Saturday, December 31, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/31/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/31/2011Los Angeles — and in particular, Hollywood — is greeting the New Year with trepidation, after a series of car fires set by an unknown arsonist or arsonists. There is no indication so far of any cultural enrichment in these fires, but the year is young. Stay tuned.

Elsewhere in the USA, word has leaked out that the Obama administration is consulting Muslim Brotherhood leader Yusuf al-Qaradawi as an intermediary in negotiations with the Taliban. The surrender is now complete — the United States government has gone over to the enemy, and no one in the country is paying any attention. They’re too busy tracking the poll numbers on Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Ron Paul, and Rick Perry.

God help us all.

In other news, an official in the European Central Bank says that euro is poised to become the world’s leading currency in the next few years.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to AC, C. Cantoni, Diana West, Fjordman, Insubria, JP, Nick, Seneca III, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Get Thee Hence, Janus!

Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in 'Holiday', 1938

To ring in the new year we dust off an obscure verse by the late North Carolinian poet Alphonsus Carter. For those interested in the forms: he wrote iambic pentameter arranged in quatrains, with an ABAB rhyme scheme.

This poem is dated, and the style is somewhat labored and pedantic. To the sensitive ear, the mixing of Shakespearean references may be grating.

Yet the hour and the season are appropriate. And the mood of the piece is right for our times:

Get Thee Hence, Janus!
by Alphonsus G. Carter

We stand again inside this festive room,
Prepared to welcome Nineteen Thirty-Eight.
And will the new year break with murk and gloom?
Or does a dawn of joyous hope await?

What makes one year so different from the last?
Onstage this knight who struts and frets his hour
Will fret and strut the same when twelve has passed.
Why grant the minute hand such awful power?

Why wait upon the ticking of a clock?
And whence this urge to toast, and quaff, and cheer?
How many faces poised to weep or mock!
How many goodly creatures are there here!

“I Will Remain Steadfast”

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff sends the following New Year’s message to everyone who has supported her over the last two years.

ESW at court, 2011-12-20 #1

Dear Friends,

As many of you know, Sunday December 20 was a dark day for freedom of speech.

The Austrian justice system decided that the truth may not be spoken if it is deemed “excessive” (nota bene: and thus “denigrating” from the point of view of pious Muslims). Although the verdict was shocking, it did not come as a surprise.

Before I continue with my thoughts about the impact and implications of the ruling, I want to thank a few people:

First of all, my deepest gratitude to my unwaveringly supportive husband. He has stood behind me and continues to do, so despite the fact that his wife is now a convict. Without him, I could not have survived this ordeal.

Next comes my beautiful, caring daughter, the light of my life, for whom I have decided to fight. She and all girls are the future, our future: she will have to live in the world we shape now. She will one day judge our accomplishments because she will have to live with the consequences. And it is for my daughter and all of your daughters that I will continue.

The rest of my family has also been extremely supportive, especially my father — who, when I started this journey, believed that Islam is a religion we must respect. He has come a long way since then. Kudos to him for having the courage to learn. I wish more would follow in his footsteps.

Once again, I thank my lawyer, Dr. Rami, for his incredible work. When I first entered his office back in November 2009, he probably knew as much about Islam as the rest of the population — which is not much. Two years and many books later, he has become an expert. And he has done magnificent work in organizing my defense — which, by extension, is a defense of our right to freedom of speech.

What would I do without the unflinching help and support of Baron Bodissey and the Gates of Vienna community? What a difficult year lies behind Gates of Vienna, and Baron and Dymphna are have not given up, and are not giving in. We have lost a few friends during the storm, but so many new friendships have been made. There is reason for optimism. Please continue your support of Gates of Vienna, the beacon of free speech in an angry ocean of lies and misinformation.

It goes without saying that my deepest gratitude also extends to the associated networks. These include, but are not limited to, EuropeNews, PI-News, SOS Österreich, ACT! For America, and Vlad Tepes. The larger network also includes the countless translators who give up their free time to make this and so many other stories available to the English-speaking world — not to mention those parts of the world that speak Danish, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, French, Italian, and all the other languages in which the information has spread.

A heartfelt “God bless you” to all of you who organized prayer groups, lit a candle for me in church, or prayed for me in a synagogue. Although I do not fathom God’s will right now, I don’t have to. There is a reason for all of this, and by going on, by not giving up, I will one day be able to understand His plans.

To all of you who drove and flew to Vienna, to you who took a day off from work to stand with me on this day: THANK YOU. Your presence meant more to me than you will ever know.

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I will now comment very briefly on the verdict.

The Fraudulent Strategy of Tolerance and Dialogue

Back in October we posted an article about Sabatina James, a former Muslim who now lives in Germany and speaks out courageously on behalf of apostates.

The article below about Ms. James appeared a couple of weeks ago in Politically Incorrect. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

Sabatina: “You Politically Correct Jornolists”
by Michael Stürzenberger
December 18, 2011

Sabatina JamesThe latest edition of Der Spiegel offers Islam-critics a real treat: a four-page report on ex-Muslim Sabatina James who is known not to be reticent on the subject of the Most Peaceful of All Religions™. Editor Matthias Matussek — who until recently had a link to PI on his homepage — features the courageous woman, who is under permanent personal protection in Germany. She provoked him with the right words: “You will never publish something like this. You politically correct jornolists are too cowardly for that.”

She was referring to her portfolio of horror pictures of beheaded Christians. Matussek describes them as “splatter photos from the hot zone of the battle of faiths in the 21st century.” Of course, he did not publish any of these pictures — that might make the negative popular opinion even worse, and even this most Islam-critical author of Der Spiegel is not up to that. For the rest, however, his article offers several tough-as-nails comments by the attractive woman from Pakistan, who gives a merciless accounting of her former religion. She has decisively turned away from Allah and the Prophet, of which her father said:

“Anyone who turns her back on our faith has earned death.”

Since then, she has been on the run. From her own family and any possible commissioned Muslim murderers. Despite this permanent threat, she fights on undeterred and continues to explain things Besides that, she promotes Christianity, whose message of loving your neighbor seems to have pervaded her. She is “on a mission,” as noted by the village minister who baptized her.

Matussek also cites pamphlets in which Sabatina puts the following provocative questions to German and Austrian citizens:

“What would you do if leaving the Church was punished with death?”

“How much tolerance would you have, if someone was going to kill your children because they have Christian given names?”

All of this can be read on the first double page of the fascinating Spiegel article. But it gets better: She calls Islam “religious fascism.” “German understanding” for this totalitarian ideology she calls “blind.” For her, the only “sensible politician” in this country is Family Minister Kristina Schröder, who, revealingly, had a link to PI on her homepage in 2007 and 2008. The estimate of 3,000 forced marriages published by Schröder is “ten times” what Sabatina estimates. Commenting trenchantly on Mrs. Merkel’s silence:

A State of Emergency in Nigeria

In the wake of the Christmas Day bombings, President Goodluck Jonathan has declared a state of emergency in Nigeria.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Below are some excerpts from an AP article on the same topic:

Nigeria Calls State of Emergency Over Sect Attacks

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s president on Saturday declared a state of emergency in parts of Africa’s most populous nation, after a recent slew of deadly attacks blamed on a northern-based radical Muslim sect killed dozens of people, as separate communal clashes in the country’s southeast left more than 40 dead.

President Goodluck Jonathan declared an indefinite state of emergency in four states, which would all allow security agencies there to make arrests without proof and conduct searches without warrants. He also ordered the closure of international borders near the affected areas.

They include parts of northeastern state of Yobe and the central states of Plateau and Niger, all hit by the Christmas Day attacks that left at least 42 people dead, for which a radical sect known as Boko Haram claimed responsibility. Attackers targeted churches and one of the state offices of Nigeria’s secret police.

The president also declared a state of emergency in parts of the northeastern state of Borno, a stronghold of the feared Islamic sect.

“What began as sectarian crises in the northeastern parts of the country has gradually evolved into terrorist activities in different parts of the country with attendant negative consequences on our national security,” Jonathan said.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/30/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/30/2011In anticipation of all the car-burnings that “youths” traditionally engage in at New Year’s, the French government has decided to… limit sales of gasoline. Now, that’s bold action!

In other news, the new Islamist government of Tunisia is being careful not to drive away Western tourists, who are a mainstay of the country’s economy. Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Ennahda, assures foreigners that there will be no restrictions on bathing costumes at the beaches, and foreign women will not be compelled to wear veils.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fausta, Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, JP, KGS, Mary Abdelmassih, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Virginia's Republican Party Sinks to the Occasion...Again

*** UPDATE ***


Just when it seemed our Commonwealth’s Republican leaders couldn’t do anything more to increase their appearance of stupidity, scarcity thinking, or risibility, the Virginia elephant has come up with a new dance move. No, it's not pretty.

The Blue Ridge Forum blog has some updates, particularly the little item concerning what is required in order to vote in the Republican presidential primary in March. When you get to your polling place - SURPRISE! - you have to sign a loyalty oath.

For real, folks. Something smells rotten in Richmond.

BRF quotes the Richmond paper:

“The state Republican Party will require voters to sign a loyalty oath in order to participate in the March 6 presidential primary. Anyone who wants to vote must sign a form at the polling place pledging to support the eventual Republican nominee for president. Anyone who refuses to sign will be barred from voting in the primary. ..”
They may be trying to insure that no one shows up to vote? Such an outcome would give them more leverage in deciding who “wins” this one. As if anyone at the national level will care when this farce is over. And what do you think a loyalty oath from a yellow dog Democrat is worth?

BRF quotes another fellow, a long-time conservative leader who remembers his history:

“How many conservative Democrats voted for Ronald Reagan in ‘Republican’ primaries in 1980? Would they have voted in a Republican primary that required a loyalty oath when Reagan was probably the only Republican they would vote for? I doubt it.”
Yes, we do actually have ‘conservative’ Democrats here in Virginia. They voted for Obama, even though his socialist politics are 180 degrees away from their own world view.

But for the most part, at the state level they vote for Republicans like our current governor. And don’t get me started on him. The man is an opportunist who plays footsie with the Beltway Muslim Brotherhood big time. What a disappointment he and our Attorney General have turned out to be. Whoever has the money gets their attention.

Read the whole post here. You can also search his archives for the inroads Islam is making in Virginia politics. It's far worse than you think.

The noises coming from the public regarding Virginia’s Republican presidential primary process are mostly sounds of angry disbelief. Believe it, y’all: the Commonwealth’s GOP is feckless, reckless, and has a lousy customer service record.

The latest snafu is a change (as of two months ago) regarding the hoops candidates must jump through in order to qualify for the Republican primary. The equation’s factors are political ‘thinking’ times lawyerese. The result is explained here; it's the most succinct of the dozens I've read[my emphasis below -D]:

Virginia’s statutory ballot access requirement is, quite simply, one of if not the most daunting in the country: A minimum of 10,000 petition signatures collected statewide, including at least 400 from each of its 11 congressional districts. That’s hard enough. But then there are the additional restrictions: the petition circulators must be registered or eligible to vote in Virginia. The signatures must be gathered using the State Board of Elections’ official form, a two-page document which must be reproduced as double-sided. (Single-sided stapled forms are not accepted.) Signatures must be collected on forms that are specific to each city, county and congressional district. Only “qualified” voters may sign a petition. And every single petition form must be sworn and notarized.

Want a sense of how next-to-impossible this is? I know top-flight Virginia political consultants who turned down lucrative petition project contracts from presidential campaigns because they did not think it could be done.

And then there’s the Republican Party of Virginia, which is tasked by law with the responsibility of certifying which candidates have qualified for primary ballot access. RPV has effectively raised the statutory requirement of 10,000/400 by a factor of 50% this year by offering this safe harbor: the Party first will conduct a facial review of all petitions, and candidates who submit at least 15,000 signatures and 600 from each congressional district will be presumed to have met the statutory 10,000/400 requirement. Candidates who submit 14,999 or fewer, however, will undergo signature-by-signature scrutiny of his or her petitions—something no statewide candidate in recent memory ever has had to endure.*

For many years, the Virginia GOP generally selected its nominees in conventions. But the Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia litigation, which challenged RPV’s mandatory convention registration fees as poll taxes, caused the Party temporarily to abandon conventions in favor of primaries.

The first statewide petition drive post-Morse was in the 1996 Republican U.S. Senate primary. Then came the 1997 primaries for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, and in 2000, the Republican presidential and U.S. Senate primaries.

Each successive petition drive has gotten harder and harder as volunteers have grown more and more tired of the arduous, tedious work it takes to gather thousands upon thousands of signatures in ever more frequent petition drives. The drives have gotten more expensive, too, as campaigns have resorted to paying volunteers to incent (sic) their efforts. What should be a test of a campaign’s organization and grassroots has become a drain on them—exhausting volunteers and siphoning away money better spent contacting voters, delivering messages, identifying supporters and driving turnout, all important objectives that petition drives have proven worthless at advancing.

In 2008, two presidential candidates very nearly failed to meet the minimum requirement of 400 signatures from the Third Congressional District and almost missed the ballot as a result. Which brings us to this year, when it is probable that at least one and possibly more of the major GOP candidates will fail to qualify for the Virginia ballot.

This is especially unfortunate because this year, for the first time in decades, the GOP nomination likely will not be all-but decided before Virginia’s primary, and thus Virginia’s primary will truly matter.

Expressing Grave Concern

Church bombing in Nigeria, Christmas 2011

For the last few days I’ve been tied up with programming work, unable to do much in the way of blogging. However, I kept on monitoring the news feed items as they came in, and skimmed off the most disturbing stories that cried out for special attention.

The fabric of the civilized world seems to be disintegrating before our eyes. What — besides the fact that they all involve Muslims — do these gruesome news items have in common? Why do they seem connected? Are there any clues?

The first clue may be found in the official reaction to the Christmas bombings in Nigeria. The Pope responded immediately:

Pope Benedict on Monday condemned Christmas Day bomb attacks by Islamists in Nigeria that killed dozens of Christians.

President Obama followed suit in short order. Or rather, the “White House” did — the building is authorized to speak in his name when the president is vacationing: “The White House condemned the violent attacks in Nigeria”. The building was unable to bring itself to mention Islam, but it did deplore the “senseless violence and tragic loss of life”.

Our leaders are adept at condemning and deploring. That’s what they do best. And, when things get really nasty, you can count on the functionaries at the U.N. to “express grave concern”. They’re dusting off the thesaurus right now in anticipation of what Iran may do in the Strait of Hormuz. “Severe displeasure” may be appropriate, but if mushroom clouds appear, escalation to “grave concern” may become necessary. And maybe even additional economic sanctions, if the bureaucrats of Turtle Bay really want to show how tough they are.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not in favor of expending American blood and treasure to keep third-worlders from blowing each other up. But all this condemning and deploring is the official equivalent of teddy bears and candlelight vigils. It’s yet more evidence of the utter impotence of the deracinated formerly Christian remnants of Western Civilization.

The Pope and the President of the United States are tacitly affirming that nothing meaningful can be done about the destruction of our culture.

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Nigeria lies squarely on the Bloody Borders of Islam, and what happened on Christmas day is what we’ve come to expect in non-Muslim areas that are in the process of becoming Muslim. Nigeria is now roughly 50% Muslim, so it is poised on the brink.

Although it has a much lower percentage of Muslims, Uganda is experiencing its own anti-Christian jihad. In another Christmas atrocity, Muslim attackers threw acid all over a Christian pastor in Uganda:

The health of Pastor Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church International who was attacked with acid on Christmas Eve, is improving.

Speaking exclusively to the New Vision, Mulinde said he felt some improvement in his condition. He said the pain all over his body had greatly reduced.

“I am recovering. Experts are monitoring my condition and they have promised to do their best to help me recover,” Mulinde, who is currently admitted at International Hospital Kampala (IHK), said.

He is under strict guidelines by doctors at IHK not to talk for long, as this affects the sores on his lips. The doctors are struggling to restore his sight after his right eye was affected during the attack.

“My right eye which had closed has been opened. But I cannot see anything at the moment,” Mulinde said.

Unknown people laced Pastor Mulinde with acid as he left his church, leaving his face, neck and other parts of his body severely injured.

Pastor Mulinde may have been targeted for converting from Islam to Christianity:

“No daughter of mine…”

Prospero just sent us this joke:

A little family problem here…

Last night my daughter just walked into the living room and said, “Dad, cancel my allowance immediately, rent my room out, throw all my clothes out of the window, take my TV, stereo, iPhone, iPod, and my laptop. Please take all of my jewelry to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. Then sell my new car.

“Take my front door key away from me and throw me out of the house. Then disown me and never talk to me again. And don’t forget to write me out of your will and leave my share to my sister.”

Well, she didn’t put it quite like that. She actually said…

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/29/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/29/2011According to the European Commission, if Scotland were to secede from the United Kingdom, it would be granted seven seats on the European Council of Ministers. The remainder of the UK would see its representation on the body drop from 29 to 27 seats. Which is interesting — the UK and Scotland separately would be allocated five more seats than if they remained together. Is this an incentive for divorce?

In other news, a fifteen-year-old Afghan girl was locked in a basement toilet for five months in her husband’s house after she resisted her in-laws’ attempts to force her into prostitution.

Meanwhile, Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez says that he thinks the United States may be behind his cancer, and may have also caused the cancers afflicting other Latin American political leaders.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, JP, Kitman, Nick, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Light Posting

The ScholarI have been away from blogging most of the day due to other work — actual paying labor, thank the Lord!

Y’all have been extraordinarily generous during our last couple of fundraisers. However, this unexpected income will see us through what had been a very tight year. Now with this temporary job, Dymphna and I are planning a (slightly delayed) Christmas celebration.

A Happy New Year is a distinct possibility.

There will be a news feed tonight in just a little while. More or less normal blogging will resume tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/28/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/28/2011The European Union has decided to go ahead and impose new sanctions against Iran. Baroness Ashton says the EU foreign ministers made the decision despite Tehran’s threat to close the Strait of Hormuz to oil traffic if the West takes any additional measures against Iran.

In other news, some analysts believe that the uprising in Syria is on verge of turning into a full-blown civil war.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to alcade, Fjordman, Insubria, JP, Kitman, Mary Abdelmassih, PS, Steen, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Those Evil Crusades

Anestos Canelides returns with a brief meditation on the “evil” Crusades.

Gustave Doré: Richard and Saladin at the Battle of Arsuf (detail)

Those Evil Crusades
by Anestos Canelides

As long as I can remember I have been told about the evils of the Crusades, and how wrong they were.

One of the best articles I have ever read, one that really proves that much of what I was taught is a lie, is entitled “The Crusades in Context” by Dr. Paul Stenhouse. The Crusades were a delayed response to the invasion of Christian lands by the Muslims. It is true that atrocities were committed by the so-called Christian armies, but the Muslims initiated the warfare and committed innumerable atrocities of their own.

After the death of Muhammad, in 632 AD, Abu Bakr rose to power as the first Caliph, and that was when the invasions of the Roman Empire (Byzantine) began. These violent incursions ranged geographically from the Middle East to Spain in the west, and in the east of the Empire the armies of Islam showed up at the gates of Constantinople, only to fail after two attempts to seize the city.

Culturally Enriched Domestic Violence in Oslo

Cultural Enrichment News

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends the following report about the disproportionate increase of domestic violence among the “New Norwegians” in Oslo. Stranger rape is no longer the only crime dominated by the culture enrichers; now domestic violence can be added to the list.

The Observer includes this note:

This article was published a couple of weeks ago, and it deals with the domestic abuse of women in Norway. It turns out that 70 percent of the women thus affected in Oslo have a different ethnic background than that of the majority populace.

When you take the official numbers from the various assault rapes statistics committed in Oslo and then compare them with these latest numbers, things start to become quite obvious.

His translation from Nettavisen:

Ethnics account for 70 percent of family violence in Oslo

According to domestic violence coordinator Stein Erik Olsen, families with different ethnic backgrounds are over-represented in the domestic violence statistics.

Nettavisen had intended to write an article about the Norwegian Christmas holiday, Christmas dinners, Christmas beer, Christmas Aquavit and Christmas brawls in Norwegian households.

The hypothesis was that the number of incidences of domestic violence would increase when people have time off and when they consume more alcohol.

That’s not the case in Oslo. According to the domestic violence coordinator and assistant police chief Stein Erik Olsen the ‘Norwegian Christmas violence theory’ is simply a myth, on par with the myth that more burglaries are committed during holidays.

“70 percent of domestic violence cases involve families with a different ethnic background. The cultures concerned don’t touch alcohol and they don’t celebrate Christmas.”

And he adds:

MSM Report on Tommy Robinson

A report on last Thursday’s attack on Tommy Robinson has been published in Luton Today:

EDL Leader in Lay-by Attack

POLICE have launched an investigation after English Defence League leader Stephen Lennon was violently assaulted in a lay-by outside Luton.

Mr Lennon, who calls himself Tommy Robinson, says he was driving along the A6 at about 2am last Thursday (Dec 22) when he pulled over after another car, a black Vauxhall Zafira, flashed its lights at him.

When he got out of the car he was attacked by three men, with the beating only coming to an end when a ‘good Samaritan’ stopped at the scene, he said.

Mr Lennon, who runs a tanning salon in Luton, said: “I was on my way back from Dunstable and near Streatley I noticed the car flashing me.

“I pulled over and got out. The car was being driven by a girl and three lads jumped out and I took a beating.

“As soon as I got out the passenger leapt out and I could tell straight away what was going to happen.

“I started fighting back and then the other two got out.

“The geezer that pulled over to help me said one of them had a pole but I didn’t see anything. But the hospital said the injuries looked like they’d been caused by a blunt object.”

Mr Lennon drove to Bedford Hospital where he was given a CT scan, which revealed bruising on his brain. He was released later the same day.

“I didn’t want to go to hospital but the guy that helped me kept insisting that I had to go,” he said. “They had knocked me out when he arrived – he said if he hadn’t pulled over they would probably have carried on.

“I’ve never had a kicking like it. I had to go home to my kids looking like that.”

Mr Lennon said claims on an anti-EDL website that the attack had been faked or had been carried out by football hooligans were “pathetic” and had been fabricated by people who had been kicked out of the EDL for being too right-wing.

He described his attackers as being of Asian appearance and said they were wearing jeans and bomber jackets, with one wearing a checked scarf.

Chapter and Verse

Koran, 9th century AD

In last night’s post about honor killing, I quoted authoritative Islamic law to demonstrate that killing one’s children is not punishable under sharia.

The source I cited was ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper. It is usually referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when quoted in English. My references were from the Revised Edition (published 1991, revised 1994), which is billed as “The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law ’Umdat al-Salik by Ahmad ibn Naqib al-Misri (d. 769/1368) in Arabic with Facing English Text, Commentary, and Appendices”, edited and translated by Nuh Ha Mim Keller. The publisher is listed as amana publications in Beltsville, Maryland.

The book is considered an authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law because it is certified as such by Al-Azhar University in Cairo. There is no higher authority on Sunni Islamic doctrine than Al-Azhar. To give the book additional gravitas, it has also been certified as an authoritative source of Islamic law by the governments of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, and Saudi Arabia.

Reliance of the Traveller is thus a useful tool for us “Islamophobes”, since no Muslim can credibly assert that it does not represent the “true Islam”.

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I mention all this because a reader emailed us this morning with some pertinent questions about Reliance, and the Koranic justification for its reading of Islamic law. His questions and my responses are below.

Do you have a copy of “Umdat al-Salik”?

Reliance of the TravellerYes, a big thick hardback with a green and gold cover.

I imagine that it is expensive, …

Not terribly. I can’t remember the exact cost, but it was normal for a hardback book of that size.

…and that its text is not available online.

It is available online, actually. I picked up a text document version (.txt, no formatting), and I also have a huge Word document of it. But I acquired those several years ago, and no longer have the URLs for the sites where I found them.

According to this famous citation from it, a Muslim who kills a non-Muslim and a person (even a non-Muslim!) who kills his/her own child or grandchild must not be punished for the killing. I have never been able to find the Quran passage or hadith on which this impunity is based. Does this “Umdat” citation have a footnote pointing to the relevant ayat/hadith? How do the ulema scripturally justify this ruling?

Reliance sometimes cites the Koran and/or the hadith to justify its prescriptions and proscriptions, but not always. In this particular case, no scripture is cited.

The relevant section (O, “Justice”, o1.0, “Who is subject to retaliation for injurious crimes”) begins with several citations from the Koran and the hadith about how much Allah abhors “killing without right”, which he considers an “enormity”.

If Allah (through Mohammed) does not forbid an activity, it is by definition lawful. The killing of one’s children is not mentioned as “killing without right” in the Koran or the hadith. One assumes that “honor killings” were a common practice in 7th-century Arabia, as they are today. Thus al-Misri considered it necessary to list them as “not subject to retaliation” so that the fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) would be clear on the topic.

That’s my best guess, but it would take an actual scholar to confirm or refute my suppositions.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

Some further thoughts on the same topic:

All possible human activities are regulated by Islamic law. If an action is not specifically mentioned in the Koran or the Sunna, its status under sharia is determined by scholarly examination of relevant references that may be extended to cover the activity in question.

A Message From Tommy Robinson

Tommy Robinson in Luton

Tommy Robinson has sent a message today to his supporters in the English Defence League. He wants everyone to know he is recovering well from his injuries, and will soon be as good as new.

Tommy says he is now in Luton Town Centre “standing on his own and proud”. He also says that 2012 will be the start of a new era for the EDL.

Concerning last Thursday’s attack by “youths”, Tommy reports that the Luton police are treating the incident as a “racially-motivated crime”.

He also says he will be releasing a new video within the next few days.

His primary concerns, as usual, are for his children and his mother. The latter is in extremely poor health at the moment.

Tommy extends his “best wishes to every single one of you for a fantastic New Year”, and says he “can’t wait to be at the front in 2012!”

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/27/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/27/2011Just before Christmas the European Central Bank flooded European banks with €500 billion of extra money, hoping to boost liquidity and jump-start lending. But the banks did not react as hoped, and instead redeposited much of the money at the… European Central Bank. Even though the ECB offers very low interest rates, it is considered a safe haven for funds — safer than fellow European banks, which otherwise might be the recipients of new loans.

In other news, the Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekschot — who has been featured in this space many times in the past — has decided to call it quits. The Dutch state’s ham-handed repression has made his career less and less tenable, and he has decided to stop drawing his distinctive cartoons.

Meanwhile, in Egypt, the popular Salafist party Al-Nour says that it will solve the problem of the idolatrous Pyramids by covering them in wax.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to AC, C. Cantoni, Fjordman, Insubria, KGS, Kitman, Salome, Steen, Takuan Seiyo, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Sharia in Action

This story from Britain is not brand new. It was published last Thursday, but between the attack on Tommy Robinson and the intervention of Christmas Winterval, I wasn’t able to give it the attention it deserved when it was fresh.

Over the last several years we’ve heard a lot about the 85+ sharia courts in Britain. Apologists for the parallel judicial system reassure us that the sharia courts never hand down decisions that are in any way a violation of British law. Muslims insist that their system is analogous to the Jewish halacha system of mediation, and is thus no threat to secular jurisprudence. If we are to believe their reassurances, sharia courts adjudicate nothing more controversial than arcane details concerning inheritance and child custody, that sort of thing.

But sharia is more than that. A lot more. As Muslims never tire of reminding us, Islam is not just a religion; it’s an “entire way of life”.

For example, from the authoritative source on Sunni Islamic law ’Umdat al-salik wa ’uddat al-nasik, or The reliance of the traveller and tools of the worshipper — commonly referred to as Reliance of the Traveller when cited in English — we learn this useful information (from Book O, “Justice”):

o1.2 The following are not subject to retaliation:

(2)a Muslim for killing a non-Muslim;
(4)a father or mother (or their fathers of mothers) for killing their offspring, or offspring’s offspring; …

This is the legal basis under sharia for what are commonly known as “honor killings”. When a child — usually a daughter — dishonors the family, her parents customarily feel bound to kill her, and sharia specifies that Islamic law permits no punishment for such killings.

What makes the following case unusual is that a British court of law anticipated traditional Muslim practice, and forced a baby to be put up for adoption to prevent what “the judge rightly regarded the risk of physical harm” to the child, her mother, her grandmother, and her mother’s siblings. This is a blatant deferral to the most violent aspects of sharia law.

According to The Daily Mail:

A baby born to a Muslim mother after an affair must be adopted to prevent the child becoming the victim of an honour killing, the Court of Appeal ruled today.

The baby’s mother, who is not married, was so ‘terrified’ of how her family would react that after becoming pregnant she ran away from home.

She then concealed her pregnancy by wearing loose clothes and travelling to the other side of town for her antenatal care.

As soon as the baby — known only as Q — was born the mother gave her up for adoption.

Upholding a High Court decision, three judges ruled that Q’s father could not have his daughter to live with him because of the risk the baby’s maternal grandfather would track her down.

Instead, Q, who is now a year old, will be adopted.

Under normal circumstances, a family court would prefer to place a child in the care of a natural parent, if that parent is capable of raising the child properly. This is what one would expect if white people persons of British background were involved. But the rules are different for Muslims.

The article continues:

Burning Museums and Beating up Young Girls

Those seem to be the favorite pastimes of military police and Salafist mobs in downtown Cairo these days.

Many thanks to Bear for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:

Detouring Around Democracy

Up until recently Switzerland was a bastion of direct democracy in Europe, with its established institution of referendums providing the means for its citizens to initiate or approve all significant changes of law at the federal level.

Times have changed, however, and the Swiss have lost much of their sovereignty to the European Union — without their consent. The following guest-essay from Kitman details the latest revelations about the plans that have been set in motion to steal direct democracy from Switzerland.

Echoes from the Minarets: The Discreet Evasion of Swiss Democracy

by Kitman

The “anti-minaret initiative” and the “initiative for deportation of criminal foreigners” served as clear reminders to the Swiss establishment that manipulation of the mass media had become an insufficient tool for controlling public opinion. It was therefore not overly surprising when a first step towards the assignment of new powers to the Swiss federal court was approved by the national assembly a few weeks ago. By allowing the federal court to “test the constitutionality” of federal laws, center-left politicians obviously hope the courts can save them from future unpleasantness. Luzi Stamm from the Swiss People’s Party rightly condemned the suggested changes as a clear “step towards the abolition of direct democracy”, whereas the Green party socialists, thrilled by the taste of judicial supremacy, exclaimed “Switzerland IS the constitution!”

Interestingly, WeltWoche revealed yesterday that the very same federal court, along with recently-departed Foreign Minister Calmy-Rey and Integration Minister Johann Schneider-Amman, have been engaged in a sinister plot to surrender Swiss sovereignty to EU courts without having to ask or tell the Swiss people about it.

Confronted with the difficult task of submitting to EU demands without anybody noticing, the federal court, in cooperation with Daniel Thürer (Swiss delegate of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance [ECRI]), developed the legal equivocations needed to make an actual referendum “unnecessary”. Among other things, the Federal court came up with following gem for insertion into the legal treaty:

“Swiss courts duly take the EU adjudication into account”.

Because the courts have already been doing this for years, that phrase, if inserted correctly, would “strengthen an interpretative mechanism” which according to the federal court would imply that “only given an imperative reason may Swiss courts deviate from EU rulings”. As seen below, Daniel Thürer went somewhat further in his arbitration, suggesting whole new EU agencies inside Switzerland with so-called “powers of co-determination” with the said federal court.

An excerpt from WeltWoche:

Discrete Evasion

[T]he demands from Brussels go far beyond a modification of the bilateral agreement; in fact, they imply the annulment of the agreement. Today both parties to the agreement guard and implement it independently. And disagreements are cleared in mixed committees. However, with the “institutional link-up” demanded from Brussels, the central legal monitoring apparatus of the EU becomes sole interpreter of contracts and their implementation. Foreign judges would thus preside over the legality of [Swiss] measures for controlling migration. And since the European judges in their verdicts notoriously support free [international] contracting over all protective measures, this should cause alarm among trade unionists. The long-term consequences to all contracting are at this time not even possible to estimate.

The Swiss “silver bullet” of bilateral agreements has come to a dead end. In spite of this the Swiss Federal Council are determined to push on, and have thus begun to move the scenery around, in an attempt to disguise the fact that they have deviated from this path and embarked on a different course for EU accession. As former Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey once put it: “We are working on creative solutions.”

However, in these serious matters the creativity does not involve originality or ministerial brilliance. They concern the best way to deceive the people about the true extent of their lost sovereignty.

The preparations were made in an “arbitration” of the Europhile expert in constitutional law Daniel Thürer, professor emeritus Zürich University, along with an “advisory opinion” of the Swiss federal court. The Federal Council has refused to publish both of these papers in an attempt to conceal what they have been hiding all along. In order to ensure public access to this information Weltwoche has made the documents available for internet download (links at the end of this report).

Daniel Thürer advised against a direct submission to the EU courts, because this would require a referendum, which currently “is sure to have a negative outcome”. He therefore proposes three ways to coat the capitulation and stamp out democracy:

Clean It Up!

Cultural Enrichment News

This is the feel-good story of the day, and maybe for the entire Christmas season.

A culturally-enriched young man — Mostafa Kamel Hendi by name — approached the counter of a “We Buy Gold” franchise in western North Carolina, waved a gun, and demanded money. After the would-be robber came behind the counter, the clerk decked him with a left, knocking him out cold. When the unfortunate perp came to, the clerk made him mop up his own blood from the floor.

Thank goodness for surveillance video! Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this clip:

Below the jump is the accompanying news story from a local Spartanburg TV station:

Monday, December 26, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/26/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/26/2011The United States has budgeted at least $40 million to buy back anti-aircraft missiles that Libyan militias stole from Muammar Qaddafi’s arsenals. The missiles pose little threat to modern military aircraft, but the U.S. government is concerned that they might be sold to terrorists and used against civilian jetliners.

Speaking of terrorists, the Christmas bombings in Nigeria were so serious that the White House actually used the T-word, condemning them as “terrorism”. President Obama, however, declined to use the I-word or the M-word to describe the ideology motivating the terrorists. The pope also condemned the slaughter in Nigeria. There was general hand-wringing all across the West about the awful events on Christmas.

In other news, Adolf Hitler’s favorite singer died at his home in Bavaria at the age of 108.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, KGS, Lurker from Tulsa, Srdja Trifkovic, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

“A Black Day for Austria”

Soeren Kern has written an article at the Hudson Institute about the “hate speech” case against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff. Some excerpts are below:

“A Black Day for Austria”
by Soeren Kern

An Austrian appellate court has upheld the conviction of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a Viennese housewife and anti-Jihad activist, for “denigrating religious beliefs” after giving a series of seminars about the dangers of radical Islam.

The December 20 ruling shows that while Judaism and Christianity can be disparaged with impunity in postmodern multicultural Austria, speaking the truth about Islam is subject to swift and hefty legal penalties.

Although the case has major implications for freedom of speech in Austria, as well as in Europe as a whole, it has received virtually no press coverage in the American mainstream media.

Sabaditsch-Wolff’s Kafkaesque legal problems began in November 2009, when she presented a three-part seminar about Islam to the Freedom Education Institute, a political academy linked to the Austrian Freedom Party.

A glossy socialist weekly magazine, NEWS — all in capital letters — planted a journalist in the audience to secretly record the first two lectures. Lawyers for the leftwing publication then handed the transcripts over to the Viennese public prosecutor’s office as evidence of hate speech against Islam, according to Section 283 of the Austrian Criminal Code (Strafgesetzbuch, StGB). Formal charges against Sabaditsch-Wolff were filed in September 2010; and her bench trial, presided on by one multicultural judge and no jury, began November 23, 2010.

On the first day of the trial, however, it quickly became clear that the case against Sabaditsch-Wolff was not as air-tight as prosecutors had made it out to be. The judge in the case, Bettina Neubauer, pointed out, for example, that only 30 minutes of the first seminar had actually been recorded.

Neubauer also noted that some of the statements attributed to Sabaditsch-Wolff were offhand comments made during breaks and not a formal part of the seminar. Moreover, only a few people heard these comments, not 30 or more — the criterion under Austrian law for a statement being “public.” In any event, Sabaditsch-Wolff says her comments were not made in a public forum because the seminars were held for a select group of people who had registered beforehand.

More importantly, many of the statements attributed to Sabaditsch-Wolff were actually quotes she made directly from the Koran and other Islamic religious texts. Fearing that the show trial would end in a mistrial, the judge abruptly suspended hearings until January 18, 2011, ostensibly to give him time to review the tape recordings, but also to give the prosecution more time to shore up its case.

ESW: The FrontPage Interview

Jamie Glazov interviewed Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff today for FrontPage Mag. Some excerpts are below:

The Persecution of Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a free speech activist who was charged last year in Austria with “denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion” for asserting that “Mohammed had a thing for little girls.” In February of this year she was convicted, and will have to pay a fine of up to €480. Just recently, on December 20, 2011, her conviction was upheld by the higher court. If she refuses to pay the fine, she may spend a maximum of two months in jail. She grew up and lived in Muslim countries and experienced Islam first-hand.

FP: Ms. Sabaditsch-Wolff, welcome to Frontpage Interview.

I would like to talk to you today about your trial and where it stands now. But let us begin with a bit of background about yourself.
ESW: Thank you Jamie.

My father was posted at the Austrian Embassy in Tehran before the Iranian Revolution. I was also there, a child of seven, and I experienced the pre-revolutionary Iran, a beautiful country with friendly people, great food and even greater skiing. I attended the German school and generally enjoyed myself.

Then came the revolution and everything changed. There was religious fervor in the air, chanting, demonstrations featuring black-clad women. And one day in late 1978 my mother, my sister and I were forced to leave Tehran, and we joined the thousands of desperate men and women scrambling to get out of the country, the only difference being that we had a country to return to. I still remember all this as if it were yesterday.

I knew that this had to do with religion, with Islam. I knew what “Allahu akhbar” meant, just as I knew that our Iranian housemaid set fire to our house because she no longer seemed to like our Western ways much. (Although I was in the house at the time with my mother and sister, we survived the fire.)

My father returned to Austria just shortly before the war between Iran and Iraq broke out.

In the coming years my life would touch the Islamic world, sometimes more, sometimes less. My father was posted to Baghdad in late 1982, so we joined him for Christmas and New Year. I experienced life on the other side of the war, Saddam’s side. What I don’t remember is Islam, strange as it sounds. The Iraq of the early 1980s was a secular country, albeit a war-torn one. My mother had to “pack” food and other staples in her luggage so we could celebrate Christmas properly. I also remember attending Christmas mass in Baghdad.

After a few years of high school in Chicago, we returned to Vienna, where I graduated and became a ski instructor. In the summer of 1990 I spent three months at the Austrian Embassy in Kuwait, thereby returning to the Middle East for the first time since 1982/3. Memories flooded my brain, everything seemed so familiar. But then Saddam returned to my life: I was in Kuwait on August 2, 1990, when Iraq invaded Kuwait. I was unable to return to Austria until August 26, 1990, but that is another story.

In February 1997, I once again traveled to Kuwait, this time as a visa officer at the Austrian Embassy. During my nearly four years in Kuwait, I was able to experience the true Islam for the first time. Because I was older — in my mid-twenties — I reflected more strongly on what I saw and heard. I saw and heard a lot, and I also experienced a lot first-hand.

Two examples: First, Ramadan. The first one was sort of fun, a different experience, something new. The second one was a nuisance, especially after I heard reports of harassment, especially of the one against the Coptic husband of my colleague, who was chided for licking the stamps for the Christmas cards. Ramadan coincided with Christmas back in the late 1990s. And the third Ramadan forced me to rebel: I started eating salami sandwiches in the visa section, in plain sight of the fasting applicants. I got away with it because the Austrian Embassy is legally Austrian soil.

I started asking myself: what was the point of Ramadan? Our Jordanian translator, a devout Muslim and heavy smoker, suffered greatly during Ramadan, but he was unable, maybe even unwilling to quit during that month of abstention. I did not understand the purpose of his fasting and abstaining if nothing good came of it. This sentiment was furthered by newspaper articles about Ramadan and a Q&A. One question remains with me forever: “I accidentally swallowed a fly while riding my bicycle. Is my fast still acceptable or do I have make it up?” Unbelievable.

The second example concerns the relationship between Mohammed and Aisha, a relationship that earned me the conviction in court. Part of my job was to read the two English-language newspapers. I don’t remember what the article was about, but it must have been something about Mohammed’s marriage to Aisha and the subsequent consummation of the marriage. I clearly remember my shock. I got up from my desk and went to our translator, who was also my friend and confidant. “Hussein,” I said, “Is it true what I just read about Mohammed and Aisha? Did he really have sex with her when she was nine? But that, that, that’s…” Hussein looked at me sternly, “Do not ever talk about this again. Do not mention this again.” Now, he did not deny it. He just ordered me never to speak about this. Though I did not know about it at the time, he was actually enforcing Sharia law.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/25/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/25/2011There’s almost no news feed tonight! That’s because everyone is sprawled in their armchairs, semi-comatose from the sin of gluttony during Christmas dinner.

All except for our poor Norwegian friend Tommy, that is. (S)he is curled up in a sequined fetal ball under the Christmas tree, still traumatized by a near-fatal shortage of butter…

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to Gaia, Insubria, KGS, Nilk, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Christmas Comes With Bombs in Nigeria

The Muslim community in Nigeria celebrated Christmas by blowing up Christians as they worshipped in their churches. The terror group Boko Haram (“Western customs are prohibited”) has claimed responsibility for killing at least sixty people in five separate bombings.

Below are three news videos about Christmas in Nigeria, as uploaded by Vlad Tepes. First, from AP:

The second is from Fox:

Censorship and Propaganda in Norwegian Schools


The translation below was undertaken entirely at the initiative of the owners of Gates of Vienna, as suggested by the translator himself.

Neither the author (Tore Kvæven) nor the publication (Utdanning) requested this translation or its publication at Gates of Vienna. The fact that it has been published here in no way implies that the author approves of this blog or any of the other material it has published.

The opinions expressed at this blog have been, and will remain, entirely those of its owners and contributors. They have nothing whatsoever to do with Utdanning.

Arab slave trade

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends us a translation of an op-ed about the pervasiveness of propaganda in the Norwegian educational system. He includes this note:

Utdanning (Norwegian word for “education”) is a magazine that focuses on issues related to education. published by the Norwegian Department of Education. Its front page says that its readers consists of teachers, lecturers, students, and anyone who is interested in educational issues. It also says that it has a circulation of 130,000 readers.

To my mind this op-ed brilliantly exemplifies the bias that exists in Norwegian schools.

His translation from Utdanning:

Censorship and propaganda in Norwegian schools

Approximately one million Europeans succumbed to or were killed as slaves under Muslim rule in northern Africa, among them 3,000 to 4,000 Norwegians. Is it a mere coincidence that this historical fact is a non-issue in Norwegian schools?

by Tore Kvæven

About a year ago, after having sustained a minor eye injury and spending a night in hospital, I was driven home from Stavanger by a Palestinian taxi driver originally from Gaza. During the one-and-a-half-hour drive home I had several discussions with him, covering a range of subjects, among them Hitler and Germany’s extermination of the Jews. The driver insisted that the concentration camps never existed and that it was simply a conspiracy theory concocted by the Jews themselves and their European allies, and that there were no evidence of any pogroms perpetrated against the Jews during WW2. My arguments to the contrary failed to make an impression, and I thought to myself that the driver had to be a victim of political propaganda, and that he was most likely exposed to this propaganda at an early age. I assumed that the Palestinian educational system and textbooks were biased when it came to the subject of Jewish history. Of course I could have been mistaken. I know very little about the curriculum and textbooks used in the schools in the Gaza strip. But my impression was that the driver believed in what he was saying.

I had a similar debate along the same lines on a different occasion, but the subject this time was slavery, and my debate opponents were ethnic Norwegians. My assertion was that the Muslims were heavily involved in white slave trade during the Middle Ages, and that they brought more white slaves from Europe (slightly more than one million) than the total number of black African slaves (slightly less than one million)that were shipped over to America. These assertions were met with incredulity. Nor was my assertion that the Islamic slave trade from Africa to Asia exceeded the European slave trade to America accepted. This knowledge was so fundamentally at odds with the knowledge of my Norwegian friends that they were unwilling to accept it, just like the case of the Palestinian taxi driver. And just as his views were a result of sustained propaganda in school and in society, I suspect that many Norwegians’ views are a result of politicised opinions found in Norwegian schools and in Norwegian society.

The following quote is from the textbook Midgard 6: social studies for children:

“When media are used to influence people’s opinions in a certain way, it’s called propaganda. … the purpose of propaganda is to shape the people’s views. Censorship and propaganda are often found in countries ruled by dictators.”

This is obviously a correct assertion. But after having worked as a teacher for ten years, I have to ask the following question; “But isn’t the Norwegian school system also influenced by propaganda, something that this textbook clearly shows?”

Another example:

As a political science teacher for students in years six and seven I taught about the Middle Ages in Europe. One of the chapters in the aforementioned textbook deals with the Muslim colonisation of Spain and Portugal, from 711 to 1492. This is portrayed as an era of great human achievement, and the colonisation itself is portrayed as a positive thing. Everything that deals with this colonisation has positive undertones. Here are some short excerpts from the textbook:

Getting the Butter of Norway

The following video is a reminder that the butter shortage in Norway is no laughing matter.

During this festive Christmas season, when butter is an all-important ingredient in various traditional Norwegian delicacies, the lack of the crucial dairy product is felt most acutely.

In the video below a Norwegian… umm… person chides Americans for making fun of the Norwegian butter crisis. And if you Danes think your churlish mockery will go unchastised, think again! Watch this video all the way to the end — Denmark is not spared.

WARNING: Some salty language is used in this clip. Sensitive readers should cover their ears:

Hat tip: Apollon Zamp.

Season’s Greetings to Our Readers

Happy Winterval!

Happy Holidays!

During this season of good cheer, Dymphna and I would like to wish all our readers a fulfilling Winter Festival. Wherever you are, whatever your cultural or religious background, we hope you will gather together with companions of all races, faiths, genders, and species to celebrate a diverse Solstice with tolerance, inclusivity, and respect for everyone who might have a different normative worldview.

During the coming New Year we pledge to join with all our comrades to continue the fight against violent extremism in whatever form it takes and wherever it may arise.

We recognize that those who attack us do so because they hate our freedoms, our tolerance, and our openness. In their blind hatred they are attempting to destroy our values. Their motivations for acting out with such wanton antagonism may never be fully known.

Nevertheless, we will continue resist the forces of evil until the perpetrators are apprehended and brought to justice.

Any questions?

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/24/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/24/2011There’s hardly anything in the news feed tonight. Most of our tipsters have taken seasonal jobs as elves working for S. Claus at the North Pole. And the rest are busy filling stockings with coal to give to each other…

Merry Christmas, everyone! See you tomorrow.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to AC, Insubria, JP, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Denigrating Religious Stupidity

In response to the appeals court verdict against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Henrik Ræder Clausen has written the following essay at Europe News analyzing the religious teachings of Islam.

Denigrating religious stupidity
by Henrik Ræder Clausen

While I was working on a polite essay “What is ‘denigration’, really?”, events overtook the intended polite and analytical approach. At an Austrian court, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff had her conviction for “Denigrating the teachings of a recognized religion” upheld. The court deemed that her uttering “an excess of opinion” about Muhammad having sex with minors, and that doing so was subject to a fine of 480 euros, alternatively 60 days in jail.

Many of us consider freedom of expression is a fundamental right in itself. Expressions used in criminal ways, like committing fraud or inciting violence is indeed a matter for the courts, but a victimless crime where not even a single Muslim protested that his faith had been ‘denigrated’, surely cannot be subject to legal action, fines or jail time. In a free society, that is.

The difference comes when the State as such submits to Islam. In that case, the supposed ‘sanctity’ of Islamic teachings obtain protection by the Law, and due to the Islamic tradition that the life of Muhammad was a perfect example for all (male) Muslims, everything Muhammad did is to be considered holy and thus protected from criticism. That includes his having sex with minors.

The implications of this are huge, for how are we to speak out against the tradition of child brides that still exist in many Islamic countries if we’re not even permitted to express any “excess of opinion”, as defined by the Court? Would we have to run every possible criticism or sarcastic comment past the Court for approval before it is made public? What are people whose e livelihood consists of satire and mockery — stand-up comedians, satire magazines — supposed to do if they come across the idea to mock religiously sanctioned sexual relationships with minors, or those who justify them?

Also, according to the Courts of Austria, we are supposed to avoid the term ‘paedophilia’ when talking about old men having sex with prepubescent girls. For, according to the Court of Austria, ‘paedophilia’ denotes the urge to have sex with under age girls, not the actual act of doing so. Further, if these sexual relations continue until the girl reaches maturity, calling the relationship ‘paedophile’ is an excess of opinion that cannot be permitted. One wonders what Mr. Fritzl thinks of that decision…

There exist other and freer countries than Austria, for instance Denmark. Here it is still permissible to express negative opinions about religious stupidity or evil, as long as that is not directed against some minority group or others. Convictions do happen, however, if an “excess of opinion” is directed against minority groups, as happened for Lars Hedegaard and Jesper Langballe, when they made passing references to the high frequency of sexual assaults within Muslim families.

But enough of the boring analysis, let’s get to what matters, namely denigrating some religious stupidity. Here’s a Top 10 of Islamic “religious teachings” that deserve nothing but scorn and mockery. Let’s start with some benign and obvious issues:

A Diseased Form of Justice

On the day following the appeals court decision upholding the verdict against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, the Austrian opinion writer Andreas Unterberger had something to say about the current state of “justice” in Austria. His op-ed makes a connection between Elisabeth’s situation and a recent incident of oppression targeting Christians in Saudi Arabia.

Many thanks to JLH for the translation:

Two Events in One Day and a Strange Connection

by Andreas Unterberger
December 21, 2011

In Vienna, Islam expert Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff’s conviction for denigration of religious doctrines was upheld by the higher court. In Saudi Arabia, 42 Ethiopian Christians were thrown into jail because they had prayed. The two instances do not have so little to do with each other as it appears at first glance.

A diseased form of justice is limiting freedom of expression in Austria in a completely novel way. All of a sudden, true statements about Islam — that the “prophet” Mohammed had sexual relations with a nine year-old-girl, which in the eyes of most Austrians is child abuse — are being punished by law. And the prosecutor’s office — which has absolutely no time to review the great scandals of this land — has for this trial performed eager and intensive preparations.

Much worse defamations of Christianity and its founder, on the other hand, have been regularly met with no punishment. Mostly under the pretext of artistic freedom. And with that, a large proportion of local cultural journalists have complacently covered Christians with scorn.

An Apprehensive Christmas in Iraq

The following news report from CNN is a reminder that the removal of Saddam Hussein was not a boon for the Christians of Iraq. In the absence of a strongman to protect them, they have suffered repeated devastating attacks, and many are fleeing the country. According to some reports, the Christian population of Iraq has dropped by about 50% since 2003.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Norway’s State-Controlled Media

Lenin reading Tidens Krav

Our Norwegian correspondent The Observer sends the following translation, and includes this note:

This article published in Aftenposten a couple of weeks ago concerns the independence — or lack thereof — of the Norwegian media.

In addition to the information presented in the article, it’s worth mentioning that the Norwegian state is handing out Nok 6 billion each year in so-called “media subsidies”. It certainly raises some question about impartiality of the media in the country.

American readers will notice that the mass ownership of local newspapers in Norway parallels what happened here when Gannett acquired most of the larger local papers in the country, as well as dozens of TV stations. We don’t have a comparable level of state subsidy, but our small media outlets are now largely franchises of the conglomerates.

Here’s The Observer’s translation from Aftenposten:

When LO controls the newspapers

By Jon Kristiansen

A-pressen recently acquired Edda Media, and with this latest acquisition will be the biggest proprietor of local newspapers in Norway, excluding the big regional newspapers in the larger cities. From a strict industrial perspective this is a sound business strategy; in light of the future that the media in Norway is facing, with a handful of big media conglomerates. But this is not in itself the main problem. The big question is whether the large trade unions and the political establishment are going to be allowed to dictate the agenda of Norwegian local newspapers, and in addition how this influence will affect the various local democracies

A-pressen is today owned by Telenor (36 percent) and Fritt ord (3 percent), with LO [largest Norwegian labour union] along with other various trade unions owning the remaining 61 percent. A-pressen also embraces the values of LO.

Every Norwegian newspaper is run in accordance with the Norwegian media code of ethics (Redaktørplakaten og Vær varsom-plakaten). The independence and integrity of the newspaper editor is a given in our society, including the newspapers owned by A-pressen. But in what way can such an ownership structure constitute a problem? Well, it can, because the powerful ones always exert control.

This is how it works: the owner (LO / trade union) exerts influence over the company’s guidelines and who gets elected to the board. They also exert considerable influence over the hiring processes of the CEOs and board members of the various newspapers. This board is then responsible for appointing the various editors. This is as far as A-pressen influence reaches, but this is also more than enough. The various newspaper editors hold considerable power in the editorial boards and they are the main suppliers of the editorial contents.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/23/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/23/2011The government of Quebec has reversed an earlier decision and will allow employees in its provincial prisons to wear hijab on the job. The opposition party — the Parti Québécois — objected strenuously to this change in policy, saying that the hijab is a religious symbol, and is thus prohibited.

In other news, the Syrian government is blaming Al Qaeda for a pair of suicide bombs in Damascus that killed at least 40 people and injured more than 100.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to AC, Fjordman, Freedom Fighter, Gaia, Insubria, JP, McR, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Two-Tiered Justice in Calgary

The previous post discussed the two-tiered system of justice in Austria, where people can be arrested, tried, convicted, and fined for offending Muslims, but no one is ever prosecuted for offending Christians.

The Muslim mayor of Calgary has created a similar double standard in his city. He sees no problem with the leftist agitators of Occupy Calgary when they pitch their tents in a city park, but he arrests Christians for practicing their faith in a public place.

In the video below, Ezra Levant talks to the Christian pastor who was arrested, handcuffed, and hauled off to jail in Calgary.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

Will Austrian Christianity be Protected From “Excessive Opinion”?

The following editorial is from Kurier , which is a pro-EU, pro-immigration daily in Austria. Thus it is quite surprising that the editor-in-chief actually understands the implications of Tuesday’s verdict in the Vienna appeals court against Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff.

Many thanks to JLH for translating this piece:

A Verdict With Consequences

Islam defends itself against insults. Christian churches do not (yet).

December 21, 2011

Anyone who commits religious harassment against Islam must reckon with judicial condemnation. On Tuesday, the Regional Supreme Court of Vienna upheld a lower court conviction, according to which the presenter of an FPÖ seminar gave voice to an “excessive opinion.” In its decision, it referred to the European Court of an Rights, according to which freedom of expression does not mean that it is permissible to baselessly insult others. So far, so good.

“Islam, Islame, You Just Can't Help Yourself…”

Our supporter and commenter in the Netherlands, Sagunto, sent this little clip yesterday, with his usual “kind regards from Amsterdam”.

Just what I needed to make me smile! As part of my Hanukkah celebration (whilst waiting for the jolly man to show up) I am posting it here for all to enjoy.

Interestingly, the English-language wiki on the performer, Hans Teeuwen, describes him as “apolitical” before the death of his good friend, Theo von Gogh.

The wiki says:

In 2005, Teeuwen announced he would no longer perform, incidentally coinciding with the death of director and close friend Theo van Gogh. However, in 2007 he decided to try a new challenge: performing in English. He appeared at the 2007 Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of the Amsterdam Underground Comedy Collective, which spurred him to do a longer show. In 2008 he performed solo at the Soho Theatre in London. He also returned to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2008, and performed at Suffolk’s 2008 Latitude Festival. In October 2008, he performed a show in the Leicester Square Theatre, London that was recorded for a future DVD release. In 2009, he performed at the Leicester Comedy Festival and the Belfast Festival at Queen’s.

Although his work is typically devoid of politics, in real life Teeuwen has repeatedly and openly acted as a fervent supporter of freedom of speech, especially after the murder of his friend Theo van Gogh. His eulogy and speech at the unveiling of a statue in memory of van Gogh were an example of his views. A video clip of Teeuwen advocating freedom of speech while being interviewed by three female Muslim TV presenters has been chosen as “Dutch TV Moment of 2007”. [You can find some good links here if you follow the wiki URL — e.g., the video clip about freedom of speech.]

It’s good that Teeuwen learned English so he could perform in Britain. His style reminds me of Robin Williams a bit, edgily funny, though less obviously insane. If you look at some of his YouTubed work, you can see the wide variety in his humor. This one, a sketch about Sinter Klaas looks very funny, even though I don’t understand Dutch. However, while watching the body language and listening to the laughter, one can infer that it’s probably not Gates of Vienna “safe” if it were subtitled in English. Notice the very elaborate Santa Claus get-up he’s wearing. Also observe that the mitre he’s wearing is missing the usual cross; however, that over-sized red bible (or is it a list of accounts for good vs. bad boys and girls?) is emblazoned with a gold cross you can’t miss. A thumb in the eye, perhaps??

Sagunto says:

“This Islam-song featured in his latest theatre show. Hans Teeuwen was a close friend of Theo van Gogh. I didn’t do a literal translation, just to keep the rhythm intact, but the message is still the same.”

This is a comedian who really uses his whole body in his performances. He must burn a lot of calories up on stage!

First, the lyrics in Dutch:

ISLAM (by Hans Teeuwen)

Islam, islam, islam, jou treft geen enkele blaam,
je kunt er niets aan doen, als je flipt van een cartoon,

Je zult nog moeten leren, met vrijheid om te gaan,
homo’s accepteren en de vrouwtjes niet te slaan,

Ga jezelf bevrijden en gooi je haren in de wind
hou op met dat besnijden, ‘t is niet prettig voor zo’n kind

Ga heerlijk zonnebaden en doe dat lekker bloot,
eet een stukje varkenskarbonde met een jood,

Islam, islam, islam, jou treft geen enkele blaam,
je kunt er niets aan doen, als je flipt van een cartoon,

De wereld blijft veranderen, doe mee en ga op zoek,
sta open voor de anderen, blijf niet hangen bij dat boek,

Je hoeft niets uit te leggen, en ik neem je niet de maat,
want niemand kan je zeggen, waar het leven over gaat

Nee, niemand kan je zeggen, waar het leven over gaat
Oh islam, oh islaaaam, oh isla-la-la-lalala-laaam’.

…and over the fold you’ll find the English version as translated by Sagunto.


“I don’t believe it is helpful to frame our adversaries as Islamic with any set of qualifiers that we might add… This is not about political correctness.”

— Paul N. Stockton

In the video below, Rep. Dan Lungren (R-CA), a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, attempts to get a straight answer from Paul Stockton, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs.

Watch Sec. Stockton squirm and writhe in his (successful) attempt to avoid using the words “Islamic” or “Islamist” as modifiers for “Al Qaeda”.

Many thanks to Vlad Tepes for uploading this video:

It is as if Mr. Stockton had received a post-hypnotic command not to say “Islam”, “Islamic”, or “Islamist” in association with “Al Qaeda”…