Sunday, July 31, 2011

Germany requests urgent UNSC meeting on Syria

Germany has requested that the UN Security Council meet on Monday to discuss the worsening violence in Syria, a spokesman for the German mission at the United Nations said.The request came after human rights groups said 80 people had been killed in the Syrian city of Hama when government troops stormed in on Sunday to crush protests amid a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad.
Germany holds the rotating Security Council presidency until midnight on Sunday, then India takes over for the month of August.German spokesman Alexander Eberl said his mission had asked the Indian mission to schedule closed-door council consultations for Monday and it was likely to take place in the afternoon, New York time.Italy also reportedly called on Sunday night for an emergency UN Security Council meeting on Syria, urging European envoys in Damascus to meet Monday."We request that the United Nations Security Council hold an urgent meeting and adopt a very firm position," Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini was quoted by AFP as saying in an interview to public broadcaster RAI.Practical council action on Syria has been paralyzed for weeks by disagreements within the 15-nation body.Western European countries circulated a draft resolution on June 8 that would condemn the Syrian crackdown on protesters, but Russia and China, both allies of Damascus, have threatened to veto it.Temporary council members Brazil, India, Lebanon and South Africa have also said they do not support the resolution. They say they fear that even a simple condemnation could be the first step towards Western military intervention in Syria, as happened in Libya in March.Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood on Sunday accused the Alawite elite of waging sectarian warfare on Sunnis by attacking Hama.
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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Berlin still has not pulled out of ‘anti-Israel’ Durban III

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
German Foreign Ministry undersecretary slams Israel’s settlement construction in Judea and Samaria in Security Council statement.
BERLIN – Germany’s Foreign Ministry is moving forward with preparations for the September Durban III anti-racism conference in New York City, a UN-sponsored event that presumably will single out Israel for attacks, as have previous “Durban” events.In addition, speaking last week in the UN Security Council, a German Foreign Ministry undersecretary blasted Israel for its construction of settlements in the West Bank. When asked if Germany planned to participate in Durban III, a German Foreign Ministry spokeswoman told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that the federal government “will decide on its participation in the celebrations of the 10th anniversary of the international racism conference in light of the ongoing preparatory negotiations.”The spokeswoman added that the German government was “against racism and all other forms of discrimination.
In the context of the international racism conference, [Germany] works to ensure that no individual countries are separately pilloried.”Last April, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel sought to repair relations that had been strained by Berlin’s criticism of the way Israel has been addressing the Middle East peace process. There were also reports of heated exchanges between the two leaders.Anne Bayefsky, director of the Touro College Institute on Human Rights and the Holocaust, and a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, told the Post on Friday that the excuse given by Germany for not staying away from the conference, as the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands plan to do, “simply does not stand up to scrutiny.”“German representatives know that Israel is already ‘separately pilloried’ in the Durban Declaration and the co-chairs of the preparatory negotiations have already said explicitly that the Durban Declaration will not be ‘reopened.’ So the question remains: Why is Germany, of all countries, still contemplating celebrating the 10th anniversary of an anti-Semitic hatefest?” Bayefsky asked.The main political declaration from Durban I, which also formed the basis for Durban II, held in Geneva in 2009, targets only Israel as a violator of human rights and lists the Palestinians as the victims of racism.The Netherlands, the Czech Republic and Italy pulled out of Durban III last week. According to the online Prague Daily Monitor, the Czech government walked away from the event because of “unacceptable statements with anti-Jewish connotations.”Canada was the first country to pull the plug on Durban III, in November.Jason Kenney, Canadian minister of citizenship, immigration and multiculturalism, told the Post in June that the Durban process “sullies the reputation of the UN.”In a reference to the 2009 conference, Kenney said that “a conference that gives a platform to [Iranian President] Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to advocate genocide is a sick joke.” He called on Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights who will be overseeing Durban III, to “stop the process and realize that the poison at Durban I “has placed the entire process under a permanent cloud.”The United States and Israel are boycotting the Durban III conference.Bayefsky told the Post that “Germany’s behavior toward the UN’s Durban III conference raises serious questions about its commitment to combat modern anti-Semitism. As an event which will commemorate the hatefest held in Durban in 2001, and its Durban Declaration, which singles out only one country on Earth – the Jewish state – it is shocking that Germany has not refused unequivocally to withdraw in solidarity with Israel, the United States, Canada, Italy and other European nations.”Meanwhile, Werner Hoyer, a German Foreign Ministry undersecretary from the pro-business and traditionally Arab-friendly Free Democratic Party, told the UN Security Council last week that “Germany is deeply concerned about the ongoing apartment construction” in the West Bank. He said the building of apartments “violates international law and is a hurdle for peace and a danger for the two-state solution. All of these activities must immediately be stopped.”The spokeswoman for the German Foreign Ministry told the Post that both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “are called upon to live up to their responsibilities and rapidly resume negotiations. One-sided steps on both sides are counterproductive.This is true of Palestinian as well as Israeli actions.”
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jpost.com

Friday, July 29, 2011

German Muslims ‘took bomb manuals into UK’

TWO German Islamic converts were caught with bomb-making instructions, gun manuals and jihad magazines as they entered Britain, a court heard yesterday.
Robert Baum, 23, and Christian Emde, 28, were stopped after officials doubted their reason to visit.
After searching their bags, authorities in Dover found literature which included "How to make a bomb in the kitchen of your mother", "39 ways to support jihad" and "Destroying buildings".
They also found al-Qaeda emblems on a laptop and holy war pamphlet "Inspire".
Prosecutor Colin Gibbs told Westminster Magistrates Court: "These are terrorism offences of some seriousness."
Mr Gibbs said officials "did not believe the pair" after they claimed they had intended to fly to Egypt from Brussels in Belgium but found the flights were too expensive and came to Dover.
Blue-eyed Emde converted in 2003 and Baum within the past three years.
They were charged with possessing information that may be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism. Neither entered a plea.
Both refused to stand, calling it "a forbidden act of worship". They were remanded to top-security Belmarsh jail until next month.
thesun

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Norway Massacre and Europe's War on Free Speech

In Germany, anti-Semitism (which is often disguised as anti-Zionism), has reached levels not seen since the Second World War. An April 2011 report, for example, found that 47.7% of Germans believe "Israel is conducting a war of extermination against the Palestinians," and nearly 50% of Germans believe "Jews try to take advantage of having been victims of the Nazi era."
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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Kosovo Albanians slice up Serb boy

A group of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo attacked one 15-year old Serb boy slicing up his skin all over, breaking his skull and inflicting wounds all over his body.
15 ethnic Albanians lynched a 15-year old Serbian boy in village of Strpce slicing up his skin, fracturing his skull and inflicting body abrasions and left him in nearly unconscious state when a group of Serbs showed up from the nearby village of Susic.
The Albanian lynch mob then ran across the mountain Jezerce into freedom.
The boy was taken to a hospital and doctors say that he is recovering.
Albanian Muslim mob routinely attacks Serbs in Kosovo and the separatist authorities and the “international community” rarely if ever do anything about that.
M Bozinovich

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Youth slam Israeli orchestra presence at Wagner festival

A dozen youth protesting the Israeli Chamber Orchestra’s presence at a Richard Wagner festival in Germany on Tuesday night have asked the Israeli public to cancel their subscriptions to future chamber orchestra shows.

Holding signs and chanting “what a shame,” the group staged a protest outside the Tel Aviv Museum on Tuesday morning.

Wagner’s music is not typically played publicly in Israel or by Israeli musicians due to the composer’s anti-Semitism and ties to Nazi ideology.

“It’s absurd to me,” said Noy Dagan, 18, one of the protest organizers. “By playing Wagner, they’re saying okay, we accept the Holocaust.”

The orchestra will play Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll, an orchestral piece, in Bayreuth, Bavaria, famous for its annual Wagner opera festival in July and August. It will be the first time an Israeli orchestra plays Wagner in Germany.

Even though Wagner died half a century before Hitler rose to power, the Nazi dictator was a fervent admirer of Wagner and drew on the composer’s writings in his own theories on Germanic racial purity.

Aside from anti-Semitic overtones in some of his operas, Wagner also penned a number of polemics raging against the corruption of music and the “German spirit” by Jews.

But orchestra conductor Roberto Paternostro said on Sunday it was time to separate Wagner’s worldview from his music.

“Wagner’s ideology and anti-Semitism was terrible, but on the other hand he was a great composer,” he told Reuters. “The aim is in the year 2011 to divide the man from his art.”

But Dagan says that is too much to ask.

“Wagner didn’t separate politics and art so why should we,” she said in an interview with The Jerusalem Post prior to the protest.

Refuting the orchestra’s claim that the younger generation was more supportive of hearing Wagner’s music, protester Amichai Shikli, 29, said he was at the protest to show the public that not all are on board.


‘We’re here to say there is no consensus about Wagner and the point is that the Holocaust did not occur just one day out of nowhere - there is … an ideological, cultural background,” he said. “And Wagner is one of the most influential characters in German culture, in shaping the anti-Semitic view.”

Shikli suggested the orchestra’s presence at the festival is “more than disrespectful” to those who perished in the Holocaust, as well as to survivors.

“It shocks me,” he said.

“It doesn’t make sense for a public orchestra that represents Israel to play in a Nazi festival,” he added, explaining that though there are no Nazis participating in the festival today, at one time it was attended by Hitler and officials in the Third Reich.

One of the signs carried by protesters outside read “Six million people can’t hear Wagner either.”

jpost.com

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Germany offers to loan Libyan rebels €100 mln

Germany said Sunday it was making available to the Libyan rebel National Transitional Council (NTC) up to €100 million ($144 million) in loans for civilian and humanitarian purposes.
"Because of Colonel (Muammar) Qaddafi's war against his own people the situation in Libya is extremely difficult," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said in a statement."There is a lack of means to build up the necessary structures and to relieve supply shortages, all the way from medical equipment to food. People are suffering more and more as a result, particularly in eastern Libya."Libya has been wracked by a civil war since a violent uprising against Qaddafi, in power for more than four decades, swept the country five months ago.While a NATO bombing campaign has managed to prevent the fall of opposition-held cities such as Benghazi and Mistrata, it has not been able to dislodge Qaddafi's regime.Westerwelle said that the new loans would be guaranteed by "Qaddafi's billions" - assets of the Libyan leader frozen under international sanctions - until they can be made available to the Libyan opposition.The decision followed a meeting in Istanbul on July 16 that saw Western and regional powers boost the Libyan rebels by designating them country's legitimate rulers, a move that gives them access to vital funds.Europe's top economic power abstained on a UN Security Council resolution - it currently holds a non-permanent seat on the 15-member body and is chair this month - in March authorising a Libya mission to protect civilians and enforce a no-fly zone.
thelocal

Iran demands Germany arrests rebel leader

Iran on Saturday called on Berlin to put on trial the leader of a Kurdish rebel movement, Rahman Haji Ahmadi, who reportedly lives in Germany, the official IRNA news agency reported.
Haji Ahmadi's rebels at the Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK) operate out of bases in neighbouring Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region, and have been involved in deadly clashes with Iranian troops for many years."The German government should put on trial Rahman Haji Ahmadi, the leader of the terrorist group who lives in Germany," Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said in a phone conversation with his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle, IRNA said.Earlier on Saturday, the foreign ministry summoned German charge d'affaires Bettina Cadenbach to protest at Haji Ahmadi being allowed to live in Germany in what it called "encouragement for the terrorists to continue their crimes," ISNA news agency reported.Iran launched a major offensive on Saturday against PJAK bases, leaving at least eight members of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, including a senior officer, dead in clashes with the Kurdish rebels on the border with Iraq.PJAK has said two of its fighters were killed and four wounded. The autonomous regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan has demanded that Iran respect the border after a Guards commander said Iranian forces had taken "full control" of three PJAK camps inside Iraq.In Tehran, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards ground forces, Brigadier General Mohammad Pakpour, demanded Baghdad and the Kurdish regional authorities prevent the rebels from attacking Iran from Iraqi territory.Iranian forces have repeatedly shelled border districts of Iraq's Kurdish region, targeting PJAK bases.
thelocals

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Russian Bishop says “montenegrin” church illegitimate

Russia’s Orthodox Bishop Ilarion says that Montenegro is “multi-confessional” state in which the majority is of the Orthodox Christian faith and that the only legitimate Orthodox Christian church there is the Serbian Orthodox Church.
“In Montenegro there is a canonical church to which belongs the majority of the Orthodox people and a small group od self declared that seek to portray themselves that they are an orthodox church. With respect of canonical right, there cannot be two orthodox churches in one territory,” said Russia’s Bishop Ilarion.
The authorities in Montenegro today are attempting to remove the Serbian Bishop Amfilohije from his legitimate position so that they can replace the orthodox church with a self-proclaimed schismatic claming he belongs to a “nonexistent” so-called “montenegrin” orthodox church thus claiming that, as communists argued, the so-called “montenegrin” nation allegedly exists.
In a recent Montenegro state “census”, thousands of Serbs were nixed by the authorities claiming that Serbs there either declared themselves as not Serbs or that Serbs declared themselves that they do not speak Serbian even though the “montenegrin” language is the crown of Serbian literacy booked by Montenegro King Njegosh.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Thilo Sarazzin is coming to Australia

The theme for this year’s CIS Big Ideas Forum is political correctness and its insidious march into Western society. Ostensibly a tool of civility and respect, it is often, on closer inspection, a way of silencing unpopular opinion, and is a serious threat to freedom of speech.
Join Dr Thilo Sarrazin, former central banker and author; Dr Janet Albrechtsen, columnist with The Australian; Professor James Allan, bills-of-rights scholar; and Brendan O’Neill, pulls-no-punches journalist and editor of the popular online UK publication spiked for a closer look into the pervasive problem of political correctness.
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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Germany: The PC empire strikes back

Former career civil servants and central bankers seldom have star potential. Their work rarely excites the public and their pictures do not usually appear on front pages. This would have been Thilo Sarrazin's fate as well. A former state treasurer in the city of Berlin and director of the German Bundesbank, Sarrazin was mainly known to political insiders.
All of this changed last August when he published the book Germany abolishes itself (Deutschland schafft sich ab). Within months the provocatively titled tome of 464 pages, laden with statistics and footnotes, became the best selling non-fiction book in German post-war history. More than 1.5 million copies have been printed to date. Its author developed into an unlikely media star whose name recognition in Germany now surpasses the Pope and the chancellor.
Sarrazin's media success may be unlikely but it can be explained. In a media society governed by political correctness, he did not play by the rules. Perhaps because Sarrazin was used to speaking his mind behind closed doors he believed he could also get away with it in public. As it turned out, that was too optimistic an assumption.
The main points Sarrazin made in his book were neither particularly new nor were they factually incorrect. Like many authors before him, he pointed out that German society is ageing and shrinking because of low birthrates. He also offered a blistering critique of the welfare state, which he claimed had created a persistent, uneducated underclass.
Sarrazin then dared to suggest that due to the availability of welfare entitlements for the poor and career incentives for the rich the great majority of children are now born to parents from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Finally, he explained how Germany's haphazard immigration system had failed to attract high potentials and instead became exploited by poorly educated migrants. The additional point that Muslim migrants are segregating from mainstream society, again backed up by unambiguous statistical data, was the icing on the cake of Sarrazin's assault on everything that the guardians of political correctness regard as sacred.
The media and Sarrazin's former colleagues in the political class were quick to condemn the book and its author. The empire of political correctness was striking back.
Before the book had even been released, Chancellor Angela Merkel opened the attacks on Sarrazin. "The book," she declared, was "not helpful", as if that had ever been a requirement for new publications. Of course, Merkel had not read it as she was frank enough to admit. Neither did she intend to, as she told a newspaper weeks later.
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oliver-marc-hartwich.com

Germany’s Leftist Hypocrisy

by Stephen Brown
Old habits die hard for European leftists, especially when it comes to criticising America.
The online edition of Germany’s leftist mainstream publication Der Spiegel (The Mirror) prominently displayed on Monday an account critical of the American drone campaign in Pakistan. The basis of the writer’s dislike for one of the most effective anti-terrorism weapons in the civilized world’s arsenal against al-Qaeda and the Taliban is that the drones are killing civilians. Naturally, in keeping with the story’s anti-American angle, both the Pakistani and American governments are accused of misleading people about the true number of innocent non-combatants who have succumbed to drone attacks in North and South Waziristan.
If it concerned only a small, fringe publication, then one could simply overlook the story’s grave shortcomings and blatant bias. But Der Spiegel is one of Europe’s largest and most influential weekly news magazines with a circulation of more than one million. It is so respected that its English-language edition is the only foreign publication linked to the New York Times website’s international news section where the story can be found.
Accompanying the article were photos taken by its one and only source, Noor Behram, a local employee of al-Jazeera, the Arab language news service. Behram stated in the account he had to first ask tribal elders and Taliban leaders for permission to take the photos. The story’s author, Hasnain Kazim, said it couldn’t be guaranteed that the pictures were genuine, since journalists can’t move about freely in North Waziristan. But the snapshots allegedly concur with the dates and locations of drone attacks.
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Germany: Raid targets suspected Islamist fund-raisers

German police raided eight apartments and an office in the Stuttgart area on Tuesday in an operation aimed at cracking down on fund-raising for Islamic extremists abroad, although no one was arrested, authorities said.
The raids by around 60 police officers in Baden-Württemberg under the code name “Iron” recovered propaganda material and close to €10,000 in cash, public prosecutors in Stuttgart said.The properties were used by six people including four said to be German citizens of Turkish origin, and two Turks aged between 42 and 51. One of them was an imam.Police suspect them of collecting money to send abroad for terrorist purposes and to commit “seditious violence and the formation of a criminal organization.”The Südwestrundfunk broadcaster said the main suspect was a 51-year-old who has previously been involved with a banned Islamic organization. One of the suspects is also said to have boasted in the past that he would defend himself with weapons if police approached, which may have prompted the response by so many officers.
thelocal

Germany: Interior Ministry denies training Saudi spooks

The German Interior Ministry has denied that federal police officers on duty in Saudi Arabia have been training secret service officers there, after a television magazine claimed this was the case.
The state ARD television station’s Fakt reported on Monday night that it had seen training programmes which had last year alone, included at least three training courses for secret service officers. The ministry said this was nothing more than an error in translation. The interpreter had wrongly described the activities of the SDA border police as intelligence work, the ministry said. Staff of the federal police working at the project office in the Saudi capital Riad said the people concerned were members of the investigation section of the border police. “A unit like this is to be found within the structure of the investigation service in every federal police division or in the structure of the federal police division fighting crime,” said the ministry spokesman. Such a unit was a considerable element of any modern border patrol operation within the European Union, and training them in Saudi Arabia conformed with the aims of the cooperation project. Green opposition politicians said they were outraged, with their security matters spokesman Wolfgang Wieland telling the programme what he called a pointless police training project should be ended.
thelocal

Berlin: Sarrazin chased out of Turkish restaurant

Turkish fascists reportedly drove controversial author Thilo Sarrazin from a Turkish restaurant in Berlin. Though his bestselling book claims Muslims are dumbing down German society, their accusations of racism have left the former central bank board member shocked and indignant."Get lost!" and "Nazis out!" were among the epithets lobbed at controversial author Thilo Sarrazin during a recent trip to Berlin's Kreuzberg district, according to newspaper reports on Monday. The city's former finance senator had taken a trip to the area with broadcaster ZDF to film a TV special ahead of the one-year anniversary of the publication of his controversial book, "Deutschland schafft sich ab" ("Germany Does Itself In").

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Switzerland: Basel plans care provision for elderly Muslims

The relevant political parties appear to be in agreement on the urgent need for special health and social services, but views differ on how to achieve them.
The issue attracted the attention of Swiss media after a motion launched by two Social Democrat MPs of Turkish origin in Basel in February. It then resurfaced following the announcement by the health and social department of canton Basel Country that it was in the process of laying out a future vision for health and social facilities that would take into account the special needs of elderly Muslims. Felix Bader, the head of the Basel Country government long-term care department, told swissinfo.ch that there are no definite plans as yet, but said there is “serious thinking in this direction”. Basel expects that the number of elderly Muslims who will need places at old-age care institutions within the next 15 years could surpass 400.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Commemorate Srebrenica with these Rare and Important Videos

by Julia Gorin
As the world bows its collective head this week in shame to mark the 16th anniversary of not rescuing Muslim soldiers from the Serbs they were slaughtering, the Netherlands’ largest internet news portal, NRC, was audacious enough to challenge the official version of the sacred, unquestionable, meticulously constructed lie known as the “Srebrenica Genocide,” heralding a significant change in attitude toward the nature of the incident. As Stefan Karganovic of the Srebrenica Historical Project put it, “The expression of such heretical views would have been unthinkable in Holland [or anywhere else] a short time ago.” Herewith, the translated version:
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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Swiss Minaret Ban Survives Legal Challenge

by Soeren Kern
The European Court of Human Rights has rejected two cases brought by Muslims against Switzerland's constitutional ban on building minarets, the tower-like structures on mosques from which Muslims are often called to prayer.
A seven-judge panel at the Strasbourg-based court said on July 8 that it would not consider the cases as the plaintiffs failed to show how the ban harmed their human rights and they therefore "cannot claim to be 'victims' of a violation" of the European Convention on Human Rights, which the court enforces.
One of the cases was brought by a former spokesman for the mosque of Geneva and the other by a number of Swiss Muslim associations. It is now widely expected that the court will throw out three other similar cases on the minaret ban that are still pending.
Switzerland held a referendum in November 2009 in which citizens approved an initiative to insert a new sentence in the Swiss constitution stipulating that "the construction of minarets is forbidden."
The initiative was approved 57.5% to 42.5% by some 2.67 million voters. Only four of Switzerland's 26 cantons or states opposed the initiative, thereby granting the double approval that now makes the minaret ban part of the Swiss constitution.
The minaret ban represented a turning point in the debate about Islam in Switzerland.
The initiative was sponsored by the Swiss People's Party (SVP), which says the minarets symbolize the growing self-confidence and intolerance of Switzerland's Muslim community.
The SVP has described the minaret is a "symbol of a religious-political claim to power and dominance which threatens -- in the name of alleged freedom of religion -- the constitutional rights of others."
The SVP backs its claim by citing a remark by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has implied that the construction of mosques and minarets is part of a strategy for the Islamization of Europe. The pro-Islamist Erdogan has bragged: "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." Erdogan has also told Muslim immigrants in Europe that "assimilation is a crime against humanity."
In recent years the number of mosques in Switzerland has mushroomed; there now are some 200 mosques and up to 1,000 prayer rooms dotted across the country. Critics fear the mosques are facilitating the establishment of a parallel Muslim society, one that is especially welcoming to Islamic fundamentalists.
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hudson-ny

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Germany: Muslims call for imams in military

Muslim leaders have slammed the lack of an Islamic spiritual counsellor in the German armed forces in spite of the fact that an estimated 1,200 Muslims serve in the Bundeswehr.
Two of the main umbrella groups representing Germany's estimated 4.3 million Muslims said in remarks published Wednesday that such a move would be a good step forward for integration.
“That would have a great significance for integration,” the chairman of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, Aiman Mazyek, told the online news portal, News.de.
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Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Come back, Austra-Hungary, all is forgiven

Srdja Trifkovic -- Valentin Inzko’s Deeply Deplorable Outburst.
My attention has been belatedly drawn to a news item over a month old: Valentin Inzko, the International High Representative of Bosnia-Herzegovina, has decreed that it is “deeply deplorable” that the Republika Srpska (RS) – the Serb half of the Balkan non-country – plans to help fund the defense of General Ratko Mladiæ at The Hague Tribunal.
“This is taxpayers’ money and this is also the money of the mothers of Srebrenica,” a visibly indignant Herr Inzko fumed: “I cannot imagine that an Austrian war criminal, a Nazi war criminal, would get financial support from the Republic of Austria… This is what is going on now and is deeply deplorable… [RS President] Dodik is really stretching the nerves of international community and also the nerves of really peaceful Bosniak community.”
In the Republic of Austria Nazi war ciminals may well be denied financial support, but are not denied the honor of becoming Head of State, as the illustrious career of Dr. Kurt Waldheim von Kozara has shown.
Herr Inzko’s outburst came only days after Pope Benedict, among others, came out loudly in support of Croatia’s immediate membership in the European Union. Croatia is salonfähig, it appears, eminently clubbable at the Berlaymont… even though the Croatian government has gone out of its way to support, propagate and organize legal teams for the appeals of Generals Gotovina and Markaè, who were already convicted by the Trial Chamber earlier this spring, and sentenced to a total of over fifty years in prison, at the self-same Yugoslav War Crimes Tribunal at The Hague. Furthermore, it has been reported that Prime Minister Jadranka Kosor “has announced the strengthening of [Croatia’s] diplomatic offensive, with a team of experts that would help the generals’ defence as it prepares to appeal the verdict.” This means that Croatian officials, civil servants and diplomats will be mobilized and ordered, on government time, to try and exert political influence on a legal process concerning these two convicted war criminals.
The alleged transgression of Mr. Dodik pales by comparison. The resources devoted by the Zagreb Government to its “offensive” on behalf of Gotovina and Markaè are bound to exceed, by some order of magnitude, the paltry 50,000 euros the RS has set aside for Mladiæ and other defendants at the Hague. Yet nobody – least of all Bosnia’s Austrian Gauleiter – seems to find this odd, let alone “deplorable,” deeply or otherwise. Needless to say, many a mother, or wife, or daughter of the thousands of Serb victims of Operation Storm will also make an unwilling contribution to Ms. Kosor’s all-out state effort on behalf of Messrs. Gotovina and Markaè.
The reason for Herr Inzko’s behavior may be in the simple fact that he regards General Mladiæ as guilty even though he is yet to be tried, and in the possibility that he sees the two Croatian generals as innocent even though they have been convicted by the Trial Chamber. In his public statements he has referred, repeatedly, to Mladiæ as a “war criminal.” By doing so Herr Inzko has shown that the time-honored Western principle of assuming a defendant’s innocence until he has been found guilty does not apply to the denizens of the Balkan wilderness over which he is lording on a mandate from the “International Community.”
The Austrians of yore used to be capable of doing better than that. Even the perpetrators of the assassination of Archduke Francis Ferdinand in Sarajevo, almost a century ago, were given a reasonably fair trial by the Habsburg authorities. One of the accused was even given the benefit of the doubt regarding his exact birth date, which saved him from the noose.
As it happens, unlike Inzko’s “Bosnia” or the “International Community” keeping the Dayton-absurdity on life support, the black-yellow Dual Monarchy was a Rechtstaat.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

Bosnian Muslim woman made Serbs drink blood of Serbs she killed

Azra Basic has been described as a “Croatian woman” and a “Lovely’ Ky. woman” but she slayed Serbs, collected their blood and made other Serb prisoners she was yet to kill drink the blood she so carefully collected.
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M Bozinovich

Radical Islam in Germany: The Convert as Missionary

by Veli Sirin
Abu Hamza, born a German named Pierre Vogel in 1978, is a very popular Islamist preacher in Germany. The former professional boxer became Muslim in 2001 and is now among the most influential German representatives of Saudi-originated Wahhabi fundamentalism, which masquerades as "Salafism."
His "kunya" or "Islamic nickname," Abu Hamza, means "father of the strong." He should not be confused with the notorious radical Muslim agitator currently locked up in Britain, Abu Hamza al-Masri, known for his missing eye and a prosthetic hook that substitutes for his right hand, or for the two late al-Qaida terrorists active in Pakistan and Iraq, who also used the same name. Vogel's impact among German Muslims is no less ominous, however, even if his extremism appears more restrained.
Adherents of Wahhabism like Pierre Vogel, alias Abu Hamza, call themselves "Salafi" in claiming they emulate the prominent adherents of early Islam. "Salaf" is an Arabic noun meaning "predecessor" or "forefather," and the first three Muslim generations are collectively referred to as "al-Salaf as-Saleh," or the "Pious Predecessors."
Vogel received his religious training in an Islamic school in Saudi Arabia. Through nationwide lecture tours and the creation of several websites, he has reached out to very religious young German Muslims, as well as to young non-Muslim Germans with identity problems.
Those who flock to him are impressed by Vogel's apparent knowledge of Islam and his mastery of Arabic, the language of the Koran. Central to his teaching is the belief that Islam is the only true religion, while all Christians and Jews are "kuffar," or "unbelievers." In addition, Vogel sees "da'wa," or calling others to Islam, as an obligation incumbent on every Muslim. He has fashioned himself as a missionary and argues explicitly that he possesses theological evidence for the superiority of Islam.
Vogel's worldview embodies a rigid distinction between Islamic and "un-Islamic" behavior. The strict division between "the bad" and "the good" appeals to some young Muslims, because they are promised a clear orientation in their everyday lives and identification with a like-minded community. Although Vogel rejects the use of violence in the cause of Islam, the German authorities see his Manichean outlook – the harsh separation of "bad" and "good" – as dangerous, because of its radicalizing effects on the very religious and the confused.
The preaching of Pierre Vogel and his limiting Islam to a formal set of "Salafi" rules is opposed increasingly by other German Muslim personalities and organizations. They also criticize Vogel for exploiting complaints of discrimination against Muslims in Germany. On his websites, Vogel asserts that Muslims in Europe are faced with an impending Holocaust.
The internet is his main stage. His sites have gained five million hits in one and a half years, a matter of which he is proud.
What is the basis of his attraction? Born Muslims consider him "cool," as a broad-shouldered German with a reddish-blond beard, who can chant Koranic chapters in Arabic without mispronouncing a syllable. Vogel knows what life is like as a teenager in Germany. "I know everything," he says. "Casinos, discos, women. And I also know why it is better to live another kind of life in which one abstains from sex before marriage," he explains. For every convert who comes to him, 10 to 20 people who were born Muslim claim that he has helped them find their way back to Islam.
For non-Muslims, and particularly the young who encounter him, Pierre Vogel provides answers to anxieties about the meaning of existence. If, according to simplistic Wahhabi doctrines, the only need is to serve God, then life immediately seems easier to face. By unquestioning adherence to the Koran and the prohibitions and recommendations of the Wahhabi interpretation, believers are promised standing in the afterlife and probable entry into paradise. Vogel's outward piety, like his German origin, adds to his image as someone who refuses to conform to the society in which he lives. That is also deemed "cool."
Radical Islam, in the style of a musical remix, with anti-globalization propaganda added to religious sermonizing, arrived in the German universities long ago. The media also play an important role in the prestige of the extremists, as a steady diet of news about aggressive Islam makes many young Muslims and non-Muslims defensive. "One-sided news brings thousands of converts," says Pierre Vogel. There are always those whose curiosity is stimulated by a threat. According to Vogel, they want to know the truth about Islam; "they come to listen, and discover that Islam is the truth."
Critics of Vogel describe his method as brainwashing. A young Pakistani studying in Germany comments, "There is currently no alternative for young people who want to learn about moderate Islam in Germany." The Wahhabi "Salafis" have the best web sites and publish the most translations of Islamic literature. Unfortunately, Muslim university students are typically afraid to say anything about the situation. Whoever speaks against Pierre Vogel will be abused by his supporters, in online chat forums. "The success of this movement makes me very angry, because it has nothing to do with Islam as I understand it," says the same Pakistani student in Germany. "I do not want to live in a society defined by Pierre Vogel. It would be a nightmare for all people."
Pierre Vogel, or Abu Hamza, uses all the weaknesses of our society and sets us against one another. People like him do not appear randomly. With the help of financing from the Gulf states, they fill an existing void in knowledge about Islam. As they are daily more active in German universities, they are a serious problem.
A space should be opened up in German public life, where intelligent people may get together to repudiate the hatred Vogel uses to manipulate Muslims. This view of the condition of young German Muslims may seem pessimistic, but Vogel and others like him pose a real danger. It is necessary to admit it, face it, and combat it.
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hudson-ny

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Switzerland: Legal move against minaret ban thrown out

The European Court of Human Rights has rejected two appeals against a ban on the construction of new minarets in Switzerland.
Judges ruled that the plaintiffs – three Muslim organisations and a private citizen – were not victims of an alleged human rights violation.
The Strasbourg-based court on Friday announced that the complaints by the applicants were not admissible. “The main complaint was that a disputed constitutional provision offended their religious beliefs. However, they did not allege that it had had any practical effect on them,” the statement said. The applicants could not prove either that they were indirect victims because none of them was planning on building a mosque with a minaret in Switzerland in the near future, it added. The appeals were lodged in December 2009 following approval of a controversial rightwing initiative in a nationwide vote. A total of six complaints were filed - three of which are still pending. A majority of 57.5 per cent of Swiss voters came out in favour of the rightwing initiative in November 2009. Muslims, mostly from the former Yugoslavia and Turkey, make up about 4.5 per cent of the population in Switzerland. There are only four mosques with a minaret, besides the many Muslim prayer rooms in Switzerland. Observers point out that the political drive against new minarets is part of increasing opposition to immigrants.
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Friday, July 08, 2011

Sharp Criticism against German Talks with Iran

STOP THE BOMB strongly protests against new talks of German politicians with representatives of the Iranian regime.[i] Members of the German Bundestag hosted a delegation of the Iranian parliament (Majlis) last week and two prominent Iranian representatives, Iranian ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh and the Iranian ambassador in Germany Alireza Sheikh Attar, spoke at a conference in the German Foreign office. The conference was organized as the 59. Pugwash Conference on the premises of the Foreign Office from July 1-4 and was also sponsored by the ministry.[ii]
With two events in one week Germany is again leading among Western democracies regarding talks with Iran. Michael Spaney, Spokesperson of the STOP THE BOMB Campaign, is criticizing this policy: "While German politicians are hesitant in supporting the Iranian freedom movement, they are leading in dialogue with official representatives of the anti-Semitic and authoritarian regime. This suggests that there is a possibility to reach substantial results in these talks, which is simply not true. The dialogue is used by the Iranian propaganda for their aims."
Members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee who were invited to the Bundestag at the same time wrote a sharp protest letter criticizing the talks. This pseudo parliament would only cover the brutal suppression of protesters while the regime is calling for genocide and developing weapons to erase Israel of the map, the letter states.[iii] Referring to this letter, Ruprecht Polenz, head of the German foreign policy council, defended the talks stating that sanctions would not exclude talks.[iv]
"Polenz is ignoring the threats emerging from the Iranian regime and its nuclear program for the Iranian people, for Israel and the whole region. These threats are described clearly in the letter as well as in recent statements of the IAEA", says Michael Spaney. "Members of the German Bundestag are thus misleading the public about the nature and the total lack of results of the dialogue with members of a pseudo-parliament without democratic legitimacy." [v]
The talks are particularly cynical because they are taking place while Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Iran controlled Hezbollah terrorists are murdering Syrian protesters fighting for a democratic Syria. [vi]
Engagement with Iranian representatives and their integration in international entities is only legitimizing the expansionist policy of the Iranian regime.
STOP THE BOMB therefore demands more pressure on the regime: diplomatic isolation and economic sanctions which should include further goods like machinery.[vii] In spite of a decline of German exports to Iran during the last months Germany still is the most important Western exporter to Iran. In the first four months of 2011, exports to Iran amounted to almost 1 billion Euros. [viii]
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German Panzers Return to the Desert

by Stephen Brown
Probably not since the Second World War will the world witness the appearance of so many German battle tanks in a desert setting. But instead of the descendants of Rommel’s Afrika Korps, the tanks will be manned by Saudi military personnel.
That’s because Saudi Arabia will soon become the proud owners of up to 200 German Leopard tanks when the recent $2.5 billion deal negotiated with the German government is finalised. The Leopards the Saudis will receive are the latest model (2A7+) in the German arsenal and the best that country’s robust armaments industry can produce.
The German tank purchase is just part of the $60 billion the Saudi Arabian government has spent on an impressive array of weaponry the past couple of years. The United States has also contributed to this Saudi military build up, as the desert kingdom seeks to protect itself from what it perceives as a threat from Iran. Last year, the Saudi military bought 84 US F-15E two-seater warplanes, a special version, at about $100 million per aircraft.
Getting their hands on the German Leopard has always been a long-held, Saudi desire. In past years, the German government had always turned down Saudi requests to purchase the tank, as they could pose a danger to Israel.
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Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Vienna: Stop Salehi! No Courting of the Iranian Regime!

Rally
Tuesday, July 12th, 2011, 11 AM
Minoritenplatz, 1010 Vienna
On Tuesday, Austrian Foreign Minister Spindelegger will receive the Foreign Minister of the Iranian regime, Ali Akbar Salehi, in Vienna. Before his current position as Foreign Minister Salehi was in charge of the Iranian nuclear program, which led to his inclusion in the sanction list of the European Union in 2009. It is paradigmatic of the current insufficient sanctions, that the travel restrictions of the EU have been lifted in spring in order to make it possible for the Iranian Foreign Minister to visit and continue the useless dialogue about the nuclear program. For the third time within a month, Vienna is to give a forum to the Iranian regime, which persecutes homosexuals, women and minorities, organizes conferences on the denial of the Holocaust, finances worldwide jihadi terror and currently participates in the brutal suppression of the protests against its ally, the Assad regime in Syria. The Salehi visit is yet another slap in the face of the Iranian freedom movement which the Austrian government will betray yet another time with this reception. Austria – whose exports and imports to and from Iran have risen again in 2010 despite all sanctions – continues to give valuable support to the regime. Receiving the Foreign Minister of a largely isolated regime will clearly improve its international standing and is a deliberate stab in the back of all international efforts to put pressure on the dictatorship of Ayatollahs and Revolutionary Guards. We demand:- No platform for the representatives of an anti-Semitic regime of Holocaust deniers!- Immediate and tough sanctions in the energy sector in order to prevent the Iranian regime from pursuing its projects!
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Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Merkel under fire for Saudi tank deal

Germany's centre-right coalition on Tuesday came under increasing fire from both the opposition and Angela Merkel's own conservatives for a controversial arms deal to supply 200 Leopard tanks to Saudi Arabia despite its questionable human rights record.
News agency Reuters reported that most of the parliamentary leadership of Chancellor Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) raised objections to the sale at a meeting on Monday. The environmentalist Greens planned to raise the issue in the Bundestag on Tuesday.News magazine Der Spiegel reported at the weekend that the German government had given the green light to the sale of Leopard 2 battle tanks, which would reap more than €1 billion for the country’s arms industry but reverse its long-held policy not to supply heavy weaponry to the Arab kingdom.Reuters reported that key members of the party’s parliamentary group raised vocal concerns, including the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, Ruprecht Polenz, Bundestag president Norbert Lammert and the party’s human rights expert Erika Steinbach.They argued that breaches of human rights by Saudi Arabia raised questions about the sale. Lammert pointed out Saudi Arabia had recently deployed tanks to help suppress the anti-government protests in neighbouring Bahrain. Concerns about Israel's safety have also been expressed.The Greens’ parliamentary leader, Jürgen Trittin, said the supply of tanks to the autocratic regime would breach the tradition of Germany’s Middle East policy.“Such equipment is not usually supplied to such areas,” Trittin told public broadcaster ARD on Tuesday morning.Saudi Arabia had only recently been involved in “steamrolling” the pro-democracy movement in the gulf state of Bahrain, he added.On top of additional arms supplies to Algeria valued at about €10 billion, the government was entering dangerous new territory.“It shows that there is no red line any longer for the federal government in Middle East policy,” Trittin said.Der Spiegel reported that the deal had been approved by the government’s Security Council, a cabinet group made up of the chancellor and key ministers and which examines all major arms deals. The government has so far declined to comment.Reuters also reported that Saudia Arabia has already purchased 44 battle tanks from Germany.Merkel’s junior coalition partners, the pro-business Free Democratic Party (FDP) has also raised concerns. The party’s defence expert, Elke Hoff, told broadcaster ARD: "They may do it. The question is whether it is accompanied by the necessary political sensitivity and how it is received by the public."
thelocal

Monday, July 04, 2011

Germany says Islamic terrorism still a threat

BERLIN - Germany's top security official said Friday that the terrorist threat to the country hasn't decreased and the number of radicals continues to grow, even with the death of Osama bin Laden.
Security officials saw no reason to lower Germany's threat level following the death of the al-Qaida leader, said Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, presenting the annual report by Germany's domestic intelligence agency.
"The Islamist terrorist threat is widely varied and has not concentrated on a single leader of al-Qaida for a long time," he said.
"We have had a general threat situation in Germany and Europe that has not changed for two years, but there are no concrete dangers."
Though there have been several unsuccessful or foiled attacks by Islamic radicals in Germany, the first fatalities attributed to a Muslim extremist came this year in March when a 21-year-old Kosovo-born ethnic Albanian allegedly gunned down two U.S. airmen outside Frankfurt's airport.
Overall, the number of people in Germany linked to radical Islamic groups rose to 37,470 in Germany in 2010, up from 36,270 the year before, according to the report from the Office for the Protection of the Constitution.
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Sunday, July 03, 2011

Why is the Bundestag courting Iran?

by BENJAMIN WEINTHAL
German-Israeli relations are strained as MKs discover the depth of German-Iranian ties during a visit to Berlin last week
BERLIN – German-Israeli relations were strained last week because a delegation of Israeli lawmakers headed by MK Shaul Mofaz discovered during their visit to Berlin that the German counterparts were hosting a parallel meeting with members of Iran’s parliament (Majlis) in the Bundestag.The Israeli delegation, from the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, issued a strongly worded letter to the Merkel administration, which dramatically sharpened the focus on Germany’s failure to end its intense parliamentary ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, and placed new question marks over Germany’s commitment to the so-called “special relationship” between Berlin and Jerusalem.
According to the MKs’ letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, the Bundestag’s speaker and the chairman of the Bundestag Defense Committee, “The Iranian Majlis is a façade of a parliament that covers a murderous regime that oppresses its people and tortures young students and protesters. They support and export terror, aid Assad’s regime in repressing protests against him, deny the Holocaust – all while manufacturing nuclear weapons and missiles in order to commit genocide against the Jews and erase our only state from the map. We cannot stand by while German representatives hold a dialogue with a regime that calls for genocide.”The diplomatic collision between Israel and Germany prompted the head of Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, Ruprecht Polenz, to quickly issue a statement on Friday defending his decision to host members of the Majlis.“Sanctions do not rule out talks” with Iran’s government,” the 65-year-old Polenz, from Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), wrote.He continued, however, that the members of Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee “largely agree with our Israeli colleagues in the critical assessment of political relations in Iran and the policies of Iran’s government under President Ahmadinejad.”Polenz added that the “intensity” of talks between Germany’s parliament and the Majlis has been reduced but that he does not see a “contradiction” between sanctions and discussions. Polenz further justified the talks with members of the Majlis by saying the Bundestag wished to address Ahmadinejad’s recent verbal attacks against Israel and human rights violations in Iran.Yet Polenz’s remarks on Friday about the Bundestag’s concern about Iran’s human rights record and Tehran’s jingoistic policies toward Israel also airbrushed Germany’s pro-Iran trade and diplomatic policies out of the picture. Germany remains Iran’s largest European Union trade partner. Despite new EU sanction put in place last year, German exports to the Islamic Republic increased by 2.6 percent in 2010 from a year earlier, reaching a total of 3.8 billion euros.Polenz made no push, as head of the influential Foreign Affairs Committee since 2005, to clamp down on robust German- Iranian trade relations with unilateral German sanctions replicating the American congressional model.Polenz’s defense on Friday of the Majlis members’ visit should also be accompanied by a healthy dose of skepticism.Last October, Bundestag deputy Peter Gauweiler, from the CDU’s Bavarian sister party CSU and chairman of the legislature’s Subcommittee on Foreign Cultural and Educational Policies, led a group of German lawmakers who met with Ali Larijani, the head of Iran’s parliament, in Iran. That’s the same Larijani who at the 2009 Munich security conference caused an uproar when he said his country has “different perspectives on the Holocaust.”The group of German legislators, including deputies from the Greens, Social Democrats, CDU and the Left Party, also met during the October 2010 trip to the Islamic Republic with Ali Larijani’s brother Mohammad Javad Larijani, who heads the human rights council in the Iranian judiciary.Mohammad Larijani in 2008 – during a German Foreign Ministry-sponsored event close to Berlin’s Holocaust memorial – denied the Holocaust and called for Israel’s destruction. The Bundestag members last year chose not to publicly criticize the Holocaust denial and the genocidal statements of the Larijani brothers. A month after the Gauweiler delegation visited Iran, Elke Hoff, a lawmaker from Foreign Minister Westerwelle’s Free Democratic Party, met “senior Iranian officials” during a trip to the Islamic Republic.Hoff subsequently refused to answer press queries at the time about her trip to Iran. She is a member of the Bundestag’s Defense Committee and its Subcommittee on Disarmament, Arms Control and Non- Proliferation. She is also member of the German-Iranian parliamentary group and serves on the board of the German Near and Middle East Association, a pro-Iranian business trade organization. The association’s honorary chairman is former German chancellor Gerhard Schröder, who met President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran to promote German- Iranian trade in 2009.What perhaps made the recent diplomatic row over Germany hosting Iran’s Majlis into a crisis for the Israeli-German “special relationship” was that MKs, particularly Mofaz, directly experienced a strange fusion of the Bundestag with members of the Majlis. Mofaz, who left Iran at age nine for Israel, is known for a hawkish posture toward Iran’s anti-Israel policies and its nuclear weapons program.The long-standing relations between the Majlis and the Bundestag have been reported on, largely in the Israeli and the US press, but first-hand experience last week seems to have brought the depth and the intensity of German-Iranian relations to the fore for Israel’s lawmakers.
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jpost.com

Saturday, July 02, 2011

German interior minister: jihadist threat continues to grow, with 37,470 in country linked to "radical Islamic groups"

Muslim leaders, for their part, have blamed "Islamophobia". "Germany says Islamic terrorism still a threat," by David Rising for the Associated Press:
BERLIN (AP) — Germany's top security official said Friday that the terrorist threat to the country hasn't decreased and the number of radicals continues to grow, even with the death of Osama bin Laden.
Security officials saw no reason to lower Germany's threat level following the death of the al-Qaida leader, said Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich, presenting the annual report by Germany's domestic intelligence agency.

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jihadwatch

UN seeks to erase Serbian heritage by naming it “kosovan”

France, whose soldiers once fought arm with arm with Serbs in WWI, sought to wipe out Serbian heritage in Kosovo by lobbying at the UN to rename it into “kosovan”.
TANJUG. June 20, 2010. Serbia’s Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic said Wednesday that some countries on the UNESCO Committee for the Protection of World Cultural Heritage tried Tuesday to get Serbian heritage re-designated as Kosovo’s heritage, but the attempt failed.
“Luckily, this did not happen, but what did happen is that a true diplomatic war was fought over this issue in the past 72 hours in Paris,” Jeremic told reporters after a Southeast Europe Cooperation Process (SEECP) meeting in Becici.
Jeremic said yesterday Serbia managed to defend itself “from the attempt to steal our identity and falsify history.”
According to him, the countries which helped Serbia and prevented this were Russia, China, Brazil, South Africa, Nigeria, Mali, Egypt, Cambodia and Mexico.
“Serbian Orthodox monasteries are not and cannot be cultural monuments of Kosovo,” Jeremic stressed.
He added that as long as Serbian people remained proud of who they were, these attempts would be unsuccessful. The UNESCO World Heritage Convention took place in Paris from June 19 to 29.
M Bozinovich

Friday, July 01, 2011

Germany’s Left Party Abandons Gaza Ship

By Stephen Brown
The Gaza flotilla has not even sailed yet and some rats have already abandoned ship.
Stung by accusations of anti-Semitism, Germany’s Left Party passed a resolution earlier this month forbidding any of its 76 elected representatives in Germany’s Bundestag (the national parliament) from taking part in this year’s anti-Israeli floating propaganda exercise, scheduled to sail next week. Two current Bundestag Left Party members and a former Left federal representative took part in the 2009 Gaza flotilla that ended in the deaths of nine activists after Israeli commandos raided the Turkish ship, the Mavi Marmara, and fought a running battle with radical Islamists armed with wooden staves and iron bars.
“We are very proud of your involvement,” Left Party President Gesine Loetzsch told the three upon their return to Germany.
The participation of Left Party representatives in the 2009 flotilla and their leader’s warm approval are just one in a string of incidents that led to accusations that the party nourishes anti-Semitism. Three years earlier in 2006, for example, the Left Party’s Bundestag representative for foreign policy accused Israel of conducting a “forbidden war of annihilation” in Lebanon in Israel’s armed clash with Hezbollah. In a ludicrous comparison with the Nazi era, he said the Israeli army’s actions reminded him of “the German Wehrmacht’s orders for taking revenge.”
Other incidents that evoked the anti-Semitic accusations involved the Left Party in Bremen supporting a call for a boycott of Israeli fruit in front of supermarkets. A more disturbing anti-Semitic occurrence concerned the Left Party association in Duisburg. It posted a two-page, anti-Semitic tract on the Internet that showed a swastika inside of a Star of David and began with the words “Never Again War For Israel!” The tract called on people to oppose “the moral blackmail of the so-called Holocaust.” Two Left delegates also disrespectfully remained in their seats when Israeli President Shimon Peres appeared in the Bundestag in January, 2010, to make a speech as part of a Holocaust memorial event.
“This was a sign for me that parts of their caucus not only tolerate an anti-Semitic undertone, but also cultivate it,” said Stefan Ruppert, a Bundestag representative from Germany’s liberal party who witnessed the disgraceful scene.
But its was a study by two university researchers, one an expert on anti-Semitism, that forced the Left Party’s leadership to take action and compose the resolution that prohibits its members’ participation in next week’s Gaza flotilla. Called “Anti-Semites as Coalition Partners,” the study stated that anti-Semitism is a “consensus position” among Left members and was “clearly gaining in influence in the party,” especially in West German Left associations.
“Anti-Semitism feeds itself there (in West Germany) on an anti-imperialist tradition, which has its origin in the communist groups of the 1970s,” the report states.
One German newspaper described the June resolution as having changed three of the Left Party’s positions regarding Israel. The first dealt with the fact the Party will “not make common cause with initiatives that demand a one-state solution for Palestine and Israel.”
This particular Left policy has been interpreted as concealing a hidden desire for Israel’s destruction. In April 2010, the Left did recognize Israel’s right to exist, but at the same time it demanded that Israel free its “political prisoners and dismantle all border security positions” as well as involve Hamas in all political negotiations. In the German newspaper Die Welt, German-Jewish writer Henryk Broder says this kind of argumentation has “tactical advantages.
frontpagemag