- Democrats Kill Ban of Terrorists in Schools
- Dane Behind Umbrella Assassination
- Abu Hamza Wins Appeal to Block US Extradition
- They Told Me I Was a Servant, Says Muslim Bride
- German Policewomen to Get “Bullet-Proof Bras”
- Welcome to Berlin’s New Stasi-Themed Bar
- Israel: Student Charged With Spying for Lebanese Militants
- Death of Syrian General Escalates Tensions
- Iran: Students Wearing Ties Risk Not Graduating
- Malaysian Court Rejects Woman’s Bid to Leave Islam
- Hirsi Ali in Sydney
- Tales of Maori Cannibalism Told in New Book
- Spain: Canary, Minor Immigrant Centres on Brink of Collapse
- Every Fourth German Family Has Migration Background
Majority Democrats in the California Assembly have rejected two amendments that would have allowed schools to fire any employee discovered to be part of an extremist terror network and require users of school facilities to affirm they are not terrorists.
A report from Karen England at the Capital Resource Institute said the amendments were submitted by assemblymen Martin Garrick and Chuck DeVore to a plan that also would allow members of the Communist Party to teach in public schools.
“I am appalled that Democrat lawmakers will not agree to these commonsense amendments,” said England, executive director of CRFI. “My son is currently serving in Iraq to defend our state and nation from terrorists, yet Democrats will not do their part on the homefront to also defend us from such extremists.”
England argued lawmakers are charged with the duty of defending their citizens from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
“Yet California Democrats placed their radical political agenda ahead of citizens’ safety by refusing to prevent terrorists from teaching in our schools. Citizens should be outraged that these lawmakers are playing political games with our safety,” she said.
The Rights and Duties of Muslims in Italy
The relocation of the mosque from Viale Jenner to the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan turned into a show of political propaganda with regards to popular consensus. The mosque also becomes synonymous with urban decay, after being given the label of ‘terrorism’. It’s true that Milanese Muslims have to look unto themselves and examine the extremely harsh history of the mosque in Viale Jenner, but this does not justify the fact that Islam in Italy continues to only be an issue of law and order. Islam is hardly mentioned as a religion and as a culture, and more interest is given to the darker parts of its history. The democracy of this country is at stake, and should be measured with regards to rights for minorities and not by the power held by the majority. Yet the mosques need to learn how to develop their religious and cultural tasks.
In recent weeks we have yet again witnessed the controversy behind the mosque on Viale Jenner in Milan. The issue is always the same, and concerns whether or not Milanese Muslims have the right to a place to practise their religion, and therefore not having to pray on the pavements or in garages. The relocation of the mosque to the Vigorelli Velodrome turned into a show of political propaganda with regards to popular consensus, with the aim of giving into people’s fears. As usual the local committees have mobilised to challenge any kind of ‘large presence’ of Islamic beliefs on their own land, fearing drops in the value of houses and shops. And so the mosque has also become synonymous with urban decay, after being given the label of ‘terrorism’…
— Hat tip: Insubria
Dane Behind Umbrella Assassination
An Italian-Danish man is believed to be responsible for the nearly 30-year-old murder of a Bulgarian dissident
An ex-KGB agent admitted in a radio interview that the assassination of Bulgarian dissident and author Georgi Markov 30 years ago was committed by a Danish citizen.
Former KGB operative Oleg Kalugin told Bulgarian Radio Dairk that Italian-born Francesco Giullino was the man responsible for sticking a ricin-laced umbrella point into Markov’s thigh on 9 September 1978, while the Russian author stood on London’s Waterloo Bridge. He died three days later.
Guillino was granted Danish citizenship sometime after 1960 and later worked as an agent for the Soviet Union. Using the code name “Picadilly”, he was ordered to kill Markov at the request of Bulgarian dictator Todor Sjivkov, who had been the target of a satirical piece Markov performed for BBC.
Further documentation pertaining to the assassination was released by Bulgaria in 2006 as part of its compliance with procedures for entry into the European Union. Although Guillino was questioned by both London police agency Scotland Yard and the Danish police as late as 1993 in connection to the case, his whereabouts have been unknown since that time.
The 2006 assassination of Russian defector agent Aleksandr Litvinenko led to Scotland Yard to reopen the case.
— Hat tip: TB
Abu Hamza Wins Appeal to Block US Extradition
UK-based Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, has won an interim order from the European Court of Human Rights blocking his extradition to the United States on terrorism charges.
The court said in a statement on Tuesday that it had upheld an application from Hamza, who is serving a seven-year jail term in Britain for inciting his followers to murder non-believers.
He is accused by U.S. prosecutors of attempting to set up a terrorist training camp in Bly, Oregon, from 1999 to early 2000.
Hamza argued that if he were extradited, he would face treatment in breach of the European Convention of Human Rights, which prevents torture and inhuman and degrading treatment.
In particular, he claimed he risked a life sentence without parole and might be held in a so-called “supermax” detention facility.
The court ordered that he should not be extradited until it was able to consider the case.
As well as the training camp charge, the Egyptian-born cleric, who applauded the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States in 2001, also faces charges that he was involved in plotting the capture of 16 Western hostages in Yemen in 1998.
Four of the hostages, three Britons and an Australian, were killed when Yemeni troops stormed the militants’ hide-out.
— Hat tip: TB
France to Put ‘Fat Tax’ on Pizzas, Crisps and Hamburgers
France is considering plans to impose a “fat tax” by more than trebling the VAT on junk food to tackle soaring obesity levels. The cost of pizzas, hamburgers, sandwiches, crisps, children’s sweets and creamy coffees could soar as a result.
Ministers are being urged by ‘health experts’ to raise VAT from 5.5 to 19.6 per cent on all foods considered to be “too rich, too sweet, too salty and which are not strictly necessary”. Although it is Europe’s second slimmest nation after Italy, more than one in three people in France are overweight or obese and expanding waist lines have triggered a surge in heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.
A ‘panel of scientists’ also wants cigarette-style health warnings on packaging for fattening foods, and a ban on junk food advertising during children’s television programmes. Suggested wordings for warnings include: “For your health,
don’t vote stealthy socialist totalitarians eat at least five fruits and vegetables a day and undertake regular physical activity.”
— Hat tip: VH
Muslim Savage Preacher Abu Hamza Cost Taxpayers £3.500.000,- ++
Abu Hamza’s legal aid bill was set to rise last night as the radical Muslim cleric launched a final appeal against extradition to the U.S. The process is likely to take six months and cost taxpayers around £50,000. This is in addition to the £3.5million the hook-handed preacher has already cost the public purse since arriving here three decades ago.
The fanatical preacher has unsuccessfully lodged every possible appeal allowed in the UK courts on human rights grounds, and was always destined to make a final bid to the ECHR, sources said. Hamza is appealing to the Strasbourg Court on the grounds he could be subjected to torture or inhumane treatment in the U.S.
Abu Hamza is accused of conspiring to establish a training camp in Bly, Oregon, where followers received combat and weapons training for Jihad in Afghanistan. U.S. officials also say Hamza helped the extremists who kidnapped 16 foreign tourists in Yemen in 1995. In addition Hamza —who for years preached hate at the notorious Finsbury Park Mosque in North London— facilitated terrorist training in Afghanistan. The Egyptian-born fanatic was convicted in 2006 and is serving a seven-year sentence for inciting racial hatred and encouraging followers to kill non-Muslims. He is due for release in summer 2009.
The Home Office has agreed to delay his deportation to face terror charges while his case is considered by the European Court of Human Rights.
— Hat tip: VH
They Told Me I Was a Servant, Says Muslim Bride
A young Muslim bride was constantly beaten and treated like a slave after arriving in Britain from Pakistan following an arranged marriage. Sania Bibi, 20, was allegedly forced to work 17-hour days as she cooked, cleaned and washed clothes for her husband Haroon Akhtar’s family.
She was usually attacked at least twice a day by her husband, who threw her down the stairs on one occasion after his mother complained she had not been doing her chores properly, the jury heard. Within days of his wife’s arrival in the UK Haroon Akhtar, 28, is said to have told her that he planned to remarry and would force her to look after his new bride’s children.
St Albans Crown Court heard Mrs Bibi had not seen her husband in person before their wedding in northern Punjab on April 1, 2006. On her arrival in the UK her clothes and shoes were confiscated and she was given pyjamas as work clothes. ‘(My husband) said he had brought me here as a servant to work,’ she said.
The court heard the first beating happened a week after her arrival. Akhtar allegedly grabbed her by the hair and pushed her against a window before becoming abusive about her family and calling her brothers ‘bastards and dogs’. The jury was told the beatings happened every day, usually before her husband went to his job in IT and on his return.
Mrs Bibi said she confided in relatives during a visit to Blackburn, but they told her: ‘Now that you are married you have to stay there and it is family honour. You belong to that family. You no longer belong to us.’ On her return, the court heard, one brother-in-law threatened to send her back to Pakistan and her sister-in-law said she was going to be sent to a mental asylum, where she would be given electric shocks…
— Hat tip: VH
German Policewomen to Get “Bullet-Proof Bras”
Thousands of German policewomen will receive what media have labeled “bullet-proof bras.” Made of white cotton and featuring the word “Polizei” (Police) along the seam, the bras are meant to better protect police women who wear bullet-proof vests.
“There was a slight safety risk for women wearing normal bras with metal parts underneath a bullet-proof vest,” a police spokesman in the northern city of Hanover said. “If the vest is hit by a projectile, this can have an impact on the metal bit in the bra underneath and cause injuries.”
Some 3,000 police women working for Germany’s federal police will be equipped with the new bras which feature no metal parts and look like sports bras, the spokesman said.
— Hat tip: VH
Welcome to Berlin’s New Stasi-Themed Bar
A security camera over the door, an interrogation table in the corner, ID cards for regulars: a Stasi-themed bar opened in Berlin within spitting distance of the former East German Ministry of State Security. The two owners call it satire, but not everyone is amused.
— Hat tip: Fjordman
Israel: Student Charged With Spying for Lebanese Militants
Tel Aviv, 6 August (AKI) — An Israeli Arab student appeared in an Israeli court on Wednesday charged with spying for the Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah.
Khaled Kashkush, 29, is alleged to have received 13,000 euros from a Lebanese Hezbollah agent named Mohammed Hashem, while he was studying in the central German town of Gutingen, said Israeli investigators.
Kashkush, a medical student and native of the Israeli town of Kalansua, is also accused of supplying Hezbollah with information on other Israeli Arabs who lived abroad, who would be willing to supply the group with intelligence.
Hashem allegedly asked Kashkush to get a job at an Israeli hospital after completing his studies so he could provide him with information regarding soldiers and security personnel.
According to Israeli media, Hashem is a known Hezbollah agent who travels throughout the world attempting to recruit collaborators.
Israeli investigators claim that Kashkush and Hashem had been in contact with each other since 2005.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Iran to Scrap Death by Stoning
Iran’s judiciary has decided to scrap the [Islamic] punishment of stoning convicts to death in draft legislation submitted to parliament for approval. [It will be replaced by 100 whip-lashes and if that is survived: 10 years jailtime.]
“In the latest version of the Islamic penal codes bill, which has undergone several modifications, such punishments are not mentioned,’’ Judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi said, the reformist Etemad newspaper reported, referring to both stoning and amputation.
Stoning involves a savage Muslim herd hurling stones at a convict buried up to his waist until he is dead, a woman is buried up to her shoulders.
— Hat tip: VH
Death of Syrian General Escalates Tensions
The slaying of a mysterious Syrian general, who was shot dead as he sat on the foredeck of a yacht, has sharply raised tensions in Damascus and led to speculation that cracks are appearing in President Bashar al-Assad’s iron-fisted rule.
Brigadier General Mohammed Suleiman was little known in Western or Israeli intelligence circles until he was killed by a sniper in a Syrian port on Saturday. The general is understood to have been among the closest of Mr Assad’s confidants and a key player in regime strategy since Syria was forced to leave Lebanon in March 2005.
General Suleiman was Mr Assad’s personal conduit between the various arms of the intelligence groups that are pervasive throughout Syrian society. He was also a link between the Syrian Defence Force and the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia in neighbouring Lebanon, prompting speculation that he may have been taken out by Israeli operatives.
However, sources in Jerusalem yesterday claimed Israel had not been behind the death, which they blamed instead on an intra-regime power play, or possibly organised crime. Hezbollah has claimed that Mossad was behind the assassination of Mugniyeh in Damascus in February and has vowed to avenge his death.
The death of the general has not been reported in Syrian state media and is being carefully treated elsewhere in the region.
— Hat tip: VH
Iran: Students Wearing Ties Risk Not Graduating
Tehran, 4 August (AKI) — Thirty-two students who showed up to their graduation ceremony with a tie run the risk of not graduating at all.
For some in Iran, the tie is considered an extreme form of western cultural contamination.
Thus in many cases, wearing a tie is thought to be a form of silent resistance against the forced Islamisation of society.
The students, all medicine students at the University of Shirazi, were approached by university security staff as they entered the room where they would receive their diploma and asked to remove their ties.
The students refused and the families protested. After being identified, the students were threatened with “serious consequences due to their insubordination.”
Other students said at the end of the ceremony that they were told their final exams could be annulled as a form of punishment for not having removed their tie.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Iran: Millions of Young People in Search of ‘Virtual Sex’ Says Official Report
Tehran, 4 August (AKI) — A government-linked youth organisation says that 55 percent, or 12 million Iranian young people access hard or soft porn websites daily in Iran.
This is the conclusion of the report by Houshangh Fakhrzarin for the National Youth Organization, a group affiliated to the Iranian presidency.
The report came amid a bill currently being examined by the Iranian Parliament which make punishable with death the creation of websites with “sexual” content or content deemed to be “against Islamic morals.”
The report says that despite the blocking of the websites by the government: “Many users find ways to circumvent the ban by using powerful proxies.”
A proxy site or proxy software can be used to get through computer ‘firewalls’ and filters to access blocked sites.
Over 200,000 websites are banned or censored in Iran.
According to the report, the websites most visited by Iranian youth contain nude females, followed by ‘candid camera’ websites and famous actresses in provocative poses.
The administrators of these sites are “international powers” and “enemies of the Islamic Republic”, according to the report. It claims they want to “weaken the basis of Iranian society with the aim of creating the conditions for a soft revolution.”
“A long-term project with the aim of bringing about a counter-revolution,” comments conservative newspaper, Jomhouri Eslami, founded by Iran’s Supreme Leader Seyyed Ali Khamenei.
The newspaper also blames Internet chat-rooms, because they “put young people from the opposite sex in contact with each other, without any filters.”
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Iran: Up to 14 Million Living in Poverty, Says Central Bank
Tehran, 4 August (AKI) — As many as 14 million Iranians are living under the poverty line, according to Iran’s central bank.
While the figure was anticipated by several independent economists, the information has been confirmed by the Bank Markazi.
In the bank’s latest quarterly, Amar Eghtesadi, says “there are at least 14 million, people who are living under the poverty line”.
Two years ago the figure was less than half. According to the experts from the Bank Markazi, the dramatic increase in inflation has been the major reason for the increased number of poor who consume less than the 2300 calories a day, the daily recommendation of the World Health Organization.
Meanwhile, official figures say that Iranian imports for the first four months of the current year, which began on 21 March, totalled 18.3 billion dollars, while non-oil exports totalled less than 6 billion dollars.
Figures released by Iran’s Customs Office, show that the balance of payments for 103 of the 185 countries that trade with Tehran is unfavourable for Iran.
This year Iran will be forced to spend another eight billion dollars to import refined petroleum.
— Hat tip: C. Cantoni
Condemned Bali Bombers in New Tactic Delay-Appeal
Lawyers for the three death-row Bali bombers have lodged a last-ditch appeal they hope will delay their clients’ executions for up to two years. The appeal, in Indonesia’s Constitutional Court, will argue that the country’s method of execution —by firing squad— is inhumane.
[At the same time, the convicted savages pretend they prefer to be behaded]
However a spokesman from the Attorney-General’s office dismissed the move yesterday, saying it would have no impact on plans to execute Imam Samudra, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim and Ali Ghufron, aka Mukhlas. “There is no plan to put off the executions,” said the spokesman, Bonaventura Daulat Nainggolan. “We are continuing with preparations.”
The three men could be executed within days, with Attorney-General Hendarman Supandji saying recently he hoped the sentence would be carried out “before Ramadan,” which begins in three weeks [September 1].
Preparations have already been made on the remote southern Java prison island of Nusakambangan for their execution. There is expected to be a violent outcry from hardline Muslims to the executions, particularly in the East Java hometown of Amrozi and Mukhlas [Tenggulun, East Java].
[But there are many many others who will be relieved]
— Hat tip: VH
Malaysian Court Rejects Woman’s Bid to Leave Islam
A Malaysian court on Wednesday rejected a Muslim woman’s appeal to convert back to Christianity. The Court of Appeal threw out Noorashikin Lim Abdullah’s bid to renounce Islam on technical grounds: that she used her original Chinese name in her suit, her lawyer Edmond Bon said.
Lim married a Muslim man in 1994, converted to Islam and obtained a new identity card with her [new] Muslim name. But she divorced three years later and wants to convert back to Christianity
The court said the appellant was not legally recognized because her Chinese name, Lim Yoke Khoon, no longer existed following her conversion to Islam in 1994 [when she married the Muslim], Bon told The Associated Press. A Chinese judge on the three-man panel dissented, he said.
A rising number of disputes about religious conversions have sparked anxiety among minorities —Buddhists, Christians and Hindus— because courts almost always rule against people seeking to leave Islam, which is Malaysia’s official religion.
Malaysia has a dual court system with civil courts for non- Muslims and Shariah courts for Muslims. Ethnic Chinese and Indians, who account for more than 30 percent of Malaysia’s 27 million people, have complained that court decisions in religious disputes favor Muslims.
— Hat tip: VH
Hirsi Ali in Sydney
Enlightened spirit of inquiry
SITTING on a stage at the Sydney Opera House on Monday evening, her hair swept up, a cream scarf wrapped around her shoulders, a beautiful young black woman tells the audience she is often accused of being a puppet of white middle-aged men. With a twinkle in her eye, Somalian-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali flashes a wry smile as she looks down the table at the four older white men who have been brought together by the Centre for Independent Studies to discuss why the ideas of the Enlightenment need a 21st-century revival. Puppet? Not a chance.
Anyone who knows Hirsi Ali’s story knows she is no one’s pawn. As a girl she suffered genital mutilation; then, as a young woman, escaped an arranged marriage, incurring the wrath of Islam by rejecting her faith. Last time she was in Sydney, huge crowds listened to her journey, where she crossed back and forth between the superstitions, tribal taboos and conspiracy theories of her people to the world of inquiry and measured, rational discourse in the West. It was evident to her that one system was better than the other. People are equal but ideas and values are not. The crowds have come again on another wintry Sydney night. But this time Hirsi Ali is more interested in our story. She says we in the West, who have inherited the values of the Enlightenment, have developed contempt for values that drive progress and freedom.
There is no doubt the West is suffering from a dangerous moral disorientation. It is not clear that we value the very idea of the West any more. Enlightenment values such as genuine inquiry and reason, which ought to flow like blood delivering a vibrant pulse to the Western project, have been dislodged by the noxious intruders of unreason and fear. If talk about the Enlightenment sounds like some quaint historical curiosity debated by poseurs in the ethereal world of academe, think again. The determination to quash inquiry and reason infiltrates just about every aspect of our lives.
Hirsi Ali knows something about this. Shadowed by a security detail, she lives with death threats because she has chosen to debate Islam. Sweet-sounding words such as multiculturalism and tolerance are used to repress open debate. She has no problem with people who worship the prophet Mohammed. “But I want to be able to say that Mohammed had some reprehensible qualities without being thrown in jail, without being demonised,” she says. This must be allowed in a society committed to Enlightenment values of inquiry and reason because people progress by using reason to challenge ideas…
— Hat tip: CK
Tales of Maori Cannibalism Told in New Book
Maori cannibalism was widespread throughout New Zealand until the mid 1800s but has largely been ignored in history books, says the author of a new book released this week.
Paul Moon said his new book, This Horrid Practice, looked at the Maori tradition of eating each other in what was a particularly violent society before Europeans arrived in New Zealand.
Cannibalism lasted for several hundred years until the 1830s although there were a few isolated cases after that, said Professor Moon, a Pakeha history professor at Te Ara Poutama, the Maori Development Unit at the Auckland University of Technology.
He also said infanticide was also widely practised because tribes wanted men to be warriors and mothers often killed their female daughters by smothering them or pushing a finger through the soft tissue of the skull to kill them immediately.
He said the widespread practice of cannibalism was not a food issue but people were eaten often as part of a post-battle rage. Enemies were often captured and killed later to be eaten or killed because of a minor transgression.
— Hat tip: Fjordman
Spain: Canary, Minor Immigrant Centres on Brink of Collapse
(ANSAmed) — MADRID, AUGUST 5 — The refugee centres for minor immigrants on the Canary Islands are on the brink of collapse, forced to host a triple number of youngsters compared to the planned capacity. Facing an emergency, the Government of the archipelago relaunched the transfers of minors, most of whom of Maghreb and Sub-Saharan origin, to other three regions on the Iberian Peninsula, according to sources from the Regional Government reported by El Pais. Since the beginning of the year more than 368 youngsters under 18 years of age have landed on the Canary Islands, joining the 752 who arrived in 2007. The mass arrivals of foreign youngsters, mainly without any documents (which is why it is very difficult, if not impossible, to repatriate them and send them back to the families of origin), caused the congestion of refugee centres, making it necessary to turn schools or public institutions into emergency or immediate care residences. In July the mass arrivals of barges with children and teenagers aboard, some 170 in the past two weeks, forced the regional council for social welfare to set up emergency centres within institutions in Tenerife, which however will have to be available for the new school year in mid-August. Spanish minister of Labour and Immigration Celestino Corbacho is committed to provide assistance to the Government of the Canary Islands, so as the rest of the Spanish autonomous communities host the underage foreigners. The Balearic Islands, Galicia and Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in Morocco, have already offered to host part of them. Since the beginning of the year a total 143 minors have been transferred to other communities under the protection of the Government of the Canary islands, against 93 in 2007. This means that the regional administration keeps providing for the spending on the support and accommodation of the minors, estimated at 80 euro per day per minor immigrant. However, the council for social welfare warns that it will be necessary “to distribute at least another 300 of them” throughout the national territory in order to avoid a congestion on the archipelago and to make space for the newly arrived.
— Hat tip: Insubria
Every Fourth German Family Has Migration Background
Every fourth family in Germany has a migration background. That’s according to latest figures published Tuesday by the Federal Statistics Office which found this to be the case for 27 percent of nearly 8.6 million families with children under the age of 18.
According to the statistics, in 2007 four million children were being raised in Germany in 2.3 million families. Families with migration background are those where at least one of the parents is a foreign national or a naturalized German citizen.
— Hat tip: VH