Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120530

Financial Crisis
»Italy: Mortgages Plummet Amid Recession, Tight Credit
»Lagarde Intransigent With Greece But Pays No Taxes
»Obama Sends Top Economic Advisor to Europe
»Arrested for Blogging in Maryland
»Arrest Mother as Accomplice in Texas Honor Killing
»At Vegas Fundraiser, Romney Praises But Disagrees With Trump
»Demanding the Truth About Obama
»Ivy Leaguers Make Bad Presidents
»Measure by Yolo Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada Would Protect Workplace Religious Freedom
»Mosque Breaks Ground
»New York Plans a Ban on Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks
»Professor Sues Purdue After Probe of His Anti-Muslim Facebook Comments
Europe and the EU
»Anti-Semitism Common in Norway: Study
»Brussels Wants E-Identities for EU Citizens
»Last French Producer of Berets Saved
»Norway: Breivik’s Terror Network Doesn’t Exist: Police
»Spain: ‘Driverless’ Volvos Hit Streets in ‘World First’
»Sweden: Live Grenade Detonated in Central Malmö
»UK: An Exploration of Staff-Prisoner Relationships at HMP Whitemoor: 12 Years on
»UK: Anti-Israel Protestors Fail Again to Disrupt Globe
»UK: Culture Class for Frontline Police Teams
»UK: First Victory for Campaign to Save Famous Pie and Mash Shop
»UK: Graduate ‘Who Suffered Merciless Rape at Hands of Stranger’ After Being Thrown Off Bus Recounts Moment Driver Refused to Show Her Pity
»UK: Prisoners Under Pressure to Convert to Muslim ‘Gang’
»UK: The Odd Couple: Angelina Jolie Brings Hollywood to the Foreign Office …
»Vatican: Arrest Raises Questions if Butler Really Did it
»Vatican: Spokesman Denies Five Cardinals Being Quizzed on Leaks Scandal
North Africa
»Christians Should “Convert, Pay Tribute or Leave, “ Says Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Candidate?
Israel and the Palestinians
»PA Child Terror Leader Sentenced, Released
Middle East
»Cyprus Worried About Potential Syrian Refugees
»Islam: New “Huge” Mosque in Istanbul, Erdogan
»Orchestrated Regional War: Muslim Brotherhood Are Western Proxies?
»Syria: Not This Time!
»Turkey Plans Giant Istanbul Mosque for All to See, Erdogan Says
»Azerbaijan ‘Thwarted Planned Terror Attacks on Eurovision by Arresting 40 and Seizing Weapons’
South Asia
»160 Schoolgirls Taken to Hospital After Second ‘Taliban Poisoning of Afghanistan School in a Week’
»Afghanistan: Taliban Militants Killed Afghan Tribal Leader in Mosque
»India: Alleged Illegal Detention of Kasmiri Youth by Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terror Squad Threatening to be a Political Controversy
»Indonesia: Forget Gaga; Indonesia Wild for Own Raunchy Shows
»Kyrgyzstan: Black Quadrate Group is Trying to Overthrow High Mufti and Take Power by Any Means — Bakyt Nurdinov
»Pakistan: Wahhabi Gunmen Martyr Two Shia Youths in Karachi
Far East
»EU Firms Complain About Unfair Treatment in China
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Gambia: Farato Nema Mosque Inaugurated
»Ghana: Care and Social Development (CSD), a Kuwaiti-Sponsored NGO
»Nigeria: Muslim Group Canvasses Renewed Orientation for Citizens
Culture Wars
»UK: Don’t Promote Women and Ethnic Minorities in the Courtroom Just to Fill Quotas, Says Former Top Female Judge

Financial Crisis

Italy: Mortgages Plummet Amid Recession, Tight Credit

Rome, 29 May (AKI) — Italians took out more than 31 percent few mortgages during the final quarter of 2011 as the European Union’s fourth-richest country was mired in economy and banks tightened credit, according to a report.

During the last three months of the year Italians took out 144,709 mortgages, national statistics agency Istat said in Tuesday.

The reduction totalled more than 14 percent for all of 2011 compared with the prior year, the report said.

Italy’s economy has contracted for three consecutive quarters causing unemployment to grow and businesses to fail. Consumer’s confidence in the economy fell to a 15-year low, according to a government report released Wednesday.

Italy is suffering its fourth recession since 2001 with almost 10 percent unemployment. Critics of austerity measures in Italy, Greece, Spain and other European countries say the spending cuts have exacerbated an already weak economic situation.

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

Lagarde Intransigent With Greece But Pays No Taxes

(AGI) Washington — The fashionable IMF general director, Christiane Lagarde does not walk the walk. She talked about the Greeks who must “pay all of their taxes”, otherwise the IMF will dedicate itself more to save Africa than Athens, but she pays nothing thanks to the supranational status of her position. Ms. Lagarde receives 380939 euros in pay, bonus included, but pays no taxes at all.

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

Obama Sends Top Economic Advisor to Europe

The Obama administration Tuesday dispatched one of its top economic officials, the Treasury Department’s under secretary for international affairs, Lael Brainard, to Europe to keep an eye on the Continent’s economic situation. The Treasury Department declined to comment on specifics of the move, the Wall Street Journal reports.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Arrested for Blogging in Maryland

By Jonathan H. Adler

Yesterday, blogger Aaron Walker, aka “Aaron Worthing,” was arrested for his blogging critical of Brett Kimberlin, a convicted domestic terrorist known as the “Speedway Bomber” who has become a progressive activist. As detailed by David Hogberg and Patterico and here, Kimberlin was able to convince a technologically illiterate judge that Walker’s blogging was incitement and violated a “peace order” Kimberlin had previously obtained against Walker. Unless there are additional, as-yet-undisclosed reasons for Walker’s arrest, it was blatantly unconstitutional, as Eugene Volokh explains here. Walker was released late yesterday afternoon, but an equally unconstitutional order barring him from, among other things, blogging about Kimberlin for the next six months further remains in effect. Many of those commenting on these events have cast the dispute in ideological terms, as Walker is a conservative blogger and Kimberlin is a progressive activist. Yet, as Popehat explains, the real issue here is the threat to free speech that Kimberlin’s tactics represent — a threat that should be of concern without regard to the ideological orientation of the participants.

           — Hat tip: DS[Return to headlines]

Arrest Mother as Accomplice in Texas Honor Killing

By Phyllis Chesler

On January 1, 2008, two American teenager sisters, 17 year-old Amina Said, and 18 year-old Sarah Said, were shot to death by their Egyptian father, Yaser Said, in Irving, Texas. After a lifetime of being physically and sexually abused by their father, the girls had finally decided to run away.

Sarah had rejected an arranged marriage with a much-older friend of her father’s whom she had never met. Both Amina and Sarah had boyfriends—and thus, their father viewed them as “whores” who had disobeyed the rules and who therefore deserved to die.

Yaser fled after the murder and has yet to be found.

The FBI briefly included him on their Most Wanted List for an Honor Killing but within days, they dropped the “honor killing” charge.

At the time, I was told that political pressure, mainly brought to bear by CAIR, (the Muslim Brotherhood in America), was responsible. Perhaps, fears of being charged with “Islamophobia” stayed the hand of local law enforcement and of the FBI.

Based on my own academic studies in Middle East Quarterly, there is no doubt that this was an classic honor killing.

[Return to headlines]

At Vegas Fundraiser, Romney Praises But Disagrees With Trump

(CBS News) LAS VEGAS, Nev. — After a day in which his message was overshadowed by talk of Donald Trump and birtherism, Mitt Romney’s appearance at a fundraiser at Trump’s hotel showed the fine line he walks between embracing the brash billionaire and keeping him at a safe distance.

Tuesday night’s event, which was expected to raise upwards of $2 million for Romney’s campaign, followed a day in which Trump doubled down on his claims that President Obama was not born in the United States and was instead born in Kenya.

“A lot of people do not think it was an authentic certificate,” Trump said of Obama’s Hawaii birth certificate in an interview on CNN just hours before he hosted Romney’s fundraiser. Democrats slammed Trump’s position throughout the day, believing it can win them voters who find such talk repugnant.

Romney did not address Trump’s new comments on Tuesday but told reporters earlier that he doesn’t agree with all of his supporters, including Trump. “And my guess is they don’t all agree with everything I believe in,” Romney said. “But I need to get 50.1 percent or more. And I’m appreciative to have the help of a lot of good people.”

Neither Romney nor Trump referenced the controversy at the Tuesday evening fundraiser, where Trump introduced the now-official Republican nominee by telling the crowd that Romney would be “a great, great president.” Romney responded by thanking his host for “twisting the arms that it takes to bring a fundraiser together” — a nod to the connections that Trump provides.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Demanding the Truth About Obama

The only truly hopeful future for America will be the defeat of Obama on November 6.

Billions of words have been written about Barack Hussein Obama. He has written two “memoirs.” You could fill a library shelf with the books that have been written about him, few of them flattering. He has given thousands of speeches and interviews over the past three years he’s been in office.

After three years in which the financial crisis he “inherited” but for which he campaigned very hard, his solutions have proven to be failures on a massive, multi-billion-dollar scale. His war on energy has slowed the access to the sources of energy needed to provide the electricity to powers the nation and the fuel that keeps its cars, trucks and other means of transportation on the road, on the rail, and in the air. It has diverted millions to “green” energy alternatives fraught with bankruptcies.

A recent Fox News program hosted by Sean Hannity, bringing together influential authors and columnists, concluded that the mainstream media, the leading daily newspapers and the network news channels, not only failed to vet his life story and his qualifications to be president in 2008, but have provided cover while presently attacking the presumptive Republican candidate who will contest him in the November elections.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Ivy Leaguers Make Bad Presidents

Let’s look at America’s first president. It’s important to study how Gen. George Washington structured the government of the United States because if John Adams or Alexander Hamilton had been our first president, liberty would have vanished before there was a second presidential election. The government of the United States would have quickly morphed into something much more closely resembling the parliamentary governments of Europe in which Lords ruled. Our Presidents would have remained President, but our Vice Presidents would have become Prime Ministers.

We would not have had to wait for Woodrow Wilson and John Pierpont Morgan to convert the Republic into a democracy, or for Franklin Roosevelt, John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and JP Morgan to complete the task by converting that democracy into a form of parliamentarian socialism. Our God-breathed inherent rights would have morphed into “mother-may-I” rights conditioned on our obedience to whatever administration was in power. Our rights should be as secure under a liberal as they are under a conservative. Sad. They aren’t. But, they would be if bribing politicians, or politicians providing financially lucrative quid pro quos for those bribes was made illegal—and everyone doing the buying and selling of political favors received a mandatory 20 year vacation as guests of the taxpayers of the United States.


Men who fought the British to win liberty and with it, the right of free men to speak their mind, were arrested for speaking out against the tyrannical edicts of John Adams. Adams believed the central government had the right through implied authority to overrule the States, when the Constitution specifically said the opposite. Adams relied on the five Federalist appointed Supreme Court justices to enforce the unconstitutional edits of the 5th Congress with respect to the Aliens and Sedition Act of 1797. The first victim of the Sedition Act was a Vermont Representative in the US Congress, Matthew Lyon, who published a letter in a local newspaper complaining that with the federal executive “…every consideration of the public welfare is swallowed up in a continual grasp for power and unbound thirst for ridiculous pomp, foolish adulation and self avarice.” (Adams wanted the presidency to be treated like the “crown heads” of Europe—as royalty. Lyon was arrested and brought before Supreme Court Justice William Tyler Paterson. After a brief trial reminiscent of the Salem Witch Trials, a jury found Lyon guilty. The trial only took a few minutes because Justice Paterson refused to allow Lyon’s attorney, Anthony Haswell, to present a defense. Paterson then ordered the jury to find Lyon guilty. They did.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Measure by Yolo Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada Would Protect Workplace Religious Freedom

SACRAMENTO, Calif.-The state Assembly approved a bill Tuesday that would add more protections for religious freedom in the workplace, specifying that California discrimination laws also should apply to religious clothing, hairstyles and the right to carry religious objects. The bill’s author, Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada, D-Davis, said she was upset to learn that Sikh and Muslim workers continue to face discrimination at work despite laws prohibiting it. AB1964, which passed on a 59-3 vote, also clarifies that segregating an employee from other workers or the public because of their appearance is not an acceptable accommodation under the law. “This bill is a little bit like the Rosa Parks issue of the 21st century for me,” Yamada said. “To know that there are Sikhs and Muslims relegated to the back of the store in order to continue their employment is particularly heinous.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Mosque Breaks Ground

After several years of fundraising, Muslims in the Katy and west Houston area broke ground on a $3.5 million mosque and community center that was once the focus of protests and national attention. Plans for the Muslim American Society’s Katy Center call for a two-story domed prayer area of 15,000 square feet, and an attached 8,000-square-foot multipurpose hall with gymnasium and meeting space. The organization was expecting approval of the county permits that would allow construction to begin in early June.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

New York Plans a Ban on Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks

New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the administration of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to combat rising obesity.

The proposed ban would affect virtually the entire menu of popular sugary drinks found in delis, fast-food franchises and even sports arenas, from energy drinks to pre-sweetened iced teas. The sale of any cup or bottle of sweetened drink larger than 16 fluid ounces — about the size of a medium coffee, and smaller than a common soda bottle — would be prohibited under the first-in-the-nation plan, which could take effect as soon as next March.

[Return to headlines]

Professor Sues Purdue After Probe of His Anti-Muslim Facebook Comments

Purdue University Professor Maurice Eisenstein says the school’s investigation — which cleared him — still violated his free speech rights.

A Purdue University professor has filed a freedom of speech suit against his school and five co-workers after getting in hot water for inflammatory statements about Muslims on his Facebook page.

Tenured political science professor Maurice Eisenstein was cleared by a university investigation into his Facebook comments, which included a reference to “the idiot Mohammad [sic}, may his name be cursed.” But Eisenstein claims the investigation nonetheless damaged his reputation and disputes a finding that he retaliated against other faculty members.

“I was trying to be challenging as a professor, and do what I was trained to do,” Eistenstein, who joined the school’s faculty in 1993, told

The flap unfolded late last year, when Eisenstein posted a photo of the aftermath of a massacre of Nigerian Christians, purportedly carried out by African Muslims, on his Facebook page.

“Where are the ‘moderate’ Muslims’ reaction to this? Oh, I forgot they are still looking at the earth as flat …,” Eisenstein wrote above the post.

Other members of the faculty, as well as members of the Muslim Student Association, learned of the comments and went to school officials. Eisenstein maintained that the post was on his personal page and in no way reflected on the school. History professor Miriam Joyce, who later filed a harassment complaint against Eisenstein, told the comments could alienate students.

“We have Saudi students,” Joyce said. “We have other Muslim students. This is wrong. It creates an unpleasant and unwelcoming atmosphere. “I’m concerned that Muslim students and their parents will get the wrong idea about my school.”

The Muslim Student Association could not be reached for comment.

The school’s investigation, led by Chancelor Thomas Keon, cleared Eisenstein in January of violating the college’s free-speech and anti-harassment rules. However, he received a written reprimand for allegedly retaliating against Joyce, as well as a second professor, Saul Lerner.

Eisenstein denied retaliating or harassing his colleagues, but acknowledged a bitter e-mail exchange with Lerner and denies making a callous reference to Joyce’s son, a former hedge fund manager who committed suicide.

Eisenstein said his freedom-of-speech suit is the result of the university’s investigation into his comments about Muslims — even though the probe ostensibly cleared him.

“When you investigate free speech, you chill free speech,” Eisenstein said. “How am I supposed to do my job without free speech. I’ve changed. Every time I go into a classroom, I look around and wonder who will complain about what I say.”

Eisenstein enlisted the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) in bringing his suit against the Big Ten school.

“This is not the first time and it won’t be the last time we will see a university punish a student or professor for constitutionally protected speech on Facebook,” said FIRE President Greg Lukianoff. “Professors at public universities should not have to go to court to defend their free speech rights.”

Joyce said freedom of speech shouldn’t permit a professor at a public school to gratuitously denigrate the beliefs of others, including students at the school.

“I’m all for free speech. I want it for me and I want it for everyone else, but there’s got to be some judgment used,” Joyce said. “You don’t cry fire if there isn’t a fire and then say it was protected by free speech.

“I’m a [history] teacher,” she added. “I’d rather be dealing with Bahrain than Eisenstein, anyway.”

[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Anti-Semitism Common in Norway: Study

Some 12.5 percent of Norwegians hold clear prejudices against Jews, according to the country’s first ever comprehensive survey of anti-Semitism.

The study, commissioned by several Norwegian government agencies, was carried out by the Holocaust Centre in Oslo in conjunction with pollster TNS Gallup.

“In all, 12.5 percent of the population have distinct prejudices against Jews. In a European context, this makes the prevalence of anti-Semitic thinking relatively low in Norway and on the same level as Great Britain, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden,” according to the report.

In certain areas, respondents displayed a particularly high level of anti-Semitism. For instance, a full 19 percent agreed with the statement that “the world’s Jews are secretly working to advance Jewish interests”, while 26 percent of Norwegians agreed that “Jews view themselves as being better than others”.

Eight percent said they would not like to have Jews as neighbours or friends.

Anti-Semitic tendencies were most apparent among men, older people and people with a low level of education, while women, young people, and well-educated Norwegians were in general less prejudiced.

Holocaust Centre coordinator Øivind Kopperud noted that, while the level of anti-Semitism was relatively limited, 12.5 percent of the population still equated to more than 600,000 people.

“A few of the individual figures are quite frightening,” said Kopperud, who pointed out that Norway is a politically stable and wealthy country.

He expressed particular concern over the fact that 38 percent of respondents equated Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians to the Nazi’s treatment of Jews during World War II.

Furthermore, a quarter of Norwegians believed Jews used the memory of the Holocaust to gain advantages for themselves, while 12 percent said Jews bore responsibility for their own persecution. In neighbouring Sweden, just 2 percent of people said Jews had themselves to blame, while in Germany the figure rose to 10 percent.

Kopperud said it should also be borne in mind that Norway is home to only around 1,500 Jews. Few people have either Jewish friends or colleagues at school, university or in the workplace.

“So when they speak about Jews and their view of Jews, they are speaking about the mythical ‘Jew’, and that’s completely different from the relationship to other minorities who are quite visible.”

The study also showed that criticism of Israel did not always go hand in hand with anti-Semitic opinions.

An analysis revealed that half of respondents who held radical pro-Palestinian views did not display signs of anti-Semitism.

Among people with more moderate pro-Palestinian opinions, 75 percent showed no indication of being anti-Semitic.

“This shows that the relationship between anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli views is more complex that an often polarized public debate sometimes suggests,” said Kopperud.

The study also showed that Norwegians are more prejudiced against certain other minorities, with Muslims, Somalis and Romany people subject to the highest levels of discrimination.

The report makes four recommendations for improving the climate for Jews and other minorities. These include providing more information in schools about Jewish history, anti-Semitism, and prejudices against other minorities.

The authors also propose carrying out a similar survey every five years, as well as compiling comparable surveys for other minorities.

According to the researchers behind the study, the Norwegian police should begin keeping records of any hate crimes with anti-Semitic motives.

           — Hat tip: The Observer[Return to headlines]

Brussels Wants E-Identities for EU Citizens

The European Commission is set to launch a substantial review of rules governing personal documents with the aim of making electronic identities take off across the EU. But the proposal faces likely opposition from civil rights groups and member states where identity cards do not exist.

Neelie Kroes, the EU’s Digital Agenda Commissioner, will present by the beginning of June a new legislative proposal which aims “to facilitate cross-border electronic transactions” through the adoption of harmonised e-signatures, e-identities and electronic authentication services (eIAS) across EU member states, according to an internal document seen by EurActiv.

“A clear regulatory environment for eIAS would boost user convenience, trust and confidence in the digital world,” reads the paper. “This will increase the availability of cross-border and cross-sector eIAS and stimulate the take up of cross-border electronic transactions in all sectors.”

Brussels has long been trying to facilitate the emergence of a parallel system of electronic identification, on top of the the real-world existing documents. This has mainly been linked to the struggle for establishing a truly functioning single market, rather than on security grounds.

A directive was adopted in 1999 establishing a common framework for electronic signatures. The rationale for the legal text is that if EU citizens feel comfortable in signing documents online, they will increasingly move to the immaterial world of the e-commerce to do business and shopping, regardless of national borders…

[Return to headlines]

Last French Producer of Berets Saved

The last remaining manufacturer of the staple of French headwear, the beret, has been saved.

A court in the southern city of Pau has approved the takeover of Béatex, which had been placed under judicial proceedings. The company will now be owned by Toulouse-based Promodis-Cargo. The company known for providing police, fire and army equipment. Two other companies had been in the bidding to take over the beret producer. “It’s a huge relief because this was the best proposal for us,” said Jean René Riard, an employee representative.

Promodis-Cargo has promised to keep on 30 of the 44 employees. It will also inject an immediate 500,000 euros ($623,000) into the company, with a further 750,000 in 2014. Béatex is based in the south-west town of Oloron-Sainte-Marie. Berets have been produced there since 1840.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Breivik’s Terror Network Doesn’t Exist: Police

Norwegian police said Wednesday they had ruled out that Anders Behring Breivik had accomplices when he killed 77 people last year, rejecting his claim to be part of a network prepared to strike again.

“We feel sure of this conclusion: no evidence in this case suggests any physical or psychological accomplices,” Oslo police chief Kenneth Wilberg told the Oslo district court on the 27th day of the right-wing extremist’s trial.

Breivik has insisted to police and in the 1,500-page ideological manifesto he posted online shortly before carrying out his twin attacks on July 22nd that he was part of a pan-European organization, the Knights Templar, established in London in 2002 to protect Europe from multiculturalism and a pending “Muslim invasion”.

In court, the 33-year-old confessed killer acknowledged that his description of the organization and his role in it had been “pompous” or exaggerated, saying the group had just six members but continuing to insist that the other “cells” could strike at any moment.

“Police have not found evidence that the Knights Templar exists in the shape suggested by the accused,” Wilberg said, presenting the results of the biggest investigation in Norwegian history with at times up to 1,000 police officers working on the case.

He acknowledged that police had not managed to identify most of the 8,000 people Breivik had wanted to send his manifesto to on July 22nd. The extremist has insisted that another member of the Knights Templar is on that list. Finding that person would be like “searching for a needle among 8,000 other needles,” Wilberg said.

On the day of his massacre, Breivik managed to email his manifesto to around 1,000 of the some 8,000 people he had meant to send it to, due to a network provider spam filter limiting the number of recipients.

“We have documented large parts of Breivik’s life, but we have not identified any accomplices,” Alf Nissen of the Norwegian criminal police told the court.

“But in theory, it is impossible to prove that something does not exist. All we can do is to look, look, look, and, at some point, we have to conclude that this doesn’t exist,” he added.

As the 10-week trial continues, some 50 police officers are still involved in investigating the July 22nd attacks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Spain: ‘Driverless’ Volvos Hit Streets in ‘World First’

A convoy of self-driving cars has taken to a public motorway in Spain in normal traffic, a world first, according to Swedish car maker Volvo.

A professional driver took the lead of the convoy in a truck, and was followed by four self-driven Volvo vehicles: a second truck and three cars, Volvo said in a statement. Vehicles in the road train were equipped with safety systems including cameras, radar and laser sensors, enabling them to monitor the lead vehicle and other vehicles on the road, Volvo said.

“By adding in wireless communication, the vehicles in the platoon mimic the lead vehicle using Ricardo autonomous control — accelerating, braking and turning in exactly the same way as the leader,” it said.

The cars successfully drove for 200 kilometres on May 22 along a motorway outside Spain’s northeastern city of Barcelona, a Volvo spokesman said.

Volvo Car Corporation’s project manager, Linda Wahlstrom, was filmed driving one of the cars in the convoy as the system instructed her to lift her feet from the pedals and then remove her hands from the wheel.

As the car sped along the highway at 85 kilometres per hour, she leafed through a magazine. “It is quite funny to see the passing vehicles. They are quite surprised seeing me not driving the car but reading a magazine,” Wahlstrom said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sweden: Live Grenade Detonated in Central Malmö

Emergency services and bomb technicians were called to an address in central Malmö after a live grenade was found in a courtyard by a school and apartment block.

The police were called in just after 8am on Wednesday after a call regarding an explosive device found in a central Malmö apartment building, wrote the Skånskan newspaper.

“The building was evacuated. Between forty and fifty people left the building and the whole area was cordoned off,” said Cindy Schönström-Larsson of the Skåne police.

Several police patrols, ambulances, and bomb technicians all descended on the scene in the southern Swedish town, and a robot was sent to investigate the explosive.

The technicians attempted to relocate the grenade, which the Sydsvenskan newspaper reported was live — with the pin pulled and the handle extended. When the technicians did not succeed, they decided to detonate it on the scene just before 11.30am, wrote the paper.

Police have speculated how a grenade could have ended up in the location. “The hand grenade may have been thrown from a car, and it may have been here for several days,” said Håkan Johansson of the police to Sydsvenskan.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: An Exploration of Staff-Prisoner Relationships at HMP Whitemoor: 12 Years on


  • A new population mix, including younger, more Black and minority ethnic and mixed race, and high numbers of Muslim prisoners, was disrupting established hierarchies. Social relations among prisoners had become complex and less visible. Too much power flowed in the prison among some groups of prisoners, with some real risks of serious violence. There were high levels of fear in the prison.
  • Some of the (serious) violent incidents were apparently related to faith or ideological disputes but were difficult to disentangle from other forms of prison violence.
  • Muslim prisoners talked about feeling alienated and targeted, and some non-Muslim prisoners regarded them as representing risk and a threat to a ‘British-White-Christian-Secular’ way of life.
  • There were tensions relating to fears of ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’ in the prison.
  • While the risks of alienation, loss of meaning, and violence, were more pressing than the (also real) risks of radicalisation, failure to address the former issues might make the risk of radicalisation higher.
  • All groups of prisoners were affected by and talked about the problems and perceptions above.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Anti-Israel Protestors Fail Again to Disrupt Globe

Anti-Israel activists continued with their attempts to disrupt the Habima Theatre’s performance of The Merchant of Venice during the company’s second night at the Globe. But security quickly removed protesters shouting and disturbing the show, and the performance went on without a break. Men and women wielding small banners or with tape over their mouths again shouted over the actors, but were taken out by Globe officials. During Shylock’s speech, Protesters screamed “Palestinians bleed too” as they were escorted out. The audience of the sold-out Hebrew language play included the Chief Rabbi, the Israeli ambassador to Britain and Lord Winston. As on the first night, pro and anti-Israel activists staged rallies outside the venue. Security was tight for ticket-holders, with both police and private security guards present.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Culture Class for Frontline Police Teams

IT’S back to school for hundreds of Kirklees bobbies as they take a lesson in Islamic culture. Around 300 frontline officers will take part in ‘myth-busting’ training designed to help them better understand the Muslim communities they serve. Acting Chief Insp Adrian Waugh said: “We want to make sure that our officers have a full understanding of the diverse communities they serve on a daily basis. Our aim is always to treat everyone fairly and by taking part in the training, it gives our officers the knowledge and awareness to deal with people professionally and courteously while dealing with different religions and cultures.”


[JP note: And to deal discourteously with dhimmis as any good Islamic Morality Police Force should.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: First Victory for Campaign to Save Famous Pie and Mash Shop

Campaigners battling to save one of west London’s last traditional pie and mash shops have claimed a first victory. A. Cooke’s Pie and Mash, which featured in the 1979 film Quadrophenia, faces being knocked down along with a row of historic shops in Goldhawk Road if a £150 million facelift of Shepherd’s Bush Market goes ahead. Rock star Pete Townshend is among those opposing the plans to demolish the shop, which has been in the same family since 1899 and has regulars including Sex Pistol Paul Cook and Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Graduate ‘Who Suffered Merciless Rape at Hands of Stranger’ After Being Thrown Off Bus Recounts Moment Driver Refused to Show Her Pity

A university student who was raped after being ‘turfed off’ the last bus home because she was 20p short of the fare, has revealed how she offered to pay the money next time she travelled with the company.

A harrowing police interview filmed days after the attack was shown to the jury today, in which the 22-year-old victim told officers she was left ‘feeling depressed’ after the bus driver refused to wait so she could withdraw extra money from a nearby cash dispenser.

Some of the woman’s injuries — bruising, swelling and cuts to her face — were still clearly visible on the film, which was recorded 12 days after she was attacked on December 10 last year.

The law student was left stranded in Nottingham city centre at 3am and after walking for less than a mile, the prosecution claim she was targeted by drink-fuelled Joseph Moran, 19, who then allegedly launched a ‘savage’ attack.

Today it was revealed to the jury she also said to the driver that her mother could meet the bus at the end of her journey and hand the driver the missing 20p.

Both offers were refused by the driver.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Prisoners Under Pressure to Convert to Muslim ‘Gang’

Prisoners are under pressure to convert to an Islamic “gang” at a high-security jail, with non-Muslims in fear of violence just for cooking bacon, according to an official report.

Muslims represent around a third of all prisoners at Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire

Inmates at HMP Whitemoor told researchers commissioned by the Ministry of Justice that they changed their faith for protection or because they were bullied into it.

Prison guards said they had a policy of “appeasement” towards the powerful and growing Islamic population, particularly convicted terrorists who were feared to be recruiting future extremists.

Non-believers avoided confrontation with any Muslim in case it led to retribution from the wider group, and said they even avoided cooking pork or bacon in communal kitchens or undressing in the showers in case it caused offence.

The report, written by researchers at the Cambridge Institute of Criminology, said: “Conflict and tension existed between and within faith groups.

“There were some intimidating ‘heavy players’ among the Muslim population, who appeared to be orchestrating prison power dynamics rather than propagating or following the faith. Many physically powerful prisoners ‘re-established their outside identities’ as leaders in the prison and used their (newly acquired) faith status as a tool for establishing influence.

“Non-Muslim prisoners described wearing underpants in the showers on some spurs (out of ‘respect’ and fear) and some Muslim prisoners described a form of intimidation exerted (‘they probably do feel shamed’) relating to cooking (especially frying bacon) in the kitchens.”

HMP Whitemoor is situated in a “remote Fenland town” far from most inmates’ families, and is home to 440 Category A and B prisoners, almost all of whom are serving more than 10 years behind bars and seven of home are convicted terrorists.

Opened in 1991, three years later it was the scene of an escape by six prisoners including some IRA members.

Following concerns over Islamic radicalisation in a 2008 report by inspectors, researchers visited Whitemoor between 2009 and 2010 to interview staff and inmates.

They found that more than a third (35 to 39 per cent) of prisoners are now Muslims, compared with 11 per cent across all jails.

Many of those they spoke to had converted while inside but they had mixed motivations for doing so, and not all had done so voluntarily.

Reasons included “seeking care and protection”, “gang membership” and “coercion” as well as “rebellion” since Islam was seen as the “underdog”.

Prisoners told the researchers that becoming Muslim was a “cover” for power and influence.

Loners including sex offenders gained safety from joining a large and dominant group, as fellow members would defend them.

Non-Muslims and prison officers claimed that it was an “organised gang” and a “protection racket” rather than a religion, which “glorified terrorist behaviour and exploited the fear related to it”.

Others said they had felt under pressure to convert, with people leaving Islamic literature in their cells and telling them to “read this”, or promising they would be safe from physical assault if they changed faith.

“The threat of assaults motivated by religious fanaticism or extremist ideology added weight to the atmosphere at Whitemoor.”

Guards said there were “proper Al-Qaeda” members in the jail, who were regarded with “awe” by younger inmates, but they avoided confrontation and had “runners” to do their bidding.

Some prisoners described the place as a “recruiting drive for the Taliban” and fertile ground for hatred and a new generation of extremists.

One inmate said he was targeted because he wore a Remembrance Day poppy and his brother served in the Army, with people shouting “your wife’s burning in hell because she’s not a Muslim” at him.

But it was also claimed that non-Muslims felt “envy” at the preferential treatment, including better food, given to Muslims.

The report concluded: “The new population mix, including younger, more black and minority ethnic and mixed race, and high numbers of Muslim prisoners, was disrupting established hierarchies in the prison. Social relations among prisoners had become complex and less visible. Too much power flowed among some groups of prisoners, with some real risks of serious violence. There were high levels of fear in the prison. In particular, there were tensions and fears relating to ‘extremism’ and ‘radicalisation’.

“More prominent, in practice, were pressures (and temptations) felt by some prisoners to convert to Islam. Conditions in the prison made participation in Islamic practices the most ‘available’ option for those looking for belonging, meaning, ‘brotherhood’, trust and friendship.”

           — Hat tip: Steen[Return to headlines]

UK: The Odd Couple: Angelina Jolie Brings Hollywood to the Foreign Office …

The 36-year-old actress was speaking before a screening of her new film In The Land Of Blood And Honey

They really are the unlikeliest of couples. One is a millionaire Hollywood actress adored as one of the world’s most beautiful women — and the other is William Hague. Britain’s Foreign Secretary teamed up with stunning Angelina Jolie yesterday as they joined forces for a government drive to tackle sexual violence in war zones around the world. The 36-year-old actress, who is engaged to Brad Pitt, was speaking at the Foreign Office in London before a screening of her new film In The Land Of Blood And Honey.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Vatican: Arrest Raises Questions if Butler Really Did it

Vatican City (AKI/Bloomberg) — The Vatican is conducting a widening probe into leaked documents that prompted the arrest of Pope Benedict XVI’s butler last week in a case local media have compared to an Agatha Christie novel.

The Vatican yesterday ruled out any involvement in the investigation of a cardinal or a woman, after newspapers Corriere della Sera and La Stampa reported that the butler hadn’t acted alone and that a cardinal, the Roman Catholic Church’s highest rank after the pope, was also among the suspects.

The pope is “aware of the delicate situation going on inside the Curia,” or the Holy See’s government, spokesman Federico Lombardi told reporters. “No cardinal or woman is under investigation,” said Lombardi, who is due to brief the press again today after 12 p.m. in Rome.

Italian media have offered contradictory versions of the events behind the May 25 arrest of Paolo Gabriele, the butler found in possession of classified documents. The case has often been portrayed as part of a palace intrigue pitting loyalists of an increasingly isolated Benedict, 85, against Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican’s de facto prime minister.

“It’s right out of an Agatha Christie novel,” Rome daily Il Foglio said…

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

Vatican: Spokesman Denies Five Cardinals Being Quizzed on Leaks Scandal

Vatican City, 29 May (AKI) — Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi on Tuesday rejected reports that five cardinal were being questioned over the deepening scandal of leaked documents revealing corruption and power struggles within the Vatican.

“Media reports that five cardinals have been questioned have no basis in fact,” Lombardi said on Tuesday.

Lombardi also denied reports that envelopes with lists of names had been found in the apartment where confidential papal documents were found in the possession Pope Benedict XVI’s butler, Paolo Gabriele, who was arrested on 25 May.

Gabriele has so far been charged with “aggravated theft,” according to Lombardi.

Investigators are combing through Gabriele’s computer and bank details in an attempt to trace people he has been in touch with.

Lombardi admitted that the leaks scandal — considered the most serious crisis of Benedict’s papacy — was “a serious challenge for the Pope and for Roman Curia (Vatican government).”

There was “shock and disbelief” in the Vatican at Gabriele’s arrest, Lombardi said.

“Gabriele is someone who worked for the Pope for several years and had never given any cause for concern.”

The day before Gabriele was arrested, Vatican bank chief Ettore Gotti Tedeschi was ousted by its board for allegedly failing to clean up the image of the bank after a money-laundering scandal last year and has also been named as a possible source of leaked documents about the institution.

Two months ago, the Pope appointed a special commission to investigate the so-called ‘Vatileaks’ documents passed to the Italian media and printed in a book published last week called Sua Santita (His Holiness).

Several Italian media outlets have quoted sources claiming Gabriele was just one of around 20 whistleblowers who had been leaking information.

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

North Africa

Christians Should “Convert, Pay Tribute or Leave, “ Says Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Candidate?

by Raymond Ibrahim

According to the popular Egyptian website, El Bashayer, Muhammad Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate, just declared that he will “achieve the Islamic conquest (fath) of Egypt for the second time, and make all Christians convert to Islam, or else pay the jizya,” the additional Islamic tax, or financial tribute, required of non-Muslims, or financial tribute. In a brief report written by Samuel al-Ashay and published by El Bashayer on May 27, Morsi allegedly made these comments while speaking with a journalist at the headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party, adding “We will not allow Ahmed Shafiq [his contending presidential candidate] or anyone else to impede our second Islamic conquest of Egypt.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

PA Child Terror Leader Sentenced, Released

An Israeli military court Tuesday sentenced Bassem al-Tamimi, a 45 year old Palestinian man who encourages Palestinian youth to attack Israeli soldiers with projectiles, was sentenced to 13 months in jail. Al-Tamimi, who garnered the support of the European Union, which criticized Israel for imprisoning him, was released after the trial, having served all 13 months while awaiting trial. Al-Tamimi’s tactics have been called child abuse by some, who accuse him of manipulating children to endanger themselves and others in a street war against Israel. Amnesty International called al-Tamimi a “prisoner of conscience,” and celebrated him as a protest leader.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Cyprus Worried About Potential Syrian Refugees

The incoming Cypriot EU presidency is worried that Syrian refugees could arrive en masse in the island-nation and in the EU more broadly if the conflict gets worse. Cyprus, located around 170 km west of Syria, is drawing up plans in case Syrian boat refugees arrive on its coast, a Cypriot source told this website.

Syrian refugees have so far made their way across land borders to Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey. The UN estimates that there were 43,000 of them registered as of April in the four countries, with another 12,000-or-so unregistered people also displaced in the region.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Islam: New “Huge” Mosque in Istanbul, Erdogan

On 15,000 “visible from everywhere in the city”

Turkey’s Conservative Islamic Prime Minister, Recep Tayyep Erdogan, has announced that construction works of the new mosque are to start. The mosque will be built on a hill in Istanbul and “it will be possible to see it from every single part of the city”. The new worship building will cover a surface of 15,000 square mt. on a hill in Camlica, in the Asian part of the Bosporus megalopolis (13 mln inhabitants), as Zaman reports. Erodogan, a former Istanbul mayor, announced that the construction works are due to start in two months.

According to the centre-right wing opposition and the defenders of the secularism of the Turkish State founded 90 years ago by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, Erdogan’s government, which has been in office since 2002, is implementing a strategy of gradual “Islamisation” of the country. Erdogan said that the construction of another large mosque, covering a surface of 6,000 dedicated to Mimar Sinan will be completed in Istanbul by July and that five further worship places are under construction. In the past days, the Islamic Prime Minister prompted a heated debate when he spoke out against abortion, calling it “a homicide” and announcing the forthcoming presentation of a draft bill against voluntary interruption of pregnancy, which has been legal until the tenth week of pregnancy since 1983 in Turkey.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Orchestrated Regional War: Muslim Brotherhood Are Western Proxies?

by Tony Cartalucci

One would expect allegedly “outspoken” critics of the US and Israel to represent the antithesis of any joint US-Israeli foreign policy, especially when it involves mass-murdering large numbers of fellow Arabs to expand Western hegemony across the Middle East. Yet the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood has done the exact opposite, after a long campaign of feigned anti-American, anti-Israel propaganda during the Egyptian presidential run-up, the Muslim Brotherhood has joined US, European, and Israeli calls for an “international” intervention in Syria.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak recently called for international intervention in Syria citing the alleged Houla massacre, echoed by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan who stated the same. The Syrian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood has been involved heavily, leading in fact, the US, Israeli, Saudi, and Qatari-backed sectarian violence that has been ravaging Syria for over a year. In a May 6, 2012 Reuters article it stated:

“Working quietly, the Brotherhood has been financing Free Syrian Army defectors based in Turkey and channeling money and supplies to Syria, reviving their base among small Sunni farmers and middle class Syrians, opposition sources say.”

While Reuters categorically fails to explain the “how” behind the Brotherhood’s resurrection, it was revealed in a 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection” by Seymour Hersh, as being directly backed by the US and Israel who were funneling support through the Saudis so as to not compromise the “credibility” of the so-called “Islamic” movement. Hersh revealed that members of the Lebanese Saad Hariri clique, then led by Fouad Siniora, had been the go-between for US planners and the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood.


For the Arab World, it should be clear that the “enemy of my enemy” is most certainly not “my friend,” especially when that “enemy” is the result of an artificial strategy of tension created by those posing as “allies.” Sunni Muslims share a common enemy not only with their Shi’ia neighbors, but with all peoples, races, and religions from Africa to Asia. That enemy is Anglo-American imperialism which has perpetuated itself for centuries by nothing else other than its ability to divide, destroy, and conquer nations pitted against nations, north verses south, one religion verses another, one tribe against another. This is how they subjugated huge swaths of Africa, Central and Southeast Asia, and this is exactly how they are now conquering the Arab World.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Syria: Not This Time!

Every so often in life there comes a time when inaction is the best action. In other words—do nothing.

This is such a time. I refer to the crisis in Syria.

While the slaughter in Syria cries out for someone/some country or countries to get between the warring factions and stop the blood letting, it is NOT the place of the United States to intervene. Not THIS time.

May I remind you—they HATE Americans! We are the Great Satan, remember? Stepping in now, in what is essentially a civil war in Syria, is certainly not going to do a single thing to make the Syrians or the Islamic peoples of the Middle East love us—or—even hate us less.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Turkey Plans Giant Istanbul Mosque for All to See, Erdogan Says

Turkey commissioned a “giant mosque” to sit atop an Istanbul peak that will be visible from everywhere in the city of 15 million, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said. The Islamic house of worship is one of six new mosques planned for the eastern half of the city that straddles Europe and Asia, Erdogan told supporters at a traditional handworks art center in Istanbul yesterday, according to state-run Anatolia news agency. Work on the mosque on top of the Camlica hill on the Bosphorus may start in two months, Erdogan said. The complex, which will also include madrasas, or religious schools, will be built on 15,000 square meters (50,000 square feet), according to the premier.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Azerbaijan ‘Thwarted Planned Terror Attacks on Eurovision by Arresting 40 and Seizing Weapons’

Security services in Azerbaijan say they arrested 40 suspects and seized weapons as they thwarted a series of planned terror attacks against the Eurovision Song Contest.

Officials said they had discovered 13 assault rifles, a machine gun, 12 handguns, three rifles, 3,400 rounds of bullets, 62 hand grenades, and several kilograms of explosives.

Targets included the song contest venue and major hotels housing foreigners, including the Marriott and Hilton in Baku, the National Security Ministry said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

South Asia

160 Schoolgirls Taken to Hospital After Second ‘Taliban Poisoning of Afghanistan School in a Week’

Dozens of Afghan schoolgirls were rushed to hospital after they were poisoned at school in a suspected Taliban attack.

Police officers in Taluqan, northern Afghanistan, said the classrooms at the school might have been sprayed with a toxic material before the girls entered.

A total of 160 girls aged between ten and 20 from the Aahan Dara Girls School were taken to hospital.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: Taliban Militants Killed Afghan Tribal Leader in Mosque

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) — An Afghan tribal leader has been shot to death by suspected Taliban militants in a mosque in the central province of Ghazni. Gunmen opened fire on Haji Mohammad as he was saying prayers in a mosque in Ghazni’s Andar district. The assailants managed to escape from the scene. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the killing of the tribal leader, but the Taliban is believed to be behind the attack. Last week, people in Andar launched a campaign against the Taliban and killed and captured more than 25 members of the militant group. Afghan police also blamed the group for a rocket attack that targeted a market in Ghazni’s provincial capital, which is called the same name. Seven people were injured in the strike that saw four artillery shells land at the market.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Alleged Illegal Detention of Kasmiri Youth by Uttar Pradesh’s Anti-Terror Squad Threatening to be a Political Controversy

LUCKNOW: The issue of two Kashmiri youth allegedly picked up by Uttar Pradesh’s (UP) anti-terror squad (ATS) is all set to snowball into a political controversy with Muslim activists and organisations approaching the National Commission for Minorities (NCM) and are writing to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav to seek immediate intervention. The allegations are that two Kashmiri students of Jamiatul Falah, a reputed Madrasa in Azamgarh, were picked up by UP ATS from Kaifiyat Express on Thursday morning ( May 24) at Aligarh Railway Station on grounds that they were indulging in anti-national activities. The two students Sajjad Ahmed Bhatt and Wasim Ahmed Bhatt are cousins and hail from Sopore in Baramulla district of Jammu and Kashmir. Sajjad was first year student of Arabic course while Wasim was in the second year.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Forget Gaga; Indonesia Wild for Own Raunchy Shows

Titin Karisma parades onto the stage wearing a rhinestone bustier and matching bottoms, with sequin fringe that jiggles wildly to the rhythm of the beating drums. Preteen boys watch the singer wide-eyed as she straddles a speaker, whipping her long hair wildly. She licks the microphone and drops to the ground, repeatedly thrusting her pelvis toward a camera. Lady Gaga’s onstage antics are almost tame compared to this act, known as dangdut, the most popular genre of music in this predominantly Muslim nation of 240 million.

But while the pop star’s show was effectively banned from Indonesia, tens of thousands of young women here put on performances like Karisma’s every night. They shake and grind in smoky bars, ritzy nightclubs, at weddings, even circumcisions. In most cases the hosts say the sexier the better. The apparent double standard highlights divisions between Indonesia’s largely tolerant majority and a vocal minority of Islamic hard-liners. The conservatives hold outsized influence in government, and have successfully picked high-profile battles like the Lady Gaga show, but they haven’t been able to stop dangdut, which has a long tradition here.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Kyrgyzstan: Black Quadrate Group is Trying to Overthrow High Mufti and Take Power by Any Means — Bakyt Nurdinov

“Black Quadrate group is trying to overthrown High Mufti and take power by any means,” announced Kyrgyz and Central Asian Muslims Congress chairman Bakyt Nurdinov on today’s press conference. According him, former “hadj barons” are trying to overthrown mufti Chubak azhy Zhalilov before the hijrah. “Right now, they are trying to overthrown the RDMK (Religious Department of Muslims in Kyrgyzstan) head with help of Zhantoro Satybaldiev, a head President’s Office, Religion Issues State Commission head and GKNB (State National Security Committee) officers. There are attempts to prevent anti-corruption reforms at RDMK,” said Bakyt Nurdinov. The mufti assistant Saysat Asanov noted that the state is separated from religion, but Religion Issues State Commission intervene into RDMK’s internal problems. “On May 21 ulamas’ meeting initiated by the mufti took place. Then 26 out of 35 its members arrived at the council. In other words they had quorum. Today 5 former ulamas council members who didn’t pass necessary exams want to repeat the meeting. State Commission informed that the new one will take place on May 31. Though it is not the Commission’s prerogative,” he explained. Bakyt Nurdinov stressed that Islamic clergy are under pressure of GKNB. “The officers are threatening them and demand to visit the ulalmas meetings. We ask President Almazbek Atambayev, Prime Minister Omurbek Babanov and Speaker Asilbek Zheenbekov that they take necessary measures against Black Quadrate group,” he added.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Wahhabi Gunmen Martyr Two Shia Youths in Karachi

(Ahlul Bayt News Agency) — According to information provided by correspondents, two Shia youngsters Mehdi Raza and Ahmer Abbas were gunned down by the anti-shia terrorist organization Sipah e Sahaba (SSP). The incident took place in Orangi Town Scetor No 0 near Aslam shaheed chowk near Madni chowk. The martyrs were identified as 35 years old Mehdi Raza S/O Mehdi Hasan and 21 Years old Ahmer Abbas S/O Qamar Abbas. Both the youngsters were the residents of Ancholi and Gulshan Iqbal. Mehdi RAza and Ahmer Abbas worked in a workshop. As they came out of the bus, the already waiting terrorists opened fire on them, resulting in the death of both the youngsters.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

EU Firms Complain About Unfair Treatment in China

China is considered the engine of the world economy and thousands of foreign companies have launched operations there to benefit from this. However, a new survey says a fifth of European firms are thinking of leaving.

Although Rittal is still based in the small town of Herborn in Germany’s central state of Hesse, it is to a certain degree a Chinese company. Since 1996, it has been producing control cabinets in Shanghai, where it employs some 1,200 Chinese workers.

“If we hadn’t made the decision to come here, we wouldn’t have such bright prospects for the future,” says Karl Christoph Caselitz, the head of customer relations. “We might not have a future at all. Global business is unimaginable today without China.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Gambia: Farato Nema Mosque Inaugurated

Farato Nema, Friday inaugurated their new mosque at Farato Village in the West Coast Region (WCR). Speaking at the occasion, Sankung Bojang, the Imam of Farato Nema thanked God the Almighty for the completion of the mosque. He told the community of Farato Nema that the mosque is meant for prayers; a place to worship Allah, and they should make best use of it. Bojang urged the elders of the village to encourage the learning and teaching of the Holy Quran and to follow the footsteps of the prophet, Muhammed (SAW) and to maintain faithfulness. For his part, Kawsu Trawally, the Imam of Farato Bojang Kunda highlighted the significance of behavioural change in the present generation. He made mention of the issue of the recent phenomenon of evil spirit attacks in schools and on school going children. According to him, those evil spirits attacked only women, noting that for a woman to prevent herself from evil attack she should cover all her body from the head to the ankle. Imam Trawally also urged parents to monitor and take control of their children. He thanked the Almighty God; President Jammeh and the people of Farato Nema for their support to make the day a remarkable event in the history of Farato Nema. Other speakers included: Abdou Karim Darboe, chairman of the council of elders; Yusupha Jammeh,elder of the community; and Baba Ceesay,Imam of Kerewan Babilon. The ceremony was graced by hundreds of worshippers.

[JP note: Finally, an all-too-plausible reason for covering up women head to toe.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ghana: Care and Social Development (CSD), a Kuwaiti-Sponsored NGO

Care and Social Development (CSD), a Kuwaiti-sponsored non-governmental organisation in Ghana has constructed a mosque and mechanized bore-hole for the people of Twimia-Nkwanta in Techiman Municipality. It has also constructed a mosque for the residents of Wangara-Line in Techiman. Inaugurating the projects at separate ceremonies, Sheik Mansour Abouzaid, Chief Executive Officer of CSD said the NGO had been operating in Brong-Ahafo for some years. He said the organisation had assisted rural communities in the promotion of education, sanitation and provision of other social amenities. Sheik Abouzaid noted that although Moslems would be using the mosque for prayers, the boreholes would be used by all the people irrespective of their religious affiliation. He advised them to take good care of the facilities and charged the Moslems, especially the youth, to propagate the message of peace and eschew violence as Islam stood for peace. The Chief Executive Officer assured the people that the NGO would provide other communities with more mechanized boreholes.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Muslim Group Canvasses Renewed Orientation for Citizens

The Movement for Islamic Culture and Awareness (MICA) has called for the re-orientation of Nigerians as part of measures to improve on peace and stability in the country. Coordinator of MICA Abuja chapter, Alhaji Abdulbasit Bakare, who made the call during the launching of a N250 million multi-purpose Islamic Centre project last Sunday, stressed that the new orientation is necessary due to security challenges facing the nation as well as the unpatriotic tendencies of people. He said the proposed Islamic centre would be a one stop Islamic Centre meant to ensure Islamic cultural awareness, re-orientation and national development, which will provide a platform for solving some of the problems facing the country. According to him, the centre would cater for the spiritual, social, economic and political well being of Muslims and also ensure their healthy living in the fitness centre.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

UK: Don’t Promote Women and Ethnic Minorities in the Courtroom Just to Fill Quotas, Says Former Top Female Judge

Women and ethnic minority judges who are not up to the job have been appointed because of diversity targets, a former High Court judge has warned.

Baroness Butler-Sloss, formerly the most senior woman judge in England and Wales, said that there had been ‘too much enthusiasm for diversity and not enough for merit’ in the appointment process.

As a result, judges had found themselves ‘failing’ because they were ‘not able to bear the strain of the judicial process’, she said.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]