Abdul Jaleel, the murderer’s younger brother, told the Daily Star Sunday the punishment was the “decree of Allah” and warned it would not make Britain safer. Abdul Jaleel, born Jeremiah Adebolajo, told us: “It was the qada of Allah – the decree of Allah. “It was an injustice and a move away from the rule of law which got Britain into this situation of insecurity (in the first place) and so no further injustice will make them safer.”
Just hours after speaking to this newspaper, Jaleel continued to vent his fury on Twitter, accusing the legal system of racism and citing the case of Ukrainian-born murderer Pavlo Lapshyn. He was jailed for 40 years in October for the racist killing of Muslim pensioner Mohammed Saleem.
Jaleel told followers: “For those confused about the nature of the war upon Islam I urge you to know the following.
"Justice Sweeney, who sentenced my brother to life imprisonment for the murder of a British soldier – after waiting for whole life tariffs to be sanctioned – was the same judge who sentenced the Ukrainian man who stabbed an elderly Muslim man (because of his faith). He was sentenced to 45 years. . . Justice Sweeney found no cause to wait for the key European ruling concerning whole life orders. To Allah we place our complaint..."
Adebolajo and Adebowale face a tough time at London’s Belmarsh prison. Drugs lord Colin Gunn, 45, has offered a £20,000 bounty to anyone who maims them. The underworld boss – who arranged the murder of an enemy’s parents – is serving a 35-year sentence at the jail.
A source said: “He doesn’t mind if it’s a lag or a prison officer who does it. He wants them hurt badly or killed.”
Gunn grew to hate the Woolwich killers while sharing Belmarsh’s Special Secure Unit – dubbed a “prison within a prison” – with the pair
The killers are now demanding halal food delivered by a Muslim priest, claiming lags and guards are spitting in their grub. Adebolajo is surrounded by six prison officers everywhere he goes after repeatedly threatening guards. Both killers are on basic regimes and have no television or radio in their cells. They have received bundles of hate mail.
AN APPARENT plot by Muslim fundamentalists to destabilise and take over state schools in England is being investigated by council officials and monitored by police. Birmingham city council began an inquiry after the circulation of what purport to be strategy documents outlining ways of ousting head teachers in Muslim areas of the city in order to establish schools run on Islamic principles.
The anonymous documents were passed by the council to West Midlands police. The paperwork, which appears to have been written by disaffected Muslims, has been leaked to The Sunday Times. The documents suggest that the strategy, called Operation Trojan Horse, should be used in Bradford and Manchester as well as Birmingham. “We have an obligation to our children to fulfil our roles and ensure these schools are run on Islamic principles,” they argue.
The papers say the first step is to identify poor-performing state schools in Muslim areas; then Salafist parents in each school are encouraged to complain that teachers are “corrupting children with sex education, teaching about homosexuals, making their children say Christian prayers and mixed swimming and sports”.
They say parents should:
Parachute in Muslim governors to "drip-feed" ideals for a Muslim school
Have an "English face" to campaigns to turn secular schools into faith-based academies
"Wear down" the resolve of a headteacher at a targeted school ... anonymous letters are to be circulated to MPs, press and ministers. “All these things will work towards wearing the head down, removing their resolve and weakening their mindset so they eventually give up.”
One school mentioned in the Sunday Times report was Regents Park Primary, where headmistress Tina Ireland was given an “outstanding” Ofsted report but resigned last year after questions were raised on exam performance.
If proven bone fide, the documents will be a further blow to the government's free school's programme, dogged by the closure of the Al-Madinah school in Derby after Ofsted found it failing in every respect, and reports children were being segregated by sex and non-Muslim members of staff being told to wear Islamic dress.
Park View Academy in Birmingham is also subject of allegations that school leadership "side-lined" non-Muslim staff and implemented Islamic studies lessons in the secular school.
Others are Adderley Primary School and Saltley School, a specialist science college where the head, Balwant Bains, resigned last year. Bains quit after an Ofsted report concluded that he had a “dysfunctional” relationship with the governors. Ahson Mohammed, the interim head teacher at Saltley, was appointed in November after Bains’s resignation.
Birmingham city council said in a statement: “We are investigating allegations in relation to some schools in the Birmingham area and have passed any relevant information to West Midlands police to investigate.”
Police said they were monitoring information given to them by the council.
We all thought Oxfam was the most bigoted international charity organization but along has came Amnesty International to displace it from the pinnacle of shame. What is it about these supposedly good will international organizations that makes them so disproportionately obsessed with and so biased against the State of Israel and its citizens? What makes them so little aware, in any consistent way, of issues in the other 192 countries in the world?
Amnesty International (AI) describes its mission as undertaking research and action focused on preventing and ending grave abuses of human rights. Indeed, it has drawn attention to some abuses in a number of countries. It also claims to be independent of “any government, political ideology, economic interest or religion.” But this claim is spurious because AI’s main focus has been on one government and its alleged deficiencies, Israel and its behavior towards Palestinians.
Over the last twenty years, activities of AI have shown a persistent attitude of criticism and even hostility towards Israel. Its official statements have referred to the “ethnic cleansing” in Israeli society, to the racial supremacy of Israel, to the expulsion and dispossession of Palestinians, and to the “current structure” of Israel as an apartheid state. It has no genuine title to neutrality.
AI has supported the movement to boycott Israel. In a manner familiar from the diatribes of antisemites, it has criticized Israel for exploiting the memory of the Holocaust in order to oppress the Palestinian people. It defended the anti-Israeli, and implicitly antisemitic, remarks of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when he was President of Iran. It hosted in January 2012 a book party to launch a book, Palestinians in Israel: segregation, discrimination, and democracy, written by Ben White, a relentless critic of Israel. AI also hosted In November 2010 a meeting of the Russell Tribunal which then discussed “Israel’s violations of international law.” It published in October 2009 an inaccurate report on water resources in the Gaza Strip: it held that Israel’s “control of water is a tool of apartheid.”
Some of the pronouncements of AI have been over the top. It declared that the Israeli blockade of Gaza prevented “thousands of Palestinian students” in Gaza from pursuing higher education in the West Bank. AI seemed totally unaware of the considerable number of Palestinians who attend universities in Israel as well as in Palestinian areas. It demanded that the Israeli government stop limiting access to education for Palestinian students in the Gaza Strip, as well as for Israel to lift completely the blockade of the Strip. It also charged Israel with “war crimes” during the Operation Cast Lead in July 2009 in Gaza. AI disregarded the fact that the blockade was started to prevent the smuggling of weapons and rockets used against Israeli citizens.
In June 2012 AI issued a report , Starved of Justice: Palestinians detained without trial by Israel, which was in fact a strong attack on the Israeli legal system. Curiously the report was issued without the names of any authors, though two people, Deborah Hyams and Saleh Hijazi, were listed as researchers or “media contacts.” Both are ideologically motivated.
Hyams, who grew up in Oxford, is a constant critic of Israel. She agreed to be a “human shield” for Palestinians in Beit Jala in the West Bank to stop Israeli response to attacks of gunfire and mortars. She understood, without precisely approving of them, that suicide bombings against Israelis are “in response to the occupation.” She approved in 2008 of a letter stating that Israel was founded on terrorism and massacres. Hijazi, born in Jerusalem and raised in Ramallah, in a statement on December 8, 2007 called for a general boycott of Israeli products to begin on December 9. He had worked for a number of years for the Palestinian public relations office in Ramallah.
Other prominent members of AI staff have expressed similar critical statements of Israel. Kate Allen, the director of AI in the UK wrote on December 7, 2010 in Foreign Policy of “the harsh reality on the ground (in Gaza) for civilians trapped in this tiny enclave.”
A more outspoken individual, Kristya Benedict, listed as the crisis response manager for AIUK, has constantly referred to Israel as an apartheid state, called for a boycott, and declared, “the blockade of Israel has turned it into an outdoor prison.” Benedict has organized a number of events for anti-Israeli activists. He displayed both his wisdom of international politics as well as his character when he listed Israel, together with North Korea, Burma, Sudan, and Iran, as a “stupid dictatorial regime,” and threatened to assault physically a pro-Israeli individual. In equally bad taste he thought it a joke to remark on November 20, 2012 that three Jewish members of the British Parliament in a bar ordered a round of B52s to deal with Gaza. Was AI ever conscious of or did it ever mention the antisemitism evidenced by its staff?
Now on February 20, 2014, AI published a 87 page report, again without named authors, entitled Trigger Happy: Israel’s use of excessive force inthe West Bank. It gave attention to specific deaths. The report accuses Israel of “war crimes and other serious violations of international law.” It is itself excessive, and trigger-happy, in stating, “Israeli soldiers have repeatedly committed serious human rights and humanitarian law violations.” It details carefully selected accounts of the killing and wounding of Palestinians who “do not appear to be posing a direct and immediate threat to life.” It finds Israel guilty of “a callous disregard for human life.” It therefore calls on the international community to “suspend all transfers of munitions, weapons and other equipment to Israel.”
What is extraordinary is not only that this AI report minimizes or ignores the large number of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli forces and civilians in the West Bank. It also pontificates on the improper use of force by Israel in an area where the issue of security is paramount. The Secretary-General of AI, Salil Shetty, an Indian national formerly at the United Nations, himself admitted in an interview on February 10, 2014, “we are not experts on military matters. We do not want to pontificate on issues we really understand.” He might have criticized the AI statement that “petrol bombs pose little or no threat” to the lives of Israeli soldiers.
Certainly some abuses have occurred as Israel soldiers have tried to prevent or restain violent or even terrorist attacks. However, Shetty and other AI spokespeople should have been aware of the substantial increase in Palestinian violence. These included 5000 incidents when rocks were thrown and other incidents that caused harm to more than 130 civilians and soldiers, shootings, the planting of improvised explosive devices, and the murder of a soldier. The AI neglected the view of Colonel Richard Kemp that the IDF operates at the highest military standards.
Certainly AI’s Middle East director Philip Luther is unaware of this. He is prone to excessive rhetoric about Israeli behavior. He speaks of a “harrowing pattern of unlawful killings and unwarranted injuries of Palestinian civilians.” Israeli forces he stated, “appear to have recklessly fired bullets at the slightest appearance of a threat.” Even more he believes that “the arbitrary and abusive force (by Israelis) against peaceful protestors… suggests that it is carried out as a matter of policy.”
Despite their proclaimed objectives of international assistance, the AI, like Oxfam, is a bigoted group, more interested, for reasons of its own, in criticizing Israel than in providing any real help for Palestinians or Arabs in general. At a moment when 120,000 have been killed in the brutal civil war in Syria and millions of its residents have been rendered homeless, and when 500 demonstrators were killed in a single day in August 2013 in Egypt, it appears incongruous for AI to issue a long, anonymous report on Israeli arbitrary and excessive force.
It is time to proclaim the truth. These so–called international charity organizations have an agenda of their own that has little to do with charity or justice in the Middle East or with accepted standards of morality. By its new report Amnesty International is pulling the trigger against resumption of peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.
Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.
I was out of the country when T G Rosenthal died, and so missed the news. He wrote a beautiful book about L S Lowry whose work he championed against the philistines of the Tate Gallery, who for long could barely bring themselves to hang any of Lowry's paintings on their walls. Rosenthal grew up in Manchester and knew whereof the artist painted; but quite apart from that he was a perspicacious art critic.
He was also a publisher of note, and I have reason both to be grateful to and to admire him. When I knew him he had taken control of André Deutsch, and he had published a couple of collections of my articles. After that I sent him the manuscript - there were still such things in those days - of a little novella I had written, 1400 words a day come hell or high water (or Montezuma's revenge) in Mexico. I went to see him afterwards, and he said, 'I think it ought to be published.' His decision was his alone - no marketing men, no accountants put their baleful oar in - and he made it on what he thought was my little book's merit. Nothing else counted for him.
He was, of course, a man of considerable ego, one saw that at once; no man without ego would dress as he dressed. Suffice it to say that he did not don camouflage so as to disappear into a crowd. But one also sensed at once that there was integrity in his flamboyance, that he was a man to whom art, literature and ideas were both important and enjoyable. He made them his raison d'être; he was decidedly not of the time-serving school of self-advancers. I was much impressed also that he had never learned to drive; this seemed to me all of a piece, somehow, with his scale of values.
One is always inclined, especially after a certain age, to say things such as 'We shall not see his like again.' No doubt virtue and talent, like hope, spring eternal. Nevertheless, I cannot help but think that this man, who made moulds fit him rather than fit himself to moulds, would have found the modern world, if he had been setting out in it today, profoundly uncongenial. It is a world made for apparatchiks, which he most decidedly (and gloriously) was not. He made mistakes as we all do but, as I once saw engraved on a tombstone in the Black Country, they were always a man's mistakes.
China will spare no effort to seek justice for a "terrorist attack" at a crowded train station, its domestic security chief said, after militants from the restive region of Xinjiang were blamed for chilling violence that killed at least 29 people.
Authorities said a group of knife-wielding "terrorists" launched a "premeditated" attack at the Kunming Railway Station late in China's southwest on Saturday night. More than 130 people were also wounded.
Police shot four of the attackers dead and captured one, state news agency Xinhua reported. It quoted the Kunming city government as saying evidence at the crime scene showed the attack was carried out by "Xinjiang separatist forces".
About five others were on the run, it said, after one of the worst attacks of its kind in China in recent memory.
It also marked a major escalation in the simmering unrest that had centred on Xinjiang, a heavily Muslim region in China's far west strategically located on the borders of Central Asia.
It is the first time people from Xinjiang have been blamed for carrying out such a large-scale attack so far from their homeland,
Kunming, the capital of Yunnan province, is hundreds of miles from Xinjiang and has little connection to the recent violence there that has killed more than 100 people in the past year.
China bristles at suggestions from exiles and rights groups that the unrest is driven more by unhappiness at government policies than by any serious threat from extremist groups who want to establish an independent state called East Turkestan.
How “Al Qa’eda Mediator” was Assassinated — A Jihadist’s Account
Earlier this week, we noted the assassination of “Al Qa’eda mediator” Abu Khaled al-Suri in an attack on the headquarters of the insurgent faction Ahrar al-Sham in b
Sham News, a Russian-language site linked to North Caucasian fighters in Syria, interviewed Abdul Karim Krimsky (“the Crimean”) — the second-in-command to Salahuddin Shishani, the leader of independent North Caucasian faction Jaish al-Muhajireen wal-Ansar — who was present shortly after the death of al-Suri.
We reached the base of Ahrar a-Sham shortly after the assassination of Sheikh Abu Umeir, who was known among the Mujahideen as Abu Khaled al-Suri.
It happened sometime in the afternoon. We almost arrived at the base at the same time as the event occurred. We found out everything that happened from the mujahideen of Ahrar a-Sham.
Two armed men had come to the base. They came on foot, without a car. Lots of armed mujahideen come to the base, they ask the checkpoint how to get someplace or other, or how to find this or that mujahid or amir.
So that’s why the Ahrar a-Sham base weren’t on the alert. They noticed that they (the armed men) spoke in a local Syrian dialect.
They came close to the building and one of them suddenly opened fire with a machine gun. Everyone who was in the yard was wounded or killed.
At that moment none of the mujahideen who were in the yard of the checkpoint were carrying a machine gun, though some had handguns. Only (al-Suri) was holding a AK-SU-74.
The Sheikh (al-Suri) was in the room and he opened fire in response through a window. He was mortally wounded in the chest.
The second guy, under cover of the first guy’s machine gun fire, chucked grenades into the building. Then, the mujahideen in the base overcame their surprise and starting to return fire.
The one who burst into the building was wounded but he was able to reach the second floor and then he blew himself up. The first one continued to fire, dashing from place to place But he was killed with return fire.
May Allah damn these suicides and may those who sent them be damned.
(Al-Suri) was a remarkable man. He was a colleague and friend of Osama Bin Laden, a fellow campaigner and representative of Ayman al-Zawahiri in Syria. He was given the task of making peace between the Mujahideen in Syria.
We met him more than once when our brigade was in Hama. He gave us great, extensive help when we were there. I did not meet a more pleasant man. Joyful, pleasant, his face shone with goodwill and wisdom.
In conversation he was very gracious and attentive to the person to whom he was talking. He was very simple and direct with people. When any questions arose that demanded his participation he said, “I am a slave of Allah and your servant. Speak, ask, and I will do everything in my power for you.”
He waged jihad for over 20 years. The infidels were trying to kill him for many years already. The USA’s CIA put a price on his head.
Now he is no more. This is not just a loss for his brigade and for Syria but it is no exaggeration to say for the Ummah as well.
That gang of arrogant villains who planned this evil act will be sorry for it.
Of course everyone is asking, who did it?
Right now it’s hard to say. It’s only possible to describe those who did it. Their arrogance is good for cowardice and stupidity. Dumb and brainless agents carrying out the orders of the arrogant.
Either they arrogantly recognize that this was their own doing or they are staying quiet from cowardice.
Premier Erdogan appears to be digging a hole deeper and deeper hole in his credibility to keep his Premiership in Turkey. The latest example is the kerfuffle that was created by the release of several alleged phone calls with his son, Bilal, a person of interest in the corruption probe, mid-December 2013. The several calls with Bilal over December 17th and 18th, when the public prosecutor revelations hit the media, appear to be deliberate attempts to scatter in excess of 30 million Euros ($40 million) to relatives and favored businessmen in Turkey. Erdogan in rebuttal said it was all a fabrication by the Gulenist “deep state” out to embarrass him in the final run up to the March 30th municipal elections in Turkey. It appears he may survive the onslaught of his self inflicted political injuries, because of a divided opposition if you believe some Turkish polls. Reutersnoted:
"They went and made a shameless montage and released it," Erdogan told deputies. "They are even listening to the state's encrypted telephones. That's how low they are.”
"There is no allegation that we cannot answer."
The "they" cited by Erdogan was a reference to those among the followers of U.S.-based Islamic cleric Gulen he accuses of building a "parallel state" using influence in the judiciary and police. Gulen denies the accusation.
"We will reveal one-by-one the disgraces of the parallel organization and we will make those who walk with them so embarrassed they won't be able to go onto the street," he said.
Watch this purported English translation of the Erdogan calls on this You Tube video:
Watch this France 24/7 report on the Erdogan phone calls and his suggestion to have the Turkish government Scientific Research Institute do a voice print analysis to settle the matter:
Over this weekend there were conflicting reports from the Wall Street Journal about analysis of audio supplied to labs in New Jersey and Manhattan by what appears to audio files US Turkish allies of Erdogan. The Wall Street Journal, article in the Weekend edition, WSJ Turkish Scandal Ripples in US, noted the peculiar circumstances behind the two audio lab reports. However, Sunday’s Zaman had a rebuttal in its report, “American company says Erdogan voice recording genuine”. Their report cited the conflicting audio lab tests saying:
John Marshall Cheary III, founder and CEO of John Marshall Media Inc., issued a statement on his company's Facebook account on Wednesday denying the claims of some Turkish pro-government media that the telephone recordings had been proven to be fake after technical analysis by his company. He said his company has not issued any opinions on any Turkish-language digital recordings, calling the document a blatant forgery that is signed with the company name "J Ou Productions" and has a John Marshall Media business card stapled to the top. “This is not official JMM letterhead. And the fact that the company in the signature and the business card stapled to the top are different companies makes this an obvious attempt at deception,” Cheary III said in the statement.
The other company, Kaleidoscope Sound, mentioned in the [WSJ] story as having provided technical evidence that the recordings had been spliced together, also issued a Facebook message explaining that their report could only determine whether the recording had been edited or was a continuous conversation. Owner Randy Crafton said that making any determinations beyond this “would certainly require at least a native Turkish speaker.”
“We are a commercial recording studio that specializes in recording, editing, and mixing audio, mostly music. We have no credentials as audio forensics specialists, just our experience as audio professionals,” Crafton said. “Please do not construe this to be an indication of innocence or guilt on anyone's part; it is simply an answer to the question asked,” he added. Those who say the recording is genuine admit they are an audio file containing five different conversations that took place at different locations over 26 hours.
Sunday’s Zaman referred to a McClatchy Newspaper report by a qualified expert Joshua Marpet who issued a formal report that appears to confirm that the audio files are authentic. Read the 11 page report with graphics of matching voice prints, here. Zaman noted:
Joshua Marpet, managing principal of cyber analytics firm Guarded Risk, told McClatchy that the recordings appear to be genuine. The only apparent “montage,” Erdo?an's term for the recordings, was the combination of the five different conversations into one audio file, said Marpet, who was reported to have testified in court on the validity of computer evidence in Turkish criminal cases. He said there was no sign that the individual conversations had been edited. “If it's fake, it's of a sophistication that I haven't seen,” he said.
Note what Erdogan did in furtherance of the France 24/7 suggestion as reported by Sunday’s Zaman:
Erdogan rejected claims that the recordings are genuine in a written statement and later at public rallies, claiming that they had been "dubbed" and edited. In the speeches, however, he acknowledged that his encrypted phones had been tapped, which has been perceived as a confession that the conversations actually occurred.Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Itik, who is responsible for the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey , seconded Erdogan, saying, “He feels that the recordings were manipulated.”
He also stated that five TÜB?TAK employees in charge of the encrypted phones had been sacked.
Evidence of the recordings' authenticity abounds . On Wednesday, audio engineers and specialists released analyses they had conducted in professional labs to verify that the talks had not been edited or spliced and that the voices actually belong to the prime minister and his son. A former Republican People's Party (CHP) deputy and IT specialist Tacidar Seyhan, the studios Babajim Records and STD, among many others, found no trace of doctoring in the recordings.
Our usually well informed European - based observer of developments in Turkey had these comments:
As far as I have heard Erdogan is losing votes and might lose the cities of Istanbul and Ankara. People are being asked to apply as election booth controllers so that the AKP does not rig the ballot boxes. We have another month until the elections and a lot of mud will be slung by Erdogan and the opposition.
Dams, airports, bridges, roads, schools, hospitals, all need fixing. But two trillion dollars was spent in Iraq and one trillion in Afghanistan, on trying to save Muslims from their own violence, aggression, misogyny, you name it. Based on a baseless misapprehension that continues, in a domestic version (making local Muslims behave) in Western Europe. Do not try to rescue self-primitivized people from their own mind-forged permanent manacles. Just make they stay far away, or if already present, try to get them to go away.
Justin Trudeau, who is leading by approximately 10 points in the polls, looms as a very plausible winner of next year’s election in the aftermath of the generally successful Liberal meeting in Montreal last week. Concerns about his depth and gravitas persist, but the allure of his personality is undeniable.
It is clear already that his staff is capable and they must all be aware that his opponents are counting on his being vulnerable when familiarity with the principal issues becomes critically important. There is no evidence that Trudeau lacks the intelligence necessary to get, as his father used to say, “on top of the dossiers,” and any strategy based on assuming that he will disintegrate in direct competition with his analogues would be hazardous.
After two terms, the public is apt to be tired of almost any government, unless there is an overwhelming issue where it retains an advantage, as was the case with Pierre Trudeau and the threat of Quebec secessionism, or unless the incumbent leader can fire the voters’ imagination with a new issue every four years. This was in part the secret of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s unheard of victories in four consecutive U.S. presidential elections.
The Harper government is not long on inspiration; it has put all its presentational eggs in the basket of prudent government. There is no flair, no panache, no humour, no vision, and not much charm or empathy. There have been no interesting initiatives, apart from the prime minister’s brilliant visit to Israel, for many months, and the government now looks merely like placemen, throwing raw meat to their more reactionary supporters with floggings of the dead horse of harsher sentencing and humbug about marijuana. The whole regime is starting to look like it is simply waiting to be defeated, manoeuvring to ensure that Nigel Wright doesn’t have to give evidence under oath, though its record in office has been adequate to avoid the creation of an unstoppable public desire to turn them all out of office.
As I have written here before, more than any other modern prime minister, Harper resembles W. L. Mackenzie King. But King always tried to strengthen his government, both in talent and in political support. And he always had the mighty tribal vote from Quebec that Sir Wilfrid Laurier had secured by opposing conscription in 1917, keeping Quebec out of the hands of the semi-separatist Henri Bourassa, accepting that his party would be defeated in the election that year but would thereafter have a huge electoral advantage, and governed for 52 years between 1921 and 1984.
This raises two interesting questions about what a Trudeau government might try to do. From the time of the establishment of responsible government, (i.e. all internal affairs determined by the provincial legislatures and not decreed by the colonial governors), and the installation of the Great Ministry of Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine in 1848, through to the patriation of the Constitution and the proclamation of the Charter of Rights under Trudeau, there was always a double majority for every major initiative of public policy — a majority in French and English Canada, and not just an English party imposing a majority on the country. Conscription in 1917 was the only exception, and Laurier saved federalism through his deft handling of it.
For most of that time, the political and cultural leaders of French Quebec called for real biculturalism, and not just a small group of bilingual French-Canadians to mediate Quebec’s participation in the whole country. The nationalist Quebec leader in the 1930s, Dr. Philippe Hamel said: “Conquer us with goodwill, my English friends. You will be astonished at the easy victory which awaits you.” Yet when this was put to the test, 30 years later, by the Pearson and Trudeau governments, the same elites and often even the same individuals rejected biculturalism as an assimilationist trick, a Trojan Horse.
It was never generally expressed in quite these terms, but the federalists felt betrayed and Trudeau patriated the Constitution without the Quebec government, though he seemed to have the support of most Quebeckers. Brian Mulroney tried valiantly to square the official equality of the French and English with the spuriously over-applied notion that all the provinces are equal, and the Meech Lake accord was rent by the premier of Newfoundland and a single native person in the Manitoba Legislature. The Charlottetown Accord, put to a national referendum, was rejected by the French of Quebec, offended at the desertion of English Canada over Meech Lake, and by most English Canadians, unwilling to make cultural concessions to a Quebec that was oppressing the English language despite liberality toward French outside Quebec.
Instead of the French and English-speaking populations of Canada having a reciprocal veto over major pan-Canadian policy initiatives, the Quebec nationalists have barricaded themselves into Quebec, abandoning the French outside that province. They are now trying to replace the unborn who result from their post-Catholic collapsed birthrate with Haitians and North Africans who, though French speaking, don’t care about the independence of Quebec, leaving the separatists to attempt to achieve independence in increments through trick referendary questions. Quebec was seduced by the Trudeau-Mulroney bribe of transfer payments to accept a white collar debtor economy and is now practically unable to secede, or even credibly to threaten to separate. The Quebec nationalists only represent about half the French Quebeckers, 40% of that province, 10% of all Canadians, and simply can’t frighten the whole country as they once did. Harper is the first person to govern effectively without significant support in Quebec since Borden. Canada is waiting for Quebec to come back to the party.
Justin Trudeau is the last train leaving the station for the double majority of French and English in the whole country, and the alternating French and English Liberal leaders and governors-general (a completely anachronistic position that has become a semi-animated fig-leaf for ceremonious multi-culturalism). Whether Trudeau or the French Canadians realize it, he is their last ticket to resume the great role they played in the whole country from Lafontaine to Jean Chrétien, including 37 out of 38 years with prime ministers from Quebec between 1968 and 2006. If he fails, the French Canadians will be just another group of hyphenated Canadians, semi-autonomously festering and playing house in their capacious and over-lyricized ghetto of Quebec.
The second intriguing aspect of a Trudeau government arises from the endless prattling at the Liberal convention about a “national strategy” for almost everything. Tiresome, evasive and vacuous as much of this undoubtedly was, it does reopen the possibility of public sector-private sector co-operation that has been responsible for most of the grand projects that have built the country, including the railways, the great hydro-electric projects, the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, Air Canada, atomic power, the Trans-Canada Highway and pipelines, and most large cultural initiatives. As I have written here before, this will be what is needed to make Canada a proprietary, as opposed to merely a branch-plant, country in the automobile business and to take our defence and aero-space industries to a level appropriate to a G7 country. The Conservatives have cloth ears on the subject.
The government has a year to show that it still has some ideas and deserves a renewed mandate. In all of Canadian history, only Macdonald, Laurier and King have served over 10 years consecutively, and they did great things to do it. Harper will have to raise his game radically to join that eminent fraternity.
Our February crossword competition produced two winners. John Rescoe of Portland, Oregon will receive a copy of Emmet Scott's new book, The Impact of Islam and Keith Simmonds of Crayford in the UK will recieve another book from the NER Press archives since he won last month too.
No. The elephant in the room is not "the Israel-Palestine issue." The elephant in the room is, has been, will always be, when it comes to Muslim-Jewish, or Muslim-Christian, or Muslim-Hindu, or Muslim-Buddhist, or Muslim-Anything-Other-Than-Muslim dialogue, Islam. It's Islam.
School can nix American-flag clothing to ease racial tension, US court says
A California school did not improperly abridge student free speech by requiring students to remove American-flag-inspired clothing they wore to a Cinco de Mayo event, a US appeals court ruled. Some see a sad commentary on racial tension in schools; others see cultural appeasement.
A hockey fan wears Olympic gloves with the US Flag during the USA vs. Finland men's bronze medal ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Feb. 22, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The US court ruled on Thursday, Feb. 28, 2014 that an assistant principal at a California school acted within the law when he told students wearing American-flag clothing on Cinco de Mayo to remove them from campus because Hispanic students were offended to the point of violence.
The US Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled Thursday that an assistant principal at Live Oak High School outside San Jose, Calif., acted within the law when he told students wearing American-flag clothing on Cinco de Mayo to remove them from campus because Hispanic students were offended to the point of violence.
The provocative three-judge ruling concerning a majority-Hispanic school that has long struggled with racial and gang tension – the principal counted more than 30 fights a year between rival groups – is in some ways a slam-dunk decision tied directly to a 1969 US Supreme Court ruling that gave wide latitude to school officials to take preemptive action to ensure student safety, even if such actions curbs a student’s free speech rights under the Constitution.
But Thursday’s ruling in a lawsuit brought by three Anglo students also may prompt a Supreme Court look-see. At issue is whether the school district, in the interest of avoiding disruption in the school, overstepped its authority in regulating student speech.
The narrative of what happened on May 5, 2010, at a school Cinco de Mayo festival is fraught with potential unrest and danger at Live Oak. School officials said students wearing American-flag inspired clothing for the school-sanctioned Mexican holiday celebration had sparked racially charged violence the previous year between warring cliques.
At the 2010 celebration, several students wore pronounced US flag clothing that Hispanic students saw as a provocation. “Don’t you like Mexicans?” one of the Anglo students was asked by an angry student.
To ease rising tension on the school’s quad, school officials asked the Anglo students to turn the clothing inside out or to take an excused absence from school.
The appeals court found the evidence proved it was “reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real,” and that the response – the removal of some US flag clothing from campus, with no punishment for the students – was ultimately “tailored to the circumstance.”
In that way, the judges ruled, the school's action did not deprive the three students bringing the lawsuit of their civil rights. The panel made note of the fact that the principal “did not embargo all flag-related clothing.”
The 1969 Tinker v. Des Moines Independent School District decision gave wide leeway to school administrators to curtail students’ free speech if there is reasonable fear that speech could spark disruption. The Tinker decision has also been noted in subsequent court decisions that allow school officials to ban Confederate flag clothing because of the rebel flag’s potentially disruptive nature.
According to the court, Hispanic students at Live Oak interpreted the flag as a provocation. As the unrest spread, school officials jumped in to keep matters from further escalating, the court found.
“When Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez told the student to stop using profane language, the student said, ‘But Rodriguez, they are racist. They are being racist. [expletive] them white boys. Let’s [expletive] them up,’ ” the court recounted.
The precedent set when officials react to threats of violence by shutting down speech of peaceful protesters – the so-called “heckler’s veto” – distresses some legal experts, even if Tinker permits it. Moreover, some observers say, the court stuck strictly to Tinker to avoid the hot-button issues of flag symbology and immigration.
“The fact is, in political speech, you get hecklers because political speech riles people up, but that’s not the same as violence,” Trevor Burrus, a research fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Constitutional Studies in Washington, told the Monitor last year.
Commentators weren’t ready to let the Ninth Circuit court, one of the more liberal US appeals courts, off the hook for going along with what they see as the slippery slope of cultural appeasement.
(Reuters) - Militants killed 12 members of the security escort for a polio vaccination team in northwest Pakistan on Saturday, detonating a roadside bomb before opening fire on their convoy, according to officials.
The attack lasted an hour and when rescuers approached the scene the gunmen also attacked them, according to Khan Faraz, an official in the Jamrud area of Khyber, a rugged tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
Around a dozen wounded were taken to hospital, but others died on the road waiting for help to arrive, he said.
Another official, Assistant Political Agent Jehangir Azam, said all the casualties were members of the levies or Khasadar, both locally recruited government-backed militias. They were providing security for the health workers.
However the Pakistani newspaper the International News differs on the subject of the casualties
JAMRUD: Two vehicles of the Khasadar force escorting anti-polio teams were attacked in the Jamrud Tehsil of Khyber Agency. At least 11 personnel of the force and a child were killed in the blasts while several ot?hers were injured. According to the political administration, the back-to-back blasts took place in the Lashoro area of Jamrud followed by firing. Police said the anti-polio team members remained unharmed and took shelter in a nearby house following the explosions.
In a separate incident in western Baluchistan province, a roadside bomb killed three members of a government paramilitary force in Sorab, about 230 kilometres southwest of the provincial capital of Quetta.
Shortly afterwards, the paramilitary Frontier Corps announced it had killed ten men in Sui, 300 kilometres southeast of Quetta. The Frontier Corps said they were carrying out an operation to search for militants who had bombed gas pipelines.
Ex-Guantanamo detainee Moazzam Begg has denied charges of providing terrorist training and funding terrorism overseas.
The 45-year-old British citizen, from Hall Green, Birmingham, was one of four people arrested earlier this week on suspicion of terrorism offences linked to the Syria conflict.
He appeared at Westminster Magistrates Court today alongside a woman, Gerrie Tahari, 44, of Sparkbrook, Birmingham, who also denied funding terrorism overseas.
Begg was remanded in custody and will next appear at the Old Bailey on March 14.
Both were arrested on Tuesday with two other men held on suspicion of facilitating terrorism overseas. The pair - a 36-year-old man from Shirley, Solihull, and a 20-year-old man from Sparkhill, Birmingham, who is the son of Tahari - remain in police custody.
Elsewhere Anjem Choudary prays to Allah for their release. May Allah (SWT) release brother Moazzam Begg & sister Gerrie Tahari from captivity together with all other Muslim prisoners still being held
Modern medicine’s ability to save life – to keep people alive who would once have died – gives rise to an increasing number of ethical dilemmas. An article in a recent edition of the New England Journal of Medicine discusses the case of Quelino Jimenez, a Mexican illegal immigrant who was employed as a construction worker in Chicago. He had a fall that rendered him tetraplegic; after emergency treatment to stabilize his condition, and some time in the hospital, he was repatriated against his will to Mexico, where, aged 21, he died because of a lack of medical care.
Jimenez, like the majority of the 11 million illegal immigrants in the Unites States, was uninsured. The law already prescribes that hospitals receiving Medicare funding must provide emergency care to anyone in need of it, without discrimination as to legal or insurance status. However, they are not under obligation to provide, nor will they be reimbursed for providing, long-term care for those who need it. Looking after tetraplegics is expensive and consumes much time and effort. Hospitals will therefore be anxious to transfer them (and the costs) elsewhere.
It is an elementary principle of medical ethics that doctors are not permitted to sort patients into deserving sheep and undeserving goats when providing treatment for them: they are supposed to do their best for everyone, prince or prisoner. The best for Quelino Jimenez was certainly not to be returned to conditions in which, only too predictably, he would be medically neglected.
The authors of the article about the case (and, by implication, others like it) argue that to have sent him back was unethical because it was against his will, and therefore infringed his right to autonomy; that it was against the fundamental moral injunction for doctors to treat all patients equally irrespective of their legal status or moral qualities, and thus a threat to that very injunction as a whole; that it was against the principles of distributive justice, expressed in the article as follows:
Insofar as the duties of justice issue from a universal recognition of the equality of all persons and take as their aim the optimization of opportunity for the least privileged, the repatriation of vulnerable patients to places where opportunities for health and social mobility are less guaranteed represents a powerful injustice…. and finally that it would have the unintended effect of reducing public trust in doctors because it would give the impression that economic arguments trumped purely medical ones.
Since space is limited, let me just deal with the argument from distributive justice, whose premise is unexamined. The authors do not believe in global distributive justice, for if they did it would be unlikely that the United States disposed of the means to save Quelino Jimenez’s life in the first place. Thus they implicitly believe it is right for each society to treat people medically according to their means. But was Quelino Jimenez a member of American society or not?
The authors argue that he was, because (like most illegal immigrants) he worked there and was “deeply embedded” in it. Supposing, however, that he had not been a construction worker, but a drug-dealer who had arrived in the country on the very day of his accident? Would that have changed the obligations of the hospital and medical profession towards him? Ex hypothesi the latter are not supposed to consider the moral or legal status of their patients, such as their “embeddedness” in society or otherwise. And yet one feels that this is absurd, indeed morally destructive. Life makes it hard to be consistent.
If Quelino Jimenez had been my patient, I would have fought tooth and nail on his behalf – for kindness’ and decency’s sake, and hang the consequences.
MUSLIM women should not be allowed to cover their faces in public as there is no formal requirement in their religion, a Tory MP said yesterday.
Philip Hollobone was putting forward a Bill seeking to prohibit the wearing of face coverings, in particular the Muslim veil and balaclavas.
Presenting his Face Coverings (Prohibition) Bill, the Kettering MP expressed regret that his campaign had “come to this”.
Speaking during the bill’s second reading, he said: “But there’s growing concern amongst my constituents and across the country about the increasing number of people who are going about in public places covering their faces and this is causing alarm and distress to many people.”
During the debate, passport control officials were criticised for “waving through” a woman without asking her to remove her full-face veil.
Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, told the Commons he witnessed the scene at Heathrow as a woman underwent checks to enter the UK after flying in from Saudi Arabia. He insisted all women wearing a “full Islamic veil” should have to compulsorily remove it to be identified by immigration officials.
Mr Hollobone told the Commons that he had received correspondence from alarmed Britons across the country. . . Men are dressing up as Islamic women in burkas to commit crimes, he added. Terror suspect Mohammed Ahmed Mohamed went missing last November after changing into a burka at a mosque.
But Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz said he could not recall any other incidents of that nature. A quick search on google should turn up a dozen or so - get one of your idle SPADs on to the task.
Rushanara Ali, Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, a London constituency with a large Muslim population, described the Bill as “narrow-minded and intolerant”.
It's freezing again -- it's essentially zero what with the wind chill that blows nobody good, and I have no tolerance left -- zero tolerance -- for zero. This Mawson moment is lasting too long. O Westren wind when wilt thou blow? O zephyrs of spring, who are supposed to be on winter's traces, what in god's name is keeping you?