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  • Dimmu Borgir @ Le Bataclan - Paris

    27 Sep 2010, 20:31

    Mer 22 Set – Dimmu Borgir, Enslaved, Sahg

    I was on holiday in Paris, I decided to see Dimmu Borgir in action, just before the release of the new album. Unfortunately the sound at Le Bataclan was awful. It has been impossible to distinguish Galder's solos and keyboard parts, everything overwhelmed by sound distorsion and an inadequate acoustic.
  • Found! Peaceful Islam

    23 May 2009, 12:56

    by Bill Warner

    22 Mar, 2009

    Soon after 9/11 we began to hear about Islam, the peaceful religion. The whole concept seems so ludicrous, but it filled the media. Can you imagine someone calling Buddhism, the peaceful religion? It is like saying circles, the round figure. Yes, but isn't it what you would expect?

    When scholars use the term, it is usually in quotes, "peaceful Islam", to express the irony of the name. However, in working with the manuscript of my work-in-progress, Waging Ideological War, I was realized that there actually was a peaceful Islam without the quotes.

    The Sira is Mohammed's biography (sira is an Arabic word that means biography, but Sira is reserved for Mohammed) and has three versions by three authors. The most definitive is by Ibn Ishaq, Sirat Rasul Allah, translated by A. Guillaume as The Life of Muhammad. It is a difficult book to read and that is why Mohammed and Unbelievers was created so that the content would be available to the average reader. The Sira is the only thing that allows us to understand the Koran, since it allows us to sort out which verse in the Koran is earlier or later.

    Today, the home of Mohammed has the most intolerant political system in the world. Jews have not been in the Hijaz area (Mecca and Medina) of Saudi Arabia for 1400 years. Christians are allowed to pray in their homes, but there cannot be any public display of their faith, such as wearing a cross or carrying a Bible in public. Practically speaking, Arabia is a religious apartheid state. But before Mohammed, the Arabs of Mecca had 360 religions in the city. It is the inherent nature of polytheist religions to be tolerant, so when Mohammed came along with his new religion and new god, the Meccans couldn't have cared less. Tolerance had been their way since the beginning of time.

    Islam is not only a religion, but a complete civilization. Not one thing inside of Islam is identical to kafir civilization. Thus, the process of becoming Islamic means that the most fundamental basis of a civilization must change. Tolerance was the door that Mohammed came through and closed behind him. Tolerance in Arabia vanished after Mohammed.

    After Mohammed announced he was a prophet, there were no problems in Mecca. Mohammed was quiet and spread his message to friends and family. There were no problems with anyone. The Sira devotes 13 pages of text to this peaceful stage of his being a prophet. The Sira is an 800-page book, but the actual material devoted to Mohammed as the prophet of Allah is 577 pages. Do the math; 13 pages out of 577 pages are 2% of the Sira.

    On the 13th page, a Muslim picks a weapon during an argument with a Meccan kafir and bloodies him with a blow to the head. So much for peaceful Islam. For the next 163 pages, 28% of the text, Mohammed argues on a daily basis. It is not that Mohammed is right, but all kafirs are wrong about everything. He even tells the Meccans that their parents are burning in Hell because they did not submit to Islam. He threatens the Meccans, "I will bring you slaughter." Mohammed is pushy, belligerent, argumentive and rude. He is relentless. On a daily basis, he is down at the kabah, a social as well as a religious center, and is constantly in the Meccans' face.

    The Meccans wanted to harm Mohammed, but he was protected by his powerful uncle. But when his uncle died, the Meccans drove him out of town. In Medina, the next phase of the Sira deals with jihad, killing kafirs. That takes up 401 pages, 70% of the text.

    Based upon the Sira, Islam is 2% peace, 28% argument and threats, and 70% jihad. If the Sira were a two-hour movie, then the peaceful part would last for nearly 3 minutes, the fist fights, brawls, arguments and threats would last 34 minutes and the killing would take up 83 minutes. But the movie ends with the beaten kafirs saying that they will do whatever Mohammed wants, if he will only stop the jihad.

    So remember, actually Islam is peaceful, a full 2% peaceful, and if we're good dhimmis, we won't mention the other 98%.

    Bill Warner, the director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam (CSPI). This article first appeared in Political Islam.

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  • Jihad, Martyrdom, and the Torments of the Grave

    17 Mar 2009, 21:42

    March 14, 2009 - by Raymond Ibrahim

    Raymond Ibrahim is the associate director of the Middle East Forum and the author of The Al Qaeda Reader, translations of religious texts and propaganda.

    Why do some Muslims become suicide bombers or “martyrs”? In fact, these two near antithetic words — on the one hand, broken, desperate suicides, on the other, heroic martyrs — intrinsically demonstrate the radically different epistemologies the average Westerner and Muslim will articulate their answer through. In other words, that Westerners consider them suicides while Muslims consider them martyrs in and of itself speaks volumes on motivation.

    To the secular Western mind, such Muslims are simply frustrated: oppressed and depressed, and with nothing to lose, these Muslims (so the logic goes) end their suffering in the name of some “noble” cause — be it the “liberation of al-Aqsa” or the razing of U.S. skyscrapers. All their talk about Islam, “obligations,” or 72 dark-eyed virgins is but a cover for their true motivation: “revenge” on the one hand, escape from an oppressive existence on the other. Most recently, “shame” has been cited as another culprit: al-Qaeda has been raping and thereby shaming women — and men — into becoming “martyrs.”

    Conversely, from a purely Muslim point of view, becoming a martyr is not only a guarantee to eternal paradise — which, if many secular Westerners deem “silly,” the devotees of Allah take very seriously — but a paradise that may appeal to some of man’s most libidinous desires. Thus, whereas the Christian heaven is purely spiritual — “they shall neither marry nor give into marriage” (Matthew 22:30) and not necessarily “enticing” — some Muslim accounts of paradise are downright hedonistic.

    Scriptural references demonstrative of this are many. Consider Koran 36:55-56: “For the inhabitants of paradise on that day shall be engaged in joyous activities [shughlin fakihun] — they and their wives, reclined on raised cushions.” A number of the most authoritative exegetes, such as Ibn Kathir (see here), have interpreted “engaged in joyous activities” as meaning “they will be busy deflowering virgins.” (See also al-Jalalayn’s tafsir, where he concurs.)

    That said, it is of course difficult to accept that any Muslim man would become a suicide bomber primarily because he wants to copulate in perpetuity — even if Islam’s prophet is on the record saying that men in heaven will have the sexual potency of 100 men (to better handle the countless maidens). Also, what about women, who have increasingly taken to becoming suicide bombers? Surely sex is not their motivation.

    However, before concluding that Muslims become suicide bombers purely out of desperation, frustration, or shame, it should be borne in mind that, aside from the theological guarantee of a hedonistic paradise, there is yet another, antithetical reason that may subtly compel Muslims to seek martyrdom.

    This is the little-known doctrine of ‘adhab al-qabr, or the “torments of the grave.” Anyone familiar with Islam’s texts has repeatedly come across this curious phrase; anyone who has listened to Muslim sermons has been severely warned against it. The torments of the grave are a very real doctrine that has the tendency to drive believers to despair — I have watched grown men and women on Arabic satellite relay the terror this doctrine has worked in their lives — making them eager to do whatever is necessary to avoid it.

    Based on a close reading of Islam’s texts, the following account represents Sunni Islam’s standard teachings of after-death experiences:

    First, the soul is said to return to the corpse while it is interred. As the pallbearers carry the body to the grave, its soul follows behind crying, “Oh my, wherever are they taking me?!” — all while the gaping grave moans, “I am the house of strangeness; I am the house of loneliness; I am the house of dust; I am the house of worms.”

    After being laid to rest by the gravediggers, the dead “hear” the gravediggers as they walk away — implying, as the forthcoming torments suggest, and ulema maintain, that the dead experience “physical” sensations. (Perhaps this is why Muslims are in the habit of offering audible “greetings” to the dead — who “hear” — whenever they pass their graves?)

    Every soul, once entombed along with its body, is tried by two angels. The hadith states: “His [the dead's] soul returns to his body; then two angels arrive and sit him up for questioning” — specifically, “Who is your lord, what is your religion, who is your prophet?” If he answers Allah, Islam, and Muhammad, respectively, he is granted paradise; if not, the torments begin.

    While these questions appear deceptively easy to answer, and thus even the most nominal Muslim should be able to pass this ghoulish inquisition unscathed, the reason Muslims fear failing the test may be associated with Islam’s infamous fatalism: “Those who believe, Allah will strengthen with a firm word, in this world and the hereafter; but the unjust he leads astray [in this world and the hereafter]. Allah does what he will” (Koran 14:27). Ulema have interpreted this verse as revolving around the angels’ interrogation and the ability of the dead — or rather, Allah’s desire for them — to answer right or wrong.

    As for infidels and nominal Muslims (al-muslim al-‘assi), their response to each of the angels’ questions is inevitably: “Uh, uh … I don’t know.” After being verbally chastised by the angels and a “voice from heaven,” the torments begin in earnest.

    First, the angels pulverize the body with a “massive iron hammer” — one that “has no equal [in power and size] in the world.” In the process, “he [the dead] cries out in such a manner that all creation — minus humans and jinn [supernatural beings] — hear him.” Another hadith states that this hammer is such that “if a mountain was struck by it, the mountain would crumble into dust; the dead [man] is struck such a blow that he crumbles into dust — but Allah reassembles him, and he is struck again,” apparently in perpetuity.

    Next, the grave is said to “tighten” around the corpse, till its bones pop and crack — all while the soul is still trapped inside, suffering, suffocating. Some ulema maintain the dead — with their souls experiencing these travails — stay in this position till judgment day.

    Then comes the turn of the tomb-snake, known as al-shaja‘ al-aqra’ (roughly translated as the “bald brave one”); designed by Allah to torment the dead, this snake “eats his [the dead's] flesh, from head to toe; then his flesh returns, and it [the snake] eats his flesh from toe to head, and so on.” Yet another hadith has not one snake, but 70 dragons: “Allah shall set upon him 70 dragons, such that if one of them were to blow upon the earth, the earth would fail and wither away. They will rend and tear, maul and mull upon him until the day of reckoning” — all while he continues screaming, though no human or jinn hears. Still another hadith declares that the dead will be attacked by 99 dragons; each dragon will consist of 70 serpents; each serpent will have nine heads — for a total of 62,370 serpent heads tormenting the corpse in perpetuity.

    At this point, the (especially) Western reader may think all this absurd, that no Muslim can truly believe such things, that this is all moot and can hardly ever drive anyone to action, much less suicide. That (according to Muhammad) one of the greatest “sins” responsible for sending people to the torments of the grave is failing to properly clean oneself after urinating may further lead to the conviction that this is all farcical, hardly a reason to bring Muslims to despair.

    Yet here again we are entered into the tricky realm of epistemology: every civilization has its own particular sources, physical or metaphysical, whence knowledge, and thence “truth,” is articulated. For mainstream Islam, the Koran first, followed by the vast corpus of hadith — particularly the “canonical six,” which the aforementioned account of graveyard torments is mostly based on — form the basis of all truth and reality.

    Moreover, everything written in these sources is generally taken literally. Thus the same literalism that compelled Islam’s most authoritative institution, al-Azhar, to issue a fatwa prompting women to “breastfeed” strange men, compels Muslims today to accept the torments of the grave literally — pounding mallets, 62,370 snapping serpents, and all.

    Anyone who closely follows Arabic-Islamic TV will further know that the torments of the grave, as described, have instilled fear and terror in the lives of Muslims. I have personally watched an al-Haya TV episode where a young Muslim woman, in tears and almost hysterical, was describing her morbid fear of the torments. I have also seen the ulema on Iqra TV, also in tears, lament the fate of those (”moderate”) Muslims who are destined to experience the torments of the grave. Other recovering Muslims maintain that sheikhs regularly cultivate fear of the torments of the grave in the lives of the youth.

    The fact is, Muslims, even the most pious among them, have good reason to be fearful of the torments of the grave: Talking about his pious dead companion, Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh, Muhammad observed, “The grave has an oppressive tightness, and were [it possible for] anyone to escape this, Sa‘d ibn Mu‘adh would have done so, for he is the one for whom the Throne of the All-Merciful shook.” Moreover, there is the famous hadith where Muhammad said, “My umma shall be split into 73 sects — all of which will go to the fire [hell], except one which shall be saved.” In other words, few Muslims have any guarantees that they will not visit the torments of the grave.

    Still, what does any of this have to do with the jihad in general, or suicide bombing/martyrdom operations in particular? Plenty. Inasmuch as the torments of the grave clearly terrify Muslims, so too are there clear-cut ways of evading them. Three have been ascertained. The first two are quite haphazard: Muslims who happen to die on Friday (al-jum‘a, the day of Muslim congregation) and Muslims who happen to die of stomach aches are exonerated from the torments. Why? The prophet said so.

    However, the ulema have been quick to point out and stress a third way — dying as a “martyr” fi sabil Allah (in the cause of Allah), i.e., during the jihad. In fact, in a hadith I first encountered when translating al-Qaeda texts for The Al Qaeda Reader, Muhammad said:

    The martyr is special to Allah. He is forgiven from the first drop of blood [that he sheds]. He sees his throne in paradise, where he will be adorned in ornaments of faith. He will wed the ‘aynhour [wide-eyed virgins] and will not know the torments of the grave and safeguards against the greater horror [hell]. Fixed atop his head will be a crown of honor, a ruby that is greater than the world and all it contains. And he will copulate with seventy-two ‘aynhour and be able to offer intercessions for seventy of his relatives.

    And here one sees that, alongside the enticement of celestial copulation, the torments of the grave have the potential to terrify Muslims into “martyrdom.” This also begs the question: if these torments of the grave have the capacity to terrorize Muslims into considering a premature death fi sabil Allah, how much more can fear of Islam’s hell — the “greater horror” — goad Muslims to seek out martyrdom, which not only safeguards against the torments of the grave but hell itself?

    The torments of the grave are a reminder of how important it is to take Islam’s doctrines — no matter how quaint or esoteric — seriously; dismissing them out of hand, since they seem silly to “us,” is arrogance. Anyone who truly wishes to ameliorate the phenomenon of Muslim suicide bombings, while taking into account all those “secular” reasons — poverty, frustration, desperation — should also, to be thoroughly holistic, take into account the psychological damage created by such arcane doctrines.

    Finally, it is well to observe that, if little-known doctrines such as the torments of the grave have the capacity to goad Muslims into seeking martyrdom, how much more can be expected from the very well-known doctrinal obligation of jihad itself?


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  • Islamism is a Socio-Political Virus

    13 Oct 2008, 18:00

    by Dr. Sami Alrabaa*

    12 Oct, 2008

    Islamists and their backers have a shallow and uncivilized “ideology” which cannot stand up to any rational thinking. It does not offer any alternative to any social, political, or economic order which mankind has thus far has known. It exclusively incites to hatred, violence, and discrimination against women and followers of other faiths. It is even an over statement to say it is bankrupt. Bankruptcy usually applies to someone who has possessed something and then lost it. Islamism, including numerous passages in Shari’a and the Koran, is a destructive mindset. It is a socio-political virus.

    However, without oil and suicide bombing Islamists would be roaming the Arabian Peninsula, the birth place of Islamism, and perish from hunger. Petrodollars and Wahabism, a wild irrational version of Islam, are nurturing Islamism and Muslim terror. Koran schools across the globe stuff young brains with hatred against the rest of the world. Students at these schools are taught that they are the “real Muslims”. Ridding the world of the “infidels” is their primary religious obligation. In return for blowing up themselves in crowded places they are promised paradise and an eternal prosperous life among 72 young virgin pretty women of their choice.

    Now, when you scrutinize Islamism on the ground, you find out that its backers, in particular in the Arab world, focus on the following:

    For Islamists, women are the source of all evil. They (men) primarily associate women with sex and only sex. Therefore, women must cover every part of their body when they are outside their homes. Women are seductive, Islamists allege. If they expose any part of their body, men would be distracted and their lust is stirred, which is eventually “sinful”. An Islamist told me that when he is in Europe he sees so much flesh and hence his lust dwindles. At home in Saudi Arabia, he has much more sexual lust. He figures out all kinds of beauty under women’s clothes in the street. He rushes home to pour his lust in his wife. And that is more exciting.

    - According to Islamists, women must be ready for intercourse at any time the husband wishes so.

    “Your wives are a tilth for you, so go into your tilth when you like, and do good beforehand for yourselves, and be careful (of your duty) to Allah, and know that you will meet Him, and give good news to the believers.” (Sura 2, verse 223).

    During menstruation, however, men should keep away from women; they are filthy. The Koran says:

    “It (menstruation) is a discomfort; therefore keep aloof from the women during the menstrual discharge and do not go near them until they have become clean; then when they have cleansed themselves, go in to them as Allah has commanded you; surely Allah loves those who turn much (to Him), and He loves those who purify themselves.” (Sura 2, verse 222).

    Women, according to Islamists and the Koran, are, in general, unclean creature. After a Muslim has washed and prepared himself for prayer, he should not touch a woman. She tarnishes his cleanliness. Therefore, “pious” Muslims never shake hands with women.

    “O you who believe! do not go near prayer until you have washed yourselves; and if you have touched women, and you cannot find water, betake yourselves to pure earth, then wipe your faces and your hands; surely Allah is Pardoning, Forgiving.” (Sura 4, verse 43).

    For Islamists, even the woman’s voice is “’aura” (a sexual organ). A woman on Saudi radio and TV, for instance, is not allowed to be interviewed by a man. Also a woman should never tell her name in public. Therefore, she is, for example, “um Muhammad”, (the mother of Muhammad), or “um Ali”.

    In a public place an Islamist walks a couple of feet ahead of his wife or close female relatives, covered from head to toe. He wants to signal to passers-by, these are my women, do not look at them. They are mine. Thus women are not only sex objects, they are also a piece of property.

    Islamists demand that a woman’s face should never be photographed. Women of Islamists in Kuwait are allowed to have their photos on the driver’s license with a dark black face cover. The majority of them are usually reckless drivers and no police dare stop them to take them to task.

    Islamists in several Arab and Muslim countries have succeeded in forcing sex-segregation at schools and universities. That is the case in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Qatar, Malaysia, Iran, and Pakistan. Bosnia and Kosovo are also introducing this system.

    Women as witnesses, according to Islamists, are unreliable. Therefore, the testimony of two female witnesses are required to equal that of one male witness in Shari’a courts (Sura 2, verse 282). Further, Women are entitled to inherit only half a portion of that of a man (Sura 4, verse 176). For many men at the Arab Gulf, the brain of a woman is “too small”; it is half the size of that of a man.

    Also, Islamists encourage forcing minor girls to marry. The youngest was 8 years old whose father forced her to marry a 57-year-man in Sana’a, the Yemen Times reports (October 10, 2008). As some human rights organizations protested, a local judge defended the case by analogy; the Prophet Muhammad married Aisha, one of his wives, as she was 9 years old.

    Men and women, in most Arab oil rich countries, are not allowed to hug or kiss each other in public, at the airport, for instance, when they welcome relatives and friends back from a journey or say farewell to them. For weeks now, Islamists in Kuwait have been condemning a 14-year-old girl who kissed a singer in a family wedding party in a hotel in Kuwait city. Some of them called the girl a “whore” and demanded punishing her and her parents.

    Another triviality of Islamists is the ad nausea repetition of “peace and prayers be upon him” every time the name of the Prophet Muhammad is mentioned. It is a must. Otherwise, you are not “pious” enough”.

    A real Muslim, for Islamists, is the one who practices Islam to the letter. Muslims are not allowed to use their left hand when they eat or drink. It is the one which one uses to wash their ass.

    According to Islamists, a Muslim should never donate an organ, heart or kidneys for example, to a non-Muslim. Ali Gumaa, the grand mufti of Egypt and the Islamist fanatic, Yousef Al Qaradhawi, approved of that on Al Jazeera TV (February 16, 2008).

    Freedom of speech is also forbidden, according to Islamists. You are not allowed to question anything in the Koran, Hadeeth, or Shari’a. These scripts are sacred.

    Books that criticize certain Islamic practices are also forbidden. The “evolution theory” is also banned from all schools in the earlier mentioned countries. Even the “One Thousand and one Nights” is forbidden in many Arab countries. Some Islamists preach, the Koran is the only book that is worth of reading. It has got everything you need to know. This is reminiscent of what the second Caliph, Omar Ibn Al Khattab did with the Library of Alexandria in the 7th century, the greatest and most precious at the time. Before burning the Library down, he said, “If it contains books which preach what Islam advocates, then it is superfluous. If it doesn’t, then it should be destroyed.” And it was.

    Music, for Islamists, is also haram (forbidden). It is a Western fad. It is noise. A good Muslim listens only to recorded recitations of the Koran.

    Political “parties” is “hizb” (fragmentation) and as such are forbidden in the Arab Gulf countries. In Kuwait there is a parliament, but parties are forbidden. Saudi Arabia rejects democracy all together. It is un-Islamic. Shura (consultation) is the Islamic alternative. This is one of the reasons why the Al Saud are vehemently sticking to Shari’a. It justifies their absolute despotic rule.

    Besides, Islamists reject all secular constitutions and secular laws. They advocate that the Shari’a is the best constitution on earth. It is the law of Allah.

    Islamists also reject religious pluralism. Any other faith than Islam is fake. The Saudis and the Turks, both led by Islamists, enjoy religious pluralism in the West. But in their own countries, no churches, synagogues, or temples are allowed to be built.

    In addition, until now, no-Muslims are not allowed to enter Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia. They are “holy places” and only Muslims are allowed to visit them.

    Islam is the only religion in the world that declares Muslims who convert to other faiths apostates and sentences them to death. Islamists enforce this with death fatwas. This is a gross violation of a basic human right which the UN Charter prescribes and all Arab and Muslim countries ratified.

    For Islamists, people who satirize Islamic symbols are declared satanic/heretic and deserve the death penalty. The Muhammad-Cartoons are a case in point.

    Every time a hurricane hits the USA, the Islamists rejoice. They propagate, that is the curse of Allah on the “infidels”. As the tsunami hit South East Asia, Nabeel Al Awadhi claimed in an article for the Kuwaiti Al Watan daily (April 2006), “The tsunami hit more infidels than Muslims.” In’ the same paper, Waleed Al Tabtaba’i concluded (October 5, 2008) that the recent international financial crisis is Allah’ chastisement for the people who deal with riba (usury).” Rajab Al Banna, a columnist with the Egyptian daily, Al Ahram, alleges (May 26, 2007), “Western charity organizations are not interested in humanitarian aid. Their ultimate aim is proselytizing Muslims and help them convert to Christianity.”

    As you can see, the Islamists find always a “rational” explanation to events in the world.

    The Islamist dogma is void and anti-human. But thanks to petrodollars, lack of genuine democracy and freedom of speech in the Arab and Muslim world – which for decades has been ignored by the West for geopolitical and economic interests – and thanks to relativists in their cozy offices, Islamism is thriving and Islamists are emboldened.

    School textbooks in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia, for example, are still teaching hatred and violence against people of other faiths. According to the latest UN Education Report (2007), these books are funded by Saudi Arabia. And no body dare touch on that. Governments and individuals are intimidated. It is allegedly an internal matter, and justified as freedom of belief. This is perverse. Violating basic human rights has nothing to do with freedom of belief.

    The USA and the European Union know all that, yet they have not undertaken concrete measure to ban these toxic textbooks. There must the war on terror begin. Islamists are illiterate in terms of common sense and human civilized coexistence. They are outlaws who need to be re-educated and integrated in our civilized world.

    It is very important to distinguish between ordinary Muslims and Islamists. The majority of Muslims around the globe are peaceful people, more or less religious like all followers of other faiths whether they are Christians, Jews, Hindus, or Buddhists. Every human being must have the right to believe in whatever they deem appropriate, including Islamists. But nobody has the right to IMPOSE his beliefs on other, oppress them, discriminate against them, and terrorize them, as Islamists are doing every day.

    The so-called Mutawa’s, religious police in Saudi Arabia, are empowered to force all women to cover their bodies from head to toe, even 5-year-old girls. Pedestrians during prayer times are forced to go the mosque and pray, sometimes even non-Muslims are forced to do so. Women who travel by taxi alone are accused of adultery. Both the woman and the taxi driver are imprisoned and tortured. In Gaza, Basra/Iraq, south Lebanon, and Iran no woman is allowed to walk in a public place without a hijab (headscarf). In most Egyptian towns, women without a headscarf are denigrated and treated as prostitutes.

    More and more governments in the Middle East, for example, in Egypt, Syria, Kuwait, Pakistan, Morocco, Algeria, Yemen, and Iraq are allying themselves with Islamists in a bid to appease the latter. Demonizing the West would partially appease the Islamists and essentially debilitate the demand for democracy in these countries.

    The problem is not Islam; it has existed for 1400 years and will still, realistically speaking, exist. The problem in the 21st century is the Islamists. They have hijacked both Islam and moderate Muslims. The resources of these thugs must be dried out and this is the responsibility of all of us. We must not be intimidated by them under any circumstances. They are a socio-cultural virus that must be eradicated by all means.

    Finally, a colleague told me, Islam is sick. And its disease is called Islamism. The world community must fight this devastating disease, this Black Death. It is disrupting peace and stability in the whole world. Abdul Hadi Palazzi, an Italian Islam expert said several times, “The Americans should have invaded Saudi Arabia, instead of Iraq. It IS the source of all evil.” I would add Egypt, Qatar, and the UAE. The Islamist establishments in these countries and their media are fostering Islamism. All these regimes proclaim that they are friends of the West, but at the same time they fund and support Islamism. It is, however, clear that America and the West at large would not want to antagonize these regimes for well-known geopolitical and economic considerations.

    *Dr. Sami Alrabaa, an ex-Muslim, is a professor of Sociology and an Arab-Muslim culture specialist. Before moving to Germany he taught at Kuwait University, King Saud University, and Michigan State University

    Thanks to: http://www.islam-watch.org

    Full Article: http://www.islam-watch.org/Sami/Islamism-Socio-Political-Virus.htm
  • Religious Imprinting and Jihadism

    26 Sep 2008, 19:51

    by Amil Imani *



    1. Religious belief is emotional at its core. And emotions are not governed by logic or reason. Becoming religious is similar to imprinting, most dramatically seen in ducklings. During a critical period of time after hatching the ducklings become imprinted on any moving object—be it the mother duck, a mechanical duck, or a moving human. It doesn’t matter. The ducklings simply follow the initially moving object.

    2. Religion, for most part, is infused into the mind of children from the moment of birth. Early childhood is the time that children are most imprintable. The strength and permanence of this imprinting process depend on a variety of influences. Over time, some people retain the initial imprint and strengthen it, some adopt a middle course, and some might even discard it altogether. A significant number in any religious faith becomes extremely committed to the extent that they are willing to kill others and themselves in the service of their religion.

    3. The human mind is a battleground of contending forces where the two most powerful are reason and emotion: where reason assesses life and produces measures that are adaptive, to the best of its ability; while emotion, by-and-large, operates on feelings. Ordinarily, an uneasy truce prevails between the two generally incompatible powers.

    4. In many situations, the clash between dictates of reason and promptings of emotion result in intra-psychic conflicts. In any given case, the conflict may settle by one party getting its way, reaching a compromise, or a deadlock producing paralysis of inaction.

    5. Beliefs, as is the case with all living and non-living complex systems, are targeted by forces that aim to break them down. In the case of beliefs, any threatening event, particularly when severe, produces great anxiety in the believer.

    6. Anxiety produces aversive reaction. The mind deals with anxiety by a mix of chemical and psychological measures. On the psychological side there are defense mechanisms such as rationalization and denial. Both these measures reduce the debilitating impact of anxiety by the person literally misleading himself. Rationalization supplies faulty reasoning by telling the person that the bad thing, or the threat, is not all that bad; while denial completely refuses to admit it exists. Alcoholism, for instance, is known as the disease of denial since the alcoholic denies that he is an alcoholic even in the face of irrefutable objective evidence.

    7. Religious beliefs’ emotional underpinning spawns fanaticism in some of the adherents, since fanaticism is seen as a reflection of one’s true loyalty and strong faith.

    8. Beliefs, be they religious or otherwise, are tied to a central figure such as a prophet, a philosopher, or a social reformer. Particularly in religion, the central figure and his high disciples occupy a rarefied, nearly superhuman, sphere.

    9. It is a human tendency to find a source or a person to whom he can attribute powers and qualities that he himself yearns for, yet he lacks—a father surrogate. People age, but the insecure child within remains at the core of many. It is the child within that attaches himself to an omnipotent father figure.

    10. The founder of a religion presents to the child within the lost father he no longer has or he never had. It is for this reason that the founder of a religion is held at the highest esteem and his edicts are obeyed wholeheartedly by his followers. The believers’ degree of devotion is in direct proportion to the hierarchy of the religious authorities.

    11. In the case of the 12-Imamate Shi’a Islam, for instance, the Imams filled the void that was created by Muhammad’s death. Hence, the Imams are revered with a degree of devotion only one notch below Muhammad himself. In time, the Imams also died. Yet the need for a tangible father-figure remained. The Shiites filled that void by transferring their attachments to a cadre of religious authorities ranging from the highest-ranking Grand Ayatollahs, followed by Ayatollahs, the Hujat-ul-Islams (Islamic adjudicators), and all the way down to the village mullah.

    12. Attributing special powers and capabilities to the father surrogate not only compels the person to ward off anything that threatens to undermine his belief, but to do what he can to further solidify it. This process of protecting one’s belief and shoring it up frequently results in strong emotional attachment to the leader. In a real sense, people see the person as an omnipotent father figure—their savior—who would guide them and minister to their needs not only in this world, but also in the afterlife.

    13. As is the case in all attachments, a price must be paid. The price is often commensurate with the degree of attachment. A religious fanatic is a rigidly-attached believer who is captive of his own emotional excesses. This emotional excess, given the right context, will overrule the dictates of reason and compels the fanatic to carry out any abhorrent act demanded of him rather than sever his emotional fixation on the righteousness of his belief and the authority of his belief leaders.

    14. Islam is an intensely emotional authoritarian system of belief. Hence, Islam induces powerful emotional imprinting in a large percentage of its adherents. It is from this segment of the Muslims that the fanatic jihadists arise and pose existential threat to the “other.” The jihadists are rigidly-imprinted foot-soldier Islamic automatons that have little choice but to carry out the fatwa and dictates of their high-ranking religious leaders such as the Ayatollahs in the case of the Shi’a and Muftis for the Sunni.

    15. For as long as Muslim high priests retain their stranglehold on the masses of Muslims, generation after generation of father-figure seeking jihadists will turn to them, revere them, and carry out their violent decrees obediently.


    *Amil Imani is an Iranian born, pro-democracy activist who resides in the United States of America. He is a poet, writer, literary translator, novelist and an essayist who has been writing and speaking out for the struggling people of his native land, Iran. Amil Imani's Home Page: www.amilimani.com.
  • Metallica @ Bologna

    24 Jul 2008, 16:53

    Tue 22 Jul – European vacation Metallica

    Years passed since my first Metallica live concert in Torino.

    When I think about Metallica my mind aims to: Kill'em All, Ride The Lightning, Master Of Puppets and ..And Justice for All. I personally don't like the last albums.

    I decided to go to see them live because I know they are trying to return to the origin of their legend and sound, hoping they succeeded.

    Their performance was absolutely great from both points of views: technical and energy.

    I don't want to make a precise review, I just want to express my happiness and my emotion, seeing them again being "MetallicA".

    Singing again Seek & Destroy, Master Of Puppets, Creeping Death, One ...made me feel great and free, like a catharsis from the normal days, from the daily shame of this period.

    They kicked me straight in 80's, when I was a little man..but this time I was with my beloved wife, and she was so exited after the concert, after 2 hours of original Metal Sound. She now knows what metal meant for me and for millions of metalheads like me and only a live concert is able to do that!

    Thank you MetallicA.

    Metallica
  • Behemoth in Montreal

    14 Nov 2007, 4:54

    Tue 13 Nov – Behemoth, Job for a Cowboy, Gojira, Beneath the Massacre

    This morning after the business meetings I was walking in Saint Laurent Blvd and I noted "Club Soda" was announcing Behemoth's concert for the evening.
    I checked my agenda and..perfect free..I bought 1 ticket.

    Now I'm just returned to my hotel, in Montreal downtown, after the show.
    The show started with Beneath The Massacre, then Gojira, Job For A Cowboy and finally Behemoth. Gojira impressed me a lot, the other bands not so much except Behemoth, of course.
    I missed them in Florence this summer but I have been lucky to catch them during my travel.
    Nothing to say, they are really great live, they performed songs from The Apostasy and some older.

    Satisfied
  • Counterjihad Brussels 2007

    30 Oct 2007, 18:03

    Counterjihad Brussels 2007
    Country Report: Belgium

    The situation in Belgium does not differ significantly from the situation in other Western European countries, except for the fact that it might be worse here than elsewhere because Belgium is an artificial state without a national identity to defend.

    Belgium, like the rest of Europe, is confronted with welfare immigration. Most immigrants in Belgium are Muslims from Morocco. There is also a significant number of Turkish immigrants.

    The overwhelming majority of the Muslim immigrants did not come to Belgium as so-called “guest workers” in the 1960s and 70s. They arrived since the 1980s purely for the purpose of claiming benefits. They sympathize with the parties of the Left. This is the very reason why the socialist Belgian establishment has given them the right to vote.

    In Antwerp, the Socialist Mayor Leona Detiège defended the policy of granting citizenships (and the subsequent right to participate in the elections) to as many immigrants as possible, on the grounds that the indigenous Flemings are – quote – “politically overrepresented as the immigrants are not allowed to vote” – unquote.

    Belgium is confronted with the phenomenon of Islamo-socialism – an alliance between Muslims and the Socialist Party leadership. The latter has seen its traditional blue-collar voters flock to conservative parties, such as ours, and hopes to find a new electoral base.

    This strategy has worked. In last year’s local elections in Belgium the immigrant vote tipped the balance in favour of the Left.
    In Brussels more than one fifth of the municipal councillors are now immigrants of non-European origin. Most of them are Muslims, and most of them have been elected as Socialists, though many have also been welcomed as Christian-Democrat trade unionists on the lists of the Christian-Democrat Party.

    In the Brussels borough of Sint-Joost-ten-Node 11 of the 16 Socialist municipal councillors are non-European immigrants, as are 4 of the 5 Christian-Democrats, 2 of the 3 Liberals.

    In Antwerp one third of the Socialist councillors are Muslims, as are one third of the Christian-Democrat councillors. According to the Marxist sociologist Jan Hertogen – quote – “The immigrants saved democracy in Belgium” – unquote. Hertogen calculated that if the franchise had not been extended to immigrants my party, the Vlaams Belang, would have polled over 40 per cent in Antwerp instead of 33.5 per cent.

    In other towns the situation is similar. In Ghent, one quarter of the Socialist councillors are Muslims. In Vilvoorde, a Flemish town 20 km north of Brussels, half the Socialist representatives are Muslims.

    The authorities turn a blind eye tot the radicals because they want to buy the Muslim vote and the radicals control the Muslim population. The Socialists even help the radicals in their efforts to control the Muslim population.

    Last year, immediately after the elections, the Antwerp city council sacked Marij Uijt den Bogaard, an Antwerp civil servant who worked in the immigrant neighbourhoods. Uijt den Bogaard witnessed how Salafist extremists were taking over these neighbourhoods and wrote alarming reports for the city authorities about the growing radicalization. This brought her into conflict, both with the Islamists and her bosses in the city.

    The city warned her that her reports were unacceptable and that she had to – quote – “change her attitude” – unquote.
    When she persisted, she was sacked and her job was given to a radical Salafist. The latter now works for the city, supervising 25 Antwerp Moroccan mosques.

    So far Belgium has never been the scene of Muslim terrorism, although Islamists frequently use the country as a logistic support base for actions elsewhere. The Madrid train bombings of 11 March 2004 were planned in Belgium. The Belgian authorities have always categorically denied it, but there are persistent rumours that Brussels has made a deal with the terrorists, agreeing to turn a blind eye to conspiracies hatched on Belgian soil in exchange for immunity from attack. In a GIA statement, addressing the Belgian King Albert II but posted to the French embassy in Brussels in June 1999, the Algerian terror movement explicitly referred to such a deal.

    In May 2002, the Belgian Parliamentary Committee controlling the State Intelligence Services published the report of its “inquiry into the ways in which the intelligence services screen extremist and terrorist Islamic activities”. The report confirms that Belgium is the logistical hub of Islamist terrorists. The report states that the Belgian secret service does not screen Muslim radicals, because (a) it is under-funded and under-staffed; (b) it relies on a mutual understanding that the terrorists won’t attack in Belgium; and (c) it fears being accused of racism or xenophobia towards Muslims and immigrants.

    According to the report, the Belgian Muslim community, officially numbering 350,000 members, of whom 200,000 Moroccans and 100,000 Turks, has been heavily infiltrated by fundamentalist extremists since the mid-1980s.

    Thirty of Belgium’s 300 mosques, the report says, are run by fundamentalist clerics. Candidates for the Jihad are being recruited amongst Muslims in schools, prisons, hospitals and sports centres. Belgium has officially recognized the Muslim religion and consequently subsidizes Islamic clerics and teachers. The latter have free access to Belgian primary and secondary schools. The authorities fail to control what these people are propagating. The report warns that the fundamentalist Saudi-backed Salafi movement is creating a religious state within the Belgian state. The biggest mosque in Belgium, the Great Mosque of Brussels, is controlled by Saudi sects. It is the headquarters of the Islamic Cultural Centre of Belgium. This institution employs 600 Muslim teachers whose wages are paid by the Belgian state. According to the report, the Centre operates its own “Islamic police”, supervising certain Brussels neighbourhoods with a large concentration of Muslims.

    The report says that Brussels has become an ideal logistics centre for international terrorist groups, because of Belgium’s open-door immigration policy, the deliberate “hands-off” policy of the authorities towards the mosques and Islamic centres, the geographical position of Belgium and the fact that French is an official language in Brussels, which makes the city attractive to North Africans.

    Godelieve Timmermans, the head of the Belgian state security, resigned after details of the report had been leaked to the press. Unfortunately, the situation has not improved in the past five years. Only last month Jean-Claude Delepière, the head of OCAD, the Belgian government’s terrorism watchdog, said that “there is no substantial evidence” that the risk of a terror attack in Belgium has grown because-quote – “Belgium is careful to avoid any aggressive attitude that may provoke negative reactions from Muslims” –unquote.

    Indeed, Belgium takes care not to provoke negative reactions from Islamists. Undoubtedly, this was also the reason why last month a pan-European anti-Islamization demonstration in Brussels was banned by the authorities and why the peaceful demonstrators were beaten up by the police. Appeasement is not new in Belgium. Throughout its history Belgium has always appeased its enemies. Apparently, Belgium has not learned the lessons from its history.

    Radical Islam is conquering Belgium and Europe by massive immigration and high birthrates. Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi states it this way: “We have 50 million Muslims in Europe. They are a sign that Allah will give Islam victory over Europe — without swords, without cannons, without conquest. The 50 million Muslims in Europe will turn Europe Muslim within a few decades. Allah is mobilizing Muslim Turkey to adds that to the European Union. That is an addition of 50 million more Muslims. Then there will be 100 million Muslims in Europe. Albania, which is a Muslim country is already in the EU. Bosnia which is a Muslim country is already in the EU. 50% of the population in those countries are Muslim.” (Al Jazeera television, April 10 2006). Gadaffi might be right.

    In my home city, Antwerp, we count up to seventy thousand Muslims, or up to 15% of the population. In the municipal elementary schools of Antwerp, the Islamic children represent over one third of the school population. This number increases year after year. If this evolution persists, Antwerp will be a Islamic city by 2050. In Brussels, our nations capital, the situation is even more critical. Nowadays natives are already a minority in Brussels, over half the Brussels population has foreign roots. One third of the total population in Brussels is Muslim. For newborns in both Antwerp and Brussels, Muhammed is the most often received first name.

    Simultaneously, a frightening trend of radicalisation can be observed among Muslim youth throughout Flanders. An inquiry among five hundred Muslim youngsters revealed that half of them is convinced that the Koran should be followed literally. Two thirds indicated that they would force their children to become Muslim as well. Only a quarter of the respondents answered in denial to the question whether Muslims are better people than non-Muslims. This radicalisation is spurred by frequent visits of radical Islam websites. Almost every Muslim has access to satellite television, where they pick up radical Islam channels.

    The increasing demographic weight of the Muslim community, and the growing radicalisation among Muslims are putting our society under great pressure. Both Brussels and Antwerp have been the scene of ethnic and religious inspired violence. Young Muslims bring destruction, they harass natives and even policemen. Electoral considerations and the fear of escalation shape the policy of giving in to the demands of the Muslim community. Even basic democratic principles and acquirements of our Western civilisation are endangered, as for example the equality of men and women, or the separation of church and state.

    Let me give you some examples from Antwerp:

    - Antwerp was the first of many cities in Flanders to allow for restricted opening hours for men in public swimming pools, in advantage of Muslim women, since their partners don’t grant them the presence of other men.
    - All school meals in Antwerp are prepared “halal” according to Muslim regulation. School forms explicit note that pig or horse meat is completely banned from school menus – even for Christian pupils. This solely to meet Muslim demands.
    - The neutrality of public service in Antwerp was contaminated by a growing number of Muslim clerks at reception desks. Therefore the town council intended to ban all expressions of religion whatsoever. This ban would imply for both the Muslim veil, Jewish kippa and Christian crucifix alike. Muslims protested furiously and demanded a general prohibition of Christmas trees and Easter chocolates on the work floor. The ban on veils was immediately withdrawn, mysteriously the prohibition on crucifixes and kippas was maintained.

    It must be clear in meantime that the theory of “appeasement” has failed. The more we give in to Muslim demands, the higher the next demand turns out to be. Flemish leading islamologist in Europe, professor Urbain Vermeulen, leaves no margin for misinterpretation concerning the Muslims motivation. I quote: “They simply don’t want to integrate. If they want an integration, than it is according to their Islamic morals. They intend to live in OUR nations, according to THEIR rules. And if this disbelieving regime allows for it, the better for them. Therefore I dare to say that wearing a veil, the continuing claim for generalisation of certain Islamic rules, the enforcement of Muslim rules in the name of the constitutional separation of church – excuse me – mosque and state, are all in essence rejections of our society as a whole.”. End quote. (HLN 27/10/2004)

    Hind Fraihi is a reporter for a Flemish newspaper. Having immigrant roots herself, she went undercover two years ago for two months in Molenbeek, a suburb of Brussels with a very high concentration of Muslim immigrants. The outcome of her investigation was clear as crystal. I quote: “The Muslims of Molenbeek have chosen a different path, separate from integration; a path of a Moroccan Muslim state within Belgium. The Muslims of Molenbeek all seem to be made out of the same stuff. Their lives are determined by Islam, Islam, a thousand fold Islam. The evil of the world is the work of “despicable Zionists”. The Palestinian issue and Islamic martyrs are cherished.” End quote (Nieuwsblad 17/03/2005). Fraihi observed how public life in Molenbeek was completely organised by Muslim regulation: fitness centres apply completely separated opening hours for men and women, bookstores sell radical Islam literature, and pig meat can’t be found in a butcher far or near.

    I believe there exists a masterplan to submit, first our cities and later Europa as a whole to Islam. Islamic organisations are creating ghetto’s in certain neighbourhoods of our cities. They strive after segregation of the Muslim communities to keep the Muslims living in these cities under control. These faithful Muslims live together in de Islamised neighbourhoods of our cities, where they go to the mosques and Koran schools, go to Arabic shops that only sell halal food, join the Islamic organisations who took over the original social tissue in a very short term. Non-Muslims are not welcome anymore in these neighbourhoods. Integration of the Muslims in our society is made impossible that way.

    In neighbourhoods with a Muslim majority, the radical Muslims try to impose the extreme Muslim way of life on the other Muslims. Everything not in line with Islam, has to deal with tremendous pressure. Step by step the sharia is imposed on these neighbourhoods. Women reluctant to wearing a veil are insulted, threatened and even under physical attack. In some Muslim neighbourhoods a kind of religious police force is keeping an eye on dressing. Last year in the Antwerp suburb Borgerhout, with now almost half of the population Muslim, radicals disturbed and interrupted a music festival. Visitors were intimidated or stripped of entrance tickets. The entrance was charged by a group of young, fired up radical Muslims. Also in Borgerhout, this year, in some areas the bartenders are threatened not to serve any alcoholic beverages any longer.

    By this concentration politics, radical Muslims are deliberately creating Muslim enclaves in our cities, who isolate themselves from our society. This ghetto strategy stimulates the white flight of the indigenous people out of the neighbourhoods and cities. These neighbourhoods are used as a bridgeheads of the radical Islam to conquer the city as a whole. If the evolution persists, cities like Antwerp en Brussels in Belgium, but also Marseille and Lille in France, Birmingham and Bradford in the United Kingdom and Stuttgart en Frankfurt in Germany risk to become Islamic cities in a few decades.

    One may wonder how this is going to end up if Belgian policies don’t change? The Flemish islamologist professor Urbain Vermeulen is very clear about this: “In thirty to forty years the region ranging from the North of France Lille – Roubaix – Tourcoing to Amsterdam will be one Islamic enclave. Flanders and Brussels lay in the centre of it. In twenty years Brussels will be the largest Maghreban city outside of the Maghreb. (…) Our society will be destabilised. Muslims will continue to launch problem after problem, increase o their demands and they will determine the public life. This may be the end of the mainly European civilisation”. My party will do its very best to prevent that this dark scenario becomes reality. (HLN 27/10/2004)

    Filip Dewinter - 18-10-2007
  • SHARIAH: Do you want this come true in Europe?

    23 Oct 2007, 12:16

    Dargai, 23 Oct. (AKI/DAWN) - The attendance girls' schools in a town in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province dropped drastically on Monday after a deadline set by local militants ended on Sunday. They had made it ‘mandatory’ for girls to wear the burqa or full veil to school.

    The Pakistani daily Dawn contacted some of the students who said they belonged to poor families and did not have enough money to buy or sew burqas, which cost between 600 and 800 rupees (about 9-13 US dollars) a piece. They said that under the circumstances, the only option they had was to abandon their education.

    Local militants, who call themselves ‘Janbaz Taliban’, have been sending letters to educational institutions for girls, including the Girls’ Degree College in Dargai, about 100 kilometres north of the provincial capital Peshawar.

    The letters warn the school and college administrations to direct their students to completely cover themselves by wearing the traditional head-to-toe burqa.

    They had stated that institutions whose students failed to follow their ‘orders’, would be blown up.

    The radicals had also ‘directed’ girls to avoid sitting in the front portions of vehicles with drivers while coming and going from schools or colleges.

    An official at the Girls’ Degree College said that about 800 students were enrolled in the institution but attendance on Monday was very thin as compared to normal days.

    “Almost 50 percent of students already prefer to wear the burqa. Students, who could not afford to buy or sew a burqa, had stayed away from the college on Monday,” she added.

    Currently, there are two militant organisations operating in Dargai, Malakand Agency — one is called Janbaz Taliban and the other the Islami Taliban.

    Initially, videos and CD centres were targeted. People selling videos and CDs have now abandoned their businesses.

    In the adjacent Swat district of NWFP, the provincial education department has already made it compulsory for students to wear a burqa.


    http://www.adnkronos.com/AKI/English/Security/?id=1.0.1462734207

    Do you really want this come true in Europe? If you think Europe and Western Civilization is under threat by islam's political agenda join:

    http://sioe.wordpress.com/
    http://counterjihadeuropa.wordpress.com
  • Brussels Declaration

    23 Oct 2007, 8:23

    Brussels Declaration

    We, the people of Europe, hereby affirm our common values. They are based not on a single culture or tradition but are founded in all of the cultures that make up modern Europe.

    * We affirm the worth, dignity and autonomy of every individual, and the right of everyone to the greatest possible freedom compatible with the rights of others. We support democracy and human rights and aim at the fullest possible development of every human being.
    * We recognise our duty of care to all of humanity including future generations, and our dependence on and responsibility for the natural world.
    * We affirm the equality of men and women. All persons regardless of race, origin, religion or belief, language, gender, sexual orientation or ability must have equal treatment before the law.
    * We affirm the right of everyone to adopt and follow a religion or belief of their choosing. But the beliefs of any group may not be used to limit the rights of others.
    * We hold that the state must remain neutral in matters of religion and belief, favouring none and discriminating against none.
    * We hold that personal liberty must be combined with social responsibility. We seek to create a fair society based on reason and compassion, in which every citizen is enabled to play their full part.
    * We uphold both tolerance and freedom of expression
    * We affirm the right of everyone to open and comprehensive education.
    * We reject intimidation, violence and incitement to violence in the furtherance of disputes, and hold that conflicts must be resolved through negotiation and by legal means.
    * We uphold freedom of inquiry in every sphere of human life, and the application of science in the service of human welfare. We seek to use science creatively, not destructively.
    * We uphold artistic freedom, value creativity and imagination, and recognise the transforming power of art. We affirm the importance of literature, music, and the visual and performing arts for personal development and fulfilment.

    Made this 25th day of March 2007, being the 50th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and the foundation of the European Union.

    The Declaration was formally launched in Brussels on 27th February, ahead of the 50th Anniversary celebrations of the signing of the Treaty of Rome on March 25th.