Friday, January 10, 2003

News Feed 20101103

Financial Crisis
»Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting of America
»Obama to Spend $200 Million Per Day on Mumbai Boondoggle While Wounded Soldiers Beg for Donations
»Out of Touch and Out of Favour: The Future Looks Bleak for Barack Obama
»Saudi Arabia: Gold Crisis, 85% of Goldsmiths Close Shop
»Vatican: Pope Will Implement Banking Rules
»Air Force Brainstorms Ways to Dumb Down Enemies
»Did Harry Reid Steal Nevada?
»FDA Tests Confirm Listeria at Texas Food Plant
»It’s Morning in America
»Rising Rancor: One Nation, Divisible by Politics
»Sharia Law Banned: Oklahoma to Become the First U.S. State to Veto Use of Islamic Code
»Special Report: Soros Vote Counters
»Jew-Hatred Infects Muslim World, Activist Says
Europe and the EU
»Asylum Rights: Refugee System is Collapsing
»‘British Go to Hell’: Public Gallery Erupts as Student Inspired by Al Qaeda Who Tried to Kill MP is Jailed for Life
»German Far Right Emerges From Shadows to Join Cologne Campaign Against Mosque
»Germany: CSU Party Newspaper Offers Holidays to ‘Occupied East Prussia’
»Germany’s Freiheit Party Joins the Fray
»Greece Halt International Mail Deliveries After Militants Send Bombs to Euro Leaders Sarkozy, Merkel and Berlusconi
»Greek Authorities Focus on Radical Left
»Italy: ‘Better to Like Women Than be Gay’ Says Berlusconi
»Italy: Parcel Bomb Addressed to Berlusconi Ignites
»Italy: Sex Worker Questioned in Palermo Over PM’s Sardinian Parties
»Main Finnish Parties Engineer Removal of True Finn Representative From Nordic Council Meeting in Reykjavik…….
»Netherlands: AIVD: ‘Extreme Right Following Halved’
»Poll: Strong Support for Common Nordic State
»Spain: Persecuted for Refusing to Wear Veil, Imam Sentenced
»Spain: Increasingly Secularised Country Awaits Pope
»Stakelbeck on Terror Show: “Eurabia” Rising
»Sweden: Sahlin and Åkesson Clash in First Riksdag Duel
»Swedish King to Face Book’s Love Affair Claims
»Swiss Poised to Vote on Controversial Immigrant Law
»UK: MCB Reaches Out to the Turkish Muslim Community
»UK: MCB: Statement on Stephen Timms, MP
»UK: National Demonstration and Carnival to Say No to Racism, Fascism and Islamophobia
»UK: Student Smiled Before Stabbing Me, Says MP Timms
»UK: The Mayor With His Own Fate
»Wokingham British Legion Club Closes After 89 Years
»Serbia: Muslims in the Region of Sandzak Want Autonomy
Mediterranean Union
»Tunisia Joins the Enterprise Europe Network
North Africa
»Egypt: Coptic Pope Beefs Up Security Amid Al-Qaeda Threat
Middle East
»Iran Responds to Alarm on Woman Sentenced to Stoning
»Phyllis Chesler: Is the Timing Any Accident?
»Turkey: Christian Graves Vandalised on the Island of Imvros
»Ahmadinejad Accuses Russia of Giving in to American ‘Satan’
South Asia
»In India, Cellphones Abound, Toilets Don’t
Far East
»China Plans Space Station by 2020
»Top U.N. Official Honors Tiananmen Square General
Australia — Pacific
»Patient Too Shocked to Complain of Surgery
»Perfect Applicant Not Indigenous Enough for Job
»Valley of Tears
Latin America
»Brazilians Now Face Newspeak
»Sweden Ends Asylum Seeker Returns to Greece
»U.N. Investigator: Migrants Suffer Worst Racism
»UK: Ministers Vow to Curb Every Migrant Route… But MPs Warn Cap on Arrivals Will Have Little Effect
Culture Wars
»‘Bill’s New Frock’: Teaching Gender Confusion
»Switzerland: Catholic Condom Campaign Sparks Controversy
»Airport Body Scanners ‘Could Give You Cancer’, Warns Expert
»UK: Scariest Speed Camera of All… It Checks Your Insurance, Tax and Even Whether You Are Tailgating or Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Financial Crisis

Catherine Austin Fitts: The Looting of America

Former Assistant Secretary of Housing under George H.W. Bush Catherine Austin Fitts blows the whistle on how the financial terrorists have deliberately imploded the US economy and transferred gargantuan amounts of wealth offshore as a means of sacrificing the American middle class. Fitts documents how trillions of dollars went missing from government coffers in the 90’s and how she was personally targeted for exposing the fraud.

Fitts explains how every dollar of debt issued to service every war, building project, and government program since the American Revolution up to around 2 years ago — around $12 trillion — has been doubled again in just the last 18 months alone with the bank bailouts. “We’re literally witnessing the leveraged buyout of a country and that’s why I call it a financial coup d’état, and that’s what the bailout is for,” states Fitts.

Massive amounts of financial capital have been sucked out the United States and moved abroad, explains Fitts, ensuring that corporations have become more powerful than governments, changing the very structure of governance on the planet and ensuring we are ruled by private corporations. Pension and social security funds have also been stolen and moved offshore, leading to the end of fiscal responsibility and sovereignty as we know it.

[Return to headlines]

Obama to Spend $200 Million Per Day on Mumbai Boondoggle While Wounded Soldiers Beg for Donations


Yesterday, amid the swirl of midterm election news, it was announced that President Obama’s trip to Mumbai, India would cost $200 million per day. His retinue includes 3,000 people including Secret Service agents, US government officials and journalists, 40 aircraft, and three Marine One choppers that will be disassembled in the US, flown to Mumbai, and reassembled in India to ferry the president and his family and to evacuate them in case of any emergency. Also included is military personnel to ensure his safety.

He has reserved the entire Taj Mahal Hotel. All 570 odd rooms, banquet halls, restaurants, etc. In addition to hundreds of rooms in other 5 star hotels around Mumbai. Obviously no expense will be spared.

It seems to me that this is a fabulous expenditure of taxpayers dollars for a trip that has been described by The Global Post in this way:…

[Return to headlines]

Out of Touch and Out of Favour: The Future Looks Bleak for Barack Obama

The extent of the kicking the Democratic party has received in the mid-term elections will be clear by the time you read this. America has been concentrating in recent days not on who would win — that seemed obvious — but on how big the Republican gains would be among the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, the 36 Senate seats, the 37 governorships and the 6,118 seats in state legislatures being contested. There is a more striking consideration, however: why has the Obama phenomenon imploded with the force it has, just two years after the President’s stunning triumph? For it is so mighty a fall that it is something of an achievement.

In recent days both the President and his rather clumsy Vice-President, Joe Biden, have been touring America trying to get the Democratic vote out.. They do not appear to have been very successful. Two years ago, hundreds of thousands of people turned up for great outdoor rallies for candidate Obama. When he went to Cleveland, Ohio, on Sunday the indoor sports stadium he spoke in was a little over half-full. The media here are full of former Democratic voters voicing different degrees of disappointment with him.. The greatest criticism is about his failure to improve the economy; the second greatest is about his apparent inability to modify foreign policy. In this lies the truth of what the difficulty is: a fundamental failure to manage expectations. — that seemed obvious — but on how big the Republican gains would be among the 435 seats in the House of Representatives, the 36 Senate seats, the 37 governorships and the 6,118 seats in state legislatures being contested. There is a more striking consideration, however: why has the Obama phenomenon imploded with the force it has, just two years after the President’s stunning triumph? For it is so mighty a fall that it is something of an achievement.

On the morning after Mr Obama’s election two years ago, I watched on television an Illinois woman weeping with relief at the outcome, on the grounds that her house would not now be foreclosed upon. She made it clear where she got this idea from: the Democrats had promised prosperity and, she believed, to protect the homes of those facing foreclosure on their loans. I hope that woman still has the same roof over her head, but I wouldn’t bet on it. The wild economic promises and the failure to damp down some of the inferences drawn from them have proved disastrous for the Democrats’, and the President’s, reputation and credibility.

Many states are going broke. Nevada, home of the Senate leader Harry Reid, is $3 billion in the red. The combined level of their debt is $134 billion. That is a drop in the ocean compared with America’s total debt, which is around $15 trillion, a figure incomprehensible to most people. Unemployment nationally has risen from 7.7 per cent two years ago to 9.6 per cent today. The President’s own economic advisers said it would peak at 8 per cent and Mr Biden recklessly said it would fall month-on-month. Last month, 96,000 more people joined the dole queues. Unemployment has risen disproportionately among young people, black people and the white working class, precisely the groups who supported Mr Obama two years ago. The President has a particular problem in northern rust-belt states where he was supported heavily in 2008 because he represented the last hope. He and Mr Biden have been again and again to the states around the Great Lakes trying to maintain that support. There, as elsewhere, they appear to have failed. There is no real anger against them, though: just a fog of disappointment.

Some of the obloquy against Mr Obama is unfair. The economic mess was not of his, or his party’s, making. Turning that particular ship around in under two years was never going to happen. However, in two respects his management of it has made it worse, and for that he must take the blame. The first was his failure to communicate adequately with his people about the reality of the situation, and to advertise his own limitations in improving things quickly. He failed adequately to address their fears about it, perhaps because he felt those fears were exaggerated and being whipped up by people Mr Obama and his circle regard as “the far Right” — the Tea Party and its supporters.

The second has been the failure to understand that high state spending is not an inevitably efficient or effective way to stimulate recovery. Tea Partiers have made the point that in the 1980s, 60 per cent of total spending was made at local level. Now, it is around 33 per cent. This centralism has bred the accusation that Mr Obama and his friends are socialists; but it is the level of spending, wherever it is made, that is the real problem, not least for the way it obstructs the type of tax cuts that might stimulate enterprise, consumption and growth.

The combination of corporatism and overconfidence, and the economic failure it brings, are familiar to Britons from Leftist governments of both main parties since the war. Harder for us to understand is how the head of government has, in the past two years, become a prisoner of Congress, particularly since it is a Congress that, until today, his own party dominated. Self-interest on the part of many in the American political class ensured that the $787 billion stimulus package was spent unwisely and unproductively. Mr Obama should have dealt more firmly with his congressmen, but he didn’t. His failure to communicate with his electors has been matched by a failure to engage with his colleagues, many of whom spent the election campaign trying to distance themselves from him in the hope of being returned.

He has a historically low 37 per cent approval rating. Towns all over America are blighted by poverty and dereliction. The black community, which so closely identified with Mr Obama, is especially hard hit. But the suffering is widespread. In the past three years, 2.5 million homes have been repossessed and average incomes have come down by five per cent. Fifty million people have no health insurance, a 25 per cent increase in 10 years. Mr Obama’s apologists maintain that he has prevented a second Great Depression. However, the problem is that his supporters in 2008 expected more than that. There has been a haemorrhage of confidence in America’s future. The surge of the Tea Party reflects the common observation by formerly apolitical middle Americans that “we’ve forgotten who we are”. Such people imagine they have lost their national identity. They see a culture of freedom being wiped out by what they call “socialism”: an ideology of which the health care act is the prime symbol.

Last week the President went on television. When reminded of his campaign slogan from 2008 he modified it to “Yes we can, but…”. It was an admission of his failure of expectation management. He had, in the simplicity of his message during his highly effective campaign two years ago, taken people in. Now many who voted for him suspect it is not a question that he “can, but”, rather a question that he can’t at all. He has never learnt how to govern in prose. His inability to communicate properly was exacerbated by his own aloofness and his poor choice of people to help disseminate the message: notably his chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, who has recently resigned in order to run for mayor of Chicago.

They all failed to understand the real reason why Mr Obama was elected. It wasn’t because he was the new Messiah. It was because he wasn’t a Republican. America is not like him: it is not generally aloof, sophisticated and highly educated. He struggles to lead the sort of the people America really has. Yesterday’s debacle was only the first, shattering instalment of their reassessment of him.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia: Gold Crisis, 85% of Goldsmiths Close Shop

(ANSAmed) — ROME, OCTOBER 26 — 85% of Saudi goldsmiths terminated their activities and fired their employees because of the crisis that hit the Saudi processed gold sector. The report was made by Abdellatif Alnimer, president of the gold and jewellery commission of the Chamber of Commerce of the eastern area of the Saudi kingdom, who was quoted by daily newspaper Al Quds Al Arabi.

Many gold processing facilities shut down their production lines because of the decline in sales. Alnimer warned gold trades about the negative consequences of monetising their investments to deal with operational expenses and wages. He stated that “Choosing to transform owned gold into liquidity means opening, without rules, the doors to foreign investors on one side and, on the other, allowing gold to ‘emigrate’ towards the Countries of the investors”.

In 2005 the price of a kilo of pure gold was equal to 48,000 Saudi riyals (slightly more than 9,000 euros), while now the price has increased to 169,000 riyals.(ANSAmed)

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Vatican: Pope Will Implement Banking Rules

Vatican City, 29 Oct. (AKI/Bloomberg) — Pope Benedict XVI will bind the Vatican to implementing European Union laws against money laundering and financial fraud, the European Commission said, after the Holy See’s bank was tainted by a series of scandals.

The Vatican is “fully committed” to putting relevant EU legislation into effect by the end of 2010, as stipulated by a monetary accord the Vatican signed with the commission 17 December last year, Amadeu Altafaj, spokesman for EU Monetary Affairs Commissioner Olli Rehn, said in an interview in Brussels.

A joint EU-Vatican committee, set up under the agreement, “discussed in detail” a draft Vatican law “approximating” the EU rules at an 15 October meeting, Altafaj said. By an “act of the pope,” the law will become applicable to “the institutions of the Holy See, including the Institute for Religious Works,” as the Vatican Bank is called, Altafaj. The information was confirmed today by a high-ranking Vatican official, who declined to be identified, citing Vatican policy.

After scandals that included IOR involvement in the fraudulent bankruptcy of Banco Ambrosiano in 1982, the Vatican is seeking to embrace financial openness after a push by the Group of 20 nations for greater transparency in the wake of the economic crisis.

The Vatican’s efforts came under scrutiny last month when Italian prosecutors seized 23 million euros from a Rome bank account registered to the IOR and opened an investigation into the Vatican Bank and its top two executives for alleged violations of money-laundering laws.

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


Air Force Brainstorms Ways to Dumb Down Enemies

Disabling or dumbing down opponents’ brains may sound like an unusual way to fight a war, but that’s one possible idea being sought by the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force’s $49-million call for research proposals focuses on ways to boost brain power among U.S. warfighters. But it also makes this suggestion: “Conversely, the chemical pathway area could include methods to degrade enemy performance and artificially overwhelm enemy cognitive capabilities.” Our brain cells communicate with one another by using both chemical and electrical signals. Presumably the Air Force is suggesting some weapon that could disrupt that, but it’s a bit too early to tell just what form it would take.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Did Harry Reid Steal Nevada?

5 point margin of victory highly suspicious given pre-election polls showing Angle ahead.

A serious investigation into potential vote fraud needs to be launched immediately in Nevada, after incumbent Harry Reid beat Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle by a clear five points, despite pre-election polls showing Angle four points ahead, amidst suspicious evidence of vote flipping and other dirty tricks on behalf of the Reid campaign last week that were dubbed “criminal” by Angle’s campaign attorney.

Angle clearly had the momentum going into the election, having come from behind to take the lead over the Senate majority leader.

Four separate Rasmussen polls prior to the election had Angle ahead. Two weeks before Super Tuesday, she held a 50% to 47% lead over Reid. One week prior to voting, on October 26, her lead was extended to four points, with Angle at 49% and Reid at 45%.

The race was tight, but surveys clearly showed that Angle was gradually extending her lead as each week went by.

To have a nine point swing, from Angle enjoying a four point lead just a week before the election, to Reid winning the seat by a clear five points, is highly suspicious, especially given the chicanery that came to light just last week. Nine points is not within the margin of error for polls, especially those conducted by Rasmussen, which is considered to be one of if not the most credible polling agency.

When early voting started last week, reports out of Clark County, home to three quarters of Nevada residents, indicated that electronic voting machines were automatically checking Harry Reid’s name on the ballot.

The technicians that serviced those electronic voting machines were the pro-Reid SEIU (Service Employees International Union), the same corrupt union that was behind thousands of bogus voter registrations across the nation. The SEIU spent $44 million during this election cycle, nearly all of which went to Democrats.

“White House political director Patrick Gaspard is formerly the SEIU’s top lobbyist, and former SEIU president Andy Stern was the most frequent visitor to the White House last year,” adds the Gateway Pundit.

Furthermore, the county commissioner for Clark County is none other than Harry Reid’s son Rory.

[Return to headlines]

FDA Tests Confirm Listeria at Texas Food Plant

Federal health officials found the listeria bacteria at a San Antonio food processing plant that Texas authorities have linked to four deaths from contaminated celery, the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

The federal agency said it found the pathogen in multiple locations in the SanGar Produce & Processing Co. plant, confirming the testing announced last month by the Texas Department of State Health Services.

The Texas health authority shut the plant down Oct. 20 and ordered a recall of all produce shipped from there since January. A hearing on the case is set for Nov. 17 in Austin.

“It comes as no surprise to us,” Texas health department spokeswoman Carrie Williams said Wednesday of the FDA’s findings. “If there was any doubt out there, this erases it. It’s another layer of confirmation that this plant had serious issues.”

FDA spokeswoman Patricia El-Hinnawy said in an e-mail the agency would not comment on the results.

Jason Galvan, an attorney for SanGar, said he couldn’t immediately comment on the FDA report.

“The FDA and the state have not turned over to us the documentation supporting their findings. We cannot comment on these most recent findings until the documentation is provided for independent evaluation by our experts,” Galvan said.

After the closure of the plant, which also produced lettuce, pineapple and honeydew, the company alleged the state health inspector who took samples on Oct. 11 could have contaminated them by being dressed improperly and touching surfaces — an assertion the state department denied.

SanGar has said its own tests would disprove the health department’s findings. Galvan said Wednesday that analysis done Oct. 26 by a Texas laboratory hired by SanGar returned negative results for listeria.

The state health department initially traced six of 10 known cases of listeriosis during an eight-month period to celery processed at the SanGar plant, including four deaths. The department last week linked a seventh case to SanGar, Williams said. The agency is investigating the origins of the other three cases.

An FDA report also released Wednesday included 18 observations from inspectors, including failure to take necessary precautions to protect against contamination of food and food contact surfaces; failure to store raw materials in a way that protects against contamination; failure to take apart equipment as necessary to ensure thorough cleaning; and failure to take effective measures to protect finished food from contamination by raw materials and refuse.

Others observations included failure to keep foods that can support rapid growth of “undesirable microorganisms” at a temperature that prevents food from becoming adulterated and failure to provide adequate screening or other protection against pests. The report also stated that the plant is not built in a way that allows floors and walls to be adequately cleaned and kept in good repair.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 500 people die of listeriosis each year in the U.S., and about 2,500 people become seriously ill.

Those with weaker immune systems — including pregnant women, young children, the elderly and those battling serious illness — are most at risk of becoming seriously ill or dying because of listeriosis, the CDC says. Healthy adults and children occasionally are infected with the disease but rarely become seriously ill.

The health department has prohibited SanGar from reopening the plant without agency approval.

“We’re working with them to clean up their business so that they may be able to reopen in the future,” Williams said. “The bottom line is we need to be sure the company can produce safe food before it reopens.”

[Return to headlines]

It’s Morning in America

“The cause of America,” wrote my countryman Tom Paine, “is in great measure the cause of all mankind”. That statement now has a practical, financial truth which Paine couldn’t have imagined in 1776. The US is the world’s leading economy, the dollar its reserve currency. American prosperity is especially critical to Britain, the single largest overseas investor in the US.

That, above all, is why Britons should take satisfaction from the return of candidates committed to restoring order and sanity to the federal budget. Virtually the first thing John Boehner, the new Speaker of the House, said in his acceptance speech was that Congress would “cut government spending”. Not before time. Under Barack Obama, US debt has risen from 40 per cent of GDP to 62 per cent and, according to the Congressional Budget Office, it was on course to rise to 87 per cent by 2020, 109 per cent by 2025, and 185 per cent by 2035.

Yesterday, American voters reminded their politicians that they are servants, not rulers: that elected representatives are there to carry out the will of a people who, as the experience of many ages shows, are generally wiser than their leaders. Americans understand that governments, like individuals, must live within their means.

The Founders knew what they were doing when they put Congress in Article One of the Constitution, before the Presidency. The House of Representatives is supposed to control spending: its failure to discharge that duty properly is what brought America to its present predicament. Two years ago, this blog predicted that voters would punish those Congressmen who backed the bail-out; and so they have. The US is at last returning to the sublime principles on which it was founded: principles, as I never tire of pointing out, inherited from this country. I leave the last word to Thomas Jefferson, whose bust stares at me from my desk as I type this blog:

I place economy among the first and most important of republican virtues, and public debt as the greatest of the dangers to be feared.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Rising Rancor: One Nation, Divisible by Politics

Researchers agree that the public’s political views are less polarized than those of elected officials. Still, the gaps between liberals and conservatives can run deep. That’s because political ideology is rooted in morality, Haidt said, and conservatives and liberals have very different understandings of what “moral” is.

Across cultures, there seem to be five foundations of morality, Haidt said. Liberals care about the first two, harm and fairness. Conservatives care about harm and fairness too, but they also worry about the other three foundations: in-group loyalty, respect for authority and purity or sanctity, which ties into religious views. (Haidt’s study website,, allows you to test where you fall on the spectrum.)

People’s moral foundations are partially influenced by heritable traits, like a tendency toward disgust (which has been associated with conservatism) or empathy (reflected in the “liberal bleeding heart” stereotype). A study published this month in the Journal of Politics finds that a gene related to a love for novelty may be associated with a liberal outlook. People with the gene who had many friends as teenagers were more likely to be liberal as adults, revealing a gene-environment interaction, the researchers reported.

Once someone’s emotions predispose them toward a political philosophy, they tend to pay more attention to information that reinforces their position, said Peter Ditto, a psychologist at the University of California, Irvine, who has collaborated with Haidt. Ignoring contradictory information is easier than ever, given the proliferation of partisan news sources and blogs.

This fundamental gap is why liberals and conservatives often hit a wall while arguing issues with one another, Ditto said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sharia Law Banned: Oklahoma to Become the First U.S. State to Veto Use of Islamic Code

Oklahoma is set to become the first state in America to outlaw Sharia law.

Voters were expected to rule it illegal for judges to rely on the Islamic code when ruling on cases following a state-wide ballot.

Proponents of the ban said it was a ‘preemptive strike’ to stop Oklahoma suffering the same fate as European countries such as Britain, where Sharia is routinely used in Muslim communities.

Even though Oklahoma has a very small proportion of Muslims — just 15,000 out of a population of 3.7million — they want to stamp out the problem before it begins.

Around a dozen other states will be watching closely to see if the proposition is approved amid heightened anti-Muslim sentiment fueled by row over the Ground Zero Mosque.

The Republican-controlled state legislature in Oklahoma has already passed State Question 755, or ‘Save Our State’ with an 82-10 vote in the House of Representative and a 41-2 vote in the Senate.

It is aimed at ‘cases of the first impression’, or legal disputes where there is now law to resolve the issue at hand.

In these instances, judges might look to other jurisdictions for guidance, but the proposed amendment would block judges in Oklahoma courts from drawing on Sharia, or the laws of other nations.

Supporters of the proposal acknowledge that they do not know of a single case of Sharia being used in Oklahoma.

They also admit that the state has not suffered at the hands of Islamic terrorists, although in 1995 Timothy McVeigh, who was not a Muslim, blew up a building in Oklahoma City and killed 168 people, including 19 children.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Special Report: Soros Vote Counters

After helping Al Franken steal a U.S. Senate seat in 2008, Soros’s ultra-wealthy buddies in the Democracy Alliance, a billionaires’ club that funds left-wing political infrastructure, are spending money to level the playing field for vote fraudsters. (Soros is also funding an effort to take away democratic elections for state supreme courts, as John Gizzi notes in a new Capital Research Center paper.)

Their money is flowing to secretary of state candidates directly and to the Secretary of State Project, a “527” political committee that can accept unlimited financial contributions that it doesn’t have to disclose publicly until after the election. The SoS Project, which has raised at least $170,836 in this election cycle, is an officially approved Democracy Alliance grantee. Not surprisingly, members of the Alliance are opening their wallets to help secretary of state candidates across America endorsed by the SoS Project.

The purpose of the SoS Project is to destroy the remaining vestiges of electoral integrity. The group endorses left-wing, Democratic secretary of state candidates who have no respect for clean, honest elections.

Political observers know that a relatively small amount of money can help swing a little-watched race for a state office few people understand or care about. Once elected, a leftist secretary of state can help deliver a close election to Democrats as Minnesota’s Mark Ritchie accomplished through skullduggery in the 2008 contest between Franken and incumbent Norm Coleman. Both Franken and Ritchie, by the way, were endorsed in 2008 by ACORN Votes, ACORN’s federal political action committee.

[Return to headlines]


Jew-Hatred Infects Muslim World, Activist Says

Tarek Fatah turns 61 on Nov. 21, but the controversial, Pakistani-born Muslim, a fierce and unrelenting activist and critic of Islamist extremism, doesn’t expect to make it to 71.

Tarek Fatah Speaking last week at Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation as part of a tour to promote his second book, The Jew is Not My Enemy, Fatah described how at a book signing earlier in the day, he was spat on and insulted by a young Muslim.

The insults included calling Fatah “a Jew.”

The incident was consistent with the type of treatment the Toronto writer and broadcaster has come to expect, part of the “cancer that can’t be excised” from an ever-increasing number of fanatical Islamist Muslims who see Jews as vile, subhuman creatures, and the entire West and Israel as entities to be destroyed.

“And it is getting worse,” Fatah warned a receptive audience, despite several thousand enlightened, tolerant Muslims that he cites as being like-minded supporters of an authentic Islam rooted in humanism, tolerance, and faith.

Over and over again in his talk at the synagogue, Fatah emphasized that there’s nothing in the text of the Qur’an or genuine Islam that speaks against Jews, and nothing that justifies the hatred of Jews, Israel, and the West that started to develop three centuries after Muhammad died.

“Islam is not Islamism,” Fatah stressed.

A founder of the Muslim Canadian Congress, Fatah said Islamism is rooted in a centuries-old myth that Muhammad committed mass killings of Jews — an act that therefore remains not only justified but praiseworthy — combined with eight and ninth century shariah laws and “European anti-Semitism.”

“It is all based on a legend that does not exist,” Fatah said, adding that it’s now part of an “Islamo-fascist agenda” encroaching on so many nations.

Fatah has noted that Islamic radicalism, ironically, also grew out of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency providing massive funding to Saudi Arabian-based jihadi groups after the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan 30 years ago.

As Fatah describes it, it is all a “toxic mixture” that threatens the world.

Never was this clearer to an incredulous Fatah, he recounted, than when he visited his native Pakistan in 2006 and attended a swank gathering of elites, where he heard “Harvard-educated, secular Muslim nationalists” tell him how “Jews had brought down the twin towers,” that the bird flu was a “Jewish conspiracy,” and that even the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 was an “Israeli attempt to destroy Indonesia.”

Now, he said, Pakistan has become a place that produces terrorists who target not only its usual arch-enemies, Hindus, but Jews, as in the 2008 terrorist attack in Mumbai, where a Jewish centre family was tortured and murdered.

In Pakistan today, he said, “falling in love is a sin,” and women can be whipped, beaten, or even conceivably beheaded for allegedly breaking shariah law.

“It is a tragedy of enormous proportions,” Fatah said.

He added that the world has one billion Muslims, 60 per cent of whom are illiterate, and they deserve the world’s — including the Jewish community’s — empathy for being so subjugated and shielded from the forces of modernity.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Asylum Rights: Refugee System is Collapsing

“Breach of torture ban stops deportation,” headlines Die Presse, in the wake of a decision by the Austrian Constitutional Court, which rules that a family of Afghan refugees should not be returned to Greece. The crux of the matter is the collapse of Greece’s system for processing asylum seekers, which now means that it can no longer be considered “a safe country.” Der Standard remarks that this is the first ruling of its kind in Austria, but similar decisions have already been endorsed by courts in other European countries.

“The United Kingdom does it. So does the Netherlands, and so too do Belgium, Norway and Denmark. Following a decision by the European Court of Human Rights, all five of these European Council countries are refusing to comply with the Dublin II regulation, which stipulates that asylum seekers have to wait for their asylum applications to be processed in the country where they enter the EU,” notes the Viennese daily.

According to a UN human rights expert, the asylum system in Greece has been overwhelmed to the point where refugees of all ages are likely to spend six months behind bars. Conditions in the detention camps are degrading and represent a potentially fatal risk to health, and the backlog of cases in the judicial system has meant that asylum seekers must wait for months to have their claims heard.

“The asylum crisis in Greece has become a painful problem for the EU,” points out Der Standard, because the EU27 will now have to find a solution to “humanise” the Dublin II system. On 28 October, the German Constitutional Court is to begin deliberations on the issue of whether Berlin has the right to automatically expel refugees to other EU countries without allowing them a hearing. Since 2009, the Karlsruhe court has ruled against 13 deportations to Greece, and the country’s appeal courts have also found in favour of refugees in more than 300 other cases. The Constitutional Court’s decision is expected in 2011.

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

‘British Go to Hell’: Public Gallery Erupts as Student Inspired by Al Qaeda Who Tried to Kill MP is Jailed for Life

A courtroom erupted in protest today after a student who tried to murder a Labour MP was jailed for life with a minimum term of 15 years.

Roshonara Choudhry, 21, stabbed Stephen Timms twice in the stomach after being inspired by a radical Al Qaeda cleric linked to the air cargo bomb plot.

Her attack on the former Treasury minister is thought to be the first Al Qaeda-inspired attempt to assassinate a politician on British soil.

After the sentence was passed, a group of men began shouting in the public gallery ‘Allahu akbar’ (‘God is great’), ‘British go to hell’ and ‘Curse the judge’. A demonstration was also taking place outside the court.

Choudhry knifed East Ham MP Mr Timms as he held a constituency surgery at the Beckton Globe community centre in east London on May 14 after watching online jihadi sermons by US-born extremist Anwar al-Awlaki.

Mr Justice Cooke, sentencing Choudhry, said: ‘You said you ruined the rest of your life. You said it was worth it. You said you wanted to be a martyr’.

The judge said Choudhry would continue to be a danger to Members of Parliament for the foreseeable future.

The judge said that if Choudhry had succeeded in killing Mr Timms he would have given her a whole-life sentence, meaning she would never be released.

He told her: ‘You intended to kill in a political cause and to strike at those in Government by doing so.

‘You did so as a matter of deliberate decision-making, however skewed your reasons, from listening to those Muslims who incite such action on the internet.

‘You are an intelligent young lady who has absorbed immoral ideas and wrong patterns of thinking and attitudes.

‘It is not only possible, but I also hope that you will come to understand the distorted nature of your thinking, the evil that you have done and planned to do, and repent of it.

‘You do not suffer from any mental disease. You have simply committed evil acts coolly and deliberately’.

Her sentence came after Britain’s security minister urged the U.S. to shut down websites hosting Al Qaeda videos.

Baroness Neville-Jones said websites which try to radicalise members of the public would ‘categorically not be allowed in the UK’ and would be torn down.

Thousands of postings featuring Awlaki’s videos are available to view online.

In one sermon, entitled 44 Ways To Support Jihad, he says: ‘Jihad today is obligatory on every capable Muslim’.

The Home Office has confirmed that pressure is being put on the White House to remove the sermons.

In private comments to the Brookings Institute in Washington, obtained by The Daily Telegraph, Lady Neville-Jones said: ‘When you have incitement to murder, when you have people actively calling for the killing of fellow citizens and when you have the means to stop that person doing so, then I believe we should act.

‘Those websites would categorically not be allowed in the UK.

‘They incite cold-blooded murder and as such are surely contrary to the public good.

‘If they were hosted in the UK then we would take them down but this is a global problem.’

Student Choudhry told detectives she attacked Mr Timms as a ‘punishment’ and ‘to get revenge for the people of Iraq’.

After her arrest she was revealed to be in possession of a hit list of other politicians who had voted for the war.

The 21-year-old was believed to have been acting alone after becoming radicalised watching online sermons by Awlaki, who has been linked to the cargo plane bomb plot sent from Yemen.

She had been a moderate Muslim student looking forward to a career in teaching before watching the videos.

Awlaki is also thought to be behind a mass shooting at a US army base in Fort Hood, Texas, as well as the failed Deroit underpants bomb plot on Christmas Day last year.

The court heard that Choudhry was a high-flying university student at King’s College London who had hoped to become a teacher but dropped out weeks before carrying out the attack.

English language lecturer Alan Fortune said she was an outstanding student who had been expected to achieve a first-class honours degree, and added: ‘The world was her oyster’.

Choudhry lived at home with her parents, who were not particularly religious and said to be devastated at her actions, and her four younger siblings.

Today, wearing a black headscarf, she spoke only to confirm her name when she appeared by videolink.

She sat placidly, blinking behind her glasses, as she watched proceedings on a screen in front of her.

Some of the 11 jurors who came back to court to hear the sentencing craned their necks to get their first glimpse of the woman they had already tried and convicted in her absence.

She did not appear for the trial because she refused to recognise the jurisdiction of the court.

After the stabbing, Mr Timms was given first aid before being taken to the Royal London Hospital.

He had suffered two small lacerations to the left of his liver, and a small perforation of the stomach — injuries which could have been life-threatening due to possible loss of blood and infection had he not been treated.

The judge expressed his best wishes to Mr Timms, saying he continued to represent his constituents faithfully ‘albeit with heightened security’, and referred to the MP’s Christian beliefs.

He said: ‘I understand that he brings to bear his own faith, which upholds very different values to those which appear to have driven this defendant.

‘Those values are those upon which the common law of this country was founded and include respect and love for one’s neighbour, for the foreigner in the land, and for those who consider themselves enemies, all as part of one’s love of God.

‘These values were the basis of our system of law and justice and I trust that they will remain so as well as motivating those, like Mr Timms, who hold public office’.

Academic high-flier Roshonara Choudhry planned to become a teacher before she ruined her life trying to kill Stephen Timms but told police: ‘It was worth it.’

She was just months away from completing her degree at Kings College London when she began watching radical online lectures in November 2009.

Her mother described her as ‘affectionate and helpful’ and teachers said she was ‘quiet and pleasant’ as well as lauding her outstanding performance.

One lecturer said that ‘the world was her oyster’ but Choudhry decided that she would rather become a martyr.

She dropped out of university and, egged on by the online preaching of suspected terror mastermind Anwar al-Awlaki, she plotted to bring terror to the heart of the UK political world by trying to murder Mr Timms in May this year.

Jeremy Dein QC, defending, said that her radicalisation had taken place ‘over a short period’ before buying two knives for £1 each from an east London kitchen ware shop and taking a bus to carry out the attack.

He said she was a young woman trying to find a sense of ‘individuality’ when she came across radical website preaching, but she never became part of any wider terrorist organisation.

Choudhry, who had no previous convictions and was said to have been of ‘exemplary character’, was in the third year of an English and Communications degree, where lecturers described her as ‘quiet and pleasant’, said Mr Dein.

But she dropped out three weeks before the attack.

Her tutor had already noticed her work dropping off and she would later tell police she quit the college because it was involved in ‘things where they work against Muslims’.

Choudhry had lived with her parents — described by Mr Dein as ‘not especially religious’ — and four younger siblings in east London.

Her mother Nometha Rahman said that her daughter was ‘affectionate, helpful and hard-working’.

In February this year, she began working as a teacher in tuition centres in east London, providing private tutoring to primary school children.

Before starting university in 2007 she was at Newham sixth form college where a teacher said she ‘related warmly and generously to other pupils, and teachers’.

Alan Fortune, a senior lecturer at Kings College, described her as a ‘standout pupil who consistently achieved the highest grades, one of the most talented and respected students, on course to reach a first class honours degree’.

The court heard that Mr Fortune said: ‘The world was her oyster.’

Four days before the stabbing, she looked at an online jihadi book which said that ‘fighting the non-believers is mandatory’ and that ‘whoever kills non-believers is rewarded with paradise’ Mr Dein said she had initially begun looking on the internet to learn more about her Muslim faith in search of ‘not radicalisation but education’.

But he added: ‘Having watched and listened to lecturers and preaching, she came to conclude that those who offend her faith deserve punishment. In this background, she felt constrained to act as she did.’

She admitted to police that she had ruined the rest of her life but also told them: ‘It was worth it.’

Mr Dein said: ‘Miss Choudhry’s mother described how her actions had had a devastating effect upon the whole family and how their hopes and dreams for their extremely intelligent daughter had been shattered.’

The court heard that a draft letter to her mother found on Choudhry’s computer said she hated living in Britain and did not want to spend the rest of her life in a non-Muslim country.

She said she could not live under the British Government, which she described as an ‘enemy of Islam’, and that she could not pay taxes to it or work as a teacher in its education system.

Four days before the stabbing, she looked at an online jihadi book which said that ‘fighting the non-believers is mandatory’ and that ‘whoever kills non-believers is rewarded with paradise’.

Choudhry told police she thought she would be arrested or killed for killing Mr Timms, the court heard.

Sentencing her today, Mr Justice Cooke said: ‘You said you wanted to die because you wanted to be a martyr and that it was Islamic teaching that to fight and die for your religion is the highest honour.

‘You said that you thought you had fulfilled your obligation and your Islamic duties to stand up for the people of Iraq and to punish someone who wanted to make war with them.’

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

German Far Right Emerges From Shadows to Join Cologne Campaign Against Mosque

A populist party fighting the building of a Turkish cultural centre has found willing allies among Austrian extremists.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: CSU Party Newspaper Offers Holidays to ‘Occupied East Prussia’

Bavaria’s Christian Social Union was embarrassed this week by flyer included in the conservative party’s newspaper advertising holidays to “occupied East Prussia,” using German names for territory now belonging to Russia and Poland.

The offending flyers were distributed inside the Bayernkurier over the weekend at the CSU’s party convention, daily Die Welt reported.

“After breakfast go to Russian-occupied East Prussia,” the travel offer read. “Along the Amber Coast to Cranz in Samland and to the capital Königsberg with its 700 years of German history.”

The antiquated references to German lands divided between Russia and Poland after the Second World War would be enough to ignite a diplomatic crisis had they been published in the wrong place, the paper said.

“It’s one of the most annoying things in the world,” chief editor of the Bayernkurier Peter Hausmann told Die Welt, adding that no one at the paper had probably proofread the ad before publication.

“The producer created and printed it, then it was distributed, and that shouldn’t have happened.”

The gaffe is particularly painful because the CSU had debated whether it wanted to continue spending some €1.15 million per year to fund the weekly paper, Hausmann said.

With not a single place name in the ad reflecting its post-1945 status, it is clear that Wembacher Reisen, the Waging am See-based travel company behind the ad, was intentionally calling up WWII-era nationalist sentiments, the paper said.

“When the Bayernkurier offers a trip to ‘Russian-occupied East Prussia,’ one remembers a time well before the peace and reconciliation policies of Willy Brandt,” said centre-left Social Democratic parliamentarian from the travel company’s electoral district, Bärbel Kofler.

“It is conceptually linked to the darkest chapter of German history,” she added.

Meanwhile the family behind the travel company, which has worked with the CSU for 20 years on the party paper, claims it made a mistake with the ad’s wording.

“I simply forgot the word ‘former.’ I was never good in history,” said Lydia Wembacher, who is filling in for her husband while he leads a tour in Rome. “As in — Russian-occupied former East Prussia.”

The family said it was sorry for the mix-up.

“We in no way want to change history,” she said.

Ironically, the blunder occurred the same weekend that CSU leader Horst Seehofer lauded the party’s modern policies following the implementation of a quota for women in the party’s leadership.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany’s Freiheit Party Joins the Fray

A new German political party, Die Freiheit (The Freedom), had itsinaugural meeting on October 28 in Berlin. I was in town, so its leadership invited me to be the only non-member of the nascent party to witness and report on its founding constituent assembly.

As a reminder of how freedoms have eroded in Europe in this age of Islamist terror, a political party that resists Islamization and supports Israel cannot come into existence in broad daylight. So, like the other 50-plus attendees, I learned of the event’s time and location only shortly before it took place. For good measure, the organizers operated undercover; the hotel management only knew of a board election for an innocuously named company. Even now, for security reasons, I cannot mention the hotel’s name.

Much of the time was taken up with the legalisms required to register a political party in Germany: Attendance was taken, votes were counted, organizational procedures explained, steps enumerated to contest Berlin elections in September 2011, and officers elected, including the chairman, René Stadtkewitz, 45. Of East German background, he is a member of the Berlin parliament who belonged to the ruling conservative Christian Democratic Union party until his expulsion a month ago for publicly hosting the Dutch politician Geert Wilders.

For me, of chief interest was Stadtkewitz’s oral summary of party policies plus the distribution of a 71-page Grundsatzprogramm (“Basic Program”) setting out party positions in detail. Stadtkewitz explained the need for a new German party on the grounds that “the established parties, unfortunately, are not ready to take a clear stand but instead abandon the people to their concerns.” The program neither minces words nor thinks small. Its opening sentence declares that “Western civilization, for centuries a world leader, faces an existential crisis.”

The new party, whose slogan is “The party for more freedom and democracy,” speaks candidly about Islam, Islamism, Islamic law, and Islamization. Starting with the insight that “Islam is not just a religion but also a political ideology with its own legal system,” the party calls for scrutiny of imams, mosques, and Islamic schools and for a review of Islamic organizations to ensure their compliance with German laws, and condemns efforts to build a parallel legal structure based on sharia. Its analysis forcefully concludes: “We oppose with all our force the Islamization of our country.”

Freiheit robustly supports Israel, calling it “the only democratic state in the Middle East. It therefore is the outpost of the Western world in the Arab theater. All democratic countries must show the highest interest in Israel’s living in free self-determination and security. We explicitly commit ourselves to Israel’s right to exist, which is not open for discussion.”

However clear these passages are, as well as the rejection of Turkish accession to the European Union, they constitute only about two percent of the Basic Program, which applies traditional Western values and policies generally to German political life. Its topics include German peoplehood, direct democracy, the family, education, the workplace, economics, energy, the environment, health, and so on. Offering a wide platform makes good sense, fitting the anti-Islamization program into a full menu of policies.

Despite this, of course, press coverage of the founding emphasized Freiheit’s position vis-a-vis Islam, defining it as a narrowly “anti-Islam party.”

The establishment of Freiheit prompts two observations: First, while it fits into a pattern of emerging European parties that focus on Islam as central to their mission, it differs from the others in its broader outlook. Whereas Wilder’s PVV blames nearly every societal problem on Islam, Freiheit, in addition to opposing “with all our force the Islamization of our country,” has many other issues on its agenda.

Second, Germany is conspicuously behind most European countries with large Muslim populations in not having spawned a party that stands up against Islamization. That’s not for lack of trying; previous attempts petered out. Late 2010 might be an auspicious moment to launch such a party, given the massive controversy in Germany over the Thilo Sarrazin book ruing the immigration of Muslims, followed by Chancellor Angela Merkel announcing that multiculturalism has “utterly failed.” A change in mood appears underway.

The Freiheit party has been conceived as a mainstream, earnest, and constructive effort to deal with an exceedingly complex and long-term problem. If it succeeds, it could change the politics of Europe’s most influential country.

           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

Greece Halt International Mail Deliveries After Militants Send Bombs to Euro Leaders Sarkozy, Merkel and Berlusconi

Greek authorities have halted international postal deliveries for 48 hours in the wake of a militant bombing campaign.

At least 11 mail bombs were sent to embassies in Athens yesterday, while devices were also sent to the offices of French PM Nicolas Sarkozy and his German counterpart Angela Merkel.

Another addressed to Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi was discovered on a plane forced into an emergency landing at Bologna last night.

The airport was closed for several hours after the TNT cargo craft was asked to deviate when company officials back in Greece realised there was a suspect package aboard.

A ‘little flame sparked’ when bomb experts opened the parcel.

Greek militant groups are suspected of mounting the unprecedented two-day wave of attacks. If that is confirmed, it would mark a dramatic escalation for organisations that have never before attempted to strike targets abroad.

Packages were also directed to the embassies of Bulgaria, Russia, Germany, Switzerland, Mexico, Chile, the Netherlands and Belgium.

The attacks began Monday when a mail bomb addressed to the Mexican embassy exploded at a delivery service in central Athens, lightly wounding one worker.

Police arrested two men in their twenties shortly after the blast. They were allegedly carrying mail bombs addressed to Sarkozy and the Belgian Embassy, along with handguns and bullets in waist pouches.

The two — Panagiotis Argyros, 22 and Gerasimos Tsakalos, 24, were charged with terrorism-related offenses. Both refused to cooperate with authorities, declining to give their names and claiming to be political prisoners.

Police say Argyros was already wanted for alleged membership in a radical group called Conspiracy Nuclei of Fire, which has carried out crude arson and small bomb attacks in the past.

The German chancellory was evacuated yesterday afternoon after one suspect package arrived at Angela Merkel’s office. It was unclear whether the bomb sent to Germany was delivered by land or air.

‘If they have been flown, then it rather begs the question whether European freight air security is up to muster at all,’ said UK-based aviation security consultant Chris Yates.

But transportation industry officials also said there are few if any security checks on packages transported within the European Union by road or rail.

‘Once they’re in Europe, the goods are free to move around,’ said Robert Windsor, manager of trade services at the British International Freight Association.

UPS, which transports mail in Europe both by ground and air, said it was aware of reports it had delivered the package to Germany but could not confirm them.

‘We’re working closely with authorities to investigate,’ UPS spokesman Norman Black said by e-mail.

Sarkozy added: ‘The threat is very serious. We are extremely vigilant and I am following it very closely.

Bombs addressed to embassies and state leaders were not likely to reach their intended targets, said Andrew Silke, Director Terrorism Studies at the University of East London. But the bombers probably achieved their aim by generating worldwide publicity.

‘If they had just left the devices on the streets of Athens it wouldn’t have got nearly anything like the attention it got internationally,’ Silke said. ‘This happening so close to the Yemeni attempt to get bombs into the United States means it probably has more of a resonance that it would otherwise.’

Mail bombs are also easy to put together, he noted.

‘It’s a very simple way to cause an awful lot of disruption,’ Silke said. ‘The devices are usually very simple to make. The ingredients needed to make them are cheap.’

He added: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if this would lead to a significant increase in this type of attacks in the coming months.’

No connection has been made to the mail bombs from Yemen that were found on aircraft in Britain and Dubai, and Greek authorities are focusing on domestic groups.

Radical groups have long been active in Greece. After a few years of relative quiet, such groups stepped up attacks following riots that hit Greek cities in December 2008, sparked by the deadly police shooting of a teenager in Athens.

Four people have been killed in bombings or shooting attacks since 2009.

Much of the unrest harks back to the sharp postwar divide between right and left, which led to a civil war and a seven-year military dictatorship.

Although a student uprising succeeded in ending military rule in 1974, tensions remain between Greece’s security establishment and a phalanx of deeply entrenched leftist groups that often protest against globalization and U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and elsewhere.

The government condemned the attacks, vowing to catch the culprits.

‘We stand firm, unyielding against anyone who tries, in vain, with terrorist actions to disrupt social peace and harm our country’s image internationally during a particularly difficult time,’ Prime Minister George Papandreou said.

The country is in the midst of a debt crisis, and only avoided bankruptcy in May after securing billions of euros in emergency loans from its European partners — led by Germany — and the International Monetary Fund. In exchange, the government made painful spending cuts, slashing pensions and salaries and hiking taxes.

The cuts have led to a backlash of anger from workers who have seen their income cut and spending power curtailed.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Greek Authorities Focus on Radical Left

Norwegian Infidel: The series of package bombs originating in Greece continued late on Tuesday with officials discovering an explosive parcel addressed to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Athens authorities are focusing on left-wing militant groups in the Greek capital. The list of package bombs is long. Every day so far this week, authorities have discovered new explosive devices concealed as parcels and bound for addresses both in Athens and across the European continent. All of them are thought to have originated in Greece.

Left-wing extremists in Greece have become more active ever since the police shot dead a 15 year old in the leftist-alternative Athens quarter of Exarchia in December of 2008. Indeed, there are a number of radical leftist cells active in the Greek capital, including a group calling itself the Revolutionary Sect which staged an armed assault on an Athens police station in February of 2009. In a statement claiming responsibility for the assault, the group wrote: “The bodies of the police are perfect for target practice. They are like the donuts they eat: without a hole in the middle they are good for nothing.” The painful austerity measures passed by the government in response to the debt crisis have given leftists an additional boost.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Better to Like Women Than be Gay’ Says Berlusconi

Premier defends ‘act of solidarity’ in helping ‘Ruby’

(ANSA) — Milan, November 2 — Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi on Tuesday defended himself from allegations of impropriety in his private life and said it was “better to like pretty women than be gay”.

Rebutting claims that he abused his office to have a teenage Moroccan belly dancer who went to one of his famously lavish parties released after accusations of theft, the premier said: “I have a gruelling work schedule and if I happen to look pretty girls in the face now and then, well then, it’s better to be a fan of pretty women than to be gay”.

The premier said people should stop reading newspaper reports of the alleged scandal, saying “you’ll see, in the end it’ll all come out as a storm of paper”.

He described his intervention on behalf of the girl, Karima El Mahroug aka Ruby, as an act of “solidarity that I would have been ashamed not to do, and so I did it, I continually do these things because that’s the way I am”.

El Mahroug was released after an alleged phone call from the premier which Milan prosecutors are investigating.

The centre-left opposition and Berlusconi’s uneasy ally, House Speaker Gianfranco Fini, have said Berlusconi should resign if it is proven he phoned and, as widely claimed, told police El Mahrough was Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s granddaughter.

Analysts say the affair threatens government stability but Berlusconi insisted Tuesday: “We have the numbers to govern, and we shall do so until the end of our term (in 2013)”.

He added that the government intended to re-present a law to curb police wiretaps and their reporting in the press, limiting their use to crimes like terrorism, mafia, murder and paedophilia cases.


Gay groups were outraged by Berlusconi’s comments.

Long-standing gay leader Franco Grillini said Berlusconi’s “bar-room quips fuel homophobia” while the leading Italian gay association, Arcigay, said “Berlusconi should apologise to gays and to women”.

Arcigay’s long-time leader Aurelio Mancuso said: “Berlusconi should be ashamed of that remark, which highlights his difficulty over the Ruby affair”. “It is an undescribable comment and I hope gays on the right and the left rise up and condemn (him)”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Parcel Bomb Addressed to Berlusconi Ignites

Rome, 3 Nov. (AKI) — A parcel bomb addressed to Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi and linked to a series of similar devices posted in Greece caught fire on Tuesday at Bologna airport in northern Italy.

The package burst into flames when a police bomb squad tried to open it but no-one was injured. It was intercepted on a flight by the private TNT courier company that was re-routed to Bologna from Paris after fears a bomb was on board.

The remains of the bomb were taken for analysis.

Greek authorities suspended all airmail deliveries for 48 hours, after another parcel bomb reached German chancellor Angela Merkel’s office and one intended for French president Nicolas Sarkozy was found in the Greek capital, Athens on Monday.

Greek authorities have blamed a far-left group for the attempted bombing campaign in which booby-trapped packages ignited at the Swiss and Russian embassies in Athens on Tuesday as staff tried to open them. No one was injured, police said.

Greek police on Monday arrested two men, aged 22 and 24 over the parcel-bomb campaign. One is a suspected member of Conspiracy of Fire Nuclei, a far-left group that appeared in 2008 and has carried out a wave of arson and minor bomb attacks on the offices and homes of politicians.

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

Italy: Sex Worker Questioned in Palermo Over PM’s Sardinian Parties

Investigation began with former PDL parliamentary assistant’s arrest on drugs charges

ROME — Perla Genovesi was supposed to be talking about drugs. The Parma-born 32-year-old had been arrested by Palermo magistrates in the course of investigations into alleged international cocaine trafficking. >From her cell, Ms Genovesi said that she wanted to co-operate with magistrates, who duly arrived expecting to hear about routes used by traffickers. She did not let them down, except that she didn’t stop at cocaine. Or rather, she identified as one key figure another woman, 28, who was then called in for questioning. The second woman had relatively little drug-related information but quite a lot to say about her activities as a sex worker. She confirmed what Ms Genovesi had referred to in vaguer terms: her visits Silvio Berlusconi’s Costa Smeralda summer residence, Villa Certosa.

The second woman is believed to have claimed she was recruited for these occasions. Questioners are understood to have listened to the same stories about swimming pools, scantily clad women and other details that they had heard from Ruby, the Moroccan who celebrated her 18th birthday only yesterday and was released from Milan police headquarters in May when Mr Berlusconi stepped in personally. It is thought that the same intermediaries who contacted the sex worker and former cube dancer for her visits to Mr Berlusconi’s Villa Certosa in 2009 also got in touch with Ruby.

The woman’s statement is understood to mention several names, including Lele Mora, the entertainment entrepreneur already under investigation in Milan for complicity in prostitution in the Ruby case. Magistrates at the Palermo public prosecutor’s office have taken a statement from her and are set to send this part of their inquiry to Milan for territorial competence, again on suspicion of complicity in prostitution committed in the Lombard capital. Milan is where the former cube dancer claims to have been hired to attend parties at the Berlusconi residence.

Perla Genovesi, the alleged trafficker arrested in July, had been told various details about the Villa Certosa parties by the sex worker. Ms Genovesi, the former parliamentary assistant of Forza Italia senator, now People of Freedom (PDL) deputy, Enrico Pianetta, said she had introduced the woman to civil service minister Renato Brunetta to ask for help in solving an issue related to the custody of her son. According to Ms Genovesi, the contact enabled the woman to get into “the prime minister’s party circle”, as the aspiring police informer put it…

English translation by Giles Watson

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

Main Finnish Parties Engineer Removal of True Finn Representative From Nordic Council Meeting in Reykjavik…….

Raimo Vistbacka: Oh, but they reminded me on the way out that it wasn’t anything personal

This is how politics work in the social democracies of Europe, when you belong to a party that threatens the voter base of the established parties because you’re working against their policies that the people reject, don’t believe for a moment that you’ll be allowed to participate with them in international meetings, let alone on an equal footing. This was engineered by the Center Party with a wink and a nod from the SDP and National Coalition. KGS

Vistabacka approaches from the rear, mulling over where to plant his shoe

Terhi Tikkala: Vistback was evicted, but I’m just the one who pointed the finger

True Finns representative evicted from the Nordic Council meeting

An exceptional event was seen today in the Nordic Council meeting in Reykjavik, as MP Raimo Vistbacka (True Finns) was kicked out of the Nordic Council meeting in the middle of the meeting.

The backdrop according to the Secretary-General of the group, is the right-wing assault of populist parties in Finland and Sweden.


           — Hat tip: KGS[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: AIVD: ‘Extreme Right Following Halved’

THE HAGUE, 03/11/10 — The number of active members of extreme right groups or rightwing extremists in the Netherlands has dropped to below 300. This is half the total of 600 three years ago, says the AIVD intelligence service in a report published yesterday.

“In the Netherlands the threat from the extreme right and rightwing extremism to the democratic rule of law is limited,” concludes the AIVD. The power of the movements is dwindling because they are so fragmented organisationally, have a small following and have big differences of opinion among themselves.

The AIVD makes a distinction between ‘extreme right’ and ‘rightwing extremists”. There is no question of a movement towards terrorism from one or other movement. Resistance to the movements within society is strong and it is unlikely that a leader will arise in the short term.

Among the extreme right are groups with a xenophobic or nationalistic body of thought, who use democratic means for their aims. Examples of these are Voorpost and the National People’s Movement (NVB). They are specifically opposed to Islamisation.

Rightwing extremists, like the Netherlands People’s Union (NVU), have antidemocratic aims and can use undemocratic means to achieve them. Rightwing extremists are anti-Semitic. Anti-Semitic Muslims are not considered as among rightwing extremists.

According to the AIVD, it cannot be ruled out that isolated individuals driven by extreme right or rightwing-extremist ideologies could use violence. Among rightwing extremists, there is a fascination for weapons. The AIVD does not however have any indications that weapons are being assembled for such a purpose.

All in all, it is not likely that the threat of extreme right and rightwing extremism will flare up in the Netherlands in the short term, according to the AIVD. It is more likely that the threat will decline further, the service says in its report.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Poll: Strong Support for Common Nordic State

Nearly half of all Danes, Finns, Norwegians, Swedes and Icelanders would like their countries to unite in a federal state, according to a poll published as members of the Nordic Council met Tuesday. When asked what they thought of the idea of creating a common Nordic state, 11 percent said they were “very favourable” and 31 percent said they were “favourable,” according to a poll conducted by the Oxford Research institute on behalf of the Nordic Council. A majority of the 1,032 people questioned meanwhile remained sceptical to the idea, with 40 percent saying they were “opposed” and 18 percent saying they were “very opposed.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain: Persecuted for Refusing to Wear Veil, Imam Sentenced

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 2 — The Court of Tarragona (Catalonia) has sentenced the imam of the Islamic community of Cunit, Mohamed Benbrahim, to one year in prison for serious threats against Fatima Gahilan, a 31-year-old Moroccan woman and cultural mediator for the municipality, who refused to wear a veil and stop driving her car. A 9-month sentence, cited by Publico, was also handed out to the president of the Islamic Association of Cunit, Abderraman el Osri. A 730-euro fine was also issued to the imam’s daughter, Hafssa Ben Brahim, for having repeatedly insulted and threatened the cultural mediator.

The wife of the Muslim spiritual leader, Zohra Aalalouch Ahmaddach, was acquitted. The judge also issued a restraining order on the three individuals, who are banned from coming within 500 metres of Fatima Ghailan or communicating with her for the next two years, and must pay 1,500 euros in compensation for moral damages.

During the trial, it was learned that the four people accused made Fatima’s life impossible, constantly insulting and threatening her. The imam and his wife and daughter even collected signatures in the Muslim community against her in November two years ago, falsely accusing her of forging reports so Muslims would be denied social assistance. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain: Increasingly Secularised Country Awaits Pope

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, NOVEMBER 1 — As the country awaits the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Santiago de Compostela and Barcelona on November 6 and 7, Spain is becoming less and less Catholic.

Disenchantment with religion is being recorded in young people in particular, according to analysis of surveys carried out by the CIS sociological research centre, which were conducted between the Pope’s previous visit — to Valencia in 2006 — and today. The findings have been published by the progressive newspaper Publico.

Over the last five years, the percentage of young people between 15 and 29 who claim not to be Catholic has risen to 50%, with many experts saying that Spain might no longer be a majority Catholic country in the next twenty years, though this does not necessarily mean that Catholicism would be replaced by another religion.

Catholicism, which was obligatory under Franco, was strongly rooted in the country as recently as the early 1990s, with the percentage of the population considering themselves to be Catholic close to 90%. This percentage, however, has fallen progressively, with a particular acceleration between 1992 and 2010, during which time the percentage of the population claiming to be Catholic has fallen from 87% to 73%.

The percentage of young people professing themselves to be Catholic, however, has fallen dramatically from 82% to 52%, a drop of 30% in 18 years, according to the latest CIS barometer.

Kerman Calvo, a political expert at the Centre for Political and Constitutional Studies and a researcher on the Europe-wide religion and politics programme, says that the speeding up of secularisation in the country coincides with the arrival of Jose’ Luis Rodriguez Zapatero at the head of the government, and with the idea that the new generations no longer consider religion to be a part of Spanish identity.

Indirect confirmation of this comes in the figures on the number of people choosing to get married in religious ceremonies. The latest figures suggest that last year there were more civil weddings (94,993) than Catholic religious unions (80,174), for the first time ever. Only ten years ago, in 2000, 163,636 couples chose to marry in religious ceremonies.

In the last fourteen years, therefore, there has been a collapse in religious weddings (-46%) and a significant rise in civil ceremonies (+112%). (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Stakelbeck on Terror Show: “Eurabia” Rising

With mid-term elections now complete, it will be fascinating to see how the new members of Congress deal with the threat from jihadist Islam.

From Al Qaeda, to homegrown Islamists to the menace posed by Iran and its proxies, the threats are numerous and imminent.

We tackle some of them in the latest edition of the Stakelbeck on Terror show. You can watch it at the above link.

—We kick off the show with a look at how Janet Naploitano recently appointed an outspoken Islamist to the Homeland Security Advisory Council.

—We then head to Vienna for an exclusive look at how one Austrian woman is facing prison time…for criticizing Islam (2:38 into the show).

—Then it’s off to Sweden for another shocking exclusive. We visit a Scandinavian city that has become a hotbed of jihad and anti-Semitism (6:29 into the show).

—In our Inside Israel segment, we’re joined by former Republican presidential candidate Gary Bauer, who discusses his new Emergency Committee for Israel (14:13 into the show).

—The Sharia Flaw segment looks at how Somali jihadists recently executed two teenage girls for alleged “spying” (22:22 into the show).

— The Muslim Brotherhood Declares War on America. A very overlooked recent development out of Egypt (23:49 into the show).

—Why Leftists embrace radical Islamists (26:14 into the show).

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Sahlin and Åkesson Clash in First Riksdag Duel

Social Democratic leader Mona Sahlin and the Sweden Democrats’ Jimmie Åkesson traded barbs on the floor of the Riksdag on Wednesday in the first party leader debate since Sweden’s September 19th general election.

Sahlin charged that it is a big loss for democracy that a party with racist roots has a place in Sweden’s parliament, the Riksdag.

Her attacks on the Sweden Democrats came as she opened the first debate between party leaders in the Riksdag since the country’s September 19th general elections.

In his debut at the Riksdag’s platform, Åkesson retorted, “Mona Sahlin alleges that my party has racist roots, but it was not my party that initiated eugenics research.”

Between 1935 and 1975, a period of nearly uninterrupted rule by the Social Democrats, Sweden sterilized a total of 63,000 people, mostly women, as part of a programme based on eugenics research with the aim of weeding out “inferiors” to create a stronger Swedish race.

Åkesson added that Sahlin should clean up the debate instead, but that did not deter her attacks.

“The Sweden Democrats are an un-Swedish phenomenon and should remain so. The Sweden Democrats are a party sprung out of the white power and racist movements,” she continued.

She also argued that the Sweden Democrats are a simple-minded party with a single agenda: to pit group against group and attack immigration.

Sahlin also pointed out that the country is now led by a minority government that needs to seek support in the Riksdag.

“We are prepared to work with the government when it benefits the country. However, we will offer strong opposition when the government’s policies are heading in the wrong direction. One such issue is decent health insurance, another is jobs,” she said.

Other parties continued with the attacks against Åkesson.

Liberal Party leader Jan Björklund wondered why the Sweden Democrats are against government efforts to create entry-level job for immigrants, under which the state would provide a large part of the employer’s contribution.

The Sweden Democrats called the proposal “discrimination against Swedes.”

“There are no jobs and they do not seem to create enough jobs either,” said Åkesson, arguing that the major issue is immigration.

“The single most important integration policy measure is to stop the influx of newly unemployed, then we can begin to integrate in a sensible way,” he added.

However, Björklund could not understand the Sweden Democrats’ reasoning.

“The result of your policy will increase unemployment among immigrants and it is incomprehensible, unless you think that increased unemployment benefits your policy,” he said.

Sweden would be a poorer country without diversity and the multitude of impressions that have influenced Sweden throughout the years, said Green Party spokesman Peter Eriksson, who accused the Sweden Democrats of attacking free and open society with their policies.

“The Swedish culture is good when it is open and accepting, not when the maypole and folk costumes become a straitjacket that shrinks with every wash in the Sweden Democrats’ laundry room,” he said.

Åkesson countered that the Green Party is an extremist party with regard to immigration issues and wondered if the party intends to use blackmail against the government, which it has for a number of years, to get amnesty for refugees.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Swedish King to Face Book’s Love Affair Claims

Sweden is bracing for the release of a controversial book detailing the private life of King Carl XVI Gustaf, who has announced he will comment on the book during a Thursday press conference.

While the King usually holds a press conference at the conclusion of his annual elk hunt, which ends on Thursday, this year’s event is expected to draw more journalists than usual as it coincides with the release of a new, controversial book about the Swedish monarch.

The book, entitled “Den motvillige monarken” (‘The reluctant monarch’), reportedly provides a rare and detailed look into the King’s private life, including details of love affairs, wild parties with Swedish models, and connections to the underworld.

Written over the last two years by a team of three investigative journalists and authors, Thomas Sjöberg, Tove Meyer and Deanne Rauscher, the book has sparked numerous and wide-ranging debate in Sweden about the limits of the free press and how the Swedish media have covered the King.

After word of the book’s impending release broke earlier this week, Swedish Royal Court officials admitted that the press conference following the annual elk hunt at the Halle- och Hunneberg reserve on the shores of Vänern in western Sweden may be the busiest ever.

As of Wednesday, the Royal Court of Sweden had not yet received advance copies of the book, according to press director Nina Eldh, so it had no comment on the publication.

However, the King has agreed to a press conference on Thursday afternoon, where he is expected to be inundated with many questions unrelated to the elk hunt.

“The King will certainly comment on it in any case,” said Eldh, who is fully aware that there will be many additional journalists at the press briefing this year.

“We have been here before. However, the King is not holding the press conference for the book. It is a press conference for the hunt,” she added.

Anticipation is so great and sensitivity so high that the editor of the Aftonbladet newspaper, which on Wednesday published a summary of some of the allegations detailed in the book, also published a defence of the paper’s decision to publish entitled “Truth or libel”.

“Much of what is claimed in the book has been rumoured for years, but it hasn’t been possible to verify,” wrote Aftonbladet editor Jan Helin.

“It’s relevant to give the public knowledge — not only that Sweden’s head of state has been charged in a new book, but also of what.”

According to the newspaper, the book contains a number of details about the King’s wild parties, an alleged affair, as well as claims that Swedish security service Säpo pressured women to turn over compromising pictures of the Swedish head of state.

One of the book’s chapters tells of the King’s numerous private parties hosted at a Stockholm club run by gangster Mille Markovic in the early 1990s.

According to the book, the King and a group of friends regularly had the club to themselves on Monday evenings for nights filled with elaborate meals and capped with liaisons in a whirlpool with scantily clad women aspiring to be models.

According to Markovic, he enjoyed having the King as a patron because it minimized the chances of unwanted visits by the police.

The book also tells of alleged year-long love affair the King had with a Swedish singer and model. According to the Expressen newspaper, the object of the King’s affection was Camilla Henemark, who was born to a Nigerian father and Swedish mother and who was once a founding member of the band Army of Lovers.

In 1994 she also hosted an erotic-themed programme on Sweden’s TV3 called Seventh Heaven.

The relationship reportedly lasted about a year in the late 1990s and with the knowledge of Queen Silvia.

According to the book, the King was quite smitten by Henemark, who goes by the stage name La Camilla.

“The King sometimes looked like a love-crazed school boy and on one occasion they talked about running away together to an isolated exotic island,” reads the book.

The book also touches on some of the measures employed to ensure the King’s alleged wild side remained hidden from the Swedish public.

In some instances, Säpo agents were deployed to search the homes of different women in order to confiscate pictures and negatives from the King’s private parties.

According to the Aftonbladet report about the book, Säpo agents secretly snooped around in various flats and otherwise pressured women who partied with the King.

“If the rolls of film and pictures and negatives aren’t turned over some unpleasant things will happen,” reads the book.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Swiss Poised to Vote on Controversial Immigrant Law

Switzerland is poised to vote on a controversial law that will allow for all immigrants — EU citizens included — to be automatically expelled from the country if they commit a crime.

Allan Hall in Berlin

Even benefit fraudsters and burglars are targeted by the proposed new law, which polls show is likely to be passed in a referendum scheduled for November 28.

The pro-expulsion campaign involves posters featuring a black sheep being kicked out of the country by several white sheep. The referendum will be held almost exactly a year after a previous plebiscite banned minarets on mosques.

The referendum proposal began to gain traction two years ago when three foreign-born men from the Balkans beat a young carnival reveller to death in Locarno.

Switzerland’s parliament, fearing repercussions from the EU and the wider world, has released an amended “counterproposal” with a list of serious crimes that would qualify a foreigner for expulsion.

But the Swiss People’s Party, which has spearheaded the campaign for the law, is against any “dilution” of the proposals. “Switzerland can’t become a land of milk and honey for foreign criminals,” said Walter Wobmann, an MP.

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

UK: MCB Reaches Out to the Turkish Muslim Community

In a large gathering of community leaders from the Turkish Muslim community living in the UK, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain has called for the renewal of ties and friendship between the MCB and the Turkish community.

The roundtable discussion organised by the Islamic Community of Milli Görüs (ICMG), an affiliate of the MCB, was held on Sunday 10 October 2010 in Cyprus Kitchen.

In his opening remarks, Mr Ufuk Secgin, a member of MCBs Central Working Committee and Chairman of the Islamic Community Milli Gorus said “most of us are often very internally focused with the problems and challenges within our own organisations, but we should not forget the bigger picture and the dialogue amongst ourselves, the Turkish organisations, as well as with the other Muslim and non-Muslim organisations, because only through dialogue and close relationships we can tackle and solve the common challenges in our society today”.

He continued “the MCB is doing an enormous job in this respect and unites all the organizations and people from various nationalities, colours, and races under one roof and works united for the common good. It plays a leading role in representing the Muslim community within the UK, but also builds bridges to organisations and countries abroad. Having said that the MCB is not a one man show or made up by one organisation. The MCB is made up of hundreds of organisations; actually we all form the MCB”.

As well the leadership of the MCB, the meeting was also addressed by the Counsellor for Religious Affairs at the Turkish Embassy in London Prof. Dr. Seyfettin Ersahin, Chairman of the Turkish Union Sener Saglam, Muttalip Unluler and Mehmet Macit of the Aziziye Education Center. Also in attendance were community leaders of Ramadan-i Serif Mosque Gonul Guney, representatives of the Association of Turkish Women in Britain, Turkish businessmen and representatives of other organizations and associations.

In his keynote address welcoming the gathering, Farooq Murad, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain emphasised the need for greater meaningful co-operation between the MCB and the Turkish community.

He said “sadly we are living in small clusters, lack co-ordination and articulation of our position. Our voice is often hijacked by extremists, sidelined and misrepresented by the media. We are underachieving, disadvantaged, and discriminated. We are unable to stand up for our rightful position, vulnerable and lack influence”.

“Our claims of our faith being a mercy, a message of peace, path of reason, of progress, of freedom will remain mere claims. Our hopes of seeing a vibrant, confident, achieving rather than underachieving, and contributing community will remain mere hopes, our wishes to be full partners in our democratic and civil society will remain wishes, and our demands for equal rights and equal treatment will remain demands until we stand up to be counted, sieze our future by our own hands and become active builders and investors”.

The Secretary General ended with an appeal to the Turkish and Cypriot Muslim community for greater cooperation and to become more involved in the daily activities of the MCB.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: MCB: Statement on Stephen Timms, MP

In response to the conviction today of Roshonara Choudhry, 21, for the attempted murder of the Labour MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms, the Muslim Council of Britain released the following statement:

‘The Old Bailey has heard that Roshonara Choudhry stabbed the Labour MP for East Ham, Stephen Timms, because he voted for the Iraq war. The MCB is appalled by this reasoning which reflects an aberrant personality. Political differences must be resolved in forums of discussion and debate and not by such mindless acts’.

‘The MCB has had the privilege of Mr Timms attending its events, and he has been a keynote speaker at our Islamic Finance conferences. Stephen is a well-known and trusted MP within his very diverse constituency, including many Muslims, who feel deeply hurt by this incident and he remains in our prayers’.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: National Demonstration and Carnival to Say No to Racism, Fascism and Islamophobia

Date: Saturday 6th November

Timing: Assemble at 12noon

Venue: Assembly point at Malet Street, London WC1 then marching to Westminster

Summary: This demonstration is called by Unite Against Fascism and is backed by the Muslim Council of Britain, the Trade Union Congress and many other organisations and individuals.

This is our chance to bring together thousands of people together against racism, fascism and Islamophobia, and in celebration of our unity and multiculturalism. There is transport to the event organised from around the country, please see for details.

Description: We are witnessing a disturbing rise in fascism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism and racism. The racist thugs in the English Defence League (EDL) have organised events across the country, stirring up hatred, Islamophobia and racism — running riot in some cases and provoking violent attacks on Muslim, black and Asian communities and on Mosques and Hindu temples.

Alongside this, the British National Party (BNP) has received unprecedented electoral support for a fascist organisation in Britain. Despite losing many council sears in the elections this year, the BNP’s share if the vote overall continued to rise and it has two elected members of the European Parliament.

This is in the context of a wave of Islamophobia and racism in Europe and the USA, including threats to burn copies of the Qur’an, attacks on Mosques and Islamic cultural centres, bans on Muslim women’s full-face veils and the construction of minarets. In France, the Roma people have been singled out and subjected racist mass expulsions. Now more than ever we must unite to turn back this tide of hatred. Make a stand against the rise of racism, fascism, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. Support the demo on Saturday 6 Nov.

We will be marching through central London accompanied by floats with top artists from our sister organisation Love Music Hate Racism, including Jerry Dammers, founder of The Specials, Drew McConnell from Babyshambles, Kid British and radical rapper Lowkey.

For further information see or email or call 020 7801 2782

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Student Smiled Before Stabbing Me, Says MP Timms

An MP stabbed by a student has said she smiled and pretended to shake his hand before knifing him in the stomach.

Stephen Timms said Roshonara Choudhry, 21, of East Ham, appeared friendly and studious as she reached out her hand.

Choudhry was jailed for life at the Old Bailey for trying to kill the MP at his surgery because he backed the Iraq war.

Mr Timms said he was “alarmed” that such a bright woman could “throw it all away” by becoming radicalised via the internet so quickly.

The MP, 55, told Radio 5 live: “It was quite early on in the surgery and everyone who comes has an appointment. Roshonara Choudhry was the second person due to see me.

“She specifically asked to talk to me, rather than my assistant, which people are perfectly entitled to do and I was sitting on one side of a desk.


“She was due to sit opposite me and instead of sitting there she came round to my side of the desk.

“I thought she was coming to shake my hand… but having put out her hand for that purpose, she then pushed her other hand out with a knife in it and stabbed me in the stomach.”

The Labour MP added: “She appeared friendly. I think she was smiling, if I remember rightly. She was quite a slight young woman, looked studious, she looked like a student.”

He said he was totally unprepared for the attack and felt no pain as his security guard and others rushed forward to help him.

Once the knife was removed from her hand, he said, he went into the toilet to examine himself.

He said: “I went into the loo, actually, lifted my jumper up and discovered there was quite a lot of blood there so at that point I realised I had been quite seriously injured.”

The attack took place at his constituency surgery at the Beckton Globe community centre in east London on 14 May.

Choudhry, who was described as an outstanding student, dropped out of her English degree at King’s College London weeks before the attack.

The Muslim student is understood to have become radicalised watching online sermons by Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American Muslim cleric of Yemeni descent.

Mr Awlaki has been linked to a series of attacks and plots across the world.

Mr Timms said it was “alarming” that Choudhry could become so radicalised “simply by spending time on the internet”.

He told 5 live: “I think it’s clear that the kind of material we’re talking about would be illegal if it was hosted on servers in the UK.

“It isn’t, it’s clearly hosted elsewhere, but there may be legal mechanisms that can be applied — internationally perhaps — to see if some of it can be removed.”

Mr Timms, who has made a full recovery, described his attacker’s life sentence as “appropriate”.

He also thanked the hundreds of constituents who got in touch to wish him well and said he was particularly heartened by the large number of Muslims who prayed for his recovery.

           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]

UK: The Mayor With His Own Fate

by Neil Berry

In recent weeks the British media’s obsessive focus on coming government expenditure cuts has eclipsed almost everything else. Not least has it diverted attention from a news story which might otherwise have provoked a plethora of inflammatory headlines: the election as mayor of the east London borough of Tower Hamlets of Lutfur Rahman, a Bangledeshi-born Muslim lawyer who grew up in Britain and who has stood accused of being bankrolled by the Islamic Forum of Europe, a body identified with Islamic supremacism.

The matter has not gone entirely unnoticed. The influential commentators Melanie Phillips and Andrew Gilligan are flagging up Rahman’s election as a sinister development, as is the political editor of the weekly newspaper, the Jewish Chronicle, Martin Bright. In a week which saw the conversion to Islam of the sister-in-law of former British prime minister Tony Blair and the British government’s decision to send a minister to Islam Channel’s Global Peace and Unity Conference, Bright declared that events in Tower Hamlets added to the sense that ‘totalitarian Islam’ is now acceptable to a ‘significant proportion of the political classes’.

In a strident editorial, the Jewish Chronicle deplored the mainstream media’s ‘muted response’ to the election of Rahman, who controversially stood as a Labour Party mayoral candidate before being elected as an independent. Claiming it was rooted in fears of being accused of racism, the editorial asserted that Rahman, with his alleged Islamist backing and ties with George Galloway’s extreme left Respect Party, was the ‘mirror image’ of the far right British National Party.

It remains to be seen how Lutfur Rahman — who defines himself a progressive social democrat — conducts himself. What is certain is that right-wing pundits like Gilligan and Phillips will miss no opportunity to exploit the smallest indications that he is turning his east London mayoralty into a British power-base for radical Islam and seeking to upstage moderate Muslim opinion. There is, in short, a distinct danger that Rahman’s status as a mayor with Islamist affiliations could furnish Islamophobes with ammunition with which to foment a sharp and very general backlash against Muslims. The white nationalist, virulently anti-Muslim English Defense League, is already showing signs that it could become rather more than a nasty fringe movement, and it is not hard to see how current heightened concerns about national security could interact with rising unemployment and pervasive public anxiety to spawn a witch-hunting mentality, an impulse to subject Muslims to systematic demonisation.

None of this is peculiar to the UK of course; at a time of deepening recession, alarm on the part of the non-Muslim majority about Islamisation is sweeping the whole of Europe. And fuelled by the bitter controversy over the proposed building of an Islamic centre near to New York’s Ground Zero, popular perceptions of Islam as a subversive force are plainly assuming a fresh pitch of intensity on the other side of the Atlantic. One way or another, concern about whether Islam is compatible with Western values, and whether therefore Muslims can possibly be ‘good’ citizens of Western societies, is threatening to permeate the Western mindset to an extent without precedent in modern times. It is growing ever harder to evade the disquieting question: just where is all this heading? Is the prospect looming of a catastrophic breakdown of trust and understanding in Western societies between Muslims and non-Muslims?

Yet the future does not hold only lurid scenarios for Western Muslims, and in Britain the predicament of Muslims is perhaps less beleaguered and potentially more hopeful and constructive than in some other countries. From the point of view of social cohesion, it represents no small measure of progress that the leader of Britain’s Conservative-Liberal Democrat Coalition Government, Prime Minister David Cameron, has appointed an articulate and very ‘British’ Muslim woman, the Yorkshire-born Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, in the high profile role as Chairman of the Conservative Party. This is a development that would scarcely have been conceivable when the Conservative Party last held power in Britain in the 1980s and 90s. What is more, Cameron’s much-trumpeted commitment to rolling back the British state and inviting British people to become involved in organising their own affairs, his so-called ‘Big Society’ project, constitutes a challenge to which Britain’s Muslims may be able to respond with more enterprise than most.

The fact is that Muslims make a multi-billion pound contribution to British GDP, a contribution out of all proportion to their numbers. And because of its emphasis on charity and relatively high degree of familial and social solidarity, the Muslim community could be especially well-equipped to turn Cameron’s exhortation to establish a new civic-mindedness into something more than mere rhetoric. A smaller British state sector seems inevitable. The new mayor of Tower Hamlets has the opportunity to confound his detractors and set an example to the rest of Britain by demonstrating what his east London borough with its many Muslim inhabitants can do for itself.

Neil Berry is a London-based commentator

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Wokingham British Legion Club Closes After 89 Years

British Legion club set up in Wokingham in 1921is to close due to dwindling numbers of members.

The club plans to merge with another popular British Legion club in Winnersh.

But the charity’s Berkshire branch says it is not concerned about the closure, and is looking ahead and helping the Afghanistan generation of soldiers.

Mark Weldon, who represents the Royal British Legion in Berkshire, said: “We no longer have World War I veterans.

“We find more and more who we are serving is the Afghanistan generation, and we have introduced a number of new services for them.”

Inquest advice

Mr Weldon said the Legion has introduced a new inquest advice service for bereaved families, and has been working with Citizens Advice Bureau since May 2007.

“The British Legion financesm together with the RAF Benevolent Fund, a free benefits and money advice service primarily delivered by the Citizens Advice Bureau, resulting in financial outcomes so far of £42m,” he said.

The Legion assists veterans and dependents to claim what is rightfully theirs in benefits, as well as helping with debt management and charitable assistance.


           — Hat tip: DF[Return to headlines]


Serbia: Muslims in the Region of Sandzak Want Autonomy

(ANSAmed) — BELGRADE, NOVEMBER 1 — The Mufti of Serbia’s Muslim community, Muamer Zukorloc, has reasserted his request for autonomy for the south-eastern Serbian region of Sandzak, which has a majority Muslim population.

Zukorlinc lives in Novi Pazar, the main town in Sandzak, and is involved in an ongoing feud with Muhamed Jusufspahic, the official representative of the Muslim community of Serbia, who lives in Belgrade, is more moderate and has maintains good relations with the Serbian authorities.

In an interview with the Arab channel Al Jazeera — which has been widely reported in the Belgrade press today — Zukorlic complains of the continuing ethnic and religious discrimination against Muslims in Serbia. The Mufti reserves particular accusations for the Serbian secret services and two Muslim Ministers in the Belgrade government, Rasim Ljajic, the Employment Minister and head of the council of cooperation with the International Court of Justice in the Hague (ICJ), and Sulejman Ugljanin, a minister without portfolio. Zukorlic believes that both men support Belgrade’s plans for a new regional sub-division of the country, which would see the Sandzak region fragmented into two or three of the country’s regions, causing it to lose strength and compactness.

Zukorlic, who is accused by Belgrade of excessive political posturing, said that he hoped that the next elections would see the success of a new political force aware of the fact that the autonomy of the Sandzak region “is a pillar of Serbia’s stability”.

With 230,000 mostly Muslim inhabitants, Sandzak has recently been the setting for rallies and demonstrations against the Belgrade government. Particular controversy was caused by the scenes of joy, complete with cars flying Turkish flags, after Serbia’s defeat to Turkey in the world basketball championships held a few weeks ago in Istanbul. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Tunisia Joins the Enterprise Europe Network

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, OCTOBER 29 — Tunisia is the first Northern African country and the second African nation to join the Enterprise Europe Network, created by the European Commission in order to inform SMEs about activities and opportunities offered in the EU. The addition of Tunisia was formalised yesterday with a convention between the European Commission and a consortium formed by 8 Tunisian institutions. The consortium will provide Tunisian SMEs with detailed information that will allow them to become more competitive by developing their potential for technological cooperation and innovation through partnerships in the industrial and services sectors. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Coptic Pope Beefs Up Security Amid Al-Qaeda Threat

Cairo, 3 Nov. (AKI) — The seat of Egypt’s Coptic Pope is bolstering security on the heels an an Al-Qaeda threat that called followers of the Orthodox faith “legitimate targets” for allegedly holding women captive rather than permitting them to convert to Islam.

Coptic Pope Shenuda III is considering cancelling a ceremony at Cario’s St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral to mark the 39th anniversary of his ordination on 14 November, according to a source close to the Coptic papacy.

Al-Qaeda said it will target Middle Eastern Christians following an attack on a Catholic church in Baghdad that killed 58 people and wounded nearly 80 when militants stormed the church during Sunday Mass.

The Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bloodbath saying it was carried out in retribution for female Muslim converts they claim are being held by Egypt’s Coptic church.

Al-Qaeda in Iraq gave the church 48 hours to release the women and threatened the lives of Middle Eastern Christians if they were not freed.

The threat prompted Egyptian police to boost security for a two-week Coptic festival held in the ancient city of Luxor in the southern part of the country that began on Tuesday and was expected to attract 2 million people.

The Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaa Islamiya, the two largest Islamist groups in Egypt, distanced themselves from the threat

“The attacks on churches and the killing and kidnapping of their followers is prohibited by Islamic law,” said Najih Ibrahim, the Jamaa Islamiya spokesman via a message posted on the group’s web site.

The Muslim Brotherhood on its web site referred to the Al-Qaeda threats as a “stupid” act “that puts Islam is a bad light.”

The group asked Egyptians to help protect churches and religious sites.

“We reject these threats and call on the entire Egyptian population to protect places of worship of all religions.”

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

Middle East

Iran Responds to Alarm on Woman Sentenced to Stoning

France’s foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, said that his Iranian counterpart had assured him on Wednesday that Iran’s judiciary has not yet decided to execute a woman sentenced to death by stoning.

On Monday, the director of a European human rights group, the International Committee Against Stoning, said that she had obtained information suggesting that the woman, Sakineh Ashtiani, who was initially sentenced to death by stoning for adultery, would be executed on Wednesday in Iran, despite an international campaign to save her.

Mr. Kouchner explained, in a statement posted on the French foreign ministry’s Web site, that he called Iran’s foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, to express his “dismay” at the possibility that Ms. Ashtiani would be executed and his counterpart “assured me that Iranian legal authorities had not yet reached a final verdict in the case of Sakineh Ashtiani and that the information regarding her execution did not correspond to reality.”

Reuters reported, “Officials in Iran were not immediately available to comment.”…

[Return to headlines]

Phyllis Chesler: Is the Timing Any Accident?

The Iranian Islamic government is about to execute Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani in Teheran for the crime of committing “adultery” (which presumably occurred after her husband’s death). She was also charged for allegedly conspiring in the death of her husband.

Sakineh’s death is set for tomorrow, November 3. After torturing her for four long years, including lashing her 99 times in the presence of her 17-year-old son, Sakineh’s death is now set for a time when Americans will be totally occupied with our own midterm elections.

The story of her legal ordeal is as byzantine and treacherous as that of Alfred Dreyfus who was falsely accused of treason in France and sentenced to life on Devil’s Island.

Her so-called “confession” was obtained under torture. She was lashed 99 times—twice. Sakineh’s family has been threatened. Her lawyer had to go into hiding. Her sentence: Death by stoning. Her Sharia-compliant death verdict has merely been delayed—never countermanded. How they plan to kill her remains unknown…

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Turkey: Christian Graves Vandalised on the Island of Imvros

The island, birthplace of the Ecumenical Patriarch, although inhabited almost exclusively by the Orthodox population, was handed to Turkey in 1923, which did not comply with the rules imposed by the Treaty of Lausanne. Bartholomew: vandalism is due to the “usual known-unknown suspects.” It seeks to undermine the government new openings.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) —On the night between 28 and 29 October the feast day of the Republic founded by Kemal Ataturk, unknown assailants entered, in the cemetery of the island of Panagia Imvros (Goikocea in Turkish) and seriously vandalised 78 graves (see photo). A similar act had been committed in these parts 20 years ago.

The incident, it is rumoured on the island, indicates an attempt to create panic among about 350 Christians left on this island.

The island of Imvros, where the current ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew was born, along with the nearby island of Tenedos, were 99% inhabited by the Christian Orthodox population, but with the Treaty of Lausanne of 1923 granted them to Turkey under the condition that the Ankara government allow their full administrative autonomy.

But neither then nor in the years to follow did the Kemalist regime respect the agreements signed at Lausanne, suspending the autonomous regime provided for in this Treaty and with various methods of coercion such as the forced expropriation of property, school closures and suspension of teaching the Greek language, encouraged the shift of populations from Anatolia — which has altered the demographic structure of the island — and the creation of a prison for convicts with a license to commit acts of violence against the Christian population, this forced their final abandonment of their lands to seek refuge first in Istanbul and then across the five continents.

According to Nikos Maginas, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on hearing about the serious incident that occurred on his own native land, charged this act of vandalism to the “usual known-unknown suspects”. Bartholomew himself in his sermon in the parish of St. Demetrius in Kurtulus Istanbul, referring to the incident said: “Ours is a continuous struggle for our survival and our ancient traditions in these lands. After much difficulty we started to see some glimmer of light, of hope for our long-standing problems. But again unpleasant facts emerge, such as those that occurred in the cemetery of the island of Imvros, where the usual known-unknown suspects were responsible for breaking the crosses on the graves of the cemetery. Our battle will never end .. But always with the grace of our Lord — concluded the Ecumenical Patriarch — with perseverance, with Turkey’s European perspective and the efforts of its leaders, we are confident that those long desired results will one day arrive”.

The Interior Ministry condemned the episode and ordered the magistrate of Imvros to carry out prompt investigation for the arrest of those responsible.

Such acts demonstrate that there are still strong pockets of intolerance towards minority groups in Turkey there, which seek to undermine the openings of the government towards them. An executive which, in turn, despite having the wind in its favour, lacks the necessary political will to solve the problems of minorities, preferring to defer them indefinitely.

As noted in Istanbul, Turkey’s European perspective should not only consist in claims for rights, but also the immediate application of the Union’s rules.

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


Ahmadinejad Accuses Russia of Giving in to American ‘Satan’

Tehran, 3 Nov. (AKI) — Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Wednesday condemned Russia for “selling” the Islamic Republic to the United States after Moscow pulled out of a deal to sell Tehran S-300 anti-aircraft missiles.

“There are some who are under the influence of Satan, and believe that they have the ability to one-sidedly forgo a defence agreement,” Ahmadinejad said in a speech aired by Iranian state television.

“They think they can hurt the Iranian people this way.”

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev in September announced that his country would scrap the deal, giving in to pressure by the US, as the S-300 is considered extremely advanced and could allow Iran to effectively defend its nuclear facilities from attack.

The agreement between Russia and Iran was inked in 2007. Iran said it may sue over Russia’s violation of the agreement.

In comments broadcast on Iranian television, Ahmadinejad said the contract Tehran remains valid and warned that Russia must pay compensation and penalties for unilaterally cancelling the deal.

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

South Asia

In India, Cellphones Abound, Toilets Don’t

When President Obama visits India on Nov. 6, he will find a country of startlingly uneven development and perplexing disparities, where more people have cellphones than access to a toilet.

MUMBAI, India — The Mumbai slum of Rafiq Nagar has no clean water for its shacks made of ripped tarp and bamboo. No garbage pickup. No power except from haphazard cables strung overhead illegally.

And not a single toilet or latrine for its 10,000 people.

Yet nearly every destitute family in the slum has a cellphone. Some have three.

When President Obama visits India on Nov. 6, he will find a country of startlingly uneven development and perplexing disparities, where more people have cellphones than access to a toilet, according to the United Nations.

It is a country buoyed by a vibrant business world of call centers and software developers, but hamstrung by a bloated, corrupt government that has failed to deliver the barest of services.

Its estimated growth rate of 8.5 percent a year is among the highest in the world, but its roads are crumbling.

It offers cheap, world-class medical care to Western tourists at private hospitals, yet has some of the worst child-mortality and maternal death rates outside sub-Saharan Africa. While tens of millions have benefited from India’s rise, many more remain mired in some of the worst poverty in the world.

The cellphone frenzy bridges all worlds. Cellphones are sold amid the Calvin Klein and Clinique stores in India’s new malls and in the crowded markets of its working-class neighborhoods. Bare shops in the slums sell prepaid cards for as little as 20 cents.

The Beecham’s cellphone dealer in New Delhi’s Connaught Place is overrun with lunchtime customers of all classes looking for everything from a $790 Blackberry Torch to a basic $26 Nokia.

Store manager Sanjeev Malhotra adds to a decades-old — and still unfulfilled — Hindi campaign slogan promising food, clothing and shelter. “Roti, kapda, makaan” and “mobile,” he riffs, laughing. “Basic needs.”

There were more than 670 million cellphone connections in India by the end of August, a number that has been growing by nearly 20 million a month, according to government figures. Yet U.N. figures show that only 366 million Indians have access to a private toilet or latrine.

“At least tap water and sewage disposal; how can we talk about any development without these two fundamental things?” says Anita Patil-Deshmukhl, executive director of PUKAR, an organization that conducts research and outreach in the slums of Mumbai.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Far East

China Plans Space Station by 2020

UNDAUNTED by NASA’s cool response to its interest in the International Space Station, China is going it alone. It has announced plans to build its very own crewed space laboratory by 2020.

The news comes hot on the heels of a visit to China by NASA administrator Charlie Bolden that failed to produce any plans for cooperation with the US in space.

Some US lawmakers, including congressmen Frank Wolf and John Culberson, oppose forging closer space ties with China. Such critics question the intent of its space programme, which appears to be run by the military, and note the dual-use nature of much space technology.

China, meanwhile, has been expanding its space capabilities, and, on 27 October, officially launched a project to develop a space station by 2020. The station will have research applications, including studying living conditions for astronauts, reports the Xinhua news agency.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Top U.N. Official Honors Tiananmen Square General

As Ban Ki-moon finalized his preparations for his visit this week to Beijing, one of his top advisors, Sha Zukang, traveled to China to present an award to a retired Chinese general who had authority over troops that fired on unarmed civilians during the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

Sha, the U.N. Undersecretary General for Economic and Social Affairs, presented the World Harmony Award — a glass plaque cut in the shape of a dove — to former Chinese Defense Minister, Gen. Chi Haotian, in honor of his unspecified contributions to world peace, according to a report in Chinese state media. The World Harmony Foundation, a private charity headed by a Chinese businessman named Frank Liu, established the award…

           — Hat tip: DS[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Patient Too Shocked to Complain of Surgery

Carolyn DeWaegeneire was “shattered” and in a state of shock for years after a doctor cut out her genitals, unable to complain about the unauthorised surgery, a jury has heard.

Told that she would be in hospital for about three days for a “simple” procedure in August 2002, the then 58-year-old woke from her anaesthetic in pain with stitches that felt “like barbed wire”.

The doctor who performed the surgery, and cannot be named for legal reasons, is standing trial before a jury at Sydney’s Downing Centre District Court after pleading not guilty to charges of inflicting grievous bodily harm on Ms DeWaegeneire and excising her clitoris.

[His name may be found in this 2008 article:

“Former Bega doctor Graeme Reeves faces new sex claims”]

Court orders also prevent publication of the location or region where the alleged offences occurred.

Giving evidence on Wednesday, the mother-of-two, who was widowed in 2001, recalled giving consent to the doctor only for the removal of a small piece of skin on her vulva, identified to be a form of pre-cancer.

“If I had known that my clitoris was going to be cut off there is no way I would have walked through that hospital door,” Ms DeWaegeneire said of the procedure, which left her in a NSW hospital on painkillers for six days.

Ms DeWaegeneire said in evidence the doctor told her of his intention when she was “helpless”, about to pass-out from anaesthesia on the operating table.

“His face came close to mine and for my ears only he said ‘I’m going to take your clitoris too’ with which I slid under the anaesthetic,” Ms DeWaegeneire said.

Crown prosecutor Margaret Cunneen SC asked: “Did you have the opportunity to respond?”

“I was gone,” Ms DeWaegeneire replied.

Ms Cunneen: “Had the accused ever told you that he intended to take your clitoris?”

Ms DeWaegeneire: “If that had been mentioned you would not have seen me for dust”.

She said when she woke from surgery “I knew what had happened and I was shattered”.

The doctor’s barrister, John Stratton SC, told the jury his client “honestly believed what he was doing was necessary for the treatment of his patient”.

He said the comments allegedly made before surgery were not correct and that evidence would show none of the other four people in the small theatre heard those words.

“He was not trying to mutilate or harm Ms DeWaegeneire, he was trying to save her life,” Mr Stratton said.

He questioned why Ms DeWaegeneire didn’t raise any queries about the surgery until two years after it occurred.

“I had lost my husband, I had now lost my anatomy, I was in shock, I could not replace what was gone,” she said.

Asked what is left of her genital region, Ms DeWaegeneire replied “nothing”.

“I’ve been told I could have reconstructive surgery but I said ‘no way is anyone coming near me again’,” she said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Cunneen told the jury of seven men and five women they would hear evidence from a theatre nurse who questioned the doctor’s actions at the time.

The nurse allegedly told police she asked the doctor: “That’s fairly radical surgery. Why are you taking so much?’“

He allegedly replied: “If I don’t take it all the cancer will spread.”

Nurse: “You would not be taking my clitoris no matter what.”

Doctor: “Her husband’s dead so it doesn’t matter anyway.”

The jury trial before Judge Greg Woods continues on Thursday. It is expected to take three weeks.

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Perfect Applicant Not Indigenous Enough for Job

A YOUNG Aboriginal woman was “humiliated” to hear she might not look indigenous enough for a job promoting the Aboriginal employment initiative founded by mining entrepreneur Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest.

Tarran Betterridge, 24, a Canberra university student, applied for the post through ACT company Epic Promotions, which had been asked to find five people of “indigenous heritage” to staff a stall at Westfield in Canberra handing out flyers for Mr Forrest’s GenerationOne.

Ms Betterridge was interviewed for 20 minutes on October 20 and told she was “perfect”. However, the interviewer, Emanuela D’Annibale, said she first had to check with her client, an agency called Let’s Launch, because of guidelines specifying it wanted “indigenous-looking” people for the job.

Ms Betterridge’s mother is white and her father a Wiradjuuri man from the Dubbo area.

When Ms Betterridge phoned the next day, Ms D’Annibale told her she was not needed as Let’s Launch had already found enough employees.

Ms D’Annibale yesterday confirmed working to guidelines that required at least some recruits to “look” indigenous. Ms Betterridge was “lovely”, she said, but “if you’re promoting Italian pasta, and you put Asians there, how’s that going to look? Wouldn’t you pick an Italian to promote the Italian pasta?”

She would have liked to hire Ms Betterridge anyway, because “she was really nice, she had so much knowledge … but the reason we needed at least one person who looked indigenous [was] so that it would be friendlier to indigenous people”.

“I wouldn’t have picked her for Aboriginal at all … to me she looked like an Aussie girl.”

She said in the end Ms Betterridge hadn’t been hired because the agency decided it didn’t need five people.

Ms Betterridge says her family is outraged and she is “shocked that a company that wants to increase indigenous employment would question hiring a person because they do not meet the colour standard”.

GenerationOne chief executive Tim Gartrell said he had instructed those responsible to apologise and would no longer use the recruiting contractor.

“The comment made by a recruiting contractor is completely inappropriate and doesn’t reflect the views, practice or ethos of anyone in GenerationOne,” he said.

Despite this, the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council accused GenerationOne of abetting “ staggering” discrimination against Ms Betterridge.

Let’s Launch was unavailable for a formal response, but unofficially denied issuing the guidelines quoted by Ms D’Annibale.

The incident comes as the issue of Aboriginal identity plays out in the Federal Court. Nine Aborigines are suing Herald Sun columnist Andrew Bolt for racial discrimination over referring to the “fashion” of light-skinned people identifying as Aborigines.

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Valley of Tears

As victims of the doctor dubbed “the Butcher of Bega” seek solace for their pain, an entire community is left wondering why no one in the medical profession knew something was wrong. Drew Warne-Smith reports.

In the dimly lit foyer of the Bega RSL club, next to the entrance of a dormant pokies den, a Sydney-based law firm has put up a large sandwich-board sign touting for business. “When winning is everything!” the sign screams above pictures of a dying woman and a car crash. “No win, no fee. Don’t settle for less.”

The none-too-subtle appeal is directed at a group of ashen-faced local women who file silently inside. They are former patients of the so-called “Butcher of Bega”, the gynaecologist and obstetrician being blamed for scores of hideously botched operations and cases of sexual assault.

This Wednesday morning a public meeting is being held in the 200-seat auditorium of the RSL club so that residents of the Bega Valley can “find out their rights”, as the event’s organiser, the Medical Error Action Group’s Lorraine Long, puts it. Dozens are expected, maybe even a hundred. But by 10am, the scheduled starting time, only about 25 women have braved the presence of a large media contingent to listen to Long and another law firm she has invited along.

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Of those scattered throughout the hall this morning, most are angry, some are afraid and others are confused. They sit in twos and threes, young and old, some with partners and boyfriends, many with pens and paper in their lap. Many are also bearing the physical and emotional scars that have become the trademark of doctor Graeme Stephen Reeves. Clitorises cut out, vaginas mutilated, uteruses reshaped. Sex lives ruined, relationships battered. Depressed and debased. And, until recently, most shamed into silence, too. These disparate women from a tight-knit shire all thought they were the only ones.

But now they want answers. They want to know how Reeves was allowed to practise, despite bans and previous complaints. They want to know how to get justice for themselves and each other.

And, much like the wider community of the Bega Valley, a district numbed by the endless revelations of hurt, they are casting around for someone to blame: the now-deregistered and bankrupt Reeves, the NSW Medical Board, the area health service, and even — rightly or wrongly — the medical community…

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Brazilians Now Face Newspeak

Brazilians have just elected die-hard Marxist Dilma Rousseff as President. Had the other candidate won (José Serra, a life-long Fabian socialist masquerading as “conservative” to make the political scenario appear balanced), Brazil certainly would not have been saved from becoming a NWO-streamlined socialist republic.

Much more importantly, the Brazilian people are about to be gang-raped by a cultural and judicial revolution which goes by the innocent name of “National Program of Human Rights” (PNDH-3), the first edition of which was proposed in 1996 by Serra’s mentor and former president Fernando Cardoso. The current version of the program, approved by president Lula in December 2009, is said to be the outcome of “50 conventions and 137 meetings attended by 14,000 participants”. I must have been absent that day!

The document ( is a tour-de-force in tricky newspeak and typically Brazilian brain-congesting poppycock, things like “promoting actions stimulating efforts at implementing improvements in processes and structures…” Could mean “nothing will be done” or “watch it, sucker, we will steamroll you real good”.

Below is a translation (the ugly style preserved) of some of the items in the PNHD-3 which Brazilians should start worrying about. I have made no comments because I believe readers are familiar with the true meaning of euphemisms like civil society and human rights. The headings are mine…

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Sweden Ends Asylum Seeker Returns to Greece

Sweden announced on Tuesday that it has stopped sending asylum seekers back to Greece, due to a “deteriorating” situation for the EU partner state’s overwhelmed immigration system.

“We started from 5:00 pm to refrain from sending asylum seekers back to Greece,” said Dan Eliasson, director general of the Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket).

“The reasons are, firstly, that the situation in Greece is deteriorating constantly for asylum seekers,” he said.

“Secondly, the European Court for Human Rights has asked member states to refrain from sending asylum seekers back to Greece.”

Under the European Union’s much-criticised Dublin II regulation, illegal immigrants must be sent back to the country where they entered the EU.

About 75 percent of more than 40,000 people caught illegally entering the EU in the first half of this year did so through Greece.

Eliasson said the decision would affect about 100 people who would otherwise have been returned to Greece.

“We have not decided what to do with them,” he said.

Sweden follows Norway and Austria in this decision.

On Tuesday, a force of 175 EU guards began arriving at the porous Greek-Turkish border, seen as the primary entry point for illegal immigrants into the EU.

Greece has sustained continued criticism in recent months over its treatment of new arrivals with a harsh regime and sub-standard housing in what critics have argued appeared a deliberate attempt to scare asylum seekers away from its shores.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

U.N. Investigator: Migrants Suffer Worst Racism

Report cites xenophobic intolerance in U.S. and Europe

Migrants in Europe, the United States and many other parts of the world are subjected to the worst forms of racial discrimination and xenophobia, a U.N. independent investigator said Monday. Githu Muigai, a Kenyan lawyer, said many other groups are also victims including ethnic minorities attacked because of their minority status, individuals stopped and searched because of their perceived religious or ethnic background, and soccer players insulted because of their color.

He reiterated his opposition to Arizona’s controversial immigration law because it compromises basic international human rights that migrants are entitled to. Muigai, the U.N. Human Rights Council’s special investigator on racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance, spoke to reporters after presenting reports to the General Assembly on efforts to eliminate these practices.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Ministers Vow to Curb Every Migrant Route… But MPs Warn Cap on Arrivals Will Have Little Effect

Immigrants face an unprecedented crackdown on every route into the UK amid a warning from MPs that the Coalition’s cap on foreign workers will make ‘little difference’.

A report claims the plan for an annual limit on non-EU work permits could reduce overall immigration levels by just one per cent.

Only 20 per cent of the 500,000 migrants who come here each year will even be covered by the cap, let alone be barred, the Commons home affairs select committee says.

It also claimed the cap would be damaging to British business and concluded the only way to slash net migration is to also cut the number of foreign students.

Ministers responded by saying it had always been their intention to impose restrictions on every different route migrants use to enter the UK.

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Culture Wars

‘Bill’s New Frock’: Teaching Gender Confusion

Recently I worked as a teaching assistant in my old primary school, here in Warwickshire UK, helping 7-8 year olds.

It was my first time back since I was a child. I found the atmosphere to be one of paranoia. It was very quiet, full of stifled laughs and fear. I saw room after room full of identically dressed, bored children ruled by disciplinarians.

What I found most shocking was how the school alienated boys. It was overt and disgusting.

The boys in class were buzzing with energy, desperate to do something physical or practical. Instead they were burdened with menial tasks: endless writing, math exercises, drawings. Their blood was boiling.

As a helper, I had to deal with the ‘troubled’ children, i.e. a table of six boys. The girls on the other hand followed every order like robots and were rewarded with stickers. The boys were disciplined and humiliated for being boys.


My outrage peaked during ‘reading hour’ when I was ordered to read ‘Bill’s New Frock’ by Anne Fine to the boys.

I picked up the book. It was about 100 pages in length. The front cover was a picture of a boy wearing a pink dress. I turned the book over to find this quote, ‘A gloriously feminist romp… The result is a gem. Don’t miss it.’ Chris Powling, Times Educational Supplement.

Kids absorb information like sponges at that age. They are incredibly naïve and trusting. The boys didn’t like their teacher, but I joked with them and acted like their friend. They looked up to me.

This book teaches boys to see the world through girls’ eyes. The protagonist Bill wakes up one morning to find everyone treating him like a girl. His mother dresses him in a pink dress and he has to wear it to school.

The novel teaches a series of feminist lessons. For instance, the class read the fairy tale Rapunzel. Bill is ordered to read the princess’s lines. He complies but halfway through protests to the teacher:

‘I don’t see why Rapunzel just has to sit and wait for the prince to come along and rescue her. Why couldn’t she plan her own escape? Why didn’t she cut off all her lovely hair herself, and braid it into a rope, and knot the rope to something, and then slide down it? Why did she have to just sit there and waste fifteen years waiting for the prince?’

So Rapunzel was not imprisoned by the witch but by her dependence on men.

Bill is also traumatized to find that he cannot play football because he is a girl. The boys take up the whole playground playing while the girls must sit at the edge of the playground. Bill tries to get involved:

‘The footballers gathered in a circle around him. They didn’t look at all pleased at this interruption of the game. In fact, they look rather menacing, all standing there with narrowed eyes, scowling. If this was the sort of the reception the girls had come to expect, no wonder they didn’t stray far from the railings. No wonder they didn’t ask to play.’

The message is clear: doing anything physical and aggressive, i.e. natural to boys, is intrinsically cruel.


Incredibly, five pages are spent illustrating the impracticality of dresses. Bill is asked to carry many objects BUT without pockets in his frock he can’t balance them all. He drops everything and makes a big mess. Afterwards he vents his frustration on the dress:

‘He couldn’t help muttering something quite rude, and quiet loudly, about the sort of person who would design a pretty pink frock with no pockets, and expect other people to go around wearing it.’

The pink dress is portrayed like shackles around a slave’s feet.

In another part, it rains during lunchtime and the children have to stay inside and read comics. Bill is given a girls comic and is very upset. He hates girls’ comics.

He starts reading the stories including one ‘about the brave gypsy girl who led her lame pony carefully at night through a dangerous war zone.’ To his surprise he starts to enjoy it and in the end is reluctant to swap for a boys’ comic.

The boys are being asked: How do you know you will not enjoy girls activities until you try them?

I had no desire to spoon feed the children this propaganda, so I read little parts of the story in between asking them about football, which they already seem to recognize as the only outlet left for masculinity.

But apart from a little fidgeting, they listened intently and followed the story and presumably accepted the feminist lessons. I saw enough to believe this form of indoctrination will have an effect. I finished the reading hour by telling the boys to never wear a dress. I decided to leave the school at the end of the week.

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Switzerland: Catholic Condom Campaign Sparks Controversy

The Catholic church of Lucerne has launched a controversial Aids prevention campaign which includes the distribution of condoms.

At the same time, a Catholic mission is hosting a road show that educates young people about Aids in Africa.

From Monday until Wednesday, a multimedia exhibition staged in a truck outside the main railway station illustrated the harsh reality of life in Uganda and in South Africa, where HIV and Aids are a severe problem.

Small rooms represented African huts, a classroom, a market and a clinic. An accompanying audio guide tells the story of two young people affected by Aids.

Flavio Moresino, responsible for Missio’s youth-related activities in German-speaking Switzerland, said that the exhibition had enjoyed a good response.

Fourteen school classes signed up to visit the exhibition in Lucerne. Over the next three weeks, the truck will travel to other parts of Switzerland.

“We are really very happy about it — the HIV/Aids situation in Africa has had quite an impression on the schoolchildren. This exhibition makes the problem more concrete and interesting for them,” Moresino told He added that somebody in the world is infected with HIV every 12 seconds.

Love thy neighbour

The Catholic church of Lucerne set up a stand to coincide with the Aids truck’s stay in the city. As part of its campaign, the church produced 3,000 custom-wrapped condoms to distribute.

Reactions have been mixed, with criticism from other branches of the Swiss Catholic Church.

The condom packaging features a stylised skyline of the city’s Catholic churches under a rainbow-coloured spray of condoms. The motto reads: “Forgetfulness is contagious. Protect your neighbour as you would yourself.” The church’s URL is printed on the back.

“We want to discuss this problem with youths and other people and show that we are from this millennium and that they can talk about this openly with us — there are no taboos,” said Florian Flohr, spokesman for the Catholic church of the city of Lucerne.

Flohr told that he was impressed by the young people he had spoken to.

“They respect their partners and are conscious of the fact that they have to think about Aids when they have sexual relationships,” Flohr said.

He emphasised the fact that he and his colleagues had not simply been passing out condoms to everyone who walked by. As of midday on Tuesday, he estimated that about 150-200 condoms had been given away — but only after a conversation about the importance of safe sex.

Although the Roman Catholic Church is officially against the use of condoms, pastoral workers supporting the Lucerne campaign say that it is unethical to ignore them when addressing the danger of HIV.

Youth workers will continue to broach the subject in and around the parishes of Lucerne.

It’s cool

Reactions to the Aids campaigns — in particular the one involving free condoms — have been mixed. The diocese of Chur has expressed its dismay in the Swiss media.

“It sends the wrong signal,” diocesan spokesman Christoph Casetti told Swiss television. He added, “From a medical point of view, I also think it’s wrong because we know that condoms don’t provide absolute protection.”

Diocese of Basel spokesman Guiseppe Gracia told the bishopric had not yet formed an opinion but was planning to issue a formal statement soon.

“It’s not a condom distribution campaign — it’s an information campaign,” Gracia pointed out. He added that most of the people who had reacted negatively had only informed themselves through the media.

The story has been picked up by the Associated Press and appeared in international newspapers including the Boston Globe and the London-based Telegraph.

Around the train station, found the responses to be quite positive.

“I think it’s cool,” said 17-year-old Tatjana Jud. “It’s surprising,” added her friend Valerie Beschwanden, 19. Seventeen-year-old Stefan Rogenmoser said he didn’t know much about the campaigns, but that he would feel comfortable talking to a church group about sex and Aids.

Alda Beck, an older woman waiting for her train, also spoke well of the project.

“I find it good — young people have sex and need to protect themselves. It’s high time that the church did something like this.”

Susan Vogel-Misicka in Lucerne,

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


Airport Body Scanners ‘Could Give You Cancer’, Warns Expert

Full body scanners at airports could increase your risk of skin cancer, experts warn.

The X-ray machines have been brought in at Manchester, Gatwick and Heathrow.

But scientists say radiation from the scanners has been underestimated and could be particularly risky for children.

They say that the low level beam does deliver a small dose of radiation to the body but because the beam concentrates on the skin — one of the most radiation-sensitive organs of the human body — that dose may be up to 20 times higher than first estimated.

[Return to headlines]

UK: Scariest Speed Camera of All… It Checks Your Insurance, Tax and Even Whether You Are Tailgating or Not Wearing a Seatbelt

Even the most law-abiding driver might feel a shiver down the spine when spotting this speed camera at the roadside.

For as well as detecting speeding, it is packed with gizmos that check number plates to make sure insurance and tax are up to date.

It also measures the distance between vehicles to spot tailgating and takes pictures of the inside of the car — to make sure you are wearing a seat belt.

[Return to headlines]