Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Numbers Game

Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the United States. Everybody knows that; you hear it on TV all the time. But how do the talking heads know it?

Because CAIR tells them so.

Muslim population statistics

According to CAIR’s website,

There is no scientific count of Muslims in the U.S. Six to seven million is the most commonly cited figure.

“Most commonly cited”? Cited by whom? Why, by CAIR, of course. CAIR routinely pushes the six million-plus figure, but other sources place the number much lower. Take, for example, the U.S. Census Bureau. According to the latest information I could find on the Bureau’s website*, survey data would indicate that 0.5% of the population in 2001, or 1.5 million people, consists of self-described Muslims.

That number sounds a bit low, even to me. Are some American Muslims wary of oppression, and thus unwilling to acknowledge their religion in a telephone survey?
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One reported figure is for four million Muslims in the U.S.A. as of 2004, so I’ll consider that a generous estimate, and use it in the calculations given below.

Now: where do the Muslim population figures for Western European countries come from? In many — if not all — of them, it is illegal for the government to gather such statistics, in the interests of Political Correctness. We often hear that France is 10% Muslim, but the French have no way of knowing that for sure, because their census officials simply cannot ask citizens to list their religion.

So let’s assume that European countries get their figures from Muslim groups more or less like CAIR. Let’s also assume that these groups exaggerate to the same extent that CAIR does. The website Islamic Population has useful statistics, as drawn from the Ummah’s point of view. I have used them below to supply the higher of the numbers for European Muslim population.

Using a 4.14M to 6.5M ratio, we can downsize the countries’ Muslim populations to 63.7% of the figures given in my Ummah database. The results, including those for the United States, are given below.

Country % # Muslims Real %? Real #?
France 10.0% 6,065,618 6.4% 3,863,451
Netherlands 5.4% 886,005 3.4% 564,334
Germany 3.7% 3,049,961 2.4% 1,942,651
Belgium 3.6% 373,118 2.3% 237,655
Sweden 3.1% 279,055 2.0% 177,742
Switzerland 3.1% 232,170 2.0% 147,879
Denmark 3.0% 164,057 1.9% 104,495
United Kingdom 2.5% 1,511,036 1.6% 962,444
Italy 2.4% 1,394,473 1.5% 888,199
Spain 1.2% 484,098 0.8% 308,342
Luxembourg 1.1% 5,154 0.7% 3,283
Norway 1.0% 47,768 0.7% 30,425
Portugal 0.5% 52,831 0.3% 33,650
Finland 0.2% 9,402 0.1% 5,989
Iceland 0.0% 119 0.0% 76
Ireland 0.0% 402 0.0% 256
United States 2.1%      6,500,000 1.3%      4,140,127
  21,055,266  13,410,997

As you can see, the total difference is significant — almost eight million fewer Muslims in Western Europe and the United States, based on the lower figure.

All of the given statistics are guesses, however. Nobody really knows the number of Muslims in any of these countries.

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Why would CAIR want to inflate the statistics for their religion to this extent? Besides simple pride in their faith, that is?

I suspect one reason may be found in another Census Bureau statistic: the number of self-identified Jews in the United States. According to the same survey data, 1.3% of Americans, or almost four million people, identify themselves as Jewish.

My guess is that CAIR desperately wants to set the number of Muslims comfortably higher than the number of Jews, and will do anything it can to pad the rolls and get the figures it wants.

But this is sheer speculation. There are other obvious advantages to the higher numbers: more clout with members of Congress, a higher media profile, and the sheer propaganda value of being “the fastest-growing religion”.

And there may be yet another reason for the exaggeration: a large portion of American Muslims are African-Americans belonging to the Nation of Islam. NOI is an organization which predates the rise of the current Wahhabist subversion, is financially independent from it, and does not answer to it. It would make sense for CAIR to inflate its Wahhabi numbers so that they surpass those of NOI.

The situation with CAIR vs. NOI is reminiscent of the Communist Party vs. (say) the Agrarian Populist Party in the old days. The two groups may have shared a number of goals, and have been able to work together on many issues, but the indigenous local group takes no orders from Moscow — or, in this case, Riyadh.

If the true size and makeup of American Islam were ever actually revealed, CAIR would deflate like a punctured balloon, and become just another minor advocacy group, instead of “the voice of seven million Americans” that it claims to be now.

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Muslims may deliberately overstate their numbers to enhance their power, particularly in Europe, and thus be able to punch above their weight. But even if the lower figures are more accurate, Islam in the West is a formidable presence. The demographic disparity between it and the degenerate secular infidels guarantees that its proportion in the population will continue to increase.

But the traditional strategy for spreading Islam has not been to outbreed the infidels. The time-honored Muslim practice is to convert them, kill them, enslave them, or drive them out of their homes.

The steps are as follows:

1. The Call. An Islamic military leader is obliged by his scripture to invite his adversary to convert to the True Faith. If, after a suitable interval, the enemy fails to answer the Call, then we come to
2. Jihad. Through force of arms, and by any method deemed expedient, the mujahid will wage war until the infidel submits or is killed. Submission may take the form of
3. Dhimmitude. The surviving infidel must agree to submit to the power of the Islamic rulers, be subjected to humiliating strictures, pay a substantial poll tax called the jizyah, and never again try to proselytize for his own religion. Alternatively, there is
4. Slavery. This has been widely practiced with respect to surviving infidel women and children.

By the above methods Islam enjoyed an enormous expansion over its first few centuries. Syria, Egypt, Palestine, Asia Minor, Spain, and the Caucasus had all converted peacefully to Christianity, but they were brought to Islam by the sword. Up until the late 19th century, Spain was the only place where Islam had been rolled back from a signifant amount of territory gained by earlier conquest: in 1492 Los Reyes Católicos adopted an Islamic custom — namely, ruthless slaughter — and drove the Moors back across the Strait of Gibraltar and out of Iberia.

Historically, peaceful coexistence only provided the opportunity for Islamic expansion. In any given region the Islamic population would ratchet in one direction only, increasing by violence and coercion when it was possible, patiently biding its time when it was not.

Once the Islamic population of a country reaches a critical mass — somewhere between 10% and 40% — the process of absorption begins, with the infidel inhabitants being killed or driven out of their local areas until Muslims manage to attain political control and the country joins the Caliphate.

The various empires of the late second millennium — the British, the Ottomans, the Chinese, and so on — served to keep the Muslim dominions in stasis, with Islamic expansion held in check by the imperial center. Even though the Ottomans were Islamic, they had a vested interest in maintaining their Christian and Jewish subjects in good health, since these were the most productive of the Sultan’s subjects. As the providers of Janissaries for the Sultan’s army, and jizyah for his treasury, infidels were an absolute necessity for the smooth functioning of the Ottoman state.

The collapse of the Ottoman Empire changed all that. The stasis continued piecemeal under the various despots who succeeded the Sultan in the fragments of the empire, with Nasser, Saddam, the Shah, and Assad père maintaining their religious minorities in place for their own political reasons. But they were only postponing the inevitable — as soon as the restive Muslim populations were released from tyrannical control, Islamification resumed and accelerated. Saudi Arabia and Yemen soon cleansed themselves of Jews and Christians, and “Palestine” and Lebanon are midway through the same process. The Christian population of Iraq is facing the latest version of this ordeal. As Iraqis gain their liberty, one of their newfound freedoms seems to be the freedom to crucify and decapitate Christians.

India underwent a similar process after the British departed in 1947. Pakistan (and later Bangladesh) was established as an Islamic state, and there the infidel population rapidly dwindled. But, even in Hindu India, the inexorable momentum continued:

      1947  2001
India  Muslims  7%  15%
Pakistan  Hindus  20%  1-2%
Bangladesh  Hindus  40%  10%

The bloodiest sections of the “bloody borders” are where the Islamic population hovers near the tipping point. Consider the countries listed in this table:

Country %
Sudan 65.0%
Malaysia 60.4%
Nigeria 50.0%

These are among the most violent places on earth, where constant civil strife between the Muslims and everyone else causes bloodshed, mayhem, poverty, and anarchy. Absent outside intervention, these places will become more and more Muslim until new Islamic polities are established, and then the “peace” of Shari’a will descend.

Consider Thailand, which is only 5% Muslim, but is experiencing some of the worst sectarian violence on the planet. Even though the Islamic presence is relatively small, it is concentrated in the southern region of Thailand, adjacent to Malaysia. Expect an eventual “peace deal” with the insurgents, granting them an autonomy which leads to an eventual merger with Malaysia, similar to what is happening now with Kosovo.

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And what of the West? Whether France is currently 6%, or 10%, or 15% Muslim, the demographics of Europe point to an inevitable Islamic dominance. The European Union has no interest in reversing this process; in fact, it is actively colluding with Muslims in the slide towards Eurabia.

When this happens, it will be a notable event: the first time a non-Muslim culture has given in to Islam without a struggle. If the French continue to respond to the burning of vehicles by establishing more welfare programs, if the British allow female newscasters to read the television news while veiled, if the Swedes use the Center Against Racism to suppress all discussion of Muslim rapes and other crimes — then, for the first time in history, a culture will have submitted to the Prophet without a real fight.

The United States is at an earlier stage, but the same subversive effort is underway here. CAIR has established a beachhead, and its shock troops are slowly moving inland towards its strategic objectives.

It’s a good idea to watch this process closely. Let’s keep an eye on the numbers.

*These figures were calculated based on extrapolated survey data provided by the Census Bureau, as found in an Excel spreadsheet linked on Bureau’s site mentioned above. The spreadsheet itself can be found here.

An Ethiopian Woman Says “Khalid Adem is Innocent”

I have sat through enough acrimonious divorce proceedings to know the levels to which people will stoop to get their own way. Divorce hearings have got to be some of the ugliest experiences in the world, even to those just forced to observe or testify. You can leave the courtroom wanting a drink and a shower — in that order.

Khalid AdemUnfortunately, judges don’t have time to read child development research, or even basic, long-proved data on the harm that interrupted attachments have on developing children. Tangentially, just think of the repeated, thoughtless replacements of au pairs and nannies by those who can afford to hire them. The kids no sooner get attached to one caretaker only to find her replaced by someone else. And they no sooner form a bond with one mommy or daddy only to have her or him replaced by the next brief alliance in a string of serial marriages. I mean, in case you wonder why Hollowood children seem a bit messed up, those are two contributing factors right there.

In the Female Genital Mutilation case in Georgia, the discrepancies in the case are so large that anyone reasonably versed in child development — say, your average parent — would be able to drive a truck through the holes in what appears to be a cruel scam.
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Today, a comment came in from an Ethiopian woman whose opinion validates what I also suspect: Adem was set up.

Here is what she says:

As a woman from Ethiopia, I can tell you that there is no way Khalid could have circumcised his daughter.

Men never ever do the actual circumcision of girls. If done, it is arranged by the grandmother or mother with a female practitioner.

The grandmother and mother did it to help their divorce case. They should be investigated for hurting the girl. The mother did not notice the circumcision because it was not done until she did it herself with her grandmother. She is lying.

Please see my blog on this issue

The whole case is a farce

Her post is here. This is a snip:

However, FMC is also no longer practiced by significant portions of the urban population of Ethiopia. Talk to a random group of young Ethiopian women from Addis Ababa and they will tell you that they have not been circumcised (unlike their mothers). A lot of urban Ethiopians don’t even know what this practice entails.

Khalid simply does not fit the profile of an Ethiopian who would insist that his daughter be circumcised. He is not a nomad or peasant who immigrated from rural Ethiopia. He grew up in metropolitan Addis Ababa and came to the US at the age of sixteen. He is an educated, urban and modern African man who became an adult in America. It is extremely unlikely that a person like him would even think of having his daughter circumcised — let alone do it himself.

In Ethiopian, men never ever get involved in the actual ritual of female circumcision. FMC is a female ritual, and it is always the women (especially the grandmothers) that insist on and arrange for the circumcision ritual by a traditional practitioner.

So. It may be just as I suspected. Certainly, it is just as Hirsi Ali described it. Only she was five years old, not two. And there was no anesthesia or pain medicine, as there may have been in this incident.

This case cries out for justice. May the jury see what seems so plain from here.

Monday, October 30, 2006

A Madrassa in the Crosshairs

Pervez Musharraf and Pakistan’s military forces have finally done something to warm my heart: they blew up a madrassa.

According to today’s Times Online:

Map of FATA showing ChingaiPakistani forces have killed up to 80 alleged militants near the Afghan border after launching an air strike on a religious school that officials said was being used as an al-Qaeda training camp.

The religious facility - known as a madrassa - was destroyed by helicopter fire in a pre-dawn raid this morning in the village of Chingai near Khar, the main town in the Bajaur tribal region, according to a spokesman for the army.

The raid sparked angry protests in the area as local tribesmen and political leaders denounced the military, insisting that those killed were innocent civilians and not terrorists.


Witnesses said at least three army helicopters swooped on the madrassa after which a huge explosion was heard. Most of the occupants in the madrassa were asleep although a few had awoken for pre-dawn prayers.
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The blast shattered the building, tearing mattresses and scattering Islamic books, including copies of the Quran.

The destroyed madrassaOh-oh! The Koran has been profaned again! Rioters on the streets of Islamabad will be burning the Pakistani flag and… Oh. Wait a minute… that won’t work.

But, according to ABC News, it wasn’t really Pakistan’s military forces that did the job: the United States took out the madrassa with a Predator drone, in an attempt to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri. So now the rioters can resume business as usual, and burn the American flag.

The village of Chingai is in the Bajaur district, hard on the border with Afghanistan. It is not far from Damadola, which, as you may remember, was the scene of another attempted whack-job on Zawahiri back in January. In fact, today’s raid would be a reprise of the Damadola operation except for the fact that Pakistan got angry at us back then for blowing people up in Bajaur.

So what’s different this time? Why is Pakistan falling all over itself to claim credit for an attempted hit on Zarqawi by the United States?

Maybe it has something to do with this, also from the Times Online report:

The attack came two days after 5,000 pro-Taleban militants gathered in Bajaur for an anti-American rally, in which they proclaimed their support for Osama bin Laden and vowed to continue holy war to enforce Islamic law.

It also came on the day a peace deal was expected to be signed between the military and tribal leaders in the region, along the lines of an agreement signed earlier this year in nearby North Waziristan which was aimed at stopping militants operating in the area and crossing into Afghanistan.

But the army insisted it had given warning to the leaders of the madrassa to close the school, and that militants could not hide behind peace deals. [emphasis added]

So Musharraf was about to sign another peace deal, but then he goes and scuttles it by putting a thumb in the Taliban’s eye. Why?

Could it be that he wants to demonstrate that his power is not as vestigial as some people would like to believe? In the discussion about the Waziristan deal, I speculated that Musharraf might have gotten more than it appeared in return for promising to go easy on Mullah Omar’s buddies in Waziristan.

Did he perhaps get permission to hit certain locations in Bajaur, in return for going easy on the “one-eyed spiritual leader” of the Taliban? Did Mullah Omar sell Zawahiri down the river?

I certainly don’t know the answers to these questions, but the situation in Pakistan is definitely getting curiouser and curiouser by the day. In the comments to my Waziristan post I got into a discussion with Snouck, who said this:

Musharraf is caught between the USA and the Jihadist coalition. Initially he sided with the Americans. After attacking Jihadist forces in the border area — in order to bring the order of the central government there — met with defeat, Musharraf realised that the Jihadist were stronger and will be longer around than the US. So he had to make a new deal with the Jihadists and their tribal hosts.

Musharraf has very little he can offer the Jihadists. They are not afraid of him or the USA. The only thing they want from him is FACE.

The content of the deal was irrelevant. Life on the ground in Waziristan will go on like it used to. But Musharraf’s negotiators had to come to Waziristan to be humiliated. To make visible to the people in Pakistan and the Islamic world who is the biggest guy on the border.

Even if Pervez was humiliated in Waziristan (and I’m not so sure he was), he’s not being humiliated in Bajaur. It will be interesting to see how the Taliban’s buddies in the tribal areas respond to all of this.

Snouck, if you’re lurking, I’d be interested to hear your opinion.

Hat tip for the ABC story: LGF.

Ed Driscoll: “The New Metric for French Stability”

What’s cooking in FranceEd Driscoll calls it the “new metric… for daily French stability”...

Apparently, as long as the nightly burning of Citroens and Peugeots by local “youths” remains at 200 cars or less, and only one woman receives burns covering 60 percent of her body when the bus she’s traveling is torched by a Molotov cocktail, France can be said to be “relatively calm” — at least by her Interior minister.

It’s hard to even look at French news anymore. Reading about events there, it’s no longer possible to whistle past the graveyard — to make the metaphor hew more closely to the events — in Paris, Marseille, Lyon, — it’s as though you are watching a large pot boil and all the frogs in the soup are claiming everything is très bien, merci…
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What would it take to make the French elites wake up and tell the truth? A truth that everyone already knows but no one is permitted to say? France is on fire and the firemen politicians are not responding to the flames.

In Marseille,

A group of young people burst onto the bus and tossed in a bottle of flammable liquid before fleeing, police said, citing witnesses’ accounts. The resulting fire injured a 26-year-old woman, who suffered second- and third-degree burns on her arms, legs and face and was in a medically induced coma on Sunday.

Notice the Associated Press’ use of “young people” as the now-accepted and risible euphemism for “criminals of a certain age.” It brings to mind their insistence on the word “insurgents” for “terrorists.” Nor for nothing did someone (I’ve lost the link) call them “The Associated (with Terrorists) Press”. That’s an appellation well-deserved.

Meanwhile, as a way of forcefully handling the situation, President Chirac phoned the parents of this poor woman — the one so severely burned she’s in a medically induced coma — and assured them that France would “do everything to find the assailants and punish them with the greatest severity,” Wow. Quel homme! No doubt the devastated parents felt much better.

The sensible group in all this is the Marseille bus drivers:

Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin called a meeting for Monday on public transport safety, while Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said he was sending two extra companies of riot police to Marseille. Bus drivers in Marseille refused to return to work.

And what is the official evaluation of all this? You can probably repeat his mantra as the words drop form his mouth:

Aside from the bus attack in Marseille, the Interior Ministry said that both Friday and Saturday night were “relatively calm.” Youths set fire to about 200 vehicles Saturday, police said. But even on ordinary nights, the number of cars burned often reaches 100.

It’s 2006, France. The pot has passed the simmer stage and the bubbles are rising.

Female Genital Mutilation in Georgia: Who is the Perp?

Several days ago a reader sent in the Fox News version of the Georgia news report making the rounds in the MSM and the blogosphere. Several things about the initial story didn’t seem to jibe, so I decided not to post on it. I also noticed that the trial had become a cause célèbre among feminists — finally — and they moved their convention from Kenya to Georgia, ostensibly to monitor the trial, but more likely to use the media exposure to promote Equality Now.

Here are the bare bones:

Fortunate AdemThere is a mother, Fortunate Adem. She was born in South Africa and moved here when she was six. Her age isn’t given. There is a father, Khalid Adem, who was born in Ethiopia and came to the U.S. when he was sixteen. He is now thirty.

The couple met at junior college in Georgia. They were married in 1999, and their daughter was born in September of that year. The family settled in Duluth, Georgia. It is alleged that in September or October of 2001 the father performed a clitoridectomy on his two-year-old. They divorced acrimoniously in 2003 after the mother accused the father of mutilating their child.
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Khalid Adem2003 is also the year the father was arrested, and he was indicted the next year on charges of aggravated battery and child cruelty. He was released on bond following the indictment and continued to work in the same store where he had been employed prior to his arrest.

The case went to trial, and last week the prosecution rested. Among the witnesses called was the child, now seven years old. She testified that her father “cut my private part.” The media reported several versions of this quote.

I am puzzled by some of the “facts” in this case. Readers’ comments about the following points would be welcome. Please, however, stick to the points of contention and avoid irrelevant remarks about the family members.

  • Question: I have no doubt this a Class One female genital mutilation. But how can a seven-year-old provide reliable information on an incident — no matter how traumatic — that happened five years previously, when she was barely two years old? Notice that I said “reliable”. In other words, to use the court’s jargon, would a reasonable man find this testimony credible?

  • Question: The father worked, and perhaps the mother did, too. The details of their daily married routine aren’t available, but it is obvious that he was not the primary caretaker. Yet the mother claims not to have known until a year and a half later that her daughter’s clitoris had been cut off with a pair of scissors. Any mother will find this part of the testimony hard to fathom. With toddlers, on a daily basis, you get to see far more of their behinds than you really want to. How can a child say NOTHING, how can a mother notice NOTHING for a year and half? And now, five years later in court, the child can smoothly accuse Daddy of cutting her with the scissors, and the mother can claim:

    Her whole life has been changed. She is going to be traumatized psychologically. Parts of her body have been taken away from her without her consent. They need to look at this child the same way they would if she had been raped.

    There is a glaring disconnect between the mother who lived with her child and noticed NOTHING, and the mother who now asserts the traumatization of her daughter.

  • Question: The mother and the mother-in-law both refused to undergo a polygraph test about their roles in this incident. Yes, it’s true that neither polygraph results nor such a refusal would be admissible as evidence in the case. But, in its context, their reluctance stands stands out. What were the reasons for their refusal?

  • Question: A tape of a phone conversation between the mother and the father was excluded by the court as evidence in the case. On that tape the mother, whose anger is alleged to have been extreme never mentions the mutilation of the daughter. If you were separated from the man who did such a thing to your child, would you not be compelled to mention it during an angry tirade? Even once?

  • A point has been repeated that Ethiopia practices female genital mutilation, but that South Africa, the mother’s birthplace, does not. This is not entirely true. And in Ethiopia, as far as I have been able to ascertain, this ritual is performed by women, never men. It is not their role, and they are not around when it happens. In fact, both parents are usually absent during the procedure, because of the pain it causes the child. This is simply another way in which this story goes astray.

  • A question on due process: This man was indicted in 2004. Why has this case been hanging fire for two and a half years? The mother immediately began to work with Georgia legislators to outlaw this practice. But it was already a felony to cut off someone’s body part, or to physically damage a child. Aside from the grandstanding in the legislature, I’m not sure what the point of all this legal exertion was. It certainly brought a few years’ publicity to the mother, so I suppose it had that advantage. However, to a reasonable person, this law would appear to fall in the same category as “hate” crimes: it takes an already established vicious felony and ratchets it up a notch, for political reasons. This is perverted.

  • One final point: I’ve looked at some of the blogosphere’s reaction to this trial, and it seems to be generally assumed that this is a case of Shar’ia law at work. However, there is no indication that this man is a Muslim; Ethiopia has a mixture of religions, and is about one-third Muslim. Even more important, female genital mutilation does not appear across all of Islam. It is a tribal practice, generally confined to parts of Africa. In Egypt, the Islamic Court has ruled variously as to whether or not it is demanded, permitted, or banned by the Koran. So while Muslim women are all second-class citizens by law, they are not all routinely subjected to this ritual.

    According to tradition, at one point Mohammed happened upon a woman who was about to perform the operation on a little girl. At most, he warned her not to cut too deeply, or she would interfere with the husband’s pleasure. A liberal interpretation could see this as a resigned admonition in the face of an irresistible age-old tradition. However, his response is not glossed as an imperative.

We don’t enhance a reputation for accuracy in the blogosphere if we merely assume this man must be a Muslim, and that he is guilty, and that female genital mutilation is some form of Islamic law. It could turn out that none of the above is true. It could turn out that this is a hideous ritual practiced by many tribes in that area of the world, be they Muslim, Christian, or animist. It could turn out that it is performed on little girls by women, but not by men.

Let us not bruise ourselves jumping to conclusions. There are far too many gaps and contradictions in this story for any clear or easy assumptions.

I pity the jury.

Resources used in the writing of this post:
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 3/2/2004
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/21/2006
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 10/22/2006
WCSH6, 10/24/2006
Gwinnett Daily Post, 10/24/2006
11Alive.com, 10/25/2006
11Alive.com, 10/25/2006
11Alive.com, 10/25/2006
Gwinnett Daily Post, 10/26/2006
WIS TV10, 10/26/2006
Fox News, 10/27/2006
Religious Tolerance

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Got My Mind Right

Centrum Mot RasismDid you know that Sweden has an official organization called “The Center Against Racism”? Are you surprised?

Sweden’s inner cities are filling up with violent unemployed immigrant youths, the country is experiencing an unprecedented increase in rape and vandalism, and the government’s primary concern is… racism.

A law-abiding Swede of the 21st century has to be proficient in the art of doublethink. What’s really going on cannot be talked about. What the average citizen desires cannot be mentioned.

Take, for example, the poor fellow in Kristianstad who placed an uncensored want ad for an apartment in his local newspaper.
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KristianstadKristianstad is a small city in the south of Sweden, on the Baltic. It is part of the province of Skåne, and has advertised itself as “the most Danish city in Sweden”. From the images available on the web, it looks to be a picture-postcard perfect Scandinavian city.

And some unfortunate person in Kristianstad committed the unpardonable sin of wanting to keep it that way.

I’ve been aware of this story since it first came out on July 27th, but haven’t been able to find a translator for it until now. At my request, the indefatigable XY has volunteered for the job, and here is his translation of the article in Expressen.se:

The Center Against Racism rages against want ad

A person has placed a want ad in Kristianstadsbladet seeking an apartment “in an area free from multiculturalism and criminality”. The Center Against Racism is critical of the publication. “This ad went straight in; we didn’t have any discussions,” says Lasse Bernfalk, the paper’s editor and publisher, to Expressen.se

The ad was published in yesterday’s newspaper. The Center Against Racism is surprised that Kristianstadsbladet accepted the ad. “I was really sad. It is tragic when these petty, mean messages are allowed to be expressed,” says spokeswoman Jolin Boldt.

She has never before heard of anyone expressing their political views in a want ad. “Either it is a person who wants to be provocative with a racist message, and that should not be published. The other possibility is that it is a nutcase,” she says.

Is sorry

Lasse Bernfalk he is sorry that the ad was published. This is vacation season, he explains. The want ads are written on the homepage and then delivered to the department for advertising.

“Many are away. The control process has not been functioning.” Now he has talked with the staff about the importance of having a discussion before ads with controversial political messages are printed. He is of the opinion that a person is not allowed to state that he wants to live in an area with fewer immigrants and low criminality.

“You can live where you want, but we should not have that kind of message in an ad. Besides, if the person wants to be without multiculture he will have to find a village very far away. Multiculture is a natural part of society.”

No reactions

Kristianstadsbladet hasn’t received any criticism from readers about the ad. “We usually get reactions from them quickly. But so far no one has said anything.”

— by Karin Olsson

There are so many notable quotes in this little article.

Multiculture is a natural part of society.

Since when? Who says so? What “multiculture” did Sweden have before 1970?

Either it is a person who wants to be provocative with a racist message [or the] other possibility is that it is a nutcase.

Those are our only choices? The man (surely it was a man!) couldn’t have possibly had any other motives? What if he just wanted to live in a neighborhood with a low crime rate, and to be able to understand the language of his neighbors? Is that “racism”?

This all puts me in mind of the classic movie Cool Hand Luke. Luke (played by Paul Newman) is an inmate of a prison camp, and there is a famous scene in which Luke — who has been brutalized and humiliated by the guards for repeated escape attempts — grovels at the feet of “Boss” Paul:

Luke: Don’t hit me anymore…Oh God, I pray to God you don’t hit me anymore. I’ll do anything you say, but I can’t take anymore.
Boss Paul: You got your mind right, Luke?
Luke: Yeah. I got it right. I got it right, boss. (He grips the ankles of the guard)
Boss Paul: Suppose you’s back-slide on us?
Luke: Oh no I won’t. I won’t, boss.
Boss Paul: Suppose you’s to back-sass?
Luke: No I won’t. I won’t. I got my mind right.
Boss Paul: You try to run again, we gonna kill ya.
Luke: I won’t, I won’t, boss.

The citizen of Kristianstad obviously does not have his mind right. But the local authorities, acting through the Center Against Racism, will soon get it right for him.

It won’t be long until he loves Big Brother. Soon he will say with happy sincerity, “I now realize that I was in error. My desire to live among my own kind was a symptom of a deep and abiding racism, which has now been extirpated from my psyche through the efforts of the State. I am grateful for the chance to make restitution to my multicultural brothers and sisters.”

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

But is a desire to live among one’s own kind necessarily “racism”? What if you just want to be surrounded by people whose manners and customs you intuitively understand? Why is that necessarily racism?

The most peaceful, stable, and lawful societies have historically had these characteristics. Were all their citizens racists?

And what if a member of an ethnic minority has the same impulse to live among members of his own group? Is that “racism”?

Last year I wrote about a computer program called the “Ethnic Simulator” that models this very issue. The relevant section is reposted below.

One piece of evidence for the ongoing racism of the dominant white culture is persistent residential segregation. Despite numerous federal laws; despite decades of busing, set-asides, minority preferences, and civil-rights lawsuits, residential segregation by race remains, and in some locations has intensified.

The only acceptable explanation, the only one which may be discussed in polite company, is, of course, racism among whites. What else could it be?

An alternative explanation is simply that people generally prefer to live among those who are most like themselves. At its extreme, this tendency is racism: “We hate those damned [insert racial epithet here]; they’re no better than animals!” But milder versions of the same behavior are probably instinctual, and are well-understood by most people at an intuitive level. We are most comfortable among those who speak the same language that we do, who look similar to us, who have customs we can understand, and with whom we share context about many everyday matters, so that communication is easier.

Natural Intelligence has developed an application called the “Ethnic Simulator” that models the residential behavior of people in the hypothetical ethnically diverse city of Metropolis. Go here to read the details about the Ethnic Simulator and download a freeware copy of the application.

The premise of the Ethnic Simulator is that ethnically distinct groups have a modest preference to live among their own kind. In Metropolis there are five ethnic groups — Blues (the majority), Greens, Reds, Grays, and Yellows. The application allows the user to set the percentage of preference of each group for its own kind. The default is 50% — that is, each ethnic group would prefer that at least half of its neighbors to be of the same group.

For the Blues, who are in the majority, meeting that requirement is easy — they don’t even have to think about it. But the Yellows, who are the smallest minority, have to scramble to find other Yellows as neighbors.

When you run the Ethnic Simulator, it begins with a uniformly mixed population. But the preferences of the groups cause clumping to occur very quickly — within about ten years. Within fifty years distinct ethnic neighborhoods have emerged, and if you let the simulation run for centuries, large sections of Metropolis have become “ghettos” for one group or another.

Phase 0
Phase 1
10 years
Phase 2
50 years
Phase 3
100 years
Phase 4
700 years
Phase 5
8000 years

Interestingly enough, if you set the preferences for the larger groups to zero (that is, they are indifferent to the ethnic origin of their neighbors), and give only the Yellows a preference (and a modest one at that), you will find Yellows clumping in their enclaves fairly quickly. The preference of the Yellows would be entirely understandable — they are a tiny minority and want to stick together for solidarity’s sake — but it produces a result that the conventional wisdom would identify as “racism”.

You can see why this result is not fit for polite discussion. If residential segregation of ethnic groups is not due to the racism of the oppressive majority group (i.e., whites), then the very pillars of multiculturalism are shaken. Talking about this would definitely be classified as “hate speech”.

But the Ethnic Simulator does not prove that racism is not the explanation, just that there is another equally plausible explanation. After all, the premise is not unreasonable. Take the issue of interracial marriage — why does it lag so far behind the percentage of the races involved in the general population? If race were not considered, one would expect 12% of white people to marry blacks, and 88% of blacks to marry whites. Does racism explain this? Or do people simply have an inborn preference for those most like themselves?

An investigation like the one described above is forbidden under the Laws of Political Correctness. You can’t talk about such things. You can’t even think about such things. If you do, the Ministry of Truth Center Against Racism will come down on you like a ton of bricks.

They’ll get your mind right. Then you’ll just sit there at your table in the sun, smiling that easy smile:

He gazed up at the enormous face. Forty years it had taken him to learn what kind of smile was hidden beneath the dark moustache. O cruel, needless misunderstanding! O stubborn, self-willed exile from the loving breast! Two gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of his nose. But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Hat tip for Kristianstad story: LN.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Just a Smudge of Smoke Against the Sky

The tracks leading into Auschwitz-Birkenau

A couple of weeks ago I posted the lyrics to an Al Stewart song and generated some interest among our readers who weren’t familiar with Mr. Stewart’s music. One commenter even averred that he was going to buy the CD in question… So, in the interest of increasing Al Stewart’s CD sales, I will present the lyrics to another one of his historically-oriented songs.

This one is of more recent vintage and showcases the singer in the full maturity of his art. You really need to hear the music to get the full impact of it — aided by a cheerful melody, and accompanied by a piano and a lilting accordion, the song begins innocently, and seems poised to deliver a series of nostalgic banalities about the trains of yesteryear.

About halfway through it begins to metamorphose into something else, and unfolds a much darker theme, one which stands in stark contrast to the pleasant tune and instrumentation:
- - - - - - - - - -
by Al Stewart

In the sapling years of the post-war world
In an English market town
I do believe we travelled in schoolboy blue
The cap upon the crown
Books on knee
Our faces pressed against the dusty railway carriage panes
As all our lives went rolling on the clicking wheels of trains

The school years passed like eternity
And at last were left behind
And it seemed the city was calling me
To see what I might find
Almost grown, I stood before horizons made of dreams
I think I stole a kiss or two while rolling on the clicking wheels of trains

All our lives were a whistle stop affair
No ties or chains
Throwing words like fireworks in the air
Not much remains
A photograph in your memory
Through the coloured lens of time
All our lives were just a smudge of smoke against the sky

The silver rails spread far and wide
Through the nineteenth century
Some straight and true, some serpentine
From the cities to the sea
And out of sight
Of those who rode in style there worked the military mind
On through the night to plot and chart the twisting paths of trains

On the day they buried Jean Juarez
World War One broke free
Like an angry river overflowing
Its banks impatiently
While mile on mile
The soldiers filled the railway stations’ arteries and veins
I see them now go laughing on the clicking wheels of trains

Rolling off to the front
Across the narrow Russian gauge
Weeks turn into months
And the enthusiasm wanes
Sacrifices in seas of mud, and still you don’t know why
All their lives are just a puff of smoke against the sky

Then came surrender, then came the peace
Then revolution out of the east
Then came the crash, then came the tears
Then came the thirties, the nightmare years
Then came the same thing over again
Mad as the moon
That watches over the plain
Oh, driven insane

But oh what kind of trains are these
That I never saw before
Snatching up the refugees
From the ghettoes of the war
To stand confused
With all their worldly goods, beneath the watching guard’s disdain
As young and old go rolling on the clicking wheels of trains

New arrivals at Auschwitz

And the driver only does this job
With vodka in his coat
And he turns around and he makes a sign
With his hand across his throat
For days on end
Through sun and snow, the destination still remains the same
For those who ride with death above the clicking wheels of trains

What became of the innocence
They had in childhood games
Painted red or blue
When I was young they all had names
Who’ll remember the ones who only rode in them to die
All their lives are just a smudge of smoke against the sky

Now forty years have come and gone
And I’m far away from there
And I ride the Amtrak from NewYork City
To Philadelphia
And there’s a man to bring you food and drink
And sometimes passengers exchange
A smile or two rolling on the humming wheels

But I can’t tell you if it’s them
Or if it’s only me
But I believe when they look outside
They don’t see what I see
Over there
Beyond the trees it seems that I can just make out the stained
Fields of Poland calling out to all the passing trains

I suppose that there’s nothing
In this life remains the same
Everything is governed
By the losses and the gains
Still sometimes I get caught up in the past I can’t say why
All our lives are just a smudge of smoke
Or just a breath of wind against the sky

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If you’re interested, this song is from the album Famous Last Words (1993), and is available from Amazon. Not all the songs on it have historical themes, but there are two that feature Peter the Great and Charlotte Corday respectively.

Al Stewart was an accomplished musician and songwriter at the age of 23, and remains one today at the age of 60. Some of the earlier albums are hard to find — it took me years to track down Orange — but they’re all worth listening to.

An Immigration Blog to Visit: “Limits to Growth”

Limits to Growth is a great name for a blog dedicated to preserving the sovereignty of our borders.

This site is rich with links, stories, ideas.

The (current) second-down post was the one that gripped me first. The link supplied here will lead you to the original text in The LA Times… I didn’t see anything in the source HTML which would allow me to link to the site’s shortened version, so I snipped it and included the other link:

Gonzalo CerritosJanitor’s secret past: a death squad

He’s just your typical Los Angeles illegal alien, a hard-working janitor, nice guy to his girlfriend’s children, weekly church-goer. Oh wait, he’s also a convicted death squad participant.

Gonzalo Guevara Cerritos was arrested Wednesday for being an illegal alien and also a member of the Salvadoran military death squad that brutally murdered six Jesuits in 1989.

Martyrs of 1989The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency said Guevara Cerritos was one of nine Salvadoran officers and soldiers implicated in one of the most notorious massacres in El Salvador’s history: the 1989 death squad murders of six Jesuit priests whom some in the army viewed as subversives.

A sublieutenant with the Atlacatl Battalion during El Salvador’s war against the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front, a leftist guerrilla group, Guevara Cerritos was convicted for his role in the slayings.
- - - - - - - - - -
So he resettled his illegal self last year in a city with more than 250,000 other Salvadoran nationals and immigrants, perhaps not the brightest move. He attempted to keep a low profile, but was apparently recognized by one of his countrymen and reported to the US government as a war criminal.

What the blog post doesn’t mention, but the Times did, is the effect this slaughter has had on the people of San Salvador:

The priests’ murders created a worldwide furor in part because Guevara Cerritos and the other assailants had received training from the U.S. government, taking courses at the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning, Ga.

The bloodshed occurred before dawn, Nov. 16, 1989, at the rectory of El Salvador’s Jesuit-run University of Central America. All but one of the priests were in nightclothes and slippers when they were shot. A dormitory cook and her teenage daughter also were killed.

Salvadoran courts ultimately ruled that Guevara Cerritos did not fire any of the fatal shots, but found that he was part of the conspiracy. He was convicted of conspiring to commit acts of terrorism and placed under house arrest for two years.


…Every year, the priests’ killings were re-created in his hometown of San Salvador and soldiers involved in the incident were burned in effigy.

Just as, every year, the 1980 killing of Cardinal Romero — while he was saying Mass in the cathedral — continues to be commemorated.

The bloody civil war in San Salvador, which began in 1980, lasted for about twelve years; it was one of the last of the Cold War hotspots hosted by the US and the USSR, and was responsible for the deaths of more than 75,000 people. Today, relatively peaceful, the government is headed by Antonio Saca, part of a previous Palestinian Christian exodus that landed in San Salvador a few generations ago:

Among the few immigrant groups that reached El Salvador, Palestinian Christians stand out. Though few in number, their descendants have attained great economic and political power in the country, as evidenced by President Antonio Saca and the flourishing commercial, industrial, and construction firms owned by them.

No doubt these left-overs from the civil war like Cerrito, who murdered so many and then disappeared into the latticework of California will continue to wash up in the news. It is only because there are millions of Salvadoran immigrants in this country that occasionally a piece of garbage is recognized and incarcerated.

Meanwhile, there is much more than this to see on “The Limits to Growth.” On the sidebar is the icon of the burning Twin Towers with a linked caption under it which reads Open Borders’ Inevitable Result. The linked essay is several years old, though still germane:

Decades of nonexistent borders, criminally permissive immigration and denial of the fact that America has enemies finally culminated on September 11, 2001. Thousands of Americans died because of delusions of a post-national world based on globalist commerce. Political and financial leaders imagined a world where the only zealotry would be the quest for profits. They ignored other agendas, such as religion and culture, at our peril. The ruling elites disregarded the growing desire of radical Islam to destroy the United States and western culture because of the threat they represent to the Moslem sphere.

Numerous signs of danger were ignored by a Congress under the sway of the powerful mass immigration lobby, consisting of cheap-labor business interests and ethnic hucksters desiring more political power for their group. The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 should have been a major alert, with six dead and a thousand injured, but the issue quickly faded and the media paid little attention even during the trial of the fundamentalist Islamic perpetrators who were based in New Jersey. In 1998, two American embassies in Africa were bombed within minutes of each other, indicating increasing coordination and sophistication of the terrorists…

The essay goes hasn't dated; it remains fresh -- only we are getting older and more tired of the unrelenting onslaught.

That same page has other links to things I’d not seen at the time. For instance, there’s the essay from 2003 by Stanley Crouch, the music critic, suggesting that Muslim integration be suspended for ten years. Just Say No For a While to Immigration is still up at The New York Daily News website; it hasn’t been archived.

Visit “Limits to Growth.” We need these sites which keep us informed of a growing will in the US to contain the tide of immigration before it drowns us.

Unfortunately, President Bush’s stance on immigration will not be remembered as his finest hour.

Friday, October 27, 2006

The News From Gothenburg

GothenburgGothenburg - or Göteborg, as it is known to the Swedes - is an attractive city on the west coast of Sweden on the Kattegat. Up until the 1980s it was relatively ethnically homogeneous, inhabited mainly by “persons of Swedish background”. However, like so many other major Swedish cities, it now hosts a large immigrant population, mostly Muslims.

Earlier this month immigrant youths in Gothenburg staged “Ramadan riots“, a celebration of vandalism and violence which has become an annual ritual in some of the larger cities of Western Europe. The “youths” get to burn cars, break windows, and loot, and the European press, in full PC denial, gets to ignore them.

On a different topic, the October 25th edition of the Swedish newspaper GT posted an article about the unprecedented number of rapes reported in Gothenburg (for reader XY’s full translation of the article, go here):
- - - - - - - - - -
The number of reported rapes is higher than ever in Gothenburg. Right now there are so many cases that the police lack time to investigate them all — though at the same time more cases lead to prosecution.

“We are forced to set tough priorities,” says Christina Lycke-Alhbin, assistant manager of the investigation department.

Never before have the police in Gothenburg had this many ongoing rape investigations. They are now working with about 60 reports where the perpetrator is known. There are in addition a large number of cases with an unknown perpetrator.

“There is an increase, that’s easily observed,” says Christina Lycke-Alhbin.

Since the Swedish press is still fully PC, there is no mention of the religion or ethnicity of the rapists, and the collection of such statistics is in any case officially forbidden by the authorities. But, as Fjordman has frequently reported, there is plenty of evidence that immigrant youths are overwhelmingly responsible for the recent increase in the incidence of rape.

The GT article goes on to assert that the rape increase in Gothenburg “is caused by more people reporting assaults and because the law has changed to classify more crimes as rape.” This has become the standard line from the Swedish authorities when discussing the rape crisis. But, as Fjordman’s report on Sweden’s rape epidemic has shown, this argument doesn’t hold water:

The number of rape charges in Sweden has quadrupled in just above twenty years. Rape cases involving children under the age of 15 are six times as common today as they were a generation ago. Resident aliens from Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia dominate the group of rape suspects. Lawyer Ann Christine Hjelm, who has investigated violent crimes in one court, found that 85 per cent of the convicted rapists were born on foreign soil or by foreign parents.

The official explanation given by Swedish authorities to this increase is that much of it is a “technical” increase due to the fact that more victims of rape now report this crime to the police. There is not a hint of evidence for this explanation. On the contrary, intimidation of people reporting any kind of crime to the police has rapidly worsened in Sweden during the same time period.

When the “youths” of Gothenburg aren’t out rioting and raping, they’re probably down at the Bellevue Mosque listening to an incendiary sermon from one of the resident radical imams. According to this translation of an OSC Report from October 19th,

GothenburgThe Islamic Sunni Center in Gothenburg, which runs the Bellevue Mosque, has become a center for extremism in western Sweden , according to media reports. The Swedish terrorism suspect on trial in Sarajevo, Mirsad Bektasevic, attended the mosque, as did the recently arrested Abu Usama El-Swede , described by the press as Bektasevic’s “mentor”. Two extremist youth groups are also associated with the mosque. The spokesman for one of the groups and El-Swede are very active on the Internet.

One of the prominent hotheads at the Bellevue Mosque is a Swedish convert to Islam who has taken on the nom de guerre “Abu Usama El-Swede”:

Bellevue as Extremist Hub . . . The tabloid daily Aftonbladet reported that Bektasevic’s mentor at the mosque was a Swedish convert to Islam, known by his online name Abu Usama El-Swede, who was arrested by the Swedish and British police in May 2006. The British police reportedly asked the Swedes to apprehend him after they came across his name among the contacts of a British suspect in custody. Authorities believed that El-Swede was also connected with Abu Hamza in the UK. He was released after interrogation, but was told he remained a suspect under investigation (30 May 2006).

Born Ralf Wadman, El-Swede changed his name to Abdu Raouf when he converted to Islam during his first prison term in 1998, following a history of petty crime and involvement in neo-Nazi groups. After the release, he moved to Morocco, where he married his first wife. Upon returning to Sweden, he divorced and became involved in narcotics. In 2003 he was arrested while smuggling the African drug khat from Denmark to Sweden. Before he could serve his sentence, he was arrested again for threatening a policeman. During the second prison term, he reassumed his Swedish last name (Metro, 31 May 2006).

According to Aftonbladet, El-Swede is a prolific contributor to Muslim chatrooms, where he has urged readers to “destroy Islam’s enemies and put fear into the hearts of the scum.” He has also issued threats against a Swedish evangelist preacher who last year called Muhammad a “pedophile” The same paper reported that in 2004 El-Swede maintained contact with a well-known neo-Nazi via one of his websites, and that the two discussed “taking up arms” and “storming” the Swedish Prime Minister’s office (19 November 2006, 27 January 2006).

Fjordman reported last year that Abu Usama El-Swede and his associates have called for terrorist attacks on the police and Swedish authorities.

I went looking for Abu Usama El-Swede’s postings on English-language Islamic forums, and found that some of them are now nearly blank, with a note that they are “edited”. His remaining entries are innocuous: evidently Abu Usama El-Swede decided that it would be prudent to remove some of his more incendiary writings from publicly-available sources.

According to the OSC report, another firebrand at the Bellevue Mosque is Abu Malik:

Speakers Espousing Fundamentalist Views — A frequent speaker at the Bellevue Mosque and Tuff [an extremist youth group] meetings is Anas Khalifa, who is widely quoted as espousing Salafi views in the media, and is a frequent contributor to Muslim chatrooms in Sweden. Khalifa, who uses the name Abu Malik on the Internet, also runs several extremist websites.

  • Sydsvenska Dagbladet described Khalifa as a charismatic speaker who appeals to youth because he is young and speaks their language (“immigrant Swedish”). He was a petty criminal before turning to Islam. He also lectures for the fundamentalist Islamic Cultural Association in Malmö (9 February 2006).
  • Khalifa preaches segregation of the Muslim community, claiming Muslims “cannot be friends with Christians or Jews” and “must not mix with them” because then “you become like them” (Sydsvenska Dagbladet, 9 February 2006; Swedish Television, 25 April 2006).

It’s not clear from the report whether Abu Malik is another “person of Swedish background” who has converted to Islam.

Muslims like Abu Usama El-Swede are particularly attractive as recruits to Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups for infiltration into the United States. Have El-Swede shave off his beard and put on normal Western clothes, get him a fake passport with a Swedish name, and he could easily pass for any other Swedish tourist.

How many blond blue-eyed converts to Islam are there in Sweden? I have been unable to find any estimates of such statistics — perhaps some of our Scandinavian readers have information that they can leave in the comments…

Hat tip for the OSC report: reader LN.

Germany Gets a Backbone Transplant

Remember last month’s decision by Berlin Opera House to withdraw a production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo”? I’m sure you also recall that the revised ending of the opera — recently added by the director — featured the severed head of Mohammed, among others.

Germany took took a page from the book of their French EU partners and pre-emptively surrendered to Islam. Muslims had not yet become offended. No riots were necessary, nor any burning of cars. No torched German embassies. Just fear of Muslims.

However, German public opinion reacted with outrage, and now Deutsche Oper Berlin has changed its mind:
- - - - - - - - - -
Berlin OpernhausGerman opera company said Friday it would bring back a Mozart opera canceled because of security fears over a scene featuring the severed head of the Prophet Muhammad.

The Deutsche Oper Berlin said it hoped to stage two performances of the controversial Hans Neuenfels production of Mozart’s “Idomeneo” before the end of the year, after receiving a new security assessment from police.

The cancellation of four scheduled fall performances last month by opera chief Kirsten Harms followed a vague security warning from police and triggered a furious debate about free speech.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble called the decision crazy and Chancellor Angela Merkel warned against “self-censorship out of fear.”

Good for Germany.

But you know what I like best about this whole absurd brouhaha? The headline on the Fox website linked to the story:

Berlin to Stage Prophet Muhammad Opera

It’s no longer referred to as a “Mozart Opera”, or “Mozart’s ‘Idomeneo’”. It’s the “Prophet Mohammed Opera”.

And with any kind of luck, as this story progresses, and the inevitable Muslim knickers get into their perennial twist, it will become widely known as “The Mohammed Severed Head Opera”.

Won’t that be sweet?

Beach Burqa Blues

PC seems to be losing its grip on Australia. A reader from Down Under sent this to us, scanned from the October 24th edition of The Australian:

Beach bunnies in burqas

Cartoon - scanned copy as attached; it depicts a Sydney beach, scene of recent violent clashes between “men of Middle Eastern appearance” and local Aussie youths.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Not Your Father’s College Campus

The Wall Street Journal (subscription required) reports, in an article by Anthony Glees, that Britain has become “al Qaeda target No. 1”…He also says that intelligence sources now believe that the activities of the “homegrown” jihadists in Britain are in fact, trained and sponsored from Pakistan.

The title of Mr. Glees’ essay is “Campus Jihad” - and for good reason. It has become a commonplace by now that the level of organized Islamist activity in any Western country takes place on university campuses. That’s where students are radicalized and recruited, that is where jihadists find refuge and support.

Mr. Glees’ report focuses on the many instances in Britain:

I believe a significant number get radicalized and recruited on university campuses. At least 13 convicted Islamist terrorists and four suicide bombers have been students at British universities. Radical Islamist student societies make full use of university resources. They operate Web sites, hosted by university servers, which direct visitors to organizations that glorify jihad and terror. These “religious” groups are given “prayer rooms” on campus, which are also used to disseminate extremist literature and DVDs. Muslim students concerned about these developments tell me that at many of these Islamic societies terrorism is portrayed as justified acts of “resistance.” A leading imam in Birmingham often preaches on British campuses that the London bombers have to be seen as “martyrs.”
- - - - - - - - - -

British universities prefer burying their heads in the sand of political correctness. When the Foreign Office invited 100 academics to bid for £1.3 million of government funds to participate in a counter-radicalization program, the academics said no. John Gledhill, chair of the Association of Social Anthropologists, welcomed their move, saying last week that “it did appear to be encouraging researchers to identify subjects and groups involved with terrorism . . . that could be interpreted asencouraging them to become informers.” Martha Mundy, a lecturer at the London School of Economics, dismissed the government plans as having “an overtly security-research agenda” starting from the (false) premise that there is a “link between Islamism, radicalization and terrorism.”

And guess who one of the leading lights at the London School of Economics is? Our very own favorite villain, Tariq Ramadan, the very same T.R. who is the grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the same Islamist who was refused a visa into the U.S. to teach at Notre Dame.

It’s important to remember that the Jihadist movement is transnational. The first thing that its members have to do is to establish sanctuaries. The college campus has become both refuge and recruiting camp.

America hasn’t escaped this fate, either. Saudis have given big money to Harvard, Georgetown, and DePaul University, just to name a few. And don’t forget that poor schmuck who blew himself up at the University of Oklahoma - he of the Pakistani roommate who disappeared the next day.

Don’t you wonder how many of these schools permit military recruiting within their hallowed halls? And how many permit R.O.T.C. programs? I don’t have the answer to these questions, but I’m sure the research would be depressing.

The irony is that these education factories are turning out people who often have trouble finding jobs that will allow them to make enough to pay off their academic debt. Here is the sad story of one man, from the same issue of the WSJ. He is answering a columnist who claimed that those with post-graduate degrees make more money in the long run:

There are consequences for broadening the income gap, such as social unrest and increased violent crime rates. Yet, for my entire 20 year career span, this has been the consistent story, and we have not chosen to change the situation. In fact, we reinforce it with appeals to freewill, individualism and self determination.

I do hold a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from University of Chicago, where I earned many honors for my research. By most expectations, I should be doing well. Unfortunately, it is far from true, and I am not alone. Of my personal classmates, eight in 10 had to leave the field as well. When we graduated, we were told bluntly that there were insufficient students to necessitate added faculty positions, and insufficient federal grants to warrant a research laboratory position. The few that stayed currently earn a modest to lower middle class income. Those that left went to government, financial, legal, and entrepreneurial sectors. I chose the latter. Many of us retrained, including me collecting an M.B.A on top of the Ph.D. Again, the M.B.A. should indicate a strong career, but somehow my timing seems to be off. Unfortunately, I gradated in 2001, shortly after the collapse of the consulting business, and followed by the collapse of the professional labor market due 9/11. Five years later, I am still scraping by with various entrepreneurial and part-time endeavors. Stats add that nine in 10 fail. I am only on my fourth endeavor which has fallen short of the required goals.

Hope drives behavior more than facts. My hope springs internal, and so I will continue to strive to find my job/create a working company. But, at some point, I will become an electrician. Physicists are usually pretty good with electricity. We did discover it.

The university factories in this country are corrupted. It is not insignificant that women students now outnumber men in college, or that women are frequently walled into self-selected ghettoes of “gender” studies. However, it is a cultural fact that when the number of females in a given field is greater than the number of men, the latter leave the field. No doubt some psycho-social ethnologist can tell us why. Lionel Tiger, perhaps.

Our culture is under assault from within and from without. While this is hardly unique, when such occurrences have been recorded in history, the outcome for those bearing the brunt is not pretty.

Jihad and college. It’s not your father’s campus anymore.

Swedish Skeptics

Swedish reader and commenter XY has sent this translation of an article from yesterday’s Dagens Nyheter. The article reports that a recent study shows that Swedes are not particularly keen on cooperating with the United States.

However, if it’s any consolation, they don’t seem to have much enthusiasm about cooperating with anyone else, either:

Swedes are the most USA-skeptical in Scandinavia

Swedes are the Nordic countries’s most USA-skeptical people. Only one in ten Swede thinks that long term cooperation with the USA is important — as against every second Dane.

The Nordic Council has investigated the Nordic people’s attitude to cross-national cooperation. And the by far least interested are the Swedes.
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Cecilia Malmström“It is troubling,” says the EU minister Cecilia Malmström.

One of the questions in this major investigation is: “Are there any countries you think it is especially important to cooperate with in the long term?”

The answers suggest a widespread skepticism among the Swedes towards the USA, China and Russia.

Only 10 percent of the Swedes want long term cooperation with the USA, and as many with China and only 7 percent with Russia.

That can be compared with the 44 percent of the Danes and 33 percent of the Norwegians that want a long term cooperation with the USA.

The interest in cooperation with Russia is four times as big in all other Nordic countries except Iceland.

The Swedes are also the most skeptical in regard to long term cooperation with the EU countries — 43 percent want it, as against 80 percent of the Danes.

In all five countries in the study finds that cooperation among the Nordic countries the most desired. But the Swedes are the least interested there as well: 50 percent think it is important, as against 71 percent in Norway and 74 percent in Denmark.

The EU minister Cecilia Malmström says that the investigation is troubling, but also expresses a certain skepticism. That only about 500 persons in each of the Nordic countries — a total of 2,500 persons — have been interviewed suggests that the survey may not have been statistically significant, she says.

But at the same time she admits that the differences between Sweden and the rest of the Nordic countries is striking.

She thinks one reason is that there isn’t enough awareness of the advantages of international cooperation.

“It is important to show that both we and our neighbors have something to gain from cooperation.”

At the same time she thinks that the result is perplexing.

“The Swedes are a people that traditionally have been positive in regard to cooperation, for example in the U.N. and the EU’s expansion,” says Cecilia Malmström.

— Mats Carlbom

Blogs From and About South America

UPDATE: Surprise, surprise…there are good South American blogs out there. Here are some starting places which will permit me to drill down further.

Venezuela News and Views

Comprehensive, with links to other Venezuelan blogs, divided by language. He also has a great map of the country permanently on the sidebar.

OnPublius Pundit, scroll down the side bar till you hit “The Americas.” Just glancing at it, I see Colombia, Argentina, Bolivia…this will take awhile to work through.

Thanks to commenters Matt andDon Miguel for the URLS.

Muchísimas gracias!

In a previous post, I asked if anyone had references for South American blogs written in English. A commenter sent two for our consideration.

The first is “The Devil’s Excrement” — the explanation for the title being this:

A famous Venezuelan, Juan Pablo Perez Alfonzo, referred to oil as the devil’s excrement. For countries, easy wealth appears indeed to be the sure path to failure. Venezuela might be a clear example of that.

Señor Alfonzo sure got that one right. Look at the snake-bitten Middle East.

This blog is a good introduction for people like me who don’t know much about the particulars of Venezuela. Top posts discuss the details of the coming elections and the efforts made to keep them honest. There are a few of these “details” I wish we had in, say, St. Louis, Chicago, New Orleans, and anywhere in Ohio or Washington (the state, or the District of Columbia, take your pick).

Here’s how they set up the voting tally procedure:

—All machines have to be disconnected all day. They can only be connected to the network, after every single tally sheet at the particular voting center has been printed and copies distributed to all sides. Once all of the President’s of each mesa meet and agree all the tally sheets have been printed and distributed, can the machines be connected to the network.

—Once the transmission is completed, the audit will begin. All of the President’s of “mesas” and in the presence of anyone from the public, will write down numbers in pieces of paper which will be put in a cup and someone from the public, not the Presidents will choose a piece of paper, another person another one, until all “mesas” to be audited are selected.

The way the 55% works is as follows: If a center has one mesa, that mesa is audited, if it has two, one mesa is audited, it has three or four, two mesas are audited, if it has five or six three mesas are audited, if it has seven or eight four mesas are audited and it has 9 or ten, 5 mesas are audited. (I hope I got this part right).

A copy of the audit tally will also be provided to each side.

Also, scroll down to see a moving video of Venezuela with the song “Por Amor” playing in the background. Evidently, Chavez deludes himself that what he has done has been for the good of Venezuela. So he asks for the citizens’ vote his ticket “for love.”

Beneath the poverty and military violence, you can see a people of courage. Some of the images of military excess, and of hungry young children, of the polluted beaches and rotting infrastructure, are disturbing. Still, it is more than worth your time. You might even try playing it on Thanksgiving; if you simply can’t think of anything in your own life that moves you to gratitude, this video will do it.

In another post, this image is up, with the translation below it.

Chavez is a cretin
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“What a cretin!
After you made us fight brother against brother, father against children and Venezuelans against Venezuelans, you ask for my vote for love.
What balls!
Because I am pissed I will not give it to you.
Vote Popular Force”

Now there is a political poster with ummm…a certain manliness about it. Gives you hope that Gagdad Bob’s observation about “Men Without Chests and Women Without Breasts” is a condition confined to the northern hemisphere and Eurabia.

At any rate, can you imagine such a poster here in the good ol’ U.S. of A.? From either side of the spectrum? It would give a certain liveliness and unpredictability to our tediously offensive but banal calls for impeachment and such. An uproar beats a screech anytime. I have a few banners in mind for the opposition that will naturally arise to the idea of Hillary as our commandress-in-chief. However, I would omit the mention of body parts. That is an indulgence best left to the men remaining among us, the ones, unlike Larry Summers, who still have all their equipment (hmmm... there’s an observation that should rankle the wrinkles of NOW). Poor Ms. Summers.

Anyway, we now have a good South American blog, thanks to commenter Ben, from the thread on the post about a new blog from Finland. Ben lives in America (Michigan). From his blog(s) he appears to be, perhaps, a Brazilian native. However, one of his efforts is called “ATA English Edition”. He doesn’t post there often enough, but the top post —from July — remains timely. Read “The Ninth Child” — not only because of the jolting anecdote he uses to open the post, but more importantly for the way he applies the moral of the that chilling story to make his points about Israel, Lebanon and the US. His remarks have not stale-dated at all.

In the darkI look forward to seeing more South American bloggers. Anyone from Argentina who writes for the Anglosphere? Peru? Ecuador? Chile? Brazil? Somebody down there…

…now that the US has begun to make amends for our neglect of India, it’s time — it’s past time — for (northern) Americans to start paying attention to our neighbors from the South. So please send any candidates this way, please. I’d like to see our amigos to begin to light up the dark continent on our website. Even more, I'd like to write about them and put them on our blogroll. "Yanqui Go Home" blogs don't count; we can read that stuff in the lemming press here.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Brand New Blog From Finland

Another new blog. Just what you need, right? Like your sidebar isn’t crowded enough as it is… Well, I present this one anyway, despite the fact that it’s just starting out…it’s so new that if it were a just-hatched turtle it would still have its egg tooth.

Here are my reasons:

  • He’s Finnish (though his blog is written in English, and has those little glitches a non-native speaker has. I rather like them). We - the ‘sphere - need as broad a representation as possible. There’s not a glut on the market of Finland blogs that English speakers can read.
  • He’s got good illustrations.
  • He’s a traditionalist and a conservative. This might be a redundant statement. On the other hand, it remains to be seen if he can avoid the pits of reactionary thinking. Refusing to fall into those holes make it difficult to traverse the public square. Patrick Buchanan comes to mind as someone who didn’t make it. And Catholics who still demand the Tridentine Mass are another. Not to mention the Anglicans who will let go of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer only when it falls from their cold, dead hands.
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Here’s a snip from a long quote of Tolkien’s, written in the 1890's, that he posted a few days ago:

The extraordinary achievements of modern times, the discoveries and inventions in every sphere, the maintenance of progress in the face of increasing competition — these things have only been gained, and can only be held, by great mental effort. The demands made on the efficiently of the individual in the struggle for existence have greatly increased and it is only putting out all his mental powers that he can meet them. At the same time, the individual’s needs and his demands for the enjoyment of life have increased in all classes; unprecedented luxury has spread to a strata of population who were formerly quite untouched by it; irreligion, discontent and covetousness have grown up in wide social spheres. The immense extension of communications which has been brought about by the networks of telegraphs and telephones that encircle the world has completely altered the conditions of trade and commerce. All is hurry and agitation; night is used for travel, day for business, even “holiday trips” have become a strain on the nervous system...

Ah, Tolkien… a writer who affirms all my pet peeves and Luddite tendencies. I loathe travel. And The Baron and I wait each other out to see who won’t answer the phone, while too much luxury makes me uneasy —

— And do you think Tolkien saying here that luxury increases covetousness? That’s what I think of when I see poor kids in two hundred dollar shoes. They may never have a decent job, the “educational” “system” has failed them, but by gosh, at least they have those big, muffin-like shoes which allow to them to strut with the best.

This thought occurs to me whenever I see pictures of looting during natural disasters. Katrina is seared into the general consciousness in that regard. Remember the guy loaded down with bottles of beer and floating a tub of them?

I interviewed a woman last week for a piece in the local paper. She lives what she calls an “intentional” life. One of the ways she does this is to purchase only used clothing (no, you can’t tell by looking at her. If there is one thing this country has, it’s a surfeit of clothing).

How many of us live intentionally — I mean besides those dedicated Jihadists and the folks at The Common Room? (Oh, dear: I’ll bet they’ll be nonplussed to find themselves in the same sentence with suicidal nihilists) What difference would it make in our public life if that kind of thinking - careful intentionality became a part of everyone’s life? What if they taught such ideas in school instead of p.c. history?

Here are a few projections about what could happen, some of them possible short-term problems:

  • The housing market would change radically. No more cheesy McMansions. Rooms with reasonable proportions would return. Living in such an environment would lead to lowered expectations, which at this point can only help.
  • Sound bites would die. This would happen because people would simply drift away from the surface “news” to more substantial fare.
  • Lots of “must have” items would disappear or be greatly reduced. The cell phone companies would have to scramble to attract a shrunken market when people realized how much of their thinking time was taking up with chatter. And those biscuit shoes would disappear, too.
  • “Irreligion” would not be such a bad thing. The more intentionally-lived one’s life is the less need we have to tell others what to do. For example, the eco-fundamentalists and the lemming liberals would simply find themselves content to live their own lives without insisting that the rest of us live it with them. The anti-globalists would study history instead of spouting theories which demonstrate their innumeracy.
  • Not every problem would have an automatic solution. Someone who lives intentionally knows that life is one problem after another. Or rather, one mystery to be lived after another. “Solutions,” especially those dictated from the centers of power, would dissolve in the acid of their own hubris.

And that’s just for starters. Go see this Finn. I think he’s going to do well and you’ll be in on the ground floor.

And if you know of any South American blogs (writing in English and not calling for the overthrow of the evil Americans), please let me — and our readers — know. When I look at the feature of our sitemeter that permits you to see the world map of those who have clicked on to Gates of Vienna, South America is always in total darkness. We get more traffic from Thailand than from the southern continent of the Americas.