Hypocrisy is a predictable aspect of politics. For instance, liberal activists badly want to overcome the federal law, called the Solomon amendment, that requires universities to allow military recruiters on campuses or lose all federal funding. Many universities want to ban the recruiters because of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy of the armed forces on homosexuality. So the activists resent the heavy hand of government telling campus officials what to do. Many of the same activists have a long record of imposing the same heavy and interfering hand when it suits them--for instance, applying Title IX in a way that requires colleges to eliminate hundreds of male sports teams, often to create more women's teams in sports that females do not want to play. Congress never intended this, but the activists found a way to get it done by establishing quotas and forcing the universities to comply.
Last week, a public elementary school in the northern city of Treviso decided that Little Red Riding Hood would be this year's Christmas play instead of the Christmas story.
The teachers said the famous tale was a fitting representation of the struggle between good and evil and would not offend Muslim children. The school's traditional nativity scene was scrapped for the same reason.
In another school near Milan, the word "Jesus" was removed from a Christmas hymn and substituted with the word "virtue." In Vicenza province an annual contest for the best Nativity scene in schools was canceled.
Conservative politicians and Churchmen blasted the moves.
"Are we losing our minds?," said Reforms Minister Roberto Calderoli, an outspoken member of the populist Northern League. "Do we want to erase our identity for the love of Allah?"
The FBI searched offices of a prominent public relations firm Tuesday, looking for information about its client Saudi Arabia, law enforcement sources said.
The firm, Qorvis Communications LLC, which was founded in 2000, bills itself as providing "communications for Wall Street, Main Street and K Street." Qorvis has offices in the District and Tysons Corner, and its clients also include Time Warner Inc. and the Urban League.
The FBI searched three of the firm's offices Tuesday afternoon, sources said. Agents delivered subpoenas at a fourth Qorvis office.
Michael Mason, head of the FBI's Washington field office, declined yesterday to characterize the nature of the investigation or identify the places that were searched. "We did execute searches at three locations," he said.
Officials at the U.S. attorney's office in Washington said the case is under seal and would not reveal details.
"The raids are in conjunction with an ongoing investigation and therefore it would be inappropriate for me to comment," said Channing Phillips, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Washington.
Qorvis said the company understood that the government is conducting a "compliance inquiry" under the Foreign Agents Registration Act. Under that law, the government keeps track of the lobbying activities of foreign governments and their representatives. The rigorous registration and reporting system is overseen by the Justice Department.
Saudi Arabia is the only foreign government on Qorvis's client list.
In light of the developments mentioned above, several high-ranking Brotherhood members held talks in recent weeks about dismantling the international council of the Brotherhood, which was established in 1982.
This month, a group of leaders of the Egyptian Brotherhood met in one of the Gulf emirates. Muhammad Mahdi Akef, the general guide of the group, whom Egyptian authorities had forbidden to travel outside Egypt for a long time, led the group.
The prominent role of Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradhawi in presiding the new global front of the Muslim Brotherhood is the end of a process, from which he emerged as the leading religious authority of the Brotherhood. The new council, headed by a cleric who can act freely in Qatar, and which is located in Ireland-far from the reaches of Arab governments-grants him the opportunity and the freedom to dismantle the old international bodies of the Brotherhood and create new ones controlled directly by him.
Qaradhawi has no rivals or competitors in occupying his leading role.
Yellow ribbons tied around trees and red, white and blue stickers on the backs of SUVs saying "Support our Troops" are things that make civilians feel good but do nothing for the men and women actually in uniform.Go do it, what are you waiting for? Also see: the Winds of Change.NET consolidated directory of ways you can support the troops, including the comments. There is an outfit that's getting phone cards to troops who are in combat, Operation Uplink, so keep them in mind for your holiday phone-card shopping, too. Some of these young men and women won't get to come home.
So please consider the following:
The number ONE request at Walter Reed hospital is phone cards. The government doesn't pay long distance phone charges and these wounded soldiers are rationing their calls home.
Many will be there throughout the holidays. Really support our troops. Send phone cards of any amount to:Medical Family Assistance Center
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue
NW Washington, DC 20307-5001
They say they need an "endless" supply of these -- any amount even $5 is greatly appreciated.
Walmart has good prices on AT&T cards, Sams Club is even better, if you are a member.
Please pass this portion on, copy and paste it into your e-mail, and send to everyone you know.
NOTE: ANYONE can also buy phone cards through the PX on line by going to this web address. (They will even mail them to a specific Soldier if you have their address)
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays
Neels Jackson: "'Apartheid,' Fragmentation of Muslims in RSA Criticized"Meanwhile, other muslims continue to pretend everything is fine.
A Muslim academic this week put a hand deep inside the bosom of his religious community, and came up with many festering sores.
Professor Yusuf da Costa, retired educator of the University of the Western Cape, said in Pretoria at a conference on Islam in the 21st century that there are separate mosques in the Western Cape for Cape Malays and Indians. There are even mosques that have this entrenched in their constitutions.
This is but one of the examples used by Da Costa to illustrate the fragmentation of the ummah (community of Muslim believers).
Da Costa said the ummah should be more than merely people who share the same beliefs. They should also assist and protect each other against common enemies and share resources.
The ummah, however, are characterized worldwide by fragmentation based on race, culture, ideology and religious beliefs.
Moreover, the ummah are largely silent on the fate of Muslims in countries such as Chechnya and Afghanistan, and where Muslims attack one another such as the Iraqi invasions of Iran and Kuwait, and on the decapitation of people in Iraq.
With regard to the fragmentation in the Cape, Da Costa says five different groups talk of unity among Muslims, but nothing comes of this.
He said Muslims have become the biggest distorters of Muslim teachings.
He thinks that, in a sense, they have closed the Quran. They must open it again.
Dr Ashraf Dockrat of the Commission for the Protection of Cultural, Religious and Language Rights, has expressed shock over Da Costa's allegation that there are enemies of Islam within the faith who teach incorrect doctrine from pulpits and in the madressas (religious schools).Geez, ya think, Ashraf?
He said what Muslims are today is thanks to the work done in madressas.
Da Costa said the ummah must be honest with themselves. He is not disloyal to the ummah.It would be a nice start if muslims began to be honest with themselves. Da Costa took a nice stride in that direction.
His criticism emanates from his loyalty to his faith.
The papers of Josef Mengele, the Nazi doctor known as the Angel of Death, were published two weeks ago in the Brazilian newspaper Folia di Sao Paolo.
They reveal that even in hiding, the physician-war criminal never abandoned his hatred of Jews and Israel. He remained unrepentant about the "crimes I perpetrated against the Chosen People."
But the release of these typewritten letters and handwritten notes found in the Sao Paulo police archives raises the question of why Mengele died, at age 67, of natural causes in 1979 – apparently suffering a heart attack while swimming.
Or to put it another way, why did the Mossad fail to capture or kill Mengele?
A tour of the exhibition reveals obvious parallels between the seemingly opposing lives of Hebron's two populations. The photos cover all areas of the children's existence: home life, religious routines, recreation. In one, a Jewish mother blesses the meal she is preparing; in another, a Palestinian mother does the same. Another photo shows a Palestinian father praying with his children; in yet another, a Jewish father does the same.Through the eyes of children
Moreover, the children's photography not only depicts their own experiences, but also encompasses the daily lives of those around them. A candid shot of a Jewish bride on her way to her wedding is juxtaposed with a posed picture of a Muslim bride before the ceremony. In both, the anxiety and trepidation of the wife-to-be is equally apparent. A photograph depicting a group of young Jewish boys playing snooker on a makeshift table is set against a shot of a group of Palestinian boys improvising games on a rooftop. The boys' youthful energy and delight in their games is equally apparent, despite their different 'worlds'.
As a boy, Father William Sanchez sensed he was different. His Catholic family spun tops on Christmas, shunned pork and whispered of a past in medieval Spain. If anyone knew the secret, they weren't telling, and Sanchez stopped asking.
It should be noted that the preface also states that "antisemitism has at times taken the form of vilification of Zionism, the Jewish national movement, and incitement against Israel." However, this is not mentioned in the act itself, and no tracking or monitoring of such vilification and incitement against Israel and Zionism is stipulated.Read it all: Arab Reactions to the U.S.'s Global Antisemitism Review Act of 2004
Despite this fact, the law was received with opposition by shapers of public opinion in the Arab world, who claimed that according to the law any criticism of Israeli policy would be considered antisemitism. They called the act an interference in domestic affairs of states, expressed apprehension that its implementation would harm freedom of expression, and protested against what they saw as the considerable Jewish influence in the U.S. Some called the act "racist" because it disregarded the fact that Arabs too are Semites, and the fact that Arabs are also victims of discrimination and persecution. Others claimed that the U.S. was attempting, through this act, to force its values upon the world, and that its arrogance is escalating hatred of it worldwide.