Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20120913

Financial Crisis
»Barroso Envisages ‘Federation of Nation States’
»EU Offers More Financial Aid to Egypt as President Visits
»Fed Sets Open-Ended Asset Purchases to Spur Growth; Extends Low Rates Into 2015
»Fed to Purchase Mortgage-Backed Securities at a Pace of $40 Billion Per Month
»German Economic Boom Fails to Reverse National Debt
»Van Rompuy Paper Floats Eurozone Budget, Parliament
»Akselrod Supporters Slam Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s Non-Jewish Wife, Mosque Stance
»America’s Emasculation
»Islamists, Obama, Ronald Reagan
»‘It Makes Me Sick’: Actress in Muhammed Movie Says She Thought She Was Making Film Called Desert Warrior …
»Muhammad-Film Consultant: ‘Sam Bacile’ Is Not Israeli, And Not a Real Name
»Sammamish OKs Mosque Parking
»San Jacinto: Mosque Critic Linked to Film That Sparked Middle East Attacks
»The ‘Obama Fat Head Syndrome’
»The Age of Despotism
»The Most Epic Drug Failure. Ever.
»US Ambassador Killed in Libya: Convicted California Fraudster Confirms Film Role
»US Law Enforcement: Nakoula is Filmmaker of Anti-Muslim Movie Blamed for Violence
Europe and the EU
»Dutch PM Rutte Wins Election as Pro-Euro Parties Sweep
»Dutch Election: Pro-Europe VVD and Labour Parties Win
»Dutch Pro-Europe Parties Win Heated Election
»France: French Mosque Desecrated by Human Excrement
»French Town Hunts Werewolves After Sheep Attacks
»German Court: Jeweller Shot Teen in ‘Self-Defence’
»Stakelbeck Interviews Tariq Ramadan, Muslim Brotherhood
»UK: Dog-Walking Banned in 219 Places Across London
»UK: Fear and Loathing: Another Unholy Row About Islam
»UK: Is the EDL’s Tommy Robinson Heading for a Breakdown?
»UK: Labour Council Leader Calls for Thatcher’s Death
»UK: Mosque Donated Food to Worthing’s Homeless
»UK: Planning Application Submitted for So-Called ‘Mega Mosque’ In Newham
»UK: Reshuffle Involves Two Men Who Wouldn’t Take a Stand
»UK: The Left Hates Margaret Thatcher Because She Reminds Them They Are Wrong About Everything
»UK: Teenager ‘Battered to Death on His Doorstep by Heroin Addict Hitmen Who Had Got the Wrong House’
»UK: Unemployed Woman Bombarded Police With 100 Fake 999 Calls in Just Six Days ‘Because She Was Bored’
North Africa
»Anti-Islam Film: Prophet is Untouchable Red Line, Morsi
»Destroyers and Marines Sent to Tripoli, In Anti-Islam Film “War”
»Egypt: U.S. Embassy: Protect ‘Feelings’ Of Muslims
»Libya: A Bloodless Victory
»More Than a Movie: Experts Claim Real Reason for US Embassy Attacks is Much More Sinister
»US Ambassador Killed in Libya: Investigators Probe Whether Benghazi Assault Was Planned
»US Calls Out Muslim Brotherhood After Group Officials Tweet One Thing in English and Another in Arabic Regarding Its Stance on Ongoing Anti-Film Demonstrations
»YouTube Refuses to Remove Anti-Islamic Film Clip
Israel and the Palestinians
»Palestine — A Match Made in Heaven
Middle East
»1 Protester Dead, 5 Wounded at US Embassy in Yemen
»Perceived Insults to Islam Trigger Muslim Anger
»Syria: Christians Take Up Arms for First Time
»Turkey Confirms Asylum for Hashemi
»US Embassy in Yemen Stormed in Film Protest
»Yemeni Protesters Storm US Embassy
»Russians Say Anti-U.S. Attack in Libya Vindicates Their Position
»Ukrainians’ Trust in Politicians Hits New Low
South Asia
»Afghanistan: Talk to Terrorists — Generals and Spies Agree
»Afghanistan Braces for Backlash Over Islam Film
»Al Qaeda Releases New Video of American Hostage in Plea to Netanyahu Because ‘Obama Has Abandoned Him’
Far East
»Chinese Man Was Unlawfully Sent to ‘Re-Education Through Labour’ Camp
»Let’s Not be Beastly to the Chinese
Australia — Pacific
»Eating GM Wheat May Destroy Your Liver, Warn Scientists
»Muslims Fear Backlash After Terror Raids
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Somalia President Survives Suicide Attack
»South African Military Bases on High Alert Thanks to Julius Malema
Latin America
»One of Mexico’s Most Wanted Drug Kingpins ‘Captured in Gulf’
»Violence Erupts at Venezuelan Opposition Event
Culture Wars
»BBC is Full of Liberals Afraid to Mock Islam (Says Veteran of the BBC)
»Clinton Group Touts Swedish Childcare Model
»Eric Pickles Defends Christian Britain From the European Courts — and Nick Clegg
»UK: A Christian Ethos Strengthens Our Nation
»Elusive Dark Energy is Real, Study Says
»NASA Turns to 3D Printing for Self-Building Spacecraft
»Wide Range of Alien Planets May Support Life

Financial Crisis

Barroso Envisages ‘Federation of Nation States’

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso used his third annual state of the union speech on Wednesday (12 September) to call for a “federation of nation states.”

During a 45-minute address to MEPs in the Strasbourg Parliament, Barroso said the EU should move toward genuine economic and monetary union, alongside political union and a more harmonised foreign and defence policy.

As expected, the speech was dominated by the unveiling of new legal proposals to put the European Central Bank at the heart of a banking union for the eurozone.

But the commission chief also gave a prominent place to ideas on reforming rules for pan-EU political parties, some 18 months ahead of the 2014 European elections.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

EU Offers More Financial Aid to Egypt as President Visits

The European Union has pledged more economic aid to Egypt during a visit to Brussels by Mohammed Morsi. The Egyptian president’s visit is seen as a bid to boost his democratic credentials.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told a press conference that the additional financial aid would go towards supporting Egypt’s planned transition to a fully fledged democracy.

“We can increase our program of financial cooperation with Egypt precisely to support, in general terms, these consolidated democracy efforts that President Morsi is so committed to,” Barroso said.

“Egypt can count on the European Union,” Barroso told the conference.

He said the commission had offered Egypt 500 million euros ($646 million) in macro-financial assistance if Egypt negotiated a program with the International Monetary Fund. He also offered budget support of 150-200 million euros for the country’s economic recovery.

Morsi had previously pledged to “move forward from corruption, from dictatorship, to a new phase of freedom for all, of democracy for all, of the rule of law, of guaranteeing the rights of all Egyptians.”

The new EU pledge of aid would come on top of the 449 million euros that the bloc is already contributing to job-creation schemes, reducing youth unemployment and training programs, among other things.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Fed Sets Open-Ended Asset Purchases to Spur Growth; Extends Low Rates Into 2015

The Federal Reserve opened a new chapter Thursday in its efforts to accelerate the economic recovery, saying that it would expand its holdings of mortgage-backed securities, and potentially undertake other new policies, until unemployment drops sufficiently or inflation rises too fast.

The Fed said that it will add $23 billion of mortgage bonds to its portfolio by the end of September and then announce its plans for October as part of a new process that aims to prioritize the Fed’s economic objectives.

The Fed also said, in a statement following a meeting of its policy-making committee, that it now expects to hold short-term interest rates near zero until at least mid-2015, extending the forecast it made in January by about half a year.

[Return to headlines]

Fed to Purchase Mortgage-Backed Securities at a Pace of $40 Billion Per Month

The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) wrapped up a two-day policy meeting by announcing that it will increase policy accommodation by purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke will hold a news conference to further explain this and other policy actions the Fed is taking.

At the June FOMC meeting, the Fed announced that it would hold interest rates steady, due to continued high unemployment and low inflation. The “Operation Twist” program to buy longer dated securities was also extended, with $267 billion in additional spending. The Fed continues to characterize the economy as “expanding moderately.”

The Chairman also told reporters in June that the housing market remains sluggish, which in turn slows the overall economic recovery. He noted that tight budgets at the state and local government level are causing slow growth as well, because of their affect on employment and planning among agencies and contractors.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

German Economic Boom Fails to Reverse National Debt

Germany’s sovereign debt remained above two trillion euros ($2.58 trillion) in 2011, despite additional revenues on the back of robust economic growth. And the national debt clock is bound to keep ticking away.

At the end of 2011, Germany had accumulated exactly 2,025,400,000,000 euros in sovereign debt, which was 0.7 percent more than in the previous year, according to data published by the German Federal Statistics Office, Destatis, Thursday.

In broken down figures, this amounted to 24,771 euros of debt for every German, Destatis said.

The debt of the national government was by far the highest, standing at 1.28 trillion euros, even though Berlin was able to reduce its debt by 0.6 percent last year.

However, the country’s regional governments, as well as local municipalities were adding 2.5 percent and 4.9 percent respectively to the national debt mountain in 2011, Destatis said.

In 2011, Germany was unable to keep its sovereign debt from rising despite robust economic growth of 3.0 percent, which washed billions of euros in additional revenue into state coffers.

Under current budget plans, the government aims to reduce fresh borrowing from 32.1 billion euros this year to 18.8 billion euros in 2013. In this effort, Berlin may continue to enjoy extremely low borrowing costs — currently standing at around 2.0 percent as Germany is seen by investors as safe haven in the eurozone crisis.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Van Rompuy Paper Floats Eurozone Budget, Parliament

EU Council chief Van Rompuy on Wednesday (12 September) tabled an ‘issues paper’ on how to further integrate the eurozone, including a common budget, limited debt mutualisation and a parliamentary assembly.

The paper raises more questions than it answers. This is supposed to “get member states out of the closet on the most sensitive issues,” one EU official told this website.

Drafted with the heads of the EU commission, European Central Bank and Eurogroup of finance ministers, the paper proposes “a central budget for the euro area” in order to “deal with asymmetric shocks and help prevent contagion.”

It also speaks of “limited common debt issuance.” This should only occur “as long as the risk sharing is accompanied with commensurate steps towards common decision-making on budgets that safeguard against moral hazard” — wording that could have come straight out of Berlin.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]


Akselrod Supporters Slam Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz’s Non-Jewish Wife, Mosque Stance

Syrian Jews swamped with emails slamming Cymbrowitz

Supporters of a Sheepshead Bay Assembly candidate looking to unseat longtime Albany rep Steven Cymbrowitz are trying to rile up Jewish support by highlighting the lawmaker’s marriage to a gentile woman. Syrian Jews in the 45th district have been swamped with emails slamming Cymbrowitz for breaking Jewish law by marrying Vilma Huertas after his Jewish wife, Lena, died in August 2000 following a long battle with cancer. “Cymbrowitz does not follow [RELIGIOUS]community values,” one email from BrooklynMessage said. The supporters are likely tied to challenger Ben Akselrod’s campaign, multiple sources familiar with the race said. “The campaign is not very conventional,” an Akselrod source said.

“It’s definitely organized,” a Brooklyn political pundit added. “It’s not the average Joe saying they feel very strongly about a particular viewpoint. They use fake email addresses and names to try to get the negative message out.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

America’s Emasculation

Somewhere in the archives of the US there is rumored to be an old document, not much referred to these days (nor remembered), called the US Constitution. In olden days in America it was the law of the land. It is said, by the elderly among us, that that old document actually protected the citizens from the government. How quaint!


I have concluded that we have been “conditioned” to accept a more “homogeneous” way of life suitable more for a socialist/communist/Marxist society than for a free, capitalist society, the likes of which made America the greatest country on earth.

SOMETHING happened—and it didn’t happen overnight. No. I’m pretty sure we were “conditioned.”

The very fact that we ALLOW the government to gather all that information on us is evidence that there is a new “Normal” in America. The “rugged individualist” is a thing of the past, and anachronism, having given way to a “socialist” who is incapable of caring for himself/herself without constant supervision by the Big Brother government.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Islamists, Obama, Ronald Reagan

The day that Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, Islamist revolutionary kidnappers released prisoners that they’d held for over 444 days in the US embassy in Iran. Although it has not yet been verified through documentation, in a private conversation with a Reagan speech writer I was told that Reagan warned the Ayatollah Khomeini that he would nuke Mecca if the captives were not released the day he took office.

Fast-forward to 2012, and America’s Girly Man President, as he demonstrates empathic understanding and dhimmitude toward Islamic revolutionaries, and our Ambassador to Libya and three of his staff members die. In the week leading up to the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, it was reported that President Barack Obama was skipping out on intelligence briefings, and that there was no enhancement of security at US embassies.

So, let us see if we have this likely chain of events down right: The intelligence community signals that they have information that a hit squad is being prepared to attack our ambassador in Libya and our embassy in Cairo, Egypt will fall under siege. Obama refuses to hear the information, although others in the White House are aware of its existence. With plausible deniability firmly established, the events are allowed to unfold.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

‘It Makes Me Sick’: Actress in Muhammed Movie Says She Thought She Was Making Film Called Desert Warrior …

The actors in the ‘blasphemous’ film that branded the Islamic prophet Mohammed a fraud and is thought to have incited the violence in Egypt and Libya that left four Americans including the ambassador dead have condemned the movie saying they were deceived. When they signed on to make the film, it was called Desert Warrior and was billed as a ‘historical desert drama set in Middle East’. Because of post-production editing, it is now an inflammatory hate-filled video that prompted global protests.

As the search continues for the producer of the film, who worked under the pseudonym of Sam Bacile, the actors involved have issued a joint statement denying that they had any idea about the anti-Islamic sentiments expressed in the final product. ‘The entire cast and crew are extremely upset and feel taken advantage of by the producer. We are 100% not behind this film and were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,’ the 80-person cast said via joint statement released to CNN.

What started as Desert Warrior turned into Innocence of Muslims, the nearly 14-minute trailer of which was posted on YouTube by the producer, Sam Bacile. Gawker spoke with Cindy Lee Garcia, one of the actresses from the film who said that she called Bacile in a panic on Wednesday after news of the protests in the Middle East. ‘I called Sam and said, “Why did you do this?” and he said, “I’m tired of radical Islamists killing each other. Let other actors know it’s not their fault,”‘ Garcia said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Muhammad-Film Consultant: ‘Sam Bacile’ Is Not Israeli, And Not a Real Name

by Jeffrey Goldberg

Revelations about the alleged producer of the now-infamous trailer for “The Innocence of Muslims.”

As part of my search for more information about Sam Bacile, the alleged producer of the now-infamous anti-Muhammad film trailer “The Innocence of Muslims,” I just called a man named Steve Klein — a self-described militant Christian activist in Riverside, California (whose actual business, he said, is in selling “hard-to-place home insurance”), who has been described in multiple media accounts as a consultant to the film.

Klein told me that Bacile, the producer of the film, is not Israeli, and most likely not Jewish, as has been reported, and that the name is, in fact, a pseudonym. He said he did not know “Bacile”‘s real name. He said Bacile contacted him because he leads anti-Islam protests outside of mosques and schools, and because, he said, he is a Vietnam veteran and an expert on uncovering al Qaeda cells in California. “After 9/11 I went out to look for terror cells in California and found them, piece of cake. Sam found out about me. The Middle East Christian and Jewish communities trust me.”

He said the man who identified himself as Bacile asked him to help make the anti-Muhammad film. When I asked him to describe Bacile, he said: “I don’t know that much about him. I met him, I spoke to him for an hour. He’s not Israeli, no. I can tell you this for sure, the State of Israel is not involved, Terry Jones (the radical Christian Quran-burning pastor) is not involved. His name is a pseudonym. All these Middle Eastern folks I work with have pseudonyms. I doubt he’s Jewish. I would suspect this is a disinformation campaign.” I asked him who he thought Sam Bacile was. He said that there are about 15 people associated with the making of the film, “Nobody is anything but an active American citizen. They’re from Syria, Turkey, Pakistan, they’re some that are from Egypt. Some are Copts but the vast majority are Evangelical.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sammamish OKs Mosque Parking

City officials have signed off on plans for a mosque just north of Pine Lake despite concerns from some neighbors over the effect on the surrounding neighborhood. The city issued its conditional approval of the Sammamish Muslim Association’s proposed facility and 44-stall parking lot on the 22000 block of Southeast 20th Street Sept. 6, nearly a year and a half after the group originally applied. The proposal underwent several public comment periods after the city was inundated with public opinion on the project. To date, the city had received 536 letters related to the mosque — both in support and in opposition.

Wassim Fayed, one of the association’s board members, said the group has gone out of their way to ensure that the project addresses neighbors’ concerns. The association, which is made up of about 70 area families, has been worshiping at the converted single-family home since 2009 but has been forced to hold large events at Mary, Queen of Peace Catholic Church or Beaver Lake Lodge due to a lack of parking at the facility. Fayed said it means a lot to worshipers to have their own place to call home. “It’s good for our identity and morale,” he said. “Having our own facility helps give us a sense of community.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

San Jacinto: Mosque Critic Linked to Film That Sparked Middle East Attacks

Steve Klein, a San Jacinto man who joined with fellow critics of Islamic law to protest a mosque project in Temecula, is linked to the film that may have sparked the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya on Tuesday. Four U.S. citizens were killed in the attack, including the U.S. ambassador to Libya, John Christopher Stevens. There also was an attack on the U.S. embassy in Cairo. Klein, who is listed as the contact for a Hemet-based organization called Concerned Citizens for The First Amendment, served as the consultant for a film called “Innocence of Muslims,” according to multiple media reports, including a piece on In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Klein reportedly said the filmmaker and funders of the movie are all “United States citizens, including naturalized Christians from the Middle East.” Klein told the Times he did not “give a darn” if it offended Muslims…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The ‘Obama Fat Head Syndrome’

When the Free World was reeling in shock over the assassination of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and three staff members at the American Consulate in Benghazi, Michelle was talking about American obesity being the “Number One National Security” threat on the Dr. Oz show.

Obesity is “absolutely” the greatest threat to national security, according to Mrs. Barack Hussein Obama.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Age of Despotism

I well remember when my friend LT CDR Ernest “Guy” Cunningham conducted his “Combat Arms Survey” to 300 active-duty Marines at the USMC’s Air-Ground Combat Center, Twentynine Palms, California, back on May 10, 1994. A couple of questions in this survey were especially revealing (and startling).


Responses to another question were even more startling. Cunningham’s question: “Consider the following statement: I would fire upon U.S. citizens who refuse or resist confiscation of firearms banned by the U.S. government.” The result: “42.3 percent strongly disagreed with this statement; 19.3 percent disagreed; 18.6 percent agreed; 7.6 percent strongly agreed; and 12.0 percent had no opinion.” This equates to approximately 61% of Marines saying they would defy orders to turn their weapons on US citizens in order to disarm them; 26% saying they would not disobey such orders; and 12% refusing to say one way or the other, which means you could probably add them to the 26% who would not disobey orders to turn their weapons on American citizens.

See McManus’ report here.

Speaking of Commander Cunningham, back in 2009, he told me that America was entering “The Age of Despotism.” Cunningham is no slouch. He was a Green Beret (who served in the same Special Forces Company alongside his father and two brothers), an infantryman with the 101st Airborne Division, Navy pilot, mission commander and analyst. He is also the author of the previously mentioned Twentynine Palms Survey. His military credentials are unassailable. When Commander Cunningham speaks, people should listen.

Commander Cunningham shared his insight with me into the stranglehold that the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) holds over the U.S. military by estimating that “75% of military admirals and generals with two stars or more have been trained by the CFR.”

In supporting his ominous conclusion that America was entering “The Age of Despotism,” Cunningham noted former President Bill Clinton’s introduction of PDD 25 (a Presidential Directive that is still in place), which reportedly authorizes the President to use and declare martial law at any time, for any reason. He reminded me of how the US military has been used several times for action on US soil.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Most Epic Drug Failure. Ever.

Only a week after the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advised all U.S. baby boomers to get tested for hepatitis C because it’s suspected that millions may be infected with it, a drug company with a hepatitis C treatment in the pipeline has suddenly abandoned the drug’s trials.

Bristol-Myers Squibb dropped the drug — called BMS-986094 — after one clinical trial patient died from heart failure and others were hospitalized with heart and kidney problems.

The new hepatitis C drug from Bristol-Myers Squibb was much anticipated, but now due to its apparently deadly risks, the drug will be discontinued and the company will take a $1.8-billion charge-off for it.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

US Ambassador Killed in Libya: Convicted California Fraudster Confirms Film Role

The mystery of who was behind the film that sparked deadly protests in Libya has deepened as a convicted California fraudster confirmed he was involved in the production.

Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, a Coptic Christian, told the Associated Press that he was a manager for the company that produced Innocence of Muslims, and provided logistics.

However, he denied being “Sam Bacile,” the pseudonym of the person ultimately behind the project. In a subsequent interview with The Daily Telegraph, a man who admitted to being Nakoula, withdrew his earlier admission and said he had nothing at all to do with the film. Speaking at his suburban home outside Los Angeles, he told The Daily Telegraph: “I’m a gas station worker, how can I have made a five million dollar movie? I didn’t know this movie, I didn’t work on it, I know nothing about it. They need to blame someone.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

US Law Enforcement: Nakoula is Filmmaker of Anti-Muslim Movie Blamed for Violence

WASHINGTON — A U.S. law enforcement official says a man named Nakoula Basseley Nakoula is behind the anti-Muslim film being blamed for mob attacks on U.S. missions in Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

A man who calls himself Sam Bacile has said he created the film, but The Associated Press on Wednesday connected Nakoula to the Bacile persona.

The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss an ongoing investigation.

In an AP interview, Nakoula says he managed logistics for the company that produced the film, which mocked Muslims and the prophet Muhammad. He denies that he was Bacile.

The movie is implicated in inflaming mobs that attacked U.S. compounds in Egypt, Libya and Yemen. The U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans were killed.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Dutch PM Rutte Wins Election as Pro-Euro Parties Sweep

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) — Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte won a closely contested election as voters handed pro-European parties a sweeping victory, shunning the radical fringes and dispelling concerns that eurosceptics could gain sway in a core euro zone country.

With 96 percent of votes counted, Rutte’s centre-right Liberals won 41 seats in the 150-member lower house, a slender two-seat lead over the centre-left Labour Party on 39 seats, based on results early on Thursday morning.

“We won our greatest victory in history and for the second time became the largest party in the Netherlands,” Rutte told supporters after Labour leader Diederik Samsom telephoned him to concede defeat.

“We fought this election house by house, street by street, city by city, and I’m proud. Tomorrow I will take the first steps leading to the formation of a cabinet.”

Rutte declined to say which parties he would approach as coalition partners. The Liberals and Labour have played down talk of forming a coalition together. But parliamentary arithmetic suggests that is the most probable outcome given the highly fragmented political landscape.

“They are condemned to work with each other. It shows the Dutch people want a stable government,” said Andre Krouwel, a political scientist at Amsterdam’s VU University.

The hard-left Socialists, who oppose austerity and euro zone bailouts, finished a distant third and gained no ground, while the far-right anti-immigration Freedom Party (PVV) of Geert Wilders, who campaigned to leave the euro and the European Union, slumped and was set to lose nearly its seats.

The two radical parties dominated early stages of the campaign, raising the prospect of a massive protest vote that might paralyze government and make Dutch support for further euro zone bailouts impossible.

The unexpectedly clear result removed a potential obstacle to efforts to stabilize Europe’s single currency after Germany’s constitutional court gave the green light for the euro zone’s permanent bailout fund to go ahead.

However, the Netherlands is likely to remain an awkward, tough-talking member of the single currency area, strongly resisting transfers to euro zone debtors, even if the two main parties end up forming a coalition.

Two-Horse Race

The campaign ended up as a two-horse race between Rutte, 45, a former Unilever human resources manager dubbed the “Teflon” prime minister because of his ability to brush off disasters, and energetic new Labour leader Samsom, 41, a former Greenpeace activist whose debating flair impressed voters.

Rutte, whose minority centre-right government was toppled by Wilders in April out of hostility to spending cuts to trim the budget deficit, vowed earlier to pursue his tough policy on euro zone bailouts in alliance with fellow northern creditor countries Germany and Finland.

Samsom struck a tough tone for possible coalition negotiations, saying: “Nobody knows exactly what will happen tomorrow (Thursday), but one thing is certain. The course can be changed. The course must be changed because the right-wing policies of the past two years cannot continue.”

Wilders, who suffered a stunning defeat after bringing down the government and shifting his message from anti-Islam to anti-euro, vowed to bounce back.

“Our fight in the Netherlands is needed now more than ever. These problems will only get bigger and the best years for the PVV lie ahead of us,” the firebrand told supporters. “I will not quit.”

The centrist Christian Democrats, who dominated most post-war Dutch governments until the mid-2000s and were junior partners in Rutte’s outgoing cabinet, crashed to their worst result in decades and were tied for fourth place with the Freedom Party.

The Netherlands is one of the few triple-A rated countries left in Europe and a long-standing ally of Germany in demanding strict adherence to EU budget rules.

Dutch taxpayers are frustrated at demands for belt-tightening, especially the steady erosion of their cherished welfare state and pensions, while having to put up billions of euros to rescue what they see as profligate budget sinners.

“People have become negative about Europe because we give so much money to Greece and other countries, and at the same time we are aware of the fact that we badly need money here to pay for schools, for the army and everything,” said Jaap Paauwe, a professor of management at Tilburg University.

With the focus on the euro zone crisis and its impact on the domestic economy, Europe took centre stage during the campaign, pushing immigration off the radar after nearly a decade.

Business groups ran a campaign highlighting the benefits of EU membership. The main employers’ federation hung a banner from its head office proclaiming: “Vote for Europe and your job.”

[Return to headlines]

Dutch Election: Pro-Europe VVD and Labour Parties Win

Voters in the Netherlands have backed two pro-European centrist parties, while the anti-immigrant Geert Wilders’ Eurosceptic party took heavy losses.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte claimed victory for his liberal VVD party. Centre-left Labour came a close second. Both parties performed better than predicted, seeking a pan-European solution to the eurozone crisis. They have enough seats for a workable coalition — but would have to reconcile very different views on austerity. With more than 96% of votes counted, the VVD looked set to take 41 seats in the 150-member lower house, two more than Labour…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Dutch Pro-Europe Parties Win Heated Election

Pro-European parties swept to victory in Dutch elections on Wednesday (13 September) despite concerns that eurosceptics would increase their influence on future decision-making powers.

Some 96 percent of the votes had been counted with official results expected later on Thursday morning.

But exit polls give caretaker prime minister Mark Rutte’s Liberals 41 seats and the centre-left Labour Party 39 in the 150-member lower house with hardliners on both sides of the political divide losing considerable ground.

Pundits had initially predicted the two would only grab 70 seats.

“We won our greatest victory in history and for the second time became the largest party in the Netherlands,” said Rutte.

The far-left Socialists, who had campaigned against austerity and eurozone bailouts, are likely to end up with just 15 seats.

Meanwhile, firebrand Geert Wilders of the anti-immigration Freedom Party had campaigned for the Netherlands to leave the euro and the European Union. The verdict has hit Wilders’ party the hardest — his party is set to lose about a third of his seats, dropping from 24 to 13.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

France: French Mosque Desecrated by Human Excrement

France: A mosque in the French city of Limoges has been desecrated by having human excrement smeared on its doors, Interior Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday in a statement condemning the incident. The attack happened overnight following reports of mob violence in Egypt and Libya involving Islamists angered by a US-made film said to insult the Prophet Mohammed. There was no immediate indication however that the desecration was a reaction to or linked to the unrest over the film. “This attack is a grave assault on the dignity of Muslims and is shocking for every citizen who upholds the values of respect and tolerance,” Mr Valls said in his statement…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

French Town Hunts Werewolves After Sheep Attacks

A spate of attacks on sheep, many of them found with their throats slit, have caused a mysterious beast hunt in a town in western France.

A flock of ewes were found dead by their owners, savagely killed and often with their throats cut, in the town of Les Mauges, near Nantes. Locals speculated a wild dog or a wolf may be to blame. But a team of werewolf experts from Paris have been investigating the scene, convinced the half-man half-wolf beast is responsible for the attacks.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

German Court: Jeweller Shot Teen in ‘Self-Defence’

A 67-year-old German jeweller was spared prison on Wednesday despite killing a teenager who held up her shop. A regional court ruled that shooting the intruder in the back of the head was self-defence.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Stakelbeck Interviews Tariq Ramadan, Muslim Brotherhood

As the Muslim Brotherhood tightens its grip on Egypt and fans the flames of jihad across the Middle East this week, Western governments are scrambling get a handle on this powerful group.

Tariq Ramadan says he can help them do that—but his track record says he has a much different motive.

Ramadan’s grandfather, Hassan al-Banna, founded the Muslim Brotherhood. His father, Said Ramadan, helped lead the movement in Europe.

Tariq—who has been dubbed “Islam’s savior”—has been accused of carrying on the Brotherhood family tradition in his statements, writings and associations.

I sat down with him recently at England’s Oxford University to get answers.

Click the link above to watch.

           — Hat tip: Erick Stakelbeck[Return to headlines]

UK: Dog-Walking Banned in 219 Places Across London

Dog-walking has been banned in more than 200 places across London, according to new research that shows residents are unwittingly at risk of committing offences for carrying out the most innocuous activities.

The Manifesto Club claims that the boundaries of these no-pet zones, found in parks and open spaces, are often unmarked and so people could receive fines of up to £80 if they accidentally stray into them. Elsewhere in the capital, councils have outlawed delivering leaflets without a permit, gathering in particular areas and drinking alcohol in public…

Councils and police have also set up 74 alcohol confiscation zones, with 14 local authorities making their entire boroughs drink-free. Within these zones, officers and even private security guards and council staff can fine anyone who refuses to hand over bottles or cans — even if they are unopened.

[JP note: Making London Sharia-sure, step-by-step. Call it the Surefire Sharia Shuffle.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Fear and Loathing: Another Unholy Row About Islam

by Jerome Taylor

As fury at an obscure anti-Muslim US film spreads around the world, an equally explosive controversy is in progress in the UK about academic freedom and Islamic history

One is a piece of pop scholarship that attempted to offer a historical perspective on the early foundations of Islam. The other is a volatile hatchet job deliberately designed to insult and inflame opinion. But in the past 48 hours Channel 4’s historical documentary Islam: The Untold Truth and the as-yet-untitled American-made history of Mohamed have combined to thrust Islam back on to the front pages with reports of protests and threats of violence.

The two films could hardly be more different. Tom Holland’s documentary, first broadcast last month, took a revisionist approach towards the birth of Islam and questioned whether there was enough contemporaneous evidence for it to be possible to say for sure what exactly happened in Arabia during the eighth century. The storm of criticism it provoked was largely academic, centring on allegations that Holland had presented a somewhat discredited school of thought as fact with few on-air caveats. But on Tuesday things appeared to turn nasty when Channel 4 said it had to cancel a private screening of the film after receiving “specific and credible” threats…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Is the EDL’s Tommy Robinson Heading for a Breakdown?

by Jake Wallis Simons

The English Defence League is having a difficult time. Two weeks ago, a rally outside the town hall in Walthamstow, north-east London, was thrown into disarray. Supporters en route to the event were obstructed by demonstrators from groups such as Unite Against Fascism and We Are Waltham Forest, who staged a sit-down protest at a key junction between Hoe Street and Forest Road. The EDL contingent had to be redirected through the backstreets of Walthamstow, receiving abuse from local people and anti-fascist protesters as they passed.

At the same time, another group of 400 anti-EDL activists broke through police lines and occupied the intended rally point. There they stumbled upon the EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, who had arrived early with a handful of supporters to set up the sound system. Tensions rose as police did their best to contain the situation. Forced to dismantle the equipment after a standoff, a visibly shaken Robinson was witnessed having a blazing row with his closest colleague, Kevin Carroll, who despite possessing a criminal record will be standing as a candidate in the Bedfordshire Police Commissioner elections later this year. Twenty English Defence League supporters were arrested; the rally was cancelled…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Labour Council Leader Calls for Thatcher’s Death

Cllr Darren Cooper, the Labour leader of Sandwell Council, has used his Twitter account to call for Baroness Thatcher to “rot in Hell.” The comment was a “re-tweet” rather than his own words. However when challenged over it he justified circulating the message saying that it represented his “feelings.” While the Labour leader Ed Miliband says that demanding the death on an 85-year-old grandmother is unacceptably offensive the Labour Party seems to go on accepting within its ranks those who express such a sentiment. Cllr Eion Watts, the Leader of Bolsover District Council has “already got celebrations organised.” While Cllr Linda Hobson remains in the Labour fold on Newcastle after tweeting her support for Lady Thatcher’s death. Cllr Florence Anderson remains a Labour councillor in Sunderland — after calling for Lady Thatcher to “burn in Hell” — then earlier this year called on the IRA to bomb the Conservative Party Conference. Cllr Anderson not only remains a Labour councillor but is Chairman of the Community and Safer City Scrutiny Committee.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Mosque Donated Food to Worthing’s Homeless

WORTHING Mosque donated food items to the town’s homeless as part of their Ramadan celebrations. The mosque, in Ivy Arch Road, is a regular supporter of Worthing Churches Homeless Projects. It used the Islamic Holy month of Ramadan to drive a campaign to provide food to the homeless people of Worthing. Worshippers were encouraged to donate generously through a series of posters and awareness-raising throughout the month. Imam Idris Nawab, the mosque’s spiritual leader, said: “Charity is a very important aspect of Islam, and during Ramadan Muslims are urged to be even more generous. Fasting daily helps to give us a better perspective of the experiences of those in this world who have very little. During the month we have supported charities all around the world, but we feel it is vital that we don’t forget those closer to home.”

Sue Stevens, fund-raising and PR manager for the charity, said: “It is wonderful the congregation at the mosque have chosen to support us in this way. In the past 12 months we have helped 534 individuals, every quarter we see around 60 new people, every night there are 56 people in our accommodation with another 20 to 30 people visiting our day centre on a daily basis, there are a lot of mouths to feed. “We could not continue our work without the support of the local community, this donation of food is a great help.” In addition to helping Worthing Churches Homeless Projects, Worthing Mosque has raised around £7,000 this month for charities in Pakistan, Syria, Palestine, Burma, Bangladesh and East Africa.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Planning Application Submitted for So-Called ‘Mega Mosque’ In Newham

The Architects Journal reports that NRAP Architects have submitted an outline planning application for a 9,500-capacity mosque at the Riverine Centre in Newham and provides “exclusive images” of the plan. Unfortunately, to subscribers only. However, the Riverine Centre website has been updated with details of the plan. You can consult an overview of the proposals here. It would obviously be too much to ask that the right-wing press should cease referrring to the development as a “mega-mosque”, but perhaps they could bring themselves to stop publishing references to and illustrations of the old Mangera Yvars design for a 12,000-capacity mosque that was scrapped five years ago.

Update: There’s also an article at Building Design, which reports:

“NRAP was appointed in 2011 and drew up plans that included retail units and 300 flats on the 6.5ha site near the Olympic Park. But these have now been dropped after the Muslim community that is funding the 9,350-capacity mosque — including 1,830 segregated places for women — objected to the idea of its donations going towards a commercial venture.

“The scheme submitted to Newham Council by the controversial Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat is for a mosque, 2,000-capacity dining hall and Islamic library, plus a sports pavilion and playing fields for the wider community. There will also be children’s facilities, eight flats for imams and overnight visitors and 300 car parking spaces.”

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Reshuffle Involves Two Men Who Wouldn’t Take a Stand

by Martin Bright

In many ways, David Cameron’s first reshuffle was a non-event. Since coming to power two years ago, the Prime Minister has made it plain that he is aiming for consistency and continuity. He has refused to indulge in the manic reshuffling of his predecessors, believing coalition politics to be unstable enough even without a constant change of personnel.

So in the major offices of state, there is no change at all. William Hague’s Foreign Office team remains in its entirety and many supporters of Israel will be relieved to see that Alistair Burt will be able to build on his reputation and expertise as Middle East Minister.

The arrival of Baroness Warsi as an additional minister of state in the department is an intriguing development, and no one should make the mistake of underestimating her influence since her demotion. She has some forthright views on Kashmir and the Muslims of South Asia. From her position at the FCO she will be in a position to develop a power base to provide a significant counter-balance to the neo-conservative Gove tendency within government.

Her removal as joint party chairman means that there are now two Jewish chairs of the Conservative Party — Andrew Feldman and Grant Shapps — so plenty for the conspiracy theorists to chew on there. The reality is that this a straightforward promotion for a man who has won admiration within the party for his handling of the housing brief and his assured media appearances. Mr Shapps, it is felt, will be a safer pair of hands fighting the government’s corner across a range of policy issues. Although he has recently been at the centre of controversy over business dealings allegedly carried out under an assumed name, Mr Shapps is generally seen as just the man needed to revive the party’s grass-roots in the run-up to the next election. The new party chairman is not known as a particularly active player in Conservative Friends of Israel and he has not chosen to speak out on community issues. But he was president of BBYO as a young man, keeps kosher and once told the JC that he felt “totally Jewish”…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: The Left Hates Margaret Thatcher Because She Reminds Them They Are Wrong About Everything

by Daniel Hannan

Now and again, we are reminded of the sheer nastiness of a certain kind of Leftie. Not, let me stress, all Lefties: I have Labour friends who are motivated by a more or less uncomplicated desire to help the disadvantaged. But they march alongside some committed haters who define their politics not by what they like, but by what they loathe. They also define opponents not as human beings with whom they disagree, but as legitimate targets. A lack of empathy, bordering almost on sociopathy sits behind their talk of caring and sharing. On sale at the TUC Conference, before a storm of protest forced their withdrawal, were T-shirts glorying in the eventual death of Margaret Thatcher…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Teenager ‘Battered to Death on His Doorstep by Heroin Addict Hitmen Who Had Got the Wrong House’

[WARNING: Disturbing content.]

A teenage boy was stabbed to death in a case of mistaken identity after two bungling hitmen went to the wrong address, a court heard today.

Aamir Siddiqi, 17, didn’t stand a chance as he opened the front door and was immediately attacked by the two armed men wearing balaclavas.

The innocent teenager, who had been waiting for his Koran teacher, was brutally hacked down in a murderous attack on the doorstep of his home in Cardiff, south Wales, in April 2010.

Upon hearing the men’s loud howls, the A level student’s parents Iqbal and Parveen, rushed to the door to save their son’s life but were themselves stabbed in the process.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Unemployed Woman Bombarded Police With 100 Fake 999 Calls in Just Six Days ‘Because She Was Bored’

An unemployed woman who made more than 100 threatening 999 calls in only six days told police she did it because she was ‘bored’.

Yasmin Adams repeatedly warned call operators that she was going to ‘smash up’ police cars and attack officers with pepper spray.

Officers arrested Adams, 21, after they traced the calls to her home in Fenton, Staffordshire.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Anti-Islam Film: Prophet is Untouchable Red Line, Morsi

Asks Obama to “take dissuasive measures”

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, SEPTEMBER 13 — The Prophet ‘is a red line nobody can touch’, Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi was quoted as saying by Egypt’s Mena news agency comments on protests across Egypt and Libya and a film on the Prophet slammed as blasphemous. The Prophet ‘is a red line for all Muslims and we refuse any attack’, said the president. “We will sacrifice with our soul and heart” Morsi also said, citing a Muslim profession of faith. The Egyptian president, who had a phone conversation with US President Barack Obama before talks with European leaders and then a trip to Rome this afternoon, stressed his condemnation of ‘all attempts to attack the Profet and the sacred principles of Islam’. .

Meanwhile he also assured Egyptian security forces will do everything in their power to protect foreigners in the country. Morsi asked also his US counterpart Barack Obama to “take dissuasive measures against those trying to demolish relations with the US”;. Morsi also expressed his condolences for the death of the US ambassador in Libya in statements to Egypt’s state television.

Talking about the “dissuasive measures” requested, Morsi cited Father Terry Jones stressing that “he is the same person who tried to burn the Koran and is now trying to offend the Prophet”;. “We don’t attack anyone and do not accept any aggression against our sacred principles” Morsi told state television after phone talks with Obama.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Destroyers and Marines Sent to Tripoli, In Anti-Islam Film “War”

Obama and Clinton express outrage and shock. The attack on the consulate in Benghazi, may have been premeditated. The U.S. ambassador died of suffocation. With him three US staff and 10 Libyans were killed. The director of the film against Muhammad goes into hiding and describes Islam as a “cancer.” Arabic translator of the film unknown. The tensions in Libya (and Egypt) add to those between Obama and Netanyahu on Iranian nuclear issue.

Tripoli (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The United States is sending two destroyers to the Libyan coast and a unit of 50 Marines to protect U.S. personnel still in Tripoli, after the assassination of their ambassador, Christopher Stevens, and three other members of the diplomatic staff during an attack by gunmen in Benghazi. 10 Libyans were also killed in the clash.

Experts wonder if the attack on the U.S. consulate in the capital of Cyrenaica was spontaneous, born of a rally protesting an anti-Islam film, or whether it was a premeditated attack, using the demonstration as a screen.

The safest assumption is that of a premeditated attack: the gunmen struck in a professional way, using sophisticated weapons, in several waves. It seems that they knew the structure of the consulate well, the safe area where Ambassador Stevens was heading to hide, before being hit by grenade- missiles.

The Libyan doctor who treated him, said that Stevens died of asphyxia due to smoke inhalation. Libyan personnel transported the ambassador hospital, where no one knew him. The medical staff tried to revive him, but to no avail.

Libyan national security sources believe that the attack was organized and run by Ansar al-Sharia, an Islamic group that claims to be close to al Qaeda, even if they were mixed with the crowd, which included tribal militiamen and others. But the group has denied involvement.

At a White House in the midst of the presidential election campaign, there outrage and shock, but also determination because, as President Obama assured, “justice will be done for this terrible act.” Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State, has asked “how could this happen in a country that we helped to liberate, in a city that we have helped and saved from destruction?”.

Doubts also remain about the movie that sparked the attack. Producer, Sam Basin, 56, an Israeli-American, is now hidden in a secret location. He defends his work which was intended to condemn Islam as “a cancer” and a “lie.” In the film, titled “Innocence of Muslims,” ??Muhammad is presented as violent homosexual pedophile, a supporter of child abuse, etc. The film, shot with very little professionalism and with a budget of only 5 million dollars, collected from Jewish donors, was screened only once in a half-empty room.

Its trailer on Youtube found an Arabic translator, whom the director says he does not know, thus broadcasting the images and criticism to the wider Muslim world. Among the supporters of the film there is also the pastor Terry Jones, infamous for his 2010 threat to burn a Koran, which led to a series of Islamic vendettas against Western and Christian targets.

Some agencies have also cited Coptic personalities in the U.S. among its supporters, but the Coptic Church of Egypt has strongly condemned the film, the sole aim of which is to offend a religious belief.

Protests — quite peaceful — have also been held in Cairo, in front of the U.S. embassy. Among the demonstrators there are also many young Copts.

The Libyan crisis and the shock caused by the anti-Islam film falls at a time of growing tension between the United States and the State of Israel, between Obama and Prime Minister Netanyahu on how to curb Iran in its nuclear race. In recent days, Netanyahu directed some statements to Obama and Clinton who reaffirm the importance of dealing with the Iranian crisis through diplomatic channels. Netanyahu and his government want military action, an air strike to destroy the nuclear power plants in Iran, where it is believed Tehran is building nuclear weapons. Iran has always denied this allegation and claims its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.

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

Egypt: U.S. Embassy: Protect ‘Feelings’ Of Muslims

9/11 proclamation promotes ‘religious harmony,’ Americans attacked anyway

(NATIONAL REVIEW) The U.S. Embassy in Cairo has posted on its homepage a special message for 9/11 today. Its only purpose is to condemn what they call “religious incitement.” While calling for religious harmony is understandable and welcome, this short statement goes much further: It essentially upholds the Muslim anti-blasphemy standard that the Egyptian government applies in its ban on “insult to heavenly religions,” and that has long been championed by the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in U.N. resolutions calling for the universal criminalization of religious defamation and in its campaign against all forms of “Islamophobia.” Most U.N. member-states supported these OIC resolutions, but, year in and year out over a decade, the United States has opposed them.

The U.S. embassy redefines and limits freedom of speech to that speech which others, and, explicitly Muslims, do not find offensive: The embassy asserts that to “hurt the religious beliefs of others” is to “abuse the universal right of free speech.” Of course, the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment protects even insulting and offensive speech, as well as “hate speech” and even advocacy of violence, unless the advocacy is directed to inciting imminent and likely violence (see the 1969 Supreme Court case Brandenburg v. Ohio). The First Amendment does not uphold the heckler’s veto — that is, expression does not lose its protection because the listener objects, even violently objects, to it. The embassy’s statement implies that U.S. First Amendment rights conflict with the “universal right of free speech,” and that the latter should take precedent…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Libya: A Bloodless Victory

[Warning: Disturbing content.]

Obama’s clean war in Libya, the one that was won by lying to the UN and then dropping bombs and flying away while ragged bands of fighters whittled away what was left of the decrepit Libyan military, doesn’t look so clean anymore. The bloodless victory has seen its first blood shed as those same fighters coddled and protected by American jets and drones tore into the temporary consulate set up to liaise with the rebels, set it on fire and dragged the body of the ambassador who had helped their rebellion succeed through the streets while posing for snapshots with his corpse.

Those four dead Americans in Libya won’t be the last casualties because there is no such thing as a bloodless victory. Afghanistan and Iraq were both won with fairly light casualties through devastating displays of firepower. But what the United States is willing to do in the opening stages of a war, it is rarely willing to do once the dust has settled and its planners have drawn up flowcharts of how to get the local electricity grid back on line again. The rabble shooting off their captured machine guns know that they just have to wait a few months and then those boys in their shiny flying machines will come down to the ground, learn a few words of Arabic, smile at everyone and set themselves up to be killed in some dirty alleyway.


On September 11, the latest such date, our great victory in Libya began turning to ashes because the brave Libyan people we came to liberate bravely stormed our consulate and set it on fire, and then the even braver Libyan security forces tipped off the brave Libyan people where the safe house where the staff was evacuated to was located and the more of the brave Libyan people showed up determined to kill some Americans.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

More Than a Movie: Experts Claim Real Reason for US Embassy Attacks is Much More Sinister

The bloody attacks on U.S. embassies in Egypt and Libya that left four American public servants, including a U.S. ambassador dead, have sparked international outrage and controversy. Islamists claim that the catalyst for the riots was the release of an American movie critical to Islam, but according to Middle East and foreign policy experts interviewed by TheBlaze, there is a more sinister motivation at play for these bloody acts of aggression than meets the eye.

The film, to experts, only served as a “convenient excuse” for Islamists — particularly Salafists and members of the Muslim Brotherhood — to escalate tensions to a fever pitch In the hopes of achieving their ultimate goal: To make “slandering” Islam unlawful on an international level.

If it sounds too far-fetched to come to fruition, those whose life work has been to study, analyze, and in many instances prosecute Islamic terrorists, provide some compelling food for thought. First it is important to understand the current complexity of the relationship between the U.S., Libya and Egypt following the Arab Spring uprising.

The genesis of Tuesday’s bloody attacks

While the Middle East has been no stranger to turmoil, the years 2010 and 2011 marked a significant turning point in the region, as the U.S., led by President Obama under the guise of NATO, intervened in Libya’s budding civil war between civilian rebels and forces loyal to the late Moammar Gadhafi. Preventing the carnage from overspilling further, America’s role in helping to overthrow the despot who ruled Libya with an iron fist for over four decades turned out to be a thankless job.

On Tuesday, militants — some of whom were likely part of the very rebel-base the U.S. supported against Gadhafi — breached the American Consulate in Benghazi, slaughtering four Americans including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens. But a similar situation brews in Egypt. As with Libya, the Obama administration wholeheartedly signed on to aiding the “middle class folks” trying to catch a break in Tahrir Square as they waged an “Arab Spring” to oust then-President Hosni Mubarak. Again, Obama stepped in, aiding the very rebels who reports now indicate are largely Muslim Brotherhood operatives and other militants hostile to the West and Israel.

How did the newly “free” Egyptian “middle class folk” thank the U.S. for its efforts? Seize the U.S. embassy in Cairo, lower the American flag that had been flying at half-mast in honor of 9/11, and replace it with a black Islamic flag declaring jihad that read: “There is no God but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger.” The configuration of the letters formed an emblem often used by Islamic radicals. Meanwhile, protesters chanted, “we are all Osama.”


Earlier on Wednesday, TheBlaze reported that experts assert the protests were planned by Salafists (an extremists sect of Islam) with the Noor party, which holds roughly one-quarter of Egyptian parliamentary seats, long before reports surfaced of the questionable “anti” Mohammed movie. Noor Party leader Nader Bakkar joined the rampaging crowd while simultaneously (and perhaps conveniently) condemning the onslaught. TheBlaze adds:

The protest outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo was announced Aug. 30 by Jamaa Islamiya, a State Department-designated terrorist group, to protest the ongoing imprisonment of its spiritual leader, Sheikh Omar abdel Rahman, who is serving a life sentence in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

One also cannot avoid the fact that one of the very first responses to come out of the administration was not to assail those who waged an act of war against the U.S., but to apologize for offending Muslims — and therein lies the rub.

Consider the following.

A Reuters report on Wednesday following the attacks indicated that General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, actually spoke with Pastor Terry Jones by phone and asked him to withdraw his support for the film which allegedly mocked the Prophet Mohammad.

“In the brief call, Gen. Dempsey expressed his concerns over the nature of the film, the tensions it will inflame and the violence it will cause,” Dempsey’s spokesman, Colonel Dave Lapan, told Reuters.

U.S. military officials are allegedly concerned that the movie could incite violence against any of the 74,000 U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan. In fact, earlier on Wednesday, the Taliban called on Afghans to do just that: “Take revenge” on U.S. soldiers over the film.

The idea put forth by experts is fairly straightforward: By proving time and again that slandering Islam will bear a hefty price-tag which includes the loss of American lives, Islamists believe that U.S. lawmakers will ultimately find it in Americans’ best interest to introduce legislation deeming it unlawful to slander Islam.

While such a push would be a flagrant assault on the First Amendment, progressives, already on full-throttle when it comes to their political correctness-agenda, could likely attempt to pass off such legislation under the banner of “protecting” the public, and further, military men and women from potential violence.

Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi indicated as much himself. While never fully condemning the U.S. embassy attacks, the newly elected Egyptian president did make demands on the U.S. to address, via legal channels, the alleged slight on Islam.

Reuters reports that Morsi asked the Egyptian embassy in Washington to take “all legal measures” permitted in the U.S. against the filmmakers for their supposed crimes.

So as the Muslim Brotherhood mouthpiece compels Egyptian embassies to place pressure on the U.S. government to prevent further insults to Islam using legal channels, the floodgates could soon open. You might also recall from TheBlaze’s “Rumors of War III” documentary and previous reports that the Muslim Brotherhood is gaining a foothold in American government and politics.

Expert analysis

Andrew McCarthy, former Assistant United States Attorney responsible for leading the 1995 prosecution of Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman — a.k.a. the “Blind Sheik” — shared his thoughts with TheBlaze based on years researching Islamic extremism. He believes that President Obama has exacerbated “a longtime, bipartisan failure to confront the fact that Islamic supremacism is not a fringe ideology of terrorists.”

“It is the predominant Islam of the Muslim Middle East, and it is rabidly anti-American,” he told TheBlaze.

“Obama looks at it as something to be embraced. When it collides with American constitutional standards, like Sharia blasphemy laws do with American free speech, he would have our Constitution give way.”

In terms of the president’s foreign policy, McCarthy stated unequivocally that it “has been a debacle.”

“Sometimes it is amateur hour, sometimes it is the willful aiding and abetting of the Muslim Brotherhood and other anti-Western Islamists. In either case, the result has been to subordinate American interests to the interests of America’s enemies.” McCarthy, who was featured on TheBlaze documentary, “Rumors of War III,” added that GOP contender Mitt Romney is now well-primed, in the wake of the U.S. embassy-attacks, to show his leadership.

“Romney has no lines to worry about — and those who say he does are making a terrible mistake. He wants to be president of the United States, he needs to show that he will be an effective champion of American principles and interests.”

Cited as the Pentagon’s leading expert on Islamic law, Stephen Coughlin also caught up with TheBlaze to talk about the “ten-year plan” that was drafted by Islamists in 2005 intended to make Islamic slander a crime — not just in Islamic countries, but across the globe.

“And now they are putting that into action,” he said pointedly.

Coughlin explained that there was never an “Arab Spring,” but rather, a “Salafist-Muslim Brotherhood takeover” in the Middle East and that accepting that fact is key to understanding Islamists’ strategy.

He asked for people think back to the disproportionate outrage that ensued in the Muslim community over the Pope’s 2009 comments about Islamic tyranny, and to the fist Quran burning in Florida led by pastor Terry Jones.

Both incidents, according to the attorney and scholar, were actually first reported on in the Muslim world not Western media. The goal, he claimed, was to “manufacture an event” with which to incite violence and ultimately “subordinate the U.S. First Amendment.” It was engineered “to get President Bush, Obama, whoever…to say ‘sorry.’“ Thus the goal is to compel the West to blame the West for bringing violence upon itself.

He added that there is a “total lack of situational and strategic awareness” in U.S. government and that groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) and American Islamists are actively attempting to “get us to defeat ourselves.”

“We have allowed ourselves to be surrounded by Muslim Brotherhood front groups” in government who are even affecting the training of our officials. His advice to Romney or any lawmaker moving forward is simple: “Jihadists are fighting in accordance with Islamic law…when they say they are jihadists, [at least] pretend that they mean it.”

To summarize his overall feelings on America’s enemies, Coughlin closed the interview with a quote from Abe Lincoln, in which the 16th president talked about “the dogmas of the quiet past” being “inadequate to the stormy present.”

“As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country,” Lincoln continued.

Could U.S. law really change to suit the Islamist agenda?

Whether or not Islamists would ever be able to achieve their ultimate goal of changing U.S. law to suit their theological agenda remains unclear, but they certainly seem to be trying. It is also worth noting that if such an event were to even happen at all, it would likely be carried out subtly, in stages.

Regardless of the outcome it would behove analysts, intelligence agencies, specialists and policy-to not succumb to mores of political correctness and become “willfully blind” to what experts agree is the true face of Islam.

As Maya Angelou said: “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

[Return to headlines]

US Ambassador Killed in Libya: Investigators Probe Whether Benghazi Assault Was Planned

Two US destroyers were steaming towards Libya on Thursday as marines began their hunt for the killers of the American ambassador and three other diplomats, and investigators probed whether the attack may have been a planned strike.

President Barack Obama pledged that “justice will be done” after Chris Stevens, 52, was killed in the attack on the US consulate in the eastern coastal city of Benghazi on Tuesday night. A second diplomat, Sean Smith, and two other US officials were killed in the raid, which came on the anniversary of the September 11 attacks. As well as warships, Mr Obama sent 50 marines to secure the embassy in Tripoli and help in evacuating diplomats and other Americans from the country. But pressure was also rising for firm action against groups thought to be involved in the assault on the consulate…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

US Calls Out Muslim Brotherhood After Group Officials Tweet One Thing in English and Another in Arabic Regarding Its Stance on Ongoing Anti-Film Demonstrations

Ahram Online, Thursday 13 Sep 2012

While Egyptian protesters battled security forces outside the US embassy on Thursday morning, another standoff was taking place — this time in cyberspace.

The Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language Twitter account @Ikwanweb reposted a message from the group’s deputy head, Khairat El-Shater, saying he was “relieved none of @USembassycairo staff was hurt” and expressing his hope that US-Egypt relations could weather the events.

This reconciliatory tweet, however, was posted while the Brotherhood’s Arabic-language Twitter account and its official website were both praising the protests — staged against a US-made film judged defamatory towards Islam — and calling for a million man march on Friday.

One Arabic language article on the Brotherhood’s site sported the headline ‘Egyptians rise to defend the Prophet’.

Noting the contradiction, the US Embassy in Cairo tweeted a tart response from its own account: “Thanks. By the way, have you checked out your own Arabic feeds? I hope you know we read those too.”

Seemingly stung, the Brotherhood replied some 20 minutes later, saying “we understand you’re under a lot of stress, but it will be more helpful if you point out exactly the Arabic feed of concern.”

They were just three tweets, but they provided a snapshot into the strains US-Egypt relations are under this week.

It took President Mohamed Morsi more than two days to officially condemn the breaching of Cairo’s US Embassy grounds by angry protesters.

           — Hat tip: PKE[Return to headlines]

YouTube Refuses to Remove Anti-Islamic Film Clip

YouTube will not remove a film clip mocking the Islamic Prophet Mohammad that has been blamed for anti-US protests in Egypt and Libya, but it has blocked access to it in those countries.

The clip, based on a longer film, depicts the prophet as a fraud and philanderer and has been blamed for sparking violence at US embassies in Cairo and Benghazi. US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three other American diplomats were killed by gunmen in an attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi on Tuesday. Google’s response to the crisis highlighted the struggle faced by the company, and others like it, to balance free speech with legal and ethical concerns in an age when social media can impact world events.

Analysts say they have seen a handful of internet companies generally take a more hands-off approach to controversial political speech, perhaps motivated by idealistic and business considerations.

In a brief statement on Wednesday, Google officials rejected the notion of removing the video on grounds it did not violate YouTube’s policies, but restricted viewers in Egypt and Libya from loading it due to the special circumstances in the country. “This video — which is widely available on the Web — is clearly within our guidelines and so will stay on YouTube,” Google said in a statement. “However, given the very difficult situation in Libya and Egypt, we have temporarily restricted access in both countries.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Palestine — A Match Made in Heaven

Re-subdivide Palestine into two states — one Jewish — one Arab. Two people need two states — not three.

Yasser Arafat and Yitzchak Rabin were reportedly overheard having the following spirited conversation in heaven recently — frankly reflecting on the mistakes they both had made in trying to reach the “Peace of the Brave” for which they and the last surviving member of the trio — Shimon Peres — had received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1994.

Yitzchak: I always thought that the way to peace between the Jews and the Arabs involved re-subdividing Palestine into two States with Jewish Israel sovereign in about 20% of Palestine and Arab Jordan sovereign in about 80% of Palestine.

Shimon persuaded me to pursue a different path by accepting Oslo.

In hindsight this was a terrible error of judgment by me and cost me my life, the lives of thousands of Jews and Arabs and the maiming, wounding and emotional scarring of our respective populations.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Middle East

1 Protester Dead, 5 Wounded at US Embassy in Yemen

One protester has been shot dead and five others have been wounded by Yemeni police trying to control a mob attempting to storm the U.S. Embassy in Sana’a.

Rioters chanting “O Messenger of Allah, O Mohammed…” launched a second assault on the American compound following an attack rebuffed by security forces earlier in the day.

President Abdurabuh Mansour Hadi apologized to U.S. President Barack Obama and to the American people for the acts of “a mob” and ordered an investigation into the attack.

“Those who are behind [this attack] are a mob that are not aware of the far-reaching plots of Zionist forces, especially those that made a film insulting the prophet,” Hadi said.

Some protesters said they saw three vehicles being torched by some of the demonstrators after they breached the compound through an unguarded security gate.

After being evicted from the complex on their first attempt, protesters retreated about 100 meters (330 yards) from the gate and gathered at a checkpoint where they chanted anti-Jewish slogans.

“O Jews, Khaybar, Khaybar. The army of Mohammed will return!” they chanted, referring to a 7th century CE war in the western Arabian Peninsula in which the Muslims were said to have defeated the Jews.

They then launched a second assault on the embassy compound, prompting police to fire on the crowd, killing one and wounding five others. Earlier in the day, six police officers and 13 protesters were wounded in clashes during the first attempted assault on the complex.

The attack on the U.S. Embassy in Yemen comes as violent demonstrations entered a third day at the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, where security forces have been firing tear gas cannisters to maintain control over the mobs.

Meanwhile, Americans mourned the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three other American diplomats who were brutally murdered Tuesday night in a similar attack at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi.

Protesters claimed the destruction of the consulate and torching of vehicles parked at the site was ignited by rage over an amateur satirical video produced in the United States that mocked the life of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed, founder of Islam, and included themes of sexuality, murder and violence.

But there is growing speculation that Al Qaeda terrorists were among the frenzied mob that carried out the murderous assault in Benghazi on Tuesday night, rather than simple demonstrators.

Moreover, there is increasing speculation that the continuing violence at other U.S. embassies around the region might signal a campaign of attacks previously promised by the international terrorist organization to mark the eleventh anniversary of its “9/11” attack on America.

Violence by hundreds of demonstrators has broken out at U.S. missions in Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen, as well as in Egypt and Libya this week, all using their rage over the film, “Innocence of Muslims” as the excuse for the riots.

The obscure film, allegedly produced by California real estate developer Sam Bacile, whose identity is becoming increasingly mysterious, as he cannot be located. The video was reportedly released at least six months ago in English, but went unnoticed until it was translated into Arabic and a trailer posted on the YouTube website a few days prior to September 11. Clips of the film were also apparently broadcast on an Egyptian television channel over the weekend. Coptic Christians have since been accused of promoting the film, as has controversial Florida-based Christian Pastor Terry Jones, who in the past burned copies of the Qur’an.

[Return to headlines]

Perceived Insults to Islam Trigger Muslim Anger

Muslim anger over perceived Western insults to Islam has exploded several times, most recently in protests this week against U.S. diplomatic posts in the Middle East. The violence, fueled mostly by religious zealots, reflects the tension between Muslims and the secular West that followed the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Here are some of the most serious incidents


[JP note: Perhaps it’s the other way round.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Syria: Christians Take Up Arms for First Time

Christian communities in Aleppo have taken up arms and formed their own militias for the first time, the Daily Telegraph can disclose.

The Christian community has tried to avoid taking sides in the civil war. In Aleppo, it recruited vigilantes from the Boy Scout movement to protect churches, but as the war moved into the city and spread across its suburbs they have begun to accept weapons from the Syrian army and joined forces with Armenian groups to repel opposition guerrillas. “Everybody is fighting everybody,” said George, an Armenian Christian from the city. “The Armenians are fighting because they believe the FSA are sent by their Turkish oppressors to attack them, the Christians want to defend their neighbourhoods, Shabiha regime militia are there to kill and rape, the army is fighting the FSA, and the [Kurdish militant group] PKK have their own militia too.” For the past six weeks up to 150 Christian and Armenian fighters have been fighting to prevent Free Syrian Army rebels from entering Christian heartland areas of Aleppo.

Last month the Syrian army claimed a ‘victory’ in removing FSA fighters from the historic Christian quarter of Jdeidah. But Christian militia fighters told the Daily Telegraph it was they who had first attacked the FSA there…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Turkey Confirms Asylum for Hashemi

Even after death sentence

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA,SEPT 10- Turkey has confirmed the asylum offered to the Sunni Iraqi Vice President Tareq al- Hashemi, despite the death sentence decided yesterday by a court in Baghdad, according to press reports in Ankara.

Hashemi, accused by Iraqi justice of having ordered several political assassinations, is one of the main rival of the Shiite premier Nouri al-Maliki, and since April he lives in Turkey with his family under the protection of Ankara authorities. Hurriyet reports that yesterday Iraqi Vice President has met with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who confirmed, according to the newspaper, “that he can stay as long as he wishes “. Turkey has also recently rejected calls for extradition from Iraq. The “Hashemi case”‘ has further strained in recent months the already difficult relations between the Iraqi Shiite premier and his colleague,the Turkish Muslim nationalist Recip Tayyip Erdogan. Today Hashemi rejected the”politically motivated” judgment of the courts of Baghdad declaring of being “totally innocent”. The Sunni Iraqi’s leader accused al-Maliki of being behind the death sentence, “decided by a judiciary politicized organism”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

US Embassy in Yemen Stormed in Film Protest

Protesters angered by an anti-Islam film made in the US have stormed the grounds of the American embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa.

Police shot in the air in an attempt to hold back the crowds, but failed to prevent them gaining access to the compound and setting fire to vehicles. A number of people were reported to have been injured. On Tuesday, the US ambassador to Libya was killed in a fire started after the US consulate in Benghazi was stormed. Security force reinforcements in Sanaa used tear gas, water cannon and live fire to drive back protesters. They have now regained control of the Sanaa compound, but protests are continuing outside…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Yemeni Protesters Storm US Embassy

Protesters angered by an anti-Islam film have stormed the US Embassy compound in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, following the death of the US ambassador to Libya in protests on Tuesday night.

Protesters torched a number of diplomatic vehicle as security forces used water cannons and warning shots in a bid to drive them out. Police had earlier fired warning shots to disperse few thousands of protesters as they approached the main gate of the mission. “O, Allah’s messenger… O, Mohammed,” protesters chanted. Before storming the embassy compound on Thursday, the demonstrators removed the embassy’s sign on the outer wall and set tires ablaze. Once inside the compound, they brought down the US flag and burned it. Yemen is home to Al-Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula and the United States is the main foreign supporter of the Yemeni government’s counterterrorism campaign…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Russians Say Anti-U.S. Attack in Libya Vindicates Their Position

Upon learning of the violent death of the United States ambassador to Libya on Wednesday, many Russians responded with variations on “I told you so.”

Russia has long argued that the West should not support popular uprisings against dictatorships in the Middle East lest Islamic fundamentalism take hold. Vladimir V. Putin, then serving as prime minister, was especially enraged last fall after an angry crowd killed his ally, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, an event he later condemned as a “repulsive, disgusting” scene.

Since then, Russia has blocked Western initiatives to force Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, from power despite a bloody crackdown on the opposition. Russians’ responses to the storming of the American Consulate in Benghazi underlined the deep policy divide. A prime-time news report pointedly juxtaposed images of Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens’s death with Colonel Qaddafi’s, pointing at their similarities, then cut to footage of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton reacting to the Libyan leader’s death with a cursory “wow.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Margelov said that passions had been stoked by the uprisings and that they “splash out in the form of terrorist acts or massacres of nonbelievers or an attack on embassies and consulates.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Ukrainians’ Trust in Politicians Hits New Low

Less than 20 percent of Ukrainians expect a fair election in October, according to a new survey by DW. The latest results reflect a skepticism that has been growing over recent months.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan: Talk to Terrorists — Generals and Spies Agree

by Richard Norton-Taylor

You may have to send in the troops, but they won’t solve the conflict. The most they may do is help persuade the enemy to accept a ceasefire, usually after a significant loss of life and secret, backchannel, talks between the combatants. Sending in the troops, unleashing bombs, may prevent the enemy from winning the war but they will not bring peace. As British defence chiefs say repeatedly, there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan. That means talking to terrorists, and as a matter of increasing urgency.

It may be little comfort to the families of soldiers killed in action. But this is what happened in Northern Ireland, with MI6 talking to IRA leaders at the height of the violence. And it will happen, slowly and stutteringly, in Afghanistan.

Comparisons with Northern Ireland were made earlier this week conversations with a group of British experts who recently held private meetings with senior Taliban figures. The Taliban group appeared as pragmatic as the IRA — talking about an “unwinnable war”, a ceasefire, and “power sharing”, according to their British interlocutors. General Sir Peter Wall, the head of the British army, told the International Institute for Strategic Studies early this year that “the real fixes [in Afghanistan] are at the political level and these too now show some sign of movement…developments in dialogue with the Taliban being a case in point”. He added: “Progress in this domain is vital if we are to achieve a soft landing by 2014 [when all Nato-led foreign troops will end all ground combat operations].” Prospects for future stability and “the history of deal making in that region” gave some grounds for cautious optimism”, said Wall. That was eight months ago.

“Dialogue, not only with the dictators of the world but with the terrorists, is necessary”, Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller, the former head of MI5, says in her recent booklet, Securing Freedom, published by Profile Books and based on her BBC Reith lectures last year. She adds: “My most relevant experience of this is the complex and prolonged talks in Northern Ireland. There are plenty of other examples, including talking to Hezbollah and to Hamas. Talking doesn’t mean approval.” In Afghanistan, it seems many more soldiers — and civilians — will be killed before any talks bear fruit, presumably well after the US presidential election in November.

The British government’s concern about a possible Israeli attack on Iran has been underlined by a visit to Jerusalem by a senior UK official reported to be Sir John Sawers, head of MI6, though possibly another security or intelligence adviser. Israel’s Haaretz newspaper quoted an unnamed Israeli source as saying that a high-ranking British special envoy had paid a secret visit to meet Mr Binyamin Netanyahu, the prime minister and defence minister Ehud Barak, to deliver a “stern message” from David Cameron. The source said the envoy warned against “an uncoordinated Israeli strike on Iran at this time” and stressed that Britain believes there is still time for diplomatic measures to work.

The last thing military chiefs in the UK and US is war with Iran, a conflict which would further endanger their troops in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the region — as well as provoke havoc in the Middle East. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, made the point at a press briefing in London recently. An Israeli attack on Iran, Dempsey said such an attack would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear programme”. Israeli intelligence and military chiefs have sent a similar message. British defence chiefs echo their concerns — and have the added embarrassment, to say no more, of the likelihood of the US using its bomber base on Diego Garcia, in the British Indian Ocean Territory, in any attack on Iraq.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Afghanistan Braces for Backlash Over Islam Film

KABUL — Afghanistan on Wednesday strongly condemned as “inhuman and insulting” a film deemed offensive to Islam as it braced for possible protests after an anti-US riot in Libya killed the American ambassador and three other diplomats. President Barack Obama ordered increased security at US diplomatic missions around the world and condemned Tuesday’s deadly assault in Benghazi, in eastern Libya, that coincided with the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in the United States. Made by an Israeli-American, the film describes Islam as a “cancer” and depicts the Prophet Mohammed sleeping with women, the Wall Street Journal reported…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Al Qaeda Releases New Video of American Hostage in Plea to Netanyahu Because ‘Obama Has Abandoned Him’

Al Qaeda has released a new video of American hostage Warren Weinstein giving a personal plea to Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu because ‘American has abandoned him’.

The 71-year-old, who was taken prisoner in Pakistan last August, delivers a video message in which he says President Obama ‘has shown no interest in my case’.

It is thought that Weinstein is being held in the tribal regions along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Man Was Unlawfully Sent to ‘Re-Education Through Labour’ Camp

A Chinese man who served two years in a “re-education through labour” camp is entitled to compensation after a local panel ruled he was unlawfully sent there, according to his lawyer.

Peng Hong was sent to the camp near his hometown of Chongqing, the city once run by disgraced Communist party leader Bo Xilai, in September 2009 for two years after re-posting a political cartoon mocking an anti-crime crackdown in the southwestern city, China’s Southern Metropolis Daily reported. Lawyer Pu Zhiqiang said Peng should receive 160 yuan (£15) in compensation for each day spent at the camp after a local panel overseeing the education through reform system ruled officials had acted wrongly by sending him there.

“According to the rules of re-education through labour, they should not have punished him this way,” Mr Pu said, adding that he was confident the compensation money would be received. Mr Peng was punished for mocking an aggressive campaign that put thousands of people behind bars, with even top judicial official Wen Qiang sentenced to death and executed. It also drew accusations of human rights abuses and torture. Re-education through labour was introduced in 1957 as a quicker method of handling minor offences. Suspects are sentenced by an administrative panel, bypassing the judicial process…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Let’s Not be Beastly to the Chinese

American politicians have been worrying about China again — and so they should. The trouble is they’ve been worrying about China in the wrong way. While various Republican and Democrat bigwigs have been using their respective national conventions to claim that only they can save America from being overhauled by the once and future superpower across the Pacific, the real threat is not Chinese expansion, but a Chinese implosion. It is a case that’s well-made by Minxin Pei in an article for Foreign Policy. America, he argues, has a history of fretting about competitors which then promptly crash out of the race


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Eating GM Wheat May Destroy Your Liver, Warn Scientists

(NaturalNews) Genetically engineered wheat contains an enzyme suppressor that, when consumed by humans, could cause permanent liver failure (and death). That’s the warning issued today by molecular biologist Jack Heinemann of the University of Canterbury in Australia.

Heinemann has published an eye-opening report [url] that details this warning and calls for rigorous scientific testing on animals before this crop is ever consumed by humans. The enzyme suppressor in the wheat, he says, might also attack a human enzyme that produces glycogen. Consumers who eat genetically modified wheat would end up contaminating their bodies with this enzyme-destroying wheat, causing their own livers to be unable to produce glycogen, a hormone molecule that helps the body regulate blood sugar metabolism. This, in turn, would lead to liver failure.

“What we found is that the molecules created in this wheat, intended to silence wheat genes, can match human genes, and through ingestion, these molecules can enter human beings and potentially silence our genes,” said Heinemann in a press conference on the threat of GM wheat (

“We found over 770 pages of potential matches between these two genes in wheat and the human genome,” he continued. “We found over a dozen matches that are extensive and identical, and sufficient to cause silencing in experimental systems. The findings are absolutely assured. There’s no doubt that these matches exist. …from this information, we know that it’s plausible there will be an adverse effect and therefore that’s why we’re calling for a particular battery of experiments to be done before humans eat this wheat.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Muslims Fear Backlash After Terror Raids

THE leader of a Bosnian mosque in Melbourne has slammed the Australian Federal Police (AFP) for its handling of anti-terrorist raids, saying the broader Islamic community will suffer a public backlash as a result.

Imam Ibrahim Omerdic says fringe Islamic preacher Sheikh Harun led a group of followers away from his Noble Park mosque about 10 years ago and formed the Al-Furqan Islamic Centre. The centre was among 11 Melbourne properties raided by the AFP and Victoria Police yesterday. Mr Omerdic has played down the significance of the raids, in which one 23-year-old man was arrested and items seized, including a memory stick police say contains violent extremist material. The arrested man, from the southeast suburb of Officer, was taken to hospital today after complaining of abdominal pains. He is expected to be charged with collecting or making documents likely to facilitate terrorist acts, an offence that carries a maximum penalty of 15 years’ jail…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Somalia President Survives Suicide Attack

Two al-Qaeda-linked bombers yesterday struck a Mogadishu hotel where Somalia’s new president, less than two days in office, was giving a press conference, killing eight people.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the country’s newly elected leader, escaped unharmed along with Kenya’s foreign minister, Sam Ongeri, who was attending the same event. Al-Shabaab, Somalia’s Islamist rebel army, said that it ordered the strike, less than 48 hours after Mr Mohamud was selected as the country’s first post-transition president. “We were behind the Mogadishu hotel blasts. It was a well-planned Mujahideen operation,” said Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, a spokesman for al-Shabaab’s military operation. Eight people — including three Somali soldiers and two from the African Union peacekeeping force stationed in the country — died in the twin blasts, which targeted the Jazeera Hotel, Mr Mohamud’s temporary residence. The hotel is close to Mogadishu’s heavily-fortified airport compound, which is a major base for international diplomatic staff and AU troops and the surrounding area is considered one of the safest parts of the coastal city…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South African Military Bases on High Alert Thanks to Julius Malema

South African military bases were put on high alert for the first time since the advent of democracy in 1994 after it emerged politician Julius Malema was due to address soldiers south of Johannesburg.

Mr Malema said he had been invited by troops to hear their grievances over pay and conditions, but he was accused by the country’s defence minister of seeking to turn soldiers against the state. The rabble rousing former ANC Youth League leader — who was expelled by the party in April for indiscipline and has since become a vocal critic of President Jacob Zuma — has spent the past few weeks touring the country’s mines. He has called on workers to down tools nationwide and make the industry “ungovernable” following the shooting dead of 34 workers striking over low pay at the UK-listed Lonmin mine…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Latin America

One of Mexico’s Most Wanted Drug Kingpins ‘Captured in Gulf’

Mexican marines have detained a man believed to be the leader of the Gulf drug cartel in the northern state of Tamaulipas, across the border from Texas.

The man identified himself as Gulf cartel boss Jorge Eduardo Costilla Sanchez, officials said. The navy gave no other details, saying it would provide more information on Thursday.

If confirmed, the arrest of Costilla would be another blow to the Matamoros-based Gulf Cartel, which has been weakened by its struggle to keep the rival Zetas cartel from taking over all of its territory since the two split in early 2010 and began a bloody turf war.

A verified capture also would be a significant victory for the marines, who were embarrassed in June after announcing they had nabbed the son of Mexico’s top fugitive drug lord.

It turned out the man wasn’t the son of Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, but rather Felix Beltran Leon, 23, a stocky, baby-faced suspect whose family said he was the father of a toddler and worked with his mother-in-law at a used car dealership. He remains in custody, authorities say, because guns and money were found when he was arrested…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Violence Erupts at Venezuelan Opposition Event

Violence erupted at an opposition campaign event on Wednesday as supporters of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez blocked a road and a campaign truck was torched. Both sides hurled rocks, and police said at least 14 people were hurt.

A large crowd of Chavez supporters in red shirts blocked a main road near the airport in the coastal town of Puerto Cabello before a visit by opposition candidate Henrique Capriles. A truck used by Capriles’ campaign was set ablaze, and a motorcycle was also torched. Capriles had been scheduled to visit an area that has traditionally leaned pro-Chavez, and opposition supporters were seen running to take cover during the violence. At least 14 people suffered cuts and other minor injuries, police in Carabobo state said…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

BBC is Full of Liberals Afraid to Mock Islam (Says Veteran of the BBC)

A respected BBC broadcaster has claimed television is dominated by ‘liberal sceptical humanists’ who laugh at Christianity but are afraid to mock Islam.

Roger Bolton, a former editor of Panorama, said an obsession with human rights over religious beliefs had left corporation bosses out of touch with the public.

In the modern culture of broadcasting, Mr Bolton said anyone who opposed gay marriage or IVF was treated as a ‘lunatic’ if it was because of their religious beliefs.

He added: ‘The default position in broadcasting is always, it’s a question of human rights and how can they do it.’

Mr Bolton said it had got to a point where audiences thought it was ‘fun’ to mock Christianity but would not dare laugh at jokes about Islam.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Clinton Group Touts Swedish Childcare Model

In a first report by the International Council on Women’s Business Leadership, recently presented to Hillary Clinton, the group stressed the need for a working childcare system based on the Swedish model.

“They have started to see that female leaders choosing to have children are becoming fewer and fewer,” former Swedish minister for enterprise Maud Olofsson, who heads the council, told Sveriges Television (SVT). The International Council on Women’s Business Leadership is an international advisory body under the wing of US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The group serves the US government concerning major issues and problems in international business and economic policy.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Eric Pickles Defends Christian Britain From the European Courts — and Nick Clegg

by Matthew Barrett

Eric Pickles’ brief can be a deceptively broad one. It seems rather incongruous that he should spend half of his time on seemingly narrow tasks like trying to get local councils to cut out waste and be more efficient at providing public services, and the other half of his time on “Communities” — ie religion. However, his department has taken note of the latter set of responsibilities. I recall Bob Neill, who left the DCLG in the reshuffle last week, responding to a trouble-making Labour question about Christmas celebrations in 2010, saying “the new Administration is committed to celebrating Christmas, including its Christian heritage. We should not allow politically correct Grinches to marginalise Christmas and the importance of the birth of Christ.”.

So it is that the responsibility of defending Christianity in Britain has fallen to Eric Pickles, who writes for the Daily Telegraph this morning. He has two fronts on which to fight: firstly, European courts attacking the right for Christians to wear symbols like the crucifix at work. This fight is not helped by the Government’s own lawyers arguing that Christians do not have their rights violated by having religious symbols banned, because they can simply find another job. Mr Pickles writes:

“Banning discreet religious symbols for reasons of political correctness is not acceptable. We should challenge the nonsense that religious displays could “cause offence” and therefore should be hidden from view. The Government’s opposition to a European Court of Human Rights challenge on crucifixes should not be misinterpreted as supporting secularism: rather, we are resisting Brussels interference and gold-plating of what should be a matter for common sense.”

However, Mr Pickles rejects language about the oppression of Christianity in Britain, which he sees as overblown, saying: “To suggest that Christians in our country are literally persecuted would be to demean the suffering of those around the world facing repression, imprisonment and death.”


[JP note: More of a jam than a pickle.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: A Christian Ethos Strengthens Our Nation

by Eric Pickles

Religion shaped the modern British state, and this Government is proud to ‘do God’

Christianity in all its forms has shaped the heritage, morality and public life of Britain; and Christian belief continues to influence our society for the better. The fact that Britain has welcomed people of many other faiths to live among us over the centuries in no way detracts from this. Indeed, it is the Christian ethos that has made Britain so welcoming. As the Prime Minister declared in December, we are a Christian nation — and should not be afraid to say so. Christians continue to be positively involved in public life, from the role of Anglican bishops in scrutinising legislation in the House of Lords, through the moral leadership offered by Christian leaders, to the contribution of thousands of churches and Christian charities to the social fabric of our neighbourhoods with their volunteering and sacrifice. Religion is the foundation of the modern British nation: the Reformation is entwined with British political liberty and freedoms, the King James Bible is embedded in our language and literature, and the popular celebrations of the Royal Wedding and Diamond Jubilee placed the Church side by side with our constitutional monarchy.

Faith communities provide a clear moral compass and a call to action that benefits society as a whole — and the Government is grateful for this. The Coalition has an explicit “integration” strategy to bring communities together. While we should confront extremists who spread hate and division, I believe that mainstream, tolerant religion binds society together. At a time when Christians are under attack for their beliefs in different parts of the world, I am proud of the freedom of belief that exists in Britain. But there is no room for complacency. To suggest that Christians in our country are literally persecuted would be to demean the suffering of those around the world facing repression, imprisonment and death. We should, however, recognise that long-standing British liberties of freedom of religion have been undermined in recent years by aggressive secularism, especially in the more politically correct parts of the public sector…

[Reader comment by Andy Preston on 13 September 2012 at about 9:45 am.]

I thought Eric Pickles was a heavyweight (politically) but it seems that it’s only for his bathroom scales …. This piece looks like he’s been desperately dragooned in by Cameron

as a credible front man to try to pamper Christians and butter them up […]

[JP note: Religious tolerance begins and ends at the petrol pump.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Elusive Dark Energy is Real, Study Says

Dark energy, the mysterious substance thought to be accelerating the expansion of the universe, almost certainly exists despite some astronomers’ doubts, a new study says. After a two-year study, an international team of researchers concludes that the probability of dark energy being real stands at 99.996 percent. But the scientists still don’t know what the stuff is.

“Dark energy is one of the great scientific mysteries of our time, so it isn’t surprising that so many researchers question its existence,” co-author Bob Nichol, of the University of Portsmouth in Engalnd, said in a statement. “But with our new work we’re more confident than ever that this exotic component of the universe is real — even if we still have no idea what it consists of.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

NASA Turns to 3D Printing for Self-Building Spacecraft

Spacecraft could build themselves or huge space telescopes someday by scavenging materials from space junk or asteroids. That wild vision stems from a modest proposal to use 3D printing technology aboard a tiny satellite to create a much larger structure in space.

The “SpiderFab” project received $100,000 from NASA’s Innovative Advanced Concepts program to hammer out a design and figure out whether spacecraft self-construction makes business sense. Practical planning and additional funding could lead to the launch of a 3D-printing test mission within several years.

“We’d like someday to be able to have a spacecraft create itself entirely from scratch, but realistically that’s quite a ways out,” said Robert Hoyt, CEO and chief scientist of Tethers Unlimited Inc. “That’s still science fiction.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

Wide Range of Alien Planets May Support Life

Life may be able to survive on a broader set of alien worlds than astronomers had thought, a new study suggests.

Researchers have created a new online tool called the “Habitable Zone Gallery,” which looks at every known exoplanetary system and determines that just-right range of distances from the host star where liquid water could exist. The upshot is that scientists might not need to pin their hopes for alien life on a planet like Earth, whose circular orbit keeps it in the middle of the habitable zone all the time.

Large numbers of alien planets on eccentric, highly elliptical orbits likely dip into the habitable zone now and again, bringing them brief periods of benign conditions, scientists said. And research here on Earth shows that life can survive big swings between hot and cold, wet and dry.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]