MADONNA, MICHAEL JACKSON AND THE LOSS OF IDENTITY
By Avi Davis
Many people who reach the age of 50 use their birthday to reflect on the course of their life and its purpose. But how many contemplate the nature of their identity at this age and the degree to which that identity has contributed to their success in life? We all use certain benchmarks to assess the impact we have had on the world: Building a successful career, marrying the right partner, raising a family and contributing to the welfare of one’s community. But most of us don’t spend too much time examining who we actually are. How do our values, moral codes shape the person we have become? What role does religion or a moral code play in controlling our impulses and desires? And then, if you are a high profile celebrity or entertainer, someone whose public image does not necessarily reflect your true self and yet who is trapped in your public identity, what benchmarks do you use to gauge the extent of your success and what means do you employ to measure the strength of your own self -identity?
That could have been a question that Madonna Ciccione-Ritchie, the singer and performer known as Madonna might have asked herself this week. The media star who turned 50 on August 16 is in England on the first leg of her Sticky and Sweet World Tour. She has endured considerable derision for a video screened at her shows which suggests that John McCain is the equivalent of some of the world’s most brutal dictators. Played as part of the concert, the video montage grouped McCain's picture alongside those of Adolf Hitler and Zimbabwe's dictator, Robert Mugabe.
Madonna, of course, is no stranger to controversy. Raised a strict Catholic in an Italian-American home, for twenty-five years she has expertly cultivated a controversial image, using taboo subjects, outrageous public acts and contrarian opinions to generate attention for herself and her music.
Her 1984 video for “Like a Virgin” created a sensation when she was filmed squirming suggestively in a gondola while mouthing platitudes about her desires for sexual fulfillment. Her 1989 song "Like A Prayer," made suggestive links between religion and eroticism, causing Pepsi-Cola to cancel a sponsorship deal. Her 1992 soft porn book "Sex" offered nude pictures of the star that portrayed her as an insouciant ingénue rather than a calculating business woman, which was closer to the truth. In 2003, her same-sex kiss with Britney Spears at MTV's Video Music Awards was a springboard for intense media speculation about the nature of her sexuality. In 2005, rabbis criticized Madonna over a song, "Isaac," which they claimed used an inappropriate reference to Isaac Luria, a 16th Century Kabbalist from Safed. Madonna also has repeatedly drawn the ire of the Vatican over sexually suggestive acts in public such as simulating group sex and masturbation on stage.
Madonna learned early on that the more she offends, the more it pays. In designing her strategy, she was reading straight from the playbook of predecessors such as Mick Jagger and David Bowie, sexual provocateurs who also found that there was great financial mileage to be squeezed from mixing the personal with the professional. In the process, Madonna outdistanced them all. Today, she is a cultural icon, a woman seen as in command of her own destiny, whose opinions and ideas are valued and who can flit effortlessly between identities whether as a sexual predator or as a best-selling children’s author. She coats her individual expressions of individuality with the patina of spirituality, having become a devotee of the Los Angeles based Kabbalah Center. For many of her teenage fans and followers in the 1980s and 90s, she became and continues to be a symbol of personal liberation and the effective debunking of any notion of modesty or self control.
Madonna’s “success” at age 50 has therefore been to far exceed the boundaries of her own personal strategy for riches and fame. She has successfully assisted in reshaping Western identity. She has used her persona to deconstruct and debunk key aspects of religious identity - modesty, humility and temperance - and treat them as outdated aspects of a repressive culture. She has done this while parading as a religious figure. The conflation of these identities – pious woman and lustful vamp – has given a kind of spiritual stamp to the rampant nihilism that reigns unopposed in the entertainment industry. The deconstructive urge – to break down sexual taboos, to shuck identity and to challenge authority – must be counted among the most serious challenges to social cohesion in our generation.
Her example can be contrasted with the life of another cultural icon who turns 50 this week. Michael Jackson, whose birthday falls on August 29th, is one of the most successful recording artists in history. His 1980s albums Off the Wall and Thriller alone are still regarded as landmark events in the music industry, setting records for a black recording artist that have never been equaled. But Jackson’s personal life and now, it seems, professional career has turned into a startling tragedy. Beginning as an impish partner to his four brothers in the Jackson 5, we watched him morph over 40 years from child star to athletic teenage performer to reclusive media star to a hunted and haunted public figure whose own identity is a confusion of race, appearance and role as a responsible parental figure.
How Jackson lost control of his life and career is a subject for tabloids and gossip columns and does not concern me here. What is more disconcerting about the Jackson saga is the way in which he too adopted a role in life that was at odds with the social framework within which he had been raised. He rejected not only the sexual identity he had vaunted in his songs (dogged as he has been for years by reports of pederasty and child molestation) but the racial identity that had been so much a part of his persona and contributed so meaningfully to his success. How, we asked, could a handsome young man damage himself with such excessive plastic surgery as to become almost unrecognizable and continue his own defacement by draining the pigment from his skin? After continued treatments, Michael Jackson began to resemble more a mannequin than a human being and in the process also drained much of the color from his career and music. The answer is that Jackson, for all his personal quirks and idiosyncrasies, was as much a victim of the challenge to authority and identity as any of us. Accepting the belief that a human being should be able to adopt any persona or identity he or she feels appropriate at any given time, he has become a case study in how terribly wrong a man’s life can go when he shakes free of his moral and social moorings and responds to his impulses. Unlike Madonna, whose outrages were and still are tightly orchestrated media stunts (and who only gives the appearance of responding to her impulses) Jackson is a slave to his basic drives and a sad reminder of the collapse of the moral boundaries that were the part of the world into which he was born.
When we think today about the 1950s, we conjure up images of the beginnings of suburban America, the Cold War and a quaint patriotism that now seems all too outdated. Hollywood has produced several movies portraying the prudish 50s as a period of sexual and political repression. The most famous of these was Pleasantville, a time travel piece featuring Drew Barrymore which skewered small town America in much the same way Sinclair Lewis did it in Babbit, two generations earlier. In that movie, the sexually precocious 15-year-old character played by Barrymore, arriving form a liberated 1990s, educates a 1950s jock about the values of defying his moral codes and sexual restrictions. The result is, of course, revelatory for the jock and quite rewarding for the Barrymore character. The message couldn’t be clearer. We modern citizens of Western civilization have evolved into liberated individuals who are not going to be controlled or restrained by meaningless religious strictures or arbitrary moral boundaries.
That indeed is the position taken by the two stars, born in the 1950s and who share birthdays within weeks of one another. One became a controller of image and cultural identity and the other its victim. But are either aware of what they - and we - have lost on the path to personal liberation and individual fulfillment? I can’t answer that question for them. But as their fellow traveler from the distant 1950s, I can state that without the values, ideals and moral codes which were part of mainstream culture in those bygone years, we have somehow lost an identity which once anchored us and which should have been treasured as one of our most valued assets. That is the great sadness of our times and one that I mourn for our culture as a whole in this personal landmark week.
Avi Davis is the Executive Director and Senior Fellow of the American Freedom Alliance. He turns 50 on September 3rd , 2008.
NEWS: EUROPE AND AMERICA
White Convert To Islam Arrested Over Internet Plot To Kill PM Gordon Brown
White terror suspect arrested over 'Islamic internet plot to kill Gordon Brown' -James Tozer
A white Muslim convert has been arrested in connection with threats to kill the Prime Minister which were posted on an extremist Islamic website. The latest suspect, named locally as Mohammed Ali, was seized in a dawn raid at his flat above a butcher's shop in Blackburn on Tuesday. His arrest came ten days after three other men were held by anti-terror police over threats to assassinate Gordon Brown and Tony Blair. They include two brothers arrested as they were about to board a flight to Finland at Manchester Airport. A third was taken into custody shortly afterwards at a warehouse in Accrington. Before his arrest Ali, 24, who is thought to have converted to Islam about four years ago, had told how he fell out with the two brothers because their views were 'too extreme'. Anti-terror teams have spent months investigating the warnings on a recognised jihadi website in January by a group calling itself 'Al Qaeda in Britain'. The statement also demanded the withdrawal of British forces from Iraq and Afghanistan and the release of Muslim prisoners from Belmarsh high-security prison in London. (Dailymail)
CAIR Wins Battle Allowing Muslim Workers To Dress In Islamic Attire At Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport
CAIR-AZ: Airport Workers Allowed Islamic Attire-CAIR
(PHOENIX, AZ, 8/26/08) - The Arizona chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-AZ) said today that Muslim workers at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport will be allowed to wear uniforms that accommodate their religious need for modest attire. A major contractor providing janitorial services at the airport had recently issued a "mandatory dress code" that required wearing pants and a tucked-in shirt. The employees were allegedly told that unless they complied with this new policy, they would lose their jobs, be transferred or suffer a cut in pay. A CAIR-AZ representative and members of the Somali Association of Arizona met with city and airport officials to discuss a request for accommodation by more than 30 Muslim workers at the airport who believed the new policy violated their religious principles. After preliminary meetings with CAIR-AZ and the EEOC, the workers were able to come up with a uniform they believe accommodates their religious needs and the legitimate needs of the company. The new uniform includes a black skirt, an apron and an Islamic head scarf, or hijab. Airport officials were shown the new uniform and approved its use. The EEOC subsequently signed off on the uniform change. (CAIR)
Swiss FM Micheline Calmy-Rey Willing To Talk With Bin Laden
Swiss Foreign Minister does not rule out talking to Osama bin Laden-EJP
GENEVA (AFP-EJP)---Switzerland's Foreign Minister on Monday broke with the country's tradition of studiously discrete diplomacy by raising the possibility of direct talks with Osama bin Laden to tackle global terrorism.
Micheline Calmy-Rey, who has raised both eyebrows and hackles with her controversial style, told the annual conference of Swiss ambassadors in the capital Bern that they needed to talk to "heavyweight political figures" on the world stage even if they are considered persona non grata by other powers.
"It is important to get away from a Manichean view of the world in black and white, where peoples and countries can only be allies or enemies," she said. If this view prevailed, Israel would never have held talks with the Palestinians, Nepal would never have talked to Maoist rebels -- and the international community would have boycotted the Olympic Games in Beijing, she said. "So should we listen to these 'wise figures'? Or should we continue dialogue without discrimination - even sitting down at the same table as Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden?," she asked rhetorically. Calmy-Rey told more than 170 Swiss ambassadors and consular officials meeting this week in Bern that she always favoured dialogue over sanctions and isolation. "The refusal of dialogue is always a sterile choice," she said, adding that for Switzerland, "the only force we have ever had is that of words." Switzerland does not have any list of banned organisations to which it will not talk, unlike other countries."We talked to Hamas and Hezbollah and other Islamist organisations, we talked to the most diverse groups in Kosovo, because they clearly expressed the legitimate interests of the population," she said. (EJP)
Somalian Author Publishes Controversial Book Exposing Somalian’s Exploitation Of Norwegian Welfare And Their Refusal To Integrate
Somalians 'won't integrate'-Aftenposten's reporter Olg Stokke, English Web Desk Nina Berglund/Reuters
A Somalian woman who came to Norway more than 10 years ago is harshly criticizing her fellow Somalian immigrants and Norwegian authorities. In a new book, she claims Somalians themselves don't want to integrate into Norwegian society, and that Norwegian welfare programs make it easy for them to remain isolated.
The book written by Amal Aden, a pseudonym for the Somalian author, is already creating an uproar. Amal Aden wouldn't use her own name because of fears for her own safety. In an interview with newspaper Aftenposten, the author said she hopes to launch a new debate on immigration and what can be done to further integration. "I wrote the book in the hopes that children will get better lives," she said. "I want to see more integration, and the responsibility for that lies with the Somalians themselves and with the authorities." She claims that resistance to integration is widespread especially among Somalian men, who fear losing their culture and religion. Many are afraid of Norwegians and view them as infidels who can't be trusted. In her book, entitled "See us!" (Se oss!), Amal Aden claims the Somalians also exploit the Norwegian welfare state and have many children in order to qualify for more welfare payments. Many couples also "divorce" under Norwegian law in order for the women to receive even more welfare payments as single mothers, only to continue to live under Somalian customs with their Somalian husbands and have more children, the author claims. She writes that violence is a part of life in Somalian homes, that young girls are often molested and women and children are intentionally kept isolated. Many Somalian men, she claims, prefer to live on welfare than accept jobs seemingly below their social status. "I'm tired of being patient with a situation where children aren't getting enough food at home, where women are beaten by their husbands, where welfare payments to the (Somalian) families are used by the men to buy (the narcotic) khat, where the willingness to simply obtain more welfare money is stronger than the ability to care for children," writes Amal Aden. She accuses many spokesmen for the Somalian community of hypocrisy, saying they say they support integration when in reality they don't. Several Somalian activists in Norway are already rejecting the book and blasting Amal Aden for criticizing immigrants traumatized by war and poverty in their homeland. "Half of the Somalians in Norway have been here less than five years, have little education and have problems integrating," claims Said Abdulwahab. "It doesn't help to criticize them." (Aftenposten)
Sharia Courts Are Governing Muslim Sex Lives In England
Sharia courts rule on sex lives in Britain Unofficial Sharia courts are governing people's sex lives in Britain-Graham Tibbetts
Ten currently operate across the country, with around 95 per cent of their cases relating to matrimonial issues. Although the hearings have no basis in British law, they are attended voluntarily by Muslim couples to settle disputes without referral to the recognised authorities. In some cases they can order wives to be more attentive to their husbands' needs, or deal with releasing spouses from bad or forced marriages.
The first Muslim court was established in Birmingham in 1982 and others have followed in London and the Yorkshire towns of Rotherham and Dewsbury. Although most of those who attend are from the Indian sub-continent, Sharia courts are also popular among those from Arab and Somalian backgrounds.
Sharia is based on the religious rulings in the Koran, of later judges and on the acts of the Prophet Mohammed. It encompasses not just enforceable law but moral law too. Earlier this year the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, came under fierce attack from the Government and his own church for advocating the adoption of parts of Sharia Law in Britain. "It seems unavoidable and, as a matter of fact, certain conditions of Sharia are already recognised in our society," he said. (Telegraph)
Marxist Ideology Being Promoted In Social Justice Education
Socialism for Sophomores- Peter Wood and Ashley Thorne
NAS recently looked into the Social Justice Education masters and doctoral degree programs at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. We inadvertently misled our readers. We thought we had touched the nadir, the point of lowest possible descent in a university’s effort to become a faculty of flim-flam radical ideology. We were wrong. UMass Amherst has already gone further. The Social Thought and Political Economy interdisciplinary undergraduate program, abbreviated STPEC, has outdone the Social Justice degree programs in offering a descent into radical ideology pure and simple. According to its website, STPEC “encourages students to engage in a critical examination of society.” That sounds good. We at NAS also favor effort to examine society—and the university—critically. The task requires an open mind, historical understanding, the disciplined application of reason, and scrupulous use of evidence. But what exactly does STPEC have in mind? STPEC doesn’t keep us in suspense for long. As soon as you enter the website, you see a single red star, of the sort that long festooned Red Army hats, punctuating the title of the program. The star appears again in a photograph that flashes onto the screen of the homepage, as perhaps Marx, Engels, the Soviet Union, and socialism in general are meant to flash through your soon-to-be radicalized consciousness. The major goes on to describe itself: Many of the issues STPEC students explore involve relations between individuals and society. STPEC courses may deal with issues such as freedom and the state, structural inequality in the economy, work and work relations, the relationship of Western to non-Western cultures, the interrelationship of racism, sexism, and class oppression, the psychodynamics of politics, and theories of social change. (NSA)
British Children To Be Taught Black History As Part Of The New School Curriculum
Black history to be taught as part of school curriculum amid fears Churchill will be sidelined in lessons-Paul Sims
The slave trade is to be taught in schools from next week as part of a drive to put greater emphasis on the role of black Britons and ethnic minority groups in history. When the new school year begins, lessons for secondary pupils will explore the abolition of slavery in the Empire and assess the work of reformers including William Wilberforce, the MP who campaigned for its abolition. The changes, part of an overhaul of the National Curriculum for history, are designed to help pupils 'gain a better appreciation of the multi-cultural society around them', education chiefs say. But critics have questioned what will make way for this material. Under the changes, lessons will look at slavery's links to emancipation and racial segregation and at notable black figures in U.S. history and the civil-rights movement there. (DailyMail)
The American Political Science Association Reassess Holding their 2009 Conference In Canada Due To Freedom Of Speech Legislation
Academics fear speaking freely in Canada Political scientists worried about 'legal jeopardy'-Kevin Libin
A group of U. S. professors launched a campaign this week protesting plans by a prominent political science organization to hold its annual conference in Toronto next year, claiming that Canada's restrictions on certain forms of speech puts controversial academics at risk of being prosecuted. Bradley Watson, professor of American and Western political thought at Pennsylvania's St. Vincent College, said he will present a petition calling for the American Political Science Association (APSA) to re-evaluate its selection of Toronto for its 2009 conference at this year's annual meeting, taking place over the Labour Day weekend in Boston. His protest has garnered support from dozens of professors across the United States, including prominent scholars such as Princeton University legal philosopher Robert P. George and Harvard University's Harvey Mansfield. "Our belief is that the APSA should choose its sites carefully, with particular regard for questions of freedom of speech and conscience," Mr. Watson told the National Post by e-mail. "We therefore believe Canada to be a problematic destination." (Nationalpost)
FIRE Places Ad In U.S. News And World Report’s America’s Best Colleges Issue Exposing 5 Colleges For Abusing Freedom Of Speech
FIRE Exposes Unrepentant Abusers of Liberty in ‘U.S. News’ College Rankings Issue-Fire Press Release
PHILADELPHIA, August 25, 2008—The 2009 edition of U.S. News and World Report's America's Best Colleges issue, released today, includes a full-page advertisement from FIRE highlighting the five colleges and universities that have earned FIRE's Red Alert distinction for being the "worst of the worst" when it comes to liberty on campus. Students should think twice before choosing to attend Red Alert schools, which include Brandeis University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, and Valdosta State University. "Every year, millions of students and parents turn to U.S. News and World Report to see the latest college rankings," said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. "They deserve to know if their school of choice ignores fundamental rights. Schools on FIRE's Red Alert list must understand that we will not stop exposing their illiberal behavior until they honor their obligations under the First Amendment and their own promises of freedom of expression." (Fire)
FREEDOM OF SPEECH
“You Cannot Accuse A Nation Or Its People Of That Which Amounts To Slander And Hate Propaganda Because It's Not Correct."
Turkey Decries Toronto School Board Genocide Course:The killings of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 is being taught alongside the Holocaust and the 1994 Rwandan genocide- Michelle Collins
In a letter to Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and the province's Ministry of Education, the Turkish Embassy has voiced strong objections to a Toronto District School Board decision to teach students that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians in 1915 was genocide. The lessons will come in a new course entitled "Genocide: Historical and Contemporary Implications" that will be launched with the start of the new school year in September. The course's three case studies include the Ottoman's killing of Armenians in 1915, the Holocaust and the 1994 Rwandan genocide. Although the Canadian Parliament approved a motion in 2004 recognizing the killings as genocide, the Turkish government has long disputed the description. The idea of teaching a course on genocide was first raised three years ago by a Toronto board trustee, but has since been met with controversy on all sides. Aside from Turkish objections, the Ukrainian Canadian Congress advocated that the Holodomor should be included in the course, and the Muslim Canadian Congress accused the board of religious bias. (embassymag.ca)
Hungarian Ombudsman Erno Kallai Seeks Amendment Allowing Civil Suits Against ‘Hate Speech’
Ombudsman proposes new legal path to hate-speech regulation
Hungary's ombudsman for minorities Erno Kallai on Tuesday proposed an amendment to the equal opportunities act as a way of sanctioning hate speech. Stand-alone bills on hate speech have crumbled before Parliament or the Constitutional Court, but incorporating measures into the existing laws could be an effective way of taking action against extremist, racist and segregating incidents, Kallai told the press. The amendment would penalise anyone making a public speech or publishing material in the media whose content incites to hatred, he added. Kallai plans to discuss the proposal with the Justice Ministry next week. Legislation on hate speech passed by the governing Socialist party did not have the support of any other party. The bill was sent to Constitutional Court by President Laszlo Solyom and was rejected in a June ruling. The court said it would excessively curtail the right to freedom of speech. Under current Hungarian law, a person specifically targeted by hate speech may file a civil suit, but as long as the speech remains abstract, not mentioning any specific individual, there is no legal recourse. The new law would have permitted criminal action when inciting speech targeted a minority group. (Politics.hu)
Danish Publisher In Negotiations To Publish Sherry Jone’s Controversial Book, The Jewel Of Medina
Danish publisher hopes to publish 'inflammatory' Islam novel-Gaurdian.co.uk
A Danish publisher is in negotiations to buy Sherry Jones's novel about the child bride of Muhammad, which was dropped by Random House in America and pulled from bookshops in Serbia. The Jewel of Medina tells the story of Aisha, one of Muhammad's wives, from the age of six to 18 when Muhammad dies. It was bought by Random House US for a reported advance of $100,000, but then dropped after the publisher was told by academics and security experts that publication was potentially more risky than Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and the Danish publication of cartoons of Muhammad. Last week, Serbian publisher BeoBook withdrew 1,000 copies of the book from shops across Serbia, following protests from an Islamic pressure group. BeoBook also apologised for publishing the novel. Now small Danish publisher Trykkefrihedsselskabets Library (Free Speech Library) is in negotiations with Jones's agent over publication of The Jewel of Medina in Denmark. Co-owner Helle Merete Brix said that the fact that Random House was prepared to pay $100,000 for the book showed its quality, and that she was determined not to "bow to any censorship". She added: "I think that whether you are Muslim, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu or atheist you have to be able to bear insults. You can't say 'I'm a Muslim, and that means I should be above criticism'. You can freely insult Jesus Christ, you can mock other religions." Brix said that, following Jyllands-Posten's publication of the cartoons of Muhammad in 2005, which prompted protests across the Muslim world, she felt it was "deep in the mentality of Danish people that we will not tolerate people saying 'you can't say or publish that'…There is a growing awareness in Denmark that we have to keep it the bastion of free speech that it has been for many years." Brix expects to conclude negotiations with Natasha Kern, Jones's agent, on Friday. Trykkefrihedsselskabets Library was founded in 2004, and published four books last year. Brix herself is also the author of Towards Darkness: The Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, which was published in April, and editor-in-chief of www.sappho.dk, a Danish site about free speech, radical Islam, culture and politics. (Guardian.co.uk)
UCU Member Jenna Delich Post Links To David Duke’s Website
UK union posts link to anti-Semitic article-Jonny Paul
A member of the British academic union that voted to reintroduce a boycott of Israeli academia has posted a link on the union's Web site to an anti-Semitic article on the Web site of former Klu Klux Klan leader David Duke. Jenna Delich, a member of the University and College Union, posted a message on the UCU Web site's activist list with a link to the article. Delich's message was in support of a colleague who backs the boycott call. It reads: "John, in support to your link this may be a long but also an interesting reading: www.davidduke.com/general/humanitarian-disaster-595.html. No comment necessary. The facts are speaking for themselves, Jenna." The article, "Racism, not Defense, at the Heart of Israeli Politics," is an attack on the "Israeli oligarchs" and was circulated to hundreds of the union's active members. It was written by a 9/11 conspiracy theorist named Joe Quinn. In the article he writes: "There is much evidence to warrant an in-depth investigation of the role played by agents of Israel in the 9/11 attacks. Yet the ubiquitous, tiresome and completely baseless threat of being labelled "anti-Semitic‚" for criticizing the actions of the Israeli government effectively prevents all but the most courageous from following the leads. Coincidence? We think not... "Just what level of power do Israeli interests wield in the halls of power in the US that any investigation into Israeli spying activities on US soil against US intelligence agencies can be so completely quashed? Would this constitute a level of power and control that would allow those interests to carry off a terrorist attack like 9/11 and have it blamed on 'Arab terrorists?'" (Jpost)
Anti-Israel Propaganda Posted On Taxpayer-Funded Blog At Macquaire University In Sydney
MP petitions Gillard to shut down uni blog-Chantal Abitol
MOUNTING concerns over anti-Israel propaganda posted on the taxpayer-funded blog, Khaldoun, have spurred calls that the Rudd Government take immediate action. NSW Opposition Leader Barry O’Farrell wrote to Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard last week with a formal complaint about the site, which is operated by academic staff at Macquarie University, a Sydney university with about 29,000 students.
“Despite its claim of being a ‘site that places scholarly and informed perspectives into the public realm ...’ substantial parts of the content of Khaldoun are hate-filled and provocative attacks against Israel, the Jewish people and others who are friends of Israel,” wrote O’Farrell in the letter dated August 15. “Views other than anti-Israel views are savaged by the website’s founders/managers from the ranks of Macquarie University’s anthropology and politics departments ... I would strongly suggest that you immediately look into the Khaldoun matter.” (AJN)
TERRORISM, INTERNET, JIHAD
Women Being Trained In Gaza To Become Homicide Bombers
Women in Gaza Prepare to Become Suicide Bombers-MEMRI
Following are excerpts from a TV report on female Palestinian suicide bombers, which aired on Al-Jadid/New TV on August 19, 2008.
To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/1840.htm.
"When the Goal is the Defense of the Homeland - There Is No Difference between Man and Woman"
Reporter: "This elderly Palestinian woman, named Fatima Al-Najjar, led women's demonstrations at the entrance to the town of Beit Hanoun in the winter of 2006, calling upon the occupation to leave her town and stop the killing and destruction. But despite her advanced age, she decided to take a different path."
Fatima Al-Najjar: "I sacrifice myself for the sake of Allah, the homeland, and Al-Aqsa. I ask Allah to accept my sacrifice."
Reporter: "Fatima Al-Najjar blew herself up near several soldiers of the occupation, thus joining the many Palestinian women before her who chose martyrdom over a life of humiliation - Ayat Al-Akhras, Hanadi Jaradat, and Rim Al-Riyashi, who left her two children behind and decided to blow herself up at the Beit Hanoun crossing in northern Gaza. She left her two children an unforgettable lesson on the struggle.
"When the goal is the defense of the homeland, there is no difference between man and woman. Here the women train and learn how to confront the enemy, which plundered the land and besieged their people. Dozens of young Palestinian women undergo training every year - university students, mothers, and working women. They know that their role in the conflict is not restricted to nursing the sick and caring for the children, and that what they are doing here might just change the equation."
"The Mothers and Daughters of Palestine Believe that Death for the Sake of a Free Palestine is a Cheap Price to Pay, Compared to a Life of Humiliation Under the Boots of the Occupation"
"This young woman, who calls herself 'Lover of Al-Quds,' has set out more than once on combat operations, some of which were successful and others not. But she is determined to continue."
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Admits Relationship With US Organisation CAIR
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood Confirms Existence of U.S. Brotherhood and Relationship with CAIR-Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report
An Egyptian blogger (SM) has conducted an interview with Mohammed Habib, the deputy leader of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, in which he confirms the existence of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood and that there is a “relationship” between the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Egyptian Brotherhood. According to the interview:
SM: Is there a Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S.?
Mohamed Habib: I would say yes. There are Muslim Brotherhood members there.
SM: Then what are they doing there?
Mohamed Habib: No, there are already existing institutions; there are laws and a constitution that they operate under in order to have a role in serving the American society. They are part of the American society and they want to an active positive role in it, and a part of that is to spread a positive image of Islam along with its values, culture, history and teachings.
SM: This is naturally very important. Who represents you in the US?
Mohamed Habib: Well, there are there those who do represent us, who do that role.
SM: But it’s not CAIR, right? The Council for American Islamic Relations? Many people say that they are your front. Other people say that it’s ISNA. But back to CAIR, some people from the Muslim Brotherhood have denied having a connection with CAIR. Do they really represent you?
Mohamed Habib: Ehh, this is a sensitive subject, and it’s kind of problematic, especially after 9/11 …
SM: For them to say that there is a relationship between you two?
Mohamed Habib: Yes. You can say that.
Only ten days ago, the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood website posted a statement denying that the group has any representation in the U.S. and also staing that it has “absolutely has no organizational links, ties, or associations with any of the Islamic organizations in the U.S.”, including CAIR which had it origins in the U.S. Hamas infrastructure and is part of the “Palestine Committee” of the U.S. Brotherhood. CAIR, as well as all the other U.S. Muslim Brotherhood organizations have consistently denied any relationship with the Muslim Brotherhood.
In another part of the interview, Habib blames the poor image of the Muslim Brotherhood partly on the “Zionist-American project” while also acknowledging the public relations effort mounted by the Brotherhood:
SM: The image of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.S. and in other western countries — while we aren’t going to say it’s a bad one — is not the image you would like to portray for yourselves.
Mohamed Habib: That’s true!
SM: Why do you think that is?
SM: Why do you think that is? Mohamed Habib: There are two parts to that. The first part is related to the tyrannical and oppressive regimes in our countries that try to project a mental image (a really scary and horrifying image) in the minds of the western world that we are against democracy, and freedom, and human rights in general. The other part is the Zionist-American project that upholds double standards and has a special agenda that contradict the interests of our Ummah, and thus finds in the Muslim Brotherhood an obstacle in the way of executing that agenda. Therefore, they unfortunately promote a very wrong and negative image of us. This forces us to act and try to communicate with think tanks and research centers, academics in universities, the people, and the media, whether the local or the international one. (FamilySecurityMatters)
Islamic Jihad Training In Souther Gaza On How To Kidnap IDF Soldiers
Report: Terrorists hold kidnap training
Islamic Jihad using ceasefire to concentrate on training exercises in southern Gaza, focusing on how to kidnap IDF soldiers, in a similar manner to Hizbullah's 2006 attack-Dudi Cohen
What are terror groups in Gaza doing now that a ceasefire technically prevents them from shooting rockets? It turns out that the Islamic Jihad has been spending its time in the southern part of the strip, holding 'training exercises' on how to kidnap Israeli soldiers in a manner similar to Hizbullah's 2006 attack.
"Thousands of Palestinian fighters recently trained in how to kidnap Zionist soldiers," reported the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper on Monday, referencing the conservative Iranian Kayhan newspaper and Quds news agency. A senior member of the al-Quds Brigades - the Islamic Jihad's military wing - quoted in the article said that the many recent training sessions were meant to prepare members to kidnap IDF soldiers. "Hizbullah's experience in Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance in Gaza regarding the kidnap of Israeli soldiers prove that, by kidnapping soldiers, we can get Israel to release Palestinian prisoners," he said.
Children Of Jihad: “The Future of Islaam’s Glory And Pride”
The youth of Afghanistan-From an English Jihadist Website
These are pictures of the Islaamic youth in Afghanistan, taken from Ittihaad al-Jihaad al-Islaami - these Mujaahideen are from Uzbekistan and they are under the Islaamic Emirate of Afghanistan, bound by the bai’yah of Mullah ‘Umar, hafidhullah.
Here, you are witnessing the future of Islaam’s glory and pride.
These children have understood the aayah better than we adults have,
Go ye forth, (whether equipped) lightly or heavily, and do Jihad with your goods and your selves in the cause of Allah. That is best for you, if ye (but) knew. [at-Taubah: 41]
And they understood the sayings of our respected Scholars better than we adults have,
“The First Condition: If the Kuffar Enter a Muslim Land.
In this condition the pious predecessors, those who succeeded them, the Ulama of the four Mathhabs (Maliki, Hanafi, Shaffi’i and Hanbali), the Muhadditheen, and the Tafseer commentators, are agreed that in all Islamic ages, Jihad under this condition becomes Fard ‘Ayn upon the Muslims of the land which the Kuffar have attacked and upon the Muslims close by, where the children will march forth without the permission of the parents, the wife without the permission of her husband and the debtor without the permission of the creditor.” ["Defense of Muslim Lands: The first obligation after Imaan" by Shaykh 'Abd Allah Yusuf 'Azzam]
And we are proud of our children who stand for Jihaad, and are reared upon the life of Jihaad and we are happy if it infuriates the disbelievers and our enemies because the people of Haqq do not give an atom’s weight of worry about what the Kuffaar and Munaafiqeen have to say about us - we put our trust in Allah and we are happy with living under His obedience.
Gaseous Emissions From Cows Are Responsible For Global Warming
'The Cow Is a Climate Bomb'-Michael Schiessl and Christian Schwagerl
Whether cattle are reared organically or with conventional farming methods, the end effect is bad for the environment, according to a new German consumer report. The agricultural lobby, however, is preventing politicians from tackling this massive source of greenhouse gas emissions.
A cow being measured for emissions. Cattle may be gentle creatures but farming them is contributing to climate change, says consumer group Foodwatch. For most people, it's the very picture of rural bliss, of a life in tune with nature and the wholesome world of farming: the happy cow standing on a lush meadow, calmly chewing its cud, a calf at its side. But for Thilo Bode, the sight of this gentle-eyed creature is everything but reassuring. Bode, the head of German consumer protection organization Foodwatch, warns: "The cow is a climate bomb." Whether they are raised conventionally or organically, one thing cows have in common is that they burp and fart to their hearts' content. Like all ruminants, cows are constantly emitting methane -- a greenhouse gas that is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide -- from both ends. As malodorous as pigs may be, it is the gaseous emissions of billions of cattle, goats and sheep that are contributing to global warming. Bode wanted to find out just how strong the effects of the greenhouse gases methane, nitrous oxide and CO2 are. On Monday Foodwatch published a comprehensive study of the effects of agriculture on the climate, the first study of its kind that differentiates between conventional and organic farming. The scientists who conducted the study, with Germany's Institute for Ecological Economy Research (IOeW), accounted for both the CO2 emissions resulting from the production of feed and fertilizers, as well as the land requirements and productivity of various production methods. The results are enough to send diehard fans of steaks and burgers into a panic. Even if all farms and methods, organic or otherwise, were optimized to reduce their effects on the climate, Foodwatch concludes that the principal approach to making agriculture more climate-friendly would require a drastic reduction in beef production. This would mean a radical increase in the price of steaks and the like. "It's time we went back to the days of the Sunday roast," says Bode. (SpeigelOnline)