Sergio Redegalli Speaks Out

Burqa mural #1

Sergio Redegalli, the Australian artist who found himself under siege due to the “Say No To Burqas” mural he painted on the wall outside his studio (see the most recent report here) has issued a statement. His message was published as a paid advertisement in The Inner City Weekender, January 28, 2011 (it’s tomorrow already in eastern Australia):

Statement From Sergio Redegalli

Newtown has always been a safe haven for the unique varieties of people in Sydney. Newtown has always been, and hopefully will remain, a rich source of creative people. Newtown has for a very long time been an interesting mix of Australians coming from many different backgrounds, education and countries.

Newtown in the last 30 years has been on the leading edge for the creative arts, with many successful artists not just working in the area but committing to making Newtown their home.

This page is a step in clearing up some untruths spread about the ‘Say No To Burqas’ mural (‘the mural’) by a very small number of people.

The ‘Say No To Burqas’ mural was painted to create dialogue and to hopefully encourage people to be better informed about some very important issues currently facing Australia today.

As Australian Citizens we all have a duty to stand up and express ourselves on issues that are important to discuss and to do this always in a sensible and peaceful manner. We all have the right to express ourselves non-violently both verbally and creatively, via any form of media format without having to be fearful of physical abuse or vandalism to property.

There have been too many untruths made by people and groups who take very much care in not putting their names (as individuals as well as groups as a whole) to their beliefs.

Firstly, the ‘Say No To Burqas’ mural has always and only been a starting point for debate and discussion, aside from graffiti and vandalism, it has never had the wording painted saying anything other than ‘Say No To Burqas’.

Point of fact, Islam is a Religious Ideology with its followers coming from many races all over the world and it is impossible to be racist towards a Religious Ideology.

Islam is more than a Religion; it is in fact a system of rule that guides all devout Muslims throughout their lives from the time of their birth to their death. Apart from its Religious element that most Western people understand the concept of, it also has a very clear and fixed set of legal rules, for almost every event in a Muslim’s life (Sharia).It also has a political system within its structure clearly describing the aims, desired and results that would be the most beneficial for the expansion of Islam. I personally have discussed these sections with my Australian Muslim friends and I encourage anyone interested in understanding Islam to read more about the challenges facing Australian Muslims and the problems that they are facing because of minority groups who have extremist views that do not represent the greater Australian Muslim population.

Extremism does exist; every time any we fly overseas we are exposed to the measures that airport security under take to combat this risk. This year, the majority of Australian Coptic Christians had their Christmas celebrations cut short due to terrorism threats made towards them for their celebrations held on the 7th January 2011, after several Sydney Churches were targeted. (Terror threats sour Coptic Christmas services). The list goes on.

One very important fact for all Australians to understand is that the burqa and niqab are not a necessary part of Islam. This ruling was made clear to all Muslims around the world by Sheikh Mohamed Tantawi, the dean of al-Azhar university, when he stated that “full-face veiling (is) a custom that has nothing to do with the Islamic faith”. (Egypt’s highest Muslim authority has said he will issue a religious edict against the growing trend for full women’s veils, known as the niqab).

An important reason for a law to be passed in Australia regarding all forms of full-face covering worn in public spaces, is that we live in a land where reasonable rules make more sense. We as Australians like being one united country, not a divided one. We have rules that we have all been following in the past, not because they are Law, but because they give all people a feeling of safety. Australians understand that taking off our motorcycle helmets in banks and other sensitive areas is a normal practise, that people walking the streets with their faces fully covered for no apparent reason is out of the norm.

Australians have worked very hard in creating a balanced and non discriminative society. Let’s not let our good will be used against the common good of all Australians. This issue is not about the clothing, it is about the direction of Australia, and the type of community we wish to live in, one that is clear about what is suitable in Australia and what is not. We have rules that clearly state that public nudity is not appropriate and creating rules that state that 100% full-face coverings in public spaces are not appropriate is just as balanced.

Some people may say it is the right of a woman to make a choice of covering themselves 100%, however I ask one very simple question, who is going to protect and allow for the freedom of choice to the next generation of young girls born into these family groups that will control all aspects of their dress code, education and the types of friends they will be allowed to know.

Sergio Redegalli
Local resident and artist

Hat tip: Shirl in Oz.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/26/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/26/2011Riots and unrest continue in Egypt. Despite a government ban on all demonstrations, protesters took to the streets in Cairo and Suez today. Government offices were set on fire, and least two people were killed, one of them a policeman.

In other news, Russian terrorism experts believe that a team of two suicide bombers caused the explosion in Domodedovo Airport on Monday. One of the two was a woman, possibly a “Black Widow” terrorist from Chechnya. A team of three accomplices is believed to have observed the attack from a distance, and is still being sought.

Meanwhile, a grenade was thrown into an apartment in the southern Swedish city of Malmö. Although two people were in the apartment when the grenade exploded, it caused no injuries. The police have not yet determined a motive for the attack, and are still searching for suspects.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to A. Millar, C. Cantoni, DF, Erick Stakelbeck, Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, JD, KGS, Kitman, Srdja Trifkovic, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Food Crises are Caused by Overpopulation

Nicolai Sennels’ latest essay concerns the looming agricultural crisis and the rise of world food prices. It was originally published at the New English Review, and is reposted here with the author’s permission.

Food Crises are Caused by Overpopulation
by Nicolai Sennels

Food crises are becoming larger and more frequent. Every time they strike, they result in deadly conflicts and famines around the Equator, and declining real wages everywhere, due to rising food prices. The main reason for the increasing number and severity of food crises is basically that we have become more people than Mother Earth can feed.

There is broad consensus among experts that overpopulation is the direct cause of poverty, hunger and thirst and conflicts for space, food and grazing areas in developing countries. There is also broad consensus that these things are catalysts for religious fanaticism and large streams of refugees moving into the West.

Today we are 6.9 billion people on earth, and we are approaching 10. We are about to empty the planet’s storage of raw materials, and in many places the areas for cultivation are getting too small and the reserves of clean water are disappearing. At the same time it is a fact, that man is the world’s biggest polluter. A decline of the earth’s population – or at least a halt in its growth – is therefore good for both climate and environment. A bad climate and environment has a negative effect on food production, because drought, floods and pollution destroys harvests and cultivation areas.

Here is my suggestion for a lasting solution: Pay poor people in the poor countries to have less children. In this way they do not have to have a lot of children in order to secure themselves when they get old – and they can afford to feed and educate the few children they have. We should support the families with full aid (e.g. 2 dollars pr. day) if they have no or one child, half aid if they have two children and no support if they have more than two children. An educated and well nourished population is the indispensable basis for functioning democracies and economies. In addition, it will stimulate the poor countries economy in a much healthier way than just sending food that is putting pressure on the prices and is just eaten up my ever more hungry mouths.

By empowering the individual by giving our aid to the third world as individual micro aid or micro pensions for having fewer children, we will thus hit several birds with one stone.

A theoretical experiment: The collected yearly aid to developing countries is 120 billion US dollars (in 2007). With this amount 164,383,561 families could have two US dollars every day for a whole year. Every family is – theoretically – consisting of two adults. If all families have no or one child, 328 million couples will thus be sharing the daily pension of two dollars, which is a significant amount of money in many of the world’s poor areas. Many families will surely have more kids, and thus receive one or no dollars a day. This means that developing aid can be shared by even more people (in smaller portions, though). This development policy will surely have an impact of the culture of having many children. It is therefore very possible, that having fewer children will become a trend (just like it has become a trend in other countries with successful birth rate control programmes) – when the trend of having many children is losing energy.

The Nobel Prize winning micro loan program has shown that small economic amounts are the solution. They have also shown that it is possible to control the distribution of small amounts of money to single persons in areas with bad economic and political infrastructure.

Take heed: Overpopulation is no less a problem than violent Islam.

Nicolai Sennels is a psychologist and the author of “Among Criminal Muslims: A Psychologist’s experiences with the Copenhagen Municipality”.

Previous posts by or about Nicolai Sennels:

2010   Jan   6   The Eternal Victim
    Feb   19   Youths, Crime, and Islam
    Apr   11   The Stigmatization Fallacy
    May   8   Islam Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry
    Jul   28   Nicolai Sennels: An Open Letter to David Cameron
    Aug   5   Rape by Proxy
        10   Islam and Inbreeding
    Dec   17   The Connection Between Muslim Inbreeding and Terrorism
2011   Jan   10   The Dhimmification of the Red Cross
        12   Was Muhammad a Gelotophobe?

Mohammed’s Daybook

Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice
The Complete Layman’s Guide to the Koran

by Bernard Payeur

Boreal Books, 2010, 507 pages

Pain, Pleasure and PrejudiceI’ve just finished reading Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice by the Canadian scholar Bernard Payeur, and the book is exactly what it’s touted to be: “everything you’ve always known about the Koran, and more, explained in a way we can all understand”.

Dr. Payeur’s original field is not Islamic studies, so he approaches his task as an intelligent outsider. The result is a thorough and comprehensive view of what the Koran actually says, organized in several different ways to provide insights into what it all means. In addition to the Koran itself, the author has read the hadith and various commentary by Muslim theologians, so the book reflects the established Islamic institutional understanding of what Islam’s holy book means.

Before examining the contents of Dr. Payeur’s work any further, I feel compelled to warn potential readers that the book is riddled with typos. It’s a pity that a copy editor wasn’t engaged to undertake a final edit before the text went to press, because there are typographical errors on virtually every page — interpolated or missing letters, homonyms used by mistake, errors in punctuation, or simple typing mistakes. In most cases the reader can easily determine the intended text, but one should be particularly careful using the cited quotes from scripture — they were evidently transcribed by hand, and there are numerous embedded typographical errors.

Leaving aside the typos, this book is an essential resource. Dr. Payeur tackles his topic with a light, ironic, and slightly whimsical attitude, which makes the passages between the scriptural quotes entertaining as well as informative. And the scriptural quotes form the main focus of the book — the author packs its five hundred pages with as many ayats as he can manage while still allowing room for interpretive explanation.

What is noticeable in all this Koranic verbiage is the book’s overwhelming preoccupation with and emphasis on the horrific punishments that will be inflicted on sinners and non-believers in the afterlife. The Koran does occasionally describe the paradise that awaits the faithful Muslim, but such verses are fairly general and nebulous in tone — the lucky believer gets to lie around on couches in the shade, have sex with magically refreshed virgins, eat tasty fruit, and drink special wine. And he is granted the special pleasure of observing the infidels roasting in hell’s eternal barbecue. But that’s about it.

In contrast, hundreds of verses are devoted to describing in passionate detail the suffering of the damned. They are to be roasted over fires whose fuel consists of other unbelievers. They are to be torn apart, gutted, and otherwise tortured. Special punishments are listed for Christians and Jews who refuse to acknowledge the supremacy of Allah. Women in particular are described as over-represented among the sufferers in hell.

The rest of the Koran is a bizarre hodge-podge of generalities and incomprehensibilities mixed with elaborately detailed prescriptions for certain legal or ritual practices. As an example, here is a portion — just a partial selection, mind you — of Allah’s pronouncements on the matter of divorce, as described by Dr. Payeur (pp. 153-156):

As mentioned earlier, a man may also marry a woman who is married to another man as long as that other man’s wife is your slave: “Or married women except those your right hands possess … (4:24). If a man is unhappy with any of his matrimonial choices, getting out of a marriage agreement under Koranic law is probably easier than any other type of contractual arrangements. A marriage contract, unlike other contractual arrangements, is a one-sided affair, which can be terminated at the discretion of the male signatory. The soon-to-be-divorced wife cannot object to the unilateral breaking of the marriage contract by her husband.

Making things even less complicated, for the husband that is, he doesn’t need a reason to divorce any of his wives or obtain anyone’s permission to do so. He simply has to tell her “I divorce you” and wait until his soon-to-be-divorced wife has experienced three menstrual cycles and it’s over. For a woman it is a little more complicated. She can, however, simplify the whole process and remain in Allah’s good books if she agrees to pay her husband a ransom which usually involves returning much of what he has ever given her to gain her freedom.

2:229 Divorce may be pronounced twice. Then they (women) are to be retained in a rightful manner or released with kindness. And it is unlawful for you [men] to take back anything of what you have given them unless both parties fear that they cannot comply with Allah’s Bounds (by obeying His commands). If you fear that they cannot do that, then it is no offence if the woman ransoms herself [pays money to be set free]. Those are the bounds set by Allah. Do not transgress them. Those who transgress the bounds set by Allah are the wrongdoers.

“Divorce may be pronounced twice” in the preceding verse means that the husband can divorce his wife three times. If he divorces her a third time he can never take her back. A divorced woman is expected to leave the family home after experiencing her third menstrual cycle after being informed by her husband that they are no longer husband and wife. Her former husband can allow her to stay longer if he wishes, as long as it is not for ulterior motives, for example to obtain larger ransom.

2:231 If you divorce [your] women and they reach the end of their [waiting] period, retain them in an honourable manner or release them in an honourable manner. Do not, however, retain them for the sake of causing them harm and in order to commit aggression (by forcing them to ransom themselves, or by retaining them for a longer period). Whoever does that shall do wrong to himself. Do not make a mockery of Allah’s Revelations; and remember the Grace Allah has bestowed upon you, and the Book (the Koran) and the wisdom He has revealed to you in order to admonish you. Fear Allah and know that He knows everything.

I am assuming the following is not for the Prophet only.

65:1 0 Prophet, if you divorce your women, divorce them when they have completed their menstrual period. Calculate the period and fear Allah your Lord. Do not drive them out of their homes, and let them not go out, unless they have committed a manifest foul act. Those are the bounds of Allah, He who transgresses the bounds of Allah has surely wronged himself. You do not know, Allah may perhaps bring about something new after that.

How long should you retain a woman or a girl who is not menstruating such as a child-bride or who is pregnant?

65:4 As for those of your women who have despaired of menstruation, if you are in doubt, then their term shall be three months; and those too who have not menstruated yet. As to those women with child, their term shall be upon delivering their burden. He who fears Allah, Allah will grant him relief in his affair.

Allah is unclear, apart from that ransom thing, as to how a believing woman can get a divorce if she doesn’t have the money to buy her freedom. Maybe that is why in countries that are governed by the Koran it is a matter decided by religious courts operating under the Sharia or Islamic Law, the law derived from the Koran and the sayings and example of the Prophet Muhammad. A woman seeking a divorce will usually appeal to an all-male Sharia Tribunal stating her reason for wanting a divorce. It must be a compelling reason for a divorce to be granted. She must also agree to give up all or part of her dowry, the amount dependent on her reason for seeking a divorce, as compensation to her soon- to- be-divorced husband.

Under Islamic Law, the divorced mother usually gets custody of any sons under seven years of age and daughters who have not reached puberty. When sons reach the age of seven and daughters reach puberty (have become valuable commodities) custody usually reverts to the father.

Can a divorced couple get re-married? Yes, if the former wife, in the interim, has married and been divorced by another man. The most current former husband should not interfere with a former wife’s plans to marry a former spouse.

2:230 If he divorces her, she shall not be lawful to him again until she has married another husband. If the latter divorces her , then it is no offence if they go back to each other, if they both think that they shall keep within Allah’s Bounds. Those are Allah’s Bounds which He makes clear to men who have knowledge.

2:232 If you divorce your women and they reach the end of their [waiting] period, do not prevent them from marrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves in a rightful manner. With this are admonished those who believe in Allah and the Last Day; it is better and more decent for you. Allah knows and you do not.

Some of the most specific and detailed instructions in the Koran are reserved for topics that were of great personal interest to Mohammed. For example, the prophet developed a libidinous interest in his daughter-in-law after chancing to glimpse her partially naked. For him to marry her would have been considered incest under the existing traditions of the Arabs. But Allah helped Mohammed find a loophole: the young woman’s husband was Mohammed’s adopted son, so Allah sent a revelation to the prophet explaining that the rules had been changed: an adoptive son was henceforward to be considered equivalent to a brother, rather than a son. Therefore incest was no longer an issue. The young lady was duly divorced, and Mohammed married her.

This and many other Koranic verses are devoted to what seem to be very narrow issues particular to the time, place, and interests of Allah’s Messenger. Eternal punishments for specifically-named enemies of Mohammed are prescribed in detail. Divine revelations present the terms of settlement for certain conflicts among the companions of the prophet. Allah’s revealed law contains numerous details that coincidentally served to benefit the 7th-century Arab brigands that made up the principle entourage of Allah’s beloved Messenger.

The Koran is also alleged to be a divine and eternal book, whose master copy, known as the “Mother of the Book”, is carved on a golden tablet in Paradise. If we accept this assertion at face value, then how did all those finicky details relating to Mohammed and his cronies end up in the book?

Rather than an eternal compendium of divine wisdom, the Koran resembles Mohammed’s pocket planner, in which Allah conveniently inscribed useful information on appropriate dates. Mohammed had but to consult this handy resource from time to time, and recite to his assembled followers what was specified for the occasion. Nothing that served his interests was left uncovered.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

With its exhaustive index, Bernard Payeur’s book makes an excellent reference manual for specific Koranic prescriptions and instructions. For instance, to find the exact reference to the “Mother of the Book”, I consulted “Koran — Mother of the Book” in the index and found the sura and verse (13:39).

However, before using the cited verses, the reader is advised to keep in mind the likelihood of typos, as mentioned at the beginning of this review. Once one has obtained the sura and verse, it’s a simple matter to look up the relevant passage online or in the library, so that any misspellings may be easily corrected.

For Counterjihad activists, Pain, Pleasure and Prejudice: The Complete Layman’s Guide to the Koran deserves a place on the bookshelf alongside Reliance of the Traveller and the works of Bat Ye’or, Andrew Bostom, and Robert Spencer.

Know your enemy.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/25/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/25/2011The unrest in Tunisia seems to have spread to Egypt. Opposition groups staged a major demonstration in Cairo, with possibly more than a hundred thousand participants on the streets. The Muslim Brotherhood reportedly fielded a large number of agitators who helped spark violence against police and businesses. Hosni Mubarak’s son and likely successor is said to have fled to London with his family.

Unrelated unrest is also underway in Lebanon, in response to the attempt by Hezbollah to gain control in advance of an expected decision by the UN tribunal to indict some of its leaders for the murder of Rafik Hariri.

In other news, Mervyn King, the chief of the Bank of England, warns that Britons’ standard of living will drop drastically this year, more than it has since the 1920s.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to Barry Rubin, C. Cantoni, DF, Fjordman, Freyja’s Cats, Gaia, Insubria, JD, KGS, Srdja Trifkovic, TV, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Bigamy in All But Name

Our Austrian correspondent AMT tipped us to the following article from Süddeutschen Zeitung, and included this introduction:

We have Thilo Sarrazin to thank for the emergence of stories like the one below. While the MSM would not be caught admitting that these personal tragedies trace their origins to a political ideology disguised as a religion, we, the readers of Gates of Vienna, know better. In this context, Henrik Clausen’s review of Sam Solomon’s book “Modern Day Trojan Horse: The Islamic Doctrine of Immigration” is a highly recommended read.

The article itself has been kindly translated by JLH:

To Europe by Marriage Certificate

by Jeton Musliu, Pristina, Kosovo
December 30, 2010

The advantages outweigh the taboos: For their dream of a German passport, many Kosovo Albanians are divorcing their wives — if only temporarily — to marry a foreigner.

For the fourth time, the Robert Bosch Foundation this year has invited young journalists from the Balkans to enter a reporting-and-research competition (“Balkan Fellowship for Journalistic Excellence”). The Süddeutsche Newspaper is the media partner for the competition,which is also being carried by the Austrian ERSTE Foundation. is publishing the three winning texts.

Before going to sleep, Valbona (35) from Peja in the west of Kosovo looks at her marriage photo, taken 13 years ago. She sees her smiling husband next to her.

Today there remains only the memory of that moment. Two years ago, her husband married a German woman. Valbona, mother of their four children ages four to twelve, not only knew of this intention, she approved it.

You see, in the eyes of her family and the people of her immediate surroundings, Valbona is not really divorced. Many Kosovo Albanians divorce their first wives, in a mutual agreement, and go to Western Europe to find a new partner who will make it possible for him to get a residence permit.

They leave their children behind in Kosovo, so they can pretend to be single and get married quickly. As soon as they have a permanent permit to stay in Germany or some other EU country, they divorce their second wife, return to the first one and bring the whole family into the West.

Germany is a favorite goal for Kosovars seeking foreign women and ultimately an EU pass, since there is already a large population their with Albanian roots.

The women who marry these Kosovo Albanians believe they have found the ideal, attentive husband. Often, however, as soon as they have a permanent residence permit after five years of marriage to a German citizen, they demand a divorce.

Valbona is confident that her husband will do the same: leave his new wife after three more years and come back to Kosovo to take her and the children to a new life in the rich West.

“The divorce was difficult, but it was easier, since we both know what our goal is,” said Valbona, who — in her husband’s absence — has moved into a house next to his brother.

Vacation with the old family

Without the German wife knowing about it, Valbona has already spent a summer vacation with her ex-husband in Kosovo. Benefits outweigh taboos.

Previously, Albanian families simply did not accept divorce. But since the Kosovo Albanians discovered how useful it is to marry a foreign woman, the taboo is forgotten.

Every Monday, Valbona’s ex-husband sends money for the four children. This means a lot in a land as poor as Kosovo, where 40% of the population is unemployed and the average monthly wage is only about 200 euros.

According to information from the National Bsnk of Kosovo, every year, Kosovars who have emigrated to West Europe send €530 home. These mailings amount to 13% of the country’s GNP. Sokol Havolli, a leading bank official, indicates that 30% of Kosovar households receive money from relatives working outside the country.

Against the background of such economic need, many people try desperately to achieve the right to live and work in West Europe.

But it is difficult to to get an entry visa to the EU. Unlike its neighnot countries in the Balkans, Kosovo does not have travel privileges inside the EU Schengen area. An easing of the visa regime is not in the immediate future.

More and More Divorces

It is almost impossible for Kosovars to attain German citizenship unless they are born there or come there as a small child.

However, adult Kosovars, like other non-EU citizens, can apply for a residence permit, when they have lived legally more than 5 years in the country. Normally, the basis for this is a higher education or marriage to a citizen.

Rising divorce rate

According to official sources, there were 127 divorces in 2007 in the Kosovar capital city, Pristina, population ca. 600,000. The number is low by West European standards. For Kosovars, it is high. As recently as 2003, there were 36 divorces.

The number of marriages to foreign citizens, mostly West Europeans, has risen in tandem with the rising number of divorces. In 2009 in Pristina, 98 marriages of this kind between Kosovar men and Western women were recorded officially.

Shefget Bugaj, a city official, claims to know instances of Kosovars marrying their first wife again after divorcing the foreign partner.

He admits the possibilities of authorities examining the motives for a marriage are limited. If Kosovar men want to marry their first wives again, the couple can just say that they have reconciled.

But Bugaj emphasizes that questions are asked, if the motives for the marriage of a Kosovar to a foreign woman seem dubious. He recalls that an especially suspicious case concerned a native man who married a foreign woman who was 15 years older.

But Bugal explains that they could find no good grounds to deny the marriage. “We spoke with them and came to the conclusion that it was not a fictional marriage,” he says.

Lonesome Western women

A Kosovo Albanian who aspired to a residence permit in Germany targeted Sonja, a German woman from Stuttgartt. Thirteen years ago the now thirty-year-old woman married the Albanian who came from the area of Mitrovica in northern Kosovo. Out of work and somewhat lonesome at the time, Sonja was flattered when spoken to in a Stuttgart café by a good-looking, black-haired man, a few years older than she.

She had no inkling that this alleged single man had actually married at age 18 in Kosovo and been divorced before he came to Stuttgart. She was also not aware that he was on the hunt for a German wife for reasons that had little to do with love. The knot was soon tied, and Sonja began eagerly learning Albanian and lead the modest life of a Kosovar housewife. For example, she did not leave home to meet friends for coffee anymore. Looking back, she says: “I became more Albanian than any Albanian wife.”

Surprisingly, Sonja’s husband did not demand a divorce after five years — apparently because they now had a small son, whose fate complicated the situation. Sonja’s husband wanted to secure sole custody of his son before leaving her. Sonja agreed to leave custody of their son — eight years-old at the time — to her ex-husband. He quickly married his first wife again and is now living outside Stuttgart with her and Sonja’s son.

Sonja does not know the whole story of her marriage, but several Kosovar Albanians living in the area know very well of the secret circumstances of Sonja’s ex-husband. She only knows that her ex-husband married “an Albanian woman with no papers.” She still believes she married for love, and does not understand what went wrong.


Many Kosovo-Albanians defend the actions of men who go abroad looking for a second wife in order to improve their prospects. Vladrin Hoxha, an unemployed 23 year-old from Pristina says he would do the same, if he could.

Raising Respectability Through Marriage

“I would tell my family that I would divorce my foreign wife as soon as I had my EU documents I would get a divorce and marry a Kosovar girl.,” he says with conviction. Several years ago, couples could usually only divorce on grounds of infertility, says Hamdi Veliu (71) from Polac, a village situated in the middle of Kosovo.

“If a woman could not have children, she had two possibilities: divorce or stay,” he explains. “If she decided to stay, she had to accept that her husband needed a second wife.” Velieu says he knows of cases where Kosovar women are living somewhere in Germany while their husbands are living in another place and still with their German second wives. “Such conditions have nothing to do with our tradition,” he says sadly,

According to Veliu, the possession of the oh-so-important EU residence permits confers enormous prestige on men in modern Kosovo. With these papers, a man in his forties could acquire a local girl, even if she is twenty years his junior. Such men often use the services of a marriage broker or local matchmaker to find a young bride.

Smaji Shatraj (60), from the village of Llausha in the center of Kosovo, has pursued this activity often in the course of the years. “Now that most girls want to live abroad, it has become much simpler to make arrangements,” if the man has EU documents, he says.

In earlier times, he adds, couples were chosen who were about the same age and seemed suited to one another. Today, the most important criterion is whether the prospective husband has the right documents. He sighs,”They push tradition aside for personal interests.”

In fact, mixed marriages — especially marriages intended to improve the social and economic prospects of the men — are nothing new among the Kosovars. Previously, these marriages were customarily concluded inside the old Yugslavian nation. Kosovar men normally married Serbian women, since this ethnic group was regarded as the most powerful of those groups in the Yugoslavia of that time.

The European Dream

“In the former Yugoslavia, a person could gain respectability through marriage,” says Anton Berishaj, professor of sociology at the University of Pristina. An important distinction between these marriages and those with Germans, is that the men had no motivation to divorce their wives after a certain period of time. They stayed together and often moved to the Yugoslav capitol, Belgrade.

Some, for instance the Selimis, still live there together. But while an Albanian-Serbian marriage brought social advantages in the 1960s and 1970s, today — after the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the declaration of Kosovo’s independence and the deteriorating Albanian-Serbian relationships — this is not at all the case. “Today, these couples live with a stigma,” says Professor Nada Raduski of the Demographic Research Center in Belgrade.

Sociology professor, Anton Berishaj is sharply critical of Kosovar men who marry foreigners to get a permanent right of residence in the West: “A double marriage in which one of the partners does not know all the circumstances and the family acts as if nothing will happen, is neither human nor moral nor correct.” Leading representatives of all the faiths in Kosovo likewise vehemently condemn this trend. Most Kosovo-Albanians are Muslim, but there is also a small Catholic minority. The clergy of both religions regard marriage as sacred. “Marriage is permanent and not temporally limited; it is forever,” declares Bedri Syla, an imam from Skenderaj in the center of Kosovo. The imam regards so-called “divorces” whose overriding purpose is getting documents as mockery and sacrilege.

“These are games on which families and morals founder,” he says and quotes verses from the Koran. Such deeds cannot be justified in Islam, he adds, no matter the potential advantages. Don Shan Zefi, a Catholic priest in Pristina, says the same: “Marriages like this are impermissible from the moral, psychological and legal standpoint.”

“The sacrifice is worth it”

Forty year-old Agron, however, thinks it pays to make exceptions to morals and tradition, in order to live the European dream. The gravestone carver now lives with his first wife in a village about 30 kilometers from Stuttgart, after completing a long and arduous divorce from his second, German wife, in order to re-marry his Kosovar first wife.

Agron tries to forget the fact that he had to leave his first wife and their children behind in Kosovo during the five years in which he was married to a German woman. “The sacrifice was worth it, so long as you don’t forget your wife and children in Kosovo,” Agron claims. “For me to living here is like in paradise.” he adds and means the small German village that is now his home,

To achieve a similar “paradise.” Valbona and her four children must wait at least three more years. In her happy anticipation of a new life elsewhere.she is not concerned with the nationality of the foreign woman her husband is married to, just so she gets into the West. “I just don’t care,” she says. “The catastrophic economic conditions drove us to it.”

Awaiting the Verdict

Lars Hedegaard is a Danish journalist and historian who is well-known to regular readers of this blog. He went on trial yesterday in Denmark for his “racist” statements about the high incidence of family rape among Muslims in Denmark. The Danish law under which he was charged makes it clear that the truth is no defense, just as was the case for Geert Wilders in the Netherlands and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria.

We are now in the depths of the Winter of Hate-Speech Trials in Europe.

Below is Lars Hedegaard’s own translation of the statement he gave yesterday to the court in Frederiksberg.

Awaiting the verdict

Lars Hedegaard’s final words in the Court of Frederiksberg, January 24, 2011

Lars HedegaardMy counsel has instructed me that in cases brought under Article 266b, the only thing that determines whether one is convicted or not is a matter of the perceived insult whereas one is barred from proving the truth of the statement.

The article deals with public statements whereby a group of people are “threatened, insulted or degraded”. But as my lawyer has already noted, I have made no public statement.

When it comes to Article 266b, there is no equality before the law. I am daily insulted and degraded by something I read or hear and I am sure that most people have the same experience.

For example, I am not only insulted and degraded and threatened, but shaken to the core of my being when I hear a well known Danish imam state that, of course, sharia law — Muslim law — will be instituted as Denmark’s official legal regime when there are a sufficient number of Muslims. I strongly urge our country’s jurists to get acquainted with the implications of the sharia, not only for Muslims but equally for non-Muslims, who — if they are lucky — will be reduced to a life as subhuman outlaws. And if one cannot be bothered with tedious dissertations, one may take a look at the legal order pertaining in areas where the sharia holds sway either de jure or de facto. One will then encounter a legal order the like of which we have not known since the passing of the Law of Jutland in 1241 and probably not before.

But the imam wants this disorder introduced in the country where I was born. And I must admit that I am troubled. I am also troubled when said imam defends the killing of Muslims who have left Islam and when he confirms that women and men guilty of fornication must be pelt with stones until they are dead. He thinks that is God’s commandment, which he cannot ignore.

Should I go to the police and tell them how threatened, insulted and degraded I feel? I wouldn’t dream of it for I support free speech. And if free speech has any real meaning, it must also — and in particular — protect statements people do not want to hear. Regardless of how revolting such statements may be.

Besides it would be futile to report the imam and those similarly disposed to the police for the public prosecutor would never indict them. Otherwise it would have happened long ago.

As jurisprudence shows, not only in Denmark but in all European countries with similar insult articles in their penal code, these insult articles open the gates to inequality before the law. There are insulted who enjoy the tender graces of the public prosecutor, and there are the less favoured who must endure insults directed at them.

But perhaps this is to do with the notion that one must not insult minorities whereas minorities are free to insult majorities? If that is the explanation of why I am in court today, it is a peculiar one. In 2002, the imam I have already mentioned explained to his flock that all Muslims in the world — 1.6 billion or whatever the number is — constitute one people, one umma. The same thing is emphasised by the Islamic Conference Organisation, OIC, encompassing 57 member countries. In other words, the five million non-Muslim Danes are a microscopic minority but nevertheless a minority whose members stand to be punished if they make statements on cultural norms in the umma.

What does the public prosecutor hope to accomplish by my conviction? He may drag me in front of a court. He may portray me as a racist, a right-wing extremist and a non-human. He may do the same to hundreds and thousands of others who insist on their right of free speech to describe Islam and Muslim culture just like we would deal with any other phenomenon in a free society.

But what will he have gained? Does the public prosecutor believe that people will start talking about Islam and Muslim culture with greater respect and reverence? Perhaps in public because people fear fines and jail. But what will people say to each other when they think that the thought police are not listening?

And what does the public prosecutor imagine people will think of a religion, a political ideology and a culture that need the protection of legislators, police, the public prosecutor and the courts because they cannot defend themselves in a free and open debate?

In 1644, when the English parliament considered the institution of religious censorship, that Christian defender of free speech John Milton wrote: “There is yet behind of what I purpos’d to lay open, the incredible losse, and detriment that this plot of licencing puts us to, more then if som enemy at sea should stop up all our hav’ns and ports, and creeks, it hinders and retards the importation of our richest Marchandize, Truth.”

And further:

“There be who perpetually complain of schisms and sects, and make it such a calamity that any man dissents from their maxims. ‘Tis their own pride and ignorance which causes the disturbing, who neither will hear with meeknes, nor can convince, yet all must be suppresst which is not found in their Syntagma.”

Milton concluded with this exhortation:

“Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.”

In conclusion permit me to mention the true victims in this case. The public prosecutor has not considered the 20,000 women in the Muslim world who every year fall victim to so-called honour killings, or the 50,000 Muslim girls in Germany who the federal police consider threatened with genital mutilation, nor the hundreds of thousands of little girls in Muslim majority societies who have been sold into marriage with much older men and who must therefore live a life of constant rape, while Islamic scholars preach that this is in complete accordance with religious orthodoxy.

I hope that the judge as opposed to the public prosecutor will consider the fate of these unfortunate human beings. Likewise I hope that the judge will realise the absurdity of prosecuting me for statements made within the confines of my own four walls. For ten months the prosecutor has been aware of the conditions under which I spoke. That has not affected him in the slightest. I hope it will affect the judge.

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/24/2011

Gates of Vienna News Feed 1/24/2011Two leaders of the “Green Wave” in Iran — the mass protests against the Iranian regime and its bogus elections back in 2009 — have been hanged, despite the entreaties of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

In other news, more than 20% of Italian young people between the ages of 15 and 29 neither have jobs nor attend school or job training. Meanwhile, in the English city of Birmingham, white schoolchildren will be in the minority for the first time this year, due to the dramatic growth of the immigrant population.

To see the headlines and the articles, open the full news post.

Thanks to Anne-Kit, C. Cantoni, CSP, Cyrus, DF, Erick Stakelbeck, Fjordman, Gaia, Insubria, JD, KGS, Nilk, TV, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Commenters are advised to leave their comments at this post (rather than with the news articles) so that they are more easily accessible.

Caveat: Articles in the news feed are posted “as is”. Gates of Vienna cannot vouch for the authenticity or accuracy of the contents of any individual item posted here. We check each entry to make sure it is relatively interesting, not patently offensive, and at least superficially plausible. The link to the original is included with each item’s title. Further research and verification are left to the reader.

Ignoring Those ’Phobes in the Political Ghetto

We had such high hopes when Rep. King announced his plans to hold Congressional hearings about the problem of radicalized American Muslims. Not that we’d been paying real close attention (at least around here). However, the headlines and surface editorials sure echoed the new, Republican version of hopenchange when they talked about what the House’s Homeland Security chairman was planning. So how could we not think that perhaps there was going to be substantive, ringing change instead of merely the usual jingle of loose pennies?

Here’s what the newsboys were saying in December:

The incoming chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security said Sunday that he will hold hearings on the “radicalization of the American Muslim community.”

In an op-ed piece in Newsday, Rep. Peter King said such hearings are critical because al-Qaida “is recruiting Muslims living legally in the United States — homegrown terrorists who have managed to stay under the anti-terror radar screen.”

The Long Island Republican said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press that the Muslim community “does not cooperate with law enforcement to anywhere near the extent that they should.”

“With al-Qaida trying to recruit from within their community it’s important that they cooperate,” King said.

A spokesman for the Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said he fears King’s hearings will become an anti-Muslim witch hunt.

“We’re concerned that it’ll become a new McCarthy-type hearing,” said the spokesman, Ibrahim Hooper.

Some McCarthy this chairman turned out to be. As time went on he would begin to seem more like just another Manchurian Candidate wound up and set going by the Muslim Brotherhood. That’s because as time went on the furor from the Left increased (as usual, the Right was lulled by headlines). Here’s a good overview from News With Views, written a week or so later as the noise-to-reason ratio increased:

MSNBC’s Ed Schultz, who called communist Van Jones a “great patriot” during the “One Nation Working Together” rally, has now decided it is his job to protect Islamic terrorists from being investigated by Rep. Peter King, the incoming chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. The ink was barely dry on a King op-ed calling for scrutiny into those networks when Schultz featured Muslim Democratic Rep Keith Ellison on his show, complaining in advance that the probe would be a “witch hunt.”

The choice of guests was no accident. Reporter Kevin Diaz of the Minneapolis Star Tribune notes that Ellison’s Minneapolis, Minnesota district “has been fertile recruitment ground for Al-Shabab insurgents in Somalia” who are under the influence of al Qaeda. So the witches apparently do exist.

The Investigative Project on Terrorism found that Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress who was just elected co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has been financially supported by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, who favor imposition of Islamic law on society.


One of those federal officials, Philip Mudd, associate executive assistant director of the National Security Branch of the FBI, said, “In Minneapolis, we believe there has been an active and deliberate attempt to recruit individuals–all of whom are young men, some only in their late teens–to travel to Somalia to fight or train on behalf of al-Shabaab.”

The hearings resulted in a report, “Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the Home Grown Terrorist Threat.”

A report into the Minneapolis problem by the cable channel HDNet described it as “a chilling threat to national security that has sparked one of the largest anti-terror investigations since 9/11.” It quoted FBI Special Agent Timothy Gossfeld as saying, “We have a principal, potential threat to national security right here on U.S. soil, actually, even within the state of Minnesota. So our director has already acknowledged the potential for individuals trained by al-Shabaab, under the influence of al-Qaeda, potentially being used to target the United States.”

Front Page gave some background on Rep. King. It was disturbing, to say the least. This was not the record I’d have expected from a ‘conservative’:

New York Rep. Peter King is under attack for his plan to hold hearings on the Muslim community’s lack of cooperation with the government to stop the rising threat of homegrown radicalization when he becomes chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee. King’s investigation, though, is imperative, as even top Obama administration officials are warning of the frightening increase in acts of homegrown terrorism. King is being described as the real extremist for his past vocal support of the Irish Republican Army and is being accused of having an anti-Muslim bias.[…]

The true “baseless claims” are the ones made against King. He was an advocate of U.S. military intervention in the former Yugoslavia on the side of Muslims, has taken Pakistan’s side over India’s in their fight over Kashmir, and had a long relationship with the Muslim community of Long Island.[my emphasis – D] His record contradicts the accusation that he has an anti-Muslim agenda. His warnings are based in fact and they are echoed by top Obama administration officials.

What this ‘record’ compiled by Ryan Mauro shows is a man who is comfortable with terrorism. The IRA? Pakistan? But Mauro sounds hopeful about the hearings. Even with those past peccadilloes, many on the Right appeared to think Rep. King was going to expose some of the problems regarding Muslim terrorism in the U.S.

Alas, it appears that Rep. King has lost his way in the echo chamber of Washington’s sound bites and prevarications …

Today, Robert Spencer laid out the sad story, saying that King is “doomed to failure”:

Congressman Peter King (R-NY) told Politico Tuesday that “he’s not planning to call as witnesses such Muslim community critics as the Investigative Project on Terrorism’s Steve Emerson and Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, who have large followings among conservatives but are viewed as antagonists by many Muslims.” Instead, King plans to call people with “the real life experience of coming from the Muslim community,” including Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison (D-MN), as well as ex-Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Muslim reformer M. Zuhdi Jasser.

I suppose Ayaan Hirsi Ali gives King some cred, but she’s hardly an American. Jasser is questionable at best. However, in the unkindest cut of all, King invites that fox-in-the-henhouse, his fellow politician, Keith Ellison. This is a spineless move, the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from the Invertebrate Class – i.e., the Republicans.

[You’ve heard a lot about the Political Class but that designation in reality belongs to Democrats alone. They’re tough, they know all the moves of in-fighting, and they’re focused on the goal: winning at all costs. Republicans, with rare exceptions (Allen West comes to mind), are members of the spineless Invertebrate Class. That’s why Obama can shove them around with impunity – and has done so repeatedly while they stand around asking meekly for crumbs from the White House table.]

In explaining the colossal fail which the Homeland Security Committee is about to bring off, Mr. Spencer quotes liberally from his co-author Pamela Geller’s recent screed concerning King’s royal mess:

Geller is absolutely right that these hearings are shaping up to be a waste, and worse than a waste. King is apparently rattled by the full-court press of Islamic victimhood rhetoric from Islamic supremacist spokesmen and pressure groups, and is allowing them to set his agenda, acquiescing in their Alinskyite marginalization of Steven Emerson, a peerless antijihad researcher, and other antijihadists who have nothing to apologize for or be embarrassed about in their work to expose and resist the advance of the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, but who are targeted in ongoing Islamic supremacist defamation campaigns designed to discredit and sideline them (including myself). He is at the same time calling fox-in-the-henhouse witnesses like Muslim Brotherhood-linked Congressman Keith Ellison.

Synchronicity! I hadn’t read Mr. Spencer’s metaphor when I chose that description earlier in this post. Obviously, it fits – perhaps it’s the chicken feathers all over Ellison’s record?

I’ve been watching Ellison for the last four years and he does not inspire Americans who are looking for a robust defense against Islam within our own borders . By the way, in that linked post, written in 2007 when Ellison was about to assume office, the tone was supposed to be satirical, or perhaps high irony. I didn’t ever expect him to be a voice for oppressed Muslim women but I couldn’t help pointing them out, even as I knew he’d be dancing to the fiddlers of the Muslim Brotherhood. [Yes, I know the Salafist MB doesn’t approve of music because Al Banna Sayyid Qutb* was so traumatized by the ‘lewd’ behavior he witnessed at a church dance during his stay in the US in the 40s. Hey, Mohammed wasn’t a music fan, either. Among their other shortcomings, these guys don’t approve of public fun, unless you consider bombs and dead bodies ‘fun’. Unfortunately, joy isn’t the only thing they kill].

It’s obvious that Rep King is a moral coward. If any investigative hearings about Islam’s inroads into our country do not include Robert Spencer or Steve Emerson or Dr. Andy Bostom, or Steve Coughlin, then said hearings are a waste of tax-payer monies and Rep. King should be investigated himself.

This is a disgrace. These experts are not being called because they have publicly voiced the truth about Islam AND because their political convictions come from the Right – as Rep. King supposedly does. These experts on Islam can report with authority about the history and the strategies of this supremacist, utopian scheme, especially as it applies to America. However, these knowledgeable, professional experts will be ignored because the cowardly King is afraid of the Left. His fear far outweighs any interest he might have in the truth which Spencer, et al, could give him in great depth.

This farce will no doubt be carried on as though it were a genuine hearing. Meanwhile, the ‘phobes in the ghetto will be ignored, even though they tell the truth. Rep. King doesn’t give a fig about the ‘truth’; if you asked him he’d probably do a Pontius Pilate routine with a rhetorical question back at you. What King wants is face-time in the MSM. Obviously, he wants the approval of his keepers. He’ll have to work hard to get it.

Not even Memeorandum is carrying any references to this story. That gives you some idea about how little the Political Class or its commentators care about Islam, radical or otherwise, in this country. They want circuses and infotainment – pace the Cordoba Initiative, which provided both.

We are rotted through and through. This perverse, wasteful launching of the new 112th Congress via the Homeland Security Committee hearings is simply further proof that it will be business as usual no matter who is in the chair.

Below is a listing of the members of the current Homeland Security Committee:

Majority   Minority
Peter T. King, New York,
  Bennie Thompson, Mississippi,
      Ranking Member
Lamar S. Smith, Texas   Loretta Sanchez, California
Dan Lungren, California   Jane Harman, California
Mike D. Rogers, Alabama   Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas
Michael McCaul, Texas   Henry Cuellar, Texas
Gus Bilirakis, Florida   Yvette Clarke, New York
Paul Broun, Georgia   Laura Richardson, California
Candice Miller, Michigan   Donna Christian-Christensen,
Tim Walberg, Michigan        Virgin Islands
Chip Cravaack, Minnesota   Danny K. Davis, Illinois
Joe Walsh, Illinois   Brian Higgins, New York
Pat Meehan, Pennsylvania   Jackie Speier, California
Ben Quayle, Arizona   Cedric Richmond, Louisiana
Scott Rigell, Virginia   Hansen Clarke, Michigan
Billy Long, Missouri   William R. Keating, Massachusetts
Jeff Duncan, South Carolina    
Tom Marino, Pennsylvania    
Blake Farenthold, Texas    

If your representative is listed, by all means use your citizen’s voice to bring what pressure you can to bear on these folks so that an honest and robustly truthful hearing can occur. Tell them to call on Spencer or Bostom or Emerson or Coughlin. If we do not speak up, then this travesty King has planned will be a sure thing. If we do not protest, then the Muslim Brotherhood will stay securely in the saddle.

They will ride Congress and all the branches of our bloated government all the way to the Ummah.

*[Thanks to Papa Whiskey for the “correx” re Al-Banna vs. Sayyid Qutb]

Hat Tip: MM in New York

This Rising Level of Stupidity

This is the second part of a two-part interview by Vlad Tepes with Sergio Redegalli, the Australian artist who caused so much trouble by painting a “Say No To Burqas” mural on the exterior wall of his studio in Sydney.

As we reported a week ago, Mr. Redegalli felt himself under siege after radical Leftists threatened to firebomb his building. While he waited that night to see what happened, he talked to Vlad over skype. This is the second half of what he had to say:

Opening up the Discussion

“Deviationism” was a term of opprobrium employed by both the Stalinist and Maoist flavors of Communism. To be accused of “Deviationism” — or even worse, “Right-Deviationism” — was a passing-bell for the career of a Communist apparatchik. The tiniest variation from Party dogma could bring down the dreaded charge on anyone perceived as a possible threat to those at the top who wielded absolute power.

The Communists have hardly been the only ones to cry “Deviationism!” or one of its modern variants. The Left in general likes to pronounce frequent anathema on those who deviate from the straight path, and the Right is not immune to the same sort of behavior. Being out of power and ineffectual never inhibits the spirit of infighting — someone is always being accused of “hijacking” the cause for nefarious purposes.

Needless to say, the same tendency can be observed among different groups that oppose Islamization and sharia. The British organization “One Law for All” can hardly be tagged as “right-wing”, but it is opposed to sharia, and we would expect it to be on the same side as the conservative wing of the Counterjihad.

However, the group does not seem to reciprocate this feeling, and has made a point of disassociating itself in no uncertain terms from the “racists” of the English Defence League. Aeneas at the International Civil Liberties Alliance has a report on the latest from One Law for All:

Will One Law For All Save The World From Sharia By Creating A Socialist Utopia?

Will the ‘Enemies not Allies’ seminar, due to take place in London on 26 January 2011, organised by a group called ‘One Law for All’ turn into an ideologically driven demonization session against the English Defence League and other components of the Global Counterjihad? The following quote from the ‘One Law for All’ website perhaps suggests that this will be the case:

The One Law for All campaign is holding a seminar to expose how important debates including on Sharia law have been hijacked by the far-Right to promote their racist agenda, and by anti-racist and anti-war groups to defend Islamism, both at the expense of people’s rights and lives. The seminar will focus on: The British National Party, the English Defence League, Stop Islamisation of Europe (also Stop Islamization of America), the Stop the War Coalition, the Respect Party, and Unite Against Fascism.

To imply that the EDL are ‘far Right’ is ridiculous; it has a very diverse group of people in its ranks, including members of ethnic minorities and the gay community — hardly the hallmarks of a traditional ‘far right’ organisation. It seems that left wing groups will always try to demonise anyone who does not share their own particular political viewpoints — ‘far right’ is just a label of demonization when it is casually applied in this way.

In a comment on her blog on 24 September 2009, Ms Namazie states in relation to the EDL:

First off, their name makes the hair on my neck stand up. English Defence League — please. Sounds nationalist and exclusive — and definitely not coming from the rights focused perspective we are.

She goes on to say:

In my opinion opposition to Sharia has to be done within a framework of defending the rights of all — not just the ‘English’.

She really does seem to have a very low opinion of the English, the people who have given her and her fellow refugees such support and succour. It must be remembered that Ms Namazie who is a Central Committee member of the Worker-communist Party of Iran, does not come from a position that is ideologically neutral. Human rights and communism do not have a very good track record of being harmonious bedfellows, so why should we place our trust in people like Maryam Namazie to ensure that we remain free? Despite the left wing’s apparent capture of the human rights establishment, this does not expunge the record of communism and the left in the field of human rights. Can we truly believe that communism has suddenly developed a humanitarian impulse rather than its customary ruthlessness? How many people will end up in the gulags of the future on the orders of communist ‘human rights’ organisations?

To make the claim that groups like the EDL have somehow ‘hijacked’ the campaign against sharia is ludicrous. Perhaps ‘One Law for All’ is concerned that a group like the EDL is having far more success in opposing sharia than it is; perhaps it thinks that only the political left is allowed to have an opinion on important matters of public policy. That would hardly be the approach of a genuinely inclusive and open organisation, would it? We must remember that it is not the EDL that is attempting to exclude people from the debate on sharia!

The EDL is quite clear in its mission statement that it is an inclusive organisation:

The EDL is therefore keen to draw its support from people of all races, all faiths, all political persuasions, and all lifestyle choices. Under its umbrella, all people in England, whatever their background, or origin, can stand united in a desire to stop the imposition of the rules of Islam on non-believers.

It is also keen to link up with people from other countries, whatever their ethnic background:

The EDL is keen to join with others who share our values, wherever they are in the world, and from whatever cultural background they derive. We believe that the demand for sharia is global and therefore needs to be tackled at a global as well as national level, so that this demand will never be succumbed to.

The EDL is clearly an inclusive as well as outward looking organisation.

Sharia, funded by petrodollars, is gaining power in Britain and elsewhere in the world. We appear to have a political class in the West that seems determined to facilitate the ability of sharia to infiltrate and erode our institutions. Sharia, it would appear, is endorsed by the state, and as such it will take a united effort to defeat it. It will mean that groups that differ in other areas of policy will need to work together in solidarity in this difficult quest. Even groups like ‘One Law for All’, that seem determined to fight this battle alone, have a role to play if they are serious about the mission on which they claim to have embarked. To defeat the global sharia movement will take a united front. This united front by necessity will be composed of right and left, it will be composed of people from many countries, and many cultures. The global network is growing, and the EDL is an integral and essential part of that network. It has established international and intercultural links with people who want to stand up to the tyranny of sharia. It has travelled to other countries and met with many people.

In conclusion we might well ask, what does the EDL add to the debate that One Law For All does not? The first thing would be that it tries to open up the discussion, not close it down by making sweeping judgements about others who are standing up against sharia. The EDL does not write people off as extremists, or as racists without good reason. Ironically, it does not do what its detractors are always accusing it of.

Like it or not, the EDL and the Global Counterjihad are here to stay.

EDL Mission Statement: The Final Version

EDL header

The English Defence League have finalized their mission statement. The text below is also mirrored at the mirrored at the International Civil Liberties Alliance:

“The world is a dangerous place to live in; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” — Albert Einstein, refugee from Nazi Germany

People have been asking what is the EDL all about, what does it want to achieve, how will it achieve those things?

Well now the English Defence League has a Mission Statement……

1. Human Rights: Protecting And Promoting Human Rights

The English Defence League (EDL) is a human rights organisation that was founded in the wake of the shocking actions of a small group of Muslim extremists who, at a homecoming parade in Luton, openly mocked the sacrifices of our service personnel without any fear of censure. Although these actions were certainly those of a minority, we believe that they reflect other forms of religiously-inspired intolerance and barbarity that are thriving amongst certain sections of the Muslim population in Britain: including, but not limited to, the denigration and oppression of women, the molestation of young children, the committing of so-called honour killings, homophobia, anti-Semitism, and continued support for those responsible for terrorist atrocities.

Whilst we must always protect against the unjust assumption that all Muslims are complicit in or somehow responsible for these crimes, we must not be afraid to speak freely about these issues. This is why the EDL will continue to work to protect the inalienable rights of all people to protest against radical Islam’s encroachment into the lives of non-Muslims.

We also recognise that Muslims themselves are frequently the main victims of some Islamic traditions and practices. The Government should protect the individual human rights of British Muslims. It should ensure that they can openly criticise Islamic orthodoxy, challenge Islamic leaders without fear of retribution, receive full equality before the law (including equal rights for Muslim women), and leave Islam if they see fit, without fear of censure.

British Muslims should be able to safely demand reform of their religion, in order to make it more relevant to the needs of the modern world and more respectful of other groups in society. It is important that they completely reject the views of those who believe that Islam should be taken in its ‘original’, 7th century form, because these interpretations are the antithesis of Western democracy. The onus should be on British Muslims to overcome the problems that blight their religion and achieve nothing short of an Islamic reformation. In line with this, we should do all that we can to empower those who are willing to take this path. We must also ensure that they do not fear reprisals from those who, in line with these 7th century interpretations, would force sharia law upon them.

The EDL calls upon the Government to repeal legislation that prevents effective freedom of speech, for freedom of speech is essential if the human rights abuses that sometimes manifest themselves around Islam are to be stopped.

We believe that the proponents of radical Islam have a stranglehold on British Muslims. These radicals dominate Muslim organisations, remain key figures in British mosques, and are steadily increasing their influence. Radical Islam keeps British Muslims fearful and isolated, especially the women that it encases in the Burqa. It misrepresents their views, stifles freedom of expression, and indoctrinates their children, whilst continually doing a disservice to those who do wish to peacefully co-exist with their fellow Britons.

2. Democracy and the Rule of Law: Promoting Democracy And The Rule Of Law By Opposing Sharia

The European Court of Human Rights has declared that “sharia is incompatible with the fundamental principles of democracy”. Despite this, there are still those who are more than willing to accommodate sharia norms, and who believe that sharia can operate in partnership with our existing traditions and customs. In reality, sharia cannot operate fully as anything other than a complete alternative to our existing legal, political, and social systems. It is a revolution that this country does not want, and one that it must resist. Sharia is most definitely a threat to our democracy.

The operation of Islamic courts, the often unreasonable demand that Islam is given more respect than it is due, and the stealthy incursion of halal meat into the food industry, all demonstrate that sharia is already creeping into our lives. Resentment is already beginning to grow, and could create dangerous divisions if nothing is done. The primacy of British courts must be maintained and defended, fair criticism of religious and political ideologies must be permitted, and consumers must be provided with the information necessary to avoid halal produce should they wish.

Restaurants and fast food chains that do offer halal options should offer non-halal alternatives as well, in order to show respect for other people’s religions, customs, and possible concerns about animal welfare issues (surrounding ritual slaughter). No one should be made to consume halal produce unwittingly, so it must always be labeled — in supermarkets, in restaurants, in schools, and in hospitals — wherever it is available. Free choice in these matters is, after all, a fundamental human right for everybody, not just the Muslim community.

Sharia law makes a fundamental distinction between Muslims and non-Muslims, and the EDL will never allow this sort of iniquitous apartheid to take root in our country. The EDL will therefore oppose sharia appeasement in all its forms, and will actively work to eradicate the sharia-compliant behaviours that are already being adopted, and enforced, in our society.

3. Public Education: Ensuring That The Public Get A Balanced Picture Of Islam

A central part of the EDL’s mission is public education. The British political and media establishment have, for a long time, been presenting a very sanitised and therefore inaccurate view of Islam, shaped by the needs of policy-makers rather than the needs of the public. This has acted as a barrier to informed policy-making and made finding the solution to real problems impossible. In pursuing this self-defeating and destructive policy, the Government has effectively been acting as the propaganda arm of the Muslim Brotherhood. Whether or not is aware of the predicament that it has put itself in, it has so far failed to honestly admit its failures.

We are committed to a campaign of public education to ensure that all aspects of Islam that impact on our society can debated in an open and honest way. Demonisation of Muslims, or of Islam’s critics, adds nothing to the debate. We believe that only by looking at all the facts can society be most effectively and humanly governed. If there are aspects of Muslim tradition that encourage the activities of Islamic radicals and criminals then these need to be properly addressed without fear of accusations of racism, xenophobia, or the even the disingenuous term ‘Islamophobia’.

The public must be provided with a more realistic and less sanitised view of Islam that allows it to ensure that decision-makers are held to account for their policy-making choices, choices that affect the harmony and security of the nation.

The EDL promotes the understanding of Islam and the implications for non-Muslims forced to live alongside it. Islam is not just a religious system, but a political and social ideology that seeks to dominate all non-believers and impose a harsh legal system that rejects democratic accountability and human rights. It runs counter to all that we hold dear within our British liberal democracy, and it must be prepared to change, to conform to secular, liberal ideals and laws, and to contribute to social harmony, rather than causing divisions.

4. Respecting Tradition: Promoting The Traditions And Culture Of England While At The Same Time Being Open To Embrace The Best That Other Cultures Can Offer

The EDL believes that English Culture has the right to exist and prosper in England. We recognise that culture is not static, that over time changes take place naturally, and that other cultures make contributions that make our shared culture stronger and more vibrant. However, this does not give license to policy-makers to deliberately undermine our culture and impose non-English cultures on the English people in their own land.

If people migrate to this country then they should be expected to respect our culture, its laws, and its traditions, and not expect their own cultures to be promoted by agencies of the state. The best of their cultures will be absorbed naturally and we will all be united by the enhanced culture that results. The onus should always be on foreign cultures to adapt and integrate. If said cultures promote anti-democratic ideas and refuse to accept the authority of our nation’s laws, then the host nation should not be bowing to these ideas in the name of ‘cultural sensitivity’. Law enforcement personnel must be able to enforce the rule of law thoroughly without prejudice or fear. Everyone, after all, is supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law.

The EDL is therefore keen to draw its support from people of all races, all faiths, all political persuasions, and all lifestyle choices. Under its umbrella, all people in England, whatever their background, or origin, can stand united in a desire to stop the imposition of the rules of Islam on non-believers. In order to ensure the continuity of our culture and its institutions, the EDL stands opposed to the creeping Islamisation of our country, because intimately related to the spread of Islamic religion is the political desire to implement an undemocratic alternative to our cherished way of life: the sharia.

Our armed forces stand up and risk their lives every day in order to protect our culture and democratic way of life. They are also reflective of England’s diversity, and are a shining example of what a people can achieve when united together. The EDL is therefore committed to opposing any and all abuse that our men and women in uniform are subjected to, and will campaign for legal remedies to ensure that those working within these important institutions are not exposed to abuse or aggression from within our country.

5. International Outlook: Working In Solidarity With Others Around The World

The EDL is keen to join with others who share our values, wherever they are in the world, and from whatever cultural background they derive. We believe that the demand for sharia is global and therefore needs to be tackled at a global as well as national level, so that this demand will never be succumbed to. The EDL will therefore have an international outlook to enhance and strengthen our domestic efforts, whilst at the same time contributing to the global struggle against Islamic intolerance of Western cultures, customs, religions, politics, and laws. The time for tolerating intolerance has come to an end: it is time for the whole world to unite against a truly Global Jihad.

Terror at Domodedovo Airport

Speaking of terror attacks, it appears that one has just occurred at Moscow’s largest and busiest airport. According to the latest reports, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the baggage claim area, killing at least 35 people. The head of the suspected bomber has been recovered, and based on his appearance, he was (surprise!) an Arab.

According to Pravda:

Foreigners injured in Domodedovo terror blast

The Moscow police are investigating the explosion at Domodedovo International Airport. Investigators found the head of an Arab male on the site of the accident. It is not ruled out that it was him, who detonated the bomb.

Since the explosion took place in the arrival hall of the international airport, the list of victims includes people of other nationalities. It has been reported that one of the foreigners, who has been injured in the attack, is a Slovak actress, Zuzana Fialova.

The power of the explosion was equivalent to seven kilos of TNT, investigators said. Experts believe that the Domodedovo explosion may become one of the largest transport terrorist acts in the world. The bomb was filled with damaging agents.

Most likely, the suicide terrorist was standing in the crowd of people in the arrival area of the airport. Investigators have classified the case as ‘terrorist act,’ Vladimir Markin, an official with the Investigation Committee of the Russian Federation said.

Afterwards, the press service of the Federal Customs Service said that the explosion took place in the general admission area, near Asia café, which is situated close to international arrivals area.

The number of those killed and injured in the terrorist act has been growing very fast. According to Interfax, 31 have been killed and 130 injured. According to investigators, “more than 30 have been killed” and “more than 130 have been injured” in the explosion. Disfigured and limbless bodies of the victims were reportedly placed near Gateway No.1 of the airport.

The administration of the airport said that there would be no evacuation. The airport will continue working according to schedule.

UPDATE: The number of victims has climbed to 35.

A video made just after the explosion is available here.

On Not Failing Our Brothers

SAS Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith has just been awarded the Victoria Cross of Australia for his bravery under fire in Afghanistan.

Before I comment on the larger ramifications of the article below, read this inspiring account of Corporal Roberts-Smith’s valiant actions last year in Kandahar, as reported in The Australian:

Pledge to ‘Brothers’ Inspired VC Bravery of Corporal Ben Roberts-Smith

SAS corporal Ben Roberts-Smith has tattooed across his chest the simple message: “I will not fail my brothers.”

Early on June 11 last year, in the rugged north of Afghanistan’s Kandahar Province, the special forces soldier lived up to his own promise.

In an early morning raid on a Taliban stronghold, Corporal Roberts-Smith and two other special forces soldiers were lying in a horribly exposed position just 20m in front of an insurgent machine-gun post.

From the sparse cover of a small pile of rubble, Corporal Roberts-Smith saw gunfire tearing up the ground around his friends and realised they’d soon be killed. He leapt to his feet and charged the machine-gun, killing the gunners at point-black range.

Yesterday, he was awarded the highest award for valour, the Victoria Cross of Australia.

The medal was presented in front of Corporal Roberts-Smith’s family and previous VC winners Mark Donaldson and Keith Payne.


Yesterday, Corporal Roberts-Smith, the second member of Australia Special Air Service regiment to win the VC in Afghanistan, spoke of the fear felt by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan and said they all showed great courage under fire.

“I saw a lot of brave men do a lot of brave things that day,” the 32-year-old SAS soldier said yesterday after being honoured for his extreme gallantry.


The SAS soldiers were pinned down in a battle with the Taliban in Afghanistan’s Shah Wali Kot region when Corporal Roberts-Smith made his life-saving dash through a storm of gunfire.

“Every single bloke in that troop was at some stage fighting for their lives, every person there showed gallantry,” Corporal Roberts-Smith said. “The decisions that I saw made were heroic, just watching some of my mates who were wounded by frag just keep firing, just ignoring the fact that they were drawing fire to themselves.”

Corporal Roberts-Smith said he was aware of bullets flying around him as he tackled the machine-gun posts, and anyone who said they didn’t feel fear was “either crazy or not telling the truth”.

But he said his actions were instinctive. “I saw my mates getting ripped up so I just decided to move forward. I wasn’t going to just sit there and do nothing. I thought I’d have a crack, I was not going to let my mates down,” he said.

The father of twin five-month-old girls said Australia was achieving results in Afghanistan.

“I believe that we are making a difference in stemming the flow of terrorism into Australia, and I want my children to be able to live as everyone does now without the fear of getting on to a bus and having it blow up,” he said. [emphasis added]

Corporal Roberts-Smith’s desire to live “without the fear of getting on to a bus and having it blow up” is commendable, and one that all of us share.

However, the same goal is also shared by the Muslim Brotherhood, with whose agents the West is riddled like termites in a stump. The Brotherhood wants our countries to become completely Islamized. It proposes that sharia be recognized as the law of the land. And it intends to accomplish all of this without the occurrence of a single additional terrorist incident.

The Ikhwan doesn’t want any more Major Hasans. It has no interest in additional Tube bombers or train bombers or shoe bombers or underwear bombers. It doesn’t want any explosives-laden trucks blowing up in Times Square or Portland.

The Brotherhood can’t fully repudiate Islamic terrorists in public. This would make them takfiris in the eyes of their more militant fellows, and would put their lives at risk. And forcing the kuffar to live in a state of constant fear can actually help soften up Western culture for the importation of Islamic supremacism.

Nevertheless, terrorist killings are counterproductive from the point of view of the long-term interests of Islam. Such incidents tend to wake Westerners up, which not at all what the Muslim Brotherhood wants.

They prefer us to be somnolent and fully anesthetized while they impregnate our societies with their deadly doctrine. They don’t want us sitting up and shouting and ripping out the IV until the gestation is over and all the imps are whelped and scattered throughout the land.

Blowing up a busload of children is the last thing a strategically shrewd Islamic zealot desires.

Few of us could ever hope to match Corporal Roberts-Smith’s courage. But even greater courage than his may not be enough for us to resist Islamization in the absence of terror attacks. If no other terror attack ever occurred on Western soil, would we still find it in ourselves to stand against Islam?

If we are fortunate, no one will ever blow up a schoolbus full of children in Australia. But how much consolation will that be if Corporal Roberts-Smith’s granddaughters are all compelled to board the bus in hijab?

Assuming, that is, they are allowed to go to school at all?

We must be tireless and persistent in our efforts to counter Islamic dissimulation and infiltration.

We must educate ourselves and others so that we are able to recognize what is occurring right before our eyes while so many remain asleep.

We must be vigilant and canny and ruthless in our information war.

If we are not to fail our brothers, we must be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.

Hat tip: Anne-Kit in Perth.