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Independent.co.UK

Johann Hari: We need to stop being such cowards about Islam
 
Thursday, 14 August 2008
 
This is a column condemning cowardice – including my own. It begins with the story of a novel you cannot read. The Jewel of Medina was written by a journalist called Sherry Jones. It recounts the life of Aisha, a girl who was married off at the age of six to a 50-year-old man called Mohamed ibn Abdallah. On her wedding day, Aisha was playing on a see-saw outside her home. Inside, she was being betrothed. The first she knew of it was when she was banned from playing out in the street with the other children. When she was nine, she was taken to live with her husband, now 53. He had sex with her. When she was 14, she was accused of adultery with a man closer to her own age. Not long after, Mohamed decreed that his wives must cover their faces and bodies, even though no other women in Arabia did.
 
You cannot read this story today – except in the Koran and the Hadith. The man Mohamed ibn Abdallah became known to Muslims as "the Prophet Mohamed", so our ability to explore this story is stunted. The Jewel of Medina was bought by Random House and primed to be a best-seller – before a University of Texas teacher saw proofs and declared it "a national security issue". Random House had visions of a re-run of the Rushdie or the Danish cartoons affairs. Sherry Jones's publisher has pulped the book. It's gone.
 
In Europe, we are finally abolishing the lingering blasphemy laws that hinder criticism of Christianity. But they are being succeeded by a new blasphemy law preventing criticism of Islam – enforced not by the state, but by jihadis. I seriously considered not writing this column, but the right to criticise religion is as precious – and hard-won – as the right to criticise government. We have to use it or lose it.
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International Institute for Counter-Terrorism

08/09/2008  
 
 The War on Terror - War or Metaphor?

Prof. Jefferey F. Addicott*

I. INTRODUCTION

In remarks given in November of 2007, President George W. Bush, reminded the Congress that the United States of America remained in a state of war – the so-called War on Terror: “We are at war – and we cannot win this war by wishing it away or pretending that it does not exist.”[1] Considering the fact that President Bush never wavered in this view, his remarks came as no surprise. Nevertheless, even seven years after the al-Qa’eda terror attacks of September 11, 2001, there are many who still refuse to accept the premise that the United States is in a state of war. For them, the term “War on Terror” has nothing to do with a real international armed conflict; it is merely a metaphor, similar to the Johnson era “war on poverty” or the Reagan era, “war on drugs.”

According to their reasoning, since there is no “war,” terrorists should be dealt with in the same manner as they were prior to September 11, 2001, by the domestic criminal process.

Undoubtedly, the friction between those who believe that the War on Terror is a real war and should be fought under the international law of war verses those who do not has created deep fissures in the legal community and, by extension, in society as a whole. While individual citizens of every vocation in life are certainly entitled to their personal opinions on the matter, what ultimately resonates in a representative democracy is what the government asserts. In short, does the executive, legislative, and judicial branch of the United States government view the War on Terror as a real war? In other words, if one accepts the premise that the United States is in a state of war, then various actions taken by the government, e.g., the use of military commissions, targeted killings, and detention facilities is perfectly legitimate. On the other hand, if one does not accept the premise that the War on Terror is a real war, then a very strong case can be made in a number of arenas of interest that the United States has engaged in activities that clearly violate both domestic and international law.
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By David Horowitz and Reut Cohen
FrontPageMagazine.com | 8/15/2008

While America is finally winning the war in Iraq, the global effort against the Islamic jihad goes on. In Afghanistan, the war with al-Qaeda is still raging. In Gaza, Hamas continues to launch genocidal attacks against Israeli towns. Meanwhile, on American college campuses a coalition of organizations connected to the jihad network demonizes America and Israel. This coalition carries on its agendas of hate with the unwitting collaboration of student governments and university administrations.

In October 2007, more than one hundred campuses hosted Islamo-Fascism Awareness weeks to make university communities aware of the Islamist threat and the danger it poses.

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San Francisco Chronicle
Bob Egelko, Staff Writer
Friday, August 15, 2008

SAN FRANCISCO -- Conservative talk show host Michael Savage has changed his mind and is reluctantly dropping his lawsuit against an Islamic rights group that launched an advertisers' boycott after he attacked Islam and the Quran on the air, his lawyer said Thursday.

A San Francisco federal judge threw out Savage's earlier copyright and racketeering suit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations last month but gave him a chance to file an amended suit by today. In an unusual court filing, attorney Daniel Horowitz, who had earlier promised a new suit that would pass legal muster, said Thursday that Savage has a legitimate case but has decided not to pursue it.

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