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Author Topic: Islam in Europe and pre-emptive dhimmitude  (Read 235195 times)
Power User
Posts: 9464

« Reply #300 on: May 12, 2009, 03:25:51 PM »

"suggesting a boycott is a valid and legal method of protest, isn't it?" - No.  They were not "suggesting a boycott", they were physically removing items from the shelves. You can't walk into a department store and take down their display.  You can't walk onto a roofing project, object to their shingles and move the shingles, after they are carried and stacked near the roof, to another location on the property, unstacked.  Not in a civilized country.  But these people would love to turn France, Sweden or the US into a third world country, parts of each are already.

"Baseless accusations"?

"Trespassing" - Yes. They are entering the store, private property, with no intention of buying, applying for a job or anything to do with why the doors are open to them.

"Vandalism" - Yes. Disrupting the flow of business and taking down displays of value to the store.

"Stealing merchandise" - No. Why lie? I didn't write that.  I said stealing the investment they had in the labor etc. invested to place the items in the locations where they wanted them.  I have explained that 4 times now.

"took a few items off a retail supermarket shelf, decided they didn't want to buy these items, and then simply left them in another part of the store" - No. Who are you fooling? Anyone reading this can see the video and that isn't what was happening.

This is what I take away from this exchange: You and I don't have shared values enough to have any kind of back and forth exchange and the time I spent trying to explain myself to you, only to have it twisted back, is part of my life I will never get back.

I will try not to comment on your posts in the future and ask the same in return.
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #301 on: May 12, 2009, 04:34:26 PM »

Doug, I think sometimes emotion gets in the way of logic.

If you research criminal Trespassing, Vandalism, and Theft (you and others earlier implied earlier that they might have
stolen the merchandise) and/or upsetting the "placement of the merchandise" you will find that none of these are
criminally prosecutable in this case.  Even GM, while given that he is in law enforcement, and given that he strongly
supports your position, didn't imply that he would or could arrest these people for any of the above actions.
And if I walk into a department store, gather up suits, shirts, sox, and shoes, removing them from the shelves, but
do not buy and leave the product on the premises, it may be rude and disrespectful, but it is not a crime.  And that
is what happened, regardless of motive, therefore no crime was committed.  It's really quite simple.

I think we overall do share the same values.  GM has offered other examples; I agreed, IF violence or destruction of
property took place, the perpetrators should be arrested.  But in this case, and I am only addressing this case, that is
not the situation.  Merely rearranging the merchandise does not make one a criminal. 

Simply because one does not agree with their cause does not deny them the right to protest  Otherwise next time
the shoe will be on the other foot.  I think this particular issue draws emotional responses.  But there are two sides.
I posted today without comment in the section "Anti-semitism & Jews" an excellent editorial written by a Jewish man
who explains my opinion much more eloquently.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2009, 06:02:14 PM by JDN » Logged
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #302 on: May 12, 2009, 07:47:44 PM »

So if this conduct is legal, could anti-abortion activists go into a Planned Parenthood and hold such a protest?

Could you go into your local supermarket and hold a similar protest?  I suggest you walk your talk and see how it turns out.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #303 on: May 12, 2009, 10:40:45 PM »

Sunday, April 12, 2009

French Supermarket Intifada   [Tom Gross]
A taste of things to come... appearing soon at a supermarket near you?

Recently several French supermarkets have been invaded and any produce suspected of originating from Israel has been destroyed.

Here is one example at French supermarket chain Carrefour:

Where are the police?

A journalist friend of mine in Paris tells me that the organization of boycotts is illegal in France, and that the destruction of Israeli products deprived some Orthodox Jews of the opportunity to buy kosher products and they subsequently went hungry (almost all processed kosher foods sold in France come from Israel).

Now, the London Jewish Chronicle reports that the British supermarket giant Tesco has set up a customer helpline for those considering boycotting Israeli goods.

Callers selecting the general information option on its customer helpline hear the recorded message: “If you are ringing regarding Israeli goods, please press one.” They are then connected to specially-trained call center staff.

No other country is targeted this way – just Israel, the Middle East’s only true democracy. Tesco is now a public company (and by some estimates is the world's fourth largest retailer) but the chain’s founder in 1919, Jewish immigrant Jack Cohen, must be turning in his grave.
« Reply #304 on: May 13, 2009, 12:12:10 AM »

Trust GM to find a source. You can find plenty more of the same genre by searching "Israel Boycott" on YouTube. Here's the YouTube video from GM's piece:

You know, JDN, I try to sit them out every now and then, but that inanity hammer always appears. Last scene in the You Tube movie at GM's link show all the Green Shirts parading with their carts up an escalator that is clearly outside of the store and within some sort of mall. So are you of the opinion these folks "boycotted" a product by loading up carts, paying for the contents, and then parading around the mall with them? An aberration, no doubt. All those other boycotters aren't also interested in doing Israel economic harm, right?

Further, you don't strike me as someone who has stocked a lot of shelves in your life. In view of your likely ignorance on the subject you sure are free with other people's labor when it comes time to restock, assuming of course there is something to restock with, which I doubt as I think all the "boycotted" items walk out of the store.

But lets assume all those items are indeed restocked. What kind of shape do you think a clementine orange that's been sitting in a stacked full shopping cart will be in? Seeing how the item was handled by someone who likely has a venomous hatred for Israel, would you feed that orange to a child you cared for? Think those flowers that got plunked in the cart are going to be in shape to give to your sweetie once the are restocked? And how do you think the costs of restocking removed items, and replacing damaged, tainted, or stolen items get passed on? Think the store eats the cost, or perhaps everyone who shops there gets it tacked on to their bill? Where are your relentlessly egalitarian sensibilities when vandals get the costs of their actions underwritten by others?

I could go on, but what's the point? Think you like sucking people into pointless, circular discussions from which little value can be derived. And it pisses me off that Doug, who invariably posts stuff that I do derive value from gets driven from conversations due to your smug foolishness.

Doug, don't let these patrician circumlocutions drive you from the debate. I seek out your posts and frequently find that they lead me interesting directions. Please ignore the sand that gets tossed in the air and keep doing what you do so well.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2009, 12:15:09 AM by Body-by-Guinness » Logged
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #305 on: May 13, 2009, 12:21:21 AM »

GM; I think we need to move on.

AGAIN, as to the French Supermarket in question, nothing was destroyed.  No crime committed.
NO  criminal theft, no trespassing, no vandalism.  But as a law enforcement officer, you know that.

As for the Police, the protest/incident was so minor (check out the other happy customers milling
about the store) management didn't care.  No complaint, therefore no police; but again, you know that.
Probably  these same "protestors" will be customers tomorrow.

And while I agree, Israel is the Middle East's only true democracy, some think their treatment and
policy towards the Palestinians is outrageous..  And therefore they protest and boycott. That is their right.
Boycott's are a part of American tradition too, nothing wrong or illegal.
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #306 on: May 13, 2009, 12:26:15 AM »

You know, JDN, I try to sit them out every now and then, but that inanity hammer always appears. Last scene in the You Tube movie at GM's link show all the Green Shirts parading with their carts up an escalator that is clearly outside of the store and within some sort of mall. So are you of the opinion these folks "boycotted" a product by loading up carts, paying for the contents, and then parading around the mall with them? An aberration, no doubt. All those other boycotters aren't also interested in doing Israel economic harm, right?

Actually, I think Doug even acknowledged that no product was stolen from the store; it was all left behind.  But I too noticed the carts.  I guess the protesters after they finished protesting
did their own shopping for dinner, clothes, etc. (I presume non Israeli goods).  No wonder the store management was happy to see them.   grin
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #307 on: May 13, 2009, 02:34:11 AM »

GM; I think we need to move on.

**Yes. Once you are trapped by facts you should feel that need.**

AGAIN, as to the French Supermarket in question, nothing was destroyed. 

**Just because something wasn't destroyed, doesn't mean it's value wasn't damaged, as BBG pointed out the cost of restocking and diminished value translate to dollars (or euros) lost.**

No crime committed.

**Wrong. I can't comment as to the Napoleonic code, but in the US what was seen in the youtube clip would be chargable under several statutes. In my state, if you knowingly deprive the lawful owner of an item, that is a form of theft. Disorderly conduct and criminal tampering are a few other charges that spring to mind.**
NO  criminal theft, no trespassing, no vandalism.  But as a law enforcement officer, you know that.

As for the Police, the protest/incident was so minor (check out the other happy customers milling
about the store) management didn't care. 

**Did they? I hate to point out French culture and history, but cowering and submission to thugs isn't exactly unheard of.**

No complaint, therefore no police; but again, you know that.
Probably  these same "protestors" will be customers tomorrow.

**Maybe, and as extortion often works, the extorted businesses might just decide it's easier to pay the jizya rather than have the store burned down.**

And while I agree, Israel is the Middle East's only true democracy, some think their treatment and
policy towards the Palestinians is outrageous..  And therefore they protest and boycott. That is their right.
Boycott's are a part of American tradition too, nothing wrong or illegal.

Boycotts are legal. I'm boycotting Pepsico myself. Let's look at the definition.


The refusal to purchase the products of an individual, corporation, or nation as a way to bring social and political pressure for change.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition

Now, I'm not buying anything from Pepsico. This is legal. If I went to my local grocery store and started sweeping Pepsico products from the shelves, that would be illegal, as mentioned before. Comprende?

Now if you still want to insist that the conduct seen in the video was legal, go down to your local Ralph's, Lucky's or in your case, Whole Foods and see how that works out for you. Be sure to let us know.
Power User
Posts: 42462

« Reply #308 on: May 13, 2009, 03:03:26 AM »


I salute your determination to stay in good spirits here, but , , , dude!!! On the logic front my vote is that you are getting your butt kicked!   cheesy
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #309 on: May 13, 2009, 09:42:29 AM »

Marc, I'm a glutton for punishment   grin

**Just because something wasn't destroyed, doesn't mean it's value wasn't damaged, as BBG pointed out the cost of restocking and diminished value translate to dollars (or euros) lost.**

Since there was no complaint from management; what is the crime?  Restocking is a cost of doing business.  And if you look at the other shoppers, from their actions, as far as they were concerned, there was no crime.  As for the taking of something off a shelf and leaving it somewhere else in the store, that is not a criminal act.  I was going to buy some wine, later I decided I didn't want it, I left it elsewhere in the store.  Is that a crime???  Should I be arrested? That's silly. Yet that is technically what these protestors did.  And I am willing to guess most of the products were in packages and not soft perishable goods. Like my bottle of wine.  Note, no one has stated that they destroyed or damaged any product.  Because the employee had to restock the my bottle of wine,  I "stole" the employee's time???  That's criminal  huh  You would arrest me? With no complaint from the owner  huh  You're kidding right? 

**Wrong. I can't comment as to the Napoleonic code, but in the US what was seen in the youtube clip would be chargable under several statutes. In my state, if you knowingly deprive the lawful owner of an item, that is a form of theft. Disorderly conduct and criminal tampering are a few other charges that spring to mind.**

What item was the owner deprived of; NOTHING was taken.  And please forget that silly fallacious argument about the employee's time.  Further the owner (private property) never filed a complaint (other customers didn't seem to mind, so why should they) so I think disorderly conduct is irrelevant.  Tampering?  Again, no complaint was filed, no evidence of tampering presented.  You have got to have a reason to arrest.

**Did they? I hate to point out French culture and history, but cowering and submission to thugs isn't exactly unheard of.**

I like French culture and history, but since Napoleon, I must agree submission in general seems to the way in France.  No argument.

**Maybe, and as extortion often works, the extorted businesses might just decide it's easier to pay the jizya rather than have the store burned down.**

Pure speculation with no basis of fact in this instance; rather as I pointed out the other customers didn't seem to mind, (in contrast, if the police arrived it would bring negative publicity to the store) and as
someone else pointed out, the protestors had full carts.  I guess they went shopping and bought merchandise after they finished protesting?  Hardly what anyone would call a riot committed by thugs.

The protestors were not boycotting, they were drawing attention to the boycott.  For example you don't like Pepsi and are boycotting it.  Since I have never heard
of this boycott, obviously I am not going to join.  But if you held a protest, it made national news, even the Dogbrothers forum, I would look into
the reasons for the boycott and if agreeable, perhaps join.  But the publicity is needed and obviously this group accomplished that. 

As for me, I'm not big on boycotting.  If Ralph's is having a sale on Pepsi, I might just buy the Pepsi.  But persuade me why Pepsi is bad.

And speaking of Ralph's I worked almost full time for them for two years while I was in school; I understand a little about retail and shelf space and re stocking.

« Reply #310 on: May 13, 2009, 03:20:09 PM »

Let's see, there are these folks who think that launching missiles from hospitals and schools into random population centers, blowing themselves up on busses and elsewhere, and firing indiscriminately into Israeli crowds who have these supporters. These supporters, who relentlessly excuse and justify the behavior described above, go into a store and collect all the Israeli items off of the shelves. They call this action a "boycott," a noble mantle that harkens back to the civil rights struggle, but in fact this effort more closely resembles union goon efforts to run non-union vendors out of town. Be that as it may, these supporters are purported to hold some sort of seance around these carts full of merchandise and then depart, leaving nothing but restocking fees in their wake. Yes, and maybe the tooth fairy helps puts the stuff back on the shelves.

Perhaps you haven't heard, but all around Paris cars get torched on a regular basis. No arrests are made in these arsons, so by "logic" you've employed in this thread, no crime occurred. And throughout Paris there are these ghetto districts that have been built to house immigrant populations, districts so violent that the police rarely patrol them. Clearly, though, little crime occurs in them as so few arrests are made. Indeed, your perspective throughout this thread inspires me to rewrite a philosophical question: if a Palestinian missile falls on an Israeli playground do the death rattles of the dying children make a sound if there is no one there to hear them? In view of the rank foolishness you've embraced throughout the thread, the answer has to be no.

So let's recap, you've again damaged your credibility by embracing an absurd position, driven an intelligent voice from the debate, and forced others to waste time refuting your ludicrous claims. I'm curious if you measure this as a success. If so, what does that say about your character? If not, what does that say about the utility of the techniques you employ?
Power User
Posts: 9464

« Reply #311 on: May 13, 2009, 05:24:12 PM »

BBG, Thanks for kind words, the appreciation is mutual.  Problem here is that this isn't supposed to be a debate IMO, just each person who wants to make their own observations about a situation.  I am here to look for a wider and deeper understanding, not here to dish out punishment.

I made the mistake of repeating points already made as if saying again would help.  It didn't.

My interest was not to narrow the focus to the contents of a promo film for a hate group, but to widen the focus and learn more about the context, who these people really are, what else do they do, how do they decide which cars to torch, who are they linked with and what will they do next.

I came across the video originally on powerline, a rare conservative voice out of MN.  I posted it mostly because of the interest here in the subject of Islam in Europe.'The most telling part was to translate their website and read their hate views on Obama and their adoration of the mob violence in Malmo, Sweden.  They literally put their "boycott" label right over their posting of the thugs throwing bricks at the authorities.  So I know that "Boycott Israel", to them means 'Destroy Israel' and it means 'Destroy the U.S.' too as time permits and their reach widens.

The violence in Sweden preventing spectators at the Davis Cup is a tragedy.  Assuming tennis is one of the top two sports in Sweden, keeping fans out is an act of war in my book, but a fact of life in Malmo and a feather in their cap to these thugs.

So Islam or middle easterners in Europe are tied to these business disruptions and car fires, riots and events canceled in Sweden, the cartoon violence in Denmark, the Theo van Gogh murder in the Netherlands, the threats to Salmon Rushdie, the bombings in London and Madrid and one other important one: these thugs attacked me on my last trip to Europe..

Forget my brush with Islam, or the murders, the car fires, the riots and the bombings... it is offensive and intimidating beyond words for these groups or any protesters, smiling or masked, to enter a private store and stage their event.  I share no values that I know of with anyone who thinks that is 'free speech we all value' and that no harm was done to the store when they are tromping all over the rights and freedoms of others.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2009, 09:09:12 AM by DougMacG » Logged
Power User
Posts: 42462

« Reply #312 on: May 14, 2009, 07:18:21 AM »

"Problem here is that this isn't supposed to be a debate IMO, just each person who wants to make their own observations about a situation.  I am here to look for a wider and deeper understanding, not here to dish out punishment."

Well said!
Power User
Posts: 192

« Reply #313 on: May 14, 2009, 09:50:57 AM »

A controversial Muslim programme-maker has been appointed as the BBC's new head of religious broadcasting.
By Jonathan Wynne-Jones, Religious Affairs Correspondent
Last Updated: 10:26PM BST 11 May 2009

Aaqil Ahmed will move to the corporation from Channel Four, where he upset Roman Catholic priests by commissioning documentaries that appeared to contain a pro-Islam bias.

His appointment will also raise fears at the top levels of the Church of England, which has expressed its concerns over the BBC's treatment of religion and warned that it must not ignore its Christian audience.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, has met with Mark Thompson, the BBC's director-general in March to challenge him over the corporation's religious broadcasting.

Senior bishops have also written to Mr Thompson to question its commitment to Britain's Christian audience.

Leading church figures suspect that the BBC is giving preferential treatment to minority faiths, with a Muslim now in charge of its programming on television and a Sikh producing Songs of Praise, its flagship Christian show.

Christina Rees, a member of the Archbishops' Council, has warned: " The vast majority of the population identifies itself as Christian and as the established Church in England we would be negligent not to take an active concern in the changes happening with the BBC's religion and ethics department."

Rt Rev Nigel Mcculloch, Bishop of Manchester, said yesterday that Mr Ahmed's appointment came "at a time when the BBC's coverage of religion has caused some disquiet".

He said: "The Church of England will be watching how the future of religion and ethics develops. We wish him well in this very important post."

Mr Ahmed is understood to have impressed BBC executives by commissioning a series on Christianity that featured high-profile names, including Cherie Blair and Michael Portillo.

However, the series, Christianity, A History, was criticised by Church figures for trivialising the religion.

Furthermore, Channel 4 was accused of being biased towards Islam and failing to show enough respect to Christianity under Mr Ahmed, who was head of religious broadcasting.

Last summer, the channel screened a week of special programmes on Islam including a feature-length documentary on the Qu'ran, and a series of interviews with Muslims around the world talking about their beliefs.

Yet the main Christian documentary broadcast for Easter that year, called The Secrets of the 12 Disciples, cast doubt on the validity of the Pope.

It argued that St Peter died in Palestine, not in Rome, as the Church has always taught and as he was not the first Pope those elected following him would not have been true successors.

Mr Ahmed's appointment follows claims by Mr Thompson that Islam should be treated more sensitively by the media than Christianity.

"There's no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion, but I don't want to say that all religions are the same," he said.

"To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it."

Mr Ahmed will split the role of overseeing religious broadcasting with, Christine Morgan, who has been promoted to head of Religion Radio.

Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #314 on: May 14, 2009, 10:00:20 AM »

I think different people can reasonably look at a particular incident from a different perspective.  It is one's opinion, different,
but not meant to individually criticize another's opinion. 

I was only attempting to argue the right, in this instance, of the group to "peacefully" protest.  And perhaps to criticize the biases of Powerline in this
particular instance.  I am not defending car bombing, launching missiles from hospitals and schools at random populations, or firing indiscriminately into
Israeli crowds.

By coincidence, last night I was having drinks with a friend of mine (partner major law firm in LA) downtown at my Club and a friend (acquaintance of mine)
of his showed up.  Brilliant older man, eloquent, he is retired from serving on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.  So I decided to raise the issue and ask their opinion.

Both individuals, but particularly the judge found the actions of the group appalling.  And both were aware and deplored the ongoing Islamic violent actions
and intimidation throughout Europe.  It was an interesting conversation as to what could be legally done.  But both agreed in this particular instance,
while acknowledging that the group's motive was possibly anti-semitic and definitely anti-zionist, that they had the right to protest and committed no crime.
Trespass; none.  Theft of employees time to replace the items; that got a good chuckle.  Disorderly conduct; perhaps, but the owner never filed a complaint. 
In summary, no crime.  And the judge vehemently went on defending the right of this group in this instance to peacefully protest in contrast with
the violent actions in other cities.  The judge further went on to discuss that a particular action should be looked at on it's own merit and not be tainted
by the group's action in other cities.  And, then the judge talked about and emphasized the importance of free speech.

We also all agreed that the situation in Europe's immigrant ghettos is deplorable.  And the answers elusive.  And then we gave up and went on to discussing the Dodgers. 
And Manny.  And have another drink.

Power User
Posts: 192

« Reply #315 on: May 14, 2009, 01:28:05 PM »

We also all agreed that the situation in Europe's immigrant ghettos is deplorable.  And the answers elusive.  And then we gave up and went on to discussing the

the answer is mass deportations and immigration reform.  A country accepting immigrants should look at applicants the same way a business interviews potential employees. Will they assimilate and fit into the culture?  Do they speak the language? do they offer a skill set that is in demand?  Will the country be a better place for having them?
If the answer is not yes to all of those questions they should be barred from entering.
« Reply #316 on: May 15, 2009, 03:08:07 PM »

Doug, I understand the points you made above and know that there's no need to jump in on your behalf. I've dealt with the sorts of tactics on display in the videos, managed to surmount them successfully, albeit at a cost, and so have a strong visceral reaction when that sort of goon squad thuggery is defended despite having its true nature explained in several different ways by several different people. Add to that the fact that obstinate, smarmy cognitive dissonance embraced long after it's clear the argument's lost sets me off. What can I say, I'm hardwired in a manner that doesn't let me sit idly by while rank foolishness is spouted or petty thuggery is given a respectable veneer, and have walked away from few fights where that sort of stuff is involved.

Be that as it may, I decided to do something of a reality check by enlisting an expert of my own. Bought a bottle of Ripple and sat down on the curb with the squeegee guy who hangs out by the East Falls Church Metro in Virginia. Asked him if he had ever been involved in an incident  where merchandise was damaged in a retail setting.

"Sure thing," he replied. "I was hittin' some lady up for change at that vegetable stand over in Ballston. She wouldn't cough up nothin' and got pissy about it so I lost it a little and flung some rutabagas to the ground. Got busted for destruction of property."

"Uh huh," I replied, passing him the bottle of Ripple, "and do you have any experience where shoplifting is concerned?"

"Oh hell yeah," the squeegee guy said. "It's a win/win for guys like me. Get away with it and and you got yourself something good, get busted an' yer in for a meal and out on yer own 'recognisance' or somethin' in time to get yer evening buzz on. I tell ya, thank goodness for the liberal nutjobs in Arlington county."

I then got out my laptop and showed the squeegee guy the various videos of the "boycotts" in France, noting that some people I had spoken to thought that no crime had occurred.

"You gotta be effin' kidding me," my drinking buddy said. "The guys behind the camera's are clearly on the side of them green shirted bastards. Though them Palestinians do alot of stupid crap, even they aren't dumb enough to film themselves breaking the law. And how can you think they aren't messin' the stuff up and stealin' it? I mean these guy blow up people all the time, but someone thinks they ain't serious enough to 'lift all that stuff too? Sheeeeit."

I explained a judge and a couple other men who considered themselves quite learned had come to the opposite conclusion while discussing the matter at their club.

"Hah!," said the squeegee guy, "I hope I get that judge someday 'cause he'll probably let me go on my 'recognisance' again. Man, I can just see those guys, sitting in their leather wingback chairs, sipping their single malts and VSOPs, and solving all the problems of the world just like fat cats have forever, and look where it's got us, huh? You ever drank that VSOP? Tastes like cat piss. Hand me the Ripple or are you gonna bogart it all night?"

I packed up my laptop, handed off the bottle, and bid the squeegee guy good day. As I left he called after me, "If any of them fat cats need to get straightened out on somethin' else, send 'em my way an' tell 'em to bring a bottle wif 'em. Anything but VSOP."
Power User
Posts: 2004

« Reply #317 on: May 15, 2009, 04:40:07 PM »

"You gotta be effin' kidding me," my drinking buddy said. "The guys behind the camera's are clearly on the side of them green shirted bastards. Though them Palestinians do alot of stupid crap, even they aren't dumb enough to film themselves breaking the law. And how can you think they aren't messin' the stuff up and stealin' it? I mean these guy blow up people all the time, but someone thinks they ain't serious enough to 'lift all that stuff too? Sheeeeit."

Looks like we have a consensus!  "even they are not dumb enough to film themselves breaking the law".  So even the Ripple drinking Squeegee man agrees the film didn't show anyone breaking any law  wink

No crime...  But Squeegee man  is full of ideas and willing to give his opinion as to what might, could, etc.  Now there's grounds for an arrest and prosecution. huh

PS Don't like VSOP much myself, but I do like the the single malt  smiley
« Reply #318 on: May 15, 2009, 05:24:45 PM »

Agreement is something we most certainly don't have. Anyone with sense enough to shake a scorpion out of his shoe knows a series of crimes were committed, and a scant amount of research confirms that categorically. The fact that you cling so obstinately to so inane a position does nothing but demonstrate how futile it is to participate in any sort of exchange where you're involved.

Crafty, other lists I participate in have an "ignore" option. Would it be too much to ask to get something similar here?
Power User
Posts: 9464

« Reply #319 on: May 16, 2009, 12:03:11 AM »

BBG, Squeegee man looks more even-handed to me than the 9th circus.  What's illegal in their venue is not in yours or mine.  How 'bout that for equal protection.  We are into about the 6th round of pretending the issue is "criminality".  Before the digression it was "free speech we all value", with values being the process of trying to make distinctions between right and wrong.  But that failed so we went for the straw man.

For now, the ignore button rests somewhere between the urge and the click finger and I failed the test miserably.
Power User
Posts: 42462

« Reply #320 on: May 16, 2009, 12:08:17 AM »

Can't you guys just skim past posts by posters you don't like?
Power User
Posts: 192

« Reply #321 on: May 16, 2009, 08:40:54 AM »

Can't you guys just skim past posts by posters you don't like?
hahahahaha, this thread is turning into a train wreck that you know you should pass over but just cant look away.
Power User
Posts: 15532

« Reply #322 on: May 16, 2009, 05:10:24 PM »

Israel Today, the West Tomorrow

May 2009

On Holocaust Memorial Day 2008, a group of just under 100 people—Londoners and a few visitors —took a guided tour of the old Jewish East End. They visited, among other sites of interest, the birthplace of my old chum Lionel Bart, the author of Oliver! Three generations of schoolchildren have grown up singing Bart’s lyric:

Consider yourself

At ’ome!

Consider yourself

One of the family!

Those few dozen London Jews considered themselves at ’ome. But they weren’t. Not any more. The tour was abruptly terminated when the group was pelted with stones, thrown by “youths”—or to be slightly less evasive, in the current euphemism of Fleet Street, “Asian” youths. “If you go any further, you’ll die,” they shouted, in between the flying rubble.

A New Yorker who had just moved to Britain to start a job at the Metropolitan University had her head cut open and had to be taken to the Royal London Hospital at Whitechapel, causing her to miss the Holocaust Day “interfaith memorial service” at the East London Central Synagogue. Her friend, Eric Litwack from Canada, was also struck but did not require stitches. But if you hadn’t recently landed at Heathrow, it wasn’t that big a deal, not these days: Nobody was killed or permanently disfigured. And given the number of Jewish community events that now require security, perhaps Her Majesty’s Constabulary was right and these Londoners walking the streets of their own city would have been better advised to do so behind a police escort.


A European Holocaust Memorial Day on which Jews are stoned sounds like a parody of the old joke that the Germans will never forgive the Jews for Auschwitz. According to a 2005 poll by the University of Bielefeld, 62 percent of Germans “are sick of all the harping on about German crimes against the Jews”—which is a cheerfully straightforward way of putting it. Nevertheless, when it comes to “harping on,” these days it’s the Jews who are mostly on the receiving end. While we’re reprising old gags, here’s one a reader reminded me of a couple of years ago, during Israel’s famously “disproportionate” incursion into Lebanon: One day the U.N. Secretary General proposes that, in the interest of global peace and harmony, the world’s soccer players should come together and form one United Nations global soccer team.

“Great idea,” says his deputy. “Er, but who would we play?”

“Israel, of course.”

Ha-ha. It always had a grain of truth, now it’s the whole loaf.

“Israel is unfashionable,” a Continental foreign minister said to me a decade back. “But maybe Israel will change, and then fashions will change.” Fashions do change. But however Israel changes, this fashion won’t. The shift of most (non-American) Western opinion against the Jewish state that began in the 1970s was, as my Continental politician had it, simply a reflection of casting: Israel was no longer the underdog but the overdog, and why would that appeal to a post-war polytechnic Euro Left unburdened by Holocaust guilt?

Fair enough. Fashions change. But the new Judenhass is not a fashion, simply a stark reality that will metastasize in the years ahead and leave Israel isolated in the international “community” in ways that will make the first decade of this century seem like the good old days.

A few months after the curtailed Holocaust Day tour, I found myself in that particular corner of Tower Hamlets for the first time in years. Specifically, on Cable Street—the scene of a famous battle in 1936, when Sir Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists, in a crude exercise of political muscle, determined to march through the heart of Jewish East London. They were turned back by a mob of local Jews, Irish Catholic dockers, and Communist agitators, all standing under the Spanish Civil War slogan: “No Pasaran.” They shall not pass.

From “No Pasaran” to “If you go any further, you’ll die” is a story not primarily of anti-Semitism but of unprecedented demographic transformation. Beyond the fashionable “anti-Zionism” of the Euro Left is a starker reality: The demographic energy not just in Lionel Bart’s East End but in almost every Western European country is “Asian.” Which is to say, Muslim. A recent government statistical survey reported that the United Kingdom’s Muslim population is increasing ten times faster than the general population. Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and many other Continental cities from Scandinavia to the Côte d’Azur will reach majority Muslim status in the next few years.

Brussels has a Socialist mayor, which isn’t that surprising, but he presides over a caucus a majority of whose members are Muslim, which might yet surprise those who think we’re dealing with some slow, gradual, way-off-in-the-future process here. But so goes Christendom at the dawn of the third millennium: the ruling party of the capital city of the European Union is mostly Muslim.

There are generally two responses to this trend: The first is that it’s like a cast change in Cats or, perhaps more precisely, David Merrick’s all-black production of Hello, Dolly! Carol Channing and her pasty prancing waiters are replaced by Pearl Bailey and her ebony chorus, but otherwise the show is unchanged. Same set, same words, same arrangements: France will still be France, Germany Germany, Belgium Belgium.

The second response is that the Islamicization of Europe entails certain consequences, and it might be worth exploring what these might be. There are already many points of cultural friction—from British banks’ abolition of children’s “piggy banks” to the enjoining of public doughnut consumption by Brussels police during Ramadan. And yet on one issue there is remarkable comity between the aging ethnic Europeans and their young surging Muslim populations: A famous poll a couple of years back found that 59 percent of Europeans regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace.

Fifty-nine percent? What the hell’s wrong with the rest of you? Hey, relax: In Germany, it was 65 percent; Austria, 69 percent; the Netherlands, 74 percent. For purposes of comparison, in a recent poll of Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates—i.e., the “moderate” Arab world—79 percent of respondents regard Israel as the greatest threat to world peace. As far as I know, in the last year or two, they haven’t re-tested that question in Europe, possibly in case Israel now scores as a higher threat level in the Netherlands than in Yemen.

To be sure, there are occasional arcane points of dispute: one recalls, in the wake of the July 7 bombings, the then London Mayor Ken Livingstone’s somewhat tortured attempts to explain why blowing up buses in Tel Aviv is entirely legitimate whereas blowing up buses in Bloomsbury is not. Yet these are minimal bumps on a smooth glide path: The more Europe’s Muslim population grows, the more restive and disassimilated it becomes, the more enthusiastically the establishment embraces “anti-Zionism,” as if the sinister Jewess is the last virgin left to toss in the volcano—which, given the 13-year old “chavs” and “slappers” face down in pools of their own vomit in most British shopping centers of a Friday afternoon, may indeed be the case. For today’s Jews, unlike on Cable Street in 1936, there are no Catholic dockworkers or Communist agitators to stand shoulder to shoulder. In post-Christian Europe, there aren’t a lot of the former (practicing Catholics or practicing dockers), and as for the intellectual Left, it’s more enthusiastic in its support of Hamas than many Gazans.

To which there are many Israelis who would brusquely reply: So what? Pity the poor Jew who has ever relied on European “friends.” Yet there is a difference of scale between the well-established faculty-lounge disdain for “Israeli apartheid” and a mass psychosis so universal it’s part of the air you breathe. For a glimpse of the future, consider the (for the moment) bizarre circumstances of the recent Davis Cup First Round matches in Sweden. They had been scheduled long ago to be played in the Baltiska Hallen stadium in Malmo. Who knew which team the Swedes would draw? Could have been Chile, could have been Serbia. Alas, it was Israel.

Malmo is Sweden’s most Muslim city, and citing security concerns, the local council ordered the three days of tennis to be played behind closed doors. Imagine being Amir Hadad and Andy Ram, the Israeli doubles players, or Simon Aspelin and Robert Lindstedt, the Swedes. This was supposed to be their big day. But the vast stadium is empty, except for a few sports reporters and team officials. And just outside the perimeter up to 10,000 demonstrators are chanting, “Stop the match!” and maybe, a little deeper into the throng, they’re shouting, “We want to kill all Jews worldwide” (as demonstrators in Copenhagen, just across the water, declared just a few weeks earlier). Did Aspelin and Lindstedt wonder why they couldn’t have drawn some less controversial team, like Zimbabwe or Sudan? By all accounts, it was a fine match, thrilling and graceful, with good sportsmanship on both sides. Surely, such splendid tennis could have won over the mob, and newspapers would have reported that by the end of the match the Israeli players had the crowd with them all the way. But they shook ’em off at Helsingborg.

Do you remember the “road map” summit held in Jordan just after the U.S. invasion of Iraq? It seemed a big deal at the time: The leaders of Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the U.S. president, all the A-list dictators of the Arab League. Inside the swank resort, it was all very collegial, smiles and handshakes. Outside, flags fluttered—Jordan’s, America’s, Saudi Arabia’s, Egypt’s, Palestine’s. But not Israel’s. King Abdullah of Jordan had concluded it would be too provocative to advertise the Zionist Entity’s presence on Jordanian soil even at a summit supposedly boasting they were all on the same page. Malmo’s tennis match observed the same conventions: I’m sure the Swedish tennis wallahs were very gracious hosts behind the walls of the stockade, and the unmarked car to the airport was top of the line. How smoothly the furtive maneuvers of the Middle East transfer to the wider world.


When Western governments are as reluctant as King Abdullah to fly the Star of David, those among the citizenry who choose to do so have a hard time. In Britain in January, while “pro-Palestinian” demonstrators were permitted to dress up as hook-nosed Jews drinking the blood of Arab babies, the police ordered counter-protesters to put away their Israeli flags. In Alberta, in the heart of Calgary’s Jewish neighborhood, the flag of Hizballah (supposedly a proscribed terrorist organization) was proudly waved by demonstrators, but one solitary Israeli flag was deemed a threat to the Queen’s peace and officers told the brave fellow holding it to put it away or be arrested for “inciting public disorder.” In Germany, a student in Duisburg put the Star of David in the window of an upstairs apartment on the day of a march by the Islamist group Milli Görüs, only to have the cops smash his door down and remove the flag. He’s now trying to get the police to pay for a new door. Ah, those Jews. It’s always about money, isn’t it?

Peter, the student in Duisberg, says he likes to display the Israeli flag because anti-Semitism in Europe is worse than at any other time since the Second World War. Which is true. But, if you look at it from the authorities’ point of view, it’s not about Jew-hatred; it’s a simple numbers game. If a statistically insignificant Jewish population gets upset, big deal. If the far larger Muslim population—and, in some French cities, the youth population (i.e., the demographic that riots) is already pushing 50 percent—you have a serious public-order threat on your hands. We’re beyond the anti-Semitic and into the ad hoc utilitarian: The King Abdullah approach will seem like the sensible way to avoid trouble. To modify the UN joke: Whom won’t we play? Israel, of course. Not in public.

One Saturday afternoon a few weeks ago, a group wearing “BOYCOTT ISRAEL” T-shirts entered a French branch of Carrefour, the world’s largest supermarket chain, and announced themselves. They then systematically advanced down every aisle examining every product, seizing all the items made in Israel and piling them into carts to take away and destroy. Judging from the video they made, the protesters were mostly Muslim immigrants and a few French leftists. But more relevant was the passivity of everyone else in the store, both staff and shoppers, all of whom stood idly by as private property was ransacked and smashed, and many of whom when invited to comment expressed support for the destruction. “South Africa started to shake once all countries started to boycott their products,” one elderly lady customer said. “So what you’re doing, I find it good.”

Others may find Germany in the ‘30s the more instructive comparison. “It isn’t silent majorities that drive things, but vocal minorities,” the Canadian public intellectual George Jonas recently wrote. “Don’t count heads; count decibels. All entities—the United States, the Western world, the Arab street—have prevailing moods, and it’s prevailing moods that define aggregates at any given time.” Last December, in a well-planned attack on iconic Bombay landmarks symbolizing power and wealth, Pakistani terrorists nevertheless found time to divert one-fifth of their manpower to torturing and killing a handful of obscure Jews helping the city’s poor in a nondescript building. If this was a territorial dispute over Kashmir, why kill the only rabbi in Bombay? Because Pakistani Islam has been in effect Arabized. Demographically, in Europe and elsewhere, Islam has the numbers. But ideologically, radical Islam has the decibels—in Turkey, in the Balkans, in Western Europe.

And the prevailing mood in much of the world makes Israel an easy sacrifice. Long before Muslims are a statistical majority, there will be three permanent members of the Security Council—Britain, France, Russia—for whom the accommodation of Islam is a domestic political imperative.


On the heels of his call for the incorporation of Sharia within British law, the Archbishop of Canterbury gave an interview to the Muslim News praising Islam for making “a very significant contribution to getting a debate about religion into public life.” Well, that’s one way of putting it. The urge to look on the bright side of its own remorseless cultural retreat will intensify: Once Europeans have accepted a not entirely voluntary biculturalism, they will see no reason why Israel should not do the same, and they will embrace a one-state, one-man, one-vote solution for the land between the Jordan and the Mediterranean.

The Muslim world has spent decades peddling the notion that the reason a vast oil-rich region stretching thousands of miles is politically deformed and mired in grim psychoses is all because of a tiny strip of turf barely wider than my New Hampshire township. It will make an ever more convenient scapegoat for the problems of a far vaster territory from the mountains of Morne to the Urals. There was a fair bit of this in the days after 9/11. As Richard Ingrams wrote on the following weekend in the London Observer: “Who will dare to damn Israel?”

Well, take a number and get in line. The dust had barely settled on the London Tube bombings before a reader named Derrick Green sent me a congratulatory e-mail: “I bet you Jewish supremacists think it is Christmas come early, don’t you? Incredibly, you are now going to get your own way even more than you did before, and the British people are going to be dragged into more wars for Israel.”

So it will go. British, European, and even American troops will withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan, and a bomb will go off in Madrid or Hamburg or Manchester, and there will be nothing left to blame except Israeli “disproportion.” For the remnants of European Jewry, the already discernible migration of French Jews to Quebec, Florida, and elsewhere will accelerate. There are about 150,000 Jews in London today—it’s the thirteenth biggest Jewish city in the world. But there are approximately one million Muslims. The highest number of Jews is found in the 50-54 age group; the highest number of Muslims are found in the four-years-and-under category. By 2025, there will be Jews in Israel, and Jews in America, but not in many other places. Even as the legitimacy of a Jewish state is rejected, the Jewish diaspora—the Jewish presence in the wider world—will shrivel.

And then, to modify Richard Ingrams, who will dare not to damn Israel? There’ll still be a Holocaust Memorial Day, mainly for the pleasures it affords to chastise the new Nazis. As Anthony Lipmann, the Anglican son of an Auschwitz survivor, wrote in 2005: “When on 27 January I take my mother’s arm—tattoo number A-25466—I will think not just of the crematoria and the cattle trucks but of Darfur, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Jenin, Fallujah.” Jenin?

You can see why they’ll keep Holocaust Day on the calendar: In an age when politicians are indifferent or downright hostile to Israel’s “right to exist,” it’s useful to be able to say, “But some of my best photo-ops are Jewish.”

The joke about Mandatory Palestine was that it was the twice-promised land. But isn’t that Europe, too? And perhaps Russia and maybe Canada, a little ways down the line? Two cultures jostling within the same piece of real estate. Not long ago, I found myself watching the video of another “pro-Palestinian” protest in central London with the Metropolitan Police retreating up St. James’s Street to Piccadilly in the face of a mob hurling traffic cones and jeering, “Run, run, you cowards!” and “Allahu akbar!” You would think the deluded multi-culti progressives would understand: In the end, this isn’t about Gaza, this isn’t about the Middle East; it’s about them. It may be some consolation to an ever-lonelier Israel that, in one of history’s bleaker jests, in the coming Europe the Europeans will be the new Jews.
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« Reply #323 on: June 22, 2009, 04:01:17 PM »

Sarkozy says burqas are 'not welcome' in France

1 hr 25 mins ago
PARIS – President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Muslim burqa would not be welcome in France, calling the full-body religious gown a sign of the "debasement" of women.

In the first presidential address to parliament in 136 years, Sarkozy faced critics who fear the burqa issue could stigmatize France's Muslims and said he supported banning the garment from being worn in public.

"In our country, we cannot accept that women be prisoners behind a screen, cut off from all social life, deprived of all identity," Sarkozy said to extended applause at the Chateau of Versailles, southwest of Paris.
"The burqa is not a religious sign, it's a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement — I want to say it solemnly," he said. "It will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic."

Dozens of legislators have called for creating a commission to study a possible ban in France, where there is a small but growing trend of wearing the full-body garment despite a 2004 law forbidding it from being worn in public schools.  France has Western Europe's largest Muslim population, an estimated 5 million people, and the 2004 law sparked fierce debate both at home and abroad.  Even the French government has been divided over the issue, with Immigration Minister Eric Besson saying a full ban would only "create tensions," while junior minister for human rights Rama Yade said she was open to a ban if it was aimed at protecting women forced to wear the burqa.

The terms "burqa" and "niqab" often are used interchangeably in France. The former refers to a full-body covering worn largely in Afghanistan with only a mesh screen over the eyes, whereas the latter is a full-body veil, often in black, with slits for the eyes.
A leading French Muslim group, the French Council for the Muslim Religion, has warned against studying the burqa, saying it would "stigmatize" Muslims.

Sarkozy was due to host a state dinner Monday with Sheik Hamad Bin Jassem Al Thani of Qatar, where women wear Islamic head coverings in public — whether while shopping or driving cars.
« Reply #324 on: June 28, 2009, 10:01:06 PM »

Britain has 85 sharia courts: The astonishing spread of the Islamic justice behind closed doors

By Steve Doughty
Last updated at 1:57 AM on 29th June 2009

At least 85 Islamic sharia courts are operating in Britain, a study claimed yesterday.

The astonishing figure is 17 times higher than previously accepted.

The tribunals, working mainly from mosques, settle financial and family disputes according to religious principles. They lay down judgments which can be given full legal status if approved in national law courts.

Disputes: Islamic leaders rule on disagreements
However, they operate behind doors that are closed to independent observers and their decisions are likely to be unfair to women and backed by intimidation, a report by independent think-tank Civitas said.

Commentators on the influence of sharia law often count only the five courts in London, Manchester, Bradford, Birmingham and Nuneaton that are run by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal, a body whose rulings are enforced through the state courts under the 1996 Arbitration Act.

But the study by academic and Islamic specialist Denis MacEoin estimates there are at least 85 working tribunals.

The spread of sharia law has become increasingly controversial since its role was backed last year by Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams and Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice who stepped down last October.

Dr Williams said a recognised role for sharia law seemed 'unavoidable' and Lord Phillips said there was no reason why decisions made on sharia principles should not be recognised by the national courts.

But the Civitas report said the principles on which sharia courts work are indicated by the fatwas - religious decrees - set out on websites run by British mosques.

Controversial comments: Dr Rowan Williams said a recognised role for sharia law seemed 'unavoidable'
Mr MacEoin said: 'Among the rulings we find some that advise illegal actions and others that transgress human rights standards as applied by British courts.'

Examples set out in his study include a ruling that no Muslim woman may marry a non-Muslim man unless he converts to Islam and that any children of a woman who does should be taken from her until she marries a Muslim.

Further rulings, according to the report, approve polygamous marriage and enforce a woman's duty to have sex with her husband on his demand.

The report added: 'The fact that so many sharia rulings in Britain relate to cases concerning divorce and custody of children is of particular concern, as women are not equal in sharia law, and sharia contains no specific commitment to the best interests of the child that is fundamental to family law in the UK.

'Under sharia, a male child belongs to the father after the age of seven, regardless of circumstances.'

It said: 'Sharia courts operating in Britain may be handing down rulings that are inappropriate to this country because they are linked to elements in Islamic law that are seriously out of step with trends in Western legislation.'

The study pointed out that the House of Lords ruled in a child custody case last year that the sharia rules on the matter were 'arbitrary and discriminatory'.

And a 2003 judgment of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg said it was 'difficult to declare one's respect for democracy and human rights while at the same time supporting a regime based on sharia, which clearly diverges from Convention values.'

However last year Justice Minister Bridget Prentice told MPs that 'if, in a family dispute ...the parties to a judgment in a sharia council wish to have this recognised by English authorities, they are at liberty to draft a consent order embodying the terms of the agreement and submit it to an English court.

'This allows judges to scrutinise it to ensure it complies with English legal tenets.'

Decisions from sharia tribunals can be presented to a family court judge for approval with no more detail than is necessary to complete a two page

form. The sharia courts in the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal are recognised as courts under the Arbitration Act. This law, which covers Jewish Beth Din courts, gives legal powers to a tribunal if all parties involved accept its authority.

The Civitas study said the Islamic courts should no longer be recognised under British law.

Its director Dr David Green said: 'The reality is that for many Muslims, sharia courts are in practice part of an institutionalised atmosphere of intimidation, backed by the ultimate sanction of a death threat.'

The Muslim Council in Britain condemned the study for ' stirring up hatred'.

A spokesman said: 'Sharia councils are perfectly legitimate. There is no evidence they are intimidating or discriminatory against women. The system is purely voluntary so if people don't like it they can go elsewhere.'

Patrick Mercer, Tory MP for Newark and chairman of the Commons counter-terrorism sub committee, said: 'We have an established law of the land and a judiciary. Anything that operates otside that system must be viewed with great caution.

'If crimes are going unreported to police, this will erode the authority of those who have to enforce our law. In a sovereign state there must be one law, and one law only.'

Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, said: 'Everyone should be deeply concerned about the extent of these courts.

'They do entrench division in society, and do nothing to entrench integration or community cohesion. It leads to a segregated society.

'There should be one law, and that should be British law. We can't have a situation where people can choose which system of law they follow and which they do not.

'We can't have a situation where people choose the system of law which they feel gives them the best outcome. Everyone should equal under one law.'

Veteran Tory Lord Tebbit provoked anger among Muslims earlier this month by comparing Islamic sharia courts to gangsters.

He likened the tribunals to the 'system of arbitration of disputes that was run by the Kray brothers'.

Lord Tebbit told the Lords: 'Are you not aware that there is extreme pressure put upon vulnerable women to go through a form of arbitration that results in them being virtually precluded from access to British law?'

Warning that women could be shut out from the protection of the law, he asked Justice Minister Lord Bach: 'That is a difficult matter, I know, but how do you think we can help those who are put in that position?'
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« Reply #325 on: July 02, 2009, 09:21:09 AM »

Al Qaeda vows revenge over France's plan to ban the burqa


Al Qaeda vows 'dreadful revenge' on France over plans to ban the burqa

By Ian Sparks
Last updated at 11:02 PM on 01st July 2009

Al Qaeda terrorists have vowed to 'wreak dreadful revenge' on France over its plans to ban the burkha.

The chilling warning comes after President Nicolas Sarkozy said the Islamic garment which covers the head and body 'debases women' and is not welcome in his country.

French MPs have set up a commission to decide if it should be made illegal for women to hide their faces in public.

Now leaders of Al Qaeda's North African network have called on French Muslims to react 'with the utmost hostility'.

One Islamic extremist website carried the message: 'We will seek dreadful revenge on France by all means at our disposal, for the honour of our daughters and sisters.

'Our Mujahadin followers must not remain silent in the face of such provocation and such injustice.'

The call for an inquiry into burkhas was made two weeks ago by Left-wing deputy Andre Gerin, who described them as 'mobile prisons'.

He said: 'We find it intolerable to see images of these imprisoned women when they come from Iran, Afghanistan or Saudi Arabia.

'Today in many cities, we see several Muslim women wearing the burkha, which covers and fully envelops the body and the head, or the niqab which allows only the eyes to be shown. They are totally unacceptable on the territory of the French republic.'

President Sarkozy supported a ban, saying: 'These head and body covers make women prisoners and deprive them of their identity.

'The burkha is not a religious sign, it's a sign of subservience, a sign of debasement.

'I say solemnly that it will not be welcome on the territory of the French Republic.'

Paris Mosque leader Dalil Boubakeur supported the proposal for a commission, adding: 'There is a growing number of women wearing the burkha in France, which could be taken as a sign that some fundamentalist trends are gaining ground.

'But any official debate on this issue should be on the condition that they listen to what the experts on Islam have to say on the issue.'

In 2004, France - which is home to Europe's largest Muslim population of five million - banned school pupils from wearing veils and other religious symbols as part of the government's drive to defend secularism.

Last year, the country's highest court refused to grant French citizenship to a Moroccan woman who wears a burkha on the grounds that her Muslim practices were incompatible with French gender equality and secularism laws.

Reacting to the Al Qaeda terror threat, a French government spokesman said: 'Our security services will remain on their continuously high level of vigilance against any threat to security in France.'

The commission of 58 MPs is expected to announce its decision later this year on whether a law should be passed to ban the burkha.
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« Reply #326 on: August 16, 2009, 08:10:54 PM »
Swimmers are told to wear burkinis
British swimming pools are imposing Muslim dress codes in a move described as divisive by Labour MPs.

By Patrick Sawer
Published: 9:00PM BST 15 Aug 2009

 UK councils running restricted swimming session for Muslims
Under the rules, swimmers – including non-Muslims – are barred from entering the pool in normal swimming attire.

Instead they are told that they must comply with the "modest" code of dress required by Islamic custom, with women covered from the neck to the ankles and men, who swim separately, covered from the navel to the knees.

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The phenomenon runs counter to developments in France, where last week a woman was evicted from a public pool for wearing a burkini – the headscarf, tunic and trouser outfit which allows Muslim women to preserve their modesty in the water.

The 35-year-old, named only as Carole, is threatening legal action after she was told by pool officials in Emerainville, east of Paris, that she could not wear the outfit on hygiene grounds.

But across the UK municipal pools are holding swimming sessions specifically aimed at Muslims, in some case imposing strict dress codes.

Croydon council in south London runs separate one-and-a half-hour swimming sessions for Muslim men and women every Saturday and Sunday at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre.

Swimmers were told last week on the centre's website that "during special Muslim sessions male costumes must cover the body from the navel to the knee and females must be covered from the neck to the ankles and wrists".

There are similar rules at Scunthorpe Leisure Centre, in North Lincolnshire, where "users must follow the required dress code for this session (T-shirts and shorts/leggings that cover below the knee)".

In Glasgow, a men-only swimming session is organised by a local mosque group at North Woodside Leisure Centre, at which swimmers must be covered from navel to knee.

At a women-only class organised by a Muslim teacher at Blackbird Leys Swimming Pool, Oxford, to encourage Muslim women to learn to swim, most participants wear "modest" outfits although normal costumes are permitted.

The dress codes have provoked an angry reaction among critics who say they encourage division and resentment between Muslims and non-Muslims, putting strain on social cohesion.

Ian Cawsey, the Labour MP for the North Lincolnshire constituency of Brigg and Goole, said: "Of course swimming pools have basic codes of dress but it should not go beyond that.

"I don't think that in a local authority pool I should have to wear a particular type of clothes for the benefit of someone else. That's not integration or cohesion."

Labour MP Anne Cryer, whose Keighley, West Yorkshire constituency has a large number of Muslims, said: "Unfortunately this kind of thing has a negative impact on community relations.

"It's seen as yet another demand for special treatment. I can't see why special clothing is needed for what is a single-sex session."

Muslim swimming sessions are also held at a number of state schools around the country. At Loxford School in Ilford, east London, a local Muslim group organises weekly sessions for Muslim men, with the warning that "it is compulsory for the body to be covered between the navel and the knees.

"Anyone not adhering to the dress code or rules within the pool will not be allowed to swim".

The practice of holding special Muslim swimming sessions has led to non-Muslims being turned away.

David Toube, 39 and his five year old son Harry were last year refused entry to Clissold Leisure Centre, in Hackney, east London, after being told the Sunday morning swimming session was for Muslim men only.

Council officials later said staff had made a mistake and both Mr Toube, a corporate lawyer, and his son should have been admitted.

After discovering the rules at Thornton Heath one Croydon resident, 34-year-old Alex Craig, said: "I think it is preposterous that a council should be encouraging this type of segregation over municipal facilities.

"Surely if Muslims want to swim then they should just turn up with their modest swimwear at the same time as everyone else."

Douglas Murray, director of the Centre for Social Cohesion, last night condemned the practice. He said: "This kind of thing is extremely divisive.

"Non-Muslims see these extremist demands as an example of Muslims wanting things to fit into their lifestyle, when there aren't similar things organised for Hindus, Buddhists or Jews.

"It also puts moderate Muslims in an awkward position as it suggests, wrongly, that they are not devout enough, simply because they choose not to cover themselves in a shroud in a pool."

A press officer at Croydon council, which introduced Muslim-only swimming in 2006, claimed that the wording on the website was a mistake and the dress code should be regarded as a suggestion rather than a requirement.

The website was late changed to remove the reference to the dress code.

However, an official at the leisure centre said the dress code remained compulsory.

Earlier, defending the segregation policy, a Croydon council spokesman said: "We appreciate that certain religious groups, such as Muslims, have strict rules on segregation for activities including sports, so in response to requests from the local community, we have been running these sessions at Thornton Heath Leisure Centre."
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« Reply #327 on: October 14, 2009, 06:04:05 AM »

Pravda on the Hudson
September 6, 2009

British Police Arrest 90 After Birmingham Clashes

Filed at 7:18 a.m. ET

LONDON (AP) -- Authorities arrested 90 people after racially charged violence erupted between a group protesting Islamic extremism and counter-demonstrators in the central English city of Birmingham, police said Sunday.

The clashes erupted Saturday when a rally by the English Defense League ran into counter-demonstrators including anti-fascists and youths of South Asian descent, West Midlands Police said.

About 200 people were involved in the clashes in downtown Birmingham, police said.

Television footage showed masked or hooded youths throwing projectiles and running from riot police through the diverse city's downtown area.

Police said the 90 people detained -- all males aged 16 to 39 -- were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and violent disorder.

It was not immediately clear how many were protesters and how many were counter-demonstrators.

Clashes also erupted last month at a similar demonstration in Birmingham, a diverse city of about 1 million where nearly a third of the population is nonwhite.

The English Defense League blames counter-demonstrators for inciting violence at its rallies. It has planned protest marches in other cities, including one next month in Manchester.
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« Reply #328 on: January 01, 2010, 11:51:54 PM »

A 28 year old Somali.  (Elsewhere today Somali pirates take another vessel.)  Danish Police didn't read him his rights.  They came in and shot him. Like it or not, Mr. President, we are at war.

Danish police have shot and wounded a man at the home of Kurt Westergaard, whose cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad sparked an international row.

Mr Westergaard was at home in Aarhus when a man broke in and threatened him. He pressed a panic button and police entered the house and shot the man.

Danish officials said the intruder was a 28-year-old Somali linked to the radical Islamist al-Shabab militia.

The cartoon, printed in 2005, prompted violent protests the following year.

Malcolm Brabant
By Malcolm Brabant, BBC News
This attack will force the Danish secret service Pet to review whether their protection is adequate.

Mr Westergaard's house was supposed to have been turned into a fortress. The windows were supposed to be blast proof, and yet a determined individual came within a whisker of killing a man regarded by Islam as a pariah, but by his supporters, as one of the bravest defenders of free expression.

One of 12 cartoons published in the Danish newspaper Jyllands Posten, it depicted the Prophet Muhammad with a bomb in his turban.

In 2006 the paper apologised for the cartoons, but other European media reprinted them.

Danish embassies were then attacked by Muslims around the world and dozens killed in riots.

Mr Westergaard went into hiding amid threats to his life, but emerged last year saying he wanted to live as normal a life as possible.

His house has been heavily fortified and is under close police protection.


Police said the man had entered Mr Westergaard's house armed with a knife and had shouted in broken English that he wanted to kill him.

Anti-Danish protest in Pakistan 2006
The cartoons prompted anti-Danish outrage across the Muslim world

He said he had grabbed his five-year-old granddaughter and run to a specially designed panic room where he raised the alarm.

Mr Westergaard told Jyllands Posten he was shocked that his granddaughter had witnessed the attack.

He has now been taken to a safe location, but said defiantly that he would be back, the newspaper reported.

Jakob Scharf, who heads the Danish intelligence service Pet, said the attack was "terror related" and that the suspected assailant has close contacts to Somalia's al-Shabab group.

He had been under surveillance for activities unrelated to Mr Westergaard, Mr Scharf said.

Police said he was shot in the knee and the shoulder after threatening officers who tried to arrest him. Preben Nielsen of Aarhus police, said the man was seriously hurt but his life was not in danger.

The BBC's Malcolm Brabant, who interviewed Mr Westergaard when he emerged from hiding, says the incident will raise questions about security measures put in place by the Danish secret service to protect the artist.

Islamic militants have placed a $1m price on Mr Westergaard's head.

Although he is one of 12 cartoonists whose drawings of the Prophet were published in Jyllands-Posten, he has the highest profile, our correspondent says.
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« Reply #329 on: January 02, 2010, 12:16:06 AM »

PARIS (Reuters) - Youths burned 1,137 cars across France overnight as New Year's Eve celebrations once again turned violent, the French Interior Ministry said on Friday.


Car burnings are regular occurrences in poor suburbs that ring France's big cities, but the arson is especially prevalent during New Year's Eve revelry.

The number of vehicles torched was only 10 short of the record 1,147 burned this time last year, even though the Interior Ministry mobilized 45,000 police during the night -- 10,000 more than 12 months ago.

It said police detained 549 people overnight, compared with 288 in 2009 New Year celebrations.
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« Reply #330 on: January 02, 2010, 03:41:06 PM »

The jihadists tend to see charity as "jizya".
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« Reply #331 on: January 04, 2010, 04:06:13 PM »

Al-Qaeda target British soldiers returning from Afghanistan

British-based Islamist radicals are targeting Army soldiers - especially snipers - returning from fighting in southern Afghanistan, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

By Sean Rayment, Defence Correspondent
Published: 9:30AM GMT 03 Jan 2010
Soldiers from 12 Regiment Royal Artillery mark their return from operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as they process through the streets of Blackpool.

In one case, a police armed response unit was called to the home of a sniper last September amid fears he was about to be murdered or abducted by al-Qaeda terrorists.

The Corporal, serving with a Scottish Regiment, was one of a two-man sniping team which shot dead 32 Taliban fighters during a six-month tour of Afghanistan.
The soldier – whom this newspaper has agreed not to name – was temporarily forced to leave home his wife and family after details of his service in Afghanistan were made public.

It can also be disclosed that a second sniper who recently returned home to the Glasgow area received death threats from suspected British-based al-Qaeda sympathisers after his personal details became known.

The threats were deemed so serious that an armed response unit was sent to his home in case terrorists tried to kidnap or kill him or members of his family.

Defence chiefs now see the situation as so serious that they have asked newspapers and broadcasters not to publicise the names or personal details of snipers serving in Helmand or of those who have recently returned.

It is understood that senior commanders believe Army snipers are being specifically targeted because they are often used to seek out and kill Taliban commanders.

In November, The Sunday Telegraph interviewed two snipers, who were not named for security reasons, serving in the reconnaissance platoon of the 1st battalion Grenadier Guards

Both soldiers had taken part in an ambush of a Taliban force as the insurgents prepared to attack a British patrol base.

The two snipers were used to initiate the ambush by shooting dead a Taliban commander who was positioning his troops prior to a planned dawn attack in the Nad-e'Ali area of central Helmand.

After more than 12 hours of fighting both soldiers said that believed that they had killed at least two insurgents each. One of the snipers also admitted that he had lost count of the number of insurgents he had killed since arriving in Helmand two months earlier but believed the number was "well into double figures".

But senior commanders requested that the two snipers not be identified in reports of the battle amid fears that the troops or their families might be attacked when they returned to Britain.

In January 2007, a plot by a Birmingham-based al-Qaeda cell to kidnap a British soldier and behead him was discovered.

The six-man cell was led by Paviz Khan, a 37-year-old father of three, who planned to kidnap a Muslim soldier and post a film of him being beheaded on the internet in a bid to deter other members of the faith from joining the British Army.

The plan was thwarted by a year-long surveillance operation by MI5 and members of the West Midlands counter-terrorist unit. Khan was later jailed for life.

A senior defence source said snipers were being targeted because theirs sole role in Afghanistan was to kill.

He added: "Sniping is a cold and calculating art. You have to be prepared to kill someone at a long range who may not be posing any direct threat to you. Every sniper who deploys to Helmand will return with several kills, many will be into double figures and this is something which is not lost on al-Qaeda or their sympathisers. Islamists would see targeting snipers as something is "acceptable" because they are killing a soldier who has killed one of their brothers."
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« Reply #332 on: January 16, 2010, 12:28:25 PM »

Al-Qaeda threat: Britain worst in western world

Al-Qaeda threat: Britain worst in western world

Al-Qaeda has successfully restructured its global network and now has the capability to carry out a wide range of terror attacks against Western targets, according to a detailed U.S. intelligence assessment that has been conducted in the wake of the failed Christmas Day Detroit bomb plot.

By Con Coughlin
Published: 9:00AM GMT 15 Jan 2010

And the growing strength of al-Qaeda’s support in Britain has emerged as a major concern for U.S. intelligence agencies as they attempt to prevent further attacks after Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian student who studied at London’s University College, nearly succeeded in detonating an explosive device that he had concealed in his underpants as Northwest airlines flight 253 made its final approach to Detroit airport.
American intelligence officials are still investigating claims that Abdulmutallab was radicalised while he was a student between 2005 and 2008, although British security officials insist that he was radicalised in Yemen after he left London.

But the failure of British security officials to alert their American counterparts to Abdulmuttalab’s radical activities while president of UCL’s Islamic Society has led to increased tensions between Washington and London.

Earlier this week Alan Johnson, the Home Secretary, confirmed that the UK had not passed any information to the U.S. prior to the attempted December 25 bombing that would have led American officials to believe that Abdulmutallab was a potential terrorist.

But while in London Abdulmutallab regularly presided over debates that denounced Britain’s involvement in the war on terror and America’s Guantanamo detention facility.

American officials now believe Britain poses a major threat to Western security because of the large number of al-Qaeda supporters that are active in the country. Two years ago Jonathan Evans, the head of MI5, estimated that there were 2,000 al-Qaeda sympathisers based in Britain – the largest concentration of al-Qaeda activists in any Western country. But American officials, who regularly refer to “Londonistan” because of the high concentration of Islamic radicals in the capital, believe the figure is growing all the time. They point out that recent al-Qaeda terror attacks planned in Britain have been the work of British-based Muslims, many of whom have been trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

With al-Qaeda’s leadership under intense pressure from Nato and Pakistani security forces, there are reports that scores of British activists are now travelling to Yemen and Somalia to attend al-Qaeda training camps and receive instructions for carrying out terror attacks against Western targets.

“The level of al-Qaeda activity in Britain is becoming a major source of concern,” said a senior State Department official. “The organisation’s ability to use Britain as a base to plot terror attacks constitutes a serious threat to the security of Britain and other Western countries.”

American officials have been shocked by the resurgence of al-Qaeda’s terrorist operations in recent weeks which have seen it mount a series of attacks on U.S. targets. Last November a U.S. Army major with links to al-Qaeda in Yemen killed thirteen soldiers and injured another thirty at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. And a week after Abdulmutallab’s failed bomb attack in Detroit an al-Qaeda double agent managed to kill seven CIA officials in a suicide bomb attack at their headquarters in Afghanistan. The recent surge in al-Qaeda terror attacks has led U.S. officials to conclude that al-Qaeda is planning a series of new attacks later in the year, some of them in Britain. Abdulmutallab is reported to have told his American interrogators that there were another 25 fully-trained al-Qaeda terrorists ready to carry out similar terror attacks against Western targets.

The ease with which al-Qaeda has managed to launch attacks against American targets has taken many U.S. intelligence officials by surprise. Only two years ago Michael Hayden, the CIA director under former American President George W. Bush, boasted that the U.S. had al-Qaeda on the run. Its terrorist infrastructure in Iraq and Saudi Arabia had been destroyed, and its organisational network in other parts of the world was under intense pressure, especially in its presumed haven along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. “On balance we are doing pretty well,” said Mr Hayden at the time. There had been “significant setbacks for al-Qaeda globally.”

Since then al-Qaeda’s leadership, the majority of whom are still based in the lawless tribal regions along Pakistan’s North-West frontier, have worked to rebuild their global terror network. Recent analysis by the world’s leading intelligence agencies shows that al-Qaeda can call on operatives all over the world, although the various terror cells have different capabilities. For example, while terror cells in countries like Uraguay and Paraguay have what intelligence experts call a “watching brief”, others in Indonesia and the Philippines play a more active role in the planning and execution of terror plots.

“The threat from al-Qaeda and its affiliates remains high, though not on the scale of bringing off another 9/11 attack,” said Peter Bergen, the last Western journalist to interview al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before the September 11 attacks, and a leading expert on al-Qaeda. “But al-Qaeda militants can still pull off attacks on commercial aircraft and other key elements of the global economy.”

While intelligence officials say it is impossible to estimate the total number of al-Qaeda activists worldwide, the emergence of Yemen as a major terrorist training and recruitment centre for al-Qaeda is now a major concern for American intelligence officials.

They have also been shocked to discover that many of those responsible for strengthening the terror capabilities of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula are former inmates of the U.S. Guantanamo Detention Facility in Cuba.

Pentagon officials estimate that one in five released Guantanamo detainees have rejoined al-Qaeda terror cells after their release. But a recent study by BBC journalist Peter Taylor of a 15-strong batch of Guantanamo detainees who were returned to Saudi Arabia under President Bush in 2007 showed that six of them had rejoined al-Qaeda in Yemen, suggesting that the percentage of former Guantanamo inmates returning to terrorism is far higher than estimated by the Pentagon.

“Whichever way you look at it Yemen has now emerged as one of al-Qaeda’s top training grounds for its global terrorist network,” said a senior U.S. intelligence official. “And what really concerns us now is the number of British-based Muslims who are traveling there to take part in the training. This represents a serious escalation in the terror threat the West faces from Islamic militants.”
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« Reply #333 on: January 29, 2010, 11:02:37 AM »

French proposals for a burqa ban have been echoed in the Netherlands, Germany and Italy. The proposed bans, which come at a time of economic uncertainty, are popular across the European political spectrum. While such a ban would affect a very small minority of Muslims in continental Europe, it could spark Muslim ire in Europe and abroad.

German politicians from across the political spectrum called Jan. 28 for a French-styled ban on the Muslim face veil known as the niqab. The calls come just days after a Jan. 26 French parliamentary commission ruling in favor of a ban on the burqa, a garment that covers the entire body; the French ban also forbids wearing the niqab in public institutions. Voices in the governments of Italy and Denmark are joining calls for a similar ban, with Italian Minister for Equal Opportunity Mara Carfagna saying Jan. 27 that she was in absolute agreement with the French initiative, which she said will encourage other European countries to legislate on the issue.

A small minority of Muslim women in Europe wear the niqab, and even smaller minority wears the burqa. Even so, the ban is becoming a symbol of the opposition to what is seen as excessive Muslim immigration to Europe.

Calls for a “burqa ban” are not new in France. French President Nicolas Sarkozy asked parliament to form a commission to consider the issue in June 2009, and the topic has been debated for years. With the negative consequences of the economic crisis in full swing across Europe and with regional elections scheduled for March in France, the burqa ban has returned to the forefront.

Calls for such a ban represent an easy way to score political points during a time when Europeans are worried about job and economic security, which explains why the debate in France has so quickly traveled to other European states. They follow the recent ban in Switzerland on the building of minarets, which was also picked up across Europe by various right-wing politicians as a useful way to score political points.

Burqa bans also appeal to the left, however. The left often sees the burqa and the niqab as an affront to women’s rights and personal dignity. In Germany, for example, the liberal Free Democratic Party, part of the current ruling coalition, favors some sort of a ban.

More broadly, widespread calls for policies like the burqa ban underlie growing native European resentment against Muslim immigrants. These resentments historically have become more intense and more accepted during times of economic crises — like the one under way in Europe.

How Muslims inside and outside Europe react to the growing resentment of Muslims within Europe remains an open question. The 2005 Danish cartoon controversy taught that such sensitive matters can whip up antagonism throughout the Muslim world. So far, the burqa ban debate has not had such an effect on Europe’s Muslim population, but a widespread European campaign to ban the niqab — which is more common than the burqa — could be interpreted as widespread anti-Muslim discrimination and invite a violent reaction in Europe and abroad. A possible mitigating factor is that while there was little argument among Muslims regarding the offensiveness of the cartoons caricaturing the prophet, many in the Muslim community — especially the European Muslim community — do oppose the niqab and burqa.
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« Reply #334 on: February 21, 2010, 09:49:39 PM »

Giant mosque's towers 'will loom over Sandhurst' Royal (UK) Military Academy.

Giant mosque's towers 'will loom over Sandhurst'

By Dan Newling
Last updated at 12:13 AM on 22nd February 2010

Generals are trying to block plans to build a mosque with two 100ft minarets next to Sandhurst.

The £3million building would have a clear view over the military academy and is just 400 yards from its parade ground.

Senior officers oppose the project saying it could pose a security threat to cadets.

Objection: The MoD, backed by a petition signed by 7,000 local residents, is fighting plans to build a giant mosque overlooking Sandhurst

Yesterday an Army source said: 'This has gone right to the top of the chain of command.

'There is very real concern that if this thing gets built then soldiers could be put at risk.

'It is outrageous to even think that the officers of the future would have to watch their backs while they are still in training.'

Hundreds of newly-commissioned Army officers take to the parade ground each year for the academy's passing out ceremony.

The event attracts senior members of the Royal Family, including the Queen when her grandson Prince Harry was commissioned in 2006.

Security threat: The Queen and other senior members of the royal family are regular visitors to Sandhurst

The gigantic mosque is the idea of the Bengali Welfare Association, which worships at the al-Kharafi Islamic Centre in Camberley, Surrey.

The group wants to demolish a listed Victorian school building in use as a mosque at the centre and replace it with a sprawling Saudi Arabian-style building.

Planning papers reveal that the massive structure would tower over local buildings.

As well as the two minarets, it would feature a large central dome, five smaller outlying domes, a morgue, a library and a separate worship area for women.

The first attempt at securing planning approval led to objections from 1,000 locals. Planning officers were also opposed but Conservative-dominated Surrey Heath gave the mosque the go-ahead last month.

However, a procedural error means the application now needs to go to a full council meeting for approval.

Plan: The new mosque will be built on the site of a Victorian former school, which has been used as an Islamic centre for the last 14 years

And the Ministry of Defence - which initially had no objections - has its mind to insist that the minarets are not built.

Local MEP Nigel Farage of UKIP, who is battling the plans, said: 'I am appalled that a local council can totally ignore the wishes of the overwhelming majority of the electorate of Camberley and overturn the recommendations of planning officers.

'This building is quite simply inappropriate and gives rise to genuine security concerns.

'I know that senior military officers are extremely concerned about this. It simply cannot be allowed to go ahead.'

Alan Kirkland, a local campaigner, said: 'Local people are simply flabbergasted that 100ft high minarets can be built right next to the Royal Military Academy.

'There is obviously a security risk and there is no way that it should be built.'

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: 'Defence Estates has objected to the plans as such a tall building would give oversight into Defence property which could prove a security risk.'
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« Reply #335 on: February 23, 2010, 12:05:49 AM »

Jews leave Swedish city after sharp rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes

Sweden's reputation as a tolerant, liberal nation is being threatened by a steep rise in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the city of Malmo.

By Nick Meo in Malmo, Sweden
Published: 7:30AM GMT 21 Feb 2010

When she first arrived in Sweden after her rescue from a Nazi concentration camp, Judith Popinski was treated with great kindness.

She raised a family in the city of Malmo, and for the next six decades lived happily in her adopted homeland - until last year.

In 2009, a chapel serving the city's 700-strong Jewish community was set ablaze. Jewish cemeteries were repeatedly desecrated, worshippers were abused on their way home from prayer, and "Hitler" was mockingly chanted in the streets by masked men.

"I never thought I would see this hatred again in my lifetime, not in Sweden anyway," Mrs Popinski told The Sunday Telegraph.

"This new hatred comes from Muslim immigrants. The Jewish people are afraid now."

Malmo's Jews, however, do not just point the finger at bigoted Muslims and their fellow racists in the country's Neo-Nazi fringe. They also accuse Ilmar Reepalu, the Left-wing mayor who has been in power for 15 years, of failing to protect them.

Mr Reepalu, who is blamed for lax policing, is at the centre of a growing controversy for saying that what the Jews perceive as naked anti-Semitism is in fact just a sad, but understandable consequence of Israeli policy in the Middle East.

While his views are far from unusual on the European liberal-left, which is often accused of a pro-Palestinian bias, his Jewish critics say they encourage young Muslim hotheads to abuse and harass them.

The future looks so bleak that by one estimate, around 30 Jewish families have already left for Stockholm, England or Israel, and more are preparing to go.

With its young people planning new lives elsewhere, the remaining Jewish households, many of whom are made up of Holocaust survivors and their descendants, fear they will soon be gone altogether. Mrs Popinski, an 86-year-old widow, said she has even encountered hostility when invited to talk about the Holocaust in schools.

"Muslim schoolchildren often ignore me now when I talk about my experiences in the camps," she said. "It is because of what their parents tell them about Jews. The hatreds of the Middle East have come to Malmo. Schools in Muslim areas of the city simply won't invite Holocaust survivors to speak any more."

Hate crimes, mainly directed against Jews, doubled last year with Malmo's police recording 79 incidents and admitting that far more probably went unreported. As of yet, no direct attacks on people have been recorded but many Jews believe it is only a matter of time in the current climate.

The city's synagogue has guards and rocket-proof glass in the windows, while the Jewish kindergarten can only be reached through thick steel security doors.

It is a far cry from the city Mrs Popinski arrived in 65 years ago, half-dead from starvation and typhus.

At Auschwitz she had been separated from her Polish family, all of whom were murdered. She escaped the gas chambers after being sent as a slave labourer. Then she was moved to a womens' concentration camp, Ravensbrück, from where she was then evacuated in a release deal negotiated between the Swedish Red Cross and senior Nazis, who were by then trying to save their own lives.

After the war, just as liberal Sweden took in Jews who survived the Holocaust as a humanitarian act, it also took in new waves of refugees from tyranny and conflicts in the Middle East. Muslims are now estimated to make up about a fifth of Malmo's population of nearly 300,000.

"This new hatred from a group 40,000-strong is focused on a small group of Jews," Mrs Popinski said, speaking in a sitting room filled with paintings and Persian carpets.

"Some Swedish politicians are letting them do it, including the mayor. Of course the Muslims have more votes than the Jews."

The worst incident was last year during Israel's brief war in Gaza, when a small demonstration in favour of Israel was attacked by a screaming mob of Arabs and Swedish leftists, who threw bottles and firecrackers as the police looked on.

"I haven't seen hatred like that for decades," Mrs Popinski said. "It reminded me of what I saw in my youth. Jews feel vulnerable here now."

The problem is becoming an embarrassment for the Social Democrats, the mayor's party.

Their national leader Mona Sahlin - the woman who is likely to become the next prime minister after an election later this year - last week travelled to Malmo to meet Jewish leaders, which they took to be a sign that at last politicians are waking to their plight. After the meeting, the mayor, Mr Reepalu, also promised to meet them.

A former architect, he has been credited with revitalising Malmo from a half-derelict shipbuilding centre into a vibrant, prosperous city with successful IT and biotech sectors.

His city was - until recently at least - a shining multicultural success story, and has taken in proportionally more refugees than anywhere else in Sweden, a record of which it is proud.

Sweden has had a long record of offering a safe haven to Jews, the first of whom arrived from the east in the mid-nineteenth century. Today the Jewish population is about 18,000 nationally, with around 3000 in southern Sweden.

The mayor insisted to The Sunday Telegraph that he was opposed to anti-Semitism, but added: "I believe these are anti-Israel attacks, connected to the war in Gaza.

"We want Malmo to be cosmopolitan and safe for everybody and we have taken action. I have started a dialogue forum. There haven't been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews from the city want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo."

Sweden has had a long record of offering a safe haven to Jews, the first of whom arrived from the east in the mid-nineteenth century. Today the Jewish population is about 18,000 nationally, with around 3000 in southern Sweden.

“Jews came to Sweden to get away from persecution, and now they find it is no longer a safe haven,” said Rabbi Shneur Kesselman, 31. “That is a horrible feeling.”

One who has had enough is Marcus Eilenberg, a 32-year-old Malmo-born lawyer, who is moving to Israel in April with his young family.

"Malmo has really changed in the past year," he said. "I am optimistic by nature, but I have no faith in a future here for my children. There is definitely a threat.

"It started during the Gaza war when Jewish demonstrators were attacked. It was a horrible feeling, being attacked in your own city. Just as bad was the realisation that we were not being protected by our own leaders."

Mr Eilenberg said he and his wife considered moving to Stockholm where Jews feel safer than in Malmo. "But we decided not to because in five years time I think it will be just as bad there," he said.

"This is happening all over Europe. I have cousins who are leaving their homes in Amsterdam and France for the same reason as me."

Malmo's Jews are not the only ones to suffer hate crimes.

At the city's Islamic Centre, the director Bejzat Becirov pointed out a bullet hole in the window behind the main reception desk.

Mr Becirov, who arrived in 1962 from the former Yugoslavia, said that windows were regularly smashed, pig's heads had been left outside the mosque, and outbuildings burnt down - probably the acts of Neo-Nazis who have also baited Jews in the past.

He said that the harassment of Jews by some young Muslims was "embarrassing" to his community. Many of them are unemployed and confined to life on bleak estates where the Scandinavian dream of prosperity and equality seemed far away.

For many of Malmo's white Swedish population, meanwhile, the racial problems are bewildering after years of liberal immigration policies.

"I first encountered race hatred when I was an au pair in England and I was shocked," said Mrs Popinski's friend Ulla-Lena Cavling, 72, a retired teacher.

"I thought 'this couldn't happen in Sweden'. Now I know otherwise."

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« Reply #336 on: April 08, 2010, 09:10:23 AM »

Blog: Sharia Councils ‘undermine social cohesion’Friday 2nd April 2010, 7:31AM BST

Blog: By Mark Pritchard, Conservative MP for The Wrekin since 2005 and a member of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission.

Since the 1996 Arbitration Act, Government ministers have allowed Islamic tribunals around Britain to rule on a range of financial disputes, provided both parties agree to accept the court’s decision. But in recent years, these tribunals have developed into fully fledged Sharia Councils – allowed to settle new disputes, such as divorce, family law, and faith issues. These powers go well beyond the letter and spirit of the original legislation and whilst they provide new ways of dispensing cheap justice they do not always dispense fair justice.

By expanding the powers of Sharia Councils, ministers have set the scene for a breaking narrative which is fractious, discriminates against women, and, incrementally, is establishing a parallel legal system.

 As Sharia Councils expand their powers and reach, ministers have unwittingly rolled the dice over a type of cultural snakes and ladders, all in the hope that such initiatives will increase inclusiveness and marginalise Islamic radicals. But all the evidence contradicts ministers’ stated aims. Sharia rulings are more likely to create legal ghettos – undermining rather than improving social cohesion. And in so doing, ministers are found guilty of piecemeal legal vandalism and managing the gradual decline of English jurisprudence.

The replacement of legal precedence and common law with Islamic codification is also a gift to some extremist parties who have seized on the increasing numbers of Sharia Councils as more evidence of the demotion of hard fought for British cultural freedoms and laws. And despite the protestations of senior government ministers over recent BNP advances, ministerial alarm calls will ring deep and hollow as long the same ministers continue to advocate two Britains.

The views of the BNP are repugnant, but it should not take BNP electoral gains for ministers to wake up to the fact that social cohesion cannot be predicated on the reality, or the perception, of one rule for one community and a different set of rules for everyone else. Allowing different groups to apply different standards at variants with existing common and statute law is a recipe for resentment and suspicion. This legal dualism also strikes at the very heart the great British virtue of fair play – and all British subjects being united – under one nation.

And as ministers sleepwalk into further fragmenting communities, they still decline to answer the fundamental question: do Muslim women enjoy the same rights under Sharia jurisprudence as under English law? Ministers should not be allowed to obviate when challenged about Islamic teaching on the role, rights, and responsibilities, of women in society. Ministers may choose to evade this issue, but Sharia principles and practices are unlikely to progress the much needed emancipation of Britain’s Muslim women.

Sharia Councils shine an embarrassing light on how ministers have increasingly relegated and downgraded thousands of Muslim women to de facto second class British citizens, perversely, in the name of tolerance and understanding.

The response of Government proponents of Sharia Councils say those who choose to come before councils do so on a voluntarily basis and that, according to the 1996 Act, parties are free to agree upon how their disputes are resolved. In reality, some Muslim women feel pressured into accepting the rulings of male-dominated Sharia Councils – mostly through fear of retribution and being ostracised – sometimes by their own families.

Women are also losing out in rulings over child custody disputes, which more often rule in favour of men. It is not unimaginable that, in the near future, people from other faiths – and no faith at all – will nominally or genuinely convert to Islam in the hope of begetting a sympathetic custody hearing and paternal settlement compared to the maternal bias of some English family courts.

Speaking at a justice conference last October, Justice Secretary, Jack Straw, commented: “There is nothing whatever in English law that prevents people abiding by Sharia principles if they wish to, provided they do not come into conflict with English law”.

Such conflicts occur throughout Britain every week, and with it, the shunning of basic rights for thousands of British Muslim women.

With Britain’s growing Muslim population, the sphere of Sharia Councils is likely to increase still further. This is something that must be resisted by those who believe in tolerance and mutual respect, and by those, including progressives in the Muslim community, who seek to champion the rights of all – including the equal rights of Britain’s female Muslims.
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« Reply #337 on: July 31, 2010, 10:00:25 AM »

As Some Young Muslims Turn to Radicalism, Concern Grows
Published: July 30, 2010

FRANKFURT — Before Abi left her parents’ house in northern Germany last year, she asked her father, “Daddy, what can I bring you from my journey?” He looked up from his book and answered, “Some perfumed oil.” “Will do,” she said, hugging him goodbye.

Enlarge This Image: A video still from a media affiliate of the Islamic Jihad Union and German Taliban Mujahedeen, is said to show a jihadist practicing his shooting skills.

He is still waiting, more than a year later, for her to return.

Abi, now 23, and her husband never made the trip they said they had planned to Saudi Arabia to visit Mecca and Medina. Instead they became part of a growing number of young Muslims from Germany and other European countries who travel to the Pakistan-Afghanistan border region, eventually ending up in the camps of groups affiliated with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.

One German man, Eric Breininger, was later reported killed in a battle with Pakistani troops.

A Turkish-language Web site announced that in recent days nine foreign fighters were killed as they traveled to carry out operations with the Taliban. Two of them were identified as Germans, from Bonn and Berlin. Others have been arrested on a variety of charges. In one case, several people were convicted of planning attacks against American military facilities in Germany.

Intelligence officials are concerned that the young people, most in their 20s, will be used by the militants for propaganda purposes or trained to take up arms. They also worry that some will slip back into Germany to recruit others or to join sleeper cells and ultimately commit acts of terrorism.

“This is a very dangerous situation and German security services are very nervous about it,” said Guido Steinberg, terrorism expert of the German Institute for International and Security Affairs in Berlin. “Al Qaeda and other organizations have put Germany on their target priority list as one of the top places.”

Security officials believe that the number of young Germans who make the trip is relatively small, perhaps fewer than 200 since the early 1990s. But they also believe the number is growing, inspired in part by German-language videos on the Internet, including some made by a group called German Taliban Mujahedeen, which promise a happy life with others committed to Shariah law.

It is difficult to pin down an exact figure because most of those headed for the border regions first leave Germany by car, to elude airport security checks; many go to Turkey and then illegally into Iran, where they meet smugglers who take them to their destination.

Security officials are also troubled because it appears that whole families are now making the move, after selling all their possessions and taking their savings from the bank.

A man who helps smuggle foreigners into the region offered an explanation for the need for cash. In the past, said the man, Abu Yahia, who is from Waziristan, the militant groups once had enough money to support those who joined them. Now, he said, with all the fighting going on, the newcomers are asked to “bring enough money so they can support the groups and themselves.”

The parents of Abi — her mother is German and her father is from a West African country — are appalled by their daughter’s transformation from a Westernized dental student to a radicalized Muslim. (Fearing harassment, the parents consented to be interviewed only if their names were not disclosed. Abi is a shortened form of their daughter’s real name.)

The changes came slowly, they say, after Abi fell in love with a young Iranian man, who grew up in Germany. After marrying in a mosque in 2008 — a shock to her father, though he is Muslim — the young couple changed their behavior and their dress. He converted from Shiism, started to follow a radical Sunni form of Islam and grew his beard; she started wearing head scarves and cut off contact with friends. “My husband told her that this was not what Islam was teaching, to stop friendships, but she would not listen,” Abi’s mother said.

At the beginning of March last year, Abi, her husband and three others left their homes in Germany and ultimately made their way to the Pakistani border region of Waziristan. At the beginning Abi told her parents through e-mail that she and her husband wanted to live in an Islamic society, though her husband later sent signals to his parents that he wanted to return to Germany. But then he appeared in a propaganda video with a gun in his hand. “I knew then, that it would be very tough for them to return,” Abi’s mother said.

Security officials, as well as the parents of Abi, her husband and other parents of young people who have gone to the Pakistani border region, hope to learn more about their situation from Rami Makanesi, a 25-year-old German national of Syrian descent, who was recently arrested by Pakistani officials while in the tribal district of North Waziristan.


Page 2 of 2)

Since his arrest Mr. Makanesi has been in the custody of Pakistan’s main spy service, the ISI. According to a senior ISI official, Mr. Makanesi told Pakistani investigators that he was a member of Al Qaeda and had trained suicide bombers for them in Waziristan. “He did not leave the impression that he was someone who had no idea what he was doing there,” said the ISI official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not allowed to speak publicly about the case.

Mr. Makanesi also spoke about dozens of Qaeda-recruited Europeans fighting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “He spoke about six other German men who had been in the same region with him,” the official said.

“There are connections between the circles from Hamburg to circles in Berlin, Bonn and Frankfurt,” said a senior German intelligence official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk about the case. “It is very possible that Mr. Makanesi has met some people from Germany who traveled from other cities as well.”

One of the families desperate for some information is that of Thomas, a 24-year-old convert to Islam who has grown more observant over the past two years. The family grew alarmed when Thomas, now using the name Haroun, and his wife began talking about moving to a place where they could practice their faith more completely.

“We went to the police and intelligence service and asked for help, because we noticed how they had changed,” his mother said. “We’ve cried for help.” But the authorities had no legal basis to intervene.

Last September, he and his wife told his parents that they were leaving Berlin for a trip to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. Instead, they made their way to Waziristan.

At the beginning, Thomas sent e-mails to his parents, telling them the living conditions were tough. Last December, he wrote that he didn’t know if he would see the next summer.

“Since then no message, no idea if he is still alive or dead, no certainty, which is making it very complicated,” his mother said.

German security officials say that they believe Thomas went through military training in Waziristan. “We have indications that he has appeared in one propaganda video, but with his face covered,” one official said.

The parents of Abi and Thomas still hope that their children will return to Germany. But security officials say that in nearly all cases those who return continue to associate with more militant Muslims.

Abi’s mother says the signals that she is getting from her daughter about a return are not very hopeful.

Abi has told her mother that Muslims in Afghanistan and Pakistan are oppressed and need help. That reaction is typical for her daughter, who always wanted to help people, Abi’s mother said, adding, “I was always proud of her for this.”

Then tears filled her eyes, as she said: “My husband and I became very weak because of what she has done, and I would like to ask her, ‘Doesn’t the Koran say you should never lie to your parents and have to honor them?’ ”
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« Reply #338 on: September 03, 2010, 03:13:51 PM »

PARIS - Friday in Paris. A hidden camera shows streets blocked by huge crowds of Muslim worshippers and enforced by a private security force.

This is all illegal in France: the public worship, the blocked streets, and the private security. But the police have been ordered not to intervene.

It shows that even though some in the French government want to get tough with Muslims and ban the burqa, other parts of the French government continue to give Islam a privileged status.

An ordinary French citizen who has been watching the Islamization of Paris decided that the world needed to see what was happening to his city. He used a hidden camera to start posting videos on YouTube. His life has been threatened and so he uses the alias of "Maxime Lepante. " 
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« Reply #339 on: September 17, 2010, 02:02:17 PM »

More people who must not understand islam is a religion of peace....  rolleyes
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« Reply #340 on: September 17, 2010, 05:03:37 PM »

If only there weren't opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque then all would be well.
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« Reply #341 on: September 18, 2010, 11:48:39 PM »

Radical Islam on rise in Balkans, raising fears of security threat to Europe

Published September 18, 2010
| Associated Press

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — An online music video praising Osama bin Laden has driven home a troubling new reality: A radical brand of Islam embraced by al-Qaida and the Taliban is gaining a foothold in the Balkans.

"Oh Osama, annihilate the American army. Oh Osama, raise the Muslims' honor," a group of Macedonian men sing in Albanian, in video posted on YouTube last year and picked up by Macedonian media this August. "In September 2001 you conquered a power. We all pray for you."

Although most of Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority are Muslims, they have generally been secular. But experts are now seeing an increasing radicalization in pockets of the country's Islamic community, particularly after armed groups from the ethnic Albanian minority, which forms a quarter of the population of 2.1 million, fought a brief war against Macedonian government forces in 2001.

It's a trend seen across the Balkans and has raised concerns that the region, which includes new European Union member Bulgaria, could become a breeding ground for terrorists with easy access to Western Europe. Many fear that radicalized European Muslims with EU passports could slip across borders and blend into society.

At the center of the issue is the Wahhabi sect, an austere brand of Islam most prevalent in Saudi Arabia and practiced by bin Laden and the Taliban.

"Wahhabism in Macedonia, the Balkans and in Europe has become more aggressive in the last 10 years," said Jakub Selimovski, head of religious education in Macedonia's Islamic community. He said Wahhabis were establishing a permanent presence in Macedonia where none existed before, and that "they are in Bosnia, here, Kosovo, Serbia, Croatia and lately they have appeared in Bulgaria."

It is the first time a high-ranking official in the former Yugoslav republic's Islamic community has agreed to speak openly about the presence and threat of radical Islam.

In Bulgaria, nearly one-sixth of the population of 7.6 million are Muslims who adhere to conventional Sunni beliefs. Ethnic peace has been maintained in the last 20 years. As elsewhere in the Balkans, however, Wahhabi incursions have led to a struggle for control of religion and Islamic community-owned property.

Large amounts of money, allegedly from Muslim organizations abroad, have been spent in Bulgaria since the mid-1990s for more than 150 new mosques and so called "teaching centers" to spread Wahhabism.

According to Bulgaria's former chief mufti, Nedim Gendzhev, some Muslim organizations were aiming to create a "fundamentalist triangle" formed by Bosnia, Macedonia and Bulgaria's Western Rhodope mountains. Local newspaper reports say radical Islam is being preached in different cities and villages in southern and northeastern Bulgaria.

In 2003, Bulgarian authorities shut down a number of Islamic centers on the grounds they allegedly belonged to Islamic groups financed mainly by Saudi Arabians that possibly also had links to "radical organizations" such as the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Official statements said that the centers were shut down "to prevent terrorists getting a foothold in Bulgaria."

However, centers where radical brands of Islam are preached continue to to crop up in the country, said political analyst Dimitar Avramov.

"Along with the three official Muslim schools, there are at least seven other which are not registered and not controlled by the state," he said, adding that in the last 20 years some 3,000 young Muslims have graduated from these schools.

In neighboring Serbia last year, 12 Muslims — allegedly Wahhabis — from the tense southern Sandzak region were sentenced to up to 13 years in prison for planning terrorist attacks, including on the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade. The presence of radical Muslims in Sandzak, the poorest region of Serbia, is linked to the advent of mujahedeen foreign fighters who joined Bosnian Muslims in their battle against the Serbs in Bosnia's 1992-95 independence war.

In Bosnia, the issue of Wahhabi influence is one of the most politically charged debates, with Bosnian Serbs maintaining there is a huge presence of Wahhabis in the country and Muslim Bosniaks downplaying the issue and at times claiming it does not exist.

Juan Carlos Antunez, a Spanish military specialist in religious extremism with years of experience in Bosnia, estimates there are about 3,000 people in Bosnia who have embraced this interpretation of Islam and only a small fraction of them are a potential security threat.

In a study prepared for the Sarajevo-based Center for Advanced Studies in May, Antunez argued that Bosnia's official Islamic Community has been successful in curbing Wahhabi influence. Although it did not aggressively ostracize the Wahhabis, it strictly controls the appointments of imams in mosques and lecturers in Islamic educational institutions in the country.

Ahmet Alibasic, a lecturer at the Faculty of Islamic Studies in Sarajevo, said most Wahhabis in Bosnia refrain from criticizing the Islamic Community and were even calling for unity among Muslims.

"Their influence reached its peak in 2000, but it has since started falling and it continues to fall," Alibasic said, adding that measures taken by Bosnian authorities after 9/11 had a significant effect as the movement began to lose power after the closure and banning of several Islamic, mostly Saudi-backed, charities which funded the movement.

In Albania, the issue is also charged. Ilir Kulla, former head of the government's department on religious issues, insisted the Wahhabis had not caused any problems in Albania.

Kulla said hundreds of young Albanian men had been educated in universities in the Middle East, including in Saudi Arabia, and were now mosque leaders, but that there had been no attempt by Wahhabis to challenge the leadership of the country's Muslim Community, which he insisted was still moderate.

But in Macedonia, the increasing clout of radical Islam is causing a rift in the country's Muslim community, with a power struggle developing within the country's official Islamic Religious Community between the moderate mainstream and the emerging Wahhabi wing.

"A destructive, radical and extremist current has appeared with an intention of taking over the lead of the Islamic religious community," Selimovski said.

Authorities in Macedonia are reluctant to confirm any threat of radical Islam in the country. But a government official, speaking on condition of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the topic, did acknowledge that "radical groups and their followers are being closely observed."

Last year, three ethnic Albanian brothers originally from Macedonia were implicated — along with a Jordanian, a Turk and a Kosovo Albanian living in the U.S. — in an alleged plot to attack the U.S. Army's Fort Dix military base in New Jersey. No attack was ever staged on the base, which is used largely to train U.S. reservists bound for Iraq.

"Macedonia is part of the international coalition in the fight against terrorism and it cannot be excluded from the responsibility to observe and respond to any possible activity or emerging of terrorists," Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski told the AP.

Moderate Muslims say the Wahhabi sect now controls five mosques in Skopje even though the Islamic Religious Community has suspended the man they claim is the sect's leader, Ramadan Ramadani, as imam of the Isa Beg mosque in Skopje, and prohibited him from organizing prayers.

But Ramadani, who has launched a petition seeking supporters to overturn the current Community leadership, rejects any accusation of radicalism, saying his opponents are scaremongering.

"They need my name to have somebody to frighten people," Ramadani said. "I do not know any individuals or structures here that could be defined as Wahhabi. It is the attempt of political labeling and stigmatizing people who want reforms."

Ramadani insisted that Macedonia's Islamic community had nothing to do with the online song supporting bin Laden, and denied Macedonian media reports that it had been played in mosques there.

"Bin Laden is nothing for the Muslims in Macedonia," Ramadani said. "He is not our hero."
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« Reply #342 on: October 05, 2010, 11:39:23 AM »

This is about free speech in Europe on trial; the underlying issue is about Islam in Europe and a tolerance that has been abused by the welcomed immigrants.  As one who was mugged and knifed in Amsterdam by 'immigrants', it seems to me that it should be legal to voice dissent to all the openness and tolerance that has been spit upon (worse) by certain new residents in a free society.
Dutch MP on trial for 'hate speech'
He risks up to a year in jail or a 7,600-euro ($10,471) fine for his comments if convicted.
Here is one of the more offensive quotes on trial, and it is no doubt offensive:
"I've had enough of Islam in the Netherlands; let not one more Muslim immigrate," he wrote in the paper. "I've had enough of the Quran in the Netherlands: Forbid that fascist book."
From personal experience, I would say it is the behavior of certain people from among the new immigrants who incited the hatred, not the free speech of those who point it out.

If you are allowed to speak in favor of something, calling Islam a religion of peace for example when we know plenty of examples of people reading and acting on those passages do not come in peace, then why should people not be be allowed to speak out against that same thing, even if what is said is offensive?

If Wilders had called for violence against the Muslims, and he didn't, that would be very different than calling for an end to additional immigration.

I wonder what Theo van Gogh thinks about the issue.
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« Reply #343 on: October 05, 2010, 01:59:30 PM »

"As one who was mugged and knifed in Amsterdam by 'immigrants'"

What happened?

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« Reply #344 on: October 06, 2010, 11:27:37 AM »

"What happened?"
CCP, Here is the story of my brush with 'Islam in Europe' and my only experience with nationalized healthcare.  On the latter, I was treated very nicely and stitched up for free.  When they listed my address as just 'Amerika' I realized I wasn't going to see a bill in the mail.

Dec. 1991, I was in charge of exports for a US telecom manufacturer with the Europe 92 initiative (European Union) coming, which for us would open the telecom networks of Europe to US products for the first time ever. I had appointments in 5 capitols in 5 days, spent every evening on a plane and traveled in and out of Europe through Amsterdam.  At the end of the week returning to my original hotel in Amsterdam I was tired of dinner on a plane and no exercise the whole trip, so I got off the train from the airport, skipped the taxis and walked to my hotel with early December darkness setting in.  

Amsterdam is designed in a horseshoe shape. I  picked a route to cut over to a different major street and picked the wrong one.  After a half block down this street in prime evening time  I realized I was alone, no one in sight on the street or sidewalk either side, no car, no pedestrian, no one visible in windows of the residential buildings lining the street.  Then footsteps came up pretty fast from behind me which seemed odd.  I shifted over thinking how could I possibly be in their way on an empty street, like can't they see me.  When they shifted over too, I knew.  I turned to face them.  The first guy froze but the other guy was already taking a swing at me.  I ducked down and away and he still got me on the back of the head.  He fell and I didn't.  I dropped my bags, stepped back a few steps and screamed for help. No one heard me but I got it out pretty loud. They hesitated, looked around, then left in the direction I had been headed, so I grabbed my stuff and headed back where I came from and briskly cut through on a better street to my hotel.

The guy who hit me seemed to have something hard like an oval shaped rock cupped in his hand but from the bleeding it must have had a sharp blade in it.  I felt okay the rest of the walk, got to the hotel and sheepishly started to explain my situation to the desk clerk who remembered me from the previous weekend.  She figured out what I was trying to say when she saw the blood on my hand from holding my head and got me a ride to the ER.  I sat down and then lost all my strength.

I described the attackers to the hotel manager driving me to the hospital.  He said they are Moroccans. I don't like to call them that because a favorite in-law of mine is from Morocco. I never told him of this experience. Now I call them al Qaida for a better story.  One strange part, it never occurred to me I was attacked for money since they never took anything.  It just felt like a hate crime or something territorial.
From Wikipedia: "Netherlands hosts an estimated 850,000 Muslims, including approximately 320,000 Turks and 280,000 Moroccans.[1]  Most of them live in the major cities, concentrated in low-income neighborhoods with poor housing quality, chronic unemployment, and high levels of crime."

I did not know that.
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« Reply #345 on: October 13, 2010, 07:35:23 AM »

Note the dates in question
« Last Edit: October 13, 2010, 07:39:05 AM by Crafty_Dog » Logged
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« Reply #346 on: October 14, 2010, 07:29:45 PM »

It sounds like you responded in a way that scared them off.   It seems weird they would attack you like that if it roberry wasn't the motive but who knows.

Could you imagine if they attacked Crafty.   They would have been in the hospital.

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« Reply #347 on: October 18, 2010, 08:26:46 AM »

by Audrey Kauffmann Audrey Kauffmann – Sun Oct 17, 11:50 am ET
BERLIN (AFP) – Germany's attempt to create a multi-cultural society has failed completely, Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the weekend, calling on the country's immigrants to learn German and adopt Christian values.

Merkel weighed in for the first time in a blistering debate sparked by a central bank board member saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants.

"Multikulti", the concept that "we are now living side by side and are happy about it," does not work, Merkel told a meeting of younger members of her conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party at Potsdam near Berlin.

"This approach has failed, totally," she said, adding that immigrants should integrate and adopt Germany's culture and values.

"We feel tied to Christian values. Those who don't accept them don't have a place here," said the chancellor.

"Subsidising immigrants" isn't sufficient, Germany has the right to "make demands" on them, she added, such as mastering the language of Goethe and abandoning practices such as forced marriages.

Merkel spoke a week after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which they pledged to do more to improve the often poor integration record of Germany's 2.5-million-strong Turkish community.

Turkish President Abdullah Gul, in a weekend interview, also urged the Turkish community living in Germany to master the language of their adopted country.

"When one doesn't speak the language of the country in which one lives that doesn't serve anyone, neither the person concerned, the country, nor the society," the Turkish president told the Suedeutsche Zeitung.

"That is why I tell them at every opportunity that they should learn German, and speak it fluently and without an accent. That should start at nurseries."

German President Christian Wulff was due for a five-day visit to Turkey and talks with the country's leaders on Monday.

The immigration debate has at times threatened to split Merkel's conservative party, and she made noises to both wings of the debate.

While saying that the government needed to encourage the training of Muslim clerics in Germany, Merkel said "Islam is part of Germany", echoeing the recent comments of Wulff, a liberal voice in the party.

Horst Seehofer, the leader of the CDU's Bavarian sister party, CSU, who represents the right-wing, recently said Germany did not "need more immigrants from different cultures like the Turks and Arabs" who are "more difficult" to integrate.

While warning against "immigration that weighs down on our social system", Merkel said Germany needed specialists from overseas to keep the pace of its economic development.

According to the head of the German chamber of commerce and industry, Hans Heinrich Driftmann, Germany is in urgent need of about 400,000 engineers and qualified workers, whose lack is knocking about one percent off the country's growth rate.

The integration of Muslims has been a hot button issue since August when a member of Germany's central bank sparked outrage by saying the country was being made "more stupid" by poorly educated and unproductive Muslim migrants with headscarves.

The banker, Thilo Sarrazin, has since resigned but his book on the subject -- "Germany Does Itself In" -- has flown off the shelves, and polls showed considerable sympathy for some of his views.

A recent study by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation think tank showed around one-third of Germans feel the country is being "over-run by foreigners" and the same percentage feel foreigners should be sent home when jobs are scarce.

Nearly 60 percent of the 2,411 people polled thought the around four million Muslims in Germany should have their religious practices "significantly curbed."

Far-right attitudes are found not only at the extremes of German society, but "to a worrying degree at the centre of society," the think tank said in its report.

"Hardly eight weeks have passed since publication of Sarrazin's theory of decline, and the longer the debate continues to a lower level it falls," the weekly Der Spiegel commented Sunday.

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« Reply #348 on: October 29, 2010, 12:55:12 AM »

London, England (CNN) --

Hit the road, Jack.

Last year's most popular name for baby boys in England has been knocked off -- by Mohammed.

That's not immediately obvious from data put out this week by the Office of National Statistics, which declared Wednesday that Oliver was the single most popular name for boys born in 2009.

But a CNN analysis of the top 4,500 boys names shows that, when different spellings of the name are lumped together, Mohammed is No. 1.

Oliver and variations come second, followed by Jack, Thomas, Charles, Harry, William and Daniel.

The United Kingdom is about 4.6 percent Muslim, with just under 2.9 million Muslims according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

And Muslims have a strong tendency to name their sons Mohammed.

"The first reason why people keep the children's name Mohammed is because of their love of the prophet Mohammed, because they want to emulate him," said Imam Abdullah al-Hasan of the East
London Mosque.

"They want to copy him not just through his behavior and conduct, but also his name," said the imam, who is thinking about naming his own newborn son after the founder of Islam.

The Muslim population has risen rapidly in Western Europe in the past 20 years, according to the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.

From under 10 million in 1990, it's gone up to about 17 million today, the think tank said in a report last month.

That has be accompanied by tensions ranging from racial violence in parts of England to legal restrictions like banning the burqa in France and banning minarets in Switzerland.

But al-Hasan says Britain has nothing to fear.

"One message I would give to them is that you shouldn't be surprised. You shouldn't be scared. You shouldn't be frightened or anything like that," he said.

"It shows that Islam is here to stay in Britain. Islam is here to stay in Europe," he said. "It's not alien from the Western society. It's not alien to the British context."


--CNN's Brittany Harris, Erin McLaughlin and Atika Shubert contributed to this report.

Who dares wins - British SAS
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« Reply #349 on: November 07, 2010, 12:12:12 AM »

FWIW IMHO your logic is as correct as it is naive.

It nice to know that you concede that my logic is correct;   smiley   albeit in you opinion naive.   huh
Still, it's better than being wrong and acting like Don Quixote, running off and discussing numerous but irrelevant evils of Islam. 
This topic is about voluntary arbitration or as you said and seem to prefer "whether the reality of it (arbitration) is voluntary."

But naive?
I presume you are inferring that some Muslim women are "forced" to participate in "voluntary" arbitration
leaving them at a disadvantage and therefore although you concede my logic is impeccable, reality is different?

OK, what do you suggest?  We, England and America are bound by our legal system.  Frankly, overall I
think it is pretty good.  What should we do?  I mean in a Civil matter (divorce for example) if both parties (on the surface) agree to voluntary arbitration, what can the police do? 
Or what can the courts do?  One person needs to file a complaint and if after the fact, there must be proof of coercion. Otherwise the answer is the court
can will and will do nothing.  Nor frankly should it.  Or everyone would complain after an adverse arbitration ruling. 

I further contend that if a woman/man is strong enough to file a complaint for coercion (a criminal matter) than surely they are mentally
strong enough to simply state that they prefer English Law versus voluntary arbitration under Sharia Law.  And then they will have the full protection
of that country's law, i.e. restraining orders if coerced or threatened and the fair distribution of property. 
And if any illegal action is taken against them, or if the law is not followed, the perpetrator will be arrested.  That is fair.
But if both parties voluntarily choose voluntary arbitration; the court is tied.  A crime (i.e. coercion) must be committed before the state can intercede.

So back to my question, given that arbitration is a legal part of the court system, and given that both parties together are allowed to choose the arbitrator, how do
you solve the problem of the arbitrator being biassed or the process being unfair?  Remember, in many matters, the arbitrator is going to being biased.  You
cannot simply do away with arbitration or prohibit one group from being the arbitrator just because they are biased.  The Church of England is biased on many matters as
are many other arbitrators biased for their own reasons.

Frankly, while I am sympathetic, Muslim women in divorce, inheritance or other civil matters have a much better deal in England and the US than women in many other countries. 
They have a choice; Sharia Court (voluntary arbitration); fast and efficient or they can choose the State's Legal System which is usually gender fair, albeit slow and expensive.

Volume 1, Book 6, Number 301:

    Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

    Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."


What isn't wrong with Sharia law?

To safeguard our rights there must be one law for all and no religious courts


    * Maryam Namazie
          o Maryam Namazie
          o, Monday 5 July 2010 14.18 BST
          o Article history

Gita Sahgal Gita Sahgal says there is active support for sharia laws because it is limited to denying women rights in the family. Photograph: Richard Saker

The recent global day against the imminent stoning of Sakine Mohammadi-Ashtiani in Iran for adultery is an example of the outrage sparked by the brutality associated with sharia law's penal code.

What of its civil code though – which the Muslim Council of Britain's Shaykh Ibrahim Mogra describes as "small aspects" that concern "marriage, divorce, inheritance, custody of children"? According to human rights campaigner Gita Sahgal, "there is active support for sharia laws precisely because it is limited to denying women rights in the family. No hands are being cut off, so there can't be a problem …"

Now a report, Sharia Law in Britain: A Threat to One Law for All and Equal Rights, reveals the adverse effect of sharia courts on family law. Under sharia's civil code, a woman's testimony is worth half of a man's. A man can divorce his wife by repudiation, whereas a woman must give justifications, some of which are difficult to prove. Child custody reverts to the father at a preset age; women who remarry lose custody of their children even before then; and sons inherit twice the share of daughters.

There has been much controversy about Muslim arbitration tribunals, which have attracted attention because they operate as tribunals under the Arbitration Act, making their rulings binding in UK law.

But sharia councils, which are charities, are equally harmful since their mediation differs little from arbitration. Sharia councils will frequently ask people to sign an agreement to abide by their decisions. Councils call themselves courts and the presiding imams are judges. There is neither control over the appointment of these judges nor an independent monitoring mechanism. People often do not have access to legal advice and representation. Proceedings are not recorded, nor are there any searchable legal judgements. Nor is there any real right to appeal.

There is also danger to those at risk of domestic violence. In one study, four out of 10 women attending sharia courts were party to civil injunctions against their husbands.

"In this way, these privatised legal processes were ignoring not only state law intervention and due process but providing little protection and safety for the women. Furthermore … husbands used this opportunity to negotiate reconciliation, financial settlements for divorce, and access to children. Settlements which in effect were being discussed under the shadow of law."

An example of the kind of decision that is contrary to UK law and public policy is the custody of children. Under British law, the child's best interest is the court's paramount consideration. In a sharia court the custody of children reverts to the father at a preset age regardless of the circumstances. In divorce proceedings, too, civil law takes into account the merits of the case and divides assets based on the needs and intentions of both parties. Under sharia law, only men have the right to unilateral divorce. If a woman manages to obtain a divorce without her husband's consent, she will lose the sum of money (or dowry) that was agreed to at the time of marriage.

There is an assumption that those who attend sharia courts do so voluntarily and that unfair decisions can be challenged. Since much of sharia law is contrary to British law and public policy, in theory they would be unlikely to be upheld in a British court. In reality, women are often pressured by their families into going to these courts and adhering to unfair decisions and may lack knowledge of their rights under British law. Moreover, refusal to settle a dispute in a sharia court could lead to to threats, intimidation or isolation.

With the rise in the sharia courts' acceptability, discrimination is further institutionalised with some law firms offering clients "conventional" representation alongside sharia law advice.

As long as sharia courts are allowed to make rulings on family law, women will be pressured into accepting decisions which are prejudicial.

The report recommends abolishing the courts by initiating a human rights challenge and amending the Arbitration Act as Canada's Arbitration Act was amended in 2005 to exclude religious arbitration.

The demand for the abolition of sharia courts in Britain, as elsewhere, is not an attack on people's right to religion; it is a defence of human rights, especially since the imposition of sharia courts is a demand of Islamism to restrict citizens' rights.

Rights, justice, inclusion, equality and respect are for people, not for beliefs and parallel legal systems. To safeguard the rights and freedoms of all those living in Britain, there must be one secular law for all and no religious courts.

Maryam Namazie is a rights activist, commentator and broadcaster and spokesperson of Iran Solidarity and One Law for All
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