Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/29/2013

The Swedish furniture giant Ikea has caused controversy in Ireland with a new (humorous) commercial that shows homeowners abusing and destroying garden gnomes. The Advertising Standards Authority does not get the joke, and says that the commercial is inappropriate for children, who may be encouraged by it to engage in violence and antisocial behavior.

In other news, a French university has released a report stating that non-Muslim employees are being coerced by their Muslim coworkers into adopting Islamic practices.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to BD, C. Cantoni, DS, Insubria, JD, Jerry Gordon, JP, McR, TV, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.


Financial Crisis
» Italy Must Make Structural Reforms, Cut Debt Says EC
 
USA
» Dishonoring America’s Veterans
» Labor Unions Finally Finding Out What’s in Obamacare, & They Are Not Amused!
» Obama to Pick James B. Comey, Former Bush Official, To Lead F.B.I.
» Obamacare to Usher in 100 to 400 Percent Insurance Rate Increases Across the Board
» Obama DOJ to Federal Judge: Let’s Keep This James Rosen Warrant Between US, OK?
» Psychiatry’s Insiders Revolt Against Flawed DSM-5
» The New Xbox One Will be a “Monitoring Device Under the Guise of a Gaming Console”
» Victims of Sex Assaults in Military Are Mostly Men
» Video: Law Abiding Gun Owners Treated Like Terrorists at Rally
» Z Street’s Case Against the IRS Hits Stride in Mainstream Media Coverage
 
Europe and the EU
» Europe Divided Over Levies on Solar Panels From China
» Ireland: Ikea ‘Gnomes’ Ad Attracts Viewer Complaints
» Italy: Prosecutors Request Prison Terms for Dolce, Gabbana
» Lacking Recognition, Italy’s Muslims Face an Uncertain Future
» Moavero Slams EU Energy Commissioner’s Italy Comment
» Muslims Forcing Co-Workers to Obey Religious Practices, French Report Claims
» Netherlands: Way Cleared for End to National Sunday Shopping Regulation
» Netherlands: Dutch Teens and Father Go on Trial Over Death of Linesman
» Police Arrest ‘Radical’ Muslim Over French Soldier’s Stabbing
» UK: Attacks on Muslims: Numbers in Detail
» UK: Girl, 16, Came to Police in Pyjamas on Her Wedding Night After Being Forced to Marry Stranger to Avoid Being Taken to Pakistan and Shot, Court Told
» UK: Hackers Post ‘EDL Members’ Contact Details’ Online
» UK: How the EDL Has Exploited a Murder
» UK: Hacking Group Anonymous Publish Mobile Numbers and Addresses of Senior EDL Members as They Vow to Bring Down Far-Right Organisation
» UK: Liberalism Cannot Defeat Islamism
» UK: Muslim Abuser Who ‘Didn’t Know’ That Sex With a Girl of 13 Was Illegal is Spared Jail
» UK: Police Issue Response to Planned Anti-Mosque Protest in Lincoln
» UK: Police Investigate Brixton Mosque Vandalism
» UK: Prison Staff on Alert for Reprisals in Wake of Woolwich Murder
» UK: The Roots of the Murder of Lee Rigby Stretch a Long Way Back. We Must Learn From This Atrocity
» UK: The Far Left, Hate Clerics and Censorship
» University: Vienna Aims to Halt Influx of German Students
 
North Africa
» Algeria: Al Qaeda’s Scathing Letter to Troublesome Employee Mokhtar Belmokhtar Reveals Inner Workings of Terrorist Group
» Egypt: Referee Halts Football Match in Damietta After Riots
 
Middle East
» Iraq: 18 People Killed, 44 Wounded in Attacks in Iraq
» Is it the End of Sykes-Picot?
» Syria: Russia to Send Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Stop Western ‘Hotheads’
 
South Asia
» Afghanistan: Insurgents Held Without Charge by British Forces
» Bangladesh Hartal Cripples Life
» Nepal: American Students Expelled From Village on False Accusations of Proselytising
» Suicide Bombers Attack Peaceful Province in Northern Afghanistan
 
Far East
» Bulgarian-Chinese Forum Boosts Investment, Tourism
» Chinese Hackers Access U.S. Weapon Systems and Steal Blueprints to Australia’s New Spy HQ Months Before it Has Even Opened
» Why the Next War With China Could Go Very Badly for the United States
 
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Kenya: AIDS Talks Postponed as Muslims Cry Foul
» Niger: Al-Qaeda Revenge Attacks Kill Civilians
» Somalia: Heavy Bombardments Rock the Kismayu Airport
 
Immigration
» 21 Pakistani Migrants Picked Up in Puglia
» ‘Diversity in Germany Has Become Reality’
» Toddler Haddile Granted Residency in Sweden
» UK: Top Author Snubbed by Literary Festival Because His Book on Immigration Isn’t Left-Wing Enough
 
Culture Wars
» Lithuania Takes First Steps to Ban Abortion
 
General
» Ibn Warraq’s Statement After the 9/11/2011 Attacks Remain Still, Alas, Relevant
» Liberalism, Post-Liberalism and Loneliness
» Reflections on My Ex-Muslim Friends
 

Italy Must Make Structural Reforms, Cut Debt Says EC

Brussels points way after excessive-deficit case closed

(ANSA) — Brussels, May 29 — Italy must balance its budget next year, start cutting its huge public debt and make key structural reforms, the European Commission said Wednesday after recommending the closure of an excessive-deficit procedure. It must overhaul the labour market, its civil-justice, education and tax systems and continue government-spending curbs, the EC said.

Italy has the biggest debt in the eurozone after Greece, at about 130% of GDP.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Dishonoring America’s Veterans

Fox News’ Jennifer Griffin called it “arguably the biggest scandal the Obama Administration is facing in Washington right now — the Department of Veterans’ Affairs disability claims backlog.” The average wait time, she reported, is 273 days. “Despite a half-a-billion dollar new computer system designed to improve efficiency at the VA, 97 percent of all the claims are still filed on paper.”

In the wake of the Memorial Day weekend, it is important to remember that 600,000 veterans’ claims have been waiting over 125 days to be cleared by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Nearly 900,000 claims were still waiting to be cleared, overall, as of April, according to The Washington Examiner. If the Bush Administration was capable of handling veterans’ benefits, why isn’t President Obama? After all, his Vice President calls this his “sacred obligation.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Labor Unions Finally Finding Out What’s in Obamacare, & They Are Not Amused!

In one of the dumbest quotes ever attributed to a sitting member of the US Congress, in 2010 Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said the following about Obamacare: “We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it…”

That sort of mind-numbing idiocy should have sent chills up and down the spines of all intelligent Americans, including labor union leaders who ended up providing a great deal of money and muscle to make Marxist health care the law of the land.

Pelosi’s faux pas was an accurate, if unintentional, affirmation that government run by morons generally produces moronic legislation.

Which Obamacare certainly is!

However, now that America is finding out exactly what’s in the wretched Obamacare, some of the core constituencies that helped Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi bulldoze the bill through Congress are having second, third, and fourth thoughts.

In fact, some labor unions are actually calling for the “Affordable Care Act” to be repealed.

These are not Republicans or Tea Party advocates, folks: These are hard core far-left Democrats!

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Obama to Pick James B. Comey, Former Bush Official, To Lead F.B.I.

President Obama plans to nominate James B. Comey, a hedge fund executive and a former senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush, to replace Robert S. Mueller III as the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to a person with knowledge of the selection.

Mr. Comey, 52, was chosen for the position over the other finalist for the job, Lisa O. Monaco, who has served as the White House’s top counterterrorism adviser since January. By choosing Mr. Comey, a Republican, Mr. Obama made a strong statement about bipartisanship at a time when he faces renewed criticism from Republicans in Congress and has had difficulty confirming some important nominees.

As deputy attorney general in the Bush administration, Mr. Comey was a critical player in 2004 in the dramatic hospital room episode in which the White House counsel, Alberto Gonzales, and Mr. Bush’s chief of staff, Andrew H. Card Jr., tried to persuade Attorney General John Ashcroft — who was ill and disoriented — to reauthorize a warrantless eavesdropping program.

[Return to headlines]
 

Obamacare to Usher in 100 to 400 Percent Insurance Rate Increases Across the Board

(NaturalNews) Seventeen of the nation’s largest insurance companies are now reporting that insurance premiums are set to spike anywhere from 100 percent to 400 percent for many Americans in 2014. These insurance companies, including the likes of Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and the Kaiser Foundation have provided the House Commerce Committee with a new report that links the new Obamacare regulations, policies, and taxes to cause a substantial “rate shock” for many. The people who are expected to take the biggest hit are young healthy individuals who purchase their own health insurance.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Obama DOJ to Federal Judge: Let’s Keep This James Rosen Warrant Between US, OK?

The entire pretext by which the Obama Justice Department justified spying on James Rosen was flimsy enough. They trumped up the notion that they might charge him as a criminal co-conspirator to justify the warrant that allowed them to read his e-mails and access his phone records. This was always absurd, based on ridiculous notions about how Rosen approached his reporting work.

But it was worse than that. Not only did they want the warrant, they wanted it kept quiet because they figured they might want to just go ahead and monitor Rosen’s e-mails for an extended period of time.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Psychiatry’s Insiders Revolt Against Flawed DSM-5

(NaturalNews) The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM-5) is coming under scrutiny.

Thomas Insel, The director of the US National Institute of Mental Health, is questioning the manual’s validity, pressing scholars and scientists to shift away from the manual’s current philosophy. Much of the DSM’s current validity is based on nothing more than disease categorization, listing mental health disorders such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia based on symptoms alone. Insel wants to take a more objective approach forward, using cognitive testing, brain scans, and genetic studies to diagnose mental health conditions. Insel’s approach will abandon the current DSM philosophy that has been published by the American Psychiatric Association for the past 60 years.

Dr Allen Frances, chairman of the DSM-4 committee, has criticized the current process, “People with mild problems are [often] over-medicated.” Furthermore, he states, “The new edition exhibits a loosening of criteria in several major disorders and could lead to further over-medication.” He believes “the work on DSM-5 has displayed the most unhappy combination of soaring ambition and weak methodology” and there exists an “inexplicably closed and secretive process” to the revision of the current DSM-5.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

The New Xbox One Will be a “Monitoring Device Under the Guise of a Gaming Console”

I remember when video games were about getting Mario to save the princess and, when you were done, the console would leave you the hell alone. The new Xbox one apparently wants to put an end to those days by turning the beloved game console into a 24/7 surveillance device. The Xbox One will bundle the Kinect — a device that captures motion and sound — with every console and its camera and mic will be always on by default. In fact, Xbox One will actually refuse to work if the Kinect is not connected to it. So the camera and mic will work even when the console is turned off. And the camera will even work in the dark. Yup. It will also be able to read your facial expressions and count the people in the room with you (there are also talks ofcharging Pay-Per-View movies PER PERSON in the room).

Furthermore, all of this data captured by the device could easily be transmitted to God knows where as the console will constantly require an internet connection to even function. This capability is rationalized because Microsoft wants to give users the ability of turning on the console by saying “Xbox On”. So, for this reason, the console needs to be listening to EVERY SINGLE word you’re saying around it in case you say “Xbox On”.

The unveiling of these capabilities no one asked for has lifted some eyebrows around the world.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Victims of Sex Assaults in Military Are Mostly Men

Women are more likely to speak up

By Rowan Scarborough

More military men than women are sexually abused in the ranks each year, a Pentagon survey shows, highlighting the underreporting of male-on-male assaults.

When the Defense Department released the results of its anonymous sexual abuse survey this month and concluded that 26,000 service members were victims in fiscal 2012, which ended Sept. 30, an automatic assumption was that most were women. But roughly 14,000 of the victims were male and 12,000 female, according to a scientific survey sample produced by the Pentagon.

The statistics show that, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel begins a campaign to stamp out “unwanted sexual contact,” there are two sets of victims that must be addressed.

“It appears that the DOD has serious problems with male-on-male sexual assaults that men are not reporting and the Pentagon doesn’t want to talk about,” Elaine Donnelly, who heads the Center for Military Readiness. She noted that only 2 percent of assailants are women.

           — Hat tip: DS [Return to headlines]
 

Video: Law Abiding Gun Owners Treated Like Terrorists at Rally

As you may be aware I recently went to cover the March Against Monsanto protest in Philadelphia, which is an excellent grassroots movement against Monsanto (a downright vile corporation and the largest producer of genetically modified seeds), and I was surprised to see a peaceful gun rally across the street in downtown Philadelphia.

But I was even more surprised to see the army of police, military, K-9 squads, and plain clothes officers that were surrounding the gun rally as the 1,000+ attendee March Against Monsanto protests moved through the busiest street in the city. I actually support both rallies, and was upset to see that there was not a huge spillover between the two due to the phony left vs. right rhetoric that stops either side from accomplishing much, but I was truly amazed when I walked over to see the different ways in which the protesters were being treated.

Even though the March Against Monsanto protest easily exceeded 1,000 activists, the gun rally was targeted as priority — even with only around 50 or so individuals still attending at the time of my filming. We even had Homeland Security actively patrolling the area.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Z Street’s Case Against the IRS Hits Stride in Mainstream Media Coverage

This morning I called Lori Lowenthal Marcus, my colleague and co-founder of Z Street, the pro-Israel Zionist education group. I congratulated her on both The Wall Street Journal and Fox News Business video interview on Z Street’s travails with IRS balking on specious reasons at clearance of Z Street’s original 501(c) (3) application filed in December 2009. That IRS intrusive pettifoggery led to our group filing a law suit on the grounds of viewpoint discrimination in August 2010. Nearly three years after the suit had been filed in the US Eastern District Court in Philadelphia it has been moved to the DC District Court for a hearing on July 2nd in Washington, DC. We posted in mid-May on Z Street’s rising media visibility in the wake of the IRS 501 (c) (4) contretemps in hearings before the House Ways and Means Committee.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]
 

Europe Divided Over Levies on Solar Panels From China

Germany, Great Britain, and Holland oppose the levy; France and Italy are in favour. The European Commission complains about pressure on EU countries from Beijing. Germany switches sides after Merkel meets Chinese PM Li Keqiang.

Brussels (AsiaNews/Agencies) — At least 14 members of the European Union are opposed to imposing levies on solar panels “Made in China”. Great Britain, Holland and Germany are against them, whilst France and Italy are among those who support custom duties.

According to the European Commission, Chinese manufacturing firms are subsidised by the state, which allows them to export at prices that are so low that they all but destroy the competition.

EU Trade Commissioner Mr De Gucht is proposing levies averaging 47 per cent on the panels, to take effect on 6 June for six months. After that, the issue would be discussed again unless the two sides reach an agreement before the deadline.

The push for a negotiated solution has become more urgent given the great opposition to the levy, which Germany had initially supported, as it was a German company, Solar World, which first raised the complaint against China, backed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

However, two days ago, after a meeting with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during a visit in Europe (pictured), Merkel came out against the levy and in favour of negotiations.

The European Commission said that Beijing has been putting pressure on EU members.

German exports to China reached € 66.6 billion last year, mostly cars, car parts, machinery and electrical goods. At present, Chinese solar panel exports to Europe are worth € 21 billion.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]
 

Ireland: Ikea ‘Gnomes’ Ad Attracts Viewer Complaints

An Ikea advert showing a couple using increasingly violent methods to kill off garden gnomes has drawn dozens of complaints from viewers.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1kwGtl21bs

The home-ware giant’s Say No To Gnomes campaign features a family updating the look of their garden with new products, only to find the upset gnomes launching a revenge attack.

The couple fight back, kicking them across the garden and into a pond before using a hammock to hurl them against the fence.

One scene shows a furious gnome standing over the body of his broken friend..

The woman finally aims a jet of hose water at an assembled mob, smashing them into pieces.

The ad finishes with the tagline: “Make more of your garden. Say no to gnomes.”

The (Irish) Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said it received nearly 50 complaints that the ad was offensive, unsuitable for children, frightening, violent and encouraged emulation and anti-social behaviour.

The ASA said: “As a starting point, we take all the complaints we receive seriously. However, just because an ad has prompted a negative reaction amongst some viewers does not mean that we will automatically investigate.

“We didn’t take any further action on this occasion.

“While we appreciated that the ad would not be to everyone’s taste, we thought it was clearly fanciful and light-hearted. We also didn’t share the view that it would encourage or condone violence or anti-social behaviour and was unlikely to upset children.”

           — Hat tip: McR [Return to headlines]
 

Italy: Prosecutors Request Prison Terms for Dolce, Gabbana

Sentence of 2 years, six months sought over alleged tax evasion

(see previous)(ANSA) — Milan, May 29 — Milan prosecutors on Wednesday requested that Italian fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana be sentenced to two and a half years in jail for alleged tax fraud.

The creators of the world-famous Dolce & Gabbana brand are accused of being involved in tax evasion of around one billion euros. The two were indicted in June 2012 when prosecutors claimed the fashion duo, with six others, evaded taxes for several years after setting up the front company Gado in Luxembourg.

“They are the ones who have most benefited from this operation” prosecutors said on Wednesday.

“Gado was an artificial construction with the specific function of obtaining tax benefits,” prosecutors said.

Prosecutors also requested a three-year sentence for the duo’s accountant, Luciano Patelli, who they said was in “complete agreement” with the evasion.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Lacking Recognition, Italy’s Muslims Face an Uncertain Future

by Mustafa Hameed

ROME (RNS) Steps from the immense colonnade of St. Peter’s Square, Sarwar Jahan stood next to his souvenir stand. A dark, clean-shaven man wearing a navy blue jacket and a black knit cap, Jahan is one of the legions of peddlers selling trinkets of the new Pope Francis to tourists and pilgrims…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Moavero Slams EU Energy Commissioner’s Italy Comment

Calls ‘ingovernability’ quip ‘superficial and isolated’

(updates previous) (ANSA) — Brussels, May 29 — Italian Minister of European Affairs Enzo Moavero on Wednesday slammed comments on Italy made by European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, calling them “superficial and isolated”.

Oettinger described Italy as “almost ungovernable” in an alarm-raising speech in which he blasted the state of Europe as “a restructuring case” in Brussels Tuesday evening. A member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, Oettinger made his speech to German, Belgian and Luxembourgian Chambers of Commerce, then reported on Wednesday by the German daily Bild and the UK’s Daily Mail.

“I’m worried about countries that, overall, are almost ungovernable, such as Bulgaria, Romania and Italy,” Oettinger, a German and, was quoted as saying. “In Italy, there is no problem of governability,” Italian Minister Moavero retorted on Wednesday in Brussels, where he was working on the EU’s Competitiveness Council. “I do not know the motives for these curious statements. In Italy there is no problem of governability,” Moavero continued. “Such superficial and isolated considerations reveal a lack of information and institutional grace, the author of which (should) assume responsibility”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

Muslims Forcing Co-Workers to Obey Religious Practices, French Report Claims

French staff managers have increasingly been reporting faith-related problems at the work place, a new study released on Tuesday showed, with many incidents relating to Muslims trying to force others to observe their practices.

Forty-three percent of staff managers reported faith-related problems at work, Reuters reported on the study by university researchers in Rennes and the international recruitment agency Randstad, and 41 percent expected the problem to continue in the future…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Netherlands: Way Cleared for End to National Sunday Shopping Regulation

The senate on Tuesday voted in favour of a new law which allows local authorities to decide whether or not to sanction Sunday shopping.

At the moment, towns and villages not considered ‘tourist attractions’ are restricted to 12 Sunday openings a year.

The new rules, which end years of debate, were opposed by the small religious parties, the Socialists and two Christian Democrat senators.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]
 

Netherlands: Dutch Teens and Father Go on Trial Over Death of Linesman

Seven Dutch teens and a father will go on trial today over the death an amateur football linesman, a killing that sent shockwaves around the Netherlands and the world.

Linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen, 41, died in December after he was allegedly kicked several times in the head by enraged youth players shortly after the final whistle at an amateur game.Nieuwenhuizen died shortly afterwards in hospital, leading to much soul-searching in the football-mad Netherlands, while the teenaged boys and one of their fathers were charged with manslaughter. In a surprise development, a renowned British pathologist will testify that the victim may have died of other causes…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Police Arrest ‘Radical’ Muslim Over French Soldier’s Stabbing

Police investigating the stabbing of a French soldier in Paris have arrested a suspect sources described as a supporter of “radical Islam”.

“The suspected perpetrator of the attack on a soldier Saturday evening in La Defense (business district) was arrested this morning,” Interior Minister Manuel Valls said in a statement. The statement said the suspect was arrested in Yvelines, just west of Paris. Sources close to the investigation said the 22-year-old man has been a follower of a “traditionalist even radical Islam for the last three or four years.” But the sources urged caution in a case that is still in its early stages, saying the suspect was not previously known to authorities as a radical. “The investigation will determine at what time he decided to carry out a jihadist act,” one of the sources said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Attacks on Muslims: Numbers in Detail

Statistics about so-called ‘reprisal attacks’ are being widely circulated. We attempt to understand the scale of the targeting of British Muslims following the Woolwich attack

It’s been almost a week since the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich. During that time, many have considered the consequences of the two attackers’ actions for Britain’s crime policy, its foreign policy and its media. Those who have discussed a risk of escalating violence in the wake of the attack have cited various statistics about Islamophobic incidents. We’ve examined the statistics available in the wake of the terrible events of Woolwich, what they mean, and the wider picture on hate crime across the country…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Girl, 16, Came to Police in Pyjamas on Her Wedding Night After Being Forced to Marry Stranger to Avoid Being Taken to Pakistan and Shot, Court Told

A 16-year-old girl turned up at a police station in her pyjamas on her wedding night claiming she had been forced by her family to marry a man she had only met once, a court was told.

The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, told officers ‘she would be taken to Pakistan and shot and everybody back home would be told it was suicide’, Luton County Court heard.

She had fled her wedding reception, which was attended by up to 1,000 guests, and arrived at a police station ‘in her pyjamas and in a distressed state’.

It was also alleged death threats had previously been made against her if she refused to marry, counsel for Bedfordshire Police James Weston told a hearing yesterday.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Hackers Post ‘EDL Members’ Contact Details’ Online

A list apparently showing the contact details of English Defence League members has been published online.

It has been posted by people claiming to be part of a computer hacking network known as Anonymous.

Names and addresses of more than 200 people from all over the country are on the list.

The post from a group calling itself Anonymous UK also includes the mobile telephone numbers of people it claims to be senior members of the EDL.

It said the EDL “should have expected this” and warned it to “expect more”.

The publication followed an audio message, recorded with a computerised voice and published on YouTube, from Anonymous UK to the EDL that accused the far-right group of taking “advantage of moments of fear and terror to spread hatred and animosity”.

‘Constant belligerence’

It likened the EDL to a “pack of raving ignoramuses” and said the group’s “constant belligerence” would further “only bigotry and segregation”.

The message added: “You have angered us considerably, and summoned our wrath irrevocably.”

The EDL has held several demonstrations since the death of Drummer Lee Rigby, the soldier who was killed in Woolwich, south-east London, last week.

It is unclear whether the people listed are actually members of the EDL.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]
 

UK: How the EDL Has Exploited a Murder

Daniel Trilling reports on the far-right rally at Downing Street on Bank Holiday Monday.

Beneath the rigid gaze of Viscount Alanbrooke, whose statue looks across Whitehall to Downing Street, a dozen English Defence League members face a shouting crowd of anti-fascist protesters. Kevin Carroll, a co-leader of the EDL, steps down towards the crowd and taunts them, arms outstretched, making little come-on-then gestures with his fingers. Dressed in a dark suit, he’s smiling. It’s the EDL’s self-image in miniature: relishing the abuse, pretending to be the underdog, when in fact there are a thousand or so supporters around the corner whose islamophobia is nourished by a steady drip-feed from the right-wing press and the posturing of politicians…

[Reader comment by Steven Macgregor on 29 May 2013 at about 9 am.]

Daniel Trilling — Your a disgrace writing this shameless article, trying to drum up support for the evil UAF. Britain wants and needs organisations such as the EDL. I am proud to be Great British and proud to join the fight against Islam in the UK.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Hacking Group Anonymous Publish Mobile Numbers and Addresses of Senior EDL Members as They Vow to Bring Down Far-Right Organisation

Campaigners claiming to be part of the hacking protest group Anonymous have published contact details of senior English Defence League members online after posting a video vowing to bring down the organisation, it has been reported.

In a video posted on YouTube, the group condemns the EDL for using the death of Drummer Lee Rigby as ‘another excuse to further spread your campaign of hate, bigotry, and misinformation’ before announcing ‘Operation EDL’.

A list of what were said to be mobile phone numbers for senior named EDL figures were published online yesterday evening along with addresses of what were said to be donors to the group, the Guardian reported.

Leaked details of hundreds of names and addresses linked to the far-right group that were circulated on the internet in 2010 after hackers broke into one of the organisation’s websites were also re-published online yesterday.

One member, Glen Warren, says he has been fielding several calls from ‘anti-fascists and Muslims’ after his mobile number was published.

He told MailOnline: ‘I’ve had so many people ringing up and threatening me, threatening to rape my mum and kill me.

‘It’s childish. I’m not even going to go to the police. I spoke to them like an adult.’

He said: ‘It’s about Muslim extremism. You can’t go round beheading people. I think that’s why people are getting p***** off.

‘I don’t class every Muslim the same so why do people class every EDL member the same?’

[Comments to the article: (1) I’m not buyng this — are you sure it’s not the Govt pretending to be Anonymous? — cozmik , RIP-UK, United Kingdom, 29/5/2013 18:30 (2) The left are paniking they know they are losing the argument and are resorting to underhanded ways. — db , essex, 29/5/2013 18:27 ]

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Liberalism Cannot Defeat Islamism

Martin Parsons has a PhD in Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations and has written a major academic book on this subject.

Since the decline of Socialism, the major ideological fault line in British politics, insofar as there has been one, has been between, on the one hand, conservativism and, on the other, various forms of liberalism — espoused bynot just the Liberal Democrats, but also in large measure by the Labour Party.

This ideological divide is of critical importance in the fight against Islamism. I say this because there is a myth that has been propagated by liberals that the only answer to Islamism is liberalism. However, liberalism not only lacks the capacity to counter Islamism and has significantly failed to do so, but is seen by many Islamists as part of the back door by which they can take over and impose Islamic law and government on western society.The reasons for this are not hard to find

[…]

[Reader comment by David_MacD on 28 May 2013.]

It’s quite simple really. In any conflict between “us” and “them” we should make sure, by all means at our disposal, that we come out as the winners. No further justification of this aim is necessary or even desirable.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Muslim Abuser Who ‘Didn’t Know’ That Sex With a Girl of 13 Was Illegal is Spared Jail

A muslim who raped a 13-year-old girl he groomed on Facebook has been spared a prison sentence after a judge heard he went to an Islamic faith school where he was taught that women are worthless.

Adil Rashid, 18, claimed he was not aware that it was illegal for him to have sex with the girl because his education left him ignorant of British law.

Yesterday Judge Michael Stokes handed Rashid a suspended sentence, saying: ‘Although chronologically 18, it is quite clear from the reports that you are very naive and immature when it comes to sexual matters.’

Earlier Nottingham Crown Court heard that such crimes usually result in a four to seven-year prison sentence.

But the judge said that because Rashid was ‘passive’ and ‘lacking assertiveness’, sending him to jail might cause him ‘more damage than good’.

Rashid, from Birmingham, admitted he had sex with the girl, saying he had been ‘tempted by her’ after they met online…

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Police Issue Response to Planned Anti-Mosque Protest in Lincoln

Lincolnshire Police have issued a statement saying they are aware of a planned protest march against the proposed building of a Mosque in Lincoln on June 8. This event was planned before the tragic events in Woolwich last week…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Police Investigate Brixton Mosque Vandalism

Windows of house of worship broken as reports of Islamophobic attacks rise

POLICE ARE continuing their investigation into reports of an attack on a mosque in Brixton, south London. Officers were called at 3.04am last Monday (May 27) to deal with vandals who threw a stone which smashed a window of religious building and Islamic Cultural Centre, in Gresham Road.

Although no one has been arrested as of yet, the police has informed The Voice it will continue to investigate the crime.

A police spokesperson said: “Lambeth Police met with the Iman and other faith and community representatives last week and continue to liaise with the mosque during the investigation of this crime.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Prison Staff on Alert for Reprisals in Wake of Woolwich Murder

Prison officers have been put on alert amid fears of copycat attacks from fanatical Muslim prisoners following the Woolwich atrocity.

The Prison Service warned staff after an officer at Full Sutton high security jail was held hostage and assaulted allegedly by three Muslim inmates on Sunday. It is believed the attack was launched after the prisoners were angered by a prison imam’s request on Friday to pray for the family of Drummer Lee Rigby. The 25-year-old soldier was killed by two alleged Islamic extremists in broad daylight in Woolwich last Wednesday in an apparent anti-Western attack. Prison chiefs fear jailed extremists, especially in the high security estate, may try and launch attacks against officers. An email sent to all staff has warned them to remain vigilant and be particularly aware of any officers who are ex-military…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: The Roots of the Murder of Lee Rigby Stretch a Long Way Back. We Must Learn From This Atrocity

by Norman Tebbit

The tragic and brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby and the soul-searching over whether it could have been prevented continues to generate a great deal of media comment, much both ill-judged and premature. Of course it is easy in the light of the murder to say that MI5 should have kept closer watch on the alleged killers. Perhaps so. However we do not know how many possible killers, perhaps some who might have plans for mass killings, are being monitored by the security services…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

UK: The Far Left, Hate Clerics and Censorship

Most websites run by far-left groups lack one thing; a comments box. This is certainly the case with the two “biggest fish” in the very small pond that the far-left operate in, the Socialist Party (Militant) and the Socialist Workers Party. These two groups don’t even have a proper letters page in their main publications The Socialist and Socialist Worker. The only letters they take are platitudes from their own supporters, Socialist Worker being the worst culprit with seemingly almost “made up” letters…

The terrorist attack and brutal murder of Lee Rigby was at the heart of most political websites attention for the past few days. Socialist Unity published a couple of articles on the subject and debate was opened. It soon became abundantly clear that discussion was being limited by Tony Collins one of the sites Editorial Board. At first there seemed to be no problems, I posted a brief link to give an alternative view but later on I noticed that a further contribution was “awaiting moderation” (and never published) even though there was certainly nothing untoward in my contribution.

Later by chance, I noticed the guy from the Hatful of History blog questioned where his comments about the Islamic preachers had gone so I chipped in to. Both these were deleted. This continued policy of deletion was picked up by someone on the Urban 75 thread where the same issue was under discussion. The poster noted that “Tony Collins appears to be deleting any posts on SU which argue that Islamic extremists should be challenged at all levels.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

University: Vienna Aims to Halt Influx of German Students

Süddeutsche Zeitung, Kurier

“Vienna has called on the EU to limit the number of German students,” reports Süddeutsche Zeitung. The newspaper explains that, according to figures from the Austrian Ministry of Economy, one in every nine first year university students is from Germany. In certain courses and institutions, for example the psychology faculties at Salzburg and Innsbruck, which are close to the German border, they account for more than 80 per cent of students.

As the Austrian newspaper Kurier explains, the Minister for Science and Research, Karlheinz Töchterle now wants “to give priority” to Austrian students.

To this end, Töchterle has asked the Commission for permission to follow in the footsteps of Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and other European countries struggling with a large influx of foreign students, so that he can introduce measures “to prevent imbalances that create an anti-European atmosphere” in the country’s universities.

“As it stands, it is not clear what criteria will be used to distinguish between foreign and local students. To date, only the country’s medical schools have imposed a 75 per cent quota for Austrian students,” points out Süddeutsche Zeitung.

Until now, any limit on the number of university places for foreign students has been viewed as an infringement of the free movement of persons within the EU, explains Kurier.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]
 

Algeria: Al Qaeda’s Scathing Letter to Troublesome Employee Mokhtar Belmokhtar Reveals Inner Workings of Terrorist Group

A highly critical letter from Al-Qaeda leaders to one of their members, the international terrorist Mokhtar Belmokhtar, has given a rare and fascinating insight into the daily workings and internal politics of the jihadist organisation.

After years of attempts at discipline, the leaders of al-Qaeda’s North African branch sent the final letter to Belmokhtar, their most difficult employee. In page after scathing page, they described how he didn’t answer his phone when they called, failed to turn in his expense reports, ignored meetings and refused time and again to carry out orders.

Most of all, they claimed he had failed to carry out a single spectacular operation, despite the resources at his disposal.

Belmokhtar responded the way talented employees with bruised egos have in corporations the world over: He quit and formed his own competing group. Within months, he carried out two lethal operations that killed 101 people in all: one of the largest hostage-takings in history at a BP-operated gas plant in Algeria in January, and simultaneous bombings at a military base and a French uranium mine in Niger just last week…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Egypt: Referee Halts Football Match in Damietta After Riots

Fans of the Suez football team stormed al-Zarqa stadium in Damietta after the rival team scored a second goal in a crucial match between them. The Suez team fans smashed the stadium’s seats after al-Zarqa team, the host, scored the second goal, which prompted the referee to halt the match. In 2012, riots following a football match in Port Said killed more than 70 people in one of the deadliest incidents in the history of Egyptian football…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Iraq: 18 People Killed, 44 Wounded in Attacks in Iraq

BAGHDAD, May 28 (Xinhua) — Up to 18 people were killed and 44 wounded in attacks, including a suicide tanker truck bombing, in central and northern Iraq on Tuesday, the police said. In northern Iraq, Iraqi security forces clashed with gunmen during a security operation in the western part of the city of Mosul, some 400 km north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a local police source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Is it the End of Sykes-Picot?

Patrick Cockburn on the war in Syria and the threat to the Middle East

For the first two years of the Syrian civil war foreign leaders regularly predicted that Bashar al-Assad’s government would fall any day. In November 2011, King Abdullah of Jordan said that the chances of Assad’s surviving were so slim he ought to step down. In December last year, Anders Rasmussen, the Nato secretary general, said: ‘I think the regime in Damascus is approaching collapse.’ Even the Russian Foreign Ministry — which generally defends Assad — has at times made similar claims. Some of these statements were designed to demoralise Assad’s supporters by making his overthrow seem inevitable. But in many cases outsiders genuinely believed that the end was just round the corner. The rebels kept claiming successes, and the claims were undiscriminatingly accepted…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Syria: Russia to Send Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Stop Western ‘Hotheads’

Russia vowed to deliver a sophisticated anti-aircraft missile system to Bashar al-Assad after expressing anger over British-led moves to arm Syria’s rebels.

Moscow said it was being forced to send the S-300 system to Syria’s president to prevent Western “hotheads” from intervening in the country’s civil war. It came after Britain succeeded in persuading the European Union not to renew an embargo on supplying weapons to Syria’s opposition forces. William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, said the late night deal meant Britain could begin arming the rebels from now. However, the move sparked fury in Russia, which has been implacably opposed to Western efforts to unseat Mr Assad…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Afghanistan: Insurgents Held Without Charge by British Forces

Up to 90 insurgents are being held without trial by British forces in Afghanistan, Philip Hammond has admitted.

The Defence Secretary revealed that dozens of Afghan insurgents are being detained at a British base, after lawyers representing eight of the men claimed they are being unlawfully held. Speaking to the BBC, the lawyers likened the facility to America’s Guantanamo Bay prison and claimed men have been kept their without trial or access to lawyers for up to 14 months. They are appealing to the High Court for the release of the prisoners…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Bangladesh Hartal Cripples Life

DHAKA, May 29 (Xinhua) — A one-day hartal in Bangladesh over arrest warrant issued against the country’s main opposition party’ s deputy chief Wednesday threw normal life out of gear across the South Asian nation. Ex-Prime Minister Khaleda Zia’s Bangladesh Nationalist Party ( BNP) Monday called for the countrywide general strike, protesting the issuance of arrest warrant against its deputy chief Tarique Rahman, now living in London…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Nepal: American Students Expelled From Village on False Accusations of Proselytising

The case worries the government. For the Home Affairs Ministry, this is an isolated incident. No Christian or foreigner is in danger. The incident occurred yesterday in the Kanchenjunga area, in the country’s north-east. Some local youths attacked 17 researchers from the University of California stealing from them and threatening their life.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews) — A violent incident that took place yesterday in Kanchenjunga has become a national case. Local residents in a small village in northeastern Nepal robbed a group of young US researchers and forced them to leave on false charges of spreading Christianity and spying on Chinese companies operating in the area.

Reports about the incident have shaken public opinion, forcing Home Affairs Ministry Chief Secretary Navin Ghimire to state that “No Christian or foreign tourist should be afraid in Nepal. The country is safe and all activities carried on our territory are protected by the law.”

The official said that investigations are already underway and that the information about the people responsible for the robbery and threats against the young foreigners are already being vetted by investigators.

Nepal is not new to cases of violence and robbery at the expense of tourists and foreign researchers. The most recent incident dates back to 28 April, when a group of sherpas on Mount Everest attacked some foreign climbers, including Italian Simone Moro.

However, the incident in Kanchenjunga has the government worried that it might signal a rise in thefts and abuse against foreigners and religious minorities on the pretext of proselytism.

The incident in question occurred yesterday morning in the village of Hangdewa, in Taplejung District between China and India, and has already been become front-page news on national media.

A group of local youths surrounded 17 US students, telling them to hand over their tools, including tape recorders, videocameras, mobile phones and cash.

The thugs told passers-by that the young foreigners were spies who had come to the area to proselytise and spy on the Chinese.

Some villagers helped the youths, forcing the 17 US students to leave, telling them not file any complaints with the police, or they would be killed.

Once they fled, the researchers went to the nearest police station whose agents eventually recovered some of the stolen goods and arrested four young thugs aged between 14 and 17 years.

“We are looking for other people connected to this regrettable fact,” said Deputy Superintendent of Police Govinda Prasad Shrestha. “We want to understand who is behind this inexplicable act.”

The US researchers are all students from the University of California. They were in the area for a bio-diversity project. The 30-member group had left Kathmandu on 23 April for Taplejunk District.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]
 

Suicide Bombers Attack Peaceful Province in Northern Afghanistan

(Reuters) — Taliban suicide bombers, some dressed as police, killed a policeman in a rare attack on a governor’s compound in Afghanistan’s fiercely anti-Taliban Panjshir valley on Wednesday, a stark indication of their broadening reach.

The attack was the first of its kind in the Panjshir since October 2011. The Panjshir was an important rallying area for anti-Taliban forces that toppled the Islamist group’s government in late 2001…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Bulgarian-Chinese Forum Boosts Investment, Tourism

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria, May 28 (Xinhua) — The largest Bulgarian-Chinese forum for investment and tourism ever, which was held in Bulgaria’s second biggest city Plovdiv Tuesday under the patronage of Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, stimulated bilateral business relations.

Some 150 Chinese companies and over 250 of their potential partners from Bulgaria participated in the forum titled “Discover and Invest in Bulgaria”, organized by the Bulgarian Travel and Investment Development Centre in China (BTIDCC), together with the Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Invest Bulgaria Agency, Plovdiv Municipality and the Bulgarian-Chinese Business Development Association…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Chinese Hackers Access U.S. Weapon Systems and Steal Blueprints to Australia’s New Spy HQ Months Before it Has Even Opened

Chinese hackers have accessed designs for more than two dozen U.S. weapons systems and stolen the blueprints for Australia’s new spy headquarters which hasn’t even been opened yet.

These latest strikes come after months of numerous computer security breaches involving Chinese hackers as the ongoing cyber war between China and the West intensifies.

Hackers have now ‘compromised’ U.S. designs for combat aircraft and ships, as well as missile defenses vital for Europe, Asia and the Gulf, it has emerged.

Among the weapons listed in the report were the advanced Patriot missile system, the Navy’s Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

The report did not specify the extent or time of the cyber-thefts or indicate if they involved computer networks of the U.S. government, contractors or subcontractors.

But the espionage would give China knowledge that could be exploited in a conflict, such as knocking out communications and corrupting data, the Post said. It also could speed Beijing’s development of Chinese defense technology.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Why the Next War With China Could Go Very Badly for the United States

Most Americans assume that the U.S. military is so vastly superior to everyone else that no other nation would ever dream of fighting a full-scale war against us. Unfortunately, that assumption is dead wrong. In recent years, the once mammoth technological gap between the U.S. military and the Chinese military has been closing at a frightening pace. China has been accomplishing this by brazenly stealing our technology and hacking into our computer systems. The Pentagon and the Obama administration know all about this, but they don’t do anything about it. Perhaps the fact that China owns about a trillion dollars of our national debt has something to do with that.

In any event, today China has the largest military in the world and the second largest military budget in the world. They have stolen plans for our most advanced jets, helicopters, ships and missile systems. It is estimated that stealing our technology has saved China about 25 years of research and development. In addition, China is rapidly developing a new generation of strategic weapons that could potentially enable it to actually win a future war against the United States. At one time such a notion would have been unthinkable, but as you will see below, the next war with China could go very badly for the United States.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Kenya: AIDS Talks Postponed as Muslims Cry Foul

THE National Aids Control Council has accused Muslim clerics of frustrating efforts to fight HIV/Aids infection among Most at Risk Populations at the Coast. This follows remarks by the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya in an article in the Monday edition of the Daily Nation on a conference meant to address infections among Marps.

The conference, organised by Nacc is meant to bring together players to fight HIV/Aids transmission among homosexuals, drug addicts and sex workers. In the article, CIPK secretary general Sheikh Mohammed Dor condemned the meeting which he said was meant to bring together gays, lesbians and prostitutes…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Niger: Al-Qaeda Revenge Attacks Kill Civilians

Nouakchott — Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and its affiliates are now seeking revenge for the February killing of terrorist Abdelhamid Abou Zeid at the hands of the French army. On Friday (May 24th), the Signed-In-Blood Battalion and the Movement for Tawhid and Jihad in West Africa (MUJAO) claimed responsibility for twin suicide car bombings in Niger at a military camp in Agadez and a French-operated uranium mine in Arlit. Niger’s Defence Minister Mahamadou Karidjo told state-run radio last Thursday “at least 14 civilians were wounded and 2 Islamists were killed in a suicide car attack on the country’s largest uranium mine, Somair, which is operated by France’s Areva.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Somalia: Heavy Bombardments Rock the Kismayu Airport

Kismayu- — heavy artilleries were fired at the airport which hosted the government delegation at Kismayu airport, the capital city of the lower Juba regions. Militia men believed to be members of the outlawed Shabab militia bombarded the Kismayu airport last night which is currently hosting a government delegation consisting of defense minister Abdi Hakin Haji Mohamud Fiqi…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

21 Pakistani Migrants Picked Up in Puglia

Men unhurt after boat crashed

(ANSA) — Otranto, 29 May — Italian police on Wednesday picked up 21 Pakistani migrants whose boat crashed onto the coast near the port city of Otranto in the southeastern Italian region of Puglia.

The 21 men, believed to have come from Greece or Turkey, were unhurt, police said.

They were taken to a migrant reception centre in Otranto.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]
 

‘Diversity in Germany Has Become Reality’

Two decades after one of the worst instances of anti-foreigner violence, racism still exists in Germany. But society has changed and, in an era of globalization, migration is normal, writes Der Tagesspiegel’s Peter von Becker.

Twenty years ago, two women of Turkish descent and three young girls were killed in their home during a far-right arson attack in Solingen, North-Rhine Westphalia. Three days earlier, on May 26th 1993, Germany’s asylum laws were drastically tightened. It appeared at the time as a bleak triumph for xenophobes especially given earlier pogroms and racist attacks in places such as Hoyerswerda, Rostock and Mölln.

Those crimes left a macabre trail that has continued to the present day, climaxing in the ten murders carried out by the neo-Nazi National Socialist Underground (NSU) group. Most of their victims were also people of Turkish origin.

It is no coincidence that on the 20th anniversary of the Solingen attacks, the “Genc Prize for Peace and Harmony” will be awarded to Sebastian Edathy, member of parliament and chairman of the NSU investigation committee, and Ismail Yozgat, the father of one of the NSU victims. The award is named after the Turkish family whose house in Solingen was targeted by neo-Nazis.

Survivors of the family, some of whom have German citizenship today, are firmly championing reconciliation and understanding, awareness and integration.

Since 2006, the German government has held an official “integration summit”, which met on Tuesday in the chancellory. The summit is used by Chancellor Angela Merkel to push for a dialogue between different cultures and religions, to raise education and German language levels among migrants and urge Germans to be more welcoming.

It is not just an attempt to be nice, but also regarding the lack of skilled workers in Germany and a demographic development that has prompted the country to look for more qualified immigrants. “Children, not Indians,” a 2000 populist campaign slogan of the Christian Democratic Party in response to plans to invite foreign IT workers, is unthinkable today.

Germany has long been a land of immigration. Still, the word “migrant” is used in politics and the media to describe people who have lived here for decades because it sounds softer, temporary and casual. But in reality, much has changed on the cultural, political and factual level since the Solingen attack. But a lot doesn’t mean everything.

In Germany, just like in most other European nations, racism, xenophobia and right-wing extremism continue to exist, with surveys showing that around 25 percent of the population in European nations are wary of foreigners and outsiders.

The foreigner traditionally serves as a scapegoat especially in times of economic crisis when governments try to divert attention from their own problems. For instance, Angela Merkel is the most prominent foreigner being symbolically sacrificed as the scapegoat in populist political debates in Italy and Greece. But when the victim lives in the vicinity and is unprotected, the symbolic can easily turn deadly serious. Today, Sinti and Roma in southeastern Europe are experiencing exactly that, as a people who are still persecuted and ostracised.

This is different from a few unspeakable racist comments emanating from the dregs of the debate surrounding Thilo Sarazzin, a controversial banker turned author. But that doesn’t mean every blabbering idiot who airs his opinion online is going to turn into a thug or a murderer. And not every opinion poll is cause for alarm. Those who ask overly simple questions such as “Are you in favour of hiring foreign workers in the face of three million jobless in Germany?” shouldn’t be surprised by the answers.

Reality is much more complex than politically correct theories. Every abused asylum-seeker, who is often held in deplorable conditions for years, every person with a foreign-sounding surname being dismissed without a reason while looking for a job or an apartment — that’s just one too many. Not to mention victims of explicit violence at railway stations, at bus stops and in other public places. Or even the scandalous no-go areas, especially for black foreigners, in eastern Germany.

And yet, the majority of the predominant group in society has transformed. Whether during calm or turbulent times in a globalised world, migration is normal. It means a burden, a challenge as well as an enrichment.

Twenty years ago, then Chancellor Helmut Kohl did not visit Solingen after the attacks. Today that would be unthinkable, because a colourful, diverse Germany is a reality not confined to the ranks of its successful national football team.

           — Hat tip: BD [Return to headlines]
 

Toddler Haddile Granted Residency in Sweden

Two-year-old Haddile, who faced deportation after being abandoned in Sweden and assaulted by her stepfather, has been granted a two-year residency permit, migration authorities said on Monday, in a case that has engaged tens of thousands of Swedes and generated a great deal of media interest.

“The rationale and the goal is to arrange a reunification between Haddile and her biological parents. In addition, we can ensure that Haddile’s foster family can support Haddile during this process,” Swedish Migration Board (Migrationsverket) general counsel Fredrik Beijer said in a statement.

The case of two-year-old Haddile, who was abandoned by her mother shortly after her birth and then allegedly abused by her stepfather before being taken in by foster parents, sparked outrage among Swedes when news of the case emerged in September 2012.

The girl’s mother, who is Algerian but has French citizenship, disappeared 20 days after giving birth at a hospital in Lund in the south of Sweden.

Haddile’s stepfather took care of her when the mother disappeared but he was accused of abuse after the baby girl was admitted to hospital with serious brain damage at the age of four months.

The child then ended up in foster care and her foster parents have said they are willing to adopt her.

But when the Migration Board tried to deport Haddile to France to reunite her with her mother, tens of thousands of Swedes signed a petition condemning the move, prompting the agency in October to delay the deportation decision.

As Haddile had been born and raised in Sweden, only knew the Swedish language, and had bonded with her foster family in southern Sweden, many questioned whether deporting her was in her best interests.

In addition, her foster parents had expressed their interest in adopting her.

In November, a DNA test revealed an Algerian couple as Haddile’s birth parents.

According to the Migration Board, it’s “important that Haddile is given the opportunity to get to know her parents, something that both social services in Lund and her foster parents are working toward”.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]
 

UK: Top Author Snubbed by Literary Festival Because His Book on Immigration Isn’t Left-Wing Enough

For the author of one of this year’s most talked about books, a slot at Britain’s best-known literary event seemed a formality.

But David Goodhart has been dramatically snubbed by the Hay festival and not invited to be a speaker.

Organiser Peter Florence considers his book about immigration ‘sensationalist’ and out of kilter with the annual event’s liberal audience.

In turn, Mr Goodhart, director of the Left-leaning Demos think-tank and one of the country’s foremost liberals, accused Mr Florence, educated at public school and Cambridge, of having an ‘ideological spasm’…

But reviewers from across the political spectrum agreed it was an important work.

For example, Trevor Phillips, former chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, said: ‘Finally: a European liberal who isn’t afraid of his own shadow and a British intellectual who isn’t allergic to evidence. No intelligent person can afford not to read this book.’

[…]

In an extract he adapted from his book for the Mail, Mr Goodhart argued that among ‘Left-leaning Hampstead liberals’ like himself there was an assumption that anybody expressing alarm at the largest influx of incomers in this nation’s history was a racist.

But, he said, they were wrong as mass immigration, without integration, has had a profoundly adverse effect on British democracy and social cohesion.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]
 

Lithuania Takes First Steps to Ban Abortion

(AGI) Vilnius, May 28 — A draft law addressed at forbidding abortions, unless rape or incest are involved or the mother’s health is at risk, has been presented in the Lithuanian parliament. Forty six legislators voted in favour of the law with 19 against and 25 abstaining, as reported by an MP belonging to the minority Polish Llra Party. MP Zbignev Jedinskil also said that the success of this vote proves that legislators are open to the wishes of civil society.

           — Hat tip: C. Cantoni [Return to headlines]
 

Ibn Warraq’s Statement After the 9/11/2011 Attacks Remain Still, Alas, Relevant

“Given the stupefying enormity of the acts of barbarism of 11 September, moral outrage is appropriate and justified, as are demands for punishment. But a civilized society cannot permit blind attacks on all those perceived as “Muslims” or Arabs. Not all Muslims or all Arabs are terrorists. Nor are they implicated in the horrendous events of Tuesday. Police protection for individual Muslims, mosques and other institutions must be increased.

However, to pretend that Islam has nothing to do with Terrorist Tuesday is to willfully ignore the obvious and to forever misinterpret events. Without Islam the long-term strategy and individual acts of violence by Usama bin Laden and his followers make little sense. The West needs to understand them in order to be able to deal with them and avoid past mistakes. We are confronted with Islamic terrorists and must take seriously the Islamic component. Westerners in general, and Americans in particular, do not understand the passionate, religious, and anti-western convictions of Islamic terrorists. These God-intoxicated fanatics blindly throw away their lives in return for the Paradise of Seventy Two Virgins offered Muslim martyrs killed in the Holy War against all infidels…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Liberalism, Post-Liberalism and Loneliness

Killer by Adamski and Seal was one of the biggest and most influential hits of the 1990s. Its title might suggest a pre-occupation with criminal violence, but actually the song is about loneliness — as made clear in the lyric “it’s loneliness that’s the killer.” It turns out that Messrs Adamski and Seal were on to something. A growing body of research suggests that loneliness — and specifically the feeling of being lonely — is detrimental to both body and mind…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

Reflections on My Ex-Muslim Friends

by David Solway

Some of my best friends are Muslims. Or rather, some of my best friends were Muslims—not that they are no longer Muslims but that they are no longer my friends…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]
 

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 5/29/2013”

  1. Quote:
    Statistics about so-called ‘reprisal attacks’ are being widely circulated.
    end

    Anyone who knows anything about historical and present Muslim interactions with non-Muslim communities knows that rumor and provocation are common weapons of the Ummah.
    These reports of “reprisal attacks” should be dismissed on the basis that they sound too good to be true.

  2. Wow! The IKEA ad is pretty strange. I can see why the Irish didn’t like it, being leprechauns and all that!

    I don’t like the ad either. Hints about a deficiency in the 21st century damaged way of thinking.

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