- Terrorists Turn Out to be Losers
- Spain: Zapatero Asks Bishops for Loyalty, Respect
- Denmark: Muslim Groups to File Suit Against Prophet Cartoons
- Russian Fighter Planes Make Danes See Red
- Tunisia: High Divorce Rate, One Marriage Out of Seven Fails
- Hamas Arrests Fatah Men Sent Back to Gaza
- Five Palestinians Suffocate to Death After Egypt Blows Up Tunnel
- Saudi Arabia: Police Arrest 55 at “Gay” Party
- “Islamic State” Top Leaders Arrested in Iraq
- Georgia and South Ossetia Talk War After 6 Die in Clash
- India: Muslims Protest Against Linking Religion With Terrorism
- Spy Agency Has Taliban Allies, Pakistan Admits
- Trinidad Speaker: Do Not Forget July 27
- EU: Bloc Split on Tax-Dodging Employers of Illegal Migrants
- Deportees Set Fire to Detention Centre
Islamist radicals. Aren’t capable of doing what we once feared — executing regular, mass-casualty attacks on Western soil
It has been three years since cartoons mocking the prophet Muhammad appeared in Danish newspapers. At last, the prophet has been avenged. Last month a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle in front of the Danish embassy in Pakistan.
Suicide terrorism is sickening no matter the circumstances, but the attack was anti-climactic. The cartoons supposedly had made Denmark a nation of Salman Rushdies, each citizen a marked man or woman. And in the end? The attack takes place not in Denmark but in Pakistan, where explosions are barely noticed. The bomber detonates outside the gates of the embassy and the building remains intact.
It’s clear that Islamist radicals aren’t capable of doing what we once feared: executing regular, mass-casualty attacks on Western soil. Early on after 9/11 there were successful attacks in Madrid and London, but we expected far worse. It’s especially conspicuous that there hasn’t been another attack in the U.S.
So what’s going on?
It’s easier to support terrorism than to commit it. What made 9/11 scary was not just the event itself but the realization that a lot of Muslims weren’t exactly sorry to see it happen. Because Al-Qa’ida had more sympathy than expected among the rank-and-file, security experts worried that terrorists would sprout like dandelions…
— Hat tip: TB
Greece: Teaching of Religion is Optional From Today
(ANSAmed) — ATHENS, JULY 31 — The teaching of Orthodox religion, until today obligatory at the schools in Greece, from now on will be optional. According to a ministerial memo, the parents could ask the school direction to excuse their children from the religion course and they will not have to explain their motives as they were obliged to do until now by the law. The Greek law which obliged the parents to reveal their faith was changed following the EU directive on the protection of the personal data, asking the families to provide details on their faith would break the directive on privacy which protects the personal information of the EU citizens. The Orthodox authorities announced they are expecting “additional details” on the minister’s decision before commenting it. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Spain: Zapatero Asks Bishops for Loyalty, Respect
(by Paola Del Vecchio) (ANSAmed) — MADRID, AUGUST 1 — A “normal and obliged” meeting in the framework of the institutional relations between the Spanish Government and the ecclesiastic hierarchy, during which, however, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, did not miss to ask the Church for “loyalty and respect”. Thus Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega described the meeting held today in the Moncloa Palace between Zapatero and President of the Spanish Episcopal Conference (CEE) and Archbishop of Madrid, Cradinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela. Zapatero, as his deputy explained, wanted to show “loyalty and respect” to the Church, thanking the Catholic world “for the commendable work done” in the society, however asking in the meantime “the same loyalty ad respect” from the bishops towards the government and the legislation in the country.
— Hat tip: Insubria
Denmark: Muslim Groups to File Suit Against Prophet Cartoons
COPENHAGEN, Denmark, (Agencies): Seven Muslim organisations will file suit in Denmark’s highest court against newspaper editors who in 2005 first published controversial cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed (PBUH), one of the groups said yesterday.
“We believe that Muslims have been treated unjustly and that is why we want to take this case before the Supreme Court,” Assaad Bilal, a spokesman for one of the organisations, said.
The groups, which are all based in Denmark, have until August 14 to appeal two lower court rulings against them.
“We have asked our lawyer, Michael Havemann, to ask the Justice Ministry to have our case tried in the Supreme Court,” Bilal said.
They wanted “the harshest possible penalty” for the Jyllands-Posten daily’s former chief editor Carsten Juste and culture editor Flemming Rose, he added.
— Hat tip: TB
Russian Fighter Planes Make Danes See Red
Increased activity by Russian fighter planes near Danish airspace has triggered heightened levels of readiness by the Danish air force
The last six months has seen seven Russian military aircraft come close enough to Danish airspace to cause the air force to heighten its level of readiness. The number of encroaching Russian planes has increased from four such incidents last year.
The increased Russian activity comes after US — Russian relations soured when the Czech Republic agreed to allow American military to place a radar system in the country as part of a US missile defense shield.
This resulted in the Russian foreign ministry threatening a military response.
In relation to the number of planes under Russian command, the number of flights into Western airspace is on the same level as that during the Cold War, said Major General Henrik R. Dam of Nato’s northern flight centre near Viborg.
But he told Berlingske Tidende newspaper that there is no cause to worry about Danish security.
The Liberal defence spokesman Karsten Nonbo said Denmark should react via diplomatic channels in response to the Russian flights.
— Hat tip: TB
Tunisia: High Divorce Rate, One Marriage Out of Seven Fails
(ANSAmed) — TUNIS, JULY 30 — Tunisia takes the fourth place in the world in terms of divorce rate: one marriage out of seven collapses. The data of this not very flattering ranking come from an official source, the National Office of Family and Population, and show that in 2007 divorces stood at 11,576, against 70,000 marriages. The highest rate, equal to 62.5% of the total, is found in the territory of Grand Tunis and in the country’s centre-east, where the large cities are located. A curious fact: in the coastal areas, or the ones influenced by a strong tourist flow, the initiative to divorce is undertaken mostly by women. Globally, however, in general the man is the one who files for the end of the union.
— Hat tip: Insubria
Egypt: In Ramadan More TV Series on Relations With Israel
(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JULY 30 — The difficult and controversial relations between the Egyptians and Israelis and their two states will be the main topic of the TV series (in Cairo they call them, in French, feuilleton) which will accompany after dark the lavish dinners of the families during the long month of Ramadan, the Islamic fasting which this year in Egypt will start, according to forecasts, on September 1. The most emotionally involving of the films on the programme, according to the programmers, should be Al Fanar (The Lighthouse), telling the story of the marriage of a young Egyptian man and an Israeli woman and the difficulties of their relationship, linked mainly to the different nationalities. The series will start with the festivity of Sham El Nessim (spring holiday) in 1967, a few weeks before the beginning of the Six Days’ War, and develops through the conflict of 1973, the one between Iran and Iraq (1980-1988), until the U.S. invasion of Iraq (2003). “Despite the delicate issues dealt with, censorship did not intervene in the least”, the pleased author of the script, Magdi Saber, remarked. Another film on the calendar of Egyptian viewers is ‘Moon Tears’: an Israeli businessman tries to invest in Egypt, in the media industry, and buys a satellite TV channel, which will use to broadcast anti-government propaganda. When he is arrested, he is forced to confess his plan to “normalise” the cultural relations between the two countries. Finally, announced for the same period are ‘El Dali’’ and ‘Adda el Nahar’ (The day is finished), about the war prisoners of 1967. “We must not get the wrong impression. The fact that so many works are dealing with the topic of ‘normalisation’ between Egypt and Israel is just a mere coincidence. People like to watch their own problems shown on TV during Ramadan,” the author of the latest feuilleton, Mohamed Safaa Amer, explained to the Egyptian Gazette. (ANSAmed).
— Hat tip: Insubria
Hamas Arrests 15 Fatah Officials in Gaza
There is no end to intra-Palestinian factionalism. The action seems to be Hamas’ answer to arrests of its activists by Fatah in the West Bank over the past few weeks. Fatah leader cannot hide his concern that divisions among Palestinians might become unbridgeable.
Gaza (AsiaNews/Agencies) — Tensions between Hamas and Fatah are up in the Gaza Strip after the former’s security services arrested 15 top officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement. Anonymous Fatah sources said that among those arrested are three local governors and two top officials appointed by Abbas.
A Hamas spokesman did not confirm the identity of the people arrested, nor their number, but said the arrests in the Gaza Strip were in response to the detention of Hamas officials on the West Bank.
Hamas leader Sami Abu Zuhri said the arrests in the Gaza Strip were meant to put pressure on Abbas’s security forces to release Hamas activists still locked up.
Today’s arrests are also tied to the bombings in the Gaza Strip, one of which killed five Hamas members and a six-year-old girl on 25 July.
Hamas blamed Fatah for the blasts, arresting hundreds. Fatah flatly denied the charge and proceeded to arrest Hamas members in the West Bank.
Yesterday Abbas ordered the release of all pro-Hamas activists, but it is unclear whether the detainees were freed or not.
What is certain is that the rising tensions could lead to unbridgeable divisions among Palestinians, said Fatah official Abdallah Abdallah.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Hamas Arrests Fatah Men Sent Back to Gaza
Israel on Sunday began sending Fatah members who had fled [escaped] deadly clashes in the Gaza Strip back to the territory, where they were immediately detained by Hamas-run security forces, officials said.
The return of around 180 Gazans who fled to Israel [and allowed in] on Saturday was at the request of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas, who heads the Fatah party, Israeli security officials said.
Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said Hamas had received “dozens” of returnees and had detained them for “questioning”.
More than 20 people who were evacuated [fled] from Gaza [to israel] and hospitalised [there] for wounds inflicted in the fighting will [are allowed to] remain in Israel until they recover
— Hat tip: VH
Prophets and Losses
by Barry Rubin
Strike One. September 6, 2007. Israel bombs and destroys Syrian nuclear facility. Syria is powerless to retaliate.
Strike Two: February 12, 2008. Hizballah operations’ chief and terrorist mastermind Imad Mugniyah assassinated in a secure area of Syria’s capital, Damascus. Syria humiliated. Killing unsolved, a humiliation for the regime.
Strike Three: August 1, 2008: Syrian President Bashar al-Asad’s liaison with Hizballah, General Mohammed Suleiman, killed in Tartous, Syria, by a sniper. See above two examples for probable results.
Syria has a failing economy, is backward and repressive, and determined not to—disregard all analysis to the contrary—change its ways. True, the government is strong; oppositions are weak. But its main asset is the willingness of others to believe Syria will moderate.
And so it sounds a little peculiar when Bashar says: “The Zionist regime is not strong and the states can obtain their rights through resistance and determination.”
The only thing Syria has obtained through “resistance and determination” is its self-proclaimed “right” to dominate Lebanon. It does well in Iraq, where it sponsors a terrorist campaign to kill American soldiers and Iraqi civilians without political cost. Yet causing trouble is not the same as winning.
It should be impossible to think Syria is going to moderate. Every time…
— Hat tip: Barry Rubin
Five Palestinians Suffocate to Death After Egypt Blows Up Tunnel
Five Palestinians were killed and 18 wounded in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border after Egyptian troops blew up the entrance, an Egyptian security official and Gaza hospital doctors said Saturday.
“The destruction of the entrance deprived those inside the tunnel of oxygen,” said the Egyptian official, who is stationed at the border and spoke on customary condition of anonymity. Gaza hospital officials said the five died from lack of oxygen.
The tunnel entrance was destroyed late Friday, near the Gaza border town of Rafah.
A wide network of tunnels runs under the border and is used to bring supplies into Gaza. The territory has been virtually cut off from the world since June 2007 when Hamas seized control by force. Both Israel and Egypt have enforced the closure of Gaza.
— Hat tip: Dymphna
U.S. Army Training Egyptians to Find and Destroy Smuggling Tunnels
The United States Army has begun training Egyptian soldiers to locate and destroy tunnels, in an effort to improve the Egyptian army’s ability to cope with arms-smuggling from Sinai to the Gaza Strip.
A second, larger group of Egyptian soldiers is also due to arrive shortly for training, which is taking place at a U.S. Army base in Texas.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is teaching the Egyptian troops how to use advanced technological equipment to find and destroy the tunnels, including instruments that measure ground fluctuations and signal that a tunnel is being dug.
There has already been some improvement in Egypt’s anti-smuggling activity, said Brigadier General Yossi Baidatz, who heads the Military Intelligence research division.
— Hat tip: Dymphna
Saudi Arabia: Police Arrest 55 at “Gay” Party
Riyadh, 30 July (AKI) — Saudi religious police have arrested 55 people at a party allegedly held by homosexuals at a farm in Qatif province in the east of the country.
According to a report on the Arab satellite TV channel, al-Arabiya, two young men were allegedly found wearing women’s make up and dancing on stage together.
The detainees were all handcuffed when they were arrested. Saudi police said during their search they found drugs and alcohol and other items that are prohibited under the country’s strict Sharia law.
A similar police blitz was carried out more than a month ago at another farmhouse in the same area where 21 alleged homosexuals were arrested. Some of those arrested were Filipinos and Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia.
Many of them were reportedly wearing women’s clothes and makeup at the party which was organised to celebrate the birthday of one of the group’s members.
On that occasion, religious police found alcohol, clothing and makeup hidden inside.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
“Islamic State” Top Leaders Arrested in Iraq
Four top al-Qaeda-linked operatives were captured in Iraq during a series of raids aimed at flushing out the insurgent group from a troubled central province, the Iraqi military said on Sunday.
Iraqi troops arrested the wanted suspects in a series of night raids in Diyala province on Saturday and early Sunday, which were branded a “major success” by defense ministry spokesman Major General Mohammed al-Askari.
The suspects included Adnan Gumer Mohammed, an al-Qaeda judge suspected of administering justice under sharia law, and Qussai Ali Khalaf, accused of being a Diyala province chief for the Islamic State of Iraq, an Al-Qaeda ally.
Alleged provincial military head of the Islamic State of Iraq, Ahmed Quasim Jabbar, was also detained, as was Antisar Khudair, a woman believed to have been responsible for recruiting female suicide bombers.
“Her job was to carry out recruitment, brainwash new recruits and then push them to carry out criminal activities,” Askari said.
— Hat tip: TB
Government Policy Statement Passed in Beirut, But Problems Remain
A solution has not yet been found to the fundamental question of regulating “the right” of Hezbollah to liberate the national territory still in the hands of the Israelis. On Tuesday, the “historic” visit to Damascus by President Suleiman.
Beirut (AsiaNews) — Yesterday evening, at the 14th meeting of its kind, an agreement on a draft policy statement for the new national unity government was reached. But some fundamental problems remain unsolved, dividing the parliamentary majority and opposition, beginning with the “right” of Hezbollah to use force to recover the parts of national territory still under Israeli control.
On the procedural level, today the text drafted by the commission will be put to the cabinet ministers, who will have to make their considerations — and probably their reservations — known by Monday. The “declaration” will then be submitted for parliamentary approval.
Yesterday evening, illustrating the conclusion of the work of drafting the text, information minister Tareq Mitri spoke of the “principle of state unity” as the authority that guides the decisions of the government and of an agreement reached by examining each chapter individually.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Georgia and South Ossetia Talk War After 6 Die in Clash
Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia said on Saturday it was evacuating children to Russia and accused Georgia of targeting civilians after six people died overnight in a shootout with Georgian forces.
Stoking fears of war in the volatile Caucasus, separatist president Eduard Kokoity said he was ready to mobilise his region’s men and take volunteers from the Russian republic of North Ossetia and other Caucasus republics to fight Georgia.
South Ossetia broke away from Georgia after a bloody war in the early 1990s. Russia has sent in a peacekeeping force, which Moscow says is needed to avert a new war.
— Hat tip: VH
Al-Qaeda Confirms Death of Top Bomb Maker
Al-Qaeda confirmed on Sunday that Abu Khabab al-Masri, a chemical and biological weapons expert, was killed with three other militants in a suspected U.S. air strike in Pakistan’s border region last week.
Masri, who carried a $5 million U.S. bounty on his head, had been earlier identified as the likely target of the attack on a house in a Pakistani tribal area bordering Afghanistan, according to Pakistani officials.
An al Qaeda statement posted on Islamist websites said Masri, referred to as the “expert”, had left behind him a generation of students who would avenge his killing.
The statement, signed by al Qaeda’s leader in Afghanistan, Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, named three other militants killed alongside Masri on July 28. It said some of their children also died.
On Saturday, a Pakistani Taliban spokesman denied a U.S. media report that al-Qaeda number two, Ayman al-Zawahri, had been killed in what was believed to be the same U.S. missile strike that killed Masri.
Masri, a 55-year-old Egyptian chemist, was regarded as one of the group’s top bomb makers.
— Hat tip: TB
India: Muslims Protest Against Linking Religion With Terrorism
Muslims protested at Jama Masjid in New Delhi, India, against religion being linked with terrorism in the wake of the serial bomb blasts in Bangalore and Ahmedabad [of wich the Muslim savage-group Indian Mujahideen, sub-savage-group of the Students Islamic Movement of India with links to Pakistan proudly claimed responsibility].
They registered their dissent stating that it was only Muslims who were exclusively seen as terror suspects. They added that no particular religion should be linked to terrorism and that action should be taken against those guilty irrespective of their religion.
“Those who are promoting terrorism are part of the ruling parties. We want that only Muslims and ‘Indian Mujahideen’ should not be targeted. Justice should be done,” said Jamim anjum Delvi, a protester.
— Hat tip: VH
Malaysian Muslim Youths Slam ‘Sexy’ Indonesian Singer
The youth wing of Malaysia’s opposition Islamic party on Thursday slammed an upcoming concert by Inul Darastita, an Indonesian singer, saying her hip-swivelling dance moves were “too sexy and immoral”.
Kamaruzaman Mohamad, Kuala Lumpur PAS [Parti Islam se-Malaysia] youth chief said party workers would distribute about 20,000 pamphlets to discourage youths from watching Inul Darastita’s concert on Sunday at the Bukit Jalil sports stadium south of the city.
“We are experiencing a moral decay in society so we should work to promote a cleaner culture, not one that is sinful. […] We are not denying public rights to have a concert but please, Indonesia has a host of very good, classy artists so why can’t they bring them instead?” Kamaruzaman said. “Just watch her videos on YouTube website and you will see what I mean. It is too sexy, erotic…”
Inul Darastitawell known for her “dangdut” [very popular in Indonesia and a mix of Indonesian, Malay & Arabic folk-music] songs and hip-swivelling dance reportedly fainted in distress upon hearing ther concert in southern Johor state was cancelle
— Hat tip: VH
Spy Agency Has Taliban Allies, Pakistan Admits
Stung by US allegations that elements in its spy agency colluded with Islamic militants in the July bombing of the Indian embassy in Afghanistan, Pakistan has conceded that there were “probably” Taliban sympathisers within the ranks of its powerful intelligence establishment.
The Pakistani government, which indignantly denied the reports of involvement in the bombing as soon as they surfaced, reiterated that there was no evidence that members of its Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) had aided Taliban militants in the attack in the Afghan capital, Kabul, which left about 60 people dead.
But now senior Pakistani officials are offering a more nuanced response to US intelligence officials’ allegations of ISI complicity in the July 7 bombing, which were first reported by The New York Times.”There is no proof of ISI involvement” in the attack in Kabul, said Information Minister Sherry Rehman, who is close to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
But she added: “There are probably still individuals within the ISI who are ideologically sympathetic to the Taliban and act on their own in ways that are not in convergence with the policies and interests of the government of Pakistan. We need to identify these people and weed them out.”
Earlier, Pakistan’s military spokesman, Major General Athar Abbas, called the report “unfounded, baseless and malicious”.
US officials, however, believe that the ISI has financed, supported and possibly trained members of the Taliban-linked extremist network headed by Afghan tribal warlord Jalaluddin Haqqani, and that his network was responsible for the embassy blast and other attacks.
— Hat tip: JD
Trinidad Speaker: Do Not Forget July 27
Former Radio 610 announcer Dennis McComie yesterday called for closure to the traumatic events of the July 27, 1990 attempted coup by the Jamaat-al Muslimeen [from Lennox Phillips, aka Yasin Abu Bakr who not only has four wives but also threatened “bloodshed and war” if his group did not get substantial tithes called zakat].
“Trinidad and Tobago must settle with the after-tremors of July 27,1990, extract the lessons to be learnt and move forward decisively,” McComie said during a wreath-laying ceremony at the Red House, Port-of-Spain yesterday, the 18th anniversary of the attempted coup.
He described the event as a “psychological tear in our society’s fabric” and said he would welcome a commission of inquiry so the country could put “July 1990 behind us and move on”…
— Hat tip: VH
EU: Bloc Split on Tax-Dodging Employers of Illegal Migrants
Brussels, 24 July (AKI) — A proposal by the French European Union presidency to crack down on tax-dodging employers of illegal immigrant workers is dividing northern and southern EU countries.
Germany has rejected the French EU presidency’s proposal to introduce inspections of workplaces and penalties for employers who do not declare their immigrant workers.
Other EU states opposed to the move include Sweden, The Netherlands, Finland, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic.
But Italy and other southern EU countries are in favour of the proposed checks on firms in the sectors which use most illegal immigrant manpower.
Italy and other Mediterranean countries including Spain, Portugal, Greece, Cyprus and Malta receive most of the EU’s illegal immigrants,
“People who employ illegal immigrants and exploit them are the guilty ones,” Spain’s interior minister Celestino Corbacho told journalists after a meeting of EU interior ministers in Brussels on Thursday.
Italy’s Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said he backed a compromise proposal by the French EU presidency to fine individuals and companies that exploit illegal immigrants.
Maroni also backed workplace inspections in the sectors where illegal immigrants are most at risk of exploitation, such as agriculture and building.
Many illegal immigrants are also employed as domestic workers in Italy.
— Hat tip: Insubria
Netherlands: Abused Marriage Immigrants to Receive Permit
THE HAGUE, 01/08/08 — Foreign women who fall victim to domestic violence in the Netherlands will be eligible for a permanent permit more quickly. The same applies to women who are dumped by their partners in their country of origin, Justice Minister Hirsch Ballin and Justice State Secretary Albayrak announced in a letter to the Lower House yesterday.
Women who come to the Netherlands for family formation or reunification currently get a temporary residence permit. During the first three years of their stay they are dependent upon their partner. If their partner rejects them within three years, their entitlement to stay expires. For this reason, many women with a temporary residence permit tolerate abuse for example, in fear of being sent back to their country.
Hirsch Ballin and Albayrak now wish to offer these “vulnerable groups” increased protection. The Immigration and Naturalisation Service (IND) will in future give them an independent residence permit more quickly. Factors that are taken into account are whether a woman has children bearing the Dutch nationality, to what extent she is rooted in Dutch society and whether, in her country or origin, she is at risk of a forced marriage or will be rejected by her family.
According to the new guidelines, victims of domestic violence also only need to inform the police, provided the abuse is credible. At present, they are still required to make an official report to police, whereby there is a considerable chance that the suspect will discover the identity of the person that made the report. In addition, statements by women’s safe houses or mental health services (GGZ) are also to be accepted as proof of violence.
The new guidelines will also apply to foreign women who are dumped by their husbands in their country of origin. This can occur during holidays for example, with the man confiscating the woman’s passport so that she cannot return to the Netherlands. At present, these women may only return to the Netherlands in the event of ‘compelling reasons of a humanitarian nature’.
In 2006, forty women who had been left behind in Morocco by their husbands appealed to the foundation for support of returned emigrants (SSR). Labour (PvdA) councillor El Yaakoubi of the Amsterdam district of Geuzenveld- Slotermeer stepped down following accusations that he had dumped his wife Habiba (24) in Morocco in 2005. He had taken her passport and residence permit from her. She returned however, took her husband to court and was proved right.
— Hat tip: TB
Politicians Continue to Blast EU Immigration Ruling
Politicians and experts have been engaged in a war of words with the EU as well as with each other following a new EU ruling that affects Danish immigration policy
Political parties and EU experts have dominated the media this week, condemning the EU for its new immigration ruling. They also continue to point the finger at each other after it emerged that the government may have already known in 2004 about the EU’s influence over Danish immigration policy.
Danish immigration policy was thrown into upheaval last Friday following a ruling from the European Court of Justice that allows family members of an EU citizen to move to a member state, regardless of whether they have previously been granted residence in the EU.
Many Danish politicians, including Birthe Rønn Hornbech, the integration minister, have blasted the ruling and want to bring the matter before the European Council of Ministers.
— Hat tip: TB
Deportees Set Fire to Detention Centre
IMMIGRANTS awaiting deportation from France to their home countries have set fire to their mattresses at a detention centre in Mesnil-Amelot, near Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport.
The incident follows a more serious fire on June 22 that almost entirely destroyed France’s biggest detention centre for illegal immigrants, at Vincennes on the outskirts of Paris, after a protest by people awaiting deportation.
Police said trouble started at the Mesnil-Amelot centre on Saturday after a group defending immigrant rights held a protest just outside the facility, prompting people inside to start their own protest and set fire to several mattresses.
The fire brigade arrived quickly and damage was very limited, police said.
President Nicolas Sarkozy came to power in May last year vowing a crackdown on illegal immigration and he has drawn criticism from human rights groups for setting target numbers of deportations, which they say is arbitrary and unfair.
Sarkozy has set a target of 26,000 deportations this year and Immigration Minister Brice Hortefeux says he is on course, with 14,660 illegal immigrants expelled in the first five months of the year — up 80 percent on the same months in 2007
— Hat tip: VH