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daily archive: 12/10/2004
zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
O'Reilly: ADL is an Extremist Group
I've never watched Bill O'Reilly. Apparently I'm not missing much.
Bill O’Reilly called the Anti-Defamation League an “extremist group? and its national director a “nut.?

The ADL had written the Fox network commentator this week after he told a caller on his radio show to “go to Israel? if he was offended by attempts to convert American Jews to Christianity and to celebrate Christmas in U.S. schools.

“Jews and other religious minorities are part of America’s great tradition of religious freedom,? ADL National Director Abraham Foxman said in the letter. “The discomfort with proselytizing, or the intrusion of Christian teachings in public schools, is a very legitimate concern.? The ADL said such comments play into anti-Semitic canards, and expressed the hope that O’Reilly would “be more sensitive.?

Discussing the letter Thursday on his radio show, O’Reilly called the ADL “an extremist group which finds offense in pretty much everything,? and said Foxman was “just a nut.?
O’Reilly to Foxman: Nuts to you
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Intelligence Report: Hizbullah Active in Israel for Four Years
The report shows that in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from Lebanon in late May 2000, Hizbullah and Iran realized the "explosive potential" available in the Israeli-Arab population. Full-fledged citizens with complete mobility throughout the country, the Arabs of Israel were seen as a perfect way of enhancing Hizbullah's ability to strike out at Israel.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Wafaa Constantine
As if things weren't complicated enough between Muslims and Christians in Egypt, people go and have love affairs.
Around 3,000 Copts demonstrated in Cairo, Al-Minya, Al-Beheira and Assiut on Sunday and Monday, claiming Christians were being kidnapped and forced to convert to Islam.

The Coptic claims had their roots in an incident involving Wafaa Constantine, the wife of Father Joseph of the Abul-Matamir Church in Al-Beheira, north of Cairo. The priest claimed that his wife's Muslim boss had abducted her, and forced her to convert to Islam.

The protestors who gathered in front of the Coptic Cathedral in the Cairo district of Abbasiya on Sunday urged Pope Shenouda III to clarify matters. "Father, what is the news?" shouted several young men, as they walked around with signs that read "There is no force in religion" and "Stop the gangs of women kidnappers."

One of the protestors told Al-Ahram Weekly that security officials had told Father Joseph that his wife had become a Muslim by choice. "But no one is convinced," he said, "and we know that her boss seduced her, blackmailed her, and forced her to convert."
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Ridiculous Fatwas
In the past, scholars of Islam used to gain prominence by issuing important fatwas (religious edicts) that were characterized by their objectivity and integrity. But things have changed.

Today, fatwas in Egypt are issued just about daily to forbid anything from the internet and satellite dishes to mobile phones and yoga.

"Most of the fatwas issued recently are stupid, silly and against any kind of modernity," said Ahmed Shawki Al Fangari, an Islamic researcher and a writer at Rose El Youssef magazine. "These fatwas are a strong indication of the ignorance and frivolity of their issuers who want to keep people away from other important issues like democracy and technology," he added.

According to Al Azhar scholars, proper fatwas play a very important role in the everyday life of Muslims."World and life circumstances change every day and fatwas are one of the means by which Islam adapts to this change," said Mohammed Abu Laila, a professor of Islamic Studies at Al Azhar University and a member of the Dar Al Iftaa committee, the Al Azhar body responsible for overseeing interpretations and fatwas.

"There are issues in modern life that are not mentioned in the Koran and the Sunna and so fatwas try to find an answer to questions concerning these issues," he told the Middle East Times.

Today, however, sheikhs and scholars are issuing strange fatwas almost daily in mosques, in newspapers, on radio and on television. One recent fatwa forbade the practice of yoga on the grounds that it is an ascetic Hindu practice. Another declared that Muslims should not use the internet because it makes them waste their time. Most recently, a fatwa announced that ironing women's pants was forbidden as women are not allowed to wear pants in Islam.
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ev and zorkie in Discarded Lies:
We're Burying The Dead
When we started Discarded Lies we thought we were just moving LGF Watch Watch to a spiffy new Movable Type blog to get rid of a porn spammer in the Blogspot comments. The Leftwatch/Powderfinger - Rightwatch/zorkmidden team expanded (hi ayahuasca/evariste!) and then it shrank again as Leftwatch deleted his posts from our database and quit the blog. We have a backup snapshot of the database and could restore his posts at any moment, but it would be alien. It would be restoring a different blog's posts to this one. The two don't fit. We changed the name to match the domain name in the wake of that stormy parting, and the break from the old blog, and changeover to Discarded Lies was nearly complete, except for how long it took us to realize that we're not LGF Watch Watch.

We still felt a strong obligation to do these LGF Watch Watch posts and tried. When we couldn't keep up with the existing format we started a sidebar blog to do them in-if you didn't figure it out already, we confess: we're Jack and Holly. We thought by making up fictional characters we could have more fun with a supremely boring chore. We tried in a lot of different ways to make this work and be an "and" and not an "or", but we don't have it in us.

The LGF Watch Watch mission of the blog is dead, we don't have the time or motivation. We really love Charles and we're sorry, we tried to carry it on and couldn't because it's not really our calling.

LGF Watch is just too dull and we were never very inspired by it. Charles certainly deserves a better "watch" site than that, because they are boring and lame. We're still the only blog that ever sent them a trackback ping, not only don't we read them, but no one else does either. Looking at our server logs, we've gotten something like 12 hits in total over the last four months from our several dozens of trackbacks to their site. They're a stultifying backwater, and the most attention they ever got was when we paid attention to them. So, we're facing facts: LGF Watch Watch is dead. We're killing the sidebar blog experiment. We're focusing on what we do here, and watching LGF Watch is not one of those things.

If the LGF Watch team writes something worth mentioning - for example, ten brilliant ways to colonise Mars in a week - we might cover them again.

We remain always,

ev & zorkie
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Araud Does It Again
Do you remember Gerard "Israel has tried to show the utmost restraint" Araud? Well, maybe he said it, maybe he didn't, okay he said it, but he wasn't supposed to say it and it's possible that it was "out of context" or perhaps it was "allegedly uttered." But it doesn't matter anyway because Israelis are neurotic and that explains everything.
France's ambassador said Israelis were afflicted by what he called an "anti-French neurosis." Speaking in English on Israel Radio Thursday, Gerard Araud complained that France was unfairly singled out by Israelis for criticism, accused Israeli media of exaggerating French anti-Semitism, and fumed about television comedians making fun of the French.

"There is a sort of anti-French neurosis in this country," the diplomat said. "The Israelis are convinced the French are anti-Israel," he went on, alleging that "the Israelis are building a case against France."

"I think there is a neurosis that causes anti-Frenchism," Araud elaborated. "This anti-French neurosis has led to France being so hated in Israel. The relationship between the two countries is very difficult. You simply love to hate us."
Yeah, I'm thinking of all the French cemeteries vandalised in Israel and all the French schools firebombed in Israel and maybe Mr Araud has a point.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Rotten Egg Award
I hope this has nothing to do with the rotten tomato left on my doorstep the other day...
Muslim journalists in Russia have come up with a prize for the “brightest? anti-Islamic publications — a rotten egg.

As of September 2004, every year the Union of Muslim Journalists will award a prize — a Big Rotten Egg and a Small Rotten Egg — and then chose the biggest Islamophobe in the country, Islam.ru reported.

The prize will go out to newspaper and magazine publications, as well as radio and television broadcasts, that aim to pit non-Muslims against Muslims, dividing the country along religious lines.

Publications that accuse Islam or Muslims based on false assumptions, as well as intentional insults towards Islam will all be considered.
The prizes will be awarded based on a poll of Muslim journalists.

Islam.ru states that after the hostage taking in Beslan, “a predominantly Muslim city, a new wave of maniacal Islamophobia followed?.
Seriously, was the wave of Islamophobia more "maniacal" than the murder of hundreds of children?

Russia’s Muslim Journalists to Award Rotten Eggs for Most Islamophobic Publication
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Terrorists Could Use Lasers To Blind Pilots
Federal officials are concerned that terrorists could try to down aircraft by blinding pilots with laser beams during landing approaches.

A memo sent to law enforcement agencies recently by the FBI and the Homeland Security Department says there is evidence that terrorists have explored using lasers as weapons.
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Ireland’s “muted anti-Semitism?
When Ireland held its first Holocaust Memorial Day earlier this year, Justice Minister Michael McDowell apologized for official policy which was inspired by “a culture of muted anti-Semitism in Ireland,? that discouraged immigration by Europe’s shattered Jews.

At an official level the Irish state was at best coldly polite and behind closed doors antipathetic, hostile and unfeeling toward the Jews,? McDowell said.

By some estimates, only 30 Jews were given asylum before the war, none during it, only a handful afterwards.

It has also never been fully explained why Eamon De Valera, president during World War II when Ireland remained neutral but implicitly backed the Allies, signed the condolence book at the German Embassy after Hitler committed suicide.
Irish Jews-- sitting Shiva on a dying way?

(frank ibc pbuh)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
Zionist Al Jazeera
The Zionist penetrators strike again: Bahrain has banned Al Jazeera because, as the Bahraini Information Minister tells us, "it represents the Zionist side in the region." And not only that, the network "is penetrated by Zionists." Oy, I'm craving lox all of a sudden.

(SoCalJustice pbuh)
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zorkmidden in Discarded Lies:
The Case for Democracy
Natan Sharansky's words always fill me with hope.
But those who believe that a democratic Middle East is possible are few in number. Within certain parts of America, and nearly everywhere outside of it, the voices of skepticism appear ascendant. Many have questioned whether the democratic world has a right to impose its values on a region that is said to reject them. Most argue that military intervention in the Middle East is causing more harm than good. Even within the Bush administration, the president’s words, expressing a profound faith in freedom, are not always translated into policies that reflect that faith.

Freedom’s skeptics have returned. They may couch their disbelief in different terms than they did a generation ago. Then, with Soviet’s nuclear-tipped missiles pointed at Western capitals, the focus was on the inability of the free world to win the war. Now, it is on the inability to win the peace. Nevertheless, the arguments peddled by the skeptics sound all too familiar.

They insist that there are certain cultures and civilizations that are not compatible with democracy and certain peoples who do not desire it. They argue that the Arabs need and want iron-fisted rulers, that they have never had democracy and never will, and that their “values are not our values.?

Once again, it is asserted that democracy in certain parts of the world is not in the best interests of the “West.? While it will be readily admitted that the current regimes in the Middle East suppress freedom, those regimes are believed to also suppress a far worse alternative: the radicals and fundamentalists who might win democratic elections. The message is clear: It is better to deal with a Middle Eastern dictatorship that is our friend than a democratic regime that is our enemy.
Read it all: Why the skeptics are wrong
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