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 (

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Iran planning new nuclear sites....

But Obama is upset that Israel is building houses in Jerusalem...
Half a year after the revelation of a secret nuclear enrichment site in Iran, international inspectors and Western intelligence agencies say they suspect that Teheran is preparing to build more sites in defiance of United Nations demands, The New York Times reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the UN inspectors assigned to monitor Iran’s nuclear program are now searching for evidence of two such sites, prompted by recent comments by a top Iranian official that drew little attention in the West, and are looking into a mystery about the whereabouts of recently manufactured uranium enrichment equipment.

In an interview with the Iranian Student News Agency, the official, Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had ordered work to begin soon on two new plants. The plants, he said, “will be built inside mountains,” presumably to protect them from attacks.

“God willing,” Mr. Salehi was quoted as saying, “we may start the construction of two new enrichment sites” in the Iranian new year, which began March 21.

Jews not to be allowed to pray in restored Synagogue...

Thanks to the Elder of Ziyon for posting this...
Zahi Hawass, the Jew-hating general secretary of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities and Egypt's top archaeologist, has announced that he will not allow any Jew to pray in the restored Maimonides synagogue in Cairo.

He told a Muslim scientific forum that "his decision to close the temple was a reaction to Israeli attacks on Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem."

He stressed that he would treat the Maimonides synagogue the same as any other Egyptian antiquities, and that the decision to cancel the opening rededication ceremony of the synagogue was to keep history and politic separated.

But he would not allow any Jew or Israeli to pray there and he would not allow the Egyptian Jewish community to administer the site. He also said that this was a reaction to "provocative practices that carried out by the Jews in their celebration which was held in the temple." He was referring to the dancing and drinking of wine, which he felt offended a billion Muslims.

He said that Egypt still intended to restore ancient synagogues, and the next one to be worked on was the Temple of the Prophet Daniel in Alexandria.

Earlier today, Palestine Today (link not available) quoted Hawass as saying that the very opening of the synagogue was a "slap in the face" of Israel, showing that Egypt is a tolerant country.

To him, Egyptian synagogues are museums that are meant to promote the idea that Egyptians are open-minded towards Judaism, even as he shows that he is not tolerant at all towards Jews.


Don't the Palestinians remember that Jews have been a majority in Jerusalem since the mid-1800s???
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Saturday that Israel's approval of more housing units in east Jerusalem would "ignite" the city.

Speaking at an Arab League summit in Libya Abbas said, "Jerusalem is the jewel of the crown and the key to peace – harming it will ignite fire."

"It is impossible to continue with peace efforts while construction resumes in the settlements. Saving Jerusalem from its 'Jewification' is a duty bestowed on each and every one of us," said Abbas.

Earth Day!

Turn your lights on!
Earth Hour starts tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST. The event, which began in 2007, calls for everyone in the world to turn off their electric lights until 9:30 p.m., to raise awareness of climate change.

The Earth Hour website claims that last year, "Hundreds of millions of people in more than 4,000 cities and towns across 88 countries switched off their lights for one hour, creating a visual mandate for action on climate change." The website also offers this frightening warning: "New economic modelling indicates the world has just five years to initiate a low carbon industrial revolution before runaway climate change becomes almost inevitable."

But Earth Hour is not designed to be scientific, rational, or even constructive. It is designed to inspire fear and assuage guilt.

Feel-good activities such as Earth Hour primarily appeal to three constituencies: the young, the idealistic and those who would prey on their ignorance. The latter category includes politicians, climate change activists and people with other agendas, specifically anti-capitalist, anti-growth and anti-prosperity.

Indeed, the idea that we will progress by regressing is not only at the core of Earth Hour, but of the entire anti-climate-change movement. If we lived simpler, more frugal (translation less comfortable, less productive) lives, the thinking goes, we could take the planet back to a pristine state. Man is the problem, and he should scale back his activities.

This rationale ignores the fact that for every environmental concern humanity has experienced or engendered, it has also found a solution. Scrubbers remove particulate from smokestacks. Laws penalize and discourage water pollution. Private property ownership helps conserve wetlands. More efficient engines replace less efficient ones, saving fuel and reducing emissions.

These advances are not driven by regression; rather, they are driven by technological innovation, consumer demand, and the rule of law. Ironically, it is the countries that lack these things which are unable to celebrate Earth Hour. Their citizens haven't achieved the prosperity necessary to benefit from an innovation that we in the First World take for granted--universal electric light. Most people in the Third World will spend Earth Hour in darkness, as they do every day.

Earth Hour has it backwards; it's the light that saves us, not the dark.

Scanindavian NGO Funding....

Here's the summary of a new report by NGO Monitor....
Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland – the major northern European countries comprising Scandinavia – contribute millions of dollars annually to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that include some of the most radical groups operating in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The scope of funding from these countries is extensive compared to NGO support from other European governments.

This NGO Monitor monograph details the levels of Scandinavian funding received by specific NGOs, as well as the specific anti-Israel advocacy and demonization campaigns in which these NGOs engage – often in direct contradiction to the humanitarian, peace, and human-rights agendas they claim to espouse.

As shown, these NGOs receive significant Scandinavian support from multiple – and often overlapping – sources.

The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA), Sweden’s foreign aid body, provided SEK 455 million (approximately $59 million) in 2008 to NGOs in the West Bank and Gaza. This aid is channeled through 14 Swedish “framework organizations” including Diakonia, a large Christian humanitarian NGO that uses the government funding to promote the Palestinian “right to resist” and delegitimizes Israel’s right to self-defense.

Norway provides tens of millions of kroner annually to politicized NGOs that operate in the Palestinian Authority and Gaza. According to a 2009 review of Norwegian aid to Palestinians, commissioned by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), the Palestinian Authority is “the second largest recipient of aid from the Norwegian Government, after Sudan.”

Some of the NGOs supported by Norwegian funds are involved in anti-Israel boycott campaigns and the Stop the Wall Campaign in Norway. NORAD revealed that several of the grantees stated their preference for Norwegian aid, “as most other donors have stricter and more time consuming procedures for changes of projects, and are also less prone to finance projects that can be politically sensitive.” This provides additional evidence that Norway is funding politicized groups rather than the “humanitarian aid and emergency support” organizations for which the aid money was designated.

Denmark also is a major NGO donor. Its Foreign Ministry and Embassy in Israel have provided direct funds to NGOs with overtly political agendas. DanChurchAid (DCA), a large humanitarian NGO, channels funds from the Danish government to highly politicized NGOs in Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In 2008, the Danish government provided DKK 213.9 million (approximately $41 million) to DCA.

Finland’s Foreign Ministry provides relatively smaller amounts for such NGOs, and NGO Monitor research indicates that this amount has been decreasing. However, Finland continues to support groups including HaMoked and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI), as well as the Jerusalem Center for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) and the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (PASSIA), whose “apartheid” rhetoric and anti-Israel agendas are inconsistent with the Finnish government’s stated goals for the Middle East.

A separate, significant channel for Scandinavian funding is the NGO Development Center (NDC), a Ramallah-based Palestinian organization that has distributed $6 million to 25 NGOs on behalf of the governments of Sweden and Denmark, as well as Switzerland and the Netherlands. In some cases, the same organizations also receive direct funding from these countries and from the European Commission.

As this report shows, many NDC recipients employ “apartheid” and “ethnic cleansing” rhetoric regarding Israel; promote “war crimes” cases and “lawfare” against Israeli government officials; and actively support the anti-Israel boycotts, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) campaign. NDC is responsible for facilitating the “Palestinian NGO Code of Conduct,” a document that demands Palestinian groups reject “any normalization activities with the occupier, neither at the political-security nor the cultural or developmental levels.”

As this monograph details, the flow of money from Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland supports NGOs that pursue Palestinian political goals under the guise of “human rights” and “international law.” Demonizing Israel and fueling the conflict with the false rhetoric of “apartheid,” “ethnic cleansing,” and “massacres,” these NGOs fail to meet the Scandinavian governments’ stated goals for the region.

Arab league opts for wisdom....

Qaddafi is their new president...
The rotating presidency of the Arab League will officially be handed over to Libya, ahead of the summit's inauguration on Saturday in Sirtre, Libya, replacing Qatar.

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddaffi will replace Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani of Qatar as president of the Arab League. After the consultation session, this year's summit conveners will attend a closed door session to discuss five agenda items, including Jerusalem and the possible withdrawal of the Arab Peace Initiative.

At least someone's trying to do something....

The world has go to get rid of Kim Jong Il...
Activists who float anti-Pyongyang leaflets into North Korea by balloon said yesterday they have also started sending DVDs disclosing secrets about the private life of leader Kim Jong Il.

A total of 400 DVDs have been floated from South Korea on three occasions since last month, said Mr Lee Min Bok, who leads a group of Christian defectors campaigning to topple the communist regime.

'This is a revolution in ways to wake up brainwashed North Koreans,' Mr Lee said. 'Videos are a much more powerful way than writing to convince an audience.'

The DVDs contain documentary footage about World War II and the Korean War and footage of South Korea's dramatic economic development.

Mr Lee said they also air witnesses' accounts of Mr Kim's 'luxurious and decadent' lifestyle, including his affair with Ms Sung Hye Rim.

When she was involved with Mr Kim in the late 1960s, Ms Sung was a married woman and former movie star. She gave birth to his first son Jong Nam.

Defectors say that even in the impoverished North, a considerable number of houses have DVD players and residents watch banned discs from overseas.

Allawi's win in Iraq....

This is good news...
Former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi’s al-Iraqiya bloc has won the most seats in Iraq’s parliament. Polls before the election showed a very comfortable lead for al-Maliki’s State of Law coalition, which came in a very close second. The biggest loser was the Iraqi National Alliance, a bloc of pro-Iran Shiite religious parties.

In a previous article (click here), I said that the elections were a major defeat for Iran—and I said that thinking Allawi would come in a close second. I have been shocked that the media doesn’t see how truly significant this victory is.

Allawi once worked with the CIA as an opposition leader trying to overthrow Saddam Hussein. He was so secular and pro-American that the U.S. handed power over to him as the country’s first post-Saddam prime minister in late June 2004. He was widely criticized in his country for authorizing the offensive against Fallujah later that year, and left office widely seen as an American puppet. In 2010, this so-called American puppet’s political bloc received the most votes in Iraq, despite Iranian influence operations.

What’s even more important is what Iraqis voted for in choosing Allawi. He is a staunch secularist and opponent of Iran and Syria. His campaign focused on cross-sectarianism, bringing the Sunnis into his coalition. The fact that the Sunnis voted for a bloc led by a secular Shiite can’t be overlooked. The Iraqis want secular rule that brings together the country.

Chavez makes some arrests....

Sounds like they are evil people...
The arrests of an opposition politician and the owner of a television network for statements critical of the government of President Hugo Chavez has rekindled debate here over free speech and democracy in Venezuela.

Chavez supporters deny that the president's critics are being persecuted, but others see the latest developments as a concerted attempt to silence opposition voices.

"Having an opinion in Venezuela is a crime punished with the loss of freedom. We reject everything that restricts freedom of expression in the country, and the witch hunts against those who assume dissident positions," said Juan Jose Molina, an opposition member of the National Assembly.

On Monday, authorities arrested Oswaldo Alvarez Paz, a former opposition governor and presidential candidate who had charged on television that Venezuela has become a center of operations that facilitates drug trafficking.

On Thursday, the president of Globovision, Guillermo Zuloaga, was arrested for statements he made in the Dutch island of Aruba. He was charged with the crime of offending Chavez and spreading false information.

Friday, March 26, 2010

A bitter taste in Egypt....

They had to ruin a golden moment....
It was a unique occasion. The small yeshiva where 800 years ago Moses Maimonides, the Rambam, taught his disciples had been restored to its pristine state; the synagogue later built on the site, which had fallen into disrepair and had been badly damaged by an earthquake, was once again ready to welcome worshipers.

Egyptian Minister of Culture Farouk Hosny, who had pledged two years ago to renovate three synagogues, had been true to his word. Specialists from the Department of Antiquities had worked long and hard to uncover and duplicate the site’s original colors. The total cost of the project had reached $2 million and the result was spectacular.

All was in place for an impressive ceremony that would have shown the world that Jews and Muslims could rejoice in harmony over a site dedicated to a man held in veneration by both. Maimonides had been the personal physician to Saladin, and for centuries Jews, Muslims and Copts had come to his yeshiva in search of healing. As work was nearing completion, it was agreed with the Egyptian authorities that the small Jewish community of Cairo would organize a dedication ceremony on March 7.

Carmen Weinstein, president of the community, invited Jews from Egypt now living in France, England and other countries as well as a small number of Israelis with special ties to the event such as researchers on the history of the Jews of Egypt and former ambassadors to Egypt. A special invitation had been issued to rabbis of the Chabad movement, for whom the teachings of the Rambam have a great importance; until recently they used to come to the Ben Ezra Synagogue every year at Hanukka.

And then the Egyptians had a change of heart. The head of the Antiquities Department stated that it was an Egyptian site. Let Jews hold a religious ceremony discreetly and among themselves; the official inauguration by the Egyptian authorities would take place a week later. That the decision was both ludicrous and impractical did not occur to them until it was too late.

On March 7, the guests invited by the community made their way to the synagogue. The atmosphere was tense, security personnel and police were present in impressive numbers, surrounding the area and lining the alley leading to the site. The yeshiva and its attendant synagogue are located in what used to be the Jewish Quarter of Cairo.

However, most of the Jews were driven out of Egypt in the ’50s and the ’60s and it has been years since a Jew lived there. The place has turned into a slum; none of its narrow alleys and passageways is asphalted and a layer of tar was hastily applied to the path the visitors would take.

People living there were ordered to close their shops, their doors and their windows and not set foot outside. Security personnel checked invitations and barred journalists from entering. A reporter from a popular daily who tried to interview me was driven away none too gently. A similar fate met a New York Times correspondent. The event was to be kept strictly private – or so hoped the Egyptian authorities. They presumably had not heard of cellphones and other sophisticated recording and transmitting equipment.

Altogether 150 people attended the ceremony, among them Itzhak Lebanon, ambassador of Israel, and Margaret Scobey, the American ambassador, as well as a representative of the Spanish Foreign Ministry who read a message from Miguel Moratinos, who heads Casa de Sefarad, a cultural project concerned with Judeo-Spanish culture, history and tradition – after all the Rambam was born in Cordoba. Speeches were short and non-political; repeated thanks were addressed to the Department of Antiquities and the Ministry of Culture, whose heads were conspicuously absent. The rabbis, who had arrived on the morning flight from Israel and were to return late in the evening, prayed, sang and danced with their usual gusto, urging all present to join them in drinking small cupfuls of vodka. At the end all rose and recited the Shema.

Visitors lingered a little longer. For many, being in the very place the Rambam had taught and prayed was a moving experience. All left with the feeling of having taken part in a very special event.

Meanwhile, the Egyptians who had hoped that the ceremony could be held under wraps were in for a rude awakening. Some of the guests had given interviews to various media in the course of the event. Not many hours lapsed before a video was aired on CNN, and later on the news on Israel’s Channel 2; the Chabad Web site published dozens of photos.

The press in Cairo reacted angrily. Articles and editorials found fault with the presence of the Israeli ambassador, simultaneously bemoaning the amount of money squandered on restoring a Jewish site and declaring the fact that it was a purely Egyptian monument.

Zaki Hawas, head of the Antiquities Department, waded into the fray and declared that “‘Ben Maimon’ would not be handed over to the Jews” and that special measures would be taken to prevent Israelis from visiting in order not to offend Egyptian feelings, in view of the Israeli government’s position on the “Ibrahimi Mosque,” the name given by the Muslim to the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. He added that he had been surprised by the large scale of the event, the participation of the Israeli ambassador and the fact that alcoholic drinks had been imbibed. Therefore, he said, he had taken the decision to cancel the grand opening planned for March 14.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Defamation of religion passes UN Human Rights Council....

This is very dangerous...
The “defamation of religion” resolution narrowly passed the Human Rights Council this afternoon, with 20 members voting in favor of the resolution, 17 opposing and 8 abstentions.

Pakistan introduced the resolution, accusing Western countries of “targeting Muslims” and using “pressure instead of reason” to influence votes. “Enforcing their values as universal values reveals an imperial hubris,” he said. “Torture centers such as Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay and Bagram are known to all of us. We hope that this Council will vote according to its conscience and not according to political expediency.”

The United States opposed the resolution, which it said “failed to galvanize international support for real solutions to improve the lives of people on the ground.” It called the resolution “ineffective” and an “instrument of division.”

UN circulates blood libel against Israel....

Here's a letter UN Watch wrote to the UN...
Amb. Alex Van Meeuwen, President of the Human Rights Council
Ms. Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights
United Nations European Headquarters
Geneva, Switzerland

March 24, 2010

Dear Mr. President,
Dear Madam High Commissioner,

As a human rights NGO dedicated to combating racism, UN Watch is alarmed to discover that the UN Human Rights Council, together with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, has, however unwittingly, helped to propagate an anti-Semitic blood libel by publishing it as an official United Nations document (A/HRC/13/NGO/23), which is now being distributed to country delegates — under the same Agenda Item in which they will soon vote on the Goldstone Report.

We call upon you to immediately cease circulating this racist, hateful and inflammatory text to the ambassadors and other delegates of the Human Rights Council; to gather up and destroy all existing copies; and to remove it from the Human Rights Council website.

The document in question is A/HRC/13/NGO/23, entitled “Israeli Illegal Trafficking in Organs of Dead and Kidnapped Palestinian Victims.” It was submitted by the “International Organization for the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination,” also known as EAFORD. As shown on its website (, the raison d’etre of this UN-accredited organization is to accuse Israel of being a racist state. (The website also links to a video on U.S. action in Iraq, which it describes as a “Holocaust.”)

The statement begins by accusing Israel of “ethnic cleansing and massacres,” creating the “largest open-air prison in the world,” perpetrating “economic genocide,” and having “let loose hordes of marauding gangs of Israeli illegal settlers” in order to “launch pogroms against Palestinians.”

It then proceeds to the principal charge: “Now it is the turn of the dead, kidnapped and killed Palestinians. Their human organs, as reported in the press, can be a source of immense wealth through illegal trafficking in the world market. Israeli physicians, medical centers, rabbis and the Israeli army may be involved, according to reports published in the Swedish press and criminal investigations in the United States.”

It goes on: “After Israeli physicians remove organs they think marketable, the soldiers bury the bodies in graves that carry only numbers and no names, or place them in sealed caskets and deliver them under curfew conditions to the families and supervise the digging of the graves and burial.”

Finally, the statement concludes by calling on “physicians, medical centers and associations everywhere to condemn and boycott Israeli physicians and medical centers.”

Your Excellencies, the accusation that the Jewish state and its doctors are engaged in a racist campaign to steal Palestinian organs has no basis in fact or reality, and is nothing less than the repackaging of the medieval blood libel that was used over centuries to incite anti-Semitic hatred, violence and pogroms against Jews.

The United Nations cannot allow itself to aid or abet such blatant incitement to racism. Given that the Office of the High Commissioner carefully screens all submissions before deciding to publish them-indeed, our own submissions to this session were edited to remove certain words referring to regimes such as Iran and Libya-we are deeply disappointed that this hateful text was accepted for publication as an official UN document, and that it is now being distributed as such within the Human Rights Council chamber.

We urge you to take immediate action in accordance with the principles of human rights, equality and anti-racism upon which the United Nations was founded.


Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
UN Watch
Geneva, Switzerland

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Good for Geert Wilders....

I am a huge fan...
Geert Wilders has pulled out of attending the premiere of an American film about his anti-islam campaign because of anti-gay comments made by one of the film's backers.

Martin Mawyer, founder of the conservative Christian Action Network, has said in the past that homosexuals are 'perverse' and spread disease.

'I am not ready to give this great nation over to one-world government extremists ... radical, disease-carrying homosexuals ... anti-family lesbian feminists,' he is quoted as saying on one website.

Wilders says in Wednesday's Telegraaf he is pulling out of the May 1 premiere to avoid giving the impression that he agrees with Mawyer.

Thanks to Vlad Tepes for sending this to me...

Gay conference cancelled in Indonesia...

Well, it could upset muslims...
Indonesian police ordered the cancellation Wednesday of a conference of Asian gay activists, saying it could prompt violent protests by conservative Muslim groups.

The conference, organized by the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, or ILGA, was due to take place this weekend with participants from 16 countries.

The ban was issued by police in Surabaya, East Java's capital, where the three-day event was to be held, national police spokesman Brig. Gen. Sulistyo Ishak said.

The decision was made after considering public objections by Muslim groups and the Indonesian Ulema Council, an influential board of Muslim clerics, he said.

''There are indications that the event could trigger a social crisis and cause public unrest,'' Ishak said. ''This ban was issued for the sake of public order.''

UN Human Rights Council ignores muslim anti-semitism...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Anti-semitic vandals deface Montreal synagogue....

This is makes me angry....
Two Nazi swastikas were scrawled inside a Montreal synagogue this past Sabbath, according to a police report, which classified the graffiti as a hate crime.

The swastikas were drawn on the bima – the stand upon which the Torah scroll is placed when the portion of the week is read before the congregation.

Worshipers who arrived Saturday morning at Ahavath Israel d’Chasidei Viznitz synagogue for Sabbath services also found prayer shawls and prayer books scattered about on the floor.

Real target in India was chabad house....

They are determined to hit Jewish targets....
Chabad House was the target of last month's bomb attack on a bakery in India, a government official said.

The Indian state of Maharashtra's Chief Minister Ashok Chavan told the Indian Legislative Assembly Monday that the target of the attackers was the Pune Chabad House, located several yards from the German Bakery.

Chavan said the bakery was targeted after the attackers discovered that Chabad was well protected by state police, according to the Press Trust of India.

"There was adequate security near the Chabad House," he told the Assembly. "Since the attackers could not break the security, they targeted the German Bakery.

Mud Wrestlers should be allowed to perform...

Shame on the University of Ottawa. I do not like Ann Coulter....not one bit. But, she deserves to be heard...and I know there were many hundreds who really, really wanted to hear her. The University of Ottawa misplayed this right from the start - and almost gave the green light to allow students to disrupt the evening.

Instead of being firm about her right to speak....and the right of people to hear Coulter, the University first sent that awful letter to Coulter, and then did nothing while the Student Union went around threatening to have her banned.

The soundbites could have been of Coulter saying some ridiculous stuff (the camel story today was pretty outrageous). Now, she has been made into a free speech martyr....and she so doesn't deserve it.

Will the University make this right???? Concordia certainly didn't when Benjamin Netanyahu was prohibited from speaking. The ONLY way forward is for the University of Ottawa to invite Coulter back, at their expense, and show that invited guests are treated like....guests.

A shameful night for Ottawa.

The latest climate change scare.....

Now it's flowers....
A rose may stop smelling like a rose.

This is the concern of environmentalists as flowers are losing their scent due to climate change and air pollution. And their fragrance may be lost forever.

Islamic court bans online chat....

Well, it's just a wrist amputation....
A NIGERIAN Islamic Sharia court has banned Twitter and Facebook debates on the country's first wrist amputation for theft, according to court papers seen by AFP on Tuesday.

The Magajin Gari Sharia court in the northern city of Kaduna on Monday ordered the Civil Rights Congress (CRC), one of the country's leading rights groups, to suspend its Twitter and Facebook online debates on the amputation, which was carried out in 2000.

The court granted an interim injunction 'restraining the respondents either by themselves or their agents... from opening a chat forum on Facebook, Twitter, or any blog for the purpose of the debate on the amputation of Malam Buba Bello Jangebe,' said the order. Jangebe was the first person to have had his right wrist amputated on the orders of a Sharia court in Zamfara State, a year after 12 northern Nigerian states adopted the strict Islamic penal code.

The order followed a suit filed Friday by the Association of Muslim Brotherhood of Nigeria, a pro-Sharia group based in the northern political capital of Kaduna, which argued that Internet forums would be used as 'a mockery of the Sharia system as negative issues will be discussed'. In the wake of the interim injunction, the case is set for hearing on Monday.

The head of the CRC, Shehu Sani, confirmed to AFP that he was served with the court papers Monday. 'We opened the blog, the Facebook and Twitter chats 10 days ago to serve as a platform for which Nigerians could air their opinions on Sharia law as a whole and the justification or otherwise of the amputation of the hand of Malam Buba Bello Jangebe,' Sani said on the phone from Kaduna.

Address by Netanyahu to AIPAC...

As the world faces monumental challenges, I know that Israel and America will face them together.

We stand together because we are fired by the same ideals and inspired by the same dream – the dream of achieving security, prosperity and peace. This dream seemed impossible to many Jews a century ago.

This month, my father celebrated his one-hundredth birthday. When he was born, the Czars ruled Russia, the British Empire spanned the globe and the Ottomans ruled the Middle East.

During his lifetime, all of these empires collapsed, others rose and fell, and the Jewish destiny swung from despair to a new hope – the rebirth of the Jewish state.

For the first time in two thousand years, a sovereign Jewish people could defend itself against attack.

Before that, we were subjected to unremitting savagery: the bloodletting of the Middle Ages, the expulsion of the Jews from England, Spain and Portugal, the wholesale slaughter of the Jews of the Ukraine, the pogroms in Russia, culminating in the greatest evil of all – the Holocaust.

The founding of Israel did not stop the attacks on the Jews. It merely gave the Jews the power to defend themselves against those attacks.

My friends,

I want to tell you about the day when I fully understood the depth of this transformation.

It was the day I met Shlomit Vilmosh over forty years ago.

I served with her son, Haim, in the same elite unit in the army.

During a battle in 1969, Haim was killed by a burst of gunfire.

At his funeral, I discovered that Haim was born shortly after his mother and father had been freed from the death camps of Europe.

If Haim had been born two years before, this daring young officer would have been tossed into the ovens like a million other Jewish children. Haim’s mother Shlomit told me that though she was in great anguish, she was proud.

At least, she said, my son fell wearing the uniform of a Jewish soldier defending the Jewish state.

Time and again the Israeli army was forced to repel attacks of much larger enemies determined to destroy us.

When Egypt and Jordan recognized that we could not be defeated in battle, they embraced the path of peace.

Yet there are those who continue the assault against the Jewish state and who openly call for our destruction.

They seek to achieve this goal through terrorism, missile attacks and most recently by developing atomic weapons.

The ingathering of the Jewish people to Israel has not deterred these fanatics.

In fact, it has only whetted their appetite.

Iran’s rulers say “Israel is a one bomb country." The head of Hezbollah says: "If all the Jews gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide."

My friends,

These are unpleasant facts, but they are the facts.

The greatest threat to any living organism or nation is not to recognize danger in time.

Seventy-five years ago, many leaders around the world put their heads in the sand. Untold millions died in the war that followed.

Ultimately, two of history's greatest leaders helped turn the tide.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Winston Churchill helped save the world. But they were too late to save six million of my own people.

The future of the Jewish state can never depend on the goodwill of even the greatest of men.

Israel must always reserve the right to defend itself.

Today, an unprecedented threat to humanity looms large.

A radical Iranian regime armed with nuclear weapons could bring an end to the era of nuclear peace the world has enjoyed for the last 65 years.

Such a regime could provide nuclear weapons to terrorists and might even be tempted to use them. Our world would never be the same.

Iran's brazen bid to develop nuclear weapons is first and foremost a threat to Israel, but it is also a grave threat to the region and to the world.

Israel expects the international community to act swiftly and decisively to thwart this danger.

But we will always reserve the right to self-defense.

We must also defend ourselves against lies and vilifications.

Throughout history, the slanders against the Jewish people always preceded the physical assaults against us and were used to justify these assaults.

The Jews were called the well-poisoners of mankind, the fomenters of instability, the source of all evil under the sun.

Unfortunately, these libelous attacks against the Jewish people also did not end with the creation of Israel.

For a time, overt anti-Semitism was held in check by the shame and shock of the Holocaust. But only for a time.

In recent decades the hatred of the Jews has reemerged with increasing force, but with an insidious twist.

It is not merely directed at the Jewish people but increasingly at the Jewish state.

In its most pernicious form, it argues that if only Israel did not exist, many of the world's problems would go away.

My friends,

Does this mean that Israel is above criticism? Of course not.

Israel, like any democracy, has its imperfections but we strive to correct them through open debate and scrutiny.

Israel has independent courts, the rule of law, a free press and a vigorous parliamentary debate – believe me, it’s vigorous.

I know that members of Congress refer to one another as my distinguished colleague from Wisconsin or the distinguished Senator from California.

In Israel, members of Knesset don't speak of their distinguished colleagues from Kiryat Shmona and Be’er Sheva. We say – well, you don't want to know what we say….

In Israel, self-criticism is a way of life, and we accept that criticism is part of the conduct of international affairs.

But Israel should be judged by the same standards applied to all nations, and allegations against Israel must be grounded in fact.

One allegation that is not is the attempt to describe the Jews as foreign colonialists in their own homeland, one of the great lies of modern times.

In my office, I have a signet ring that was loaned to me by Israel's Department of Antiquities

The ring was found next to the Western wall, but it dates back some 2,800 years ago, two hundred years after King David turned Jerusalem into our capital city.

The ring is a seal of a Jewish official, and inscribed on it in Hebrew is his name: Netanyahu. Netanyahu Ben-Yoash.
That’s my last name. My first name, Benjamin, dates back 1,000 years earlier to Benjamin, the son of Jacob.

One of Benjamin's brothers was named Shimon, which also happens to be the first name of my good friend, Shimon Peres, the President of Israel.

Nearly 4,000 years ago, Benjamin, Shimon and their ten brothers roamed the hills of Judea.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The connection between the Jewish people and the Land of Israel cannot be denied.

The connection between the Jewish people and Jerusalem cannot be denied.

The Jewish people were building Jerusalem 3,000 year ago and the Jewish people are building Jerusalem today.

Jerusalem is not a settlement. It is our capital.
In Jerusalem, my government has maintained the policies of all Israeli governments since 1967, including those led by Golda Meir, Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Rabin.

Today, nearly a quarter of a million Jews, almost half the city’s Jewish population, live in neighborhoods that are just beyond the 1949 armistice lines.

All these neighborhoods are within a five-minute drive from the Knesset.

They are an integral and inextricable part of modern Jerusalem.

Everyone knows that these neighborhoods will be part of Israel in any peace settlement.

Therefore, building in them in no way precludes the possibility of a two-state solution.

Nothing is rarer in the Middle East than tolerance for the beliefs of others.

It’s only under Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem that religious freedom for all faiths has been guaranteed.

While we cherish our homeland, we also recognize that Palestinians live there as well.

We don’t want to govern them. We don’t want to rule them. We want them as neighbors, living in security, dignity and peace.

Yet Israel is unjustly accused of not wanting peace with the Palestinians. Nothing could be further from the truth.

My government has consistently shown its commitment to peace in both word and deed.

From day one, we called on the Palestinian Authority to begin peace negotiations without delay.

I make that same call today. President Abbas, come and negotiate peace.

Leaders who truly want peace should sit down face-to-face.

Of course, the United States can help the parties solve their problems but it cannot solve the problems for the parties.

Peace cannot be imposed from the outside. It can only come through direct negotiations in which we develop mutual trust.

Last year, I spoke of a vision of peace in which a demilitarized Palestinian state recognizes the Jewish state.

Just as the Palestinians expect Israel to recognize a Palestinian state, we expect the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state.

My government has removed hundreds of roadblocks, barriers and checkpoints facilitating Palestinian movement.

As a result, we have helped spur a fantastic boom in the Palestinian economy (Coffee Shops, restaurants, businesses, even multiplex theaters)

And we announced an unprecedented moratorium on new Israeli construction in Judea and Samaria.

This is what my government has done for peace. What has the Palestinian Authority done for peace?

Well, they have placed preconditions on peace talks, waged a relentless international campaign to undermine Israel's legitimacy, and promoted the notorious Goldstone report that falsely accuses Israel of war crimes.

In fact, they’re doing right now in the UN in the grotesquely misnamed UN Human Rights Council.

I want to thank President Obama and the United States Congress for their efforts to thwart this libel, and I ask for your continued support.

Regrettably, the Palestinian Authority has also continued incitement against Israel.

A few days ago, a public square near Ramallah was named after a terrorist who murdered 37 Israeli civilians, including 13 children. The Palestinian Authority did nothing to prevent it.
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Peace requires reciprocity. It cannot be a one-way street in which only Israel makes concessions.

Israel stands ready to make the compromises necessary for peace.

But we expect the Palestinians to compromise as well.

But one thing I will never compromise on is our security.

It is hard to explain Israel’s security predicament to someone living in a country 500 times the size of Israel. But imagine the entire United States compressed to the size of New Jersey.

Next, put on New Jersey's northern border an Iranian terror proxy called Hezbollah which fires 6,000 rockets into that small state.

Then imagine that this terror proxy has amassed 60,000 more missiles to fire at you.

Wait. I’m not finished. Now imagine on New Jersey’s southern border another Iranian terror proxy called Hamas.

It too fires 6,000 rockets into your territory while smuggling even more lethal weapons into its territory.

Do you think you would feel a little bit vulnerable? Do you think you would expect some understanding from the international community when you defend yourselves?

A peace agreement with the Palestinians must include effective security arrangements on the ground.

Israel must make sure that what happened in Lebanon and Gaza doesn’t happen again in the West Bank.

Israel’s main security problem with Lebanon is not its border with Lebanon. It is Lebanon's border with Syria, through which Iran and Syria smuggle tens of thousands of weapons to Hezbollah.

Israel’s main security problem with Gaza is not its border with Gaza. It’s Gaza's border with Egypt, under which nearly 1,000 tunnels have been dug to smuggle weapons.

Experience has shown that only an Israeli presence on the ground can prevent weapons smuggling.

This is why a peace agreement with the Palestinians must include an Israeli presence on the eastern border of a future Palestinian state.

If peace with the Palestinians proves its durability over time, we can review security arrangements.

We are prepared to take risks for peace, but we will not be reckless with the lives of our people and the life of the one and only Jewish state.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The people of Israel want a future in which our children no longer experience the horrors of war.

We want a future in which Israel realizes its full potential as a global center of technology, anchored in its values and living in peace with all its neighbors.

I envision an Israel that can dedicate even more of its creative and scientific talents to help solve some of the great challenges of the day, foremost of which is finding a clean and affordable substitute for gasoline.

And when we find that alternative, we will stop transferring hundreds of billions of dollars to radical regimes that support terror.

I am confident that in pursuing these goals, we have the enduring friendship of the United States of America, the greatest nation on earth.

The American people have always shown their courage, their generosity and their decency.

From one President to the next, from one Congress to the next, America's commitment to Israel's security has been unwavering.

In the last year, President Obama and the U.S. Congress have given meaning to that commitment by providing Israel with military assistance, by enabling joint military exercises and by working on joint missile defense.

So too, Israel has been a staunch and steadfast ally of the United States.

As Vice President Biden said, America has no better friend in the community of nations than Israel.

For decades, Israel served as a bulwark against Soviet expansionism. Today it is helping America stem the tide of militant Islam.

Israel shares with America everything we know about fighting a new kind of enemy.

We share intelligence. We cooperate in countless other ways that I am not at liberty to divulge. This cooperation is important for Israel and is helping save American lives.

Our soldiers and your soldiers fight against fanatic enemies that loathe our common values.

In the eyes of these fanatics, we are you and you are us.

To them, the only difference is that you are big and we are small. You are the Great Satan and we are the Little Satan.

This fanaticism’s hatred of Western civilization predates Israel’s establishment by over one thousand years.

Militant Islam does not hate the West because of Israel. It hates Israel because of the West –

Because it sees Israel as an outpost of freedom and democracy that prevents them from overrunning the Middle East.

That is why when Israel stands against its enemies, it stands against America's enemies.

President Harry Truman, the first leader to recognize Israel, said this:

“I have faith in Israel and I believe that it has a glorious future – not just as another sovereign nation, but as an embodiment of the great ideals of our civilization.”

My Friends,

We are gathered here today because we believe in those common ideals.

And because of those ideals, I am certain that Israel and America will always stand together.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gay characters ok in Malaysian films - as long as they go straight....

Nothing like good triumphing over evil, eh???
Film-makers can depict homosexuals for the first time in strictly censored Malaysia - so long as they repent or even go straight in the end, an industry group said Monday.

Strict censorship rules in the mostly Muslim country mean books and films are routinely banned or scenes deleted that are deemed detrimental to moral values or religious sensitivities.

The new censorship guidelines reverse a ban on scenes featuring homosexuality, Malaysian Film Producers' Association president Ahmad Puad Onah said. But there's a catch.

"We are now allowed to show these scenes," he told AFP. "As long as we portray good triumphing over evil and there is a lesson learnt in the film, such as from a gay (character) who turns into a (straight) man.

"Previously we are not allowed to show these at all."

The new rules, he insists, will allow greater freedom of expression for film-makers. But kissing, undressing and obscenity scenes will still be banned.

Bill Gates does something good....

I support this....
MICRSOFT founder Bill Gates and Japan's Toshiba will team up to develop a next-generation nuclear reactor that can operate for up to 100 years without refueling, a report said today.

Their joint development efforts will focus on the Traveling-Wave Reactor (TWR), which consumes depleted uranium as fuel, the Nikkei economic daily said without naming its sources.

Current light-water reactors require refueling every few years.

Gates is expected to use his personal wealth to back the development of TWRs and his investment could reach as high as several billion dollars, the paper said.

The TWR technology is being developed by TerraPower, based in Washington State and effectively owned by Gates, the paper said.

As TerraPower lacks the know-how to manufacture nuclear power equipment, it has decided to join hands with Toshiba, which has developed a design for an ultracompact reactor that can operate continuously for 30 years, it said.

The true obstacle to peace in the middle east: The Palestinians...

They don't negotiate....they don't even reply to peace offers...
U.S. diplomats had labored for months to persuade Israelis and Palestinians to resume peace negotiations. Just as it appeared they had succeeded, there came a provocation: Israel took a step toward expanding a Jewish settlement in Jerusalem. Headlines appeared around the globe; the European Union protested; Palestinians cried foul. Some threatened to boycott the new talks unless the decision were reversed.

No, Joe Biden was not in Jerusalem that week of December 2007 -- he was busy running for president. Instead it was Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state of the Bush administration, who managed that mini-crisis. How she did so, and what followed, offers some lessons for her successors in the Obama administration -- who are proving to be remarkably slow learners when it comes to Middle East peacemaking.

Rice and her old boss have been much maligned for failing to pursue Israeli-Palestinian negotiations during most of their time in office. But during her last two years as secretary of state, Rice doggedly pushed for a final settlement -- and, in the end, arguably came as close as any U.S. broker before her. She was fortunate in having, in Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a partner who was more interested in striking a deal than is Binyamin Netanyahu. But she also studied closely the history of previous peace processes, which maybe explains why she avoided some of President Obama's flagrant mistakes.

As Rice might have told the current White House, lesson No. 1 from history is that there will always be a provocation that threatens to derail peace talks -- before they start, when they start and regularly thereafter. Israeli settlement announcements are among the most common, along with the orchestration by West Bank Palestinians of violent demonstrations and attacks from Gaza by Hamas. The Obama administration saw all three in the past 10 days: It went ballistic over one and barely registered the other two.

The trick is not to let the provocation become the center of attention but instead to insist on proceeding with the negotiations. That is what Rice did when news of the Jerusalem settlement of Har Homa broke. In public, she delivered a clear but relatively mild statement saying the United States had opposed the settlement "from the very beginning." In private, she told Olmert: Don't let that happen again. For Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the message was equally blunt: You can come to the table and negotiate a border for a Palestinian state, making settlements irrelevant. Or you can boycott and let the building continue.

Not surprisingly, Abbas -- who has taken Obama's public assault on Israel as a cue to boycott -- showed up for Rice's negotiations. The Bush administration privately offered him an assurance: Any Israeli settlement construction that took place during the talks would not be accepted by the United States when it came time to draw a final Israeli border. On settlements, Rice adopted a pragmatic guideline she called the "Google Earth test": A settlement that visibly expanded was a problem; one that remained within its existing territorial boundary was not.

The virtue of all this is that Rice got the Israelis and Palestinians talking not about settlements but what they really needed to be discussing -- the future Palestine. Olmert and Abbas went over everything: the border, the future of Jerusalem and its holy sites, security arrangements, how to handle the millions of Palestinian refugees still living in camps. Privately, they agreed on a lot. Eventually, Olmert presented Abbas with a detailed plan for a final settlement -- one that, in its concessions to Palestinian demands, went beyond anything either Israel or the United States had ever put forward. Among other things it mandated a Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem and would have allowed 10,000 refugees to return to Israel.

That's when Rice learned another lesson the new administration seems not to have picked up: This Palestinian leadership has trouble saying "yes." Confronted with a draft deal that would have been cheered by most of the world, Abbas balked. He refused to sign on; he refused to present a counteroffer. Rice and Bush implored him to join Olmert at the White House for a summit. Olmert would present his plan to Bush, and Abbas would say only that he found it worth discussing. The Palestinian president refused.

Huge increase in marriages between cousins in the UK....

Not a healthy sign...
A rise in the number of marriages between cousins in Britain has prompted calls for a crackdown on the practice amid warnings it is putting children's health at risk.

Crossbench peer Baroness Deech has called for a 'vigorous' public campaign to deter marriages between family members, which is common in Muslim and immigrant communities.

Her comments come as figures show up to 75 per cent of British Pakistanis in some areas are married to first cousins.

In a speech to be made next week, obtained by The Times, the leading family lawyer will warn that such marriages can be a barrier to the integration of minority communities and increases the risk of birth defects in children.

She is also expected to call for testing for genetic defects when marriages between family members are arranged and for a register of people carrying genetic diseases to be set up in order for two carriers not to be introduced.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

More than half of Yemen's girls are married before puberty....

A shocking piece of information from a Yemeni newspaper...
Hundreds of Yemeni women gathered in front of Sana’a’s parliament building yesterday to protest against the government establishing a minimum legal age for marriage.

Most of the protesters carried the Quran and some held posters that said such a requirement for marriage went against sharia, or Islamic law. “Yes to the sharia rights of Muslim woman,” read one poster.

Nearby, dozens of counter-protesters marched, appealing for lawmakers to shun “an extremist minority inside and outside the parliament”.

The demonstrations came in the wake of a measure first approved by parliament last year. It stipulated that parents who marry off their daughters before the age of 17 and sons before 18 could face a year in jail or be fined US$500 (Dh1,800).

Some conservative MPs who had opposed the measure called for the issue to be debated again before it becomes law. The proposed legislation was sent back to the Sharia committee in the parliament. It recommended that no age for marriage be set, according to Mohammed al Hazmi, an outspoken MP who is against a minimum age for marriage.

The legislative debate followed the highly publicised story of Nojoud Mohammed Ali, who was 10 when she sought a divorce in 2008 from her 30-year-old husband. Her story and that of Fawziya Abdullah Youssef, a 12-year-old Yemeni girl forced into marriage and who died delivering a baby, fuelled the movement in favour of a minimum age for marriage. More than half Yemen’s girls are married before they reach puberty.

The protesters, who came from different religious schools in Sana’a yesterday, carried cartons which they said contained a petition signed by one million people against a minimum age for marriage.

“We will not allow this [draft] law to be passed. This is against our religion that has not set an age for marriage. They want to impose Western values on us and we cannot accept that,” said Asma Gob, a protester. “I got married at the age of 14 and my daughter is married now and she is 17. We have faced no problems” she said.

The real scandal about Afghanistan...

Adrian MacNair hits it on the head...
But let’s be clear here. The Conservative government may not be hiding anything when it comes to the detainee documents, although of course quite a few people think they are. No, the biggest problem with the Conservatives is that they stopped communicating about the Afghan mission back in 2008 when it was decided by a bi-partisan vote to extend the mission to 2011, and then leave.

Since then, the Conservatives have done nil to none in promoting the benefits, the progress, the breakthroughs that we’ve made there, all the while taking a barrage of propaganda from the opposition that could not serve the interests of the enemy any better than had they consigned them to do it. The largest failure in this mission is the almost complete refusal of NATO nations to properly explain the imperative of mission success and the high stakes involved [save for Denmark].

More rockets fired at Israel....

The rocket fire keeps on going up....
A Qassam rocket fired from the Gaza Strip struck an open field in a kibbutz near Ashkelon on Sunday, just three days after a foreign worker was killed by a rocket in the northern Negev.

There were no casualties or damages reported in the attack on Sunday.

Four rockets were fired at communities in the Negev over the weekend, after 12 rockets and mortar shells hit the area over the course of last week. The Color Red rocket alert sounded a number of times on Saturday, forcing residents to stay in protected areas.

Since Israel concluded its offensive on the Gaza Strip last January, more than 400 rockets and mortar shells have been fired at southern Israel.

How the EU funds the demonization of Israel....

They fund some horrible NGOs...
The first official visit by Baroness Catherine Ashton, who recently took over as the European Union’s equivalent of a Foreign Minister, is likely to add more anxiety to Israel’s already stressed-out body politic. Following Vice President Biden’s headline-making trip, Ashton is expected to plant the EU’s flag, again, squarely in the middle of the peace process, by attacking Israeli policy.

Ashton’s recent statements reflect the European emphasis on settlements, without gaining any concessions from the Palestinians. Coming a few days after the flap over Israel’s policy on Jerusalem construction that dominated Biden’s visit, this issue will no doubt be another top priority for the EU delegation. Ashton has even suggested trade sanctions against Israel as a means of increasing the pressure.

At the same time, Israel has its own list of issues with Europe. More than the US, Europe generally needs to be reminded of continued Palestinian violence, incitement, the potential for another war with Hamas in Gaza and the threats Israel faces from the wider region, including Iran.

The Israeli agenda should also include the role of European government funding for radical non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Israeli media has recently focused on the New Israel Fund’s support for 20 of the most politicized groups leading the political warfare. But the EU and its member states grant even greater amounts to almost all these groups, affording them tremendous power and impact.

The EU also funds many radical Palestinian NGOs that are central players in the demonization, delegitimization and double-standards employed against Israel. This strategy was codified by 1,500 NGOs at the 2001 UN Conference against Racism, held in Durban. Their stated goal is “the complete isolation of Israel” internationally – through BDS (boycotts, divestment, and sanctions) and lawfare. The European Parliament’s disturbing endorsement of the biased Goldstone Report, which falsely accuses Israel of war crimes in Gaza, is a reflection of this strategy.

ADALAH IS one of the more egregious examples of an EU-funded NGO that goes beyond civil rights claims to promote demonization. This group, which was referenced 36 times in the Goldstone Report, will be the recipient of over € 600,000 between 2009 and 2012, and similar amounts from a number of individual European governments. Among its activities, Adalah published a proposed constitution for Israel that would recognize Palestinian claims to a “right of return” – a euphemism for the attempt to destroy Israel demographically. This document also declares that Israel should cease to be Jewish in character, and that immigration of Jews should be dramatically restricted.

Another disturbing example is Mada Al-Carmel. This NGO, which received NIS 356,356 in 2008 from the EU, helped compose the Haifa Declaration, a document that calls for an end to Israel as a Jewish state, and accuses Israel of “exploiting” the Holocaust.

The declaration makes the absurd claim that “Israel carried out policies of subjugation and oppression in excess of those of the apartheid regime in South Africa.”

Mada al-Carmel was one of the partner organizations behind the “My Land, Space, Body and Sexuality: Palestinians in the Shadow of the Wall” campaign, featuring a poster that suggested sexual contact
between a Palestinian woman and an Israeli soldier, alongside the caption: “Her husband needs a permit to touch her. The occupation penetrates her life everyday!”

This crude political warfare should not receive the assistance of European governments.

Canadian teen arrested for anti-semitic graffiti...

I don't like the hate-related charge....
An 18-year-old male was arrested over a slew of spray-painted anti-Semitic messages.

The suspect, who was arrested Thursday in Winnipeg, cannot be named under Canadian youth protection laws since he was 17 when the offenses occurred. Calgary police had issued a Canada-wide arrest warrant for him on Wednesday.

The racist graffiti on mailboxes, signs at synagogues and a memorial for Holocaust survivors, which surfaced last November, included swastikas and the words "kill Jews" and "six million more."

The teen is facing charges of mischief to property, as well as hate-related charges of mischief to a place of religious worship and inciting public hatred.

Police believe the teen may have ties to local racist groups.
I'd like to know about these local racist groups....and who this teenager is...

More on anti-semitism in Malmo, Sweden....

We've blogged on Malmo many times...
Marcus Eilenberg is a Swedish Jew whose family roots in Malmo go back to the 19th century. His paternal grandparents were Holocaust survivors who found shelter in this southern Swedish city in 1945. His wife's parents fled to Sweden from communist Poland in the 1960s.

Now the 32-year-old law firm associate feels the welcome for Jews is running out, and he is moving to Israel with his wife and two children in May. He says he knows at least 15 other Jews who are leaving for a similar reason.

That reason, he says, is a rise in hate crimes against Jews in Malmo, and a sense that local authorities have little desire to deal with a problem that has exposed a crack in Sweden's image as a bastion of tolerance and a haven for distressed ethnic groups.

Anti-Semitic crimes in Sweden have usually been associated with the far right, but Shneur Kesselman, an Orthodox rabbi, says the threat comes from Muslims. "In the past five years I've been here, I think you can count on your hand how many incidents there have been from the extreme right," he said. "In my personal experience it's 99 percent Muslims."

Sweden prides itself on having taken in tens of thousands of the world's war refugees, and Malmo, its third largest city, should be a showcase: 7 percent of its 285,000 people were born in the Middle East, according to city statistics, and it has large numbers of from the Balkans, including the Macedonian who heads the city's largest mosque.

After the Holocaust, it took in many Jews who survived the World War II Nazi genocide.

Bejzat Becirov, the mosque head, said he feels "great sympathy for the Jewish community" and knows what it's going through because "the Muslim community, too, is exposed to Islamophobia."

He listed a range of incidents, including an anthrax letter sent to him after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York, and several arson attacks against his mosque.

But Jews are feeling the heat disproportionately. Malmo police say that of 115 hate crimes reported in 2009, 52 were anti-Semitic. Becirov estimated there are about 60,000 Muslims in Malmo, while the number of Jews is about 700 and shrinking — it was twice as big two decades ago, according to Fredrik Sieradzki, a spokesman for the Jewish community.

Last year at least 10 of the hate crime complaints were filed by Kesselman, from the Brooklyn-based Chabad-Lubavitch movement, whose black fedora and long beard single him out as he moves around the city.

Walking home from the Jewish community center on Malmo's snow-flecked streets, the 31-year-old rabbi recalls some of the worst incidents: a young man who shouted "Heil Hitler" and chased him off a city bus; a car that suddenly reversed and almost hit him on the crosswalk by the opera house.

"A typical situation is I'm walking in the streets and a car with Muslim youth between 18 and 30 will roll down the window and yell '(expletive) Jew,' give me the finger and shout something in Arabic," he said.

Malmo's Jewish community is mostly secular and long felt safe because few display Jewish symbols that would distinguish them from other Swedes.

But things changed after a series of fierce anti-Israel protests and a spike in anti-Semitic hate crimes following Israel's offensive in Gaza last year, which deeply angered Malmo's Arab immigrants.

Tempers flared when Jews held a peaceful pro-Israel rally outside City Hall a week after the offensive ended. A bigger crowd waving Palestinian flags threw bottles, eggs and firecrackers.

Tensions rose again two months later when Malmo authorities, saying they couldn't guarantee security, forced Sweden and Israel to play their Davis Cup tennis matches in a near-empty stadium as police held off rock-throwing anti-Israel activists outside who wanted to stop the competition completely.

Eilenberg said it was a wake-up call — "a degree of hate that none of us — except those who survived the Holocaust — had experienced before."

City of Kassel in Germany bans display of Israeli flag....

Well, it might upset people...
The city of Kassel in the German state of Hesse has issued a ban on the display of an Israeli flag at an information stand planned on Saturday by the group Alliance Against Anti-Semitism (AAAS).

According to a report Friday on the Web site of German news outlet Nordhessische, local authorities justified the prohibition at the event to combat anti-Semitism because the “Israeli flag could disturb pedestrians” and they could feel “threatened” by the expression of the flag of the Jewish state.

The singling out of the Jewish state was made evident in the Nordhessische news report because Kassel permitted activists supporting the pro-democracy movement in the Islamic Republic to display Iranian flags over the past months but Israel’s flag has a persona non grata status.

“How can it be that an agency, which is responsible for public order, views the public order as endangered by displaying an Israeli flag?” AAAS spokesman Jonas Dörge asked, according to Nordhessische.

Ban Ki-Moon thinks Israel undercuts moderates???

What moderates??? Can he name a few???
Speaking during a tour of Gaza, Mr Ban sought to increase international pressure on Israel by deploring the scale of human suffering in the Palestinian territory and calling on Benjamin Netanyahu's government to end Jewish settlement construction in East Jerusalem.

Amid renewed calls from the United States to ease the blockade of Gaza, the secretary general urged Israel to act both out of compassion and in response to its own security needs.

"I have repeatedly made it quite clear to Israel's leaders that the Israeli policy of closure if not sustainable and that it is wrong," he said. "It causes unacceptable sufferings to the people and population."

"The policy is also counter-productive. It prevents legitimate commerce and encourages smuggling. It undercuts moderates and empowers extremists."
How many crazy things can one person say in just a few paragraphs??? Doesn't he realize that Israel has closed the border to Gaza because Hamas won't recognize any previous Israeli-Palestinian agreements??? Empowers extremists??? Isn't all of Hamas extremist?

Ban Ki-Moon calls on Hamas to stop advocating genocide....

Ban Ki-Moon is in Gaza this week...but I'm just kidding....

Saturday, March 20, 2010

And now...Islamic Fashion.....

Just what we need...
Increased global interest in Islamic fashion offers students an opportunity to tap a growing market worth more than $96 billion (Dh350 billion) say heads of UAE-based fashion universities.

Tamara Hostal, Director of French Fashion University ESMOD Dubai (ESMOD), said this figure comprises 50 per cent of the world's 1.6 billion Muslims, each spending at least $120 (Dh438) a year on modest clothing.

"Fashion today is moving and passing between different continents as more people travel the world and bring traditional influences back to their own countries," she said. "People are increasingly showing they want to wear clothes influenced by Islamic culture as countries that are not yet very Islamic are starting to be," she added.

Ajman student wins Miami fashion week competition

Hostal used the example of global brands like Fendi, Gucci and Calvin Klein introducing Islamic elements into their recent collections, making it apparent that growing trends and increased demand in a fashion-conscious world means Muslims are no exception.

Catering to demand

"We shouldn't only focus on Muslims," said Saqib Suhail. "There are conservative Christians as well as Jews all over the world and we can cater to all these people," said Suhail, head of the fashion department at Preston University Ajman (PUA).

"We can see Arabic styles steadily influencing European street fashion, which proves the potential of this emerging niche," said Hostal.

One example is the keffiyeh, which exploded internationally nearly two years ago as a fashion necessity. "Lots of celebrities adorn Islamic clothing," said Suhail.

"Take the keffiyeh, Kanye West started wearing it, not for the Palestinian cause but for the fashion element, and then designers started implementing it into their collections."
Well, this would be ok if Rosie O'Donell would wear a burka...

Non-muslims using sharia law courts in the UK....

This is very troubling...
Alarming new figures have shown that there has been a growth in the number of non-Muslims opting to have civil disagreements settled in Sharia courts.

According to the Muslim Attribution Tribunal, this year has already seen a 15 per cent rise in the number of non-Muslims taking their cases to the Islamic court. However, critics of the system claim that the Sharia courts are naturally discriminatory and pander to the unequal status which favours men under Islamic law.

Maryam Namazie, spokesperson for the anti-Sharia campaign group One Law for All, commented on the news: "I have spoken to women who are losing custody of their children in the Sharia councils. "Under Sharia law custody of a child goes to the husband after a certain age, irrespective of the welfare of the child."

Last week, a law firm in Scotland announced that it would be offering its clients the choice of using Islamic Sharia law in civil disputes such as divorce and child custody.

Arab channels to air anti-Israeli film....

I guess once a year,they need something either anti-Israeli or anti-Jewish...
Two Arab channels will soon start airing a Turkish television series on the plight of Palestinians that angered Israel, an official from the production company told AFP Friday.

The 13-episode "Separation: Palestine in Love and In War" has been sold to MBC, a Saudi-run pan-Arabic news and entertainment channel, and to a Dubai channel, said Zafer Kayaokay, art director at the Istanbul-based Çağla Productions.

MBC plans to begin the series on Saturday, he said, while the Dubai channel would follow suit in the near future.

The series was first broadcast by Turkey's state television in October, infuriating Israel, which said the program incited "hatred against Israel" and was "not worthy of being broadcast even in an enemy state."

The first episode showed Israeli forces shooting innocent Palestinian civilians. Israeli soldiers were shown killing a newborn baby girl and an elderly man on his way to pilgrimage in Mecca.

A study in mideast morality....

The Palestinians do this all the time...
If the leadership of the Palestinian Authority (PA) has its way, Dalal Mughrabi will be adopted as a role model by every girl in the Palestinian territories. Allegedly moderate, the PA administration in the West Bank has so convincingly abandoned terrorism that the always optimistic Americans have spent a fortune training its police force. But the PA’s chosen heroine, Dalal Mughrabi, was a murderer. She led the worst terrorist attack on civilians in the history of Israel.

The difference between what the PA preaches and the martyrs it honours throws a curious light on the recent argument between Washington and the Israeli government. The Israelis bungled when they announced the next stage in a housing project, built on land the Palestinians claim, while Vice-President Joe Biden was in Jerusalem. Biden and the Obama government took it as proof that Israel’s attitude to “the peace process” is less than sincere.

At almost exactly the same moment, the other partner in what may someday become a peace treaty, was planning fresh acclaim for the crimes of Mughrabi.

In 1978, she was a 19-year-old Palestine Liberation Order member with a talent for leadership. The PLO opposed an Egypt-Israel treaty that was then in the works, because it could enhance Israel’s legitimacy. They assigned Mughrabi to make an attack so sensational it would create chaos and bitterness in Israel.

On March 11, 1978, she headed a PLO squad of 11 who set out from Lebanon and arrived on the coastal plain near Tel Aviv in dinghies. The first person they met was an American photographer of some reputation, Gail Rubin, who was taking pictures of rare birds on the beach. They talked to her, then murdered her. On the Coastal Road, they fired at passing cars, hijacked a taxi, killed its occupants, seized two buses and put all the occupants together in one bus, a total of 71 passengers.

They drove toward Tel Aviv until police stopped them. A nine-hour gun battle followed. Mughrabi set fire to the bus. A total of 39 people died (including Mughrabi) and 72 were wounded.

In Israel’s history, this is now called the Coastal Road Massacre. For the PA’s leaders, it’s a cause for continuing celebration.

Like many PLO adventures, it failed; the Israel-Egypt peace treaty was signed a year later in Washington, after the Camp David Accords. But that doesn’t in the least diminish Mughrabi’s reputation. Palestinian Media Watch has noted that in the last two years the Palestinians have named a computer centre, two high schools for girls, two summer camps and a soccer championship after Mughrabi.

This year they have named a square “the Shahida [Martyr] Dalal Mughrabi Square” near Ramallah on the West Bank. In January, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented: “This is not how peace is made.” Palestinian leaders went ahead with plans to dedicate the square on March 11, the 32nd anniversary of the killings.

When they realized that Joe Biden was to be in Jerusalem that day, they postponed it, but as soon as he left the ceremony was held. A Palestinian leader was there to announce “We are all Dalal Mughrabi.”

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Khaled Abu Toameh in Ottawa, March 2010

Khaled Abu Toameh in Ottawa March 3 2010 from Vlad Tepes on Vimeo.

I was at this event in Ottawa, and Khaled Abu Toameh is a remarkable speaker.

Rocket fired from Gaza kills Thai worker...

Rocket fire is increasing...
A 30-year-old Thai foreign worker was killed Thursday after a Qassam rocket hit a greenhouse in Netiv Ha'asara in the Ashkelon Coast Regional Council, north of the Gaza Strip. Magen David Adom emergency units tried to resuscitate the man but were eventually pronounced him dead.

The rocket exploded inside the greenhouse, causing it and adjacent greenhouses severe damage. Sappers spent a considerable amount of time dismantling and collecting the rocket's remains.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

More anti-semitism from Hamas...

MEMRI TV Clip preaching about Jews as bacteria from Vlad Tepes on Vimeo.

Turkish Minister wants to cure homosexuality.....

I always knew the Turks had the cure...
A political controversy has erupted in Turkey after a minister described homosexuality as a "disease" that can and should be cured. The comment provoked a strong reaction from the country's gay and lesbian movement.

Turkey's Islamic-rooted government has frequently been criticized in the past by human rights groups over its treatment of the country's gay community. But now a Turkish gay rights group has asked prosecutors to charge Family Affairs Minister, Aliye Selma Kavaf, for what they called her derogatory comments about homosexuality.

The complaint, by the LAMBDA Association, charges that Kavaf's remarks in a newspaper interview were "an insult, incitement to crime and incitement to enmity and hate" - crimes which, in Turkey, are punishable by up to five years in jail. Kavaf had said that she believed homosexuality was a "biological disorder, a disease."

"I think it should be treated," she was quoted as saying.

The real scandal in Ottawa...

We need a debate on Canada's post-2011 role in Afghanistan...and all our politicians want to talk about is a years-old debate on Afghan detainees...
Last weekend on the CBC radio program The House, the Committee's leading Conservative member, Edmonton MP Laurie Hawn, was obliged to once again defend his government's handling of the lurid "Afghan detainee issue" that has aroused so many Ottawa insiders. But here's the really crazy part:

Without so much as a hint of embarrassment, the committee's leading Liberal, Ujjal Dosanjh, and the committee's recently-appointed New Democrat, Jack Harris, both insisted to the CBC that it is not the job of the Special Committee on Canada's engagement in Afghanistan to address itself to the immediate and now desperately urgent question about Canada's engagement in Afghanistan: What happens in 2011?

Big questions to address

Bear in mind that Canada is a prominent signatory to the multi-nation Afghanistan Compact, the role-assigning agreement that expires next year. Canada's Kandahar "combat role" also ends next year, but that's only one of six Canadian priorities in Afghanistan. The others involve providing basic services, delivering humanitarian aid, helping with border protection, building national institutions, and backing national reconciliation efforts.

Should Canada continue with these priorities? Should Canada play a completely different role? Are Canadians ever going to be allowed to consider these questions and make decisions about them? Because of the paralysis in Ottawa, almost all projects supported by the Canadian International Development Agency in Afghanistan are coming to a screeching halt next year. With 2011 only a few months away, what is the committee's advice to the House of Commons?

The exasperated host of The House, Kathleen Petty, persisted with this very simple question. It's the same question I'd been raising in Ottawa that very week on behalf of the Canada-Afghanistan Solidarity Committee. It's been two whole years. When is this committee going to get around to talking about the Canadian mission in Afghanistan?

Jack Harris: "First of all, the Afghanistan Committee was not put forward to discover what we're going to do post-2011. The Afghanistan Committee's job and role, and this came from the Manley commission report and the motion, was to report to Parliament on the mission and what's going on."

By "the Manley commission report," Harris was referring to the independent panel chaired by former Liberal deputy prime minister John Manley that recommended an extension of Canada's Kandahar combat role to 2011. The panel offered no direction on what should happen in 2011. That wasn't the panel's job.

Perhaps Harris can tell the rest of us "what's going on" and what should happen next year? Prime Minister Stephen Harper has made some noises about Post-2011 humanitarian aid. If Harris is satisfied by this, why doesn't he just come right out and say so?

Ujjal Dosanjh: "The issue isn't what committee is doing what. The issue is whether or not these issues are being studied. The issue with respect to Post-2011 is going to be studied by the other committee," he said.

The "other committee" Dosanjh referred to is the Standing Committee on National Defence, which is in fact not studying the issue, and has no mandate to study the issue, and would be the last place to talk about the issue anyway. It's the committee that generals and military experts are routinely summoned to attend in order to patiently instruct earnest and well-meaning MPs in the subtle differences between howitzers and ham sandwiches.

It was in fact the "special" Afghanistan committee that was explicitly tasked with the very job Dosanjh doesn't want the committee to do. The relevant cabinet ministers have consistently said it's up to Parliament to decide what Canada's post-2011 role in Afghanistan should be, so this isn't something you can easily lay solely at Harper's feet. The special Afghanistan committee is the lead House of Commons committee on the question. That's why it's called the "special" committee.

If the committee has decided that its job doesn't include advising Parliament about what Canada should be doing in Afghanistan, then why does it still exist? Why doesn't it just get out of the way and let Parliament get to work?

Mandates never carried out

The "motion" Harris referred to is the same March 2008 House of Commons motion that extended Canada's combat role in Kandahar to 2011 and created the Special Committee on the Canadian Mission in Afghanistan in the first place. The committee's mandate was renewed in February last year and again this year on March 3.

Apart from issuing a report about training Afghan soldiers that everyone has already forgotten about, the committee has done nothing its mandate requires.

In both of its renewal motions, the committee's parliamentary leadership role on Afghanistan was confirmed. So were the two other big jobs the committee was established to do. The committee is supposed to "review the laws and procedures governing the use of operational and national security exceptions for the withholding of information" and "ensure that Canadians are being provided with ample information on the conduct and progress of the mission."

The committee has done neither of these things.

The committee hasn't just failed to address the problem of a policy vacuum on information-release exceptions. It has made the problem worse. The committee has in fact exacerbated the problem to the point of turning it into a constitutional crisis.

The Liberals say it's the Conservatives' fault for resorting to the most frivolous and partisan excuses to withhold all sorts of information. The Conservatives say the Liberals are beating dead horses and insinuating that Canadian soldiers are SS monsters. The NDP says the committee should put the matter aside and get down to business, but it hasn't once used its tie-breaking vote to get the committee back to work.
No one knows more about what is NOT going on than Terry Glavin. Please read his whole article.

UK courts may hear Muhammad cartoon case...

A perversion of law...
Justice minister calls it unacceptable that proposed lawsuit against Danish newspapers could be heard in British court system.

Because EU member states generally recognise the authority of each other’s legal systems, Denmark may be forced to pay damages through the British courts if plaintiffs win their lawsuit over the printing of the Mohammed cartoons.
Saudi lawyer Faisal Yamani (seen right) has taken the case to court in London – claiming to have done so on behalf of some 95,000 descendants of the prophet Mohammed – saying the drawings amount to defamation against them and the Islamic faith.

In August last year, Yamani requested that 11 Danish newspapers remove all the relevant images from their websites and issue apologies along with promises that the images would never be printed again. Politiken was the only newspaper to agree to the demand, having acquiesced last month.

But justice minister Lars Barfoed has now asked the European Commission to step in to stop the case from being heard in the UK. Barfoed said that while he respected the legal cooperation among EU member states, the proposed lawsuit amounts to a restriction on the freedom of expression.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why do the Palestinians venerate terrorists???

This is a roadblock to peace and reconciliation...
What can you say about a 19-year-old woman, pretty in the pictures, who participates in a terrorist attack in which 38 people, 13 of them children, are killed in cold blood? The answer, if the woman is Palestinian and the dead are Israelis, is heroine or martyr -- and if she is Dalal Mughrabi, you name a school and a camp after her, and last week, a square in the West Bank town of El Bireh. It will be the fitting venue for those who furiously single out Israel for allegedly killing civilians in violation of all the rules of warfare. Hypocrisy Square would be its appropriate name.

To be sure, the dedication of Dalal Mughrabi Square was a low-key affair. This is because the Palestinians, unlike the Israelis, had the wit not to be so crude while Vice President Biden was more or less in town. Consequently, the official ceremony was postponed and only one senior Fatah leader made an appearance. In contrast, the Israelis honored Biden by announcing that even more building projects would be constructed in East Jerusalem. This was apparently done for two reasons: to reassert Israel's claim to all of Jerusalem and to impede a revival of peace talks.

Still, even in the Middle East, reality is more important than perception. If the term "confidence-building measure" is employed, what confidence can Israelis have in a people and their leaders who honor the 1978 murder of innocents, particularly children? I am aware that terrorism is the warfare of the weak, and I am aware also that Jews used terrorism against the British before Israel became a nation in 1948. But even those rare instances of terrorism were directed against the military and when they were not -- the massacre of Arabs at the village of Deir Yassin -- they were condemned by the Zionist leadership. To my knowledge, there is no square in Israel named for the mass murderers of civilians. Palestinian society, in contrast, honors all sorts of terrorists.

This is not a minor point. The veneration of terrorists says something unsettling about Palestinian society. An Israeli can recognize the legitimacy of Palestinian aspiration and appreciate the depth of the calamity that befell the Palestinians in 1948. The Palestinian intellectual Constantine Zurayk coined the term "al-Nakba" (the disaster) for their 1948 debacle -- and there is no doubt it was. But for Palestinians, that disaster has only been compounded by an Arab intransigence and belligerence that has played into Israel's territorial ambitions, particularly the annexation of East Jerusalem. The reliance on terrorism has had cinematic charms and given the Palestinians a certain cachet among the West's kaffiyeh set, but it has caused Israelis to dig in their heels. The adulation of Dalal Mughrabi and other terrorists is bound to give your average Israeli parent a certain pause: Is this the state we want next to us? Didn't pulling out of Gaza produce a steady drizzle of rockets and, in due course, another war?

An interview with Bjorn Lomborg....

I like Lomborg a lot...
TL: What in your opinion is a safe level of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the atmosphere?

BL: The safe level, if there was no consideration of cost, would be pre-industrial levels. But you can’t talk about safe levels without talking about cost.

Traffic accidents are the second biggest killer worldwide. More than one million entirely man-made and preventable deaths. We could cut them all by cutting car speed limits to 5 Mph. But we are not going to do that because people would rather get home quicker and then kill some people. You don’t want to say it that way but that is the effect of what we’re deciding.

We don’t have the discussion about safe levels of traffic speeds without talking about the downside of the debate. We need that discussion on climate. How much are the economic models telling us it will cost to cut back and how much for not cutting back?

TL: So what is your solution?

BL: The problem we are seeing with global warming is that everyone has been saying for the last 18 years that we need to cut carbon emissions. Right now we are not succeeding because it costs too much and the benefits are not going to felt until 100 years from now.

So instead of trying to put expensive solar panels up that look good but don’t achieve much we should be focused on trying to make solar panels much cheaper.

If we could make them cheaper than fossil fuels by say 2040 we would have solved global warming because everyone; the Chinese, Indians would buy them not because they are green but because they are cheaper.

My point is that instead of trying to cut [emissions] directly - which economically seems a poor strategy and politically seems infeasible - a much better idea is to invest in research and development. By making green energy cheaper in the long run you will end up cutting much much more carbon emissions.

Sharia law in UK prisons....

Well, it's a start, no?
Non-Muslim inmates at the high-security Long Lartin jail have been forced by the gangs to stop playing "Western" music and take down pictures of women from their cells, according to one former prison officer there. Prisoners at the jail, although allowed to cook their own food, are not allowed to prepare pork for fear of offending the Muslim inmates, the officer said.

The officer, speaking to Radio Five Live's Donal Macintyre show, told how younger prisoners were targeted for forced conversion to Islam by the gangs. "They went along because they were intimidated. They genuinely weren't of the Muslim faith," she said. "I knew one lad quite well, who was approached by the radical Muslims and he changed. He was being controlled and bossed around and he wasn't even allowed to look at me or speak to me.

"He just seemed very frightened all the time. He used to be forced to pray at certain times and he was even forced to grow a long beard even though he didn't want to."

One Catholic prisoner who refused to convert was seriously assaulted after being repeatedly threatened by the gang, the officer said. "He said every so often they would come to his cell and hold the Koran up through the small window in the cell door and start running their fingers along their throats," she said.

The officer's testimony is consistent with findings by the official prison watchdog, the chief inspector of prisons. In a report last year, the inspector, Anne Owers, quoted a number of prisoners at Long Lartin about the increasing dominance of Muslim gangs in the jail.

Long Lartin was, said one, "turning into an American-style jail, [where] if you are not in a gang, you're in trouble. People are converting to Islam for protection."

Another said: "There is a gang culture here, which is an issue. There are issues with Muslim gangs wanting to overpower others. A lot of people are becoming Muslim just because it is a bigger gang."

Ms Owers says there is a similar gang culture in at least three other high-security prisons, Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire, Belmarsh in south-east London and Full Sutton in North Yorkshire. Some of the gang leaders are terrorist prisoners but most are in for ordinary offences.

Two Muslim former prisoners claimed in the BBC programme that Muslims "run" some London jails and describe how they watched al-Qaeda videos in their cells, brought in by corrupt prison officers. They also detail further bullying and abuse of prisoners who refused to convert to Islam and said that in one London jail, prisoners who wanted to play music had their stereos smashed. They said that the official prison imams appointed by the Home Office were largely ineffective and not respected by Muslim prisoners.