Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/31/2008

The news feed is light tonight — most of our tipsters seem to be taking the holiday weekend off.

Hurricane GustavTomorrow will be a big news day. Hurricane Gustav will hit New Orleans, chaos will ensue, and the Republicans will be blamed. We probably won’t be blogging it, but I will make an easy prediction: the government, at both the federal and state levels, will botch the response. It’s inevitable; they simply can’t do a job like this right. Only localized, decentralized, distributed networks of people can be effective in a mass crisis.

And now for the real news…

Europe and the EU
Man Shot Dead in Gothenburg
Preachers of Separatism at Work Inside Britain’s Mosques
Youths Brawl at Norwegian Asylum Center
 
Israel and the Palestinians
Forward to the Past
Israeli Firm Produces T-Shirt Insulting Prophet (S)
Palestinians Can’t Give the Time of Day
 
Russia
Russian Police Kill Critical Web Site Owner, Deputy Says

Thanks to Abu Elvis, Barry Rubin, GD, TB, The Observer, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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Europe and the EU


Man Shot Dead in Gothenburg

A 44-year-old man was found shot dead in the Gothenburg suburb of Kortedala on Sunday morning. Police have classified the crime as murder with an alternative charge of manslaughter.

The shooting occurred at 5am on Årstids square in the suburb of Kortedala in Gothenburg. Despite the early hour police were able to take 14 people in for questioning.

“There were several people at the scene and several more arrived,” said Pia Goksöyr at Gothenburg police.

The 14 were interviewed by police on Sunday morning but by lunchtime no suspect had been identified and arrested for the offence.

Several incidents have occurred in the suburb of Kortedala in recent weeks, many involving firearms, and thought to have connections with an ongoing gang war in the city.

A man was shot in the leg and a bomb was placed on a car in two incidents occurring in the vicinity of Årstids square. Police believe that the cases could have links to the gang war.

The man that was shot on Sunday morning is not however thought to have any links to organized criminal gangs.

“He is not previously known to us and the incident is probably not gang related,” said Goksöyr.

A rumour was circulating on Sunday that the man had in fact shot himself.

“We can’t rule it out,” said Goksöyr.

By Sunday lunchtime the type of firearm used in the shooting had not been clarified.

News agency TT spoke to a man living in the vicinity of Årstidtorget. He was angry at the news.

“There are two illicit clubs here on the square. People are scared to walk here in the evenings. It feels horrible to have to walk past the gangs here. I have several acquaintances who have had enough,” he said and explained that he and his wife had plans to move from the area in the near future.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Preachers of Separatism at Work Inside Britain’s Mosques

Britain’s leading Muslim bodies say they are fighting extremism. In one of our most respected mosques, Sara Hassan came face to face with hardline female preachers of separatism. Here, she reports on the shocking results of her investigation.

In a large balcony above the beautiful main hall at Regent’s Park Mosque in London — widely considered the most important mosque in Britain — I am filming undercover as the woman preacher gives her talk.

What should be done to a Muslim who converts to another faith? “We kill him,” she says, “kill him, kill, kill…You have to kill him, you understand?”

Adulterers, she says, are to be stoned to death — and as for homosexuals, and women who “make themselves like a man, a woman like a man … the punishment is kill, kill them, throw them from the highest place”…

           — Hat tip: GD [Return to headlines]



Youths Brawl at Norwegian Asylum Center

Brawl over bus seats [translated by The Observer]

They were going to watch a football match, but instead they ended up having a fist fight over who was going to be allowed on board the bus. A worried boy called the police in Asker og Bærum and informed them about the brawl, which took place at Hvalstad asylum centre for young asylum seekers.

“At lot of kids were involved in the brawl, and there simply weren’t enough staff to calm things down,” according to the first report.

The police dispatched two units, who managed to break up the fight. Some of the youths suffered nosebleeds, but no one was seriously injured.

“We hardly ever arrest individuals whose papers say they are under the age of 18 for being involved in scuffles like this,” says leader of operations Jørgen Jakobsen of Asker og Bærum police department to Aftenposten.no.”

Sent to their rooms

The trip to the football match was cancelled, and the youths involved in the brawl were given marching orders back to their rooms, while those kids who didn’t take part in the fighting were allowed to play volleyball.

“This is not a big deal. It was only three kids fighting a little bit. Nothing serious happened,” says Ahmed Bozgil, chairman of Hero Norway, the company operating the centre.

The residents at this asylum centre have been under a lot of stress after a 16 year old boy was shot and nearly killed while sleeping in his room by a lawyer from Asker. It is not clear yet if this incident had anything to do with the brawl.

           — Hat tip: The Observer [Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians


Forward to the Past

Jonathan Spyer

In recent weeks, a number of prominent Fatah figures have suggested that their movement might abandon its commitment to a “two-state solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and return to the pre-1988 demand for Israel’s replacement by a single state in the area between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

They claim that Israeli policy in the West Bank is forcing them to reconsider their commitment to partition. In fact, though, what used to be known as the “democratic, secular state,” and is now called the “one-state solution,” has been the end-goal of modern Palestinian nationalism for the greater part of its history. Its reemergence into prominence should come as no surprise. It is the natural product of Palestinian nationalism’s characterization of the conflict.

The one-state solution is depicted by its adherents as a non-ethnic, non-nationalist alternative to the ethnic nationalism represented by Israel. Israel, according to Virginia Tilly, a prominent Western supporter of the one-state idea, rests “on the discredited idea, on which political Zionism stakes all its moral authority, that any ethnic group can legitimately claim permanent formal dominion over a territorial state.”

This formulation is dishonest. Ahmed Qurei and Sari Nusseibeh, two of the prominent Palestinians with apparently growing sympathy for the one-state idea, are also members of an overtly nationalist movement emerging from a distinctive Arab and Muslim cultural context.

The Palestinian Authority in its constitution describes the Palestinian people in ethnic and religious terms, as “part of the Arab and Islamic nations.” This document declares Islam as the official religion of the Palestinian state, and cites Islamic sharia law as a “major source for legislation.” Thus, whatever argument the one-staters have with Israel, it isn’t based on a principled objection to ethnic nationalism. But then, why is this claim of the “non-national,” civil rights nature of the one-state demand being made?…

           — Hat tip: Barry Rubin [Return to headlines]



Israeli Firm Produces T-Shirt Insulting Prophet (S)

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM- In their continued aim to insult Islam and the Prophet Mohammed (s), an Israeli textile firm recently produced a T-shirt with a sentence insulting the Prophet Mohammed (s). The t-shirt was done for the Intelligence Department in the Israeli occupation army.

“If Mohammed does not come to the mountain, it is acceptable”, says the t-shirt on the front in Hebrew. The sentence is meant to relate to the Hebrew proverb saying “If Mohammed (the Prophet) does not come to the mountain; the mountain will come to him”.

A picture of an Arab Sheikh carrying a rifle, signifying that Arabs and Muslims are terrorists, also appears on the T-shirt.

The Islamic Movement in the 1948 Palestinian Occupied Lands asked the company to stop producing such T-shirts. It has also called for respect to be accorded to the feelings and beliefs of the Muslims.

They said that, “Muslims should intensify efforts to defend the Prophet (s) and confront this Zionist campaign which is aiming to infuriate Muslims and Arabs.”

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Palestinians Can’t Give the Time of Day

The split between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip took a new twist over the weekend as Hamas and Fatah announced different dates for the beginning of winter time.

This year, for the first time ever, winter time in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank will begin on different dates.

And for the first time ever, the time in the two areas will be different by one hour for two or three days.

In the past, the Palestinians — in a sign of political independence — used to change their clocks at different times from Israel.

The Hamas government announced that it was moving the clock back an hour earlier at midnight on Thursday, heralding the beginning of winter time in Gaza.

The Ramallah-based government of Prime Minister Salaam Fayad, on the other hand, announced that clocks will be switched back only at midnight Sunday, signifying the beginning of Ramadan.

In Israel, the time change is expected to take place on October 5.

In a related development, hundreds of physicians working in the public sector began a four-day strike Saturday in protest against the dismissal of scores of their colleagues by the Hamas-controlled Ministry of Health.

In response, the Hamas security forces arrested Dr. Duhni al-Wahidi, head of the Physicians Syndicate in the Gaza Strip.

The strike disrupted medical services in several hospitals in the Gaza Strip, including Shifa Hospital, the largest hospital in the area.

Hamas officials accused the Palestinian Authority leadership in Ramallah of instigating the physicians’ strike in a bid to undermine the Hamas government.

They claimed that the strike was part of an attempt to drive the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to revolt against the Hamas government.

School teachers in the Gaza Strip have also threatened to go on strike on the first day of the academic year this week. They too are protesting against the dismissal of hundreds of their colleagues by the Hamas government for “political reasons.”

           — Hat tip: Abu Elvis [Return to headlines]

Russia


Russian Police Kill Critical Web Site Owner, Deputy Says

The owner of an independent Web site critical of authorities was shot and killed Sunday by police in a volatile province in southern Russia, his colleague said.

Police arrested Ingushetiya.ru owner Magomed Yevloyev on Sunday, taking him off a plane that had just landed in Ingushetia province near Chechnya, said the site’s deputy editor, Ruslan Khautiyev.

Police whisked Yevloyev away in a car and later dumped him on the road with a gunshot wound in the head, Khautiyev said. He said Yevloyev died in a hospital shortly afterward.

In Moscow, Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement that Yevloyev was detained by police and died in an “incident” while being taken to police headquarters for an interrogation. Markin did not elaborate, saying that a check to clarify the circumstances of Yevloyev’s death had begun. The committee is under the Prosecutor General’s office.

           — Hat tip: Abu Elvis [Return to headlines]

Bach Played on the Accordion, Part 2

Last spring I posted a video made by Steen of a young Russian musician on a street corner in Copenhagen playing J. S. Bach on the accordion. Steen ran into him again yesterday, and has taken two more videos.



The musician’s name is Michael Olefir, and I recognize what he’s playing: the Andante (first) movement of Trio Sonata #3 in D minor, BWV 527. His version is played quite a bit faster than the one I’m used to.

Here’s what Steen said about the occasion:

I love that guy from St. Petersburg. We are having a beautiful late summer — 25º centigrade [77º F], and to the music of Bach; it’s all perfect. A video to listen to in December!

Steen has also written a small essay for the occasion. It’s in Danish, and I’ll re-post it here for those of you who can read it. Steen asked me to add this:

My reference to Ludvig Holberg is important. Norwegian-born, playwright, professor in Copenhagen. The most important advocate of reason back then — and very funny. Still the main act of the Royal Theatre — “Denmark’s Molière”.

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And now Steen’s essay. I can’t read much of it, but it does say that Mr. Olefir’s accordion was specially built to play organ music:

Fiolstræde, sensommer, lange skygger: Bach

Michael Olefir fra Skt. Petersborg, Endu et nummer her. Olefir er ikke en hvilken somhelst gademusikant. Han er uddanet i den russiske skole fra 5-års alderen. Hans accordion er bygget specielt til orgelmusik. Lyden på en mobilvideo er ikke high fidelity, men det er det nærmeste man kommer et orgel, hvis man ikke skal over i Domkirken. Lige overfor hvor han sidder, boede Ludvig Holberg på sine gamle dage (se epitafiet på muren). Jeg forestiller mig Fiolstræde ikke er så forandret på de 250 år. I Domkirken kommer jeg til højmesse d. 25 december. Ikke for at studere de mondæne kändissar i nertzpels, — de gamle socialister er blevet kristelige — men for at høre musikken. Udvidet kor, blæsere og en fuld kirke. Man har lyst til at klappe af begejstring, men det er jo ikke en Torsdagskoncert med 10 minutters ovation og fremkaldelser. Man tar´sig i det og lytter til biskop Erik Norman Svendsen. Han er ikke dum. Han kan gå på line sprogligt, noget der volder domprovst Gadegaard mere besvær. Når biskoppen “shamer” mig, opdager jeg det næsten ikke. Men det er endnu én af folkekirkens store dyder: Skæld dem ud, men blidt, så de ikke kræver kirkeskatten tilbage og forlanger republikken indført. Stryg dem lidt medhårs, og lidt modhårs, så går alle glade og berigede hjem. Kierkegaard ville have rakt ud efter brækspanden, men han var jo heller ikke helt vel forvaret. Det forsøger vi at være, selvom det kan smutte.

Mobilvideos (c) Snaphanen

Separating the Sexes in Oslo

Norway currently has the largest influx of asylum-seekers in Europe. It is in the midst of a crisis with respect to its immigrant population, especially the Muslims.

The political elites seem determined to deal with the crisis by further deference to Islam, and recent signs point the way to full dhimmitude. The latest example is the segregation of the sexes in school swimming classes out of respect for Muslim sensibilities. This, of course, would violate the human rights of the students if any other religion besides Islam were behind it.

Here’s a translation by our Norwegian correspondent The Observer of an article in today’s Aftenposten:

Gender-separated swimming classes in Oslo

Out of consideration to Muslim students sensitivity, boys and girls at Møllergata Elementary school in Oslo are separated during physical exercise and swimming classes. Even the teachers have to be of the ‘correct’ gender.

“This dilemma arose as a direct result of the immigration to the city. Muslim girls are not allowed to take part in physical exercise and swimming classes where boys are present. As a result of this the school had to come up with alternative solutions,” says Eva Kjøge, the school principal.

She recently took up the position as principal at the school and she has not yet decided whether to scrap the controversial practice, that has been going on for years now.

“The arrangements were introduced about ten years ago. I only started in August this year and I want to see how it works before I decide whether to make any changes. This is an issue that also needs to be discussed with the parents,” she says.

Could be illegal

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Boys only and girls only classes in physical exercise and swimming could be in violation of the Education law. According to this law, students shall not be divided into groups on the base of their skill levels, gender or ethnicity.

However Principal Eva Kjøge points out that the principle of offering specialized education according to the particular needs of the individual students is a principle that has a prominent position in the Norwegian school, and points out that the gender-segregated education only involves one subject.

“This only involves physical education classes, and not any other subjects,” she says.

At Hersleb and Vahl Elementary schools in the ethnically diverse neighborhood of Grønland in Oslo there is no such practice of separating the genders in the physical exercise classes.

“It has never been an issue at our school. The students are allowed to dress as they like, and there has never been any suggestions of gender-separated classes. Some students don’t participate in the swimming lessons, but they are, however, being offered specialized women-only swimming lessons after regular school hours,” says Trine Haugen, principal at Vahl Elementary school to NTB.

At Møllergata Elementary school this separation of boys and girls is motivated primarily by religious and cultural considerations, and is based on the principle of modesty, but Kjøge insists that there can be strong educational reasons to keep boys and girls separate.

“It can be wise to keep them separate in certain activities such as ball games, where it can be more beneficial for girls to be on their own.”

Had to stop

Last year the Fylkesmannen [similar to state Governor] in Oppland decided that Kringsjå school in Lillehammer was violating the Education Law when it separated the genders in physical exercise classes, art and crafts classes and nature and environmental classes. The separation of the genders in this case was based on educational considerations, because there was an environment with lots of conflicts at the school in question, and because the girls were in a minority.

“Short-term separation based on gender is possible, but not for a year and a half,” said fylkesmann Kristin Hille Valla and chairman of education Trond Johnsen to Gudbrandsdølen Dagningen [local newspaper] in November last year. This led to a change in policy by the school in question in this matter

The Education Department does not wish to comment on the situation at Møllergata Elementary school, but points out that the Education Law allows for gender-separated classes in certain specific cases, provided there are strong compelling reasons for this, and that this practice doesn’t create any precedents.

The Failure of Western Feminism

The Fjordman Report


The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.



I have written several essays before on the damaging effects of Western feminism. The massive wave of violence and especially rapes in Western cities now is a form of warfare against whites, and it’s about time it is recognized as such. As this post from Gallia Watch puts it:

The Rap group ‘Sniper’As in war, the winners seize the indigenous women all the while protecting their own. The whole rhetoric that aims to debase the European woman or France (‘I screw France like a whore’ says rap group Sniper) is a part of the feminization of the white race, of the idea that Europe is a land to be conquered, a habitat open to all forms of pillage. Are not the notorious ‘gang rapes’ another example of collective violence to European women, just as Russian soldiers did when they seized German women in a devastated Berlin in 1945. It all holds together. A tribe that does not protect its women is behaving as if they have already lost the war. Many of us don’t know this. But our enemies do.

Feminist LogoAs a Western man, I would be tempted to say that Western women have to some extent brought this upon themselves. They have been waging an ideological, psychological and economic war against white men for several generations now, believing that this would make you “free.” The actual result is that you have less freedom of movement and security than ever, as a direct result of the immigrant policies supported by you and your buddies.

In the big scheme of things, the truth is that white men have treated women with greater respect than the men of almost any other major civilization on earth. And I don’t mean just in the modern age, I mean for many centuries. Yet we are the one group of men who are most demonized and attacked, whereas non-white men get treated with much greater respect. What white men see from this is that white Western women prefer men who treat them like crap, and disrespect men who treat them with respect. This isn’t exactly a smart way to behave if you want to be treated with dignity.
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The ERF HammerThe truth is that any nation is always protected from external aggression by the men. The women can play a supporting role in this, but never more than that. For all the talk about “girl power” and “women kicking ass” which you see on movies these days, if the men of your “tribe” are too weak or demoralized to protect you, you will be enslaved and crushed by the men from other “tribes” before you can say “Vagina Monologues”. Which means that if you break down men’s masculinity, their willingness and ability to defend themselves and their families, you destroy the country. That’s exactly what Western women have done for the last forty years. So why are you surprised about the results? As you said, you can’t fool Mother Nature. Well, you have tried to fool her for a long time, and you are now paying the price for this.

Western women have been subjected to systematic Marxist indoctrination meant to turn you into a weapon of mass destruction against your own civilization, a strategy that has been remarkably successful. Here is a quote from Robert Spencer’s book Religion of Peace?:

Attacks on Christian history and doctrine are an integral part of a larger effort to instill a sense of cultural shame in even non-Christian European and American youth — a shame that militates against their thinking the West is even worth defending. A white American student, ‘Rachel,’ unwittingly summed up this attitude when she told American Indian professor Dr. David Yeagley in 2001: ‘Look, Dr. Yeagley, I don’t see anything about my culture to be proud of. It’s all nothing. My race is just nothing… Look at your culture. Look at American Indian tradition. Now I think that’s really great. You have something to be proud of. My culture is nothing.’ Yeagley mused: ‘The Cheyenne people have a saying: A nation is never conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground…When Rachel denounced her people, she did it with the serene self-confidence of a High Priestess reciting a liturgy. She said it without fear of criticism or censure. And she received none. The other students listened in silence, their eyes moving timidly back and forth between me and Rachel, as if unsure which of us constituted a higher authority…Who had conquered Rachel’s people? What had led her to disrespect them? Why did she behave like a woman of a defeated tribe?’

Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/30/2008

USA
Is Obama Talking Secretly With Raul Castro?
 
Europe and the EU
“Dutch Spy Recalled From Iran on US Attack Plan”
Amsterdam: City Council Rejects Mayor Cohen’s Plea for Mosque Subsidies
Denmark: Parents to Pay for Kids’ Vandalism
Denmark: Daylight Robbery on Strøget
East London Council Adapts to Ramadan
Gangmaster Who Raped Journalism Student in Calais May Have Fled to Britain
Hacker Puts Thousands of Anti-Wilders Pamphlets on Dutch Websites [Translation]
Norway: More Somalians Wanted
Now It’s the Citizen Snoopers: Councils Recruit Unpaid Volunteers to Spy on Their Neighbours
Swedish Prison: Fermented Herring a ‘Security Risk’
UK: Economy at 60-Year Low, Says Chancellor Alistair Darling. and it Will Get Worse
 
Middle East
The Afghan Women Jailed for Being Victims of Rape
Wide-Scale, Vicious Campaign Against Islam Must be Tackled
 
Caucasus
Bildt Rejects Georgia-Kosovo Comparison
 
South Asia
Indian Police Told to Shoot as Anti-Christian Riots Flare
Indonesia: Tobacco Farmers Protest Fatwa Plan on Smoking

Thanks to TB, VH, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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USA


Is Obama Talking Secretly With Raul Castro?

By Humberto Fontova

“As I left Havana earlier this month,” writes Dr. Rens Lee, senior fellow at Philadelphia’s prestigious Foreign Policy Research Institute, “Cuba was eagerly awaiting the United States’ November presidential elections. The buzz around the capital, reportedly from a highly placed source, was that Barack Obama has already talked to Raul Castro by phone.”

(Note: I notified the Obama campaign of these claims and asked for a response or clarification. It has not responded.)

Dr. Rens Lee explains that the buzz was reported by both highly placed Cuban officials and by an experienced Western diplomat posted in Havana. Lee also cautions against an outside chance that the report is simply wishful thinking from Cuban officials based on Obama’s Castro-friendly campaign promises.

The wishful thinking is certainly warranted. After all, Barack Obama has already pledged himself to grant the Castro brothers one of their most fervent wishes by abolishing a Bush policy that seriously stung them. “I will immediately allow unlimited family travel and remittances to the island,” pledged Barack Obama on his Miami visit in May.

Naturally, as presented by Castro’s agents (on the payroll and off) in the U.S. media, Obama’s proposal sounds eminently reasonable, commonsensical, practical and humane — unlike those of the Cuban-American cabal that designs and enforces the Republican Party’s Cuba policy in between tying screaming damsels to railroad tracks.

As recited by his U.S. media, think-tank and Democratic Party mouthpieces, Castro’s talking points tug mightily at the heartstrings of the uninformed and misinformed on Cuba. “After all, what’s wrong with allowing families to visit each other and help each other financially? Gosh, what type of intransigence and malice could possibly motivate those mean Miami Cuban Republicans to oppose loving families from being together?”

Sound familiar? Of course. We heard the same chorus from the same choir during their advance work for the Democratic shanghaiing of Elian Gonzalez.

Here’s a good rule of thumb: When you see Charles Rangel advocating a certain policy toward Cuba, when you see the media quoting Wayne Smith, Phil Peters and the Inter-American Dialogue to the same effect — the Castro brothers requested it. Then when you see the Democratic National Committee adopt this policy, you can bet there’s something to what Lee heard in Havana. All of the above apply here.

Here are a few things you’re not hearing from the Castro brother’s Beltway echo-chamber: Until fairly recently, the Castro regime (classified by the U.S. State Department as a state sponsor of terrorism, and classified by the liberal media as a victim of a “cruel U.S. embargo”) was in fact enjoying a $1 billion a year lifeline straight from the U.S. This largess came in the form of cash remittances to Cuba from Castro’s former subjects and from the spending by these former subjects upon their frequent visits to their homeland. This $1 billion in remittances approached Red China’s monetary infusion into Cuba.

[Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU


“Dutch Spy Recalled From Iran on US Attack Plan”

AMSTERDAM, 30/08/08 — The Dutch AIVD secret service has had an ultra-secret operation underway in Iran in recent years. This has been halted in connection with plans for a US attack on Iran, newspaper De Telegraaf reported Friday.

The “ultra-secret operation” had as its aim infiltration and sabotage of the weapons industry in the Islamic republic. “The operation, described as extremely successful, was halted recently in connection with plans for an impending US air attack on Iraq. Along with this, targets would also be bombed which were connected with the Dutch espionage action,” writes the Netherlands’ biggest newspaper.

“One of the agents involved, who was able to infiltrate the Iranian industry under the supervision of the AIVD, was recently recalled because the US was thought to be making a decision within weeks to attack Iran with unmanned aircraft. Among the potential targets were said to be not only nuclear plants, but also military installations that have been brought to light partly by the agency of the AIVD,” according to the newspaper.

“Information from the AIVD operation has in recent years been shared with the American CIA secret service,” the paper continued. “Various supplies could also be sabotaged and stopped. These were parts for missiles and launching equipment.”

The article was written by Joost de Haas, known for his good contacts in the intelligence world. Earlier, he got hold of an AIVD report which suggested that corrupt powers within Dutch police corps supplied weapons to criminals to liquidate other criminals.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Amsterdam: City Council Rejects Mayor Cohen’s Plea for Mosque Subsidies

AMSTERDAM, 30/08/08 — A majority on Amsterdam city council is distancing itself from Mayor Job Cohen’s idea of subsidising mosques.

Cohen wants the local authority to help religious groups build a house of prayer, as has already happened with the infamous Westermoskee mosque. It is not according to him a matter of subsidising a faith but of fostering integration.

Labour (PvdA), conservatives (VVD) and Christian democrats (CDA) rejected Cohen’s proposals in a council meeting. The leftwing Greens (GroenLinks), Socialist Party (SP) and centre-left D66 did support the Islam subsidies, proposed recently by Cohen in a report on the separation of Church and State.

Remarkable was the opposition of Cohen’s own PvdA. PvdA council member Frank de Wolf fears that “such support will not contribute to the emancipation” of Muslims. Stronger yet, outdated views on women and homosexuals could be encouraged by the subsidies, according to De Wolf.

The critical position of the PvdA and thereby a majority in the council appeared to surprise Cohen. He said that emancipation is not the first goal of his memo, but the “reduction of deprivation.”

But Cohen may be able to carry out his idea after all. De Wolf would in fact not promise that the PvdA will eventually vote against his memo. “We must still discuss it with the party,” according to De Wolf.

A majority on the Amsterdam city council already considers that a government authority can use religious institutions to carry out policy. This could for example mean deploying Imams to stem radicalisation or Christian drug rehabilitation centres for heroine addicts. A number of parties considered this is not a violation of the separation of Church and State.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Denmark: Parents to Pay for Kids’ Vandalism

The government has had enough of young troublemakers and is ready to hold parents responsible for their children’s misbehaviour

A new proposal to make parents financially responsible for their children’s vandalism has majority support in parliament.

Lene Espersen, the justice minister, and Karen Jespersen, the social welfare minister, have put together a proposal that will not only toughen the punishment for young offenders but will require that parents pay for any physical damage caused by their children.

The proposal from the Liberal-Conservative government will likely pass in parliament, having the support of the coalition’s common ally, the Danish People’s Party.

‘It’s a really good idea,’ said Peter Skaarup, the party’s legal affairs spokesman. ‘It’s a healthy thing that parents will feel the pinch in their pocketbooks when their kids don’t behave properly and destroy public or private property.’

In addition to billing parents for damage and tougher punishment for offenders, the six-point proposal also recommends: creating parent help programmes; fines for slack parenting, such as when kids are truant; a bully-hooligan register; and more surveillance.

Espersen said the proposal is aimed at two problem groups in particular.

‘It’s the modern families who think it’s best when children are raised without setting boundaries or limits,’ said the justice minister. ‘They end up doing whatever they want, and everything becomes about “me, me, me” instead of about the community. They’re the types who end up throwing bricks off bridges onto vehicles.’

The other group are young people of non-Danish ethnic background.

‘Many families of foreign background have a culture in which the boys should be in charge of their own lives already at the age of 8 or 9,’ said Espersen.

Jespersen believes that more use of school detention should also supplement any changes in the law.

‘It provides a certain order and discipline that is especially beneficial to the weaker students.’

The opposition Social Democrats, the nation’s second-largest party, are also tentatively supporting the proposal.

‘Maybe it will get parents to clamp down a bit on the kids if they believe they’re going out to cause trouble,’ said Karen Hækkerup, the party’s legal affairs spokeswoman. ‘But I still have a lot of questions about the proposal that first need to be answered.’

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Denmark: Daylight Robbery on Strøget

Police were ready when two armed thieves exited a jewellery store on walking street Strøget after a broad-daylight robbery attempt

Tension filled Copenhagen’s main pedestrian street Strøget on Thursday afternoon when two gun-wielding robbers rushing out of a watchmaker’s shop were immediately confronted by police.

The many shoppers and tourists present on the street were witness to a standoff when one of the thieves aimed his pistol at the officers. But then, realising he and his partner were far outnumbered, he dropped the gun and surrendered.

Police found around 10 million kroner’s worth of merchandise in the thieves’ bags after their capture.

The unsuccessful heist took place at watchmaker Ole Mathiesen on the Østergade section of Strøget near Kongens Nytorv square. Police say the two men, who were reportedly from the Balkan region, entered the shop and smashed several of the display cases, threatening the shop’s employee at gunpoint.

The men were scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday morning.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



East London Council Adapts to Ramadan

CAIRO — Showing courtesy to Muslim employees, a local council in east London is urging non-Muslim members not to eat or drink during meetings with Muslim colleagues during the holy fasting month of Ramadan, reported the Daily Mail on Friday, August 29.

“It is requested that members do not partake of any refreshments until after the iftar (fast breaking) refreshments are served,” John Williams, head of Tower Hamlets Council’s democratic services, said in an e-mail to non-Muslim council members.

The order is part of special arrangements made by the council for the holy dawn-to-dusk fasting month.

The arrangements also include giving Muslim employees a 45-minute break during evening meetings to allow them break their fast and perform prayers.

Muslim members would also be offered iftar packs including tea, coffee, sandwiches and special Muslim snacks at the time of iftar.

The council’s agenda has also been reduced during Ramadan to include only seven committee meetings all over the month.

Ramadan, the ninth month on the Islamic lunar calendar, will fall this year in early September.

In Ramadan, adult Muslims, save the sick and those traveling, abstain from food, drink, smoking and sex between dawn and sunset.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Gangmaster Who Raped Journalism Student in Calais May Have Fled to Britain

A gangmaster believed to have raped a journalism student in a squalid Calais migrants’ camp could be on the loose in Britain. Police say they think the people smuggler has already left the area and may have fled to the UK to avoid detection. As horrific details emerged of the 31-year-old student’s ordeal, detectives issued a photo e-fit provided by the victim to all UK ports, as well as British and European police.

The student had travelled to the French port to interview migrants sleeping rough before trying to sneak into Britain. As she took photographs of a group of Afghan refugees, she was lured into a makeshift hut in the notorious unofficial camp called The Jungle by the gang leader, who told her he wanted to show her something inside.

There he held her down, repeatedly hit her around the face and body, and subjected her to a half-hour rape, police said. Although she screamed for help, no one came to her aid. French state prosecutor Philippe Muller said he believed the man was a French-speaking people smuggler in his 20s of Afghan or Iraqi appearance.

The human traffickers charge other immigrants up to £800 a time for a place in a truck or train to get to England. […] The woman, who was born in Canada but has lived most of her life in London, is being treated for physical injuries and undergoing counselling for mental trauma in Calais…

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]



Hacker Puts Thousands of Anti-Wilders Pamphlets on Dutch Websites [Translation]

Thousands of Dutch websites have been the victim of an Islamic hacker. The hacker took over the homepage of websites and replaced them with an anti-Fitna pamphlet.

The hacker, who works under the name nEt^DeVil, writes in the pamphlet that he or she feelsobliged to defend Islam and the holy prophet Mohammed “in response to the Fitnafilm of that Geert Wilders-cow.”

Defacement

Where the hacker comes from and whether he or she works alone, is unknown. What is clear is that nEt^DeVil is a busy bee: the last few weeks over 18,000 websites have been attacked and taken over. The hacking of a site to replaced the homepge with a message is called ‘defacement’.

The attacks are mainly aimed at users of the free content management system of Joomla, which contains a leak that goves the hacker the opportunity to break in. It is striking that the majority of the hacked sites are running on a Linux based server, a program that relatively speaking in not very widely used.

The website of Joomla itself was also addressed in mid-August, after which the company updated their software. As turns out not all websites have installed this update. Also today dozens of websites have been taken over.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]



Norway: Record Number of New Citizens

A record 14,900 persons received Norwegian citizenship last year. Of these, seven out of ten were former citizens from a non-European nation.

This is shown by fresh figures from Statistics Norway (SSB).

As in the two previous years, the two largest groups caame from Iraq and Somalia, with 2600 and 2200 persons respectively.

From 1977 to 2007, altogether 203,000 foreign citizens have received Norwegian citizenship.

More than 140,000 of these were formerly holding non-European citizenship.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Norway: More Somalians Wanted

Hassan Samahle returned to the mountain village of Vinje in Telemark County after getting his degree. Somalians here are so well integrated that the community want more of them to come. Everyone completes secondary school, and no one is a passive welfare recipient.

Hassan Samahle leads the Vinje Soccer Second Team. His daughter Hibach plays on the team along with coach Grete Høgset’s daughter Randi, and Ogbad Mohammed and Anne Våle.

The 32 year-old electrical engineer, has brought new expertise to one of the main employers in the area.

He came to Norway and Vinje when he was 15, completed secondary school with good grades, studied engineering, did a year’s national service in the military and five years as a part-timer in the Home Guard, taught mathematics for a year and then returned home to Vinje.

Government statistics show immigrants from Somalia as the group most likely to be unemployed, receiving welfare payments and with least education.

A recent book written by a Somalian woman living in Norway, with the pen name Amal Aden, claims amongst other things that her compatriots in Oslo don’t want to integrate in Norwegian society, they exploit the welfare system and teach their children to hate Norwegians.

In the wooded valleys around Vinje things are different. Mayor Arne Vinje thinks that the Somalians are so well integrated that he would like to see more of them living in his area.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Now It’s the Citizen Snoopers: Councils Recruit Unpaid Volunteers to Spy on Their Neighbours

Councils are recruiting ‘citizen snoopers’ to report litter louts, dog foulers and even people who fail to sort out their rubbish properly.

The ‘environment volunteers’ will also be responsible for encouraging neighbours to cut down on waste.

The move comes as local authorities dish out £100 fines to householders who leave out too much rubbish or fail to follow recycling rules.

It will fuel fears that Britain is lurching towards a Big Brother society, following the revelation this week that the Home Office is extending some police powers to council staff and private security guards.

Critics said the latest scheme could easily be abused and encourage a culture of bin spies and curtain twitchers.

Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘Snooping on your neighbours to report recycling infringements sounds like something straight out of the East German Stasi’s copybook.

‘With council tax so high, the last thing people want to pay for is an army of busybodies peering through their net curtains at their neighbours as they put out their rubbish.’

Recruitment adverts appealing for the unpaid environmental volunteers have appeared across the country in recent months.

[Return to headlines]



Swedish Prison: Fermented Herring a ‘Security Risk’

Forget firearms or terrorist plots. In Sweden, prison administrators have sounded the alarm about the security threat posed by a can of foul-smelling fermented herring.

An inmate at the Tidaholm correctional facility in central Sweden recently had a craving for the peculiar seasonal specialty, known in Swedish as surströmming.

He could think of nothing better than the possibility of sharing a can of the fermented fish with an acquaintance.

But officials in charge of the ward denied the prisoner’s request.

When he then appealed the decision to the prison’s management, the inmate was once again denied his wish to crack open a container of the smelly dish.

The reason?

Surströmming is a security risk, ruled the prison.

“Tidaholm has made a determination to deny the possession of a can of surströmming as this food product cannot be considered in accordance with the facility’s responsibility to uphold order and security vis-à-vis [the prisoner’s] personal engagement in such a culinary tradition,” wrote the prison in its decision.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



UK: Economy at 60-Year Low, Says Chancellor Alistair Darling. and it Will Get Worse

Chancellor says Labour failing to communicate with voters

Britain is facing “arguably the worst” economic downturn in 60 years which will be “more profound and long-lasting” than people had expected, Alistair Darling, the chancellor, tells the Guardian today. In the government’s gravest assessment of the economy, which follows a warning from a Bank of England policymaker that 2 million people could be out of work by Christmas, Darling admits he had no idea how serious the credit crunch would become.

[…] The chancellor, who says that Labour faces its toughest challenge in a generation, admits that Brown and the cabinet are partly to blame for Labour’s woes because they have “patently” failed to explain the party’s central mission to the country, leaving voters “pissed off”.

In a candid interview in today’s Guardian Weekend magazine, Darling warns that the economic times faced by Britain and the rest of the world “are arguably the worst they’ve been in 60 years”. To deepen the sense of gloom, he adds: “And I think it’s going to be more profound and long-lasting than people thought.”

The economic backdrop presents Labour with its toughest challenge since the 1980s. “We’ve got our work cut out. This coming 12 months will be the most difficult 12 months the Labour party has had in a generation,” he says. But Labour has been lacklustre. “We’ve got to rediscover that zeal which won three elections, and that is a huge problem for us at the moment. People are pissed off with us. […]

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Middle East


The Afghan Women Jailed for Being Victims of Rape

In Lashkar Gah, the majority of female prisoners are serving 20-year sentences for being forced to have sex. Terri Judd visited them and heard their extraordinary stories

Beneath the anonymity of the sky-blue burqa, Saliha’s slender frame and voice betray her young age.Asked why she was serving seven years in jail alongside hardened insurgents and criminals, the 15-year-old giggled and buried her head in her friend’s shoulder.

“She is shy,” apologised fellow inmate Zirdana, explaining that the teenager had been married at a young age to an abusive husband and ran away with a boy from her neighbourhood.

Asked whether she had loved the boy, Saliha squirmed with childish embarrassment as her friend replied: “Yes.”

Ostracised from her family and village, Saliha was convicted of escaping from home and illegal sexual relations. The first carries a maximum penalty of 10 years, the second 20. These are two of the most common accusations facing female prisoners in Afghanistan.

Two-thirds of the women in Lashkar Gah’s medieval-looking jail have been convicted of illegal sexual relations, but most are simply rape victims — mirroring the situation nationwide. The system does not distinguish between those who have been attacked and those who have chosen to run off with a man.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Wide-Scale, Vicious Campaign Against Islam Must be Tackled

Former Dean of Kuwait University’s College of Sharia (law) and Islamic Studies Dr. Mohammad Al-Tabta-baei on Friday underlined the necessity for sincere efforts to be exerted by political, intellectual and religious powers to confront the wide-scale and vicious campaign against Islam. The Islamic world shoulders responsibility of facing the campaign instigated against Islam, as such campaigns seek to deliberately associate infrequent violent incidents committed by Muslim individuals with Islam, Al-Tabtabaei told KUNA.

The former dean is heading a high-ranking Kuwaiti academic delegation to the international conference of “Humanity in Islam” which was hosted in Rome. […]

The conference, which was held in the northern Italian city of Bersha on August 26, tackled several pivotal issues such as the status of the individual in the Holy Qur’an; humanitarian aspects in the life of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH); issues of equality and justice; and worship from an Islamic perspective.

The conference came out with a number of recommendations in the framework of responding to the campaign launched against Islam and the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH), in addition to buttressing contacts among the Muslim community in Italy, which amount to one million…

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Caucasus


Bildt Rejects Georgia-Kosovo Comparison

Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt on Friday rejected Russian comparisons between its recognition of two Georgian breakaway provinces from the West’s recognition of Kosovo earlier this year.

He added that “there is no other place in the world where there’s been this sort of mechanism within the framework of the United Nations.”

In the case of Russia’s unilateral recognition this week of the Georgian provinces South Ossetia and Abkhazia, on the other hand, “we have a situation where Russia launches a military attack just like that,” Bildt told a joint press conference in Stockholm with his Georgian counterpart Eka Tkeshelashvili.

Russia, which was angered by the West’s recognition of Kosovo, has criticised lacking international reaction to what it charges was a Georgian “genocide” in South Ossetia, insisting that it was forced to intervene.

“We did it as some other states did in the case of Kosovo and some other problems,” Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told the BBC this week.

Bildt on Friday acknowledged that Georgia on the evening of August 7, “had taken measures where one can discuss whether they were advisable or wise,” but pointed out that “they were still within the borders of Georgia.”

Russia should not be surprised that the international community did not intervene, he said, since “there was no call from Russia for international action.”

“Had there been such a call from Russia, I think we should have answered it. That option was never put on the table by Russia,” he added.

Bildt said he considered declaring independence for South Ossetia “a joke,” but acknowledged that Abkhazia “has national rights that must be respected, and they have some justified complaints about what happened in history.”

However, while Kosovo counts a large majority of Kosovo Albanians, there is far from a majority of Abkhazians in the breakaway Georgian province, he said.

“The territory does not have a Abkhazian majority and has not had for hundreds of years.”

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

South Asia


Indian Police Told to Shoot as Anti-Christian Riots Flare

Police were ordered to shoot rioters on sight in an eastern Indian state on Wednesday to tame rising violence between Hindus and Christians that has killed 11 people so far and left the Pope “profoundly saddened”.

Three bodies were found overnight in Orissa’s rural Kandhamal district, where Hindu mobs have damaged more than a dozen churches and attacked Christian homes and an orphanage this week. The violence, now spreading to new districts, was sparked by the murder of a Hindu leader in Kandhamal, a tribal area where Christian missionaries have been active for years.

The murdered leader had been heading a local campaign to reconvert Hindus and tribal people from Christianity. Authorities extended a curfew and issued orders to police to shoot on sisght any troublemaker in 11 towns of Kandhamal. Most of the dead so far have been Christians. Hundreds of police marched through Kandhamal to maintain calm, but the violence spread to nearby districts with Hindus attacking Christians and the two groups clashing in some places.

Religious violence has roiled Kandhamal region for years with Hindu and Christian groups fighting over religious conversion. Pope Benedict XVI “firmly condemned” the violence in Orissa, where Australian missionary Graham Staines and his two young sons were burnt alive in 1999 — a crime for which a Hindu man is serving life in jail. […]

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]



Indonesia: Tobacco Farmers Protest Fatwa Plan on Smoking

East Javanese tobacco farmers visited the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) Surabaya branch on Friday to protest the fatwa body’s plan to declare smoking forbidden according to Islamic teachings. “We are protesting MUI’s plan to issue a fatwa declaring smoking as haram,” Tobacco Farmers Association chairman Amin Subarkah said, as quoted by Tempointeraktif.com.

Subarkah said it was unfair to make a smoking haram on the basis that it could be bad for some people. In fact, he said, forbidding smoking would only cause pain and suffering to tobacco farmers and their families. “There are 1,367 tobacco factories in East Java, employing thousands of workers,” Subarkah said.

According to the association, tobacco farmers in East Java supply 53 percent of the country’s total tobacco consumption with a total investment value worth Rp 682 billion.

MUI Surabaya head Ulama Abdussomad Bukhori told the farmers to relax and to continue their work planting tobacco as the plan was still being debated by Islam scholars within the fatwa body.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

General


Indonesia: Prosecutor Confirms Request for Execution Delay

Bali Prosecutors’ Office head Alit Adyana said local and foreign pressure group had requested that the executions of the three Bali bombers be postponed. “There was indeed such requests from abroad, but we cannot be influenced,” Adyana said, as quoted by Antara on Friday.

He refused to give more details on the source of the requests and said that the attorney general’s decision to postpone the executions was not based on the requests. Assistant attorney general for general crimes Abdul Hakim Ritonga announced last week that the terrorists would be executed after Ramadan.

Earlier, Attorney General Hendarman Supadji said the terrorists would be executed before Ramadan, which starts on Sept. 1 until Sept. 30. Ritonga said the reasons for the delay were humanity considerations and that the executions were not in line with the holy event of Ramadan. The AGO wants to allow the death-row convicts to observe their last religious activities during the fasting month, he said.

           — Hat tip: VH [Return to headlines]

Where’s Waldo?

There’s never any shortage of racial grievance in America. On average, once every twelve seconds a member of a protected minority is offended.

It’s a national epidemic! Call the CDC!

The most recent example of deadly hate speech occurred the other day in a state that is normally a shining example of beneficent Multiculturalism for the rest of the world — namely, California.

According to The Sacramento Bee :

African Americans object to watermelon caricature at State Fair

Jim Thrasher and his wife were enjoying the California State Fair this weekend until they came upon the Colusa County exhibit.

For the African American couple from Sacramento, the exhibit’s depiction of “Waldo Watermelon Seed” conjured up painful images of the Jim Crow era.

The cartoon-like character was “the standard caricature you’d see from the old days, 50, 60, 70 years ago — black face, buckteeth, bug eyes holding a watermelon,” said Thrasher, 58.

“It brought back memories of my childhood in Ohio where the Klan still marched, when racism was overt, all the name-calling I and my family had to endure,” Thrasher said. “Those kinds of characters were very common, and I’d like to see some sensitivity on the part of the county administration to do something about it.”

Below is the graphic realization of a hate-filled stereotype that so offended the Thrashers:


Waldo And Patrick
(For a full-sized image, click here )


Are we offended yet?

I know I am. Personally, as a Beige-American, I’m offended by Patrick the Pumpkin Seed. He’s obviously a deliberate slur on all of us unfortunate enough to have European ancestry.
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Not only that, he’s got lipstick on — it’s an insult to Gay-Americans!

Furthermore, he appears to have rickets! Why isn’t the handicapped lobby up in arms?

In response, the Colusa County authorities took a courageous stance. As soon as the visitors complained, the County Fair defended the First Amendment rights of the exhibitors by taking Waldo down:

After The Bee’s inquiries, Colusa County representatives took down the image Wednesday. “They don’t want to offend anybody and will modify the exhibit,” said Brooke Converse, a fair spokeswoman.

What makes the irony of this little news tidbit so finger-lickin’ good is that the artists who created the offensive hate-filled material are disadvantaged teenagers, most of them from minority backgrounds. According to a follow-up article in the Bee:

The exhibit was created by wards at Fout Springs Boys Correctional Facility — “roughly 40 percent Latino and 40 percent African American” — said Senior Deputy County Counsel Margaret Kemp-Williams.

The youths “faced the challenge of creating a display to celebrate the strengths of Colusa County’s agriculture industry while paying homage to the State Fair’s theme, ‘The State Fair Goes Hollywood,’“ Kemp-Williams said in a statement.

Colusa County’s seed-producing crops generate $30 million a year, so the young men, under the guidance of teacher Ralph Minto, “decided to create a display honoring the world-traveling seed stars of the county: watermelon, cucumber, pumpkin and tomato,” Kemp-Williams said.

“The boys were assigned the task of drawing caricatures of the seeds — characteristic of their ages and this era, they drew sharp images worthy of video game or Cartoon Network debut,” Kemp-Williams explained.

These boys should be the darlings of the progressive California establishment, given that they’re mostly “brown”, and in juvie to boot. But no; they committed heresy against to Multi-Culti gods, and their crimes must not go unpunished.

Notice that the defense never questions the Multicultural premises of the race grievance industry:

“We are saddened that the fine work of these young men is now cast under a cloud of unintended racism,” she said. “We ask that you applaud their hard work and know that they were working to honor Colusa County with their artistic depiction of a genre of ‘ag’ products produced in stellar quantities by the county: seeds.”

As it turns out, the Fair officials — who probably slept through their mandatory diversity training courses — failed to do sufficient diversity research. They didn’t clear the exhibit through their own cultural advisors before it was opened to the public:

The fair has a Cultural Advisory Council that includes African Americans, but Converse didn’t know if any had seen the exhibit. She said there is no formal approval process for county exhibits.

According to University of California, Davis, professor Patricia Turner — a leading national authority on African American images — such caricatures are likely to have a different impact on blacks who lived through the civil rights era.

The Jim Crow caricatures “harken back for many people — particularly the older generation — to the period when there were only derogatory images of African Americans,” she said.

And here’s the clincher:

Whether intended or not, the melon-eating caricature in the Colusa exhibit is reminiscent of early 20th-century images that include “the large, toothy smile, garish green pants and white minstrel gloves,” Turner said. [emphasis added]

It doesn’t matter what you intend. It only matters if you offend.

Every image, every news clip, every movie, every song lyric — all must be cleared in advance by the Multicultural Arts Committee, and certified to be Free of Offense.

Fortunately, Prof. Turner in her infinite mercy forgives the offenders, for they know not what they do:

She said she understands how “a young person oblivious to the history of all of this could have constructed the State Fair icon innocently.”

In other words, “Eat dirt, kiddos! You didn’t learn the sign language!”

Their leaders are fatuous and fearful, and it’s too bad for the boys.

The little racist pigs!



Thanks to Dymphna, who contributed some choice invective to this post.

The Myth of Socialist Altruism

The Ants and the GrasshopperThe Socialist paradigm has been dominant in the West for well over a hundred years. The October Revolution in 1917 was the radical realization of the Marxist dream, but the Socialist ideal had been overwhelmingly popular among the educated classes for at least a generation before that. State Socialism on the Prussian model began with Bismarck, and it was followed in short order by the Progressive movement, the Fabians, the Futurists, and all the various forms of fascism that arose coterminously in Europe and the United States. Socialism was an idea whose time had come, and we have been stuck with the consequences ever since.

It is The Dream That Will Not Die.

The habits of Socialist thinking are deeply ingrained and difficult to break. With the full force of the state behind collectivist public ideology, brainwashing in the West has been ubiquitous and thorough. After four or five generations of an uninterrupted Socialist monologue, it is very difficult to frame arguments about public policy in anything other than Marxist terms. To put it in post-modern jargon, there is only a single “narrative”.

An interesting discussion developed in the comments to Thursday’s post about the massive and inevitable corruption that accompanies the modern welfare state. Before I recapitulate some of what was said there, I will define my terms:

By Socialism I mean a political system which coercively extracts a large proportion of private wealth from its citizens, and then redistributes it for purposes which are decided by administrative fiat in a huge and powerful welfare state.

By redistribution I mean the apportionment among society’s non-productive members of those public monies drawn from the productive members of society, that is, the people who generate the wealth.

In using these terms I am describing an operational political system. My description does not address whether it is just to take private wealth coercively for public purposes, nor am I discussing the issue of whether the recipients of state largesse are “deserving” or “undeserving”. I am simply outlining how the system works.

By my definition, Socialism does not include what might be called social legislation: child labor laws, female suffrage, the regulation of working conditions, or even the setting of a minimum wage. All of these issues are worth debating, but they can all be accomplished legislatively without the necessity of mass income redistribution. For that reason they are not included them under the umbrella term “Socialism”.

The rest of this post is adapted from an exchange with the commenter Pasta on Thursday’s thread.

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Doing away with welfare altogether would leave a lot of people starving or freezing.

I agree that we can’t just abandon the welfare state without a lot of suffering for ordinary people who depend on it. I don’t advocate a revolution in which the current system is instantly destroyed. We will have to wean the public off the government teat gradually — assuming that it can be done at all.

The idea that people would starve and freeze if the government didn’t take care of them is venerable and persistent, but it is not true. Most starvation and destitution in history occurred before the advent of general prosperity. It was not the lack of the welfare state, but the lack of societal wealth, that caused that kind of suffering.
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As a counterexample, take America in, say, 1901. There was virtually no welfare state, yet it was extremely rare for anyone to starve, or to live in destitution outside of the big-city immigrant ghettoes.

America had general prosperity, and the country was made up of communities. People were taken care of within those communities by families, friends, churches, local charity organizations, and other private structures that were close to those in need. They weren’t taken care of by an enormous centralized bureaucratic state.

In fact, such an idea would have been alien, repugnant, and vaguely un-American to most people. The Progressives worshipped at the European altar of a strong State, and it wasn’t until they got through with us that the fundamental ethic of the country changed.

We can’t go back to those conditions, not by fiat, anyway. But baby steps could be taken in the right direction. For example, requiring people to take care of their parents in their old age would be a start, forcing them back into what was the social norm a hundred years ago. Of course, all those Boomers with no children are going to have difficulties, and in another thirty years more than half of the elderly will be without siblings to take care of them, much less children.

The problems the next generation will face are going to be immense.

A basic rule for the classical liberal is that government should perform as few functions as possible, and that taxes should be kept as low as possible, in order to eliminate the corruption and non-productive behavior that saps the national commonweal and the individual character.

Defending the borders, managing the currency, maintaining national security, and regulating interstate commerce — those are some of the very few necessary functions of government. There’s no earthly reason — other than a century of Progressive habit — why the government should design school curricula, tell people what they should eat, or fund ballet companies. Localities can do the first, individuals can decide the second for themselves, and people who like ballet can do the third.

I don’t know enough about history to judge with certainty how the living conditions of the poor were before the advent of the welfare state. But if everything was fine back then, why did the Socialists become so popular and why was the welfare state created in the first place? I reckon that it happened because many people took offense to the poverty of many in the presence of the wealth of a few.

It’s difficult to separate out the various strands of received disinformation that are implicit in what you say.

First of all, everything wasn’t “fine” back then — people were subject to the vicissitudes of fate, just as they are now. They were also consigned to live with the consequences of their own poor choices, which is no longer true.

Under the welfare state, one can be lazy, improvident, and self-destructive without having to face the natural consequences for one’s behavior.

Socialism was not a bottom-up innovation. The masses did not embrace it. It was foisted upon them from above.

Before the 1930s, none of the Socialist leaders — whether they were “revolutionaries” or “reactionary” Socialists like Bismarck — was an ordinary working-class person. They were all elite, sophisticated, well-educated people.

Socialism was “scientific” and thus beyond dispute. It was imposed on the whole of society for the good of everyone by the Progressive leaders of the day, who were certain that they knew better than the unwashed masses what was best for them.

I don’t see why it would strengthen the individual character and why the national commonweal would be served better if the financial contribution to it through taxation was kept as low as possible, so that people could spend as much of their income as possible for indulging in selfish pleasures instead.

This is the legacy of 100+ years of Progressive brainwashing. Socialism has convinced you that people who work hard, make money, and then spend it in ways that they choose themselves are somehow “greedy” and “selfish”.

Implicit in this description is the assumption that the officials of the State are better guardians than you of your own money, that they will spend it more wisely and do more good with it. Nobody represents this attitude more clearly than Hillary Clinton.

A hundred years of evidence to the contrary makes no difference; the fairy tale persists. There is not one whit of evidence that government decisions serve the general welfare better than the decisions of the people themselves, those who are most affected by such decisions.

Economic improvement, the increase in the standard of living and general well-being, all took place before the advent of the Socialist state. Read Thomas Sowell if you doubt me — he has amassed the econometric statistics that show the correlation between economic stagnation and Socialist policies. This was true in 1917, and it has held sway everywhere ever since then.

The idea that Socialism improves the living standards of the population is propaganda, pure and simple. It’s a myth generated by the Socialist elites themselves.

Like so many modern “facts”, it has no empirical basis.

The expenses required for the commonweal are enormous and can’t be covered by voluntary donations alone. Therefore these funds need to raised by (forcible) taxation instead. Everybody understands this intuitively when it comes to other items than welfare. For instance, nobody in our times would advocate to fund an army by other means than (forcible) taxation. In order to serve the commonweal best, everybody needs to be required — and force applied, if somebody shirks one’s duties — to contribute to it according to his capabilities.

I agree with you here, but the normal functions of the state, which are stipulated by the social contract and paid for through taxation, are not an issue. The normal functions of the state include providing for the common defense, maintaining the currency, running a legal system to enforce laws and adjudicate private contractual disputes, and other similar necessities. When the government assumes additional functions, it is a usurpation of the natural rights of the people, and it inevitably leads to tyranny. Inevitably.

For more than a hundred years the American Republic performed those basic functions with a very low rate of taxation. I don’t know the exact figures, but public spending as a percentage of GDP was extremely low by today’s standards — probably in the low single digits — until the income tax was adopted in 1913.

Nowadays we pay nearly half our wealth in taxes, and some European countries pay more than half. The vast bulk of this money is simply a transfer from productive citizens to non-productive citizens. There are two reasons why we have managed to do it for so long without a popular revolt:

1.   Westerners live in phenomenally wealthy societies, and
2.   It’s a Ponzi scheme — in order to function, it depends on a continuous population increase to provide new suckers for the system.

The demographic collapse will see the end of the modern welfare state. It’s inevitable; it has to happen. There is nothing anyone can do. No matter how powerful a government is, it cannot solve this problem by fiat. Before the middle of this century, the welfare state will be gone.

If we choose to assess this prospect honestly, and act prudently, we may be able to restructure our governmental functions so as to avoid a cataclysm. But the longer we delay systemic change, the less likely it is that there will be a non-violent solution.

I don’t see why it should be any different for social expenses like welfare or universal health care. You may consider these expendable, but if you don’t, then covering them by taxation-raised money seems the soundest way to do.

Unfortunately, you are operating under the same false premises that most people do nowadays in the West. We have all been brainwashed for so long by Socialist propaganda that it is very difficult to think about these issues in any other terms.

The standing assumption is that we cannot guarantee the general well-being of the citizenry without the intervention of the State. This is a pernicious fallacy. Prior to the modern all-encompassing Socialist state, civil society — a plurality of institutions that included family, church, local government, voluntary organizations, charities, fraternal orders, guilds, trade associations, and so on, in addition to the national government — provided a web of support that included virtually everyone. As long as there was general prosperity, people were fairly well taken care of.

But the Industrial Revolution, followed by the various Socialist Revolutions (both soft and hard versions) saw the end of all that. Civil society has been all but destroyed by Socialism, and it is an open question whether it can be re-established without a prior societal collapse.

I call massive coercive removal of people’s resources by the government for state-mandated redistribution not “Socialism” (which I don’t defend, I am not a Socialist), but simply taxation.

Ah, but as I mentioned before, the vast bulk of taxation is given over to Socialist redistribution of wealth, and goes to the maintenance of welfare state “entitlements”. In the United States, the proportion is more than two-thirds, with almost all the rest given over to national defense.

European countries generally spend very little on national defense, so I assume that the proportion of their tax money that is redistributed to non-productive people is even larger.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *


The Socialist state we have all come to know will cease to exist. It must come to an end; there is no alternative. With an aging population and a general demographic decline, the simple mathematics of the situation make the result inevitable.

The question is how the various nations of the West will cope with this change — assuming that we somehow manage to survive the Islamist onslaught and close our doors to further Third World immigrants. The good news is that we know it can be done: Western civilization flowered and persisted for centuries without the dubious benefits of Socialism.

It means re-learning the old habit of self-reliance. It portends a riskier life, without the State to cater to one’s every need and whim. But for those of us who prefer freedom and autonomy, it’s worth it.

An Unwelcome Message

The article below was translated by our Flemish correspondent VH from the Vlaams Belang website:

German Juvenile Judge Speaks in Plain Language

Beginning this year a fierce debate raged for several weeks in Germany about the increase in immigrant crime and anti-German racism. Without a doubt the statements made by the police, who have openly admitted certain parts of Berlin are “already lost” and that the security forces there have even been withdrawn, were enlightening.

The Berlin prosecutor Roman Reusch in turn stated that roughly three-quarters of the youths committing hard crimes in the German capital are of non-German origin. Of course, these are truths that some people prefer not to face up to. Therefore a ban was imposed on this courageous prosecutor in order to prevent his further interference in the debate, and later he was even transferred.

The facts remain what they are, as confirmed now by the Berlin juvenile court judge Kirsten Heisig. This week she raised the alarm in the Berliner Kurier and stated that no less than seventy percent of the defendants (up for juvenile violence) have an immigrant background and are from family structures outside the norms of German society.

- – - - – - – - -

Fifty percent of the fathers don’t have regular work; the children grow up uncontrolled and completely abandoned. The fathers do not interfere with their upbringing, while the mothers, because of a lack of knowledge of the German language and large number of offspring, are overworked. They usually stay at home and are not integrated into community social life.

The daughters are kept at home and brought up very strictly. In contrast, the sons do whatever they want and hang around on the street the whole day (…) They attack and rob other young people. The victims are mostly Germans and on top of that are also cursed as “Scheiss-Christian” (or “Scheiss-German”).

It is still a question whether both Roman Reusch and Kirsten Heisig will be made to pay for their frankness. As we said before, even then the facts remain unchanged. Leftist politicians may not want to know them, but the citizens know them only too well.

What Went Wrong With the West, and What Can We Do?

The Fjordman Report


The noted blogger Fjordman is filing this report via Gates of Vienna.
For a complete Fjordman blogography, see The Fjordman Files. There is also a multi-index listing here.



At the beginningof the 21st century, the West is the sick man of the world. We provide our enemies with the technology and medicine to multiply, give them the transportation and legal rights to move to our countries (after we first showed them through TV and movies how much better life is in our part of the world). On top of this, we pay them to colonize our countries and harass our children, while our so-called leaders ban opposition to this as intolerance, discrimination and racism.

How did we go from being the most rational and dynamic civilization in human history to being the most irrational and pathetic? When did the West stop thinking? Where did we go wrong?

Here is the answer an American friend of mine gave:

Well, there’s Marxism of course, which was extremely damaging in all its forms. There were the two world wars which killed so many of our people and caused a lack of cultural confidence. Then there was the Pax Americana and the unprecedented safety and affluence it brought to the Western World. We have now had two generations of Westerners, almost three, who have never known real poverty, hunger, war, or “the knock on the door in the middle of the night.” Without a need for survival skills, we had the time and the money to focus on ever-more insane political and cultural ideologies. People didn’t worry about gay rights or “whiteness studies” in the middle of the Great Depression or the London Blitz! I think I remember reading something about how the Indian Hindu empires became ripe for conquest by Islam — “They focused on becoming good, instead of remaining powerful.” I can’t remember the source on that though. But that’s what we are now — obsessing about how to be good, not on being powerful. And our “goodness” isn’t worth much if the rest of the world is focused on becoming powerful.

Also, you have to remember, a lot of people are making money out of these insane ideologies. The “diversity” industry in the U.S. is worth billions — people with little skills or ability are being given comfy well-paid jobs because of it. And because of anti-discrimination laws, every organization, whether for profit or not, must have a “diversity” plan to point to if they ever get sued for “discrimination.” It’s literally a recession-proof captive industry. Anyways we’re sick and the whole world knows it. They are coming here to feed off our sickness. How sick is it? In the US if you are non-white, you can immigrate here and instantly be given all kinds of special privileges, scholarships and preferences over white Americans who have lived here for generations. (Or if you’ve got a Spanish name, you can get those same privileges and preferences even if you’re as white as King Juan Carlos of Spain!)

- – - - – - – - -

All you have to do is scream “racism” and your ticket is punched for life. My first ancestor arrived in the US in 1642 and I am descended from several Revolutionary War soldiers. But my blonde, blue-eyed daughter must step aside for the progeny of a Mexican illegal immigrant who deliberately got pregnant and gave birth here so she could access the schools, welfare state, and infrastructure that my ancestors fought, bled and died for. The word is out — get yourself into the West, scream “racism” and you’ve got it made. And the “racism” industry is happy because the more non-whites come here, the more business for them. That all of this is building up to a mass genocide of our people, no one seems to care, except for the Marxists, who of course eagerly look forward to it.

So, what can ordinary citizens do about this?

Well, first of all we need to reclaim pride in our own heritage, which has been systematically robbed from us in recent generations. We need to reclaim control over our borders, and must reject any organization, either the EU, the UN, various human rights NGOs or others who prevent us from doing this. And finally, we need to develop a new mental paradigm dedicated to our own survival. We first need to survive, and then hopefully regenerate.

We cannot fix the rest of the world’s problems and have no obligation to do so even if we wanted to.

More on Sinterklaas and Zwarte Piet

In response to our recent posts about Zwarte Piet, a Dutch reader wrote us this morning with the following information:

Sinterklaas has nothing to do with Christmas.

The Sinterklaas festivity is a mix of facts and legends. There are soldiers and oranges; they refer to the Spanish, who oppressed the Netherlands long ago.

There is the central figure Sint Nicolaas (Sinterklaas), who is said to have lived in Madrid, though at the same time he was a bishop who saved some children miraculously (actually, this is a legend placed in Turkey).

Zwarte Piet and SinterklaasSinterklaas is a very old man, many hundreds of years old. He arrives on a steamboat from Spain, with a white horse and a lot of servants, Zwarte Pieten. Sinterklaas has a red cloak, a mitre, a staff and a long white beard.

The faces of the servants are painted black with charcoal. They make music, they have a bag with them. In the bag are sweets, cookies and presents for the children and actually also for the adults.

- – - - – - – - -

But, if someone has been misbehaving, he or she is threatened to be taken to Spain in the bag. Some weeks before 5 December the children write down their wishes. They are put in a shoe near the chimney, with some food for the horse. The next day there is an orange in the shoe.

Actually, the festivity itself is the birthday party of Sinterklaas (5 December). For some reason he does not get presents, but he gives presents. He rides the roofs on his white horse and his servant Zwarte Piet throws sweets, cookies and presents down the chimney. People receive them thankfully.

The presents are given in a teasing way. They are inside a fake present, referring to misbehaviour, a mistake or bad luck. The presents are accompanied by a poem about what happened, and then the child or adult is punished or criticised by the words, but in the end all is well and he or she is rewarded and gets the real present.

Some weeks before the day Sinterklaas arrives on his steamboat and everyone is waving to him and singing songs. The whole festivity has roots in history and legends, but also is about bad and good luck, wisdom, morals and behaviour, oppression and freedom.

It is kind of a theatre project. The players are the people themselves and they are allowed to write what they think in the poems and to create the fake presents as they wish.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/29/2008

USA
Frank Marshall Davis, Alleged Communist, Was Early Influence on Barack Obama
Muslims in Fed Terror Probe Making Donations to Obama
 
Canada
Canadian Intelligence Seeks Support of Muslim Leaders
 
Europe and the EU
Germany’s Largest Mosque to See Light
Italy Horrified by ‘Clockwork Orange’ Assault on Monks
More Than a Third of Babies Born in England and Wales Are Non-White
Muslim Man Jailed for BNP Death
Suspected Terrorist Arrested in Britain Acted as an Imam in Finland
VVD Presents Draft Declaration of Principles
 
Balkans
Gay Festival During Holy Month Sparks Fury
 
Russia
Russia and the New Axis of Evil
 
Caucasus
Russia Will Close Its Embassy in Georgia: Reports
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa, Don’t Blame the Whites
 
General
Shakira Defends Islam in Duo With US Singer
Swedish Magazine’s Recipe Mistake Poisons Four

Thanks to Abu Elvis, Fausta, Fjordman, KGS, Queen, RO, Steen, TB, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Details are below the fold.
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USA


Frank Marshall Davis, Alleged Communist, Was Early Influence on Barack Obama

New details about a black poet in Hawaii who was a key early influence in Barack Obama’s life can be revealed by The Telegraph.

Barack Obama visited Mr Davis on several occasions to get his advice when he was grappling with racial issues Photo: AFP

Although identified only as Frank in Mr Obama’s memoir Dreams from My Father, it has now been established that he was Frank Marshall Davis, a radical activist and journalist who had been suspected of being a member of the Communist Party in the 1950s.

Obama’s true colours: Making of the man who would be US president

Mr Davis moved to Honolulu from Chicago in 1948 with his second wife Helen Canfield, a white socialite, at the suggestion of his friend the actor Paul Robeson, who advised them that there would be more tolerance of a mixed race couple in Hawaii than on the American mainland.

A bohemian libertine who drank heavily and loved jazz, he became friends with Stanley Dunham, Mr Obama’s maternal grandfather in the 1960s. Mr Davis died in 1987 at the age of 81, five years before Mr Dunham.

“He knew Stan real well,” said Dawna Weatherly-Williams, a close friend of Mr Davis “They’d play Scrabble and drink and crack jokes and crack jokes and argue. Frank always won and he was always very braggadocio about it too. It was all jocular. They didn’t get polluted drunk. And Frank never really did drugs, though he and Stan would smoke pot together.”

While his mother was in Indonesia during part of his teenage years, Mr Obama lived with his white grandparents. Mrs Weatherly-Williams said that the poet was first introduced to the future Democratic presidential candidate in 1970 at the age of 10.

“Stan had been promising to bring Barry by because we all had that in common — Frank’s kids were half-white, Stan’s grandson was half-black and my son was half-black. We all had that in common and we all really enjoyed it. We got a real kick out of reality.”

Maya Soetoro-Ng, Obama’s half-sister, told the Associated Press recently that her grandfather had seen Mr Davis was “a point of connection, a bridge if you will, to the larger African-American experience for my brother”.

[Return to headlines]



Muslims in Fed Terror Probe Making Donations to Obama

Islamic leaders tied by federal investigators to the radical Muslim Brotherhood in America — including one under active investigation for alleged terror-financing — have recently donated to Sen. Barack Obama’s campaign for president, according to Federal Election Commission records reviewed by WND.

Jamal M. Barzinji earlier this year gave Obama $1,000, a gift that records show has not been returned. Other Democratic candidates, including Rep. Jim Moran, have refunded donations from Barzinji since federal agents raided his Virginia home and offices in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

Obama’s top Muslim adviser resigned earlier this month over controversy surrounding his ties to an alleged Muslim Brotherhood front connected to Barzinji, who heads a network of Islamic charities and businesses.

Barzinji remains at the center of an active federal investigation into terrorist financing that involves recently convicted terrorist supporter Sami al-Arian. A grand jury is still hearing the widening case in Northern Virginia.

[Return to headlines]

Canada


Canadian Intelligence Seeks Support of Muslim Leaders

Muslim leaders were invited for the round table as Canada’s spy agency is reportedly frightened of potential terrorist attacks on Canadians and now are seeking the help of Muslim leaders.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU


Councillors Told Not to Eat During Ramadan Meetings

Councillors have been told not to eat or drink in committee meetings while Muslims are fasting during Ramadan.

All members of Tower Hamlets Council in east London, where 36 per cent of the population follows Islam, were sent an email asking them to abide by the restrictions observed by strict Muslims during the holy month.

They have also been told that the town hall’s business agenda will be reduced throughout Ramadan to accommodate Muslims, with only seven committee meetings scheduled and special prayer breaks included in the evening events.

Tower Hamlets Council has previously insisted that staff call their Christmas meal the “festive lunch” and replaced Bonfire Night celebrations with a show based on a Bengali folk tale.

Some councillors on the Labour-run authority claim it is favouring one religious group over the others.

Cllr Stephanie Eaton, leader of the Lib Dem group, said she would be ignoring the new Ramadan regime and added: “I was rather disconcerted to see that the arrangements put in place for Ramadan, which we support for Muslim colleagues, have been imposed upon all councillors.

“We object to the request that non-Muslim councillors observe the fasting rules for Ramadan. This sends out the wrong message to our community.

“Our community consists of a huge number of different religions, all of which should be valued, and no one religion should be accorded more status or influence than others.”

Strict Muslims are compelled to fast between sunrise and sundown during Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.

This year the holy month begins at the start of September, which means there are more daylight fasting hours than if it fell later in the year as it has done recently.

To accommodate its Muslim councillors, Tower Hamlets has decreed that there will be only seven committee meetings during the month.

At sunset, which will fall during the meetings that start at 6.30pm, there will be 45-minute adjournments for members to eat and pray.

Tea, coffee, sandwiches and special Muslim snacks called Iftar packs will be on offer in a separate room to the meeting chamber.

But councillors have been told not to start eating until after sunset, both out of courtesy to Muslims and to ensure some of the food is left for them.

In the letter to members, John Williams, the council’s head of democratic services, said: “It is requested that members do not partake of any refreshments until after the Iftar refreshments are served.”

A spokesman for the council said: “All that’s being asked for is courtesy to be shown to the sensitivities around some councillors eating during council meetings whilst others in the room are fasting.

“Non-Muslim councillors have simply been asked to ensure that there is Iftar food available for Muslim councillors, because in previous years, Muslim councillors wanting to break their fast following prayers had found that the Iftar packs had been eaten.”

           — Hat tip: Abu Elvis [Return to headlines]



Germany’s Largest Mosque to See Light

The mosque, which will cater for 4,000 worshippers, will have a dome reaching 37 meters high, two 55-metre minarets and glass walls. (Der Spiegel photo)

CAIRO — Cologne City Council has voted in favor of building Germany’s largest mosque despite a fierce opposition from right-wing groups, reported Der Spiegel on Friday, August 29.

“We are building this for all the people of Cologne, not just Muslims,” said the Turkish-Islamic Union for Religious Affairs (DITIB) in a statement.

The city council voted Thursday, to allow Muslim groups to build the mosque in Cologne’s Ehrenfeld district.

Left and center parties and Cologne mayor Schramma voted for the construction while the Christian Democrats and the extreme right anti-mosque initiative Pro Cologne voted against.

The mosque plans have been on the cards for more than a year over the city council’s opposition to the mosque’s minarets.

But a compromise was reached Thursday under which DITIB agreed to shorten the mosque’s minarets.

DITIB has also agreed not to broadcast Adhan (call to prayer) over loudspeakers.

“[The mosque will be] a symbol of co-existence in peace and trust and without fear,” said DITIB.

Germany is home to some 3.2 million Muslims, over half of whom are of Turkish origin.

There are now 159 mosques in Germany, according to AFP tally.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]



Italy Horrified by ‘Clockwork Orange’ Assault on Monks

Italians have been left shocked by a ferocious assault on Franciscan monks by hooded thugs at a monastery in the foothills of the Alps, which has been compared to incidents seen in the film ‘A Clockwork Orange’.

Father Sergio Baldin, 48, the guardian of the San Colombano Belmonte monastery near Turin, and three elderly monks from the Franciscan order of Friars Minor, were having their evening meal when they were attacked by three hooded men who gagged and bound them before punching, kicking and beating them with clubs.

Father Baldin suffered severe head injuries but also has “serious respiratory problems” because he choked on his food while being assaulted, doctors say. He has had brain surgery and was in a coma.

Father Salvatore Magliano, 86, Father Emanuele Battagliotti, 81, and Father Martino Gurini, 76 suffered less serious injuries, but were still being treated in hospital today.

Speaking from his hospital bed, Father Battagliotti said the monks had been eating “a dish of spinach” when they heard noises outside.

“I got up to have a look, but the moment I got to the door I was attacked — suddenly, immediately. I was struck on the head with a blow which made me totter,” he said.

“Father Sergio (Baldin) came to my aid. He put himself in front of me to try and defend me, but he too was knocked down without mercy. They hit him until he stopped crying out. Then they beat Father Salvatore and Father Martin as well. It was terrible.”

[…]

Police said the motive appeared to robbery, although the monks only had “small amounts of money”. A spokesman said: “Presumably the attackers thought they would find riches at the monastery.”

Italian media compared the attack to A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess’s story of violent young thugs, filmed in 1971 by Stanley Kubrick.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]



More Than a Third of Babies Born in England and Wales Are Non-White

Less than two thirds of all babies born in England and Wales are now registered as ‘White British’, according to new Government figures.

The snapshot marks the first official breakdown of births in the UK by ethnic identity, and offers a striking insight into the changing face of Britain’s population.

Out of 649,371 babies born in 2005, 64.4 per cent were recorded as ‘White British’, of whom half were born to married parents.

The remainder included 8.7 per cent of babies recorded as Asian — of which Pakistanis formed the largest group with 3.7 per cent.

Five per cent of babies were recorded as black, of which three per cent were African, 1.2 per cent were ‘black or black British Caribbean’ and 0.8 per cent had ‘other black’ identities.

Mixed race babies accounted for 3.5 per cent of births, while 5.1 per cent were Irish or ‘other white identities’ and 2.4 per cent were Chinese or ‘other groups’.

Just under 11 per cent had no ethnic identity recorded.

Yesterday’s statistical bulletin from the Office for National Statistics follows a separate publication last week showing that a quarter of all babies in Britain are now born to immigrant mothers, while in London the figure is 54 per cent, rising to 75 per cent in some boroughs.

The fast-rising numbers mean that babies born to immigrant mothers are set to become the main driver of Britain’s population growth within the next few years, taking over from immigration itself.

The data on ethnic identity of births reveal stark differences in the lifestyles and social norms of the UK’s various communities.

           — Hat tip: Queen [Return to headlines]



Muslim Man Jailed for BNP Death

A Muslim man has been jailed for eight years for killing his BNP activist neighbour after a long-running dispute.

Habib Khan, 50, told the court that he had been the victim of years of racist abuse when he finally took a knife to neighbour Keith Brown.

Mr Brown, a BNP supporter, was reportedly holding Khan’s son outside the family’s Stoke-On-Trent home when Khan snapped.

The argument escalated and Khan used the kitchen knife, killing 52-year-old Mr Brown. He died of a single stab wound.

Khan later claimed in court that he had only intended to threaten his victim.

He was convicted of manslaughter three months ago, following the killing in July 2007.

During the trial, Stafford Crown Court heard that Khan and his family had been subjected to “racial hostility” by their neighbours.

And the defendant was described as a generally “mild and calm-mannered family man”.

But Judge Simon Tonking said: “It is beyond question that, by acting in the way that he did, Mr Khan killed Mr Brown unlawfully and, whatever their differences, the fact is that Mr Brown lost his life.

“That is a consequence for which Mr Khan must be punished with a significant custodial sentence.”

Khan, of Uttoxeter Road in Normacot, was told he would serve consecutively six-and-a-half years for manslaughter and 18 months for wounding Mr Brown’s son, Ashley Barker.

           — Hat tip: RO [Return to headlines]



Suspected Terrorist Arrested in Britain Acted as an Imam in Finland

Can’t say we didn’t see it coming. The man arrested last week in Britain on terrorism related charges, has now been reported as acting for years as an Imam for a Finnish Islamic congregation.

The online news organization Uusi Suomi (New Finland), reports that the man was to have held prayers at the Finnish Islamic Center for the opening of Ramadan, a Muslim religious observance.

If you clicked the link, you’ll have found out that the Suomen Islamic-Keskus (Finnish Islamic Center) was established by Pakistanis for …Pakistanis. The terrorist suspect (currently incarcerated) is by all accounts, a Pakistani of ethnic origin. The Tundra Tabloids has long suspected that Islamists have made their way to Finland, now we have proof that they have been coming here for years.

Don’t kid yourself, this is not a lone example, we have already seen Finnish converts to Islam being “juiced up for “jihad”, and it’s got to be coming from somewhere, and now we know. As the TT explained yesterday, as long as the Finnish authorities allow the hateful Islamic preachings of Sheik Yusuf Al-Qaradawi to be heard here in Finland, we are going to have a lot more Muslims turned on to jihad, and I don’t mean the little “inner struggle” kind.

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]



VVD Presents Draft Declaration of Principles

THE HAGUE, 29/08/08 — Party leader Mark Rutte yesterday presented the draft version of the conservatives’ (VVD) new declaration of principles. It is to replace the present declaration, dating from 1980.

According to Rutte, the VVD aims for “a powerful, small state with healthy government finances. Only tasks that society deems important and which cannot be fulfilled or cannot only be fulfilled by individuals or groups, should be stimulated by the state or carried out by it.” Also, “tax levies are unavoidable, but the tax burden must remain as low as possible.”

The manifesto states that good citizenship “means individuals should take into account the culture and norms of our society in their actions. The Dutch society has its origin in the Judaic-Christian tradition, humanism and the Enlightenment. These historic foundations, along with the Dutch language, national history and Constitution, form the basis of our national identity.”

The Netherlands should remain a constitutional state in which the state has the monopoly of force. As form of government, the VVD adheres to the constitutional monarchy.

Rutte wants to position the VVD as an optimistic party, which gives people the room to make something of their lives. “The VVD goes on the offensive against the terrorism of mediocrity. For the hardworking who give form and content to their own future.” The VVD “fights for the elevation of the underclass: via good education and by not making people dependent on a government, but helping them to stand on their own feet.”

Rutte also lays the emphasis on liberalism. The VVD “regards individual freedom, both mentally and materialistically, as the highest good” and “responsibility as the ethical fundament under a society of free people.” Equality, tolerance and social justice flow from freedom and responsibility.

The draft declaration will be presented to the VVD members at a party congress, which should produce a definitive version.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Balkans


Gay Festival During Holy Month Sparks Fury

MUSLIMS, Serbs and Croats united in anger today over Bosnia’s first-ever gay festival

Bosnia-Herzegovina’s Muslim majority is particularly upset about the four-day Queer Sarajevo Festival because it will open on September 24 — when the holy month of Ramadan is well underway.

“We respect freedom and tolerance, but the festival is a kind of provocation since it is taking place during Ramadan,” Amir Zukic of the Party of Democratic Action, Bosnia’s main Muslim party, told the Dnevni Avaz newspaper.

“Bosnia is a conservative society, and I doubt that such an event would be accepted.”

His words were echoed by Serbs and Croats, who are Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics respectively, in a rare show of inter-ethnic unity in the former Yugoslav republic torn apart by war in 1992-95.

“It is unnatural, sick and deviant behaviour,” said Rajko Vasic of the Social Democrats, who hold power in Bosnia’s Serb entity of Republika Srpska.

Ivo Tomasevic, a Croat leader, said the Queer Festival was being organised by “a small group of people promoting ideas which do not represent basic values”.

Organisers rejected the accusations.

“We’ve been preparing the project for the past year and I would not spend my time only to provoke someone,” said Svetlana Djurkovic, head of the gay and lesbian rights group Association Q.

“There are also many believers among us,” she said. “It is a festival of culture and art.”

On its website, the organisers say: “Bosnia and Herzegovina is a traditional and patriarchic society in which different sexualities and/or identities are not accepted.

“Queer Sarajevo Festival will offer a space in which we will evoke and reexamine heteronormativity and patriarchic values.”

[Return to headlines]

Russia


Russia and the New Axis of Evil

With Russian tanks now presiding over the dismemberment of the Republic of Georgia, can a lame-duck Bush administration — weary from its long drubbing by critics over Iraq and eyeing the exit door — rise to the challenge Russia has chosen to pose to the Free World?

To understand the nature of this challenge, consider that the distance between Baghdad and Tbilisi is barely 578 miles, less than the distance between New York City and Chicago. Iraq and Georgia, both of which have democratic governments, are sandwiched between Iran and Russia, two of the most authoritarian governments in the world. Russia has been collaborating with Iran to strengthen the latter’s nuclear program and its military. It is also steadily arming Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chávez.

Russia’s invasion of Georgia came exactly one month after Iran test-fired its Shahab III intermediate ballistic missile in order to intimidate neighbors like Israel and Iraq, and two weeks after Mr. Chávez traveled to Moscow to formalize a “Strategic Alliance” with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev. Meanwhile, Iran’s proxies remain the principal threat to peace in Iraq — while on the other side of the world, evidence mounts of Mr. Chávez’s links to the terrorist group FARC, which threatens neighboring Colombia.

Coincidence? Iraq, Georgia and Colombia are battlegrounds in a new kind of international conflict that will define our geopolitical future…

           — Hat tip: Fausta [Return to headlines]

Caucasus


Russia Will Close Its Embassy in Georgia: Reports

Russia will have to close its embassy in Tbilisi after Georgia decided to cut diplomatic ties with Moscow, Russia’s RIA news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry source as saying on Friday.

“We regret this step from the Georgian side. It will not assist our bilateral relations,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said.

“When diplomatic relations are cut, the embassy closes,” an unnamed source said. “What are we to do? Yes it (the embassy) will close and only the consulate will remain.”

Georgia said it will withdraw all diplomats from its Moscow embassy within days, a foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

“Within the coming days, Georgia will withdraw all diplomats from its embassy in Moscow,” the head of the foreign ministry’s press department, Khatuna Iosava said.

“Consular relations with the Russian Federation will be maintained,” she said. “It is a downgrade of diplomatic relations, not a complete cut.”

Russia said the move would not help ease the crisis between the two caused by the five day war earlier this month.

Georgia’s parliament on Thursday called for the government to cut diplomatic ties with Moscow over Russia’s “occupation of Georgian territory.”

Lawmakers unanimously approved a resolution that “orders the executive power to cut diplomatic ties with the Russian Federation.”

It also said that “Russian armed forces, including so-called peacekeepers, are declared as occupying armed forces.”

Georgia had already pulled all but two of its diplomats from its embassy in Moscow earlier in the week.

Hundreds of thousands of Georgians live in Russia and cutting diplomatic ties would have left them without consular services.

The move came after Russia on Tuesday recognized two breakaway Georgian regions — Abkhazia and South Ossetia — as independent countries. Moscow’s recognition of the two regions drew condemnation from Georgia and many Western countries.

Russia sent tanks and troops into Georgian territory in response to a Georgian offensive on August 7 to retake South Ossetia.

Moscow withdrew the bulk of its forces from Georgia last week under a French-brokered ceasefire agreement, but thousands of Russian troops remain deployed in the two rebel regions and in a “buffer zone” around them.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa


Africa, Don’t Blame the Whites

Africans are usually quick to blame most of its problems on the evils of colonialism. We sometimes blame the violence on the borders colonialists created that ignored ethnicity. Many African nations have been independent for four decades. If colonial borders were a major problem, how come they haven’t changed them? Colonialism cannot explain Third World poverty. Some of today’s richest countries are former colonies, such as the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong. Some of today’s poorest countries were never colonies, such as Ethiopia, Liberia, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan. The colonialism argument is simply a cover-up for African dictators and people.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

General


Shakira Defends Islam in Duo With US Singer

Famous Colombian pop star Shakira has agreed to perform a duo with Arab-American singer Dania Youssef, with the lyrics of the song focusing on defending Arabs and Islam, in addition to promoting world peace, according to press reports.

Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, simply known as Shakira, will write the English lyrics herself. Egyptian composer Mohamed Saad will write the Arabic part of the song and compose the music, reported MBC website.

The song seeks to counter the stereotyping of Arabs as terrorists in the western media. The song also is supposed to spread the culture of tolerance, as opposed to the current prevailing wars and tensions around the globe.

An American director is supposed to produce the song, to be filmed in the United Arab Emirates. The MBC report said the audience will watch the unique artistic work by the end of the year.

Shakira is a Colombian singer-songwriter of Lebanese and European descent. In 2001, she broke through into the English-speaking world with the release of Laundry Service, which sold over thirteen million copies worldwide.

Youssef is an American of Arab descent, who studied Arabic music for three years. She is getting ready to release her first album in Arabic by next October. The album is titled “Qalb Tani” (Another Heart).

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]



Swedish Magazine’s Recipe Mistake Poisons Four

Four people were poisoned after following a faulty recipe from a Swedish food magazine, prompting the publication to recall ten thousand copies of the periodical.

“There was a mistake in a recipe for apple cake. Instead of calling for two pinches of nutmeg it said 20 nutmeg nuts were needed,” Matmagasinet’s chief editor Ulla Cocke told AFP.

“We know that four adults ate one cake made from this recipe, and they didn’t feel well,” she said, adding that “this is obviously very regrettable.”

The four people had experienced symptoms of poisoning, including dizziness and headaches, but were now feeling better, she said.

When Matmagasinet first discovered the mistake it immediately sent out letters to its 50,000 subscribers and placed a leaflet inside the copies sold in the store, cautioning that “high doses of nutmeg can cause poisoning symptoms.”

“At first we thought this would be enough, because we didn’t really think anyone would bake or eat this cake, since so much nutmeg would give it a horrible, bitter taste, and because it is simply not that easy to get hold of that much nutmeg,” Cocke said.

Once it became clear that people had been poisoned by the cake, the magazine immediately decided to recall all its store copies.

“We publish 1,200 recipes each year, and of course there have been times when they’ve had a bit too much butter or too little flour, but we have never experienced anything like this before,” Cocke said.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Lionheart: Al Qaeda’s Luton and Dunstable Frontline

In this video, Lionheart graphically describes the takeover of Luton specifically, and of Britain in general, by the “street jihad” of immigrant Pakistani Muslims.

They run the heroin trade from Luton into the rest of the country.

They are the go-to-guys for terrorism. He pulls together the threads of Luton’s Pakistani influence on 7/7.

They control a specific kind of white slave trade in Britain: young girls are lured into service and then sent to other parts of the country as sex slaves for those Pakistani immigrants who can afford them.

The British people are being silenced through fear, he says, and recounts all that he lost because he stood up to the Pakistani gangs.

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