Monday, January 26, 2015

Will the new Greek government get what it wants?

By Rick Moran

Since its inception in 1993 with the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, the European Union has been on the verge of disintegration. Crisis after crisis has rocked the organization, including several close calls on elections by member-states to join, several threatened pullouts by Great Britain, and most recently, a sovereign debt crisis along the southern periphery that could have easily destroyed the basis for an economic union.
Stepping forward in this crisis – the result of the financial meltdown in 2008 and massive overspending by member-states – have been three entities, known as "the troika," that have engineered bailouts of sovereign debt in Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Cyprus, and Greece. The European Central Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the executive body of the EU, the European Commission, imposed strict austerity measures on endangered states that have destroyed jobs, pensions, and economic activity. Since the bailout, the Greek GDP has shrunk by 23%, and unemployment is at a catastrophic 25%, with 50% of young people without jobs.
Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Cyprus have all been recovering slowly over the last four years since the bailout. But Greece's economy has stubbornly refused to grow, and the bailout involving $260 billion has done little to lower the debt. Percent of debt to GDP grew from 145% in 2012 to 173% in 2014. It's clear that the austerity measures imposed by the troika – including a bondholder "haircut" that saw bond values drop by more than 50% – have simply not worked.
This, then, is a thumbnail sketch of the recent past and explains why the Greek voter took a flyer and elected the party of a 40-year-old former communist and Che-admirer who wants to radically transform the Greek economy and society. (Where have we heard that before?)
Alexis Tsipras, who heads up the radical socialist party Syriza, has promised to end austerity in the budget, massively increase spending, seek debt forgiveness from the EU, and renationalize a big chunk of the economy. The Daily Mail ticks off Tsipras's wish list:
  • A major renegotiation of Greece's debts and deep cuts in repayments on its £185-billion international bailout
  • Writing off the bank debts of people who can't afford to pay – a move some experts fear could result in a run on lenders today
  • Heavy new taxes on the rich including wealth taxes, new levies on luxury goods and an end to tax breaks for Greek shipping magnates
  • A massive job creation scheme to tackle Greece's 25 per cent unemployment rate, and a 50 per cent increase in the minimum wage
  • Deep cuts in defence spending and possible withdrawal from Nato
Conservative member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan can scarcely believe it:
Middle-class Athenians can be found rummaging in bins. Farmers are bringing supplies to their urban cousins. On cold nights, a pall of woodsmoke rises, because people can no longer pay heating bills.
Syriza airily promises to stop all this. It says it will increase pensions, hike the minimum wage, expand healthcare, give free electricity to 300,000 households and renationalise a chunk of the economy. Oh, and it expects overseas creditors to offer Greece substantially better terms while it does all this. In normal times, and in a normal country, Syriza would be a joke party on the furthest fringes of the ultra-Left.
It is a coalition of Trotskyists, Maoists, eco-protesters and Occupy types. Mr Tsipras has only recently removed the Che Guevara poster from his office (his son carries the name 'Ernesto' in honour of that bloodthirsty South American revolutionary).
But these are not normal times. Many Greeks have switched directly to Syriza from the Centre-Right out of sheer despair.
And Mr Tsipras himself does not share his countrymen's emotional attachment to the euro. If forced to choose, he would pick the drachma over more austerity.
Therein lies the dilemma for EU policymakers. A Greek exit from the euro – Grexit – would be destabilizing in the extreme. But for Greece, it may make sense. Paying back all that debt in near worthless drachmas would set the staqe for an eventual recovery by the Greek economy. Of course, in the meantime, people's savings would be wiped out as their euros would be converted at unrealistic rates to nearly worthless drachmas. The banks might fall, contracts denominated in euros would be void, and no one in Europe would want to sell much of anything to Greece if he were to be paid in a currency that would be virtually worthless in international financial markets.
Reuters reports that the EU may be open to debt restructuring for Greece, but debt forgiveness is out of the question:
Europe showed a willingness on Monday to give Athens more time to pay back its debts, but little sign that it would yield to a new Greek government's demands of debt forgiveness.
European Union leaders and policymakers responded to Greek anti-bailout party Syriza's election victory on Sunday with warnings that a debt restructuring for Greece would send the wrong message to other euro zone members.
Euro zone finance ministers gather in Brussels on Monday afternoon to consider how to deal with Greece after the change of government, especially given that the existing Greek bailout programme expires on February 28.
The euro fell to an 11-year low as Syriza's victory set Athens on collision course with international lenders and potentially threatened its place in the single currency.
Without a bailout plan Athens will not be eligible for the European Central Bank's plan of government bond purchases and will have problems financing itself on the market. If Greece refuses to service its debt owed to the euro zone, private investors are unlikely to lend to it either, officials said.
Euro zone finance ministers are likely to signal they could extend the current bailout for Athens to give the new government time to negotiate economic policy with international lenders and talk about more time to pay back what Greece owes them.
If that sounds like the EU kicking the Greek can down the road, that's because that's exactly what is happening. It is the one thing that the EU does spectacularly well: put off decisions that should be made today until tomorrow. They've been doing it for more than 20 years, and it seems to have worked so far.
This is why despite the crisis, the EU will find a way to survive. Greece will remain in the eurozone, the Germans will grumble about subsidizing someone else's welfare state but pony up the cash to keep Greece afloat, the Greek people will merrily go on a spending spree – and the chances are pretty good we'll have to do this all over again in a couple of years.
In the meantime, the EU can pretend that things are going well, and the "European Project" is thriving.


UK: Bradford’s Electorate Falls By 20,000 After Electoral Fraud Clamp Down

By Andre Walker

Almost 20,000 voters in Bradford have ‘fallen off’ the electoral register after they failed to come forward and prove they were real. The new rules require anyone who wants to register to vote to fill out a form themselves, rather one person in the household completing the form for everyone. Under the old rules householders could list anyone – real or not – on the electoral register with little chance of being caught. Before Postal Votes on demand were introduced by Labour anyone who wanted to vote multiple times would have to visit the same Polling Station multiple times.
At more recent elections fraudsters could fill homes with fake voters and register them all for postal votes. This avoided the need to ever see an Elections Officer face to face. The system also enabled ‘Family Voting’ where one person in the household would register everyone, opt for postal votes their behalf and fill them all out without their consent, a practice which is illegal.
The news of the fall in the population was attacked by the Green Party who claimed this would “disenfranchise” voters. However, under the system anyone who was paying tax or receiving benefits at an address were automatically registered. This accounted for 88 percent of people in Bradford.
The remaining 12 percent were written to, inviting them to register. Around 5 percent or 20,000 never replied, suggesting they may never have existed at all. Over ten percent of all electoral fraud allegations come from the City of Bradford according to the local Telegraph and Argus.
Bradford has long been home to political intrigue, one example is when the radical left-wing politician George Galloway came from nowhere to win the seat with a majority of over 10,000 in the 2012 by-election.

UK Muslim texted, “I’m going to go Jew bashing,” then beat up a Jew

Bilawal Sultan
Meanwhile, the BBC is deeply concerned about “online Islamophobia.” And so dhimmi Britain staggers another step in its descent into madness. “‘I’m going to go Jew bashing': What teenage thug texted friend before Muslim thugs beat up Orthodox Jewish man ‘in protest against conflict in Palestine,'” by Mark Duell, MailOnline, January 26, 2015 (thanks to Benedict):
An Orthodox Jew was beaten up by a gang of teenagers who said the attack was a protest ‘about the Palestinians and the Jewish community’, a court has heard.
Balawal Sultan, 18, Kesa Malik, 19, Hassnain Aliamin, 18, all from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and a 17-year-old boy have all admitted attacked the 41-year-old victim in nearby Gateshead.
Sultan, who had hours earlier sent a text message saying he was ‘going Jew bashing’, lay in wait with the other three behind a van before pouncing on the victim as he walked home to his family.
The victim screamed in fear as the pack chased him down the street, throwing wood at him, before tripping as he fled and being surrounded by the teenagers while stricken on the ground.
One of the thugs was threatening to kick him in the head when the victim was saved by a friend.
The attackers claimed they were only in the area looking for a new mosque but one of them admitted the planned attack was motivated by the dispute between Israel and Palestine….

Most Germans want to put the Holocaust behind them, survey finds

Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, some 58 percent of Germans say the past should be consigned to history, while three-quarters of Israelis reject the idea of putting the past behind them. Some 48 percent of Germans also say their opinion of today’s Israel is poor and the Germans’ view of the Israeli government is even worse, with 62 percent expressing a negative opinion. Israelis have a much better view of today’s Germany, with 68 percent saying they have a positive image of the country, while only 24 percent have a poor opinion. The figures are the results of a study by the Bertelsmann Foundation released Monday. The foundation questioned 1,000 Germans and 1,001 Israelis for the poll; the margin of error was 3 percent. According to the study, the perception of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has an increasingly dominant impact on the way Germans view Israel as a whole. Some 35 percent of Germans equate Israeli policies toward the Palestinians with Nazi policies toward the Jews, an increase from 30 percent in 2007, when the foundation conducted a similar study. Nonetheless, a majority of both Israelis and Germans believe that Germany still has a special responsibility toward Israel because of its history. During the Third Reich, the Germans killed 6 million European Jews in the Holocaust, many of them at the Auschwitz death camp. “In Germany the persecution of Jews is viewed as a dark chapter in German history, but not as an essential part of its identity; quite the opposite, Germans would prefer it as an anomaly,” the authors of the study wrote in an analysis of their findings.

Merkel: It's a Disgrace Jews in Germany Still Face Threats

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Monday it was a "disgrace" that Jews in Germany faced insults, threats or violence, as she marked 70 years since the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
Merkel joined survivors of the former camp, created by Nazi Germany in southern Poland, for a somber and moving event in the German capital ahead of Tuesday's anniversary, AFP reports.
Auschwitz is a "warning" of what people can do to each other, Merkel said, adding that the camp - the site of the largest single number of murders committed during World War II -  had been an "atrocious departure" in the course of history.
She said more than 100,000 Jews have today made Germany their home but that it was "unfortunately not without cause" that some feared insult or assault.
"It's a disgrace that people in Germany are abused, threatened or attacked when they indicate somehow they are Jewish or when they side with the state of Israel," she said, to applause.
Merkel said the fact that synagogues and Jewish institutions had to be guarded by police was like a "stain on our country".
Anti-Semitism and other forms of inhumanity must be stood up to, Merkel said.
She stressed the "everlasting responsibility" for Germans to remember the horrors unleashed by the Nazis and that the memory of the Holocaust shaped Germany's self-image.
"With us, everyone must be able to live free and safe, irrespective of religion or origin," she added.
She also referred to the deadly attacks in Paris earlier in the month against the Charlie Hebdo satirical weekly and a kosher supermarket and stressed the unity of people of different faiths.
Between 1940-45, some 1.1 million people, including one million Jews, perished in the twin death camps of Auschwitz-Birkenau created by Nazi Germany in Oswiecim, southern Poland.
Two survivors addressed the Berlin event together with three young people from Poland, Israel and Germany.
Josef Schuster, head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said in a written statement that all of German society had an "abiding commitment" to remember the Holocaust.
He also said the threat against Jews worldwide had increased and that assaults by radical Muslims were an additional danger for the Jewish community.
"Nobody may shut their eyes to that," he said.

Muslim Sex Groomer was Unaware UK Didn’t Allow Raping 13-Year-Olds

 muslim feminism 2
By Daniel Greenfield 

 This seems to be a serious and ongoing problem with Muslims in the UK, Australia, New Zealand. The only alternative may be to ask them to stay in Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc to avoid any more rape misunderstandings. (via Religion of Peace)
A pedophile illegal immigrant who had sex with a 13-year-old girl claimed he was not aware it was against British “cultural norms”, a court has heard.
Married father Zia Maroof Khail, 29, carefully groomed the victim and fooled her into believing they were “boyfriend and girlfriend”.
Khail, originally from Afghanistan, persuaded her to meet him at his home twice a week, said Mark Lamberty, prosecuting.
He sexually abused her there, and had sex with her in an alleyway and at her own home.
“He was abusive to her if she refused to co-operate in sexual conduct,” Mr Lamberty added.
His sex crime came to light when the girl made a complaint about other men she said had abused her.
Police tracked Khail down using DNA evidence which matched his on a database at Colnbrook Immigration Centre, Heathrow, where he was waiting to be deported.
He told officers he did not think he had done anything wrong because he was not aware of the “cultural norms” in Britain.
Specifically raping non-Muslim unattended teenage girls is not against Afghan Muslim cultural norms. Which is a problem for any non-Muslim country they visit.
Simon Mintz, defending, said Khail’s jail term would be “harder to bear” because of his lack of English. He added: “But bear it he must.”
Or the UK could just deport him now. On a plane. From 10,000 feet in the air.
But it seems that Khalil had enough English when he was pursuing a teenage  girl. He’ll manage in prison which is full of Muslims these days because of their “unawareness of cultural norms” about rape, drug dealing, terrorism, etc
The cultural norm excuse has been accepted by some judges though.
A Muslim pedophile in Nottingham was given a suspended sentence after he claimed that he had attended a Muslim school where he was taught that women are worthless.  Adil Rashid told a psychologist that his Muslim school had taught him that, “Women are no more worthy than a lollipop that has been dropped on the ground.”
Esmatullah Sharifi, an Afghan refugee, offered an Australian woman a ride home and then put his right hand around her neck and his left hand over her mouth and raped her. Sharifi’s lawyers claimed that due to cultural differences he was confused about the nature of consent.
This wasn’t Sharifi’s first misunderstanding of the difference between rape and sex. He had already been sentenced to 7 years in jail for raping an Australian teenager on Christmas Day in 2008.
The sentencing judge rejected Sharifi’s excuse, but a court of appeals judge found that claiming cultural differences was a valid basis for an appeal.
Islamic law. You may not be interested in it, but it’s interested in you. And very interested in your daughter.
muslim feminism 3

London Footballers May Hold Key to ‘Jihadi John’

By Oliver Lane 

Three Portuguese football enthusiasts who lived in East London before becoming radicalised and travelling to the Islamic State to wage Jihad against the civilised world may lead the security services to the notorious murderer terrorist Jihadi John.
Fabio Pocas
Fabio Pocas, 22, in his football stripes. Source:
The intelligence services now believe the men may be behind the production and distribution of Jihadi John’s graphic beheading videos, and if they can be found they could help lead investigators to the serial-killer terrorist. Intelligence analysis suggests they were heavily involved in the creation of the films, and in an oblique tweet one of the group posted about them a full month before the first execution film was released.
The group lived in and met socially in East London, in Walthamstow and Leyton. The youngest of the group, Fabio Pocas, moved to London to pursue a career in football but appears to have been radicalised instead. His biography on the UKFFFC website describes him as a man with determination: “He is very intelligent inside the four lines, disciplined, skilful, overtakes any player with his full speed dribbles and only stops when the ball reaches the net. Fernando Torres is his hero and he moves like him too. A frightening prospect for any defence”.
Despite having the opportunity to potentially play with professional clubs, Pocas decided his future was with Radical Islam and left Britain for a new life in the Levant to service the Islamic State. The Daily Mail reports his latest Facebook post read “Holy war is the only solution for humanity”.
All five of the men are of African descent, having travelled to Portugal from the Iberian nation’s former colonies.

Let's Talk Turkey

By Michael Curtis 

The famous economist John Maynard Keynes once remarked, “When my information changes I alter my conclusion.” It is time that the international community should alter its previous conclusions after noticing the startling contrast between accommodating gracious behavior on the part of Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and the true face and the churlish and insensitive conduct of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Netayahu, in a telephone conversation on March 21, 2013 with Erdogan, then Turkish prime minister, apologized for the “tragic results”, the injuries and loss of life, stemming from the clashes between IDF soldiers and pro-Hamas Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara ship in May 2010 attempting to go to the Gaza Strip. He urged normalization of relations between Israel and Turkey, and even mentioned that Israel was prepared to give compensation to the families of the nine people who had killed during the incident.
In contrast, Erdogan, so eager to demand apologies, has refused to give any for the brutal actions of his own regime. Turkey has long wanted to become a member of the European Union and negotiations have gone through periods of breakdowns because of Turkey’s lack of democratic values and human rights. In a resolution of June 13, 2013 the European Parliament, considering the issue of peaceful demonstrations in Istanbul, deplored the reaction of the Turkish government and of Erdogan personally in refusing to take steps towards reconciliation with the protestors or to apologize for the harsh actions of the Turkish police for a number of days starting on May 28, 2013.
In those days, Turkish police with great brutality, on May 28, using water cannon, chemical sprays, and tear gas, attacked a group of environmentalists and academics, almost all secular in belief, protesting in Taksim Square against the government proposal to turn Gezi Park in Istanbul into a shopping mall. A number of protestors were killed and more than 4,000 injured in Istanbul by the regime headed by Erdogan, the new “sultan.” Though it was a peaceful civil disobedience protest, the new authoritarian sultan, who has changed the Turkish system to a presidential one, accused “terrorists” of participating in the anti-government demonstrations in Istanbul and other Turkish cities.
The Israeli prime minister is not the only political figure to apologize to Erdogan. In October 2014, Vice President Joseph Biden apologized for remarks he had made at Harvard on October 2, 2014 when he quoted his “old friend” Erdogan as having said he had made a mistake in letting foreign fighters cross Turkish borders into Syria and Iraq to join the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. The Turkish president denied he had made the remark and Biden apologized through he had spoken truth to power. Turkey in fact has allowed thousands of Islamic jihadists to cross its borders to help their fellow terrorists.
Since his party, the AKP (Justice and Development Party), took power in 2002, Erdogan has been a polarizing figure in Turkish politics, increasingly intolerant of dissent, both in internally and externally. He has made Turkey the world’s biggest prison for journalists (in 2013 there were 49 in jail), and transformed the media, eroding free expression. The European Union commented that the mainstream Turkish media had remained silent about the brutality of the Turkish police towards the demonstrators. He is gradually changing the secular character of Turkey into a pro-Islamic system. Turkey has attacked women’s reproductive rights and imposed alcohol-free zones. Erdogan and his AKP party have weakened the power of the military, a number of whose generals are in prison undergoing show trials.
Externally, his ambitious policy, shown by his plans to build a second Bosporus bridge to connect the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara, and a very large mosque, can be called “neo-Ottomanism,” a policy of increasing Turkish prominence in the Middle East, if not restoring the Ottoman Empire and its borders.
That prominence has been displayed in negative fashion. In recent years Erdogan has been unhelpful, and even hostile, towards the Western efforts to control and prevent the spread of Islamist terrorism, the main danger to the world today. Turkey has been the main port of entry for Islamic terrorists to enter Syria. Erdogan opened the frontiers of Turkey to the jihadists, both fighters and their equipment. He did not allow food to go to the beleaguered Kurds and prevented other Kurds from going to fight the Islamic State, especially in Kobani.  His excuse was that the Islamists, after the fall of Mosul, held 46 Turkish hostages, diplomats and their families, and he appeased the terrorists by exchanging the hostages for 1800 jihadists. He did not help Western forces fighting terrorists in Afghanistan, Iraq or Libya. In contrast, Erdogan has been friendly with Hamas in Gaza and with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The behavior of Erdogan suggests that he regards the Kurds and Israel as his main enemies. Turkey did accept some Kurds who fled from or were driven out of Iraq by the attacks of the Islamic State. But he refused to allow Kurds from Turkey to help fellow Kurds in Syria. Above all, he has refused to grant some form of autonomy to the Turkish Kurds, who together with fellow Kurds in neighboring countries number about 30 million.
Before Erdogan came to power, relations between Turkey and Israel were mutually agreeable. Turkey in 1949 was the first Muslim majority country to recognize Israel. Cooperation embraced a variety of activities: trade, tourism, the Israeli Air Force practicing in Turkish air space, and Israeli experts upgrading Turkish combat jets. The memory of that harmonious relationship is displayed in the memorials to Kemal Ataturk in various locations, including Beersheba, in Israel.
Erdogan has changed that relationship, and has become, as has his prime minister, increasingly aggressive in hostility and in his posture of moral superiority. Forgetting the Turkish atrocities against the Armenians in 1915, the ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots in the 1950s and 1960s, the constant war against the Kurds, for which no apology has ever been given, Erdogan has referred to Zionism as a “crime.”
Erdogan, with a group of business people, had made a friendly visit to Israel in 2005, even laying a wreath at Yad Vashem. But he soon scaled down the former cordiality and mutual interests, and the extensive military relations and arms deals, between the two countries. A remarkable example of undiplomatic behavior and intolerance was shown on January 29, 2009 when Erdogan stormed off a World Economic Forum television program in Davos after his angry clash with Israeli President Shimon Peres over Israeli policy towards Gaza.
In comments made after the Islamic terrorist attacks in Paris, Erdogan and his Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu have reached a new level of malevolence toward Israel. Erdogan, evidently forgetting that on January 9, 2015 four Jews had been murdered in the Hyper Cacher, kosher shop in Porte de Vincennes in Paris, as well as a policewoman earlier, by an Islamic terrorist who allied himself with the Islamic State,  could “hardly understand how Netanyahu dared to go “ to the march against terrorism in Paris. He wanted the Israeli prime minister, whom he accused of “state terrorism” against terrorism, to give an “account for the children, women you massacred.”    
For his part, Davutoglu, using rhetoric that borders on the diabolical, said that Netanyahu committed crimes against humanity comparable to the Islamic attacks that killed 17 people. Davutoglu asserted that “Netanyahu himself killed, his army killed children in the playground.”
So far the “international community” has not repudiated the provocative remarks of the Turkish leaders which are not only morally repulsive but also implicitly critical of the Western war against Islamist terrorism. It is bewildering that the belligerence against Israel and the refusal to help Western countries fighting against the Islamist threat comes from a member of NATO. The U.S. might consider the issue of whether Turkey should be allowed to remain in NATO.
The UN and other international groups have been largely reluctant to condemn the gross violations of human rights in Turkey. They should not be silent or indifferent  in the face of rhetorical aggressiveness by Turkey, a country that still refuses to acknowledge the genocide it committed a century ago. The Obama Administration and western political leaders must be more compelling in urging this fellow NATO member to end the incitement against Israel and the increasing anti-Semitism of Turkish leaders.


Islamic Terrorism: The Taboo Topic

By Uzay Bulut
The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies." — Bill Warner, Director, Center for the Study of Political Islam.
The word has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech, and people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as the Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.
So, to a degree are we all mentally ill, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through a prism of religion that glorifies homicide.
Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the "Christian terrorism" of the Ku Klux Klan or anti-abortion violence simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, "Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian terrorists as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists."
When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who wish to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.
That is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.
Shhhh! We can talk today of all religions but one. We can question all religions but one today. We know that any question of Islam can be taken as a criticism, and put our lives at risk, as seen most recently in Paris with the murders of the staff of Charlie Hebdo magazine. It is the only religion that people -- including the apologists for "Islamophobia" -- have to think ten times before discussing. At the same time, it is the same religion that is perpetually associated with "peace."
Why should anyone be afraid of a "religion of peace"? Because some of its supporters threaten to kill you, and often do.
Is there even one critic of Islam who has not received a threat, or been able to live freely without worrying about his or her safety? We are now living in a world where, if a prominent critic of Islam stays alive, or out of a court of law, it is considered almost a miracle -- in both the Muslim world and the West.
We are living in a world where, in Britain, Muslim rape gangs and sharia law courts abound, but where defenders of liberty, such as Geert Wilders, Robert Spencer, Susanne Winter, Lars Hedegaard or Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff are variously banned, sued or threatened with jail -- if they are not first murdered, as was Theo van Gogh or the cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo, by the people or groups that they were trying to warn us about. Worse yet, in a blame-the-victim inversion that could be out of Orwell, if you do speak up and are harmed, it is all too often considered your fault: if you had just kept quiet, so the thinking goes, nothing would have happened to you. Just try telling that to the aid workers beheaded in their orange jump suits, or, among many others, the victims of Britain's 7/7, America's 9/11, Spain's train bombings, Toulouse, the Jewish museum in Belgium, the Canadian Parliament, a massacre in Boston or Fort Hood, in Australia or a Parisian supermarket.
The world has turned into a place where free speech is confused with hate speech; and where people in positions of responsibility, who take that responsibility seriously, such as Dutch Parliamentarian Geert Wilders, are bullied, marginalized and brought to trial.
Geert Wilders was brought in for interrogation by Dutch authorities, who want to prosecute him for a remark made during a March 2014 speech, in which he asked, "Do you want more or fewer Moroccans?" (Image source: video screenshot)
The apologists for Islamophobia have many tales to tell to hinder free speech. Every time Islam is brought up, they bring up the issue of violence committed against individuals who provide abortions. But anti-abortion violence is not "Christian terrorism," and nowhere in the New Testament does a single teaching command that people who either have or provide abortions must be murdered or assaulted.
Verses of violence in any scripture that are open-ended commands to kill should, instead, like the violent verses in the Old Testament, be stories that relate to history, restricted by their historical context, not interpreted as requirements for piety. Christians no longer engage in the Inquisition.
Every time the Quran is discussed, apologists for Islam say "Oh, what about the violent verses in the Old Testament?" But there are qualitative and quantitative differences between the Hebrew Bible and the Quran, even if they do not want to see that.
The Director of the Center for the Study of Political Islam, Bill Warner, compares Islamic doctrine to other religions quantitatively and qualitatively. Islamic books are neither peaceful nor are their violent verses restricted by their historical context.
"The real problem goes far beyond the quantitative measurement of ten times as much violent material [as in the Hebrew Bible]; there is also the qualitative measurement. The political violence of the Koran is eternal and universal. The political violence of the Bible was for that particular historical time and place. This is the vast difference between Islam and other ideologies. The violence remains a constant threat to all non-Islamic cultures, now and into the future. Islam is not analogous to Christianity and Judaism in any practical way. Beyond the one-god doctrine, Islam is unique unto itself."[1]
He notes that, "There is no admonition towards political violence in the New Testament." He might also have added that the violence in Islam remains a threat also to many Islamic sects: Sunni, Shi'a, Sufi, Ahmadiyya, Alawite.
After the Islamic State [IS] started beheading and raping innocent people wholesale in Iraq and Syria, people were so shocked that they attempted to find explanations for these vicious acts. Some of the shocked have accused the lyrics of a former rapper who later joined the IS[2]; some accused the United States[3], and some accused historical British colonialism[4].
And another popular explanation is that Muslim terrorists in general, and Islamic State terrorists in particular, are simply the victims of mental illness [5]. So, to a degree are we all, but not all mental illnesses are socially acceptable, and not every mentally ill person channels his mental illness through the prism of a religion that glorifies homicide.
According to this explanation, even no matter what terrorists themselves say, anything but Islamic theology seems to be responsible for Islamic violence. Even if people or organizations proclaims their Islamic beliefs for their actions, shout Islamic slogans and carry the flag of Islam, their violence always seems to have "nothing to with the Islamic ideology."
A photo that compares the Ku Klux Klan [KKK] to IS, for instance, has been shared on the social media for weeks. The photo's caption, referring to the Klan, read: "No one thinks that these people are representative of Christians." Then, referring to IS terrorists, it asked: "so why do so many think that these people are representative of Muslims?"
A cartoon referring to IS read: "This is an Islamic organization... about as much as this [KKK] is a Christian organization."
Sadly, such photos and cartoons show how theologically illiterate many people are. They have lost the ability to analyze or critique what they are observing in the face of a deadly threat -- in this instance a religion, Islamic ideology. These images, and messages like them, seem intended to mislead one into concluding that fundamentalist Islamic ideology contradicts the Islamic State's killings in Iraq and Syria, and that Islam is not violent. "ISIL is not Islamic," U.S. President Barack Obama said. That conclusion is wrong.
To determine whether a group is a terrorist organization inspired by a certain religion, what needs to be looked at is whether there is a parallel between the stated goals of the group and the teachings of their religion. The stated objective of IS is to establish an Islamic caliphate under Sharia law[6].
Every time Islamic terrorism is discussed, those who bring up the "Christian terrorism" of the KKK or anti-abortion violence, simply block free speech, as if deliberately trying to scramble the main topic. They seem to be saying, "Whether the Islamic State is Islamic or not is irrelevant; there are Christian 'terrorists' as well, so do not talk about Islamic terrorists."
The Quran, however, contains dozens of verses promoting violence -- at least 109 verses call on Muslims to wage war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islam. It would be hard to interpret these verses as a spiritual struggle.
For instance, the Quran commands: "If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while. Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter." (33:60-62)
Such teachings in Islam sanction slaughter against three groups:
  • Muslims who refuse to "fight in the way of Allah" are hypocrites and they are to be massacred (3:167).
  • People with "diseased hearts" -- including Jews and Christians (5:51-52; 33:61-62).
  • "Alarmists," those who speak out against Islam, should also be slain. (33:62).
When violence and domination in a religion are so deeply rooted -- and sanctioned with promises of rewards -- fundamentalists will always find people to excite and people to persecute. It is a magnificent ready-made outlet for people who desire to be violent and dominate, or identify with a cause bigger than themselves.
Worse yet, Muslims who do not join the fight are called "hypocrites" (Quran: 3:167) and warned that if they do not join the violence, they will be sent to a Hell of eternal fire. It is an order apparently intended to neutralize one's conscience, encourage and sanction human aggression, and promote murder -- seemingly why it has worked so well for so long. As the leading Sunni cleric Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi admitted, "If they [Muslims] had gotten rid of the punishment for apostasy, Islam would not exist today."
Part of the appeal of the Islamic State to many of its young recruits seems to be this appetite for blood. It starts with videos of beheading men in orange jumpsuits, and now reasons for murder have spread to killing people for wanting to leave the IS -- not Islam, just the IS -- and, in the instance of women and girls, for refusing to marry jihadists.
On December 18, 2014, the Hindu Human Rights Group [HHR] reported that,
"Text books in Pakistani schools foster prejudice and intolerance of Hindus and other religious minorities, while most teachers view non-Muslims as 'enemies of Islam,' according to a study by a US government commission released on Wednesday."
"The findings indicate how deeply ingrained hard-line Islam is in Pakistan and help explain why militancy is often supported, tolerated or excused in the country.... The textbooks make very little reference to the role played by Hindus, Sikhs and Christians in the cultural, military and civic life of Pakistan, meaning 'a young minority student will thus not find many examples of educated religious minorities in their own textbooks.'"
As seen easily in the history of Islamic militancy in Pakistan, if the extremist fundamentalists of this religion can find any Jews, Christians, Hindus, atheists or other non-Muslims, who are referred to in the Quran in less than favorable terms, the extremists target them[7]. Sometimes the extremists kill them, and sometimes they only forcibly convert them. If they cannot find non-Muslims, they attack the believers of other sects of Islam -- as in the battles between Sunnis and Shias. If people from those sects cannot be found to dehumanize and attack, then the extremists target their own members. If supremacy, conquest, violence and forced conversion are commanded and sanctioned in a religion to such a great extent, the number of victims of that religion will naturally continue to grow.

Fortunately, of course, most Muslims do not engage in fundamentalist Islam, jihad or violence, but this still does not mean that those teachings are not commanded by fundamentalist Islamic theology. Of course, that ideology should never be confused with individuals. Muslims should never be stereotyped, mistreated, or discriminated against just because of their Muslim identity. Islam needs to be analyzed on the basis of its teachings -- not on the basis of Muslims.
But that is why Islamic theology, ideology and goals desperately need to be discussed. They deeply affect the life choices most Muslims make.

[1] "It turns out," he writes, "that jihad occurs in large proportion in all three texts (Koran, Sira, and Hadith, or the Islamic Trilogy). It is very significant that the Sira (life of Muhammad) devotes 67% of its text to jihad.... Now let's go to the Hebrew Bible. When we count all the political violence, we find that 5.6% of the text is devoted to it. ... When we count the magnitude of words devoted to political violence, we have 327,547 words in the Trilogy (Koran, Sira, and Hadith) and 34,039 words in the Hebrew Bible. The Trilogy has 9.6 times as much wordage devoted to political violence as the Hebrew Bible."
[2] Hisham Aidi, for instance, a lecturer at the School of International and Public Affairs and the Institute of African Affairs at Columbia University, argues whether extremist hip hop is helping the Islamic State. Instead, he should be asking, "are some certain Islamic teachings helping IS or why do the lyrics of extremist Muslim hip hop promote so much violence?
[3] Various students who were interviewed on the quad by Campus Reform said that they believe America, not the Muslim fanatics who behead innocent people, is the biggest threat to world peace.
[4] For example, David L. Phillips, Director of the Program on Peace-building and Human Rights at Columbia University's Institute for the Study of Human Rights, wrote that "ISIS has a legitimate grievance against Western countries that carved up the Middle East, with blatant disregard for tribal and sectarian affiliations of the local population.
[5] For instance: Psychiatrists Dr. Paul-André Lafleur, and Dr. Hubert Van Gijseghem say that the homegrown radicalization of the two men -- Martin Couture Rouleau, who rammed his vehicle into two Canadian soldiers, killing one, and Michael Zehaf Bibeau, who shot dead a soldier guarding the National War Memorial in October -- stems from acute psychiatric problems of paranoia, personal identity crisis and possible psychosis. Rouleau, however, had called 911 during the chase to say that he carried out his acts in the name of Allah. Similarly, Zehaf-Bibeau had made a video prior to the attack in which he expressed his motives as being related "to Canada's foreign policy and in respect of his religious beliefs", according to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
[6] On 29 June 2014, the Islamic State proclaimed a new caliphate and appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. Laith Kubba, the director for the Middle East and North Africa at the National Endowment of Democracy, explained: "Baghdadi declared a caliphate, and anyone who knows theology and the background would realize that this declaration, according to traditional fiqh, puts an obligation of anyone who is religiously observant to declare allegiance." When the caliphate was announced, IS stated: "The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organizations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas."
[7] Other Muslims targeted in Pakistan include the Ahamdiyyas.

Belgium: Police change their minds, Antwerp stabbing now considered antisemitic attack

Part of the problem with antisemitic attacks in Europe is that the authorities sometimes seem reluctant to label them as such.  I don't understand why.

Police are now sure the attack in Antwerp this past November, in which a Jew was stabbed, was an antisemitic attack.

Though the victim, Yehoshua Malik, was attacked for no reason, police were at first unsure about the issue.  The media reported it might have been a drunk Polish man who stabbed a Jew by mistake.

But now it seems they've changed their minds.

Police have managed to reconstruct the attacker's route - he left Antwerp North and headed straight for the Jewish neighborhood.  He stabbed a Jew, then returned back.

According to Commissioner Frank Van Saelen, the attacker did not stop for anything and did not talk with anybody on the way or on his phone.  He seems to be aware of the CCTV cameras, because he keeps his face down and walks as close as possible to the houses.

Police have no clue as to his identity or whereabouts and are asking the public for help.

More: HLN  ( + clip here)

Machete Jihad: 19-year-old non-Muslim hacked to death outside pub in UK

More of what the media scrubs, sanitizes, or refuses to report:
"Machete Jihad: 19-year-old hacked to death outside pub in Gloucester," Daily Europa, January 25, 2015
19-year-old Zac Evans was hacked to death with a machete outside a pub in Gloucester early Saturday morning in an attack that left another two men with serious injuries.
Machete Jihad: 19-year-old hacked to death outside pub in Gloucester," Daily Europa, January 25, 2015 (thanks to Armaros) Details are yet to emerge but suspicions are that Zac may have been beheaded by an Islamic extremist.
This attack bares obvious similarities to the attack in Finland recently by a Somali immigrant who attacked three men outside a pub with a machete.
British press have as usual not given any clue as to the perpetrators identity which usually means the attacker is an immigrant, possibly Muslim.
Is this the start of a wave of machete Jihad attacks on European people outside pubs?
A pub car park may seem like an ideal location for Jihadists to, as the Quran commands, “lie in wait and ambush disbelievers”:
Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war. Qur’an: 9:5
Sahih International: So when you meet those who disbelieve, smite their necks until you have inflicted slaughter upon them.
Gloucester has a large Muslim population so it is reasonable to suspect that this attack was carried out by Muslims.

Syriza’s Moment? Um, Yes

By Andrew Stuttaford

Greece has voted and, on the basis of early(ish) polls, it looks as if the far-left Syriza has done what it needs to secure an absolute parliamentary majority or come very close.
Panic to ensue.
Fun fact No. 1: One of the two sons of Syriza’s leader was given the middle name “Ernesto” in honor of the murderer better known as Ernesto “Che” Guevara.
Fun fact No. 2: The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn probably came in third with 6 percent or so.
I, for one, continue to be grateful that the single currency has proved to be such a bulwark against extremism.

Sweden: In Skåne, 137 complaints of antisemitic attacks, 0 indictments

Talk about burying the lede.  The Local in Sweden published an article about police not charging antisemitic criminals under the headline "Spotlight on hate crimes in Sweden’s Skåne".

Police in Skåne in southern Sweden have recorded 137 anti-semitic hate crimes in the past two years, according to an investigation by Swedish broadcaster SVT.

The review of police work in the region reveals crimes ranging from offensive swastika doodles to threats, harassment and in some cases violence.

Between 2013 and 2014, more than half of hate crimes in Skåne’s biggest city, Malmö, were directed against individual Jews.

But SVT suggests that too few suspects have been prosecuted for the anti-Semitic discrimination.


Thomas Bull, who coordinates Malmö police’s hate crime unit admitted to SVT that he was not aware of any cases of verbal threats leading to prosecution in Skåne.

“Not for anti-Semitic crimes,” he said.

What does "too few suspects" mean?

Well, if you check out what SVT have to say: it means "none".   That's right, in Skåne and in Malmo, there have been 137 cases of Jews lodging complaints about antisemitic harassment and vandalism, and the total number of persecutions and convictions is: zero.

Don't you think that little point should actually make headlines in Sweden?   But even SVT did not think such a triviality deserves to be mentioned in the headline.

According to SVT, even when the police think there's a case, it's not enough.  In one case, police managed to collect 13 complaints against the same offender who harassed the staff of the Jewish community, but the court decided to drop the case, since it wasn't possible to prove guilt.

Police had license plates in 8 cases of people shouting antisemitic taunts at Jews.  But interrogated only three of the car-owners.  And even then, nothing came out of it.  The car-owners claimed they weren't driving the car, and Thomas Bull explains that in criminal cases, they don't proceed if the car is used by several people [Swedish criminals, pay attention!!].

NGO slams Bundestag deputies for meeting Iranian Holocaust denier, hostage taker

Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth (Green Party), Dagmar Wöhrl (Christian Social Union party)
Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth (Green Party), Dagmar Wöhrl (Christian Social Union party) are the two women on the right. (photo credit:TWITTER)

An NGO in the German capital sharply criticized a delegation of lawmakers for their current trip to Iran, which includes meetings with a Holocaust denier and an official involved in the kidnapping of American diplomatic personnel in 1979.

“In the face of the current wave of executions in Iran, speaking about ‘efforts to open up Iranian society’ is brazen. It is a scandal that two weeks after Islamist attacks in Paris, a high-ranking delegation of German parliamentarians is having meetings with terrorists and Holocaust deniers in Iran,” Stop the Bomb spokeswoman Ulrike Becker said on Tuesday.

Stop the Bomb is a European- wide organization that seeks to stop Iran’s drive to become a nuclear-armed power, and promotes human rights in the Islamic Republic.

Bundestag Vice President Claudia Roth (Green Party), Dagmar Wöhrl (Christian Social Union party) and Stefan Rebmann (Social Democrats) left for Tehran on Wednesday. The five-day trip includes meetings with Ali Larijani, the president of the Majlis parliament, who denied the Holocaust at the 2009 Munich Security Conference.

He defended the then-president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime, saying it had “different perspectives on the Holocaust.”

The German deputies are slated to meet Masoumeh Ebtekar, the vice president of the Islamic Republic, who was a spokeswoman for the radicals who stormed the US Embassy and took hostages in 1979. She threatened to shoot American hostages during the Islamic Revolution.

A picture circulated on social media show Roth and Wöhrl wearing head scarves in Iran.

Stop the Bomb tweeted the photograph, writing “Shameful cozying up to regime of terrorists.”

According to Roth’s website, the trip covers “Iran’s security role” in foreign policy and diminishing the “humanitarian catastrophe in the region.”

She said the visit will also address the human rights situation in Iran.

Roth, who has gained a reputation of promoting Iran’s regime during the Ahmadinejad and Rouhani periods, remains controversial in Germany. She was caught on video in 2013 at the Munich Security conference high-fiving Iran’s then-ambassador to Germany Reza Sheikh Attar, whom Iranian Kurdish dissidents accuse of massacring Kurds during his tenure as governor of the Kurdistan and West Azerbaijan provinces between 1980 and 1985. Germany’s largest daily paper, Bild, dubbed her “Loser of the Day” on its front page because of her sympathy for Iran’s regime.

Turkey's Dance with Jihadists

By Burak Bekdil
Turkish columnist Anmet Hakan was curious why the articles of the Turkish Penal Code that regulate "praising crime and criminals" were never applied to Islamists, while Turkish prosecutors, citing the same article, have the habit of indicting thousands of other individuals.
On Jan. 16, Muslims in Istanbul's devout Fatih district went to the mosque for their usual Friday prayers. Before crowds appeared in front of the mosque, everything looked normal. It was going to be just another day of quiet prayers. But this time, mosque-goers gathered earlier than the usual hour. They were there to hold funeral services (in absentia) for the terrorists who had perpetrated the Paris attacks and killed - the Kouachi brothers. Then the worshippers at the mosque held a demonstration and opened up placards:
"If freedom of expression has no limits, be prepared for our freedom to commit actions with no limits."
"We are threatening (you)! Do you dare?"
"We are all Kouachi" (in what appears like the Turkish response to the Charlie Hebdo slogan 'Je suis Charlie')
In a similar eulogy, members of the the Aczmendi Lodge in Istanbul conducted funeral prayers for the Kouachi brothers and praised them as "martyrs." And a billboard in the eastern town of Tatvan read: "Salute to the Kouachi brothers who avenged the Messenger of Allah. May Allah accept your martyrdom." [].
All of which prompted prominent Turkish columnist Anmet Hakan to ask in the daily, Hurriyet: "Are Muslims who are killed by other Muslims the orphans of the Muslim world?" He was curious why the articles of the Turkish Penal Code that regulate "praising crime and criminals" were never applied to Islamist protesters while Turkish prosecutors, citing the same article, have the habit of indicting thousands of other indivuduals. Good question. But it will most likely remain unanswered. Forever.
The fact is, Turkey's ruling Islamists and their judges probably do not view the Kouachi brothers as people whose praise should amount to offence on the basis of praising criminals. On a de facto basis, perhaps, the Kouachi brothers are not even viewed as criminals. But that should not come as a surprise for a country whose prime minister has just offered a red-carpet welcome ceremony to Khaleed Mashal, head of Hamas' political bureau. [].
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who, ironically, was among the many statesmen from across the world who marched in Paris for solidarity with the victims and denounce terror, thinks that Israel's Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is no different than the Kouachi brothers who left behind 17 dead. Davutoglu said that Netanyahu has committed crimes against humanity the same like those terrorists who carried out the Paris massacre. Insane? Just Turkish Islamism. [].
Rafael Sadi, one of about 200,000 Turkish Jews living in Israel, wrote an open letter to Davutoglu:
"I have just watched your speech likening the Israeli prime minister to terrorists...
"It is truly saddening that the country whose prime minister who likened a man defending his country against Arab terrorism that has been unstoppably targeting it for the last 67 years is my first country...
" As the prime minister of a country that has lost 40,000 citizens in terrorism, could you explain to me how should we treat those who come to kill our children?
"You call the leaders of the Hamas terror organization 'my brothers.' Your country, only last year, sent $300 million to Hamas in financial aid. (The Turkish missile company) Roketsan sent to Hamas, through the company Tewazun, 10,000rocket parts... And shamelessly you liken a prime minister who has devoted himself to protect his country to terrorists...
"I have felt pain [of your words], being a Turkish Jew and an Israeli citizen. Turkey does not deserve a prime ministerial attitude as such..."
Ironically, Turkey's systematic euphemism for Islamist terrorism comes at a time when the country itself is exposed to the risk of being a target of the kind of men Turks praise as martyrs. Recently, a police intelligence report raised red alert over 3,000 or so people in Turkey with links to the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which runs a Sharia zone in parts of Syria and Iraq. The police are deeply concerned over possible future acts of terror ISIL's "sleeping cells" in Turkey may engage. Worse, the number of pro-ISIL sleepers in Turkey comes in addition to 700 to 1,000 Turks fighting for ISIL in Iraq and Syria. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has admitted Turkey's concern over their potential return to Turkey. [].
Davutoglu, Cavusoglu and their fellow Islamists in the Turkish cabinet should have thought about that grim possibility much earlier. In October, Metropoll, a Turkish pollster, found that "only a mere five percent of Turks felt sympathetic to ISIL." So, jihadist sentiment in Turkey was only marginal. But this author wrote at that time: "If a mere 5% of Turks feel sympathetic to ISIL, it means there are nearly 4 million souls residing in Turkey who feel sympathetic to jihadists. And that is too many. If 10% of ISIL sympathizers in Turkey decided to join the jihad, that would mean 400,000 new jihadists willing to fight across the border in Iraq and Syria, or inside Turkey if they think Ankara allied with the West against their Salafist comrades." [].
Davutoglu should be able to understand that if a terrorist decided to strike Turkey in the name of jihad his name will not be Benjamin Netanyahu.

Germany halts arms exports to Saudi Arabia

By Thomas Lifson  

Citing “instability,” Germany is cutting off arms sales to Saudi Arabia, one of its biggest export markets for weapons.  That can hardly be comforting move for the new monarch Salman as he faces an Iran-dominated Houthi regime on his southern borer in Yemen.
France24 reports:
Germany has decided to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia because of "instability in the region," German daily Bild reported on Sunday.
Weapons orders from Saudi Arabia have either been "rejected, pure and simple," or deferred for further consideration, the newspaper said, adding that the information has not been officially confirmed.
The decision was taken on Wednesday by the national security council, a government body that includes Chancellor Angela Merkel, Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel and seven other ministers, it said.
"According to government sources, the situation in the region is too unstable to ship arms there," added the daily.
The repressive Wahhabism practiced by the Saudis has become highly unpopular in Germany, according to Bild:
A survey carried out for Bild found that 78 percent of Germans believe Berlin should stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia -- and a further 60 percent want to break off trade ties all together -- due to human rights violations.
Germany managed to send its head of state to the Charlie Hebdo march (called by President Valerie Jarrett as “parade”), but is sending only a former president (not that important a position in Germany) to the King Abdullah memorial. In contrast, the US snubbed Charlie Hebdo, but President Obama changed his plans to pay respects to Abdullah. Draw your own conclusions.
The Sauds, a family with thousands of princes enjoying fabulous wealth based on oil, maintain power only because they have bought off the fundamentalist clergy and use their security forces to enforce both sharia and their power. Without the clergy, the danger of popular resistance is greatly feared.
But now, the world is paying more attention to the human rights outrages that are commonplace in the Kingdom, such as the weekly flogging of a blogger (which has been temporarily suspended owing to revulsion overseas) who voiced mild criticism of the clergy.
The instability cited by Chancellor Merkel will only increase. Waiting in the wings are the mullahs, who know that the oil producing regions are mostly inhabited by Shiites. If and when the mullahs make their move and take over Saudi and Emerati oil producing regions, the world will have a new superpower anxious for Armageddon to happen.
We are cursed to living in interesting – make that fascinating – times.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Nothing is Forgiven

TURKISH Islamic Magazine hits back at Charlie Hebdo
Turkish satirical magazine Cafcaf, the only publication in Turkey which places emphasis on Islamic values, has hit back to the Charlie Hebdo arrogance with a unique cover saying “Non, rien n’est pardonne” translated as “NO, nothing has been forgiven.”
ABNA 24  “Arrogance has become a habit of the European culture, who have placed themselves above others in a position where they are free and unquestionable and in turn, have elicited a significant response from the entire world,” the magazine said in a statement.
Charlie Hebdo, in their latest publication had put a caricature depicting the Prophet Mohammed shedding a tear and holding up a sign saying “Je suis Charlie”, the message of solidarity with the victims. Above the cartoon are the words, “All is forgiven”.
Cafcaf, in answer to Charlie Hebdo, showed pictures pointing to those who have been oppressed in Afghanistan, Gaza, Chechnya, Iraq, Syria, Egypt and China, with a Palestinian child in the front middle, all whose blood is still being spilt, saying nothing will be forgiven.
And I imagine that this is Charlie Hebdo’s response to the Cafcaf cover:
“Diversity” in Action
Europe is currently in the process of paying the price for years of importing millions of people from a culture hostile to the fundamental values of Western culture. And this is by no means the last of the installments of that price, to be paid in blood and lives, for smug elites’ Utopian self-indulgences in moral preening and gushing with the magic word “diversity.”

Greek Jewry Worried Over Far-Left Elections Win

The leftist and anti-austerity Syriza party has won the elections in Greece, international media reported Sunday, taking some 35-38% of the final votes, according to exit polls.
The win signals a reversal for the Greek government, as the ruling New Democratic Party came in distant second with 26-28% of the vote, according to BBC.
In third is the Neo-Nazi 'Golden Dawn' party, with 6.4-8% of the Greek vote.
The Jewish community in Greece has already raised some alarm over the developments. Leaders say that the relationship between Israel and Greece could be at stake.
"No doubt we will see a big change in the state of diplomatic relations between Greece and Israel, as well as the situation in Greece," a Jewish community member stated to Arutz Sheva Sunday on condition of anonymity.
Two members of the Syriza party had been aboard the Mavi Marmara flotilla which attempted to break the "siege on Gaza" in 2010.
Over 5,000 Jews live in Greece, which has experienced a sharp rise in anti-Israel and anti-Semitic attacks on Jewish sites and landmarks. The Larissa cemetery has been vandalized several times over the past two months, and the Israeli Embassy in Athens was shot at in December.
According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), 69% of Greeks believe in anti-Semitic stereotypes - the highest score outside the Middle East and Africa.

UK: The Green Party Plans to Decimate the Military – but Membership of ISIS Will Be Okayed

By Donna Rachel Edmunds 

Joining al Qaeda or ISIS should not be illegal, the leader of the Green Party has said. She could see no conflict between that and her party’s wish to downgrade much of Britain’s military. The party plans to turn a number of British military bases into nature reserves, convert military engineering firms over to manufacturing renewable energy technologies, and scrap the nuclear weapon deterrent. Speaking to Andrew Neil on today’s Sunday Politics, Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party confirmed that the Green Party’s policy document states that “it should not be a crime simply to belong to an organisation or have sympathy with its aims, though it should be a crime to aid and abet criminal acts or deliberately fund such acts.”
“This is a part of our policy that I think dates back to the age of the ANC and apartheid South Africa,” she said.
When quizzed on whether that meant people would be allowed to be members of al Qaeda or ISIS, she replied “Exactly. What we want to do is make sure we are not punishing people for what they think or what they believe.
“Obviously actions of inciting violence, supporting violence, those are absolutely unacceptable, illegal and should be pursued to the full extent of the law. What we are talking about is a principle that you shouldn’t be punished for what you think. And we need to balance, we do not protect freedom by destroying it.”
However, the policy document also states “the Green Party is committed to the early conversion of economic, scientific and technological resources presently used to support the arms race, to socially useful and productive ends. Some military training areas should be decommissioned and used as nature reserves, with suitable provision for access by the public.
“An imaginative programme of arms conversion could use many of the skills and resources at present tied up in military industry, to create new jobs and produce socially useful products. […] New renewable energy industries, for instance, could be set up in the same area and use the same skills and resources as the existing arms industries e.g. wave power (shipbuilding), wind power (aerospace) and tidal power (power engineering).”
“We obviously need to be able to defend our own borders, civil defence, and we have a real responsibility as a rich country to contribute to UN peacekeeping forces,” Ms Bennett said, but she was unwilling to put a figure on how many military personel might be cut.
On Thursday, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond warned tht Britain is at “very significant risk” of from a terror attack committed by ISIS (otherwise known as ISIL). “We have to regard ISIL as probably the greatest single immediate threat to Britain’s national security at the moment,” he said.
“There’s a very significant risk of an ISIL-inspired attack being planned and, if we are not successful in intercepting it, executed by ISIL sympathisers who live in the UK but are inspired by what is going on in Iraq and Syria.
“We know there are people out there who wish us harm and we have to be vigilant and we have to work extremely hard to make sure we identify and disrupt these plots before they come to the stage of an attack.”
The two policies are not the only contradictions contained within the Green Party’s policy book. They also want to bring in higher taxes for tobacco and alcohol, and want to impose a complete ban on advertising of alcohol, but at the same time want to decriminalise possession of class A and class B drugs for personal use, along with decriminalising the trade and cultivation of cannabis completely.
They also want to do away with border controls and promote free movement of people: “We will work to create a world of global inter-responsibility in which the concept of a ‘British national’ is irrelevant and outdated,” they say. But at the same time want an end to free trade agreements and to reintroduce tariffs for trade between Britain and the rest of Europe, tying the import duty levied on a product to the “ecologial impact” of making the goods.

Greece election: Exit polls suggest big Syriza win

Exit polls suggest a historic victory for the anti-austerity Syriza party in Greece's closely fought general election. One poll suggested Syriza took 35.5% of the votes, and the other suggested it took 39.5%, well ahead of the ruling New Democracy party on 23%-27%. It is unclear whether Syriza has enough votes to govern the country alone. Syriza's Alexis Tsipras has pledged to renegotiate Greece's debt arrangement with international creditors. He has also vowed to reverse many of the austerity measures adopted by Greece since a series of bailouts began in 2010.

UK: It should not be a crime to join ISIS, says Green party leader who does not want to punish people for what they think

The Green party does not believe people should be banned from joining ISIS or Al Qaeda, its leader claimed today. Natalie Bennett said people should not be punished for what they think and stressed it should 'not be a crime simply to belong to an organisation' More than 600 people from Britain are thought to have travelled to Syria and Iraq to join jihadists, with security forces warning returning fighters pose the biggest terror threat to Britain.

Saxony's premier Tillich says Islam is not part of Germany

The premier of the eastern German state of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, says he disagrees with Chancellor Merkel on the status of Islam in Germany. But he says he wants more immigrants in his state. Deutschland Demo der Anti-Islam-Bewegung Pegida in Dresden In an interview published on Sunday, Tillich told the paper Welt am Sonntag that he did not hold Chancelor Angela Merkel's recently expressed view that Islam was a part of Germany. "I do not share this opinion," Tillich said. "Muslims are welcome in Germany and can practice their religion. But this does not meant that Islam is part of Saxony." Tillich's remarks come amid a series of weekly marches by the "anti-Islamization" group PEGIDA (Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) in the Saxon capital, Dresden.

Liberman orders party to buy up, distribute Charlie Hebdo

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said Sunday he had instructed Yisrael Beytenu party activists to buy thousands of copies of the latest issue of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and distribute them to the public, pushing back against feared Muslim anger over the controversial weekly
“Israel cannot become an ISIS state — we will not allow radical Islam to intimidate us, and turn the State of Israel into a state that capitulates to threats and compromises the freedom of expression,” Liberman said in a statement, using an alternate term for Islamic State.

Abandonment of Jews is Blowin' in the Western Wind

By Giulio Meotti 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will speak to the Congress of the United States for the third time. Winston Churchill is the only other foreign leader to speak three times on Capitol Hill. President Obama and Secretary of State Kerry will return the favor by refusing to meet Netanyahu during his trip.Between Bibi and Barack reigns pure contempt. George Will, the Washington Post columnist, called Netanyahu "the anti Obama", the nemesis of the American president. The Israeli daily Maariv commented on the way the Obama Administration consistently receives the delegation from Jerusalem: "There is no exercise in humiliation that Americans have not tried with the prime minister and his entourage. Bibi received in the White House the same treatment of the president of Equatorial Guinea".
"A pain in the a..." is the way Obama describes Netanyahu. Obama has been photographed with shoes on the table in the Oval Office while on the phone with Netanyahu to reprimand him on the building of a few houses for "the settlers". When Obama visited Israel, two years ago, he embraced President Peres, but he only shook hands with Netanyahu. The expert on body language, Tonya Reiman, said that Obama shows "contempt in his eyes" for Netanyahu.
And during a previous visit of Netanyahu in Washington, the Israeli prime minister refused to capitulate to the White House's request to resume the negotiation process with the Palestinian Arabs. Obama stood up and said: "I am going to dinner with Michelle and the girls."
But this human contempt also reveals strategic political implications. No other country is interested in protecting the right of existence of Israel like the United States, which often blocks anti-Israel resolutions at the Security Council of the United Nations. The Israel-America axis dominated the international scene from 1948 to today. Yet, neo-isolationist Obama seems to see Israel as an asset no more, but as a problem to be managed or resolved.
There is a crisis between the European Diaspora and Israel as well. The leaders of the French Jewish community, terrified by the massacre at the kosher supermarket and other horrendous cases of Judeophobia, didn't like the invitation offered by Netanyahu to emigrate to Israel, to close the bracket of "exile" in Europe, the "galut".
In the Wall Street Journal, Bret Stephens writes that "it is time to pack bags for French Jews." It's true, Israel will benefit from this new wave of alyah. But Jerusalem will also lose a pillar in its relationship with Europe, the presence of strong Jewish communities in a continent where anti-Semitism has had a facelift.
Europe is seriously plagued by Israelophobia.  The former Dutch Minister of Economy Herman Heinsbroek just gave an interview in which he argued that it would be good to move the Jews from Israel to the United States: "It was a historical mistake to give the Jews a state in the midst of Islam". This is also the opinion of the European majority.
When the German Academic August Rohling, towards the end of the nineteenth century, said that the Jews had to be given civil rights but that it was necessary to ban them from political life, he helped to set the scene for future, atrocious persecutions. Today the West is trying to do the same with the abandonment of Israel. A few days ago the Jewish state disappeared from the maps of Harper Collins, the largest publishing house in the English language in the world.
The progressive isolation of Israel in international forums has meant that the culture of rights founded by Judaism is now used against the Jews, from the Geneva Convention to the charges of "crimes against humanity". The International Court of Justice has just opened an inquiry that could drag Israel in the dock.
The proverbial slowness and myopia of Dutch judges vanishes as soon as it comes to the Jewish state (the court has already condemned Jerusalem for having built a wall of defense against terrorist attacks). In March, William Schabas will present the long-awaited UN report on the Gaza war. It will not be a nice report for Israel.
Meanwhile, the terrorists of Hamas, no longer blacklisted by the European Union, can claim the "heroic" stabbings of Jewish commuters in Tel Aviv.
If this trend continues, in a few years the Jewish state will be treated as a "rogue state". Like North Korea. The poison of hatred is circulating in this international resentment.
Everywhere in the West the reality of the Jewish state has been obfuscated, waiting for the disappearance of this vulnerable enclave seen as a mere accident of history.