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10501  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 11:19:06 PM
**"The water feels fine", said the frog.**

http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5hqiCwPO2NHjLstgMZcot-vSzFq0w

First sharia-compliant insurance firm launched
Jul 27, 2008
LONDON (AFP) — Britain's first sharia-compliant insurance company was launched Monday, offering motoring policies in line with the Islamic legal code.

Salaam Halal insurance uses Takaful principles, whereby the risk is spread between all policy holders. In contrast, conventional insurance policies shift the risk from the policy holder to the insurance firm.
People taking out a policy with Salaam Halal pay contributions into a pool, with that money then put into sharia-compliant investments -- avoiding companies that are involved in alcohol or pay interest.
The central pool of funds is used to pay any claims that arise, and at the end of the year, if the pool is over-funded, the excess will be distributed back to policyholders through a discount on their next premium.
The policies are aimed at Britain's 1.6 million Muslims, who constitute 2.7 percent of the total population, according to the 2001 census.
"The launch of Salaam insurance -- the first independent, fully sharia-compliant Takaful operator available in this country -- is a significant step for the growth of Islamic finance in the UK," said Abdulaziz Hamad Aljomaih, the chairman of Salaam insurance.
The group, authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority, an independent watchdog, hopes to launch home insurance policies later this year.
Their call centres in Britain can take calls in English, Arabic, Bengali, Gujarati or Urdu.
In 2004, Britain authorised a 100 percent Islamic bank, the Islamic Bank of Britain. And the traditional bank Lloyds TSB last year launched Islamic finance products targeted at businesses, and offered sharia-compliant bank accounts.
10502  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 16, 2008, 11:10:08 PM
Obama is a US citizen. He was born in Hawaii and this lawsuit is silly and going nowhere. God help us if he's elected, but he is eligible to be president.
10503  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 11:01:37 PM
http://womenagainstshariah.blogspot.com/2008/07/uk-forced-marriage-victims-betrayed-by.html

WOMEN AGAINST SHARIAH
ABOUT US

The mission of Women Against Shariah is to prevent and outlaw the imposition of shariah law in the United States for both Muslim and American women as either a parallel legal system or a replacement for existing laws. Additionally, we hope to empower women worldwide to resist shariah.

It is our position that shariah law imposes second class status on women and is incompatible with the standards of liberal Western societies and the basic principles of human rights that include equality under the law and the protection of individual freedoms. The shariah code mandates the complete authority of men over women, including the control of their movement, education, marital options, clothing, bodies, place of residence and all other aspects of their existence. Further, it calls for the beating, punishment, and murder of women who don’t comply with shariah requirements.

In our efforts to stem the encroachment of shariah in the West, we are focusing on the following objectives:

Education of the American public about the inherent human rights violations and the attempt to undermine or replace U.S. law and American statutes with Islamic shariah

Publicizing of important issues related to sharia requirements such as honor killings, forced marriages, child marriage, polygamy, female genital mutilation, violence against women, etc.

Alerting policy makers and legislators to potential human rights and equal rights violations and working toward the development of possible remedies and legal actions

Building coalitions with like-minded organizations to develop policy initiatives and interventions for victims of shariah.
________________________________________________________________________________
FRIDAY, JULY 4, 2008

UK: Forced Marriage Victims Betrayed by Doctors
Doctors and Job Centre workers are breaching confidentiality rules and passing on vital information to families, allowing them to trace and punish Asian women who are attempting to escape coerced marriages and "honour"-based domestic violence.

Commander Steve Allen, who is the spokesman on forced marriages for Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO), revealed that some doctors have informed girls' families that they have asked for the contraceptive pill, placing them at risk from fathers or brothers who believe this means the family's honour has been besmirched.

Cmdr Allen also told The Sunday Telegraph that Job Centre workers have accessed the National Insurance details of women who flee violent husbands, tracing where they collect benefits and passing the details on to their families so they can be found and forced back to their marital home.

In one case the family of an 18-year-old Pakistani woman attempted to kidnap her from a south London Job Centre after being tipped off by a member of staff. The plot was only foiled because her boyfriend intervened.

Cmdr Allen, of the Metropolitan Police, said: "GPs will tell fathers their daughter has seen them and is on the pill. That can get a girl killed. Public sector employees will pass on to a family member an individual's National Insurance number knowing it can be used to trace their new whereabouts around the country.

"There is collusion by certain public servants and people in a position of authority, such as doctors, which supports these offences. It means many victims don't have the faith or the trust to be able to report their situation."

Cmdr Allen revealed the problem is compounded by some police offices treating women fleeing a forced marriage as 'teenage runaways' and returning them to their families – unwittingly placing them in danger. This has led to a breakdown of trust in some areas, with young Asian girls scared to tell the police of their plight for fear their families will be told.

He also said that in some Asian communities women do not trust the police because they suspect local officers will inform their families if they attempt to flee a forced marriage. ACPO is now taking urgent steps to address the problem by increased training for officers in how to deal with cases.
10504  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 10:53:03 PM
Omar Bakri can see it, why can't you? You should fly to Beirut so you can lecture him on his anti-islamic beliefs.
10505  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 10:46:07 PM
http://memri.org/bin/latestnews.cgi?ID=SD205008

Special Dispatch Series - No. 2050
September 12, 2008   No. 2050

Lebanese Islamist Sheikh Omar Bakri: Britain's Problem – 'Its Law Is Not the Law Sent Down by Allah'; Terrorism by Mujahideen is 'Blessed'; 'Within 20 Years, British Society Will Have A Muslim Majority'
Following are excerpts from an interview with Lebanese Islamist sheikh Omar Bakri, which aired on OTV on August 22, 2008.

To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1848.htm .

"The Problem With Britain Is that Its Law Is Not the Law Sent Down by Allah"

Sheikh Omar Bakri: "This is true Salafism: Pure and complete religious preaching, and we only brandish our weapons against those who fight us. If we are fought and prevented from calling people to join Islam, a right that everybody has... You call this 'freedom of expression,' but I call it a religious duty to preach for the sake of Allah. If I am prevented from performing this duty, I must either defend myself or emigrate. They prevented me from doing this in Britain, so I emigrated to Lebanon."

Interviewer: "What is your problem with the British? We all know that you left before they decided you would not be allowed to return, and revoked your British citizenship, even though your family still has citizenship."

Bakri: "The problem with Britain is that its law is not the law sent down by Allah. This country says that it implements democracy, freedom of expression, personal liberties, and the right to own property, but when I expressed my belief by preaching to Islam - there was an impressive response in the universities, and George and Michael became Omar and Abd Al-Rahman, and Jane became Hadija...

"Within 20 Years, British Society Will Have A Muslim Majority"

"When they saw that Islam was spreading in British universities at an unprecedented rate, and that the non-Muslims - the Hindus, the Christians and the Jews - were accepting Islam at an average rate of 21 people a day, it began to endanger their society. Within 20 years, British society will have a Muslim majority. Of course, this cannot be allowed by this secular regime, which wants to strip society of any religious values connected to Allah.

[...]

"In cases of self-defense, there are victims, who are not intentionally targeted. They are killed by mistake, as collateral damage, not intentionally... When America bombs Sudan, Somalia, and Iraq, and sows destruction, the Muslims have the right to retaliate, and then there might be victims.

[...]

"Why do people say that Islam is being distorted today, when these are jihad operations against an enemy occupying Muslim lands? What's the difference between America in Iraq and Israel in Palestine?"

Interviewer: "There is a difference between fighting an American or Israeli soldier, who is occupying my land..."

Bakri: "When the American soldier takes off his uniform and wears pajamas, it becomes forbidden to fight him?"

"There Are Two Types of Terrorism, Blessed and Deplorable - [The Mujahideen's] Terrorism is Blessed"

Interviewer: "Was there a military base in the Twin Towers, which were destroyed?"

Bakri: "It was not just the Twin Towers, but also the U.S. Department of Defense... The 9/11 operation is a matter subject to personal judgment. Some people were against, and others supported it…"

Interviewer: "When explosives are placed on trains and in coffee shops... If I am under occupation, and I carry out attacks against it, that's one thing..."

Bakri: "You can call such operations terrorist operations par excellence. But today, America represents the camp of Western terrorism, and there is another camp of terrorism within Islam. But there are two types of terrorism: Blessed and deplorable. The same is true with regard to violence. Violence can either take lives or save lives. In both cases, it is violence. America's violence is meant to take lives, and so its terrorism is deplorable, whereas the violence the mujahideen use for defense and retaliation is meant to protect lives and defend honor. Their terrorism is blessed. Not all terrorism is deplorable.

[...]

"The problem with Hizbullah is that it believes in resistance for the sake of the land. We believe that fighting for the sake of land..."

Interviewer: "... is forbidden, because fighting should be for the sake of Allah."

Bakri: "I was created from mud, I fight for the mud of Shaba', and I will be buried in mud - my entire history is muddy... I fight for the sake of God who lives and does not die. I fight to glorify the word of Allah. If in Lebanon, they would fight to glorify the word of Allah, I'd say: Fine, let them fight for Shaba', liberate it, and instate the law of Allah. But if all they want is to liberate the Shaba' Farms, and then instate what is known here as the 'Lebanese law' - I do not accept this."

Interviewer: "You are talking about Lebanon as if you do not belong here."

Though I Was Given British Citizenship, "I Refused to Swear That I Would Obey the Queen or the Laws - I Obey Only Allah and His Messenger"

Bakri: "I belong to Islam. I did not belong to Britain when I lived there. I was a Muslim living in Britain, now I am a Muslim living in Lebanon, and tomorrow I will be a Muslim living in Iraq. God only knows, I may be a Muslim in prison."

Interviewer: "So why did you take British citizenship?"

Bakri: "I didn't take it. They gave it to me."

Interviewer: "So why didn't you reject it?"

Bakri: "I did not carry their ID. I did not have a British passport. I used a Lebanese passport to get back here."

Male guest: "They took it away from him."

Interviewer: "Why didn't he reject it beforehand?"

Bakri: "They took away my right to become a citizen. They didn't give me a passport because I refused to pledge allegiance to the queen. My wife and children got passports because they were born there. I refused to swear that I would obey the queen or the laws. I obey only Allah and His Messenger."
10506  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 10:18:44 PM
Sharia law condones domestic violence, given that it's the husband inflicting violence on the wife. Now that sharia law is creeping into the UK's legal system, you'll see the system empower abusers via the sharia courts, just as sharia courts do around the globe.
10507  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 07:07:54 PM
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/003-wife-beating.htm

Domestic violence, now with the force of British law! Woo hoo!

"Woo hoo!" maybe, but NO WHERE in you link or anywhere else for that matter does British Law condone or provide the "force of law"
allowing domestic violence.  It's simply not true! It's a fabrication without basis for fact.  Apparently you don't like Muslims, any Muslims,

**I don't like Islam's theology of violence.**

but like Christians, Hindu's, Jews, et al there are good ones and bad ones.  Did you ever notice there is a lot of domestic violence here
in America among so called, "Christians"?

**If you'd bother to actually read up on islamic theology, you'd see that wife-beating is mandated by "allah".*
*
10508  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 07:04:29 PM
004.034
YUSUFALI: Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has given the one more (strength) than the other, and because they support them from their means. Therefore the righteous women are devoutly obedient, and guard in (the husband's) absence what Allah would have them guard. As to those women on whose part ye fear disloyalty and ill-conduct, admonish them (first), (Next), refuse to share their beds, (And last) beat them (lightly); but if they return to obedience, seek not against them Means (of annoyance): For Allah is Most High, great (above you all).
PICKTHAL: Men are in charge of women, because Allah hath made the one of them to excel the other, and because they spend of their property (for the support of women). So good women are the obedient, guarding in secret that which Allah hath guarded. As for those from whom ye fear rebellion, admonish them and banish them to beds apart, and scourge them. Then if they obey you, seek not a way against them. Lo! Allah is ever High, Exalted, Great.
SHAKIR: Men are the maintainers of women because Allah has made some of them to excel others and because they spend out of their property; the good women are therefore obedient, guarding the unseen as Allah has guarded; and (as to) those on whose part you fear desertion, admonish them, and leave them alone in the sleeping-places and beat them; then if they obey you, do not seek a way against them; surely Allah is High, Great.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Book 004, Number 2127:
Muhammad b. Qais said (to the people): Should I not narrate to you (a hadith of the Holy Prophet) on my authority and on the authority of my mother? We thought that he meant the mother who had given him birth. He (Muhammad b. Qais) then reported that it was 'A'isha who had narrated this: Should I not narrate to you about myself and about the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him)? We said: Yes. She said: When it was my turn for Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) to spend the night with me, he turned his side, put on his mantle and took off his shoes and placed them near his feet, and spread the corner of his shawl on his bed and then lay down till he thought that I had gone to sleep. He took hold of his mantle slowly and put on the shoes slowly, and opened the door and went out and then closed it lightly. I covered my head, put on my veil and tightened my waist wrapper, and then went out following his steps till he reached Baqi'. He stood there and he stood for a long time. He then lifted his hands three times, and then returned and I also returned. He hastened his steps and I also hastened my steps. He ran and I too ran. He came (to the house) and I also came (to the house). I, however, preceded him and I entered (the house), and as I lay down in the bed, he (the Holy Prophet) entered the (house), and said: Why is it, O 'A'isha, that you are out of breath? I said: There is nothing. He said: Tell me or the Subtle and the Aware would inform me. I said: Messenger of Allah, may my father and mother be ransom for you, and then I told him (the whole story). He said: Was it the darkness (of your shadow) that I saw in front of me? I said: Yes. He struck me on the chest which caused me pain, and then said: Did you think that Allah and His Apostle would deal unjustly with you? She said: Whatsoever the people conceal, Allah will know it. He said: Gabriel came to me when you saw me. He called me and he concealed it from you. I responded to his call, but I too concealed it from you (for he did not come to you), as you were not fully dressed. I thought that you had gone to sleep, and I did not like to awaken you, fearing that you may be frightened. He (Gabriel) said: Your Lord has commanded you to go to the inhabitants of Baqi' (to those lying in the graves) and beg pardon for them. I said: Messenger of Allah, how should I pray for them (How should I beg forgiveness for them)? He said: Say, Peace be upon the inhabitants of this city (graveyard) from among the Believers and the Muslims, and may Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those who come later on, and we shall, God willing, join you.
10509  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 02:21:06 PM
http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/003-wife-beating.htm

Domestic violence, now with the force of British law! Woo hoo!
10510  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 02:16:49 PM
Independent.co.uk
A question of honour: Police say 17,000 women are victims every year

Ministers are stepping up the fight against so-called 'honour' crime and forced marriages. Detectives say official statistics are 'merely the tip of the iceberg' of this phenomenon. Brian Brady investigates

Sunday, 10 February 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Commander Steve Allen, head of ACPO's honour-based violence unit, says the true toll of people falling victim to brutal ancient customs is "massively unreported" and far worse than is traditionally accepted. "We work on a figure which suggests it is about 500 cases shared between us and the Forced Marriage Unit per year," he said: "If the generally accepted statistic is that a victim will suffer 35 experiences of domestic violence before they report, then I suspect if you multiplied our reporting by 35 times you may be somewhere near where people's experience is at." His disturbing assessment, made to a committee of MPs last week, comes amid a series of gruesome murders and attacks on British women at the hands of their relatives.

Marilyn Mornington, a district judge and chair of the Domestic Violence Working Group, warned that fears of retribution, and the authorities' failure to understand the problem completely, meant the vast majority of victims were still too scared to come forward for help. In evidence to the home affairs committee, which is investigating the problem, she said: "We need a national strategy to identify the large number of pupils, particularly girls, missing from school registers who have been taken off the register and are said to be home schooled, which leads to these issues. Airport staff and other staff need to be trained to recognise girls who are being taken out of the country.

"We are bringing three girls a week back from Islamabad as victims of forced marriage. We know that is the tip of the iceberg, but that is the failure end. It has to be part of education within the communities and the children themselves."

Women who have been taken overseas to be married against their will are now being rescued on an almost daily basis. The Government's Forced Marriage Unit (FMU) handled approximately 400 cases last year – 167 of them leading to young Britons being helped back to the UK to escape unwanted partners overseas. And it is not just women who are affected. Home Office figures show that 15 per cent of cases involve men and boys.

In an attempt to crack down on the crimes being committed in the name of honour, police are to introduce a new training package that will give all officers instructions on handling honour cases. In addition, detectives are believed to be conducting a "cold case" style review of previous suicides amid suspicions that cases of honour killings are more common than previously thought.

Almost all victims of the most extreme crimes are women, killed in half of cases by their own husbands. Sometimes murders are carried out by other male relatives, or even hired killers. The fear that many thousands are left to endure honour violence alone may be supported by the disturbing details of the incidence of suicide within the British Asian community. Women aged 16 to 24 from Pakistani, Indian and Bangladeshi backgrounds are three times more likely to kill themselves than the national average for women of their age.

A report published last week by the Centre for Social Cohesion found that many women felt unable to defy their families and therefore "suffer violence, abuse, depression, anxiety and other psychological problems that can lead to self-harm, schizophrenia and suicide". James Brandon, co-author of Crimes of the Community: Honour-based Violence in the UK, said: "The Government is still not taking honour crime seriously. Until this happens, the ideas of honour which perpetuate this violence will continue to be passed on through generations. Religious leaders, local authorities and central government must work together to end such abuses of human rights."

The human cost of honour crime was vividly captured in a haunting video message from murdered Banaz Mahmood, who revealed how her own father had tried to kill her after she abandoned her arranged marriage and fell in love with another man. In the grainy message she told how he plied her with brandy – the first time she had ever drunk alcohol – pulled the curtains and asked her to turn around.

The 19-year-old fled, but less than a month after making the grainy video on a mobile phone, Banaz was dead. Her naked body was found buried in a yard in Birmingham in 2006, more than 100 miles from her London home. She had been raped and tortured by men hired by her uncle to kill her. Mahmood's father, uncle and one of her killers were sentenced to a total of 60 years in jail for the murder.

And the fatal potential of honour disputes was laid bare last month when a coroner said he was convinced that a Muslim teenager who feared she was being forced into an arranged marriage by her parents had suffered a "vile murder." Ian Smith said the concept of an arranged marriage was "central" to the circumstances leading up to the death of 17-year-old Shafilea Ahmed, whose decomposed body was discovered on the banks of the River Kent at Sedgwick, Cumbria, four years ago. After running away from home in February 2003, Shafilea told housing officers: "My parents are going to send me to Pakistan and I'll be married to someone and left there." The tragic story of the bright teenager who wanted to go to university and study law is far from the only example of the anguish suffered by British teenagers in recent years.

Toafiq Wahab, British consul in Dhaka, Bangladesh, recalls a "rescue mission" to recover a 17-year-old who called his office from Sylhet. "We had to track her down and 36 hours from taking that call, we had turned up at her house with an armed police escort," he said. "The house was filled with over 20 of her relations, most of whom were from Britain and stunned to see me. They obviously did not want her to leave. We simply asked her if she wanted to leave and go back to the UK in the presence of all her family and she agreed. I then spoke to the family and explained what we were doing and tried to make them understand. In the end, we had to get the police to assist in helping us to leave."

Former Bradford policeman Philip Balmforth, who works with vulnerable Asian women, said he saw 395 cases of forced marriage in the city last year. "I had a case of a 14-year-old girl at school," he recalled. "The teacher tells me that the girl claims to have been married. So I went along to the school with a Muslim colleague. We saw the girl. We asked her a few questions and we were not sure. Then the girl said: 'If you don't believe me I have the video at home.'"

In Bradford alone, a total of 250 girls aged between 13 and 16 were taken off the school rolls last year because they failed to return from trips abroad. Campaigners suspect many were victims of forced marriages.

"If contacted by concerned young British men and women in the UK, the FMU provides free and confidential advice on the potential dangers of being forced into marriage overseas and precautions to take to help avoid this happening," said a Foreign Office spokesperson last night. "If we learn that a British national overseas is being forced into marriage, or has already been forced into marriage, we look at various means of consular assistance ranging from action through the courts to rescue missions."

"The FMU can also help to arrange accommodation for victims for when they return to the UK and can refer victims to counselling and supports groups, legal centres, and so on.

"When it is necessary, the FMU and our embassies and high commissions work closely with the police and judiciary overseas in order to organise emergency rescue and repatriation missions."

Britain's hidden scandal

The kidnap victim

In June 2000 Narina Anwar, 29, and her two sisters claim they were tricked by their parents into going on a family holiday to a remote village in Pakistan, where they were held captive for five months in an attempt to force them to marry three illiterate villagers. The sisters fled to Lahore and contacted the British High Commission, which persuaded their parents to hand over their children's passports so they could return home.

The 'slave'

Gina Singh, 28, sued her former mother-in-law for £35,000 in 2006 after she was forced to work 17 hours a day around the house. Ms Singh, from Nottingham, was forbidden to leave the house on her own after an arranged marriage in 2002.

The runaway wife

In 1983, Zana Muhsen and her sister Nadia, from Birmingham, were pushed by their father to visit Yemen and forced to marry. Zana, now 35, escaped eight years later. Her father had sold her for a few thousand dollars. The experience is recounted in her book, 'Sold'.

The murder victim

Surjit Athwal disappeared with Bachan Athwal, her mother-in-law, after a family wedding in India in 1998. Her body was never found. Bachan later boasted that she arranged for her son, Sukhdave, to murder Surjit after finding out that she was having an affair.

The attempted suicide

Shafilea Ahmed was the victim of a suspected honour killing. The 17-year-old's body was found months after she had returned from a trip to Pakistan in 2003. On the trip she drank bleach. The coroner said he saw it as a 'desperate measure' to avoid a forced marriage.
10511  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 16, 2008, 02:07:04 PM
http://www.publicservice.co.uk/news_story.asp?id=7068

Sharia law is now legally binding
Monday, September 15, 2008

It’s been described by one commentator as an example of Great Britain ‘surrendering’ itself and the Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams was criticised for saying it will happen, but whatever the reaction, Islamic law now officially operates in the UK.

Whereas before rulings by sharia courts in Britain could only be enforced if all parties in a Muslim civil case agreed to abide by them, now what the courts say will be legally binding, backed by county courts or the High Court.

The five sharia courts are Birmingham, Bradford, London and Manchester with others planned for Glasgow and Edinburgh. They will be run by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal whose Sheikh Faiz-ul-Aqtab Siddiqi said: "We realised that under the Arbitration Act [1996] we can make rulings which can be enforced by county and high courts. The act allows disputes to be resolved using alternatives like tribunals."

Muslim tribunal courts have been running since August 2007, hearing cases of divorce, domestic violence and much more. Jewish Beth Din courts have been in the UK for over 100 years.

However, Siddiqi admitted that the courts can favour men, with several cases of domestic violence ending with husbands receiving little punishment other than being made to take an anger management course. In every case, the women later withdrew their claims.

Tory shadow Home Secretary Dominic Grieve was amazed that sharia law had been made legally binding. "If it is true that these tribunals are passing binding decisions in the areas of family and criminal law, I would like to know which courts are enforcing them because I would consider such action unlawful. British law is absolute and must remain so."

And Douglas Murray, the director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, said: "I think it’s appalling. I don’t think arbitration that is done by sharia should ever be endorsed or enforced by the British state."
10512  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 16, 2008, 01:14:00 PM
The sad thing is, the above article is one of the more reasonable hit pieces written by the MSM.......   grin
10513  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 16, 2008, 12:03:20 AM
What Was Feminism?   
By Victor Davis Hanson
The Washington Times | Monday, September 15, 2008

The media went hysterical over Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and Republican nominee for vice president. She may have appeared to the public as an independent, capable professional woman, but to a particular elite she couldn't possibly be a real feminist or even a serious candidate.
And that raises questions about what is — and what is not — feminism.

Feminism grew out of the 1960s to address sexual inequality. At an early age, I was mentored on most feminist arguments by my late mother. She graduated from Stanford Law School in the 1940s but then was offered only a single job as a legal secretary. Instead, she went back home to raise three children with my father, a teacher and farmer, and only returned to legal work in her 40s. She was eventually named a California superior court judge and, later, a state appellate court justice.

Hers was a common and compelling feminist argument of the times, and went something like this: Women should receive equal pay for equal work, and not be considered mere appendages of their husbands. Childrearing — if properly practiced as a joint enterprise — did not preclude women from pursuing careers. A woman's worth was not to be necessarily judged by having either too many or too few children, given the privacy of such decisions and the co-responsibility of male partners.

In such an ideal gender-blind workplace, women were not to be defined by their husband's or father's success or failure. The beauty of women's liberation was that it was not hierarchical but included the unmarried woman who drove a combine on her own farm, the corporate attorney and the homemaker who chose to home-school her children.

Women in the workplace did not look for special favors. And they surely did not wish to deny innately feminine differences. Instead, they asked only that men should not establish arbitrary rules of the game that favored their male gender.

Soon radical changes in American attitudes about birth control, abortion, dating, marriage and health care became, for some, part and parcel of women's liberation. But in its essence feminism still was about equality of opportunity, and so included women of all political and religious beliefs.

That old definition of feminism is now dead. It has been replaced by a new creed that is far more restrictive - as the controversy over Sarah Palin attests. Out of the recent media frenzy, four general truths emerged about the new feminism:

(1) There is a particular class and professional bent to the practitioners of feminism. Sarah Palin has as many kids as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, she has as much of a prior political record as the once-heralded Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, who was named to the Democratic ticket by Walter Mondale in 1984 - and arguably has as much as, or more executive experience than, Barack Obama. Somehow all that got lost in the endless sneering stories about her blue-collar conservatism, small Alaskan town, five children, snowmobiling husband and Idaho college degree.

(2) Feminism now often equates to a condescending liberalism. Emancipated women who, like Mrs. Palin, do not believe in abortion or are devout Christians are at best considered unsophisticated dupes. At worst, they are caricatured as conservative interlopers, piggybacking on the hard work of left-wing women whose progressive ideas alone have allowed the Palins of the world the choices they otherwise would not now enjoy.

Apparently these feminists believe that without the ideas of Gloria Steinem on abortion, a moose-hunting PTA mom would not have made governor. The Democrat's vice presidential candidate, Joe Biden, said Mrs. Palin's election, given her politics, would be "a backward step for women."

(3) Hypocrisy abounds. Many female critics of Mrs. Palin, in Washington and New York politics and media, found their careers enhanced through the political influence of their powerful fathers, their advantageous marriages to male power players and the inherited advantages of capital. The irony is that a Sarah Palin - like a Barbara Jordan, Golda Meir or Margaret Thatcher - made her own way without the help of money or influence.

(4) Most Americans still believe in the old feminism but not this new doctrinaire liberal brand. Consequently, a struggling John McCain suddenly has shot ahead of Mr. Obama in the polls. Apparently millions of Americans like Mrs. Palin's underdog feminist saga and her can-do pluckiness. Many are offended by haughty liberal media elites sneering at someone whom, politics aside, they should be praising - for her substantial achievements, her inspirational personal story and her Obama-like charisma.

This last week we were supposed to learn about a liberated Gov. Sarah Palin. Instead the media taught us more than we ever wanted to know about what they now call feminism.

Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian at Stanford University's Hoover Institution and the author of "A War Like No Other" (Random House).
10514  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 11:52:11 PM
**What of the other 67%?**

http://www.csmonitor.com/2004/1124/p06s01-woeu.html

BRITISH MUSLIMS PUSH TO INTEGRATE
Members of Britain's growing Muslim population are working to repair an image tattered by homegrown radicals - and to find a place in mainstream society.

By John Thorne | Contributor to The Christian Science Monitor
LONDON –

Hunched in black robes over his microphone, Sheikh Omar Bakri suddenly heaves himself upright in rhetorical climax and pounds the table. "Embrace capitalism or Christianity, you go to hellfire!" he bellows. The crowd of men seated before him nod in agreement as Sheikh Bakri warns against misplaced sympathy for Western society.
"Don't think that because [the unbelievers] give us income support we should have less hate," he continues. "Because we hate not for our sakes, but for the sake of Allah."

03/31/04

With successful raids, British chip away at terror threat

His point made, Bakri sinks into his chair and indulges in a bit of Islamist bravado by cracking a dark joke about stabbing people in the guts. A low murmur of laughter passes through the men, while at the back of the room their wives, wrapped in chadors, remain still and silent as columns. A few children scamper in the aisles.
Hard-line Islamists like Bakri have become the bête noire for Britons who question whether the growing ranks of Muslims here want to integrate more fully into society. This anxiety, felt throughout Europe, has intensified after weeks of headlines played up the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh by an Islamic extremist.

It's an anxiety felt acutely by Britain's 1.8 million Muslims. They are one of the country's fastest-growing, poorest, and least educated minorities. But many are struggling to repair a reputation tattered by home-grown radicals like Bakri and find a place in mainstream society. And despite setbacks to their image, they are making progress.

• Muslim leaders supported a government initiative to filter out extremists by imposing an English test on foreign imams seeking work permits.

• Mosques are transforming themselves into community hubs in an attempt to dampen the mistrust and alienation that observers say can cause some young Muslims to turn to radicalism in the first place.

• Many mosques now host regular interfaith discussions, organize after-school youth groups, and have worked with local police to foster goodwill.

• Muslims voted in record numbers at this summer's European elections, defying both radical imams' and some non-Muslims' view that Islam and democracy don't mix.

"The Muslim community has to stand up and be counted as a British Muslim community," Khurshid Ahmed, spokesman for Muslim issues at the Commission for Racial Equality, told the BBC.

Many Muslims seem to agree. A recent poll commissioned by The Guardian newspaper showed that 33 percent of Muslims wanted more integration into mainstream British culture.

"The generation that's grown up here calls itself British and Muslim," says Imam Yunus Dudhwala, "and I don't think that's a contradiction."

But the same poll showed that 26 percent of British Muslims felt integration has gone too far.

"We have pockets who ... feel that even integration is a threat to their way of life," explains Ibrahim Mogra, head of the Muslim Council of Britain's Imams and Mosques Committee.

Indeed, Muslim parents often worry - with some justification - that their kids will pick up un-Islamic behavior from their English peers.

"Muslim girls aren't supposed to smoke and drink and hang about out on the street like boys," says Ima, a Muslim woman out shopping for a new sari in her Muslim neighborhood.

But when she slips into a side-street for a quick cigarette, she confirms fears that mainstream British culture will corrupt traditional Islamic values.

At the same time, moderate Muslims worry that the British media's focus on the few bad apples creates a false, sinister image of all Muslims.

"The reality [of extremism] is that there is almost nothing there," insists Inayat Bunglawala, spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, the country's foremost Muslim lobby group. "The rhetoric about the Great Satan and the Islamic superstate can seem daunting. But it's just rhetoric."

Yet a handful of British Muslims have turned such rhetoric into action.

• In 2001, Richard Reid, a British convert to Islam, boarded an American Airlines flight with shoes packed full of explosives. (Crew members restrained him before he could set them off.)

• In 2003, two British Muslims blew themselves up in a Tel Aviv bar, killing three and wounding 55.

• British-born mujahideen were found fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan.

• Last spring, British police foiled a massive bombing plot by Muslims targeted inside Britain.

• And three British Muslims are alleged to have joined the radical insurgency of Al Qaeda affiliate Abu Musab al-Zarqawi in Iraq.

Although some blame the media, many Muslims - especially younger ones - complain that their community lacks unity and strong leadership.

"I don't think there are inspiring spokespeople for mainstream Islam, and that's a major problem," says Wasif, who runs a graphic design business.

Above all, moderates say, mainstream Muslims must confront the extremism that has taken root in Britain.

"Much of the Muslim leadership has not only denied the problem, it has maligned and ostracized those who have attempted to address it," stormed Fareena Alam, the managing editor of the Muslim magazine Q-News, in a column for The Observer newspaper last April.

Muslim leaders are beginning to respond. Mosques have adopted a policy of vetting would-be imams and blackballing radicals like Bakri, who are forced to preach in hired halls.

Affirming British identity is what mainstream Muslims claim they must do if they are to capture the limelight from the extremist minority and shake off the stigma of terrorism.

But for integration efforts to bear fruit, the British public will have to take notice. "Non-Muslims need to have an open mind," says Bilal, an Islamic studies student, "and we need to be better examples."
10515  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 11:31:18 PM
A certain percentage directly engage in jihad, many others directly or indirectly support jihad against the unbelievers and under sharia law, submissive jews and christians are only allowed to live as second class citizens and those that convert from islam or are polytheists face death. Aside from the brutal oppression, it's wonderful.
10516  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Reproductive issues on: September 15, 2008, 10:15:02 PM
June 24, 2008, 7:31 a.m.

A Dark Past
Contraception, abortion, and the eugenics movement.

By Jonah Goldberg

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is an excerpt from Liberal Fascism.

Margaret Sanger, whose American Birth Control League became Planned Parenthood, was the founding mother of the birth-control movement. She is today considered a liberal saint, a founder of modern feminism, and one of the leading lights of the Progressive pantheon. Gloria Feldt of Planned Parenthood proclaims, “I stand by Margaret Sanger’s side,” leading “the organization that carries on Sanger’s legacy.” Planned Parenthood’s first black president, Faye Wattleton — Ms. magazine’s “Woman of the Year” in 1989 — said that she was “proud” to be “walking in the footsteps of Margaret Sanger.” Planned Parenthood gives out annual Maggie Awards to individuals and organizations who advance Sanger’s cause. Recipients are a Who’s Who of liberal icons, from the novelist John Irving to the producers of NBC’s West Wing. What Sanger’s liberal admirers are eager to downplay is that she was a thoroughgoing racist who subscribed completely to the views of E. A. Ross and other “raceologists.” Indeed, she made many of them seem tame.

Sanger was born into a poor family of eleven children in Corning, New York, in 1879. In 1902 she received her degree as a registered nurse. In 1911 she moved to New York City, where she fell in with the transatlantic bohemian avant-garde of the burgeoning fascist moment. “Our living-room,” she wrote in her autobiography, “became a gathering place where liberals, anarchists, Socialists and I.W.W.’s could meet.” A member of the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party, she participated in all the usual protests and demonstrations. In 1912 she started writing what amounted to a sex-advice column for the New York Call, dubbed “What Every Girl Should Know.” The overriding theme of her columns was the importance of contraception.

A disciple of the anarchist Emma Goldman — another eugenicist — Sanger became the nation’s first “birth control martyr” when she was arrested for handing out condoms in 1917. In order to escape a subsequent arrest for violating obscenity laws, she went to England, where she fell under the thrall of Havelock Ellis, a sex theorist and ardent advocate of forced sterilization. She also had an affair with H. G. Wells, the self-avowed champion of “liberal fascism.” Her marriage fell apart early, and one of her children — whom she admitted to neglecting — died of pneumonia at age four. Indeed, she always acknowledged that she wasn’t right for family life, admitting she was not a “fit person for love or home or children or anything which needs attention or consideration.”

Under the banner of “reproductive freedom,” Sanger subscribed to nearly all of the eugenic views discussed above. She sought to ban reproduction of the unfit and regulate reproduction for everybody else. She scoffed at the soft approach of the “positive” eugenicists, deriding it as mere “cradle competition” between the fit and the unfit. “More children from the fit, less from the unfit — that is the chief issue of birth control,” she frankly wrote in her 1922 book The Pivot of Civilization. (The book featured an introduction by Wells, in which he proclaimed, “We want fewer and better children...and we cannot make the social life and the world-peace we are determined to make, with the ill-bred, ill-trained swarms of inferior citizens that you inflict on us.” Two civilizations were at war: that of progress and that which sought a world “swamped by an indiscriminate torrent of progeny.”

A fair-minded person cannot read Sanger’s books, articles, and pamphlets today without finding similarities not only to Nazi eugenics but to the dark dystopias of the feminist imagination found in such allegories as Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale. As editor of The Birth Control Review, Sanger regularly published the sort of hard racists we normally associate with Goebbels or Himmler. Indeed, after she resigned as editor, The Birth Control Review ran articles by people who worked for Goebbels and Himmler. For example, when the Nazi eugenics program was first getting wide attention, The Birth Control Review was quick to cast the Nazis in a positive light, giving over its pages for an article titled “Eugenic Sterilization: An Urgent Need,” by Ernst Rüdin, Hitler’s director of sterilization and a founder of the Nazi Society for Racial Hygiene. In 1926 Sanger proudly gave a speech to a KKK rally in Silver Lake, New Jersey.

One of Sanger’s closest friends and influential colleagues was the white supremacist Lothrop Stoddard, author of The Rising Tide of Color Against White World-Supremacy. In the book he offered his solution for the threat posed by the darker races: “Just as we isolate bacterial invasions, and starve out the bacteria, by limiting the area and amount of their food supply, so we can compel an inferior race to remain in its native habitat.” When the book came out, Sanger was sufficiently impressed to invite him to join the board of directors of the American Birth Control League.

Sanger’s genius was to advance Ross’s campaign for social control by hitching the racist-eugenic campaign to sexual pleasure and female liberation. In her “Code to Stop Overproduction of Children,” published in 1934, she decreed that “no woman shall have a legal right to bear a child without a permit...no permit shall be valid for more than one child.”47 But Sanger couched this fascistic agenda in the argument that “liberated” women wouldn’t mind such measures because they don’t really want large families in the first place. In a trope that would be echoed by later feminists such as Betty Friedan, she argued that motherhood itself was a socially imposed constraint on the liberty of women. It was a form of what Marxists called false consciousness to want a large family.

Sanger believed — prophetically enough — that if women conceived of sex as first and foremost a pleasurable experience rather than a procreative act, they would embrace birth control as a necessary tool for their own personal gratification. She brilliantly used the language of liberation to convince women they weren’t going along with a collectivist scheme but were in fact “speaking truth to power,” as it were. This was the identical trick the Nazis pulled off. They took a radical Nietzschean doctrine of individual will and made it into a trendy dogma of middle-class conformity. This trick remains the core of much faddish “individualism” among rebellious conformists on the American cultural left today. Nonetheless, Sanger’s analysis was surely correct, and led directly to the widespread feminist association of sex with political rebellion. Sanger in effect “bought off” women (and grateful men) by offering tolerance for promiscuity in return for compliance with her eugenic schemes.

In 1939 Sanger created the above-mentioned “Negro Project,” which aimed to get blacks to adopt birth control. Through the Birth Control Federation, she hired black ministers (including the Reverend Adam Clayton Powell Sr.), doctors, and other leaders to help pare down the supposedly surplus black population. The project’s racist intent is beyond doubt. “The mass of significant Negroes,” read the project’s report, “still breed carelessly and disastrously, with the result that the increase among Negroes...is [in] that portion of the population least intelligent and fit.” Sanger’s intent is shocking today, but she recognized its extreme radicalism even then. “We do not want word to go out,” she wrote to a colleague, “that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

It is possible that Sanger didn’t really want to “exterminate” the Negro population so much as merely limit its growth. Still, many in the black community saw it that way and remained rightly suspicious of the Progressives’ motives. It wasn’t difficult to see that middle-class whites who consistently spoke of “race suicide” at the hands of dark, subhuman savages might not have the best interests of blacks in mind. This skepticism persisted within the black community for decades. Someone who saw the relationship between abortion and race from a less trusting perspective telegrammed Congress in 1977 to tell them that abortion amounted to “genocide against the black race.” And he added, in block letters, “AS A MATTER OF CONSCIENCE I MUST OPPOSE THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR A POLICY OF KILLING INFANTS.” This was Jesse Jackson, who changed his position when he decided to seek the Democratic nomination.

Just a few years ago, the racial eugenic “bonus” of abortion rights was something one could only admit among those fully committed to the cause, and even then in politically correct whispers. No more. Increasingly, this argument is acceptable on the left, as are arguments in favor of eugenics generally.

In 2005 the acclaimed University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt broke the taboo with his critical and commercial hit Freakonomics (co-written with Stephen Dubner). The most sensational chapter in the book updated a paper Levitt had written in 1999 which argued that abortion cuts crime. “Legalized abortion led to less unwantedness; unwantedness leads to high crime; legalized abortion, therefore, led to less crime.” Freakonomics excised all references to race and never connected the facts that because the aborted fetuses were disproportionately black and blacks disproportionately contribute to the crime rate, reducing the size of the black population reduces crime. Yet the press coverage acknowledged this and didn’t seem to mind.

In 2005 William Bennett, a committed pro-lifer, invoked the Levitt argument in order to denounce eugenic thinking. “I do know that it’s true that if you wanted to reduce crime, you could — if that were your sole purpose — you could abort every black baby in this country, and your crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.” What seemed to offend liberals most was that Bennett had accidentally borrowed some conventional liberal logic to make a conservative point, and, as with the social Darwinists of yore, that makes liberals quite cross. According to the New York Times’s Bob Herbert, Bennett believed “exterminating blacks would be a most effective crime-fighting tool.” Various liberal spokesmen, including Terry McAuliffe, the former head of the Democratic National Committee, said Bennett wanted to exterminate “black babies.” Juan Williams proclaimed that Bennett’s remarks speak “to a deeply racist mindset.”

In one sense, this is a pretty amazing turnaround. After all, when liberals advocate them, we are usually told that abortions do not kill “babies.” Rather, they remove mere agglomerations of cells and tissue or “uterine contents.” If hypothetical abortions committed for allegedly conservative ends are infanticide, how can actual abortions performed for liberal ends not be?

Some liberals are honest about this. In 1992 Nicholas Von Hoffman argued in the Philadelphia Inquirer:
Free cheap abortion is a policy of social defense. To save ourselves from being murdered in our beds and raped on the streets, we should do everything possible to encourage pregnant women who don’t want the baby and will not take care of it to get rid of the thing before it turns into a monster... At their demonstration, the anti-abortionists parade around with pictures of dead and dismembered fetuses. The pro-abortionists should meet these displays with some of their own: pictures of the victims of the unaborted — murder victims, rape victims, mutilation victims — pictures to remind us that the fight for abortion is but part of the larger struggle for safe homes and safe streets.
Later that same year, the White House received a letter from the Roe v. Wade co-counsel Ron Weddington, urging the new president-elect to rush RU-486 — the morning-after pill — to the market as quickly as possible. Weddington’s argument was refreshingly honest:

[Y]ou can start immediately to eliminate the barely educated, unhealthy and poor segment of our country. No, I’m not advocating some sort of mass extinction of these unfortunate people. Crime, drugs and disease are already doing that. The problem is that their numbers are not only replaced but increased by the birth of millions of babies to people who can’t afford to have babies. There, I’ve said it. It’s what we all know is true, but we only whisper it, because as liberals who believe in individual rights, we view any program which might treat the disadvantaged as discriminatory, mean-spirited and... well... so Republican.

[G]overnment is also going to have to provide vasectomies, tubal ligations and abortions. . , . There have been about 30 million abortions in this country since Roe v. Wade. Think of all the poverty, crime and misery . . . and then add 30 million unwanted babies to the scenario. We lost a lot of ground during the Reagan-Bush religious orgy. We don’t have a lot of time left.
How, exactly, is this substantively different from Margaret Sanger’s self-described “religion of birth control,” which would, she wrote, “ease the financial load of caring for with public funds . . . children destined to become a burden to themselves, to their family, and ultimately to the nation”?

The issue here is not the explicit intent of liberals or the rationalizations they invoke to deceive themselves about the nature of abortion. Rather, it is to illustrate that even when motives and arguments change, the substance of the policy remains in its effects. After the Holocaust discredited eugenics per se, neither the eugenicists nor their ideas disappeared. Rather, they went to ground in fields like family planning and demography and in political movements such as feminism. Indeed, in a certain sense Planned Parenthood is today more eugenic than Sanger intended. Sanger, after all, despised abortion. She denounced it as “barbaric” and called abortionists “bloodsucking men with M.D. after their names.” Abortion resulted in “an outrageous slaughter” and “the killing of babies,” which even the degenerate offspring of the unfit did not deserve.

So forget about intent: Look at results. Abortion ends more black lives than heart disease, cancer, accidents, AIDS, and violent crime combined. African Americans constitute little more than 12 percent of the population but have more than a third (37 percent) of abortions. That rate has held relatively constant, though in some regions the numbers are much starker; in Mississippi, black women receive some 72 percent of all abortions, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Nationwide, 512 out of every 1,000 black pregnancies end in an abortion. Revealingly enough, roughly 80 percent of Planned Parenthood’s abortion centers are in or near minority communities. Liberalism today condemns a Bill Bennett who speculates about the effects of killing unborn black children; but it also celebrates the actual killing of unborn black children, and condemns him for opposing it.

Of course, orthodox eugenics also aimed at the “feebleminded” and “useless bread gobblers” — which included everyone from the mentally retarded to an uneducated and malnourished underclass to recidivist criminals. When it comes to today’s “feebleminded,” influential voices on the left now advocate the killing of “defectives” at the beginning of life and at the end of life. Chief among them is Peter Singer, widely hailed as the most important living philosopher and the world’s leading ethicist. Professor Singer, who teaches at Princeton, argues that unwanted or disabled babies should be killed in the name of “compassion.” He also argues that the elderly and other drags on society should be put down when their lives are no longer worth living.

Singer doesn’t hide behind code words and euphemisms in his belief that killing babies isn’t always wrong, as one can deduce from his essay titled “Killing Babies Isn’t Always Wrong” (nor is he a lone voice in the wilderness; his views are popular or respected in many academic circles). But that hasn’t caused the Left to ostracize him in the slightest (save in Germany, where people still have a visceral sense of where such logic takes you). Of course, not all or even most liberals agree with Singer’s prescriptions, but nor do they condemn him as they do, say, a William Bennett. Perhaps they recognize in him a kindred spirit.

— Jonah Goldberg is the author of Liberal Fascism.


— Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online.
National Review Online - http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ODUxZmVmZDM0ODY0MTFhOWJhOGIwOTYwYjRmMDQ2ODk=
10517  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 06:04:44 PM
To oppose it seems like a racial reaction against Muslims to me; if not Muslims, we would all say to all that binding arbitration in civil matters is just common sense for everyone as long as all parties voluntarily agree to join in the  system.

Islam isn't a race, it's a religion. Although to be more accurate, it's a totalitarian and imperialist political movement fused with theology. You seem to want to ignore the first article I posted where the conquest of the UK is celebrated.
10518  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 04:19:14 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1576066/%27We-want-to-offer-sharia-law-to-Britain%27.html

'We want to offer sharia law to Britain'
 
By Clare Dwyer Hogg and Jonathan Wynne-Jones
Last Updated: 10:25PM BST 18 Apr 2008

Dr Suhaib Hasan is pushing for personal sharia law to be integrated into the British legal system
Islamic courts meet every week in the UK to rule on divorces and financial disputes. Clare Dwyer Hogg and Jonathan Wynne-Jones report on demands by senior Muslims that sharia be given legal authority
Amnah is a modern British Muslim. She is dressed in a denim skirt and her head is covered in a hijab. Poised and self-assured, she has come to meet Dr Suhaib Hasan, a silver-bearded sheikh who sits behind his desk, surrounded by religious books.
The origins and obligations of sharia law
"But why would I have to observe the waiting period?" she asks him. "What are the reasons?" There is an urgency to her questions.
"These reasons don't apply to me, that's what I'm very confused about. If you could give me the reasons why I have to wait three months, then I'll understand."
Amnah is going through a divorce and is baffled at being told that she must wait for three months to remarry, considering that she hasn't seen her estranged husband for two years.
She twists her sock-clad toes into the carpet, grasping one hand with the other in her lap, and fixes Dr Hasan with an intense look. He meets this with a simple reply: "These rulings are all in the Koran. The rulings are made for all."
Amnah has little choice but to comply: Dr Hasan is a judge, and this is a sharia court - in east London. It sits, innocuously, at the end of a row of terrace houses in Leyton: a converted corner shop, with blinds on the windows, office- style partitions and a makeshift reception area.
It is one of dozens of sharia courts - also known as councils - that have been set up in mosques, Islamic centres and even schools across Britain. The number of British Muslims using the courts is increasing.
To many in the West, talk of sharia law conjures up images of the floggings, stonings, amputations and beheadings carried out in hardline Islamic states such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. However, the form practised in Britain is more mundane, focusing mainly on marriage, divorce and financial disputes.
The judgments of the courts have no basis in British law, and are therefore technically illegitimate - they are binding only in that those involved agree to comply. For British Muslims who are keen to follow Islam, this poses a dilemma. An Islamic marriage is not recognised by British law, and therefore many couples will have two ceremonies - civil for the state, and Islamic for their faith.
If they wish to divorce, they must then seek both a civil and an Islamic divorce.
Dr Hasan, who has been presiding over sharia courts in Britain for more than 25 years, argues that British law would benefit from integrating aspects of Islamic personal law into the civil system, so that divorces could be rubber-stamped in the same way, for example, that Jewish couples who go to the Beth Din court have their divorce recognised in secular courts.
He points out that the Islamic Sharia Council, of which he is the general secretary, is flooded with work. It hears about 50 divorce cases every month, and responds to as many as 10 requests every day by email and phone for a fatwa - a religious verdict on a religious matter.
Dr Hasan, who is also a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain on issues of sharia law, says there is great misunderstanding of the issue in the West.
"Whenever people associate the word 'sharia' with Muslims, they think it is flogging and stoning to death and cutting off the hand," he says with a smile.
He makes the distinction between the aspects of law that sharia covers: worship, penal law, and personal law. Muslim leaders in Britain are interested only in integrating personal law, he says.
"Penal law is the duty of the Muslim state - it is not in the hands of any public institution like us to handle it. Only a Muslim government that believes in Islam is going to implement it. So there is no question of asking for penal law to be introduced here in the UK - that is out of the question."
Despite this, Dr Hasan is open in supporting the severe punishments meted out in countries where sharia law governs the country.
"Even though cutting off the hands and feet, or flogging the drunkard and fornicator, seem to be very abhorrent, once they are implemented, they become a deterrent for the whole society.
"This is why in Saudi Arabia, for example, where these measures are implemented, the crime rate is very, very, low," he told The Sunday Telegraph.

In a documentary to be screened on Channel 4 next month, entitled Divorce: Sharia Style, Dr Hasan goes further, advocating a sharia system for Britain. "If sharia law is implemented, then you can turn this country into a haven of peace because once a thief's hand is cut off nobody is going to steal," he says.
"Once, just only once, if an adulterer is stoned nobody is going to commit this crime at all.
"We want to offer it to the British society. If they accept it, it is for their good and if they don't accept it they'll need more and more prisons."

These sentiments, and the vast cultural gulf they expose, alarm many in the West and go to the heart of the debate about the level of integration among Muslims living in Britain and their acceptance of British values.
Dr Hasan's cause is not helped by the fact that, last December, he was named by the Policy Exchange think tank as being linked to a mosque, the Al-Tawhid in Leyton, east London, which was accused of propagating extremist literature - although the evidence for this has since been challenged.
Many are uncomfortable with the idea of linking sharia to civil law in Britain. In The Sunday Telegraph earlier this month, Michael Nazir-Ali, the Bishop of Rochester, wrote: "Attempts have been made to impose an "Islamic" character on certain areas?… There is pressure already to relate aspects of the sharia to civil law in Britain. To some extent this is already true of arrangements for sharia-compliant banking but have the far-reaching implications of this been fully considered?"
There are also issues around the Islamic approach to equality and human rights that make integration with British law problematic and contentious.
Sharia judges in this country deal mainly with divorce - khula. In Islamic law, a husband can divorce his wife in the presence of two witnesses without having to go through an official system.
He can even merely utter the word "talaq" - meaning "to release" - to gain a divorce, whether or not the wife accepts it. She has no such right and must go through the processes of sharia, entreating judges to grant her divorce.
"The introduction of sharia law in Britain raises complex questions, as some of its basic tenets are incompatible with the fundamental principles of our liberal democracy and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," says Baroness Cox, a leading human rights campaigner.

"There is no equality before the law between men and women and between Muslims and non-Muslims; and there is no freedom to choose and change religion."
Ibrahim Mogra, chairman of the Muslim Council of Britain's inter-faith committee, admits that to non-Muslims some laws may seem harsh on women. Those who are married to a man with a number of wives can be treated badly, for instance. But he insists that sharia is an equitable system.
"It may mean that a woman married under Islamic law has no legal rights, but the husband is required to pay for everything in marriage and in the case of a divorce all the woman's belongings are hers to keep."
In fact, Sheikh Mogra argues that sharia in Britain would give rights to women. "A Muslim man can take a second wife under sharia law and treat her as he wants, knowing that she has no legal rights in Britain. It means that she is regarded as no more than a mistress and he can walk out on her when he wants."
Critics warn, however, that in giving even parts of sharia law official status, Britain would be associating itself with a system that in many ways was intolerable according to Western values.
Professor John Marks, author of The West, Islam and Islamism, points out that apostates from Islam can suffer severe punishment, even honour killings.
"There are more violent cases that are being related to people who choose to convert from Islam," he says.
A survey by Policy Exchange found that 36 per cent of young British Muslims believed that a Muslim who converted to another religion should be "punished by death".

"This clearly goes against the laws of our country. If they come to live in this country they should live by our laws," says Prof Marks.
Haras Rafiq, the executive director of the Sufi Muslim Council, points out that Muslims are anyway divided on the correct interpretation of sharia law. He is particularly critical of those who support the strict penal law.
"Things like stoning are being used as a deterrent, but this is reinterpreting the Koran in a rigid and extreme way that misses the spirit of what is being said."
Perhaps the strongest argument in favour of some form of recognition of sharia in Britain is that it would help to regulate a system that operates beyond the law.
The Government has expressed concern about imams who may be using the Koran to justify fatwas that clash with British law.
Leaders of four major British Muslim groups published a government-backed report in 2006 that accepted that many imams were not qualified to give guidance to alienated young people.
They agreed to set up a watchdog aimed at tackling extremism and monitoring mosques, but Yunes Teinaz, a former adviser to the London Central Mosque, warns that one of the greatest problems is the imams who arrive in Britain unable to speak English, and with no regard for British law.
"The absence of anyone regulating the mosques and sharia courts means that they can act as a law unto themselves, issuing fatwas that breach people's human rights because they have no knowledge of the law," he says. "They can take people's money despite having no proper qualifications, but worse they can harm the communities that they are in."
Zareen Roohi Ahmed, the chief executive of the British Muslim Forum - one of the four groups on the Mosques and Imams National Advisory Body - concedes that sharia courts in Britain are still poorly organised.
"They need development - the government should be supporting them to deliver their service more effectively," she says.
"If sharia courts can be supported to be more professionally run and to have female involvement as well on the decision-making panels, then I think they can work quite effectively and meet the needs of Muslims."
She suggests that existing systems need to be supported and a wider range of scholars and academics involved to put more thought into making the rules and regulations applicable to today's society.
Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, points out that during British rule in India, Muslim personal law was allowed to operate and sees no reason why it wouldn't work now.
"Sharia encompasses all aspects of Muslim life including personal law," he says. "In tolerant, inclusive societies all faith groups enjoy some acceptance of their religious rules in matters of their personal life.
"I am sure some day our society here will also be more at ease with its Muslim community and see the benefit of allowing such rights to those who prefer this."
Back in the court in Leyton, the plight of Amnah is typical of the challenges facing Muslim women in Britain who are seeking to abide by the traditional Islamic teaching, but find themselves victims of the system as a result.
The husband she seeks to divorce is untraceable, but she married him in a purely Islamic ceremony so now she must fight to gain her freedom.
She met him on an Islamic matrimonial website, then discovered that he wasn't everything he had claimed to be.
"I found out he was stealing money from me," she says, adding that her husband had lied about having a job and a visa for the UK.
"So how come you married such a person who is not of your standard?" Dr Hasan asks quietly, leafing through the notes of her case.
"I made a mistake," Amnah says, simply. "Basically this man lied to me from the beginning until the end. Not only did he fool me, he fooled my family."
Despite Amnah's protestations and questioning, Dr Hasan goes on to explain that the methods and rules set out in the Koran are for very practical reasons.
A recently divorced wife must wait three months to remarry to give enough time for her ex-husband to know that she is not carrying his child. "This is for all," he says.
"There is no exception to this rule, in the sharia there is no exception, you have to accept it."
He takes down a copy of the Koran from a shelf and points to the chapter and verse that spells out the lengths of iddat - the waiting period - in detailed terms.
There are different lengths for widows, for wives whose husbands have authorised the divorce and for wives whose husbands have not. There is even a rule for pre-pubescent girls.
For Amnah, it is clear that the answer has thrown up further problems for her. "Another quick question," she says. "Because I'm going through a divorce now, is it right for me to have found someone or should I have waited?"
The man may not, Dr Hasan replies, clearly state his wish to marry her - he may subtly make his intentions known, as in "once you are free from marriage, remember me", but no, not propose. That is not allowed in the Koran.
Amnah thanks him with deference, and leaves. Coming through this religious court is the only way she will be truly at liberty to remarry but, for now, she must wait.
10519  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 03:59:10 PM
Sharia law in UK is 'unavoidable'
Dr Williams says Muslims should have a choice in legal disputes
Dr Williams interview

The Archbishop of Canterbury says the adoption of certain aspects of Sharia law in the UK "seems unavoidable".
Dr Rowan Williams told Radio 4's World at One that the UK has to "face up to the fact" that some of its citizens do not relate to the British legal system.

Dr Williams argues that adopting parts of Islamic Sharia law would help maintain social cohesion.

For example, Muslims could choose to have marital disputes or financial matters dealt with in a Sharia court.

He says Muslims should not have to choose between "the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty".

'Sensational reporting'

In an exclusive interview with BBC correspondent Christopher Landau, ahead of a lecture to lawyers in London on Monday, Dr Williams argues this relies on Sharia law being better understood.

At the moment, he says "sensational reporting of opinion polls" clouds the issue.

An approach to law which simply said - there's one law for everybody - I think that's a bit of a danger
Dr Rowan Williams
Archbishop of Canterbury
He stresses that "nobody in their right mind would want to see in this country the kind of inhumanity that's sometimes been associated with the practice of the law in some Islamic states; the extreme punishments, the attitudes to women as well".

But Dr Williams said an approach to law which simply said "there's one law for everybody and that's all there is to be said, and anything else that commands your loyalty or allegiance is completely irrelevant in the processes of the courts - I think that's a bit of a danger".

"There's a place for finding what would be a constructive accommodation with some aspects of Muslim law, as we already do with some other aspects of religious law."

'Other loyalties'

Dr Williams added: "What we don't want either, is I think, a stand-off, where the law squares up to people's religious consciences."

HAVE YOUR SAY There is, and should only be, one law which covers all people and to suggest it can be otherwise is to seriously damage our rights Patricia London, UK

"We don't either want a situation where, because there's no way of legally monitoring what communities do... people do what they like in private in such a way that that becomes another way of intensifying oppression inside a community."

The issue of whether Catholic adoption agencies would be forced to accept gay parents under equality laws showed the potential for legal confusion, he said.

"That principle that there is only one law for everybody is an important pillar of our social identity as a western democracy," he said.

"But I think it is a misunderstanding to suppose that means people don't have other affiliations, other loyalties which shape and dictate how they behave in society and that the law needs to take some account of that."

'Custom and community'

Dr Williams noted that Orthodox Jewish courts already operated, and that the law accommodated the anti-abortion views of some Christians.

"The whole idea that there are perfectly proper ways the law of the land pays respect to custom and community, that's already there," he said.

People may legally devise their own way to settle a dispute in front of an agreed third party as long as both sides agree to the process.

Muslim Sharia courts and the Jewish Beth Din which already exist in the UK come into this category.

The country's main Beth Din at Finchley in north London oversees a wide range of cases including divorce settlements, contractual rows between traders and tenancy disputes.

Dr Williams's comments are likely to fuel the debate over multiculturalism in the UK.

Last month, the Bishop of Rochester, the Right Reverend Dr Michael Nazir-Ali, said some places in the UK were no-go areas for non-Muslims.

Dr Williams said it was "not at all the case that we have absolute social exclusion".

Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/uk_news/7232661.stm
10520  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 03:51:18 PM


news

'Have more babies and Muslims can take over the UK' hate fanatic says, as warning comes that 'next 9/11 will be in UK'
By Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 6:55 PM on 13th September 2008



Muslim hate fanatics plan to take over Britain by having more babies and forcing a population explosion, it has been revealed.

The swollen Muslim population would be enough to conquer Britain from inside, they claim.

Fanatics told a meeting of young Muslims on the anniversary of the 9/11 atrocity, that it would then be easy to impose Sharia law on the population, the Sun newspaper reported.

Speaking at a meeting in London, Anjem Choudary, right-hand man of exiled preacher Omar Bakri Mohammed, said: "It may be by pure conversion that Britain will become an Islamic state. We may never need to conquer it from the outside."


Preachers: Ajum Choudhary (left) chairs the meeting with banned Muslim cleric Omar Backri's webcast on the wall behind

He added: "We do not integrate into Christianity. We will ensure that one day you will integrate into the Sharia Islamic law."

His comments were made as voice of hate Bakri warned that the next 9/11 would take place in the UK.

Speaking via video link the exiled cleric said Osama bin Laden had taught the Americans a ‘lesson’ seven years ago, but the ‘crusaders’ had not learned.


Anjem Choudary: Have more babies and conquer from the inside


Muslim cleric Omar Bakri Mohammed: The next 9/11 will be in the UK


He said the next ‘9/11 will take place in Britain, the next 7/7 [London bombings] could take place locally’.

Bakri told a 100-strong audience of supporters in Walthamstow, east London this week that he believed the British government was trying to assassinate him and claimed to have foiled a bomb plot.

Technical difficulties meant much of his speech was inaudible, but his appearance was greeted by cheers of ‘faith’ and ‘god is great’ at the community centre.

Bakri’s right-hand man, Anjem Choudary, led the proceedings in person, under the auspices of a group called Association for Islamic Research.

The most incendiary speech was delivered by Saiful Islam, who lauded Bin Laden and al Qaeda for their ‘courage’ in retaliating against the ‘dictatorship and oppression’ of the West.


Horror: Al Muhajiroun warned the UK would be next for a 9/11-magnitude attack

He said: ‘The blame of 9/11 belongs to no one but the American government. They are the terrorists.

'Sheikh Osama warned America numerous times, it was because of their own arrogance, because they thought they are a superpower and nobody could match them, that Sheikh Osama taught them a lesson - a lesson they still haven’t learned.’

 
Mr Islam, who is linked to an organisation called Salafi Youth for Islamic Propagation, warned that unless British and American troops were withdrawn from ‘Muslim lands’ they would be to blame for the consequences, saying the West would ‘never achieve security until our own [Muslim] lands achieve security’.

‘Wake up. Withdraw. Listen to the warnings. Muslims will stand side to side, not just al Qaeda. The actions of the British and Americans have given prominence to al Qaeda.

'All of us have a part to play in stopping the violence or the next 9/11 will take place in Britain, the next 7/7 could take place locally,’ he added.

Mr Choudary was the last speaker and was more guarded in his address to the young Muslim men that made up most of the audience.


 'Lesson': The wreckage of a London bus after a bomb attack on July 7, 2005

But he criticised the Government for persecuting ‘innocent Muslims’, naming Bakri, Abu Hamza, Abu Qatada and Omar Brooks along with the defendants in the airliner bomb plot trial.

He said: ‘They [the Government] say they are civilised. But they don’t act very civilised. They jailed Sheikh Abu Qatada in Belmarsh prison. Is that the way you treat your guests?’

Mr Choudary then referred to Bakri’s notorious aim of flying the ‘flag of Sharia’ over Downing Street, claiming that this would happen by 2020 as 500 people a day were converting to Islam and laughing that Muslim families in places like Whitechapel and Bethnal Green in east London were having ‘10 or 12 children each’.

He ranted against mainstream bodies like the Muslim Council of Britain, who condemned 9/11 and 7/7, accusing them of ‘selling their souls to the devil’.

Find this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1054909/Have-babies-Muslims-UK-hate-fanatic-says-warning-comes-9-11-UK.html
10521  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 03:30:36 PM
JDN,

It's another step closer to sharia law becoming the law in europe. That is the demand and the ultimate goal of the "stealth jihad" from so-called "moderates".
10522  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Islam in Europe on: September 15, 2008, 02:52:23 PM
JDN,

It's just another step towards the death of europe.
10523  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 14, 2008, 07:43:33 PM
Obama has pretty consistently overpolled. The youth vote doesn't.
10524  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Rules of Engagement on: September 13, 2008, 08:05:40 PM
Don't go to stupid places and do stupid things with stupid people. Barroom brawling would be all three.
10525  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 13, 2008, 05:56:41 PM
http://www.ejectejecteject.com/archives/000172.html

More on the history of the OODA loop concept.
10526  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The First Amendment on: September 13, 2008, 10:07:36 AM
I note that Obama's church had him and Louis Farrakhan on the cover of the church's magazine multiple times. That sure seems like political advocacy to me.

Imagine the army of IRS employees it would take to monitor the nation's religious institutions for signs of political advocacy.....
10527  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 13, 2008, 09:50:14 AM
No worries Rachel. Everyone wants to choke me sooner or later, some more often than not.
10528  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Science, Culture, & Humanities / Re: The First Amendment on: September 12, 2008, 11:08:12 PM
Does Obama's church lose it's tax exempt status for "God damn America!" and other political sermons?
10529  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 12, 2008, 11:05:14 PM
Rachel,

It's nothing more than the same hatred and vitriol the left casts on minorities that dare to question the left's paradigm.
10530  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 12, 2008, 07:45:30 PM
The same drivel we always hear. If a woman doesn't kneel at the alter of leftist victimhood, she doesn't count. Palin is hated because she is a strong woman that makes her way in the world without hating men.
10531  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 11, 2008, 03:00:16 PM
Why Does Obama's Pastor Matter?   
By John Perazzo
FrontPageMagazine.com | Monday, February 04, 2008

Barack Obama, in a way that recalls John F. Kennedy, a politician to whom he's frequently compared, has carefully controlled and burnished his image to create the impression of an independent figure, free from dogma and ideological entanglements. But there is one man who threatens to undermine Obama's appealing narrative as a man above the ugly quarrels and divisive partisanship of the past: his longtime pastor and spiritual adviser, Rev. Jeremiah Wright.


On March 1, 1972, Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. became the pastor of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ (TUCC), a position he still holds to this day. Because he has been a revered figure in the life of presidential aspirant Barack Obama for two decades, Wright's political views, which he commonly draws from the tenets of liberation theology, are worthy of some scrutiny—if only to shed light on the teachings that have had enough resonance to retain Obama as a TUCC congregant since 1988. So great is Obama's respect for Wright, that the former sought the Reverend's counsel before formally declaring his candidacy for U.S. President. Moreover, Obama and his wife selected Wright to perform their wedding ceremony and to baptize their two daughters. These are honors of considerable magnitude, and it is reasonable to speculate that if we learn more about Rev. Wright, we may gain some insight into the personal qualities and belief systems Barack Obama holds in high regard.

When we read the writings, public statements, and sermons of Rev. Wright, we quickly notice his unmistakable conviction that America is a nation infested with racism, prejudice, and injustices that make life very difficult for black people. As he declared in one of his sermons: "Racism is how this country was founded and how this country is still run!... We [Americans] believe in white supremacy and black inferiority and believe it more than we believe in God."

In a similar spirit, Wright laments "the social order under which we [blacks] live, under which we suffer, under which we are killed."[1] Depicting blacks as a politically powerless demographic, he complains that "African Americans don't run anything in the Capital except elevators."[2] On its website, Wright's church portrays black people as victims who are still burdened by the legacy of their "pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism," and who must pray for "the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people."

Wright detects what he views as racism in virtually every facet of American life. In the business world, for instance, he attributes the high unemployment rate of African Americans to "the fact that they are black."[3] Vis-à-vis the criminal justice system, he similarly explains that "the brothers are in prison" largely because of their skin color. "Consider the 'three strikes law,'" he elaborates. "There is a higher jail sentencing for crack than for cocaine because more African Americans get crack than do cocaine."[4] Notwithstanding Wright's implication that the harsh anti-crack penalties were instituted by racist legislators for the purpose of incarcerating as many blacks as possible, the Congressional Record shows that such was not at all the case. In 1986, when the strict, federal anti-crack legislation was being debated, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC)—deeply concerned about the degree to which crack was decimating the black community—strongly supported the legislation and actually pressed for even harsher penalties. In fact, a few years earlier CBC members had pushed President Reagan to create the Office of National Drug Control Policy.[5]

In Wright's calculus, white America's bigotry is to blame not only for whatever ills continue to plague the black community, but also for our country's conflicts with other nations. "In the 21st century," says Wright, "white America got a wake-up call after 9/11/01. White America and the western world came to realize that people of color had not gone away, faded into the woodwork or just 'disappeared' as the Great White West kept on its merry way of ignoring black concerns."

Remarkably, no mention of jihad—the ageless Muslim tradition of aggressive, permanent warfare whose ultimate aim is to achieve Islam's dominion over the human race at large—managed to find its way into Wright's analysis. Rather, he assured us that the 9/11 atrocities were ultimately traceable to the doorstep of U.S. provocations. In fact, Wright apparently sees no reason to suspect that Islam may be incompatible in any way with Western traditions. "Islam and Christianity are a whole lot closer than you may realize," he has written. "Islam comes out of Christianity."[6]

Apart from America's purported racism, Wright also despises the nation's capitalist economic structure, viewing it as a breeding ground for all manner of injustice. "Capitalism as made manifest in the 'New World,'" says Wright, "depended upon slave labor (by African slaves), and it is only maintained by keeping the 'Two-Thirds World' under oppression."[7] This anti-capitalist perspective is further reflected in TUCC's "10-point vision," whose ideals include the cultivation of "a congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY." Dispelling any doubt that this is a reference to socialism and the wholesale redistribution of wealth, the TUCC mission statement plainly declares its goal of helping "the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America's economic mal-distribution!"

This view is entirely consistent with Rev. Wright's devotion to the tenets of liberation theology, which is essentially Marxism dressed up as Christianity. Devised by Cold War-era theologians, it teaches that the gospels of Jesus can be understood only as calls for social activism, class struggle, and revolution aimed at overturning the existing capitalist order and installing, in its stead, a socialist utopia where today's poor will unseat their "oppressors" and become liberated from their material (and, consequently, their spiritual) deprivations. An extension of this paradigm is black liberation theology, which seeks to foment a similar Marxist revolutionary fervor founded on racial rather than class solidarity. Wright's mentor in this discipline is James Cone, author of the landmark text Black Power and Black Theology. Arguing that Christianity has been used by white society as an opiate of the (black) masses, Cone asserts that the destitute "are made and kept poor by the rich and powerful few," and that "[n]o one can be a follower of Jesus Christ without a political commitment that expresses one's solidarity with victims."

Many of Wright's condemnations of America are echoed in his denunciations of Israel and Zionism, which he has blamed for imposing "injustice and … racism" on the Palestinians. According to Wright, Zionism contains an element of "white racism." Likening Israel's treatment of Palestinians to South Africa's treatment of blacks during the apartheid era, Wright advocates divestment campaigns targeting companies that conduct business in, or with, Israel.

Given Wright's obvious low regard for the U.S. and Israel, it is by no means surprising that he reserves some of his deepest respect for the virulently anti-American, anti-Semitic Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. "When Minister Farrakhan speaks, Black America listens," says Wright. "Everybody may not agree with him, but they listen … His depth on analysis when it comes to the racial ills of this nation is astounding and eye opening. He brings a perspective that is helpful and honest. Minister Farrakhan will be remembered as one of the 20th and 21st century giants of the African American religious experience. His integrity and honesty have secured him a place in history as one of the nation's most powerful critics. His love for Africa and African American people has made him an unforgettable force, a catalyst for change and a religious leader who is sincere about his faith and his purpose."

Wright's paean to Farrakhan was parroted in the November/December issue of TUCC's bimonthly magazine, the Trumpet, which featured an interview with the NOI "icon" who, according to the publication, "truly epitomized greatness." "Because of the Minister's influence in the African American community," the Trumpet announced that it was honoring him with an "Empowerment Award" as a "fitting tribute for a storied life well lived."

This seems an odd distinction to confer upon someone whose anti-American, anti-white, anti-Semitic statements are numerous. For example, in 1996 Farrakhan told a Tehran newspaper that God would "bestow upon Muslims" the honor of "destroy[ing] America." In February 1998, he sent a cordial and supportive letter to Saddam Hussein, calling him a "visionary" who had earned the Iraqi people's "love," and whose demise would "mean a setback for the goal of unity [among Muslims]." In July 2002, he declared that America, "with blood dripping from [its] hands," had no moral authority by which to overthrow Saddam. In February 2005, he condemned the United States for waging a war "against Islam," adding: "[T]here's no way that I, as a Muslim, could countenance my children or grandchildren fighting a war against fellow believers in any part of the world."

Farrakhan also has a long, well-documented history of venom-laced references to the white "blue-eyed devils" and Jewish "bloodsuckers" who purportedly decimate America's black communities from coast to coast. Moreover, he has referred to white people as "the skunks of the planet."

On a 1984 trip to meet with the Libyan dictator (and America's arch enemy) Muammar Qadhafi, Farrakhan was accompanied by none other than Jeremiah A. Wright.

Farrakhan has long considered Qadhafi to be his trusted "friend," "brother," and "fellow struggler in the cause of liberation for our people." In 1996, the NOI leader formed a partnership with Qadhafi, who pledged $1 billion to help Farrakhan develop a Muslim political lobby in the U.S. Said Qadhafi: "We agreed with Louis Farrakhan and his delegation to mobilize in a legal and legitimate form the oppressed minorities—and at their forefront the blacks, Arab Muslims and Red Indians—for they play an important role in American political life and have a weight in U.S. elections." "Our confrontation with America," added Qadhafi, "was [previously] like a fight against a fortress from outside, and today [with the NOI alliance] we found a breach to enter into this fortress and confront it."

Farrakhan's October 16, 1995 Million Man March ranks among the events about which Rev. Wright has written most extensively and passionately. Wright attended the rally with his son, and has described it as "a once in a lifetime, amazing experience."[8] When a number of prominent African Americans counseled fellow blacks to boycott the demonstration because of Farrakhan's well-documented history of hateful rhetoric, Wright derided those critics as "'Negro' leaders,"[9] "'colored' leaders," "Oreos," and "house niggras"[10] whose most noteworthy trait was their contemptible "Uncle Tomism."[11] "There are a whole boat load of 'darkies' who think in white supremacist terms," added Wright. "… Some 'darkies' think white women are superior to black women…. Some 'darkies' think white lawyers are superior to black lawyers. Some 'darkies' think white pastors are better than black pastors. There are a whole boatload of 'darkies' who think anything white and everyone white is better than whatever it is black people have."[12]

In the book titled When Black Men Stand up for God, a collection of sermons and reflections on the Million Man March, Wright identifies Kwanzaa founder Maulana Karenga as an attendee of the rally.[13] In the end notes that follow a transcript of one of Wright's sermons, Karenga is described as "an internationally acclaimed social activist and scholar in Pan African Studies"; "the founder and creator of Kwanzaa, the well-known African American holiday"; and "the director of Pan African Studies and Visiting Lecturer in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, Riverside."[14] Unmentioned is the fact that Karenga is a self-identified "African socialist" whose "Seven Principles of Blackness," which are observed during Kwanzaa, are not only the Marxist precepts of parity and proletariat unity, but are also identical to those of the 1970s domestic terrorist group, the Symbionese Liberation Army. Nor is it noted that in 1971 Karenga was convicted of torturing two women who were members of United Slaves, a black nationalist cult he had established.

On its website, Wright's church describes itself in distinctly racial terms, as being an "Unashamedly Black" congregation of "African people" who are "true to our native land, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization," and who participate in TUCC's "Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community."

Some have suggested that such seemingly exclusionary assertions, coupled with Wright's own racially loaded statements and his close affiliation with Farrakhan, indicate that Wright is guilty of racism. But Wright casually dismisses this charge, stating: "I get tickled every time I hear a 'Negro' call me a racist. They don't even understand how to define the word. Racism means controlling the means."[15] In other words, Wright employs a rhetorical escape hatch that permits him to evade all charges of racism simply by claiming that only the "dominant" (i.e., white) demographic is capable of such ugliness. The implication is that no deed or utterance, however hateful or vile, is egregious enough to qualify any black person as a racist; that blacks are always the victims of racism, never its perpetrators.

American voters ought to have more than a passing interest in the fact that when Barack Obama formally joined TUCC in 1991, he tacitly accepted this same Jeremiah Wright as a spiritual mentor. Moreover, he pledged allegiance to the church's race-conscious "Black Value System" that encourages blacks to patronize black-only businesses, support black leaders, and avoid becoming "entrapped" by the pursuit of a "black middle-classness" whose ideals presumably would erode their sense of African identity and render them "captive" to white culture.

In addition, voters should examine carefully the question of whether Obama shares Wright's socialist economic preferences. They ought to be aware, for instance, that the Democratic candidate is on record as having said that his religious faith has led him to question "the idolatry of the free market." Moreover, Obama's voting record and his issue positions show him generally to favor high spending and increased government intervention in all realms of life.

When Rev. Wright's controversial statements and positions recently became more widely publicized, Obama said, "There are some things I agree with my pastor about, some things I disagree with him about." It is the duty of every American voter to determine exactly where those agreements and disagreements lie.

Notes:
[1] When Black Men Stand up for God (Chicago: African American Images), 1996, p. 17.
[2] Ibid., p. 102.
[3] Ibid., p. 17.
[4] Ibid., p. 17.
[5] John DiIulio, Jr., "My Black Crime Problem, and Ours," City Journal (Spring 1996), pp. 19-20.
[6] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 16.
[7] Blow the Trumpet in Zion (Minneapolis: Fortress Press), 2005, pp. 8-9.
[8] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 10.
[9] Ibid., pp. 11, 37.
[10] Ibid., p. 80.
[11] Ibid., p. 11.
[12] Ibid., p. 81.
[13] It should be noted that Wright's church has conducted Kwanzaa programs for its congregants. See When Black Men Stand up for God, p. iv.)
[14] When Black Men Stand up for God, p. 25.
[15] Ibid., p. 102.
10532  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 10, 2008, 07:07:22 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/09/10/biden-hey-you-know-who-might-have-been-a-better-pick-for-vp-than-me/

Joe Biden tells the truth!
10533  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 10, 2008, 06:58:19 PM
Obama's comment makes sense when you consider how muslims feel about pigs.....   evil
10534  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 10, 2008, 04:23:47 PM
**The left lied and millions died.**

http://michellemalkin.com/2008/03/12/hot-air-tv-sen-john-kerry-confronted-about-winter-soldier-ii/

Hot Air TV: Sen. John Kerry confronted about Winter Soldier II
By Michelle Malkin  •  March 12, 2008 11:12 PM
Cross-posted at Hot Air…scroll down for updates…

Grab the popcorn. We’ve got another joint YAF/Hot Air TV production for you, just in time for the anti-war confab known as “Winter Soldier II” that kicks off in Washington, D.C. tomorrow and runs through Sunday. YAF’s Jason Mattera, our intrepid special correspondent who cornered Jack Murtha in September, is back in the halls of Congress.
This week, Jason caught up with the original Winter Soldier, Sen. John Kerry, and confronted him about his unsubstantiated, troop-smearing testimony. Jason also tried to get him to autograph this picture. Watch:

***
Here’s the transcript:
Opening slate: On January 31, 1971, John Kerry organized the “Winter Soldier Investigations,” a media event that falsely accused American soldiers of routinely raping, torturing, and murdering innocent Vietnamese civilians.
Second slate: From March 13-16, 2008, “Iraq Veterans Against the War” has coordinated a second Winter Soldier Investigations in an effort to assail the U.S. Military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Third slate: On March 11, 2008, Jason Mattera of Young America’’s Foundation confronted Senator Kerry (D-MA) about Winter Soldier II and the Senator’’s shady past.
MATTERA: Hey, Sen. Kerry! Jason Mattera with Young America’s Foundation. How are you?
KERRY: Jason. How are you?
MATTERA: I was wondering: Do you have any advice for the new group of activists who are organizing Winter Soldier II?
KERRY: I haven’t [unintelligble] what they’re doing or where they’re at. I just don’t…
MATTERA: Do you think this crop of anti-war activists, do you there’ll be any frauds like Al Hubbard?
KERRY: I have no idea. I hope not.
MATTERA: Do you think that they will make slanderous accusations–accusing the troops of raping women, pillaging villaging, just like you did to the Fulbright committee?
KERRY: Uh, I didn’t make those.
MATTERA: You didn’t?
Audio clip, John Kerry, 4/22/71: [They told the stories at times] they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.
Kerry claims Winter Soldier Investigations were substantiated by further investigation.
MATTERA: Did you ever verify those –
KERRY (crosstalk): I’ve been misquoted about that hundreds of times.
MATTERA: So you never substantiated those charges before you–
KERRY: I proposed–I gave them to the committee because I felt that they ought to be investigated and that’s exactly what I said. These are the–many of those charges, incidentally, were subsequently verified by different entities.
Slate: No criminal charges were filed as a result of any of the [Army’s Criminal Investigative Division] investigations into Winter Soldier.
FrontPageMag.com, February 25, 2008
Slate: Much of the testimony that will be heard during the three days could not be corroborated by the Free Press in the ten days it had to run down each account.
Detroit Free Press, January 31, 1971
MATTERA: Could you sign the picture of the dedication the North Vietnamese created in helping–claiming you helped them win the war?
KERRY: No. No.
MATTERA: Do you have any thoughts?
KERRY (puts hand on Jason’s shoulder): Who do you represent?
MATTERA: Young America’s Foundation.
KERRY: Ohhh.
MATTERA: Does it bother you that the North Vietnamese created a memorial dedicated to you?
KERRY: It’s not dedicated to me.
Slate: At the Communists War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, John Kerry’s picture hangs in a section dedicated to the anti-war activists who helped the Vietnamese Communists win the Vietnam War.
End slate:
Reputations ruined.
Lives torn apart.
Servicemen maligned.
We can’t let lies like Kerry’s go unchallenged again.
10535  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 09, 2008, 06:52:18 PM
http://littlegreenfootballs.com/article/31200_Bill_Ayers-_Violent_Resistance_Not_Necessarily_the_Answer

**Obama's political mentor. Unrepentant terrorist.**
10536  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 09, 2008, 12:42:26 AM
Barry-O has 20 years attending a racist, America-hating church and mostly voted "present" as a legislator. And this is experience we want for a president?

GM,

Sarah Palin went to a church that equates gibberish to speaking to God. Mitt Romney believes in holy text that were reveled from a hat,  and I go to church that protected child molesters. Look at any church/religion hard enough and you will find something 'f*cked up'. Obama has already addressed and has made his feelings clear, its time to move on.

I agree though that voting "present" as a legislator is relevant, what is also relevant is what were the votes for.

Vince

**If Sarah Palin attended a church that taught "christian identity" theology (white supremacist ideology masquerading as christianity) I could not vote for her ever, for any reason. Barry-O chose to find a "black church" in Chicago. Obviously there were quite a few to choose from. He had to choose one that is formed around a racist theology, one that honored Louis Farrakhan. In fact, the only person to appear on the cover of the church's magazine cover as many times as Farrakhan was Barry-O. Does he hate the white people that raised him, or was it just a cynical move to enhance his "blackness" for running for the Illinois state legislature? Neither speak well of his character.**
10537  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 09, 2008, 12:05:50 AM
I understand Indian Reservations are "sovereign nations"; but only at the "generosity" of the USG.  This sovereignty can be easily restricted, changed, or taken away and further, as you pointed out, "the USG retains federal jurisdiction of tribal lands." 

**Would you support the elimination of reservations in the interest of "democracy"?**

As for the State of CA it seems to regulate their ability to gamble (number of machines, etc.) and also the sheriff's contend (although debateable) that they have "free and unrestricted access".  At minimum, Sheriff's do have the right to investigate crime, arrest, etc.  That being said, I have dealt with Indian Tribes before and it is a pain in the ass legally speaking.  But that is another subject.

http://www.9-1-1magazine.com/magazine/1997/0997/features/mentzer.html
**The article gives a good overview of the jurisdictional issues involved.**


But Israel?  It is hardly a good analogy.  No one has jurisdiction over them, rather Israel is the one with jurisdiction.  Your analogy is contrary to the situation in the Middle East.

A better analogy is the one pointed out in the article.  Prime Minister Olmert himself used the comparison to the South African-style struggle.  He implied that Israel is like South Africa and is in essence now imposing an apartheid system.  Morally, most would say that is wrong and as even Olmert states that it is wrong and the world will one day turn against Israel as it did turn against South Africa. 

**So suicide is moral? How about the moral outrage on how jews, christians and other non-muslims are treated in the middle east? There is no "right of return" for the once thriving Jewish population centers in middle eastern countries. Much like Saddam killing masses, the "world opinion" is silent. Mass murder and oppressions is ignored, unless the US or Israel can somehow be blamed for it.**

Now, Israel has direct control over four million Palestinians in the occupied territories. 

**No it doesn't. They have the Gaza strip and the West bank under the PA.**

They have been under Israel's military rule for 40 years!  Much of the world has already turned against Israel for subjecting the Palestinians to being second class people. 

**The "world opinion" is the result of two things: The onslaught of propaganda and stealth anti-semitism covered as "anti-zionism".**

The analogy to apartheid is real and repulsive to most people in a democracy.  And as the article points out, the Palestinian population is growing; soon they will be the majority.

**The "palestinians" are nothing but a tool for the surrounding arab nations to use against Israel. If they really cared about the "palestinian plight" they wouldn't have warehoused them in "refugee camps" for decades.**

If they say, as the article points out, let us have one country and demand equal rights and are the majority,  the Palestinians will control and Israel will change from being a "Jewish democracy" to a multiethnic post Zionist democratic state.  That is a true democracy, everyone's desire, but I understand your point, it would be disastrous for the Jews of Israel.

The article's point; Israel is between a rock and a hard place with no easy way out.  Not today, not next year, but the time will come.  But it will come and I bet the the world with vote "democracy" (one cannot vote in good conscience for apartheid) and not for the Jews.   Hopefully, a solution can be found before the Palestinians become a democratic majority.

PS as for the use of the term "Palestinians" note Israel Prime Minister Olmert uses the term himself therefore I assume it has come in to common usage.

**It's come into common usage, it doesn't make it right, though.**
10538  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 08, 2008, 11:39:17 PM
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2008/09/09/do0904.xml&posted=true&_requestid=75665

Sarah Palin is not such a small-town girl after all
By James Bennett
Last Updated: 12:01am BST 09/09/2008


It is clear that few in America, let alone Britain, have any idea what to make of Sarah Palin. The Republicans' vice-presidential candidate confounds the commentators because they don't understand the forces that shaped her in the remote state of Alaska.

    

John McCain and Sarah Palin
Thus, most coverage dwells on exotica - the moose shooting, her Eskimo husband - combined with befuddlement at how a woman can go from being mayor of a town of 9,000, to governor, to prospective VP within the space of a few years.

But, having worked with Alaskans, I know something of the challenge she has faced, and why - contrary to what Democrats think - it could make her a powerful figure in the White House.

The first myth to slay is that she is a political neophyte who has come from nowhere. In fact, she and her husband have, for decades, run a company in the highly politicised commercial fishing industry, where holding on to a licence requires considerable nous and networking skills.

Her rise from parent-teacher association to city council gave her a natural political base in her home town of Wasilla. Going on to become mayor was a natural progression. Wasilla's population of 9,000 would be a small town in Britain, and even in most American states.

But Wasilla is the fifth-largest city in Alaska, which meant that Palin was an important player in state politics.

Her husband's status in the Yup'ik Eskimo tribe, of which he is a full, or "enrolled" member, connected her to another influential faction: the large and wealthy (because of their right to oil revenues) native tribes.

All of this gave her a base from which to launch her 2002 campaign for lieutenant (deputy) governor of Alaska.

She lost that, but collected a powerful enough following to be placated with a seat on, and subsequently the chairmanship of, the Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, which launched her into the politics of Alaska's energy industry.

Palin quickly realised that Alaska had the potential to become a much bigger player in global energy politics, a conviction that grew as the price of oil rose. Alaska had been in hock to oil companies since major production began in the mid-1970s.

As with most poor, distant places that suddenly receive great natural-resource wealth, the first generation of politicians were mesmerised by the magnificence of the crumbs falling from the table. Palin was the first of the next generation to realise that Alaska should have a place at that table.

Her first target was an absurd bureaucratic tangle that for 30 years had kept the state from exporting its gas to the other 48 states. She set an agenda that centred on three mutually supportive objectives: cleaning up state politics, building a new gas pipeline, and increasing the state's share of energy revenues.

This agenda, pursued throughout Palin's commission tenure, culminated in her run for governor in 2006. By this time, she had already begun rooting out corruption and making enemies, but also establishing her bona fides as a reformer.

With this base, she surprised many by steamrollering first the Republican incumbent governor, and second, the Democratic former governor, in the election.

Far from being a reprise of Mr Smith Goes to Washington, Palin was a clear-eyed politician who, from the day she took office, knew exactly what she had to do and whose toes she would step on to do it.

The surprise is not that she has been in office for such a short time but that she has succeeded in each of her objectives. She has exposed corruption; given the state a bigger share in Alaska's energy wealth; and negotiated a deal involving big corporate players, the US and Canadian governments, Canadian provincial governments, and native tribes - the result of which was a £13 billion deal to launch the pipeline and increase the amount of domestic energy available to consumers. This deal makes the charge of having "no international experience" particularly absurd.

In short, far from being a small-town mayor concerned with little more than traffic signs, she has been a major player in state politics for a decade, one who formulated an ambitious agenda and deftly implemented it against great odds.

Her sudden elevation to the vice-presidential slot on the Republican ticket shocked no one more than her enemies in Alaska, who have broken out into a cold sweat at the thought of Palin in Washington, guiding the Justice Department's anti-corruption teams through the labyrinths of Alaska's old-boy network.

It is no surprise that many of the charges laid against her have come from Alaska, as her enemies become more and more desperate to bring her down. John McCain was familiar with this track record and it is no doubt the principal reason that he chose her.

Focusing on the exotic trappings of Alaskan culture may make Palin seem a quaint and inexplicable choice. But understanding the real background of her steady rise in politics suggests that Barack Obama and Joe Biden are underestimating her badly. In this, they join two former Alaskan governors, a large number of cronies, and a trail of enemies extending back over a decade.

James Bennett is the author of 'The Anglosphere Challenge'
10539  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Palin phenomenon on: September 08, 2008, 11:29:07 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yn7UzxXv8p4

I bet Barry-O would be whizzing down both pantlegs in a similar situation.
10540  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 07, 2008, 09:40:31 PM
Poll: Convention lifts McCain over Obama
By Susan Page, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — The Republican National Convention has given John McCain and his party a significant boost, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll taken over the weekend shows, as running mate Sarah Palin helps close an "enthusiasm gap" that has dogged the GOP all year.
McCain leads Democrat Barack Obama by 50%-46% among registered voters, the Republican's biggest advantage since January and a turnaround from the USA TODAY poll taken just before the convention opened in St. Paul. Then, he lagged by 7 percentage points.

The convention bounce has helped not only McCain but also attitudes toward Republican congressional candidates and the GOP in general.

"The Republicans had a very successful convention and, at least initially, the selection of Sarah Palin has made a big difference," says political scientist Larry Sabato of the University of Virginia. "He's in a far better position than his people imagined he would be in at this point."

However, in an analysis of the impact of political conventions since 1960, Sabato concluded that post-convention polls signal the election's outcome only about half the time. "You could flip a coin and be about as predictive," he says. "It is really surprising how quickly convention memories fade."

McCain has narrowed Obama's wide advantage on handling the economy, by far the electorate's top issue. Before the GOP convention, Obama was favored by 19 points; now he's favored by 3.

The Republican's ties to President Bush remains a vulnerability. In the poll, 63% say they are concerned he would pursue policies too similar to those of the current president. Bush's approval rating is 33%.

In the new poll, taken Friday through Sunday, McCain leads Obama by 54%-44% among those seen as most likely to vote. The survey of 1,022 adults, including 959 registered voters, has a margin of error of +/— 3 points for both samples.

Among the findings:

• Before the convention, Republicans by 47%-39% were less enthusiastic than usual about voting. Now, they are more enthusiastic by 60%-24%, a sweeping change that narrows a key Democratic advantage. Democrats report being more enthusiastic by 67%-19%.

• Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, a national unknown before McCain chose her for the ticket 10 days ago, draws a strong reaction from voters on both sides. Now, 29% say she makes them more likely to vote for McCain, 21% less likely.

Obama's choice of Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as running mate made 14% more likely to vote for the Democrat, 7% less likely.

• McCain's acceptance speech Thursday received lower ratings than the one Obama gave a week earlier: 15% called McCain's speech "excellent" compared with 35% for Obama.

 

 
 
Find this article at:
http://www.usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/2008-09-07-poll_N.htm
10541  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 07, 2008, 10:41:13 AM
I will reply more later, but but the American Indian's rights were granted by the US Government and can be taken away. 

**The Indian tribes that have a treaty with the US gov't are known as federally recognized tribes. The USG recognizes the tribes as sovereign nations within the US. The USG retains federal jurisdiction over tribal lands, but other governmental entities like states have no legal jurisdiction.**

To complete the analogy in essence you are saying that the Palestinians granted Israel their rights and has the right to enter at will as do representatives of the US Government, i.e. a Sheriff, etc. 

**First of all, there is no such thing as a "palestinian". There are arabs that lived in that area, but there is no distinct "palestinian" ethnicity. It's a made up psyop that dates back to the 60's, if I recall correctly. Thus far, the Israelis have been able to successfully fight to maintain their existence. The "palestinians" have made it clear that they will kill every last Israeli, given the opportunity.

Secondly, only federal law enforcement, such as Bureau of Indian Affairs special agents/police and the FBI have jurisdiction in Indian Country aside from tribal police. Sheriffs are county level, and don't have jurisdiction, even if they reservation lands are within the county. If I recall correctly, California has some strange deviation from this standard, but this is true elsewhere.**



 Further, Indian reservations are under the control of the US Government and therefore you are saying the Palestinians control Israel?

**No, if the "palestinians" ever had the upper hand, then we have the next holocaust.**

I think your analogy is one of the tail wagging the dog.

**I think you are missing the point. If Israel can't preserve it's "tribal sovereignty", then why do Indian tribes get to here? With tribal casinos and oil and gas leases, some tribes are becoming very wealthy. I know of one where every tribal member is a millionaire on paper. Should non-indians be able to flood into their lands and vote themselves shares of the tribal wealth?**
10542  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 07, 2008, 09:29:31 AM
JDN,

What's the flaw in my point? As an American, you do not have the right to travel onto an Indian reservation with intact borders if they do not wish to allow you to do so. Even if you own property and dwell within the boundaries of a "checkerboard" reservation, you cannot vote in tribal elections unless you are a tribal member.
10543  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 07, 2008, 09:25:39 AM
Target of Jihad   
By Robert Spencer
FrontPageMagazine.com | Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Wafa Sultan appeared on Al-Jazeera again earlier this month, and the shock waves are still reverberating throughout the Islamic world. The day after her appearance Al-Jazeera issued a public apology for her “offensive” remarks, but did not specify what exactly she said that was so terrible. Last week, however, the influential Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi was not so circumspect. Qaradawi, whom Saudi-funded academic John Esposito has praised as a “reformist,” in 2006 exhorted Muslims to fight against Israel by invoking the notorious genocidal hadith in which Muhammad says that on the Day of Judgment “even the stones and the trees will speak, with or without words, and say: ‘Oh servant of Allah, oh Muslim, there’s a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” But now he has directed his rage against Sultan, a fifty-year-old Syrian-American psychologist: “She said unbearable, ghastly things that made my hair stand on end.” Specifically, “she had the audacity to publicly curse Allah, His Prophet, the Koran, the history of Islam, and the Islamic nation.” He repeated that she “leveled accusations against Islam and the Muslims, and cursed Allah, His Prophet, the Islamic nation, the shari’a, and the Islamic faith and culture.”
These are serious charges, and Qaradawi states them in terms that his jihadist minions will understand as meaning that she must be killed. Given that Qaradawi has justified suicide attacks against Israeli civilians and American soldiers in Iraq, it is clear that he has no distaste for violence, and thus law enforcement officials should take his latest fulminations against Wafa Sultan very seriously indeed.

But for Sultan herself, of course, they are nothing new. This courageous woman has been a target of jihadist outrage ever since she burst onto the international scene with an interview also on Al-Jazeera on February 21, 2006. The video of this interview has now been viewed over a million times, and led to Sultan’s receiving numerous death threats. In it, she excoriated the violence that all too many Muslims have committed in the name of Islam, and the tendency of all too many others, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to justify that violence by pointing to mistreatment that Muslims have allegedly suffered:

The Jews have come from the tragedy [of the Holocaust], and forced the world to respect them, with their knowledge, not with their terror; with their work, not with their crying and yelling. Humanity owes most of the discoveries and science of the 19th and 20th centuries to Jewish scientists. Fifteen million people, scattered throughout the world, united and won their rights through work and knowledge. We have not seen a single Jew blow himself up in a German restaurant. We have not seen a single Jew destroy a church. We have not seen a single Jew protest by killing people. The Muslims turned three Buddha statues into rubble. We have not seen a single Buddhist burn down a mosque, kill a Muslim, or burn down an embassy. Only the Muslims defend their beliefs by burning down churches, killing people, and destroying embassies. This path will not yield any results. The Muslims must ask themselves what they can do for humankind, before they demand that humankind respect them.

Reasonable enough. And so was what Sultan said on Al-Jazeera this month. Defending the notorious Danish cartoons of Muhammad that continue to roil the Islamic world, she pointed out:

But if Islam were not the way it is, those cartoons would never have appeared. They did not appear out of the blue, and the cartoonist did not dig them out of his imagination. Rather, they are a reflection of his knowledge. Westerners who read the words of the Prophet Muhammad ‘Allah has given me sustenance under the shadow of my sword’ cannot imagine Muhammad's turban in the shape of a dove of peace rather than in the shape of a bomb. The Muslims must learn how to listen to the criticism of others, and maybe then they will reexamine their terrorist teachings.

Qaradawi, however, was in no mood to reexamine anything. Sultan’s statements were “all based on ignorance,” he complained. “If only she had some knowledge... But she doesn’t have any knowledge. She doesn't know the Koran or the Sunna. When she cited a hadith to back up her statements, she used a hadith that scholars consider unreliable.” Which unreliable hadith? Muhammad’s statement that “Allah has given me sustenance under the shadow of my sword.” Qaradawi asserted: “This hadith is unreliable. The Prophet did not get sustenance by the sword. If she had read the Koran, she would have known that it forbids killing people: ‘Anyone who kills another person for any reason other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land – it is as if he has killed all of mankind.’”

Of course, anyone can see that “other than manslaughter or spreading corruption in the land [fasaad]” is a rather large exception, and the next verse makes Qaradawi’s claim that the Qur’an “forbids killing people” even more questionable. He quoted Qur’an 5:32, which immediately precedes a verse directing Muslims to crucify or amputate a hand and a foot on opposite sides from someone who fights against Allah and Muhammad or spreads “corruption in the land.”

And as for the unreliability of the hadith about the shadow of Muhammad’s sword, Qaradawi doesn’t bother to tell us that a hadith in which Muhammad says “Know that Paradise is under the shades of swords” appears in Bukhari, the hadith collection that Muslims consider most reliable, and in which only a very few ahadith are considered unreliable by any Islamic scholars. Not only does it appear, but it appears in three different places in Bukhari and in two places in Sahih Muslim, the hadith collection considered second most reliable. This repetition is further attestation of its authenticity from a Muslim standpoint, since the multiple renderings are considered to have come from different narrators, indicating that many people heard Muhammad say this.

Qaradawi made even wilder charges, falsely claiming (with stinging irony in light of his support for suicide attacks) that Sultan “sanctions the killing of Muslims in Gaza and elsewhere, claiming that they deserve to be killed.” Such charges, and Qaradawi’s claim that Sultan “had the audacity to affront all that is sacred – the entire Islamic nation, its past, its present, and its future.” Yet as we have seen, it was she who was telling the truth, not this renowned “reformist” Sheikh, and thus it is she who has yet again shown up the hollowness of the denial, obfuscation, and finger-pointing that all too many Islamic leaders engage in rather than embarking upon the searching self-reflection urged upon them by Wafa Sultan and other defenders of universal human rights and human dignity.

Wafa Sultan is a national and international treasure. The American government should be rushing to protect her against any who might be motivated to act by the distortions of the thuggish Qaradawi. Is that happening?
10544  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Israel, and its neighbors on: September 07, 2008, 08:49:49 AM
Israel has the right to restrict the so-called "palestinians" from it's lands, just as Indian tribes can restrict you from their lands. And you don't get to vote in tribal elections either.
10545  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 06, 2008, 11:35:17 PM
http://weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/534rlysq.asp

Why They Hate Her
Sarah Palin is a smart missile aimed at the heart of the left.
by Jeffrey Bell
09/15/2008, Volume 014, Issue 01

For months John McCain has apparently been hoping to use his selection of a running mate to shake up the presidential race. By picking Alaska governor Sarah Palin, McCain has accomplished that--and very likely a lot more than that, more than he or anyone else could have imagined.

I'm not talking about the widely remarked fact that if Palin performs well, and regardless of whether McCain wins or loses, she becomes a future Republican presidential prospect. Given the end of the remarkable 28-year run of the Bush family--present on six of the last seven GOP national tickets, a record that could stand forever--and McCain's own status as a pre-baby boomer, this was baked in the cake no matter what younger Republican politician McCain chose to elevate.

But even apart from its political implications, the rollout of the Sarah Palin vice presidential candidacy may be regarded decades from now as a nationally shared Rorschach test of enormous cultural significance.

From the instant of Palin's designation on Friday, August 29, the American left went into a collective mass seizure from which it shows no sign of emerging. The left blogosphere and elite media have, for the moment, joined forces and become indistinguishable from each other, and from the supermarket tabloids, in their desire to find and use anything that will criminalize and/or humiliate Palin and her family. In sharp contrast to the yearlong restraint shown toward truthful reports about John Edwards's affair, bizarre rumors have been reported as news, and, according to McCain campaign director Steve Schmidt, nationally known members of the elite media have besieged him with preposterous demands.

The most striking thing in purely political terms about this hurricane of elite rage is the built-in likelihood that it will backfire. It's not simply that it is highly capable of generating sympathy for Palin among puzzled undecided voters and of infuriating and motivating a previously placid GOP base, neither of which is in the interest of the Obama-Biden campaign. It also created an opening for Palin herself to look calm, composed, competent, and funny in response.

In her acceptance speech last Wednesday night, anyone could see the poise and skill that undoubtedly attracted McCain's attention months ago, when few others were even aware that he was looking. But it was precisely the venom of the left's assault that heightened the drama and made it a riveting television event. Palin benefited from her ability to project full awareness of the volume and relentlessness of the attacks without showing a scintilla of resentment or self-pity.

This is a rare talent, one shared by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. For this quality to have even a chance to develop, there must be something real to serve as an emotional backdrop: disproportionate, crazy-seeming rage by one's political enemies. Roosevelt was on his party's national ticket five times and Reagan sought the presidency four times. Each became governor of what at the time was the nation's most populous state. It took Roosevelt and Reagan decades of national prominence and pitched ideological combat to achieve the gift of enemies like these. Yet the American left awarded Sarah Palin this gift seemingly within a microsecond of her appearance on the national stage in Dayton, Ohio. Why?

The most important thing to know about the left today is that it is centered on social issues. At root, it always has been, ever since the movement took form and received its name in the revolutionary Paris of the 1790s. In order to drive toward a vision of true human liberation, all the institutions and moral codes we associate with civilization had to be torn down. The institutions targeted in revolutionary France included the monarchy and the nobility, but even higher on the enemies list of the Jacobins and their allies were organized religion and the family, institutions in which the moral values of traditional society could be preserved and passed on outside the control of the leftist vanguard.

Full human liberation always remained the ultimate vision of the left--Marx, for one, was explicit on this point--but the left in its more than 200-year history has been flexible and adaptable in the forms it was willing to assume and the projects it was willing to undertake in pursuit of its anti-institutional goals. For more than a hundred years, the central project of the global left was socialism.

It's hard to credit today, but as recently as the 1940s most Western political elites believed government ownership of business and national planning were the keys to economic modernization. Even when socialism's economic prestige was eroded by the West's capitalist boom after World War II, socialism retained credibility as a means of income redistribution.

It was the turbulent 1960s that proved a strategic turning point for the left. The worldwide social and cultural upheavals that culminated in 1968 were felt as a crisis of confidence by institutions in the West. Some institutions (universities, for example) defected to the rebels, while others saw their centuries-long influence on the population greatly weaken or drain away virtually overnight.

In the short run, most political elites weathered the storm. A big reason, the left gradually realized, was that socialist economics had become an albatross. Increasingly, the democratic parties of the left in Western countries downplayed socialism or even decoupled from it, leaving them free to pursue the anti-institutional, relativistic moral crusade that has been in the DNA of the left all along.

This newly revitalized social and cultural agenda made it possible for the left to shrug off the collapse of European communism and the Soviet Union nearly two decades ago. Even in countries like China where the Communist party retained dictatorial power, socialist economics became a thing of the past. Attempts to suppress religion and limit the autonomy of the family did not.

For the post-1960s, post-socialist left, the single most important breakthrough has been the alliance between modern feminism and the sexual revolution. This was far from inevitable. Up until around 1960, attempts at sexual liberation were resisted by most educated women. In the wake of the success of Playboy and other mass-circulation pornographic magazines in the 1950s, men were depicted as the initiators and main beneficiaries of sexual liberation, women as intolerant of promiscuity as well as potential victims of predatory "liberated" men.

With the introduction of the Pill around 1960, things abruptly began to change. Fears of overpopulation legitimated a contraceptive ethic throughout middle-class society in North America, Europe, Japan, and the Soviet bloc. China, which discouraged contraception and welcomed population gains under Mao Zedong, flipped to the extreme of the One Child policy in 1979, shortly after pro-capitalist reformers took charge and fixed on strict population control as an integral and unquestioned part of the package of Western-style development.

The fact that the Pill was taken only by women gave them a greater feeling of control over their sexual activity and eroded their social and psychological resistance to premarital sex. "No fault" divorce, a term borrowed from the field of auto insurance, in reality amounted to unilateral divorce and began to undermine the idea of marriage as a binding mutual contract oriented toward the procreation and nurturing of children. Contrary to nearly every prediction, the ubiquity of far more reliable methods of contraception and the growing ideological separation of sex from reproduction, coincided with a huge increase in unwed pregnancies.

Though earlier versions of feminism tended to embrace children and elevate motherhood, the more adversarial feminism that gained a mass base in virtually every affluent democracy beginning in the 1970s preached that children and childbearing were the central instrumentality of men's subjugation of women. This more than anything else in the menu of the post-socialist left raised toward cultural consensus a vision in which the monogamous family was what prevented humanity from achieving a Rousseau-like "natural" state of freedom from all laws and all bonds of mutual obligation.

If this analysis is correct, the single most important narrative holding the left together in today's politics and culture is the one offered--often with little or no dissent--by adversarial feminism. The premise of this narrative is that for women to achieve dignity and self-fulfillment in modern society, they must distance themselves, not necessarily from men or marriage or childbearing, but from the kind of marriage in which a mother's temptation to be with and enjoy several children becomes a synonym for holding women back and cheating them out of professional success.

On August 29, in the immediate aftermath of the announcement by the McCain campaign, all that was widely known of the governor of Alaska was that she was married with five children, the last one of whom had been carried to term with Down syndrome, and that she was pro-life. No one knew that her oldest daughter was pregnant. No one knew much about what she had done as governor or in her previous career. No one knew how she had been drawn into politics, or that her sister had had a reckless husband and a contentious divorce. Above all, with the possible exception of John McCain, no one knew that Sarah Palin was both a married mother of five and a brilliant political talent with a chance not just to change the dynamics of the 2008 election but to rise to the top level of American politics, whatever happens this year.

The simple fact of her being a pro-life married mother of five with a thriving political career was--before anything else about her was known--enough for the left and its outliers to target her for destruction. She could not be allowed to contradict symbolically one of the central narratives of the left. How galling it will be to Sarah Palin's many new enemies if she survives this assault and prevails. If she does, her success may be an important moment in the struggle to shape not just America's politics but its culture.

Jeffrey Bell, author of Populism and Elitism: Politics in the Age of Equality (1992), is completing work on Social Conservatism: The Movement That Polarized American Politics. He is a visiting fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.
10546  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 06, 2008, 11:09:40 PM
Barry-O has 20 years attending a racist, America-hating church and mostly voted "present" as a legislator. And this is experience we want for a president?
10547  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 06, 2008, 08:40:54 PM
http://hotair.com/archives/2008/09/06/the-recycled-flags-of-the-dncc/

The Recycled Flags of the DNCC; Update: Pathetic spin by Team O
POSTED AT 12:00 PM ON SEPTEMBER 6, 2008 BY ED MORRISSEY   


Democrats brought out tens of thousands of American flags to Invesco Field, saluting Barack Obama as he spoke from the Styrofoam columns of the Barackopolis at the conclusion of the Democratic convention.  Perhaps some of them took the flags home as souvenirs, but where did the rest go?  According to David Harsanyi, they went into the trash — and would have gone to a landfill, except for a worker at Invesco who rescued them from the dumpsters:

This morning, Republicans tell me that a worker at Invesco Field in Denver saved thousands of unused flags from the Democratic National Convention that were headed for the garbage. Guerrilla campaigning. They will use these flags at their own event today in Colorado Springs with John McCain and Sarah Palin.

Before McCain speaks today, veterans will haul these garbage bags filled with flags out onto the stage — with dramatic effect, no doubt — and tell the story.

Didn’t anyone make arrangements for better disposal of these flags from Invesco?  At the very least, they were an investment that could have been re-used at rallies in Colorado as well as the rest of the nation during the general election.  Instead, they’ve handed a dramatic moment to John McCain and Sarah Palin, as well as relieved them of the cost of 12,000 such flags — as well as a full 3′x5′ flag that also wound up in the trash.

Remember when the DNCC was supposed to be the “greenest convention ever”?  How they worried about the color of the food and using organic materials in their merchandise?  I guess we can see where the “green” concern ends … at red, white, and blue.

Still … I hope the RNCC did a better job rescuing discarded flags at the Xcel Center.

Update: If you want to know how to properly dispose of flags, you can check the US Flag Code. If you’re still confused, contact your local American Legion or VFW, and they will help you dispose of them.  (h/t: Indythinker in comments)

Update II: I’m getting e-mails saying that we need to “stop the lies” because Team Obama put this out as a statement:

Stories circulating about flags from the Democratic National Convention are false. More than 125,000 American-made flags were distributed at the Convention - any flags removed from the Convention after the event were taken without authorization.  It’s disappointing that someone would take American flags without authorization and then falsely describe their intended purpose. We have the utmost respect for the American flag and it’s sad to see them being used for a cheap political stunt.

They claim that the flags were “bundled” for return to their manufacturer.  If so, it’s the first time I’ve ever heard of anyone bundling returned merchandise in Hefty bags and storing them “in and around dumpsters” while awaiting the RMA.  Here’s the picture that ran in the Denver Post:



I sincerely doubt that these flags got sold to Team Obama in Hefty bags.  And let’s try to parse this story down with some common sense:

Why would a manufacturer provide a refund on open product?  They certainly couldn’t resell them, especially not after being left like this at Invesco.
12,000 flags must have cost at least $2,000 or so, and probably more.  Once Democrats discovered the “theft”, why didn’t they report it to the police?  It’s been more than a week apparently since they were “stolen”, and Team Obama just discovered it?
Leaving material in and around dumpsters, especially in Hefty bags, makes it look like trash.  That’s hardly a way to store American flags, and it’s certainly not a way to keep janitors and waste management people from taking them to landfills.
Instead of just saying that their people made a really stupid error and apologizing, though, Team Obama decided to tell a ridiculous lie to get themselves off the hook.

Update III: David Harsanyi now has several updates to his first report, including this:

I just spoke with the person at Invesco who found the flags and he thinks both sides are exaggerating a bit. The person claims the majority of the bags with flags in them were near the trash, on a dock, and would have been thrown away. The person thinks it was probably an “oversight” by the Democrats rather than any nefarious plot against the flag. But the person doesn’t believe anyone was coming to get them: “The flags were there for a week and a day and no one came looking for them.”

No one suggested here that it was a “nefarious plot”, and like Harsanyi, I hardly think that Obama would have directed his staff to throw 12,000 American flags in a dumpster.  In fact, until Team Obama issued this ludicrous statement, the story didn’t have anything to do with them.   However, the obvious carelessness with which the DNCC treated the flags is a rather revealing moment for them, and the lie for people in Obama’s organization.

Update IV: Gateway Pundit has pictures of individual flags sitting in trash bags, but that’s not the DNCC’s fault; it’s the fault of the individuals who threw out their flags.  The DNCC couldn’t possibly be expected to sort through all of the thousands of bags of normal trash.  They can be expected to know better than to toss 12,000 American flags in with it.

Jazz Shaw’s following the story at TMV.
10548  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The 2008 Presidential Race on: September 06, 2008, 08:35:58 PM
Pretty much anyone else but Biden would have been a better choice.
10549  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 05, 2008, 10:29:07 PM
I've known more than a few Americans that were Jewish and supporters of Israel, but Jewish only in a secular manner with very little religious observance, if any.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religion_in_Israel

Wikipedia isn't a great source, but it's quick.
10550  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The Obama Phenomena on: September 05, 2008, 10:09:20 PM
September 05, 2008
Why Obama's "Community Organizer" Days Are a Joke

By Michelle Malkin

Rudy Giuliani had me in stitches during his red-meat keynote address at the GOP convention. I laughed out loud when Giuliani laughed out loud while noting Barack Obama's deep experience as a "community organizer." I laughed again when VP nominee and Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin cracked: "I guess a small-town mayor is sort of like a 'community organizer,' except that you have actual responsibilities."

Team Obama was not amused. (Neither were the snarky left-wingers on cable TV who are now allergic to sarcasm.) They don't get why we snicker when Obama dons his Community Organizer cape. Apparently, the jibes rendered Obama's advisers sleepless. In a crack-of-dawn e-mail to Obama's followers hours after Giuliani and Palin spoke, campaign manager David Plouffe attempted to gin up faux outrage (and, more importantly, donations) by claiming grave offense on the part of community organizers everywhere. Fumed Plouffe:

"Both Rudy Giuliani and Sarah Palin specifically mocked Barack's experience as a community organizer on the South Side of Chicago more than two decades ago, where he worked with people who had lost jobs and been left behind when the local steel plants closed. Let's clarify something for them right now. Community organizing is how ordinary people respond to out-of-touch politicians and their failed policies."

Let me clarify something. Nobody is mocking community organizers in church basements and community centers across the country working to improve their neighbors' lives. What deserves ridicule is the notion that Obama's brief stint as a South Side rabble-rouser for tax-subsidized, partisan nonprofits qualifies as executive experience you can believe in.

What deserves derision is "community organizing" that relies on a community of homeless people and ex-cons to organize for the purpose of registering dead people to vote, shaking down corporations and using the race card as a bludgeon.

As I've reported previously, Obama's community organizing days involved training grievance-mongers from the far-left ACORN (Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now). The ACORN mob is infamous for its bully tactics (which they dub "direct actions"); Obama supporters have recounted his role in organizing an ambush on a government planning meeting about a landfill project opposed by Chicago's minority lobbies.

With benefactors like Obama in office, ACORN has milked nearly four decades of government subsidies to prop up chapters that promote the welfare state and undermine the free market, as well as some that have been implicated in perpetuating illegal immigration and voter fraud. Since I last detailed ACORN's illicit activities in this column in June (see "The ACORN Obama knows," June 19, 2008), the group continues to garner scrutiny from law enforcement:

Last week, Milwaukee's top election official announced plans to seek criminal investigations of 37 ACORN employees accused of offering gifts to sign up voters (including prepaid gas cards and restaurant cards) or falsifying driver's license numbers, Social Security numbers or other information on voter registration cards.

Last month, a New Mexico TV station reported on the child rapists, drug offenders and forgery convicts on ACORN's payroll. In July, Pennsylvania investigators asked the public for help in locating a fugitive named Luis R. Torres-Serrano, who is accused "of submitting more than 100 fraudulent voter registration forms he collected on behalf of the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now to county election officials." Also in July, a massive, nearly $1 million embezzlement scheme by top ACORN officials was exposed.

ACORN's political arm endorsed Obama in February and has ramped up efforts to register voters across the country. In the meantime, completely ignored by the mainstream commentariat and clean-election crusaders, the Obama campaign admitted failing to report $800,000 in campaign payments to ACORN. They were disguised as payments to a front group called "Citizen Services, Inc." for "advance work."

Jim Terry, an official from the Consumer Rights League, a watchdog group that monitors ACORN, noted: "ACORN has a long and sordid history of employing convoluted Enron-style accounting to illegally use taxpayer funds for their own political gain. Now it looks like ACORN is using the same type of convoluted accounting scheme for Obama's political gain." With a wave of his magic wand, Obama amended his FEC forms to change the "advance work" to "get-out-the-vote" work.

Now, don't you dare challenge his commitment to following tax and election laws. And don't you even think of entertaining the possibility that The One exploited a nonprofit supposedly focused on helping low-income people for political gain.

He was just "organizing" his "community." Guffaw.

Copyright 2008, Creators Syndicate Inc.

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