Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120823

Financial Crisis
»Rehn Criticises Finland’s Euro Debate
»9/11 Trial ‘May Not Begin for Another Four Years’
»Anti-Islamic Ads Target Metro-North Commuters
»Arming the Government Against Americans
»CAIR Distributes Muslim Voter Registration Toolkit, State Voting Guides
»I’m Not a Muslim, But Ramadan Changed Me
»Martha’s Plight and Liberty Farm Under UN Agenda 21
»Psychiatry as a Weapon to Silence Religious and Political Opposition
»Storm Clouds Gather for DNC Convention
»The People Speak: “Free Speech Not Hate Speech on SF Transit”
Europe and the EU
»Europeans — Too Different to Get on Together
»Fawlty Finds Fault With England
»France: Man Kidnaps Woman to Force Marriage
»France: Toulouse Gunman Merah “Not Such a Lone Wolf”
»George Orwell, The Prophet of Political Correctness, Does Not Belong to the Left
»German Photovoltaic Company Sovello to Close
»Germany: Dresden Test Drives Longest Ever Bus
»German Airline to Build Igloo Village in Sweden
»How Young German Men Are Lured Into Jihad
»Italians Arrested for Almost Beating Moroccan to Death in Act of Private Justice
»Italy: Politician Promises No Sex if Elected
»Italy: Berlusconi Associate to ‘Film a Porn Movie’
»Mass Killer Breivik Writes Autobiography in Jail
»Switzerland: Migrant Group Slams Citizenship Changes
»The Brave, Brilliant and Infuriating Peter Hitchens
»UK: £17.5m Mosque Gets Planning Approval
»UK: Archbishop of Canterbury Sends Annual Greeting to Muslims
»UK: Muslim Communities Facilitator
»UK: Plan to Build New £1m Islam Centre in Blackburn
North Africa
»Egypt: Islamic Law Rises as Sinai Lacks Order in the Courts
»Egypt: Independent News Editor Arrested in Court
»Egypt: Muslim Throws Nail Bombs at German Embassy Because Some Germans Displayed Muhammad Cartoons
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israel Protests With South Africa About Made in Palestine
»Lab Awaits Go-Ahead in Arafat Poison Probe
Middle East
»Cameron and Obama Inch Closer to Intervention in Syria
»Kuwait: 200 Imams, Muezzins Recruited From Egypt
»Leaked Document Deepens Debate About Israeli Strike on Iran
»Lebanon: 12 Killed: 100 Wounded in Tripoli Unrest
»The Syrian Ghost Town That Shows the Future of Aleppo
»Attacks Raise Specter of Radical Islam in Russia
»Russia Launches First Federal TV Channel for Muslims
South Asia
»Afghanistan to Re-Screen Police, Soldiers to Curb Rogue Attacks
»Bangladesh Arrests Islamist Party Leader for War Crimes
»India: Hindus ‘Willingly’ Embracing Islam to Avoid Discrimination
»Kazakhstan: New Mosque Opens in Ust-Kamenogorsk
»Nepali Man Bites Snake to Death in Revenge Attack
»Pakistan: Christian Group to Hold Conference on Pakistan Blasphemy Law
»Pakistan: Christians in Mehrabad Afraid After Blasphemy Arrest
»Pakistan: Faisalabad: Brutal Murder of 14 Year Old Christian Boy, His Body Dismembered and Face Disfigured
»Persecuted Christians: Intolerance Grows in Pakistan
»Rights Group Urges Bangladesh to Protect Rohingya Refugees
Far East
»Chinese Govt Joins Muslims in Eid Celebrations
Australia — Pacific
»A Diocese Pays Out 13.5 Million Euros in Compensation for Sexual Abuse
»NZ: Man Who Assaulted Wife With Ostrich Egg Jailed for Six Months
Sub-Saharan Africa
»48 Killed in Ethnic Clashes in Kenya
»Nigeria: Who Leads Boko Haram Dialogue From North?
»Nigeria: Of True Muslims and Terrorists
»59 Immigrants on a Dinghy Landed in Lampedusa Last Night
»Australia to Boost Refugee Numbers
»Immigration Agents File Suit Against Napolitano Over ‘Amnesty’ Program

Financial Crisis

Rehn Criticises Finland’s Euro Debate

EU economic affairs commissioner Olli Rehn has criticised his native Finland for giving the impression it is no longer interested in EU integration and is considering a euro exit, reports Yle. “The economic and political success of Europe is also in Finland’s national interest,” he told Finnish ambassadors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


9/11 Trial ‘May Not Begin for Another Four Years’

The trial of the five men charged over the September 11 attacks on America will not be televised and may not begin for another four years, it has been disclosed.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and his four co-conspirators are due to be tried at Guantanamo Bay military base for the murders of 2,976 people in what has been dubbed the ‘trial of the century’. But yesterday both the prosecution and defence conceded that the trial will not be televised, unlike many high profile trials in America. And the defence claimed that, while the hearings have begun, they do not expect that actual trial to start until 2016 — 15 years after the attacks which prompted the USA’s war on terror and remain the worst terror atrocity in history. Unlike in the UK, many US trials are broadcast on television and can be watched at home. High profile cases such as the trial of OJ Simpson and that of Conrad Murray, the doctor accused of killing Michael Jackson, have been televised in America, as have many other US trials.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Anti-Islamic Ads Target Metro-North Commuters

STAMFORD — Metro-North Railroad is reviewing its advertising policies after the latest controversial billboard linking Islam to terrorist attacks that currently appear at a handful of New Haven Line stations. The series of billboards paid for by the American Freedom Defense Initiative are the latest chapter in an ongoing battle of trackside messages financed by advocacy groups on opposite sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Arming the Government Against Americans

The push to disarm Americans has been around a long time. An estimated ninety million Americans own guns legally and in states that permit concealed carry the crime rate drops precipitously by comparison with others that do everything they can to make the purchase and carry of firearms difficult.


Why then is the Obama administration in the process of purchasing millions of bullets for agencies, some of whom have nothing to do with national defense?

In May I wrote about an Ashville, North Carolina citizen who wrote a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency inquiring about the address of an employee who gained overnight fame when it was reported he wanted to “crucify” oil companies. Two EPA agents, fully armed, showed up without notice at his front door.

Why does the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration need to purchase ammunition? NOAA is devoted to studying the weather and providing notice of events such as hurricanes. Why would meteorologists need to be armed?

Why does the Social Security Administration need to purchase ammunition? A spokesman for the SSA compared its investigators to state or local police officers who are armed while on “official duty.”

Why would the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) specifically purchase 750 million rounds of hollow-point ammunition in March and follow up with an additional 750 million?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

CAIR Distributes Muslim Voter Registration Toolkit, State Voting Guides

Muslim civil rights group announces partnership with American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee to empower voters

WASHINGTON, Aug. 22, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today released a Muslim voter registration toolkit and state-specific voting guides as part of its ongoing campaign to empower Muslims and increase their political capacity and presence in the 2012 elections. CAIR also announced the formation of a national partnership with the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) to coordinate voter empowerment and election activities. The two national organizations will work together on hosting voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, phone banks, town hall meetings, and candidate forums.

“CAIR is proud to partner with ADC in helping to strengthen the political voice of the diverse American Muslim and Arab-American communities in the November elections,” said CAIR Government Affairs Coordinator Robert McCaw. “The political empowerment of minority communities can only be accomplished through positive civic engagement and by building coalitions with other Americans who seek social justice.”

ADC Legal Director Abed Ayoub said: “ADC welcomes the partnership with CAIR and is committed to strengthening the voice of our respective communities and constituents. The past few weeks have shed light on the discrimination and hate which still exists in this country. It is only through such partnerships and coalitions that a united voice can rise against the hate and bigotry.” McCaw said CAIR’s voter registration toolkit offers step-by-step instructions for carrying out voter registration drives in mosques, Islamic centers and community gatherings.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

I’m Not a Muslim, But Ramadan Changed Me

by Charlotte Dando

My apartment is located in between three of the area’s most frequented bars. At 3 a.m. on a Sunday, I can hear the remainder of Saturday night’s revelers as they pass my window; singing, chatting and shouting under the street lights. I’ve never been much of a party girl, yet I can relate more easily to the 3 a.m. scene outside my window than the one I find myself facing inside. It is 3 a.m. and I’m alone at my kitchen table, eating porridge in the dark. My mini-Ramadan began with a lonely breakfast accompanied by the drunken songs of strangers on the street below. As Ramadan drew to a close this weekend, many Muslims around the world reflected on the month that passed. I am not a Muslim and won’t be actively celebrating Eid this week. Yet I have been reflecting on my own experiences this month. I too have learned a great deal.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Martha’s Plight and Liberty Farm Under UN Agenda 21

Some Americans are waking up to the insidious UN Agenda 21 across the country. Their legal battles come in many forms at the local and state levels, all involving zoning issues, driven by one ultimate goal, global governance.

UN Agenda 21 “soft law” document has been in place and ratified in Rio, Brazil by 178 countries since 1992. The recommendations that are not legally binding but morally obligatory provide specific rules about local organizations and their practices, limiting everyone’s behavior and freedom.

The idea of global governance, a.k.a. UN Agenda 21, was seeded a hundred years ago. Americans and their private property are under such a concerted and well-orchestrated attack, that it has become a full assault on private property and redistribution of wealth in the last stages of full implementation.

Would ordinary Americans succeed in deflecting and destroying the evil UN Agenda 21, the multi-headed Hydra? It is a hard question to answer since a good majority of Americans are blissfully unaware of what is going on under their noses nor do they seem to care.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Psychiatry as a Weapon to Silence Religious and Political Opposition

Using psychiatry as a means of repression has been a particular favorite of Socialist-oriented regimes.

Since reporting on the account of Jason Egroff, a 28-year-old Scranton, Pennsylvania web designer and Blog Talk Radio host of the weekly Revelation News Christian broadcast, I have received documentation of numerous cases where outspoken critics specific to the anti-Christian agenda of Barack Hussein Obama experienced similar encounters with “mental health professionals.”

In the event you are unfamiliar with the full account of Mr. Egroff, it is documented here. In short, Mr. Egroff was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility for evaluation due to his pro-Christian yet non-threatening religious views opposing those of the Obama regime. Of course, that’s not the official psychiatric diagnosis given to him, but after an extensive investigation into the events leading up to and following his evaluation, it might as well be. What was uncovered in subsequent investigations involving other “patients,” I am convinced that the common element in all similar cases is one’s Christian beliefs when combined with a vocal opposition to the Obama agenda.

Further research into this tactic left me both surprised and shaken to the core. My findings have determined that the situation involving Mr. Egroff is not an isolated case, but one of a growing and effective tactic currently being used to silence the Christian “watchmen” in the U.S.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Storm Clouds Gather for DNC Convention

White House Insider asks a valid question — “That Biden visit to Tampa got my wheels spinning. What the hell are they up to? How far is Biden willing to go to remain relevant?” — and the answer was nothing short of shocking!

“I’m giving you and your readers a heads up here. False flag. The real deal. They will try and control it but make it look uncontrolled. Dangerous. Make it reflect poorly on the Republicans and their supporters. A dangerous and desperate operation here. Even a dimwit like Biden has to know how dangerous.”

Desperate people do desperate things… White House Insider may be on to something here. The DNC is getting very desperate and here’s why.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, hatched by the Obama White House in response to the Tea Party, is turning its anger on Obama and Biden, planning to stage their next major march at the DNC Convention. According to Occupy organizer John Penley, — “Occupy the Military Industrial Complex will very much target President Barack Obama.”

“We’re targeting Obama’s out of control military spending,” he told Whispers. “It’s the key to so many problems in the U.S. That, and the drone strikes on American citizens — And the NDAA. People feel so upset with Obama.”

This might explain why DNC wicked witch of the West Nancy Pelosi is calling for democrats to “stay home” and not attend the DNC Convention. When is the last time you heard a party leader tell their party faithful to stay home from their party convention?

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The People Speak: “Free Speech Not Hate Speech on SF Transit”

In July, a federal judge ruled in favor of a well-known anti-Muslim group known as “The American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI)” led by Pamela Geller, giving the group the right to run demeaning and racist advertisements with New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority. The same day the judge ruled that New York’s MTA violated the First Amendment rights of Geller’s group, San Francisco’s MUNI approved the same ads for its buses, despite a policy against political advertisements. By August 10th, the Islamophobic ads were running on ten San Francisco buses. The ads read: “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel (between two stars of David). Defeat Jihad.”

After MUNI announced that it would not remove the ads, despite community pressure, local artists took matters into their own hands and modified at least one of them within a week by placing an illustration of a “hate speech” stamp over the ad. By August 19th, several of the advertisements had been modified, more recently by changing the text to read: “In any war between the colonizer and the colonized, support the oppressed. Support the Palestinian right of return. Defeat racism.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Europeans — Too Different to Get on Together

Dagens Nyheter Stockholm

Beppe Giacobbe

Above and beyond the diverging economic performance of EU countries, cultural differences between the people of Europe constitute the main obstacle to the creation of a homogeneous European society. Given the extent of these divisions, it is not surprising that the European project has run into difficulty.

Richard Swartz

Many leaders have tried to unite Europe — Attila, Charlemagne, Napoleon, and Hitler among others — and all of them have come a cropper in the process. Of course, force of arms has not figured large in the European Union’s ongoing drive to achieve this goal, which is now characterised by goodwill, common laws and institutions, and other means that are more appropriate for a continent where pacifism has been the order of the day since the demise of Hitler. And the euro is without a doubt the most daring of the EU initiatives in favour of a united Europe.

The origins of the modern project are political, even if from its inception the emphasis has been on the economy. The European Coal and Steel Community was devised to prevent future conflicts by ensuring that industries that were necessary to war would no longer be developed within the framework of the nation state. National economies were to participate in a large single market that transcended borders, which was to be the starting point for their progressive convergence.

The project was not only based on the notion of the pre-eminence of the economy but also on the idea that economic rationality would facilitate the emergence of common views in other domains, which would lead to the creation of an entity resembling a United States of Europe…


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

Fawlty Finds Fault With England

I once knew a man who, in a drunken rage, wrecked his beautiful apartment. The next day he showed me the mass of splintered furniture, broken glass, and gouges in the walls, waved a hand at it, and said, sadly, “Look what happened.”

Happened? It didn’t “happen,” champ. You threw stuff down the stairs and across the living room while you were screaming mad drunk.

The great comedian John Cleese, creator and star of “Fawlty Towers,” Monty Python alumnus, was in the news last summer, complaining about what “happened” to Great Britain. Here are a few of his remarks, culled from various UK newspapers.

  • “London is no longer an English city. That’s how we got the Olympics.”
  • He doesn’t like an England in which “the parent culture kind of dissipates.”
  • He decries Britain’s shift away from a “middle-class culture” and into a “yob culture.” “There were disadvantages to the old culture, it was a bit stuffy and it was more sexist and more racist. But it was an educated and middle-class culture. Now it’s a yob culture. The values are so strange.”
  • Cleese now lives in California. When he visits England, he prefers to stay in Bath rather than London. “I love being down in Bath because it feels like the England that I grew up in.”

And now comes the kicker…

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

France: Man Kidnaps Woman to Force Marriage

A 28-year-old man has been arrested after kidnapping a mentally handicapped 63-year-old woman in Bordeaux in south-western France in order to force her to marry him and obtain a residence permit.

The sexegenarian’s ordeal began in August 2011 a few months after the man arrived illegally from Tunisia, according to a report in the local Sud Ouest daily.

The man moved into the woman’s apartment in the Grand-Parc area of the city and remained in her apartment for the proceeding two months. According to the report, the 28-year-old made the woman’s life hell, doling out regular beatings while he attempted to forcibly marry her in order to regularize his situation his France.

The woman was finally able to flee by taking refuge with a neighbour, who alerted the police.

A medical examination of the woman revealed a catalogue of bruises and physical abuse.

The man meanwhile suspected that he had been exposed and immediately fled ending up in Italy. He however returned to Bordeaux at some point and was identified by the police.

A police unit tracked the man to an apartment in Cenon, the home of a young girl who was also mentally handicapped and currently in hospital.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

France: Toulouse Gunman Merah “Not Such a Lone Wolf”

The Islamist gunman, who killed seven people in south-western France in March before being shot dead by police, was not the “lone wolf” he was made out to be by French intelligence services, Le Monde daily reported Thursday.

Le Monde said intelligence documents made available to investigators showed Merah made 186 calls to contacts in 20 countries outside France between September 1, 2010, and February 20, 2011.

Besides Egypt, where his brother was living at the time, and Algeria where his father lives, Merah also called Morocco, Britain, Spain, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Croatia, Romania, Bolivia, Thailand, Russia, Kazakhstan, Laos, Taiwan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Israel and the tiny Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, Le Monde reported.

The documents gave no details on the identities of his contacts.

The calls cast doubt over the characterization by former intelligence services boss Bernard Squarcini of Merah as a solitary figure, who “radicalized himself” in prison in Toulouse and was not part of a terrorist network.

“Mohamed Merah, not such a lone wolf,” read the Le Monde headline.

The 24-year-old former mechanic was killed by police on March 22 after a 32-hour siege of his Toulouse apartment.

He killed three Jewish schoolchildren, a rabbi and three soldiers in three attacks in Toulouse and the nearby town of Montauban.

During the siege Merah told police negotiators he was mandated by al-Qaeda to carry out attacks in France.

French authorities poured scorn on that claim, despite Merah having travelled to Afghanistan and Pakistan.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

George Orwell, The Prophet of Political Correctness, Does Not Belong to the Left

by Ed West

As Nick Cohen once cheerily pointed out, most journalists’ work dies with them. One of the few modern exceptions is George Orwell, whose star has continued to rise since his death from TB in 1950, and whose essays and articles continue to be sold and read. Today the author of Homage to Catalonia and The Road to Wigan Pier remains not just the foremost chronicler of the great ideological battles of the early 20th century, but a sort of conscience for British journalism. So one would have thought that there would be little objection to a sculpture of Orwell at Broadcasting House, where he had worked during the Second World War, especially as the money has been raised privately. And yet the BBC has blocked a statue of Orwell on the grounds that he was too “Left-wing”.

It’s understandable that the corporation should be sensitive about the subject, especially considering the criticism it attracts in this paper. Yet is Orwell confined to the Left?

Certainly Orwell was on the Left throughout his life, and the hard Left before his experience of Communists in Spain moved him towards more moderate socialism. Yet although Orwell’s essays are among the best things he did, he has become chiefly best remembered for his last two works, Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four, and the latter in particular has become one of the most conservative books in history.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

German Photovoltaic Company Sovello to Close

(AGI) Berlin — The leading German photovoltaic company Sovello based in Saxony in eastern Germany is to close as announced today by bankruptcy commissioner Lucas Floether. The first 500 employees were dismissed at the beginning of August and a further 500 will be dismissed now since there is only enough money to pay salaries until the end of the month. Floether added that he will continue to look for an investor interested in taking over the company in spite of the fact that turnover had fallen significantly in recent weeks.

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

Germany: Dresden Test Drives Longest Ever Bus

Dresden has unveiled the Autotram Extra Grand, an unfeasibly long bus meant to revolutionize public transport systems — combining the capacity of a train with the manoeuvrability of a bus.

It’s 30 metres long, has two waists, and can carry 256 passengers along busy urban streets anywhere. Not only that, the Autotram can be driven by any bus driver — no special license needed.

Designed and built by the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI in Dresden and the Technical University Dresden, the bus is currently undergoing tests in special facilities outside the city, but is set to make its debut in Dresden traffic — on normal routes with real passengers — in October.

“There is a lot of know-how invested in it — the computer is driven by a pretty clever steering algorithm,” Matthias Klingner, the institute’s director told The Local. The Autotram comes with a special steering system on its four regulated axles, which ensures that the back sections of the bendy-bus precisely follow the front section.

“Thanks to this patented multiple axis steering, the vehicle can manoeuvre just as easily as a 12-metre bus, forwards as well as backwards,” an institute statement said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

German Airline to Build Igloo Village in Sweden

A German airline has revealed plans to build an igloo village in northern Sweden, which a spokesman has labelled as an “alternative to Kiruna’s Ice Hotel”.

The airline, Fly Car, plans to build the village in the Arvidsjaur municipality, roughly 300 kilometres south of Jukkasjärvi where Sweden’s iconic Ice Hotel is built every winter.

Michael Fender, head of the company, explains that as the airline has been flying between Arvidsjaur and Germany since 1999, it was time to add something for the visitors.

“We have had 10,000 visitors each year, and many of them have been making the trip from here to Kiruna to see the Ice Hotel,” he told The Local.

“The trip takes them two days, and we thought we could save time and keep them in Arvidsjaur by building our own igloo village… similar to the ones that already exist in the Swiss Alps.”

Fender explains that the igloos are not intended to be competition for the Ice Hotel, rather something new and separate.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

How Young German Men Are Lured Into Jihad

Young Muslim men in Germany are systematically trying to recruit their peers for jihad using sophisticated rhetoric and psychology and by targeting vulnerable youths who are searching for direction in life. Two men who have quit the scene tell their story to SPIEGEL, providing a rare look into a dangerous underground.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Italians Arrested for Almost Beating Moroccan to Death in Act of Private Justice

Genoa, 21 Aug. (AKI) — Three Italians in the northern coastal city of Genoa were arrested on Tuesday for allegedly almost beating a Moroccan man to death as revenge for crimes such as theft.

The victim has been arrested a month ago for crimes committed in a town near Genoa.

The accused aggressors, aged 26, 52 and 58 who have no criminal record, hit the victim with a stick and a screwdriver, leaving him in grave condition, according to the hospital in the town of Chiavari, where he was taken for treatment.

Using information provided by the victim, police identified an alleged aggressor by a wound on his hand and drove him to the police station, where he confessed that he and the others wanted to punish the Moroccan and “teach him a lesson.”

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

Italy: Politician Promises No Sex if Elected

Rome, 20 Aug. (AKI) — A man running for the Sicily regional presidency has promised to swear off sex and dedicate himself to work if elected.

“If I were to become Sicily’s president, I would say farewell to sex to consider myself married to my region and its inhabitants,” said Rosario Crocetta, the candidate for the left leaning Democratic Party, in an interview with the La Repubblica newspaper published on Monday. “Leading public affairs is like entering a convent and I have also become too old for such joyrides,”said Crocetta.

Crocetta said his anti-model is Silvio Berlusconi, the former prime minister whose sexual antics contributed to scandals that weakened his rule.

“I’m definitely not going to end up like Silvio Berlusconi, who consumed himself in both his political incapacity and love for women, despite also being older than me.”

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

Italy: Berlusconi Associate to ‘Film a Porn Movie’

Rome, 20 Aug. (AKI) — A former showgirl-turned-dental hygenist-turned local politician who is on trial for allegedly for procuring prostitutes for Italian politician Silvio Berlusconi’s erotic parties is apparently about to start a new career: porn acting.

Nicole Minetti will start filming an adult movie in September staring a lawyer whose most famous client was the late king of pop Michael Jackson, according to a statement by Riccardo Schicchi, an Italian pornographer.

“It’s a film destined to make history in porn and will be my last movie,” said Schiacchi, adding that the movie will shoot next month “inside a luxurious apartment.”

Minetti changed careers from dental hygienist to local politician in the Milan area after meeting Berlusconi.

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

Mass Killer Breivik Writes Autobiography in Jail

Norwegian gunman Anders Behring Breivik wants to address an Oslo court after it hands down its verdict against him, and is writing an autobiography detailing how he prepared for his horrific attacks, his lawyers said on Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Switzerland: Migrant Group Slams Citizenship Changes

Proposed changes to the law on Swiss nationality could lead to a ten percent drop in the number of residents who become “naturalized” citizens, a new study shows.

Among the modifications to be debated next month in parliament is a requirement that only holders of C residency permits would be eligible to seek citizenship.

Holders of such permits are foreigners from the European Union or European Free Trade Agreement countries who have been granted a “settlement permit” after living in Switzerland for five or ten years.

C permits are also available to foreigners from other countries who have been granted settlement permits after ten years of uninterrupted residence in Switzerland.

The proposed revision will allow for eligible foreign residents to apply for citizenship after living eight years in the country, reduced from the current 12 years.

But this will be more than offset by the C permit requirement, according to a study from the University of Geneva.

The study was presented in Bern this week by the federal commission for migration issues (FCM).

It concluded that the number of new naturalized citizens would drop by 3,500 a year if the new proposals are accepted.

Switzerland’s citizenship requirements are among the toughest in the world.

Almost a quarter of the country’s residents are foreigners.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Brave, Brilliant and Infuriating Peter Hitchens

One of the many low-lights of the London 2012 closing ceremony was Russell Brand’s performance of I Am The Walrus by the Beatles. What the organisers should have done instead was to recreate the spectacularly bad-tempered Newsnight debate that had recently taken place between the anarchic comedian and Peter Hitchens (watch it here). Chaired by Stephanie Flanders, the topic up for discussion was the treatment of drug addicts. On his Mail Online blog, Hitchens provides an account of the proceedings. A partial transcript (partial in the sense of only covering some of the debate), reveals a less than grown-up attitude on the part of Brand, which should come as no surprise. More surprising — and less excusable — was Flanders’ failure to stop the constant interruptions and personal abuse hurled at Hitchens throughout the exchange. Despite the provocation, the Mail on Sunday columnist maintained his composure and was, just about, able to make the point that denying the moral agency of drug addicts does no good to anyone.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: £17.5m Mosque Gets Planning Approval

Planning permission was today granted for Cambridge’s £17.5 million new mosque after the designs were praised as “breathtaking”. Cllr John Hipkin, a member of the city council’s planning committee, said the three-storey domed building would be a “major addition to the treasure house of architecture that is Cambridge”. It will be built on the site of the former Robert Sayle warehouse in Mill Road and will include a prayer hall with capacity for 1,000 people, a café and teaching rooms, plus a library, a mortuary, and a large public garden fronting the street.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Archbishop of Canterbury Sends Annual Greeting to Muslims

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has sent his annual greetings to Muslim communities for the festival of Eid Al-Fitr on Sunday 19 August, marking the end of Ramadan. “It is a joy once again at Eid al-Fitr to send this message of warm good wishes to Muslim colleagues and communities, and especially to those friends and colleagues with whom Christians have enjoyed working together over the past year.”

In his final Eid al-Fitr message before leaving the position of Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Williams reflects on how “our relationship as Christians and Muslims has grown and deepened” over the over the past 10 years: “I am very grateful for the opportunities I have had in these last nine or 10 years of growing into a fuller knowledge of our relationship as Christians and Muslims. I have been privileged to be welcomed to a number of great Muslim contexts and institutions around the world and have found myself stretched and challenged.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Communities Facilitator

Nottingham City Council had from around 2009 to 2011, a person in the role of “Muslim Communities Facilitator”. BFTF was hugely chuffed to see someone in this role, as it offered a way for ordinary Muslims to engage with the Muslim “leadership” in Nottingham at the periodic “steering group” meetings that they would hold. This was because there were to be a number of community leaders and other stakeholders at the meetings.

According to the council webpage for the Facilitator (which has since been taken down), the Facilitator will be “working with Nottingham’s Muslim communities to help strengthen and support them in becoming part of a better, more inclusive Nottingham.” and that the Facilitator encourages people to “suggest an item for discussion” at steering group meetings. Additionally, the Muslim Communities Facilitator “can provide more information on ways of getting involved with the work going on in Nottingham, and would also be keen to hear if there are additional issues or priorities that should be considered.

BFTF has raised a number of issues with the facilitator (sometimes via email, sometimes via phone, sometimes both — with responses as shown below


[JP note: I guess in the USA this role is held by Obamedin.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Plan to Build New £1m Islam Centre in Blackburn

THE UK’s main base for followers of the Sufism branch of Islam, could soon open in Blackburn. Community leaders at the Naqshnadiyya Aslamiyya Spiritual Centre in Pringle Street, have submitted plans for a new £1million, purpose-built facility on the same site. Spokesman Hafiz Yaqub, who is based at the Luton branch, said: “We’re all very excited about these plans, the centre will serve the whole UK.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Islamic Law Rises as Sinai Lacks Order in the Courts

EL ARISH, Egypt — A sign above the military patrol securing the Bank of Egypt in this small town in the northern Sinai Peninsula announces the official opening of “The House of Shariah Law” near the marketplace downtown. Local residents crowd the bank lobby waiting for the Salafist cleric turned judge to hear their cases. The uprising last year that toppled President Hosni Mubarak left the Sinai with almost no government authority, so Salafist clerics with their strict and puritanical interpretation of Islam have moved into the vacuum. They have established dozens of Shariah courts in an attempt to replace tribal tribunals that have long served as alternatives to government courts. “We are fulfilling a community need which the government, at the moment, isn’t capable of fulfilling,” said Sheik Asaad el Beik, the Salafist judge who officially opened his Shariah court in November. “There has been no police or judiciary presence since the revolution. If anything, we are filling this gap.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Independent News Editor Arrested in Court

Journalist on trial for ‘incitement to destabilize’ the gov’t

(ANSAMed) — CAIRO, AUGUST 23 — Independent newspaper editor Islam Afifi was arrested at the opening session of his trial in Giza criminal court on Thursday, according to media reports.

Afifi, who edits the al-Doustour independent newspaper, is charged with publishing “false information,” for “incitement to destabilize” the government, and for damaging President Mohamed Morsi, who is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, with “words and expressions punishable by law.” The presiding judge ordered the arrest in what is Egypt’s first trial of a journalist since former President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February 2011. He will be held until his next hearing on September 16, according to Egypt Independent, the English-language edition of Al-Masry Al-Youm daily.

Journalists and media experts criticized the court’s decision. It points to the Muslim Brotherhood’s true intentions on freedom of the press, and current regulations must be changed, editor of state Radio and Television magazine, Yasser al-Zayat, told Egypt Independent.

Humanitarian watchdog group Reporters Without Borders (RWB) on Thursday called for Afifi’s liberation. He was indicted on August 13, two days after his paper ran a front-page article saying the Muslim Brotherhood could transform Egypt into “an emirate,” RWB pointed out in a communique, citing “alarming attacks on press freedom in Egypt.” Among these is Morsi’s decision to have parliament’s upper house, the Shura, appoint Muslim Brotherhood and Freedom and Justice Party sympathizers to top state-run media posts. Those public media has ceased to criticize the government as a result, according to RWB.

“Egyptian authorities are continuing Mubarak-era methods”, whereas a free press is a guarantee of liberty in any country wishing to institute a democratic system, the RWB communique said.

Also currently on trial in Egypt is El-Faraeen TV owner Tawfiq Okacha, who hosted a show that was highly critical of the Muslim Brotherhood. His TV has been suspended for a month, and he is charged with incitement to assassinate the president and to overthrow the government. His trial opens on September 1, according to RWB.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Muslim Throws Nail Bombs at German Embassy Because Some Germans Displayed Muhammad Cartoons

Police in Egypt on Wednesday arrested a man who tossed four homemade nail bombs into the German embassy grounds and attacked the entrance with a hammer but injured nobody and caused no serious damage, the embassy and security sources said.

The man acted out of anger after reading an Egyptian newspaper report on Friday which described a protest by German right-wing activists who had paraded caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad in front of a German mosque, they said.

Many Muslims consider any depiction of the Prophet to be offensive — a series of cartoons in a Danish newspaper in 2005 on the same subject sparked protests across the Islamic world.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israel Protests With South Africa About Made in Palestine

(AGI) Jerusalem — Israel has formally protested with South Africa about labels stating Made in Occupied Palestinian Territories that have replaced the labels on products made in the West Bank and previously labelled Made in Israel. The Foreign Minister summoned the South African Ambassador to Tel Aviv and presented a formal protest also discussing the issue in-depth

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

Lab Awaits Go-Ahead in Arafat Poison Probe

A Swiss radiation lab is awaiting a decision from Yasser Arafat’s widow on whether it should conduct tests on the remains of the former Palestinian leader to see if he was poisoned, its spokesman said on Wednesday.

The possible probe, which has already been requested by the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas, comes after a media investigation found elevated levels of the radioactive substance polonium on some of Arafat’s belongings, suggesting he could have been poisoned.

“We have shown our interest as long as the independence, credibility and transparency in our involvement is guaranteed,” said Darcy Christen, a spokesman for Lausanne University Hospital’s radiology lab said.

Arafat’s widow, Suha Arafat, and their daughter, on July 31st filed a lawsuit in France over the radioactive poisoning claims.

They lodged the complaint for murder against persons unknown in France because Arafat died at a military hospital near Paris in 2004.

Because a criminal complaint had been filed, Christen said the lab was waiting for Suha Arafat’s approval before it decided on its involvement.

“We are expecting her to let us know her position on our possible involvement,” he said.

The lab is one of several specialists consulted by the Al-Jazeera news channel, which commissioned an analysis of Arafat’s personal effects, including clothing he wore in the days before he died age 75.

Suha Arafat has already said she would seek an exhumation to allow specialists to take additional samples for testing, and the Palestinian leadership has said it would be willing to allow exhumation if Arafat’s family agreed.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Cameron and Obama Inch Closer to Intervention in Syria

David Cameron has endorsed a warning by President Obama that the threat of chemical weapons being used in Syria would cause them to “revisit their approach so far”, the Guardian reports today.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Kuwait: 200 Imams, Muezzins Recruited From Egypt

‘Labor’ records several violations in Ramadan donations collections

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 22: Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor recorded several violations in the donations collected by many charities and foundations during the holy month of Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr, reports Al-Seyassah daily. The daily quoting reliable sources cited some of the violations as issuing unsealed ministry invoices and collecting cash donation from women’s section of specific mosques during Eid prayer, without official license from the ministry. Sources indicated the Department of Charities and Foundations and field inspectors registered those violations in order to take necessary legal action against the perpetrators.

Meanwhile, the Mosques Department at the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs has recruited 200 Imams and muezzins from Egypt to cover the shortage in mosques, especially in the new residential areas, reports Al-Watan Arabic daily quoting Assistant Undersecretary for Mosques Affairs Waleed Al-Shuaib. In a recent press statement, Al-Shuaib revealed the newly-recruited Imams and muezzins are expected to arrive in Kuwait in November. He said the department has completed the installation of loud speakers, carpets and other facilities in 71 mosques throughout the country. Meanwhile, Al-Seyassah daily has quoted reliable sources as saying the Undersecretaries Council recently discussed the complaints of some residents in different areas about the alleged excessive volume of speakers in mosques. Sources said the council looked into the possibility of turning off the loud speakers in all mosques during prayers.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Leaked Document Deepens Debate About Israeli Strike on Iran

by Delaney Chambers

A document purported to be a leaked Israeli government memo suggests Israel is prepared to attack Iran to cripple the Persian nation’s nuclear capabilities. The document, recently published by American journalist Richard Silverstein, who writes a blog focused on Israeli-Palestinian peace, has sparked widespread debate about the ramifications of Israel going to war with Iran. Silverstein says the memo was intended for Israel’s eight-member security cabinet and outlines a coordinated cyber attack and ballistic missile strike that would cripple Iran’s telecommunications network, underground missile bases and above ground nuclear facilities. He says it depicts a “sanitized version of 21st century war” that could turn into a “protracted, bloody conflict closer to the nine-year Iran-Iraq War.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Lebanon: 12 Killed: 100 Wounded in Tripoli Unrest

Today Premier Miqati expected to visit

(ANSAmed) — BEIRUT — The death toll from sectarian clashes between two rival Muslim groups since Monday in the northern Lebanese port city of Tripoli has risen to 12 while those wounded are around 100, according to Lebanon’s official news agency Nna. Nna reported that two people died last night raising the previous number of casualties from 10 to 12.

Clashes between the Shiite Alawites and Sunnis continue though sporadically and the army claims it has regained control of most of the territory.

Today, Prime Minister Najib Miqati, a native of Tripoli, is expected in the port city.

Sunni fighters from the Bab al Tabbane district have been clashing for years with their Alawite rivals of the Democratic Arab party, a mouthpiece of the regime in neighbouring Syria.

Ever since the beginning of the uprise of majority-Sunni rebels against Syria’s Alawite president Bashar al Assad, the conflict has spilled into Lebanon with political and religious tensions.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

The Syrian Ghost Town That Shows the Future of Aleppo

by Richard Spencer

For a foretaste of the future of Aleppo, you need venture only as far as the nondescript, silent town of Anadan just eight miles to the north-west.

The sound of war is absent, but so is the sound of everything else. When the light breeze drops, not even the shutters covering the shopfronts rattle. There is no call to prayer from the central mosque, still open for the vanished faithful but deserted, its floor lined with broken glass. The market is empty, stalls cleared of everything up to the stone walls.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Attacks Raise Specter of Radical Islam in Russia

Authorities in Russia fear that Muslim radicals are grasping for power in the central Russian republic of Tatarstan. Analysts say the radicals have infiltrated Tatarstan’s Muslim establishment, seeking to undermine the moderate Islam that has co-existed with Christianity for centuries. Some worry that Tatarstan could go the way of other predominantly Muslim republics, such as Chechnya and Dagestan, where clashes between Islamist insurgents and Russian security forces have taken thousands of lives.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Russia Launches First Federal TV Channel for Muslims

The channel Al-RTV is subsidized by the state and by private donations, and aims to help spread the values of moderate Islam, against extremist influences mainly from the South

Moscow (AsiaNews) — Russia has its first public Muslim television channel. It’s called Al-RTV and was launched on 19 August, as reported by information portal Bashinform. Desired by some of the major organizations that promote the religious and spiritual values ??of Islam in the Federation, AL-RTV for now covers eight Russian regions: Bashkortostan, Tatarstan and the six republics of the North Caucasus. Programs were launched on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, the holiday that celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

The Director is Rustam Arifdzhanov, vice president of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio Broadcasting. The TV is controlled by a public council, consisting of representatives of the major Islamic organizations in the country, and is supported financially by private donations and government grants. The idea is to extend the service to other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).

The problem of disseminating the values ??of moderate Islam to fight the spread of Wahhabism, especially coming from the Caucasus, is top of the agenda not only of the religious leaders, but also of the Kremlin. Recently, the Russian autonomous republic of Tatarstan, a Muslim majority — but noted for the peaceful coexistence between Islam and Christianity — has been targeted by a series of attacks, which, according to investigators, are linked to an attempt to root extremism in the social tissue, hitherto alien to these areas.

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

South Asia

Afghanistan to Re-Screen Police, Soldiers to Curb Rogue Attacks

KABUL (Reuters) — Afghanistan’s government said on Wednesday it would re-examine the files of 350,000 soldiers and police to help curb rogue shootings of NATO personnel, but accused “foreign spies” of instigating the attacks that have angered major allies. A day after U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Martin Dempsey arrived in Kabul to discuss shootings that have killed 40 foreigners this year, President Hamid Karzai held a special meeting with top security advisers at his garden palace.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Bangladesh Arrests Islamist Party Leader for War Crimes

Dhaka, Aug. 22 (Xinhua-ANI): Bangladesh Police Wednesday arrested a top leader of an Islamist party for his alleged crimes against humanity committed during the country’s war of independence in 1971. Police arrested ATM Azharul Islam, acting secretary general of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, from his residence in capital Dhaka about an hour after the country’s first war crimes court ordered the arrest of the Islamist party leader in 24 hours.The court named “The International Crimes Tribunal” issued the warrant following the prosecution’s plea to arrest ATM Islam, acting secretary general of Jamaat, and ordered the police to produce him before the tribunal within 24 hours of arrest. Charges of links with the crimes against humanity during the War of Independence in 1971 have been brought against the top leader of Jamaat, key ally of main opposition party Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP).


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

India: Hindus ‘Willingly’ Embracing Islam to Avoid Discrimination

AMRITSAR: Many Pakistani Hindu’s from Sindh and Punjab have started ‘willingly’ embracing Islam and many others have renamed themselves taking Muslim names to avoid revelation of their true identity from public in wake of the recent spate of their persecution , informed Rajesh Kalyan, a Hindu priest and preacher with Pakistan Hindu Seva (PHA), a Karachi based Hindu organization while talking to TOI over phone from Karachi on Wednesday.


[JP note: Dhimmitude is always ‘willingly’ in scare quotes and that’s the way Muslims like it.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Kazakhstan: New Mosque Opens in Ust-Kamenogorsk

A new mosque has been opened in Ust-Kamenogorsk. The mosque can house up to three thousand Muslims and has already been added to the list of the country’s largest religious facilities. The mosque has a 50-seat madrasah, women’s prayer room, marriage room and a library. The Kazakh Secretary of State also took part in the mosque opening ceremony.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nepali Man Bites Snake to Death in Revenge Attack

A Nepali man who was bitten by a cobra snake bit it back and killed the reptile in a tit-for-tat attack, a newspaper said on Thursday.

Nepali daily Annapurna Post said Mohamed Salmo Miya chased the snake, which bit him in his rice paddy on Tuesday, caught it and bit it until it died.

“I could have killed it with a stick but bit it with my teeth instead because I was angry,” the 55-year-old Miya, who lives in a village some 200 km (125 miles) southeast of the Nepali capital of Kathmandu, was quoted by the daily as saying.

The snake, called “goman” in Nepal, is also known as the Common Cobra.

Police official Niraj Shahi said the man, who was being treated at a village health post and was not in danger of dying, would not be charged with killing the snake because the reptile was not among snake species listed as endangered in Nepal.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Christian Group to Hold Conference on Pakistan Blasphemy Law

(Reuters) — An influential Christian Church organisation will hold an international conference in Geneva next month on Pakistan’s blasphemy law, after an 11-year-old Pakistani Christian was detained on accusations of defaming Islam.

Religious and secular groups worldwide have protested over the arrest last week of Rifta Masih, accused by Muslim neighbours of burning verses from the Koran, Islam’s holy book.

The World Council of Churches (WCC) said the conference was intended to give a global platform to religious minorities in Pakistan “who are victimised in the name of its controversial blasphemy law” in cases which had brought death penalties and “mob-instigated violence”.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Christians in Mehrabad Afraid After Blasphemy Arrest

ISLAMABAD: A week after a young Christian girl was arrested on blasphemy charges in a poor suburb of Islamabad, her fellow believers fear they may have celebrated their last service in the area.

Mehrabad, on the outskirts of the capital, has been home to a Christian community for 20 years, and less than a year ago Muslims helped them build a simple church. But last Thursday local Muslims erupted in fury after Rimsha, a young Christian girl who reportedly has Down’s Syndrome, was accused of burning pages from a children’s religious instruction book containing verses from the Holy Quran.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Faisalabad: Brutal Murder of 14 Year Old Christian Boy, His Body Dismembered and Face Disfigured

Suneel Masih, an orphan, disappeared on August 19. His body was found two days later in a remote area. Some internal organs removed, probably for the black market. His face disfigured with acid. Police Officer confesses to never having seen “such a murder.” The Christian community calls for justice, but so far not even an investigation has been opened.

Faisalabad (AsiaNews) — A brutal murder, of a shadowy nature, has shaken the Christian community in Pakistan already marked by the experience of a disabled girl imprisoned for blasphemy in Islamabad, 11-year-old Rimsha Masih (see AsiaNews 19/08/2012 An 11-year-old disabled Christian girl arrested for blasphemy, 300 families flee). On 21 August the police in Faisalabad found the horribly mutilated body of Suneel Masih in an isolated area of ??the city. They boy a Christian orphan from the city had disappeared two days earlier. Still shocked by the ferocity of the killers a police officer confided on the condition of anonymity to AsiaNews: “It’s the first time — said the inspector — that I have ever seen such a murder “. The body was found with the ears, nose, tongue and limbs torn from the body, the belly ripped open and internal organs (including the liver and kidneys) taken, perhaps to be sold on the black market. The killers then poured acid on his face, perhaps to make him unrecognizable.

But investigators have yet to open an investigation into the terrible murder of the 14 year old orphan Christian, whose funeral took place yesterday in the presence of minority leader and local politicians. A protest march was held on the streets of Faisalabad, during which people repeatedly demanded “justice” for the 14 year old Suneel Masih (pictured). Tomorrow an autopsy will be held on the remains of the boy, to clarify whether there was also sexual violence before death.

According to the story of some witnesses informed of the facts, on August 19 last Suneel — a 5th class student — went to a shop in Liberty Market to buy a shirt. That night, the boy did not return home and the family raised the alarm. A desperate search began, which proved to be useless and his disappearance was reported to police. Two days later, on 21, police found the horribly mutilated corpse of the boy in an isolated industrial area.

The Christian community is in shock and demanding justice, perhaps in vain because so far the police have not even opened a formal investigation. Speaking to AsiaNews, Fr. Nisar Barkat, diocesan director of the National Commission for Justice and Peace of the Catholic Church of Pakistan (NCJP), appealed to the government and law enforcement to bring the perpetrators to justice “as soon as possible.” The Christian community, the priest adds, feels insecure and cannot stop thinking about this horrible case. Hindus and Christians “live in fear”. The Christian MP of Punjab Joel Aamir Sohotra echoes this fear, saying that “this brutal murder poses a serious reflection on the freedoms enjoyed by minorities, because” we are not just in front of the murder of a Christian boy, but the freedom of all minorities. “

The Christian lawyer Kamal Chughtai confirms that he has never seen “such a thing, with this level of cruelty in my entire life.” He strongly condemns this “atrocity” and calls for the immediate arrest of the culprits. And if they are not brought to justice in two days, as promised by the police, all the Christians in the city should take to the streets to demand justice.

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

Persecuted Christians: Intolerance Grows in Pakistan

by Elizabeth Kendal

Pakistan celebrated its 65th birthday on 14 August. Founded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, a member of the Shia religious minority, Pakistan was initially established on a foundation of secularism and equal rights for all. Today, however, after decades of Saudi-sponsored Islamisation, Pakistan is the exact opposite of what it was founded to be.

Abductions of Christian and Hindu girls are on the rise. According to the parents, these young girls are being forcibly converted to Islam and married off to Muslim men. According to the Islamists, none of the conversions have been forced. The rise in incidence has triggered debate in the media and a Hindu exodus from Sindh Province, prompting President Zardari to call for a law banning forced conversions. Sunni jihadist violence against the Shia minority has also increased. On 16 August a bus en route to Gilit was stopped by men in military uniforms just 100km north of Islamabad. The ‘officers’ then dragged at least 20 Shi’ites from the bus and executed them. It was the third such attack on that road in six months. As a minority throughout the South Asian sub-continent, Christians are the most vulnerable of all.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Rights Group Urges Bangladesh to Protect Rohingya Refugees

Human Rights Watch says Bangladesh’s restriction on international aid groups is contributing to a worsening humanitarian emergency for ethnic Rohingya Muslims fleeing sectarian violence in Burma. Bangladesh last month ordered three charity groups to stop providing assistance to Rohingya because it said they were encouraging more refugees to cross the border. Doctors Without Borders, Action Against Hunger, and Muslim Aid were providing water, healthcare, sanitation, and other basic assistance to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh’s Cox’s Bazaar district.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Govt Joins Muslims in Eid Celebrations

BEIJING — As Eid was celebrated around the world last week, the Chinese Government joined celebrations throughout China. On the day of Eid, a special get-together was hosted at the Great Hall of the People. The event was attended by Vice Premier Hui Liangyu, Vice Chairman of the National Peoples Congress (NPC) Standing Committee Siamayi, Vice Chairman of the National Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Abdurrexiti, President of the China Islamic Association and Member of the CPPCC Sheikh Hilaluddin, and Minister for Religious Affairs Wang Zuoan.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

A Diocese Pays Out 13.5 Million Euros in Compensation for Sexual Abuse

A Catholic diocese in Australia is negotiating compensations that add up to 13.5 million euros and are to be paid out to more than 100 victims of acts of paedophilia that took place between 1960 and 1990. According to today’s issue of The Australian the diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, north of Sydney, negotiated out of court settlements with at least 78 of the alleged victims. Another 25 cases have been nearly settled. However it seems that the total number of victims might be even higher.

The compensations are linked to acts of sexual abuse at the hands of at least 10 priests and teachers employed by the Church and include the highest compensation ever negotiated in Australia, up to approximately 1.7 million euros. In the terms of the settlement, that have been negotiated through law firm, the Church does not admit responsibility for the acts of abuse, even though many of the victims see the compensation as a form of recognition for what they suffered. “ The Church usually requests a waiver form that prevents the victim from making further claims for the same acts of abuse and a clause that forbids arguing over the terms of the agreement”, said one of the negotiating lawyers.

This practice by the Australian Catholic Church, named ‘Towards Healing’, began in 1996 to respond to the abuse claims and it has been criticized by the victims’ representatives for the lack of independent evaluation of the claims.

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

NZ: Man Who Assaulted Wife With Ostrich Egg Jailed for Six Months

A New Zealand man who assaulted his wife with an ostrich egg after her pet pig ran amok has been jailed for six months, local media reported on Thursday.

Phillip Russell lost his temper when he discovered the pig had damaged his power saw, verbally abusing his wife, spitting at her then grabbing an ostrich egg from the kitchen table and hurling it at her, Fairfax Media reported.

It said Russell, 46, had repeatedly asked his wife to keep the pet pig under control as it had damaged their home, a neighbour’s house and council property, but she insisted it should be given free range.

The ostrich egg, the largest type of egg produced by any living bird species, caused bruising to the chest of Russell’s wife, the report said.

It said Russell pleaded guilty to charges including assault using an ostrich egg as a weapon over the July 5 incident and was sentenced to six months jail in Hastings District Court on Wednesday.

At an earlier court hearing, Russell’s defence lawyer said his client, who has a record of domestic violence, had expected his wife to catch the egg.

The report did not explain why Russell had an ostrich egg, a species that is not native to New Zealand.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

48 Killed in Ethnic Clashes in Kenya

Kenyan police are investigating a violent clash between two ethnic groups, in the eastern Tana River region, that left at least 48 people dead. Police and residents say at least 100 members of the Pokomo clan raided a village inhabited by members of the Orma group, late Tuesday. Investigators say some villagers were killed after attackers set homes on fire with the residents inside. At least 11 of those killed were children. Authorities say the attack was linked to an ongoing dispute over land and water between the two groups.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Who Leads Boko Haram Dialogue From North?

Now that dialogue between the Federal Government has indicated interest in opening dialogue with the Islamic sect, Boko Haram appeears feasible, Oluwole Ige writes on the possible powerbrokers from the North that could champion the peace talk with the sect.

Nigeria has never had it so bad with the explosion of violence in recent times. The mayhem comes in form of unknown men, masquerading in the garb of Islamic religious extremists, popularly known as Boko Haram. Their modus operandi have been swift, likened to a rapt thunder’s strike of Sango, a Yoruba deity. Since the advent of their ferocious onslaught on Nigerians in 2008, security agencies have always been caught napping, thus adopting retroactive approach to tackle the impacts of bomb blasts, vicious attacks, mindless killings and destruction of worship centres and other public places. These, no doubt, are their trademark.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Of True Muslims and Terrorists

by Rotimi Fasan

JIHAD as an Islamic concept must be one of the most misunderstood- all thanks to those practitioners of a muscular form of Islam who believe the one and only way to propagate their religion is through the sword. The impression this category of Muslims create is that force is the only means through which people with a view of life different from theirs could be persuaded. The use of brute force thus becomes a legitimate means for the conversion of so-called infidels. In Nigeria, people with such views are not too difficult to come by and the fact that they have more or less succeeded in their ways, their idea of what Islam represents is, unfortunately for other peaceful followers of the faith, what non-Muslims believe the religion stands for. But with the coming of insurgent groups like those that have turned Northern Nigeria into something of a no-go area, the impression is further strengthened that violence is the language of a religion that the apparent majority of Muslims believe proclaims peace as its central tenet. There is no compulsion in religion is what we hear adherents of Islam say but the hawkers of violence that are fast taking over different parts of the North don’t share this belief in the voluntary conversion of others.


[JP note: Misunderstanders of Islam, you have nothing to lose but your Korans.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


59 Immigrants on a Dinghy Landed in Lampedusa Last Night

(AGI) Agrigento — A rubber dinghy carrying 59 immigrants landed at the commercial dock of Lampedusa (Agrigento) last night, without being detected beforehand. 13 women and 11 children were among them. After the landing, the refugees were rescued by the Carabinieri and housed at the Imbriacola reception camp.

The refugees declared they come from Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia .

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

Australia to Boost Refugee Numbers

Australia said it would increase its annual refugee intake by 40 per cent to 20,000 a year, as part of a plan to deter people smugglers.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the rise, which was recommended by a recent expert inquiry into refugee policy, would include the immediate resettlement of 400 asylum-seekers from Indonesia as a gesture of goodwill. “We will be increasing our annual refugee intake from 13,750 to 20,000 places in this financial year,” Mrs Gillard said in a statement. The financial year began on July 1.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Immigration Agents File Suit Against Napolitano Over ‘Amnesty’ Program

Ten federal immigration agents have filed suit against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano claiming recent directives are forcing them to break the law and ignore their duties when it comes to deporting illegal immigrants.

The suit was filed Thursday in Texas federal court by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. It challenges recent directives allowing some illegal immigrants — particularly non-felons and those who came to the U.S. as children — to stay and, in some cases, get work permits.

The suit, obtained by Fox News, says the agents are being forced to “violate federal law.” It says the new directive “unconstitutionally usurps and encroaches upon the legislative powers of Congress.” ICE Director John Morton is also named as a defendant.

Kris Kobach, lead attorney on the case, equated the move to give thousands of illegal immigrants a reprieve to the failed Fast and Furious gun-walking operation.

“In both instances, the Obama administration ordered federal law enforcement agents to break the law, to ignore the laws that they’re supposed to enforce, and, in the case of the ICE agents, to actually break federal laws that say you’re supposed to deport certain people,” he said. “And in each case, the Obama administration seems to be doing so for political reasons.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]