Saturday, December 31, 2011

Useful idiots: Three American students arrested in Cairo for throwing firebombs at security forces

From Jihad Watch:

Useful idiots: Three American students arrested in Cairo for throwing firebombs at security forces

Fighting on behalf of Islamic supremacists who will end up being far more oppressive in power than anything they've imagined in their wildest nightmares. Leftist/Islamic Supremacist Alliance Update: "3 students from US arrested during Cairo protests," by Charles Wilson for the Associated Press, November 22:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Relatives and school officials said Tuesday they were working with U.S. officials to free three American college students arrested during protests in Cairo, where an Egyptian official said they were throwing firebombs at security forces.

An Egyptian official said the students were arrested on the roof of a university building near Tahrir Square. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because there was no authorization to speak to the media.

The U.S. Department of State said it was aware of the detentions of three U.S. citizens in connection with Tahrir Square protests and was seeking access.

The wave of protests and violence across Egypt that began Saturday has left 29 dead and thrown the country's politics into chaos less than a week before landmark parliamentary elections were to begin. Tens of thousands of people filled Tahrir Square on Tuesday to intensify pressure on Egypt's military leaders to hand over power to a civilian government.

A spokeswoman for the American University in Cairo identified the students as Luke Gates, 21, Derrik Sweeney, 19, and Gregory Porter, 19.

Morgan Roth said the three students had been held by Egyptian authorities since their arrest Monday night but she did not know whether they had been formally charged or what the charges might be. She said it wasn't unusual for American students to get "caught up" in Egyptian politics.

"There's a lot of very contagious passion right now," she said. Students from the U.S. don't always realize what it's like to live in a country without free speech or other civil liberties, and sometimes are motivated to work to change those conditions, she said....

And they're fighting to change them by making them even worse.

Posted by Robert on November 24, 2011 7:00 AM

Pakistan: Ahmadi university student expelled for "blasphemy" after tearing up anti-Ahmadi poster

from Jihad Watch:

Pakistan: Ahmadi university student expelled for "blasphemy" after tearing up anti-Ahmadi poster

A student group has threatened to kill Ahmadis who return to the campus. According to the report below, "the university and the education ministry reacted to the threat with total silence."

Authorities will not regard the situation as a crisis as long as only religious minorities are being abused. "Lahore: Ahmadi student expelled on false blasphemy charges," by Jibran Khan for Asia News, November 25:

Lahore (AsiaNews) – An Ahmadi student from Lahore (Punjab) was expelled from her university in her senior after she was accused of blasphemy. Students affiliated with Tahaffuz-e-Khatam-e-Nabuwwat (TKN) accused Rabia Saleem of ripping up a poster with anti-Ahmadi content. Ahmadi Muslims are considered heretical by mainstream Islam because they do not view Muhammad as the last prophet. The poster was on the door of the hostel where the young woman lived, and, according to sources, it did not contain any verses from the Qur‘an. A student, who asked for anonymity, said that the university “discriminates against religious minorities” and allows fundamentalist groups to “do as they as they please.”

Rashid Ahmad Khan, additional registrar at the Comsats Institute of Information Technology in Lahore, had denied any link between the student’s expulsion and her religion. Instead, he said she was expelled for “breaking university rules” since she “did not provide a document” required in order to register. Student sources say instead that the expulsion of the Ahmadi student was racist [sic] in nature, the result of an attitude of discrimination towards religious minorities that permeates the university.

In the meantime, TKN-affiliated students announced that “Ahmadi students would not be allowed” on campus, and that anybody who tried to resist them would be killed. The university and the education ministry reacted to the threat with total silence.

By contrast, it has send [sic] shockwaves through the Ahmadi community, which now fears fresh attacks, like the dual attack of May 2010 against two mosques in Lahore that left hundreds dead.

Speaking to AsiaNews, Fr Amir John said that “many students are victims of discrimination in school and that no one has seriously tackled the problem.” In his view, the state “tolerates religious hatred” and “does nothing when episodes of persecution occur.”

The textbooks certainly don't help. By the time students reach the universities, they have heard years of propaganda against religious minorities.

For the Catholic priest, the extremist mindset continues to spread and because of it Pakistan could lose important and prominent people from religious minorities.

The Masihi Foundation and Life for All, two NGOs involved in helping victims of discrimination and violence, also condemned Rabia Saleem’ expulsion. In a joint statement, they called for “tolerance and harmony” and urged religious leaders to “play a positive role” in building a multi-confessional society.

They also noted that the only Pakistani to win a Nobel Prize (for Physics) is Abdus Salam, an Ahmadi, who was not appropriately honoured at home for his international award.

Posted by Marisol on November 26, 2011 12:03 AM

Trinidad: "Radical Islamic group" reportedly involved in plot to murder prime minister

From Jihad Watch:

Trinidad: "Radical Islamic group" reportedly involved in plot to murder prime minister

Islamic groups are already busy deflecting attention by preemptively claiming victim status. "PM murder plot prompts tight security in Trinidad and Tobago," from CNN, November 24 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

(CNN) -- Authorities in Trinidad and Tobago are beefing up security after uncovering an assassination plot against the prime minister and three Cabinet members, state media reported.

A senior government official told the Caribbean New Media Group, or C News, that suspects linked to the plot have been arrested and that more arrests are expected.

The threat against Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the three Cabinet members came from a group that includes international drug and gun traffickers, the same official said. A "radical Islamic group is also involved," C News reported, without specifying which....

More: "Assassination plot against Trinidad's Prime Minister, Ministers uncovered," from The Guardian (Trinidad), November 26:

Muslims in central Trinidad say they are being branded as terrorists after reports surfaced that an Islamic organisation in the area is linked to an alleged assassination plot involving Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and other Cabinet Ministers. At the Masjid-ul-Muttaqeen mosque, Munroe Road, Cunupia, Maulana Sheraz Ali said more than 15 Muslim organisations were directly affected by the report.

“Since 9/11 the Muslim community has faced a lot of pressure and now we have become immune to the stigma,” Ali said. Saying he was not disputing the validity of the assassination plot, Ali explained: “I really feel the authorities could have narrowed it down a little more. “They leave everybody, who is Muslim, open for all kinds of suspicion. They should have been more precise instead of labelling everybody. There are so much Muslim groups in Central who are affected by this.”...

Posted by Marisol on November 26, 2011 12:08 AM

Egypt: Tourism tanks; hotel manager says "we're deeply afraid of the Islamic groups at the moment"

From Jihad Watch:

Egypt: Tourism tanks; hotel manager says "we're deeply afraid of the Islamic groups at the moment"

Is deputy hotel manager Hossam al-Bana an Islamophobe?

The Salafist leader, whom the BBC compliments as "thoughtful and personable," acts as if the entire issue is about alcohol. What is at issue is not being harassed on vacation, and being able to relax without the fear of a dream vacation turning into a nightmare at the hands of a regime of thugs, in an atmosphere where conspiracy paranoia easily becomes hysteria. The atmosphere of hostility toward non-Muslims within the country may make non-Muslim tourists think twice as well. For women, there is also the issue of whether their bodily integrity would be respected in a place where sexual harassment and assaults go un-prosecuted, with victims blamed for not meeting standards of Islamic dress and conduct.

Really, who in the world would want to vacation in a country where churches are attacked and protesters are rammed by military vehicles, journalists are sexually assaulted, Jews are arrested as "spies," sexual harassment is accepted and encouraged, and the rate of female genital mutilation (see table below the map) is above 90 percent?

Egypt has a bit of a public relations problem there. "Egypt's tourism hit hard by ongoing unrest," by Kevin Connolly for BBC News, November 24 (thanks to Kenneth):

[...] Tourism matters hugely to the Egyptian economy: this is a vital source of jobs and of hard currency.

And the country has been blessed by providence with beautiful coastlines to north and south and the extraordinary treasures of the ancient civilisation of the Pharaohs in between.

But none of that matters if tourists in Germany, Italy and the UK see pictures of rioting on TV and decide to go to Turkey instead.

And there's evidence that's what they did after the revolutionary upheaval in February.

Tourist numbers in March were down 60% on the same month in the previous year and tourist spending was down 66%.

They are catastrophic figures when the holiday industry accounts for more than 10% of Egypt's national income.

Salafist hopes

But, of course, if the tourist industry in Egypt is to recover, it will be in a new and democratic Egypt - and that may yet bring problems of its own.

A short distance along the coast from our hotel, we found the town of Marsa Matrouh - a conservative and religious place where black-robed women wear the veil.

A local hi-fi dealer advertises the power of a set of speakers by blasting verses of the Koran out into the high street at full volume.

In Matrouh, the centre of a governorate which relies heavily on tourism, religious candidates are expected to do well when the region finally gets to vote next week.

The leader of the local party of Salafists, Islam's puritan fundamentalists, told me he expects to top the polls.

If Jabr Awad Allah is right, that might spell bad news for the local holiday trade: he wants to ban booze and bikinis, and he believes in segregated beaches for men and women too.

Mr Awad Allah, a lawyer, is a thoughtful and personable man, who says Egyptians have a right to rule their own country as they please - exactly the same rights as the British, the French and the Americans enjoy in their countries.

"Of course we have to prohibit selling alcohol," he said.

"It's prohibited in the Koran, and it's my right as a Muslim to practise sharia in my country, in my home and in my community.

"The lack of alcohol and bikinis won't stop open-minded progressive people visiting. Alcohol is not essential to life - you don't die if you don't drink alcohol," Mr Awad Allah adds.

Manager's fears

I didn't have to travel far to find the other side of the argument.

Around the corner from the headquarters of the Salafist part in Matrouh is the Riviera Beach Hotel.

Potential customers shouldn't be deterred by the sight of the four tanks parked within 100 metres (yards) of the front door.

They are there to protect the nearby headquarters of the local council, although they do make for a disconcerting view from the hotel terrace.

Deputy manager Hossam al-Bana says the violent upheavals of 2011 have taken a toll on business. He's worried that any perception that Egypt was following its revolution with a sudden surge of legislation inspired by religious fervour would be a disaster.

"We're deeply afraid of the Islamic groups at the moment," he says.

"It's probable that they will come to power. They will ban alcohol, bikinis and the beach because on Islamic TV they say that's part of their plan.

"I've got no real problem with that - just not now, not in this political phase while we're building the country."

So the managers of Egypt's tourist trade have plenty to worry about as 2011 ends - but at least in deserted hotels like the al-Masr, they have time on their hands to do the worrying....

Posted by Marisol on November 26, 2011 12:12 AM


From FPRI:



by Tally Helfont

In recent weeks, a contentious debate has arisen in Jordan

over what should be done about the country's troublesome

northern neighbor, Syria. Though the Jordanians, like many

others in the region, were mostly preoccupied with their own

internal troubles over the past eight months, there has been

a palpable change in the discourse on Syria in the kingdom.

Indeed, the recent slew of activities by the Arab League has

brought the Syrian troubles to the fore. However, it was two

other major events that sparked the intensification of this

debate in Jordan-namely, King Abdullah II's recent BBC

interview in which he conceded that Bashar al-Assad had lost

the legitimacy to rule and the subsequent attack on the

Jordanian embassy in Damascus by pro-Assad, Syrian


The region specifically, and the international community

more generally, have over time come to expect very little

from the Arab League. However, during the past few weeks the

league of 22 Arab members has produced a flurry of activity.

To some, these activities are merely surprising and, to

others, worthy of serious scrutiny. On November 2, 2011, the

Arab League put forth "the Arab [Peace] Initiative"-a

indigenous plan to end the violence in Syria that would

prevent further loss of life, and more importantly to some,

prevent the "internationalization of the conflict."[1]

Though Syria initially agreed to terms of the Initiative,

which called for, inter alia, a cessation of violence,

withdrawal of troops from the cities, release of detainees,

and acceptance of an Arab League observation mission to

oversee the implementation of the plan, it quickly became

clear that Assad's regime had no intention of truly

complying.[2] In response to the more than 3,500 protestors

killed and the procrastination by Syria's leadership, the

Arab League announced on November 12 that it would suspend

the Syrian delegation from Arab League meetings until its

full implementation of the commitments that were agreed upon

under the Arab Initiative.[3] Jordan was among the countries

that voted in support of Syria's suspension.

On November 14, Abdullah sat down with the BBC's Lyse Doucet

for a one-on-one interview about the tenuous situation

unfolding in the region.[4] The conversation, however,

focused primarily on one topic: whether Abdullah thought

that it was time for Assad to go. Ms. Doucet posed the

question to the Jordanian monarch numerous times and in

different ways. The take-away from the sum of the king's

responses was that, in his estimation, "we deceive ourselves

if we think that things will change dramatically if the

individual is gone _ the problem is deeper than that and it

is the system, the political system that is set up in

Syria." The king attempted to provide a nuanced response to

the internal Syrian situation by saying that the Assad he

knew "has reform in his blood," that "the [Syrian] system

does not allow for reform," and that Assad wasn't the only

one responsible for the events on the ground since "both his

brother and brother-in-law are very active on the military

side." Nevertheless, Abdullah still conceded that "the

decision taken overwhelmingly by the Arab League shows that

we are extremely concerned about the future of Syria and the

way the leadership is moving." In the end, Doucet's

persistence was rewarded and she obtained her much sought-

after sound bite. "He is now the first Arab leader to openly

say President Bashar al-Assad should step down" said the

article, though the statement was qualified with an

additional assertion about the importance of making "sure

whoever comes behind. . . has the ability to change the

status quo."[5]

No matter how diplomatic Abdullah thought he was being, the

ill-fated sound bite made its way to the streets of the

Syrian capital. The very next day, over a hundred protestors

amassed outside the gates of the Jordanian embassy in

Damascus, bearing Syrian flags as well as flags of the

Lebanese Shi'i militant group, Hezbollah. Protestors

vehemently denounced Jordan's support for regional efforts

to pressure the Syrian government, chanting anti-Jordanian

slogans and throwing eggs at the compound. What's more,

according to, al-Sabil-a Jordanian political daily

affiliated with the Islamic Action Front[6]-the Jordanian

ambassador reported that the embassy's flag had been torn

down and replaced with Hezbollah's flag. A spokesman for the

Jordanian Foreign Ministry, Mohammed al-Kayed, quickly

refuted the latter portion of the claim and added that none

of the embassy staff was injured in the incident.[7]

Jordan's embassy was not the only one to be targeted. The

embassies of Morocco, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar

were also attacked for their complicity in supporting the

Arab League's initiatives vis-…-vis Syria.

Though the Syrians issued an apology the next day, the

damage had been done. Calls to remove the Jordanian

ambassador from Syria and kick out the Syrian ambassador in

Jordan were widespread. The secretary general of the Islamic

Action Front, Hamza Mansour, penned a letter to Jordan's new

Prime Minister, Awn Khasawneh, requesting the withdrawal of

the Jordanian Ambassador, and more importantly, the

recognition of the Syrian National Council as the legitimate

representative of the Syrian people.[8] Likewise, hundreds

of Jordanians tried to storm the Syrian Embassy in Amman in

retaliation for to the attack on their own embassy in

Damascus, though they were prevented from doing any damage

by a formidable contingent of the kingdom's Gendarmerie. The

assembled protestors called for the Syrian president to step

down and for the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador from

Amman.[9] The Jordanian leadership has thus far held back

from both measures and has made it clear that it intends to

operate within the consensus of the Arab League.

However, not everyone in Jordan agrees that the kingdom

should penalize its northern neighbor. The prospect of the

Arab League initiating economic sanctions against the Syrian

Arab Republic has some Jordanians up in arms.

Representatives of key economic sectors predict that such

measures will have a strongly negative impact on Jordan's

economy. In a recent Jordan Times article-a government owned

daily-economist Jawad Anani, who has also served as chief of

the Royal Court and held several ministerial posts,

explained that implementing sanctions against Syria "will

cause large losses to the Kingdom in terms of trade,

transport and investments."[10] In a follow-up article in

the Times, Nael Kabariti, president of the Jordan Chamber of

Commerce, was quoted as saying, "Syria is not only a

strategic market for the Kingdom, but also a gateway to the

Turkish, Lebanese and European markets."[11] Losing any key

market for Jordanian exports may result in significant

layoffs and further stifle job opportunities in the country.

Jordan after all, is already in an economically vulnerable

position. Anani summarized these concerns saying, "These

issues will have great costs involved and it is important

for Jordan to carefully calculate these costs and their

repercussions in the long run." Jordanians acutely remember

the devastating economic affect that both wars in Iraq had

on the kingdom, albeit for differing reasons, and are not

eager to undergo them again. Though Syria is not Jordan's

biggest trade partner, the two countries enjoy extensive

commercial and economic relations.

Other Jordanians are critical of the Arab League's decision

to suspend Syria-and as such, Jordan's role in supporting

this decision-based on the view that "the adoption of this

escalatory stance will inevitably lead to an escalation" on

the part of the Syrians.[12] Muhammad Ka'wash writes in

independent newspaper, al-'Arab al-Yawm, that the decision

to suspend Syria's Arab League membership has complicated

the crisis rather than helped provide a solution to it. He

cautioned that "this decision might further exacerbate the

situation and lead to more clashes and further bloodshed."

Ka'wash also echoed the sentiment found throughout the

Jordanian media that suspending and even sanctioning Syria

will potentially "internationalize the crisis and allow

external parties to interfere politically and militarily in

Syria." The prospect of Syria becoming another Libya is

something that many in Jordan fear due to the devastating

economic, security and humanitarian effect such a situation

would have on the kingdom.

Despite the internal debate in Jordan over what to do about

Syria, threatening events continue to unfold. On November

22, the Syrian National Council announced that it is

organizing a conference with the Arab League in preparation

for a "transitional period" following what they see as the

imminent fall of President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Jordan

must, of course, weigh its own internal concerns as they

relate to Syria. However, there are additional supranational

concerns that contend with its internal affairs. There is

U.S pressure to consider, since Jordan is the second largest

recipient of per capita financial assistance in this region.

There is also pressure to go along with the Gulf Cooperation

Council (GCC), since the Hashemite Kingdom has a bid to join

the exclusive Council. Finally, there is pressure from the

other Arab League states. Jordan must factor all these

angles into this complicated equation. Jordan suffered

greatly for sitting out the Gulf War and as Omar Obediat of

the Jordan Times observed, though Jordan is but a small

player in the issue of sanctions against Syria "it can

[again] resist for too long."[13]



[1] For more on fears of internationalizing the conflict and

preventing the "implementation of a foreign agenda," see:

'Uraib al-Rintawi, "Between the Scorching Heat of the Regime

and the League's Fire (Bayna Ramda' al-Nizam wa-l-Nar al-

al-Jami'a)," al-Dustur (Jordan), November 16, 2011,


and Yasir al-Za'atira, "The Syrian Revolution Following

the Arab League Decision (al-Thawra al-Surriya ba'ad Qirar

al-Jami'a al-'Arabia)," al-Dustur (Jordan), November 16, 2011,


[2] "The Arab Solution is Syria's Rescue Ship (al-Hal al-

Arabi Safinat al-Naja li-Surya)," al-Dustur (Jordan),

November 16, 2011, [Arabic]

[3] "The Arab League Ministerial Council's Resolution

Following up the Situation in Syria (Qirar Majlis al-Jami'a

al-'Arabia al-Wuzari bi-Shan Mutaba'a al-Wad'a fi Surya),"

al-Jami'a al-'Arabia (Jordan), November 12, 2011, [Arabic]

[4] King Abdullah II, Interview by Lyse Doucet for BBC,

November 14, 2011.

[5] Lyse Doucet, "Syria's Assad Should Step Aside, Says

Jordan's Abdullah," BBC News, November 14, 2011. On November

22, 2011, Turkish Prime Minister was quoted saying to Bashar

al-Assad, "For the welfare of your own people and the

region, just leave that seat." This statement will likely

not be the last made by leaders from the region and beyond.

[6] Jabhat al-'Amal al-Islami, or the Islamic Action Front

(IAF), is the political wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in

Jordan. [Arabic]

[7] "Indicators of Hostility between Amman and Damascus Rose

(Mu'ashirat al-'Ada' bayna 'Amman wa Dimashq 'Irtaf'at),"

al-Sabil (Jordan), November 16 2011, [Arabic]

[8] "Memorandum Calling on the Government to Recognize the

Syrian National Council (Mudhakkara Tatalib al-Hakuma al-

I'tiraf bi al-Majlis al-Watani al-Suri)," Jabhat al-'Amal

al-Islami (Jordan), November 16, 2011, [Arabic]

[9] "Damascus Apologizes for the Attack on the Jordanian

Embassy (Dimashq Ta'tadhiru 'an al-I'tida' 'ala al-Safara

al-'Urduniyya)," al-Ra'i (Jordan), November 16, 2011.


[10] Omar Obediat, "Jordan Advised to Play it Carefully as

Powers Seek more Sanctions on Damascus," The Jordan Times,

November 14, 2011.

[11] Omar Obeidat, "Sector Leaders Concerned over Possible

Economic Sanctions in Syria," The Jordan Times, November 21,


[12] Muhammad Ka'wash, "The Arab League Decision between

Escalation and Complication (Qirar al-Jami'a bayna al-Tas'id

wa-l-Ta'aqid)," al-'Arab al-Yawm (Jordan), November 16,

2011, [Arabic]

[13] "Jordan Advised to Play it Carefully as Powers Seek

more Sanctions on Damascus."


Copyright Foreign Policy Research Institute


US or Europe? Which Fiscal Time Bomb Will Explode First? | Vision to America

US or Europe? Which Fiscal Time Bomb Will Explode First? Vision to America

Egypt: "Moderate" and "largely secular" Muslim Brotherhood holds rally where participants vow "One day we'll kill all Jews"

From Jihad Watch:

Egypt: "Moderate" and "largely secular" Muslim Brotherhood holds rally where participants vow "One day we'll kill all Jews"

Nothing to see here. Repeat after me: the Muslim Brotherhood is "moderate." The Muslim Brotherhood is "largely secular," because the Obama administration's director of national intelligence said so. This is all a misunderstanding and has been taken out of context, because you don't speak Arabic, and surely there are nuances on the word "kill" to consider.

Nothing to see here. "Cairo rally: One day we'll kill all Jews," by Eldad Beck for YNet News, November 25:

A Muslim Brotherhood rally in Cairo's most prominent mosque Friday turned into a venomous anti-Israel protest, with attendants vowing to "one day kill all Jews."

Some 5,000 people joined the rally, called to promote the "battle against Jerusalem's Judaization." The event coincided with the anniversary of the United Nations' partition plan in 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish state.

"Against Jerusalem's Judaization": hysterical historical revisionism.

However, most worshippers who prayed at the mosque Friday quickly left it before the Muslim Brotherhood's rally got underway. A group spokesman urged attendants to remain for the protest, asking them not to create a bad impression for the media by leaving.

'Treacherous Jews'

Speakers at the event delivered impassioned, hateful speeches against Israel, slamming the "Zionist occupiers" and the "treacherous Jews." Upon leaving the rally, worshippers were given small flags, with Egypt's flag on one side and the Palestinian flag on the other, as well as maps of Jerusalem's Old City detailing where "Zionists are aiming to change Jerusalem's Muslim character."

Propaganda material ahead of Egypt's parliamentary elections was also handed out at the site.

Spiritual leader Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb charged in his speech that to this day Jews everywhere in the world are seeking to prevent Islamic and Egyptian unity.

"In order to build Egypt, we must be one. Politics is insufficient. Faith in Allah is the basis for everything," he said. "The al-Aqsa Mosque is currently under an offensive by the Jews…we shall not allow the Zionists to Judaize al-Quds (Jerusalem.) We are telling Israel and Europe that we shall not allow even one stone to be moved there." [...]

Throughout the event, Muslim Brotherhood activists chanted: "Tel Aviv, Tel Aviv, judgment day has come."

Speaking to Ynet outside the mosque following the prayer, elementary school teacher Ala al-Din said that "all Egyptian Muslims are willing to embark on Jihad for the sake of Palestine."

"Why is the US losing in Afghanistan? Because the other side is willing and wants to die. We have a different mentality than that of the Americans and Jews," he said.

Posted by Marisol on November 26, 2011 8:46 AM

Iran: Woman who pardoned attacker from being blinded by government in retribution loses out on monetary compensation

From Jihad Watch:

Iran: Woman who pardoned attacker from being blinded by government in retribution loses out on monetary compensation

Destroying someone's eyes with acid under Sharia's provisions for retribution? They were all about that. Prison officials were preparing to drop acid in his eyes when word of the pardon reached them. Compensating the lady who pardoned him according to an agreement reached at the time? Not so much. And it gets worse: where compensation is concerned, "under Iran's Islamic penal code, women are entitled to only half that of men."

"Blinded by acid, now denied compensation for showing her attacker mercy," by Noushin Hoseiny for The Independent, November 26 (thanks to The Religion of Peace):

A woman blinded and horrifically disfigured in an acid attack by a spurned admirer is suing Iran's judiciary after accusing senior officials of cheating her out of compensation when she agreed to spare her attacker from a similar fate.

Ameneh Bahrami, 34, suffered severe injuries to her eyes, face and hands when a former university classmate, Majid Movahedi, threw acid in her face after she rejected his advances. In November 2008, a criminal court in Tehran ordered Movahedi to be blinded in both eyes under Iran's application of the sharia code of qisas, which allows retribution for violent crimes.

But he was given an eleventh hour reprieve in July when Ms Bahrami exercised her right to pardon him. Prison officials had been preparing to drop acid into his eyes when the pardon was delivered.

Ms Bahrami says she is paying the price for her leniency after being told by judiciary officials that she no longer had the right to compensation, which Movahedi was ordered to pay when he was sentenced.

After being pardoned, Movahedi's sentence was reduced to 10 years in prison and five years exiled in a remote area. The sentence no longer requires him to pay compensation, something Ms Bahrami is now disputing.

"Even though I agreed to pardon Mr Movahedi, I didn't think I was surrendering my right to compensation," Ms Bahrami said. "My request for compensation was recognised as legal by the judiciary officials at the time. But then the deputy prosecutor said he had made a mistake and that my request for compensation had no legal grounds."

Ms Bahrami says she needs the money to pay for extensive plastic surgery to repair her injuries. She has already spent more than £150,000 – partly funded by the Iranian state – on treatment in Barcelona. But further treatment is needed.

After being told that pardoning Movahedi meant she was no longer entitled to compensation, Ms Bahrami says she was persuaded by Tehran's deputy prosecutor, Feridoun Amirabadi, to sign a document limiting her claim to injuries to her hands and face.

Now she has been told by a lawyer that the prosecutor's ruling unlawful. She has responded by opening legal proceedings against Mr Amirabadi for abuse of trust and depriving her of her legal rights. "I didn't know the regulations and didn't think the prosecutor would lie to me. I signed the paper based on the given false information," Ms Bahrami said. "If Majid Movahedi walks out of prison without paying the compensation money for my eyes, it means I have been subjected to injustice."

Ms Bahrami is also demanding meetings with Iranian parliamentarians to discuss women's compensation rights. Under Iran's Islamic penal code, women are entitled to only half that of men....

Posted by Marisol on November 26, 2011 9:28 AM

Algeria: "Radical Islamist" set to create new political party

From Jihad Watch:

Algeria: "Radical Islamist" set to create new political party

"To be baptized the Justice and Development Front." There's an ironic choice of words. If they have their way where freedom of conscience is concerned, that might be just about the only baptism in Algeria. "Algeria radical Islamist to create new party," from Agence France-Presse, November 26:

Former presidential candidate in Algeria and radical Islamist Abdallah Djaballah is set to create a new political party, Algeria's national radio said on Saturday. Djaballah announced on Friday the imminent creation of "national body" which would later form a party, to be baptised the Justice and Development Front.

The new party would base itself on "the culture of mutual aid and social justice" said Djaballah, who was beaten in presidential elections in 1999 and 2004 by current President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

He has already been at the helm of the Ennahda (Renaissance) Movement, which he formed in the early 1990s, and the National Reform Movement (MRN), both Islamist parties that he left after internal disagreements.

There was "no official response so far" to his application but the latest declarations from Algeria's Interior Minister Daho Ould Kabila were "encouraging", he said.

At the end of this month, Algeria's parliament is set to vote in a new law that would facilitate the creation of parties, one of a number of political and constitutional reforms President Abelaziz Bouteflika has promised before the end of January to strengthen democracy in Algeria.

Controversially though the law would ban ex-Islamic Salvation Front members -- whose electoral success in 1991 led to civil war -- from forming a party.

Dozens of potential new parties are awaiting authorisation to form once the law is approved.

Islamist parties, such as Tunisia's Ennahda which won a majority of seats in an October 23 election to form a new constituent assembly, have been winning more influence across North Africa since the "Arab Spring" revolutions.

Posted by Marisol on November 27, 2011 12:02 AM

Egyptian Protestors Vow to Resist U.S. Made Toxic Gas

Egyptian Protestors Vow to Resist U.S. Made Toxic Gas

Renowned Islamic Cleric Urges Collective Penitence from Pakistani Nation in the Face of Devastating Floods

Renowned Islamic Cleric Urges Collective Penitence from Pakistani Nation in the Face of Devastating Floods

Indian Social Activist Seema Mustafa on Secularism in Islamic Nations: 'Religion in Politics Is Used to Mesmerize and Subdue the Populace in a Manner that Eventually Becomes Autocratic, Repressive and Brutal'

Indian Social Activist Seema Mustafa on Secularism in Islamic Nations: 'Religion in Politics Is Used to Mesmerize and Subdue the Populace in a Manner that Eventually Becomes Autocratic, Repressive and Brutal'

Editorials in Pakistani Dailies Voice Concern Over Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan

Editorials in Pakistani Dailies Voice Concern Over Persecution of Hindus in Pakistan

Is Morocco Immune to Upheaval?

Is Morocco Immune to Upheaval?

The Roads to War and Economic Collapse by Paul Craig Roberts

The Roads to War and Economic Collapse by Paul Craig Roberts

Libya's new regime offers weapons, possibly fighters to Syrian rebels

From Jihad Watch:

Libya's new regime offers weapons, possibly fighters to Syrian rebels

The Great Libyan Jihadist Garage Sale ships long-distance. "Libya’s new rulers offer weapons to Syrian rebels," by Ruth Shurlock for the Telegraph, November 25:

Syrian rebels held secret talks with Libya's new authorities on Friday, aiming to secure weapons and money for their insurgency against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

At the meeting, which was held in Istanbul and included Turkish officials, the Syrians requested "assistance" from the Libyan representatives and were offered arms, and potentially volunteers.

"There is something being planned to send weapons and even Libyan fighters to Syria," said a Libyan source, speaking on condition of anonymity. "There is a military intervention on the way. Within a few weeks you will see."

The Telegraph has also learned that preliminary discussions about arms supplies took place when members of the Syrian National Council [SNC] – the country's main opposition movement – visited Libya earlier this month.

"The Libyans are offering money, training and weapons to the Syrian National Council," added Wisam Taris, a human rights campaigner with links to the SNC.

The disclosure came as rebels raided an air force base outside the city of Homs and killed six pilots, according to a statement by the country's military.

Last month, Libya's interim government became the first in the world to recognise Syria's opposition movement as the country's "legitimate authority".

Large shipments of weapons have not yet been sent, said activists, mainly because of logistical difficulties. But proposals for a "buffer zone" inside Syria, monitored by the Arab League, or the likely emergence of an area inside the country controlled entirely by rebels could solve this problem.

"The [Libyan] council's offer is serious," said Mr Taris. Turkey, which has denounced President Assad's regime, is already sheltering about 7,000 Syrian opposition activists, including the leader of the Free Syrian Army, the nascent rebel movement, in a "safe zone" along Turkey's border with Syria.

Sources in the Libyan town of Misurata suggested that some weapons may already have been sent. Some smugglers were caught selling small arms to Syrian buyers in Misurata, said a man who trafficked guns to Libya's rebels during the country's civil war.

Post-conflict Libya is awash with arms, many of them taken from the vast military stores maintained by Col Mummar Gaddafi's regime. Kalashnikov assault rifles, modern missiles and even tanks found their way into Libya.

Libyans feel closely aligned to the Syrian cause, said Hameda al-Mageri, from the Tripoli Military Council. "Bashar sent Gaddafi weapons when he was fighting us. There are hundreds of people who want to go to fight in Syria, or help in other ways if they can."

But Libyan officials deny the claims. "This is what you hear in the street," said Ramadan Zarmoh, the leader of the Misurata military council. "Officially there is none of this. I would never send any fighters to fight outside the country."....

Posted by Marisol on November 27, 2011 7:32 AM

Technocrat Governments Risk Democracy, Turkey's EU Minister Says

Technocrat Governments Risk Democracy, Turkey's EU Minister Says

Video: EDL - The English Defence League and the British Freedom Party

From Europe News:

Video: EDL - The English Defence League and the British Freedom Party

youtube 28 November 2011

By melanoma321

The EDL has stated that it fully endorses 'The British Freedom Party' The following quote is from 'English Defence League EDL' : Tommy has no intentions of leaving the EDL not now or in the future, he has stated he would work with the British Freedom Party and that he has been offered a place on their committee.

When you go to the polls it is entirely up to yourself whom you decide to vote for.

The EDL is a street movement made up of all walks of life and everyone has their own political alliances, we all come together on our marches and politics are left at home and I state again that with Tommy and Kev we move forward as EDL with these two at the helm. n/s

Posted November 28th, 2011 by pk

Changing Britain From the Ground Up

From Europe News:

Changing Britain From the Ground Up

British Freedom 28 November 2011

By Martin Blackburn

We always think things have got worse from one generation to the next in terms of morality, work ethics and respect for the law; however from the recent riots, the ghetto communities that have developed and the continued liberalisation of younger generations, it is safe to say that things actually have got worse!

Why? Simple!

- Traditional methods of discipline have been removed from teachers.

- No notion of jobs for life or even job security.

- The breakdown of the family unit with the morality and values that it installed.

- The systematic disassembling of our national identity and communal sense of self within Britain.

- A penal system biased to the needs of criminals, outdated methods of punishment and few positive opportunities for training to break cycles of criminality.

- Political correctness attempting to make people treat children as adults, a notion that is incompatible with the need to teach them values, common decency and respect for others.

These are for me the key reasons why some parts of British society have degenerated into cycles of deprivation — in short, lack of economic opportunities, liberalisation of children and school systems, a penal system that doesn’t reform criminals and, more generally, the presence of political correctness.

So what can we do?

This is a complex question because the fabric of society is interwoven, but there are a number of positive policies or approaches we can adopt: (...)

Posted November 28th, 2011 by pk

The Totalitarian EU Tightens Its Grip

From Europe News:

The Totalitarian EU Tightens Its Gri

British Freedom 28 November 2011

By Paul Weston

The increasingly dictatorial behaviour of the unelected EU Commissioners rather proves the point made by Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who way back in 2006 stated that the political structure of the European Union was similar to that of the Supreme Soviet and the Politburo, and that the similarity was intentional.

The liberal-left are woefully ignorant of history, yet with their various humanities degrees they should know something of human nature, but even this appears to be beyond their intellectual grasp. The mental make-up of all dictators seeks one thing and one thing only – control over all others. Lenin once remarked that Communism was not actually about equality for the worker, but was rather about control. Total control.

Have we not seen this in the last few weeks? Frau Merkel and Monsieur Sarkozy are both on record stating their intention to wrest further EU control from the European electorate in the wake of the Eurozone economic catastrophe (inflicted by EU economic policy) and they are now doing this in spades.

Greek ex-Prime Minister Papandreou rather foolishly suggested the Greek people might like to influence their economic future in a democratic manner, only to be immediately toppled by the EU powers and replaced by Lucas Papademos, a man of impeccable Socialist economic credentials, who went from Governor of the Bank of Greece to Vice President of the European Central Bank (ECB) to Prime Minister of Greece. In other words an EU placeman in a previously democratic country.

In Italy, Silvio Berlusconi was not brought down by his lurid sexual shenanigans or his alleged lifelong corruption, but because he dared to question the validity of the euro. Enter the incensed EU Politburo, and exit the aged yet curiously wrinkle-free lecherous Lothario, to be replaced by unelected former EU Commissioner Mario Monti and a cabinet of bankers and academics, not one of whom represents a single Italian political party. Is this democracy in action? No, it is totalitarianism, pure and simple.

This should come as no surprise to those who understand the dictatorial machinations of the EU. Countries such as Ireland and Denmark were allowed referendums, but when they refused to accept the EU’s vision of a Utopian Socialist future, they were alternately threatened and bribed until they eventually complied with the wishes of the unelected EU Commissioners.

We saw the same disregard for democracy in Britain in 2004 after the North East firmly rejected setting up a Regional Assembly, much to the fury of the Labour government, whose response was simply to carry on regardless of the will of the people. In 2007 Gordon Brown established nine regional government offices complete with regional ministers, as per the EU geographical division of England.

Britain has been shamefully treated by its own politicians. The Labour manifesto of 2005 stated the electorate would be allowed to vote on the Lisbon Treaty, but they lied. David Cameron, ever clever with words, managed to sound like he intended to offer a referendum, but of course he has not. So here we are, run effectively by unelected Socialists in Brussels, via a puppet government of supposed "Conservatives” in Westminster.

In the last week alone we discovered that the EU wishes to import millions more North African Muslim migrants into Europe and Britain through Mobility Partnerships, the aim of which is to make EU action "more migrant-centred, with the aim of empowering migrants and strengthening their human rights in countries of origin, transit and destination.”

William Hague, Foreign Secretary and EU poodle, heard the call and penned an article for the Daily Telegraph outlining the importance of Turkish accession into the EU, no matter what Amnesty International might have to say about Turkey’s attitude to Human Rights. What a curious situation: even as the Arab Spring descends into Koranic Winter, our impossibly stupid politicians press for their own countries to be overrun by people unable to function in liberal democracies.

Why does the EU wish to import these racially and culturally foreign people? The answer is very simple: divide and rule, break down the community and smash the nation state. The Russians did this after they annexed the Baltic States during WWII, when huge numbers of Russians were exported to the conquered territories in an attempt to dilute and "de-nationalise” the native populations, thereby easing Soviet control.

The other reason for swamping racially and culturally cohesive countries with massed foreign people who have no intention of adopting British values is equally simple. Our rulers tell us they bring "diversity” but that is a lie. Local police chiefs talk of "nerve jangling” friction in multicultural areas which leads to ever-greater government control to keep the lid on the simmering factions. The more divisiveness, or multiculturalism, the more power to the Socialist elites – just as was planned.

Control is what it is all about. Over the last few days we learned that the EU wants the financial City of London to fall further under EU governance, with additional pressure being applied on Britain to join the calamitous Euro. Another EU diktat currently going through legislation proposes all new businesses must provide a surety of twenty-five thousand Euros. Why? Because it is far easier to control a thousand companies of a reasonable size than ten thousand smaller ones, no matter the economic destruction this will cause.

Meanwhile Frau Merkel and the EU Commissioners are making plans to ensure Britain is prevented from allowing a referendum, which under current EU law would be triggered as a direct result of the constitutional changes necessary in the proposal of a new, powerful and unelected EU quango, whose remit is the political annexation of failing Eurozone member-states.

And let us not forget the extraordinary physical power the EU already has over us. Europol, the EU’s sinister state police service, can travel across borders under diplomatic immunity. The EU even has its own paramilitary unit, the European Gendarmerie Force (EGF) which is rumoured to be operating alongside Greek riot police. Then there is the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) which can be issued anywhere in Europe, requesting the arrest and extradition of a British subject – a matter in which British courts are overruled should they wish to intervene.

The EAW was introduced in 2003 to target serious crime and terrorism, but many of the thousands of European and British people extradited to date were arrested for "crimes” of laughable triviality. The future however may not be so trivial. Under the EU’s laws on racism and xenophobia it is quite possible we could see an EAW issued simply because the accused person publicly expressed his dislike of Islamic immigration, thereby exposing himself as both a "racist” and a "xenophobe”.

All of the above should be taken very seriously. And, if we had a decent mainstream media, I have no doubt it would, but the Socialists in the media are in broad agreement with the Socialists in Brussels, so the dictators get a free pass. Can you imagine the BBC still supporting the European Union if Brussels had been taken over by the political right? Of course not – they would denounce the EU as a totalitarian disgrace – and they would be correct.

The EU has passed 120,000 pieces of legislation, out of which only some 10% have been enacted. The remainder are waiting to be used in the future. The framework has already been built for total and utter control of previously democratic European countries; we now simply await their enforcement. When might this be? No one knows for sure, but it seems a good long-term bet to suggest we will be subjected to an incremental tightening of their control over us. Whether it remains a soft ideology remains to be seen, but there is no reason at all to think the violent Socialist history of the last century is now behind us.

We are watching a genuine dictatorship in the making. These people have no regard for democracy, and their Socialist ideology is simply a softer version of the Communist ideology that murdered over 100 million people over the last century, whilst simultaneously destroying the economies and societies of the nations it infected. The most powerful man in Europe is Commission President Barroso, an ex-Maoist with no apparent regrets, and even now his apparatchiks talk of the new powers appropriated on the back of the economic disaster as a "Great Leap Forward.” During the Chinese "leap”, of course, Chairman Mao murdered some 45 million of his own people.

This madness must be stopped. UKIP provides a platform to vote against the EU, but if you also care about the long-term threat of Islam, then there is only one civilised political party which acts on your behalf, and that party is British Freedom.

Posted November 28th, 2011 by pk

50.000 x EuropeNews & ”No Tolerance for Intolerance”

From Europe News:

• 50.000 x EuropeNews & ”No Tolerance for Intolerance”

EuropeNews 28 November 2011

EuropeNews has now reached 50.000 posts, marking more than four years of uninterrupted service in basically the same form as we started

The fundamental aim of EuropeNews remains the same as well, namely providing a compact overview of news that matter. Also unchanged is our slogan:

"No Tolerance for Intolerance – No Apology for Being Free”.

The Paradox of Tolerance

The first part of our slogan derives from the Paradox of Tolerance, that a person or a group taking pride in his supreme tolerance might in fact be profoundly intolerant, not least against those he judges to be "intolerant”, be it in the form of "bigoted”, "discriminating” or even "racist”. The classical notion that discriminating is wisdom and a virtue, not a sin, seems all but forgotten.

Thus, the "supremely tolerant” tend to crack down on the views he is not willing to tolerate, not less understand. The result of this is not expansion of tolerance and harmony, it is a collapse of both. Radical left wing groups like the Antifa are a case in point, in that they do not tolerate views deemed 'intolerant', resorting to violence against any such expressions they deem impermissible. Many such battles to crush the 'intolerant' have taken place, for example in Stuttgart, June 3rd 2011, where an Antifa-coordinated mob assaulted a peaceful streetevent about persecution of Christians.

Genuine tolerance does not mean assaulting any expression of views deemed 'intolerant', and certainly not with the use of physical force. A more workable definition would be:

Tolerance is the ability to accept something while disapproving of it.

That says nothing, though, about what to do with what is disapproved of. A sharper worded expression of tolerance, provocative to some, would be:

I may disagree with you, but I insist on your right to articulate your opinion, however stupid and ignorant I think it is.

This is in line with the quote frequently (mis) attributed to Voltaire, but makes a different and very important point: Any meaningful criticism, however insulting it might be worded, must also be tolerated.

This is a classical modernist understanding of “Freedom of expression”, and the other party to this is obviously expected to hold the same basic view, that a full range of dissent is permissible – even desirable – and can never be used as a pretext for violence or legal action.

In a modernist understanding, information, dissent and free debate are essential, for they are the tools required to determine the truth on a particular subject through Socratic dialogue.

In a post-modern view, however, absolute truths are not there to be found, everything is relative, any truth can be as valid as any other.

Thus, also dissent and discussion lose their meaning, and any attempt to bring up controversial issues must necessarily be viewed as potentially malign, with a hidden intention of disturbing the peace of relativism, cause anger and make the disagreeing parties fight each other.

Thus the need to prevent any expression deemed to be of 'intolerance', for in the post-modern relativist understanding, it cannot have a good purpose and is likely to have a bad.

In practice, this aligns surprisingly well with a world view where the Truth is determined by religious dogma, for also here honest dissent is disturbing the piece and has the potential to cause severe unrest. The naïve thus tend to be duped by religious leaders when it fits the purpose of the religious side.

Naïve tolerance of intolerance, however, has historically led to extensive problems, frequently due to the concept of individual rights not being properly understood.

Historical examples of this can be found in Russia in the 1920's, Germany in the 1930's and post-WWII China, where peaceful dissent was violently crushed by mobs not understanding the fundamental importance of individual rights.

Classical thinkers have been working on the paradox of tolerance, as no turn-key solution for the paradox exists. Karl Popper said on this:

If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed, and tolerance with them.

That was phrased in the context of the 1933-1945 National Socialist regime in Germany, who hounded down and plundered the Jews and any group or individual uttering dissent with the party line.

At that time, many initially tolerated the "political developments in Germany”, apologized for the overt regime cruelness by the faults of the Versailles Treaty, feared provoking German anger, or were simply too ignorant to understand what was really going on.

As intolerance was not confronted in its infancy, it took a cataclysmic all-out war to finally put an end to its crimes against humanity.

Today, freedom faces fresh challenges. Most significantly from the Islamist movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) and others seeking to undermine freedom and reach absolute power through religion.

Key to their ambitions is to avoid criticism, relevant or not, and to protect their religious dogma from scrutiny.

If no one can legally call crap on the Islamic doctrine that the sun settles in a pool of stinking mud surrounded by aliens (Quran 18:86), any relevant criticism of religious leaders defending this doctrine also falls away.

Thus the ongoing efforts to implement a worldwide ban on 'blasphemy', and accuse any relevant criticism of Islam as 'Islamophobia'.

More than one kind of threat

Somewhat related are the military threats from Hamas, Al-Qaeda, Iran and other radical (and usually anti-Semitic) groups, but these are not the only threats to freedom we face today.

One of these is that of the European Union turning into a totalitarian system with the right to regulate what may be said and what may not.

Another problem is the – often subliminal – ">political correctness and bias that slowly but surely destroys the effectiveness of our human rights organisations and our media to expose threats to freedom and enable us to deal with them.

One of the best responses to all of these challenges is information. Not just any information, but relevant information, for knowing what Britney Spears did last week is no use in stopping misuse of power in the European Union.

Internet and traditional media are stuffed with information that is of no use in dealing with major issues of human rights, citizens' rights and democracy. The useful news are usually offensive news – events and connections that deserve to be understood.

Thus EuropeNews

Here you find, every day, a wide selection of news on important matters. We throw out Britney Spears in favour of exempli gratia Bruce Bawer , and point to Russia Today when The Guardian guards nothing, and instead features The Muppets on the front page.

EuropeNews is a volunteer effort by an unpaid group who wishes to support democracy and freedom.

EuropeNews is free and will remain so, even though support is appreciated.

No Apology for Being Free

As for the second part of our slogan, "No Apology for Being Free”, it should be self-explanatory, the 2006 Mohammad cartoon crisis being a high-profile case in point.

If an apology for being free was ever to be issued, freedom would be lost already, with only a time gap between the apology and the material fact. No apologies, deal with it!

Modernist and post-modernist 'Tolerance'

I leave the last word to Don Carson (author of The Gagging of God and many other books), who eloquently explains the modernist concept of Tolerance, and how the post-modernist view on Tolerance is inherently incoherent:

His closing comments:

The new definition of Tolerance is not only inconsistent, it is incoherent and proves, in fact, to be less tolerant than the brand of tolerance that was around under modernism.

Because at the very point where it comes up with that which disagrees with it the most, it has to dismiss all opponents as intolerant and bigoted. And therefore becomes, in fact, totalitarian.

Posted November 28th, 2011 by hd

The Brown Legacy of Socialism

From Europe News:

The Brown Legacy of Socialism

Gates of Vienna 28 November 2011

By Freya Klier

"Is there a right-radical program? Those who are pursuing one today are the extreme Left.”

The following article from Die Welt is a left-wing perspective on a historical fact that has been swept under the rug: the remnants of National Socialist ideology were kept alive by Communists and Socialists in postwar Europe.

Many thanks to JLH for the translation.

The Brown Legacy of Socialism

by Freya Klier

November 22, 2011

Already at the time of the Turnaround [the political turning of East Germany after the Fall of the Wall], Freya Klier was on a death-list of the East German Neo-Nazis. She describes its roots in the German Democratic Republic [GDR] and explains why it is nonetheless necessary to seek dialogue about it.

In 1993, the West German chair of the Republicans, Franz Schönhuber, padded the then thin Western personnel with cadres from the East. He found especially worthy of sponsorship a professor who had for many years been a member of the SED [Socialist Unity Party of Germany], and head of the discipline of sociology in the section for Scientific Communism at the Karl Marx University of Leipzig. He became Saxon state head of the right-radical Republicans. In June, 1993, there was a party meeting in Augsburg and, during it, an "act of national reconciliation.”

In this connection, the party head enthuses about the GDR. At one point, he opines: "The GDR was much more German than the Federal Republic. Here, there was a sense of family, and not this dog-eat-dog society.” At another point, he praises the "orderly lock-step” in the GDR; yet again, its "total freedom from foreigners.” Schönhuber shared this perspective with a number of citizens of the deceased GDR and many socialist comrades.

Schönhuber had still not realized at all what these comrades were capable of: an anti-Semitism that had been nurtured for 40 years, as well as a vice-like hold on the extremely small minority of foreigners who were allowed to stay temporarily in the isolated GDR. After the flight of millions of GDR citizens, there was such a permanent shortage of workforce that the socialist leadership at the end of the 1970s decided reluctantly to admit contingents of Vietnamese and Mozambicans — for three years at a time, then they were exchanged for the next group.

"Fitchis” and Mozis” were housed in isolated housing developments. They were not allowed in the official guest restaurants. They could not leave the city without permission, performed menial labor in businesses and were not even allowed to learn German. Most importantly, their wives were under abortion compulsion — a fact which still makes right-radicals happy. Is there a right-radical program? Those who are pursuing one today are the extreme Left. And shortly after the fall of the Wall, they put the blame for the meanness they practiced on the West.

Right-radicalism now forged ahead unimpeded. In 1990, in the General Jewish Weekly Newspaper, I published my essay on anti-Semitism and xenophobia, which I had written deep in the GDR era. That got me place #8 on the death-list of the GDR Neo-Nazis, as an escapee confessed to me years later. I had written about what was going on in our elaborate German ward-heeler system when the "FRG” [West Germany] was still not present there.

I wrote about the Vietnamese women and my old Jewish friend, Johanna, who now saw sitting before her as SED party secretary the very Nazi who had raped her and thrown her into the Elbe. I wrote of our little anti-racist play which I had rehearsed in 1986 with two Berlin young people who had come out of a German-Sudanese student liaison. The young people grew up as "niggers” and "coals” and finally had to be put into a special army unit, and that is how they survived the NVA [National People’s Army] in good health. We were also rehearsing this theatrical piece at a time when the Anti-Fascist Protective Barrier [official East German term for the Berlin Wall] was still protecting us from the Western Nazis. I vividly remember the fascist horde which fell upon the neighboring church in October, 1987 with "Sieg Heil” and "Jews out of German churches” and stabbed at the fleeing punkers with broken bottles. A year before that, I had collected signatures to stop the bulldozing of the Jewish cemetery of Berlin-Weissensee.

"We are looking at a ruin,” I wrote in 1990, "and must take stock of a society that is unreliable. In 1990, a climate of open violence reigns in the cities of the deteriorating GDR .” Shortly before that, I had to run away from an empty city train station because a rabble in combat boots and bomber jackets had worked out from my dark hair that I was a "Jewish c—t.” I did not feel safe until I reached West Berlin territory. I would never have expected to be protected by an East Berlin policeman.

The policy of the ruling socialists was the fertilizer for resentments against everything that deviated from the norm. The homeless never darkened the gray cityscape of the GDR. Anyone who was not inclined to work found himself behind bars as antisocial, where he was forced to work for slave wages. There were no ramps for the handicapped. Integration schools were an alien concept.

Directly after the fall of the Wall, I saw the responsible socialist comrades begin to push the whole thing off on the "West,” the "Federal Republic,” "capitalism.” Their propaganda machine rotated so massively over the years that today a sentence like the one about "youth torn from their roots after the fall of the Wall” is just as much pan-German as the one about the wonderful kindergartens of the GDR. What is once learned stays learned. Simultaneously, comrades of the SED mutated to the PDS [Party of Democratic Socialism] and then to the sweet-as-honey party, Die Linke [The Left].

How many decades do deeply internalized patterns of behavior maintain and reproduce? GDR citizens were made uncomfortable by any deviation from the norm: garish hair color in Punks, "Negroes,” "Fitchis,” the physically handicapped, even someone wearing an unusual hat. In 1993, I was at a meeting of citizens in Berlin-Köpenick where residents of a settlement of individual houses were told that an intake residence for Bosnian war refugees would soon appear in their area.

At that time, ex-GDR types were not yet acquainted with Political Correctness, so the city councilman’s announcement was met by the hatred of 300 Köpenickers. Everyone shouted wildly and chaotically, then one loud voice asserted itself: Things were already bad enough for people in the new states of the Federal Republic. They refused to even let these "swine” in (the refugees). Two years later in Brandenburg, half of a town gathered to support a youngster in burning down a renovated asylum seeker’s home. Comment of a resident: "Better ahead of time than if the people were already inside.” How long does something like this last?

Today, many ex-GDR citizens still think like that. But they are not stupid enough to say it out loud. They have withdrawn to their private circles, where they reach the young people at the supper table. Many children have grown up in the East after the Turnaround with the sentence: "Foreigners are taking our jobs.” And with these behavior patterns, not just foreigners are meant. Also, when a "retard gets smacked” or a homeless person is kicked around, there is no cry of protest echoing through the row houses between Frankfurt an der Oder and Magdeburg, Rostock and Gera, The Big Change is already 10 years in the past and still almost 20% of the localities vote NPD [National Democratic Party of Germany].

Since the 1990s, I have been discussing dictatorship, democracy, tolerance and xenophobia in East German schools. One of these meetings, in a trade school in Neuruppin, led to the often heard statement: "We are infiltrated by foreigners here!” When I asked the circa 60 Neuruppin vocational students to show by hand who in this circle was not born in Germany, not one arm went up. Perhaps none of the young people I met had taken part in racist attacks. But the question arises, where does this problem in perception come from — who prepared the ground for this irrational feeling of being infiltrated by foreigners?

A few weeks ago, on the anniversary of the building of the Wall, "Junge Welt” [Youth World] served up a breathtaking title page. There were the vacant faces of a GDR combat group, vintage 1961: Weapons held before their chests, the comrades were blocking the Brandenburg Gate. This was followed by thanks for 28 years of the Wall! "Junge Welt” is the favorite newspaper of the Die Linke party and its youth. I do not recall even one of the readers protesting this mockery of the victims of the Wall or canceling their subscription,

This party should finally stop dissembling and admit that it contributed greatly to preparing the ground for rightist radicalism in the East. Human lives are important to its members only if they are politically useful. And that connects to an old GDR tradition: It was Junge Welt in 1987 that seized on the Nazi attack on the Zionskirche [Zion Church — Protestant denomination] when it boiled over in the West. It would be terrible to omit the fact that even under GDR conditions there were always people for whom tolerance and civil courage were not mere phrases. In the East, too, citizens courageously stood in front of asylum seeker domiciles, crouching before fist-sized stones, when nothing was to be seen of the local keepers of the peace.

These people exist; but they are too few to confront small minds and brutality with enlightenment and broad resistance. Almost alone, pastors, social workers and small citizen initiatives battle clandestine malice and a spiraling silence. Their small number reflects another cause for the unfortunate jumble in the East — the decades-long bleeding away of credible and desperately needed people in authority. The fact that almost our entire critical intelligence is found in the three million intimidated GDR citizens has dire consequences to this very day. Generations have been degraded here. And understandably, the competent members of the younger generation are fleeing the remaining, dull atmosphere.

Some of those 68ers* who did not belong to the glorifiers of the socialist dictatorship could render a service. To credibly pass on natural basic values like respect for the lives of others even in pathetic broken-down towns, we need the time-period witness of the democratically-minded among those who fled, who can get along well with young people in youth clubs and schools. I know that something will come of that. Last year in Greifswald, I worked with rightist radical young people — with the hard kind who had already spent time in prison. We will never reach all of them, but there is a great reservoir there.

The 68ers who are ensconced in many institutions should think about what international projects they could involve the "dimwits” in — yes, them too. We like to criticize the 68ers. But not because they left the collaboration and collaborative silence of their parents during the Nazi era off the agenda. This generation deserves respect for that, and the East should also profit from it. For we had no 1968 — even more, the war guilt was categorically shoved off on the West, where all Nazis had allegedly fled, as every schoolchild learned, year after year. Now GDR history is also being obfuscated. The East is diseased by a past left unreviewed for the second time.

*Varied, but parallel leftist activist groups who hit the streets in 1968 in West Germany and elsewhere. Cf. the various anti-Vietnam War groups in the U.S.

Posted November 28th, 2011 by pk

Maldives Closes Hundreds of Resort Spas After Muslims Complain of ‘Anti-Islamic’ Activities

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Egypt Proving to be Sign of Obama’s Failing Foreign Policies | Godfather Politics

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Hamas Leader Says Group to Focus On “Popular Resistance”

From The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report:

Hamas Leader Says Group to Focus On “Popular Resistance”

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AFP has reported on an interview with Hamas leader in exile Khaled Meshaal in which he said that the group is “looking to focus it energies on popular resistance” without giving up the “right to armed struggle against Israel.” According to the report:

CAIRO — Hamas is looking to focus its energies on popular resistance without giving up its right to wage armed struggle against Israel, the Islamist movement’s leader Khaled Meshaal told AFP in an interview. “Every people has the right to fight against occupation in every way, with weapons or otherwise. But at the moment, we want to cooperate with the popular resistance,” the group’s Damascus-based leader said in the interview late on Thursday. “We believe in armed resistance but popular resistance is a programme which is common to all the factions,” he said. The Islamist movement, which rules the Gaza Strip, has long called for the destruction of the Jewish state and has fiercely defended its right to wage a bloody armed struggle to end the occupation. Although not opposed in principle by Hamas, popular, non-violent resistance has never been a priority for the group which made its name through its suicide attacks against Israel. His comments were made just hours after talks in Cairo with Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who heads the rival Fatah movement, in a bid to cement a stalled reconciliation agreement which was signed in May but has made no progress since. Speaking to reporters in Cairo, the two leaders approved a two-page document reiterating their commitment to the main elements of the original deal, and hailed a new era of “partnership.” The document, a copy of which was seen by AFP, outlines agreement on “the adoption of popular resistance” which is to be to be strengthened to oppose the seizure of land for Jewish settlement building and construction of the West Bank barrier. “This resistance will be increased and organised and there is to be an agreement on its style, on greater efficiency and the formation of a framework to direct it,” the accord says. Meshaal did not go into detail about the focus on popular resistance but said the Hamas leadership would ensure the agreement was translated into action. “I asked them to take practical and positive measures to flesh out this agreement,” he told AFP. “I have instructed the Hamas leadership (in Gaza and Damascus) to adopt a political line and one with the press that doesn’t upset the conciliatory spirit, and that truly reflects the atmosphere of reconciliation.” The Hamas chief also brushed off threats by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which has vowed to retaliate should Abbas’s Western-backed Palestinian Authority form a unity government with Gaza’s Islamist rulers.

Read the rest here.

The Hamas charter states that it is ” is one of the wings of the Muslim Brothers in Palestine” and an early media report indicated that shortly after Hamas took over the Gaza strip, Muslim Brotherhood representatives were present to review Hamas military formations. In 2007, a Hamas journalist acknowledged the role that the “international Muslim Brotherhood” has played in providing funds for the purchase of weapons and in 2008, an Israeli TV station reported that Muslim Brotherhood “representatives” had traveled to Gaza from Egypt through the open border to meet with Hamas. Hamas is supported financially and politically by the global Muslim Brotherhood and a NEFA Foundation report has documented the Hamas fund-raising activities of the Union of Good, a coalition of Islamic charities linked to the Brotherhood that provides financial support to both the Hamas “social” infrastructure, as well as its terrorist activities. Previous posts have also discussed the worldwide campaign orchestrated by the global Brotherhood against Israeli actions in Gaza during the 2008-2009 conflict with Israel. Anti-Semitic and anti-Israeli incitement in Hamas media is commonly reported.

Libya: 250 Muslim leaders meet to demand Sharia

From Jihad Watch:

Libya: 250 Muslim leaders meet to demand Sharia

They're not in it for just a little Sharia. They're in it for the package deal. Even Imam Rauf knows that Sharia does not lend itself to selective compartmentalization. "Islamists want new Libya based on Shariah law," from the Associated Press, November 28:

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Dozens of Libyan imams and other religious leaders have demanded the country's constitution be based on Islamic Shariah law and have also urged the transitional government to get weapons out of the hands of former rebels. Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said last month that Shariah law would be the main source of legislation in the new Libya.

But he stressed it would reflect a moderate Islam. Other leaders said the matter is still to be decided.

"Moderate" is relative. "Moderate" is less extreme than the next guy, and therefore depends on the point of reference. This highly successful pattern of deceit depends on generalities and half-truths.

The 250 Muslim leaders met in Tripoli on Monday for a conference organized by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. They were seeking a common voice on pressing issues for Libya.

They urged leaders to deal with tribal tensions and disarm the ex-rebels who toppled Moammar Gadhafi, calling them "mujahedeen."

Posted by Marisol on November 29, 2011 12:03 AM

Somalia: Al-Shabaab bans 16 aid agencies over allegations of "political bias"

From Jihad Watch:

Somalia: Al-Shabaab bans 16 aid agencies over allegations of "political bias"

"The list of groups banned outright included the United Nations children's agency, Unicef, and other UN bodies, the British charity Concern and groups from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden."

Surely the Saudis and other wealthy Islamic states will be there any minute to fill that gap and help their brethren with their vast oil wealth.

(Sound of crickets)

"Somalia's al-Shabab militants close UN aid offices," from BBC News, November 28:

Al-Shabab fighters have closed down several aid agencies working in famine-hit Somalia, including some from the UN, accusing them of political bias.

Militants stormed aid offices in the towns of Baidoa and Beledweyne, which like many southern areas are controlled by al-Shabab, witnesses say.

By controlling the flow of aid, al-Shabaab controls who lives and who dies.

Al-Shabab has long restricted the work of international aid groups but on Monday banned 16 groups outright.

Years of conflict mean Somalia is worst hit by the East African drought.

The lack of rain is said to be the worst in 60 years.

The list of groups banned outright included the United Nations children's agency, Unicef, and other UN bodies, the British charity Concern and groups from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden.

Unicef spokesman Jaya Murthy told the BBC a group of men, suspected to belong to al-Shabab, occupied their offices in Baidoa and ordered staff to leave.

"They just said they [Unicef staff] should go home immediately and our office is now their office," Mr Murthy told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

The al-Shabab statement accused the groups of exaggerating the scale of the problems in Somalia for political reasons and to raise money.

'Risk of death'

It also alleges that the agencies are working with church groups trying to convert vulnerable Muslim children and opposing al-Shabab's attempts to impose Sharia law....

Posted by Marisol on November 29, 2011 12:11 AM

Avoiding the Islamist Stigma

Avoiding the Islamist Stigma

Friday, December 30, 2011

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Victory of the Islamist Justice and Development Party in Morocco

From Europe News:

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing: The Victory of the Islamist Justice and Development Party in Morocco

Jerusalem Center Blog 29 November 2011

By Jonathan D. Halevi

The Justice and Development Party (Hizb Al-Adala Wa At-tanmia), which is identified with the Muslim Brotherhood, has won the elections in Morocco held on 26 November 2011. The party won 107 of the 395 parliamentary seats. The party said in an official announcement that, according to not-yet-final results, it had won over 100 of the 395 parliamentary seats. According to a constitutional amendment, King Mohammed VI will have to assign the task of forming the government to the leader of the largest party – Abdelilah Benkirane, head of the Justice and Development Party.

This party is the political wing of the Uniqueness and Reform movement which represents the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco. Its victory constitutes a further triumph for the Islamist movement in the context of the "Arab Spring,” so soon after the victory of the Ennahda movement in the Tunisian elections.

In Egypt, the three-stage elections begin on 28 November 2011, and the Muslim Brotherhood has a chance to make substantial gains. The Muslim Brotherhood in Syria, which is fighting to overthrow the Alawite regime of Assad, is backed by Turkey, which regards it as an alternative to the existing government. In Libya, the new government has undertaken to make Sharia law a primary source of legislation. In Yemen, the Islamist movements have played a central role in the revolt against the rule of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Earlier, in 2006, the Hamas movement – the branch of the Muslim Brotherhood in the Palestinian territories – triumphed in the Palestinian Authority elections, and since then Hamas has entrenched its rule in Gaza and, for all intents and purposes, has become an independent political entity.

The Muslim Brotherhood branches in the various countries are full partners to the worldwide movement’s ideology. Each one, however, has freedom of action to devise its own tactics in line with specific political conditions. In Morocco, the Justice and Development Party chose to downplay the extreme Islamist message and mainly focus on fighting corruption and improving the economy, issues that took the lion’s share of its electoral platform.

That platform, in its brief political section, stated that the party would aim to strengthen dialogue and cooperation with all of the EU countries and Canada while, in Morocco’s relations with the United States, pursuing an appropriate diplomacy and safeguarding national interests. The formulation in the Israeli context was restrained, and included a commitment to the "defense of the just issues of the people and first and foremost the issue of Palestine, and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the establishment of its independent state whose capital is Jerusalem, the Palestine problem being a national problem.”1

The ideological platform of the parent party, the Uniqueness and Reform movement, reveals its true Islamist face. The section on the movement’s goals states that it seeks to instill the Islamic religion in the heart of the individual, the family, the society, the state, and the ummah, and to help spread Islam throughout the world.2 The movement expressed unequivocal support for the armed struggle against Israel in the context of the Second Intifada, and for the terror attacks against U.S. forces in Iraq. It referred to "Zionist and American aggression” as "the greatest and most dangerous manifestations of terror that modern history has known.”3

In recent years Abdelilah Benkirane, leader of the Justice and Development Party and the designated prime minister, has made harshly anti-Israel statements that deny Israel’s right to exist and favor the armed struggle against it. Below are some quotations from his words.

From an interview to the Al-Mashaal weekly in 2011:

As for Israel, it has a special status. It is not like the United States but rather, in our view, a state that is waging a war against the people of Palestine. We, not as the Muslim Arab people but as the Moroccan people, do not see the Palestinian problem as a problem of our brothers the Palestinians alone, but as our own problem….If Israel were to live with the Palestinians within a single state as occurred in South Africa, our position would change. However, at present we regard Israel as a hostile state.4

From an interview to the Hamas website that is documented on the Uniqueness and Reform movement’s website, at the time of Benkirane’s arrival in Gaza in March 2009:

The inhabitants of Arab Morocco do not think there is only a duty to identify with the Palestinians, but want to wage a jihad struggle alongside them….Most unfortunately, the political circumstances, the borders, the soldiers, and the legal and military barriers that exist between the Muslims prevent these feelings from being expressed as they should….The Moroccans see the Islamic resistance movement Hamas as the mother of resistance and steadfastness. The Moroccans very much love the Hamas movement…and they love to recall at every occasion the acts of heroism and sacrifice of this great and mighty movement….All of the Moroccans stand beside the Palestinians and the noble Al-Quds [Jerusalem], and if the borders are opened to the Moroccans and the obstacles are removed, you will see how the masses come to help Al-Aqsa and Al-Quds.5

Benkirane, along with tens of other Muslim religious savants, signed two manifestos that openly declare support for jihad as the only way to liberate Palestine in its entirety and call for a hostile stance toward the United States. Below are quotations from the manifestos.

From the manifesto in support of Gaza:

No condemnation of the [Palestinian] struggle; instead, recognition of its legitimacy….Official condemnation of the U.S. stance of supporting and assisting the occupying entity and a call to ambassadors to hold consultations and reconsider relations [with the United States]….The importance of seeking to prepare an untrammeled Islamic legal manifesto that will clarify the Islamic dimension of the Palestine issue and the legitimacy of the jihad and the struggle against the occupying Jews….Adoption of the approach of an economic boycott against Israel and the Zionist entity….An economic jihad to help our brethren in Gaza….Emphasis on support for the path of struggle and for the legitimate jihad in Palestine as the means of its liberation.6

From the manifesto calling for the lifting of the siege on the Palestinian people:

We the undersigned on this manifesto emphasize the complete support of the ummah for the legal and noble Islamic position of the leaders of the Palestinian people, who belong to Hamas and other jihad organizations, in refusing to recognize the state of "Israel” and its fraudulent right to exist in Palestine. We regard recognition [of Israel] as a violation of the tenets of Islamic law and the consensus of the ummah….

We emphasize the right of the Muslim Palestinian people to struggle aggressively for its land…and we view this resistance as legally, Islamically mandated warfare and a political interest, it being forbidden to call for its condemnation or evade it.

We regard every signature on agreements or treaties that renounce the right of struggle, or the right of return of the refugees, or the right of the Islamic identity of Al-Quds in particular and of Palestine in general, as an offense to the ummah, a deviation from its fundamental principles, and a sacrifice of its interests.

We view the jihad-fighting Palestinian resistance, with all of its organizations, as one of the shining stars in the skies of jihad-fighting Islam….

The undersigned affirm to the masses of the ummah that the duty of liberating Jerusalem and rescuing the captured Al-Aqsa Mosque is not only a duty of the Palestinians alone but of the entire ummah, and therefore solidarity with those who cling tenaciously to the sacred land is not an act of voluntary will but, rather, an Islamic legal obligation and a historical responsibility.7

In sum, the media’s accounts of a "moderate” Justice and Development Party winning the Moroccan elections do not accurately reflect this party’s ideology. The purported "moderation” is a tactic aimed at gaining a political foothold, a capacity, as part of the government, to enhance the public’s readiness for Islamic jurisprudence as the source of the country’s constitution and laws.

A party that is a wolf in sheep’s clothing has won the Moroccan elections, and despite its platform’s declarative commitment to strengthen ties with the West, the party’s outlook, its leaders’ statements, and the platform of its parent party point clearly to the stance of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is hostile to the West and its culture and views Israel as a cardinal enemy. The victory of the Muslim Brotherhood in Morocco further energizes the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt for the elections beginning on November 28, and encourages the Brotherhood’s branches that are fighting the existing regime in other countries. The domino effect that began with the revolt in Tunisia is coloring the Middle East green, as the Islamic revolution gradually alters the regional balance of power and, eventually, could well forge a new front to challenge the existing world order.

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Lt. Col. (ret.) Jonathan D. Halevi is a senior researcher of the Middle East and radical Islam at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. He is a co-founder of the Orient Research Group Ltd. and is a former advisor to the Policy Planning Division of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Posted November 29th, 2011 by pk