Friday, January 10, 2003

News Feed 20100813

Financial Crisis
»Belgium Backs EU-Wide Tax: Minister
»Big-Box Retailers Leave Huge Spaces for Dallas Brokers to Fill
»Spanish Banks Seek Record Amounts From ECB
»U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know it
»Watchdog Panel Cites Global Impact of US Bailout
»911 Mosque Founder Wants to Establish Shariah in USA
»American Socialists Release Names of 70 Congressional Democrats in Their Ranks
»An Iranian Connection to the Cordoba Mosque
»Barack Obama’s Latest Crackpot Claim: “Islam Has Always Been a Part of America”
»Ground Zero Mosque Plans ‘Fuelling Anti-Muslim Protests Acrss US’
»Michief in Manhattan
»Neighbors of Suspected Serial Stabber: ‘it’s a Relief to Know That He is Out of the Neighborhood’
»New EU Ambassador in Washington Claims Transatlantic Authority
»Racial Hatred Blamed in Girl’s Slaying in Harbor Gateway Area
»Republicans Reject Obama’s Turkey Envoy
»Sacrilege at Ground Zero
»Southwest Airlines Considering Buying Bigger Planes
»States, Not Supreme Court, Must Decide Law and Protect Freedom
»The “Bush Did it” Defense of the Ground Zero Mosque Imam
»The EPA Must be Stopped!
»US Muslims Prep for Islamic Holiday — Around 9/11
»$900,000 to Help Right Wrongs Done to Chinese
»Canadian Imams Issue Declaration to Combat Radical Islam
Europe and the EU
»French Minister Lodges Complaint Against Rapper
»Gassed in Their Beds by Riviera Robbers: Terrifying Ordeal of the British Tourists Falling Victim to Mediterranean Gang Crimewave
»Netherlands: ‘VVD, CDA Choosing Experienced Politicians as Ministers’
»Poland Extradites Alleged Mossad Spy to Germany Over Dubai Hit
»Spain: Islamic Community Fights Back Over Burkha Ban
»Sweden: Police Discover Stash of Napalm Material
»Swedish Muslims Face Daylight Fast Challenge
»UK: ‘We Were Maimed by the Killer GP’: The Victims of Dr Daniel Ubani Speak Out
»UK: MCB Supports Dispossessed Campaign
»UK: MCB: New Assistant Secretary Generals Announced
»UK: MCB Re-Affirms Its Non-Theological Stand and Commitment to Promoting Unity
»UK: Muslims Begin a Month of Fasting
»UK: Police Under Fire Over Scheme to Give Repeat Offenders Stolen Bicycles So They Can Find Jobs
»UK: Prisoner on Day Release Ran Brothel From His Home After Being Let Out for ‘Rehabilitation’
»UK: Runaway Train Causes Havoc on the Tube After Careering Through Six Stations With No Driver
»UN Slams French Prejudice
»What Are Israeli Flags and Jewish Activists Doing at Demonstrations Sponsored by the English Defence League?
North Africa
»Moroccans Block Border Post Into Spanish Enclave
»Spanish King Moves to Ease Tensions With Morocco
Middle East
»Caroline Glick: Guide to the Perplexed
»Iranian Rockers Tear Down ‘The Wall’
»Saudi Arabia: Al-Qaeda Plots Against Saudi Monarchs, Israel
»Russian Nuclear Agency Says Iran’s First Nuclear Plant Will Start Getting Fuel Next Week
South Asia
»India: Victims of Anti-Christian Pogrom in Orissa, Kidnapped for Prostitution
»Malaysia: Two Muslim Youths Sentenced Over Church Fire
»Pakistan: Christians Take to the Streets on ‘Black Day’ To Protest Blasphemy
»Denmark: Nationalists: No More Non-Western Immigrants
»Finland: SDP Lashes Out at “Extremes” In Immigration Debate
»Foreign-Born Workers Get Three-Quarters of British Jobs
»Illegal Immigrants Estimated to Account for 1 in 12 U.S. Births
»Italy: Pakistani Sought by Interpol Arrested
»UK: Pupils Forced to Use Mobile Classrooms as City is Flooded by 20,000 Migrants
Culture Wars
»Poland: Warsaw’s Cross Row
»WHO List Reveals Flu Advisors With Financial Ties to Pharma, Vaccine Manufacturers

Financial Crisis

Belgium Backs EU-Wide Tax: Minister

Belgium’s budget minister spoke in favour on Tuesday of a Europe-wide tax that could directly target citizens, after Britain, France and Germany all opposed the EU plans.

European Union budget commissioner Janusz Lewandowski on Monday said he was considering options to raise revenue, such as a direct levy on national taxpayers and a tax on air transport.

Detailed plans will be presented next month but Belgium’s Melchior Wathelet said he had “always been a great defender of the principle of (the EU having its) own resources,” as opposed to being three-quarters funded by member state contributions.

The current model, which also involves rebates for Britain, Denmark and Germany for instance, is “unhealthy,” Wathelet said.

With its own income, the EU would be a “more just” organisation which would more closely scrutinise its own accounts, he argued.

France’s junior minister for Europe, Pierre Lellouche, told AFP on Tuesday that the idea of a European tax was “perfectly ill-timed,” saying the goal should instead be to “make savings” in Brussels.

Lellouche, like London and Berlin, said taxation at the EU level would raise “fundamental political questions and would constitute a major transfer of sovereignty.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Big-Box Retailers Leave Huge Spaces for Dallas Brokers to Fill

Shoppers will have to hurry to get a deal on new sofa or dining table at the RoomStore on North Central Expressway in Plano.

Later this month, the national furniture retailer is closing the store, which previously housed a Mervyn’s and Burlington Coat Factory.

When the last of the clearance items are carted away, the space will join almost 200 big-box retail locations that have shut their doors in the Dallas-Fort Worth area in recent years.”While the D-FW economy has held up well in relation to the rest of the country, the local market is faced with a significant oversupply of retail box spaces that totals nearly 8.1 million square feet,” said Jeff Kittleson, senior vice president of CB Richard Ellis.

That’s about the same amount of retail space that would be contained in four shopping centers the size of NorthPark Center mall.

“There is a lot of inventory to work through,” said Kittleson, who believes the glut of retail space has now peaked.

The empty storefronts range from vacant supermarkets in the ‘burbs to darkened department stores at the mall.

Albertson’s, Blockbuster, Circuit City, Linens ‘N Things and Bally’s Total Fitness are among the companies that have added significantly to the supply of empty retail during the last couple of years.

Circuit City alone closed more than a dozen locations in the D-FW area early in 2009.

Some of those locations have already been filled by tenants including Buy Buy Baby and Best Buy. But others are going begging.

The high-profile former Circuit City location at Central Expressway and Meadow Road in North Dallas is getting made over as a medical clinic.

A doctor’s group bought the building in March and is remodeling it to house a location for the Minimally Invasive Spine Institute.

“We are seeing a growing number of medical tenants who are interested in these kinds of properties,” said Bob Young, managing director of Dallas’ Weitzman Group. “It’s no secret that the health and fitness universe is really expanding right now.”

But Young admits that filling retail locations can be like a game of whack-a-mole — just as one big-box space gets plugged with a tenant, another pops up vacant.

“It sure seems like a revolving door right now,” Young said.

Weitzman Group estimates that about 14 percent of D-FW retail real estate is empty.

And much of that is in large blocks of space such as the vacant Macy’s and Dillard’s department stores at Valley View Center.

The owners of the high-vacancy regional shopping center on LBJ Freeway recently turned over the property to lenders.

“The overall uncertainty about the economic climate is making some retailers cautious about expanding” into the vacant boxes, Young said.

Dividing it up

Cutting these big former stores up into smaller spaces often is not an option, he said.

“Converting a big box into multiple spaces can be a costly proposition,” Young said.

Still, the former Home Depot Expo store on the Dallas North Tollway in Far North Dallas was recently divided to house two related tenants: Buy Buy Baby and Bed Bath and Beyond.

And now a third, Christmas Tree Shops, has taken the remainder of the 127,000-square-foot space.

“There is a lot of synergy with those three stores,” said Steve Lieberman of the Retail Connection, who brokered the deal. “That empty building was a fantastic opportunity for those retailers to get space in a mature market like the Galleria.”

While worries about the economy have recently reduced consumer spending, real estate agents say they are hopeful that the worst of the store closings is over for North Texas.

“We’ve purged many of the retailers who are weak,” Young said. “And many of the large retailers who are left have really improved their operational efficiencies.”

Bargains out there

Retailers that are still looking to expand in the D-FW area or improve their locations are getting bargains, property brokers say.

“There is a level of demand for the vacant anchor spaces here in North Texas which is stronger than most other areas of the country,” said Bob Ginsburg of CB Richard Ellis.

“The tenants who recognize the opportunity to capture good real estate at what can be said are favorable economics are acting to take advantage.

“We are also experiencing the expansion of specialty merchants who are focused on specific ethnic merchandising, especially in the grocery segment.”

A popular example is the new 99 Ranch Market Place on Spring Creek Parkway in Plano.

The high-end Asian supermarket recently opened in a 60,000-square-foot former Albertson’s store that had been vacant for three years.

Centennial Real Estate Co. bought the shopping center in 2007 in partnership with Westmount Realty Capital when it was only 20 percent leased.

“To see the parking lot full now and all the traffic is something,” said Centennial CEO Steve Levin. “I’ve been in this business 30 years, and I have never seen a turnaround like this.

“These boxes are just not easy to backfill.”

The new grocery store has already spawned additional leases.

“We have six signed leases for new restaurants and are negotiating with two more,” Levin said. “Everybody wants to be in that center now because of the traffic it generates.”

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa[Return to headlines]

Spanish Banks Seek Record Amounts From ECB

Spain’s banks borrowed a record 130.2 billion euros (167 billion dollars) from the European Central Bank in July, the Bank of Spain said Friday, in a sign they continue to struggle to get market financing.

The amount constituted almost 30 percent of the 447.5 billion euros in loans handed out by the ECB last month in financing for eurozone banks, a figure which was down from 496.7 billion euros in June.

Borrowing by Spanish banks from the ECB was up up 3.1 percent from June and 77.7 percent higher than in the same month last year, the Bank of Spain said.

It was the fourth straight month that the banks had asked for more funds from the ECB and the highest amount borrowed since the Bank of Spain began releasing such figures in 1999.

The deputy chairman of the Bank of Spain, Javier Ariztegui, said in June that Spanish banks since April had been forced to seek more liquidity from the ECB due to nervousness in the markets over the country’s economy.

The banks hope to see confidence return in the coming months following the positive results of stress tests for Spanish banks last month.

All eight major Spanish banks passed the EU’s bank stress tests on their ability to weather a crisis although five out of 19 regional lenders failed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know it

by Laurence Kotlikoff

Let’s get real. The U.S. is bankrupt. Neither spending more nor taxing less will help the country pay its bills.

What it can and must do is radically simplify its tax, health-care, retirement and financial systems, each of which is a complete mess. But this is the good news. It means they can each be redesigned to achieve their legitimate purposes at much lower cost and, in the process, revitalize the economy.

Last month, the International Monetary Fund released its annual review of U.S. economic policy. Its summary contained these bland words about U.S. fiscal policy: “Directors welcomed the authorities’ commitment to fiscal stabilization, but noted that a larger than budgeted adjustment would be required to stabilize debt-to-GDP.”

But delve deeper, and you will find that the IMF has effectively pronounced the U.S. bankrupt. Section 6 of the July 2010 Selected Issues Paper says: “The U.S. fiscal gap associated with today’s federal fiscal policy is huge for plausible discount rates.” It adds that “closing the fiscal gap requires a permanent annual fiscal adjustment equal to about 14 percent of U.S. GDP.”

The fiscal gap is the value today (the present value) of the difference between projected spending (including servicing official debt) and projected revenue in all future years.

Double Our Taxes

To put 14 percent of gross domestic product in perspective, current federal revenue totals 14.9 percent of GDP. So the IMF is saying that closing the U.S. fiscal gap, from the revenue side, requires, roughly speaking, an immediate and permanent doubling of our personal-income, corporate and federal taxes as well as the payroll levy set down in the Federal Insurance Contribution Act.

Such a tax hike would leave the U.S. running a surplus equal to 5 percent of GDP this year, rather than a 9 percent deficit. So the IMF is really saying the U.S. needs to run a huge surplus now and for many years to come to pay for the spending that is scheduled. It’s also saying the longer the country waits to make tough fiscal adjustments, the more painful they will be.

Is the IMF bonkers?

No. It has done its homework. So has the Congressional Budget Office whose Long-Term Budget Outlook, released in June, shows an even larger problem.

‘Unofficial’ Liabilities

Based on the CBO’s data, I calculate a fiscal gap of $202 trillion, which is more than 15 times the official debt. This gargantuan discrepancy between our “official” debt and our actual net indebtedness isn’t surprising. It reflects what economists call the labeling problem. Congress has been very careful over the years to label most of its liabilities “unofficial” to keep them off the books and far in the future.

For example, our Social Security FICA contributions are called taxes and our future Social Security benefits are called transfer payments. The government could equally well have labeled our contributions “loans” and called our future benefits “repayment of these loans less an old age tax,” with the old age tax making up for any difference between the benefits promised and principal plus interest on the contributions.

The fiscal gap isn’t affected by fiscal labeling. It’s the only theoretically correct measure of our long-run fiscal condition because it considers all spending, no matter how labeled, and incorporates long-term and short-term policy.

$4 Trillion Bill

How can the fiscal gap be so enormous?

Simple. We have 78 million baby boomers who, when fully retired, will collect benefits from Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid that, on average, exceed per-capita GDP. The annual costs of these entitlements will total about $4 trillion in today’s dollars. Yes, our economy will be bigger in 20 years, but not big enough to handle this size load year after year.

This is what happens when you run a massive Ponzi scheme for six decades straight, taking ever larger resources from the young and giving them to the old while promising the young their eventual turn at passing the generational buck.

Herb Stein, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers under U.S. President Richard Nixon, coined an oft-repeated phrase: “Something that can’t go on, will stop.” True enough. Uncle Sam’s Ponzi scheme will stop. But it will stop too late.

And it will stop in a very nasty manner. The first possibility is massive benefit cuts visited on the baby boomers in retirement. The second is astronomical tax increases that leave the young with little incentive to work and save. And the third is the government simply printing vast quantities of money to cover its bills.

Worse Than Greece

Most likely we will see a combination of all three responses with dramatic increases in poverty, tax, interest rates and consumer prices. This is an awful, downhill road to follow, but it’s the one we are on. And bond traders will kick us miles down our road once they wake up and realize the U.S. is in worse fiscal shape than Greece.

Some doctrinaire Keynesian economists would say any stimulus over the next few years won’t affect our ability to deal with deficits in the long run.

This is wrong as a simple matter of arithmetic. The fiscal gap is the government’s credit-card bill and each year’s 14 percent of GDP is the interest on that bill. If it doesn’t pay this year’s interest, it will be added to the balance.

Demand-siders say forgoing this year’s 14 percent fiscal tightening, and spending even more, will pay for itself, in present value, by expanding the economy and tax revenue.

My reaction? Get real, or go hang out with equally deluded supply-siders. Our country is broke and can no longer afford no- pain, all-gain “solutions.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Watchdog Panel Cites Global Impact of US Bailout

The $700 billion U.S. bailout program launched in response to the global economic meltdown had a far greater impact overseas than other countries’ financial rescue plans did on the U.S., according to a new report from a congressional watchdog.

Billions of dollars in U.S. rescue funds wound up in big banks in France, Germany and other nations. That was probably inevitable because of the structure of the Treasury Department’s program, the Congressional Oversight Panel says in a new report issued Thursday.


An example: Major French and German banks were among the biggest beneficiaries of the U.S. rescue of American International Group Inc., yet the American government shouldered the entire $70 billion risk of pumping capital into the crippled insurance titan. The report compares that with the $35 billion that France spent on its overall financial rescue program and the $133 billion that Germany spent.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


911 Mosque Founder Wants to Establish Shariah in USA

Revealed in Arabic — Ground Zero Mosque Founder Rauf Wants to Establish Shariah

by Walid Shoebat

Is Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf — founder of the hugely controversial Ground Zero Mosque — lying to the American public?

We have uncovered extraordinary contradictions between what he says in English and what he says in Arabic that raise serious questions about his true intentions in the construction of the mosque.

On May 25, 2010 Abdul Rauf wrote in an article for the New York Daily News: “My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists. We are the people who want to embolden the vast majority of Muslims who hate terrorism to stand up to the radical rhetoric. Our purpose is to interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society.”

Oh really?

Only two months before, on March 24, 2010, Abdul Rauf is quoted in an article in Arabic for Rights4All entitled (from one of his responses) “I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue”.

Yes, you read that correctly and, yes, that is an accurate translation. And Right4All is not an obscure blog, but the website of the media department of Cairo University, the leading educational institution of the Arabic-speaking world.

In the article, the Imam said the following of the “religious dialogue” and “interweaving into the mainstream society” that he so solemnly seems to advocate in the Daily News and elsewhere: “This phrase is inaccurate. Religious dialogue as customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing. Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian. The image of Muslims in the West is complex which needs to be remedied.”

But that’s only the beginning of what we learn from the Rights4All piece. When asked his view regarding an Islamic state, Abdul Rauf responded that “Throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians, it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more then just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Shariah that are required to govern. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed.”

When questioned about this, Abdul Rauf continued “Current governments are unjust and do not follow Islamic laws.” He added “New laws were permitted after the death of Muhammad, so long of course that these laws do not contradict the Quran or the Deeds of Muhammad…so they create institutions that assure no conflicts with Shariah.” [emphasis in translation]

In yet plainer English, Abdul Rauf’s goal is the imposition of Shariah law — in every country, including the U. S.

He made that even clearer in an interview with Sa’da Abdul Maksoud that appeared on the popular Islamic website Hadiyul-Islam on May 26, 2010 — one day after his article for the New York Daily News.

In the Hadiyul-Islam article, Abdul Rauf reiterates that an Islamic state under Shariah law with no separation of church and state can be established even when the government is a kingdom or a democracy.

But these attitudes are nothing new for the (alas, few) people who have been paying attention. Way back on September 30, 2001, Faisal Abdul Rauf was interviewed on 60 Minutes by host Ed Bradley. Their verbatim dialogue from this CBS News transcript concluded:

BRADLEY: Are—are—are you in any way suggesting that we in the United States deserved what happened?

Imam ABDUL RAUF: I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.

BRADLEY: OK. You say that we’re an accessory?



Imam ABDUL RAUF: Because we have been an accessory to a lot of—of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it—in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.

This is the “anti-terrorist” of the Daily News article?

The Faisal Abdul Rauf who spoke to 60 Minutes in 2001 is the same Abdul Rauf who, in the last couple of months, espoused the spread of Shariah law on Arabic websites and said the opposite in the pages of the Daily News. He is the man New York City authorities are about to allow to build a mosque on Ground Zero.

Caveat emptor.

           — Hat tip: TV[Return to headlines]

American Socialists Release Names of 70 Congressional Democrats in Their Ranks

The Socialist Party of America announced in their October 2009 newsletter that 70 Congressional democrats currently belong to their caucus. This admission was recently posted on

American Socialist Voter— Q: How many members of the U.S. Congress are also members of the DSA? A: Seventy

Q: How many of the DSA members sit on the Judiciary Committee? A: Eleven: John Conyers [Chairman of the Judiciary Committee], Tammy Baldwin, Jerrold Nadler, Luis Gutierrez, Melvin Watt, Maxine Waters, Hank Johnson, Steve Cohen, Barbara Lee, Robert Wexler, Linda Sanchez [there are 23 Democrats on the Judiciary Committee of which eleven, almost half, are now members of the DSA].

Q: Who are these members of 111th Congress? A: See the listing below

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

An Iranian Connection to the Cordoba Mosque

The Ground Zero mosque website just removed a photo of Mohammad Javad Larijani: secretary-general of Iran’s High Council for Human Rights, brother of Ali Larijani, top negotiator for Iran’s nuke program.

More questions have arisen about the attempt to build a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero, as part of the so-called Cordoba Initiative. In particular, why has the Cordoba website just removed a photograph of Iranian Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the High Council for Human Rights in Iran? Is the move an attempted cover-up of their Iranian connections?

Two weeks ago the Cordoba Initiative website featured a photograph of the project’s chairman, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, and Iranian Mohammad Javad Larijani at an event that the Initiative sponsored in Malaysia in 2008. This week, the photograph, which appears below, has disappeared.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Barack Obama’s Latest Crackpot Claim: “Islam Has Always Been a Part of America”

In his annual Ramadan statement released yesterday Barack Obama claimed that, “Islam has always been a a part of America.” Really? From the White House website: “And here in the United States, Ramadan is a reminder that Islam has always been part of America and that American Muslims have made extraordinary contributions to our country.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Ground Zero Mosque Plans ‘Fuelling Anti-Muslim Protests Acrss US’

Religious leaders warn of Islamophobia surge with hate speech and opposition to new Islamic centres across America

The battle over plans to build a mosque near the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York is fuelling a surge in anti-Muslim protests across the US, including opposition to new Islamic centres from California to Georgia. Religious leaders and civil rights activists warn that a tide of Islamophobia that has swept the country since the destruction of the twin towers is being heightened by political exploitation of the New York dispute before nationwide elections and is increasingly bound up with hostility to immigrants and other forms of racism. They say the outpouring of condemnation at the “outrage” of a mosque close to the “hallowed ground” of the World Trade Centre site also goes hand in hand with the increasing acceptability of what they describe as hate speech.

A Florida church, Dove World Outreach Centre, is planning a “burn the Qur’an” day on September 11 and has already outraged Muslims by planting a sign on its front lawn that reads: Islam is the Devil. The church’s senior pastor, Terry Jones, has said he is “exposing Islam for what it is. It is a violent and oppressive religion that is trying to masquerade itself as a religion of peace, seeking to deceive our society,” the church said. “Islam is a lie based upon lies and deceptions and fear. In Muslim countries, if you preach the gospel or convert to Christianity — you will be killed. That is the type of religion it is.”

A leading Muslim educational institution, al-Azhar’s Supreme Council in Egypt, has accused the Florida church of “stirring up hate and discrimination” and called on other American churches to condemn it. Many religious leaders have spoken out against Muslim-bashing, including rabbis in New York who have defended the plans for the mosque two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks, which would not be visible from Ground Zero.

But John Esposito, director of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, said many Americans shared Jones’s views. He said the dispute over the proposed mosque had given cover for more open hostility unleashed after the 9/11 attacks that was evident during the last presidential election when some of Barack Obama’s opponents attempted to portray him as a Muslim. “The World Trade Centre thing has shown that what has been up to now seen as a local issue has gone global and provided an umbrella so that suddenly people feel freer to go public with their objections to Muslims,” he said. “Historically we’ve had problems in Mississippi or Georgia or New York or wherever when someone wants to establish a mosque. The cover for opposition used to be that people will say: we’re not really prejudiced but it’ll affect the traffic in the area, not facing the fact that it is very common if you have a significant number of Jews or Protestants or Catholics to expect that they’re going to want to have a synagogue or a church and chances are the town’s going to go along with it.”

But today, Americans increasingly no longer shy away from saying they oppose mosques on the grounds that Muslims are a threat or different. In New York, a group called the American Freedom Defence Initiative is placing adverts on New York buses showing a plane flying into one of the World Trade Centre towers and what it calls a “Mega Mosque” and asking “Why There?”. Azeem Khan, of the Islamic Circle of North America, said the bus adverts promoted fear and hatred. “People want Islam and Muslims to be the bogeyman right now,” he said.

The issue is increasingly being exploited by politicians in the run-up to November’s mid-term elections. Opposition to a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, intensified after Republican candidates for Congress and state governor made opposition part of their campaigns. Sarah Palin, the former vice presidential candidate, has been a vocal opponent of the controversial New York mosque. Other prominent politicians have cast the net wider. Newt Gingrich, the Republican former speaker of the House of Representatives, who is thought likely to make a run for president, has warned that Muslims are attempting to impose sharia law in the US and that it poses a “mortal threat to freedom” in America.Gingrich said that he would push for legislation to prevent states from adopting sharia law even though none are proposing it and there is no likely prospect of it happening.

Esposito said politicians’ fearmongering over Muslims was similar to exploitation of fears that the country was being swamped by a tide of illegal immigrants. “Islamophobia is not just about religion. It’s about people who are of colour and a whole set of presuppositions about these people,” he said. “You can see it not only with Muslims but with Mexicans, people who look Hispanic. Now we have hard data from Gallup and Pew that demonstrate in America how integrated the vast majority of Muslims are — economically, politically and religiously. And yet a significant number of Americans can be appealed to in what is nothing less than hate speech, the same hate speech directed against immigrants.”

Hostile messages

  • Members of an evangelical church in Texas travelled to Connecticut to verbally attack worshippers leaving a mosque in Bridgeport, carrying signs reading: “Jesus hates Muslims”

    In Tennessee, Republican politicians have condemned plans to build a large Muslim centre in Murfreesboro. Hundreds of people have joined protests

[JP note: I do declare the Islamic Guardian drives one to distraction with its multiple falsehoods and deceit. Secondly, let us not forget that the oft-quoted Esposito was once a student at the British Foreign Office’s Middle East Centre for Arab Studies (MECAS) — hardly a reputable source for insightful about Islam.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Michief in Manhattan

We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation

New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it’s not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as “Fitna,” meaning “mischief-making” that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Neighbors of Suspected Serial Stabber: ‘it’s a Relief to Know That He is Out of the Neighborhood’

FLINT, Michigan — Neighbors of a house that appears to belong to the suspected serial stabber — who was earlier identified as Elias Abuelazam — say the man moved into his home a month to a month and a half ago.

The house located on Maryland Avenue near Riegle Avenue in Flint’s east side was searched by Michigan State Police this morning.

“It’s a little bit scary knowing that I was two houses down from a possible serial stabber,” said Taylor Strang, 20, of Flint.

Her mother, Carrie Strang, 43, said she had seen a green blazer in the driveway, one that fit the police description of the vehicle.

Carrie Strang, who woke up this morning to find state police cars outside, said she didn’t contact authorities because he was a dark Middle Eastern man and the description said he was white.

“It’s a relief to know that he is out of the neighborhood,” Carrie Strang said.

This story will continue to be updated throughout the day. Check back to for more updates.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

New EU Ambassador in Washington Claims Transatlantic Authority

The new European Union ambassador to Washington has suggested that he will speak for Britain on foreign and security policy in America.

Joao Vale de Almeida was this week formally installed as the EU’s ambassador to the US, and suggested that American officials should regard him as their first point of contact for transatlantic discussions.

He is the first EU ambassador to be appointed after the controversial Lisbon Treaty gave the EU sweeping new powers.

The new ambassador claimed to now be “leading the show” among European representatives in Washington.

The prospect of an EU official speaking for the UK to its most important ally has angered eurosceptics, who said it shows Britain’s waning influence.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Racial Hatred Blamed in Girl’s Slaying in Harbor Gateway Area

As the trial in the 2006 death of 14-year-old Cheryl Green opens, prosecutors describe an atmosphere of racial hatred between Latinos and blacks. Green was African American, her accused killer Latino.

One moment, it was an idyllic December afternoon with a group of young people hanging out in the driveway, one young man showing his 6-year-old cousin how to play Tetris on a cellphone.

In the next, a gunman walked up and began firing into the crowd, sending people screaming and running, leaving a 14-year-old girl dead and others injured.

What led to the 2006 death of Cheryl Green was not a calculated crime but an indiscriminate racial hatred that has long plagued a narrow strip of Los Angeles squeezed between Torrance and Carson, known as the Harbor Gateway area, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

In opening statements in the trial of two Latino gang members charged in the murders of Cheryl Green and a potential witness, prosecutors described the racially charged environment of the Harbor Gateway area that led to the girl’s death. The slaying sparked outrage and highlighted long-standing black-Latino tensions in the neighborhood.

It was a world in which intimidating and killing blacks was a “full-time enterprise” for powerful Latino gangs, and walls covered in graffiti with racial epithets made it abundantly clear that blacks were not welcome in the area, Deputy Dist. Atty. Gretchen Ford told jurors.

Jonathan Fajardo, now 22, faces the death penalty if convicted of Green’s murder. Fajardo and a second defendant, Daniel Aguilar, 23, are also accused in the stabbing death of a potential witness, a fellow gang member whom they suspected of talking to the police shortly after the shooting. Aguilar is not charged in Green’s killing.

Ford said the chain of events began with a black man driving up in an SUV to a market in the area that members of the 204th Street gang frequented. When Fajardo and others approached the car, the man flashed a gun, and the gang members, who were unarmed, fled.

Fajardo, angry over the confrontation, retrieved a gun from a friend’s apartment and later opened fire on Green and her friends because they were black, Ford alleged.

Green died at the scene. Three others suffered gunshot wounds but survived.

Police, suspecting that the 204th Street gang was involved because the shooting had targeted blacks, served search warrants on known gang hangouts, one of which was the apartment of Christopher Ash. When Ash was arrested but released later the same day, the gang began “gossiping” that he might have been cooperating with the police, Ford said.

Gang members lured Ash to a garage, where they took turns stabbing him, Ford told the jury.

Ash’s body, stabbed 80 times and with his throat slit, was found on the side of a road in Carson two weeks after Green’s death.

Ford said Fajardo, in a lengthy statement to police, admitted to Green’s killing and to suspecting Ash of being a snitch. He believed that Ash, the only non-Latino member of the gang, kept a diary about the gang’s dealings, Ford said.

Thomas White, Fajardo’s defense attorney, challenged Ford’s characterization of the group of youngsters that Green was with, saying they were drinking and smoking marijuana. He said the gunman did not specifically target Green.

He also said his client believed the group intended to confront Ash, not kill him.

Aguilar’s attorney contended that his client just did as he was told by older gang members, “big homies,” because he feared the consequences if he refused.

Green’s mother, Charlene Lovett, sat in the audience with other family members and sobbed upon hearing the scene of her daughter’s death described.

“It’s something that a mother should never have to envision in their mind, their child getting killed,” she later said outside court. “It’s horrible.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Republicans Reject Obama’s Turkey Envoy

The nomination of Frank Ricciardone to be the next U.S. ambassador to Turkey is being held up in the Senate and the GOP has no intention of allowing a vote on the nomination any time soon.

A spokesperson for Sen. Sam Brownback, R-KS, confirmed to The Cable that his office has placed a hold on the nomination, which was reported out favorably by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last month. Brownback is preparing a letter now to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton explaining the reasons for his objections.


To his supporters, Ricciardone is a distinguished 34-year veteran of the Foreign Service who has taken on tough assignments in dangerous places on behalf of both Democratic and Republican administrations. To his critics, Ricciardone’s record shows a pattern of being too close to the governments he is interacting with and too tepid on the mission to push values such as democracy and human rights with tyrannical regimes.


There are signs that the administration is working hard now behind the scenes to reevaluate its approach to Turkey. For example, the State Department is hosting a high-level meeting today on Turkey policy, led by Clinton and Policy Planning chief Anne Marie Slaughter and with the participation of Assistant Secretary Phil Gordon.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Sacrilege at Ground Zero

Even Mayor Bloomberg acknowledges that the rules are different when it comes to sacred places.

A place is made sacred by a widespread belief that it was visited by the miraculous or the transcendent (Lourdes, the Temple Mount), by the presence there once of great nobility and sacrifice (Gettysburg), or by the blood of martyrs and the indescribable suffering of the innocent (Auschwitz).

When we speak of Ground Zero as hallowed ground, what we mean is that it belongs to those who suffered and died there — and that such ownership obliges us, the living, to preserve the dignity and memory of the place, never allowing it to be forgotten, trivialized, or misappropriated.

That’s why Disney’s early ‘90s proposal to build an American history theme park near Manassas Battlefield was defeated by a broad coalition fearing vulgarization of the Civil War (and wiser than me; at the time I obtusely saw little harm in the venture). It’s why the commercial viewing tower built right on the border of Gettysburg was taken down by the Park Service. It’s why, while no one objects to Japanese cultural centers, the idea of putting one up at Pearl Harbor would be offensive.

And why Pope John Paul II ordered the Carmelite nuns to leave the convent they had established at Auschwitz. He was in no way devaluing their heartfelt mission to pray for the souls of the dead. He was teaching them a lesson in respect: This is not your place, it belongs to others. However pure your voice, better to let silence reign.

Even New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, who denounced opponents of the proposed 15-story mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero as tramplers on religious freedom, asked the mosque organizers “to show some special sensitivity to the situation.” Yet, as Rich Lowry pointedly noted, the government has no business telling churches how to conduct their business, shape their message, or show “special sensitivity” to anyone about anything. Bloomberg was thereby inadvertently conceding the claim of those he excoriates for opposing the mosque, namely, that Ground Zero is indeed unlike any other place and, therefore, unique criteria govern what can be done there.

Bloomberg’s implication is clear: If the proposed mosque were controlled by “insensitive” Islamist radicals either excusing or celebrating 9/11, he would not support its construction.

But then, why not? By the mayor’s own expansive view of religious freedom, by what right do we dictate the message of any mosque? Moreover, as a practical matter, there’s no guarantee this couldn’t happen in the future. Religious institutions in this country are autonomous. Who is to say that the mosque won’t one day hire an Anwar al-Awlaki — spiritual mentor to the Fort Hood shooter and the Christmas Day bomber, and one-time imam at the Virginia mosque attended by two of the 9/11 terrorists?

An Awlaki preaching in Virginia is a security problem. An Awlaki preaching at Ground Zero is a sacrilege.

Location matters. Especially this location. Ground Zero is the site of the greatest mass murder in American history — perpetrated by Muslims of a particular Islamist orthodoxy in whose cause they died and in whose name they killed.

Of course that strain represents only a minority of Muslims. Islam is no more intrinsically Islamist than present-day Germany is Nazi — yet despite contemporary Germany’s innocence, no German of good will would even think of proposing a German cultural center at, say, Treblinka.

Which makes you wonder about the good will behind Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s proposal. This is a man who has called U.S. policy “an accessory to the crime” of 9/11 and, when recently asked whether Hamas is a terrorist organization, replied, “I’m not a politician. . . . The issue of terrorism is a very complex question.”

America is a free country where you can build whatever you want — but not anywhere. That’s why we have zoning laws. No liquor store near a school, no strip malls where they offend local sensibilities, and, if your house doesn’t meet community architectural codes, you cannot build at all.

These restrictions are for reasons of aesthetics. Others are for more profound reasons of common decency and respect for the sacred. No commercial tower over Gettysburg, no convent at Auschwitz — and no mosque at Ground Zero.

Build it anywhere but there.

The governor of New York offered to help find land to build the mosque elsewhere. A mosque really seeking to build bridges, Rauf’s ostensible hope for the structure, would accept the offer.

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom[Return to headlines]

Southwest Airlines Considering Buying Bigger Planes

Dallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. may be talking itself into buying some bigger planes.

The carrier is kicking the tires of Boeing Co.’s larger 737-800 planes that it might add to its current fleet made up of series -700, -500 and -300 Boeing 737s.

“Since the decision to add the -800 has not been finalized, any details regarding configuration, timing, and quantity of deliveries are still to be determined,” wrote Southwest’s Mike VanDeVen, executive vice president and chief operating officer, on the carrier’s blog.

“Introducing the -800, which has more seating capacity than the -700, would be a complementary fit to our current fleet by supplementing opportunities for longer-haul flying, while also potentially improving our unit costs,” VanDeVen also said.

Southwest’s -700 and -300 series planes seat 137 in its all-coach configuration. The -800 series would seat up to 189 passengers in a single-class configuration, Boeing’s website says.

Southwest would find use for the extra seats in congested markets that are slot-controlled and where it’s harder to build its high-frequency schedule.

The carrier said it needs to decide by Dec. 1 in order to take delivery of the planes in 2012.

Southwest shares were down five cents to $11.38 in early trading Friday.

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa[Return to headlines]

States, Not Supreme Court, Must Decide Law and Protect Freedom

I am going to borrow heavily from two outstanding columns that appear on my son’s web site, One author, Russell Longcore, is a publisher; the other, Wilton Strickland, is an attorney. Both are avid proponents of State sovereignty and independence.

Longcore’s column is entitled “Edwin Vieira on Secession, New World Order and the American Republic.” See it here.

Strickland’s column is entitled “Staying Away From The Federal Courthouse.” See it here.

Both of these gentlemen share my conviction that the only chance we have to maintain and defend liberty in these United States is for free and independent states to rise in righteous indignation against the onslaught of federal tyranny that is rapidly destroying our republic. America—as one nation—is beyond redemption. The federal government is too arrogant, too malevolent, and too drunk with power to ever allow itself to be returned to the principles of federalism and constitutionalism. And this is true no matter which of the two political parties is in charge.

Fortunately, America’s founders did not create “one nation” with 13 (now 50) provinces. They created a confederated republic with 13 (now 50) “Free and Independent States” (Declaration of Independence). This means that even after the US Constitution was ratified in 1787, the states maintained independent, nation-state status. Therefore, each State is duly authorized and charged with the responsibility of protecting the rights and liberties of its citizens—even if that means resisting (peaceably or otherwise) the federal government—including the right of states to secede, if need be, in order to protect their liberties.

[Return to headlines]

The “Bush Did it” Defense of the Ground Zero Mosque Imam

by Andy McCarthy

It’s always rich when reliable Democratic Party organs like the Washington Post, which couldn’t bash the Bush administration often enough, defend Obama administration initiatives on the ground that “Bush did it too.” But, as evidenced by this item from Journolister Greg Sargent, that is the current defense of the administration’s otherwise indefensible deployment of sharia-touting Feisal Rauf on State Department business in the Middle East.

The sharia-indifferent Left has convinced itself that the Bush administration’s foolish forays into “Islamic outreach” somehow undermine current concerns about Rauf and the giant monument to Islam he wants to erect near the site where nearly 3000 Americans were killed by Islamist supremacists. On that score, GZ mosque proponents make much of the fact that Liz Cheney — Vice President Cheney’s daughter and a director at Keep America Safe — is a prominent opponent of the mosque.

It’s a specious argument. Bush administration “outreach” efforts and cultivation of all the wrong Islamic activists (i.e., the Islamists) were foolish — just as were the similar efforts by the Clinton administration and today’s more intense efforts by the Obama administration. There was no shortage of conservative critics saying so at the time — I started the second I left government in 2003 and never stopped. But the point is that I had to wait until I left government…

           — Hat tip: Andy McCarthy[Return to headlines]

The EPA Must be Stopped!

On August 12, the Environmental Protection Agency sent out a press release, “EPA Proposes Rules on Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions”. Frontal attack on the U.S. economy

It is a frontal attack on the U.S. economy that is currently in the throes of a decline that has not been seen since the Great Depression.


The EPA release says “projects that will increase CHG emissions substantially will require an air permit.”

If American industry, particularly the targeted “power plants and oil refineries”, are required to get GHG permits, it will put yet another huge sector of the nation’s economy under the thumb of the most insidious exponents of the global warming fraud, enemies of any economic growth.

“The Tailoring Rule covers large industrial facilities like power plants and oil refineries that are responsible for 70 percent of the GHGs from stationary sources,” says the EPA news release.

What it doesn’t say is that this power to regulate that does not exist in the present Clean Air Act.

It will cause electricity costs to skyrocket along with gasoline and all other oil derivatives. It will utterly wreck the U.S. economy that is already in dire straits.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US Muslims Prep for Islamic Holiday — Around 9/11

NEW YORK — The lunar calendar that Muslims follow for religious holidays is creating a potential for misunderstandings or worse in a year when American Muslims are already confronting a spike in assaults on their faith and protests against new mosques.

Eid al-Fitr, a joyous holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, this year falls around Sept. 11. Muslim leaders fear that their gatherings for prayer and festivities could be misinterpreted by those unfamiliar with Islam as a celebration of the 2001 terrorist strikes.

The Muslim Public Affairs Council, an advocacy group based in Los Angeles, is contacting law enforcement and the Justice Department civil rights division to alert them to the overlap.

The Islamic Circle of North America, which organizes Muslim Family Days at the Six Flags amusement park in several cities around Eid al-Fitr, this year planned nothing for Saturday, Sept. 11, because of the anniversary. A founder of Muslim Family Day, Tariq Amanullah, worked at the World Trade Center and was killed in the attacks.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Washington-based civil rights group, is urging mosques to review the group’s security guidelines, including clearing brush where people could hide and installing surveillance cameras.

“The issue I can sense brewing on hate sites on the Internet is, ‘These Muslims are celebrating on September 11,’“ said Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for CAIR. “It’s getting really scary out there.”

The exact date of Eid al-Fitr this year is not yet known. Muslims follow different authorities on moonsightings and astronomical calculations to decide when a holiday begins. In North America, the eid could fall on Thursday, Sept. 9, Friday, Sept. 10, or Saturday, Sept. 11.

It is one of the two biggest Muslim holidays of the year, often compared to Christmas in its significance and revelry. (The other major holiday is Eid al-Adha, at the end of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.)

Muslims who rarely attend congregational prayer fill mosques to overflowing on Eid al-Fitr. Mosque leaders often rent hotel ballrooms or convention centers to handle the crowds. Families wear their best clothes, exchange gifts, plan special meals with friends and relatives, sometimes decorate their homes inside and out, and organize carnivals for children.

In predominantly Muslim countries, the celebration can last for three days. But because of work and school obligations in the U.S., American Muslims generally attend congregational prayer on the day of the holiday, then continue the festivities over the next weekend or two.

Most mosques usually intensify security around Ramadan because of the attention the month brings. This year, leaders have grown especially concerned about safety. In recent months, mosques around the country have faced protests and vandalism. The debate over a proposed mosque and Islamic center near ground zero has become a national issue.

Yet well before these recent tensions, American Muslim leaders saw trouble ahead when they checked the calendar. Haroon Moghul, a New York Muslim leader who speaks regularly at mosques, said mosque leaders have been discussing Eid al-Fitr for months.

“When we realized that Ramadan would be ending around that time, a lot of people started sitting down together and saying, ‘How do we handle this in a way that’s appropriate?’“ said Moghul, executive director of Maydan Institute, a communications consulting company.

Moghul said most New York Muslims likely won’t celebrate the way they normally do, and noted that a significant number lost relatives when the World Trade Center was destroyed. Many imams in the city plan sermons on dealing with loss and grief.

“It’s a very painful day for everyone,” Moghul said.

However, he and other American Muslim leaders don’t want to make so many changes that they appear to be giving in to those who reject any Muslim observance in the United States. Some critics have said Muslims should move the date of the eid.

“It’s like being offended that 9/11 and Christmas fall on the same day,” said Safaa Zarzour, secretary general of the Islamic Society of North America, an Indiana-based communal group with tens of thousands of members. “There is something unsettling about that.”

Yvonne Maffei, 35, of Des Plaines, Ill., a Chicago suburb, said she and her husband plan to stick with their usual Eid al-Fitr plan. They will attend morning prayers at their local mosque, go out for brunch then visit friends during the day.

“I think most Americans understand the value and place of religious holidays in a person’s life,” said Maffei, editor of My Halal Kitchen, a blog with recipes that meet Islamic dietary laws. “For those who don’t, I just hope they will take the time to try and understand not only why we are celebrating at this time, but also what we are celebrating, which is the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a blessed month of fasting and attaining closeness to Allah.”

Rizwan Jaka, a board member of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society, based in Sterling, Va., near Washington, D.C., said he hopes the attention to Muslim traditions during the month of Ramadan will help educate non-Muslims and decrease the likelihood of any problems.

He said the mosque will reach out to its interfaith partners and others ahead of the eid. The All Dulles Society is one of the largest mosques in the country and expects to host as many as 20,000 worshippers during the holiday at several locations.

Jaka said the board met a few weeks ago to discuss the overlapping dates and decided to include condemnations of terrorism and extremism in the holiday sermons. The mosque will also hold its annual interfaith, memorial and peace events tied to the anniversary.

“Could there be some misperceptions because of the anti-Muslim climate? Potentially,” Jaka said. “We will make sure our neighbors and friends understand that we all stand firmly as Americans for peace and for creating an environment of respect.”

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom[Return to headlines]


$900,000 to Help Right Wrongs Done to Chinese

Federal grant: UBC to run Chinese-Canadian history website

To right historic wrongs done to the Chinese community, the federal government has given the University of B.C. $900,000 to help run a Chinese-Canadian history website.

Alice Wong, Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism, made the announcement Monday at the University’s library.

Wong said the government has apologized on behalf of all Canadians for the so-called “head tax” the country charged Chinese immigrants to enter Canada between 1885 and 1923 — and the near-total ban on Chinese immigration between 1923 and 1947.

“This was a dark chapter in Canada’s history,” said Wong, the Conservative MP for Richmond.

Canada is now spending $5 million on assorted ways to recognize the contribution of Chinese immigrants to their adopted country, she said.

The website, which will be launched in 2012, will feature a digital archive of stories by Chinese-Canadians.

There will also be a way for people to tell their stories online in a multimedia format.

UBC history professor Henry Yu said this year is the 125th anniversary of the laying of the last spike in Canada’s national railway — built in part by Chinese labour — and it marks 125 years since the head tax.

“The Chinese were already here,” said Yu. “What we want to do is create a new sense of Canada’s past that includes the Chinese.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Canadian Imams Issue Declaration to Combat Radical Islam

Great, awesome, fantastic…a great start right? There’s one problem though. They say nothing of radical Islam or Islamic Terrorism. The declaration doesn’t mention radicalism or terrorism, but it repeatedly condemns religious violence. A broad brush, a simple statement of opposition to violence.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

French Minister Lodges Complaint Against Rapper

French Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux said Thursday he had lodged a complaint against a rapper behind a music video called “Shoot the Pigs” which police say promotes violence against officers.

“I will not allow a rapper who is seeking notoriety to threaten men and women who, in sometimes difficult conditions, ensure the security of our citizens, even at risk to their lives,” the minister said.

Justice Minister Michele-Alliot Marie said she had requested that the Paris prosecutor’s office open a preliminary inquiry into some of the statements made by the rapper, known as Abdul X.

The union Alliance Police also called for an immediate investigation and said Abdul X should be charged.

“(We are) deeply shocked by the lyrics of a rap ‘artist’ who, in a video released on YouTube, clearly calls for police to be killed and attacked in every part of” the greater Paris region, said Alliance Police in a statement.

“Freedom of expression or artistic creation cannot in any way justify such incitement of hatred,” the union said.

It called on the interior ministry to stop the spread of the video — in which the rapper brandishes a gun — and protect police from provocation.

Tension often runs high between residents and police in France’s largely immigrant urban districts.

In October 2005 weeks of rioting broke out in deprived suburbs across France sparked by the death of two Parisian youths who were electrocuted when they entered an electricity installation as they ran away from police.

Last month rioters opened fire on police in a suburb in the southwestern city of Grenoble following the shooting of a suspected casino


           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Gassed in Their Beds by Riviera Robbers: Terrifying Ordeal of the British Tourists Falling Victim to Mediterranean Gang Crimewave

Britons on the French Riviera are being drugged and robbed by thieves who gas them as they sleep.

The gangs quietly break in or slip inside patio doors left open because of the heat.

They then crouch down and release the gas into air conditioning units or under the victims’ bedroom doors.

After waiting outside for the gas to take effect, they creep back in and can take their time to ransack the rooms and steal cash, jewellery, credit cards, cameras and laptops.

The thieves wear masks to stop them succumbing themselves.

One victim, Lisa Smythe, was staying with her two sons in a four-bedroom house in Valbonne when they fell victim to an £80,000 robbery.

The family were gassed through the letter box, but when one of the sons woke up to find masked men in his room they injected him with something to knock him out.

Mrs Smythe, 38, woke up feeling groggy and struggled to wake her sons.

Her eight-year-old, Robbie, had a needle mark on his arm, and he had to be tested for HIV.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: ‘VVD, CDA Choosing Experienced Politicians as Ministers’

THE HAGUE, 13/08/10 — The conservatives (VVD) and Christian democrats (CDA) are primarily opting for experienced politicians in picking the members of the minority cabinet that they are currently trying to put together. VVD leader Mark Rutte, the envisaged premier, and CDA leader Maxime Verhagen, the putative vice-premier, have a short-list in their inside pockets of which De Telegraaf newspaper gave a glimpse yesterday.

For a number of positions, the candidates appear to be already decided; for others, it is still a matter of reading the tea-leaves, the newspaper says it learned in the parliamentary corridors. From a list of the candidate ministers, it appears that in any case Rutte and Verhagen are opting for insiders who know how The Hague works inside out.

Jan Kees Jager (CDA) can return as Finance Minister. VVD MP Frans Weekers is in the picture as Finance State Secretary, according to the paper.

Verhagen himself is said to favour the Economic Affairs Ministry, under which Agriculture may be brought. Transport and Environment may also be merged; many VVD and CDA party members are still in the picture for that.

For Verhagen’s present post, Foreign Affairs, VVD MEP Hans van Baalen and VVD MP Atzo Nicolaï are in the picture. Van Baalen could also go to Defence, as could CDA MP Sybrand van Haersma-Buma.

For the heavyweight ministerial posts of Social Affairs and Health, Edith Schippers has high hopes. She is the VVD deputy parliamentary leader and Rutte’s second in the current negotiations.

Rutte’s campaign leader and MP Stef Blok could also handle both ministries. The present Health Minister, Ab Klink (CDA), could also return, but is emphatically in the picture as the CDA parliamentary leader, who will not sit in the cabinet.

MP Fred Teeven has a good chance of the justice ministry, if the VVD get this post. The CDA can again put forward the present Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin for this post.

VVD and CDA have a battery of candidates for Home Affairs. Ank Bijleveld (CDA) could become minister and the VVD could put forward former Commander of the Armed Forces Dick Berlijn, MP Willibrord van Beek or Senator Uri Rosenthal.

Henk Kamp (VVD), former Defence Minister, could handle a number of positions, but the question is whether he will give up his present job in the Netherlands Antilles. He is currently coordinating the reform of the islands, which are to be given a different position within the Kingdom.

For a post as state secretary, MPs Zijlstra, Hennis, De Krom and Aptroot are named for the VVD, as well as former Rotterdam branch chairman Simone Wolthuis and Jan Bruijn, who wrote the VVD election programme. At the CDA, MPs Van Hijum, Atsma, Koopmans and Sterk are on the list of candidates.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Poland Extradites Alleged Mossad Spy to Germany Over Dubai Hit

Polish authorities on Thursday extradited a suspected Mossad agent to Germany, where he faces charges over a passport that was used in the assassination of a Hamas leader in Dubai earlier this year.


Brodsky was arrested June 4 at Warsaw airport on a European arrest warrant issued by Germany, which accused him of espionage and helping to falsely obtain a German passport.

However, Brodsky won’t face spying charges in Germany. The Polish court that granted the extradition request said he could only be sent to face prosecution for his alleged involvement in faking an identity.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Spain: Islamic Community Fights Back Over Burkha Ban

MUSLIMS in Lleida have presented six written complaints to the city council over its decision to ban the burkha in public buildings.

The Watani Association for Freedom and Justice has said that if local authorities do not respond to their complaints, they will take the matter to the court.

Head of the association, Mourad El-Boudouhi, says the city council ‘does not have the legal right’ to impose such a ban and that there is no higher law applicable in either the region or the country allowing them to do so.

El-Boudouhi says it is a ‘violation of freedom of religion’, a freedom that is contained in the Spanish Constitution, and therefore a breach of human rights as well as discrimination.

The association says the city council is discriminating against women and curtailing their rights.

“Nobody has the right to speak for, or decide for, these women,” stresses El-Boudouhi.

He says the solution would be for those women who choose to wear a burkha to be asked to uncover their faces to identify themselves upon entering public buildings, and then be permitted to put their burkha back on if they wish.

“We would also say that women can be refused entry if they refuse to take off their burkha merely to identify themselves, but do not agree that they should be fined,” said El-Boudouhi.

Lleida city council has announced women entering public buildings will be fined up to 600 euros for wearing a burkha.

The Watani association has also complained about the council’s refusal to build a mosque after the existing one was shut because of overcrowding.

“We fulfil our obligations to the city, we pay our taxes and respect its laws, so we ask that they respect us,” said its representative.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Police Discover Stash of Napalm Material

Swedish police have discovered a store of ammunition in rural Österlen in southern Sweden after a raid targeting two men, aged 20 and 23-years-old. Among the items seized was alunat, a material used to make napalm.

“They have tried to manufacture napalm, but have not succeeded,” said prosecutor Helena Lundström to the local Ystads Allehanda daily.

In a raid on the men’s homes police also found weapons magazines and thousands of bullets for, among other things, automatic weapons. Furthermore there were stores of nitroglycerine, gun powder, sulphur, fuse wire, detonators, and two complete bombs.

The two men have now been charged with offences ranging from theft, home distilling, aggravated drink driving, and contravention of the law on flammable and explosive materials.

The pair are accused of having broken into a store at the P 7 military area in Revingehed outside of Lund. Aside from a couple of cases of uniforms they stole seven wooden boxes with alunat, which is a core ingredient in napalm.

Each wooden box contained 16 cans of alunat, with one can being sufficient for 75 litres of napalm.

But according to the prosecutor there are other ingredients needed to make napalm and the men had no motive for developing the substance.

“This matter concerns two otherwise well-ordered boys who just have a little additioinal interest in chemical products,” the prosecutor said.

The men admit to having stolen the alunat but deny that they had intended to manufacture napalm.

A third man has been charged and has admitted to handling stolen goods, while a fourth denies any involvement.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Swedish Muslims Face Daylight Fast Challenge

Sweden’s long summer days are presenting a challenge to Muslims fasting for Ramadan, which starts on Wednesday. Religious leaders say the long hours of daylight are not a good excuse to skip the fast.

Thousands descend on Stockholm for annual Jesus fest (23 May 10)

Firm sues Sweden over dislodged Muslim lawyer (8 May 10)

Things are set to get even more challenging in 2015, when the fast will fall in June.

During the month-long fast, Muslims refrain from eating, drinking and sex between daybreak and sunset. While this is a challenge for people everywhere, in Sweden it presents particular challenges.

In northern Sweden, where dawn on Wednesday broke at 2:46 am, Muslims are expected to fast for over 18 hours, compared to only 13 hours in Mecca, for instance.

Mikael Sundin, a board member of the Association of Muslims in Umeå, said living so far north presented certain challenges:

“It’s even more extreme here that it is in Stockholm. But most Muslims up here are following the official times. I’m going to follow the times and see how it goes,” he told The Local.

In many Muslim countries, the fast is often broken in the evening with long and elaborate meals. But with some Swedish Muslims experiencing only a few hours of darkness, this becomes harder to do.

Imam Mahmoud Khalfi at Stockholm Mosque told The Local that the principles of fasting at Ramadan were clear:

“There is still day and night, so Muslims should follow the rule that you fast during the hours of daylight.”

He pointed out that Sweden’s Muslims had to take the rough with the smooth:

“Sometimes Ramadan falls in the winter, and then the hours of daylight are very short.”

Indeed, in 2005, the month of fasting stretched from October to November, when daylight hours are short. But in coming years the fast will be even longer than this year — in 2015, it begins on 18th June, when many parts of Sweden don’t get dark at all.

In those circumstances, says Mahmoud Khalfi, Muslims are allowed to follow the patterns of the nearest city in which it gets dark.

“There are also those who say you should follow the patterns of Mecca,” he said, and pointed out that there were different schools of thought within Islam on exactly how the fast should be observed.

The young, the sick and the elderly are absolved of the duty to fast, Khalfi points out.

While insisting on the strict observance of the rules might sound a bit tough on Swedish Muslims, Mahmoud Khalfi points out that the fast can be tough for people in Muslim countries too:

“In very warm countries, such as those in the Sahara, it isn’t easy, but people fast the whole day anyway,” he said, adding that there were advantages other than the knowledge that people were observing their religious duties:

“It strengthens your will and strengthens your patience. You learn to control your inner desire. It also teaches solidarity with the poor — those who have nothing to eat,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: ‘We Were Maimed by the Killer GP’: The Victims of Dr Daniel Ubani Speak Out

He’s the German doctor who killed a British patient — then tried to gag his victim’s sons. Now the Mail reveals the history of horrifying blunders that mean he should never have been working here at all…

‘A charlatan’: German Dr Daniel Ubani was able to work in Britain because he claimed he had a clean record

Helga will never forget Dr Daniel Ubani.

Trustingly, she lay on a bed at his clinic as he leaned over her, a needle in his hand, and promised to make her young and beautiful.

‘You will be a new woman. It will be wonderful,’ he said, as he began inserting plastic threads under the skin of her face — an operation that Helga hoped would turn back the clock.

She believed his every word.

‘Dr Ubani said it was a facelift without the knife,’ explained Helga this week at her house, 11 miles from Ubani’s cosmetic clinic in Germany.

‘He told me not to worry because he had treated lots of women in the same way without any problems.

‘Afterwards, my face didn’t look younger. My neck and my cheeks were not lifted and they were swollen.

‘After a few days, I was shocked when the sharp ends of the threads he put in my face began poking out of my skin.

‘The nights were the worst. I could hear and feel the ends scratching on the cotton of my pillow if I put my face to the side.

‘I had to lie on my back and I did not sleep properly for a year.’

Helga Freitag is now 69. The petite former teacher has successfully sued Dr Ubani, winning £12,300 for the horrifying damage caused by the botched cosmetic procedure called ‘feather threads’ at his clinic in 2005.

This week, Helga and a nurse named Christa Boettcher — who also won damages from Dr Ubani after he made similar blunders that left her looking ‘as if I had been in a boxing ring’ — talked for the first time about their terrifying experiences.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: MCB Supports Dispossessed Campaign

The Muslim Council of Britain is supporting an appeal launched by the Evening Standard to raise £1 million from Londoners.

The fund will help people in the capital get out of poverty with life-changing support and advice. During the month of Ramadan, when Muslims give generously to good causes, the MCB will encourage Muslim communities to consider this campaign in their donations.The Government has agreed to more than match pound for pound the money that the fund raises.

In a message to the Evening Standard, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Farooq Murad said:

“The Muslim Council of Britain wholeheartedly supports the Disposessed Campaign. We have a duty to care for our neighbours and to the people around us. This campaign mobilises all people, including Muslims, to care for London’s underprivileged. Supporting the poor is one of the principal pillars of the Islamic faith. In August, Muslims will be marking the month of Ramadan by giving up food and remembering the poor. It is a time when Muslims give generously to the poor, contributing millions of pounds to good causes. The Disposessed Campaign is an extremely worthy cause and the Muslim Council of Britain will be encouraging mosques and charities to donate generously during this holy month of Ramadan to the Dispossesed Campaign.”

MCB and other faith leaders message on the Evening Standard

For further information about the campaign or to donate visit to the fund visit: The Dispossessed Campaign

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: MCB: New Assistant Secretary Generals Announced

On Saturday 24th July 2010, the newly elected Central Working Committee (CWC) of the Muslim Council of Britain concluded its second meeting at Nadi Park Royal in Greater London since the Elections at the Annual General Meeting in June 2010.

The meeting was chaired by the MCB’s Election Commissioner Judge Khurshid Drabu CBE in concert with the MCB’s Constitution (Standing Order 4.6, E) which approved the appointment of three new Assistant Secretary Generals on the recommendation of the Secretary General Mr Farooq Murad, the Deputy Secretary General Dr Shuja Shafi and the Treasurer Harun Rashid Khan. They are:

  • Dr Salah Beltagui of the Muslim Council of Scotland (MCS)
  • Dr Faisal Hanjra of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (FOSIS) and;
  • Dr Akber Mohamedali of the Council of European Jamaats (COEJ).

The CWC also approved the appointment of Mrs Unaiza Malik of the Association of Asian Muslim Ladies of North London (Khawateen) as the new Assistant Treasurer. During the meeting, the CWC accepted the Amended Code of Conduct and Governance Protocol incorporating a series of changes including the protocols for signing of MoU’s, Declarations and Resolutions. The meeting further resolved that an internal review of MCB’s direction was essential. The MCB’s Draft Strategic Plan for 2010-14 was commended and released for wider national consultation which will include MCB’s affiliated organisations, other Muslim organisations and community leaders.

In addition, the CWC set in motion the initiation of a Constitutional Review Committee to review the MCB’s Constitution, to be chaired by Judge Khurshid Drabu CBE comprising of the current and all former Secretary Generals of the MCB. Speaking at the meeting, the Secretary General of the MCB, Farooq Murad said “we are going through a new phase of renewal and I want the entire Muslim community to be part of this. This is the only way we can progress as a community in contributing to the common good”.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: MCB Re-Affirms Its Non-Theological Stand and Commitment to Promoting Unity

On 24th June, MCB affiliates World Federation of KSIMC and the Council of European Jamaats together with the Al Khoei Foundation, wrote to the Muslim Council of Britain expressing concerns over the MCB’s statement deploring the banning of Dr Zakir Naik to the UK. Whilst not disagreeing with the principle of MCB’s protest, the grievance was that the wordings used did not do justice to MCB’s commitment to neutrality with regards to scholars and any particular theological position.

In its response, the MCB said: “[the MCB] is not a sectarian organisation and the aim of our statement is not to support or oppose any particular religious or theological position. As an umbrella body we represent a very wide spectrum of religious views. MCB seeks to create unity, greater understanding, tolerance and mutual respect. To achieve this it is important that despite our differences we accept every Muslim to be part of our larger family and defend their rights.”

The MCB acknowledges and regrets that some wording of our statement of 18th June have caused hurt and led some to doubt our strictly non-theological and non-sectarian position. We take this opportunity to re-affirm that MCB is a unity organisation and the aim of our statement was not to endorse or oppose any particular religious or theological views. MCB is committed to maintaining its neutrality and is currently undertaking a wider consultation with its affiliates to enhance our internal processes and mechanism for working together for the common good.

[JP note: All ok then, but what about the Ahmadis?]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Muslims Begin a Month of Fasting

The Muslim Council of Britain extends its best wishes to all for a peaceful and blessed month of Ramadan. For the next month many British Muslims will join others around the world as they fast from dawn to dusk and offer prayers and gratitude to God.

Muslims once again may start Ramadan on different days, depending on diverse opinions regarding moon-sighting. Regardless of when this blessed month begins, the MCB hopes that Ramadan will be a unique opportunity to foster unity and brotherhood among our communities across the country.

In his Ramadan message, Farooq Murad the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain said: “Ramadan comes at a particularly anxious time for many British Muslims who have relatives affected by the devastating floods in Pakistan. As this is a month when most Muslims pay their yearly Zakah and when we are also encouraged to donate to those in most need, we hope our communities can continue to donate to British charities, who have done so much to help those most in need”.

“Ramadan is a time for self reflection and good neighbourliness. It is a time to share with others, regardless of faith. I hope mosques and centres can share the beauty of Ramadan with fellow Britons. And I hope our practise of donating to good causes during this holy month extends to those most in need in this country as well. Above all, as we seek the spiritual blessings that this month has to offer, I hope this month of Ramadan can also offer unity and the creation of special bonds between Britain’s diverse Muslim communities”.

The MCB has also re-launched its Ramadan Website:

Kullu aam wa antum bi-khair.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Police Under Fire Over Scheme to Give Repeat Offenders Stolen Bicycles So They Can Find Jobs

Criminals are to be given stolen bicycles for free in a controversial police scheme.

Officers claim the initiative will give prolific offenders a means of transport so they can find work.

But critics yesterday branded the scheme ‘absurd’, as offenders could end up being handed back bikes they have stolen in the past and police will lose cash by not selling them on as they currently do.

Controversial: Detective Inspector Richard Crabtree handing over a cycle to Victoria Woods and Carol Scuffins from the Norfolk and Suffolk Probation Trust. Critics have branded the initiative ‘absurd’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Prisoner on Day Release Ran Brothel From His Home After Being Let Out for ‘Rehabilitation’

An inmate on day release from an open prison recruited Eastern European prostitutes and ran a brothel for six months, it emerged yesterday.

Prison staff thought Rashpal Singh, 28, was working at a tyre fitting firm six days a week, earning the minimum wage.

But he was actually raking in thousands of pounds a month running a vice den from a terrace house in Rotherham, South Yorkshire — remaining undetected for an astonishing six months.

He was only arrested after police received a tip-off and found him with £2,000 in his pocket and a large quantity of cannabis.

The extraordinary lapse by prison staff was condemned by a judge who yesterday added two years to Singh’s original six-year sentence for aggravated burglary.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Runaway Train Causes Havoc on the Tube After Careering Through Six Stations With No Driver

Disaster was narrowly avoided on the Tube this morning when a runaway train careered four miles through six stations as other trains were cleared from its path.

The unmanned engineering train began to move southbound from Archway station on the Northern line just before 7am as thousands of commuters began to pack stations.

London Underground staff decided to allow the train to continue, diverting it on to the Charing Cross branch of the Northern line and diverted other trains on to the Bank branch.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UN Slams French Prejudice

THE UNITED Nations’ Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination has criticised the French government for a lack of political will’ in tackling mounting acts of racism.

The timing of a report on France’s behaviour towards minorities comes as the government begins to close gypsy encampments across the country.

It has stirred further debate over the closures and the actions of the government including its debate on national identity, its expulsion of some travellers from the country and plans to strip certain criminals of their nationality.

A visa system for travellers and a policy of limiting voting rights to those who have lived for several months in the same commune were also criticised.

One UN expert said the government’s attitudes amounted to an “incitement to hatred,” while another said that the travel log books required to be used by those without a fixed address reminded him of the Pétain period.

Another questioned the constitutionality of special measures for French people who were originally of foreign origin and said he failed to see exactly who might be defined as such. The legality of expelling minorities such as gypsies from Eastern Europe, as they are EU citizens, was also raised.

In Choisy-le-Roi in the Val-de-Marne, a group of 50 gypsies have been given shelter by the local mairie in a school gymnasium after the government closed down their camp.

The local authority said the move was not permanent but added it had decided to take action because the state was not taking responsibility for its action.

The prefect of the Pyrénées-Atlantiques has responded to a letter criticising the policies of deportation and comparing them with the politics of France’s Vichy government, by successfully suing the authors.

A tribunal in Pau has ordered five supporters of the group Réseau education sans frontiers to pay €1,000 in damages after their letter criticising the expulsion of an Albanian family in July 2008.

Prosecuting, Erik Maurel said: “All freedoms have their limits, including freedom of expression.”

He said various references to yellow stars and the round up of Jews was an abuse of the freedom of expression.

Defending, Maripierre Massou said the charge criminalised political opinion and said it was ridiculous to not make the associations with that era of French history.

The Secretary of State for European Affairs, Pierre Lellouche, said that France was a state which supported human rights; a political idea which the country had effectively invented over 200 years ago.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

What Are Israeli Flags and Jewish Activists Doing at Demonstrations Sponsored by the English Defence League?

Call it a struggle against a common foe: Islam. Or a journey into the heart of darkness. Or perhaps further proof that Europe is starting to lose its mind again

LONDON — In March 2009 a unit of British soldiers returned from a stint in Iraq and, as usual, were welcomed with a parade and reception at home — in this case in Luton, not far from London. Standing out in the crowd of civilians cheering the troops was a group of counter-demonstrators, a few dozen long-bearded Muslims who shouted slogans against the British forces and carried posters bearing messages such as “The butchers from Basra.” Many in Luton were outraged, and within a few days a group organized and eventually developed into the English Defence League.

Indeed, what began as an emotional reaction turned into a popular movement which, according to the British media, is growing rapidly and now numbers thousands of supporters; it’s hard core is located in Luton. The organization calls for taking action against the “Islamization of Britain” and Muslim fundamentalists. British media reports suggest that the league is a magnet for extremist right-wing activists and for unruly soccer fans. In late May the organization gained an important addition in the form of what it calls the “Jewish division.” According to one member, “hundreds of Jews” joined its ranks, including “young people who are dying to do something.” In the streets of England, Jews can now be seen demonstrating together with people they would have shunned in the past.

Anti-Zionist groups seized on these developments as proof of collaboration between the so-called forces of evil. But the umbrella organization of British Jewry has also been critical.

“The EDL’s supposed ‘support’ for Israel is empty and duplicitous,” Jon Benjamin, chief executive of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told the Jewish Chronicle in June. “It is built on a foundation of Islamophobia and hatred, which we reject entirely. Sadly, we know only too well what hatred for hatred’s sake can cause. The overwhelming majority will not be drawn in by this transparent attempt to manipulate a tense political conflict.”

Roberta Moore, 39, a petite woman in a colorful outfit, speaks in a rolling Brazilian accent and works for a commercial firm. A Jew born in Rio de Janeiro, she once lived in Israel and now resides in north London. She is not exactly the stereotypical EDL member the media likes to depict, but Moore is one of the most prominent activists in the group’s so-called Jewish division. In her heart she is an unrestrained Kahanist — at least according to fans on her Facebook page.

“The activity of the Jewish division is focused more on the Jewish community,” she says over a pizza in an Italian restaurant in Golders Green, London’s Jewish-Israeli quarter. “We always constitute a target, here and in Israel. We see a great many people who do not understand the seriousness of the situation. They are sticking their head in the ground and ignoring developments. We believe that if we call the enemy by his name, we will be able to fight him. We single out organizations that discriminate against Jews and anti-Zionist organizations, and try to explain there is no difference between anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism. We send them letters and wait for a response, and then we take action to expose them.”

However, the group’s main target is the Muslim enemy, though Moore first offers a disclaimer: “I had a Muslim boyfriend for four years, but he wasn’t religious. He drank and ate pork like everyone else. I have many Muslim friends from Pakistan and Iraq, and also people with whom I have business connections. I get along with them very well because they do not try to impose anything. The problem is that they are being brainwashed and believe they are superior to everyone else. They have the right to think that, but don’t try to force your opinions on me and tell me the clothes I wear or the music I listen to are bad. Or that my beliefs are inferior and I must not do this or that. Why do we women have to cover anything?”

You know that in Israel, too, there are groups that expect women to cover themselves.

Moore: “I know, but when I lived in Israel I refused to dress like that. I visited Mea She’arim [Jerualem’s ultra-Orthodox quarter] dressed in regular clothes, and they stared and stared at me until I asked them, ‘What are you staring at?’ — and they left. They never lifted a hand against me.”

‘An eye for an eye’

“We are not anti-Muslim,” Moore emphasizes. “We are anti-Islam, as everyone should be. Islam is not a religion, but a cult. It has all the features of a cult, like the religions of Jim Jones and David Koresh. It’s exactly the same. But people don’t understand that.”

Doesn’t it bother you to belong to an organization with an extreme right-wing image?

“I know the league has a bad image, but that’s not because of the people in it. It’s because of ignorant people who don’t understand what the organization is all about. People call them fascists and racists, but really, if they were racists, we [Jews] wouldn’t be there. I also thought they were racists, but I started to check them out seriously and found that they are exactly the opposite: They are fighting racism, fighting those who harass Zionists and Jews. They have balls. I am very proud of these friends. They do things that others are afraid to do. They go into the streets, they demonstrate and they are against what has become taboo here. You can’t so much as mention the word ‘Islam’ here, because that makes you a racist. How can I be a racist when Muslims are not even a race?

“We are not fascists, because we are against a religion,” she continues. “In Britain we are critical of the Muslims because they come here and get government support and then have the temerity to hurt the country and its citizens. They say, ‘We will attack you, we will inflict a holocaust on you’ — all that rubbish. Why should I be silent? They accuse us of everything — the Israelis, the Jews and the Zionists are to blame for everything. Their propaganda portrays us as inhuman, and we are not allowed to criticize them? Why?”…

           — Hat tip: ICLA[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Moroccans Block Border Post Into Spanish Enclave

Moroccan demonstrators Thursday blocked trucks transporting fresh food from entering Spain’s north African enclave of Melilla to protest alleged abuse by Spanish police, media said.

The protest began at dawn, causing a shortage of fish, fruit and vegetables in the Melilla markets, and traffic was resumed in the afternoon, Spanish media reported.

The demonstrators were angry over recent alleged incidents, including beatings, by Spanish police against Moroccan nationals at the border posts of Melilla and Spain’s other disputed north African enclave of Ceuta.

The head of the autonomous municipality of Melilla, Juan Jose Imbroda, condemned what he said was the failure of the Moroccan authorities to prevent Thursday’s protest.

“Some 25 to 30 people cannot be allowed to cut the traffic on the border by saying that they are not going to allow food products to pass through and that Moroccan authorities fully allow this,” he told Spain’s radio Cadena Ser.

Morocco last month accused Spanish police of badly injuring five of its citizens trying to enter Melilla by beating them for carrying a Moroccan flag.

On August 2 the Moroccan government protested to Madrid over what it said was “violence” inflicted by Spanish police on a Moroccan student at the Melilla border post.

And last week Rabat accused a Spanish border patrol of abandoning eight sub-Saharan migrants off the Moroccan coast in a critical state of health.

Spain’s King Juan Carlos phoned his Moroccan counterpart, Mohammed VI, on Wednesday in a bid to ease the tense relations between the neighbours.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Tuesday also sought calm the situation, saying he was ready to “clarify, discuss and inform” about any alleged incidents.

He added that Spanish security forces always act “with the utmost correctness.”

The two countries traditionally have close ties but tensions have simmered over Melilla and Ceuta, on the north coast of north Africa bordering Morocco.

Madrid in May reaffirmed Spanish sovereignty over the two tiny enclaves after the Moroccan government called for a dialogue on the matter.

A low point in Spanish-Moroccan relations was a dispute in 2002 when Spanish troops expelled a group of Moroccan soldiers from the disputed Mediterranean islet of Perjil.

Tensions again rose in November 2007 when King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia visited Ceuta and Melilla.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spanish King Moves to Ease Tensions With Morocco

Spain’s King Juan Carlos phoned his Moroccan counterpart, Mohammed VI, Wednesday in a bid to calm tense relations between the two neighbours over a number of recent incidents, the royal palace said.

Both noted “the good relations between the two countries” and that “this good atmosphere must not be affected by misunderstandings,” a spokesman for the palace said.

“Spain is fully prepared to clarify what has to be clarified,” he said.

Morocco last month accused Spanish police of badly injuring five of its citizens trying to enter Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla merely for carrying a Moroccan flag.

On August 2, the government also protested to Madrid over what it said was “violence” inflicted by Spanish police on a Moroccan student at the Melilla border post.

And last week Rabat accused a Spanish civil guard border patrol of abandoning eight sub-Saharan migrants off the Moroccan coast in a critical state of health.

Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero on Tuesday also sought ease tensions, saying he was ready “clarify, discuss and inform” about any incidents.

He added that Spanish security forces always act “with the utmost correctness.”

The two countries traditionally have close ties but tensions have simmered over Melilla and another Spanish north African enclave, Ceuta, both of which Morocco considers “occupied”.

Madrid in May reaffirmed Spanish sovereignty over the two enclaves after the Moroccan government called for a dialogue on the matter.

A low point in Spanish-Moroccan relations was a dispute in 2002 when Spanish troops expelled a group of Moroccan soldiers from the disputed Mediterranean islet of Perjil.

Tensions again rose in November 2007 when King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia visited Ceuta and Melilla.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Caroline Glick: Guide to the Perplexed

Israel’s leaders are reportedly concerning themselves with one question today. Are there any circumstances in which US President Barack Obama will order the US military to strike Iran’s nuclear installations before Iran develops a nuclear arsenal?

From Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu down the line, Israel’s leaders reportedly raise this question with just about everyone they come into contact with. If this is true, then the time has come to end our leaders’ suspense.

The answer is no.

To all intents and purposes, there are no circumstances in which Obama would order an attack on Iran’s nuclear installations to prevent Iran from developing and fielding nuclear weapons. Exceptions to this statement fall into two categories. Either they are so implausible that they are operationally irrelevant, or they are so contingent on other factors that they would doom any US attack to failure…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

Iranian Rockers Tear Down ‘The Wall’

A Toronto-based rock band is garnering worldwide attention after remaking Pink Floyd’s “The Wall,” into a new anthem — “Hey, Ayatollah, leave those kids alone!” — as a sign of solidarity with Iranians fighting against Tehran’s regime.

Blurred Vision, formed in 2007 by brothers Sepp, 28, and Sohl, 35, who fled Iran with their family in 1986, was inspired to cover the classic tune after watching protests in Iran unfold over the controversial reelection of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“We did a show in Toronto in September and while we were performing we decided let’s play ‘Another Brick in the Wall’ just for the hell of it and as the chorus line came up I just decided to sing ‘hey Ayatollah’ instead of ‘hey teacher’ and when I sang that line the crowd went insane,” Sepp told

The brothers, who do not make their last name public out of concern for family members who remain in Iran, recorded the song with their bandmates in October, followed by a music video in February, both of which have attracted major attention in Canada and abroad.

“It’s remarkable to hear kids from South America, from Europe, from the UK, from North America just getting behind us because they see that this really is a humanitarian issue,” Sepp said.



Time of Reckoning for Obama, Pelosi What to Expect if Bush Tax Cuts Expire Best and Worst College Degrees for 2010 Grads Virginia Lawmakers Blast Gates Plan to Cut Major Military Command Abandon Earth or Face Extinction, Stephen Hawking Warns — Again The music video, which includes images of violent clashes during last year’s protests in Iran, has garnered more than 250,000 views on YouTube. The song has also begun getting radio play in Canada. But Sepp says it’s the attention it’s receiving in Iran that moves the band the most.

“We get a lot of e-mails, especially from the younger guys, and I remember we were in London for a film festival where we were there to receive an award for best video and Sohl was translating an e-mail into English. And as he was translating he started crying. The e-mail said, ‘It is you guys out there that can keep this going for us, that can keep our voice alive. We’re here sort of isolated from the rest of the world, we’ve been shut down and shut off from the rest of the world and all we can say is just keep our voice alive, keep going to allow us to reach this point of freedom,’“ Sepp said.

Karim Sadjadpour, an associate at the Carnegie Endowment’s Middle East program, says it’s understandable that Blurred Vision’s song would be well-received in Iran based on how much the people there love Pink Floyd.

“Pink Floyd is hugely popular in Iran, they have a large following among Iran’s younger generations,” Sadjadpour told “Their often subversive lyrics can be more deeply appreciated by people living under autocratic systems, like Iran’s.”

Blurred Vision says it doesn’t know how many Iranians have been able to hear its music, but hopes they are able to get around Internet censorship in their country and find ways to hear and circulate its message.

“Essentially in Iran we hope what they’re doing is basically ripping it off the computer and spreading it around to themselves and spreading it through YouTube,” Sepp said. “We have no sort of goal to have them download the track. For them we hope it’s free.”

But not all the feedback on Blurred Vision is positive.

Negative comments posted about the band range from allegations that its work is purely political propaganda to accusations that the band is backed by the CIA and the Pentagon and making a fortune off the U.S. government.

“The Ayatollah also recently said that we need to cut music altogether and the youth need to stay away from music, which perhaps had something to do with the attention and buzz that this song has created,” Sepp said. “It’s ridiculous.”

The band denies any affiliation with the U.S. government and Amnesty International confirmed to that the band donates most of its download proceeds to the human rights organization. But the band says negative comments don’t seem to be phasing Blurred Vision fans either way.

“It’s wonderful to see that people all over the world respond to them and dislike these comments and one of the great things about YouTube and all these comment boards and forums is that if you get a certain amount of negative feedback on your comment, the comment is removed. So one of the things we see on YouTube is so many of these comments that are negative get removed because of low ratings. So really we don’t need to say or do anything.”

There was one anticipated critic the band did reach out to however: Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters.

“We were nervous because we’re thinking we’re coming out with our first release as a Pink Floyd cover and along the lines of musicians and music fans the Floyd can’t be touched,” Sepp said. “… so we laid the track down and right away we knew that we had to get it over to Roger because he was such a hero to us.”

A couple of weeks later, Sepp says, Waters gave the band the “green light.”

“We got the e-mail back from the Roger Waters camp and it said you have Roger Water’s blessing and not only that but this track is now in your hands it’s now yours as its title “Hey Ayatollah, leave those kids alone,” Sepp says. “For me and Sohl it was one of the most unbelievable moments in our musical lives.”

Waters says it was a special moment for him, as well.

“I think it’s great that these guys are using the song to protest against the repressive and brutal regime in Iran,” Waters said on his Facebook page. “I am proud to be a small part of this resistance.”

“I think The Blurred Vision video is very accomplished and makes its point powerfully,” he added.

Now, the band says it plans to make an equally powerful point with its upcoming original song “Democracy.”

The point of the song is “very self explanatory,” Sepp said. “Our first song has connected with people, hopefully they’re going to react the same way too when we come out with our original.”

And while Blurred Vision is unlikely to reap any major financial benefits from its songs or music videos, the band says it hopes its music can encourage people to work together to bring about change.

“We truly believe that one emboldened mind with knowledge is worth more than a million hands empowered by wealth,” Sepp said. “It’s an ethos of the band that awareness can change the world and music is our tool and platform to do that; and in my opinion it’s truly working because the dialogue has begun.”

           — Hat tip: Henrik[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Al-Qaeda Plots Against Saudi Monarchs, Israel

Al-Qaeda leaders in Yemen have called to topple Saudi rulers and murder Christians living in Saudi Arabia, according to a taped statement released Wednesday. The person speaking in the tape identified himself as senior Al-Qaeda operative Saeed al-Shihri, but his identity could not be confirmed.

The tape also included a call for rogue terrorist attacks on Israel. Addressing Al-Qaeda supporters in the Saudi Arabian army, the speaker said, “Bear arms against Israel… Whoever is a pilot should seek martyrdom in the skies of Palestine, and whoever is in the navy should aim his weapons at the Jews…”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Russian Nuclear Agency Says Iran’s First Nuclear Plant Will Start Getting Fuel Next Week

Russia announced Friday it will begin the startup next week of Iran’s only atomic power plant, giving Tehran a boost as it struggles with international sanctions and highlighting differences between Moscow and Washington over pressuring the Islamic Republic to give up activities that could be used to make nuclear arms.

Uranium fuel shipped by Russia will be loaded into the Bushehr reactor on Aug. 21, beginning a process that will last about a month and end with the reactor sending electricity to Iranian cities, Russian and Iranian officials said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India: Victims of Anti-Christian Pogrom in Orissa, Kidnapped for Prostitution

Two sisters enticed to the capital to work and then sold as servants, forced to suffer beatings and violence. The police reject the report of one of the girls freed, unconcerned by human trafficking.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / AICC) — A 16 year old girl was freed from the hands of a group that for days had been beating and abusing of her and had want to force her into prostitution. The girl was released yesterday in the district of Rohini (Delhi) thanks to the police, Human Rights Law Network and All India Christian Council. The girl belongs to one of the families of victims of anti-Christian pogrom in Orissa. The police however refused to file the girl’s report against her traffickers.

The girl, Jyothi [name changed for security reasons], said that she and her sister 19 years were enticed to the capital with the promise of receiving a job. The call came from a woman of Kandhamal (Orissa) that they knew who knew of the poverty in which the girl’s family lives. Jyothi and her sister, along with two other sisters, were brought to Delhi in December 2009 and sold to a trafficker named Sakhi Maid Beur in the village of Ratala. The trafficker kept her for six days harassing her, abusing her, forcing her to drink and beating her. Jyothi said that her sister and the two other girls have undergone the same treatment.

Jyothi was later moved to a house in Rohini where she was a servant and where some family members constantly tried to rape her.

The trafficker said he would withdraw Jyothi’s salary and send it to Kandhamal, to her mother, a poor and illiterate woman, who lives in the forest, also a victim of anti-Christian violence in August 2008.

It was indeed the mother who warned the All India Christian Council and who travelled to Delhi to free the girls. But there is no trace of her other daughter.

The complete blindness of Sudir Kumar, Prashant Vihar police chief (Rohini), to the entire episode is shocking. He has refused to file the girls report because her medical report does not say that she was raped. The crime of human trafficking does not seem to interest the law. The group who released Jyothi have decided to appeal to the Police Commissioner and the courts.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Malaysia: Two Muslim Youths Sentenced Over Church Fire

In January, the Metro Tabernacle Church was attacked with stones and fire bombs. Now two young men have been sentenced to five years. The court also wanted to give a warning against interfaith attacks that exploded at that time.

Kuala Lumpur (AsiaNews / Agencies) — Two young men from of eight arrested shortly after the January arson attack on the Metro Tabernacle Church, Assembly of God, have been sentenced to five years in prison. On January 8, some people threw stones and incendiary objects at the building, located on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, creating serious damage (see photo).

The brothers 24 year old Raja Muhammad Faizal Raja Ibrahim 24 and Raja Muhammad Raja Idzham Ibrahim, 22, were found by police with apparent burns and defended themselves by saying they were from a barbecue.

The judge described the act as “disgraceful” and said that the convicted had “disgraced the country.”

The attack was the first in a series of attacks against places of worship in Kuala Lumpur (11 churches, three mosques, a Sikh temple and two Muslim prayer rooms), which last January endangered inter-religious and inter-racial coexistence in the capital. The attacks came after a court in December 2009 had authorized a Catholic newspaper to use the word “Allah” to refer to the Christian God, which radical Islamic groups consider blasphemous.

The Government supports this extremist position and has even appealed against the December ruling, although its use is entirely normal in orthodox Muslim countries like Egypt and Indonesia, and despite the fact that Christians in Malaysia have shown that there is evidence of the Christian use of this term since the 17th century.

According to analysts, government support of Islamic groups has political purposes. Siding with them, the majority party, UMNO hopes to have greater electoral support. The opposition Islamic party, PAS, advocates the use of the word for Christians and Jews.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Christians Take to the Streets on ‘Black Day’ To Protest Blasphemy

Christians and human rights groups marched and protested yesterday against discriminatory laws, demanding freedom and dignity for all, irrespective of religion.

Lahore (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Christians in Pakistan observed a ‘Black Day’ of protest yesterday to mark the many discriminations they endure in their homeland, above all the blasphemy law, which continues to inflict suffering on its victims.

On 11 August 1947, three days before Pakistan became independent after centuries of British colonial rule, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founding father of the nation, delivered an historic speech to the newly-formed constituent assembly in which he pledged “freedom and equality” for all faiths in the new country.

Christians from various backgrounds have chosen that date for its symbolic value. Likewise, Human Rights Focus Pakistan (HRFP) organised the protest march on this day, ending in a press conference at the Lahore Press Club.

HRFP president Naveed Walter said that the ‘Black Day’ of protest was called to highlight the “increasing incidents of injustice and discrimination” against Pakistani Christians.

Above all, the rally was prompted by the need to change the blasphemy law, which punishes proselytising but is used by Muslim extremist groups against Christians, aided and abetted by eager police officers ready to arrest on simple verbal accusations.

In addition, Naveed called for changes to Pakistan’s electoral system to enable the country’s religious minorities to select directly their representatives in the federal parliament and regional assemblies. Under current rules, a number of seats are reserved for them at both level of government, but they go to people who are handpicked by political parties and thus do not depend on the ballots of minority voters.

This year, Pakistan again observed ‘Minority Day’ on 11 August. However, for Nazir S. Bhatti, a leader of the Pakistan Christian Congress, it makes little sense to celebrate ‘Minority Day’ as long as Christians are persecuted, arrested and subjected to violence for their faith. Instead, he chose to observe a ‘Black Day’ in memory of the victims of anti-minority persecution.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]


Denmark: Nationalists: No More Non-Western Immigrants

After the PM’s rejection of their bid to raise the spouse law age, the DF call for an end to immigration

The nationalist Danish People’s Party announced last week that it wants to see a complete stop to all immigration to Denmark from non-Western countries.

The announcement was made at the party’s 2010 summer group meeting in Vejle, Jutland, where its top members — including leader Pia Kjærsgaard, Kristian Thulesen Dahl and Peter Skaarup — met to discuss current issues in advance of the autumn session of parliament.

The announcement followed a suggestion earlier in the week that the ‘24-year’ immigration rule — which requires both a Danish citizen and a foreign-born spouse to both be over 24 to qualify for Danish residence — be changed to cover anyone under the age of 28 and to include an exemption for spouses from Western countries.

However, the prime minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, whose Liberal Party will probably need the Danish People’s Party’s support to hold on to its majority in government after the next election, flatly rejected the proposal.

To which the DF responded by calling for a complete stop to immigration from non-Western countries

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Finland: SDP Lashes Out at “Extremes” In Immigration Debate

“True Finns are xenophobic, Greens are naive”

The opposition Social Democratic Party seeks to distinguish itself from other parties on the issue of immigration policy in advance of next year’s Parliamentary elections. At a meeting in the south coast city of Hamina on Thursday, the SDP defined its views on labour-based immigration as being based on a policy line of “realistic human dignity”.

Party chairwoman Jutta Urpilainen drew up a graph in which she placed the SDP at the centre of a table of values on the matter. In the graph, the extremes were defined as “cold, cheap labour”, allegedly espoused by the conservative National Coalition Party, and “doors open and eyes shut”, courtesy of the Green League.

The attitudes of the True Finns were seen to be on a separate continent. Urpilainen defined the party’s immigration policy as “get out of the country”.

Urpilainen said that the SDP emphasises the rights of immigrant workers, while the National Coalition Party sees them as mere cheap labour.

She sees the Greens as being naive in assuming as self-evident that immigration laws will be obeyed.

The Social Democrats’ own policy focuses on the idea of bringing undocumented labour under control and making sure that Finland gets the tax revenue.

The SDP proposes that tax authorities set up a permanent unit to investigate the “grey economy”.

National Coalition Party Chairman, Minister of Finance Jyrki Katainen disputes Urpilainen’s claim that his party is in favour of importing cheap labour.

“There cannot be different rules for work. It creates an unfair situation from the point of view of competition as well”, Katainen said in Kokkola on Thursday.

The National Coalition Party has sought to ease the assessment of need when bringing in workers from outside the EU. The SDP continues to take a tough line on the matter.

Green League Chairwoman, Minister of Labour Anni Sinnemäki said that the SDP’s proposal sets up a confrontation between Finns and workers arriving from abroad.

“It seems that they understand almost nothing about the dynamics of economics and employment. It is certainly useful that people come to Finland to work in fields for which Finns might not be available.”

Sinnemäki welcomed the SDP’s call for faster processing of asylum applications, and calls for easing the integration of immigrants into Finnish society.

The SDP criticised the government for what it sees as erratic immigration policy.

“The government’s policy has been to react in panic to media debate”, said MP Maarit Feldt-Ranta (SDP).

She said that differences between MP Ben Zyskowicz (Nat. Coalition Party) and Minister of Migration Astrid Thors (Swed. People’s Party) on the bill for a so-called “grandmother law” suggest disarray among government parties.

Urpilainen denied that the Social Democrats were trying to woo voters away from the True Finns.

True Finns chairman Timo Soini took a different view. “In a democracy there is also freedom to say stupid things, and the SDP seems to be good at this”, he said.

Soini feels that the SDP’s immigration policy line suggests that the subject matter will be a major theme in next year’s Parliamentary elections.

           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Foreign-Born Workers Get Three-Quarters of British Jobs

LONDON: Workers born outside Britain bagged most of the jobs in the country despite a steep surge in recruitment this year, adding to the worries of unemployed British youths, campaigners have said.

Employment levels in three months between April and June rose from 184,000 to 29 million in the biggest quarterly hike since 1989. But about three-quarters of this increase was due to workers born outside Britain, the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals.

The new figures were “further evidence that immigration really does affect the job prospects of British-born workers”, Sir Andrew Green, from Migrationwatch UK, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“An astonishingly high proportion of the increase in employment is down to foreign workers getting jobs in Britain,” he said.

The quarterly rise in workers born outside was 145,000, compared with an increase of just 41,000 Britain-born workers. The overall figure is adjusted to take account of how the labour market is affected by seasonal factors, such as school leavers starting work in June, the ONS said.

The figures also showed a total of 25.08 million people born in Britain were in jobs in the three months in 2010, down 15,000 on a year earlier. However, the number of people born outside Britain who were in jobs was up 114,000 to 3.85 million, compared with the same time last year.

Employment rate for Britain-born people aged from 16 to 64 was 70.9 percent in the three months to June 2010, down 0.5 percent on a year earlier. The corresponding rate for foreign-born people was 66.5 percent, up 0.5 percent on this time last year.

Immigration minister Damian Green said: “I recognise the importance of attracting the brightest and the best to ensure strong economic growth, but unlimited migration can place unacceptable pressure on public services.

“It is our aim to reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s — tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands. Introducing a limit on migrants from outside Europe coming here to work is just one of the ways we intend to achieve this.

“Alongside our limits there will be action to get people back to work and provide business with the skills they need from the British workforce — reducing the need for migrants at the same time as we reduce their number.”

The number of young people trapped in long-term unemployment has also soared by 41.9 percent in the last year.

The figures reveal that 72,000 people aged 18 to 24 had been out of work for two years or more in the three months up to June. This was an 11 percent increase on the previous quarter — and a 41.9 percent increase in the past 12 months.

The figures fuel fears that tens of thousands of young people have never had a job and risk being caught in an inescapable unemployment trap.

Employment rose as the number of part-time workers lifted by 115,000 in the quarter to a record 7.84 million — suggesting more people are struggling to find full-time permanent jobs. But the ONS said there was also a lift in those in full-time work, up by 68,000 to 21.2 million in the first quarter of the current financial year.

The figures also showed the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent between April and June.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Illegal Immigrants Estimated to Account for 1 in 12 U.S. Births

One in 12 babies born in the U.S. in 2008 were offspring of illegal immigrants, according to a new study, an estimate that could inflame the debate over birthright citizenship.

Undocumented immigrants make up slightly more than 4% of the U.S. adult population. However, their babies represented twice that share, or 8%, of all births on U.S. soil in 2008, according to the nonpartisan Pew Hispanic Center’s report.

“Unauthorized immigrants are younger than the rest of the population, are more likely to be married and have higher fertility rates than the rest of the population,” said Jeffrey Passel, a senior demographer at Pew in Washington, D.C.

The report, based on Pew’s analysis of the Census Bureau’s March 2009 Current Population Survey, also found that the lion’s share, or 79%, of the 5.1 million children of illegal immigrants residing in the U.S. in 2009 were born in the country and are therefore citizens.

Journal Community

Question of the Day: Should “birthright citizenship” be denied to children born in the U.S. to illegal immigrants?

In total, about 11 million undocumented immigrants live in the U.S. Latinos account for 75% of undocumented U.S. immigrants and about 85% of the births among that population.

A spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a national group that lobbies for curbing immigration, said Wednesday its studies have yielded numbers similar to those estimated by Pew…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: Pakistani Sought by Interpol Arrested

Latina, 13 August (AKI) — Police in northern Italy have arrested a Pakistani immigrant who fled Pakistan after receiving a 14-year prison sentence for drugs and people trafficking. Pakistani authorities issued an international arrest warrant for Mazhar Iqbal Butter in 2006.

Police on Friday confirmed 32-year-old Butter’s arrest at the immigration office in the northwestern coastal city of Livorno, as he was applying for an Italian residency permit.

“Police set a trap for him, telling him there was a problem with his application, and followed him to Livorno from the city of Brescia,” police investigator Michele Viola told Adnkronos International.

Butter was part of a criminal gang in Pakistan which trafficked migrants to western Europe via Iran, Turkey and Greece, according to Pakistani authorities.

A court in Gujranwala in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province in November 2006 issued an international arrest warrant for Butter, after he went on the run.

Butter entered Italy in 2007 with a false passport and lived in several locations in and around the northern city of Brescia but travelled frequently to visit members of the Pakistani community in the central Italian city of Latina near Rome, Viola said.

“We investigated him for four months, after doubts emerged over his identity,” Viola told AKI.

“He has admitted his passport was false, and that he is indeed Butter,” Viola said.

Butter was being held in Livorno jail pending his deportation to Pakistan, Viola added.

The investigation and operation that led to Butter’s arrest was conducted by police in Brescia and Latina in collaboration with Interpol and Italy’s immigration office.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]

UK: Pupils Forced to Use Mobile Classrooms as City is Flooded by 20,000 Migrants

Schools in a city flooded by more than 20,000 immigrants are at ‘breaking point’, education chiefs warned yesterday.

Peterborough City Council is planning to build emergency mobile classrooms to ease pressure on its primary schools, which have seen a steep rise in applicants.

Every class in every year group is already full, and it has struggled to find places for all 2,438 pupils due to start classes in September.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Poland: Warsaw’s Cross Row

Gazeta Wyborcza, 10 August 2010

“Bring down the palace, it obscures the view of the cross!” and “Move the cross to church, Poland is a secular country!”, these slogans could be seen during a happening against the cross in front of the presidential palace in Warsaw last night, Gazeta Wyborcza reports on the front page. The cross was placed before the palace after the air crash near Smolensk on April 10, in which 96 top Polish officials were killed, including president Lech Kaczynski. On 3 August a group of defenders of the cross blocked its transfer to a nearby church in violation of earlier arrangements with the Church hierarchy. This prompted Dominik Taras, a cook at the Warsaw Fine Arts Academy, to organize a protest on Facebook that brought several thousand people before the palace last night to appeal for the cross’s removal. “Yielding to the defenders of the cross, the State approved what is happening here. We also want to have our share in making fun of the situation”, he told the daily.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni[Return to headlines]


WHO List Reveals Flu Advisors With Financial Ties to Pharma, Vaccine Manufacturers

(NaturalNews) After months of stalling, the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally revealed the names of key pandemic advisors who influenced its decision to declare a phase six pandemic last year — a decision that resulted in a financial windfall for vaccine manufacturers. As you’ll see here, that list includes at least five expert advisors received money from vaccine companies.

Here’s who received money from Big Pharma and then influenced the WHO decision to declare a pandemic:

Arnold Monto is a professor from the United States who has received money from virtually all the major vaccine manufacturers: GSK, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi Pasteur. He has specifically been given grant money by Sanofi Pasteur to study influenza vaccines.

Nancy Cox works for the US Centers for Disease Control, which already maintains a pro-vaccine stance while utterly ignoring the importance of vitamin D in halting infectious disease. Nancy took funds from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) to conduct work on vaccines.

John Wood works at Britain’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC). They’ve taken money from Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and several other companies focused on influenza vaccine research.

Maria Zambon is a professor at the UK Health Protection Agency Centre for Infection. She has received money from Sanofi, Novartis, CSL, Baxter and GSK.

Neil Ferguson is also a professor, and he has accepted money from Roche and GSK Biologicals.

There may be more to this story, too: The financial ties explained here are merely the ones that these people chose to publicly disclose to WHO. There may yet be other ties that currently remain a secret and will have to be dug up by some determined reporter…

What’s the problem with financial ties, anyway?

Why does it matter that WHO advisors took money from vaccine companies? It’s simple: The decision to declare H1N1 swine flu to be a phase 6 pandemic was made by the WHO under advisement from these very people who received money from vaccine companies. And that decision, we now know, resulted in a windfall of profits for the vaccine companies.

Those profits, in turn, were burdened by the taxpayers whose expenditures were largely worthless because a huge portion of those vaccines are now expiring and have to be destroyed. The money was wasted, in other words.

It all has the makings of a grand global con: The WHO enlists advisors with financial ties to the vaccine industry to decide whether a pandemic is under way and then conveniently follows their advice in making a decision that many health experts around the world have been questioning from the start. It all has the appearance of medical corruption, and it looks like WHO decisions are based more on politics than medical science.

It was politically convenient, in other words, to declare a stage six pandemic. And if these WHO advisors have already received money from vaccine manufacturers, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that they would soon be financially rewarded with yet more payoffs. (You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours…)

The appearance of corruption

The unfortunate upshot of all this is that even if these WHO advisors are completely innocent, their financial ties still create the appearance of corruption. And that means the WHO is losing credibility that may compromise its integrity when a real pandemic comes along. If the world can’t trust the World Health Organization, in other words, then who should countries look to for real answers on pandemics and infectious disease?

Sadly, even the CDC in the US has now clearly positioned itself as an “anti-nutrition, pro-vaccine” organization, too. Ignoring the huge importance of vitamin D and the support of the human immune system, many CDC experts have also either been on the payrolls of vaccine manufacturers or are looking to join Big Pharma when offered a job. The former head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, was recently offered a position as the president of Merck’s vaccine division (

The frustrating fact is that modern medicine has been subverted by Big Pharma. The vaccine industry practically runs the CDC and WHO — or at the very least, it heavily influences decisions by these two organizations. As a result, the so-called “scientific” decisions made by these organizations have very little to do with actual science but everything to do with protecting (and expanding) the profits of vaccine manufacturers.

And when public health policy is decided based on corporate profits, the people will always suffer.

Did you notice that the list of WHO advisors did not include even a single naturopathic physician? Not a single holistic nutritionist? There was nobody on the board that brought a pro-nutrition point of view to the discussions. And you know why nutritionists and naturopaths weren’t invited to join the WHO advisory board? Because the WHO has already pre-decided it doesn’t want to hear those points of view. It has stubbornly decided to entertain only vaccines as the solution to virtually all infectious disease.

And if you only invite vaccine pushers to the table, guess what kind of advice you’re going to get? “Push more vaccines!”

Asking a bunch of vaccine experts whether you should declare a pandemic is sort of like asking your insurance agent whether you need more insurance. Well of course you do!

No wonder the WHO has lost so much credibility. It refuses to look at real solutions that might work for poor nations (such as low-cost vitamin D supplements) while strongly favoring the high-profit operations of the vaccine industry. That’s why the WHO simply can’t be trusted anymore. It has now become a pawn of the pharmaceutical industry that will always make decisions that favor the financial interests of Big Pharma.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]