Sunday, January 12, 2003

News Feed 20121005

Financial Crisis
»Greece: Samaras: We Only Have Funds Till November
»Italian Tax Revenues Up 4.1% in First Eight Months of 2012
»Numbed by Lies
»Obama Didn’t Save the Auto Industry: He Took Away 2,200 Dealerships and 120,000 Jobs
»A Toxic ‘Common Core’ & Other Big-Government Enormities
»Gulen’s False Choice: Silence or Violence
»Hemet: Islam is ‘Religion of Peace, ‘ Leader Says
»High Noon for America: The Coming Showdown
»Inland Mosques Open Doors to Non-Muslims
»Mitt Humiliates the Media and Now They Will Seek Revenge
»Mosques Are a Part of Our Nation’s Religious Fabrics
»Pro-Muslim Subway Ads to Hang Near Anti-Jihad Ads
»Reject the Notion of Islamophobic “Muslim Rage”
»Twilight of the Left
»Non-Christian Prison Chaplains Chopped by Ottawa
Europe and the EU
»British Judges Approve Extradition of Muslim Cleric to U.S. On Terrorism Charges
»France: ‘Misunderstanding’ Over Islamic Art Sparks Near-Riot
»Greece: Former Socialist Minister Found Hanged
»Ireland: Gardai to Buy Million Rounds of Ammo
»Ireland: Plan to Build $84 Million Islamic Center in Dublin to Host 40,000 Muslims in the City
»Italy: ‘Florence Mayor to Win Centre-Left Primary if Turnout High’
»Italy: Berlusconi Debating Whether to Run, Formigoni Says
»Italy: Students Hang Monti Vampire Poster on Rome Monument
»Italy: Tax Authorities Lift Fine on 12-Year-Old Boy
»Norway: Book Sheds Light on National Tragedy
»The Madness of Human Rights (Again): Why Did Six Euro Judges Examine Delays to a Serbian Oap’s Leaky Roof When it Was Fixed Five Years Ago?
»UK: Anti-Fascists Planning Rally to Counter Edl’s Rotherham Demo
»UK: BBC ‘Allows 25,000 Staff to Avoid Tax’
»UK: Does the Tory Party Still Care About Its Voters?
»UK: Good Riddance: Hate Preacher Abu Hamza Arrives at Airport After Losing Last-Ditch Attempt to Stay in Britain as Court Rules He Must be ‘Extradited to U.S. Immediately’
»UK: Muslim Group Opens Last-Ditch Talks Over £6m Dudley Mosque Plans
»UK: So Who Will Judges Jail? After the Burglar Praised for ‘Courage’, Afghan Who Hurled Rocks at Police is Spared Prison Over Violent Childhood
»UK: The Awful Truth About Ed Miliband
North Africa
»Egyptian Boys Aged 9 and 10 Detained ‘For Defiling Koran’
»Egypt: Joking With Morsi
»Libya: Two Alleged Killers of US Amb. Arrested in Istanbul
Israel and the Palestinians
»Caroline Glick: The Left’s Only Enemy
»One Dead as US Tourist Opens Fire in Israel Hotel Lobby
»U.S. Tourist Shot Dead After Killing 1 Hotel Employee in Israeli Resort Town of Eilat
Middle East
»Jordan Protest Due Despite King Abdullah Early Vote Call
»Ken Livingstone Returns to Iran State TV
»King of Jordan Calls Early Elections
»Turkey Strikes Syria, Adds War Powers
»Azerbaijan: Baku Hosts International Forum on Humanitarian Cooperation
South Asia
»India: Karnataka: Hindu Nationalists Raid Christian After-School for Children
»Inside Italy’s Slow and Strategic Withdrawal From Afghanistan
»Rory Stewart — The Tory MP Who Went to Afghanistan and Came Back With a Glamorous New Wife
Far East
»North and South Korea ‘On the Verge of Nuclear War’
Sub-Saharan Africa
»Congo-Kinshasa: Nights in Goma Get Bloody
»Ghana: Nation Opens Space Research Centre
»Nigeria: Archbishop Tutu Wins $1m Mo Ibrahim Prize
»Nigeria: Abuja Muslims Hold Funeral Prayers for Adegbite
»SABC 3 (South African Broadcasting Corporation) To Screen Little Mosque on the Prairie Every Fridays
»South Africa: Nizamiye Mosque — Midrand
»South Africa: Places of Beauty and Peace
»South Africa: Zuma Opens Massive Mosque Complex in Midrand
»Uganda: Katuumu, Where Top Muslims Trained
Latin America
»Luis Fleischmann: Election in Venezuela — A Wild Card for US National Security
»19 Tunisian Immigrants Land in Sicily Near Agrigento
»Government Training Included Exercise in Which Employees Were Told to Chant “Our Forefathers Were Illegal Immigrants.”
»The Balkanization of America, Part II: A Clear and Present Danger — Part 2
»The Ghost of Bertold Brecht and the Balkanization of America — Part 1
»The Myth Behind Multiculturalism
Culture Wars
»Faithless Britain is Still a Country of Compassion and Principles
»Morocco: Dutch ‘Abortion Boat’ Finally Docks in Moroccan Harbour
»The Cost of Purity

Financial Crisis

Greece: Samaras: We Only Have Funds Till November

Premier, ‘if my government fails, chaos will ensue’

(ANSAmed) — BERLIN — Greece has funds “until November, then our coffers will be empty”, said Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras in an interview with Handelsblatt. “We need more time for consolidation but not necessarily more credit”, said the premier.

In the interview, Samaras compared Greece to the Republic of Weimar: “Greek democracy is probably facing its most important challenge”, he said, explaining that society “is threatened by growing unemployment, as happened to Germany at the end of the Republic of Weimar”.

If the government fails “chaos awaits”, he warned. “People know that this government represents Greece’s last chance”, said Samaras, noting that he is fighting “the battle of my life”. The government’s action has reached “the limit of what we can demand from the population”.

“Getting out of the euro is not an option for Greece, it would be a catastrophe”, stressed Samaras, who believe Athens should be helped “by the ECB, which could lower interest rates on its Greek bonds” or postpone the maturing dates of bonds.

Samaras also hinted that Greek banks could directly access the ESM fund.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italian Tax Revenues Up 4.1% in First Eight Months of 2012

Extra 10.4 bln euros flows into state coffers

(ANSA) — Rome, October 5 — Italian tax revenues rose 4.1% in the first eight months of this year compared to the same period in 2011, climbing to 268.7 billion euros, according to data released Friday by Italy’s Finance Ministry.

The inland revenue reaped some 10.46 billion euros more this year than it did in the same period last year. Amongst factors that led to the overall gain was the new IMU real estate tax introduced starting from fiscal year 2012 and taxes on mineral oils. Personal income tax revenues fell by 641 milion euros, 0.6%, with contributions from self-employed workers falling 4.2%.

Corporate tax inflows posted a 0.3% decline, dropping to 17.5 billion euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Numbed by Lies

“The past was erased; the erasure was forgotten; the lie became truth.”

“The State tells lies in all the tongues of good and evil; whatever it says it lies, and whatever it has it has stolen. Everything about it is false…”

“Truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”[1]

There is abundant criticism, though not in the mainstream media, of the latest batch of “Quantitative Easing” best termed QE2i (“QE to infinity”). Would not everyone in this panicked and decadent cultural end game like to be ‘eased’? This typical postmodern neologism sounds so friendly, vague and unguent: it is a classic jagged iron fist in a velvet glove and haze of ether. The talking hairstyles confected of electrons chatter, burble and anesthetize the patient (the target audience) with their self-referential talk meant to keep the field beasts numb and dumb. Few guests even suggest the emperor is naked, that purchasing $40B ‘mortgage-backed securities’ / month will create jobs. Postmodern governance is insane and the media spreads the madness in the name of reason and truth: when you want a lie to be believed, make it a big lie and repeat it as often as possible. Don’t blame the media: it’s their job. Words mean whatever they say they mean and Humpty Dumpty is about to have its great fall…

The Fed is in the process of acquiring ownership of vast amounts of property, stores of genuine value while simultaneously destroying the value of the paper money it churns out like a lab rat with diarrhea.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Obama Didn’t Save the Auto Industry: He Took Away 2,200 Dealerships and 120,000 Jobs

s a Catholic who works in the trade association profession in the auto industry it was unsettling to hear President Obama claim that he saved the auto industry. President Obama closed over 2,200 auto dealerships, which caused the losses of decades old family-owned businesses and over 120,000 jobs they provided. The closures were allowed to happen under the false notion that auto dealerships were an expense on their auto maker. The President ignored the fact that auto dealers are not an expense to automakers. Auto makers own none of what you see at auto dealerships. Auto dealers own all their property; the cars and trucks, parts, buildings, land, signs, everything. The dealerships pay their employee’s salaries and millions of dollars in taxes to state and local governments. The manufacturer has nothing to do with any of these things.


  • President Obama purposefully and unjustly took away 2,200 self-sufficient, family owned businesses under the false premise that they were an expense on their auto manufacturer. He deliberately put these people in debt with no way to recover. Auto dealers still cannot sell their closed properties.
  • President Obama’s decision to close dealerships cost 120,000 persons their jobs and livelihood.
  • The President’s action defrauded auto dealers of their property rights and their employees of their wages.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


A Toxic ‘Common Core’ & Other Big-Government Enormities

“Without too much fuss, a few obviously burdensome bureaucracies, like the Department of Education, can be eliminated . . . . That sort of thing is as necessary to the American body politic as a weight reduction program is essential to restoring the health of any human body degraded by obesity and lack of exercise. Yet shedding fat is the easy part. Restoring atrophied muscles is harder. Reenabling the body to do elementary tasks takes yet more concentration. The grandparents of today’s Americans (132 million in 1940) had opportunities to serve on 117,000 school boards. To exercise responsibilities comparable to their grandparents’, today’s 310 million Americans would have radically to decentralize the mere 15,000 districts into which public school children are now concentrated. They would have to take responsibility for curriculum and administration away from credentialed experts, and they would have to explain why they know better.” — Angelo Codevilla


Policy polymath Stanley Kurtz last week in his “School-Lunch Fiasco: Only the Beginning” relates -

“I just came back from a conference where I heard a mom from Indiana named Heather Crossin describe her battle against Obama’s Common Core. Her child happened to attend one of the first schools in the country to use textbooks created to teach Obama’s new national curriculum. Most Americans have no idea that the president has circumvented the legal and constitutional prohibitions and imposed a national school curriculum on the states. Nor will they wake up to this disturbing fact until a second Obama term. The timing, of course, is intentional.

Crossin’s son came home from school one day with a ‘fuzzy math’ problem. The question was, if one bridge is 790 feet, and the other is 730 feet, which bridge is longer? Crossin’s son replied that the 790 foot bridge is longer because 790 is great than 730. This was incorrect, because the child hadn’t arrived at the answer through the tortuous path required by the text. Crossin was furious and quickly educated herself about Obama’s Common Core.”

Author Kurtz continues —

“The Common Core dumbs down standards, and in a misguided effort to ‘level the playing field’ makes it tougher for parents to help their kids with their homework. Here’s an example of how this ridiculous process works when teaching the Gettysburg Address.”


[Return to headlines]

Gulen’s False Choice: Silence or Violence

by Stephen Schwartz

When the enigmatic Turkish Islamist leader, M. Fethullah Gulen, who lives in the U.S., published, in the September 27 London Financial Times, an op-ed column with a clumsy turn from benevolent moderation to hard Islamist ambitions, he revealed his authentic character. The topic was, probably predictably, the latest outburst of terrorism in Muslim countries, along with the pretext of indignation against a crude video made in the U.S. and which insulted Muhammad. The op-ed, entitled, “Violence is not in the tradition of the Prophet,” emphasized, in the first seven (out of nine) paragraphs, that Muslims should not react to insults against Muhammad by destructive protests: “The violent response,” he wrote, “was wrong… Muslims …must speak out [against] violence… The question we should ask ourselves as Muslims is whether we have introduced Islam and its Prophet properly to the world. Have we followed his example in such a way as to instill admiration?… [A Muslim] should respect the sacred values of Christians, Jews, Buddhists and others as he expects his own religion and values to be respected.” So far, so good…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Hemet: Islam is ‘Religion of Peace, ‘ Leader Says

Jawaid Maqbool, representing the Islamic Center in Temecula, spoke to about 40 people who sat quietly and attentively in the small Unity Chapel on North Buena Vista Street in Hemet. The church is in the midst of eight weekly sessions exploring different religious beliefs in an attempt to celebrate diversity and build what it calls “Bridges of Understanding.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

High Noon for America: The Coming Showdown

Conservative books are not a rare commodity in an election season, but most such books tackle a single subject or area. Some can be very good but have a narrow focus that they follow through along its path. That is not the case with High Noon for America: The Coming Showdown from Jamie Glazov which brings together some of the symposia that he has overseen through the years into a collection that deals with many of the larger issues that confront our civilization…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Inland Mosques Open Doors to Non-Muslims

Four Inland Islamic congregations this weekend are inviting people of all faiths to their mosques to discuss Islam with their members. The mosques are among the 18 Southern California Islamic centers participating in the 11th annual Open Mosque Day. The open houses began in 2002 as efforts to dispel myths about Islam and increase interactions between Muslims and non-Muslims in the wake of 9/11, said Shakeel Syed, director of the Islamic Shura Council of Southern California. The council is an umbrella association of mosques…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Mitt Humiliates the Media and Now They Will Seek Revenge

“Who is this guy?” tens of millions of American voters asked themselves last night. “This isn’t the Mitt Romney the media’s presented to me over the last six months.”

Free of the corrupt media’s filter; free of the spin, the lying fact-checkers, the gotchas, and the desperate effort to cover up any and all bad news that might hurt Obama — by every standard, every measure, every opinion, and every opinion poll, what we witnessed last night at the first presidential debate of 2012 was a commanding, dominating blow-out performance by Governor Mitt Romney.

Last night the GOP contender showed up to kick butt and chew bubblegum, but unfortunately for Barack Obama, Romney was all out of bubblegum. The real loser, though, was a corrupt mainstream media that had just spent months desperately crafting a Mitt Romney that doesn’t exist — a Mitt Romney voters would not find acceptable as president.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Mosques Are a Part of Our Nation’s Religious Fabrics

by Creede Hinshaw

The Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee, opened in August 2012 after enduring two years of controversy, perhaps bringing to a close the vandalism and violence that has roiled both the structure itself and people of this middle Tennessee city of 100,000 citizens. While the center was being built a construction vehicle was set afire and bomb threats were left on the center’s answering machines. A vocal minority of residents feared that the mosque’s members are terrorists and claimed the mosque isn’t protected by the First Amendment because Islam isn’t a religion…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Pro-Muslim Subway Ads to Hang Near Anti-Jihad Ads

Striking back against an anti-jihad advertisement in the subways widely perceived as anti-Muslim, two religious groups — one Jewish, one Christian — are taking out subway ads of their own to urge tolerance. Rabbis for Human Rights — North America and the group Sojourners, led by the Christian author and social-justice advocate Jim Wallis, are unveiling their campaigns on Monday. Their ads will be placed near the anti-jihad ads in the same Manhattan subway stations, leaders of both groups said and transit officials confirmed. The groups said their campaigns were coincidental.

The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights turns the language of the earlier ad, placed by a pro-Israel group, on its head. The original ad says, “In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat jihad.” The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights says, “In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors.” “We wanted to make it clear that it is in response to the anti-Islam ad,” said Rabbi Jill Jacobs, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, whose members include rabbis from all streams of Judaism…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Reject the Notion of Islamophobic “Muslim Rage”

by Faizaa Fatima

I am a Muslim. I am not enraged. It took more than a while for me to get to watch the trailer of the movie Innocence of Muslims on YouTube, amidst the fanfare surrounding PSY of “Gangnam Style” and the “Invisible Horse Dance” fame. I dismissed the video quickly as it was really trivially done and had so little impact on my daily life. It remained that way only until the untimely death of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens and his colleagues on Sept. 11, a day so reminiscent of my Muslim identity, and one that changed the lives of thousands of people across the world — and not only Muslims at that…

Such a narrative of Islam distracts us from examining the real issue at hand — the root of Islamophobia, and the diabolical use of “free speech” — for example. “Free speech,” from what I gather, does not condone the vilification of others’ beliefs, but instead respects such beliefs. To depict the Prophet as a “pedophile” and “womanizer” is to hijack the very foundation of Muslim faith. It is this prejudiced notion and misconception of Islam through the uncontained use of “free speech” that allows Islamophobia to persist to this date.

If “free speech” can really go that far, I want the kind of free speech that allows me to respond with a “So what?” to nonsensical allegations of President Obama being a Muslim. I want to be protected from the guilt whenever Sept. 11 is brought up. I don’t want to be labeled either as a victim or an aggressor, or be categorized for that matter. It may also not be too naïve to expect protection from the racist, hate-mongering speech incited by others’ perceptions of Islam, if we really want to protect hate speech designed to exacerbate tensions across racial, ethnic and religious lines. I want to know whether we can achieve the peace and reconciliation really preached by Islam, despite myths otherwise. I want to know how much “free speech” we can exercise, before so much havoc is wrought.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Twilight of the Left

The president represents the fourth-and final-phase of the Progressive experiment begun at the turn of the 20th century.

Book Review: “Barack Obama and the Crisis of Liberalism”

By Fred Siegel

It is a cliché of modern American politics that the word “liberal” is still slightly toxic and that “progressive” is a better, more upbeat, way of describing left-of-center politicians and their causes. In “I Am the Change,” Charles Kesler, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College, says that “progressive,” in fact, neatly captures President Barack Obama and his political outlook, although Mr. Kesler intends a more precise definition of the term than is usually employed. Drawing on his wide reading in philosophy and American political thought, Mr. Kesler argues that Mr. Obama has been shaped by the political tradition of Progressivism and that his 2008 triumph has helped, in turn, to reshape it.

Until the Progressive Era of the early 20th century, Mr. Kesler notes, American politicians referred in reverential terms to the Constitution and to the natural rights cited in the Declaration of Independence. But the Progressives, influenced by the evolutionary theory of Charles Darwin and by German idealist philosophy, viewed the traditions of the Founders as hopelessly outdated. They insisted on a new set of governing principles adapted to the modern age, principles requiring a “living Constitution” and, for the betterment of society, an ever greater role for government.

Mr. Kesler traces Progressive thought to its first flowering, with Woodrow Wilson as its emblematic proponent, and then forward to its second and third “waves,” in FDR’s New Deal of the 1930s and LBJ’s Great Society of the 1960s. Mr. Obama, in this outline of history, is the leader of Progressivism’s “fourth wave.”

Mr. Kesler reminds us that Wilson was a professor at Princeton (and its president) before he entered politics, an intellectual with an evolved political philosophy. He wanted a new outpouring of “political genius” to supplant the dusty precepts of the Founders. For Wilson and other Progressives influenced by Hegel’s idealism (including John Dewey and Richard Ely), natural rights were to be replaced by the judgments of history; and history itself was to be guided by Hegelian processes, with reason and wisdom unfolding into a bright future. As a candidate for the presidency, Wilson explained that Progressives “think of the future, not the past, as the more glorious time, in comparison with which the present is nothing.”

Wilson’s idea of “political genius” became, under Franklin Roosevelt, a government of experts and social scientists. And once government was based on credentialed wisdom, Mr. Kesler explains, “it no longer needed to be limited.” The key was its intentions. “Governments can err, Presidents do make mistakes,” Roosevelt conceded, “but the immortal Dante tells us that divine justice weighs the sins of the cold-blooded and the sins of the warm-hearted in different scales.”


Liberalism, in short, began to experience a crisis, not least because the failures of the Great Society programs had weakened the policy pretensions of liberal social science. But the many local institutions that the Great Society spawned had greatly expanded the state’s reach. Patronage and the rise of public-sector unions kept a liberalism of sorts alive, along with identity politics. Local avatars of multiculturalism were cut in on government contracts but were never confronted with the common values necessary to maintain civic order. Crime in the cities became liberalism’s most crippling legacy.

Thus Mr. Obama faced a special challenge when he ran for president. He could hardly celebrate Chicago, the city where he lived, with its corruption scandals and a murder rate three times that of New York. Nor could he point to liberal policy successes, as his Progressive forebears had done. But with his hope-and-change rhetoric, he could speak the language of the Progressive spirit, with its emphasis on limitless possibility. He could act as if he held “the keys to the kingdom of history.” He could offer his cool persona, not policies, as the path to a bright future: “I am the change.” And so he did.

And what about now? Mr. Obama still has his winning persona to count on. And it is possible, Mr. Kesler says, that the citizenry will accept the president’s lurching efforts to maneuver America “into a Scandinavia-style überwelfare state.” But it is more likely that “we stand, instead, at the twilight of the liberal welfare state” and that the limitless future so dear to Progressives-very much including Mr. Obama-is, in fact, bounded by the very real threat of insolvency.

[Return to headlines]


Non-Christian Prison Chaplains Chopped by Ottawa

The federal government is cancelling the contracts of non-Christian chaplains at federal prisons, CBC News has learned. Inmates of other faiths, such as Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jews, will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance, according to the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, who is also responsible for Canada’s penitentiaries. Toews made headlines in September when he ordered the cancellation of a tender issued for a Wiccan priest for federal prisons in B.C. Toews said he wasn’t convinced part-time chaplains from other religions were an appropriate use of taxpayer money and that he would review the policy…

“The minister strongly supports the freedom of religion for all Canadians, including prisoners,” the email states. “However, the government … is not in the business of picking and choosing which religions will be given preferential status through government funding. The minister has concluded … [Christian] chaplains employed by Corrections Canada must provide services to inmates of all faiths.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

British Judges Approve Extradition of Muslim Cleric to U.S. On Terrorism Charges

LONDON — Five terrorism suspects, including the fiery Islamic preacher Abu Hamza al-Masri, were sent to the United States on Friday night to face an array of terrorism charges. Their extradition came after a British court ruled they had exhausted their final appeal, ending years of legal battles that tested the balance between civil liberties and national security.

The Home Office reported that the five men had left in two jets from Royal Air Force Base Mildenhall in Suffolk. They had been taken there earlier Friday from the Long Lartin prison in a police convoy that included two armored vans and a minivan with blacked-out windows. Home Secretary Theresa May said in a statement that British and American authorities had worked together “to put plans in place so that tonight these men could be handed over within hours of the court’s decision.”

Mr. Masri, 54, has been an object of fascination in this country. Hook-handed and one-eyed because of injuries caused by explosives many years ago, he attracted a following among militants as much as he drew the reproach of his foes and the attention of the British security services.

The United States has been seeking his extradition since 2004 to face 11 charges that include calling for holy war in Afghanistan, playing a role in kidnappings in Yemen and participating in a plot to set up a terrorism training camp in Bly, Ore. Since 2006, he has been incarcerated in Britain on other charges, including incitement to murder…

           — Hat tip: LS[Return to headlines]

France: ‘Misunderstanding’ Over Islamic Art Sparks Near-Riot

A Moroccan artist on Wednesday suspended one of his works from a major arts festival in southern France after his projections of Islamic calligraphy onto a bridge nearly set off a riot when local Muslim youths saw pedestrians walking on the words.

Mounir Fatmi’s exhibit at the month-long “Printemps de Septembre” art festival in Toulouse was meant to be shown at weekends, when cordons would be in place to insure the projections could not be walked on, as this is considered blasphemous by Muslims.

But late on Tuesday the video, made up of stylised calligraphy of verses from the Koran and “Hadiths” (sayings) of the Prophet Mohammed, was projected — by mistake — onto the city’s busy Pont Neuf.

According to Toulouse Police, the reaction was rapid. Up to 80 young people, many called in from the city’s housing estates, gathered on the bridge to stop pedestrians from treading on the verses.

One woman was slapped after she accidentally walked onto the projection, police said, although some protesters claimed she had deliberately provoked them.

Police sent in a riot squad, but a local imam and representatives of the Muslim community went to the scene and successfully appealed for calm.

The projection was switched off, and after meetings with the mayor, an apology was made to the woman who was slapped.


Relations between the French state and its significant Muslim community have been strained in recent years by a string of controversies that have put the Muslim faith at odds with France’s secular tradition.


“But we shouldn’t pin all this only on religion. Many of these young people of North African origin are going through an identity crisis; they face high unemployment and communication with them is not what it should be.

“If anything, this incident has demonstrated that we need to increase our dialogue with these young people.”

           — Hat tip: LH[Return to headlines]

Greece: Former Socialist Minister Found Hanged

Leonidas Tzanis was under investigation for corruption

Leonidas Tzanis (L), a former deputy interior minister in the government of Costas Simitis, who was found dead at his home in Volos

(ANSAmed) — ATHENS — Leonidas Tzanis, 57, a former Socialist Pasok deputy interior minister, took his own life at his home in Volos, in central Greece, Mega TV has announced.

Tzanis was found hanged by his wife, Mega said. It is the first time a former member of the Greek government has killed himself.

The former Pasok MP, a lawyer by trade, was named last week as one of the 36 politicians under investigation by the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) for financial irregularities and suspicious acquisition of wealth. According to the list, the SDOE in Thessaloniki launched an investigation into his accounts on 31 May 2012.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Ireland: Gardai to Buy Million Rounds of Ammo

Gardai [Irish MOSTLY UNARMED police] are stocking up on ammunition and plan to buy over one million rounds.

Though a largely unarmed force, gardai need the ammunition for training and for use by detectives and specialist units like the Emergency Response Unit and the Regional Support Units.

The force is seeking one million rounds of 9mm ammunition for use in Sig P226, and Walther 99c pistols.

It has also put out tenders for 100,000 rounds of 4.6mm copper-plated steel bullets for the specialist units armed with the Heckler and Koch Mp7 submachine gun. The bullets can penetrate body armour.

Gardai also want 50,000 rounds of .38 ammo for the Smith and Wesson revolver still used by the force.

Normally, around 3,000 Gardai out of a total force of 13,600 are licensed to carry firearms, but a spending review has recommended this be reduced to 1,000 to save around â‚2.7m a year.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Ireland: Plan to Build $84 Million Islamic Center in Dublin to Host 40,000 Muslims in the City

Gerry Gannon, a leading property developer, has lodged a planning application with Dublin City Council for an $84 million Islamic Cultural Centre including a large mosque at Clongriffin in north Dublin.

One of the largest development projects in its planning stages in Ireland, the 18,000sq m (195,000sq ft) facility will serve the 40,000 Muslims living in Dublin city, with a capacity to host 5,000 people at a time.

According to reports in the Irish Times, “a Dublin-based Muslim group with support from many parts of the world has agreed purchase terms for the six-acre site located close to the Gannon-funded Dart station.”

Previous reports in the Irish Times stated that the new development, “could put Ireland in a very favorable position in the Muslim world and lead to significant inward investment.”

The development will include the mosque and support facilities, including a 34-classroom school, conference centre, assembly hall, playground and swimming pool. It has been designed by Paula Gill of architects Conroy Crowe Kelly.

           — Hat tip: McR[Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Florence Mayor to Win Centre-Left Primary if Turnout High’

Renzi polling 29%, says SWG

(ANSA) — Rome, October 5 — Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi of the Democratic Party (PD) could be the centre-left’s candidate for prime minister in a forthcoming parliamentary vote if the turnout at primary elections is high, according to the results of a survey by the polling and social research institute SWG, released on Friday. The winner of the PD primaries is likely to become Italy’s next premier, most polls and pundits say.

Renzi, 37, is running against PD secretary Pier Luigi Bersani, a veteran politician, and Nichi Vendola, leader of the left-wing Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) party and governor of the southern Puglia region. With a turnout of at least 4 million people Renzi would win 29% of the vote against Bersani’s 26%, according to SWG.

In the event of a turnout of 2.6 million or 3.3 million people, however, Bersani would win with 37% and 33% respectively against Renzi’s 29%. The two candidates and their respective supporters have so far been unable to agree on the rules for the primary elections and no date has been set for the poll. The PD is due to address both issues at its national assembly on October 6.

The next general election is scheduled for May when technocrat Mario Monti ends his term.

Polls give the PD, and a centre-left alliance they would lead, a clear lead over former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s centre-right People of Freedom party with comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five Star protest movement third.

Monti has said there is a slim chance he might stay on as premier, but only if there is a stalemate after the elections.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi Debating Whether to Run, Formigoni Says

‘Perhaps time for a new personality, different party’

(ANSA) — Milan, October 5 — Lombardy Governor Roberto Formigoni on Friday said that former premier Silvio Berlusconi was debating whether or not to run in upcoming elections. “He’s reflecting,” said Formigoni, a member of the media magnate’s People of Freedom (PdL) party and close confidant. Formigoni added that Berlusconi was even considering leaving the option open to someone outside his party, which has recently been hit by a series of scandals, culminating in the arrest Tuesday of Lazio caucus leader Franco Fiorito for alleged embezzlement. “(Berlusconi) looked intent to analyze every possible scenario, ready to take a step back if it meant supporting a group of moderates with a different personality from his and the PdL,” said Formigoni. “He’ll decide based on what’s good for the country”.

Polls currently give the opposition Democratic Party (PD) a clear lead over the centre-right PdL with comedian Beppe Grillo’s Five Star protest movement third.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Students Hang Monti Vampire Poster on Rome Monument

Huge image on the Altare della Patria

(see related story on student protests) (ANSA) — Rome, October 5 — A group of student protesters hung a huge poster of Premier Mario Monti depicted as a vampire on Friday from one of Rome’s most famous monuments, the Altare della Patria (The Altar of the Homeland).

The poster had the slogan “Baroni” (Barons) written on it, a reference to professors accused of running university departments as their own personal fiefdoms. The massive marble monument is home to Italy’s Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and features an equestrian sculpture of Victor Emmanuel II as it was built to honour the nation’s first king.

Monti is an academic and a former European commissioner.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Italy: Tax Authorities Lift Fine on 12-Year-Old Boy

1,137-euro penalty for unpaid car tax dating to 1997

(ANSA) Fasano, October 5; Italian tax collection agency Equitalia on Friday cancelled a hefty fine sent to a 12-year-old boy living in Fasano in the southern Puglia region in connection with unpaid car tax dating to three years before he was born.

The fine amounting to 1,138.77 euros — was lifted “on receipt of a letter from the boy’s father and subsequent checks that led to the discovery of the mistake”, Equitalia said in a statement.

The error occurred after the tax authorities incorrectly matched the boy’s tax code to another person of the same name, the real owner of the car.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Norway: Book Sheds Light on National Tragedy

A new book about convicted terrorist Anders Behring Breivik offers new answers to a question that continues to plague many Norwegians: How could their relatively peaceful and orderly society produce a mass murderer like Breivik? The book also is sparking debate over self-censorship by Norwegian media, as it presents information about Breivik’s severely troubled childhood that the media had chosen to withhold.

Aage Storm Borchgrevink’s new book on Anders Behring Breivik is getting good reviews and being deemed “necessary,” as Norwegians continue to grapple with how one of their own could become an ultra-right-wing terrorist and mass murderer. PHOTO: Gyldendal Forlag

Newspaper Morgenbladet, among the many Norwegian media outlets devoting major coverage to the book this week, raised (and answered) another key question on Friday: “We have lived with Anders Behring Breivik every day for well over a year. Do we need 380 pages on him now? The answer is, in fact, yes.” Other commentators have agreed, calling the book “necessary” as soul-searching over Breivik’s attacks last year goes on. Some call it the most important book so far on the attacks of July 22, 2011.

The new book, entitled En norsk tragedie (A Norwegian tragedy), deals with many aspects of the attacks, not least what happened on the island of Utøya where Breivik gunned down 69 persons after bombing government headquarters in Oslo.

The most controversial portions, though, delve into an aspect of Breivik’s background that most Norwegian media have opted to ignore: His childhood with a struggling divorced mother living on Oslo’s otherwise affluent west side. Publishing firm Gyldendal and author Aage Storm Borchgrevink, a senior adviser at a leading human rights organization who also has written books about conflicts in the Balkans and the Caucasus, dared to do what no other Norwegian journalist or writer had: Disclose information Borchgrevink collected after poring over psychiatric evaluations of Breivik when he was just three-four years old, studying court records of custody battles between Breivik’s divorced parents and interviewing witnesses to Breivik’s early childhood. They confirmed medical experts’ evaluations that Breivik suffered from grov omsorgsvikt, literally a severe lack of childcare from responsible adults that may well have led to the hate, anger and lack of empathy that characterize him as an adult.

Critics don’t brand the book as simply an attempt to “blame the mother,” though. Rather, the book is being widely praised as a detailed, sober, comprehensive effort to explain how Breivik became the man he did…

           — Hat tip: Fjordman[Return to headlines]

The Madness of Human Rights (Again): Why Did Six Euro Judges Examine Delays to a Serbian Oap’s Leaky Roof When it Was Fixed Five Years Ago?

And to make matters all the more bizarre, the applicant in question had already been awarded compensation.

The European Court of Human Rights was ridiculed last night after it ruled in the case of 65-year-old Milja Bjelajac, from the Serbian city of Novi Sad.

Though Mrs Bjelajac’s loft apartment has been perfectly dry for more than five years, a panel of six judges, including the president of the court, decided that delays in repairing a leaky roof had been a breach of her human rights.

The matter came to court despite the fact that the ECHR has a backlog of some 160,000 cases and recently asked member states, including Britain, to hand over more money to help it clear them.

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Anti-Fascists Planning Rally to Counter Edl’s Rotherham Demo

ANTI-fascist protesters have called for a peaceful multi-cultural rally on the day the extreme right English Defence League descends on Rotherham. The EDL has urged its followers to attend a demonstration in the town next Saturday after revelations about the sexual exploitation of young girls. Rotherham Unite Against Fascism has urged for people to attend a planned counter-rally in All Saints’ Square as a show of strength against the EDL.

Pat Keenan, president of Rotherham Trades Council, said: “The overwhelming majority of people reject the EDL’s attempt to use racism to divide our society. “Their attempts to spread racist myths about sexual exploitation must be exposed and challenged. They seek to blame one community for society’s problems. The EDL does nothing to protect the victims of sexual violence. Sexual predators and paedophiles exist in all communities, as do their victims.” He added: “Each time the EDL assemble, minorities and trades unionists are subjected to threats and racial and religious abuse. Recently the EDL were prevented from marching through Walthamstow in London due to a fantastic show of unity from the local community. It is essential that we show the same level of unity here. There’s no place for Nazis, racists or their allies in Rotherham’s multiracial, multicultural and multi-faith community.”

A public meeting to discuss the issue will be held on Monday at 7pm at the Unity Centre. Speakers are expected to include Rotherham MP Denis MacShane, Unite Against Fascism’s Weyman Bennett, faith leaders and other prominent figures.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: BBC ‘Allows 25,000 Staff to Avoid Tax’

BBC bosses came under fire yesterday for paying 25,000 emp­loyees “off-the-payroll” in a potential tax avoidance loophole.

MPs said they were “shocked” about the extent of freelance contracts that mean staff do not have income tax and National Insurance contributions ded­ucted from their pay packets.

Margaret Hodge, chairwoman of the powerful Public Acc­ounts Committee, warned the arrangement raised “suspicions of tax avoidance”.

In a report the committee said that 13,000 broadcasters — including famous names — are among those paid in this way. The other 12,000 employees are off-air staff.

Around 3,000 BBC employees are paid through private companies, allowing them to reduce their tax liabilities. The figures emer­g­ed during an investigation by the MPs into “off-the-payroll” contracts throughout the public sector. Ms Hodge said: “We suspect many in local government and the Health Service do not pay their proper tax and National Insurance contributions.”

           — Hat tip: Kitman[Return to headlines]

UK: Does the Tory Party Still Care About Its Voters?

by Liam Fox

A metropolitan agenda aimed at winning new support has alienated the Conservative Party’s traditional base

The Conservative conference next week has two tasks — to be honest with the public about our national predicament, and to be honest with itself about the party’s disconnection from its core supporters. Despite all the rhetoric, we have not had a period of great austerity, or anything like it. We have made a start at reducing the deficit and have succeeded in retaining the confidence of the markets. The Coalition deserves credit for this. But the level of spending over income is still so high that almost half of our national debt by 2015 will have been run up under the current Government. That is how catastrophic Labour’s legacy is, and shows why they must not be allowed near power until they have accepted the toxicity of their economic views…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: Good Riddance: Hate Preacher Abu Hamza Arrives at Airport After Losing Last-Ditch Attempt to Stay in Britain as Court Rules He Must be ‘Extradited to U.S. Immediately’

Radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza is already on his way to the U.S tonight, after judges threw out his last-ditch bid to stay in the UK earlier today.

The Islamist fanatic lost the last of his countless appeals in a legal farce that has seen him thwart extradition for more than eight years at a cost to taxpayers of millions of pounds.

An armoured police van collected the hate preacher from HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire at around 7.30pm, just hours after the decision was made.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Muslim Group Opens Last-Ditch Talks Over £6m Dudley Mosque Plans

A MUSLIM group battling to build a bigger mosque in Dudley has said it may ditch a High Court appeal after opening last-minute talks with the council on alternative plans. Dudley Muslim Association had been given leave to appeal after a court ruling in April that it must sell its development plot in Hall Street back to Dudley Council. High Court officials said the authority could trigger a buy-back clause on the land, which it previously sold to the Association in 2005 for £20,000, because no mosque had been erected there. But the Association, which was planning a £6 million mosque with a 62ft minaret and a greater capacity than its current Castle Hill building, told the court the council had thwarted its progress on the site by challenging its development plans…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

UK: So Who Will Judges Jail? After the Burglar Praised for ‘Courage’, Afghan Who Hurled Rocks at Police is Spared Prison Over Violent Childhood

Judge Nigel Seed decided not to send a rioter to prison because he had a violent childhood. Judge Nigel Seed decided not to send a rioter to prison because he had a violent childhood.

A judge re-ignited the row over soft sentencing yesterday after allowing a rioter who hurled rocks at the police and helped to set a car ablaze to walk free.

Judge Nigel Seed said Nooragha Zadran had seen so much violence in his home country before moving to Britain that he should not be locked up.

The decision comes only days after another judge provoked an outcry by telling a burglar that it took ‘courage’ to break into somebody’s home.

Tory MPs said the latest ruling showed the huge challenge facing new Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to get a grip on the legal system and end the scandal of soft sentencing. … Inner London Crown Court heard that Zadran — who works at a mobile phone kiosk in Lewisham — is ‘extremely vulnerable’ and prone to exploitation as a result of his childhood.

… ‘You suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, and a particularly complex form of post-traumatic stress disorder, which is very serious and makes you vulnerable to exploitation, and unable to think clearly.’


Since Mr Grayling took over from Kenneth Clarke at the Justice Department last week, he has been left in no doubt of the challenges he faces getting a grip on the soft justice system.

Last week Judge Peter Bowers provoked an outcry when he told an offender who burgled three homes in five days: ‘It takes a huge amount of courage, as far as I can see, for somebody to burgle somebody’s house. I wouldn’t have the nerve.’

           — Hat tip: LH[Return to headlines]

UK: The Awful Truth About Ed Miliband

Dan Hodges is one the best, and certainly one of the most honest, Labour bloggers. He is also a dissident, a self-described “Blairite cuckoo in the Miliband nest”. It reflects well on the Conservative Party that talented bloggers who deviate from the official line — like Mr Timothy Montgomerie, to snatch a name randomly from the air — are nevertheless given a certain degree of respect. Not so, the Labour Party — where Dan Hodges and his fellow Blairites are regularly roughed up (metaphorically) by various Brownite goons. Luckily, Hodges has a stall in the Telegraph‘s stable of bloggers, from which his party can obtain all the home truths they may care for…

The awful truth about Ed Miliband isn’t that he’s a clueless politician leading his party to defeat. Rather, it’s that his strategy — of rubbishing the Coalition, while having nothing to say about what a Labour government would actually do instead — is highly effective. Yes, it’s cowardly. Yes, it’s dishonest. Yes, it’s contemptible. But that doesn’t mean it won’t succeed. In France, something similar worked for the equally irresponsible French Socialist Party and the equally uninspiring Francois Hollande — and, right now, it’s difficult to see what’s going to stop it from working over here.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egyptian Boys Aged 9 and 10 Detained ‘For Defiling Koran’

Two Coptic Christian boys have been put in juvenile detention after locals accused them of urinating on pages of the Islamic holy book.

It is the latest in a series of legal cases in Egypt against alleged contempt of religion. Accusations of insulting Islam have increased in Egypt — particularly against Christians — since last month’s fury over an anti-Islam film produced in the United States. Such cases occurred in the past, but the flurry to prosecute in recent weeks has raised concerns over freedom of speech and over the power of ultraconservative Islamists in the country. The new case is a rare instance of minors being accused. The boys, aged 9 and 10, were detained on Tuesday in a southern town, to be held for 15 days while prosecutors investigate the accusations. There have been 17 cases of alleged contempt of religion filed since the January 2011 revolution, including at least five in recent weeks, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Egypt: Joking With Morsi

Talk about a missed opportunity. Bob Roberts, a prominent Evangelical megachurch pastor from Texas known for his efforts to promote peace with Muslims, had a chance to speak with Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Sept. 24, 2012. At this meeting, Roberts came face-to-face with the man who can do more than anyone else in the world to protect the safety and well being of more than eight million Coptic Christians who are under siege in their homeland.

You have to be living under a rock not to know that Coptic Christians have been driven from their homes in the Sinai and Alexandria and murdered in Cairo. A word out of Morsi’s mouth, and all this comes to an end. Egypt’s military starts arresting the thugs responsible for the violence and pretty soon people get the message: “Leave the Copts alone.”

So how did Roberts, who blogged about his meeting here, respond to his opportunity to speak with Morsi at a meeting organized by John Esposito, a well-known and oft-criticized proponent of Christian-Muslim dialogue?


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Libya: Two Alleged Killers of US Amb. Arrested in Istanbul

Two tunisians with fake passports apprehended at airport

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — Two Tunisians suspected of having participated in the killing of US Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in Banghazi were arrested last night at the Ataturk airport in Istanbul as they were trying to go through customs, the website of Hurriyet reports.

The two men, whose names were not revealed, had false passports, according to private television network Kanal D. They were arrested by Turkish anti-terror police and brought to the Istanbul police headquarters of Fatih.

Stevens was killed with another three US diplomats on September 11 during a protest by Islamic fundamentalists against the film Innocence of Muslims mocking prophet Mohammed.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

Caroline Glick: The Left’s Only Enemy

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s legal term in office expired nearly four years ago. But his supporters don’t care. In Israel, Washington and throughout the world, Abbas’s supporters extol the authoritarian leader as a great moderate. In 2002, desperately searching for a face for the Palestinians that wasn’t Yasser Arafat’s face, the Left pushed Abbas out from behind Arafat’s shadow. Abbas, who served as Arafat’s deputy for 39 years, was upheld as a great moderate and placed in the invented position of Palestinian prime minister.

The fact that Abbas was an inveterate Jew-hater who spent four decades in the senior leadership of a terrorist organization and whose doctoral dissertation was a long denial of the Holocaust, was brushed aside.

His leftist supporters don’t care that he says Israel has no right to exist. They are untroubled by his 2008 rejection of then-prime minister Ehud Olmert’s unprecedentedly generous offer of peace and Palestinian statehood. They don’t mind that Abbas has refused to negotiate peace with Israel for the past four years. They don’t care that he has signed two unity government deals with Hamas or that he seeks to gain sovereignty for a Palestinian state through the UN and so establish a Palestinian state in a formal state of war with Israel.

They don’t care. But most Israelis do. Due to their recognition of his hatred for Israel and due to the terrorism Abbas has condoned and financed for decades, the vast majority of Israelis do not consider him a potential partner for peace. They do not believe that either Abbas or the Palestinians as a whole are remotely interested in being appeased by Israel…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick[Return to headlines]

One Dead as US Tourist Opens Fire in Israel Hotel Lobby

One person was killed when an American tourist opened fire in the lobby of a hotel in the southern Israeli resort town of Eilat on the Red Sea, Israel police said.

Several shots were fired in the attack but the motive is so far unclear, a police spokesman said. “An American tourist opened fire in the lobby of the Leonardo Club hotel in Eilat, killing one person,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP, saying a large number of police had been deployed to the scene. The incident happened at the Leonardo Club hotel on the Red Sea coast. Large numbers of police are still at the scene and the suspect is still inside th hotel, Rosenfeld said. The suspect’s identity is unknown.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

U.S. Tourist Shot Dead After Killing 1 Hotel Employee in Israeli Resort Town of Eilat

JERUSALEM, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) — An American tourist was killed Friday morning after he shot a hotel employee dead in the southern Israeli resort city of Eilat, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld confirmed to Xinhua. Israeli media reported that the American tourist had an argument with the victim, a hotel employee, and then grabbed a gun from a female security guard, shooting him to death. Local anti-terror personnel were called to the scene and killed the shooter, the reports said. The cause for the argument and other details of the shooting incident are not immediately known.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Jordan Protest Due Despite King Abdullah Early Vote Call

Thousands of people in Jordan are expected to take part in what is being billed as the country’s biggest protest since the start of the Arab Spring.

The Muslim Brotherhood wants changes to Jordan’s constitution and will lead a demonstration after Friday prayers. On Thursday, King Abdullah dissolved parliament, paving the way for early polls ahead. He is facing calls to tackle corruption and introduce wide-ranging political and economic reform. The Muslim Brotherhood has said its political party, the Islamic Action Front (IAF), will boycott the polls unless Jordan’s political system is overhauled so that the prime minister is elected, rather than appointed by the king. The group has said King Abdullah’s attempts to introduce reform until now have not been meaningful. “In particular we demand certain amendments to the constitution which lead to the formation of a parliamentary government,” Zaki Bani Arshid, the head of the Brotherhood’s political bureau in Amman told the BBC. King Abdullah said recently that a prime minister would be elected once a new parliament was established. He has dissolved parliaments and sacked prime ministers before in order to show that he is responsive to public dissatisfaction…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ken Livingstone Returns to Iran State TV

by Andrew Gilligan

According to one of its official Twitter channels, Ken Livingstone will tonight resume his presenting role at Press TV, the Iranian regime’s English-language TV station. He presented a book review show on Press TV until 2011, when he was ordered to give it up by the Labour Party leadership, despite not wanting to. Now, however, he is stepping up a gear — hosting one of the channel’s flagship programmes, Comment, in the absence of its usual star presenter, George Galloway. Press TV has been banned from the UK airwaves by the broadcasting regulator, Ofcom, after its failure to pay a £100,000 fine for last year broadcasting an interview filmed under duress with an imprisoned journalist. But you can still watch it online.

As readers will know, I myself presented a fortnightly show on Press TV — in which the Iranian government was regularly criticised and challenged — but gave it up in 2009, when it became clear that the station was becoming a propaganda mouthpiece for the regime. This doesn’t seem to have greatly troubled Ken. In his previous outings on Press TV he made repeated attacks on Western “alarmism” about Iran’s nuclear programme, the “demonisation” of the Iranian revolution, and constant attacks on “Zionists” and “Zionism.” Like Ken, of course, Press TV has firm views about “rich Jews.” He continued to defend the channel even in his recent election campaign. Although Ken is no longer a candidate for public office, he remains a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee. Whatever can the party think about one of its official representatives (or rather his tax-avoiding service company) taking payments from a regime on which Britain currently imposes sanctions?

[JP note: Traitor.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

King of Jordan Calls Early Elections

Jordan’s King Abdullah II dissolved parliament and called early elections on Thursday, on the eve of a major rally by the Islamist opposition to demand reforms.

“The king has decided to dissolve the chamber of deputies from this Thursday and to call early elections,” a statement said. It gave no date, but the monarch has said he wants polls to be held by the end of 2012. The opposition Muslim Brotherhood said earlier it was going ahead with its planned rally in central Amman on Friday by an estimated 50,000 supporters. A demonstration in support of the king was called off over fears of unrest as it would have coincided with the Islamist rally, organisers said. “We have postponed indefinitely our demonstration scheduled at the same time as the Muslim Brotherhood’s to avoid any problems,” said Jihad al-Sheik, head of an internet-based youth group that organised the event. The cancellation came “after a request to that effect from the director of general security, Hussein al-Majali, MPs and tribal leaders” to prevent unrest…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Turkey Strikes Syria, Adds War Powers

Syria Accuses Neighbor of Fueling Conflict As Ankara Shells Positions for Second Day

ISTANBUL-Turkey attacked targets inside Syria for a second day Thursday and its parliament authorized military offensives into foreign countries, deepening the threat of sustained conflict along the neighbors’ 565-mile common border. Syria, at the United Nations, castigated its neighbor for policies it said were fueling the conflict. Ankara’s military and legislative moves came a day after Syrian shells landed in the Turkish border town of Akcakale, killing five people and spurring Turkish retaliatory strikes. In spite of the military authorizations passed earlier in the day, Turkish officials suggested Thursday that further armed action isn’t likely imminent. The day’s moves underscored how Ankara, while it has the vocal backing of its international allies after the attack on its territory, appears to have no partners for broader military action…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Azerbaijan: Baku Hosts International Forum on Humanitarian Cooperation

BAKU, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) — International activists and experts gathered here on Thursday to discuss humanitarian cooperation. The second international humanitarian forum brought together more than 650 delegates from 70 countries, including eleven Nobel Prize winners, ten former presidents, five emeritus professors and over 50 prominent public and political figures. “I believe that people belonging to different cultures and religions can live in peace, friendship and cooperation,” said Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, the host.

“Each of us, public figures, politicians, people enjoying public respect, must strive to further strengthen ties between nations in the future. There is a great need for that. This is not just a slogan or trendy words. This is a necessity,” he added.

The forum is a high-profile global platform, whose main goal is to provide impetus to solutions of major humanitarian problems and bringing humanitarian issues to the forefront of the global agenda. With a focus on challenges facing humanity in the 21st century and a wide range of humanitarian cooperation issues, the two-day forum will feature discussions, plenary sessions and round tables on topics ranging from multiculturalism to globalization. The first humanitarian forum was organized in October, 2011 in Baku. The forum is co-founded by Aliyev and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

South Asia

India: Karnataka: Hindu Nationalists Raid Christian After-School for Children

Hindutva activists of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) accuse the Child Development Centre of forced conversions. If it fails to provide a set of documents, the center will close. A few days earlier, a similar anti-Christian attack shocked the Indian state. President of the Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC): “A shameful police silence.”

Mumbai (AsiaNews) — The Child Development Centre Sampigehally (Karnataka), a Christian after-school home to 300 children, is likely to close its doors on false charges of forced conversion and proselytism. The attack is the work of dozen of the Hindu nationalists from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), who on September 29 last raided the center, while having no mandate. Compounding the situation, the intervention of the local police, who gave Brother Reuben, the director, 24 hours to submit proof of ownership on pain of criminal charges. The Global Council of Indian Christians (GCIC) has been providing legal help to the center, but at the moment it is not clear in which direction the story will evolve.

For over 15 years, the Child Development Centre has welcomed children of the village — irrespective of caste or creed — every afternoon, from 16:30 to 18:00 (local time). Free of charge, after-school care provides the children with a small meal and help with homework, before they return home. In this way, the children are followed for the entire day.

“In fact — Sajan George tells AsiaNews — this is the second anti-Christian incident in Karnataka in the last month.” On 26 September, a complaint from Hindu nationalist Bajrang Dal, four policemen Hunsur interrupted a prayer service at the Pentecostal Church Parishudda Prarthana Mandir, in the village of Kattemalavadi (district of Mysore). The officers questioned the Rev. Venkatesh, demanding the Church building permits, and a special permit to conduct the meeting.

Meanwhile, about 15 Hindu activists arrived on the spot, insulting and beating the Pastor in front of the faithful. “During the violence — said Sajan George — the most shameful thing possible happened: the police stood quietly by watching.” At the end of the attack, the nationalists collected and carried away all the Bibles and Christian materials on the spot. At that point, the officers dragged Rev. Venkatesh and the community to the police station for further questioning.

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

Inside Italy’s Slow and Strategic Withdrawal From Afghanistan

The withdrawal of Italian soldiers here in Afghanistan has already begun, even if nobody back in Italy knows it yet. For several months now, Italians have stopped being on guard at several bases they used to protect. The smallest, the most inconvenient, or the furthest from the contingent’s center of gravity, have been passed into the hands of the Afghan forces over the summer.

Golestan, for example, a troublesome border area where people sympathize with the Taliban, and which has cost Italy dearly over the years, is now locally run and secured. What is happening in these valleys is a foretaste of what will spread throughout Afghanistan in the next few months: there is fighting nearly every day, the “insurgents” are multiplying their attacks, but for the moment, Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s army are retaliating blow-by-blow.

In these areas, there are no Western soldiers left. Even the helicopters are flown by Afghan pilots. Golestan, in short, despite its extremely precarious situation, is holding on. It could turn into a disaster, like when the Soviets left, but so far it has not. “We understand that the insurgents have changed their tactics. Now they mainly attack the Afghan forces to demoralize them, but they are not succeeding,” explained General Marco Bertolini, commander of the joint operations center, overseeing Italy’s foreign missions.

Seen from above, from the windows of helicopters, these bases with unpronounceable names — Bakwa, Shindand, Bala Baluk — are sand fortresses in an expanse of emptiness. The soldiers live protected by high walls of clay and when they leave the gates they are dressed for war. “Attacks are the order of the day, but you can see the capacities of the Afghans growing,” says General Dario Ranieri, who commands the Taurinense Alpine brigade, that took over responsibility for the western region earlier this month…

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

Rory Stewart — The Tory MP Who Went to Afghanistan and Came Back With a Glamorous New Wife

For the American academic Noah Coburn, volunteering in Afghanistan was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime. Instead it broke his marriage as his wife left him for the telegenic Tory MP

When Noah Coburn arrived in Afghanistan with his wife to volunteer at a charity set up by Prince Charles, he could be forgiven for thinking life would be very different. The respected political anthropologist left his library at Boston University, Massachusetts far behind to live and work in the war-torn country whose tribal politics he always found fascinating. Accompanying him on the “trip of a lifetime” in 2006 was his beautiful wife Shoshana. She also found a post at the Turquoise Mountain charity, which aimed to inject new life into Afghanistan’s battered arts scene.

But Coburn could never have imagined quite how different life would become. Within two years, he had returned to academia in a far-flung corner of the United States. And Shoshana is now engaged to Turquoise Mountain’s co-founder, high-flying Conservative MP Rory Stewart, whose life is being made into a film by Brad Pitt. Speaking to the Evening Standard from his new home — the tiny rural town of Bennington in the state of Vermont — Coburn admitted it was an “awkward situation”…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Far East

North and South Korea ‘On the Verge of Nuclear War’

A senior North Korean diplomat warned a meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York that “a spark of fire could set off a thermonuclear war” on the Korean Peninsula.

Pak Kil-yon, Pyongyang’s vice-foreign minster, put the blame for the tense state of inter-Korean relations firmly on South Korea’s conservative government and claimed the citizens of the North feel “shame” and “political terror.” Monday’s speech was the first time a representative of North Korea has addressed the General Assembly since Kim Jong-un assumed power after the death of his father in December last year. “Since taking office, the current South Korean government has caused the worst situation in North-South relations by making all inter-Korean agreements null and void,” Pak said, referring to pacts with previous South Korean administrations that sought reconciliation between the two ideological enemies and an expansion of economic co-operation. Describing relations between the two governments as in “total bankruptcy,” Pak dismissed the South Korean government of Lee Myung-bak with the comment, “History will bring them to justice.” Neither the United States nor the UN escaped criticism, with Pak saying recent joint military manoeuvres between the US and South Korean troops were “reckless provocations.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Congo-Kinshasa: Nights in Goma Get Bloody

Goma — For the past two weeks, nights in North Kivu’s capital have been anything but restful. Armed attacks and murders are terrorizing the DR Congo city. By day, a witch hunt for the perpetrators takes place. After sunset, the scared residents coop up at home.

It was Monday, 24 September. Roger Maombo received a phone call in the early evening. He told his wife he had “to step out to take care of some business”. At the rendezvous point, in front of a small shop in the neighbourhood of Mabanga, a heated discussion ensued, escalating quickly. Shots were fired. Maombo had been murdered. The shop owner and a customer who had come out to see what happened were also killed on the doorstep. Goma is not known for its safe streets. A score-settling incident of this sort is rather commonplace here. But the story does not end there. The murdered customer happened to be a soldier in the republican guard, an elite military unit reputed for its ruthlessness…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Ghana: Nation Opens Space Research Centre

Accra — Ghana is set to embrace space science, with the inauguration of the country’s first space science and technology institution. The Ghana Space Science and Technology Centre (GSSTC), which opened on 2 May, aims to become an arena of excellence in space science and technology, through teaching, learning and space research commercialisation. In his keynote message for centre’s inauguration, the late President John Atta Mills said: “The expectation is that new jobs will be created as new materials and minerals are researched [leading to] the creation of whole new industries such as those related to the field of semiconductors and electronic engineering.”


           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Archbishop Tutu Wins $1m Mo Ibrahim Prize

The anti-apartheid hero, Arcbishop Desmond Tutu, was Thursday in Senegal, awarded $1 million, by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that promotes good governance in Africa.

Although Tutu is not in government, the Foundation adjudged him courageous and frank in telling those in power the truth always, without caring whose ox is gored…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Abuja Muslims Hold Funeral Prayers for Adegbite

Members of Muslim groups and associations yesterday converged at the National Mosque Abuja to offer ‘Fidau’ (funeral) prayers for late Dr AbdulLateef Adegbite, former secretary -general of Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA). Adegbite died last Friday during a brief illness in Lagos at the age of 79. The prayer, coordinated by Muslim Consultative Forum (MCF), Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN) and Abuja Muslim Forum (AMF), was also attended by representatives of Islamic societies and Muslim groups in Abuja and its environs. One of the National Mosque’s deputy Imams, Sheikh Kabir Ahmad, led other Muslims to complete the reading of Surah Yasin (Chapter 36) of the Holy Qur’an for the repose of late Adegbite’s soul. “Till his death, Islam and the overall interest of the Muslim Community in Nigeria and other Nigerians was the only thing that occupied the mind of the late Islamic leader.

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

SABC 3 (South African Broadcasting Corporation) To Screen Little Mosque on the Prairie Every Fridays

SABC 3 is to screen a new hit Canadian sitcom titled Little Mosque on the Prairie every Friday at 6:30pm. Created by Zarqa Nawaz the show centers on a Muslim community living in a small town Canadian called Mercy. The key building in the area is the mosque, which is run by Imam Amaar Rashid (Zaib Shaikh).

The award winning sitcom milks the humour from the interaction between the Muslims and the non-Muslim communities of this small town. Their cultural and religious diversities obviously rankle.

As viewers follow the story, they will frequently visit the local corner shop called Fatima’s Café, which is run by Fatima Dinssa (Arlene Duncan). However it’s the mosque that’s the focal point and interestingly, the mosque is situated in the parish hall of an Anglican church so Rashid and his people have to pay rent to the Christians.

What makes the show great is that not everything is what it seems and while some characters from both ends of the fence are generally conservative, there are open-minded people amongst them.

Although a work of fiction, whether this is a true reflection of diverse communities remain to be seen as perceptions of intermingling between different religious groups differs from country to country.

           — Hat tip: LH[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Nizamiye Mosque — Midrand

R1.3bn mosque and varsity complex

The Nizamiye Mosque in Midrand north of Johannesburg. This mosque is the largest in the Southern Hemisphere.

The largest mosque in the southern hemisphere has risen in Midrand at the will of 75-year-old Turkish construction tycoon Ali Katircioglu.

Hoping to leave a legacy in South Africa, “Uncle Ali”, as he is popularly known, has already spent more than R210-million on the new Nizamiye mosque and community complex, and has no plans for slowing down.


The estimated cost of the entire project, including a Muslim university, is R1.3-billion. But Katircioglu could not give an exact figure because he had “stopped counting a long time ago”.


Katircioglu had planned to build the mosque in the US. But after failing to find a suitable site and being obstructed by the bureaucracy he brought the project to South Africa.

The mosque, which is at the centre of a 52ha complex, is a scaled-down replica of the Ottoman Selimiye mosque in Edirne, Turkey. The massive dome atop the building has the same pale-blue hue and is adorned with four identical minarets on each corner.


The mosque can accommodate 6000 worshippers . Though it has yet to have an official opening, prayers are held there five times a day. On Fridays, it is filled to the brim, requiring extra carpeting to be laid down outside.


The mosque is surrounded by a community complex, which is still under construction. Originally, Katircioglu had planned only to build a shopping centre and a primary school at which children could live and study, but those ambitions have since been greatly expanded.

After meeting former president Nelson Mandela, who suggested that he add a clinic, Katircioglu worked on creating a low-cost clinic. He also decided to extend the plot to build a Muslim university.

The shopping centre, clinic and primary school are scheduled to be completed and officially opened by mid-September at a ceremony expected to be attended by President Jacob Zuma.

The university will take a bit longer to complete.

           — Hat tip: LH[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Places of Beauty and Peace

Johannesburg’s skyline is undergoing change that reflects shifts in society and religious faith.

Rising from the Witwatersrand ridge are incredible structures where the Muslim faithful pray.

These enormous prayer houses can be found in the green leafy northern suburbs and in underprivileged areas where Christian church steeples have up until now been the most prominent landmarks.

The New Age went to find out more about these exquisite new landmarks.

Soweto has just received its second large mosque, the Allansar mosque, a brand new and prominent feature which can be seen from afar.


It joins the skyline with another mosque, the Dlamini mosque in Soweto, which became a refuge for many who were evading security forces in the 1980s.

Another mosque which snares the attention of motorists on the K101 road, is the Nizamiye Midrand mosque, which it is believed will be the biggest mosque in the southern hemisphere once completed. The estimated cost of the building is R210m.


Another mosque catching the eye on the M1 near Rosebank, is the Houghton Jumma mosque which is still under construction.

It is being funded by the Saudi Arabian government and the King Fahd Islamic centre trust will be responsible for its administration.


The Kerk Street mosque in the Johannesburg CBD is the city’s crown jewel, and has been declared a national heritage site.

           — Hat tip: LH[Return to headlines]

South Africa: Zuma Opens Massive Mosque Complex in Midrand

The biggest mosque complex in the southern hemisphere situated in Midrand, was yesterday officially opened by President Jacob Zuma who was flanked by an array of dignitaries from Turkey. The Nizamiye complex, is the work of retired property developer Ali Katircioglu, affectionately known as Uncle Ali, and contains a mosque, a primary and high school, a free health clinic for the community as well as sporting and recreational facilities. Uncle Ali has built such complexes in Turkey as well. Although the initial plan was to construct the complex in the US, Uncle Ali ultimately decided South Africa was a better option. Featuring architectural work from the Ottoman Empire architecture, the project took about three years to complete and is thought to have cost Uncle Ali several hundred million rand.

Speaking after the unveiling ceremony, Zuma said: “The Nizamiye mosque will help to further promote greater understanding and tolerance between diverse religions. Our country is one of the most pluralistic nations of the world. The opening of the Nizamiye Mosque will therefore complement our efforts to advance the values of religious tolerance and the preservation of religious harmony as espoused by the Constitution,” said Zuma.

Turkey’s Minister of Economy Zafer Çalayan who is in the country on a trade mission recalled his time at the ground breaking ceremony three years ago. “This is a magnificent piece of art that we are in right now. We might be thousands of kilometres from home but it doesn’t feel like it. We feel at home here,” said Çalayan. Gauteng Premier, Nomvula Mokanyane donning traditional Turkish dress, said she had met some of the most wonderful people from the Turkish community in South Africa, all of whom were using their own money to make the country a better place…

[JP note: Sure.]

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Uganda: Katuumu, Where Top Muslims Trained

By Frederick Kiwanuka

Katuumu village in Luwero district is home to one of Uganda’s first Islamic schools which, sadly, is nolonger remembered. Although several Muslim leaders studied there, they never return to the place that made them who they are today. Katuumu Islamic School is about 6km from Luwero town. It was established by a renowned Muslim cleric, the late Swahib Semakula, who settled in the area in 1947. Semakula was Uganda’s first Mufti when Uganda Muslim Supreme Council was formed in 1972. It is at Katuumu that the bulk of Uganda’s Muslim top brass, were initially trained. Semakula died in 1973 at the age of 113 years. Three of his sons who include sheikhs Musa Semwogerere, Muhammad Katende and Ali Mutyaba, said among the muftis who passed through Semakula’s hands are, Abdulrazak Matovu who replaced Semakula in 1973 and Suleiman Matovu who took over after Matovu resigned…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Luis Fleischmann: Election in Venezuela — A Wild Card for US National Security

The upcoming October 7th elections in Venezuela do not constitute just another round of elections in another country. These elections are crucial for the future of Latin America and for the security of the United States. In fact, it is no exaggeration to point out that the Venezuelan drama should be as great a concern as the elections in the young democracies of the Middle East that emerged in the aftermath of the Arab spring.

Unfortunately, the Venezuelan electoral process has been characterized by intimidation of the opposition and the press, violence, and indiscriminate use of state resources, all this with the objective of providing an advantage to Hugo Chavez.

In fact, two supporters of Henrique Capriles Radonsky, the opposition candidate challenging the President, were recently shot to death…

[Return to headlines]


19 Tunisian Immigrants Land in Sicily Near Agrigento

One man injures himself during transit to processing center

(ANSA) — Rome, October 5 — Italian police picked up 19 immigrants who landed on the Palma di Montechiaro beach on the southern Italian island of Sicily Friday.

Police found the men on a public bus heading to the city of Agrigento that they had boarded after they were dropped off on the beach.

During transit one of the men began to injure himself with a piece of broken glass he had hidden in his clothing, police said.

The man was restrained and taken to a hospital emergency room for treatment and the other men, all self-identified as Tunisian, were taken to a processing center in Porto Empedocle.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Government Training Included Exercise in Which Employees Were Told to Chant “Our Forefathers Were Illegal Immigrants.”

The U.S. government paid a Chicago consultant hundreds of thousands of dollars to put on diversity training workshops that, according to one watchdog, included an exercise in which employees were told to chant “our forefathers were illegal immigrants.”

Conservative group Judicial Watch made the claim this week as it released a handful of documents pertaining to the program — and alleged that the sessions held by the Department of Agriculture ended up enforcing political views more than promoting tolerance.

“Instead of being diversity-oriented or tolerance-oriented, it’s more about adopting a mindset,” said Lisette Garcia, a senior investigator with the group. “It seemed to go so far as to encourage illegal immigration.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Balkanization of America, Part II: A Clear and Present Danger — Part 2

In present-day America, there is perhaps no better illustration of Bertold Brecht’s vision of “dissolving one people and electing another” (see part one here) than the case of illegal immigration from Mexico and Latin America into the United States.

Among the many drivers of the on-going Balkanization of the United States, none is more potent than the unchecked river of humanity flowing across our southern border.

According to recent demographic data, there are approximately 12 million illegal immigrants in the U.S. These data, often collected by such left-leaning organizations such as the Pew Hispanic Center and the Center for Immigration Studies, understate the extent of illegal immigration; actual figures are almost certainly higher. Some authorities place the figure in the 18-22 million range, while others place the total as high as 30 million people. Since, by definition, illegal immigrants are undocumented, a precise count is probably impossible, especially given the dynamic nature of population flows. It is estimated that some 55% of illegals were from Mexico, with an additional 22% from other Latin American countries; illegals from other nations comprise the remainder of the total.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Ghost of Bertold Brecht and the Balkanization of America — Part 1

Would it not be simpler if the government dissolved the people and elected another?

Bertold Brecht (1898-1956), German playwright

Bertold Brecht’s name is now largely lost to history, but the idea expressed in the succinct question above remains as potent today as when he uttered it. Brecht, a self-made Marxist who was once investigated by the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) during the “Red Scare” era of the late 1940s and early 1950s, probably did not know a then-young Edward Kennedy or the other politicians who later devised the 1965 Immigration and Naturalization Act, and he did not live to see the eventual mass migration of immigrants, legal and illegal alike, into the U.S. after his death. We can only speculate on how Brecht would have viewed the rapidly-Balkanizing United States of the early 21st century, but it seems safe to conclude that the old Marxist would be astounded at its scope, scale and rapidity.

The Democrat Party and the new left faced an existential political problem in pre-1965 America: the majority of its citizens were white Anglo-Saxon Protestants — or “WASPs” — Americans of European descent who voted conservatively in most (if not all) elections by a substantial plurality. The Democrats still enjoyed the political momentum provided by the FDR “New Deal” coalition, as well as strong support among urban ethnic and racial minorities — but these advantages were off-set by the substantial power of the conservative “Dixiecrat” wing of the Democratic Party and mainstream Republicanism. The “Greatest Generation” of the Great Depression, WWII and Korea was largely a traditional one, still firmly committed to the civic and cultural norms its parents and grandparents had held.

How to break the cycle? Following Lyndon Baines Johnson’s landslide win in the 1964 presidential election, the left saw its chance to alter the political landscape permanently — and seized it, right in front of the unsuspecting Republicans. In 1965, Representative Emanuel Celler (D-N.Y.) and Senator Philip Hart (D-MI) proposed the Immigration and Naturalization Act, which sought to overturn the national origins immigration quota system in place since the 1920s.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

The Myth Behind Multiculturalism

Presidents, prime ministers, public servants, private citizens and others are irritated and tired of having to adapt to immigrants rather than immigrants adapting to their new countries and western culture. It’s become a “take it or leave it” situation, no longer worrying about whether we in the West are offending others, individuals, their communities or their cultures…

One cannot discuss multiculturalism without making reference to the veil and the symbolic covert message it conveys. Those who want to live under Sharia law in the West want to impose it. However, western women do not want the veil imposed on them or for that matter on any other woman as it represents the repression of women’s rights and the dark shadow behind creeping Sharia. One former Muslim, Al Fadi, recently expressed the irony he finds in all of this, that it is

“ . . .appalling that some Muslims always like to impose Islamic rules and traditions on others everywhere they go or live. It is frustrating to read or hear of such complaints by Muslims directed against others, when in fact Muslims tend to deny others the very same rights who live in Islamic countries under Islamic law.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Faithless Britain is Still a Country of Compassion and Principles

by Fraser Nelson

Times have changed, and Ed Miliband may be on to something with his political creed

It is harder than ever to claim, as the Prime Minister does, that Britain is still a Christian country. It was at the time when Baroness Thatcher stood outside No 10 and recited the prayer of St Francis of Assisi, to offer reassurance about her intentions. Two thirds of Brits were Christian then, and phrases such as “where there is discord, may we bring harmony” had wide resonance. Those were the days where friends parted using phrases like “God bless” and hedged future plans with “God willing”. But over the past three decades Britain has been losing its religion at a precipitous rate — as Ed Miliband has worked out…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

Morocco: Dutch ‘Abortion Boat’ Finally Docks in Moroccan Harbour

The Dutch ‘abortion boat’ has finally docked in the Moroccan harbour of Smir after having been prevented to do so by Moroccan authorities for several hours, say organisers Women on Waves. On Thursday afternoon, the Dutch Health Ministry announced that the staff on board the boat could not carry out abortions in international waters because they had failed to apply for a permit. The ministry added that it had repeatedly informed Women on Waves that they did not have authorisation to terminate pregnancies in international waters off the coast of Morocco…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]

The Cost of Purity

Or, Less Information is a Good Thing in an Argument, Yes?

From Theodore Dalrymple’s latest collection of essays, Farewell Fear. On dictatorial urges:

It is difficult now to imagine a modern university intellectual saying something as simple and unequivocal as “I disagree with what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it.” He would be more likely to think, if not actually to say out loud or in public, “I disagree with what you say and therefore rationalise to the death my right to suppress it.” In public, he would be more circumspect, presenting a suppression of freedom as an actual increase in freedom; that is to say of real freedom, not the kind the leaves everyone free to sleep under a bridge. But he would know perfectly well in his heart that what he was after was power: the greatest power of all, that to shape, mould and colour indelibly the thought of others, a power to which he believes that he has a right by virtue of his superior intellect, training and zeal for the public good.

Actually, some of our budding intellectuals do declare their censorious urges out loud and in public, as if such urges confirmed their own unassailable righteousness: “We no longer need to listen,” say these mighty radical thinkers. Nor will they permit others to listen to ideas and arguments they, our betters, deem improper — on our behalf, of course…

           — Hat tip: JP[Return to headlines]


Russel Harris said...

"Another mosque catching the eye on the M1 near Rosebank, is the Houghton Jumma mosque which is still under construction."

Yeah, that caught my eye 2 years ago when I visited family in South Africa. It's huge. You can see it from quite a distance.

I had no idea it was being built but was informed that the area had become VERY muslim. "The mall (across the road from the mosque) is full of muslims wearing hijabs, but they are not from South Africa," my friend said. She lives nearby.

"Egyptians, Saudis, Pakistanis and ... Iranians. They shop BIG TIME (they make big purchases)."

The road outside the mosque is frequently blocked because people kneel down in prayer 5x a day.

The plan was to originally purchase the large Jewish synagogue down the road but the Jewish community raised such a fuss that the plan was shelved.

Russel Harris said...

South Africa's pro-Islamic nations foreign policy is bearing fruit