France and Islam

August 20, 2013

Lessons for the Anglosphere

The Europeans have many complex problems in tackling Islamism but France has some ideas on how to resist dhimmitude. At the same time, like most Western democracies, there is some confused thinking in some areas.

A few years ago, the French were the first to ban the wearing of simple head scarves in schools. Fadela Amara, a Sarkozy junior minister , said at the time, “The veil is the visible symbol of the subjugation of women, and therefore has no place in the mixed, secular spaces of France’s state school system.” Later, Sarkozy went further and banned the total face veil, saying it was “not welcome within France”. The ban was “to protect women from being forced to cover their faces and to uphold France’s secular values,” he said. Astonishingly, four out of five French voters supported him.

Read my fifth letter from France in Quadrant Online...

CORSICA, ILE DE BEAUTE

July 5, 2013

Almost paradise …

Corsica is a mixed bag, but for tourists it is sublime and unknown to most Australians.

Over a hundred years ago, Guy de Maupassant praised its natural beauty in his Contes du jour et de la nuit.

Imagine a world still in chaos, a storm of mountains that separate narrow ravines with rushing torrents, no plains but immense waves of granite and giant undulations of earth covered with maquis or, higher up, forests of chestnut trees and pines. This is virgin soil, uncultivated and deserted, although occasionally a village can be glimpsed, like a pile of rocks on top of a small hill.

Read on…

HOLLANDE AND UNWILLING REFORMS IN FRANCE

July 5, 2013

Impotent Socialists Offer Little Hope

The French want reform but don’t believe President Hollande can deliver

President Francois Hollande wants to close the gap between the special perks and privileges public servants receive over those in the private sector. Even better news is that 56% of the public agree.

However, one little shadow on these good intentions is that in the same survey, fully 66% of this same public has absolutely no confidence Hollande will be able to do it!

 

Read my third letter from France in Quadrant Online…

SECOND LETTER FROM FRANCE

July 4, 2013

‘Oui’ to gay marriage, but a big ‘no’ for restraint

A second letter of my impressions of today’s France has been published in Quadrant Online:

What really is under its nose has been unwittingly revealed by the master pastry-chef responsible for the soaring, one-and-a-half meter piece montée for the wedding, with its top crowned with the gay community’s rainbow and two male figurines. He commented, “Aujourd’hui, le marriage n’a plus de sexe” [“These days, marriage no longer has sex”]. The ambiguity in French of the word sexe, which also functions like the English word “gender”, is perhaps sadly true. The major message of the anti same-sex protest explicitly acknowledges that gays can make love, but that they can never have sex, if understood in the broader, biological meaning of the word.

FRANCE, A COLD START TO SUMMER

June 3, 2013

Weather and same-sex marriage compete for news

I am in France for summer, although it can be hardly called that at the moment.

Here is a short report of first impressions.

It seems that with the financial crisis, high unemployment, and the catastrophic management of Europe by EU bureaucrats with their passive politicians, the only thing going at the moment is that the sun is approaching the solstice with hope of warmer weather. Even for French Mothers Day, Sunday, 26 May, the flowers traditionally offered to mothers have increased in price due to the bad weather; the traditional peony has gone from 27 euro for 20 up to 32 euros for only 15.

Read on ….

Media bias … new proof

May 19, 2013

Henningham confirmed, although we always new it.

Now it is official.

34 ABC journalists who had the courage to declare their voting intention said they would vote for:

The Greens  –  41.2% 

Labor – 32.4%

Coalition – 14.7% 

A new study br Folker Hanusch, a Senior Lecturer and Program Leader in Journalism at University of the Sunshine Coast, has published a new study that confirms earlier studies by Prof Henningham from the 1980’s on the beliefs and cultural values of our journalists in Australia.

Recently I blogged on this issue citing work from America on the leftist culture of of contemporary journalists that is clearly present in Australia. In this new study, all has been confirmed.

The report went on , commenting on senior editorial staff:

Among the 83 senior editors who took part in the survey, the Coalition was the party of choice on 43.2%, followed by Labor (34.1%) and the Greens (11.4%).

This suggests that Australia’s media bosses are more in line with the broader electorate, at least according to recent Newspoll results.

However, with the clear complacency of Mark Scott at the ABC in the face of sustained accusations of bias and the protected workshop mentality of that organisation, there is nothing much that can be hoped for from this organisation.

Denial of reality: a common thing

May 19, 2013

Greg Melleuish pins the problem of the Left

In a new book published by Connor Court,  Australian Intellectuals: Their Strange History and Pathological Tendencies, Greg Melleuish explains the tendency of academics and the Left generally to dismiss any criticism of their pet theories or ideas. As he says in an extract appearing in The Australian:

 “they are increasingly addicted to theory and to making the world bend to their theories”.

I have noted that this same tendency has completely distorted the scientific method, particularly with regard to climate science.

Carl Popper, in his magisterial book, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, first published in 1934, is surprisingly prescient about present day climate science and warned that falsifyability is the criterion of demarcation between science and non-science.  The irony is that this is just what is vehemently resisted by climate scientists. They set out to prove that their theory of warming is correct rather than openly testing it even as their hypotheses fail. But according to Popper, “the wrong view of science betrays itself in the craving to be right”.

Micheal “Hockey Stick” Mann, Tim “Empty Dams” Flannery and even Robyn “100 Metre Sea Rise” Williams, courtesy of our ABC, are the most obvious examples that come to mind. The scandal is that they undermine our confidence in the way science should be done. It is such a pity that these warminists are so completely unaware of what they are doing and why, in the end, the sceptical camp is the only one doing real science.

Gillard’s profligacy

April 30, 2013

Four ways of spending money
The French writer Frederique Bastiat, observed in the first half of the 19th century, “There is only one difference between a bad economist and a good one: the bad economist confines himself to the visible effect; the good economist takes into account both the effect that can be seen and those effects that must be foreseen.”

Thus, according to the good economists and most conservative commentators, there is general consternation at the inability of the Gillard/Swan team to reign in their compulsive spending. More than that; there is incredulity and dismay. Still, when listening to the usual suspects in the media there is clearly little understanding or ability to understand the unforeseen effects. 

Many will have read the famous Four Ways of spending money as outlined by Milton Friedman, but it bares repeating as a cogent way of understanding why government spending — especially of those with Gillard’s reckless disposition — is so dangerous.

There are four ways in which you can spend money.

You can spend your own money on yourself. When you do that, why then you really watch out what you’re doing, and you try to get the most for your money.

Then you can spend your own money on somebody else. For example, I buy a birthday present for someone. Well, then I’m not so careful about the content of the present, but I’m very careful about the cost.

Then, I can spend somebody else’s money on myself. And if I spend somebody else’s money on myself, then I’m sure going to have a good lunch! 

Finally, I can spend somebody else’s money on somebody else. And if I spend somebody else’s money on somebody else, I’m not concerned about how much it is, and I’m not concerned about what I get.

And that’s government.

FOUR WAYS OF SPENDING

Terrorism will slowly teach us lessons

April 29, 2013

Tolerance waning in spite of Left’s entrenched dhimitude

One can often despair at the avoidance of the M… word or I … word by our obsequiously tolerant media in Australia.

There is however some light at the end of the tunnel. According to the distinguished international expert on Islam, Daniel Pipes, there is a lesson to be learned from the recent Islamist inspired atrocity in Boston. Westerners, in spite of the pervasive dhimmitude throughout our society crippling intelligent commentary, are starting to wake up to the threat of terrorism.  

 What it will do is very important: it will prompt some Westerners to conclude that Islamism is a threat to their way of life. Indeed, every act of Muslim aggression against non-Muslims, be it violent or cultural, recruits more activists to the anti-jihad cause, more voters to insurgent parties, more demonstrators to anti-immigrant street efforts, and more donors to anti-Islamist causes.

 He says we have evidence of this happening if we look at Europe, which he says is about 20 years ahead of Australia in this regard.

One sign of change is the growth of political parties focused on these issues, including the UK Independence Party, the National Front in France, the People’s Party in Switzerland, Geert Wilder’s Party for Freedom in The Netherlands, the Progress Party in Norway, and the Swedish Democrats. In a recent by-election, UKIP came in second, increasing its share of the vote from 4 per cent to 28 per cent, thereby creating a crisis in the Conservative Party. 

Pipes quotes the changing public attitudes in France to Islam. If some in Australia are fearful of visits by the likes of Gert Wilders, we had better get used to a coming change in public attitudes and consequently in the political climate, especially those of the sycophantic Left. This change in attitude is inevitable if Muslims continue to spoil things for themselves. Having travelled extensively in North Africa myself and loved Arab people and their culture — before the Islamist radicalisation since the 1970s — I think this would be a great tragedy. Pipes quotes’ attitudes of the French in a recent survey. 

Particularly revealing for an understanding of the media’s poor approach to reporting on Islamic terrorism, but not surprising, is the attitude of the Left towards religion revealed in this survey. It noted that Islam is the only religion in France, including Protestants, Catholics, Buddhists and Jews —  that attracts a more favourable attitude from the Left than it does from the Right. Overall however, 

• 67 per cent say Islamic values are incompatible with those of French society;• 73 per cent view Islam negatively;• 74 per cent consider Islam to be intolerant;• 84 per cent are against the hijab in private spaces open to the public; and• 86 per cent favour strengthening the ban on the burka.

If this “prejudice” seems unreasonable, how do those who still believe in “moderate” Islam explain away the troubling beliefs within the so-called moderate Muslim communities in the West?

 From a Pew Research survey in 2007:

26% of younger Muslims in America believe suicide bombings are justified.
35% of young Muslims in Britain believe suicide bombings are justified.
42% of young Muslims in France believe suicide bombings are justified. (35% overall).
22% of young Muslims in Germany believe suicide bombings are justified.(13% overall).
29% of young Muslims in Spain believe suicide bombings are justified.(25% overall).

This story has some way to go but resistance to the West’s submission is growing. Hopefully this will lead to more intelligent solutions and policies.

Terrorists “co-exist” in Massachusetts

April 21, 2013

Dhimmitude in Princess Fluffy Bunny worldview

COEXIST

It started with the vile headline in Salon, “Let’s Hope the Boston Marathon Bomber Is a White American.” by the white American writer David Sirota. Obviously this is as objectionable and outrageous as if the writer had expressed the hope that the bomber had been Muslim, or Jew or Gay. But I guess they don’t see it that way. Dhimmitude reigns.

We all know that there is an extraordinary aversion to using the M… word or I… word in relation to terrorism, especially by the Fairfax press and our ABC. But this sickness is just as prevalent in the USA. Mark Steyn, in his inimitable manner, analyses Sirota’s dilemma:

Twenty-four hours later, Mr. Sirota had a second feather in his cap. The two suspects in the Boston bombing turned out to be Caucasian males — that’s to say, males from the Caucasus, specifically the North Caucasus, Chechnya by way of Dagestan. Unfortunately for his delicate sensitivities, the two Caucasians were also Muslims. 

But that was not the end of ironies for Steyn. The two Chechen brothers stole a get-away car:

And, in their final hours of freedom, they added a cruel bit of mockery to their crimes by carjacking a getaway vehicle with a “Co-exist” bumper sticker. Oh, you must have seen them: I bet David Sirota has one. The “C” is the Islamic crescent, the “O” is the hippy peace sign; the “X” is the Star of David, the “T” is the Christian cross; I think there’s some LGBT, Taoist, and Wiccan stuff in there, too. They’re not mandatory on vehicles in Massachusetts; it just seems that way.
I wonder, when the “Co-exist” car is returned to its owner, whether he or she will keep the bumper sticker in place. One would not expect him to conclude, as the gays of Amsterdam and the Jews of Toulouse and the Christians of Egypt have bleakly done, that if it weren’t for that Islamic crescent you wouldn’t need a bumper sticker at all. But he may perhaps have learned that life is all a bit more complicated than the smiley-face banalities of the multicultists.


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