Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120805

Financial Crisis
»The U.S. Retail Collapse Accelerates
»Abedin Family Journal Promoted Muslim Brotherhood Views
»Anti-Islam Challenge to Tennessee Lawmaker Fails
»Autocratic EPA Foolishly Seeks to Destroy Nation’s Vital Coal Industry
»Congressional Democrats Introduce National Energy Tax
»DNA-Destroying Chip Being Embedded Into Mobile Phones
»I’ll Give Up My Gun When You Are Willing to Give Up Your Car
»Local Muslims Share Teachings of Ramadan
»Manufacturing Gaffes
»Millions of Voter Records Flawed, Nearly 2 Mil Dead Registered
»NASA Awards $1.1 Billion in Support for 3 Private Space Taxis
»Panetta Shoots for Islamic Brownie Points
»Romney Won’t Condemn Bachmann
»Saudi Students to Establish Islamic Center in the Murray State University
»Shooting at Sikh Temple in Wisconsin Leaves at Least 7 Dead, Including Gunman
»Strife in ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’: Violence in the Shadow of Disneyland
»The Truth? Few Muslims in Government
»Up is Down: Media Ignores Romney’s Successes in Overseas Trip
»Voting Systems for Overseas Voters in 24 States Prone to Hacking
»White House Chef Says Future Food to be Made From Chemicals, Not Real Food Ingredients
»‘30 Mosques’ Project Hits an Unholy Obstacle: Bike Theft
Europe and the EU
»Belarus: Teddy Bear Drop Claims Swedish Victim
»France is Closer to Muslims After Presidential Elections
»French Mayor Retreats After Suspending Fasting Muslims
»Furor Over Film Capturing Harassment on Hidden Camera in Belgium
»Michael Phelps Ends Career With Gold as U.S. Men Win Medley Relay
»Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica Wins Women’s 100 Meters
»Sweden: Anti Islam EDL in Stockholm for ‘Counter-Jihad’ Meet
»Sweden “Counter-Jihad” Rally Outnumbered by Anti-Racists
»UK: How Can the Conservatives Win Ethnic Voters?
»UK: IOC President Rogge Faces Backlash at Memorial Service for Murdered Israelis
»UK: New Photo of ‘English Nessie’ Hailed as Best Yet
»UK: Parents Killed Daughter, 17
»UK: Rapist Who Struck ‘To Teach Women a Lesson’
»UK: When Muslim Parents Kill a Beautiful 17-Year-Old Out of Religious Conviction, I Feel Intolerant
North Africa
»Top Bishop Says Attacks on Egypt Christians on Rise
Israel and the Palestinians
»British Public Opinion Turning Against Israel, Warns Ambassador
»Gunmen Attack Egypt-Gaza Border Checkpoint in Sinai, 13 Guards Killed
»Palestinian Model: Hitler’s Jungvolk
»UN Special Rapporteur Fostering Jew-Hatred Again
Middle East
»Islamic Extremists Threaten Syria’s Christians
»Muslim Brotherhood Establishes Militia Inside Syria
»Rumsfeld: Israel Shouldn’t Tell the US Before Striking Iran
»Saudi Arabia: Soldier Shot Dead in Eastern Province
»Syria: Iranian Pilgrims Hijacked in Damascus Amid Intense Clashes
»UAE: 25 Filipinos Embrace Islam After Lecture
»UK Pledges More Help for Syrian Rebels
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Mosque Bomb Wounds 19: Official
»Afghan Officials: Local Policeman Kills 11 People in Southern Afghanistan
»India: Ramzan Prayers: Now Muslims Protest in Jalandhar
»Maldives: Baroness Scotland Paid £7,500 a Day to Advise Maldives ‘Coup Leader’ Accused of Torture
»Market Bomb Kills 3 in Northwest Afghanistan
»Pakistan: Rallies Express Solidarity With Myanmar Muslims
»U.S. Begins Packing Its Afghan War Gear for the Movers
Far East
»Rare Earth Elements
Australia — Pacific
»Aussie Muslim Charity Gives to Locals in Need This Ramadan
»Pride Over Prejudice: Muslims Battle for Unity in Diversity
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Gambia: UK High Commissioner Opens Flag Sharia Law Training
»Kenya: At Least One Killed in Nairobi Explosion
»Nigeria: Religious Leader Survives Attack
»Greece: Paros: Police Arrests Assaulter of Teenager Girl; Illegal Immigrant From Pakistan Confesses the Crime
»Greek Police Evict Immigrants From Athens
»The Mega Mosques Boom

Financial Crisis

The U.S. Retail Collapse Accelerates

We see two things in the chart above on average American wages. First we see how (in real dollars) wages for the average U.S. worker have been falling steadily for more than 40 years. Those wages have now fallen by more than 50%, all the way down to the same levels as during the Great Depression. And we see how the U.S. government’s lies about inflation have almost entirely concealed this relentless collapse in wages. How convenient.

Meanwhile, we see the percentage of Americans who are actually working also plummeting downward, to a 30-year low. The collapse in wages has been accompanied by a collapse in employment levels. Combined, it translates into a collapse in consumer purchasing power of well in excess of 50%.

The great Economic Myth (naturally perpetuated by the U.S. government) is that “the world can’t live without” the American Consumer. The truth is that the rest of the world has been gradually learning how to live without the American consumer for the past 40 years, as the American consumer is literally less than half what he used to be. The real-and-obvious question instead is how will the U.S.’s consumer economy be able to survive the Death of the U.S. Consumer?

The relentless campaign by the U.S. government to transform its own Middle Class into the Working Poor has been an unmitigated success. Using the numbers of the Corporate Media itself, only about 10% of the U.S. population presently qualify as “middle class”, now actually a smaller segment of the total population than the wealthy Americans who tower oppressively above them.

The purpose of destroying wage-levels for U.S. workers has been to drive those wages so low that American serfs will be able to “compete” with the wages of Asian serfs…while they manufacture toys and consumables for the wealthy. This is the “prosperity” which the Corporate Oligarchs promised us when they rammed “globalization” down our throats. They had the gall to call it “free trade”, when the only thing “free” about it was their ride — on our backs.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Abedin Family Journal Promoted Muslim Brotherhood Views

The journal Huma Abedin and her family edited adopted the goals and ideas of the Muslim Brotherhood.

By Andrew G. Bostom

Reflecting an apparent systemic failure, steadily burgeoning evidence (see here, here, here, and here) indicates that one of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s closest aides, Huma Abedin, despite Ms. Clinton’s protestation, was inadequately vetted for either family or personal ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. Diligent, open source investigation has already uncovered and documented numerous alarming connections. One can reasonably infer that a serious, formal congressional investigation of the overall extent of Muslim Brotherhood influence operations —as requested by Representatives Bachmann, Gohmert, Franks, Westmoreland, and Rooney — might yield even more disturbing findings.

Pending these sorely needed Congressional inquiries — replete with their probing investigative tools (i.e., subpoena power, access to classified materials) — much can still be gleaned from the public record. For example, over the past 33 years, Huma Abedin’s family has been responsible for the editorial production of the academic journal of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs (IMMA), known as Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs Journal from 1979-1995, and Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs from 1996 until now. The production started with the founding involvement of family patriarch Syed Z. Abedin and Huma’s mother Saleha Abedin since 1979, and subsequently joined by Huma’s brother Hassan Abedin (1996 to present), Huma herself (1996 to 2008), and Huma’s sister Heba (married name Khalid or Khaled; 2002 to present).

The following analysis of this IMMA journal’s foundational origins, guiding editorial board membership, and Weltanschauung — most appositely, at present — confirms that the Abedin family “academic” journal is a thinly veiled mouthpiece for the Muslim Brotherhood’s Sharia-supremacist agenda…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom[Return to headlines]

Anti-Islam Challenge to Tennessee Lawmaker Fails

(Reuters) — A Tennessee Republican congresswoman survived a spirited primary election challenge on Thursday from an opponent whose campaign was based on opposition to Islam and to a new mosque built near Nashville.

U.S. Representative Diane Black won the primary election by a comfortable margin over Lou Ann Zelenik, noted for her fierce opposition to the Islamic Center built in Murfreesboro, about 30 miles south of Nashville, although it was outside the congressional district she sought to represent.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Autocratic EPA Foolishly Seeks to Destroy Nation’s Vital Coal Industry

New regulations imposed by the Obama Administration will lead to the closing of 40 gigawatts of electric generation capacity.

TUSCALOOSA, Al. — The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates the share of U.S. electricity generated from coal will fall from 42 percent in 2011 to 36.8 percent in 2013.

An important reason for coal’s decline is the Obama Administration’s war on coal.

Vice President Joe Biden made that clear during the 2008 campaign when he said the Obama policy was “No coal plants here in America.” Similarly, candidate Obama told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would ensure that building a coal plant would “bankrupt” the operator because of the cost of complying with new carbon dioxide emission regulations.

Deliberate government efforts to end an industry are not part of normal competitive market pressures and bad for the U.S. economy for three reasons.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Congressional Democrats Introduce National Energy Tax

Washington, D.C. — Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, commented on the introduction of Representative Jim McDermott’s carbon tax bill in the House today.

“It’s hard to believe that Democrats in Washington are introducing an energy tax on consumers, especially as Americans are out of work and the economy remains sluggish,” Senator Inhofe said. “A carbon tax will mean consumers will pay more at the pump and more for energy in their homes. An energy tax is the last thing that Congress should be considering.

“President Obama and the Democrats’ efforts to achieve their dreams of a fossil fuel free economy have been rejected time and time again by the American people, yet they remain determined. Despite the overwhelming bipartisan opposition in Congress over the past decade to global warming cap-and-trade, President Obama has pushed through a barrage of regulations with the goal of killing fossil fuel production in the United States. But he doesn’t want the American people to know that he’s imposing the greatest tax increase in American history through regulations because he couldn’t do it through legislation. Again, what would Americans get for all this economic pain? Even EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has admitted that global warming regulations will have no impact at all on the climate.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

DNA-Destroying Chip Being Embedded Into Mobile Phones

According to Dr. Boian Alexandrov at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, terahertz (THz) waves destroy human DNA. The waves literally unzip the helix strand. Now a team of technologists at UT Dallas are planning to take chips broadcasting THz waves and embed them into mobile phones for use as an imaging system for consumers, law enforcement and medical personnel… a potentially deadly technology that could eventually kill or sicken millions of people

The controversial THz scanner technology used by the TSA at many of the nation’s airports is being adapted for cell phone use. Studies of terahertz radiation have caused experts to raise alarms over the significant health risks to humans.

Recently major media touted a new chip that permits the adaption of a THz generating device to be embedded into cellular phones.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

I’ll Give Up My Gun When You Are Willing to Give Up Your Car

If any rational person were to take a step back and look at the total number of non-natural caused deaths per day, they would realize that the number of fatalities caused by cars is significantly higher then the number caused by guns. Which begs the question: Why are people so adamant about getting rid of guns rather than their cars?

One would think that any rational person could see that getting rid of cars would be significantly better for the world since they cause so much pollution, take so many natural resources to build, and kill significantly more people annually than guns. Yet this discussion is never considered and here’s why. The progressive forces of this country understand that the only way they can fully subvert our constitution and take over this country is by disarming the citizens of these United States. Our founders understood the necessity of gun ownership of every able-bodied man, not necessarily for personal protection but rather as a well-armed organized defense from a tyrant government.

Our founders believed, and correctly so, that the only thing we have to fear is a tyrannical government, not fear itself. And the only way to protect ourselves from such tyranny is with a well-armed citizenry. Hence the reason for the language of the Second Amendment: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

The security and freedom of each state, and in particular the rights guaranteed by the tenth amendment, and Article I, section 10 of the constitution, can only be secured when the citizens of the state are well armed to protect the state from undue tyrannical force asserted by the general government (commonly referred to as the Federal government today). For example, forcing each state of union to participate in Obamacare, which has in effect made the general government the custodian of each and every citizen’s body. Not only is this unconstitutional it is flat out morally wrong.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Local Muslims Share Teachings of Ramadan

As Tulsans handle record-breaking heat with water bottles and cool lunches, Muslims observing Ramadan must do their hydrating and eating before sunrise and after sunset. The holy month of Ramadan, which is tracked using the lunar calendar, began July 20, and Tulsa Muslims invited locals this week to learn about their holiest time of year. It’s an opportunity to share the Islamic culture and religion with others, said Lamiaa Ali, Islamic Society of Tulsa community relations director. “If we share what we believe … we are open to the community,” Ali said. “We want everyone to come see what (Islam) is all about.” Tours of prayer rooms and art were given to a crowd of about 70 people at the Islamic Society of Tulsa’s mosque before a Middle Eastern dinner was served.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Manufacturing Gaffes

The media’s gaffe stories are about the media, not about Romney

If you read the newspaper, watch the telly or turn the radio dial to something besides talk or the greatest hits of the 70s, 80s and today, then you know that Romney’s international trip was a disaster. How do you know that? Well you know it the same way that Soviet citizens knew that their economy was booming and it would only be a matter of time before the oppressed slaves of capitalism threw off their shackles and bowed their arrogant heads to the hammer and sickle. They read it in the paper.

Journalism is out. The modern media is too lazy and cheap to actually work on investigative reporting and when they do take the time, it leads to some ridiculous personal eyewitness account of nothing in particular. Coming up with an actual scandal takes work, but why bother when you can just spin the actual news in the worst possible way and manufacture a gaffe narrative.

While it takes a lot of work to open a factory that manufactures shoes or microprocessors, manufacturing a gaffe factory is very easy.

Step 1. Call something that a candidate has done a gaffe.

Step 2. Report on the gaffe claim that your media outlet just made. Do not call it a claim, treat it as a verified fact that everyone has already acknowledged.

Step 3. Turn the gaffe reporting into the major issue by talking about it all the time. Interview experts who are willing to back up your gaffe claim.


Meanwhile in a completely unimportant story buried on Page 24, we now know that Obama has signed an intelligence finding authorizing aid to the Syrian rebels. This was one of the steps to war in Libya. And the rebels now have surface-to-air missiles of unknown origin, though likely supplied by either Turkey, Qatar or Saudi Arabia, all of whom are radical Islamist states and who buy their weapons from the United States. But there’s no reason to pay attention to our slow march to war in Syria. Not when Romney’s aide told a reporter to, “Shove it”.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Millions of Voter Records Flawed, Nearly 2 Mil Dead Registered

As the presidential election approaches, the potential for voter fraud is dangerously high nationwide with nearly 2 million dead people still registered to cast ballots, about 3 million eligible to vote in two or more states and millions more that are inaccurate, duplicate or out of date.

The alarming figures were published this week in a report issued by the non-partisan Pew Center on States. It reveals that approximately 24 million active voter registrations in the United States are no longer valid or have significant inaccuracies. The problem, apparently, is an outdated registration system that can’t properly maintain records.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

NASA Awards $1.1 Billion in Support for 3 Private Space Taxis

NASA revealed new agreements with three private spaceflight companies today (Aug. 3) — deals that total $1.1 billion in funding support for new commercial spaceships to launch American astronauts into space.

The new deals represent the final round of NASA’s Commercial Crew integrated Capability program (CCiCap), which aims to foster the design and development of new private spaceships to fill the current gap in U.S. human spaceflight capabilities.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Panetta Shoots for Islamic Brownie Points

by Diana West

In the very best light, Leon Panetta, former CIA-director-turned-SecDef, was a dupe of Communism, an enabler and supporter of its agents and advocates. That he serves in the most sensitive positions in the US government is a real-life nightmare — only the kind in which when you scream, no one hears you.

That said, how to interpret a memorandum Panetta issued on July 30 regarding “Military Justice in Combat Zones”?

In this memo to secretaries of the military departments, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, and a new, Panetta-created panel called the Defense Legal Policy Board, Panetta orders a review of “military justice in cases of U.S. Service members alleged to have caused death, injury or abuse of non-combatants in Iraq or Afghanistan” dating back to October 2001.

He goes on to exclude allegations of detainee abuse and instances of collateral damage and “friendly fire” incidents. He also excludes previously adjudicated cases and pending cases and investigations.

So what’s left?

As I read it, what remains are incidents that never came to trial, maybe that never were investigated. Records of any such incidents would be found in a dozen years’ worth of military files, which I imagine would include allegations against US troops made by Iraqis and Afghans. To say the veracity of such witnesses is unreliable is understatement of the century, but I’ll just put it out there with this bonus: a commander with extensive battlefield experience in both Iraq and Afghanistan told me that lie detectors are considered useless in evaluating an Afghan’s testimony.

What does Panetta hope to accomplish? Panetta writes:…

           — Hat tip: Diana West[Return to headlines]

Romney Won’t Condemn Bachmann

by Alex Seitz-Wald

The GOP presidential candidate won’t condemn the congresswoman’s Muslim witch hunt

Mitt Romney failed to join other Republican leaders today in condemning Rep. Michele Bachmann’s witch hunt against Muslims in the U.S. government, telling reporters at a campaign stop in Las Vegas that it was not “part of my campaign.” Republicans like Sen. John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner, among others, have spoken out publicly against Bachmann’s campaign, but when Romney was asked about it, along with the controversy over Chick-fil-A, he dodged the question. “I’m not going to tell other people what things to talk about. Those are not things that are part of my campaign,” the presumed GOP nominee said at a rare press availability after a campaign stop.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Saudi Students to Establish Islamic Center in the Murray State University

(MENAFN — Arab News) Saudi students at Murray State University in Kentucky have received a license to establish an Islamic center where they can organize cultural and social programs along with observing religious rites. Saudi students had been performing their prayers and Iftar in a rented building in which other Arab and Muslim students participated. The city’s mayor and university authorities have supported the move made by the 400 member Saudi Students Organization.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Shooting at Sikh Temple in Wisconsin Leaves at Least 7 Dead, Including Gunman

Police say at least seven people, including a gunman, were killed in a shooting at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee Sunday.

Police were called to respond to the shooting at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the suburb of Oak Creek on Sunday morning, when witnesses said several dozen people were gathering for a service.

Sunny Singh, 21, of Milwaukee, said a friend pulled into the temple’s parking lot, heard shots and saw two people fall down. The friend then saw the shooter reload his weapons and head to the temple’s entrance, Singh said.


According to the Journal Sentinel, there could be as many as 30 victims; among those shot was the president of the temple.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Strife in ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’: Violence in the Shadow of Disneyland

Anaheim, the US home of Disneyland, has been torn by violence provoked by racial tension and police shootings. Nick Allen reports.

In the shadow of Disneyland, the self declared “Happiest Place on Earth,” the people are far from happy. Little over a mile from the gates of the magical kingdom violent unrest has erupted, with protesters throwing chairs through the windows of Starbucks, looting mini-markets, and hurling rocks at police in riot gear. On one recent summer evening, as the theme park’s usual fireworks extravaganza exploded overhead, police shot bean bags and pellets at an angry, hundreds strong mob attacking a nearby City Hall with bricks. Last Sunday 200 demonstrators marched towards Disneyland itself chanting “Whose streets? Our streets” before being stopped half a mile away by heavily armed officers blockading roads.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The Truth? Few Muslims in Government

by Nathan Guttman

Huma Abedin Smear Spotlights Paucity of Officials

Washington - When Minnesota Republican Rep. Michele Bachmann and a group of colleagues called for a probe into “security concerns” over the employment of several Muslims in top government positions, Democrats and Republicans joined in condemning the call and in accusing those behind it of Islamophobia. Yet, shining the spotlight on the issue of Muslim Americans in senior federal government positions also revealed a little-noticed truth: There aren’t many of them. In fact, less than a handful of Muslims hold top posts, and in general, activists believe, Muslim Americans are underrepresented in the civil service.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Up is Down: Media Ignores Romney’s Successes in Overseas Trip

The American media will do anything it can to destroy him in order to help Barack Obama to get reelected.

What was the most striking thing about Mitt Romney’s overseas trip this week? Says Powerline, the most striking thing is the “hypercritical” coverage given the trip by the American press. In what could only be seen by an unbiased person as a success, Romney’s trip has instead been reported as a gaffe-filled mess.

Romney’s non-controversy comments about the Olympics aside, the worst part of the coverage was all the attention the Old Media lavished on the absurd claim from a member of the Palestinian Authority that Romney was a “racist” for his comments about Israeli culture in comparison to Palestinian.

In a very well received speech to fundraisers in Jerusalem, Romney noted that there is a “dramatic, stark difference in economic vitality” between Israel and the Palestinian held areas.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Voting Systems for Overseas Voters in 24 States Prone to Hacking

Almost half of states use voting systems for overseas and military voters that could be susceptible to hackers, says the report by Rutgers Law School and two good-governance groups: Common Cause Education Fund and the Verified Voting Foundation. Dozens of states lack proper contingency plans, audit procedures or voting machines that produce backup paper records in case something goes wrong.

Colorado, Delaware, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and South Carolina are least prepared to catch problems and protect voter enfranchisement, the study showed.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

White House Chef Says Future Food to be Made From Chemicals, Not Real Food Ingredients

Every two years, a consortium of Europe’s most active minds converges at the Euroscience Open Forum to discuss the latest advancements in scientific research and innovation. But this year’s meeting, which was held in Dublin, Ireland, featured a disturbing workshop held by White House executive pastry chef Bill Yosses, who explained and demonstrated to audience members how the food of the future will not actually contain real food, but rather various combinations of lab-created chemicals that mimic food.

As reported on Six One News, a feature of RTE News in Ireland, Yosses and several other food experts showed a live audience how to create various foams, gels, solids, and other food-like textured substances out of chemicals that, when combined, resemble things like lemon souffle and chocolate pudding. These food scientists then shared samples of these laboratory creations with audience members, who were told that the imitation food products are the wave of the future.

“You take the (chemical) compounds and you make the dish,” said Herve This of AgroParisTech, a science and research organization based in France, to RTE News in Ireland. “So you have no vegetables, no fruit, no meat, no fish, nothing except compounds. And you have to create a shape, a color, a taste, a freshness, a pungency, an astringency, everything,” he added, likening traditional cooking methods such as “cracking eggs” and using real food ingredients to “living in the Middle Ages.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


‘30 Mosques’ Project Hits an Unholy Obstacle: Bike Theft

Being on a peaceful religious journey won’t spare you from Toronto’s bike thieves. Himy Syed walked into the 52 Division police station with his severed bicycle lock, dejected. His curious journey — pedaling his metallic orange Norco to 30 different mosques during Ramadan — was slowed down by a bike thief with bolt cutters. “That’s all I got,” he told the police officer, holding up the Kryptonite lock.

Around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, Syed biked to Masjid Toronto, the downtown mosque at Chestnut and Dundas Sts., to pray before sunrise.

He took a short nap there and stepped out at around 6 a.m., only to find the robust lock clipped and his beloved bike gone.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Belarus: Teddy Bear Drop Claims Swedish Victim

Sweden’s ambassador to Belarus was in for a big surprise — but it wasn’t a teddy bear’s picnic. In the wake of a pro-democracy teddy drop from a Swedish plane in Belarussian airspace, Sweden’s Foreign Minister Carl Bildt claimed Belarus had expelled the Swedish ambassador, but Minsk saw it otherwise as its Foreign Ministry spokesman explained.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France is Closer to Muslims After Presidential Elections

MENAFN — Arab News) For 3.5 million French Muslims, Ramadan began on Friday, 20 July. Enthusiasm for fasting seems stronger than ever this year, with 71 percent of Muslims in France observing Ramadan as opposed to 60 percent 20 years ago, according to the newspaper La Croix. And fast-breaking iftar dinners, such as the welcome iftar at the Grand Mosque in Paris, are attended by newly elected French politicians eager to demonstrate their commitment to a renewed relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims in France following recent elections.

During the last decade in France, however, debates on the role of religion in the public space, migration, social cohesion and other issues have revealed increasing social tensions and polarization in public opinion. Misperceptions and misinformation often dominate public dialogue about relations between French Muslims and their co-citizens. And things became even worse last year when President Nicolas Sarkozy’s government banned the wearing of face veils in public places, angering many in the Muslim community.

For many, the recent elections seem to offer a change. Muslims in France are hopeful that the new government will bring positive changes. “With the left (in power), we feel closer to the government and to France in general. And France is closer to Muslims”, said a young Parisian Muslim. “Now, we can focus on more important issues, such as jobs.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

French Mayor Retreats After Suspending Fasting Muslims

(Reuters) — A French mayor has revoked the suspension of four Muslim camp counsellors following an uproar after he said they could not work properly because they might be weakened by their all-day fasting for Ramadan.

Muslim groups threatened to sue the Paris suburb of Gennevilliers for discrimination for recalling the four after an inspector found on July 20 — the first day of the Muslim holy month — that they were not eating or drinking during the day.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Furor Over Film Capturing Harassment on Hidden Camera in Belgium

As Sofie Peeters walked down the streets of Brussels, men cat-called her, followed her, called her rude names and asked how much she cost. She wondered: Was she doing something wrong?

Peeters, a film student, took a hidden camera to chronicle the harassment she underwent regularly on the streets. When she confronted the men who called out to her, they told her to shut up and keep walking.

“You should be thanking us, ‘Thank you for making me feel like a woman!’ “ one man argued to Peeters, saying that the only way to avoid it was to have a man walk alongside her.

Other women shared their strategies for coping with harassment: One told Peeters that if she was wearing a skirt she would change before going out for a walk. Another said she constantly wore headphones to dull the annoyance, seeing but not hearing the catcalls.

The broadcast of the documentary “Femme de la Rue” ignited a firestorm last week in Belgium and France over the unwanted attention that many women report getting in the streets.

The furor appears to be fueling real action: The Belgium interior minister said more must be done to squelch the phenomenon and plans to introduce legislation against harassment, according to Belgian media. Brussels will impose fines of up to $300 for sexual intimidation this fall.

French feminists have seized on the film as an example of why its new, tougher sexual harassment law was needed, passed not long after the French housing minister was catcalled inside the French National Assembly while wearing a modest summer dress.

After a journalist tweeted that he had never heard of the same problems in France, the film also spawned a Twitter hash-tag, #harcelementderue, as European women told of the insults they had weathered on the streets.

“A turtleneck or a bikini —- it makes no difference,” one French-speaking user wrote in frustration.

Peeters has also come under fire: Most of the men in the film appear to be North African immigrants, spurring accusations of racism. Anti-immigrant bloggers have argued that the film should be seen as an example of the ills of Muslim and North African culture.

The film student told a Flemish television station that she had feared the film might be seen as racist because so many of the catcallers were immigrants, but she insisted that was not her intent and that she had simply chosen to record what she experienced in her own neighborhood.

Among the women in the film who recount harassment are a Muslim woman in a head scarf and a woman who said men told her that “we’re from the same country, that’s why I’m the boss here.”

Peeters also interviewed a male friend who recalled hooting at women from cars, blaming social taboos in his culture — it isn’t clear exactly where he is from — for building up frustration around sex. Yet Peeters also cast a critical eye on the objectification of women in Western advertising, suddenly noticing naked women on posters all around her in Brussels.

“How can we be respected as women when we’re constantly being depicted as a kind of blow-up doll?” she asked.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Michael Phelps Ends Career With Gold as U.S. Men Win Medley Relay

The finale was a formality, more a coronation than a contest. Michael Phelps headed into the retirement the only way imaginable — with another gold medal.

Reclaiming the lead with his trademark butterfly stroke, the one most people first saw in Sydney a dozen years ago, Phelps won the 18th gold of a mind-boggling career in the 4x100-meter medley relay Saturday.

When it was done, Phelps hugged his teammates — Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian — before heading off the deck for the final time in his suit. He waved to the crowd and smiled, clearly at peace with his decision to call it a career.

And what a career it was!

Phelps retires with twice as many golds as any other Olympian, and his total of 22 medals is easily the best mark, too. He can be quite proud of his final Olympics as well, even though there were times he had trouble staying motivated after winning a record eight gold medals at the Beijing Games four years ago.

Bouncing back from a disappointing first race in London, a fourth-place finish in the 400 individual medley, Phelps wound up with more medals than any other swimmer at the games: four golds and two silvers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica Wins Women’s 100 Meters

Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce of Jamaica defended her title in the women’s 100 meters at the London Olympics with a time of 10.75 seconds, ahead of Carmelita Jeter of the United States.

[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Anti Islam EDL in Stockholm for ‘Counter-Jihad’ Meet

The English Defence League and a collection of far-right and anti-islam groups are planning to come to hold an international meeting in Stockholm on Saturday. The EDL have been invited by a sister group calling themselves the Swedish Defence League (SDL) and Stockholm has been chosen for the rally as it was the scene of a failed suicide bombing in December 2011. “Stockholm was chosen for the Global Counter Jihad rally because of the actions of an Iraqi-born Swedish citizen, Taimour Abdulwahab al-Abdaly, who travelled to central Stockholm on December 11, 2010 in order to commit mass murder,” a group associated to the meeting explained in a statement. According to Jonathan Möller at Swedish anti-racism newspaper Expo the various groups are united in their belief that there is an ongoing war between the West and Islam and that this will lead to the introduction of Sharia law in Europe and the US.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sweden “Counter-Jihad” Rally Outnumbered by Anti-Racists

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) — A Stockholm rally by European and U.S. far-right groups seeking to create a global “counter-jihad” movement attracted fewer than 200 people on Saturday who were outnumbered by anti-racist protesters.

Police said the rival demonstration was kept apart from the far-right rally and drew a few hundred people, a small number of whom were detained.

The far-right rally was organised by groups including the English Defence League (EDL) which has been a driving force behind a handful of similar events, most recently a Danish rally in March.

The EDL gained international attention through anti-Islamic fanatic Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway a year ago and who referred to it admiringly in a manifesto on the Internet. The group has denied links to Breivik.

Support has grown in European countries for populist, nationalist and anti-immigration movements and in Sweden the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats won seats in parliamnt for the first time in 2010.

However, previous attempts by European far-right groups to join forces have foundered amid splits and feuding over ideology and leadership.

Nottingham University’s Matthew Goodwin, an expert on British far-right militant groups, said the Stockholm meeting was of strategic importance despite the modest turnout.

“The attending are quite significant figures within the anti-jihad movement. It signifies the strengthening links between counter-jihad groups and anti-Muslim groups within Europe and the United States,” he said.

***Unclosed Item!***EDL leader Stephen Lennon, who also calls himself Tommy Robinson and who founded the group three years ago, said the meeting was about sharing resources and coordinating strategies. {ID:nL6E8FK5XL]

“It’s about sharing ideology, sharing resources, work together in any way we can over the next 12 months in order to highlight the truth, the truth about Islam,” he told Reuters on the sidelines of the Stockholm rally.

Pamela Geller, a leader of groups Stop Islamization of Nations and Stop Islamization of America, said the movement was planning to hold a conference in New York on September 11.

“It’s very important that it goes global because what we are fighting is a global ideology,” she said.

           — Hat tip: LN[Return to headlines]

UK: How Can the Conservatives Win Ethnic Voters?

Tory policies on immigration including the legacy of Enoch Powell, gay marriage and off message comments from the likes of Aidan Burley MP are raised as explanations for the big gap between the Tory Party and BME voters. Sam insists Tory policies for entrepreneurs, families and overseas aid should form the basis for a new appeal.

[Video clip]

[Reader comment by Sandy Jamieson on 3 August 2012 at about 7pm.]

I’m just watching Granada Reports on TV. The lead story is over the murder of Shafilea Ahmed whose parents have been jailed for her murder because Shafilia wished to adopt a more Western life. Over the years, we have admitted to our shores members of a Pakistani Community who do not find anything wrong with “Honour” Killing, who turn a blind eye to members of their community blowing themselves up in the London Underground and who continually preach anti-semitic and anti-Indian Hate in their Madrassas. Maybe the British majority should turn round and tell them that it is clear the Pakistani/Moslem community is experiencing difficulty in living in Britain and they should consider leaving the UK and to achieve that option the Government should facilitate a regime of voluntary repatriation.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: IOC President Rogge Faces Backlash at Memorial Service for Murdered Israelis

International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge faces being barracked at a memorial service by community leaders and families of the 11 Israelis killed by Palestinian terrorists at the 1972 Olympics. He is due to speak at the Guildhall event in central London on Monday evening, but his refusal to grant a minute’s silence in memory of the murdered athletes at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony has enraged the victims’ widows.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: New Photo of ‘English Nessie’ Hailed as Best Yet

Pictures of a mysterious creature surfacing from Lake Windermere have been hailed as the best ever sighting of the English Loch Ness Monster, or “Bownessie”.

The photograph, which shows an object with three humps breaching the surface of the lake, is said to be the best evidence yet of what some claim is a monster lurking beneath the depths. It was taken on a camera phone by Tom Pickles, 24, while kayaking on the lake as part of a team building exercise with his IT company, CapGemini, last Friday. Mr Pickles said he saw an animal the size of three cars speed past him on the lake and watched it for about 20 seconds. He said: “It was petrifying and we paddled back to the shore straight away. At first I thought it was a dog and then saw it was much bigger and moving really quickly at about 10mph. Each hump was moving in a rippling motion and it was swimming fast. Its skin was like a seal’s but it’s shape was completely abnormal — it’s not like any animal I’ve ever seen before.”

This is believed to be the eighth sighting of a long humpbacked creature — known by local residents as “Bownessie” — in the past last five years. Mr Pickles’ companion Sarah Harrington, 23, said: “It was like an enormous snake.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Parents Killed Daughter, 17

A COUPLE who killed their ‘westernised’ teenage daughter because they believed she had brought shame on the family were convicted of her murder yesterday — nine years after the brutal killing. Iftikhar Ahmed, 52, and his wife Farzana, 49, pictured, of Warrington, suffocated Shafilea, 17, with a plastic bag in an apparent ‘honour killing’. Shafilea’s sister Alesha told Chester Crown Court she heard her mother say ‘just finish it here’ as they forced a plastic bag into the teenager’s mouth in front of their other children.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Rapist Who Struck ‘To Teach Women a Lesson’

A man who raped women to “teach them a lesson” for being out at night was jailed indefinitely yesterday.

After Islam’s arrest, his DNA was linked with three other attacks near his home in Barking

Sunny Islam, 23, dragged away his victims, including a 15 year-old, at knifepoint, then bound and assaulted them.

Police fear that Islam, who raped four women over three months in east London, may have attacked many more.

At Woolwich Crown Court, Judge Patricia Lees sentenced Islam to a minimum sentence of 11 years before he is considered for parole. She told him: “The nature and extent of these offences drives me to the conclusion that you represent an extreme and continuing danger to women, particularly those out at night.”

Islam was traced through the number plate of his girlfriend’s car after he kidnapped and raped the 15 year-old in September 2010. He grabbed her from behind as she walked home with a friend, then drove her to a secluded spot where he raped her twice.

In a victim impact statement read to the court, the teenager said: “No one will ever understand the flashbacks, they are so real, at night I lay in my bed and it is like I am there.

“It is like a screen in my mind forcing me to relive that night again and again. People will say time will heal, but I think time has helped me accept the truth — that I will never escape what happened.”

Judge Lees said: “You told her you were going to ‘teach her a lesson’. Those words are a chilling indictment of your very troubling attitude towards all of these victims. You seem to observe women out at night as not deserving respect or protection.”

After Islam’s arrest, his DNA was linked with three other attacks near his home in Barking, said Sara Lawson, prosecuting.

On July 8, 2010 Islam raped a 20-year-old prostitute twice, then six days later attacked a 28 year-old, dragging her into his car where he forced her to perform a sex act. She managed to escape by kicking out the back window.

The fourth victim, a 30 year-old who was also attacked in September, did not come forward until police identified her blood in the back of the car.

Islam, who told the jury he was a practising Muslim, was convicted of seven charges of rape, one of sexual assault and one of kidnap.

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

UK: When Muslim Parents Kill a Beautiful 17-Year-Old Out of Religious Conviction, I Feel Intolerant

by Cristina Odone

Shafilea Ahmed’s parents have been found guilty of her murder. The beautiful 17-year-old Cheshire schoolgirl was killed by her own mother and father in a brutal honour killing they kept hidden for nine years. Even though I’d suspected, like everyone else who’s been following the tragic case, that Iftikhar Ahmed and his wife Farzana were responsible for their daughter’s murder, I’m desperately sad.

Can religion really lead a mother and father to kill their own child? It is clear that in the Ahmeds’ case, this was so: Alesha, the victim’s surviving sister, testified in court that her parents openly acknowledged that they must do away with the rebellious teenager. She had adopted “western ways” , and brought shame on their family.

It is a terrible tragedy — even more so because although the Home Office statistics claim that there are 12 honour killings a year in Britain, the truth is far more alarming. As Ann Cryer, the former Keighley MP who campaigned tirelessly against honour killings and arranged marriages pointed out to me when I was researching faith schools, teachers in predominantly Muslim areas complain regularly of “disappearances”.

Once a Muslim girl hits puberty, the most conservative parents will pluck her out of school where she risks contamination from western peers, and if she is lucky they continue her lessons at home. If she is unlucky, they send her back to Pakistan, in an arranged marriage usually to a much older man. I see this as a very strong argument in favour of more Muslim faith schools: only when they feel their daughters are in a safe Muslim school will parents allow them to continue their education past puberty.

But it is also a very serious indictment of an intolerant immigrant culture. When Muslim parents hate their host culture so much that they will kill a child who seems to embrace it, then they are guilty of intolerance — the kind that non-Muslims are wary of showing, lest they be branded racist, or bigoted. A tragedy like Shafilea’s makes me feel intolerant.

[Reader comment by realist77 on 4 August 2012 at 1:04 am.]

So the Telegraph is not allowing comments on the Shafilea Ahmed murder ?

[Reader comment by wagonmakeruk in reply to the above on 4 August 2012 at 5:06 am.]

Yes, I noticed that. With apologies to Robert Colvile for hijacking his blog I’ll briefly ask whether the closed comments section of Cristina Odone’s was a reaction to early submissions or a pre-emptive move to avoid highly controversial opinions being offered on a subject which, in the wrong hands, might turn incendiary; a precautionary censorship, you might say.


[JP note: Reader comments above at ]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Top Bishop Says Attacks on Egypt Christians on Rise

A senior Egyptian Coptic bishop said on Friday attacks on Christians are on the rise and criticized the inclusion of only one Copt in Islamist President Mohammed Morsi’s government.

“The general climate is turning against Christians,” said Bishop Morcos. “Assaults on Christians have increased. It’s not just a matter of having one ministry,” he told Agence France Presse. On Wednesday, Muslims attacked a church and Christian homes in a village outside Cairo, leading to clashes that injured 16 people after a Muslim man died of wounds from a fight with a Christian. A day later, President Morsi, who had pledged to include Coptic representatives in his government, swore in a new cabinet with only one Christian, the scientific research minister from the outgoing government.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

British Public Opinion Turning Against Israel, Warns Ambassador

British public opinion regarding Israel is turning because of its hardline policies towards the Palestinians, the UK ambassador has warned.

In an unusually forthright interview on Israeli television, Matthew Gould said that an increasing number of Britons see Israel as “Goliath” and the Palestinians as “David” — a mirror image of the Jewish state’s narrative of itself. “Support for Israel is starting to erode and that’s not about these people on the fringe who are shouting loudly and calling for boycotts and all the rest of it,” he told the Channel 10 television station. The centre ground, the majority, the British public may not be expert but they are not stupid and they see a stream of announcements about new building in settlements, they read stories about what’s going on the West Bank, they read about restrictions in Gaza.”

Mr Gould also said he had detected a shift in attitude against Israel among centrist MPs in Britain amid growing frustration with the lack of progress in the peace process. Although his comments will irritate the Israeli right, which has always viewed Britain as pro-Palestinian, they have prompted a debate in the country, not least because Mr Gould is Jewish and is seen as a friend of Israel. Government officials said they had “taken note” of his message.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Gunmen Attack Egypt-Gaza Border Checkpoint in Sinai, 13 Guards Killed

An Egyptian official, speaking on condition of anonymity, 13 guards were killed and seven other guards were wounded in an attack. It took place around sunset, when the troops were having the traditional meal at the end of the daily Ramadan fast.

EL-ARISH, Egypt — Masked gunmen killed 13 Egyptian guards Sunday at a security checkpoint along the border with Gaza and Israel, attacking with automatic rifles and weapons mounted on their vehicles, a security official said.

Egypt blamed Islamist militants.

The Israeli military said the attack was part of a plot to abduct an Israeli soldier, and two vehicles commandeered by the attackers crashed into Israel, where one blew up.

In a statement, Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak said Israel’s military and the internal security agency “thwarted an attack that could have injured many. The militants’ attack methods again raise the need for determined Egyptian action to enforce security and prevent terror in the Sinai.”

The attack took place around sunset in the Egyptian border town Rafah, when the troops were having the traditional meal at the end of the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

Egyptian state TV said the attack on the checkpoint was carried out by Islamist militants. It quoted a security official who said 13 troops were killed in the attack coordinated between Palestinians who entered Egypt from Gaza and Egyptians in Sinai.

It was one of the bloodiest attacks in Sinai in years, underlining the growing lawlessness of the Egyptian territory, where security forces have become targets of militants, some loosely linked with al-Qaida.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Palestinian Model: Hitler’s Jungvolk

Op-ed: The PA glorifies the idea of martyred children, indoctrination that mirrors Hitler’s Children’s Army.

By Giulio Meotti

What is the Palestinian Arab model for children? Hitler’s “Children’s Army” at the end of World War II.

Terrorist Dalal Mughrabi, who in 1978 masterminded Israel’s most lethal terror attack (killing 37 people, 12 of them children), has been hailed again as a hero and role model by the Palestinian Authority, which has found another way to honor the terrorist’s memory by naming a children’s camp in Jericho after her.

It is the Sisters of Dalal Mughrabi camp in Jericho, funded by Fatah and revealed by Palestinian Media Watch.

It’s amazing that nobody, not the media, the White House, Bruxelles or the United Nations, protested against this diabolic incitement to infanticide and most horrible form of childhood molestation. There is no precedent in the history of humanity for this child sacrifice.

Like the Palestinian Arab willing “martyrs”, Hitler’s Children, “the Jungvolk”, were as young as 10, yet fought in the Third Reich. As the famous Palestinian Arab infant dressed in the outfit of a suicide bomber, with a scarf around the head and a belt of fake explosives around the waist, Hitler’s Children looked pathetic standing in full sized uniforms and wearing helmets that were too large.

In the Palestinian Arab camp of Balata, overlooking the Jewish town of Itamar, the youngsters have replaced their Pokemon cards with necklaces with photos of suicide bombers.

“These children are convinced that martyrdom is a holy thing, something worthy of the ultimate respect”, Munir Jabal, head of a Balata teachers association, declared a few years ago to the Toronto Star. “They worship these pictures. I think it will lead them in the future to go out and do the same thing”.

This madness has become a plague in Palestinian Arab society…

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

UN Special Rapporteur Fostering Jew-Hatred Again

Richard Falk — UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights on Palestinian territories occupied since 1967 — appears to have landed himself in hot water once again — as his web site “Citizen Pilgrimage” — has hosted a series of posts that contain comments that are highly offensive and insulting of Jews.

He apparently has not learned any lesson after having been rapped over the knuckles by UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay following his posting of an anti-Semitic cartoon on the same website last June — which drew the following admonition from Ms Pillay in a letter to UN Watch:

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Islamic Extremists Threaten Syria’s Christians

by John Eibner

Obama must not ignore sacrifice of religious minorities

More than a year has elapsed since the United States aligned itself with Syria’s Sunni-dominated opposition and the Middle East’s Sunni powers to overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. While the United States pursues this goal in the name of the Syrian people, it is clear that its ultimate strategic objective is to render Syria, Shiite Iran’s most important regional ally, useless in its struggle for mastery of the Middle East.

To achieve its goal, the United States is employing economic sanctions, political backing for the Syrian opposition and lethal military support to the Free Syrian Army and other Sunni-dominated armed groups, channeled through Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey — all American allies with considerable democratic deficits, especially in the realm of religious and ethnic minority rights.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muslim Brotherhood Establishes Militia Inside Syria

The Muslim Brotherhood has established its own militia inside Syria as the country’s rebels fracture between radical Islamists and their rivals, commanders and gun-runners have told The Daily Telegraph.

Calling itself the “Armed Men of the Muslim Brotherhood”, the militia has a presence in Damascus as well as opposition hot spots like Homs and Idlib. One of their organisers, who called himself Abu Hamza, said that he started the movement along with a member of the Syrian National Council (SNC), the opposition alliance. “We saw there were civilians with weapons inside, so we decided to co-operate with them and put them under one umbrella,” he said.

Hossam Abu Habel, whose late father was in Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood in the 1950s, said that he raised $40-50,000 (£25,000-£32,000) a month to supply Islamist militias in Homs province with weapons and other aid. The militias he funded were not affiliated to the Free Syrian Army (FSA), the main rebel movement, added Mr Abu Habel. “Our mission is to build a civil country but with an Islamic base,” he said. “We are trying to raise awareness for Islam and for jihad.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Rumsfeld: Israel Shouldn’t Tell the US Before Striking Iran

Former U.S. defense secretary tells Fox News that international sanctions have had no impact on the Iranian regime • Given leaks at White House, Rumsfeld says he would not notify U.S. of Iran plans if he were in the Israeli government.

Former U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed firm support this weekend for Israel’s position on the Iran nuclear issue and said that international sanctions have not influenced the Iranian regime. Rumsfeld also said that if he were Israel, he probably wouldn’t notify the U.S. of an impending strike on Iran given the current state of the relationship and frequent leaks out of the White House.

“Well, I think the prime minister of Israel, [Benjamin] Netanyahu, is probably correct,” Rumsfeld said in an interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox News Thursday. “Their intelligence on Iran is excellent.”

Rumsfeld said that sanctions usually don’t work well over a prolonged period of time. He added that sanctions tend to hurt people more than governments.

Rumsfeld cited the example of Iraq, where sanctions didn’t affect the actions of Saddam Hussein. “He kept building palaces and importing weapons and doing what he wanted to,” Rumsfeld said of Hussein.

“I think any prime minister of Israel who gets up every morning and reads in the newspaper that the leadership of Iran says that the Israeli state should be annihilated, eradicated, incinerated, has to know that it’s that prime minister’s responsibility to see that that doesn’t happen,” Rumsfeld continued.

When asked how the U.S. should respond if Israel were to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, Rumsfeld said it would depend on who is in the White House at the time.

“We historically have looked at Israel as a very important relationship,” Rumsfeld said. “We have been cooperative, and we have assisted them with various types of technology and weaponry.”

Rumsfeld went on to speak out against White House leaks on the Iran nuclear issue.

“If I were in the Israeli government, I don’t think I would notify the United States government of any intent to do anything about Iran,” Rumsfeld stated. “I think that their [Israel’s] relationship with the United States is such that it conceivably could leak out of the United States government that he called and that he plans to do something on Iran.”

“So my guess is, given the pattern of leaks out of the White House, that any prime minister of Israel would not call the United States and give clear intentions as to what they plan to do.”

Asked about Israel’s capabilities to stop Iran’s nuclear program, Rumsfeld said that Israel wouldn’t need to destroy every Iranian nuclear site.

“All the Israelis need to do is delay them [the Iranians],” Rumsfeld said. “They [Israel] don’t need to — you don’t need to do something like that 100 percent, like they were able to do in Iraq when they had the bombing raid and took out the Iraqi nuclear facility, or in Syria, where they took out the Syrian nuclear facility.”

Rumsfeld also spoke about the ongoing violence in Syria and said that the U.S. should provide aid to the rebels who are fighting against the regime of Bashar al-Assad.

“Syria and Iran are linked at the hip,” Rumsfeld said. “They are terribly damaging to our country. They support Hamas. They support Hezbollah. They support other terrorist organizations. They are harmful to us in Iraq. They are harmful to us in Afghanistan. And they are harmful in the region.”

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Soldier Shot Dead in Eastern Province

A soldier has been shot dead and another injured during a clash with protesters in eastern Saudi Arabia, according to state media.

An interior ministry spokesman said that a security patrol was fired at by rioters on a motorbike in Qatif. A protester was also killed in a firefight following the incident, according to news agency AFP. The oil-rich Eastern Province is home to a Shia majority that has long complained of marginalisation.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Syria: Iranian Pilgrims Hijacked in Damascus Amid Intense Clashes

DAMASCUS, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) — Mortar shells have fallen over Abbasyeen neighborhood in the Syrian capital of Damascus on Saturday, causing property damages with no immediate information on casualties, witnesses told Xinhua, adding Iranian pilgrims were abducted on their way to Damascus. The sources of the mortars were not immediately known, but the area is close to focal point districts that are witnessing clashes between armed rebels and government forces. Meanwhile, the pan-Arab al-Mayadeen TV said that a bus transporting Iranian pilgrims have been hijacked by armed groups on the Damascus airport road on Saturday.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UAE: 25 Filipinos Embrace Islam After Lecture

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) — As was the case in the last ten sessions of the Ramadan Forum, the Philippines night has proved to be the most eventful this year also with tens of people converting to Islam. Prominent Filipino scholar Sheikh Omar Penalber, 57, delivered a lecture in Tagalog on ‘The Path to Salvation’ as part of the six-lecture cultural programme for foreign communities of the 11th session of the Ramadan Forum in Al Twar-2 area on Thursday night. As many as 25 Filipinos converted to Islam following the three-hour long lecture in which Sheikh Penalber affirmed that the Holy Quran is the rain that brings forth true life on earth.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK Pledges More Help for Syrian Rebels

BRITAIN’s Foreign Secretary William Hague has pledged greater support for Syria’s rebel fighters, as the battle for the country’s commercial capital Aleppo intensified.

“Given the scale of death and suffering and the failure so far of the diplomatic process we will, over the coming weeks, increase our practical but non-lethal support,” Hague told BBC radio. “We have helped them with communications and matters of that kind, and we will help them more,” he added. “It will not involve sending armaments.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Mosque Bomb Wounds 19: Official

JALALABAD: A bomb hidden inside a mosque tore through dozens of worshippers during Friday prayers in eastern Afghanistan, wounding at least 19 including the imam, officials said.

The attack in Chaparhar town in Nangarhar province came just days after a provincial judge was killed and four civilians were wounded in a mosque bombing in southern Uruzgan province. “The bomb went off close to the imam as he was offering the Friday prayer,” provincial spokesman Ahmad Zia Abdulzai told AFP. “Nineteen people have been injured, among them the imam who is in a critical condition,” he said, blaming Taliban insurgents for the bombing.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghan Officials: Local Policeman Kills 11 People in Southern Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan officials searched Friday for a member of a government-backed village defense force suspected of killing 11 civilians at a house in southern Afghanistan, officials said. It was just one of several deadly attacks in the country, underlining the unstable situation as NATO scales back its operations, aiming to hand over responsibilities to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Ramzan Prayers: Now Muslims Protest in Jalandhar

JALANDHAR: Muslims protested outside the office of Commissioner of Police here on Friday for not allowing them to complete their prayers during Ramzan days on a Waqf Board land in Gazi Gulla locality after Hindu residents of the locality had opposed their offering prayers at the site and building a mosque there on Thursday. Even as the Muslims had started offering prayers with the advent of Ramzan some days back on Thursday they were not allowed on Thursday evening after residents of the locality had opposed and staged a dharna outside the site.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Maldives: Baroness Scotland Paid £7,500 a Day to Advise Maldives ‘Coup Leader’ Accused of Torture

A former Labour Cabinet Minister has agreed a deal to be paid £7,500 a day to advise the leader of an alleged coup in the Maldives accused of torture and repression. Ex-Attorney-General Baroness Scotland was under fire last night after details emerged of her contract with the new government of the Indian Ocean nation.

One Conservative MP called her behaviour ‘disgusting’. Leaked documents seen by the Daily Mail suggest she was paid £75,000 for two weeks’ work advising the regime on avoiding further action by the Commonwealth, which has raised serious concerns about a string of human rights abuses. The Maldives hit the headlines in February when its first freely-elected president Mohamed ‘Anni’ Nasheed was ousted by his deputy, Mohammed Waheed Hassan.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Market Bomb Kills 3 in Northwest Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Afghan police say a remote-controlled bomb in a busy market has killed two policemen and one civilian in the country’s northwest. The explosion went off as shoppers were hurrying to buy food to break the day’s fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Rallies Express Solidarity With Myanmar Muslims

Rallies and protests were held in the provincial metropolis on Friday to express solidarity with Myanmar Muslims who are facing genocide in the Buddhist majority country, demanding intervention of world community and Muslim governments. People participated in the rallies in large numbers on the call given by Jamaat-e-Islami ameer Munawwar Hasan and Jamaatud Dawah ameer Hafiz Saeed. Those who addressed the gatherings urged the world community and the Muslim rulers to take steps to protect the Myanmar Muslims against the Buddhist hooligans and the army.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.S. Begins Packing Its Afghan War Gear for the Movers

CAMP LEATHERNECK, Afghanistan — It has taken the United States years to amass the mountains of gear piled up at huge bases like Camp Leatherneck in southern Afghanistan. It is the job of logistics experts like First Lt. Rachel Opperman, 23, to bring it all back home.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

Rare Earth Elements

The supply of REEs is vulnerable since China holds a monopoly with 97 percent of rare earth elements output and 75 percent of permanent magnet production.

China’s production of REEs started in late 1950s in the Chinese area of Inner Mongolia, the Baiyun Obo iron ore deposit discovered in 1927. The mine covers 48 square kilometers and is estimated to contain 36 million tons of rare earth oxide. (Wayne M. Morrison and Rachel Tang, China’s Rare Earth Industry and Export Regime: Economic and Trade Implications for the United States, April 30, 2012)

The Chinese have a monopoly because the Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping made the exploitation of rare earth elements a top priority, likening its strategic significance to the importance of the Middle East’s oil.

China has used rare earths as a political bargaining chip.


We love our cell phones, portable DVDs, laptops, electronic gadgets, rechargeable batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and medical devices. Once self-reliant in domestically produced REEs, in the last 15 years we have become 100 percent dependent on Chinese imports because of their lower cost operations and lack of stringent regulations. Now that they control production, the sky is the limit.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Aussie Muslim Charity Gives to Locals in Need This Ramadan

With all the dramas currently going on in the Islamic world, the focus for a lot of Muslims living in the West is to give charity to fellow Muslims that are in war torn or natural disaster effected countries. Of course our brothers and sisters in Syria, Burma, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen, etc…need our support. But as the Prophetic Sunnah teaches us, charity should always start with those that are closest to you first and then work its way out. A Muslim community group from Sydney, Australia is doing just that this Ramadan by feeding local refugees, families in need and giving eid gifts to Muslim children in hospital. Here is their story.

“Thank YOU so much!! You and your team (Mission of Hope volunteers) were so generous with your time and all the magnificent gifts. Your team brought so much happiness to all the children, their siblings, parents and staff. We enjoyed the day immensely!” Alhamdulillah this was the reaction of the staff at the Sydney Children’s Hospital Randwick, when we began Day 1 of our Eid Gift Drive there last year. Mission of Hope (MoH) is in its 8th year of running the Eid Gift Drive. Last year the Australian Muslim community donated enough gifts to cover Westmead Children’s Hospital, Canterbury Hospital, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital, and the Muslim Foster Children BBQ.

This year, we are aiming to do more. With your support, we hope to cover gifts for the children in six other hospitals and have more volunteers visit nursing homes with gifts. Remember The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “He is not of us who does not have mercy on young children, nor honor the elderly”. (Al-Tirmidhi). MoH in fact has numerous programs to help the disadvantaged Muslims within the Australian community. For the second year running, MoH has organized home cooked meals for every night during the month of Ramadan at Villawood Immigration Detention Centre (VIDC). There are currently 66 fasting Muslims at VIDC who are not blessed with the luxury of choosing which cuisine to eat or which restaurant to dine at. The food provided to them is very basic, making it difficult for them to enjoy the experience of breaking the fast — a privilege we take for granted too often.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pride Over Prejudice: Muslims Battle for Unity in Diversity

AS muslims fast for the holy month of Ramadan, Goya Dmytryshchak looks at the barriers this community faces in its pursuit of unity in diversity.

Bachar Houli shakes his head and looks at the ground. He seems close to tears. It’s like the ‘Penny Wong moment’ on the ABC’s Q&A when the Labor senator, forced to defend her family structure, uttered those seven famous words: “I know what my family is worth”. I have just told the Richmond player and AFL multicultural ambassador — who is the first devout Muslim recruited for the role — about that day’s top story in Australia’s capital. It concerns a Canberra community divided over plans to build a mosque, with some saying women in burqas will scare children. Houli, who lives in Hoppers Crossing and attends Newport mosque, reacts like he’s been sledged. “I’m just in awe,” he says. “They say our country’s not a racist country but you know what? We’re a long way away from becoming multicultural, and part of my role in the AFL is to break down these barriers. But we’re a long way from it. ‘It’s sad to see because we are a multicultural country. Things like this shouldn’t stop you. Look, sorry … it’s just very, very disturbing, you know.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Gambia: UK High Commissioner Opens Flag Sharia Law Training

The High Commissioner of the United Kingdom to The Gambia, David Morley, Wednesday officially opened the Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia (FLAG) Sharia law training, a dispatch from the high commission stated. The Female Lawyers Association of The Gambia was recently awarded over 240,000 Dalasis (£5,000) from the UK High Commission to conduct Sharia law training for 10 FLAG members, to enable them offer legal representation to vulnerable women and children across The Gambia. The initiative comes against the backdrop of the recent ruling by the Cadi court that all legal representatives must have sufficient training in Sharia law before they are able to bring cases before the court.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Kenya: At Least One Killed in Nairobi Explosion

At least one person has been killed in an explosion in a Somali suburb of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, on the eve of a visit by Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State.

A dozen more were reportedly injured in the blast, which hit Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighbourhood. There were conflict reports of a grenade attack and suicide bomber. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the blast, the latest in a string of attacks in Kenya. Mrs Clinton, on an 11-day, seven-nation Africa tour, is due to travel to Kenya on Saturday, where she is due to meet with Kenyan leaders and officials from Somalia’s government, which is preparing to end its mandate later this month. Kenya has suffered a spate of grenade attacks, shootings and bomb blasts since sending troops into southern Somalia in October to crush Islamist bases there, prompting warnings of revenge attacks by the Al-Qaeda linked fighters.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Religious Leader Survives Attack

TOP Muslim traditional leader in northeastern Nigeria has escaped a suicide attack, when the bomber was thwarted by locals before blowing himself up, police and residents say.

The target of the attack was Muhammad Abali, the top Muslim traditional leader in Yobe state, whose official title is the Emir of Fika.

Five people, including three policemen, were wounded in the blast outside the main mosque after Friday prayers ended in the town of Potiskum, the state police commissioner, Patrick Egbuniwe, said. “A lone suicide bomber attempted to attack the Emir of Fika in Potiskum just after the Friday prayer as he left the mosque. But the attacker was restrained by the people around and he blew himself up,” he said. “Only the bomber died. Five other people were injured including three policemen attached to the emir,” Egbuniwe said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Greece: Paros: Police Arrests Assaulter of Teenager Girl; Illegal Immigrant From Pakistan Confesses the Crime

Greek police announced the arrest of a man of Pakistani origin as the assaulter of the teenager girl that was brutally beaten almost two weeks ago in Nea Chrysi Akti beach. The culprit was identified through a double DNA test on a sample found on the body and the clothes of the unlucky girl and the man’s saliva.

The Pakistani confessed his heinous act on Saturday afternoon.

According to police, the man confessed that he originally wanted to steal the girl’s mobile but as she resisted he beat her with a rock. The girl fainted, he sexually abused her and beat her again against the rocks.

The severly abused girl was found about an hour after the assault, laying on the rocks of Chrysi Akti. She was rushed to an Athens hospital.

The man, an illegal immigrant, was working at a tourist facility. He returned to his work and continued his life as if nothing had happened. However as police increased its presence on the island and even called on locals and tourists to assist, the man apparently felt he could be caught. Six days later, he left the island and fled to Greece’s capital Athens.

Police located the culprit among thousands of illegal immigrants in Athens with the aid of technology (located his mobile) and the active cooperation by other immigrants. He was arrested in the early morning hours of Saturday in Nea Chalkidona suburb of Athens, together with two other compatriots, also illegal immigrants.

[And of course it is an illegal alien Muslim from Pakistan who assaulted this young Greek girl, just for her phone. This really supports my premise in my essay entitled “Borders, Language and culture.” The purpose of that earlier essay, was to help warn both Greeks and my fellow Americans of the danger of illegal immigration.

At least the Greeks are starting to wake up and resist this incursion into their homeland. We know that illegal immigration into Greece is a real problem, and many of these illegal alien invaders end up in countries like Sweden, Norway, Germany, France and the U.K. What happens in Greece will eventually impact the rest of the EU, whether it is economics, employment, or crime.

By protecting their borders, language, and culture Greece is protecting the rest of Europe from the invasion. — A.C.]

           — Hat tip: Anestos Canelides[Return to headlines]

Greek Police Evict Immigrants From Athens

AFP — Police said Saturday they had rounded up about 2,000 people in an operation to evict undocumented immigrants from central Athens, claiming that “national survival” was at stake for debt-choked Greece.

The aim of the operation was “to send them back to their countries of origin, close the borders and ensure that Athens returns to being a lawful city with a quality of life,” police spokesman Christos Manouras said.

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]


The Mega Mosques Boom

by Daniel Greenfield

Murfreesboro, a city in the heart of Tennessee, and, Marseille, France’s second-largest city and its largest city on the Mediterranean coast, have few things in common. The two cities are separated by nearly 5,000 miles, and by equally wide divisions of language and culture. And yet Murfreesboro and Marseille are connected by a common challenge. Both cities have struggled against the creeping rise of the mega mosques. The mega mosque in Marseille has been the subject of an extended legal fight going back a decade. The one in Murfreesboro had a briefer history of being on the wrong side of the law. But in both cases elected officials did their best to aid the mega mosques while ignoring local residents and the law.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]