Saturday, January 31, 2015

FSS? FFS: Charlie Hebdo censored by Manchester SU

It’s perfectly understandable that students are concerned about the effects of the new anti-terror legislation on their freedom to debate challenging ideas.
One student explains:
“I think we would be scared to express our opinions in class as we’d have this thing looming at the back of our minds. This bill is essentially undermining everything we do, say and how we approach things or take things in. We’ll be confined within a restricted zone.”
Here Baroness Kennedy insists on the importance of the free exchange of ideas, even very bad ones:
The nature of the university is to develop the mind. It is about the whole business of freedom of speech. Freedom of exchange of ideas is at the heart of the university. By challenging orthodoxies, people grow in ideas. Inevitably, some of those ideas will be bad ones, but the best way to deal with them is in debate and by challenging them in the process of learning.
I wonder if all of those arguing that the bill may have a chilling effect on free speech are equally concerned about the way in which students’ expression is already being stifled at some universities?
At Manchester the Student Union banned the university’s Free Speech and Secular Society’ (FSS) from displaying Charlie Hebdo at its Refreshers’ Fair.
The reasons for the censorship of the Charlie Hebdo front cover were laid out in an e-mail from the Students’ Union General Secretary, Charlie Cook, and chiefly reflected the view that they found it “unsuitable for the event,” and that they “could see no benefit in allowing the presence of the magazine.
“There was genuine concern its presence may cause distress and insult to others,” she added.
The FSS came back with a strong response, which is worth reading in full here:
“It is a commendable goal to make people feel comfortable at university, but censorship itself is offensive. It is offensive to people who wish to commemorate the lives of the twelve people killed in Paris, [and amongst others] to those Muslims who do not condone violence and feel infantilised and patronised by the pre-emptive censorship.
“Discussion around the issue of freedom of speech and the limits of offence must necessarily include the object of the controversy. Without it, debate is stifled and discussion limited—the antithesis of what a university should promote.
Here’s more from the SU spokesperson, trying to justify its censorship:
“After being made aware of the potential presence of the images, we wanted to work closely with all groups involved to ensure they were comfortable with the final outcome. The Refreshers’ Fair is a key point in the year to welcome new students  as part of the January intake, and many of these students come from countries all around the world.
“On balance, we took the call that the open presence of the magazine was not in the interests of the event or our members, however the image could be made available to those who asked to see it.
If I was a student at Manchester this act of censorship would certainly not make me ‘feel comfortable’.

Scandal of Britain's £2.1billion wasted on European Court of Human Rights cases
Pic:  thewhisperbox
The rampant wastefulness of the European Court of Human Rights has been exposed by figures showing that 99 per cent of claims against the Government are thrown out.Only 13 out of nearly 2,000 cases brought against Whitehall departments last year were upheld by the Strasbourg judges. But preparing for, and complying with, the actions still costs British taxpayers an estimated £2.1billion a year. The cases only end up in Europe after our Court of Appeal kicks them out. The waste of taxpayers’ cash lays bare the shambles created by the European Convention on Human Rights, which claims precedent over British justice. Critics voiced their outrage at the shocking drain on public resources. Tory MP and former human rights lawyer Dominic Raab said: “It’s ludicrous that hard-pressed taxpayers’ money is being squandered on defending thousands of spurious human rights claims.” Ukip MEP Diane James said: “What a waste of time, money and effort and just because the European Court of Human Rights has jurisdiction over the UK. “If nothing else, this demonstrates why the UK judicial system should not be subservient to Europe.”Dr Lee Rotherham, an EU expert, said: “The UK is the home of the Magna Carta and human rights. These shocking figures show how seriously tied into Strasbourg British courts are.” His research shows that complying with the court costs Britain £2.1billion a year. He added: “I calculate we have spent £25.7billion since 1998 when Tony Blair brought in his Human Rights Bill. It is not worth it.” A source close to Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: “The issue at stake is not simply about the number of cases brought. “What we have seen in the recent past is a foreign court with unaccountable judges making decisions of a political nature that would directly affect the law in the UK in a way the public does not support.” Official figures show that fewer than one per cent of the cases brought against UK government departments last year succeeded. Of the 1,997 cases, 1,970 were ruled inadmissible or struck out. Just 13, or 0.66 per cent, of the 27 that ended up in a full hearing went against the Government. It won the other 14. Each case takes a minimum of two days preparation and administration. But the case of Abu Qatada – the Jordanian cleric accused of terrorist activity abroad – took years. By the time he was flown home, his taxpayer-funded legal bill had passed £1.7million.

Mumbai Editor Arrested for Publishing Charlie Hebdo Cartoon

Charlie Hebdo 1/14
By Mary Chastain 

Authorities in Mumbai, India, arrested Shirin Dalvi, editor of the Uru Daily Avadhnama newspaper, for printing a cartoon from Charlie Hebdo. It appeared on the front page of the January 17 edition. Residents in Mumbra in Thane complained to the police about the cartoon. Police justified the arrest “under section 295A of the Indian Penal Code, which bans malicious and deliberate acts intended to outrage religious feelings.” The cartoon in question was used on the cover of the latest Charlie Hebdo issue, depicting a weeping Mohammed holding a sign that says “Je suis Charlie.”
“She was arrested by us, produced in the court and granted bail,” said SM Mundhe, a senior police inspector. “We are investigating the matter.”
Since the incident, Dalvi remains away from her home and her children are living with relatives.
“I have not seen my daughter in the last 10 days,” she said. “My children’s books and uniforms are at home and they have not been attending college. I am staying with a friend.”
She apologized for “any hurt the image might have caused to the readers.” However, she lost her job since the Mumbai’s branch of the newspaper closed on January 19. She received the job only in July.
“We juxtaposed it with news of the Pope’s statement where he criticized the Prophet cartoons and said freedom of expression was not absolute and religious beliefs should not be mocked in the name of this freedom,” she explained when media asked why she published the cartoon. “Apart from a front page apology, I also wrote an editorial clarifying that my love and respect for the Prophet is next to none. Yet I am being harassed.”
Editors at other branches and publications defended Dalvi.
“I have known Shirin for long and can say confidently that she didn’t do it to hurt religious sentiments or to get cheap publicity,” said Sarfraz Arzoo, editor of Hindustan, where Dalvi once worked. “After she has apologized, the issue should close and the witch-hunting should stop.”

Confronting European Anti-Semitism

By Alan M. Dershowitz 

I just completed a three day visit to Prague and the former Terezin concentration camp.  I was there to speak at a conference commemorating the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi death camps.  Many European speakers talked about the efforts they are making to confront the rising tide of anti-Semitism throughout Europe.  But before one can decide how to confront a sickness like anti-Semitism, one must first describe and diagnose the pathology.
There are several distinct, but sometimes overlapping, types of anti-Semitism.  The first is traditional, right wing, fascist Jew hatred that has historically included theological, racial, economic, social, personal and cultural aspects.  We are seeing a resurgence of this today in Greece, Hungary and other European countries with rising right wing parties that are anti-Muslim as well as anti-Jewish.
The second is Muslim anti-Semitism.  Just as not all Greeks and Hungarians are anti-Semitic, so too not all Muslims suffer from this malady.  But far too many do.  It is wrong to assume that only Muslims who manifest Jew hatred through violence, harbor anti-Semitic views.  Recent polls show an extraordinarily high incidence of anti-Semitism—hatred of Jews as individuals, as a group and as a religion,—throughout North Africa, the Middle East and Muslim areas in Europe.  This hatred manifests itself not only in words, but in deeds, such as taunting Jews who wear yarmulkes, vandalizing Jewish institutions, and occasional violence directed at individual Jews.  Among a small number of extremists it also results in the kind of deadly violence we have seen in Telouse, Paris, Brussels and other parts of Europe.  Several decades ago it manifested itself in attacks on synagogues by Palestinian terrorists, including some operating on behalf of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Third, there is hard left anti-Zionism that sometimes melds into subtle and occasionally overt anti-Semitism.  This pathology is seen in the double standard imposed on everything Jewish, including the nation state of the Jewish people.  It is also reflected in blaming "Jewish power", and the "pushiness" of Jews in demanding support for Israel.  I'm not referring to criticism of Israeli policies or actions.  I'm referring to the singling out of Israel for extreme demonization.  The ultimate form of this pathology is the absurd comparison made by some extreme leftist between the extermination of policies of the Nazis and of Israel's efforts to defend itself against terrorist rockets, tunnels, suicide bombers and other threats to its civilians.  Comparing Israel's actions to those of the Nazis is a not-so-subtle version of Holocaust denial.  Because if all the Nazis really did was what Israel is now doing, there could not have been a Holocaust or an attempt at genocide against the Jewish people.  A variation on this perverse theme is apartheid denial:  by accusing Israel—which accords equal rights to all its citizens—of apartheid, these haters deny the horrors of actual apartheid, which was so much more horrible than anything Israel has ever done.
Fourth, and most dangerous, is eliminationist anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism of the kind advocated by the leaders of Iran, Hezbollah, Hamas, and ISIS.  Listen to Hassan Nasrallah:
"If [the Jews] all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide" or "If we search the entire world for a person more cowardly, despicable, weak and feeble in psyche, mind, ideology and religion, we would not find anyone like the Jew.  Notice I didn't say the Israeli."
These variations on the theme of anti-Semitism have several elements in common.  First, they tend to engage in some form of Holocaust denial, minimization, glorification or comparative victimization.  Second, they exaggerate Jewish power, money and influence.  Third, they seek the delegitimation and demonization of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.  Fourth, they impose a double standard on all things Jewish.
Finally, they nearly all deny that they are anti-Semites who hate all Jews.  They claim that their hatred is directed against Israel and Jews who support the nation state of the Jewish people.
This common form of the new anti-Semitism—we love the Jews, it's only their nation state that we hate—is pervasive among many European political, media, cultural and academic leaders.  It was evident even among some who came to commemorate the liberation of the death camps.  A recent poll among Germans showed a significant number of the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren of Nazi supporters didn't want to hear about Nazi atrocities, but believed what Israel was doing to the Palestinians was comparable to what the Nazis had done to the Jews.
This then is the European problem of anti-Semitism that many European leaders are unwilling to confront because they have a built in excuse!  It's Israel's fault—if only Israel would do the right thing with regard to the Palestinians, the problem would be solved.
Tragically, it won't be solved, because the reality is that hatred of Israel is not the cause of anti-Semitism.  Rather, it is the reverse:  anti-Semitism is a primary cause of hatred for the nation state of the Jewish people.

‘Stop Respecting Their Medieval Bullshit!’ Maher, Panel Clash over Obama Saudi Trip

Bill Maher and his panel tonight tussled over President Obama‘s trip to Saudi Arabia, and again Maher brought the conversation to Islam when he said, “Stop respecting their medieval bullshit!” Maher was stunned by how Obama basically dropped everything for this, though he did applaud Michelle Obama for refusing to cover her head when she was there.
Maher said, “Cultural relativism is nonsense… If that’s judgmental, good! I’m judging! I’m judging that that’s fucked up!”
Katty Kay was particularly bothered by how Obama spoke in India about respecting human rights, then went to Saudi Arabia and said jack about the same thing. Maher agreed that it’s “weird” this part of the world “gets a pass” for what the West would deem backwards values.
Monica Mehta pushed back a bit, arguing that it would be “foolish” to take that kind of idealistic stance in Saudi Arabia and risk breaking that fragile relationship.
Watch the video below:


Playing Tough

By Andrew Stuttaford 

Greece’s new leftist government opened talks on its bailout with European partners on Friday by flatly refusing to extend the program or to cooperate with the international inspectors overseeing it. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ government also sacked the heads of the state privatization agency after halting a series of state asset sales.
The politically unpopular policy of privatization to help cut debt is one of the conditions of Greece’s 240-billion-euro bailout that has imposed years of harsh austerity on Greece.
One of Greece’s many problems has been the way that the way that its state has been run as a patronage machine by its (until recently) dominant political parties. Privatization was designed not only to raise some cash (enthusiastic buyers have been oddly difficult to find), but to roll back an essentially clientelist regime. Syriza  may well have genuine ideological objections to privatization, but something tells me that it will appreciate the, uh, opportunities that preserving a large state sector will bring in its wake.
Back to Reuters:
Tsipras has repeatedly said he wants to keep Greece in the euro but he has also made clear he will not back away from election campaign pledges to roll back the terms of the bailout. His government, winner of last Sunday’s election, has raced ahead with a series of anti-bailout moves including reinstating thousands of public servants laid off by the previous government as well as cancelling privatizations.
Not only will Greece’s new government not cooperate with the Troika, it will not even seek an extension to the current deal, which expires on February 28.  And if that expires, Greece’s banks will (as Reuters notes) lose access to their funding from the European Central Bank.
The standoff could see Greek banks effectively excluded from European Central Bank liquidity operations and the government with no source of funding, having rejected EU aid while still shut out of international markets. “These people are not bluffing,” Theodore Pelagidis, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, said by phone. “There is no way that Greece will make it through February. The situation will be get worse every day, and at the forefront of the drama will be the country’s banks.”
…A German official earlier on Friday said Tsipras is making unrealistic demands and will end up without a financial backstop unless he honors his country’s commitments to its official creditors. German Finance Ministry Spokesman Martin Jaeger said Greece’s demand for a writedown is “outside reality” and the financial lifeline that has kept the country afloat since 2010 will expire next month unless Tsipras shows a “clear willingness” to meet the country’s existing agreements.
There’s been a striking increase in outflows from Greek banks of late.  That’s not surprising. The real mystery is why there hasn’t been more.
At this point, it’s worth turning to The Economist for a brief reminder of why Germany might be feeling a touch under-appreciated:
Germans were told that sacrificing the deutschmark for the euro would involve safeguards, with an ECB based in Frankfurt, strict rules about which countries would join the euro and explicit bans on bailouts for struggling countries. But the rules were eased to let too many countries in, the ECB is now run by an Italian who is creating money and vast amounts has spent buying the bonds of struggling European governments and banks; the German taxpayer will probably end up paying the bill. The Greeks asked for debt forgiveness; they have already had it and their remaining official debt has a 16-year maturity and an average coupon of 2.4%. They would not get those terms anywhere else. Meanwhile, German voters, who went through a painful period of restructuring in the early 2000s to make their economies competitive, are told that such policies are inappropriate when applied elsewhere.
What The Economist (so often leery of giving unruly electorates too much of a say) fails to add is that German voters were never given a chance to reject this vampire currency. Their betters knew better, and that was it.
Over at the Daily Telegraph, Jeremy Warner fills in that gap:
Germans never wanted the single currency in the first place, for like Britain, they instinctively understood where it would lead – to a fiscal, or transfer, union which Germany, as Europe’s dominant economy, would be forced to bankroll. If given a referendum, they’d have said no.
Warner goes astray when he adds this:
But European monetary union was the price Germany had to pay for reunification; it was a way, other European nations naively believed, of containing the newly enlarged country and ensuring that it was properly integrated into the rest of Europe.
On the contrary, this was not a price that Germany had to pay. By the time that the Maastricht Treaty (which paved the way for the euro) was signed (1992) Germany was already reunited. It would have been perfectly easy to renege on any undertakings that had been given to, primarily, the French. No diplomatic effort would be complete without a little bad faith. What’s more the ‘final final’ decision to go ahead with the single currency was not taken until even more years had passed. What really happened was that German chancellor Helmut Kohl was obsessed with accelerating the EU’s “ever closer union” and he pushed the currency through, acting, he later said, “like a dictator” to do so.
Back to Warner:
From the start of the crisis it has been obvious to all dispassionate observers that it can only really end in two ways. Either the eurozone must move rapidly towards the sort of transfer union which Germany has spent the last 15 years resisting, or it must be reconstituted in more sustainable form – that is the monetary separation of Germany and its satellites from the less competitive south, arguably including France.
In other words, some variant of our old friend the ‘Northern’ euro.
Now up pops little Syriza to speak truth to power. Whatever you might think about Syriza’s substantially unrealistic economic agenda, and its apparent love affair with the brutish Vladimir Putin, on monetary union at least, its leaders have told it as it is.
“The eurozone is going to be toast within a couple of years”, says Greece’s new finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, unless it can create “shock absorbers and what I call surplus recycling mechanisms”. No monetary union that demands its debtor nations constantly shrink their economies in order to keep up with the repayments can last for long. The current situation is indeed a form of debtors prison, and a completely counter-productive one, for if you deny the debtor the ability to work off his debts, he’ll never repay them anyway.
That’s true enough, but let’s pay attention to Varoufakis’s sleazy euphemism: “shock absorbers and what I call surplus recycling mechanisms”. What that means is the looting of German (and Dutch, and Finnish and even Estonian taxpayers) in perpetuity.  And it would be perpetuity. 150 years or so after Italian unification, the north is still paying for the south. Naples is still not Milan. How long will it take to turn Athens into Berlin?
No-one should think for a moment that there are any attractive options, but a division of the euro into northern and southern halves remains, all things considered, the least bad way to go. Sadly, there are few signs that it’s on the agenda.
What will happen then? My guess continues to be that the Germans will eventually (it’ll be camouflaged, of course) fold, but against a background of brinkmanship like this, events can take on a dangerous momentum of their own.
Watch the banks. 

Friday, January 30, 2015

European Police: Gun Control Not Working, Jihadists Have Us Outgunned

 Video screenshot
By AWR Hawkins 

Police armed with pistols in heavily gun-controlled European countries are realizing a hard lesson fast–jihadists with no respect for the law are side-stepping gun control and stockpiling weapons that will give them the upper hand in confrontations with officers.
Europol chief of staff Brian Donald says there were two “large seizures” of firearms–particularly “assault weapons”–over the last two weeks and more seizures are expected as investigations and tracking continues.
According to TIME magazine, this is indicative of the reality European police face. Regardless of the gun control laws passed/implemented, jihadists are able to arm themselves just as those who attacked the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo’s headquarters on January 7 were armed.
Cherif and Said Kouachi “were armed with Kalashnikov rifles and could easily outgun the police officers who tried to apprehend them with pistols,” not to mention the police officers who weren’t armed. The third attacker, Amedy Coulibaly, “had an even greater collection of military grade weapons.”
The terrorists also had grenade launchers and Scorpion machine guns. AFP reports that Coulibaly had purchased most of the weapons from an unnamed arms trafficker in Belgium.
On January 7 reported the that Charlie Hebdo attack exposed the black markets for firearms that now exist in Europe–particularly France–and undercut gun control.
In other words, gun control appears to have created a false sense of security for the European people and their police forces as well. The reality is that guns remain available in black markets, albeit especially for those who have criminal or terrorist intent.
TIME reports that gun traffickers are thriving to such a degree that a training assignment for some new European officers has been to go out an buy a Kalashnikov from a black market dealer, just to see how easy it is. To date, doing so has only taken a couple of hours.
This is what Donald Trump warned about when he reacted to the Charlie Hebdo attack by saying, “When guns are outlawed, only the outlaws will have guns.”

Three Cheers For Boris: Mayor Brands Terrorists “W**kers” Who Have Been “Rejected By Girls”

 Boris Johnson Veteran Reuters London
By A.B. Sanderson 

 Right wing hero Boris Johnson has launched a blistering attack on Jihadi killers, calling them “losers” who have been “rejected by women”. The London Mayor, who is the candidate for the West London constituency of Ruislip, cited an MI5 report into Muslim extremism in an interview with The Sun.
“If you look at all the psychological profiling about bombers, they typically will look at porn. They are literally w***ers. Severe onanists” the blond politician said.
“They are tortured. They will be very badly adjusted in their relations with women, and that is a symptom of their feeling of being failures and that the world is against them.
“They are rejected by women, they are not making it with girls, and so they turn to other forms of spiritual comfort – which of course is no comfort.”
In a follow up interview on Sky News he clarified his arguments, saying, ”Certainly, the young men who get involved in this kind of thing do have a lot of problems in their lives.
“There’s no question that they lack self-esteem and that they lack boundaries and that they feel like losers.”
“We need to address it in all sorts of ways,” adding “”I don’t think there’s anything remotely controversial about what I have said.”
He said that it was important that instead of being afraid of discussing what drives people to join radical Islamic terror groups that “”I fervently think we need to de-mystify this lot.”
Mr Johnson backed fellow Conservative Sajid Javid in saying that it was “absolutely right” to say Muslim communities carry a “special burden” to tackle terror.
The London Mayor, whose own great grandfather was a Turkish Muslim, said he often heard people  who were “very quick to accuse people of Islamophobia.”
Rather than just throwing insults at those who question whether Islam as a whole needs to address radicalisation he said “I want to hear a proper angry Islamic theological denunciation of what is going wrong.
“We won’t succeed if Western politicians just go around bashing and blaming Islam; that is hopeless,” adding “they are not explaining how it can be that this one religion seems to be leading people astray in so many cases.”
“This problem can only be addressed if Muslim authorities and clerics find a powerful and compelling way of setting up an alternative narrative for young people that makes this seem irrelevant.”
His comments drew criticism from within the Muslim community, with Mussurut Zia, general secretary of the Muslim Women’s Network UK, calling Mr Johnson’s comments “irresponsible”.
She said she felt “they are going to lead to a greater divide.”
“He has a responsibility to all his constituents, not just the readers’ of The Sun,” Ms Zia added.
She was joined by Chris Doyle from the Council for Arab-British Understanding who, in possibly a first for the Mayor, accused him of “using very agricultural language.”
“It therefore risks trivialising and sensationalising very serious discussions and debates,” he said.
But from the comments from viewers of the news programme, it seems that Mr Johnson has struck a chord with his critique of fundamentalists, with one writing “Boris has sealed his victory at the election” and another going one step further calling for “Boris for Prime Minister!”

German Teacher Suspended for Saying Holocaust Victims are Less Important to Him Than Cattle

A German teacher was suspended after saying on Tuesday that he cares more about cattle that Holocaust victims, blogger Elder of Ziyon reported.
“Personally, I’m not interested in Auschwitz at all… Even industrial livestock farming emotionally affects me more,” Daniel Krause said when he called into a radio show on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Officials are also trying to get the 34-year-old fired, Elder of Ziyon noted. Dr. Gerd Bollermann said, “I am appalled by the tasteless and dehumanizing utterances. The Arnsberg District will not tolerate anything that denigrates the memory of the murdered Jews during the Nazi era.”

Deflation Arrives In Germany, Putting Europe’s Largest Economy At Risk

By John Hayward 

Perhaps Greece’s new far-left government will rethink its plans to shake Europe down for cash to fund its wild spending binges, now that the German economy has officially entered a deflationary cycle, as reported by Business Insider:
Germany’s consumer price index fell 0.3% month-over-month in January.
It’s the first time the inflation rate went negative since September 2009.
“Deflation has arrived,” Pantheon Macroeconomics’ Claus Vistesen said.
Deflation is a very scary phenomenon. When prices fall, consumers and businesses often hold back on purchases hoping for even lower prices. Economic activity seizes and prices continue to fall in a self-reinforcing cycle.
Germany’s negative CPI number was largely due to the ongoing plunge in energy prices, which were down 9.9% year-over-year.
But other price are slowing or dropping, too.
“The decline in food prices also accelerated to -1.3% in January from -1.2% in December,” Vistesen noted. “Services inflation fell to 1.2% from 1.4% last month and rents declined to 1.3% year-over-year from 1.4% last month.”
Just kidding about the Greeks — socialists don’t care about the travails of the “rich” people and nations they squeeze for money.  Germans, however, might feel a bit grumpy about the burden they’re expected to carry, while Europe will not be pleased at such a murmur in its economic heart.  The overall Eurozone slipped into 0.6% deflation in January, a record low in the 15-year history of the European Union — as bad as the deflation which followed the 2008 financial crisis.  Spain was hardest-hit, with a 1.5% drop.  As Business Insider notes, this is bad news for the debt-heavy nations of the EU, because “when a euro is worth more tomorrow than it is today, any debts you make in euros are effectively growing.”
Only two weeks ago, Germany’s deputy finance minister, Steffen Kampeter, told CNBC there was no risk of a deflationary spiral, and the German economy was “growing beyond expectations.”  It will take some time to learn if the deflationary dip for both Germany and the Eurozone is more than just a slightly worse version of the “moderate and negative price development” Kampeter anticipated.
A note of pessimism seeps into the Financial Times report:
The plunge was almost entirely down to the collapse in oil prices, with energy costs falling by 9 per cent over the 12 months. The last time prices fell in the eurozone’s largest economy was in September 2009 and the latest dip all but confirms that deflation across the currency area worsened in January.
Analysts polled by Bloomberg expect figures to be released on Friday by Eurostat, the European Commission’s statistics agency, to show prices fell by 0.5 per cent in January. With German prices falling at a faster pace than expected, the eurozone figure could undershoot forecasts.
“[The German inflation figure] means expectations for eurozone inflation now carry a decidedly downside risk,” said Jörg Krämer, chief economist at Commerzbank. “The drop in oil prices suggests that eurozone headline inflation should stay below the zero line until autumn.”
The Financial Times argues that the deflation report supports the case for “last week’s landmark quantitative easing package from the European Central Bank,” which was opposed by the German members of the ECB.  Their argument was that Germany should reduce its debt, rather than buying up debt to flood the market with easy money, which they felt would tempt European Union nations to spend more money they don’t really have… a temptation they were noticeably more confident Germany would be able to resist than its EU colleagues.
German policymakers seem generally surprised that their economy joined the rest of the Eurozone in deflation.  They’re not alone in their bewilderment, as just two months ago, ECB officials were confidently predicting that the rest of the Eurozone would avoid the deflationary spiral that ended up greeting them at the dawn of the new year.  The problem for the rest of Europe is that Germany is far better positioned to deal with the problem.
In fact, the Financial Times wonders if the end result might be Europe’s loss and Germany’s gain: “While the German economy is strong enough to weather a spell of falling prices, deflation threatens to create havoc in weaker members of the currency area.  The plunge in oil prices is likely to boost consumers’ spending on other goods and services in relatively strong economies such as Germany’s, where unemployment is at a post-unification low.  The danger for the eurozone is that in weaker parts of the region, deflation will lead consumers to delay purchases, weighing on already anemic demand.”
For an illustration of what they’re talking about, consider that German unemployment is at record lows at the same moment that Italian unemployment is hitting record highs.  Germany entered the 2014 holiday season confident that it had found a sweet spot of moderate inflation, rising wages, a strong labor market, and healthy consumer demand.
The Economist tried raining on their parade in an October article warning that the Eurozone’s inability to get its act together on fiscal policy left “a region that makes almost a fifth of world output marching toward stagnation and deflation,” as the expectation of falling prices led to reduced spending and loan defaults.”  The predicted result: “As debt burdens soar from Italy to Greece, investors will take fright, populist politicians will gain ground, and – sooner rather than later – the euro will collapse.”  From the vantage point of late January 2015, that warning looks more prescient than whatever Europe’s central bankers were expecting to happen.

Muslims Gloat at Paris Kosher Market 2 Days After Attack

Islamist terrorist Amedy Coulibaly murdered four Jews at the Hyper Cacher kosher supermarket in Paris earlier this month while taking hostages and later being shot by police - just two days after the heinous attack, Muslim youths were outside the store gloating.
A group of French Muslims posted photos of themselves in front of the supermarket to Facebook just after the attack, making rude gestures with their middle fingers in the pictures, reports the French-language Le Monde Juif which provided screenshots.
In the caption of the photos posted by user "Abdellah du Futur" reads vile messages such as "Charlie's a mother (expletive)." The statement is a reference to the "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) campaign of support after Islamist terrorists murdered 12 at the satire magazine Charlie Hebdo for making cartoons of Mohammed, founder of Islam, two days before the supermarket attack.
Another caption reads in French "Allahu Akbar ratatatata ahhhh," mimicking the shouts of Allah is Greater shouted by Muslim terrorists, the sounds of gunfire and the victims' cries of pain.
One of the photos also included hashtags referencing anti-Semitic French comic Dieudonne M'bala M'bala, who was detained after identifying with the terrorist Coulibaly, Al-Qaeda mastermind Osama Bin-Laden, and Mohammed Merah, who in 2012 murdered three Jewish children and a rabbi at a Jewish school in Toulouse, along with three police officers.
The representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (CRIF), the umbrella organization of all French Jewish organizations, strongly condemned the outrageous photos, reporting them.
CRIF noted that just two weeks ago French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira called on the state prosecutor to show "firmness" against those "advocating terrorism" or "racist or anti-Semitism words and actions."
Reportedly as of last week a full thirty people had already been convicted of advocating terrorism and being public apologists of it since the Paris attacks.
Condoning terrorism in public became a criminal offense in France last November, with violators liable to a seven year prison term.

Germany: Muslim stabs pregnant, German girlfriend in belly, then burns her alive. Police suspects “honor” killing

“Police are investigating the possible honor killing of a heavily pregnant 19-year-old woman in Berlin, Germany.
After the killing and burning of a 19-year-old pregnant woman in Berlin Köpenick, the police are investigating if one of the perpetrator’s Turkish family instigated the murder. The alleged killers were taken into custody over the weekend.

New details have emerged about the brutal murder of a 19-year-old pregnant woman in Berlin Adlershof. “Her ex-boyfriend did not want to keep their child.” said the spokesman for the prosecutor, Martin Steltner, talking about the motive of the suspected killers. Investigators do not rule out the possibility that the woman was killed to revenge dishonor brought upon the family (“honor killing”).

The suspected killers of 19-year-old Maria P. were taken into custody over the weekend. Eren T. and M. Daniel, both 19 years old, have both been imprisoned in the Plötzensee youth detention centre. They are jointly accused of murder. Eren T., who previously lived with his mother in the Neukölln district of Rixdorf, is not talking to the police anymore during interrogations. His alleged accomplice Daniel M., who also hails from northern Neukölln, has partially confessed his involvement in the murder.

Maria P. was killed on Thursday in a forest in Berlin Adlershof. The young woman who was heavily pregnant, was stabbed two times in the abdomen. Then she was doused in gasoline and set on fire. She burned alive. Passers-by found her body Friday morning.

In the initial interviews Eren T. (the ex-boyfriend) said that he was pressured by his family because Maria – although she converted to Islam – did not fit to him. Then he separated from Maria and demanded the abortion of the unborn child. The police are investigating the question of what role the family of T. Eren, who is a Turkish citizen, played and whether they incited him to the act.”

Somali Screamed ‘Islamic Slogans’ as he Murdered Man in Belfast

By Oliver Lane 

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) are appealing for witnesses after they arrested a 32-year old Somalian man on suspicion of murder in Belfast yesterday. Although little is presently known of the victim, 29 year old Pakistani national Mohsin Bhatti, his surname is common among Sikh and Hindi families in the Pakistani borders and Punjab region of Northern India. The Belfast Telegraph reports his killer shouted ‘pro-Islamic slogans’ Bhatti was stabbed to death, but police said they were not treating the killing as a ‘hate crime’.
A PSNI spokesman said: “The victim had been stabbed a number of times and he died at the scene as a result of his injuries. We are following a number of lines of enquiry but we are keeping an open mind about a possible motive.
“We have recovered two knives from the scene. These are currently being examined as part of the investigation. A second scene has been established in a flat at 18 India Street, a short distance from where the victim was found”.
The suspect has now been transferred to a secure mental health unit.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Rotherham Victim Says Abusers ‘Untouchable’

A Sky News investigation into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham learns that hundreds of new cases continue to emerge.
A survivor of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham claims she still sees her abusers “driving young girls in their car”, as a Sky News investigation reveals hundreds of new cases continue to emerge.
In August 2014, the Alexis Jay report identified 1,400 cases of child sexual exploitation in the Yorkshire town.
But Sky News has learned that hundreds more cases were known to authorities prior to its publication and that hundreds more are being reported.
Victims continue to feel let down by authorities.
One survivor “Gemma” told Sky News: “It’s still going on if not worse, because now they’re having to hide it more.
“I’m still seeing my abusers driving young girls in their car. They’re untouchable.”
The Alexis Jay report found that hundreds of children had been sexually exploited, mostly by Asian gangs, and that Rotherham Council and South Yorkshire police had failed to tackle the problem.
Jayne Senior, who ran an outreach programme for victims in Rotherham called Risky Business, has revealed that she reported nearly 1,700 cases of grooming or sexual exploitation to the council’s children’s services between 1999 and 2011.
This was a shorter time period than that examined by the report.
“I was accused of saying too much, of sharing too much information, reporting too much intelligence,” she told Sky News in her first interview.
“Risky Business didn’t make all this up. It was accused of making it all up and Alexis Jay exonerated all of that.”
The report found Risky Business was seen by the borough’s social care services “as something of a nuisance”.
It added that “there were too many examples of young people who were properly referred by Risky Business to children’s social care and who somehow fell through the net and were not treated with the priority they deserved”.
Risky Business was shut down in 2011 and victims have expressed frustration that a recent application to set up a new support group has been turned down by the council despite recommendations in the Jay report.
“It shouldn’t have been shut down,” one victim told Sky News.
“Because that was an agency that was trying to tackle the situation. But knowing now that it was all a cover-up then I think it was closed down because they were trying to tackle the problem.”
Rotherham MP Sarah Champion said she was also baffled as to why Risky Business was discontinued.
“Genuinely, I have no idea why it was shut down. Why would you shut down a successful organisation that was demonstrating there was a massive need for their services and was proving results. They were getting prosecutions.”
She is leading calls for a national task force to be set up to combat large scale child abuse across the UK. She said she has been “overwhelmed” with new cases coming to her for help and advice.
As well as support, many victims are still seeking justice.
“Gemma” complained that local police “turned up suited an booted” outside her home with a panic alarm – showing neighbours that she was someone who had reported abuse.
“All they care about is getting a statement,” she said. “Six months on we’ve had no arrests, we’ve had no charges, evidence is still being lost.”
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “We look at each case individually to establish the most appropriate way to contact and visit victims throughout an investigation to ensure their personal safety is maintained.
“South Yorkshire Police has not received a complaint in relation to this alleged incident.”
Leader of Rotherham Council, Cllr Paul Lakin, said: “We accepted the recommendations of Professor Jay’s report and immediately acted to address the issues raised.
“We fully acknowledge that we should have done more in the past and have offered our sincere and heartfelt apologies to the victims and survivors of child sexual exploitation.
“Make no mistake, protecting children and supporting the police in tackling child sexual exploitation is our highest priority.
“With regard to the 2002 Home Office researcher’s report, we take allegations of a “cover up” very seriously and have made strenuous efforts to obtain a full copy of the report. As yet, this has not been forthcoming.
“We are also working with our partners, including South Yorkshire Police, to identify cases where individuals may not have had the access to the services and support that they need.”

Saudi Imam: Columbus Sailed to America to Kill all the Muslims

By Daniel Greenfield 

Islamic history is a pretty unique thing. It’s the story of how everyone hates and conspires against Muslims. Saudi Arabia is a totalitarian state. If the authorities found his views unacceptable, he wouldn’t have been able to preach them. This is mainstream stuff.
Following are excerpts from a Friday sermon given by Imam Issa Assiri of the Sa’eed bin Jubair Mosque in Jedda, Saudi Arabia
Dear believers, some notions require correction. For example, what we learned in school about the discovery of America is a lie. According to this story, the Spaniards loved spices, and since there was a shortage of spices in Europe and the price was high, they decided to send a sailor called Columbus westwards, so he would reach India and bring back spices. Only he did not get to India. Instead, he reached a land inhabited by redskins, whom he named “Red Indians.” Some time later, another sailor, called Amerigo, reached the same place. This is why America is called America – after that sailor – as if he discovered it. End of story – a fabrication and a lie, which is as far removed from the truth as possible.
What is the truth that they do not want us to know? All that I have just told you is pure nonsense. The truth is that Columbus knew about the “new world” even before he set sail. He also knew that there were Muslims there. He received a personal commission to sail to America from a Crusader queen who hated Islam and the Muslims. She was one of the most prominent Crusader figures in history and she was called Isabella. She harbored deep hatred for Islam. She signed with Muhammad “the Little” the last Muslim king of Andalusia, an agreement in Granada that ended the Muslim presence in Andalusia. That was before this hateful Crusader turned to the American continent, in order to fight the Muslims there. The Muslims were there before Columbus and all the others.
While the Imam might seem insane, he’s actually promoting a revisionist form of Islamic Supremacism in which the American Indians and the Australian Aborigines were really Muslims.
So was everyone. Which is why they claim that Muslim converts revert to Islam. This allows them to claim that Judaism and Christianity perverted Islam.
Conveniently this also allows them to lay claim to America. Because it’s all about Koran and conquest in the end.
And naturally he throws in support for Islamic terrorism and killing Christians and Jews.
Issa Assiri: [The papers that published the cartoons] talked about freedom of speech, but after the French journalists were killed for mocking the Prophet Muhammad in their cartoons, what did the papers have to say? What was their response? “The sword is…” Many of these newspapers reconsidered the publishing of the cartoons. Many of them reconsidered their policy regarding such images.
“The sword is more truthful than the book. Its cutting edge separates sincerity from jest. It is the whiteness of the blade, rather than the blackness of the book’s ink, that dismisses any uncertainty or doubt.” When they faced death… This is the language these Jewish and Christian infidels understand. This is the only language they understand. [After the attack] they changed their policy. Say the people who only know how to communicate with the sword.

Gunman arrested after entering Dutch TV studio with silenced weapon 'demanding airtime'

A gunman entered a Dutch TV studio tonight demanding airtime.The man was quickly arrested after entering the studios of the country's national broadcaster NOS wielding a weapon. The Dutch channel showed an onscreen message during the incident which read: "In connection with circumstances, no broadcast is available at this time." The gunman was quickly arrested after he entered the NOS studios in the Dutch town of Hilversum around 7pm GMT. People in the broadcaster's headquarters were evacuated during the incident. There were no immediate reports of injuries and the police could not immediately be reached for comment. Rob Oudkerk, a radio reporter, said the suspect had entered the building with a gun with a silencer on it. He was arrested around 10 minutes later and taken away by police. It comes weeks after terror in France which left 20 people dead during a three-day reign of terror.

Sharia UK: Police seeking man over derogatory Islam slurs on bus

 The horrible person who criticized Islam on a bus
Apparently it is now illegal in Britain to criticize Islam on a bus. Can one criticize Islam on a plane? Can one criticize Islam on a train? Or are they all right out now in Enlightened Cameronia? When will Britain’s few remaining forthright critics of jihad terror and Sharia oppression be rounded up and beheaded in Trafalgar Square? When will Anjem Choudhary take over from David Cameron as Prime Minister? Sharia Britannia Update: “Police seek man over derogatory Islam slurs on bus,” Telegraph & Argus, January 29, 2015 (thanks to Paul):
POLICE wish to speak to this man (right) after derogatory comments about Islam were made on a bus.
The incident, described as a public order offence by police, allegedly happened on the 576 Halifax to Bradford bus, between 10pm and 10.20pm on Thursday, January 8.
The man is said to have got on the bus and sat directly behind an Asian man, before muttering his comments.
The suspect is described as white, aged 40 to 50, about 5ft 8ins tall, and was wearing a black woolly hat and black jacket that may have had a bit of red on it.

Frankfurt man loses airport job over Isis links

In a decision announced on Wednesday, a Frankfurt court upheld the dismissal of a man from his job at Frankfurt airport over his close friendship with a foreign citizen with ties to terrorist group Isis. Judges found that the man, who was in regular contact with the terrorism suspect on a mobile number known only to his close friends, and had lent the suspect €2,000, was too much of a security risk to work in sensitive areas at the airport. The man had first come to police attention after being fined for a minor traffic offence, which was flagged up in the regular checks they make on airport staff. Federal prosecutors then notified them of his relationship with a suspect under investigation for membership of the foreign terrorist organization Islamic State (Isis). In court, the airport worker argued that because his friend hadn't been convicted of anything, the assumption of innocence should apply to him as well. But the judge said that he had no automatic right to be declared reliable by the state of Hesse. He added that the man's refusal to acknowledge guilt over the traffic offence and apparent close relationship with the suspected Isis supporter – a colleague and school friend – were enough to justify the airport authorities' decision. Since the airport worker was unable to convince the judge that he didn't know about his friend's radical views, the judge upheld the police decision under the Air Safety Law (Luftsicherheitsgesetz) – one of Germany's strictest regulations.

Cologne Karneval scraps Charlie Hebdo float

Cologne Karneval scraps Charlie Hebdo float
Image courtesy Festkomittee Kölner Karneval 

Cologne's planned Charlie Hebdo float in its Rosenmontag parade was a false start, after the organising committee scrapped its construction over security concerns. The Festival Committee of the Cologne Carnival said in a statement on Wednesday that despite the overwhelming support for the Charlie Hebdo float, construction on it was halted. "The Festival Committee wants everyone to be able to celebrate in safety and without concerns," it said in a press release on Wednesday. The now scrapped float's design was voted on by the people by Facebook. When the winning design was announced, a mere week ago, parade leader Christoph Kuckelkorn, lauded the democratic involvement behind the choice. "More than 170,000 Facebook users saw the image," he said. "Of those, more than 7,000 voted for a design and the winner received 2,400 of those votes." Reports had already said that no other floats wanted to directly precede or follow the Charlie Hebdo float out of safety reasons. The Festival committee said that this wasn't true. "Many members contacted the festival committee directly to say they wanted to accompany this float to show they support freedom of expression," read the press statement. The Rosenmontag Parade is always the zenith of the annual Karneval festivities in Cologne. The parade is always known for its floats that don't shy away from making a political statement. "The Rosenmontag parade in Cologne lives for freedom of expression with its parodies every year," the statement said. Karneval is touted as Cologne's Fifth Season and starts in November. The five days that close out this season are celebrated around the Rhineland with parades, costumes and lots of Kölsch beer in the run up to Lent. This year's festivities start on February 12th and Rosenmontag falls on February 16th. The parade follows a 7.5 kilometre route through the centre of the city. Every year, an estimated 400 tonnes of candy are tossed into the crowd.

A Postmodern Guide to Shutting Down Speech, and the Truth

By Diana West 

In his contribution to the famous 1949 collection of essays by ex-Communists titled The God That Failed, Arthur Koestler carefully illustrates how set language binds thought to ideology at the expense of evidence. Koestler, author of the unparalleled novel of Stalin’s show trials, Darkness at Noon, describes a conversation he had early in his Communist career with “Edgar,” his Party contact, in which they discuss the front page of a Communist newspaper.
“But every word on the front page is contradicted by the facts,” I objected. Edgar gave me a tolerant smile. “You still have the mechanistic outlook, he said, and then proceeded to give me the dialectical interpretation of the facts . . .
Gradually, I learned to distrust my mechanistic preoccupation with facts and to regard the world around me in the light of dialectical interpretation. It was a satisfactory and indeed blissful state; once you had assimilated the technique, you were no longer disturbed by the facts [emphasis added].
Here, recounting his experience as a German Communist in the 1930s, Koestler is nonetheless describing the post-Communist, postmodern, post-9/11 American condition. It is the sinister overhaul of language and thought—so familiar!—that he personally engaged in, and that was and is the primary tool of Marxist and Islamic subversion. “Not only our thinking, but also our vocabulary was reconditioned,” he explains. “Certain words were taboo.” Certain other words became telltales by which to identify dissenters or enemies. Literary, artistic, and musical tastes, he writes, were “similarly reconditioned” to support the renunciation of independent thought and logic necessary to submit to ideology.
We cast off our intellectual baggage like passengers on a ship seized by panic, until it became reduced to the strictly necessary minimum of stock phrases, dialectical clichés and Marxist quotations… To be able to see several aspects of a problem and not only one, became a permanent cause of self-reproach. We craved to be single- and simple-minded.
We crave this, too, or just go along with it, which is worse. And the U.S. government itself is happy to oblige:
“Don’t Invoke Islam.”
“Don’t Harp on Muslim Identity.”
“Avoid the Term ‘Caliphate.’ “
“Use the terms `violent extremist’ or `terrorist.’ ”
“Never Use the Term ‘Jihadist’ or ‘Mujahideen.’ ”
These instructions are direct quotations from “Words that Work and Words that Don’t: A Guide for Counterterrorism Communication,” a guide put out by the National Counterterrorism Center on March 14, 2008 – and yes, that was under President George W. Bush. This crackdown on speech and, by extension, habits of thought, and, finally, thought itself extends across the political spectrum. Naturally, it has only gotten worse.
Such is the spawn of liberty’s rendezvous with totalitarianism.
Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation’s Character (St. Martin’s Press), from which this essay is adapted.

‘Decapitation Strategy’ Claims Another Victim as Left Targets Leaders of PEGIDA

By Oliver Lane 

A week after Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamisation of the West founder Lutz Bachmann was forced to resign over old Facebook posts, his replacement Kathrin Oertel has also resigned along with four colleagues, citing harassment and threats. In a statement released through PEGIDA, the 37 year old mother of three complained of “strange figures sneaking around outside her house” during the night as well as “massive hostility [and] threats”. The group has attracted more than a fair share of hostility from its detractors; last Monday’s march was called off by police after a “concrete” terrorist death threat was made against Bachmann, and many of the left wing counter-demonstrations against PEGIDA have been prodigiously violent.
Although it is only a few months old, the PEGIDA movement already appears to be fracturing. The founding branch in Dresden has repeatedly disassociated itself with many of the cadet franchises set up in other German cities such as Leipzig and Berlin, and around greater Europe, concerned at the lack of control they could exert over speakers and manifestos.
Now it seems the core PEGIDA group itself has split, with four of Oertel and Bachmann’s former co-organisers reportedly moving to establish a new protest group after tendering their resignations yesterday. This split appears to be the inheritance of a movement that quickly grew up from a small group of  a few thousand with clear ideas about tackling the rapid Islamisation of Europe to a large movement with diverse ideas on foreign policy, citizenhood, and democracy.
The new movement, which promises to hold its first march on Monday February 9th is likely to be called the Movement for Direct Democracy in Europe. Although it takes some of PEGDIA’s organisers with it, how successful it will be is yet to be seen. When Breitbart London visited a number of PEGIDA rallies across Germany last week, the speeches calling for Swiss-style direct democracy were among the least engaging and well received by the crowds.
Even without much of its organisation team, PEGIDA has vowed to carry on, remarking on its Facebook page that the movement and its ideals are about more than just personalities.
The group has been what appears to be the most vocal and persistent critic of failing multiculturalism and Islamisation in modern German history, calling for migrants to integrate into German society and for the burden of housing refugees from wars to be spread equally among European nations. While Germany is one of the greatest importer of foreign refugees in the world, some European nations take in almost no refugees at all, something PEGIDA members resent.
Many PEGIDA members have also been very vocal in support of pan-European peace, rejecting what they perceive as manufactured conflict with Russia.
The leader of Germany’s Socialist party, which has been a vocal critic of the movement said the events of this past week represented the “zenith” of the PEGIDA movement, and if the strolls now faded away it would be a “relief” for Dresden.

Only Israel, Not Europe, Can Stand Up to Islam

By Giulio Meotti  

France's puerile educational response - and for that matter, Europe's general response - to the Charlie Hebdo and supermarket massacres, is worse than useless.
That the French ruling class had understood little or nothing of the massacres at Charlie Hebdo and at the kosher supermarket in Paris could have already been easily guessed.  The confirmation comes from the extensive program announced by the Minister of Education, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, a French-Moroccan woman who was seen as the symbol of French integration.
"How could have we let our students become murderers?", asked the daily Le Monde borrowing the cry of four teachers of Aubervilliers, the Parisian suburb where the brothers Kouachi grew up.
But instead of promoting a Western "jihad" based on identity, France will respond to Islamic fundamentalism with an unprecedented, banal and secular offensive. A "Day of Secularism" will be celebrated every 9th of December, something akin to worshiping the Deity of Reason promoted by Robespierre. The Cardinal of Paris, Vingt-Trois, has rightly condemned the decision to celebrate the Day of Laïcité, because "secularism is not a religion that must organize religious holidays." 
Belkacem, renamed "Ministre du Décervelage" - Minister of Brainwashing - by conservative associations and the press, also announced that "the paper of secularism" will be signed in schools at the beginning of each year. "Secularism must prevail everywhere," said Prime Minister Manuel Valls. The socialist government will also unleash "a thousand ambassadors of secularism" in the schools, dealing specifically with students "that show a worrying behavior in front of the symbols of French sovereignty."
An attempt to eliminate any claim of identity.
Because, as posited by one of the assistants of Mrs. Belkacem, the sociologist Christian Maurel, education means "getting out of any cultural affiliation". The sociologist Jean-Pierre Le Goff argues that Belkacem is part of "a school of thought that does not want to change society through violence and coercion, but through school and law."
But the conservative weekly Valeurs Actuelles comments on the Hollande-Belkacem project that now "secularism becomes a new religion. "
Teachers now will be judged not just on their knowledge and their teaching ability, but also "on their ability to share the values of the Republic." The plan also intends to strengthen Sartre's old "culture of commitment." 
A French teacher, Isabelle Rey, just wrote that "many of our students do not share our dismay at the events. We can pretend the consensus, but it is an objective fact that a significant portion of our population believes that the journalists deserved their fate or that the brothers Kouachi died as heroes".
And when dealing with them, with the "lions of Islam", you cannot fight with this puerile kind of laicité.
You cannot convince the monsters who slaughtered Jewish children in Toulouse, who executed Western journalists in Paris, who raped Yazidi girls, who crucified Christians and threw gays from buildings.
Islam's black banner crying "No God but Allah" is marching heavily over Europe's secular ruins.
The Jewish Israel is different, and despite the leftist, gender neutral and secularized agenda of the Israeli élite, the Jewish people is above that and is winning. Only the strong State of Israel, in its whole and undivided land, with its healthy people and its shining Torah, can win over this monstrous ideology.
Only the God of Israel can resist and grow in the face of Islam's historic challenge to humanity.

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood Imam: Muslims Hate Christians, are Time Bombs

By Daniel Greenfield 

This video is interesting especially considering the background of the man in it.
On a Friday sermon in the Brooklyn Oulel-Albab Mosque, Imam Tareq Yousef Al-Masri spoke about the terror attacks in Paris, and said that Muslims are like time bombs. He further said that Muslims should admit that they hate Christians.
Tareq Yousef Al-Masri: The crisis in France casts its shadow upon us. The two brothers who stormed the offices of the [Charlie Hebdo] magazine, which published offensive cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, and affronted the Muslims, just as it affronts others… This is a satirical magazine, which is well known as such. This magazine knows no limits when it comes to freedom of speech.
It is peculiar that two years ago, during the Boston [marathon], it was two brothers, of Chechen origin, and now, we have two brothers – of Algerian origin, I think. What’s the story with brothers? What’s the story with that all-destructive ideology?
Let us admit, without lying to ourselves, that we, the Muslims, are time bombs. When I say “we, the Muslims,” I do not mean every single Muslim, but Muslims of the religious sector are time bombs. When a sinner repents, the first thing he does is make a bomb. He blows it up and kills people.
We must admit this. We cannot become immune if we do not admit this. If you have cancer, it won’t help you if I tell you that you have the flu. I must tell you that you clearly have cancer. When someone has cancer, they run a series of tests, in order to identify the cause of this cancer. They don’t just say that this cancer is an act of God. Everything comes from Allah, but this should not prevent us from studying the underlying reasons for this cancer.
Imam Tareq Yousef Al-Masri has had a bit of an oddball background in the United States. He most recently gained attention for allegedly being involved in a dating scandal and during the Coptic murders, but before that he had been subject to attempted deportation. Al-Masri claimed that it was for refusing to cooperate with the FBI. The interesting thing about it though was his background.
Sheik Tarek Saleh, the Bay Ridge cleric who is suing the government, said he welcomed F.B.I. agents at his storefront mosque after 9/11 when they asked about his kinship with Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, a high-ranking Al Qaeda militant and his cousin’s husband.
Sheik Saleh, 46, said he repeatedly discussed Mr. Yazid as well as his own former membership in the Muslim Brotherhood, a sometimes-violent political movement he joined as a teenager in Egypt and disavowed years later. But when he refused to travel overseas to spy on Mr. Yazid, he said, agents told him to forget his pending application for permanent residence.
Yazid was a fellow Egyptian and the financial boss of Al Qaeda. Calling him high-ranking is an understatement.
Saleh was a Brotherhood member back in Egypt. We have no details about his time there. His speech emphasizes support for greeting Christians on their holidays. This was, interestingly enough, one of the differences between Al Azhar and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Considering his Egyptian background and the current emphasis, it seems likely that Saleh is aligned with the Sisi government. What you’re hearing isn’t one man speaking out, as some have been saying, but an echo of Cairo.
The implications of that are interesting since it suggests that Egypt is now setting religious policy beyond its borders. And while the message, for now, is heartening, remember that it can shift on a dime.

‘Friend’ Of Al-Qaeda Terrorist Poised For Labour Mayoral Nomination

Sadiq Khan
By Andre Walker 

Sadiq Khan, the Labour MP famous for being closely associated with a convicted terrorist, has climbed eight points’ polls for the London Labour Mayoral nomination. He has climbed from 11 percent in December to 19 percent, putting him in second place behind the former Olympic Minister Jessa Jowell, according to YouGov.
Khan campaigned for the release of Babar Ahmed as he fought extradition to the USA for eight years. Both men are from Tooting and Khan is accused of having been friends who Ahmed, who ultimately pleaded guilty to “conspiracy and providing material to support to terrorism” and is serving twelve and a half years in a US prison.
The relationship between the two first became a matter of public debate in 2008 when it was revealed anti-terror police bugged one of their meetings. It had taken place when Ahmed was in a British prison fighting his extradition.
Ahmed was never thought to be violent but he did use his position as an IT expert at the prestigious Imperial College, London to raise money for Al-Qaeda.  He operated the now defunct family of websites, established to spread jihad in 1996. At one time he was seen as a pivotal figure in the project to radicalise young British Muslims.
Ahmed is believed to have been friends with Khan since they were teenagers, although details of their relationship have now been erased from the MP’s website.
Khan is currently Shadow Justice Secretary and Shadow Minister for London, if Labour were elected his post would involve overseeing the criminal justice system. This includes the UK government’s policy on prosecution of terrorists. Khan had the London brief added because of his close relationship with Labour Leader Ed Miliband, and was widely seen as an endorsement for the Mayoralty.
Tessa Jowell is currently polling 26 percent, but if Khan’s popularity continues to grow he will easily take over her by the time of the selection. Tanya Abraham of YouGov told the Evening Standard: “Sadiq Khan and Margaret Hodge have both seen a rise in popularity amongst Labour supporters over the past month and now hold stronger positions in the London mayoral contest.
“Whether they can maintain this level of support remains to be unseen.”
His growth in popularity has come at the expense of Diane Abbott, who has fallen from 20 percent before Christmas to 12 percent in January. Whoever wins the nomination will challenge for the Mayoralty in May 2016.
The post is currently held by Boris Johnson but he will not contest the position as he has been selected for the Parliamentary seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip.


By Andrew Stuttaford 

A swift series of announcements signaled the newly installed [far left Syriza] government would not back down from its anti-austerity pledges, setting it on course for a clash with European partners, led by Germany, which has said it will not renegotiate the aid package needed to help Greece pay its debts. Even before the first meeting of the new cabinet, ministers had hit the airwaves to reassure voters they would honor campaign pledges to roll back the tough economic policies imposed under Greece’s 240-billion-euro bailout program.
The planned sale of a 30 percent stake in Public Power Corporation of Greece (PPC), the country’s biggest utility, was halted while ministers pledged to raise pensions for those on low incomes and reinstate some fired public sector workers. . . .
Faced with the prospect of a Syriza win (and, doubtless, with memories of the recent crisis in Cyprus still fresh), some bank depositors had already decided that Greek banks were not the safe haven of choice:
Bloomberg News:
Withdrawals from Greek banks exceeded 14 billion euros ($15.9 billion) in the run-up to the snap elections that catapulted the anti-bailout Syriza party to power, including 11 billion euros that were taken out in January, the person said. Between Jan. 19 and Jan. 23 outflows were greater than in May 2012, when Greece was on the brink of exiting the euro area.
And the stock market hasn’t exactly rejoiced either. The Financial Times:
Greek bank shares suffered their biggest falls on Wednesday as investors took fright over a looming liquidity crisis amid rising uncertainty over the government’s plan to renegotiate the country’s €240bn bailout… Piraeus, the country’s largest bank by assets, whose share price has halved over the past month, led the fallers as its market capitalisation plunged by 29 per cent. That was followed by National Bank of Greece falling by 28 per cent and Alpha Bank and Eurobank each plummeting by 22 per cent.
The declines represent a third consecutive day of double-digit losses for Greece’s biggest banks following Syriza’s election victory. They are set to tap the Greek central bank’s emergency liquidity assistance facility in order to replenish funds in the face of increased withdrawals by depositors and foreign banks’ reluctance to lend….
Over at the Daily Telegraph, it’s just like old times. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard’s column is topped by that familiar photograph of a lightning storm over the Acropolis and he’s forecasting dark days ahead:
Germany’s finance minister, Wolfgang Schäuble, said in Brussels that debt forgiveness for Greece is out of the question. “Anybody discussing a haircut just shows they don’t know what they are talking about.”
Mr Schäuble said he was sick of having to justify his rescue strategy. “We have given exceptional help to Greece. I must say emphatically that German taxpayers have handed over a great deal,” he said.
In a clear warning, he said the eurozone is now strong enough to withstand a major shock. “In contrast to 2010, the financial markets have faith in the eurozone. We face no risk of contagion, so nobody should think we can be put under pressure easily. We are relaxed,” he said.
Hubris, I note, is a Greek word.
Back to Evans Pritchard:
Officials in Berlin are irritated that Mr Tsipras [Syriza’s leader] has gone into coalition with the Independent Greeks, a viscerally anti-German party that seems to be spoiling for a cathartic showdown over Greece’s debt.
The Independent Greeks [ANEL] want Germany want to pay more in the way of reparations for the war.  Oddly, that doesn’t play well in Germany.
So what now?
The best guess continues to be that some sort of deal will  be cut. Most Greeks want to keep the euro. They know that a return to the drachma would wipe out the value of what remains of their savings. Added to that, the distrust that so many of them feel, quite understandably, for the institutions of the Greek state makes them want to be sure that Greece remains at the heart of Europe, that is to say the euro zone. At the same time Greeks want to see (often, but not always, for bad reasons) a significant relaxation in the austerity and reform program that has come with the bailouts, something that horrifies those who have not only handed Greece the money (it’s gone, Meine Damen und Herren), but who also dread the precedent that it would set elsewhere (starting with Spain, which also has an election this year).
Syriza must know that it will not get all that it wants from Greece’s creditors, but it must also be gambling, not unreasonably, that (after the requisite kabuki) those running the euro zone will go a long way to meeting Greece’s demands. The principle of irreversibility is central to the idea of both EU and euro zone. However “exceptional,” Greece’s departure from the monetary union (“Grexit”) would leave that principle badly battered if not necessarily shattered. More than that, there must, for all the tough talk, still be a real fear that Grexit might trigger a broader crisis, that it would be, so to speak, not another Bear Stearns, but a Lehman.
And then there’s the new Greek government’s Russia card . . .