Another pearl from Egyptian TV
And this is from a country at peace with Israel...
My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (www.freethinkingfilms.com)
They won't look into Hamas or Fatah or Islamic Jihad....
Spanish National Court Judge Fernando Andreu says he will redouble his probe of seven top Israeli military and government officials for suspected “crimes against humanity.” He made the decision after determining that documents forwarded by the Israeli Embassy in Madrid show that Israel has decided not to prosecute anyone for the targeted assassination of Salah Shehadeh, the commander of the military wing of Hamas, in Gaza City in 2002. Spanish law allows the prosecution of foreigners for such crimes as genocide, crimes against humanity, and torture committed anywhere in the world if the suspects will not be tried in their home country.
The case was brought to the Spanish court by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, which is represented in Spain by Gonzalo Boyé, a Marxist revolutionary who was sentenced to 14 years in prison for collaborating with the Basque terrorist group ETA. A seven-page court document says the initial evidence suggests that the attack in the densely populated Gaza City, which killed 14 civilians, “should be considered a crime against humanity.” Supporters of the lawsuit say Spain should pursue the suit because it has “universal jurisdiction” in such cases.
Andreu will now probe former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, former Air Force Commander Dan Halutz, former head of the National Security Council Giora Eiland, and four other senior officials. Andreu will also seek testimony from Palestinian witnesses. The court will ask Israel to formally notify those named in the complaint so that they can be called by the judge to testify. Should Andreu decide to issue an international arrest warrant for any of the seven Israelis, they could be detained upon arrival in any EU member state.
The lawsuit has sparked outrage in Israel, which is trying to fend off foreign censure over the civilian death toll during Operation Cast Lead in January 2009. Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak has rejected the complaint as “delirious” and pointed out that Shehadeh was a terrorist mastermind responsible for the deaths of many dozens of innocent people. “Whoever calls taking out a terrorist ‘a crime against humanity’ lives in an upside-down world,” he said. Barak vowed to do “everything possible to get the investigation dismissed.”
Incoming Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu called the Spanish probe outrageous. “It’s absurd: Israel is fighting against war criminals and they are charging us with crimes?” said Netanyahu. “There is nothing more ridiculous and absurd than them accusing us, a democracy legitimately protecting itself against terrorists and war criminals, of these crimes; it is absurd and makes a mockery out of international law,” he said.
Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad, pointing to what many see as rank hypocrisy by Spain, has called for Israel to put former Spanish officials on trial for their role in the NATO bombing of Serbia in 1999. His official petition, which was sent to Israeli Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, says: “In those bombings, hundreds, perhaps thousands, of innocent civilians were killed because NATO pilots dropped their bombs from extremely high altitudes in order not to endanger themselves. They thus caused mass civilian casualties. It is fitting that the state of Israel try the Spanish political and military leaders for war crimes if Spain does not immediately revoke the charges against the Israeli defense minister and chief of staff.”
Sensing that the case has the potential to further cement Spain’s image as one of the most anti-Israel countries in Europe, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos said his government would consider a proposal to amend the controversial war crimes law that now allows the court to investigate the Israelis. But he was immediately contradicted by Deputy Prime Minister María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, who stated defiantly that “Spain is a country ruled by law and the justice system [here] enjoys absolute independence. This was made clear to Israel and we are sure they understand this.”
Spain’s investigation of Israel for war crimes is being motivated by at least three closely interrelated factors: judicial vanity, anti-Western globalism that uses international law to eat away at national sovereignty, and anti-Semitism disguised as concern for human rights.
Norway is one of the worst Scandinavian countries for anti-semitism...
Anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment has exploded in Norway - driven by the Norwegian media and intellectual elite - due to Operation Cast Lead, according to Norwegian Jewish leaders.
During the war, Olso was fraught with violent anti-Israel demonstrations. Numerous government officials decried Israel's actions in Gaza - including Minister of Finance Kristin Halvorsen, who led a march against the operation in which shouts of "Death to the Jews" were heard.
Norwegian doctor Mads Gilbert, who worked in Gaza and disseminated stories about Israel's brutality, became a national hero in the Norwegian media.
Even before the war began, local Jews were tense because of anti-Semitic cartoons, recent boycotts of Israeli merchandise, and the highly publicized affair of Norwegian comic Otto Jespersen, who made anti-Semitic remarks on national television.
This wave continued with renowned Norwegian painter Håkon Gullvåg's opening a new exhibition entitled "Requiem for the Children of Gaza" in Trondheim over the weekend. The city's mayor, Rita Ottervik, applauded Gullvåg for accurately depicting the Gaza conflict. Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg also commended Gullvåg for "painting pictures that place this on the agenda."
Kygell Nyhuus, secretary of the Norwegian Press Professional Association, told The Jerusalem Post recently that the Jespersen incident - in which the comedian's anti-Semitic remarks on the TV2 network were deemed "in bad conduct" earlier this year, and the network forced to publish an adjudication - was the first time satire had ever been censored in Norway.
"I don't see lots of anti-Semitism in Norway, though," Nyhuus said. "This is not at all indicative of anti-Semitism in Norway, and the decision itself had nothing to do with the anti-Semitic content of his comments - only the degree of their vulgarity."
However, according to Manfred Gerstenfeld, chairman of the Jerusalem Center of Public Affairs, "the elite, the academics, politicians and media consider themselves to be great moralists, with very little self-introspection. Their self-righteousness, arrogance, and inherited Lutheran prejudices against Jews has led to a huge amount of anti-Israel sentiment. Gaza caused these latent feelings in society to come to the fore."
Rabbi Yoav Melchior, considered the leading rabbi of Norway, said he had been "very scared during the war."
"Hatred spread in a fast, dangerous way. This was blind emotionalism against Israel and against Jews. It gets deep at the heart of Norway's emotional anti-Semitism. The current wave of anti-Semitism shows what people have been holding inside them," he said.
Gerstenfeld, who authored and recently published Behind the Humanitarian Mask: The Nordic Countries, Israel, and the Jews, noted that "considering that there are only 700 Jews in a population of 4.6 million, there is a lot of hatred against Israel and the Jews."
So, you can imagine what is being taught in these schools....
Hamas supporters scored a victory in elections for the school teachers' union of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) that were held in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday.
However, the rival PLO list won a majority of votes for two other UNRWA workers groups: the employees' and the services' unions.
This means that the PLO list has enough votes to form the next Executive Council of the General Workers' Union.
The results showed that Hamas won all 11 seats of the teachers' union.
The Hamas victory means that Hamas supporters will continue to control UNRWA-run schools and other academic institutions throughout the Gaza Strip. Hamas has controlled the UNRWA teachers' union for the past 16 years.
She had his youth orchestra play for holocaust survivors....what could be worse than that???
The head of a Palestinian youth orchestra who set off an uproar by performing a concert for Holocaust survivors in Israel was blocked Tuesday from entering a West Bank refugee camp because of concerns for her safety, a local official said.
Security official Radi Asiba said the life of the orchestra conductor, Wafa Younis, would have been at risk if she remained in the area of the Jenin refugee camp.
Younis, an Arab woman from Israel, led a small orchestra for Palestinian youths in the hardscrabble camp. But she fell out of favor with residents after taking the orchestra to play for the Holocaust survivors last week.
"When Younis tried to enter the camp on Tuesday, she was halted by a prominent local leader," Asiba said. "We informed her that she is forbidden from entering Jenin because her presence causes tensions," he said.
This is a very bad decision...there should not be separate uniforms for muslim workers...
Pop into the firestation and the chances are there'd be a group of reassuringly burly men in there waiting for the call out, with uniforms and firefighting suits tailored for their use alone.
The one or two women among them would have to make do with ill-fitting adaptations of the men's outfits while the handful of Muslim women in the service would be wearing their own head scarfs.
But, with the fire service anxious to attract recruits of all sexes and backgrounds, it was decided that something had to be done.
So yesterday the results were uneveiled, including full-length skirts, hijab headscarfs and long- sleeved shirts for Muslim women recruits.
The hope is that the uniforms, designed for wearing round the station and for outings such as school trips, will be smarter and better fitting for every firefighter - even the men.
For the first time also, women will get their own mustard yellow fire-fighting suit designed to protect their breasts and upper body.
This outfit was tried on yesterday by Lincolnshire firefighter Julie Smith.
'It is right that male firefighters and female firefighters to need protection in different areas,' she said. 'It is very comfortable, very new and very yellow.'
Her boss Mike Thomas, Chief Fire Officer for Lincolnshire, declared the uniforms would help 'bust' the ' traditional image of the hunky, British, white, male, firefighter' - even though a great many of his staff probably fit this description.
'There are no better positive role models than women and ethnic recruits in these uniforms, and hopefully they will encourage people to join,' he added.
Firemen in Lincolnshire will be the first to try out the new national uniform which also includes sports and maternity wear.
Fire minister Sadiq Khan added: 'We want the widest range of applicants to apply to join the fire and rescue service.
British history has been 'feminised' by female writers who want to put women centre stage, according to TV historian Dr David Starkey.
In a controversial interview, Dr Starkey claimed that recent books about Henry VIII by women authors seemed to 'subjugate the history of Henry ... to that of his wives.'
In an interview with the Radio Times ,Dr Starkey said: "One of the great problems has been that Henry, in a sense, has been absorbed by his wives. Which is bizarre.
'But it's what you expect from feminised history, the fact that so many of the writers who write about this are women and so much of their audience is a female audience.
He said that in his new series, Henry VIII: Mind of a Tyrant, "we're trying to say, 'Hang on a minute, Henry is centre stage.'
He said: "This is Henry – wives appear simply to explain or complicate the story of Henry. This is his development, his psychology and, above all, why he matters."
Dr Starkey also said that modern attempts to paint many women in history as 'power players' was to falsify the facts.
He said that the way Elizabeth I was presented 'as some sort of female icon is ludicrous'.
He said: "If you are to do a proper history of Europe before the last five minutes, it is a history of white males because they were the power players, and to pretend anything else is to falsify."
Here are the details, according to Time Magazine....
Israeli fighter-bombers, backed by unmanned drones, were responsible for a mid-January attack on a 23-truck convoy in the Sudanese desert carrying arms to Hamas militants, two highly-placed Israeli security sources revealed to TIME. The attack was a warning to Iran and other adversaries, showing Israel's intelligence capability and its willingness to mount operations far beyond its borders in order to defend itself from gathering threats.
The sources revealed exclusive details about the bold air attack on what they said was an Iranian weapons convoy, which had been transporting rockets and explosives destined for Gaza during the Israeli assault on the small Palestinian territory. They denied earlier news reports that U.S. aircraft had been involved in the attack on the arms convoy as it crossed at night through the Sudanese desert heading for Egypt's poorly guarded border. "The Americans were notified that Israel was going to conduct an air operation in Sudan, but they were not involved," a source said. He denied prior claims by a U.S. television network that a ship and a second convoy were destroyed. "There was only one raid, and it was a major operation," he said, adding that "dozens of aircraft" were used. (See pictures of the recent Gaza conflict)
F-16 fighter-bombers carried out two runs on the convoy, while F-15 fighter planes circled overhead as a precaution in case hostile aircraft were scrambled from Khartoum or a nearby country. After the first bombing run, drones mounted with high-resolution cameras passed over the burning trucks. The video showed that the convoy had only been partially damaged, so the Israelis ordered a second pass with the F-16s. During the 1,750-mile (2800 km) journey to Sudan and back, the Israeli aircraft refueled in midair over the Red Sea. (See pictures of violence in Sudan.)
The bombing raid came after an intelligence tip-off. In early January, at the height of Israel's assault on Gaza, Israel's foreign intelligence agency Mossad was told by an informant that Iran was planning a major delivery of 120 tons of arms and explosives to Gaza, including anti-tank rockets and Fajir rockets with a 25 mile range and a 45 kg warhead. With little time to plan the operation, naval vessels and helicopters were rushed to the Red Sea in case Israel had to rescue a downed pilot, and the plan was rushed through. "The Israelis had less than a week to pull this all together," a source said.
The Iranian shipment was bound for Port Sudan. From there, according to the security sources, the Iranians had organized a smuggler's convoy of 23 trucks that would take the weapons across Egypt's southern border and up into the Sinai. Hamas would then take charge of the weapons and smuggle them into Gaza through the tunnels unscathed by Israeli bombardments.
Ok, I went through the entire report and here is what they say about attacks from Muslims:
Homophobic hate crime affects LGBT persons in various ways. Verbal aggression is the most commonly experienced type of hate incident, and usually occurs in public spaces. Young people are subjected to assaults more than other age groups (including bullying at school), while lesbian and bisexual women are more likely to experience sexual assaults or assaults in private settings than gay or bisexual men. The perpetrators are usually young men in groups.Young men in groups???? Could that be a veiled reference to muslims?
Regarding ethnic minorities as perpetrators of LGBT hate crime, despite the paucity of relevant research, public debates often point to views on homosexuality as a marker of difference between ethnic majority and ethnic minority groups, and victim accounts sometimes identify ethnic minorities as perpetrators of anti-LGBT violence. The existing research does not associate other factors such as social class, education, employment status or religious beliefs with ethnicity.As you can see, they try their hardest to actually say that Islam is NOT a problem. So, even though most attacks on gays in Amsterdam are from Muslims, Islam is certainly not the problem. Oh, I see!
The German MANEO-Study on hate crime against gay and bisexual men in Berlin reported that perpetrators were perceived as having an ethnic minority background in 16 per cent of incidents.
In a Dutch report on Amsterdam, young men of Moroccan origin were overrepresented as suspects of anti-gay violence. The report concludes: ‘Perpetrators of anti-gay violence are not inspired by religious beliefs. Those perpetrators who are Muslim ave only a superficial knowledge of the Koran and rarely go to mosque. The motives of the Moroccan perpetrators are almost the same as those of the indigenous Dutch perpetrators: views and emotions regarding sex and gender. However, Moroccan boys mention anal sex and the visibility of homosexuality as what they regard as the most
reprehensible aspects of homosexuality, and not feminine behaviour. Their overrepresentation is due to the street culture of the areas where many Moroccan boys
Here's a press report...but not a word about the growing problem from Muslims....
Lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transsexuals face widespread harassment, bullying and discrimination across Europe, according to an EU report released Tuesday.
That harassment and discrimination occurs "in all areas of social life," from schools to the workplace to health care centers, the report by the EU's Fundamental Rights Agency said.
Agency Director Morten Kjaerum said the investigation found gays and lesbians continue to face assault and other physical attacks due to their sexual orientation despite EU rules meant to guarantee equality in the 27-nation bloc.
A horrible attack on a police academy in Pakistan...
The top Taliban commander in Pakistan has claimed responsibility for an attack on a police academy that left 18 dead after an eight-hour bloodbath.
And Baitullah Mehsud also promised an assault on Washington 'soon' - one he said will 'amaze' the world.
At least 18 people were dead last night after militants stormed the police academy in Pakistan.
The attackers, some wearing police uniforms, hurled grenades and seized dozens of hostages.
More than 100 people were wounded as military helicopters moved in to end the carnage.
Two gunmen blew themselves up as soldiers closed in but six were captured and were being interrogated.
Pakistani members of the Taliban were being blamed last night - and Mehsud accepted that responsibility in a phone call to reporters today.
The U.S. recently announced a $5 million bounty on Mehsud's head.
Asked about it, he said he would be happy to 'embrace martrydom'.
Officials said the dead were eight policemen, eight militants and two civilians. The toll was expected to rise.
Sounds very interesting...
The problem with nuclear power is that it comes with an unpleasant side-effect: highly radioactive waste material that will still be dangerous in thousands, if not millions, of years. But what if we could build a reactor that ran on nuclear waste – a reactor that generated power by cleaning up the most toxic substance in existence?
Tucked among the fertile vineyards of central California is a machine that promises to do just that. Today, work officially finishes on the National Ignition Facility, ahead of its official opening in May. As we reported earlier this year, the NIF contains the most powerful laser in history, a billion-pound machine in a building the size of three football pitches.
The aim is to split the laser into 192 separate beams, then focus them on a speck of fuel little bigger than a pinhead. The resulting temperatures and pressures will be millions and billions times greater than those on Earth, triggering the start of a fusion reaction. This will allow researchers to peer into the hearts of planets and stars – but it also has a more practical application, which has nuclear scientists salivating.
By using hydrogen as its fuel, the NIF should become the first fusion machine that gives off more energy than is needed to trigger the reaction. But there is a problem: due to the enormous energies involved (1,000 times the amount produced by America's national grid), the laser can only fire once every three hours. For a commercial fusion power station, that would need to be 10 times a second.
So far, so disappointing. But the scientists at the NIF have a crafty solution. Rather than creating a pure fusion reaction, they plan to combine their technology with a traditional nuclear fission reactor, which would require the laser to fire at a far lower frequency.
"Using the laser to trigger nuclear fusion and drive a fission reaction means we can deliver the benefits of fusion to the utility companies far sooner," explains Ed Moses, director of the NIF. "We will be getting energy from both the fission reaction and the fusion reaction, so for each kilo of fuel used in a traditional fission reaction, we will get about 20 times more energy."
Nuclear fission occurs when heavy atoms such as uranium or plutonium split into smaller, lighter atoms, releasing neutrons and energy. The neutrons released trigger fission in nearby atoms, setting off a cascade: a chain reaction.
Nuclear fusion, on the other hand, occurs when two small atoms, typically forms of hydrogen, are heated and compressed together until they fuse to form a heavier atom, releasing large numbers of neutrons and vast amounts of energy.
Under the NIF's plan, the neutrons that power the fission would come from the laser-triggered fusion reaction: a "fission fusion" reactor in which the nuclear fuel is encased in a blanket around the fusion reactor. The team claim they can have a working power station running by 2020.
Dr Jeff Wisoff, a former astronaut who is deputy principal associate director of science at the NIF, thinks this type of hybrid energy source could transform the way the world views nuclear energy.
"This is our vision for a safe, clean and sustainable energy source of the future," he says. "As the source of the neutrons is separate from the nuclear fuel, it becomes highly controllable and it can never go into meltdown by accident."
But there are more advantages to the concept. In nuclear fission, the cascade of neutrons eventually becomes too weak for the fuel to be a viable energy source. The waste, however, continues to undergo radioactive decay, remaining highly dangerous.
Yet by using a separate source of neutrons – taken from the fusion reaction – the fuel can be burned up almost completely. The NIF claims that spent nuclear fuel, and even weapons-grade plutonium, could be put into the fission blanket and used up over a 50-year period in a highly controllable way.
If Israel finds and kills terrorists, the reward is rockets...
IDF force identifies group of four Palestinians approaching security fence in attempt to plant explosive device; military helicopter alerted to place, strikes cell, hitting at least two gunmen. One soldier lightly hurt in incidentAnd, then came the rockets...
IDF soldiers thwarted an attack against Israeli forces Tuesday morning when they prevented a Palestinian attempt to place an explosive device on the Gaza border.
A Golani Brigade unit operating in the Kissufim area identified a cell of at least four Palestinian gunmen approaching the fence.
The soldiers suspected that the gunmen were planning to plant an explosive device on the security fence and alerted an attack helicopter to the place. The military chopper shot and hit the cell members.
Palestinian sources reported that at least two of the cell members were hit in the strike.
According to the IDF two terrorists were killed in the attack and multiple explosives were found on their bodies.
Several hours after the IDF clashed with terrorists in the Kissufim area, Red Color rocket sirens sounded throughout the western Negev Tuesday afternoon.
Four rockets fired from Gaza apparently landed in open fields near Sderot.
The first alert siren was heard at about 1 pm, and followed by a rocket landing in the Sha'ar Hanegev Regional Council. No injuries or damage wee reported.
Shortly later, two other Qassams were fired at the area. A woman and a teenage girl tripped as they were running to take cover in Sderot. The woman broke her leg and was evacuated to the hospital for further treatment.
Actually, I'm upset because there is no gay representation in the bailouts....
Members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Monday criticized the lack of minority participation in the government's financial bailouts and suggested that President Barack Obama isn't doing much better than his predecessor to ensure diversity.
Giving Obama some leeway with only two months in office, the lawmakers voiced their concerns during an all-day summit on Capitol Hill that drew several hundred minority- and female-owned business leaders to hear guidance from federal officials such as Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Many said the officials were receptive to the idea of more diversity but short on details for how to make it happen.
"What I heard today from the administration seemed to be a continuation of the status quo," Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., said at a news conference outside the event. "It is time that we wake up."
Rep. Chaka Fattah, D-Pa., noted that no women were in the group of bank leaders who met with Obama last week and warned that the country could end up relying on the same people who created the need for a rescue if it doesn't branch out.
Fattah and others said they were optimistic that the administration would focus more on diversity moving forward. But they noted that the money is being spent quickly and said minority accountants, banks, financial advisers and law firms will be left out almost entirely without immediate changes.
Here's the latest information on what is happening in Iraq...
A new wave of assassinations of Iraqi gays - part of the organized campaign of "sexual cleansing" of homosexuals that has been one of the saddest byproducts of the Anglo-American invasion and occupation of Iraq - has been confirmed by Iraqi LGBT, the all-volunteer, London-based group of gay Iraqi exiles that has been documenting the grim work of the Islamist anti-gay death squads in Iraq.
Ali Hili is the 33-year-old gay Iraqi exile who founded Iraqi LGBT three years ago in London with 30 other gay Iraqis, and is now the group's coordinator. Iraqi LGBT has members, supporters, and informants throughout Iraq, with whose help the group has been able to document and confirm a bloody harvest of assassinations by fanatically anti-gay Islamist enforcers.
Hili told Gay City News this week of the following new confirmed murders and arrests of gay Iraqis, all of which occurred at the beginning of this month. (Pseudonyms have been used for those still living to protect their safety.)
Mustafa, 26, was a well-known gay man in his neighborhood in the city of Najaf, south of Baghdad, who went out for a walk with a friend to shop for clothes. Mustafa was stopped and arrested by the local militia of the Badr Corps - the armed branch of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which is the largest Shia political formation in Iraq.
The Badr Corps was integrated into the Ministry of the Interior's police last year, and its anti-gay death squads since then have operated with full police powers.
Mustafa was separated from his friend, taken to an isolated area, and shot and killed on the spot by the Badr militia, reported Haydar, an Iraqi LGBT member in Najaf.
Ali, a gay lad of 17, was also killed in Najaf in early July.
"One of our main sources in Najaf told us that his young friend Ali had been killed for his gay behavior and his sexuality, " Hili told Gay City News, adding, "Ali's mother told our source during a phone conversation that her son had disappeared, only to be later found shot to death in a nearby neighborhood."
In the small Southern Iraqi town of al-Simawa - a stronghold of radical Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr's Mahdi army, which has also deployed anti-gay death squads - two gay friends, aged 29 and 30, received death threats targeting their homosexuality. Within a few days, the two young men were assassinated.
More attacks in the first 3 months than all of 2008....
The number of anti-Semitic incidences in Europe through the first three months of this calendar year exceeds the total number of such occurrences from all of 2008, according to a report issued by the European Jewish Congress.
The findings were announced by EJC president Moshe Kantor during a special session of the European Parliament which was devoted to the subject of anti-Semitism on the continent.
The report cites the reaction to this past January's Israel Defense Forces operation in Gaza as one of the key triggers of anti-Semitic attacks against Jewish communities in Europe. In addition, the current financial crisis is giving rise to age-old anti-Semitic stereotypes suggesting "Jewish control of the global financial system."
EJC members from all over Europe who gathered in Brussels for the special session reported a significant rise in the number of anti-Semitic incidents. The head of official Jewry in Finland, Rony Smolar, said that the 25,000-strong Jewish community living in the Scandinavian countries is subject to repeated harassment due to its support for Israel.
"Public opinion links Israel with the local Jewish community, which turns us into enemies," Smolar said, adding that his country has seen "a dramatic rise" in the number and severity of anti-Semitic attacks.
Smolar said that Molotov cocktails have been thrown into synagogues and Jewish cemeteries in Sweden and Norway have been vandalized. He also cited a shooting incident in which two Israelis were wounded by a gunman in Denmark during Operation Cast Lead.
"Cartoons likening the Star of David to the Nazi swastika have become commonplace in Scandinavia," Smolar said.
Will Iraq start executing gays???
Ground Zero for the so-called 'war on terror' is a nation where gays and lesbians live in real terror every day. Among the suffering of gay Iraqis is the regular threat (and carrying out) of rape and murder. In July, CNN reported on the case of a young gay man abducted for ransom and raped daily for more than two weeks.If you want to help the Iraqi Gay and Lesbian community, please visit their website...
More than 100 prisoners in Iraq are facing execution. Many of them, says an underground gay rights organization in the country, are believed to have been convicted of the 'crime' of being gay, the UK-based Iraqi-LGBT group revealed this afternoon.
According to Ali Hili of Iraqi-LGBT, the Iraqi authorities plan to start executing them in batches of 20 from this week. There is, said Hili, at least one member of Iraqi-LGBT who are among those to be put to death.
And the London-based group, which believes that a total of 128 executions are imminent, is calling on the UK Government, international human rights groups and the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva to intervene "with due speed" to prevent "this tragic miscarriage of justice" from going ahead.
"We have information and reports on members of our community whom been arrested and waiting for execution for the crimes of homosexuality," Mr Hili told UK Gay News.
A change in strategy for the UK government...but can they really find the right people to work with???
Mosques and local Muslim community groups are to be given money and direct access to government ministers under a radical plan to isolate Britain’s largest Islamic organisation, which the Government accuses of endorsing violent extremism.
The move follows criticism of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), which claims to represent half of the country’s Muslims, by Hazel Blears, the Communities Secretary. Ms Blears attacked the group for refusing to sack its deputy leader, Daud Abdullah, after he endorsed a pro-Hamas declaration that appeared to call for violence against Jews and Israel and condone attacks on British troops.
A nice use of language....
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez says his government isn't considering restoring diplomatic ties with Israel.
Chavez told the pan-Arab TV station Al-Jazeera that he would only reconsider the matter if Israel's leaders stop being a "Genocidal elite subordinated to the United States."
Here's some data from a real-life study - Green Jobs cost the economy....
Subsidizing renewable energy in the U.S. may destroy two jobs for every one created if Spain’s experience with windmills and solar farms is any guide.
For every new position that depends on energy price supports, at least 2.2 jobs in other industries will disappear, according to a study from King Juan Carlos University in Madrid.
U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2010 budget proposal contains about $20 billion in tax incentives for clean-energy programs. In Spain, where wind turbines provided 11 percent of power demand last year, generators earn rates as much as 11 times more for renewable energy compared with burning fossil fuels.
The premiums paid for solar, biomass, wave and wind power - - which are charged to consumers in their bills -- translated into a $774,000 cost for each Spanish “green job” created since 2000, said Gabriel Calzada, an economics professor at the university and author of the report.
“The loss of jobs could be greater if you account for the amount of lost industry that moves out of the country due to higher energy prices,” he said in an interview.
Would he deliver hard-hitting reporting??? Gee, of course not...it's the BBC...
The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked the BBC not to turn its back on Christianity.
Dr Rowan Williams had a meeting at Lambeth Palace with director general Mark Thompson in which he said the corporation should not ignore its Christian audience.
The talks came at a time when some senior figures are worried about signs that the BBC is more interested in promoting minority faiths than in broadcasting Christian programming or teachings.
Further talks between another bishop and BBC managers are to be held next month.
Church leaders are making their concerns known at a time of upheaval in the BBC's religious department.
A reorganisation of management posts has seen the former head of religious programmes, Methodist preacher Michael Wakelin, fail to land the renamed job of Commissioning Editor, Religion and Head of Religion and Ethics.
A leading contender for the post is Aaqil Ahmed, a Muslim who is commissioning editor for religion at Channel 4.
Mr Ahmed has taken part in campaigns in favour of a greater Muslim presence in the media, and is a trustee of the Runnymede Trust, a pressure group that has champ-ioned multiculturalism.
I don't approve of the Chinese government in any way...but they understand the threat from muslims...
An overseas rights activist said Monday that authorities in China's predominantly Muslim far west are closing unregistered Islamic schools and conducting house-to-house searches in a new security crackdown in the restive region.
The campaign under way for five weeks in the city of Hotan underscores Beijing's persisting concerns about separatist movements in its Central Asian border province of Xinjiang.
While anti-government protests and a security clampdown in Tibetan areas have grabbed attention over the past year, China has also been battling unrest in Xinjiang, with a flare-up in violence last year that killed 33 people. Like the Tibetans, many of Xinjiang's ethnic minority Uighurs have chafed under Beijing's rule and restrictions on the practice of religion.
The clampdown in Hotan -- once a jade-trading center on the Silk Road and still a bastion of Uighur culture -- was meant to quash dissent before August's anniversary marking communist troops' entry to Xinjiang 60 years ago, the Germany-based World Uighur Congress said Monday.
A congress spokesman, Dilxat Raxit, said in an e-mail that armed police were making nighttime raids from house to house. At least seven religious schools have been shut and 39 people arrested so far, Raxit said.
The official Xinhua News Agency earlier this month reported that Hotan authorities had launched a campaign against "illegal religious activity" at the end of February and "had already achieved some initial success."
"Officials uncovered some illegal religious activities, seized a large number of illegal books, handwritten materials, computer discs, audio tapes and other propaganda materials as well as bullets, fuses, explosive and flammable materials, and other weaponry," it said.
Everybody loves these stories of Israeli misconduct...only problem is that they're not true....
A group of young Israeli soldiers met to evaluate their experiences in the Gaza war to see what could be learned from them. The next thing you know, there is a global news story about Israel committing war crimes.
Given the eagerness to find Israel evil and guilty, it falls into the category of a “blood libel”, the historic allegation that Jews murder Christian children to use their blood for matzo.
The charges of war crimes and murder rest almost entirely on two stories. First, a Palestinian mother and daughter were being evacuated from their apartment. An Israeli officer told them to go one way; they went another. A sniper shot them, as instructed by the rules of engagement, which were formulated to protect soldiers from attacks by suicide bombers.
In the second story, an officer told soldiers to shoot an old woman — again in the belief she might be a suicide bomber — and an argument broke out among the Israelis over whether or not to do it.
These stories have been used to suggest bloodthirsty war crimes.
In the first case, an Israeli television station interviewed the soldier who had told this story and he stated that he had simply heard it as a rumour.
In the second case, it is not even clear that the woman was shot. And it highlights the caution and humanitarian standards of the Israeli army: enlisted men argued with an officer over obeying an order that soldiers in most armies would have obeyed without hesitation.
Despite all assurances, smuggling of weapons is still going on...
Shin Bet chief Yuval Diskin on Sunday briefed the cabinet on ongoing efforts to stem the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip.
Dozens of tons of explosives have been smuggled into the Strip since Israel concluded its three-week offensive against the Hamas leadership in January, Diskin said.
According to Diskin, Egyptian efforts to curtail the smuggling across its shared border with Gaza have improved, and several successes have been recorded. "When Israel provides intelligence on smuggling that is about to happen, or is happening, they respond quickly and effectively," he said.
However, Diskin added, since the end of Operation Cast Lead, the express goal of which was to bring an end to rocket fire from Gaza into Israel, 45 tons of raw materials for the production of weapons have been smuggled into the Strip, along with 22 tons of standard explosives, as well as dozens of rockets, mortar shells, and anti-aircraft missiles.
Gay bashing is on the rise - and it's because of muslims...
On March 8, the night of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, police say a group of about 100 young Muslim men, allegedly members of a loose gang called MBM - Muslim Brotherhood Movement - moved through the centre of the city intimidating, harassing and beating bystanders.
Exporters can feel it in Israel...
Local exporters are losing foreign markets and customers because of the global economic crisis and a growing anti-Israel boycott of locally made products following Operation Cast Lead, the Israel Manufacturers Association said Sunday.
"In addition to the problems and difficulties arising from the global economic crisis, 21 percent of local exporters report that they are facing problems in selling Israeli goods because of an anti-Israel boycott, mainly from the UK and Scandinavian countries," said Yair Rotloi, chairman of the association's foreign-trade committee.
The succession is going to be interesting...
Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz, the interior minister and a half-brother of King Abdullah, has assumed second place in the line of succession. His appointment as second deputy prime minister places him next in line after Crown Prince Sultan.
Because King Abdullah is about 84 and the Crown Prince is of the same vintage and in poor health, this makes Prince Nayef highly likely to succeed to the throne. He will take temporary charge of Saudi Arabia while the King attends the G20 summit in London and Crown Prince Sultan recovers from surgery in New York.
Prince Nayef, who at 75 is a relatively youthful member of the royal family's senior circle, is a deeply controversial figure. Shortly after the terrorist attacks on September 11, he was sceptical about the involvement of any Saudis and publicly suggested that "Zionists" were responsible. But he adopted a tough line against al-Qaeda after the kingdom was rocked by a series of attacks in 2003 and 2004.
Prince Nayef's elevation has caused a rare public split in the royal family. Prince Talal, a noted reformist, asked the King for assurances about the succession. "I call on the royal court to clarify what is meant by this nomination and that it does not mean that he will become Crown Prince," said Prince Talal.
What an awful thing to do...
Palestinian authorities have disbanded a youth orchestra from a West Bank refugee camp and barred the conductor from her studio after she directed a concert for a group of Holocaust survivors in Israel, a local official said on Sunday.
Adnan Hindi of the Jenin camp called the Holocaust a "political issue" and accused the orchestra's conductor of unfairly dragging the children into a politics.
The dispute underscores Palestinian sensitivities over acknowledging Jewish suffering, which many fear could weaken their own historical grievances against Israel. Ignorance and even denial of the Holocaust is widespread in Palestinian society.
At last Wednesday's concert in Holon, most of the Holocaust survivors did not know the youths were Palestinians from the West Bank, a rare sight in Israel these days. And the youths, who range in age from 11 to 18, had no idea they were performing for people who lived through Nazi genocide -- or even what the Holocaust was.
Hindi said that conductor Wafa Younis, an Israeli Arab living in Israel, has been banned from the camp, and the apartment where she taught the 13-member Strings of Freedom orchestra has been boarded up.
"She exploited the children," said Hindi, the head of the camp's "popular committee," which takes on municipal duties. "She will be forbidden from doing any activities ... We have to protect our children and our community."
If you truly believe in carbon-based global warming, then nuclear is the only real option for power...
Nuclear power used to be the environmentalist's ultimate pariah, thanks mostly to overblown claims about the dangers of reactor meltdowns and nuclear waste. But now the green movement has a new pariah - fossil fuels and their carbon dioxide emissions. To many environmentalists alarmed about global warming, nuclear power has an irresistible appeal: It releases no greenhouse gases. Indeed - another irony - nuclear power plants don't even release as much radiation as coal-fired plants, since coal ash is more radioactive than nuclear waste.
As a result, some of the world's most ardent Greens have come around to embracing nuclear power.
"Only nuclear power can now halt global warming," wrote James Lovelock, the father of the celebrated Gaia theory, which regards the Earth and life on the planet as one complex, interacting "organism," in 2004. In Wired magazine the following year, a much-discussed article - "Nuclear Now!" - made the case that only "clean, green atomic energy can stop global warming."
A lovely little radio station....
Mohammed Ali is one of the masterminds of the Taleban campaign that has brought the security forces in the Swat Valley to their knees.
On the FM radio system that he helped to set up in Swat to spread the message of the Taleban, he announced the names of people who deserved to die, sometimes adding the names of their children and the schools they attended. He is also regarded as the main strategist behind a two-year suicide bombing campaign against government buildings, military installations, schools and individuals that forced the Government to accept a Taleban-administered mini-state where Sharia is applied.
Using the name Nadar, which means fearless, he told radio listeners: “I like the sound of the death rattle when army people are slaughtered. I want to hear that every day.”
Ahh..nothing like fighting for sharia law in the UK and beyond...
RADICAL Muslim Anjem Choudary has brushed aside a Scotland Yard probe into his inflammatory speeches to demand that Britain should become a Sharia state.At least only 100 people attended...but how many others will be influenced by the inevitable tapes and videos...
His voice rising with passion and vigour, he told his growing army of followers in central London on Friday night: “Let me tell you something – the Sharia will be implemented in Pakistan, it will be implemented in India and Bangladesh and even down the road in Downing Street.”
He was sharing a platform with four other senior members of Islam4UK, a new organisation which is attracting the sort of believers who loyally followed hate preacher Abu Hamza before he was locked up.
Muslims around the world will rise and eventually conquer the White House, said Choudary, comparing the struggle ahead with that faced by Muslims hundreds of years ago, who constantly brushed the dust of battles from their eyes as they conquered nations.
Astonishingly, he compared himself to Noah from the Old Testament in one ranting outburst.
“People said ‘look at that man building that boat in the mountain’,” he said. “Now they say ‘look at that lunatic calling for the Sharia in Britain’ ... they say the same thing.”
Like those doubters in centuries past, Muslims will be tested but they must hold true to their convictions.
“The question is, will your footsteps be in the struggle?” he asked the audience of more than 100 young Muslim men who share a deep-seated and worrying loathing of everything that Britain stands for.
How can the Chinese government not be behind such a vast network...
Canadian researchers have uncovered a computer spying operation that they say has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world.
The New York Times website reported Saturday that the researchers, based at the Munk Centre for International Studies at the University of Toronto, said the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China.
But they could not say conclusively the Chinese government was involved.
A spokesman for the Chinese Consulate in New York dismissed the idea that China was involved, while the Chinese Embassy in Toronto did not immediately return calls for comment.
The researchers had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware.
“We uncovered real-time evidence of malware that had penetrated Tibetan computer systems, extracting sensitive documents from the private office of the Dalai Lama,” investigator Greg Walton said.
They discovered a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices.
The researchers said they believe in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.
Money easily buys off the Europeans...remember the French were bought by Saddam's oil-for-palaces program...
A former minister in the Iranian regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini accused Germany on Saturday of failing to apply the necessary pressure on Tehran to halt its controversial nuclear program due to financial reasons.
"Germany prefers to safeguard its financial interests in Iran, and prefers its billion-dollar business deals rather than applying the necessary pressure to bring an end to the Iranian nuclear program," said Ayatollah Dr. Mehdi Haeri Khorshidi, who fled to Germany in 1986 and remained there until 2003, speaking at a conference on Iran at Haifa University.
Khorshidi served as the justice minister in Ayatollah Khomeini's first administration, as well as serving as the advisor on religious affairs.
According to Khorshidi, Germany has stepped up its commerce with Iran, in blatant disregard of its nuclear program, which the West believes aims to manufacture a nuclear bomb, and its history of human rights violations.
Khorshidi also lashed out at the European Union, which he said had failed to make full use of its power to stifle Iran's nuclear ambitions and prevent a devastating war in the region. "Iran is no less dependent on Europe than Europe is dependent on Iran," he said.
I guess they're not going to watch Fitna together...
A Hizbullah member of Lebanon's Parliament will hold a rare meeting with British parliamentarians in London this week, the group announced Saturday.
The visit follows an announcement by Britain's Foreign Office last month that it has contacted Hizbullah's political wing in an attempt to reach out to its legislators. It said its ultimate aim is to encourage the group to abandon violence and play a constructive political role in the deeply divided country.
A Hizbullah statement issued Saturday says Hussein Hajj Hassan was invited by a number of British legislators to take part in a political meeting of parliamentarians to discuss "regional issues." It said he would be traveling to London on Sunday.
Sea levels really aren't rising....
If one thing more than any other is used to justify proposals that the world must spend tens of trillions of dollars on combating global warming, it is the belief that we face a disastrous rise in sea levels. The Antarctic and Greenland ice caps will melt, we are told, warming oceans will expand, and the result will be catastrophe.
Although the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) only predicts a sea level rise of 59cm (17 inches) by 2100, Al Gore in his Oscar-winning film An Inconvenient Truth went much further, talking of 20 feet, and showing computer graphics of cities such as Shanghai and San Francisco half under water. We all know the graphic showing central London in similar plight. As for tiny island nations such as the Maldives and Tuvalu, as Prince Charles likes to tell us and the Archbishop of Canterbury was again parroting last week, they are due to vanish.
But if there is one scientist who knows more about sea levels than anyone else in the world it is the Swedish geologist and physicist Nils-Axel Mörner, formerly chairman of the INQUA International Commission on Sea Level Change. And the uncompromising verdict of Dr Mörner, who for 35 years has been using every known scientific method to study sea levels all over the globe, is that all this talk about the sea rising is nothing but a colossal scare story.
Despite fluctuations down as well as up, "the sea is not rising," he says. "It hasn't risen in 50 years." If there is any rise this century it will "not be more than 10cm (four inches), with an uncertainty of plus or minus 10cm". And quite apart from examining the hard evidence, he says, the elementary laws of physics (latent heat needed to melt ice) tell us that the apocalypse conjured up by
Al Gore and Co could not possibly come about.
The reason why Dr Mörner, formerly a Stockholm professor, is so certain that these claims about sea level rise are 100 per cent wrong is that they are all based on computer model predictions, whereas his findings are based on "going into the field to observe what is actually happening in the real world".
When running the International Commission on Sea Level Change, he launched a special project on the Maldives, whose leaders have for 20 years been calling for vast sums of international aid to stave off disaster. Six times he and his expert team visited the islands, to confirm that the sea has not risen for half a century. Before announcing his findings, he offered to show the inhabitants a film explaining why they had nothing to worry about. The government refused to let it be shown.
Similarly in Tuvalu, where local leaders have been calling for the inhabitants to be evacuated for 20 years, the sea has if anything dropped in recent decades. The only evidence the scaremongers can cite is based on the fact that extracting groundwater for pineapple growing has allowed seawater to seep in to replace it. Meanwhile, Venice has been sinking rather than the Adriatic rising, says Dr Mörner.
One of his most shocking discoveries was why the IPCC has been able to show sea levels rising by 2.3mm a year. Until 2003, even its own satellite-based evidence showed no upward trend. But suddenly the graph tilted upwards because the IPCC's favoured experts had drawn on the finding of a single tide-gauge in Hong Kong harbour showing a 2.3mm rise. The entire global sea-level projection was then adjusted upwards by a "corrective factor" of 2.3mm, because, as the IPCC scientists admitted, they "needed to show a trend".
All part of the jihad in Sweden...
Two men have been charged for the bomb attack on the home of chief public prosecutor Barbro Jönsson in November 2007.
Arabzadeh Mohammad Abadi, 25, and Moayed Abedi, 24, were indicted on charges of aggravated public endangerment and aggravated threats and intimidation in connection with the bombing of Jönsson's home in the south-western Swedish town of Trollhättan on November 20, 2007.
Jönsson, who had just left for work when the blast ripped off the front door of her house and shattered her hallway, "would have been in a life-threatening position" had she been inside, according to the charge sheet filed with the Vänersborg district court by prosecutor Urban Svenkvist.
The explosion also put "the lives and wellbeing of people outside the house in danger," it added.
Jönsson had at the time of the attack been prosecuting a case against a violent criminal gang called the Wolfpack Brotherhood.
"The crime is considered aggravated because (the two) showed particular ruthlessness and because the attack was against (Joensson's) private sphere and aimed to affect her in her work fighting organised crime," the charge sheet said.
The bombing was one of the first overt attacks on a Swedish prosecutor and prompted calls to root out a growing problem with criminal gangs in the Scandinavian country.
If the Muslims are upset, he must be the right man for the job...
Turkey's prime minister has said there is strong opposition from Muslim nations to Denmark's prime minister becoming the next NATO chief and indicated the candidacy threatened to harm the alliance.
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, seen as the likeliest candidate to replace Jaap de Hoop Scheffer as NATO secretary-general Aug. 1, infuriated some Muslims by speaking out in favor of freedom of speech during an uproar over Danish publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2006. He has also angered Turkey by opposing its membership in the European Union.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, leader of the Islamic-rooted ruling party, told NTV television in an interview late Friday that he had spoken to Fogh Rasmussen and informed him about opposition to his candidacy.
"We don't want NATO to be damaged and we don't think it is right that you as prime minister should be damaged in this process," Erdogan said he told Fogh Rasmussen. He did not say when the conversation took place.
Here's a case history that should be widely read...
Rising up from the centre of the Surrey commuter town of Woking stands the magnificent Shah Jahan mosque. It was founded in 1889 by Dr Gottlieb Leitner, a Jew who converted to Anglicanism.
He wanted the mosque to be part of an Oriental Institute, promoting a greater understanding between religions.
What irony. One hundred and twenty years later, two officials from Shah Jahan pursued a 'hidden agenda' forcibly to transform a local, secular primary school into an Islamic faith school.
Their aggressive campaign of 'anti-Christian' lobbying and unfounded allegations of racism and Islamophobia managed to destroy what had been a model school. Its inspirational headmistress was reduced to a nervous wreck, to the extent that she has now left education altogether.
Last week in the High Court, Surrey County Council was ordered to pay headmistress Erica Connor more than £400,000 compensation for having failed to support her. It is only now the full background to her case can be revealed.
Using statements of evidence and interviews, it is possible to piece together the extraordinary story of the downfall of New Monument school.
If there is one overriding lesson, it is that officialdom, anxious to maintain political correctness, will often kowtow to radical Islam - even if it does not reflect the wishes of the wider Muslim community.
New Monument is a maintained community school - state-run, with no religious affiliation. Mrs Connor arrived in 1994 and became headmistress four years later. Some 80 per cent of her pupils were Muslim, many with parents illiterate in English. Half were on the special needs register.
But under Mrs Connor the school showed the second most improved SATs results in the country. In 2001, she was invited to Downing Street in recognition of this.
However, these achievements began to unravel in February 2003 when Paul Martin was appointed as a governor - even though he did not have any children at the school.
Mr Martin, 57, who ran a clothes shop in the town, is a white Muslim convert (as is his Austrian-born wife) and, at the time, headed the education committee at the mosque.
Within months he proposed that Sofia Syed, another Muslim, join the school's board. Mumtaz Saleem, 41, was also recruited as a Local Education Authority (LEA) nominated governor. Martin and Saleem and, to a much lesser extent, Syed, were to be the architects of the disaster which followed.
erica connor and paul martin
Muslim convert Paul Martin was a governor at the New Monument School
At his first governors' meeting, Mr Martin demanded they begin with a non-denominational prayer to the Almighty. Ominously, even at this early stage, he said he sensed 'tension between the school and the community'. This was news to everyone else at the meeting. But the storm really broke the following February.
It was then Mr Martin wrote to the headmistress alleging that a Muslim teacher and governor called Rosie Mir had said to him: 'I tell the children to throw the Koran away.'
He claimed she said that the holy book should be read only when the children were older and could understand it. He also alleged she said pupils were told they must leave their culture at home and become 'nice little English children'.
Mr Martin went on to make an equally explosive allegation against another female staff member. He said Stephanie Roche had asked: 'Why do they (children) have to go to the mosque? They can't even read English. It's so pointless.'
In response to these claims, Mrs Connor, wrote to Mr Martin and told him both women denied his allegations ' vehemently'. She added that she also consulted the imam of the Shah Jahan mosque, saying: 'He was astonished and perplexed by your suggestion that there was any ill-feeling between the school and the mosque.'
Mrs Connor took the precaution of informing the LEA's director of education, warning that the situation was becoming 'extremely difficult'.
Tellingly, for the first time, she also used the phrase 'hidden agenda' in connection with Mr Martin's behaviour. She said she heard from parents that proposals had been mooted for New Monument to become an Islamic school.
As an indication of her professionalism, she said she did not have a problem being head teacher of a faith school if the community wanted that.
The LEA remained silent. But Mr Martin made himself busy, complaining to the authority that he felt 'traumatised' and bullied by the other governors.
He said he suffered from 'loss of sleep, profuse sweating, loss of concentration, poor performance at work' and disruption in his family life. Furthermore, he was not convinced that the school was doing all it could 'to proactively avoid anti-Muslim feeling within the school'.
A memorandum was duly produced by an LEA official, in which the following observation was made about Martin: 'He takes everything literally and ... one wonders if he does not have a hidden agenda. He is very active in the local mosque and has the potential to do harm to the school's reputation.'
On June 9, 2004, another governors' meeting took place. Again, Mr Martin and Mr Saleem harangued the headmistress on the need for a closer relationship between Islam and the school.
Eventually, Mrs Connor walked out, 'clearly upset' by the aggressive questioning.
Afterwards, one of the governors wrote complaining to the chair of governors, Mark Tackley-Goodman, about Mr Saleem's hostile attitude and his 'highly insulting' observation that parents who sent their children to New Monument had a 'lack of values'.
But Mr Martin was also back on the attack. He sent the chairman an email saying: 'I have been a Muslim for nearly 25 years and I have never had any personal experience of Islamophobia. I am sorry to say that that has changed since I have been a governor.'
Unsurprisingly, Mr Tackley-Goodman lost patience at this accusation. He emailed an LEA official to complain about Mr Martin and Mr Saleem, adding: 'I believe the time is well overdue for the LEA to step in and investigate.'
But the LEA was not prepared to defend its staff. In fact, one of the senior LEA officials expressed the view that Mr Martin was 'quite reasonable' and not a trouble-maker adding:'He has clearly stated to me that he is not after a single faith school.' A bland reassurance was sent to the headmistress and an LEA officer later met her to discuss the situation.
Mrs Connor told the officer that parents were reporting meetings in the community that were organised to, in her words, 'get me out'. She was also upset by an extraordinary ' cultural awareness' training session that had been organised by Mrs Syed for the school's staff.
The session trainers produced a special diagram setting out ideal Islamic attitudes in contrast to perceived English values - which contained things such as drinking, drug-taking and extra-marital affairs.
Nothing like being groomed for a future career...
The youngsters were identified through a police scheme which aims to spot children who are vulnerable to Islamic radicalisation.This still has to be rolled out across the entire country, so the number of kids in training might be an awful lot higher...
Sir Norman Bettison, the chief constable of West Yorkshire Police and Britain's most senior officer in charge of terror prevention, said the project had intervened in at least 200 cases since it began 18 months ago.
The number has risen sharply from 10 children who were identified by the programme by June 2008.
The "Channel project", run by the Association of Chief Police Officers, asks teachers, parents and other community leaders to watch out for signs that children are being groomed by extremists or appear drawn to their views.
Sir Norman, whose force covers the area in which all four of July 7 bombers grew up, told the Independent newspaper: "What will often manifest itself is what might be regarded as racism and the adoption of bad attitudes towards 'the West'.
"One of the four bombers of 7 July was, on the face of it, a model student. He had never been in trouble with the police, was the son of a well-established family and was employed and integrated into society.
"But when we went back to his teachers they remarked on the things he used to write. In his exercise books he had written comments praising al-Qaeda.
"That was not seen at the time as being substantive. Now we would hope that teachers might intervene, speak to the child's family or perhaps the local imam who could then speak to the young man."
The scheme was piloted in Lancashire and the Metropolitan Police borough of Lambeth in 2007, but in February last year it was extended to West Yorkshire, the Midlands, Bedfordshire and South Wales.
I didn't realize the terrorists are holding 3 Red Cross workers hostage...
The Philippines pulled about 800 police and militiamen out of a cordon surrounding kidnappers holding three Red Cross workers on a remote southern island on Saturday, partially giving in to the Islamist militants' demands.
Interior secretary Ronaldo Puno told reporters the government had made a "difficult" decision to abandon positions that would allow the Abu Sayyaf rebels access to the island's coastline, but kept about 1,500 other troops posted along an inland highway.
Puno had said on Friday that the government would not give in to the rebels' demand to pull back from positions on remote Jolo island. The Red Cross staff have been held for over two months.
"We are taking risks," Puno said after meeting security officials at the southern port city of Zamboanga. Other officials said the navy would patrol the waters off Jolo but the cordon would not be as tight.
Officials said Puno was hoping the partial agreement to the rebel demand would allow for fresh negotiations for the release of the three members of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) -- Swiss national Andreas Notter, Italian Eugenio Vagni and Filipina Mary Jean Lacaba.
They were kidnapped on January 15 after inspecting a prison on Jolo and are being held by an estimated 100 heavily armed rebels in a 5 sq km area in the island's rugged jungles.
"We are giving them a breathing space where they feel they're safe to negotiate," Puno said. "It's a difficult decision and not all agreed to the decision."
Well, no...everybody has got to see the face....
A court battle in which a woman is fighting for the right to wear a religious veil while testifying had lawyers arguing yesterday whether the eyes and a voice are enough to assess the credibility of a witness on the stand.
The woman, an alleged sexual assault victim, wears the niqab -- a Muslim veil which covers the entire face except for the eyes.
While lawyers for the men accused of assaulting the woman argue seeing her face as she testifies is a fundamental right, the woman's legal counsel says the courts routinely observe and protect religious rights.
The case, unfolding in Ontario Superior Court, is believed to be the first of its kind in Canada.
The face is needed to assess a witness' demeanour and credibility, said lawyer Jack Pinkofsky, who represents the defendants in the sexual assault case.
"You can't separate the spoken word from the face," said Pinkofsky, who argued even the twitch of an eyebrow forms part of the evidence a judge or jury can use to convict. "The face of justice cannot be faceless."
Wearing a veil wouldn't harm the court's ability to assess the woman's demeanour, her lawyers said, noting tone of voice and body language are important and the eyes complete the picture. "You can read everything in the eyes. The eyes are the window to the soul," David Butt, the alleged victim's lawyer, said outside of court.
And, yet the left always seems to march with these haters of freedom...
U.S. policy toward supposedly "allied" authoritarian Muslim governments in the Middle East is backward. This month Reporters Without Borders, an international organization supporting press freedom, issued its 2009 "Internet Enemies" report surveying government generated obstacles to the free flow of information online. Dominating the list are Muslim-majority countries, all but one of which are "friends" of the U.S. Internet freedom is an essential tool of civil society and pro-democracy Muslim reformers. We are feeding the hand that bites us by supporting regimes which block online and other media freedoms for these Muslim reformers.
Approximately 20% of the world's population is Muslim, yet according to Reporters Without Borders, 58% of the "Internet Enemies" are Muslim-majority countries. These are Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan (alongside Burma, China, Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam). As if this were not enough, 45% of the eleven countries listed as secondary level offenders, "Under Surveillance," are either Muslim-majority--Bahrain, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, Yemen--or, in the case of Eritrea, about half Muslim.
As for "friends" of the U.S. on this list, the 2009 "Internet Enemies" report identifies Egyptian bloggers as "among the most hounded in the world" and "since the beginning of 2007, the government of Egypt has stepped up its surveillance of the web." Tunisia "is one of the most draconian on the Internet." In Turkmenistan, "the Internet remains one of the areas that the new government keeps under tightest control." Uzbekistan maintains "very tight control over the Internet" and has a media law which makes way for "extensive and abusive censorship." Also the state of Internet freedom in U.A.E., Bahrain, Yemen, Malaysia, and Eritrea is nothing to cheer about.
Meanwhile, in the most recent (2008) annual Department of State Report on International Religious Freedom 62% of the "Countries of Particular Concern" (the most egregious offenders) are Muslim-majority--Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Uzbekistan--with, again, Eritrea being about half Muslim (alongside Burma, China, North Korea).
Egypt's starring role among the world's "Internet Enemies" goes along with a religious freedom record that, while not one of the absolute worst, is still deeply problematic. These facts are particularly disconcerting because Egypt used to be a major intellectual and artistic hub in the Muslim world and now is supposedly a close U.S. ally. One would hope that a country in such a position would be a center for peaceful, reformist Islam.
There are two key misperceptions about anti-freedom measures in these Muslim majority countries, and both apply to Egypt. The first is that we Americans need to allow these countries great leeway in anti-freedom-of-speech and anti-religious-freedom policies because they use such policies only to fight against violent extremists. The second is that the only significant violations of religious freedom these countries perpetrate are against relatively small minorities such as Christians and Bahai.
In reality, "allies" of the U.S. such as Egypt use suppression of freedom of speech (on the Internet and in other media) and deny freedom of religion in order to block efforts by moderate and progressive Muslim reformers.
Many people aren't aware that a war is being waged in the Philippines...
The military says 20 Muslim rebels and seven soldiers backed by artillery and armored vehicles have been killed in clashes in the southern Philippines.
Regional military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Ponce said Saturday that soldiers engaged about 80 Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas in gunbattles Friday outside Mamasapano township in Maguindanao province.
He said the soldiers were checking reports that the rebels were gathering in Bialong when the clash erupted.
He said the guerrillas were believed to be under Umbra Kato, one of three rebel commanders who led a bloody rampage that killed dozens of civilians in several communities following the scrapping of a preliminary peace deal last year.
Oh, they won't just take anything you throw out....
After a day's hard graft in the garden Karen Kelly tidied away.
It seemed easy enough. After all, she had been given a bin specifically for her garden waste.
On top of the discarded shrubs she placed two tiny squares of turf she'd removed from the lawn and closed the lid.
But what appeared to be the simplest of tasks ended in farce after local bin police refused to take it away - because it contained soil from the turf.
They insisted that her bin had, as a result, been contaminated.
The 46-year-old divorced secretary from Yeovil, Somerset, pays £25 a year for the special fortnightly collection.
Run on behalf of her local council the mother-of-two and keen gardener thought it was a good idea at first.
But when Somerset Waste Partnership refused to take her bin because of the 'contamination' she was appalled.
They told her to put the turf and soil in an ordinary black domestic bin ready for landfill.
Only then would they return and clear her garden bin.
Last night, Miss Kelly said: 'This is ridiculous. Soil is garden waste at the end of the day. At least, I always thought of it as part of garden waste. Yet they said soil cannot be composted and had contaminated the rest of the waste.'
It's depressing to read these stories...
Two-year-old Nilab sits on the floor, drawing with a stick. She is wearing a red dress and black shoes, her unruly curls falling in her eyes. Shy around strangers, she hides her face behind her big sister from time to time.
The toddler has no idea what awaits her: she has been traded away in baad, to make up for the sexual misconduct of her uncle.
Baad is a traditional means of settling disputes in Afghanistan, and usually involves giving a young girl to the family of the perceived victim of a crime.
“My uncle Jawad was found guilty of having unlawful sexual relations with Noria, my father’s cousin,” said Mariam, Nilab’s 19-year-old sister, tears running down her face.
“Noria became pregnant, but her husband has been working in Iran for the past seven months. Noria’s father-in-law accused Jawad of being the father, and the families agreed to settle the matter through the local jirga (council). The jirga decided that Nilab should be given to Noria’s brother-in-law, who is only six years old. Everyone agreed.”
Baad is seen as a way of avoiding more violent means of satisfying grudges, and many Afghans applaud the practice.
“Without baad, we would have conflict between the families, with murder and revenge,” said Nadira, a member of the family who accepted Nilab. “Baad is a good thing. Killing and enmity are prohibited in Islam.”
“This is a very good decision by the jirga,” said her sister Sabera. “Peace has been restored to the two families. Their enmity has turned to friendship. The girl taken in baad will have all the rights of a family member, and will finally marry a son of this family, she will become a bride.”
Nilab is lucky; she will be allowed to remain with her own family until she reaches puberty. In stricter cultures, she could have been taken immediately. In many cases, the family of the victim will take out its rage on the girl given in baad, as a way of exacting vengeance without starting an all-out war between two groups.
Again, where are the feminists...
Fatima is 26 years old, born and raised within a strict Islamic family in the United Arab Emirates. When she was 15 years old, she was raped by her stepfather. The sexual abuse continued for the next 4 years.
It was not until Fatima made friends online, with a girl based in the United States, that she finally told someone what had happened to her.
Her online friend, Pearl, encouraged her to tell someone geographically close to her. Fatima told her aunt who, to Fatima's surprise, was supportive and took her to see a lawyer.
Fatima was told by the UAE-based lawyer that under sharia law, it was unlikely she would get a favourable outcome from any legal action against her stepfather.
At 15, she was told that she was classed as an adult and could herself be punished and subjected to lashes for committing adultery.
Eventually, Fatima found the courage to tell her mother about the abuse. She needed emotional support from both her friend Pearl and her aunt to do it, but even with that backing, she says she suffered two panic attacks beforehand.
There followed three days of angry confrontation between Fatima's mother and stepfather. Fatima's mother got her stepfather to confess. But he still proclaimed his innocence saying he did it to make Fatima feel better and that it was all out of love.
Fatima's mother proceeded to divorce him.
However, after a few weeks, Fatima says that her mother began to change her tone and moved closer again to her stepfather. Fatima says she realised that what mattered most, in the eyes of society, was family honour and what other people would think of them.
At this point, and after the death of her aunt who had cancer, Fatima says she began to lose hope.
It was under these circumstances, that Fatima decided to leave everything she had ever known in UAE and she took her first trip to the United States.
In the US, Fatima applied for political asylum. She has recently won her immigration case, which her lawyer says is rare in these circumstances.
Could you ever imagine this sort of art exhibit opening in Mecca???
It's safe to say that no one pays too much attention to an artist's sexual preferences these days. Similarly, holding an exhibition of works by religious artists doesn't always set the public's imagination on fire. However, try combining homosexuality with religiosity, and you are more than likely to get some kind of response from the public.
Last Tuesday the "Out of the Sacred Closet - Beauty, Belief and Identity" exhibition opened at the Hadassah Art Gallery. The exhibition comprises 14 works by homosexual and lesbian artists, all of whom come from a religious background. The opening was attended by some 250 people and, in the intervening week, the event has sparked something of a media storm with widespread coverage in this country and, to date, has also attracted the interest of reporters from Holland, Spain and the United States.
Ofra Zucker, who curated the exhibition, makes no bones about the marketing intent. "We looked for a name that we thought would pique people's interest and get them to come to the exhibition," she says. "There are so many artists with works to show, and we looked for something that would be a bit provocative and also convey the general idea behind the works."
The Hebrew title is even more suggestive. Literally translated, the first part of the name, "Yotzim Me'aron Hakodesh," means "Coming out of the Holy Ark" - a clever play on words that gets the message across in no uncertain terms.
"That describes the artists' declaration of their sexuality, as well as the religious content - the Holy Ark," Zucker explains. "That's what the exhibition is based on. The artists here want to show there is no clash between their sexual preference and their religious upbringing."
Avi Rose certainly has no problem combining the two. In 2006, New York-born, Toronto-bred Rose, a doctor of psychology by academic training and now a Jerusalem-based purveyor of Jewish education, and his British partner became the first homosexual couple to be recognized as such by the Interior Ministry.
"My father is a rabbi and I have three brothers who are rabbis, and they have all been very supportive of me," says Rose, who has two paintings in the exhibition. His works offer a new angle on classic Zionist posters of yesteryear. In one of his paintings, for example, the original image of a benign Zionist man nurturing an adoring youngster's nascent pioneering spirit has been replaced by two male adults with a youth in a similar adulatory pose. "That conveys the idea of a male couple having a family," explains Rose.
Why on earth should there be a special seat for so-called minorities???
An openly gay Valparaiso University Student Senator has been removed from her seat because Valparaiso University administrators say being gay is does qualify her as a minority student.No seats should be designated for 'minority' students. Merit should be the only principle in play. Perhaps this is a lesson to gay people about how absurd some of this stuff is....
In February, Tia Kolasa, an openly gay undergraduate at a Northern Indiana’s Valparaiso University, was overwhelming voted by her classmates to fill a student senate seat that had been designated for minority students. Kolasa sought to fill the vacant minority-designated seat so she could represent the gay community on campus.
Our sources at the school say she is well liked and popular with her peers on the senate. They also say she was doing “a great job” as a senator.
But a few weeks after Kolasa assumed her new responsibilities as a student senator, Valparaiso University officials informed the student senate that under its bylaws sexual orientation did not qualifying as a minority status, and directed that Kolasa be removed from that seat.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency - dedicated to the cause of Palestinian refugees, has gone wrong and should not be funded...
For six decades, the United States has voluntarily contributed billions of dollars to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which was created strictly to provide humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees.
In return for our generous investment, UNRWA subverts our laws, aids violent Islamist extremists, propagandizes against our ally Israel and in favor of Hamas, and works with banks targeted by the United States for money laundering and terrorist financing.
As our nation faces growing economic challenges, Congress must cut off funding to UNRWA and use our foreign aid to advance, rather than undermine, American interests and values.
Existing U.S. law already restricts funding for UNRWA, requiring it to “take all possible measures” to ensure that our contributions do not aid those who have received training by militant groups or have “engaged in any act of terrorism.” But though the United States remains the largest single contributor to UNRWA, the agency has cavalierly disregarded our standards, and we have not held it accountable.
As a recent report by UNRWA's former general counsel concluded, the agency has continually failed to properly vet staff members and humanitarian aid recipients for ties to foreign terrorist organizations (FTOs). UNRWA does not ask personnel or aid recipients if they are members of FTOs, and it screens staff names through a U.N. list that does not include members of Hamas, Fatah's al-Aqsa Brigades or other groups Palestinian extremists would be most likely to join.
UNRWA Commissioner-General Karen AbuZayd has stated that the agency does not consider those groups to be of concern. Her predecessor, Peter Hansen, proclaimed in 2004, “I am sure that there are Hamas members on the UNRWA payroll and I don't see that as a crime.” A number of UNRWA staffers were discovered to be members of FTOs - Awad al-Qiq, a now-deceased rocket-builder, even served as headmaster of a UNRWA school.
UNRWA officials also have compromised their agency's purely humanitarian mission by publicly agitating against Israel and for Hamas. On Dec. 30, Ms. AbuZayd said only that Israel was responsible for the most recent conflict in Gaza, and in mid-January, a UNRWA spokesman called for an investigation on whether Israel had committed a “war crime.”
UNRWA has found even more ways to undermine the integrity of U.S. contributions. Its home page provides a donation portal listing UNRWA accounts at several financial institutions, including the Arab Bank and the Commercial Bank of Syria (CBS), both targeted by the United States for their roles in financing violent extremists.
You won't read some of these stories in the mainstream press...
Nina Klevipsky, 24, who served as a supervisor in a Home Front Command medical control room, helped coordinate several airlifts of wounded Palestinian civilians to Israeli hospitals.
She told The Jerusalem Post that dozens of Palestinians were evacuated by Israel to hospitals in Beersheba and Rehovot during the 22-day operation.
"The minute we learned of a need to evacuate, we prepared the hospitals, the landing pads, and mobilized the doctors. Afterwards, we oversaw continued hospital care for the Palestinians," Klevispsky said.
She added that she viewed with skepticism, recent allegations of the targeting of civilians by IDF soldiers.
On Wednesday, an IDF source told the Post that the claims had been found to be categorically untrue by official army investigations which would soon be released to the public.
"I did not believe a word of these accounts. I know the soldiers who go in. I know how they operate, what values they received at home and in the army. There is no way such orders could have gone out," Klevispsky said.
"I have full faith in the army. I do a month of reserves every year. If for a second I thought these were the procedures, I would not show up to serve. I serve in a moral army - my job is to save lives, not harm them," she added.
Amir Golan, a 25-year-old medic, had entered Gaza with his reserve Givati unit during the recent Gaza incursion. "I never saw anything like that," Golan told the Post, in reference to the recent allegations.
"I was very disappointed by the Israeli media. It pained me that people don't show integrity, because I know that someone examining this from the outside will view this very harshly," he added.
Golan said there was never any hostility towards Palestinian civilians among members of his unit. "I think the general spirit was that there we were there to protect our homes from rocket fire. We were highly motivated," he said.
"It always hurts when people suffer. It was clear the operation would cause suffering in general, but we hoped that if we could stop the rockets we could end the suffering on both sides," Golan said.
Golan is a veteran of Gaza operations, having entered the Strip with his unit in the past. During one counter-terrorism raid in 2005, Golan encountered a pregnant woman inside a home belonging to a wanted terrorist.
"We saw a woman who started complaining about a stomach ache. I was ordered by my commander to check her medically," Amir said. "It turned out she was going into labor. I did everything I could in order to help her... for obvious reasons she didn't want to give birth there. She was hoping to get to a Palestinian hospital," he continued.
"So what we did was to evacuate our force really fast out of there. And we almost ran away from there," Amir added. "We called [for] a Palestinian ambulance to come as fast as it could and evacuate her," he said. "I pulled some strings and I tried to follow up on the woman. She gave birth to a healthy baby boy."
It definately appears that a convoy of weapons bound for Gaza was attacked....now, there is info on a second attack...
Following unconfirmed reports that the US or Israel attacked a convoy of trucks carrying weapons headed for the Gaza Strip in Sudan, a new report by Sudanese sources cited an additional strike on a ship possibly making its way to Sudan from Iran.If this is correct, it means the Israelis have some terrific intelligence...and they have shown they have the means to take action. Amen.
"There were indeed two strikes in Sudan, in January and February," Sudan's deputy transportation minister told Channel 10 on Thursday evening. "I cannot confirm that Israel or the US were behind the attack, but I know that the US controls the airspace there," he said.
"The second strike was against a ship at sea and it was completely destroyed," another Sudanese official said.