Thursday, 22 June 2017

Immoral Equivalence | commentary

The deception that runs throughout the text will bewitch the average reader into believing that the Israelis are usually bad, usually wrong, usually to blame; that the Palestinians are usually good, usually right, usually blameless. And that's what makes this book both shameful and dangerous. For in truth there is no moral equivalence between an army that warns its enemy of an impending attack so that people might have a chance to steer civilians to safety and a terrorist entity that targets unarmed men, women, and children. There can be no rational comparisons between a nation that collectively shuns and condemns those among them who have resorted to violence, and a people that celebrates murderers as martyrs, names town squares in their honor, and pays surviving family members for the barbarity, inciting and incentivizing even more bloodshed.

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

"Minister puts brakes on Uber in city road map", 7 June


I was very disappointed to read that the government plans to squeeze Uber out of Hong Kong (Minister puts brakes on Uber in city road map, 7 June). I'm sure this disappointment will be shared not only by Uber drivers, but also by the many tens of thousands of satisfied customers they have served in recent years. There was an almost unprecedented number of online comments on your article, the vast majority of which were in favour of Uber and calling on the government to find away to make it to work. 
Sadly it looks like the government will ignore the public in favour of the small coterie of taxi owners.
I fear the real reason is not the regulatory one, but the political one pointed out by Jake van der Kamp (Uber issue is about politics, not about defying regulation, 10 June).  
To add insult to injury, the Minister for Transport, Anthony Cheung smeared Uber by saying "They hope they can run their businesses and not come under any regulation".  Uber says it has repeatedly offered to discuss regulating its operations.  Only one is telling the truth and I know who I believe.  Cheung also said "I believe that no country and no government wold allow that".  That's plainly untrue, as there are many countries where Uber operates perfectly well and legally, including nearby Singapore and my own Australia.
By giving in to the rotten borough transport lobby within Legco, the minister is putting the interests of a few taxi owners above tens of thousands of ordinary citizens. He is putting the interests of taxi owners above this interests of Hong Kong itself. The effect of his ridiculous suggestion that Uber operate "like taxi companies" would be to bring Uber down to the level of taxi service, rather than to improve taxi service through competition. 
This is all a great shame.  It makes a joke of the government's alleged aim to encourage hi-tech, as you argue in today's leader, (Invest in hi-tech to remain competitive, 13 June).
We must hope this is not the end, that common sense prevails and some way is found to allow innovative, effective and popular ride-hailing services into our city's transport mix.
Peter Forsythe.
9 Siena One
Discover Bay
Hong Kong
9308 0799

[368 words]

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Muslims Demand Infidel Owner Remove 'Perfect Man' Sign — He Has Brilliant Counter-Offer

First time I've seen this site and it looks to be rather of the right. But so what? I decided to post the article because it's 100% spot on. Even down to the quibble over how many Jews were killed in one day.
And remember that Muhammad is known by Muslims as the "Perfect Man".
How dare the representatives of Islam, CAIR and the like, demand this be pulled down when every one of these statements is in Islamic source documents: the Koran, Hadith and Sirah. All quoted in the article.
No one would make the same demands of any other religion. Not that you could make anything like the same declarations about Jesus. Or Buddha. Or Ganesh. Or The Great Spaghetti Monster.
Read all about it here.

Muslims are loudly condemning terror, but is the world listening? | South China Morning Post

These guys condemn ISIS then say "it's nothing to do with Islam".
What's the point, then?  Why even go through the motions of demonstratilng?
Perhaps I can answer the question in the headline of Mr Bazarwala's recent article (Why must it fall to Muslims to decry terror? 10 June).

I acknowledge that many Muslims have indeed decried terror. A recent heartfelt letter from Hong Kong’s chief Imam Muhammad Arshad is an eloquent example (Terror attacks by deviant soldiers can never be justified, 9 June).

But very often these are "non-condemnation condemnations".

They condemn "terrorism", but then they say that "it is nothing to do with Islam". The perpetrators have "hijacked" or "warped" or "twisted" the "Religion of Peace”. They are “deviant foot soldiers”. [or, here]

No matter that the mass murderer is a hafiz who has learnt the Koran by heart. No matter that the mass murderer is a regular mosque goer who wears pious Islamic clothes and lives the modest Islamic life. Because he commits an act of terror he is not a "true Muslim", a classic of the "no true Scotsman" fallacy.  If it’s not denial, then it’s deflection, as Bazarwala himself does when he says most terrorism in the US originates in the alt-right.  This is a bogus statistic that has been comprehensibly debunked but is in any case irrelevant to the issue of Islamic terrorism. Or yet again, the blame is on western foreign policy.  Certainly that is a factor, but even without it there would be jihadi terrorism against the west.

The facts are that the foundational documents of Islam -- the Koran, Hadith and Sirah -- provide plenty to encourage a young jihadi, without any need to cherry pick or blame western foreign policy. This point is repeatedly made by the likes of ISIS, who are no less Muslims for deciding to follow the more warlike passages in the doctrines of Islam.

It may be difficult or "embarrassing" (to quote Mrs May) to acknowledge the connection between Islamic doctrine and terrorism. I understand this. But to ignore it because of this difficulty will only compound the problem of understanding motive. 

For sure it's difficult for Muslims to acknowledge that their core religious documents encourage terrorism. But they do. 

When that is admitted that's when we can acknowledge that Muslims really do decry Islamist terror.   

Zubin Madon has the perfect response to the Islamophilic truth haters « Why Evolution Is True

Zubin's T-shirt
Courtesy of Jerry Coyne's website, I come across for the first time the articles, blog and tweets of Zubin Madon. In this article Madon -- an ex Muslim atheist -- covers it all on the "nothing-to-do-with-Islam" theme. This is indeed a keeper.
Follow the internal link to go to Madon's article from 4 July 2016.
I share Jerry's surprise that it even appeared in the HuffPo, since HuffPo is usually a major islamapologist site.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Why Jeremy Corbyn Will Be A Foreign Policy Disaster – Areo Magazine

Kisses for the boss. Note Koran. He was not secular, Saddam
There are far too many people who blame the whole of the disaster in the middle east on western intervention. It's a factor of course. But even in Iraq Saddam had a prototype of al Qaeda and ISIS going: his faith brigades as above.
The young fella writing this article is still at uni. He has his head screwed on, unlike all the snowflakes I keep reading about in America.
Very good article, spot on.
It is understandable for the British public to be sceptical of our role on the world stage, especially after our disastrous campaigns in both Iraq and Afghanistan. But the narrative which has increasingly gained momentum amongst the left, is that we went to war for the pure sake of wanting to exploit the people of Iraq. Many also argue that we toppled a secular leader and in turn destabilised the region. If using chemical weapons on the Kurds, annexing a sovereign Kuwait, and harbouring notorious terrorists is a sign of stability, then that shows how low our expectations are of what can be tolerated in the Middle East. Saddam had also encouraged the spread of Salafi ideology in Iraq during the faith campaign of the early 90's, which laid the groundwork for the jihadist insurgency of today, and thus it is absurd to call such a man "secular." This isn't justification for the war itself or the eight-year occupation which followed, but it is merely an attempt to contextualize Blair's decision.

Friday, 9 June 2017

May Mayn't

I'm watching the meltdown of the Conservative majority in Britain's government, as the election results are rolling in on BBC.
And the pundits are suggesting May may not ("May Mayn't", geddit?) retain the leadership after this disaster -- which she brought on herself -- is over.
The pundits are saying the big swing for Corbin's Labour is because the young'uns have come out in force.
If guess the youth see a vote for Labour as a vote for forward-looking progressivism.
In reality they're getting warmed-over socialism, anti-capitalism, anti-westernism from the seventies.
With Corbyn they've got the whole package. Not just a socialist, a quasi-Marxist who wants to renationalise. He's also a hard leftist who never met a terrorists he didn't like -- he supported the IRA (then) and supports Islamists (now). He calls Hamas and Hezbollah -- these Jew haters who call for a new holocaust -- he calls them "my "friends" He is reflexively anti-American, a good Chomskyist. He is anti western values -- he supports instead the Islamic Human Rights Council. He's a unilateral disarmament man who wants to get rid of Trident.
In short he's the whole disaster.
And now I see he's just been re-elected to his seat, smiling like the Cheshire Cat.
Pity the youth if he manages to cobble together a leftist coalition to form a government.

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967 -

Since then, Israel has given back most of the land gained in a defensive war.
All ("all") that remains is West Bank and Golan.  Both could've been resolved
with a more positive Palestinian response
This is an insightful -- at least it seems so to me -- article marking the 50th anniversary of the Six-day war -- "Still Stuck Between May and June of 1967".. And of course just one of many articles on that milestone. Most in the New York Times, at least, are quite sympathetic to Israel. Unusually so. 
Yossi Klein Halevi identifies:

  • "May 1967 moments" --  which demand wariness. 
  • "June 1967 moments" -- which require the self-confidence of victors. 
Halevi further skewers -- correctly -- the international community for failing to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable. Something which continues to this day, with non-stop criticism of Israel and virtually no pressure on Hamas and PA. (my emphasis):
When the Oslo process broke down in 2000, and buses and cafes were routinely exploding in Israeli cities, the public reverted to May 1967. Israelis were especially embittered by the failure of much of the international community to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable for rejecting two Israeli offers for Palestinian statehood.
All the Israelis I met on a recent visit to Israel, said they don't want to keep a hold of the West Bank. But when and how to hand it back is the real question as long as handing it back will be an act of national suicide.
It can't be "land for peace", says Halevi. It must be "peace for land" (paraphrasing here). 
That's true. You can hold Land. Whereas Peace is a word, and can evanesce in the wind.
In short, "land for peace" is a sucker's deal, and Israel is not a sucker country.  "peace for land", however may work: as long as the Palestinians really want it, and show they want it, rather than using the lack of progress (which they promote) as yet another stick to beat Israel.
LATER: a friend in Israel says:
"Read NYT article.. he adjusts many of the facts to fit his solution.. not the otherway round.. not a mention of the 2000 intafada.. but NYT has an agenda"

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

"Muslims are following what holy book says", May 30


The chief imam of Hong Kong, Muhammad Arshad, makes some good points in his recent letter ("Muslims are following what holy book says", May 30).  Of course China's consumption of endangered species must be called out and criticised.

The imam is a bit contradictory when he talks of veiling and eating of pork.  He says "Muslims have to follow what the holy book tells us."  Very well, in that case Saudi is not wrong, when they "enforce dress codes", especially since Saudi's constitution is the Qur'an, the "holy book" in question.  As for eating pork, if it's a "health risk", as the imam says, then 5 billion people who make it the most consumed meat on earth, did not receive that memo (and seem perfectly fine).

Given that the chief imam says "Muslims have to follow what the holy book says" can he acknowledge that jihadists are doing exactly that?  There are numerous verses in the Qur'an which enjoin the killing of infidels ("wherever you find them" Qur'an 2.191).  This is done in order to spread Islam to the world, to make it a universal Islamic magisterium. Such verses are so numerous in the Qur'an that one does not need to "cherry pick" — "cherry picking" being the common defence against those who point out the Qur'anic verses that urge pious Muslims to kill infidels.

If these violent verses are void, could the imam tell us when and why they were invalidated?

I ask this because we are consistently told after the latest Islamist atrocity, that the terrorists do not represent the "true Islam", that they have "nothing to do with Islam".

In what way, don't these verses have anything to do with Islam?  That would be a useful addition to the debate and encourage those of us who worry about the apparent doctrinal support for random killing of infidels.

Yours, etc...

[Imam Muhammad Arshad's letter of May 30]:

Definition of "Islamophobia"

From @LaloDagach (a Chilean Palestinian atheist):
"Islamophobia: The rational fear that teaching children a book that says to kill the infidel, may lead some of them to kill infidels."
The "book" is, of course, the Koran. Over 60% of the Koran curses "infidels", the "kuffar", we "unbelievers", often with clear and unambiguous orders to kill us. ("Kill them wherever you find them". Koran 2.191-193)

Another definition from the :
"Islamophobe: a non-Muslim who knows more than he is supposed to know about Islam".

Apparently this was contributed to the Urban Dictionary by Lalo.
Love it!

The complete guide to Islam apologetics

It's not quite "complete", and I may add to it, but for now it'll do, as an adjunct to the "nothing to do with Islam"'series.
Pretty good, what?
Thanks to Khalid Bahraoui for collating and to Lao Dagach for the RT:

"Clearly it's the prayers of the jihadis that are being answered"

Tweeted by @MsMelChen via @LaloDagach RT:

Monday, 5 June 2017

Myth of the tiny minority of radical Muslims.

I've covered this issue in the page above:'Islam in figures".
The number of Muslims world wide who have views we would consider radical -- about sharia law, killing for apostasy, subjugating women, suicide bombing, etc -- make up between large minorities and up to majorities.
It is not the "tiny, tiny minority" that Obama Infamously described it as.
Ben Shapiro covers it well in the video above (also here).

For London terrorists, Islam’s sacred duty calls | Religion News Service

Praying for Peace. Right.  Their 5-times a day prayers repeat hatred towards
Jews ("Allah hates them")  and Christians ("they went astray")
This article is correct, Islam's holy duty calls
In Ramadan, the holiest Muslim month, jihad becomes a necessity. Instead of devoting time to worship and reciting the Quran, militant Muslims see the streets of London as full of evil and nudity. For them, all those non-Muslims are infidels and unbelievers, against whom jihad is prescribed, commendable, and supported by ancient sacred texts.

Outcry as Pauline Hanson turns UK police warning into anti-Islam meme | Australia news | The Guardian

> "We can only hope and pray that these events stop occurring."

Only hope and pray?? This is the Aussie premier of our largest state speaking. How pathetic. What extraordinary passivity and appeasement. Of course there are more things can be done than just hoping and praying. And it's not hashtags about love overcoming, flowers at the murder sites and singing "Imagine".
Let's get real and let's get tough. And let's get speaking straight about Islam as the motivator of mass murder.

Sent from my iPhone

After London: let’s start talking about Islam | Free speech | Terrorism | spiked

> Making criticism of Islam as commonplace and acceptable as criticism of any other religion or ideology is the first step to denuding Islamist terrorism of its warped moral programme, and it will also demonstrate that our society prizes freedom of speech over everything else — including your religion, your God, your prophets, your holy book and your feelings.

Jimmy Carter’s Dishonorable Record in Conflict Resolution

This article by Alan Dershowitz on Jimmy Carter's legacy is four years old but still relevant. Carter was mentioned favourably in a couple of recent articles I've read on the 50th anniversary of the Arab-Israeli Six Day war.  He should not be. As Dershowitz says his record is "dishonourable". 
I'd read Carter's book "Palestine: Peace not Apartheid" which I found shockingly partisan. Unquestioningly pro-Palestinian; violently anti-Israel. 
I wanted to check up on assessments of his so-called peacemaking activities, especially his role in advising Yasser Arafat to reject the peace proposal put forth by Bill Clinton and Ehud Barak in 2000. 
Dershowitz recounts that story this article. Carter told Arafat that he (Arafat) would be killed if he accepted the very generous US/Israel offer.  Which included, btw, handing over Jerusalem to be the capital of a new Palestinian state. 
To which, the feared Arafat killing, I'd respond (1) Really? Wouldn't Arafat have been the one PLO leader with the credibility to accept the Clinton-Barak proposal?  And (2) If the Palestinians really did not accept a deal that gave them over 95% of what they wanted, including Jerusalem (with the remaining 5% to be compensated with cash), then what did this say about the Palestinians accepting any deal that did not involve the destruction of Israel?
Dershowitz blames Carter "in part" for resulting deaths in Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.  Rightly, I believe. 
Yet Carter remains lionised on the Left. And is yet being mentioned in the avalanche of 50-anniversary articles.  

Sent from my iPhone

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Why "cowards"? *Pious* Muslims more like

Islam means "submission" nothing to do with Freedom
for the pious Muslim (= "one who submits").
Whenever the latest Islamic murder rampage happens, we're told -- straight after we are told that it has "nothing to do with Islam" -- that the perpetrators are "cowards". 
So, for example, says Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London. And PM May had said it about Salman Abedi, the Manchester mass murderer. 
But in what way are they "cowards" these Islamist killers? I don't quite get why they're always said to be "cowards".
The definition of "coward" is:
A person who is contemptibly lacking in the courage to do or endure dangerous or unpleasant things.  e.g. sentence: "they had run away—the cowards!"
Surely these Muslim "geezers" are not lacking in the courage to "endure dangerous or unpleasant things". Quite the opposite. And they certainly don't run away from danger. 
I said I don't get it.  But perhaps calling terrorists "cowards" means we (May, Khan) don't have to say they are what they really are: pious Muslims
This is misdirection, when it's Khan wot says it. 
It is simple foolishness, ignorance or duplicity when it's someone like Theresa May wot says it.*
These terrorists are pious Muslims who believe they are doing good to kill unbelievers and they will go to heaven by doing so. They are probably not filled with dread as they head out to kill infidels. They are more likely filled with sacred, excited, holy, anticipation.  A cock-hardening thrill, I would imagine, not cowardly dread at doing something they don't, after all, have to do.

*UPDATE: British PM, Theresa May has just come on BBC Radio here in Hong Kong (21:00 HKT) to tell us that the London Bridge murderers were "cowards".  And that they had "warped" the Religion of PeaceTM: they believed that Islam was incompatible with our western freedoms and democracy.  This, she tried to assure us, was "not the truth".  But she provided no proof at all, none, that this was a wrong interpretation of Islam. She provided precisely zero evidence that this was "not the truth".   Meantime, there are many Muslim scholars, and many Muslims who have demonstrated in the UK and elsewhere in the west along these lines: "No Democracy, we want just Islam", "Freedom go to Hell", and so on, and so, drearily, on. (see above photos for some of these charming views.  There are zillions more on the internet).
Why is Islam "not democracy" by the way? Because there can only be the laws of Allah. Man-made laws are blasphemy, and blasphemy is punishable by death according to normative "sacred" Islamic sharia law.

CNN's version of "nothing to do with Islam": street gangs and warped ideology

Re: London Bridge killings (now 6 dead and 30 48 wounded). 
CNN just now had a former FBI Special Agent, James Gagliano, telling us that the terrorists are nothing but a violent street gang made up of "disenfranchised" and "alienated" angry young men, who have based their actions on a "warped ideology", a "twisted version" of Islam. 
Agent Gagliano fails to tell us that since 9/11 pretty much all of the mass murder attacks in the West have been perpetrated by well-to-do middle-class Muslims. Salman Abedi, the Manchester mass murderer, was a Uni student for goodness sake. 
Agent Gagliano fails to tell us why other ethnic minorities who might feel themselves "alienated" or "disenfranchised" don't go on the murderous rampages Muslims do. Could it be that they don't have holy ideologies that tell them to kill those who don't believe their version of God, their version of a Supernatural Being. 
Agent Gagliano doesn't tell us how the Islamic terrorists are hewing to an allegedly "twisted and warped" version of Islam. About 60% of the Koran rails against "infidels" (I've done the text analysis) and promises glory to those Muslims who kill infidels. How is acting on that supreme command from the supreme being, Allah, how is that "warped" how is that twisted"?  
Killing infidels "wherever you find them" (9.29) is core Islam in Islam's core text the Holy Koran. 
Still, the CNN anchors and their acolytes lapped up the nonsense fed to them by Agent Gagliano. 
LATER: On CNN another FBI agent, Bobby Chacon, says that at a similar tourist place in New York they would have had armed police there in less than half the eight minutes it took the Londoners. And  that the "community police" in London ought to have been armed and trained. As it was they weren't so they ran away. I would guess this is all correct.
UPDATE: It was three terrorists and all are now dead.

BREAKING: more cases of probably "nothing-to-do-with-Islam"

This time by London Bridge and nearby Borough Market. 
The first incident used the "drive by and kill infidels by car" method. 
The second used the "kill infidels with your kitchen knife" method. 
Whoops I've said "infidels"'which would suggest I think it was Muslims. My bad.
But no worries. Even if they are Muslims, what they did will be "nothing to do with Islam". 
On BBC just now a geezer called Jerard -- who I'm sure the BBC won't repeat because it was three *Muslim* "geezers" who had attacked him, he said -- described the knife wielders.  He got away by throwing chairs at them. 
So far one of the terrorists -- described by police as being of "Mediterranean colour" -- has been killed and another wounded. The latter had canisters strapped to his body.
My wild guess: it was adherents to the Religion of Peace™ wot done it.
Casualties so far: "more than one" dead. 20 in hospitals around London.
UPDATE: 6 dead 30 wounded
UPDATE: 48 wounded 

Saturday, 3 June 2017

"Nothing to do with Islam".... the “search me” version

One of the doctors attending the wounded young girls from the Manchester Arena murders is a Muslim. Interviewed on BBC Radio he expressed shock that the bomber should have been one of his coreligionists. One wonders where the good doctor has been living. Evidently buried in hospital wards. [after all, there have been over 30,000 attacks by Muslims around the world since 9/11].
Beebs was sympathetic, of course. They referred to the mass murderer, Salman Abedi, as the bomber who "claimed to be Muslim"! Right. Abedi was brought up a Muslim by a pious Muslim father. He'd become increasingly pious himself; he was a hafiz, one who has learned the Koran by heart; he wore Muslim garb. But to the BBC, he just might be an atheist, or a Hindu, perhaps.
As usual, the Author at Jesus & Mo skewers this point, in his cartoon above.
Excellent comments too.  

Baroness Cox: “Of course, you immediately run the risk of being called ‘Islamophobic,’ but we speak the truth”

"... stubborn facts, not fear, support Cox in being what Ahmed unflatteringly calls an "Islam skeptic." If objective observers believe that Egyptian strongman Abdel Fattah el-Sisi enjoys the support of the majority of his countrymen even amidst enormous human rights abuses, then support for Assad in similar circumstances is no surprise.
"Meanwhile at home in Britain, the Manchester Arena ISIS attack a week after her private address made her discussion of a gynecologist friend appear prophetic. The friend had related how a Muslim woman paid an office visit with a schoolboy guardian (??)* who then discussed his madrassa teaching about blowing up a soccer stadium full of non-Muslim kuffars (infidels). Muslims and non-Muslims alike need more critical inquiry from courageous individuals like Cox, not less."
*(?? My emphasis): "schoolboy guardian"? Must be Saudi or Pakistan.

Read the whole article with the Baroness' views here.   Interesting. Good on the good baroness. 

Friday, 2 June 2017

"Public wants Uber. Why the harassment?" | South China Morning Post

Let your fingers do the driving
My letter was published today in the South China Morning Post. 
I'm always very conscious -- and thankful -- that we're lucky here in Hong Kong: we have the luxury of publicly worrying about something as trivial as the rights and wrongs of a car-hailing service. And not about where our next meal is coming from or how to get to a near-barren shop while dodging sniper fire.
Syria is a constant reminder how a peaceful country -- just six years ago! --can slip into deadly anarchy virtually overnight. Before then it was a place where the average Muhammad & Aisha went about their normal lives: sending kids to school, going to work, picnics with friends.  
If you were an anti-government activist you could end up rotting in jail, sure. But for the majority life was peaceful and good. We had Syrian friends who told us this and encouraged us to visit Syria. "Especially Palmyra" they said.  Too late! Palmyra, that wonder of the ancient world is now laid to waste by murderous Islamist lunatics. That is to say, by pious, doctrinally-observant Muslims. 
I'd wager that the vast majority of Syrians would rather have back the peaceful if autocratic times, before the civil war, than the chaos now. Indeed they vote with their feet to tell us that. See Germany. 
So we must thank our secular gods that we here in Hong Kong remain safe and peaceful. And always remember that it's a fragile thing that must be treasured, this safe and peaceful freedom.  
That said, now my letter as published. One of the bigger points I make out of the Uber imbroglio here in Hong Kong is that we are increasingly falling behind in high tech. We used to lead. We had the Octopus contactless pay card, one of the first in the world and now used widely and imitated worldwide. We have an excellent subway, a world-beating airport and excellent public transport. But all these things are decades old. I can't think of anything new that this government has got behind in twenty years. The new cruise terminal is a white elephant. The Kowloon cultural district, pedestrian in concept and design, is woefully behind schedule. The government couldn't even handle electric bikes. They are not listed in the transport regulations so they were banned rather than update the regulations. 

That seems to be the government's attitude now to Uber. It's not in the transport regulations so sick the rozzers on 'em!

(That's not the only issue. There's the power of the transport lobby in the Legislative Council, which also has the ear of Beijing. Jake van der Kamp covers it well in "Give it up Uber!")

I have concluded from talking to friends and neighbours who have used Uber that the public loves the service. I'm sure a government consultation would confirm this.
The civil service is there to serve the public. Instead of harassing Uber ("22 Uber drivers arrested in undercover Hong Kong police operation", May 24), officials should be working with the company to regularise its popular service.
Legco's latest workaround of a premium franchised taxi service is aimed at the fat cats, given the minimum investment of 200 cars, at a cost of at least HK$60 million.
If Hong Kong wants to retain what's left of our increasingly tattered reputation for efficiency and modernity, the government needs to work with Uber.
We would then join the other 800 plus forward-thinking cities which have embraced modern technology.
Peter Forsythe, Discovery Bay

Thursday, 1 June 2017

Like it or not, Islam is a problem

Well said Gary Johns.
Ok, it's the Australian, but look at the message, not the messenger.  It's sound. 

Post-Manchester, Pope Francis Asserts Equivalence Of Islam, Christianity

The pope is a borderline Marxist: capitalism is the "economy that excludes".
He is also a moral relativist. A post-modern excuser of Islamic violence. We all commit violence, you see.
Not mentioned in this article in The Federalist the time on the pope-oplane just after the Charlie Hebdo massacre when he seemed to excuse the Islamic massacre. He said "if you attack my mother, I will hit you back".  He said "we must not make fun of, or disrespect, any religion"  That's a scandalous, disgusting thing to say when twelve cartoonists have been murdered simply for drawing.
Talking about the Manchester mass murderer:If ever there were a time to call down judgment on acolytes of annihilation, this is it. Refusal to name the motive for slaughter comes unnervingly close to the old legal maxim: Silence equals assent. Certainly, Francis does not sanction the violence. Not at all. What he assents to is the multicultural dogma of religious equivalency—the Same God myth—and the lethal fairytale that Islam is not inherently violent.

Monday, 29 May 2017

A Council America Shouldn't Keep (Anne Bayefsky) | WSJ

This appeared in the Wall Street Journal and Human Rights Voices
It's truly a sick joke that Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Pakistan and China should be on the United Nations' Human Rights Council at all. But then to add insult to injury for this Council to bully Israel ceaselessly, and promote the disgusting BDS movement really does it for me. And should also for the United States as Anne Bayefsky argues. 
Please can the US pull out of this disgrace of an organisation

Here is the full text:

"How Nationalism Can Solve the Crisis of Islam" - WSJ

Pierre Manent
I found this article by Sohrab Ahmari about French philosopher terribly interesting and Pierre Manent's thesis convincing.  [Related: The Atlantic on Manent}.
Manent's thesis:

  • More Nationalism, less multiculturalism, less internationalism
  • A grand bargain with French Muslims:
    • We lighten up on you (less Laïcité)
    • And you Muslims lighten up on us (less... well... you know... jihadi stuff)
  • But understand: France is never to be an Islamic state [PF comment: this the toughest sell given Muslims think Islam must be a universal Islamic magisterium].

The above simplifies it crudely. Manent's argument is much more nuanced.

I'm generally pretty pessimistic about Islam in Europe. I tend to think that's it's almost too late. The number of Muslims in Europe mean they affect voting outcomes and strengthen the push for sharia law. I almost think that that's inevitable. And that would be a dire outcome for Europe -- where do you see a state under sharia law that works well? (Think Saudi, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Aceh).
If there's any hope at all, any cause for optimism, then perhaps it's the ideas of the French intellectual Pierre Manent.
And for that they need careful attention.

(The Article is subscription only. But you can often get to it via a google search of the title, as in the headline)

"Nothing to do with Islam" -- the parental warmaking version.

I read somewhere this morning, perhaps in the International New York Times, that one of the motivators of Saman Abedi, the Manchester Mass Murderer, may have been... that he witnessed his father in action in Libya, in the fight to overthrow Col. Gaddafi. Violence normalised violence for him. And that's why he killed 22 random young ones.
But... but.... In that case why wasn't there a mass outbreak of terrorism or random murders after WW2? Plenty of kids saw their parents, fathers mostly, waging violence during that war. And plenty more violent than the Libyan skirmishes, I'd wager.
So I'm going to add this excuse to the growing pantheon that makes up the glorious genre -- "Nothing To Do With Islam". 

Doctors dismiss Islam’s link to terrorism

Hee hee.. even doctors getting into the "nothing-to-do-with-Islam" game.
Or, as they're described by one of the commenters -- which are running pretty much 100% against the good doctors - - calls this submission "Doctors Without Frontal Lobes". I know a number of doctors and most (all?) would not buy into this nonsense of Islam having "nothing to do" with Islam.
The commenters are pasting the doctors.

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Manchester attack: It's wrong to say Salman Abedi's actions had 'nothing to do with Islam' | The Independent

Godless Mum.  Good on her
As I've been saying for a long time; perhaps a touch too often. Terrorism by Muslims: it really is to do with Islam. 
And now a left-of-centre paper, the Independent, finally says it.
Will the left start acknowledging it? Rather than saying it "has nothing to do with Islam".

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Amir Khan accuses terrorists of "twisting Islam" as he urges people to turn in would-be bombers - Mirror Online

When it comes to the latest jihadist atrocity, one of the variations of the "it's-nothing-to-do-with-Islam" crowd is that the murderous jihadis are "twisting Islam".
So says British boxer Amir Khan.
As usual with such apologists they never say in what way the murdering jihadis are "twisting", or "perverting" or "hijacking" their Religion of Peace™.
Amir Khan says killing of "innocents" is not allowed in the Koran. Problem is, that's not correct. First: if you're an unbeliever, that is not a Muslim I are by definition not innocent. You're fair game.
The one and only verse that mentions innocents (5.32) is qualified. And in any case has a monster loophole -- creating "corruption in the land", renders the innocent guilty, with "corruption" widely defined.

Note the above clip from the images of a google search of 5.32.  It is typical of the way this verse is quoted by apologists. It's the source of the apologia that the Koran does not allow the killing of "innocents".
But note what is left out.  Here's the verse in its entirety (from Sahih Muslim, one of the best interpretations of the Koranwith the ignored parts in blue italics:
Because of that, We decreed upon the Children of Israel that whoever kills a soul [innocent] unless for a soul or for corruption [done] in the land - it is as if he had slain mankind entirely. And whoever saves one - it is as if he had saved mankind entirely. And our messengers had certainly come to them with clear proofs. Then indeed many of them, [even] after that, throughout the land, were transgressors.
So, first up, it's directed at the "Children of Israel" (ie. Jews), not at Muslims! And then you have the verse immediately after, namely 5.33. This one covers what can be done (or must be done) to those who have done corruption. It's pretty bloodthirsty.
Indeed, the penalty for those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and strive upon earth [to cause] corruption is none but that they be killed or crucified or that their hands and feet be cut off from opposite sides or that they be exiled from the land. That is for them a disgrace in this world; and for them in the Hereafter is a great punishment,
It is very clear that this is not the peaceable verse that apologists would have us believe, when put in its full context.  Indeed the opposite.  Directed at the jews, who, if they cause "corruption" -- which "many of them" have done -- must be dismembered or crucified.
Khan may not know this. Or if he does, he hides it as do many Muslim apologists.
The plain fact of the matter is that the Koran is chock full of verses that tell Muslims to kill infidels. You don't have to cherry pick to find these verses. They are in every page. The cherry picking is to find the peaceable passages. They're few and far between and even then qualified, as is the one mentioned above.
Boxer Amir Khan has another angle: that there are good and bad in every religion. Yes. But. Has he not noticed that it's virtually always it's Muslims?
Just today we hear that 38 Coptic Christians in Egypt were randomly gunned down on a bus. Murdered for being Christian. One guess the religion of the shooters.

[I should give Khan his due: asking fellow Muslims to turn in suspected bombers is good!]

LATER. I just heard the main Imam of Manchester say they the Manchester mass murderer had issues, psychological, familial and so forth. A twist on the "nothingtodowithislam" line.
Why not more self-reflection from a religion that makes such claims for itself. Instead of reflexive defensiveness and deflection.
Also says Salman Abedi "twisted" Islam.  Of course not saying how.

Unfathomable Evil | Comment | The Times & The Sunday Times

Point here being that we readily accept the stated motivations of
abortion clinic bombers; just not that of the jihadis
Your recent leader suggests that "what drives suicide bombers to mass murder may forever be a mystery...". (Unfathomable Evil, 24 May). 
This is nonsense. 
What drives suicide bombers can only be an "unfathomable mystery" if one staunchly refuses to believe what they themselves say drives them. 
ISIS inspires most of this mass murder. It has made it crystal clear why it does so in an article Why We Hate You & Why We Fight You (Dabiq, Issue 15, p.30). Grievance over the west's allegedly anti-Islam foreign policy is one reason.  But even without grievance ISIS will still fight and kill us because we are "... disbelieving enemies of Allah". And if a Muslim is killed in a "martyrdom operation" they will go straight to heaven. 
Pace your claim that ISIS "... distorts religion beyond recognition", many Muslim and non-Muslim scholars admit the sound theological basis of ISIS' actions, brutal as they may be. 
We need to understand that people like Salman Abedi really do believe what they say they believe. Kill unbelievers and go to heaven. Thus is the "mystery" cleared up. 
By the same logic terrorists are not the "nihilists" you charge. Nihilism is defined as the rejection of all religious and moral principles. Clearly they do believe in religious and moral principles. To be sure not the same ones which we in the liberal west hew to; but they are sincerely held. They are thus clear motivators for the sort of carnage carried out last week in Manchester. 
Please let's not be wilfully ignorant of these facts or we shall never be able to overcome the ideology which wants to kill our young ones simply because they don't believe the same god the terrorists do. 
PF, etc...

Thursday, 25 May 2017

The Manchester Attack and the Myth of the ‘Lone Wolf’

Jihadis are not "lone wolves". They have their Koran, their internet, their mates.....
This article is spot on: "The Myth of the Lone Wolf" in the Daily Beast. Enough of these sillies who say we just have to "get used" to being bombed by theocratic madmen. (Of course that's not how they put it, but that's what it amounts to).
That attitude reminds me of the satirical beginning of the brilliant movie, Brazil, by Terry Gilliam. A couple with a baby in a pram are walking across the screen. Suddenly the shop behind them explodes. They're unhurt and just continue walking. The new normal.
Trump was right in his call to Muslim countries in Riyadh the other day: "drive them out". Drive out the terrorists. 
That ought to be the call also to Muslims in western countries. Drive them out; drive the terrorists out of your societies. 
Maajid Nawaz's mate says it's not good enough to tackle the fire. Muslim communities must fight the sparks. Those sparks are the ideology of Islam. Islamic ideology: the brilliant destructive meme that Mohammad stole from half-digested parts of Judaism and Christianity and crafted into a uniquely toxic and murderous ideology. 
That's what must be faced and driven out.

A Steady Diet of Anti-Israel Rhetoric

Barghouti the killer arrested.  Western lefties are as fascinated with him
as young women with serial killers.
This article --  A steady diet of Anti-Israel Rhetoric -- by Gilead Ini in the Jerusalem Post has been sitting on my desk since I arrived back from Israel.
While in Israel I saw Barghouti's wife on CNN. She was complaining about torture of her husband, lack of medical attention and illegal detention.  I know people in Israel who have worked in that system, and who deny all of those accusations. From what I've read and seen over the years, I'd give credence to the Israeli views on this, not the Palestinian.  While CNN gave plenty of time to her, it gave a nodding glance to the Israeli position only at the end, and in passing: that Barghouti is a convicted mass killer of innocent civilians.
See an earlier post of mine on how they speak with two tongues: how nice and peaceful they are to Trump and the west; how bloodthirsty to kill jews to their own audience.

Gilead says:
The idea that Marwan Barghouti is a political prisoner is no less a fantasy than the idea that Abbas accepts Israel’s Jewishness.

The New York Times' decision to publish an article by a convicted killer hasn’t been particularly well received. The author of the op-ed, Marwan Barghouti, is serving multiple life sentences in Israel for his involvement in terrorist attacks targeting Jews. But readers were given no indication that Barghouti has the blood of five innocent people on his hands. Instead, Times opinion editors characterized him merely as “a Palestinian leader and parliamentarian.”

This sanitized description, which fit rather too neatly with Barghouti’s attempt to cast himself as a political prisoner, prompted waves of criticism. Even the Times’ own public editor faulted the newspaper for withholding “details that help people make judgments about the opinions they’re reading.” (One such judgment readers might have made, if only they had been properly informed, is whether a man willing to murder Israelis might also be willing to lie about them in a newspaper column.)

Israel continues to be unfairly singled out by United Nations and world

Singer means the 2006 establishment of the “Human Rights Council”.
Of which -- scandalously -- Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iraq are members.
Catching up on a letter that covers the issue well...  Yonden Lhatoo is an apologist for Islamic and Palestinian terrorism.  Not sure if he’s a fool or a knave, though. 
Since this article and letter, 100% of US Senators have complained about the UN's unfair and unbalanced treatment of Israel.
Letter in full:
Yonden Lhatoo rhetorically asks in his column (“Israel’s perplexing hold over America allows it to treat global opinion with contempt”, December 29), what it is about Israel that entitles it to treat the collective will of the world with contempt and defy the UN.
The answer is that Israel continues to be unfairly singled out by the world and the UN in the most biased fashion.
While the Security Council reprimands Israel, two permanent members of that council, China and Russia, are themselves occupying powers. China occupies Tibet and Russia occupies, just most recently, Crimea.
These are just two of the most brazen examples of UN members that occupy territory.
There are literally 200 disputed territories in the world, including Cyprus, which Turkey partially occupies, and Western Sahara, which Morocco occupies. Yet, the UN singularly decries Israel’s so-called occupation of “Palestinian territories”.
Are these territories in fact “occupied”? The facts are clear. Israel took these lands in a defensive war in 1967 from Jordan, not from the Palestinians. The UN offered the Palestinians a country in 1947, but the Palestinians rejected it. Palestinian land was not taken, because there was not then, nor has there ever been, a sovereign country called Palestine.
Even conceding these lands as “occupied”, it has been Israel, time and time again, that has offered peaceful resolutions to the conflict, including painful territorial concessions. In 2000, Israel offered more than 90 per cent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Yasser Arafat simply rejected the offer.
In 2008, Israel offered nearly 100 per cent of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including east Jerusalem, but the Palestinians again rejected it. In 2005, Israel unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. The Palestinian response was to launch more than 10,000 rockets and missiles into Israel over the course of the last 10 years.
Israel deems the UN biased. The UN Human Rights Council is another prime example. Since its founding in 2006, it has condemned Israel more than 60 times, while condemning every country in the entire world collectively only a dozen times. No rational person could possibly believe that Israel is a greater violator of human rights than North Korea and Syria, but the UN seems to think so.
Lhatoo suggests that the US Congress is “Israel-occupied territory”, but it is not the US Congress that is occupied by Israel, it is the UN that is occupied by the Palestinians.
Alan Landau, Mid-Levels

22 Uber drivers arrested in undercover Hong Kong police operation | South China Morning Post

Let's get one thing straight: the public loves Uber. 
That's my conclusion from friends and neighbours who have used the service. I'm sure a government consultation would confirm this. 
So why is the government sending the police to entrap Uber drivers?  ("22 Uber drivers arrested in undercover Hong Kong police operation", May 24). What a waste of police time and our public money. 
The civil service is there to serve we the public. Instead of harassing Uber they ought to be working with the company to regularise its popular service. 
Legco's latest workaround of a premium franchised taxi service seems aimed for the fat cats, given the minimum investment of 200 cars, at a cost of at least $HK 60 million. 
The Transport Department has a sorry history with new technologies. It has banned electric bicycles, for example, because it couldn't be bothered to update its antiquated regulations. 
If Hong Kong wants to retain what's left of our increasingly tattered reputation for efficiency and modernity, the government needs to call off the police and work with Uber. We would then join the other 800+ forward-thinking cities who have embraced modern technology. 
Yours, etc,

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Palestinian lies sink the “two state solution”.

This will do as well as any, as a summary of the duplicity on the Palestinian side.
Israel is always the one pressured to make "compromises" and to stop the "occupation".
If the Palestinian side had really embraced the "land for peace deal", there would have been a deal long ago: in 1948 or 1967 or 2000, for example, or at any time in between.
But the Palestinians speak with two tongues.  One in the west, to the likes of Trump. And one to their own people. This is known to observers, but not to those that don't want to know: lefties and fellow travellers in the west.
The thing is that the west and the lefties only know the Palestinians' western tongue.  The Israelis know the tongue to the Palestinians' own people.
How can you give "land", for a "peace" that will never be? Palestinians have made their children blood libellers. Made their children hate jews.  Made their children would-be suicide killers (their "martyrs").
And this is the Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, the so-called "moderates" in contrast to their Hamas brothers.  Hamas don't even bother hiding their jew hatred.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Hijab, Niqab: you say Vogue, I say mask....

Plenty of choice in ways to be subjugated

The normalisation of the hijab, in Why Evolution is True, by Jerry Coyn

Harsh treatment of women in Mosul, in the WSJ.

Hijab and niqab rooted in patriarchy, in the Toronto Sun

Why did they target women and children?...

The grotesque hedonism of Islam's heaven.  Blessed be the children
Why did the mass murderer choose to kill teens, tweens and their parents, waiting to get home after Arian Grande's concert?
The talking heads on BBC and CNN are saying that it's because they specifically want to instill terror, they want to make people shocked at the barbarity, they want to show up the police as incompetent.  And I'm sure all that's true. But there's more.
What's not noted is this: that the Islamic terrorists consider their targets either innocent or guilty.  And either way is ok.  Innocent go to heaven. Guilty deserve the death that will take them to hell.
The children are innocent. So they will go to heaven, meet Allah and spend eternity in Muhammad's Willy Wonka chocolate factory heaven. And if it's their mums meeting them, well, they are guilty because they're unbelievers -- the very fact of allowing their young'uns to go to a Grande concert is proof.
So, either way, what you're doing is fine by Allah.
ADD: BBC took five hours to mention Islam as the possible source of the terror.  Much earlier were Fox (of course) and CNN.  On Fox, we had the loopy Hannity, but as I've said, he's knowledgeable on Islam.
LATER: David Wood has a better explanation. Pious Jihadis should try not to kill fellow Muslims when they bomb the infidels. And few if any pious Muslims are going to be at a rock concert by a scantily clad girls watched by other scantily clad girls. Watch here

Breaking: 19 killed in Manchester concert explosion

The Religion of Peace™ strikes again
Confirmed: the explosion at the end of a concert in Manchester has killed 19, so far, with 50 wounded. A concert attended mainly by young kids, many UM's -- unaccompanied minors. (young infidels, that is). LATER: it was a concert by Ariana Grande, part of her world tour called, with now bitter irony, "Dangerous Woman". (I just looked her up on Wikipedia, and the explosion is *already* there).
A second device found at the scene has just been controlled-exploded. [Later: was maybe just a bundle of clothes].
Confirmed also: by Manchester police that they consider it a terrorist incident.
Not confirmed yet: that it was carried out by adherents of the Religion of Peace™
When it is confirmed as Islamic terrorism (what are the odds?), Idris our Muslim taxi driver will no doubt say that they "misunderstood Islam", that are "not true Muslims". (The "no true Scotsman" fallacy).
He will say that. Because that's what he said in relation to every Islamist attack we asked him about: "Nothing to do with Islam"..
But deep down does he wonder, maybe? Does he wonder why it is that all these "misunderstanders" misunderstand just the one same religion? Does he wonder why there aren't misunderstanding Amish? Or Jains? Or Jews? Or atheists?
Meantime there's news coming that there's been a suicide bomber in the US. Awaiting more on that.
The "nothing to do with Islam" crowd will be clearing their throats just in case.