Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/26/2014

A knife-wielding man in southern China attacked and killed four primary-school students on their way to school. The assailant was riding a motorized trishaw and escaped after he stabbed the children. Police are searching for him, and have offered a reward for information leading to his capture. The incident had nothing to do with Islam.

In other news, a young Rotherham couple who sang the theme song from the “Peppa the Pig” television program to their baby girl were labeled “racists” and thrown off the bus on which the family had been traveling.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Insubria, KGS, Steen, Vlad Tepes, 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
» Italy: Rate Rises at BOT Sale
» 911 Calls Released: FBI Investigating Claims Oklahoma Beheading Suspect Tried to Convert Others to Islam
» Fire at Suburban Chicago Control Site Stops O’Hare, Midway Flights
» ISIS in West Virginia, Intelligence Centers Monitoring Movements
» Man Beheads Woman in Oklahoma, Officials Say
» Virus Probed in Paralysis Cases in 9 Colorado Kids
Europe and the EU
» Danish Muslim Party Claims That Denmark Will be the First Muslim Nation in Europe
» France: Muslims Stage Paris Protest Against ‘Murderous IS Ideology’
» Geert Wilders: Stop Denying the Obvious: Islam is a Problem
» Italy: Surgeon Arrested While Taking Bribe From Patient
» Italy: Berlusconi ‘Didn’t Need us to Get Him Girls’ Says Mora
» Italy: De Magistris Bemoans ‘Unjust, Painful, Baseless’ Conviction
» Sicily: Nine Doctors Arrested for False Disability Claims
» Too Much Flag Waving on Article 18, Italian Bishops
» UK: Couple Singing Peppa Pig Tune to Toddler ‘Forced Off Bus After Complaints They Were Being Racist’ Because it Goes Against Muslim Pork Ban
» UK: Couple Thrown Off Bus and Branded Racists for Singing Peppa Pig Theme to Baby
North Africa
» Obama Asks Egyptian President to Release Journalists
Middle East
» Alliance From Hell: Al Nusra Fighters in Syria Want to Merge With ISIS — Creating United Army of Fanatics
» Turkey: Teachers Union Wants Abolition of Mixed-Sex Classes
South Asia
» Indonesia: Aceh: Sharia to be Applied to Non-Muslims
» Indonesia: Jakarta: The Outgoing Parliament Scraps Direct Election of Governors and Mayors
» Taliban Seize Strategic Afghan District
Far East
» China: Death Toll in Xinjiang Attacks Jumps to 50
» Man Stabs Four School Kids to Death in Southern China
Sub-Saharan Africa
» Cape Town to Shut South Africa’s Open Mosque
» 345 Rescued Syrian Refugees Land in Cyprus
» Italy: Boldrini Says EU Must ‘Take Responsibility’ For Sea Rescues
» Political Asylum Requests Up 24% Says UNHCR

Italy: Rate Rises at BOT Sale

0.232% from August’s record low of 0.136%

(ANSA) — Rome, September 26 — Rates rose from last month’s record low at a six-month BOT Treasury bond auction Friday.

The rate went up from 0.136% in August to 0.232%.

The auction was oversubscribed by a ratio of 1.85/1, compared to 1.63/1 a month ago, with a demand of over 13 billion euros.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

911 Calls Released: FBI Investigating Claims Oklahoma Beheading Suspect Tried to Convert Others to Islam

MOORE, Okla. — Officials with the Moore Police Department say the FBI is now involved in the investigation related to a brutal attack of workers at a food distribution plant.

Sgt. Jeremy Lewis says the alleged suspect, 30-year-old Alton Nolen had just been fired when he drove to the front of the business, hit a vehicle and walked inside.

He walked into the front office area where he met 54-year-old Colleen Hufford and began attacking her with a knife.

Sgt. Lewis confirms the type of knife used in the attack is the same kind used at the plant.

Lewis confirms that Hufford was stabbed several times and that Nolen “severed her head.”

At that point, Lewis claims Nolen met 43-year-old Traci Johnson and began attacking her with the same knife.

Officials say at that point, Mark Vaughan, an Oklahoma County reserve deputy and a former CEO of the business, shot him as he was actively stabbing Johnson.

“He’s a hero in this situation,” Sgt. Lewis said, referring to Vaughan. “It could have gotten a lot worse.”

Authorities say it appears Nolen was attacking employees at random.

Johnson is in stable condition at a local hospital, recovering from her injuries.

The FBI is now looking into Nolen’s background after his former co-workers said he tried to convert them to Islam after recently converting himself.

Lewis says the FBI is working in conjunction with the Moore Police Department, especially when it comes to the religious aspect of the case.

At this time, it is not known if the suspect’s beliefs played a role in the attack…

           — Hat tip: KGS [Return to headlines]

Fire at Suburban Chicago Control Site Stops O’Hare, Midway Flights

CHICAGO — All flights in and out of Chicago’s two airports were halted Friday morning because of a fire at a suburban Chicago air traffic control facility. The ground stop threatened to send delays and cancellations rippling throughout the nation’s air travel network, as more than 500 flights had already been canceled in Chicago and more were expected.

The fire started in the basement of the Chicago Air Route Traffic Control Center in Aurora, about 40 miles west of downtown Chicago, city of Aurora spokesman Dan Ferrelli said in an emailed statement.



The center was evacuated because of the fire, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said, and management of the region’s air space was transferred to other facilities. Authorities said it was unclear how long the stoppage would last.

Emergency crews discovered a man in the basement of the facility with a self-inflicted wound and took him to the hospital, Ferrelli said. He gave no details on the injury, but said it was not from a gunshot. It was not clear whether the man had anything to do with the fire, which was quickly extinguished. An employee of the facility was treated at the scene for smoke inhalation…

[Return to headlines]

ISIS in West Virginia, Intelligence Centers Monitoring Movements

ISIS terrorists may be in West Virginia. Investigators at the Fusion Intelligence Center in Charleston are reportedly researching classified information related to the whereabouts of Islamic State militants on a daily basis.

During an interview with Mountain State news outlet WCHSTV, the intelligence center staffers refused to get into specifics regarding how many ISIS militants could be in West Virginia, or the exact locations where the terrorists may have been spotted. Fusion Intelligence Center staffers did reveal that ISIS is recruiting and training people “close enough to be concerned.” The center has also reportedly been “monitoring” individuals with Islamic State ties that have passed through West Virginia.

Fusion centers were created under the arm of the Department of Justice’s Global Justice Information Sharing Initiative and the Criminal Intelligence Coordinating Council. The centers are supposed to be an “effective and efficient mechanism to exchange information and intelligence” for fighting crime and terrorism. Staff at the centers merge information from multiple sources as a part of the National Criminal Intelligence Sharing Plan.

“Our role is receiving information,” Fusion Intelligence Center Director Thomas Kirk said.

“You’re looking for things to authenticate what is the key difference between this one and the last one. The texture of the sand, the type of rocks, the way the wind blows, the garb that’s being worn,” the director added in response to work investigators are conducting in relation to comparing ISIS beheading videos.

Kirk also said that if citizens think that journalist Steven Sotloff will be the last American to die at the hands of the Islamic State, we should “brace” ourselves.

“There are areas in the United States that are not too far from here, that have very large populations that are being recruited for ISIS right now. There are people associated with Al Qaeda, there are people on the Terrorist Watch List who travel through West Virginia, whether it’s through the airports or through the roads,” the Fusion Intelligence Center director added…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Man Beheads Woman in Oklahoma, Officials Say

(CNN) — A man has beheaded a woman after a workplace dispute in Oklahoma, U.S. law enforcement officials told CNN on Friday.

He also tried to kill another woman, officials said.

The incident happened late Thursday afternoon at a Vaughan Foods processing plant in Moore, about 10 miles south of Oklahoma City.

There were no immediate indications of a link to terrorism, officials said.

A sheriff’s deputy shot the suspect, identified by officials as 30-year-old Alton Alexander Nolan. He was taken to a hospital and is expected to survive.

[Return to headlines]

Virus Probed in Paralysis Cases in 9 Colorado Kids

NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials are investigating nine cases of muscle weakness or paralysis in Colorado children and whether the culprit might be a virus causing severe respiratory illness across the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday sent doctors an alert about the polio-like cases and said the germ — enterovirus 68 — was detected in four out of eight of the sick children who had a certain medical test. The status of the ninth case is unclear.

The virus can cause paralysis but other germs can, too. Health officials don’t know whether the virus caused any of the children’s arm and leg weaknesses or whether it’s just a germ they coincidentally picked up.

“That’s why we want more information,” and for doctors to report similar cases, said the CDC’s Dr. Jane Seward…

[Return to headlines]

Danish Muslim Party Claims That Denmark Will be the First Muslim Nation in Europe

The dreams of the Muslim word go far beyond the expanding borders of the Islamic State in the Middle East and Boko Haram in Africa.

A website claiming to be the Danish Muslim Party (DAMP) published a “press release” in English and Danish, saying that Denmark will be the first Muslim nation in Europe..

The website also stated as follows:

“[W]e can assure you that everything will be better in muslim Denmark: No drugs, no crime, peace, and humanity- instead of drug culture, immorality, possibly human rights crimes and violence which we have now.”

“Every immigrant or muslim in danish jails should be released from prisons, because it is possible that there has been plotting or framing or provocation towards them — and all cases should be investigated again carefully.”

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

France: Muslims Stage Paris Protest Against ‘Murderous IS Ideology’

‘We’re all dirty French’; jihadists ‘corrupt Islam’

(ANSAmed) — PARIS, SEPTEMBER 26 — French Muslims on Friday took to the streets of the capital to protest against the barbaric decapitation of French national Herve’ Gourdel by an Algerian affiliate of the Islamic State (IS) and to show solidarity for all those killed by the group. The French Council of the Muslim Faith (CFCM), an elected national body that represents five million people, held the demonstration in front of the Grand Mosque of Paris to denounce the IS “terrorists, who corrupt Islam in the name of a murderous ideology”.

A group of high-level Muslim figures said they too were “dirty French” in a commentary published by the daily newspaper Le Figaro. The reference was to an audio message circulated in recent days in which IS spokesman Abu Muhammed Al Adnani targeted France, the only European country thus far to have launched airstrikes on the jihadist group’s positions in Iraq and Syria, and called on followers to kill the “dirty French”. “We, French nationals of France and of the Muslim religion, want to forcefully express our full solidarity with all the victims of this barbaric horde, the lost soldiers of a so-called ‘Islamic State’,” underscored the signatories, including imams, doctors, lawyers and politicians. “We have the honor to say that we are also among those ‘dirty French’.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Geert Wilders: Stop Denying the Obvious: Islam is a Problem

To defeat IS we should do more than just bomb its strongholds in the Middle East; we should no longer turn a blind eye to the violent nature of Islam. We should demand that those who settle in our countries cast aside values incompatible with ours. There is a huge problem — also in our countries — cause by the violent exhortations of Islam. Only when we face this truth will we be able to win this war we are in.

Although the majority of Muslims are moderate, thousands of innocent civilians all over the West have fallen victim to terrorists inspired by Islam. IS has announced that every citizen of the West is a target.

70% of Dutch Muslims consider the religious rules of Islam more important than the secular laws of the country where they are living. Survey, December 2013, by Prof. Ruud Koopmans, Humbolt University, Berlin

A military alliance, led by the United States, is currently bombing the forces of the Islamic State [IS] in Iraq and Syria. Many European nations, such as the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands and others, are participating in this offensive. IS, however, is not just a threat to the Middle East, but also to our own countries. The presence in IS’s ranks of hundreds of Muslims born in the West, carrying Western passports, is a huge domestic security risk. Whether we like it or not, war has also come to our streets.

And whether we like it or not, Islam has everything to do with it. “No religion condones the killing of innocents,” President Obama recently said. David Cameron added about the IS terrorists: “They claim to do this in the name of Islam, that is nonsense, Islam is a religion of peace. They are not Muslims, they are monsters.”

The sad thing is that, while they are, indeed, monsters, they are also Muslims. No matter what Obama and Cameron say, IS and other terrorist groups draw inspiration from Koranic verses, such as sura 47:4: “When ye meet the unbelievers, smite at their necks and when ye have caused a bloodbath among them bind a bond firmly on them.”

Although the majority of Muslims are moderate, thousands of innocent civilians all over the West have fallen victim to terrorists inspired by Islam. On 9/11, 2001, Mohamed Atta and his accomplices flew planes into New York’s twin towers. In March 2004, Jamal Zougam, a Moroccan-born Spanish citizen, and his friends bombed four commuter trains in Madrid. In November 2004, Mohammed Bouyeri, a Dutchman of Moroccan origin, slit the throat of Islam critic Theo van Gogh in Amsterdam. In July 2005, Hasib Hussain and three other homegrown British suicide killers assassinated 52 civilians on the London public transport system. In March 2012, Mohammed Merah, a Frenchman of Algerian descent, mowed down a rabbi and three children in front of a school in Toulouse. In April 2013, the Chechen brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, killed three onlookers at the Boston marathon with pressure cooker bombs. In May 2013, Michael Adebolayo, a British citizen of Nigerian descent, decapitated soldier Lee Rigby in the streets of London. Last May, Mehdi Nemmouche, a French citizen of Algerian origin, murdered four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

Atta, Zougam, Bouyeri, Hussain, Merah, Tsarnaev, Adebolayo, Nemmouche, they were all Muslims, most of them carrying Western passports. It is dangerous to deny a reality because it is discomforting. Bombing IS in Syria and Iraq, while refusing to see the problems at home, will have disastrous consequences.

There is much discussion about the support among Muslim populations in the West for IS and similar organizations waging jihad and aiming to impose Islamic Sharia law on our societies. A survey conducted by ICM Research last July found that 16% of all inhabitants of France and 7% of the inhabitants of the United Kingdom have a favorable view of IS. In May 2013, a survey by Ahmed Ait Moha of Motivaction, an Amsterdam research institute, found that 73% of Dutch Muslims regard Dutch Muslims who fight in Syria as heroes, compared to only 3% of indigenous Dutch. Last December, a survey by Prof. Ruud Koopmans at Humboldt University in Berlin revealed that over 45% of German Muslims and 70% of Dutch Muslims consider the religious rules of Islam to be more important than the secular laws of the country where they are living.

Every day, I can feel the cold shadow of Islam. Next November, it will be exactly ten years that I have been living under permanent police protection. Wherever I go, armed policemen go with me to protect me against Islamic groups who have vowed to assassinate me because they disagree with my opinion that Islam is not a religion of peace. Today, ten years later, IS has announced that every citizen of the West is a target.

To defeat IS we should do more than just bomb its strongholds in the Middle East; we should no longer turn a blind eye to the violent nature of Islam. We should demand that those who settle in our countries cast aside values incompatible with ours.

Last week, I proposed in the Dutch Parliament that we ask an oath of all people from Islamic countries who wish to be members of our society. In the oath they have to explicitly distance themselves from Sharia law and the violent verses in the Koran. Those who do not want to take the oath are no longer welcome. They should leave our country at once. This measure forces us to see the reality which Obama, Cameron and other Western leaders refuse to see: there is a huge problem — also in our countries — caused by the violent exhortations of Islam.

Only when we face this truth, we will be able to win the war we are in.

[Return to headlines]

Italy: Surgeon Arrested While Taking Bribe From Patient

Doctor allegedly extorted 1,000 euros to speed up surgery

(ANSA) — Terni, September 25 — Police on Thursday placed a surgeon under house arrest on suspicion of extorting 1,000 euros from a patient.

Dr. Paolo Ronca allegedly promised to let the woman skip a long waiting list for essential abdominal surgery if she ponied up the cash.

He was arrested at the hospital where he has worked since 1987 while in the act of accepting a 300-euro advance from the woman, police said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Berlusconi ‘Didn’t Need us to Get Him Girls’ Says Mora

Ex premier partied with ‘lovers not prostitutes’

(ANSA) — Milan, September 25 — Lele Mora, a former talent scout who was convicted last year of procuring prostitutes for ex premier Silvio Berlusconi, said Thursday that he is glad his pal was acquitted of paying for sex with a minor.

A Milan appeals court in July overturned Berlusconi’s seven-year prison term for paying for sex with an alleged underage prostitute called Ruby and abusing his power to try to cover up the affair.

“The only relations between them were of an economic nature,” said Mora.

“She was cunning and he helped her, because he is a generous man”.

Mora was convicted last year along with Nicole Minetti, the ex-premier’s former dental hygienist and an ex-Lombardy councilor, and Emilio Fede, a well-known former anchorman with the Berlusconi-owned TG4 television station, of organizing “bunga bunga” sex parties at Berlusconi’s Arcore residence. Mora and Fede were both given seven-year prison sentences and banned for life from public office while Minetti was sentenced to five years in prison and banned from office for as many years.

Mora, who was in court appealing that conviction, is currently doing community service after he pled out of a bankruptcy fraud indictment in the crack-up of his Im Management company.

“I’m glad Berlusconi was acquitted, because a man can do as he pleases within his own home,” Mora went on.

“He certainly didn’t need me or Fede if he wanted a couple of young ladies to have fun with”.

The former premier’s villa at Arcore “was not a brothel,” he added. “Those girls were not prostitutes, at the most they were lovers”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: De Magistris Bemoans ‘Unjust, Painful, Baseless’ Conviction

‘I’d do it all over again, trying not to lose faith in State’

(ANSA) — Rome, September 24 — Naples Mayor Luigi De Magistris bemoaned his suspended 15-month sentence after he was found guilty Wednesday of abuse of office while working on a corruption case in his former role as a prosecutor. De Magistris was indicted in 2010 for alleged involvement in obtaining the telephone data of some MPs, including former premier Romano Prodi, without the proper authorisation. Rome prosecutors in May asked for the case against de Magistris to be dropped. They argued he only had a secondary role in the handling of this part of the so-called Why Not case in the southern region of Calabria and should therefore be acquitted. In the same verdict Wednesday, an information technology consultant who worked on the case, Gioacchino Genchi, was also sentenced to 15 months in prison.

In Italy sentences below two years are automatically suspended.

“My life has been turned upside down, I have been subjected to the worst injustice,” the mayor said.

“I am deeply pained by this baseless conviction. I would do it all over again, and I won’t give in to the temptation of completely losing my trust in the State,” he said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Sicily: Nine Doctors Arrested for False Disability Claims

Seventeen people in custody

(ANSA) — Agrigento, September 22 — Nine doctors were arrested in this Sicilian city Monday on suspicion of backing fraudulent disability claims involving dozens of people.

Police made a total of 17 arrests in the investigation, dubbed 101 Dalmations because of the number of people probed.

The probe was said to have uncovered a network of doctors and medical technicians suspected of facilitating the false claims.

Two others who were listed for arrest, a doctor and a radiologist, are deceased.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Too Much Flag Waving on Article 18, Italian Bishops

Galantino says issue less central than real problems of jobless

(see related) (ANSA) — Vatican City, September 26 — Monsignor Nunzio Galantino, the secretary general of the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI), said Friday that there was too much “flag waving” in the debate about the government’s labour reform bill.

The Jobs Act features controversial changes to Article 18 of the Workers Statute protecting staff from unfair dismissal.

“The Church thinks that it’s necessary to look at the people who don’t have jobs and are looking for work with more realism,” Galantino said. “The debate about Article 18 yes or Article 18 no is less central and I see too much flag waving”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: Couple Singing Peppa Pig Tune to Toddler ‘Forced Off Bus After Complaints They Were Being Racist’ Because it Goes Against Muslim Pork Ban

A couple were thrown off a bus and branded racists after singing the Peppa Pig theme tune to their autistic daughter, it has been claimed.

Nick Barnfield and Sarah Cleaves were travelling with their daughter Heidi on a bus from Sheffield to Doncaster when the 15-month-old started crying.

The couple, who live in Rotherham, started singing the song in an effort to cheer their daughter up, but say they were branded racists by another passenger and told to get off the bus by its driver.

The couple claimed the woman, who they saw was wearing a hijab, took offence to the snorting sounds in the song and believed they were a reference to how pork is forbidden in Islam though this has not been confirmed.

She complained to the bus’s driver, who, it is claimed, then told the couple it would be ‘easier’ for them to get off two miles from their home.

‘We were really embarrassed, ashamed and upset and we hadn’t done anything wrong, just trying to make our little girl happy, but people were looking at us as if we had done something wrong.

‘It was humiliating,’ said Mr Branfield.

The 24-year-old said they were trying to settle their daughter on the X78 bus on September 8 when they were approached ‘aggressively’ by the woman.

‘A lady came up to us and quite aggressively started telling us we were irresponsible parents and that we were being racist singing the song.’

‘She went up to the bus driver and told him we were being racist towards her and she wasn’t happy. The driver came up to me and said we had to get off the bus or the police would have to come.

‘He said: ‘just get off the bus — it’s not worth the hassle’. I was really shocked because we had done nothing wrong but he didn’t listen to us.

‘He just said: “Go now, otherwise you’ll hold up all the passengers and no-one will be happy.”‘

‘I was more upset at the bus driver not taking in both sides — he just heard the word racism and kicked us off.

‘I’m annoyed he didn’t listen to our side of the story or ask any questions.’…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

UK: Couple Thrown Off Bus and Branded Racists for Singing Peppa Pig Theme to Baby

A Rotherham couple were asked to get off a bus and called racists for singing the Peppa Pig theme tune to their 15-month-old autistic daughter, it has been claimed.

Nick Barnfield and Sarah Cleaves claim they were travelling on a bus from Sheffield when a fellow passenger, who was reportedly wearing a hijab, took offence to the snorting sounds in the theme music, saying they were a reference to pork being forbidden by Islam.

[Return to headlines]

Obama Asks Egyptian President to Release Journalists

(AGI) Cairo, Sept 26 — President of the United States, Barack Obama, met his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al Sisi in New York on Thursday. President Obama used the meeting to ask al Sisi to release the journalists detained in Egyptian prisons.

“The president raised a number of specific concerns that we have related to human rights,” Deputy National Security advisor Ben Rhodes told reporters.

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

Alliance From Hell: Al Nusra Fighters in Syria Want to Merge With ISIS — Creating United Army of Fanatics

Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria is facing mounting pressure from its members to form an ultra-alliance with the rival Islamic State to confront a common enemy after U.S.-led air strikes hit both groups this week.

Al Nusra, long one of the most effective forces fighting Syrian President Bashar Al Assad, was weakened this year by battles with Islamic State, an Al Qaeda splinter group that routinely employs ruthless methods such as beheadings and mass executions.

U.S.-led air and missile strikes, which have hit Al Nusra as well as Islamic State bases in Syria, have angered many Al Nusra members who say the West and its allies have joined forces in a ‘crusader’ campaign against Islam.

The two share the same ideology and rigid Islamic beliefs, but fell out during a power struggle that pitted Islamic State head Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi against Al Qaeda chief Ayman Zawahri and Al Nusra Front leader Abu Mohammad al-Golani.

But merging would require pledging loyalty to Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria, which would effectively put an end to the Al Nusra Front, fighters in the group say.

Sources close to Islamic State said some Al Nusra fighters were joining them after the strikes and there was a growing sense among many that it was time to put their differences aside.

‘There are hardline voices inside Nusra who are pushing for reconciliation with Islamic State,’ a source close to Nusra’s leadership told Reuters, though he doubted it would happen.

‘I know Golani. He would never reconcile with Islamic State. If he ever does it, it would be in a direct order from the leadership, and that is Zawahri himself.’

However, one Islamic State fighter said he believed there was an ‘80 per cent chance that the brothers of Nusra will join the State’.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said on Friday over 200 fighters had joined Islamic State in the northern Aleppo area, many from the Nusra Front, since U.S. President Barack Obama said he was prepared to strike the group in Syria…

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Turkey: Teachers Union Wants Abolition of Mixed-Sex Classes

(ANSAmed) — ANKARA, SEPTEMBER 26 — Egitim-Bir-Sen, an education sector trade union with conservative views, has demanded the abolition of mixed-sex education, a move that comes in the wake of the government’s decision to allow grade-five girls to wear headscarves in class — another of the group’s demands. As daily Hurriyet online reports, the declaration by Egitim-Bir-Sen, which is headed by Ahmet Gundogdu, who also heads the umbrella organization Memur-Sen, said mixed-education system was a “violation of rights.” “The boundaries beyond democratic education rights, which limit the basic preferences of the people, should be eliminated. Compulsory ‘mixed’ education, which holds the will and preferences of the people captive, should be ended. The state should withdraw from its assertiveness on the issue,” said a declaration that was drafted after meetings last week. It also called for a change in the syllabus to prioritize “moral and social values.” Egitim-Bir-Sen is known for its nationalistic and conservative stance.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Indonesia: Aceh: Sharia to be Applied to Non-Muslims

As the current legislature comes to an end, provincial lawmakers have little time to approve a law that would apply Islamic law to both “Muslims and non-Muslims.” Indonesia’s Home Affairs minister says he is prepared to challenge the law if it violates national legislation or human rights.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — Before the current legislature ends in a few days, a controversial bill is expected to make it through. If adopted, it would impose a Sharia-based Penal Code on Muslims and non-Muslims alike, this according to some provincial lawmakers who spoke to AsiaNews.

A new assembly elected in July is expected to be sworn in next month and the speaker of Aceh’s outgoing provincial assembly, Hasbi Hasbullah, is racing against time to get the aforementioned legislation approved.

In his view, the bill is the right way to apply the law and will be binding on both “Muslims and non-Muslims”.

Under the new rules, acts and behaviour that are legal elsewhere in Indonesia could be punished with imprisonment and flogging.

Despite criticism from human rights activists and groups that believe that Sharia should be applied only to Muslims, Speaker Hasbullah said that the “ground is ready” in Aceh for the application on non-Muslims of rules based on Islamic law. By contrast, the central government has indicated its intention to block the proposed law.

Sources in the Home Affairs Ministry told AsiaNews that the government would not hesitate from “fixing” local laws if they fail to conform to higher national or regional laws.

Teguh Setyabudi, director of the Home Ministry’s Regional Autonomy Desk, said that Jakarta would continue to monitor carefully and, if necessary, block any bill that might endanger peaceful coexistence in Aceh. Currently, Muslims must follow rules based on sharia, but non-Muslims do not have to.

In a statement, Indonesia’s Home Affairs Ministry said that the law “may constitute a violation of human rights” and, if so, will be “suspended”.

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has increasingly become the scene of attacks or episodes of intolerance against minority groups like Christians and Ahmadi Muslims.

Aceh is the only Indonesian province to enforce Islamic law (Sharia). This special situation was part of a peace agreement signed by the central government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM). However, a more radical and extreme vision of Islam is also spreading in other parts of the country (like Bekasi and Bogor regencies in West Java).

In Aceh, pressures for greater Islamisation have increased following the election of Zaini Abdullah, a former independence leader, to the post of governor in lieu of Irwandy Jusuf, his more secular-oriented predecessor.

However, the decision to toughen laws, regulations, rules and customs has failed to find favour with a large proportion of the local population, forced to change long held customs and habits.

Many in Aceh oppose greater restrictions, especially with regards to women wearing jeans and tight skirts , travelling astride motorcycles, or dancing in public because they “stir desire”.

For his part, Indonesia’s Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi tried to downplay the issue.

“I have no idea about escalating tensions,” he said, “because I have not received any official report from the governor of Aceh.”

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

Indonesia: Jakarta: The Outgoing Parliament Scraps Direct Election of Governors and Mayors

A coup for the outgoing assembly, a few days ahead of its dissolution. After 10 hours of discussions, 226 deputies voted in favor of the law proposed by the Ministry of Interior. Now local authorities will be elected by local parliaments (and parties). Incoming President Widodo says it is a “huge step backward” for democracy in the country.

Jakarta (AsiaNews) — The outgoing Indonesian parliament, a few days ahead of the ned of its term, has approved a law that scraps the direct election of governors and mayors in local elections. At the end of a 10 hour debate, 226 deputies voted in favor of amending the current electoral system, which provides for the “direct” election of the directors by the citizens. In contrast, the power of choice will be entrusted to the local parliaments and parties that control them.

The coup by the outgoing assembly has angered activists and civil society, which have long been protesting against the controversial bill. Critics say it is a blow to the fledgling democracy after the fall of dictator Suharto in 1988, at the conclusion of three decades of authoritarian rule.

Analysts and local political experts point out that, with in giving the bill the go-ahead, deputies wanted to undermine the new president-elect Joko “Jokowi” Widodo, who will shortly take office. He is seen as a political outsider rising to the highest office of the State from that of mayor and governor (Jakarta), through direct election and popular consensus.

Speaking on the matter, the Head of State-elect termed the vote a “huge step backward” for democracy in the country. He added that the local authorities elected by the people have a “moral obligation” to their voters, because “they were chosen.”

The system used so far was introduced in 2005, precisely to allow new types of policy and administration to emerge, even without support of the elite.

The bill approved today was proposed by the Ministry of Interior and will help — according to its authors — minimize the risk of selling votes, for cash or other benefits; at the same time, it aims to reduce the government’s financial budget. It provides for the popular election of regional, district and provincial representatives; it will then fall to these assemblies to choose the district heads, mayors and governors “indirectly”, excluding citizens from voting.

Indonesian civil society has reacted with outrage and indignation at the proposal, accusing the political class of “dirty politicking,” a few weeks of ahead of the official installation of the new President Joko Widodo “Jokowi”, on October 28. It should be emphasized that the proposed electoral reform is advanced and strongly supported by the “Red and White” coalition whose candidate Prabowo Subianto was defeated in the race for the presidency in July.

At the time of the vote, activists and ordinary citizens gathered outside Parliament burning tires and chanting slogans in protest against the new law. The hashtag “Rest in peace, democracy” is currently trending among Twitter users in Indonesia

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

Taliban Seize Strategic Afghan District

100 civilians killed, some women beheaded

(ANSA) — Rome, September 26 — The Taliban have seized control of a strategic district in the Afghan province of Ghazni, officials said Friday.

Insurgents killed some 100 civilians after taking Ajrestan district — a gateway to Kabul — late on Thursday night after a week of battle.

Some 15 people suspected of collaborating with authorities were beheaded, including women, a spokesman for the provincial governor said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

China: Death Toll in Xinjiang Attacks Jumps to 50

Of the victims, 40 were “terrorists” killed in the explosions; six civilians; two police officers and two security agents. Chinese authorities have imposed a curfew and closed schools and offices.

Urumqi (AsiaNews / Agencies) — The death toll from a spate of bombings September 21 has jumped to 50 people. The series of explosions targeted police stations and public buildings in the Bugur county (Xinjiang). The hike in the number of dead was reported by the state news portal, Tianshan, which, has given no reason for the delay in reporting the news.

The explosions occurred at around 17 (local time) in front of two police stations, an outdoor market and a shop. Of the 50 victims, 40 were “terrorists” killed in the explosions; six civilians; two police officers and two security agents. Two other alleged attackers were caught by the police. The number of wounded has been reduced from 100, as reported yesterday, to 54, all of whom are civilians.

According to the Tianshan report, the main suspect is a man named Mamat Tursun, who has been “operating as an extremist since 2003.”

The Chinese authorities have imposed a curfew in the areas affected by the violence, ordering the closure of schools and offices. According to Beijing, the attackers are separatists from the Uyghur minority. The Turkic and Muslim ethnic group from Xinjiang has been calling for greater autonomy or independence from China.

Meanwhile, on September 23 a court in Urumqi sentenced Uyghur intellectual Ilham Tohti to life imprisonment for “separatism”: a ruling that has sparked outrage from human rights activists in China.

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

Man Stabs Four School Kids to Death in Southern China

Three of the children died at the scene and the other died later in hospital, Xinhua says

BEIJING: A knife-wielding man stabbed to death four primary school children in southern China on Friday, state media reported, the latest in a series of such attacks in recent years.

The stabbings occurred in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in southern China, the official Xinhua news agency said, citing local authorities.

The attack took place in the town of Pingshan in Lingshan county as the students were on their way to school, the report added, citing the county public security bureau.

Three of the children died at the scene and the other died later in hospital, the report said.

Police are searching for the suspected assailant, described as middle-aged, the report said.

Chinese state TV reported on its verified account on China’s Twitter-like Sina Weibo that a slightly heavyset 56-year-old man surnamed Shi residing in Pingshan rode a red motorised trishaw while stabbing the children.

Local police publicised the number plate of the trishaw and offered a reward of 20,000 yuan ($3,260) for information leading to the man’s capture, it added.

Violent crime has been on the rise in China in recent decades as the nation’s economy has boomed and the gap between rich and poor has expanded rapidly.

Studies have also described a rise in the prevalence of mental disorders, some of them linked to stress as the pace of life becomes faster and socialist support systems wither.

[Return to headlines]

Cape Town to Shut South Africa’s Open Mosque

South Africa’s first gay-friendly mosque, which also allows women to lead prayers, is being ordered closed.

A City of Cape Town councillor says the newly established Open Mosque has violated municipal by-laws.

The mosque officially opened its doors on Friday despite criticism from members of the local Muslim community.

           — Hat tip: Steen [Return to headlines]

345 Rescued Syrian Refugees Land in Cyprus

Group said they were headed to Sicily

(ANSAmed) — NICOSIA — A group of 345 Syrian migrants — 293 adults and 52 children — were on their way to Sicily, in Italy, when they were rescued off the coast of Cyprus by a cruise ship, which delivered them Thursday night to the port of Limassol, a number of the refugees told Cypriot state broadcaster CyBC.

The migrants, who had demanded to be taken to Italy, walked off the Salamis Filoxenia only after hours of negotiations with Cypriot authorities and cruise ship officers, reported Cypriot radio.

“Everything was done calmly. The police came on board the ship and the refugees agreed to disembark,” civil defense officer Marinos Papadopoulos told the radio station.

Refugees paid 3000 dollars per child and much more for adults, CyBC journalists who had boarded the ship were told.

When rough seas made progress difficult for the old fishing boat on which they traveled, the captain jumped on a speedboat and left the passengers to their fate.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Boldrini Says EU Must ‘Take Responsibility’ For Sea Rescues

ISIS has deviated from Islam, says Lower House speaker

(ANSA) — Rome, September 26 — Lower House Speaker Laura Boldrini said the EU must “take responsibility” for migrant sea rescue by revising the mandate of Frontex, the European Union border agency, to include rescue operations.

“The EU can’t pull back from sea rescue. The Mediterranean is a Schengen border,” Boldrini said, referring to the Schengen pact governing European borders.

In comments to the foreign media, Boldrini said that Italy’s Mare Nostrum (Our Sea) migrant rescue operation “has been the only response to the years-long culpable indifference in the Mediterranean, where a true war between man and sea is taking place”.

The program was established one year ago after two migrant boat disasters killed some 400 people.

Mare Nostrum will be supplemented in November by a new Frontex program, dubbed Frontex Plus, that will help Italy with sea rescues.

Responding to questions about ISIS militants, Boldrini said the group had deviated from Islam.

ISIS is “religious deviance using religion for political purposes; that’s not Islam,” she said.

She also commented on a reform bill now under debate and designed to turn the Senate into a smaller, non-elected assembly without lawmaking powers, saying it would “be in committee for the next two months and certainly come before the House before next year”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Political Asylum Requests Up 24% Says UNHCR

‘Govts must prep their peoples to accept more’ says Guterrez

(ANSA) — Geneva, September 26 — Political asylum requests rose 24% in the first semester, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said Friday.

In the first six months of the year, 330,700 people fleeing wars and conflicts in Afghanistan, Eritrea, Iraq, and Syria, have requested political asylum in 44 industrialized nations in America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific area, the refugee agency said in a report.

The most requests were filed by Syrians (48,400 against 18,900 in the same period last year), followed by Iraqis (21,300), Afghans (19,300) and Eritreans (18,900).

Over two-thirds of those requests were made in just six countries: Germany (65,700), the United States (52,800), France (29,000), Sweden (28.500), Turkey (27,700) and Italy (24,500). Asylum requests could total 700,000 by the end of the year, a record not seen since the war in the former Yugoslavia in the mid-1990s. “We are clearly in a period of growing conflicts,” said UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

“Lawmakers must prepare their peoples…because in the absence of solutions to these conflicts, more and more people will be needing refuge and support in the coming months and years”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

6 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 9/26/2014

  1. To the idiot Muslim on the bus: Your aversion to pork is a religious rule. Someone not respecting that to your satisfaction is not “racist.” Islam is not a race.

  2. Regarding the “Peppa the Pig” TV cartoon. This has ramped up from one dysfunctional female muslim (who I guess never heard of telling her child not to watch something she finds objectionable) to a family getting booted off a public bus because they made sounds objectionable to a fellow traveler.
    This will only stop when everyone on the bus tells that woman to sit down and shut up. Until then, Britain will continue to suffer.
    How long they will continue to suffer is anyone’s guess.

    It’s funny but I think back to when my oldest son was about 3. We had landed at Heathrow and our arrival gate was unavailable. You all know how antsy you get when you are finally on the ground and can’t get off the stinking plane…
    I suggested to my son that he sing the song “Somewhere Out There.’ He knew it by heart and sang it out. Everyone around us clapped when he was finished!

    I also used to use the safety manual to make up stories that I would “read” to my small children. I remember a business traveler next to me being totally engrossed in my stories…

  3. I started posting to GOV about twelve years ago. Back when I really didn’t understand what was going on. What I did know was that my oldest son was studying at the Naval Academy, preparing himself to go to war against the Islamic onslaught.

    I was such a newbie that I couldn’t even post a message!

    At the time, Celtic crosses and piggy banks were the focus of Islamic objectionists in Europe. They wanted both of these figures to be removed from the public sphere. I recall an airline employee being fired (which she eventually sued) for wearing a visible crucifix.

    I sent an email to the Baron asking him what the heck was going on.

    Should I be ashamed of displaying my Celtic crosses? After all, I had collected them for a long period of time and never knew (until that point) that they were objectionable…

    He printed my email on the front page of his site.

    We have come a long way since my rather naive narrative. We are now dealing with children’s cartoons and the banning of same. We have people all over Europe living under police protection. We have hospital workers turning beds toward Mecca 5 times a day rather than dispensing care to the ill. We have people thrown off buses because they sing the wrong song… Forget the piggy banks, they are gone.

    I just wonder if anyone over there realizes the speed in which their society is changing? If you were to read my email today you would find me so completely unassuming and naive. And that is where we have gotten in 12 years.

    By placing this on the European community I am sure you have discerned that I am an American. Due to the recent head chopping in Oklahoma I realize that this illness has cone to our shores. How much more do any of us want?

    Who is Britain First? Why haven’t I heard of them until a few weeks ago? Are they working with UKIP and the EDL?

    • Piggy banks? Unreal. Utterly unreal.

      What makes Muslims think that just because they are forbidden to eat pork, that this also extrapolates into not being able to look at a pig – even a toy pig – or hear the word “oink”?

      If I’m diabetic, should I fly into a rage if I hear the old Archies’ song “Sugar, Sugar”?

  4. Thanks for your posts Babs, I guess I’ve been reading and enjoying them for a long time. Our societies have not changed for the best. Time for all good men and women to speak up and stop commiting cultural suicide.

  5. Culture may be defined as the manner in which people behave that is not questioned or debated. The real culture of Britain was that described by the behavior of the bus driver and the couple. The bus driver did not want any more trouble, so he asked the couple to step off the bus. The couple complied with his request. Any other behavior would not have been civilized. In America that would be referred to as wussy, not civilized. If it had been me in such a situation, I would have quietly announced that I was not going anywhere and would gladly await the arrival of the police. Only someone producing a weapon could have gotten me to change my mind. In Chicago, someone might have wound up dead.

Comments are closed.