Press enter to see results or esc to cancel.

A Religion Cannot Be Bad…

Nor can a culture. We all just have to accept one another and learn from one another.

Yes. Lovely. Except that accepting this lovely idea means ignoring virtually the whole of world history.

Andrew McCarthy at the NRO notes a particularly egregious example of sharia in practice – a fourteen year old girl who had been raped by a forty year old neighbour was sentenced to 100 lashes for illicit sexual activity, but died after 80 lashes.

14 Year Old Hena Begum Died After Receiving 80 Lashes for Having Been Raped

Andrew notes:

When I catalogue the horrors of sharia, I frequently hear in response that I am oversimplifying it, that I am relying on incorrect interpretations (oddly said to be inaccurate because they construe Islamic doctrine “too literally”), or that I fail to appreciate the richness and nuances of sharia jurisprudence that have made it possible for moderate Muslims to evolve away from the law’s harshness. Some even claim sharia is not a concrete body of law, just a set of  aspirational guidelines — as if Sakineh Ashtiani, the woman sentenced by an Iranian court to death by stoning, will merely be having advice, rather than rocks, thrown at her …

 These criticisms miss the point … It should by now be undeniable that there is an interpretation of sharia that affirms all its atrocious elements, and that this interpretation is not a fringe construction. It is mainstream and backed by very influential scholars who know a hell of a lot more about Islam than we in the West do. That makes it extremely unlikely that this interpretation will be marginalized any time soon. There is no agreed-upon hierarchical authority in Islam that can authoritatively pronounce that various beliefs and practices are heretical. The closest thing Muslims have is the faculty at al-Azhar University in Egypt, and it is a big part of the problem. Whether this fundamentalist interpretation is accepted by only 20 or 30 percent of Muslims — or whether, as I believe, the percentage is higher, perhaps much higher — that still makes it the belief system of almost half a billion people worldwide. That’s not a fringe.

No it’s not. And, pretending it is means we are blind to the likely outcome of elections in Egypt – another hardline islamist state – and to the infuence of that outcome on the rest of the Middle East.

Daniel Greenfield at Sultan Knish makes the same point, but better:

59 percent of Egyptian Muslims want democracy and 95 percent want Islam to play a large part in politics. 84 percent believe apostates should face the death penalty. That is what Egyptian democracy will look like. A unanimous majority that wants an Islamic state and a bare majority that wants democracy. Which one do you think will win out? A democratic majority of the country supports murdering people in the name of Islam. Mubarak’s government does not execute apostates or adulterers. But a democratic Egypt will. Why? Because it’s the will of the people.

The cheerleaders shaking their pom poms for Egyptian democracy don’t seem to grasp that the outcome could be anything other than positive …

We fought to free Korea and Vietnam from Communism, but we lacked one basic thing. Ground level support from the people we were fighting to protect. Today South Koreans like Kim Jong Il more than they like us. We fought to free the tyrants of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia from Saddam Hussein. As a reward, they financed the terrorists who have been killing us ever since. We fought to free Iraq from Saddam, and the entire country imploded into armed camps. Our “Victory in Iraq” came about because we cut a deal with the Baathists against the Shiites and Al Qaeda, essentially restoring a broken version of Saddam’s old status quo. We fought to liberate Afghanistan, and now we find ourselves allied with some Muslim warlords who abuse women and rape little boys– against the other Muslim warlords who abuse women and rape little boys.

Handing out democracy like candy does not fix existing cultural problems. It does not end bigotry, free women or stop murder in the name of Allah. Open elections are only as good as the people participating in them. And the 84 percent of Egyptians who want to murder apostates have issues that democracy will not solve. The problem with Egypt is not Mubarak– but the Egyptians.

Let’s take another example. In Jordan, the next target on the freedom tour, King Hussein passed a bill to criminalize the honor killings of women. And their democratically elected parliament voted 60 to 25 to strike the bill down. It took them only 3 minutes. That’s what democracy would mean for the Jordanian girls murdered by their husbands, brothers and fathers. The right of the people and their duly elected representatives to legalize the murder of women …

Egypt’s period of greatest liberalization was under British rule. Since then its cosmopolitan nightspots have been torched and it has drifted closer to Islamization. Even Egypt’s current level of human rights under Mubarak is above that of most of its neighbors. And the reason for that is Mubarak’s ties to America. The more democratic Egypt becomes, the more its civil rights will diminish. Its rulers will see social issues as an easy way to compromise with the Muslim Brotherhood. As Egypt’s cultural ties to the West diminish, so will its freedoms …

A people who do not believe in the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness will not be free no matter how many times they go to the polls. You can place voting booths outside every home and run elections every week, and it will still do no good. Freedom may be the birthright of every man, woman and child on earth– but it cannot be theirs until they claim it. As long as they believe in the right of the majority to oppress the minority, in the value of order over liberty, and the supremacy of the mosque over any and all civil and legal rights– then they will never be free. Never. Their elections will either give rise to chaos or tyranny. That is how it is in the Middle East. That is how it will always be until they claim their birthright by closing the Koran and opening their minds.

A Renewable Energy Project That Doesn’t Cost More Than It Saves

via Instapundit.

These low tech, fuel efficient wood burning stoves are a renewable energy project that will save lives, by leaving more time for mothers to spend with their children, and more money to be spent on food and medical care.

You can help – just follow the link.

Of course, if we really want to help people out of poverty, nuclear power would be better. But this is a good start.

Ann Timson Is My Hero

Ann Timson, a  71 year old armed only with a handbag, thought someone was in trouble and came running, taking on six young men armed with hammers:

A British grandmother who “clobbered” a gang of sledgehammer-wielding jewel thieves with her handbag credited her “mother’s instinct” for spurring her into action.

Ann Timson, 71, was captured on video hitting three of the six helmet-clad robbers, causing one to fall off his moped as he tried to make his escape during the botched raid in Northampton, central England.

“I saw a kid run up to the doorway of the jeweller,” Ms Timson said.

“Three lads followed him and when I saw their arms going, I thought the kid was being beaten up.

“My mother’s instinct kicked in and I ran across the road shouting at the lads to stop it.

“As I got closer I saw it was a robbery, and then I was even more angry,” the former market trader added.

“One of the gang shot off… I clobbered him with my shopping.

“I landed several blows against one lad… and brought him to the ground.

“He raised a hammer to me so I kept hitting out. It seemed to be over in seconds.”

There a few versions of this video, but this one, with Elgar’s Land of Hope and Glory, and the words of Churchill in the background, captures it best. It is because of the courage of people like Ann that England is a land of hope, and because ordinary people like her step in when needed that Churchill’s words still ring true today:

Sorry -the version with Elgar and Churchill has been removed from youtube. This is the same video, though.

Thanks, Ann.

Cultural Differences

And editorial differences, too.

Nine News reports that four Perth taxi drivers have been charged with sex offences. No names. Nothing about cultural differences.

Perth Now covers the same story, but notes that two or three (Singh could be Sikh) of the four have islamic names. One of them is called Arshad. Seriously.

Perth Now also notes:

The allegations against the drivers have prompted police to concede there are some “cultural issues” within the taxi industry which need eradicating.

Detective Senior Sergeant John Hindriksen of the Police Sex Assault Squad said the majority of WA taxi drivers were doing a “great job” but that a small minority were bringing the industry into disrepute.

“Certainly there are some cultural issues within the industry,” Det Snr Sgt Hindriksen said.

 Nine News makes a deliberate choice to leave out that information. Why?

Economist Intelligence Unit – Not So Intelligent

I have said repeatedly that the NBN is a dumb idea – grossly overpriced and completely unnecessary.

So you might think I’d agree with the Economist Intelligence Unit that the Australian Labor government’s NBN is not a good plan because it is going to cost a lot more money and deliver slower speeds that South Korea’s similar proposals.

On this, a spokewoman for Communication Minister Stephen Conroy:

“Comparing Australia to Korea is like comparing apples to oranges. Investment in Australia’s road, rail, telecommunications and utility infrastructure faces vastly different factors than countries such as South Korea,” she said.

“Australia’s land mass is over 7.6 million square kilometres compared with South Korea’s which is just over 100,000 square kilometres. Australia has a population density of 2.7 people per sq/km compared with 487 people per sq/km for South Korea.

She’s right. For any group calling itself intelligent, that is not a terribly intelligent comparison to make.

And the NBN is still a dumb idea.

Scientists vs Alarmists

A letter from 36 leading climate scientists responding to the latest round of alarmism. Longish, but worth quoting in full:

February 8, 2011

To the Members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate:
In reply to “The Importance of Science in Addressing Climate Change”

On 28 January 2011, eighteen scientists sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of
Representatives and the U.S. Senate urging them to “take a fresh look at climate change.” Their
intent, apparently, was to disparage the views of scientists who disagree with their contention
that continued business-as-usual increases in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions produced from the burning of coal, gas, and oil will lead to a host of cataclysmic climate-related problems.

We, the undersigned, totally disagree with them and would like to take this opportunity to briefly
state our side of the story.

The eighteen climate alarmists (as we refer to them, not derogatorily, but simply because they
view themselves as “sounding the alarm” about so many things climatic) state that the people of
the world “need to prepare for massive flooding from the extreme storms of the sort being
experienced with increasing frequency,” as well as the “direct health impacts from heat waves”
and “climate-sensitive infectious diseases,” among a number of other devastating phenomena.
And they say that “no research results have produced any evidence that challenges the overall
scientific understanding of what is happening to our planet’s climate,” which is understood to
mean their view of what is happening to Earth’s climate.

To these statements, however, we take great exception. It is the eighteen climate alarmists who appear to be unaware of “what is happening to our planet’s climate,” as well as the vast amount of research that has produced that knowledge.

For example, a lengthy review of their claims and others that climate alarmists frequently make
can be found on the Web site of the Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
(see http://www.co2science.org/education/reports/prudentpath/prudentpath.php). That report
offers a point-by-point rebuttal of all of the claims of the “group of eighteen,” citing in every
case peer-reviewed scientific research on the actual effects of climate change during the past
several decades.

If the “group of eighteen” pleads ignorance of this information due to its very recent posting,
then we call their attention to an even larger and more comprehensive report published in 2009,
Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on
Climate Change (NIPCC). That document has been posted for more than a year in its entirety at
www.nipccreport.org.

These are just two recent compilations of scientific research among many we could cite. Do the
678 scientific studies referenced in the CO2 Science document, or the thousands of studies cited
in the NIPCC report, provide real-world evidence (as opposed to theoretical climate model
predictions) for global warming-induced increases in the worldwide number and severity of
floods? No. In the global number and severity of droughts? No. In the number and severity of
hurricanes and other storms? No.

Do they provide any real-world evidence of Earth’s seas inundating coastal lowlands around the
globe? No. Increased human mortality? No. Plant and animal extinctions? No. Declining
vegetative productivity? No. More frequent and deadly coral bleaching? No. Marine life
dissolving away in acidified oceans? No.

Quite to the contrary, in fact, these reports provide extensive empirical evidence that these things are not happening. And in many of these areas, the referenced papers report finding just the opposite response to global warming, i.e., biosphere-friendly effects of rising temperatures and rising CO2 levels.

In light of the profusion of actual observations of the workings of the real world showing little or
no negative effects of the modest warming of the second half of the twentieth century, and
indeed growing evidence of positive effects, we find it incomprehensible that the eighteen
climate alarmists could suggest something so far removed from the truth as their claim that no
research results have produced any evidence that challenges their view of what is happening to
Earth’s climate and weather.

But don’t take our word for it. Read the two reports yourselves. And then make up your own
minds about the matter. Don’t be intimidated by false claims of “scientific consensus” or
“overwhelming proof.” These are not scientific arguments and they are simply not true.
Like the eighteen climate alarmists, we urge you to take a fresh look at climate change. We
believe you will find that it is not the horrendous environmental threat they and others have made it out to be, and that they have consistently exaggerated the negative effects of global warming on the U.S. economy, national security, and public health, when such effects may well be small to negligible.

Signed by:
Syun-Ichi Akasofu, University of Alaska1
Scott Armstrong, University of Pennsylvania
James Barrante, Southern Connecticut State University1
Richard Becherer, University of Rochester
John Boring, University of Virginia
Roger Cohen, American Physical Society Fellow
David Douglass, University of Rochester
Don Easterbrook, Western Washington University1
Robert Essenhigh, The Ohio State University1
Martin Fricke, Senior Fellow, American Physical Society
Lee Gerhard, University of Kansas1
Ulrich Gerlach, The Ohio State University
Laurence Gould, University of Hartford
Bill Gray, Colorado State University1
Will Happer, Princeton University2
Howard Hayden, University of Connecticut1
Craig Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Sherwood Idso, USDA, U.S. Water Conservation Laboratory1
Richard Keen, University of Colorado
Doral Kemper, USDA, Agricultural Research Service1
Hugh Kendrick, Office of Nuclear Reactor Programs, DOE1
Richard Lindzen, Massachusetts Institute of Technology2
Anthony Lupo, University of Missouri
Patrick Michaels, Cato Institute
Donald Nielsen, University of California, Davis1
Al Pekarek, St. Cloud State University
John Rhoads, Midwestern State University1
Nicola Scafetta, Duke University
Gary Sharp, Center for Climate/Ocean Resources Study
S. Fred Singer, University of Virginia1
Roy Spencer, University of Alabama
George Taylor, Past President, American Association of State Climatologists
Frank Tipler, Tulane University
Leonard Weinstein, National Institute of Aerospace Senior Research Fellow
Samuel Werner, University of Missouri1
Thomas Wolfram, University of Missouri1

Endorsed by:
Rodney Armstrong, Geophysicist
Edwin Berry, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Joseph Bevelacqua, Bevelacqua Resources
Carmen Catanese, American Physical Society Member
Roy Clark, Ventura Photonics
John Coleman, Meteorologist KUSI TV
Darrell Connelly, Geophysicist
Joseph D’Aleo, Certified Consulting Meteorologist
Terry Donze, Geophysicist1
Mike Dubrasich, Western Institute for Study of the Environment
John Dunn, American Council on Science and Health of NYC
Dick Flygare, QEP Resources
Michael Fox, Nuclear industry/scientist
Gordon Fulks, Gordon Fulks and Associates
Ken Haapala, Science & Environmental Policy Project
Martin Hertzberg, Bureau of Mines1
Art Horn, Meteorologist
Keith Idso, Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change
Jay Lehr, The Heartland Institute
Robert Levine, Industrial and Defense Research and Engineering1
Peter Link, Geologist
James Macdonald, Chief Meteorologist for the Travelers Weather Service1
Roger Matson, Society of Independent Professional Earth Scientists
Tony Pann, Meteorologist WBAL TV
Ned Rasor, Consulting Physicist
James Rogers, Geologist1
Norman Rogers, National Association of Scholars
Thomas Sheahen, Western Technology Incorporated
Andrew Spurlock, Starfire Engineering and Technologies, Inc.
Leighton Steward, PlantsNeedCO2.org
Soames Summerhays, Summerhays Films, Inc.
Charles Touhill, Consulting Environmental Engineer
David Wojick, Climatechangedebate.org

1 – Emeritus or Retired
2 – Member of the National Academy of Sciences

From The Science and Environmental Policy Project.

Stick Your Panels Where The Sun Don’t Shine

Sigh… If only it were that easy.

Had a letter from the Kangaroo Island Council today, inviting us (and every other ratepayer) to an information session on the ‘Solar Councils Community Program.’

This is free advertising for one of the solar panel carpetbaggers – ZEN Home Energy Systems. KI Council thoughtfully enclosed a brochure so we could be impressed by how green and nice and renewable and sustainable and everything their panels are.

They even won an award – from the Municipal Association of Victoria, the ‘Award of Excellence in Sustainability.’ So they must be good, eh. Choice, bro!

Of course, they give money to the local Council too, in the form of grants for a local ‘Renewable Energy research Fund,’ which will be used to investigate further options to cut greenhouse gas emissions in local areas.

Perhaps they could investigate the number of vegetarians eating excessive amounts of cabbage.

The brochure tells us that ‘The introduction of renewable energy in communities has the potential to create jobs through the greater take up of renewable energy opportunities and growing industry. it will ultimately lead to lower power bills.’

Lovely. Except that nothing in that sentence is true.

The experience of every country that has ‘created jobs’ through the installation of photo-voltaics is that approximately 5 jobs are lost for every job created. This is because it takes an average of $400,000 in subsidies (in other words, money taken from taxpayers) to create each new job.

That is money taken from businesses which are creating something useful or offering useful services. It is money that cannot be spent employing people to create those useful things, because the government is taking it to spend on solar panels.

If solar panels really did save more energy than they cost, they wouldn’t need to be subsidised.

And as for leading to lower power bills – ROTFL!

Well I would be if it were not so damned tragic. Solar subsidies will actually raise power costs by about 20%. And this, like every other increase in basic living costs, will impact most on people who can least afford it.

But who cares, as long as the government looks like it’s being green and responsible and stuff, and the solar carpet-baggers are making their loot?

I do, for one.

The subsidies are wrong, the advertising dishonest, and the overall cost to the consumer and the wider community ridiculously expensive. Rooftop solar schemes will increase unemployment, and because of the utterly useless increased taxes they require, reduce our competitiveness in industry and export.

So should I get solar panels? The problem is that whether I get them or not, I am still paying for them – both in the initial subsidies and the in the ongoing forced (by the government) payment by power companies of excessive rates for solar power fed back into the grid – payments which increase the cost of power for everyone.

Even with the subsidies they would barely save me anything over their lifetime. And straight away that tells you there is something wrong. If they really did save energy they would be cheaper. They wouldn’t need to be subsidised. But I’ve already said that. 

So should I get them?

I would be participating in a scheme that rips everyone off if I do.

But I’m paying for them anyway. I feel like I’m ripping myself off if I don’t.

Nonie Darwish On The Enemy Within

Nonie Darwish says she believes it was inevitable the Muslim Brotherhood would take edvantage of any civil unrest after what they would have seen as encouragement in President Obama’s Cairo speech:

I foresaw that there could be an uprising in Egypt that would empower the Brotherhood right after I heard Obama’s Cairo speech. Losing Egypt and perhaps more other countries may be Obama’s legacy. Obama has empowered the Islamists not only in the Muslim world, but also inside in the U.S. Could anyone have imagined the U.S. president support the building of a mosque on Ground Zero against the wishes of his own people and the families of the victims?

Christians in Egypt

From The Barnabas Fund:

As Egypt descends into deeper unrest … the country’s Christians are falling victim to the chaos as their shops are looted and essential supplies start to run out.

The majority of Egyptian Christians already live in extreme poverty, and as the demonstrations paralyse daily life, their struggle to make ends meet has become harder. While many shops are being attacked and looted, Christian shops have been particularly targeted.

Christian gatherings and church meetings have been cancelled, while some church minsters are sleeping in their church buildings to protect them from attack. A Barnabas Fund contact said that believers were staying in their homes, where they are “praying hard” and “trusting God” amid the tumult.

Egypt’s Christian community was already feeling under threat following targeted attacks, most notably the suicide bombing at a church in Alexandria on New Year’s Day that killed at least 21 worshippers. Now they find themselves caught up in an escalating political crisis that could have worrying implications for their future.

Though the unrest is essentially fuelled by economic, social and political grievances, there are growing fears that radical Islamists may capitalise on it to seize power. The Muslim Brotherhood, which is backing influential opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, is the only large, organised opposition group.

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton warned this weekend that Egypt’s ancient Christian minority could become increasingly endangered should President Hosni Mubarak be ousted:

“It is really legitimate for the (Christians) to be worried that instability (will) follow Mubarak’s fall and his replacement with the Muslim Brotherhood.”

In addition to the targeted, violent attacks, Egyptian Christians face discrimination in many areas of life, such as in education and employment. Conditions for them would only worsen under an Islamic regime.

On The Dishonesty of the Mainstream Media

No blow too low!

That could well be the motto of some of Australia’s legacy media outlets.

The latest example is the claim that Tony Abbott made light of an Australian soldier’s death by saying ‘Well, shit happens.’

He did say that. But not about the soldier’s death.

The claim that he did is simply, and outrageously, dishonest. But I guess it makes a good headline.

Sometimes I wonder how some of these slimo journalists can sleep at night. Anyone who works for the fag end of Australian news organisations, Channel 7, for example:

In a 7 News exclusive, Tony Abbott has been caught on tape making an insensitive remark about one of our fallen soldiers while visiting Afghanistan.

What Channel 7 means by ‘exclusive’ is that they made it up all by themselves.

But whatever the garbage is, it won’t be exclusive for long. Other losers like Malcolm Fart, sorry Farr, national editor for making stuff up and ripping off other people’s stories at news.com, can be relied on to repeat anything as gospel if they think it will gain a few more readers.

So what was Tony talking about? The fact that, no matter how well tactics are planned and resources allocated, in battle things will sometimes go wrong, and when they do, this does not mean anyone is to blame.

Mark Riley – the dim-witted self righteous arse at Channel 7 who made up this story – deserves a lot more than 45 seconds of silence and a stony glare.

If any integrity at all was required for a job with Australia’s mainstream media he would be out on his shiny bum.

NSW Labor To Voters: If We Give You Money Will You Vote For Us?

Answer: No.

Kristina Keneally has one significant advantage in announcing policies (I use the word loosely): she doesn’t have to worry about being around to implement them.

With that knowledge, it’s a surprise that the fag end of New South Wales government hasn’t gone much further than yesterday’s $250 electricity rebate giveaway. Why stop there? How about a $500 rebate on gas bills, $1000 cash back on bus tickets and $2000 for dog registration? And a free airconditioner personally installed by Mark Taylor just for asking?

Can Obama Really be That Naive?

‘Don’t worry about the Muslim Brotherhood’, President Obama is reported as saying, ‘they don’t have majority support.’

Maybe not, but they do have majority support for the majority of things they believe in – an islamist state, sharia law, beheading people who leave islam, stoning adulters, war with Israel, etc.

And they are the only well organised opposition, the only opposition likely to be able to field and fund a large number of candidates.

I heartily agree with the implied answers to President George Bush’s rhetorical questions about freedom and democracy in the Middle East.

People in Islamic countries should be able to choose those who govern them, should have economic freedom, freedom of movement and religion.

They should. But it is counter-factual to write off as ‘cultural condescension’ a suggestion that a commitment to Islam may be very difficult to combine with a commitment to democracy.

Democratic government does not instantly result in everyone’s suddenly deciding to abandon old enmities, to foreswear the use of violence in the resolution of political debate, and to work together for the good of all.

In 2003 Robert Congleton set out some Economic and Cultural Prerequisites for Democracy.

Perhaps the key pre-requisite for effective democratic government is a commitment by every citizen, or at least, an overwhelming majority of them, to the rule of law.

This means being willing to accept a government you don’t like and didn’t vote for, which takes your money to do things you don’t believe in.

Every Muslim is required to work for the implementation of sharia law. Sharia means, amongst other things:

No freedom of religion
No equal rights for women
No freedom of speech
No freedom of thought
No freedom of artistic expression
No freedom of the press
Justice does not apply equally to all – there are different rules for Muslim males and for women and non-Muslims.
Gays and lesbians subject to the death penalty
Girls as young as nine can be married and divorced

In theory, democracy is incompatible with sharia. A democratic government means equal weight is given to the opinions of muslims and non muslims. And a democratic government could introduce laws contrary to sharia.

By all means let’s work for democracy in Islamic countries. But let’s not be naive. To a large number of muslim leaders in those countries, such efforts are another example of the imposition of corrupt Western values on islamic people.

It won’t be easy. And we shouldn’t expect any thanks.

Hosni Mubarak Deserves Better From the West

Hosni Mubarak took over as president after his friend and mentor Anwar Sadat was murdered in 1981 by islamic extremists.

Over the past thirty years, Mubarak has confirmed and strengthened the fragile peace negotiated by Sadat between Israel and Egypt.

He has worked with, and counted as friends, successive American presidents and UK Prime Ministers.

He has comdemned the use of violence by extremist groups. To give just one example, after the Israeli ‘Cast Lead’ operation to stop incessant rocket attacks from Gaza, Mubarak said that Hamas was to blame for spilled Arab blood, and that resistance movements must take responsibility for the welfare of their people.

His friendships with Western leaders, and his recognition of Israel and its right to exist have been dangerous for him, as they were for Anwar Sadat, and have cost him political and popular support.

Despite the ‘no see, no tell’ policy of some media organisations, independent sources have pointed out that one of the reasons for protests against Mubarak is precisely that he is perceived to be a ‘Jew lover’ and a traitor to Islam.

Mubarak - Friend to the US and Israel = Traitor to Egypt

Egypt is no paradise. There is widespread poverty and corruption. I have been alarmed at the lack of action by authorities to protect Coptic Christians and other minority groups.

But most of Egypt’s problems persist in spite of Mubarak’s efforts, not because of them.

Nine out of ten women in Egypt suffer the mutilation called female circumcision. Mubarak has twice outlawed this practice, without success – the imams say it part of the islamic faith. He has encouraged his wife to be active in promoting education for women, and in lobbying for an end to FGM.

He has ruled over a country in which 82% of the population believe adulterers should be stoned, 84% believe apostates from Islam should face the death penalty, and 77% believe thieves should be flogged or have their hands cut off.

These same people want democracy. In a country in which the only credible opposition is the Islamic Brotherhood.

Supporters of the Islamic Brotherhood protesting in London make clear what history makes obvious – that democracy and sharia are incompatible. The Islamic Brotherhood wants democracy only long enough to implement islamic law.

Anti-Mubarak, Anti-democracy Protestors in London

Yet after a few days of protests, the US President, shortly followed by the Prime Minister of Australia, have called for Mubarak to step down immediately.

This is all the more astonishing after the failure of either the US or Australia, or any other major Western power, to offer unqualified support to the Iranian protestors a year ago, protests against a genuinely vile and violent regime.

Israel has been dismayed, not only by the threat to its own security should the Islamic Brotherhood take control of Egypt, but by the wholesale and opportunistic abandoment of one of the West’s key allies in the Middle-east.

Other states friendly with the US will be watching closely. Why should Yemen or Saudi Arabia, for example, or Israel, have any faith in American promises of friendship and support?

Not that Obama’s actions are winning him any friends. The general view in the Middle-east seems to be that the US is selling out its allies and interfering in Egypt’s affairs in pursuit of its own agenda.

Hosni Mubarak, and the people of Egypt, deserve better from the West.