Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/17/2014

The threat by hactivists to commit acts of terror at movie theaters has caused Sony to cancel the upcoming release of its comedy The Interview, which mocks North Korea. The U.S. government has determined that North Korea was behind the hack attack that has disabled the entertainment giant.

In other news, the second-highest court in the European Union has ordered that Hamas be removed from the EU’s list of terrorist groups. Meanwhile, the European Parliament is poised to vote “yes” on a resolution calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

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

Thanks to Andy Bostom, C. Cantoni, DS, Fjordman, Insubria, Jerry Gordon, K, Papa Whiskey, 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
» Berlin Says Pact Must be Followed Over Investments
» Italy: Confindustria Says Economic Growth in 2015, 2016
» U.S. Determines North Korea Behind Sony Attack as Studio Pulls Movie
» US President Obama Announces Re-Establishment of Diplomatic Relations With Cuba
» US, Cuba Seek to Normalize Relations After Alan Gross Released
Europe and the EU
» China’s Construction of High-Speed Railway Link Between Serbia and Hungary Gets Go-Ahead
» EU Court Orders Hamas Removal From Terror Blacklist
» EU to Give 2 Bln in Preaccession Funds to Balkans and Turkey
» Greek Candidate Dimas Loses Crucial Presidency Ballot
» Italy: Renzi ‘Surprised’ By Reaction to Planned 2024 Olympics Bid
» Italy to Lose 1.5 Bn in Exports to Russia This Year — Monti
» Italy: No TAV Activists Block Turin-Frejus Motorway, Occupy Train
» Italy’s Foreign Energy Bill Estimated to Drop by Some 20%
» Italy: Four Convicted for Attack on High-Speed TAV Project Site
» Italy: Pinotti Says Marine Latorre in No Condition to Travel
» UK: The Name That “Does Not Matter”
Mediterranean Union
» EU-Morocco Association Council Reaffirms Strong Relations and EU Support
North Africa
» Libyan Oil Output Plunges 60% in Few Days, Government Official
» Million-Mummy Cemetery Unearthed in Egypt
Israel and the Palestinians
» “Sound an Alarm” This Hanukkah. Is Israel Being Thrown Under the Bus?
» EU Parliament Set to Endorse Palestine Recognition
» EU Vote ‘Positive But Not Enough’, Says PLO’s Barghouti
Middle East
» German Cabinet Agrees to Send Troops to Train Iraqi Kurds
» ISIS ‘Executes 150 Women for Refusing to Marry Militants’ And Buries Them in Mass Graves
» Saudi Experts Lock Horns Over Full-Face Veil Obligation
South Asia
» AirAsia Confirms Order of 55 Airbus A330neos for $15bn
Australia — Pacific
» Denial of Islamic Fundamentalism Puts us in Danger
» From Sydney to Peshawar — Islamic Extremists Are Civilisation’s Common Enemy
Latin America
» Sieg Heil, Cristina!
» Dutch Reject UN Call to Feed, Shelter Homeless Migrants
» Italy: Probe Into Possible ISIS Infiltration Among Migrants
» UN Calls on Holland to Feed and House Failed Asylum Seekers
» A Not So Merry Christmas From Islam and Isa, The Muslim “Jesus”

Berlin Says Pact Must be Followed Over Investments

(ANSA) — Berlin, December 17 — A German government source said Wednesday that the EU Stability and Growth Pact must be respected when it comes to accounting for investment spending in budget calculations. The source was commenting on the possibility proposed by Italy of extracting investments on major projects from budget calculations. “The rules of the Stability Pact must be followed on investment calculations,” the source said. “It will be up to the European Commission to evaluate…

the Pact already contains a certain degree of flexibility”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Confindustria Says Economic Growth in 2015, 2016

Business group warns corruption remains ‘major drag’ on economy

(ANSA) — Rome, December 17 — Italy’s economy should grow by 0.5% in 2015 and 1.1% in 2016, the country’s largest employers group Confindustria said Wednesday. This year will close with a GDP loss of 0.5%, it said in a report that promises gradual economic recovery. It added that corruption remains “a major drag” on the economy and a weight on society. In a report, Confindstria said its forecasts are based on improvements it sees in the global economic scenario, adding that “uncertainty remains the main obstacle” for many business plans.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

U.S. Determines North Korea Behind Sony Attack as Studio Pulls Movie

(Reuters) — A U.S. government source said investigators had determined that North Korea was behind a cyberattack on Sony Pictures as the studio pulled all plans to release its comedy, “The Interview,” about an assassination attempt on the North Korean leader.

Hackers who said they were incensed by the film attacked Sony Corp (6758.T) last month, leaking documents that drew global headlines, and now they have forced an apparently unprecedented change of plans for a major movie release.

The United States may officially announce that the North Korean government was behind the attack in the near future, the U.S. government source said.

“The Interview” had been set to debut on Dec. 25, Christmas Day, on thousands of screens.

“Sony has no further release plans for the film,” a Sony spokeswoman said when asked whether the movie would be released later in theaters or as video on demand.

Earlier in the day Sony canceled next week’s theatrical release, citing decisions by several theater chains to hold off showing the film. Sony came under immediate criticism for the decision.

“With the Sony collapse America has lost its first cyberwar. This is a very, very dangerous precedent,” Tweeted former Republican House of Representatives speaker Newt Gingrich…

[Return to headlines]

US President Obama Announces Re-Establishment of Diplomatic Relations With Cuba

US President Barack Obama has made a televised speech and announced the normalization of relations with Cuba. “Isolation has not worked. It’s time for a new approach,” the president said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

US, Cuba Seek to Normalize Relations After Alan Gross Released

The Obama administration is moving to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba, sources told Fox News, after American Alan Gross was released from the communist country Wednesday following five years in prison.

Sources say President Obama plans to announce the opening of a U.S. embassy in Havana and call on Congress to lift the long-standing embargo.

Together, the announcements would mark the most significant shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island in decades, American officials said Wednesday. Obama was to announce the policy changes from the White House at noon Wednesday.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

China’s Construction of High-Speed Railway Link Between Serbia and Hungary Gets Go-Ahead

China has secured a deal to construct a high-speed train link between Serbian and Hungarian capitals that will cut travel time between Belgrade and Budapest from eight to less than three hours.

The 400-kilometer (250 miles) railway is part of China’s ambitious plans to speed up the delivery of its exports to central Europe through Greece’s port of Piraeus. The Belgrade-Budapest line is to be completed by mid-2017.

China’s Prime Minister Li Keqiang attended the signing of rail and customs documents Wednesday by Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Court Orders Hamas Removal From Terror Blacklist

The European Union’s second highest court annulled on Wednesday the bloc’s decision to keep Hamas on a list of terrorist organizations, but temporarily maintained the measures for a period of three months or until an appeal was closed.

The General Court of the European Union said the contested measures were not based on an examination of Hamas’s acts but on imputations derived from the media and the Internet.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU to Give 2 Bln in Preaccession Funds to Balkans and Turkey

Finalized package for 7 countries on the path to EU membership

(ANSA) — BRUSSELS — The 2014 package of funds allocated by the EU for the integration of the Western Balkan countries and Turkey amounts to 2 billion euro.

The package was finalized by the EC, which has developed a list of programmes and interventions addressed to seven countries, candidate and potential candidate countries on the path to EU membership: Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo and Turkey. This package also includes two multi-annual programs targeted at specific sectors for the period 2014-2016, one amounting to 800 million allocated to Turkey and another one, 81 million, allocated to Macedonia.

“These funds — said Johannes Hahn, EU Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations — will be aimed at supporting concrete democratic and economic reforms: the modernization of the judiciary and public administration, along with investments in infrastructure and connectivity”.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Greek Candidate Dimas Loses Crucial Presidency Ballot

Stavros Dimas has lost the first round of a critical presidential ballot. Should he fail to gain approval of at least 180 lawmakers, it could spell disaster for the nation’s economic recovery.

Greek lawmakers entered a high-stakes ballot on Wednesday that could lead to snap elections. Although it is largely a ceremonial position, if former EU Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas doesn’t win the presidential vote, this could pave the way for early legislative elections, and radical leftist party Syriza is currently leading in the opinion polls.

The first round of three votes for the presidency ended in defeat for Dimas.

Fears over the future of reforms put in place to tackle the country’s economic crisis and to receive a 240 billion euro (300 billion dollar) bailout sent shockwaves through the markets, with Athens stocks losing more than one fifth of the value over four days and reducing the value of the euro.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Italy: Renzi ‘Surprised’ By Reaction to Planned 2024 Olympics Bid

Corruption must not frustrate citizens’ desires, premier says

(ANSA) — Rome, December 16 — Premier Matteo Renzi on Tuesday expressed his “surprise” at negative reactions to his announcement that Italy will stage a bid to host the 2024 summer Olympics centred on Rome, saying fear of corruption should not be allowed to spoil the dream.

“The reaction is surprising,” Renzi told the Lower House of parliament.

“Everyone is saying that it is impossible to stage the Olympics in Italy because there are people who steal,” he continued. “But if those that steal are sent to prison it is possible to move forwards,” the premier argued. On Monday, Northern League leader Matteo Salvini criticised Renzi for “living on another planet” in relation to the announced bid, which comes amid a big mafia probe in the capital and a graft scandal involving contracts for Milan Expo 2015.

And on Tuesday Salvini returned to the subject, calling on the state “first to resolve corruption, then to organise sporting events”. However, the premier told parliament that the Olympics are “a dream that must be strong, tenacious, of high quality — but to say that they can’t be hosted because some people are not up to scratch is to frustrate citizens’ desires”.

Italy’s anti-corruption chief Raffaele Cantone on Tuesday expressed a similar view.

“It is one thing to pass up an opportunity because it is deemed impossible to make the necessary investment, another out of fear of corruption: this cannot be an alibi,” Cantone said.

Rome’s bid to host the 2020 Olympics was dropped in February 2012 by then-premier Mario Monti on grounds that Italy could not afford such an expensive venture due to its economic situation.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy to Lose 1.5 Bn in Exports to Russia This Year — Monti

Greatest problem is concentration in some firms, says ICE chief

(ANSA) — Rome, December 17 — Riccardo Monti, the president of the ICE-Italian Trade Promotion Agency, said Wednesday that Italy’s exports to Russia will be “at least 1.5 billion euros” down this year, following EU sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine. “The greatesr problem is the concentration of the negative effects of the crisis on some operators who have targeted that market,” Monti told an ANSA forum.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: No TAV Activists Block Turin-Frejus Motorway, Occupy Train

Motorway re-opens, activists refuse to leave Milan-Turin train

(See related) (ANSA) — Turin, December 17 — Hooded activists protesting a prison terms imposed Wednesday on four anti-TAV militants briefly blocked the motorway linking Turin to the French city of Frejus Wednesday and occupied a train travelling from Milan to Turin.

About 20 protesters blocked the motorway after a Turin court sentenced the four to three years and six months each in prison for an attack on a high-speed rail construction site in the Alps.

The protestors have all been fighting the construction of a high-speed TAV railway between Italy and France, claiming it will cost too much and destroy fragile environments.

The demonstrators lit smoke flares and unrolled a banner but dispersed after a few minutes and traffic returned to normal, police said.

In Novara, a major city in Italy’s northern Piedmont region, a group of 30 activists seized control of a regional train and forced passengers to get out at station there to take another train.

The militants refused to leave the train sitting in the station.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy’s Foreign Energy Bill Estimated to Drop by Some 20%

Reduction due to consumption drop and oil price fall

(ANSA) — Rome, December 17 — Italy’s expected bill for imported energy will be some 20% less this year than in 2013 due to reduced consumption and the decline in world oil prices, the union of Italian oil firms Up said Wednesday.

The tab for foreign energy in 2014 was estimated at 45 billion euros, some 11 billion euros less than in 2013, a reduction of some 20% while the cost of oil imports to the peninsula is expected to be 25 billion this year, a reduction of 18%,according to the Up.

Demand for energy fell by an estimated 5.1% in 2014, slipping to 157.6 tonnes of petroleum, a return to the level of the 1980s.

Nearly all forms of energy consumption fell except for renewable energy that rose by estimated 3.9% and net electricity imports, which rose by 2.3%, Up said.

Oil remained the main source of energy, making up 35.4% while gas consumption falls by an estimated 11% to make up 32.4% of total energy consumption.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Four Convicted for Attack on High-Speed TAV Project Site

All cleared of separate terror-related charges

(ANSA) — Turin, December 17 — A local court convicted four protesters for attacking a controversial high-speed rail construction site in the Alps between Italy and France, and sentenced them to prison terms of 3 years and 6 months each.

The Turin Assize Court acquitted the four, however, of a separate charge of terrorism for the assault.

Dozens of activists campaigning against the high speed railway project shouted “freedom” and “clowns,” as the sentence was read by the presiding judge. Later a spokesperson for the No-Tav movement said the ruling was an attack “by the powers that be” against ordinary citizens.

Critics have said the high-speed Tav project will cost too much and wreak terrible environmental damage in the Alpine region.

But governments say it will reduce highway traffic and in the long run, be good for the environment.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Italy: Pinotti Says Marine Latorre in No Condition to Travel

‘His medical situation does not allow it’ says defence minister

(ANSA) — Rome, December 17 — Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti said Wednesday that marine Massimiliano Latorre is in no condition to travel, despite an order by the Indian Supreme Court that he return soon to New Delhi. Pinotti told parliamentarians that Italy was not defying India, but the step was “a calm and firm acknowledgement of the situation”. She added the his medical situation does not allow him to leave Italy.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UK: The Name That “Does Not Matter”

by Douglas Murray

Last week the news arrived that the most popular name given to boys in the UK in 2014 was “Mohammed.” The reactions and non-reactions to this story betrayed the deep unease and denial that are now part of the debate around Islam in modern Britain.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU-Morocco Association Council Reaffirms Strong Relations and EU Support

The EU and Morocco held their twelfth Association Council meeting today in Brussels. Both parties took stock of the achievements and progress made since the previous session in December 2013, and reviewed the process of reforms in Morocco as well as the next steps.

The EU reiterated its readiness to support Morocco in implementing its reform process, particularly through the Action Plan 2013-2017 within the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy and through substantial resources made available. It expressed its willingness to continue developing a strong relationship with Morocco, based on shared values and mutual respect and solidarity.

The Association Council provided an opportunity to exchange at high political level on many regional issues of common interest, such as regional integration, the Euro-Arab and Euro-Africa dialogue, Libya, Syria, the Sahel and the Middle East peace process.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Libyan Oil Output Plunges 60% in Few Days, Government Official

Fallout from clashes at eastern oil hub and Sidra port closure

(ANSAmed) — CAIRO — Libyan oil production has fallen by 60% over the past few days due to clashes between pro-government forces and Islamist militias in the country’s eastern oil hub and the closing of the Sidra port, which handles the country’s largest export volume. Reports were from an official in the government under Abdullah Al-Thinni, who added that prior to the fall, production in the hands of the government had been at 800,000 barrels per day (bpd), plus 340,000 in the areas controlled by Libya Dawn militias answering to the ‘parallel’ government in Tripoli.

Libya Dawn militias on Wednesday denied reports that they had conducted an airstrike the previous day on an oil hub in the eastern part of the country.

“We have not used any aircraft,” military spokesman Ismail Shoukri was quoted by Libyan media as saying. He added that the aim of the ground offensive was to “lift the siege of the ports by outlaw groups”. The reference is to Ibrahim Jadran, former separatist and head of oil facilities guards who for almost a year blocked the ports used for export.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

Million-Mummy Cemetery Unearthed in Egypt

Archaeologists from Brigham Young University have been excavating Fag el-Gamous, along with a nearby pyramid, for about 30 years. Many of the mummies date to the time when the Roman or Byzantine Empire ruled Egypt, from the 1st century to the 7th century A.D.

Blond and redheaded mummies

While the database is in the early stages, it has already provided some intriguing initial results. Muhlestein said he and the other researchers can use the database to “show us all of the blond burials, and (it shows) they are clustered in one area, or all of the red-headed burials, and (it shows) they’re clustered in another area.”

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

“Sound an Alarm” This Hanukkah. Is Israel Being Thrown Under the Bus?

Yesterday, marked the beginning of the eight days of Hanukkah-the Jewish Festival of Lights . The holiday commemorates the Maccabees’ victory over their Syrian Greek oppressors who denied these ancient Jews their liberty and religious freedom. Following the recital of the braches (blessings) for the first night of Hanukkah candle lighting we noshed some US kosher gluten-free versions of sufganiyot (Israeli jelly doughnuts), quaffed a small libation while we listened in flickering candle light to Handel’s oratorio Judas Maccabeus. Something we usually do on first night of Hanukkah. After reading today’s news this air from the 1747 libretto of Judas Maccabeus by John Morell takes on new meaning given developments in Europe. We refer to the mind numbing EU court ruling lifting the designation of Hamas as a terrorist group and the EU Parliament vote of a Palestinian statehood recognition resolution in principal by a vote of 488 to 81:

45 . Judas Maccabeus

Sound an alarm! Your silver trumpets sound,

And call the brave, and only brave, around.

Who listeth, follow: to the field again!

Justice with courage is a thousand men.

Sound an alarm. . . da capo.

Sound an Alarm for the Europeans have effectively thrown Israel under the bus. These EU actions abet the objectives of Palestinians and their Muslim allies in the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to enforce a potential draconian settlement threatening the Jewish nation’s existence. The PA failed to line up the requisite votes for a UN Security Council resolution fixing a two year demand for Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank. However the PA is emboldened by today’s European Parliament vote to push for resolutions to be brought by Jordan and France before the Security Council. France has emerged to play a leading role on such a UNSC vote pushing for an action before year end. The language of those resolutions differ and in the case of France is still undergoing refinement, we have been told by sources in Europe.

           — Hat tip: Jerry Gordon [Return to headlines]

EU Parliament Set to Endorse Palestine Recognition

BRUSSELS — The European Parliament is poised to vote Yes on a non-binding motion on Palestine recognition after three of its top groups agreed a draft text.

The draft, seen by EUobserver, says the EU assembly “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced”.

Negotiators from the centre-right EPP, the centre-left S&D, and the Liberal Alde group finalised the joint text on Tuesday (16 December) ahead of the vote on Wednesday.

They hold 488 out of 751 seats between them.

But some MEPs are likely to vote against the group line due to the nature of the dossier.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

EU Vote ‘Positive But Not Enough’, Says PLO’s Barghouti

‘Linking recognition of Palestine to resuming talks a weakness’

(ANSAmed) — RAMALLAH, DECEMBER 17 — Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) politician Mustafa Barhouti told ANSA on Wednesday that the EU Parliament vote on recognizing Palestinian statehood was “a positive step but not enough”. “The weakness of this vote,” added Barghouti, “is that it associates the recognition of Palestine with the resumption of talks with Israel. The positive aspect,” he said, “is instead the clear support from all European civil society for an autonomous Palestinian state.”

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

German Cabinet Agrees to Send Troops to Train Iraqi Kurds

Germany’s government has agreed to send up to 100 Bundeswehr troops to northern Iraq. The soldiers, who will not be involved in combat, will train Kurdish forces fighting the “Islamic State” group.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

ISIS ‘Executes 150 Women for Refusing to Marry Militants’ And Buries Them in Mass Graves

Isis has executed at least 150 women for refusing to marry militants in Iraq, Turkish media has reported.

A statement released by Iraq’s Ministry of Human Rights on Tuesday said the militants had attacked women in the western Iraqi province of Al-Anbar before burying them in mass graves in Fallujah.

Some of the women killed were pregnant at the time, according to the Anadolu Agency.

“At least 150 females, including pregnant women, were executed in Fallujah by a militant named Abu Anas Al-Libi after they refused to accept jihad marriage,” the statement said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

Saudi Experts Lock Horns Over Full-Face Veil Obligation

Former chief of anti-vice squad says no, grand mufti disagrees

(ANSAmed) — DUBAI — A former chief of Saudi Arabia’s religious police has denied that women must cover their faces, while the country’s grand mufti has argued that it is an obligation.

Ahmad Al-Gamdi, former head of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice — which orders lashes for ‘bad behavior’ — has sparked a nationwide debate by taking part in a television program next to his wife, who was shown without the full-face veil known as the ‘niqab’. Wrapped in a black abaya — the long, all-covering traditional garment for Gulf women — and wearing a headscarf, a great deal of makeup and red nail polish, she did not conceal her face in the manner of the vast majority of Saudi women.

“I received a question on my Twitter account by a woman who asked me if religion allowed me to post a picture of my face on a social network,” Al Ghamdi said. “I told her that it was allowed. My opinion was based on scholarly books and on the stance of well-known and highly respectable religious figures.” He added that he had “received more than 10,000 remarks within 12 hours of expressing my view. They were a mix of supporters and critics. But I am used to this. The onslaught years ago when I said that I did not oppose discrimination between sexes was more aggressive.”

The country’s grand mufti immediately rebutted the claim. Grand Mufti Shaikh Abdul Al-Aziz Al-Shaikh said that “there are those who said that it was alright for women to show their faces to strangers and that the veil is a social tradition, and not a religious order. This is wrong because covering the face is a religious obligation.” The conservatives of the Saudi kingdom are displeased that a former chief of religious police has gone so far as to show his wife on television.

The issue of the niqab is extremely sensitive and concerns security, as well. For the religious pilgrimage to Mecca, for example, Saudi authorities explicitly prohibit the use of full-face veils.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

AirAsia Confirms Order of 55 Airbus A330neos for $15bn

Malaysian low-cost carrier AirAsia X confirmed Monday its order of 55 long-haul A330neo passenger planes from Airbus at a list price of $15 billion, in what is the biggest single order for the line of aircraft.

Since signing an agreement to purchase 50 of the new-generation A330s in July, AirAsia X has added five more planes to its order, the group said in a statement.

Airbus will begin delivering the fleet in 2018, AirAsia X said.

The Malaysian carrier is now Airbus’s biggest customer for the A330 family of aircraft, having already ordered 91 of them to date…

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

Denial of Islamic Fundamentalism Puts us in Danger

By Andrew Bolt

Man Haron Monis couldn’t have done more to make the deaf hear that the terror he unleashed in Sydney was in the name of Islam.

As he walked into the Lindt coffee shop with his shotgun on Monday he wore a headband bearing the war cry: “We are ready to sacrifice for you,O Muhammad.”


Must we always feign this surprise when a terrorist is found to be — gasp — Muslim? Surely we can finally drop this absurd game given that 21 of the 21 people jailed for terrorism offences here in the past couple of decades were Muslim, as are 19 of the 20 proscribed terrorist groups in Australia.

Surely we’re entitled to conclude that something specific to Islam seems to license violence, given we have just as many Buddhists here as Muslims, yet not one Buddhist has killed here for his faith.


The ideology Monis followed was inspired in large part by Islamic scriptures that urge believers to “kill the polytheists wherever you find them”, and exhorts: “So when you meet those who disbelieve (in battle), strike (their) necks.”


So why this denial about Islam — and specifically about its role inthis attack?

For the authorities it is about public order. They fear reprisals against Muslims, and also do not wish to alienate the overwhelming majority of peaceful Muslims here whose help they need against the radicals.

For the Left more generally, to admit the latent threat in Islam would be to question disastrous Leftist programs that have left this country more exposed to political violence — particularly our too-lax immigration programs, multiculturalism and the much-rorted “refugee” programs that let in Monis in 1996.

[“Rort” is an Aussie word meaning “to cheat or defraud.” Americans should adopt it, as our politicians do little else. — PW]

           — Hat tip: Papa Whiskey [Return to headlines]

From Sydney to Peshawar — Islamic Extremists Are Civilisation’s Common Enemy

by Douglas Murray

Yesterday it was Sydney. Today it is Peshawar. Yesterday a coffee shop. Today a school. Yesterday a lone gunman. Today a gang of them. If anybody wondered about the global and diffuse nature of the challenge that Islamic fundamentalism poses, the last 24 hours have given another demonstration of the problem.

Yet what is amazing, after all these years, is how unconcerned many people remain with working out what is going on. How could the Taliban have chosen to attack a school in Peshawar? Why did Boko Haram steal the Nigerian schoolgirls? Why did the Sydney attacker fly that flag? Why do Isis fly theirs? The Western world in particular seems to be made up of not only exceptionally slow, but actually reluctant, learners.

This week there is a new book out by the renowned scholar of Islam, Patrick Sookdeo (I have had the honour of writing the introduction). It is called ‘Dawa: the Islamic strategy for reshaping the modern world’. It not only lays out what Islamic fundamentalists around the world are trying to do, but how a coalition of Muslims and non-Muslims can come together to defeat them. It is, I would suggest, fairly vital reading to educate people about what is going on. But that brings me to one other point.

A considerable — and growing — number of people worldwide now recognise that Muslims and non-Muslims are involved in a war against the literalists and fundamentalists within the Muslim religion. It is a war that is likely to continue for many decades to come, and the propaganda war, as much as the actual war, matters.

Which brings me to this morning’s Daily Mail front page. Last week the Democrat party in the US issued a deeply uninformed and damaging report which they appear to have hoped would damage the previous Republican administration. In fact this wildly misjudged report turns out simply to have done what anybody outside the Democrat high command could have predicted it would do — and done incalculable damage to the United States.

In the UK there is a similar movement — from left and right — to attempt the same manoeuvre on the last Labour government. From the left, the Guardian is clamouring for some kind of inquiry into British ‘complicity’ in purported CIA actions. From the right, the Daily Mail demands the same (and is today attacking Ed Millband for refusing to back such an inquiry). And I have a question for people pushing this.

Let us pretend that every allegation everybody captured on every foreign battlefield has ever made against the CIA and Britain’s security services is true. Let us pretend that every Islamist who claims to have been mistreated by the CIA was indeed mistreated in exactly the way they say and that much of the media has so unwisely parroted. This is not, I stress, remotely true. But let us pretend that it is. What do they think the effect of this tub-thumping will be in the larger war? There is a time and means by which vital national self-examination can be done. But now? Like this?

I hate making the second world war comparison, but it seems to be the only conflict you can rely on people knowing anything about. So let me make the obvious comparison. Most people in the UK know about the bombing of Dresden. A considerable debate continues to rage over whether or not that bombing was strategically necessary or not. Some people say it constituted a war crime. Others say ‘Who are we to judge if the commanders of the day thought it necessary in those extraordinary circumstances?’

But imagine if while the second world war was still being fought, the Guardian and Daily Mail of their day spent the weeks and months after the bombing of Dresden drumming up calls for an inquiry into the actions of the Prime Minister, security service and armed forces of the day. Imagine that day after day, while the war was still going on, the front pages of British newspapers were given over to calling for investigations into possible human rights abuses and war-crimes of this kind? What would the effect have been? Would it have saved one life or made anyone behave better? Or would it have had the effect, day after day, of demoralising the side that was actually in the right? Would it not, surely, have had the effect of persuading British people that perhaps the war they were in was not worth fighting? That, after all, didn’t we behave pretty badly ourselves? And in the final analysis are we not almost as bad as our enemies? Are we not, in fact, just as bad as the Nazis, making there nothing much worth fighting over? Of course the answer would have been then, as much as it is now, ‘No’. But the effect on public morale and confidence would have been serious and potentially shattering. It would have helped us to lose and our enemies to win…

           — Hat tip: K [Return to headlines]

Sieg Heil, Cristina!

Hitler, Stalin, and the dark sources of Latrine American inspiration

By Carlos Eire

Argentine social networks are ablaze over the recent revelation via Twitter that certain posters of president Cristina Kirchner are remarkably similar to those employed by the propaganda ministries of Hitler and Stalin.

Mere coincidence?

Don’t bet on it.

ABC Spain entitled its report on this turn of events “Cristina Kirchner draws inspiration from Hitler.” (Whole story HERE in Castellano).

The most recent “coincidence” emerged last week, in a poster for a December 13 pro-Kirchner rally in Buenos Aires.

That poster featured a profile portrait of Cristina Kirchner and the slogan: “One people, one project, one leader” (Un pueblo, un proyecto, una conductora)…

           — Hat tip: DS [Return to headlines]

Dutch Reject UN Call to Feed, Shelter Homeless Migrants

The Dutch government on Tuesday rejected a call from UN rights experts to provide thousands of homeless migrants with food and shelter during the bitter north European winter.

An estimated 8,000 asylum seekers are turned down every year in the Netherlands and left up to their own devices pending expulsion. Many end up living on the street.

“In these dark days before Christmas, it is appalling that the Dutch government will not even commit less than 0.01 percent of its yearly budget to help people living in absolute misery and poverty,” UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human right, Philip Alston.

“Assisting migrants living on the streets is not a matter of charity,” he said in a statement on Tuesday, noting that the European Committee of Social Rights (ECSR) had recently ruled that the Netherlands was “violating the right to emergency assistance of adult homeless irregular migrants”…

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

Italy: Probe Into Possible ISIS Infiltration Among Migrants

Palermo prosecutors open investigation

(ANSA) — Palermo, December 17 — Palermo prosecutors have opened an investigation into possible infiltration by ISIS terrorists among the migrants to have arrived in Sicily in recent months, ANSA sources said Wednesday. The suspected terrorists to have landed in Italy are Libyan and Syrian, the sources said. The prosecutors were alerted to the possible risk by the Italian secret services, the sources said.

           — Hat tip: Insubria [Return to headlines]

UN Calls on Holland to Feed and House Failed Asylum Seekers

United Nations human rights experts have told the Dutch government to offer emergency help to failed asylum seekers before Christmas in an Urgent Appeal Letter. The letter says homeless migrants should get immediate emergency aid such as food, clothes and shelter. ‘In these dark days before Christmas it is distressing that the Dutch government will not use just 0.01% of its yearly budget to help people who live in absolute poverty and misery,’ the UN’s special envoy Philip Alston told the NRC. Alston said that help is not a question of charity. ‘Access to emergency aid is a right and the Netherlands has a legal duty to provide it,’ he said.

           — Hat tip: Fjordman [Return to headlines]

A Not So Merry Christmas From Islam and Isa, The Muslim “Jesus”

by Andrew Bostom

Muslim immigrant Man Haron Monis recently declared, in the Christmas spirit of his adopted Australian refuge, “Islam is the religion of peace and a Muslim should be a peace activist.” December 15, 2014, consistent with legions of his Muslim co-religionists across the globe, Monis demonstrated otherwise, causing the deaths by jihad of two innocent hostages he had taken, plus his own death.

One of Australia’s largest mosques, two years earlier, in December, 2012, also reflective of such “seasonal ecumenism”—albeit non-violently so—sparked outrage with a religious ruling (“fatwa”) posted on its Facebook page warning Muslims it was “sinful” to wish a Merry Christmas to their fellow, vast majority, Australian Christian countrymen. This sectarian Islamic message, subsequently removed from the Lakemba Mosque social networking website, came on the heels of a sermon at the Sydney mosque’s Friday congregational prayer session, during which head imam Sheikh Yahya Safi described Christmas Day as a “falsehood that Muslims should avoid.” He further warned that “disbelievers” were trying to draw Muslims away from the “straight path”—i.e., Islam.

The good Sheikh Safi s views, and those expressed at this major Australian mosque’s website, are in accord with formal Islamic rulings about Christmas celebrations issued by the “Fatwa Center” of IslamWeb. This website touts itself as designed “particularly” to provide accurate knowledge about Islam for “the non-Muslim who may need clarification of common distortions of the media and misrepresentations of ill-informed followers.” We are further told IslamWeb adopts, “balanced and moderate views, devoid of bias and extremism,” covering all aspects of Islam: “Aqeedah (Islamic Belief), Koranic Issues, Hadeeth (Traditions of Prophet Muhammad, Fiqh (Jurisprudence), [and] Seerah (Prophet Muhammad’s Noble Biography).”

Addressing the questions, “Can a Muslim celebrate Christmas?” (December, 2010), and “What is the ruling about congratulating non-Muslims on their holidays and celebrations?” (December, 2013), IslamWeb’s authoritative Muslim scholars stated:…

           — Hat tip: Andy Bostom [Return to headlines]

2 thoughts on “Gates of Vienna News Feed 12/17/2014

  1. On the EU: When having a drink in an Irish pub back in 2008 with some really friendly Irishmen, I turned the conversation to Ireland taking a vote to join the EU. I told them that I thought the EU was just another communist form of government.

    They laughed at me.

    On Andrew Bolt: Interesting to reflect that when I started to read his articles a few years back now, he was more or less an apologist for Islam. My, but how times change some folks thinking.

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