Sunday, January 20, 2019

The Insanity in Sacramento

Hat tip Daily Wire

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com

Out here in the one-party state of California, it's one big bhong party in Sacramento. The latest is the bit of insanity from Hannah-Beth Jackson, Democrat (what else?) from Santa Barbara. She (excuse the pronoun) has decided that only gender-neutral pronouns will be used during committee hearings.


https://www.dailywire.com/news/42389/watch-democrat-state-senator-announces-politically-amanda-prestigiacomo?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_content=062316-news&utm_campaign=dwbrand



                                                                                                             


NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 29: Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson speaks on equal pay and the SB 358 California Fair Pay Act at a press conference with California Lawmakers at North Hollywood Amelia Earhart Regional Library on December 29, 2015 in North Holl 

Not only do our legislators have to take a Berlitz course in the New English, imagine the extra work for the stenographers (whoever they may be) who have to record every mistake in language and subsequent correction from people like Hannah-Beth Jackson.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

Asia Bibi and Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun: The World Is Watching

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


This article first appeared in New English Review.



As I write this piece, there are two dramas playing out in Pakistan and Thailand. Both involve two young women, one a Pakistani Christian, the other a Saudi woman of 18 who has fled her family and renounced Islam. At this point, their fates are yet to be decided as Western nations debate offering them asylum.

Asia Bibi was arrested in Pakistan and accused of blasphemy against Islam and the Prophet Mohammad. Blasphemy against Islam is a capital offense in Pakistan-as it is in Islamic law. Sentenced to death, she languished in prison for several years until her conviction was recently overturned by the Pakistani Supreme Court. She is now in hiding, living under security at an undisclosed location until a country can be found to give her asylum. All the while, mobs roam door to door in an effort to find and lynch her. Great Britain, a country that never ceases to prostrate itself to radical Islamic forces, has already refused. Further complicating her situation is that the Pakistani government has now ruled that it will not let her leave the country until the prosecutor's appeals are fully resolved.

Then this week, an 18-year-old Saudi girl named Rahaf Mohammed Alqunun, fled her family residing in Kuwait and wound up at Bangkok Airport with an Australian visa. It appeared initially that she was going to be put on a flight back home until the Thais turned the matter over to the UN refugee officials. They have now determined that she is a legitimate refugee. At this writing, she is still in Bangkok and awaiting a decision by the Australians.

Any sensible observer would immediately conclude that by any humanitarian measure, both of these women should already be relocated to a country where they can live in freedom and security from vengeful Islamic law. But consider that another Saudi woman, Dina Ali Lasloom 24, who was trying to flee a forced marriage, was forcefully put on a plane back home from Manila where she was seeking asylum in 2017. Her fate remains unknown.

These cases deserve the widest possible publicity for several reasons beyond even human decency and considerations of human rights. The world needs to confront the basic severity of Islamic law as practiced by countries like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The death penalty for apostates is affirmed by every leading school of Islamic thought and is enforced throughout Islamic societies either by national courts, tribal councils, or the families involved. It stands in stark contrast not only to our laws in the West, but also against basic principles of human rights. Laws against apostasy and blasphemy have no place in the West or any other civilized society.

Hopefully, Alquhun will be on the next flight from Thailand to Australia. If the Pakistani government insists on keeping Bibi in country until her case is finally "resolved", I would hope the US government and others will inform the Pakistanis that good diplomatic relations and foreign aid will hinge on justice for Asia Bibi.

Pakistan and Saudi Arabia stand in shame before the world. If the West doesn't step up and provide refuge for Asia Bibi and Rahaf Mohammed Alquhun, we will stand in shame as well. Our governments and other "human rights" organizations bend over backwards to grant refuge and asylum to hundreds of thousands of people migrating around the world who should not qualify for refugee status. Many of these so-called refugees are Muslims. That we would turn our backs on Bibi and Alquhun would be a disgrace and would signal that we are submitting to Islam. After all, Islam in Arabic means "submission".

The time has come for the US and the West to re-evaluate their relationships with these two countries that still live in the Middle Ages. As for Britain, over history, enemies from Napoleon to Hitler have reportedly called them "a nation of shop keepers". If so, they proved both wrong, but the phrase sure fits now. Winston Churchill must be spinning in his grave.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

As We Try to Celebrate Christmas

Gary Fouse
Fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Hat tip Memri and Jihad Watch


First of all, let me wish a Merry Christmas to all my Christian readers. For my Jewish readers who just recently celebrated Hanukkah, I also extend my love and best wishes.

But it is hard not to  feel a sense of anger when Christians and Jews are being persecuted around the world.

As I write, the city of Barcelona is under high alert over credible reports that an unidentified Moroccan man may be planning to strike the city on this holiest of Christian holidays.

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/12/barcelona-police-warn-of-muslim-plotting-jihad-massacre-on-christmas-day-city-on-high-alert

Here is a Spanish report from El Pais (Spain), which I have not had time to translate as yet.

https://elpais.com/ccaa/2018/12/24/catalunya/1545661368_910928.html


From Canada comes yet another report of a Muslim cleric urging his followers not to wish Christians a Merry Christmas. Yes, Canada has a real problem with hate being preached in many of their mosques.

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/12/canada-muslim-cleric-says-wishing-christians-merry-christmas-is-worse-than-murder

Also on high alert are the always beleaguered Christians of Pakistan, fearing attacks on Christmas day as one of their own, Asia Bibi, remains in hiding while Western nations (and the Vatican) studiously ignore her pleas for asylum. It is an international disgrace.

https://www.jihadwatch.org/2018/12/islamic-republic-of-pakistan-security-high-at-churches-for-christmas-asia-bibi-still-in-hiding

Meanwhile, Pope Francis continues to ignore the persecution of Christians in Muslim majority countries while lecturing Europeans that they must continue to bring in more and more Muslims, some of  whom will torment Europe's Jews and plan attacks on Christmas markets, which are now the target of choice.

And the politicians in Western Europe (with the exception of Italy, Austria, and possibly Denmark) are on the Pope's side as they continue their insane immigration policies, no matter how many people are murdered and no matter how many women are raped. Jews continue to live in fear and many are emigrating. Politicians make statements of support and place guards in front of synagogues and Jewish schools, but the importation of Jew-hating Muslim men continues unabated, thus, the threat continues to increase.

I emphasize  that I am not referring to all Muslims, but the threat is very real and deeply rooted in Islamic doctrine.

But it is not only Muslims who need to take a look in the mirror. Our political and religious leaders, both Christian and Jewish, are letting us down. They are afraid to stand up to the Islamists in our midst and call them out for their hatred. Interfaith events, which appear to be noble on their surface, are nothing more than exercises in surrender by Christian and Jewish religious leaders who allow Muslim leaders to lie to us about Islam's "peaceful" nature. Many of these same Muslim leaders have a completely different (and more hateful) message when speaking to their own followers. Again-not all, but far too many.

Praying for peace seems to be an exercise in futility, but at least we can pray that today will not be marred by Islamic terror in Spain, Pakistan or anywhere else.

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

UC Berkeley Has to Pay for Abridging Free Speech

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


UC Berkeley has learned the hard way there can be a price to pay for abridging free speech on campus. Now they are paying out $70,000 to Young America Foundation.


https://www.yaf.org/news/yaf-wins-landmark-free-speech-lawsuit-uc-berkeley-to-pay-70000-and-rescind-unconstitutional-policies/?fbclid=IwAR1rahcMqkjCI6AJv0Sd2AwxtLYUDV4g9hAeiBBE0wvTsNfGtaSVmOfr2ks

It is more subtle than a university refusing a student group to bring in a particular speaker. There are other ways a university can limit or eliminate free speech by certain speakers they don't like. They can charge outrageous security fees, for example, that they would not charge to other groups.

Several years ago, I attended an event at UC Irvine where David Horowitz appeared. Not only did the university switch his meeting room at the last minute to a more obscure part of the campus, none of the whiteboard markers had enough ink. Horowitz repeatedly laughed it off at the UCI administrators in the audience who were documenting his words on their laptops.

When Milo Yiannopoulos appeared at UCI not long ago, the event was placed in a room much too small to accomodate the hundreds of people (including myself) who were trying to get in-and whose names were on the registration list.

I salute the YAF for holding UCB's feet to the fire. These institutions all have a ready made statement they release to the media when these things happen to the effect that they are "100 committed to the principles of free speech, inclusions, etc etc etc". It is a joke. When students and assorted riff-raff rioted at UC Berkeley a few years ago forcing a last minute cancellation to Yiannopoulos's appearance, the university all but put their seal of approval on the assaults and destruction of property as campus police stood around like potted plants. Other universities, like UCI, seem to be allowing disruptions to continue for a set period of time before gently ushering the protesters out with no consequences.

Left to their own devices and with the public not paying attention, universities will continue to limit conservative speech and indoctrinate our youth. They need to be countered, and, when appropriate, sued.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

SJP Conference Looms Over UCLA


Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


This article first appeared in Times of Israel.


Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) will be holding its national conference at UCLA from November 16-18. A few years ago (February 2011), SJP held its Western regional conference on the Westwood campus. That featured the anti-semitic Oakland imam, Amir Abdel Malik Ali, leading his audience in the "pledge of allegiance", which bore no resemblance to the one most of us recite here in the US. Ali's "pledge" swore to fight to the death on behalf of Islam, jihad, and all that charming stuff.

There is much opposition to this year's conference, as well there should be. SJP is anti-Jewish to its core. No matter that they have a few misguided misfits of Jewish background. They are all for the total destruction of the Jewish state of Israel.

Here is an op-ed that the feckless UCLA chancellor, Gene Block, has written in the LA Times regarding the conference.

With all due respect, Mr Block is full of it. For years, he has allowed Jewish students at UCLA to be bullied and intimidated by the likes of SJP, the Muslim Student Association, and other pro-Palestinian forces. He is hardly alone among UC chancellors. From UC San Diego to UC Berkeley and in-between, it's the same old story. For 20 years, I have seen it first-hand on the UC Irvine campus where I taught part-time from 1998-2016. In the past two years since I stopped teaching there, I have attended subsequent events where the bully-boy antics of the SJP have been on full display. Their tactics are simple: disrupt, bully and intimidate. They are a disgraceful and despicable organization.

And look who is headlining this year's freak show at UCLA. The keynote speaker is Chicago-based Palestinian activist, Hatem Abudayyeh. Here is what Discover the Networks has to say about Abudayyeh.

Abudayyeh was an outspoken supporter of Rasmieh Odeh, the Palestinian woman who was convicted of terrorism in Israel, hid that fact while immigrating to the US, and was finally deported after lengthy and costly legal proceedings. All the while, she appeared in front of the courthouse where she was being tried shouting into a bullhorn to her followers about how unjust America is. And this guy Abudayyeh was one of her biggest boosters.

Lovely fellow. Just what SJP wants to represent them. We should all draw the appropriate conclusions.

As Chancellor Block stated, SJP has the right to free speech. But make no mistake. From November 16-18, hate speech will be on display at UCLA. With the new outbreak of fighting between Israel and the Hamas regime in Gaza, no doubt the rhetoric at UCLA will get even more heated. The 2016 UC Statement of Principles Against Intolerance, which Block referenced, will be violated to the point of making it nothing more than a scrap of paper.


Monday, October 8, 2018

University of Michigan: It's Required

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com



"Speaker Emory Douglas, part of the “Penny Stamps Speakers Series Presentation” of the Stamps School of Art and Design, displayed a slide that showed a picture of Netanyahu and Hitler with the words “Guilty Of Genocide” written across their faces. Below the photo was the definition of genocide."

The University of Michigan has been in the news quite a bit lately, and for all the wrong reasons. Just recently, a University of Michigan professor made news when he refused to write a letter of recommendation for a student to study in Israel. Now comes this about a speaker who compared Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu with Hitler. That's bad enough. It was a required attendance for certain students. 


https://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/252890

So here we have a former Black Panther who comes to the university to defame Netanyahu as being comparable to Hitler, and attendance is mandatory?

I invite the reader to follow the above link to the Penny Stamps site. If you are left with the impression that it is tilted way to the left, you are not alone. This reminds me of the UC Irvine New Narratives program instituted a few years ago by then Vice Chancellor Thomas Parham. In April 2017, I 
attended one such event which was loaded with a panel of victims including one black radical Canadian  woman who had recently moved to the US and opened her talk by saying that she had picked the wrong time to come here in referring to President Trump. I tried unsuccessfully to get New Narratives to invite a speaker who had a more favorable image of America, but all I got was a big run-around.

I wonder if the Penny Stamps Speakers Series would consider bringing in a pro-Israel speaker to provide some semblance of balance to those students who are required to sit through these lectures.

Probably not.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Professor Juan Cole's Mohammad

Gary Fouse
fousesquawk
http://garyfouse.blogspot.com


Hat tip Campus Watch and Middle East Forum


https://www.meforum.org/campus-watch/articles/2018/was-prophet-muhammad-really-illiterate-an-intervi

University of Michigan professor Juan Cole always goes to incredible lengths to defend everything that is Islamic. Now he has come out with a new book on the Prophet Mohammad entitled, Mohammad: Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires. If you had any doubts this would be a hagiographic endeavor, Cole's interview with Joseph Richard Preville erases all doubt.

How one can described Mohammad as a "prophet of peace" when he led armies to fight non-Muslims, took women and children as slaves and ordered the murders of his opponents and the beheadings of captives is beyond me. It is true that when Mohammad began his teaching in Mecca, he was peaceful. After he was driven out of Mecca, he and his followers went to  present-day Medina, where he consolidated his power and evolved into a warlord. Here are some statements by Cole that strain credulity.

JRP: You write that “Islam is, no less than Christianity, a Western religion that initially grew up in the Roman Empire” and that “Muhammad saw himself as an ally of the West.” How does your theory challenge or support other major scholarly interpretations of early Islam?

JC: The Arab Muslim sources emphasize the origins of Islam in Arabia and downplay how integrated the Arabs of late antiquity were into the Eastern Roman Empire, but Roman sources, inscriptions, and Qur'an passages give strong evidence for the Arabs as Roman citizens or  allies.  As for Muhammad being allied with Constantinople, there is some evidence for it in early Arabic sources and the eminent Princeton classicist G. W. Bowersock has hinted at it in his recent work, but I have taken the bull by the horns and said it explicitly.

It is true that all three monotheistic religions, Christianity, Judaism and Islam were born in the Middle East. While the first two successfully spread to the West ( the US is a democratic nation founded on Judaic-Christian principles), Islam's spread to the West, largely through recent immigration has hardly been successful. Assimilation has been slight and the clashes are too many to mention especially in Europe today. The fact is that Islam is antithetical to Western ideals of equality and freedom.


JRP: Many biographies portray Muhammad as illiterate and provincial.  Would you agree?

JC: The Muslim tradition calls Muhammad "illiterate," I think in part to protect him from charges by polemicists that he learned things by reading the Bible or other works.  But the tradition also says he was a successful long-distance merchant who regularly traded up to Damascus and Gaza in the Eastern Roman Empire.  Long distance merchants are always literate, and I think Muhammad could read and write Arabic, Aramaic and possibly Greek.  The Qur'an shows knowledge of the Bible, of Jewish tradition, and of classical Greek thought.  It isn't provincial.

An interesting observation and opinion on the part of Cole since he strays from Islamic teaching that Mohammad was illiterate. Also interesting is the reason Cole thinks Muslims say that Mohammad was illiterate. Critics of Islam do not believe that Mohammad truly received the word of God from the archangel Gabriel (He may have imagined he did), therefore the idea that he read the Bible and initially borrowed from it is open to question.

RP: What was Muhammad’s role in the creation of the Constitution of Madinah?  How revolutionary was this document for its time?

JC: The Constitution of Madinah was a treaty among groups in Madinah, to which the Meccan pagans expelled Muhammad in 622.  Madinah had Muslims, Jews and pagans and possibly some Christians. The treaty pledged all these groups to defend the city militarily if it was attacked.  It says that the Muslims have their religion and the Jews have theirs, so it recognizes freedom of conscience and is a political alliance.  In the Roman Empire at that time, Jews were placed under disabilities and would not have been treated as equals this way. 

And when the Jews supposedly broke the constitution, they were executed, and ever since Jews are hated within Islam. The Koran is replete with hateful verses against Jews (and Christians). Over the centuries Jewish minorities have had to live in a condition of dhimmitud, second class citizenship enshrined in the laws. It is true that in some places, Christians treated Jews as bad or worse as did Muslims, but Cole's answer leaves out tons of facts. 

JRP: How did medieval Muslim clerics slight or minimize the Qur’an’s peace verses by a theory of abrogation?

JC: Peace-making and turning the other cheek are very important themes in the Qur'an.  It allows going to war to defend yourself and innocents, but forbids aggressive, expansionist warfare.  The text was very inconvenient for later aggressive Muslim empires.  So ideologues developed a theory of "abrogation" where later verses invalidated earlier ones. They interpreted late verses on warfare as permitting aggression (they don't), and then alleged that all the peace verses were thus abrogated.  It was an intellectual and spiritual travesty.  Some Muslim thinkers, though, said only 5 verses were abrogated (not the peace verses), and rejected the procedure.   

For Cole to claim that peace making and turning the other cheek are important themes in the Koran is a hoot. Reading the Koran especially putting the suras (chapters) in chronological order contradicts Cole on its very face. The early Mecca suras do tend to be benign and peaceful, but the Medina suras are clearly not. Put in order of time, it all makes sense. Mohammad evolved from a simple preacher in Mecca to a warlord in Medina. As for the principle of abrogation (which Western-based "moderate" imams are loathe to discuss), it makes perfect sense given the transformation of Mohammad ands the obvious contradictory verses in the Koran. Keep in mind that it is the Islamic scholars themselves (not Cole) who are the authorities in Islam since Islam has no Vatican and has no popes.   

JRP: You have placed strong emphasis on Muhammad as a “Prophet of Peace.”  How do you think your book will encourage and strengthen Islamic peace studies?
 
JC: The peace verses of the Qur'an have been there all along, and have been central, but scholarship has not focused on them.  I'd like to see the kind of intersection of Peace Studies with Islam that exists with regard to Christianity.  Christians have fought a lot of wars and even been involved in genocide, but we all also know about the Quakers and Mennonites.  Only a few authors have written on the history of peace movements in Islam, which include the Murid Sufis of Senegal and the Gandhist Muslims in twentieth-century India.


Yes, the peace verses in the Koran have been there all along, but they are not central because they have been abrogated. Sura 9, the last major sura recorded is arguably the most violent and intolerable. It virtually abrogates every peaceful verse recorded earlier in time. As for Sufists and groups like the Ahmadiya Muslims, it is true they have a good track record of not being involved in the terror and intolerance we see in Islam today, but they are not regarded as Muslims by mainstream Islam. In fact, those that live in Muslim countries are persecuted. As for the wars and genocide of Christians, aside from the Crusades (in which both sides were culpable and Christians killed many Jews in the process), how many wars were fought for purely religious reasons? Genocide? I would argue that Hitler and the Nazis had no religious motivations for the Holocaust. They did not object to the theology of the Jews; they considered Jews as a race to be exterminated. And Hitler, despite his Catholic birth, was no Christian. He derided religion in general. If you want to talk about genocide in the modern sense, look no farther than today's Middle East.

If Cole wants to argue that most Muslims are leading peaceful lives and we should not blame them all for the atrocities being carried out today, that is fine. Cole, however, engages in falsehoods that are so easy to disprove just by scratching beneath the surface. If this is the type of scholarship to be found at the University of Michigan, they might as well stick to football.