Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120825

Financial Crisis
»Greece’s New Plan to Lay Off Civil Servants
»S&P Downgrades Italian Campania Region to BBB
»Alert: DHS Rounding Up Veterans, Throwing Them in Mental Institutions
»Empire State Building Shooting Wrongly Hyped as ‘Mass Shooting’ By Media
»Farmingdale Jewish Center Converted to Mosque
»New Mosque to be Built in Wilmington
»Opponents of Tennessee Mosque Argue to Intervene in Federal Religious Discrimination Case
»Tracking Microchips in San Antonio Schools
»United Nations Sponsors Another Gun-Grabber Conference in New York
Europe and the EU
»100-Year-Old Norwegian Mystery is Unravelled
»France: Anzac’s Memory Keeper
»UK: Council ‘Enforcers’ Praised for Roles Police Couldn’t Do During Olympics
»UK: Harry’s Place and Its Allies Inspire Far-Right Violence Again
»UK: Now Crack Down on Health Tourists Abusing Our NHS
»UK: Press Ethics: Harry’s Place
»South Stream Pipeline Might Pass Through Croatia
North Africa
»Egypt: Tahrir Square Protest Against President Morsi
Israel and the Palestinians
»Israeli Soldiers Break Silence on Abuse
Middle East
»French Minister Calls for Limited No-Fly Zone in Syria
»Radical Islam Revives an Ancient Hatred
»Has Russia Sold Out Iran for a Stake in Israeli Gas?
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Four Australian Soldiers Hurt in Bomb Blast
»Afghanistan: Marine: Strict Rules of Engagement Are Killing More Americans Than Enemy in This Lost War
»Afghanistan is Not Worth Losing 10 Kiwi Lives
»Afghanistan: Taliban Leader Killed in Airstrike
»Bloodshed Between Myanmar Muslim and Buddhist Communities Leaves Deep Scars
»Fiat Unveils Training Program to Help Poor Indians Into Jobs
»Free Rimsha Masih, The 11-Year-Old Disabled Girl Arrested for Blasphemy, Indian Leader Says
»Indonesia: Five People Die in Intra-Islamic Fighting in West Java
»Italy Expects Marines Back From India, Defends Its Position
»Pakistan: Mosque Shooting: Treasury MPA Leads Protest Against Chiniot Police
Australia — Pacific
»NZ: Men Will be Banned From a Muslim Exhibit at the Dowse
Latin America
»Rising Jew-Hatred and Jihad in Chile as the Muslim Population Increases

Financial Crisis

Greece’s New Plan to Lay Off Civil Servants

A mix of early retirement incentives and stricter approach

(ANSAMed) — ATHENS, AUGUST 23 — Slashing Greece’s bloated public employee roster is among Premier Antonis Samaras’ biggest challenges as he tries to comply with troika (EU-ECB-IMF) mandated spending cuts.

The public employee workforce, which numbers 750,000 or 6.8% of the population, has grown disproportionately in the past four decades, thanks to favoritism practiced by all the preceding governments. Last year’s attempt to lay off 30,000 civil servants ultimately reduced them by 10,000.

The government, which must lay off 150,000 people by 2015 or fail to make the troika target, is about to enact a measure containing a new, undisclosed variant, Finance Minister Yannis Stournaras said. Journalistic rumor has it that the new twist consists of a mix of early retirement incentives and a stricter approach to civil servants who have broken the disciplinary code, or who scored low on the management evaluations that are now periodically being carried out in the public sector.

These employees will be suspended for a year at 75% of their salary, sources said. The bulk of those who leave are expected to accept the government’s early retirement incentives for people who are just three years away from their pension, saving the state 160 million euros.

But Samaras’ coalition partners might throw a spanner in the works, as unrest over the measure is growing within Democratic Left, led by Fotis Kouvelis, and Evangelos Venizelos’ Socialist PASOK. Some Democratic Left MPs expressed their concern to Kouvelis during a meeting of their parliamentary group on Wednesday. One deputy, Yiannis Micheloyiannakis, refused to attend the meeting, saying the government had already strayed too far from its post-election agreement.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

S&P Downgrades Italian Campania Region to BBB

‘Negative outlook reflects possible liquidity deterioration’

(ANSA) — Naples, August 21 — Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s downgraded its outlook for the southern Campania region from ‘BBB+’ to ‘BBB’ on Tuesday.

“The negative outlook reflects our view of the risk that Campania’s liquidity could deteriorate,” said the New York-based agency in a statement. S&P did however credit the region around Naples for its “moderate debt burden”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Alert: DHS Rounding Up Veterans, Throwing Them in Mental Institutions

The lawyer who helped secure the release of Brendon Raub, a former Marine forcibly incarcerated in a psychiatric ward by authorities in Virginia for political posts on Facebook, told the Alex Jones Show today that there are currently a further 20 cases in his county alone that are similar in nature to Raub’s detention.

John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institute also said that he had been contacted by numerous veterans in the aftermath of Raub’s release who had encountered similar problems with authorities attempting to have them declared mentally ill.

Whitehead attributed the high number of cases involving veterans as a consequence of the Department of Homeland Security’s aggressive campaign to demonize former servicemembers as domestic extremists.

Despite controversy at the time, DHS chief Janet Napolitano said she stood by an April 2009 DHS intelligence assessment that listed returning vets as likely domestic terrorists.

Just a month later, the New York Times reported on how Boy Scout Explorers were being trained by the DHS to kill “disgruntled Iraq war veterans” in terrorist drills.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Empire State Building Shooting Wrongly Hyped as ‘Mass Shooting’ By Media

In yet another ‘summer shooting’ involving a killer who is now being referred to by the media as the ‘Empire State Building shooter’, recently-fired gunman Jeffrey Johnson fired on a co-worker before being gunned down by police outside of the Empire State Building in downtown New York City. A total of 9 bystanders were wounded and sent to a local hospital with expectations of survival, but what was the cause of their injury?

The Empire State Building shooter may have actually had only a single target (according to virtually all the mainstream media sources linked throughout) — a co-worker who was gunned down before the incident leading to the 9 injuries.

This makes the Empire State Building shooter case quite different than the Batman shootings and the Sikh shootings, but it doesn’t appear that way in major media.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Farmingdale Jewish Center Converted to Mosque

Village’s first mosque greeted with mixed feelings.

The former home of the Farmingdale Jewish Center on Fulton Avenue had been vacant for nearly four years, much to the dismay of a newly-elected mayor and local officials. But, that all changed last month when the former Jewish community center reopened as a place of worship, now a mosque. Farmingdale’s first mosque, called Masjid Bilal or Bilal Mosque, sits on 1.65 acres with 21,000 square feet of building space and parking for 44 vehicles.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

New Mosque to be Built in Wilmington

by Nadine Maeser

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) — The City of Wilmington has given the green light on permits to build a new mosque in the area. The mosque will be built off of Sunn Aire Court and Princess Place Drive and will be the start of something new for the local Muslim community. The holy building will be the first of its kind in the area, featuring an arched dome to give it a more Islamic feel.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Opponents of Tennessee Mosque Argue to Intervene in Federal Religious Discrimination Case

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge will rule next week on whether opponents of a Murfreesboro mosque can have a say in a religious discrimination case involving the building. Attorney Joe Brandon Jr. represents the group of mosque neighbors and other Rutherford County residents asking the court to let them intervene. He argued at a Friday hearing in Nashville that his clients have an interest in the federal case because it overturned their state court victory.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Tracking Microchips in San Antonio Schools

On Monday, two schools in San Antonio, Texas, will force more than 4,000 students to wear mandatory RFID tracking devices around their necks! The so-called “Student Locator Pilot” plans to use active, unencrypted, always-on RFID tags with a 70-foot read range, and a network of nearly-invisible readers to pinpoint and monitor students’ every move while they are on campus. See:

[Comments: conditioning the next generation to the idea that being tracked everywhere is fine.]

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

United Nations Sponsors Another Gun-Grabber Conference in New York

Following the failure of the United Nations to reach a consensus on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), the internationalist gun-grabbers are looking forward to Review Conference 2012 (RevCon 2012), to be held in New York beginning next week, on August 27.

Like ATT, proponents of the PoA agenda claim their proposals are not intended to deny Americans ownership and use of firearms. However, as points out, many members of the organization are also members of anti-gun groups that propose various schemes designed to whittle away the Second Amendment.

The National Association for Gun Rights provides a list of goals the PoA will strive for:

  • Enact tougher licensing requirements, making law-abiding Americans cut through even more bureaucratic red tape just to own a firearm legally.
  • Confiscate and destroy all “unauthorized” civilian firearms (all firearms owned by the government are excluded, of course).
  • Ban the trade, sale and private ownership of all semi-automatic weapons.
  • Create an international gun registry, setting the stage for full-scale gun confiscation.

Second Amendment groups warn that if Obama wins in November, he will more aggressively and openly pursue an anti-gun agenda. The backdrop for the effort will be a number of shootings this summer, most recently in New York City (the fact all of the victims with the exception of the shooter’s target were shot by cops will of course be ignored).

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

100-Year-Old Norwegian Mystery is Unravelled

When the mayor of a Norwegian town wrapped up a brown paper package in 1912, he began a 100-year mystery.

Johann Nygaard handed over the parcel to the local authorities in Sel in the 1920s with no word of explanation. It bore the message: “Can be opened in 2012.” Now, the guessing game has finally ended. After fevered speculation that the package contained bombshell documents, a sheaf of oil shares to make the townsfolk rich or even the “Blue Star” diamond rumoured to have gone down with the Titanic, the truth was revealed. And it could have been more exciting.

In a ceremony attended by Princess Astrid of Norway and streamed live to the world, the parcel was opened by a white-gloved museum curator. It was found to contain some notebooks, yellowing newspapers, community council documents and swatches of fabric in the colour of Norway’s flag. As The Local, Norway’s English-language newspaper, put it: “If you were expecting an anti-climax, you may well be on the mark. Suggestions that some onlookers have fallen asleep are greatly exaggerated.”


[JP note: Monty Python got there first.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

France: Anzac’s Memory Keeper

Garrie Hutchinson’s guide to the two great wars was written on behalf of families whose lost ones are buried far away. He tells Andrew Stone he also wants to reinstate New Zealand’s place in the Australian concept of ‘Anzac’

The gravestones stand in neat rows, divided by lush strips of clipped grass and attended by flowers. All that hints at the horror that left 1205 New Zealand men dead are words on a concrete memorial. They read: “Here are recorded the names of officers and men of New Zealand who fell in the Battles of the Somme, September and October 1916 and whose graves are known only to God.” The memorial is in Caterpillar Valley Cemetery, in north-east France. A fern-leaf badge on a nearby obelisk, inscribed with the words “From the Uttermost Ends of the Earth” is a further reminder of the legions of young men sent to war on the Western Front almost a century ago who never returned home — but are not forgotten. “That’s what I wanted,” explains author Garrie Hutchinson, whose book Pilgrimage, subheaded “A Traveller’s Guide To New Zealanders In Two World Wars”, is out today.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Council ‘Enforcers’ Praised for Roles Police Couldn’t Do During Olympics

Council enforcement officers got a big thank-you this week for their work in one of the ‘host’ boroughs for supporting police during the Olympics.

They were looking after key areas of Tower Hamlets with high numbers of crowds at locations including Victoria Park Live Site and the Tower of London, while police were concentrating on Olympic Park security. Community Protection officers drafted in to east London from Nottingham to help with security during the Games fortnight praised them for their conduct “in dealing with difficult situations”. The enforcers responded to reports of yobs in Bethnal Green Gardens with targeted patrols. They were also active in Whitechapel Market and around Brick Lane tackling noise nuisance and fly-posting as well as identifying unlicensed illegal trading. Tower Hamlets Mayor Lutfur Rahman said: “The scope of their presence during the Olympics fortnight gave residents reassurance.” The enforcement officers take on roles the Met Police are unable to make a priority such as littering, graffiti and anti-social behaviour.

[JP note: UK’s fledgling religious police force.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Harry’s Place and Its Allies Inspire Far-Right Violence Again

The York newspaper The Press reported yesterday that the “Islamia Village” event that was due to be held near the city at Thorpe Underwood Estate over the bank holiday weekend had been called off at the last minute after the estate’s Trustees cancelled the booking.

This decision followed an extended campaign against Islamia Village, based on the claim that it would be hosting extremist preachers. The Islamophobic blog Harry’s Place, which had initiated the campaign, immediately posted a piece yesterday afternoon claiming victory for itself and its supporters.

The obvious question that arises is — why was Islamia Village called off so late in the day? After all, Harry’s Place took up the issue well over a month ago, back on 13 July, when it crossposted a piece from the Islamic Far-Right in Britain blog condemning the event. What changed over the past few days?

Yesterday the Islamia Village organisers issued a statement pointing out that groups including the English Defence League had been demanding for some time that the booking should be cancelled. However: “The campaign had intensified at the beginning of the week, whereby such groups had threatened to cause violence at this weekend’s event. Threats of burning down the venue with the people in it have also been made publicly by some supporters of this campaign.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Now Crack Down on Health Tourists Abusing Our NHS

by Stephen Pollard

HOW does it feel to be taken for a mug? On Wednesday an emergency caesarean was carried out at Wythenshawe Hospital in Manchester. The mother had her baby and when she had recovered, left.

The cost, which will be borne as always by you and me, is thought to have been around £10,000. Nothing unusual there — that’s the whole point of the NHS. But there’s an element to the story which changes everything: the woman does not live in Britain. In fact she has no connection with Britain. She is Nigerian.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Press Ethics: Harry’s Place

The only reasonable publication test is not entertainment or sales — but an agreed concept of the public interest

The pictures of Prince Harry cavorting naked in a Las Vegas hotel room were irresistible to any self-respecting tabloid editor. By printing them the Sun will have entertained its readers and added to its sales. Both are legitimate reasons for publication, but they are not the whole story.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


South Stream Pipeline Might Pass Through Croatia

Instead of Hungary.Gazprom to make final decision, media reports

(ANSAMed) — ZAGHREB, AUGUST 21 — Russian gas giant Gazprom might route its South Stream gas pipeline through Croatia instead of Hungary, Croatian daily Jutarnji list reported on Tuesday.

“We are very interested, but Gazprom will make the final decision, probably in the next two months,” the paper quoted an executive from Croatian gas transportation company Plinacro as saying. Construction on the pipeline begins in December, the executive said.

The Croatian paper cited lower costs, a shorter route, and “problems encountered in Hungary” as reasons for the rerouting.

The pipeline, a joint project between Gazprom and Italian energy company ENI, is designed to bring Russian gas into Europe while bypassing Ukraine. The current project begins at the Black Sea and runs through Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia to reach Austria and Italy. The possible new route through Croatia would be 270 kilometers long and cost 600 million euros. Construction would begin in 2015, according to Jutarnji list.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: Tahrir Square Protest Against President Morsi

President accused of “derailing the revolution”

(ANSAMed) — ROME, AUGUST 24 — Opponents and supporters of Egypt’s president on Friday gathered for a protest in Tahrir Square that Al Masri Al Youm independent newspaper billed as “the first test” of Mohamed Morsi’s democratic attitude.

After traditional Friday prayers, several hundred protesters gathered in the square, which was the hotbed of the revolt that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak, and in adjacent streets.

Active on social media such as Facebook, organizers had called for a “peaceful” demonstration against Morsi’s attempt “to monopolize power and derail the revolution.” The demonstration reportedly mustered only modest numbers, perhaps due to the heat, with local media reporting stones thrown and shots fired between the factions. The numbers are expected to increase towards evening.

Opponents of Morsi in Tahrir square today include members of the Coptic Christian minority and supporters of the military, incensed by Morsi’s removal of Egypt’s interim ruler Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi, who leads the armed forces supreme council, as well as liberals worried about what they said is the current government’s “Islamic, illiberal drift.” A case in point is the arrest and release of a newspaper editor critical of the government, whose trial begins in September.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Israeli Soldiers Break Silence on Abuse

TESTIMONIES by 30 former Israeli soldiers and commanders portrayed a culture of violence and abuse in the Israeli Defence Forces towards Palestinian children, according to a report released yesterday to international media and detailed in a major article in this weekend’s Yedioth Ahronoth, Israel’s biggest-selling newspaper.

Debate about the treatment of Palestinian children has grown since 60 of Israel’s leading child experts, academics and psychologists wrote to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu protesting against “offensive arrests and investigations that ignore the law.”

The new report is by Breaking the Silence, an organisation of former Israeli soldiers who came together in 2004 and have now collected more than 850 testimonies from former and current Israeli soldiers and commanders about abuses they committed or witnessed.

In response to the report, the IDF told The Weekend Australian: “Breaking the Silence has been asked numerous times to reveal the testimonies and claims they collect regarding IDF activity prior to publication in order to check and verify their claims.

“As a matter of policy, the organisation chooses not to provide the IDF and other relevant bodies with the critical material necessary for investigation. By compiling testimonies over long periods of time and refusing to provide additional detail, (Breaking the Silence) proves its true intentions — rather than facilitating proper investigation, the organisation seeks to generate negative publicity regarding the IDF and its soldiers.”

In response, Yehuda Shaul from Breaking the Silence said: “Over 70 of our testifiers have come out publicly with their names and identities revealed, and I’m one of them. If the IDF was interested in investigating our claims, we probably would have already been summoned to interrogations.”

The report coincided with an escalation of violence against Palestinians. Israeli police described as “a lynching” an incident in Jerusalem this week in which dozens of people watched a mob of Jewish teenagers bash a 17-year-old Palestinian unconscious…

           — Hat tip: Nilk[Return to headlines]

Middle East

French Minister Calls for Limited No-Fly Zone in Syria

International momentum for limited military intervention in Syria gathered pace yesterday amid opposition reports that 4,000 people have been killed this month, the deadliest since the uprising began.

France signalled it would be willing to participate in the enforcement of a limited no-fly zone and suggested for the first time that such an operation could be mounted without reference to the UN Security Council, where Russia and China wield a veto. The United States and Turkey have already discussed the possibility of a no-fly zone, although Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, has said that “greater in-depth analysis” would be needed before such an operation could be mounted.

However Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French defence minister, yesterday called for the establishment of an “international coalition” to implement a no-fly zone — a choice of wording that suggests action outside the United Nations is being considered for the first time.

Mr Le Drian explicitly ruled out a no-fly zone over the whole of the country, saying such a step would be tantamount to “going to war” with Syria. Instead, a coalition involving Western states, Turkey and some Arab powers could close Syrian airspace between Aleppo and the Turkish border.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Radical Islam Revives an Ancient Hatred

by Damian Thompson

Is a new and shocking wave of anti-Semitism engulfing the Middle East and the developing world? Consider the following:

More than half the Jews in Iraq have been driven out of the country; those that remain are forced to pay a fine or leave their homes. Some are forced to marry Muslims. In Syria, towns and villages where Jews have lived for centuries are now almost entirely Muslim; these communities have fled to safer parts of the country, where they hope to escape an anti-Semitic massacre. In Egypt, the new regime is surreptitiously encouraging attacks on synagogues; the Jews, despised for their supposed wealth, fear that the “Arab spring” is about to release centuries of pent-up anti-Semitic hatred. In Nigeria, Jews have been attacked and killed while studying scripture. In Bangladesh, Jewish children are being forced into madrassas. In Pakistan, the body of an 11-year-old Jewish boy was discovered this week; he’d been tortured to death and his lips sliced off.

You won’t have heard about this atrocious persecution. That’s because — forgive me — I’ve played one of the oldest tricks in the journalist’s book. For Jews, read Christians. For anti-Semitic, read anti-Christian. For synagogues read churches. I hope Jewish readers won’t take offence: I’m not denying that actual anti-Semitism is spreading like a virus throughout Arab societies. It’s just that, if these attacks against Christians were being directed against Jews, the precedent of the Holocaust would shock the world into action.

This new persecution is the result of the simultaneous revival of militant Islam in many countries. We can say that with confidence. What we can’t say, however, is that there is a co-ordinated Islamic plot to exterminate Christianity as a stepping stone to a universal caliphate.


[Reader comment by validuscorporeanimoque on 25 August 2012 at 9:30 am.]

“What we can’t say, however, is that there is a co-ordinated Islamic plot to exterminate Christianity as a stepping stone to a universal caliphate.”

You can’t but millions of us out here who know the truth, can, do and will. “Radical” Islam.

There is only ONE Islam and it is evil and set on world conquest. So, do wake up and nudge our politicians will you, please. Ah but it was only a year or so ago that our PM the rt hon Crazy Cameron was telling us in a stern voice that we should become more like those of the Muslim faith. oh, yes and didn’t we get a good result in Iraq, eh! Not.

[Reader comment by danoconnor on 25 August 2012 at 9:00 am.]

Damian Thompson

Remember your rant about the counter-jihad web-site Gates of Vienna? Does this mean they are not Islamophobic bigots after all?

Who da’ thunk it?

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Has Russia Sold Out Iran for a Stake in Israeli Gas?

As the tension between Israel and Iran ratchets up, an interesting sub-text has developed over the role of Iran’s traditional backer, Russia. While many Western observers continue to raise the spectre of a ‘wider Middle East conflagration’ (an argument we have consistently refuted), and one that could drag in Russia, a whole new, higher value, game chip is now in play: Moscow’s interest in Israeli energy.

Israel and neighbouring and potential partner, member of EU, Cyprus, of course must be quite aware that Gazprom, Russia’s battering ram, can easily prove to be a Trojan Horse in any major future natural gas development. They will try to affect a project that could certainly lessen their energy stranglehold over Europe. A 20 million metric tons per year liquid natural gas (LNG) export from Eastern Mediterranean into Europe would amount to about one third of current Russian exports.

Whatever we may think of Vladimir Putin’s politics, one thing is clear, he is a shrewd, often ruthless, operator on the global stage. But Putin’s Kremlin is clearly rattled by the threat of decline for that which underpins Russia’s entire economy: its energy hegemony.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Four Australian Soldiers Hurt in Bomb Blast

ONLY the quick reactions of his fellow soldiers has saved the life of one of four Australian Diggers wounded in a bomb blast in Afghanistan.

The soldier was seriously injured when an improvised explosive device (IED) detonated during operations alongside the Afghan National Security Force in Uruzgan Province. He was given immediate medical assistance on the ground before being evacuated by air and taken to a Kandahar medical facility for specialist treatment. He was then transferred to the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: Marine: Strict Rules of Engagement Are Killing More Americans Than Enemy in This Lost War

by Paul Szoldra, College Veteran

When I deployed to Afghanistan as an infantry squad leader in 2004, I had the utmost confidence in my superiors, our mission to restore order to Afghanistan, and to help the Afghan people. At the time of my deployment, we had clear rules of engagement (ROE): if you ever feel that your life is threatened, you can respond with force to include deadly force.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan is Not Worth Losing 10 Kiwi Lives

by Paul Thomas

Long conflict has accomplished little and the Taleban will be back

Otto von Bismarck famously declared that “the whole of the Balkans is not worth the bones of a single Pomeranian grenadier”. How many Kiwi lives is Afghanistan worth? Whichever way you look at it, it’s hard to see why that godforsaken country is worth the life of a single young New Zealander, let alone 10.

The conflict is now in its 11th year, having comfortably surpassed Vietnam as America’s longest war. The Karzai regime is as ineffectual and corrupt as ever, its security forces seemingly more inclined to turn their weapons on the foreigners who are there to help them than engage the Taleban. Perhaps that’s not so surprising given that, in all probability, the Taleban will be back in control before very much longer.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan: Taliban Leader Killed in Airstrike

A Nato airstrike in eastern Afghanistan has killed a dozen militants including a senior leader of the Taliban in Pakistan, the international military coalition revealed. The strike in eastern Kunar province on Friday killed Mullah Dadullah, the self-proclaimed Taliban leader in Pakistan’s Bajur tribal area that lies across the border, coalition spokesman Major Martyn Crighton said. Dadullah reportedly took over after Bajur’s former Pakistani Taliban leader, Maulvi Faqir Mohammed, fled to Afghanistan to avoid Pakistani army operations.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Bloodshed Between Myanmar Muslim and Buddhist Communities Leaves Deep Scars

Charred stumps and scattered rubbish are all that remain of a once-bustling community in strife-torn western Myanmar, just one of many razed to the ground in recent communal violence. The clashes which broke out in June between Rakhine Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims have left dozens of people dead and torn apart communities, forcing tens of thousands on both sides to seek refuge in dusty camps and shelters.

Nawseema Har Tu Fa said she fled her village after it was torched during the wave of violence that turned longtime neighbors into bitter enemies. “We had no problem with the Buddhist people before. We never quarreled with them before. We lived together, we used to speak. We went to the market every day together,” she told AFP in a village near the Rakhine state capital Sittwe where many Rohingya have sought sanctuary.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Fiat Unveils Training Program to Help Poor Indians Into Jobs

‘Preparation for a complete life’ organised with Don Bosco

(ANSA) — New Delhi, August 23 — Italian car manufacturer Fiat on Thursday unveiled a new vocational program aimed at “orphans, disadvantaged and poor Indian students” which seeks to teach trainees marketable skills with which to find jobs.

The program, called “Diksha”, meaning “preparation for a complete life”, was organized by Fiat India Automobiles in collaboration with the Pune division of the Don Bosco association. In a press release, Fiat said the initiative “will use the immense knowledge, concentration and training available with Fiat to offer best vocational training to the students interested in making a career in the manufacturing world. “With such a refined style of vocational training the students would be skilled to work in the automobile industry”.

Fiat India Automobiles Chief Executive Rajeev Kapoor said: “Being one of the pioneers in the automobile industry we understand the changing dynamics of the manufacturing world and realise the need of upgrading the training facilities at the vocational centres so that we can churn out better skilled talent who could work in the high competitive sector. “This initiative is our effort to enhance this process”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Free Rimsha Masih, The 11-Year-Old Disabled Girl Arrested for Blasphemy, Indian Leader Says

Sajan George, president of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC), appeals to the international community and Pakistan’s high commissioner to India. The girl could get life in prison. The GCIC wants her family to be protected and all blasphemy laws used to discriminate against Pakistan’s religious minorities abolished.

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — Sajan George, president of Global Council of Indian Christians (GCI) has appealed for the immediate release of Rimsha Masih and for the protection of her family. He has also called for the repeal of Pakistan’s blasphemy laws, once and for all. For the past week, the 11-year-old Christian girl, who suffers from a mental disability, has been locked up in a jail on blasphemy charges and could get life in prison. She is accused of burning the pages of an exercise book used to learn Arabic and the Qur’an.

The event occurred on 17 August in Umara Jaffar (Islamabad), where Rimsha lives with her family. After her action, local imams stirred local Muslims who attacked their Christian neighbours. Some 300 families fled.

“Rimsha Mashi’s arrest should serve to draw the world’s attention to the abuses committed in Pakistan in the name of the blasphemy laws,” George said. “They are used routinely to suppress dissent, harass rivals, and settle petty disputes among neighbours. They are also used for economic and political reasons.”

“False accusations of blasphemy have led to violence against Christians and other religious minorities in Pakistan. Numerous human rights abuses stem from the blasphemy laws. Pakistan must repeal them and this is the right time for the international community to put pressure on Pakistan.”

“Besides human rights, and child rights, Rimsha is even being denied legal rights,” the GCIC chairman said. “Her lawyer is being denied access to her by prison authorities. Additionally, even though Rimsha is a minor, she was put in an adult jail in the same prison as Mumtaz Qadri, the hero of the Islamists who killed Taseer. The GCIC fears for her life inside the prison.”

Punjab Governor Taseer was killed on 4 January 2011 by Qadri, his body guard, for defending Asia Bibi and for his opposition to the blasphemy laws.

In appealing to Pakistan’s high commission in India, Sajan George said, “The so-called champions of Islam are wrecking havoc on religious minorities and are further defaming Pakistan and Islam in the world.”

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

Indonesia: Five People Die in Intra-Islamic Fighting in West Java

The province leads Indonesia in sectarian violence. The murder of the leader of an extremist movement provokes his followers who carry out a revenge attack against the members of a sect deemed heretical. However, the latter was in no way connected with murder. The incident highlights the fact that violence remains a problem within Islam.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Tensions are still running high in West Java where violent clashes pitted different Muslim groups against one another, leaving five people dead. Hundreds of police agents and members of the security forces are now patrolling the streets and squares to prevent further action by infiltrators and agents provocateurs who might want to stir up further sectarian animosity. Targeted by pro-human rights activists and organisations, the province continues to live up to its reputation of confessional “intolerance,” not only between the Muslim majority and the Christian minority, with places of worship and churches forced to shut down, but also among Muslim sects.

The latest episode occurred during celebrations for the Idul Fitr on Monday in the village of Cisalopa, Jampang Subdistrict, Sukabumi District, West Java Province. Edin, a local religious leader who headed a radical Muslim group called Garis (Islamic Forum for Reform), was one of the dead. The four other people killed belonged to Tarekat At Tijaniyah, a Muslim group accused of heresy. Mutual suspicions and accusations led to fighting, sign of deep divisions among Muslims.

On hearing of Edin’s death, an enraged crowd attacked the neighbourhood where most Tarekat At Tijaniyah members live. The body of the Garis leader was in fact found in the garden owned by Sumarna, who was thought to be the head of the allegedly heretical Muslim sect.

Witnesses said that Edin met Sumarna last week in order to end the heresy and have the group dissolved. When he disappeared, rumours spread that he had “died in action”. Enraged, his followers by the thousands descended upon the enemy area, leaving four people dead. Only the intervention of police re-established some semblance of calm.

In reality, the escalation appears to be rooted in a misunderstanding. Sumarna in fact is probably not the head of Tarekat At Tijaniyah, but of a smaller group of followers that deviates from mainstream Islam. Among its “heretical” practices, we find a ban on Friday prayers and the first call to pray at dawn.

By contrast, Tarekat At Tijaniyah has been approved by Indonesia’s main Muslim organisations. The largest, Nahdlatul Ulama (Nu), has recognised its legitimacy. The same goes for the powerful Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), which considers the group as fully compatible with orthodox Islam.

It is therefore clear that Garis extremists attacked the wrong target. Yet, the real problem is not which group is heretical but rather the radical visions of a religion that does not accept differences or, as is the case for the Ahmadis, does not tolerate deviations from the official doctrine.

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

Italy Expects Marines Back From India, Defends Its Position

Situation delicate but objective is ‘clear,’ says Terzi

(ANSA) — New Delhi, August 24 — Italy expects the two Italian anti-pirate marines accused of killing two Indian fishermen in February to return back from the Asian nation where they are currently serving bail, Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said.

“It is a very delicate situation, but the objective is clear — to have the men return back home,” Terzi told reporters on the sidelines of a conference in the coastal town of Rimini. “We are completely in the right”.

Italian marines Massimiliano Latorre and Salvatore Girone have been at the centre of a diplomatic row between Italy and India since being detained in February after an incident that took place while they were guarding the Enrica Lexie tanker.

Indian police filed charges against the two that include the homicide of fishermen Jelestine Valentine and Ajesh Binki. They have since been granted bail.

Earlier this month all parties involved agreed in court that the incident had taken place in “contiguous” and not international waters, where State jurisdiction is more limited. The fact had previously been contested. National jurisdictions in that area of the sea is limited.

“Our guys need to come back home quickly,” Terzi said. He added the government was working to ensure the return of the two military officials.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Mosque Shooting: Treasury MPA Leads Protest Against Chiniot Police

FAISALABAD: Dozens of members of Sunni Action Committee continued on Friday their protest against Chiniot police. They were alleging victimisation of their colleagues arrested in terrorism and attempted murder cases.

Provincial Assembly member Maulana Ilyas Chinioti, who led the demonstrations on Thursday as well as Friday, accused the district police officer of favouring members of a Shia group of Rajoa Syedan area in a crackdown in which more than 100 people were arrested from the city on August 16. According to the FIRs registered with City police the crackdown had followed armed clashes between activists of the Sunni Action Committee and a Shia group in the vicinity of Masjid Siddique Akbar on August 15.


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

NZ: Men Will be Banned From a Muslim Exhibit at the Dowse

Men will be banned from watching a video display coming to a Lower Hutt art gallery that shows Muslim women without veils.

The Dowse Art Museum is preparing to host the world premiere of the art installation — despite advice from the Human Rights Commission that not letting men inside could be seen as sexual discrimination.

The work, by Qatari writer and film-maker Sophia Al-Maria, is called Cinderazahd: For Your Eyes Only. It features female family members and friends getting ready for a cousin’s wedding, without wearing hijabs, or veils.

Dowse director Cam McCracken confirmed Al-Maria’s work would be off-limits to men, in keeping with the artist’s wishes. “I haven’t seen the work, and I won’t.

“I’ve bought into the fact that we take this work on the proviso that no men see it. We respect the artist and the privacy of the women who are portrayed.”

Its premiere will be part of a wider exhibition at the Dowse from September 8, called In Spite of Ourselves: Approaching Documentary. Seventeen artists were featured in the exhibition.

In a statement, Al-Maria said images from the film were from exclusively female zones inside a home. “They, like this work, should be treated as privileged and private, for women’s eyes only.”

Mr McCracken said the work was likely to be screened in a small curtained-off area behind the gallery’s reception, not usually open to the public. Only one person would be able to see it at a time, for “an individual singular experience”.

“We’ve discussed removing any confrontation. It’s not like we’ll have security guards stopping people from going inside the gallery.”…

[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Rising Jew-Hatred and Jihad in Chile as the Muslim Population Increases

As reported by Gil Shefler for the’Jerusalem Post’.

‘In Chile, Jews face new dangers and old fears’

‘President of Chile’s Jewish community tells ‘Post’ neo-Nazi violence (i.e. non-Muslim Jew-hatred — CM), Palestinian (sic: translation — ‘Palestinian’ Arab Islamochristian and Muslim — CM) anti-Israelism (sic: translation — Jew-hatred — CM), Islamism (sic: in other words — Jihad — CM) on the rise.

‘Neo-Nazi violence, a large and influential Palestinian community (sic: translation — ‘Palestinian’ Arab community — CM) lobbying against Israel and a growing hotbed of Islamic extremism (in other words, an expanding Mohammedan colony which is feeling strong enough to start inciting, plotting and waging Jihad in earnest — CM) in the north of the country — the Jews of Chile have quite a lot to worry about these days, Shai Agosin, the president of the country’s Jewish community, told the Jerusalem Post last Wednesday.

And any sane and decent non-Muslim Chilean Gentile should be worrying, too; and getting ready to lobby for a complete ban on all further immigration of Muslims into Chile. — CM

‘Agosin, who is currently leading a delegation of notable Chilean personalities to Israel, said life for the 18,000 or so Jews in his country is a little more difficult than it was when he took over from the community’s former president Gabriel Zaliasnik in 2011.

Question: in the past year, how many Mohammedans have immigrated into Chile? By how much has the Mohammedan population expanded? Strikes me that the increase in ‘difficulty’ for Jews in Chile might be directly proportional to a large increase in Mohammedan numbers. Is anyone checking? — CM

‘Chief among Agosin’s concerns are the worsening ties with the 400,000 or so Chileans of Palestinian descent

(sic: in other words, of ‘Palestinian’ or Levantine Arab ancestry — CM), the largest such community in all of South America.

It is worth reading the Comments to this article, where the information is offered that the forebears of most of these so-called ‘Palestinians’ are Arabised Orthodox Christians who left the Levant even before the establishment of the Mandate, and largely due to Turkish Muslim misrule and persecution of their community. They were, in other words, dhimmis. Yet it seems they are are still carrying water for the very same Mohammedans who oppressed them unmercifully for over a thousand years. — CM

“If you compare the relations between Jews and Palestinians (sic: that is, Levantine Arabs — how tired I grow of having to continually correct this foolish use, by Jews, of a term ‘Palestinian’ in its modern form, as here, was invented purely as an instrument of Muslim anti-Jewish propaganda — CM) today, with that from 20 or 30 years ago, it is very different,” said Agosin. “Then you even had some marriages, but not any more. We are very worried over what we see in Twitter and Facebook over comments equating Nazism to Zionism. Anti-Zionism is the new anti-Semitism”.

Hardly ‘new’; if I recall correctly, this meme was going strong in the 1980s when Jacques Ellul wrote ‘Un Chretien Pour Israel’ — a book that badly needs to be translated not only into English but into Spanish, and that masterfully exposes and deconstructs the massive Arab/ Muslim and (in the 1970s-1980s) Russian Soviet propaganda campaign against Israel and the Jews. — CM

‘Agosin said Palestinian-Chilean leaders like activist Daniel Jadue were responsible for radicalizing their community against Israel.

That is: local Arab Islamochristian leaders are doing a great job conning their own into supporting the Muslim Jihad against the Jews. They forget, of course, the Muslim slogan — “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people”. If they suppose that by feeding the Jews — in Chile and in Israel — to the Jihad crocodile they themselves will win favour with their Arab Muslim masters and not end up on the menu, they are gravely in error. It might be worthwhile getting Mossad to have a look at whether and in what way people like Daniel Jadue are in contact with and being influenced by Muslims. — CM


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]