Monday, January 31, 2005

Expatica - Dutch Muslims find a voice - of reason?

Expatica - Living in, moving to, or working in the Netherlands, plus Dutch news in English

Dutch Muslims find a voice - of reason?

The establishment of a political party to represent Muslims in the Netherlands is as welcome as it is overdue. But it also entails very real risks.

The announcement by columnist Mohammed Jabri that moves are afoot to launch a political party for Dutch Muslims by the beginning of summer should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed events in the Netherlands in recent years.

The Muslim Democratic Party (MDP) could be a real force for good if it plays a positive role. It should forthrightly defend aspects of Muslim life that are worth defending; help spread understanding and acceptance of Muslims among the native Dutch and vice versa; and perhaps most importantly, expose as a lie the convenient myth that Muslims are the root of all that is wrong or bad in the Netherlands today.

On the other hand, if the MDP fails to get off the ground, embroils itself in extremist rhetoric or suffers the internal disputes that have set the anti-immigration LPF on the way to an agonisingly slow self-destruction, the consequences would be terrible. Politics would be seen by many in the Muslim community as a dead-end, leaving imams and radical thugs to represent the community.

Already there are daily reports of young Muslim men — a minority, but an active one — in the major cities who look on the native Dutch as the enemy and fair game for crimes of theft. It is common for unveiled women, both Muslim and native Dutch, in parts of Amsterdam to be branded "whores" and "sluts" by self-righteous Muslims.

But giving Muslims a real voice on the political stage — and who knows, perhaps a seat at the Cabinet table — would go a long way to helping Muslims to look on Dutch society as their society also.

A Muslim party would have real potential: there are an estimated one million Muslims in the Netherlands and the number is growing.

[ The European march to dhimmitude continues apace. Godspeed Holland! (err, that's Allahspeed in Dutch) ]


Friday, January 28, 2005

International News Article |

Islamists Arrested in Paris Planned France Attacks

Fri Jan 28, 2005 2:48 PM ET

By Thierry Leveque

PARIS (Reuters) - Suspected Islamists arrested by secret service agents in Paris this week were plotting terrorist attacks on French and foreign targets in the country, the Paris public prosecutor's office said on Friday. Anti-terrorism magistrates are to prosecute three of the 11 people detained in a series of swoops in a northern district of the French capital on Monday and Tuesday, the prosecutor's office said in a statement.

The others have been released or will be shortly.

'This network is suspected of drawing up plans for attacks in France against French and foreign interests,' said the prosecutor's office in a statement. It did not elaborate.

The prosecutor's office confirmed two people had been charged with association with criminals engaged in a terrorist enterprise. They were to be remanded in custody later on Friday.

A third was to be questioned on Saturday by the anti-terrorism judges leading the investigation, Jean-Louis Bruguiere and Jean-Francois Richard.

Intelligence services believe the trio were part of an 'Iraq network' recruiting guerrillas to fight U.S.-led forces. Officials said the network had now been dismantled.

Anti-terrorism experts fear Iraq, like Afghanistan in the 1980s, will attract Islamic militants bent on resorting to political violence once they return home.


Quelling Racist Murder in France - January 28, 2005 - The New York Sun

Quelling Racist Murder in France - January 28, 2005 - The New York Sun

Quelling Racist Murder in France

BY NIDRA POLLER - Special to the Sun
January 28, 2005

The murder of Sebastien Selam, one of the most popular DJs in France, has been widely ignored. Sebastien lived with his widowed mother in a modest but comfortable low-rent apartment building in the 10th arrondissement, a half hour from the Place de la Republique. In November 2003, during the month of Ramadan, Sebastien was murdered by a neighbor, Adel Boumedienne. The Selams are Jewish, of Algerian origin; the Boumediennes are Muslims from Morocco. Relations between Jews and Muslims in the neighborhood, which had been normal or even cordial, radically deteriorated in the fall of 2000.There were incidents, anti-Semitic graffiti, ominous signs of violent hostility. And yet Sebastien let Adel get into his car as he was going into the underground garage to park. There, Adel slashed Sebastien's throat almost severing his head, and mutilated his face beyond recognition with a carving fork. The coroner states in his report that he had never seen such severe mutilation in all his decades of practice.

Aside from a brief article filled with factual errors in the tabloid Le Parisien and an equally incompetent article in a Jewish weekly paper, there was hardly any press coverage of the Selam murder. When Israeli photographer Avi Rosen, who was in Paris at the time, heard what happened to the DJ, he immediately recognized the hallmarks of ritual murder. He took photos of the crime scene, interviewed the Selam family, and has stood by them ever since in their almost hopeless efforts to bring the murderer to justice and expose the true nature of the crime not only for the honor of Sebastien, but to warn others of the danger that confronts them.

Adel's mother saw her son take the carving knife and fork from the kitchen; he came back a short time later, covered in blood, and told her, "I've killed my Jew, I can go to paradise." He told the police that he had no remorse, no regrets, because Allah told him to kill Sebastien. They transferred him from the police station to a general hospital and from there to a psychiatric hospital. As of this writing, the Selam family lawyer is playing his last card; he has one last chance to convince the court to open an investigation. If the request is denied, the case will be closed. No investigation, no arrest, no trial. The murderer will some day be released from the mental hospital. The Selam family is sentenced to a life of mourning.

Chantal Piekolek was murdered in her shoe store in the 17th arrondissement of Paris earlier that same November day. The murderer, a hardened criminal recently released from prison, stabbed her 25 times. He was quickly apprehended and jailed, but died of cancer before he could be put on trial. Piekolek, who was Jewish, was murdered by a Muslim. Did he know she was Jewish? If robbery was the motive, why did he stab her 25 times? The mystery died with him. But one day the press, including the Jewish press, may be asked to explain why they transformed a Jewish divorcee - who had recently taken over a store after her father died - into the Christian widow of a Jewish husband. Why? Were two Jewish murders in one day during the month of Ramadan too much to bear? Or too much to hide?


[This is why Islam can NEVER be reformed. Christians go to hell for murder, Muslims go to heaven.]

Expatica - PM, Nato boss 'included on terror suspect's death list'

Expatica - Living in, moving to, or working in the Netherlands, plus Dutch news in English

PM, Nato boss 'included on terror suspect's death list'

28 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende and Finance Minister Gerrit Zalm were allegedly on a death list drawn up by suspected terrorist Jason W., who was arrested after a 14-hour stand-off with police in The Hague last November.

The stand-off developed after hand grenades were thrown at a specialist police unit moving in to arrest W. and another man.

Current affairs programme Nova reported on Thursday night that internet chat sessions indicated that W. was thinking about killing Balkenende and several other high-profile politicians. The chat sessions are part of the public prosecutor's evidence against the 19-year-old convert to Islam.

W., whose father is American and his mother Dutch, became a Muslim at the age of 14.

The names of Nato Secretary-General and former Dutch foreign minister Jaap de Hoop Scheffer (who took over as Nato chief in January 2004), populist LPF MP Mat Herben and Liberal VVD MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali and "all the fake Muslims" on the board of management of Dutch Muslim broadcaster NMO were also allegedly on W.'s death list.

The names appeared in a chat session that W. was involved in on 19 September 2003, in which W. is said to have used the internet name Mujaheed. He chatted with another person identified as Galas. Parts of the chat session were broadcast by Nova on Thursday night.

The chat session files were found on W.'s computer in his home in the central Dutch city of Amersfoort on 17 October 2003 when he was arrested with several others on suspicion of planning a terrorist attack. The computer was seized by police, but the suspects were released eight days later and the case was dismissed.


[ ] Wednesday 26, January 2005

Turkey Wins Removal Of Armenian Genocide From German Schools

Turkey Wins Removal Of Armenian Genocide From German Schools

(dpa) - Pressure from Turkey has resulted in the removal of a reference to the Armenian genocide from a German school curriculum, reports said Wednesday.

The eastern German state of Brandenburg has eliminated half a sentence on the Armenians included in ninth and tenth grade history classes after a Turkish diplomat complained to state Prime Minister Matthias Platzeck, the newspaper Die Welt reported.

In a chapter entitled 'War, Technology and Civilian Populations' the school book text said 'for example, the genocide of the Armenians population of Anatolia.' That passage has now been removed from school textbooks, the newspaper said.

Platzeck met regularly with Turkish diplomats and was 'steeled' against their influence, the newspaper quoted him as saying. The prime minister added that genocide was too important an issue to be dealt with in just half a sentence. 'Brandenburg's curriculum was the only one in Germany which up until now included a reference to the murder of the Armenians,' said Die Welt.

Most historians say that between 600,000 and 1.5 million Armenians were killed in 1915 and 1916 under the Ottoman Turks during World War I. The Turkish government, which denies that a genocide took place, speaks of 200,000 dead.

A Turkish embassy spokesman in Berlin declined to comment directly on the report, but noted the initiative had come from the Turkish consulate responsible for Berlin and Brandenburg - not from the embassy itself.

Prime Minister Platzeck is a member of Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder's Social Democrats (SPD). Schroeder is a strong supporter of Turkey's bid to become a member of the European Union. Germany has almost two million resident Turks - the biggest Turkish minority in the EU.

Yahoo! News - France Worried About Terrorism at Home

Yahoo! News - France Worried About Terrorism at Home

By JAMEY KEATEN, Associated Press Writer

France Worried About Terrorism at Home

PARIS - The ongoing violence in Iraq (news - web sites) "encourages terrorism," has created instability and has pushed some French youths toward holy war, France's defense minister said in an interview with The Associated Press.

Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie appeared eager to rebuild frayed French-U.S. ties, but expressed deep concern about the insurgency ahead of Sunday's election in Iraq.

She pointed to arrests this week of 11 French youths as part of an investigation into a network suspected of dispatching Islamic combatants from France to Iraq. One of the youths was later released.

"France cannot be satisfied with the situation in Iraq," she said in Thursday's interview. "What's happening in Iraq is bad for everyone. It encourages terrorism and creates a zone of instability that can spread."

Alliot-Marie expressed concern that the young French fighters "could one day carry out suicide attacks elsewhere ... that worries us." France itself could be targeted, she said.

France's DGSE spy agency, which works for the Defense Ministry, was active in helping counterintelligence agents ahead of the arrests, providing information on "routes of passage" to Iraq, the minister said.


Thursday, January 27, 2005

TCS: Tech Central Station - Where Have All the Children Gone?

TCS: Tech Central Station - Where Have All the Children Gone?

"Go to any child-care store in Vienna. Its clients will be predominantly Arabic, Iranian, Pakistani, Turkish, Japanese, Korean, and Black African. Viennese women never bear children -- they cherish their figures and careers instead. The Western-European pension systems made the bringing up of children less advantageous than social climbing and maximization of income.


Saturday, January 22, 2005

Most Dutch see Muslims as a threat

Most Dutch see Muslims as a threat

International news from swissinfo, the Swiss news platform

January 22, 2005 3:30 PM

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A large majority of Dutch people are afraid of Muslims, according to a poll taken after the murder
of a Dutch filmmaker critical of Islam.

The poll, conducted by TNS NIPO in The Netherlands, as well as in Spain and Italy, since the November murder of Dutch
filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a suspected radical Islamist, showed only 19 percent of Dutch people do not see the presence
of Muslims in the country as a threat.

Home to almost 1 million Muslims or 6 percent of the population, The Netherlands' reputation for tolerance and social
harmony has been shattered by the murder and a wave of attacks on mosques and churches and death threats against

Racial tensions surfaced again this week after a Dutch woman killed a youth with Moroccan roots after he stole her bag.

Highlights of the poll, to be launched formally on Monday, were published by De Volkskrant daily on Saturday.

The newspaper said the results were surprising given that Spain and Italy were much more frequently confronted with illegal
immigration of Muslims from North Africa than the Dutch.

The survey showed 67 percent of Dutch people had no contact with Muslims and 65 percent hardly know anything about
Islam in spite of broad coverage in the media.

Those who see Muslims as a threat say they are afraid they will eventually have to live under Islamic religious rules. Those
living outside big cities, women and the well educated were more likely to have negative views, the newspaper said.

Half the Dutch polled said they would move house if their neighbourhood became more dominated by immigrants and the
same proportion said they were afraid women would no longer be able to move about freely in public because of Muslims.

Yahoo! News - Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists - Magazine

Yahoo! News - Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists - Magazine

Germany to Deport Hundreds of Islamists

Sat Jan 22,11:10 AM ET

BERLIN (Reuters) - German officials are drawing up lists of hundreds of Islamic militants to be deported from the country under a new law making expulsions easier, the German weekly magazine Der Spiegel said on Saturday.

Der Spiegel said authorities were already using their powers under an immigration law introduced this month in conducting an operation dubbed 'Aktion Kehraus' ('Action Sweep Out').

The Interior Ministry declined to comment on the report beyond saying that deportations were a matter for Germany's 16 federal states.

Under new rules, potential deportees will not be able to use normal legal channels to challenge an expulsion order. A special panel of the Federal Administrative Court will be responsible, with no right of appeal.

Der Spiegel said judges were expected to deal with up to 2,000 cases per year.

Since the revelations in 2001 that Arab students who had lived for years in Hamburg led the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, Germans have questioned their liberal laws under which some suspected militants even draw welfare benefits.

Interior Minister Otto Schily has suggested that evidence of training at an al Qaeda camp should be clear grounds for expelling a foreign national. Distributing videos calling for 'holy war' could also be punished the same way.


Friday, January 21, 2005

Bag thief death fans Dutch racial tensions - Yahoo! UK & Ireland News

Bag thief death fans Dutch racial tensions - Yahoo! UK & Ireland News

Bag thief death fans Dutch racial tensions

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - The death of a man with Moroccan roots who was run over by a woman after he stole her bag has inflamed Dutch racial tensions that have smouldered since the murder of a filmmaker critical of Islam.

Several hundred people, including many Moroccans, marched on Friday from the site in an immigrant neighbourhood in Amsterdam where the 19-year-old died on Monday. The woman whose bag he stole drove her car into his moped, crushing him against a tree.

The friends and family of the youth, named by the media as Ali El Bejjati, say his death was a racially motivated murder. Two months ago, filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed in the same district, allegedly by a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan.

The story has been front-page news all week in the Netherlands, home to about one million Muslims, more than a quarter of Moroccan descent. De Telegraaf daily said on Friday it was the man's own fault.

Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration politician whose popularity has soared since Van Gogh was murdered, called for the government to strip criminals with dual citizenship of their Dutch nationality.

'Arresting the woman makes the victim the criminal and the criminal a victim. It's turning the world on its head,' he said.


Muslim group targets poster nudity

Muslim group targets poster nudity - Britain

Muslim group targets poster nudity
By Nicola Woolcock

Activists are getting bolder in a campaign of vandalising adverts that display naked flesh

BILLBOARD adverts featuring partial nudity are being defaced by Muslim activists who are offended by displays of flesh.

The advertising watchdog has confirmed that increasing numbers of posters are being torn down or painted over in predominantly Islamic areas.

A website giving advice on how to vandalise billboards and listing potential targets has been set up by a group calling themselves Muslims Against Advertising (MAAD).

The campaign has gathered momentum since the Advertising Standards Authority banned an underwear advert from being sited near mosques.

Advertisements for perfume, hair dye, bras and television programmes are among those that have been attacked. Photographs of semi-dressed women are the most frequently targeted, with the offending body parts painted over or ripped off.

A poster advertising the Channel 4 programme Desperate Housewives is the most recent target; the images of two scantily-clad actresses have been torn from an East London billboard but three fully-dressed characters were left intact. Adverts bearing Dove’s “Real Women” adverts — six ordinary women pictured in their underwear — were painted over at several locations last year.

MAAD, based in Birmingham, gives an index of defaced adverts in the city, including Levi’s, Wonderbra, PaddyPower, a radio station and a strip club. It says on its website that it believes in “direct action” and “has paint and isn’t afraid to use it”, adding: “There is no longer any need to cringe as you walk past a sleazy poster, we’ll improve it.”

Advice on how to attack posters is also given: “The procedures outlined here are based on our six months’ experience of executing poster attacks professionally, safely and without injury or arrest.

“A paint roller, a blithe spirit and a balmy night are all you really need.

“After choosing your board, be sure to inspect it both during the day and at night. Take note of all activities in the area. Who is about at 2am? How visible will you be?

“Bring a camera — it’s a good cover for doing anything you’re not supposed to. Check your escape routes.

“For work on larger boards we recommend walkie-talkies . . . the ground crew should monitor oncoming traffic and maintain radio contact with the lookout on the board.”

The ASA told Triumph to remove its advert for Sloggi thongs from a billboard near a mosque in Bury, after complaints and a petition.

One Muslim reportedly complained that it was “insulting” and constituted “environmental pollution”.

An advert for hair dye, which showed a woman peering into her bikini bottoms, was painted over by Muslims in Luton. A spokesman said the poster would be “extremely offensive” to a Muslim man if he passed it on his way to prayers.


The Scotsman - International - Self-doubt leaves French feeling down in the mouth

The Scotsman - International - Self-doubt leaves French feeling down in the mouth

Self-doubt leaves French feeling down in the mouth


IT IS official: the French are a nation of depressed pessimists, wracked with self-doubt and unable to see a positive future.

This gloomy portrait of the current state of Gallic morale - or rather the lack of it - was made public yesterday in a damning report by France’s prefects, the country’s top administrators.

"The French no longer believe in anything," the report said. "That is the reason that the situation is relatively calm, for they believe that it is not even worthwhile expressing their opinions or trying to be heard any more."

The country’s 100 prefects went on to use the words "lifelessness", "resignation", "anxiety" and "pessimism" to describe the attitudes they believe prevail in France today.

The report, which is dated December 2004 but has only just been made public, would appear to be contradicted by the three days of strikes launched by public sector workers this week.

However, analysts point to the fact that disillusionment and apathy are so great that not even France’s formerly powerful unions were able to predict the turnout for the strike. Opinion polls show that 65 per cent of the French support the strikers, leading observers to say that the country is showing its discontent by proxy via the strikers.

"It’s a fact: France and the French are pessimists," said Alain Duhamel, a respected French commentator.

He said: "The French doubt themselves and worry about the future. They do so more than the citizens of neighbouring countries, even when those neighbouring countries are doing less well than we are and have a more negative future ahead.


Stop playing victim, Forum tells Moroccans - Expatica

Stop playing victim, Forum tells Moroccans - Expatica

Stop playing victim, Forum tells Moroccans

21 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — As mourners marched on Friday to commemorate the death of a Moroccan man during an alleged bag snatch, multicultural institute Forum urged Moroccan immigrants in Amsterdam to stop portraying themselves as victims.

Forum spokesman Halim el Madkouri said Moroccans are not victims and should stop blaming the rest of Dutch society for everything, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

His comments came after El B. was killed on Monday night after he and an accomplice allegedly stole a bag from a woman's car. The motorist reversed her car to try and reclaim the bag, but collided with the mens' scooter and crushed the victim up against a tree.

erupted in Amsterdam East around the scene of El B.'s death as many people from the immigrant community claimed that the 43-year-old woman killed the 19-year-old on purpose. They claim it was evidence that Moroccans are victims of serious injustice in the Netherlands.

"Nonsense, of course, because the woman who crashed into him did not really think: 'Hey, a Moroccan. I'm going to kill him'. Moroccans are in a vicious circle of frustration and dissatisfaction. They continually feel they are a victim," El Madkouri said.

A spokesman for the Koepelorganisatie van Marokkaanse Moskee├źn (a Moroccan mosque association) blamed the emotional outbursts by Moroccans after El B.'s death on negative publicity in the media.

"But some of them have contributed to this picture themselves. It is time Moroccans looked into the mirror and recognised their own faults," he said.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

French army to recruit Muslim clerics

Expatica - Living in, moving to, or working in France, plus French news in English: "French army to recruit Muslim clerics

PARIS, Jan 20 (AFP) - The French armed forces are to create an Islamic chaplaincy to cater to the spiritual needs of Muslim recruits, Le Monde newspaper reported Thursday.

A serving officer - Lieutenant Colonel Hait Al Hocine - was appointed earlier this week to examine how the body should be set up and is due to present his report by the end of June, the newspaper said.

It would be the first time that Muslim clerics are given an official position in the armed services. Today only Catholic, Jewish and Protestant chaplaincies exist.

Large numbers of France's five-million strong Muslim community are believed to have signed up to the armed forces recently, but because of France's official
blindness on colour, race and religion there are no figures.

Le Monde said the decision to appoint Muslim chaplains had not been taken in response to an observed demand from Muslim serving men and women.

'Nothing suggests there is a need (for a Muslim chaplaincy) at the moment, but we do not want to have to improvise one if the need did arise,' a defence ministry official told the paper.

'We are going to set up a framework in which it will be possible to practice the Muslim religion - but we don't even know if we will find candidates for the job of chaplain,' he said.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

FrontPage :: The Islamists' Favorite Brits by Melanie Phillips

FrontPage :: The Islamists' Favorite Brits by Melanie Phillips

The Islamists' Favorite Brits
By Melanie Phillips | January 18, 2005

Tony Blair’s staunch support for President Bush over Iraq has done the Labour Prime Minister great electoral damage in Britain, not least among the country’s 1.8 million Muslims. Despite being traditional Labour voters, many are now threatening at the forthcoming general election to support either the Liberal Democrats, who have taken a strong line against the war, or Respect, an alliance between the far-left MP George Galloway and Islamic fundamentalists.

The British government’s reaction has been a panicky attempt to appease the Muslim community. In particular, there have been suspicions that a proposal to outlaw incitement to religious hatred is a crude attempt to buy Muslim votes. This is because British Muslims, who have been complaining about a rise in “Islamophobia” since 9/11, are aggrieved that they are not covered by the existing law against incitement to racial hatred, which applies to Jews and Sikhs whom it designates for these purposes as racial groups.

Of course, real prejudice against Muslims exists and should not be tolerated. But a law against incitement to religious hatred will very likely criminalize legitimate discussion about religion, which almost invariably gives rise to intemperate passions, hatred and the giving and taking of offence.

Fears that such a law may put people in jail merely for telling the truth have been fuelled by the fact that to many Muslims, any criticism of Islam — including any reference to Islamic terrorism — constitutes “Islamophobia.” If such a law had existed when a fatwa was issued against Salman Rushdie’s life for writing The Satanic Verses, he might have been prosecuted rather than protected by the British state. The idea that such a law should be introduced by the British government at the behest of a minority seeking to suppress any discussion of the role of their faith in global terror is alarming in the extreme.

Yet according to a government minister, this is indeed what has happened. In a grovelling article written in The Muslim Weekly in which he effectively pleaded for votes, Energy Minister Mike O’Brien boasted of the lengths to which the government had gone to accede to British Muslim demands. Two weeks after the Muslim Council of Britain asked for a new law banning religious discrimination, he said, Tony Blair promised he would provide it. “It was,” wrote O’Brien, “a major victory for the Muslim community in Britain.”

So a law that has the power to shut down legitimate comment about Islam; potentially put Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, secularists and others in the dock for speaking the truth; and make the giving of offence a greater offence than intimidating Britons into silence; is being introduced to buy Muslim votes. The price to be paid for invading Iraq, in other words, is to be Britain's freedom of speech.


Tuesday, January 11, 2005

Asia Times

Asia Times: "Why Europe chooses extinction
By Spengler

Demographics is destiny. Never in recorded history have prosperous and peaceful nations chosen to disappear from the face of the earth. Yet that is what the Europeans have chosen to do. Back in 1348 Europe suffered the Black Death, a combination of bubonic plague and likely a form of mad cow disease, observes American Enterprise Institute scholar Ben Wattenberg. 'The plague reduced the estimated European population by about a third. In the next 50 years, Europe's population will relive - in slow motion - that plague demography, losing about a fifth of its population by 2050 and more as the decades roll on.'

In 200 years, French and German will be spoken exclusively in hell. What has brought about this collective suicide, which mocks all we thought we knew about the instinct for self-preservation? The chattering classes have nothing to say about the most unique and significant change in our times. Yet the great political and economic shifts of modern times are demographic in origin. Three examples suffice:

1) The great trans-Atlantic rift. Europeans are pacifists, not merely in the Persian Gulf, but on their own Balkans doorstep. If they cannot be bothered to reproduce, why should any European soldier sacrifice himself for future generations that never will be born?

2) The shift in global capital flows to the United States: old people lend money to young people. The aging populations of Europe and Japan lend money to younger people in the US.

3) The deflation danger. To illustrate, an economist of my acquaintance proposes a thought experiment. Suppose by a magic spell all the inhabitants of the United Kingdom instantaneously aged by 30 years. What would be the effect on the current account balance, the rate of interest, the price level and the exchange rate? (Answer at the end of this essay).

Little enough has been said about the "how" but almost nothing about the "why" of Europe's demographic suicide. Suicidal behavior is common among (for example) stone-age tribes who have encountered the modern world. One can extend this example to Tamil or Arab suicide bombers (See Live and Let Die, Asia Times Online, April 13, 2002). But the Europeans are the modern world. Have the Europeans taken to heart existentialism's complaint that man is alone in a chaotic universe in which life has no ultimate meaning, and that man responds to the anxiety about death by embracing death?

Detest as I might the whole existentialist tribe, there is a grain of truth here, and it bears on a parallel development, that is, the death of European Christianity. Fifty-three percent of Americans say that religion is very important in their lives, compared with 16 percent, 14 percent and 13 percent respectively of the British, French and Germans, according to a 1997 University of Michigan survey. Here I draw on the German-Jewish theologian Franz Rosenzweig (1886-1929), an existentialist of sorts. Few Asians (including Jews) can make sense of Christianity's core doctrine, namely, original sin, handed down to all humans from Adam and Eve. Original sin motivates God's self-sacrifice on the cross to remove this stain from mankind; without it, Jesus was just an itinerant preacher with a knack for anecdotes.


Monday, January 10, 2005

British Muslims called to take up jihad - (United Press International)

British Muslims called to take up jihad - (United Press International): "British Muslims called to take up jihad

By Hannah K. Strange
UPI UK Correspondent

London, England, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Muslims living in Britain are facing two choices; either to migrate or to join the jihad, a key Islamic figure has said.

Sheikh Omar Bakir Muhammed, leader of the now officially disbanded Islamic militant group Al Muhajiroun told United Press International Saturday that as the covenant of security under which Muslims previously lived in Britain has been broken, Muslims must now consider themselves at war.

'And I declare we should ourselves join the global Islamic camp against the global crusade camp,' he said.

What violated the covenant, according to Sheikh Omar, was the anti-terrorist legislation introduced in the United Kingdom after the 9/11 attacks. If the British government would review these policies and release those detained without trial in Belmarsh prison and elsewhere, Muslims could live at peace in Britain. Otherwise, they must prepare themselves to fight.

'The response from the Muslims will be horrendous if the British government continues in the way it treats Muslims,' he said, adding that suicide bombings were a possibility.

He called on Muslims to form a new coalition united behind al-Qaida with Osama Bin Laden as their leader.

This jihadi group would replace Al-Muhajiroun, which is no longer needed, he said. By dissolving such parties the Muslim community will have to come together, and as the judge of the Sharia court in Britain, he is the one to unite them, he added.

Those who did not wish to either leave or fight would not be regarded as Muslims, said Sheikh Omar, condemning in particular the Muslim Council of Britain for urging the Muslim community to cooperate with the British government.

"They are hypocrites, we don't believe they are Muslims," he told UPI. "In a time of crisis, who ever allies with them (the kuffaar -- non-believers) is one of them, so I don't believe they are Muslims in the first place."

"I doubt if one of them would dare to walk the streets of Mecca by themselves," he added.

Muslims are facing wars on two fronts, in Britain and abroad, he explained. Though they will live at peace in Britain should the government meet their demands, the fight will continue elsewhere in the Islamic world.

"We have the right to support our brothers and sisters abroad financially," he said. "They're recruiting us to join the British Army to go and kill our brothers and sisters. Why? We believe that everybody that does this becomes apostate, but we don't stop them because they can do whatever they want.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Oddly Enough News Article |

Oddly Enough News Article | "By Matthew Jones

LONDON (Reuters) - Mohammed has joined perennial favorites Jack and Joshua as one of the most popular names given to British boys in 2004, a sign of the country's growing ethnic diversity and a legacy of Muslim immigration decades ago.

The Office of National Statistics said on Thursday Mohammed -- meaning variously 'one who is praiseworthy' or 'exalted' -- had moved up two places to enter the top 20 for the first time.

'It is all about demographics. There are now more Muslims being born in Britain than previously,' said Dr Jamil Sherif of the Muslim Council of Britain, an umbrella group of 400 organizations.

'About 40 percent of Muslims here are under 25,' he told Reuters. 'There are a lot of young families.'

Emigration from Asia and Africa surged during the 1960s and 1970s and Britain -- population around 61 million -- is now home to about 1.6 million Muslims.

But despite its increased popularity, the name has a long way to go before it takes the laurels from Jack which has topped the charts for 10 years.

Last year, Joshua was at number two, Thomas at three, James at four and Daniel at five. Since 2000 these names have all been in the top five.

Girls' names saw more change in the top five than boys, but only marginally so.

Emily held the top spot for the second year running as did the number two name, Ellie. Jessica, the third most popular name moved up one place as did Sophie at four.

Chloe, which was top for six years until 2003, dipped to number five while Evie was the highest new entry at 39, up 22 places.

One of the fastest movers in the boys' names was Charlie, which gained nine places to 16, while last year's big climber Alfie dropped nine places to 27 and Spencer slumped 47 places.