Sunday, May 03, 2015

Robbie Williams Defies BDS Calls: I Want to Come Back to Israel

Three days after arriving in Israel, British pop sensation Robbie Williams performed exuberantly before tens of thousands of Israeli fans Saturday night at Yarkon Park in Tel Aviv.
But that doesn't mean everyone was happy about the pop star's "Let Me Entertain You" tour coming to Israel.
Fellow British musician, Roger Waters, who has a habit of writing letters smearing Israel and urging boycott to every artist planning to perform there, took no time in doing just that with Robbie Williams.
Playing on William's role as UNICEF's UK ambassador and an ardent supporter of its Children in Danger campaign, Waters asserted the pop star was turning his back on Gazan children killed during last summer's Operation Protective.
"Dear Robbie, playing this concert on May 2 would be giving your tacit support to the deaths of over 500 Palestinian children last summer in Gaza," Waters wrote.
The 41-year-old musician, however, did not bow down to the pressure, instead expressing his excitement to the crowd at visiting Israel and playing its biggest arena.
Calling both the crowd and his time in Israel "amazing," Williams stressed his desire to return to the Jewish state.
"I was really really looking forward to coming here more than anywhere else I've played on this tour. I wanted to see you, I wanted to feel you, I wanted to know more about you, and I think I've done that and I want to come back again and stay a bit more time."
"It's all love folks, it's all love. You feel me?" Williams shouted to an overjoyed crowd.
israelnationalnews

The Erosion of Free Speech

By Denis MacEoin
  • "If PEN as a free speech organization can't defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name." — Salman Rushdie, former President of PEN.
  • Today, a genuine fear of retribution for a "blasphemous" statement has subdued the will to stand up for one's own beliefs, values and the right to speak out. This fear has made most of the West submissive, just as Islam -- in both its name [Islam means "submission"] and declarations -- openly wants.
  • This time, the condemnation had not come in a fatwa from Iran's Supreme leader, but from a Western academic. If we do not reverse this trend, censorship, blasphemy laws, and all the other encumbrances of totalitarians, will return to our lives. The bullies will win.
  • If Geert Wilders and others are being accused of hate speech, then why isn't the Koran -- with its calls for smiting necks and killing infidels -- also being accused of hate speech?
  • The mere criticism of a religious belief shared by many people mainly in the Third World has been linked, with no justification, to their genuine prejudice against the inhabitants of the developed world.
Anyone who has had much to do with publishing, or anyone who cares about books and free speech, will be familiar with the American Library Association's Office for Intellectual Freedom, an enduring champion of the First Amendment and the public's right to read whatever they please -- without the interference and censorship of self-appointed guardians of inoffensiveness and sexual purity.
Every year, the ALA mounts Banned Books Week, a nationwide celebration of our freedom to read. And every year it issues an unnerving list of Frequently Challenged Books. Unnerving because of the pettiness and obsession betrayed by the people who try to have books banned in local libraries, school boards, and even bookshops. For years, most of the attempts to ban books have come from fundamentalist Christian groups; the reasons have mainly been sex, offensive language, or "controversial issues," whatever they are. God forbid that anyone in the United States be exposed to "controversial issues."
This year a new note has entered Banned Books Week. Elizabeth McKinstry, a graduate student at Georgia's Valdosta State University (which earlier in April witnessed students trampling on the American flag) launched a petition about ALA's anti-censorship poster, calling it "Islamophobic." There is nothing on the poster, however, that relates in the slightest way to Islam. The poster shows the top of a woman's head, then her clothed chest and arms. She is not wearing Islamic dress on her head, and her arms and hands are bare. In front of her face she holds what looks like a book bearing the text "Readstricted." Her eyes can be seen looking through the cover where it bears the universal symbol for "Restricted" (a red circle with a white bar). That is all.
In her petition, McKinstry writes, "This poster uses undeniably Islamophobic imagery of a woman in a niqab, appears to equate Islam with censorship, and muslim (sic) women as victims." She goes on to demand that the poster be "removed immediately from the ALA Graphics store, and the ALA Graphics Store and Office of Intellectual Freedom should apologize and explain how they will prevent using discriminatory imagery in the future." To make matters worse, she goes on to write: "Whether the poster was intentionally or accidentally a racist design, it is still racist and alienating."
Not only is this possibly an example of political correctness in overdrive, but the greater irony lies in that McKinstry is studying for an MA in library and information science; works as a library associate, and is a member of the ALA. Here we see a distortion of thinking that is grotesque: a person claiming to be "progressive," trying to ban an anti-censorship poster in an organization that works to end censorship.
* * *

PEN International is known worldwide as an association of writers. Together they work tirelessly for the freedom of authors from imprisonment, torture, or other restrictions on their freedom to write honestly and controversially. This year, PEN's American Center plans to present its annual Freedom of Expression Award during its May 5 gala to the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The award will be handed to Gerard Biart, the publication's editor-in-chief, and to Jean-Baptiste Thorat, a staff member who arrived late on the day when Muslim radicals slaughtered twelve of his colleagues. This is the sort of thing PEN does well: upholding everyone's right to speak out even when offence is taken.
This year, however, six PEN members, almost predictably, have already condemned the decision to give the award to Charlie Hebdo, and have refused to attend the gala. Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje, Francine Prose, Teju Cole, Rachel Kushner and Taiye Selasi have exercised their right to double standards by blaming Charlie Hebdo for its offensiveness. Kushner expressed her discomfort with the magazine's "cultural intolerance." Does that mean that PEN should never have supported Salman Rushdie for having offended millions of Muslims just to express his feelings about Islam?
Peter Carey expressed his support, not for the satirists, but for the Muslim minority in France, speaking of "PEN's seeming blindness to the cultural arrogance of the French nation, which does not recognize its moral obligation to a large and disempowered segment of their population." We never heard him speaking out when Ilan Halimi was tortured to death for weeks, or when Jews in Toulouse were shot. He seems to be saying that the French government should shut up any writer or artist who offends the extreme sensitivities of a small percent of its population.
Teju Cole remarked, in the wake of the killings, that Charlie Hebdo claimed to offend all parties but had recently "gone specifically for racist and Islamophobic provocations." But Islam is not a race, and the magazine has never been racist, so why charge that in response to the sort of free speech PEN has always worked hard to advance?
A sensible and nuanced rebuttal of these charges came from Salman Rushdie himself, a former president of PEN: "If PEN as a free speech organization can't defend and celebrate people who have been murdered for drawing pictures, then frankly the organization is not worth the name. What I would say to both Peter and Michael and the others is, I hope nobody ever comes after them."
Those six have now morphed into something like 145. By April 30, Carey and they were joined by another 139 members who signed a protest petition. Writers, some distinguished, some obscure, have taken up their pens to defy the principle of free speech in an organization dedicated to free speech, and many of whom live in a land that protects it precisely for their benefit with a First Amendment.
Another irony, at least as distasteful as the one just described, took place on April 22, when Northern Ireland's leading academic institution, Queen's University in Belfast, cancelled a conference planned for June. The conference, organized by the university's Institute for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, was about free speech after the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris. You could not make this up. The reason given was that the institute had not prepared a proper risk assessment. Risk? Risk to what? To free speech? What a silly thought! No, it turned out to be risk of an Islamist attack in Belfast, a city long weary from terrorism.
The following day, the University of Maryland, many miles to the west, banned a showing of the film American Sniper after complaints from Muslim students. Whether the film was good or bad, free speech was snuffed.[1]
The oddity is that today, newspaper headlines, news websites, radio and television news bulletins are packed every day with stories about the chaos in the Middle East, the threat of Iranian access to nuclear weapons, the march of ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taliban, al-Shabaab, and dozens of other terrorist groups across the region. This year's Charlie Hebdo and kosher supermarket slayings, the rise of anti-Semitism across Europe (closely linked to Islamism), demonstrations filling the streets with chants such as "Hamas, Hamas Jews to the Gas," and all the other atrocities and social disjunctions that arise from the revival of fundamentalist Islam.
America and Britain have fought, with allies, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as of this writing the United States carrying out air strikes against ISIS in Syria.
Such news stories are not occasional, they are everyday. Stories of this kind are seldom crowded out by anything but he most important news items, such as a major airline crash or significant domestic political events. Such stories are even more visible, particular the immense explosion of news outlets since the 1990s, than the Cold War ever was. The citizens of America, Europe, Canada, Australia and (above all) Israel do not face a remote threat from a distant country, but daily threats of being blown up in their own streets almost every day. The British security services announce almost daily the likelihood of a terrorist event.
But where are the novels? Where are the Le Carrés and Ludlums, the Flemings and Clancys? The number of novels dealing with Islamist, terrorist, or state-sponsored threats to the world's stability (and hence to our own stability and safety) are so few in number, I cannot remember even one. Back to the comfort zone.[2]
This bears thinking about. Is it just a matter of fashion, or are there deeper reasons for this apparent neglect of the most important political and military issues of the present day? Is the literary issue a canary in a coal mine of much greater extent?
The answer is yes. Western culture, once built in part on the principle of free speech, a principle enshrined in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment and promoted in all liberal democracies, has been weakened by attacks on the right of everyone to right to speak openly about politics, religion, sexuality, and a host of other things.
The first blow to free speech came in 1988 with demonstrations and riots over British author Salman Rushdie's controversial novel, The Satanic Verses; and fears grew in the following year when Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling on Muslims to kill Rushdie.
Many people died in riots or were murdered because of association with the book. Bookshops were firebombed in the U.S. and UK; publishers were attacked; booksellers often refused to stock the novel; editors wrote to authors like myself asking us to decide whether some forthcoming publications dealing with Islam could be safely published, and free speech was under attack.

The most harmful blow, however, came when some Western so-called intellectuals and religious leaders condemned Rushdie and supported a ban on his novel. Immanuel Jakobovits, Chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, opposed the book's publication.[3] The Archbishop of Canterbury called for a law of blasphemy that would cover other religions than just Christianity, opening up the spectre that religions, even violent ones such as Islam, could be privileged above other societal actors in a democracy.[4] Sadly, this pattern of betrayal by Western thinkers has been repeated ever since.
What impact has this had? Here is a simple example. Early in 2012, a controversy stormed up in church circles in the United States. Three well-known Christian publishers, Wycliffe Bible Translators, the Summer Institute of Linguistics (SIL) and Frontiers were accused of having pandered to Muslims in their new Arabic and Turkish translations of the New Testament. The translators had replaced terms such as Father (for God) and Son to conform to the Qur'anic doctrine that God did not have a son and was not a father of anyone. In the Frontiers and SIL translation into Turkish, "guardian" replaces "Father" and "representative" or "proxy" is used for "Son." Such considerations did not deter earlier Bible translators into Islamic language from an honest statement of a fundamental Christian doctrine. But today, a genuine fear of retribution for a "blasphemous" statement has subdued the will to stand up for one's own beliefs, values and the right to speak out. This fear has made much of the West submissive, just as Islam – in both its name [Islam means "submission"] and declarations – openly wants.
Since then, the attacks from Islamists on this most basic of Western principles – the central plank in the platform of true democracy and the feature that most distinguishes it from totalitarianism of all forms – have multiplied, culminating in the slaughter carried out by Muslims extremists at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris on January 7, 2015.
Beneath the sporadic physical assaults lies a deeper layer of coercion: the fear lest anyone commit that apparently most unforgiveable crime of all, "Islamophobia!" It now seems that almost anything non-Muslims do may result in such accusations -- a bigotry that has also become conflated with racism. The mere criticism of a religious belief shared by people mainly in the Third World has been linked, with no justification, to their genuine prejudice against the inhabitants of the developed world. But since it is Muslims who have been allowed to define "Islamophobia," often at whim, even the mildest remarks can lead to serious accusation, lawsuits, and criminal attack.[5]
Since then, as with Sherry Jones's The Jewel of Medina, historically "revised" to be sympathetic to Islam, Random House, only days after the date was announced, cancelled the novel. Its spokesperson stated that the publishing house had been given "cautionary advice not only that the publication of this book might be offensive to some in the Muslim community, but also that it could incite acts of violence by a small, radical segment."[6]
This time, the condemnation had not come in a fatwa from Iran's Supreme Leader, but from a Western academic, whose identity is not known to me. On September 28, Ali Beheshti, a British extremist, and two accomplices set fire to the house of the owner of the UK publishing company that had bought The Jewel of Medina. Fortunately, no-one was killed. But the vise of subjugation to Islamic dictats was tightening round the neck of the free world.
Although Gibbons and Jones muddled through the incident, their story is, I believe, even more important than that of Salman Rushdie.
Rushdie knew he was being controversial; for those who protested, the attacks on him, however reprehensible, had a bizarre justification. condemnation from Western academics, journalists, interfaith clerics, and politicians shows not how successful intimidation has become, but how timid and craven we have become. To surrender with such spinelessness can only mean that we have entered the first stages of the decline of the Enlightenment values that made the modern West the greatest upholder of human rights and freedoms in history.
Criticism of Islam and everything else will -- and should -- continue, produced by courageous writers and journalists. Certainly, we know how many times politicians in the United States and Europe have delusionally tried to persuade us that Islamist violence "has nothing to do with Islam."
There have been many attacks and murders already. Perhaps the best known of these – until the Charlie Hebdo murders – was the homicidal attack on Dutch film-maker, Theo van Gogh, on November 2, 2004. Van Gogh had directed a short film called Submission, written by Muslim dissident Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has worked extensively in women's shelters in the Netherlands, where she had observed that most of the women were Muslim. Van Gogh's killer, a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan named Mohammed Bouyeri, now serving a life sentence, has described democracy as utterly abhorrent to Islam. (This view, for anyone who cares about the continuation of the West, is held by many Muslims. For them, democracy made by man, is illegitimate, compared to shari'a law, made by Allah, and therefore the only form of government that is legitimate.) In court, he said that 'the law [shari'a law] compels me to chop off the head of anyone who insults Allah and the prophet."
The threat of murder has become ever more real. It is no longer possible to dismiss death threats from Muslims as the work of "lone wolves," "deviant personalities," or attention seekers. It is the use of death threats that has given radical Muslims the power to deter most writers, film-makers, TV producers, and politicians from tackling Islamic issues. The threat of calling people "racist" as a tool for suppressing critical voices has cast a dark shadow over normal democratic life. Some have died for free speech about Islam; others have faced ostracism, imprisonment, flogging and the loss of a normal life. [7]
Salman Rushdie lives under constant watch. Molly Norris, an American cartoonist has lived in hiding since 2010. On advice from the FBI, she changed her identity and cut off all links with family and friends and the Dutch politician Geert Wilders has been tried for "hate speech," barely acquitted, and is now being tried for "hate speech" again.
These are just a few of the casualties who have paid a heavy price for their willingness to treat Islam as any of us might treat other subjects or other faiths. No Christian scholar will be tried for arguing that the Gospels contain contradictions, no Reform Jew will be arraigned for criticism of ultra-Orthodox beliefs, no politician will be brought before the law for denouncing the ideologies of Communism or Fascism. You can say that Karl Marx was misguided or that a U.S. president is terrible, and on and on, without dreading for a moment an assassin's footfall or being locked up for your remarks.
Incidents such as these or UK Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband's promise to make Islamophobia a hate crime (meanwhile without defining Islamophobia) illustrate the most dangerous result of Islamic agitation and asserted victimhood: it has caused us to turn on ourselves, to abandon our commitment to free speech, open academic enquiry, and the readiness to question everything – the very qualities that have made us strong in the past. When Western so-called intellectuals such as Ian Buruma and Timothy Garton Ash condemn a Muslim apostate such as Ayaan Hirsi Ali for her criticisms of radical Islamism, or when Brandeis University recently withdrew its offer of an honorary degree for Ms. Ali when Muslim students object, we see our intellectual foundations shake. [8]
It is also necessary to ask if Geert Wilders and others are being accused of hate speech, then why isn't the Koran – with its calls for smiting necks and killing infidels -- also being accused of hate speech?
If we do not reverse this trend of submission, censorship, blasphemy laws and all the other encumbrances of totalitarianism will return to our lives. The bullies will win, and the Enlightenment will fade and pass away from mankind. Political correctness and shari'a law will rule. How tragic if a senseless fear causes us to do this to ourselves.
Denis MacEoin is a lecturer in Arabic and Islamic Studies. He has an MA in Persian, Arabic and Islamic Studies from Edinburgh University, a PhD in Persian Studies from Cambridge (King's College) and an MA in English Language and Literature from Trinity College, Dublin.

[1] If you are old enough to remember the Cold War, you will also recall the remarkable outpouring of literary engagement with the issues it provoked. Not just dissident narratives like Aleksandr Solzhenitsin's Gulag Archipelago or novels such as his One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovitch, but the many spy thrillers by mainly British authors like John Le Carré, Len Deighton, Ian Fleming (the creator of James Bond), and many others, Trevor Dudley-Smith ('Adam Hall'), and Jack Higgins. Later, several Americans came to match the popularity of their British counterparts: Tom Clancy, Robert Ludlum, Nelson DeMille, and others. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union as a threat, Cold War themes rapidly died out.
[2] There have been several films such as The Siege or the more recent American Sniper, and TV shows such as Homeland and the BBC's award-winning drama The Honourable Woman. In 2014, a new drama appeared on BBC America and is due to play in the UK this April: The Game is set in the 1970s and tells a story of spies fighting the Cold War.
[3] The Times, 4 March 1989.
[4] Michael Walzer, "The Sins of Salman," The New Republic, 10 April 1989.
[5] The most notorious of the many cases involving perceptions of blasphemy started November 25, 2007, when an English kindergarten teacher at a school in Sudan, Gillian Gibbons, was arrested, interrogated and finally put in a cell at a local police station. Her crime? She had allowed her class of six-year olds to name their teddy bear "Muhammad." From this innocent mistake, matters got worse for Gibbons. On November 26, 2007, she was formally charged under Section 125 of the Sudanese Criminal Act, for "insulting religion, inciting hatred, sexual harassment, racism, prostitution and showing contempt for religious beliefs. Sudan's top clerics have called for the full measure of the law [death] to be used against Mrs. Gibbons; and labeled her actions part of a Western plot against Islam.
She now faced imprisonment, a fine, or forty lashes. On November 29, she was found guilty of "insulting religion" and was sentenced to 15 days' imprisonment and deportation. The next day, approximately 10,000 protesters, some of them waving swords and machetes, took to the streets in Khartoum. They demanded Gibbons's execution after religious leaders denounced her during Friday prayers. During the march, chants could be heard of "Shame, shame on the UK," "No tolerance – execution" and "Kill her, kill her by firing squad."
In the end, Gibbons was released from jail and allowed to return to Britain. But her case put the fear of savagery in many people's hearts, as they recognized that it take nothing more than a slip of tongue to bring down death on oneself.
In yet another irony, Sherry Jones, an American writer who said she wanted to bring people together, wrote a novel entitled The Jewel of Medina, a story of the romance (if that is the word) between the Prophet Muhammad and his child bride A'isha, who came to be his most beloved wife. This was a noble project designed to show that Westerners are not all "Islamophobes," and written in sentimental prose to reassure Muslims of Jones's warm feelings towards their prophet. Random House bought the story for a large fee. Influenced by the leading apologist for Muhammad, the anti-historian, Karen Armstrong, Jones even bowdlerizes the tale, delaying consummation of the marriage until A'isha had fully attained puberty (despite what the Islamic historians tell us, which is that marriage was apparently consummated when A'isha was nine).
A publication date in 2008 was set and a nationwide tour planned – a promotion few new authors get. But neither Jones nor one of America's oldest and biggest publishing houses had reckoned with the fallout from The Satanic Verses.
[6] Cited Nick Cohen, You Can't Read this Book, rev. ed., London, 2013, p. 72.
[7] Danish author Lars Hedegaard has suffered an attack on his life and lives in a secret location. Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist, has suffered an axe attack that failed and is under permanent protection form the intelligence services. In 2009, Austrian, a politician, Susanne Winter, was found guilty of "anti-Muslim incitement," for saying, "In today's system, the Prophet Mohammad would be considered child-molester," and that Islam "should be thrown back where it came from, behind the Mediterranean." She was fined 24,000 euros ($31,000) and given a three-month suspended sentence. In 2011, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, an Austrian diplomat and teacher was put on trial for "denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion," found guilty twice, and ordered to pay a fine or face 60 days in prison. Some of her comments may have seemed extreme and fit for criticism, but the court's failure to engage with her historically accurate charge that Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl and continued to have sex with her until she turned eighteen, regarding her criticism of it as somehow defamatory, and the judge's decision to punish her for saying something that can be found in Islamic sources, illustrates the betrayal of Western values of free speech in defense of something we would normally penalize.
 gatestoneinstitute

'Red Ed' Miliband Gains Momentum; Could He be the UK's Next PM?

Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Ed Miliband
Written off as a weird Westminster insider who only became Labour Party leader by knifing his brother, Ed Miliband is now seen as having more than a sporting chance of being Britain's next prime minister.
Despite his awkward demeanor and frequent setbacks, the 45-year-old has retained an unerring self-confidence, which a growing number of people believe could propel him to the country's top job, as Britons head to the poll this week on May 7.
"I've been underestimated at every turn," he said in a fiery exchange with a fearsome interviewer, Jeremy Paxman, during a television grilling alongside Prime Minister David Cameron at the start of the campaign.
In sharp contrast to his often insipid performances against Cameron in parliament, Miliband has appeared energetic and enthused during recent campaign appearances, displaying an appetite for risk-taking.
He took part in a debate of opposition leaders, ignoring warnings he was on a hiding to nothing, and agreed to an interview with acid-tongued comedian Russell Brand, Britain's voice of anti-politics.
Miliband said the kitchen-table interview would make the campaign "more interesting" and he could yet have the last laugh if he manages to win over some of Brand's nine million Twitter followers - but it also earned him much derision among right-wing pundits.
And in a television appearance in which audience members criticized his party's record on public finances and pro-business policies, Miliband was on the defensive and stumbled as he left the stage.
He also appears to have been caught off-guard by the more dynamic style shown by Cameron in the dying days of the campaign following widespread criticism from both sides for a sterile run-up to Thursday's vote.
Healing rift
Notes that Miliband apparently left in the dressing room after one debate revealed that he had told himself to "relish the chance to show who I am" and present himself as a "happy warrior".
To his supporters, these tactics are now bearing fruit, and the turnaround has been remarkable since the time when his popularity rating sank to a low of minus 55 in November and rumours of a leadership coup.
But to his critics the change has been more evidence of Miliband's stage-managed persona.
The Financial Times last week said that being on his campaign "has the whiff of a western tourist's experience of Pyongyang", and journalists have complained of being hissed and heckled by hand-picked audiences when asking probing questions.
His old-fashioned left-wing beliefs have also attracted criticism - the right-wing media branding him "Red Ed" - as has his record on banking deregulation while working at the Treasury in the years before the financial crash of 2008.  
Perhaps most damaging, however, is the family rift that the fiercely ambitious Miliband created by taking on and beating his older brother David, a protege of former prime minister Tony Blair, for the Labour party leadership in 2010.
Ed said recently that the fraternal divisions are now "healing".  
His biographers Mehdi Hasan and James Macintyre said it was seen by some "as an almost biblical act of fratricide".
His brother left to work in the United States shortly after the defeat, but recently tweeted a picture of his postal vote with the hashtag "Ed4PM".
Miliband's trade union backing, lack of experience outside Westminster and rhetoric against multinationals have caused concern in the country's boardrooms - as reflected in an open letter signed by 100 executives during the campaign.
Miliband says he is standing up to the rich and powerful on behalf of Britons left struggling after years of austerity.
But the media reports have highlighted his multi-million-pound home, inheritance-tax arrangements and political privilege as examples of hypocrisy.
His opposition to a referendum on European Union membership, however, has support in the business community, as do his pledges to help smaller companies.
Steely backstabber?
The son of a prominent Marxist academic father and a campaigning activist mother, Miliband grew up in a highly politicized household where he took part from an early age in dinner parties attended by left-wing intellectuals from around the world.
He is married to a successful environmental lawyer, Justine Thornton, and they have two young sons.
His immigrant parents, both Jewish, lost many family members in the Holocaust; if elected, he would by the United Kingdom's second-ever Jewish-born prime minister, after Anglican convert Benjamin Disraeli.
But despite his Jewish roots, Miliband and his party are deeply unpopular with British Jews for an increasingly aggressive stance towards Israel, as well as several controversies over anti-Semitism.
A recent poll indicated that the vast majority of Britain's 250,000 or so Jews would be voting for the center-rights Conservative Party led by Prime Minister David Cameron.
But his party is more popular among the UK's roughly three million-strong Muslim community.
"Despite the setbacks he has suffered, he never despairs. He is steely," said Iain Begg, a politics professor at the London School of Economics.
"After all, he stabbed his brother in the back to take over the leadership of the Labour party. Not everyone could do that."
 israelnationalnews

Norway: Union not sure whether to ban antisemitic sign at May 1st parade dedicated to fighting antisemitism

Via Adressavisen (h/t On Elpeleg):

For the past three years antisemitic professor Trond Andresen has come to the traditional May 1st parade in Trondheim with this sign.




The sign says: 'The continuous whining about antisemitism is a diversion tactic... that is beginning to get old"

This year he was called out on it.  Art historian Daniel Johansen wrote that the organizing committee should ban racist and antisemitic placards such as this one.

At first the union leader in Trondheim, John-Peder Denstad, refused to do anything.

But after the issue hit the news, some left-wingers got to the conclusion that the sign is really out of place.  Peder Martin Lysestøl, a board member of the Palestine Committee, asked Andresen to leave the sign at home.  The union also asked Andersen to drop the sign.  Because May 1st is about unity, and this issue is creating disunity.

The antisemitic content of the sign apparently did not bother them, but rather the argument over it.  It certainly did not bother them in previous years.

Andersen says that the sign is just portraying facts.  Anybody who criticizes Israel is accused of antisemitism, and Jews do not suffer from hate.

The main slogan this year for the May 1st parade was "Fight antisemitism and Islam-hatred".

In the end, this was what Andresen came up with.  He put a smiley face over "The continuous whining about antisemitism" part.  The sign is now no longer antisemitic.


Note the "boycott Israel" sign in the background.  This is what Norwegians call a march against antisemitism.
 antisemitism-europe

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Majority of French Want Rid of Miliband’s Hero Hollande

Britain's Labour party leader Ed Miliban
By Andre Walker 

The French people have given the thumbs down to Francois Hollande’s plan to re-stand as President in 2017. Eighty percent of the public said they did not want the socialist politician to continue despite his ambitions to stay in Élysée Palace. Hollande’s leadership has long been seen as a blueprint for what Ed Miliband would do in Britain if he is elected Prime Minister on Thursday. The two men are reported to enjoy a close relationship, and share a fiercely anti-austerity agenda.
The latest poll was carried out by the CSA institute for news website Atlantico. It showed the same proportion of people surveyed, 81 percent, also thought Hollande’s record in office was “negative”.
“The reasons are diverse,” Yves-Marie Cann, who is in charge of political polls at the CSA, was quoted as saying by Atlantico. “The lack of track record in terms of the economy and social affairs has a significant impact, 1 1/2 years after the deadline for reversing the unemployment curve.”
Cann added: “The increase in fiscal pressure, the decline in purchasing power are also contributing to the negative sentiment.”
Miliband previously said of the French leader: “The points of agreement we have were around the fact that the tide is turning against an austerity approach, that there needs to be a different way forward found.”
He continued: “What President Hollande is seeking to do in France and what he is seeking to do in leading the debate in Europe is find that different way forward.”
The number of people out of work in France rose again in March, showing that gradually improving economic data have yet to translate into job market gains in the euro zone’s second-biggest economy. Hollande has said he will not seek a new term in 2017 unless unemployment is tangibly falling by then.
Hollande’s policies have also led to a ‘brain drain’ from the country, with business leaders leaving France in favour of places like London.
 breitbart/

Irish Bachelor Party Revelers Wear Hitler Masks, Verbally Abuse Locals Near Prague’s Jewish Quarter



By Shiryn Ghermezian 

Participants in an Irish bachelor party donned Hitler masks and verbally abused locals who confronted them just feet away from the Jewish Quarter in Prague, the Irish Mirror reported on Friday.
The incident occurred on April 24 when a  group of 25 to 30 men from the Irish city of Cork gathered at the patio of a bar in Prague, said pub owner Frank Haughton. He said the revelers harangued people who approached them about the inappropriate masks, saying “we can do whatever we want.” The rowdy group also groped Haughton’s female staff and made sexually offensive comments.
“They were a disgrace to themselves, their families, and a huge embarrassment to Ireland,” he told the Irish Examiner. “The sad part is that these guys were of mixed ages, some of whom should have known better. But their language, their inability to have any respect for anything, was repulsive.  These guys just didn’t give a damn.”
Haughton called out the group of men for their insensitivity, abuse of “quiet elderly customers” — who pointed out that wearing the Hitler masks was shameful — and “vulgar treatment of waitresses as sex objects.” He said “words cannot describe” their behavior, explaining that he had hosted several bachelor parties in his venues over the last 22 years but none were as “truly repulsive” as this group. He said the men should be “absolutely ashamed of their behavior.”
“There are two in the ‘truly repulsive’ category that really stand out and it is with sadness and shame that I must state that both came from Ireland,” he added.
Haughton said the group were asked to leave after the bar manager stopped serving them. He has since hired full-time weekend security, Irish Mirror reported.
The father-of-the-bride defended his future son-in-law’s actions, saying the group of men are too young to understand why a Hitler mask could be offensive.
“There is no malice in them, there’s no harm. They went away for a nice time. You can’t control all the people there,” he said on a radio station in Cork. “[My future son-in-law] is a lovely guy and he’s quiet. You wouldn’t hear him behind a paper bag.”
He added, “A lot of them are in their 20s and their 30s – they probably hadn’t a clue what was going on in World War II, they probably didn’t know it was the former [Czechoslovakia].”
The man said he was not at the bachelor party but that if he was, he would have stopped the group’s “very, very inappropriate” behavior. He admitted that his daughter does not know about the incident and that he would be angry if he saw her treated like the bar’s waitresses. The father-of-the-bride called the group of men “a very decent bunch of guys” and explained that they later apologized for their actions.
“What they did was inappropriate but when they found out what happened they apologized, now, who they apologized to I just don’t know.”
 algemeiner

It’s A Girl!

 The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge / AFP
Kensington Palace have announced that the Duchess of Cambridge delivered a baby girl at 0834hrs this morning.
The baby, which weighed 8lb 3 oz, will be fourth in line to the throne.
The Queen, the Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family have been informed and the Duchess and the baby are said to both be doing well.
The news will particularly please the Prince of Wales who said during an engagement this week he had hoped for a granddaughter. Prince William was also rumoured to have been hoping for a girl.
All eyes will now be on the doors of the Lindo Wing for the first glimpse of the latest addition to the Royal Family and speculation will now turn to the name of the Princess.
The two top choices with bookmakers are Alice and Charlotte, with Victoria and Elizabeth also high on the list of likely names.
The newborn will not only have British eyes on her but the interest of the Commonwealth countries she will also be a Princess in the 53 member states.
 breitbart

How Democracies Decay

By Burak Bekdil
  • Turkey's stealth Islamism and authoritarian practices are no longer stealth.
  • It is a powerful analogy showing how theoretically "democratic" Turkey is moving in the same direction as Germany's Weimar Republic did after 1933, in passing unconstitutional legislation.
"That [Turkey] sounds to me like the late Weimar Republic. So I would have no difficulty at all in agreeing that the logics of certain possibilities are being put together in ways that seem very reminiscent to the broader context of right-wing thought in Weimar Republic, especially after 1930." Thus commented Geoff Eley, a British-born historian whose early work focused on the radical nationalism in Imperial Germany, and, in Italy, fascism.
It is a powerful analogy showing how theoretically "democratic" Turkey is moving in the same direction as Germany's Weimar Republic did after1933.
Historians often refer to Germany's federal republic and semi-presidential representative democracy, which in 1919 replaced imperial rule, as the Weimar Republic.
After a period of relatively liberal democracy, President Paul von Hindenburg in 1930 assumed dictatorial emergency powers to back the administrations of three German chancellors, and finally Hitler.
The year 1933 would mark the ascent to power of the Nazi Party; its immediate measures would include unconstitutional legislation. This would be the beginning of the Third Reich.
Turkey's own 1933 was the year 2011 when then Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan won his third consecutive parliamentary election victory since 2002, with a landslide 49.5% of the national vote. Eley's Turkish-German analogy is not unfounded.
Shortly before the parliamentary elections in 2011, a prominent opposition deputy visited Sakarya, a province not far from Istanbul. Muharrem Ince, from the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP), got on a minibus and made a speech to locals for about 15 minutes. Later, Ince would learn that a prosecutor had charged him with "blocking the city traffic by speaking on a minibus and attempting to wear down the government."
The prosecutor asked parliament to remove Ince's immunity so that he could stand trial. Ince was probably the first MP in the world accused by the judicial authorities of trying to wear down the government. Later that year, in a speech in parliament, Ince said: "In fact I am not trying to wear down the government. I am trying to topple the government!"
An indictment was later sent to parliament to put Ince on trial for his "offense," but he has not stood trial, thanks to his parliamentary immunity.
Nearly four years later, Turkey's stealth Islamism and authoritarian practices are no longer stealth.
Recently, the country's television and radio regulator, RTUK, fined a private television station 311,000 Turkish liras (nearly $180,000) because a character in one of the soap operas it broadcasts was shown drinking a bottle of beer, with the beer's logo visible on the screen. RTUK cited competition laws for the fine, but the same competition rules are not applied for products not banned in Islam. Turkish TV stations, fearing heavy fines, usually blur alcoholic beverages if, for example, a scene shows James Bond drinking his favorite pink champagne.
But it is not only about beverages that violate Islamic rules. The Islamist Weimar Republic would ban anything it would deem "inappropriate." The members of the Turkish rock band, Grup Yorum, a popular leftist and anti-government group, were appalled when they went to a concert hall to prepare for their planned April 12 concert in Istanbul. They had gotten all the necessary permits from the government. But fans were told the concert had been cancelled, so they went to the concert to protest the cancellation. Then the riot police arrived with water cannon trucks to disperse the band members in case they refused to follow orders. They would learn from the police that the permission for their concert had been cancelled on grounds that "at a time when the country goes through a [politically] tense period their concert might cause undesired incidents."
Not typical of pre-concert scenes in any sane country, on April 12, Istanbul police used water cannons and rubber bullets against Grup Yorum's fans, and detained several of them. The fans were there to protest the denial of permission for the concert. Several hours before the fans gathered, the police had blocked the roads leading to the square where the band would have performed. The protesters fled into side streets in the area as police pursued them. Police helicopters flew over the area. Such were the scenes from a concert Turkey's Islamist Weimar rulers did not want take place. It did not.
Istanbul riot police rough up fans of the band Grup Yorum who protested the government's cancellation of the band's concert, April 12, 2015. The police stated that permission for the concert was revoked because it could have led to "undesired incidents" in the current "tense period."
Turkey seems to have no limits in undemocratic absurdity. Last month, the Turkish state-owned broadcaster, TRT, banned the CHP opposition party's election campaign advertisement "because it directly targets the government." Opposition MPs angrily accused TRT of "abusing public office." The state-owned company has so far refused to comment on how a paid election advertisement could be banned in a democracy. CHP's deputy leader, Bulent Tezcan, said, "By taking the decision not to broadcast the advertisement, TRT has created a new scandal. The main purpose of state-funded television in all democratic countries is fairness of broadcasting."
Worse days may be ahead of CHP -- and any other opposition party. In 2011, a party official was indicted for making propaganda against the government. Today, its TV ad is banned for "directly targeting the government." By 2019, the opposition party itself may be banned for snatching millions of votes from the government.
 gatestoneinstitute

Friday, May 01, 2015

Migrants set up shanty towns in Paris – and they're heading to Britain to claim asylum

A migrant camp
Hundreds of migrants planning to seek asylum are living in squalid makeshift camps – just yards from where trains leave for Britain.Some 600 people have pitched tents on two sites in Paris – one underneath Charles de Gaulle bridge and the other near the Gare du Nord Eurostar terminal. Many arrived on boats from North Africa after paying traffickers thousands of pounds – but failed to cross the Channel from Calais. And there are 1,000 more migrants living in the French port town, despite repeated attempts to shut down the camps. Bruno Horel, head of homeless charity Emmaus, said: "These are people who have experienced tragedy and trauma. "These camps are expanding, but the conditions are not adequate," he told the Mail. "We need solutions for lodging. "We expect many to move on as they try to reach the UK or other countries, but we expect them to be replaced by more." Amanuel paid traffickers over £1,000 to reach Libya – then almost £1,500 on a "very dangerous" boat across the Mediterranean. The 21-year-old Eritrean spent three days on the boat with around 350 people – and some, including his friends, died. He has tried to get on a train from Paris to Calais three times but was caught by the police. He added: "We'll try again. "That's our life for the moment. "But we hope it will get better once we reach the UK."Last month Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart blamed Britain's benefits system for the migrant crisis. She revealed that migrants "expect better conditions" in Britain than anywhere else in the world. She said: "There are no ID cards. "They can easily find work outside the formal economy, which is not really controlled. "They can get social welfare support that doesn't exist in other countries." Bouchart added: "It's migrants themselves who arrive in England, and who pass on the message that there is plenty more space for migrants to come."
 express

Germany: Frankfurt professional bike race canceled over jihad plot

This is just what the jihad terrorists want: to compel non-Muslims to curtail their behavior and live in fear. This cancellation will only provoke more jihad terror threats.
“Frankfurt bike race cancelled over Islamist terror plot arrests,” by Justin Huggler, Telegraph, May 1, 2015 (thanks to Pamela Geller):
Police in Frankfurt ordered the cancellation of a professional cycling race hours before it was set to begin on Friday, over fears of an imminent Islamist terror attack.
A married couple living nearby were arrested overnight, after police found a pipe bomb, assault rifle and ammunition for a bazooka inside their home.
The arrested couple have been identified only as Halil D, 35, and Senay D, 34, under strict German privacy laws.
Halil D, a German citizen of Turkish origin is known to have ties to Islamist extremist groups, according to the police.
His wife is believed to be a Turkish citizen.
The couple’s home was raided after Halil D was spotted hanging around car parks and repeatedly walking the route of the annual Eschborn-Frankfurt City Loop race where it runs through woodland.
Police said they had no concrete evidence of a direct threat to the race, but ordered it to be called off as a precautionary measure.
Some 200 police officers searched the route of the race on Thursday.
Over 100 rounds of assault rifle ammunition and bomb-making ingredients were also found in the couple’s home.
Police said it was unclear whether they were acting alone or part of a wider network.
“The accused had ties to the extremist scene in the Rhine-Main area,” Albrecht Schreiber, the head of the Frankfurt prosecutors’ office, told reporters.
Citing unnamed sources close to the investigation, *Welt* newspaper claimed Halil D has links to the Algerian-based group al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM)….
 jihadwatch

40 Person Mob Assaults 2 Jews on Paris’ Boulevard Voltaire

By Eliezer Sherman

Two Jews were attacked by a 40 person mob on Paris' Boulevard Voltaire on Friday. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Two Jewish residents of Paris were assaulted on the street by a gang of about 40 people on Friday, Israeli French JSS News reported on Friday.
The attack against the two Jewish residents, both in their 20s, occurred about 2:30 p.m. on Boulevard Voltaire in Paris’ 11 arrondissement, according to the report.
Police launched an investigation into the incident and warned local Jewish businesses owners to be extra vigilant, JSS News said.
Witnesses on the scene said members of the Jewish community volunteered to watch over the many local Jewish businesses on Boulevard Voltaire, according to French antisemitism watchdog group the Bureau National de Vigilance Contre l’Antisemitisme.
The gang of attackers were associated with anti-Israel groups Gaza Firm and the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign, said security personnel responsible for protecting the Jewish community.
The attack marks the latest in a growing antisemitic trend in France and Europe as a whole. Earlier this year, Islamist gunmen seized a Kosher supermarket in Paris and killed four Jewish hostages. Just a few weeks later, a security guard was killed in Copenhagen when a lone gunman opened fire in front of the city’s Great Synagogue.
In 2006, a French Jew was kidnapped from his cell phone store from the same Boulevard Voltaire, tortured and ultimately killed.

UK: Usual Suspects Line Up to Support Disgraced Ex-Mayor of Tower Hamlets

By Sarkis Zeronian 

George Galloway, Ken Livingstone and Len McCluskey gave their public backing to Lutfur Rahman, ousted mayor of Tower Hamlets, during a rally of supporters held last night in east London, reports The Evening Standard. The event came soon after Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Eric Pickles, announced strengthened intervention in the running of the troubled London borough following the finding that Rahman used religious intimidation and vote-rigging, amongst other tactics, to gain power.
George Galloway, Respect Party leader and parliamentary candidate for Bradford West in next week’s general election, spoke via a recorded message in which he described the Election Court’s judgement as “an anti-democratic, anti-Islamic and racist coup.”
Ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone, also contributing via video link, blamed the judgement which he described as “politically motivated” on “an underlying fear of Islam.”
Len McCluskey’s support came in the form of a message read to the rally by the Unite union’s chief of staff, Andrew Murray. It read:
“I am not speaking in a personal capacity, I am speaking on behalf of the union…and I am sending a message of support from our general secretary, Len McCluskey. Unite is proud to associate ourselves with Lutfur Rahman.”
Unite is Britain’s biggest trade union and the Labour Party’s biggest donor. In using the authority of his union to support the discredited ex-mayor McCluskey puts it at odds with local Labour activists who welcomed the court’s ruling. The local Labour party has it’s own officially endorsed candidate for the rerun of the mayoral election to be held in June, London Assembly member John Biggs. Rahman has urged supporters to vote for his own preferred candidate, local councillor Rabina Khan.
This is the second time in a week that McCluskey has appeared to act independently of the Labour Party his union funds, having previously endorsed the idea of Labour/SNP coalition government in contradiction to party leadership statements. On this occasion his position was supported by another senior Labour activist, Christine Shawcross of the party’s National Executive Committee.
According to The Guardian Shawcross is also acting as a trustee of the “Luftur Rahman Legal Fund”. Attendees at the rally were handed pledge forms asking for financial contributions to the legal fund to provide for a potential judicial review of the decision of the court. Rahman has already been ordered to pay costs of £250,000 and his final bill, even prior to appeal, is expected to reach £1 million.
 breitbart

UK: HIV Positive Londoner Unable to Access Care Gives Human Face to Cost of Health Tourism

By Donna Rachel Edmunds 

A mixed-race HIV positive Londoner has written a letter of support to Nigel Farage following the Ukip leader’s remarks on HIV health tourism. The anonymous author, who describes himself as a “victim of HIV immigration”, details how his health is being put in jeopardy thanks to the system being overloaded. Mr Farage first raised the issue of HIV health tourism during the televised leaders’ debate on April 2nd. “Here’s a fact,” he said. “I’m sure other people will be mortified that I dare to even talk about it. There are 7,000 diagnoses in this country every year for people who are HIV positive, which is not a good place for any of them to be, I know. But 60 percent of them are not British nationals.
“You can come to Britain from anywhere in the world and get diagnosed with HIV and get the retroviral drugs that cost up to £25,000 per year per patient.
“I know there are some horrible things happening in many parts of the world, but what we need to is put the National Health Service there for British people and families who in many cases have paid into this system for decades.”
His comments were panned by his opponents, despite a poll showing that half of Britain’s voters supported a ban on new migrants claiming health care on the NHS within the first five years of their arrival. 52 percent thought that Mr Farage was right to raise the issue of health tourism, agreeing that “immigrants with serious conditions like HIV are costing the health service a large amount of money.”
The controversy prompted one Londoner to write to Mr Farage in support, confirming that it was indeed the case that HIV treatment is now harder to come by thanks to new rules which allow migrants to access specialist HIV care without question.
In a heartbreaking letter, the man, who wishes to remain anonymous told Mr Farage that he has only 14 days worth of life-saving pills left, yet it takes three weeks simply to get a blood test. He will then face a further wait to see a doctor.
“We used to be able to do this the same day”, he said.
“The waiting rooms are full with immigrant patients. Not only is this massively increasing the cost it is burdening the small specialist system to the point of failure. Something must change and I support your comments fully.”
According to the author, a service delivering live-saving medication directly to patients’ doors collapsed under the weight of use. “NHS Service Providers have tried to sign up as many people as possible to home delivery as it saves clinic time and costs, but this service has now completely failed, a fact widely known by patients and doctors and care managers,” he said.
When the patient stopped being referred to by his name and was assigned “an eight figure patient number instead,” he moved his care from St Thomas’s Hospital in central London to access “faster and better care” in outer London. However, “four years later even these outer London services are now suffering the same service failure I have described above”.
“You are right”, he told Farage, “there is a steady flow of HIV+ immigrants that have directly contributed to this situation which has gone past the point of critical mass.
“The reality is, I will run out of medication in 14 days. I must take a tablet every day to stay alive but I can’t get blood tests and I can’t get to see a doctor and I can’t get a prescription which should have resulted in an automatic delivery of my medication to my front door.”
Last night, during a question and answer session broadcast on the BBC ahead of the general election, Mr Farage again raised the spectre of HIV health tourism, telling the audience that Britain “could easily save £1billion a year plus” by clamping down on health tourism.
“It’s interesting,” he said. “I have here a letter from a 30-year-old HIV positive man in London who says, why are the waiting rooms now full to overflowing? Why does it now take me three weeks to get an appointment?
“And he says to me, it is because since we opened the door in 2012 we’re now incapable of providing HIV treatment for people legally living in Britain.”
 breitbart

Turkey: Islamist paper accuses Israel of kidnapping Nepalese kids for their organs

 
Yeni Akit is an extreme Islamist newspaper with close ties to president Erdogan.

Following the earthquake in Nepal, a recent article 'reported' that Israeli spies have been trying to kidnap Nepalese orphans to Israel and then selling them to organ-mafias.  According to the paper, 24 children children have already been taken this way.
 antisemitism-europe

UK: Pickles Accused of ‘East End Power Grab’ Following Efforts to Stop Lutfur Rahman’s ‘Cronies’ Destroying Files

 Tower-Hamlets-Mayor-Lutfur
By Sarkis Zeronian 

In the wake of last week’s Election Court judgement Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has taken a series of urgent steps to protect potentially damning documents and emails held by Tower Hamlets Council from being destroyed. The Evening Standard reports that the wide-ranging orders announced by Pickles have in effect given Sir Ken Knight’s team of commissioners complete control of the council. The team has been strengthened by two new appointees – Alan Wood (director of children’s services in neighbouring Hackney and immediate past president of the Association of Directors of Children’s Services) and Chris Allison (former Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service and National Olympic Security Coordinator for the 2012 Olympics). Mr Pickles said:
“Given the independent election court’s clear findings of corruption in the mayoral administration, there is a clear need for stronger checks and balances in the run-up to the mayoral by-election, especially given many of the associates of the tainted mayor remain in place.
“The commissioners have identified a series of concerns about the ongoing running of the council, including the destruction of documents. We will take whatever action is necessary to ensure a free and fair election and clean up this rotten administration.”
Allies and supporters of former mayor Lutfur Rahman and his political party Tower Hamlets First are planning their reaction to the latest moves which they have described as an “East End power grab”. Rahman has already announced his intention to appeal the judgement against him, and last night addressed a rally at the Waterlily Conference Centre in Whitechapel. Other speakers who were scheduled included Christine Shawcroft (Labour Party NEC), John Rees (People’s Assembly), Andrew Murray (Chief of Staff, Unite), Lindsey German (Stop the War Coalition) and Salma Yaqoob (former Vice Chair of the Respect Party).
Event details announced that the rally was intended to “set out what needs to be done to defend democracy in Tower Hamlets, to challenge racism in the borough and beyond, and to ensure that anti-racist, anti-war and anti-austerity politics find their rightful place in the council.”
 breitbart

“Tiny Minority” of Terror-Supporting Muslims?

By David Meir-Levi 

On April 27, former President George W. Bush delivered an uncharacteristically harsh public criticism of President Obama’s foreign policy, accusing him of naiveté regarding Iran, losing the war against Islamic terrorism, contributing to the chaos in Iraq, and in general, lacking a clear strategy for the Middle East and placing the U.S. in “retreat” around the world.
He forgot to mention one very important, revealing and recurring aspect of Obama’s failures as the Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces and as the leader of the free world: he plays front-man for ISIS, al-Qaeda, and a dozen other Islamic terrorist organizations.
Back on February 17, The Los Angeles Times published an op-ed by President Obama, in which the president said:
“Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity.”
During that same week Obama hosted at the White House a Summit on Countering Violent Extremism to highlight domestic and international efforts to prevent terrorism. His message at that summit was essentially the same as his op-ed: violent extremists have legitimate grievances and their violence can best be prevented by promoting democratic economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so that terrorists and wannabe terrorists can have hope, dignity and jobs. His words came with an important caveat, a warning about whom and what not to blame:
“Al-Qaida and ISIL and groups like it (sic!) are desperate for legitimacy. They try to portray themselves as religious leaders .… We must never accept the premise that they put forward, because it is a lie.”
Moreover,
“The terrorists do not speak for over a billion Muslims who reject their hateful ideology… No religion is responsible for terrorism. People are responsible for violence and terrorism.” 
This mendacious message was taken to its transparently ridiculous extreme by State Department Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf when interviewed by Chris Matthews on MSNBC and later by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer. Expanding upon the President’s message, she asserted that the root cause of ISIS’s terrorism is unemployment and poverty.
“We cannot win the War on Terror, nor can we win the war on ISIS, by killing them. We need to find them jobs. We need to get to the root cause of terrorism; and that is poverty and lack of opportunity in the terrorist community.”
So here’s the administration’s logic: al-Qaeda, ISIS, Hezbollah and Hamas and the dozens of other Muslim, hate-mongering, supremacist, jihadist, annihilationist terrorist armies busily at work slaughtering civilians, burning people alive, and beheading people, have legitimate grievances but still could be weaned away from their terrorist proclivities if only they had hope, dignity, and jobs.
Such tripe is truly worthy of unrestrained obloquy. There is a robust body of literature utilizing empirical analysis that incontrovertibly contradicts our president’s assertions. A recent Rand study has shown that terrorists are not particularly impoverished or uneducated. In fact, many terrorist leaders come from relatively privileged backgrounds. There is simply no link between poverty and terrorism.
The present writer has argued elsewhere in this journal that President Obama’s “don’t blame Islam” and “all they need is hope and jobs” doctrine is not the result of ignorance or misunderstanding, nor is it a desperate concern for the delicate sensibilities of Muslim minorities in our country, nor is it “naiveté” (pace George W. Bush), nor even an example of sheer stupidity. Rather, it is an intentional doctrine of pure treason against the USA and against the western world. It is an attempt to hamper America’s defensive actions against its Muslim terrorist attackers by redirecting or preventing our natural and legitimate responses to terrorist attacks. To paraphrase George Orwell: “If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other.”
By obfuscating the reality of the terrorists’ motivations and intentions, and minimizing the threat that they pose to the USA and to western civilization, Obama is helping the terrorists and hampering his own country. Helping the enemy in wartime is treason.
There is, however, one grain of truth in his benighted pronouncements about dignity, hope, and jobs: Isis et al do not speak for all Muslims. It is reasonable to assume that not every one of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world today is actively or passively participatory or supportive of the Muslim jihadist terror organizations.
But for just how many Muslims does ISIS speak? To understand the enormity of Obama’s treason, we must first know the answer to this question.
Some indication of the size of the global Muslim population supportive of Muslim jihadist terrorism can be gleaned from a series of polls aptly summarized by Brietbart’s Ben Shapiro and Wikipedia. Polls of Muslims in France, Britain, the Palestinian territories, Pakistan, Morocco, Jordan, Iraq, Indonesia, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the USA show a low of 10% and a high of 70% of respondents supporting terrorism, suicide bombings, ISIS, el-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hamas and Hezbollah.
Results from the USA are perhaps the most hair-raising. In a Pew 2013 poll 13% of American Muslims said that violence against civilians is often, sometimes or rarely justified to defend Islam. A 2011 poll from Pew showed that 19 percent of American Muslims were either favorable toward Al Qaeda or didn’t know. Estimates place the Muslim population of the USA at about 6.7 million people. 13% of 6,700,000 is 871,000 people. 13% is a minority, but 871,000 is a frighteningly big number of people who think that targeting civilians is just fine, at least some times. That 1,273,000 (19% of 6.7 million) American Muslims admire Al Qaeda is even more terrifying.
And let’s keep in mind that Hamas is wildly popular in Israel’s West Bank, Hezbollah is growing in popularity and in political strength in Lebanon as a seemingly endless stream of volunteers flock to their ranks, ISIS enjoys a steady flow of new recruits lusting to do their share of the beheadings and mass murders, and Boko Haram is growing in strength as Nigerian Muslims enlist to kidnap more teen-aged Christian girls and behead more African Christians unwilling to convert. Moreover, in Iraq, Turkey, and Iran, Islamist leaders who solidly and vociferously support terrorism against the west have been elected to office with overwhelming majorities. Clearly a large majority of those Muslim voters want a pro-terrorism leader in office.
There is some good news in these polls: in some countries support for Muslim terrorism is on the decline. But jubilation must be tempered with the recognition that this decline may be the result of the (probably accurate) belief that some Islamic terror organizations represent an existential threat to those Muslim countries in which the polls show a decline. And even more worrisome, even after that decline there is still double-digit support for el-Qaeda and the Taliban.
In short, a double-digit percentage of Muslims all over the world sympathize with terrorist groups.
Even if we take the lowest estimate, Dr. Pipes’ 10%, we must note that 10% of one billion six-hundred million Muslims world-wide is one hundred and sixty million (160,000,000) people; and some research supports numbers above 15%. So when we reduce the total by the approximately 50 % who are women, and again by the c. 25% who are too young or too old to be considered potential recruits for the terrorist minions, we are left with about 40,000,000 potentially active Muslim supporters of terrorism. Even if only 4% of those supporters become active terrorists, we are facing a terrorist army of 16,000,000 people.
So, indeed our president is correct that Isis does not speak for all Muslims. But the 10-15% of those for whom they most probably do speak confront us with an enormous terrorist army. The “tiny minority” of Muslims who want to see us either dead or dhimmi or Muslim is not so tiny. Unless our leadership gets us onto a war footing now, we may be looking at the end of western civilization.
 frontpagemag

Counter-Extremism and the 2015 British Elections

By Samuel Westrop
  • The [Conservative] Government has drafted legislation designed to give the Charity Commission greater powers to shut down charities linked to terrorism. Some critics argue, however, that many of the government's promises are largely bluster.
  • If Labour wins the upcoming elections, the next government will include a number of Ministers with strong Islamist ties.
  • The UKIP's foreign policy, however, seems tolerant of the Russian-Iranian axis.
  • "We have been impressed by the warm and welcoming attitude of the SNP." — Azzam Tamami, Hamas's "special envoy" to the UK.
On May 7, the British electorate will go to the polls in the 2015 general election. Voters will elect their local members of parliament. It seems voters may not, however, be able to choose their next government.
As in 2010, current polling data suggests a hung parliament, in which no political party can achieve an outright majority. Governance requires the confidence of the House of Commons. Of the 650 parliamentary seats, then, a ruling coalition requires the backing of at least 326 MPs.
For the past five years, Prime Minister David Cameron's Conservative Party has retained the confidence of the House through a reasonably successful and stable coalition with the Liberal Democrats.
This time around, however, things are not so simple. For the first time, special interest and minor parties look set to have a powerful influence over the next government. If, as looks likely, neither the Conservatives nor the Labour Party is able to achieve an outright majority, coalitions with smaller parties will become a necessity.
The Liberal Democrats, the UK Independence Party, the Green Party, the Scottish National Party, Wales's Plaid Cymru and Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party are all possible members of the next coalition government of Labour or the Conservatives.
The political future is uncertain. Amid the anticipated negotiations of coalition-building, promised policies may be quickly abandoned by those political parties desperate to compromise for the sake of power.
For those monitoring counter-extremism issues, the influence of smaller parties is cause for concern.
What approach do the prospective members of the next government take towards the question of Islamic extremism?

Conservatives

Since 2010, the Conservative Party has repeatedly stressed its overhaul of the previous government's counter-extremism programs. In 2011, the government published its review of the PREVENT counter-extremism program, in which Home Secretary Theresa May wrote:
"The Prevent programme we inherited from the last Government was flawed. It confused the delivery of Government policy to promote integration with Government policy to prevent terrorism. It failed to confront the extremist ideology at the heart of the threat we face; and in trying to reach those at risk of radicalisation, funding sometimes even reached the very extremist organisations that Prevent should have been confronting."
Also in 2011, Prime Minister David Cameron gave a much-discussed speech in Munich, in which he acknowledged the flaws of multiculturalism policy and previous counter-extremism efforts:
"Under the doctrine of state multiculturalism, we have encouraged different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and apart from the mainstream. ... We've even tolerated these segregated communities behaving in ways that run completely counter to our values."
...
"As evidence emerges about the backgrounds of those convicted of terrorist offences, it is clear that many of them were initially influenced by what some have called 'non-violent extremists', and they then took those radical beliefs to the next level by embracing violence. ... Some organisations that seek to present themselves as a gateway to the Muslim community are showered with public money despite doing little to combat extremism. As others have observed, this is like turning to a right-wing fascist party to fight a violent white supremacist movement."
On the face of it, the Conservative-led government has responded forcefully to extremist influence in the public sphere.
After British newspapers revealed the extent of Islamist influence within state-funded schools – a scandal that has since become known as the Trojan Horse plot – the government immediately established an inquiry and toughened up the monitoring procedures of Ofsted, the schools watchdog. Dozens of schools are being investigated, and up to 100 teachers accused of Islamist links could be banned from working in schools.
In addition, the government has drafted legislation designed to give the Charity Commission greater powers to shut down charities linked to terrorism. Further anticipated legislation will target sharia courts, fight "extremist entryism" in schools and local government, and tackle "hate preachers" in universities.
Some critics argue, however, that many of the government's promises are largely bluster. The government's "review" of the Muslim Brotherhood, for example, has still not published its report – a full year after David Cameron announced an inquiry.
After the Prime Minister and Home Secretary's promises of reform, some extremist organizations have continued to receive taxpayers' money from the Conservative-led government. Between 2011 and 2014, for instance, the government granted £1.5 million of taxpayers' money to Islamic Relief, the flagship charity of the Muslim Brotherhood network in Britain.
In Gaza, Islamic Relief funds Hamas-run institutions such as the Al-Falah Benevolent Society. Islamic Relief fundraising events have featured preachers such as Haitham Al-Haddad, who describes Jews as "pigs and apes;" and Abdurraheem Green, who advocates beating women in order to "bring them to goodness."
Similarly, the Federation of Student Islamic Societies has continued to enjoy the support of senior civil servants, despite Home Secretary Theresa May's condemnation of the group for its failure to "fully challenge terrorist and extremist ideology."
Mosques that promote anti-Jewish, anti-Western and pro-terror preachers have also continued to receive public funds. In 2014, the East London Mosque, one of the most prolific centers in Europe for extremist preachers, was granted £154,358 of public money, drawn from local government, school and healthcare funds.
Also in 2014, the Finsbury Park Mosque, run by fugitive Hamas commander Muhammad Sawalha, received £20,000 from local government sources.

Even after David Cameron acknowledged that state multiculturalism had "encouraged... segregated communities," the government nevertheless continued to support the Islamist grip over British Muslims. Although the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), for example, was officially cut off from government in 2009 – after one of its officials became a signatory to the pro-terror and anti-Jewish Istanbul Declaration – the Conservative-led government continued to work with the MCB through other channels.
The Ministry of Defence still uses the MCB to accredit Muslim chaplains serving in Britain's armed forces. The MCB also still provides chaplains for public hospitals and prisons, and the Department for Communities and Local Government continues to fund interfaith groups of which the MCB is a leading member. Yet, according to a 2007 survey, 94% of British Muslims believe the MCB does not represent their views.
There is also a strong concern that Conservative ministers are willing to implement measures that threaten free speech. Home Secretary Theresa May has called for a ban on extremists being interviewed on television, speaking at public meetings or using the Internet.
May has also encouraged further use of "Terrorism Prevention and Investigation Measures," which restrict suspects' movements without the need for prosecution. Those under these controls are not allowed to challenge the restrictions or even know why they are subject to such measures.
A law proposed by UK Home Secretary Theresa May (left) would target terror suspects by measures such as confiscating passports, denying use of the internet and telephones, restricting domestic travel, and forcible relocation. (Image source: UK Home Office)
The Conservative's manifesto promises a Conservative government would:
  • Outlaw extremist groups using new "Banning Orders."
  • Establish "Extremism Disruption Orders" to ban designated "extremists" from "using the internet or communicating via social media."
  • "Tackle the infiltration of extremists into our schools and public services."
  • Take "tough measures...against [television] channels that broadcast extremist content."
  • Allow employers to "check whether an individual is an extremist and bar them from working with children."
  • "Ensure colleges and universities do not give a platform to extremist speakers."

Labour

The decade after the September 11 attacks was financially and politically rewarding for British Islamism. The then-Labour government, under Prime Ministers Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, poured enormous amounts of taxpayers' money into the wallets of radical Islamic groups.
The Labour government did so under the assumption that "nonviolent" extremists would act as a check on the influence of violent extremists.
The government's counter-extremism program, PREVENT, funded Muslim Brotherhood and Jamaat-e-Islami groups such as the MCB and the Cordoba Foundation. At the time, the MCB periodically boycotted Holocaust Memorial Day, expressed support for Hamas terrorists and blamed Islamic terrorism on British foreign policy and media-driven Islamophobia.
Prominent Labour ministers spoke at Muslim Brotherhood events such as the Global Peace and Unity conference, alongside preachers such as Zakir Naik, who advocates suicide bombings and claims Jews are the enemies of Muslims.
Not everyone in the Labour government, however, was so enamoured of Muslim Brotherhood groups. Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly and her successor, Hazel Blears, eventually realized that the MCB's Islam was not so different from that of the jihadists.
In 2006, Kelly decided to cut funding for the MCB and any other organization that does not "stand up for our shared values." In 2009, Hazel Blears severed relations with the MCB completely after its deputy secretary general, Daud Abdullah, signed a Muslim Brotherhood statement "supporting violence against troops and Jewish communities."
Fast-forward to 2015, and Ed Miliband's Labour Party appears to have forgotten – or perhaps is deliberately ignoring – the lessons learnt from the PREVENT fiasco.
The Labour manifesto explains:
"The Prevent programme was set up under the last Labour Government to stop young people becoming radicalised. But this [Conservative] Government has cut the funding and narrowed its focus. Much of the work to engage Muslim communities has been lost.
We will overhaul the programme to involve communities in countering extremist propaganda, stopping young people being groomed, and also building resilient institutions for social integration."
Labour's manifesto offers nothing more on the issue of extremism. It seems that a future Labour government is likely to welcome Islamist groups such as the MCB back into the fold.
Recent Labour Party events, in fact, have featured MCB stalwarts such as Iqbal Sacranie as well as Muhammad Ali Harrath, a convicted terrorist, former leader of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood and founder of the extremist Global Peace and Unity conferences.
After 2010, the Labour shadow cabinet included MPs such as John Denham, who, in the last days of the Labour government, sought to restore ties with the MCB.
The Muslim News has reported that, in a recent interview, Labour leader Ed Miliband promised to criminalize "Islamophobia". Miliband reportedly said, "We are going to make it an aggravated crime. We are going to make sure it is marked on people's records with the police to make sure they root out Islamophobia as a hate crime."
If Labour wins the upcoming elections, the next government will include a number of ministers with strong Islamist ties:
Andy Slaughter, the shadow Justice Minister. Slaughter has frequently spoken at events run by Islamist groups aligned with the terrorist group Hamas, such as the Palestinian Forum of Britain and the Arab Organisation for Human Rights. In 2010, Slaughter met with senior representatives of Hamas.
Slaughter has also expressed praise for the Al-Muntada Trust, a Salafist charity that has given platforms to financiers of the Islamic State and is reported to be funding the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram. In 2013, Slaughter hosted an event for the Al-Muntada Trust in the House of Commons.
Sadiq Khan, the shadow Justice Secretary. In 2013, Khan, along with Andy Slaughter, was listed as a speaker at the Muslim Brotherhood's Global Peace and Unity conference. Other speakers included Yasir Qadhi, who claims the Holocaust is a hoax; Jamal Badawi, a Muslim Brotherhood activist who describes suicide bombers as "freedom fighters;" and Yusuf Estes, who advises husbands to beat their wives.
Khan is a prominent supporter and "friend" of Babar Ahmad, a British Islamist convicted on terrorism charges by a U.S. court in 2014.
Shabana Mahmood, a shadow Treasury Minister. Mahmood is a vocal supporter of MEND, an Islamist lobby group described by the Daily Telegraph as a "front group of Islamic extremists."
In 2014, Mahmood spoke at a MEND event alongside Abdul Qudues Zafar, a MEND official who has circulated music videos in support of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda, and has posted videos claiming that the "New World Order" is run by a "Zionist Antichrist."
Mahmood advocates a boycott of Israeli goods and encourages anti-Israel activists to take "direct action" against British firms that do business in Israel.

Liberal Democrats

In 2011, Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the government would reform its approach to extremism. Immediately afterwards, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, leader of the Conservatives' coalition partner, the Liberal Democrats, gave a very different speech in the British city of Luton.
In contrast to David Cameron, Clegg argued that "engagement" was important, even with non-violent extremists:
"To take one example, the Global Peace and Unity conference attracts around fifty thousand British Muslims each year and is an important opportunity to engage in argument -- and so Andrew Stunell, the Government's Communities Minister did this year. Simon Hughes, the Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, also spoke at the event.
Now there may well have been a small minority of organisations and individuals at that event with deeply unpalatable, illiberal views.
But you don't win a fight by leaving the ring. You get in and win."
At the conference Clegg cited, the Daily Telegraph reported that, "Items glorifying terrorism were on open sale... Also available were 'shahada headbands' as worn by many Palestinian suicide bombers... The headbands contain the personal testimony of the suicide bombers."
Furthermore, Global Peace and Unity conference does not merely include a "small minority" of "illiberal" organizations; it was established and run, as mentioned before, by extremist Muslim Brotherhood operatives. And as the Gatestone Institute has previously noted, the clear majority of speakers at the Global Peace and Unity conferences have been pro-terror, anti-gay and anti-Jewish Islamist preachers.
The marked divide between Cameron and Clegg has constrained counter-extremism policy over the last five years. Most recently, the Liberal Democrats blocked Conservative proposals to ban extremist speakers who "preach death" or incite terrorism, on the grounds that such measures erode free speech.
The Liberal Democrat manifesto offers little on the subject of the extremism. It simply states:
"We will work with religious and community leaders, civil society groups and social media sites to counter the narratives put forward by extremists, and create the space for the expression of contrary viewpoints and religious interpretations."

UK Independence Party (UKIP)

The UKIP manifesto mentions extremism and terrorism just once – in conjunction with an isolationist foreign policy:
"UKIP acknowledges there are real, existential threats around the world. The rise of Islamic extremism is at the forefront of this and, indeed, is possibly the most important battle of our generation. But the fight with and against this ideology is not best fought on a battlefield 3,000 miles away, but at home, where we have significant problems of radicalisation and incitement to terrorism."
The UKIP is frequently described as a "right-wing populist party," and leader Nigel Farage has previously claimed that British mosques have been infiltrated by Islamist hate preachers, and that state multiculturalism policy had created a "fifth column" of Islamic extremists.
The UKIP's foreign policy, however, appears tolerant of the Russian-Iranian axis. The UKIP manifesto claims that, "European Union expansionism is putting us increasingly, unnecessarily, at loggerheads with Russia." Farage has argued that the West should not oppose Russian aggression in the Ukraine, because President Putin is "on our side" in the fight against Islamic extremism.
By "Islamic extremism," Farage refers to the threat posed by the Islamic State and other Sunni Islamist terror. Of the Shi'ite Islamist regime in Tehran, however, Farage told a Jewish audience in London that he would not support an Israeli strike against Iranian nuclear facilities: "I do not support acts of aggression, even from countries that feel their existence is threatened. I'd go for a non-intervention policy."
In addition, Farage has expressed opposition to sanctions against the Islamist Iranian regime:
"The approach we have taken with sanctions has been a mistake. By putting sanctions on Iran we have helped foster the view that all the West is against it and Israel's mates have forced Iranians into poverty. A more intelligent approach would have been to love-bomb Iran and give everyone free access to the internet. We can be cleverer about how we deal with issues like Iran."

Green Party

If the UKIP is regarded as the "right wing populist" party that siphons votes from the Conservatives, then the Green Party is considered the left-wing equivalent. The Labour Party has, in fact, identified 22 parliamentary seats in which the Greens pose a threat to the Labour majority.
Although the Greens mostly focus, unsurprisingly, on environmental issues, critics also charge the party with an overly friendly attitude towards Islamist causes and anti-Semitism.
In a recent article for the Forward, Liam Hoare writes of Green Party members circulating articles by "white supremacists," issuing calls to "smash the Zionists," and deeming Green Party members with Jewish surnames to be "Nazi infiltrators" and "agents of Israel."
These reports only skim the surface of the problem. Pippa Bartolotti, leader of the Welsh Greens, has been photographed while posing with the swastika flag of the Syrian neo-Nazi group, the SSNP. The Atlantic has noted that the SSNP pays frequent homage to 1930s European Nazism – members greet their leaders with a "Hitlerian salute."
Bartolotti has objected to the appointment of Jewish ambassadors: "I questioned the wisdom of having a Jewish Zionist ambassador in Israel and stated that their loyalty was a matter for the FCO to investigate. ... From the university of life I have learned that Jews often have a conflict of interest in matters relating to Palestine."
In 2010, Bartolotti travelled to Gaza to meet with senior Hamas leaders Ismail Haniyeh and Mahmoud al-Zahar. Al-Zahar has called for the killing of Jewish children across the world.
Green Party leader Natalie Bennett has expressed support for a complete economic and cultural boycott against Israel – including artists, musicians and academics. In January, Bennett argued that membership of the Islamic State or Al Qaeda should not be a criminal offence.
Deputy Green Party leader Shahrar Ali was recently filmed speaking of Jews: "Just because you observe the niceties of Holocaust Memorial Day it does not mean you have learned the lessons of history." Ali added: "If you tolerate this, your children will be next."
At the last general election, the Green Party and George Galloway's Islamist Respect Party backed each other's candidates in some constituencies. In addition, senior Green Party members have signed up to Muslim Brotherhood campaigns and have regularly shared platforms with prominent British Islamist operatives.
As with the UKIP, the Green Party's manifesto only mentions extremism once. The Party claims that Islamist extremism is a consequence of "ill-advised military interventions," and proposes, without further explanation, "effective programmes to prevent radicalisation."

Scottish National Party (SNP)

The SNP advocates an independent Scotland. After losing a recent referendum on the issue, the SNP has now it turned its attention towards the national parliament in Westminster, where, as a possible coalition partner, it can further Scottish interests and possibly force a second referendum.
Polls suggest the SNP will win a great number of seats in Scotland. A Labour-led coalition is unlikely without SNP support.
Muslim Brotherhood groups have also long enjoyed a friendly relationship with the SNP. In 2005, Hamas's "special envoy" to the UK, Azzam Tamimi, stated, "We have been impressed by the warm and welcoming attitude of the SNP."
Scotland's former First Minister and SNP leader Alex Salmond has shared platforms with prominent Islamist leaders, including Iqbal Sacranie, a leading British Islamist who said of Salman Rushdie that, "Death, perhaps, is a bit too easy for him."
In 2010, the SNP handed £400,000 to the Scottish Islamic Foundation. Counter-extremism experts have stated that the Scottish Islamic Foundation "promotes religious separatism and a range of Muslim Brotherhood-style policies."
At the time, the Scottish Islamic Foundation was managed by SNP candidate Osama Saeed, who has expressed support for the late Al Qaeda leader, Anwar Al-Awlaki. In addition, the Scottish Islamic Foundation arranged in 2008 for Hamas commander Mohammed Sawalha and other prominent Muslim Brotherhood leaders to meet with the SNP culture minister, Linda Fabiani.
In 2013, the SNP Scottish government granted £398,000 to Islamic Relief Worldwide, a leading Muslim Brotherhood charity. Former directors of Islamic Relief Worldwide include Essam El-Haddad, a Muslim Brotherhood leader who is presently on trial in Egypt.
The SNP manifesto offers little on the question of Islamist extremism. It simply states: "We will support targeted, and properly overseen, measures to identify suspected extremists and, if necessary, examine their online activity and communications."
Given the company senior SNP officials have kept, it seems unlikely that these "extremists" would include the SNP's erstwhile Muslim Brotherhood allies.
 gatestoneinstitute