Monday, November 08, 2010
Is the West Really Islamophobic - Or Under Attack?
An AP article on October 5/6 ran with a headline: "5 Germans killed in Pakistan with Europe on Alert." Had the Nazi party revived? Reading further, the article said: "An American missile strike killed five German militants Monday in the rugged Pakistan border area where a cell of Germans and Britons at the heart of the U.S. terror alert for Europe---a plot U.S. officials link to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden-were believed in hiding."
This long paragraph never mentioned the word "Muslim!" The article said: "there is concrete evidence that at least 70 Germans have undergone paramilitary training in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and about a third have returned to Germany." Are these new German converts to Islam or Muslim immigrants to Germany? Why not identify those who want to kill and maim as many of them as possible?
Although the European press is tip-toeing around the problem, their police are not. They are on alert across Europe because they have learned of plans for a Mumbai-like attack in which armed suicide operatives, in public places, kill as many Europeans, including European Muslims, as they can. And an attempt was made by Yemeni terrorists to detonate explosives in the US in late October.
Europeans want to avoid their nasty old tradition of bigotry, but denial isn't the answer either. Some Muslims living in Europe are increasingly integrated (as are our own immigrants over time). But there is a deadly strain of Islam that is international, has a clearly Islamo-fascist ideology, and is supported by Middle East oil money. This cult is vigorously engaging in missionary work both among young secular Muslims and among disaffected Europeans and Americans (usually in prison). They are armed and dangerous.
One new American citizen, Faisal Shahzad, tried (but failed) to detonate a bomb in downtown New York. He has been sentenced to life in prison. The judge asked: "Didn't you swear to defend the United States when he became a citizen?" "Yes," he said, "but I did not mean it." He warned: "brace yourself, the war with Muslims has just begun. The defeat of the U.S. is imminent, inshallah (God willing)."
A Pakistani woman, Asfia Siddiqui, was sentenced in the US to 85 years in prison as a terrorist. She was arrested for shooting Americans who attempted to question her when she was captured in 2008. She is a Ph.D. scientist who studied at MIT and Brandeis and yet was found with hand-written plans to do a mass-casualty attack on New York City. She was carrying two pounds of sodium cyanide to use as an explosive and had a computer flash drive with plans for injecting poison into fresh fruits. Despite her education, she believes in Islamo-fascism, an incredible choice considering her education and gender. And yet her fellow Pakistanis incredibly insist she is innocent.
Why, if terrorists proclaim that they are Muslims and believe it is their religious duty to war with the West, are we afraid to say so? In Sweden, the press is so intimidated that in publishing crime statistics, it will not print names lest the reading public realize the criminals are Muslim. And here, Juan Williams, a commentator with sterling liberal credentials, was fired by NPR because he said what many of us (including secular Muslims) think: that he is nervous to fly with passengers wearing Muslim garb.
Norway, in a departure from its past, has stopped Saudi Arabia from financing more mosque building in Norway. It would be "paradoxical and unnatural" to accept funding from a country closed to all religious freedom, they said. This is not Islamophobia; this is self-defense.
In the Netherlands, a popular Dutch member of parliament, Geert Wilders, on trial for anti-Muslim "hate speech;" is reminding the Dutch that freedom of speech is the centerpiece of democracy and they should defend it.
Muslim terrorists cannot bring down a western country unless we let them. We can hope that in the long run, these militants will either provoke the rest of the Muslim world to modernize, or destroy and bring about an entirely new Islam.
At last, someone who grasps a truth the British Left won't admit: welfare traps people in poverty
There is a rough rule of thumb that if the wrong kind of people are opposed to what you are doing, then you must be on the right track. By those lights, the reaction from the usual suspects on the Left to Iain Duncan Smith’s welfare reforms indicate that he has hit the bull’s eye in the most satisfactory way.
For even before he actually unveils his proposals this week, the air is thick with screams of rage and lurid claims of ‘slave labour’.
So what is he doing to provoke such fury? Why, making the outrageous proposal that instead of sitting at home on benefits doing nothing, people who are out of work should actually give something back to society in return. According to advance reports, IDS will be requiring the unemployed to undertake community service projects such as gardening, clearing litter and other menial tasks.
Following the example of U.S.-style ‘workfare’, they will do such jobs for 30 hours per week for four weeks at a rate of £1 per hour, under the threat of being stripped of their Jobseekers’ Allowance for three months if they fall short.
Shock horror! Such is the outrage on the Left, you’d think IDS was proposing to send little children up the chimneys. All he is doing, however, is responding to the patently obvious fact that unemployed people don’t just suffer from an absence of work but also — more lethally — from having settled into a way of life which saps their ability to work. The driving aim of his entire welfare reform package is to ensure that it always pays to work rather than stay on welfare.
For IDS has understood that welfare dependency quickly leads to demoralisation and the institution of permanent poverty.
True to their Pavlovian knee-jerk reflex, however, the Left have exploded. In their foaming rage, they don’t even realise that their own claims don’t add up. They whine, for example, that the unemployed can’t be expected to find work, as there are no jobs to be found. At the very same time, they splutter that having to do such community work will give the unemployed no time to look for work. Well, which is it? If there aren’t any jobs, what’s the point of looking for them?
The fact is that much worklessness results from people calculating they are better off on benefits than in low-paid jobs. It’s that calculation that IDS is trying to reverse.
Trying to paint him of all people as some kind of cruel Dickensian workhouse overseer is particularly imbecilic. IDS is, indeed, the one person against whom that particular smear of ‘heartlessness’ cannot be made to stick.
The patent decency of the man is plain for all to see. He is motivated by the highest possible concerns to rescue the poor not merely from material poverty, but the moral and spiritual degradation which keeps them trapped permanently in disadvantage.
For what drives ‘progressives’ absolutely wild is the moral concern at the heart of the IDS project — to encourage the poor to take some responsibility for themselves and for others
Using his own enforced unemployment as a junked Tory leader to turn himself into an unrivalled expert on the lives of the poor, he grasped one of the most shocking facts of all — that under the guise of ‘compassion’, the Left traps people in permanent poverty through treating them as less than human. For what drives ‘progressives’ absolutely wild is the moral concern at the heart of the IDS project — to encourage the poor to take some responsibility for themselves and for others.
But it is an article of faith on the Left that the poor are helpless tools of circumstance; and so it is outrageous to expect them to behave as anything other than victims, who accordingly can only ever take rather than give. This is tantamount to saying that the poor are a breed apart — incapable of displaying the same human dignity as the rest of society.
Their resulting entrapment in permanent poverty then gives the Left their own meal ticket for life through the enormous industry they run to manage the lives of the poor.
It is against this odiously hypocritical parasite culture of welfarism that IDS has set the Coalition’s face. For which we should be cheering him on.
But is it actually enough? For the screams of heartlessness mask the fact that his proposals appear not to bite on certain particularly toxic bullets.
It is said that the Coalition has been much influenced by the U.S. welfare revolution under President Bill Clinton — effectively forced upon him by a Republican Congress — which got a lot of people off welfare and into work.
But there was one important element of the U.S. scheme from which the Coalition is flinching. It set a cut-off point for benefit payments if the claimant hadn’t found work by the end of a set period. At the time, this was greeted by the American Left as being on a par with Pharaoh’s slaying of the first born. Thousands would starve in the streets, they predicted. Did you hear about such a monstrous development? Of course not. It never happened.
But it seems that the IDS proposals will not contain that crucial welfare cut-off point. So one might say that, far from being unprecedentedly harsh and cruel, these proposals don’t go far enough.
Perhaps even more important, restoring the work ethic is only a partial remedy for welfare dependency. For one of the key factors behind permanent poverty is the growth of lone parenthood and mass fatherlessness.
The Left subsidised this catastrophic pattern of behaviour through heavy welfare subsidies for lone parents. To address this, American welfare reformers pushed lone mothers off welfare and into work.
This certainly reduced welfare dependency among lone parents — but it failed to bring down the rate of out-of-wedlock births which create poverty in the first place.
That’s because, whether their income derives from welfare payments or employment, if women are economically independent from their babies’ fathers there is no disincentive to going it alone in bringing up their children.
This is the trap into which the Coalition is inevitably falling. Properly addressing the scourge of mass fatherlessness means acknowledging that poverty is not the biggest problem lone-parent households face. Far worse is the emotional harm done to children by the absence of their fathers; the abuse of women and children by transient boyfriends; and the fact that such endemic disadvantage is passed down through the generations because there is no awareness of any other way of life.
To address this would mean tackling the assumption that it is every girl’s right to bring a baby into the world regardless of whether it will be born into such multiple disadvantage. And that would mean measures like substituting a place in a mother-and-baby home for giving a young lone mother a council flat.
Given the lifestyle-choice ideology of both the spin-conscious Cameroons and the family-busting Lib Dems, there is probably precious little prospect that the causes of family breakdown will be addressed. Indeed, if work is offered as an antidote to lone-parent welfare dependency, this may paradoxically merely further entrench that particular route into permanent poverty.
Nevertheless, the best cannot be allowed to become the enemy of the good. If IDS were to break the idea that welfare means getting something for nothing, that would, in turn, start to break the hitherto impregnable culture of self-righteous infantilism that fuels family breakdown and other destructive behaviour.
And that would be a tremendous achievement. So we must hold our breath that he succeeds in reforming welfare — and that the Coalition holds its nerve to allow him to do so.
British woman goes to jail for constantly changing rape claim -- treated as perjury
A woman who accused her husband of rape has been jailed after she was ‘emotionally blackmailed’ into dropping the allegations. She was led sobbing from court to serve an eight-month sentence after she was convicted of perverting the course of justice.
Her family reacted with dismay after the 28-year-old was jailed for ‘falsely retracting’ her allegations. Last night rape charities and women’s groups called for the woman to be freed immediately.
Holly Dustin, director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said: ‘Imprisoning a woman for a “false retraction” of a rape allegation sends out a chilling message that the criminal justice system is still in the dark ages in relation to sexual violence and does not understand the pressure women come under from perpetrators during the legal process.’
She added that the move could make victims less likely to report rape to police if they felt they could themselves be dragged before the courts and face jail sentences if they did not proceed with the allegations.
Edina Williams, who helps victims of rape, said: ‘I find it astonishing that in this day and age this woman was hauled before the courts. She is the victim of repeated rapes but she is the one behind bars. It simply does not make sense.’
She added: ‘Many women are victims of domestic rape and, as well as being a terrifying time for them, it is often confusing. ‘Instead of punishing women by throwing them in jail, victims should be given specialist support, counselling and assistance from agencies including the police.’
The woman, from Welshpool in Powys, Wales, had dialled 999 last November and told officers she had been raped six times by her husband. Police charged him with the rape offence.
In January, as the case against her husband proceeded, she told officers she wanted to drop the charges – even though she claimed the allegations of rape were completely true.
But in February she said she had in fact lied about the rape claims and they were untrue. Officers from Dyfed-Powys Police then arrested her and she was charged with perverting the course of justice.
In July the distraught woman changed her mind once again, saying the rapes had actually happened. Her solicitor said she had lied previously because she was being ‘emotionally blackmailed’ by her husband during the breakdown of their marriage, which was now over.
She told officers she had been persuaded by her husband and his family to drop the charges because he could face a long jail sentence if convicted of rape while she would get only a few months.
On Friday, distraught relatives of the woman shouted at Judge John Rogers, QC, as he jailed her at Mold Crown Court. The judge said the woman had changed her position again after being told she would be prosecuted for a false allegation of rape which could have carried a longer sentence of up to two years.
He told her: ‘When you were informed you were to be prosecuted for a false allegation of rape you went back on your original position. ‘You now have to be dealt with for making a false retraction. If you had to be dealt with for making a false allegation of rape you would be looking at a sentence of two years.’
He said she had wasted a ‘substantial amount’ of time and money for the Crown Prosecution Service and the police. The husband, who appeared in court at an earlier hearing, pleaded not guilty to rape.
Prominent Australian conservative won't support gay marriage
I don't always agree with Joe but I think he is pretty right on this one
OPPOSITION treasury spokesman Joe Hockey says he would not support laws to allow gay marriage.
Right-wing Labor minister Mark Arbib is the first frontbencher to say he believes Labor should support gay marriage and that MPs should have a conscience vote on the controversial issue. Prime Minister Julia Gillard has previously ruled out the move.
Mr Hockey said he did not support gay marriage. "I don't agree with gay marriage," he told Sky News today. "I think a marriage is between a man and a woman and that's been my consistent view."
Mr Hockey said it would not be advantageous for Labor to support a conscience vote on gay marriage, despite evidence it is losing support to the Australian Greens on social issues.
"The more the Labor Party talks about non-mainstream issues ... the economy and productivity and a range of other things, the more they talk about other issues, the less Australians are going to listen to them," he said.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.