Saturday, May 26, 2012

Two Fascists Have I?

CAIRO -- Two candidates claim spots in a June runoff as the country awaits official results of its first free, multi-party presidential election.

Mohammed Morsy, whose Muslim Brotherhood controls parliament, and Ahmed Shafiq, the ousted regime's last prime minister, appear to have won voting on Wednesday and Thursday here.

Liberal Egyptians and largely youthful revolutionaries who helped to bring down Hosni Mubarak last year howled with dismay and fear over the apparent outcome. . . .

Liberal activists say Shafiq and Morsy represent a choice of "military fascism and religious fascism." (“Egyptian military, Islamists claim slots in runoff”)

When liberals, even liberal Egyptians, use the word “fascism,” they invariably have no clearly defined meaning in mind, beyond that a government has made something illegal that liberals want to do. I don’t think Mubarak was actually a fascist in the correct usage of the term, and I don’t know that if the military prevails in Egypt whether they will be fascist, either.

For what tiny insight I have into Egyptian election politics, my money’s on the Brotherhood.  But if there’s any circumstance that can make military fascism the preferred choice for a society, it’s the prospect of Islamic fascism. I’m no expert on the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, but I do know that its women weren’t required to veil, it was capable of maintaining a peace treaty with Israel, and even though the survival odds for a Coptic Christian were lower than they should have been, they’ve all but vanished since the Brothers started taking over.

I also know that Islamic jihadism is the only contemporary ideology on Earth that inspires atrocities again and again that, when one makes a direct comparison with the Third Reich, forces the conclusion that, no, even the Nazis wouldn’t have done that.

Detroit On Its Knees

One day a man asked an old friend how things were going, and the friend replied that, as a matter of fact, he had recently taken up prayer.

Concerned, the first man responded, “Are things as bad as that?”

We’re all for prayer here at DU.  But when the top law enforcement leadership of a dysfunctional city announces that their latest anti-crime initiative is based upon the city’s preachers singing “Nearer My God to Thee,” it’s time to pray about moving. (“Detroit clergy launch prayer walks, youth rallies to counteract crime”).

Oh, hang on.  In the last five home invasion stories I’ve read about the victims had wanted to move, but were too broke -- and their houses too worthless – for them to get out.

Good thing Detroit is coming back!

It’s not that I don’t appreciate U.S. Attorney Barb McQuade’s message to gang members, on behalf of “we the collective,” that “we care about you,” but “you will be prosecuted and put in prison' " if you commit crimes. It’s just that I don’t know why we have to care about gang members first, as if they spray-paint the city’s walls and shoot up each other’s houses because there aren’t enough policemen smiling at them.

And it’s not that I’m so far gone in my faith that I don’t appreciate Reverend Warfield’s solution to Detroit’s crime wave to “pray for and pray with our various neighborhoods."

It’s just that “Operation Ceasefire,” which reportedly “focuses on meeting with young offenders to talk about and provide resources on alternatives to crime,” hasn’t got a thing to say about the complete breakdown of law enforcement protection in Detroit. 

And to make sure that even the level of protection armed Detroiters provide for themselves is even weaker, geniuses in Lansing are trying to repeal the Michigan law allowing victims of violent attacks to defend themselves with lethal force rather than run away -- the former standard -- especially from their own homes. Rep. Tim Bledsoe, Democrat (what else?) thinks “Michigan should return to the old standard because stand-your-ground is "the only law that I can think of that actually promotes violence." (“House Dems seek repeal of Michigan's stand-your-ground law”).

Well, I can think of another law Democrats loooove that promotes violence: Roe v Wade, or what I like to call the Stamp Out Your Offspring Law, but I’m sure Bledsoe is less concerned with protecting infants from parental violence than protecting armed criminals from confrontations with victims who can actually shoot back.

There’s a good reason the announcement of the Operation Outreach initiative never mentions that the Detroit Police Department will play a key role in the “anti-crime” effort, even though half the DPD brass showed up to have their picture taken. And that reason is that the program is how to handle crime now that we’ve all stopped denying that Detroit lacks adequate police protection. 


Detroit — The body of a Detroit man made it all the way to a funeral home without authorities noticing a gunshot wound on the chest, and now police want to know what happened. (“Gunshot wound goes unnoticed until body arrives at funeral home”).

Now police want to know what happened.

"The DPD's Internal Affairs will be investigating this matter to determine if all departmental procedures and protocols were followed," Sgt. Eren Stephens, a spokeswoman for the department, said Tuesday.

Never mind who shot “59-year-old Leslie Brooks”: there’s a more important meeting of the Keystone Kommission to analyze how a dead body found in Detroit fails to muster enough interest for the cops to hypothesize that foul play might be involved. (“Crimsetoppers Alert! Gunshot wounds to the torso may look innocent, but STAY WATCHFUL for telltale signs of criminal activity!”)

Meanwhile, the DPD has been so busy doing whatever it is they do that they haven’t had time, after 9 years, to fully comply with court-ordered reforms requiring officers to stop engaging in “ex­cessive force, false arrests, il­le­gal de­tentions and unconstitution­al con­ditions of confine­ment.” 

How many years does it take to get the word out to the few officers actually assigned to the street to stop making false arrests? How many years does it take to clean up conditions in jail cells so bad they earn judicial notice as “unconstitutional”?

Until 2003, when the feds stepped in to try to clean it up, the number-one investigative tool employed in Detroit homicide investigations was unlawful dragnets whereby all the neighbors and friends of a victim – including infant babies and old people – were summarily arrested without regard to due process and detained until one of them finally admitted they knew who killed Cookie Head Jenkins.

Sure Dearborn and Detroit needs more good auto jobs – but how about we first get a Bill of Rights?

Am I being too hard on Detroit’s finest? Just possibly. But don’t get me started on what I see as the failings of the DPD going back decades. I’ll only mention the most important failing – that no one in the city seriously believes that the Detroit police protect any one from crime.

# # #

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Media–New Evidence on Zimmerman Earns a Yawn

The media aren’t quite ready to give up on the hysterical version of the fate of “Little Trayvon” (as Fox News’ Shepherd Smith calls him) they all ran wild with a few months ago.

The release Thursday of dramatic photos of George Zimmerman’s injuries, his medical reports, and other exculpatory information is being underreported with these kinds of ho-hum headlines: Evidence in Martin slaying probe released to public (The Detroit News) (tells you a lot), andEvidence mixed for Zimmerman’s self-defense claim”) (AP).

Mixed? The known facts are now completely unavoidable that Zimmerman was having the hell beat out of him by the 6-foot, 160-pound Martin before Zimmerman fired a fatal shot.

But instead of backing off the shredded account that Zimmerman, Elmer-Fudd style, hunted Martin down with the premeditated plan of executing him for being black, the AP continues to insist that the released information still leaves “many of the pertinent questions . . . unclear,” including “why did Zimmerman feel that deadly force was warranted?”, and “Did the fact that Martin was black play a role in Zimmerman’s actions?”

Actually, the second question isn’t pertinent to the case at all, unless you’re a race hustler, so I won’t dignify it here.

As to the first question about deadly force, it’s pertinent, but it’s not unclear.

I believe I would feel that deadly force was warranted If someone had blacked my eyes, broken my nose, was sitting on top of me and banging my head onto the pavement – in other words, was applying something approaching deadly force against me. The Stand Your Ground threshold for deadly force is the belief that you are facing “imminent death or great bodily harm.” Look at the photos of Zimmerman’s swollen nose and the back of his head, and I’d say Martin pushed Zimmerman well past imminent great-bodily-harm before his victim had a chance to fire his weapon.

But the AP isn’t quite ready to let this go. The spin is that Zimmerman instigated a confrontation by approaching Martin in the first place. But Stand Your Ground provides immunity to a person who isn’t committing a crime himself and is in a place he has a legal right to be. For the time being in Florida it’s still not a crime to get out of one’s car or to approach a stranger to inquire what he’s up to. The fact that under the given circumstances -- only some of which were within Zimmerman’s control -- a fight erupted that ended in a fatal shooting, cannot be blamed on Zimmerman’s decision to get out of his car.

The Martin family attorney, Ben Crump, would love to make the mistaken conclusion of one police detective “the headline.” Said Crump, “The police concluded that none of this would have happened if George Zimmerman hadn’t gotten out of his car. . . If George Zimmerman hadn’t gotten out of his car, they say it was completely avoidable.”

But it’s not a conclusion at all, only speculation, that “none of this would have happened if George Zimmerman hadn’t gotten out of his car.” He may as well say that “none of this would have happened if Trayvon Martin hadn’t gone out to the store.” The AP also thinks it proves something that “the original lead detective in the case believed Zimmerman caused the fight by getting out of his vehicle to confront Martin, who wasn’t doing anything criminal, and then could have defused the situation by telling Martin he was just a concerned citizen and tried to talk to him.”

Except Zimmerman wasn’t doing anything criminal, either, in spite of the lead detective’s overly broad concept of what ought to be against the law. As for Martin, it’s true enough that, as far as we know, he wasn’t doing anything criminal, right up until he decided to clobber Zimmerman.

We don’t know on what facts, or on what imaginary reconstruction of what happened, the lead detective decided that Zimmerman “caused the fight by getting out of his vehicle to confront Martin.” Nor can I figure out why it was Zimmerman’s sole responsibility to defuse the situation. Indeed, just as much as Zimmerman (speculated the detective) could have defused the situation, so also could Martin have responded to Zimmerman’s concerns by explaining that he was living in the subdivision, was on his way home, and wasn’t doing anything wrong.

But notice how the AP has adopted the Florida prosecutor’s short-cut way of telling the story to avoid even the barest reference to Martin’s decision to assault Zimmerman. According to the Affidavit of Probable Cause filed by the Florida State Attorney, “Zimmerman confronted Martin and a struggle ensued.” But human beings confront one another all the time in our world where struggles do not ensue. Some key fact has been left out. Similarly, the lead detective’s account of what happened proceeds directly from “Zimmerman . . . getting out of his vehicle” to a “situation” that needed to be “defused” -- as if Zimmerman’s mere act of approaching Martin could have called forth no other reaction from Martin than to physically attack Zimmerman. There was a situation to defuse because somebody lit that fuse, obviously, but neither the detective’s truncated narrative nor that provided in Florida’s affidavit and these latest media accounts are willing to state that the guy holding the match was Trayvon Martin.

The lead detective was ready to charge Zimmerman with manslaughter for, in effect, the decision to get out of his car and see what Martin was up to. The original prosecutor wisely decided that Zimmerman’s self-defense explanation was plausible. Manslaughter only occurs when a death resulting from one’s actions is foreseeable. If you get into your car, run a red light, and kill someone, there’s a good chance you’ll be charged with manslaughter. It’s not manslaughter just to get into your car.

And if you happen to believe that Zimmerman should have known that approaching Martin would foreseeably lead to some kind of a violent confrontation, then there goes the original myth that Martin – to anyone who wasn’t a rabid, gun-toting racist like Zimmerman – would appear to be only a little child skipping home harmlessly from the candy store. 

Fortunately, the court doesn’t get to re-write the Stand Your Ground law to include an affirmative obligation to remain frozen with inaction to avoid consequences beyond all possibility of foreseeing. If the law is applied as written, the judge will dismiss the charges because Martin unquestionably assaulted Zimmerman, who then applied deadly force to save himself.

# # #

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The ‘United Arab States’?

With its capital in Jerusalem, no less.

From Thursday’s Detroit News:

Cairo— At a campaign rally for the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate for president, a hardline cleric and TV preacher sang Mohammed Morsi's praises before thousands massed in the stadium of an industrial city in Egypt's Nile Delta.

"We are seeing the dream of the Islamic Caliphate coming true at the hands of Mohammed Morsi," the cleric, Safwat Hegazy, blared from his podium.

"The capital of the Caliphate and the United Arab States is Jerusalem, God willing," he added, as thousands cheered and waved the Brotherhood's green flag, chanting, "The people want to implement God's law."

On the campaign trail for the presidential election, now only seven days away, the Muslim Brotherhood has taken a sharp turn rightward, becoming bolder in saying it wants to bring a state where religion and Islamic law play a major role — and insisting that it has the right to rule.

As a result, it has moved away from the more moderate face that it promoted since even before the fall of Hosni Mubarak 15 months ago. During campaigning for parliament elections late last year, the Brotherhood insisted that implementing Islamic law was not its immediate priority, instead speaking vaguely of an "Islamic background" to government. It also sought to assuage fears that it seeks to take over the country by promising to work with other, liberal factions. (“Egypt's radicals growing bolder”).

Surprised? Neither am I.

The Associated Press reporter attempts to explain the Brotherhood’s current hard line Islamism as a “turn” resulting from recent political disappointments. But those of us who have made it our business to pay attention to the history and unchanging goals of the Ikhwan expected precisely this to happen from the very outset of Egypt’s misnamed “Arab Spring.” This isn’t the result of a turn. The Brothers wanted a caliphate all along, and were only waiting until they felt strong enough to drop the moderate act.

As the AP story tells it:

Whatever the reasons, the group no longer tap-dances around questions of implementing Islamic Shariah law.

"We will not accept any alternative to Shariah. ... The Quran is our constitution and it will always be so," Morsi told a crowd of supporters at a Cairo University rally.

In an interview with the Associated Press, [Brotherhood deputy leader Khairat] el-Shater — who appears alongside Morsi on the campaign trail so often that critics say he would be shadow president — said laws must conform with Shariah. He said the Brotherhood would stipulate that officials tasked with reforming Egypt's economy, politics, media and other sectors also have religious expertise.

"Those who decide what system works best are specialists who are not only political scientists but who also studied Shariah," he said.

# # #

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Enhance Your Sensitivity!

Any of you who may have wondered what goes on at BRIDGES meetings, you’re in luck!

Hamad and O’Reilly on the same stage!

Town hall meeting on immigration is May 17

A Detroit-area group formed after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks to link U.S. Arabs and Muslim Americans with local and federal authorities is hosting a town hall meeting next month to discuss immigration concerns.

The group is called BRIDGES, which stands for Building Respect in Diverse Groups to Enhance Sensitivity.

It says the May 17 meeting at Dearborn City Hall will feature Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. It also will include remarks by U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade and Dearborn Mayor Jack O’Reilly.

6:00 p.m.

Friday, May 04, 2012

And the Winner Is . . .

Hat tip to Creeping Sharia.

The Eastern Echo, Eastern Michigan University’s “independent” student newspaper, is heralding the success of the Muslim Student Association in its fund-raising efforts. The Muslim Student Association was founded directly by the Muslim Brotherhood in 1963 as part of the Ikhwan’s civilization jihad

Says the Echo:

The Muslim Student Association won the 2012 Student Government Charity Challenge. Each year EMU’s Student Government holds a contest amongst the student organizations to see who can raise the most money for a Michigan-based nonprofit of their choice, with the promise of matching the winner’s amount up to $2,000.

Sounds commendable, no? to hear that the MSA is plowing its award-winning donations back into a Michigan beneficiary – perhaps to help out Michigan’s poor, unemployed, or disabled. But wait, the money isn’t going to end up in Michigan – it’s all going to the Ummah, the only charity the MSA ever has or ever will care about.

“We got the full $2,000,” said Zaineb Al-Kalby, vice president of the MSA. “We picked the organization Life for Relief and Development and all of the money we raised is going to help out the people of Syria,” she said, alluding to the country’s current and very violent uprising.

And don’t bet that the money actually is destined for deserving folks in Syria.  

Life for Relief and Development is a Hamas front whose original operator was Muthanna al-Hanooti, an agent for Saddam Hussein who was using LIFE to persuade the US to drop its sanctions against Iraq. He was convicted in 2011 of violating the sanctions against Iraq. He was also the one-time executive director of CAIR-MI before Dawud Walid got the job. According to a 2001 FBI report, “’Al-Hanooti collected over $6 million for support of Hamas,’ . . . and was present with CAIR and Holy Land officials at a secret Hamas fundraising summit held in 1993 at a Philadelphia hotel. Prosecutors added his name to the list of unindicted co-conspirators in the Holy Land case.”

The EMU newspaper (named the “Echo” for reasons we can clearly understand) was also excited to report on MSA’s “Walk In My Shoes Day”:

a day in which non-Muslim women wear a hijab and dress modestly for a day, as would a Muslim woman, and then discuss their experience and observations. “We want people to ask why they’re wearing a hijab. We get asked that all the time. We want people to openly discuss these kinds of things,” said [MSA vice president Zaineb] Al-Kalby.”

Why EMU women couldn’t dress modestly for a day without putting on a hijab is a question that comes to mind. But, that aside, finagling students who have little grounding in their identity as Westerners to imitate Islamic practices is a clever way to plant an unconscious sympathy for Islam that can pay off for the Ummah later.    As any college student can tell you, your parents’ religion is stupid, but Islam is cool.

And by contrast with what’s not cool, DU has been unable to confirm that last year’s “Hang Out In My Habit Day” sponsored by campus Catholics is going to be repeated this year. That was the day in which non-Catholic women dressed up as discalced Carmelites observing the Grand Silence.  Last year’s event led to some confusion as most of the campus’s Catholic students had never actually clapped eyes on a nun who  wore a habit, and then were frustrated when their repeated questions about it were met with wordless frowns. Then there were the LGBT students who all assumed that the participants were transgendered Act Up! members irreverently mocking  a homophobic and patriarchal church, only to be disappointed that the faux-nuns they skipped after all over campus never actually led them to a Rainbow Pride event. When it was discovered that the participants were all women, the ACLU promptly filed a lawsuit.

The point is that $2,000 of EMU Student Government funds has been donated to Life for Relief and Development to be used somehow and somewhere to build the global caliphate.

Governor Christie Has an Islam Problem?

From NRO:

Chris Christie’s Islam Problem

By Daniel Pipes & Steve Emerson

A Quinnipiac poll in April showed Chris Christie as the most popular potential Republican vice-presidential candidate, thanks to his budget cuts and standing up to government employees’ unions. But the governor of New Jersey has a problem, specifically an Islam problem, that can and should get in the way of his possible ascent to higher office. Time and again he has sided with Islamist forces against those who worry about safeguarding American security and civilization.

Some examples:

2008: When serving as U.S. attorney for New Jersey, Christie embraced and kissed Mohammed Qatanani, imam of the Islamic Center of Passaic County, and praised him as “a man of great goodwill.” He did this after Qatanani had publicly ranted against Jews and in support of funding Hamas, a U.S. government–designated terror organization, and on the eve of his deportation hearing for not hiding an Israeli conviction for membership in Hamas. In addition, Christie designated a top aide, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles McKenna, to testify as a character witness for Qatanani.

2010: After Derek Fenton burned three pages of a Koran at a 9/11 memorial ceremony, his employer, New Jersey Transit, got Christie’s approval to fire him. Protecting Islam at the expense of the constitutional right to free speech, Christie endorsed Fenton’s termination: “That kind of intolerance is something I think is unacceptable. So I don’t have any problem with him being fired.” The American Civil Liberties Union successfully represented Fenton to get his job back.

2011: Christie appointed an Islamist, Sohail Mohammed, to the New Jersey state superior court. Mohammed’s record includes serving as general counsel to the American Muslim Union (which has stated that a “Zionist Commando Orchestrated The 9-11 Terrorist Attacks”), acting as spokesman for Muslim prisoners who went on a hunger strike after being jailed during Ramadan, defending Palestinian Islamic Jihad operative Sami Al-Arian (his indictment, Mohammed said, was “nothing but a witch-hunt”), and helping Qatanani’s legal defense. Mohammed established himself not just as the Islamists’ lawyer but as one of them.

When members of New Jersey’s Senate Judiciary Committee asked Mohammed appropriately tough questions about his enthusiasm for Islam’s archaic law code, the Shari’a, Christie ridiculed the lawmakers: “Shari’a law has nothing to do with this [appointment of Mohammed] at all. It’s crazy. It’s crazy. . . . So, this Shari’a law business is crap. It’s just crazy. And I’m tired of dealing with the crazies. I mean, you know, it’s just unnecessary to be accusing this guy of things just because of his religious background.” For this outburst, unsurprisingly, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) thanked and applauded Christie.

2012: The revelation that the New York Police Department had conducted surveillance of Islamists in the New Jersey towns of Newark and New Brunswick prompted not gratitude but outrage from Christie, who termed the action arrogant and paranoid while mocking NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly as “all knowing, all seeing.”

In short, Christie has hugged a terrorist-organization member, abridged free-speech rights, scorned concern over Islamization, and opposed law-enforcement counterterrorism efforts. Whenever an issue touching on Islam arises, Christie takes the Islamist side against those — the DHS, state senators, the NYPD, even the ACLU — who worry about lawful Islamism eroding the fabric of American life.

Two factors render this pattern especially curious: First, soft-on-Islamism policies are common among Democrats but rare among Republicans (Grover Norquist being the major exception). Second, Christie takes an ostentatiously pro-Israel stance, as reflected by his speeches and his recent “Jersey to Jerusalem” trip; this makes him unusual, for a pro-Israel stance typically goes hand-in-hand with concern about Shari’a. How does one reconcile the Christie contradiction?

It could be ego: The governor is more brilliant than we are. It could be that, other than fiscally, he is not a conservative. Or, as several analysts suggest, it could be cynical double pandering: Muslims get what they want most and Zionists get what they want most, with each side ignoring what Christie does for the other. Indeed, Senator Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut pursued this double-track policy (soft on Islamism, staunch on Israel) and he became the Democrats’ vice-presidential candidate in 2000, when practically no one noticed the contradiction.

Whatever his reasons, we conclude that Chris Christie lacks the moral compass and integrity needed to serve as vice president of the United States.


First Blossom of the Arab Spring – Sharia Stamping Out Free Speech

Tunisia’s revolution was the first of what came to be known as the “Arab Spring,” enjoying last fall their first democratic election since 1956. But thanks to Tunisia’s active Islamists, a satellite TV channel owner, Nabil Karoui, has just been convicted and fined for showing “Persepolis,” an animated movie about a young girl who lives through the Iranian revolution.

In the weeks after the broadcast, Karoui’s house was destroyed by a mob of vandals and [Nessma, the TV channel’s ] offices were repeatedly attacked — all because of a short scene in which the girl imagines herself talking to God, who appears as an old man with a long, white beard.

Now, Karoui’s on trial, and so is Tunisia’s year-old revolution and the young democracy it has wrought. For hundreds of years, Tunisia has boasted a complex blend of Islamic and Western values, and now, having ousted their autocratic leader, Tunisians are struggling to find the right balance. No part of that wrenching, sometimes violent debate has been more divisive than the issue of freedom of speech.

Last month, on this capital city’s main boulevard, Islamist activists attacked actors who were celebrating World Theater Day; Islamists smashed musical instruments and hurled eggs. A hard-line preacher stood in front of Tunis’s Grand Synagogue and called for the murder of Tunisian Jews. And a Tunisian philosopher who showed up at a TV station for a debate on Islam was shouted down by extremists, who said he was no scholar of the faith because he has no beard.

In each case, calls for a state crackdown on offensive speech banged up against cries for the government to defend even unpopular expression. Karoui’s day in court became a nonstop, seven-hour shoutfest that will determine whether he is fined, imprisoned, or worse. A verdict is expected Thursday.

In Tunisia, defendants hire a lawyer, but any lawyer in the land may join the prosecution or defense, and those lawyers have the same right to argue in court as hired attorneys. The result: a pulsating black mass of robed men (and a handful of women) surging to the front of Courtroom 10, each with his own view of what should be done to Karoui.

Shouldn’t the death penalty be considered, asks lawyer Nasser Saidi: “Anything related to God is absolute. This was a test of the Tunisian people’s ability to defend God, and they have passed the test.” (“Tunisian court case exposes rift over free speech in new democracy”).

On Thursday Karoui “was fined 2,400 Tunisian dinars (about $1,400) for violating public morals and disturbing public order.” (“Controversial Tunisian Court Ruling Reflects Dilemmas of the Arab Spring”). Not so bad an outcome considering that Karoui’s chief attorney was answering Islamist demands for his client’s execution by arguing that he deserved no more than “five years max.”

For me, this kind of a clash highlights the impracticability of democracy accommodating Islam.

As the reporter for the Washington Post, explained,

The two sides argue as if they live in different galaxies. They cite different laws — God’s and man’s. They base their arguments on different histories — Western traditions of transparency and individual rights vs. Islamic concepts of Koranic authority and the obligations of the community of believers.

Except those arguments aren’t based on different histories at all, but on the same history – the history of “Western [Christian] traditions” vs. “Koranic authority” – the 1400-year history of Islam vs. world.

Democracy is unimaginable without free speech. But Shariah can’t tolerate free speech, because followers of the Prophet see themselves as responsible for defending Allah from insult.

Kouri’s prosecution “was a test of the Tunisian people’s ability to defend God,” said Islamist lawyer, Nasser Saidi, and it “means they have passed the test.” It was also a test of their democracy. And that test they failed.


Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Honor Killing and the ‘American Way of Life’

We did not attend the “Jessica Mokdad Human Rights Conference” in Dearborn this past Sunday, but Pam Geller is providing updates at her Atlas Shrugs website. Jessica Mokdad was murdered in Warren in 2010, allegedly by her Islamic stepfather because of the shame of her becoming too “Westernized.” He is charged with first-degree murder in her death. As expected, the local media coverage of the event was slanted against the organizers of the conference.

Niraj Warikoo’s treatment of the event in the Detroit Free Press is more or less what we’ve come to expect. He described Sunday’s conference at the Hyatt as an “anti-Islam conference” put on by “[a]nti-Islam advocates” who, as he allows Osama Siblani to say for him, “stand against America and against the American way of life.” (“Muslims oppose anti-Islam gathering; dueling events held in Detroit, Dearborn”).

Warikoo couched the counter-conference held nearby in Detroit in starkly kinder terms: calling it an “Arab-American conference,” attended by those, again quoting Siblani, who “stand for America.”

As for honor killing, Warikoo quotes Imam Hassan Qazwini of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn saying that, “Honor killing has no religious roots in Islam,” and then drops it. 

Are we supposed to take Qazwini’s word for it?

Francis X. Donnelly at the Detroit News was only slightly more balanced, at least not sanitizing his article of the central issue of  honor killing. He did feel a need to describe Geller’s conference as a “conservative meeting,” and remarked that only “few” of the speakers at either conference were women. (“Women’s slaying puts Arab leaders, bloggers at odds with dueling conferences”).

Apparently, the “Arab-America conference” led by Qazwini represented liberalism. Donnelly’s bringing up the ratio of women speakers to men at the Hyatt conference is done in spite of the fact that the co-organizer of the conference was noted woman, Pam Geller, that Nonie Darwish was another of the speakers, and that the entire conference was named for a woman, Jessica Mokdad, and in the interest of ending the honor-killings of – women.

Both reports highlighted that the family of Jessica Mokdad objected to the use of her name for the conference on honor-killings. In light of the fact that honor killings are committed by family members against family members, are covered up by family members, and are motivated by an unholy fear of shame brought upon a family for harboring a (female) who is insufficiently traditional in the way she conducts herself, I’d take the objection in the spirit intended.

No one expects fair coverage these days. 

Which is a real shame in itself.