Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter, The Pope & A Muslim Converts to Christianity

By Philip Pullella
Reuters Sunday, March 23, 2008; 1:27 PM
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict called in his Easter message on Sunday for an end to injustice worldwide and expressed joy at continuing conversions to Christianity hours after he baptized a prominent Italian Muslim convert.
The pope celebrated an Easter Mass for tens of thousands of people in driving rain in St Peter's Square as Christians around the world commemorated Christ's resurrection.
The wind and rain that has whipped most of Europe did not spare Rome as the German pontiff, wearing white and gold vestments, said Mass while the crowd huddled under umbrellas.
The mass came some 12 hours after an Easter vigil service on Saturday night where, in a surprise move, the pope baptized Muslim-born convert Magdi Allam, 55, an outspoken journalist and fierce critic of Islamic extremism.
At the morning Mass, the pope read a prayer saying that after Christ's resurrection some 2,000 years ago "thousands and thousands of people converted to the Christian faith" and he added: "This is a miracle that still renews itself today."
The Egyptian-born Allam's conversion to Christianity -- he took the name "Christian" for his baptism -- was kept secret until the Vatican disclosed it in a statement less than an hour before the Saturday night service began.
Allam, who is a strong supporter of Israel and who an Israeli newspaper once called a "Muslim Zionist," has lived under police protection following threats against him, particularly after he criticized Iran's position on Israel.
Writing in Sunday's edition of the leading Corriere della Sera, the newspaper of which he is a deputy director, Allam said he realized that he was in greater danger but he has no regrets.
Allam wrote: "... the root of evil is innate in an Islam that is physiologically violent and historically conflictual."
His conversion, which he called "the happiest day of my life," came just two days after al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden accused the pope of being part of a "new crusade" against Islam.
The Vatican appeared to be at pains to head off criticism from the Islamic world about the conversion of Allam, who defended the pope in 2006 when the pontiff made a speech that many Muslims perceived as depicting Islam as a violent faith.
"Conversion is a private matter, a personal thing and we hope that the baptism will not be interpreted negatively by Islam," Cardinal Giovanni Re told an Italian newspaper.
Still, Allam's highly public baptism by the pope shocked Italy's Muslim community, with some leaders openly questioning why the Vatican chose to shine such a big spotlight it.
"What amazes me is the high profile the Vatican has given this conversion," Yaha Sergio Yahe Pallavicini, vice-president of the Italian Islamic Religious Community, told Reuters. "Why could he have not done this in his local parish?"
In his twice-yearly "Urbi et Orbi" (to the city and the world) message delivered after the Mass, the pope decried "the many wounds that continue to disfigure humanity in our own day."
"These are the scourges of humanity, open and festering in every corner of the planet, although they are often ignored and sometimes deliberately concealed; wounds that torture the souls and bodies of countless of our brothers and sisters," he said.
He called for "an active commitment to justice ... in areas bloodied by conflict and wherever the dignity of the human person continues to be scorned and trampled," mentioning Darfur, Somalia, the Holy Land, Iraq, Lebanon and Tibet.
He then wished the world a happy Easter in 63 languages.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Obama's Speech: A Brilliant Fraud

By Charles Krauthammer
Friday, March 21, 2008; Page A17

The beauty of a speech is that you don't just give the answers, you provide your own questions. "Did I ever hear him make remarks that could be considered controversial while I sat in church? Yes." So said Barack Obama, in his Philadelphia speech about his pastor, friend, mentor and spiritual adviser of 20 years, Jeremiah Wright.

An interesting, if belated, admission. But the more important question is: which"controversial" remarks?

Wright's assertion from the pulpit that the U.S. government invented HIV "as a means of genocide against people of color"? Wright's claim that America was morally responsible for Sept. 11 -- "chickens coming home to roost" -- because of, among other crimes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki? (Obama says he missed church that day. Had he never heard about it?) What about the charge that the U.S. government (of Franklin Roosevelt, mind you) knew about Pearl Harbor, but lied about it? Or that the government gives drugs to black people, presumably to enslave and imprison them?

Obama condemns such statements as wrong and divisive, then frames the next question: "There will no doubt be those for whom my statements of condemnation are not enough. Why associate myself with Reverend Wright in the first place, they may ask? Why not join another church?"

But that is not the question. The question is why didn't he leave that church? Why didn't he leave -- why doesn't he leave even today -- a pastor who thundered not once but three times from the pulpit (on a DVD the church proudly sells) "God damn America"? Obama's 5,000-word speech, fawned over as a great meditation on race, is little more than an elegantly crafted, brilliantly sophistic justification of that scandalous dereliction.

His defense rests on two central propositions: (a) moral equivalence and (b) white guilt.

(a) Moral equivalence. Sure, says Obama, there's Wright, but at the other "end of the spectrum" there's Geraldine Ferraro, opponents of affirmative action and his own white grandmother, "who once confessed her fear of black men who passed by her on the street, and who on more than one occasion has uttered racial or ethnic stereotypes that made me cringe." But did she shout them in a crowded theater to incite, enrage and poison others?

"I can no more disown [Wright] than I can my white grandmother." What exactly was Grandma's offense? Jesse Jackson himself once admitted to the fear he feels from the footsteps of black men on the street. And Harry Truman was known to use epithets for blacks and Jews in private, yet is revered for desegregating the armed forces and recognizing the first Jewish state since Jesus's time. He never spread racial hatred. Nor did Grandma.

Yet Obama compares her to Wright. Does he not see the moral difference between the occasional private expression of the prejudices of one's time and the use of a public stage to spread racial lies and race hatred?

(b) White guilt. Obama's purpose in the speech was to put Wright's outrages in context. By context, Obama means history. And by history, he means the history of white racism. Obama says, "We do not need to recite here the history of racial injustice in this country," and then he proceeds to do precisely that. What lies at the end of his recital of the long train of white racial assaults from slavery to employment discrimination? Jeremiah Wright, of course.

This contextual analysis of Wright's venom, this extenuation of black hate speech as a product of white racism, is not new. It's the Jesse Jackson politics of racial grievance, expressed in Ivy League diction and Harvard Law nuance. That's why the speech made so many liberal commentators swoon: It bathed them in racial guilt while flattering their intellectual pretensions. An unbeatable combination.

But Obama was supposed to be new. He flatters himself as a man of the future transcending the anger of the past as represented by his beloved pastor. Obama then waxes rhapsodic about the hope brought by the new consciousness of the young people in his campaign. Then answer this, Senator: If Wright is a man of the past, why would you expose your children to his vitriolic divisiveness? This is a man who curses America and who proclaimed moral satisfaction in the deaths of 3,000 innocents at a time when their bodies were still being sought at Ground Zero. It is not just the older congregants who stand and cheer and roar in wild approval of Wright's rants, but young people as well. Why did you give $22,500 just two years ago to a church run by a man of the past who infects the younger generation with precisely the racial attitudes and animus you say you have come unto us to transcend?

+ Maclean's annual How the World Sees Canada poll shows deep admiration for a country we don't seem to like so much ourselves. What gives?

+ The future belongs to Islam

+ Tibet vs. China: It's All About Money

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Canada Fights in Afghanistan Until 2011

KANDAHAR AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - After three intense days hurtling around by helicopter and armoured vehicle in the Canadian army's area of responsibility in Kandahar, Defence Minister Peter MacKay rejected assertions the situation in the province had become worse.
"I'm seeing tremendous success when it comes to the army, and that is my primary focus," MacKay said shortly before his fifth visit to Afghanistan ended Wednesday with a brief airfield celebration amid a group of NHL oldtimers who brought the Stanley Cup on a goodwill visit.
"As far as some of the infrastructure, for example, we're seeing roads being built, bridges completed in areas where, because of the security situation, those projects couldn't have occurred just a year ago."
Pressed further about the current security situation, the minister, who was in Afghanistan for three days this visit, said "the insurgency remains a real challenge, but you have to look at it in relative terms. You have to do a retrospective occasionally, look at where we were five short years ago, two years ago."

Asked about an allegation by at least one prisoner that Kandahar's governor was involved in human rights violations of detainees, MacKay replied that he understood the matter was under investigation by Afghan authorities and that as "an internal governance matter" it had to be handled by Afghans.
The minister met support troops at the main Canadian base at the Kandahar airfield as well as combat troops at remote forward operating bases and at even more isolated police sub-stations. Mac-Kay said last week's parliamentary vote to extend Canada's Afghan mission to 2011 was seen as a popular move. More.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia Trains Children

Some comments on YouTube:

110notruf (1 week ago) :
yes all world will be islamic
abd yes all jewish will be death
and yes all this chidlren will killed all jewish
and yes islam is the right religion
and yes america and jewish will be down
and we will see
we will see a big day ,big than 9-11
and fuck all jewish and christian

110notruf (1 week ago) :
allah akbar
this children will killed all jewish inscha allah
islam is th winner

+ In Seized Video, Boys Train to Fight in Iraq, U.S. Says
+ China: Orthodox Christians seek recognition

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Iraq: Priest Paulos Rahho Body Found

(LA Times): Iraq's scared and dwindling Christian community has nothing to do with the sectarian or ethnic troubles afflicting the country. No Christian Iraqi took up arms against anybody or formed a militia or set roadside bombs or even tried to block the formation of a government.

More than anyone else, Iraq's Christians have been struggling just to survive against a torrent of troubles. All of which makes the death of the 67-year-old Chaldean Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho all the more tragic and troubling. His half-buried corpse was discovered in Mosul on Thursday, apparently the victim of gunshot wounds he sustained during a Feb. 29 kidnapping that left three of his guards dead, Mosul police told the Los Angeles Times in today's article by Baghdad correspondent Ned Parker and Rome bureau chief Tracy Wilkinson.
Chaldeans are part of the Catholic Church. Chaldean parishes around the world grieved the loss of Rahho.

UPDATE, 2 p.m. PST: From Baghdad, Parker has filed a report about Rahho's funeral service in Mosul:
"I ask the people of the church to be steadfast and patient," Iraq's Chaldean patriarch, Cardinal Emmanuel III Delly, told mourners in an emotional ceremony. "He became a martyr because of his great faith, and his love for his service."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Nothing much a man may want ...

There’s nothing much a man may want
but to be quiet and innocent

a little food a little wine
at Christmas and at Easter time

wherever he may build his nest
may no one there disturb his rest.

But everything has all gone wrong
they wake him up at break of dawn

then come and drag him to and fro
eat up what little he has and lo

from out his mouth from out of sight
and in a moment of great delight

they snatch his morsel in an evil hour.
Hip hip hurrah for those in Power!

Hip hip hurrah for those in Power
for them there is no ‘I’ or ‘our’.

Hip hip hurrah for those in Power
whatever they see they must devour.

-- The Sovereign Sun by Odysseas Elytis

Thursday, March 13, 2008

IDF Kill Muhammad Shahade, Organizer of Mercaz Harav Attack

Bethlehem sources say IDF forces operating in town kill Muhammad Shahade, Islamic Jihad operative believed to be responsible for attack on Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem; three other militants killed in raid ( -- Muhammad Shahade, an Islamic Jihad operative who Palestinian sources say was behind the terror attack in Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem last week, has been killed by IDF forces in Bethlehem Wednesday afternoon, local witnesses reported. According to reports, another three militants have been killed in the raid, one of them an al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member. Military sources said that the four men were responsible for a series of terror attacks against Israel in the years 2000-2001, but did not attribute the Jerusalem attack to Shahade.

Shahade, a former Fatah member and an Islamic Jihad operative, has been known to have extensive ties with Hizbullah. Palestinian sources reported that IDF forces have operated in the city, close to the Mukataa compound, and that several Palestinians have been injured. He said that Shahade was the target of the raid. A senior wanted terror suspect, Muhammad Balbul, has reportedly been injured in the clashes. Two days after the Jerusalem attack, which was carried out by Alaa Abu Dheim and left eight students killed, the police reported they have arrested eight people suspected of involvement in the attack.

Indonesian Intel: Fugitive Terrorist in Singapore

JAKARTA, March 12, 2008 ( -- Indonesian intelligent chief Syamsir Siregar said on Wednesday that he believed that the fugitive terrorist leader Selamat bin Kastari, who escaped from Singapore's prison last month, was still in Singapore. Kastari was the top leader of the Southeast Asia terrorist network of Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) for Singapore and was jailed for plotting to blow up Changi airport in Singapore in 2001. Many believed that he had entered into Indonesian territory which make him easier to escape from police hunting rather than in Singapore.

"I am confident that he is still in Singapore," Siregar told reporters after a meeting on security at the office of coordinating ministry of politics, legal and security affairs here. He refused the suspicion that the terrorist leader had already entered Indonesia. On March 8, Singaporean Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew said that Kastari might go to Indonesia for consolidation as he was a leader of the JI. "Should he be in Indonesia, we had already arrested him," the intelligent chief said.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Muslim Terror Plots in China Discovered

[Associated Press] BEIJING Chinese police killed alleged terrorists plotting to attack the Beijing Olympics, while a flight crew managed to prevent an apparent attempt to crash a Chinese jetliner in a separate case just last week, officials said Sunday. Wang Lequan, the top Communist Party official in the western region of Xinjiang, said materials seized in a January raid in the regional capital, Urumqi, had described a plot with a purpose "specifically to sabotage the staging of the Beijing Olympics."

"Their goal was very clear," Wang told reporters in Beijing. Wang cited no other evidence and earlier reports on the raid had made no mention of Olympic targets. Speaking at the same meeting, Xinjiang's governor said a flight crew prevented an apparent attempt to crash a China Southern flight from Urumqi on Friday. Nur Bekri did not specifically label the incident a terrorist act, saying it remained under investigation. No passengers were injured and police were investigating, he said.

  DO NOT SUBMIT    Canadian Women's Army Corps.