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The Guardian:

The album, All is War (The Benefits of G-had), contains one track which uses the words of Bin Laden issuing "a statement of reason and explanation of impending conflict" and equates him with Che Guevara. Another forensically recreates a suicide bomber at work. The opening song is a rejection of what Nawaz sees as the hypocrisy and immorality of the west. One supposedly dream-like track predicts the demise of America at the hands of Islam.

Keep dreaming.

The Big Pharaoh:

My question for Mr. Nawaz: if the West has hypocrisy and immorality, why are you still living there?

I'm sure Nawaz has good reasons. He's just not telling.

The AQ League?


Were there to develop an Anti-Qaeda force, a private military to pursue Al Qaeda and win the war on its own terms, then their members would also have the Geneva Conventions apply to them, were they ever to be apprehended or detained by the US, yes? In other words, if the Geneva Convention now applies to a non-state that is a non-signatory in the eyes of the US, does it not then apply to ALL non-states that are non-signatories?

I would guess so. Weird how incentives work.

Free to Choose

Saudi Jeans:

"You are calling for more freedoms, what are these freedoms?" I said, all kinds of freedoms; let's start with personal freedom. "So anyone becomes free to choose, and to speak his mind," I added.

Liberty is considered a villain in Saudi Arabia. Take the issue of the abaya. Clerics often imply that the mere absence of a burqa means that a woman is a whore. Similarly, allowing true free speech would invite, by definition, all sorts of un-Islamic (often anti-Mutaween) writings. So, the 'good' policy is to have a totalitarian society.

I find it difficult to understand how someone can be so threatened by the ideas of others, but to feel threatened by the mere appearance of others is really beyond my comprehension.

Look at any totalitarian state from the recent past. How many of them allowed real creativity in terms of physical appearance? I can't think of one. They all enforced a crude structure on society. Often, the numerous varities of clothes, soaps, cars and other products were defined as 'wasteful' and thus pratically everybody was dealt a single boring and dreadful design.

The smart folks, and those with financial means, often left such nations--leaving behind a poorer country.

Dictators cannot, and will not, allow dangerous things such as creativity and dynamism under their rule since it's exactly that--the roots of freedom--that could one day change the regime. To protect their rule, the Sauds have crushed, and will continue to crush, even the smallest expressions of freedom.

Some guy named Churchill said it best:

You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police. Yet in their hearts there is unspoken – unspeakable! – fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts! Words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home, all the more powerful because they are forbidden. These terrify them. A little mouse – a little tiny mouse! – of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.

Superman Returns

"My son, remember, you have great power."
-- Jor-El

Superman Returns

Brandon Routh showcases tremendous physical strength as Superman. However, emotionally he's in turmoil. His true love has turned her back on him. Superman Returns, at its core, deals with the complex relationship between Lois Lane and Superman.

The movie starts off with some text and later the initial credits begin. That sequence alone is enough to get the fans salivating. When Supes does return, he quickly gets back to normal life. He went away and saw for himself that his entire civilization is, indeed, wiped out and yet Singer just puts that behind and goes on with the movie. That was very jarring.

Clark takes his job as the mild-mannered reporter at The Daily Planet. In one scene, it is uncanny how Routh channels Reeve when he has a chat with Lois as they're leaving The Daily Planet. Kate Bosworth, however, looks too young to play Lois Lane convincingly. This is more a fault of casting than acting. It is also hard to believe that Lois would write what she did write--that seemed out of character for her.

The best acting in the movie is done by, surprise, Kevin Spacey. He enjoys the role of Lex Luthor. The utter indifference he shows to human suffering and death is chilling. He is insane.

The VFX in this movie are spectacular and one wishes there were a lot more. Routh, on many occasions, looks regal as Superman. That likely is the result of his graceful movements in flight. Bryan Singer has fully embraced the image of Superman as a savior. From Greek mythology to Moses and Jesus, there are many easily recognizable religious references sprinkled throughout the movie.

Two things that really bugged me. One, Supes was dropping a lot of eaves. Two, the scene between Supes and Luthor. I was actually surprised at how my stomach churned during that whole encounter. Those were, by far, the harshest moments of any Superman movie. Though, I think, that was the intended effect.

John Ottman, the music composer, got a tough job. He had to go up against the perfect score of the first movie by John Williams. Ottman only manages two memorable pieces: the 777 scene and the first meeting of Supes and Lois.

Superman Returns is a multimillion dollar love letter to the first two movies in the saga. There are earlier scenes and lines that have been reused in this movie. They do play well within the context, it's just that we've seen and heard them before. This leads to an odd criticism of the movie: At two-and-a-half hours, it feels too short!

But make no mistake, Singer has left an indelible mark on the Superman mythology. He provides an overall beautiful plot and will, thus, forever be remembered as the guy who-

What are you waiting for? Watch the movie and find out.

Supes is Back

Just watched the movie event of the summer. In IMAX 3D.

Short review: Is it as good as Donner's 1978 introduction? That's asking if it's on par with the best superhero movie ever. The answer is no.

Is it worthy to be a sequel to the first two superman movies? Oh, yes!

I'll have the full review up tomorrow.

Arranged Marriage and Arabian Society

What Is It Like to Be a Saudi Woman?

She wasn’t given enough time to check him out, let alone love him. He turned out to have no merits except coming from a brand-name family. He has a shallow, childish personality, who lets his mother run all his affairs and make all his decisions. She couldn’t communicate or meet at any intellectual or emotional level with him from day one.

No one understood her reasons to demand divorce.

Of course not. As long as a husband has money and doesn't mistreat the wife, then all is fine. The emotional maturity and smartness of the groom is often immaterial to the family of the bride.

Somewhat related: A few years ago, I heard about a new Pakistani couple near where we lived in Saudi Arabia. The duo were childless at the time. My mother had met the bride and learned that the groom was a jerk. Rarely did he take her outside. So, this woman couldn't even come to our home for a chat with my mom.

Do understand that in Saudi Arabia, a woman cannot go in public alone. She must have a male relative as a companion. So, this Pakistani woman stayed indoors all day while the husband went to work. After his daily job, he would rest and ignore the requests of his wife for some fresh air. Even the evening temperatures in the high 30s (that's Celsius) is better than being cooped up inside all day.

Another aspect that is often ignored in such situations is the utter loneliness of women. Husbands can go to work and go outside with their friends whereas the women are largely denied this opportunity. This is especially harsh on women who are newly married since they can only rely on their husbands for accompanying them in public.

Imagine what you would do with the emptiness in a country where you were, in essence, prisoned in your own home for at least 40 hours a week?

Canadians Behind the Troops

Angus Reid:

More adults in Canada are satisfied with their country’s involvement in Afghanistan, according to a poll by Ekos Research Associates. 65 per cent of respondents support the contribution of the Canadian Forces in the peace-support operation, up three points since April.

I'm pleasantly surprised that the revelations and arrests of local Jihadists in Ontario hasn't had a negative impact on the support of the troops.

Link via Celestial Junk.

A Landmark Ruling in Denmark

For an honor killing in Denmark, an entire family is found guilty. Gates of Vienna has got the details about all the nine convicts.

This does indeed seem to mark a turning-point in European jurisprudence dealing with Islamic honor killings. It will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit.

I sure hope so because the 'dishonor' is brought on the family which then plans the method of execution; thus, they deserve to be punished.

We Want To Kill You...Now Give Us Money


The rival Hamas and Fatah movements agreed on a plan implicitly recognizing Israel, a top Palestinian official said Tuesday after weeks of acrimonious negotiations aiming to lift crippling international aid sanctions.

I'm sure that Hamas has always "implicitly" recognized Israel. For example, they usually utter the words, "We want to destroy Israel!"

How can one obliterate something that doesn't exist!? See, Hamas is definitely bursting with "implicit" recognition.

Understanding the Evil of Our Age

Democratiya has posted a fascinating interview of Paul Berman. A small excerpt where Berman really nails it.

Alan Johnson: And what did you find in common between the Muslim totalitarianism of today and the European totalitarianism of yesterday?

Paul Berman: First, an underlying mythology: people of good who are oppressed by a cosmic conspiracy which is external and internal at the same time; an all-exterminating war of annihilation; and after, the arrival of a grand utopia that is going to be a leap forward into the sci-fi future, and, at the same time, a leap back into a lost golden age. This kind of mythology underlies all the totalitarian movements, in one fashion or another.



  • "people of good" = the Muslims or the Ummah.
  • "cosmic conspiracy" = led by the Jews and their Christian puppets.
  • "war of annihilation" = wiping Israel off the map and dhimmifying the infidels.
  • "grand utopia" = sharia across the world.
  • "golden age" = one Caliphate to rule them all.

Efficient Charity

Port McClellan:

Business model philanthropy requires return on investment and accountability. Often such an approach translates into allocating scarce resources among causes that have the highest probability of, and magnitude for, success. Seems logical right?

Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish economist/environmentalist, (in)famously applied the same reasoning a couple of years ago to Climate Change and other pending global problems. Ambassador John Bolton is doing the same now.

Good. Read it all.

Respite for Ayaan

Liberty and Justice:

NOS journaal reports that, during a meeting between different ministers - that lasted until well past midnight - the Dutch Cabinet decided that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is, and will remain, officially Dutch. Although Minister Verdonk did not want to decide this last night already, her fellow ministers enforced a permanent decision. Verdonk will inform Parliament about this matter later today.

Pathological Victimhood

The Big Pharaoh:

Muslim communities around the world, including Europe, want to play the victim role. They want to feel they are the victims. Their land is occupied, their hair cover is being fought by the French, the crazy laws they consider as god's laws are being second guessed, and today law enforcement agents are visiting their sons more often. They want nothing to end this victim mentality. A Muslim rapping against terrorists would do just that.


The history that is taught in Islamic schools is geared towards showing the Ummah as eternal victims of infidels. As a result, a lot of Muslims don't have a clue about the suffering of non-Muslims in the world.

Here's a related post.

Rich Jew-hatred

John Hawkins:

Do the Palestinian terrorists really understand the can of worms they're going to open up if they use WMDs against the Israelis? If they were to -- say, use mustard gas in a pizzeria or sarin in an office building, it would be considered an enormous escalation of hostilities.

In response to an attack of that magnitude, you can be sure that the Israelis would hit the Palestinians much harder than they ever have before and when you're talking about the response to the use of WMDS, there almost is no such thing as, "using too much force," short of genocide.

Isn't it something. Palestinians who're working in the public sector haven't been paid their salaries for weeks and months, yet their brethren have plentiful money and resources for weapons. And now, they've crude WMD, the use of which would guarantee the journey towards the 72 raisins.

Crack in the Walls

Jeff Goldstein makes an excellent point while talking about Londonistan:

... the US has largely been able to withstand the pressures of cultural relativism—though any legal victory that gives identity groups special status under the law is always necessarily paving the way for potential challenges by other groups for equivalent special dispensations. This is why hate crime laws or “race"-based affirmative action are each so problematic—not for their intent, but for their practical legal impact: they establish precedents under which group-based grievance politics can both thrive and become institutionalized.

That's good for politicians, bad for the country.

Islamic Discrimination

Western Resistance has got details about the persecution of Ahmadis in the Islamic world. Imagine, if you can, the intense hatred at the root of this heinous behavior:

The disinterrment of Ahmadis from their graves, as happened to Nadia Hanif, is not uncommon. According to an article in the Daily Times from April 19 2006, at least 28 Ahmadi bodies have been removed from graveyards since 1998. Often, state sources, the Ahmadi community, and not even the relatives of the deceased, are made aware of the exhumations and reburials elsewhere.

Even in death, the Ahmadis can't get peace from the 'true' Muslims. 

The Journey Continues

HBO First Look:

It's about some guy in a cape.

I finally realized something after wondering about it for some time. The woman who plays Martha Kent in Superman Returns is Eva Marie Saint.

Who? She was in North by Northwest opposite Cary Grant. The first few scenes between the two in that film are, in my opinion, smoking! Couples just don't light up the screen like that nowadays.

I'm pleasantly surprised to see her as the mother of Supes.

Embracing the Values of the Trashcanistans

Joe Katzman links to this informative piece from the NYTimes magazine (another link). In the aftermath of the 7/7 bombing, the UK government:

[...] brought to a final vote a 'law against incitement to religious hatred' that it had been discussing for five years. It is here that the intellectual underpinnings of the Blair approach were clearest. The law, which had been sought only by Muslims, was first demanded by the U.K. Action Committee on Islamic Affairs, a group formed to protest Salman Rushdie's portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad in 'The Satanic Verses.'


It didn't help the bill that it was scheduled for a vote in Parliament as the Danish cartoon affair was exploding across the Middle East. Gunmen raged in Gaza, and it wasn't long before protesters would hold up placards outside London's Danish Embassy calling for genocide against nonbelievers. Under such circumstances, limiting people's ability to criticize Islam looked not only cowardly but imprudent.

Isn't that an understatement.

Katzman writes:

[...] it's not as if people who were otherwise tolerant and inclined to peaceful cohabitation with other faiths suddenly snap one day... there's a long transmission belt of hate involved, resulting in human weapons that require only a trigger - and really, any trigger will do.

Correct. Just look at Bali, 2002. 'Whites' were engaging in infidelicious activities. Ergo, they deserved death.

The core ideology of Islamists is not to oppose Zionists, fight in Iraq or alleviate the suffering of Muslims. What propels them is a thorny fact: After 1400 years, there are still parts of the globe that haven't bathed in the glory of sharia.

Egyptians vs. Westerners

An interesting post at Freedom for Egyptians:

She told me no matter how he [the Egyptian boyfriend] pretends to be liberal or progressive he is, there is a point when he starts to talk in this language “you know what this shirt is a bit open”, “I think your skirt is a bit short”, “I believe your wearing too much make up, there is no need for make up”, “do you have to waste all this time styling your hair every time we go out”.

Good on ya, Aussies!

Charles Krauthammer:

Australia is the only country that has fought with the United States in every one of its major conflicts since 1914, the good and the bad, the winning and the losing.

Why? Because Australia's geographic and historical isolation has bred a wisdom about the structure of peace -- a wisdom that eludes most other countries. Australia has no illusions about the "international community'' and its feckless institutions. An island of tranquility in a roiling region, Australia understands that peace and prosperity do not come with the air we breathe, but are maintained by power -- once the power of the British Empire, now the power of the United States.


On the other hand, Canada can afford to have a low defense budget because of the powerful protector to the South. The Canadians have enjoyed security and prosperity for six decades. This supreme comfort across many generations and the inane we-are-not-Americans outlook has left Canada with a warped view of reality:

1. America must have done something to piss off the Islamists.
2. As long as we stay out of Iraq we'll be safe.
3. Why would terrorists want to attack us!? We've done nothing to them.

In essence, most Canadians see the use of power as uncouth and they're still ignorant about the nature of Islamists.

Thank God the Aussies don't suffer from such dangerous illusions.



The flag buyer looked around, lowered his voice and said, "Whenever England gets out, I will return this flag and exchange it for the current favourite and continue. Repeat if necessary. Thank God for Walmart's no questions asked returns policy."

I actually know some people who've bought a smokin' TV...which they'll return for a full refund when the World Cup is over!

An Ugly Mindset

NYTimes via LFG!!!

In what the survey, part of the Pew Global Attitudes Project for 2006, called one of its most striking findings, majorities in Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Turkey — Muslim countries with fairly strong ties to America — said, for example, that they did not believe that Arabs carried out the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.

Some things never change. Here's what I wrote about my experience in Saudi Arabia during December 2001 and January 2002:

“The planes were remote controlled by the Americans. That’s why it was easy for them to be slammed into the buildings.”

“They want to start a war to go after Afghanistan.”

“How could Osama pull off 9/11? He is thousands of kilometers away in Afghanistan.”

“The US is the superpower, isn’t it? So, how could supposedly 19 Arabs cause such havoc to such a super country?”

“The US wants to subjugate Muslims.”

That’s just what I heard from my family. The situation was not much different in the newspapers and magazines. Every time the media mentioned Osama in a story, the “who is blamed for 9/11 by Washington” was not far behind.

I was reading through a Pakistani magazine where in the letters section was this gem. “The attacks on 9/11, which we all know were caused by Mossad,...” It was mind-numbing. The Muslim world simply couldn't agree as to who was behind the 9/11 attacks when the plain truth was staring them in the face.

Though, what they could all agree on was a sense of uninhibited joy. Whether it was Americans, Israelis or the tooth fairy that was behind 9/11, they didn't mind the auspicious atrocity.

Blog Influence

I have always been curious as to how effective pro-Israel blogs like this one are. We like to think we are, but do we really play a significant role in shaping people's opinions, and influencing their hearts and minds? Or do we play a more minor role?

Go ahead, take the poll at Israellycool.

Hard to Translate

Abu Sinan:

I remember talking to a group of "born Muslims" on the way to Friday prayers once. The subject of working for the US as a translator came up. The occupants of the car were from the Middle East, Pakistan and Bangladesh. The general consensus is that they would not agree to work for the US government in such a capacity.

Read the post to find out why.