Wednesday, November 28, 2007

No head scarves for cops

The Hague - police Officers may not wear headscarf. A majority in the Second Chamber finds that the wearing of religious garments by the police must be banned. The clothing requirements of the police is at present unclear over the admissibility of religious clothing.

The PVV posed the question Wednesday during a debate in the Second Chamber to minister Guusje to Eyrie of Interior Affairs. Member of parliament Hero Brinkman of the PVV pointed out that a police woman with a headscarf has no chance if she must act against Moroccan hoodlums.

The various factions of Christian Democratic Party, People's Party for Freedom and Democracy and Christian Union also have objections to police officers wearing religious garments.

H/T to De Telegraaf

Tariq Ramadan Declines chair at Leiden University

Tariq Ramadan has declined the Chair of "Islam in the contemporary Western World" at the Leidse University in the Netherlands. The chair is financed by the sultan of Oman.

Developing and working on translations!!

Update, translation of the article as it appeared in the NRC Handels blad.

Tariq Ramadan declines chair: 28 November 2007 15:17 | Changed: 28 November 2007 16:31 Through editor Mark Duursma NRC Handelsblad, Rotterdam, 28 nov.

The Swiss philosopher and theologian Tariq Ramadan (45) Doesn’t become lead professor at the University.

The international renowned islam apologist passes on being the chair 'islam in the contemporary western world' at the faculty religious studies that he would have occupied starting next year. The chair is financed by the sultan of Oman.

From Oxford, where he senior research fellow is at the St. Antony’s , Ramadan let it be known that it had been premature to announce his appointment at the Leidse University and it has brought him much embarrassment. "I had not yet informed my other employers, the University of Oxford and the Erasmus University in Rotterdam”. I was waiting for official confirmation, when it became public via the media on the 6th of November. I had not yet made my definitive choice for Oxford or Leiden. I decided to take a few weeks off and to weigh everything, and decided to remain at Oxford. I do not want to give up this appointment. I have given the Leiden University my decision this morning."

According to a spokesman of the Leiden University, private matters were also a factor: your family would not be able to face a move from England to the Netherlands.

"That definitely plays into it, a move would be very difficult. We chose to remain for the foreseeable future England. My appointment here is permanent."

In your news release today you write that the decision has nothing to do with the criticism that has pursued you for years, namely that your plea for a western islam is not sincere and that you are much more radical then you pretend to be. But at the same time you take a swipe at politicians and journalists that led a critical backbiting campaign against you. What about that?

"The news about the appointment in Leiden led to the usual reactions of a mere handful of customary critics. Someone in France, someone in Italy. That is annoying, but no reason not to take the job."

But in the Netherlands the criticism wasn’t all that severe?

"Well, De Telegraph went against me . And there was that guy in your parliament.


"Yes, him."

Member of parliament Bosma of the Freedom Party (PVV) on the day of the news about the appointment in Leiden immediately questioned Minister Plasterk (Education, dutch labor Party). He thought of the appointment of Tariq Ramadan, "who does not distance himself from the stoning of overly-playful women", paid for by the "islamo- fascist dictatorship" of Oman. Wilders during question period called Ramadan "a terrible man".

Ramadan in his explanation praises the courage of the Leidse university administration and of Education Minister Plasterk, whom according to him has always put academic freedom in the forefront.

How was your reception on the University of Leiden?
"I felt very welcome. Staff members of the faculty of religious studies were at my orientation in Rotterdam, I was looking forward to the academic debate. I feel myself welcome in the Netherlands, I like the work at the Erasmus University and I certainly want it to continue for a few years."

The expressive Leidse professor Afshin Ellian, who is very critical about islam, couldn’t possibly have been very happy with your arrival.

"I have not yet met Ellian, but we follow each other's work and we respect each other."

According to the spokesman of the University of Leiden, Ramadan was "an interesting candidate" . There are at this moment "several candidates in the picture" to fill the vacancy.

To read the original in Dutch Follow...

Geert Wilders making movie about the Koran.

H/T to Trouw On-line

Geert Wilders, Leader of the PVV party in the Netherlands has oft spoken out against the islamization of Europe and the Netherlands in particular. He recently called for the banning of the Koran as it incites it's followers to commit "horrendous" cruelty against non-believers. He compares the koran to Mein Kampf and shows that the two books are remarkedly similar in many aspects including it's fanaticism and fascism. Mein Kampf has always been banned in the Netherlands and many other European countries.

The cabinet worried over the reactions to a provocative film Geert Wilders is working on. The ministers of Justice Department and Interior Affairs pointed out to the PVV-leader, the risks of his planned film in a conversation with him.

There are measures which have been taken in case of vehement debate erupts about the movie in both inside and outside the country. Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin (Justice) emphasized Wednesday that Wilders is free to express his opinions, but that people also have a responsibility to society at large, “think about what the repercussions could be”, he told the Member of Parliament(Wilders).

Those repercussions could come in various forms, according to the minister. He will wait for the content of the film. But if it is something of an impetus as is suspected, it could draw violent reactions against himself and others”.
Participants in the free debate should, according to Hirsch Ballin, respect every belief and for that which is holy for someone else. If that line is crossed, the cabinet will be against it and move to make it clear that “we respect each other”, according to the minister. And “everything that is violent will be disapproved”. For the content of the conversation, Minister Guusje ter Horst (Interior Affairs) referred to the reaction of Hirsch Ballin.

Wilders has informed the ministry of Justice about his planned movie. Thereupon government officials from the Ministry of Justice and Interior Affairs spoke with him to utter their concern over possible reactions. Minister Maxime Verhagen (Foreign Affairs) has spoken to PVV-leader Geert Wilders about the film that Wilders is making about the koran. “I pointed out to him the possible risks to himself, the people around him and for Dutch citizens outside the country”, said Verhagen Wednesday. That meeting took place at the request of the PVV-leader.

The PVV-Party leader affirms that he is working on a film. He will make a short but robust movie about his earlier proclaimed viewpoints about the Koran in an expressive manner. He want to show that the book revered by Muslims is a “Terrible and fascist” book that always inspires it followers to undertake “horrendous” acts.

Wilders is not out to insult people with his movie about the Koran. If that does happen, it is a” pity but not my problem”. The Member of Parliament said Wednesday after a debate in the Second Chamber. “I hope that it opens peoples eyes that the Koran, like Mein Kampf must become banned”, said Wilders.

It is the intention that the movie will be broadcast at end of January on TV. According to reports several public broadcasting stations are interested, but want to impose conditions. Wilders wants nothing to do with that. He does float the possibility the film could be broadcast during the PVV’s allotted public time slot for political parties on the internet.

Wilders would not confirm that he had spoken with ministers about his movie plans.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Islamic Science, not really!

From the Gates of Vienna

Perhaps this sounds a bit "Eurocentric," but it is an historical fact that the scientific revolution happened in Europe, not in India, China or the Middle East. There was also nothing quite like the medieval university in the Roman Empire. Whatever existed of real science in Roman times was almost entirely of Greek origins, and even the contributions of the Greeks had been steadily declining for centuries. The Romans were good at certain types of engineering and technology, but like the Chinese they were surprisingly poor at providing a coherent scientific view of the world. The medieval European university then represented a real innovation, and Huff places its development, and the decision to include also natural sciences, not just theology, in its regular curriculum at the center of the scientific achievements of the West:

"We should also not underestimate the magnitude of the step taken when it was decided (in part, following ancient tradition) to make the study of philosophy and all aspects of the natural world an official and public enterprise. If this seems a mundane achievement, it is due to our Eurocentrism which forgets that the study of the natural sciences and philosophy was shunned in the Islamic colleges of the Middle East and that all such inquiries were undertaken in carefully guarded private settings. Likewise, in China, there were no autonomous institutions of learning independent of the official bureaucracy; the ones that existed were completely at the mercy of the centralized state. Nor were philosophers given the liberty to define for themselves the realms of learning as occurred in the West."

The German-Syrian Muslim reformist Bassam Tibi writes in his book Islam Between Culture and Politics that "rational sciences were – in medieval Islam – considered to be 'foreign sciences' and at times heretical. At present, Islamic fundamentalists do not seem to know that rational sciences in Islam were based on what was termed ulum al-qudama (the sciences of the Ancients), that it, the Greeks."

Science was viewed as Islamic science, the study of the Koran, the hadith, Arab history etc. Tibi believes it is thus incorrect to call institutions like al-Azhar in Cairo, Egypt, the highest institution of learning in Sunni Islam, a university: "Some Islamic historians wrongly translate the term madrasa as university. This is plainly incorrect: If we understand a university as universitas litterarum, or consider, without the bias of Eurocentrism, the cast of the universitas magistrorum of the thirteenth century in Paris, we are bound to recognise that the university as a seat for free and unrestrained enquiry based on reason, is a European innovation in the history of mankind."

Al-Azhar was created in the tenth century and is hailed as one of the oldest universities in the world. However, as late as the early twentieth century, the blind Egyptian author Taha Husayn complained about the total lack of critical thinking he encountered at the institution:

"The four years I spent [at al-Azhar, from 1902] seemed to me like forty, so utterly drawn out they were....It was life of unrelieved repetition, with never a new thing, from the time the study began until it was over. After the dawn prayer came the study of Tawhid, the doctrine of [Allah's] unity; then fiqh, or jurisprudence, after sunrise; then the study of Arabic grammar during the forenoon, following a dull meal; then more grammar in the wake of the noon prayer. After this came a grudging bit of leisure and then, again, another snatch of wearisome food until, the evening prayer performed, I proceeded to the logic class which some shaikh or other conducted. Throughout these studies it was all merely a case of hearing re-iterated words and traditional talk which aroused no chord in my heart, nor taste in my appetite. There was no food for one's intelligence, no new knowledge adding to one's store."

Read the whole thing at DhimmiWatch

Sunday, November 11, 2007

I usually can't stand Bill Maher but, this clip is quite hilarious.