discarded lies: wednesday, july 23, 2014 9:07 pm zst
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daily archive: 09/30/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Behind the Scenes
Last week, Iz a-Din al-Sheikh Khalil was killed on Damascus when his car blew up outside his home. He was a senior political-military operative for Hamas. Damascus Whodunnit
A week before the Damascus bombing, the London-based Arabic-language daily Al-Hayat reported that "an Arab intelligence service" had provided Israel with details of the whereabouts of certain Hamas operatives in Damascus. Mashal, the de facto head of Hamas after the assassinations of Yassin and Abdul-Aziz Al-Rantisi, promptly left the Syrian capital, declaring: "I know the Mossad is after me." That Friday, news agencies reported that Syria had ordered all Palestinian terrorist headquarters in Damascus closed.

Khalil's death two days later turned the events into a field day for conspiracy theorists. Some sources suggested the Arab service in question was Egypt's, but considerable speculation pointed to Syria.

Did Syria, pressured by Washington to abandon the "axis of evil" or bear the consequences, help Israel in its act of revenge? Or did Sharon, in authorizing the killing of Khalil, intend to send a message that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad's peace talk is less important to Israel than his harboring of terrorists?

Israel's approach toward Syria has been a subject of internal Israeli debate for months. Assad publicly called last December for new Israeli-Syrian peace talks, offering what analysts called a softening of his terms. Weeks later Israel's military intelligence chief, Aharon Ze'evi-Farkash, told a Knesset committee that Assad's overture should be taken seriously. That won him a public tongue-lashing from Sharon, who said there would be no talks while Syria harbored terrorists — and added that Israel in any case would not return the entire Golan Heights, a basic Syrian condition for any agreement.

The military has continued arguing behind close doors that by dismissing the Syrian opening, Israel was missing an opportunity to close a "circle of peace" with its neighbors, disarm Hezbollah, cut a terrorist support base and isolate Iran, its most dangerous enemy.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Saudi Bans
Saudi Edict Bans Mobile Phone Cameras

Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority has issued an edict barring the use of cell phones with built-in cameras, blaming them for "spreading obscenity" — a final resort after a ban on their sale and import to the kingdom failed to dent their popularity.

Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah Al al-Sheik, Saudi Arabia's highest religious authority, announced the religious edict Tuesday in remarks to al-Madina daily newspaper. The devices, he said, were "spreading obscenity in Muslim society," the newspaper reported Wednesday.

Last December, the Interior Ministry announced a ban on importing dolls and stuffed animals, and gave merchants three months to get rid of them.


Full of carefree fun and joy, the Saudis are.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Iranian Sense
Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi writes in FrontPage magazine: Iranian Citizens Trash Fahrenheit 9/11

A few weeks ago, Mamoun Fandy, a media analyst, syndicated columnist and former professor of Arab Studies at Georgetown University, was interviewed on the subject of Michael Moore. Fandy stated that Iraqis who were familiar with the film found Moore’s portrayal of them to be exceedingly racist; he went on to say that Moore’s callousness to the plight of the Iraqi people and to the unbelievable human rights devastation in Iraq was outrageous.

And that was only the verdict of the Iraqis.

I have also been asked to express the judgment of a number of Iranians who saw the film in Iran. They sent e-mails, faxes and even phoned me to ask me to report their reviews.

...

A group of 12 university students, for example, composed of both men and women who had seen the film, collectively wrote me and signed an e-mail which said: “Wow, this guy complains that Bush lied once. What would this windbag do if he lived here where our president lies to us once an hour??

Another comment was: “This guy gets to publicly accuse Bush of lying and becomes famous and adored worldwide. We, here, complain about some decrepit and inconsequential government lackey and we not only go to prison but some of us get death sentences. He ought to thank his lucky stars he lives in a country where he’s allowed and even encouraged to be this obnoxious…?

Someone else quipped: “If he thinks that the U.S. is so bad, he’s welcome to trade places with us…since he’s so forgiving of brutal Middle Eastern dictators!?

...

My father, Siamak Pourzand, a 75-year-old Iranian journalist, film historian/critic/promoter has been a political prisoner since November of 2001 in the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he has experienced severe torture. During this time, not one member of the self-involved, international film community, to whom I reached out about his plight, responded. When in the fall of 2002 I called Michael Moore’s office, (like I did many other Hollywoodites) I was told: “Sorry, but Mr. Moore is too busy AND just can’t get involved in these types of matters because we can’t be sure who you are and what your agenda is.?

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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Danger of Collapse
Temple Mount Collapse Atop Moslem Worshipers Feared
A report by the Israel Antiquities Authority, based on the findings of an Egyptian engineering team, states that there is an immediate risk that the Solomon's Stables area of the Temple Mount could collapse when many tens of thousands of Moslem worshipers arrive for Ramadan prayers in three weeks' time. The Authority's report says that the danger is "almost certain."

Israeli security officials are taking the warnings seriously, but it appears that the Moslem officials are less concerned. Although Israel is sovereign over the area, Moslem Waqf officials have forbidden Israeli engineers from entering the area to evaluate the risk. The Waqf has also refused to limit the number of worshipers at the Temple Mount during Ramadan prayers. Even a visit by Jerusalem Police Chief Ilan Franko to Jordan in an effort to have the Jordanians exert pressure on the Waqf has apparently not succeeded.

Public Security Minister Gideon Ezra says that if there is no choice, the Israel Police will restrict the number of Moslems entering the Temple Mount for the Ramadan services. Waqf director Adnan Husseini says there is no reason for such measures, and that the whole issue is merely "Israeli propaganda."

Over the past several years, the Waqf has made major structural changes on and under the Temple Mount, in a two-pronged effort to expand the mosques there and erase any vestiges of Jewish history at the site. The Temple Mount is Judaism's holiest location in the world, where the two Holy Temples were built and destroyed and where the Third Temple will be built. Moslem worshipers are now directed to two main areas on the Mount - on the ground level and on a roof supported by pillars in which cracks have been noted. The unsupervised digging under the site, heavy tiles placed on the upper plateau, and recent earthquakes and weather conditions have all greatly increased the danger of collapse.

The annual Ramadan prayers - which take place every 12 lunar months on the Muslim calendar - attracts tens of thousands of people to the Temple Mount each Friday of the month of Ramadan. A collapse of the pillars could bury many thousands of worshipers, and the Moslem world would likely blame Israel.


So the warnings constitute "Israeli propaganda," but if the pillars bury a few thousand of the faithful, it will be Israel's fault. Oy.

(Hat tip: papijoe)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Euro-Islam
From The Weekly Standard: Islamic Europe?

Seldom has the course of European history been changed by a non-politician's throwaway remark in a German-language newspaper on a Wednesday in the dead of the summer doldrums. But on July 28, Princeton historian Bernard Lewis told the conservative Hamburg-based daily Die Welt that Europe would be Islamic by the end of this century "at the very latest," and continental politics has not been the same since.

Days before the third anniversary of 9/11, Frits Bolkestein of the Netherlands, the outgoing European Union competition commissioner, caused an uproar when he mentioned Lewis's remark in the course of an address at the opening of courses at the University of Leiden. Bolkestein warned that the E.U. will "implode" if it expands too quickly. It was a timely topic.

....

Bolkestein was thus addressing a continent-wide discomfiture. His speech was long. It was no rant. Alluding to the E.U.'s aspiration to become a multinational state, he drew listeners' attention to the fate of the most recent European power with that aspiration, the Austro-Hungarian empire just over a century ago. Austrians were culturally confident (Liszt, Richard Strauss, Brahms, Mahler, and Wagner were working in Vienna). They were prosperous and proud. The problem was that there were only 8 million of them, and expanding their country's frontiers brought them face to face with an energetic pan-Slavic movement. Once the Empire absorbed 20 million Slavs, it faced difficult compromises between allowing the new subjects to rule themselves and preserving its own culture. Rather like the E.U., the Empire was past the point of no return before it realized it was going anywhere in particular.

Bolkestein asked what lessons Europeans ought to draw from this history, as they consider welcoming Turkey. He then addressed two specific problems. First, that there was no logical end in sight to European expansion--once the E.U. accepts Turkey, it will have no principled reason to reject the considerably more European countries of Ukraine and Belarus. Europe is thus adding instability that it has neither the financial means nor the cultural solidarity to master. The second problem, Bolkestein warned, is that immigration is turning the E.U. into "an Austro-Hungarian empire on a grand scale." He alluded to certain great cities that will soon be minority-European--two of the most important of which, Amsterdam and Rotterdam, are in his own country--and warned that the (projected) addition of 83 million Muslim Turks would further the Islamization of Europe. It was this part of his speech--in which he referred to Lewis's projections--that made headlines around the world: "Current trends allow only one conclusion," Bolkestein said. "The USA will remain the only superpower. China is becoming an economic giant. Europe is being Islamicized."

...

But Europe's own Islamic future came up only incidentally. Asked whether the E.U. could serve as a global counterweight to the United States, Lewis replied simply: "No." He saw only three countries as potential "global" players: definitely China and India, and possibly a revivified Russia. "Europe," he said, "will be part of the Arabic west, of the Maghreb." What seems to have infuriated European listeners is that Lewis did not assert this as a risqué or contrarian proposition. He just said it, as if it were something that every politically neutral and intellectually honest person takes for granted.

Is it? Bolkestein said he did not know whether things would turn out as Lewis predicted. ("But if he is right," Bolkestein added, "the liberation of Vienna [from Turkish armies] in 1683 will have been in vain.") Bassam Tibi, a Syrian immigrant who is the most prominent moderate Muslim in Germany, seemed to agree with Lewis's diagnosis, even while rejecting his emphasis. "Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized," Tibi wrote in Welt am Sonntag. Having spent much of the past decade arguing for the construction of sensible Islamic institutions in Europe, Tibi seemed to warn that Europe did not have the ability to reject Islam, or the opportunity to steer it. "The problem is not whether the majority of Europeans is Islamic," he added, "but rather which Islam--sharia Islam or Euro-Islam--is to dominate in Europe."
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Criticising the Government
Bahrain Human Rights Group Dissolved
Bahrain dissolved a local human rights group Tuesday, days after its director was arrested for criticizing the government. An international rights groups indicated the arrest set back for democratic reform in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom.

Bahrain has taken bold steps toward democratization, putting it ahead of its neighbors in the conservative region. But critics charged that banning the Bahrain Center for Human Rights and the arrest show that the ultimate power remains in the hands of the government.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights was ordered to close down because of the center's failure to "adhere to the law" governing the work of societies, the official Bahrain News Agency reported.


"Adhering to the law governing the work of societies..." Nice euphemism for "sit down and shut up."
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
What Kind of Thinking Are We Teaching?
Are there still people who think Islamists are just a few "extremists"? Actually, that's a rhetorical question because I already know the answer: Yes, there are. They have no idea how widely Islamism has spread. MEMRI has an excerpt of an article by writer and Cairo University lecturer on the sociology of religion Sayyed Al-Qimni, who wrote that the curricula of Al-Azhar University encourage extremism and terror.

...

"What else do these extremist curricula contain…? In ' Al-Rawdh Al-Murabba ' … we find the following legal issue concerning relations between the dhimmi and the Muslim: If someone of the People of the Book, [4] the dhimmi, avoids paying the jizya – his life and his property are permissible. If [the dhimmi ] kills a Muslim, he must be killed, but if a Muslim kills him – the Muslim is not to be killed, but must pay blood money, and the blood money for [the killing of] a dhimmi is half the blood money for [the killing of] a Muslim. The height of justice.

However, in addition to all this darkness and ugly tyranny, there are anecdotes. Thus, in a chapter of ' Al-Rawdh Al-Murabba 'de aling with endowments, you find that it is permitted to endow [property] for the benefit of an infidel who is not an enemy or of an apostate. Why is this? [You will] enjoy this [explanation]: because it 'will not be forever, since they both will be executed shortly.'

"In addition, one must prevent the irreverent from reading the Koran and [one must] forbid an infidel to read it even if one wants him to convert… In a chapter about amputation [as punishment] for theft, [it is written that] amputation is conditional upon the stolen [property] being respectable property. [This means that] it is permissible to steal musical instruments…

"This is what is taught at Al-Azhar … and there are other things that arouse disgust and are hurtful, such as the purification condition after relieving oneself… It is forbidden to use respectable paper, meaning the kind on which the name of Allah or a private name is written, such as [books of] Hadith and Shari'a [Islamic law]. However, it is permissible to use disreputable paper, the kind on which philosophical or logical sciences are written, providing one verifies that Allah's name is not mentioned [from ' Al-Iqna' fi Haqq Alfaz Abi Shuja 'by Mansur Ibn Yunes Al-Buhuti ].

"And we wonder where terror comes from. This is just an example of the writings of extremist sheikhs who have infiltrated our noble religious institution. We present [these writings] in the hope that these curricula will be reexamined, that Al-Azhar will attend first and foremost to what is happening within its ranks, and will place the interests of the homeland at the top of its priorities…"






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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Tips for Kerry
From OpinionJournal, debate tips for the Democratic nominee: Our Kerry Iraq Guide
Tonight's first Presidential debate will cover foreign policy, and you can be sure John Kerry will be on the attack over Iraq. Fair enough, we're all for making this election a war referendum. But as a helping hand to the Senator, we'd like to warn him to stay away from some of the lines he's been using on the stump. They could get him into trouble.

For example, we hope Mr. Kerry steers clear of his vow that, unlike President Bush, he will get the French and Germans to send forces to Iraq. This would give Mr. Bush the opening to quote Peter Struck, the German Defense Minister, who recently told Der Spiegel that "No German soldier shall enter Iraq."

Or Mr. Bush could cite Monday's article in the Financial Times: "French and German government officials say they will not significantly increase military assistance in Iraq even if John Kerry, the Democratic presidential challenger, is elected." Foreign Minister Michel Barnier added last week that France had no plans to send troops "either now or later." No debater wants to get caught contradicting his own political allies. And if he wants to appear gracious, Mr. Kerry might even congratulate Mr. Bush on last week's NATO agreement to help train Iraqi military officers.

Mr. Kerry will also want to avoid his frequent claim that the U.S. has "borne nearly 90% of the casualties" and is providing 90% of the troops. On the first point, the U.S. has suffered 800 killed in action since the Iraq war began, 1,053 including non-combat deaths. Our uniformed Iraqi allies, however, have already suffered at least 750 combat deaths. And that doesn't include the recruits who've been killed by car bombs as they've waited to enlist in the police or new Iraq army. Even using, er, liberal math, this would put U.S. killed-in-action at about 50% of the total.

And finally, one more tip for Mr. Kerry, from the lizards.
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