Friday, January 31, 2014

But, Mr. Warner, the Euro Zone crisis is over...

By Andrew Stuttaford

Writing for the Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Warner contemplates the arguments that the current tremors in the emerging markets give some sort of justification for what’s going on the euro zone. And then he destroys them:
[T]he idea that, in order to push through painful but necessary economic reform, countries must surrender their sovereignty and nail themselves to the mast of an inflexible currency regime, is… patent nonsense. Argentina’s problems have nothing to do with the ups and mainly downs of the peso. They are the result of decades of bad and corrupt government, taken to new heights by the incompetence and cynical populism of the present president, Cristina Kirchner.
Did South Korea need to join a currency union in order to bring about its remarkable economic revival in the wake of the Asian financial crisis of the late 1990s? No, it reformed itself, and, assisted by the following wind of a more competitive exchange rate, has been booming ever since, in a way that the afflicted nations of the eurozone, five long years into the worst economic collapse of the modern age, can only dream of.
Europe offers nothing in the way of solutions, just grinding, destructive austerity, which has inflicted seemingly permanent economic damage on once proud nations. Only growing labour migration prevents a more serious form of what economists call hysteresis – the loss of skills, and therefore economic potential, associated with prolonged periods of high unemployment.
There’s also the question of what happens to the countries that those emigrants leave behind. Some of the smaller countries caught up in this crisis have seen very high rates of emigration, raising the prospect of some form of ‘national’ hysteresis, and a hollowing-out that raises profound questions as to what these nations will really now become.
Back to Warner:
Against the self-harm of the eurozone, Turkey and Argentina look like mere fireflies before the storm. In the scale of things, they don’t matter, and in themselves are unlikely to alter the wider picture of what’s happening in the world. The greater menace still lies in Europe, which, as the US Treasury has observed, now adds a seemingly permanent deflationary bias to the global economy. The structural reform Europe fondly imagines its disciplines impose is just skin-deep. It will, in any case, have only limited impact in economies where the stuffing has been knocked out of demand. Since subjecting itself to the diktats of the EU troika, Ireland has slipped ever further down international “ease of doing business” league tables, while in Italy they cannot even manage to deregulate the taxi service without the country grinding to a halt in a wave of protests.
The reason for this is that structural reform, to be effective (at least in a democracy) generally has to be driven from within a country, something that implies a degree, however reluctant, of  authentic domestic political consent. Without that, reform will struggle—thus the trouble over Italy’s taxis—and its continued implementation will start to raise serious questions of democratic legitimacy. The elections to the European Parliament in May could well provide a very sharp lesson of what the consequences of that might be.
One thing the crisis has succeeded in doing, however, is dramatically cutting wages in affected economies. If clobbering people’s standard of living counts as policy success, then Europe is setting new standards, never mind that reduced nominal wages only further increase the size of the debt overhang, making countries even more prone to future financial trouble. Unable any longer to afford its own goods and services, Europe instead dumps its excess production on the rest of the world and calls it progress. There could scarcely be a more counterproductive approach to policy. Incapable of going either backwards to the sovereign independence of the past, or forwards to the burden-sharing which necessarily underpins any successful monetary union, euroland has become stuck in a destructive stagnation of its own making.
All Europe’s great gifts to the world – its inventiveness, industry, art, music, forms of governance, its very sense of identity – spring from its cultural, economic and national diversity. Crushing the life out of this infinite variety in pursuit of some corporatist vision of low-cost international competitiveness seems to have become a goal in itself.
Quite. And it is by far from clear that Europe will even succeed in achieving that aim. After all, more than a century and a half after Italian unity, Naples, economically speaking, is no Milan. How long then will it take Europe’s spavined currency union to put Athens up on a footing with Berlin?

Anti-SodaStream Agenda: Harming the Livelihood of 500 Palestinians

By Adam Levick
The Guardian’s first few days of coverage of the debate over Scarlett Johansson’s role as global ambassador for SodaStream, and her subsequent decision to step down as Oxfam ambassador, was, by their standards, relatively fair.  However, yesterday, true to form, they published a commentary at ‘Comment is Free’ supporting the boycott and criticizing Johansson’s involvement with the Israeli based company.
Here is the most relevant passage in a commentary by Vijay Prashad titled ‘Scarlett Johansson is right; the face of SodaStream doesn’t fit with Oxfam‘, Jan. 30:
Johansson’s new job posed a serious problem for Oxfam. The charity has over the years taken a strong position against Israel’s illegal settlement construction at the same time as it has worked to deliver much-needed goods and services to the encaged population in the occupied Palestinian territories. In a powerful briefing paper from 2012, Oxfam called on Israel to “immediately halt the construction of all illegal settlements” and end “policies and practices that are illegal under international law and harm the livelihood of Palestinian civilians”.
Leaving his agitprop aside, Prashad’s suggestion that the SodaStream plant in Mishor Adumim would “harm the livelihood of Palestinian civilians” is the opposite of the truth. Indeed, if BDS activists got their wish, the plant would close, ending employment – which includes above par wages and generous benefits – for ‎more than 500 Palestinians, (and hundreds of Israelis) currently employed there.
So, it appears that BDS activists like Prashad are the ones who threaten to “harm the livelihood of Palestinian civilians.”
Indeed, so fanatical is the BDS cause that Israeli-Palestinian co-existence and laying the seeds for economic development for the future Palestinian state necessarily take a back seat to their malign obsession with Israel.
Of course, peace is likely the furthest thing from Prashad’s mind, as he is on theAdvisory Board of the U.S. Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, an organization that characterizes Zionism as a form of ethnic or racial supremacy – and within any borders.
(Curiously, the Guardian failed to note Prashad’s affiliation with the pro-BDS group, an extremely misleading omission in the context of his explicit support for boycotting SodaStream.)
As Prashad’s commentary again indicates, anti-Zionists are not only hostile to Israeli communities across the green line, but fundamentally oppose the Jewish right to self-determination, the concept of two-states for two peoples, and all efforts to promote peace and co-existence.
Remind us again why such ideological extremists are continually framed as ‘liberal’ activists by the Guardian and the mainstream media.

Catholic France, Adieu; Welcome, Islam

Minarets instead of church towers, muezzins instead of churchbells. A different France.

By Giulio Meotti

The secular and libertarian magazine Causeur asks: “Is this the end of the bell towers of France?”.
Until last week, the church bells of Boissettes, a town of five hundred inhabitants in the district of the Seine, were ringing every half hour. Then, the Administrative Court of Paris has stopped the bells, as an alleged violation of the 1905 law on the separation of church and state.
The story seems a perfect epitaph to an essay that appeared ten years ago by Danièle Hervieu -Léger, “Catholicisme, la fin d’un monde”. The French sociologist used a term, “Exculturation”, which doesn’t depict a battle still open, but a game over. For French Catholicism.
France ceased to be "la lumiere du monde", a light unto the world, a long time ago. But it is also no more the “fille de Aînée l’Eglise”, the eldest and favorite daughter of the Church, as it once was defined. Catholic France is mortally dying, caught between two fires: state secularism and Islam.
Commenting on the case of Boissettes, the famous writer Renaud Camus was clear: “Secularism is the Trojan horse of the Muslim conquest”. The most prominent Muslim leader in France, Dalil Boubakeur, hypothesized that the number of mosques France will double to 4,000 to meet the demands.
Meanwhile, the Catholic Church has closed more than 60 sacred buildings, many of which are destined to become mosques.
Demographically, Islam is the winner. The non- Muslim French are growing at a rate of 1.2 children for family, while Muslim families up to five times faster. In the last thirty years more mosques and prayer centers for Muslims have been built in France than all the Catholic churches built in the last century. Monsignor Vingt -Trois, Archbishop of Paris, said it well, “French villagers that every Sunday had the experience of a church now have a mass every two months in a church which is three quarters empty”.
The status of Catholicism in France is a litmus test to understand its destiny in the rest of Europe. Only one Frenchman in twenty today attends Christian services. According to the Conférence des de Évêques, only 97 priests were ordained across the country last year. The famous “curé de campagne”, country clergyman, immortalized by the novel of George Bernanos, is replaced by the African priests imported to meet the shortage of priests.
France today has just 9,000 priests, as opposed to 40,000 during the Second World War. The number of children baptized in France has decreased by 25 percent since 2000, while the number of religious marriages has dropped by as much as 40 per cent.
The Institut Français d’Opinion Publique released these figures: from 1965 to 2009, the number of French people who called themselves “Catholics” declined from 81 to 54 percent. The frequency at Sunday functions has dropped from 27 to 4.5 per cent, so that observant Catholics, the famous “Catholiques pratiquants”, have become an eccentricity in France.
There are now large dioceses such as Pamiers, Belfort and Agen which have no seminarians.
Meanwhile, conversions to Islam challenge the identity of Catholic France. In Creteil, in the heart of middle-class neighborhood of Paris, there is a modern, spacious and stylish building known as “The mosque of convertì”. Every year 150 ceremonies of Muslim conversions are performed in that structure with a beautiful minaret of 81 meters, a symbol of the strong presence of Islam in France.
Conversions to Islam have doubled in the last twenty five years while old churches have been demolished.
A few days ago in Gesté, citizens said farewell to their historic church, Saint-Pierre -aux -Liens, built between 1854 and 1870 on the ruins of another church, which was destroyed by the armies of Robespierre. The church was empty and abandoned.
It is the war between “the cube and the cathedral”, from the title of a book written by George Weigel, where the cube is the Grande Arche de la Built Défense built in Paris by President François Mitterrand as a monument to sparkling secular modernity, and the cathedral of Notre -Dame, now reduced to a museum for tourists.
The cube is winning over the cathedral, but both are dominated by a growing Islamic crescent.

The British Government's Responsibility for Northern Nigeria

 By Alan Craig
"The British colonial masters took our land and handed it over to Muslim rulers... They gave us [non-Muslim groups] an inferior social and political role in the colonial hierarchical system in northern Nigeria, and that is exactly where we are right now." — Dr. Yusufu Taraki
It is a truth not universally acknowledged in Western politically-correct circles that Christianity has become the most persecuted religion in the world and that most of the oppression comes from the hands of Islam and in Muslim-majority areas.
Nowhere is this more true than in northern Nigeria where, in 2012, 70% of all Christians murdered worldwide were slain. Not only death but discrimination, too, is rife across the country's twelve northern Sharia states in which Christians and other minorities live with second-class dhimmi status, and with inferior rights to jobs, justice and worship.
Much of this inequity is Britain's responsibility, according to the keynote speaker at a recent human rights conference, a program of Gatestone Institute and organized by the Nigerian aid and advocacy charity Stefanos Foundation. 150 delegates from many minority groups met in Jos, a city on the fault-line between the mainly Christian south and the majority Muslim north, where, in September 2001, over a thousand people were reported killed in ethno-religious clashes. These clashes were followed by further major riots and fatalities in 2008 and 2010, and suicide-bomb attacks on Jos churches in February and March 2012.
The speaker was Dr. Yusufu Taraki, a mild-mannered academic who, given the keynote platform, talked with passion on the issues in which he has specialized. With a PhD in Social Ethics from Boston University, Massachusetts, and currently Professor of Theology and Social Ethics at Jos ECWA Theological Seminary (JETS), he was given a warm reception as he delivered his speech about the place of ethnic minority groups in northern Nigeria.
Nigeria was a British colony until 1960, during which time, he argued, "The British colonial masters took our land and handed it over to Muslim rulers... They gave us [non-Muslim groups] an inferior social and political role in the colonial hierarchical system in northern Nigeria, and that is exactly where we are right now."
When first published in his book The British Colonial Legacy In Northern Nigeria, this thesis earned Professor Turaki a British government ban from entering the UK.
Truth hurts even hardened British authorities, but Professor Turaki was bold enough in his speech to spread around the honors: "The worst kind of slavery in Africa was conducted by Arabs and Muslims," he said touching on another specialist subject. "The majority of African slaves went to the Middle East and Arab countries... not to the Caribbean, the US and Latin America." He advised the audience, for further information, to look into his book, Tainted Legacy: Islam, Colonialism and Slavery in Northern Nigeria.
Later, privately, he pointed out that, once British troops had conquered the northern Muslim forces of the Sokoto Caliphate and Kanem-Bornu Sultanate in 1902-1903 with the laudable objective of terminating their slave trade, the colonial administration and the defeated Fulani Muslim elite found they had much in common. They both had top-down authoritarian views of governance and an ordered elitist view of the world; they saw the many different non-Muslim groups across the north as pagan, uncivilized and inferior. "Read the memoir But Always As Friends by Sir Bryan Sharwood Smith, the last British governor of Northern Nigeria, to understand the British colonial outlook," Dr. Turaki said.
A corresponding Nigerian autobiography, My Life by Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna (traditional leader) of Sokoto and first Premier of the Northern Region after independence, also tellingly shows the Sardauna playing English cricket and Eton Fives. The English and Muslim Nigerian upper classes became close.
Working with the Fulani and Hausa Muslim elite, the colonialists instituted a system of "indirect rule" which was cheap and effective. A limited number of British administrators were placed at the top of the power structure; the educated Muslim elite were next; other Muslim groups were below them; and everyone else was at the bottom. Frequently the British would foist, say, a Fulani Muslim chief on a non-Muslim village or district, thereby disempowering the locals and creating an alienated hostile underclass.
Ironically, during colonial rule many of the pagan tribes converted to Christianity, which caused tension between British colonial authorities and British missionaries on the ground. The indigenous new Christians, actively supported by the missionaries, enjoyed "redemption lift" and began to assert a moral vitality, ethnic identity and spiritual independence that sometimes challenged the cozy Anglo-Islamic status quo.
But Nigerian Independence in 1960 saw the British depart, leaving behind unamended the unjust governing structure and unfettered Muslim hegemony across the north, which Professor Turaki describes as "internal colonialism." This was the seedbed of the crisis we see today.
The interventions in Libya and -- until thwarted by parliament -- Syria have amply demonstrated British Prime Minister David Cameron's liberal interventionism and his desire to reassert British power on the international stage. And, when it comes to issues such as gay rights, he has Commonwealth and former colonial countries specifically in his sights. To the fury of African leaders who want to protect their traditional values and cultures, he insists they must dance to his liberal gay agenda or risk losing overseas aid.
But Mr Cameron might do well to replace colonial arrogance with Christian humility; and he could, and should, acknowledge some British responsibility for the Nigerian crisis.
The Gatestone-Stefanos conference gave unique voice to minorities who, after half a century, continue to be marginalized across the north. Among other projects to rectify residual colonial injustice, the UK's Department for International Development (DfID) and the British High Commission in Nigeria should consider giving strong moral and financial support to this exceptional grassroots initiative.

We were ill. Now we are back !

Thursday, January 23, 2014

France Recognizes the Islamic Threat

By Michael Curtis

In little more than a year, France has intervened twice with military missions to counter Islamic violence in its former colonies in Africa. In January 2013 French forces were successful in beating back well-trained Islamist forces and al-Qaeda extremists who had captured part of Mali. In December 2013 France took the lead to try to end the violence in the Central African Republic (CAR) that had originally been started by Islamic armed groups. With the endorsement of the United Nations, and nominally supporting an African force, France intervened to restore law and order "by all necessary measures," in what is now a dysfunctional and chaotic society, and to provide humanitarian aid.
President François Hollande has said that France is not the gendarme of Africa. Nevertheless, France has realized that the price of intervention may be less than the price of non-action. The French actions in Mali and presently in CAR against Islamic intrusions in Africa illustrate a decisiveness and a coherent military strategy against the most important threat to Western civilization today. France's policy presents a stark contrast to the chronic indecisiveness, amateurism, and lack of strategic vision of the Obama Administration.
The United States is not now, and should not be, the arbiter of world politics, and few American decision makers would approve direct military involvement in international conflicts. Yet one expects a greater concern and a less passive attitude towards those conflicts -- above all those resulting from the threat of Islamic fundamentalism -- than has recently been the case with the Obama Administration. On November 20, 2013, Secretary of State John Kerry was "deeply concerned by the ongoing crisis in CAR and the deplorable levels of violence and lawlessness that affect millions of people every day." Again, on December 26, he informed the world. "The U.S. is alarmed by the December 24 and 25 attacks in the CAR."
Although the number of atrocities was increasing and despite his statements of concern, Kerry then left to go on one of his ten trips to solve what he and the U.S. State Department considered more urgent, the Arab-Israeli conflict.
The French response was different. In addition to 1,600 forces on the ground in CAR France sent special forces and combat helicopters to carry out strike against the Islamic jihadists, then used some of its other assets, including warplanes based in Chad, special forces based in Senegal, and armored units reassigned from activity in the Ivory Coast. Since its independence in 1960, the CAR, a poor country despite its rich mineral deposits, with 4.6 million population, of whom 75% are Christian, can be regarded as a failed state, with a history of mutinies, rebellions, and five coups. That state could not counter the invasion of the country from the north in March 2013 of Seleka (alliance), a loose grouping of armed groups, in essence an Islamist movement linked to al-Qaeda in Maghreb (Aqmi) and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria.
Seleka, aided by bandits, forces from Chad and Sudan, and mercenaries, attacked CAR, captured the capital, Bangui, and took over power. Many in the Muslim community supported Seleka in their hostility to the Christian community. The brutality on both sides has led to over 1,000 dead; more than half a million (almost one-fifth of the population) displaced from their homes; raping, looting, and pillaging; and widespread starvation.
These Seleka rebels overthrew the sitting president Francois Bozizé who had seized power in 2003, and replaced him with Michel Djototodia, a Soviet-trained politician and diplomat. He named himself president, the first Muslim leader of the majority Christian CAR. But unable to control the ensuing violence, Djototodia on January 11, 2014 was forced under pressure to quit his office and go into exile.
At present the country has no president while the transitional national council is searching for a candidate. In a sense the state of CAR has ceased to exist because of the Islamic invasion.
The picture of violence in the CAR for a time was fuzzy with the continuing vicious cycle of attacks and counterattacks and the activity of Muslim gangs and mercenaries, many from Chad. It is now more explicitly one of sectarian, inter-communal violence and polarization between the Christian and Muslim communities in CAR, a situation already familiar in Chad and Cameroon.
In response to the Seleka violence, Christians and some animists formed self-defense units, so-called anti-balakas, (anti-sword), groups of peasants armed with machetes, who were supporters of the deposed president Francois Bozizé. The conflict may still be somewhat unclear, but it is essentially an ethno-religious one.
Differences between France and other countries on the conflict are meaningful. The U.S. has said it may begin flying Rwandan troops into the CAR in the near future. The UN and the European Union show similar lack of urgency. The EU proposal to send a battalion-sized force, perhaps 1,000 troops, has not yet been implemented. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon declared, "The UN may consider next month recommendations for a possible UN peacekeeping force."
France did not wait for "next month." France acted as soon as it became conscious of the need for action. French President François Hollande made the situation in the CAR a prominent section of his speech at the UN which then passed a resolution to take action. The UN Security Council in Resolution 2127 of December 5, 2013 did belatedly welcome the strengthening in CAR of French forces, 450 of whom were already there, as well authorizing for a year the deployment of 4,000 troops of MISCA (the African-led International Support Mission in CAR), which is supposed to do the fighting. MISCA had replaced FOMAC, a military force drawn from three countries in Central Africa. Before taking any further action the UN is waiting for a report on the deployment of the African Union troops.
These African armed units may play some role but France is in the forefront. France of course has historic ties with CAR, a country that has been is largely invisible from the screen of American policy. Between 1910 and 1960 the CAR was essentially a protectorate of France, as one of the four units of the French Equatorial African Federation. The CAR gained independence in 1960, but it has remained part of "Françafrique," the French special relationship with former African colonies.
France has no economic or imperial interests in CAR. French intervention in CAR can be understood as having occurred partly because of historical ties and partly to protect civilians, restore law and order, disarm the militias and armed groups, help rebuild the state, and stabilize the humanitarian situation. It can also be explained by a certain French eagerness to show it can still play a role on the international scene, if not a major one as in former years when Jacques Foccart, the adviser to presidents on African affairs, was said to have been a major force in shaping French policy on Africa.
Yet above all and most important, in the context of contemporary events, is the fact that France continues to take a strong stance against the spread of Islamic terrorism in general and the groups associated with al-Qaeda in particular. The United States and the UN should pay attention.


European Jihadists in Syria: More and Younger

 By Soeren Kern

Two teenagers from the southern French city of Toulouse have run away from home to become jihadists in Syria.
The youths—both aged 15—are believed to be the youngest-ever European jihadists to join the fighting in Syria since the war there began in March 2011.
The boys are part of an influx of up to 2,000 Europeans—including 700 from France alone—who have traveled to Syria in the hopes of overthrowing the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and replacing it with an Islamic state.
European security officials say that in recent weeks they have noticed an "alarming acceleration" in the number of European jihadists traveling to Syria to obtain combat experience with Islamist groups linked to al-Qaeda. They say their primary concern is about the potential threats these battle-hardened "enemies from within" will pose when they return to Europe.
The two teenagers from Toulouse—home to the radical Islamist Mohammed Merah, who murdered seven people in and around the city in March 2012—left for Syria on January 6, the first school day of 2014, after stealing credit cards from their parents to purchase airplane tickets to Turkey.
The parents of the youths (French media are calling them Hakim and Hassan, fictitious names to protect their identity) say they did not notice anything was amiss until the boys failed to return home from school.
Although the school policy is to notify parents when their children do not show up for class, the procedure failed in this circumstance because two individuals posing as parents of the teenagers phoned the school to say they were sick. It was not until later that evening that Hakim phoned his parents to tell them he was in Turkey and on his way to Syria.
In an interview with the Toulouse-based newspaper La Dépêche du Midi, Hakim's Franco-Tunisian father said his son had given no indication that he was planning to leave for Syria, nor did he ever talk about fighting or jihad. He said the 15-year-old—who does not speak Arabic— was well integrated into French society but had been "brainwashed" by jihadist recruiters on the Internet.
Hakim's father said he believes his son is being used as "cannon fodder" in the northern Syrian city of Idlib, a jihadist stronghold situated some 40 miles (60 km) west of Aleppo. The father said Hakim was sobbing during his most recent telephone conversation. Hakim told his father he was at a jihadist training camp and promised to phone again in a month if he was still alive.
"Hakim realized he could no longer turn back," said the father, who remains anonymous. "In his mind, he was going to spread the message of Islam. He wanted to be a good Muslim. I do not think he was aware of what he was getting himself into." The father added:
I ​​do not understand how a minor can leave France with only a passport in his pocket and without authorization from his parents. We talk a lot about the protection of minors in France but—paradoxically—today they can fly freely... It is incomprehensible!
What has happened to us can happen to any family. Our son did not attend mosques and was never involved with a bad crowd. He was a good student. We are very worried. We will do everything we can to find him safe and sound. Today it is a matter of life or death.
We need the government to be fully aware of the scourge of these jihadist recruitment networks. These people exploit any and all loopholes and weaknesses of youth to enlist them to fight in Syria. These boys are innocent and have nothing to do with these extremist ideologies.
A separate article published by La Dépêche du Midi on January 18 suggests the teenage jihadists are not as innocent as their parents seem to believe. The newspaper reported that both youths had been in contact with their friends via Facebook since their arrival in Syria.
"The last message we received from them was on Wednesday [January 15]. They seemed happy but also worried," said Rania, a high school classmate who has known Hakim and Hassan since childhood. "I wrote to Hakim telling him that he must return home. He has a family, he has his whole life ahead of him, but he did not want to listen. He told me that in the end he would be rewarded by Allah." Hakim also told Rania he might never return to France.
School officials expressed consternation. "This is the first time in France that adolescents and very young students are being recruited by jihadist networks," said Denis Demersseman, the principal of the high school where the teenagers were students. But Demersseman also admitted there were rumors that jihadists sometimes loiter outside the gates of the school—next to a transportation hub where students stand in line waiting for rides to go home—to proselytize for Islam and tell students about holy war.
Hakim and Hassan are not the only jihadists from Toulouse—where Muslims make up roughly 10% of the total population—to have left for Syria.
In March 2013, two half-brothers from Toulouse took a bus to Barcelona, Spain. From there they flew to Casablanca, Morocco and on to Istanbul, Turkey. From Turkey they crossed the border for the Syrian city of Aleppo.
The two converts to Islam came to the attention of French intelligence in July when they posted an Islamist propaganda video on YouTube appealing for holy war. With Kalashnikov and Koran in hand, they urged French President François Hollande to convert to Islam.
On August 11, one of the brothers, Jean-Daniel, 22, was killed in fighting in Aleppo. Just four months later (on December 22), his half-brother Nicolas, 30, was "martyred" as a suicide bomber in the Syrian province of Homs. In an interview with the French press agency AFP, Nicolas' mother said he "was waiting to go to paradise."
As the conflict in Syria drags on, the full scope of the jihadist problem facing France and Europe is gradually coming into focus.
According to the latest estimate compiled by the International Centre for the Study of Radicalization (ICSR) at King's College in London, the number of Europeans fighting in Syria has more than tripled from 600 in April 2013 to 1,900 in December 2013. But these figures may already be out of date.
During a press conference on January 14, French President François Hollande revealed that French intelligence services believe that more than 700 French nationals and residents have traveled to fight in Syria. This number is far higher than ICSR's estimate of between 63 and 412 French fighters.
As the number of European jihadists in Syria grows, the fighters are getting younger and younger. On January 19, French Interior Minister Manuel Valls said more than a dozen French nationals under the age of 18 are currently active as jihadists in Syria. According to Valls, many French youths are being recruited through the Internet rather than the local mosque.
Valls also warned that the possibility of terrorist attacks by the hundreds of European jihadists returning home from Syria represents "the greatest danger we will have to face in the coming years. We, French and Europeans, could be overwhelmed by this phenomenon, given its scale."
In an incisive analysis of the jihadist problem facing Europe, the Norwegian political scientist Thomas Hegghammer writes: "We can thus say with high confidence that at least 1,200 European Muslims have gone to Syria since the start of the war. This is a remarkable figure; we are talking about the largest European Muslim foreign fighter contingent to any conflict in modern history."
Hegghammer sums it up this way: "We can conclude from this simple exercise that the number of European foreign fighters in Syria is alarmingly high and historically unprecedented. Moreover, France, Germany and the U.K. may have the largest foreign fighter contingents in Syria, but Denmark, Norway, Belgium and Austria have contributed a much higher proportion of their population. Given that police resources are limited, these countries may have a larger problem on their hands than do their bigger European neighbors."

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

UK MP David Ward Calls for Arab ‘Right of Return’ to be Included in Holocaust Memorial Day (VIDEO)

By Joshua Levitt

British MP David Ward, known for his continued slurs against Israel, which in the past led to a suspension from the Liberal Democrats Party, was at it again on Wednesday, according to the Trending Central blog.
“So little wonder that today, Ward took a stand once again, in great offence to the memory of those millions killed during the Holocaust, to somehow juxtapose the political point of the Palestinian right of return, with Holocaust Memorial Day, officially observed in Britain on Monday 27th January this year,” Trending Central wrote.
Ward said, “On Monday, many of us will be attending Holocaust Memorial Day events where the theme will be journeys, including journeys of return. Does the Secretary of State agree with me that our thoughts should include, amongst many others, the millions of displaced Palestinians, still denied their right, to return to their homes.”
Trending Central said it was ” interesting to note that even during the United Nation’s year for Palestinian Solidarity, people like David Ward cannot even afford the Holocaust, the worst genocide in recent history, one single, solitary day of mourning without trying to hijack it for political purposes. And moreover, where was Ward’s reference to the hundreds of thousands of Palestinians either killed or displaced in the Syria conflict? Not a peep.”
Watch a video MP David Ward speaking in Parliament:

German State Flip-Flops, Allows Publication of Mein Kampf

Germany's Bavaria state signaled Wednesday it would not seek to prevent the publication of an annotated version of Adolf Hitler's manifesto "Mein Kampf" in an apparent about-face, according to AFP.
Amid a debate over academic freedom and a back and forth over whether to pursue the project, Bavaria indicated that it would not try to stop a historical institute from bringing out a version of the book with scholars' commentary.
But the southern state stressed in a statement that it would seek to prevent any other full or partial publication of the 1924 book in which Hitler railed against the "Jewish peril".
Bavaria holds the rights to "Mein Kampf" (My Struggle) because Hitler was officially a resident of Munich when he died, but those rights expire at the end of 2015.
Since World War II, the state has blocked any reprints of the book. This changed two years ago, when the German state announced plans to publish in early 2016 an annotated version for academic purposes and to help "demystify" the text.
However, that seemed in doubt after the Bavarian state government changed course in a surprise move in December, insisting that the "seditious" book must stay off the market after complaints from Holocaust survivors.
Several Bavarian legislators complained over the decision to torpedo the academic edition, a project the state parliament had supported, and which had already cost 500,000 euros ($688,000) in state funding.
The former head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, told national news agency DPA in December that she backed efforts to stop any reprints of a book that was "steeped in hatred and contempt for humanity".
She said the text was "one of the most inflammatory works ever written in this country" and - even though it is available abroad - in Germany it "must never be legally allowed to sneak back into the hands and minds of the people".
But Bavaria said in its statement Wednesday that the institute's academic freedom would remain "untouched" and it could bring the annotated version out in its own right.
"The freedom of science to confront the topics which, in its view, are necessary is thereby not restricted," Bavarian state minister for education Ludwig Spaenle said in the statement.
Hitler started writing "Mein Kampf" in prison after his failed putsch of 1923. After his rise to power, millions of copies were published. From 1936, the Nazi state gave a copy to all newlyweds as a wedding gift.
Bavaria's decision comes less than a week after the hate-filled text became an Amazon bestseller, sparking concerns of an even greater escalation of anti-Semitism worldwide. The book is particularly popular in the Arab world, along with the infamous anti-Semitic forgery "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion".

After FA Charges, Anelka Defends Quenelle Salute Again

By Joshua Levitt

West Bromwich Albion’s controversial French striker, Nicolas Anelka, who was charged by the UK Football Association on Tuesday, defended his use of the offensive quenelle salute, again, on Wednesday, Press Association Sport reported.
Initially Anelka said that the gesture he made after scoring a goal on December 28 was not anti-Semitic, as condemned by many, but actually anti-establishment. He said his use of the salute was a tribute to his friend, French anti-Semitic comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala.
In a post on his Twitter feed on Wednesday, Anelka wrote “Rien a ajouter,” meaning, “Nothing to add,” while linking to a 40-second clip from the Le Figaro newspaper of an interview with Roger Cukierman, president of CRIF, the council representing French Jewish institutions.
In the clip, Cukierman said: “It seems a bit severe to me because it seems to me that this gesture only has an anti-Semitic connotation if the gesture is made in front of a synagogue or a memorial to the Holocaust. When it’s made in a place which is not specifically Jewish it seems to me that it’s a slightly anarchic gesture of revolt against the establishment, which doesn’t deserve severe sanctions.”
Meanwhile, other groups have called for Anelka to be handed more than a five-game suspension due to his lack of an apology.
Jonathan Arkush, vice-president of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, told Press Association Sport: “I know under the rules that on a first-time offence there is a minimum five-game suspension. But I think what he did was sufficiently serious to justify a longer suspension than five matches. He has not indicated one bit of remorse or regret or apologized for his actions. He has simply said he wouldn’t do it again and that is not good enough.”
Mark Gardner, of the Community Security Trust, which advises the Jewish community on security and anti-Semitism, said the FA should take action: “Anelka has introduced a very ugly phenomenon into British football. Anelka’s action risks the quenelle being taken up by actual anti-Semites and used against British Jews: as it has been in France and elsewhere. The FA should throw the book at him.”
On Monday, property website Zoopla pulled its sponsorship from the team for next season after insisting that if Anelka play, he do so without their logo on his shirt. Zoopla was angry because of the negative publicity surrounding Anelka since making the quenelle salute. Zoopla is co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, who had first asked the team to consider benching Anelka due to the salute and his refusal to apologize.

Irish Man Converts to Islam, Beheads Mom over Divorce

By Daniel Greenfield

Mothers, don’t let your boys grow up to be Muslim converts or if they don’t behead a British soldier like Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, they just might behead you. (via Religion of Peace)
Irishman Dunleavy, 40 – a Muslim convert – was last week found guilty of killing 66-year-old Philomena, cutting up her body and burying her in a shallow grave.
He was ordered to be detained in the State Hospital at Carstairs before he returns to court for sentencing in April.
It has now emerged that Dunleavy may have misinterpreted the Koran and slaughtered his mother in an honour killing after she split from his dad
Oh yes, “misinterpreted”. So many Muslims misinterpreting the Koran these days. At least according to the non-Muslims of the media.
Mohammed Razaq, who ran the shop below Dunleavy’s Edinburgh flat, befriended him after he moved to Scotland and helped him convert to Islam.
Razaq believes the killer felt his mother had betrayed the family by leaving his dad and going to live with another man.
“I think it was an honour killing, he was trying to protect his family’s honour.”
A source added: “James was pretty obsessed when it came to religion. He was brought up a Catholic but just decided one day he would convert to Islam.
“I can’t say if he killed his mum because he converted, but he believed very strongly in the morals of the Koran and was furious about his mum leaving his dad for someone else. He saw it as adultery and they had a massive argument about it.”
“He was very, very serious about it and cared a lot about it. His faith was very important to him and he prayed five times a day.
That’s generally a warning sign when it comes to a religion whose clerics continue to promote the death penalty for any number of things.

Bloody Stinking Bastards Corp.: Erdogan in Brussels


Pro-death Insanity Envelops Belgium

By Mark P. Mostert

To most people's minds, the notion of killing others because they are sick, suffering, or disabled is simply outlandish, because our moral code rightly dictates that those so afflicted need comfort, care, and as much positive support as we can muster.
However, there's an insidious creeping horror that is progressively challenging our inherent notions of compassion and decency: the Culture of Death, which, over the last 30 years, has steadily been pushing the limits of acceptable medical behavior. Europe has been ground zero for the pro-deathers' ultimate goal: Death on demand at any time, anywhere, for any reason, for anyone, and by any means necessary -- usually by assisted suicide and euthanasia.
Even within the European pro-death context, Belgium has gone stark raving mad.
Belgium legalized euthanasia in 2002, its proponents piously declaring that the law was necessary because (a) people had the right to ask to be killed, and (b) that euthanasia was already happening and needed to be legalized so that it could be regulated. As had happened earlier in the Netherlands, the Belgian pro-deathers trumpeted the "safeguards" within the law -- for example, that euthanasia was for a very limited few: those of a sound mind older than 18, suffering a terminal incurable physical illness, and where there was absolute no medical way to alleviate suffering.
In short order, the "safeguards" were circumvented and then completely ignored, the solemn disagreement of the pro-deathers notwithstanding. Not only were the legal "safeguards" ignored, but euthanasia was expanded to those who were not terminally ill, had no physical suffering, and even for those who weren't mentally competent to request it. Thus, euthanasia was justified for example, for some elderly patients who had chronic problems such as arthritis, poor sight or hearing, and even for being 'tired of life." Unsurprisingly, euthanasia deaths skyrocketed by more than 500% between 2002 and 2013 -- often ignoring the state's "safeguards." For example, a 2010 report in the Canadian Medical Association Journal noted that 32% of euthanasia deaths in one area of Belgium were carried out without the patient ever having requested it. The perfect storm of acceptance of medicalized killing (surveys suggest approximately three-quarters of Belgians support it) and the idea that killing is a preferable and even desirable solution to life's problems has lead to increasingly bizarre occurrences. For example, in 2012 two deaf brothers who were both experiencing deteriorating eyesight were euthanized. In another instance a 44 year-old whose sex reassignment operation had gone wrong was killed and a severely depressed woman who suffered sexual abuse by her psychiatrist chose euthanasia over living.
The acceptance of medicalized killing has also resulted in a Belgian first: The developing of a medical protocol for harvesting the organs of euthanized patients, twisting the act of killing into an altruistic act of selfless mercy, and is considered standard medical treatment.
Now comes legalized euthanasia for children.
While this idea is not new (a crackpot Scottish MP has been pushing this notion for years), it is likely to become Belgian law this spring. Although this is unsurprising given the absolute slippery slope enacted by acceptance of medicalized killing, what the Belgian pro-deathers are proposing exceeds all previous outrages, going far beyond medical killing allowed anywhere else in the world.
The macabre reasoning in Belgium is chillingly simple: If euthanasia is available for those over 18, pretty much for any reason whatsoever, as is now the case, (a) it's discrimination to disallow it for children and youth, (b) it's already been done under the radar and the legalization will ensure no abuse, (c) it will only result in a very few killings a year, and (d) children have as much right to a "death with dignity" as adults. Oh, and by the way, parents will have to give their permission, of course.
To this end, last December, the Upper House of the Belgium Parliament voted overwhelmingly to legalize the medicalized killing of children. Support was widespread, including from a group of 16 pediatricians who asserted that terminally-ill children are wise way beyond their years and so were perfectly capable of asking to be killed. In May the Lower House, which is expected to support the legalization, will take up the bill.
However, the utter lie of Belgian "death with dignity" is perhaps best uncovered when one examines the oft-repeated pro-deather argument that unbiased bureaucratic control will prevent abuse. The Belgian entity charged with controlling and documenting medicalized killing is the 16-member Commission for Control and Assessment. Nearly half of its members are prominent advocates of the leading Belgian right-to-die society. The Commission condoned the killing of the two deaf brothers and anorexic patient mentioned earlier. Just to add more insanity to the mix, the Commission's powerful chairman for the last 10 years is none other than Dr. Wim Distelmans, the rock-star leading practitioner of medicalized killing in the country. Distelmans recently was awarded a $205,000 grant from his university for being the key player in bending public opinion to the acceptance of medical killing in Belgium, noting that Distelmans is much admired for how he treats those he kills with 'respect."
With the pro-death foxes watching the Belgian henhouse, what could possibly go wrong?


Norwegian Collaborators Persecuted Jews in Holocaust

Manfred Gerstenfeld interviews Eirik Veum of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, who wrote "The Fallen" about Norwegians in SS and other Nazi units. For International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

By Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

“My three books about Norwegian collaboration with the German occupiers during the Second World resulted in new information about how Norwegians were involved in the persecution of Jews. Male and female Norwegians participated in various German SS and army units. Out of around 5,500 Norwegian volunteers, 852 were killed.

“In 'The Fallen', published in 2009, I reveal names, ages and where those killed fell.  Some Norwegians in German units from the Waffen-SS and later in Sonderkommandos (special commands) in Eastern Europe, were watching as Ukrainians and Germans killed Jews.
"Norwegians were also involved in searching for Jews. I discovered a case where Norwegians found a Jew in a house and brought him into the street. Thereafter he was shot, yet we do not know by whom.
"Due to my book, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel will try to ascertain whether Norwegians participated in actual murders.”

Eirik Veum is a Norwegian journalist working for the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation, NRK.

“This book and the next two sold well. Reactions were mixed however. Several historians claimed that my topics should be dealt with by historians and not by a journalist. One then wonders why no historian had ever investigated this issue in almost seventy years.
"Some family members of the Norwegian volunteers had no problem with the fact that I disclosed names of their relatives. They believed that the truth should become public, even if it was harsh. They felt that people were only responsible for their own deeds. Others said that we had dishonored their families by identifying relatives by name. Others stated that Norwegian collaborators with the Nazis had dishonored their families’ name.
"This debate was intense and its pattern returned after my two subsequent books were published. It is interesting to note that more energy was devoted to discussing the issue of the [public] identification of these people, than to their actions.

“In October 2013, a 91 year old Norwegian volunteer in the SS Viking division – which consisted of volunteers from countries occupied by Germans – gave an interview to NRK. He said that he together with other soldiers, had gathered hundreds of locals in the Ukraine into a church and burnt them there, while they watched. It was the first time that a Norwegian volunteer publicly admitted to participating in a war crime.

“My second book, 'Merciless Norwegians-The State Police', was published in October 2012. As its title states, it investigated the Norwegian State Police which cooperated with the Gestapo. The Norwegian Justice Department had registered all of Norway’s Jews. Marks were put in their identity papers.
"The State Police – dressed in Norwegian uniforms – arrested male Jews in October 1942, and assembled them in a prison camp. Norwegian guards there were often very cruel.

“The valuables of the arrested Jews were collected and sometimes stolen by the State Police. A month later, women and children were also arrested by State Police. The State Police brought all 771 arrested Jews to the Oslo harbor. Near the ship called Donau, they transferred most of the Jews to the Germans who took them to Stettin in Germany. Almost all were murdered, and only 34 returned.

“Some Norwegian national socialists were jailed because the Germans considered them far too cruel. State Police members executed several resistance fighters without trial. Sometimes the Germans had to clean the blood after these shootings. After this book was published, some historians as well as family members of these criminals wanted to take me to court because I had published classified information breaking privacy rules. My lawyers managed to stop this.

“My third book published in October 2013 had as its title, 'Merciless Norwegians –Hird'. It investigated the paramilitary Hird youth organization, created by the Norwegian Nazi Party Nasjonal Samlung in 1933. It had between 20,000 and 28,000 members, some of whom were very young. A number of them were involved in arresting Jews all over the country together with the Norwegian SS. Several of them also stole Jewish valuables.  

“The Germans brought Yugoslav resistance fighters and civilians to six prison camps in Norway. Hird members were used as guards. Some of them were indescribably cruel. They shot prisoners for fun. Some bound rats and prisoners together. When the rats got hungry, they ate the prisoner who died. After ten months, the Germans took the Norwegians out of the camps because of their cruelty. Thereafter, the prisoners’ situation improved.

“After the war, Norwegians who had committed criminal acts and could be identified by surviving resistance members, were given long prison sentences. As only a few Jews had survived, Norwegians who had committed crimes against Jews could usually not be identified. Some stolen Jewish properties were never returned and are still held by Norwegian families.”

Veum concludes: “There were probably more Norwegian collaborators than resistance fighters. Much more remains to be researched. I believe that there may be Norwegian criminals from that period who are still alive and who have never been prosecuted for war crimes they were involved in.”

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

West Brom Knew About FA Charge Over Anti-Semitic Gesture But Still Played Anelka

By Joshua Levitt

Management of British soccer team West Bromwich decided to play French striker Nicolas Anelka in a game against Everton on Monday night, even though they had already learned that the UK Football Association would announce on Tuesday a five-game suspension for the player for refusing to apologize for making the quenelle salute after scoring a goal in a game on December 28, the Daily Mail reported Tuesday.
The FA ruled that his salute was “abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper” and that it was “an aggravated breach in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief.”
Anelka, 34, is the first player held to account under new guidelines to combat racial discrimination and has until Thursday evening to present an appeal. The sentence would be a minimum of a five-game suspension, the Daily Mail said. The newspaper said the decision actually came down on Monday night, but the FA told team manager Pepe Mel that it would delay the announcement until Tuesday morning.
On Monday, partly Jewish-owned property website Zoopla pulled its sponsorship from the team after insisting that if Anelka play, he do so without their logo on his shirt. Zoopla was angry because of the negative publicity surrounding Anelka since making the quenelle salute, considered to be a “reverse Nazi salute” that is seen as being anti-Semitic. Zoopla is co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, who had first asked the team to consider benching Anelka due to the salute and his refusal to apologize.
The Daily Mail reported on Monday that West Brom team leadership discussed the situation over the weekend and determined to continue with their policy, agreed on two days after the salute – to play Anelka until the FA rules otherwise.
When confronted about the controversial quenelle, Anelka said he performed it in solidarity with its creator, French comedian Dieudonné M’bala M’bala, who has been brought to trial in France eight times for hate speech. Dieudonné also created new French words, including Shoannanas – a combination of Shoah, the Hebrew word for the Holocaust, and the French word for pineapple, designed to be as offensive as possible to Jews, without triggering tough French anti-hate speech laws. In the past month, the French government, pressured local cities to ban his new traveling show, effectively putting him out of business in France and forcing him to cancel the tour.

Post War Discrimination of Holland's Surviving Jews

Manfred Gerstenfeld interviewed Prof. Isaac Lipschits, author of "The Small Shoah: Jews in Post-War Netherlands", who passed away in 2008. First in a series for International Holocaust Day.

By Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld

“Post-war discrimination against the Jews in the Netherlands manifested itself in many ways. Authorities belittled the Jews and neglected their interests. Public feeling was that the Jewish community no longer represented anything.”

Isaac Lipschits, a historian and political scientist, became Professor of Contemporary History at Groningen University in 1971. In 2001, he published a book which became a Dutch bestseller. Its title translates as "The Small Shoah: Jews in Post-war Netherlands".  He passed away in 2008.

“One major case of discrimination concerned the stateless Jews of German origin. The Hitler government decreed that whoever fled Germany would lose his nationality. After the war, the Dutch government decided not to recognize Hitler’s legislation. The stateless refugees from Germany – mainly Jews – thus became German citizens again and were treated as German nationals.

“The Dutch authorities, with madman’s logic, now considered these doomed and rejected German Jews as ‘enemy citizens.’ More than 100 such Jewish survivors returning from Bergen-Belsen, were arrested at the Dutch border. Eighteen were interned in a camp together with Dutch collaborators and arrested SS members. They had to work in a gravel quarry and were beaten by the Dutch like the others.
"When they complained to the commanding officer, he told them that he was no friend of the Jews. He made the Jews, whom he considered difficult people, work extra. Later he was fired. The remaining assets of these survivors were taken away as enemy property. It took their lawyers a long time to recover them.

“Jewish authors often mention their negative experiences in the liberated Netherlands. Gerhard Durlacher, an Auschwitz survivor wrote that they were handled more like cargo than passengers. When he asked his parents’ former neighbor whether anything remained of their family’s belongings, this was denied, although the neighbor was wearing the author’s father’s suit.

“Before the war, organized Jewry was consulted by the government whenever its interests were at stake. Now the community had become so small that it was often not heard on issues of concern to it. For instance, a government-appointed committee which dealt with payments for damage to religious buildings had no Jewish members, although no other religious community had encountered so much damage to its buildings.

“Another example: during the war, institutions in towns along the coast had been evacuated out of fear of an English invasion. This included the Clara Foundation, which cared for tuberculosis-infected Jewish children. After the war, all organizations were reimbursed for the extra costs they had incurred. The Clara Foundation however, was excluded, because the post-war Dutch authorities considered that it had been moved to prepare for the deportation of its inmates.

“Even then, catastrophes in the Netherlands were dealt with differently than normal situations. However, the government’s ‘egalitarian approach’ disadvantaged the Jews through the application of the pre-war inheritance law, designed for a society with a standard death rate. The Jews however, didn’t count their dead, but rather their survivors.

“The country was economically troubled in 1945. Finance Minister Piet Lieftinck’s policy was for all Dutchmen to contribute to the country’s financial reconstruction. The Dutch government however, let the Jews pay substantially more than their share. One can be more emphatic here: a disproportionately large part of the Netherlands’ reconstruction was financed by the Jews.

“A number of Dutchmen suffered various material damage but every single Jew lost much, if not all of his property. The Dutch government knew this, yet refused to recognize this exceptional position as it would have been to its disadvantage. It went a step further and knowingly profited from it.

“Many Jews were also disadvantaged by another pre-war law. If one had rented an apartment which was rented to others after deportation, the new tenants were entitled to remain. In post-war Netherlands, there was a dramatic shortage of housing. No measures were taken to help the Jews with accommodation, despite their extenuating circumstances.

“The Dutch government denied its responsibility for what Dutch authorities did to the Jews during the war. In nearly all cases, Dutch police had removed these Jews from their homes upon German orders. They also took children out of Jewish orphanages, the elderly out of Jewish old age homes and the sick out of Jewish hospitals.
"After the Jews were arrested, Dutch police made an inventory of furniture in their houses before it was sent to Germany as ‘a gift to the German people from the Dutch people.’ The policemen knew they were executing inhumane policies which could not be considered the task of a police force.

“In the wartime police journal, one reads ‘wanted notices’ to search for Jews who hid their belongings rather than bringing them to the LIRO, an institution established to rob Jews of their property. The same paper also listed names of Jews who did not come to meeting points to be taken to a concentration camp. The post-war Dutch government denied all responsibility for the acts of these and other government officials.”

English Football Association charges Nicolas Anelka over 'quenelle' salute

The English Football Association charged Nicolas Anelka on Tuesday for making a "quenelle" salute after scoring for West Bromwich Albion against West Ham United in the Premier League last month. The gesture is widely regarded as being anti-Semitic and the FA charged the former France international under Rule E3 for 'making an abusive and/or indecent and/or insulting and/or improper gesture.' In a statement on their website (, the FA added: "It is further alleged that this is an aggravated breach, as defined in FA Rule E3, in that it included a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion or belief." Anelka, 34, who has denied he used it in any derogatory way, has until 6 p.m. GMT on Thursday to respond to the charge which carries a minimum five-game ban. Whether the FA find him guilty or not, the gesture has already had repercussions. West Brom's shirt sponsor Zoopla, a property market search engine co-owned by Jewish businessman Alex Chesterman, announced on Monday they would not be renewing their three million pounds ($4.93 million) shirt sponsorship at the end of the season because of Anelka's actions. "Zoopla has been reviewing its position over the past few weeks in light of the actions of striker, Nicolas Anelka, during the match against West Ham over the Christmas period and has decided to focus its attention on other marketing activities after this season," the company said in a statement. The former France striker celebrated the first of his two goals against West Ham in a 3-3 draw at Upton Park with the "quenelle" - made famous by French comedian Dieudonne M'Bala M'Bala as an "anti-establishment" salute. The comedian is a friend of Anelka's. It initially went unnoticed in England but the game was being shown live in France and the gesture was not lost on the French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron, who raised her concerns. "Anelka's gesture is a shocking provocation, disgusting," she said on Twitter. "There's no place for anti-Semitism on the football field." Anti-Racism and Jewish groups had demanded that Anelka be charged and also criticized the FA over the length of time it took them to charge the player. The former Real Madrid, Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester City and Paris St Germain striker has tried to play down the incident. "This gesture was a special dedication to my friend Dieudonne," Anelka said on Twitter the following day. He was subsequently told by West Brom not to use it again to which he agreed, but has not apologized for his actions. Anelka has played in all three of West Brom's league matches since the incident but not scored, including Monday night's 1-1 draw with Everton.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Iraqi Muslim Rapes Blind German Senior Citizen, Gets Parole and $4800 Fine

But the good news is that the taxi authority may consider suspending his license.
For two years, an Iraqi taxi-driver drove his blind customer: he helped with shopping and picked her up at the doctor’s. He called her “sweetie”. Then he raped her.
The trial of Hannover’s worst taxi-driver, Nihad S. (49) has begun.
In July 2013 this family man (father of three) brought pensioner, Brigitte C., to her apartment. Then he became intrusive. The prosecutor Stefan Dach said, “In her apartment, he pushed her onto her bed. The woman tried to push him away.”
At the trial, the German-Iraqi admitted everything. “I am a helpful person, driving many women, I have never had any problem. I am sorry.”
Victim advocate Anke Geißler said, “That was some brutality there. My client thought that at her age she would be safe from sexual attacks.”
The verdict: two years on parole (i.e., suspended sentence). In addition, the taxi driver must pay the victim €3600. Judge Jörn Thyen said, “He has shown remorse, and has spared the victim from testifying.”
The taxi firm where the horror-driver worked has fired him. The city is reviewing the case, with a view to withdrawing his taxi license.
Oh he’s shown remorse. Well that’s different then.

Swiss comedian under fire after anti-Semitic jabs

The Zurich prosecutor’s office has opened a criminal investigation against a popular comedian for allegedly inciting anti-Jewish bias on a television show.

The Neue Zürcher Zeitung reported on the matter on Friday.

Massimo Rocchi, a Swiss-Italian dual national, said on the program, “I apologize, but I’ll say that there is a always financial interest with Jewish humor that someone wants to gain. The Jew acts comical to show that he is a Jew and has humor and that he is close to God. The [true] comedian does not. The comedian does not want to win anything. The comedian is a victim.”

Attorney David Gibor filed the complaint on behalf of a Swiss Jew, who was not named in the article.

Gibor said that Rocchi made anti-Semitic statements in a SRF television program in March.

Gibor told the Neue Zürcher Zeitung that after the program aired, which dealt with the “Psychology of humor in the unconscious according to Sigmund Freud,” his client felt personally attacked by “the statement of the age-old prejudice that the Jew is greedy for money.”

According to Rocchi’s attorney, the prosecutor’s office questioned him on Thursday. Rocchi’s attorney said his client has never discriminated against people because of their ethnic or religious backgrounds.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Ice age on the way as scientists fear the Sun is 'falling asleep'

A new ice age could be on its way to Europe after scientists warned of an alarming fall in the performance power of the Sun.The number of gas explosions on the Sun's surface should be at the peak of its 11-year cycle of activity, but there has been an unexpected drop off. One space physicist said he had not seen anything like it in his 30 year career, and there are fears the temperatures could drop so low the Thames might freeze over. "If you want to go back to see when the Sun was this inactive... you've got to go back about 100 years," Richard Harrison, head of space physics at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire told the BBC. One of the Sun's biggest lulls came in the 17th century, known as the Maunder Minimum, at the same time as freezing winters swept across Europe. That caused not only the River Thames to freeze solid, allowing Londoners to enjoy frost fairs, but even the Baltic Sea iced over in some of the harshest conditions ever recorded in Europe.Dr Lucie Green, from University College London's Mullard Space Science Laboratory told the BBC: "It's completely taken me and many other solar scientists by surprise." After this sudden calming of the Sun, scientists wonder whether its activity will continue to fall. "It would feel like the Sun is asleep... a very dormant ball of gas at the centre of our Solar System," said Dr Green. "There is a very strong hint that the Sun is acting in the same way now as it did in the run-up to the Maunder Minimum."

German doctor who killed British patient with drug overdose sues dead man's sons because they made him miss dinner -- Was struck off as a doctor in the UK, but still practises in Germany

Suing: Dr Daniel Ubani is demanding 2,800 euros after a conference speech was disrupted

A disgraced doctor who killed a British man due to an appalling blunder over his painkillers is suing the dead man's son in Germany because he missed a post-conference dinner. Rory Gray and his brother Stuart disrupted a speech he was giving at a conference on plastic surgery in the German town of Lindau in 2010, calling him a 'charlatan and killer'. Both men were arrested but later released. Dr Daniel Ubani is demanding 2,800 euros - plus legal and court costs - from Rory Gray who lives in Germany. Ubani, who lives in the former western German industrial town of Witten, came to the UK in 2008 as a locum because he wanted extra money. He was working for an out-of-hours medical service when he gave 70-year-old David Gray a fatal injection in Cambridgeshire. Ubani confused the amount of painkiller he should give renal patient Mr Gray; in the end he gave him ten times the dosage of diamorphine he should have done. Mr Gray died within minutes at his home in Manea, Cambridgeshire, on 16 February 2008. Coroner William Morris later ruled his death 'gross negligence and manslaughter' and issued 11 recommendations to the Department of Health for the improvement of out-of-hours GP services An arrest warrant was issued in the UK for Ubani to be extradited to stand trial. But he cut a dubious deal with German prosecutors that allowed him to receive a fine - by post - together with a nine month suspended jail sentence for causing death by negligence. His ability to work in Germany was never questioned despite the fact he was struck off by the GMC in Britain. He refused to attend the inquest into his victim and the medical hearings which barred him from ever working in Britain again. The German Doctors Chamber, the equivalent of the General Medical Council in the UK, still wants Ubani struck off - but they are powerless to force him to go while he still retains the support of the local authority which licenses him. David Gray's sons Dr Stuart Gray, who lives in Kidderminster, Worcestershire, and his brother Rory, who works as a European Space Agency scientist in Darmstadt, have been campaigning to get Ubani struck off in Germany. Now Rory has two weeks to appeal the cash demand from Ubani, who runs a cosmetic clinic as a sideline. He said: 'Ubani is claiming for money to compensate him for missing the function in the evening after the Lindau conference that he had paid to attend. And for compensation for not being paid at Lindau for his talk. 'I find it disgusting that he is still allowed to practice.'

The Reign of Collective Stupidity

By David Solway

An acquaintance of mine tells the story of finding himself in the midst of a public demonstration against Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The chant being raised, so reminiscent of the 1960s, was: Hey, Hey, Ho Ho! Stephen Harper Has Got To Go. My acquaintance asked a placard-bearing young woman, obviously a student, what precisely she objected to in Harper's conduct and policies. She was unable to respond. He repeated his question and, after some hesitation on her part, received the answer: "I don't know, but he's got to go." Ipse dixit!  

Listening to CBC radio's weekly opinion sampler, Cross-Canada Checkup, on the Sunday before New Year, I was treated to a random specimen of public perspectives and sentiments on issues regarded as having been of major importance in the year coming to an end. I learned, inter alia, that global warming was a dire threat to the continuance of the species. I discovered that our conservative government has pursued an agenda injurious to the national interest. And so on. That global warming has been largely discredited and that temperatures have remained stable for the last 17 years was, apparently, news to the coast-to-coast participants in the program. They had never heard of premier Canadian climatologists Tom Harris, Lawrence Solomon, Tim Patterson and Ross McKitrick (oft maligned by the denizens of the global warming industry) or of the Oregon Petition with its 32,000 dissenting scientists. (As James Lewis comments, "Anybody who still falls for climate scare-lines after this freezing winter is either (a) terminally brainwashed or (b) stupid beyond repair. It's often hard to tell the difference.") That the Harper government had steered the country through the fiscal meltdown of the last tumultuous years, leaving it in one of the strongest economic positions in the developed world, was scarcely a blip on the radar of national consciousness. People with salaries and the leisure to opine at length on phone-in programs seem to think this privileged condition is somehow natural and unassailable.

Recent polls have indicated that Liberal leader Justin Trudeau, a youngish wavy-haired ignoramus whose only credentials are that he is a former prime minister's son, a part-time public school drama teacher and bungee-diving coach, and rather pretty in comparison to our elder statesmen and pudgy politicians, leads Stephen Harper by a 10 percent margin in electoral popularity. Harper, for all his faults, kept the country afloat. Trudeau would have sunk it in record time, with shenanigans like his vote-trawling outreach to a terror-linked Islamic organization, his refusal to call honor killings "barbaric," his objections to the immensely profitable Northern Gateway pipeline (while approving of the Keystone XL project. Go figure!), his favorable comments on Quebec sovereignty, and the inevitable tax hikes the Liberal party would impose on the middle class. Yet the Canadian public has to date smiled benignly on a man who performs a partial strip tease in front of smitten ladies during a charity event. The level of political imbecility we are witnessing is incommensurable. Canada, however, is small beer in comparison to the political travesty that is the United States, where nearly half the population relies on food stamps, welfare payments, tax rebates and a blizzard of entitlements, whose foreign policy is a shambles of half-baked and destructive initiatives, which boasts a scandal-ridden and thoroughly inept administration and is mired in a swamp of economic insecurity, which has exponentially expanded a "coercive, intrusive regulatory regime" as well as devastating the healthcare system, and which twice elects a man who would make a Justin Trudeau prime ministry look like a feasible alternative to the electoral mayhem, fiduciary malfeasance and political stagnation that "The One" has inflicted upon his nation.

We have read of late that the "consensus" may be changing in Europe (and elsewhere) with the election and rise of several ostensibly conservative or "pirate" parties in a number of countries and the pallid second thoughts of diverse leaders. But even a nominally conservative government is no match for the combined might of the entrenched political class, a treasonous academy, the saurian bureaucrats of the European Union, and a left-wing media empire for which, like its North American counterpart, journalism has become the art of dissembling and outright propaganda. The few leaders and public figures -- Prince Charles and David Cameron in the U.K., Jean-François Cope of the UMP party in France, King William Alexander of the Netherlands, Angela Merkel in Germany -- who appear to be reconsidering the poisoned fruit of multicultural immigration, particularly with regard to Islam, have not markedly shucked their dhimmi mindset and continue for the most part to behave like dimwits -- or dhimmwits.

Meanwhile, the socialist, top-down economic policies adopted by a majority of European nations are infallibly bankrupting them, to the extent that the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank see fit to raid the bank accounts of private depositors, as recently in Cyprus. As for the electorate, a large share of whom profit from cradle-to-grave welfare entitlements and who are becoming strangers to the habits of entrepreneurship and plain hard work, the jury is still out but the verdict is troublingly predictable.

How did we get into such a sociopolitical morass? The signs of a culture in precipitous and perhaps terminal disarray proliferate everywhere, in the corrupt and partisan media, in an entertainment industry that has devoted itself to the production of unadulterated trash, and in an academy that has sold its soul to mere credentialing, politically correct indoctrination and totalitarian impulses, operating, in the words of Daren Jonescu, as "re-education camps" in the interests of "an artificially restrictive and pre-packaged pseudo-world." These forces swoop darkly over the political landscape like Ringwraiths, further devitalizing a debilitated population. The result is what political scientist Samuel Popkin in The Reasoning Voter: Communication and Persuasion in Presidential Campaigns called "low information signalling," a term picked up by comedian manqué Bill Maher as "low information voters" and applied to dunning effect by Jonah Goldberg in The Tyranny of Clichés.

Low information voters, however, are far preferable to the class of citizens -- like the young lady whom my acquaintance queried -- arising among us who may be designated as no information voters, driven by hidebound ideology and complacent ignorance of almost limbic proportions. Crucial decisions are taken by those who are either uneducated, having given themselves over to what Victor Davis Hanson calls a crash and burn culture, or miseducated, having been lobotomized by a heavily politicized pedagogic curriculum controlled by the Left. And that, I suggest, is the root of our dilemma.

We live in a society that has lost both its moral compass and its intellectual focus. Any serious psephological study would have to conclude that the voting public is too incompetent to exercise the franchise. As Churchill said, "The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter." Today, I'm afraid, a half-minute would suffice. Nevertheless, it is best to remember that no political system is perfect and many are patently reprehensible. The authority of Aristotle should be consulted here. In Book 4 of the Politics, the philosopher lays it down that of "the diverging systems of government" (parekbasis), tyranny is the worst, oligarchy is somewhat better, and democracy is the most moderate or least worst. Regrettably, as our low-and-no information voters, subject to the extremophiles who dominate the culture, make alarmingly clear, democracy is no panacea. As James Lewis wryly puts it apropos the Progressivist power complex and its deluded victims, "Great power goes together with great stupidity." Later historians, if there are any, will probably describe the years we are living through now as the Age of the Dummy -- indeed, an age that has spawned those aptly named books "for Dummies," an era facile, ludicrous, puerile and moronic.     

I confess that I don't see how our current dilemma can be resolved without a sea change in the gradients and vectors of the culture at large or, as I greatly fear, a high-magnitude catastrophe that may possibly educate us with respect to our self-betrayal and compel us to rebuild. Barring the miracle of an epistemological recovery across the culture, which seems unlikely, we may have to depend on the most infallible of preceptors, historical agency, that from time to time may bring what the Romans called a felix culpa, variously translated as a "happy fault" or "fortunate fall." Even this is moot, for a fortunate fall is no guarantee of social revival and cultural reintegration. The consequence of collective stupidity that causes political, social and economic collapse may be not reconstruction but archeology.

Aristotle goes on to assert in Book 5 that the best way to preserve a democracy is education. "For even the most beneficial and widely approved laws bring us no benefit if they are not inculcated through education and the habits of citizens." He could not have been more right. But for the time being, between the uneducated and the miseducated falls the shadow of our malaise.