(Reuters) - Irregular forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad fired at a group of people guarding a mosque in Banias on Sunday, two witnesses said, after pro-democracy unrest flared in the coastal city.
Once-unthinkable mass protests challenging Assad's authoritarian rule has spread across Syria despite his attempts to defuse resentment by making gestures toward reforms. At least 90 people have been killed in the disturbances.
Tanks fanned out overnight in the northern district of coastal Banias, intensifying a crackdown on popular dissent now in its fourth week in the tightly controlled country.
A doctor and a university professor said a group was guarding Banias's Sunni Abu Bakr al-Siddiq mosque with sticks during morning prayers when irregulars from Syria's ruling Alawite minority, known as "shabbiha," fired at them with automatic rifles from speeding cars.
Five people were injured, including a 47-year-old man who was hit in the chest, they told Reuters.
The attack followed a demonstration of some 2,000 people in Banias on Friday when protesters shouted "the people want the overthrow of the regime" -- the rallying cry of the Egyptian and Tunisian revolutions that have inspired growing protests across Syria against decades of Alawite domination.
"Four people were hit in the feet and legs. The fifth sustained the most serious injury, an AK-47 bullet that went through his left chest lateral," said the doctor, who was at the scene.
"The regime is trying to show that this is a Sunni-Alawite issue, but the Sunni (Muslim) people of Banias know that only a minority of thugs are cooperating with them," said the other witness.
"Banias is a city of 50,000 people. We all know each other, and for sure we would know if there were infiltrators," he said, adding that Syrian state television was the only media allowed in Banias, similar to other flashpoints across the country.
Any spiral into instability in Syria would have wider strategic repercussions because it lies at the heart of Middle East conflict, maintaining an anti-Israel alliance with Iran and supporting the militant Hezbollah and Hamas movements.
Syria has blamed the unprecedented unrest on "armed groups" firing randomly at citizens and security forces.
Residents said earlier that tanks had deployed near the Banias oil refinery -- one of two in Syria -- near the Alawite district of Qusour, where its main hospital is located.
FLASHPOINT CITY OF DERAA DEFIANT
Assad had touted what he described as the closeness of the Syrian authorities to the people as a reason why the groundswell of Arab uprisings would not spread to Syria.
Thousands of protesters, however, have taken to the streets across the country of 20 million, denouncing what they regard as corrupt members of Assad's family.
Anjem Choudary, head of the outlawed Islam4UK which advocates Sharia law, was turned back as he tried to join an illegal protest in Paris on Saturday. Officials served Mr Choudary with a legal notice informing him that the French Interior Ministry was banning him permanently. Abu Izzadeen and Omar Bakri, both also controversial figures based in Britain, both tried to get to the event but were stopped by police.
It eventually saw 61 people arrested, including 19 women wearing veils and an illegal immigrant who was carrying an offensive weapon.
France is on a high state of alert after Al Qaeda issued warnings that it would attack the country following the introduction of the ban, which imposes fines of £130 and 'civic duty' guidance to women caught wearing Islamic veils.
In October Jacques Myard, a senior member of President Nicolas Sarkozy's ruling UMP party who helped introduce the burka ban in France, said Britain was 'losing the battle against Islamic extremism' and thus 'opened the door to terrorism'. Mr Myard said he was shocked at the way radicals like Mr Choudary and Mr Bakri were allowed to make comments attacking British soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Another man, Fouad Belkacem of the Sharia4Belgium group, was also arrested in Paris yesterday.
Mr Choudary said the decision to ban him permanently from France was an "outrage" as he had not broken any law. He said: "The actions of the French authorities today will only entrench Muslims more in their belief that sovereignty must belong to God alone and any challenge against this will be resisted and rejected."
While Mr Choudary's followers were allowed to continue their journey to Paris, he was placed back on a ferry to Dover. His passport was confiscated and handed to the ferry's skipper to give to the UK authorities on his arrival back in Dover.
The cleric has told Sky News he plans another protest against the banning of the Burka by the French on Monday, but because of the new ban on him entering France, the protest will take place outside the French embassy in London instead.
The American war, against an enemy whose name we dare not speak, has opened yet another front in Libya. We are not at war with Islam, according to the White House. Still, we now kill Islamists or Muslims on four fronts within dar al Islam; Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and now North Africa. The American predicament has been described as Kafkaesque. A more appropriate analogy might be Sartre.
Jean Paul Sartre is the existentialist who defined hell as "other people." For Americans and Europeans, the "others" all seem to be Muslims these days. In his signature play, No Exit, written during WWII, Sartre put the condemned in a windowless room. There, the guilty must endure the tedious company of other sinners. No hellfire, no brimstone; just the damned; sharing the worst transgressions of their venal lives, torturing each other for eternity.
There are four characters in No Exit: Joseph, Ines, Estelle, and Valet. Joe is an arrogant coward, a military deserter. Ines is a vicious lesbian, a wrecker of homes who relishes cruelty. Estelle is a society girl who marries for money, cheats on her husband, and kills her illegitimate child. The infanticide precipitates the suicide of her lover. Valet is the doorkeeper, a kind of concierge for the doomed.
Slowly the trio of sinners realizes that their personal hell is the companionship of other miscreants. Towards the end of the play Joe screams to be set free -- and the one door in the room flies open. No one moves. None have the courage to leave the hell that they have created for themselves.
Such is the predicament of Europeans and Americans, trapped in four acrid corners of the Muslim world surrounded by insufferable companions. We all know how we got there and we torture ourselves daily with the ugly historical details. We remonstrate endlessly about who made the worst mistakes, yet none of us seems to have a clue about the end game or an exit strategy. In short, the two most advanced cultures on the planet are locked in a cage with the most backward; all trapped in hell of their own making. And like the cowards in Sartre's play, no one has the courage to bolt for the exit.
There are several keys to the door of Islamist hell. The first is candor, some honest acknowledgment of the problem. No drunk ever gets well without recognizing the ailment. At some point, the West must realize that Islamism is a global strategic problem, not some aggregate of local crimes or series of isolated atrocities.
If the threat were recognized, a next step would be reality therapy. Europe and America have little or nothing in common with Arab, Persian, or Muslim cultures -- and the gap is getting wider. The culture of which we speak includes law, politics, religion, and history. Call it a "clash of civilizations," but the bottom line is basic cultural incompatibility. Europe and America cannot show a way forward for a Muslim culture that looks backwards.
The nut of the dilemma is captured in a word, Islam: literal and figurative submission. All notions of "peace" or co-existence are derivatives of submission. And the coin of compromise is Western values and law, not Islamic dogma or doctrine. The conflict between the West and Islam is a strategic zero-sum game. If we continue to delude ourselves about the nature of this struggle, we do so at our peril.
Relinquishing the "white man's burden" is another key to the gates of Islamist hell. In their own ways, maybe Idward Wadi Said, Tariq Ramadan, Tayyip Erdogan, and Yusuf al Qaradawi are correct. Maybe Europeans and Americans need to stop corrupting, patronizing, and exploiting the Arab and Muslim worlds. Maybe the West needs to step back and allow the Ummah to solve its own problems, do its own nation building, and suppress their own insurrections.
Fireworks at New York State 9/11 Hearing over Shariah
Nonie Darwish at NYS 9/11 Hearing
Those of you who watched the live streaming of the hearings Friday, April 8th on post 9/11 counterterrorism developments chaired by State Sen. Greg Ball (R-C) Chairman of the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs witnessed a ‘fiery’ exchange between colleague Nonie Darwish, director of Former Muslims United and Brooklyn Senator Eric Adams. It was triggered by her remarks over the hate at the core of Shariah as an apostate who experienced it first hand in her native Egypt. Darwish was part of a panel that included Frank Gaffney, Jr. of the Center for Security Policy. You may watch the hearing exchange in the Sen. Ball’s video archives, when it is put up later this month.
The New York Times and the New York Post had articles on the heated exchange.
For parts of the day they did just that, peppering law enforcement officials and counterterrorism experts with questions about port security and equipment upgrades for emergency responders.
But that discussion was overshadowed when the hearing descended into a tense and at times provocative debate over Shariah law and whether Muslims are predisposed to terrorism.
That was the claim advanced by two speakers who were invited to testify by Senator Gregory R. Ball, a first-term Republican from Putnam County and the chairman of the Committee on Veterans, Homeland Security and Military Affairs, who was roundly criticized by interfaith groups and lawmakers for making Islam one of the topics of the hearing.
“The education of Arab children is to make killing of certain groups of people not only good, it’s holy,” testified one of the speakers, Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian-born American who is director of a group called Former Muslims United.
Mr. Ball asked Ms. Darwish to discuss what it was like being educated in the Arab world. “It is horrendous,” she said. “They don’t leave your mind to think for itself. You’re supposed to hate Jews. You’re supposed to hate America. You’re supposed to hate Western culture.”
Her testimony was met with an angry rebuke from Senator Eric Adams, a Brooklyn Democrat, who held up a Koran and said that Ms. Darwish was “bringing hate and poison” to the hearing. Mr. Ball tried to quiet Mr. Adams, but their back-and-forth escalated into a shouting match, with Mr. Adams suggesting that Mr. Ball was condoning bigotry and Mr. Ball accusing him of pandering to the news media.
“I’m glad that nobody is between those TV cameras and you,” Mr. Ball said, “because that’s the most dangerous place in New York City right now.”
The yelling match seemed to frustrate some of the other lawmakers. “I want to get back to what this is all about: homeland security is about the future of this city and this state, to make sure that we’re safe,” said Senator Martin J. Golden, a Republican from Brooklyn.
Ms. Darwish was followed later by Frank J. Gaffney Jr., a former Defense Department official who has often publicly criticized Islam. In his testimony, Mr. Gaffney denounced Shariah law as a threat to the United States and said that American efforts to prevent future acts of terrorism had been encumbered “by what we consider to be politically correct blinders.”
State Sen. Marty Golden (R-Brooklyn) tried to find middle ground.
“This, obviously, is her assessment how she was brought up in her life,” he said. “It doesn’t have anything to do with the good Muslin Americans who live in this country.”
Given the CAIR protests on New York’s City Hall steps the day before Sen. Ball’s Homeland Security post-9/11 hearing, it would appear that some on the New York Senate Homeland Security panel were incensed by what Darwish and Gaffney had to say. Where they intimidated by those CAIR Protests? Clearly, this ‘sturm und drang’ exchange illustrates that public discussion of the threat of Shariah to our US Constitution awaits a more deliberate, fair and balanced hearing. That has not occurred to date in either Rep. Pete King’s US House Homeland Security Committee Hearing opening session last month in Washington, DC nor in NYS Senator Ball’s hearing in lower Manhattan on Friday. CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood fronts in America clearly don’t want that to occur. They would rather leave the ‘heart of darkness’ in the Qur’an away from what Justice Brandeis called in one of his famous Supreme Court dissents, the ‘disinfectant of sunlight.’
One discovers subtle nuances and obvious complexities within the Muslim community and personalities. Suffice it to say, many good Muslim-U.S. citizens respect our U.S. Constitution and they are simply trying to live the American Dream; and, an equal number of Muslim-Americans despise our sense of freedom and liberty and prefer Sharia Law to the U.S. Constitution, and they would see the American Dream shattered.
In its current form and through its leaders, Islam will always attempt to subvert and supplant any system it inhabits. This is inherent within Islam, and its adherents are eventually given no choice. If it cannot supplant a system through political jihad, Islam eventually seeks to destroy it.
Many new Muslim immigrants cling to a wide range of undemocratic traditions and prejudices, and, as yet, reforms within Islam are not forthcoming, although many have been suggested by a few top Islamic scholars. As reforms are resisted, radical imams will continue to clamour for Sharia Law; and, once Muslim populations reach critical mass (30 years foreward?), the Muslim communities will attempt to incorporate and codify Sharia Law into the U.S. legal structure as a parallel legal system. This has already occurred in many nations, including Great Britain, and even non-Muslims are made to appear before Sharia Courts; and, we are already witnessing some indication of this in local case law from Michigan and Illinois to Oklahoma and Florida.
The Obama Administration has obfuscated and denied the U.S. Muslim community's underlying terrorist sympathies and the reality of Islamofascist terrorism and an Islamist movement within the U.S. and across the globe. Whether the terrorists and their sympathizers are similar to Abdullah Azzam, Adnan Shukrijumah, Carlos Bledsoe, Jose Padilla or Khalid Aldawsari, or whether they come from terror sponsoring mosques like Hijrah, Farouq and Miramar, they all have one thing in common...Islam!
On Jan. 09, 2009 Murfreesboro, TN witnessed our own "peaceful" Muslim community protest en masse in support of Hamas murderers and terrorists in Gaza, and then, the following summer, an Islamic Center of Murfreesboro (ICM) board member was exposed as a radical jihadist. If these two examples serve as any indication, it is extremely likely that the ICM's 52,000 sq. ft. expansion will be very attractive to the recent influx of immigrants from terror sponsoring nations, such as Somalia, and other demographic groups with intense and natural inclinations towards acts of terrorism; the Shahab Twelve serve as prime examples.
All Americans should be even more troubled by the statistics from studies conducted by the Heritage Foundation, PEW or Elizabeth Suhay's paper (9-02-10) that was delivered to the American Political Science Association. Sixty percent of all participants identified themselves as Muslim first and American second. Fifteen percent of all the Muslim males between the ages of 18-29 viewed "suicide bombings" as acceptable in defense of Islam, and thirty-five percent of all Muslims viewed Al Qaeda and their methods as favorable.
Wherever Islam rears its ugly face, a virulent ideology and Sharia Law always follow, and Islam has been the bane, the curse, of all it has touched. As a young boy, the marvel of television allowed me to witness the savage and wanton murder of the entire Israeli Olympic Team by PLO terrorists. Throughout the years, I witnessed the media images of one civil war after another, and when Islam was a factor, these wars were always instigated by the Islamofascists seeking to create a theocracy or caliphate in any nation that the inhabited. The list is long and includes Cyprus, India, Lebanon, Serbia and many others; when one reviews ancient history, one discovers that all of Asia Minor was Christian before the inception of Islam. Today the world watches astounded, stunned and open-mouthed, as Islamists set the entire Middle East afire and attempt to revive the Caliphate!
The Muslim Brotherhood (MB) has been operating in the U.S. since 1962. These are the same theocratic, murderous thugs who assassinated Egyptian Pres. Anwar Sadat in 1981 due to his peace initiative with Israel; these are the same Islamists who have gained partial control in Egypt since the revolt/coup last month, and the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is a subsidiary of the MB.
CAIR is an Islamofascist group, and their chairman, Nihad Awadh, has called for Sharia Law to "span the U.S. from coast to coast." A 1987 CAIR memo tells us all we really need to know: "The Ikwhan (the MB) must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and sabotage its miserable house...so that it is eliminated and Allah's religion is made victorious over all other religions...". Many Americans try to understand Islam as they wish it to be, rather than how it is truly understood by Muslims.
One of the "good guys" is Dr, Zuhdi Jasser. Dr. Jasser is a U.S. Navy veteran (11 years) and a Muslim. He testified before Rep. Pete King's Congressional hearing recently, and he was obviously disgusted as he berated Muslims and the media for blaming "U.S. foreign policy" rather than Islamic fanaticism for terror activity in the U.S.; Dr. Jasser went on to state that Muslim communities must reject the notion of "Islamic victimization" which is often the excuse of young Muslim jihadists. One wishes all Muslims were just like Dr. Jasser when he ended by stating, "Ultimately and most importantly what I want is for my children to grow up in an Islamic community that rejects Islamism in favor of the principle of liberty."
Until Islam is torn from its intrinsic and essential violent character...until U.S. mosques stop radicalizing their youthful congregants...until Muslim terrorists stop wiping their feet on the U.S. "welcome mat" and spitting in Lady Liberty's eye as they coordinate their next abattoir...and, until Muslims completely reform Islam from within itself, I will oppose the building of all mosques, and I will continue to oppose all future Muslim immigration. While this may seem unduly harsh and unfair to a Muslim community that has largely been peaceful for over two decades, Islam must transform itself as imams teach their congregants around the world that a clear and peaceful division between religion and politics can be maintained.
Ultimately and most importantly, I want my children and their children to grow up worshipping as they choose in a loving community that rejects any idea contrary to the principles of liberty and our U.S. Constitution. This will become increasingly difficult if the aforementioned reforms are not implemented successfully and if the U.S. government continues to ignore the encroachments of Sharia Law. In the end, it will take Muslims, Christians, Jews, atheists, our Buddhist friends just off the Old Nashville Hwy. and all the good people of America to find solutions that keep us all safe and free from "sea to shining sea". God Bless America!
Brazilian school murder spree may have been 'sudden jihad syndrome'
I heard the news on Thursday that a former pupil of a school in Rio di Janeiro had taken a firearm into his old school and murdered 12 pupils and teachers, injured more and then killed himself. It was a tragedy, a scenario that is almost an annula event somewhere in the world. The example that I always remember is the massacre which took place in the English market town of Hungerford in 1987.
Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, 23, entered Tasso da Silveira school at about 8.30am, saying that he was there to give a speech. He was carrying two revolvers, ammunition and a suicide note.
After killing a dozen pupils aged between 12 and 14, de Oliveira exchanged fire with an officer who rushed to the scene from a police station next door, before reportedly shooting himself dead.
The attack was not thought to be linked to the city's notorious gang violence.
In the rambling suicide note left at the scene, de Oliveira said he wanted to be buried in a white sheet he had left in a bag at the school. "The impure cannot touch me without gloves," he said.
That request did set a few people thinking.
I hear today that it is being openly reported in the Brazilian press that this young man was obsessed with Islam. The Jornal di Brasil quotes his sister and the Police Chief saying -
"Ele estava muito focado em coisas relacionadas ao islamismo e tinha deixado a barba crescer muito. Ele era estranho, ficava na internet o dia inteiro lendo temas relacionados e era muito estranho, muito reservado", disse.
Wellington deixou uma carta com frases desconexas, mas com características fundamentalistas, informou o tenente-coronel Djalma Beltrame, comandante do 14º BPM (Bangu),
- Ele fazia uso de sites muçulmanos e entrava na internet para ter acesso a coisas que não fazem parte do nosso povo. É um louco. Só uma pessoa alucinada poderia fazer isso com crianças - afirmou o comandante, que informou que a carta foi entregue ao delegado de Homicídios.
Which to paraphrase the translations I have seen are that his sister says he became strange and withdrawn, focused on islamic things, including growing his beard in the islamic fashion. The Police chief says that his suicide note rambled but had fundamentalist elements to it and that he had made use of Muslim websites and used the internet to get access to things which are not part of our people.He is insane - only a madman could do such things to children.
Of course, what would be insane or highly disturbed and abberant behaviour in a non-muslim, any non-muslim, becomes calculated jihad for a believer.
We will feel sorrow for the mourning relatives in Brazil and send good wishes to the injured. But why is the English speaking press ignoring this Islamic element?
Baghdad, Iraq (CNN) -- Tens of thousands of demonstrators in eastern Baghdad marked the eighth anniversary of the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime with a protest Saturday against the American troop presence there.
The demonstrators, followers of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, rallied in Mustansriya Square, where they called all U.S troops to withdraw from Iraq at the end of the year.
The protesters carried Iraqi flag and banners, with some chanting "Baghdad is a free country, America get out!" and "No for Occupation, No for America."
One banner read "No, no America," while another said, " Yes, yes for Quran."
American troops are scheduled to depart from Iraq at year's end under a bilateral agreement between the Iraqi government and the United States.
But if violence increases and instability persists in Iraq, it is possible both countries could agree to keep some U.S. troops in Iraq, which now has about 47,000 American soldiers. The figure is down from a high of 171,000 in 2003. [why would Infidels suffer if they leave, stop the squandering, and let Iraq -- on the demand of "the Iraqi people" -- descend into the natural condition of an Arab Muslim country where, for the moment, a despot and his men are no longer firmly in control? The condition, that is, of Egypt, or Bahrain, or Yemen, or Libya, or possibly, if the Alawites lose their grip, of Syria? Why shouldn't Iraq endure the same? How would that self-inflicted wound to the Camp of Islam be a bad thing -- save to those blind supporters of the Occupy-and-Repair-Iraq-Project who must persist in their folly, lest they have to recognize, and admit, that it was folly?]
That prospect of American troops staying in Iraq disturbs many citizens, including the thousands who support al-Sadr, a cleric with grassroots appeal in Iraq's Shiite cities and neighborhoods.
Thousands protest U.S. presence in Iraq
Sheikh Salah al-Obaidi, a cleric who read a statement to demonstrators on behalf of al-Sadr, raised the prospect of American troops staying in Iraq into next year and beyond.
"What if the invading forces decide not to leave our country? What if they decide to stay? What if American troops and others decide to stay in our lands? .... Will you keep silent? " al-Obaidi said, reading al-Sadr's statement to chants of "God is great."
"If they decide to stay in our country, then we have to do two things: first is to escalate armed resistance and lift the freeze on Mehdi Army," al-Obaidi said.
He was referring to the August 2007 suspension of the activities of the Mehdi Army, al-Sadr's militia.
U.S. military commanders have cited that move as a major reason for a decline in violence across Iraq, where Al-Sadr's forces fought American troops during the height of the war.
Emotions on the street were fueled by the remarks of U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who made an unannounced visit this week to Iraq and discussed American troop presence with top officials, including Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
"My message to them was if there is to be a presence or they still need help, we are open to that possibility. But they have to ask, and time is running out in Washington because we have a lot going on around the world and we've got to make some decisions," Gates said.
"It obviously would be a presence that's a fraction of the size of the one we have here now but it's really up to the Iraqis at this point."
On Friday, street protesters in Baghdad and other provinces also focused on the fall of the Hussein regime and grievances stemming from war, including an opposition to the U.S. troop presence.
That was a change of theme in recent weeks when demonstrators in Iraq have rallied over the same bread-and-butter issues that have prompted street protests across the Arab world.
People have been upset over corruption, unemployment, the lack of basic services and restrictions on freedom of expression.
Protesters in the Sunni neighborhood of Adhamiya called for the release of detainees and compensation for "the victims of the occupation."
"Some of the protesters shouted, 'No to occupation, no to foreign troops,'" witnesses said.
In Baghdad's Tahrir Square, nearly 300 protesters carrying banners and Iraqi flags, shouted, "We will not accept life in an occupied country anymore."
One of the banners read, "No to American and Iranian occupation!" That includes a reference to Iran's influence with the Shiite masses and the Iraqi government.
Women carried pictures of their sons and husbands who are missing or were killed during the war.
"During this war, so many women lost sons and many others became widows, not only Iraqi women but also American women. We are the ones who paid the price of this war," said Shima Kareem, who was among the protesters.
Hundreds also turned out in Falluja, in the largely Sunni Anbar province in the west and in Samarra, in Salaheddin province in the north to demand the release of detainees, compensation for victims' families, and the departure of American troops.
Since 2003, 4,421 U.S. troops have died in Iraq, according to the military figures counted by CNN.
A U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in March 2003 led to the removal of Saddam Hussein's regime on April 9. The iconic toppling of the former ruler's statue in Baghdad's Firdous Square symbolizes the regime's fall.
Le ministre de l'Intérieur, Claude Guéant, doit fixer «la semaine prochaine» des «objectifs» chiffrés.
Le ministre de l'Intérieur, Claude Guéant, a annoncé vendredi qu'il fixera «la semaine prochaine» ses «objectifs» de baisse du volume de l'immigration légale. Son entourage n'hésite pas à parler d'une «rupture». Jamais jusqu'alors le gouvernement n'avait affiché son intention de s'engager dans cette voie. Le chef de l'État, Nicolas Sarkozy, avait prôné un rééquilibrage de l'immigration familiale, immigration «subie», selon lui, vers une immigration «choisie», axée sur l'accueil de travailleurs qualifiés répondant aux besoins économiques nationaux. Mais l'ancien secrétaire général de l'Élysée, devenu ministre de l'Intérieur et de l'Immigration, a réalisé un audit du système d'accueil des étrangers en France. Et il en tire la conclusion que certains dispositifs méritent d'être «recalibrés».
• Réduire l'immigration économique
Sur plus de 31.000 entrées en France pour motif économique l'an dernier (voir notre infographie), «20.000 arrivées», selon Claude Guéant, ont correspondu à un visa accordé pour établissement professionnel. Ce chiffre devrait donc diminuer dès cette année. Raison invoquée : le contexte économique. «Il n'y avait pas la crise quand, en 2007, le gouvernement s'est lancé dans une politique privilégiant l'immigration professionnelle», explique l'un des proches du ministre. «Aujourd'hui, fait-il valoir, le taux de chômage des étrangers (hors CEE) vivant sur le territoire français atteint 24 %, soit deux fois environ le niveau que connaissent les nationaux.» Et ce préfet d'ajouter : «La France, terre d'accueil, doit procéder à des ajustements pour mieux intégrer les étrangers admis régulièrement.»
• Recadrer le regroupement familial
Près de 15 000 étrangers en ont bénéficié l'an passé (9.000 conjoints et 6.000 enfants environ). Ils étaient plus de 20.000 en 2002, mais une nouvelle hausse se profile. «Nous allons continuer à réduire le nombre d'étrangers venant en France au titre du regroupement familial», assure Claude Guéant. À ce jour, quatre nationalités (algérienne, marocaine, tunisienne et turque) regroupent «plus de 70 % des membres de familles» concernés, selon l'Office français de l'immigration et de l'intégration, présidé par Dominique Paillé. Les conjoints qui bénéficient de la mesure sont à 85 % des femmes.
• Déjouer les détournements du droit d'asile
Le ministre de l'Intérieur reprend le chiffre diffusé par l'Ofpra de 10.000 demandeurs environ ayant bénéficié de la protection de la France l'an dernier. Pour plus de 52.000 dossiers déposés. Les demandes ont grimpé de 20 % en 2008, puis encore 10 % en 2009. «Il n'est pas question de laisser la demande d'asile devenir un passeport pour la clandestinité», avait déjà prévenu Brice Hortefeux, il y a quelques mois. Le phénomène touche d'ailleurs également l'Allemagne et la Belgique. Faut-il y craindre le développement d'une filière d'immigration illégale ? «En matière d'asile, notre pays est plus généreux, malgré les restrictions apportées, que l'Allemagne ou le Royaume-Uni, alors que nous appliquons les mêmes conventions internationales !», constate Claude Guéant. «S'il apparaît des anomalies dans nos pratiques, des modifications interviendront», prévient-il.
• Tarir la filière des étudiants étrangers fantômes
Les étrangers acceptés en France au titre des «études» ont été plus de 65.000 l'an dernier. Une hausse de près de 30 % en seulement une année. «Il y a un gros travail à faire», en déduit un haut responsable à Beauvau. Selon lui, ces évolutions pourraient confirmer le développement d'une filière d'«étudiants fantômes». «Tout cela est très difficile à contrôler», nuance un professeur d'université. «Il est fréquent cependant, poursuit-il, que des étudiants étrangers soient invisibles durant toute l'année et ne réapparaissent que le jour de l'examen.» Une formalité qui conditionne le maintien de leur statut, ouvrant droit notamment à la mutuelle étudiante.
Money For Planned Parenthood Will Not, Thank God, Be Cut
Obama to Boehner on Title X cuts: "Nope. Zero."
From NBC's Kelly O'Donnell
As the debate raged in Washington over a budget to keep the government from shutting down, the issue of abortion funding was consistently in the spotlight.
Ultimately, Democrats succeeded in retaining funding for women's health organizations that also provide abortions (like Planned Parenthood), but they were not able to eliminate a controversial 'rider' related to abortions in D.C.
A senior Democratic aide says that on Thursday night at the White House, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner that the White House would include the D.C. abortion language that was in a Republican House-passed one week extension bill. That provision bans the District of Columbia from using its own local tax money to pay for abortion services.
The aide says he witnessed the president say to Speaker Boehner in the Oval Office, "John, I will give you D.C. I'm not happy about it."
But when Boehner later asked for the elimination of funds for Title X -- spending for women's health and family planning organizations that also provide abortion services, the aide said the president flatly refused.
The president replied, "Nope. Zero."
Boehner continued to push to discuss the funds, the aide recalled.
The President repeated: "Nope. Zero."
"'John, this is it,'" the aide described the president as saying. "'This is it, John."
There was a long pause as no one spoke in the Oval Office spoke.
The Planned Parenthood issue was resolved that Thursday night.
What a topsy-turvy world it is in which those who want to cut off the very funds that might help limit the growth in the population, and do so selectively (since those who have money will be able to plan their parenthoods, as always, without government money or other aid) call themselves "conservatives." Now, thanks to John Boehner's "toughness," there will be no government funding of abortions in the District of Columbia. What an achievement.
11 School Children were killed and at least another 18 injured in a western Rio de Janeiro school yesterday. According to various reports he came into the classroom shouting "I'm going to kill you all." He then lined many of the victims, mostly all girls, up against the wall, shooting them in their heads execution style.
A gunman roamed the halls of an elementary school in Rio de Janeiro on Thursday and killed 11 children, lining them up against a wall and shooting them in the head at point-blank range as he shouted, "I'm going to kill you all!"
It was the worst school shooting in Brazil — and would have been deadlier if the gunman had not been shot in the legs by a police officer, who said the man then fell down some stairs and shot himself in the head.
Images taken with a cell phone posted on YouTube showed students fleeing wildly, screaming for help, many with white and blue school shirts soaked in blood.
The gunman a 23 year-old former student of the school Wellington Oliveira. A police officer responding to the shootings, shot him in the legs. The gunman then killed himself on stairs outside of the classroom.
The Brazilian media is reporting that the gunman was a Muslim, and that his prime motivation for the shootings was his Islamic beliefs.
Translated from the Brazil Journal "Sister says shooter was strange, and had no friends":
In an interview with Radio Band News, Rosilane Menezes, sister of gunman Wellington Menezes de Oliveira, said he was strange, reserved and without friends.
"He was so focused on things related to Islam and had let his beard grow long. He was weird, he was on the internet all day reading related issues and it was very strange, very secretive," she said.
Wellington left a letter with disconnected sentences, but with fundamentalist tendencies, said Lt. Col. Djalma Beltrame, commander of Battalion 14.
"He was on the internet using Muslim sites... It's crazy. Only a crazy person could do this to children, said the commander..."
The 36-paragraph AP article, makes no mention of his Islamic affiliation or beliefs. In fact, no American MSM are reporting on the Islamic link. CNN report, even suggests that he may have gone on the rampage over an infection with AIDS. Only a handful of right news blogs, are reporting the full story.
Here is the text of the letter he left behind. Although his obsession with who should or should not touch his body is reminiscent of Mohamed Atta, the rest of it is pretty confused. It sounds like a combinaiton of mental illness plus Islam.
Iran: A Conspiracy Explains Anti-Regime Fury In Syria
Iran blames Jordan, Saudi Arabia for Syria
April 10, 2011
TEHRAN, April 10 (UPI) -- Iran Sunday accused Jordan and Saudi Arabia of being behind the wave of anti-government protests in Syria.
"A probe into the root causes of the latest events in Syria shows that the revolt is mainly supported by Saudi Arabia and Jordan," Iran's Press TV said.
In an effort to justify the accusations, Press TV noted the anti-regime protests began in the southern Syrian city of Daraa, which is located near the border with Jordan.
"Daraa is the birthplace of Jordan's Muslim Brotherhood, which has close ties to the people in the Syrian city," the report said.
"Saudi Arabia and Jordan continued their attempts to cause unrest in Syria," the report said. "Saudi Arabia, which often bows to U.S. and Israel's policies in the region, tried to destabilize Bashar Assad's government by undermining his rule."
Meanwhile, Israel Radio reported clashes erupted in the Syrian port city of Baniyas on Sunday between anti- and pro-regime protesters. Five people were injured, the radio said.
At least 37 people have been killed in Syria in violence that began following Friday prayers in Damascus, Daraa, Homs, Harasta, Latakia, Baniyas and Tartous, The Washington Post reported.
Prior to the weekend protests, Amnesty International estimated 171 people died in the three weeks of unrest in Syria.
Saudi Arabia and Bahrain have blamed the unrest in Bahrain on a Shi'a conspiracy taking orders from Iran. Iran, not to be outdone in the conspiracy department, blames the unhappiness of Syrians with the Syrian regime on Jordan and Saudi Arabia
James Frey, who wrote a made-up misery memoir, shares his "sh*t" from inside the indecent obscurity of The Times paywall:
I think sex is the greatest thing we have in life. It's certainly the most profound expression of love. And it's how we make our children. I think religion represses sexuality, and sexual identity and sexual love - and I think that's wrong. If your message really is 'love everyone' then you're going to f*** everyone too.
We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the ****.
The Observer, The Guardian's sister paper, is now embracing the sisterhood of Islam. The interviewer clearly shares her subject's view of the burkha as some kind of liberation (my emphasis):
Kenza Drider, a respectable mother-of-four, will leave her home in Avignon's Place de la Résistance on Monday with the intention of committing a crime. If the police are waiting for her – and they have had more than enough warning – she will be cautioned, perhaps be asked to accompany officers to the local station, possibly face a fine and, perhaps, will leave with a criminal record.
It is unlikely she will end up in jail, but who knows? It is a risk she is willing to take. Drider is not only determined to become a miscreant; she sees it as her absolute duty to do so.
This 32-year-old French housewife has become the face of the country's "burqa brigade", the women in France who cover themselves from head to toe in full veils. She will fall foul of a law that comes into effect on Monday 11 April tomorrow and forbids French citizens from covering their faces in public places; despite the ban's deliberately general wording, there is no doubt that its target is very specific: Muslim women.
Mother-of-four she may be, and no doubt will soon be mother-of-more, but "respectable"? How can a woman who hides her face, in a deliberate act of hostility to the country in which she is privileged to live, be respectable? Later she tells us that her husband "works in a soup factory but only in the winter when people eat soup". The rest of the time, presumably, this fecund couple claim the jizya of benefits from French taxpayers. That is not what I call respectable.
The devil can cite scripture for his purpose, and a Muslim can cite the Fench national motto:
It is not the potential effectiveness – or otherwise – of the ban that bothers Drider, however. It is the principle. "This whole law makes France look ridiculous," she says. "I never thought I'd see the day when France, my France, the country I was born in and I love, the country of liberté, égalité, fraternité, would do something that so obviously violates people's freedom.
And did the Frenchmen who died in the revolution think they would see the day when France, their France, would be home to the burkha? I am not too keen on the French, or on revolutions, but did they kill all those aristocrats for this?
You can't tell if the black ghost is facing front or back. Notice that its owner dresses like a human, giving the lie to the oft-quoted nonsense about modesty in Islam being prescribed for both men and women.
BENGHAZI - NATO airstrikes destroyed tanks belonging to forces loyal to Moammar Gaddafi at the western gate of Ajdabiya on Sunday, as rebels reestablished control of the strategic eastern city.
Rockets still landed inside the nearly deserted city on Sunday but a military official with the rebel council said they had complete control by Sunday afternoon.
Meanwhile, members of the Transitional National Council, which governs the rebel-held east, met with Western diplomats in the temporary opposition capital of Benghazi. Officials said they discussed the role of NATO, which has come under severe criticism for not striking Gaddafi forces early enough to avert a humanitarian crisis or advances by Gaddafi’s forces.
Gaddafi forces approached Ajdabiya from the south and from the coast, and fierce street battles erupted in the heart of the city, 100 miles south of Benghazi. The loyalists also pummeled the western gate to Ajdabiya with mortar shells and artillery rounds for a third straight day.
Some rebels fled the city during the afternoon. But by nightfall Saturday, opposition forces said they had pushed most of the loyalists out of town and captured at least three, including a high-ranking officer. Sporadic street fighting continued into the night.
But the battle showed that the ragtag rebel army of the east remains in disarray as Gaddafi’s forces gain ground and adapt to NATO airstrikes. Since NATO took control of the skies from coalition forces — who struck last month to stop Gaddafi’s forces from overrunning the east — the front line has crept slowly toward Benghazi, where the uprising against Gaddafi began in February.
Gaddafi’s forces have adapted to the new environment by driving civilian vehicles and dressing like the rebels to avoid airstrikes. In some cases they’ve placed tanks in the center of civilian populations to stop NATO from striking.
“What used to be a target-rich environment is now a target-poor environment,” said one Western diplomat emerging from a meeting in Benghazi on Sunday.
The diplomat, who requested anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the talks, said there were no discussions of ground troops entering LIbya and that the council understood the difficulties NATO faces. He said it would take only one “catastrophic” bombing that killed civilians to “undermine” the NATO mission. He called the rebel uprising “pure” and said he was “hopeful” they would succeed.
“I only see this going one way,” he said referring to Gaddafi’s ouster. “It’s only a matter of when.”
Canada Appeals Release from Detention of an Older Al Qaeda Khadr Brother
Canadian lawyer Dennis Ednay, Abudullah Khadr after Release from detention Aug. 4, 2010
We have posted frequently about the Omar Khadr Guantanamo tribunal case. You may recall that Omar Khadr, a Canadian Afghan, was convicted to a 40 year term by the military tribunal at Guantanamo Bay for his murder of US Army medic Sfc. Christopher Speer in the July 2002 battle at the Taliban fortress of Khost in Afghanistan. Omar Khadr was a 15 year old teenage Al Qaeda warrior who “killed his American “was captured given life saving treatment by US coalition medical teams at Bagram air base and eventually transferred as a detainee to Guantanamo. His 40 year sentence was commuted to eight years, only one of which is to be served in Guantanamo Bay, in a plea deal brokered between our State Department and the Canadian Foreign Ministry. Now, the question remains as to whether Canada will have him serve the rest of his seven years in custody. Will Omar Khadr, now age 24, return to the Toronto-based family’s notorious al Qaeda traditions upon his release, and use the infrastructure his father set up in Canada to give al-Qaeda a popular leader with street credibility for having killed an American soldier and laid mines to kill more? Will Khadr be the face of legitimacy for al-Qaeda North America or will he turn away from the family to whom he had remained close? What does the Canadian government think?
His older brother Abdullah, aged 29, who was released by a liberal Ontario court decision last August, was back in court, Friday, given an appeal of the Ontario Superior Court decision brought by the Ottawa government. This Vancouver Sun report, “Federal government appeals release of Khadr brother,”reveals why the Canadian federal government and ours are concerned about Abdullah Khadr’s release from detention in Canada.
Khadr, 29, is the eldest son of Ahmed Said Khadr, an al-Qaida financier who was killed by Pakistan forces and the older brother of Omar Khadr, the only Canadian still held at the U.S. prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, after he pleaded guilty to terrorism offences at a military tribunal.
Lawyers for the attorney general will argue that Ontario Superior Justice Chris Speyer put national and international security at risk by releasing Abdullah Khadr.
The elder Khadr is currently wanted in the U.S. for charges of procuring weapons for al-Qaida.
The U.S. case was centered on a number of statements it's alleged that he made to the FBI and RCMP about being involved in an assassination plot against the prime minister of Pakistan. Khadr says the confession was made in 2005 while he was being detained and tortured in Pakistan.
During his extradition hearing last fall, Khadr told a Toronto court that authorities had also threatened violence against his family.
He has always maintained his innocence but did admit to attending a camp in Afghanistan when he was 13. The camp, he says, was not a terrorism camp but part of ``Muslim culture'' and it was where he learned to use guns, explosives and rocket and grenade launchers.
Khadr was arrested in Pakistan in 2004 after the U.S. government issued a $500,000 US bounty for his capture. He was denied access to a lawyer for three months and held a total of 14 months in Pakistan without charges. During this time he was interrogated by Pakistani, Canadian and U.S. officials. He had been held at a Toronto detention centre for the past five years until his release in August.
The Khadr family immigrated to Canada in 1977.
The Abdullah Khadr saga and Canada’s appeal are interesting for a number of reasons.
First, Canada has had their own major Islamist terror plots and does not need someone with arms smuggling contacts, infrastructure, and street cred hanging out in Toronto.
Second, the Canadian court ordered him released two months before Omar Khadr’s trial, which revealed new information shedding light on him as highly dangerous. Canadians took note and the government may have buyer's remorse about what role the growing Khadr clan can assume in exploiting Canadian freedoms.
Third, Abdullah is represented by Dennis Edney – who just happens to be Omar Khadr’s Canadian attorney. Omar Khadr’s continuing relationship to his radicalized family is at the heart of his whether one can risk his return to Canada. The Canadian government would simply be crazy to allow the family’s reunification. With the legal effort for the family moving in tight coordination, the Canadian government has every reason to believe that Khadr attorneys are whitewashing the inevitable return of Omar Khadr to his Jihadist family, which expects Omar to be the leader upon his release.
Fourth, the precariousness of Khadr disavowals to Jihad can be appreciated in the photograph below. Many avid Khadr watchers would note that another brother, Abdurrahman outed the Khadr family in a PBS Frontline special. He spoke then of turning his back on al-Qaeda and working even for the CIA. He then left the CIA to return to his Canadian family, and his Canadian sister spoke on camera:
“The hardest thing to deal with is my brother Abdur-Rahman, when he went on TV and said he was working for the CIA. …What he did was very, very painful, and for sometime we would just sit and think all that my dad has been building for the past ten years, he had just broken it and we would have to start from zero again.”
Abdurrahman cast a lonely figure in the PBS piece, seemingly alienated from his family. He spoke of how his father told him that if he had betrayed the family, “I’ll kill you myself.”
Well, alienated no more. In the above photo, talking on the phone and leaving court in his brother Abdullah’s entourage is, you guessed it, Abdurrahman.
Color us skeptical about Omar’s future when he returns to Canada. The first family of al-Qaeda will have a new leader, coronated by his family and getting media rehabilitation from propagandists like Michelle Shepard of The Toronto Star, whose bio of Khadr and appearance at at least one “free Omar” prompted even her Twitter fans to remark that she marry Omar upon his release. When you follow the Khadr family, expect the unexpected. Perhaps that’s why the Canadians and their government are nervous.
BBC Ethics Unveiled: Lies About Jerusalem, Lies About Guidelines
"The BBC revealed its complete disregard of its own Editorial Guidelines when it defended an egregiously one-sided and inaccurate documentary about Jerusalem. This video [from CAMERA] investigates the flouting of these guidelines by Panorama and the disingenuous ruling of the BBC Trust's Editorial Standards Committee in support of the January 2010 segment."
Shariah4Holland Leader Abu Imran Seriously Threatens Geert Wilders
Geert Wilders at News Conference on Shariah4Holland Threats
Abu Imran, the leader of the Islamic extremist group Shariah4Holland, seeking adoption of strict Islamic law in Holland and Belgium, has openly threatened the life of Dutch politician and Freedom party leader, Geert Wilders. Imran posted those threats in two You Tube videos. Watch one of the Shariah4Holland threat videos below.
Wilders is threatened with the same fate as Theo van Gogh, who was brutally killed by Muslim extremist Mohammed Bouyeri. "Wilders, do not you think that a Muslim who will one day you will be tired of nonsense and will do what Mohammed Bouyeri has done?" Predicts the radical leader of Abu Imran Sharia4Holland.
Geert Wilders was informed yesterday by the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (NCTB) about these explicit threats. NCTb spokesman Edmond Messchaert: "Statements like these are factored in the threat assessment. If necessary, the protective adjusted, but the nature and extent of the measures we never comment. "
Startled Geert Wilders responds shocked at the images. "It's disgusting, more than wrong. It is clear he is after. This is incitement to violence against me. "The PVV leader said declaration to do so because of threats. Asked whether he thinks the movie should be removed from the Internet, Wilders said: "The movie captivated? That man should be banned! "
In two chilling video speeches, each about nine minutes long, which are on the Youtube channel of Sharia4Holland, called the hate preacher Imran Geert Wilders a cursed infidel dog. In a long prayer he asks God "All animals on earth" to pour out of the politician. He also asked Allagen "his health into illness and his wealth into poverty." "May all come to him shame, problems and disasters that a human can happen in life." The threats against Wilders are a reaction to Wilders' announcement that next year he comes with Fitna-2, in which he "the barbaric life of the sick mind of Muhammad" would expose them.
The PVV leader says his new film would provide aid to Muslims worldwide to leave Islam. Wilders says his ex-Muslims, apostates, heroes who deserve support "It is time we help these people by exposing Muhammad."
'Cursed coward' Sharia4Holland frontman Abu Imran believes that Wilders this crosses the line: "How dare he speak negatively to comment on the prophet that best imaginable character had the most noble person, with the highest status, that enormous respect enjoyed during his life? " The Muslim extremists dares Wilders to debate him . "O cursed coward, be a man who swears not behind the police and state security, but come to our table for a debate."
The extremist, who appears in the video with what looks like a shoulder holster, said to be at the "domination of the world". "We will not stop until our plan is released. We will conquer Netherlands, including Belgium and the rest of European countries. We are the Zionists, the sons of apes and pigs, expel from Palestine. They will wipe Israel off the map. Do you really think your zionist friends will support you, you damned dog. "Imran Abu previously preached at a movie in battle dress, with the background automatic gunfire was heard by loading and automatic weapons.
'The Arab League says it will ask the United Nations to impose a no-fly-zone over the Gaza Strip to stop Israeli warplanes carrying out air strikes inside the Palestinian territory.
'Israel has begun shelling targets in Gaza after militants (trans: rabid Jew-hating Arab Muslim jihadists and sharia-pushers - CM) fired a missile into an Israeli school bus on Thursday, critically wounding a teenager and wounding its driver.
'Israel also launched a series of air strikes at targets throughout the Gaza Strip, killing 19 Palestinian (sic: local Arab Muslim - CM) militants (sic: jihadists - CM) and civilians (civilian human shields - CM).
'It has carried out countless raids on Gaza in recent days and weeks as rocket fire by militant groups (by gangs of jihadists - CM) has intensified.
'Countless'? This is very sloppy reporting from you, Ms Barker, and from you, too, O Reuters. I am quite sure that by consulting the relevant source, to wit, the IDF and the Israeli foreign ministry, you could have obtained an exact count of the really rather limited number of attacks carried out by Israel in, say, the past four months, all of them in response to Gazan Muslim rockets - and other attempted attacks - which have been aimed primarily at the civilian Jewish population. You could also have asked for, and you would have been given, had you bothered to ask, a precise total of the rockets and mortars that Gazan Muslims have fired into Israel throughout - say - January, February, March, and April to date. The fact that these have resulted in few casualties is due mostly to the vigilant preparedness of the Israelis, and also to sheer chance (as in the case of the school bus, whose many child passengers had disembarked only minutes before the missile struck), not to any lack of mass-murderous intent on the part of the Arab Muslims firing the missiles. - CM
'Since mid-March, more than 30 Gazans have been killed in Israeli air-strikes, including several civilians and children.
Now, 'several' in common parlance means 'less than 10'. So: ten or fewer civilians, one or more of them being children - were killed; which means that around 20, say, and possibly more than 20 of those killed by the Israelis, were...combatants. Jihadists. - CM.
'Now, the Arab League says it will ask the UN Security Council for a no-fly zone to stop Israeli aggression on Gaza.
'Aggression'. It appears that for Muslims, any action taken by a non-Muslim individual or entity to resist the Jihad, to protect non-Muslims against or respond to full-on murderous Muslim assault, is 'aggression'. - CM
'Condemning what it called Israel's "brutal" aggression in Gaza, a gathering of the Arab League's permanent delegates called on the UN to convene the Security Council.
The Islamintern, in other words, is demanding that the UN act to stop the Jews from defending themselves when attacked by Muslims. And one gets a nasty, creeping feeling, that if Jihad resumes against Timor Lorosae, or if there is an escalation of Muslim raiding over the borders into Kashmir, or if open jihad is launched from the north against newborn South Sudan, and the attacked parties respond as any sovereign state is entitled to do when assailed from a neighbouring territory or state, the Islamintern will, in those cases also, screech hysterically about 'aggression' and demand the imposition of 'no-fly' zones over East Timor, or over Kashmir, or over South Sudan. Who would like to lay bets? - CM.
'The meeting would "consider the Israeli aggression in the Gaza Strip on an urgent basis to stop its siege and impose a no-fly rule on the Israeli military to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip", the Arab League said in a statement.
'But Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has warned of an even stronger response if more rockets are fired.
'Both sides have considered a possible ceasefire.
Hmmm. Just how big is Hamas' potential arsenal? Are they running low, and need to restock? Or...have the recent demonstrations of the effectiveness of Iron Dome spooked them a bit? - CM.
'Even if the UN considered a no-fly zone, the US would be almost certain to veto it.
'Almost certain'? One does hope the US would veto any such proposal. But under Obama, who knows? - CM