apply.

The only defence the girls are now making is the defence of proportionality, that the penalty prescribed under the charge of hooliganism is disproportionate to the offence committed. This is a valid defence and one to which Article 10(2) of the European Convention of Human Rights applies.

Where the defence is one of proportionality this creates the classic situation, as I have argued previously, for a plea bargain in which an admission of guilt and an apology is traded for a lower sentence. If the girls had made their admission and offered a sincere apology right at the start of this case we would have been spared all the nonsense of the last few months. The trial would by now long since be over, a lenient sentence could have been agreed and the girls would almost certainly by now be free.

There is no reason why the Court would not have agreed to impose a lenient sentence as part of a plea bargain. There are (or were) ample grounds for mitigation given that the girls are (1) young and inexperienced and therefore could argue that they did not fully understand the upset what they did would cause (2) have no previous history of serious criminal convictions (3) did not cause material damage (4) did not act for material gain (5) can validly argue that they did what they did because they were incensed by the Patriarch’s support for Putin in the election campaign and (6) because two of them are mothers with children. I understand that sentencing practice for the offensive of hooliganism is flexible so the Court has wide discretion as to the sort of sentence it can impose once it has taken the admission, apology and plea in mitigation into account.

The question is whether the outbreak of sanity we have seen this morning has come too late. The trial has now started and the apology offered is much less than fulsome and the mitigation has been seriously damaged by the arrogant and disruptive conduct of the defence up to now. Significantly there is no promise from the girls not to do the same thing again whilst a further bad sign is that the girls’ lawyers have renewed their pointless call for the Patriarch to give evidence at the trial. Since the Patriarch was not present in the Cathedral when the offence was committed he is not a witness and there is therefore no sense in calling him. I understand that the defence is also persisting in its foolish argument that the prosecution is somehow politically motivated, which makes no sense in the light of the admission made this morning and which can only further damage the girls’ mitigation and antagonise the Court.

Let us hope however that the admissions and comments made this morning do represent a sea change and a dawning realisation that the defence tactics adopted up to now whatever their political impact have been from a legal point of view disastrously counterproductive. In that case it is just possible even now that a line may be drawn under the whole affair. I am not holding my breath though.

... The Pussy Riot case shows no crisis within the Russian court system. What it shows is appalling conduct by the defence as I have discussed previously. [Emphasis added]

There are many other things that people in the West don't know, because the mainstream media don't tell them.

Russian public opinion is mostly against Pussy Riot. Maybe, partly because the Russians, speaking the language, are not so easily misinformed by the media as we in the West are, and know exactly what swear words these women were shouting while punching the air and kicking their heads off in the Cathedral's sanctuary containing the altar.

How strange that the word "hate", that so frequently and liberally is spread around by the politically correct Left, is not used by them here when it so aptly describes what the band's behaviour expresses.

This is what Zagolovki, a Russian-language news blog, says (Google translation):
Protesters [at the furst court hearing of the Pussy Riot trial] were significantly lower than during the last few sessions on the arrest of girls from Pussy Riot, - no more than two hundred persons, and opponents with posters "for morality" and "Protect Our Children" was significantly greater.
And the blog Da Russophile summarizes several opinion polls thus:
April poll, Levada: 47% of “shocked and outraged ordinary Russians” [this is what British paper The Guardian had written, which the post intelligently and mercilessly attacks] think 7 years is an adequate punishment; 32% think it is excessive; and a mere 10% do not think they should be criminally prosecuted at all.

April poll, VCIOM: How do Russians look at Pussy Riot’s “punk prayer”? Hooliganism – 46%; sacrilege – 21%; political protest – 13%; PR – 10%; 4% – encouragement of hatred towards religious groups; 1% – art. In other words, only 14% of Russians agree with The Guardian’s interpretation. 86% think Pussy Riot should be prosecuted.

July poll, Levada: 36% approve of the prosecution of Pussy Riot, 50% disapprove.

July poll, FOM: 34% of Russians think that several years in prison is a just sentence, whereas 37% disagree. If they were asked to write a sign a letter in defense of Pussy Riot, 28% say they would and 51% say they wouldn’t.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Pussy Riot Offensive, Expletive-Laden Mock Prayer

This was obviously meant to offend Christianity and the faithful, it was not a political protest with the purest, noblest, most heroic of intentions, but an act of hooliganism directed, surprise surprise, at the most vulnerable, the least politically correct of Europe's beliefs and institutions.

Double Standards: Pussy Riot Mania versus Silence on Egypt Crucifixions

Let me make a comparison.

We have on one hand a Russian punk group of three women who, under the pretense of being more intelligent than they are and staging a "political" protest against Putin, chose as the setting for their vulgar and offensive pantomime a Christian church, Moscow's Christ the Savior Cathedral.

If they are so brave, why not the Red Square? Why didn't they have the courage to choose a mosque, which would have put them not in danger of a few years' imprisonment but under a death threat from Muslims?

Don't give me that stuff about how the group wanted to denounce the close ties between the Russian Orthodox patriarchate and the Kremlin: Red Square is even closer to the Kremlin than any church.

The Pussy Riot later apologised, saying that their stunt was political, unrelated to the Orthodox religion. How can it be unrelated to it if it desecrates one of its churches?

As Orthodox commentators in the Russian media pointed out, the cathedral has become the symbol of Russia's Christian revival after 70 years of state-imposed atheism, and stands as a monument to all those who died for their faith under the Soviet Union.

The Pussy Riot's choice of venue for their action is inexcusable. It is just one of a long line of cases of people attacking Christianity and its symbols and justifying this in the name of "art" or now in this case "political protest".

Now all the international media and "celebrities" from Madonna (from whom I didn't expect anything better) to Paul McCartney (from whom disappointingly I did) have fallen into the trap of these who are at best clueless punks (in every sense of the word) or at worst talentless fame seekers who have got what they want: celebrity status without deserving it.

So, it seems that saving these three would-be singers from jail is one of the most important tasks in the world, a top priority, judging from the carpet media coverage and the intervention of everybody, from feminist groups to organizers of Global Pussy Riot Day protests in many cities around the world.

Politicians got in there too. The German Der Spiegel reported that 121 members of the Bundestag sent a letter to the Russian ambassador in Germany supporting the Pussy Riot.

On the other hand we have opponents of Egypt's President Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood who are killed and wounded in the streets, even literally crucified for their protests, media outlets closed down, journalists beaten up, and how much outcry does that provoke?

You can guess. Hardly anything at all.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Islam Has Different Meanings for the Same Words

This is a problem of semantics.

There is a basic problem of constant miscommunication between the West and the Muslim world.

Practically every major word or concept in their communication has a different meaning for us and them.

In reply to the article by Robert S. Leiken and Steven Brooke, “The Moderate Muslim Brotherhood” in Foreign Affairs, Jonathan D. Halevi writes:
Leiken and Brooke were deeply impressed by the support given by the Muslim Brotherhood for "democracy," but they failed to understand that for the Muslim Brotherhood and the West, the word has two completely different meanings. As far as the Muslim Brotherhood is concerned, Islamic rule expresses "true democracy," and that is the only kind to which they are committed.

The Muslim Brotherhood poses a serious threat to the West. It hides behind ambiguous terminology, which makes the organization appear moderate and enables it to operate freely in its host countries, thereby establishing a convenient base from which to disseminate radical Islamic ideology among the growing Muslim communities. [Emphasis addded]
Since in Egypt the Muslim Brotherhood won the presidential elections with 52% of the vote, combined with other Islamists - the ultraconservative Salafist Al-Nour party - won 70% of the seats in the Parliament's Lower House, and won 58.33% of the seats in the Parliament's Upper House (80% adding together Al-Nour, which came second with a quarter of all seats), that must also be the majority of Egyptian Muslims' idea of democracy.

That Muslims must intend for "democracy" something completely different, it's also obvious from the results of opinion polls in Muslim countries, results which otherwise would be impossible to comprehend.

In an opinion poll among Muslims, in Egypt, just to take an example, 59% of respondents said democracy is preferable to any other kind of government; but 82% supported stoning for adulterers, 77% were in favour of chopping off hands of thieves, and 84% backed death penalty for apostates, i.e. Muslims who leave Islam. Their idea of democracy must be different from ours.

Similarly, concepts like "innocent", "terrorism", even "murder" are different.

This kind of Western misunderstanding is particularly acute in the case of the crucial concept of "peace".

When Muslims say that Islam is a religion of peace, they don't even need to lie to Western media who are, like most Western people, ignorant of Islam - ignorance which allows The New York Times to write without blushing: "[The Muslim Brotherhood] virtually invented political Islam" -, fact which Muslims in the West exploit to their advantage.

They can play on the different meaning of "peace", because what they actually mean is the Muslim concept of peace, which is somewhat similar to the pax Romana, the peace that followed Rome's conquest of almost all the known world.

So, Muslims can say on Western TVs that Islam is a religion of peace because that is the final goal of Islam, but is a peace that will follow a constant war against the infidels and will be achieved after the whole world will be submitted to Islam: so in fact the final goal of Islam is peace, but their peace is not certainly what Westerners think of when they hear this word.

Another example of this miscommunication is the concept of "charity". When Muslim people like the UK's Baroness Warsi, co-Chairman of the British Conservative Party, appear on the TV saying that charity is a duty for all Muslims, as I watched her say some time ago, they "forget" to add that in Islam the meaning of "charity" is not the same as ours: charity is a duty only to other Muslims.

The Pakistani Christians, during that country's 2010 devastating floods, were victims of systematic discrimination in the distribution of aid - essential to survival - ironically donated by the historically Christian West.

By not explaining the difference in meaning, Warsi contributed to the misunderstanding and created in her audience a non-realistic view of Muslim ethical virtues.

This is indeed a problem common to all contrasting doctrines. Each theory redefines the concepts used in other theories. "Time" and "space" in Newtonian physics are not the same as "time" and "space" in Einstein's relativity.

Mali Islamists Cut Off Thief's Hand

The Islamist group Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) two days ago cut off a thief's hand.

Ten days earlier Ansar Dine (Defenders of Faith), an armed Islamist group occupying the north of the country of Mali and trying to expand to its south, publicly stoned an unmarried couple to death.

Both groups have links to Al-Qaeda.
An armed Islamist group occupying northern Mali said Thursday it hopes to win over the country's south to its ideology and create an Islamic state.

Ansar Dine is one of the groups holding key northern cities in a four-month occupation which has effectively split the west African nation in two.

"We hope to be able to peacefully convince the people of this country (southern Mali) to join us so that all our efforts can be directed against the common enemy," Ansar Dine spokesman Senda Ould Boumama told an Islamist website called "Defenders of Jihadists".

The "common enemy" was described as non-Muslim "miscreants".
Enforcing Islamic law, sharia, is a way to impose Ansar Dine's authority in the region, hence the maiming and stoning.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Honour Killings Are Much More than Domestic Violence

In light of the recent guilty verdict for the parents of Shafilea Ahmed in the UK, the Warrington, Cheshire, teenager murdered by her mother and father in an "honour killing", it is interesting to look at the results of an extensive analysis of more than fifty reported honour killings, entitled "Are Honor Killings Simply Domestic Violence?".

The study by Phyllis Chesler, professor of psychology and women's studies at the City University of New York, appeared in 2009 in The Middle East Quarterly, a peer-reviewed publication, and begins:
When a husband murders a wife or daughter in the United States and Canada, too often law enforcement chalks the matter up to domestic violence. Murder is murder; religion is irrelevant. Honor killings are, however, distinct from wife battering and child abuse. Analysis of more than fifty reported honor killings shows they differ significantly from more common domestic violence.[1] The frequent argument made by Muslim advocacy organizations that honor killings have nothing to do with Islam and that it is discriminatory to differentiate between honor killings and domestic violence is wrong.

... A 2008 Massachusetts-based study found that "although immigrants make up an estimated 14 percent of the state's population, [they, nevertheless,] accounted for 26 percent of the 180 domestic violence deaths from 1997-2006." [Emphasis added]
The report shows very clearly different patterns in honour killings and domestic violence, including the facts that in the former whole families participate to restore the honour of the family, that "unlike most Western domestic violence, honor killings are carefully planned", that "In some cases, taxi drivers, neighbors, and mosque members prevent the targeted woman from fleeing, report her whereabouts to her family, and subsequently conspire to thwart police investigations.[19] Very old relatives or minors may be chosen to conduct the murder in order to limit jail time if caught. Seldom is domestic violence celebrated, even by its perpetrators. In the West, wife batterers are ostracized. Here, there is an important difference in honor crimes. Muslims who commit or assist in the commission of honor killings view these killings as heroic and even view the murder as the fulfillment of a religious obligation. A Turkish study of prisoners found no social stigma attached to honor murderers."

In addition, "In both North America and Europe, family members conducted honor killings with excessive violence—repeatedly stabbing, raping, setting aflame, and bludgeoning—in more than half the cases. Only in serial-killing-type scenarios are Western women targeted with similar violence; in these cases, the perpetrators are seldom family members, and their victims are often strangers."

And 99% of perpetrators of the honour killings studied in the research were Muslim, while rest were Sikh.

It concludes:
While the sample size is small, this study suggests that honor killing is accelerating in North America and may correlate with the numbers of first generation immigrants. The problem is diverse but originates with immigration from majority Muslim countries and regions—the Palestinian territories, the Kurdish regions of Turkey and Iraq, majority Muslim countries in the Balkans, Bangladesh, Egypt, and Afghanistan. Pakistanis accounts for the plurality. The common denominator in each case is not culture but religion.
At at the trial of Shafilea Ahmed's parents, the judge Mr Justice Roderick Evans, giving them a life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison, told them: "Your concern about being shamed in your community was greater than the love of your child."

This may sound totally implausible, even incredible to Western ears, but can be better understood when one knows about the individual and community psychology prevailing among Muslims and how it differs from the Western one, as well explained in Jihad Watch by Nicolai Sennels, a Danish psychologist with professional experience in the Copenhagen youth prison Sønderbro and acute observer of Muslim behaviour in Denmark:
Secondly, most Muslims are not allowed to integrate. There is an exceedingly strong social control in the Muslim society. Everybody is keeping an eye on everybody, and if someone does not follow the cultural or religious code they are met with criticism and risk severe consequences, such as being banned from their community or even from their own family. In the worst cases – and there are many of those – Muslim women in particular live under a constant death threat that deprives them of basic human rights, such as the freedom to choose one’s own sexual partners, clothing style, friends, religion and lifestyle. Most of my Muslim clients saw their religious and cultural background as the height of civilization and morality – leaving it would be seen as a kind of cultural and religious apostasy and degradation by their kinsmen. And there are not needed many killings, kidnappings, beatings and other honourable kinds of behaviour before the rest do as they are expected to.

... Many of those Muslims who actually manage to go all the way live under constant threats from the traditional Muslim community that see the integrated Muslims' lifestyle as apostasy, punishable by the strict Sharia laws. These social and psychological hindrances have convinced me that Muslim integration will never happen to the necessary extent. It will happen in some places to a certain extent, but the vast majority will not overcome the psychological, intellectual, cultural, religious and social challenges. [Emphasis added]

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Human Rights Are Not the Problem

I continue here my discussion of the issue of human rights which I started on the previous post Is There Something Wrong with Human Rights?, so I take it from where I left.

As in my previous article, I will concentrate on the arguments found on Islam versus Europe (henceforth IVE) because, as far as I know, that blog is the only Counterjihad voice to have attempted a systematic attack on human rights.

Throughout this piece I'll refer to human rights using the singular pronoun "it" because the reference is to the concept.

Interestingly, during our discussion IVE says that it advocates only two principles: democracy narrowly intended as majority rule, and nationalism. But later on it reveals that it also supports free speech. What is that if not a classical human right? When somebody says that he believes in free speech, what he means is that he believes in the "right to" free speech: it would not have any sense otherwise.

IVE talks about strategy and asks for a strategy, which is obviously a complex issue that IVE oversimplifies.

IVE doesn't really have a strategy. What it has is an aspiration, doing away with human rights, but doesn't know how to do it: a strategy would require to spell out how to achieve that.

That human rights is a false enemy you can see from a simple example.

Let's take freedom of religion, a typical example of human rights. Let's look at Cameron/Clegg's plan in the UK to force the Christian clergy to go against their religious principles and marry "gays" in church. If the British PM and deputy PM really believed in the right of people to act in accordance with their religious beliefs, they would not do that.

Much more difficult is to justify a "right" of homosexuals to use the services of an established Church in a way that contradicts the tenets of that Church.

Here you can see that the elites don't necessarily believe in human rights, they just use it arbitrarily to favour whomever, for non-human-rights ideological reasons, they like (in this case, homosexuals) when their interests (not rights, but desires) conflict with those of others who don't enjoy their favour (in this case the Christian clergy).

Human rights is just a tool they use because it's there and it's handy, but if they were deprived of it they would find another means.

The real problem is in the ideology of the elites, human rights is just a paper tiger and a false target.

IVE might say that human rights serves well any of the elites' unfair agenda because of its plasticity but, as I explained in Is There Something Wrong with Human Rights?, all legal and ethical principles, all laws need to be balanced against each other, so anything else they could use would have the same ambiguity and the same effect desired by them.

It's a case of appropriation. The current PC, pro-Islam elites have appropriated human rights for themselves and used it for their own agenda and purposes. We must take this principle back and show that it's been distorted and how it can be returned to its original, restricted, better defined meaning.

Many of the constantly-claimed “rights” are actually not rights at all, they are privileges. The definition of “right” these days has become so broad that what people really mean when they say they have a right to something is simply that they have a need or desire for something, as you can see when debt-burdened governments have to cut spending and people say they have a “right” to those benefits or services that are being cut or closed, even down to local libraries. Here's an example of this use of the term:
I believe in our community and its right to our library.
Basically, anything that anybody wants gives rise to a “right”, but this is simply a misnomer of the real concept. It is not difficult to show that these are misinterpretations.

It goes back to my original idea that the principle of human rights is in this predicament because it’s wrongly applied. The distinction between negative rights (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) and positive rights, which we could call for short the never-ending proliferation of “entitlements”, pointed out by Gates of Vienna and vederso of EJBron, is fundamental.

That's the goal of our strategy on human rights. As for the means, this is a good, old-fashioned battle to truly, not just superficially, get public opinion on our side and for power through democratic elections, as it would be anyway, human rights or not.

These are the scenarios, if we concentrated on abolishing human rights:

Outcome 1) We succeed in getting rid of human rights. To achieve that we must have garnered so much power that human rights would no longer represent a problem anyway because, as I explained, the problem is just how the current elites apply and use this principle.

Outcome 2) We don't succeed and we've wasted precious time and resources in fighting a false enemy.

In summary, the real enemy are the ideology and goals of the present elites, not human rights, which is only the means they use to implement that ideology and achieve those goals and would be easily replaced to the same effect.

In the next posts I'll deal with other examples cited by IVE in support of its position.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

BBC Unconvinced that Syrian Christians Are under Threat

Last night the BBC reported about the plight of Syrian Christians.

It's a monumental effort for the BBC to cover the topic of Christians persecuted just for being Christian. Despite the daily constant coverage of events in Syria it has talked of the country's Christians perhaps only once before, in April with a short report. And when it does it's always in an iffy way, as if it couldn't bring itself to accept that it's a real problem.

The newsreader who introduced the short, filmed report was so unfamiliar with the topic that, just before giving the percentage of Christians among Syrians, she hesitated and then got it wrong by a long shot, saying 2% instead of 10%.

The programme mentioned an interview with a woman whose "family had fled Syria for Lebanon because it was simply too frightening now for Christians, she insisted."

The report concluded:

The events of the Arab Spring have revitalised Syria's Brotherhood.

However one of the group's leaders, Molham al-Drobi, told the BBC that Christians had nothing to fear.

The Muslim Brotherhood would not try to establish an Islamic state.

"We are not working towards a religious state," he said.

"We don't think Syria is a place where you could have a religious state because Syria has different religions, different ethnic groups, different races."

That does not seem to have deterred Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood from its intention to impose Sharia law on all Egyptians, as this video of President Morsi, translated by MEMRI, shows:

Why should we believe what Brotherhood members say to us Westerners? Do they have any interest in telling non-Muslims what their intentions are? We know the answers to these questions, especially in the light of the Islamic doctrines that consider lying to unbelievers in order to further Islam's cause permissible and even desirable. War is deceit.

Wake Up, Animal Rights People!

To see that the animal movement has left the initiative of fighting against the huge spread of halal meat in Britain to the BNP, who organized a protest in Sunderland against Subway sandwich shops selling it (and there many of them all over the country) is shocking and saddening.

I wrote in Islam in the UK, in my site Britain Gallery:

When I first arrived here, the word “halal” was unknown to everybody except the people involved in animal welfare, who knew that the Islamic method of slaughter was bad news indeed for the animals. Now you only have to take a 30-minute drive around London (any part) and you’ll see dozens of Halal signs in shops and restaurants.

It's true that animals should not be killed for food, as vegetarian nutrition is not only adequate but in fact much better for human health than meat eating. It's true that animals always suffer during the process of farming - especially industrial farming -, transport to the point of slaughter, and in the slaughterhouse due to terror and maltreatment. It's true that even so-called "humane" slaughter can sometimes go wrong and animals may be conscious when their throats are cut or they are otherwise killed.

But we can point out all these things and still be opposed to halal and kosher methods of slaughter.

Stunning animals before slaughter is certainly better than not doing that, whatever else is true about farm animals exploitation and suffering.

Sweden has banned ritual methods of slaughter, so this shows that it is a realistic objective in the UK as well.

To find out what ritual slaughter involves, read this post and watch the video.

There is a growing opposition to halal meat among the British people, based on both animal welfare and the just rebellion against being disposessed of the culture and ethics of one's own country.

We should be at the forefront of this protest, which can ony be good for animals because, among other things, will provide a model example of a widespread protest for animal welfare popular among the general public.

This is only one of many ways in which Islam is an obstacle to animal liberation and animal welfare. In the Netherlands, when Muslim politician Hasan Küçük, a Turkish-Dutch representative on The Hague city council for the Islam Democrats, called for a ban on dogs in The Hague, Holland's third-largest city, because dogs are "unclean" in the Islamic legal tradition, it was left to Paul ter Linden, representative of Geert Wilders' PVV on the city council, to reply: "In this country pet ownership is legal. Whoever disagrees with this should move to another country." The Dutch Party for the Animals, whose proposal to make The Hague a dog-friendlier city had prompted Küçük's call for banning dogs, was silent.

Since the number of Muslims in the UK and Europe is doubling faster than you can say "Ramadan", there will be many more times in the future when we'll face this choice: are we going to give in each time? In the long battle ahead are we going to choose political correctness or the animals?

New Study Shows Half of USA Global Warming is Artificial

Meteorologist Anthony Watts, author of one of the best known and most widely read global warming skeptical blogs, Wattsupwiththat, has released a scientific discussion paper challenging the data used by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to support its climate change claims.

Watts and the study's other authors concluded: "reported 1979-2008 U.S. temperature trends are spuriously doubled, with 92% of that over-estimation resulting from erroneous NOAA adjustments of well-sited stations upward." [Emphasis added]

Breitbart interviewed one of the paper's co-authors, Dr. John R. Christy, climate change expert of international fame, who said:

In 2010, the World Meteorological Organization adopted a new standard for temperature collection stations. This discussion paper is the first to apply that standard. The finding is that when the new class scheme was applied to weather stations, the stations considered compliant had cooler trends than non-compliant stations. [Empahsis added]

The first application of the recent WMO-approved standard, then, led to a correction of the temperatures downward.

The study's lead researcher Anthony Watts' decision to pre-release it as a discussion paper for public review, before peer-reviewed journal submission, is new in academic research. Climate change "converted skeptic" Richard Muller is the only researcher to have done this before.