Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120212

Financial Crisis
»Anti-German Sentiment Rising in Greece
»Greece: Poll Points to a Shift in Voting Intentions
»Greek PM Warns Austerity Needed to Avert ‘Catastrophe’
»Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Package
»Seehofer Calls for People’s Vote on Euro
»Massimo Zanetti Buys U.S. Coffee Business
»Muslim Mother ‘Beat Daughter, 19, And Locked Her to a Bed After She Was Seen Speaking to a Boy’
»Sex Abuse Cost Church $2 Billion
Europe and the EU
»Denmark: Muslim Women’s Virginity Fix Still Causing Controversy
»Germany: Hamburg Lake Draws 100,000 Skating Fans
»Germany: Nazi Comedy Unexpected Hit at Berlinale
»Italy Tax-Dodge Curb With US, UK, France, Germany, Spain
»Spain: U.S. Court Orders Sunken Treasure Returned to Madrid
»Sweden: Malmö Murders Linked to Fake Online Firms: Report
»UK: Qatada Banned From the School Run: Curb on Hate Cleric as He is Freed Today With Security Operation Costing US £10,000 a Week
»Which Population in the 1000 Genomes Project Samples Has the Most Neandertal Similarity?
North Africa
»Music: China to Build Opera House in Algiers as Gift
»Tunisia: State Intervention on Continuous Price Rises
Middle East
»Bahrain’s King Says Assad Should Listen to His People
»Interpol Accused After Journalist Arrested Over Muhammad Tweet
»Australia: Pay for Our Trips Home — The Islamic Women’s Welfare Association
»Fun With Numbers: Find Out How Many Refugees Came to Your Town in Last 10 Years
Culture Wars
»Italy: Gay Association Asks for Valentine’s Day Discount

Financial Crisis

Anti-German Sentiment Rising in Greece

Greeks are stepping up their anti-German rhetoric, in part by increasingly comparing modern day Germans to Nazis, according to Germans who have lived many years in Greece and reports by Greek newspapers.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greece: Poll Points to a Shift in Voting Intentions

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, FEBRUARY 8 — Dissent-ridden Greek Socialist party PASOK is on a downward spiral and conservative New Democracy is maintaining its popularity while the Democratic Left has attracted the support of a large segment of austerity-weary Greeks, according to the results of a new opinion poll that also show that nine in 10 Greeks are unhappy with Prime Minister Lucas Papademos’s coalition government.

The new poll, carried out by Public Issue for daily Kathimerini, showed ND to have inched forward to 31%, consolidating its growing popularity, while PASOK continues to languish in fifth place with 8%. The poll, carried out on a sample of 1,002 people last week, showed the Communist Party (KKE) and the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) to be holding firm at 12.5% and 12% respectively. But the Democratic Left has surged in popularity, garnering 18% of the public vote (up 4.5% since last month).

All together, the leftist parties garner an impressive 42.5%, but as KKE has ruled out cooperating with other parties, the figure is misleading. Support for the right-wing Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS), the third party in the tripartite coalition, slipped to 5% — from 8% during its heyday in 2010 — while the extreme-right Chrysi Avgi (Golden Dawn) has surged to 3%, hitting the threshold for entering Parliament. The poll’s results for parties are broadly reflected in the support for the politicians that lead them. Democratic Left leader Fotis Kouvelis tops the list, attracting the support of 56% of respondents, followed by 41% for SYRIZA’s Alexis Tsipras and ND chief Antonis Samaras with 31%. Respondents were divided on Papademos, with 48% expressing a negative opinion and 46% a positive one. Respondents were virtually unanimous though in their criticism of his government’s achievements, with 91% expressing disappointment.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Greek PM Warns Austerity Needed to Avert ‘Catastrophe’

(ATHENS) — Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos on Saturday urged parliament to pass painful austerity measures demanded by creditors, warning of “economic and social catastrophe” if it doesn’t. The legislature in crisis-weary Greece will be asked Sunday to approve budget cuts demanded by the EU and IMF in return for a 130-billion-euro ($171 billion) rescue package that Athens needs to avoid default in March.

Hours after thousands of protestors, watched over by riot police, demonstrated in Athens against the further belt tightening, Papademos insisted that the alternative, a default, was far worse. “The Greek parliament is asked to take a historic responsibility, examine and authorize the new economic programme of Greece, the pre-condition for financing the country over the coming years,” he said.

He acknowledged that the new round of cuts would heap further hardship on Greece, where unemployment is over 20 percent — but the alternative, a default on the country’s massive debt, was much worse, he warned. “The social cost of this programme is limited in comparison with the economic and social catastrophe that would follow if we did not adopt it,” he said in a nationally televised address.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Greek Parliament Approves Austerity Package

As hooded youths torched shops and battled police in the streets of Athens on Sunday, lawmakers approved a tough austerity package that is expected to help the country avoid default.

Parliament accepted the plan after Greece’s so-called troika of foreign lenders — the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund — had demanded the measures in exchange for about $170 billion in bailout money. The troika had also made passage a condition for sealing a deal in which private creditors will take voluntary losses of up to 70 percent on Greek debt.

[Return to headlines]

Seehofer Calls for People’s Vote on Euro

Horst Seehofer, the head of the Christian Social Union party, wants Germans to vote on whether the euro should be saved or not and is calling for a change to Germany’s Basic Law, or Constitution, to allow that to happen.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Massimo Zanetti Buys U.S. Coffee Business

Italian giant takes over NJ Coffee Roastery

(ANSA) — Rome, February 7- The United States arm of the northern Italy-based Massimo Zanetti coffee giant has bought a gourmet US coffee business that will add more than $150 million to its annual revenue.

Massimo Zanetti Beverage USA, Inc. bought NJ Coffee Roastery from the Sara Lee Corporation.

The parent company, the Massimo Zanetti Beverage Group of Villorba near Treviso, is one of the world’s largest coffee companies. The acquisition will increase the group’s global coffee production to more than 330 million pounds a year, with a workforce of more than 3,000 in over 100 countries.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Muslim Mother ‘Beat Daughter, 19, And Locked Her to a Bed After She Was Seen Speaking to a Boy’

An Iraqi woman has been accused of beating her teenage daughter and padlocking her to a bed after she was seen speaking to a young man.

After Yusra Farhan was arrested in the Arizona hospital where her daughter was being treated for her injuries, she told police she wanted to punish the girl for violating her ‘culture’.

Farhan, 50, faces charges of aggravated assault, unlawful imprisonment and resisting arrest. She was being held in a Maricopa County jail. Police did not identify her daughter by name.

The incident started on Tuesday, when the daughter was spotted by her father talking to a 19-year-old man at a high school parking lot in Phoenix.

Police said her father became angry and took her home, striking her several times.

The mother arrived home later and admitted to hitting her daughter with her hands and a shoe, and tying her to the bed with a rope around her waist that was secured with a padlock, court records showed.

Farhan told police she hit her daughter because she ‘was speaking to a male subject and her Iraq culture states a female is not allowed to be having contact with males because females are not allowed to have boyfriends,’ court records said.

The daughter was allowed to leave for school the next morning and was taken to St Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix after telling school officials about the incident.

Police arrived at the hospital and attempted to arrest Farhan, but she and other family members struggled with officers.

She was ultimately arrested with the help of additional officers and hospital security. No other arrests were made.

‘In an attempt to diffuse the situation in the hospital, officers determined that it would be better to just remove the mother from the scene,’ a police spokesman said, adding that additional charges were expected to be filed in the case.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Sex Abuse Cost Church $2 Billion

‘Financial losses hurt mission’ study finds

(ANSA) — Rome, February 8 — Sexual abuse claims have cost the Catholic Church roughly $2 billion, according to a report Wednesday.

“Financial losses are affecting the current mission of the Church,” said the report by Americans Michael Bemi, president of the National Catholic Risk Retention Group, and Patricia Neal, child protection consultant from Oklahoma.

They presented their findings at the international symposium Healing and Renewal, meant to address the Church sex-abuse scandal.

The four-day event, which opened Monday at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, hosted 110 delegates from various bishops’ conferences around the world, medical professionals and the Father Superiors of 30 religious orders.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Denmark: Muslim Women’s Virginity Fix Still Causing Controversy

Three years after call for ban, doctors continue to profit by performing ‘virginity restoration’ procedure on young Danish women

Young Danish women with immigrant backgrounds — most of them Muslim — continue to flock to private clinics across the country to have their ‘virginity’ restored for a few thousand kroner.

Several years after the little-known procedure became a topic of political debate, doctors are reporting that demand for hymenoplasty operations has not decreased.

Doctors who perform these operations have come under sharp criticism for legitimising the procedure and thereby protecting what critics say is the chauvinism and oppression that underlies the demand that new brides must be verified virgins.

“I don’t have any scruples about helping. The important thing is that these girls have good lives moving forward. You could call it my form of foreign aid,” Dr Christine Felding, who performs 30 to 40 hymenoplasty procedures each year, told Berlingske newspaper.

The procedure involves reconstructing the hymen — the membrane that partially covers the opening to the vagina, and which is presumed to tear and bleed the first time a woman has sexual intercourse. The doctor literally sews bits of the vaginal lining together to narrow the opening. It takes a little over an hour and is done under local anaesthesia. Felding charges 5,000 kroner. Other doctors charge as much as 12,000 kroner.

Felding estimates that three or four women with immigrant backgrounds call her each week asking about the procedure. Most of them, she said, are frightened about what will happen if their fiance’s or their families find out that they are not virgins.

Women have been known to suffer rejection, public shaming and even violent retribution at the hands of men in their own families if there is a lack of ‘proof’, in the form of a bloody bed sheet, on the wedding night.

“It is more cultural than religious. If the bride is not a virgin and does not bleed on the wedding night, it is a big shame on the family. There have been honour killings in extreme cases,” Dr Magdy Hend, a UK surgeon who performs several hymenoplasties a week, told the UK tabloid Daily Mail.

Doctors in the UK, France, Germany and Belgium also report that the procedure is highly sought after in Muslim communities. The irony, as Time magazine’s Bruce Crumley writes, is that “the increase in the procedure reflects the growing emancipation of women from tradition-rooted communities, but also the ongoing male oppression signified by the obsession with female virginity.”

Even though the focus on virginity remains strong among conservative families living in Western countries like Denmark and the UK, Felding believes it will wane — eventually.

“It’s something that this generation of young immigrant women still have to live with. But I don’t think that their daughters will still suffer under it. Times change,” she told Berlingske.

Change, however, is exactly what Felding and doctors like her are preventing, according to nurse and social counsellor Kristina Aamand.

Aamand believes that by providing hymenoplasties, doctors are sheltering ignorance and helping a backwards tradition to persist in modern society.

The daughter of a Danish mother and Pakistani father, Aamand knows well the confusing messages and conflicting pressures young Muslim women growing up in Denmark experience. That’s why she started NyMø, an advice website which aims to dispel myths about female virginity and the hymen.

On NyMø, young women are encouraged to confront their families and fiance’s about these myths, instead of opting for a secret surgery to create the illusion of virginity.

“The young women see [a hymenoplasty] as a little thing next to the anxiety they feel. They see it as something they just have to get through. But the fear of being discovered remains, and ten little stitches in the vagina won’t change that,” Aamand told Berlingske.

In 2009, Socialdemokraterne and Socialistisk Folkeparti, then in the opposition, challenged the old Venstre-Konservative government to outlaw hymenoplasties, along with other “religious- or culturally related surgical procedures”. Then-health minister Jakob Axel Nielsen (Konservative) refused, noting that they were medically approved by the national board of health, Sundhedsstyrelsen.

Jonas Dahl, the health issues spokesperson for the Socialistisk Folkeparti, remarked last week that it was “worrying” that they were still sanctioned by Sundhedsstyrelsen, that private doctors were still earning money peddling them to frightened young women and that demand for the procedures from young immigrant women was still strong.

“I hoped and expected that they would decrease. That’s something we need to work at,” he said.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Germany: Hamburg Lake Draws 100,000 Skating Fans

Some 100,000 skating fans were celebrating winter Saturday afternoon in Hamburg with an ice party on the outer Alster, one of two artificial lakes running through the city. The festivities started Friday and run through Sunday. It’s being billed as Germany’s largest winter party and occurs when the river freezes over sufficiently to support a crowd.

The last outer Alster festival was 15 years ago. Weeks of below freezing temperature have made this year’s party possible. On Saturday afternoon there were impromptu ice hockey games taking place on the 164 hector river in the middle of the city. Others just skated. Some brought their children for a first time experience.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Germany: Nazi Comedy Unexpected Hit at Berlinale

A sci-fi black comedy about Nazis from the moon invading Planet Earth is one of the hottest tickets at the Berlin film festival, which is better known for its gritty political fare. “Iron Sky”, a B-movie spoof drawing the crowds at the 11-day event in the German capital, imagines that Hitler’s surviving henchmen set up a lunar colony after the fall of the regime in 1945, biding their time to strike back. The photo shows the cast of the film, which premiered at the festival, known as the Berlinale.

The opportunity comes in 2018 when a US astronaut exploring the dark side of the moon comes face to face with a Nazi soldier clad in a black uniform and a breathing mask. Behind him, a secret military base shaped like a swastika looms into view, prompting giggles from the packed audience.

The intergalactic farce produced mainly in Finland pits the would-be Fourth Reich against an America led by a Sarah Palin double, who is seen incessantly jogging in the Oval Office. “This basically came from a stupid joke dreamed up after a trip to the sauna,” said director Timo Vuorensola, who generated much of the financing for the film among fans online. “But we couldn’t get the idea out of our heads and we got more and more ambitious as we worked on the story.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italy Tax-Dodge Curb With US, UK, France, Germany, Spain

Deal will intensify the fight against international tax evasion

(ANSA) — Rome, February 8 — Italy has agreed with the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Spain to use the American Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) to hunt international tax dodgers.

The move will “intensify the fight against international tax evasion,” the Italian economy ministry said, vowing to find more and better ways to trade information.

The Italian government has launched a high-profile campaign against tax dodgers. photo: tax police car

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Spain: U.S. Court Orders Sunken Treasure Returned to Madrid

(ANSAmed) — MADRID — Treasure found at sea in 2007 on board a sunken ship, the “Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes”, which sank in 1804 off the coast of Portugal in a battle with the English fleet, has been ordered to be returned to the Spanish government according to a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court. The highest court of appeals in the U.S. rejected the latest appeal by Odyssey Marine Exploration, a company specialising in ‘treasure hunting’, report sources from the Spanish Culture Ministry today cited by Europa Press. With the decision, the high court ordered the company that recovered the treasure, which included 15 tonnes of gold and silver coins, to return it to the Spanish government within 10 days, starting from the time in which the Atlanta court of appeals officially communicates its rejection of the appeal made to the Court of Tampa, where the case was heard. Sources in the ministry expressed “great satisfaction” over the ruling and underlined how “Odyssey’s arguments had been rejected in all legal” venues.

The decision by the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by the treasure-hunting company. The ruling stated that the Spanish ship from which the treasure of 500,000 ancient gold and silver coins was extracted was a ship owned by the state and not a merchant vessel, making it the property of its state of origin. The precious treasure was recovered by Odyssey on May 18 2007 in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Spain and taken to the United States on a private airplane. The North American treasure hunters renamed the sunken ship ‘Black swan’, stating that the ship was not on a military mission when it sunk. But an investigation opened by the Spanish government in collaboration with Armada, the national archaeological museum, the Royal Historical Academy and other institutions, allowed for it to be established that the sunken ship was the ‘Nuestra Senora de la Mercedes’, which was part of the Spanish fleet and that it was found in Spanish territorial waters.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Malmö Murders Linked to Fake Online Firms: Report

Several of the recent killings in Malmö have been linked to financial fraud and fake companies trading online, according to sources close to the ongoing murder investigations. Malmö police are currently working on eight unsolved murders and it is reported by news agency TT that its sources within the police have indicated that at least four of the murder victims have this connection.

The police were however unwilling to confirm which of the cases were involved. The recent slew of bloody killings in Malmö have recently shifted media focus onto the crime situation in the city. Malmö mayor Illmar Reepalu last week detailed plans for the city’s politicians to write open letters to the community in a plea to help curb crime, a tactic designed to increase the flow of tips and information from the general public.

Malmö police recently admitted that they are “embarrassed and irritated” that crime has continued to rise despite a significant increase in police presence. Despite this massive influx of resources, no breakthrough has been made in any of the investigations into the shootings in the city.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Qatada Banned From the School Run: Curb on Hate Cleric as He is Freed Today With Security Operation Costing US £10,000 a Week

Hate preacher Abu Qatada will be banned from taking his youngest child to school when he is released from jail tomorrow.

The Government has won a court ruling preventing him from flaunting his freedom at the school gates while ministers battle to find a way of deporting him.

At a cost to taxpayers of £10,000 a week, a team of up to 60 police officers and MI5 agents will provide round-the-clock protection for a man described as Osama Bin Laden’s ambassador in Europe when he returns to his London home.

Under the terms of his release, Qatada must obey a 22-hour curfew, wear an electronic tag and is banned from using the internet and telephone.

But, fearful about the prospect of a terror suspect being free to do the school run, the Home Office went to court on Friday to obtain an order to ensure his two hours of freedom each day do not coincide with school opening and closing times.

Concerns were raised after the Mail’s revelations last Tuesday when a judge ruled Qatada must be allowed to walk his youngest son to school.

A senior legal source said: ‘There was a hearing on Friday. The court came back and said the Home Office request was fine. Abu Qatada won’t be able to do the school run.’

Despite that victory, ministers are prepared for a fresh public backlash today as details emerge of the huge sums that will be spent protecting the extremist.

Security costs are estimated to be around £500,000 a year on top of the £1million in benefits, prison costs and legal fees the terror sympathiser has drained from the public purse.

A panic alarm has been installed in his house amid fears that the bailed Muslim cleric, his wife and five children could be attacked by vigilante mobs. Plans have also been drafted to move them to a safe house in an emergency.

But police insist they have a ‘duty of care’ to Qatada, who has provided spiritual inspiration to a string of Al Qaeda terrorists including the September 11 hijackers who murdered 3,000 innocent people in 2001.

It has also emerged that the tight restrictions he faces under his bail conditions could be relaxed as soon as April, enabling him to spread his poisonous views in the run up to the Olympics.

Incredibly, even though ministers believe Qatada, 52, poses a serious risk to national security, he could be totally free within two years.

Tory MP Patrick Mercer, a former infantry officer, said: ‘This is a disgrace. The money will be spent as much on protecting him as protecting us and adds insult to the injury on the taxpayer pocket.’

Kim Beer, whose son Phil, 22, died in the July 7 terror bombings in London in 2005, said: ‘What gives these people the right to be free?

‘They don’t care about the rights of the people they want to kill. My life ended the day my son was murdered.’

Robin Simcox, of the Henry Jackson Society, a foreign policy think-tank, said: ‘The situation should have been resolved long ago.

‘Qatada was here illegally on a forged passport and spent a decade encouraging young British Muslims to fight and die in foreign places in the name of religion.

‘The fundamental question is whether the country should be able to decide whether a dangerous man with a litany of terror connections should live here. That we are paying to protect him with police officers is utterly obscene.’

The scandal has erupted because ministers’ attempts to deport Qatada to Jordan to stand trial on terror charges were blocked three weeks ago by the European Court of Human Rights.

It ruled the extremist could not be sent back while there was a risk of torture-obtained evidence being used against him.

And last week an immigration judge in London decided Qatada could not be kept behind bars while awaiting deportation, having been locked up without charge for six and a half years.

Mr Justice Mitting said he should be released on bail from Long Lartin high-security prison in Worcestershire to his home, thought to be in Wembley, north-west London.

But he also warned tough bail conditions could be eased on April 17 unless Britain makes progress in negotiations with Jordan.

Security minister James Brokenshire is expected to travel to Jordan as early as today in the hope of finalising an agreement that evidence acquired through torture will not be used against Qatada if he is kicked out of Britain.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes[Return to headlines]

Which Population in the 1000 Genomes Project Samples Has the Most Neandertal Similarity?


Europe has a touch more Neandertal than East Asia; Tuscans have more than any other European sample

The Tuscans have the highest level of Neandertal similarity of any of the 1000 Genomes Project samples. They have around a half-percent more Neandertal similarity than Brits or Finns in these samples. The CEU sample is slightly elevated compared to Brits and Finns as well.

It is tempting to interpret these differences as a north-south cline in Neandertal ancestry. I wouldn’t jump too quickly on this idea, because Holocene population movements in Europe are now known to have covered up or erased a substantial fraction of the Upper Paleolithic gene pool. If we have a bonus of extra Neandertal ancestry in southern Europe, we need to explain how that cline persisted across subsequent history. Still, the difference is statistically very strong and deserves some explanation. Likewise, the populations within East Asia have some differences in Neandertal similarity.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Music: China to Build Opera House in Algiers as Gift

(ANSAmed) — China will build an opera house in Algiers. The agreement was signed in an exchange of official letters, reports APS, between Foreign Ministry Secretary General, Boudjemaa Delmi, and Chinese Ambasador, Liu Yuhe. The deal involves the construction of the opera house as a gift from China, while the Algerian government will make the land available in the Ouled Fayet area in the western part of the capital. The opera house will seat 1,400 and will cost an estimated 30 million dollars.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Tunisia: State Intervention on Continuous Price Rises

Illegal food exports to Libya one of the causes

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, FEBRUARY 7 — The sharp rise of food prices in Tunisia has caused a dilemma for the authorities, who have to protect the victims of this trend (families) on the one hand, and avoid launching measures that compromise the country’s production system on the other. The question is an important one, considering the general economic crisis that has hit Tunisia. One year after the “jasmine revolution”, the country is finding it hard to recover as a consequence of several — often external — factors.

One of these factors is the situation in Libya, which forces the country to buy its oil elsewhere (Turkey), where it first arrived through the Libyan pipeline thanks to an agreement signed with Gaddafi in the ‘70s. This deal included a fixed price of 30 USD per barrel, but can no longer be sustained now. Tunisia therefore has to face the crisis with instruments that must take household income into account, without damaging the producers. The Tunisian market often goes through price trends that are difficult to explain, because these price rises don’t seem to take the fact that many food products are produced locally, freeing them from the logics of the international crisis, into account. Another factor is that despite everything, producers and distributors are still supported. But still prices continue to rise, reaching levels that were unthinkable only a few months ago. This becomes clear when looking at the prices of products sold by large-scale retailers but particularly when listening to the complaints made by the people who go shopping every day. An example is white meat, which keeps getting more and more expensive despite the high availability of animals. The same is true for eggs. Tunisia’s Ministry of Commerce and Handicrafts, Bechir Zaafouri, is dealing with the problem, chairing several meetings. The idea is to find a solution or, on the short or medium term, a way to curb the out-of-control price rises, which are being examined. This is happening at the general market of Tunis, the most important market in the country, which serves the capital and the entire region. One reason for the price spikes seems to be the illegal exports of food products, particularly to Libya. The Libya market currently needs to import much food and can offer much higher prices than those paid on the domestic market. This phenomenon is difficult to stop because of the traditional permeability of the border between the two countries and, most importantly, the impudence and aggression of the smugglers, both Tunisians and Libyans. Tunisian customs officers are well aware of this problem. They are continuously faced with aggression and have asked the government to do something about it, and to supply the necessary means to deal with the problem. Another problem is looming on the horizon: inflation, which is expected to reach 3.5%, close to 2007 levels, but still considered acceptable.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Bahrain’s King Says Assad Should Listen to His People

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al Khalifa has called on Syrian President Bashar Assad to listen to his people. Hamad, who put down an uprising in his own country a year ago, told SPIEGEL that he regretted the events but had to intervene to stop the violence and protect women.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Interpol Accused After Journalist Arrested Over Muhammad Tweet

Saudi Arabia used Interpol’s system to get journalist arrested in Malaysia for insulting the Prophet Muhammad on Twitter

Interpol has been accused of abusing its powers after Saudi Arabia used the organisation’s red notice system to get a journalist arrested in Malaysia for insulting the Prophet Muhammad. Police in Kuala Lumpur said Hamza Kashgari, 23, was detained at the airport “following a request made to us by Interpol” the international police cooperation agency, on behalf of the Saudi authorities.

Kashgari, a newspaper columnist, fled Saudi Arabia after posting a tweet on the prophet’s birthday that sparked more than 30,000 responses and several death threats. The posting, which was later deleted, read: “I have loved things about you and I have hated things about you and there is a lot I don’t understand about you … I will not pray for you.”

More than 13,000 people joined a Facebook page titled “The Saudi People Demand the Execution of Hamza Kashgari”. Clerics in Saudi Arabia called for him to be charged with apostasy, a religious offence punishable by death. Reports suggest that the Malaysian authorities intend to return him to his native country.

Kashgari’s detention has triggered criticism by human rights groups of Malaysia’s decision to arrest the journalist and of Interpol’s cooperation in the process.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Australia: Pay for Our Trips Home — The Islamic Women’s Welfare Association

NEW migrants should get taxpayer subsidies to visit overseas relatives, an Islamic group has told the Federal Government.

The Islamic Women’s Welfare Association also says Muslims prefer to live close to their own people and Australia should consider how to “facilitate the purchase of homes for new migrants”.

In a submission to a federal multicultural inquiry, the association has urged the Government to give tax deductions to newly arrived migrants so they can visit relatives in their homelands.

“Migrants face a lot of sacrifices such as having to travel long distances to visit relatives, spending on communication costs, missing out on some events occurring in native countries etc,” the submission said.

“This loss should be compensated by the Government in one way or the other to retain migrants in their country of adoption.”

Victorian Muslim and president of the Australian Council of Bosnian Organisations Senada Softic-Telalovic said while some help might be justified for needy refugees who had to go overseas to settle their affairs, she didn’t support travel compensation for all newcomers.

That type of argument will bring out further outrage from those who are so anti-migrant and so anti-multiculturalism,” she said. Ms Softic-Telalovic said that Australia was seen as an ideal migration destination and new arrivals shouldn’t take the country for granted.

“Migrants and refugees who come out now are in a significantly better position and you could say a more privileged position than those who came out in the 1970s,” she said.

Victorian Multicultural and Citizenship Minister Nick Kotsiras said tax breaks for migrant trips abroad was a ridiculous idea.

“We are all equal and no one should get special privileges,” he said.

The Islamic welfare association is based in Lakemba, Sydney, which has one of the highest Muslim populations in Australia.

Its submission also said that migrants should be free to build their own places of worship “without prejudice or discrimination from the communities they live (in)”.

           — Hat tip: Salome[Return to headlines]

Fun With Numbers: Find Out How Many Refugees Came to Your Town in Last 10 Years

Just this morning as I wrote the previous post on an Iraqi woman who beat her daughter, I had a close look at some databases at the US State Department’s Refugee Processing Center.

They have a database where you can see how many refugees and from what countries were resettled in your town. And, I mean town! Apparently the cities are overflowing with immigrants and the State Department is busy spreading new refugees out to even small towns. They want to make sure you too experience the joys of multiculturalism.

Keep in mind, a refugee might be resettled in a particular town, but they are free to move after in some cases 3 months (it’s called secondary migration). No one tracks where they go (this is America you will be reminded by open borders activists), but the problem is that, assume they are receiving treatment for TB where originally resettled, there is no way of knowing if they continue the meds after moving.

So those resettled in your town may no longer be there, or conversely they have attracted secondary migrants to come to your town and the numbers of a particular nationality are now larger.

Go here and scroll down to “Arrivals by destination city by nationality” open link to a ‘fun’ database.

This post will be archived in our ‘where to find information’category.

           — Hat tip: AC[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Italy: Gay Association Asks for Valentine’s Day Discount

State museums offering half price for couples

(ANSA) — Rome, February 10 — Gay advocacy association Equality Italia has asked that gay and lesbian couples be included in cultural initiative discounting entrance fees for Italian state museums on Valentine’s Day.

According to a bulletin published on the Italian Culture Ministry’s website, February 12 and 13 Italians and foreigners alike can take advantage of half-price tickets for a romantic day of “culture inspired by love”.

The mnistry has yet to confirm that gay couples will be allowed the same discount, said Equality President Aurelio Mancuso.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]