Lawmakers react, one suggests sheik leave Australia after blaming unveiled women for rape —-“It’s time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more then say they were horrified. I think it is time he left,” Ms Goward said. — “I have a message for Sheik Alhilali: This is Australia, not Iran, and violence and degradation of women is not acceptable,” she said.

Lawmakers react, one suggests sheik leave Australia after blaming unveiled women for rape

Anti-dhimmitude from Australia’s Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward. “Sheik’s sexist comments create storm,” an update on this story from AAP:

Federal Sex Discrimination Commissioner Pru Goward believes the comments are an incitement to crime.

“Young Muslim men who now rape women can cite this in court, can quote this man … their leader in court,” she told the Nine Network.

She wants him to go, but did not make clear whether she wanted to him to leave the country or step down as a leader of the Islamic community.

“It’s time we stopped just saying he should apologise. It is time the Islamic community did more then say they were horrified. I think it is time he left,” Ms Goward said.

Victorian Liberal backbencher Sophie Mirabella wants the sheik to consider moving back to the Middle East.

“I have a message for Sheik Alhilali: This is Australia, not Iran, and violence and degradation of women is not acceptable,” she said.

More senior members of government were also scathing.

“Certainly I think if a religious leader in the Catholic Church or the Anglican Church or in Judaism was to make these sorts of statements, they would be getting a very severe rap over the knuckles, at the very least,” Health Minister Tony Abbott told the Nine Network.

“He’s wrong. He should be reprimanded and it’s up to ordinary, decent Australians to make it clear that he is wrong.”

Treasurer Peter Costello urged other Muslims to pull the sheik into line.

“I hope that the moderate Muslim leaders will speak out today and condemn these comments,” he told the Seven Network.”

Opposition Leader Kim Beazley said the sheik’s comments were offensive and should be corrected by the Islamic community.

Not much luck so far: Keysar Trad says earlier in the article that this has all been taken out of context:

President of the Islamic Friendship Council of Australia, Keysar Trad, said the sheik’s comments had been misrepresented, although he admitted his analogies could have been better.

“From what I understand, he was talking about the context of encouraging people to abstinence before getting married,” Mr Trad said.

“His references to exposed meat etc was a very poor example that was meant to be a reference to both men and women, he wasn’t talking about Islamic dress, he wasn’t talking about rape.”

Oh, really now. From the earlier item:

Sheik Hilali said there were women who “sway suggestively” and wore make-up and immodest dress … “and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years”.

Casting for West Wing — Barack Obama hasn’t committed to a 2008 run, but some stars are already dreaming.

CAUSE CÉLÈBRE

Casting for West Wing

Barack Obama hasn’t committed to a 2008 run, but some stars are already dreaming.By Tina Daunt, Times Staff Writer
October 25, 2006
 Just the hint of a possible presidential run by U.S. Sen. Barack Obama — who is in town Friday to promote his book “The Audacity of Hope” — has Hollywood Democrats talking.

The e-mail from actor George Clooney arrived at 1:46 a.m. Pacific time (he’s in Europe at the moment).
“If SENATOR Obama became PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE Obama it would be the most electrifying thing to happen to the Democratic party since Kennedy,” Clooney wrote.

Media mogul Haim Saban, however, was less impressed by Obama’s disclosure this week that he’s thinking about running for president in 2008. Saban is already electrified by another possible Democratic candidate: Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.

“Only Hillary,” Saban said, via BlackBerry message. “I hope she does announce soon so we can all go to work all out to make sure she wins … and BIG!!!!!”

The 2006 midterm elections are only two weeks away, but Hollywood is already looking toward 2008 — even though no one has formally joined the race.

“It would be hard for me to pretend that I’ve not heard some of the talk,” Obama said in an interview with The Times. “There’s an old joke that every senator is thinking about running for president — all 100 of them.”

Obama said that at the moment he’s focused on getting Democrats elected on Nov. 7. After that, he’ll consider his presidential prospects.

But while he’s pondering his options, you can bet that some people in Hollywood are already envisioning his inaugural bash.

Director Rob Reiner compared a possible run by Obama to Abraham Lincoln’s victory.

“How poetic would it be that a one-term congressman from the state of Illinois could be elected president and free the slaves,” said Reiner, reached on his car phone Monday, “and now a one-term African American senator from that same state could become the next president?”

“Everyone admires him,” producer Norman Lear said of the freshman senator. “They are very excited about the possibility that he’s in the race. I think the people who are very much with Hillary will remain with Hillary. But the discussion is a good thing for the party.”

Almost anyone who has met Obama will tell you that he’s charismatic and warm, but not giddy.

“My wife and I have tried not to get caught up in the hype,” Obama said. “We still live in Chicago and I go to the same barbershop…. ”

But there’s no denying that since he rocked the Democratic National Convention in 2004 with an impassioned speech about America, his life has changed. For one, he became an instant political star.

His first book, “Dreams From My Father,” released shortly after the 2004 convention, shot to the top of bestseller lists. His new missive promises to be equally as successful. Last week, he was in 15 cities promoting his book and raising money for the Democrats.

On Friday, he will be in Los Angeles to discuss the book at the Urban Issues Breakfast Forum of Greater L.A. and the California African American Museum.

Later that evening, he will attend a fundraiser for the state Democratic Party with gubernatorial candidate Phil Angelides.

“This is an important election,” Obama said. “The Democrats will win the House and we could win the Senate.”

As he travels, Obama said, he finds that people — regardless of their party affiliations — have similar anxieties. “They’re worried about whether they have enough healthcare for their kids, what’s happening with the global economy. People have the same hopes and dreams. There’s a stubborn self-reliance and optimism in the American people…. And I think people are in a serious mood.”

Obama says he appreciates the supports he’s been shown by Hollywood Democrats. (Obama, who was born in Hawaii to an American mother and a Kenyan father, counts Clooney and Bono as friends.)

“There are some celebrities who have really done their homework and know what they are talking about and are terrific advocates for justice and peace and opportunity around the world,” he said. “I want all citizens to get involved. Whether they are the secretary in an office building or a movie star, I think the more engaged and interested people are, the better off we all are.” 

Gazans building ‘underground city’: Israeli army chief

 

Gazans building ‘underground city’: Israeli army chief

Tue Oct 24, 12:00 PM ET

Palestinian militants are constructing an “underground city” in the Gaza Strip to store weapons and attack Israeli forces in the future, army chief of staff Dan Halutz has been quoted as saying.

“The Palestinians are continuing digging an underground city in the Gaza Strip,” said Halutz, who appeared before the parliament’s foreign affairs and defence committee on Tuesday.

“They are constructing tunnels in the urban parts in order to confront our forces,” a member of the committee quoted Halutz as saying.

The Israeli army has in recent weeks intensified its ground operation in the battered Palestinian territory, launched following the abduction of a serviceman by militants in a cross-border raid near Gaza on June 25.

The raid sparked a massive Israeli offensive which has left more than 250 Palestinians and two Israeli soldiers dead in Gaza in four months.

Halutz was quoted as telling committee members that the army had discovered and destroyed 15 tunnels in the Gaza Strip during an operation along Gaza’s border with Egypt, through which Israel claims large quantities of weapons are being smuggled.

Bill O’Reilly Spanks AARP Fox News megastar takes AARP to task for hiding its liberal bias from members.

AARP’s Carping — The AARP needs its “fair and balanced” prescription refilled. It’s tilting with such ferocity and alacrity against the White House on Social Security reform, Dramamine may be the only cure for its political vertigo


AARP’s Carping
A needless battle.By Gary AndresThe AARP needs its “fair and balanced” prescription refilled. It’s tilting with such ferocity and alacrity against the White House on Social Security reform, Dramamine may be the only cure for its political vertigo.The senior-citizen lobbying group launched a preemptive, $5 million ad campaign last week, trashing the Bush administration’s efforts to reform the program before the White House had even released a specific plan. Many in Washington see the initiative as a transparently partisan ploy to get back into the good graces of the Democrats after AARP supported the Medicare Modernization Act in the last Congress. That’s probably true. But there’s a bigger question. Why now?The advocacy group’s efforts are both substantively lame and tactically misguided. For political and policy reasons the AARP is barking up the wrong tree. First, consider this minor policy detail: The Bush plan is non-compulsory and is unlikely to have an impact on AARP members. Writing recently in USA Today, Al Neuharth recognized this by noting that “the Bush plan would not affect current retirees and probably not be available to those still working who are 50 or older.” Moreover, he argues, the plan “would be strictly voluntary and simply permit younger workers to invest some (maybe up to $1000 a year) of their Social Security payroll taxes into private retirement accounts. The AARP’s ad blitz is trying to scare old folks into believing their Social Security payments are in jeopardy. Simply not true.” So why is the AARP spending $5 million of its members’ contributions on a plan that’s both voluntary and probably won’t even apply to its constituency?“Payback — pure and simple,” a former House Republican leadership aide who worked on the Medicare legislation told me. Heavily criticized by Democrats for its role in supporting the Medicare Modernization Act, it now appears AARP wants to balance the ledger. But, like giving electoral contributions to both sides, this kind of inside-the-Beltway tactic ends up leaving neither Republicans nor Democrats satisfied.But even if “payback” was the motive, tactically the move is highly suspect for other reasons. It’s as if AARP is stuck in a time warp, thinking the Democrats still control the levers of power in Washington, and that it necessarily needs to shill for liberal policies and politicians. How does kowtowing to a bunch of liberal politicians benefit real life senior citizens? It doesn’t take bifocals to see the Great Society programs are no longer cutting edge and that Democrats don’t hold a monopoly on retirement-security policies anymore.Moreover, President Bush’s popularity among seniors is growing. Compared to 2000, when he lost the over-65 vote to Al Gore 47 percent to 50 percent, Bush won the senior vote in 2004 over Senator Kerry 52 percent to 47 percent. Why would this so-called advocacy group for the elderly preemptively attack a yet-to-be-developed White House plan when its own members are increasingly supportive of the president?The AARP has erred badly in this opening round of the Social Security debate, wounding the image of an association that could play a useful role in the legislative process on this critical retirement-security issue. Its premature pronouncements suggest motives far different than ensuring its members get a fair shake and sound representation. The AARP leadership would be well advised to listen, learn, and then speak — as Newt Gingrich used to say — rather than condemn its members to the margins, turn its leaders into irrelevant gadflys, and create an abiding image of the AARP as a Democratic shill group.Gary Andres is vice chairman of research and policy at the Dutko Group Companies and a frequent NRO contributor. 

Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks Women are abandoned “meat” and temptations from Satan. All this justifies Sharia provisions about veiling, of course, and thus is part of the overall imperative to impose Sharia on the rest of us.

Muslim leader blames women for sex attacks

Women are abandoned “meat” and temptations from Satan. All this justifies Sharia provisions about veiling, of course, and thus is part of the overall imperative to impose Sharia on the rest of us.

Taj Din al-Hilali has a history of outrageous statements.

By Richard Kerbaj in The Australian, with thanks to David:

THE nation’s most senior Muslim cleric has blamed immodestly dressed women who don’t wear Islamic headdress for being preyed on by men and likened them to abandoned “meat” that attracts voracious animals.In a Ramadan sermon that has outraged Muslim women leaders, Sydney-based Sheik Taj Din al-Hilali also alluded to the infamous Sydney gang rapes, suggesting the attackers were not entirely to blame.

While not specifically referring to the rapes, brutal attacks on four women for which a group of young Lebanese men received long jail sentences, Sheik Hilali said there were women who “sway suggestively” and wore make-up and immodest dress … “and then you get a judge without mercy (rahma) and gives you 65 years”.

“But the problem, but the problem all began with who?” he asked….

In the religious address on adultery to about 500 worshippers in Sydney last month, Sheik Hilali said: “If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat?

“The uncovered meat is the problem.”

The sheik then said: “If she was in her room, in her home, in her hijab, no problem would have occurred.”

He said women were “weapons” used by “Satan” to control men.

It is said in the state of zina (adultery), the responsibility falls 90 per cent of the time on the woman. Why? Because she possesses the weapon of enticement (igraa).”

Ansar al-Sunnah Celebrates Eid al-Fitr and Calls on Iraq’s Muslims to Support the Mujahideen

Ansar al-Sunnah Celebrates Eid al-Fitr and Calls on Iraq’s Muslims to Support the Mujahideen

By SITE Institute

October 23, 2006


Offering congratulations to the Islamic Ummah on the Eid al-Fitr, Ansar al-Sunnah issued a message, today, Monday, October 23, 2006, calling on Iraq’s Muslims to support the Mujahideen. The message asks “all capable Muslims in Iraq…who are able to give, men and women, young men and elderly, Islam needs you, needs all of you, to remove the obstacles from in front of the Tawhid doctrine and defend, worship, and uproot the bad things from the earth.”

Looking at the current events in Iraq, the author sees “a starting point for the Mujahideen toward their goals,” and an “awakening of jihad.” The author claims that jihad is the only way to liberate Iraq from occupying forces. Speaking to those who have not yet joined the jihad, the author asks, “When shall we hear the echo of your strikes, which should follow in the battlefield?”

The message maintains that, “the enemy, who was once bragging about his force, is now dragging his defeat and humiliation, without anything to cover his shame.”

On behalf of the Mujahideen, the author asks Allah for revenge “for every Muslim whose blood was spilled by the hands of the grandsons of the monkeys and pigs and their helpers.” The message concludes with a prayer seeking revenge against the occupying forces: “We ask God for our brothers the Mujahideen, support the victory and make us able to hurt Allah’s enemies, for revenge for every Muslim whose blood was spilled by the hands of the grandsons of the monkeys and pigs and their helpers…O God, please grant victory to the worshippers and Mujahideen in Iraq, and everywhere in the Muslim lands.”