Saturday, June 30, 2018
Prime Minister Andrej Babiš has denied that the Czech Republic is among the fourteen European Union countries which reportedly agreed to sign deals with Germany to take back asylum seekers who had previously registered elsewhere. Babiš said during a visit to France on Saturday that he had not discussed the issue with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the EU summit earlier this week and would, in any case, never consent to an agreement that would mean accepting any number of illegal refugees. According to the DPA and Reuters news agencies, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, all countries which have opposed any scheme to share-out asylum seekers across the continent, have said they are open to signing such an agreement with Germany. Under the EU’s Dublin convention asylum seekers must lodge their requests in the first EU country they set foot in.
In broad daylight, a 33-year-old Somalian man committed several assaults in Weilheim. According to police, the man who lives in Schongau moved across Mary's Square at 2.30 p.m., mobbing and drunk and grabbing several girls. He grabbed a 15-year-old and another young victim by the arm, touching another girl by the chest. The 15-year-old suffered minor injuries. At an information stand of the secondary school, the man also threw offered cakes on the floor and insulted a teacher. The drunk also mobbed in adjacent shops. A police patrol finally took the 33-year-old into custody. He is now facing assault and sexual harassment charges. Weilheim police are asking for further possible victims and witnesses of the incident.
A 38-year-old man has been sentenced to twelve years in the town of Ansbach for a knife attack on his pregnant fiancée. On Friday, the Regional Court found the man guilty of attempted murder, dangerous assault and a particularly serious case of abortion. In May 2017, the man seriously injured his fiancée in in broad daylight in the town of Neuendettelsau with several stab wounds. The 32-year-old survived, her unborn child died. "The defendant wanted to kill her. She survived the assassination attempt only because she had many lifesavers," said the presiding judge. One of the life savers was an 85-year-old man who happened to be passing by. With his briefcase full of sheet music, he hit the 38-year-old on the head. Another passer-by yelled at the 38-year-old to throw the knife away. And the doctors later fought hard for the life of the woman - they had to resuscitate the pregnant woman several times. The fact that the 38-year-old wanted to kill the woman is proven by the large number of stitches. The man and his fiancée had come to Germany as refugees from Ethiopia. The woman was four months pregnant - but by another man. The crime is said to have been triggered by a dispute over the denomination. The Christian woman had demanded that the 38-year-old Muslim man convert to her religion. Jealousy also played a role.
Hungarian foreign minister Péter Szijjártó had to chide BBC anchor Emily Maitlis for “unbalanced, one-sided” journalism after she lost her temper and launched into a rant about the EU standing for “tolerance, diversity, and human rights”.
Speaking to Szijjártó on the publicly-funded broadcaster’s flagship BBC Newsnightprogramme, Maitlis took umbrage with the Hungarian statesman’s claim that “the current migration policy of the European Union can be very easily translated as an invitation” to illegal migrants.
“On World Refugee Day this week, you passed a new law which makes it illegal to help migrants. It criminalises helping undocumented immigrants, and that includes asylum seekers. Why would you do that?” she asked.Szijjártó attempted to correct the presenter, saying that the anti-illegal immigration package — dubbed ‘Stop Soros’ — was aimed only at those organisations which “help people to ask for asylum even if they have no legal basis for that… and promoting [immigration] opportunities with no legal basis”.Maitlis appeared not to take heed of Szijjártó’s explanation, however, jabbing her finger at the foreign minister and doubling down on her previous claims.
“You will be making it illegal to help refugees fill in form,” she alleged, leaning forward aggressively.
“You will make it punishable by jail to organise or distribute information that could help migrants.
“Now, you accept that this legislation flouts not only human rights, but it also breaks an international treaty you have signed,” she asserted, laughing incredulously.
“The content of the law is not what you have listed,” replied the Hungarian, perplexed.
“The content of the law is that if you promote illegal possibilities to come to Hungary–” he began to explain, before Maitlis interrupted him.
“No, I want to talk about this question of ‘illegal’, right, because anyone who lands in your country who calls themself an asylum seeker has the right to have their papers and their situation examined,” she insisted.
Szijjártó attempted to explain that Hungary, which lies in Central Europe, is surrounded by peaceful countries, and that there “no point of reference in any piece of international regulations why you should be allowed or helped or assisted to violate the border between two peaceful countries”.
Maitlis did not address this point, but turned openly scornful, sneering: “You do know you don’t have an immigrant problem in Hungary? You do know that you own official data says you have 3,600 asylum seekers in a country of ten million? You do know that there were 300 asylum claims only this year? You don’t have an immigrant problem in your country!”
Szijjártó explained that illegal migration into Hungary — which was running at 3,000 a day at the height of the migrant crisis, as Maitlis herself reported at the time — has only been brought under control because of the tough stance adopted by the Hungarian government, and that the country remains on the frontline as the situation in the Balkans looks set to boil over again.
Maitlis had clearly lost patience at this point, dropping any pretence of neutral impartiality.
“Except, of course, you use this question of an influx, or an invitation, or security, whereas really it comes to something much more simple with your government, doesn’t it?” she sneered.
“When you look at Viktor Orbán’s words… he’s talked of Christian Hungary and a mixed population with no sense of identity, and he’s called the people coming in potential terrorists, so this isn’t actually about immigration, is it? It’s about xenophobia,” she asserted.
“No, I have to reject that, and I take it as an insult,” Szijjártó answered firmly.
“We Hungarians, we do have the right — and no-one can take that away from us — we have the right to make our own decision [about] whom we would like to allow to enter the territory of Hungary, and who we do not allow,” he said, shutting down the BBC presenter’s attempts to interrupt him with further questions.
“I would like to answer your previous question, because that was concluded by a very serious insult against my country.
“I always have shown respect to everyone who asks me [questions], but I expect respect — not for myself, because who cares, but for my country and for the people I represent, and calling a country xenophobic, it’s an insult… no-one can take away the right for us to decide with whom we would like to live together.
“And yes, it is our intention to keep Hungary a Hungarian country, and yes, we do not agree with those who say multiculturalism is by definition good,” he declared.
Maitlis, angry, demanded to know if Szijjártó stood by Prime Minister Orbán’s warning that illegal migrants were potential terrorists.
“If you allow hundreds of thousands of people to enter the territory of the European Union without control, without check, does it give the opportunity for the terrorist organisations to send their terrorists to Europe? Yes, it does,” he replied.
Indeed, a majority of the radical Islamic terrorists who attacked Paris in November 2015 entered or re-entered the EU among the migrant influx, before Hungary secured its borders, and passed through the country on the way.
Maitlis responded to the Hungarian foreign minister’s suggestion that the Hungarian voters — who re-elected the present government in a super-majority landslide earlier in the year, should be respected, prompting her to quote opposition politicians and claim the country “is no longer a democracy, it is a creeping authoritarianism”.
This appeared to be the final straw for Szijjártó, who took his glaring interviewer to task: “You are unbalanced. You are one-sided. You look only at the opinion of those who are frustrated because they lost elections,” he said fighting through more interruptions.
“The government won the third election with a constitutional majority. Why don’t we respect the decion of the people?” he asked — prompting Maitlis to launch into an astonishing, partisan rant.
“The problem with the European Union is it believes in tolerance, diversity, and human rights,” she spat sarcastically.
“And you are rejecting them all. So maybe it isn’t for you.”
“Why do you insult a country of ten million people?” Szijjártó asked calmly.
“Because of the laws you’re not introducing. They’re not my laws, they’re the laws of your government,” Maitlis shot back, gesturing angrily.
“They are not against European values,” the Hungarian replied.
“I understand that the liberal mainstream doesn’t like our laws, but we have nothing to do with them in this regard because it is the Hungarian voters whose expectations we have to fulfil,” he added with a smile.
As a regulated, license fee-funded pubic service broadcaster, the BBC is supposed to be politically neutral. Its anchors are expected to interrogate political figures thoroughly and to play Devil’s Advocate while doing so, but are not supposed to make declarative statements about whether a given position is right or wrong, or betray their personal biases.
Three Turkish men have received short prison sentences for gang-raping a teen girl and dumping her on the street in Canterbury, England.
“It has had a profound effect on her and her family.”
Captured Islamic State Fighter Reveals Buried Kalashnikovs, Plot To Attack French Nuclear Power Plant
Captured Islamic State jihadist Jonathan Geffroy has made even more startling revelations, claiming terrorists buried multiple Kalashnikov rifles around the city of Toulouse, France and plotted to attack a nuclear power plant.
The vast majority of deradicalization programs in the UK are at best ineffectiveand at worst counter-productive, according to a recent study by the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT, also known as the "nudge unit"), a social purpose company partially owned by the UK government, but that works in partnership with the Cabinet Office.
As the Times reported recently, BIT examined 33 deradicalization programs across Britain, in schools, youth centers, sports clubs and English-language classes. Most of these are part of Prevent -- a strategy presented in 2011 to the UK Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Home Department -- designed to keep vulnerable citizens from becoming terrorists or supporting any form of violent extremism inspired by radical Islamist or right-wing ideologies. BIT found that only two of the programs have been successful.
The main reason for the failure of the other 31 programs, according to the Times' report on the study, is:
"...that facilitators were uncomfortable dealing with sensitive topics and would often refuse to engage if they were brought up. BIT found that teachers in particular were afraid to bring up matters of race and religion with their students without appearing discriminatory, often causing them to refuse to talk about these topics entirely."
The two effective initiatives, according to the Times, were "one defying political correctness and tackling difficult issues head-on and the other directly addressing extremism in religious [Islamic] texts."
In Britain, the majority (82%) of the 228 people in custody for terrorism-related offenses espouse Islamist extremism. In August 2017, the EU's counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, said that the UK has more radicalized Muslimsthan any other European country. He added that Britain "has identified 20,000 to 35,000 radicals. Of these, 3,000 are worrying for MI5, and of those 500 are under constant and special attention."
In a speech in London on June 4, Britain's recently appointed Home Secretary, Sajid Javid MP, said that the UK's
"... biggest threat [today] is from Islamist terrorism – including Al Qa'ida, but particularly from Daesh.
"While the so-called caliphate is a thing of the past, Daesh continues to plan and inspire attacks both here and abroad as well as recruiting British citizens to fight.
"Over the past 5 years, our law enforcement and intelligence agencies have foiled as many as 25 Islamist-linked plots."
"But the threat doesn't only come from Daesh.
"Extreme right-wing terrorism is also an increasing threat... Daesh and the extreme right wing are more similar than they might like to think.
"They both exploit grievances, distort the truth, and undermine the values that hold us together.
"And they don't hesitate to learn lessons from each other."
"The Prevent strategy will remain a vital part of our counter-terrorism work.
"Yes, I recognise the criticisms, but I absolutely support it.
"Misapprehensions around Prevent are often based on distortions.
"They are based on a lack of understanding about the grassroots work that is involved, and the efforts by civil society groups and public-sector workers to protect vulnerable people.
"We have a moral and social obligation to safeguard vulnerable people from the twisted propaganda of those seeking to radicalise them.
"And Prevent is about doing just that."
To illustrate the benefits of Prevent programs, Javid told the story of a 13-year-old boy:
"He witnessed domestic abuse at home and suffered from racist bullying at school. He started to watch violent propaganda online and to show an interest in fighting for Daesh. But he was given the mentoring and support that he needed to stop him from going down that wrong path. Now his mum says, and I quote, 'he's no longer on the path to radicalisation and all he wants to be is a car salesman.'"
Unwittingly, by recounting this tale, Javid showed just why the deradicalization programs he is defending do not work. He reduced the radicalization of a Muslim teenager to domestic abuse, racist bullying at school and online violent propaganda. He said nothing about the boy's family's religious faith, radical Islam or the narrative of hate and intolerance founded on a "radical" interpretation of the Quran and Sunna to which the boy may well have been exposed at home, at the mosque and over the internet. Instead, Javid provided a politically correct narrative to back up his assertion that Prevent is not only a success, but part of the "new counter-terrorism strategy" he was unveiling.
Javid then devoted a whole section of his speech to his fellow Muslims in Britain:
"After any [terrorist] attack, a lot of well-meaning people will line up to say it has nothing to do with Islam. That the perpetrators are not true Muslims. I understand this reaction. I know they are not true Muslims. But there's no avoiding the fact that these people they self-identify as Muslims.
"Let me be very clear. Muslims are in no way responsible for the acts of a tiny minority who twist their faith. And I know that there is no such thing as a single, homogenous Muslim community. Muslims live and thrive in all walks of British life and society.
"Globally, Muslims are by far the biggest victims of Islamist terrorism. And Muslims are fighting and dying on the frontline of the battle against terrorism every day.
"It would be absurd to say that the actions of a tiny handful in any way represent a peaceful, wonderful religion shared by a billion people worldwide.
"That's exactly why, although we all share the responsibility for tackling terrorism, there's a unique role for Muslims to play in countering this threat.
"British Muslims up and down the country are leading the fight against Islamist extremists by throwing them out of their mosques and by countering poison online and on the streets. It is incredibly powerful when a young Muslim man turns their back on the preachers of hate, and say: 'Your bigotry and bloodlust have no place in the modern world.'
"I want to say to all those who stand up against all forms of extremism that this government stands with you..."
The trouble with Javid's tribute to those Muslims who "stand up against all forms of extremism" is that bigotry and bloodlust are not merely figments of Islamist extremists' minds that lead to their violent conduct. They stem from an authentic interpretation of Quranic verses and hadiths, which -- according to Londonistanauthor Melanie Phillips -- "although millions of Muslims don't subscribe to it, currently dominates the Islamic world." Sadly, worldwide, Muslims, too, are often victims of Muslim violence.
For deradicalization programs -- and counter-terrorism initiatives -- to work, they must first defy political correctness, tackle the root causes of Islamist extremism and address all related sensitive issues, including those which appear in Islamic texts. British Muslims should not only participate in this endeavor, but be on the front lines, monitoring early signs of radicalization and ceasing to show sympathy for or to rationalize violence.
The Libya correspondent for the French newspaper Le Monde has claimed the country could be playing host to as many as 700,000 to one million asylum seekers, with many waiting to come to Europe.
Friday, June 29, 2018
A meeting last year where Associated Press reporters discussed with federal officials the news outlet’s investigation of former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort’s finances may have led the FBI to a storage locker the bureau raided, an FBI agent testified Friday.
Arrested Far-Right Militant Plotting Attacks on ‘Radical Muslims’ Lost Daughter in Bataclan Terror Attack
Following the arrest of ten far-right militants in France earlier this week, new information has been released about the extremists including a claim that one member of the group had lost a daughter in the 2015 Bataclan terror attack.
An 83-year-old man who sexually abused and raped four girls over the course of more than two decades has been jailed. Sazzad Miah, 83, of Jermyn Close, Cambridge, was convicted of 18 separate counts - six of them rape - after a trial at Cambridge Crown Court. Two of his victims were as young as four, another was aged five - and a fourth was aged 10, the court heard. Miah was arrested last October after police were tipped off about the abuse, which dated back 23 years. The defendant, who had denied all the charges, was jailed for a total of 19 years and placed on the sex offenders register for life. Read more Cambridgeshire stories During a 16-day trial, the court heard how he abused one girl over a period of 12 years, between 1992 and 2004, and another over eight years - between 2004 and 2012. Each one of the 18 counts carried a jail term of between 18 months and 19 years, which the court ordered should run concurrently. At a sentencing hearing in Peterborough, Miah was jailed for 18 years, extended for one year on licence. He was also made the subject of a Sexual Harm Prevention Order (SHPO) and an indefinite restraining order. Det Insp Andrea Warren, from the Child Abuse Investigation and Safeguarding Unit, said: "I would like thank the victims for being so courageous and supporting the investigation. "I acknowledge how difficult that was for each of them. "Child abuse is totally unacceptable and we will support victims of such crimes and work tirelessly to bring the offender to justice."
by Soeren Kern
The Dutch Senate has approved a law that bans the wearing of "face-covering clothing" in public buildings, including hospitals, schools and government offices, as well as on public transportation.
Although the ban does not extend to public streets, the law authorizes police to ask individuals to remove face-covering clothing to establish their identity.
Those found flouting the ban — which includes Islamic veils and robes such as burqas (which cover the entire face) and niqabs (which cover the entire face except for the eyes), as well as balaclavas and full-face helmets — will be subject to a fine of 410 euros ($475).
The new law, previously adopted by the Dutch House of Representatives in November 2016, was approved on June 26 by 44 to 31 votes in the 75-seat Senate.
In a statement, the government, which has not yet said when the law will enter into effect, explained its purpose:
"In a free country like the Netherlands, everyone has the freedom and space to behave and dress as he or she desires. Sometimes, limits can and must be imposed on that freedom. In the case of face-covering clothing, this applies in particular if mutual communication is impeded or safety is jeopardized.
"Mutual communication whereby people can look each other in the face is so important that uniform rules have now been laid down by law. This makes it clear to everyone what is and is not allowed in those situations."
A Muslim activist group called "Stay away from my Niqab!" said the ban is unconstitutional. In an open letter sent to Dutch lawmakers, the group, which has more than 5,000 followers on Facebook, asked:
"Why is it not realized that this law leads to people being isolated from society? This ban leads to women who wear face-covering clothing, who like to participate in society, no longer to be able to do this effectively because they now have a restriction on education, license applications, travel with public transport, visiting a doctor and much more....
"Is the constitution no longer applicable to women with face-covering clothing? What about the right that everyone is free to dress how he/she wants, regardless of race, gender, religion or belief?
"What about Article 6 of the Constitution which sets out freedom of religion and belief? Is there a problem in which everyone does not have the right freely to confess their religion or belief, individually or in community with others?"
The group's spokeswoman, Karima Rahmani, added:
"We feel that we are being wronged with a repressive measure, which is why we trying to make our voices heard. It is getting harder and harder to be on the street with a niqab. I myself have been threatened with death, and other women have even been physically attacked.
"There is a lot of talk about me, but no one comes to me to ask: 'Why do you actually wear that niqab?' It is part of my religion and I want to be free to make that choice. It is a spiritual experience that I personally experience."
The Council of State, an independent advisor to the government on legislation, said that the ban was unnecessary and potentially unconstitutional. In a November 2015 report, it said that the Dutch Cabinet had been guided too much by "subjective feelings of insecurity" that "do not justify a ban." It added:
"The Council of State points out that the bill primarily seems to have been motivated by objections to wearing Islamic face-covering clothing.... Insofar as face-covering clothing (for example a burqa) is worn to express a religious clothing prescription, this falls under the constitutionally-protected freedom of religion. The ban proposed by the government does not, according to the Council of State, justify restricting the right to freedom of religion."
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), however, twice has ruled that burqa bans are legal, making it unlikely that the Dutch ban could be overturned in court.
In July 2017, for example, the ECHR upheld a Belgian ban on wearing the burqa in public spaces. It said that the government had been responding "to a practice that it considered to be incompatible, in Belgian society, with social communication and more generally the establishment of human relations, which were indispensable for life in society...essential to ensure the functioning of a democratic society." In July 2014, the ECHR upheld France's burqa ban, accepting the French government's argument that it encouraged citizens to "live together."
The Dutch government has repeatedly insisted that the ban is not about restricting religion but about promoting communication and public safety. It has describedthe new law as "religion neutral" because it is not limited just to the burka and niqab, but also includes the balaclava and full-face helmet.
Dutch Interior Minister Kajsa Ollongren said the new law represents "a fair balance" between "the freedom to dress as one wishes" and "the general interest of communication and security." She also said that far from violating fundamental rights, the ban will enable Muslim women "to have access to a wider social life" because if they do not cover the face "they will have more possibilities for contact, communication and opportunities to enter the job market."
A complete ban was originally proposed in December 2005 by Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders, who argued that burqas and niqabs are barriers to the integration of women in the Netherlands: "We must ban the burqa. People's faces should not be hidden in society, for it is our faces that give us our identity and our fundamental means of communication with others."
The Netherlands is the sixth European country to approve a burqa ban, after France, Belgium, Bulgaria, Austria and Denmark. Bavaria in Germany, Catalonia in Spain, Lombardy in Italy and Ticino in Switzerland also have imposed regional burqa bans, while Norway has tabled a law to ban burqas in public schools. Latvia has proposed a burqa ban, but it has not yet been enacted.