Thursday, September 30, 2010

STFU, Merkel!

by sheikyermami
Germany’s Merkel “regrets Dutch right-wing” government formation
Berlin – German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday that she “regrets” the formation of a Dutch right-wing government including Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV).

Most Germans see Muslims as a burden

More than half of Germans see Muslim immigrants as a drag on the country, a poll published Thursday has found. According to the Allensbach poll commissioned by the Financial Times Deutschland, 55 percent judged that the migrant group “has cost significantly more financially and socially than it has yielded economically.”Only one fifth of respondents believed Muslim immigrants were more a benefit than a burden. The skepticism is particularly strong in the former east of the country, where 74 percent of respondents saw Muslims as a drain on the nation. In the former west, the figure was 50 percent.Furthermore, more than one third of the population believes Germany is indeed becoming “dumber on average” because of immigration, as former Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin has controversially claimed. Migrants were poorly educated and had more children, many respondents said. In the former east, 37 percent of people believed this to be the case, compared with 33 percent who rejected the proposition.Sarrazin, who sparked a tumultuous debate about immigration last month – and lost his job in the process – has claimed among other things that many Muslims do not want to integrate with German society and, on the whole, make the country dumber.Some 60 percent of respondents to the poll believed Sarrazin was generally right, while just 13 percent rejected his theses altogether.The Local

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Al-Qaida plot to attack Germany discovered

Western intelligence agencies have uncovered an al-Qaida plot to launch attacks in Germany France, and Britain by Pakistan-based extremists, security sources and media reports said Wednesday. "The threat is very real," a security official based in Europe told AFP, after British and US media reported that militants were planning simultaneous strikes in London and in cities in France and Germany.The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that France and Britain had been targeted, explaining that orders had been given at the highest level of al-Qaida to punish Europe, and France in particular.The BBC and Sky News said commando-style teams of militants planned to seize Western hostages and murder them in a manner similar to the attacks in Mumbai two years ago, but the source could not confirm this.The official said a bomb was a more likely threat than a rampage such as that seen in the Indian city, where 10 gunmen killed 166 people and injured more than 300 in three luxury hotels, a railway station and restaurants.US intelligence services learned of the threat through various sources, including the questioning of suspects from the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, which was then confirmed by other countries, the European official added.US broadcasters ABC and CNN earlier reported that the source of the intelligence was a German suspect detained in Afghanistan.In Washington, a US official told AFP the threat "was credible" but it was not clear when or where it meant to be launched - and it could take place outside France, Britain and Germany.ABC reported that the United States was also a possible target and said President Barack Obama had been briefed."The threat is, at this point, credible but not specific," said the US official, who asked to remain anonymous.The official added: "And while no one should dismiss the prospect of a Mumbai-style operation, it's entirely conceivable that other modes of attack are in play."The BBC described the threat as "one of the most serious al-Qaida attack plans in recent years" and said it was inspired by the terror group's fugitive leadership in Pakistan's tribal areas.Sky News and the Wall Street Journal said a recent surge in US drone attacks in Pakistan's border areas was aimed at eliminating the plot's leaders, and had killed some of them.Pakistan, however, rejected the notion of a plot on its soil."We don't have any credible information from sources that any such planning is taking place or terrorists are planning anything in North Waziristan," military spokesman Major General Athar Abbas told AFP.Britain's Home Office refused to comment on the reports of a plot, but a spokeswoman said: "We know we face a real and serious threat from terrorism."She told AFP there was "no change at all" to the national threat level, which since January has been at "severe", the second highest of five levels, meaning a terror attack is highly likely.The German government meanwhile said it was aware of al-Qaida's "long-term" aim to attack Western targets, but it had not changed its security assessment."At the moment there are no concrete indications of any imminent attacks on Germany resulting from this," an interior ministry statement said.France has been on a heightened state of alert amid warnings of an imminent attack, but a source with links to the intelligence service said these warnings were not linked to the newly reported plot.French officials also said Wednesday they had no new information on a specific threat, although government sources last week said US intelligence had warned of jihadi cells moving back to Europe from Pakistan. AFP

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Germany: Insurer cites Koran to reject claim

A Muslim immigrant in Germany who asked his insurance firm to cover the costs of a maid while he recovered from a serious accident had his claim rejected on the grounds that according to his religion, husbands don't do the housework anyway.The 79-year-old Algerian man had been seriously injured after being hit by a car and had already received a six-figure sum in damages from the Gothaer insurance company. When he filed an additional claim to cover the costs of running his household because he wasn't healthy enough to do so himself, an insurance clerk responded by interpreting the Koran as placing the man above the woman.In her letter, she wrote of Muslim marriage: "It can't be assumed to resemble a German marriage. According to the patriarchical and traditional view of the man in the Muslim marriage, the husband doesn't run the household."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Germany: Feminist against headscarves

Germany's best known and most outspoken feminist has called for a ban on headscarves for girls in German schools. Her new book, a plea for integration over Islamism, is likely to stir controversy.
The headscarf is more than just a piece of fabric, more than just another article of clothing, and definitely not some hip lifestyle accessory that heavily made-up girls should use to add a little color to their wardrobe. No, the head scarf is a "flag and symbol of Islamists" which "followed a crusade all the way to the heart of Europe by the 1980s." Or so says iconic German feminist Alice Schwarzer in her new book, "The Great Cover Up: For Integration, against Islamism".
The book was recently published in German under the name "Die grosse Verschleierung: Fuer Integration, gegen Islamismus," and its strong statements been an injection of yet more fuel into the already burning integration debate in Germany.
Teachers are no longer allowed to wear the head scarf in German public schools, and now Schwarzer has demanded the next step: Girls should be forbidden to wear it as well.
"Only this forceful act would finally give the young woman from a fundamentalist orthodox family the chance to move with freedom and equality, at least within the confines of the schoolyard," Schwarzer writes.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

German among four teenagers charged with terror plots in Yemen

Yemen. A 16-year-old German boy was among four teenage defendants charged at a Yemeni state security court on Monday with plotting attacks on foreign and government targets in the Arab country.
The 16-year old, whose mother is Yemeni and is not named for legal reasons, appeared at the courtroom with three 15-year-old Iraqi co- defendants.
The four were charged with planning suicide attacks against tourists, foreign interests, state and military vital facilities.
Prosecutors told the court that the defendants had received training by an al-Qaeda leader in Marib province in 2008.
They said the four defendants had also met with the suicide bomber who blew himself up near the convoy of the British ambassador in Sana'a Tim Torlot in April 26.
Torlot escaped unharmed from the attack. Al-Qaeda claimed responsibility for the bombing carried out by a 22-year-old Yemeni man identified by authorities as Othman Ali al-Solwi.
The four defendants rejected the charges and the German defendant told the court that he wanted to travel to Germany to meet his father, whom he never met.
The court adjourned the trial until October 3.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stop the Bomb protests Iranian ‘terror bank’

European-based coalition demonstrates in front of the European-Iranian Trade Bank headquarters in Hamburg calling for closure of EIH.
BERLIN – The European-based Stop the Bomb coalition demonstrated in front of the European-Iranian Trade Bank headquarters in Hamburg on Thursday and called for the closure of EIH because it has been abetting Iran’s nuclear proliferation and missile programs.More than 20 activists protested, and many held banners reading “Stop the EIH terror bank,” “Free Iran now” and “No business with the Iranian regime.”
Stuart Levey, who is spearheading anti-terror measures across the globe for the US Treasury Department, said earlier this month, “As one of Iran’s few remaining access points to the European financial system, EIH has facilitated a tremendous volume of transactions for Iranian banks previously [blacklisted] for proliferation.”Michael Spaney, a spokesman for the Stop the Bomb, told The Jerusalem Post from Hamburg that EIH is “involved in Iran’s nuclear and military programs.”A spokeswoman for EIH declined to comment to the Post on the Stop the Bomb protest.The EIH posted a statement on its website saying “Defamatory accusations by the US Treasury unilaterally putting European- Iranian Trade Bank AG (EIH) on its blacklist of sanctioned Institutions appear to be without cause.These allegations are politically driven and without substance.”German Chancellor Angela Merkel refused a request from US President Barack Obama’s to shut down EIH’s operation in Hamburg, the International Herald Tribune reported last month.The New York-based Leo Baeck Institute, which researches German Jewish history, honored Merkel on Tuesday in Manhattan with the institute’s prize for promoting “German Jewish reconciliation” and support for Israel.Merkel said in her speech, “Our expectations from Iran include that it recognize the security and existence of the State of Israel. Both are never negotiable for Germany.”When asked if she is contradicting her promise to Israel by refusing to close the EIH, a spokesman for the Merkel administration said the chancellor’s office is reviewing the Post query.The London-based Leo Baeck Institute director referred a Post telephone query to the New York office. Calls to the New York branch were not returned because of the Succot holiday.Dr. Wahied Wahdat-Hagh, a German-Iranian expert on Iran and a Fellow at the Brusselsbased European Foundation for Democracy, told the Post on Thursday that a former board member of the EIH, Dr. Pashaee Fam, is currently the director of Bank Sepah and previously worked for Bank Melli. Wahdat- Hagh’s research revealed that Fam was active with EIH until August 2010, and that he previously oversaw financial operations for two Iranian banks – Melli and Mellat – linked to Iran’s sanctioned nuclear activities.Wahdat-Hagh said EIH established branches in Teheran and in Kish, on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast, in May 2008, in which Bank Mellat had a 35 percent stake, and was slapped with sanctions.The UN placed sanctions on Bank Sepah because of its ties to Iran’s nuclear program, and the European Union blacklisted Bank Melli for carrying out financial transactions for Iran’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.Bank Sepah supports Iran’s military, according to Wahdat-Hagh.He said the German bank regulatory system ignored Fam’s connections to EIH and Melli, as well as his work for another sanctioned bank, Mellat, before his arrival in Hamburg.Meanwhile, the Essen-based international steel and defense company ThyssenKrupp AG announced on Thursday that it will no longer enter into deals with Teheran.“By halting business with Iran we are supporting the sanction policies of the Federal Republic of Germany, the European Union and the US,” Chief Executive Ekkehard Schulz said in a statement on the company’s website. Iran owns 4.5% of ThyssenKrupp.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Can Two Ex-Gitmo Detainees, Now in Germany, Visit the U.S. as Tourists?

By Benjamin Weinthal
Berlin. The German government recently granted residency to ex-Guantanamo detainees Ahmed Mohammed al-Shurfa and Mahmoud Salim al-Ali, who arrived last Thursday in Germany. While the Bild, Germany’s largest daily newspaper, editorialized against the relocation of the two Taliban fighters (both connected with training at al Qaeda terror camps in Afghanistan), Germany's interior minister defended the decision, claiming that his nation "made its humanitarian contribution to closing the detention center."
However, Rainer Wendt, the head of the German police labor union DpolG, raised the security alarm bells, and said, “We cannot rule out that the men will not once again join a terrorist scene.” Is Germany, a country where Hezbollah is a legal entity with 900 active members and where pro-Iranian revolutionary Islamists enjoy wide organizational latitude, the right placement country for two hardcore jihadists? Ahmed Mohammed al-Shurfa, who was born in Saudi Arabia, was closely connected with the terror group Hamas. He will be absorbed into Germany's generous social welfare system in Hamburg, the launching pad of the 9/11 attacks. Mahmud Salim al-Ali, who was born in Syria, will be based in the West German state of Rhineland-Palatinate, and will also enjoy German tax-payer funds for his social assistance needs. Given the recidivism rate among former Guantanamo inmates (See Thomas Joscelyn’s pieces here and here), German tax payers might very well end up subsidizing a home-grown al Qaeda base. According to the Spiegel, the deal brokered between the United States and Germany could enable the two Islamists to visit the U.S.: “Put more simply, it means the inmates released and sent to Germany are not dangerous and could even enter the US as tourists.”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fresh Air in Central Europe

by Jeffrey Herf
A certain kind of liberalism familiar to readers of The New Republic has been stirring in, of all places, Germany and Austria. To be sure, it operates on the margins. And, yes, the impulse to appease, run for cover and all the rest lingers there as well. So, too, does the mixture of irritation, indifference, and even outright hostility to Israel. But the spirit of this magazine, the spirit of “hard” liberalism, animates a new and unique collection of intellectuals and activists with impeccable credentials on the European left.
They know anti-Semites and reactionaries on the left and right when they see them; they do not hesitate to call a spade a spade. They think that the security of the state of Israel, along with the imperative of preventing Iran from getting the bomb, amount to moral and practical necessities. Some of them are Jewish, some are not. Most are simply liberals and even leftists who believe European traditions of anti-fascism have a special relevance when it comes to thinking and responding to the latest “isms,” particularly Islamism and the terror it so often promotes. When these intellectuals see the word Islamo-fascism, they do not rail about the abuse of language, denounce George Bush, or make furious comments about misplaced historical analogies. On the contrary, they place themselves, and belong, squarely in the progressive European tradition.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Germany: Greens propose integration solidarity tax

The deputy chairman of the Greens fraction in the German parliament, Josef Winkler, told the Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung that the solidarity tax for the former East Germany should be gradually changed into an 'integration-solidarity tax' for integration and education.Winkler: We should invest in the integration of the new population groups. Part of the solidarity tax should be spent on better education and language education for migrants.Winkler wants mother-tongue education for Turkish children and other migrant children all over Germany. "If you don't speak your mother-tongue well, according to researchers you will also have problems learning German."

"Trutherism" is alive and well in Europe: German Protestors Marked 9/11 by Denouncing "Inside Job," "Reichstag Fire"

By John Rosenthal
Other than among associates of Feisal Abdul Rauf, one could well believe that 9/11 “trutherism” is largely a thing of the past. The main target of the “9/11 truth movement” was always, after all, the supposedly nefarious cabal otherwise known as the Bush administration. With the end of President Bush’s second term, the “movement” had lost its very raison d’être.
In the meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans have other fish to fry. But photographs from a rally that took place in Berlin on the anniversary of 9/11 suggest that 9/11 “trutherism” is alive and well in Germany. In fact, what has come to be known as “trutherism” was widespread in Europe long before the “inside job” thesis had virtually any adherents in the United States. As discussed in my article “The Legend of the Squandered Sympathy,” the “inside job” thesis first appeared in the pages of France’s newspaper of record, Le Monde, only one week after the attacks. It was put forward there by a researcher from the prestigious National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS), no less. The first French edition of Thierry Meyssan’s would-be 9/11 exposé L'Effroyable Imposture – roughly, “The Terrifying Hoax” – was published merely six months after the attacks. It quickly shot to the top of the French best-seller list, with a reported 200,000 copies being sold in a matter of weeks. The publication in 2003 of an English edition under the title 9/11, The Big Lie passed nearly unperceived. It would, however, serve as one of the principal sources for the American “trutherism” that emerged some years later.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Protest against Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank in Hamburg

Thursday - September 23 - 10.30 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
Depenau 2, Hamburg (Picture above)
The Hamburg-based Europäisch-Iranische Handelsbank (EIH) has been blacklisted for sanctions in the U.S. STOP THE BOMB urges chancellor Merkel to ban EIH. Germany has to get active regarding Iran sanctions.
Further information: stopthebomb

Monday, September 20, 2010

Austria: Majority approve debate following Sarrazin's claims

A majority of Austrians regard Thilo Sarrazin’s controversial ideas a "justified approach" to re-discuss integration issues, a poll has shown.Viennese researchers Karmasin found 51 per cent of Austrians said the outgoing Deutsche Bundesbank executive board member’s statements were a good starting point to kick off a discussion about Austrian immigration and integration issues. Only 39 per cent said they did not agree, magazine profil reports today (Mon).German pollsters said recently six in 10 Germans consider the German Social Democrat’s (SPD) remarks – made in his new book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany Abolishes Itself) – a justified bid to start a fresh debate about immigration and integration of Muslims and other ethnic groups.Another result of Karmasin’s survey is that 48 per cent of Austrians said Deutsche Bundesbank’s decision to dismiss Sarrazin over his claims were unjustified. Thirty-four per cent said the bank made the right decision.Sarrazin sparked a Europe-wide debate by claiming willingness to work and intelligence quotient partly depended on people’s ethnic origin. Germany’s Muslim community was especially angered by his statements.He said: "I don’t have to accept anyone who lives on social benefits, rejects the state (of Germany), does not care properly for the education of his children and permanently produces new headscarf-girls."Austrian Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache controversially said Sarrazin would deserve asylum in Austria. Strache called on the "Sarrazin hunters" to face reality. "They have no idea what’s going on and dream of an ideal world," he said.Strache also advised Social Democratic (SPÖ) Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl to "read Sarrazin’s book carefully", adding that his party, the FPÖ, has been pilloried as well by pointing out where bad developments occur.The FPÖ boss claimed the Viennese department has become an "Islamist party". Häupl hit back by calling Strache "a stupid person".The Vienna FPÖ’s poster campaign features slogans such as the SPÖ "protects men who force their women to wear headscarves".The right-wing party is tipped to improve its share in the 10 October Vienna city election. It garnered 14.8 per cent in 2005. Pollsters OGM also said the FPÖ’s Styrian branch has the potential to double its share in the provincial ballot of 26 September (2005: 4.6 per cent).Meanwhile, public opinion research firm IMAS said 42 per cent of Austrians thought foreigners, asylum seekers and immigrants were treated better by authorities than themselves.
austrian times

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dutch anti-Semitism reaches record high

According to Dutch police statistics, the 48% increase represented 209 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2009
BERLIN – The mushrooming number of anti-Semitic incidents in in the Netherlands in 2009 – a 48 percent increase over 2008 – may be “just the tip of the iceberg,” Ronny Naftaniel, the head of The Hague-based Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, said on Thursday.Many anti-Semitic incidents are not reported, Naftaniel said in a statement.
According to Dutch police statistics, the 48% increase represented 209 reported anti-Semitic incidents in 2009.That accounted for 9.4% of discrimination- based incidents in the Netherlands, although Jews constitute only 0.3% of the country’s 16.6 million people.In 2008, the police registered 141 anti-Semitic incidents. Anti-gay attacks rose 13% in 2009 when compared to the previous year, and amounted to 35% of all discrimination-based incidents.There were 428 anti-homosexual incidents in 2009; in 2008, 308 incidents were registered.The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel said in its statement that “In January 2009 alone, CIDI – an independent watchdog organization – documented 98 attacks against Jews. This figure included nine physical assaults. The remaining incidents were threats and hate speech.“During the whole of 2009, CIDI documented 167 anti-Semitic incidents – constituting an increase of 55% compared to CIDI’s 2008 report. Out of these, 35 were serious incidents, involving violent attacks or threats of violence, damaging synagogues and monuments and anti-Semitic graffiti of Jewish- owned buildings.”The rise in attacks prompted human rights groups to urge the Dutch government to take action.“CIDI and the gay rights organization COC called on the upcoming government of the Netherlands – whose makeup is being determined in coalition talks following a recent election – to address the growing anti-gay and anti- Jewish trends apparent in the report,” CIDI noted in its statement.Dutch observers say that the Netherlands’ 1 million Muslims (about 5% of the population), largely from Morocco, coupled with anti-Israel leftists have contributed to a hostile climate for Jews in the Netherlands.

German state to teach Islam in schools

Via al-Arabia:
The German state of Lower Saxony will start including Islam in its schools’ core curriculum as part of an initiative to counter growing anti-Islam sentiments in Europe.Dr. Bernd Althusmann, Minister for Education at the northwestern state of Lower Saxony, announced that schools in the state will start including Islamic education in their main curriculum, the London-based Asharq al-Awsat reported Thursday.“I think we will be able to start implementation by the academic year after the next ,” Althusmann said during a visit to an elementary school in the city of Hanover and in which he attended an Islamic education class.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Giving the mullahs a hand -- Why is Switzerland Doing Iran's Dirty Work in Europe?

By Benjamin Weinthal
Berlin. Switzerland's Social Democratic foreign minister Michelin Calmy-Rey seems to be playing the part of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's representative in Europe these days. The Swiss daily NZZ disclosed that Calmy-Rey vehemently opposes adopting EU sanctions against Iran. And her country's massive energy company EGL plans to move forward with an energy deal, reportedly valued between 18 and 27 billion euros, with the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC).
Her infatuation with Iran's fanatical president was already on display back in 2008 when she helped broker Europe's largest gas deal between EGL and Ahmadinejad. Through the deal, EGL intends to transport more than 5 billion cubic meters of Iranian gas each year over a 25-year period. While euphorically embracing Iran's despotic president, Calmy-Rey quickly departed from her alleged feminist position and donned a headscarf.
The revenues from the EGL energy deal with NIGEC, whose parent company, National Iranian Gas Company, was placed on Britain's Proliferation Concerns List in February 2009, will not only feed Iran's nuclear weapons program but help fund its terror proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah. The new wave of revenue does not bode well for Iran's struggling pro-Democracy movement. The EGL funding stream will enable the Iranian regime to further fund its repressive Revolutionary Guard Corps to stifle and repress dissidents.
While Calmy-Rey makes great efforts to champion her country's “neutrality” (the Swiss are not a member of the EU), she and EGL are compromising the security of Switzerland's roughly 8 million citizens, the West, and the Middle East region. The United States should ignore Calmy-Rey's phony declarations of neutrality, and sanction EGL for violating the U.S. Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act, which provides for sanctions for investments that contribute to Iran’s ability to develop and transport its petroleum resources.
According to U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and his French counterpart, the growing global sanctions regime against Iran is inflicting pain on Tehran's clerical rulers.
Given Switzerland's anti-West foreign policy, the U.S should perhaps consider recalling Switzerland as the representative of U.S diplomatic interests in Iran. The conflict of interest is painfully obvious. How can the Swiss represent American interests when its foreign minister Calmy-Rey is actively undercutting the U.S led sanctions strategy?
In short, the Swiss cannot function as Ahmadinejad’s representative in Europe, propping up Iran's economic and political policies, and claim to be a neutral agent for American diplomacy in the Mullah-controlled state.

Vienna woman locked away by Kosovo Albanian man for months

A 22-year-old Viennese locked away his wife for more than seven months, it has emerged.Mario Hejl, a spokesman for police in the capital, confirmed a report by daily Heute today (Thurs). Hejl explained: "Vienna police deliberately decided not to make the case public since it was considered unsuitable."The spokesman said the suspect had been arrested on Monday but refused to provide any further details.Heute claimed that the Kosovo Albanian man had kept his wife, 22, locked in a room of their flat in Favoriten district since 1 February. The newspaper also reported that the woman had been physically abused by her husband throughout that period.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Salzburg Muslim jailed for fuel attack against wife

A Tunisian Muslim has been sentenced to 10 months in prison for threatening to set his wife on fire.Judges at Salzburg’s Provincial Court heard today (Thurs) how the 30-year-old had asked his wife what she would do if he burnt the house down – before showering her with petrol in front of their son.The Austrian woman, 25, who has filed for divorce in the meantime, said in court: "We quarrelled almost everyday. He wanted to discuss something that night, but I couldn’t be bothered and went upstairs to lie down next to our son."She added: "He entered the room a short while later and asked me what I would do if he set all we had on fire. He then poured some liquid over my head. It smelled like petrol."The family mum said the man – who has a criminal record – then played around with a lighter. "I thought my kid and I would perish," she said, speaking about the incident that occurred earlier this year.Asked why she had waited for months before getting in touch with police, the woman explained: "I fought to get him out of custody when he was most recently jailed, some time before the petrol attack. I told myself our child should not grow up without a father. I tried to keep up an illusion."The defendant, who denied ever having threatened or physically attacked the women, accused her of lying. "I don’t even own a canister," he said.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Ex-Gitmo Islamonazis have arrived in Germany where they belong to

Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere said Thursday two former inmates at the US prison camp in Guantanamo have arrived in Germany after spending nearly nine years in the terrorist detention centre.In July, after months of deliberation, Germany agreed to accept the pair in response to US President Barack Obama request for allies' help to close the prison in Cuba."The two former Guantanamo prisoners have now arrived in Germany," de Maiziere said in a statement, adding that they touched down "in the middle of this week."The first, a stateless 34-year-old man of Palestinian origin, landed in Hamburg in northern Germany. The second man, from Syria, arrived in the south-western region of Rhineland-Palatinate. "The regional authorities concerned have promised to do everything to allow the two people a new start in Germany," said de Maiziere.Both had expressed the wish not to be hounded by the media, he added. "After nearly nine years in Guantanamo, this is understandable and we should all respect this," the minister said.The Palestinian was detained in 2001 in Afghanistan and has been interned without charge in Guantanamo since 2002. He has expressed a desire to raise a family in Germany, said regional authorities in Hamburg. He will not be under police supervision, they added. Officials in Rhineland-Palatinate provided no details about the second man.Late last year, the United States asked Germany to take in three detainees. A German delegation travelled to Guantanamo in March and spoke with the men. On the basis of these interviews, de Maiziere said he accepted two but rejected the third candidate, giving no further details.

Austria: Turkish course for teachers

The University of Graz is developing a two year course in Turkish language and culture for teachers. The course is mainly for students who just finished their studies. The university developed the curriculum becasuse immigrant children in elementary school speak poor German and therefore have difficulties learning.The dean of the university, Gernot Kocher: We want to ensure that teachers in elementeray schools and special education have enough knowledge in-house to deal with Turkish students. We must ensure that immigrant children can also be educated and can thus be better integrated.

Serbia capitulates: Address was UN, not EU

By Vojin Joksimovich
Germany says that Serbia must come to terms with its amputation. But the dismemberment of Serbia doesn’t appear to be over until Serbia is reduced to a region envisioned by Hitler.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

“Global Mufti” Qaradawi and German Middle Eastern Studies

The original of this article was published in Norway, with an entry in Norwegian, here.
By Clemens Heni, Ph.D.
The failure of German Middle Eastern Studies becomes crystal clear when we look at an event at the 2010 international literature festival in Berlin. On September 16 there will be a presentation focusing on scholarly works about Yusuf al-Qaradawi, probably the most influential and best known Islamist worldwide, particularly in the Sunni world. The Qatar-based ideologist is called the “Global Mufti”. This is, as it happens, the title of one of the books being presented at the event.
Global Mufti, which appeared last year, is edited by the German scholar Dr. Bettina Gräf and the Danish scholar Prof. Dr. Jakob Skovgaard-Petersen. Gräf works at the Center for the Modern Orient in Berlin; Skovgaard-Petersen is a professor at the University of Copenhagen. They are thrilled that Qaradawi is a media star in the Muslim world, thanks in part to his online fatwas, which were the topic of Gräf’s Ph.D. dissertation. (That dissertation will also be presented at the event.)
They know everything about Qaradawi, for example about his relationship to Al-Azhar University in Egypt, his close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, and his efforts to Islamize Europe. But they have no problem with Qaradawi. They like him. Gräf even met with Qaradawi in person in Qatar. Gräf, who examines Qaradawi’s concept of being “centristic” (“wasatiyya”), considers Qaradawi a “moderate.”
Gräf and Skovgaard-Petersen say that their “book is not intended to be a defense of, or an attack on, Yusuf al-Qaradawi.” Yet those who have learned the lessons of the Holocaust know that it is necessary to criticize anti-Semites. When it comes to anti-Semitism, you can’t take a neutral position. Anti-Semitism and Islamism are tremendously important issues in our world today and silence is the wrong way to deal with them. Worse, silence most often is a way of conveying support.
For example, Barbara Freyer Stowasser, Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Georgetown University, endorses Qaradawi in Global Mufti because he allows women to kill Jews without asking their parents’ or husband’s permission. Women are even allowed to commit such crimes unveiled! Stowasser portrays these crimes as acts of “defensive jihad” against Israel. For Stowasser, Qaradawi’s fatwa on women and suicide bombing is a sign of “true gender equality.”
Gudrun Krämer, head of the Institute for Islamic Studies at the Free University of Berlin, will also take part in the event at the literature festival. She wrote a foreword to Global Mufti, and as early as 2006 described Qaradawi in an article as a “representative of moderate Islam.” She portrays him as someone who “does not invite or condone violence against others, be they Muslim or non-Muslim (the exceptions are foreign occupation, colonialism, Zionism and Israel)”.
Although Qaradawi is well known for calling for suicide bombing against Jews and Israeli, as well as for his condemnation of fatwas that criticized acts of suicide bombing such as one that took place in 2001 in Israel, Krämer insists that Qaradawi, while supporting violence against “Zionists,” does not “invit[e]” violence.
Krämer is also the author of a long German monograph, published in 2002, which describes the “Palestinian” Izz ad-Din al-Qassam as a martyr. Qassam was killed by the British in 1935 after he had murdered a Jew in the British Mandate. Today Hamas names its missiles after him – the unfamous “Qassam rockets.” Krämer is not disturbed by this, although German historians Martin Cüppers and Michael Mallmann criticized her harshly for her position in 2006.

Germany Debates Muslim Immigration

by Soeren Kern
A national debate is raging in Germany over Muslim immigration. The issue is drawing attention not only to Germany's broken immigration system, which for many decades now has failed to integrate Germany's Muslim population, but also to Germany's demographic time bomb, which is significantly accelerating the pace of Muslim immigration.
The debate is also exposing deep rifts between Germany's politically correct elites, who for years have tried to silence discussion about Muslim immigration, and vast numbers of ordinary Germans, who are becoming increasingly uneasy about the social changes that are transforming Germany, largely due to the presence of millions of non-integrated Muslims in the country.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Swiss FM under fire for blocking Iran sanctions

Micheline Calmy-Rey has resisted imposing tougher, EU-style measures; FM too "careful when dealing with the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad."
BERLIN - ­ Swiss government officials in the Economics Department (Seco) have called for tougher sanctions against Iran and criticized Social Democratic Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey for blocking harder policies against the Islamic Republic, according to a report in Sunday's edition of the Swiss daily NZZ.The disclosures, based on internal government documents, show deep cleavages between Bern's policy makers and what appears to be a sign of no confidence among some Swiss experts in Calmy-Rey's "neutral" approach toward Iran's nuclear program. According to NZZ, specialists in Seco believe Calmy-Rey is too "careful when dealing with the regime of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad." In late August, the foreign minister issued an internal report advocating the implementation of the mild UN sanctions against Iran, but also calling against the adoption of the robust EU sanctions targeting Iran's energy and financial sectors.When asked about the criticism of Seco government officials and whether the Foreign Ministry plans to adhere to sanctions instituted by the US and the EU, Lars Knuchel, a spokesman for Calmy-Rey, said, "Sanctions are generally a last resort when the usual diplomatic efforts fail to bear fruit. For this reason, the EDA [Swiss Foreign Ministry] has frequently called on the Islamic Republic to transparently cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Association, for example at the last session of the IAEA governing council in March of this year," Knuchel told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for the Israeli Embassy in Bern told the Post on Monday that "Israel's stance on this issue is well known and we have made it clear to the Swiss government on many occasions." The Israeli Foreign Ministry publicly rebuked Calmy-Rey in 2008 for an 18 billion Euro gas deal between Swiss energy giant EGL and the National Iranian Gas Export Company (NIGEC) at a time when the US and Britain called on European countries to not engage in energy sector business with Teheran.The EGL contract was signed with NIGEC, a subsidiary of the National Iranian Gas Company that was placed on Britain's Proliferation Concerns List in February 2009. EGL's contract with Iran might trigger a US congressional investigation under the new round of enhanced US sanctions. Critics argue that revenues from the deal could be used to finance Iranian allies Hamas and Hizbullah, as well as nuclear proliferation activities.According to the Swiss Foreign Ministry document, Calmy-Rey argued against adopting EU-style sanctions because of Switzerland's "mandate as a protective power" and its "neutrality and impartiality." Switzerland as a neutral power will "open doors for us in Teheran and Washington" and help Switzerland in its economic matters, wrote the top Swiss diplomat.However, the officials in the Swiss Economics Department said Calmy-Rey "overestimated the role of the protective power" of the Swiss, and noted that it did not prevent American pressure.The EGL gas contract is a "thorn in the side [of the Americans]" and many high-level US officials "have already on many occasions called for Switzerland to issue unilateral sanctions against Iran," they said.
Telephone calls to the American Embassy in Bern and a Post query via e-mail asking if the US plans to retain the Swiss as its diplomatic representative in Iran (because it does not maintain its own diplomatic presence there) were not immediately returned.Dr. Herbert Winter, head of the Swiss Federation of Jewish communities (SIG), told the Post on Monday that, "While certainly understanding the independence of Swiss politics, the SIG considers it a lack of solidarity and worrying if Switzerland does not at least join the EU economic sanctions against Iran, if not the American sanctions, in order to effectively oppose the Iranian nuclear threat.""Only implementing the UN sanctions and taking measures that they believe will prevent evasions through Switzerland is not enough," he added.Officials from Seco wrote that they expected the EU to increase its pressure on the Swiss to act against Iran.

Monday, September 13, 2010

US Treasury bans European-Iranian bank from operating in US

Bank finances ‘nuclear-related’ companies; NGOs slam Merkel for failing to close financial center linked to Iran
BERLIN – The US Treasury Department last week banned the Hamburg-based European-Iranian Bank (Europaeisch- Iranische Handelsbank) from operating in the US because it finances companies that help Iran build weapons of mass destruction.NGOs in Germany and the US slammed German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s administration for refusing to shut down a leading finance center for nuclear proliferation and Teheran’s missile program.“EIH has acted as a key financial lifeline for Iran. As one of Iran’s few remaining access points to the European financial system, EIH has facilitated a tremendous volume of transactions for Iranian banks previously designated for proliferation,” Stuart Levey, US under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, said in a Treasury Department statement.“As international sanctions tighten, Iran will find it increasingly difficult to find banks like EIH that will cooperate with it. Treasury will continue to target any bank, wherever located, that supports Iran’s nuclear or missile programs,” said Levey, who oversees American efforts to stop the financing of terrorism across the globe.The US Treasury proffered a list of EIH’s proliferation activities. “In 2009, EIH and Bank Mellat facilitated nearly $350,000 of business between a weapons exporter and a subsidiary of WMD proliferator Iran Electronics Industries (IEI),” it said.“In a six-month period beginning in late 2007, EIH and the Export Development Bank of Iran enabled Iran’s missile programs to purchase more than $3 million of material; also in 2007, almost $1m. in business involving an Iranian WMD proliferator was facilitated by EIH and Bank Mellat.”Mark Dubowitz, executive director of the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies and an expert on sanctions targeting Iran’s energy infrastructure, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday, “Germany, one of Iran’s most important trade partners, has recently developed a fragile political consensus in favor of tougher sanctions. German businessmen, however, remain wary of losing lucrative deals and are testing the resolve of European and American leaders.”Michael Spaney, a spokesman for the German chapter of the Stop the Bomb NGO, said in a statement last week, “We call on the German chancellor to immediately ban EIH. Germany must at long last become active in the area of Iran sanctions. It is up until now about empty phrases. The German government contends it want to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran while continued intensive trade is carried out with Iran.”A Foreign Ministry spokesman in Berlin said the US informed Germany in advance of its decision to ban the EIH from American markets. The spokesman said a German bank regulatory agency is strictly monitoring the EIH.The veteran New York Times journalist John Vinocur wrote in his August column that US President Barack Obama appealed to Merkel to shut down the EIH, but he was snubbed by the chancellor.The EIH said in a statement that the EIH “at all times strictly fulfills and observes applicable legal regulations and all sanctions and export guidelines.”Germany is Europe’s largest Iranian trade partner, with annual trade volume around €4 billion, and the third largest global business partner of Iran after China and the United Arab Emirates.Despite the international community’s efforts to isolate Iran, many German companies, particularly engineering firms have defied sanctions. German exports to Iran increased by 14 percent during the first half of 2010 compared to the same period a year earlier.Meanwhile, the Linde Group, a Munich-based industrial engineering specializing in gas technology, confirmed in an e-mail to the Post on Friday that the company plans to walk away from its Iran business. Uwe Wolfinger, a Linde spokesman, wrote that the company had decided “to stop our activities in Iran and with Iran completely.”According to Wolfinger, Linde conducted €39m. worth of trade with Iran in 2009.While Linde has pulled the plug on new deals with Iran, ThyssenKrupp AG, an engineering and military conglomerate based in Essen, plans to continue trading with the Islamic Republic.Alexander Wilke, a spokesman for ThyssenKrupp, wrote by e-mail to the Post on Friday that the company will “adhere to the national and international export and embargo regulations” but declined to answer questions about whether ThyssenKrupp would stop doing business with Iran.He said that “4.5% of the shares “of ThyssenKrupp are owned by the Iranians and that its business with Iran amounted to roughly “€40m. in business cycle 2008/2009.”Dubowitz, from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told the Post, “The Linde Group’s decision to freeze any future deals with the Iranian regime is a positive signal that some major German companies – Allianz, Munich Re, Hannover Re, Siemens, and now Linde are examples – have decided that their European and US business interests are more important than their Iranian ties.”He added that “Any sign, however, that Germany’s political leaders are wavering on sanctions – and their refusal to shut down EIH’s and ThyssenKrupp’s activities is a worrying development – could collapse the sanctions regime before it has time to work. This could force the US and Israel to consider less peaceful alternatives.”German supporters of Israel have criticized ThyssenKrupp for failing to uphold Germany’s “special relationship” obligations to the security of the Jewish state.Thyssen and Krupp, which merged in 2000, were major users of slave labor during World War II and deeply involved in advancing the aims of the Holocaust.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Death Threats Against Merkel

by sheikyermami
3 days ago:
The Danish cartoonist who caused an uproar in the Muslim world by drawing insulting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed has been presented with an award by German chancellor Angela Merkel. (ABC)
Shaking hands with Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard was too much for Germany’s peaceful, moderate Muslims. The German language website based in Turkey is calling on all good Muslims to do their duty and practice their best halal butcher skills….

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Geert Wilders Speech at the 911 Rally of Remembrance


Political correctness silences debate on Islam in Germany

by sheikyermami
Marc Doll, a German politician from the Christian Democrats, has resigned from the party. He declared that today’s CDU has nothing in common with Konrad Adenauers CDU and that telling the truth (about Islam) cannot be a taboo.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Kurt Westergaard: From Pariah to Guest of Honor in Five Short Years

by Henryk M. Broder
German Chancellor Angela Merkel delivered the keynote address, and Joachim Gauck, a respected German pastor who was a human-rights activist in East Germany, paid tribute to Westergaard in a speech. Both celebrated Westergaard as a pioneer of free speech who has left his mark in history. “Regardless of whether or not we view the caricatures as necessary or helpful,” Merkel explained, “Europe is a place where a cartoonist is allowed to do something like this.” For his part, Gauck said that bestowing the award on Westergaard was an “appeal to all to remain steadfast, value-oriented and courageous.”
The two statements could hardly have been clearer or more unambiguous: for freedom and against fundamentalism; for the values of the Enlightenment and against cultural relativism. While Merkel read her speech from prepared notes, Gauck primarily extemporized, saying things such as: “I am filled with disgust when our advocacy of freedom is defamed in the culture pages as Western hegemony.” Merkel declared: “Freedom of religion does not mean that Shariah stands above the German constitution.... No cultural difference can justify the disregard for fundamental rights.”

Grassroots Anti-Islamism in Germany

By Benjamin Weinthal
In what could be seen as a parallel to the robust grassroots opposition to the Ground Zero mosque in the U.S., citizens of the German city of Mönchengladbach, located in the West German state of North Rhine–Westphalia, are working overtime to prevent the radical Islamic association “Invitation to Paradise” from building an Islamic school there. Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, Verfassungsschutz, has monitored the activities of “Invitation to Paradise” members, who propagate a Salafist version of Islam that calls for the decapitation of non-believers and the imprisonment of women in burqas.
Traditionally, German politicians and policymakers have bent over backwards to not offend homegrown Islamists, revolutionary Iranian supporters, and Hezbollah activists. That helps to explain why the Hamburg-based mosque al-Quds, which spawned the 9/11 terror attacks, remained open for almost nine years as a training center for jihadists.
A citizens’ initiative in Mönchengladbach spearheaded by Wilfried Schultz, a jurist and a student of theology, seeks to jolt drowsy politicians and government officials into action against the Salafists. Last week, a court barred the radical Islamic association from using a building as a mosque and from building the planned Islamic school, based on an insufficient construction application. In response, 130 Salafists seized a market square to pray and will continue to hold open-air services. According to a local press report, a woman shouted at them, “You’re repressing women and children”; she was met with a response of “loud and aggressive Allahu Akbar (God is Great!)” chants.
“Invitation to Paradise” is a bizarre mix of German converts to Islam and German Muslims energetically campaigning to win more converts to their backward form of fanatical Islam. While the citizens’ group opposing them seems to have fathomed the anti-women, anti-Western goals of the Salafists, Hamburg continues to serve as one of Europe’s leading metropolitan hubs for anti-Western Islamic ideologies and as the Islamic Republic’s financial center. Take the example of Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who appointed the director of the Islamic Center of Hamburg, which is part of the Imam Ali Mosque. The mosque’s imam, Ayatollah Reza Ramezani, has invoked the standard Iranian battle cry for wiping Israel off the map, “liberation of Jerusalem from the Zionist system,” and his mosque serves as a meeting place for members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), which the U.S. has designated as global terrorist organization.
Despite the banning of the al-Quds moque this year, Hamburg still remains an “Invitation to Paradise” for radical Islam.

Why is Merkel Protecting Iran's Terror Bank?

Double standards.
BY Benjamin Weinthal
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is slated to honor today in the city of Potsdam, just outside of Berlin, the Danish caricaturist Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoons satirizing the Prophet Muhammad and fanatical Islam triggered violent protests across the Muslim world in 2005. Westergaard will receive the “M100” media prize for his devotion (and unwavering courage) to press freedom.
What is striking about Merkel's tribute to Westergaard's fight for the right to speak freely is her vehement opposition to shutting down the Hamburg-based European-Iranian Trade Bank (EIH), a terror entity whose revenues help prop up the Iranian regime and suppress freedom of press in Iran.
It is also disturbing that the city of Hamburg would essentially be used as the European financial center of the Islamic Republic of Iran and that the EIH has essentially been used as a conduit for Iran's missile and nuclear program. That helps explain why the U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday designated the bank a terrorist entity. According to Stuart Levey, who is spearheading anti-terror measures across the globe for the U.S Treasury Department, "As one of Iran's few remaining access points to the European financial system, EIH has facilitated a tremendous volume of transactions for Iranian banks previously [blacklisted] for proliferation.”

Germany: Merkel speaks at event honoring Motoonist Kurt Westergaard

Predictably, "Aiman Mazyek of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany said in a statement: 'Merkel is honoring the cartoonist who in our view trampled on our Prophet and trampled on all Muslims'."
Are your prophet and religion really so fragile that one man's drawing can "trample" them? No, the real issue is a wounded sense of entitlement to be above criticism, ridicule, and satire, all of which are non-negotiable in the Western tradition of free speech.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Merkel to give Mohammed cartoonist German press freedom prize

Berlin - Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who in 2005 portrayed the Prophet Mohammed wearing a bomb in his turban, is to receive a media prize in Germany on Wednesday, organisers said. The M100 Media Prize is to be presented by Chancellor Angela Merkel for Westergaard's 'unbending engagement for freedom of the press and freedom of opinion, and for his courage to defend these democratic values despite threats of death and violence,' the prize committee said. The gala ceremony is being held in the Sanssouci palace in Potsdam, close to Berlin, and will be attended by editors and publishers from some of Europe's top media companies. Westergaard's cartoon, published along with other portrayals of Mohammed in the Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005, caused a storm of violent protest when they became known in the Arab and Muslim world. Many took offence at the personal and disrespectful portrayal of the prophet. The prize honouring Westergaard comes as tension has been rising between the West and the Muslim world over the construction of an Islamic cultural centre near Ground Zero in New York, and the threat of a US pastor to publicly burn copies of the Koran. Jyllands-Posten culture editor Flemming Rose is due to publish a book on freedom of speech later this month, entitled The Tyrrany of Silence. Westergaard's cartoon is to be included, and the artist's memoirs are also due out in November. In 2005 the Mohammed cartoon scandal came to represent a struggle between values of press-freedom and respect for religion. Westergaard has received numerous death-threats and remains under police protection. In January 2010 a Somali man entered Westergaard's house and attempted to attack him with an axe. The 75-year-old was rescued by police. In a statement released ahead of her keynote speech at the ceremony on Wednesday, Chancellor Merkel said that 'press freedom is one of the key features of a peaceful democracy.' 'We (Germans) know what oppression means, and should therefore never forget how valuable freedom is,' Merkel said. The M100 Media Colloquium is a high-profile annual event, running since 2005, which takes place at the former summer residence of Prussian king Frederick the Great at Potsdam, outside Berlin. The 2010 colloquium is dedicated to 'The Freedom of the Press in Europe.' There is no money attached to the prize.

Austria: Strache says hunted Sarrazin would deserve asylum

Freedom Party (FPÖ) leader Heinz-Christian Strache has vehemently defended controversial Deutsche Bundesbank executive board member Thilo Sarrazin.The German caused global outcry with various statements regarding immigration and the intelligence quotient of ethnic groups made in his new book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany Abolishes Itself) which was published last week.Now Strache said Sarrazin would deserve asylum in Austria.The right-winger announced today (Tues): "In contrast to many others who apply for it, he would have deserved political asylum."Strache – whose party is tipped to improve on its 2005 performance in the upcoming provincial elections in Styria (26 September) and Vienna – added: "The Sarrazin hunters don’t face reality. They have no idea what’s going on and dream of an ideal world."The FPÖ boss claimed Austria had the same problems as Germany. Strache also advised Social Democratic (SPÖ) Vienna Mayor Michael Häupl to "read Sarrazin’s book carefully".Strache claimed his party was pilloried as well by pointing out where bad developments occur.Newspapers have it that the right-winger – who has headed the FPÖ since 2005 – recently started wearing a bulletproof vest at campaign events after having received death threats.
austrian times/AWE

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Pro-Israel groups protest Berlin al-Quds Day march

BERLIN - Pro-Israeli organizations, Jewish community leaders and a representative of the Iranian opposition in Germany assembled in the heart of downtown Berlin’s bustling shopping district on Saturday to protest against an Iranian backed al-Quds Day march.Jochen Feilcke, the head of German-Israeli Friendship Society in Berlin and Potsdam, criticized the “glorification of the Islamic Republic of Iran” by the al-Quds participants.“Once again, the participation of neo-Nazis and other sympathizers of the mullah regime is expected and their goal is clear: Expressions of solidarity with the Palestinians will be used as agitation against Israel, the only free democracy in the Middle East,” Feilcke said.The al-Quds demonstration has been an annual event in Berlin since 1996 and advocates the destruction of the Jewish state. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini established al- Quds Day in 1979 and it is now marked in the Islamic Republic and throughout the Arab world by calling for the abolition of Israel.“These are people who only accept veiled woman, punish homosexuals, persecute political opponents and want to live according to Shari’a,” Maya Zehden, a spokeswoman for the Berlin Jewish community, said of the al-Quds Day protesters.The “forces hostile to democracy, like radical leftists and rightist as well as religious fundamentalists, are marching with one goal: The destruction of Israel,” Zehden said.“The people who call themselves peace activists” have aligned themselves with the anti-Israeli extremists, she said.“Jewish institutions are receiving more threats in the meantime from... people from the Middle East [German Muslims] than from right-wing extremists,” Zehden said, addressing rising Islamic anti- Semitism in Germany.“We expect our politicians to not allow themselves to agitate against Israel,” she said, in a reference to the Bundestag’s resolution slamming Israel for seizing May’s Gaza flotilla.Zehden called on the German government to to clarify its foreign policy and engage in a debate about integration.Dr. Kazem Moussavi, an Iranian living in exile in Germany, spokesman for the German chapter of the Iranian Green Party and a member of the Stop the Bomb coalition, called for the German government to “ban the anti-Semitic al-Quds march of the Holocaust-denying regime and the activities of its terror proxy organizations, Hamas and Hizbullah” in the Federal Republic.
Moussavi criticized German firms for supplying Iran with technology for nuclear weaponry and drone fighter planes.He cited a September report in DerWesten, a newspaper in North Rhine-Westphalia state, on companies in the state propping up Iran’s military with made-in-Germany merchandise.He blasted the 14 percent increase in German exports to Iran during the first half of 2010 over the same period in 2009.Israeli, American, French, and British diplomats have complained about the Merkel administration’s failure to crack down on the trade relationship with Teheran. Critics at the pro-Israel rally said that despite UN, EU and US sanctions against Iran, German firms continue to defy sanctions seeking to force Iran to end its nuclear program.A Berlin police spokesman told The Jerusalem Post that around 500 people appeared at the al-Quds Day. A police official at the anti-al-Quds protest told the Post that 150 people protested against the radical Islamists.Jörg Fischer-Aharon, an organizer of the protest against al-Quds Day, said that 400 people attended the event.As the pro-Islamic Republic march intersected with the Israel rally, a number of Islamists lunged at a demonstrator waving an American flag. Police pushed back the Iran-supporters.

Austria: Majority reject 'more mosques and minarets' appeal

Most Austrians are against the construction of additional minarets, according to a poll.Viennese research agency Karmasin said yesterday (Mon) 52 per cent opposed calls for further mosques with the distinctive minarets. Magazine profil reports that 35 per cent of Austrians questioned for the study backed the additional constructions, while 13 per cent did not want to gave their opinion.

Monday, September 06, 2010

18% Poor Misguided Perverts

I took my car to the garage this morning and thus had a brief chance to listen to the radio. It was a public station, Deutschlandfunk, the programme "Presseschau", press review. Süddeutsche Zeitung, the battle rag of the left with delusions of intellectualism, let us know from a great height, that one ought to understand the poor misguided 18 percent of the German people who are pro Thilo Sarrazin, the rabble rouser. Guess what makes them tick? They are, pathetic and unenlightened as they are, "afraid of modernity".All this is stunning. Those people are not afraid of modernity, they are afraid to LOSE modernity (whatever that is) and to be sent back to prae-modernity. To call this "Middle Ages" would be unfair to the -- to our -- Middle Ages.It is beyond belief what the simple truth is able to trigger, if somebody speaks out who can not, different from little and even big bloggers, be ignored. And what is even more beyond belief is the cynicism and contempt of the oh-so enlightened media for their readers.

The Sarrazin Debate

Right-wing populist parties are everywhere in Europe. But in Germany, home to “controversial Islamophobe” Thilo Sarrazin, the right side of the political spectrum is decidedly vacant. Why?

Germany: Conservatives demand sanctions against problem immigrants

As the integration debate stoked by Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin continues to smoulder, conservatives have begun calling for heavier sanctions against immigrants they deem unwilling or unable to become part of German society. General secretary for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative Christian Democrats (CDU), Hermann Gröhe, told daily Leipziger Volkszeitung that his party was taking the debate about Sarrazin’s controversial comments over immigration “very seriously.”Sarrazin is currently under fire for claiming, among other things, that Muslim communities don’t want to integrate with mainstream Germany, that they are making the country “dumber” and that ethnic groups, such as Jews, are distinguished by particular genes. While politicians on both sides of the issue have discredited Sarrazin’s remarks, recent polls have revealed that almost one-fifth of conservative voters support his ideas.“Our policy requires integration courses and citizenship tests,” Gröhe told the paper. “We also have sanction possibilities for those who persist in refusing to integrate. These must be consistently implemented.”The Christian Democrats must quickly address their immigration policies to “correct the failures of the past,” he added.Deputy leader of the CDU’s parliamentary group, Michael Fuchs, also weighed in on the issue Monday, telling daily Rheinische Post that Merkel’s centre-right coalition must review parts of its integration policy.According to Fuchs, consequences for immigrants failing to integrate have not been implemented “intensively enough.” “When immigrant children are not sent to kindergartens or to school, then cuts to their Hartz IV welfare benefits must be sanctioned,” he told the paper.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Support for Sarrazin puts politicians in spin

Nearly a fifth of Germans would vote for a political protest party headed by Thilo Sarrazin, a poll revealed on Sunday, as mainstream politicians argue about how best to react to his statements on Muslims, immigration and Jews. The survey, conducted by Emnid pollsters for the Bild am Sonntag newspaper, showed that 18 percent of Germans would vote for a political party headed by the Bundesbank board member. He has created a furore in Germany with assertions about Muslim immigrants to Germany failing to integrate, and what he insists is a genetic element to intelligence – and the astounding proposal that people of a common religion are genetically related.

Report says terror suspect warns of attacks in Germany and Europe

According to media reports, a German-born Islamic extremist arrested in Afghanistan has warned of possible terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
German news magazine Der Spiegel says authorities are investigating reports that a German-born Islamic extremist arrested in Afghanistan has warned of possible terrorist attacks in Germany and elsewhere in Europe.
The man, identified as Ahmad S, reportedly has ties to the Taiba mosque in Hamburg where the perpetrators of the September 11 attacks met. German authorities closed the mosque last month. The Spiegel report says Ahmad S made the statement under interrogation by the US military at Bagram military prison.
The 36 year-old suspect from Hamburg is alleged to be a member of the "Islamist movement of Uzbekistan," according to the report. The group is affiliated with the Taliban and has instigated attacks on Pakistani security forces and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
German media are reporting that Ahmad S was apprehended at the beginning of July. The German foreign ministry has only confirmed it was involved in providing consular assistance for a man held by the United States in Afghanistan.
Spiegel said he flew with his wife, a brother and another married couple to Pershawar via the Gulf state of Qatar before heading to the Afghan-Pakistan border.

Germany: Muslim youth violence a problem, says Merkel

Chancellor Angela Merkel has waded into a contentious debate on immigration in Germany as Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin, unfazed by widespread criticism of his views on race, threatened to fight his dismissal.Speaking to German weekly Bild am Sonntag, Angela Merkel said it would be wrong to play down statistics that show religious Muslim youths in Germany to be more prone to violence than the rest of the population."This is a big problem and we can talk about it openly, without arousing suspicions of xenophobia," Merkel said in the interview published on Sunday, September 5.

Radical Right Wing Islamophobe Rejects Mohammedan Mummenschanz, Muslims Whine….

by sheikyermami
A doctor based in the south German city of Waechtersbach has banned his female Muslim patients from wearing the hijab in his office, the daily Gelnhaeuser Neuen Zeitung reported on Friday.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Berlin event: Mina Ahadi against stoning and executions in Iran

On September 10th the Iranian activist Mina Ahadi will speak about stoning and executions in Iran. The event will take place in the Berlin "Haus der Demokratie und Menschenrechte" (Greifswalderstr. 4) at 7.00 pm. Please find the invitation of the „Berlin Coalition against Stoning and Executions” here.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Sarrazin supporter defends banker's Muslim comments

Germany's central bank has decided to ask the country's president to dismiss one of its board members, Thilo Sarrazin, over comments he made about immigration, Muslims and Jews.
In his book Mr Sarrazin claimed that Germans will end up strangers in their own land because of Muslim immigration. Speaking on BBC World Service, one of his prominent supporters, Necla Kelek - who herself is a German of Turkish origin - said Germany needed an open debate on immigration.

Protest against the Al-Quds Day: Against Islamist and anti-Semitic propaganda on the streets of Berlin - for the Iranian freedom movement

Since 1979, each year at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, Islamist organizations around the world call for the "Al-Quds Day" as a day of struggle for political Islam. the After the Islamist seizure of power in Iran Ayatollah Khomeini called his followers and adherents to spread the Islamic Revolution worldwide, to "liberate" Jerusalem and to destroy Israel.
In this spirit the President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, spread hate propaganda against the United States and Israel for years. At the same time suports the mullahs' regime supports anti-Semitic terrorist organizations like Hezbollah and Hamas with money and arms against Israel and its allies, it denies the Holocaust, it is working on its nuclear weapons, ignoring resolutions of the UN Security Council and it exercises a bloody reign of terror against its own population in Iran. Since 1979 and especially since the uprising of millions of brave Iranian women and Iranians in the summer of 2009, political dissidents, members of religious, ethnic and sexual minorities, and women, have been persecuted, tortured and murdered.
Even today the mullah regime and supporters of political Islam try to establish the Al-Quds-Day internationally as a religious holiday. After the campaigns of our coalition the Al-Quds-Day was purged from interfaith calendars at least in Germany.
Since 1996 almost every year, Islamist circles mobilized for the Al-Quds march in Berlin. This year it is announced for September 4th. Once again a participation of neo-Nazis and other supporters of the mullah regime is to be expected. Their goal is clear: the proclaimed solidarity with the Palestinians is a cover for agitation against Israel, the only liberal democracy in the Middle East. The oppressive regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran is glorified publicly. Democracy, freedom and human rights – as they are defined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – are ridiculed. Our alliance has made sure that this is no longer happening today as open as in the early years, and that the Islamists had to defuse their rhetoric after a public debate.
We – various politically and socially engaged groups and individuals – therefore call for a rally this year against the anti-Semitic and anti-democratic "Al-Quds Day". Stand with us against all forms of anti-Semitic, anti-Israel and anti-Western propaganda against human rights abuses in the Islamic Republic in Iran and for solidarity with the Iranian freedom movement and with Israel.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Why are Germans upset over critic of Islam?

BERLIN – “Everyone’s against Sarrazin!” was the headline that Bild,Germany’s largest daily newspaper, chose for its Tuesday issue. Deutsche Bundesbank board member Thilo Sarrazin has sharply criticized both German Muslims for failing to embrace integration and Islam for its tendency to lead to terror.Sarrazin, 65, a former Social Democratic finance commissioner for Berlin state (2002- 2009), has become, according to some observers, the subject of a feeding frenzy by the German media and political establishment, which is turning an unconventional thinker into a pariah.“What did he say that was so sensational? You can look up all the facts. You can see – Germany supposedly loves people who think outside the box. But Germans don’t trust non-conformist opinions. That’s why this witch-hunt is happening,” the well-known German-Jewish journalist Henryk M. Broder said.While Turkish and Islamic organizations have accused Sarrazin of racism and damaging Germany’s reputation abroad, the prominent German- Turkish sociologist and best-selling author Necla Kelek, who has defended Sarrazin, introduced him at a Berlin press conference on Monday attended by roughly 300 journalists, a number normally reserved for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s infrequent press appearances.Kelek said Sarrazin addressed “bitter truths” in his new book and the chattering classes have judged it without reading it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Saracen and the Jews: A Bundesbank official stirs controversy again

By John Rosenthal
Another interview and another controversy for Thilo Sarrazin, the embattled board member of the German Bundesbank. Last autumn, Sarrazin found himself embroiled in controversy and accused of racism following the publication of a wide-ranging interview in which he questioned the capacity for integration of Muslim immigrants in Germany.

The New Decalogue

And now, I think, the question is in order whether I have read Sarrazin's book myself. No I haven't. This is not a book review, but a report of the mood in Germany. Why didn't I read it? Simple! I tried to get one yesterday, the day after publication. When I looked at Amazon, it was sold out, all four editions. When I called the local bookshop, I got the same answer. All four editions means 180,000 copies. More to come in two weeks. I guess this, at least, is good news.

So what is Sarazzin all about?

by sheikyermami
Thilo Sarrazin’s rhetoric may be divisive and (perceived as) racist but he has made some important points about the lack of integration of many Muslim immigrants, German media commentators say. Many in Germany agree with him and believe it’s high time the government started tackling the issue, they add.