Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/1/2009

Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/1/2009The news is light tonight, not because there is any less of it, but because half of Europe is away on vacation, and also because some of our American tipsters don’t work on weekends.

The most significant news is that Al-Manar TV, the broadcasting service of Hizbullah, has been granted permission to operate in Australia. The media authority determined that Al-Manar does not violate any of the country’s terrorism laws.

Thanks to heroyalwhyness, JD, Lurker from Tulsa, Nilk, Zonka, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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Financial Crisis
Oklahoma Counties Show Double Digit Unemployment
A Critique of Walter Cronkite
Administration Accused of Voter Intimidation Cover-Up
Disturbing Content on New Black Panther’s Myspace Page
Minor Earthquake in the Smokies
Oklahoma: Beggs Police Investigate Small Town Sex Ring
US Church Erects Anti-Islam Sign
Will Changing Name of Document Fix Problem?
Europe and the EU
Deadly Weapons Used in Ireland’s Traveller Brawls
Teeny Weeny … the Dissolvable Bikini
UK: Al-Qaeda ‘Seek to Infiltrate MI5’
Bosnia ‘A Haven for Islamist Terrorists’
Middle East
Netanyahu the “Realist”
Saudi Arabia Rejects Obama’s Call for Step-by-Step Peace With Israel
Australia — Pacific
Hezbollah TV Comes to Australia
Judge Rejects Sheik Spokesman Keysar Trad’s Defamation Claim
Latin America
Panama: Southern Neighbor Goes Right
UK: Crackdown on 80,000 Immigrant Wives With Free Pass to Britain

Financial Crisis

Oklahoma Counties Show Double Digit Unemployment

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — New figures from the Oklahoma Employment Security Commission show four Oklahoma counties reported double-digit unemployment rates last month.

The commission’s county-by-county unemployment figures for June released late Thursday show Hughes County in east-central Oklahoma had the highest rate at 11.1 percent. McCurtain and Latimer counties each posted figures slightly below 11 percent, while Noble County was at 10.2 percent.

The counties with the lowest unemployment rates are mostly in northwest Oklahoma. Beaver County in the Oklahoma Panhandle had the lowest rate at 3.7 percent, followed by Harper County at 4 percent, and Cimarron and Grant counties both at 4.1 percent.

Among the 77 counties, Oklahoma County was 44th with a 6.1 percent rate, while Tulsa County was 39th at 6.5 percent.

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]


A Critique of Walter Cronkite

How did the venerable Walter Cronkite, the sagacious and grandfatherly “voice of America” descend from the jeep of the supreme commander of the Allied forces at Normandy, France in June 1945 to shuttling around Bill and Hillary Clinton on the back of his boat off the coast of Maine in August 1998? Was Cronkite indeed the “most trusted man in America” when he read the news, or was he merely a propagandist, a closeted radical liberal underneath that affable, all-American facade? I believe he was the latter.

There is an old saying: The devil’s greatest trick is to make people believe that he doesn’t exist. In my opinion, Cronkite’s greatest (or most infamous) legacy during his storied 50-year career as a journalist was to make most Americans believe he was a blue-blooded patriot; a political “progressive” who represented the best ideas of what it was to be an American — liberty, freedom, intelligence, respectability, trustworthiness, unimpeachable character.

Yes, I believe that Cronkite in the early days represented many of the virtuous ideals of Americanism; nevertheless, I believe Cronkite was a hardcore liberal even then. Not the kind of radical liberal, socialist or Marxist hell bent on nihilism and revolution, but like a huge number of Americans born after 1900 who were raised on the egalitarian sophistry of the progressive movement including FDR’s “New Deal”and LBJ’s “Great Society.” Cronkite was intellectually and politically a progressive.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Administration Accused of Voter Intimidation Cover-Up

Congressman on dismissed case: ‘President’s political allies getting free pass’

Six months after the election, voter intimidation charges against members of the New Black Panther Party in Pennsylvania were dismissed by the Department of Justice, and this week, some lawmakers are demanding the administration answer why.

As WND reported, the government filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia in January, alleging that NBPP members Samir Shabazz and Jerry Jackson stood outside a Philadelphia polling place in uniform, with Shabazz brandishing a nightstick-like weapon. Reports from the scene also say the pair issued racial threats and insults, and a GOP election monitor said he called police after being told that the men were there to make sure a “black” wins.

Furthermore, the government lawsuit alleged the NBPP — a black extremist party whose leaders are notorious for their racist statements and anti-white activism — actually urged similar behavior nationwide with a notice that more than 300 members would be deployed at polling places.

Four months after the complaint was filed, however, even after the government had won a default judgment against the NBPP since the group neither responded to the lawsuit nor appeared in court, the attorneys who brought the charges were told by their superiors to seek a delay in the case.

Following the delay, the Washington Times reports, two Obama political appointees recommended the case be dropped. The charges were then dismissed and the default judgment discarded, though Shabazz was slapped with an injunction prohibiting him from displaying a weapon at a polling place until 2012.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Disturbing Content on New Black Panther’s Myspace Page

The NBPP member has not stayed away from expressing his views on a social media site like MySpace. Mr. Jackson’s(WARNING DISTURBING CONTENT) MySpace site is chock full of disturbing images with explicit racial overtones. A sample of some of the phrases and images on his MySpace page include:


“F*** Whitey’s Christmas”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Minor Earthquake in the Smokies

A minor earthquake rattled the mountainous area of southeastern Tennessee, western North Carolina and northern Georgia on Saturday morning. No damage or injuries were immediately reported.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the 3.2-magnitude temblor happened about 11 a.m. Saturday. Its epicenter was located about 55 miles east of Chattanooga, near the town of Ducktown.

Local authorities said they received several calls about the shaking, but they had not received any reports of damage of injuries.

Becky Cearley, a dispatcher with the Polk County Sheriff’s Department, described the incident as “pretty intense.”

“It shook the whole entire building for what seemed like forever, but it was just a matter of seconds,” she said.

A dispatcher with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office in North Carolina, just east of the epicenter, said the office received a few calls from people wondering what had happened.

“One guy, he said it was so bad it shook his cell phone off the dresser,” said Sgt. Michael Roper of the Gilmer County Sheriff’s Office in northern Georgia.

[Return to headlines]

Oklahoma: Beggs Police Investigate Small Town Sex Ring

BEGGS, OK — Police are looking for more victims in a small town sex ring uncovered this week in Beggs. They suspect that other underage boys were seduced by two women who are behind bars now in the Okmulgee County Jail.

Friday revealed details about a small town sex ring. Beggs Police say two women confessed to seducing as many as 10 teenage boys, plying them with drugs and alcohol. “She said that it brought her back to her teenage years. And that she got ‘that look,’“ said Beggs Police Chief James Poulin.

Chief Poulin told The News On 6 there could be more victims and more arrests.

“In my 18 years of law enforcement this is one of the strangest cases that’s unfolded,’“ said Beggs Police Chief James Poulin.

It all started with a father who brought his 14-year-old son to the police station last week.

“We’ve learned that he was having a sexual relationship with a 30-year-old woman here in Beggs,’“ said Beggs Police Chief James Poulin.

Police say it turns out it wasn’t just one woman or just one boy.

“To me it’s the same thing as prostitution. It was a big sex ring going on there and these kids knew, ‘hey we can go have sex, get drugs, we can drink and smoke there without our parents even knowing,’“ said Beggs Police Chief James Poulin.

Police arrested 30-year-old Mindy Carder and 21-year-old Ashley Sprague.

Chief Poulin says both confessed to being high on drugs, seducing multiple boys and giving them marijuana and alcohol.

“She said that it brought her back to her teenage years. And that she got ‘that look’ that they couldn’t get. And, that she absolutely fell in love with one of these boys,’“ said Beggs Police Chief James Poulin.

Poulin fears as many as 10 boys may have hung out at the home. And now, there are concerns that one of the women may have a sexually transmitted disease. So, he’s encouraging parents to have a heart to heart with their sons.

“These young boys, they think that they understand, but my heart hurts for ‘em,’“ said Beggs Police Chief James Poulin. “Without arguing or fussing and fighting say, ‘hey listen this is what’s going on. Have you been a part of it? Mom and dad are concerned and we want to make sure you are OK.’“

The chief says the investigation is not over.

“There’s probably going to be more arrests. The more we learn, we’re gonna come get em. We are going to come get them,’“ said Beggs Police Chief James Poulin.

Mindy Carder’s bond was set at $76,000 for three counts of statutory rape and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Ashley Sprague is facing a $25,000 bond for one count of each.

           — Hat tip: Lurker from Tulsa [Return to headlines]

US Church Erects Anti-Islam Sign

The Muslim News — UK

By Elham Asaad Buaras

A North Central Florida neighborhood is in an uproar over an Islamophobic sign embedded by a local ‘nondenominational’ Church on July 6.

Officials from the Gainesville based Dove World Outreach Center defended the sign which reads ‘Islam is of the Devil’ saying they hoped it would “expose Islam” and make people “repent” their sins.

The sign angered both Muslims and non-Muslims alike, many voiced their concern to their local newspaper The Gainesville Sun: “I am very saddened and disappointed to see that a local ‘Christian’ church has erected a sign displaying such hatred. This is precisely the type of behavior that fosters and perpetuates racism, division strereotypes and violence,” wrote Kim Chamberlain.

Sixteen-year-old Muslim resident Gaby Alim said she feels hurt by the statement, but wants to know why the Dove World Outreach Center posted it.

“I think it’s all stereotypical about the whole Iraq war. People think all Muslims are like that and we’re not,” said Alim.

University of Florida Professor David Hackett says that people become very emotional when it comes to religion. “There are tendencies through all religions to think that theirs is the right one and the other ones are wrong,” he said.

Someone tried to spray paint over the sign, but the Church quickly fixed it. For now, the sign stays and Dr Jones says they plan to add more.

In a statement to The Muslim News Senior Pastor at the Centre, Dr Terry Jones said the point of the sign is to, “To expose Islam for what it is. It is a violent and oppressive religion that is trying to mascarade itself as a religion of peace, seeking to deceive our society. The truth should never offend us. We should embrace the truth. That is the foundation of our country and that is the only way to true freedom. Islam is a lie based upon lies and deceptions and fear.”

The city’s code enforcement has been out to look at the sign and say the case is under investigation. According to the Municipal Ordinance 30-317, temporary signs with no commercial message are permitted.

The row is the latest in a series of Islamophobic incidents in Florida, USA. On July 2 the south Florida chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on the FBI to investigate a vandalism at a mosque in that state.

Vandals smashed two windows of the Islamic School of Miami but the vandalism was only discovered because the windows were in a storage area. Six months ago, the same mosque’s windows were shattered and its golden dome damaged by a hail of gunfire. In 2005, a large rock was used to shatter the door of the mosque. In 2004, the mosque’s sign was defaced with a Nazi swastika.

In a statement to The Muslim News CAIR National Communications Director, Ibrahim Hooper, said, “We urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for this latest attack. We also urge those committed to justice and interfaith tolerance to speak out against this attack.”

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness [Return to headlines]

Will Changing Name of Document Fix Problem?

Hawaii officials redefine ‘Certification of Live Birth’ Will changing the name of a document fix the problem facing Hawaii officials over questions about President Obama’s original long-form “birth certificate?”

Someone may think so, according to a new report.

The report confirmed that the state in recent days has dropped the “Certification of Live Birth” that it has used for a number of years to headline abbreviated computer-generated documents citing birth information in the state’s database, and the documents now are being called a “Certificate of Live Birth.”


“This renaming of the document will be very convenient for the Hawaiian Dept of Health in future stonewalling should any legal pressure be brought against them to produce Obama’s ‘Certificate of Live Birth,’“ the report said.

“Instead of producing the original ‘Certificate of Live Birth,’ they will produce the abbreviated ‘Certification of Live Birth’ form that the Dept of Health has now renamed a ‘Certificate of Live Birth’ and claim that they are doing so ‘in accordance with state policies and procedures’ in the words of the Dept’s Director, Dr. Chiyome Fukino.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Deadly Weapons Used in Ireland’s Traveller Brawls

Guns. Knives. Chainsaws. Swords. Shovels. Pickaxes. Scabbards. Golf clubs. Steel baseball bats. Screwdrivers.

These are just some of the weapons that have been used in vicious street battles in Irish towns and cities over the last 12 months.

All of the incidents have involved Traveller families and all have happened in broad daylight, sickening those forced to witness them, and exhausting garda resources.

But it is the sheer ferocity and scale of the violence that has shocked even hardened gardai and led to deep unease in the towns where the fighting has been taking place.

Last weekend, the drafting in of armed gardai to control a riot on a housing estate in Tralee, Co Kerry, seemed to mark a tipping point in the feuds that threaten to tear the travelling community apart.

Gardai, social workers, church officials and Traveller leaders have now come together to try to analyse the cause of the problems.

The most pressing need, however, is to get the violence to stop.

Dozens of people have been arrested and face charges over a string of major incidents in cities and towns such as Tralee, Waterford and Dublin.

Others could yet face the wrath of the law once video footage has been analysed.

The latest explosion came last weekend when two Traveller families in the Mitchells area of Tralee became embroiled in a savage melee involving up to 50 men, women and children. Gardai told the Irish Independent that at one stage a gun was produced and officers unsuccessfully grappled with the individual who fled with it.

As the violence escalated in St Martin’s Park, gardai with video-cameras filmed the battle, garda vans and cars from across Co Kerry raced to the scene to provide backup.

Quite extraordinarily, the garda’s armed Rapid Response Unit, originally designed with gangland crime in mind, was summoned from Cork to help quell the trouble.

With a number of people before the courts on public order charges, gardai are at a loss to understand what triggered the latest bout of feuding.

“Two families are involved,” said a senior garda yesterday. “We are at a total loss as to what happened as previously they were all friendly and lived peacefully among themselves.”

Naturally, with all the negative publicity, there are fears of an impact on Tralee’s big annual event, the Rose of Tralee.

Few people last week even wanted to acknowledge the latest Traveller feud and hope, by ignoring it, that tourists will still flock to the town.

Despite the feuding being just a stone’s throw from the famous Rose marquee, gardai are confident the event will not be marred by further displays of street-fighting.

Across Ireland, gardai have been stretched to breaking point by trying to contain the many feuds.

Petrol bombs, stones and other dangerous missiles have been used in clashes. One street row was described by an eye witness as “like a scene from 1970s Belfast”.

Another mini-riot was triggered, say some Travellers, by a ‘King of the Tinkers’ fistfight, while other maintain it was over the intrusion of out of town Travellers just looking for trouble.

While some feuds are centred on perceived slights and insults to family honour, other incidents around the country that involve Travellers have had their roots in crime.

Seizures of assets from Travellers worth more than €100,000 are no longer a rarity to investigators from the Criminal Assets Bureau, sources said yesterday.

A recent success included an application last January to seize two vehicles, a Range Rover SE sports model and a BMW car, purchased with the proceeds of crime.

The targeted figure in this case was only 19 years old and a member of the Travelling community. His name was Thomas Joyce and in June he was shot dead.

Senior gardai also confirmed Travellers based in south and west Dublin have been involved in a spate of crime around the country over the past few years, mainly robberies and aggravated burglaries, where violence was used.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness [Return to headlines]

Teeny Weeny … the Dissolvable Bikini

THIS itsy bitsy bikini comes with no strings attached.

The saucy thong swimsuit looks like a real bikini but DISAPPEARS after just a few seconds in water.

Sellers in Germany bill the dissolving Get Naked costume as a chance for men to get their own back after a break-up.

But women’s rights campaigner Rosmarie Zapfl stormed: “It is an absolute insult to women that this has been invented.”

           — Hat tip: Zonka [Return to headlines]

UK: Al-Qaeda ‘Seek to Infiltrate MI5’

A senior Tory MP has asked the home secretary whether al-Qaeda sympathisers were mistakenly recruited by MI5.

Patrick Mercer, chairman of the Home Affairs counter-terror sub-committee, said sources told him six had sought to infiltrate the security service.

Four were ejected at the initial vetting stage but two got “further down the system”, he told the BBC.

The Home Office declined to comment but Whitehall officials firmly rejected the claims, saying there was no evidence.

Mr Mercer said: “What concerns me is that not all of these individuals… have necessarily been nailed and that is why I’ve written to the home secretary to seek his reassurance.”

The MP believes the security services rushed to try and take on Muslim recruits after the 7/7 bombings on London’s transport network in 2007.

He told the BBC: “The trouble is when you start recruiting in a hurry… your enemies will try to take advantage of any gaps that have been created.”

The former intelligence officer said three separate sources had told him of the claims, which came as no surprise to him.

He said: “Any subversive organisation worth its salt is trying to do to our intelligence agencies what we are trying to do to them, I don’t think we should be surprised.

“I do think this is a very, very useful reminder that our enemies are out there, that they are alive and kicking and they wish to do us harm.”

Mr Mercer has written to Home Secretary Alan Johnson for clarification on exactly how far, if at all, the reported al-Qaeda sympathisers got in the organisation before they were ejected.

Whitehall officials told BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner there was no evidence anyone with al-Qaeda sympathies had ever been recruited into MI5.

Two years ago the MI5 spoke openly about their drive to broaden recruitment among ethnic minorities.

[Return to headlines]


Bosnia ‘A Haven for Islamist Terrorists’

Belgrade, 30 July (AKI) — Bosnia has become a haven for Islamic terrorists who feel protected by local authorities and are planning terrorist acts in various countries, experts on terrorism said on Thursday. Dzevad Galijasevic, a Bosnian expert on terrorism, told Tanjug news agency that there was a “developed network of support for Islamic terrorists” in Bosnia.

“There are about 80 prominent names in the world of terrorism, protected by a new identity,” Galijasevic said.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Middle East

Netanyahu the “Realist”

Having supported the establishment of a Palestinian, i.e., an Arab-Islamic, state in Judea and Samaria, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu feels compelled to present a rosy view of the future of the Islamic Middle East. Addressing the 2009 graduating class of the National Security College at a ceremony at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Netanyahu said: “In the struggle between darkness and terror, advancement and prosperity, the vast majority of Muslim societies would pick advancement and prosperity.”

This calls to mind his address to a joint session of the United States Congress in the summer of 1996, when he denied any clash of civilizations in the Middle East. A few years later, the present writer heard Netanyahu say, in effect, that peace would come to the Middle East with the spread of Internet! What an insult to Muslims! An honest word about Islam is necessary.

In 1985, Said Raja’i-Khorassani, the permanent delegate to the United Nations from the Islamic Republic of Iran, declared, according to Amir Taheri, that “the very concept of human rights was ‘a Judeo-Christian invention’ and inadmissible in Islam…According to Ayatollah Khomeini, one of the Shah’s ‘most despicable sins’ was the fact that Iran was one of the original group of nations that drafted and approved the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Saudi Arabia Rejects Obama’s Call for Step-by-Step Peace With Israel

Jerusalem, Aug. 1 : Rejecting the Obama administration’s call to resume peace talks with Israel, Saudi Arabia has said that its relations will not improve with the Jewish state unless it withdraws from all occupied Palestinian territories.

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness [Return to headlines]

Australia — Pacific

Hezbollah TV Comes to Australia

HEZBOLLAH’S TV station, twice banned in Australia for supporting terrorism, has been given permission to broadcast into this country after an investigation found it did not breach the anti-terrorism standard.

The Australian Communication and Media Authority (ACMA) decision on the Lebanese-based al-Manar TV station, announced yesterday, outraged Jewish groups, which said they were less concerned with the station promoting terrorism than its ‘‘vicious anti-Semitism’’.

Hezbollah, a militant Lebanese Muslim party, is banned in the United States as a terrorist organisation, but only its armed wing is proscribed in Australia. Its TV programs endorse suicide bombers, call for Israel’s annihilation, and refer to Jews as the offspring of pigs and apes.

ACMA has twice stopped al-Manar — popular with the Arabic community, who receive it by satellite — from being broadcast into Australia. In 2004 it stopped a Sydney provider transmitting it as part of an Arabic package, and introduced the anti-terrorism standard in 2006. In January last year a Thai company stopped broadcasting al-Manar at ACMA’s request.

ACMA launched the latest investigation last August, after The Age alerted it that al-Manar was being broadcast from Indonesia by a company part-owned by the Indonesian Government.

Yesterday the authority said it monitored al-Manar transmissions from August 28 to September 5 last year. While it found references to a designated terrorist organisation (Hezbollah), it did not find attempts to recruit people or solicit funds. The authority said it would investigate any further complaints should they arise.

Executive Council of Australian Jewry president Robert Goot said the decision did not address Jewish concerns and he would take it up with Communications Minister Stephen Conroy. He said al-Manar was ‘‘viciously anti-Semitic and interlaced anti-Israel and anti-US rhetoric with medieval anti-Semitic stereotypes, including the infamous blood libel’’ (that Jews kill Christian babies for their Passover meal).

Australia/Israel Jewish Affairs Council director Colin Rubenstein said the decision was regrettable but unsurprising, because the anti-terrorism standard had been so diluted last December that it was ‘‘grossly ineffective’’.

‘‘The hatred, incitement to violence and racism broadcast on al-Manar, and its attempts to raise funds for a terrorist organisation has not changed in recent years,’’ he said.

‘‘What has changed are Australian standards — for the worse — that allows such an organisation to broadcast its message in this country. Al-Manar is banned in France, Germany, Spain and the United States. It should also be banned in Australia.’’

Last year Jewish Community Council of Victoria president John Searle said al-Manar went beyond acceptable limits of free speech and was renowned for inciting violence and hatred. He had an exchange with Australian Arabic Council chairman Roland Jabbour, who said the channel was popular and should not be restricted.

Yesterday Mr Searle said the descriptions of Jewish people used by al-Manar were utterly inappropriate and unacceptable, and he hoped such descriptions should never be used again of any group or race.

Mr Jabbour said al-Manar had nothing to do with terrorism. It drew attention to Israel’s violations of human rights and international law.

He said the Arabic Council opposed anti-Semitism, but the issues with al Manar had nothing to do with anti-Semitism, though they were often ‘‘twisted’’ to appear that way.

           — Hat tip: Nilk [Return to headlines]

Judge Rejects Sheik Spokesman Keysar Trad’s Defamation Claim

KEYSAR Trad, the longtime spokesman for Muslim cleric Sheik Taj bin al-Hilaly, has been described as “racist” and “offensive” by a judge who today rejected his defamation claim against radio station 2GB.

Mr Trad sued the top-rating Sydney station in the NSW Supreme Court after presenter Jason Morrison described him “gutless” and “ just trouble” for his conduct at a rally after the Cronulla riots in December 2005.

Mr Trad’s comment about the “shame of tabloid journalism’ caused the crowd to boo and harass a 2GB journalist near the stage.

The reporter told Mr Morrison he feared for his safety, prompting the presenter to deliver his tirade the following morning, in which he also described Mr Trad as “disgraceful and dangerous individual who incited violence, hatred and racism.”

In August 2007, a jury found Morrison had defamed Mr Trad but Justice Peter McClellan found for 2GB in the second — or defence — phase of the trial that was heard in May, saying the statement were true and also protected as comment based on fact.

“There is little doubt that many of the plaintiff’s remarks are offensive to Jewish persons and homosexuals,” Justice McClellan said in his judgment.

“Many of his remarks are distasteful and appear to condone violence.

“I’m satisfied that the plaintiff does hold views which can properly be described as racist.

“I’m also satisfied that he encourages others to hold those views. In particular he holds views derogatory of Jewish people.

“The views which he holds would not be acceptable to most right-thinking Australians.”

Mr Trad, who founded the Islamic Friendship Association, faces up to $400,000 in court costs and there are question marks over his credibility after Justice McClellan’s scathing judgment.

During the trial he was subjected to close scrutiny about his public profile as Sheik Hilaly’s right-hand man and he frequent statements he made to “clarify” the controversial views of the cleric.

These included comments that women who dressed provocatively were “uncovered meat” inviting the attention of rapists. Mr Trad suggested Hilaly was “talking about people who engage in extramarital sex.”

Neither Mr Trad or Mr Morrison were at Sydney’s Supreme Court to hear the judgment.

Outside court, a representative for Mr Trad said he planned to appeal. Parties are due to meet again next Thursday to discuss costs.

[Return to headlines]

Latin America

Panama: Southern Neighbor Goes Right

For at least two years, Panamanian gun owners had to live with the threat that the socialist government of Martin Torrijos (son of the late dictator) was going to impose a George Soros-inspired backdoor gun ban.

The Soros gun ban comes advertised as a licensing scheme which means that gun ownership is illegal unless you get special permission from the government. Getting that permission is the problem. By simply delaying processing of applications and renewals, the clock runs out and before long, nobody has a legal gun.

This kind of law can be very effective at disarming the public. I first saw a law like this on the books and in use in South Africa.

Panamanian shooters actively opposed the measure. At one point I addressed a forum they organized to dramatize the problems with the bill and the threat to safety that it presented. Happily, the Chavez-backed candidate (to succeed Torrijos) in the elections last May got her clock cleaned, and the threat of the bill ended with the socialist government.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]


UK: Crackdown on 80,000 Immigrant Wives With Free Pass to Britain

A highly controversial crackdown on immigrants accused of abusing welfare handouts is to be unveiled by Home Secretary Alan Johnson this week.

He plans to ban wives brought here, mainly from India and Pakistan, from receiving child benefit and a wide range of other state aid unless they learn English, support British values and do voluntary work in the community.

The move could affect up to 80,000 immigrants who are allowed to settle permanently in Britain each year after marrying a UK citizen.

Many come from remote villages in the subcontinent, have little formal education and cannot speak a word of English. Under existing laws, they are automatically given indefinite leave to remain after just two years.

Crucially, that qualifies them to receive state benefits, even if they never become British citizens with UK passports or learn English.

However, Mr Johnson wants to scrap indefinite leave to remain. He intends to force immigrants who use marriage to get into the UK to take a citizenship test. They will not be allowed to take it for at least five years and if they fail, they will be banned from receiving benefits.

Ministers are braced for allegations of racism from some ethnic-minority leaders but they argue that the reforms are vital to curb racial tensions and benefit scrounging.

A well-placed Government source said: ‘Some British men with Indian or Pakistani backgrounds marry young women from the Indian subcontinent who are close to illiterate and unable to speak English.

‘Once they are here, they have children and can get the same benefits as someone who has lived here for a generation.

‘Some never learn a word of English and remain separate from the rest of the community. In effect, they choose to remain foreigners.

‘Why should they or their husbands worry? They are getting state benefits, and in some cases that is the only reason they come here, or are brought here. We have to put a stop to it.

‘We hope that once we make it clear that getting into Britain does not mean they can milk the benefits system without lifting a finger, it will deter such people from coming.

‘We want people who are committed to being British and playing a full part in our society.

‘We want to stop the ghettoisation of cities like Bradford and Blackburn. It has inflamed racial tensions and led to alienated young Muslim kids being preyed on by Islamist extremists. We all know what tragic consequences that can have.’

The Government has already insisted that all immigrants must show they have some knowledge of English before they are allowed into Britain but the new proposals go a lot further.

There are an estimated one million people living in the UK on indefinite leave to remain. Most come from India, Pakistan, Nigeria and the U.S.

Some come to work for a few years, have no intention of settling here and do not wish to become British.

Many others are spouses who do settle here for good without ever becoming British or integrating in any meaningful way.

They do not need to gain citizenship because they are automatically given indefinite leave to remain after two years, giving them the same right to child benefits, tax credits, income support, free prescriptions, eye tests and other benefits as everyone else.

Under the new rules, such immigrants will be classed as ‘probation citizens’ for a minimum of five years with no entitlement to benefits.

After five years, they will be able to take a citizenship test to gain a British passport. The test includes showing they have done some voluntary work in the UK, understand and promise to abide by the rule of law, pledge not to undermine the British state, understand how local government works and agree to register their children for schools.

If they fail, they will be banned from getting state benefits. They can stay on probation and take the test again, or leave the country.

In practice, officials accept it is not likely to lead to many immigrants returning to their native countries but say that is not the aim.

‘This is not about repatriation,’ said one. ‘Once someone is here and has had children, it is not practicable or desirable to throw them out.’

One couple who would be affected by the proposed change is British-born imam Humaiyun Islam and his 19-year-old wife Safiyah Begum, whom he married in Bangladesh two years ago.

They both now live in Stepney, East London, with their four-month-old son after Safiyah was given indefinite leave to remain.

Islam, 25, said: ‘To be honest, it’s not a bad plan — it’s important that people do learn English but a lot of people will find this difficult.

‘Some people who come to this country from places like Bangladesh are usually uneducated and they find learning another language extremely difficult.’

However, he said there would be advantages if his wife could get full citizenship: ‘She can vote or get jobs if she knows good English.’

Safiyah came to the UK educated to the equivalent of GCSE level and knowing very little of the language, and although she is learning, she has struggled to pick up enough to get by.

‘It is hard to learn English and do all the housework and look after the baby,’ Islam said. ‘Her English has improved but not enough to take a job. We would be in a lot of difficulty if the Government introduced a set deadline.’

The planned shake-up is designed to show that after years of soaring immigration, Labour has finally got to grips with the issue.

Downing Street advisers have been shocked by continuing anger over immigration.

One of Gordon Brown’s senior aides said: ‘Month after month, focus groups show that people think we have done far too little to get on top of immigration. We have to do more or it will cost us dearly in the General Election.’

Trade unions, whose members may lose jobs to cheap immigrant workers, have led calls for more action, prompting former union leader Johnson to take action.

But the Conservatives claim the planned changes are too little, too late.

A party spokesman said: ‘If the Government had listened to us instead of pouring scorn, we would not be in this mess. They tried to silence us by calling us racist and now they have realised that a sensible immigration policy is not racist but common sense.

‘Moderate and responsible figures in ethnic-minority communities recognise this.’

Leader of the Muslim Parliament of Great Britain Ghayasuddin Siddiqui backed the reforms.

He said: ‘It is a good thing that people coming to Britain to settle down should be encouraged to speak English. It is for their own benefit. Any move to facilitate them being part of a wider society should be applauded.’

However, Anjem Choudary, a radical Muslim leader and a lecturer at the London School of Sharia, said: ‘This policy is unacceptable and discriminatory to the Muslim community. Language is a key part of someone’s culture and the Government is trying to dilute our heritage. Newcomers to Britain should be allowed to interact rather than integrate.’

David Cameron has pledgedto introduce an annual quota of immigrants, which has been opposed by Labour. In addition, he has said immigrant spouses must be at least 21 years old, to reduce the number of teenage brides being forced into marriage.

Tory immigration spokesman Damian Green said: ‘The most effective way of cracking down on people who abuse the marriage rules for immigration is to crack down on them before they come here. Our proposal would have far more impact in ensuring that anyone who comes here is ready to be fully active in British life.’

           — Hat tip: heroyalwhyness [Return to headlines]

4 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 8/1/2009

  1. Dear Baron,
    here are some news items, not sure they were already posted:
    ‘A christian mother has been condemned to death and executed (June 16th)
    in NK for distributing bibles an NGO reported. The mother of 3 kids, 33
    years old, was also condemned as a spy for South Korea and the US. Her
    husband, her kids and her parents have all been sent to a prison camp.’

    Kingston multiple murder case: the murderer could actually collect more than 200,000CAD from the automobile insurance!

    Then there is some lighter news from Amazon: angel Gabriel is listed as an author

  2. Looks like our friends in the Middle East are showing the way, remember the Emirates where you have to leave within a month if without a job? Now Israel: found on JPost:
    “Major expulsion of immigrants planned”
    With the aim of expelling every illegal resident by 2013, including 20,000 this year, the newly formed Oz unit has plenty of work on its hands.
    (link probably too long, google for new oz unit)

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