Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/6/2010

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/6/2010A Roman Catholic cardinal in the Czech Republic says that Europe is being Islamized because the continent has become secular as Christian values have declined. Meanwhile Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, says that he is worried for the safety of his grandchildren as Britain takes on more and more immigrants who absorb none of the country’s traditional Christian values.

In other news, cases of anthrax caused by tainted heroin are spreading in Scotland. It is believed the outbreak is due to an inadvertent mixture of anthrax in a cutting agent for the drug. Eleven cases have been diagnosed so far, and five people have died.

Thanks to 4symbols, C. Cantoni, Esther, Fjordman, Gaia, Henrik, Insubria, JD, KGS, Sean O’Brian, Steen, TB, TV, Vlad Tepes, and all the other tipsters who sent these in. Headlines and articles are below the fold.
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Financial Crisis
Pay Back £2.3billion or We’ll Derail EU Bid, Gordon Brown Warns Iceland
UK: Gordon Brown’s Debt Denial ‘Is Worse Than Nazi Appeasement Before WW2’
US Public Pensions Face $2 Trillion Shortfall
CAIR Accuses Feds of Racial Profiling
Change! CIA Will Spy on Icebergs Instead of Terrorists
Corruptocrat Chris Dodd to Step Aside — Senate’s Most Corrupt Politician Will Not Run Again
Dem ND Senator Byron Dorgan to Retire
How the Government Payroll Replaced Goods-Producing Jobs
Milblogger Michael Yon Handcuffed at Seattle Airport
Obama Blames Creation of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Gitmo
Obama Chief Accused of ‘Aiding’ Anti-Semites
Video: Taxpayer Dollars Used to Ridicule ‘Teabaggers’
The Organ-Harvesting Scare: A Mutant Offspring of Anti-Zionism and Classic Antisemitism.
Europe and the EU
Airbus: A380 Deliveries Less Than Goals
Airbus Threatens to Ground New A400m Unless Europe Pays Up
Britain Falls to 25th Best Place to Live in the World… Behind Lithuania, The Czech Republic and Hungary
Cardinal Says Christian Europe is to Blame for Islamisation
EU: Spain’s Presidency Aims to Boost Pan-European Rights
European Parliament Selling Unused Full Body Scanners
France Socialist Party Opposes Burka Ban
Here’s Five for 2010: The Rise of Right Wing in Europe
How Much Allah Can the Old Continent Bear?
Iran Consul in Oslo Quits Over Tehran Crackdown
Iranian Diplomat in Norway ‘Resigns Over Protests’
Netherlands: Race Riots Lead to Emergency Measures in Culemborg
Netherlands: ‘Ethnic Riots Are Acquiring National Character’
Q. Elizabeth Launched at Monfalcone, New ‘Queen of the Seas’
Scotland: ‘Anthrax Heroin’ Cases Spreading
UK: BBC Trust to Review Science Coverage Amid Claims of Bias Over Climate Change, Mmr Vaccine and GM Foods
UK: Hate Cleric on £25k Benefits
UK: Phobic Hate Cleric Gets £25,000 in Benefits
North Africa
Egypt: NCHR Segretary Says No to Discussing Religion in Media
Gaza: Galloway Convoy, Protest Over Missing Permits
Protest Against Pilgrimage, Three Arrests Yesterday
Israel and the Palestinians
‘Arab Intimidation Forces’ Divide Jerusalem
E. Jerusalem: Jewish Quarter Planned on Mount Olives
Militant Dead in Israeli Air Raid
Middle East
China Again Rejects UN Sanctions Against Iran
Transport: Turkey’s Air Carrier to Buy 20 Planes From Airbus
Turkmenistan Opens New Iran Gas Pipeline
South Asia
Afghanistan:14 Terror Suspects Mistakenly Kill Themselves
Triple Agent Was ‘CIA’s Best Hope for Years’
Far East
Chinese Academia Ghost-Writing ‘Widespread’
N. Korea Began Uranium Program Soon After 1994 Deal
Sub-Saharan Africa
Denmark Rejects Sudan Note
Jobless Kenyans Admit Fighting for Al-Shabab
Nine African Boxers Embrace Islam in Karachi
Sudan Incites Against New Danish Movie
French Councillor Faces Immigrant Smuggling Charges
Paris: The Coordination Des Sans Papiers 75
Spain Has Winning Policy, Moratinos Says
UK: ‘I Fear for My Grandchildren’ Says Former Archbishop of Canterbury, As He Calls for Christian Values to be Defended
UK: Carey in Immigrant ‘Values’ Call
How Western Anti-Muslim Bigotry Became Respectable: The Historic Roots of a Newly Resilient Ideology
Religion: 70% of World’s Population Discriminated Against
Scientists Say Dolphins Should be Treated as Non-Human Persons

Financial Crisis

Pay Back £2.3billion or We’ll Derail EU Bid, Gordon Brown Warns Iceland

Gordon Brown last night declared diplomatic war on Iceland if it goes back on a pledge to pay the £2.3billion it owes Britain following the banking crisis.

The money was handed out by the Treasury to more than 200,000 savers who invested in the collapsed Icelandic online bank Icesave.

But the country’s president Olafur Ragnar Grimsson yesterday blocked plans — ratified by the country’s parliament only days ago — to repay the money.

Instead, the plan will be put to a referendum, and is expected to be overwhelmingly rejected by Iceland’s voters.

The development could dent Iceland’s chances of being given a fast-track entry into the European Union.

Yesterday, a Downing Street spokesman said the Government expected Iceland to fulfil its legal responsibilities and pay up.

Sources said it could threaten the country’s aspirations to join the European Union if the money does not find its way into Treasury coffers.

The No 10 spokesman revealed the Treasury was in contact with officials in Iceland and the EU to find a way forward.

British savers, the majority of whom have already received their money back in full, had their accounts in the bank frozen in October 2008 following the collapse of its parent company Landsbanki.

The Government pledged that no one would lose money through the failure of the group, and said it would step in to cover any money lost above the sums covered by deposit guarantee schemes.

Compensation for each customer was to be split between the Icelandic government — which agreed to pay back the first 20,887 euros (£16,500 at the time) — the UK’s Financial Services Compensation Scheme and the Treasury.

The British government initially stumped up Iceland’s share.

In August, the Icelandic parliament had agreed to pay up to £2.35billion to the UK and £1.14billion to the Netherlands, which was similarly affected, over 15 years from 2016; this is now in doubt.

The deal does not involve the numerous local authorities in the UK who lost almost £1billion following the collapse of Icesave. The UK’s relationship with Iceland began to cool in October 2008, when the Prime Minister invoked anti-terrorism powers to freeze Icelandic assets after three banks were nationalised.

Yesterday’s move was only the second time since Iceland’s republic was founded in 1944 that the president has not signed into law a Bill approved by Parliament.

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

UK: Gordon Brown’s Debt Denial ‘Is Worse Than Nazi Appeasement Before WW2’

Gordon Brown’s refusal to get to grips with Britain’s soaring debt is as bad as the failure to combat Nazi Germany before World War II, a former minister has said.

Labour’s Frank Field said his own government is living in ‘cloud cuckoo land’ and adding to the ‘illusion’ that all is well by printing money to buy up its own debt.

He warned that ‘massive’ spending cuts would be needed to bring the public finances back into balance — a course of action that has been resisted by the Prime Minister.

Mr Field said there were ‘chilling’ comparisons between Mr Brown’s approach to the debt, which is set to soar to £1.5 trillion and the appeasers of the 1930s who said there was no threat from Hitler.

‘There has been an unwillingness to get to grips with the size and extent of the debt, equivalent to those denials about the dangers of Nazi Germany,’ he said.

The former welfare minister made his extraordinary attack during a Commons debate last night on the government’s new fiscal responsibility bill.

Mr Field said the measure, which makes it legally binding for ministers to halve the size of the deficit within four years, would have little effect when city firms are threatening to downgrade the government’s credit rating.

MPs could be in line for £15,000 pay rise: Watchdog will compensate them for lost expenses

Pay back £2.3bn or we’ll derail EU bid, Gordon Brown warns Iceland

He added: ‘I don’t believe the voters of this country have any idea whatsoever about how serious the financial position of this country is or how massive the cuts will have to be to try and get back some semblance of order to our national accounts.’

Mr Field warned that Labour’s policy of quantitative easing — essentially printing money so that the government can buy it’s own debt in the form of bonds — could leave Britain without financial support when it comes to an end.

‘What we don’t know is what the markets will do when there is no more funny money to use to buy that debt,’ he said.

‘The point of maximum danger will come when we aren’t going to print any more money to buy our own debt.

Chancellor Alistair Darling argued that it would help put Britain on course to economic recovery, claiming Tory fiscal plans were a “terrible risk” to the economy.

He told the Commons: “What this bill does is to require the Government… to halve our borrowing over a four-year period.

“I believe that that is absolutely essential and I believe the measures I have set out will enable us to do that.

“It is important, though, that we do that in a way that supports the economy, that doesn’t damage the economy.”

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said the Fiscal Responsibility Bill was “complete nonsense” that had been dreamt up by Gordon Brown on the eve of last year’s Labour Party Conference.

‘It must be the biggest load of nonsense that this Government has had the audacity to present to Parliament in this current session,’ he said.

For the Liberal Democrats, Jeremy Browne branded the Bill “pathetic and dangerous”.

He said: “We shouldn’t need a law to make the Government do its job.”

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

US Public Pensions Face $2 Trillion Shortfall

A shortfall of that size could force state governments to take unpalatable decisions such as pouring more public money into their funds or reducing pension benefits. State and local governments have already cut spending to close budget deficits.

[Return to headlines]


CAIR Accuses Feds of Racial Profiling

Condemns enhanced screening of passengers from Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria

Following an attempted terrorist bombing of a flight arriving in Detroit on Christmas Day, the Council on American-Islamic Relations is accusing the Transportation Security Administration of religious profiling of Muslims for subjecting passengers traveling through “state sponsors of terrorism or other countries of interest” to an enhanced screening process.

TSA has strengthened its security steps, saying that “effective aviation security must begin beyond our borders.”

According to a CNN report, an unnamed senior government official provided the news agency with a list of 14 countries subject to enhanced screening for travelers heading to the U.S.: Cuba, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen


According to the report, the American Civil Liberties Union echoed CAIR’s concerns and issued a statement calling profiling an useless tactic.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Change! CIA Will Spy on Icebergs Instead of Terrorists

After returning from his 11 day Hawaiian vacation President Barack Obama announced changes today in the fight against man-made disasters. Obama said, “We have to do better and we will do better. And we will do it quickly.”

Obama also admitted that, “We had information that this group was working with an individual … who we now know was in fact the individual involved in the Christmas attack.”

Terrific. Obama outlined changes to the security protocol. The latest changes implemented by the Obama Administration also mean that the CIA will be spying on icebergs instead of terrorists.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Corruptocrat Chris Dodd to Step Aside — Senate’s Most Corrupt Politician Will Not Run Again

Chris Dodd, the most corrupt politician in Washington DC, will announce today that he will not run for re-election.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Dem ND Senator Byron Dorgan to Retire

After helping to ruin the economy Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan from North Dakota will retire this year. His internal polling numbers must really be in the cellar. In fact he was 22 points down from a GOP competitor after the Obamacare vote.

Here is his statement.

Obama better hurry and ram the rest of his socialist agenda through Congress before it’s too late.

More… Senator Conrad predicts that Dorgan will soon be working for Obama.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

How the Government Payroll Replaced Goods-Producing Jobs

In the just-so story of the evolution of our economy, our old manufacturing based economy has been replaced by an innovative knowledge economy. That’s not quite true. In fact, the decline of the jobs in goods producing sectors of the economy—construction, manufacturing, mining and agriculture—has largely been met with an increase in jobs on the government payroll. We’ve gone from providing jobs in profit-making private industry to providing jobs in profit-eating government work. Toward the end of 2007, the total number of government jobs exceeded the total number of goods producing jobs. Welcome to the government payroll economy. The average government worker enjoys a $71,000 per year annual salary compared to the average individual working in the private sector who makes just $40,000 per year.

[Return to headlines]

Milblogger Michael Yon Handcuffed at Seattle Airport

Milblogger and author Michael Yon was handcuffed today at the Seattle airport for not telling the TSA agent his net income.

He posted this on his facebook page:

Got arrested at the Seattle airport for refusing to say how much money I make. (The uniformed ones say I was not “arrested”, but they definitely handcuffed me.) Their videos and audios should show that I was polite, but simply refused questions that had nothing to do with national security. Port authority police eventually came — they were professionals — and rescued me from the border bullies.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Blames Creation of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula on Gitmo

It’s all Bush’s fault. Obama blames Gitmo for the creation of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Click on Picture for Video

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Obama Chief Accused of ‘Aiding’ Anti-Semites

Expert who formerly held position blasts successor whose job is to fight Jew hatred

President Obama’s newly appointed anti-Semitism czar, Hannah Rosenthal, is guilty of “aiding and abetting anti-Semites around the world,” charged the anti-Semitism expert who held Rosenthal’s government position until last year.

Two weeks ago, in her first major interview since becoming U.S. special envoy to monitor and combat anti-Semitism in November, Rosenthal blasted Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. for his criticism of a lobby group accused of anti-Israel activity.

This week, in a column at Cutting Edge News, Rosenthal’s predecessor, Gregg J. Rickman, slammed her for attacking Israel’s ambassador “in an Israeli newspaper in her official capacity, a position which dictates that she fights anti-Semitism, not breed it.”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

Video: Taxpayer Dollars Used to Ridicule ‘Teabaggers’

Protester frantically screams, ‘Nazi! Socialist! Baby killer!’

National Public Radio is using taxpayer dollars to ridicule tea partiers, calling them “teabaggers” in a new video it posted online.

The spoof on the NPR website begins, “Learn to speak teabag. Finally, learning a new language doesn’t have to be hard. You can be fluent in conversational teabag in just a few short minutes.”

As WND reported, “Tea-bagging” is known in the homosexual subculture as a specific sexual practice. The New York Times reported that even President Obama purportedly used the slur in a November pep talk to Democrats in which he said, “Does anybody think that the teabag, anti-government people are going to support them if they bring down health care?”

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]


The Organ-Harvesting Scare: A Mutant Offspring of Anti-Zionism and Classic Antisemitism.

It’s at times like these that I find myself tempted to slink away from the emerging Canadian consensus that Human Rights Commissions should at all times be prevented from trespassing upon “freedom of speech.” The reason is I just can’t imagine any fitting substitute for lawful recourse in addressing this kind of thing. Actually, I can imagine a fitting substitute. The problem is it would probably end up playing out like that scene from the movie Inglorious Basterds, after Aldo Raine tells Donny ‘the Bear Jew’ Donowitz: Gots a German here, says he wants to die for his country. Oblige him.

The thing is, I just can’t seem to put my finger on a proper remedy between the extremes of having the state administer sanctions for what Canada has devolved into treating as the mere misdemeanour of propogating unreconstructed, drooling antisemitism, and the swift retributive justice of a baseball bat to the side of the head. Where does one start? Where would it end? Should we just laugh out loud at it? I don’t know. This is my problem. But I mean, really:

An international Israeli conspiracy to kidnap children and harvest their organs is gathering momentum as another shocking story divulges Tel Aviv’s plot to import Ukrainian children and harvest their organs.

Yes, I get it. It’s all the rage these days. It’s just some unpacking of the discourse in a site of competing post-colonial narratives and yada yada bla bla bla. But two things about this particular eruption of an ancient incitement caught my eye. The first is that the story appeared not two weeks ago in Al-Ameen, the house journal of the British Columbia Muslim Association (the periodical’s editorial board is in fact the executive committee of the BCMA, which also runs the Surrey Muslim School). The second thing is that the story itself is reprinted faithfully and accurately from that holocaust-denying international scab operation known as Press TV, which is the house journal of the Khomeinist tyranny in Iran.

I notice this because the ‘Ukrainian Kids New Victims Of Israeli Organ Theft’ story is not merely the dribblings of some pimply and deluded heavy-metal freak bashing away on his mummy’s old computer in a basement somewhere, trying to out-drool some other freak in some hillbilly internet message-board debate. It is vile antisemitic gibberish presented as a serious news story in what presents itself as a serious newspaper, run by a major, wealthy cultural organization in Canada, and the report comes straight from the propaganda arm of an extremely dangerous, unstable and violently anti-democratic regime that enjoys full status at the United Nations. This is reported, as fact: Israel has brought some 25,000 Ukrainian children into the occupied entity over the past two years in order to harvest their organs.

The thing is, I just don’t know what’s worse: the chance of Canada slipping a few notches on the global Index on Censorship rankings, or just sitting back and allowing the Canadian state to facilitate and support the circulation and dissemination of such filthy, toxic and dangerous libels…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Europe and the EU

Airbus: A380 Deliveries Less Than Goals

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — In 2009 airplane manufacturer, Airbus, will deliver the first 10 A380 aircrafts, three less than the objective they set at the beginning of the year, said a union source who cited assembly line and industrialization problems . A spokesperson for the company confirmed that until now 10 aircrafts have been delivered, specifying that the year is not over yet and that the airplanes that are not ready by December 31 will be delivered in January 2010 . In 2008, there were 12 A380 delivered, the largest passenger plane in the world, capable of transporting over 800 passengers. In November the executive president of EADS, Airbus parent company, Louis Gallois, defined the A380 as a source of worries , acknowledging that progress in the production chain is slower than expected . (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Airbus Threatens to Ground New A400m Unless Europe Pays Up

Airbus is threatening to cancel the much-delayed €20bn (£18bn) A400M military transporter programme if European governments do not agree to “take their share of the burden” before the end of this month.

The row is the latest twist in a seven-year saga of delays, technical hitches and cost overruns. An independent audit, which was commissioned by the European governments queueing up to buy the plane, estimates the programme is up to €11bn over budget.

The A400M finally made its maiden voyage in Seville last month, but the flight was more than two years later than originally planned. Airbus has orders for 184 of the transporters from the programme’s “partner” nations — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey, Belgium, Luxembourg and the UK. The first was originally due in October 2009 but will not now be delivered until 2012 at the earliest.

The most recent round of negotiations started last April, when the A400M missed another test-flight milestone. EADS, Airbus’s parent company, and its prospective customers then entered into a standstill agreement while they tried to thrash out a deal on costs. EADS is understood to have pumped in more than €2bn of additional funding and says an extra €5bn is needed to complete the programme. The other option on the table is to reduce the number of planes to be delivered under the existing €20bn deal.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

Britain Falls to 25th Best Place to Live in the World… Behind Lithuania, The Czech Republic and Hungary

Britain has dropped to 25th place on a list of the best places in the world to live — behind countries like the Czech Republic, Andorra and Lithuania.

While France tops the poll for the fifth year in row, the UK is associated with a dismal climate, soaring crime rate and cost of living, congested roads and equally overcrowded cities.

Even former Communist countries where unemployment is still rife are considered better places to live.

The Czech Republic and Lithuania were not even accepted into the European Union until 2004.

Since then thousands of people from both countries have flooded into the UK, but most are drawn by the chance to make money in a liberal, entrepreneurial economy, rather than because of Britain’s quality of life.

Many eastern Europeans make as much money as they can in the UK before returning home at the earliest opportunity.

The Quality of Life Index, published by International Living magazine for the 30th year in a row, puts Britain down five places from 20th in 2009.

In all, 200 countries are surveyed across nine categories, including cost of living, culture and leisure, environment, safety, culture and weather.

Australia is placed second after France, with Switzerland in third.

Residents across the Channel enjoy everything from Riviera beaches and Alpine ski resorts to arguably the best health service in the world, but it is the country’s ‘bon vivant’ lifestyle which sets it apart.

While British people are nowadays renowed for their TV dinners and binge drinking, the French savour the finer things in life day-in, day-out.

This includes freshly baked bread twice a day, two hour lunch breaks in which to enjoy cheap cordon bleu restaurants, and some of the best wine in the world.

Working hours are far shorter than those experienced by stressed-out British people, who have far less holiday entitlement too.

The French, in contrast, take most of August off, view Sunday leisure as sacrosanct, and have far more public holidays, as well as less crime and dirt.


























25. UNITED KINGDOMmagazine.

‘I don’t think anyone will argue that France is one of the most beautiful countries in the world, where there is so much pride in all the small details.

‘The French love little window boxes filled with flowers, tidy gardens, pretty sidewalk cafes, and clean streets. Cities are well tended and with little crime.’

Variety is also seen as a major factor in France’s attractiveness, with the survey noting: ‘Romantic Paris offers the best of everything, but services don’t fall away in Alsace’s wine villages, in wild and lovely Corsica, in lavender-scented Provence. Or in the Languedoc of the troubadors, bathed in Mediterranean sunlight.’

The U.S.A dropped from third to seventh place this because of last year’s economic collapse. ‘Sustaining the American Dream has escalated out of the reach of many,’ said a magazine spokesman.

While countries like France, Italy and Australia are considered to have the best climates, Britain does not top a single category.

Germany, which comes fourth in the overall survey, is widely praised for its efficiency and leisure facilities.

The survey notes: ‘In Germany, everything works and works well. Its houses are built to last, and their legendary autobahns are still mostly without speed limits.

‘If you enjoy sports, even small towns have numerous facilities. Some odd ones too—the Harz Mountains now has a specialist hiking trail for nudists. From spas to parks to North Sea beaches, Germany is arguably the world’s most naturist-friendly country.’

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

Cardinal Says Christian Europe is to Blame for Islamisation

A leading Catholic cardinal has said Europeans only have themselves to blame for allowing Islam to “conquer” the continent.

Czech Cardinal Miloslav Vlk, the Archbishop of Prague, said Muslims were well placed to fill the spiritual void “created as Europeans systematically empty the Christian content of their lives”.

“Europe will pay dear for having left its spiritual foundations and that this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it,” he said.

“The Muslims definitely have many reasons to be heading here. They also have a religious one — to bring the spiritual values of faith in God to the pagan environment of Europe, to its atheistic style of life.

“Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society.”

The 77-year-old cardinal made his remarks in an interview to mark his retirement after spending 19 years as the leader of the Czech Church.

He said he did not blame Muslims for the crisis as Europeans had brought it upon themselves by exchanging their Christian culture for an aggressive secularism that embraced atheism.

“Europe has denied its Christian roots from which it has risen and which could give it the strength to fend off the danger that it will be conquered by Muslims, which is actually happening gradually,” he said.

“At the end of the Middle Ages and in the early modern age, Islam failed to conquer Europe with arms. The Christians beat them then.

“Today, when the fighting is done with spiritual weapons which Europe lacks while Muslims are perfectly armed, the fall of Europe is looming.”

He called on Christians to respond to the threat of Islamisation by living their own religious faith more observantly.

Last year Cardinal Jose Policarpo, the Patriarch of Lisbon, warned Catholic women against marrying Muslims.

Italian Cardinal Giacomo Biffi also urged the Italian government to give priority to Catholic migrants over Muslims in order to protect his country’s religious identity.

The Vatican has also opposed Turkey joining the European Union partly because the Muslim country does not share the continent’s Christian heritage.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

EU: Spain’s Presidency Aims to Boost Pan-European Rights

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JANUARY 5 — The consolidation of European citizenship and the extension of basic rights, with an emphasis on an effective level of equality between the sexes: these are among the main objectives of Spain’s six-month presidency of the EU. The objectives were The objectives were outlined today in Madrid by the country’s Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos. “Spain wants to take the right to equality between men and women into Europe, especially in the job sector,” Moratinos said, pointing to the legislation launched by the country’s socialist administration in this area. The Spanish presidency will also be working to eradicate any form of gender-based violence, Moratinos said, with a proposal to create an European watchdog on inter-gender violence and a European protection order for its victims. The agenda for the Spanish presidency also includes the enactment of the Stockholm plan for justice, the prevention of terrorism, migration policy and the right to asylum. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

European Parliament Selling Unused Full Body Scanners

EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS — The European Parliament is putting its six unused full body scanners up for sale, just as several EU states are buying such devices for their airports in the aftermath of a failed bomb attack on a US flight departing from Amsterdam.

Last year, the machines became a bit of an embarrassment for the EU legislature when MEPs found out that their own institution had purchased them in 2005. In October 2008, lawmakers had opposed a bill allowing the use of full body scanners in the EU, unaware of the six unused devices lying around in the basement.

The controversial machines were bought for €725,730 as a precaution measure after the 2001 al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.

In April last year, the plenum decided to put them up for sale. The tendering procedures are set to kick off next week, after publication in the EU’s official journal. The process should be wrapped up by 26 February, according to the parliament’s secretary general, Klaus Welle, in a letter seen by Germany’s Sueddeutsche newspaper.

A parliament spokeswoman said that the selling process took almost a year due to the complex financial regulation procedures applying to both acquisitions and sales of the institution’s assets.

The bidders will have to have a “clean record” and prove that they are financially sound, Marjory van den Broeke added.

Regarding potential criticism that the EU legislature is selling the devices just as several EU governments are considering introducing mandatory full body scans in airports, Ms van den Broeke said that there was no room for comparison. “The Parliament is not an airport”, she stressed.

Despite the fact that they are not state of the art, the six machines are unlikely to have trouble in finding a buyer.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

France Socialist Party Opposes Burka Ban

France’s opposition Socialists have come out against a law banning the burka — even though they remain firmly opposed to the garment.

The announcement comes ahead of a parliamentary report on the issue that is due out later this month.

Last summer, French MPs held hearings on whether to ban the Muslim veil, which covers the body from head to toe.

President Nicolas Sarkozy had said the burka was “not welcome” in France, home to Europe’s largest Muslim population.

Mr Sarkozy has left open the idea of introducing legislation to ban the burka.

While the Socialist Party opposes the wearing of the burka, it was “not favourable” to a legal ban, said party spokesman Benoit Hamon.

“We are totally opposed to the burka,” he told French radio. “The burka is a prison for women and has no place in the French Republic. But an ad-hoc law would not have the anticipated effect.”

Jean-Francois Cope, the parliamentary leader of Mr Sarkozy’s party, has said he would put forward a bill this month banning the wearing of the veil in public, as a means of defending France against “extremists”.

In 2004, France controversially banned Muslim headscarves and other “conspicuous” religious symbols in state schools and by public employees.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

Here’s Five for 2010: The Rise of Right Wing in Europe

Switzerland’s vote to ban minarets on mosques in the country raises the question of whether anything similar might happen elsewhere in Europe. Experts are distinguished between actually banning an Islamic symbol such as the minaret and using the minaret example to fan voters’ fears and boost a party’s chances at the polls.

It seems Switzerland’s trademark direct democracy system makes it possibly the only country in Europe where both seem possible right now. This distinction could become more important in the coming months as far-right parties—as they are expected to do—try to exploit the minaret ban to rally support for their anti-immigration policies. The Swiss far right has already suggested banning full facial veils next.

This might do away with the argument of fundamentalist (Islamist) versus the liberal secularist and bring back the fundamentalist White man of the early last century — the one who hates the Blacks, Mexicans and Jews; the one who cannot stand anything other than what he believes; and the one who is ready to kill to protect his belief (the same crime charged against the Muslims).

This is not a small change, or a return to a previous state of affairs. Europe, not the US or even the UK, was like the model society: the scientific community; the non-fundamentalist beliefs; where value was given to human life and ideas; where there was liberty, equality and fraternity. What’s stunning about the ban is the gap between the clear rejection of the ban in public opinion polls and the clear approval given in the actual vote. It means there is an official discussion of Islam and that there is a subterranean discussion. It’s cause for worry in Europe.

Marine Le Pen, deputy leader of France’s National Front, has called for a referendum in France not only on minarets, but also on immigration and other issues linked to Muslims. Filip Dewinter, head of Belgium’s Vlaams Belang, said he wanted to change zoning laws there to ban “buildings that damage the cultural identity of the surrounding neighbourhood”. At the same time, the consensus reaction from politicians and the press across Europe today was critical of the Swiss vote.

Most excited calls for more action come from fringe parties that the majority parties keep at a distance (except the Northern League, which is part of Silvio Berlusconi’s government in Italy). Referendums are not as easy to stage in other European countries and are even banned in Germany, where the team of Hitler and Goebbels used them before 1933 to rally support for the Nazi Party.

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

How Much Allah Can the Old Continent Bear?

Switzerland’s recent vote to ban the construction of new minarets has shocked and angered Muslims around the world. But the controversial move also reflects a growing sense of unease among other Europeans who have trouble coming to terms with Islam’s increased visibility.

In the small Swiss town of Langenthal, the battle over the minarets has been fought, and there seems to be no hope of reconciliation between the victors and the vanquished. “I feel abused and injured as a person,” says Mutalip Karaademi. “We wanted to hit a symbol,” says Daniel Zingg, “and we hit it.”

Zingg has prevented the minaret that Karaademi wanted to build, and has managed to make it illegal for any other minarets to be built in Switzerland. He was one of the authors of the referendum that was passed by the Swiss on Nov. 29 with 57.5 percent of the votes. The constitution will now contain the following sentence: “The building of minarets is banned.”

The Swiss decision has shocked Europe and the world because its ramifications go far beyond the building of minarets — they also concern the identity of an entire continent. This was a referendum on Western society’s perception of Islam as a threat. The issue is generating intense debate: Just how much of Islam is predominantly Christian Europe prepared to accept? The decision by the otherwise so tolerant Alpine country reveals the deep-seated fear of an Islam that is becoming increasingly visible.

Are Muslim immigrants threatening European values? This is a concern shared by many Europeans across the continent. Surveys last week revealed that 44 percent of Germans oppose the construction of minarets, followed by 41 percent of the French. Fifty-five percent of all Europeans see Islam as an intolerant religion.

Does the Swiss vote reveal an attitude that a majority in Europe would also support if given the opportunity?

Vehement Criticism

This would also explain why criticism of the vote was so vehement. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the United Nations and the Vatican were all equally up in arms. They said that the Swiss vote violated the principles of freedom of religion and non-discrimination. Turkey’s EU minister called on Muslims to invest their money in Turkey instead of Switzerland, and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it reflects “an increasingly racist and fascist stance in Europe.”

But the vote was welcomed and cheered in comments on some Internet blogs, and right-wing populists like the head of the Dutch Party for Freedom, Geert Wilders, and France’s far-right National Front party voiced their approval. Roberto Castelli, a top politician in Italy’s Northern League said: “The Swiss have once again given us a lesson in civilization. We have to send a strong signal to stop pro-Islamic ideology.”

For the time being, what has been stopped is the minaret of the Islamic religious community in Langenthal. Mutalip Karaademi, 51, an ethnic Albanian who emigrated from Macedonia 26 years ago, is standing in front of the building used by his religious association, a former paint factory on the outskirts of town. There is a wooden construction on top measuring 6.1 meters (20 feet) It shows the height of the planned minaret, the first one that cannot be built.

Karaademi is the leader of the local Islamic community, whose 130 members come from Albania, Kosovo and Macedonia. The small mosque has been here for 18 years. At the outset the minaret wasn’t so important, says Karaademi. It was simply an ornamental addition. But now it’s a matter of principle. He wants to take legal action — if necessary going all the way to the European Court of Human Rights, where it is very possible that the judges in Strasbourg will end up reversing the Swiss constitutional decision. He loves Switzerland, this model country, says Karaademi. But this ban is “racist and discriminating against us,” a scandal for the civilized world.

One Man’s Battle

The quiet winner of this battle is Daniel Zingg, 53, a balding man with wire-rimmed glasses. He’s sitting in a pizzeria across from the railway station in Langenthal and speaking in a hoarse whisper. The minarets, those “spearheads of the Sharia,” those “signs of territory newly conquered by Islam,” can no longer be built, he says, and thus the Swiss have solved a problem that has already become seemingly intractable elsewhere, such as in the large cities of England and France. It’s a well-known fact that first come the minarets, then the muezzins, with their calls to prayer, the burqas and finally Sharia law, he says. According to Zingg, the ban is not directed against Muslims, although it is naturally true that “the Koran gives (people) the mission to Islamize the world, and the Muslims here have no other mission, otherwise they would not be Muslims.”

For the past 15 years, Zingg has been giving lectures in support of Israel and against Islam. He’s a politician with the ultraconservative Christian party, the Federal Democratic Union, which received 1.3 percent of the vote in the last election. He has never set foot in the mosque in his town because he has heard that anyone who walks barefoot in one becomes a Muslim. Zingg doesn’t want to take that risk.

One might wonder how a man like this, whose radical views certainly do not reflect the majority opinion in Switzerland, was able to win a majority for his cause…

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]

Iran Consul in Oslo Quits Over Tehran Crackdown

The Iranian consul general in the Norwegian capital Oslo has resigned in protest against Tehran’s violent repression of opposition demonstrators, public television NRK said Wednesday.

“It was the Iranian authorities’ treatment of demonstrators around Christmas which made me realize that my conscience would not allow me to continue in my job,” Mohammed Reza Heydari said in comments published on NRK’s website.

According to NRK, Heydari had been posted in Oslo for three years.

The Iranian embassy denied the report, insisting that the consul’s term had simply come to an end about a month ago.

“His mission has been over for a month and his successor has arrived two weeks ago. We reject the news,” an embassy spokesman told AFP.

However Heydari is according to the consulate still in Oslo “on holiday.”

“Sometimes they stay longer in the country where they served as diplomats for various reasons, including waiting for the end of school semesters of their children,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Reuters.

Employee satisfaction

The former Iranian consul in Dubai, Adadel Asadi, who himself received asylum in Sweden told Al that the Iranian foreign ministry is currently facing widespread employee dissatisfaction.

According to Asadi this is mainly due to many members of the intelligence service or the elite Revolutionary guards being appointed to diplomatic positions despite not having the required experience, causing an atmosphere of resentment in the ministry.

Asadi also said that when Iranian diplomats live abroad, many of them develop a different perspective on both life and politics. According to the former diplomat, some begin to compare the political system in their host countries to the regime in the Islamic Republic.

In 2001 Asadi, who served as MP for the south western city of Ahwaz four terms in a row, was forced to seek political asylum in Sweden after revealing highly sensitive information regarding the finances of the Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, the Revolutionary Guards as well as the country’s intelligence service.

In the bloodiest unrest since the aftermath of a disputed June presidential poll, eight people were killed on Dec. 27 and over 40 reformist figures, including four advisers to opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi, have been arrested since then.

The opposition says the vote was rigged to secure President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election. The authorities deny the accusations, which they say were part of a Western-orchestrated plot to overthrow the Islamic system.

On Tuesday Iran’s interior minister warned opposition activists they risk execution if they continue anti-government demonstrations.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Iranian Diplomat in Norway ‘Resigns Over Protests’

An Iranian diplomat in Oslo has resigned in protest at his government’s crackdown on opposition supporters, Norwegian media have reported.

Norway’s NRK TV quotes Iranian consul Mohammed Reza Heydari as saying the treatment of protesters last month made him realise he “couldn’t continue”.

Opposition websites in Iran say he has defected and is seeking asylum.

But Iran dismissed the report as baseless, saying the diplomat’s tenure had ended and he would return to Iran.

“A diplomat returns to the country when his mission is finished in another country,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told Reuters.

He said diplomats sometimes stayed on longer in a country for person reasons.

At least eight people died in clashes with police during anti-government protests in Tehran at the end of December.

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry told Reuters news agency it was aware of the reported resignation but not been officially contacted.

The protest began after President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s controversial re-election in June and have grown into the biggest challenge to the government since the 1979 Islamic revolution.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

Netherlands: Race Riots Lead to Emergency Measures in Culemborg

Two nights of riots between youths of Moroccan and Moluccan background have led to a police lock-down in the Terweijde neighbourhood. It’s typical of ‘young male syndrome’ says a riot-expert with 25 years experience. New Year’s Eve is a time for feasting and fighting.

Race rioting has led to emergency measures in the Dutch city of Culemborg. The Terweijde district is on police lock-down after two episodes of violence between youths of Moroccan origin and others of Moluccan (Indonesian) background. Yesterday, Terweijde was cordoned off by police and strict security measures installed. A hundred officers are preventing outsiders from entering, gatherings of over three people are banned, and CCTV cameras are monitoring all movements. The measures will stay in place for at least two weeks, officials have announced.

The riots began on New Years Eve when a car drove into a group of Moluccans in the front garden of a house in Terweijde. Several of them were hurt. Two of the five men in the car, all between 18 and 21 years old, were attacked by bystanders. In the rioting that followed, windows were smashed and several people wounded. One girl, the daughter of a Moluccan mother and Dutch father, ended up in hospital with concussion when a stone entered their home.

Police say about a hundred youngsters, fifty of them Moroccan and fifty Moluccan, were involved. Five young men were arrested, four Moroccans and one Moluccan, including the driver of the car, who was charged with attempted manslaughter. On Saturday, a 43-year old man was also arrested on suspicion of involvement. According to a police spokesman, two of the suspects were from other parts of The Netherlands.

Mayor helpless to stop violence

On Sunday night, the violence flared up again. More police were despatched to Terweijde and a seventh arrest was made. Now, with just as many police officers in Terweijde as rioters, and riot police on hand, the district has calmed down. But the mayor of Culemborg said yesterday he feels ‘helpless’. These measures won’t address the deeper issues in Terweijde, which have plagued the city administration for a long time. The behaviour of some of the youths is so ‘intolerable’ there’s no point even talking to them.

‘It’s a cat and mouse game. Once the police withdraw, something new takes place,’ he said.

“Terweijde is governed by a street culture in which legal punishment is a status symbol,’ added police chief Henk van Zwam. So arrests don’t solve the problems there.

The mayor believes the problems have arisen from a policy to house both Moroccans and Moluccans in the same district. Moluccans, who were some of the earliest migrants to the Netherlands, were given their own neighbourhood in Terweijde in the early 1960s, But soon after, Moroccans were also allowed to settle in the neighbourhood. Now, about two thousand people of Moroccan background and one thousand of Moluccan origin are part of the 27,000 strong community of Culemborg.

Typical of young men?

But behavioural scientist Otto Adang sees the riots as simply a typical example of what is known in the field as ‘young male syndrome’ during New Year’s Eve celebrations. A lecturer in public order and control at the police academy in Apeldoorn, he points out there were 2,500 incidents reported to the police, and 940 people were arrested during this year’s New Year’s Eve festivities. It’s traditionally a time when people party with friends or fight with enemies.

“It’s all about prestige,” he said in an interview. “That’s why they play this cat-and-mouse game with the riot police. Wherever the riot police appears, groups of youngsters materialise till the fighting begins again. They keep looking at each other to see what the reaction is to their attacks. It isn’t blind aggression. They choose to get involved.”

“In general, few people choose to get involved in violence, a half to one percent of the population. That choice might seem irrational, but it isn’t senseless in its own context. Riots are a means of getting prestige and status in their circles. Once they throw a stone at a window they wait for the reaction from others. You can easily recognise young men who are seeking confrontation like that. If there is a party, they don’t party. They are looking for something else.”

He believes the police has taken the right action regarding the rioters. Sit on them and keep them apart. That doesn’t solve the problem but it’s necessary. In the longer term, it is necessary to examine whether there are real grievances among these groups of young people. Some kind of reconciliation between them has to be arranged, probably by the mayor. But he also thinks the police should be more effective in preventing riots on New Years Eve. They need to have intelligence units looking to see where riots are likely to break out.

“You have to prepare for the New Year hooligans,” he says, “using information on risk-locations and risk-groups, and working in cooperation with people in those neighbourhoods. At the moment, city governments invent the wheel every year at New Year’s Eve. They have to recognise that this is a risk-event. They have to be realistic about it, and banish the phrase ‘quiet New Year’s Eve’ from their thoughts. “

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

Netherlands: ‘Ethnic Riots Are Acquiring National Character’

CULEMBORG, 06/01/10 — The riots between Moluccans and Moroccans in Culembourg municipality are threatening to grow into a national conflagration, according to De Telegraaf newspaper.

Moroccans and Moluccans from other parts of the Netherlands have indicated they will come to the Terweijde district in Culemborg to support their own group and to be ready for a possible pitched battle. Groups of other backgrounds, such as football hooligans, are also challenging each other on the Internet to a confrontation in the relatively small municipality, according to the newspaper.

While clashes have broken out now and again between the two ethnic groups in Culembourg for years, the flames appear to be hard to quench since five Moroccan youths drove into a 15 year old Moluccan girl, Shoela Coenmans, in a car at the turn of the year. She apparently reported to the police two days earlier seeing a Moroccan youth setting a car on fire.

A number of streets have been barricaded off with concrete enclosures. These are intended to prevent fresh ‘troops’ of both camps from entering from outside the village. “Stay out of Terweijde!” warned Mayor Roland van Schelvenmaandagavond in an emotional plea.

Within the district, a ban on assemblies of four or more persons is in force for the next two weeks. Van Schelven is not having any arrests made for now. But he is calling on parents to keep the rioting youngsters off the streets.

The police did make 14 arrests in Culemborg last week, including the five Moroccans that were in the car. Of these, only the driver is still in custody. Two men arrested for serious assault are also still locked up.

Home Affairs Minister Ter Horst hopes to solve the problems by appointing three social workers. She made a subsidy of 150,000 euros available yesterday for these ‘street coaches.’ The intention is for both ethnic communities to choose the street coaches themselves from their midst.

The Moluccan residents have no confidence in Ter Horst and the mayor. They are maintaining a 10-man neighbourhood watch in the district themselves. At the end of last year, a ‘flying brigade’ of sociologists had already been sent to the municipality.

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

Q. Elizabeth Launched at Monfalcone, New ‘Queen of the Seas’

(ANSAmed) — MONFALCONE (GORIZIA, ITALY), JANUARY 5 — The Fincantieri works at Monfalcone in north-eastern Italy has today witnessed the launch of the cruise ship “Queen Elizabeth”, commissioned by the British shipping line Cunard Line. The vessel, which has been dubbed the ship of the year, is 294 metres in length and a tonnage of 90,400 tonnes. It boasts 1,046 cabins with room for more than 2,500 passenger guests, along with a staff and crew of over one thousand to cater for them. The Queen Elizabeth will be handed over to Cunard in the autumn. In accordance with ancient sea-going tradition, the launch was preceded by the “coin ceremony”, with the placing of three coins, one dating from 1938, the year of the launch of the first Queen Elizabeth, one from 1967, when the Queen Elizabeth II was launched, and the third dating 2010, the year of the new “Queen of the Seas”. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scotland: ‘Anthrax Heroin’ Cases Spreading

Health officials believe contaminated heroin — thought to be responsible for cases of anthrax in Glasgow — may be circulating elsewhere in Scotland.

It comes after the death of two more drug users with the infection in Glasgow and Tayside.

A total of 11 cases have now been confirmed in Tayside, Glasgow and Lanarkshire with five fatalities.

Test results are being awaited from a female patient in Fife who is currently under investigation for anthrax.

The 11 confirmed cases of anthrax occurred in a male patient in NHS Tayside, three male patients in NHS Lanarkshire and four men and three women in NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde.

‘Potentially dangerous’

Health officials believe that contaminated heroin or a contaminated cutting agent mixed with the heroin may be responsible for the infections.

Dr Colin Ramsay, consultant epidemiologist at Health Protection Scotland, said: “Evidence now suggests that potentially contaminated heroin may be in circulation in other parts of Scotland, not just the Glasgow area.

“All heroin users need to be aware of the risks contaminated heroin is potentially dangerous taken by any route, not just injection.

“I would advise heroin users to stop using heroin and seek advice from local harm reduction and drug services for support.”

           — Hat tip: 4symbols [Return to headlines]

UK: BBC Trust to Review Science Coverage Amid Claims of Bias Over Climate Change, Mmr Vaccine and GM Foods

The BBC’s governing body has launched a major review of its science coverage after complaints of bias notably in its treatment of climate change.

The BBC Trust today announced it would carry out the probe into the ‘accuracy and impartiality’ of its output in this increasingly controversial area.

The review comes after repeated criticism of the broadcaster’s handling of green issues. It has been accused of acting like a cheerleader for the theory that climate change is a man-made phenomenon.

Critics have claimed that it has not fairly represented the views of sceptics of the widely-held belief that humans are responsible for environmental changes such as global warming.

The investigation will also focus on coverage of issues like genetically modified foods, the MMR vaccine and the way it reports on new technologies.

It will scrutinise the way the BBC has handled scientific findings on areas which affect ‘public policy’ and are ‘matters of political controversy’.

A scientific expert will be hired to lead the review and it will concentrate on coverage of the issues featured in its news and factual output.

The corporation’s Royal Charter and Agreement requires that the BBC covers controversial subjects with due impartiality.

The new report will not just include the natural sciences but also aspects of technology, medicine and the environment that include scientific findings or claims.

Richard Tait, BBC Trustee and chair of the governing body’s Editorial Standards Committee (ESC), said: ‘Science is an area of great importance to licence fee payers, which provokes strong reaction and covers some of the most sensitive editorial issues the BBC faces.

‘Heated debate in recent years around topics like climate change, GM crops and the MMR vaccine reflects this, and BBC reporting has to steer a course through these controversial issues while remaining impartial.

‘The BBC has a well-earned reputation for the quality of its science reporting, but it is also important that we look at it afresh to ensure that it is adhering to the very high standards that licence fee payers expect.’

The review will be launched in the spring and the findings of the probe will be published in 2011.

The BBC is planning to raise the profile of science this year with a focus on the genre across television, radio and online.

But there has been a string of rows in recent years over the way it has handled a number of scientific issues.

Last year a leading climate change sceptic claimed his views had been deliberately misrepresented by the BBC.

Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher, said he had been made to look like a ‘potty peer’ on a TV programme that ‘was a one-sided polemic for the new religion of global warming’.

In 2007 the then editor of Newsnight hit out at the BBC’s stance on climate change.

Peter Barron said it was ‘not the corporation’s job to save the planet’. His comments were backed up by other senior news executives who feared the BBC was ‘leading’ the audience, rather than giving them ‘information’.

Mr Barron had claimed the BBC had gone beyond its remit by planning an entire day of programmes dedicated to highlighting environmental fears.

His comments had come after the broadcaster had already been accused of not being objective on green issues and of handing over the airwaves to campaigners. In 2007 it had devoted a whole day of programming to the Live Earth concerts.

The BBC then decided to scrap the Comic Relief-style TV event on climate change amid fears it would make it look biased.

In the past the BBC has also been attacked over other scientific issues. It was accused by an adviser of adding to the hysteria about genetically modified crops with factual errors and bad science.

The expert claimed that makers of thriller Fields of Gold, starring Anna Friel, had ignored his advice when he pointed out factual errors in 2002.

More recently flagship current affairs programme Panorama was found to have broken editorial guidelines in a programme about the potential health hazards of wi-fi.

The BBC’s editorial complaints unit said in 2007 that the programme ‘gave a misleading impression of the state of scientific opinion on the issue’.

In 2006 scientists accused the corporation of ‘quackery’ in a programme which they claimed attempted to exaggerate the power of alternative medicine.

Earlier this year former BBC newsreader Peter Sissons claimed it was now ‘effectively BBC policy’ to stifle critics of the consensus view on global warming.

Mr Sissons said: ‘I believe I am one of a tiny number of BBC interviewers who have so much as raised the possibility that there is another side to the debate on climate change.

‘The Corporation’s most famous interrogators invariably begin by accepting that “the science is settled”, when there are countless reputable scientists and climatologists producing work that says it isn’t.’

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

UK: Hate Cleric on £25k Benefits

A FATHER whose soldier son was killed in Afghanistan lashed out last night at the huge state handouts given to rabble-rousing Anjem Choudary.

The Muslim cleric’s untaxed income of £25,740 is thousands more than 21-year-old gunner Jack Sadler was earning before he was blown up by a roadside bomb.

And Jack’s outraged dad Ian, 60, said: “These lads don’t get paid what they deserve because they sacrifice so much. Choudary just doesn’t deserve the money full stop.

“Whose team is he cheering for anyway? It’s appalling there are young soldiers out there serving Queen and country and they’re getting a pittance while this man takes his handouts. It’s wrong these people’s lives are being subsidised. It’s utterly galling.”

The new storm surrounding hate-filled Choudary erupted as the bodies of two more fallen heroes were repatriated.

Rifleman Aidan Howell, 19, of Desborough, Northants, was killed in a bomb blast in Helmand province on December 28.

Sapper David Watson, 23, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, died on New Year’s Eve after an explosion in Sangin.

Jack, who dreamed of becoming an Army officer, was killed days before Christmas in 2007.

Ian, of Exmouth, Devon, said the Honourable Artillery Company trooper “went to Afghanistan for an adventure — but also to serve”.

The dad added: “When I think of Choudary it beggars belief. Don’t forget my son paid taxes, too. But this man is just biting the hand that feeds him. He doesn’t treat this as his country.”

British-born father-of-four Choudary is notoriously vague about whether he works or has other money coming in.

He is understood to be employed by a Muslim organisation on a shoestring wage, which allows him to claim income support and free time to spread his hatred.

Asked if he worked during a radio interview this week, he replied: “Well, what I do is my business. I don’t think it is important.”

Choudary lives in a smart £320,000 house thought to be owned by an associate or relative whose home is on the same street in Leytonstone, East London. But his rent is paid by Waltham Forest Council.

The university-educated cleric does not claim incapacity benefit, meaning he has no physical problem preventing him from finding a better-paid job.

A benefits official said: “Choudary and his family enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in a smart home paid for by the taxes of hard- working British people appalled by his loathsome views.

“It’s shocking he gets more than a soldier risking his life.” Choudary’s benefits also vastly outstrip those given to war widow Shelly Dempsey, whose corporal husband Barry, 29, was killed in Helmand in August.

Shelly, 28, receives a widow’s pension and handouts for fatherless children Andie, five, and Charlie, four, totalling £1,670 a month.

The mum, of Edinburgh, said: “Choudary makes me sick. What he’s doing is so disrespectful.” Choudary fanned the flames of controversy again yesterday by saying he would cancel his proposed march through Wootton Bassett as long as Gordon Brown took part in a TV debate with banned extremist Omar Bakri.

The PM has called the parade plan “abhorrent”. Bakri, in exile in Lebanon, yesterday branded British troops “murderers”.

Choudary shared a platform at a Muslim rally in London in 2002 with Bakri and fellow hate cleric Abu Hamza, now in jail.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

UK: Phobic Hate Cleric Gets £25,000 in Benefits

Homophobic and anti-British Muslim Anjem Choudary receives over £25,000 in benefits every year, it was revealed today.

According to The Sun, the father-of-four receives over £15,000 in housing benefit, to live in a £320,000 house in Leytonstone, East London. The cleric is also given a £1,820 council tax allowance, £5,200 in income support and £3,120 in child benefits, totalling £25,740.

By contrast, a private fighting the Taliban in the Afghan badlands is paid a basic £16,680 — or £13,430 after tax.

Choudary, who lives in a £350,000 East-London home, also has his rent paid for by Waltham Forest Council.

The 47-year-old is understood to be employed by a Muslim organisation on a shoestring wage, which allows him to claim income support and free time to spread his hatred.

Asked if he worked during a radio interview this week, he replied: “Well, what I do is my business. I don’t think it is important.”

A benefits official said: “Choudary and his family enjoy a comfortable lifestyle in a smart home paid for by the taxes of hard- working British people appalled by his loathsome views.

“It’s shocking he gets more than a soldier risking his life.”

Last year, Choudary and his group — Islam4UK — said they would happily kill Peter Mandelson, simply for being gay.

At a sinister press conference held in London in March 2009, he detailed how he would deal with the Business Secretary if Britain was ruled under Sharia law.

Speaking to the media, he said Lord Mandelson should be re-educated about the “evils” of homosexuality — but would be executed if he confessed to a queer relationship.

He added: “If a man likes another man, it can happen. But if you go on to fulfil your desire, there is a punishment to follow.

“Some people are attracted to donkeys but that does not mean it is right.”

The fundamentalist sect, which aims to turn Britain into a Sharia state, previously compared Brit soldiers to the 2005 London suicide bombers, saying: “People say the soldiers were just doing their job.

“But the same could be said of the 7/7 attackers because they were following the orders of Sheikh Osama bin Laden. We will keep calling for the truth until it is established or we are killed.”

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

North Africa

Egypt: NCHR Segretary Says No to Discussing Religion in Media

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JANUARY, 5 — Secretary General of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), Ambassador Mokhles Qotb, warned today of dangers of discussing religion and beliefs in the media, saying such debates harmed citizenship and deepened tension, MENA news agency reported. The committee for citizenship and human rights at the Egyptian Radio and Television has proposed to stop discussions on religious matters in the media and to focus instead on common principles between religions, he said. It also proposed holding a round table for radio and television leaderships and staff as well as private channels to discuss ethical principles in the coverage of such issues, he said. Qotb, who heads the citizenship committee at the radio and television, said the committee has adopted a proposal by Samir Morkos, one of its members, to stop religious debate and harmful and blasphemous remarks by some people in the media as part of respecting each other’s beliefs. Freedom of speech does not mean insulting the other side or feeling superior over the other, he said. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Gaza: Galloway Convoy, Protest Over Missing Permits

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JANUARY 5 — More hurdles were met by the convoy of humanitarian assistance headed for Gaza that has been set up by British MP George Galloway. All mission participants flew into the city of Arish, where aid had already been delivered by sea, after the authorities denied access to the port of Nuweiba on the Red Sea, but reportedly 14 of the were notified an Israeli veto forbidding them to enter the Strip. Furthermore, of the approximately 200 means of transport for this assistance, 65 apparently did not meet security criteria and were not granted access to the Strip. In the meantime it has become known that the Rafah pass will remain open for a fourth day. The approximately 530 activists organised a protest march in Arish, thereby delaying the departure for Rafah, some 50 kilometres away. Yesterday Galloway had already announced the intention of leading the entire convoy into Gaza in a single go. The cargo includes, in particular, medicines and advanced medical equipment, whose declared value amounts to approximately 8 million dollars. The convoy, which carries assistance offered by European and Arab countries and by Turkey, departed from London on December 6 and was scheduled to arrive in Gaza on December 27. Named Life-Line 3, it is the third convoy sponsored by Galloway and a fourth is expected to follow, as announced by Galloway himself, led by Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez and leaving from Cape Town. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Protest Against Pilgrimage, Three Arrests Yesterday

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, JANUARY 5 — Today’s demonstration in Damanhur, set up by the protest movement against the annual pilgrimage of Jewish faithful and rabbis to the sepulchre of the rabbi of Moroccan descent Yaakov Abuhatzera, or Abu Hassira, took place without incident. But in the meantime it has been learnt that yesterday three of the promoters of the protest, who belong to the Kefaya (Enough) opposition movement, were arrested in virtue of the state of emergency that has been in force in Egypt since 1981 because they were handing out leaflets. The demonstration was joined by approximately 100 participants, which included members of liberal party Al Ghad (Tomorrow), pro-nasser nationalists, and moderate party Al Karama (Dignity). (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Israel and the Palestinians

‘Arab Intimidation Forces’ Divide Jerusalem

U.S. ally has apparatus to clamp down on anyone who sells property to Jews

JERUSALEM — An Israeli court yesterday convicted a suspected agent of the Palestinian Authority for attempting to kidnap an Israeli Arab accused of selling property in Jerusalem to Jews.

Abdullah Khader, a Palestinian who had been living in eastern Jerusalem, received 11 months in prison for the attempted kidnapping.

Israeli security officials familiar with the case told WND yesterday the indictment, which has not been released to the public, accuses Khader of working on behalf of Osama Mansour, an adviser to PA President Mahmoud Abbas.

           — Hat tip: JD [Return to headlines]

E. Jerusalem: Jewish Quarter Planned on Mount Olives

(ANSAmed) — JERUSALEM, JANUARY 5 — The Israeli presence in East Jerusalem continues to spread. According to the newspaper Maariv, yesterday the Commission for Jerusalem Municipal Urban Planning approved the construction on the Mount of Olives of the first nucleus of what is to become a Jewish quarter. Maariv reported that near the Palestinian quarter A-Tur on the Mount of Olives, the rabbinical school Beit Dorot has been operating for 20 years. In the immediate vicinity four buildings will rise where 24 Jewish families are to make their homes. The newspaper noted that it is only the first phase of a wider-ranging construction of a Jewish quarter. In an interview with military radio, a top-ranked member of the Jerusalem town council, Elisha Peled, said that the initiative was being carried out “within the Israeli legal framework” and with full authorisation from mayor Nir Barkat. Peled added that Premier Benyamin Netanyahu was not involved in any phase of the initiative. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Militant Dead in Israeli Air Raid

(ANSAmed) — GAZA, JANUARY 6 — An Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip last night has left one Palestinian militant dead and three more injured, health officials and a Palestinian militant group informed. The Israeli armed forces refused to comment on the first clash between Israelis and Palestinians in 2010. According to hospital sources in Gaza, the Israeli raid targeted the small town of Khan Yunis. One of the five Palestinians injured in the attack eventually died of the wounds sustained. The al Nasser Sallah e-Din Brigades, a Palestinian armed group, first reported the attack announcing the death of one of its militants. A spokesman for the Israeli military confirmed the strike without providing further details. Air strikes are usually carried out in response to rocket launches from Gaza into Israel. Most of the recent Israeli bombings targeted tunnels built to bypass border blockades. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Middle East

China Again Rejects UN Sanctions Against Iran

China’s ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Yesui, has said the time is not right to consider more sanctions against Iran.

The UN Security Council, including China, has previously called for Iran to stop enriching uranium and has issued three sets of sanctions.

Iran’s leaders insist their atomic programme is only meant for energy-generating purposes.

But the US and its allies fear Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons.

China has the presidency of the UN Security Council during January, and is one of its five permanent veto-holders.

Timing tangle

Mr Zhang told reporters at the UN that “more time and patience” was needed to find a diplomatic solution to the impasse.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

Transport: Turkey’s Air Carrier to Buy 20 Planes From Airbus

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA — Turkey’s national air carrier, the Turkish Airlines (THY), has placed a firm order for 14 Airbus A321-200 6 Airbus A319-100 passenger planes, the company said Monday in a regulatory filing. The air carrier said it also placed an optional order for the purchase of 10 Airbus A319/A321 passenger planes. Fourteen A321-200s and six A319-100s are expected to be delivered to the THY in 2011 and 2012 as A319/A321s are scheduled for 2013. The value of the orders was not immediately available, as Anatolia news agency reported. THY is one of the fastest growing carriers in Europe. The Istanbul-based airline is using Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport as a hub for flights to Europe, Asia and Africa in partnership with the Star Alliance group of airlines. Passengers at THY grew 10.1% to 18.6 million in the first nine months of 2009. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Turkmenistan Opens New Iran Gas Pipeline

Turkmenistan has opened a second gas pipeline to Iran, further eroding Russia’s historical domination of its energy sector.

The new pipeline will eventually more than double Turkmenistan’s annual gas exports to Iran to 20bn cubic metres.

With a pipeline to China that opened last month, sales to Russia will be a much smaller proportion of exports.

The EU also wants to build a gas link that bypasses Russia, which for now remains the main buyer of Turkmen gas.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the new 30km (19 miles) pipeline with Turkmen President Kurbanguly Berdymukhamedov in a ceremony in the desert near the Iranian border.

The two jointly turned a spigot to symbolically open the link, which will deliver gas from the Dovletabad field to Iran’s Khangiran refinery.

“This pipeline will be a good stimulus for energy co-operation between Turkmenistan and Iran, as well as for delivery of Turkmen gas to the Persian Gulf and the world market,” Mr Ahmadinejad said.

The new pipelines have given Turkmenistan more power in negotiations with Russian energy giant Gazprom, which has now had to agree to pay higher prices for Turkmen gas.

Previously, the bulk of Turkmenistan’s gas was transported along Soviet-era pipelines that went through Russia, giving Moscow the power to dictate prices.

Gas supplies to Russia resumed in December after an eight-month dispute over pricing.

Russia will now buy 30bn cubic metres annually, down from 50bn cubic metres before supplies were cut by a pipeline explosion in April.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

South Asia

Afghanistan:14 Terror Suspects Mistakenly Kill Themselves

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) — Fourteen suspected terrorists died Tuesday night when the bus they rigged with explosives blew up prematurely, police said.

The explosion occurred as the suspects were riding the bus in the province of Kunduz, said police chief Abdul Raziq Yaqobi.

Yaqobi said the suspects wanted to attack Afghan police or foreign soldiers.

           — Hat tip: Henrik [Return to headlines]

Triple Agent Was ‘CIA’s Best Hope for Years’

The Jordanian suicide bomber who killed several CIA agents in Afghanistan last week was so highly regarded by Western intelligence that the White House had been told to expect important information from his debriefing, it was reported today.

Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, 36, a Jordanian doctor, had been recommended to the Americans by Jordanian intelligence as a reliable informant spying on the al-Qaeda leadership, according to the New York Times.

He was seen by the CIA and the US Administration as the American intelligence agencies’ best hope of tracking down Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the leaders of al-Qaeda.

This would explain why there were eight people present in the room with Mr al-Balawi to hear his debriefing. According to former CIA officials, debriefings are usually attended by only one or two intelligence staff.

“He had provided information that checked out, about people in al-Qaeda whom he had access to,” a senior intelligence official, told the newspaper. “This was one of the agency’s most promising efforts.”

In fact, al-Balawi was not a double but a triple agent, leading an extraordinary life on the frontline of America’s war against militant Islam.

An investigation by The Times has revealed that the trainee doctor was an open and public supporter of al-Qaeda, and that his months of secret work for Jordanian intelligence, feeding a stream of information about low-level al-Qaeda operatives to his handler, was a means to establish his credibility.

On December 30 al-Balawi arrived at Forward Operating Base Chapman in Khost province near the Pakistan border. He was trusted sufficiently to be allowed past a security checkpoint without being searched.

He detonated explosives strapped to his body and killed four CIA agents, three CIA security officers, and his Jordanian handler, Ali bin Zaid, an army captain and distant cousin of King Abdullah II of Jordan. The King, his wife, and other members of the Jordanian royal family attended Mr bin Zaid’s funeral on Friday.

The chain of events began a few months ago, when al-Balawi contacted Jordan’s spy agency, the General Intelligence Department (GID), with tips that proved valuable. A Jordanian official admitted yesterday that the information on al-Qaeda operatives in the kingdom had “allowed us to abort a terrorist operation that would have threatened the security and stability of our country”.

On the face of it al-Balawi seemed a valuable recruit…

           — Hat tip: 4symbols [Return to headlines]

Far East

Chinese Academia Ghost-Writing ‘Widespread’

More than $100m (£63m) changes hands in China every year for ghost-written academic papers, according to research by a Chinese university.

The study, by Wuhan University, says Chinese academics and students often buy and sell scientific papers to swell publications lists.

Many of the purported authors never write the papers they sign.

China ranks second behind the United States by number of academic papers published every year.

In a country desperate to catch up with the developed world in science and technology, academic hacking has cast a shadow over its long-term innovative potential, according to BBC China analyst Shirong Chen.

Wake-up call

The market in buying and selling scientific papers has grown five-fold in the past three years.

Some hard-up masters or doctorate students are making a living by churning out papers for others. Others mass-produce scientific papers in order to get monetary rewards from their institutions.

Two lecturers from central China were sacked late last month after it was discovered that they had falsified 70 papers in two years.

Critics say part of the problem lies in the official requirement on academic publication for degrees and job promotions.

But the root cause lies in the erosion of an academic code of conduct, our correspondent says.

As the country is still debating why no scholars from mainland China have won the Nobel Prize, the latest study serves as a wake-up call for the country to clean up its act, he adds.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

N. Korea Began Uranium Program Soon After 1994 Deal

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea appears to have started a uranium enrichment program soon after it agreed in a 1994 deal with the U.S. to dismantle its existing plutonium nuclear weapons program, South Korea’s foreign minister said Wednesday.

Foreign Minister Yu Myung-hwan’s remark, if accurate, suggests North Korea had no intention of giving up its atomic ambitions when it signed the 1994 pact that defused an earlier crisis over its plutonium-based bomb program.

Suspicions about a North Korean uranium program touched off a new nuclear standoff in 2002, when a U.S. official said the North privately admitted having such a secret program.

North Korea has long rejected the uranium allegations. But in an attempt to further escalate tensions after its second-ever nuclear test last May, it acknowledged having such a program and said it had succeeded in experimental uranium enrichment. It has not said when the program began.

“It appears the North started the uranium enrichment program right after the 1994 agreement or at least in 1996,” Yu said in an interview with the Yonhap news agency published Wednesday. He did not give specific evidence. His ministry confirmed his remarks.

If North Korea did launch the uranium program so soon after the 1994 deal with the U.S., it would suggest that the program may be more advanced than expected because it was not previously thought to have started so early, Yonhap said.

Yu said, however, that it is unclear how advanced the program is, how much uranium the North has enriched or how much of it has been turned into weapons.

Atomic bombs can be made with highly enriched uranium or plutonium.

Under the 1994 pact with the U.S., North Korea agreed to freeze and ultimately dismantle its nuclear reactor in exchange for economic aid and diplomatic recognition.

The accord fell apart in 2002 when the U.S. accused the North of running a secret uranium enrichment program.

In addition to the uranium program, North Korea is also believed to have enough plutonium for at least half a dozen bombs.

Since 2003, the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea and Russia have engaged North Korea in six-party talks aimed at ending its nuclear programs, but they have been deadlocked for more than a year.

Last month, President Barack Obama’s special envoy visited Pyongyang and the two sides agreed on the need to resume the stalled six-nation talks. But the North did not make a firm commitment on when it would rejoin the negotiations, saying there are still unspecified differences to be resolved.

At the United Nations, China’s ambassador, Zhang Yesui, urged the United States and North Korea on Tuesday to “seize the moment and take positive steps” so that the six-party talks can resume quickly.

The ambassador, who took over the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, called the recent talks between the senior U.S. and North Korean officials a “positive development.”

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]

Sub-Saharan Africa

Denmark Rejects Sudan Note

Sudanese diplomatic criticism of a Danish film-to-be meets no sympathy.

A Sudanese note to the Danish foreign ministry protesting about the film ‘Revenge’ which is currently in the making in Kenya and Denmark, has met no sympathy from Foreign Minister Per Stig Møller who is due to respond officially today.

The film ‘Revenge’, by the Danish film director Susanne Bier, has a backdrop of the war in Sudan’s western region of Darfur. Sudan says the film, which has not yet been released, is anti-Muslim and racist.

“We have freedom of expression in Denmark. Some may get angry at artistic expressions, but that is something we have to accept. If we say that we don’t dare do this or that, we erode our freedoms,” says Stig Møller who adds that he does not know the film.

Stig Møller has previously visited the Darfur region.

““You can interpret motives in many different ways. There is nothing wrong in showing conditions that refugees have to live under. Normally one would be happy because a tiredness that can develop in the world can dissipate through the artistic expression of a film showing life in a refugee camp,” Stig Møller says.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Jobless Kenyans Admit Fighting for Al-Shabab

Two hundred kilometres of desert scrubland populated by nomads herding camels and goats lie between Garissa and Kenya’s border with Somalia.

Around the corrugated-iron shelter where women sell milk each morning from yellow plastic drums, conversation focuses on the encroachment of warring militia and the recent victories of al-Shabab, an Islamist group accused of links to al-Qaeda.

Although the Kenyan government has sent troops to guard the border, people in this region fear that the rebel group has already infiltrated Kenya and is recruiting vulnerable youngsters.

As ethnic Somalis, there is nothing to distinguish the insurgents from their Kenyan neighbours.

Hassan Sherie, who runs an organisation helping unemployed youth, believes they have a sophisticated network of operatives with links to some Koranic schools in Garissa.

He does not think their fundamentalist ideology will attract young Kenyans but says they use generous sums of money as bait.

Cash incentive

It was the offer of $600 (£374) a month that persuaded Abdullah (not his real name) to join.

He was in a group of 20 young men recruited in 2008 at a mosque in Garissa.

“We were jobless. That’s what encouraged us to join al-Shabab,” he says.

“We were told we were fighting a holy war, a jihad, and if you kill supporters of the government you will go to heaven.”

He and his friends were taken across the border where Arab trainers taught them how to use AK47s and bazookas…

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

Nine African Boxers Embrace Islam in Karachi

Moved by the warm hospitality of Pakistani hosts nine African boxers embraced Islam on Tuesday. Currently, the African sportmen are on a tour to Pakistan in order to participate in an International Boxing Tournament at the port city Karachi.

According to media reports, the spokesman of the Pakistan Boxing Federation (PBF) said on Monday that six boxers from Central Africa and three from Cameroon recited Kalma after mufti Mohammad Naeem during a special gathering in the port city of Karachi on Tuesday. All the sportsmen were clad in traditional Pakistani dress on this auspicious occasion.

Newly convert African boxers were given Islamic names Ali Akbar, Mohammad Ali, Taimoor Hussain, Faizur Rehman, Iqbal Hussain, Mohammad Akram, Mohammad Samie, Mohammad Yasir and Mohammad Arshad.

It is pertinent to mention here that Central Africa has sent seven-member team to Pakistan to feature in the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto International Boxing tournament and the team’s manager/coach is already a Muslim.

A PBF official said that they are very much impressed the way they are being treated here during the tournament as well as they are captivated and struck by the behavior of the Muslims in routine life.

The vice-president of the PBF Iqbal Hussain said that the chairman of the football federation of the Central African Republic is also willing to enter into the fold of Muslim Ummah.

“He has shown his willingness to embrace Islam during an interview with a TV channel and it is expected that he will also leave Christianity and enter into Islam,” the PBF official said. He said that it is a great news and great achievement of the boxing tournament being held here.

           — Hat tip: TB [Return to headlines]

Sudan Incites Against New Danish Movie

( A new Danish film portraying the Arab Muslim genocide against Black Africans in Darfur is being compared by the Sudanese government to the anti-Islamist film Fitna and to cartoons of Muhammad published in a Danish newspaper in 2005. The publication of those cartoons of the founder of Islam led to worldwide rioting and ongoing violence, including an attempt this week to kill one of the cartoonists.

A spokesman for Sudan’s foreign ministry called the movie, Hævnen (“The Revenge”; also titled Civilization in English) by Susanne Bier, “racist”. The film “should be seen as a new extension of the notorious Fitna movie and the cartoons which insult the prophet Muhammad,” according to Sudanese officials.

Fitna, a 15-minute film produced by Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, attempts to show the Islamic sources for, and promoters of, jihadist ideology in Europe. The film, released in 2008, led to Wilders being threatened with death and banned from Britain.

An earlier short film, Submission by Theo van Gogh, focused on the suppression of women under Islamic rule. After the film was broadcast in Holland in 2004, van Gogh was shot to death and mutilated by a Muslim assassin, Mohammed Bouyeri.

Bier’s Hævnen is currently being filmed in Kenya and Denmark. It follows the life story of Darfur refugees from Sudan to a town in Denmark. The Danish Fyens Stiftstidende newspaper, which reported on the controversy, said that Hævnen is due to be released in August 2010.

Sudan claims the film will portray “nonexistent conditions”, yet at the same time it will “prolong the war in Darfur.” According to a Sudanese official, the Danish filmmakers paid refugees in Kenya to falsely portray victims of genocide in Sudan.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]


French Councillor Faces Immigrant Smuggling Charges

A French councillor is due to appear in court accused of assisting the smuggling of illegal immigrants into the UK on board a ferry to Portsmouth. Christiane Chocat, 51, a councillor in her home town of Lumigny-Nesles-Ormeaux in France, is charged with concealing 16 Vietnamese immigrants inside a vehicle which arrived on board a ferry at Portsmouth Ferry Port, Hampshire, on October 1 last year.

She is to attend a plea and case management hearing at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Her son, Benjamin Chocat, 20, of Choisy-Le-Roi, France, pleaded guilty to the same offence on Monday and had his case adjourned for sentence until January 29.

They are alleged to have brought a hire van on the Normandy Express ferry from Cherbourg with 16 Vietnamese nationals inside.

The 13 men and three women were alleged to have been hidden behind boxes of shrimp noodles.

The immigrants were detained by Hampshire police and the UK Border Agency and returned to France the same evening.

Chocat and her son were both charged with assisting unlawful entry into a European Member State, contrary to section 25(1) and (6) of the Immigration Act 1971.

           — Hat tip: Sean O’Brian [Return to headlines]

Paris: The Coordination Des Sans Papiers 75

About one hundred people occupied the Basilica of Saint Clotilde in Paris last Wednesday to demand regularization of illegal immigrants. The demonstration, organized by the 9th Collectif des sans-papiers, was peaceful, and the protesters were evicated without any notable incident, by evening. Bahija Benkouka of the 9th CSP says that they tried to leave peacefully.

An orange banner outside the church said “Stop the raids. Close the detention centers. Regularization is a right.”

A white poster said “Jesus defended the stranger. Christian wake up!” alluding to the Pope’s Christmas message where he called for “an attitude of acceptance and welcome” towards all those who “migrate from their homelands and are driven away by hunger, intolerance or environmental degradation.” (FR)

           — Hat tip: Esther [Return to headlines]

Spain Has Winning Policy, Moratinos Says

(ANSAmed) — MADRID, JANUARY 5 — Results concerning the fight against illegal immigration bear witness to the success of Spanish foreign policy. So said today, in a meeting with the foreign press, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos. The minister stated that “From 3,000 illegal landings from Senegal to the Canary Islands registered in 2008, we have moved on to 0 in 2009, while the landing of illegal aliens has dropped by more than half. This result goes beyond the dissuasive effect induced by the recession and it can also be attributed, according to Moratinos, to the Spanish immigration policy, with the implementation of a respectful and jointly responsible relationship with the countries of origin and transit of immigration; the opening of on-site embassies; a policy of development assistance; the fight against poverty; training programmes; local contracting of immigrants; and improved border controls and surveillance. Moratinos pointed out that Spain absorbed almost 3.5 million immigrants and that the increase in unemployment up to approximately 4 million in 2009 is partly due to the growth of the active populations (at a yearly rate of 3.6%), which is also given by the population of foreign origin. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘I Fear for My Grandchildren’ Says Former Archbishop of Canterbury, As He Calls for Christian Values to be Defended

A former Archbishop of Canterbury today revealed he fears for his grandchildren, as he said new immigrants coming to Britain should have an understanding of the country’s Christian heritage.

Lord Carey is part of an alliance of leading public figures demanding immigration to be urgently curbed to stop the population hitting 70million and causing ‘serious harm’ to society.

The cross-party group wants manifesto commitments from Labour and the Conservatives to cut net migration to fewer than 40,000 a year — compared to the current rate of 163,000.

This is the reduction to net migration — the number of immigrants arriving in the UK, minus those leaving — needed to stop the population reaching 70million within the next two decades.

Lord Carey stressed today that he was not calling for a ban on non-Christian immigrants settling in Britain, but warned that if concerns about the level and nature of immigration were not addressed, it simply would play into the hands of the far right British National Party.

‘What I think we must call for is an understanding on the part of those who come into our country that they are coming into one which values parliamentary democracy, which is built upon our Christian heritage,’ he said.

‘They have got to understand our commitment to the English language and espouse it, and they must understand our history.’

‘I worry about my grandchildren. I want this country to carry on being one that values the Christian heritage, but most of all values the democratic standards and all that this country has fought over.’

Other signatories to the report, headed ‘70million is too many’, include Lord Jordan, former president of the Amalgamated Engineering and Electrical Union, Tory MP Peter Bottomley, Labour MP Peter Kilfoyle and the economist Lord Skidelsky.

The document pulls no punches in its warning of the consequences for society if the population hits 70million by 2029, as Whitehall statisticians predict.

It says: ‘We are gravely concerned about the rapid increase in the population of England that is now forecast. We believe that immigration on such a scale will have a significant impact on our public services, our quality of life and on the nature of our society.’

The demand has been issued by the Cross-Party Group on Balanced Migration, chaired jointly by Labour MP Frank Field and Tory MP Nicholas Soames.

The group says it recognises a large reduction in net migration will be difficult to achieve but warns of the danger signals of increasing support for ‘extremist’ political parties.

He added: ‘The statistics indicate that, if we carry on at the rate we are, our country is going to be in deep trouble and this is going to foster social unrest.

Its document continues: ‘Over the last decade or so we have lost control of immigration. It will take several years to put this right.’

The group calls for a clear political decision to restore control over UK borders and to break the ‘almost automatic link’ between entering Britain and later being granted citizenship.

It states ‘We are convinced that failure to take action would be seriously damaging to the future harmony of our society. Nearly a million votes by our fellow citizens for an extremist party amount to a danger sign which must not be ignored.

‘For too long the major political parties have failed to address these issues and the intense, if largely private, concern that they generate throughout our country.

‘If politicians want to rebuild the public’s trust in the political system, they cannot continue to ignore this issue, which matters so much to so many people. The time has come for action.’

The Office for National Statistics suggests the population of the UK will increase from 61.4million in 2008 to hit the 70million mark by 2029.

Looking further ahead to 2034, the population is forecast to grow by 10million, with almost all of the increase in England. Of this rise, 7million will be due to immigration.

In a statement, Mr Field and Mr Soames said: ‘Poll after poll shows the public to be deeply concerned about immigration and its impact on our population.

‘Yet, as we enter the General Election campaign, neither party has promised the British people they will prevent our population hitting 70million.

‘It is time the parties turned their rhetoric into reality by making manifesto commitments.’

Last month, Home Secretary Alan Johnson said the public was being ‘terrorised by the spectre’ of the population hitting 70million.

The Home Secretary said the Office for National Statistics, which has repeatedly made the projection, had been proved wrong in the past.

But he added that, if the politically-sensitive 70million barrier was reached, Britain would ‘cope’ as it is a ‘civilised’ nation.

           — Hat tip: Gaia [Return to headlines]

UK: Carey in Immigrant ‘Values’ Call

Former Archbishop of Canterbury Lord Carey has said immigrants to the UK should have an understanding the country’s Christian heritage.

He is among a group of MPs and peers warning that the population should not be allowed to go beyond 70 million.

Lord Carey said immigration angered many people and could lead to violence, and that the system had to focus more on maintaining “values”.

Labour says the system works, but the Tories want caps on incoming workers.

All the main parties are sceptical about setting population targets which they believe is unrealistic and counter-productive.

Last year the Office for National Statistics said, if current trends continued, the UK population would rise by 10 million to more than 71.6 million by 2033 — the fastest rise in a century.


Two-thirds of that increase would be caused, directly or indirectly, by migration to the UK, it suggested.

The Balanced Migration Group — made up of 20 parliamentarians, including Lord Carey, former Commons Speaker Baroness Boothroyd, five Labour MPs and 10 Conservative MPs — is backing a campaign calling for curbs on immigration.

“ We’ve got to be more outspoken. What I’m calling for is a debate, a debate without any rancour “

Lord Carey told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We are not calling for a ban or anything like that because we value people from abroad.”

“What I think I’m concerned about is not saying we must put a limit on people who are non-Christian populations. That’s not the point. We welcome everybody and that’s always been the generous spirit of the United Kingdom.”

But, he said, immigrants must “understand” the UK’s culture, including parliamentary democracy “which is built upon Christian heritage”, “our commitment to the English language” and an understanding of the country’s history.

The system should not “give preference to any particular group”, he said, but added that points-based immigration could take these cultural aspects into consideration.

‘Competing groups’

Lord Carey added: “If there’s going to be an implementation of that points system, it must focus much more on values rather than religions…

“If there are competing groups wanting to come in, some groups which may have a greater understanding, an espousal to that, may be given preference under a points system, but that’s not what I’m arguing and certainly not what the cross-party group is arguing.”

Lord Carey told BBC Radio 5 live: “We’ve got to be more outspoken. What I’m calling for is a debate, a debate without any rancour.”

He added that immigration was an issue that mattered to “ordinary working-class people” and that it was important to tackle “that kind of resentment which could build and is building up already”.

Lord Carey said too much population growth in the UK could foster “dangerous social conditions”, with some minority ethnic groups, such as young Muslim men, suffering “disproportionate” unemployment.

Labour MP Field and Tory MP Nicholas Soames, the co-chairmen of the migration group, said: “Poll after poll shows the public to be deeply concerned about immigration and its impact on our population.

“It is time parties turned their rhetoric into reality by making manifesto commitments to prevent our population reaching 70 million by 2029.”

70 million ‘unlikely’

The government must “restore control” over the UK’s borders and “break the present almost automatic link between coming to Britain and later gaining citizenship”, the group said.

Cabinet ministers have tried to do more to address public concerns about immigration, saying the issue must not become the preserve of the BNP.

Last November, Gordon Brown promised to “tighten” the UK’s immigration rules by reducing the number of professions which can recruit from outside Europe while making it harder for illegal workers to enter the UK by obtaining student visas.

He said new restrictions were having an effect, adding the 70 million projection was unlikely to materialise.

The Conservatives have said they would keep the government’s points-based system but place an overall annual limit on numbers and try to attract more highly qualified migrants.

The Lib Dems say they would ensure migrants were directed to parts of the country where they are most needed, where they will be welcomed and there are the resources to accommodate them.

Net migration — the number of people who come to live in Britain minus those who leave — fell by more than a third in 2008 but critics say this was driven by eastern Europeans returning home and immigration levels must fall to levels of the early 1990s.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]


How Western Anti-Muslim Bigotry Became Respectable: The Historic Roots of a Newly Resilient Ideology


As scholars who work on the centuries-old Islamic presence in Europe and the continent’s first post-Holocaust genocide against, not coincidently, the Muslims of Bosnia and Herzegovina, we were deeply disturbed but not surprised that an ostensibly tolerant and pluralistic Western democracy like Switzerland would vote by a margin of 57 percent to ban the religious symbol of 400,000 of its Muslim residents because they felt “threatened” by the grand total of four minarets that exist there.

The Swiss referendum was the tip of an iceberg reflecting both deep and age-old historic prejudice against a Muslim presence on the continent as well as a recent concerted ideological campaign to construct Muslims as the “other” on the part of rightwing racist movements in Europe and their fellow travelers in the neo-conservative and Southern Evangelical movements in the US. While secularism and constitutional safeguards for religious freedom are seen as hallmarks of the post-Enlightenment West, Europe and the West have traditionally been far more hostile to religious-cultural pluralism than Buddhist, Confucian, Hindu and Islamic societies, which historically viewed religious and cultural heterogeneity and pluralism as the natural order of things. This historic reality explains to a large degree why, in contrast to Europe, such religious diversity survived into the modern era in these societies, albeit not always harmoniously. Indeed, the famous thesis of the Belgian historian Henri Pirenne was that the very notion of “Christendom” or “the West” first emerged from the ruins of classical civilization in opposition to northern pagans and southern Muslim and Jewish infidels whose presence in Europe was actually coterminous with the spread of the Holy Roman Empire and Church in large areas of the continent.

While Paris was a collection of mud huts, Muslim Cordoba in the 10th century was the largest and grandest city in Europe with massive public baths, libraries, universities, underground sewers and even street lighting, which predated that of London by 700 years. Recent academic contributions by David Levering Lewis, Maria Rosa Menocal and Michael Hamilton Morgan have underscored how the uniquely tolerant multicultural civilization of Muslim Spain and the Levant played a central role in preserving and enhancing the philosophic and scientific legacy of Greece, Persia, India and China, directly laying the foundation of the European Renaissance itself. However, from neo- conservative ideologues such as Geert Wilders and Christopher Caldwell to Dutch and Austro-German politicians, conveniently forgetting the Ottoman origins of their tulips and kaffee kultur, the centuries-long European Muslim historic and cultural legacy has invariably been presented as transient and alien. Constructed as “aliens” in the European body politic, it is not surprising that European Muslims, Jews and Roma, from the Crusades to the Inquisition, and in our own era, the Holocaust and Bosnia, were the paramount targets of pogroms, ethnic cleansing and even genocide.

Even modern secularizing Western and southeastern European countries have been historically intolerant of mosques, minarets, synagogues and other symbolic forms of non-Christian representation. Budapest, Belgrade and Athens, which lived under Ottoman Muslim rule for centuries, like the fabled southern Spanish Muslim cities of Granada and Cordoba, did not emerge into the 20th century with a single surviving mosque.

Even though Athens is home to an estimated 200,000 Muslims, it took enormous controversy and the Olympic Games to be able to construct a single mosque. The same impediments are true of a number of European Union member states, which are obligated to maintain freedom of worship and non-discrimination. Germany is the EU member state with the largest Muslim population, boasting a minority estimated at 3 to 4 million people, but its capital city, Berlin, only has a single mosque with a clearly visible minaret that is located in the outskirts of the city next to Tempelhof Airport. While Germany has appropriately made great efforts to restore synagogues, which had been erased from the skyline in the 1930s, right-wing mobilization against the building of mosques, as in the case of Cologne, instead of being viewed as bigotry has been championed by populist politicians and the mainstream media.

Swiss referendum painfully ironic

The Swiss referendum is particularly painfully ironic since its Muslim community is to a large extent made up of secular Balkan Muslims who survived ethnic cleansing and genocide in Bosnia and Kosovo. A hallmark of the Serbian and subsequent Croatian campaigns was to erase all vestiges of the unique and priceless Ottoman-Islamic architectural heritage in the region, with mosques and minarets as particular targets. At the time, one of the authors, Mujeeb Khan, was involved in lobbying efforts on behalf of the Bosnian state and had written in “East European Politics and Societies” that official British and French appeasement of the Serbian genocide reflected disturbing and deep-seated historic complexes against religious and cultural minorities in Europe. The White House historian Taylor Branch in his recent book “The Clinton Tapes” confirmed this, recounting how Paris and London insisted on maintaining the arms embargo on the defenseless Bosnians. “They justified their opposition on plausible humanitarian grounds, arguing that more arms would only fuel the bloodshed, but privately, said the president, key allies objected that an independent Bosnia would be ‘unnatural’ as the only Muslim nation in Europe. He said they favored the embargo precisely because it locked in Bosnia’s disadvantage.” Branch, in conversation with Clinton continued: “When I expressed shock at such cynicism, reminiscent of the blind-eye diplomacy regarding the plight of Europe’s Jews during World War II, President Clinton only shrugged. He said President François Mitterrand of France had been especially blunt in saying that Bosnia did not belong, and that British officials also spoke of a painful but realistic restoration of Christian Europe.”

The recent British, French and Serbian policy reflected 19th century European efforts to solve the Ottoman “Eastern Question” by expelling the “Turks bag and baggage,” in the words of William Gladstone, from Europe in a campaign of ethnic cleansing which would claim the lives of over 200,000 Ottoman Muslims and render 5 million refugees whose descendants comprise a good portion of modern-day Turks. While almost all nations commemorate their suffering and loss, this campaign of genocidal ethnic cleansing and a similar one against Muslims in the Caucasus and Crimea has hardly been discussed in the Turkish Republic due to efforts at erasing the past after the founding of the republic. At the time of the Bosnian slaughter, one of the writers, Mujeeb Khan, was the first to accurately predict that callous bigotry and indifference to the plight of highly secular and pacific European Muslims by the Western architects of “the new world order” in Iraq would catalyze militant movements across the Islamic world. He also pointed out that since the breakup of the Ottoman state, the Islamic world, unlike China and India, lacked for the first time a regional hegemon capable of preventing external invasions and undertaking industrial, technological and social development on a global scale and predicted that a democratizing Turkey would embrace her Ottoman-Islamic past and historic role of providing leadership and cohesion in the Muslim world. Such a momentous change is now, of course, under way with the election of the Justice and Development (AK Party) and the development of the neo-Ottoman foreign policy, which has aroused tremendous popular support throughout the Muslim world and which, along with the re-emergence of China and India, might shift the global balance of power away from the West, where it has resided since 1750.

Borrowing from the tool kit of demagogues

Sadly, the disgraceful example of bigotry and chauvinism set by Francois Mitterrand in Bosnia has been continued by the current French president, Nicolas Sarkozy. Instead of joining his foreign minister and prominent human rights activist Bernard Kouchner in condemning the Swiss referendum, Sarkozy wrote an editorial in Le Monde expressing sympathy and called upon French minorities to practice their faith “discreetly” while “humbly” deferring to the centrality of Christian culture and history in what is ostensibly a hyper-secular and egalitarian state. The high-profile intervention was part of his recently launched “debate on national identity” meant to appeal to populist French resentment of racial and religious minorities. Borrowing from the tool kit of demagogues everywhere, Sarkozy identified a few dozen burqa-wearing women in a country of 65 million as the gravest threat confronting the nation. A few days after Sarkozy’s Le Monde essay, the main mosque in the town of Castres was vandalized with swastikas and graffiti stating “France for the French” and “Sieg Heil.” France’s leading anti-racism organization, SOS Racisme, noted that such incidents and even more serious ones involving murder and injury grew out of the politically expedient appeals to racial and religious fears and intolerance by leading politicians starting with the president of the republic himself.

The legitimation of anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant bigotry in the European mainstream has allowed formerly ostracized far-right Neo-Nazi and Fascist-oriented groups such as the British National Party, the Vlaams Belang of Belgium, the Liga Norda of Italy, the National Front in France and the Danish and Swiss people’s parties to present themselves as respectable political movements. They have done this by distancing themselves from traditional anti-Semitic ideology, which continues to be viewed as abhorrent and often illegal, while openly espousing anti-Muslim bigotry, which is seen as much more politically correct and often reflecting mainstream political and media opinion.

In this, they have been greatly helped by anti-Muslim American neo-conservatives allied with people such as Mark Steyn, Daniel Pipes, Norman Podhoretz and Charles Krauthammer. During the Obama presidential campaign, the use of Muslim identity as a slur and form of innuendo was as vicious as any anti-Semitic whispering campaigns found in troubled parts of Eastern Europe. CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and Glenn Greenwald of have documented how leading Republican politicians have long casually spewed anti-Muslim bigotry without any repercussions. Congressman Peter King of New York has stated that “there are too many mosques in this country,” and GOP representatives Sue Myrick (North Carolina), John Shadegg (Arizona), Paul Broun (Georgia) and Trent Franks (Arizona) have collaborated with the far-right extremist and white supremacist Dave Gaubatz in demanding that young American Muslims not be allowed to serve as interns in Congress.

An unholy alliance

In this anti-Muslim campaign, neo-conservatives have an unholy alliance with followers of Armageddon theology in many Southern Evangelical churches, including the likes of Sarah Palin, who view Muslims as the anti-Christ and feel that Jesus will not return until the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock are destroyed and the Jewish Temple replete with animal sacrifices in Jerusalem rebuilt. Both the reverends Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham have demanded that Islam be banned as a violent religion while enjoying intimate ties with the highest levels of the GOP and while continuing to preach a theology of hate, itself directly linked to historical crimes against African, Native, Hispanic and Asian Americans in the US. Such views and those of European anti-Muslim bigots such as Wilders and the late Oriana Fallaci, who channeled Der Stürmer in complaining that Muslims breed like rats, have been given prominent positive coverage in neo-conservative media outlets like the Weekly Standard, The National Review, The Wall Street Journal and of course Fox News. The problem with these forms of bigotry is that they quickly spread to other ethnic, racial and religious targets as well, as witnessed by recent anti-Hispanic and anti-immigrant hysteria in the US, posing ominous questions about the future of coexistence in now extremely diverse Western societies.

Bigots and chauvinists, like bullies everywhere, direct their vitriol toward those seen as weak and defenseless. Because China and India have emerged with a continental-scale hegemonic state and market structure in their historic domains of civilization, they are treated with great deference by Western statesmen and would-be hate-mongers like Rupert Murdoch of the News Corporation alike, a lesson Muslims would do well to ponder in the wake of campaigns of genocide, ethnic cleansing and destruction in their historic lands.

*Sener Aktürk is a postdoctoral fellow at the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies and a visiting lecturer in the department of government at Harvard University. Mujeeb R. Khan is affiliated with the department of political science at UC Berkeley and has published widely on Muslim-Western relations including in “East European Politics and Societies.”

           — Hat tip: TV [Return to headlines]

Religion: 70% of World’s Population Discriminated Against

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, JANUARY 5 — Among the restrictions imposed by governments, religious discrimination affects around 70% of the world’s population. This is the finding of a report by the Pew Research Center’s Forum, a US body which aims to set up a databank on religion around the world. It also finds that religious extremism is most concentrated in the countries of the Middle East and North Africa. Entitled ‘Global restriction on religion’ and published by the French Catholic daily, La Croix, the study was carried out between mid-2006 and mid-2008 across 198 countries, taking in 99.5% of the world’s population. Researches started from 16 public reports coming from the State Department, the American Commission for International Religious Freedom, the Council of the European Union, the Office of Foreign Affairs for Great Britain and the Commonwealth and from NGOs such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The report is divided into two parts, on governmental restrictions (GRI, Government Restriction Index) and on inter-religious hostility (SHI, Social Hostilities Index) respectively. GRI examines national and local laws, judicial texts and police-force practices which limit the freedoms to teach or preach, prevent religious conversions or promote one religion above others. These restrictions affect Catholics, Protestants (especially Evangelicals), Jews, Buddhists and minority Moslem groups irrespectively. According to this primary classification, 43 countries have a high or very high rate of government restrictions, especially in countries with a Moslem majority (including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Algeria and Turkey). Therefore, 64 nations, a third of the population, have a high or very high rate of restriction on religious freedom and some (Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Iran, which the report labels “the trio of the worst”) are in both groups. Other countries, (such as Nigeria, Kenya, Ghana, the Philippines, Bangladesh), show strong inter-religious hostility alongside a degree of moderation in governmental discrimination. The lowest rates, both in terms of GRI and of SHI are to be found in Italy, Brazil, Japan, the USA, South Africa, with the highest in the Middle East and North Africa. (ANSAmed).

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scientists Say Dolphins Should be Treated as Non-Human Persons

Scientists studying dolphin behavior have suggested they could be the most intelligent creatures on Earth after humans, saying the size of their brains in relation to body size is larger than that of our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, and their behaviors suggest complex intelligence. One scientist said they should therefore be treated as “non-human persons” and granted rights as individuals.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

7 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/6/2010

  1. David B —

    The article is right here, in the news feed. I wouldn’t have mentioned it otherwise. Scroll down to the “immigration” section and you’ll see it.

  2. @Cardinal says Christian Europe is to blame for Islamisation.

    The major Christian churches in Europe have not exactly been innocent spectators in the the islamization of Europe, the Archbishop of Prague may have hesitated for to long in the drawing of his sword.

    There will be a Christian reawakening in Europe and those christians will have no hesitation in drawing the sword.

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