Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Israel/Hamas: LGF links up to a story that show Hamas is not entirely stupid, wish they realized this after they reached the stadium. "...Fearing an Israeli reprisal attack, Hamas has decided to cancel a major rally marking the 17th anniversary of its founding. The rally was supposed to be held in one of Gaza City’s stadiums on Friday, but Hamas decided to postpone it indefinitely out of fear that Israel would target the Islamic movement’s leaders in retaliation for Sunday’s attack on an IDF outpost near Rafah, in which five soldiers were killed and six others wounded. " UK: Polly Toynbee of the Guardian seems to realize that perhaps the Left is bending its principles just a little too much so they can be protectors of the "weak" and mouthpieces for anti_Americanism. She comes out against the proposed law against incitement to religious hatred and gives up the Left motives. "...The natural allies of the rationalists have decamped. The left embraces Islam for its anti-Americanism. Liberals and progressives have had a collective softening of the brain and weakening of the knees. While they have a sympathetic instinct to defend harassed minorities, they prefer to abandon some fundamental principles and prevaricate over some basic freedoms than to face up to the damage religions do, the wars they fuel and the rights they deny. Voltaire would have defended Islamic communities to the death from racists - but not set their beliefs beyond ordinary debate. Presumably to test the proposed law to destruction, Charles Moore last week wrote a deliberately provocative article opening with the words: "Was the prophet Mohammed a paedophile?" (He married a nine-year-old.) He says the new bill might prevent some raising this question, "rude and mistaken" though it might be. It had, of course, exactly the desired effect. The bill's Muslim supporters plunged straight into his crude elephant trap. The Muslim Association of Britain called for Moore's sacking and said the paper should have known better in the light of the Salman Rushdie affair - distinctly threatening. The Islamic Human Rights Commission called for a boycott of the Telegraph - a more reasonable riposte. Iqbal Sacranie of the mainstream Muslim Council of Britain said that linking the Prophet's name with this crime "will have shocked Muslim readers" who are "calling for safeguards against vilification of dearly cherished beliefs". And there it is. He expects the new law to protect "cherished beliefs", while David Blunkett in the Commons assured his critics it would do no such thing. Dead prophets and holy books would be as open to criticism and ridicule as ever. The law will protect the believers, not their beliefs. That difference appears to escape most Muslims. Ministers keep reassuring critics that "only four or five people a year" are likely to be prosecuted in rare cases. If so, then the Muslims who lobbied hard for this law are destined for deep disappointment - and much anger. " Nothing makes a EU lefty turn right when groups want their religious beliefs and themselves above reproach.

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