Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Fifth Seal

Sept. 11, 2005

And they cried out with a loud voice, saying,
How long, O Lord, holy and true,
dost thou not judge and avenge our blood
on them that dwell on the Earth?

Revelation 6: 10


An English Translation

Glorified and sanctified be God's great name throughout the world which He has created according to His will. May He establish His kingdom in your lifetime and during your days, and within the life of the entire House of Israel, speedily and soon; and say, Amen.

May His great name be blessed forever and to all eternity.

Blessed and praised, glorified and exalted, extolled and honored, adored and lauded be the name of the Holy One, blessed be He, beyond all the blessings and hymns, praises and consolations that are ever spoken in the world; and say, Amen.

May there be abundant peace from heaven, and life, for us
and for all Israel; and say, Amen.

He who creates peace in His celestial heights, may He create peace for us and for all Israel; and say, Amen.


Death: I am Death, that no man dreadeth.

For every man I rest and no man spareth;

For it is God's commandment

That all to me should be obedient.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Runaway Horses

There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.

(Kurt Vonnegut, Sirens of Titan)

A nation without leaders will become a nation of Runaway Horses.

Who will harnass the energies of the people? No whip, no rein, no bridle. The nation is left to roam alone. The herd settles. The Mustangs rear. The Horsemen will come.

Japanese writer Yukio Mishima's novel Runaway Horses explores the life and death of a man who turned against his government in order to save his government. Our artists today in America plan monuments to our dead, those who died saving members of the Senate or the White House, monuments such as the one above, the blood-red sword surrounding a crater in the Earth, a red crescent.

The nation grazes. The runaway horses will find their riders. The world will break apart under their hoof-beats.

Maple trees, wind chimes honor those who died.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

By Paula Reed Ward, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

WASHINGTON -- It will serve as a living tribute. With each wind, each breeze, a set of chimes housed in a 93-foot tower will create a different song in memory of the 40 people who sacrificed their lives trying to save the lives of others.

Four years after United Airlines Flight 93 crashed into a reclaimed strip mine near Shanksville, Somerset County, on Sept. 11, 2001, the design that will serve as the national memorial was unveiled here yesterday in the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Hall of Flags.

"Crescent of Embrace" will feature a Tower of Voices, containing 40 wind chimes -- one for each passenger and crew member who died -- and two stands of red maple trees that will line a walkway caressing the natural bowl shape of the land. Forty separate groves of red and sugar maples will be planted behind the crescent, and a black slate wall will mark the edge of the crash site, where the remains of those who died now rest.

As the black cloak that had hidden the winner was removed, a collective gasp came from those gathered, who then rose to their feet to applaud.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Sharia Protest Rally

Late news flash:

A reader/writer has posted on the rally in Toronto.

I attended the Toronto rally today and was pleasantly surprised by the turnout - I would guess in the hundreds - perhaps 300-500. I'm not good at crowd estimating. It was mostly middle aged women (about 2/3 women at least) and I would guess the majority would be either NDP or Liberal voters which is a positive sign. If McGuinty's own constituancy is opposed then perhaps he will notice.

Scaramouche (link below) has an excellent summary of the people attending and the speakers. Last year's rally had about 75-100 people with a large contingent of Trotskyites (no kidding). Today's crowd was much larger and very much mainstream even if on the left-liberal side of things.

There were two Mulim protestors that I saw including one young woman (couldn't tell because of the full burka). No kidding - she had a tiny eye slit and everything else was covered. She claimed to be a convert and was Canadian with Polish ancestry - go figure that one out. Nothing like the zeal of a brainwashed convert. Her story sounds plausible as she spoke with an indistinguishable local accent.

I have some photos if there is any way of posting them.

Anti-Sharia Rallies

In an hour the final rallies against whimmitude in Canada will take place in Vancouver and Victoria. We'll post our observations when we return this evening.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Sharia Hanging Over the West


Do not stand by and allow sharia to come to the West.

The provincial government of Ontario, led by Conservative Party premier Dalton McGuinty is still considering allowance of sharia. If it happens in Ontario it will spread to other provinces in Canada, and from there to other dhimmi nations, and women will be englufed by a savagery they cannot now imagine. Do not let this happen. Demonstrate agaisnst the evil poligion of sharia, a fascist creed that degrades, humiliates, and murders women with impunity and state sanction.

This is not a matter of race, not even a matter of culture or religion: this is a matter of politics. Tell the politicians you will not allow them to sacrifice the rights and lives of women for organized fascist Muslim votes.

Toronto: Queen's Park, Ontario Legislature, (time, 12–2 Pm)

Contact: Homa Arjomand, 416-737-9500

Ottawa: Parliament, (time, 12-2 PM)
Contact: Soheila Bayani (

Vancouver: 800 Hornby (in front of Family Court) downtown
Contact: Zari Asli, 604-727-8986

Victoria: Parliament

Contact: Abass Mohammdadi (

Montreal: devant le complex Guy Favreau Bd Rene Levesque O Montreal

Date: September 8th , time: 12 – 1 PM

organisee par L,Association des Femmes Iraniennes de Montreal

Appuyee par : La Federation des Femmes du Quebec.

Contact: Elahe Machouf,

Waterloo: 100 Rittenhouse Dr. Kitchener (time, 7-9 PM)

Contact: Heidy Schmidt, at 518-291-5480

England: London , Canadian High Commission, 38 Grosvenor Street , ( Bond Street Tube)

Contact: Sohaila Sharifi at 447719111738,

Germany: Dusseldorf In front of Canadian Consulate

Contact: Mina Ahadi, at 4917775692413,

Sweden: Stockholm, In front of Canadian Embassy,

Contact: Mahin Alipour at 0046707777313,

Sweden: Gutenberg: Brunnsparken K1

Contact: Shahla Nori at 0046737262622,

Holland: Canadian Embassy, Sophialaan 7, 2514 JPS-Gravenhage, ( DENHAAG)

Contact: Sorosh Ebrahimi, at 0031-(0) 61324331,

France: Canadian Embassy, 35 avenue Montaigne 75008, Paris

Contact: Michèle Vianès, at 06 10 39 94 87,


Further information on the battle for and against sharia in Canada follows:

September 7 2005

Opposition to sharia-based courts is not fear-mongering
by David Ouellette

On the eve of the international day of protest against the possible introduction of sharia-based courts in Ontario, activists, journalists and politicians have commented at length the pros and cons of faith-based mediation and arbitration as well as the Boyd report in favour of implementing such courts. In this Canadian feud, with the exception of Quebec's unanimous rejection of sharia in the media and politics, the pro-sharia crowd has by and large consisted - not considering the Islamists - of the fair, liberal-minded intelligentsia of this nation.

Canada’s newspaper of record, for instance, the Globe and Mail has characterized opponents to the introduction of sharia in Canada’s legal system with such rancor, one could be forgiven for believing its editorial board actually has a dog in this fight. On August 31, it wrote “the world's anti-Sharia crusaders should take a deep breath and count to 10 -- extreme Islamic law is not coming to central Canada”, a view surprisingly close to the position of the controversial Canadian Islamic Congress (CIC) which charges that opponents to sharia are engaged in “fear-mongering”. Of Quebec MP Fatima Houda-Pépin who bravely warned in the province's National Assembly last May that “the application of sharia in Canada is part of the same strategy aiming to isolate the Muslim community in order to submit it to an archaic vision of Islam”, the Globe and Mail said that her statement, again in apparent acquiescence with the CIC, amounted to “fear-mongering, pure and simple”.

It would appear that the editors of the Globe and Mail cannot no be bothered to look at exactly who launched the sharia-based courts project and, most importantly, to which ends.

The media has repeatedly reported that the project was born in 2003 when Syed Mumtaz Ali, a lawyer and President of the Canadian Society of Muslims, created the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice. That's only partially true. What the media persistently fails to report, however, is that Mumtaz Ali has been advocating the implementation of binding sharia courts for a much longer time and that his goals reach far beyond the establishment of a mere Islamic arbitration and mediation process.

In 1995, in an interview posted on the Canadian Society of Muslims website, Mumtaz Ali declared: “Do you want to govern yourself by the personal law of your own religion, or do you prefer governance by secular Canadian family law? If you choose the latter, then you cannot claim that you believe in Islam as a religion and a complete code of actualized life by a Prophet who you believe to be a mercy to all”.

Much has been said about the intimidation that Muslims would face should they refrain from taking their cases to Islamic courts. If truth be said, the intimidation has already begun, as this statement by Mumtaz Ali aptly suggests.

Mumtaz Ali is unambiguous about his objectives. Islam provides a whole set of laws to which he, as all Islamists, expects true Muslims to strictly abide. As to those who prefer to be ruled by Canadian law, they are apostates, a grave accusation employed only by radical Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Mawdudi persuasions. Apostasy, it should be reminded, is punished by death according to the sharia.

It should therefore not surprise that the same man who launched the campaign for Islamic personal and family law in Canada not only believes that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms should make room for the punishment of Muslim apostates in Canada, but that failing to do so would be “a flagrant breach of equality rights”. This is what Mumtaz Ali argues in an article entitled The Salman Rushdie Issue: A Synthesis of the Islamic Law of Blasphemy/Apostasy in the Context of Canadian Multiculturalism. Because the preamble to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms acknowledges the “supremacy of god and the rule of law”, writes Mumtaz Ali, it follows that sharia, as divine law, is compatible with the Charter. Moreover, because the Charter commits the country to the preservation of its multicultural heritage, Mumtaz Ali concludes, that the punishment of would-be Muslim apostates should be enshrined as a right of the Muslim community.

As preposterous as Mumtaz Ali’s mental acrobatics to justify Charter-sanctionned penalties for would-be apostates are, it bears recalling that his project of sharia-based courts drew outright laughter at first from Muslims and non Muslims alike. Yet less than 2 years after the creation of the Institute of Islamic Civil Justice, a former Ontario attorney general has recommended the implementation of Islamic courts, a provincial government is seriously considering the project and the Canadian liberal media is advocating it whilst pouring scorn on those who warn Canadians that these courts are but a stepping stone for the edification of an Islamic legal system to be enforced by Canadian law. The Globe and Mail editorial board and assorted blindly liberal multiculturalists can call the sound critique of the sharia-based courts fear-mongering and thumb their collective nose at sharia opponents all they want, but denial will not stop Mumtaz Ali and his ilk from trying to impose legal apartheid on Canadian Muslims and destroy the legal and social fabrics of this nation.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Because They Can: French Anti_Americanism

The following essay covers nicely the concept in practice of anti-Americanism, a made-up approach to politics and social relations, even interprersonal relations and self-identity concerns.

Anti-Americansim is a nonsense game made up and sustained by those who need an ideology to fill up their mental vacuums, to paper over their flawed personalities, to give them something big to hate so they have some big emotion in lives that must otherwise be plain and dull. The essay below is not profound because the subject doesn't lend itself to profundity. The best one can hope for, and it is here, is a clear and intelligent articulate explanation of the pose struck by fools who call themselves x today and y tomorrow, today the pose being anti-Americanism. Though the essay below is more sympathetic to anti-American ideologues than are we here there's always room for other opinions, and today is one, a nicely written piece that covers it's topic well.

The Last Word: The attitude problem

And now, a kind word about France.

Contrary to general perception in Israel and the United States, the French are neither wimps nor weasels when it comes to fighting Islamic extremism.

Since 1995, when an Algerian Islamist group called GIA killed eight people with a nail bomb in the Paris Metro, there has not been a single terrorist incident in France. This is not because Jacques Chirac's government takes an obsequious line toward Yasser Arafat, or because it did Saddam Hussein's bidding at the UN, or because it undermines US foreign policy at every turn.

Rather, it is because the French fight Islamic militants in ways that would make Israeli Shin Bit chief Avi Dichter proud and US Attorney General John Ashcroft envious.

"France has taken one of the hardest lines of any Western country in fighting Islamic extremism," writes reporter John Carreyrou in The Wall Street Journal. "Other democracies, including the US, have been criticized for excessive methods, such as holding prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But few have been as systematic and zealous as France in attempting to stamp out Islamic militancy."

This year, eight Muslim imams have been deported from the country under a 1945 emergency law for preaching "discrimination, hatred or violence against a certain person or groups of persons." The judicial system has staged mega-trials of terrorist suspects – 100 at a time, in one instance. Suspects can be held without trial for years. Torture is not uncommon: According to a BBC report, the British High Court has blocked France's extradition request of Rachid Ramda, wanted in connection to the 1995 bombing, on grounds that "the evidence against him had been beaten out of one of the bombers by the notoriously tough French anti-terrorist police."

So there's France, the country Left-leaning right-thinkers wish America would be more like. Of course, this isn't the France they think they know: The France of Ernest Hemingway's Movable Feast and Peter Mayle's Year in Provence; of Juliette Binoche in Les Amants du Pont-Neuf and Catherine Deneuve in Les Parapluies de Cherbourg ; of Dominique de Villepin versifying at the UN. It is not the France of postmodern Michel Foucault and poststructural Jacques Derrida. It is not the France of Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite, or of their modern-day equivalents, Multipolarity, Sustainable Development and Social Solidarity. It is not the France that "knows how to live."

The gap between France of liberal illusion and France as it basically is – unsentimental, self-interested, aggressive when it needs to be – requires some explanation.

Usually, the explanation comes down to adjectives: cynical, hypocritical, Machiavellian, cowardly. Yet the adjectives don't capture the reality. France is not hypocritical: It simply holds contradictory positions. Or to put it more precisely, France has attitudes and it has policies. And while the two are frequently confused (often by the French themselves) they serve radically different functions: the former is psychological; the latter is political. To have an attitude is a way of saying, this is who I am. It's a matter of self-identification. To have a policy is to say, this is what I'm going to do about it. It's a matter of will and capacity.

In the United States, the gap between policies and attitudes is not often noticed. Partly, this has to do with the depth of American democracy: In the US, attitudes translate into policy far more quickly and frequently than they do elsewhere in the world. It also has to do with America's capacity to translate attitudes into meaningful policies. If, for instance, America feels strongly enough about human-rights abuses in China, it can take measures – trade sanctions, arms sales to Taiwan, etc. – which the Chinese are bound to feel keenly.

For the better part of past 50 years, neither the French nor Europeans generally have had this luxury. The average Belgian may feel quite strongly about human-rights abuses in China. But the chances that his attitude will translate into some kind of meaningful policy are effectively zero.

The result is what one might call attitude inflation, which in turn arises from the de-linking of attitude from policy. That is, if you don't actually have to do something about your attitudes you're likelier to have more of them, and they are bound to be both more extravagant and more unrealistic. People who are in no position to end world hunger and bring about peace in the Middle East can endlessly carry on about ending world hunger and bringing peace to the Middle East. Doing so means only that they're declaring themselves the sorts of folk who deplore hunger and war. But statesmen who must actually wrestle with issues of cost, capacity, local difficulties and unintended consequences tend to have more realistic, and therefore restrained, attitudes.

Even today, even as it pools its resources to become the largest economic bloc in the world, Europe resembles the first sort. A few weeks ago, I received a copy of the "Conclusions of the European Council" – the European Council being the highest decision-making body in the EU – which summarized the work that had been done during the six months of the Irish presidency. The document ran to nearly 10,000 words and contained 82 points, including:

  • "The European Council reaffirms its conviction that a just and durable solution in the peace process can only be achieved through negotiations between the parties and the support of the international community."

  • "The European Council expresses its deep concern at the recent events in the Eastern Congo, which could jeopardize the transition process."

  • "The European Council... welcomes recent progress in the EU-Africa dialogue, including the productive outcome of the Ministerial Troika in Dublin."

  • "The European Council welcomes the Commission's proposals for a European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) and endorses the GAERC Conclusions of 14 June.

    And so on and on. The effect of reading the entire document (I tried) is literally mind-blasting; it would be interesting to know if anyone has actually done so. The only other thing that's interesting is that nearly all these points are statements of attitude, not policy. Concern over events in Eastern Congo? It's not as if the EU is going to airlift 50,000 troops if things get totally out of hand in the Kivu district. But as item No. 80 in the Council's conclusions, why not?

    Here again, the contrast with the US is instructive. The Clinton State Department wrestled mightily with the question of whether genocide was taking place in Rwanda in 1994 because to call it genocide (as opposed to "acts of genocide") meant triggering treaty obligations that would, in turn, require some kind of intervention. This ended up entailing some ignominious evasions by the US. But the relevant point was the assumption that to have an attitude meant having a policy – a serious policy.

    That assumption simply doesn't exist in Europe today, for reasons that are at least somewhat forgivable. If, for example, events in the Darfur region were to take a turn for the even worse, Europe would have neither the troops nor the airlift capacity to get them to the region. So it issues statements of concern because that's about all it can do. Not only is its capacity dwarfed by its attitude, its capacity for policy is diminishing at the same time its attitudes are expanding. (Of course Europe could expand capacity by investing in military resources, but that's another story.)

    Problems, however, arise when policy and attitude are contradictory. It's one thing to "care" about Darfur and do nothing about it because you can't. It's another thing to have, as France does, a no-holds-barred policy toward Islamic radicals in your midst, while condemning another country – say, Israel – for taking a similar approach in much more dire circumstances.

    This smacks of hypocrisy. Indeed, it would be hypocrisy, if it could be said that France actually had a policy toward Israel – a lever with which it could realistically and meaningfully affect events here. But France has no such lever, and the EU doesn't either. What it has is attitude masquerading as policy. Thus the votes at the UN, the menace of a Belgian court, the hortatory threats of sanction in the European Parliament. The attitude is as hostile as the threat is hollow. If France or the EU actually had to conduct a policy, as they did in 1956, they would eventually detect a certain commonality of interests.

    This is why the world does not have much to fear from a European super-state (though Europeans might), should it ever come about. Power usually means responsibility. And as the example of France shows, when it comes to the things over which they have power, they exercise it responsibly. In the meantime, we'll have to put up with attitude. We've survived worse.

  • Monday, September 05, 2005

    Sharia Protest

    Sharia is the dance of death for women. Thursday, Sept. 8 we have a chance to tell our governments that we refuse to accept it in our nations. Will they listen?

    We have a duty to stop Islamic fascism from spreading further in the West to engulf even those who have already fled it. A woman's legal equality is as important to all of us as it is to her. There cannot be exceptions to the rule of law, not for reasons of Islamic purity or racial distinctions or matters of wealth or privilge. The law must be the same for the tall as well as the short, for the beautiful and the ugly. There cannot be sharia law in a free nation. It's up to you to make sure it does not come to the lands of the West to further oppress women here today, you tommorow.

    Stand up for equality under the law, for legality itself. No Sharia. No Islam. No fascism.

    Then we'll dance in the streets, men and women together.

    Life under sharia, in Canada?
    By Margaret Wente
    Saturday, May 29, 2004

    Homa Arjomand knows what it's like to live under sharia law. In Iran, she endured it until someone tipped her off that she was about to be arrested and imprisoned. Many of her activist friends had already been tried and executed. She, her husband and two small children (the youngest was barely one) escaped on a gruelling trip by horseback through the mountains. That was in 1989.

    Today, she lives in a suburb northeast of Toronto. Her job is helping immigrant Muslim women in distress. And now she is battling the arrival of sharia law in Canada.

    "We must separate religion from the state," she says emotionally. "We're living in Canada. We want Canadian secular law."

    Sharia law in Canada? Yes. The province of Ontario has authorized the use of sharia law in civil arbitrations, if both parties consent. The arbitrations will deal with such matters as property, marriage, divorce, custody and inheritance. The arbitrators can be imams, Muslim elders or lawyers. In theory, their decisions aren't supposed to conflict with Canadian civil law. But because there is no third-party oversight, and no duty to report decisions, no outsider will ever know if they do. These decisions can be appealed to the regular courts. But for Muslim women, the pressures to abide by the precepts of sharia are overwhelming. To reject sharia is, quite simply, to be a bad Muslim.

    Ms. Arjomand's cellphone is constantly ringing — with calls of support, or calls for help, or updates on various crises. A client of hers has just that day died of cancer, leaving behind a nine-year-old daughter. The husband was brutally abusive, and now the dead woman's family is terrified that he's going to take the daughter, who was born in Canada, and go back to Iran. Ms. Arjomand has been trying to get Children's Aid to intervene.

    In the burgeoning Muslim communities around Toronto, it's customary to settle family disputes internally, by appealing to an imam or an older person in the family. "I have a client from Pakistan who works for a bank," Ms. Arjomand tells me. "She's educated. She used to give all her money to her husband. She had to beg him for money to buy a cup of coffee. Then she decided to keep $50 a month for herself, but he said no."

    They took the matter to an uncle, who decreed that because the wife had not been obedient, her husband could stop sleeping with her. (This is a traditional penalty for disobedient wives.) He could also acquire a temporary wife to take care of his sexual needs, which he proceeded to do. Now the woman wants a separation. She's fighting for custody of the children, which, according to sharia, belong to the father.

    The law permitting a sharia court was passed in 1991, when Ontario sought to streamline the overloaded court system (and save money) by diverting certain civil cases to arbitration, including arbitration conducted on religious principles. Jewish courts have operated in the province this way for many years. "People can agree to resolve disputes in any way acceptable," said Brendan Crawley, a spokesman for the Ontario attorney-general. "If they decide to resolve disputes using principles of sharia and using an imam as an arbitrator, that is perfectly acceptable under the arbitration act."

    Promoters of Islamic law in Canada have been working toward this goal for years. Last fall, they created the Islamic Institute of Civil Justice, which has already chosen arbitrators who have undergone training in sharia and Canadian civil law. The driving force behind the court is a lawyer and scholar named Syed Mumtaz Ali, who was quoted last week saying "to be a good Muslim," all Muslims must use these sharia courts.

    Many Muslims, including many women, are enthusiastic about giving Islamic law an official place in Canada, and they emphatically deny that it will harm women's interests. On the contrary. They insist that under Islam, a woman's rights are protected. "We follow the Islamic law, secure with a perfect sense of equality between the sexes," wrote Khansa Muhaseen and Nabila Haque in a letter to the Toronto Star, where the sharia debate has been raging fiercely.

    Opponents of the new tribunals argue that the government's imprimatur will give sharia law even greater legitimacy. Sharia law is based on the Koran, which, according to Muslim belief, provides the divine rules for behaviour. What is called sharia varies widely (in Nigeria, for example, it has been invoked to justify death by stoning). The one common denominator is that it is strongly patriarchal.

    Alia Hogben is president of the Canadian Council of Muslim Women, a pro-faith group with members from every Muslim culture. But the council was never consulted about the new sharia courts, and it strongly opposes them.

    "This is a very difficult position for us to be in because we are believing women," says Ms. Hogben. "But to apply Muslim family law in Canada is not appropriate." In Britain, she adds, the government has flatly rejected councils for sharia law.

    Both Ms. Hogben and Ms. Arjomand — the former an observant Muslim, the latter not — are lobbying hard for Ontario to change the arbitration law.

    (Ms. Arjomand has launched a petition, which you can find through a web search for "International Campaign Against Sharia Courts in Canada.")


    Author: Margaret Wente (
    Reprinted from the in Canada.