Leading Iranian cleric: “Hey, it’s okay to kill Jewish babies”

**Posted by Phineas

Hey, Mesbah-Yazdi said we could!

That’s the takeaway regarding this fatwa issued by the Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi in response to a questioner asking whether a suicide bomber was, well, committing suicide:

Q: “Now, about [the] targeting [of] civilians in the Zionist state. Some say that according to the teaching[s] of [Ahl Al-Bayt, i.e. the Prophet Muhammad’s household] and the Koran, it is haram to target civilians in any case. They also say that Israelis are civilians like any other people, while others believe they are settlers and usurpers [rather than] civilians.

“Are the operations [carried out] by Hamas and [Islamic] Jihad against [Israeli] ‘civilians’ haram? Why or why not? How about the Israeli children killed in such attacks? If it is not haram, what is the answer to those who quote the Hadith [which forbids targeting] non-combatants.”

A: “Muslims should not attack those civilians of the occupied territories who have announced their opposition to their government’s vicious crimes, except [in] situations in which they are used as human shields and [when] fighting the aggressors depends on attacking those [same] civilians.”

Note that the learned Shiite scholar, though specifically asked about killing children, never says “don’t do it.” Not a word of forbiddance. You shouldn’t target those who denounced their own government, but if they’re being used as human shields… Well, hey. Stuff happens, you know?

I guess it was the fault of the Fogel children that they didn’t publicly oppose Israeli policy.

Note also that the questioner asked about the religious propriety of suicide bombing. You may be surprised to know that this is a controversial issue in Islam, because suicide is a sin. Islamic scholars have argued with al Qaeda leaders about this, and they in turn have had to engage in stretched-to-the-breaking-point arguments to say it isn’t technically suicide. (Read all about it.) Mesbah-Yazdi apparently comes down on the al Qaeda side of the argument, telling the questioner that it is not only permitted, but it is a religious obligation on all Muslims to conduct “martyrdom operations.”

Funny, but the learned Ayatollah himself has yet to strap on a bomb belt and blast his way to glory as a martyr. I’m sure it’s just a matter of time until he gets around to it.

Just as soon as the right Jewish child comes along.

RELATED: In case you find yourself wondering if Ayatollah Mesbah-Yazdi is some kind of …er… fanatic, you’re right. How much of a fanatic, you ask? How about, “so bad that even Ayatollah Khomeini banned his movement?” Mesbah-Yazdi is a spiritual adviser to President Gilligan Ahmadinejad; he’s appeared in this blog before.

via The Jawa Report and Ynet News.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Italy persecutes scientists for failing to perform magic

**Posted by Phineas

Really, what else can you say about nonsense like this?

Italian Seismologists Charged With Manslaughter for Not Predicting 2009 Quake

Italian government officials have accused the country’s top seismologist of manslaughter, after failing to predict a natural disaster that struck Italy in 2009, a massive devastating earthquake that killed 308 people.

A shocked spokesman for the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) likened the accusations to a witch hunt.

“It has a medieval flavor to it — like witches are being put on trial,” the stunned spokesman told FoxNews.com.

Enzo Boschi, the president of Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), will face trial along with six other scientists and technicians, after failing to predict the future and the impending disaster.

Earthquakes are, of course, nearly impossible to predict, seismologists say. In fact, according to the website for the USGS, no major quake has ever been predicted successfully.

Not just nearly impossible, they are impossible to predict. Whether by looking for precursors such as clusters of micro-quakes or by theoretical geophysical modeling, the phenomena of earthquakes are simply too complex for our current understanding to make anything resembling a reasonable prediction. This makes liberal efforts to control a market economy look like child’s play in comparison.

Like the Italians, I live in “earthquake country.” Every so often, we get warnings about “the big one” being overdue. What they mean is that, historically, large quakes have occurred in Southern California “every so often, plus or minus a lot of years,” and so Los Angeles is bound to have one. But you see how vague that is? Yes, we’ve gone longer than the historical average for a truly big temblor, but will it happen tomorrow, next week, or in a thousand years? No one knows, and no one can say. Local media love it, of course, because it allows them to boost tepid ratings by scaring the public. Public officials give in to it, because fear rather than prudence seems to be the only way to get people to have adequate emergency supplies on hand and take other measures to mitigate risk.

But it’s all a carnival sideshow, with Madame Olga reading the cards to to tell you when the earth demons will dance. It’s a psychological binky for infantilized adults who are frightened of a future they cannot control.

Which is apparently what Italians want, and now they’re going to punish scientists for not giving it to them.

Welcome to the 21st century. Next stop, the Dark Ages.

PS: Yeah, I said I was going to stay off the Internet today, but I just wanted to scan the news, then I saw this, and… and… I’m weak.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Honoring our nation’s fallen on Memorial Day

Truer words were never spoken:

“Never in the history of the world has any soldier sacrificed more for the freedom and liberty of total strangers than the American soldier. And, our soldiers don’t just give freedom abroad, they preserve it for us here at home. For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag who gives that protester the freedom he abuses to burn that flag. No one should dare to even think about being the Commander in Chief of this country if he doesn’t believe with all his heart that our soldiers are liberators abroad and defenders of freedom at home.” – Senator Zell Miller (D-GA), 2004 RNC

This part of his speech starts at the 5:52 mark below:

As we do our yard work today, host BBQs, converse with family and friends, snooze on the couch, go about our daily business, please take a moment to remember those who have given all – and their families, too. They always need to know that the ultimate sacrifices made by their loved ones will be forever appreciated, and never forgotten.

Boy Scout - Memorial Day

Boy Scout Hunter Penaz, 10, rests his hand on a headstone at Ft. Bliss National Cemetery after placing a flag Saturday, May, 28, 2011, in preparation for Memorial Day. After placing the flag, Penaz then told his father 'Let's go honor more soldiers, dad.' Volunteers decorated the cemetery with over 41,000 flags. AP Photo/The El Paso Times, Mark Lambie