Sunday, April 12, 2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/12/2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 4/12/2009Tonight’s big news is of course the rescue of the captain of the Alabama — not to mention the rough justice meted out to three of the pirates. It’s good to see the US Navy in action, doing what God intended it to do.

In other news, concern is increasing that Pakistan’s government is on the verge of collapse, with a Taliban takeover a distinct possibility.

Thanks to Gaia, heroyalwhyness, Insubria, JD, TB, The Frozen North, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
- - - - - - - - -
Financial Crisis
France Union, Bossnapping is Legitimate
Ginsburg Shares Views on Influence of Foreign Law on Her Court, and Vice Versa
‘Give’ Creating Youth Brigades?
Implant “Chip-a-Thon” as Fundraiser Against Cancer (!?!)
Europe and the EU
Banned Cleric of Hate Invited to Rant in Britain
Count Von Stauffenberg: “We Live in a Society of Lemmings”
Fishing: Slow Fish, Just 10% of Edible Med Fish on Sale
Fishing: EU; Med Commission, Sustainable Management Measures
‘Germany’s Baby-Boom Dream Has Been Shattered’
Germany: Anti-Fascists Successfully Block Neo-Nazi March
Germany: Shocking Moment Polar Bear Attacks Woman Who Climbed Into Zoo Enclosure
Germany: Yankee Bombs Go Home
Germany: Attack From the Left?
IRA Dissidents Threaten Top Sinn Fein Politician
Let’s Not Die for Timid and Misguided Political Correctness
Obama Brother Accused of UK Sex Assault
UK: Fined £75, the Man Who Pinned Up a Sign and ‘Harmed a Living Tree’
UK: Our Ruling Elite Are a Class Apart
UK: Order Made on 7/7 Images Release
UK: Private Schools Say No to Providing Pupil Details for Government Database
UK: Terror Raid House Owner’s Al Qaeda Links
Tourism: Croatia, Kempinski Luxury Hotel in Istria
Mediterranean Union
Fishing: Med Consultation Committee Under French Presidency
North Africa
Algeria: Bouteflika Landslide, Opposition to Contest
Algeria: EU Congratulates Bouteflika
Fishing: Tunisia to Develop Sardine Industry
Middle East
Ahmadinejad: Iran Now Has the Ability to Produce Nuclear Fuel
Arab Foreign Ministers Discuss Sending Mutual Message to Obama
Black Imam Shows Islamic Equality
No Divorce for 8 Yr. Old Saudi Girl, Says Judge
‘We Are Neither Obstinate Nor Gullible’
South Asia
Islamist Terrorists Pushing Pakistan Towards Collapse
Muslims “Sidelined” in Indian Politics: Cleric
Pakistan: Suspects in Rape of Christian Girl Cleared
Warning That Pakistan is in Danger of Collapse Within Months
Australia — Pacific
Fiji Armed Forces Flex Muscles Further
Sub-Saharan Africa
US Captain Held by Pirates Freed
Tettamanzi: Christians Discriminating Too
Culture Wars
Christian Charity Worker Suspended for Saying He Did Not Believe in Same-Sex Marriage
Living Will: Fagioli, I Oppose Human Life in Vegetative State
What’s Up, Jesus? Looney Tunes ‘Last Supper’ Parody Stirs Controversy
Youtube Community Tells Kid to Kill Himself

Financial Crisis

France Union, Bossnapping is Legitimate

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, APRIL 10 — Open legitimisation of extreme behaviour, born from the rage of workers who fear for their jobs, has come from the most powerful French trade union, CGT, which said today that holding business managers hostage is not only understandable but defendable. Until now, smaller unions had expressed their support for workers’ actions, without ever going so far as to incite acts of bossnapping. However, the General Secretary of the CGT union, Bernard Thibaud, announced his support for such action: kidnappings, he said, “are union actions; I understand them and I will defend them as long as the managers suffer no physical harm.” He added that the government is responsible for the situation, since “it failed to take the level of social malaise seriously.” The latest case of industrial kidnapping took place last night when dozens of workers held hostage three leaders of Faurecia, a branch of PSA Peugeot Citroensouth of Paris, after the company had fired 360 employees. The three were released after five hours. This is one of a series of bossnapping incidents in France, where, in recent weeks, top managers from Sony France, 3M, Caterpillar and Scapa have been taken hostage. Business organisations are becoming increasingly concerned about the situation, and following this most recent case, launched an appeal to the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, asking him to “step in to put an end to these kidnappings.” In an interview a few days ago, Sarkozy condemned the kidnappings and warned. “We won’t let them do it.” But the only response so far has come from a group of workers who took Scapa’s management hostage. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]


Ginsburg Shares Views on Influence of Foreign Law on Her Court, and Vice Versa

[Comments from JD: Admitting to being influenced by foreign rulings is essentially saying the US Constitution is not the yardstick. To hear this from a Supreme Court judge is bad.]

In wide-ranging remarks here, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg defended the use of foreign law by American judges, suggested that torture should not be used even when it might yield important information and reflected on her role as the Supreme Court’s only female justice. The occasion was a symposium at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University honoring her 15 years on the court.

“I frankly don’t understand all the brouhaha lately from Congress and even from some of my colleagues about referring to foreign law,” Justice Ginsburg said in her comments on Friday.

The court’s more conservative members — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr., Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas — oppose the citation of foreign law in constitutional cases.

“If we’re relying on a decision from a German judge about what our Constitution means, no president accountable to the people appointed that judge and no Senate accountable to the people confirmed that judge,” Chief Justice Roberts said at his confirmation hearing. “And yet he’s playing a role in shaping the law that binds the people in this country.”

Justice Ginsburg said the controversy was based on the misunderstanding that citing a foreign precedent means the court considers itself bound by foreign law as opposed to merely being influenced by such power as its reasoning holds.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

‘Give’ Creating Youth Brigades?

Service corps expansion gives opponents shivers

Supporters of an Americorps expansion plan pending in Congress laud its efforts to “leverage” federal dollars to boost state, local and other resources to “address national and local challenges,” while critics say its fine print secretly would create an “Obama-styled army of community organizers modeled after Saul Alinsky’s ‘Peoples Organizations.’“ So which is it?

In an era in which Congress can approve thousands of pages of legislation spending hundreds of billions of dollars without reading the proposal, there seems to be no definitive answer on what some of the vague language of H.R. 1388 means.

But there is enough in the “GIVE Act,” now awaiting a conference committee in Congress after being approved by both the U.S. House and Senate, to cause critics to shiver.

For example, it certainly imposes a requirement for public service on some people, even though its original much-feared study on mandatory service for all was moved to another bill during congressional debate.

Advert: “The Audacity of Deceit” exposes exactly who Barack Obama is. He isn’t pedaling “change you can believe in” — he’s planning to uproot American culture and replace it with the failed, secular, socialist policies of the past.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Implant “Chip-a-Thon” as Fundraiser Against Cancer (!?!)

I thought I’d seen every lame thing the RFID industry could dish up to support microchip implants, but this is over the top.

An upcoming “Chip-a-thon”(!?!) in Northern Pennsylvania will be injecting pets with microchips — to raise money for the American Cancer Society!

These are the same microchips that cause cancer in 1% to 10% of laboratory animals that receive them. Peer-reviewed journal articles have shown to be related to cancerous tumors in at least two dogs.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Banned Cleric of Hate Invited to Rant in Britain

ANGER was growing last night after it was revealed that an Islamic extremist linked to Al Qaeda and the September 11 hijackers is to address a UK conference by video.

Muslim cleric Sheikh Anwar al-Awlaki has been banned from the United States after he was accused of using taped lectures to encourage terrorist attacks.

But the preacher of hate has been given the go-ahead to speak to an audience of hundreds at the three-day event in east London which is being held at a taxpayer-funded venue starting today.

Tower Hamlets council granted permission for the pre-recorded video message to be broadcast despite admitting it “obviously had some concerns”.

Last night the council released a statement saying the decision had been made after consultations with police and Home Office officials. But politicians accused Home Secretary Jacqui Smith of failing to take action to crack down on extremists.

American-born al-Awlaki has been banned from returning to the US following accusations he acted as a spiritual adviser to three of the 9/11 terrorists.

He now lives in the Yemen where he served 16 months in jail, during which he claims he was interrogated by the FBI.

The US Department of Homeland Security describes al-Awlaki as an “Al Qaeda supporter” who uses the internet to encourage terror attacks and urge Muslims worldwide to take up jihad.

Last night Shadow Security Minister Pauline Neville-Jones called for the meeting to be banned.

She called al-Awlaki “one of the most prominent English-language supporters of violent jihad”.

But Tower Hamlets said it had found “no grounds” to prohibit the event, at the Brady arts centre in Whitechapel.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Count Von Stauffenberg: “We Live in a Society of Lemmings”

Count Franz Ludwig von Stauffenberg, the third son of Hitler’s would-be assassin Count Claus von Stauffenberg and brother to Gen. Berthold von Stauffenberg, recently spoke to the German magazine FOCUS about Germany’s ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Stauffenberg, a father of four and grandfather of eight, has spent his life as an attorney and a politician for the Bavarian Christian Social Union party, serving in the Bundestag from 1976 to 1987 and as a Member of the European Parliament from 1984 to 1992.

FOCUS asked the Count about his participation in the German court challenge against the Lisbon Treaty.

“I see the way to [the Constitutional Court] as a last resort,” the Count said, “and had hoped that we could compel a re-think through an ordinary democratic manner, through argument, debate, and public pressure. This has totally failed. I’m not anti-European; I was long enough a CSU Member of the European Parliament. This Europe is no longer compatible with the basic structures of a democratic legal state.”

FOCUS: Has your case something to do with your experience as the son of the resistance fighter Count von Stauffenberg?

“No. My father expected that his children would … stand on their own as a man or woman. I didn’t go into politics from devout worship of my father, but because of the unsuccessful paths of my peers from the generation of 1968.”…

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Fishing: Slow Fish, Just 10% of Edible Med Fish on Sale

(ANSAmed) — GENOA, APRIL 3 — Slow Fish, the big event on fishing and sea activities scheduled to take place at Fiera di Genova, the Genoa trade fair grounds, aims to educate palates, improve quality of life, protect the environment and even fight the economic crisis. The event will kick off on April 17-20 and is organised by Slow Food and the Liguria Region. According to 2006 data from ISMEA (Institute for Services to the Agricultural and Food Markets), fresh and unpackaged frozen fish make up an overwhelming proportion of domestic fish purchases: 52.9% in terms of volume and 52.5% in terms of value. By buying fresh fish, however, the consumer faces several problems: firstly, the irregularity of labelling for seafood products (according to the coast guard this represents 55.9% of certified violations); and also the homogenisation of what is on offer. There are a good 266 species of edible aquatic animals living in the Mediterranean, but little more than 10% of these can be regularly found on the fishmonger’s counter. The species which dominate are gilthead, swordfish, tuna and sea bass. Broadening consumers’ horizons therefore implies positive effects on both health and the wallet, as many forgotten species are very nutritious and quite cheap. Furthermore, the consumption of just a few types of fish has serious consequences on the environmental impact of fishing. A study published by ‘Nature’ magazine claims that among the 29 most fished species, the populations of 10 of them have been reduced to less than 10% of that estimated 50 years ago. These considerations have led to the many initiatives at Slow Fish aimed at educating tastes: the personal shopper — an expect who will guide the public through shopping counters; ‘Catering Thinking’ — an investigation into mass catering with two appointments on ‘Today in the Canteen: anchovy or iridescent shark?’ and ‘Between the Sea and the Canteen is the Market: how to save the environment, the wallet, and the palate’; Master of Food ‘Experience in the Market and in the Kitchen’, with a first part dedicated to shopping and the second to the practical activities; ‘Which Fish to Take?’, a game/learning experience which dispenses advice for good daily purchasing practices; ‘The Anchovy in the Sea of Wonders — Taste or Mistake’ — an ad-hoc plan for primary and secondary classes where students learn how to clean the fish using tactile-sensory experience, to cook it, and enjoy it. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Fishing: EU; Med Commission, Sustainable Management Measures

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, APRIL 3 — A 10% reduction of fishing in all of the Mediterranean, the creation of a register of fishing fleets that operate in the Mediterranean, and the use of at least 40mm wide netting on trawling nets to avoid accidentally capturing smaller fish. These are some of the measures contained in a series of recommendations at the annual meeting of the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean (CGPM), which ended last week in Tunis, and was supported by the European Union. Among the recommendations that emerged from the meeting, explained the European Commission, include the obligation to equip all boats that are over 15 metres long with a satellite control system. Another issue that was discussed was the situation of sardines in the Adriatic Sea, which the Scientific Committee researched in detail to better understand the state of small organisms and fish in the Adriatic. According to the conclusions of the meeting, all 24 member-states of the General Fisheries Council for the Mediterranean will now be required to present statistics on catches, in addition to biological and economic data on the activity in fishing and aquaculture. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

‘Germany’s Baby-Boom Dream Has Been Shattered’

In late 2008, it looked as though Germany had finally managed to reverse its falling birthrate. New statistics, though, indicate that the opposite is true. German commentators say Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen was naive to believe otherwise.

In February, Germany’s Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen was all smiles as she released her “Family Report 2009.” The report indicated that 2008 saw a rise in the German birthrate — good news in a country that has been suffering from a dropping number of babies for years.

Even better for von der Leyen, though, was that the numbers seemed to indicate that her family policies, pushed through in 2007, were a success. Generous payments to couples who took time off work to have children seemed to be having the desired effect.

The problem, though, is that the mother of seven’s report only used data for January through September 2008. On Tuesday, though, the German Federal Statistical Office released preliminary figures for all of 2008, and the news is not pretty. Rather than the heralded rise in births, 2008 saw a 1.1 percent drop in the birthrate — or 8,000 fewer children for a country already worried about its growing demographic crisis.

German commentators on Wednesday criticized von der Leyen for her premature triumphalism and said her policies didn’t go far enough.

Conservative daily Die Welt writes:

“Germany’s baby-boom dream has been shattered…. In fact, it was rather naïve to believe that social technocrats could so easily manipulate how people thought about having children.”

“For the members of the ruling grand coalition (eds note: made up of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservatives and the center-left Social Democrats) who are championing the new family polices, the matter of higher birthrates continues to be only a side issue. Their main goal is to increase the levels of women participating in the workforce. Paying benefits to parents, building more day-care centers and amending laws on child-support payments were meant to reduce adherence to the family model that advocates a working father and a stay-at-home mother. Family policies underwent a paradigm shift, and the new message was that mothers should be employed.”

“Today’s modern family politicians frown upon any discussion of freedom of choice. As they see it, a woman is not emancipated if she defers her career goals to have children. And, according to this way of thinking, if a woman chooses to stay at home with her small child instead of sending it to day care, she is displaying a dangerous ignorance about early-childhood development.”

“The push for these family policies comes from business interests and the pressure exerted by equality advocates. In the future, you can only hope that many couples will have children despite — rather than because of — these policies.”…

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Germany: Anti-Fascists Successfully Block Neo-Nazi March

Two thousand demonstrators in Lüneburg, Lower Saxony succeeded in stopping a neo-Nazi march through the town on Saturday.

The demonstration, marching under the motto ‘Lüneburg is colourful — against far-Right extremism and racism’, blocked the route along which the 250 neo-Nazis had been given permission to march.

They refused an alternative route offered by the police, who then cancelled their permission to demonstrate and escorted them to the train station.

The police said that 167 people were likely to be charged with breaking demonstration rules for blocking the street, while three further cases were likely for resisting the police and insulting an officer.

A police spokesman said that some of the neo-Nazis had attacked officers when told their march was cancelled. Several are likely to be charged with a range of offences including trespass, resisting arrest, incitement and wearing an anti-constitutional symbol.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Germany: Shocking Moment Polar Bear Attacks Woman Who Climbed Into Zoo Enclosure

This is the terrifying moment a woman was attacked by a polar bear after jumping into its zoo enclosure.

The 32-year-old leapt over bars at Berlin Zoo during the bears’ feeding time yesterday.

Despite six zookeepers’ efforts to distract the four predators kept in the enclosure, the woman was bitten several times on her arms and legs.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Germany: Yankee Bombs Go Home

Foreign Minister Wants US Nukes out of Germany

Reacting to Obama’s vision of a nuclear-free world, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier has called for American nuclear weapons to be removed from Germany. His stance is in opposition to Chancellor Merkel, who wants to keep the bombs to secure Germany’s say in NATO…

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Germany: Attack From the Left?

Automobile Arson a Trend in Berlin

Arson attacks on expensive cars in Berlin seem to be on the rise. DHL, SAP and Deutsche Bahn have also been targeted by vandals. Police suspect militant leftists are behind the attacks but arrests have been few and far between.

Early on Thursday morning, it happened again. Three cars in the central Berlin district of Friedrichshain went up in flames, victims of night-time arson attacks.. Both the fire department and the police were quick to respond, but the perpetrators — many of whom are widely assumed to be from Berlin’s not insignificant radical left-wing scene — melted into the night.It is a story that has become all too common in Berlin. Twenty-four hours earlier, attackers transformed an Audi and a BMW into smoldering wrecks in the district of Mitte. Recent weeks have seen Porsches, Mercedes and VWs likewise torched. Indeed, arson attacks considered by the police to be “politically motivated” look to be dramatically higher this year than last. And so far, not a single arsonist has been convicted — a situation that has some politicians in Berlin up in arms.

“We expect Berlin Interior Senator Ehrhart Körting and Police Chief Dieter Glietsch to remove the blinders from their left eye and take action against the militant left,” Robbin Juhnke of the Berlin Christian Democrats, told the Berliner Morgenpost on Thursday.

Juhnke’s inference is that the coalition which governs the city-state of Berlin, pairing Körting’s center-left Social Democrats with the far-left Left Party, is soft on left-wing violence. And the numbers are indeed sobering. In 2009, there have already been 32 arson attacks on vehicles in Berlin in which 48 cars have been destroyed. In all of 2008, 68 such attacks took place.

What to do about it, though, remains a matter of some debate. Police have set up “traps” by observing expensive cars parked in at-risk neighborhoods — but to no avail. The problem, they say, is that it takes only seconds to light a car on fire. By the time police respond, the perpetrators have disappeared into the night. In an unwitting admission of just how little progress has been made, a police spokesman told Berliner Morgenpost in January that “we suspect the perpetrators travel by foot, with the S-Bahn, the U-Bahn or by bicycle.”

A Political Background?

Adding to the difficulties, the left-wing scene, dominated as it is by self-proclaimed anarchists, is splintered, with a number of loosely-formed groups that don’t necessarily work together. Plus, it isn’t even clear that all of the arson attacks can be blamed on the far left. Berlin police suspect that there are a number of individual “copy-cat criminals” at work.Still, there are a number of signs pointing to a political background for at least some of the attacks. In late January, for example, seven cars belonging to Deutsche Bahn went up in flames. The German rail operator has long been a target of the militant left wing due to the fact that it transports highly radioactive nuclear waste to a storage facility in Germany’s Gorleben. The periodic transports — known as Castor Transports — are traditionally accompanied by at-times violent left wing protests.

Cars belonging to the express mail company DHL are likewise a favorite target due to the fact that the company provides logistics support for the German military in Afghanistan, another cause for disgruntlement in Germany’s left. There have been a number of organized left-wing marches against both companies, the most recent in Berlin in mid March.

In a similar vein, the Berlin offices of the software giant SAP, located in the Mitte district, have become a favorite target of left-wing militants. The building’s large picture windows ending up in shards on an almost monthly basis. The most recent attack occurred on Tuesday night, when a group of 100 black-clad anarchists suddenly appeared in central Berlin, vandalized cars and buildings, including the SAP offices, and then dispersed.

Such organized and vaguely political vandalism has been a feature of Berlin for years. But when it comes to the ongoing series of arson attacks against parked cars, the motives — and potential political connection — become more difficult to pinpoint.

In January of this year, a group calling itself the “Movement for Militant Resistance” — which uses the acronym BMW based on its name in German — claimed responsibility for the torching of eight vehicles in a letter published in the left-wing scene zine Interim. The group claimed it was fighting against gentrification in the Berlin districts of Neukölln, Kreuzberg and Mitte.

Can’t Ignore the Suffering

The claim seems plausible, says Klaus Farin, an expert on the extreme left with the Archive of Youth Cultures in Berlin. He says that many on the far left place great stock in living free of the consumerism and status symbols that characterize modern-day society…

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

IRA Dissidents Threaten Top Sinn Fein Politician

DUBLIN — Irish Republican Army dissidents threatened Sunday to kill top Sinn Fein politician Martin McGuinness and resume attacks in England as part of their efforts to wreck the IRA cease-fire and Northern Ireland power-sharing.

An Easter statement from the outlawed Real IRA distributed to Irish media branded McGuinness a traitor because he holds the top Irish Catholic post in Northern Ireland’s power-sharing government with British Protestants.

The statement warned McGuinness — a former IRA commander — that “no traitor will escape justice regardless of time, rank or past actions. The republican movement has a long memory.”

Supporters later read out the statement at small rallies beside the graves of IRA dead at cemeteries in Belfast and Dublin. Anti-terrorist detectives kept a discreet watch on both events.

McGuinness offered no response. He previously has appealed to the public to tell police about dissident IRA activities and says extremist threats won’t deflect him from cooperating with Protestant past enemies.

The Real IRA also claimed responsibility Sunday for a long-disputed killing of a Sinn Fein official who was exposed in 2006 as a British spy. Denis Donaldson, Sinn Fein’s former chief legislative official inside the power-sharing government, was shot to death at his rural hideaway in northwest Ireland four months after he confessed his duplicity at a Sinn Fein news conference.

An Irish weekly newspaper, the Sunday Tribune, published an interview with an unidentified Real IRA spokesman in which the official warned that the group intends to resume attacks in London. The group in the past has issued statements via the Sunday Tribune.

The Real IRA last launched attacks in the British capital in 2000, when it struck the headquarters of the MI6 spy agency with a rocket and detonated a car bomb outside a British Broadcasting Corp. office.

The Real IRA killed two unarmed British soldiers March 7 as they collected pizzas outside a Northern Ireland army base. They were the first killings of troops in the British territory since the IRA’s 1997 cease-fire. Another splinter group, the Continuity IRA, killed a policeman March 9 in what was the first killing of a police officer since 1998, the year of Northern Ireland’s Good Friday peace accord.

The dissidents oppose the IRA’s 2005 decisions to renounce violence and disarm, and remain committed to the belief that Northern Ireland must be forced out of the Irish Republic. The Good Friday pact reinforced the right of Northern Ireland to remain in the United Kingdom as long as most of its residents prefer this.

Easter for decades has been a special holiday for Irish republicans, who don white lilies on their lapels as they honor the rebel dead of past generations — and offer conflicting claims about the lessons of Irish history.

The Republic of Ireland government and leaders of Sinn Fein, the major Catholic-backed party in Northern Ireland, also organized their own separate ceremonies Sunday to commemorate the Easter Rising, the 1916 insurrection in Dublin that inspired Ireland’s later war of independence from Britain.

At midday, Irish President Mary McAleese laid a wreath in central Dublin as about 300 soldiers marched down O’Connell Street and its colonnaded General Post Office. It served as rebel headquarters during the weeklong rebellion, which left 450 dead and was a military failure — but radicalized Irish opinion after Britain executed 15 rebel leaders.

Today’s rival IRA factions and the two major Republic of Ireland political parties all claim direct descendance from the 1916 rebels.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Let’s Not Die for Timid and Misguided Political Correctness

Any aspiring jihadi would find our universities the ideal place to take cover and we have to confront this truth, warns Douglas Murray.

The fact that the latest suspected terrorist threat involves students should come as no surprise. It is the predictable result of three things: an insatiably violent Islamist ideology; the politically-correct refusal of our political class to admit reality; and the comprehensive neglectfulness of our university authorities. This country has already produced a number of students who have gone on to become jihadist murderers. If this situation is not to get even worse, it is time not just to start asking questions, but to demand answers.

Greedy for the extra cash they bring, our universities desperately seek overseas students and often ask no questions when some of them fail to appear for classes. Following the introduction of tougher visa rules in the United States, the number of visas issued to students from Pakistan since 2001 has more than doubled in the UK. The problems that this brings with it are now being displayed.

In 2007, at Portsmouth University alone, 379 students from Pakistan were unaccounted for. Immigration minister Phil Woolas recently admitted that the student visa system is “the major loophole in Britain’s border controls”. It is a loophole that risks becoming a death-trap. Yet those like me who have repeatedly warned about the consequences of our appalling immigration policy and flawed border security policies, and the fact that our universities have become centres of Islamic radicalisation, have been ignored — even as we have been, sadly, vindicated.

Last summer. the Centre for Social Cohesion (CSC), in conjunction with the polling company YouGov, released a survey of Muslim student opinion in the UK. Forty per cent of Muslim students polled supported the introduction of sharia into British law for Muslims; a third supported the introduction of a worldwide caliphate instituted in accordance with sharia; and a third believed that killing in the name of their religion could be justified. This is the sea in which Muslim students who go on to carry out acts of terror are able to swim. But instead of engaging with the problem, Bill Rammell, the Minister for Higher Education, attacked the poll for finding out these things and declared that the problem of radicalism on campus was in fact “serious, but not widespread”. It is just one example of a government that cannot make the moral distinction between firefighter and fire.

In its recently published counter-terrorism strategy, “Contest 2”, the Government congratulated itself on its “key achievement” of promoting the UK as “a centre of excellence for Islamic studies outside the Muslim world”. Yet — as the CSC again warned, two weeks ago, in a publication on the sources of foreign funding to UK universities — such courses are at huge risk of being sponsored by exactly the type of people who have caused the problem.

The Iranian government recently revealed that it was in talks with British Islamic studies departments — the same ones that the Government has described as a vital component of its counter-terrorism policy — in order to “train and educate experts on Islam”. So now the Iranian regime, the world’s largest sponsor of Islamic terror, is funding the very institutions the UK Government says are part of the means of stopping that terror.

Meanwhile, there is a situation on campus which not only radicalises British students, but says to Pakistani and other foreign students that the most backward ideas of their own societies — in relation to women, non-Muslims, homosexuals and others — are entirely acceptable in Britain.

And so figures like the Hamas spokesman Azzam Tamimi repeatedly appear on UK campuses. Last month, after weeks of effort, we finally managed to prevent Hizbollah spokesman Ibrahim el-Moussawi from entering the UK to lecture at the School of Oriental and African Studies. He was only eventually barred when I threatened the Home Secretary with the issuing of an international arrest warrant if Moussawi were to enter the country.

Last month, Bilal Philips, barred from entering Australia because of security concerns, was scheduled as guest of honour at the Queen Mary University Islamic Society’s (ISOC) annual dinner. The annual dinner of City University’s ISOC last week had advertised guest speakers including Anwar al-Awlaki, the alleged spiritual leader of three of the 9/11 hijackers.

During the Gaza conflict, Islamic and far-Left student societies up and down the country held “sit-ins” to protest against Israel’s defensive action. During a tense period some universities — including Cambridge — stood up to the protesters. Others — including Oxford — caved in and gave into the demands of the “occupying” students. Such small acts of appeasement on behalf of university authorities give the radicals the idea that right is on their side and that, given time, everyone will see this.

Muslim students who don’t care about foreign conflicts are made to feel un-Islamic unless they endlessly whip themselves up into a fury against Israel and America. At the time that the Gaza demonstrations were going on up and down the country, I was due to fulfil a longstanding commitment to chair a discussion at the London School of Economics. Shortly before the event, I was contacted by the university and told not to come to campus because there was a threat of violence if I did.

Just as, internationally, the Islamists give us the offer “say my religion is peaceful or I will kill you”, so domestically we are told “say there’s no radicalism or we’ll be radical”.

Like the Government, the Conservative Party refuses to identify — let alone deal with — the problem. Our politicians are stuck in what some think is complacency but which is in reality simple cowardice. David Cameron and shadow security spokeswoman Dame Pauline Neville-Jones try to make the Tories appear tough by saying a Conservative government would ban the extremist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. But Tony Blair said exactly the same thing in 2005. Our politicians are keener to position themselves than to take vital decisions.

The Government knows that three quarters of all terror plots being investigated in Britain originate in Pakistan. With such a colossal Pakistani community in the UK it is unsurprisingly tough working out who poses a problem and who is part of the non-extremist mainstream. They could make a start by working out who is actually here.

In February, it transpired that the Foreign Office is spending £400,000 on television adverts to be aired in Pakistan, explaining that Britain is not “anti-Islamic”. Even by the standards of this Government, that strikes one as ignoble as well as ineffectual. This country should look like a less attractive proposition than it currently does, not a more attractive one.

As it is, any aspiring jihadi would not only currently find it easy to come to Britain, they would find in our universities the ideal place to take cover and, indeed, inspiration. It is why you are more likely to become a terrorist in this country if you have been to university.

There are many messages that we should be giving out. But one in particular should go straight away to our political class: political correctness may be something that they are willing to fight for, but it is not something that most of us are willing to die for.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

Obama Brother Accused of UK Sex Assault

Samson denied British visa after incident with teen girl in Berkshire

AMERICAN president Barack Obama’s half brother was REFUSED a visa to enter the UK after being accused of an attempted sex attack on a young girl in Berkshire.

The News of the World can reveal that Kenya-based Samson Obama tried to get into Britain on his way to Washington for his family’s big day, the historic inauguration in January.

But eagle-eyed immigration officials at East Midlands Airport, using the latest biometric tests, discovered he was linked to an incident here last November. The hi-tech database revealed that Samson — who manages a mobile phone shop just outside Nairobi — was the same man arrested by British police after he approached a group of young girls, including a 13 year-old, and allegedly tried to sexually assault one of them.

He then followed them into a cafe where he became aggressive and was asked to leave by the owner. That’s when police were called and Samson was arrested.

He supplied officers with his mother’s address in Bracknell but gave them a false ID, claiming to be Henry Aloo, believed to be a genuine asylum seeker.

Mum Kezia, 67, has lived in Bracknell for six years. She married the US president’s father Barack Obama Snr in Kenya when she was a teenager.

Following Samson’s arrest he was fingerprinted but not charged, then left the country. However, all his details were stored on the Home Office’s new database of prints and biometric details. And that’s what finally pinpointed Samson’s link to the world’s most powerful leader — as he tried to slip back into Britain to visit relatives en route to the swearing-in ceremony.

The White House was informed and a Home Office source told the News of the World: “This was obviously an extremely sensitive issue when it was flashed up by the database.

“But the system is designed to flag up people who have come to the attention of the police in the UK and are then trying to return.”

It is thought that Samson — one of the President’s 11 half brothers and sisters by his father who had four partners — managed to travel on to Washington by boarding a connecting flight to the US from East Midlands.

           — Hat tip: Gaia[Return to headlines]

UK: Fined £75, the Man Who Pinned Up a Sign and ‘Harmed a Living Tree’

After losing two of his prized paintings, Anton Cataldo decided to make a direct appeal to the public.

The 28-year-old artist, who specialises in pet portraits, made posters of his missing paintings and pinned them to half a dozen trees in his local park.

He included his phone number and email address as well as the offer of a £100 reward for their safe return.

But the only message he received was from a council official who took exception to Mr Cataldo’s use of the local fauna — and fined him £75 for harming the ‘living’ trees.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Our Ruling Elite Are a Class Apart

Once selection by ability was abolished and replaced by comprehensives based on catchment areas, the best state schools would be in the wealthiest parts of town, and the Conservative-voting middle classes need no longer fear competition for scarce places from the bright children of poor homes. And so it has turned out, more or less.

But it is much harder to work out why Labour — supposedly the party of the working class —should have tried so hard and for so long to deprive the poor of good schools.

If you can understand why this happened, then you can begin to grasp what has gone so wrong with British politics since the Second World War.

For the crisis in British state education is the direct result of the takeover of the Labour Party — once a working-class, Christian and socially conservative party — by dogmatic, well-off, middle-class cultural revolutionaries.

They saw, and still see, education as the new nationalisation, their most effective weapon for levelling our society and forcing the rest of us — but not them — to be equal. It is their real Clause Four, the thing they will never give up. Those who have fooled themselves into thinking New Labour is really a conservative party should observe the dogged way that Labour never budges on this subject.

Modern British socialists — and modern British Tories — openly and actively support a school system that ensures the children of the rich and influential are privileged, while the offspring of the poor and weak are deprived. Why?

The evidence for all this is quite clear. The odd thing is that so few realise what it means. Since this is the system that we have, and since socialists do support it, and with some vigour, it is amazing that this question is not asked more often. All around us we see proof of it.

We also have strong evidence that they know what they are doing. They pretend, when they must know they are fooling nobody, that they have not watered down the exam system to conceal the general drop in standards.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Order Made on 7/7 Images Release

Some footage of the 7/7 bombers has already been released by police

Police have been ordered to release footage of the 7/7 bombers following a freedom of information request by the Press Association.

The request for seven pieces of footage to be released has been ongoing for three years.

The images show the terrorists chatting, putting on rucksacks and buying snacks on their way to blow up trains on the London Underground.

The suicide bombings on 7 July 2005 killed 52 people in London.

The explosions caused by Mohammad Sidique Khan, Jermaine Lindsay, Shehzad Tanweer and Hasib Hussain also left hundreds injured.

The Information Commissioner overruled objections from Scotland Yard that disclosure of the films could disrupt its investigations.

The force now has 35 days to either appeal or disclose the seven pieces of material.

The footage was described in detail in the Home Office’s narrative report, published the year after the 2005 attacks.

The seven pieces of footage are:…

           — Hat tip: The Frozen North[Return to headlines]

UK: Private Schools Say No to Providing Pupil Details for Government Database

Private schools are refusing to provide information on their pupils for use in a controversial Government database.

The £224million system, called ContactPoint, aims to hold the details of every school-aged child in England, including GP and parents’ mobile-phone numbers, as well as a log of what services they use, such as a school nurse.

It is estimated that this information could be used by more than one million people, from police officers to school administrators.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

UK: Terror Raid House Owner’s Al Qaeda Links

At least one of the men arrested in the counter-terrorist raids this week was living in a property owned by a man on the run for allegedly financing groups working alongside Al Qaeda.

Mohammed Benhammedi, who appears alongside Osama Bin Laden on Interpol’s wanted list, is accused of channelling money to terrorists through his British companies.

A property Benhammedi owns in Liverpool was raided on Wednesday as part of an investigation into what Gordon Brown described as ‘a very big terrorist plot’.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


Tourism: Croatia, Kempinski Luxury Hotel in Istria

(ANSAmed) — ZAGREB, APRIL 10 — To attract elite tourism, Croatia is once again putting the emphasis on luxury. This summer a five star Kempinski Adriatic Hotel complex will be opened in Alberi-Monte Rosso on the Istrian coast. The sea front hotel will cover a total area of 45,000 sq M and consists of 186 modern-style rooms and suites, three restaurants and a thermal spring centre. The conference centre of the Kempinski Adriatic Hotel is able to play host to events and meetings of up to 250 people, and also features a professional 18 golf club, 22 villas and 20 apartments. Overall investment in this phase amounts to 140 million euros, which is the biggest investment in Croatian tourism in the 2008-2009 period, according to a note by the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) office in Zagreb. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Mediterranean Union

Fishing: Med Consultation Committee Under French Presidency

(ANSAmed) — ROME, APRIL 1 — It will be a person from France who heads the Regional Advisory Council (RAC) for the Mediterranean for the next three years. The body arises from one of the reforms of the common fishing policy, whose objective is to involve the whole industry in training and monitoring of the sector. Voting took place this afternoon in Rome at the RAC headquarters after a long and difficult consultation between representatives of the seven member countries: Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Slovenia, France and Italy. The presidency is held by Mourad Kahoul, the top manager at Medisamak, and the three vice- presidencies go to Italy’s Ettore Ianì, president of the Fishing League, and Spain’s Oriol Ribalta, head of the confederation for recreational fishing and José Manual Gil de Bernabe, head of the national Cooperatives federation. Voting is still taking place for the executive committee and the results should be made known between this evening and tomorrow morning. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

North Africa

Algeria: Bouteflika Landslide, Opposition to Contest

(by Laura De Santi) (ANSA) — ALGIERS, APRIL 9 — The result hardly comes as a surprise, but its scale has beaten every forecast: Abdelaziz Bouteflika has made it home and dry. The Algerian president has won a third five-year mandate with a convincing popular vote. Nearly 13 million Algerians, 90.24% of those casting a vote, have opted for “continuity”, at least, according to the official figures, which are being bitterly-contested by the opposition. After ten years at the helm, Algeria’s head of state “has been given 12.9 million votes”, announced Interior Minister, Yazid Zerhouni, and thus routed his arch rival — voters’ apathy. Of a voting population of more than 20 million, 70.54% went to the polling stations yesterday, “demonstrating to the world its desire to construct a democratic Algeria” Zerhouni said. But Nassim Fadeg, spokesperson for the traditional opposition party, the Front of Socialist Forces (FFS) described the figures as “inflated and far from reality”, denouncing “a massive electoral fraud on a nation-wide scale”. According to FFS, which is readying to lodge an official challenge to the vote count, the true turnout “is not more than 18%”. And while FFS leader, Hocine Ait Ahmed, who has been living for years in ‘voluntary exile’ in Switzerland, defines yesterday’s vote as “a political outrage and a discreditable operation,” the other left-wing democratic party, the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) is preparing to do battle. As at every vote count, the candidates standing against Bouteflika have complained of “rigging”. Moussa Touati of the Algerian National Front (FNA), who got just 2.31% of the vote, speaks of a true turnout figure of 20%, while Mohamed Said of the newcomer Party for Justice and Freedom, who took 0.92%, has expressed himself “unsurprised by the problems” encountered during the voting, given that there is not yet “a culture of constitutional order”. Ali Fawzi Rebaine, of AHD 54, whose figures show a vote of 0.94%, practically the same as during the 2004 general election, speaks of “rampant fraud and a farcical election”. 1.37% of the vote went to Dhahid Younsi of the Islamic El Islah party, while the only woman standing, the battle-hardened Workers’ Party leader (PT, Trotskyist), Louisa Hanoune, has managed to wrest 4.22% of the vote, coming in second. There is no doubting that the 72-year-old Bouteflika will now remain in charge of the country up until 2014 and today’s crushing victory could clear the way for his programme of national reconciliation. Devastated by 15 years of violence between army and armed Islamic groups, which erupted after the annulment of the 1991 elections, won in the first round of voting by the FIS (Islamic Salvation Front), a new amnesty, the third since the Civil Concord of 1999 and the Charter for Peace and Reconciliation (2005), is being prepared. “A general amnesty” as promised during his campaign by ‘Boutef’, as the Algerians call him, but only following a “referendum and a definitive surrender” by the terrorists. The man who during the 1960s became, at the tender age of 25, the world’s youngest-ever foreign minister has guaranteed a 155-billion-dollar development plan for his coming mandate with the creation of one million residences and 3 million jobs. It is a hope for a population increasing plagued by the phenomenon of the ‘Harraga’, the thousands of young people who bid to emigrate to Europe, escaping widespread unemployment (although the official figures put it at only 12%) and the uneasy impression that the astronomical revenues from exports of hydrocarbons are going to line the pockets of a select few. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Algeria: EU Congratulates Bouteflika

(ANSAmed) — BRUSSELS, APRIL 10 — The Czech presidency of the EU congratulated Abdulaziz Bouteflika for his victory in the presidential elections in Algeria. “Algeria is an important and trustworthy political and economic partner of the European Union in the Mediterranean area,” said a statement by the presidency. “Its role in the common struggle against terrorism and illegal immigration is meaningful and indispensable.” “The European Union will continue to cooperate closely with and is ready to support Algeria on the road to economic prosperity, stability and greater development of democracy.” (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Fishing: Tunisia to Develop Sardine Industry

(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, APRIL 1 — The development of fisheries for sardine and other oil-rich fish, the strengthening of companies to transform and commercialise the industry: these are the themes of a meeting held in Djerba with Tunisia’s secretary of State for fishing, Abderrazak Daaloui. The governorate of Medenine (eastern Tunisia), to which the Island of Djerba belongs, has 400 kilometres of coastline, and a sea rich with oil-rich fish. With this in mind a development strategy has been launched, investing 12 million dinar (6.2 million euros). So far, this has enabled the purchase of fifteen fishing boats (out of 25 planned for), 17 metres long and with modern equipment; three units for producing ice; thirty seven refrigerated lorries; one transformation and freezing unit. A unit for cleaning the processing machines has also been put into action in the port of Zarzis. Other subjects discussed during the meeting were the fight against fishing fraud and illegal fishing and ways to assist the commercialisation of the large numbers of sardines caught outside the peak season. (ANSAmed)

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Middle East

Ahmadinejad: Iran Now Has the Ability to Produce Nuclear Fuel

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Saturday that Iran now controls the entire cycle for producing nuclear fuel with the opening of a new facility to produce uranium pellets.

Ahmadinejad has announced several times in the past that Iran has the knowledge necessary to enrich uranium ore into fuel pellets, but with the opening of the new facility, the Islamic republic says it now has the capability. Advertisement Speaking on Iranian state television, Ahmadinejad said the next step for Iran is to achieve proficiency in building nuclear power plants without help from foreign countries.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Arab Foreign Ministers Discuss Sending Mutual Message to Obama

AMMAN -The Foreign Ministers of Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Lebanon and Qatar will convene a meeting in Amman today to discuss Arab coordination to deal with the Administration of US President Barack Obama.

Sending a mutual message to Washington embodies the demands of the Arab Countries from the new Administration.

Mr. Ahmad Abo Al Gheit, the Egyptian Foreign Minister, will explain Egypt’s vision of the current situation at the Arab Ministerial meeting.

The Spokesman of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Husam Zaki, said that the Egyptian vision for the coming stage depends on aborting all the efforts which aim to ‘waste time’ and ‘make obstacles regarding the achieving of peace.’

He added that the Egyptian vision aims to “mobilize the international society against the Israeli settlement policy and stop the ‘judaizing’ of East Jerusalem and separating it from the rest of the occupied Palestinian Lands.”

Al Nahar Lebanese Press said that the Amman meeting will try to convey the Arab situation to the White House before the meeting of President Obama with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 3 May.

The Israeli Yediot Ahronot Press confirmed that, according to Israeli and American political sources, President Obama’s Administration is preparing for a possible encounter with Netanyahu because of his refusal to establish a Palestinian State.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Black Imam Shows Islamic Equality

CAIRO — With a deep baritone voice while reciting the Qur’an, Sheikh Adil Kalbani, the black imam of the Grand Mosque in Makkah, Islam’s holiest shrine, gives an example of equality in the Islamic faith.

“Any qualified individual, no matter what his color, no matter where from, will have a chance to be a leader, for his good and his country’s good,” Kalbani told The New York Times on Saturday, April 11.

Credited for his angelic recitation of the Noble Quran, Kalbani, 49, was chosen by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz to lead millions of Muslim worshippers in the Grand Mosque.

“The king is trying to tell everybody that he wants to rule this land as one nation, with no racism and no segregation.”

Born in Riyadh in 1940, Kabani is the son of a poor immigrant from the United Arab Emirates.

After finishing his high school, he took a job with Saudi Arabian Airlines while attending night classes at King Saud University on religion and memorization of the Qur’an.

In 1984, he passed the government exam to become an imam, and worked briefly at the mosque in the Riyadh airport.

Four years later, he won a more prominent position as the imam of the famous King Khalid mosque in Riyadh.

It was only last September when he woke up to a phone call from the Grand Mosque administrator to apprise off the King’s selection to him.

Since then, the black Muslim imam has been half-jokingly dubbed the “Saudi Obama.”


Kalbani said that Islam treats all people on equal footing, regardless of their color or race.

“Our Islamic history has so many famous black people,” he said.

The Muslim imam said that Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessing be upon him) had many black companions.

“It is not like the West.”

Islam preaches equality among all people and teaches followers that every member of human race has been accorded honor and dignity by Allah Almighty.

In practice, Prophet Muhammad had among his closest Companions Salman the Persian, Suhaib the Roman, and Bilal the Ethiopian.

Two of the three Companions, Salman and Bilal, were ex-slaves who were liberated after embracing Islam.

Bilal was chosen by the Prophet as the first muezzin to prayer, a position coveted by many.

Kalbani is also credited for his open-minded views, reflecting the general evolution of Saudi thinking over the last two decades.

“Some people in this country want everyone to be a carbon copy,” he said.

“This is not my way of thinking. You can learn from the person who is willing to criticize, to give a different point of view.”

Recalling the moment he was introduced to lead millions of Muslim worshipers at the Grand Mosque last Ramadan, Kalbani remembers the great burden put on his shoulder.

“To recite before thousands of people, this is no problem for me,” he said.

“But the place, its holiness, is so different from praying anywhere else.

“In that shrine, there are kings, presidents and ordinary people, all being led in prayer by you as imam.

“It gives you a feeling of honor, and a fear of almighty God.”

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

No Divorce for 8 Yr. Old Saudi Girl, Says Judge

Saudi judge upholds marriage man, 47, to girl, 8

A Saudi judge refused for the second time to grant an eight-year-old girl a divorce from her 47-year-old husband, local press reported Saturday, in a decision the girl’s mother promised to appeal.

Judge Habib al-Habib of the Unaizah Court, ruled that the girl cannot file for divorce until she reaches puberty, upholding his initial ruling refusing to annul the marriage.

The story that sparked an international outcry began five months ago when the girl’s mother found out by coincidence that her husband had married off their daughter to a man without informing either wife or daughter.

The marriage contract was part of a loan repayment agreement. The groom agreed to deduct 30,000 riyals ($8,000) from a debt the father owed him in return. The 47-year-old has promised not to consummate the marriage until his bride reaches puberty.

The mother sought to annul the marriage, but the judge dismissed the petition because she was not the girls’ legal guardian and could not represent her.

Her failed efforts to get the marriage annulled sparked international outrage over the case and further focused the public’s attention on the issue of child marriage following a series of cases in which very young girls were married off to men many times their age.

The second verdict is currently awaiting certification by the appeals court and there is a possibility another judge will be appointed to handle the case, the bride’s uncle told

Legal standards

“In its report, the court directed many questions to the judge,” he explained. “When is the girl supposed to reach puberty? Is the father responsible enough to be the girl’s guardian? Is the marriage in the girl’s benefit?”

He said the judge had initially sought to negotiate with the groom to divorce the girl in exchange for a monetary payment, but it was rejected.

“We cannot accept that. It’s like rewarding him. The court has to make an example of him so that others won’t try to do the same thing,” said the girl’s uncle, who was prohibited by the judge from attending the hearing. “He told me there is no point of my presence.”

The Ministry of Justice is currently looking into establishing a legal age for the marriage of minors, said Sheik Mohamed bin Abdul-Rahman, head of the ministry’s marriage registrar department.

“The ministry is thoroughly studying the issue,” he told the Saudi newspaper al-Madina Thursday. “But we haven’t agreed on an age for marrying girls yet.”

Human rights violation

A recent report issued recently by the Saudi Human Rights Society referred to child marriage as a flagrant violation of children’s rights and an abuse of their physical and psychological health.

After the original verdict the Society of Defending Women’s Rights in Saudi Arabia said in a statement that the judge’s decision went against children’s “basic rights” and that marrying children makes them “lose their sense of security and safety.”

“Also, it destroys their feeling of being loved and nurtured. It causes them a lifetime of psychological problems and severe depression,” added the statement.

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

‘We Are Neither Obstinate Nor Gullible’

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke with SPIEGEL about what he expects from US President Barack Obama, why America’s new Afghanistan strategy is wrong and why Iran should have a spot on the UN Security Council…

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

South Asia

Islamist Terrorists Pushing Pakistan Towards Collapse

After U.S. lawmakers warned Pakistan was on the verge of becoming a failed state, Islamist terrorists are doing their best to make their prediction come true, operating with seeming impunity in the country’s heartland.

“Pakistan is on a rapid trajectory toward becoming a failing or failed state,” says the report of the Atlantic Council task force, led by Chuck Hagel, the former Nebraska senator, and Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.

“We cannot stress the magnitude of the dangers enough nor the need for greater action now. Pakistan faces dire economic and security threats that threaten both the existence of Pakistan as a democratic and stable state and the region as a whole.”

“We’re now reaching the point where, within one to six months, we could see the collapse of the Pakistani state,” adds David Kilcullen, an Australian guerrilla warfare specialist who advised U.S. General David Petraeus in Iraq.

“Pakistan is 173 million people, 100 nuclear weapons, an army bigger than the U.S. Army and al-Qaeda headquarters sitting right there in the two thirds of the country that the government doesn’t control,” he recently told The Washington Post.

“The Pakistani military and police and intelligence service don’t follow the civilian government; they’re essentially a rogue state within a state. The collapse of Pakistan, al-Qaeda acquiring nuclear weapons, an extremist takeover — [all these possibilities] would dwarf everything we’ve seen in the war on terror today.”

The warnings come as terrorists are launching operations far from their hideouts in Pakistan’s lawless northwest. Last week, they hit a police barracks near the capital Islamabad, prompting police to throw a new security cordon around the National Assembly, installing extra closed-circuit surveillance cameras, redeploying rapid response and bomb disposal units, and checking all vehicles entering and leaving the capital.

In Karachi, police arrested five suspected terrorists with links to al-Qaeda on Wednesday. They also uncovered a large cache of weapons and explosives to be used in suicide attacks against government offices, a police headquarters and Shiite mosques.

In Lahore, the authorities are advising private schools to develop security plans to cope with possible terrorist attacks against co-educational institutions.

Police in both cities say they fear Islamist suicide bombers may already be in place, waiting to attack.

Mullah Nazeer Ahmed, a Pakistani Taliban commander, boasted on an al-Qaeda Web site this week, “The day is not far when Islamabad will be in the hands of the mujahedeen.”

Hakimullah Mehsud, a deputy to Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud, said his tribal terrorist group will carry out two suicide bombings a week until the U.S. military stops attacking Taliban targets inside Pakistan with Predator drone aircraft.

The violence and insecurity are adding to Pakistan’s already dire economic problems and chronic political deadlock, raising serious concerns over the continued stability of the nuclear-armed state.

In announcing a change in policy on Afghanistan and Pakistan — boosting troop levels in Afghanistan and military and financial assistance to Pakistan — Barack Obama, the U.S. President, called al-Qaeda and its extremist allies “a cancer that risks killing Pakistan from within.”

Even Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistan President, admitted this week his country is “fighting a battle for its own survival.”

In the view of Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, the country needs a US$30-billion Marshal Plan-type aid program, spread over five years, to defeat al-Qaeda, eliminate anti-Americanism and secure it from extremists.

But India’s Institute for Conflict Management, which says 6,715 people were killed in unrest in Pakistan last year, says more than half Pakistan’s territory “has passed outside the realm of civil governance and is currently dominated essentially through military force.”

Emboldened by the government’s failures, Islamist terrorists are stepping up their attacks. They use suicide bombers, car bombs, sophisticated explosives, targeted assassinations and commando-style raids to press into areas far from their traditional hideouts in the lawless tribal lands of the northwest.

According to the Belgian-based International Crisis Group, radical Sunni groups in the Punjab heartland are combining with Pakistani Taliban insurgents from tribal areas to destabilize the entire country.

Suicide squads relentlessly target Pakistan Army convoys and checkpoints, attack rural police stations, burn government schools, assassinate local government officials, and bomb hotels, restaurants and Shiite mosques.

This week, heavily armed Pakistani Taliban insurgents clashed with tribesmen and police in the Buner district of North-West Frontier Province (NWFP), just 100 kilometres north of Islamabad…

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Muslims “Sidelined” in Indian Politics: Cleric

Bukhari called on India’s Muslims to form their own party

The chief cleric at India’s largest mosque delivered a stinging attack against the country’s major parties Friday, calling on India’s Muslims to form their own political party less than a week before India’s general elections.

Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari of New Delhi’s Jama mosque said Muslims in India were “victims of injustice” and have been “tortured and systematically sidelined by all political parties.”

“A peaceful, secure and happy life is a distant dream for us,” he said in a speech ahead of Friday prayers.

He accused the Hindu-majority that make up the bulk of India’s main parties of being either overtly sectarian or otherwise trying to cynically woo the Muslim vote with “false promises.”

“Look around and see the situation: some parties have an anti-Muslim agenda, some are trying to show sympathy towards us, but they will never be of any good to us,” he said, adding that the Muslim community has lost all faith in the existing political parties…

           — Hat tip: TB[Return to headlines]

Pakistan: Suspects in Rape of Christian Girl Cleared

Police have declared three Pakistani men innocent of raping a 13-year-old Christian girl despite eye witness accounts and medical evidence indicating their guilt.

At a hearing in Nankana Sahib district court on April 3, police from the Pakistani town of Sangla Hill, 64 miles from Lahore, cleared 40-year-old Mohammed Shahbaz, 30-year-old Waqas Sadiq and 25-year-old Yousaf Sadiq of accusations of raping and threatening Ambreen Masih.

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Warning That Pakistan is in Danger of Collapse Within Months

David Kilcullen… Pakistan keeps him awake at night.

PAKISTAN could collapse within months, one of the more influential counter-insurgency voices in Washington says.

The warning comes as the US scrambles to redeploy its military forces and diplomats in an attempt to stem rising violence and anarchy in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“We have to face the fact that if Pakistan collapses it will dwarf anything we have seen so far in whatever we’re calling the war on terror now,” said David Kilcullen, a former Australian Army officer who was a specialist adviser for the Bush administration and is now a consultant to the Obama White House.

“You just can’t say that you’re not going to worry about al-Qaeda taking control of Pakistan and its nukes,” he said.

As the US implements a new strategy in Central Asia so comprehensive that some analysts now dub the cross-border conflict “Obama’s war”, Dr Kilcullen said time was running out for international efforts to pull both countries back from the brink.

When he unveiled his new “Afpak” policy in Washington last month, the US President, Barack Obama, warned that while al-Qaeda would fill the vacuum if Afghanistan collapsed, the terrorist group was already rooted in Pakistan, plotting more attacks on the US.

“The safety of people round the world is at stake,” he said.

Laying out the scale of the challenges facing the US in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Dr Kilcullen put the two countries invaded by US-led forces after the September 11 attacks on the US on a par — each had a population of more than 30 million.

“But Pakistan has 173 million people and 100 nuclear weapons, an army which is bigger than the American army, and the headquarters of al-Qaeda sitting in two-thirds of the country which the Government does not control,” he told the Herald .

Added to that, the Pakistani security establishment ignored direction from the elected Government in Islamabad as waves of extremist violence spread across the whole country — not only in the tribal wilds of the Afghan border region.

Cautioning against an excessive focus by Western governments on Afghanistan at the expense of Pakistan, Dr Kilcullen said that “the Kabul tail was wagging the dog”. Comparing the challenges in the two, he said Afghanistan was a campaign to defend a reconstruction program. “It’s not really about al-Qaeda. Afghanistan doesn’t worry me. Pakistan does.”

But he was hesitant about the level of resources for, and the likely impact of, Washington’s new drive to emulate an Iraq-style “surge” by sending an extra 21,000 troops to Afghanistan.

“In Iraq, five brigades went into the centre of Baghdad in five months. In Afghanistan, it will be two combat brigades [across the country] in 12 months.. That will have much less of a punch effect than we had in Iraq.

“We can muddle through in Afghanistan. It is problematic and difficult but we know what to do. What we don’t know is if we have the time or if we can afford the cost of what needs to be done.”

Dr Kilcullen said a fault line had developed in the West’s grasp of circumstances on each side of the Durand Line, the disputed border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“In Afghanistan, it’s easy to understand, difficult to execute. But in Pakistan, it is very difficult to understand and it’s extremely difficult for us to generate any leverage, because Pakistan does not want our help.

“In a sense there is no Pakistan — no single set of opinion. Pakistan has a military and intelligence establishment that refuses to follow the directions of its civilian leadership. They have a tradition of using regional extremist groups as unconventional counterweights against India’s regional influence.”

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Fiji Armed Forces Flex Muscles Further

THE chief of Fiji’s armed forces tightened his grip on the country yesterday, posting censors in newsrooms and roadblocks on the capital’s streets as critics accused him of establishing a military dictatorship.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama sought to assure Fijians there would be no unrest after three days of political tumult that ended with the constitution thrown out and a government that senior judges had declared illegal back in power. “Emergency regulations are in force,” Commodore Bainimarama said in a national address.

“However, these regulations are only a precautionary measure.” Military-backed “information officers” stood watch in newspaper, news radio and television offices to prevent the publication or broadcast of any reports that Commodore Bainimarama said “could cause disorder”. Police were granted extra detention powers.

The Fiji Times, the country’s main daily, published its Sunday edition with several blank spaces where stories about the crisis would have appeared but were blocked by censors, said Greg Baxter, a spokesman for News Ltd, which owns the paper.

“For the time being, we are acquiescing to the demands of the censor, given the direct threat to the safety of our staff that will arise if we don’t,” Mr Baxter said.

The streets remained calm yesterday. The commodore seized power in a 2006 coup — the country’s fourth in 20 years — but insisted his rule was legitimate. He had said he would eventually call elections to restore democracy, after he rewrote the constitution and electoral laws to remove what he said was racial discrimination against the Indian minority.

Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, added to the international scorn directed at Commodore Bainimarama following his latest actions. “Australia condemns unequivocally this action by the military ruler of Fiji to turn this great country into virtually a military dictatorship, with the suspension of freedom of the press and actions which undermine prosperity for the ordinary people,” Mr Rudd told reporters as he returned home after a cancelled Association of South-East Asian Nations summit in Thailand.

Australia renewed travel warnings to its citizens to avoid Fiji and stay away from crowds because of the possibility of unrest. Commodore Bainimarama was sworn in as Prime Minister by the President, Ratu Josefa Iloilo, on Saturday. Mr Iloilo abrogated the constitution on Friday and declared a state of emergency in response to a senior court’s ruling that Commodore Bainimarama’s regime was unlawful.

Mr Iloilo’s power grab included firing all of Fiji’s judges and magistrates and declaring a 30-day state of emergency. He promised elections in five years.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness[Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

US Captain Held by Pirates Freed

The captain of a US container ship taken hostage by Somali pirates has been released, the US Navy has said.

Three pirates are reported to have been killed in the operation to free Captain Richard Phillips, who had been held in a lifeboat for several days.

Capt Phillips is said to be unhurt and aboard the USS Bainbridge, a warship sent to track the pirates holding him.

He was taken hostage after pirates briefly hijacked his ship, the Maersk Alabama, on Wednesday.

On Friday he failed in an attempt to swim free.

An unnamed US official told the Associated Press news agency that Capt Phillips was freed in what appeared to be a swift firefight.

Reports say he jumped overboard for a second time, and the pirates were shot and killed before they could take action to get him back.

US forces apparently took advantage of the fact one of the pirates was negotiating on the USS Bainbridge when the incident happened.

Somali elders had been trying to resolve the standoff but most recent reports had suggested the talks had stalled.

[Return to headlines]


Tettamanzi: Christians Discriminating Too

(ANSAmed) — MILAN, APRIL — Many immigrants arriving in Italy in search of work are experiencing “indifference, prejudice, hostility, rejection, discrimination, maybe even at the hands of people who are themselves Christians,” Cardinal Dionigi Tettamanzi, Archbishop of Milan, said in a homily for Easter and the resurrection held in the Duomo. After speaking of the drama of the earthquake victims, Tettamanzi underlined that “among the many struggles of humanity is … the daily calvary of who has left his country to come to Milan in search of improved living conditions, but is undergoing,together with the suffering of separation from their dear ones, indifference, prejeudice, hostility, refusal, discrimination, maybe even at the hands of people who are themselves Christians.”(ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

Culture Wars

Christian Charity Worker Suspended for Saying He Did Not Believe in Same-Sex Marriage

A charity worker was suspended after telling a colleague about his Christian beliefs against homosexuality, it has emerged today.

David Booker, 44, was chatting about his faith with co-worker Fiona Vardy during a late shift at the hostel in Southampton, Hants on March 26.

He told her he was opposed to same-sex marriages and to homosexual clergy but denied being homophobic and said that he had homosexual friends.

The next evening, Mr Booker was suspended from his £19,000-a-year post as a hostel support worker with Society of St James where he has worked for the last four years.

His employers told him the action was taken for ‘events that happened last night’.

On March 30 he received a formal suspension notice which alleged that he ‘seriously breached’ the charity’s code of conduct ‘by promoting your religious views which contained discriminatory comments regarding a person’s sexual orientation…

‘The action has been taken to safeguard both residents and staff” at the Southampton Street hostel.

Mr Booker, 44, a born-again Christian from Southampton, turned to the Christian Legal Centre (CLC) which instructed human rights lawyer Paul Diamond to represent him.

Andrea Minichiello Williams, barrister and director of CLC, said: ‘Mr Booker has been suspended since March 27 for two weeks pending investigation.

‘No date has been set for the investigation and disciplinary hearing.

‘This case shows that in today’s politically correct, increasingly secularised society, even consenting reasonable discussion on religion between two employees is being twisted by employers to discriminate and silence the Christian voice and freedom of expression.’

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Living Will: Fagioli, I Oppose Human Life in Vegetative State

(AGI) — Rome, 3 Apr. — I strongly oppose to human life in a vegetative state: this is part of a way of thinking we also see in the law on artificial insemination and the living will, the belief that humans are just a biological reality like animals: if the heart beats it’s a human life, that’s not true.

Psychiatrist Massimo Fagioli said this on SkyTg24, claiming his right of secular thinking. “Human life” he added “ends when the brain stops working, then there are no more thoughts and emotions that characterise human life. Tonight Fagioli will present the 8th volume of ‘Fantasia di sparizione’, published by ‘L’Asino d’oro’, at the bookstore Feltrinelli di Galleria Colonna in Rome, on ‘Instinct of Death and Awareness’.

           — Hat tip: Insubria[Return to headlines]

What’s Up, Jesus? Looney Tunes ‘Last Supper’ Parody Stirs Controversy

“The Gathering,” a new painting by artist Glen Tarnowski, uses Looney Tunes characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian and Road Runner to stand in for Jesus and his disciples in da Vinci’s famous 15th century fresco.

The painting is currently hanging in the Chuck Jones Gallery in San Diego. Jones, of course, was an animator at Warner Bros. where he rose to fame working on the Looney Tunes series among many projects before opening his own studio. The gallery is owned by Linda Jones Enterprises. (Linda was Chuck’s only child.)

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]

Youtube Community Tells Kid to Kill Himself

Christian 12-year-old slammed for posting views on homosexuality

A self-described Christian 12-year-old boy who dared post his views on same-sex marriage on the popular Internet video site, YouTube, has since been ridiculed and insulted by tens of thousands of comments that attack the boy, his sexuality and his faith.

“Kill Christianity, and then kill yourself,” responded a YouTube community member identified as greenacidfusion.

A commenter calling himself WizzyBoy 520 added, “How do you know the Bible isn’t full of lies? You, just like everyone who is against gay marriage, is a mentally retarded bigot. No exceptions. Now go to h—-.”

Thousands of others have simply slammed the boy by calling him a “homo” or making comments like the one from chao129: “You are against gay marriage because you are a fag in denial.”

           — Hat tip: JD[Return to headlines]


heroyalwhyness said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zenster said...

US Captain Held by Pirates Freed

Permit me to suggest that this entire illicit Somalian cottage industry would grind to a halt if all the villages that these pirates came from suddenly ceased to exist. Preferrably with many of the aforesaid pirates in them at the time. Put another way: Corpses have an exceptionally low recidivism rate.

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear, Zenster. That's one thing I cannot understand: why can't we just kill these idiotic pirates? When I expressed such a view the other day, the liberals at my university literally freaked out. It was quite amusing to see, but I completely did not understand their concerns.

On a different but related note, I had an argument with a few liberal friends last night when they took exception with me saying that I would want to kill someone who broke into my house. You see, a person semi-recently broke in and stole my mom's laptop (which had priceless photos and documents that are now lost forever) and I was saying that if I'd been in the house with a gun at the time, I would have shot the intruder. My dear left-leaning friends became indignant when I said this, saying that a laptop wasn't worth a person's life. I think their whole argument was incredibly stupid. I'm obviously not going to go around shooting people, but if someone comes onto my property without my consent and tries to steal my possessions, said person is so going down. Do I not have a right to defend my property?

That turned out to be a bit longer than expected... goodnight, all.

Anonymous said...

It seems hard to believe that the possibility exists for Islamic extremists to take control of Pakistan's nuclear arsenal - but then, there it is. It's like something out of a James Bond movie.

Papa Whiskey said...

"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles."

-- Jeff Cooper, The Art of the Rifle

Congratulations to the SEALs for their superb corrective efforts!

Zenster said...

Natalie: ... why can't we just kill these idiotic pirates?

Short Answer: WE CAN.

Long Answer: We can't because - The Zero Sum equation proponents of modern Western Civilization truly hate those of us who are able to create wealth.

These communist and socialist drones would rather see all able people herded into pens where such ability was shorn from them like the hair and gold fillings of World War II Jews.

Having Somali pirates and their ilk perform the necessary rituals is a small price to pay for such wanton demolition of Western Christian Civilization.

Of course, like all sane individuals, you are asking for some coherent explanation of why such a filthy perversion of reality exists.

Fat chance.

... I would want to kill someone who broke into my house.

IANAL (I Am Not A Lawyer), but I can still plead with you to carefully understand common law that dictates as to how a criminal perpertrator must be found wounded or dead inside the legal confines of your particular abode.

To my best legal knowledge, this is the absolute bottom line with respect to wounding an assailant in your own home.

While I do not agree with them, other people have even advocated dragging a wounded or fatally shot assailant across the threshold of a doorway or window sill in order to establish appropriately lethal intent.

Far be it from me to advise you in such a questionable fashion.

Again, please do not accept my word as law. What I have to say is probably of ZERO value! I can only hope that, confronted with a dire situation, you might find some use in my observations.

Anonymous said...


"There was no profound geopolitical rationale for the war that Bill Clinton initiated against Serbia in 1999"

To further establish a "need" for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (as you can see from any map, Kosovo is in the North Atlantic), until it can officially be used as the military wing of the world government.

babs said...

While I do not agree with them, other people have even advocated dragging a wounded or fatally shot assailant across the threshold of a doorway or window sill in order to establish appropriately lethal intent.

Zenster - Heh!
I had a Baltimore cop tell me that back in 1972!

babs said...

On another note:
I am irritated when I see captions below news reports regarding the pirates that "Obama gave the OK to sniper attack."
Mr. Obama, when first hearing of the situation, should have said "Navy, you are now weapons free. Update me every 12 hours."
The very idea that our Navy has to phone home to the White House to take out 4 pirates and free a citizen of our country makes me want to vomit.
Does anyone think that Mr. Obama is more able to handle strategy in a circumstance like this than the Navy?
My son is a Lt. in the Navy. He is the Force Protection Officer for a destroyer that returned a month ago from a 7 month deployment. Over Easter dinner yesterday (which was an absolute delight to us as it was the first time we were able to celebrate Easter with him in 6 years due to his job in the Navy) he explained the ROE's to defend his own ship:
If a fast attack small vessel is coming toward a USN ship AND they fire on the ship THEN the USN ship can return fire. If that same fast attack vessel throws the helm over and heads away from the USN ship then the USN ship MUST STOP FIRING!
Only if a threat is approaching and using lethal force may a USN vessel fire. This is insanity.
Mr. Obama needs to take the dog off the leash and allow the USN to take out the pirate mother ships. I assure all readers of this site that my son as an officer nor any other officer on his ship is "blood thirsty" and would start taking out innocent vessels at will. My son does have a conscience as does the rest of his command.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Annoying to hear, babs...

BTW, it would seem that these ROE are useless against suicide attacks, as the one that nearly took out the USS Cole?

babs said...

Well Henrik,
In order to abbreviate my comments I left out several initial actions. First a USN ship tries to warn off through the radio. Then, they send light signals to the approaching ship. Then they send up flares...
If the attack ship continues to close the ROE's that I outlined go into effect. But, if the ship does not veer off whether sending fire or not, the USN ship may take them out when they enter a critical distance from the ship. That distance is classified.
I assure you that my son has right at the front of his memory the USS Cole... No one wants to die.

babs said...

BTW Henrik,
Have you ever toured a USN destroyer? They have a weapon on board that I call a "shredder." It is a last defense weapon from those attacking by sea or air. It fires some ungodly number of rounds per second to close incoming targets. In short, it is the final defense of the ship as it turns jets and boats alike into mere molecules.
If the Navy needed to phone home to deploy this weapon everyone on board would be lost...
Admittedly, I have a bias. I have skin in the game...
That is why I am so insulted by Mr. Obama, with absolutely no military experience, telling my son who they can and cannot shoot against.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry, Zenster, I'd only consider shooting someone if they were in my house. I didn't mean that I would shoot someone who was just on my property and not in my actual house.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Have you ever toured a USN destroyer?

Unfortunately not. Still hoping to get the chance. Would jump at the opportunity, for sure.

They have a weapon on board that I call a "shredder."

Sounds like something they came up with in defense against Kamikaze pilots?

That is why I am so insulted by Mr. Obama

Which is, in a sense, a slightly fascist touch - crediting the Dear Leader for any good result anywhere.

Good to hear that the ROE are not that stupid :)

Tuan Jim said...

Piracy on the high seas has been a capital crime for centuries. It's about time we reinstate the traditional penalties....hang 'em from a yardarm or keelhaul them.

Summary court-martial trial by the captain of the ship followed by immediate execution. Any US ship is considered US territory - with all applicable laws.

Henrik R Clausen said...

Clarifying (just for good measure):

The feeling insulted at Mr. Obama is natural:

It's that his minions are always seeking to credit him for the accomplishments of others that is problematic. Quite deeply so.

Hugo Schmidt Fischer said...

I saw a typical distortion of the history the science and Islam on Palm Sunday, on German TV.

“World of Wonders”

Indeed a fitting name for this short series on the “The scientific secrets of Islam”. A film by Gert Beer, on RTL television, screened on Easter Sunday, 12th April, 2009, to a continent of over 100 million speakers of the German language.

Five links to the series on Youtube follow below. I have translated the German text, in order to allow English speakers on the horrors of dhimmi brainwashing by the German mass media, to which are subject on a daily basis in Europe.

„Welt der Wunder“ - translated narrative:

Muslim fanatics with their terror attacks make the followers of Islam look as blindly destructive in our Western eyes. But it is a fact that the Islamic religion is by no means a source of violence or suppression.

In the battles against the Muslims, it is hardly known, that already 1’000 years ago, Muslims possessed technical know-how and craftsmanship which no one even remotely guessed.

Let us take you back to the times of the Crusades. Then, it was us, Christian Europeans, who were the fanatics, who were responsible for war and for violence. And we perpetrated the greatest theft of all times, the theft of science in history. And it is remarkable that schools today barely teach all we owe, thanks to Arab culture.

It all started in a bitter clash around Jerusalem, where Christians fought against Muslims. Already then, Muslims possessed a technical know-how that was far superior to Europeans. They used a sorts of spectacles and utilized functioning watches. During the Crusades, the Christians engage in industrial espionage on a grand scale.

The Church viewed the progressive techniques of Islam as the work of the devil. Even the medical know-how of Islam was despised. The heads of the Church hid the scientific achievements of Islam for centuries, until today. As ‘historian’ Thomas Schuetz explained in the documentary, this is “because history is always written by the victors”, and history in the Middle Ages was written by monks who saw Islam as the Anti-Christ, as image of ‘the Enemy’.

1187, the conflict reaches its climax. The largest Muslim army ever is led by Sultan Saladin, a very progressive ruler. He is convinced that victory is achieved not only by fight and belief, but also through tactics and scientific know-how, at that time a typical point of view of Islamic rulers. “This new religion, promoted the Sciences”, explains ‘Orientalist’ Professor Fuat Sezgin. “It gave the impulse to create a different type of human being, which brought on this creativity. A carpenter could become a scientist, a camel driver, as well”.

The Muslim troops were confident in victory, their belief in their capabilities strong enough to stand up to the combined force of the Christian Crusaders. While the Muslims place their faith in tactic, the Crusaders rely on a strict hierarchy and on religious fanaticism.

The film then shows a map of Israel in 1187, with oddly enough, modern day Gaza strip which was created in 2005, carved out as a separate territory, although it did not exist then (Youtube part 1 in minute 4:23 and 5:02).

Next the film describes Jerusalem as a holy city to Muslims, mentioned in Quran. (In matter and fact, Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Quran anywhere.)

While the armies prepare for the decisive battle, Muslim scientists continue their work to keep their competitive edge on their enemies.

Ibn al Athir, is cited as apprentice of Master Bahaddin, who perfected Al Ghazzari’s mechanical inventions to create the first safe vault lock. Lutz Kotthoff ‘Curator’ of the Institute for History of the Arab-Islamic Science of the Johann Wolfgag Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, demonstrates a key-less puzzle-lock having numbered combination knobs with 12 letters each, which has been reconstructed, based on a 12th century manuscript.

Bahaddin studied a book, the great treasure of Islam, a book containing the combined knowledge of Muslims. This book will help Muslims attain victory and it consists of studies not seen before. Sciences as we understand them today were helped by Muslims utilizing them in order to aggrandize Islam, explains ‘historian’ Thomas Schuetz who conducts a seminar on the ‘Bloom of Science and Technology in Classic Islam’ at the University of Stuttgart.

It was missionary zealousness that led Muslim scientist to develop accurate timepieces. Al-Ghazzari’s (maybe they meant al Zarqali) invention of the bowl shaped water clock is an example of a Muslim invention. This is a reflection of the piety of Muslim rulers, says the skin head shaven historian Thomas Schuetz. (In fact and reality, water existed from times immemorial, there is even an ancient Greek word for them clepsydra). Schuetz admits that no specimens survived from Muslim era clocks, but according to manuscripts, they were magnificently constructed, he says. Islamic researchers were precursors of their craft.

The Crusaders are characterized as brutal fighting machines poised against their flexible and nimble Muslim adversaries. Saladin wins the battle of Hittin, but he does not realize that the great sell-out of Islamic science and technology to the West has just now begun. It was a time when science and technology in Islam developed by leaps and bounds. Thanks to Saladin’s diplomatic aptitude, Christians and Muslims grow closer. But the Vatican is alarmed and orders the renewed conquest of the Holy Land.

Saladin employs science and technology to defend Jerusalem. From Bahaddin, he commissions ‘Greek Fire’ from his scientists, a liquid filled into ceramic balls, which is used as an early form of the ‘Molotov Cocktail’. They also apply a black powder, a gun powder used to propel iron arrows also called the ‘Osmanic Rocket’, supposedly another great Muslim achievement. Later in the 14th century, Muslims developed the first battle tank.

While in Europe the ill are treated with prayer and superstitious magic, Arab medicine is based on advanced knowledge of anatomy allowing it to perform complicated operations on bones and internal organ surgery. In 12th century during the age of the barbarian King Richard the Lionheart, Muslims already at that time are developing med-tech equipment. Such as a bowl that measures how much blood is poured in, that was removed from a patient in bloodletting procedure.

In the Holy Land, Saladin sent his physician Bahaddin to treat King Richard the Lionheart. Very quickly, the scientist diagnoses the King has fallen ill with scurvy. The Muslim promises swift recovery if his prescription of a diet of fresh fruit, and clean surroundings will be followed. Historian Schuetz explains: in the 10th century, it was customary for Muslim houses to have water piping for supply and sewage, and furthermore, Muslims would visit bath houses daily to clean themselves. At that time, Europeans only started to wear high heeled wooden over-shoes so they could wade through the shit (literally) with dry feet. Such were the hygienic circumstances, the historian says.

But, Muslims applied water handling not only in urban sanitation. In agriculture, Muslims utilize the screw pump invention (whatever happened to the Archimedian screw of centuries before, you wonder).

Meanwhile in the Holy Land, Saladin averted a further confrontation with the Crusaders when he supposedly negotiated “one of the first diplomatic compromises’ worked out ever in Jerusalem (are they alluding to the “Road Map” with its Auschwitz borders, one asks oneself). This was the first détente between Christians and Muslims in history. Saladin is depicted as a humane warrior, who releases the Christians of Jerusalem and allows them a safe journey home. The film entirely omits to disclose that only 7’000 of the wealthiest inhabitants were allowed to ransom them self out of slavery, and depart Jerusalem. The Crusader army withdraws from Palestine. Long awaited peace has finally come, the film says.

Islam allowed its scholars to further develop the research results of other cultures and to then optimize them. A good example are Arabic digits used by the whole world, even though they came from India. But while the Arabs always mentioned the source and origin of their knowledge, such sources were simply repressed in Christian Europe.

In 1190, King Richard departed to the Holy Land. He wins some battles but fails to conquer Jerusalem. Saladin proposed a compromise. The Muslims will hold on to Jerusalem, but Christian pilgrims are welcome to visit. This peaceful rapprochement led to a transfer of know-how, from the Muslim area of influence, to Europe. At this point, Muslim scholars are not aware, that Islam in this way will lose its competitive advantage. Europe however, profits. Scientific achievements now arrive to the European world. More precisely, they reach Sicily, where Friedrich the Second rules. The German-Roman Kaiser was raised amongst Muslims and speaks Arabic better than German. He is in a dilemma. The Church wants him to join the Crusade against the Muslims to which he feels closer than to the Christians. Moreover, he studies scientific books, which are viewed as blasphemous by the Church. In particular, Friedrich is thrilled by Muslim astronomy, using watches with accuracy of seconds, to track stars and planets. Ibn al Athir relocated to teach Muslim scholars in Sicily and reports that Friedrich was tolerant to Muslims and to Science. The entire Southern Mediterranean area is Muslim as well and Muslim presence in Sicily is nothing out of ordinary. But the Christian church is alarmed by the Muslim influence on the Kaiser which may bring about a loss of power and control.

While the church elders are worried the masses will be influenced by Muslim research, they themselves study the blasphemous teachings in detail. They acquire books of Arabic scholars and have them translated. An irate Prof. Fuat Sezgin explains that 25 books were translated into Latin in Palermo, without mentioning the names of their authors. This was a customary process in the Middle Ages. The true origin of these books was only discovered in the 20th century.

With the death of Friedrich II-Staufer in 1250, the period of cultural exchange with Islam comes to an end. For the Church, it is an opportunity to prohibit rapprochement between the cultures and rigid hate evolves. Scientific studies are confiscated by the church, as being blasphemous writings. The greatest theft in the history of science takes its course. Immediately after Friedrich’s death, Muslim scientists are banned from the German court by the church superiors. The Muslim scholars are devastated. Their mission had been to bring the cultures together, now they are expelled and dispatched back home. The emperor is dead, and the church eagerly waited for this moment. Eight (sic.) hundred years of Muslim knowledge were not lost, but the intellectual property of the ingenuous Muslims scientists was robbed.

Books, manuscripts and sketches disappeared in the dark dungeons of the church. The names of their authors were lost. Only centuries later, records reappear. European scientists as Leonardo da Vinci or Galileo Galilei work with Muslim research results, whose names go unrecognized.

Islamic cultural self esteem continues to suffer because the West until today is not ready to recognize Islam’s high-performance. Muslims still suffer from an inferiority complex because the modern achievements and scientific standards of today in optics, medicine and chronometry would not have been possible without the discoveries of Muslim inventors. If the West were to acknowledge Muslim inventions, both cultures could award more respect towards each other.

Homophobic Horse said...

People say that the Third Reich was an evil regime noted for it's barbaric violence against the innocent. But Nazism was by no means a source of violence and oppression. It lead tremendous innovations in science, art, and leadership. Lead by a common man called Herr Hitler, a man who had shared in the sufferings of the German people, a man possessed of vision and guidance, the Third Reich was progressive and egalitarian under his stewardship. For the first time in Germany's history working men and women could enjoy rights and were protected from the predatory, ethnocentric, German hating Jews. Even animals were given rights, such was Hitler's compassion for all living creatures. Greater still was the Third Reich's innovations in architecture. Nothing communicated authority, power, and confidence like the architecture of the Third Reich. It bares a striking contrast with the old Europe dominated by superstition, oppressive social hierarchy, and ignorance. One must only compare the morbid Tower Bridge of London, with it's dreadful gothic style, with the Zeppelinfeld, a structure that though made of stone, almost shines with mystical light.

. said...

"doing what God intended it to do." ?!?!

You didn't tell anyone you were the Christian doppelganger of an Iranian mullah, Baron.

Baron Bodissey said...

Dear Mr. Nodrog,

We found a lost sense of humor on the floor by the door. Is it by any chance yours?

We think you may have inadvertently dropped it when you entered the premises.


Dice said...

Sounds like Babs is talking about the Phalanx. While I may sound cold, next hostage gets taken out when the pirates boat is sunk.