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Witness Protection Program

From the Scrapbook

Feb 22, 2010, Vol. 15, No. 22
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claimed that he had in fact shouted “Khaybar ya Yahod,” a classic Arabic battle cry referring to a seventh-century attack by Mohammed on the Jewish community in Khaybar where the Jews were conquered and made to pay half of their income to the Muslim population. .  .  . Mr Rashid said: “My version went: ‘Khaybar, O Jews, we will win’. This is in classical, Koranic Arabic and I doubt that apart from picking up on the word ‘Jew,’ that even the Arabic speakers in the room would have understood the phrase. As you can see, I made no reference to killing Jews. It carries absolutely no derogatory or secondary meanings.” Mr Rashid said he believed the words “Jew” and “Israeli” were interchangeable terms. .  .  . “I express the deepest regret if my remarks were misunderstood or misheard to mean anything that even comes close to encouraging the slaughter of innocents.”


“Innocents,” as those versed in extremist rhetoric well know, is a weasel word—one that doesn’t apply to the Jews of Israel since they are “occupiers.” Shorter version: Rashid perhaps didn’t mean “kill the Jews”—he just meant “slaughter the Israelis.” Charming.

Noor Rashid, by the way, is not just any Oxford student. As the blog Harry’s Place discovered with a Google search, he may not be the president of his university’s Islamic Society, as Abdulmutallab was, but he is the Society’s representative for St Edmund’s Hall.

The Community Security Trust, which monitors anti-Semitism in Britain, reacted to Rashid’s clarification as follows: “The police should still continue with their investigation. It is about time incitement was treated as such. We are very quick to charge neo-Nazis with incitement, which is right of course, but there appears to be an increasing distinct double standard.”

Indeed. As Edwards noted in her Telegraph piece, “fearful of being accused of racism and cultural insensitivity, the academic establishment is running scared of Islamic bully-boys. Supporters of the BNP [the far-right British National Party] would be run off campuses where there are no rebukes for proponents of Islamic fascism and murder.”

Palin Derangement Syndrome

The depths of the left’s hatred of Sarah Palin are still being plumbed. As The Scrapbook’s colleague Mary Katharine Ham reported last week on The Weekly Standard Blog, Palin wears an engraved metal bracelet bearing the name of her son, who is deployed to Iraq, “and boy, is the left angry about it. No, really.”

Continued Ham: “The bracelet got a bit of attention thanks to the other Sarah Palin nonscandal of the week. When the former governor of Alaska gave a speech at the tea party convention Saturday, she did it with notes scribbled on her palm, giving the supporters of President TelePrompTer apoplexy and causing them to produce copious close-ups of Sarah Palin’s left hand.

“It was in one of those close-ups that Eric Robinson, writing in the Yale Daily News, stumbled on Palin’s alleged big blunder. Robinson, an Afghan-istan and Iraq vet, pegged Palin’s bracelet as a black, memorial bracelet, reserved for soldiers killed in action”:


What has me troubled is a black bracelet firmly clasped around her left wrist. I hadn’t noticed it until I watched MSNBC’s “Hardball” on Tuesday, but it is a memorial bracelet; something familiar to veterans who have lost friends and family in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I wear one commemorating a friend of mine who died in Baghdad in October of 2006, and I know many other veterans—and some still in the armed forces—who wear these bracelets as a reminder of the sacrifices their friends made on behalf of the units in which they served and the country they swore to protect.

As Ham then detailed, the liberal blogosphere went nuts over the allegation. But they were nuts to go nuts. It wasn’t a memorial bracelet. The owner of wrote a post on his site explaining that Palin was wearing a “Deployment Bracelet” that he gave her, which is bronze, not black. Ham noted the most bizarre aspect of this episode: “If you’re going to take Palin on, there is perhaps no ground less advantageous than the service of her son and her genuine love for him.”



The Book You’ve Been Waiting for

It’s not very often that a book comes along that’s a hit with flyfishing, Star Wars, and Marion Barry enthusiasts alike. So it is with an appreciation for his Lady Gaga-like genre transcendence that we celebrate the release of a new book by The Weekly Standard’s very own Matt Labash, Fly Fishing with Darth Vader: and Other Adventures with Evangelical Wrestlers, Political Hitmen, and Jewish Cowboys (Matt’s never been one for brevity).

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