September 2006


Via Expatica *

PARIS, Sept 29, 2006 (AFP) – French anti-terrorism authorities Friday opened an inquiry into death threats against a philosophy teacher who has been forced into hiding over a newspaper column attacking Islam, legal officials said.

Robert Redeker, 52, is receiving round-the-clock police protection and changing addresses every two days, after publishing an article describing the Koran as a “book of extraordinary violence” and Islam as “a religion which … exalts violence and hate”.

He told i-TV television he had received several e-mail threats targeting himself and his wife and three children, and that his photograph and address were available on several Islamist Internet sites.

“There is a very clear map of how to get to my home, with the words: ‘This pig must have his head cut off’,” he said.

Speaking on RMC radio, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin said such threats were “unacceptable”.

“We are in a democracy, everyone has the right to express his views freely — of course while respecting others. That is the only restriction that is acceptable on this freedom.

Fausta’s blog has more, including her translation of the Le Figaro article

* Link thanks to Fausta too.

Zelda at the Urban Grind tagged me for a movie survey. I’m in a bit of a rush because I’ve got to get my daughter to the airport and I’ve got to bring the car down to North Carolina for my flight-instructor son. These jet-setting kids.

Anyway, here goes..

1. The last movie you saw in a theatre, and current-release movie you still want to see.

I hate to admit it, but the last movie I saw was Crank, about a hit man who has been injected with a deadly drug. The only way he can stay alive is to seek a constant adrenaline rush. The movie I’d like to see is The Departed, about Irish Americans behaving badly.

2. The last movie you rented/purchased for home viewing.

Brick. I love anything mystery or film noir-related, and I missed it when it first came out. The dialogue took a while to get used to, but it was worth the wait.

3. A movie that made you laugh out loud.

Thank You For Smoking, anything with Bill Murray (except Broken Flowers)

4. A movie that made you cry.

Cold Mountain, An Unfinished Life – even with Jennifer Lopez, it was a good movie.

5. A movie that was a darling of the critics, but you didn’t think lived up to the hype.

Two movies with genuinely great actors who were so deadpan, they were, almost literally, dead. Bill Murray in Broken Flowers and Jack Nicholson in About Schmidt.

6. A movie that you thought was better than the critics.

All the critics hated Ace Ventura. It was supposed to be stupid, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny. It did such a good job of capturing that South Florida ambiance.

7. Favorite animated movie.

Cowboy Bebop

8. Favorite Disney Villain

Iago., the evil parrot played by Gilbert Gottfried in Aladdin.

9. Favorite movies of all-time (up to five).

1. Casablanca
2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom* that should have been “Raiders of the Lost Ark” – Temple of Doom is my least favorite IJ. What was I thinking?
3. Breakfast at Tiffanys
4. Anything by Alfred Hitchcock
5. most anything by Wes Anderson

..and I have to add the Big Lebowski. And most anything by Mel Brooks.

The question of ‘should we stay or should we go’ might be easier to answer if we took a look at the larger picture. What are groups like al Qaeda up to in other parts of the world, and what are we doing to stop them?

What is al Qaeda doing in America? Here’s a film of our local Queens-based al Qaeda, legally recruiting mujahideen in New York City.

This group, Al Muhajiroun (or the “Islamic Thinkers Society”) has direct connections to al Qaeda, which is why the British government attempted to ban the group and deport its leaders. Unfortunately, the group still exists there under a different name.

Al Muhajiroun is also connected to the “nonviolent” and apparently moderate Islamic Circle of North America which operates out of Jamaica, Queens. According to Daniel Pipes, ICNA’s Young Muslim Society is tied to the Islamic Thinkers. The Muslim American Society merged with ICNA in 2002 .

According to the Chicago Times the Muslim American Society is also connected to the “nonviolent” branch of Islamism, the Muslim Brotherhood.

Non-violent Islamists and violent ones, joining hands and singing in harmony. Don’t you just want to buy them a Coke?

Our Queens based al Qaeda has many connections, which is one reason why they’re able to terrorize neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens.

The Queens chapter of an international jihadist group – founded by the Brooklyn College grad accused of being an al Qaeda sympathizer – is terrorizing people in the extremist’s old stomping grounds, residents said yesterday.

“They have a lot of hatred [but] the police said they can’t do anything about them,” Kana Chauhan, president of the Jackson Heights Merchants Association, said of the radical group Al Muhajiroun.

The organization is tied to suspected terrorist ally Syed “Fahad” Hashmi, a disciple of Syrian cleric Omar Bakri who was banned from speaking on English college campuses.

The Queens-bred Hashmi, who was arrested in London Wednesday on charges he moved funds and military gear to notorious terror camps in Pakistan, founded the local chapter of the extremist group. Each weekend, it sets up its hate-spewing operation on 37th Avenue and 74th Street.

“They’re against America, they make trouble,” local merchant Amarjit Singh said. “Whatever they say is really nasty.”

The other reason why our local al Qaeda are able to terrorize these neighborhoods? “the police said they can’t do anything about them…”

Islamists have also acheived victories in Somalia and in Thailand. We haven’t done much to stop them.

The Islamist-sponsored genocide in the Sudan is continuing without much of an effort from us to stop it.

Most aggressors wage war because they want to get more money and land. If we ignore Islamist prattle about jihad, terrorism, Muslim rights, humilitation, fatwas, moderation, nukes, violence vs. nonviolence, we’ll see that Islamists are all united behind one goal – to dominate us.

We can only win the war by showing them that we are capable of dominating them. Which we are.

Do our actions, in and out of Iraq, demonstrate that?

It’s for my scuba certificate, taken at Mimosa photo here at Hoboken. For a passport-ish photo, the lighting is surprisingly nice.

If you happen to be in Hoboken and need a photo service, Mimosa’s a good place to visit.

..shooting kids, as usual…

Somalia’s Islamic militia fire on rally opposed to their takeover of strategic port

KISMAYO, Somalia — Islamic militia opened fire today on several thousand protesters, wounding two children who were demonstrating against the fundamentalists’ takeover of a strategic Somali seaport, witnesses said today.

Islamic fighters with white bands on their heads fired toward demonstrators who had set tires ablaze in protest at the takeover of Kismayo, 260 miles southwest of the capital, Mogadishu.

“They are … al-Qaida and we do not want them,” said protester Halimo Mohamed. “Theirs is not a religion. They are terrorists.” Witnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said two children were shot.

As Ibrahim Hassan Addou, the foreign minister for the Islamic administration in Mogadishu said “All we are asking is to be judged on our deeds.”

When I first read this, I pictured little Mr. Bigglesworths..

mrbigglesworth

..but no, they’re – cute.

kitties

The catch? They cost $3,959…and there’s a waiting list.

* Link thanks to the Seablogger

The New York Times reports on Mogadishu: “Islamists Calm Somali Capital With Restraint”:

MOGADISHU, Somalia, Sept. 23 — As the sun begins to sink over this broken city, work crews swing their axes over their shoulders and head home.

Young couples take to the waterfront, mingling openly in the salty breeze. Thousands of children flock to soccer fields in the city center, with a backdrop of beautifully crumbled ruins from battles now over.

It is hard to imagine that this is Mogadishu, the same Mogadishu of “Black Hawk Down,” and clan against clan and 15 years of anarchy. But over the past three months, the Islamists in control here have defied international expectations — in many ways. Not only have they pacified one of the most dangerous cities in the world, they also seem to have moderated their message…

…”The world was so quick to label us,” said Ibrahim Hassan Addou, the foreign minister for the Islamic administration in Mogadishu. “All we are asking is to be judged on our deeds.”

The United States continues to assert that the Islamists are sheltering Al Qaeda terrorists. The suicide attack against the United Nations-backed transitional government in Baidoa on Monday only reinforced that suspicion, though the Islamists deny any involvement.

Well, they would say that, wouldn’t they?

In fact, people were selling bread, biscuits and watermelon right in front of the Islamic forces’ headquarters during the noon prayer earlier this week. The teenage militia members standing guard regressed to the boys that they were, giggling over giant slices of watermelon and spitting seeds at each other, the juice running down their chins and dripping onto their guns.

“Nobody knows where we’re headed,” said Ahmed Mohammed Ali, chairman of a Mogadishu human rights organization. But, he added, the Islamists “pacified this place and brought the clans together.”

“Whatever you think about them,” he said, “you can’t overlook that.”

In their efforts to paint a smiley face on extremism and military aggression, the New York Times appears to have missed this story, reported by the Somali Garowe Online, “Jihad registration office to open in Mogadishu”

Islamic Courts officials told hundreds of supporters at a rally in Mogadishu that an office would be opened for would-be fighters to register.

The Islamist officials, who were speaking to supporters at Friday’s anti-foreign peacekeepers rally in Mogadishu, said the office would be used to register fighters for a jihad against foreign troops.

What part of jihad does the NYT fail to understand? All of it.

Taken with a tripod & a remote, manual controls, on a dark, cloudy night.

All were with a tripod and a remote

lowaperture

done the old-fashioned way, with aperture priority set low

iso1000

done with manual remote control held down for more than a few seconds and a high ISO.(1000)

iso200
manual remote control held down for more than a few seconds and an ISO of 200.

Yes, it’s a dull shot but it’s nice to take a few shots without traveling too far to compare them. I like the last one best – it’s brighter, less grainy than the others.

One thing to remember when taking night shots – bring a flashlight so you can see what you’re doing.

Tatyana of Where the grass is greener may be sued for taking pictures of a storefront.

I have been discussing in one of the LJ the prohibition of the missionaries of non-judaic religious confessions in Israel. Then I turned off my computer and went to the BBG (photos are coming, don’t you change this channel!), enjoyed the roses, took the train back home – and next door to my building noticed this stand, in front of the “Al-Bukhari Islamic center”. I took out my camera and pointed it to the scene – and barely had a time to click when a very angry and not altogether coherent man in a dusty sack covering his heels jumped out the door. He was screaming and waiving his hands in front of my nose, almost touching me, in quite annoying fashion. [yes, it's his fist you see in the upper right corner].
“Piktoores prohebeted! Stooupid wooman! against ze law! my table! miss, you ar stooupid!no piktoores! I say, go out! stoopid biiitch “(into my back).

All my efforts of explaining that taking pictures on a public street is not against the law; that I have to ask permission only if I intend take pictures of people – and he doesn’t interest me enough that I’d take his picture, etc etc – fell on deaf ears and more high-pitched insults and intimidating gestures.

And now I’m thinking…should I take my camera again, go out and take more close-ups of this attempt of soliciting religious propaganda in public place? And if he’ll try to stop me again, call the police so he will be familiarized with extent of American laws as they are, and not as he wants them to be?

In Brooklyn, where there have been incidents of concern, the police didn’t react the way she thought they would..

To make the story short: two policemen paged their superviser, (officer Higgins, said his badge), and his partner. The four of them had interviewed the other party at length. And then we had a conversation.

I have to tell you: I was dissappointed in officer Higgins’ take on things. He told me:

1) that I can take pictures of storefronts, especially those that belong to muslims, only if I am affiliated with official organization and am doing it for official purpose: for a school project, a newspaper article and such.
2) that taking pictures of the store (let me remind you – on a public street, a public sidewalk) is asking for trouble, because my actions are bothering the owner, and I am lucky that the owner didn’t get physical with me. He said it in a tone of voice implying that the owner was justified to “get physical”.
3)that he advises me do not return to this place and stop bothering these innocent people. When I asked, am I prohibited to use the sidewalk on my way to the public transportation, which I use at least twice a day, he retracted his advice.
4) that I should read the news (my, if I ever) and learn that it is a sensitive subject (the background whailing of “I’m Ameriken! I lif heer! My wife lif heer! I go to cort! It is a law – no piktures!” in a meanwhile continued). I said – yes, it is a sensitive subject for me, too. I am sensitive to prohibition and to being cursed at.
5)that I instigated this incident.

The shopowner and his assistant, who appeared on the doorstep later, the one I had asked to photograph originally on Sunday, tried to get some distinctly anti-islamic statements out of me; asking me questions why I didn’t want to know more about their peaceful religion? why didn’t I take their brochure? where did I learn about islam? have I ever read the Quran? I said – this all has no relevance to the incident and that I can care less about their religion or the books they were trying to peddle.

So, the result: I had filed a harrassment complaint and the screaming party did the same; the guy threatened me with a lawsuit. I will have to call tomorrow to get the complaint number.

Does anyone know a good lawyer?

more here..

There’s a lot of commentary (mostly trying to figure out what the police were thinking) at Tatyana’s site and at Karol’s post about the incident at Alarming News. A few legal types had some ideas.

supportflag
It was organized in two weeks,

beautifulday
…we were lucky enough to have spent hours outside on a beautiful day

crowdscene
…and there were lots..

crowdscene2
..and lots..

crowdscene3
..and lots of people there. More than 35,000

Judith, David, Martha, Loretta and I met in the city. When we got to the rally, we met Amy and Pamela Hall. Pamela of Atlas Shrugged was also there, (and she got some wonderful pictures) but unfortunately we didn’t cross paths. Rona got there a few minutes late, but at that point the crowd was so huge, the police were asking people to stand in an alternate space on 2nd Avenue.

schoolkids
Schoolkids were enjoying their very extended lunch break

christians
Lots of Christians were there, carrying signs that said “Christians United for Israel” on one side and “On Women’s Rights Israel Is Right”.

antiun
Great sign. Just wondering – is this the same person who was expressing dissent here?

shofar
The Rosh Hashanah tradition of Shofar trumpeting was out in full force. Well, okay, I didn’t know that these horns were called Shofars, nor did I know about the Biblical history of it until Martha explained it to me. It’s an interesting story.

forward
We tried to move forward to hear speakers like Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, John Bolton, Alan Dershowitz and Curtis Sliwa, but at about this point we couldn’t go any further.

question islam

sittingonbench

speakout

ivorycoast
The Ivory Coast was also represented. Just another anti-genocide message that the UN will ignore.

netureikarta
The Neturei Karta, a small anti-Zionist orthodox group, held a counter protest a few blocks down. Most people only saw them when they were going home..

reaction

…this was the reaction..

response
…and this was one man’s response

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