Misc for the day.....

How the Palestinians Stole Christmas http://www.townhall.com/columnists/emmetttyrrell/et20021212.shtml

Columnist R. Emmett Tyrrell reports from Jerusalem on Palestinian Muslims' war against Christianity:

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Whereas the Israelis respect sacred places, the Palestinian Authority does not. Their police have taken over the Temple Mount with the sufferance of the Israeli government that controls it. Against the will of Jews and Christians, who judge it sacred, and of archaeologists, who consider it worthy of careful study, these religious bigots are carting away tons of ancient earth to build a huge mosque for political purposes. They are defiling a sacred and archaeologically invaluable location on a 3,000-year-old site to establish a political claim to the site, and no one is stopping them.

The desecration is not unprecedented. Think back four years ago, to when the Taliban conspired in the destruction of the ancient Buddhist statues in Afghanistan. . . .

Surely you remember last April when Palestinian militants (gunmen) took over Bethlehem's Church of the Nativity, booby-trapped its entrance and terrorized 150 worshipers for 39 days while eating the clerics' provisions, quaffing their booze--so much for Allah's blue laws--stealing church valuables such as gold crucifixes and using sacred scriptures for toilet paper (ah, cleanliness). That sort of barbarism is not new.

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Our Friends the Saudis http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=archives&Area=sr&ID=SR01202

A report from the Middle East Media Research Institute notes that Saudi schools indoctrinate children in hatred of Christians and Jews:
- A fifth-grade textbook quotes the Koran: "[I swear] by Him who holds Muhammad's soul in his hand that not one Jew or Christian who had heard me and did not believe in the message that I was sent with shall die without being one of those whose fate is hell."
-An eight-grade textbook "explains that Jews and Christians have sinned by accepting polytheism and therefore incurred Allah's wrath. To punish them, Allah has turned them into apes and pigs."
-A ninth-grade textbook instructs students that "the Jews and the Christians are the enemies of the believers. They will not be favorably disposed toward Muslims and it is necessary to be cautious [in dealing with them]."

The Saudis' intolerant Wahhabi brand of Islam is hardly a peculiar institution limited to the Arabian Peninsula; as Memri points out, "Saudi Arabia has been engaged in an extensive effort 'to spread Islam to every corner of the earth.' "

Christmas in China http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/1223/p01s04-wogn.html

Marx may have called religion the opiate of the masses, but the Christian Science Monitor reports from Beijing that communist China is far more Christmas-friendly than the Saudis:

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Christmas wreaths and lighted trees, white-foam snowmen and special dinners, as well as an ethos of "jingle-bell cool" are wafting in on the wings of global culture, bringing a holiday atmosphere to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.

At a Beijing noodle shop bedecked with silver and gold plastic bells, cook Yin Li pauses over a beef stew when asked if all the decorations seem like a foreign cultural invasion. "Honestly, no," she says. "I like it. It makes everything feel more like a holiday."

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Not that China doesn't persecute Christians. "Some Chinese evangelical ministers and Catholic priests remain behind bars, some with heavy sentences--for promoting their interpretation of the Gospels," the Monitor notes. Still, if the commies can embrace the commercial aspects of Christmas, perhaps they'll eventually come around to the spiritual ones as well.

Rage Against the Machine

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"They have a destruction machine, we don't."-- Bill Clinton http://www.ndol.org/print.cfm?contentid=251085 , Dec. 3

"Several days after the Republican victory in the November elections, Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe and others in the party authorized an intensive opposition research report on Frist. 'It was obvious then that he was going to be a national political figure for the party,' says a DNC staffer. 'No one could have anticipated what has just happened, but we're certain there is stuff in his past we'll be able to dig up.' "-- The American Prowler http://www.theamericanprowler.org/article.asp?art_id=2002_12_23_22_14_33 , Dec. 24

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Our Friends the Saudis http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=535&ncid=535&e=6&u=/ap/20021225/ap_on_re_mi_ea/a_saudi_christmas

Buried in an Associated Press dispatch on Saudi suppression of Christmas is this revelation:

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Timothy Hunter, a former U.S. diplomatic official assigned to Saudi Arabia in the 1990s, says State Department policy was to avoid sending Jewish employees to the kingdom under an agreement with the Saudis.

In a letter this past June, Hunter told [Middle East expert Daniel] Pipes that it was "the duty of the foreign service director of personnel to screen all Foreign Service officers applying for service in the KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) and to 'tick' Jewish officers' names using the letter 'J' next to their names, so that selection panels would not select Jewish diplomats for service in Saudi Arabia."

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Writing in the New York Post, E.V. Kontorovich http://www.nypost.com/postopinion/opedcolumnists/65479.htm asks a good question: How is it that the Saudis have gotten to "the advanced stages of negotiations to join the World Trade Organization, an institution dedicated to free and open trade between nations," when Riyadh openly boycotts Israel, a WTO member?


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