May 31st 2008 01:55:23 PM
Full report by author Miranda Vickers here.
Key Points (From page 2):
* Historically Albanians have practised a traditional, tolerant form of Sunni and Bektashi Islam. Now a third more radical interpretation of Islam is gradually being introduced by young Albanians who have studied abroad in Islamic countries.
* This has the potential to undermine the current delicate balance of inter-faith and inter-religious co-existence in Albania’s multi-faith society.
* There is strong demand from within the Albanian Muslim Community to have an Islamic university in Albania. This will enable young people to study Koranic theology in their homeland and not in foreign institutions.
* Albania’s strong tradition of religious tolerance is widely recognised. However, it should be remembered that historically this was not always the case, when foreign influences endeavoured to intensify regional and sectarian differences. Today, Albania is still vulnerable from such influences.
* Given the known radical Islamic activity in some of Albania’s near neighbours, there should be closer monitoring of religious activity in Albania’s more remote border communities.
Hmm, what “near neighbors” bordering Albania could she be talking about with this radical Islamic activity going on?
May 30th 2008 06:23:48 PM
I recently had an article titled “Can Obama out-Clinton the Clintons?” which pointed to the parallels between the Clintons and the Obamas. This week we have another Clinton-style Obamination, as everyone knows by now:
I had an uncle who was part of the first American troops to go into Auschwitz and liberate the concentration camps. The story in our family was that when he came home, he just went up into the attic and he didn’t leave the house for six months.
Making up or embellishing stories to fit the occasion was a Clinton trademark — with Obama in this case lumping a Buchenwald forced labor sub-camp in Germany with the Auschwitz extermination camp in Poland that was liberated by the Russians. However, also like Bill Clinton before him, Obama is the teflon man, so this will melt away even faster than his racism, his anti-Americanism, and his surrounding himself with anti-Semites.
May 30th 2008 01:31:23 AM
The Fox network’s news affiliate in Philadelphia has a tip for Americans who are having a hard time affording summer vacation this year. If you watch this short video, you’ll see they interviewed a very attractive blond lady named Jennifer Doncsecz, president of VIP Vacations. She recommends thinking “outside the box” and going to Egypt, where the American dollar is worth 20 times the Egyptian pound and where, she says, there is an increasing friendliness toward Americans:
People say, “Oh but that’s the Middle East.” Well it’s northeast Africa, it’s not really the Middle East. “Oh but,” they say, “that’s Muslim.” But you know what, the Muslim society has no crimes against women. They leave their doors unlocked, so it’s very safe at night.
No blond jokes, please.
I’d counter that this is actually thinking inside the box — a very specific, rectangular box.
May 29th 2008 02:46:17 AM
Letter by Jim Jatras, Director of American Council for Kosovo, in Washington Times (May 25):
No false choice for Serbia
It is inaccurate to portray the recent election in Serbia as a choice between “fervent nationalist and anti-Western” hostility to the European Union, supposedly represented by former Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica and Radical Party leader Tomislav Nikolic, and a “progressive,” pro-Western course in the person of President Boris Tadic (”Serbia’s mighty challenge,” Editorial, May 16).
Not a single party participating in the election opposes the European Union. As Mr. Nikolic wrote in a recent Op-Ed in The Washington Times (”Serbia goes to the polls,” May 9), the real choice before Serbian voters was whether the “rule of law, European integration and economic liberalization [must] go hand-in-hand with Serbia’s legitimate national interests,” versus choosing “an illusion of faster integration promised by other parties” — such as Mr. Tadic’s — “that would undermine Serbia’s territorial integrity.” Mr. Nikolic and Mr. Kostunica simply insist that European integration must be consistent with international standards affirming the inviolability of Serbia’s entire sovereign territory, including the province of Kosovo. This is hardly “ultranationalism.”
Claims of ethnic cleansing against Albanians in the 1990s do not justify separating Kosovo from today’s democratic Serbia. The terror campaign directed at Kosovo’s Christian Serbs both before and after the 1999 war is only the culmination of decades, even centuries, of violence perpetrated by Muslim Albanians under the sponsorship of Ottoman Turks, the Axis powers during World War II, the postwar communist regime of Josip Broz Tito and now NATO. The resulting preponderance of Albanians in Kosovo resulting from terrorism is neither a legal nor moral justification for secession.
The Times is correct that the status of Kosovo was not resolved by recognition of its supposed independence by the United States and a few of our allies. Rather than futilely trying to force an illegal solution to a complex problem, the Bush administration — or its successor — should heed the recent call by Russia, China and India for resumed negotiations for a settlement consistent with accepted principles of international law.
A coalition among Serbian parties committed to that outcome would not be extremist, just patriotic and principled. If someday our country faces a similar challenge, I hope Americans would feel the same way.
And an unpublished letter by author Bill Dorich to the UK Telegraph:
In Harry de Quetteville’s article, Serbia Sings Eurovision, he stoops to the insulting remark “…three-fingered salute, a notorious nationalist gesture” in his reference to the Serbian people. This is pure hate speech, especially coming from a journalist who spent years in Jerusalem. The “three-finger” gesture has been used by the Serbian people for centuries as a sign of their commitment to the Holy Trinity and Orthodox Christianity! Therefore, his remark reveals more about Harry’s morals and his own bigoted ideology then it does of the Serbian people. Not since Hitler has a nation resorted to dehumanizing an entire race of people with collective guilt….
So once again we are seeing anything that hints of Serbian culture or religion being designated as “nationalist”, underscoring the plan outlined recently by Nebojsa Malic to kill the Serbs as a people by stripping away any unique identity they have as a nation. This de Quetteville is only half a level up from the bimbo reporting from Kosovo upon “independence”, who called the Serbs’ three-finger salute (which Vatican guards give as well when sworn in) a “Nazi salute”.
May 29th 2008 02:23:53 AM
Computer Helps Jailers Understand Dogs
JERUSALEM - Israeli jails are using a custom-built computer program to interpret the barks of guard dogs and distinguish warnings of a breakout from everyday woofs, a prisons official said Monday.
Noam Tavor, head of the Israel Prisons Service canine unit, said the program is designed to overcome mistakes in which guards have either not heard dogs sounding an alarm or failed to speedily identify its significance.
“It collects the dogs’ barks through microphones…and sorts and grades them,” Tavor told Army Radio. “It relays only the barks that are significant in terms of security — barks that reveal stress or aggression in the dog.”
The Prison Service has long used dogs to patrol its fences, but found the system had flaws. “The dogs would bark, and staff of the prison wouldn’t hear it, or would hear it and would not take action fast enough.” Tavor said.
Six years ago, the Prisons Service joined with Bio-Sense, a high-tech company headquartered near Tel Aviv, to create a system that would notify them when dogs were barking because of something suspicious.
Bio-Sense recorded the patrol dogs barking in different situations, from playtime to cat encounters to real emergencies. They loaded thousands of these recordings into a computer program to determine “what makes the emergency bark different than the other barks,” said Bio-Sense project manager Orit Netz.
One of the keys turned out to be the dog’s stress level.
Bio-Sense developed a sensor that can determine a dog’s stress based on the sound of its bark…The first system was put in place in 2005, and since then three more have been installed in Israeli prisons…
So let’s underscore yet another dog-related difference between Jews and Muslims. Jews seek to understand dogs, while Muslims seek to kill dogs. Politics and ideology aside, Jews — like dogs — are productive, constructive and intelligent members of society. So when a Jew sees a sign reading “No Jews or Dogs Allowed” (as a comedian acquaintance of mine claimed to have seen on the door of an Arab-owned business in downtown Manhattan), know that it’s a compliment.
May 29th 2008 02:20:05 AM
From last week: Restaurant Blast Suspect a Muslim Convert
A man arrested after a blast rattled the southwest English city of Exeter on Thursday is a vulnerable young Muslim convert with a history of mental illness, police said.
Police said 22-year-old Nicky Reilly was seen entering a bathroom of a crowded restaurant shortly before it was rocked by a small explosion. The incident prompted the evacuation of a large part of Exeter’s city center, but Reilly - who was seriously injured in the face - was the only one wounded and is being treated in a hospital under police guard.
An additional explosive was later found in the vicinity of the restaurant and defused by a bomb disposal team.
“Our investigation so far indicates that Reilly, who has a history of mental illness, has adopted the Islamic faith,” Deputy Chief Constable Tony Melville told reporters.
“We believe that despite his weak and vulnerable state, he was preyed upon, radicalized, and taken advantage of.”
Terrorism-related arrests have become regular in Britain since the Sept. 11 attacks and the July 2005 suicide attacks in London that killed 52 commuters. British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said last month that authorities were monitoring 2,000 suspects and 30 active plots, and that the threat was growing.
May 28th 2008 02:36:48 AM
“I condemn remarks that are, in any way, viewed as anti-anything.” — John McCain, April 2008, while criticizing televangelist John Hagee for his comments about the Catholic Church’s historic anti-Semitism
And that’s exactly the kind of non-defining president that will define the America of the 21st Century.
May 27th 2008 11:51:35 AM
My friend Karol, who runs the blog AlarmingNews.com, last week alerted me to a post she had a year ago this month concerning the would-be Fort Dix terrorists, the Duka Brothers:
A little too small a world
When Elvis and Dritan Duka, two of the three brothers arrested on terrorism charges in Fort Dix, were kids, they were neighborhood bullies. When they got a little older, they became drug dealers.
How do I know? They grew up in my neighborhood, my brother and his friends used to brawl with them on a fairly regular basis. My brother’s best friend’s mom was friends with their mom. Then they moved to New Jersey and became Jihadis. Of all possible paths for the Duka kids, that one didn’t seem the most likely.
They’ve been here since they were kids, illegally it turns out, lived American lives, went to our public schools, and then decided to try and kill some of our troops. I don’t know that I’ll ever get used to this world.
A few surprisingly clueful comments that appeared below the post:
I forget what part of Bensonhurst they’re supposed to be from-I was reading a story in the Post yesterday about the gullible cujine one of these hajjis married-but the neighborhood definitely has changed since the time I lived there.
There are a lot more Albanians who own-or at least operate-pizzerias in places like Brooklyn, unfortunately.
Yet another reason to detest the La Cosa Nostra, since very frequently they are the ones responsible for training them.
Organized crime is bad enough, but dealing with Albanian jihadis is an entirely different category of trouble.
Thank goodness we had Bill Clinton to bombe all those nasty Serbs.
from Stan LS:
I grew up around 65th street in brooklyn, and yea, those albanians loooooooooooove to fight.
Does anyone have any “good Albanian” stories? I sure have plenty of bad ones, as does pretty much anyone who has lived in non-premiere sections of Brooklyn at one time or another.
There’s one family across the street from my aunt (the family, not just the kids) who has basically terrorized the block for about 30 years.
It’s not a muslim thing either. They terrorize the nice Bangladeshi muslims the worst, because the Bangledeshis (on this block) are a very peaceful group…I still don’t know why, to this day, we took (and continue to take) their [Albanians’] side in anything.
by Former Bay Ridger:
…seems like there’s a whole contingent of Muslim/Arab/Albanian pseudo-Jihadi angry teenagers now in that part of Bay Ridge, roughly between 4th and 8th avenues in the 60s - but beginning to stretch down to the higher streets.
by Kent Gordis:
The Swiss government boasts that it has admitted 250,000 Albanian refugees. Based on population, this is equivalent to admitting about 12 million Albanians to the U.S.
May 27th 2008 11:48:05 AM
As if the term “Islamic terrorism” isn’t redundant to begin with.
U.S. aims to unlink Islamic, terrorism (May 7)
U.S. officials are being advised in internal government documents to avoid referring publicly to al Qaeda and other terrorist groups as Islamic or Muslim, and not to use terms like jihad or mujahedeen, which “unintentionally legitimize” terrorism.
“There’ s a growing consensus [in the Bush administration] that we need to move away from that language,” said a former senior administration official who was involved until recently in policy debates on the issue.
Instead, in two documents circulated last month by the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC), the multiagency center charged with strategic coordination of the U.S. war on terror, officials are urged to use terms such as violent extremists, totalitarian and death cult to characterize al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.
“Avoid labeling everything ‘Muslim.’ It reinforces the ‘U.S. vs. Islam’ framework that al Qaeda promotes,” according to “Words that Work and Words that Don’t: A Guide for Counter-Terrorism Communication,” produced last month by the center.
“You have a large percentage of the world’ s population that subscribes to this religion,” the former official said. “Unintentionally alienating them is not a judicious move.”
Daniel Sutherland, who runs the Department of Homeland Security Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, insisted that the avoidance of the term Islam in conjunction with terrorism “is in no way an exercise in political correctness. … We are not watering down what we say.”
“There are some terms which al Qaeda wants us to use because they are helpful to them,” he said.
The “Words That Work” guide notes, “Although the al Qaeda network exploits religious sentiments and tries to use religion to justify its actions, we should treat it as an illegitimate political organization, both terrorist and criminal.”
By employing the language the extremists use about themselves, the guide says, officials can inadvertently help legitimize them in the eyes of Muslims.
“Never use the terms ‘jihadist’ or ‘mujahedeen’ … to describe the terrorists,” the guide says. “A mujahed, a holy warrior, is a positive characterization in the context of a just war.
In Arabic, jihad means ’striving in the path of God’ and is used in many contexts beyond warfare. Calling our enemies jihadis and their movement a global jihad unintentionally legitimizes their actions.”
A longer document produced by Mr. Sutherland’ s office and also circulated by the NCTC compiles advice from Islamic community leaders and religious professionals in the United States about terminology officials should use and avoid.
“Terminology to Define the Terrorists: Recommendations from American Muslims,” says officials should use “terms such as ‘death cult,’ ‘cult-like,’ ’sectarian cult,’ and ‘violent cultists’ to describe the ideology and methodology of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups.”
It also recommends eschewing the terms Islamist or Islamism — the advocacy of a political system based on Islam — “because the general public, including overseas audiences, may not appreciate the academic distinction between Islamism and Islam.”
The use of the term may be accurate, the document says, but “it may not be strategic for [U.S. government] officials to use the term.”
So they want to de-link Islam from terrorislam — I mean from terrorism. (See? It’s going to take longer to program this head; I’m from the Soviet Union, so I’ve seen this kind of mind control before.) So what are we going to call them, then? The Bad People? “Watch out for the bad people!” What, are we in an M. Knight Shylaman movie? “This was done by those of whom we dare not speak!” This is like that “Twilight Zone” episode in which a sadistic child controlled everything and could kill you just by looking at you, and you were supposed to just smile and say what a beautiful day it is today and every day, acting like nothing in the world is wrong and eating peanut butter sandwiches three times a day is perfectly normal. People, we are living the “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” and we don’t even know it.
May 26th 2008 01:00:07 PM
May God bless America’s fighting men and women of today and yesterday, and may he show no mercy to our leaders, bureaucrats, officials and operatives, who surrender to the infiltrating enemy our freedoms which so much American blood has been spilled to preserve.
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