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Dubai

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Bursting BubbleI wrote earlier about how Aussies were enjoying the good life in Dubai (See Dubai – Paradise for Aussies.) However, for some, that heaven is now turning into hell on earth.
 
Three property industry high-flyers are among a growing number of Australians under arrest or investigation in Dubai as a supposed development miracle has succumbed to the world financial crisis, including:-
•    Marcus Lee, until recently a senior executive with the Dubai Government-controlled Nakheel development company.
•    Matthew Joyce, Lee’s Nakheel colleague, a former Melburnian, who is also in jail without charge.
•    David Brown, head of the Sunland Group in the Middle East, a Queensland-based company part-owned by Mr Packer.

Martin Amad, their Melbourne lawyer, said  "We're concerned for the welfare of the accused in custody where they've been kept in solitary confinement. Their physical and mental health has deteriorated."

Commenting on the 13 Australians under arrest in Dubai, a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman said: "The UAE’s legal system is different to the Australian legal system. People who are under investigation can be held in detention for long periods of time without bail."
In the mid-2000s, Dubai began marketing its plan for a property-led future: instant megacities underwritten by billions in sovereign wealth. Thousands of Australians in the property industry flocked there, lured by tax-free work and projects underpinned, apparently, by government cash.

But it came to a screaming halt last year as Nakheel pulled the pin on a proposed 1000-metre skyscraper. The Government's cash proved to be debt after all, and speculation-driven development meant 40,000 cranes had been building a house of cards.
Expats from around the world fled in their thousands.
mong those left there is real fear as stories spread of Australians, Americans and others going missing, only to turn up in prison days later.…some close to the Dubai scene say authorities are seeking scapegoats.
“There is a lot of face-saving to be done. The sheikh can never be responsible, so somebody else has to be."

Karl Fender, co-founder of Fender Katsalidis, said the Dubai phenomenon always felt shaky. His company was involved in a string of projects, most of which have stalled. One scheme involved the construction of thousands of villas. In September 1600 sold. In October, only one sold. (source)
SmithSo is there any help for these beleaguered Aussie expats, driven by the promise of endless wealth?

Foreign Minister Stephen Smith says there is a limit to what the Federal Government can do for Australians in legal trouble overseas.

"At any given moment there will be anywhere between 15,000 and 20,000 Australians there so the number who fall into diffculty or get into trouble is quite small, but it is potentially a life-changing event which is why we discharge our responsiblities by assisting them as best we can. But we are always limited by what we can do when an Australian citizen does fall within the legal and judicial processes of another country."
Mr Lee and Mr Joyce were working for the Dubai Waterfront Project, a subsidiary of the Government-owned Nakheel development corporation.
 
 Mr Smith says the country's legal system allows for long terms of imprisonment before charges are laid.

"We have been making representations on behalf of Mr Joyce and Mr Lee. I've raised it personally by phone with my counterpart, Foreign Minister Abdullah, and when I'm in the UAE on Monday, this is one of the issues that I'll draw to attention." (source)
Well, with help like that, I reckon the message to any potential money hunters is “Go at your own risk!”

Daniel Pipes reports:        
As the Muslim world settled into ever-deeper decline over the past decade, mired in political extremism, religious sickness, economic irrelevance, WMD, anarchy, dictatorship, and civil wars, Dubai stood out as a happy anomaly. Under the leadership of Sheikh Maktoum, Dubai  invited peoples from around the world to come make money and they did; about 83 percent of its population of 1.4 million are foreign.
But if Dubai seemed to be an exception to the general Muslim trajectory, it was only temporary.
In three distinct arenas – economics, culture, and sports – very recent developments show how much the statelet has in common with the impoverishing and separating Muslim world.
Economics
Dubai was the froth of the early 2000s, the purest example of a bubble economy based on rising prices and boosterism, a Ponzi scheme among the nations. In 2006, financial writer Youssef Ibrahim dissected its trompe d'oeil economy:
“The huge oil revenues that have been pouring in for two years have nowhere else to go but into more and more real estate speculation. It makes for great business for the developers and their Western and Asian contractors, as well as for the owners - the sheiks, kings, emirs, and their big businessmen friends who own the deserts on which these mirage-like projects are being erected.”
Dubai's leadership, Ibrahim notes, invested its profits "from selling Disneyland desert fantasies in enduring assets outside the Gulf," such as port facilities and hotel properties.
When the music stopped, with a worldwide recession and the price of oil tumbling over two-thirds, no one got harder hit than the Dubai dream machine. Robert F. Worth in the New York Times, reports:
With Dubai's economy in free fall, newspapers have reported that more than 3,000 cars sit abandoned in the parking lot at the Dubai Airport, left by fleeing, debt-ridden foreigners (who could in fact be imprisoned if they failed to pay their bills). Some are said to have maxed-out credit cards inside and notes of apology taped to the windshield.
 
Dubai contrasts
Dubai's vacation from history abruptly ends and the hard reality begins

Worth explains, "jobless people here lose their work visas and then must leave the country within a month. That in turn reduces spending, creates housing vacancies and lowers real estate prices, in a downward spiral that has left parts of Dubai — once hailed as the economic superpower of the Middle East — looking like a ghost town."
Culture
When it comes to cultural extravagance, Dubai cedes first place to its neighbor, Abu Dhabi, which in early 2007, announced the "Cultural District of Saadiyat Island" to include satellites of the Guggenheim (costing US$400 million) and Louvre ($1.3 billion) museums, plus about two dozen other museums, performing arts centers, and pavilions.
Still, Dubai has ambitions, if more modest ones and the first Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature… is to serve as its literary coming-out party. The director of the festival, Isobel Abulhoul, explains:
“EAIFL is the first true literary Festival in the Middle East celebrating the world of books in all its infinite variety.”
The festival boasts authors from twenty countries, including such big names as Frank McCourt and Louis de Bernières. All good, but the EAIFL hit a bump before it even opened…the festival banned British author Geraldine Bedell because Sheik Rashid, one of the minor characters in her novel The Gulf Between Us, is a homosexual Arab with an English boyfriend; to make matters worse, the plot is set against the background of the Kuwait War.
Abulhoul wrote to Bedell, disinviting her. "I do not want our festival remembered for the launch of a controversial book."
Bedell responded that her novel "is incredibly affectionate towards the Gulf. I feel very warmly towards it, except when things like this happen. It calls into question the whole notion of whether the Emirates and other Gulf states really want to be part of the contemporary cultural world ... You can't ban books and expect your literary festival to be taken seriously."
Sports
Nor can you ban one of the game's finest players and expect your tennis tournament to be taken seriously. But Dubai did that earlier this month when it banned Shahar Peer, 21, ranked 45th among female players globally, from its $2 million women's Barclays Dubai Tennis Championships.
Why? Well, she is Israeli. Peer
Peer's exclusion had immediate repercussions for Dubai. The Tennis Channel canceled coverage of the event; The Wall Street Journal Europe revoked its sponsorship; event organizers were fined US$300,000.
To stay on the tour schedule in 2010, the Dubai organizers must guarantee Peer a wild-card entry, so she gets to play there even if she fails to qualify, and grant qualifying Israeli players visas eight weeks in advance. In other words, Dubai must accept international rules or it excludes itself from championship play. That is no small matter in a statelet that has gone into top-tier sports in a big way as a way to attract tourism;  it hosts the world's richest golf tournament and horse race, is home to the world governing body for cricket and is building a $4 billion Dubai Sports City to house stadiums, sports academies and one of several lush golf courses."
Conclusion
Through a heady mix of speed and affluence, Dubai tried to vault over tough economic, religious, and political decisions… it expected that patronizing prestigious events would permit it to change the rules. But that will not happen. The sharp drop in oil prices exposed the country's inescapable weakness, while Dubai's literary and tennis debacles confirmed the point.

Instead, an entirely different model now tempts it – what I call the separation of civilizations. Unable to impose their way, Persian Gulf Arabs are retreating into a Muslim ghetto with its own economics (including Shar'i compliant tools), consumer goods, media, transportation, fast foods, sports competitions, search engines, and even systems of keeping time. This course is doomed to failure. At a certain point, the issues at the center of Muslim life for the past two centuries – the tension between tradition and modernity, the opposition of Muslim identity to universal values, the strains of economic development – will have to be faced.

As Dubai's vacation from history abruptly ends, its hard work begins. (source)
 

Even Al Age reported Dubai’s racism and printed a letter by a writer who has retained his moral compass:

Money or morality?
ON SATURDAY (The Age, 21/2) Greg Baum wrote about a matter that should have been by far one of the biggest sporting  stories in a long time. Not the Vidmar or Maxwell stories, but the fact that Venus Williams justified the banning of Israeli tennis player Shahar Peer from the erroneously named Dubai Open. She did so by saying she had to keep faith with her sponsors, the money people.
Of course Williams would have been the first to start screaming if she were banned from some tournament for being  black, or American, or a Jehovah's Witness. If she studied any history, then she seems to have forgotten it all. (source)
It is indeed deplorable that Venus Williams defended her refusal to take a moral stand at the ironically named Dubai Open, by saying she couldn’t let her sponsors down.  How noble she would have been if she had stood up against racism, rather than implicitly admitting it’s all about money.
 
Abraham Foxman considered the broader implications for the Middle East:

“Dubai has cultivated an image of openness to the world. Nowhere was this more evident than in past years' television coverage of the event, with pictures of mini-skirted ball girls running around the court while traditionally robed Sheikhs sat in attendance.

The broader issue is whether this incident should lead to any reassessment of Israel's approach to relations with the Arab world. The predominant view has been that while the Arabs have still not accepted Israel's legitimacy in the region as an independent Jewish state, there has been much progress on a practical level: all kinds of quiet meetings and business deals take place.

The rejection of Peer, however, should raise questions about the sufficiency of a pragmatic approach as opposed to demanding full legitimacy for Israel.

When relations are limited to pragmatism, the whims of the mood of a given time can take over: If residents of the Persian Gulf are unhappy with Israel over Gaza, let's show them what we think of them by boycotting their tennis star. The absence of full acceptance of Israel opens the way to all kinds of distortions and abominations of which the Peer incident is but one.

… the widespread teaching of hatred of Israel and Jews in Arab texts and media is a reflection of the insufficiency of the pragmatic approach, but still offers the best chance for peace based on the idea that if Israel is here to stay, then maybe the Arab world has to come to terms with that reality, even if they don't like it. At the same time, let's make clear that only with the full acceptance of the Jewish State will true peace come to Arabs and Jews.

The WTA's response was laudable…it was joined by The Wall Street Journal Europe, the Tennis Channel and others, all of whom made it clear that there is a price to be paid for acts of discrimination against Israel and its citizens. (source)
Rosie DiManno comments:
AreshIt is always a tawdry mess when religion – or race or political ideology – collides with sport, often so far behind the curve on social evolution. Apartheid made South Africa a pariah nation for three decades at the Olympics.
These days, the prejudice is more commonly anti-Semitic and disgracefully tolerated.
 
At the Athens Games an Iranian judoka deliberately reported over-weight for his opening-round draw against an Israeli opponent, rather than soil himself with Jewish sweat. His disqualification was cheered back home, on principle, and rewarded with $125,000 by the government.
 
Neither the sport federation nor the International Olympic Committee did anything about it, just as the IOC stands by meekly while Saudi Arabia forbids females from athletic competition. The Saudis have clout, you see, and gobs of money.
 
So does Dubai, which has spent a fortune turning itself into a sports hotspot, staging multi-million-dollar pro tennis and golf tournaments and a Formula One race. Dubai, and the entire United Arab Emirates of which it is a part, purportedly so open-minded – it worships Mammon more than Allah or Jehovah – would never refuse visa entry to a Tiger Woods or a Venus Williams.
 
But Shahar Peer? Well, that's a different story.

It would have been nice if Peer's tennis sisters had all withdrawn in protest. Of course, they didn't. The Dubai is worth $2 million. Tour officials are properly incensed but declined to de-sanction the event, claiming too short notice.
 
It shouldn't be that hard to show character, to defy blatant bigotry.
Sometimes, whatever the game, there is only one moral side to take. (source)
But let’s move away from sport and spotlight some other quaint cultural differences:

A BRITISH mother of two is being held in jail after being found guilty of adultery - for having a cup of tea with a male friend.
Marnie Pearce, 40, had separated from her Egyptian husband Ihab El-Labban when he burst into her Dubai home and found her drinking tea with another man.
Mr El-Labban now has custody of their two children - Ziad, 4, and Laith, 7 - and former classroom assistant Ms Pearce fears she may never see them again because she will be deported as soon as she is released.
Amnesty International says Ms Pearce, who has lived in Dubai for 15 years, is "a prisoner of conscience".
Mr El-Labban made the claim of adultery - which is a crime in the strict Muslim country - during a custody battle over the boys.
Ms Pearce, who denies a physical relationship with the man, went on the run with the boys but eventually gave herself up and handed the sobbing children over before her case was heard and she was sentenced.... (source)
Marnie Pearce
Ms Pearce with her sons 

If only Ms Pearce has breastfed this man (another quaint custom whereby if the woman breastfeeds the man, she becomes his family and can then be in his company), she wouldn’t be in this terrible situation.

So what lesson can we draw from these recent examples of the clash of civilisations (or, as Wafa Sultan remarked : “it is not a clash of civilisations, it is a clash between civilisation and barbarity.)

Well, maybe the old proverb sums it up best:

All that Glistens is not Gold!
 
Do not be deceived by the fool’s gold of Dubai’s external glitter and surface similarity to us.
Just look beneath the surface and a darker picture emerges.
Dubai is an Islamic wolf, dressed in sheep’s clothing.

Say no to SHARIA.
Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2009 14:00  

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Islam Kills

History - Articles

Lest We Forget the Battle of Tours

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History - Violent Jihad

Australians celebrate and revere Anzac Day on April 25th each year in remembrance of our brave soldiers who fought in two great world wars to secure our freedom. Every Australian identifies with the slogan “lest we forget” and in services held around the country people reflect on the battles and men who died to secure our freedom. Yet across the world in France, there is one remarkable battle which helped form the Europe we know today and allowed the development of civilization based on Judeo Christian principles. This one famous battle has become known as the battle of Tours and effectively stopped the Muslim advance into Europe. After the death of Mohammed in 632AD, Muslim armies exploded out of the Arabian peninsula to conquer much of the Middle East, expanding across north Africa. From there they crossed into Spain in 711AD and eventually controlled much of al-Andalus by 715AD. It was the victory at Tours by Charles Martel that stemmed the tide and eventually the Muslim marauders were expelled from Spain in 1492 when the last outpost at Granada fell to King Ferdinand of Spain. 

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Shivaji’s Coronation Laudatory Landmark

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History - Infidels' Resistance

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was born, lived, fought and won battles against religious and social oppression in the 17th century Bharat or India. He was a shining star in the Indian firmament and is renowned as a champion of the downtrodden and depressed masses. He was and continues to be an icon for the classes and masses alike and is seen as a rallying point for peasants oppressed by foreign rulers, Pathans and Moghuls alike. Sexually exploited women found in Shivaji Raje a protector, a benefactor and flocked to his Hindavi Swaraj to find solace and feel liberated under his saffron flag. 

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Ransomer of Captives from the Muslims

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History - Tolerance Myths

Perhaps some readers might be interested to know that January 28 is considered a feast day among Catholics – actually 2 feast days are celebrated on the same day – one is of ST Thomas Aquinas, the great medieval theologian and philosopher who adapted Aristotle to the western Judeo-Christian worldview. . It is also the feast day of a lesser known person – St Peter Nolasco, the great ransomer of captives from the Muslims.

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Islamic Pirates

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History - Violent Jihad

Barbary Corsair
Somalian Islamic Pirates & Lessons from History
 
The dramatic rescue of the American cargo-ship captain Richard Phillips from the hands of Somalian Islamic pirates by the U.S. Navy—killing three pirates, holding him hostage at gun-point, through precision-targeting—warrants a review of the U.S. struggle with piracy and hostage-taking in North Africa, which ended two centuries ago.

Raiding trade-caravans and hostage-taking for extracting ransom in Islam was started by Prophet Muhammad. Having become powerful and secure after his relocation to Medina from Mecca in 622, Muhammad initiated Jihad or holy war in the form of raids of trade-caravans for earning livelihood for his community. In the first successful raid of a Meccan caravan at Nakhla in December 623, his brigands killed one of the attendants, took two of them captive, and acquired the caravan as “sacred” booty. The captives were ransomed to generate further revenue. Muhammad, later on, expanded this mode of Jihad to raiding non-Muslim communities around Arabia—for capturing their homes, properties and livestock, capturing their women and children as slaves often for ransoming and selling, and imposing extortional taxes—which sometimes involved mass-slaughter of the attacked victims.

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The Battle of Broken Hill

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Battle of Broken Hill Logo
 
The First Islamic Terrorist Attack on Australian Soil
 
On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, armed themselves with rifles, an homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill.

The train carried about 1200 Broken Hill residents to Silverton where a picnic to celebrate the new year was to take place.

The two Muslim men, Gool Mohamed originally a Pashtun tribesman from Afghanistan and Mullah Abdullah from what is known today as Pakistan, decided to wage jihad against Australian infidels after Australia and the Ottoman Empire officially joined the opposite sides in the WWI.

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Jihad Galore

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History - Tolerance Myths

Jihad Galore and the Toledo Whore

Battle of Higueruela

Alhambra - GazelleHow often in conversation with a Muslim, do they quote Spain as the crowning achievement of Islam, where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in harmony for about 800 years?

And when you mention the killings and massacres, you are told that the Spanish Inquisition was much worse.
This is a misconception, since the Inquisition in Spain was responsible for only between 4,000 and 5,000 lives. [1]

Yet in 1066AD, in a single day, muslims murdered over 4,000 Jews because Vizier Joseph ibn Naghrela had risen to a position greater than them, and of course, this upset the Muslim sensitivities. [2]

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Arabs Hated The Quran

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History - Stolen Heritage

 
How the Arabs Hated The Quran
 
Old Quran

Wh y are you a Muslim?
Musli ms in general love to hear the above question because it has a simple and readymade answer in their minds besides it gives them the opp or t u nity to propagate their religion and talk proudly about Islam.

 

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Lepanto Anniversary

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History - Imperialism

Decisive Victory for the West

At this time of year, it is timely to remember one of the greatest victories of the west against the Islamic world. On the 7th October in 1571, Don Juan and the Holy League, led by Admiral Doria, defeated the larger Ottoman fleet in the Battle of Lepanto, saving Europe from the Turks and militant Islam. The Holy League was a coalition of different armies - of the Republic of Venice, the Papacy (under Pope Pius V), Spain (including Naples, Sicily and Sardinia), the Republic of Genoa, the Duchy of Savoy, the Knights Hospitaller and some others.

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Muslim Jerusalem

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History - Stolen Heritage

Jerusalem - Coat of ArmsWhy do Muslims insist that Jerusalem is their Holy City?
When Mohamed and his faithful followers moved from Mecca to Medina, they found themselves among three Jewish tribes/clans (BANU-L-NADIR, BANU KAINUKA and BANU KURAIZA)  which settled there some time after their expulsion from their homeland and also living there were  two Arab, pagan tribes.

Mohammed, who at this stage needed more followers, decided to win those tribes over and convert them to his newly invented religion.

Islam was yet not as fully developed as we know it today, and Mohammed was still having his sessions with Allah (the Medina period revelations).

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Killing of Banu Quraiza

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History - Imperialism

Did Prophet Muhammad order Killing Surrendered Jews of Banu Quraiza and Khaybar?  A historical Analysis

In the post 9/11 era of this modern-world, Islamists around the globe are busy with ‘damage control utopia’ in order to correct the image of religion Islam. We all know that the nucleus of Islam are: Quran, Hadiths (Sunnah) supported by Islamic histories and biographies recorded by various famous Islamic scholars and historians.

What Mecca?

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History - Early History

A great tragedy of the Islamic control of our universities and political correctness plus the fear of extreme violence if anyone dares question the roots and claims of Islam is ...that nobody dares question the roots and claims of Islam!!!  I want to stimulate interest and offer this summary of information on Mecca from (LINK) which discusses some problems with Muslim claims in a comparison of evidence supporting Islam/Christianity. 

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Yahweh or Hubal

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FlagThere is a very strongly entrenched view among majority of Westerners today that the three main monotheistic religions Judaism, Christianity and Islam share one common God and therefore despite the obvious differences, the core foundation of these three religions is the same. 

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