Pages

Monday, December 31, 2012

Top Ten Viral Videos Of 2012

WIOD, a talk radio station in Florida, has compiled a list of the top 10 viral videos of 2012, some I had seen, some not. Obviously not an extensive list, but some fun stuff to celebrate the end of a year.

Coming in at #10 with over 11 million views is Donna The Deer Lady, who called a radio station complaining about deer crossings being placed in high traffic areas, and how they should be moved. 



#9.  Sweet Brown's Cold Pop Escape with over 11.8 million views. The autotune remix of Sweet Brown's interview after escaping a fire.

#8. Catch The Ice Dude with over 22.3 million views. Not too swift dude dives into a frozen swimming pool.

#7. Opera duo Charlotte & Jonathan with over 29.9 million views. Britain's Got Talent's duo that blew away the crowd.

#6. "Push To Add Drama" with over 39.4 million views. See what happens when someone pushes a red button in the middle of a Belgium town square.

#5. Barack Obama vs Mitt Romney with over 45.6 million  views. "Mitt" and "Obama" duke it out in Epic Rap Battles Of History Season 2012.

#4. Brazilian Ghost Elevator Prank with over 51.8 million  views. Scary little girl in elevator prank.

#3. Kony 2012 with over 94.4 million views. Video exposing  LRA leader Joseph Kony. It gained traction until some people decided it was a scam of sorts.

#2. Call Me Maybe with over 358 million views. Apparently a relatively unknown Carly Rae Jepson uploaded this video to Youtube and the rest is history. It has spawned a myriad of parody videos including this from our troops in Afghanistan.

And the #1 spot goes to Korean rap sensation  Gangnam Style with over 942 million views. Still popular in spite of the fact that he wrapped about killing U.S. troops at a concert in 2004.

Jib Jab's 2012 Year In Review- Video

From the Jib Jab crew, a look back at various events (both somber and amusing) of 2012.


France's Charlie Hebdo Magazine To Publish Life Of Mohammed

Charlie Hebdo's back again. This time the French magazine plans on tackling the life and times of Prophet Mohammed.  Charlie Hebdo's editor Stephane Charbonnier (aka Charb) still has a fatwa on his head after he published several cartoons in a September issue - including one of a naked Mohammed- that had the usual suspects outraged, particularly since they were already revved up about that anti-Islam film. Since then he's had to live under police protection, as so many others do who dare to push the boundaries of freedom of expression when it comes to conservative Muslims. But this time Charb is resting easy, so he says.

“It is a biography authorized by Islam since it was edited by Muslims" [snip]  “I don’t think higher Muslim minds could find anything inappropriate."

The biography will be published Wednesday and was put together by a Franco-Tunisian researcher known only as Zineb, Charb said.

The publisher said the idea for the comic book came to him in 2006 when a newspaper in Denmark published cartoons of Mohammed, later republished by Charlie Hebdo, drawing angry protests across the Muslim world.

“Before having a laugh about a character, it’s better to know him. As much as we know about the life of Jesus, we know nothing about Mohammed,” Charb said.
Well, I guess he still knows nothing about Islam because the not-so-higher minds are going to be just as infuriated about the cartoon biography as they were about a naked Mohammed since drawing the Prophet is haram (forbidden).  Then again, there's nothing more they can threaten him with.

Now we just wait to see what happens next.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Head of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda Wants Blogger Who Exposed His Son-In-Law's Affair Flogged

The daddy-in-law of Tunisia's Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, whose embezzlement of public funds and extramarital affair were exposed by a female blogger, wants those charged with slander flogged. In other words, flog that blogger. Daddy-in-law also happens to be Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamist Ennahda Party that now rules Tunisia with an overwhelming majority, so he could get his way.

The Islamist leader said during a Friday sermon that the content published by Tunisian blogger Olfa Riahi reflects “values of hypocrites” punishable according to the Shariah law.

Female blogger Riahi had published what she said were authentic documents accusing Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem of having paid for nights he spent with a woman in Sheraton hotel from the government’s coffers.

Riahi said the hotel receipts and billing information she obtained beat the names of the minister and his alleged mistress. In an interview with alchourouk.com, Riahi said it took her two and half months to verify the authenticity of the documents and trace the bill payments.

“I have the bank account of the foreign ministry and I am certain the documents are authentic,” calling on the authorities to open a probe into the “scandal.”

The minister appeared in the state television dismissing the allegations as part of a plot against his Islamist government. He said he expects similar accusations to be leveled against other ministers.

But he admitted staying at the Sheraton hotel “because he does not own a house in the capital and because the hotel was near his office.” He also admitted that the woman mentioned in Riahi’s documents was true, but said she was a “relative” who came to see him at the hotel.

Mondir Thabet, a Tunisian political analyst said Ghannouchi’s statement was a rejection of the country’s civilian status and “a clear call for imposing Shariah.”

Ziad Krichan, editor-in-chief of the daily newspaper “al-Maghrib” said Ghannouchi’s call reflects the Islamists unable to separate religion from politics.

Of course, the first thing Islamists do is claim that any accusations of corruption are just evil plots to defame their party, whereas it turns out their pious posteriors are simply just as corrupt as other politicians.

Al-Qaeda In Yemen Offers Gold For Killing U.S. Ambassador and Soldiers

Libyan militants were so successful in eliminating U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens in Benghazi that Yemen's Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is getting into the action. Ambassador Gerald M. Feierstein is worth $160,000 in gold (3 kilograms), and any dead U.S. soldier in that country will be worth 5 million Yemeni riyals (approx. $23,00). But to hasten the event, just like a coupon, they only have 6 months to do it.


The bounties were set to "inspire and encourage our Muslim nation for jihad," the Al Qaeda statement said, according to the AP.

Washington considers Al Qaeda in Yemen to be the group's most dangerous branch.

According to the U.S. Embassy website, Feierstein was sworn in on Sept. 17, 2010, as the U.S. ambassador to Yemen. Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy Chief of Mission in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Feierstein, who entered the Foreign Service in 1975, is a specialist in Near East and South Asian affairs. He has served overseas in Saudi Arabia, Israel, Pakistan, Tunisia, Lebanon and Oman.

Ah yes, #myjihad.

The U.S. State Department better ramp up security in Sanaa or get the Ambassador the hell out of that country.

Iranian Christian Pastor Nadarkhani Re-Arrested On Christmas Day

And here's another example of just how tolerant, humane and merciful the Iranian government is. The Christian pastor who was initially sentenced to death for apostasy, then had his sentence reduced to three years in prison for proselytizing, then released in September because he had already served most of those three years, is back in prison. Re-arrested on Christmas day, ho ho ho, to serve the remainder of his sentence.


The Iranian Christian pastor who had been imprisoned in Iran for converting from Islam to Christianity was taken into custody again on Christmas Day, according to several Iranian media sources and individuals close to the pastor and his family.

Youcef Nadarkhani, 35, had been summoned to return back to Lakan Prison in Rasht, the facility where he served time and was then released, based on the charge that he must complete the remainder of his sentence, according to several reports and confirmed by those close to Nadarkhani in Iran.

In September, the pastor was acquitted of apostasy, but the court maintained his three-year sentence for evangelizing Muslims. As he had already served close to three years, the pastor was freed after posting bail.

The court had then stated that the remainder which equaled roughly 45 days, would be served in the form of probation.

Nadarkhani, married and father of two young children, came under the regime’s radar in 2006 when he applied for his church to be registered with the state. According to sources, he was arrested at that time and then soon released.

In 2009, Nadarkhani went to local officials to complain about Islamic indoctrination in his school district, arguing that his children should not be forced to learn about Islam.

He was subsequently arrested.

Since Nadarkhani's release in September, his attorney, Mohammed Ali Dadkhah has been imprisoned and remains in Iran's notoriously brutal Evin Prison where his health is rapidly deteriorating and is being denied proper dental care, according to his family. He has been incarcerated for advocating Nadarkhani's case and other human rights cases.

After his release, Nadarkhani wrote a public letter thanking all those who helped release him. In November, he traveled to London to speak at a national human rights conference thanking those who advocated on his behalf.

Youcef should never have been imprisoned in the first place let alone charged with apostasy. Imagine if we did the same thing with Muslims in the West who are required to proselytize as part of their religious duty.

 And the Iranian government calls the West the Great Satan.

Pakistani Art School Target of Islamic Hard-liners Over Homoerotic Paintings Of Clerics

All extremist Muslims have to do is threaten violence and people succumb to their will. It's getting progressively worse in the West, and particularly in the East.  And the arts have been a major target of their wrath in countries where freedom of expression is virtually non-existent. In Tunisia, Islamists now target cultural events they find offensive. Iranian rapper Shahin Najafi had a death fatwa placed on his head. Now the latest target of hard-line Muslims is the National College of Arts, a top liberal and progressive arts college in Lahore, Pakistan. It appears they took offense to several paintings by artist Muhammad Ali (no, not the boxer) published in the college's Journal of Contemporary Art and Culture this past summer that showed Muslim clerics in homoerotic situations with young boys:


One titled "Call for Prayer" shows a cleric and a shirtless young boy sitting beside each other on a cot. The cleric fingers rosary beads as he gazes at the boy, who seductively stretches backward with his hands clasped behind his head.

A second painting shows the same cleric reclining in front of a Muslim shrine, holding a book by Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho in one hand as he lights a cigarette for a young boy with the other. A second young boy, who is naked with his legs strategically crossed to cover his genitals, sits at the cleric's feet. The painting has caused particular uproar because verses from Islam's holy book, the Quran, appear on the shrine.

Aasim Akhtar, an Islamabad-based art critic who wrote an essay accompanying the paintings in the journal, wrote that Ali's mixing of images was "deliberately, violently profane," aimed at challenge "homophobic" beliefs that are widespread in Pakistani society.

"Ali redefines the divine through a critique of authority and the hypocrisy of the cleric."

Actually, if they're young boys we're talking pedophilia, which is not uncommon in any religion, but the easily offended have decided that this constitutes blasphemy, even though it has nothing specifically to do with either the Quran or their prophet Mohammed. Lawyer Mumtaz Mangat has therefore petitioned the courts to pursue blasphemy charges against the artist, the journal's board, the head of the school and the critic Akhtar, even though as a result of the threats the college said bye-bye to the editorial staff, stopped publishing the journal, and removed all remaining magazines from stores. Exactly what the radicals wanted and demanded, though it seems they'd like a little blood added to the equation, including a public apology.

The college's decision to cave to Islamist pressure underscores how space for progressive thought is shrinking in Pakistan as hardline interpretations of Islam gain ground. It was also a marked change for an institution that has long been one of the leading defenders of liberal views in the country.

It seems Pakistan has become the wild west of the East. It's quite normal for mobs of vigilantes to take the law into their own hands, but in most cases it's usually innocent people they murder.  According to former head of the college Saleema Hashmi:


"Now you have gun-toting people out there on the streets." "You don't know who will kill you. You know no one is there to protect you."

Although the hard-liners Jamaat-ud-Dawa  deny it, staff members of the college claim they received threats via text message. And though the college head Shabnam Khan says the editorial board quit of their own volition, one of the staff members said they were told to resign. If they did cave, it's a sad day for the college considering they've fought back before.

The school has long been a progressive voice. A research project at the college in 2008 focused on the idea that rising Islamic conservatism and violent religious fanaticism was a fundamental threat to peace and democracy in Pakistan. In the 1980s, when former dictator Gen. Zia ul-Haq, a notorious Islamist, ordered all female students and teachers to cover their hair, the college pushed back.

If people continue to kowtow to the extremists, we can say goodbye to our freedom.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Famous Egyptian Belly Dancer Protests Morsi's Constitution- Video

Here's  Egyptian Sama al-Masri, the belly dancer/actress who was secretly married to the Salafi "nose job" MP until she discovered he was married to another woman, doing a little satirical belly dancing protest against President Mohammed Morsi's constitution.



Islamists Caught With Their Pants Down

For all their so-called piousness conservative Islamist politicians are just as likely to stray from the moral path as say their conservative Christian counterparts. We've had our share of Christian political conservatives who have been caught with their pants down, so to speak, but so have Muslims.

There's the Egyptian cleric and MP for the uber conservative Salafi Al Nour Party, Ali Wanis, who was caught with his 19-year old girlfriend in a car "engaged in an indecent act." Now that might seem harmless to a Westerner, but in Islam it's forbidden to have sexual relations prior to marriage. And from the same political party, there's Anwar al-Balkimi (or Balkimy) aka the "nose job MP" who lied about getting a nose job because it's not allowed in Islam. He also apparently secretly married a famous belly dancer, Sama al-Masri, while still married to another woman. Again, polygamy is allowed in Islam, the problem is he didn't tell Sama, and no-one knew they were married, probably because she's definitely not conservative. When Sama discovered the truth about al-Balkimi she filed for divorce, which was how the rest of Egypt found out.

Now the latest Islamist scandal comes out of Tunisia.

Tunisia’s Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem, from the ruling Islamist Ennahda party, has found himself at the center of an embarrassing scandal following accusations of public money embezzlement and involvement in an extramarital affair.

According to documents published by Tunisian journalist and blogger, Olfa Riahi, the Islamist minister spent several nights at the Sheraton hotel in Tunis with a woman and paid for his stay from the government’s coffers.

Riahi she obtained the receipt and the billing information bearing names of the minister and his alleged mistress. In an interview with alchourouk.com, Riahi said it took her two and half months to verify the authenticity of the documents and trace the bill payments.

“I have the bank account of the foreign ministry and I am certain the documents are authentic,” calling on the authorities to open a probe into the “scandal.”

The minister appeared in the state television dismissing the allegations as part of a plot against his Islamist government. He said he expects similar accusations to be leveled against other ministers.

But he admitted staying at the Sheraton hotel “because he does not own a house in the capital and because the hotel was near his office.” He also admitted that the woman mentioned in Riahi’s documents was true, but said she was a “relative” who came to see him at the hotel.

Naturally they've all denied any wrongdoing, blaming the accusations on plots to bring down the Islamists. Wanis claimed he was just wiping his sick girlfriend's face, and al-Balkimi claimed he didn't even know Sama.

If you are going to claim moral superiority, make sure you live up to it, otherwise you're just a hypocrite, like these men.

Saudi Women Fight Back- Refuse To Leave Lecture

Muslim women are slowly waking up, at least those who seek freedom in countries that marginalize them, and they're fighting back for their right to exist in a male dominated culture/religion.

Take these brave Saudi women who were attending a lecture at the Jeddah Literary Club on "Saudi Elite and Alienation Issues", heady stuff, when a bunch of bearded conservative yahoos demanded they move to another room because they didn't want to be seated in the same hall as women. The women refused when the lecturer asked them to move.

Dr Amira Kashgari said of the incident:

“What happened was not right and cannot be tolerated." “We were surprised by the group of men who walked into the main hall. I think that they came in just to provoke another of their imaginary battles. The women who were at the hall are well known literary figures and intellectuals and nobody had the right to tell them to move out."

Of the lecturer, Kashgari was quoted as saying:

“He had no right whatsoever to make the request,” Amira said. “The women had a brave and strong stance. One of them told him to go and speak with her father who was sitting at the front.”

According to Kashgari, who is a member, the activities at the club are non-discriminatory.

“The club does not support an exclusion policy and does not monopolise views. Those who do not wish to see women in the club hall should simply leave and look for alternatives elsewhere." “The active participation of women in cultural activities is moving forward smoothly and should not be stalled by anyone nor should anyone meddle in their cultural and social activities.”

Another woman in attendance, Fatima Ilyas, was not surprised at all that the conservatives reacted in that way.

“I was really pleased with the reaction of the club chairman who refused to cater to the demands that we leave. " “We are aware of course that there is tension between conservative groups and cultural institutions. I do wonder though about the reasons that make these men afraid of the presence of women. I believe that these people have a phobia of women.” 
“Women were really upset and disturbed about the incident, especially that they are classy women and strongly believe in their right to be wherever they want at the club. If a woman does not feel comfortable in the main hall where men are also seated, she can go to a separate room for women. It is a matter of free choice. The club is not a bastion form [sic] men. Those who want to exclude or expel women should go to their own bastions,”
And that's the bottom line. If people feel uncomfortable in the presence of the other sex, then don't go to mixed gender events.

Source: Gulf news

Friday, December 28, 2012

Note Found In K-Mart Halloween Decorations From Prisoner In Chinese Labor Camp

We've heard horrors about unsafe products that have made their way to the U.S. from China, from toxic drywall to deadly pet food, but I had no idea that some products made in that country are also manufactured in forced labor camps where people are severely mistreated. Worse off are members of the banned Falun Gong who are sent to the camps for re-education.

If the following story is true, this is even more of an incentive to purchase American-made products or at least products from countries that treat their people humanely.

The Chinese government has come a long way, but they are still Communists at heart.

The letter came in a box of Halloween decorations purchased at Kmart, but for a year Julie Keith never knew. It gathered dust in her storage, a haunting plea for help hidden among artificial skeletons, tombstones and spider webs.

Keith, a 42-year-old vehicle donation manager at a southeast Portland Goodwill, at one point considered donating the unopened $29.99 Kmart graveyard kit. It was one of those accumulated items you never need and easily forget. But on a Sunday afternoon in October, Keith pulled the orange and black box from storage. She intended to decorate her home in Damascus for her daughter's fifth birthday, just days before Halloween.

She ripped open the box and threw aside the cellophane.

That's when Keith found it. Scribbled onto paper and folded into eighths, the letter was tucked between two Styrofoam headstones.

"Sir:

"If you occasionally buy this product, please kindly resend this letter to the World Human Right Organization. Thousands people here who are under the persicution of the Chinese Communist Party Government will thank and remember you forever."

The graveyard kit, the letter read, was made in unit 8, department 2 of the Masanjia Labor Camp in Shenyang, China.

Chinese characters broke up choppy English sentences.

"People who work here have to work 15 hours a day without Saturday, Sunday break and any holidays. Otherwise, they will suffer torturement, beat and rude remark. Nearly no payment (10 yuan/1 month)."

Ten yuan is equivalent to $1.61.

"People who work here, suffer punishment 1-3 years averagely, but without Court Sentence (unlaw punishment). Many of them are Falun Gong practitioners, who are totally innocent people only because they have different believe to CCPG. They often suffer more punishment than others."

Read the rest here.

K-Mart is looking into the allegations.

Defying Obamacare: Hobby Lobby Refuses To Pay For Abortion-inducing Drugs

The owners of Hobby Lobby, an Arts and Crafts chain store, and sister company Mardel, a Christian book store and church supply store, are Christians. All their stores nationwide are closed on Sunday, so they weren't too happy with some of the Obamacare provisions that would force them to provide insurance for the morning-after-pill, which they see as a form of abortion. So they requested an exemption, and lost. The judge deemed that since they aren't a religious organization, per se, they are not entitled to an exemption.

But that decision hasn't changed CEO and founder David Green's mind.


With a lawsuit pending, Hobby Lobby says it won't be providing workers with health plans that cover the morning-after pill—even though ObamaCare requires it. The decision could cost the company $1.3 million in daily fines, the AP notes. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor this week rejected the arts and crafts chain's request for an injunction against that part of the health law.

She says the store hasn't made an adequate case for an emergency exemption, but added that it and sister firm Mardel can still fight the measure in lower courts.

Though they refuse to "pay for abortion-inducing drugs", they will "continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees."

Iran's Only Female Minister Fired By Ahmadinejad

Since the Iranian Islamic revolution in 1979, when the country took a giant step backwards, there has only been one female cabinet member in the land of the ayatollahs. It took thirty years to hire one and only 3 years before she was fired, in spite of the fact that the woman is apparently conservative.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fired health minister (and gynecologist) Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi because she had the audacity to criticize his government over the lack of funds needed to import much needed medicines.

Reports have emerged in recent weeks of shortages of some critical medicines for treatment of cancer, multiple sclerosis, blood disorders and other serious conditions.

Last month, Dastjerdi said only a quarter of the $2.4 billion earmarked for medicine imports had been provided in the current year and there was a shortage of foreign currency for the shipments.

"Medicine is more essential than bread. I have heard that luxury cars have been imported with subsidized dollars but I don't know what happened to the dollars that were supposed to be allocated for importing medicine," she said on state television.

However, not everyone is thrilled with Mahmoud's decision:

"Although the president has the authority to sack the health minister, the move was not wise and doesn't have acceptable logic," the head of parliament's health committee, Hosseinali Shahriari, was quoted as saying by the semi-official Fars news agency.

"The dismissal of the health minister was caused by nothing but ... personal issues. I hope the president has the courage to explain why he made this change," Fars quoted Shahriari as saying.

I think it's quite obvious- Mahmoud's ego was bruised by a female, no less.

He appointed a male to the position, so now the government is exclusively male.

In a short statement, he announced the interim appointment of Mohammad Hassan Tariqat Monfared as head of the ministry, replacing Dastjerdi.

"Noting your commitment and valuable experience and based on the ... constitution, I appoint you as the caretaker health minister," read the statement published widely across Iranian media.

That's probably just how the mullahs like it.

Israel To Expel Illegals and Welcomes Indian Jews (Benei Menashe) To Their Ancient Homeland

While Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu is planning on deporting thousands of illegals back to Africa:

“Our aim is to repatriate tens of thousands of infiltrators now in Israel to their countries of origin,” he said, adding Israel had been in contact with several African governments.

“After having been confronted by the threat of hundreds of thousands (of illegal migrants), this month not a single infiltrator has reached cities in Israel,” he said, quoted in a government statement.

“We have reached this result over the past several months, and next month we will have completed the construction of the fence on the border with the Sinai,” facing Egypt, he said.

Israel began constructing the fence in late 2010 to stem the influx of thousands of illegal migrants through the porous border, which has also been a major drug and human trafficking route into Israel.

“Now we are moving on to the next stage, the repatriation of the infiltrators already here.”

Netanyahu and Israel are also prepping for the influx of Indian Jews.  7,200 of them. The Bnei Menashe- a community of Indian Jews who are supposedly descendants of one of the 10 Lost Tribes of Israel- are headed 'home'.  50 just arrived to join some 1,700 others who have already emigrated from India, the rest will be brought to Israel soon. Living in the northern part of India (between Burma/Myanmar and Bangladesh) their story is a fascinating one. Animists and headhunters prior to converting to Christianity in the 1800s, the Tibeto-Burmans remained Christian up until 1951 when one of the Pentacostalist flock, Chalianthanga (aka Mela Chala), had a dream in which he was told by God that they should return to their pre-Christian religion (Judaism) and migrate back to their ancient homeland.

The Indians say they are the descendants of the 10 tribes who lived in the kingdom of Israel in Biblical times and who were dispersed, according to the Bible, after the invasion of the Assyrians in 721 BC.
Michael Freund of the Shavei Israel group (meaning “those who return to Israel” in Hebrew), which arranged their journey, said more than 7,000 people have sought help from the Israeli government to emigrate from India.
“The members of this tribe have never forgotten where they came from and we are excited to be able to help them come back,” he told AFP, adding that hundreds of others were expected to arrive in coming weeks.

Israel has welcomed other 'descendants' of the 10 Lost Tribes including the Ethiopian Jews, aka Beta Israel.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Malay Catholics Battle, Again, For Use Of "Allah" In Bible

"Allah" is the Arabic word for God. Most of us associate it with Islam, but for some very strange reason Catholics in Malaysia want to use it as well (in their bible and other publications), and  Muslims in that country are refusing to allow them to.

The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) claims that Muslims have an exclusive right to the word, and Christians should just stick to "Tuhan", the Malay word for God.

PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said: “There are sensitive elements such as the Declaration of Faith (Shahadah) and Allah, which must be used in the correct context, otherwise there could be unease in a multi-religious society in view of the present situation”.

Referring to the various editions of Bible, Tuan Man said that manuscripts referred to a ‘God’ or ‘Lord’. He added that the Christians in West do not refer to God as ‘Allah’ in their religious texts.

This has been an ongoing battle since 2007 when Christians were banned from using the word "Allah" in any publication.  In 2008, a Catholic news publication, the Herald, sued the government for the right to use of Allah.  In 2010, Judge Lau Bee Lan ruled in their favor stating that Allah was not exclusively for Muslim use.


 "We have been using the word for decades in our Malay-language Bibles and without problems," the Rev. Lawrence Andrew, editor of the Catholic publication, tells TIME. In May 2008 the Catholics decided to take the matter to court for a judicial review — and won. "It is a landmark decision ... fair and just," says Andrew. During the intermittent trial in the closing months of 2008, lawyers for the church argued that the word Allah predated Islam and was commonly used by Copts, Jews and Christians to denote God in many parts of the world. They argued that Allah is an Arabic word for God and has been used for decades by the church in Malaysia and Indonesia. And they said that the Herald uses the word Allah for God to meet the needs of its Malay-speaking worshippers on the island of Borneo. "Some people have got the idea that we are out to convert [Muslims]. That's not true," the lawyers said on behalf of the Herald.
Government lawyers countered that Allah denotes the Muslim God, is accepted as such around the world and is exclusively for Muslims. They said that if Catholics were allowed to use Allah, Muslims would be "confused." The confusion would worsen, they said, because Christians recognize a "trinity of gods" while Islam is "totally monotheistic." They said the proper word for God in the Malay language is Tuhan, not Allah. Lau held that the constitution guarantees freedom of religion and speech, and therefore Catholics can use the word Allah to denote God. She also overturned the Home Ministry order prohibiting the Herald from using the word. "The applicants have the right to use the word Allah in the exercise of their rights to freedom of speech and expression," she said. 

However, the ban has remained intact until Lim Guan Eng of the Malaysian Multi-Racial Democratic Party resurrected the the ongoing issue during a Christmas message this year by asking, once again, for the right to use the word "Allah".

The battle, no doubt, will continue, but when I think of "Allah" I think of "Allahu Akbar", and when I think of "Allahu Akbar" I think of 9/11.

Bloggers Retaliate- Post Addresses of Staff Of Paper That Published Gun Owners Map

The latest issue to polarize this country is the right to bear arms. Gun control has always been a bone of contention for the American people, but more so since the recent spate of mass murders left movie-goers in Aurora and 20 young ones in Sandy Hook dead. Yes, it's an issue that has many people angered, on both sides, but what New York's The Journal News did by publishing an interactive map along with the names AND addresses of gun owners in Westchester and Rockland counties was unconscionable.  The newspaper has effectively made every single resident in both counties a target for criminals: they now know which houses they can steal from to add to their arsenal of weapons, and the ones which will make easy targets with no guns for protection.

But back to the Journal News: piss off enough people and someone is going to retaliate, which is what a former Connecticut attorney and blogger Christopher Fountain did. Fountain published on his blog the names, addresses and phone numbers of all 50 employees of The Journal news including the publisher  Janet Hasson, including a Google Maps shot of her house:

I don’t know whether the Journal’s publisher Janet Hasson is a permit holder herself, but here’s how to find her to ask..

Another blogger, Robert Cox, published an interactive Google Map of his own pinpointing where some of the employees live, along with some email addresses and other personal information.

Whether you believe two wrongs don't make a right, as one commenter on Fountain's blog pointed out, this is what happens when you push the envelope too far to further your agenda. The News Journal should never have published those names and addresses. Now all these people, including the News Journal staff, will be potential targets for all the criminals and crazies in the world.

Saudi Clerics To Pray Labor Minister Gets Cancer If He Doesn't Ban Females Working In Lingerie Shops

Saudi Arabian clerics apparently have supernatural powers, they can pray for people they disagree with and they get cancer and die. That's what a bunch of religious clerics in the Kingdom told the current labor minister Adel Fakeih they would do if he doesn't stop trying to Westernize the Kingdom by hiring women to work at lingerie shops. After all, the previous labor minister Ghazi al-Gosaibi was their last target of "deadly prayers" and he up and died of cancer in 2010.

During a meeting at the labor ministry on Tuesday, about 200 religious figures accused Minister Adel Fakeih of executing a “Westernization” plan and asked him to ban women from working in lingerie shops within a month or he will face their dangerous prayers.

The ministry began in 2011 enforcing a decision to replace salesmen with Saudi women at lingerie shops in a bid to create jobs for women and meet the demands of female customers embarrassed to buy lingerie from salesman.

During the meeting, various religious figures successively attacked the minister and gave him little time to explain his decision and its benefit for the Saudi economy and for Saudi women.

One religious man told the minister, “I supplicated against a senior official at the ministry and he received the (cancer) disease and he died; this was because he began implementing the feminization decision,” according to al-Eqtisadiah newspaper. The man reportedly referred to previous Labor Minister Gosaibi.

Another religious figure told the minister that the government’s job is to employ women and not to decide where they should be employed.

Addressing the minister, another man said, “I am warning you, do not ignite sedition; we only came here to provide advice; your ministry has thrown our daughters in places that don’t suit their values.”

After a wave of attacks the minister finally snatched an opportunity to respond to the bearded men in front of him. He defended the decision to employ women, saying that women occupied jobs during the era of the Prophet Muhammad, adding that it made more sense if women rather than men are in charge of selling women’s lingerie.

The minister further told the congregation that they should take their case to court if they saw that his ministry is violating the law.

Truly pathetic.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Illiterate Egyptians Voted For Referendum- Says Islamic Jihad Member

In an interview, Nabil Naeem of the Islamist Egyptian Islamic Jihad claims that half of the 64% who voted  "yes" on the Referendum are illliterate.  Odd criticism considering the source.



Iran Bans Air Traffic During Islamic Call To Prayer

Iran's latest lunacy. No air traffic during the Islamic call to prayer, because God forbid someone should miss one of  the  five required daily prayers- occasionally.

"According to the new directive, airplanes are banned from flying during Azan, especially during the call to morning prayers," Mehr quoted the spokesman for parliament's cultural committee Ali Taheri as saying.

The head of the Aviation Organization, Hamid Reza Pahlevani, said aircrafts will be allowed to take off 30 minutes after the call to the morning prayer so that passengers have the time "to carry out their religious duties", the Iranian Students' News Agency (ISNA) reported.

Iran has practiced Shariah law since its 1979 Islamic revolution. Hardliners have pressed for stricter enforcement of religious measures since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad won office in 2005 promising a return to the revolution's values.

Taheri also said serious attention will be given to observing the strict Islamic dress code for women working at airports or airline companies.

What next?  Doctors will have to stop mid-operation during emergency surgery for Azan?

Afghan Policewoman Who Killed US Adviser Is Iranian

Looks like the woman who shot and killed a U.S. police trainer in Kabul on the 24th wasn't Afghan after all, but an Iranian national, and the trainer was a civilian from Georgia.

According to Sediq Sediqi  of the Interior Ministry, 33-year-old Sgt Nargis received citizenship through her husband (who has also been detained), but not through legal means. Apparently, she came to Kabul with her Afghan husband ten years ago from Iran.

"By marrying an Afghan, she got an Afghan identity card, as her husband wanted her to, and based on the assurances of her husband's identification, documents proving he is an Afghan citizen, she received her [Afghan] identity card, which was illegal," Sidiqi said. "Our investigation shows the way she obtained her identity card was illegal. She got it through illegal means. This is how she entered the Afghan police force.”
She was part of the gender rights department, and had worked with them for two years until her arrest. Her husband also worked for the Interior Ministry in the criminal investigation section.

This is the first green on blue attack by a female.

The man she killed -- 49-year-old Joseph Griffin from the U.S. state of Georgia -- was employed by the U.S. private security firm DynCorp International.
He was working in Kabul to train members of the Afghan National Police, who are, along with the Afghan National Army, taking over security operations from NATO-led foreign forces who are due to withdraw from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
DynCorp International said on its website that Griffin was a veteran of the U.S. military who had earlier worked with law-enforcement agencies in the United States.

When she arrived at police headquarters she was initially trying to track down Kabul's governor, the chief of police or the criminal investigation department head, when unsuccessful she headed on down to the cafeteria, downed 49-year-old Joseph Griffin with one bullet (because he was a 'foreigner'), and then fired her gun at the police who were trying to arrest her. She had worked for the Interior Ministry for five years.

Described as "unstable" after her arrest, this isn't the first time she was described as such. Sediqi said:


"Her mental condition is not good." [snip]  He said that after she attended a recent training course in Egypt a "foreign government" -- a clear reference to Egypt -- informed Afghan authorities that she did not appear to be "normal."

If there was any doubt about her mental stability, why was she allowed to carry a gun?

The couple has three or four kids, depending on the source.

They are looking into the possibility of militant links.

Sources: RFE/RL, Fox, BBC

Saudi Preacher Needs Psychiatric Help, Says Kids TV Channel He Targeted For Boycott

Saudi Sheikh Muhammad al-Arifi, a popular cleric who has plentiful videos on YouTube, believes that the programming on MBC3- the children's channel of Middle East Broadcasting Center- is promoting "atheism and corruption", so he told parents to ban their children from watching it. He posted on Twitter:

"It is prohibited to enable your child to watch MBC3 children; its scenes are full of ideas of atheism and corruption; remove it now; your child is in your care.”
And MBC3 is fighting back, calling his post:

"tendentious and far from reality altogether." 
This, along with a previous ludicrous fatwa where Arifi told father's that since their daughters might tempt them into lust, they must never remain alone with their progeny, prompted MBC3 to recommend Arifi  get psychiatric help.

"Words cannot describe such mentality and such rationale, especially that it is coming from individuals who should be at the psychiatric hospital to treat abnormal thinking instead of issuing fatwas."

In addition to the MBC3 fatwa, Arifi called for a boycott of all MBC's advertisers. Hypocritical, to some, since the Sheikh has a programme on a competing channel that not only has similar programming, it also has Western content.

As for the father/daughter fatwa, he definitely needs psychiatric help for that one. One can only assume his inner pedophile was rearing its ugly head.

Arifi is also the one who put his foot in it when he criticised the Emir of Kuwait as unfit:

In October, he posted a statement on Twitter describing the Emir of Kuwait as unfit to rule and urged demonstrations against him. In his opinion, Emir Sheikh Sabah does not satisfy the religious conditions of an Islamic ruler.
He later backtracked on his statement following mounting anger against him in Kuwait. In a Twitter post he urged Kuwaitis to “let bygones be bygones.”

MBC3 content appeals to 3 to 13 year-olds.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly- Christmas Around The Globe

Christmas is coming to a close in the U.S. In some regions of the world it has already come and gone, so I thought I'd give a little round up of Christmas happenings across the globe.

THE GOOD:

PAKISTAN: A small Christian community of about 200 in South Waziristan, Pakistan (smack dab in Taliban/al-Qaeda land), got to celebrate their Christmas at their little church inside the safety of an army base, where most congregants happen to live and work. They seem to live in harmony with their Muslim neighbours under the protection of the military.

AUSTRALIA:  Largest mosque in Australia backs down from its anti-Christmas fatwa.  Even wishing someone a "Merry Christmas" was to be considered a sin. Of course the backtracking was in response to outrage from both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.   (H/T TROP)


THE BAD:

INDONESIA: Moderate Indonesia's top clerics told Muslims it would be best not to wish anybody "Merry Christmas", because they weren't entirely sure if it was haram (forbidden) or halal (okay). Christmas parties? Definitely haram.  "Happy New Year", on the other hand, is fine.

and

200 or so conservative Muslims pelted about 100 or so Christians with rotten eggs as they were gathering to worship on a plot of land they hope to build a church. The government has barred them from doing so since 2009. (H/T TROP)

ISRAEL:  Businesses with Christmas trees faced losing their Kashrut (Kosher) certificates.

KUWAIT: Some radical conservative Muslims in Kuwait called for a ban on Christmas celebrations, but were blasted by liberal groups. Kuwait allows Christians to worship in the 12 or so churches there.

THE UGLY:

NIGERIA:  Six Christians, including the pastor, were killed in northern Nigeria as they celebrated midnight mass on Christmas eve. The church was then set on fire. (H/T TROP)

NIGERIA: At least six more killed in another church attack.

More Destruction of Ancient Sites In Timbuktu By Islamists

Ansar Dine, Mali's al-Qaeda linked extremists are following through with their promise to eventually destroy every ancient treasure in Timbuktu. It started in June with the destruction of several tombs of Muslim saints considered part of the United Nations (UNESCO) world heritage sites. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM) had already destroyed the tomb of Sidi Mahmoud in May, now four more mausoleums  have been destroyed. Although historic, thankfully these were not part of UNESCO's list of treasures.

The director of Mali's Timbuktu tourism office, Sane Chirfi, said that Ansar Dine rebels linked to Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) tore down the mausoleums... [snip]  The mausoleums housed the remains of Muslim scholars and teachers who are revered by the Timbuktu population. Since taking control of Timbuktu earlier this year, the militants have destroyed seven of the 16 mausoleums listed as world heritage sites. Some date back to the 14th century.
According to many residents, the destruction of the graves is the rebels' reaction to the recent UN resolution calling for an international military intervention to remove the rebels from northern Mali.

Some believe the ramped up destruction is in response to the UN's approval of a 3,300 African Union-led military intervention to take back the north, but Abou Dardar of Ansar Dine says it's because  "Allah doesn't like it."  The mausoleums, that is. Apparently they're un-Islamic because "Man should only worship Allah," so says an AQIM militant who lives in Timbuktu. Both groups are intent on destroying all historical sites in the city.

Dardar said:


"Not a single mausoleum will remain in Timbuktu..." [snip] "We are in the process of smashing all the hidden mausoleums in the area."

And in Gao, where another militant group- the Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) has taken control- they've been busy chopping off people's hands, as allowed per Shariah law. According to Moctar Barry of MUJAO:

"We cut off the hands of two people on Friday. Eight others will soon share the same fate."  [snip]
His claims were confirmed by witnesses, with one resident saying the amputees had committed theft. "I saw one of them, they gave him an injection before the amputation. He cried out. Both amputees are now at the hospital," another resident told AFP.

And again, the calls for the international community to do something about the problem, roll in:

Gao lawmaker Abdou Sidibe blamed the amputations on "the international community's laxness," saying its indecision over whether to intervene to reconquer Mali's north were making the rebels feel invincible.
"The international community needs to know that it is its hesitation over intervening, or no, in northern Mali that is encouraging the rebels to show they are at home and are not afraid of anything," Sidibe said.
We know what happens when the international community hesitates.

Welcome to Islamic supremacy, imperialism and jihad. But most people won't care because it's just Africa. Very sad.




 Other sources: France 24

Tunisian Cleric Denies Calling For Wiping Out The Jews

Sheikh Ahmad Al-Suhayli, the Tunisian cleric who called for wiping out the Jews in a sermon which was broadcast on Hannibal TV denies he said any such thing. Nope. He was not talking about killing them all. Not at all calling on killing Tunisian Jews. He was only talking about:

"...a sect of Jews that was mentioned in the Quran." "was talking about their digression from the path and laws of Allah, and their distortion of his words."
I guess it matters not to Suhayli that since they were NOT Muslims, they had every right to digress from those laws and path. And because they were naughty Jews they deserved what they got, back in the day.

"That sect, mentioned in Quran, justly earned the wrath and punishments of Allah." [for killing some Muslim prophets] "These are Quranic facts. These are the words of Allah."


Referring to that evil Jewish sect that he claims still exists in Palestine:

"These are the extremist racist Zionists, who have been killing and slaughtering the Palestinian people for decades.  They have occupied their lands and trampled their honor.  Everybody in the world knows this."
"Then I called upon the Islamic nation to assume its responsibility regarding these continuous attacks." "I absolutely did not call to kill the Jews- I did not call to kill them all. Obviously, some among them are peaceful."
I would venture to say that he believes that those "Zionist Jews" are fair game.

Then he talks about anti-Zionist Jews, probably referring to the wacko, self-loathing Jews  Neturei Karta (who also happen to be holocaust deniers of sorts), and  how in Islam, Muslims are not allowed to harm non-Muslims (even though they do) because:

"Islam is a religion that preaches tolerance and non-violence." 

And yes it is, for some.  Canadian Tarek Fateh comes to mind.


Of course Suhayli's backtracking has more to do with the lawsuit filed against him by a group in Tunisia that advocates for minorities, and the Facebook page "Ennahda Made Me Hate Islam."  He was horrified to find his photo posted along with comments like: "Tunisian criminal of jahili origins calls to kill our Jewish Tunisian people."



Santa Is A Democrat- According to PPP National Poll

Hope Santa brought you some goodies. And speaking of Santa, here's some Christmas silliness.

Public Policy Polling, out of Raleigh, NC,  wasted its time asking American voters their opinions on various holiday themed questions as they related to politics.

It seems 44% of the American people think Santa Claus is a Democrat. Is that surprising? No, since about 47% of U.S. citizens, per Mitt Romney, are into the free stuff. It would make sense, then, that since Santa is the purveyor of free gifts and so are the Democrats they would think of Saint Nick as a Democrat. Only 28% think of him as a Republican, and 28% haven't a clue, or just don't care.

People believe both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney will receive gifts from Santa this Christmas rather than that lump of coal, but it seems Romney will rake in more booty than Obama.

ROMNEY:
63% Gifts
37% Lump of coal

OBAMA:
51% Gifts
49% Lump of coal

Interesting to note that Obama's gifts to coal margin is approximately the same margin of votes with which he won the election.

47% believe there is a "war on Christmas", 40% don't agree, while 13% haven't a clue, or also just don't care.

54% are worried that the "fiscal cliff" will "force Santa to cut back on the benefits he provides", while 35% are not worried and 11% are not sure. The American people can rest assured, however, that the American government will continue to dole out its freebies, fiscal cliff or not.

And to determine the moral compass of the country we have the following bizarre questions:

If Grandma got run over by a reindeer, would
you press charges against Santa, or not?


24% would press charges, 61% would not, 15% were not sure.


If you saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus, would
you tell Daddy?


43% would tell Daddy, 40% would not, and 17% were not sure.

As for whether people believe in Santa Claus or not? 52% do, 45% don't, and 3% aren't sure.

And Santa came out tops, by a huge margin, over the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Leprechauns and Cupid in terms of "Which character do you think could most plausibly exist"

Of the voters polled, 36% were Democrats, 36% Republican and 28% Independent. That is if the respondents were truthful about their political affiliation.

Click here for the full report and results.

H/T Newser

Monday, December 24, 2012

A PC "Twas The Night Before Christmas

Apparently this was written back in 1992. See below.

Ho ho ho. Merry Christmas to all.


Politically Correct Santa



'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose

And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,

Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.
And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.
Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.

Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.
Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.
And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.
No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.
So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.
His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.
A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;

Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

Notice: This poem is copyright 1992 by Harvey Ehrlich. It is free to
distribute, without changes, as long as this notice remains intact.
All follow-ups, requests, comments, questions, distribution rights, etc
should be made to mduhan@husc.harvard.edu . Happy Holidays!

Swaziland Bans "Rape Provoking" Clothing-



Wear a mini-skirt in predominately Christian Swaziland, Africa, and you'll spend six months in jail because you're just asking to be raped. In fact, if you do get raped, it's your fault.  That's what authorities believe. So, rather than attacking the problem of rape itself, by strengthening laws, authorities have banned women from wearing provocative clothing, or as they put it "rape-provoking" clothing.

Besides min-skirts, this also means no 'midriff-revealing tops, and low-rise jeans' because according to police spokeswoman Wendy Hleta:

"The act of the rapist is made easy, because it would be easy to remove the half-cloth worn by the women."
"I have read from the social networks that men and even other women have a tendency of 'undressing people with their eyes.' That becomes easier when the clothes are hugging or are more revealing," she said. 

Great. She gets her information from social networks.

It's okay, however, for young women to bounce around in traditional garb without a top and bare butts (just a beaded skirt covering their front) during the various festivals like the annual Reed Dance ceremony when the current King Mswati III gets to pick his future virgin wife, no underwear allowed. So far he has 13.

Apparently the ban was instituted in response to a demonstration by Swaziland females asking for protection against an increase in rapes across the kingdom. It was blocked by police.

Source: Al Jazeera

Charlie Brown Jihad Christmas- Joke of the day

Charlie Brown Jihad Christmas.

I have no idea who came up with this one. Can't imagine it's legit, but....... wow.


Afghan Policewoman Kills US Military Adviser

Here we are in Afghanistan fighting for their freedom, and an Afghan policewoman, yes, a female, shoots one of ours.

Another green on blue attack to add to the 62 or so this year. It is so time to leave that hell hole.

An Afghan policewoman has shot and killed a US security adviser in the Kabul police headquarters, NATO and local officials say.

A senior police official told Al Jazeera that the shooting occurred at 10:15am local time (05:45 GMT) on Monday.

The policewoman approached the adviser as he was walking in the heavily guarded police chief's compound in a bustling area of the capital. She then drew a pistol and shot him once, a senior police official told the Reuters news agency.

The woman, a member of the police's gender equality team, is in custody, officials said. Mohammad Daoud Amin, Kabul's deputy police chief, said an investigation is under way to determine whether the killing was intentional or accidental.

Mohammad Zahir, head of the police criminal investigation department, described the incident as an "insider attack", in which Afghan forces turn their weapons on US-led coalition troops they are supposed to be working with. If confirmed to be such an attack, the shooting would be the first time that a female member of Afghanistan's security forces has turned her weapon on a member of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) or a foreign contractor.

Sediq Sediqqi, the Afghan Interior ministry's spokesperson, confirmed the incident and said an investigation was under way.

Accidental? She draws a pistol and shoots and they think it might be accidental?

The rest here.

Egyptian Salafis Threat To Al-Azhar University- Says Shariah Professor

Founded in the 10th century, Egypt's Al-Azhar is the seat of Arabic literature and Islamic learning in the Arab world, so I found the following rather interesting.

A professor of Islamic Shariah at al-Azhar University warned on Sunday that Salafi Islamists were seeking to undermine the role of the acclaimed institution and accused them of seeking to spread their “radical and extremist ideas.”

Ahmed Karima’s statement came after Salafi Leader Yassir al-Burhami said his group succeeded in including in the constitution that will pave the way for removing Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed El-Tayyeb.

“I told you that Salafis are seeking to erase the role of Azhar not in Egypt only but in the Islamic world as an introduction to spreading their ideas which carry radicalism, extremism, intellectual and armed violence.,” Azhar professor Ahmed Karima told Al Arabiya.

In the fourth article of the draft constitution, he said, Azhar's role was reduced in favor of the Salafis. “And of course, unfortunately, this was done to appease the civilian powers which thought that Azhar would be like priesthood above the authority,” he added.

“They did not know that Azhar is the guarantee of coexistence, acceptance and the spread of Values of tolerance.”

Salafi leader Burhami had said his group was able to put an age limit for the position of Azhar grand imam and that is 65 years. This, he said, provides legal group for deposing of the current Grand Imam Tayyeb.

Tayyeb was appointed by ousted president Hosni Mubarak in 2010. He was a member of the Mubarak’s National Democratic Party (NDP)’s political committee and he was known for his firm stances against the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Salafis are even too extreme for some Muslims.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Stupid Tourists Traveling To Dangerous Places- 2 Finns and 1 Austrian Abducted In Yemen

There are certain countries in the world that should be off limits to anyone with a brain and no pressing need to travel there. In this day and age, many of those are located in the greater Middle East. Some might have been considered relatively safe for tourists prior to the Arab Spring, but not so much any longer. And with al-Qaeda's rise to prominence in some of those countries- Yemen comes to mind- one would think that people would cross those places off their bucket list, but no. I'm sure three people right now are wishing they had done so.

It seems an Austrian and Finnish man, and a Finnish woman are the latest kidnapping victims of al-Qaeda. This time in Yemen. Apparently the three were allegedly abducted by AQAP in Sanaa as they were about to head on down to the southern port of Aden.  The south happens to be a haven for al-Qaeda In The Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), they have kidnapped many before, including Saudi Diplomat Abdallah al-Khalidi who has not been seen since March, but this obviously was not a deterrent to the fearless three.

But these abductions are not recent events. Back in 1998 a bunch of tourists were kidnapped and some killed in the battle between Yemeni troops trying to rescue them and the militants holding them hostage. The UK still advises its citizens not to travel there. So does Australia and the U.S., and I would venture to say most countries have similar travel advisories.

The two males were in Sanaa supposedly studying Arabic. Couldn't they have signed up for Rosetta Stone, or at least found a less dangerous location to learn Arabic?  They do exist. And the female had just arrived in Yemen. An incredibly stupid place for a woman to travel alone, though I assume she must have known the other Finn.

According to a Yemeni official, in  a bid to free imprisoned fellow militants al-Qaeda had said they would abduct foreigners and "stage bank hold ups."

Although I hope the three are freed, they have no-one to blame but themselves.

Source: Al Arabiya

Obama Christmas Parody: "Let It Grow" Video

In the spirit of the holidays and the looming fiscal cliff, here's a little Paul Shanklin Christmas parody:

Obama singing "Let It Grow" sung to the music of "Let It Snow"


Saturday, December 22, 2012

ESPN'S Rob Parker Suspended For Questioning Robert Griffin III's "Blackness"

It's come to this: you're just not black enough if you happen to be a black Republican and/or dating a white woman.

ESPN's Rob Parker, who happens to be black, dissed Robert Griffin III- quarterback for the Washington Redskins- by calling into question his "blackness", and as a result Parker has been suspended for 30 days. While commenting on "First Take" on December 13 about Griffin's white fiancée and the possibility that he might also be a Republican, Parker said:

"Is he a brother or a cornball brother?"

Parker did eventually apologize on Twitter:

"I blew it and I'm sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care."


What's with the whole "oreo", "Uncle Tom" invectives against conservative blacks? Shouldn't we be looking past the color of a person's skin, as the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. admonished during his "I have a dream speech"?

Tunisian Cleric Wants Allah To Kill All The Jews

"Muslims, Christians, Jews, we are all Tunisians"


In 1956 there were approximately 100,000 Jews in Tunisia, that was the year the country gained its independence from France. Now, some sixty years later, only 1,500 or so remain, with continuing attrition. And no wonder. With imams like Sheikh Ahmad Al-Suhayli more will undoubtedly leave.

Suhayli hates the Jews. Not only does he want them out of his country, he wants them totally annihilated, and he said as much in a sermon on Hannibal TV on November 30 after the Hamas/Israeli ceasefire.

"O Allah, you know what those accursed Jews have done, the corruption they spread across Earth... Strike them so that there is not one of them left. Allah, make the men and women sterile." 


 As a result, Kais Baltagi, a lawyer for an association that advocates for minorities in Tunisia, has filed a complaint with authorities.

"We have lodged a complaint with the court of the first instance in Ben Arous against the imam of Rades mosque, Sheikh Ahmed S'hili, for inciting hatred."

Apparently, Suhayli could face up to three years in jail for using media to:


"incite hatred between races, religions and people."

And people wonder why the Jews gravitate to Israel. If they can't live in their homelands because of this kind of abuse and persecution where else are they going to go?


Saudi Rights Activist Faces Beheading For Apostasy- Action Alert


Saudi rights activist Raef Badawi faces losing his head for "apostasy" after he was arrested in Jeddah in June for no specific reason other than the fact that he is one of the co-founders (along with female rights activist Suad al-Shammari) of the Saudi Liberal Network, an organization that was advocating "a day of liberalism" on May 7. A conference was cancelled after authorities told the group that it was inadvisable. We all know what that means.

Badawi and the other activists essentially want to do away with "the influence of religion on public life in Saudi Arabia" which is not- technically- apostasy, but certainly enough to anger clerics in that ultra-conservative country.

The judge in the lower court felt he "could not give a verdict in a case of apostasy," hence the referral to the higher court.

There is a petition demanding his freedom, if you care to sign it.

Pakistan Mob Burns To Death Man Accused Of Desecrating Quran

Because a book has more value than a human life: some 200 hundred enraged vigilante Pakistanis burned a man alive (after they had already beaten him and dragged him to the police station) because they believe he had desecrated a Quran. They didn't even have proof that he did it, because no-one actually saw him burn the book.

The man was a traveler and had spent Thursday night at the mosque, said Maulvi Memon, the imam in the southern village of Seeta in Sindh province. The charred remains of the Koran were found the next morning.

"He was alone in the mosque during the night," Memon said. "There was no one else there to do this terrible thing."

Villagers beat the man then handed him over to police. A few hours later, a crowd of around 200 stormed the police station, dragged the man out and set him on fire, said Usman Ghani, the senior superintendent of police in Dadu district.

Ghani said around 30 people had been arrested for the murder and seven police detained for negligence.

Why would a man be stupid enough to burn a Quran in the mosque he is taking refuge in for the night? But of course that didn't factor into the equation, because it was probably just a handy excuse to murder this man, for whatever reason.

All because of Pakistan's blasphemy laws which aren't going away any time soon. Just lobbying to change those laws can you get you killed.

In the past two years, two senior Pakistani officials who suggested reforming the laws have been shot dead, one by his own bodyguard. Lawyers threw rose petals at the killer and the judge who convicted him was forced to flee the country.

Ignorance and a religion that fosters anger. A toxic combination.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Syrian Women Upset With Rise Of Islamists In Opposition

It's the women of the Arab Spring- that turned into a civil war in Syria- that I most feel sorry for. At least those that truly did or do yearn for freedom. They were (and continue to be in Syria) instrumental in helping to oust the various dictators they believed held their freedom in shackles, only to discover that their battle for equality will continue under the Islamists that now lead their countries.

They're still struggling in Syria, and some women over there are running scared now that they see hardline Islamists in the opposition movement are gaining strength, which inevitably means they will have gained nothing when the battle against Bashar al-Assad's regime is finally won.

These men, they say, are extremists who are expanding control, waving the black flag of Jihad and excluding women in a way that mirrors the male domination of the autocratic regime that is still clinging to power.

"All opposing Syrian factions insist on marginalizing women," said Maya al-Rahbi, a human rights activist, "which means that these factions are not a true representation of the Syrian people. Half of the population is left out."

Rahbi, director of a Damascus-based women's research center, said "this indicates how patriarchal these groups are and how unbelieving they are in democracy, which can never be achieved without giving women their rights."

Another woman, Majida, is an anti-government activist who does not want to use her real name to protect her safety. She told Women's eNews in an email interview that only three of the 60 leading members of the new Syria National Coalition, which was established in November in Qatar, are women. That ratio overlooks the female momentum behind the opposition fighters and blatantly ignores their active participation in the Syrian conflict for the past 21 months.

Women's rank in the opposition, in fact, mirrors that of the Syrian establishment, where the few female ministers in the government are channeled into "female" ministries such as Social Affairs and Labor.
"We, women, have been fooled," Majida said. "How can such a weak representation be accepted? Do three women reflect the role of the female population in Syria? Did they forget what women died during the revolution by organizing protests themselves? How thousands of us were arrested and tortured just like men? It is men who chose the armed conflict, limiting the physical role of women to some extent. But our suffering was greater than theirs, because murder, rape and torture always affect women and children more than men in armed conflicts."

Rahbi echoed that outrage. "Where are all the mottos we've been hearing since the beginning revolution? Where did the calls for 'freedom, dignity and justice for all citizens' go?" she said.

She added that, "This reminds us of the same oppressive regimes and of their same policies against women. Why then did women take part in the revolution from the very beginning? Why did they sacrifice and lose their loved ones? Why were they killed, arrested, exiled and stranded? Why the revolution in the first place?!"

Indeed they've been fooled. In essence what they have done is unwittingly help their men folk pave the way for the re-emergence of Islamists which were outlawed in those countries. They realize they will have fewer freedoms under the Islamists than they had under their dictators, but it's too late now.

Time Person of The Year- Obama- Again?




Time had a slew of worthy contenders for the 2012 Person of The Year and they chose Barack Obama, again?  Why?  Not that being named Person of the Year is necessarily an indication of the goodness or greatness achieved by that individual, after all there have been many unsavory characters that have won including Adolf Hitler in 1939, Josef Stalin in 1939 and 1942, and Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. Not that I'm comparing Obama to Hitler, let's get that straight. Time Magazine's criteria has more to do with who most influenced the news of the year, good or bad.

I was rooting for Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani girl who was shot and left for dead by the Taliban for fighting for education rights for women, who some are trying to get nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. She was runner up, but what an impact that would have made on all those who are trying so hard to keep women from getting an education had she won.  What did Obama do to merit it this time around? Good or bad? 

Time gave readers the chance to vote for their favorite influencer of the year (and I could have sworn I posted about that, but  can't seem to find it on my blog now), and North Korea's new 'dear leader' Kim Jong Un came out on top with the most votes, followed by, of all people, Jon Stewart. Here are the results of the poll, if you care to see who was nominated and how each one fared.

Syrian Man Kills Pro-Assad Russian Wife

In Syria, not only do you have to worry about the rebels or Bashar al Assad's army (depending on who you support),  you now have to watch out for family members as well.

A Syrian merchant in his 40s shot dead his Russian wife in the embattled northern city of Aleppo because she supported President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, the killer's cousin told AFP on Wednesday.

Clothes shop owner Mohammed on Tuesday evening used a pistol to shoot his wife dead after an argument in their home in the rebel-held district of Maysar in southwestern Aleppo, said Ahmed, a 30-year-old government employee.

“The argument broke out when he criticized Assad, while she defended him,” said Ahmed. “The fight escalated and he shot her.”

Mohammed then went outside and told onlookers that his wife, whom he had met in Russia during a business trip and married four years ago, “would not stop her provocation by expressing support for Bashar, and that he could not take her attitude any longer,” said Ahmed.

There is no police presence in Maysar. The rebels did not arrest the man.

I wonder if anything like that happened here during the Romney/Obama battle for the presidency.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Two Coptic Priests In Sudan Arrested For Converting Muslim Woman

There are Coptic Christians in Sudan. I had no idea. And according to Al Arabiya they've done okay there for the past 23 years, no overt violence leveled against them like the Copts in Egypt. That seems rather surprising considering where they are living, and the fact that their President, Omar al-Bashir, is a genocidal Islamist 'war criminal'. But all that could change because of one woman's conversion to Christianity.

Two Coptic priests have already been arrested, because while 'dawah' (proselytizing) is part of a  Muslim's religious duty, converting to other religions is a crime, sometimes punishable by death.

“I understand there was someone from the Arab origin that accepted Christ and was baptized by them,” leading to their arrest within the past few days, one religious leader told AFP.

So two Christian priests are in jail, and some Al-Qaeda linked group calling themselves al-Qaeda in the Nilien States wants that Christian convert back.  Probably so they can stone her to death for apostasy.  If the Christians don't return they woman they claim was "kidnapped" they will target the Copts in retaliation.

Mayan Doomsday Prompts Michigan Schools To Close Early

The Michigan school system seems to be taking the Mayan doomsday scenario quite seriously. Apparently over 30 schools have decided to close two days early just in case, but it seems to have more to do with fears that some wacko might target another school than the actual prediction itself.

According to the superintendent of Lapeer Community Schools, Matt Wandrie:

"Given the recent events in Connecticut, there have been numerous rumors circulating in our district, and in neighboring districts, about potential threats of violence against students." [snip]
"Although we in the county are reluctant to cancel school because the rumors are unsubstantiated, we feel it is the most appropriate decision given the gravity of recent events and our present circumstances."
The numerous rumors of Twitter "threats" like "Friday would be a great day to go out w/ a bang" factored into his decision, even though though they were "investigated and determined to be false."

I think some are going to be relieved or sorely disappointed when Saturday rolls along and we are all still here.

H/T Breitbart

500 Plus Chinese Doomsday Cultists Detained Over "Rumors"

The countdown is on, just one more day until "D" day. Doomsday, that is. And though many have made fun of the impending end of the world, as prophesied by the Mayans way back when and calculated to occur on December 21, many have taken it to heart. China, however, is not taking kindly to a bunch of doomsday cultists who have been prepping for the end days. More than 500 of the the Church of Almighty God cult aka Eastern Lightning Cult, aka Seven Spirits sect have been arrested for stirring up rumors about an apocalyptic end to the world come Friday.

Police seized leaflets, video discs, books and other apocalyptic materials in the recent arrests of more than 500 people across eight provinces and regions, from the prosperous east coast to less developed western China, state media reports said.

[snip]

Those detained are reported to be members of the group Almighty God, which is also called Eastern Lightning, after a phrase from the Bible's Book of Matthew. Widely regarded as a heretical Christian sect, the group preaches that Jesus has reappeared as a woman in central China. It has been accused of targeting Christians, kidnapping and beating them to force conversions.

[snip]

Eastern Lightning first appeared around 20 years ago, and the official Xinhua News Agency said that its members had "recently latched on to the Mayan doomsday prophesy to predict that the sun will not shine and electricity will not work for three days beginning on Dec. 21."

A public notice on the web site of Qinghai provincial government said local police are waging a "severe crackdown" on the group described as a cult with "strong political penchants." The government urged the public to inform the police of any illegal propaganda, gathering and preaching by the group.
China For Jesus has the lowdown on the cult's bizarre beliefs and recruitment tactics.

An interesting side note, apparently the man who attacked those 23 children in central China, Ming Yongjun, was "psychologically affected by" rumors of the end of the world.

Prior to the attack, Yongjun said that he was locked in his house by his father after he had an epileptic seizure, but eventually fled his house. He added that an elderly woman told villagers in his hometown that "the end of the world is coming and the Earth will explode".

I'm not sure if that old woman was a member of the Eastern Lightning cult or not.

Chinese officials consider the church anti-government and therefore a threat, since part of their doomsday scenario includes exterminating:

".... the great red dragon" _ a reference to the Communist Party _ "and found a country under the rule of Almighty God."

This Time.com article from 2001 gives first hand accounts of how they recruit followers.

Anti-Semitism In Malmö, Sweden- Video with English Subtitles

Anti-Semitism is alive and well in Sweden.

Evelyn is a Jewish woman living in Rosengård, a predominately Muslim neighbourhood in Malmö, Sweden. She talks about her persecution as a Jew living there. She says she has nothing to do with Israel and yet she is a target of Muslim hate.  This worries her since 29 Jews were killed in hate crimes in 2011.  Unfortunately, she doesn't have the money to move.

Closet Republican Has A Facebook Page

If Ayatollah Ali Khamenei can have a Facebook page, so can I.  Actually, a conservative reader approached me about putting one together so I have him to thank.  Since I can't sign up as an administrator by "liking" the page from my personal Facebook account or my photography fan page, for obvious reasons, he will take care of maintaining it.

If you care to, head on over to Confessions of a Closet Republican and "like" my page I'd be delighted. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Australia's Gun Control Law Prompts Higher Crime Rates

As expected, the gun control debate has been dominating my Facebook feed. This is one of the photos that has been circulating:



Everyone has been touting Australia's gun control laws. Yes, the mass shootings have stopped, but apparently crime has increased, according to the report below.