February 19th 2011

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Articles from this issue:

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Julia Gillard's fragile grip on power

EDITORIAL: Why utility prices are going through the roof

HOUSING: Australia has the least affordable housing

MIDDLE EAST I: Arab turmoil to change Middle East power balance

MIDDLE EAST II: Obama learns nothing from Bush's Middle East failures

UNITED STATES I: Obama's State of the Union address

UNITED STATES II: Tirade of calumny directed at Sarah Palin

UNITED STATES III: Ronald Reagan remembered

HIGHER EDUCATION: The rise of the entrepreneurial university

CLIMATE CHANGE: New research rebuts man-made global warming

EUTHANASIA: Ageism on the increase in Amsterdam

OPINION: Australia's identity with the Christian West

OPINION: Farmers' livelihoods under attack

WikiLeaks 1 (letter)

WikiLeaks 2 (letter)

La Niña, not CO2 (letter)

Government's insult to home mothers (letter)

Feminists on stamps (letter)

AS THE WORLD TURNS: More British Christians converting to Islam / Commonwealth Chief Rabbi rejects multiculturalism / US teenage pregnancies / The Muslim Brotherhood

BOOK REVIEW: UNPLANNED, by Abby Johnson with Cindy Lambert

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More British Christians converting to Islam / Commonwealth Chief Rabbi rejects multiculturalism / US teenage pregnancies / The Muslim Brotherhood

News Weekly, February 19, 2011
More British Christians converting to Islam

A recent study from Great Britain shows that thousands of native-born Brits are converting to Islam, while Anglican Church membership continues to decline.

A blog called The Last Crusade recently reported on a study from the Centre for Migration Policy Research at Swansea University that suggests that even though the media often portrays Islam in a negative light, more people decide to adopt the religion each year. In fact, the study says 56 per cent of the converts are white and 62 per cent are female.

Studies show that 30 Anglican parishes close every year [and] that 70 new mosques sprout up throughout Great Britain.

Extract from Chad Groening, "Islam filling Britain's 'spiritual vacuum'", MuslimVillage.com, February 1, 2011.
URL: http://muslimvillage.com/2011/02/01/islam-filling-britains-spiritual-vacuum/

Commonwealth's Chief Rabbi rejects multiculturalism

Multiculturalism ... was undertaken for the highest of motives. It was intended to create a more tolerant society, one in which everyone, regardless of colour, creed or culture, felt at home. Its effect has been precisely the opposite.

Many Jews of my parents' generation owed their lives to this country. It took them in when they faced persecution elsewhere. They loved Britain and deeply internalised its values. The inscription on the tombstone of a former President of the United Synagogue summed up the entire Anglo-Jewish experience. It read, "A proud Englishman and a proud Jew."

The first people to try multiculturalism, the Dutch, were also the first people to regret it. The Princeton sociologists Paul Sniderman and Louk Hagendoorn found that the Dutch favoured tolerance and opposed multiculturalism. When asked what the difference was, they replied that tolerance ignores differences; multiculturalism makes an issue of them at every point.

Multiculturalism is part of the wider European phenomenon of moral relativism, a doctrine that became influential as a response to the Holocaust. It was argued that taking a stand on moral issues was a sign of an "authoritarian personality". Moral judgment was seen as the first step down the road to fanaticism.

But moral relativism is the death knell of a civilisation. In a relativist culture, there is no moral consensus, only a clash of conflicting views in which the loudest voice wins.

Without shared values and a sense of collective identity, no society can sustain itself for long. I fear the extremism that is slowly but surely becoming, throughout the world, the siren song of the twenty-first century.

Extract from Chief Rabbi Lord (Jonathan) Sacks, "Having pride in Britain protects all cultures", The Times (London), February 7, 2011.
URL: www.chiefrabbi.org/ReadArtical.aspx?id=1728

US teenage pregnancies

Urban teachers face an intractable problem, one that we cannot spend or even teach our way out of: teen pregnancy. This year, all of my favourite girls are pregnant, four in all, future unwed mothers every one.

Within my lifetime, single parenthood has been transformed from shame to saintliness. In our society, perversely, we celebrate the unwed mother as a heroic figure, like a fireman or a police officer. During the last presidential election, much was made of Obama's mother, who was a single parent. Movie stars and pop singers flaunt their daddy-less babies like fishing trophies.

None of this is lost on my students. In today's urban high school, there is no shame or social ostracism when girls become pregnant. Other girls in school want to pat their stomachs. Their friends throw baby showers at which meagre little gifts are given.

The path for young, unwed mothers - and for their children - can be brutal. Consider how often girls get molested in their own homes after Mom has decided to let her boyfriend move in. The boyfriend splits the rent and the food bill, but he often sees his girlfriend's teenage daughter as fair game.

Teachers whisper their suspicions in the lunchroom or in the hallways when they notice that one of their students has become suddenly emotional, that her grades have inexplicably dropped, or that she stays late after school to hang out in her teacher's classroom or begins sleeping over at a friend's house several nights a week. Sometimes she simply disappears.

Extract from Gerry Garibaldi, "Nobody gets married anymore, mister", City Journal (New York), Vol. 21, No. 1, Winter 2011.
URL: www.city-journal.org/2011/21_1_teen-pregnancy.html

The Muslim Brotherhood

Western appeasers have been trying to present a heavily sanitised image of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) - a sort of New Labour reinvention of the doyen of jihadist movements. The Brotherhood (known as the Ikhwan) operates in more than 80 countries; al-Qaeda and Hamas are both offshoots.

A report by the Center for Security Policy, in America, entitled "Shariah: The Threat to America", claims: "It is now public knowledge that nearly every major Muslim organisation in the United States is actually controlled by the MB or a derivative organisation."

While it cultivates respectability on American campuses and in US government circles, its private views are unregenerate.

Muhammad Mahdi Akef, its "Supreme Guide" until last year, described Osama bin Laden as "close to Allah on high". A leading member, Muhammad Ghannem, was reported last week as having told an Iranian news network that gas pumped from Egypt to Israel should be cut off and "the people should be prepared for war against Israel".

With its network of schools, clinics, etc, the Brotherhood is firmly rooted among the Egyptian masses. Whether by manipulating ElBaradei as a transitional Kerensky or taking power directly, the Muslim Brotherhood is the only alternative Egyptian government to Mubarak.

Extract from Gerald Warner, "US subversion of Mubarak will wreck Obama's presidency", The Scotsman, February 6, 2011.
URL: http://news.scotsman.com/geraldwarner/Gerald-Warner-US-subversion-of.6712133.jp

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