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March 2007
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May 2007

Eroding Liberties in Egypt

Atlas Shrugs:

I met with Sandmonkey (at an undisclosed location) and commiserated. He is as charming and clever as you might expect from the "writer of an extremely cynical, snarky, pro-US, secular, libertarian, disgruntled sandmonkey." Fabulous. But his words of premonitory warning gave me great pause. He has scorn for the "new Democrats" that sold out reformers and activists and destroyed fledging movements of democracy.

Here is a link to the conversation in mp3 format.

America has great power but when she refuses to exercise it, this happens:

Atlas: Where you shocked when Hoyer met with the Muslim Brotherhood?

SANDMONKEY: Let me tell you something. I was in Turkey a couple of weeks ago and I met a couple of Syrian activists. They one thing they told me that was really funny about the Pelosi visit. After Pelosi came to Syria two things happened. People on Syrian TV were saying, "We forced the Americans to knock on the Damascus gate!" Sort of like an admission that we messed things up in Iraq so much that America had to come and beg for their help.

But the day after Pelosi's visits there were immediate arrests of Syrian activists. That was the fruit she yielded. "Oh the Americans came over and they said they have a different foreign policy and they're more interested in placating Bashar's ego." And he went out and got [arrested] everyone he wanted because he knew he had an ally in Washington that wouldn't pressure him as much.

An ally, indeed. The Middle Eastern thugs got the message loud and clear: they don't have to fear the US.

Krugman The Comedian

Paul Greenberg must have really enjoyed writing this column:

Then there's the language in which Dr. Krugman sends out his jeremiads. It is, in a word, hilarious — if unintentionally so.

For example:

"And when the chickens that didn't hatch come home to roost, we will rue the days when, misled by sloppy accounting and rosy scenarios, we gave away the national nest egg."


Try to visualize those chickens that didn't hatch coming home to roost [...]

I am trying but just can't seem to do it!

Jinns Exist. What About Apostates? Oh, Please.


Every now and then we Towelians come across some “chumpoos” (silly people), who are in total and absolute denial of reality. For example, I told this guy that I am an apostate of Islam and he denied the possibility that anyone could leave Islam! :D

What’s more amazing is the way in which he denied it:

“Abd Al Mustafa: thank you for your post, but sadly i am yet to meet or hear of a person who leaves islam at his/her free will.“

What is he, insane!? I just told him I’m an apostate! LMAO!

It's like the Israel-Palestine debate: one side completely refuses to accept the existence of the other.

F. A. R. C. E.

Bloody buffoons:

The match referee Jeff Crowe took the blame for the farcical finish to the World Cup final which saw Australia celebrate victory twice and forced Sri Lanka to bat in pitch-black darkness. But he suggested the third umpire Rudi Koertzen may have initiated the process leading to chaotic scenes at the climax of the game.

Crowe, despite heading up a team of officials which included the umpire Steve Bucknor, standing in a record fifth World Cup final, managed to overlook a basic playing condition which states that once 20 overs have been bowled in both innings enough cricket has been played to create a match. A result can then be declared under the Duckworth-Lewis system for rain-affected games.

I know that freakin' rule! How could the referee confuse that! The whole point of the D/L method is to have a result in a game even if 60% of the total overs are lost due to whatever reason. The fact that "the experts" messed up in the World Cup final is hugely embarrassing.

Ponting joked: "If the umpires don't know, I don't know. It appeared we had a premature celebration for the best part of ten minutes. I thought Aleem was having a bit of a joke with us when he said it looks like we'd have to come back tomorrow and play three overs. I said: 'Mate, we've played the 20 overs, we've actually finished the game.'"

Quite right.

ICC World Cup - Final

The match is reduced to 38 overs each due to rain.

Australia won the toss and elected to bat. Gilchrist and Hayden offer a dream start: Aussies 112/0 in 17 overs. Gilchrist has now scored a half-century in three successive World Cup finals -- now that's an awesome component of any CV.

Hayden is scoring at a slow rate and playing the anchor; allowing Gilchrist to smash the hapless Sri Lankans. Only Murali is being treated with caution. The others are leaking sixes.

Damn. Murali just got hit for a six. Australia on the rampage: 135 runs off 19 overs. Sri Lanka need a wicket now.

Century for Gilchrist off 72 balls. Eight 4s, six 6s. He scored two runs combined in the last two matches. Now, he roars back on the greatest stage. In fact, this is his first World Cup hundred!

OUT. Hayden is gone for a 55-ball 38. He is the top scorer of this World Cup with 659 glorious runs. He gets my vote for Man of the Tournament.

OUT. Gilchrist leaves after scoring a 104-ball 149. Australia at 227/2 with 7 overs remaining. A total of 300+ runs is likely. Ponting and Symonds are at the crease for the late carnage.

Sri Lanka need 282 runs to win. Australia had 172 from 23 overs. They managed another 109 from the last 15 -- an under par finish to the innings. Still, their total is formidable. Had Australia been given 50 overs, they would have managed 370 runs with their run rate.

Pressure is piling up on Sri Lanka. 42/1 off 10 overs.

OH NO, RAIN. After 24.5 overs of the Sri Lankan innings, the umpires decide to stop. If the day ends without further play, then Australia will rightly win by the Duckworth/Lewis method.

Still, this sucks.

THEY'RE BACK! The Lankans lost two overs. They now need a spectacular 119 runs from 11 overs to win.

157/4. Sri Lanka need 112 runs from 60 balls. If they win, then it'll be the finest run chase in a World Cup final. If they lose, then Australia will become the greatest ODI side in history -- winning three World Cups in a row!

The Australians are victorious by 53 runs. They've defeated all three former Asian champions in three tournament finals. (Pakistan: 1999, India: 2003, Sri Lanka: today.) Not a single team beat them in their campaigns in 2003 and 2007 -- an unprecedented feat.

Of course, Gilchrist is the Man of the Match. Glenn McGrath retires from cricket by winning the Player of the Tournament award. What a fitting end to a truly peerless and glorious career.

The Aussies go home contented. They are, no question, the unmatched superpower of cricket.

The Heart of Islam

Ed Hussain:

Sultan spoke fondly of his time in London, particularly his placement at Coutts as a trainee banker. We then moved on to the subject uppermost in my mind, the terrorist attacks on London. My host did not really seem to care. He expressed no real sympathy or shock, despite speaking so warmly of his time in London.

Of course not.

Keen to take him up on his comment, I asked him: “Based on your education in Saudi Arabian schools, do you think there is a connection between the form of Islam children are taught here [in Saudi Arabia] and the action of 15 Saudi men on September 11?”

Without thinking, his immediate response was, ‘No. No, because Saudis were not behind 9/11. The plane hijackers were not Saudi men. One thousand two hundred and forty-six Jews were absent from work on that day and there is the proof that they, the Jews, were behind the killings. Not Saudis.”

It gets worse:

Two weeks after the terrorist attacks in London another Saudi student raised his hand and asked: “Teacher, how can I go to London?”

“Much depends on your reason for going to Britain. Do you want to study or just be a tourist?”

“Teacher, I want to go London next month. I want bomb, big bomb in London, again. I want make jihad!”

“What?” I exclaimed. Another student raised both hands and shouted: “Me too! Me too!”

Other students applauded those who had just articulated what many of them were thinking. I was incandescent. In protest I walked out of the classroom to a chorus of jeering and catcalls.

An entire generation nourished on venom.

Leading the World in Nuts

What Muslims believe:

"On average less than one in four believes al Qaeda was responsible for September 11th attacks. Pakistanis are the most skeptical -- only 3 percent think al Qaeda did it," said

I don't think "skeptical" is the right word.

More than half believed al Qaeda's goals included achieving a strict application of Sharia law in every Islamic country, with more than 70 percent agreeing with that aim.

This is an important and terrifying fact. Most Muslims might not agree with the tactics employed by al Qaeda but they do share the same goals.

Link via LFG!!!

Sharia In Real Time

ADN Kronos:

Some 150,000 women have been detained in Iran for violating strict new Islamic dress code rules, the country's top police officer has announced. "During the first four days [since the code came into effect] we have picked up 150,000 women who were not properly veiled, but many of them were released after they signed an admission of guilt and a formal apology," General Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam told journalists.

[Emphasis mine.]

That is the key part: the criminalization of ordinary Iranian women.

These women are brought to the local police station and told that they'll be set free if they admit their shameful guilt and grovel to the religious regime. The lives and the honor of these women is being put on the line. They can only escape by utterly and totally humiliating themselves. Every such small act is a sign of submission to the evil Mullahs.

It is astonishing to see that in a few days the already deprave Iranian regime has grown in its malevolence. One day it'll pay a heavy price.

Link via Gateway Pundit.

Supporting the Troops!

David S. Broder:

On "Fox News Sunday," Schumer offered this clarification of Reid's off-the-cuff comment. "What Harry Reid is saying is that this war is lost -- in other words, a war where we mainly spend our time policing a civil war between Shiites and Sunnis. We are not going to solve that problem. . . . The war is not lost. And Harry Reid believes this -- we Democrats believe it. . . . So the bottom line is if the war continues on this path, if we continue to try to police and settle a civil war that's been going on for hundreds of years in Iraq, we can't win. But on the other hand, if we change the mission and have that mission focus on the more narrow goal of counterterrorism, we sure can win."

Everyone got that? This war is lost. But the war can be won. Not since Bill Clinton famously pondered the meaning of the word "is" has a Democratic leader confused things as much as Harry Reid did with his inept discussion of the alternatives in Iraq.

Reid didn't cover any alternatives. This is merely after the fact bum covering.

Increased Costs For Consumers

Click here for an incredibly devastating critique of Windows Vista.

Near the end, we get some quotes. I found this one amusing:

“DRM causes too much pain for legitimate buyers […] There are huge problems with DRM” — Bill Gates (reported by blogger Michael Arrington).

I've been reading with quite some shock about the requirements for playing the next generation video formats.

When DVDs hit critical mass in 2000, the PC needed the following few items to play DVD movies:

  • A DVD
  • A DVD drive
  • A fast-enough processor: a 300 MHz Pentium II could do the job.

Now, to be able to play either HD-DVDs or the Blu-ray movies at their intended resolution, the PC requires:

  • Either a HD-DVD or a Blu-ray movie.
  • Either a HD-DVD or a Blu-ray drive.
  • A dual-core processor: any Core 2 Duo should do it.
  • 1 GB of RAM minimum.
  • A high-end graphics card that supports High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP). Shockingly not a single graphics card sold today is capable of supporting the resolution of high definition (1080p).
  • An up-to-date operating system: Windows XP SP2 or better.
  • A monitor that accepts a High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connection. Otherwise, one won't get the high definition video -- the content will get downgraded.
  • Software that plays HD media. Yes, you have to pay for it. I don't think the Windows Media Player will suffice.

This is simply insane. 100% of the PCs out there would need some or all of the above upgrades to be able to get the true high definition stream. It's highly likely that one can get a new setup today and easily miss one of the requirements and not get true HD video and not even know about it!

In addition, some of the companies have been cute with advertising: promoting HD-ready products that were anything but. (Oh yes, fraud is part of the equation.) The industry is supposed to make it easier for consumers to move on to the new and far superior technology but here it seems we are in for a frustrating few years.

Violating Allah's Boundaries

Reuters via Dhimmi Watch:

An Egyptian living in Saudi Arabia has been sentenced to death for desecrating the Koran and renouncing Islam, Saudi newspapers and a rights activist said on Wednesday.

Okaz and al-Hayat newspapers said worshippers at a mosque in the desert town of Arar in north Saudi Arabia lodged a complaint with police saying the man, a pharmacist, had left copies of the Muslim holy book in the mosque washrooms.

They said a court found the man guilty on Tuesday of no longer being a Muslim because of his acts and 'violating the boundaries set by God'. They said the man, whom they identified only as an Arab national, pleaded guilty.

Saudi Arabia executes murderers, rapists and drug traffickers to death by public beheading, according to an austere version of Sunni Islam. Anyone found guilty of apostasy can also face death.

Somehow I don't think Islamic organizations in the West will condemn this gross violation and abuse of "peaceful Islamic rules".

Imus and ElBayly

Clayton Cramer provides perspective:

ElBayly does not seem to have crossed the line into directly saying that someone should kill Hirsi Ali, so I guess that he hasn't actually broken any laws--but compared to what Don Imus said, this is far worse. And you won't hear a word about it from the usual screeching heads on television.

No matter how vehemently one criticizes Imus, he won't respond by cutting their head off.

ICC World Cup - 2nd Semi-Final

Australia humiliate South Africa by 7 wickets.

The Aussies have now gone on to the World Cup final four times in a row -- a new record. They won on the last two occasions. If they win on Saturday, they'll become the first team to earn three successive trophies.

The upcoming final is a re-match of the 1996 final: Australia vs. Sri Lanka.

The 149 runs by South Africa today was the lowest total by SA in any World Cup match. They saved their worst for the semi-final.

"Crazy Cricket":

Former batsman Adam Bacher said the gap between the two teams was almost embarrassing. "It was boys against men," he said on public television. "They taught us a cricket lesson."


ICC World Cup - 1st Semi Final

Sri Lanka defeats New Zealand.

So, for the fifth time in a row, an Asian team makes it to the final.

1992: Pakistan (won)
1996: Sri Lanka (won)
1999: Pakistan (lost)
2003: India (lost)
2007: Sri Lanka

Sadly for New Zealand, it was the fifth time they've reached the semi-finals and not gone any further.

The second semi-final is tomorrow. The out-of-sorts South Africans take on the all-conquering Australians -- still undefeated in the World Cups of this century.

What's In A Kiss?

Richard Gere hugged and kissed Shilpa Shetty on stage in India.

Akram writes:

I generally don't pay attention to the comings and goings of the man-children that inhabit Hollywood.  Richard Gere's Indian imbrolio, however, is eminently newsworthy and deserving of analysis.  It reminds us of the continuing existence of sexism, racism and colonial arrogance in the world.

A person who sees that in a kiss -- an affectionate gesture -- is a fanatic. Furthermore, Akram devalues real sexism and racism by unloading on such a trivial incident involving two different celebrities.

Here's what Shilpa Shetty had to say:

"I understand this (kissing) is his culture, not our's. But this was not such a big thing or so obscene for people to overreact in such a manner."

"I understand people's sentiments, but I don't want a foreigner to take bad memories from here," Shetty said.

I still remember watching her first movie (Baazigar) in Pakistan in 1994 with some relatives. In the filim, Shilpa appeared in a swimsuit for the obvious reason of showing some skin. A husband of a relative who was also watching the movie started talking about how that lewd filthiness was going to be the end of Islamic civilization; as though watching Indian actresses in skimpy clothing was the major problem of Muslims or Pakistanis.

It's amusing to read the same level of analysis today.

Uncouth Behaviour


Customer service - two words that seem to be missing from the vocabulary of brown service people.


I think it comes down to general politeness. I don't think many desis will disagree with this statement: Western society is overall more polite than the desh.

Why is that? I can't speak much about Bangladesh or India but I can provide a small window into Pakistan (or rather Pakistanis). I'll provide two major reasons. But before that, I've to say that often desis seem to be rude when they certainly don't think that they're being, well, rude.

My mother once told me about this small incident at the hospital. You see, my dad was talking with a British doctor in another room and mom could hear him loud and clear whereas the volume level of the doctor was quite low. She actually felt embarrassed. She said something like, "We talk so loudly!"

She was right. My dad was speaking just the way he spoke but relative to the doctor, it seemed as though he was yelling.

I encountered a similar incident in a study room at a library in Canada. A kid comes in, goes to a table about 15 feet away and says to his friend, "Yaar, parhna bund kar! Chal naee Spider-Man filim dekne chalte hain." Translation: Stop studying man! Let's go watch the new Spider-Man movie.

He was whispering. I merely said in my head, "Gadha!". Translation: Ass!

Okay, on to the two reasons:

1. Inbreeding. What's the point of being nice to people outside the family if one is never going to "need" them in any way. At least in small situations, and perhaps for selfish reasons, people in the West are often polite to strangers. Who knows when one will meet Mr. or Ms. Right?

In Pakistani society almost everyone not related to you is Mr. and Ms. Wrong. This is part of the mindset that says that one only has to care about the family, tribe and religion. Everyone else is not worthy of respect or courtesy. (That is not to say that everyone thinks like this but sadly too many do.)

2. Schooling. "Lucky" Pakistanis spend a decade or more in hideous institutions where teachers can physically assault students for incomplete homework, low marks on a test, talking during class or for no reason at all.

Call me crazy but I don't think such a system will produce many people who're kind to others in society.

It was quite a profound experience to study in America for two years. Before that, teachers to me were wretched, demonic beings; worthy of nothing but contempt and a few brutal thrashings. However, after witnessing real teachers in action and talking to them -- instead of being afraid of them -- I realized just how deprave the education infrastructure back "home" really is.

A small event that speaks for itself: I was in ninth grade and it was time for final exams. My school would sometimes schedule an exam or two on one day of the weekend. So, a practically empty bus would go out to pick up those who had their exams on that day.

I was waiting for the bus on such a day. Two drivers had decided to share one bus. (No point in using two and picking up a few students each.) It pulled up shortly and I got in, went a few seats back and sat down. My driver was sitting in the front row, the other was in the driver's seat -- he was staring at me via the mirror.

Then he growled, "Salam karo gay ya mai peechee ah kar maaron!?" Essential translation: Are you going to say salam or should I come back and beat the shit out of you?

Out of fear, I meekly said, "As-salaamu Alaikum." My driver in the front seat huffed, "Aaj kal kay larhkey." Translation: Boys, nowadays.

That bus driver threatened to hit me unless I said "Peace be upon you".

He obviously wasn't very familiar with irony.

Bounded Compassion II

Josh Scholar posted this link in the comments:

The liberal Arabic-language website Aafaq reports that a Muslim student set off a debate when she sent an email to the mailing list of the Muslim Students' Association at Virginia Tech asking the students to pray that Allah have mercy on those killed and wounded in the shooting attack at the university.

According to Aafaq, the dean of student affairs at American International University, Abu Hamza Hijji, responded, writing that Allah the Most Merciful forbids praying for mercy for the non-Muslim dead, or even for the non-Muslim living, and that it is only permitted to pray that they be rightly guided [DS: convert to Islam]. He added that what happened was a sad occurrence, but that does not give Muslims the right to transgress the laws of Allah the Most Merciful.

Ah, I see: Allah's mercy is quite limited and finite.

From last year: Bounded Compassion.

The Father of Modern Islamism

I think I've linked to this writing before, though, on a different site. No matter, it's worth another read:

He seethed at the brutishness of the people around him: the way they salted their watermelon and drank their tea unsweetened and watered their lawns. He found the muscular football players appalling and despaired of finding a barber who could give a proper haircut. As for the music: “The American’s enjoyment of jazz does not fully begin until he couples it with singing like crude screaming,” Qutb wrote when he returned to Egypt. “It is this music that the savage bushmen created to satisfy their primitive desires.”

But, but, I thought there was no racism in Islam!

Those who think that they hate us for what we have done or that they hate us for our present slutty culture should pay attention:

“The American girl is well acquainted with her body’s seductive capacity,” he wrote. “She knows seductiveness lies in the round breasts, the full buttocks, and in the shapely thighs, sleek legs and she shows all this and does not hide it.” These curvy jezebels pursued boys with “wide, strapping chest[s]” and “ox muscles,” Qutb added with disgust. Yet no matter how lascivious his adjectives, the fastidious, unmarried Egyptian could not convincingly portray the church dances and Look magazines he encountered in sleepy Greeley as constituting a genuine sexual “jungle.”

This is what happens when a sexually repressed clown meets the America of the 1950s: any and all female skin appears pornographic.

Sayyid Qutb cut short his stay in America and returned to Egypt in 1951 after the assassination of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the nationalist, religious and militant movement known as the Muslim Brotherhood. Over the next decade and a half, often writing from prison, Qutb refined a violent political theology from the raw anti-modernism of his American interlude. Virtually the entire modern world, Qutb theorized, is jahiliyya, that barbarous state that existed before Muhammad. Only the strict, unchanging law of the prophet can redeem this uncivilized condition.

Amazing how two people can look at the exact same things and arrive at completely opposite conclusions.

Link via LFG!!!

It's Always A Conspiracy

Middle East Times:

Some 2,000 Muslim scholars, teachers, and administrators from madrassas across Pakistan Tuesday declared suicide attacks un-Islamic and opposed enforcement of Sharia by force.

The first such gathering in Pakistan also declared illegal and un-Islamic threats to hairdressers against shaving off beards and attacks on video shops in the name of curbing obscenity in North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan. They said that such acts were a "conspiracy of some hidden powers."

Even when Muslims openly and explicitly wreak havoc in their own country, these clowns still blame Jews or infidels in general ("hidden powers").

A declaration issued after the madrassa convention said that "some hidden powers are engaged in suicide attacks against the Muslim administration of our country and the victims are our Muslim brothers."

Pakistani cities are relatively liberal when it comes to music and movies. The assaults on such businesses has eroded the sympathy of average Pakistanis. This seems like a shrewd move to say, "Hey, we are not like those crazy Islamists. We're prudent!"

I'm more convinced of this after reading the last paragraph:

The meeting was convened by opposition politician Maulana Fazlur Rehman, whose hardline Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam party, running thousands of madrassas in the country, had backed Afghanistan's ousted Taliban regime.

Somehow, the jailing of men who didn't have long-enough beards, the public beatings of uncovered women, the executions via a bullet in stadiums and the throwing of homosexuals off cliffs was all worthy of full support. The only difference today is that the short-term political reality has changed.

Link via Celestial Junk.

Cover Up The Meat

The Brussels Journal via LFG!!!:

According to Mostafa Chendid of the Danish Islamic Society (Islamisk Trossamfund), not only Muslim women but other women too should wear a veil.

A Muslim leader who thinks that his deprave religious laws should be the law of society. I'm shocked!

According to him the veil also serves as a signal: women with a veil are «not for sale».

So diplomatic of him.

Moreover, the veil protects against rapes, he says: in the US for example, every half minute a woman is raped, and according to him that is because women continuously tempt men by going onto the streets without a veil. Maybe not all men have a problem to control themselves when they see a woman without a veil, and perhaps there is only a problem with five to ten per cent of the men, but he says that is nevertheless enough for all women to wear the veil.

That's right. If only these sluts in the West wouldn't "invite" rape by covering themselves up, we'd be a rape-free society.

Because we all know, rapes don't occur in the enlightened, burqa-infested, Islamic world.

Overflowing With Bigotry


The bodies had barely been removed when the racial epithets started pouring in. Cho Seung-Hui, the 23-year-old identified as the killer of 32 on the Virginia Tech campus, may have lived in the state since his elementary school days, but to the bigots in the blogosphere it was his origins in Korea that mattered most. "Koreans are the most hotheaded and macho of East Asians," wrote one unnamed commentator on the Sepia Mutiny blog. "They are also sick and tired of losing their Korean girlfriends to white men with an Asian fetish."

MSNBC uses an anonymous comment from a blog in its lead paragraph to illustrate bigotry and backlash in America!? How moronic and revealing.

Sepia Mutiny:

The views in the soundbite which MSNBC/Newsweek opportunistically and irresponsibly highlighted are NOT shared by the vast majority of those who write, comment or lurk here; they are the exception, not the rule on a blog which was created to enlighten, not divide. We are saddened that such a reputable and established source of news would manipulate our site’s purpose and imply that the words of a rogue commenter are somehow indicative of the work we tirelessly try to do.

That's precisely what they did. Those who don't know about SM will read: bigots, blog, Sepia Mutiny.