Witness Intimidation: New London Mega-Mosque by Douglas Murray

xtremists like to give off the pretense that they are speaking for all Muslims, so when other Muslims identify and call out the extremists, they cause damage to the extremists’ most treasured arguments. The kind of society Tablighi Jamaat will bring with them will be a problem for local Muslims long before it is a problem any of the rest of us. We all know what happens when the good people remain silent.

“The Tablighi Jemaat discourages integration into British society, especially of female members, since essentially they do not communicate with non-Muslims. … Instead, female members… are kept secluded, and the values surrounding this seclusion are transmitted to their children.” — Tehmina Kazi testifying against the London mega-mosque in 2011.

According to Alan Craig, Kazi withdrew from testifying against the mega-mosque again in 2014] because she was “harried and pressured” by “misogynist mega-mosque supporters” while on holiday abroad. The person who allegedly persuaded Kazi not to testify was one Mudasser Ahmed.

The “Trojan Horse” scandal, in which extremist Muslims were trying to take over taxpayer-funded schools in Birmingham and other English cities, has shocked the British public who were unaware that there were schools in the UK where, for instance, all white women were described as “prostitutes” and anti-Christian chants were encouraged in morning assemblies. But whenever a story like this breaks, it should always remind us of the other stories as well: the Trojan Horse scandals that we do not hear about.

Just such a case is going on in East London at this moment. There, a campaign by locals has been ongoing for many years to try to prevent a “mega-mosque” from being created by the Tablighi Jamaat sect. Locals — including many Muslims — in Newham, East London, realize not only that the construction of this vast mosque (intended to house around 9,000 worshippers) is meant to be a statement of dominance, but that it is a statement from a group that is highly sectarian and divisive in its outlook towards other Muslims as well as non-Muslims. The progress of the building project has been stalled many times before and it appears to be stalled again — not least thanks to the effort of a principled former councillor of the area, Alan Craig.


Today is Father’s Day….I wish you all a happy day. My own late father was truly special and I thank his wisdom and courage and vision every day. That’s not to say he was perfect, or, even easy. But, he was amazing. He was born in Poland where he was a member of Betar, a militant Zionist group whose ideology was formed by Vladimir Jabotinsky. He left Poland after high school to study abroad. He had a PhD in Zoology from the University of Brussels in Belgium and subsequently went to medical school in Geneva. On one of his sojourns to Poland to visit his family he wooed and wed my lovely mother who went to Geneva with him. When he graduated from medical school he saw an ad for a physician to join the Bolivian Army in the Chaco War between Bolivia and Paraguay. Following Vladimir Jabotinsky’s advice he immediately signed on, much to the surprise of his bride and the horror of his family. Within weeks he departed for Bolivia. He knew no Spanish and he had never carried a weapon, nonetheless he was quickly deployed to the jungle and became proficient in both. My mother followed within months. They lived in a tent, slept on hammocks to avoid spiders and snakes. He rode patrols on rivers with piranhas and surubis which could devour an injured cow within minutes. Nonetheless, my mother always spoke happily of those years.

When the war was over, the Bolivian government granted him citizenship and the title of “Surgeon General” and my parents moved to Cochabamba, then to Oruro and subsequently to La Paz where he practiced medicine until we left for America. He was forty years old, spoke no English, and had the equivalent of $2,000.00. We first went to Portland, Oregon via California where he obtained a job in an Army hospital. After a year he decided that we had to see America before settling down permanently. We crossed the United States by Greyhound buses, ricocheting from city to city. He loved E lPaso Texas, my mother did not. She liked Las Cruzes, New Mexico a commuter distance from ElPaso, but there was no Synagogue. Then it was Colorado (too high), New Orleans (too low), Chicago (too windy and cold), Cleveland (too something or other), Boston (obnoxious relatives who called us greenhorns) and so it went. I will never understand how we settled on the Bronx. He studied English, passed the Medical Equivalence test which enabled him to get a license and he became a general practitioner on Bryant Avenue.

I went on house calls with him, and during the rides I learned classical music, German poetry, geography, Spanish grammar and declensions, history, Zionism, the poems of John Milton, Yeats, and Walt Whitman, and other then boring subjects which have stuck to me until this day.

If he was a demanding , strict and didactic father, he was a perfect grandfather to his seven grandchildren and considered them perfection. Although he derided popular culture, he drove one of my daughters to Tupelo, Mississippi so she could visit the home and birthplace of Elvis Presley. He walked with her enthusiastically, visiting the museum and reading every detail of his life. She has since traveled all over the globe but remembers that trip above all.

He was felled by a stroke in 1979 and died in 1984. As I said- he was amazing….Mardoqueo Isaac Salomon remembered with love and gratitude…..rsk




ALS patients improve after stem cell treatment. Israel’s BrainStorm reported positive interim results of Phase IIa ALS trials of its “NurOwn” stem cell therapy. 71% of patients were in decline before treatment but after treatment 63% were either stabilized or had improved neurological function.

MobileOCT wins prize for cancer screening program. Israeli start-up MobileOCT has won the 2014 Vodafone Americas Foundation Wireless Innovation Project for its program to help residents of the US-Mexican border area detect cervical cancer. MobileOCT’s technology uses mobile phones with added lenses.

Merck to work with Israeli life science companies. US giant Merck is to collaborate with Israeli companies on technological projects. Israel’s Chief Scientist’s Office will grant financial support for joint projects researching into life-saving medicines, which Merck will match.

Six Israeli start-ups in Forbes top 10 world-changing health tech companies. (Thanks to NoCamels.com) I don’t normally include “lists” of Israeli companies, but this is exceptional. ReWalk, uMoove, Telesofia, Surgical Theater, TotallyPregnant and HelpAround all are Israeli and classified by Forbes as “world-changers”.


Build your house with Israeli SmartBricks. Within 2 years you may be able to build a new house using Israeli SmartBricks – Lego-like bricks costing 50% less than conventional materials. The modular bricks have removable sides to accommodate wiring and inner supports.

Israel has been using driverless cars for five years. The Israeli Army has been using unmanned vehicles for at least five years to protect Israelis. The IDF is to upgrade its driverless fleet, to include vehicles that will safely and autonomously transport weapons and equipment to soldiers already in the field.

24me – the app for the busy person. Israeli businesswoman and mother-of-three Liat Mordechay Hertanu developed the personal assistant app 24me in 2012 to manage her hectic daily life. 24me now has hundreds of thousands of users worldwide, including students, parents and business people.

$7m robotics center for the Technion. US based software company PTC Inc. is investing $7 million in a new robotics center at Israel’s Technion. PTC will build the center and finance the first 3 years operating costs. PTC specializes in 3D design software and has had an Israeli development center since 1991.

Phinergy’s Aluminum battery – the future is in the air. An electric car equipped with an Israeli-designed aluminum-air battery system made its track debut at Montreal’s Circuit Gilles-Villeneuve. Israel’s Phinergy has partnered with global metals engineering company Alcoa, to bring long-distance electric cars closer to a reality.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNauK0Gb1-c http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6kIJlgqezE

72 projects displayed at Technology Fair. Israel’s high-tech and venture capital executives examined the innovative new technologies in the seventy-two projects on display at the recent Technology Fair at the Computer Science School at The College of Management-Academic Studies (COMAS) in Rishon Lezion.

Israel and EU sign 80 billion Euros scientific research agreement. (Thanks to NoCamels.com) Israel and the European Union have signed a key agreement, Horizon 2020, marking the beginning of an unprecedented partnership agreement for the funding of scientific research and innovation.

CNN features Israeli start-ups. (Thanks to David F) Samuel Burke at CNN took a trip through Israel’s tech scene. He spoke to CEOs and to Israel’s Chief Scientist. (Stop the CNN playlist when the video finishes.)

IDF deploys “Wind Shield” – a mobile Iron Dome. The IDF took delivery of the Green Rock mobile missile defense system from developers ELTA – a subsidiary of Israel Aerospace Industries. Nicknamed “Wind Shield”, the system detects the launch of rockets and mortars and intercepts them before they reach their targets.


Israel has NIS 1.9 billion budget surplus in May. The government’s budget surplus of NIS 1.9 billion in May 2014 reduced the deficit to 2.4% of GDP for the 12 months through May 2014 compared to 2.5% in April.

Australia seeks Israeli innovation. Australia’s July trade mission to Israel is specifically designed for senior leaders from businesses, government policy and academia. It will focus on Technology Innovation and Israel’s entrepreneurial environment and explore Israel’s excellence in cyber security, big data and R&D.

Mapal Green signs up its third UK water utility. United Utilities – the UK’s largest water company – has selected Israel’s Mapal Green Energy to treat the wastewater of its customers. Thames Water and Anglian Water have already chosen Mapal’s system. The three companies serve nearly half of English households.

Polish oil terminal installs Israeli security solutions. Security at the Naftoport oil transshipment terminal in Poland has been enhanced with the integration of detection and analysis products from NICE Systems of Israel. Naftoport transships crude oil and refined oil products in the Port of Gdansk.

Israeli company buys Jamaica Private Power Company. Israel Corporation Power has increased its stake in Jamaica Private Power Company (JPPC) to 100%. JPPC generates and sells its entire capacity to the Jamaica Public Service. IC Power already owns power stations in Nicaragua, Colombia, Chile and Peru.

If happiness has a price – in Israel it costs the least. A new Bloomberg scale uses living standards data, per capita GDP, and the Gallup happiness poll to “price” happiness. It shows that Israelis “pay” $4,491 to be happy, less than people anywhere else in the world. It “costs” $7,051 in the USA and $14,609 in Qatar.


7,863 books were published in Israel in 2013. According to statistics from the National Library, Israel published 7,863 books in 2013 – 235 more books than in 2012. Israel’s annual Hebrew Book Week began on Jun 11.

“A cultural beacon (of light) for the nation and the world.” Tens of thousands of visitors (including this newsletter editor) will converge on Jerusalem’s Old City for the capital’s 6th annual International Festival of Light. Featuring 17 acclaimed international light artists, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. June 17-19 – all free of charge.

Mick Jagger tweeted a farewell message – in Hebrew. Last Friday as the Rolling Stones were leaving Israel for their next gig in the Netherlands, Mick Jagger wrote goodbye to his Israeli fans “Thanks to everyone in Israel for a wonderful reception. It was an amazing show and I’ll always remember it.” Plus some more videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygQlmdc8tbY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X3rsuJGOPhI

The Hives at Tel Aviv’s RockandRoller Festival. Swedish retro-rockers The Hives perform on June 17 at Bloomfield Stadium in Jaffa, along with the Pixies, as part of the two-day RockandRoller Festival.

Yossi Benayoun comes home. Israel’s long-time soccer hero Yossi Benayoun has signed a two-year deal with Maccabi Haifa worth $1 million. The 34-year-old Israeli midfielder left Haifa in 2002 for Racing Santander in Spain and then nine years in England from 2005 with West Ham, Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal and QPR.

Israel reaches U19 Euro soccer finals. Whilst Israeli soccer legend Yossi Benayoun was returning to his roots, Israel’s next generation of soccer stars was proving its worth. Israel qualified for next month’s Uefa European under-19 Championships finals in Hungary with a 1-0 victory over Georgia.

Israel is represented at the World Cup – in a security capacity. Israeli companies NICE and RISCO are supplying Brazil with key security and management technology that officials are counting on to keep the peace during the World Cup soccer tournament.


Israel’s first “Gypsy” police officer. (Thanks to Israpundit.com) After spending her childhood in a roaming Gypsy (Roma) tribe on the frozen plains of Siberia, Tania Leontieff discovered that her mother had Jewish roots. She immigrated to Israel alone and converted, and is about to become a policewoman in Jerusalem.

UN exhibition of art by autistic Israelis. The Speaking Colors exhibition at the United Nations in New York features 25 paintings by Israeli children with autism. The exhibition, attended by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, coincided with a conference on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

What happens to disabled Israelis during a rocket attack? (Thanks to Uri) Lt. Col. Keren Maimon works with disabled Israelis at assisted-living homes, teaching them how to respond when a siren sounds and to find their way into bomb shelters. Every person counts in Israel’s diverse community, and no one is left behind.

Temech Conference 2014: Religious women who want to start a business. (Thanks to Janglo) 23 Jun sees the flagship event for thousands of Israeli Torah-observant businesswomen – entrepreneurs and self-employees. The 2014 Jerusalem Conference is themed “The Next Level” and 500 delegates are expected to attend.

Publicizing Israeli innovations to hundreds of millions. The first Chinese Media Center in the Middle East has opened in Israel at the College of Management-Academic Studies in Rishon LeZion. It will publicize Israel’s strengths in agri-tech, high-tech and clean energy to many of China’s 618 million Internet users.

Israeli drone and camera help Brazil capture gang leader. A Heron UAV made by Israel Aerospace Industries, fitted with a heat-sensing camera developed by Israel’s Elbit Systems helped Brazilian police nab the criminal gang leader “Little P”. Brazil is trying to prevent violence in Rio de Janeiro during the World Cup.

Israeli satellites to help rescuers in disaster areas. The Israel Space Agency has volunteered to provide satellite images to the United Nations Platform for Space-based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (SPIDER), which serves as a data transfer hub in the event of international catastrophes.


Elusive Papers of Law Firm Are Found at White House Jan. 1996

After nearly two years of searches and subpoenas, the White House said this evening that it had unexpectedly discovered copies of missing documents from Hillary Rodham Clinton’s law firm that describe her work for a failing savings and loan association in the 1980′s.
Federal and Congressional investigators have issued subpoenas for the documents since 1994, and the White House has said it did not have them. The originals disappeared from the Rose Law Firm, in which Mrs. Clinton was a partner, shortly before Mr. Clinton took office.
Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato, Republican of New York, tonight called the discovery of the copies of the records “the second miraculous discovery within the past 24 hours.”
Mr. D’Amato, who is chairman of the Senate Whitewater committee, was referring to the disclosure on Thursday of a two-year-old memorandum written by a former Presidential aide. The memorandum said that Mrs. Clinton had played a far greater role in the dismissal of employees of the White House travel office than the Administration has acknowledged.

State Dept. misplaced $6B under Hillary Clinton: IG report: Adam Kredo (April 2014)

Read more: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/apr/4/state-dept-misplaced-6b-under-hillary-clinton-ig-r/#ixzz34hkAmnWs
The State Department misplaced and lost some $6 billion due to the improper filing of contracts during the past six years, mainly during the tenure of former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, according to a newly released Inspector General report.
The $6 billion in unaccounted funds poses a “significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” according to the report.
The alert, originally sent on March 20 and just released this week, warns that the missing contracting funds “could expose the department to substantial financial losses.”
The report centered on State Department contracts worth “more than $6 billion in which contract files were incomplete or could not be located at all,” according to the alert.
“The failure to maintain contract files adequately creates significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” the alert states.
The situation “creates conditions conducive to fraud, as corrupt individuals may attempt to conceal evidence of illicit behavior by omitting key documents from the contract file,” the report concluded.
The State Department’s inability to properly file its paperwork is causing most of the losses, according to the report.


In a recent, hard-hitting article [1] for American Thinker, Ed Lasky anatomizes the “pack of lies” that Obama and his party have “peddled to the American people” with respect to the Affordable Care Act. This is no longer news, obviously, though many of the electorate still remain in the dark, to awaken in the course of time to an unwelcome revelation. Lasky goes on to focus on “previous revelations that periodically cloud the luxurious fantasy world where Obama dwells,” such as, to take one example, his admission that there are “no such things as shovel-ready projects,” and concludes: “For a man who went to a swank private high school in Hawaii, then Occidental, Columbia and Harvard Law School, [Obama] is the most clueless president to occupy the Oval Office.”

Lasky’s assessment, which a plethora of writers and analysts has come to share, seems indisputable. Indeed, Obama’s regulatory, stimulus-oriented and redistributive economic program is perhaps the most damaging “legacy” he will have left the American people. “The economy continues to strengthen and recover,” touts [2] the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, and Obama opines [3] that the nation’s financial system is “safer” now than it was in the recent past, and that his administration has laid a “new foundation” for a healthier economy. The facts tell an entirely different story.

For America is simultaneously trapped in a vertiginous debt spiral while relying on the binge printing of fiat money — a process known by the euphemism of “quantitative easing” — brewing a perfect storm of decline and eventual collapse. Of course, as Milton Friedman observes in Money Mischief [4], since Nixon “broke the final tenuous link between the dollar and gold in 1971, no major currency…has any connection to a commodity,” and therefore, “Every currency is now a fiat currency.” The problem, however, is one of fiscal promiscuity or the absence of discretionary oversight of the quantity of money swamping the fiscal marketplace, that is, the unstinted printing of the money supply backed by nothing but the happy accident that the American dollar is the world’s reserve currency. Such intemperate printing of American dollars to service debt load, prop up a bloated entitlement apparatus, and generate “stimulus” projects — those “shovel ready” jobs but only in the sense that the shovel is the gravedigger’s implement — dilutes the value of the country’s legal tender and is viable only so long as the dollar does in fact remain the world’s reserve currency.


Writing yesterday about the IRS’s amazing loss of more than two years of Lois Lerner’s emails (“Where’d they go? They were here just a minute ago!”), I wondered [1] in passing how the Extended White House Public Relations Office, e.g., the New York Times, MSNBC, et al. would handle the news. The Nixon White House, you’ll recall, found quite a lot of the morning’s scrambled on its collective countenance when 18 and 1/2 minutes of audio tape [2] somehow—somehow!—went missing as the Watergate scandal unfolded around the president.

What a godsend to the guardians of our “Right to Know” Watergate was! Day after day, week after week, month after month, the front pages and editorial pages of our former Paper of Record were full of stern admonitions about that egregious abuse of executive power. You could not look at the paper without a synesthetic shudder: Reading it, you could almost hear them licking their chops as their prey—the dastardly Richard Nixon—came ever closer to his doom.

So how does the New York Times handle this extraordinary loss of two years’ worth of Lois Lerner’s emails? (“Really, they were here just a minute ago. We were just about to hand them over to Congress when, gosh darn, they just vanished. Damndest thing.”)

This will amaze you, I know, but it is true: the New York Times today devotes zero words to the story. Take a look at the front page here [3]: Nothing. There are a couple of articles about Iraq’s descent into chaos—Iraq, the country whose transformation Joe Biden, in 2010, called one of the “greatest achievements” of the Obama administration. “I’ve been there 17 times now,” the vice president told Larry King [4]. “I know every one of the major players in all of the segments of that society. It’s impressed me. I’ve been impressed how they have been deciding to use the political process rather than guns to settle their differences.” But I digress . . .

What else do we have on the front page? Warnings about a connection between obesity and liver disease. Something about the tea party in the aftermath of David Brat’s upset victory in Virginia and a story about restauranteurs upset by apps bypassing maitre d’s in securing good tables at posh eateries. The public has a right to know these things. There is also advance word about a coming article about the entertainer “Beyoncé the Boundless” (they teach alliteration in J school), the soccer games in Brazil, and sundry other topics.

Is Egypt’s New President Anti-Christian? By Raymond Ibrahim

Overlooked in the midst of all the celebrations in Egypt concerning the presidential election of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, his predecessor, President Adly Mansour – who very much shares in Sisi’s worldview and politics – made a strange comment about the place of the nation’s Christian minority, the Copts.

Sisi declared Mansour acting president of Egypt on July 4, 2013 – right after former President Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood party were overthrown in the June 30 Revolution, which was supported by the Coptic Church.

In a televised speech delivered a few days ago, Mansour again addressed the Copts in a very inclusive way, one very much welcomed and appreciated by Egypt’s Christians. Among other things, he indicated that they were equal citizens, “brothers” to the Muslims; that they have been an integral part of Egypt’s history; that both Copts and Muslims are victims of and enemies to “terrorism” (a reference to the Brotherhood and other Islamist organizations).

Then he said:

I speak to you [Copts] today through the true spirit of Islam – the spirit whose values appeared in the Pact of Omar, wherein the righteous Caliph, Omar bin al-Khattab, made a covenant with the Christians of Jerusalem, after Medina opened [conquered] it in the year 638; the Pact which preserved for the Christians their churches, monasteries, and crosses, and their religion and possessions. Egypt again renews the spirit of this pact and its principles with you; Egypt, the Muslim state, which takes from the values and principles of the tolerant and true Islamic Sharia for its legislation.

To those familiar with the actual text of the Pact of Omar – also known as the shurut, or “the conditions,” of Omar – the above speech is an absurd contradiction. After all, whereas Koran 9:29 provides divine sanction to fight the “People of the Book” (namely, Christians and Jews) “until they pay the jizya [monetary tribute] with willing submission and feel themselves subdued,” the Conditions of Omar lay out in detail how Christians are to feel themselves subdued.

Below are excerpts from the Conditions (see Crucified Again for my complete translation and historical discussion of the text). The conquered Christians appear to be speaking and agree:

Not to build a church in our city – nor a monastery, convent, or monk’s cell in the surrounding areas – and not to repair those that fall in ruins or are in Muslim quarters;

Not to clang our cymbals except lightly and from the innermost recesses of our churches;

Not to display a cross on them [churches], nor raise our voices during prayer or readings in our churches anywhere near Muslims;


ON a hot summer’s day earlier this year, a beautiful young Pakistani girl named Amina stood in the living room of her western Sydney home, listening in horror as her father explained how he planned to ­murder her.

“I am going to kill you now, right here!” he shouted at the 16-year-old. “And no one will say anything about what I do to you. I am too powerful in the community.” Amina’s parents had promised her to a man 13 years her senior and she had made the mistake of refusing to marry him. Her arguments would not sway her father and even when her husband-to-be beat her in front of him, her dad remained ­resolute, telling her: “He is already your ­husband in front of God.”

“She adored her father but he believed that by refusing to marry this man, she was ­damaging the honour of the family,” says Eman ­Sharobeem, manager of the Immigrant Women’s Health Service in Fairfield, Sydney. “I have no doubt that he would have killed her if I hadn’t intervened.” Amina might have been raised in Australia, adopting the attitude and dress of her teenage friends, but to her father she was “just a good sale item, a stunningly beautiful girl who would bring a good dowry”.

The child’s father eventually agreed to spare his daughter’s life — not out of any sense of mercy, Sharobeem says, but because he realised it would be difficult to kill the girl and get away with it. So he packed Amina off to Pakistan, where she has been held in his family’s home for the past two months. “She texted me the other day,” says Sharobeem. “She said, ‘They won’t kill me because they know you know. But they will keep me here until I agree to marry that man.” Her last text said: “I might give in.”

For years, child marriage in this country has been hidden under layers of culture and tradition in tight-knit communities — a fringe issue that’s been difficult to gauge and hard to investigate. Then came news of a 12-year-old girl who was “married” in January to a 26-year-old Lebanese university student in an Islamic ­ceremony at the girl’s home in NSW’s Hunter ­Valley, and the layers of secrecy began to peel away. On best estimates, the number of girls in Australia being forced into marriage here or overseas is in the hundreds every year. Girls as young as 12 or 13 are disappearing from schoolyards, packed off to the countries of their parents’ birth to wed men they have never met, while others are taken from their homes in southern Asia and the Middle East and brought into Australia to marry.

The National Children’s and Youth Law Centre has identified 250 cases of under-age marriage over the past 24 months, while ­Sharobeem, who was herself married to a cousin at the age of 14, says there are at least 60 child wives living in south-western Sydney alone. In Melbourne, Melba Marginson, executive director of the Victorian Immigrant and Refugee Women’s Coalition (VIRWC), says she sees 150 women a week who are in forced and ­violent marriages, many of them married off when they were still children. “But what we are seeing is only the tip of the iceberg,” she says.

Those within the communities say the problem is greater than even these campaigners believe it to be. Alia Sultana, a Pakistani ­Hazara woman who works with Afghan ­Hazaras in Melbourne, told me: “I would say nearly every Afghan Hazara family in ­Melbourne is involved in this practice.” ­Sultana, who fled the Taliban two years ago with her family, added: “I only know about these girls because I am also a ­Hazara, and the other women tell me about them. They are kept prisoners, locked in their husbands’ homes and only allowed out if their mothers-in-law go with them, so they can never seek help.”

The Koran and Child Marriage: Mark Durie

Mark Durie is a theologian, human rights activist, pastor of an Anglican church, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle Eastern Forum, and director of the Institute for Spiritual Awareness. He has published many articles and books on the language and culture of the Acehnese, Christian-Muslim relations and religious freedom. A graduate of the Australian National University and the Australian College of Theology, he has held visiting appointments at the University of Leiden, MIT, UCLA and Stanford, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 1992.

Today a report appeared in The Australian, a national daily newspaper, which discussed forced marriages in our nation. There were many good points made in this article, which was entitled It is the young flesh they want.

However the article reported, as if it were true, a completely false and easily disprovable statement about the Koran. The offending paragraph was:

“It is critical that the whole community is educated,” says Jennifer Burn of Anti-Slavery Australia. “The Koran does not support child marriage and the Grand Mufti of Australia says that consent is vital. But there are over 60 different traditions within the Muslim community, with different interpretations of the religious scriptures. We need the religious leaders to take the message into the communities, because they will listen to their leaders rather than us.”

It is true that the Koran does not refer specifically to child marriage. However in discussing divorce it does refer to conditions applying for a female who has not yet menstruated, i.e. for a pre-pubescent girl. The reference is found in Sura 65:4 in a list of regulations concerning the waiting period (the Iddah or Iddat) for divorced women before they can remarry. The verse deals systematically with different cases of women who for some reason are not having regular periods. It reads:

“And of those of your women who have given up hope of menstruating, if you doubt, their (waiting) period is three months, as well as those who do not menstruate. And those who are pregnant, their period is until they deliver their burdens.” (Sura 65:4)

It might be thought that this verse is ambiguous in relation to young girls. However it is quite clear. It systematically covers the three main cases where a female is not menstruating: the old, the young, and those who are pregnant.

Ibn Kathir’s highly respected commentary on the Koran has this to say about this passage (see here).

Allah the Exalted clarifies the waiting period of the woman in menopause. And that is the one whose menstruation has stopped due to her older age. Her ‘Iddah [waiting period before marriage] is three months instead of the three monthly cycles for those who menstruate, which is based upon the Ayah in (Surat) Al-Baqarah. [see 2:228] The same for the young, who have not reached the years of menstruation. Their‘Iddah is three months like those in menopause.


The disappearance and presumed kidnapping of three Israeli teenagers took place on Thursday evening, Israel time. By Friday evening, Israel time, the IDF had released their names and photos.

They are: Gil-ad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel, and Eyal Yifrach. It has been confirmed that one of these students is also an American citizen; we have not been told who that might be. Two are students at Makor Chaim yeshiva. The third is a student at Shavey Hevron yeshiva in Hebron. Perhaps the IDF hopes that releasing this information will help witnesses come forward or that humanizing the boys may lead to sympathy for them.

Last night, hundreds prayed for them at the Western Wall. Their fate was discussed at every Sabbath table including my own and in many synagogues around the world.

Since 9/11, truly, we are all Israelis. What used to happen only to Jews or mainly to Israeli Jews (hijackings, suicide/homicide bombings) remained unchecked by the world and now that same style of hatred and violence has increasingly been unleashed against civilians everywhere. We are all at the mercy of merciless, maniacal Jihadists.

When an Israeli civilian—essentially a teenager–is kidnapped, it is always an act of evil, a statement of vulgar anti-Semitism, and a rejection of the entire Western enterprise. Please bear in mind that Israel lives in a neighborhood that has exiled Jews from Arab lands, has denied that this is the case, and wishes to exterminate Jewish Israel. Read the Hamas charter, it is quite chilling. Israel is also the most stable country in the Middle East, where a Sunni-Shiia Holy War is raging out of control. It also remains a strong military power in a neighborhood in which Islamists are about to gain state power in Iraq and elsewhere.