Monday, March 31, 2014

Gunter Grass and the Waffen SS

By Theodore Feder

On April 7, 2012, Gunter Grass, German novelist and Nobel Laureate, published a poem, titled “What Must Be Said” (“Was gesagt werden muss”) in which he chastised the nuclear power Israel for threatening Iran and endangering world peace. It garnered worldwide attention.
The poem states in part,
Why is it only now I say in old age, with my last drop of ink, that Israel’s nuclear power endangers an already fragile world peace? Because what by tomorrow might be too late, must be spoken now, and because we—as Germans already burdened enough—could become enablers of a crime.
He allowed himself to do this, he says, in spite of being a German and at the risk of being labeled an anti-Semite, which he averred he most assuredly was not. What better proof of his objectivity than that he, a good German of the left, was impelled by his conscience to sound the alarm, regardless of the consequences to him personally, though his poem was met with considerable approval in Germany and elsewhere?
Of course, he could have decried other threats to international harmony, posed for instance, by the nuclear power of North Korea, by the instability in a nuclear-armed Pakistan, by the events in the Sudan, Rwanda, and Somalia, by the regime of Bashar al Assad, by the Taliban, Al Qaeda and the world-wide jihadist movement, or he could have focused on the threats to annihilate Israel that have emanated from Iran itself. There, its past president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was wont to describe Israel as an illegitimate entity “that should be wiped off the map,” as a “germ of corruption that will be wiped off” and as “an insult to all humanity.”
Ahmadinejad’s successor, Hassan Rouhani, reputed to be more moderate, stated on the occasion of the Al-Quds Day celebrations in Tehran that “Israel is a wound on the body of the world of Islam that must be destroyed.” Grass would appear to prefer that the Jews of Israel proceed compliantly to their deaths, as they did under the careful ministrations of the SS during World War II, which brings us to a not-unrelated subject.
It happens that after 60 years of concealment and silence, Gunter Grass admitted in August 2006 that during the war he had been a member of the Waffen SS. He made this admission in an autobiography released that same month titled Peeling the Onion (Beim Heuter der Zwiebel).  Asked about this in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Grass replied,
I am sure I am remembering correctly, the Waffen SS was at first not something scary, but rather an elite unit that was always sent to the trouble spots, and which according to rumor, had the most casualties.
Perhaps he meant to say inflicted” the most casualties, given their activities in the extermination camps and the numerous atrocities they committed in the occupied territories, not excluding Grass’s hometown of Danzig-Gdansk in the opening days of the war.
Asked in the same interview why, given that he had often been called the conscience of Germany, he should have waited so long to make his confession, his truncated reply was that he could not do so in the 1950s because then,
We were under Adenauer, ghastly, with all those lies, with all that Catholic fug. The society of that day was fed by a kind of stuffiness that never existed under the Nazis.
Put aside that West Germany rejoined the family of nations under Adenauer and embarked on a road not only to full recovery but to prosperity. He does not address his silence during the 43 years that followed the Adenauer government.
The Waffen SS was created as the armed wing of the Nazi Party, originally commanded by Reichsfuhrer SS Heinrich Himmler. It was condemned at the Nuremberg trials as a criminal organization. Grass belonged to the SS Panzer Division Frundsberg, which saw action in the Ukraine and in the Battle of the Bulge. A sister unit, the Sixth Panzer Corps of the Waffen SS Lebstandarte Division, slaughtered 111 captured American GI’s at Malmedy, Belgium. Indeed, Hitler had instructed all SS units on the occasion of this battle not to take prisoners.
Grass himself fell prisoner to the Americans on May 8, 1945, after, as he reports, he stripped the SS insignia from his uniform, lest he fall into the hands of the vengeful Ivans, as he called the Russians. Thus he must have been cognizant of the depredations inflicted on that people by the Waffen SS, a realization which conflicts with his later claim that the Waffen SS was “not something scary.” Such a claim belies his own intelligence, the history of the SS, the doctrine of Aryan supremacy, and the racist propaganda that were the hallmarks of National Socialism, at least following the assumption of the Chancellorship by Adolf Hitler, if not well before.
His American captivity was punctuated by a period in a work detail, in which he encountered a half-dozen young Jewish displaced persons who, as he notes, “had been smiled upon by fate and escaped death in one or another of the extermination camps” where their parents and families had been murdered. By Grass’s own account, he and his fellow German POWs taunted these boys with choice “barracks German,” of which he quotes some relatively mild examples: “You bow-legged dogs,” “You bed-wetters,” “I’ll make you toe the line, the lot of you,” “Get out of here! Go to your Palestine.” This in spite of the fact that one of the Jewish boys, called Ben, would slip him leftovers to consume before returning to camp, “as it was against the rules to take food back to camp.” He concludes,
The Jews stayed on a bit longer, probably until they managed to find a way to get to Palestine, where the promise of Israel as a sovereign state and war upon war stood ahead of them.” (Peeling the Onion, pp. 195-198)
The Jewish characters in The Tin Drum may represent Grass’s preferred model of Jewish behavior: tractable as opposed to truculent, passive, harmless, well-meaning, small shop-owners; not the soldierly Israeli model that Glass seems to deplore. One of them, Sigismund  Markus, commits suicide as his toy shop is gutted on the night of the Danzig Kristallnacht. Another, Herr Fajngold, goes around helplessly calling out the names of his large invisible family; “Luba, Lev, Jakub, Berek, Leon, Mendel, Sonja,” who had all been extinguished in the ovens of Treblinka.
Grass reiterates his own unwavering loyalty to the Fuhrer on numerous occasions. Upon learning of the failed attempt to assassinate Hitler, he says,
A shiver ran through us. Something akin to piety sent the sweat seeping out of our pores. The Fuehrer saved! The heavens were once more, or still, on our side…We shouted Sieg heil three times. We were irate, we were incensed at the still nameless traitors.[Quotations taken from Gunther Grass, “How I spent the War,” The New Yorker, June 4, 2007]
There were other massacres that occurred in Grass’s hometown. Fifty of Danzig’s most prominent Jews were rounded up by the Waffen SS, locked in their synagogue, and put to death when it was set ablaze. Five hundred remaining Jews of Danzig were executed by the SS in the detention camp of Sabac (October 12, 1941), as recounted by Grass himself in From the Diary of a Snail. (English translation by  Ralph Mannheim, A Harvest Book, p. 121-122.) These episodes, and others like them, were not kept secret, and hardly qualify as “stuffy.”
That Grass has at times behaved hypocritically in his post-war activities is clear. In the late 1960s, he campaigned against Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger largely on the grounds that he was unfit for the post because he had once been a member of the Nazi party. Grass, a staunch socialist, might have been more forgiving if Kiesinger had not been a leader of the Christian Democratic Union. In 1970, he accompanied Chancellor Willy Brandt to the Warsaw Ghetto memorial in Poland. The ghetto had been liquidated and razed by the Waffen SS under the command of SS Brigadefuhrer Jurgen Stoop. This was an opportunity, not taken, for Grass to make his admission. In 1985, on the anniversary of V-E Day, Glass insisted that President Ronald Reagan and Chancellor Helmut Kohl were very wrong to visit the military cemetery at Bitburg, since it also served as the resting place for veterans of the Waffen SS.
In his autobiography and the New Yorker article derived from it, Grass maintains that he never fired a shot in the war, and describes his activity in uncharacteristically colorless and stereotyped fashion, which as has been suggested, could have been lifted from Grass’s frequent visits to the cinema: bullets just miss him but strike his comrades; he hums a German nursery rhyme to fetch out an adversary hidden in the woods, who happily answers in kind; he exchanges his SS jacket for an ordinary Wehrmacht jacket, “one without bullet holes or bloodstains.”
There is some confusion about whether Grass volunteered for the SS or was conscripted into it. He says that he first volunteered for duty in the U-Boat service, and dreamt of joining the brave men sinking ships at sea. “No pressure from above. Nor did I feel the need to assuage a sense of guilt at say, doubting the Fuehrer’s infallibility, with my zeal to volunteer”(Gunther Glass, “How I spent the War,” New Yorker, June 4, 2007). Having been rejected by the submariners, who he says were no longer taking volunteers, his application was shunted over to the SS, which duly consigned him to its ranks. It is true that the Waffen SS, a volunteer service prior to the end of 1943, also took in conscripts thereafter, but at times Glass leaves the impression that he was one of its volunteers.  His justification for and defense of that service, even to this day, does not suggest that he was dragooned into it.
In sum, I do not believe that these disclosures lessen the quality and value of Grass’s early writings, certainly not of the masterful Danzig Trilogy (Tin Drum, Dog Years,  Cat and Mouse), but they do diminish him as an ideologue and human being, one who has been held up as an exemplar on the one hand, and revealed as an apologist and hypocrite on the other.
frontpagemag

Islamizing Britain’s Schools

By Bruce Bawer

“Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man.“
– Jesuit aphorism
Real Muslims understand the critical importance of teaching the young. The critical importance, that is, of teaching them the “right” things and not teaching them the “wrong” things. The most important single element of stealth Islamization is the effort to convert Western schools from centers of secular education into hubs of Islamic indoctrination. Fortunately, there are plenty of dhimmi teachers and school administrators eager to help out, convinced that they’re serving the interests of multicultural peace and harmony. These days, for some reason, this form of dhimmitude seems to be most prevalent – and to take its acutest form – in England.
Take, for example, Lynn Small, headmistress of a state elementary school in Huntington, England, who last November wrote a letter to parents of fourth- and sixth-grade students warning that if they didn’t let their children attend an “Explore Islam” workshop at Staffordshire University, a “Racial Discrimination” note would be placed in the kids’ permanent records. Fortunately, parents kicked up a fuss, and the media took notice, and Small backtracked – kind of – while still insisting that since some of the school’s “pupils and teachers…belong to the Islam faith,” it was only “right for the children to understand and appreciate their faith as well as their own.”
Obviously, Small realized she’d miscalculated. Slightly. Apparently there were no repercussions for her. She still has her job, and there’s no indication that school authorities even put a note in her permanent record chiding her for making Stalinist-type threats against parents. No, her heart was plainly in the right place, as far as the British educational establishment is concerned – she just went about things the wrong way, confronting parents directly instead of taking a more crafty approach.
In any event, Small, it turns out, is decidedly small-time. In the last couple of weeks, investigations by the Telegraph and Daily Mail have uncovered something far more serious than Small’s little workshop: namely, a long-term, broad-based conspiracy to Islamize schools in the city of Birmingham. The conspiracy is so widespread, and involves so many high-level people in the school system and the Muslim community, that – well, put it this way: if you were to suggest to a typical European multiculturalist that any such plot were brewing anywhere in the Western world, you’d be mocked and reviled, accused of racism, paranoia, and sheer unadulterated foolishness.
Yet the facts are there. As revealed in a series of articles, there’s “an organised group of Muslim teachers, education consultants, school governors and activists” who are involved in what they themselves call a “Trojan Horse” campaign to further an “Islamising agenda” by “remov[ing] secular head teachers and install[ing] Islamic practices in Birmingham state schools.” The participants’ ongoing discussions of this campaign have taken place on a private online message board, whose contents have been seen by the Telegraph. Among the conspirators’ short-term objectives is to install Muslim worship in the schools; their explicit long-term goal, as they have made clear in postings on the message board, is the total Islamization of Britain.
The key figure in this scheme is Razwan Faraz, a deputy head teacher at a Birmingham school who, in the days before the Telegraph exposé, had made something of a name for himself by vociferously denying that any such effort was underway. Faraz has another claim to fame, as it happens: his brother, Ahmed Faraz, was the owner of a shop in Birmingham, since closed by police, that “distributed extremist literature to many involved in terror plots, including one of the 7/7 bombers.” Ahmed was himself jailed in 2011 “for multiple terror-related offences.” Razwan assailed his brother’s incarceration as “an attack on free speech.”
Among Faraz’s collaborators are a number of Muslims in positions of local power. Many belong to the Muslim Parents Association and/or the al-Hijrah Trust, groups that work actively, and openly, to increase the Islamic influence in British schools. A leading member of the conspiracy, Tahir Alam, is a senior figure at the Muslim Council of Britain and is vice-chair of the Association of Muslim Schools – and that’s not all. If parents’ complaints about the efforts to Islamize their kids’ schools have been ignored repeatedly, it may be at least in part because Alam is also an official school inspector for Ofsted (the government agency responsible for such matters) as well as a “specialist in school governance” for the Birmingham city council (whose leader, a fellow named Sir Albert Bore, has rejected the “Trojan Horse” charges as “defamatory” and insists that Birmingham schools are doing just fine).
The conspirators appear to be a patient lot. About a newly appointed Muslim school head, one participant in the message board wrote: “Please don’t pressurise her to start the Islamising agenda first. That will be a lot easier when she is respected as leader. She has to establish herself with minimum controversy for the first six months, and lead the people to believe in her before they believe in her policies.”
The results of these people’s efforts speak for themselves. At one school, Park View, which has been praised by Prime Minister David Cameron for its purported “educational excellence, a senior teacher who publicly eulogized terrorist Anwar al-Awlaki is now in the running to become head teacher. “Extremist preachers” have addressed school assemblies; girls have been pressured to cover their hair; £70,000 was spent on loudspeakers to summon students to Friday prayer. “It felt like a faith school. Islam permeated everything,” one source “close to the investigation” told the Telegraph. “All the citizenship teaching was about being a good Muslim.” All this, mind you, at a nominally secular state school.
Then there’s Oldknow, a primary school where an excellent, non-Muslim head teacher was driven out “by a concerted campaign to remove her and Islamise her school.” Oldknow now has Muslim prayers every Friday and has organized at least three taxpayer-funded school trips to Mecca. Arabic classes are compulsory for all pupils. The school even has its own madrassah. Teachers engage in “blatant belittling of Christianity.” Sources spoke about teachers who introduce religion into “every lesson” and whose insistence that music is sinful has led some children to refuse to take music classes. Last December, the school’s traditional Christmas tree and pantomime were cancelled because they were adjudged “un-Islamic,” and a teacher gave a talk at which he led students in a chant: “Do we believe in Christmas? No! Do we give out Christmas cards? No! The seven days of Christmas, they [Christians] can’t even count!”
Things aren’t as far along yet at another school, Springfield, where the non-Muslim head teacher, according to his colleagues, is “under ‘non-stop attack’ by radical members of the governing body” and has received anonymous death threats and had his tires slashed. Meanwhile, at a fourth school, Anderton Park, where the governing body recently voted to “Islamize” collective worship, “the lives of successive non-Muslim head teachers have been made a ‘misery’ by radical religious governors and parents determined to stop the teaching of PE and music, regarded as sinful by hardline Muslims.” At Anderdon Park, there were also several “assaults on staff” (no details provided).
In response to the accounts of the “Trojan Horse” conspiracy laid out in the Telegraph and Daily Mail, Alam complained that he was – what else? – the target of an Islamophobic witch hunt. For his part, Michael White, a former teacher at Park View, had blistering words for the British government and for the Birmingham city council, saying that both were so “afraid to upset communities” that they chose “to sweep things under the carpet.” (Note that even White felt a need to avoid spelling out which “communities” the authorities were loath to offend.)
Birmingham, of course, isn’t the only locality in Britain where children are being subjected to Islamic indoctrination in the guise of education. The other day the Daily Mail reported that one Sajeel Shahid, who has trained terrorists – including “the ringleader of the 7/7 terrorist bombings” and four persons who tried to blow up a Kent shopping center and a London nightclub – has for several years been running the Ad-Deen Primary School, a Muslim institution in Essex, whose pupils are between three and eleven years old. Because he ran the school under a pseudonym, inspectors didn’t see anything fishy about the version of Islam being taught to his charges, and accordingly gave the school passing grades. Of course they did: the only difference between the version of Islam taught at approved Islamic schools and the version preached by Islamic terrorists is the terrorism itself.
British parents owe a debt of gratitude to the Telegraph and Daily Mail for uncovering these repulsive stories – and owe no debt at all to their spineless elected officials, both national and local, or to school authorities, who, if it were up to them, would presumably have been content to see Islam overrun the country’s classrooms, all the while ridiculing the very concept of stealth Islamization as hysterical bigotry.
Then there’s the Guardian, the proud flagship of the British left. On March 7, over a week before the Telegraph began to report the results of its investigation, the Guardian, which had come into possession of a letter outlining the Trojan Horse conspirators’ activities, summed up the whole business in an article whose headline led with the word “alleged,” whose subhead focused on Alam’s characterization of the charges as “a malicious fabrication and completely untrue,” and whose final sentences were devoted to a condemnation of the “alleged plot” by longtime Islamic activist Inayat Bunglawala, whom the Guardian carefully identified as “chair of Muslims4UK, a group which aims to promote active Muslim engagement in British society.”
Unlike the Telegraph, however, the Guardian apparently didn’t proceed to investigate the charges. Instead, it dutifully noted that the police and school officials were looking into them. And that was that. Perusing the Guardian‘s coverage, one cannot avoid the conclusion that its chief concern was to cast doubt on the allegations and to underscore that, whether they were true or not, mainstream Muslim leaders like Bunglawala are, of course, utterly opposed to such shady subterfuges. There was no mention that Bunglawala, this supposed stalwart of “Muslim engagement in British society,” had in fact called Osama bin Laden a “freedom fighter” and Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman “courageous”; no mention that he’d passionately campaigned to get Yusuf al-Qaradawi a British visa; no mention that, in addition to being head of Muslims4UK, he’s the longtime media secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain, the same group of which Alam is a leading member. In short, Bungalawala’s brand of “engagement in British society” is not really significantly different from that of the Birmingham conspirators. By pretending that there exists appreciable ideological distance between the likes of Bunglawala and Birmingham’s Trojan Horses, the Guardian isn’t just misleading its readers – it’s participating itself in the whole nefarious ruse to which these creeps are committed. But what else is new?
frontpagemag

France Voters to Socialists: Get Out

By Veronique de Rugy


Only a few years after getting back into power, French Socialists got strong feedback about their policies during Sunday’s second round of local elections. And it turns out the French people don’t like them or their policies very much. The Economist writes:
A CRUSHING defeat at French local elections has intensified pressure on François Hollande to reshuffle his government. At a second round of voting on March 30th, Mr Hollande’s Socialist Party lost over 150 towns, most of them to the opposition centre-right. This morning, the French president was holed up at the Elysée, the presidential palace, consulting close advisers over reshuffle plans, which could be announced as early as today.
The Socialist losses were devastating. Although, as expected, the party hung on to Paris, where Anne Hidalgo becomes the capital’s first female mayor, the rest of the country snubbed the ruling party. Among the more dramatic losses were Toulouse, a city in the south-west that it had thought was safe, Roubaix  and Tourcoing, two industrial cities in the north with a deep left-wing heritage, and a string of other cities, including Amiens, Caen, Tours, Reims and Limoges, held by the left since 1912. Even some towns in the Paris region, which had been governed by Communist Party since the second world war, such as Villejuif, swung to the right.
My parents live in Caen and the election of a right-wing mayor there is a big deal, they say. I have no idea what the new guy will be like, but I do hope for my parents’ sake and everyone in Caen that he doesn’t just continue in the steps of his predecessor (it wouldn’t be crazy to assume he may, in light of my observation of past French politicians’ behaviors). So I’m not holding my breath. In fact, as I have said before, both French parties bear the responsibility for the economic and fiscal mess the country faces today. In a recent column for ReasonI summed up the situation:
France spends more of its GDP on government-57 percent-than any other country in the Eurozone. The country’s unemployment rate is at a 16-year high of 11 percent, and a startling number of richer and younger French people are leaving for more hospitable economic environments abroad.
It has gotten so bad that France’s crisis-wracked neighbors might be catching up: A November 2013 Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development report warned that Paris is “falling behind southern European countries that have cut labor costs and become leaner and meaner.”
The data is even more striking when compared to Germany. With an unemployment rate of 5 percent and a private savings rate of 12.1 percent, Germany has been growing at 1 percent annually while France sputters along at 0 percent.
It is tempting to blame this on the 2007 recession, but the reality is that France hasn’t been doing well in years. Since the creation of the Eurozone in 1999, France has only managed a 0.8 percent annual growth rate. Germany, by contrast, has grown three times faster over those 15 years.
In addition, while François Hollande and his irresponsible and backward socialist policies and rhetoric have accelerated France’s economic demise, in addition to several waves of brain drain, right-wing presidents Sarkozy and Chirac pursued many of the same policies when they were in power. Under Sarkozy, spending on everything from special interests to social welfare went up, while French people were subjected to over 200 new tax increases. While he made some gestures toward increasing the retirement age, he didn’t do much to free the labor market from regulatory asphyxiation.
You may remember that on the campaign trail President Hollande promised that he would not trim France’s social-welfare spending (the highest of all developed economies) and instead would chip away at the country’s huge deficit by raising taxes. Well, now that France’s debt is close to 100 percent of GDP and economic growth is worse than it was when he got in power, we know how well that worked. So this anti-austerity president has been forced to go back on his word and embrace public-sector austerity and cut some spending. The Economist concludes:
The new government will not only face fresh electoral difficulty at European polls in May. Before that, in mid-April, France must submit its spending plans to the European Commission, and it has promised to spell out €50 billion ($69 billion) of public-spending savings in 2015-2017, including an extra €10 billion or so in a payroll-tax cut to companies as part of a job-creating “responsibility pact”. Whatever Mr Hollande’s choice of government, its greatest challenge will be to explain to the left wing why its response to electoral defeat will be tax cuts for business and austerity.
My Reason piece, which tries to end on an optimistic note, is here.
nationalreview

Sarajevo, 1941: The Removal of the Gavrilo Princip Plaque


By Carl Savich


When German troops occupied Sarajevo on April 15, 1941, one of the first actions they took was to remove the 1930 Gavrilo Princip plaque erected in 1930 to commemorate the June 28, 1914 assassination.
The memorial plaque was removed on April 19, 1941 and sent to Adolf Hitler in Berlin for his 52nd birthday.
principplacque
A group of Yugoslav volksdeutsche, or ethnic Germans, wearing white shirts and ties, were photographed and filmed marching in formation carrying a banner to the the site of the assassination. They are shown carrying two ladders which they use to climb to the plaque, mounted on the wall of the building. They have erected a scaffold under the plaque. Two German soldiers, part of a military band, stand with a bass drum and cymbals in front of the façade. Two volksdeutsche remove the screws and dismantle the plaque, which they hand down to another member on the ladder. They then bring the plaque down. Two members volksdeutsche are photographed holding the plaque as two Wehrmacht officers look on. The removal ceremony was filmed for the German newsreel Die Deutsche Wochenschau. The photo of the scene was taken by Adolf Hitler’s personal photographer Heinrich Hoffmann on April 19, 1941. The photo was published by the Berliner Volkszeitung on April 24, 1941. Subsequently, the plaque is given to German Army troops who are photographed holding the plaque. It was brought to the Fuehrer headquarters in Mönichkirchen in Styria in Austria from where it was sent to Hitler in Berlin.
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After Extradition Battle, London’s Finsbury Park Mosque Preacher Abu Hamza to Begin U.S. Terrorism Trial

By Joshua Levitt


After a decade-long extradition battle, Abu Hamza, the head preacher of North London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, will begin his trial in the U.S. on April 14 on charges of supporting global terror, the UK Daily Mail reported on Monday.
U.S. federal prosecutors will charge the fiery Islamist preacher, who has one eye and a hook for a right hand, with 11 counts of criminal terrorism going back to 1998 and occurring in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
In their indictment, prosecutors said, “The [U.S.] government will show that the defendant was a terrorist leader of global reach who … sent his young lieutenants around the world to engage in terror training.” Prosecutors will also say Abu Hamza used the Finsbury Park Mosque as a recruiting base, inspiring jihadists with his hateful sermons and providing support to Al Qaeda from Britain, the Daily Mail said.
Court documents seen by the newspaper allege that one of his “lieutenants” from London was sent to Afghanistan for “violent jihad training” and said he was prepared to take part in attacks against American and Jewish targets.
Hamza is separately accused of trying to set up a “jihad training camp” in Bly, Oregon where one of his followers is said to have penned a letter to Osama bin Laden saying, “We love you here.”
Hamza is also charged with involvement in a hostage-taking in Yemen, in 1998, that led to the deaths of three Brits and an Australian.
The preacher was first arrested in Britain, in May, 2004, on a U.S. extradition warrant and charged with 15 terrorism offences. In 2006, he was jailed for soliciting murder and stirring up racial hatred. He was extradited to America in 2012 after a costly and protracted legal battle invoking human rights law. He denies all the charges.
District Judge Katherine Forrest denied both the prosecution’s application to keep jurors’ names secret for their protection, and the defense’s application to ban any mention of the 9/11 attacks or former Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, claiming it would deny their client a fair trial.
The Daily Mail said the trial, scheduled to last six weeks, “could prove embarrassing for the British security services and previous governments who allowed the preacher to operate freely for years after he arrived here from Egypt, despite openly giving sermons praising Osama bin Laden in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.”
This week, Judge Forrest is expected to decide whether to accept key evidence against the preacher from an Al Qaeda informant, who would offer testimony via closed-circuit television from a secret location in Britain. The witness is Saajid Badat, a student from Gloucester, England, who pulled out of a plot to blow up a transatlantic airliner with a shoe bomb in 2001, the Daily Mail said.
Badat was convicted, but freed from jail for providing evidence against other terror suspects. His testimony helped to convict Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Bin Laden’s son-in-law, at a separate trial in New York this month.
Badat has said that on a training trip to Afghanistan, in 1999, he met Saif al-Adel, Al Qaeda’s former security chief, who asked Badat if he knew Abu Hamza, which would show a link between the preacher and Al Qaeda leadership. Also, in Afghanisatan, Badat was asked, “whether he would be willing to engage in attacks against U.S. and Jewish targets outside of Afghanistan.”
The indictment against Abu Hamza said: “The witness’s testimony about al-Adel demonstrates that the defendant was well known to senior Al Qaeda leadership, and that the defendant was trusted by Al Qaeda to send them trainees.”
algemeiner

Coptic girl murdered for cross tattoo

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The new regime in Egypt is favorably disposed toward the nation’s Christians, but that only inflames the Islamic supremacists, who lash out as here, by murdering innocent people. But remember: the real problem is “Islamophobia”!
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Boycott the New York Times

Israel Tenenbaum was expendable, if the NYTimes is to be the source of information on his murderer.


By Giulio Meotti


The article, Remaking a Life, After Years in an Israeli Prison (Jodi Rudoren, NYTimes, March 29, 2014) is about Muqdad Salah, one of the Palestinian Arab terrorists freed from Israeli jails as part of the American-brokered "peace talks" that started last summer.
The New York Times did say that Salah killed Israel Tenenbaum, a Holocaust survivor and security guard at a beach hotel in Netanya, hitting him on the side of the head with a metal rod.
But it doesn't call him a "terrorist", while it describes his biography as problematic in a shameful display of moral equivalence between an elderly Holocaust survivor and a subhuman terrorist who slaughtered the former in cold blood.
The New York Times, by telling us the daily routine of a veteran of terror and by presenting his "version" of the events, consistently downplays the genocidal anti-Semitism and corrosive hatred that governs Hamas and Fatah, described therein as "militant" groups concerned with the social welfare of Palestinian Arabs and their families.
"Mr. Salah" says the article without a trace of irony, "was flush with more than $100,000 saved from the Palestinian Authority’s monthly payments to prisoners’ families. He remodeled and refurnished his mother’s home. He bulldozed the rocky slope out back and built a 2,400-square-foot pen for livestock. He invested in a Nablus money-changing storefront in December, and, last month, bought his first car, a silver 2007 Kia Pride."
The New York Times dispatches from Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarem and Bethlehem during the Second Intifada could have been written about the Taliban terrorists in the Afghan caves of Tora Bora. These articles depicted the Palestinian terrorists as freedom fighters meeting their noble fate.
The goal of this most recent article is to continue to humanize and exculpate Arab-Islamic Palestinian terrorists who commit atrocities against Jews and stimulate the ever-increasing genocidal Arab fantasies and expectations.
Read the article about the butcher of Tenenbaum again, and you will understand that the New York Times' Jew hatred is not hidden nor does it need to be deciphered. It is blatant. It is a poison which manipulates not only what happened, but also the natural feelings of horror and revenge it must stimulate in readers. Assassins are rewarded.
Read the subtle slant of so many New York Times articles, the photos used or omitted.
The only things more repugnant than the glorification of terrorism are all the ignorant fellow Jews who subscribe, who support and who finance the "Grey Nazi". Like the Sulzbergers.
If you treat Holocaust survivors killed by terrorists as a mere footnote to a narrative of Palestinian innocence and redemption, I intend to boycott you. Readers should do the same as I have with the New York Times and its Jewish collaborators.
Boycott this newspaper.
israelnationalnews

Why won't church leaders fight for Christian values?

The Church of England used to be known as the Tory Party at prayer. Today it is increasingly the Labour Party on its knees. Anglican leaders spout dreary Left-wing pieties that pass for socialist thought, whether on Europe, immigration, or welfare. Yet this establishment, so eager to parade its progressive credentials, is utterly craven towards militant Islam, which represents a growing threat to Christian and liberal values here and abroad. The Church of England’s transformation into a handwringing pressure group is typified by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. Throughout his undistinguished time in charge he was loquacious in support of socialism but silent in the face of Muslim fundamentalism. In retirement he continues to mouth the platitudes of metropolitan political orthodoxy. So yesterday he produced a banal newspaper article moaning that affluent Western lifestyles have produced the “catastrophe” of global warming. The arguments of Williams are as woolly as his beard. Even if there is a long-term rise in global warming we cannot be sure that industrialisation is to blame since climate change has occurred long before mankind. Williams would never dream of using such judgmental language about the menace of Islamic aggression. Dogmatic about a disputed threat from Western capitalism he says nothing about the real threat from global jihadism. There is a crisis facing the world’s Christians as a result of mounting persecution by Muslim hardliners. Yet the Anglican Church prefers to show solidarity with environmentalists in pursuit of a green agenda rather than with its co-religionists in defence of their faith and lives. On the day Williams’s article appeared it was reported from Pakistan that Christian Sawan Masih has been sentenced to death for blasphemy after allegedly insulting the Prophet Muhammed during a conversation with a Muslim friend. When the accusation was first made against Masih about 3,000 protesters set fire to Christian homes and churches in his native city of Lahore. This is the terrifying reality of life for Christians in much of Asia and Africa, though you would hardly know it from the muteness of our established church. Again in Pakistan, Christian Asia Bibi has been on death row since 2010 after her conviction for blasphemy. Two Pakistani politicians who dared to speak up for her have been assassinated while her family has gone into hiding. It is the same grim pattern elsewhere. In Nigeria at least 119 people were killed in three Christian villages by Muslims armed with guns and machetes. In Kenya gunmen stormed a Christian church, shouting “Allah is great” as they killed seven worshippers. We in Britain have experienced nothing like that kind of violence but disturbingly Muslim zealots are gaining in confidence, particularly as they perceive the failure of society to defend our traditional values of tolerance and equality. In refusing to stand up for our Christian heritage the Anglican Church has shamefully colluded in the creeping Islamification of Britain, as was illustrated by Williams himself when as Archbishop of Canterbury he called for Islamic sharia law to be accepted as part of our justice system. In the name of cultural diversity he sought to destroy the concept, stretching to Magna Carta in 1215, that we are all equal before the law. Sadly his bleak vision is becoming a reality with a parallel Islamic code now effectively in operation. A network of more than 85 sharia courts has been established in Britain, while the Chief Inspector of the Constabulary Tom Winsor warned in January of inner city “communities from other cultures who prefer to police themselves” and “have their own forms of community justice”. Last week the Law Society, the governing body for British solicitors, issued official guidance that enshrines sharia requirements in wills written for Muslims, treating women as second-class citizens and making a mockery of all our anti-discrimination laws. The disturbing process of Islamification can be seen in other ways such as the remorseless campaign by hardliners to take over certain state schools by driving out secular head-teachers and promoting Islamic practices. A primary school in Birmingham, Oldknow, is reported to conduct Friday Islamic prayers, teach compulsory Arabic to all pupils and organise trips to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, funded by taxpayers’ money. In a school assembly near Christmas there was said to be a session of anti-Christian chanting. Respected former head Bhupinder Kondal, who objected to this “Islamising agenda”, was reportedly forced out after being placed under “impossible pressure” and is suing the governors. At another Birmingham school, Park View Academy, it has been reported girls are encouraged to cover their heads, hardline preachers have participated in assemblies and £70,000 has been spent on playground loudspeakers to summon pupils to Islamic prayers. Only yesterday it was reported that Islamic fanatic Sajeel Shahid, suspected of training the ringleader of the July 7 bombers, has been allowed to set up an independent Islamic school in Essex. And figures from the Home Office yesterday showed that no fewer than 42 per cent of prisoners at top security Whitemoor prison are Muslims, prompting fears it has become a breeding ground for jihadists. Our society needs courage and conviction from our civic leaders in the face of this extremist menace. But all we get from the established church is cowardice dressed up as compassion.
express

German police arrest three over radical Syrian links

German authorities arrested three people with alleged ties to a Syrian radical group on Monday in police raids across the country, the federal prosecutor's office said. Two of the suspects, a German and a Turk, are believed to have travelled to Syria last year and joined the militant group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which German authorities consider to be a foreign terrorist organization. The third person, a woman with dual German-Polish citizenship, was taken into custody on suspicion of providing €4,800 to the group. More than 100 members of the elite police squad GSG 9, the federal police force and state police conducted simultaneous searches of ten flats in the capital Berlin and the western cities of Bonn and Frankfurt, including the homes of five more suspects. They are also believed to belong to or support ISIL. Federal prosecutor Harald Range said that the operation showed "that violent conflicts like the one in Syria have a direct impact on us in Germany". "We must decisively fight this phenomenon with all the means of the criminal justice system, with an eye to the possible dangers that radicalized people returning from Syria can pose to the population in Germany," he said in a statement. ISIL has been fighting a war against anti-government rebels, including the Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, since January across large swathes of western, northern and eastern Syria. Hundreds of European nationals are believed to have joined Syria's civil war, raising fears that they will plot attacks in Europe when they return home.
thelocal

Europe Runs Out of Other People's Money

By Chriss Street

Margaret Thatcher famously commented on the European welfare state spending, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.” European elites are panicking over a report in the Financial Times of London titled, Data Deepen Eurozone Deflation Fears. With government spending at 50% of the gross domestic product, the 28 countries of the European Union have pursued economic policies that generate inflation to spike tax collections by pushing their citizens into higher progressive tax brackets. Having stifled economic growth and used inflation to tax away prosperity, European elites should panic.
Both Europe and America cranked up government spending and intrusion into their private sector economies to supposedly cushion the Great Recession’s misery and stimulate growth.  Both modestly increased unemployment and welfare payments to individuals.  While most of European stimulus cash simply expanded government ministries; whereas in the U.S. the money was contracted out to the private sector. 
But over the last five years, American public pressure against the rise of the national debt has caused spending restraints and a government shutdown. Independent new stream media sources like Breitbart helped the public effectively focus pressure on Congress and the White House.  Consequently, as the share of expenditures by federal, state, and local government dropped 6% in America since 2009, from 43.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) to 37.2% today. With spending shrinking America has achieved about 2.2% a year in economic growth.
But in Europe the media is generally owned by the government and acts as a cheerleader to expand government’s reach.  Consequently, there was no effective public pressure for spending restraints.  After a big spike up to 51.3% in 2009, spending in the EU as a percentage of GDP fell slightly to 49.3%.  The spending would have been higher, but the EU has grown at only ½% over the last five years. Funding for public media in EU countries varies from $30 to $134 per person per year, versus about less than $4 in the U.S.  France Télévisions is funded by revenue from television license fees, which are collected as local taxes. In the Czech Republic, public broadcasting is financed by fees collected from households and businesses for each radio or television they own.  Instead of having a single national public broadcasting organization in Belgium they have two: one for Dutch-speaking Flanders and one for French-speaking Wallonia. Additionally, the Belgian and French governments provide newspaper subsidies in order to foster a “diversity of opinions” in print media. French President François Hollande, former First Secretary of the French Socialist Party, has been the leading EU advocate for larger state revenues.  But although he intends to raise top income tax rates from 40% to 75%, he supports French journalists retaining their wildly lucrative 30% income tax deduction for “professional expense.”

Media in the U.S. was created as a commercial enterprise; whereas broadcast media in Europe was built as a “public service network.”  With government ministries in each EU country picking media management and funding reporter salaries, the only diversity in “public pressure” that European governments are looking for is multiple media coverage of interest groups fighting to raise taxes and expand government spending.


Stimulus spending might have helped both the U.S. and EU economies recover in 2009-2010.  But as U.S. government spending fell back the economy continued to grow.  While U.S. federal spending shrank by 4.6% during October, November, and December of last year, the private sector grew America’s GDP by a strong 3.6%.  The American economy continues to accelerate with February industrial production rising at a blistering 7.2% rate and unemployment claims plummeting 13% last week versus a year ago.     
The Financial Times quoted numerous European bankers bemoaning “the spectre of a damaging period of deflation” and demanding that the European Central Bank (ECB) start inflating the euro by printing money to buy the bonds of insolvent nations such as Spain and Portugal.  The vast majority of both American and EU citizens hate inflation because it impoverishes the people as the costs of food, energy, housing, and taxes rise faster than their personal incomes. 
There is no mention in the FT article about adopting the type of policies that would be benefit the average European by stimulating industrial production to reduce unemployment. Failure to cut spending caused the EU plunge back into recession from 2011-2012 and appears to be about to cause a third recession in six years.Having run out of other people’s money to spend, elites are demanding the ECB print more money to protect the European welfare state from itself.
americanthinker

Palestinians Condemned for Visiting Nazi Death Camps

By Khaled Abu Toameh
"We have politicized everything except for the embezzlement of public funds. Is it okay steal millions of dollars from the people but not okay to have an academic study mission?" — Reader, Al Quds.
It now remains to be seen if Professor Dajani and his students will be punished upon their return to the West Bank for daring to "sympathize" with the suffering of the Jews.
A visit by Palestinian students to Nazi death camps has stirred controversy among Palestinians, with some condemning it as a form of "normalization" with Israel.
Some 30 Palestinian students from Al-Quds University and Bir Zeit University in the West Bank arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau last week to learn about the Holocaust.
The visit is being led by Mohammed Dajani, professor of American Studies at Al-Quds University, who also heads the Wasatia movement of moderate Islam.
The visit to the Nazi camps has angered some Palestinians, prompting Al-Quds University to distance itself from the tour. The university and its outgoing president, Sari Nusseibeh, had often been criticized for promoting "normalization" with Israel.
In a statement, Al-Quds University announced that it had nothing to do with the Auschwitz-Birkenau visit.
The university said that this was a private visit by Professor Dajani and the students. "They do not represent the university," the statement said. "Professor Dajani is on leave and was not entrusted by the university [to arrange the visit]."
Al-Quds University went on to emphasize that it remains committed to a 2009 decision by its administration to cut off all ties with Israeli universities.
The Palestinian students travelled to the Nazi death camps as part of a joint program on "Reconciliation and Conflict Resolution" with the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and Ben-Gurion University in the Negev.
As soon as "anti-normalization" activists learned about the visit, they launched a scathing attack on the professor and students on social media.
"I don't understand how the [Palestinian] students accept normalization [with Israel]," wrote a Palestinian journalist from Ramallah on his Facebook page. "This professor is the king of kings of normalization."
The leading Palestinian daily, Al-Quds, which reported about the controversial visit, triggered a debate among readers about the effectiveness of such tours.
The paper later had to delete some reader responses that accused the professor of treason and collaboration.
One reader commented, "The visit should be seen in the context of attempts to scrap the Palestinians' history and culture. Suspicious Western parties believe that there is a need to change the Palestinians' mentality not through politics, but by brainwashing generations and teaching them big lies and fabrications such as the Holocaust and the suffering of Jews so that they would accept the theft of their land."
Another reader remarked, "Our enmity is not with the Jews and no one can accuse us of being anti-Semites. Our enmity is with the Zionists who usurped our land. But can anyone deny that the Zionists exploit what happened to the Jews in Germany and elsewhere to justify what they did in Palestine and seek the world's sympathy?" Finally, some of us have joined the chorus of weepers."
But there is also good news. Many readers came to the defense of Professor Dajani and the students who visited the Nazi camps to learn about the Holocaust.
Responding to the criticism, one reader wrote, "Frankly, these responses are theatrical. Academics went on a tour and that's all. There's no need to politicize an insignificant visit."
Another reader who voiced support for the visit said, "We have politicized everything expect for the embezzlement of public funds. Is it okay to steal millions of dollars from the people and not okay to have an academic study mission?"
Palestinian columnist Abdullah Dweikat expressed regret over the visit and called on Palestinian academics to stop the "pilgrimage" to Nazi death camps. "I felt pain over the visit by Palestinian university students to Auschwitz-Birkenau," he wrote. "Yes we are human beings who reject genocide. But our humanity rejects any attempt to bypass the suffering of our people, who are being slaughtered every day at the hands of the occupiers. Wouldn't it have been better had our professors and students visited Yarmouk refugee camp [in Syria] or refugee camps in Lebanon to see the real suffering?"
The Palestinian Authority [PA] has neither endorsed nor opposed the visit to the Nazi death camps. The PA leadership is obviously afraid of being part of the controversy that has risen over the visit.
Hamas, on the other hand, has expressed strong opposition to teaching about the Holocaust in Gaza Strip schools run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency [UNRWA].
Hamas said that teaching the Holocaust was a "crime against Palestinians."
It now remains to be seen if Professor Dajani and his students will be punished upon their return to the West Bank for daring to "sympathize" with the suffering of Jews.
gatestoneinstitute

European Elections a Turning Point for Europe?

 By Peter Martino
In Britain as in France, voters have evidently become disillusioned with a political establishment responsible for open-borders policies, Islamization and the transfer of national sovereignty to supranational organizations such as the European Union. Soon these voices will be heard in national parliaments, too.
The municipal elections in France resulted in a huge victory for the Front National of Marine Le Pen. For the first time since 1995, France will again have FN mayors. Marine Le Pen also succeeded in maneuvering her party into pole position for the European elections on May 25th. France has 74 seats in the European Parliament. FN is expected to win up to 20 or more.
Marine Le Pen is one of Europe's greatest political talents. Her strategy to rid the party, which she inherited from her anti-Semitic father, from most of its extreme-right elements is paying off. While Le Pen's international policies are dangerously flawed and her economic proposals border on socialist protectionism, she has succeeded in turning the FN into an acceptable alternative for millions of ordinary Frenchmen from the Left as well as the Right.
Le Pen has also cleverly avoided making any political mistakes. She did not give in to provocations of political opponents and she did not fall into the trap of giving her enemies opportunities to reinforce hostile perceptions about her party.
The result is that France's political system is no longer a two-party system dominated by the Socialist PS of current president François Hollande and the Conservative UMP of former president Nicolas Sarkozy. With the Front National, a third player of equal status has emerged. Moreover, as the anger of the voters at the two established parties is growing, Le Pen's momentum is far from over.
An almost similar situation is occurring in Britain. Nigel Farage's United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has established itself as a strong contender for power in a country whose political system was long dominated by only two parties, Labour and the Conservatives. In Britain, as in France, voters have evidently become disillusioned with a political establishment responsible for open-borders policies that have led to mass immigration, Islamization and the transfer of national sovereignty to supranational organizations such as the European Union in Brussels. UKIP, too, is expected to do extremely well in May, winning up to 20 or more of the 73 British seats in Brussels.
While UKIP and the FN are entirely different parties, with UKIP deeply rooted in an economically libertarian tradition and with Nigel Farage opposing any alliance with Marine Le Pen's party as long as anti-Semites (read: Marine's father, FN founder Jean-Marie Le Pen and his friend Bruno Gollnisch) still have a place in the FN, both parties owe their current electoral success to the growing opposition of a large segment of their countries' indigenous population to immigration, Islamization and the loss of national identity and sovereignty.
There are also similarities between Mr. Farage and Ms. Le Pen. They are both members of the European Parliament, the EU parliament based in Brussels. And they are both using their position in Brussels as a platform from which to launch themselves into national politics.
The electoral systems in France and Britain make it extremely difficult for new parties to establish themselves in the national legislative bodies. The European Parliament, however, is elected according to proportional representation, which allows relatively easy access to political newcomers. The same is true in Germany, where a newly established party, Alternative for Germany (AfD), did not manage to win any seats in the national parliament during last September's general elections, despite gaining 4.7% of the national vote. Only parties that receive 5% of the votes are eligible for seats in the German Bundestag. For the European elections, however, this 5% hurdle does not exist. It suffices that a party win slightly over 1% of the national vote for it to gain one of the 96 German seats in the European Parliament in Brussels. AfD is currently polling over 7% of the vote and is expected to send at least six members to the European Parliament.
Marine Le Pen's political ambitions are clearly national. There is no doubt that she would rather exchange her seat in the European Parliament for one in the French Assemblée Nationale. She was her party's candidate in the French presidential elections in 2012 and apparently wants to run again in 2017. She also hopes to become the group leader of a substantial number of FN parliamentarians in the Assemblée Nationale after the next general elections. The FN currently holds only two of the 577 seats in the French parliament, despite having won 14% of the votes. If the FN were to double its votes, as some polls now predict, a landslide might occur in the National Assembly, with up to 100 FN members entering the French parliament.
So, ironically, while Brussels tries to usurp ever more power from the national parliaments, it offers opportunities for politicians standing for the defense of national sovereignty, to force their way into national parliaments where they can oppose the Brussels' power grab.
Nigel Farage, too, would like to swap Brussels for the House of Commons in Westminster. He has already announced that he will stand as a candidate in next year's general elections, which, he hopes, would mark the national breakthrough of UKIP. "Just imagine how much difference we could make with MPs in Westminster!" he wrote in a column about the need to control immigration. AfD leader Bernd Lucke will also use the Brussels platform as a launching pad to a Bundestag seat at the next German general elections.
It looks as if the Europeans have finally had enough of mass immigration, Islamization and transferring national sovereignty to Brussels. In May, they will make their voices heard. And soon, these voices will be heard in the national parliaments, too.
gatestoneinstitute

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Erdogan Declares Victory, Threatens to 'Make Rivals Pay'


Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday night declared victory for his party in local elections, and also took the opportunity to warn his rivals that they will "pay the price."
Erdogan’s party took a strong lead in the early counting of the votes, which was enough for the embattled prime minister to declare victory in the vote that was widely seen as a referendum on his 11-year-rule.
"Those who attacked Turkey got disappointed," Erdogan was quoted by AFP as having told a jubilant crowd of thousands, speaking from the balcony of his party's Ankara headquarters.
"You have supported your prime minister, I thank you infinitely," Erdogan told the jubilant crowd.
"You have protected the independence struggle of the new Turkey," he declared, continuing to threaten to go after his nemesis, a reclusive Muslim cleric whom he accuses of running a parallel "deep state" undermining his government.
He has accused loyalists of 73-year-old imam Fethullah Gulen in the police and justice systems of dropping leaks on Twitter and of bugging secret security talks on Syria, then releasing the audio recording on YouTube.
Those leaks resulted in Erdogan’s government imposing blocks on Twitter and YouTube.
Referring to Gulen’s loyalists in his speech Sunday night, Erdogan threatened, "We will enter their caves and ... they will pay the price. How can you threaten our national security on Syria? Syria is currently in a state of war against us."
Last week, Turkey also threatened to block access to other social media platforms if users publish recordings or documents which “threaten national security.”
Erdogan’s bans on websites have been met with harsh criticism by the United States. The Turkish leader has defended the ban on Twitter, saying he had given the order to block the site because it was not obeying Turkey's laws.
israelnationalnews

War Over Wilders


By Bruce Bawer


On March 19, addressing supporters in The Hague after a local election, Geert Wilders, head of the Freedom Party (PVV), asked if they wanted more or less of the European Union. “Less!” they shouted. Did they want more or less of the Labor Party? “Less!” they repeated. Then he asked, “Do you want, in this city and in the Netherlands, more or fewer Moroccans?”That last line caused a firestorm. Major politicians compared Wilders to Hitler. Prime Minister Mark Rutte demanded he apologize. The Freedom Party’s leader in the European Parliament, Laurence Stassen, quit the party, as did many local and regional officials. (Commentator Tom-Jan Meeus maintained in NRC Handelsblad that Wilders “has lost his closest allies, his best member of parliament and his European assembly member.”) The Labor Party announced that it wouldn’t support any Freedom Party motion in Parliament. Hundreds of police complaints were reportedly filed against Wilders, and police, according to Soeren Kern, made it easier to file them “by providing pre-filled ‘Wilders forms’ and offering to come to people’s homes if they intend to press criminal charges, rather than having them come to the police station, as is the normal procedure.” A Facebook page for people filing police complaints against Wilders gathered nearly 100,000 “likes.” The new U.S. ambassador, Timothy Broas, stated that Wilders’s remarks were at odds with Dutch and American values. The Freedom Party fell in the polls from the largest to the third largest Dutch party. “Schools,” wrote Kern, “began to issue guidelines to instruct pupils on how to deal with Wilders.” In Amsterdam, 5,000 people demonstrated against Wilders and the mayor led a chant of “We are all Moroccans!” Dutch TV aired “a church service against Wilders.” An actor named Thijs Römer, in a reference to the murderer of Fortuyn, Volkert van der Graaf, tweeted: “Volkert, where are you when your country needs you?”
Wilders refused to apologize. “I haven’t said anything wrong, only what most people think.” He hadn’t been calling, he insisted, for wholesale deportation: he’d been talking about restricting immigration, supporting voluntary repatriation, and sending criminals with dual nationality back to Morocco. Period.
There are a number of things to be said about Wilders’s comment. First of all, yes, it was unwise. He came off sounding like a bigot. I don’t think he’s a bigot. But that doesn’t matter. In the Netherlands, every single member of the political, media, and academic establishment is constantly waiting for Wilders to say something that they can seize upon and point to as purported evidence of his bigotry. He gave them fuel. That was unfortunate.
Then again, Pim Fortuyn and Ayaan Hirsi Ali were a lot more careful about how they expressed themselves in these matters – and, in the long run, it didn’t make much difference. Their enemies still found ways to demonize them – still found a word here, a word there, to grasp onto and wave in the air as examples of their vile intolerance. When you’ve got enemies who act like this, you’re sunk. Pim ended up dead. Ayaan ended up being driven out of the country (which, of course, turned out to be the best thing that happened to her).
At the other end of the spectrum, Theo van Gogh was deliberately outrageous, calling Muslims “goat fuckers” and the like. But then, he was a prominent writer and broadcaster and filmmaker, not a politician, and if such rhetoric didn’t get him frozen out of the public square, it was partly because he was irreverent about pretty much everybody and everything – that was his image, that was his shtick. He was a professional polemicist, able to get away with using language for which other media figures would lose their jobs, because most people understood that being over-the-top was part of his act – that, far from being a bigot, he was a guy who didn’t like seeing Western freedoms threatened, and the rights of women and Jews and gays and others trampled, by the bullying adherents of a totalitarian faith.
In any event, he ended up getting killed, too.
What about Wilders, then? As a politician, he can’t afford to express himself in the colorful way van Gogh did. But on March 19 he went over the line, in the view of many, and he paid for it. That’s politics. Especially in the age of Facebook and Twitter.
But let’s never forget this. As of this coming November, Wilders will have been living under constant armed protection, deprived of his freedom, for ten years – thanks to threats made on his life by the likes of Mohammed Bouyeri, the Moroccan murderer of Theo van Gogh. He’s been put on trial, in his own purportedly democratic country, for speaking his mind about Islam. Because of his views on Islam, he’s been banned from entering certain other Western countries, despite his position as an elected member of the Dutch parliament. He’s been sued for a large sum of money by a radical imam who claimed his feelings were hurt by Wilder’s film Fitna, about Islam’s systematic abuse of women. He’s even been the subject of an extradition request by the Kingdom of Jordan, which wanted to try him for the capital crime of blasphemy under sharia law.
Is it so difficult to understand that Wilders, who may be under more daily pressure than any man in Europe, can’t, at every moment, when speaking about people who have been seriously dedicated for years to bringing about his death, keep himself from slipping into rhetoric that’s less than perfectly sensitive?
As it happens, only a day or so before Wilders’s “fewer Moroccans” line made international headlines, a Dutch Muslim rapper named Hozny released a music video showing “a man representing Dutch politician Geert Wilders” being “abducted by armed men and brought to Hozny, who makes him kneel in front of an Islamic flag.” At the end of the song, which includes the line “You are only alive because Allah allows it,” Wilders is executed.
Unlike Wilders’s “fewer Moroccans” line, this video has not gained worldwide attention. Obviously it wasn’t as offensive.
Hard facts: not all that long ago, the Netherlands was a well-nigh idyllic little country. Now it’s a nightmare in the making. Almost everyone acknowledges this now. But why is it a nightmare in the making? Be careful answering that question, or you’ll be sorry. Yes, a majority of young Dutch Moroccans have police records – but if you speak this raw truth flat-out, without cloaking it in the usual euphemisms and qualifications and reassurances, you’ll be branded a bigot. Yes, many Dutch Muslims have gone to Syria to be jihadists, and a poll last year of Dutch Muslims showed that almost three-quarters of them regard such people as heroes – but, again, if you choose to communicate this fact to others, you’d damn well better be exceedingly careful how you go about doing it. Put your foot even slightly wrong, and suddenly you won’t be a good guy criticizing the bad guys – you’ll be a racist. And the second you misstep, the armies will be lining up to condemn you and to demonstrate their own virtue by dropping the relevant, important, and thoroughly grim facts about the subject at hand down the memory hole and proclaiming inanely: “We are all Moroccans!”
“We are all Moroccans!” This sort of nonsense is now commonplace. Recently, in Sweden, after some guy was accused of pulling off a Muslim woman’s head covering, non-Muslim women across the country expressed support for the alleged victim by tweeting pictures of themselves in veils: look at us, we love Islam! Three years ago, in Norway, after one lunatic slaughtered dozens of Labor Party youth members purportedly because he opposed Muslim immigration, politicians and royals rushed to mosques to declare their solidarity with Muslims: look, we’re not Islamophobes, like that mass murderer! Now, a Dutch politician makes a less than ideally formulated comment about Moroccans and thousands of his countrymen waste no time lining up to say: “We are all Moroccans!” It’s the ultimate multicultural compulsion: to prove that one isn’t racist – and assert that someone else is.  And thereby replace the real, tough, uncomfortable issue with a fake issue, a non-issue, a BS issue, that provides the multiculturalist with a delicious frisson of self-righteousness.
In a speech on March 22, Wilders explained in detail what he had meant by the “fewer Moroccans” line. His party platform calls for “a three-stage approach” to the Islamic immigration issue: “limiting immigration from Islamic countries, including Morocco”; “promoting re-emigration” to Muslim countries; and “deporting criminal Moroccans by revoking their Dutch passports, if they have dual nationality – and most have – and sending them back to the country of their other nationality.” In answer to the question “why did I refer to Moroccans in particular?”, Wilders said he’d done so “because Moroccans are at the top of the list of over-representation in crime and welfare dependence. Moroccan youths younger than 23, more than 60% of them are known to the police and the judicial system. Moroccans are 22 times more frequently guilty of violent crime such as mugging and robbery. They are seven times more likely to be on welfare. These are facts that I haven’t made up, but these are facts that I have to make known or I might just as well not have gone into politics. I went into politics to state things like this, and to propose solutions.”
And that’s the bottom line. Your typical high-level European politician – say, oh, Jens Stoltenberg, the recently dethroned prime minister of Norway who was just named head of NATO (an organization for whose founding values he has never shown particular enthusiasm) – plainly went into politics not to face up to hard truths or put his life on the line for freedom, but so that he could eventually end up as, well, head of NATO, or as a jet-setting big shot at the UN or EU or World Bank. Yes, Wilders stumbled with his line about “fewer Moroccans,” but on a European landscape crowded with empty-suit politicians who don’t really stand for anything except for their own careers, whose approach to Islam and immigration is to recite facile multicultural mantras, and whose only real qualification for anything is that they never, ever offend (precisely because they strenuously skirt the topics that matter the most), Wilders is the real thing: a brave, selfless man determined to steer the ship of state through turbulent waters safely into port. The Dutch would be fools to throw him overboard.
frontpagemag

Riot police called in as violent clashes break out across France after far-right National Front win dramatic gains in local elections

Fights started outside French town halls tonight as they came under the control of the far-right National Front for the first time following dramatic gains in local elections. Exit polls suggested that the anti-immigration and anti-Europe party had roundly beaten the governing Socialists in a number of key constituencies. 'Demonstrators are trying to get at the Front representatives and starting fights,' said a police spokesman in Frejus, the picturesque Mediterranean town which is hugely popular with British tourists. Frejus and nearby Beziers are now expected to have National Front (FN) mayors sworn in, along with around five other towns, following a nationwide drubbing for President Francois Hollande's Socialists. Riot police were also out in force in other parts of the country as anti-fascist demonstrators threatened FN candidates with violence. It meant further humiliation for Mr Hollande, whose disastrous tax and spend policies have led to economic stagnation, so opening the electoral door to the FN, which is regularly accused of being racist, anti-Semitic, and anti-Muslim.
More...

Hamas Imposes Radical New Law: Lashings, Amputations, and Massive Executions

By Steven Emerson


Hamas is now trying to outdo the Taliban in imposing new Shar’ia inspired draconian punishments, including amputations of limbs and massive increases in lashings and executions. A senior Hamas official told Gulf News that a new punitive law, “inspired by” Shar’ia Law, is required to replace the former and “impractical” one. The article states that there will be a minimum of 20 lashes for minor offenses and a minimum of 80 lashes for criminal cases: the death penalty will also be expanded in accordance with the Shar’ia. In addition, the new law includes cutting off the hands of a thief.
By replacing an almost 80-year old punitive law with a new radical one, Hamas has earned widespread condemnation by other Palestinian factions. Even other terrorist groups condemn Hamas’ new law.
“The new law will harm the interests of the Palestinians and perpetuate the Palestinian internal split. Hamas must retreat and show priority and preference to the higher Palestinian interests,” according to The Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) statement.
According to the article, Hamas asserts that the law aims at deterring criminals in Gaza.
Instead of planning to alleviate Gaza’s deteriorating economic situation or reining in terrorist groups operating in the Strip, the Hamas regime is reinforcing its radical rule. Clearly, Hamas prioritizes imposing its radical Islamist agenda on Palestinian society over enhancing Gaza’s standard of living.
It remains to be seen whether Hamas’ front groups and supporters in the United States, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations, American Muslims for Palestine, and the Muslim American Society, who claim to be civil rights organizations, will condemn Hamas for implementing this new law.
algemeiner

Jewish School in Antwerp Targeted by Anti-Semites


Antwerp, Belgium, a center of the world diamond business, has a substantial hareidi community, and has the reputation of being a “quiet” city when it comes to anti-Semitism. But that quiet was broken Sunday, when members of the community found anti-Semitic graffiti scrawled on a building containing a Jewish school.

The school, operated by the local Vizhnitz Hassidic community, had swastikas and the name “Hitler” scrawled on it. Parents who brought their children to school Sunday morning were shocked at the sight, with the graffiti apparently scrawled on Saturday night.

Police were called and arrived quickly, and opened an investigation. So far there are no leads, police said.

Despite its “quiet” reputation, such incidents are not unheard of in Antwerp. Four months ago, a Jewish man was attacked as he walked in the street on Shabbat by a local Arab. Several Jews who were in the area at the time rushed to his aid, detaining the attacker, who was later caught. The Jewish victim was lightly wounded.
israelnationalnews

Berlin: Number Of Criminal Arab Immigrants Continuously On The Rise

The crash course has ended. Two agents bring Nidal R. (31, name altered) down to the asphalt. He has just destroyed a number of cars with his Porsche Cayenne in the district of Schöneberg in Berlin. The damages make for a total amount of 30.000 euros.  The agents pull out one of them from the streets – but there are many following his footsteps. There are 484 young massive offenders in Berlin by now.

Just like Issa K. (17, name altered), who since the age of twelve has been interrogated by the police as suspect more than 30 times. The short periods of detention for young offenders did not bring any positive result. He will be again in court in May.

Nidal stole, bashed and extorted since he was 10, and it was at the age of 14 that he first ended up being put behind bars. He has already spent more than 10 years locked up in prison. He was the one who inspired the creation of the “massive offender card”.

The majority of them live in Neukölln (the most enriched district in Berlin). “It is not fine, but neither surprising”, the mayor, Heinz Buschkowsky, says. “The reason for this is the high percentage of young Muslim men. The educative role model of being strong and ready to fight shows up in everyday life. The massive offenders are the worst enemies of integration. They produce victims and hate on an everyday basis”, he says.

The number of massive offenders in Berlin is on the rise, as it becomes clear from the answer to a parliamentary question raised by the socialist politician Joschka Langenbrinck: 2011 - 77 %, 2012 - 79 %, 2013 - 84 %. In Neukölln, the young males of arab origin make a 9% of the population, but among them, the share of massive offenders is at a 49%.

Dutch Christian Zionists Push Chain to End Israeli Boycott

Israeli-made products – including those made by Jews living in Judea and Samaria – are back on the shelves of Dutch stores, just in time for Passover. A boycott declared by chains in Holland has backfired, as Christian Zionist groups demanded that they halt their boycott of products from Judea and Samaria – or face one themselves.

At least one chain, Jumbo, has acquiesced, and has announced that it will restore Israeli products to its shelves, including those from Judea and Samaria.

In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Shoshana Hausman, who runs programs for Chabad in the country, said that “this year we will have plenty of Kosher for Passover products, in stores and restaurants. We have brought in cases of wine from Brussels, matzah from Israel, and meat and fish for distribution. And there will also be plenty in markets as well,” she said.

Jumbo, she said, is one of the stores with the most kosher products in Holland. “Last year they decided to boycott Israel, but there were many non-Jews who love Israel who demanded that the products be returned to the shelves. The chain decided to do as they asked,” she said.

Passover is a time not only for Dutch Jews to feel closer to the community, but for Israelis as well. “There are close to 10,000 Israelis here and always before the holidays one sees them in the synagogues – we have 14, of all types. The Israelis call in order to get information about where they can participate in a Seder, where to buy matzah, etc. It is a very nice thing to see,” she added.
israelnationalnews

Six Killed as Turkish Government Accused of Vote-Rigging

At least six people have been killed and dozens more wounded in Turkey during clashes between rival village leaders, also known as muhtars, as local elections get underway Sunday.
The poll is seen as a test of Prime Minster Recep Tayyip Erdogan's weakening grip on power, as corruption scandals and accusations of authoritarianism rock his once-secure administration.
Four of the fatalities were in the southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, and the two others were killed in the Kırıkhan district of the southern province of Hatay, according to Hurriyet Daily. At least nine others were injured in the brawls which broke out between rival candidates, involving clubs, knives and arms" according to the Turkish news agency.
Five other people were seriously injured in clashes between prominent families in the Hilvan district, according to Doğan News Agency.
The deadly clashes come amid tension and chaos as over 50 million Turks head to the polls.
Opposition and rights groups have already accused Erdogan's government of working hard to rig the elections. Social media outlets have been flooded with pictures of opposition supporters allegedly beaten by security forces, while other activists have posted what appears to be bags of pre-stamped ballot papers for the AKP - the Islamist party of Prime Minister Erdogan - in Istanbul.
Meanwhile, controversial women's activist group Femen enraged conservative Muslims by staging a topless anti-Erdogan protest in the heart of the Prime Minister's own constituency in Istanbul's Üsküdar district.
Two female activists were arrested by police in that incident, but the group has pledged further protests against what it says are attacks on free speech by the government, including bans on social media platforms Twitter and YouTube.
israelnationalnews

Fury as fanatic who trained 7/7 bomber sets up Islamic primary school in Britain

A terror suspect who trained the ringleader of the 7/7 terrorist bombings in London has been allowed to set up an Islamic primary school, teaching children as young as three, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. As a member of a banned extremist group, Sajeel Shahid, 38, called for violence against British troops and ran a training camp in Pakistan where known terrorists learned how to make bombs and fire rocket- propelled grenades. One of his ‘graduates’ was Mohammed Siddique Khan, who led the gang of four suicide bombers on the deadliest terrorist attack ever committed in Britain, killing 52 people on the London Underground and a bus on July 7, 2005. Shahid also allegedly trained four convicted terrorists who tried to blow up the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Kent and London’s Ministry of Sound nightclub in a foiled plot. The jihadist – who was raised in Britain but spent years in Pakistan after the 9/11 attacks – was detained for three months in 2005 by the Pakistani security forces over his suspected links to Al Qaeda. He had been running the Pakistan branch of the banned British extremist group Al-Muhajiroun. After his detention he was expelled from the country. But despite being known to British security services, on his return to the UK he was given permission to set up an independent primary school, where he taught lessons and employed his brother – who also has a history of extremism – as head of IT. The Department for Education said last night it was ‘urgently’ looking into Shahid’s case, which critics said exposed the lack of checks on potentially dangerous individuals who set up schools in the UK. Lord Carlile, the Government’s former adviser on counter-terrorism, said: ‘It is a matter of real concern that somebody should be able to slip through the net and run a school where there has been substantial concern about his activities in the past. 'People who have been involved in terrorist activity anywhere in the world should not be allowed to run schools, unless there is the clearest evidence they have rejected the views that made them turn towards terrorism.’ Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee which is investigating terrorism, including extremism in schools, said: ‘It’s extremely worrying a person with such a history, which should be of concern to the relevant authorities, should be in such a position. The DfE needs to look into this urgently.’ Documents seen by The Mail on Sunday show Shahid was registered as director and proprietor of the Ad-Deen Primary School in Ilford, Essex, which teaches 54 pupils aged three to 11. He is thought to have founded the £2,000-a-year school in 2009, where, using the pseudonym Abu Ibrahim, he taught children to recite the Koran. He was able to operate his school for five years, despite the DfE launching a Due Diligence and Counter-Extremism Unit in 2010 to prevent individuals with a history of extremist beliefs running schools. A cursory internet check on Shahid reveals his past as a terror suspect, as he even has a profile on Wikipedia stating his involvement with Al-Muhajiroun, the group founded by Omar Bakri Mohammed. In 2001, Bakri sent Shahid and his elder brother Adeel, 39, also a member of Al-Muhajiroun, to Pakistan to set up a branch of the group there. In December 2001, Shahid gave an interview to a British newspaper. He said: ‘We say the Pakistan army, navy and air-force should be fighting US and British forces which are killing our Islamic brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. We see the US and British governments as the biggest terrorists in the world.’ He also called on Muslims to rise up and ‘throw out their rulers implementing kufr [infidel] laws to be replaced by the Islamic law and order,’ adding, ‘jihad was the only solution for Muslim lands under occupation.’ More details of Shahid’s activities in Pakistan emerged at the Old Bailey trial of seven terrorists who plotted to blow up the Bluewater Centre and the Ministry of Sound with half a ton of fertiliser. The court heard evidence from Muhammed Junaid Babar, 39, a US terrorist who became an FBI supergrass on Al Qaeda, who had met Shahid and his brother in Pakistan in 2001. Babar revealed they accommodated British jihadists in safe houses in Lahore, before they left for Afghanistan to fight the Americans. According to transcripts obtained by the MoS, Babar told the court that in 2003 he and Shahid and two others travelled to a region near the Afghan border and set up a terrorist training camp in Malakand. Babar told the jury that in August 2003, the would-be ringleader of the 7/7 attacks, Mohammed Siddique Khan, 30, trained at the Malakand camp with Mohammed Shakil, 37, a friend from Leeds. He was jailed in 2009 for seven years for attending the camp. Khan, who was known at the camp as Ibrahim, and Shakil, known as Zubair, were joined by four other Brits, who were led by Omar Khyam, 34, who was later convicted as the ringleader of the Bluewater plot. In 2005, the Shahid brothers were arrested by security forces in Pakistan on suspicion of supporting and having links with Al Qaeda and were detained for three months. Security sources told The Mail on Sunday that Sajeel Shahid was ‘on MI5’s radar’ after he was expelled from Pakistan and returned to the UK, but slipped towards the bottom of their priority list as he was not deemed a national security threat. He has never been charged with any terrorism offences. But last night, questions were asked as to how Shahid’s past was not uncovered by the DfE despite background vetting, which include enhanced criminal records checks. Electronic records sent to Companies House indicate that Shahid resigned from Ad-Deen early this month, although a staff member said that he ‘still goes in and out’ and can be reached at the school. He did not respond to our calls. Ofsted inspected the school in 2011 and 2012 without apparently discovering Shahid’s past, concluding it met ‘all regulatory requirements’. Last night, Ofsted refused to answer any questions on what checks it made on the background of Ad-Deen’s staff and proprietor. The DfE spokesman said: ‘We will investigate any evidence put to us.’
dailymail