Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tarek Fatah says that Islam is the only religion bent on the destruction of Western civiliization

Here is a picture of Hillary Clinton in Pakistan. She came close to being the President of the United States and had to settle for Secretary of State. I guess one should not be surprised to see her in a hijab since her boss went so far as to bow to the King of Saudi Arabia.

But what is the message to Islamists when an important non-Muslim dons Muslim approved head gear?

Give up?

That Islam is winning, so keep up the pressure. Do we really need the top people in the government of the United States to lend such a helping hand to that project?

I went to a lecture last evening in Toronto. The speaker was Tarek Fatah, who I have described in other postings on this blog as Canada’s leading Muslim reformer. Perhaps I am being a bit sexist with that remark since Irshad Manji is also well-known for her views on the reformation of Islam and is probably better known internationally than Fatah. So let’s just say he is one of Canada’s leading reformers.

He is quite entertaining because he is passionate about his subject and he pulls no punches. At one point he said, “Let’s face it, racism can be fun, and we have to work hard at not appearing to be racist.” Not many folks in our fair land would be brave enough to say that publicly.

Fatah was talking about the reason why he wrote his book, Chasing a Mirage: The Tragic Illusion of an Islamic State, published in 2008. He claims to have proved through his research that the notion of establishing a global Islamic state is a fable that has harmed Islam for more than 1,000 years and is a distortion of Mohammed’s message. He says he was trying to reach out to young Muslims who are swayed by Islamists into the folds of the radical Islamist movement.

Among the interesting tidbits he dropped in his lecture was the fact that every mosque in the Toronto area obtains sizeable funding from Saudi Arabia. I had not heard that before, although so many other mosques around the world are funded by that source it should not be surprising to find that ours are no exception.

He also pointed out that Pakistan is the only country in the world that was created exclusively for Muslims. That is an interesting argument to keep in mind when one hears the cries against the legitimacy of creating Israel as a homeland for the Jews.

Fatah supports the initiative of the Muslim Canadian Congress to petition the federal government to ban the burka and the niqab. He makes no bones about the fact that these garments are designed to marginalize women and have little to do with piety.

With a good deal of sarcasm he told of the post 9/11 visit by Canada’s top politicians to an Ottawa mosque to comfort Muslims in their hour of peril. One of the visitors was Alexa McDonough, who was then the leader of the federal NDP. The old, bearded Imam, who carried a walking stick, greeted them at the entrance and proceeded to rap her on her foot with it, and told her that her footwear was offensive as her toes were showing. He ordered her to go to the basement where all the women went. She complied.

Fatah says this is symbolic of what is wrong with our attitude to Islam (meaning non-Muslim attitudes). He said McDonough’s response ought to have been to slap the Imam in the face and lecture him on the perils of assaulting women.

He summarized the three great problems with Islam that need to be overcome: suppression of women, hostility to homosexuals and treatment of apostasy.

I would have added supremacy to that list.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Toronto's taqiyyameister

Imam Said Rageah delivered a sermon in Toronto recently and stirred a hornet's nest when it was analysed in The National Post. He was a addressing an inititative of the
Muslim Canadian Congress, an Islamic reform group, headquartered in Toronto, which has petitioned the federal government to outlaw the burka and the niqab.

Here is a passage from that sermon:

"We have to establish Islam [in Canada]. I wanna see Islam in every single corner of the city; I would like to see niqabis, and hijabis [women wearing face masks and head covering] everywhere in the city. I want to see ‘brothers' [Muslim men] in beards everywhere in the city. Because when they see more of us, they will have more respect for us. They will say, ‘look they are everywhere...we cannot go against them'."

During his sermon he referred to non-Muslims as "kuffars" and advised his congregants not to make common cause with them on the MCC's proposal, because allying themselves with non-Muslims violates Islamic principles or laws. As a result of the reaction he received, he posted this reply in the same newspaper. My comments follow the letter.

Imam Said Rageah responds
Posted: October 23, 2009, 11:30 PM by Ron Nurwisah
Oct 23rd, 2009 --5 Dhul Qa’dah, 1430

Dear Congregants and Visitors of Other Faiths,

Recently, there was a news article describing my sermon and my practice of Islam as one that seeks to incite hatred. Usually, seeking to answer agenda-driven critics would only serve to distract me from my work of proclaiming the Shahadah, applying what it means in my personal life and also attempting to teach others in a practical and appropriate manner in an environment where practicing Islam can sometimes be portrayed unfairly as a threat.

In my little corner of our beautiful city of Toronto, I sometimes sit back and contemplate the course of my life. I live in a multicultural melting pot with a personal reality that is unique and diverse in many ways. For example, my father-in-law and mother-in-law are Christians, with whom I have a very respectful and loving relationship. When I talk with them, I reflect and ponder on the nature of the lives of my children and their development. Our unique Canadian montage will allow them to live in a society, where in spite of the circumstances of their birth or their heritage, they will find their own footing in the Canadian mosaic. They will carve out their own Islamic identity, an identity that will be free from persecution and enslavement of thought.

As stated in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Canada is founded upon principles that recognize the supremacy of God and the rule of law. And among the fundamental principles which are the cornerstones of this society are the right to free speech, free thought, free expression and the ability to practice one’s own religious beliefs, all within reasonable, justifiable limits. I share and promote these values as they are also Islamic values.

I will be delivering a sermon today that will touch upon these issues and the recent controversies. What can be explored in 30 minutes cannot be easily compressed into a one-page statement, but let me try:

1. The expression “kuffar” is based on an operational definition, of what people do to hide something, like the truth about God (“Allah” in Arabic). In Arabic/Islamic terminology, it does not categorically refer to Christians and Jews, nor does it exclude Muslims.

2. Muslims are closer in belief and practice to observant Christians and Jews than they are to each other and Muslims respect each people as having received Revelation from the same God, and are correctly referred to as “People of the Book”.

3. Men and women in Islam are required to act and dress modestly. There are a range of interpretations, including hijab and niqab for women. The choice whether to veil, and the type of veil, should be entirely for each individual Muslim woman to make of her own free will.

4. Politics are shaped by public opinion and public opinion is shaped by the media. Rather than leaving ignorance to fill the vacuum, Muslims must fully engage in Canadian society with wisdom and the best of speech, to foster mutual respect and understanding and shape an even better country.

I invite you all to learn and share more about your faith and yourselves.

May God’s Peace and Blessings Be Upon Us All

Said Rageah

On the one hand he wants to portray himself as being a cosmopolitan citizen of Canada's leading cosmopolitan city. On the other, he professes ignorance that the word "Kuffar" would be considered derogatory by many in this community of which he claims to be a member. Well which is it?

If Muslims are closer to Christians and Jews than to each other, how does he explain the fact that there are virtually no Jews living in Middle Eastern countries where Islam prevails and the Christians that are there are migrating because of local hostility and lack of security and support from Muslim authorities. This alleged common God worship does not seem translate into peace and harmony amongst the religions of Abraham in the cradle of Islam.

Nobody in Canada who is not a Muslim would disagree that the manner of dress of an individual Muslim woman should be her choice. But there are Muslims who do not believe it is a free choice (the MCC) and there are suspicions that honour killings in the name of the religion have occurred here where Muslim women have chosen not to wear reliously-inspired culture-specific garments; e.g., Aqsa Parvez.

Why is this aspect of Islam never addressed by these religious guys? Instead, they spout back at us the principles by which we, not they, live, as if there is nothing more to be said on that subject.

Muslims must fully engage in Canadian society with wisdom and the best of speech, to foster mutual respect and understanding and shape an even better country.

Now that is a mouthful coming from a man who refers to other Canadians as Kuffars and avises his congregants to avoid making friends, allies or common cause with them because they are Kuffars.

He says he shares the Canadian principle of freedom of expression because this is an Islamic value. Since the bedrock of Islam is blind obedience to the word of God, how did freedom of expression get embedded in Islam?

Just this week we learned that U.S. authorities arrested two Muslim men who were plotting to kill the publisher of and one of the artists of the famous Danish cartoons. One of the men is a Canadian citizen from Toronto.

Perhaps the good Imam would spend some of his time in his 30 minute sermons explaining why Islam would frown on such people who believe killing to crush freedom of expression is an Islamic value.

In searching for information on this Imam, I turned up this website that identifies an Imam Said Regeah as a fundraiser for a charity that was later designated as terrorist support agency.

Tarek Fatah, Canada's leading reformist Muslim, also has some interesting things to say about this fellow's preachings.

Monday, October 26, 2009

More trouble for freedom of expression

Slowly the light of freedom flickers and will soon be all but extinguished in the western world. The EU is very close to promulgating an anti-discrimination law which will bind all member nations, according to The Brussels Journal.

Just as the notorious Section 13 of Canada’s Human Rights Act has been used to criminalize free speech and has proven to more a sword than a shield, this EU law contains many of the same failings. The definition of harm is so broad that all sorts of expression will become subject to prosecution and the defendant will have to prove that the plaintiff was not “harassed” by statements attributed to the defendant, a virtually impossible defense to mount.

To be charged under this law will amount to being guilty of the offense. That has been Canada’s judicial experience and there is no reason to think it will be different in the EU.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Creeping world government

Following on my last posting is an appeal by a European for America to stand steadfast behind its Consititution. And the second link takes you to a commentary on how that Constitution could be eroded to infect the United States with the same anti-free speech laws that prevent criticism of Islam in European states, and nearly in Canada.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Learning from the mistakes of others, or not

The battles in Canada with the forces of multi-culturalism and political correctness to preserve free expression have been well publicized in the United States, the one country in the world that truly enshrines in its laws the unfettered right of free speech (unfettered by government fiat).

So you would think Americans would have learned something from us.


The Obama government appears to be going down the same path that we took nearly two decades ago that has left us today with a tattered and nonsensical notion of human rights as they apply to free expression.

As part of Obama’s outreach program to Muslims, the U.S. has joined the odious United Nations Human Rights Council, dominated by the Islamic states who regularly engineer resolutions condemning the state of Israel and who have supported resolutions in the General Assembly calling for members of the U.N. to criminalize the “defamation of religion”, meaning the defamation of Islam, since Islam regularly defames other religions and non-religious beliefs.

As a counter to that resolution the U.S. has initiated a resolution that says the following, among other things:

Also expresses its concern that incidents of racial and religious intolerance, discrimination and related violence, as well as of negative stereotyping of religions and racial groups continue to rise around the world, and condemns, in this context, any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence, and urges States to take effective measures, consistent with their international human rights obligations, to address and combat such incidents.

The resolution was passed at the Council and presumably is sent up the ladder to eventually be passed into U.N. law.

This poisonous stew is understood by Islamic nations to be a prescription whereby Muslims can use the government organs of non-Islamic states to prosecute criticism of Islam within those states, or they wouldn’t have supported it.

The key phrases in this paragraph for Muslims are “negative stereotyping of religions” and “advocacy of … religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination…”

Religions ought not to be exempt from criticism, especially a religion that is also a political ideology like Islam.

Consider these words in Canada’s Human Rights Act.

13. (1) It is a discriminatory practice for a person or a group of persons acting in concert to communicate … any matter that is likely to expose a person or persons to hatred or contempt by reason of the fact that person or those persons are identifiable on the basis of a prohibited ground of discrimination.

Religion is one of the prohibited grounds of discrimination under this statute.

These words justified several human rights agencies in Canada taking action against two news publishers; one who published the Danish cartoons and the other who published an excerpt from a book by author Mark Steyn who wrote about the rise of Islam in Europe. These actions were prompted by Muslim activists who claimed they were “likely to be exposed to hatred or contempt” because of these publications.

It would be easy to contemplate exactly the same actions being processed by the human rights regimes here on the grounds that these publications were advocating religious hatred that constituted incitement to discrimination.

It may also have unintended consequences. For example, if a secular advocacy group wanted to challenge the ritual of prayer in government legislatures, could that group be accused of inciting discrimination because it hated the idea of religion mixing with government? Would complaining about the separation of church and state become off-limits?

This is a slippery slope Mr. Obama’s “feel good” diplomacy has led America to and we know better than anybody what is at the bottom of it.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sir Barnes Neville Wallis

With Alfred Nobel, the Scandinavian munitions maker, much in the news lately after the surprise award of the Nobel Peace Prize to American President Barack Obama, it is worth reflecting on another munitions wizard who died forty years ago this month.

His name was Barnes Wallis (September 26, 1887 – October 30, 1979). He was a British scientist, engineer and inventor. He was also a school dropout, although he later obtained his engineering degree through university extension courses while still working. While most of his fame related to aircraft, he was actually a marine engineer.

He is credited with being the first to utilize geodesic design in engineering. This was employed in the construction of the R-100, the largest dirigible in its day. He is also responsible for being the first to use light alloys and production engineering while working on the R-100.

When Wallis moved to Vickers aircraft, his geodesic designs were already incorporated into the Wellesley and Wellington bombers produced by that company. This resulted in both a light and strong airframe. This engineering marvel was often the only thing that stood between life and death for the aircrew.


In the Second World War, he advocated strategic bombing to take out the enemy’s infrastructure, rendering it incapable of waging war.

Of course, when Israel does this against its enemies it is now branded by the U.N. Human Rights Council as committing war crimes. But that is for another posting.

Wallis recognized that a new type of bomb would be required to effectively implement his strategy. He devised the “earthquake bomb”. The idea was not to hit the target directly, but to penetrate to a deep level close to the structure and create a mini-earthquake that would undermine the foundation and render the structure useless.

This was a bomb that was huge, aerodynamically pure, very heavily constructed to provide maximum penetration before detonation, and intended to be dropped from a high altitude (40,000 feet) to obtain maximum terminal velocity of 320 miles per hour. His original design called for a bomb of ten tonnes.

Unfortunately, there were no bombers at the time capable of carrying such a monster. Undaunted, Wallis proposed a new aircraft to be called the Victory Bomber. It would weigh in 45 tonnes and be powered by six engines. It was rejected by the Air Ministry because the idea of having a single aircraft for single purpose of carrying a single bomb disturbed its idea of maximum flexibility in aircraft design.

Wallis then turned his attention to the idea of barrel-shaped bouncing bombs in marine attacks. These were bombs that did not immediately explode on impact with the water, but would skip across the surface much like a skipping stone and strike a target at its base underwater, like a depth-charge, using the water to concentrate the force of the bomb on the target.


This required great precision in bombing and the idea only worked when Wallis discovered that putting backspin on the bomb caused it to fall behind the aircraft and gave it greater distance and prevented it from bouncing off the target.

These bombs were used against three dams in the Ruhr valley. The development and attack were documented in the British film, The Dambusters.

These dams were heavily protected and since the bombers were required to approach just above the surface of the water to create the skipping effect there was a heavy loss in aircraft and aircrew to anti-aircraft fire.

One of the pilots was an American, Joe McCarthy, who had enlisted in the RAF at the outset of the war. I knew McCarthy because he stayed in the Royal Canadian Air Force after the war and was my father’s commanding officer for a time. When the motion picture, The Dambusters, was shown on the air base, there was quite a lot of excitement and McCarthy got up and gave a speech before the film ran.

His story is that his airplane had engine trouble, and, as a result, he took off ten minutes after his squadron had left. As a result, he was able to sneak in a get off his bomb load since the German gunners had stood down thinking the raid was over.

Barnes Wallis was appalled at the aircraft losses in this attack. He subsequently became a pioneer in the use of remote controlled aircraft to test out designs without endangering aircrew. The extensive use of drone aircraft today can trace back to him and this raid on the Ruhr.

His big bomb idea became feasible when improvements were made to the Lancaster bomber. The Lancaster was the work horse of Bomber Command and could carry the largest payload prior to the advent of the B-29.


The first big bombs were called “Tallboys” and they weighed 5 tonnes. When it was determined that the Lancaster could carry even heavier loads, if stripped of its armor and most armaments, the “Grand Slam” was produced, coming in at 10 tonnes. These bombs were used quite effectively against a number of stationary targets and there was a consequential benefit from the high level bombing of fewer aircraft losses.


These bombs could not be mass produced and were so expensive that aircrew were ordered to return to base with them if they could not be dropped on a target rather than jettisoning the load into the sea, which was the normal procedure for safety in landing. In short, the value of the bomb outweighed the value of the lives of the crew.

When the Americans calculated the cost/benefit of dropping one atomic bomb from one aircraft thereby minimizing aircraft losses, they had the benefit of the experience with Wallis’s big bombs.

After the war, Wallis worked on swing-wing designs that were eventually passed over to the Americans, who then incorporated them into the F-111 and tried selling the aircraft back to Britain.

He proposed the development of large nuclear-powered submarines to carry cargo. He calculated these could travel faster and more efficiently than a surface vessel and be immune to ocean storms.

He also experimented with rocket-propelled torpedoes.

He was knighted in 1968 and retired from Vickers in 1971.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Simcoe's eternal rest is disturbed


I don’t have a problem with Canada’s immigration policy as we seem to be attracting immigrants of good quality, but sometimes you have to wonder.

There is a story in today’s Toronto Sun about a British couple with two children who want to immigrate to Canada and applied under the skilled worker category. They were turned down because they only scored 65 points and they needed 67 to make the cut. They are appealing the decision to the Federal Court of Canada.

Apparently, they scored low on the section called “Adaptability”.

I live in a part of the country where women walk around in Burkas. There are whole neighbourhoods that, except for the quality of the housing, look like they were transplanted from Dacca or Delhi, judging by the dress commonly worn by the residents and the nearby houses of worship. Other communities have every street sign and store window written solely in Chinese. Many of these people don’t speak a word of English, or prefer to converse in their native language. Government notices are printed in about 7 different languages.

But the British couple failed on adaptability???

Simcoe must be rolling over in his grave.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Getting what you deserve

A number of people are scratching their heads today over the announcement that U.S. President Barack Obama has been given the Nobel Peace Prize, nominations for which closed just two weeks after he was sworn in as the American President.

Much too much is made of this award. It is not that important in the great scheme of things. It is not given out every year in case there are no obvious candidates.

It is worth keeping in mind that, aside from some embarrassing mistakes in awarding the prize, to Yasser Arafat, for example, the people who have been overlooked for this award speaks volumes about the subjectivity of the process and the debasement of the concept of awarding a prize for the advancement of peace.

The most memorable omission was Mahatma Ghandi, who was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947 and 1948. Another lifelong, influential, and tireless advocate for peace was British philosopher and mathematician, Bertrand Russell. He never won the Peace Prize either.

Some credit Obama’s attempts to curb the spread of nuclear weapons for his favourable ratings with the Nobel Committee.

Other than stating what he would like to see happen, and making some overtures to other interested parties, it is difficult to attribute any measure of success to his wishes. In fact, he has been sitting on his thumb with respect to Iran and sending that country love letters and happy-face videos that appear not to have moved it one jot in the direction of giving up on a bomb.

Consider his efforts and achievements compared with that of the 1962 winner, Dr. Linus Pauling, considered to be one of the two greatest scientists of the 20th century (the other being Albert Einstein), as outlined in Wikipedia.

In 1958, Pauling began a petition drive in cooperation with biologist Barry Commoner, who had studied radioactive strontium-90 in the baby teeth of children across North America and concluded that above-ground nuclear testing posed public health risks in the form of radioactive fallout. He also participated in a public debate with the atomic physicist Edward Teller about the actual probability of fallout causing mutations. In 1958, Pauling and his wife presented the United Nations with a petition signed by more than 11,000 scientists calling for an end to nuclear-weapon testing. Public pressure subsequently led to a moratorium on above-ground nuclear weapons testing, followed by the Partial Test Ban Treaty, signed in 1963 by John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev. On the day that the treaty went into force, the Nobel Prize Committee awarded Pauling the Nobel Peace Prize, describing him as "Linus Carl Pauling, who ever since 1946 has campaigned ceaselessly, not only against nuclear weapons tests, not only against the spread of these armaments, not only against their very use, but against all warfare as a means of solving international conflicts."

I not only have no objection to Obama pursuing the limitations on nuclear weapons I hope he succeeds. But Pauling worked for 16 years on the anti-war file before being recognized by the Committee and after he was successful in bringing public pressure to bear on ending nuclear weapon testing.

Let’s see what the young fellow can do before handing him an award that Alfred Nobel intended to be for success, not just for hopes and dreams.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

"Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets, believers our soldiers."

"Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets, believers our soldiers."

This is a line from a poem by Turkish writer, Ziya Gökalp. Ironically, he was a staunch Kemalist. However, the sense of this thought has prompted some interesting political protest posters in Switzerland which is going to have a referendum on November 29 that may stop the construction of minarets.

The picture above shows a minaret displacing the historic water tower in Lucerne.

Some maintain that the minarets are an unnecessary architectural feature since the faithful are not called to prayer as they used to be from the top of these towers. Others claim the minaret is a structure deliberately intended to remind the population of a community of the supremacy of Islam.

This last one has now been ruled "racist" by the municipality of Basel, presumably because it also contains the image of a burqa-clad person.

A spokesman for the construction and traffic department of the half-canton of Basel City said the decision to ban it in publicly-owned spaces was based on a law against spreading racist ideologies or classing groups by ethnic, religious, cultural or physical characteristics.

Apparently, it is alright for a Muslim woman to classify herself as a member of religious or cultural group and wander around the streets of Basel dressed in this obscene costume and that is not a racist act, but if you put a likeness of her on a poster that is racist.

Thanks to the Gates of Vienna for the story.