Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/20/2014

Tonight President Barack Obama declared his intention to invoke what is commonly known as “Executive Amnesty”, which would grant legal status to illegal aliens who fit in certain categories. Somewhere between two and five million “undocumented” migrants may be legalized by his action. Mr. Obama expects that a period of inter-ethnic harmony, unprecedented prosperity, and improvement in the general commonweal will ensue. Or something to that effect — I was in the process of drinking down a quart shaker of absinthe-laudanum cocktails I had just mixed, so I may have missed a word here and there.

In other news, the mayor of the southern Israeli town of Ashkelon has banned Arab workers from the vicinity of nursery schools during school hours. National political leaders, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, condemned the mayor’s action.

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

Thanks to C. Cantoni, Caroline Glick, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, Phyllis Chesler, 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
» Draghi Says ECB ‘Determined to Protect the Euro’
» Italian Exports Toward Mena Region Grow
» Man Arrested: Accused of Slashing Man After Heated Religious Conversation
» Mike Nichols, Director Celebrated for Stage and Screen, Dies at 83
» OKCPD: Man Attacks Another Man Over Religious Beliefs
Europe and the EU
» Britain’s UKIP Set for Landmark Poll Win
» Italy: ‘Renzi Disrespects Labor’ Says Union Chief Camusso
» Italy: Venice to Ban Trolley Bags With Noisy Wheels
» Muslim ‘Apostates’ Come Out of Hiding in Europe
» The Tyranny of Silence
North Africa
» Egypt Arrests Brotherhood Leader in Ongoing Crackdown
Israel and the Palestinians
» Ashkelon Mayor Draws Fire for Partial Ban on Arab Workers
» Caroline Glick: Responding to the Slaughter
» Media Manipulation of the Jerusalem Synagogue Murders
Middle East
» ‘Close to 50’ French Jihadists Killed in Syria
» Flemish Jihadis Involved in Syria Atrocities?
» ‘Islam Has Nothing to Do With IS Group’s Atrocities’
» Islamic State Now Hiring: Gunsmiths Needed to Maintain Growing Arsenal
» Little Support in Iran for Nuclear Negotiations
» Patriarch of Baghdad to Muslim Leaders: Unbefitting Silence on the Islamic State, A Nazism in the Name of Islam
» Nearly 1,000 Killed in Ukraine Since Start of Ceasefire, UN Says
» OSCE: Monitors Come Under Fire in East Ukraine
South Asia
» India’s ‘Yoga Ministry’ Stirs Doubts Among Scientists
Sub-Saharan Africa
» China Firm Wins Huge Nigerian Railway Contract
Latin America
» Five Women Die a Violent Death Every Day in Mexico
» EU Grants Jordan 66 Mn to Share Burden of Syrian Refugees
» Mare Nostrum — Saving Lives on the Mediterranean
» Obama’s Immigration Plan Could Shield Four Million
» Obama Asserts Power to Reshape Immigration
» Swedish Church Wants to Run Refugee Reception Centres
» Female Genital Mutilation in the West: A Creeping Crime Against Humanity

Draghi Says ECB ‘Determined to Protect the Euro’

President of central bank says ‘fragile’ banking sector a risk

(ANSA) — Rome, November 20 — European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said Thursday that the ECB “remains determined to protect the euro”.

In comments at the inauguration of the ECB’s new role as the direct supervisor of major eurozone banks, Draghi added that “the fragility of the banking sector is an important risk that must be addressed directly”.

He added European authorities must continue to prepare for the future.

“We have to look ahead and prepare for future developments towards a real economic and monetary union”. The new single supervisory mechanism (SSM) based in Frankfurt was born of the global economic crisis, which showed dramatic weaknesses in the financial services sector.

Some European financial markets fell after Draghi’s comments, with Milan’s FTSE Mib dropping by 0.91% near the close of the trading day.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italian Exports Toward Mena Region Grow

SRM research shows Italy’s increasing interest for the area

(ANSAmed) ROME, 20 NOV — From 2001 to 2013 Italian exports to ‘Mena area’ (Middle East and North Africa) has more than doubled, reaching a total amount of around 44 billion euro and covering more than 11% of the total Italian export. These are some of the data highlighted in the latest Report on the Economic relations between Italy and the Mediterranean area, published by SRM, research centre based in Naples.

Numbers and percentages contained in the report show the importance of the Mediterranean countries for Italian economics, in terms of commercial and financial exchanges, as well as at infrastructural level. Speaking in details about export, the growth pace of Italian exports between 2001 and 2013 (+107%) was faster than that of United States (+58.6%) and France (+53.8%), which are some of Italy strongest competitors in the region. At the end of 2014, the projections indicate a substantial hold of this positive trend for Italian export (-0.6% compared to 2013). As for the analysis of trade interchange (import + export), with its 54.8 billion euro in trading with the area (end of 2013), after United States (62 billion euro) and Germany (more than 57 billion euro), Italy is the main partner of the countries lining the southern shores of the Mediterranean.

SRM research highlights also the moderate but steady growth of average GDP in North African countries, focusing in particular on Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt. In the last years (from 2011) instability originated from the political tensions due to the so called ‘Arab Spring’ had a negative impact on GDP growth (from 5.5% to current 2.3% in the outlook for this year). But the rate is expected to be up again to 3.6% in 2015 and rising again to 4% in 2016. “The positive prospects for growth in the medium term is increasing the interest of Italian companies for these countries”, say SRM researchers, who also estimated that, focusing on Morocco, Tunisia and Egypt, there are approximately 1,800 Italian-funded companies.

Even the number of transits in the main Mediterranean ports is growing: between 2000 and 2013 the number of vessel transits in the Suez Canal has more than doubled. Overall, 19% of the world trade transits within the Mediterranean basin, a share increasing from 15% at the end of the 90s. Focusing on financial exchanges, the level of development of Mena financial systems is still below the European standards.

The number of listed companies on different stock markets in the region is five times smaller than the number of companies listed on European stock exchanges and the market value is nine times lower. However, the performance of banks in the Mena region over the last few years has been better than those of the European banks, in terms of efficiency, profitability, and quality of the credit.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Man Arrested: Accused of Slashing Man After Heated Religious Conversation

A metro man is in jail accused of attacking another man over religion differences.

On Monday authorities responded to a 911 about an assault in the 1400 block of Northeast 11th Street.

Upon their arrival, officers learned the victim, Jerome Bullockand 54-year-old Jimmy Stepney had been arguing about the Bible and the Quran.

According to the arrest affidavit, Stepney is a Muslim and the Bullock is a Christian.

The report went on to say Stepney had been making comments about beheading people.

“We were watching the news,” said Bullock. “He said he felt like more Muslims need to step up to the plate and do certain thing. He was talking about beheading people.”

Because of the statement, Bullock says he asked Stepney, who’d been staying with the family, to leave.

Stepney complied but eventually came back and started arguing with Bullock.

According to the arrest affidavit, the pair began fighting in the yard after Stepney allegedly punched the victim.

Witnesses told officers that Stepney had a knife and was attempting to stab the victim. That’s when Bullock’s mother, Diane Range, came out with a baseball bat and started swinging at Stepney.

“He was trying to kill my son,” said Range.

Bullock suffered minor cuts from the fight and Stepney was able to walk away.

“I was just trying to pay it forward by helping him out,” said Bullock. “Instead I got a lot of cuts and hurt feelings.”

Stepney is charged with assault with a dangerous weapon and assault and battery.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Mike Nichols, Director Celebrated for Stage and Screen, Dies at 83

Mike Nichols, one of America’s most celebrated directors, whose long, protean resume of critic- and crowd-pleasing work earned him adulation both on Broadway and in Hollywood, died Wednesday. He was 83.

His death was announced in a statement by the president of ABC News, James Goldston.

Dryly urbane, with a gift for communicating with actors and keen comic timing that he honed early in his career as half of the celebrated sketch-comedy team Nichols and May, Mr. Nichols accomplished what Orson Welles and Elia Kazan but few if any other directors have: He achieved popular and artistic success in both theater and film. He was among the most decorated people in the history of show business, one of only a handful to have won an Oscar, a Tony, an Emmy and a Grammy.

[Return to headlines]

OKCPD: Man Attacks Another Man Over Religious Beliefs

One man is behind bars and another one is nursing stab wounds following a fight over the Bible and Qur’an.

Jerome Bullock told Fox 25 he feels lucky to be alive. He and Jimmy Stepney were acquaintances. He was helping him out with a place to stay.

“I had tried to help somebody that was homeless and it turned out to be a bad thing,” said Bullock.

Over the weekend they were watching a news story about the recent Isis beheading. According to the police report, Stepney said it’s okay to kill the white man. He also said the beheading was good and more Muslims need to do it.

“I thought he was in there threatening my wife basically because she’s white,” said Bullock.

Police said the two men then got into an argument about the Bible and the Qur’an. Bullock said he asked Stepney to leave the house for good.

“I’m siding up with the white people is what he said,” said Bullock. “There is no side. There’s either right or wrong.”

Monday night Stepney came back for his stuff. Bullock said as he was leaving Stepney re-started the fight and started attacking him.

“While the fight was ensuing he was saying he was going to kill me,” said Bullock. “Tonight you’re going to die is what he said.”

His mother saw Stepney had a knife so she jumped in to help her son.

“All I could think about was my son dying,” said Diane Ranger. “I got that bat and I went out there and the first thing, something said just hit him in the head but I thought nah I don’t want to kill him. So I just started working with on his body with the bat.”

Bullock told Fox 25 although Stepney claims to be a Muslim he never saw him reading the Qur’an. Jimmy Stepney sits in jail facing two assault and battery charges.

           — Hat tip: Vlad Tepes [Return to headlines]

Britain’s UKIP Set for Landmark Poll Win

Britain’s anti-European UK Independence Party (UKIP) was set on Thursday to claim its second seat in parliament a month after gaining its first foothold as voters went to the polls in the town of Rochester.

The by-election in southeast England was called after MP Mark Reckless defected in September from Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative Party to UKIP, which wants strict quotas on immigration.

The Conservatives have campaigned hard for the Rochester and Strood seat, leading experts to portray the election as a historic moment in British politics if polls indicating a UKIP win bear out.

“UKIP was not supposed to win this by-election,” explained Matthew Goodwin, politics professor at Nottingham University.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: ‘Renzi Disrespects Labor’ Says Union Chief Camusso

‘Premier should know we’re not happy to go on strike’

(ANSA) — Bologna, November 20 — CGIL labor federation chief Susanna Camusso on Thursday replied to remarks on a planned general strike made earlier in the day by Premier Matteo Renzi.

“When the premier says workers strike so union leaders can find a way to pass the time, I believe he is being disrespectful towards labor and the sacrifices workers make,” Camusso said.

“We know what it means to ask workers to make extra sacrifices, and we know things are not going well,” she added.

“We would like to live in a country in which things are going well, and in which labor is recognized as an asset”.

Renzi earlier blasted the decision by two of Italy’s big three union confederations, the CGIL and UIL, to call a general strike on December 12 against the government’s Jobs Act labour reform and its 2015 budget bill.

“Instead of spending my time inventing reasons to strike, I worry about creating jobs, because there’s still lots to do,” the premier said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Venice to Ban Trolley Bags With Noisy Wheels

From May 2015 only pneumatic casters allowed

(ANSA) — Venice, November 20 — Venice city authorities plan to introduce new restrictions on the use of wheeled luggage in a bid to reduce noise pollution in the lagoon city, local media reported Thursday.

Under the plans, from May 2015 tourists will be allowed to use only trolley bags sporting pneumatic casters, while the more common and noisier plastic or solid rubber wheels will be banned.

Infringement fines will range from 100 to 500 euros.

The new rules will not apply to city residents, however.

The measure comes in response to complaints by inhabitants that the noise of tourists pulling luggage trolleys along walkways and over canal bridges prevents them from sleeping at night. It is being sponsored by Venice Special Commissioner Vittorio Zappalorto and should be included in new urban planning and building regulations for the city.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Muslim ‘Apostates’ Come Out of Hiding in Europe

A number of Muslims in Europe are publicly abandoning their religion to become Christians or agnostics despite their former community’s taboo against such acts.

In France, the film “The Apostle” by filmmaker Cheyenne Carron has meanwhile lifted the veil on “apostasy” by telling the story of a young Muslim who converted to Catholicism and how he had trouble getting family and friends to accept his choice.

“It is time for us to stop hiding,” said Pastor Said Oujibou, 46, who left radical Islam for evangelical protestantism and who is among the few converts to have publicised his decision in France.

He said he is “tolerated” by his former co-religionists, even if he admits to having sparked “sarcasm and annoyance” from them.

But he warned against the “double talk” that certain branches of Islam in France close to the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists use toward apostate Muslims.

“Apostasy is a taboo in Muslim culture and if the text of the Koran does not provide for any punishment, prophetic tradition calls for killing apostates,” said Radouane Attiya, a former preacher trained in Saudi Arabia who is now a specialist on Islam at Liege University in Belgium.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

The Tyranny of Silence

by Deborah Weiss and Andrew Harrod

Even amidst death threats and Islamist violence, Flemming Rose remains a staunch advocate for freedom of speech. In a Europe with ever-increasing speech restrictions, he argues for the equivalent of a global First Amendment.

On October 13, 2014, both the Cato Institute and the Newseum in Washington, DC, hosted Rose, author of the recently published book, The Tyranny of Silence. Rose and his paper maintain high security generally. But surprisingly, the only apparent security at these two events consisted of security guards from institutions holding them. Cato had approximately 75 people in attendance, including a young man from FIRE. The Newseum had a smaller audience, consisting of about 35 people, most of whom were older and likely Newseum members, as only members were sent prior notification. Both audiences were attentive, responsive and had numerous questions for the editor during Q&A. Additionally, both events were taped for online viewing.

Rose is an editor of Jyllands-Posten, a Danish newspaper, notorious for its 2005 publication of twelve cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad. Considered blasphemous, the drawings provided Islamists with an excuse to riot across the Muslim world and destroy Danish embassies, killing approximately 200 people.

Preceding these events, Danish author Kåre Bluitgen, wrote a children’s book on Islam’s Prophet and wanted to include illustrations. Bluitgen sought to commission several illustrators for the Mohammad images. Two declined and one agreed on the condition of anonymity. The illustrators cited safety concerns stemming from death threats to Salmon Rushdie in the United Kingdom and the murder of Theo van Gogh in the Netherlands, both of whom allegedly “blasphemed” Islam. Questions arose as to whether fear caused the illustrators to engage in self-censorship concerning Islam, and whether individuals in the media should cater to a small minority that reacts violently to discussion deemed offensive.

Jyllands-Posten asked members of the illustrator’s union to draw Mohammad as they saw him. The newspaper accepted submissions for seven to ten days. It subsequently published twelve illustrations along with an article addressing free speech and self-censorship. “No one could have anticipated” what would follow, Rose explained. The cartoons were the purported cause of violence that erupted throughout the Middle East, making Rose and his newspaper the center of a media storm. All context was lost.

Rose had sought a debate about ideas and a civil way to maintain a dialogue. Yet jihadists threatened to bomb the Jyllands-Posten’s offices and murder the cartoonists, forcing several of them into hiding. Both Rose and Jyllands-Posten have had to maintain heavy security ever since.

Several Muslim organizations filed a complaint against Jyllands-Posten accusing it of violating the Danish Criminal Code. The statute prohibits public ridicule of religious dogma or public statements that cause a group to feel “threatened, scorned or degraded” due to race or religion. However, using a narrow legal interpretation of the statute, the Danish government decided not to pursue the case, stating that it did not meet the necessary pre-requisites for prosecution.

Rose stated that self-censorship in Europe has worsened since the Jyllands-Posten’s publication of the cartoons. Rose was confronted with numerous anti-free speech arguments. “Isn’t it hurting the religious feelings of people with deeply held beliefs?” “Isn’t it a smart business decision not to use language in newspapers that might offend readers?” “Isn’t is just good manners not to insult someone’s beliefs?” (paraphrasing) But Rose, without missing a beat, had an articulate and persuasive answer for each point. He insisted that the omission of language regarding Islam did not constitute simply a business decision, as all readers occasionally face offense. Nor did it stem from good manners, as the motivation was not to be polite. Rather, it was self-censorship based on fear and intimidation…

[Return to headlines]

Egypt Arrests Brotherhood Leader in Ongoing Crackdown

Egyptian police have arrested one of the last Muslim Brotherhood leaders not already in detention or in exile. Thousands of the group’s members have been rounded up in a mass crackdown.

The arrest comes a day after dozens of protesters were detained in downtown Cairo, according to a report in the independent newspaper al-Shorouk.

Egypt has carried out a sweeping crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood since Morsi, also a leading member of the group, was ousted by the military in July 2013, triggering widespread protests by his supporters. Hundreds of Brotherhood members have been killed and thousands of its leaders and activists, including Morsi himself, remain in prison.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Ashkelon Mayor Draws Fire for Partial Ban on Arab Workers

‘Criticism across political spectrum sends message’, Rivlin

(ANSAmed) — TEL AVIV, NOVEMBER 20 — The mayor of the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon has drawn heavy criticism for imposing a temporary ban on employing Arab workers near nursery schools during the latter’s opening hours.

Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu noted on Thursday in a statement that there was “no place in Israel for discrimination against its Arab citizens” and that an entire community must not be blamed for the actions of “a small and violent minority”. Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai criticized the decision on his Facebook page saying “I’m proud that the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality employs hundreds of Arab construction workers and this is how it will continue into the future”.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) said the Ashkelon mayor’s decision was “immoral” and that “even in more difficult wartimes Israel did not take steps of discrimination and deprivation against Arabs who live among us as citizens with equal rights. Where will we be if we fan the flames?”. Meretz leader Zehava Gal-on also blasted the move as illegal and unjustified, criticizing government ministers by saying they are”repeatedly equating the terrorists of recent days with any and every Arab”.

President Reuven Rivlin noted that “this proves that we do not compromise when it comes to our most important values”, noting that the reaction “from the left and from the right against the decision to restrict the employment of Arabs” by the mayor of Ashkelon sends “a clear message both within the country and abroad that Israel as a Jewish and democratic state is an inalienable part of our identity as Israelis”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Caroline Glick: Responding to the Slaughter

What we are seeing in Jerusalem today is not simply Palestinian terrorism. It is Islamic jihad. No one likes to admit it. The television reporters insist that this is the worst possible scenario because there is no way to placate it. There is no way to reason with it.

So what else is new?

The horrible truth is that all of the anti-Jewish slaughters perpetrated by our Arab neighbors have been motivated to greater or lesser degrees by Islamic Jew-hatred. The only difference between the past hundred years and now is that today our appeasement-oriented elite is finding it harder to pretend away the obvious fact that we cannot placate our enemies.

No “provocation” by Jews drove two Jerusalem Arabs to pick up meat cleavers and a rifle and slaughter rabbis in worship like sheep and then mutilate their bodies…

           — Hat tip: Caroline Glick [Return to headlines]

Media Manipulation of the Jerusalem Synagogue Murders

In the wake of the horrific news of the slaughter at the Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem, we convened an on-air discussion on 1330WEBY in Pensacola. During the broadcast word came of the fifth death, an Israeli Druze Border Policeman. A sixth victim of their barbarous attack is reported to have fallen into a coma. This was as a result of the Islamikaze attack by two cousins from the Jabel Mukaber section of east Jerusalem, Odei Abed Abu Jamal, 22 and Ghassam Mohammed Abu Jamal, 32, equipped with guns, knives, and meat cleavers. They were members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine allegedly motivated by Jewish threats to the Haram al Sharaf/ Temple Mount. They were shot dead by the two Israeli police at the blood spattered horrific scene inside the synagogue in Har Nof that took the lives of four rabbis, three dual citizen Americans and a Briton. In the aftermath of this heinous attack, sweets and cookies were distributed in Gaza City while Palestinians there celebrated the grisly murders of the rabbis at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue in Jerusalem. Prior to the segment, Mike Bates, host of Your Turn at WEBY and I looked at two disquieting videos of President Obama’s remarks regarding the slaughter at Kehillat Yaakov synagogue. One was produced by CNBC, while the other was the raw AP news video. Conspicuous by its absence in the former was President Obama’s morally equivalent lines in his statement, “Too many Israelis and too many Palestinians have died”.. Breitbart drew attention to Obama’s remarks in the raw AP video, Obama Responds to Jerusalem Synagogue Attack: ‘Too Many Palestinians Have Died’. However, as Rabbi Tokajer of Brit Ahm synagogue observed during the opening moments of our discussion, CNN had an earlier breaking headline of the grisly synagogue attack, “Two Palestinians shot Dead by Israeli Police “. This while sweets and cookies were being handed out and Palestinians celebrated in Gaza. I drew attention to the deep links between the Obama White House and major media illustrated by Deputy National Security Advisor and spokesperson, Ben Rhodes, whose brother David heads CBS News. As one aspect of that, I referred to the editing of reportage by former CBS correspondent Sheryl Atkisson over the Benghazi episode that she chronicled in her new book, Stonewalled: My Fight for Truth Against the Forces of Obstruction, Intimidation, and Harassment in Obama’s Washington.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

‘Close to 50’ French Jihadists Killed in Syria

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said Wednesday that “close to 50” French citizens have been killed fighting alongside jihadists in Syria.

A government source told AFP the precise number, as of Monday, was estimated at 49.

“We know the number of French nationals, more than a thousand, who are involved in this phenomenon,” Valls said after a security meeting in Beauvais, north of Paris.

“We know the number of French who have died in Syria, close to 50, so we know the dangers and, sadly, we are not surprised to learn that French citizens or residents of France are found at the heart of these cells and taking part in this barbarity,” he added.

“This strengthens our determination to fight against terrorism,” said Valls.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Flemish Jihadis Involved in Syria Atrocities?

Mayor of Vilvoorde Hans Bonte has said that Flemish youngsters are involved in the most heinous acts perpetrated by the terrorist group calling itself Islamic State (IS). Hans Bonte told VRT News that two Flemish youngsters are closely implicated in the most hideous atrocities committed by IS.

Mayor of Vilvoorde Hans Bonte: “Security services have been telling us for some time that Flemish youngsters are involved in IS’s most hideous atrocities.”

He says that Jihadi fighters from Antwerp and Vilvoorde serve as IS commanders. He believes more and more Belgians are active in Iraq too. “The way and the speed at which formally functioning young guys and women are being radicalised are disturbing and beyond rational thought.”

The daily Het Laatste Nieuws earlier claimed that a Flemish fighter Abdelmajid Gharmaoui was identified as one of those involved in the beheadings. Abdelmajid Gharmaoui from Vilvoorde was convicted in his absence in connection with the Sharia4Belgium affair. Belgian public prosecutors are investigating the matter. Judicial sources the VRT has spoken to deny that Abdelmajid Gharmaoui was involved in the beheading.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

‘Islam Has Nothing to Do With IS Group’s Atrocities’

Top Saudi leaders joined representatives of other faiths in condemning violence by the so-called Islamic State (IS) at a conference organized in the Austrian capital by the King Abdullah International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue (KAICIID) on Wednesday.

The KAICIID was founded in October 2011 by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to promote interfaith harmony.

“Some organizations that are affiliated with Islam are perpetrating some actions in the name of jihad. This is not Islam at all,” Secretary-General of the Muslim World League Abdullah Al-Turki was quoted by Reuters news agency as saying. “This is why we wish to deplore and strongly condemn this behavior, which we see as against Islam,” he told an audience including the grand muftis of Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan; top representatives of several churches, Rabbi David Rosen of the American Jewish Committee, and diplomats.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Islamic State Now Hiring: Gunsmiths Needed to Maintain Growing Arsenal

The Islamic State terrorist army, in its rapid arms buildup, is now searching for foreign technicians who can come to Syria and Iraq and show its fighters how to use and maintain their weapons.

A U.S. military officer familiar with the Islamic State said that the Sunni extremist group is sending word through the arms trade’s secretive black market that it needs outside advisers — and is willing to pay.

“They’ve captured our weapons, and now they’re trying to use them against us, but some of them are too sophisticated for them, and so they need special instructions,” the officer said.

Rogue weapons technicians — the military officer mentioned Russia and Bulgaria as possible providers — are willing to help nefarious groups if the money is right.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Little Support in Iran for Nuclear Negotiations

Representatives from Iran and the West have until Monday, November 24, to reach an agreement that would restrict Iran’s controversial nuclear programme in exchange for a lifting of sanctions. But how do Iranians feel about the potential deal? FRANCE 24’s Alexander Turnbull and Antoine Mariotti report from Tehran.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Patriarch of Baghdad to Muslim Leaders: Unbefitting Silence on the Islamic State, A Nazism in the Name of Islam

Speaking at an interfaith conference sponsored by a Saudi institution, Mar Sako describes a “wounded” Middle East. The liberation of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain is a priority for the return of displaced people, Christian and non-Christians, forced to live in appalling conditions. The silence of Muslim leaders is fueling jihadist violence, we need a clear condemnation.

Vienna (AsiaNews) — In a “wounded” Middle East and Iraq the “silence” of the Arab and Muslim leaders is encouraging the rise of the Islamic State, a “barbaric” and brutal force that “distorts” the Muslim religion. This was stated by the Chaldean Patriarch Mar Louis Raphael I Sako speaking at an international conference in Vienna on interreligious dialogue. His Beatitude warns that “experts and scholars of Islam must tackle the root cause of IS, refute their arguments with case law and expose their criminal practices” because “their ideas and thoughts are a plague on the human race” .

Patriarch Sako delivered his intervention yesterday in Vienna, Austria, on the occasion of an international conference organized by the center for the promotion of interreligious dialogue, founded and supported by Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz. The meeting was held November 18 to 19 and involved the participation of 200 Muslim and Christian figures, under the theme: “United against violence in the name of religion, in support of cultural and religious differences in Iraq and Syria”.

The Patriarch also denounced the trafficking of women by the jihadi militias, who are trying to regress society back to the dark ages. “We — said the Patriarch — look forward to the day when Muslims will cry out loud […] that attacks against innocent people, whether Christian or Muslim, believers or not, are against religion and against God.”

Below the full text of Mar Sako sent to AsiaNews:

To the Muslim Brothers and Sisters in All Over the World.

Greetings to you as brothers in the same human family and in name of all values we share. Based on our common goals and with confidence in the capability of nations to preserve life and to direct the public opinion to respect their aspirations, I appeal to you, who represent the moderate majority of Muslims wherever you are, our current tragedy be a lost cause or an unacknowledged responsibility. I address you with a spirit of sincerity, carrying in my hand a map of our wounded Middle East and of Iraq, that part of the globe, which has been for many centuries the central focus of the world; a zone which is facing an unprecedented historic crisis. With this letter I would like to express my pain and the pain of your Christian brothers and sisters in the face of our calamity, appealing to your conscience and goodwill to do something for the liberation of their towns, recovery of their property and restitution of their rights. Accordingly, I request a drastic change, because it is your responsibility to find an answer, which has to come from you and not from an outside force.

Sharing the same human sensitivity, I believe, you were equally shocked as we were by the barbaric acts that swept through the towns of Mosul and the Nineveh Plain against the Christians, Yazidis and other minorities who were uprooted empty-handed from their homes and villages overnight, heading towards “an unknown future” struck by fear and terror.

Amidst this gathering in the name of humanity, it is worth mentioning that there is a superior law (Sharia) of love and mercy engraved in the human heart. This superior law demands compassion and charity for every helpless father with a hungry infant in his arms and mercy for every human fellow in pain. Therefore, the crimes committed by ISIS (The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) against such helpless civilians demonstrate an absurd theory or law that is by no means based on any human law except on a barbaric one.

What was equally shocking is the violation by the ISIS of the sanctity of churches and monasteries by burning of their contents including old manuscripts, selling or converting them into mosques, some of these were built in the first centuries. It is also quite shameful to see the captivity of women becoming a legal legislation, as they are sold in the slave markets at a ‘bargain price’ as if they were “junk”! That is evil in the worst respect. This reminds me of the monster, which was mentioned in the book of Revelation (chapter 13).

In fact, these barbarous acts which will always be a blot in the human history are promoted by organizations and ideologies parallel to the Nazis and other totalitarian political philosophies. The human history, however, will never have mercy on those who planned and implemented such vicious acts, which threaten the existence of Christians, the natives of these lands. Unlike the Nazis and other deadly ideologies of the twentieth century, ISIS claims doing all this in the name of Islam. I feel more shocked because of those who disbelieved and belittled the serious danger that ISIS represents, especially when our helpless people, Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities were targeted in the name of the Islamic religion. It is quite shocking the insufficiency of the official Islamic community that only denounced these acts by shy and helpless statements, showing the absence of a real role in raising the awareness of the public about the impending danger of ISIS in the name of religion.

How can one stand inactive in the face of these countless crimes, repression, and displacement of innocent people which are considered legal and legitimate by ISIS and hard-liners! Isn’t this a humiliation for all mankind in general and women in particular? Have we started to live in an era of turning our backs on values? There is no apparent respect for human beings, nor does it appear that is life worth anything.

We, as minorities without protection or care, are targeted, our children are threatened and kidnapped, our homes were robbed or looted publicly as if it is legitimate (Halal). We have reached the peak of iniquity: our families were living in their own homes with dignity and pride, today they live homeless in several towns and villages, in tents or in caravans or in a room which is provided rent-free from the church. Disease is rampant, and the displaced are living in terrible anxiety.

Compassionately, we appeal to you to act responsibly on your part when little interest, if any, is expressed by the State to liberate Mosul and the towns of the Nineveh Plain, so that thousands of displaced people can return to their homes. And it is vital to point out the important role which to be taken to expose the regional and international forces that try to guarantee the survival of ISIS cells by interfering in a well calculated way.

We are concerned not only about the lack of hope for an immediate return to our towns which motivates people to migrate to any country that provides safety for them, but also that we might only be a piece of memory in history, beseeching UNESCO to preserve it.

In the midst of this anxiety, we request you to think responsibly of our tragedy and do something to improve the security and provide stability for the citizens. The development of our country would be assured only by ensuring a continuous normal life.

The real foundation of your common responsibility towards us is based on your awareness of the growing religious extremism and obscurantist takfirist that poses a threat to us and is no less dangerous for you.

Do not forget that Christians are natives in this land, and they have contributed a lot to Arab culture. Arabs must present a unified position with one vote against extremism. This united Arab coalition must ensure a peaceful solution. Extremism is everywhere and what is required is the adoption of moderation and a thinking process excommunicating obscurantism, in addition to the rejection of terrorism in the name of religion and resisting it in all its forms.

Religious scholars should rebuff ISIS arguments, refute their arguments with jurisprudence and denounce their heinous practices, in addition to proclaiming their thoughts as the scourge of humanity. Religious and educational institutions should start inculcating an open and moderate culture that respects diversity and provides an objective image about the different peoples, which is characterized by respect and belief in the equality of all to live in freedom and dignity.

Silence doesn’t befit you because ISIS and their followers will direct more distortionary strikes on Islam. It’s dangerous to give them that chance because people will think that Islam is a threat to world peace. We have great confidence that you will make a move before it’s too late to prevent this tsunami from again hitting a new area.

We look forward to the day when Muslims announce officially to themselves and to those who are persecuted that attacking innocent peoples Muslims or Christians, believers or not is against religion and against God the Almighty who is the only one who will judge every human beings and recompense them with justice.

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

Nearly 1,000 Killed in Ukraine Since Start of Ceasefire, UN Says

Fighting in eastern Ukraine has claimed the lives of nearly 1,000 people since the signing of a fragile ceasefire agreement in September, the United Nations said on Thursday.

On average, 13 people were killed each day during the first eight weeks of the September 5 ceasefire, with a total of 957 deaths recorded up to November 18, according to a new UN human rights monitoring report.

The number of people registered as displaced within Ukraine also soared from 275,489 in mid-September to 466,829 as of November 19.

“The list of victims keeps growing. Civilians, including women, children, minorities and a range of vulnerable individuals and groups continue to suffer the consequences of the political stalemate in Ukraine,” UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said in a statement.

Counting the 298 people who died in the downing of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine in July, at least 4,317 people have died and 9,921 have been wounded overall in the conflict in eastern Ukraine between mid-April and November 18.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

OSCE: Monitors Come Under Fire in East Ukraine

The OSCE says a convoy carrying observers monitoring the ceasefire in eastern Ukraine has been shot at. This comes as UN human rights investigators report that killings and displacements are continuing despite the truce.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

India’s ‘Yoga Ministry’ Stirs Doubts Among Scientists

Ancient remedies and practices see a boost in government support, but evidence of their effectiveness is scarce.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China Firm Wins Huge Nigerian Railway Contract

A state-owned Chinese rail company has signed an agreement with Nigeria to construct a railway line along the West African nation’s coast, a project dubbed as China’s biggest foreign infrastructure deal to date.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Five Women Die a Violent Death Every Day in Mexico

Mexico has become a hostile place for women. In 2012 and 2013, 3,892 of them were brutally murdered, making for a rate of more than five a day, according to the latest report by the National Citizen Observatory against Femicide, an umbrella group of 49 human rights associations.

Obtaining acknowledgment of this existing brutality against Mexico’s women has turned into a battle with no victories to report.

The state of Mexico, the birthplace of President Enrique Peña Nieto, is a clear example of the ongoing aggression: Lucero was killed after filing a complaint against her rapists; Diana was liquidated and her body tossed into a canal; Alejandra was raped by three police officers… the list goes on.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Grants Jordan 66 Mn to Share Burden of Syrian Refugees

(ANSAmed) — AMMAN, NOVEMBER 20 — The EU approved granting Jordan 66 million euros to help mitigate impact of hosting Syrian refugees as it launched the European Year of Development (EYD) 2014, senior EU delegation official said today.

During launch of the EYD 2014, EU representative to the kingdom, Joanna Wronecka said the funds are meant to improve local development projects outside the capital. The EYD 2014 has been dubbed : “EU and Jordan: good neighbours united for shared prosperity” “The EU highly appreciates Jordan’s humanitarian assistance to the Syrian refugees and its ability to preserve its security and stability although it is situated in the heart of a turbulent region,” she said.

Wronecka said the EU is the biggest donor to the Syrian crisis with a total of 3 billion euros spent to help regional governments and local institutions handle the crisis.

The ambassador also said the EU will raise its allocations for vocational training in the kingdom from 35 million to 52 million euros in order to help the country meet labour market demands.(

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Mare Nostrum — Saving Lives on the Mediterranean

Each month, the Italian navy rescues close to 1,000 refugees from the waters of the Mediterranean. Operation Mare Nostrum was launched after the tragedy off Lampedusa in October 2013, with the loss of over 60 lives. Nearly 100,000 refugees have been rescued since then.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama’s Immigration Plan Could Shield Four Million

Up to four million undocumented immigrants who have lived in the United States for at least five years can apply for a program that protects them from deportation and allows those with no criminal record to work legally in the country, President Obama is to announce on Thursday, according to people briefed on his plans.

An additional one million people will get protection from deportation through other parts of the president’s plan to overhaul the nation’s immigration enforcement system, including the expansion of an existing program for “Dreamers,” young immigrants who came to the United States as children. There will no longer be a limit on the age of the people who qualify.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Obama Asserts Power to Reshape Immigration

In an address from the White House, President Obama is choosing confrontation over conciliation as he asserts the powers of the Oval Office to reshape the nation’s immigration system.

The president’s directive will shield up to five million people from deportation and allow many to work legally. Watch the live speech, and find reaction and analysis, on

[Return to headlines]

Swedish Church Wants to Run Refugee Reception Centres

The Swedish Church wants to run refugee reception centres, as an alternative to the profit-making companies that are currently dominating the sector.

The private landlords running the refugee reception centres have had a lot of bad press lately. Extremely poor housing conditions with mould and bedbugs have been revealed and when Swedish Television reviewed last year’s financial reports, they found examples of extremely large profit margins. In some cases more than every other krona spent in tax money ended up as profits for the private company.

And it is this that the Swedish Church now wants to offer an alternative to. On Thursday, Arch Bishop Antje Jackelén is meeting with the director general of the Migration Board to discuss the matter.

“The Swedish Church has a long-standing commitment to work with refugees around the country,” said Kristina Hellqvist, who works with refugee and integration programmes in the Swedish Church.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Female Genital Mutilation in the West: A Creeping Crime Against Humanity

by Phyllis Chesler

Tomorrow, on November 20, 2014, an Egyptian doctor, Raslan Fadl, will for the first time in history be sentenced because his 13-year old patient died during a female genital mutilation (FGM) procedure; he claims she was allergic to penicillin.

This girl died—but she was probably viewed as among the lucky few who have real physicians perform the mutilation in a clinic, as opposed to a midwife or tribal elder who performs the mutilation on a mud floor and with a rusty knife or razor blade.

We know that this horrendous practice is pandemic in the Middle East and Africa. Some claim that FGM is not an Islamic practice per se but is, rather, an African and tribal practice. Thus, FGM is practiced in Muslim Africa (Egypt, Somalia, Sudan) but also in pagan and Christian Africa, as well as nations that are a mix of Christian and Muslim (Nigeria, Sierre Leone, Senegal, Zimbabwe, Kenya). It is also increasingly practiced in Muslim Indonesia.

Recently, a photographer was present at the FGM “ceremonies” of four teenage Kenyan girls of the Potok tribe. They look terrified.

According to UNICEF, 91% of Egyptian women have been genitally mutilated. The practice is supported by both women and men who view women as unclean and unmarriageable if they have not been “cut.” A number of brave and poignant memoirs have been written by women who have undergone this procedure. Dr. Nawal el-Sadawii, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and Soraya Mire all come to mind…

           — Hat tip: Phyllis Chesler [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 11/20/2014

  1. The word “amnesty” is dishonest dressing-up of betrayal.
    This is capitulation to illegality, a huge failure to uphold the law.
    Law-abiding applicants and tax-payers are kicked in the teeth.

  2. “Law-abiding applicants and tax-payers are kicked in the teeth.” Yes, and yet so many will continue to support the ones kicking them in the teeth. The movement for a better future is picking up speed in Europe – it’s surely time for Americans to develop an alternative of their own.

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