Thursday, May 31, 2012

Is It Possible To Question Islam?

What an interesting question?  Can one question the history of Islam?  Did Muhammad actually exist?  Was he really illiterate?  Creeping Sharia asks those and other questions.

The question really should be whether it is possible to question Islam and not be threatened, injured or killed, slandered, or arrested. Robert Spencer via PJ Media » Is It Still Possible to Question Islam?.

Is it “Islamophobic” to question whether or not the standard picture of Muhammad as depicted in Muslim texts is historically accurate?

Certainly many people think so, notably the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The OIC is a fifty-six nation body (plus the Palestinian Authority) that, since the demise of the Soviet Union, comprises the largest voting bloc at the United Nations. It has been working for years to compel the UN to criminalize “Islamophobia.” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held a closed-door meeting with the OIC in December 2011, apparently to facilitate just that and figure out ways to circumvent the First Amendment’s protection of the freedom of speech.

Journalist Claire Berlinski notes that “the neologism ‘Islamophobia’ did not simply emerge ex nihilo”:
It was invented, deliberately, by a Muslim Brotherhood front organization, the International Institute for Islamic Thought, which is based in Northern Virginia. … Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, a former member of the IIIT who has renounced the group in disgust, was an eyewitness to the creation of the word. “This loathsome term,” he writes, “is nothing more than a thought-terminating cliche conceived in the bowels of Muslim think tanks for the purpose of beating down critics.”
Yet the mainstream media has for the most part bought into this perspective, treating all investigation of how Islamic jihadists use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism as “Islamophobic,” however useful it might be to understand the motives and goals of those who have vowed to destroy the U.S. and Western civilization. Into this atmosphere comes my book Did Muhammad Exist? An Inquiry Into Islam’s Obscure Origins, which doesn’t touch directly on terror issues at all, but does demonstrate that Islam was political, supremacist, and violent before it was religious — a fact with considerable implications for today’s political scene.

In broad outline, the accepted story of Islam’s origins is well known. It begins with an Arabian merchant of the Quraysh tribe of Mecca, known to the world as Muhammad, a name that means the “praised one.” He rejected the polytheism of his tribe and was given to frequent prayer in the hills and caves outside Mecca. In the year 610, when he was forty, he was praying in a cave on Mount Hira, about two miles from Mecca, when he was suddenly confronted by the angel Gabriel, who commanded him to recite.

For the next twenty-three years, until his death in 632, Muhammad did just that: He recited the messages he received from Gabriel, presenting them to his followers as the pure and unadulterated word of the supreme and only God. Many of his followers memorized portions. The Arabia in which Islam was born was an oral culture that respected poetic achievement, and thus the prodigious feats of memory required to memorize lengthy suras were not so unusual. After Muhammad’s death, the revelations he had received were collected together into the Qur’an, or “Recitation,” from the accounts of those who had memorized them or written them down.
Muslims around the globe are not the only ones who take this account for granted; even non-Muslims generally accept the broad contours of this narrative, which has been told and retold for centuries. However, virtually none of that standard account stands up to historical scrutiny, for several key reasons:
  • No record of Muhammad’s reported death in 632 appears until more than a century after that date.
  • The early accounts written by the people the Arabs conquered never mention Islam, Muhammad, or the Qur’an. They call the conquerors “Ishmaelites,” “Saracens,”“Muha- jirun,” and “Hagarians,” but never “Muslims.”
  • The Arab conquerors, in their coins and inscriptions, don’t mention Islam or the Qur’an for the first six decades of their conquests. Mentions of “Muhammad” are non-specific and on at least two occasions are accompanied by a cross. The word can be used not only as a proper name but also as an honorific.
  • The Qur’an, even by the canonical Muslim account, was not distributed in its present form until the 650s. Contradicting that standard account is the fact that neither the Arabians nor the Christians and Jews in the region mention the Qur’an until the early eighth century.
  • During the reign of the caliph Muawiya (661–680), the Arabs constructed at least one public building whose inscription was headed by a cross – a symbol abhorrent to Islam.
The lack of confirming detail in the historical record, the late development of biographical material about the Islamic prophet, the atmosphere of political and religious factionalism in which that material developed, and much more suggest that the Muhammad of Islamic tradition did not exist, or if he did, he was substantially different from how that tradition portrays him.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Two Names on the Wall (A Re-post and Update/2)

Gary Fouse

As I did last Memorial Day, I am re-posting my original article, "Two names on the Wall", in honor of Dorian Houser and Michael Vinassa, two friends from my youth whom we lost in Viet Nam, with an update.

Two Names on the Wall- Reposting and Update

What follows is a post I originally put up in December 2007 and re-posted last Memorial Day. There is a brief update at the end.


I've been thinking about what kind of posting I would put up to mark Memorial Day. I finally decided to re-post an essay I originally put up in December 2007 in connection with the Viet Nam memorial in Washington DC. It will always be appropriate. I hope you appreciate it.

Dorian Jan Houser (1946-1967)
Michael G Vinassa (1946-1966)

The recent news that someone had defaced the Viet Nam War Memorial in Washington served to bring back my memories of two of my childhood friends whose names appear on that wall. Mike Vinassa and Dorian Houser were both from west Los Angeles, where I also grew up. We belonged to the same high school social club. All three of us entered military service after high school. I was assigned to Germany; they were sent to Viet Nam. I returned and went on with the rest of my life. They died in Viet Nam. Forty years later, with our country once again at war and American soldiers sacrificing their lives for America, we should also remember those that gave their lives in Viet Nam.


I first knew Dorian in the 1950s. He and his brother, Lee, played on my little league team. Their father was our coach. Later, my relationship with Dory continued in school. In high school, we both belonged to a club called the Chancellors of Venice. As was common in west LA, there were many (off-campus) clubs formed for social purposes. We all had our club jackets, with the name of the club and locale (Venice or WLA) embroidered on the back. The colors of the clubs varied (ours was green). As we ended our high school days, these clubs disbanded as we went our separate ways-off to college, work or military service. In Dory's case, he entered the Marines in 1966, and after training, was sent to Viet Nam. On May 10, 1967, one month before his 21st birthday, he was killed in Quang Tin. He was hit in the chest by shrapnel and killed instantly.

I happened to be home on leave from Germany when we got the news that Dory was dead. I was able to attend his funeral before returning back to Germany. I'm a little embarrassed to admit it after all these years, but I chose not to wear my uniform to the funeral, simply because I was afraid his family might react emotionally to it. I have always regretted that decision.

Dory was the kind of guy that no one could dislike. He was friendly and unassuming. Needless to say, his funeral was a sad and emotional event. In the last couple of years, I have visited his grave a couple of times since my mother-in-law is interred in the same cemetery. About a year ago, I came across a posting about Dory by his sister. She described her brother and was looking for anyone who knew Dory and remembered him. I answered her post, but the email is no longer valid. As yet, I have not been able to contact her.


Mike Vinassa was also a member of the Chancellors. He was a stout, barrel-chested kid with a big tattoo on his shoulder, something unusual at the time for someone so young (still in high school). Needless to say, he was tough and didn't mind a good fight. Most other kids knew not to mess with him, but among his friends, he was well-liked. I remember one night we were at a party and he wanted to (playfully) roughhouse with me. We started slap-fighting and wrestling on the front yard of the house, and (somehow) I was able to throw him to the ground and fall on top of him. As you may know, innocent roughhousing among teenagers can easily turn into a real fight, and I remember thinking that Mike might suddenly get mad, so I rolled over and let him get on top, thus letting him win the match.

After high school, I went on to complete 2 years of college before I entered the Army. I basically lost touch with Mike and Dory at that time.

I had recently arrived at my post of duty in Germany when I came across Mike's name while reading the Viet Nam obituaries in the Army Times. It wasn't until several months ago that I learned the circumstances of Mike's death, which occurred on May 22, 1966.

Mike was a member of C Co, Ist Bn, 8th Cavalry, 1st Cav Division (US Army). Ironically, Mike was a short-timer, soon to return to the US, and, on that day, assigned to non-combat duties. Yet he insisted on accompanying his unit on a final combat mission in the Vinh Thanh Valley. It was on that final mission, that Mike lost his life-under heroic conditions. He personally led a group of his comrades in charging and taking out a machine gun nest that was pinning down his unit, but was fatally shot in the process. For his actions, Mike was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. His sole survivor was his mother.

In subsequent years, I have been able to find both their names on the Viet Nam Memorial. (I was living in the Washington area at the time.) As stated, I have visited Dory's grave, but as yet, have not identified Mike's cemetery. When I look back at my life after the Army, I contemplate how I finished college, began my career, got married, had children, retired, and now find myself in my 60s. But as I looked down on Dory's grave, I realized that he and Mike are frozen in time-forever 20 years old. I wonder what became of their parents, the rest of the families.

In a sense, today's soldiers are more fortunate than those who went to Viet Nam. The overwhelming majority of the American people greatly respect them (with the notable exception of the usual mindless idiots who are not worth further mention in this essay). Soldiers returning from Viet Nam were often subject to dispicable treatment from those of their own generation who did everything they could to avoid military service. Once the Viet Nam War ended, the country wanted to forget about it as quickly as possible-after all, it was just a tragic period in our history. We also forgot about our Viet Nam veterans who came back alive-in so many cases, as walking wounded. They deserved so much better from us. They are still among us, and in many cases, still wounded.

All of us who lost friends or family members in Viet Nam should try to keep their memories alive and honor them. God rest their souls.

Michael G Vinassa- Panel 07E, line 104
Dorian Jan Houser- Panel 19E, line 082


My original post was discovered on the internet by Dory's sister, who was naturally shocked and deeply touched. She currently lives in central California. We exchanged a couple of e-mails. I learned that Dory's dad had passed on, but that his brother was still around and doing fine.

I finally discovered that Mike was interred at Forest Lawn in the Hollywood Hills. As yet, I have not gotten up there to visit his grave, but I will. I learned from a mutual childhood friend that Mike's father had been killed in the Korean war. Mike was all his Mom had.


Last year, I was finally able to pay my respects at Mike's grave at Forest Lawn in Hollywood Hills. Even though I was able to obtain the grave marker and a map from the office, finding graves at Forest Lawn proved to be tricky since the little stone markers they use to give row and plot numbers are worn. (I was also looking for my aunt's grave, but never could find it.) In addition, there was a driving rainstorm. It took over 30 minutes, but I finally find Mike's grave. His Mom, who lost Mike's father in Korea, now lies next to him.  Because of the weather, I wasn't able to linger long. The next time I am in LA, I will try and return.

Last year, I was also contacted by a high school friend of Dory's (whom I had not known). He also served in Viet Nam, was living in Florida, and was trying to find where Dory was buried. I was able to give him the information he needed, plus put him in contact with Dory's sister. He is determined to come to California and pay his respects to Dory in the near future.

One way or another and to one extent or another, our generation was marked by Viet Nam, whether we served there or not. For Dory, Mike, 58,000+ other Americans and millions of
Vietnamese, the scar was total. In addition, we still have survivors among us from World War II, the Korean War, and the wars since Vietnam, not to mention that still on-going in Afghanistan. This is why Memorial Day is an important day for us all. If we ever forget their sacrifices, then we will have lost our greatness.

* And a tribute to another veteran, the late Roger Gardner, who originated this site.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Remembering Their Sacrifice!

By Findalis
Monkey in the Middle

On other National holidays the nation takes to the streets in joyous celebration.  On Memorial Day we are to take time to remember and mourn those men and women who gave their lives for this country.  So many did over the years.

War Dead Wounded
Revolutionary 25,000 25,000
1812 20,000 4,505
Mexican-American 13,283 4,152
Civil 624,511 281,881
Spanish-American 2,446 1,622
Philippine-American 4,196 2,930
World War 1 116,516 204,002
World War 2 405,399 670,846
Korea 36,516 92,134
Vietnam 58,209 153,303
Gulf 258 849
Afghanistan 1,803 31,965
Iraq 4,477 41,936
Totals 1,312,614 1,515,125

We should pause and remember them.  But instead most Americans will go to sales in malls, go to the beach and have cook outs.

The sacrifice these men gave entitles these Americans to do that.  It is our Freedoms and the Freedom of the world that they sacrificed their lives.  The liberation of Europe, not once but twice.  The liberation of Iraq from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein and Afghanistan from the Taliban.  The Freedom of Cuba from Spain, the Philippines, the Battle of New Orleans and Brooklyn Heights.  They sacrificed at Shiloh, and Gettysburg.  The Wilderness and Fredricksberg.  And the nation they fought for survived and thrived.

To the families of those who have died:  Thank You.  There is no monetary settlement, no honors we can give you to heal the pain.

Why Does the MSU at UC Irvine Call Michael Oren a War Criminal?

Gary Fouse

Michael Oren
Israeli ambassador to the US

In February of 2010, the Israeli ambassador to the US, Michael Oren, came to speak to a largely Jewish audience at UC Irvine. The UCI's Muslim Student Union, an organization that has brought a bad reputation to UCI for a decade, was also there. They did not come to listen, however. They came to disrupt. When it was over, UCI was once again in the international spotlight.

During the recent week of anti-Israel diatribes at UC Irvine hosted by the Muslim Student Union, I twice had the opportunity to ask four members of the so-called "Irvine 11" why they could not extend the same right of free speech to their opponents that they were enjoying themselves. One of the reasons given was that the Israeli ambassador (Michael Oren) whom they had disrupted at UC Irvine in 2010, was "nothing less than a war criminal".


Michael Oren, who is the current Israeli ambassador to the US, was actually born in the US to a Jewish family, but later emigrated to Israel, where he served with the Israeli Defense Forces. His bio is here on Wikipedia.

So Oren served in a theater of combat with the IDF (Lebanon). Does that make him a war criminal? Not in my eyes, but to the one-sided view of Israel's enemies and the MSU, it seems just the mere fact that Oren served with the IDF in combat against the terrorists (and those always charming Syrians) who are trying to destroy Israel makes him a war criminal. You know the line; genocide against the Palestinians (whose population keeps exploding notwithstanding the "genocide"), apartheid, etc.

This is not to say that some soldiers never commit war crimes. They do, but a decent nation (like Israel) has a system of justice to deal with those things-something that Hamas, Hezbollah and all the rest lack.

So what specific action did Oren commit that makes him a "war criminal"? It is true that during the Israeli incursion into Lebanon, the infamous massacres at the Shatila and Sabra refugee camps took place committed by Lebanese Phalangists in 1982. Israel was accused of allowing the massacre to take place since the area was under their occupation. Even if that is true, does that make Oren or every IDF soldier in Lebanon at that time a war criminal? Oren was also a media relations officer for the IDF during the 2006 war against Hezbollah and the 2008-09 fighting in Gaza. That and his current position as ambassador, make him a "war criminal" since he defends Israel's "war crimes".

According to the MSU.

I also take note that these reckless accusations are being thrown around by young men who have never served their country in uniform. What do they know of these things? Not even I would be so careless to throw that charge around although I have served the US Army in uniform-but not in a combat theater. I would be very cautious in calling someone a war criminal.

But to the former UCI students and MSU members, caution or facts mean nothing. Oren served in combat against Israel's enemies, gave the media Israel's version of the conflicts in 2006 and 2008-09, and now serves as Israel's ambassador. Thus, he is a "war criminal".

But who are the war criminals involved in the 2006 abduction, torture and murder of two Israeli border guards in 2006-which led to the fighting?

Who are the war criminals who send missiles from Gaza into Southern Israel, which sparked the 2008-09 Gaza conflict?

Who are the war criminals who snuck into the Fogel family home in Itimar and massacred an entire family including three children? Who are the war criminals who danced in the streets and passed out sweets in honor of the so-called "soldiers" who committed that horrific act? Apparently, slitting the throat of a months-old infant as it sleeps in its crib is not a war crime-it is an act of "heroic resistance", just as sending men and women into buses and pizza parlors to blow themselves up is not a war crime, but an act of "heroic resistance". Shooting rockets into Israeli schoolyards is not a war crime. It is "heroic resistance".

This past month, four arrogant young men told an audience that if the Israeli ambassador came back to speak at UCI, they would be there to disrupt him again.....because he is "war criminal". They spoke without disruption, but could not face the fact that they had denied that courtesy-that right- to the Israeli ambassador.

I suggest these four young men and the other seven who took part in that disgraceful disruption that gave UCI such a bad name take a few years off and serve their own country in uniform, as Oren did. It would be an education for them.

One they never got at UCI.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Faisal Abdul Rauf on Hannity

Gary Fouse

Last night, Sean Hannity interviewed the Ground Zero mosque imam, Faisal Abdul Rauf on his Fox News show. Rauf, as always, came across as the kind, gentle man who abhors violence. Just as he did when I saw him last year at UCLA, his theme is that we, as Jews, Muslims and Christians, must stand together against the extremists of our religions, which begs the question as to which Jews and Christians are committing all the acts of terror in the world. Oh, sure. Terry Jones burns Qurans, and Charles Worley wants to put gays behind walls, but really. Is there any comparison with all the horror that is going on around the world in the name of Rauf's religion? Below is what Discover the Networks has to say about Rauf:

Hannity is really starting to understand the threat, and he cross-examined Rauf about his post-9-11 statements on 60 Minutes about American policies being "an accessory" to 9-11. Rauf apologized and said he was wrong to say it.

Here is a transcript of the 60-Minute interview of Rauf and three others conducted by Ed Bradley.

When I saw the video clip of that interview last night, I thought I recognized the man sitting next to Rauf. Sure enough. It was none other than Siraj Wahhaj, an imam from Brooklyn, who tries to pose as a moderate when non-Muslims are around. However, the audios from his Brooklyn mosque paint a different figure, one who refers to arming black ex-convicts in the inner city with AK-47s and other incendiary statements about Jihad. Wahhaj was listed as a possible unindicted co--conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York and actually testified as a character witness for the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman in his terrorism trial.  Too bad Hannity wasn't armed with those facts and able to ask Rauf what he is doing sharing a stage with Wahhaj.

Oh yeah. Guilt by association. Sorry.

Last year at UCLA, Rauf used his soft-spoken charm to wow an audience of academics with his usual message. Sitting in front of me was a 30-something lady who was in the throes of ecstasy as she groaned and nodded assent to Rauf's honey-coated declarations as he shared the stage with the arrogant young Reza Aslan. Later outside, an older gentleman (who I think was Jewish) told me that the whole world should be Islamic with everyone living under Sharia law so we won't have any reason to fight anymore. (I didn't ask him whether he wanted to be Sunni or Shia.)

To me, figures like Rauf are far more dangerous than the obvious radicals like Alim Abdul Musa and Amir Abdel Malik Ali. They don't put on a false face. They tell you what their agenda is. Rauf is a con man who fools people. much like our local Orange County imam Muzammil Siddiqi. In police jargon, it's kind of like, "good cop, bad cop".

Saturday, May 19, 2012

"Zionist Jew": Anti-Semitic?

Gary Fouse

The appearance of radical Oakland imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali at UC Irvine last week and yet another reference to "Zionist Jews" (This time he called UC president Mark Yudof a "Zionist Jew") raises a question over the use of the term itself. Ali defends his use of the term as differentiating between Jews in general and those who either live in or support the Jewish state of Israel. He will tell you (as he told me last week) that not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews.  This takes us back to May 2010 at UCI when he told a Jewish questioner, "You Jews. You wouldn't sit down for tea and crumpets with the Nazis.....Y'all the new Nazis."

There is an old saying that it is not what you say but how you say it. I think that certainly applies to the use of the very term "Jew". Today in Germany, the term "Jude" is still an emotion-laden word. During the Third Reich, Nazis didn't have to use slurs and epithets to refer to Jews, they simply used the word "Jude". In most cases, they literally spit out the word, much like Ali does when he says, "Zionist Jews". In addition, the word Jew can be used in a pejorative way in English if used in a certain tone. Even when I use the word (or Jewish), I am conscious of the tone and context in which I use it. I think the same situation exists in other languages and would bet the farm in Arabic.

What Ali is engaging in is code language. To Israel's opponents, Zionism is considered a bad thing. Ali thinks as long as he puts that adjective "Zionist" in front of  "Jew", it is OK. As an African-American, Ali knows all about code language since it has been used for ages against African-Americans. If some white racist gets in front of a microphone and starts railing against "welfare queens", everyone knows what he is talking about.

Of course, on both sides of an argument, we can see references to "code" that may or may not be justified. Ali and his friends will tell you that using "Zionist" isn't really code language at all, nor is the term, "pro-Israel lobby". Yet many of them will tell you that the expression "cutting taxes' is now code language for racism directed at African-Americans (which, in my view, is nonsense and, in its own way, insulting to African-Americans).

Ali might want to consider why he never uses the term, "Zionist Christians" (at least I have never heard it from him). If not all Zionists are Jews, then surely he must think that some are Christians who support the notion that Israel has a right to exist as a Jewish state (like me, for instance).

"Fousesquawk is a straight-up Zionist Christian."

Doesn't exactly roll off the tongue, does it?

Even if Ali sincerely believes that his use of the term, Zionist Jew" is not anti-Semitic and not meant to apply to all Jews, he surely is savvy enough to know that his manner in saying it would lead many to believe there is religious animus involved and would offend many Jews, Zionist or not. After all, white Christians know that when referring to other groups like African-Americans and Muslims, offense can be taken very quickly, and (most of us) use our words carefully so as not to offend-even inadvertently. Those rules of etiquette apparently do not apply to Ali or those who invite him to speak on their behalf.

No, on the other hand, the MSU, prior to all their speaking events the past couple of years, have used a verbal disclaimer given at the opening that it is wrong to label anti-Zionism or opposition to Israel as being anti-Semitic. Indeed, they state that they oppose all forms of racial or religious bigotry-including that directed toward members of the Jewish faith.  That apparently opens the doors for speakers like Amir Abdel Malik Ali (and others the UCI MSU has invited through the years like Abdul Alim Musa and Mohammed al-Asi) to step to the microphone and spout their toxic venom. Of course, Ali really offends nobody because he says, "Zionist Jews".

"You can take the Jew out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the Jew."

-Mohammed al Asi at UCI in February 2001

Poor Al Asi forgot to say "Zionist Jew". Well, we can certainly forgive the American-born, Ayatollah-supporting imam from Washington since Nowhere Is It Written, "Zionist" Jew.

As long as we are on the topic of momentous declarations at UCI, we might as well include this jewel from a few years back when Jewish students and community members were complaining about the rhetoric at these same events:

"One person's hate speech is another person's education."

That is what they were reportedly told by a university official.

Muslim Persecution of Christians: April 2012

By Findalis
Monkey in the Middle

"The police are also involved in this."

As Easter, one of the highest Christian holidays, comes in April, Christian persecution in Muslim nations—from sheer violence to oppressive laws—was rampant: In Nigeria, where jihadis have expressed their desire to expunge all traces of Christianity, a church was bombed during Easter Sunday, killing some 50 worshipers; in Turkey, a pastor was beaten by Muslims immediately following Easter service and threatened with death unless he converted to Islam; and in Iran, Easter Sunday saw 12 Christians stand trial as "apostates."

The persecution of Christians has come to regions not normally associated with it. As in Nigeria, Muslim militants are now also running amok in Timbuktu, Mali—beheading a Christian leader and threatening other Christians with similar treatment. Sharia law has been imposed, churches are being destroyed, and Christians are fleeing Timbuktu in mass.

Categorized by theme, April's assemblage of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity:

Church Attacks

Azerbaijan: A church in the Muslim-majority nation has "become the first religious community to be liquidated by a court since the country's harsh new 'Religion Law,' requiring all previously registered religious institutions to re-register, came into force in 2009. Greater Grace Protestant Church in the capital, Baku, "was stripped of its registration at a 15-minute hearing on 25 April. The decision, which was made in the absence of any church representatives, makes any activity by the church illegal and subject to punishment."

Indonesia: Gunmen opened fire on the GKI Yasmin church, causing much damage, in the latest attack on the building, which has been illegally sealed off by authorities since 2008 in response to Muslim demands. Another Protestant church unlawfully sealed off by the authorities—despite meeting all requirements for a permit—was met with violent opposition from Muslims when its members tried to hold a service on the street in front of their sealed-off church building. Muslim residents made death threats, played loud music, and rode a motorcycle through the congregation. A church spokesman said: "We are constantly having to change our location because our existence appears to be unwanted, and we have to hide so that we are not intimidated by intolerant groups… We had hoped for help from the police, but after many attacks on members of the congregation, we see that the police are also involved in this."

Kenya: Two separate grenade attacks on churches took place: 1) Muslims threw grenades into an open-air Christian church gathering, killing a woman and a boy, and wounding some 50 other Christians: Muslims had been holding a meeting near the gathering, and Christians could hear their preachers railing against Christianity right before the attack took place. 2) In a separate incident, a Muslim man pretending to be a worshipper at a church threw three grenades during service, killing a 27-year-old university student and injuring16. The terrorist, who, according to eyewitnesses, appeared to be of Somali origin, "looked uncomfortable and always looked down. He threw three hand grenades and only one exploded. He took off, and he fired in the air three gunshots."

Nigeria: An early morning attack on a Christian church service left at least 16 people dead: Jihadi gunmen on motorcycles stormed Bayero University in the city of Kano Sunday morning during a Catholic mass held in the school's theater hall, hurling improvised explosive devices, and opening fire as people fled. "The attack follows a string of violent incidents against Christians in the predominantly Muslim north."

Sudan: A Christian compound in Khartoum was stormed by a throng of Muslims "armed with clubs, iron rods, a bulldozer and fire," the day after a Muslim leader called on Muslims to destroy "the infidels' church." Shouting "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!"], and "No more Christianity from today on—no more church from today on!" the jihadis stormed the Bible school bookstore, burning Bibles and threatening to kill anyone who tried to resist. "What happened could not be imagined—it was terrible," said an eyewitness. "They burned all furniture of the school and the church as well." As usual, "Police at the compound stood back and did nothing to prevent the mob from vandalizing the compound."

Tunisia: Members of the Christian Orthodox Church in Tunis, one of very few churches in the nation, are being "abused" and receiving "threatening messages." Church members are "living in a state of terror," so much so that the Russian ambassador in Tunis specifically requested the nation's Ministry of Interior to "protect the church." The abuse has gotten to the point where "Salafis covered the cross of the church with garbage bags, and told the church members that they do not wish to see the vision of the Cross anywhere in the Islamic state of Tunisia." Separately, a Muslim burst into a church to deliver a letter from an Islamist party inviting the archpriest to convert to Islam or to take down the church's crosses and pay jizya, the Islamic subjugation tax.

Apostasy and Blasphemy: Death and Prison

Algeria: A Christian was sentenced to five years in prison for "shaking the faith" of Muslims. He had discussed his faith with a Muslim man at a food court when the Muslim became angry and accused the Christian of "insulting Muhammad." Police arrested the man and found a large amount of Christian material in his apartment. The judge gave him the maximum sentence of five years in prison, even though the prosecutor himself had recommended a lesser sentence.

Bangladesh: A former Muslim prayer leader who converted to Christianity was "welcomed by threats and violence." Members of his Muslim community "beat him almost to death," causing him to be hospitalized for almost two months: "the same Muslims who followed him and held him in high esteem when he was their imam now cannot accept his new status."

Egypt: Two incidents of "blasphemy" convictions took place: 1) A juvenile court sentenced a Coptic Christian teenager to three years in prison for allegedly "insulting Islam," on claims that he posted unflattering cartoons of Muhammad on Facebook. When the incident came to light, Muslims rioted, fire-bombing his home and at least five other Christian-owned homes. 2) Another judge upheld a six-year prison sentence for a Christian convicted of "blasphemy": after a Muslim had told the 49-year old Christian convict that Jesus had illegal sex with at least ten women, the Christian countered "by stating that Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic religion, had more than four wives—a view commonly held by Islamic scholars." Police subsequently arrested him and, in a 10-minute mock trial with no defense attorney present, the judge sentenced him to six years in prison for "insulting the prophet."

Iran: A Christian convert from Islam has been sentenced to six years in prison. Originally arrested in December 2010 as part of a major crackdown on the country's house church movement, "the married father of two has been held in the notorious Evin prison ever since, spending several months in solitary confinement," and likely goaded to return to Islam. He is accused of "action against the regime's security, being in contact with foreign organizations and religious propaganda." In short, according to Iranian Christians, "his 'crime' was practicing his Christian faith."

Pakistan: Two incidents of "blasphemy" charges occurred: 1) A Christian man was arrested and charged with "blasphemy" for rescuing his 8-year-old nephew from a beating at the hands of Muslim boys who sought to force the boy to convert to Islam. "Seeing the attack from a distance, Masih [the man] shouted and rushed to the scene, rescued his nephew and then went to his work as a painter. Soon after the incident, a Muslim mob of about 55 led by the village prayer leader besieged Masih's house," and insisted that "the blasphemer" be turned over to them. After being threatened and harassed by Muslim inmates and jail officials, he was eventually released from prison. 2) The mother of a newborn baby has been illegally jailed for over a month: authorities have failed to file a charge sheet within the mandatory 14-day period against the 26-year-old Christian woman accused of "blaspheming" the prophet of Islam. The woman was arrested after neighbors accused her of "uttering remarks against Muhammad."

Philippines: Two pastors were slaughtered by Muslim assailants: 1) A former Muslim who became a Christian pastor was murdered in front of his wife in his home: "My husband staggered into our bedroom and I was shocked because he was full of blood," she recalled. "I brought him to the hospital right away. He was operated on for eight bullet wounds, but did not survive." The Philippines is a mostly Christian nation, but in the south, "Muslim fundamentalists are trying to build an Islamic state. Christians there face persecution and even death…. This year, at least four house churches closed down after their pastors and lay leaders were killed by Muslim extremists." 2) Another pastor was shot in the head five times, killed by two unknown gunmen in front of his teenage daughter.

[General Abuse, Debasement, and Suppression of non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]

Egypt: A recent "reconciliation meeting" between members of a sword-wielding Muslim mob that earlier brutalized a Christian school proved to be "nothing less than an attempt at legalized extortion." In exchange for peace, members of the mob that stormed the school last month without provocation—holding two nuns hostage for several hours—demanded in the meetings that the school sign over land that included the guesthouse they attacked. "Human rights groups and Coptic rights activists say the meetings are just a way to pressure powerless groups and people into giving away what little rights they have." Likewise, the judges appointed to investigate the Maspero massacre, which claimed the lives of 27 Christians and injured 329, closed the case, due to "lack of identification of the culprits." As one Christian lawyer put it: "We said all along that it [the investigation] was just a show and this is the outcome we got."

India: Muslims stormed and terrorized a home in which a Christian prayer meeting was being held, and beat the Christians, including a 65-year-old widow. The Muslims "called them pagans as they kicked, slapped and pushed the Christians…. The Christians were running in all directions for their lives, including the children who were crying in fear" as one Muslim, "brandishing a sickle, chased many of them, hurling all kinds of insults and attempting to mi=ureder them all…. 500 Muslims had gathered and were watching in amusement as the extremists chased and harassed the Christians for about 90 minutes."

Iran: Historical Christian monuments, including churches and Christian cemeteries, continue to be destroyed or allowed to fall into a state of decay as the Islamist authorities try to wipe out the country's Christian heritage: "It seems that Islamic Republic officials, unsuccessful in stopping the growth of Christianity among the people by pressuring them, arresting them and banning Christian converts from attending church services, want to destroy historical Christian monuments to totally wipe the Christian heritage from the face of Iran."

Pakistan: Yet another study demonstrates that Pakistani school textbooks "promote religious fanaticism, discriminate against minorities and trigger religious conflicts." Christians and Hindus "are obliged to learn the basics of Islam"—studying the Koran is mandatory—while their own religions are openly denigrated. Even in subjects such as social science and linguistics, "about 20% of the content is linked to Islam"; and non-Muslim students receive "bonus points" if they excel in Islamic studies.

Syria: Almost the entire Christian population—nearly 60,000—of the city of Homs, the nation's third largest, have fled as fighting between the government and anti-government, largely Islamist forces continues. Reportedly only 1,000 Christians remain. Opposition forces are attacking churches and other Christian centers; "Muslim neighbors are turning on the Christians. Christians have also suffered kidnapping and gruesome murders. Some Christian families, unable to pay a ransom for their relatives' release and fearing that they may be tortured, have been driven to ask the kidnappers to kill their loved ones at once."

Tunisia: After the Russian ambassador stood up for an Orthodox church under attack (see above, under "church attacks"), the Russian school located behind the church as well as the Christian cemetery in Tunis were vandalized. The walls of the school and religious frescoes were smeared with fecal matter, while the cemetery's crosses were destroyed. Meanwhile, the new "Arab-spring" government has shown its "manifest indifference with regard to minorities' right to protection."

Turkey: The nation's Greek Orthodox citizens living on the island of Gökçeada (Imbros) in the north Aegean cannot buy property on the island, though it is an easy matter for Muslims: "The Land Registry office has admitted to preventing non-Muslims from buying property, citing a National Security Council (MGK) decision, but refused to give further details."

About this Series

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching epidemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:

  • To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians. 
  • To show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death to those who "offend" Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, "tolerated" citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East, and throughout the West wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

2012 UC Irvine Hate Week Post-Mortem

Gary Fouse

"One man's hate speech is another man's education."

Another UC Irvine week of hate against the Jewish state of Israel has wrapped up, and I would like to add a few post-mortem thoughts.

First of all, the return appearance of Amir Abdel Malik Ali and the "triumphant return" of the so-called Irvine 11 (4 of them anyway) pretty much refute the claims that the Olive Tree Initiative at UCI has improved the situation on campus between Jewish and Muslim students.

On the other hand, some of my friends have remarked that the steam seems to have gone out of the Muslim Student Union's Israel Apartheid week. Perhaps, it was the suspension over their disruption of the Oren event in 2010; perhaps, it was the fact that they seem to be bringing back pretty much the same list of speakers with the same tired old message. Attendance appeared to be down, usually 30-50 MSU students, a few curious on-lookers, or other students getting extra credit from their liberal professors to go and listen to the propaganda, as well as some from the community showing support for Israel and provide some sort of intellectual challenges to the lies and exaggerations. Hopefully, the MSU is catching on to the fact that the student body pays hardly any attention to them as they pass by the flagpoles on their way to and from lunch/class. For most students at UCI, the week of events is more an annoyance than anything else. I am not ready to judge this annual event dead yet since another flareup in the Middle East involving Israel will undoubtedly spur the activists back into what they do best-congregate at the flagpoles.

Of course, the campus paper, the New University, maintains its political correctness by this week's coverage, which is on the front page instead of the editorial section, where it belongs.


"Near the end of Ali’s speech, a Zionist Jew from the crowd yelled out, “We’re not allowed to live in our own country?” Ali’s answer of, “It [Israel] is not your country. " (Emphasis mine)

To summarize the week of events, it was almost the same lineup of speakers we have seen regularly in the past. Boring Ben White, the ever-annoying Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian, the misguided Hedy Epstein (who doesn't realize whom she is lending support to), always radical imam Amir Abdel Malik Ali ( who belies the claims of the MSU that they are really a mainstream religious organization that rejects anti-Semitism), and this time, veterans of the Oren disruption, 4 unrepentant young men, who swear if the Israeli ambassador ever returns to UCI, they will be there to disrupt again. To this day, they refuse to acknowledge that Ambassador Oren has a right to speak.

They also do a fair job of limiting opposition comments. First, they set up the old "ask your question, make it pertinent to the speech, be respectful, and return to your seat before your question will be answered." rule for q and a. Then they interrupt to tell you to get to your question. Then they ask you to cease and return to your seat  as soon as they detect you are making a statement. It is, of course, a skillful way of limiting the "dialogue".

I heard a lot of talk last week about suffering, victims, and justice, but of course, it was all on one side. Did anybody mention the slaughter of the Fogel family including 3 children, one a couple of months old? Oh yeah. I did. Nobody was impressed.

Actually, the MSU started off the previous week hosting a lecture by a UCI professor whose name I will leave out because it was almost incomprehensible. The title was "Beyond Speaking Truth to Power" and (I think) had something to do with whether the oppressed should answer their oppressors with words or force. That's pretty much where I got lost. I think the rest of the audience did as well. It was obvious that as the speaker delved deeper and deeper into theory nobody was paying much attention. She referred to some guy named Foucault, who I assume was Michel Foucault, a French philosopher who had a curious hobby of getting tuned up by local gendarmes . I had come hoping to ask a hardball question, but when it was over, I couldn't think of anything to ask. Only a couple of students managed to ask questions. It was painful.

Returning to Hate Week, another low point was after the Epstein speech, in which a white-haired man (probably a professor) with a very strong accent got up and after thanking Epstein, proceeded to make an incoherent attack on the US political (two-party) system. "Nothing is going to change as long as (America) keeps this two-party system." (I am paraphrasing.) Now allow me to repeat for the hundredth time on this blog that I love immigration. I think it does great things for our country, so great that I married an immigrant myself. Yet, when I hear this kind of trash talking about my country from one who is an immigrant (and probably a recent one judging by his English), or just happens to be here, it gets my nationalisttic juices flowing. Flowing as in I wanted to invite the gentleman to return to his own country. Know what I mean?

I was thinking of doing just that, but at the moment, I and couple of others were approached by some crazy white guy in his 30s-40s, who reminded us of  Popeye looking for Bluto. He was clearly not normal and itching for a fight with anyone who happened to be handy. He came up to where we were seated on the steps and showed us one of those maps showing the demographics of Israel at various times and actually put it in front of the face of the young man sitting next to me. At this point, the campus police moved in and told him to get out of our space. We moved away as this nut job engaged in a 5-minute tirade against the cops before he left. At that point, there was no sense in making the campus cops' job harder by telling someone else off.

Ali, for his part, put a new title on his standard stump speech (The Struggle has no Borders). The only new items were a reference to Trayvon Martin and another name added to his ever-growing list of Zionist Jews (UC President Mark Yudof). When I took him to task for the latter, he pointed out that there was a difference between referring to Zionist Jews and simply Jews. After his speech, a questioner pointed out to him his infamous quote from the 2010 appearance at UCI when he told a Jewish questioner, "You Jews. Y'all the new Nazis." That is a direct quote. Yet, Ali denied it saying he always says "Zionist" Jews. Music maestro, please.

At least, Ali has stopped bringing his goons to flank him for "security" as he did in 2006 when he called Rupert Murdoch a "straight up Zionist Jew."


(Pretty intimidating, wouldn't you agree?)

Which brings to mind another thought: What are the rest of the students on campus supposed to think when they see these MSU folks standing around in olive-green t-shirts, Palestinian scarves with the black and white doo-dads (hat tip D. Horowitz), and red bandannas? I mean who are they trying to intimidate?

But back to the speakers because they are the ones who really ought to be ashamed since they cannot use their youthful age as an excuse. Not only did several of them  repeat the same presentations and talking points (Bazian, Omar Shakir, and White) ad nausea, they succeeded many times in losing their own audience including the MSU-the poor kids who dutifully have to attend all these events and listen to the same propaganda every year, plus put up and dismantle that silly apartheid wall every day. It must be exhausting for them, poor lads. Sooner or later, they will wake up to the fact that they are only appealing to the fringe-both students and faculty. Most people in this country are sick and tired of hearing about the so-called "suffering" of the Palestinians. After decades of skyjackings, kidnappings, the Olympics massacre in Munich, the Achille Lauro, Leon Klinghoffer, suicide bombings, massacres, and other assorted murders, as well as dancing in the streets on 9-11, please excuse some of us if we don't care.

Hate Week UCI -Irvine 11 Panel

Gary Fouse

On Thursday evening ( May 10), the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine mercifully ended their week long anti-Israel week of deceptions and propaganda with a panel involving four former MSU students who were part of the so-called “Irvine 11“, who took part in disrupting a speech by the Israeli ambassador to the US in 2010. They were:

Taher Herzallah, Osama Shabaik, Muhammad Qureashi, and Aslam Traina

The four took turns describing their recollections of the disgraceful event, their arrest and subsequent prosecution by the evil Orange County DA. Contrary to what their supporters have described over the past couple of years, these four young men have hardly been victims. They have continued with their studies at other institutions and seem to have enjoyed a sort of celebrity status (at least among their supporters, who have portrayed them as "martyrs"). Shabaik is now a law student at Harvard and implied that his record was a plus in his acceptance.

All four are intelligent and articulate. Yet, they spoke with a sense of self congratulation, in my view. None  are remorseful for their actions and would do it again. They described their action as legitimate protest, perfectly acceptable on an American college campus and something that should not be criminalized. The audience of about 50 or so, mostly MSU members, applauded them as if they were heroes.

The former students also patted themselves on the back by describing the impact their action had everywhere-even in Israel. They described Michael Oren, the ambassador as a "war criminal" (he previously served in the Israeli Defense Forces), and bragged that he will remember that night for the rest of his life. (Oren pretty much knew he would be disrupted at UCI. It is a common experience for Israeli diplomats speaking on university campuses.) They mocked his expressed desire to return to UCI, and promised that if Oren returned, he would get the same treatment (applause). In addition, they criticized the head of the campus police ("excusing" the actual arresting officers), university officials, the specific official who conducted the investigation, Chancellor Drake, UC president Yudof-everyone but themselves. It was notable that they never mentioned retired vice chancellor, Manuel Gomez, who reduced the MSU suspension from one year to one quarter  on his last day in office.

Naturally, the Q and A was orchestrated to limit any debate or discussion from dissenters. As in all, of the week's events, it was step to the microphone, ask your question, and return to your seat before the question would be answered. That effectively cuts off follow-up questions. By the time I got to the microphone, I knew that I would never be able to get all of my words out (since I didn’t intend to ask a question, rather I wanted to give them my opinion).

I told them that they were hardly victims since by their own descriptions, they are moving on quite well in life, and that they live in the greatest and freest country in the world. Yet, I questioned whether they really understood the concept of American freedom of speech since they only cared about their own right of free speech and not that of their opponents. By the time I told them that they and their organization had, over the years, given a black eye to the university, I was cut short by the moderator, who recognized that I wasn’t asking a  question, rather making a statement, and I was politely asked to return to my seat. I then repeated the same question I had asked Shabaik in the afternoon.-why they could not extend the same courtesy to their opponents that they had enjoyed all week (not being disrupted).

One of the students replied that he had been disrupted (at other events) and that it was OK. If anyone in this audience wanted to disrupt and leave, go ahead. He implied that MSU events at UCI had been disrupted. (The only one I am aware of is in 2001 when the speaker was Amir Abdel Malik Ali.) Others referred back to the “fact” that Oren was a “war criminal” who should  not be allowed to present his country’s propaganda (I am paraphrasing this.) The idea of a polite discourse with Oren was rejected.

To make matters worse, the MSU not only carried out their protest, but reportedly  lied to the university about it.  University officials were reportedly told by the MSU that they were not planning any disruption. After the arrests, the defense was made by the organization that the outbursts were not planned but were a result of a spontaneous, individual  reaction to Oren's words.  (I was there. It was clearly choreographed.)

It is pretty clear that the speakers and the MSU have learned little by the Oren event. They care nothing for the fact that UCI has suffered from the effects of their antics over the years in terms of its national and international reputation. Their attitude is one of self-righteousness, arrogance and self-congratulation.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

He Who Controls The Present Controls The Past

By Findalis
Monkey in the Middle

Is one of the slogans of the Party in the novel 1984 by George Orwell.  In the novel the Party changes the facts of history to suit their purposes.  And it seems that the White House under Big Brother Barack Hussein Obama is doing the same.
The Obama White House is drawing ridicule for appending the official online biographies of nearly every president over the last century in order to link President Obama's accomplishments to the former commanders in chief.

The Obama team went into the pages of U.S. presidents dating back to Calvin Coolidge to add friendly looking "Did you know?" fact boxes to the end of their bios. Those additions were used to plug a host of Obama administration initiatives, ranging from the health care overhaul to the so-called "Buffett Rule" to his green-energy policies.

For instance, the following line was added to the official bio of the late President Ronald Reagan:
"In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule."
Thus stating that President Obama is just like Ronald Reagan.
The White House is coming under heavy criticism from conservatives for the changes, and not just to Reagan's page.

Late Tuesday, the White House defended itself, claiming the staff was merely adding links to other pages.

"No biographies have been altered," a White House official told Fox News. "We simply added links at the bottom of each page to related content, which is a commonly used best practice to encourage people to browse more pages on a site."

The additions do include links, but they're more than that. Each one finds a way to tout an Obama administration policy or practice in the process.

There's this at the bottom of the Franklin D. Roosevelt biography, for instance:
"On August 14, 1935, President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act. Today the Obama administration continues to protect seniors and ensure Social Security will be there for future generations."
And this, at the end of President Lyndon Johnson's, drawing a link between his signing of Medicare and Obama's signing of the health care overhaul:
"President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare into law in 1965 -- providing millions of elderly health care stability. President Obama's historic health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, strengthens Medicare, offers eligible seniors a range of preventive services with no cost-sharing, and provides discounts on drugs when in the coverage gap known as the 'donut hole.'"
The changes also link Harry Truman's call for civil rights to the Obama administration's push to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." And they link Jimmy Carter's creation of the Department of Energy to Obama's push for an "all of the above" energy approach today.

The Obama accomplishments cited range from the significant to the mundane. On the bio of John F. Kennedy, the Obama staff cited the current president's decision to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps with a "presidential proclamation," as a way to link the current administration to Kennedy's -- which launched the Peace Corps.

The only post-Coolidge president whose page is so far untouched is that of Gerald Ford.

Conservative blogs and publications ripped the White House Tuesday for the move, even starting a Twitter hashtag #ObamaInHistory to mock him. The Republican National Committee launched a tumble page called: "Obama in History -- World Changing Events You Didn't Know Obama Played A Part In."

The page goes on to show pictures of Obama standing with historical figures ranging from Einstein to Elvis to The Beatles. It also shows Obama at the Berlin Wall and Stonehenge.

I guess that when you don't have a record you are proud of to run on you have to associate yourself with Presidents past.  And when you are the President you can control what is written about you and your predecessors on the White House website.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Give your Mom a big hug, for once she is gone you won't have the chance to.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Hate Week at UCI Day 4

Gary Fouse


On May 10, the Muslim Student Union at UC Irvine held their noon event and featured Osama Shabaik, a former UCI student, member of the Muslim Student Union and one of the so-called “Irvine 11”, arrested  for disrupting Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren during his 2010 speech at UCI.  Shabaik spoke about his own personal experiences in the Holy Land region prior to the Oren incident. Then he told the audience of about 50 students and others how he and his fellow MSU members planned the disruption. (Keep in mind that one of the original defenses the defendants claimed after the event was that it was a spontaneous reaction by individuals and not part of an MSU planned event.) Of course, in his view, the prosecutions were not justified and he spoke of the right to speak out in protest.

Their right to speak.


Shabaik was followed by a graduate student and member of the Students for Justice in Palestine (I am withholding his name because he is a student.) He told the crowd that when he was a student at the University of Minnesota, he and his friends completely and continuously disrupted a speech by Bill Richardson.  He added that the university took absolutely no action against them. This was to draw a comparison between his experience and the prosecution and disciplinary measures by UCI against the Irvine 11.

Comment: Shame on the University of Minnesota.

That was followed by a female MSU member who talked about protesting and read an impassioned poem referring to Palestinian victimhood. (Again, I am withholding her name.)

Then a former Palestinian student named Mustafa (I didn’t get his name) came up and spoke about the situation in Gaza.  More suffering and victimhood, if you will.  He talked about all the children in Gaza who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome as a result of Operation Cast Lead.  Of course, nobody mentioned that there are no Jews, no Israelis, and no Israeli forces in Gaza, which is ruled by Hamas. During the Q and A, a questioner asked Mustafa about the post-traumatic stress syndrome suffered by Israeli children in Sderot, southern Israel as a result of the thousands of rockets launched by Hamas. He was also asked if he condemned Hamas for doing that.


In his explanation, Mustafa basically blew it off as a response to Israel’s aggression (my word-I am paraphrasing.)

 Mustafa was also put off balance by an Iranian student who asked him what he thought about the support Hamas receives from Iran. In responding, he said that he was not so much into politics and then went on a winding answer.

As is typical, I had to struggle to get my question in. You see, the first speaker, Shabaik was back seated in the audience and he was the specific one I wanted address my question to. The moderator said that if anyone had a question for Shabaik, they should come that evening for the later event. I was interrupted when I said I specifically wanted to address Shabaik then said I would address it to all the speakers (including Mustafa, who was standing at the podium-I could have cared less about him.)  So I asked that since all 4 speakers were able to give their presentations without any disruption, why could  they not extend that courtesy and that right to those with whom they disagree. Apparently, some thought the question was not clear enough so I had to return to the microphone and repeat it. (I thought it was simple.) Eventually, Shabaik returned to the podium and gave me his answer. It was predictable.  He said that he had (in the past) been disrupted, but that it was not criminal to be disruptive. He described Oren as a war criminal. He conceded that they were rude, but that he was proud of being rude, and that there was nothing shameful about being rude to injustice.

 The point that is emerging here is that these young people have a skewed perception of the American right of free speech. They will insist on their own right of free speech (which they clearly have), but insist that they have the right to shut down speech they don’t like. By that twisted standard, it would have been fine for others to shout down the hate-filled words of Tuesday’s  speaker, Amir Abdel Malik Ali (which was not done.)

They just don’t get it.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day Three at UC Irvine-Hedy Epstein

Gary Fouse

On Wednesday, Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein  appeared at UC Irvine during the Muslim Student Union’s anti-Israel week of events. (Epstein was born in Germany and was part of the so-called Kinder Transport whereby thousands of Jewish children were sent to England during the late 1930s. Her family remained in Germany and died in the Holocaust.)
As in previous years, Epstein told her story about surviving the Holocaust and later in life becoming involved in the Israel/Palestinian conflict after the Shaba and Shatila massacres in Lebanon during the 1980s. She told of her first trip to Israel with Palestinian activists and having to endure Israeli checks –including a strip search at the airport in Israel.  Epstein, of course, an ardent critic of Israel and says that she and her family have opposed Zionism since she first heard about it as a child.

Epstein began her talk by mentioning a petition that is being circulated demanding UC president Mark Yudof’s resignation in response to a letter he recently issued deploring racist and anti-Semitic incidents on UC campuses. (He didn’t mention anything about Islamophobia.) After her presentation, she signed the petition.

Epstein also brought us up to date on her recent activities including her participation in a flotilla boatlift to Gaza a couple of years ago, in which the boat she was on was stopped by the Greeks just after leaving harbor.

During the Q and A, a gentleman identified himself as the child of Holocaust survivors and politely told her that she was sharing a platform (other sponsored speakers, specifically Amir Abdel Malik Ali from the previous day) who supported Hamas and Hezbollah and thus, supported people who wanted to destroy Jews-I am paraphrasing.) In her response, Epstein said that she condemns all violence, but that the violence carried out by Palestinians pales in comparison to that carried out by Israel and the IDF (Israeli Defense Force). She also reminded the questioner that Hamas was elected by the people of Gaza.

Afterward, as Epstein was leaving, I greeted her, and we spoke for a few minutes in German (about Germany). We had spoken a couple of years previously about Germany after her talk. I did not try to engage her in debate out of respect for her advanced age. I thanked her for her presentation and visit to UCI and wished her a good day.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Day Two at UC Irvine Hate Week-Amir Abdel Malik Ali

Gary Fouse

On Tuesday, May 8, Amir Abdel Malik Ali once again was brought back to the UC Irvine campus by the Muslim Student Association to spew his message of hate and radicalism. On his previous visit in 2010, he acknowledged that he was a supporter of Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad. He then closed by telling the Jewish audience members, “You Jews. Y’all the new Nazis!”
This day, Ali gave his typical rambling speech filled with invective. One must understand that while Ali is a dynamic and fiery speaker, he has no introduction, body or conclusion. He also buys into countless conspiracies. Today, he tried to cover every ill of the world in one 40 minute speech. Early in the speech he referred to Mark Yudof (University of California president) as a “Zionist Jew”, as he railed against Yudof for a recent letter he sent out on a series of racially-religiously tainted incidents on UC campuses. Yudof’’s sin was that he didn’t mention any Islamophobic incidents. (Here’s a secret; there weren’t any.)

Of course, Ali railed against Israel and all the “oppression” committed against the Palestinians. (Oppression is one of Ali’s favorite words.) He also railed against his own country, the US, with mocking references to Uncle Sam. In one of his many newly-discovered conspiracies, Ali talked about how the next military battlefield is going to be Africa. He mentioned Libya, Sudan and Uganda then made this incredible statement: According to Ali, President Obama is already “in” as far as re-election is concerned. Why? Because there is no way America would start bombing Africa with a white man as president.

The fix is in, folks.

Of course, there were fleeting references to other issues of the day like Trayvon Martin (it’s all connected, you see) and the always obligatory Irvine 11, who “did the right thing” (by disrupting the speech of the Israeli ambassador to the US at UCI in 2010. And there was this:

Latinos are native Americans too and California is Mexico del Norte.

The US ended Prohibition because the government wanted Americans drunk so they would not rise up during the Depression.

Somewhere after the halfway point, Ali indicated he was into his conclusion. I learned years ago that means nothing. Ali then proceeded to wander into other new information until the moderator brought him the “hook” note that he was running out of time.

In my question to Ali (Q and A), I noted how ironic it was that the MSU always began their events with preamble in which they disclaim any racial or religious bias-specifically against members of the Jewish faith-then they bring in a speaker like Ali who has a long history of inflammatory statements on the UCI campus. I noted that in previous years, he had referred to Rahm “Israel”Emanuel, David Axelrod and Rupert Murdoch as “Zionist Jews” “Rupert Murdoch-straight up Zionist Jew” (His words, I noted.) Now he calls Mark Yudof a “Zionist Jew”. I told Ali that he had done nothing to bring Christians, Jews and Muslims together nor blacks and whites. I told him that he was an anti-Semite who hated his own country. Directing my words to the MSU in the audience I told them that they “owned” Ali when they sponsored him as a speaker. “He is your speaker” and asked (when pressed to ask a question) how they can disclaim anti-Semitism when they bring Ali to campus. (I am paraphrasing from memory, but I will be able to post a complete video of this event in the next few days.)

Ali’s response was predictable. He always made a distinction between Jews and Zionist Jews. “Not all Jews are Zionists and not all Zionists are Jews”. (he obviously forgot his closing comment at the 2010 event);

"You Jews. Y'all the new Nazis!"

So much for the moderation of the UCI-MSU, and so much for the hollow assurances of the misguidedOlive Tree Initiative crowd that the OTI has made the campus situation better.

Here is the YouTube video (hat tip to Joe).

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Hate Week-Ben White at UC Irvine

Gary Fouse

On  March 7,  the UC Irvine Muslim Student Union initiated their week-long Israel Apartheid week.  The first speaker was British freelance journalist Ben White. White has written a couple of books condemning  Israel  for its “maltreatment “ of  Palestinians (which get rave reviews from Iran’s Press TV), and Israel is pretty much the only issue in his life  as he travels around giving anti-Israel   speeches.  On this occasion, he pretty much gave his “off-the-shelf” speech  about  the  “injustices”  Israel commits against the  Palestinians. He spoke of the restrictions  on movement of the Palestinians . However, he did not  dwell  on the reasons for those controls. Naturally, it was not his wont to discuss minor little issues like Palestinian terrorism, suicide bombers,   rockets  being  lobbed  into Southern Israel from Gaza-just Israel controlling what kinds of goods could be allowed into Gaza.  White also spoke of the “illegal settlements “  in the West Bank  but never, of course, mentioned the murders of Israeli settlers by Palestinians.  There was, of course, no mention of the slaughter of the Fogel family in 2011.

In the question and answer session,  I reminded White of his previous speaking appearance at UCI in 2010, when an audience member questioned him about the then recent murder of an Israeli family living in one of the West Bank settlements.  In White's response, he had dismissed them as "illegal settlers.” The woman responded that they were “Jewish human beings”, at which point, White said, “OK. They were illegal Jewish human being settlers”.  (A real wide guy.) I then told him that since that last appearnce at UCI,  there had been another murder of an Israeli family, this time the Fogel family in Itimar.  I described the murder of the five family members including three children-also including a months-old infant in its crib who had its throat slashed.  I also mentioned that the reaction of many Palestinians was to hand out candy in the streets in celebration. I asked why he never condemned those things.

In his answer, White gave the standard “I condemn all murder of innocents” response then compared it to the civilians killed in Gaza by Israeli airstrikes. Of course, I could have come back with the fact that Hamas and Hezbollah use civilians as human shields, but the ground rules for questions was to ask your question then return to your seat before the question would be answered. (The obvious reason for that is to eliminate follow-up responses to bad answers.)
White is typical of the anti-Israel crowd. They will talk forever about Israel’s so–called “crimes”, but never mention the atrocities by Palestinians or other Arab states.  It is only when bothersome questioners bring them out that they will of course “condemn all acts of violence against innocents” and immediately change the  subject to those who get killed in the cross-fire between the Israeli army and the terrorists who hide behind human shields.

There wasn’t that much of crowd to hear White-perhaps 50 people.  Even his supporters in the audience looked bored.  He lost them early on in the speak because he is a pedantic and boring speaker. He speaks again Monday evening. That’s double punishment for the MSU members who feel  obligated  to come out and support the event.  In contrast, on Tuesday, we will have the fiery Amir Abdel  Malik Ali.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Hate Week Returns to UC Irvine May 7-10

Gary Fouse

Terrorism                              Religious persecution     Jew hatred      Persecution of gays

"Elephants? I don't see any elephants."

The Greatest Show on Earth returns to UC Irvine May 7-10 as the Muslim Student Union puts on its annual bash-Israel week of sideshow attractions. Notwithstanding all the horrible things that are occurring in the Middle East and nearby regions, once again, the focus will be on tiny Israel. Forget about Egypt, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, Pakistan and all the other dysfunctional, despotic regimes aligned against her  It is Israel that is the problem in the region.

Here is the tired old line-up of  “distinguished” speakers. Most of them we know because they have spoken at UCI before-some many times. Can you say, “retreads”?

Monday’s speaker will be the arrogant little British journalist and Doogie Howser look-a-like Ben White.   He is also speaking at eight the same night. He's apparently going to disprove the idea that Israel is a democracy. I guess he prefers the Syrian model.

On Tuesday, it’s the main attraction, none other than our old friend, Amir Abdel Malik Ali. He missed last year’s event, but he will be back once again to insult the Jews and glorify suicide bombings. In 2010, he was so bad, UCI’s chancellor Michael Drake was finally moved to condemn his statements-even though he never identified Ali by name. He also neglected to mention the MSU as bringing him to campus; nor did he repeat what Ali had said. For all the campus knew (those who were not present), Ali might have denied Global Warming. The fact that Ali is back rebuts the claim by Olive Tree Initiative supporters that OTI has “made the situation better”.  This time, the title of his speech is, "The struggle has no borders". In other words, same tired old speech with a new title.

Ali and yours truly with the little toughies in the background looking mean

In the evening, the speaker will be some law student and activist named Omar Shakir. I can hardly wait to hear his pearls of wisdom.

"Ah wunnerful, ah wunnerful, ah."

On Wednesday, we have Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein, a very nice old lady who is thinks Palestinians are the victims-no matter how many people they kill. She has spoken several times at UCI. The Muslim Student Union likes to invite Jews to speak so nobody can call them anti-Semitic. Hedy always fits the bill. She should arrive a day early so she can hear Ali speak. I warned her about that the last time she came. She has some pretty embarrassing company. The MSU always puts up a protective cocoon around her lest folks like me try to influence her.

The same evening, radical Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian brings his tired old act back to UCI. This character is a two-trick pony whose tricks are “Islamophobia” and bashing Israel. In a UC university system full of professors who are embarrassments, this guy takes the cake.

Hatem Bazian-One of Berkeley's finest

Thursday is Irvine 11 day, a "celebration" of the 11 students who disrupted the Israeli ambassador to the US' speech in 2010  and were charged and convicted. The noon speaker will be Osama Shabaik of the Irvine 11, while the evening event will be an Irvine 11 panel. That promises to be an exercise in victimhood. Be sure and bring lots of handkerchiefs.

Given the events of the past year, this year’s speakers will be speaking with an 800 pound gorilla standing behind them (or four elephants if you prefer). With all the persecution of religious minorities in Muslim countries (Israel's neighbors, for the most part), the slaughter in Syria, and that much-vaunted “Arab Spring” becoming a nightmare, the week’s events will be marked by a sense of absurdity as the speakers demonize the one productive democracy in that dysfunctional region (Israel). The other absurdity is that they are labeling the week of events as "anti-oppression week."  No, they won't be talking about the oppression of Baha'i and gays in Iran, nor will they be talking about oppression of Christians in Egypt, Pakistan or Iraq, nor will they be talking about oppression of Christians and animists in Sudan, nor will they be talking about the on-going slaughter of Christians in Nigeria, nor will they mention the slaughter of the Fogel family, in which a Palestinian "soldier" slashed the throats of an entire family including three children-including an infant asleep in its crib. For that horrific act, Palestinians passed out candy in the streets to celebrate.

Another absurdity will be at the beginning of each event, including Tuesday at noon, in which an MSU member will announce to the audience that the MSU is not anti-Semitic in any way. Then he will turn the microphone over to Amir Abdel Malik Ali.

I will be filing daily reports.