Friday, May 31, 2013

Learning

By Andrew Stuttaford

Over at EU Referendum, Richard North reports on a sensible development in Germany:
[T]he German interior ministry has declared that, in future, it will no longer issue multilingual guides to the federal elections. In the 2009 federal elections, there were numerous brochures produced by the Federal Agency for Civic Education, over-written with the legend “Secim Senim” – Turkish for “You have a choice”. This was an attempt to encourage the 690,000 naturalised Germans of Turkish origin to exercise their right to vote. The rationale behind the current decision is that, in order to acquire German citizenship – and thereby gain the right to vote in federal elections – migrants have to demonstrate knowledge of the legal and social order of Germany, and display good German language skills. In that context, foreign language brochures on how to vote would seem to be redundant. More importantly though, the move sends a message to naturalised Germans, to the effect that, when they vote, they do so as German citizens, not as members of an ethnic community….
North continues:
The dilution of national identity is, of course, a facet of European Union propaganda, the entire construct fronting a broad attack on the concept of the nation state and the very idea of national loyalty. But the net effect of this, it would seem, is not to create a higher order of loyalties – for instance to the EU – but to destroy the very foundations of loyalty and the sense of belonging….
And if one traditional focus of that loyalty—the nation state— is eliminated, the need that so many feel to belong to something will not go away, it will just be redirected, but where? Not generally, we can be sure, to the bland, artificial post-democracy that is “Europe”, but instead to other more potent identities, regional, ethnic, class or religious. And the result may be very uncomfortable indeed.
nationalreview

Pro-Israel New Yorkers Protest 92nd St Y’s anti-Israel Speaker

By Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Alice Walker sparred with protesters outside the 92nd Street Y on May 30, 2013, telling them about Israel, "it wasn't your land."
Photo Credit: Lori Lowenthal Marcus


“She can say whatever she wants, but not in ‘our’ building,” was Manhattan attorney Robert Sidi’s response when finding out that the 92nd Street Y was hosting vocal Israel-hater novelist Alice Walker.

Sidi was explaining to The Jewish Press why he showed up Thursday night, May 30, to stand outside the 92nd Street Y and protest the fact that a Jewish institution, built and maintained with funds from Jewish charities, was providing a platform to someone who “denounces, denigrates and demonizes Israel.”

About a dozen pro-Israel New Yorkers joined Sidi last night, protesting the appearance by Alice Walker at the Y. Walker was at the 92nd St Y to promote a recent publication of a book of poetry and to talk “about her activism and her writing, her conflicting impulses to retreat into inner contemplation and to remain deeply engaged with the world.”

Lainee Cohen Grauman and her husband Jonathan Grauman told The Jewish Press that they only found out about Walker’s appearance at the 92nd Street Y two days before the event.

“It really riled me,” Lainee Cohen Grauman said. “I liked her book, The Color Purple, but her politics and anti-Israel activities are horrible.” Grauman ticked off several anti-Israel positions Walker has taken: “she was on the flotilla to break the blockade of Gaza, she tried to stop Carnegie Hall from hosting the Israeli Philharmonic, and now she is trying to get Alicia Keys to back out of her appearance in Israel.”

Alicia Keys is a popular R & B singer scheduled to appear in Tel Aviv in July. In a public letter Alice Walker called on Keys to pull out of her commitment to perform in the Jewish State.

In the letter Walker wrote to Keys, “It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country that is being boycotted by many global conscious artists.”

Walker was not content to merely call Israel an apartheid country. She told Keys Israel is “unbelievably evil,” “greedy” and “cruel,” and that it is responsible for a great deal of global suffering.
This is actually a wonderful opportunity for you to learn about something sorrowful, and amazing: that our government (Obama in particular) supports a system that is cruel, unjust, and unbelievably evil. You can spend months, and years, as I have, pondering this situation. Layer upon layer of lies, misinformation, fear, cowardice and complicity. Greed. It is a vast eye-opener into the causes of much of the affliction in our suffering world.

Grauman tried to call the 92nd Street Y administration to ask why they were providing a forum for Alice Walker, but finally gave up after being repeatedly foiled by the switchboard. Not only could she not speak with anyone, she could not even leave a message.

“It was important to show up outside the Y for two reasons,” Jonathan Grauman told The Jewish Press. First, it is important to send a message to the Y and to other Jewish institutions – they need to be put on notice that there are members of the Jewish community who do not want Jewish communal dollars spent supporting enemies of Israel. And second, we want Alice Walker to know that we are aware of her anti-Israel message and she will not go unchallenged.”

Both Graumans concurred that it was important to go out and challenge falsehoods against Israel. “Walker’s insistence that the land belongs to the Palestinians is not just anti-Israel, it is a rejection of 2000 years of Jewish history,” Jonathan Grauman explained.

Richard Allen is the head of JCC Watch, which sent out the original notice about Walker’s appearance at the Y.

“It is shameful that the 92nd Street Y is diverting Jewish community money for anti-Israel activities,” Allen told The Jewish Press. “There has been a pattern – first with [BDS activist] Roger Waters and now with Alice Walker. And all of our efforts to speak with the 92nd Street Y administrators have been met with closed doors, closed ears and closed minds.”

The Israel supporters who showed up outside the 92nd St Y last night to protest Walker’s appearance had a rare opportunity: as she approached the entrance to the Y at about 8:00 p.m., they were able to engage Walker in discussion about what they claim are her severely twisted and untrue assertions about Israel.

Walker was insistent that the land of Israel does not belong to the Jews, but was given to them by the United Nations. And she insisted that the land already belonged to someone else – the Arab Palestinians. Repeated efforts by protesters to inform her otherwise fell on deaf ears.

One man wearing an orange cap repeatedly tried to inform her that the “land is ours,” but Walker refused, at one point screwing up her face and asking, “Are you going to tell me God gave it to you? That you are special and nobody else is?” Her interlocutor, however, tried to determine whether Walker was familiar with the San Remo Resolution or the Balfour Declaration.

Walker’s response? “I don’t care what it says.”

The San Remo Resolution was a reference to the 1920 San Remo conference at which World War I allies affirmed the 1917 Balfour Declaration pledging the establishment of a Jewish national home in Palestine.

Walker continued to engage with the protesters, although she became increasingly flustered. At one point one of the protesters said to Walker, “you are a hater and a liar.”

“The names that you call me don’t matter,” responded Walker. “The truth stands.” “Is it right for you to take other people’s property? You are encroaching on other people’s property. You are taking more than they gave you.”

“And how about the suicide bombers,” another protester responded to Walker. “They are taking lives!”

“Suicide bombers are wrong,” Walker acknowledged, “but one wrong does not deserve another. It is also wrong to deny people common decency and health.”

And so the two sides continued asserting their own views until Walker made her way past the protesters and into the welcoming arms of the 92nd Street Y.

Allen of JCC Watch told The Jewish Press the morning after the Walker event that his organization will be kicking off a “Close Your Wallets” campaign.

“We will be watching those institutions supported by Jewish charitable donations which host anti-Israel programming,” Allen promised. “We want to know who is responsible for this kind of programming? Who is pushing this agenda?” And, he added, “if the Y won’t stop it, will the UJA-Federation stop funding them?”

Allen echoed a comment made by Sidi, “this isn’t about free speech, no one is saying Walker can’t say whatever she wants, however false and hateful it is, but we don’t have to subsidize it. And we want people to know this is happening with their money.”

Late Friday afternoon Alicia Keys announced her rejection of Walker’s effort to recruit her into the anti-Israel Boycott Divestment and Sanctions Movement, in which Walker plays a prominent role. Keys told the New York Times, “I look forward to my first visit to Israel. Music is a universal language that is meant to unify audiences in peace and love, and that is the spirit of our show.”
jewishpress

BDS Movement Suffers Defeat in U.S.

A resolution calling for the boycott of Israeli firms will not be put to a vote at the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College Retirement Equities Fund’s (TIAA-CREF) upcoming shareholders meeting. The move comes after the pension fund giant received approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to "take no action" on a submission by pro-Palestinian Authority Arab activists. This followed the company's warning by an Israeli civil rights group that passage of the resolution would violate NY and Federal law. Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, director of Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center, stressed that the development was "a major defeat for the extremist Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement taking aim at Israel." Darshan-Leitner underlined that her group discussed "concerns with the SEC and pointed out that the resolution was in violation of anti-boycott laws. We noted that TIAA-CREF's corporate charter limited its functions to 'aiding and strengthening nonprofit colleges, universities,' and we could not understand how a biased resolution like this could properly be presented to their membership." Last month, the Tel Aviv-based Shurat HaDin informed TIAA-CREF's leadership that any attempt to implement the boycott resolution would be illegal. The letter noted that New York law defines boycotts as "unlawful discriminatory practice" and that any decision to “refuse to buy from, sell to or trade with, or otherwise discriminate against any person, because of the…creed…[or] national origin" was unlawful and even places secondary actors, aiding the policy, under liability. The letter pointed out that the Ribicoff Amendment to the Tax Reform Act of 1976 also makes it a federal violation to "participate in or cooperate with an international boycott." Darshan-Leitner stressed that if measures were to be actually taken against Israel, Shurat HaDin would immediately file suit on behalf of Israeli businesses against TIAA-CREF and to ensure enforcement of state and Federal anti-discrimination laws. "We seek to make sure Israeli companies are not harmed as a result of a newly-adopted policy of discrimination. The BDS movement was looking for a big public forum to spew their hatred. The SEC ruling has now put an end to all that. It is an important victory and we are grateful that the SEC gave TIAA-CREF authorization to ignore extremism," Darshan-Leitner added. TIAA-CREF, a Fortune 100 financial services group, is the leading retirement provider for employees in the academic and medical fields. It currently serves over 3.7 million people. The group is headquartered in New York City, and has major offices in Denver, Charlotte and Dallas. Shurat HaDin – Israel Law Center is an Israel-based organization dedicated to enforcing basic human rights through the legal system and represents victims of terrorism in courtrooms around the world. Its clients include American, European, and Israeli citizens. It is unaffiliated with any political party or governmental body. In November, Shurat HaDin, representing 24 Americans living in Israel, filed a civil action against the State Department, claiming the latter was funding Arab terrorism in the Judea, Samaria and Gaza. The suit, filed in the district court for Washington, D.C., claims that the State Department has failed to observe congressional safeguards, transparency, and reporting requirements in its funding of the Palestinian Authority. In December, Shurat HaDin represented two families of American citizens in their successful $338 million lawsuit against the government of Syria. The decision found that the government of Syria was responsible for providing material support and resources to the Kurdish Workers Party ("PKK"), a terrorist organization designated by the U.S. State Department.
israelnationalnews

The Scythe Still Swings

By Andrew Stuttaford

Euro-zone unemployment reaches a new high. The Guardian reports:
Unemployment in the crisis-stricken currency bloc rose to 12.2% for April, according to Eurostat, the statistics office of the EU. At 24.4%, youth unemployment was double the wider jobless rate and up from 24.3% in March. The problem was most extreme in Greece where almost two-thirds of those under-25 are unemployed. The rate was 62.5% in February, the most recently available data. The numbers come days after eurozone leaders unveiled plans to get more young people into work as they faced warnings about the risks of civil unrest, long-term economic costs and fears that a generation could lose faith in the European project.
Because the project, however toxic, however ill-judged, must move forward.
The biggest rises in overall joblessness on a year ago were in Greece, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal. Youth unemployment in Spain is 56.4%, in Portugal 42.5%. Italy recorded its highest overall unemployment rate since records began in 1977, at 12%, with youth joblessness at 40.5%. Economists said that the rise in unemployment was fairly broad-based with rises in so-called core countries as well, including Belgium and the Netherlands. The rate in France was 11%.
Youth unemployment in Spain now stands at 56.4%. Ponder that.
nationalreview

French Media Embraces Film that Promotes ‘Zionist Conspiracy’ Theory

By Zach Pontz

A new French film being promoted in French media claims of a worldwide conspiracy by “oligarchs” to claim a “new world order,” and the Jews are at the center of the story.
Advertisements for the film, “Oligarchy and Zionism,” directed by Beatrice Pignede, have even been accepted by respected French media outlets such as Le Figaro, Le Nouvel Observateur, and Liberation.
UniFrancefilms published a synopsis of the movie, writing, “This film endeavors to relate the project of this internationalist oligarchy, which has confiscated democracy and people’s sovereignty to the benefit of a caste, by questioning its origins and its networks-lobbies, but, above all, by showing its flaws. The financial oligarchy wants to drown the world in chaos, blood and warfare, and goes about this through its game of repeated provocations and counterprovocations. This tactic will help to deflect attention from the extremely serious collapse of their system and to stifle any questioning that could change the order.”
The film, which claims to be independent, is distributed by Clap 36, the same company that distributed last year’s “The Anti-Semite,” which mocked Nazi death camp Auschwitz and features the Holocaust denier Robert Faurisson.
algemeiner

Nigel Farage: David Cameron's dream of standing up to Europe is absolute fantasy

By Nigel Farage

David Cameron’s argument that he can renegotiate powers from Brussels is being shown up as an absolute fantasy. This court case will drag on, wasting millions of pounds and will no doubt result in an embarrassing defeat for the Government. Former Tory Cabinet minister Peter Lilley says this move by the European Commission to take the UK to court over right-to-reside “strengthens the case for David Cameron to get powers back to this country”. What it really does is weaken the Prime Minister’s claim that he can get tough with the EU. The Government’s promise to make it difficult for EU migrants to automatically access UK benefits has been blown apart before it has laid out how it would do this. The idea that Britain can stand up in court in Luxembourg and win this case is sadly almost laughable. EU law has precedence over UK legislation. The Commission feels the right-to-reside rule “discriminates unfairly” against non-British EU nationals. In terms of EU law, I hate to say it, but the Commission is right. The fact that only Britain applies these added checks means we are twisting rules that should be the same across the EU. If the Commission allows Britain to tack extras on, other members will want to do the same. The EU is not going to back down on this. The only argument really strengthened is the one to leave the EU completely. In the battle of Westminster versus Brussels, we will never come out on top.
express

Turkey’s Tiananmen Square Moment?

By Michael Auslin

Twitter is lighting up with reports of mass protests spreading in major Turkish cities, and apparently increasing use of force by Turkish police and paramilitary forces to break them up. The major confrontation is taking place in Istanbul, with at least two deaths and dozens of injuries reported on Twitter. Pictures of police literally blowing protesters off their feet with water/gas cannons are making the rounds, as well as grainy images of huge bonfires in the middle of the streets. The spark apparently was a protest in central Istanbul against Prime Minister Erdogan’s plans to remove iconic Taksim Square and replace it with another shopping mall. Protests spread to nearby parks and along the pedestrial shopping street, Istiklal. Accuracy of reports about protests in other cities need to be checked.
However, this is certainly the first major protests against Erdogan and his Islamist AKP party in their decade in power. Creeping authoritarian tendencies, such as locking up more reporters than any other country and persecuting the armed forces through treason trials, have removed much overt domestic opposition to the AKP in recent years. If these protests hold, though, it will be a much different force opposing Erdogan, namely a youth-led mass movement.
Erdogan seems to have chosen the Tiananmen Square route, without even trying to appease the peaceful protesters. Tear gas and water cannons are driving back the protestors. Reports of police vehicles being driven into the crowd evoke memories of the Chinese leadership sending in tanks to crush student activists back in 1989. Depending on the number of casualties, the Gezi Park/Taksim Square protests could be a red-letter day for Turkey.
Yet the danger for Erdogan is that he will win a pyrrhic victory. Like the Chinese Communists half a generation ago, his party may wind up stronger for having broken the back of civilian protest. However, that may well come at the cost of legitimacy. The AKP already was suspected by many. Now it will be feared and hated. That may turn businessmen against Erdogan, and reduce his support further to the poorer, eastern parts of Anatolia. The bad news for Turkey is that such an outcome could cause his “mildly Islamist” (in the words of The Economist) tendencies to come out more strongly, given the need to shore up support among the more religious voters that make up his base. That would bring Turkey ever closer to a tipping point to decide between secularism and ideologically driven religious politics.
nationalreview

Alicia Keys Will Go Ahead with Tel Aviv Concert - Refuses to Yield to Israel Boycotters

Pic: acousticartists

The Simon Wiesenthal Center congratulates R & B singer Alicia Keys for her courageous decision today to go ahead with her July 4th, Tel Aviv concert and refusing to bow to people like Pulitzer Prize-winning author and activist Alice Walker and Pink Floyd member, Roger Waters. Walker's appeal to Keys stated, "It would grieve me to know you are putting yourself in danger (soul danger) by performing in an apartheid country ... ." Waters also asked the singer not to perform, as her appearance would, “... give legitimacy to the Israeli government policies of illegal, apartheid, occupation of the homelands of the indigenous people of Palestine.” "When Ms. Keys sings in Israel on July 4th, she will be singing in the only free country in the entire Middle East, where women enjoy equal rights with men and Israeli Arabs have more rights than any of their brothers and sisters in the Arab world,” he added. Equating Israel with apartheid South Africa is a sinister distortion of the truth,” Rabbi Hier said, adding, “Just look at what is happening in Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt." “Israel has said countless times that it is willing to sit down with the Palestinians without pre-conditions. But Israel cannot be expected to make peace with Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to Israel's destruction, just as African-Americans cannot make peace with the KKK," Hier concluded. Last year Walker refused to authorize a new Hebrew translation of her acclaimed novel “The Color Purple.”

After Woolwich: Status Quo, or UK Reconsidering Islamist Threat?

Since the attack, talk of the "tiny minority" and "true" Islam is in vogue again.
By Mike McNally
Even more so than with previous acts of Islamist terror, the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in London last week was intended to shock and outrage the British people, to provoke a backlash against Muslims the attackers hoped would start the inter-communal violence Islamists have fomented across the Middle East and elsewhere. As one of the killers told Cub Scout leader Ingrid Loyau-Kennett when she bravely confronted them: “We want to start a war in London tonight.”
So far, however, the backlash has been little more than a spasm. In the most serious incident, two former soldiers were charged with trying to firebomb a mosque. There have been several other acts of vandalism against mosques, reports of Muslims being harassed in the streets, and marches by the racist soccer hooligans of the English Defence League. Meanwhile, two war memorials in London were defaced with Islamist graffiti.
Listening to the politicians, community leaders, and certain media outlets, you’d think the threat posed by the Woolwich attack to “community cohesion” — an abstraction that Britain’s political elites spend much of their time fretting about these days — was of more concern to them than the attack itself.
Beyond the condemnation of Drummer Rigby’s murder, two themes have dominated the official response. The first: an insistence that the attack had little, if anything, to do with “real” or “true” Islam. Prime Minister David Cameron called the killing “a betrayal of Islam,” and added: “There is nothing in Islam that justifies this truly dreadful act.”
The second theme: the ideology of the killers is shared by only a handful of extremists. To this end, politicians have been showering praise on moderate Muslim leaders for condemning the killings without reservation.
Both of these claims are dishonest and dangerous. That expressions of condemnation from British Muslims for the beheading of a British soldier have been greeted with a mixture of relief and gratitude tells much about the poverty of the debate over Islamic extremism here.
The greatest threat to “community cohesion” is the denial of the obvious: while most British Muslims were appalled by last week’s killing, the killing did in fact have a great deal to do with a particular ideology, one shared to some degree by many thousands of British Muslims and tens of millions of Muslims around the world.
Listening to Cameron and others, it was remarkable to see how many white, Christian, or atheist politicians fancy themselves scholars of Islam — they feel qualified to divine the “true” version of the religion from “perverted” forms.
As much as they might want to believe otherwise, there’s no objectively “true” interpretation of Islam, in Britain or anywhere else. As Douglas Murray writes in the Spectator: since Islam’s founding, a battle has raged “between those who read their religion literally and those who read it metaphorically.” The violent extremists make a plausible case that peace-loving co-religionists are perverting Islam.
In their eagerness to absolve Islam of any responsibility for the Woolwich atrocity, British Muslims, sympathetic media commentators, and nervous politicians have been quoting verse 5:32 of the Koran until they’re blue in the face.
The extract they like to cite:
Whosoever killeth a human being … it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.
Note the ellipsis after “ human being.” It’s there because the writer or speaker invariably removes this section of the verse — a rather important one.
The unabridged passage:
Whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind.
At his site Jihad Watch, PJ Media contributor Robert Spencer caught Mehdi Hasan, a left-wing journalist and a Muslim, trying this same ruse.
For a more detailed analysis of verse 5:32, see this post. The author notes that, far from being an injunction against murder, the verse “grants Muslims license to kill non-Muslims under a surprisingly broad range of circumstances.”
You don’t have to look far to find other Koranic exhortations to murder: the Verse of the Sword, depending on the translation, commands believers to “slay the infidels wherever you find them.”
Of course, most Muslims are not driven to kill by verse 5:32, any more than Christians feel the urge to pluck their eye out because it has caused them to sin. But you only have to look to the Middle East and to Pakistan and Afghanistan, where every month hundreds of Muslims are murdered by other Muslims for religious reasons. Or to Africa, where thousands of Christians have been killed by Muslims recent years. Or consult the latest Pew poll on Muslim attitudes which found large majorities in several Islamic countries favoring the death penalty for apostasy. And consider the thousands of ”honor” killings carried out by Muslims every year. Killing in the name of Islam is perfectly acceptable to a considerable minority of Muslims, at the very least. It’s hard to plausibly argue that the brutal killing in Woolwich runs counter to Islamic teachings.
And what, for that matter, of the millions more Muslims worldwide who might be sincerely opposed to violence, but who see nothing wrong with women being treated as second-class citizens? Or who practice or condone female genital mutilation or forced marriage? Have they too strayed from the “true” path of Islam?
As for that claim that terrorist attacks are supported by only a tiny minority of British Muslims: according to the intelligence service MI5, 312 people were convicted of offenses related to Islamist terrorism between September 11, 2001, and September 30, 2012; to that number you can add 24 Muslims who have been convicted this year in connection with four separate plots, among the dozens foiled in recent years. The security services say “thousands” of suspects are being monitored, and hundreds of British Muslims have gone to train in terrorist camps overseas, or to fight in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Also, opinion polls have shown that more than a tiny minority of British Muslims are sympathetic to terror attacks in the UK.
pjmedia

British Inaction on Threats Risks the Rise of Anti-Semitism, Israelis Say

By Zach Pontz

Israel is becoming a bit fed up with Britain’s inaction when it comes to combating threats against its officials and other pro-Israel entities, and the Jewish state is beginning to voice its discontent in the public sphere.
“You have to wonder at what point does inaction become anti-Semitism,” one Israeli official told the Daily Telegraph. “If Israelis of an Argentinian background threatened the British ambassor in Israel to the point that he could not make speeches, we would be getting demands from the Foreign Office to step in. Yet the government has done nothing to prevent the threats we face since it took office.”
Last week Yuval Steinitz, Israel’s Strategic Affairs minister, told The Telegraph that “disguised anti-Semitism” was more prevalent in Britain than any other major Western country.
University events have been a major flashpoint and sources disclosed that a request from the Israeli embassy to ensure that an event at Edinburgh University featuring Israel’s Ambassador to the UK, Daniel Taub, was not disrupted, was rejected.
Earlier this year Alon Roth-Snir, the deputy ambassador, was evacuated from a hall at Essex University in Colchester, when a mob violently disrupted the meeting.
A Foreign Office spokesman told the Daily Telegraph that the UK does not support anti-Israel boycotts. “While we do not hesitate to express disagreement with Israel whenever we feel it necessary, we are firmly opposed to boycotts. We believe that imposing sanctions on Israel or supporting anti-Israeli boycotts would not support our efforts to progress the peace process,” he said.
And since becoming Foreign Secretary, William Hague has repeatedly said that the Government is “firmly opposed” to campaigns to boycott or isolate Israel.
Toby Greene, the director of research at pro-Israel lobby group, BICOM, told the newspaper: “The extremists attempting to prevent Israelis speaking on university campuses are denying Israelis the universal right to free speech, and denying the rights of the majority who would like to hear what they have to say. These actions run against the principles of tolerance and fairness for which British universities are well renowned.”
algemeiner

FYROM’s cancelled gathering de-recognition of Kosovo, Albanian violence expected

FYROM could soon be a subject to the Albanian separatist violence now that the country has decided to cancel a gathering of regional sovereign states after Romania, Serbia and Bosnia launched a protest over presence of Kosovo Albanian separatists at the gathering in Ohrid.
Macedonian President George Ivanov said that the meeting was cancelled to “protect the interests of the state and the dignity of Macedonia” and that “Macedonia does not want to be a participant in the game with vetoes, least of all boycotts”.
Ivanov’s statement may be reasonable but offering reason to the Albanian Muslim separatists who only understand violence is like offering a feather to scratch an itch. As a result, it is reasonable to expect that some sort of a violent response by the Albanian Muslim “minority” in Macedonia should be on the way soon as a response for and indirect withdrawal of FYROM’s recognition of Kosovo.
The so-called Ohrid Summit stipulates that only recognized sovereign states are allowed to participate, so FYROM’s cancellation over Kosovo, whatever the reason, is first and foremost that country’s de-recognition of Kosovo as an independent state. As a result, Albanian Muslim separatists in the region are likely to launch violence against FYROM to assure that the country gets in line with their demands while delegitimizing FYROM as a state that respects so-called Albanian rights.
Another dimension of this cancellation is the subtle shift in the regional geopolitics. Up until now, FYROM was an obedient pet to the EU and US demands in the region who demand that their subjects approve all and any Albanian Muslim separatist demands. In this particular case, both EU and US have sided with the Albanian separatists as EU accused Serbia of violating Brussels agreement and a “European spirit” while US issued a rather lukewarm “disappointment” that FYROM has cancelled an event, aka, withdrawn recognition of Kosovo.
Therefore, FYROM’s de-recognition of Kosovo means that the country has implicitly sided with the Romania-Serbia regional axis and thus, informally, extending the axis down towards Athens. Bulgaria, which has been garnering a particularly anti-Serb regional policy given its Slavic-Orthodox culture, could soon change its policy now that Serbia is harnessing good relations with Turkey, which itself has unresolved issues with Bulgaria and its territory.
Finally, Montenegro may soon have to decide its position in the region because it is becoming increasingly squeezed by Albania and Croatia. Montenegro, whose smaller Adriatic coast may be subject to Croatia’s and Albania’s joint aims at naval supremacy in the Adriatic may find such aims inconvenient for verity of reasons, some of which may include presence of lot of Russian money.
Meanwhile, FYROM itself is increasingly in a divisive position given that parts of its country are dominated by local Albanian Muslims who have consolidated power on all local levels in the west of the country and have kept the government paralyzed by holding key government positions for its separatist representatives.
Finally, it should be kept in mind that all of the Albanian separatist action in the region is coordinated by Albania itself whose secret service agents, developed during its communist era, have been deployed in the region in order to destabilize all of the states it borders. In Kosovo, for example, Hashim Thaci is the direct link to Albania’s secret service arm, Shërbimi Informativ Shtetëror, while numerous Albania agents in FYROM have formal and informal links with various figures that are in the public or run underground mafia cells.
Any violence in FYROM, therefore, could happen at a whim of a finger of Tirana bosses.
M. Bozinovich

Nicole Lynn Mansfield, American Woman Converts to Islam, Joins Al Qaeda, Dies in Syria

By Daniel Greenfield

There seems to have been a string of Jihadist convert murders and attempted murders. Two Muslims converts murdered a British soldier in London. A Muslim convert in France attempted to murder a French soldier. Now Nicole Lynn Mansfield, an American woman who married a Muslim and converted to his religion, went all the way, going off to fight with the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front in Syria and died there.
The report — from a Syrian media outlet called Breaking News on its website — sought to portray Mansfield as an extremist who was fighting with two other people from England; it said that government forces shot her dead along with her British companions. They reportedly had rifles, clips of ammunition, grenades and the flag of al-Nusra, a group related to al-Qaida.
“I’m sick over it,” Speelman said of her niece’s death. “I didn’t think she was (a terrorist), but God only knows.”
Speelman and other family members said Mansfield met an immigrant from the Arab world several years ago and married him. She then converted to Islam and started wearing the hijab.
They divorced about three years ago after he was able to get a green card that allowed him to stay long-term in the U.S.
About two to three years ago, Mansfield went to Dubai, upsetting her family, Speelman said. They urged her to come back, which she did.
Family members said they don’t know the name of the Arab man she married. They also said they don’t know when or why she went to Syria.
“It bothered me” that she converted and started wearing a headscarf, Speelman said.
But Nicole Mansfield, who has an 18-year-old daughter, was adamant that Islam was a good path to take.
She told people “that the best way of life was to be a Muslim. And that women should wear scarves … women should always cover their head,” Nicole’s grandmother, Carole Mansfield, 72, told the Free Press.
Speelman’s mother, Monica Mansfield Speelman, told the Detroit Free Press that her niece was a convert to Islam who married an Arab immigrant several years ago but later divorced him. The family was not happy about Mansfield’s conversion to Islam, said Monica Speelman and Mansfield’s grandmother, Carole Mansfield.
Nicole Mansfield was raised as a Baptist and her father was a General Motors production worker, the family said. She quit high school after becoming pregnant but later earned her GED, attended community college and worked in home health care for 10 years, they said.
“She had a heart of gold” but was easily influenced by others, Carole Mansfield said. “I think she could have been brain washed.”
The media will probably try to spin Nicole Lynn Mansfield’s death into war propaganda, but she went to a war zone and she likely was Sunni, which meant she was on the side of the rebels. The British Muslims headed to Syria are largely Al Qaeda. If she was with them, then she was an enemy of the United States.
It’s probably best that she died over there. If she was willing to link up with British Jihadists in Syria, the odds are good that she would have seen her way clear to joining in on a terrorist attack in the United States.
Like any other cult, Islam is good at sucking people in and turning them into zombie fanatics for its cause. There have been too many cases of converts to Islam trying to prove their worth through acts of murder. All this is yet another reminder that a mosque on American soil is a recruitment center for international terrorism.
frontpagemag

84% of Brits in online poll want ban on handguns lifted

By Rick Moran

That result is from a Daily Telegraph poll on what "private bills" the British public would like to see passed.
The Blaze:
The United Kingdom is often held up as a successful example of gun control by those on the left. But a recent poll by the Daily Telegraph, one of England's most widely-read publications, shows Britons themselves are far from sold on the laws.
In a poll asking readers what laws they would like to see introduced or changed, an overwhelming number of voters chose "repeal the ban on hand guns and re-open shooting clubs."
"After all, why should only criminals be 'allowed' to possess guns and shoot unarmed, defenceless citizens and police officers?" reader Colliemum wrote.
The Blaze provides a screen shot of the results:
A distant second, at 7%, was passage of a flat tax.
It should be noted that the poll is not very scientific and since it was published online, the chances of more than a few Americans participating in the vote are considerable.
Nevertheless, it appears that a significant percentage of the English people would like the option of defending themselves with a handgun.
americanthinker

Why Israel will attack this summer

By Ted Belman

Sooner or later Israel will have to bomb Iran. Better sooner, because Iran is quickly approaching Israel's red line. Since intelligence is never precise, why wait 'til the last minute?
Summer and early fall is the best time to attack because that's when the sky is the clearest.

Israel is committed to destroying the S-300 missile defense systems should it arrive in Syria.

Close to 5,000 Hezb'allah troops, if not more, are now fighting in Syria. Thus they are concentrated which makes their destruction easier. Also they are no longer guarding their missiles stored in Lebanon with full force. Israel could call for a mobilization due to perceived threats from Syria. Then it could mount an all-out ground attack on the stockpile of missiles in Lebanon. The Sunnis in Lebanon including the Lebanese government will probably stand aside and let Israel solve their Hezb'allah problem. Israel could then go east and destroy the Hezb'allah troops.

Hamas would stay quiet because it is in Qatar's interest and Turkey's interest that they do so. Qatar and Turkey would love to see Israel destroy Hezb'allah because that would aid their efforts to bring down Assad. Obama would like that too. It would take the pressure off the US to act.

It would be nice to get Hezb'allah out of the way for when Israel attacks Iran. Saudi Arabia and Qatar would be supportive.
americanthinker

Grateful Dead drummer to perform in Jerusalem


Mickey Hart — former drummer of the legendary Grateful Dead — and his eponymous band will perform on Jerusalem’s Mount Scopus in August. The Mickey Hart Band is a multicultural world music percussion group which, he told Rolling Stone magazine in 2011, incorporated musical inspiration from “light waves from the cosmos, starting 13.7 billion years ago with the Big Bang.”
“The signals come from radio telescopes around the world and I work closely with NASA to take the light waves and bring it into our limited spectrum of hearing. Then I add a little spice to them with some reverb and some delay. It makes for a hot little stew,” he said.
Hart was the only Jewish member of the 1960s-70s rock band. He and the band will play at Hebrew University’s Mount Scopus Amphitheater on August 21 at 7 p.m.
 

Get us out of the EU: William Hague to issue Brussels 'red card' on unwanted EU laws

William Hague is set to to demand a new ‘red card’ system that will allow individual nation states be given powers to block unwelcome laws from Brussels. In a bid to quell Tory turmoil over the UK’s relationship with Brussels, the Foreign Secretary will today outline plans for a new 'red card' system for national parliaments that would result in greater democratic accountability from the European Commission. In a landmark step, it is the first explicit request of Europe from the Tory-led UK Government since it announced plans to hold an in-out referendum in 2017. As part of the bickering coalition's attempt to renegotiate powers over Europe, Mr Hague is set to argue that national parliaments should be able to overrule unwanted legislation coming from the European Union in a speech to a foreign policy think tank in Germany today. In a hard-hitting speech, he will say that only by devolving powers to elected national MPs, rather than MEPs who are far less accountable to their voters, will Europe be able to restore the democratic deficit. Mr Hague believes that only by reshaping the way the decisions are made in Brussels will Britons be able to see themselves tied into a long-lasting relationship with the EU. The European Parliament has "failed" to introduce democratic accountability to the EU, he will say later today. The proposed 'red card', would be an extension of the little-known 'yellow card' system already in place. At present, parliaments in member states can issue a 'yellow card' to the European Commission, forcing it to reconsider a law. The introduction of the 'red card' would altogether thwart any EU legislation deemed inappropriate. A senior source said: "He is going to make the case that the European Parliament is not the answer to the democratic deficit in the EU. "In every treaty over the last 30 years the European Parliament has been given more powers and in every European election turnout has dropped. "The answer lies in national governments and national parliaments. We need to give them more powers to do things better. "We need a better mechanism to get national parliaments working together. The EU system at the moment is great at centralising power and hopeless at decentralising. The Commission is great at sucking up powers and hopeless at giving them back. "Unless we get reforms like this we can't have an EU that is acceptable to the British people. If you have a system you don't like it tends to produce outcomes that you will dislike. We need to change the system," the source concluded, speaking to the Dail Mail. Mr Hague is confident of securing backing for his proposals from other Northern European countries, including Germany. The Foreign Secretary has already made his feelings clear with regard to the EU's controlling powers in 2000, when he slammed then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair for surrendering many of Britain's vetoes by signing up to the Nice Treaty. Speaking as Conservative Party leader, Mr Hague argued at the time that Mr Blair had "signed away" Britain's veto in 23 areas, giving European institutions an opportunity to impose further integration against Britain's will. The Nice Treaty paved the way for qualified majority voting, meaning that in the absence of a unanimous agreement the European Council could accept a system of weighted votes instead.
express

Britain's Islamic Future

 By Soeren Kern
The moment that the white British become a minority will symbolize a huge transfer of power -- cultural political, economic and religious -- an "irreversible change in British society, unprecedented for at least a millennium." — David Coleman, Professor of Demography, University of Oxford
Islam is on track to become the dominant religion in Britain within the next generation, according to new census data published by the British government.
The numbers show that although Christianity is still the main religion in Britain -- over 50% of the population describe themselves as such -- nearly half of all Christians in Britain are over the age of 50, and, for the first time ever, fewer than half under the age of 25 describe themselves as Christian.
By contrast, the number of people under 25 who describe themselves as Muslim has doubled over the past ten years: one in ten under the age of 25 are Muslim, up from one in 20 in 2001.
If current trends continue -- a Muslim population boom, combined with an aging Christian demographic and the increasing secularization of British natives -- Islam is set to overtake Christianity in Britain within the next 20 years, according to demographers.
A new report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) on May 16 offers additional analyses of the 2011 census data previously published in December 2012.
In the 2011 Census, Christianity was still the largest religious group in England and Wales with 33.2 million people (59% of the population). The second largest religious group was Islam with 2.7 million people (5% of the population). The proportion of people who reported that they did not have a religion reached 14.1 million people, a quarter of the population (25%).
Although the overall population of England and Wales grew by 3.7 million between 2001 and 2011 to reach 56.1 million, in 2011, there were 4.1 million fewer people who reported being Christian (from 72% to 59% of the population). By contrast, 1.2 million more people reported being Muslim (from 3% to 5%), and 6.4 million more people reported no religion (from 15% to 25%).
The new report, however, shows that the number of British Christians is actually falling at a far faster rate than previously thought. The earlier analysis of the statistics showed a roughly 15% decline in the number of Christians over the past decade, but the ONS found that this figure had been artificially influenced by the recent arrival of Christian immigrants from countries such as Nigeria and Poland.
According to the new report, the number of white British Christians actually fell by 5.8 million people between 2001 and 2011; this decline was masked by an increase in the number of Christians not born in Britain during that same period, but who were there due to immigration.
In the 2011 Census, Christians had the oldest age profile of the main religious groups. Over one in five Christians (22%) were aged 65 and over, and nearly one in two (43%) were aged 50 and over; only one quarter (25.5%) were under the age of 25.
By contrast, Muslims had the youngest age profile of the main religious groups. Nearly half of Muslims (48%) were aged under 25 (1.3 million) and nine in ten (88%) were aged under 50 (2.4 million).
Muslims were also more ethnically diverse than Christians. Two-thirds of Muslims (68%) were from an Asian background, including Pakistani (38%) and Bangladeshi (15%). The proportion of Muslims reporting as Black/African/Caribbean/Black British (10%) was similar to those reporting as "other" ethnic group (11%). 93% of people (13.1 million) with no religion were from a white background.
The number of Muslims increased in all ethnic groups, but there was a particular jump among Asian Muslims. Pakistani Muslims increased by 371,000 (from 658,000 to over a million) and Bangladeshi Muslims have grown by 142,000 (from 260,000 to 402,000).
Just over half of all Muslims (53%) in 2011 were born outside Britain. The numbers have almost doubled in a decade with a rise of over half a million (599,000) from 828,000 to 1.4 million in 2011. A similar pattern can be seen for the number of Muslims born in Britain, where there was also a rise of over a half a million (560,000) from 718,000 to 1.2 million in 2011.
Muslims also had the lowest levels of economic activity (55%), compared to Christians (60%). The numbers are somewhat deceiving, however, as age is a major factor in economic activity. As most Christians in Britain are from an older demographic, this means that a large proportion of Christians not participating in the labor force are "retired" (69%).
By contrast, Muslims had the youngest age profile and were the most often economically inactive because they were "looking after home or family" (31%) or because they were "students" (30%). According to the census data, only 13% of Muslims in Britain were "retired."
In an interview with The Telegraph newspaper, Fraser Watts, a professor of theology at Cambridge University, said it was "entirely possible" that Christians could become a minority within the next decade. "It is still pretty striking," he said, "and it is a worrying trend and confirms what anyone can observe -- that in many churches the majority of the congregation are over 60."
David Coleman, a professor of demography at the University of Oxford, said the findings showed that Christianity is declining with each generation. "Each large age group," he said, "as time progresses, receives less inculcation into Christianity than its predecessor ten years earlier."
Coleman contrasts the decline of Christianity through the generations to what happens among Muslims. "We have a Muslim faith where most studies suggest adherence to Islam is not only transmitted through the generations but appears to get stronger," he said. "Indeed, there seems to be some evidence that the second generation Muslims in Britain are more Muslim than their parents."
In a recently published study, Coleman predicted that up to 40% of the population of Britain will be foreign or from a minority ethnic group within 50 years if current trends continue. By that time the white British population will be on the verge of becoming a minority.
According to Coleman, the combined population of ethnic minorities will exceed white Britons in about 2070; the non-white population could increase to 24 million and other whites to seven million by 2050.
The moment that the white British become a minority will symbolize a huge transfer of power. Coleman says it will underline a changed national identity -- cultural, political, economic and religious. "An older white population would need to co-exist with a younger ethnic population, arguably required for its support," he said.
Coleman has warned of the consequences of the ethnic transformation taking place in Britain and other parts of Europe. "History is not sanguine about the capacity of ethnic groups or religions to overcome their differences. The ethnic transformation implicit in current trends would be a major, unlooked-for, and irreversible change in British society, unprecedented for at least a millennium," Coleman said.
Separately, it recently emerged that nearly one-third of all children born in England and Wales now have at least one foreign-born parent. In 2011, 224,943 babies had either one or both parents born outside of the United Kingdom -- 31% of the total. This is a substantial rise on the figure in 2000, when 21.2% of babies had at least one non-British-born parent.
As Mohammed was by far the most popular name for baby boys born in England and Wales in 2011, many of these foreign-born parents would appear to be Muslim.
The politically correct ONS declared that Harry was the most popular boy's name, with 7,523 baby boys receiving that name in 2011. But if one adds up the 22 different spellings of Mohammed (Mohammed, Muhammad, Mohammad, Muhammed, Mahammad, Mohamed, Mohamud, etc.), a total of 8,146 baby boys born in Britain were named after the Muslim prophet in 2011.
Sir Andrew Green, the director of Migration Watch, a think tank that focuses on immigration, summed it up this way: "This is the clear result of the Labour Party's mass immigration policy which is changing the nature of our society at a speed which is unacceptable to the public who of course were never consulted."
gatestoneinstitute

Terrorists by Any Other Name

By George H. Wittman

Drummer Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers was run down last week by a vehicle targeting him as he walked along a London street. He was then repeatedly stabbed with knives and eventually decapitated with a meat cleaver. The worst fears of British security services had come to pass. Such an episode of individual murder had been expected to occur in one form or another, but the brutal attack on Rigby confirmed the dangers that had swirled about urban Britain’s racially and religiously volatile Islamic community for many years.
Many factors are being considered by the various law enforcement agencies now involved in the investigation, but the existence of any size of radicalized Muslim social order within a primarily European society challenges the fundamental cohesiveness and thus historical order of that majority society. This is the issue that is also facing the authorities in Stockholm where rioters —primarily, though not exclusively, of Islamic immigrant background— spent days complaining over lack of benefits that they had come to expect.
The assault in London was followed in France by a knife attack on a French soldier in the business center of La Defense on Paris’s outskirts. Unrelated but consistent, an ethnic Chechen Muslim in Florida was shot by the FBI after he allegedly lunged at interrogators seeking possible involvement with the Boston Marathon bombing by the Tsarnaev brothers. Connections in motivation were made by security specialists that these and similar past actions were in response to Islamic terrorist declarations that the lives of “crusaders” and other non-believers must be taken in order to avenge American and European efforts to subjugate Muslim lands and people. Meanwhile, throughout Africa’s Maghreb and Sahel, bands of radicalized Islamic terrorists have organized to murder and pillage in an effort to destabilize existing governance.
What is most surprising about these actions is that Islamic communities in occidental areas do not seem in the slightest surprised at these events — even while condemning them. The reaction among many so-called “moderate” Muslims has been appropriately condemnatory of the acts — but hardly shocked or even surprised. The fact is that it is expected in the Muslim community that some among them will seek to punish “non-believers”in the fashion dictated by the Qu’ran — “to command good and forbid evil.”
Nonetheless in some of the incidents referred to there has been a direct claim of religious justification for the acts, though these brutal murders and attacks are carried out supposedly in retribution for the death or privation of innocent civilians by political and military forces of the dominating West. Revenge for military action is cloaked later in pseudo-spiritual justification by apologists seeking to explain the homicidal acts even as the perpetrators waste no time in planning their next action.
The reality is that the Islamic world is now infected with an effort to instill within its youth a belief that non-believers aided by heretics have been responsible for the loss of Islamic status and prestige, as well as legal dominance, over lands and people once held in the sway of Muslim genius and might. The right of Islam to dominate is at the core of this belief — and thus the justification for the engagement of all acts carried out in the name of Islamic solidarity and revenge — conveniently characterized under the term, jihad.
From this reasoning the late Sunni terrorist leader, Osama bin Laden, energized a movement that now seeks to expand its reach —under its al Qaeda name and others — to conquer and punish countries and their people. Terrorist tactics are deemed the most suitable for they have a force multiplier effect. These tactics also encourage the targets to focus on the terror and not the shared religious conviction and/or pretense that nurtures the act.
For some reason, best known to the President of the United States, he has decided that characterizing the acts as criminal portrays them in a less malevolent mien and not a historic religiously driven derivation. In this fashion the American president has declared that the “war” against these forces is over, while the battle against international crime can and will continue as part of a global effort to preserve law and order.
The White House takes the position that the religio-political character of Islamic-derived contemporary terrorism has been replaced by a fraternity of murderers and anarchists for unstated material benefits. In this manner history and culture can be ignored and the religious alignment that gives impetus and justification to these actions can be absolved in the form of its own victimization rather than as a contributing factor.
If this were true, Drummer Rigby never would have been assassinated for no other reason than his mere existence. But the American president wants us to believe it wasn’t the bastardization of a great faith that drove the heinous act, but some far more understandable socio-psychological malaise. Why would he do that?
spectator

The View from Londonistan

By Mark Hendrickson

For the second straight year I’ve had the pleasure of an extended visit with my daughter in London, and for the second year, the themes of liberty and rights–and how closely related they are to conflict and religion–have been prominent.
Last year, we saw Magna Carta at Salisbury Cathedral. The fact that one not-so-large sheet of parchment changed the trajectory of western civilization from despotism to liberty is powerful evidence that the pen is ultimately mightier than the sword. (Regarding Magna Carta: the way the copyist managed to write each letter and space each line with a precision indistinguishable from modern print technologies is truly incredible.)
Last week we toured Scotland, and wherever we went, we heard stories of earlier generations of Scottish freedom fighters, saw the castles (including the famous one overlooking Edinburgh from its perch on top of a volcanic upthrust) used to defend against aggressors, and relived the conflicts between different peoples and religions. Then on Memorial Day, on a day trip to Cambridge, we saw the hallowed cemetery where 3,811 of the approximately 30,000 graves of US airmen who died while flying combat missions out of England in World War II.
Today, the United Kingdom and its values and liberties are under attack again. While we were enjoying Scotland’s beauty, Drummer Lee Rigby was butchered in broad daylight on the streets of London by two fanatical Islamists. We had heard about it from a taxi driver in Edinburgh, but when it really hit home for me was after we got back to London and I saw his wedding photo in one of the newspapers. The young man was one of the kindest, gentlest, most cherubic looking men I have seen in a long time, and the image of his bride gave the same impression. That such a man could be treated so brutally, such a family be devastated so wantonly, is evil of uncommon magnitude.
While walking to the Lords Cricket Club to share a Sunday roast with an old prep school chum, we passed one of London’s largest mosques and a number of Muslims on the sidewalk. It’s easy to see why some wag coined the word “Londonistan.” The tension and mutual mistrust were palpable. It feels like London is under siege. The mosque seems like a beachhead of an invading force. As was the case here centuries ago, a religious war threatens to rob merry olde England of its tranquility. Londoners find themselves potential targets of random attacks by guerrilla jihadists dwelling in their neighborhoods.
In the anguished aftermath of Lee Rigby’s murder, Londoners yearned mightily for solutions to the grim threat they feel. The problem is, there are no easy answers, only vexing dilemmas and uncomfortable tradeoffs.
In a land that values free speech, there are proposals to censor jihadist websites and suppress hate speech–understandable and in many ways justifiable–but such suggestions are accompanied by the nagging feelings that enforcing such objectives could lead to abuses and that driving jihadists underground may not be sufficient to prevent future guerrilla attacks.
In a country where one of the finest historical achievements was learning to set aside sectarian differences, agree to disagree about religion, but coexist peacefully in a civil society based on the impartial protection of individual rights, few citizens want their country to be divided by religious strife. Religious tolerance was achieved at great cost by earlier generations of Brits, but how viable is tolerance if a core tenet of one religion is intolerance of anyone outside the faith? How can Christian England avoid religious strife, when adherents of one particular religion are thrusting it upon them?
And how safe and practical is it to cling to the belief that it is wrong and bigoted to look at individual members of some “other group” as being potentially dangerous? The current situation is horribly unfair to Muslims who have assimilated into western culture and share our belief in religious tolerance and the separation of church and state, but the insurmountable problem is: How are we non-Muslims to know which Muslims are ticking time bomb waiting to explode?
I wonder whether Britons fully realize the nature of the conflict in which they are engaged. What drives Islamism is a religious belief system. The fanatics are moved by what they perceive as a higher purpose. They have the conviction that faith in divine law imparts, and the concomitant willingness to die in the service of that cause.
It seems to me, although I’m sure many in the West will disagree, that only a comparable belief system of religious faith, with its devotion to a purpose that transcends temporal and temporary happiness, can withstand and prevail against a fervent political-religious ideology. Somehow, I doubt that secular humanism or the facile belief that “nice people don’t butcher or seek to enslave others” won’t cut it against a rabid, unreasoning, uncompromising, to-the-death fanaticism.
There are visible clues about the antidote to illiberal, atavistic ideology of Islamic conquest all over London and the British isles. I refer to the ubiquitous beautiful churches and magnificent, sometimes centuries-old cathedrals. (Speaking of cathedrals, Salisbury Cathedral, which dates from the 13th century and houses Magna Carta, would be worth a visit even if Magna Carta were elsewhere.) The architectural majesty of these hallowed buildings puts to shame the uninspiring utilitarian structures of the modern era.
Britain’s grand and gorgeous Christian churches are monuments in stone to grand and enduring ideas. They remind us that, in spite of manifold sins and shortcomings on the part of fallible individual Christians, it has been Christian values and concepts that gave birth to our love of freedom, our respect for individual rights, the search for and discovery of the principles governing nature, and even our free market system, based as it essentially is on the Golden Rule whereby one profits to the extent of providing value to others. It was the genius of Christianity that taught us to live and let live, to tolerate others, to peacefully coexist in our economic and social lives even as we go our separate ways on the Sabbath to observe different religious traditions, or no tradition. These have been the happy and prosperous fruits of Christian culture. Many in our western societies, having achieved material abundance, have had less time for religion in recent decades. England’s churches, like the ones on the European continent and like many at home in the States, are largely empty. We have forgotten what made us what we are. Indeed, we have the right to abandon our cultural roots and forsake the teachings that lifted us above life that was nasty, brutish and short. I strongly suspect, though, that the cost of doing so will be great, and, conversely, that a return to our roots will strengthen us for the struggle ahead.
frontpagemag

Woolwich Incident Reveals a Difference in Cultures

By Elise Cooper

As Americans remembered their fallen on Memorial Day, the British are mourning one soldier who was horrifically slain by two radicalized Islamic extremist terrorists last week. They hacked him to death with a knife and kitchen cleaver after ramming him with a car to bring him down. Many British citizens came to his defense, coming between the terrorists and the fallen soldier, Lee Rigby. One courageous citizen, Mrs. Loyau-Kennett, confronted the terrorists to prevent anyone else from being injured. American Thinker interviewed a former MI6 intelligence agent, Matthew Dunn, whose latest book, Slingshot, is due out in June. During the course of the conversation it became apparent that there are definitely differences in culture between England and America and the interview turned into something of a debate.
American Thinker (AT): Don't you think Prime Minister Cameron reacted much better to this terrorist attack than President Obama?
Dunn: In what way?
AT: Just to compare a few points: After PM Cameron heard about the incident he cut short his Paris trip and flew back to England, while President Obama after hearing about those slain in Benghazi took a campaign trip to Nevada. Quoting Cameron shortly after the killing, "An appalling murder that was absolutely sickening," and "There are strong indications that it is a terrorist attack." On the other hand, the Obama Administration took days to actually change their narrative from the cause being a spontaneous demonstration to a terrorist attack.
AT: By the way, did your Prime Minister call the killing of Rigby just a case of workplace violence as has been designated in the Fort Hood soldier killings?
Dunn: Of course it is not workplace violence. The family held a news conference and the wife could not understand how it was that her husband who served in Afghanistan with distinction, facing numerous terrorist threats, came home safely; yet stated, "You don't expect it to happen when he's in the U.K. You think they're safe."
AT: Can you explain why it took about twenty minutes for the police to arrive at the crime scene?
Dunn: In the UK we have a police force that is not armed. The thinking behind that is, if we do not arm our police than they are less likely to make a mistake and kill innocent people. As you saw we do have a highly-trained armed police unit, which specifically injured the terrorists so they could be brought to justice.
AT: It does not seem that gun control is working in your country, considering the terrorist did have a gun so the bad guys are able to get them. Can you comment?
Dunn: Here, there is not the same level of gun problems as in the U.S. We don't have the right to bear arms in England. I will argue that the amount of gun crimes in our country is diminished. The reason for this is that it is far harder to kill someone with a knife than with a gun.
AT: In Jeffery Deaver's latest book The Kill Room the weapon of choice is a knife. He commented, "What is an interesting point is that the story shows the damage that can be done with a weapon other than a gun, and sometimes it is even more horrific. Look at the UK where it is almost impossible to own a gun yet people are slaughtered with knives. Why just the other day, a British soldier was murdered by two men who seemed to be self-professed Islamists, wielding knives and machetes or cleavers. The vicious killing brings home the fact that evil will persist, whatever weapons are at hand." I think that pretty much summarizes my feeling.
Dunn: Think about the mentality of a non-psychopath. If you have a gun it is easy to pull the trigger and kill somebody without necessarily thinking it through. That actual act of getting close to somebody and putting that knife into them, in a way that actually kills them, is a far harder premeditated act than pulling a trigger. These terrorists did a premeditated act by hacking that poor soldier to death. I understand in the U.S. that if someone intrudes on you or your property to protect your family and loved one a gun will be pulled out.
AT: I look at the fact that whether it's a gun or a knife the end result is the same, the soldier is dead. I also believe that at least for women, guns can even the score with a male attacker where with a knife that would not be the case. Since this incident, are people debating about arming themselves or arming all the police force?
Dunn: Surprisingly not. We are debating how to deal with radicalization and with people who are not integrating into our society. How they do not accept being part of the UK and our culture, and how we must compete with the radicalization by showing how our culture and values will make a better life.
AT: I know that Michael Hayden gave England high marks when he previously told American Thinker, "The general public must take some responsibility to be the eyes and ears because intelligence and law enforcement cannot be everywhere. In other words, 'Keep calm, carry on, and if you see something, say something.'" Do you agree?
Dunn: Our citizens are used to terrorist attacks. We have this now and in the past we had the IRA. People as you saw with this incident do not panic or become fearful. Although people are disgusted with what happened they are fairly calm.
AT: President Obama last week said that we are safer now -- do you agree?
Dunn: Well, terrorism is not dead at all. The reality is that now there is the lone-wolf terrorist who is radicalized and committing atrocities based on their own perceived grievances. This reminds me of the early 20th century anarchists in Europe who threw bombs into crowded areas. In fact, many of us in England were surprised that since there were only two terrorists, Boston was shut down and martial law was practically initiated. What was gifted from that is every lone terrorist will feel they have the power to shut down an entire city. A prospect of shutting down the city can cause loss of revenue and utter chaos. This is playing into the terrorists' hands.
AT: Thank you for giving your time and insight.
Dunn: I am sorry since I am fairly certain that I have not answered the questions the way you would have wanted me too. It is a difference of cultures and I understand that the American environment is much different than in the UK.
AT: That is true, so we will have to agree to disagree on some issues, but thank you for your honesty. Good luck with your next book, Slingshot. I am looking forward to reading it.
americanthinker

Thursday, May 30, 2013

UK Cops Explain Why they Handcuffed 85-Year-Old British Woman for Offending Muslims

By Daniel Greenfield

After two Muslim terrorists beheading a British soldier in London, cops arrested an 85-year-old woman for shouting “Go back to your own country” at mosquegoers. Not only did they arrest her, but they even handcuffed her.
The wording of the original story , “the pensioner was handcuffed and taken away in a van by officers attending the Canterbury Street mosque for Friday prayers” appeared to suggest that the officers arresting her were Muslims, which explains their abusive reaction to a British citizen exercising her rights.
Now the police division has responded to criticism of their outrageous behavior with a defensive email, stating, “I am disappointed to read your views of the police response to the tragic event in Woolwich… our officers are trained to respond to any incident they are called to and regularly put themselves at risk to protect the public and keep the peace.”
Yes, one can only imagine the risks that the Muslim thugs in uniform experienced when dealing with the brutal violence that can only be unleashed by an 85-year-old woman. Considering that she was both a woman and an infidel, they probably had to spend a few hours on ritual washing before they could go back to praying to Allah to destroy the UK.
“A decision had to be made by the officers in attendance whether to make an arrest for the offences committed… the public order offence takes place in front of other members of the public, and there were a significant number of people present due to the time of day. The officers made the decision to arrest based on the situation at that time and with further consideration for further offences being committed by the individual or others if no arrest was made.”
One can only imagine what other horrors the old lady might have committed if the courageous Muslims hadn’t clapped her in irons.
But the justification is typically revealing. It mentions what offences might have been committed by others if she hadn’t been arrested. Which is to say that she was arrested because of potential Muslim violence. This Muslim felony rule is being used to go after people who “provoke” Muslim violence.
But meanwhile it took the police 20 minutes to respond to the butchery of a British soldier.
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Left-wing policies have promoted the rise of barbarism

The fashionable progressive agenda is wrecking our once stable, free society. In the name of tolerance, the craven political establishment has promoted barbarism in our midst. For decades, our rulers have presented mass immigration and multi-culturalism as forces for social advancement. But in the aftermath of the Woolwich atrocity, the malign consequences of this strategy are all too clear. Far from bringing harmony and compassion, the politically correct state has achieved the very opposite. The transformation of our social fabric has led to segregation rather than integration, distrust instead of unity, fear in place of freedom. Multi-cultural diversity might be portrayed as a liberal policy but in practice it has led to discrimination, misogyny and oppression across our urban areas, while encouraging the growth of extremism. In a speech in 2011 David Cameron proclaimed that “a genuinely liberal country believes in certain values and actively promotes them: freedom of speech; freedom of worship; the rule of law; and equal rights regardless of race, sex or sexuality.” His rhetoric was laudable but has hardly been matched by the actions of the Government, which has long shown a craven reluctance to uphold the liberal traditions of Britain.
Obsessed with the ideology of diversity, our political masters have not only allowed the immigration rate to reach more than 500,000 arrivals every single year, but also have refused to demand that newcomers accept the British way of life. Instead immigrants have been encouraged to cling to their own cultures and customs. During their 13 years of misrule, Labour was particularly enthusiastic about enforcing this destructive strategy, partly through their instinctive loathing for their own country, which they liked to portray as outdated and racist, and partly through their desire to expand their client army of supporters, given that 80 per cent of immigrants vote Labour. What is so tragic is that a party of the Left, trumpeting its supposedly liberal credentials, should have pursued a policy that is so fundamentally illiberal. Labour’s fixation with identity politics and mass immigration had led to the import of deeply reactionary, anti-democratic, superstitious tribalism on an epic scale. There is nothing liberal about what is now happening in many of our inner cities. Tower Hamlets in east London, where white Britons make up just 30 per cent of the population, has seen patrols by Muslim vigilantes who have attacked women for dressing “inappropriately” and put up stickers declaring the area “a gay free zone”. The same spirit of misogyny can be also be seen in the growing number of sharia courts, which treat women as second-class citizens, and in the gangs of Muslim men in such places as Oxford, Telford and Derby, preying on young white girls. The same collapse of liberal values can be seen in the urban breakdown of democracy. Fraud perpetrated by ethnic minority “community leaders” and politicians is now rife, helped by lax rules on postal voting introduced by Labour. At the same time political correctness has fuelled the thuggish far-Right as seen last weekend in the English Defence League marches in Newcastle and London. Freedom of speech is also in danger, thanks to the constant threat of violence from Islamic extremists at anything they regard as blasphemous. In this disturbing climate of fear, where publishers can be firebombed and writers subjected to fatwas, self-censorship about Islam is almost universal. It is the same story with the principle of equality before the law. In the cowardly world of political correctness, double standards are rife. Christians are regularly subjected to institutionalised bullying over the symbols of their belief, yet the state bends over backwards to accommodate other faiths. Similarly, the state does nothing to stop Muslim extremists such as Anjem Choudary spouting often violent slogans but would not dream of tolerating such hate speech in others. The destruction of liberalism also works on a deeper level. Precisely because the multicultural experiment is failing so disastrously, the machinery of the state is now used to enforce the official orthodoxy and suppress dissent. So in addition to the police, who seem now to regard themselves as the upholders of diversity creed, the institutions of government employ vast numbers of equality officers backed up by a panoply of laws and regulations. “We will shine a light in every workplace,” said Harriet Harman of the 2010 Equality Act, with the fervour of the true zealot. Just as worrying is the loss of liberty caused by the very extremism that the state has allowed to flourish through its neurotic attachment to multiculturalism. In the wake of the Woolwich killing, the Government is now talking of yet more security controls, bureaucracy, crackdowns on free speech and even a law that would allow the authorities to monitor all email traffic, texts and phone calls. Stella Rimmington, former head of MI5, says that such a move is justified because: “We are at war with a hostile enemy.” What is so outrageous is that the British government deliberately imported this enemy into our country. Now we are all paying the price for this treacherous folly through the loss of our freedoms.
express

Send Us Your Violent Bigots, Yearning to Butcher Our Children

By Ann Coulter

It’s been a bad few weeks for cultural assimilation. Last month, two welfare-receiving immigrants in the United States, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, killing three people and injuring hundreds. By the end of the week, they had murdered a cop and engaged in a wild shoot-out and bomb-throwing melee with the police.
Last week, a couple of ethnic Nigerians butchered a British soldier with meat cleavers in broad daylight on a bustling street in a London suburb, then boasted about the murder in video interviews with bystanders. (On the bright side, they did not claim to be princes and ask for your life savings.)
Also last week, immigrants, mostly Muslims, began rioting in peaceful Sweden — burning schools to the ground, torching cars and throwing rocks at the police. (Who among us hasn’t lost his temper trying to assemble an Ikea china cabinet?)
Supporters of the West’s current immigration policies can’t keep ducking reality. So they try to shut down debate by calling their opponents racists, xenophobes, know-nothings and fascists.
The English Defense League (EDL), for example, is portrayed in the media as a bunch of racist football hooligans. So I was surprised to learn that the EDL has not only a Jewish division, but a gay division. (Harvey Fierstein could be their president!) They expressly support Israel against Muslim terror and burn Nazi flags at their rallies.
Apparently it is considered “fascist” to oppose actual fascists immigrating to your country.
A few years ago, an opinion piece in The New York Times denounced the pro-gay positions of anti-immigration groups such as the EDL for “co-opting” gays. The co-opting is so thoroughgoing that the anti-immigration Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn was himself gay. He was assassinated by a vegan animal rights activist upset at criticism of Muslims.
But surely members of the EDL oppose Britain’s immigration policies out of ignorance?
It briefly seemed so. A month ago, the head of the EDL, Tommy Robinson, provoked a round of liberal sneering when he tweeted: “welcome to twitter homepage has a picture of a mosque. what a joke.” Various media outlets leapt to point out that the photo was, actually, the Taj Mahal.
The liberal Guardian mocked: “It’s worth pointing out that the ‘mosque’ that started this … was in fact the Taj Mahal, the marble mausoleum in India. It’s almost as if the very existence of the EDL is based on false information, suspicion and idiocy.”
Except — oops –– it wasn’t the Taj Mahal. It was a mosque — the Grand Mosque in Muscat, Oman, to be precise — as The Guardian quietly admitted in an altered photo caption after stealthily removing the comment about the EDL’s “idiocy” for imagining it was a mosque. It’s almost as if the very existence of The Guardian is based on false information, suspicion and idiocy.
Britain, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Spain have recently enacted, or are considering enacting, further restrictions on immigration, alarming immigration enthusiasts. The New York Times reported this week that the “right-wing Swiss People’s Party” is requesting a referendum on immigration.
Wait a second! A referendum doesn’t sound fascist at all. In fact and to the contrary, it’s always the advocates of unrestricted immigration who try to avoid letting the people vote. Marco Rubio and the rest of the pro-amnesty “Gang of Eight” don’t even want the country to know they’re about to vote on a mass immigration scheme.
Liberals say, “Basic human rights are not subject to a vote!” — and then define “basic human rights” as “the right of people who don’t live in your country to move there.”
Manifestly, opponents of open immigration are not fascists, anti-Semitic, anti-gay, intolerant or idiots. But as long as we’re on the subject, may we inquire into the tolerance and other Western values of the potential immigrants themselves?
Last week, U.S. law enforcement officials reported that Muslim immigrant Ibragim Todashev admitted that he and Boston bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev had murdered three Jewish men in a Boston suburb on the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attack. (Which also, I believe, was the work of immigrants.) The victims’ throats were cut from ear to ear, nearly decapitating them. One was Tamerlan’s best friend.
Searching The New York Times’ webpage for “English Defense League,” turns up this multicultural story out of Saudi Arabia: “Online Campaign Draws Attention to Case of Saudi Father Accused of Rape and Torture.” The father, Fayhan al-Ghamdi, a prominent Islamic cleric, served only a few months in a Saudi Arabian prison for allegedly raping, burning and fatally beating his own 5-year-old daughter.
It’s not just Muslims who aren’t warming to Western values. Polls by the Anti-Defamation League going back decades have shown a steady decline of anti-Semitism in the U.S. But a 2002 poll showed a surprising upsurge.
While 17 percent of all Americans were said to hold “strongly anti-Semitic” views, 35 percent of Hispanics did — as did 44 percent of foreign-born Hispanics.
(Note to Sheldon Adelson: It may be time to give your Hispanic employees a raise.)
Liberals get a kick out of accusing their opponents of what they themselves are guilty of. But this may be the most audacious reverse-guilt play yet. For objecting to the importation of primitive, violent, child-rape-forgiving bigots, the opponents of mass immigration are accused of bigotry.
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