Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120622

Financial Crisis
»‘Crisis Could Change Germany More Than Reunification’
»Debt Crisis: Live
»European, Asian Stocks Fall on Growth Worries
»IMF Anti-Crisis Recipe Puts Pressure on Germany
»Merkel Under Pressure as Eurozone’s Big Four Meet in Rome
»Monti Ups the Stakes Ahead of EU Summit
»Moody’s Downgrades Banking Giants
»The IMF Helping the Euro is Feeding the Monster on Our Doorstep
»A Fight to the Finish for Tennessee Mosque
»Archbishop’s Aide Guilty of Endangerment in Abuse Case
»Astoria Mosque Expansions OK’d
»Controverisal House Hearing on Islam Divide Democrats, Republicans
»Mosque Moves Ahead After Extension Denial
»Muslim Leaders Pursue Mosque Expansion
»Sandusky is Found Guilty on 45 of 48 Counts in Child Sexual Abuse Case
»US Attorney for Middle Tennessee Announces Indictment of Texas Man in Mosque Threat
»New Muslim Cemeteries to Give Urgent Last Rites
»Omar Khadr’s Lawyers Appeal to Ottawa for Gitmo Transfer
Europe and the EU
»European Court of Human Rights ‘Gets Out Begging Bowl’
»France: Mosque Bearing Moroccan King’s Name Opens in France
»Germany: Massive Gold Trove Sparks Archeological Dispute
»Netherlands: Case Against Haitham Al-Haddad Dropped
»Norway: Breivik Defence Urges ‘Mildest Possible Penalty’
»Norway: Prosecutors Say Breivik May Never Leave Asylum
»Norway: Breivik Trial Comes to an End
»UK: Gwent Men Spared Jail After Admitting Racist Posts on Facebook
»UK: Norwich Pub Bans English Defence League From Meeting as EDL Plans City March
North Africa
»Algerians Await New Government
»Protests Flaring Up in Egypt
»Radical Sheikh Calls for Tunisia Holy War
Israel and the Palestinians
»5 Broken Cameras: A Palestinian Protest, Up Close
»BBC Apologises Over Itamar Massacres Coverage
»Church Scheme Only Shows One Side of Middle East Debate
»Stop the Hamas Rocket Assault on Israel
Middle East
»Iran ‘Producing Enriched Uranium at Faster Pace’
South Asia
»26 Die as Afghan Forces Fight Taliban at Hotel Near Kabul
»Afghan Women in Shelters Are Prostitutes, Says Justice Minister
»Afghanistan: Eight Dead After Taliban Militants Launch Suicide Attack on Popular Restaurant
»Indian Government Upset Over Mulcair’s Golden Temple Remarks
»India: Two Children of the Red Mosque to Receive Tribeca Docu Funding
»Pakistan: Blasts in Quetta, Peshawar Kill 3, Injure 37
Australia — Pacific
»Islam Defies the Slow Loss of Faith
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Mali: Teenager Lashed 100 Times in Timbuktu for Having Child Out of Wedlock
»Radical Islam’s War Against Health
Latin America
»Uruguay Marijuana Sales to be Controlled by State
»Denmark: New Asylum Centres Facing Resistance
»UK: Ed Miliband Apologises for Labour’s Immigration Shambles
»Accurate Muhammad Film Coming?

Financial Crisis

‘Crisis Could Change Germany More Than Reunification’

Germany’s Constitutional Court has asked the country’s president to delay the ratification of the permanent ESM euro bailout fund and the EU fiscal pact. German commentators accuse the chancellor of trying to push the legislation through parliament too quickly.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Debt Crisis: Live

Markets across Europe were braced for a sharp slide after Moody’s cut its ratings on Britain’s banks and eurozone leaders prepared to meet for a summit in Rome as they battle to find a route out of the crisis engulfing the single currency.

  • Moody’s slashes credit rating of Britain’s biggest banks
  • IMF unveils its blueprint to salvage the stricken euro
  • Spanish borrowing costs soar to fresh highs
  • US data blitz points to slowing economic momentum

09.50 George Osborne has arrived for the meeting of finance ministers in Luxembourg, where they will discuss plans for deeper integration of Europe’s banking sector. Here he is with Denmark’s economy minister, Margrethe Vestager:

09.14 Some bad news for Mrs Merkel as she prepares to meet other Eurozone leaders later. The latest index of German business sentiment fell in June to 105.3, its lowest level in over two years.

09.12 Ahead of the ‘Big Four’s meeting at midday, Reuters has rounded up what we can perhaps expect from the pow-wow.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

European, Asian Stocks Fall on Growth Worries

European and Asian stocks fell Friday after economic reports suggested growth will weaken in the world’s major economies. Downbeat data on Germany, China and the U.S. came on top of uncertainty over whether European leaders will make progress in tackling their debt crisis at key meetings.

Wall Street, however, bounced back from big losses the previous day, as investors sought out bargain stocks.

Earlier, Germany’s Ifo institute reported that business optimism fell for a second straight month in Europe’s largest economy, which has been growing more strongly than the 17-member eurozone as a whole. The survey index dipped to 105.3 from 106.9 in May.

That followed a U.S. Labor Department report from Thursday that the four-week average of applications for unemployment benefits jumped to the highest level in nine months. Appetite for financial assets such as stocks was also dented by the results of a monthly HSBC survey, which showed that manufacturing in China has continued to contract.

China’s growth has been a pillar of the global economy in recent years, so its slowdown has been of particular concern to investors.

Meanwhile, infighting over Europe’s heavy debt burden continued, leading IMF head Christine Lagarde to warn that the euro is under “acute stress” and to urge leaders of the 17 countries that use the currency to consider steps such as jointly issuing debt.

The leaders of Germany, France, Italy and Spain met in Rome on Friday to seek common ground ahead of an EU summit on June 28-29 in Brussels. They committed €130 billion to boost economic growth, but offered no new measures to boost confidence in some of the eurozone’s weaker members by, for example, sharing debt burdens.

Britain’s FTSE 100 closed 1 percent lower at 5,513.69, while the French CAC 40 shed 0.8 percent to 3,090.90 and the German DAX 30 blue chips index fell 1.3 percent to 6,263.25.

U.S. shares rose on the open, with the Dow up 0.5 percent and the Standard & Poor’s 500 0.4 percent higher. Banks stocks led the gains as investors deemed the previous’ day’s losses — triggered by a ratings downgrade — overdone.

In Europe, the chief piece of bad news was the Ifo report. It follows downbeat readings from the ZEW survey of investors and a poll of purchasing managers that also suggest the Germany economy is lagging.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

IMF Anti-Crisis Recipe Puts Pressure on Germany

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday (21 June) outlined a series of measures it says should be taken if the eurozone crisis is to be overcome, including more cental bank intervention and allowing banks to be funded directly by bail-out funds — two ideas Germany opposes.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Merkel Under Pressure as Eurozone’s Big Four Meet in Rome

The leaders of France, Germany, Italy and Spain were due to meet in Rome on Friday to thrash out possible solutions to the eurozone crisis. Chancellor Angela Merkel is under pressure to make some concessions.

At the meeting Merkel was expected to defend Berlin’s policy of promoting austerity and opposing joint liability among eurozone member states.

The mini-summit brings together the leaders of the eurozone’s largest four economies ahead of a full European summit on June 28 and 29.

Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti was expected to once again present himself as a mediator between Merkel and both French President Francois Hollande and Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

This week, on the sidelines of the G20 summit, Monti proposed that eurozone members should look at using Europe’s 500 billion euro ($635 billion) emergency fund, the European Financial Stability Facility, and the European Stability Mechanism to buy government bonds.

While Paris and Madrid were open to the idea, Italy’s Foreign Ministry said on Thursday, Berlin remained unconvinced. There were also calls for Germany to change track by the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, on Thursday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Monti Ups the Stakes Ahead of EU Summit

Italy’s technocratic leader Mario Monti is warning of dramatic consequences should leaders at next week’s EU summit fail to find concrete solutions to save the euro and prevent contagion.

He told reporters in Rome on Thursday (21 June) that the doomsday scenario at the EU summit would invariably lead to higher borrowing costs on all EU countries.

“There would be progressively greater speculative attacks on individual countries, with harassment of the weaker countries,” he said.

An EU summit stalemate would risk turning Italians even more against the EU, he noted, with his government pushing through unpopular labour reforms, tax hikes and pension cuts.

Monti is also calling for a fuller banking union, a European deposit guarantee, and “new market-friendly policy mechanisms” to help struggling countries.

The mechanism would apply to countries who “respect the rules on public finance and structural reforms”. Monti did not disclose the full details of his plan but said he favours the purchase of bonds of countries under attack, reports the Guardian.

Italy, whose borrowing costs are soaring, had earlier floated the idea of using the €440bn eurozone bailout fund to buy bonds on the market. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had however quickly shot down the idea.

“There must be something wrong if a country that complies still has such high interest rates,” Monti told the Guardian.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Moody’s Downgrades Banking Giants

Some of the biggest names in finance have been dealt a humiliating blow by credit ratings agency Moody’s. Deutsche Bank and Goldman Sachs are among the institutions whose creditworthiness has been called into question.

The New York-based agency said late on Thursday that it was downgrading 15 of the world’s biggest financial institutions amid fears of exposure to eurozone debt.

Household banking names such as Barclays, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, HSBC JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley were also among those to have their ratings lowered.

“All of the banks affected by today’s actions have significant exposure to the volatility and risk of outsized losses inherent to capital markets activities,” said Moody’s global banking manager, Greg Bauer.

Four firms were downgraded by one notch and 10 firms by two notches. However, Credit Suisse faced the largest downgrade, with its rating slashed three levels from Aa1 to A1.

The downgrades were condemned by Citigroup. “Citi strongly disagrees with Moody’s analysis of the banking industry and firmly believes its downgrade of Citi is arbitrary and completely unwarranted,” said a statement from the group.

Moody’s began their bank review in February, and the move had been widely anticipated. The other banks affected were Bank of America, Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Royal Bank of Canada, Societe Generale and UBS.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The IMF Helping the Euro is Feeding the Monster on Our Doorstep

by Jeremy Warner

IMF help would set the eurozone on the road to fiscal and political union — let’s not encourage it

Europe will “receive lessons from nobody” on democracy and the economy, José Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, angrily declared at the G20 meeting in Mexico this week. Whenever a politician petulantly resorts to use of this tired old cliché, you know he’s lost the plot. But, unconsciously, Mr Barroso was making an important point. Viewed collectively, the 17 nations that make up the eurozone are still one of the two richest regions in the world, and on many other measures of economic success — balance of trade, overall size of budget deficit and national debt relative to GDP — they beat the US by a country mile. A visitor from Mars, looking at the aggregate data, would declare the eurozone a model economy.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


A Fight to the Finish for Tennessee Mosque

The first minarets in Murfreesboro, Tenn., are about to be placed atop a new mosque. But when construction is complete on the new Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, located about 30 miles southeast of Nashville, no one will get to move in. An ongoing court battle has stalled the project, one of several Islamic centers around the country that, like the so-called ground zero mosque, have encountered resistance from local communities. On Thursday, federal authorities charged a Texas man with threatening to bomb the mosque and violating the civil rights of mosque members.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Archbishop’s Aide Guilty of Endangerment in Abuse Case

A Philadelphia jury on Friday found Msgr. William J. Lynn guilty on one count of endangering the welfare of children in the first trial of a Roman Catholic official for covering up the sexual abuse of children by priests under his supervision. He was acquitted on two other counts.

[Return to headlines]

Astoria Mosque Expansions OK’d

Tuesday’s Community Board 1 meeting overflowed with supporters

The Community Board 1 meeting quickly became standing-room-only on Tuesday night with residents spilling out of the banquet room in a show of support for an application to expand a mosque at Astoria Islamic Center. The application was voted 7-3 in favor. During a presentation by Isabel Bucaram,an Astoria attorney representing the religious institution, she pointed out the large crowd in attendance, saying they are just a portion of those who worship at the center and that it’s vital to make room for all who want to attend. The enlargement of the 2,500-square-foot center at 22-21 33 St. would include additions to the first and second floors, an added third floor and slight changes to the yard. The mosque would also need to obtain parking waivers, which would allow the institution to expand over unused parking spaces.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Controverisal House Hearing on Islam Divide Democrats, Republicans

Washington — The Republican chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said today during a hearing on Islamic radicalization that denying a link between Islam and terrorism “defies credulity,” while Democrats countered that the hearing itself was counterproductive in the fight against terror. Rep. Peter King (R-NY), the Long Island congressman who chairs the committee, cited an assessment by U.S. counterterrorism officials that the greatest threat to U.S. security was from supporters of al Qaeda, the radical Islamic group that launched the 9/11 attacks. No one was suggesting that all Muslims were terrorists, King said. But, he said, “To deny that there’s any correlation between the Muslim faith and the biggest threat to this country today defies credulity.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Mosque Moves Ahead After Extension Denial

Ground has been broken for the Islamic worship center in eastern DuPage County that last week fell short in its bid to have extra time for breaking ground. Just a day after a divided County Board declined to allow the center’s board 30 more days for delayed paperwork to come in so they would not miss their deadline to start construction, the needed clearances from Downers Grove Township and the county’s Storm Water and Public Works Departments came in. The last of the missing approvals were received at 5 p.m. June 13, zoning coordinator Paul Hoss said, clearing the way for issuance of the building permit. The end of last week saw heavy machinery digging the foundation for the mosque’s gymnasium, and the pouring of the concrete solidified the launch.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muslim Leaders Pursue Mosque Expansion

EDMOND — Local Muslim leaders are planning to expand the mosque in Edmond located near the University of Central Oklahoma. An item on the agenda for the June 19 Planning Commission meeting regarded a public hearing and consideration of specific use permit to include a site plan for a mosque to be located south of Wayne, west of University. The item was continued to the July 17 Planning Commission meeting at the request of the applicant, the Islamic Society of Edmond.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sandusky is Found Guilty on 45 of 48 Counts in Child Sexual Abuse Case

Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant football coach, was convicted Friday of sexually abusing nine young boys, completing the downfall of a onetime local hero in a pedophilia scandal that seized national attention.

The jury in Centre County Court returned its verdict on its second day of deliberation.

[Return to headlines]

US Attorney for Middle Tennessee Announces Indictment of Texas Man in Mosque Threat

At today’s news conference US Attorney for Middle Tennessee, Jerry Martin was flanked by both FBI and ATF special agents, as well as Rutherford County Sheriff Robert Arnold. Martin announced the handing down of two federal grand jury indictments against Javier Alan Correa, aged 24 of Corpus Christi, a Texas man . He was accused “with threatening to bomb [the ICM construction site] on the 10th anniversary of 9/11.” A Channel 5 TV News report noted: U.S. Attorney Jerry E. Martin said in a news conference Correa called the Islamic Center on September 4, 2011, and left a profanity-laced threat with hate speech. He allegedly said “On September 11, 2011, there’s going to be a bomb in the building.” “Today’s indictment should send a message loud and clear: The Department of Justice will not tolerate violence or threat of violence against the Muslim community here in Murfreesboro,” Martin said. “If you engage in this type of illegal conduct, we will come after you.” Correa has not been arrested, but Martin said they have reached out to his lawyer to ask him to surrender. He faces one count of intentionally obstructing the free exercise of religion by threat of force and one count of using an instrument of interstate commerce to threaten to destroy a building by means of an explosive device. Correa faces a maximum penalty of 20 years for count one of the indictment and 10 years for the second count, as well as a fine of up to $250,000 for each offense.Today’s press conference pleased local Muslims in Murfreesboro. It was further evidence of the commitment by US Assistant Attorney General Thomas Perez that the USDOJ has the back of Muslims in Murfreesboro and across America. Martin’s strong statement in today’s press conference reflects that commitment. We wonder whether Martin held a similar press conference when evidence arose that home grown terrorist and Muslim convert Carlos Bledsoe or Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad attempted to firebomb the home of orthodox Rabbi Saul Strassberg in Nashville in 2009. That was just before Muhammad’s murderous attack at the Little Rock recruiting station that killed Army Private William “Andy” Long. According to Strassberg federal agents told the rabbi to remain quiet while they continued their investigations. Watch this news video on that attempt. After all anti-Semitic hate crime incidents reported by the FBI tower over those for American Muslims. Yet how much public outcry has been raised by the USDOJ over anti-Semitic incidents like the one in Nashville? Jews are still the number one target of hate crimes in the US.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon[Return to headlines]


New Muslim Cemeteries to Give Urgent Last Rites

Soon after Suleiman Gardee’s mother died, as he and his relatives grieved, the family tried to arrange a burial for the 92-year-old. “In Muslim tradition, you bury within 24 hours max,” he said. “Otherwise, it’s not a good thing.” There was already a plot arranged when the family doctor’s mother died in 2010, beside where his father was buried in a multi-faith Ottawa cemetery. But she died on the Saturday of Labour Day weekend, when the cemetery was closed. “We phoned them up and said, ‘Listen, this is important, we’d be glad to pay for the people to come and open the grave for her,’“ said Dr. Gardee, a 70-year-old South Africa native. “They wouldn’t listen to me. … I called just about everybody I could think of and said, ‘Please help us,’ to no avail.” Dr. Gardee ultimately managed to have his mother buried within 24 hours, but only because he found another cemetery, in Montreal, willing to help.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Omar Khadr’s Lawyers Appeal to Ottawa for Gitmo Transfer

The United States is growing frustrated at Canada’s reluctance to follow through on a plea bargain deal and ask for convicted war criminal Omar Khadr to be brought back to Canada, a U.S. military defence lawyer says.

Lt.-Col. Jon Jackson, Mr. Khadr’s lead U.S. military lawyer, described the frustration of American officials that he’s spoken with over why Canada has not formally requested that Mr. Khadr be transferred to Canada from his U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Lt.-Col. Jackson was one of four lawyers for Mr. Khadr — one of two to wear U.S. military uniforms — who made an impassioned plea for the return of the last Western national to held at the much-maligned U.S. military prison. So far, their request continues to fall on deaf ears in Ottawa, which has yet to formally ask the U.S. for Mr. Khadr’s return. Mr. Khadr poses no threat to Canada, his lawyers argued. He has not been ground down by his decade of incarceration and has resisted the lure of Islamic fundamentalism.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

European Court of Human Rights ‘Gets Out Begging Bowl’

Britain may give more millions more pounds to the controversial European Court of Human Rights, despite the Government’s promise to rein it in.

The Strasbourg court is asking countries to give it extra money in an attempt to deal with a backlog of 150,000 cases. Britain already pays £20million a year to the Council of Europe, which is responsible for the court, but is considering increasing this sum. In an unusual move, the ECHR is even telling states that they can stipulate that they want their funds to be spent specifically on cases against them.


[Reader comment by stgeorgina on 22 June 2012 at about 9.30 am.]


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: Mosque Bearing Moroccan King’s Name Opens in France

A new mosque bearing the name of Moroccan King Mohamed VI is now open in France amid praise of the cooperation of the French authorities. President of the French Council of the Muslim Faith (Conseil Français du Culte Musulman- CFCM) Mohammed Moussaoui inaugurated the Mohamed VI Mosque in the southwestern French city of Saint-Étienne. The mosque, built on an area of 10,000 square meters, boosts a 14-meter high minaret and accommodates more than 1,000 worshippers. The mosque bears the name of Moroccan king Mohamed VI who donated five million Euros of the total eight million of the construction cost. The inauguration was attended by Moussaoui, mosque manager al-Arabi Marchich, Moroccan Minister of Endowments Ahmed Tawfik, and representatives of Saint-Étienne’s municipal authorities. The mosque includes a cultural center which is intended to act like a branch of the famous Paris-based Arab World Institute, according to Marchich. The construction of the mosque, said Moussaoui, offered a proof of the cooperation of French authorities with the Muslim community in France to promote freedom of worship.


[JP note: I bet it does.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Germany: Massive Gold Trove Sparks Archeological Dispute

A 3,300-year-old treasure trove of gold found in northern Germany has stumped German archeologists. One theory suggests that traders transported it thousands of miles from a mine in Central Asia, but other experts are skeptical.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Case Against Haitham Al-Haddad Dropped

British Islamic scholar and community leader Haitham al-Haddad will not be prosecuted for statements he made in Amsterdam. The case against him has been dropped.

Politician Ehsan Jami had accused Al-Haddad of issuing threats and inciting hatred and discrimination. Jami was offended by comments Al-Haddad made while speaking at a debate center in Amsterdam in February. Al-Haddad said that people who abandon Islam should be put to death, if they live in an Islamic country and the death sentence is handed down by a Sharia court. Ehsan Jami is an ex-Muslim. Prosecutors have concluded that Al-Haddad did not commit a crime in issuing that statement, because it included a number of preconditions that needed to be met before a person should be executed for leaving the religion.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Norway: Breivik Defence Urges ‘Mildest Possible Penalty’

Defence lawyers on Friday asked that Anders Behring Breivik be acquitted or be found sane and sent to prison as the trial of the man who killed 77 people in Norway last year wrapped up.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Prosecutors Say Breivik May Never Leave Asylum

Prosecutors said on Thursday that Anders Behring Breivik, who killed 77 people in Norway last July, may never be free again if the court follows their request and sends him to a closed psychiatric ward.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Norway: Breivik Trial Comes to an End

Survivors and relatives of 77 people killed in bombing and shooting attacks in Norway left the court room as the killer, Anders Behring Breivik, made his final remarks. The trial has focused on Breivik’s mental health.

More than 30 people staged a walkout at the Oslo district court when the judge announced that Breivik was about to speak at the end of his trial.

“He has a right to talk. We have no duty to listen,” Christian Bjelland, the vice chair of the support group for survivors of the July 22 attacks and victims’s families told the NTB news agency.

Breivik told the court his twin bombing and shooting attacks were “barbaric,” and argued that he was sane, as he has throughout the trial.

He asked the court to acquit him, saying his actions had been aimed at protecting Norway from becoming a “multiculturalist hell.”

Prior to Breivik’s closing speech, two survivors of the attacks and three bereaved gave their testimony. Their words were often received with applause.

Breivik’s defense earlier also argued that Breivik was sane and driven by his extreme political views. His actions were “based on extremism,” not psychotic delusions or an uncontrollable urge to violence, Geir Lippestad, Breivik’s primary attorney, insisted.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Gwent Men Spared Jail After Admitting Racist Posts on Facebook

TWO Gwent men escaped a jail sentence yesterday after they admitted writing offensive comments on Facebook. Cwmbran Magistrates’ Court heard labourer James Rogers, of Deepweir, Caldicot, wrote on his Facebook account on March 25: “What the ****? Just at Magor Services and there was a Muslim rag head praying on a mat. Makes me sick.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Norwich Pub Bans English Defence League From Meeting as EDL Plans City March

Meetings of the controversial English Defence League have been banned at a Norwich pub after a string of complaints.

About 45 members of the group, which is associated with violent demonstrations, have met at the Marlpit pub in Hellesdon Road. No trouble was reported and another meeting was booked for last weekend. But after complaints about the meetings from an anti-EDL group, the pub’s owners, Enterprise Inns, banned the EDL and the meeting was cancelled.

A spokesman for Enterprise said the licensee had been “reminded of their obligations”. She said: “We have spoken to the publican, who we understand has instructed pub staff to ensure no further meetings of the English Defence League are hosted at the Marlpit pub.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algerians Await New Government

More than a month after the legislative elections, Algerians are still waiting for a new government to be formed. All the signs indicate that the suspense will go on at least until the festivities commemorating the fiftieth anniversary of Algeria’s independence begin on July 5th. The government headed by Ahmed Ouyahia will hold its first meeting on Wednesday (June 20th) to deal with current affairs and postpone important decisions. The cabinet will then take its annual fifteen-day holiday just after July 5th.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Protests Flaring Up in Egypt

Tens of thousands of Egyptians have gathered on Tahrir Square in Cairo to protest the ruling military council’s power grab — and the delay in publishing the results of Sunday’s presidential election.

Members and supporters of the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood gathered in the square for the protest, which was joined by several secular movements.

Egyptians are still waiting for the results of Sunday’s runoff election.

The Muslim Brotherhood insists that its candidate, Mohamed Morsi, has won the election, a claim that has been rejected by his opponent, Ahmed Shafiq, a premier under former President Hosni Mubarak.

The race has polarized the country between those who want to keep religion out of politics and fear the Brotherhood would stifle personal freedoms, and others who fear a return to the old regime under Shafiq’s leadership.

The delay in the publication of results, which had been announced for Thursday, has raised suspicion in Egypt that the result was being negotiated rather than counted.

The ruling military council, which had promised to hand over power to civilians by July 1, dissolved the parliament on the eve of the election and then issued a decree as polls closed on Sunday, setting strict limits on the powers of whoever would be elected president.

The ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces assumed legislative powers after a court ordered the Islamist-led parliament dissolved and issued decrees giving the army powers of arrest and a broad say in government policy, curbing the powers of the president.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Radical Sheikh Calls for Tunisia Holy War

A recent video from a self-avowed al-Qaeda member called for holy war against the Tunisian government, raising fears among citizens that extremist violence could escalate.

The June 11th message from 30-year-old Salim Abou Ahmed Ayoub, purportedly the second in command of al-Qaeda in Tunisia, called on citizens to wage a holy war against the government in order to establish an Islamic state and wipe out unbelievers. The online video also directly attacked President Moncef Marzouki, calling for him to be overthrown.

The tape came just a day after al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri issued his own message threatening Tunisia, and after a discovery by Iraqi intelligence services of invitations to al-Qaeda leaders to go to Tunisia and expand their military operations, in order to establish an Islamic caliphate.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

5 Broken Cameras: A Palestinian Protest, Up Close

Both a moving first-person essay and an artful exercise in political advocacy, 5 Broken Cameras is about the experience of West Bank protests from the inside. Amateur filmmaker Emad Burmat had five cameras smashed or shot by Israeli Defence Forces between 2005 to 2011 as he videotaped weekly demonstrations against the building of an Israeli settlement and a security wall (which was removed by court order in 2011). Co-directed and edited by Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi, 5 Broken Cameras is also a video diary of Burmat’s friends and growing family in a world defined by angry confrontations, arrests, tear gas and death. During the course of the film, the filmmaker is evicted from his home, is arrested and suffers life-threatening injuries while struggling to maintain his philosophical equanimity.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

BBC Apologises Over Itamar Massacres Coverage

The BBC “got it wrong” by not giving prominence to the massacre of the Fogel family by Palestinians in the West Bank settlement of Itamar, the outgoing director-general has admitted. Mark Thompson was quizzed by Conservative MP Louise Mensch, who made various complaints to the BBC about the coverage, at a Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hearing on Tuesday. Mrs Mensch said the BBC’s decision not to include the story as part of its rolling news coverage generated “the most reaction I have ever had in all my time in politics.” She said: “The BBC ran the story on Radio 4 and a lead item on the website but they never subsequently touched it in broadcast or on the 24-hour rolling news programme on BBC News 24. I only found out, after the event, from an American blog, called “Dead Jews is no news” and the more I went into it, the more shocked I was.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Church Scheme Only Shows One Side of Middle East Debate

by Jon Benjamin

It’s a wet night in February. The local parish church is hosting a speaker, and as the clink of cups and saucers subsides and the last Hobnob is dunked, the audience is taken of a tour of the Holy Land. What they won’t be seeing is a slide-show of the sights and wonders of Israel, the places of pilgrimage visited by thousands of Christians every year or even the images of the culturally and religiously diverse country that we all know Israel to be. What they will instead get is a crash course in the brutality of Israelis, the suffering of the Palestinians and no context or deeper explanation of why things are as they are. The speaker is, after all, from the Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme for Palestine and Israel, or EAPPI, a pressure group with a particular agenda to focus on all the perceived iniquities of Israel.

Next month in York sees the last meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England under the current Archbishop of Canterbury. With the world in economic crisis, the murder of thousands still unchecked in Syria and the continuing issues of gay marriage and women bishops occupying the Anglican church in this country, there is no shortage of topics for debate — but that hasn’t stopped one member of Synod, Dr John Dinnen, tabling a Private Member’s Motion in support of the EAPPI programme.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Stop the Hamas Rocket Assault on Israel

A million Israelis live in constant fear of rocket attacks. It is time for Britain to condemn the Hamas violence which is prolonging conflict in the Middle East, write Haim Yellin, Alon Shuster and Yair Farjun.

Another week and another volley of deadly rockets have landed on our communities. As heads of the three Israeli regional councils which skirt the border with Gaza, the 130 rockets that were fired on our region over the last few days constitute a sad but all too familiar scenario. Imagine, rockets were falling on your family, your home, your community? Protecting our children from daily Hamas terror has sadly become our top priority.


[Reader comment by Neil Turner on 21 June 2012 at 10:14 PM.]

As far as the BBC and Sky are concerned it isn’t news until Israel shoots back. This one-sided coverage causes the average member of the public to treat Israel as the aggressor.

For this bias we have to pay the BBC a Licence Fee. At least with Sky, we have a choice. Signal your feelings by signing the ePetition that asks the Government for a referendum with the question “Do you want to keep the Licence Fee: yes or no ?” at…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Iran ‘Producing Enriched Uranium at Faster Pace’

Iran’s uranium enrichment effort has picked up speed and Tehran could produce enough fissile material needed for a nuclear weapon within four months, experts told US politicians on Wednesday.

The rate of Iran’s uranium enrichment has accelerated despite cyber sabotage from the Stuxnet virus in 2009, the experts said. Based on the findings of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), “it’s clear that Iran could produce a nuclear weapon very quickly should it wish to do so,” said Stephen Rademaker of the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington. Iran has produced 3,345 kilos of uranium enriched to 3.5 per cent, according to the IAEA, which if it was enriched further would provide enough uranium for at least two atom bombs, Rademaker told the House Armed Services Committee. If the Iran leadership decided to go forward, “it would take them 35 to 106 days to actually have the fissile material for a weapon,” he said.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

26 Die as Afghan Forces Fight Taliban at Hotel Near Kabul

QARGHA LAKE, Afghanistan — At least 15 civilians were killed when seven Taliban militants shot their way into a much-visited lakeside resort here and took scores of hostages during an 11-hour siege, Afghan officials said on Friday. The seven attackers, a police officer and three private guards also died as Afghan security forces fought their way into the compound. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that Afghans drank alcohol there and that there was prostitution and dancing. “These acts are illegal and strictly prohibited in Islam,” said Zabiullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman. He added that: “Women dancers were sexually misused there.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghan Women in Shelters Are Prostitutes, Says Justice Minister

Afghanistan’s justice minister Habibullah Ghaleb has claimed women in shelters for domestic violence victims are prostitutes.

His comments at a conference organised by the Afghan parliament’s Women’s Affairs Committee provoked outrage among human rights campaigners and demands for President Hamid Karzai to sack him. Mr Ghaleb told delegates that 250 women living in 12 foreign-funded shelters were being encouraged to disobey their parents. “Mostly they were encouraging girls, saying, ‘If your father says anything bad to you don’t listen to him, if your mother says anything to you don’t listen to them. There are safe houses for you where you can stay.’ What safe houses? What sort of immorality and prostitution was not happening at those places?” he said. Baroness Ashton, the EU foreign minister, said she was “deeply troubled” by his comments which sabotaged efforts to protect women from violence and sexual abuse. “Too many Afghan women have experienced violence, gender based and sexual, often on a repeated basis,” she said in a statement. “Women forced to resort to shelters are amongst the bravest Afghans we know.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: Eight Dead After Taliban Militants Launch Suicide Attack on Popular Restaurant

Taliban suicide attackers took hostages and killed at least eight people after storming a lakeside restaurant at a popular Kabul beauty spot.

Militants armed with explosive vests, assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades attacked the Spozhmai hotel near Qarga Lake, late on Thursday night. The assault, claimed by the Taliban, killed at least one policeman and there were unconfirmed reports of four civilians and three guards killed. Zabiullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the insurgent movement, told reporters the attack had been against foreigners drinking alcohol at the hotel and breaking the rules of Islam.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Indian Government Upset Over Mulcair’s Golden Temple Remarks

NDP Leader Tom Mulcair has drawn the Indian government’s ire for comments aimed at Canada’s Sikh community that New Delhi says distort the facts behind an infamous 1984 military raid.

Earlier this month, Mr. Mulcair released a statement commemorating the 28th anniversary of what he called the “invasion” of the Golden Temple, a traumatic event in Indian history that took place at a holy Sikh shrine. “The tragic events that unfolded over the course of those sweltering days in June, and the subsequent killings in November, have deeply hurt the Sikh community, both in India and abroad,” Mr. Mulcair said June 4 in a release entitled “Remembering 1984.” “When innocent lives are lost with no accountability or explanation by the government, we have an obligation, as one democratic nation to another, to ask why and seek honest answers on behalf of our citizens.”

Nearly 30 years ago this month, Indian troops stormed the Golden Temple on prime minister Indira Gandhi’s order to dislodge armed Sikh extremists. New Delhi accused them of directing a violent campaign for more autonomy in Punjab province. The result was a bloodbath. Ms. Gandhi was assassinated in retaliation more than four months later by Sikh bodyguards. That triggered a wave of anti-Sikh riots in November, 1984, which left thousands of Sikhs dead. Upset by Mr. Mulcair’s statement, India’s High Commissioner to Canada Shashishekhar Gavai wrote the NDP Leader to complain, copying members of the Conservative government caucus, including Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird. Both the NDP and Conservative vie for the political support of Indo-Canadians across Canada, including in British Columbia.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Two Children of the Red Mosque to Receive Tribeca Docu Funding

MUMBAI: Hemal Trivedi’s Two Children of the Red Mosque is among the five projects that will collectively receive $100,000 funding from the 2012 Gucci Tribeca Documentary Fund.

The documentary will be co-directed by Mohammad Naqvi and produced by Whitney Dow and Jonathan Goodman Levitt. The film is all about 12-year-olds Zarina and Talha, who after attending Pakistan’s most notorious madrassa, pursue different dreams. While Zarina attends school trying to avoid marriage; Talha remains a madrassa student preparing for Jihad. Their stories personalise Pakistanis’ ideological war.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Blasts in Quetta, Peshawar Kill 3, Injure 37

PESHAWAR/QUETTA At least three people were killed on Thursday in two explosions; one outside a shrine in Peshawar, and another inside one in Quetta. According to police officials, the bomb in Peshawar was planted on a donkey cart when it exploded in the Hazar Khwani area. Rescue officials confirmed the number of dead as two. At least 21 other people, including seven children and several women, were also injured in the blast, said the rescue officials.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Islam Defies the Slow Loss of Faith

AUSTRALIANS are losing their faith with religion, census figures reveal, with close to 4.8 million people saying they have no affiliation.

For those who do believe, the greatest growth is among followers of Islam, with the number of Muslims up 40 per cent since the 2006 census. The figures confirm the long-term trend in declining religious affiliation and the fall in Christian faiths. In 1911, 96 per cent of people identified themselves as Christian. In 1976, 89 per cent did so. Thirty-five years later, that figure has fallen to 61 per cent.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Mali: Teenager Lashed 100 Times in Timbuktu for Having Child Out of Wedlock

An 18-year-old pregnant woman and her boyfriend were both lashed 100 times by Islamists in Timbuktu in Mali as punishment for “having a child out of wedlock”.

The sentence was carried out on the orders of Ansar Dine, a militant Muslim organisation that has seized territory in the desert north of the West African country. “People were watching it was like a show,” said Mohamed Ould Babby, a local official. “I was there, I saw the youths arriving at the square, I saw them being whipped, it is the first time I have seen something like that.” The woman, who was three months pregnant, has another child with her partner but the couple is not married. According to Ansar Dine’s strict interpretation of Islamic laws, that means the pair have committed the crime of “fornication”, which is punishable with 100 lashes. An Islamic police official in the town said six other women who had had children outside of marriage would soon be “punished by Islamic law”. People living in Timbuktu, the ancient city in Mali’s southern Sahara desert, have reported that the Islamists have ordered women to wear full veils, whipped smokers and destroyed shopkeepers’ stocks of cigarettes. Ansar Dine took control of northern Mali, with help from Tuareg rebels, when army officers mutinied in the capital, Bamako, and ousted the democratically-elected government.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Radical Islam’s War Against Health

by Dale McFeatters

At the start of the new millennium, the United Nations’ health organizations, WHO and UNICEF, were reasonably confident that polio could be eradicated by the end of 2004.

Then came radical Islam, with its suspicions about — if not downright hatred of — the United States. Muslim leaders in northern Nigeria announced that they were blocking UN immunizations of children because, they believed, the vaccines were laced with HIV and sterilization chemicals: It was all part of a sinister U.S. plot to reduce the Muslim population.

Whether the villagers believed this nonsense or not was immaterial because the Islamic radicals were prepared to stop the immunizations by force.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Uruguay Marijuana Sales to be Controlled by State

Uruguay is planning a radical approach to the legalisation of marijuana by proposing the sale of the drug be controlled by the state.

In a world first, the government said it would control the production, distribution and commercialisation of marijuana. Under the proposed plans, the state would sell marijuana to citizens, who would have to register on a database. It would also impose a maximum of ‘marijuana cigarettes’ that can be consumed — reported to be 40 per month. Those who exceed that consumption level will be sent to rehabilitation centres, to be financed by the government with taxes from marijuana sales. Defending criticism of the announcement, José Mujica, the Uruguayan president, told a Brazilian newspaper: “Uruguay is not proposing a legalisation that allows anybody to go to a shop and buy the amount of marijuana that he likes. The state will control quality, quantity and price. And if somebody buys 20 marijuana cigarettes, he will have to smoke them. He won’t be able to sell them.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Denmark: New Asylum Centres Facing Resistance

Local residents and opposition MPs reject Red Cross claims that new asylum centres will not lead to an increase in crime

Immigration authorities plan to build three new refugee centres and expand several existing ones in order to accommodate an increasing refugee population in Denmark.

About 100 new applicants for asylum are arriving each month. And while that is down from previous years, the overall number of asylum seekers has risen, due to a halt on forced repatriation to three countries that are either too dangerous to return asylum failed seekers to — Somalia and Syria — or where Denmark does not have an agreement in place for repatriation — Iran.

Problems with formally identifying asylum seekers from Afghanistan, the largest single group of refugees in Denmark, has also contributed to the increase.

As a result, new asylum centres have been planned in the Zealand towns of Ringsted and Hillerød, and in the island of Lolland, while existing centres in the towns of Auderød and Sigerslev will be expanded to be able to accommodate an additional 50 and 80 people, respectively.

Local opposition, however, has led to several other proposed centres to be cancelled — a development that saddened Anne la Cour, head of asylum at the Red Cross in Denmark. “It’s a trend that is unfortunately on the increase,” la Cour told Jyllands-Posten newspaper.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

UK: Ed Miliband Apologises for Labour’s Immigration Shambles

by Harry Phibbs

During the General Election the defining moment for many in the Labour Party was when Gordon Brown was caught describing Gillian Duffy as “a bigoted woman” after she had raised concerns about immigration.They felt that it was the moment which showed Labour out of touch with many of its own supporters. The Labour leader Ed Miliband is trying to make up for it. He has given an interview for The Guardian and will follow it up with a speech today where he will apologise for the Labour Government’s record on immigration.


[Reader comment by Graham Swift on 22 June 2012 at about 8.30 am.]

Immigrants from the EU aren’t involved in grooming white girls for under age sex. They integrate with society. They learn or can already speak English. They don’t try to impose their beliefs and way of life. They don’t wear burkas. They don’t enforce halal meat on UK citizens. They don’t commit or prepare to commit acts of terrorism or support Al Qaeda. That is what UK citizens are concerned about.

[Reader comment by colliemum on 22 June 2012 at about 8.30 am.]

Nice but typical Labour obfuscation. Milliband knows full well that Blair&Brown’s immigration ‘policy’ was meant to gerrymander elections by increasing their client population from the subcontinent (google ‘Neather’). […]

[Reader comment by Octavian on 22 June 2012 at about 9.30 am.]

Does this mean that Ed Milliband now reckons that the last government imported enough Pakistani labour postal voters to ensure a Labour win at the next election?

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Accurate Muhammad Film Coming?

A courageous ex-terrorist is committed to the dangerous project.

by Andrew G. Bostom

The remarkably courageous Ramallah-born Mosab Hassan Yousef, the eldest son of Hamas cofounder Sheikh Hassan Yousef and a former Hamas activist himself, served time on several occasions in Israeli prison. Yousef is also known as “the Green Prince,” his code name per the Shin Bet (Israeli security agency), with whom he later collaborated for a decade to thwart numerous terrorist attacks during the second intifada, sparing hundreds of Israeli lives.

Now living in the U.S., two years ago Yousef published the book Son of Hamas: A Gripping Account of Terror, Betrayal, Political Intrigue and Unthinkable Choices. The book elaborated his rejection of Hamas’ inherent jihadist violence, his personal forsaking of Islam and conversion to Christianity, and his decision to assist Israel clandestinely for approximately a decade starting in 1996.

Now Yousef is undertaking another profoundly dangerous task: producing an accurate film biography of Muhammad, the Jihad Model (as so designated by Muslim Brotherhood “Spiritual Leader” Yusuf Al-Qaradawi), based on the earliest, most complete pious Muslim biography of Islam’s prophet: The Life of Muhammad: A Translation of Ishaq’s Sirat Rasul Allah.

W.H.T. Gairdner, the great Arabic linguist and scholar of Islam, noted with understatement in 1915 what is readily apparent from Muhammad’s actual biography (as opposed to the treacly Muslim hagiography) based exclusively on the reverent Muslim sources:

As incidents in the life of an Arab conqueror, the tales of raiding, private assassinations and public executions, perpetual enlargements of the harem, and so forth, might be historically explicable and therefore pardonable but it is another matter that they should be taken as a setting forth of the moral ideal for all time.

In 1919, Gairdner wrote an essay titled “Muhammad Without Camouflage,” responding to a mendacious birthday tribute panegyric of Islam’s prophet written collaboratively by Muslims and non-Muslims. A particularly trenchant segment of Gairdner’s rebuttal discussed the slaughter of the vanquished Medinan Jewish tribe, Banu Qurayza, whose massacre became an important motif in jihad war jurisprudence. Relying exclusively upon Muslim sources, Gairdner highlighted without equivocation the pivotal role that Muhammad himself played in orchestrating the overall events:…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom[Return to headlines]