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ISIS Imposes a Partial Ban on Burqas

September 6, 2016

Before getting to the news item at hand, a personal preface:

I am frustrated that Westerners don't perceive the obvious point that burqas and niqabs, both of which cover not only the head but the whole body, threaten public security. A person wearing these Islamic garments can be male or female, can carry an assault rifle, and can usually get away with anything anonymously.

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Two Opposing Views of the Islamist Threat

August 26, 2016

Hugh Fitzgerald posted a 3,300-word piece at JihadWatch.com responding to a news item about Thomas Strothotte, president of Kühne Logistics University in Hamburg, Germany, advocating that all school children learn Arabic until 12 or 13 years of age; Fitzgerald called this a sign of "civilizational surrender."

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More on the Burkini Ban

August 25, 2016

I published an article today in the Philadelphia Inquirer about the "silly hysteria" in France over the novel female bathing article called the burkini, saying it's not a threat and the France authorities should concern themselves with serious matters.

Well the weather on the Riviera is hot and so is this topic. I pursue updates here.

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Parsi vs Daioleslam: Correcting the Record

August 19, 2016

Al-Monitor's congressional correspondent, Julian Pecquet, wrote an article in Al-Monitor about the divided Iranian community in the United States showing the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MeK or NCRI) on one side, against the regime in Tehran, and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) with the regime. In the course of the article, he paraphrases the head of NIAC, Trita Parsi:

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The 11th Encyclopædia Britannica on Who Is a Palestinian

July 31, 2016

Robert Alexander Stewart Macalister (1870-1950)

As several authors (Aryeh L. Avneri, Joan Peters, Fred M. Gottheil) have shown, the non-Jewish population of Palestine grew because of the many in-migrants who came to work at Zionist economic enterprises. But it's also worth noting that, even before that immigration began, this small territory was already filled with a wide range of peoples.

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Academics Who Fabricate: This Time, It's about Canary Mission

July 31, 2016

I was alerted in May 2015 to the opening of an anonymous new project named Canary Mission and tweeted out information on it:

.@CanaryMission is a new org'n that builds bios of US campus anti-#Israel fanatics so future employers will know their full college records.

The tweet that started it all.

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Blowback from Criticizing Trump

July 21, 2016

I published a short article today in the Philadelphia Inquirer, "Why I Just Quit the Republican Party," which detailed the reasons for my wanting nothing to do with its presidential nominee, Donald Trump.

Not surprisingly, I received an earful in response – several hundred notes within hours, running about 3-to-1 against my views. Trump enthusiasts are nothing if not voluble and vehement.

A sample of the responses, mostly negative.

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Another Voice Predicting Islamism's Doom

June 23, 2016

Moncef Marzouki, the president of Tunisia from 2011 to 2014, has penned an analysis predicting, as I have, the demise of Islamism. I quote from a MiddleEastEye.net abridgement and translation of the original Arabic version that appeared at Aljazeera.net.

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"The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act"

May 28, 2016

[Correction: I relied in my original version of this weblog entry on an article by Paul Sperry, "Schumer upends 9/11 Saudi suit bill at 11th hour," New York Post, May 24, 2016 – a known writer in a trustworthy publication.

In it, Sperry argued that the senior senator from New York had gutted the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act by adding a section titled "Stay of Actions Pending State Negotiations" that allowed the Executive Branch to stop lawsuits at will.

The New York Post a day later published a second article on the topic, "The Truth About the 9/11 Victims' Bill," written by 9/11 families and their counsel. It focuses on two errors in Sperry's analysis concerning that section:

  • "The stay provision was not offered by Sen. Schumer, but rather by Republican members who had raised objections to the bill.
  • "The stay provision included in JASTA does not de-fang the bill."

I was further informed by a member of the Senate staff that the 9/11 families themselves who first offered the stay provision to compromise with the Obama administration and win over reluctant senators. From the families' point of view, it adds to bill, and is a marked improvement over a proposal by the administration that the Executive Branch have unilateral power to cancel lawsuits. Instead, JASTA puts this power into the hands of an independent judge.

Accordingly, I have changed the title of this weblog entry from "Cruel Hoax: The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act" to "The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act.".]

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Finally Getting Serious about Identifying Islamists?

May 23, 2016

After the jihadi attacks in Paris in January and November 2015, the French intelligence agency Direction générale de la sécurité intérieure (DGSI, General Directorate for Internal Security) began to scrutinize personnel at the city's airports.

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