Wednesday Night Linkfest

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Just a lot of links I’ve had open for a day or two, in no particular order, before I forget to post them.

The Vatican Confronts Islam.

Will George be slayed as England’s patron saint?

The Church of England is considering rejecting England’s patron saint St George on the grounds that his image is too warlike and may offend Muslims.

Clergy have started a campaign to replace George with St Alban, a Christian martyr in Roman Britain. The scheme, to be considered by the Church’s parliament, the General Synod, has met a cautious but sympathetic response from senior bishops. …

If St Alban replaced St George, the red cross on a white background would have to be replaced as England’s flag by Alban’s symbol, a diagonal yellow cross on a blue background that bears a strong similarity to St Andrew’s cross, the flag of Scotland.

Senate Colleagues to Help Lieberman.

WASHINGTON — Embattled Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman is getting a little help from his Senate friends as he tries to fend off an anti-Iraq war challenger in an intraparty fight. Sens. Joe Biden of Delaware, Barbara Boxer of California and Ken Salazar of Colorado plan to campaign in Connecticut for Lieberman between now and the Aug. 8 primary.

Their goal is to reassure the party faithful of the three-term senator’s loyalty to Democratic causes, including women’s issues, labor and the environment.

Video shows Arabs fighting in Somalia.

NAIROBI, Kenya - A recruiting video issued by members of the fundamentalist Islamic movement in Somalia shows Arab radicals fighting alongside the local extremists in Mogadishu, and invites Muslims from around the world to join in their “holy jihad.”

The video, obtained by The Associated Press, provides the first hard evidence that non-Somalis have joined with Islamic extremists in Somalia. The Supreme Islamic Courts Council, which defeated U.S.-backed warlords in Mogadishu last month and is now the country’s most powerful force, has repeatedly denied links to extremists such as al-Qaida. But the one-hour video appears to confirm U.S. fears — and al-Qaida’s boasts. …

The videotape, produced to both recruit new fighters and raise funds, glorifies the Islamic victory over U.S.-backed, secular warlords in Somalia. U.S. officials cooperated with the warlords, hoping to capture three al-Qaida leaders allegedly protected by the Islamic council, especially three men accused in the deadly 1998 bombings at the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Those singled out by the United States include the courts council leader, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, branded a terrorist by the Americans. Aweys, speaking on Somali radio over the weekend, said his movement had no contacts with bin Laden or al-Qaida. He also rejected accusations that foreign fighters were in Somalia.

But the video, shot on a handheld recorder, shows Arab fighters preparing for a major battle on the northern outskirts of Mogadishu. Arabic anthems and poetry play on the audio track urging Muslims to join the global holy war to advance Islam and defeat its enemies.

Trivial Fine Given To Islamist Who Supports Beheading For Insulting Islam.

Jane & Her Poodles Get The Story. (This one’s a hoot. Another glimpse into the hyperactive logic-challenged world of one of the top loony left bloggers, complete with poodles.)

PLO gang Freed after Burning Flags, Desecrating Homes in Brooklyn.

Neo-Nazis hijack gala to burn Anne Frank diary.

Secret agent interviews rock French terrorism trial.

PARIS (Reuters) - A French terrorism trial was thrown into turmoil on Wednesday by a report French agents secretly interviewed the six accused during their detention at a U.S. military camp on Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay.

The Liberation daily published a French diplomatic telegram referring to intelligence agents conducting interviews at least twice while the men were held without charge on the Caribbean island.

A top French court has already ruled that the detention of suspects in the U.S. naval base was illegal, and defense lawyers said the prosecution’s case was based in large part on information gleaned from the secret interviews.

The failure to include the interviews in the case file was a serious breach of defendants’ rights which could later see a superior court rule the trial invalid, lawyers told reporters.

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