Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/29/2008

Frank Marshall Davis, Alleged Communist, Was Early Influence on Barack Obama
Muslims in Fed Terror Probe Making Donations to Obama
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
Gay Festival During Holy Month Sparks Fury
Russia and the New Axis of Evil
Russia Will Close Its Embassy in Georgia: Reports
Sub-Saharan Africa
Africa, Don’t Blame the Whites
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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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]


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]


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 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]


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]


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]

One thought on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/29/2008

  1. Shakira’s publicist today denied a widely reported rumor — including in this publication — that the Latin pop star planned to include a song promoting Islam and Arabs in her upcoming album, Shakira’s publicist told press agency UPI Friday.

    “This report is a total fabrication in every respect,” publicist Diana Baron

    Shaki is a Christian, “Catholic”, not a Muslim. Christians don’t promote Islam, they promote Christianity! She just likes the Arabic style dance and sound.

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