Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/13/2014

I just got back from a sojourn in the Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy, a.k.a. Northern Virginia (and also Washington D.C.). I’ll be reporting on some of the highlights of my trip in future posts.

This news feed reflects most, but not all, of the items you all sent in while I was gone. I didn’t have time to get to them all — it was just too much.

To see the headlines and the articles, click “Continue reading” below.

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, JP, Phyllis Chesler, RL, RR, Srdja Trifkovic, and all the other tipsters who sent these in.

Notice to tipsters: Please don’t submit extensive excerpts from articles that have been posted behind a subscription firewall, or are otherwise under copyright protection.

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.

Financial Crisis
» Italian Incomes Slump to Levels of 30 Years Ago — Retailers
» A Multicultural America: Force Feeding Islam to the Heartland
» Obama’s “Not Islamic” Islamic State Claim Ridiculed
» More Western Voices of Reason
Europe and the EU
» 10 Per Cent of France’s Richest Families “Fleeing” To Belgium
» 10-Tonne Shark Found Dead Off Norway Coast
» Belgium: Ban on Temporary Halal Abattoirs From 2015
» Belgium: Antwerp Claims 90,000 Euros From Jihadists
» Belgium: Mufti — Religious Institution in Egypt Rejects Violence in the Name of Religion
» Denmark Prepared to Get Tougher on Jihadists
» Europe’s Deadly Borders: An Inside Look at EU’s Shameful Immigration Policy
» FM: Zero Tolerance to Demonisation of Scots Muslims
» Foreigners Snap Up Paris Homes as French Exit
» Germany: Radical Islamists Go on Trial for Bomb and Murder Plot
» Norwegian Prisoners to be Incarcerated in the Netherlands
» Scottish Independence: Don’t Vote Yes Just to Give the ‘Effing Tories’ A Kick, Says David Cameron
» Scottish Independence: What Does the Political Establishment Think it’s Playing at?
» Spain Worst for ‘Generacion Ni-Ni’ In EU, 2nd Worst in OECD
» Spain: V for Victoria: Catalans Want Independence Too
» Spanish Government Unmoved by Catalonia Separatist March
» Suspected Ebola Case Appears in Central Italy: Media
» Sweden: Violence Halts Medicine Deliveries to Stockholm Suburb
» Switzerland: ‘Snow! Snow! Get Moving!’: The Lethal Lure of Mont Blanc
» UK: ‘Muslim Sex Gang’ Accused of Abusing 13-Year-Old Girl in South Yorkshire
» UK: Duo Charged Over Alleged Child Sex Exploitation in Aylesbury
» UK: Embattled PCC Shaun Wright Serves on Home Office Child Abuse Task Force
» UK: London Vicar ‘Held Sham Weddings on Industrial Scale’
» UK: Rotherham Child Sex Abuse Files ‘Missing From Archive’
» UK: Stonehenge Secrets Revealed by Underground Map
» UK: Stupid David Cameron and Poisonous Labour Have Let the Union Wither and Maybe Die. I Told You So
» UK: Westminster is Definitely Not Panicking or Cobbling Together Anything
North Africa
» Sinai: Tenth Beheading Since the End of July
Israel and the Palestinians
» Caroline Glick: President Sisi’s Gift
» Israeli Army Storm West Bank Refugee Camp, Killing 1 Palestinian: Medics
Middle East
» Broad Coalition Against Islamic State at Jeddah Summit 11/9
» Don’t Call it a War? Administration Hit for Refusing to Use ‘W’ Word for ISIS Mission
» Egypt’s Brotherhood Says Leaders to Quit Qatar Haven
» Erdogan Approves Law Tightening Turkey’s Internet Controls
» For the Fight Against the Islamic State, Obama Chooses the Saudis, The Vatican Chooses the UN
» Iraq to Get GBP 1.6m of Arms From UK Wednesday
» Iraq: Is Militants Behead Five Fortunetellers in Mosul
» Iraq: Kurdish Blacksmith Creates an Armored Vehicle for Peshmerga
» Iraqi Planes Urge Mosul Residents to Rise Up Against IS
» ISIS Says it Executed British Aid Worker
» Kuwaiti IS Member Interrogated by State Security — Man Returns Over Dissatisfaction With Group Practices
» Kuwait: UN to Honor Emir Al Sabah as ‘Humanitarian Leader’
» Lavrov: US Might Use ISIS as a Pretext to Launch Airstrikes Against Assad’s Forces
» No Ethiopians to Kuwait
» Obama to Compare Plan for ISIS to U.S Fights in Somalia and Yemen
» Obama’s Non-Strategy
» Obama’s Speech: ISIS is Not Islamic?? What World Does He Live in?
» Syrian Christians Main Victims of Fighting Among Anti-Assad Islamists
» Syrian War Jets Bomb Rebel Positions
» Up to 350 Belgians Fighting in Syria
» Up to 13 Killed in Two Suicide Bombings in Iraq’s Baghdad
» Three Ukrainian Guards Killed Near Border With Russia
» Ukraine Crisis Used to Reanimate NATO Says Putin
» Ukraine: Western Voices of Reason
South Asia
» India: Love Jihad: MP BJP Legislator Wants Muslims Barred From Garbha Celebrations
» Over a Dozen Injured in Bomb Attack in Bangladesh
» Senior Religious Cleric Shot Dead in Pakistan’s Karachi
Far East
» British Diplomat’s Gay Marriage Draws Attention in China
» Philippine Bill Would Set Up Autonomous Region in Muslim-Dominated South
Australia — Pacific
» Muslims Buy Site for First Sunshine Coast Mosque
» Terrorism Threat: Australian Alert Level Raised to High; Terrorist Attack Likely But Not Imminent
Sub-Saharan Africa
» AU Requests Lifting of Ebola Travel Bans
» China Sending 1,800 Peacekeepers to South Sudan
» Ebola Death Toll Reaches 2,296 — Liberia Still Tops
» Nigeria: Jonathan’s Directive on #BringBackJonathan Good First Step, But…. — APC
» Nigeria: Military, B’Haram Battle for CDS’ Town
» Anti-Migrant Border Checks ‘Last Resort’ Says Berlin
» French Court Acquits Priest for Housing Migrants in Church
» Italy Welcomed 11,000 Unaccompanied Refugee Minors This Year
» 9/11 and Jihad Terror: A Legacy of Over 13 Centuries — Not 13 Years
» Henry Kissinger, The Inconsistent Realist

Italian Incomes Slump to Levels of 30 Years Ago — Retailers

Average disposable income just 17,400 euros in 2014

(ANSA) — Rome, September 10 — Italian incomes have fallen to the levels they were at 30 years ago, according to figures released on Wednesday by retailers association Confcommercio.

The association said that the average Italian’s disposable income this year is 17,400 euros, the same level as in 2013 and only a little higher than the 17,200 euro average of 1986.

Italian retailers have been badly hit by a slump in consumer spending, with the economy in its third recession since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

A Multicultural America: Force Feeding Islam to the Heartland

Exclusive: Jack Cashill shares his experience of being blackballed by progressive enforcer

As anyone who has spoken honestly about Islam knows, multiculturalism isn’t all that “multi” and relativism isn’t all that relative.

This lesson I learned in an unexpected place, the venerable Chautauqua (sha-TAWK-wa) Institution in Western New York, a physically beautiful summer colony with a strong ecumenical Christian tradition.

The climactic scene of my one and only novel, the then-futuristic “2006: The Chautauqua Rising,” unfolded at the Institution. Set, as the reader might surmise, in 2006, this political action thriller tells the tale of a grass-roots insurrection that in many ways anticipated the tea party insurgency of 2009-10.

At the time of the book’s publication, the year 2000, I was unaware of any political turmoil at Chautauqua. In the book, I described the Institution as “a perfectly preserved wish dream of late 19th century Americana.”

My gripe at the time was that it was “too quiet, too calm, too relentlessly civilized.”A casual visitor, I did not sense that Chautauqua had long been drifting leftward both politically and theologically…

           — Hat tip: RL [Return to headlines]

Obama’s “Not Islamic” Islamic State Claim Ridiculed

President Obama’s assertion Wednesday night that the Islamic State terrorist group “is not ‘Islamic’“ is drawing derision from a number of quarters.

Author Sam Harris, an atheist who challenges all religions, went further, dismissing Obama’s argument as a “scrim of pretense and delusion.”

“Which will come first, flying cars and vacations to Mars, or a simple acknowledgment that beliefs guide behavior and that certain religious ideas—jihad, martyrdom, blasphemy, apostasy—reliably lead to oppression and murder?” Harris wondered in an essay. “It may be true that no faith teaches people to massacre innocents exactly—but innocence, as the President surely knows, is in the eye of the beholder. Are apostates ‘innocent’? Blasphemers? Polytheists? Islam has the answer, and the answer is ‘no.’“

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

More Western Voices of Reason

By Srdja Trifkovic

My friend (and Tom Fleming’s), former Canadian ambassador in Belgrade James Bissett, published a noteworthy article in last Tuesday’s Ottawa Citizen (“NATO at the Heart of the New Cold War,” September 9). He starts by reminding us that NATO was born at the mid-point of the 20th century, which by that time had already seen two world wars and the dropping of the atom bomb on civilian cities. Its founders were determined that war and violence should not become the norm in resolving disputes, and it was in this spirit that Article I of the treaty was conceived:…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

10 Per Cent of France’s Richest Families “Fleeing” To Belgium

10 percent of France’s top-500 of the country’s richest families have taken up residence in Belgium to escape the French rich tax. This was revealed by research carried out by the dailies L’Echo and De Tijd. They also have 54 holdings in Belgium representing a total amount of 17 billion euros.

About 250,000 Frenchmen have taken up their official residence in Belgium. It is not clear how many of them moved to Belgium to escape the rich tax imposed by their president François Hollande.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

10-Tonne Shark Found Dead Off Norway Coast

A 10-tonne shark, thought to be one of the largest ever found, was discovered floating dead off the coast of North Norway on Monday.

Basking sharks are the second largest fish in the sea next to the whale shark. The basking shark only consumes plankton and is harmless to people. The liver may take up a fourth of the basking shark’s total weight and is used for commercial purposes.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Belgium: Ban on Temporary Halal Abattoirs From 2015

Starting next year, unanaesthetised slaughter of animals in temporary abattoirs will be prohibited, according to Flemish Minister of Animal Welfare Ben Weyts (Flemish Nationalist). The temporary abattoirs will still be allowed for the upcoming Eid-al Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice), as a “sudden ban could lead to chaos”.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Belgium: Antwerp Claims 90,000 Euros From Jihadists

The Antwerp judicial authorities are claiming 90,000 euros from unemployed local residents that have moved to Syria. 50 per cent of those that left for Syria to join the civil war received an unemployed benefit while they were not entitled to it. That’s according to press reports in De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and Gazet van Antwerpen.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Belgium: Mufti — Religious Institution in Egypt Rejects Violence in the Name of Religion

Mufti of Egypt Dr. Shawqi Allam wound up an official visit to Brussels during which he attended several key events aimed at correcting the marred image of Islam.

During his visit, Allam met the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy, where he stressed that Egypt is a “pivotal state” and that stability of the Arab region depends on the stability of Egypt .

Allam stated that Egypt’s religious institutions, headed by Al-Azhar, condemn all sorts of “violence and terrorism” in the name of religion. He also stressed that the actions of the “terrorist” groups calling themselves Islamic State (ISIS) are unacceptable in Islam.

He added that the groups using religion as a political ideology make “unqualified” statements about Shariaa (Islamic law), and pose a growing challenge to presenting the true image of Islam.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Denmark Prepared to Get Tougher on Jihadists

Government coalition parties are in agreement that individuals suspected of aspiring to fight abroad should have their passports confiscated, but they’re not yet sure how to do it.

The Danish government now appears ready to take a tougher stance against Danish citizens who travel abroad to participate in the fighting in Syria and Iraq.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Europe’s Deadly Borders: An Inside Look at EU’s Shameful Immigration Policy

Along the frontiers between Spain and Morocco, Greece and Turkey and Hungary and Serbia, the EU is deploying brutal methods to keep out undesired refugees. Many risk everything for a future in Europe and their odysseys too often end in death.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

FM: Zero Tolerance to Demonisation of Scots Muslims

SCOTLAND’S authorities will take a “zero tolerance” approach to attempts to demonise Muslims after an Aberdeen man appeared in a terrorist recruitment video, Alex Salmond said today.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Foreigners Snap Up Paris Homes as French Exit

Foreigners are buying up almost one in ten properties for sale in the Paris region, a rate last seen 15 years ago, new figures show. This comes as there a big change in behaviour among would-be French buyers.

Italian, Chinese, Algerian and Portuguese buyers make up the bulk of the foreign contingent buying properties in the Ile-de-France region around Paris, real estate group BIEN said.

Foreigners are mainly getting a bigger slice of the real-estate pie because fewer French nationals are shelling out for homes in the capital.

“In fact, the volume of (foreigners’) transactions has remained stable; it’s the French who are buying less,” Paris notary Thierry Delasalle told reporters at a news conference on the capital’s sales figures on Thursday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Germany: Radical Islamists Go on Trial for Bomb and Murder Plot

Four alleged terrorists from the Islamist Salafi movement went on trial under high security in the western German city of Düsseldorf on Monday, accused of attempted violent crimes.

The accused have been charged with the attempted murder of the chairman of the right-wing extremist party “Pro NRW” in March, 2013.

According to federal prosecutor Horst Salzmann, the four men wanted to take “violent revenge” for caricatures criticizing Islam issued by the party during its regional election campaign in 2012. The caricatures included some depicting the Prophet Mohammed — something Islam forbids.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Norwegian Prisoners to be Incarcerated in the Netherlands

Decision pending work to expand, renovate domestic jails

(ANSA) — Rome, September 9 — The Norwegian government is to transfer 300 detainees to prisons in Holland pending work to renovate or expand domestic jails, it emerged on Tuesday.

The move comes in response to an “urgent” situation of overcrowding or poor conditions in Norwegian prisons.

“We inherited the problems of prison renovation and failed expansion from the previous government because the reception capacity has fallen over time,” Justice Minister Anders Anundsen said. Under the agreement between Oslo and Amsterdam the Norwegian prisoners transferred to Dutch jails will serve their sentence in accordance with Norwegian detention standards, which are considered more permissive. Norwegian media report that some 1,300 convicts are awaiting a definitive place in prison, while the work to expand current capacity will cost 700 million euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Scottish Independence: Don’t Vote Yes Just to Give the ‘Effing Tories’ A Kick, Says David Cameron

David Cameron gives a passionate address in Edinburgh as he says Britain is ‘holding its breath’ for referendum vote and admits: ‘I care for my country more than my party’

David Cameron has pledged to stay on as Prime Minister if Scotland becomes independent but urged voters not to break up the union just to give the “effing Tories a kick”.

In an passionate address in Edinburgh, Mr Cameron said that he will remain Prime Minister in the event of a Yes vote to “make that [independence] happen”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Scottish Independence: What Does the Political Establishment Think it’s Playing at?

by Dan Hodges

OK, what the hell is going on here? What, precisely, does Gordon Brown think he’s doing? More to the point, what exactly does the rest of the British political establishment think it’s doing?…

What do people think the implications will be for the general election? And the proposed Euro referendum? Nigel Farage may as well start measuring the Downing Street curtains now…

[Reader comment by chezz on 9 September 2014.]

A quarter of a century of systematic nation-wrecking by British politicians, and we are perhaps about to witness the dénouement.

Well done, chaps. You must be really proud.

Never has our country suffered such a bunch of stupid incompetents as these.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Spain Worst for ‘Generacion Ni-Ni’ In EU, 2nd Worst in OECD

Almost 2 million youth neither work nor study, report

(ANSAmed) — MADRID — Spain is the EU nation of Organization for Cooperation and Economic Development (OECD) members with the highest percentage of youths who neither work nor study, according to the OECD report Education at a Glance 2014.

The report was presented on Tuesday in Madrid by Secretary of State for Education, Training, and Universities Montserrat Gomendio. One in every four of those between the ages of 15 and 29 (25.7%) neither study nor work due to a lack of opportunity to do so, and are considered members of the “generación ni-ni” (the neither-nor generation).

Of the 34 OECD member nations, Spain is in second place in the percentage of ‘ni-ni’, surpassed only by Turkey with its 29.1% of youths neither working nor studying. Just below Spain is Italy with 24.6%, Chile with 22.3%, Mexico with 22% and Ireland 21%. The percentage is much higher than the OECD average, which dropped from 15.6% in 2011 to 14.9% in 2012.

In Spain, the percentage of “lost generation” youths has risen steadily, from 23.8% in 2010 to 24.4% in 2011 and 25.7% in 2012. According to the report, these percentages correspond to 1,956,900 youths as of January 1, 2013.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Spain: V for Victoria: Catalans Want Independence Too

Catalonia wants to join Scotland in holding an independence referendum. But the Spanish constitution doesn’t allow for secession. Nationalists in Barcelona are prepared to push the vote through anyway.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Spanish Government Unmoved by Catalonia Separatist March

The center-right government of the Popular Party (PP) remains unmoved by Catalan separatists’ show of force to mark Catalonia Day in Barcelona on Thursday.

“Citizens have the right to march but elected officials have the obligation to respect the law,” said Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría on Friday. “The government respects the right of all people who demonstrate peacefully, a right that is enshrined in the Constitution. But the same Constitution that protects that right also establishes the procedures through which elected officials may change our constitutional system.”

The situation is something of a catch-22: Madrid views Catalonia’s planned referendum on self-rule as illegal and plans to appeal it to the Constitutional Court to deprive it of legal significance.

Instead, says the government, Catalan separatists should lobby for constitutional reform to make their referendum legally acceptable.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Suspected Ebola Case Appears in Central Italy: Media

ROME, Sept. 9 (Xinhua) — A suspected Ebola case has been discovered in Italian central region Marche on Tuesday, Italian news agency ANSA reported.

According to ANSA, Marche Regional Health Councillor Almerino Mezzolani has confirmed the news.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Sweden: Violence Halts Medicine Deliveries to Stockholm Suburb

A delivery firm is refusing to bring medicines and food to the north-western Stockholm suburb of Rinkeby after a driver was attacked and brought to hospital.

The company, which deliveries medicine, food and other items, is working with security guards and police and hopes to resume deliveries soon. A police spokesperson said more officers will be deployed in the area so that locals and business owners can feel safe.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Switzerland: ‘Snow! Snow! Get Moving!’: The Lethal Lure of Mont Blanc

Every year, some 30,000 people attempt to climb Mont Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps, and a shocking number die on the mountain. The reason, say locals, is overcrowding, foolhardiness and a lack of respect for the White Lady.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

UK: ‘Muslim Sex Gang’ Accused of Abusing 13-Year-Old Girl in South Yorkshire

A gang of Muslim men in Britain has been accused of abusing a 13-year-old girl they found wandering the streets on her own.

The men, who are on trial at Sheffield Crown Court, are accused of abusing vulnerable child in a variety of flats and hotel rooms after she ran away from home, in a seven-day ordeal.

The Express reports that the court heard that the girl “fell into conversation” with one man called Shaz after taking a bus from Sheffield to Bradford. He invited her back to his flat where he kept her for two nights and abused her.

Shaz, who is still being hunted by police, then dropped her in Bradford city centre, where more men began following her. Mohammed Shapal and Shakeal Rehman then drove up and took her back to a hotel room, prosecutor Thomas Storey said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Duo Charged Over Alleged Child Sex Exploitation in Aylesbury

Two men have been charged by police investigating alleged child sex exploitation in a town.

Harmohan Nangpal, 40, of Langdale Drive, Hayes, Middlesex, is accused of raping a girl aged under 13, Thames Valley Police said.

A second man, Faisal Iqbal, 31, of Pixie Road, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, faces one count of conspiracy to rape a girl under 16.

Police said the pair were arrested over alleged offences committed in the Aylesbury area between 2005 and 2008…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Embattled PCC Shaun Wright Serves on Home Office Child Abuse Task Force

Shaun Wright, the embattled police and crime commissioner who has refused to resign over the Rotherham child abuse scandal, sits on a Home Office task force combating child sexual violence, it has emerged.

The South Yorkshire PCC is a key representative for the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners on the sexual violence against children and vulnerable people national group…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: London Vicar ‘Held Sham Weddings on Industrial Scale’

A south-east London vicar presided over a “matrimonial conveyor belt” of sham weddings so foreign nationals could stay in the UK, a court has heard.

The Reverend Nathan Ntege, 55, is accused of marrying almost 500 bogus couples at a church in Thornton Heath…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Rotherham Child Sex Abuse Files ‘Missing From Archive’

Key reports detailing child sexual exploitation have disappeared from the archives, the outgoing chief executive of Rotherham Council tells MPs.

Martin Kimber said he had not seen a full copy of a 2002 report, had never seen a 2003 report and only saw a 2006 report on Sunday…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Stonehenge Secrets Revealed by Underground Map

Archaeologists have unveiled the most detailed map ever produced of the earth beneath Stonehenge and its surrounds.

They combined different instruments to scan the area to a depth of three metres, with unprecedented resolution.

Early results suggest that the iconic monument did not stand alone, but was accompanied by 17 neighbouring shrines…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Stupid David Cameron and Poisonous Labour Have Let the Union Wither and Maybe Die. I Told You So

By Sean Thomas

I hate to say “I told you so”, because, well, it’s unseemly, isn’t it? I told you so. Only kids do that. Certainly not middle-aged thriller writers. I told you so. Besides, hurling such adolescent imprecations, like I told you so, when discussing the death of a great country, is surely inappropriate and…

Nah, to hell with it.

I told you so…

In passing I might also mention the blog where I pin-pointed the problem: which is Labour’s self-loathing, its inability to make the case for Britain as a country — because it hates too much about Britain, and in particular it hates England. This means it has spent 20 years telling the Scots that England = Tories = baby-eating bankers in jackboots, so it’s very difficult to see why Labourite Scots will now turn around and agree with Labour when it says, Hey let’s stay in a union with England so they can help babysit…

I told you so.

[Reader comment by Frank Fisher on 9 September 2014.]

Superb article.

I too am furious at these ignorant, arrogant, terminally STUPID people who have somehow ended up apparently running the country. But you know who else is to blame Sean? The damn stupid lazy and cowardly voters who have sat back and allowed this to happen.

It may be too late to save Scotland. it may be too late to save England; time will tell. But if we are going to do either of these things we need to start fighting NOW. And the first step is to clean these morons out of Westminster — only UKIP can do this.

BTW, if the Scots vote for Salmond’s Fantasy Island, just watch LibLabCon try to postpone the 2015 election till 2017, rather than prevent scots from voting. Just watch them and the entire media decide this is the “only solution”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

UK: Westminster is Definitely Not Panicking or Cobbling Together Anything

By Isabel Hardman

Here are a number of things that the Westminster parties’ response to the narrowing Scottish independence polls have definitely not been. Absolutely definitely not…

[Reader comment by RadioJockhadistan on 9 September 2014.]

You mean to say now London have no Plan B?

That can’t be right, I thought we accused the Jockhadis of wanting to set up a Jockhadi State without a currency.

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Sinai: Tenth Beheading Since the End of July

Body recovered with the message Mossad spy

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO, SEPTEMBER 10 — Another beheaded body was found in North Sinai. A piece of paper saying “Mossad spy” signed by Ansar beit al Maqdis, al Qaida sympathizers in the region, was recovered on the tortured corpse, security sources said. It is the tenth beheading since the start of the terror campaign launched by Ansar at the end of July.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: President Sisi’s Gift

Something extraordinary has happened.

On August 31, PLO chief and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told an audience of Fatah members that Egypt had offered to give the PA some 1,600 kilometers of land in Sinai adjacent to Gaza, thus quintupling the size of the Gaza Strip. Egypt even offered to allow all the so-called “Palestinian refugees” to settle in the expanded Gaza Strip.

Then Abbas told his Fatah followers that he rejected the Egyptian offer.

On Monday Army Radio substantiated Abbas’s claim.

According to Army Radio, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi proposed that the Palestinians establish their state in the expanded Gaza Strip and accept limited autonomy over parts of Judea and Samaria.

In exchange for this state, the Palestinians would give up their demand that Israel shrink into the indefensible 1949 armistice lines, surrendering Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. Sisi argued that the land Egypt is offering in Sinai would more than compensate for the territory that Abbas would concede.

In his speech to Fatah members, Abbas said, “They [the Egyptians] are prepared to receive all the refugees, [and are saying] ‘Let’s end the refugee story.’“ “But,” he insisted, “It’s illogical for the problem to be solved at Egypt’s expense. We won’t have it..”

In other words, Sisi offered Abbas a way to end the Palestinians’ suffering and grant them political independence. And Abbas said, “No, forget statehood. Let them suffer.”…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

Israeli Army Storm West Bank Refugee Camp, Killing 1 Palestinian: Medics

RAMALLAH, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — A Palestinian was shot dead early Wednesday when an Israeli army force stormed a Palestinian refugee camp near Ramallah in the West Bank, medics said.

The medics said that Eassa al-Qatari, a 23 years old of al-Am’ari refugee camp, was killed after a gun shot by Israeli soldiers hit him in the back.

Witnesses said that when the Israeli army force stormed the refugee camp, clashes broke out with the residents, adding that Israeli soldiers opened fire and killed al-Qatari…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Broad Coalition Against Islamic State at Jeddah Summit 11/9

US and allies; Saudi Arabia to build fence along Iraqi border

Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faysal (R) attends a recent Arab League meeting in Cairo.

(ANSAmed) — ROME — A summit will be held on Thursday in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, between the US and its Arab nation allies to broaden a coalition against the jihadist Islamic State (IS) group fighting in Iraq and Syria.

The announcement was made by the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Tuesday.

Participants will include Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members: in addition to Saudi Arabia, there will be Bahrain, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman and Qatar. US Secretary of State John Kerry will be attending. Kerry will be in Amman on Wednesday as part of a regional tour to build a US-led international alliance against IS jihadists as part of a three-phase plan announced by President Obama that is expected to take at least three years. For the implementation of the plan, which has already begun with US airstrikes on jihadist positions in Iraq, the US is counting on the assistance not only of NATO and Gulf allies but also other countries — such as Jordan, Egypt, and (indirectly) Iran, which is already helping Iraqi Kurdish forces.

King Abdullah II of Jordan, who on Tuesday welcomed Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, underscored the need for an international coalition against IS. “The challenges in the region require efforts at the regional and international level,” he said in a statement, “in order to fight against terrorist groups.” The King of Jordan reiterated the international community’s request to support states bordering Syria, which are struggling to deal with the high flow of refugees fleeing the ongoing violence.

In a recent summit in Cairo, Arab League nations reached an agreement to jointly fight IS jihadists. The summit on Thursday will be hosted by Saudi Arabia, which feel especially threatened by IS due to its 900 km border with Iraq. Out of concern of possible infiltration by jihadists, the king has announced the building of a five-layer border fence with the use of infrared, fiber optics, radar and dozens of observation posts. There will also be thousands of soldiers deployed on the ground to stop and question all suspects — including those suspected of other illicit activities — stopped at the border.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Don’t Call it a War? Administration Hit for Refusing to Use ‘W’ Word for ISIS Mission

The Obama administration is refusing to describe the expanded military campaign against the Islamic State as a war — despite plans to launch airstrikes across two tumultuous Middle East countries, dispatch hundreds more U.S. military personnel and build a coalition of nations to ultimately “destroy” the growing terror network.

The reluctance to use that label has generated confusion on Capitol Hill, particularly in light of new intelligence estimates that the Islamic State has as many as 31,500 fighters across Iraq and Syria. That’s the size of a small army — and close to the estimated size of the Taliban force in 2001.

Yet in television interviews on Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry repeatedly avoided the term “war” to describe the mission, instead calling it a “major counterterrorism operation” that could last a long time.

“It’s hard to find a response to that,” Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told Fox News, when asked about Kerry’s comments. “Then what was the president talking about (Wednesday) night?”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Egypt’s Brotherhood Says Leaders to Quit Qatar Haven

Leaders of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood exiled in Qatar will leave the Gulf country after it came under enormous pressure to cut support for the Islamist group, a Brotherhood official said.

Amr Darrag, a leader of the Brotherhood’s political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, said several members were relocating to “spare Qatar embarrassment,” in a statement posted on his Facebook page late Friday.

Two Brotherhood officials in Qatar reached by AFP confirmed Darrag’s statement.

Egypt designated the Brotherhood a “terrorist organisation” after the military ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Erdogan Approves Law Tightening Turkey’s Internet Controls

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan approved a law tightening government control of the Internet and expanding the powers of the telecoms authority late on Thursday, part of the first legislative package he has effected as head of state.

Parliament passed the law late on Monday.

The new law comes on top of legislation passed in February that made it easier for the authorities to block access to web pages without a prior court order, prompting public anger and raising concern about freedom of speech.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

For the Fight Against the Islamic State, Obama Chooses the Saudis, The Vatican Chooses the UN

The US president is set to present a plan to fight caliphate militias. His would-be alliance includes states that have provided ISIL with financial and ideological support, and excludes Syria, Iran and Russia. Pope Francis, Card Sandri, and Mgr Tomasi, the Vatican observer at the UN, demand that the United Nations be involved to enhance the fight’s effectiveness.

Rome (AsiaNews) — The Catholic Church and US President Barack Obama do not seem to see much eye to eye when it comes to Iraq. Whilst the US leader plans to launch a fight against the Islamic State (IS) with an alliance of 40 states, some Vatican leaders, following in the footsteps of Poe Francis Poe and Bishop Tomasi, stress the need to go through the United Nations.

A few hours before US President Barack Obama delivers his speech at 7 PM (EST), Card Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Oriental Churches, told US bishop that, “even as American citizens, you are called to support the role of the United Nations, prominently present in New York, as the appropriate organ for decisions and concrete interventions in matters of general international concern.”

Card Sandri travelled to Washington to thank the US Catholic Church for its humanitarian aid to the Christian communities in the Holy Land, as well as in Iraq and Syria.

In early September, Mgr Silvano Maria Tomasi, permanent observer of the Holy See to the United Nations in Geneva, stressed the urgent need to uphold the international effort to “protect” Iraqi minorities, which was taken “in good faith” under international and humanitarian law.

Today US President Barack Obama will deliver a speech to the nation going against that substantial part of the US electorate that voted for him to end military interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although few details are available, Obama is not likely to deploy ground troops. He will probably back airstrikes, even within Syria, against IS rear ground bases. And several European countries and NATO members will likely back air strikes as well as offer military advice and training.

“We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities; we’re going to shrink the territory that they control; and, ultimately, we’re going to defeat them,” Obama said in an interview a few days ago.

His plan will also include international border controls to stop the recruitment of young Westerners into the ranks of the jihadist militias as well as intelligence sharing among governments. It will also entail financial and military aid to anti-Assad Islamic militias that have been increasingly marginalised and beaten back by ISIS over the past year.

The anti-IS alliance includes NATO members (including Turkey), and many Arab nations, most notably Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, and Kuwait. Qatar will remain on the sidelines, and for good reasons: it is one of the Islamic State’s main financial backers despite being a US ally and allowing Washington to use the Udeid Air Base.

The fact is that all Arab countries involved in the fight against Bashar al Assad share Qatar’s ambiguous position: funding Islamist militias, bankrolling the jihad, and help militants train within their borders (Turkey). In addition, many of the weapons sold by the United States, Great Britain, France, and Germany to the Saudis, Qataris and Emiratis later found their way into the hands of Syria’s Islamist opposition Syria and the Islamic State.

In view of this, Obama’s plan is likely to fail, and this for various reasons.

First, to win a war against the militants only with air power and no ground troops will be very difficult. Secondly, it is hard to fight the Islamist army with its financial and ideological backers as allies. Finally, it is hard to understand why the fight against the Islamic State’s brutal hegemony should exclude states that have many reasons to oppose it, namely Syria, Iran, Russia, and possibly China.

Of course, Assad is a dictator, but his moral standing is neither better nor worse than that of the monarchs of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Bahrain. The same can be said about Iran whose attitude towards Christians is a thousand times more tolerant than that of Saudi Arabia.

Such contradictions and exclusions raise fears that the US-led alliance will only back the special interests of its Arab partners. The net result will be the marginalisation of Iran, the overthrow of Assad, and the break-up of Iraq and the Middle East. Even if the US plays the region’s hit man, the liberation of Mosul and Qaraqosh will be last on the list of priorities.

Going through the United Nations to fight the former ISIL is a must, and could lead to greater cooperation in the international community. Even Egypt has made it clear to Obama that it would make a military commitment only through the UN.

The advice provided by the pope, Card Sandri, and Mgr Tomasi are not spiritual observations or exhortations; it is sound international politics. The aim is to ensure that the war does not lead to further disasters, that the aggressor is beaten and that the bases for peace in the Middle East are laid.

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

Iraq to Get GBP 1.6m of Arms From UK Wednesday

The UK said on Tuesday it is donating heavy machine guns and ammunition to the Iraqi government to help it counter attacks by Islamic State jihadist group.

According to UK Defence Secretary Michael Fallon, arms and ammunition worth about GBP 1.6 M were being sent to Iraq at the request of the Iraqi government, including the Kurdish regional government.

Transport costs are estimated at GBP 475,000 and the equipment is due to arrive in Iraq on Wednesday.

Kurdish fighters, who have been battling Islamic State militants since April alongside Iraqi government forces “remain significantly less well equipped than” the fighters of the jihadist group that has taken control of large territories of Iraq and Syria, Fallon said.

News of the donation of military equipment followed the formation of a new government in Iraq led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi that is sharing power between the Shia Arab majority, Sunni Arabs and Kurds, the BBC said.

UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had said earlier that it was vital that all political blocs in Iraq work together to overcome the threat posed by Islamic State.

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

Iraq: Is Militants Behead Five Fortunetellers in Mosul

Islamic State (IS) militants in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul have kidnapped a group of women fortunetellers and beheaded them.

Sa’ed Mamuzini, spokesman for the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) office in Mosul, told BasNews that IS militants arrested five women who worked as fortunetellers, beheaded them and threw out their bodies…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Iraq: Kurdish Blacksmith Creates an Armored Vehicle for Peshmerga

As a response to the Peshmerga’s bravery in protecting the Kurdistan Region against attacks from Islamic State (IS) militants, a Kurdish blacksmith Shahbaz Sindi from Zakho, Duhok province, has voluntarily built a armored vehicles for the Kurdish forces, his way of performing a national duty and showing his support for them…

He mentioned that after 25 years of working as a blacksmith this is his first attempt at building a tank or any military equipment. ‘All the parts, military included, used in creating the tank are locally sourced.’…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Iraqi Planes Urge Mosul Residents to Rise Up Against IS

This week, Iraqi military planes have been ordered to fly over Mosul city and drop leaflets urgents residents to rise against Islamic State (IS) militants.

“Iraqi military planes have dropped leaflets over neighborhoods of Mosul in the late night of Tuesday,” said an eyewitness to Iraqi local media…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

ISIS Says it Executed British Aid Worker

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria released a video on Saturday that showed what appeared to be the beheading of a British citizen, David Cawthorne Haines, an aid worker who is seen kneeling on a bare hill in a landscape that appears identical to where two American journalists were killed by the group in back-to-back-executions in the past month, according to footage and a transcript released by SITE Intelligence, which tracks the terrorist group.

In the moments before his death, Mr. Haines, 44, like the two journalists killed before him, reads a script in which he blames his country’s leaders for his killing. Addressing Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, he says, “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as your predecessor Tony Blair did, following a trend among our British prime ministers who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans.”

[Return to headlines]

Kuwaiti IS Member Interrogated by State Security — Man Returns Over Dissatisfaction With Group Practices

Well-informed security sources said state security agents are interrogating a Kuwaiti citizen who returned two days earlier from a trip during which he allegedly fought with Islamic State militants. The sources said that the suspect was still in custody to find out how he joined this group.

The sources said that the citizen — referred to as H A — was being cross-examined to get information about Kuwaiti IS fighters and those supporting them in Kuwait.

The sources said the citizen returned over his dissatisfaction with IS practices, especially after they executed one of the fighters.

Meanwhile, informed sources that have close connections with extremists fighting in Syria said that IS had executed Kuwaiti citizen Hussein Redha Lari (aka Abu Omar Al-Kuwaiti) after accusing him of exaggeration and extremism.

Informed sources told that the executed citizen had been accused of calling for fighting other Islamic groups, namely Nusra Front, which led to undermining reconciliation efforts in ‘liberated’ Syrian territories. Notably, Abu Omar was detained in a prison in Raqqa, Syria, while his family returned to Kuwait and his son remained in Syria.


           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Kuwait: UN to Honor Emir Al Sabah as ‘Humanitarian Leader’

(ANSAmed) — Rome, september 9 — United Nations Secretary General holds a major celebration at the UN headquarters in New York later on Tuesday, honoring the emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah as ‘Humanitarian Leader’ and the State of Kuwait as ‘Humanitarian Center’.

According to a press release, Deputy Emir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah said in a speech that “this great international achievement is an honorable recognition and a historic testament for our beloved Kuwait and our wise leader, as well as the Kuwaiti people,” adding that the honoring is also a source of pride for every Arab and Muslim.

The Deputy Emir carried on saying that honoring of the Emir is not driven only by his donations or financial contributions but rather by his relentless humanitarian efforts, initiatives and moves. “His Highness’s relentless hard work, political initiatives and diplomatic efforts on all levels have majorly contributed to mending gaps and reaching conciliations”, he added.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Lavrov: US Might Use ISIS as a Pretext to Launch Airstrikes Against Assad’s Forces

If the West bombs Islamic State militants in Syria without consulting Damascus, the anti-ISIS alliance may use the occasion to launch airstrikes against President Bashar Assad’s forces, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

“There are reasons to suspect that air strikes on Syrian territory may target not only areas controlled by Islamic State militants, but the government troops may also be attacked on the quiet to weaken the positions of Bashar Assad’s army,” Lavrov said Tuesday.

Such a development would lead to a huge escalation of conflict in the Middle East and North Africa, Lavrov told reporters in Moscow after a meeting with the foreign minister of Mali.

Russia has long warned its western partners about the threat posed by Islamic State, al-Qaeda and other groups that later merged into the Islamic Front, Lavrov said.

“We have repeatedly suggested to the US, the EU and leading European states to realize the extent of this threat. We have called on the UN to resolutely condemn terrorist attacks staged by Islamists in Syria. But we were told that it was Bashar Assad’s politics that gave rise to terrorism, and that denouncing such acts was possible only alongside with the demand for his resignation,” Lavrov said.

In Moscow’s view, this represents “a double standard” and an attempt to justify terrorism.

Up until the Syrian conflict, Russia and the West were unanimous that terrorism cannot be justified “no matter what motive was behind them,” Lavrov said. But in case with Syria the West had a “different, two-faced stance.” It was only when the terrorism threat which originated in Libya crept to Lebanon and then Iraq that Western countries realized it was time to deal with that, Lavrov said.

“Having admitted it with a huge delay, western partners for some reason think that this threat should be eliminated on the territory of Iraq, while on the territory of Syria it might be left to the consideration of those who conduct the operation,” Lavrov said.

Lavrov said that there could be no different interpretation when it comes to the common interests of the West, Russia and other states: “Terrorist threats must be eliminated and terrorists liquidated,” he said.

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

No Ethiopians to Kuwait

By Muna Al-Fuzai

Kuwait is no more open to Ethiopians — male or female workers cannot enter the country. Such a decision is like labeling a nation with the mark of being killers and crazies that need to be banned in order to keep Kuwait safe and secure from possible threats.

The Ministry of Interior suspended the entry of all male and female Ethiopians workers since February because of the crime rate recorded among this nationality in terms of murder and theft.

Personally, I think such a decision is unfair and cruel. For example, if someone claims that all Muslims are terrorists because IS and bin Laden are Muslims or Jews are bad people because they are occupying Palestine and calling it the land of Israel, will that make sense to you? Because then all Muslims and Jewish will be no better than the Ethiopians, who have been labeled with similar allegations because some of their people committed crimes here and there.

If a Western country took a decision to prevent all Muslims from entering its land, wouldn’t that seem like discrimination? If these general opinions seem unbearable, then why do we treat others similarly? Most of these decisions are like undergoing surgery to avoid medications — a short cut but not necessarily the right one.

When an Ethiopian worker commits a crime, we treat this incident with fear and emotions. Yes, we feel sorry for the victims, but do not ponder if this is the whole story and on the truth behind this crime. No one seems to wonder if there was any kind of verbal abuse or maltreatment or harassment. Or if the accused person was given the opportunity to tell his/her side of the story.

When a crime occurs, most people tend to stand up like judges and make opinions in favor of the victims without knowing the whole truth! When someone labels a nation with the mistakes of some of its people, it becomes hard for them to live normally.

Verbal abuse is the worst here and widespread. Ethiopians are also humans. There is a cultural issue here because we bring maids from different cultures without realizing that it could be hard for them to accept the new culture easily.

I have lived long to believe that most new female workers are under pressure of homesickness, so an extra pressure — especially if it is a physical one — would surely turn them into a bomb ready to explode or make them fragile and desperate so they may harm others and kill themselves afterwards.

Another issue here that may lead to depression among maids, especially females, is that they are not given the right to have a day off or personal freedom to meet their friends. These matters seem trivial but not to these workers. If Kuwait is not welcoming them, they will still get welcomed in other parts of the world.

           — Hat tip: RR [Return to headlines]

Obama to Compare Plan for ISIS to U.S Fights in Somalia and Yemen

President Obama, in his address to the nation on Wednesday night, will say that the United States’ military action against ISIS will resemble the conflicts that “we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” according to excerpts of the speech released by the White House.

Mr. Obama will say that the United States would be leading a broad coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to “degrade, and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group, according to the excerpts.

The excerpts stress that the campaign against ISIS will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil,” Mr. Obama will say, according to the excerpts. “This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort.”

[Return to headlines]

Obama’s Non-Strategy

By Srdja Trifkovic

President Barack Obama announced on September 7 that he will make public a plan for fighting the Islamic State (IS) militants on September 10. “I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL,” he said. (“ISIL” — the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant — is the old and by now obsolete acronym for the IS. The Administration still insists on using it, however, for political reasons.)

In an interview that aired on last Sunday’s “Meet the Press” Obama tried to sound confident: “Keep in mind that this is something that we know how to do. We’ve been dealing with terrorist threats for quite some time.” The claim is unsettling. As it happens, “they” don’t know how to do it. “They” have been dealing with terrorist threats, hesitantly and with disastrous results. The rise of the IS in itself provides conclusive evidence of “their” overall ineptitude, and in particular “their” inability to collect reliable intelligence, anticipate events, and develop coherent strategies to protect American security interests in a volatile region.

“I want people to understand, though, is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum of ISIL. We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities. We’re going to shrink the territory that they control. And ultimately we’re going to defeat ‘em,” Obama went on. There will be no American troops on the ground, but “because of American leadership, we have, I believe, a broad-based coalition internationally and regionally to be able to deal with the problem.”

Obama was alluding to a “coalition” that is strictly regional: his attempts at the recent NATO summit in Wales to obtain backing for a more “internationally based” coalition were an abject failure. Even Britain proved squeamish. He is now left with a would-be “coalition” of Sunni Muslim countries — Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates — which have been aiding and abetting ISIS for years, and which have neither the will nor the resources to fight it. Obama will announce on Wednesday that he will rely on those countries to work together — with American air support and ill-defined overall “leadership” — in fighting the IS…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Speech: ISIS is Not Islamic?? What World Does He Live in?

by Phyllis Chesler

I tried to watch That Man, I really did, but after five minutes I had to walk out of the room.

He lost me when he referred to ISIS as ISIL, thus undercutting their view of themselves as a routinely Islamist imperialist venture which views not only Iraq and Syria as part of their future “Caliphate,” but one which includes Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and the disputed Palestinian territories—and perhaps Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Emirates—as theirs to command.

He lost me when he said—he actually said—that “ISIL is not Islamic. No religion condones the killing of innocents and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslims.”

ISIS is most definitely “Islamic” as is the far-from-defeated Al-Qaeda, Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Shabab, Hezbollah, and the Pakistani and Afghan Talibans, to name only a few such terrorist groups—all non-state actors, most funded by states.

Does President Obama really believe that America must still curry favor with “the Islamic world” by saying that ISIS is not “Islamic?” Does the man not know that, on his watch, America has lost the trust of every Arab and Muslim country?…

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

Syrian Christians Main Victims of Fighting Among Anti-Assad Islamists

In Ram Hamdan, a suicide bomber kills the leader of Ahrar al-Sham and 40 other people, including senior commanders of the extremist movement. Fingers point at the Islamic State, which in the past has carried out similar attacks against the rival group. Al Nusra forces encircle the Greek Orthodox stronghold of Mhardeh with the goal of seizing its government military base.

Damascus (AsiaNews/Agencies) — The ongoing fighting among extremist Islamist anti-Assad groups continues deadlier than ever with the Islamic State (IS) gaining the upper hand. The rising violence and terror are a threat to minorities, especially Christians, whose ancient presence is increasingly in jeopardy. This is particularly true for the Greek Orthodox town of Mhardeh, one Syria’s remaining Christian strongholds, which is under siege from Jabhat al-Nusra forces.

Hassan Abboud, leader of the Syrian Islamist insurgent group Ahrar al-Sham, is the latest high-ranking victim in the ongoing struggle among anti-Assad factions. He was among the top commanders killed in the bomb blast at a meeting in the north-western town of Ram Hamdan, near Idlib. At least 40 people may have died in the attack.

Ahrar al-Sham is part of the Islamic Front, a coalition of seven Islamist rebel groups. Although it is hard-line Islamist in orientation, it has opposed and clashed with the ultra-radical Islamic State (IS) group that set up an Islamic Caliphate in the parts of Iraq and Syria it seized.

In an interview, Abboud himself had denounced IS, saying it represented “the worst image ever of Islam”. And in recent months, IS fighters have directly attacked Ahrar al-Sham on several occasions.

IS, which is suspected in yesterday’s attack, was in fact blamed when another Ahrar al-Sham leader, Abu Khaled al-Suri, was killed in a suicide bomb attack on his headquarters in Aleppo in February.

Unlike IS, Ahrar al-Sham does not intend to swear allegiance to non-Syrian organisations or groups. Although its orientation remains extremist, its only goal is to overthrow the regime in Damascus.

Still, whilst the Islamist opposition to President Assad remains divided, Islamists — without exception — continue to target the country’s religious minorities, especially Christians.

The historic city of Mhardeh, one of the last Christian stronghold in Syria, is one of the latest victims.

Fighters from the Jabhat al Nusra, which is connected to the al-Qaeda terror network and is loyal to its Ayman al-Zawahiri, have surrounded the town, and relentlessly shelled it, day and night, in the past week an eyewitness said. Without power supplies, the city is “besieged on all sides, except for one road, but it’s difficult to go on it”, he added.

For centuries, Mhardeh was a safe haven for Syria’s Greek Orthodox Christians (pictured), recently housing a population of approximately 23,000.

Known locally as the “city of the sun”, before plunging into the thick of the Syrian civil war, it had already experienced al Nusra suicide attacks.

In recent weeks, militants have taken advantage of the lack of media coverage and international attention — whose focus is on the Islamic State and its push in Iraq — to renew its offensive against the Christian town and, more generally, across the Hama region.

However, according to sources in the Syrian opposition, jihadists were aiming at Mhardeh not because the population is Christian, but rather because they want to seize a major government military complex in the area.

Overall, al Nusra has generally shown itself to be “less extreme” than its jihadist counterpart of the Islamic State, which practices regular beheadings and crucifixions of defenceless civilians.

For example, after al Nusra captured and then released three nuns from the Christian town of Maaloula, the sisters reported that they had been “treated well”.

However, Christian villages that have fallen into the hands of al Nusra and its allies, such as Kasab in the north of the country, have seen churches desecrated and religious monuments destroyed.

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

Syrian War Jets Bomb Rebel Positions

DAMASCUS, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Syrian war jets carried out on Wednesday airstrikes against extremist armed militant groups in the country’s eastern province of Deir al-Zour, leaving at least three rebels killed, the oppositional Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

The airstrikes targeted positions of a radical group that had recently pledged alliance to the Islamic State (IS) group in areas of the al-Hwaika and al-Ardi neighborhoods in the oil-rich province of Deir al-Zour, the Observatory said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Up to 350 Belgians Fighting in Syria

Figures published by the Belgian Foreign Ministry this week suggest that between 300 and 350 Belgian youngsters are fighting in the civil war in Syria. The ministry bases its estimate on figures supplied by the country’s police and intelligence services.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Up to 13 Killed in Two Suicide Bombings in Iraq’s Baghdad

BAGHDAD, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Up to 13 people were killed and some 46 others wounded in two suicide bomb attacks in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, a police source said.

One of the attacks occurred when a suicide bomber drove his explosive-laden car into a police checkpoint at the entrance of the Shiite district of New Baghdad in southeastern part of the capital, the source told Xinhua on condition of anonymity.

Another explosion took place in the same district when a suicide bomber blew up his explosive vest near a restaurant and a cinema at busy commercial area in the predominated Shiite district, the source said…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Three Ukrainian Guards Killed Near Border With Russia

KIEV, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Three Ukrainian border guards were killed and two others severely wounded when the vehicle they were traveling in hit an explosive device in eastern Luganks region, the press office of the State Border Service said Wednesday.

The incident occurred at around 2:45 p.m. local time (1145 GMT) Tuesday near Nyzhnebaranikovka village, 10 km from the Russian border, the press service said in a statement…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Ukraine Crisis Used to Reanimate NATO Says Putin

‘Provoked by West’ says Russian president

(ANSA) — Moscow, September 10 — The Ukraine crisis was “provoked and created by our Western partners and is now being used to reanimated the military bloc” of NATO, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday, according to the Russian media.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Ukraine: Western Voices of Reason

By Srdja Trifkovic

Over the past week a number of articles have appeared in mainstream Western publications, penned by respectful Western authors, which are (in all likelihood unwittingly, I must add) out-Trifkovicing Trifkovic in their assessment of the tragedy in Ukraine. Having made many of the same points over the past nine months, I am glad to say that Chronicles is no longer providing a lone voice of sanity regarding this unnecessary, avoidable and solvable crisis.

Sir Anthony Russell “Tony” Brenton, KCMG, served as Britain’s ambassador in Moscow from 2004 to 2008. His other credentials are too long to quote. On September 10 he published an article in The Daily Telegraph (“It’s time to back away from the Russian wolf: Russia’s President Vladimir Putin won’t be thwarted by NATO or economic sanctions and his aim of a neutral Ukraine is acceptable”) which opens with the Russian proverb that if you can’t face the wolf, you should not go into the forest. The West has blundered into the Ukrainian forest and enraged the Russian wolf, Brenton says, “only to discover that we cannot face him. We should now be looking for the path out.” He says that Western policy has been built on two false premises: “The first is that we must stop a revanchist Russia. As this narrative runs: yesterday Russia took Crimea; today Eastern Ukraine; tomorrow — who knows — Estonia, Poland? This precisely mirrors the Russian nightmare of predatory NATO expansion; yesterday Poland and Estonia, today Georgia, tomorrow — who knows — parts of Russia itself?” The mutual suspicions of 1914 spring worryingly to mind, Brenton warns:…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

India: Love Jihad: MP BJP Legislator Wants Muslims Barred From Garbha Celebrations

A BJP lawmaker in Madhya Pradesh has said that she wants Muslims barred from “Garbha”, a Gujarati dance festival, to be held in October.

According to a report on Wednesday, Usha Thakur, who is also the BJP’s state vice president, is planning to write to Garbha organisers in her constituency, asking them to stop Muslim men from entering the venues…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Over a Dozen Injured in Bomb Attack in Bangladesh

DHAKA, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) — Over a dozen people including seven teachers suffered injuries as activists of an Islamist party allegedly hurled bombs targeting two buses in Bangladesh’s southeastern Chittagong University campus Wednesday morning.

The activists of Islami Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami party, launched the attack as they were observing a strike at their university campus in Chittagong, some 242 km southeast of capital Dhaka, since Aug. 31 demanding reopening of two dormitories…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Senior Religious Cleric Shot Dead in Pakistan’s Karachi

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 10(Xinhua) — Unidentified gunmen on Wednesday shot dead a senior religious cleric in the Pakistani commercial hub of Karachi in an apparent sectarian-motivated attack, police said.

Maulana Maulana Masood, a teacher at a Karachi Islamic school, came under attack when he was heading home in his car. Four gunmen, riding two motorcycles, opened fire on his car at the busy Hyderi area of Karachi.

The gunmen fled after the attack. No group claimed responsibility for the assassination of Masood, a Sunni scholar. The police described the incident as a sectarian-motivated and a target killing…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

British Diplomat’s Gay Marriage Draws Attention in China

Gay marriage at residence of British ambassador to Beijing goes viral on Chinese internet

A British diplomat has become a gay icon in China after marrying his American partner on the lawn of the ambassador’s residence in Beijing.

Brian Davidson, the consul general of Shanghai, and Scott Chang wore bow-ties and matching slippers as they wed in front of around 60 guests at the weekend.

Gay unions are not legal in China, where the government adopts a “three nots” approach to homosexuality: not approved, not disapproved, not promoted.

So when Mr Davidson posted pictures of his wedding on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, they quickly drew attention…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Philippine Bill Would Set Up Autonomous Region in Muslim-Dominated South

MANILA — President Benigno S. Aquino III on Wednesday submitted a draft law to the Philippine Congress that would create a self-governed, predominantly Muslim autonomous region in the country’s south, a key step in peace talks meant to end more than four decades of fighting with Muslim rebels…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Muslims Buy Site for First Sunshine Coast Mosque

MUSLIMS have secured a property for their first mosque on the Sunshine Coast — in Church St, Maroochydore.

The block, formerly owned by the Uniting Church, was bought under the hammer at auction on September 4 and is next to the Catholic Church and not far down the street from the Anglican Church.

The Muslim Organisation of the Sunshine Coast (MOSC) has now begun asking on its website for funds to raise the additional “$480,000” needed by October 30 to build the masjid (mosque) on the Coast…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Terrorism Threat: Australian Alert Level Raised to High; Terrorist Attack Likely But Not Imminent

Australia’s terrorist alert level has been raised to high, meaning the risk of an attack is likely, but authorities say they do not know of a “specific” plot or target.

It takes the level from medium, when an attack “could” happen, but stops short of the highest warning level of extreme, when an attack is “imminent”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott said the Government has “no specific intelligence” of a plot to mount a terrorist attack.

“What we do have is intelligence that there are people with the intent and the capability to mount attacks,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

AU Requests Lifting of Ebola Travel Bans

The African Union has called on its member states to urgently lift all travel bans imposed on countries affected by the Ebola outbreak in Africa.

The AU has also called on member states to respect the principles of free movement and urged that any travel related measures should be in line with WHO and ICAO recommendations, which supports proper exit and entry screening procedures at airports, seaports and land crossings instead of travel bans and border closures…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

China Sending 1,800 Peacekeepers to South Sudan

China is sending hundreds of troops to join the U.N. peacekeeping force in war-torn South Sudan, where Chinese companies have major oil interests.

Comments from China’s Foreign Ministry on Tuesday followed a report in the Wall Street Journal that said China was deploying troops to protect South Sudanese oil fields and the Chinese workers and installations around them.

Responding to reporters’ questions, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying made no mention of oil or Chinese companies, saying China’s “goal is to strictly follow the mandate of the U.N. Security Council and promote construction of the region.”…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Ebola Death Toll Reaches 2,296 — Liberia Still Tops

The Reuters news agency reported Tuesday that the death toll from the worst Ebola outbreak in history has jumped by almost 200 in a single day to at least 2,296 and is already likely to be higher than that.

Quoting the World Health Organization from its headquarters in Geneva Tuesday, the agency reported that WHO said it had recorded 4,293 cases in five West African countries as of Sept. 6, a day after its previous update.

But it still did not have new figures for Liberia, the worst-affected country, suggesting the true toll is already much higher.

The WHO has said it expects thousands of new cases in Liberia in the next three weeks…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Jonathan’s Directive on #BringBackJonathan Good First Step, But…. — APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has described as a good first step the order by President Goodluck Jonathan for the removal of the #BringBackJonathan, which is a mockery of the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag that has helped to call global attention to the fate of the over 200 girls who were abducted by Boko Haram almost five months ago and remain in captivity…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Nigeria: Military, B’Haram Battle for CDS’ Town

By Kingsley Omonobi, Henry Umoru, Caleb Ayansina, Umar Yusuf & Ndahi Marama

ABUJA—The military, yesterday, engaged the Boko Haram terrorists in a fierce battle at Vimtim, the home town of the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, inflicting heavy casualties on the insurgents. At the end of the gun battle, the troops who moved in from the 1 Division Kaduna, 3 Division Jos and TRADOC, Minna killed 40 sect members and also succeeded in reclaiming Michika, Uba and Gulak towns from the terrorists.

Giving details of what transpired, the source said, the terrorists encircled the troops from all angles of Vimtim as the troops concentrated in the city centre and a gun battle ensued. Unknown to them, the newly deployed soldiers arrived and joined the battle, taking on the terrorists from behind leading to killing of over 40 insurgents while others fled…

           — Hat tip: JP [Return to headlines]

Anti-Migrant Border Checks ‘Last Resort’ Says Berlin

Combat human traffickers not refugees says interior ministry

(ANSA) — Berlin, September 10 — The German government on Wednesday rejected a proposal by the conservative Christian Social Union (CSU) party of Bavaria to set up border checks to prevent illegal migrant entries from Italy.

Such a measure would only be “a last resort” under strict conditions, an interior ministry spokesperson said.

For that to happen, EU interior ministers would have to review European refugee policy.

The issue at hand is combating human trafficking, and not asylum seekers per se, the ministry added.

This means better cooperation with countries of origin and transit countries, such as Italy. Bavarian Governor Horst Seehofer on Monday told German daily Bild that Germany should “seriously think about” stopping Italy’s alleged breaches of the Schengen accords by new border checks on migrants. The CSU is the Bavarian sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s CDU.

Bavaria last month accused Italy of blatantly waiving EU migrant rules.

Rome is deliberately ignoring standard refugee procedures such as finger-printing in order to let them seek asylum in other countries, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Hermann said on August 22.

Italian Interior Minister Angelino Alfano should not complain about high refugee arrivals to Italy while at the same time allegedly not respecting EU norms on them, Herrmann said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

French Court Acquits Priest for Housing Migrants in Church

EU Court OKs permit beyond 3 months for no-EU students

(ANSAmed) — PARIS — A French court on Wednesday ruled that a parish priest did not commit a crime when he allowed migrants to stay at his Saint-Etienne church in south-east France, according to media reports.

The public reportedly cheered when the sentence was read.

Prosecutors had reportedly asked for a 12,000-euro fine for the priest. Father Riffard, 70, houses some 80 migrants who have not been granted lodgings by local authorities at his church in the Montreynaud district.

European Union member States have to admit citizens from third countries who intend to stay for over three months on a study permit, provided they pose no threat to public order, the European Court of Justice said, reducing the possibility for EU members to reject visa applications from students outside the Union. Following the ruling, member countries will not be able to introduce further admission criteria beyond those already in the Union’s directive. The sentence concerned the case of a Tunisian citizen born in Germany in 1989 who, after studying in Tunis, returned to Dortmund, where he is reading math at university. German authorities however rejected several visa applications he had filed because they had deemed his grades insufficient and his proficiency in English unsatisfactory. A German administrative court thus brought the case to the Court of Justice so it could rule on whether Germany had the power to deny a visa to a student who fulfilled all admissions criteria and posed no threat to public order and health.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy Welcomed 11,000 Unaccompanied Refugee Minors This Year

Naples scrambling to accommodate 117 recent arrivals

(ANSA) — Rome, September 10 — Some 11,000 unaccompanied minors have landed on Italy’s shores as refugees this year, the national association of Italian city councils (ANCI) told the House Constitutional affairs committee on Wednesday.

“That’s 3,000 more than the average influx over the past 10 years,” ANCI representative Camilla Orlandi told MPs examining a bill on protective measures for foreign unaccompanied minors.

“We’ve been waiting for this measure for a while,” Orlandi said, adding that Italy lacks a national foreign child protection agency.

The bill would allocate significant funding to set up such an agency, which would take charge of the minors from when they first arrive to when they are assigned to more long-term placement.

Also on Tuesday, 877 migrants from several African countries disembarked from an Italian Navy ship after they were rescued off various vessels in distress as part of Italy’s Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) migrant search-and-rescue mission.

They came from Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Syria, officials said.

They included more than 150 minors, 117 of them unaccompanied, authorities said as they scrambled to place them in group homes and other facilities in the Campania region.

“We have found permanent places for more than 40 of these kids so far,” explained Naples welfare councilwoman Roberta Gaeta, adding that the Red Cross has said it will take in another 70 kids on a temporary basis.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

9/11 and Jihad Terror: A Legacy of Over 13 Centuries — Not 13 Years

by Andrew Bostom

There is just one historically relevant meaning of jihad despite the surfeit of contemporary apologetics. Dr. Tina Magaard—a Sorbonne-trained linguist specializing in textual analysis—published detailed research findings in 2005 (summarized in 2007) comparing the foundational texts of ten major religions. Magaard concluded from her hard data-driven analyses:

The texts in Islam distinguish themselves from the texts of other religions by encouraging violence and aggression against people with other religious beliefs to a larger degree [emphasis added]. There are also straightforward calls for terror. This has long been a taboo in the research into Islam, but it is a fact that we need to deal with.

For example, in her 2007 essay “Fjendebilleder og voldsforestillinger i islamiske grundtekster” [“Images of enemies and conceptions of violence in Islamic core scriptures”], Magaard observed,…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

Henry Kissinger, The Inconsistent Realist

By Srdja Trifkovic

On August 30 The Wall Street Journal published a long and interesting article by Henry Kissinger, excerpted from his new book World Order. The doyen of the U.S. foreign policy establishment argues that the existing global order is in crisis and that America should take a leading role in shaping a new one. His overall diagnosis of the current condition is right in principle, but there are numerous problems with Kissinger’s analysis and recommendations.

“In the decades following World War II, the U.S. — strengthened in its economy and national confidence — began to take up the torch of international leadership and added a new dimension,” Kissinger writes. “A nation founded explicitly on an idea of free and representative governance, the U.S. identified its own rise with the spread of liberty and democracy and credited these forces with an ability to achieve just and lasting peace”:…

           — Hat tip: Srdja Trifkovic [Return to headlines]

9 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/13/2014

  1. @UK: Westminster is Definitely Not Panicking or Cobbling Together Anything

    The momentum towards independence is unstoppable not only is the BBC and the MSM failing to report that momentum they are actively seeking to subvert that democratic expression in Scotland and failing to report the intensity to the rUK.

    What is going on here over the past few days is a groundswell rejection of the three main UK political parties, in a instant the agendas of those political parties has been wiped off the Scots political map.

    The fear must be that the rejection of “muscular liberalism” in the indyref spills out of Scotland into the rUK threatening the Westminster power bubble.

  2. Washington D.C? Reporting to your Zionist masters for more funding for this wretched bias website, a one sided website full of vitriol and measured lies that only tells half the story. You and your type are indeed the Elephant in the room when ot comes to the problems of this world and humanity, a humanity of which your types have chosen to exclude yourself throughout history. Your a “Chosen One” LOL, Chosen by Satan himself and well you know it!

    Now instead of playing the anti semetic card and the Holocaust card and the race card , why don’t you do the fair and righteous thing and publish this? Surely your arguments can withstand my critique? If not you are as I suspect 3rd rate in all of your endeavours, and use deceit and one sided hate as a veil to cover this.

    • OK, Mr. Goyim. You’re on. But this is your only chance — of the thirty or so harangues you’ve attempted to post over the past couple of weeks, this is the only one I’m allowing through.

      To the rest of our readers: this haggis-eating kilt-wearing Jew-bashing pinch-penny has repeatedly attempted to comment here, but, in the hardness of my dark Hebraic heart, I don’t usually publish his learned ruminations.

      Since I’m not going to permit him any further replies, y’all may want to try emailing him here:

      I don’t know if that’s actually his email address, but it’s the one he includes when he attempts to post his screeds here.

    • Scottish Infidel: you comment was not a “critique” at all. It was just an exercise in name-calling. Very childish.

  3. Baron,
    While somewhat on the topic as well as being newsworthy, Jay Smith (look him up !) will be in Toronto later this month for a debate with the Chief Imam of the province (or Canada). Jay has promised some very interesting surprises for the debate.
    Jay was at Calvary Chapel Chino Hills this morning to address the congregation (all three services of it) with his usual scholarly and well researched background on Islam, ISIS, and the existential threat that is posed to civilization.
    Jay pointed out that “Radical” is derived from the Latin “Radix” which in English is ‘root’ and bespeaks of the advocate or believer going to the root of the belief or doctrine, and not some branch. ISIS under al-Bagdari is as close a copy or model of Mohammed as we have today. He has taken the Qur`an as his book and Mohammed as his life model and is doing an excellent job of being true to both. As such, we are seeing Islam being portrayed for exactly what it is.
    Could you please follow Jay Smith and post the debate here on Gates of Vienna.
    Thank you for your watchfulness.

    • we need a link. Please.

      And his Twitter account name. We can’t “follow” on Face Book as our admin is in Oz and isn’t able to keep up with the task.


        is all I have for now. I have placed my name on his mailing list and as soon as I receive an e-mail I will reply to this reply page with it. I will also contact my fellowship for the link top this morning’s message. You will love it.

Comments are closed.