Friday, September 30, 2005

More On The Saudi Prince

Frank Gaffney, Jr., has made a few more points about Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, recent investor in Fox News:
"Al-Waleed is said be the world’s fifth richest man and now NewsCorp’s fourth largest voting shareholder (behind the Murdoch family, Liberty Media and fund giant Fidelity Management & Research Co)....

"[After his check was rejected by Mayor Giuliani] the prince released a statement that blamed the United States and its support for Israel for the devastating 9/11 attacks....

"Shortly after the check fiasco, he permitted the CBS program 60 Minutes to profile him and his hyper-rich, internationally jet-setting lifestyle....[H]e told his incredulous interviewer, Ed Bradley, that that Saudi Arabia is a country with 'no problems.' When pressed, he insisted, 'What I'm telling you is Saudi Arabia has no civil unrest, no civil disobedience. Sorry. Saudi Arabia is a very stable country. Sure…we had these bombs here and there, but they were all related to a certain subject.'

"Even more troubling than having a Saudi spinmeister, even a lousy one, at the decision-making table of America’s most successful, and conservative, television network is another aspect of Al-Waleed’s deal with Mr. Murdoch. The Australian entrepreneur has reportedly also given the prince the unfiltered ability to broadcast Saudi-produced materials directly into America on Murdoch’s satellite....Prince Al-Waleed’s Rotana Audio Visual Company, which operates TV channels in the Middle East, has signed a deal with DirecTV, the TV-satellite firm controlled by NewsCorp. As a result, it would seem Rotana will be able to beam its programs into U.S. cable boxes without interference from federal regulators, or anybody else."

More details about the deal between Murdoch and the Saudi prince are available. Not being any kind of expert in media economics, I don't understand all of what Gaffney is saying. But my intuition tells me that these details are ripe for exploitation.

Broadcasting in Saudi is controlled and censored by the Saudi government. When I send certain articles to my American friends in Saudi, I have to copy and paste entire stories if the links I'm using are not approved ones. Can Saudi extend their own information-control policy to the media in the United States by means of financial investment? Or has Saudi already quietly extended their policy and we don't even realize it?

I may be way out of line here, but I have to ask the following question: Who holds large shares of ABC/Disney, which owns WMAL Radio, the station which dismissed Michael Graham for making negative statements about Islam?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

FrontPage :: From the White House to the Jail House by Paul Sperry

This article from FrontPage From the White House to the Jail House by Paul Sperry highlights the arrest of political appointee David Hossein Safavian in a Federal corruption case involving a major Washington lobbyist. Safavian's real crime, however, is lobbying for Abdurahman Alamoudi, who was sentenced for accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars from Libyan officials and for Dr. Jamal al Barzinji, who is under Federal investigation for providing material support to terrorists. Barzinji was arrested by Fairfax County police at his home at 11919 Safa Court in Herndon in November 2000 and was charged with domestic abuse and resisting arrest.

Jamal Al Barzinji, client of arrested political appointee David Hossein Safavian.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fox News And The Saudi Prince

In my perception, the Fox Network has been quite cautious about saying anything even slightly negative about Islam ever since some outspoken Muslim civil-right groups objected to the plot of 24, a weekly series in which a terrorist was portrayed by an Arab-looking actor. In reaction to the objections or out of fear of legal repercussions--probably both--the network released of a filmed statement by actor Kiefer Sutherland. This statement amounted to a disclaimer: Not all Muslims are terrorists. When I saw that little snippet, I thought to myself, "Well, this is stupid. CAIR [which had, on its website, patted itself on the back as to success in combatting the sterotyping of Muslims] just called attention to something I would never have thought of. 24 is a TV show, not the evening news."

Now comes the following September 25, 2005 article, which I learned of at Jihad Watch/Dhimmi Watch:
"Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal has purchased 5.46 percent of the Fox corporation, according to Gulf Daily News, raising concern that the conservative Fox News may soften its anti-terror stance due to the views of the new shareholder.

"Al-Waleed, the nephew of the late Saudi King Fahd, was in the news when he visited the World Trade Center's remains just after the September 11th attacks and offered then-New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani a $10 million check for relief efforts. Al-Waleed then released a statement blaming US foreign policy and support for Israel for the attacks.

"Giuliani returned the prince's check with a statement that, 'There is no moral equivalent for this attack. The people who did it lost any right to ask for justification when they slaughtered . . . innocent people ... Not only are those statements wrong, they're part of the problem.'"
DC Watson made the following comment to the article at Jihad Watch/Dhimmi Watch:
"When Fox begins to lose its share of the market, the board of directors need to look no further than [bin Talal], who has a strong resemblence [sic] to Saturday Night Live's Father Guido Sarducci.

"You can already see a change in O'Reilly, and the other Dhimmis will follow. Our relationship with the Saudis have proven to be nothing but disasterous [sic] for the U.S."
Will we be seeing less Islamophobia from Fox News? Not that we saw much in the first place.

Add to the above the following information dated September 22, 2005 [my emphases added in bold]:
"An August 29, 2005 program on Saudi Iqra TV was devoted to supporting Jihad in Palestine. The program host began by telling all Saudis that they must donate and explained how to do so.

"A caption then appeared on the screen: 'Saudi Committee for Support of the Al-Quds Intifada, Account No. 98, a joint account at all Saudi banks.' A moderator stated that 'Jihad is the pinnacle of Islam' and explained that the funds would go directly to those waging Jihad, where it would 'help them carry out this mission.'

"The program included the secretary-general of the Saudi government's Muslim World League Koran Memorization Commission, Sheikh Abdallah Basfar, who explained why it was an 'obligation' for all Muslims to support Jihad. He also promised that 'all of the funds sent via the known charities and organizations' would reach 'your Muslim brothers.' "

Friday, September 23, 2005

INSIDE ICE Newsletter: Volume 2, Issue 19: Senate Witness on Hawalas Sentenced for Running One

From INSIDE ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement) Newsletter: Volume 2, Issue 19: Senate Witness on Hawalas Sentenced for Running One:

Rahim Bariek of Herndon is sentenced to 18 months for running an unlicensed money transfer business. Bariek transferred funds to Afghanistan immediately after 9/11 when Afghanistan was under rule by the Taliban

The Counterterrorism Blog: Saudi Official Solicits Funds on TV For Terrorists - And Nobody Cares?!

From The Counterterrorism Blog: Saudi Official Solicits Funds on TV For Terrorists - And Nobody Cares?!

The program included the secretary-general of the Saudi government's Muslim World League Koran Memorization Commission, Sheikh Abdallah Basfar, who explained why it was an "obligation" for all Muslims to support Jihad. He also promised that "all of the funds sent via the known charities and organizations" would reach "your Muslim brothers."

As noted by Northern Virginiastan, Federal authorities raided the Muslim World League's offices in "Falls Mosque" twice. Time to shut them down for good!

Thursday, September 22, 2005

When the Landlord Is Muslim - New York Times

Back in May, our redoubtable blog member Always on Watch posted an article titled Once Muslim, Always Muslim? that used the dispute of ownership of India's Taj Mahal to launch into a discussion about Muslim ownership of land. Now comes this article from the New York Times, via Dhimmi Watch, When the Landlord is Muslim, about how Middle Easterners, flush with petrodollars from rising oil prices, are investing in real estate using sharia-compliant financial instruments.

Is anyone indignant as I am that the Transpoint Building in SW, which houses the U.S. Coast Guard, has been purchased by a Kuwaiti financial services firm? No building used by the Federal government should be owned by non-U.S. individuals or companies. It's especially appalling to me that U.S. Coast Guard, which is one of our first lines of defense, is being housed in a building purchased through sharia-based financing!

Also interesting is the fact that self-storage centers are attractive to Muslim investors, for the ostensible reason that owners do not have access to individual units that tenants might be using for haram activities.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Update On Michael Graham: What Did CAIR Accomplish?

The following is the complete article ,with emphases added by this blog author, from the September 20, 2005 edition of the Washington Post:
If Ex-WMAL Host Is Sorry, It's Not For Bashing Islam

By Marc Fisher
Tuesday, September 20, 2005; B01

Being sacked for arguing on the radio that Islam is a "terrorist organization" may not be the best thing that ever happened to Michael Graham's career, but it's pretty close.

After WMAL (630 AM) fired the midmorning talk show host for refusing to apologize for his remarks about Islam, Graham became the flavor of the month on TV shoutfests and talk stations across the country. Even now, after his 15 days of fame, Graham is busy fielding job offers, working as a substitute host on stations in Los Angeles and other big markets, and conducting a daily Internet-based talk show, happily reiterating his comments about Islam.

But all Graham ever wanted to be was the host of a local talk show in Washington, and ABC Radio, which owns WMAL, has now denied him that platform, which leaves Graham, who lives near Falls Church with his wife and four children, a frustrated soul.

"The whole idea of talk radio is to be a lot of fun, a little edgy, a place where crazy ideas are entertained," he says. "They may be mocked and dismissed, but they help focus the conversation. For me to be sacked for saying what I believe -- it is heartbreaking for me to leave WMAL. I just don't get it: I got your station more publicity than you'd had in five years, and you fire me? What did I miss?" (I sought comment from WMAL President Chris Berry, but he did not respond.)

Graham's journey to the limits of acceptable speech began after this summer's terrorist attack in London. The talk host, a former stand-up comedian who was inspired by listening to Rush Limbaugh six years ago to try radio as a performance medium, argued that because polls showed a large minority of Muslims were unwilling to turn in extremists in their midst, support for fundamentalist terrorism must be intertwined with the faith's teachings.

"If your theology feeds the killers and if millions of your members support the killers, even though they're a minority, you have, in my opinion, a terrorist organization," Graham said.

Graham, whose bombastic style and disdain for nuance made him a rising star in talk radio, had made similar comments many times before. But this time, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington lobby promoting the civil liberties of American Muslims, was listening. Its spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper, called me and other reporters to encourage stories about Graham's remarks. CAIR rallied its followers to urge WMAL's advertisers to pull commercials from Graham's show.

WMAL executives told Graham to apologize. He refused. "If I'd said something racist, I would have apologized. But I am concerned about this paradigm that the most oversensitive people get to fire you. I love that CAIR protested what I said. I had them on my show. Yes, protest, argue. If you have the argument, you don't need to have anybody fired."

Graham's firing sent shock waves through a world of sharp-tongued performers who are paid to be provocative. Over a beer at the pub across from the Heritage Foundation, where Graham uses a radio studio, the lanky funnyman marvels that he's considered a wild man in Washington.
"I'm in the middle of the pack in talk radio. But here, I'm crazy loon Michael Graham on the edge. Doug Duncan and Gerry Connolly wouldn't come on my show," he said, referring to the Montgomery county executive and the chairman of the Fairfax County supervisors. "They're scared of me. I'm a graduate of freaking Oral Roberts University -- and I'm scary?"

Talk radio in Washington is among the tamest in the nation. Talk hosts marvel at the high ratings won here by the low-key "Diane Rehm Show" on public radio's WAMU.

But Graham believes Washington audiences are eager for talk with more bite. "Washingtonians are not tight prudes," he said. "Real-life people want me to climb up on my pony with my lance and go after those in power. Real-life people who know nothing about Islam look at the newspaper and say, 'Holy crap, why are they trying to kill us?' "

Graham hopes to have the last laugh. ABC is seeking bids for its radio stations, including WMAL, and the overwhelming response Graham has had from other radio companies makes him optimistic that a new owner might put him back on the air here.

"The only people who are happy about this," Graham said, "are CAIR and the corporate weasels at ABC who go to bed every night terrified that someone will call them insensitive."
Graham makes a good point when he speaks of making an argument. CAIR's actions took measures to get him removed from the air waves instead of putting forth an argument to prove that Islam's teachings do not pose a threat.

Talk radio would have been a good forum for moderate Muslims to have reasoned with us infidels and to have explained how Islam can be compatible with Western ideals. Or is discussion between Westerners and Muslims impossible because the guiding ideologies are themselves incompatible?

Note: Hugh Fitzgerald of Jihad Watch has also commented today on CAIR. Read it here.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Defining Islamophobia

In Robert Spencer’s recently published The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), an entire chapter is dedicated to the analysis of Islamophobia as ideological warfare. According to Spencer, the term “Islamophobia” is a relatively new word invented by “moderate” Muslims in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s and is frequently used as a propaganda tool and as a tool of intimidation in order to silence criticism of radical Islam and, indeed, of Islam itself.

What is the proper definition of “Islamophobia”? According to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary, “phobia” means “an irrational persistent fear or dread.” Therefore, “Islamophobia” should mean “the irrational persistent fear or dread of Islam.” What has happened, however, is that the charge of Islamophobia is used to silence the exposure and criticism of one of the most dangerous aspects of Islam—jihadism.

Spencer cites the following example from January, 2004 (199-200):
“The charge of ‘Islamophobia’ is routinely used to shift attention away from jihad terrorists. After a rise in jihadist militancy and the arrest of eight people in Switzerland on suspicion of aiding suicide bombers in Saudi Arabia, some Muslims in Switzerland were in no mood to clean house: ‘As far as we’re concerned,’ said Nadia Karmous, leader of a Muslim women’s group in Switzerland, ‘there is no rise in Islamism, but rather an increase in Islamophobia.’

“This pattern has recurred in recent years all over the world as ‘Islamophobia’ has passed into the larger lexicon and become a self-perpetuating industry….The absurdity of all this was well illustrated by a recent incident in Britain: While a crew was filming the harassment of a Muslim for a movie about ‘Islamophobia,’ two passing Brits, who didn’t realize the cameras were rolling, stopped to defend the person being assaulted. Yet neither the filmmakers nor the reporters covering these events seemed to realize that this was evidence that the British were not as violent and xenophobic as the film they were creating suggested.’”
The fact is that the Koran and the ahadith, the latter considered to have the same or nearly the same weight as the Koran, promote violent jihad as the best deed one can do, aside from becoming a Muslim, because jihad is active and militant service in Allah’s cause. As proof of the elevated status of waging warfare in the name of Allah, Spencer cites these words from Mohammed the Prophet (34):
“’A journey undertaken for jihad in the evening or morning merits a reward better than the world and all that is in it.”
And the promise of eternal reward has proven to be a powerful motivator, even for numerous jihadists who previously experienced the freedoms of Western society.

Instead of crying “Islamophobia!” or “Hate crime!” when thought-provoking or realistic observations of Islam are made, Muslim organizations which present themselves as Islamic moderates would do better if they were to explain how those troublesome passages from the Koran and the ahadith can be made compatible with Western society. Attempts to silence or thwart by lawsuit both Muslim and non-Muslim discussion of Islam appears to be stonewalling. Stonewalling difficult issues doesn’t satisfy, but rather conveys the impression of secretiveness and complicity.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Always On Watch: In Commemoration of 9/11

A poem to commemorate 9/11 as posted on Always On Watch.

Never forget.

New charges against ISA graduate Abu Ali

From Jihad Watch: American Muslim honor student indicted in plot to kill Bush

New charges against Ahmed Omar Abu Ali of Falls Church unveiled (pun intended, given his mother's affectation for the niqab, or face covering).

"The new nine-count indictment also adds charges of conspiracy to commit aircraft piracy and destroy aircraft, part of the Justice Department's allegations that Abu Ali was plotting with al Qaeda to conduct a Sept. 11-style attack in the United States that would include hijacking planes."

Northern Virginiastan has covered Abu Ali extensively.

In other news, the US Appeals Court for the Fourth Circuit ruled that "dirty bomb" suspect Jose Padilla AKA Abdullah Al Mujahir (Abdullah "the foreigner") can be held without charges, thereby reversing a lower court's decision that Padilla should be charged or let go.

SIXTH COLUMN: CAIR to Sponsor Taqiyya-Fest at U. S. Capitol for 9/11

George Mason at Sixth Column notes yesterday's 9/11 vigil hosted by CAIR at the Capitol Reflecting Pool.

"Co-sponsors of the vigil include: InterFaith Conference of Metropolitan Washington, Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (Washington, D.C.), September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, All Dulles Area Muslim Society, Muslim Public Affairs Council, American Muslim Voice, and the Interfaith Alliance."

Just goes to show you the stupidity and willful ignorance of ecumenical organizations that partner with Islamic organizations. As for "September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows," if I'm not mistaken, it's part of the leftist cabal funded by George Soros and Teresa Heinz Kerry's Heinz Foundation and its members heckled Condoleeza Rice during her testimony at the 9-11 Commission hearings.