H/T Front Page
Dear Mr Gaffney
On most issues I agree with you BUT not this one because you are ignoring (maybe you do not know) that the so called rebels against the pro Russia movement are mostly Nazi Fascists in alliance with the Chechen Islamists.
Moreover, the Crimea to Russia – their back yard – is what Cuba is to the USA. Kennedy was willing to go to war (even nuclear) but would not allow the Soviets to have any missiles threatening the Continental USA.
They Ukranian neo Nazis represent a new destabilizing item in the Ukrainian crisis and should be of great concern to all those in the USA & Europe who want a free and democratic Ukraine.
The ultra-nationalists were instrumental in ousting pro-Russian Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych. They are equipped with helmets, masks, protective gear, weapons and Molotov cocktails and are trained to confront security forces by infiltrating the other demonstrators.
The most prominent and violent of the ultra-nationalist groups is the Pravy-Sektor, or Right Sector, whose leader has recently appealed once more on Chechen Islamic militant chief Dokku Umarov to launch terror attacks in Russia.
It is obvious that John Kerry is helping to incite these groups, ignoring – as usual with Obama and his administration who support the Muslim Brotherhood – the excesses of militant Russo-phobic and anti-Semitic forces inciting demonstrations in Kiev.
The Nazi style Ukrainian groups use identical slogans, symbols and methodology as the Islamo-fascists.
IQ al Rassooli
Kafir & Proud!
When describing the complexities of the Middle East my cousin, Ken, used to say “what we have here is a kind of a situation”. What’s happening in the Ukraine is also one of those “situations” with many different players and more than two sides to the story driven by the Cold War legacy. One of my favorite counter jihad blogs, Cherson and Molschky, has been presenting a different view than what we are seeing in our media.
By Y. K. Cherson:
The situation in Ukraine is clearly confusing for Westerners and even more confusing for their media. A little insight from a native-born Ukrainian:
Crimea has a status of autonomy, authority, and has every right to ask another state for help. But it’s not only about if they have a right or not; 60% of the population of Crimea are ethnic Russians, and among Ukrainians, quite a lot would be more than happy to become a part of Russia instead of a weak and poor Ukraine. And 12% of Tartars in a wink became pro-Russia as soon as the new PM of Crimea guaranteed them that their rights in Crimea would become wider.
The comments made in the Western media’s articles demonstrate a total lack of knowledge and understanding. I’d like to address some of these ideas.
“The Russian military is not all it’s cracked up to be. It couldn’t stand up to the West.”
Come on! It would be true if Russia invaded France or Germany. But in a clash with Russia on the territory of Russia, neither NATO nor the USA would have any chances, and the West would have counted losses by the thousands each day. You’re not Nazi Germany, and you are not accustomed to a war where thousands of your mothers would be getting notifications that “your son died a hero”. And to start a war against Russia in winter is just an act of a collective suicide.
But it’s not only about Russia; it’s more about Ukraine itself. Southern regions like Odessa and Mariupol are waiving Russian flags. Odessa, Nikolaev and Cherson are talking about the creation of an independent State in the South of Ukraine. Kharkov and Donetzk raised Russian flags too and declared they would hold a referendum about where they want to live. All Crimea, together with Sevastopol, is Russian without a single shot. And Putin got a “go” from the Russian Council of Ministers to use military force- but he did not move a single additional soldier to Crimea!
All Russian soldiers there are of the Black Sea Fleet, and by the Kharkov Treaty of 1994, Russia has the right to have 25,000 soldiers in Sevastopol. Now it has only 16,000, which means Russia can calmly increase its military presence by 8,000 soldiers without violating a single letter of this treaty. And the West knows this, although your politicians are hypocritically screaming about “invasion”.
There is not any “invasion”! Putin has outsmarted the West who did not expect of Russia such a resolute and at the same time cunning game. But Putin understands that a war with Ukraine will meet resistance in Russia; Ukrainians for Russians are, in spite of everything, a brother people. Putin will never start a war, and he does not need to; the idiots in the Ukrainian government will give Ukraine to Putin with their own hands.
This is who the West supports?
In an attack of collective madness, Ukrainian leaders declared a mobilization and called to ranks 1,000,000 reservists. By International Law, mobilisation is equal to the declaration of war. And now Putin has the right to do with Ukraine anything he wishes; in technical terms, they are aggressors, because Russia has not declared any mobilisation! Russia is calmly holding the Paralympic Games, watching concerts, readily giving shelter to Ukrainian refugees, whose number in just two months reached 600,000 persons- and patiently waiting.
Do you understand the costs to maintain, feed, arm, cure and dress a million soldiers? It is exorbitant even for a developed Western country, and for Ukraine, with its rachitic economy, it means a collapse in 10 days.
In two weeks, Putin will have Ukraine on a silver platter without a single shot. And let’s be honest; Ukraine as it is today is not a viable State. The Western part of Ukraine is different from its Southeastern part practically in all. Different religion (South and East are Orthodox, while Western Ukraine are Catholics), language, culture, traditions, history; they are all different. Even the geography is different! And it means that the mentalities of Ukrainians of the Western and Southeastern parts are absolutely different too. An example: Stepan Bandera for Western Ukrainians is a national hero- while for South and East Ukraine, he is a bloody murderer and a fascist.
Read more at Cherson and Molschky including links to many posts on the situation in Ukraine:
Ukraine Burning (published Feb. 20, 2014)
By Audrey Russo:
As a wild beast would pull its prey closer to guard it from other predators, Islam is sinking its barbed paws ever deeper into the heart of the European Union (EU). Right under the radar of the EU, the European Parliament is considering a proposal that requires the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.”
The proposal is called, “European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance”, and it intends to compel the governments of all 28 EU member states to create “special administrative units” to monitor individuals or groups expressing views that these self-styled sentinels of European multiculturalism assess to be “intolerant”… an unprecedented threat to free speech in Europe. European citizens are already habitually punished for expressing the “wrong” views, specifically concerning Islam.
Remember, it’s all those citizens “Suspected” of being “intolerant”…I guess it depends on who looks through Allah’s microscope…
For those of us who have our coffee every morning, this was predictable. First we had the establishing of an OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation) office in Brussels in June 2013. This placed the influential 57 Muslim country bloc (actually, 56 sovereign states, plus the Palestinian Authority [given State status in the OIC]) at an in-your-face position to the European Parliament.
This is a doubling down of their efforts to control free speech in Europe…and the West. Something the OIC has been working arduously to accomplish at the UN. Since 1999 the OIC has attempted to have the issue of religious defamation included in UN Human Rights Council resolutions. And they’ve been making progress with elitists and fools (as if there’s a difference).
What the Sharia machine of the OIC fails to realize is…the Leftist World media/leaders, the little Islamic helper monkeys walking around with eyes wide shut…are not the only kafir out here. There is a growing number of infidels with eyes wide OPEN, who know what they’ve swept under their magic prayer rugs: Sharia Islamic Law forbids questions or criticism of Islam (including the Quran & Muhammed) of any kind. The idea of “questions or criticism” is intentionally vague and is subjective to the offended Mohammedan. It’s considered blasphemy whether it be committed by a Muslim OR non-Muslim. Sharia also calls for severe punishment, even death, for the offense.
Read more at Clash Daily
by Bruce Bawer:
Switzerland is a small, prosperous country which during World War II managed not to become part of the Nazi empire and during the postwar era has succeeded in staying out of the EU. Nonetheless, like other European countries whose citizens have voted to stay out of the EU, Switzerland – in exchange for participation in free trade with EU members – has signed treaties that subject its citizens to EU regulations. Among those treaties is a seven-year-old agreement that grants most EU citizens the right to live and work in Switzerland.
In a referendum on February 14, however, the Swiss electorate voted by a slim majority for a proposal by the Swiss People’s Party (SVP) that will invalidate that treaty. The Washington Post‘s Anthony Faiola, in his report on the vote, provided a fine example of the way in which the left-wing media routinely reduce real-life concerns to obnoxious caricatures, all the while acting as if the people they’re condescendingly mocking are the ones purveying the caricatures: the Swiss vote, he wrote, was the result of the mischievous efforts of “right-wing populists” who worry that their “idyllic Swiss lifestyle” is “being trampled by hordes of foreign newcomers.” Faiola went on to compare Swiss voters to “the paramilitaries of the Golden Dawn” in Greece and the “anti-immigrant, anti-Roma and anti-Semitic” members of the radical-right Jobbik Party in Hungary. The New York Times took a similar approach: “Far-right parties with anti-immigrant platforms in France, the Netherlands and Norway have gained strength in recent years,” wrote Melissa Eddy and Stephen Castle (the Norway reference obviously being to the center-right Progress Party, which is closer to the American political center than any other party in Norway).
Never mind the reality: Switzerland – where about a quarter of the legal residents were born abroad and 37 percent of residents are foreign-born or have two foreign-born parents – is one of the two countries in the world with the highest percentage of immigrants. (The other is Austria.) The SVP – the same party that sponsored the 2009 law banning minarets – said during the run-up to the plebiscite that the 80,000 EU citizens who are now moving to Switzerland every year (a number equal to 1% of the country’s population) amounts to approximately “ten times the initial predictions back in 2007,”reported the Telegraph.
It doesn’t take much imagination to recognize what a massive burden this flood of immigrants represents – and what a social and culural transformation it entails. As the Telegraph itself seems to acknowledge, the schools, hospitals, public-transport system, and housing market in Switzerland have been “struggling to cope” with the influx. This sort of rapid, dramatic metamorphosis is enough to pose a risk to any country’s social, cultural, and economic stability. Add to this the fact that citizens of Romania and Bulgaria (including innumerable gypsies who, frankly, aren’t looking for honest work but for pockets to pick, houses to plunder, and public property to trash) are now free to settle anywhere they want in the EU – or in countries, like Switzerland and Norway, which have open-border arrangements with the EU. Under such circumstances, the action by Swiss voters isn’t just eminently understandable; it is, quite simply, the responsible thing to do.
Read more at Front Page
by Caroline Glick:
Originally published by the Jerusalem Post.
Until his arrest in October 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch and oil executive, was the richest man in Russia. He might have still been the richest man in Russia today if he hadn’t started thinking about politics, and objecting to the fact that under President Vladimir Putin, Russia had abandoned all prospects for democracy.
With his billions, Khodorkovsky had the means to finance a challenge to Putin’s authoritarian rule. His arrest in 2003 and his 10-year imprisonment was ordered and orchestrated by Putin as a means of silencing and destroying the former KGB officer’s only potent challenger for power.
After 10 years behind bars, Khodorkovsky was suddenly released from prison last Friday, immediately after Putin issued him a presidential pardon.
He held a press conference in Berlin the next day. There he showed that prison had changed his political thinking.
Whereas in 2003, Khodorkovsky thought it was possible to transform Russia into a democracy by simply winning an election, after 10 years behind bars, he recognizes that elections are not enough.
“The Russian problem is not just the president as a person,” he explained. “The problem is that our citizens in the large majority don’t understand that their fate, they have to be responsible for it themselves. They are so happy to delegate it to, say, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and then they will entrust it to somebody else.”
In other words, until the Russian people come to the conclusion that they want liberty, no one can give it to them. They will just replace one dictator with another one. In his words, “If you have a ‘most important person’ in the opposition… you will get another Putin.”
So whereas George Washington was seen as the first among equals, an opposition leader who would succeed Putin, would be more like Robespierre in post-revolutionary France.
Khodorkovsky’s remarks show that you can’t instantly import democracy from abroad. The US defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. But the Soviet defeat didn’t make the Russians liberal democrats. Until the seeds of democracy are planted in a nation’s hearts and minds, the overthrow of its overlord will make little difference to the aspirations of the people.
Over the past two months, in neighboring Ukraine, we have seen the flipside of Khodorkovsky’s warning. There, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been braving the winter cold to protest President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to ignore the public’s desire to associate with the European Union, rather than with Russia. As the protesters have made clear, they view a closer association with the EU as a means of securing Ukrainian independence from Russia.
For the past two months, Yanukovych has been alternatively assaulting and ignoring the masses rallying in Kiev’s Independence Square.
And last week he signed a deal with Russia that paves the way for Ukraine’s incorporation into Russia’s custom’s union, and its effective subordination to the Kremlin.
At this point, the opposition and Yanukovych are deadlocked. According to National Review’s Askold Krushelnyck, the protesters are trying to break the deadlock by turning to the US and the EU for help.
No, they are not asking for military support.
They have gathered information about financial crimes carried out by Yanukovych, his relatives and cronies. And they are asking the US and the EU to take legal action against them in accordance with their domestic statutes. They translated their information into English and posted it on a website (yanukovich.info), and ask that Western governments freeze their accounts and stop providing financial services to their shell companies.
What Ukraine’s protesters’ actions show is that they understand that when you are dealing with an authoritarian regime – particularly one supported by Putin’s authoritarian regime – it is not enough for a nation to seek democracy and independence. Outside help is also necessary.
Read more at Front Page
by EDWARD CLINE:
In “The Regulator’s Cucumber Syndrome” I discussed how the EU is obsessed with controlling the European’s material existence. In this column the subject is how the EU is planning to control his spiritual existence.
The Gates of Vienna published a startling, translated column by German attorney Michael Schneider about an Organization of Islamic Conferences-approved (OIC) “framework” sponsored by the European Parliament, “which seems likely to be implemented across the EU. The proposed law would devise a draconian new form of politically correct ‘tolerance’ and impose it on European citizens and institutions by establishing bureaucratic bodies with the authority to enforce it.”
The irony in the title of the proposed legislation was obviously lost on its authors, “A European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance,” for it is nothing but a blueprint for imposing across-the-board “intolerance.”
Schneider opens his essay with:
Anyone who speaks and writes about the abrogation of freedom in Europe is accused of being a pathological conspiracy theorist. So it is advisable to be a little more specific, and name names.
The abrogation of freedom in Europe is not occurring naturally, but according to the planning of educated elites, who have been trained to replace civic freedoms – especially those of expression, of the press and of the airwaves – with ideological coercion, and thus smash civil society into microscopic shards, like valuable, defenseless porcelain.
Schneider writes that one of the chief culprits behind this legislation is a Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum, professor emeritus and one of the directors of the Max Planck Institute on foreign public law and international law in Heidelberg.
This honorable person is also in a dubious think tank, “The European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation” about which one may find relevant information on the homepage of the president of “The European Jewish Congress” (EJC), Viacheslav Moshe Kantor. Among other things are those documents which describe the political intentions of the think tank.
The subject document closes with a reference to that think tank:
This text was prepared – under the aegis of the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation – by a Group of Experts composed of Yoram Dinstein (Chair), Ugo Genesio, Rein Mȕllerson, Daniel Thȕrer and Rȕdiger Wolfrum.
The Three Expert Horsemen of the European Apocalypse? Surely. Throughout his essay, Schneider repeatedly refers to Wolfrum as “Wolfrum in Sheep’s Clothing.” And when you read the European Framework (in English) yourself, you will see that his sardonic contempt for the man is fully justified.
Of particular interest are paragraphs (a), (c) and (d) under Section 1: Definitions:
(a) “Group” means: a number of people joined by racial or cultural roots, ethnic origin or descent, religious affiliation or linquisitc links, gender identity or sexual orientation, or any other characteristics of a similar nature.
(c) “Hate crimes” means: any criminal act however defined, whether committed against persons or property, where the victims or targets are selected because of their real or perceived connection with – or support or membership of – a group as defined in paragraph (a).
(d) “Tolerance” means: respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group as defined in paragraph (a). The definition is without prejudice to the principle of coexistence of diverse groups within a single society.
Muslims, of course, would not be expected to abide by these rules. They can behead a British soldier in broad daylight in London and cite chapter and verse from the Koran, attack Jews in Malmo, rape as many Norwegian women as they like, and invade an auditorium and shout down any speaker who criticizes Islam, yet one may not take umbrage at their “religious affiliation” or ethnicity without risking the charge of having committed a “hate crime” and being “intolerant.”
Muslims, however, can froth at the mouth in hatred and commit atrocious crimes, yet not be charged with “hate crimes.” They can publicly demonstrate carrying signs that read “Freedom of Speech Go to Hell,” “Islam Will Dominate,” and “Behead Those Who Insult Islam” with impunity, yet anyone who appeared in public carrying a sign that read “Sharia Go to Hell” or “Islam is Barbarism” would soon be handcuffed by the police and led away to be charged with a “hate crime” and with “inciting violence.”
Muslims are permitted to hate and express their intolerance. You, the non-Muslim, are not. “Respect, tolerate, and accept” the conundrum.
Schneider parses prominent sections of the European Framework law and explicates their meanings vis-à-vis EU-Speak. For example:
The basic consideration[s] of the document as read are attractive and allow no suspicion to arise – that is if you do not know what EU political-speak means – for instance, “human diversity” standing for the systematic destruction of the autochthonic population and its traditional canon of values. Whereas respect for human dignity is based on recognition of human diversity and the inherent right of every person to be different, etc. [Emphasis in bold is Schneider's]
All possible groups are supposed to be protected by this concept of tolerance – just not the majority population. With this policy, minorities are purposefully advanced at the cost of majority cohesion. This splits the society, thereby controlling it better and leading to the final goal. This becomes visible in the typical, EU-wide concept of the protected minority, which is inherently aimed at splitting the society - divide et impera:
In short – and because the chief beneficiary of this legislation will be Muslims – this means that the Muslim minority will be raised in status to that of the dominant Western culture. By effectively divorcing Muslims from secular Western society, and giving them a special, protected status, all the Dark Age practices inherent in Islam, including Sharia law, will be bestowed the same legal and moral status as the culture of the majority of non-Muslim Westerners.
However, the secular majority, in the name of “diversity,” may not impose its values and ethics on the Muslim “minority” (that would be viewed as “oppression”), but the Muslim “minority” may chip away at the values and ethics of the majority in the name of “tolerance,” until they disappear like the Titanic and slip beneath the waves of history.
The goals of Islamic “cultural” jihad have been iterated repeatedly, among which are the dissolution of Western civilization. The Muslim Brotherhood‘s strategy is clearly stated in an American court document that outlines how Islam will conquer the U.S. (and presumably Canada). That strategy can be seen at work in Europe, as well.
“The process of settlement is a ‘Civilization-Jihadist Process’ with all the word means. The Ikhwan [Muslim Brotherhood] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers…”
Read more: Family Security Matters
- EU Proposal to Monitor “Intolerant” Citizens (counterjihadreport.com)
- EU Unveils Crackdown on Free Speech (frontpagemag.com)
- Eu Tolerance Law Proposal Is Serious Threat to Free Speech (alanbrighty.wordpress.com)
by Timon Dias:
When European history teachers omit the Holocaust from their curriculum, they do not do this because they hate their Jewish students more than their Muslim students. They omit it because they are afraid of their Muslim students. They might also believe they do it to be “nice,” but then how come this same “niceness” is not afforded to the Jews?
In the “Stockholm Syndrome,” now seen, ironically, in Sweden, victims start bonding with their abusers in the wish that if they share the same values as their abusers, their abusers might stop abusing them. “We must be open and tolerant toward Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so toward us.” — Jens Orback, former Swedish government minister.
The European Union [EU] is singling out Israel for sanctions. Not only are the officials at the EU failing to boycott other regions that legally count as occupied territories, but they are actively aiding at least one clearly occupying power, Turkey, in the Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus: in 2006, the EU approved a $259 million aid package for the Turkish Cypriot community there. In addition to that double-standard, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs, Catherine Ashton, has revealed noticeable prejudice on multiple occasions, the latest example being when she felt compelled to compare the Toulouse massacre to “what’s happening in Gaza,” any similarities to which would objectively be hard to come by.
Is there, then, an EU tendency to be anti-Semitic? As Thomas Friedman once wrote “Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile. But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.”
Jens Orback (center), a former Swedish government minister, famously said: “We must be open and tolerant toward Islam and Muslims because when we become a minority, they will be so toward us.” (Image source: Swedish Social Democratic Party/Anders Löwdin)
Recently, a shocking development was reported on in Belgium by Peter Martino, in which elementary schools are using government approved anti-Semitic textbooks for their history classes. That report recalled a Belgian girl in 2008, who wore a small star of David around her neck, and told the author she had just been refused entry to a bus in Belgium by a bus driver who said that, as a Muslim, he could not allow her to enter the bus. In the 21st century, in Western Europe, a girl was turned away from a public bus because she was a Jew.
What still stings me is that I did not take her seriously; what she said, however, has proven anything but far fetched. A 2011 study by Mark Elchardus, relates that one out of every two Muslim students in Brussels — half — are anti-Semitic. A recent study roughly replicated the same results for the Belgian cities of Ghent and Antwerp. Conversely, Belgium is also the country that is allowing Abou Jahjah, founder of the Arab-European League, a known anti-Semite and Hezbollah affiliate, accused of instigating riots and forming a private militia, to return to Belgium after having left it for Lebanon in 2006 to “fight off the foreign invasion” alongside Hezbollah. A country in which officials teach schoolchildren that the Holocaust was similar to “what’s happening in Gaza”; that accepts the return of a man who was part of a foreign hostile fighting force and says he “felt a sense of victory” on 9/11, is indeed likely to become a country where a girl is refused entry on a bus because she is Jewish.
How is this dynamic to be explained? Besides the latent or active anti-Semitism that might drive EU leaders in their unequally-applied conduct toward Israel — as opposed to other nations such as Turkey that are committing the same alleged offense — another explanation is worth exploring.
The author Ali Salim recently began a popular article with: “We Muslims make the mistake of thinking Europeans really care about us, especially the Palestinians. We are wrong. Europeans simply hate the Jews more than they hate and fear us.”
Although possible, it might also be worth to consider, an alternative explanation: that many Europeans fear Muslims more than they fear Jews, and therefore give in to anti-Semitic tendencies. When European history teachers, for example, omit the Holocaust from their curriculum in order not to offend Muslim students, they do not do that because they hate their Jewish students more than they hate their Muslim students. They do it because they are terrified of their Muslim students.
Read more at Gatestone Institute
by Soeren Kern:
Opponents of the mosque argue that Greek taxpayers should not be footing the bill for this project at a time when their massively indebted country is dependent upon foreign aid just to stay afloat. The Greek government appears to be worried about thinly veiled threats of violence by thousands of residents in Athens who have been pressuring government ministers to meet their demands to build a mosque or face an uprising.
“It is a very big tragedy for us Muslims that there is no mosque here. Greece produced democracy and civilization and the respect of religion, but they don’t respect our Muslims to provide us with a regular, legal mosque.” — Syed Mohammed Jamil of the Pakistan-Hellenic Society
The Greek government has awarded a tender to build the first taxpayer-funded mosque in Athens, one of the few remaining capitals in the European Union that lacks a state-funded mosque.
The Ministry of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks said on November 14 that it had finally chosen a consortium of four construction companies to build the mosque. Four previous tenders had failed due to a lack of interest amid mounting public opposition to the mosque.
Construction of the 600 square meter (6,500 square foot) mosque—which will cost Greek taxpayers at least €950,000 ($1.3 million)—is due to begin within the next two months. Once the contracts are signed, the tender calls for the project to be completed within six months.
The plan calls for renovating an existing government-owned building on a disused naval base in the industrial district of Votanikos near the center of Athens. The mosque—which will not have minarets—will have a capacity for around 500 worshippers.
The Fethiye Mosque in Athens, Greece. It was built in 1456/1458 on the ruins of a middle Byzantine basilica. (Image source: Lapost/WikiMedia Commons)
The mosque plan continues to generate considerable controversy. Opponents of the mosque argue that Greek taxpayers should not be footing the bill for this project at a time when their massively indebted country is dependent upon foreign aid just to stay afloat.
According to the latest available statistics, the Greek economy—which has been struggling through six years of recession—contracted by another 3% during the third quarter of 2013. The unemployment rate now exceeds 27% (the jobless rate for those under 25 exceeds 60%) and analysts say the Greek economic crisis shows no signs of ending.
But the Greek government appears to be worried about thinly veiled threats of violence by thousands of Muslim residents in Athens who have been pressuring government ministers to meet their demands for a mosque or face an uprising.
Read more at Gatestone Institute
By Michael Curtis:
It is no accident that the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states, “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.” It is also no accident that there is no such absolute provision in the Arab and Islamic world.
On the contrary, for at least fifteen years a concerted effort has been made by Islamic organizations, particularly the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) to prevent or limit criticism of Islam and the Prophet.
This effort of the OIC has led to calls for controls of free speech in democratic countries as well as implementation of repression in its own member states. Although this OIC objective and its consequences have become familiar, it is puzzling that the Obama Administration, and Hillary Clinton, while Secretary of State, did not resist it but rather seemed to compromise with it.
It should have been obvious that major international organs have been manipulated by the OIC to suppress speech. Each year from 1999 until 2010, one of the countries of the 57 member-state OIC, often Pakistan, has proposed resolutions in the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) and in the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) outlawing “defamation of religions.”
Rather than protection of religions in general, the intent of all the resolutions that have been passed is to declare criticism of Islam illegal and therefore punishable. More recently, OIC-inspired resolutions have condemned and called for penalization of what they term “Islamophobia.”
However, the number of states approving such resolutions has been declining. The OIC is aware of the fact that democratic countries have become alert to the fact that infringements of free speech result from any implementation of supposed “defamation” resolutions.
In 2011 the OIC, attempting to overcome criticism of its tactics, no longer used the concept of “defamation of religions.” It modified its extremist rhetoric, but not its objective.
On March 24, 2011 at the UNHRC, the OIC introduced Resolution 16/18. The Resolution was worded and then revised to make it more acceptable to the U.S. It avoided “defamation” and instead called for “fighting against intolerance, negative stereotyping, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against individuals because of their religion or belief.” It seemingly appeared to be concerned with individuals, rather than a religion. The OIC tactic was successful. The Resolution, which is nonbinding, was adopted by consensus.
What is important was the next step, the creation of “The Istanbul Process” at a meeting in Istanbul in July 2011 initiated by Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, Secretary-General of the OIC, with the assistance of Hillary Clinton and Catherine Ashton, European Union (EU) Foreign Representative.
Read more at The Commentator
It took 11 years, but Judicial Watch recently received a response to a 2002 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that revealed another major missed opportunity by the Clinton administration to prevent the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack, which is part of perhaps the most catastrophic failure in the history of U.S. intelligence.
The new document reads like a Robert Ludlum spy novel, replete with exotic locales and sinister plots. Its pages explode with intricate twists and international intrigue. The villains are palpably evil; their plans, pernicious and deadly. But the good guys seemed largely oblivious to their machinations.
The chilling details come from the Defense Intelligence Agency, which finally handed over an intelligence information report titled “Letters Detailing Osama bin Laden and Terrorists’ Plans to Hijack an Aircraft Flying Out of Frankfurt, Germany, in 2000.” The report is dated Sept. 27, 2001.
In early 2000, the documents informed America’s top intelligence analysts that al Qaeda had devised a sophisticated plan to hijack a commercial airliner departing Frankfurt International Airport between March and August 2000. The terrorist team was to consist of an Arab, a Pakistani and a Chechen, and their targets were U.S. Airlines, Lufthansa and Air France. The document pieces together an intricate plot directed by a 40-year-old Saudi, Sheik Dzabir, from a prominent family with ties to the House of Saud. It revealed that al Qaeda had actually penetrated the consular section of the German Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, relying on a contact referred to as “Mrs. Wagner” to provide European Union visas for use in forged Pakistani passports for the terrorists.
These revelations came from an unidentified source that provided U.S. authorities with copies of Arabic letters containing precise information about the al Qaeda plot. It was all laid out in minute detail.
So, how did the Clinton administration respond? In the incriminating words of the intelligence information report, advanced warning of the plot “was disregarded because nobody believed that Osama bin Laden or the Taliban could carry out such an operation.” Perhaps that explains why, for 13 years, the report was classified “secret” and hidden from public view until Judicial Watch forced its release in August of this year.
Read more at Washington Times
The first thing I ever wrote about Islam was an essay for Partisan Review entitled “Tolerating Intolerance,” which was published a few months after 9/11. My argument, in brief, was that Islam is not just a religion but an ideology that teaches an extreme and violent intolerance – and that Europeans had a right to protect the freedom of their societies by implementing well-informed immigration and integration policies. Now the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), founded in 2008 and consisting largely of former European presidents or prime ministers, has issued a report whose thrust is – and I quote – that there’s “no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.” But the
argument of the report – which was presented to the European Parliament in late September and takes the form of a “Model Statute for Tolerance” that the ECTR hopes to see enacted by all EU member states, is light-years away from the one I made all those years ago in Partisan Review. The ECTR’s concern is not with addressing the importation into Europe of Islamic intolerance but, rather, with addressing the purported intolerance of Europeans toward (among other things) imported Islam.
If you want an idea of where the ECTR is coming from, check out a recent article, “Divided We Fall: Intolerance in Europe Puts Rights at Risk,” by Benjamin Ward of Human Rights Watch. Here’s how Ward starts out:
An Afghan migrant is stabbed in the heart on the streets of Athens. Black-shirted paramilitaries linked to Hungary’s third-largest political party march through a Roma neighbourhood shouting, “You will die here.” A neo-Nazi gang commits a string of murders of Turkish immigrants in Germany. An ideologue driven by hatred of “multiculturalism” kills 67 mostly young people on a Norwegian Island….It may be comforting to see these incidents as isolated, disconnected or driven by local events. But the truth is more discomforting: hatred and intolerance are moving into the mainstream in Europe.
Never mind intolerance by Muslims. Even to speak of that intolerance is to be, well, intolerant. Ward slams Silvio Berlusconi for suggesting in 2010 that reducing immigration into Italy would lower crime rates, and vilifies Angela Merkel for saying that Germans “feel tied to Christian values” and that immigrants “who don’t accept them don’t have a place here.” Ward’s picture of a continent where the principal threats to life and liberty are nativist bigots who torment innocent gypsies and slaughter peaceable Muslims is a fantasy. But Ward’s not alone in promulgating it. On the contrary, this funhouse-mirror picture underlies every current attempt by the EU and its affiliates to shut down free speech, including, as Soeren Kern reports, “the EU’s ongoing work towards a new ‘Equal Treatment Directive,’” which is the malignant framework within which the ECTR’s report was presented.
“There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant.” The sentence is immediately succeeded, in the ECTR’s “Model Statute,” by the following statement: “This is especially important as far as freedom of expression is concerned: that freedom must not be abused to defame other groups.” The report goes on to prescribe comprehensive guidelines for the surveillance, monitoring, prosecution, and punishment of such “abuses” of “freedom of expression.” As European Dignity Watch, a Brussels-based NGO, puts it in a blistering commentary, the ECTR’s “understanding of tolerance” is “highly problematic,” with the term itself being defined “vaguely” (as “respect for and acceptance of the expression, preservation and development of the distinct identity of a group”) and employed in a way that is riddled with “double standards.” Nor could the ECTR’s recommended edicts be much more sweeping: it proposes that speech be subjected to controls of a sort unheard of in the modern West, that groups be placed above individuals, that European law recognize the concept of “group libel” and punish it as a crime, that the burden of proof be reversed in cases of allegedly “intolerant” speech about groups, that certain “vulnerable and disadvantaged groups” be given “special protection” (“some animals,” wrote Orwell, “are more equal than others”), that juveniles found guilty of speech crimes against groups “be required to undergo a rehabilitation program designed to instill in them a culture of tolerance” (re-education camps, anyone?), that schools and the media be pressured to indoctrinate “tolerance” (as defined, needless to say, by the ECTR), and that an elaborate enforcement and judiciary apparatus in the form of National Tolerance Monitoring Commissions and “special administrative unit[s]” subordinate to European nations’ respective Ministries of Justice.
Read more at Front Page
by Soeren Kern:
“There is no need to be tolerant to the intolerant” — European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance, Article 4
“The supra-national surveillance that it would imply would certainly be a dark day for European democracy.” — European Dignity Watch
While European leaders are busy expressing public indignation over reports of American espionage operations in the European Union, the European Parliament is quietly considering a proposal that calls for the direct surveillance of any EU citizen suspected of being “intolerant.”
Critics say the measure — which seeks to force the national governments of all 28 EU member states to establish “special administrative units” to monitor any individual or group expressing views that the self-appointed guardians of European multiculturalism deem to be “intolerant” — represents an unparalleled threat to free speech in a Europe where citizens are already regularly punished for expressing the “wrong” opinions, especially about Islam.
The proposed European Framework National Statute for the Promotion of Tolerance was recently presented to members of the Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, the only directly-elected body of the European Union.
The policy proposal was drafted by the European Council on Tolerance and Reconciliation (ECTR), a non-governmental organization established in Paris in 2008 by the former president of Poland, Aleksander Kwasniewski, and the president of the European Jewish Congress, Moshe Kantor.
Lars Hedegaard was acquitted by the Danish Supreme Court in 2012 on charges of “hate speech” for critical comments he made about Islam.
The ECTR — which describes itself as a “tolerance watchdog” that “prepares practical recommendations to governments and international organizations on improving interreligious and interethnic relations on the continent” — includes on its board more than a dozen prominent European politicians, including former Spanish Prime Minister José María Aznar.
The ECTR first presented its proposal for a Europe-wide Law on Tolerance to the European Parliament in November 2008 as part of the European Week of Tolerance that marked the 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, a night of anti-Semitic violence that began the Jewish Holocaust in Germany.
After five years of lobbying in Europe’s halls of power, the ECTR proposal appears to be making headway, as evidenced by the European Parliament’s recent decision to give the group a prominent 45-minute time slot to present its proposal to the Civil Liberties committee on September 17.
Also known as the “Model Statute for Tolerance,” the ECTR’s proposal was presented as part of the EU’s ongoing work towards a new “Equal Treatment Directive” (ETD) that would vastly expand the scope of discrimination to all sectors of life in both the public and private spheres.
Critics of the ETD, currently being negotiated within the Council of the European Union, say the directive seeks to establish an ill-conceived concept of “equal treatment” as a horizontal principle governing the relationships between all and everyone, thus interfering with the right of self-determination of all citizens.
According to European Dignity Watch, a civil rights watchdog based in Brussels,
The principles of freedom of contract and the freedom to live according to one’s personal moral views are in danger of being superseded by a newly developed concept of ‘equality.’ It would undermine freedom and self-determination for all Europeans and subject the private life of citizens to legal uncertainty and the control of bureaucrats. It is about governmental control of social behavior of citizens. These tendencies begin to give the impression of long-passed totalitarian ideas and constitute an unprecedented attack on citizens’ rights.
When viewed in the broader context of the ETD, the ECTR document is so audacious in scope, while at the same time so vague in defining its terminology, that critics say the proposal, if implemented, would open a Pandora’s Box of abuse, thereby effectively shutting down the right to free speech in Europe.
Read more at Gatestone Institute
By Majid Rafizadeh:
The two-day nuclear talks between Iran and the West, which are the first formal negotiations since the election of Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, resumed this week in Geneva. The talks in Geneva, which were held on Tuesday and Wednesday, involved representatives of Iran (primarily Including Javad Zarif, Iran’s foreign minister and Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi) and the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, plus Germany – the so-called “P5+1″ group — Britain, China, France, Russia and the United States plus Germany.
The predominant mainstream and liberal media — which has abandoned professional and nuanced journalism and analysis when it comes to its coverage on US foreign policy towards the Islamic Republic of Iran — has naively projected a “positive” result of meeting with the Iranian nuclear team, showing trust towards the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear enrichment, and revealing assurance of the advancment in the nuclear negotiations. In that regards, the coverage of these two-days talks have been very shallow and rudimentary.
Even the Obama administration’s delegation and the European representatives issued remarks that showed their satisfaction with the path that the Islamist leaders are taking in Tehran regarding spinning centrifuges and enriching uranium.
The US delegate and European representatives were pleased and contend with the presentation of the shrewd Iranian foreign minister, Javad Zarif, who used the English language and power points to outline Tehran’s classic position through his presentation titled “Closing an unnecessary crisis: Opening new horizons.” He insisted that Iran has the right to enrich uranium.
According to Reuters news, a senior State Department official said on condition of anonymity “The discussion was useful, and we look forward to continuing our discussions in tomorrow’s meetings with the full P5+1 (six powers) and Iran” several Western diplomats and representatives including a US State department official and Michael Mann, a spokesman for Catherine Ashton, the European Union’s top foreign policy official and the lead negotiator in the talks with Iran, pointed out that the Iranian proposal had been “very useful…. For the first time, very detailed technical discussions continued this afternoon.”
Without doubt, the Iranian Islamist and radical clerics and Ayatollah view this as scoring a significant victory against the West and Israel. Iranian leaders are probably even astonished at how easily it was to delude the West- with some nice words, exchanges of pleasantries, presenting a power point in the English language, and using a softer tone. What the leaders and the Ayatollahs of Islamic Republic of Iran really needs and are anxious bout, is one thing: Buy a little bit more time. Iranian leader are very anxious to have a year or less than year more time to achieve their hegemonic dream.
They have been very successful at achieving this method for over a decade since their clandestine nuclear activities in cities of Natanz and Arak were revelead by a Iranian oppositional group based outside the Islamic Republic of Iran. The meetings this week definitely indicated that Obama’s administration and European Union leaders are more than willing to buy the argument of the Islamic Republic of Iran to do more negotiations and more talks, and to give Tehran want it desires. They have been doing these talks and negotiations for 14 years and no result have been yielded. However, for the theocratic and Islamist leaders of the Islamic Republic of Iran, many crucial outcomes have resulted since they started playing around with the negotiations and talks -over its nuclear clandestine activities- with United States and the West 14 years ago.
First of all, by being able to buy time and delude the West, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the West, the Ayatollahs, Islamists, Imams and clerics in the Islamic Republic of Iran have been capable of reaching a 20 percent of Uranium which is considered to be a relatively technical short step from obtaining weapons-grade material and arms. Secondly, only in the last year, Iran’s nuclear abilities have advanced considerably in comparison to 2011-2012. The Islamic Republic of Iran has increased thousands of advanced centrifuges which are continuing to spin as well as more Iranian engineers have been added to work on a plant that will produce plutonium. Increasingly number of nuclear experts points out that Tehran is short step from having the capacity to quickly produce a nuclear weapon.
Read more at Front Page
Column One: Israel and the new Munich (JPOST.COM)
TIMMERMAN: Letter from an Iranian prison (washingtonpost.com)
”Turkey is the biggest jail for journalists in Europe,” said Erkan Ipekci, Turkish journalist and winner of the International Reporter of the Year Award given annually by the National Union of Italian Reporters (UNCI).
Ipekci is the president of the Turkish Journalists Union (TGS). He was given the award his organization’s untiring work defending the large number of Turkish journalists who have been arrested, fired from their jobs or sentenced to prison over the last number of years.
“Since 2009, some 183 journalist have ended up in prison, 63 of whom are still in jail,” Ipekci said, speaking to ANSAmed News . “Since then we have begun to feel ever more the effects of amendments to anti-terrorism laws and those to the criminal code introduced in 2005 with European support.”
The new criminal code was ostensibly introduced to meet European standards necessary for Turkey to be accepted into the European Union. However, secularists and journalists feared Islamist Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan would use some of the regulations to favor Islamists and suppress free speech by journalists.
Read more at The Clarion Project
by EDWARD CLINE:
Joseph Conrad, the writer, was astonished to learn early in the 20th century that Britain, his adopted country, had a “Censor of Plays.” In a 1907 essay* he wrote about the character of an individual who would assume the power and harbor the hubris as the supreme arbiter of what appeared on the British stage. Needless to say, he does not “appreciate” the existence of a censor:
“…I have come to the conclusion in the security of my heart and the peace of my conscience that he must be either an extreme megalomaniac or an utterly unconscious being.
“He must be unconscious. It is one of the qualifications for his magistracy. Other qualifications are equally easy. He must have done nothing, expressed nothing, imagined nothing. He must be obscure, insignificant and mediocre – in thought, act, speech and sympathy. He must know nothing of art, of life – and of himself. For if he did he would not dare to be what he is.”
While the Church had been censoring written and spoken speech for centuries, government censorship of plays in Britain began in earnest with the Stage Licensing Act of 1737, to protect then Prime Minister Robert Walpole from criticism by satire and mockery on the stage, and ended with the Theatres Act of 1968. But other forms of censorship subsequently were enacted in Britain, many conforming to the legislative censorship of the European Union, rendering freedom of speech in Britain contingent on those laws, which amounts to a byzantine maze of “negatives.”
Article Ten of the European Convention reads:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.
2. The exercise of these freedoms, since it carries with it duties and responsibilities, may be subject to such formalities, conditions, restrictions or penalties as are prescribed by law and are necessary in a democratic society, in the interests of national security, territorial integrity or public safety, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, for the protection of the reputation or rights of others, for preventing the disclosure of information received in confidence, or for maintaining the authority and impartiality of the judiciary.
Given the woozy state of any definition of freedom of speech today, or even its practice, in virtually any country, Article Ten not so much guarantees freedom of speech, but wraps it in a Rubik’s Cube-like conceptual straightjacket which only a puzzle-master or a consummate politically correct judge would be able to grasp. It is burdened with so many qualifications and exceptions it may as well decree: “We will let you know when you are ‘free’ to say anything. Until then, be quiet, or it’s a fine and the lockup for you.”
For example, a Swedish man has been charged with “intentionally disrupting a religious or spiritual ceremony,” in this instance, the Friday call to prayers outside a Stockholm mosque, by honking his car horn. This is an example of Sweden’s fatal dhimmitude and deference to its growing Muslim population. But, I am betting that no one has ever been charged with the same offense for honking a horn outside a church while its bells were ringing.
Of course, the local Swedish law must conform to the European Convention one, or at least not conflict with it. But, how does one categorize “horn honking” as unprotected speech? Does it encourage “disorder or crime”? Does it violate “the rights of others”? Is it a dereliction of one’s alleged “duty and responsibility”? How does one reconcile the “right” not to hear a honking horn and the “right,” if you are not a Muslim, not to hear some talentless muezzin screeching and wailing for between three to five minutes every Friday afternoon?
Well, you don’t reconcile them, because these are not “rights.” On the one hand, the government frowns on literal horn honking if it bothers Muslims. On the other, it protects the equivalent of malicious horn honking, that is, the loud call to prayers. The call to prayers is “spiritual”; horn honking is not. So says fiat, non-objective jurisprudence.
While the Swedish man denies he deliberately honked his horn to disturb the congregated Muslims – we cannot know the contents of his mind, that is, what he intended - it would not have mattered had he confessed that this was his intention. He is still liable under the city’s municipal code. He disturbed the “peace” of the faithful. Period.
Read more: Family Security Matters