A gunman on a motorbike opened fire on three French paratroopers at a bank machine in southern France, killing two and critically wounding one of them Thursday, officials said. It was the second such attack in a week targeting French soldiers in a public place.
The incident occurred in Montauban around 2:10 p.m. local time (9:10 a.m. ET), police said, according to France's Le Figaro newspaper (link in French).
The incident follows a shooting on Sunday in Toulouse, 29 miles south of Montauban, in which a gunman on a motorcycle shot dead another soldier.
The three soldiers, who were reportedly wearing their uniforms, were near some shops and a bank when the helmeted gunman opened fire and then fled on his scooter, Le Figaro said.
The BBC reported that the soldiers were trying to withdraw cash from an ATM near a military base housing France's 17th Parachute Engineer Regiment. Montauban is some 390 miles southwest of Paris.
Two paratroopers -- aged 26 and 24 years old, respectively -- died on the spot. The third, 28, was critically injured.
Defense Minister Gerard Longuet expressed his condolences to the soldiers, their families and their regiment. French officials said a large number of police officers are searching for the gunman.
Earlier, the Defense Ministry had issued a statement saying all three paratroopers had died, but a local police official and a Defense Ministry official later said one of them was in critical condition.
The motives for the shootings are unclear. Police said further investigation was needed before they could determine whether the attacks were linked.
Witnesses said Sunday's attacker was also on a motorcycle and wearing a helmet, according Toulouse Prosecutor Michel Valet.
Valet said the soldier in that attack was on his day off. He was in the courtyard of a gym in a residential neighborhood during the afternoon when the attacker opened fire, then fled. The soldier was shot in the head.
The solider served in the 1st paratrooper train regiment, based in Francazal, south of Toulouse.
Some men are born evil, some achieve evil, and some have evil thrust upon them. Bashar al-Assad of Syria falls into the third category; but from the point of view of his victims, it hardly matters. For them, evil is evil and death is death. The psychological origins of a man’s crimes don’t make them less real or horrible to those who suffer from them.
The emails exchanged between the Syrian dictator, his wife and their immediate circle, published by the Guardian this week with good but not legally watertight evidence that they are genuine, are those of a band of people physically insulated from the hardships and horrors of their own country and who are given alternately to self-pitying sentimentality and callous flippancy. In other words, the emails are entirely plausible as a picture of life in the court of Bashar al-Assad.
The science of physiognomy, that of detecting character in the face, is by no means an exact one, but we all instinctively resort to it when judging others; and when you look at pictures of Assad you see a weak man, whom you would expect to be a pettifogger rather than a brute. But push a pettifogger to the wall and he is capable of the greatest obduracy, which is the strength of the weak. A cornered rat, that normally resides incognito, is a ferocious and dangerous beast, even if he remains in essence weak and highly vulnerable.
Bashar al-Assad was never intended for the dictatorship. That role was reserved for his far more extrovert, flashy and outwardly vicious brother who, however, was killed in a car accident caused by his typically intemperate driving. A man who knows from an early age that he will inherit supreme power is inclined to believe that even the laws of physics will bend to his will, and that he can therefore drive like a lunatic with impunity. Bashar was not like this; on the contrary, he was shy, retiring and anxious to succeed in his own profession, that of ophthalmology.
When he was in London learning his profession, therefore, he made no waves; he lived modestly if comfortably; by all accounts he was a quiet, polite and careful doctor who was nice to his patients and respectful of his seniors. It is even probable that when he returned to Syria as heir-apparent he harboured genuinely reformist ideas and intentions.
But once he returned home, the logic of the situation was all against him. His father was a brutal, vicious mass murderer, the leader of a brutal, vicious, mass-murdering political movement. If Bashar had been a strong and brave man, he would have refused the poisoned chalice; but, having accepted it, he had to drain it to the dregs. Latin American gangsters give people a choice: plata o plomo, silver or lead, money or the bullet; for Bashar al-Assad, it was power or total extinction, not only for himself, but for his entire group.
His wife, the beautiful, educated, anglicised daughter of a successful Syrian physician exiled in London, was no more destined by nature for the role of dictator’s wife than he for that of dictator. Her metamorphosis from Mrs Assad to Eva Peron and then to Elena Ceausescu was by a process not altogether of her choosing. Furthermore, power not only corrupts but insulates from reality, both physical and moral. Bad actions come to be rationalised as necessary and then even as good.
At the same time, however, an apprehension that all is not well cannot be altogether avoided, however strong the forces of self-deception. So when I read that Assad had sent his wife the lyrics of a saccharine and sentimentally self-pitying country and western song, Blake Shelton’s God Gave Me You, I was not surprised: it rang entirely true to his psychology and his situation:
I’ve been a walking heartache,
I’ve made a mess of me,
The person that I’ve been lately
Ain’t who I wanna be.
Another of his favourites, apparently, is We Can’t Go Wrong by the Cover Girls, a song with the following lines:
There was a time when things were better than the way they are today,
But we forgot the vows we made and love got lost along the way.
Psychobabble, then, meets ruthlessness. The vague and imprecise confession that things were not supposed to turn out like this is certainly not intended as a confession that they turned out like this because of anything that I did, but to exculpate me from the suspicion, including my own, of being a bad man.
In other words, Bashar al-Assad reveals himself as a kind of Baathist Mr Blair, infinitely nastier because of the political traditions and situation of the country in which he finds himself. You can just hear him saying, Blairishly, “Surely you can’t think that I ordered the deaths of all those people, at least not unless I thought it was really necessary for the good of my country and the rest of humanity.”
This is all very sick, but it is not the pathology of the Middle East alone. It is what happens when the contemporary psychology of the Real-Me (the notion that, no matter what I do or how I behave, my inner goodness, my original virtue, remains intact), which since the 1960s has become so profoundly Western, intersects with a vile political tradition.
As for the Assads’ sumptuary expenditure, on such things as vases, chandeliers and jewellery, in the midst of their country’s increasing penury, there is nothing at all surprising about it. The Marquis de Custine, in his book on Russia in 1839, remarked on the tendency of despotisms to demand extreme sacrifices to bring forth trifles, but at least hereditary monarchs usually (not always, of course) had taste, and created monuments of lasting aesthetic value.
Modern dictators, who lack the legitimacy conferred by the hereditary principle even when they inherit their dictatorship, but rely instead on demotic and demagogic self-justifications, generally go for the most obvious kitsch. Whole books have been written on this subject; and Saddam Hussein, for example, made King Farouk look like Bernard Berenson or Kenneth Clark. It is a striking fact that not a single modern dictator, no matter the expenditure of money and effort, has left behind him a monument of any lasting aesthetic value, unlike many an incompetent and nincompoop monarch.
In short, dictators and their consorts behave, at least from the point of view of interior decoration and the other trappings of success, like footballers’ wives who have been elevated into a position in which the availability of money exerts no constraint on their fantasy of the good life. If you want to bathe in an ivory bath with platinum taps, then you just send out for one, even if it has to be to the uttermost ends of the earth (in practice, usually Paris or Harrods). And such is the wickedness of the human mind, that extreme luxury is the more enjoyable in proportion to the hardships of everyone else. Who wants to be a billionaire if everyone else is a billionaire?
Dictators often hoard for their own consumption what they deny to everyone else. Stalin, Hitler, Ceausescu, Kim Jong-Il, and others, loved the trashiest output of Hollywood, but only in the privacy of their own kitschy retreats. For Kim there was no greater luxury, or pleasure, than drinking a 1947 vintage while two million of his people were starving. No doubt his tastes became ever more rarefied as the condition of his country deteriorated.
But we have in the West no reason to be complacent. Let us consider the following exchange of emails, as reported in the Guardian:
“Check out this video on YouTube.”
“Hahahahahahaha, OMG!!! This is amazing!”
This could be any two young members of the British middle classes communicating with one another by email. In fact, it is Bashar al-Assad and his wife. Shallowness is international, and if I may be permitted a Sam Goldwyn paradox, getting deeper.
A cache of e-mails leaked to CNN is giving extraordinary insight into the life of Syria's first family during the regime's move to crush a now-year-long civilian uprising.
The e-mails were obtained by CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360" from a source in the region after the e-mail accounts were hacked. They appear to shed light on a family often occupied with YouTube videos and shopping while the brutal crackdown continued, and they also apparently reveal some of Iran's influence over Syria's president.
Just before Bashar al-Assad delivered a speech January 10, an aide apparently e-mailed him, saying a political adviser to the Iranian ambassador was encouraging al-Assad to use "strong and violent" language.
In that speech, al-Assad then promised to strike the opposition with an "iron fist."
There are also e-mails from a man named Hosein Mortada, who -- according to his Facebook page -- is the Damascus bureau chief for two Iranian news networks. Mortada twice offers advice to the president's aide, who passes it on to al-Assad.
On Christmas Eve, Mortada apparently wrote to an al-Assad aide that al Qaeda should not be blamed for a recent attack.
"I even received calls from Iran and Hezbollah, being the director of several Iranian and Lebanese channels, and they advised me NOT to even mention al Qaeda being behind the incident ... because this would be a serious tactical media error," Mortada wrote, according to the e-mail. [why? Because as those Iranians and members of Hezbollah know, if the Syrian government declares Al Qaeda responsible for an attack , even or perhaps especially if it is true, while it may win them more Christian and Alawite support, will not help the Syrian regime, because Al Qaeda is neither hated nor feared -- Iran and Hezbollah know this -- but held in great esteem by many Muslims, those in Syria and those outside]
Assad e-mails show insight into regime
December 24 was the day Syrian troops began their onslaught on the Baba Amr neighborhood in Homs, according to activists. The next day, an apparent e-mail from Mortada said his "friends" in the city reported armed people in front of every door were threatening residents and forcing them to protest.
What Assad's personal emails reveal
The next day, with Arab League monitors on the ground in Syria, Mortada apparently e-mailed the same aide that Syrian supporters needed to make sure opposition members did not turn out in large numbers in public.
Conroy: 'We took a direct hit' in Syria
"We need to take control of public squares during this period," he wrote. "At the same time, groups affiliated with us will fill the squares ... so we don't leave them open for others, since the opposition is getting ready to move with the presence of the monitors. In this case, we will block their way and (prevent them) from reaching any square."
Syria's revolt: One year later
CNN has tried to reach Mortada to ask about the authenticity of the e-mails but so far has received no response.
The monitors stayed in Syria for several weeks, visiting various cities and towns as they tried to assess whether the government was upholding its commitment to end the crackdown.
Shortly after the monitors' arrival in late December, an apparently amused al-Assad sent one of his closest advisers a YouTube video that mocked a theory the regime had hidden tanks during the monitors' visit.
"Check out this video on YouTube," al-Assad wrote on December 29, according to the e-mail. The reply in English: "Hahahahahahaha, OMG!!! This is amazing!"
Some of the most interesting insights in the al-Assad e-mails are personal.
In November, as the Syrian military ramped up its attack on Homs, first lady Asma al-Assad seemed more concerned with the latest "Harry Potter" DVD, apparently asking a friend to bring the movie when she comes for a visit.
The first lady in the past year also seems to have spent much of her time online shopping for expensive jewelry, art, and furniture, and e-mailing boutiques in London and Paris.
In one e-mail exchange with an art dealer in London, Asma al-Assad, apparently using a false name, inquires about six artworks that all feature butterflies. The dealer responds that the works cost between £5,000 and £10,500 ($7,800 and $16,500).
The art inquiry was sent October 28, the same day Syrian protesters staged a massive demonstration in the city of Hama, in which they called for an end to al-Assad's rule.
On February 3 -- the same day opposition activists reported more than 200 killed in the "Homs massacre," and a day before the U.N. Security Council was scheduled to meet on Syria -- the first lady apparently e-mails a friend asking whether she should reserve Christian Louboutin shoes costing as much as $7,000 a pair.
"These are really iconic pieces for Spring and some fabulous styles," the e-mail says.
Two days later, mortars and rockets rained down on Homs after the Security Council failed to pass a resolution aimed at stemming the violence. That same day, President al-Assad apparently e-mailed his wife the lyrics and audio file to a song by U.S. country singer Blake Shelton with the words, "God gave me you for the ups and downs/God gave me you for the days of doubt."
One of al-Assad's advisers apparently sent an e-mail containing a picture of a woman wearing only a G-string and a bra.
Other e-mails contain suggestions for al-Assad's speeches and indicate further influence by Iran.
Al-Assad should use "emotional" language about pro-Syrian "martyrs," wrote a female aide named Hadeel, who said she consulted with a number of people, including a political adviser to the Iranian ambassador.
He should "send a huge invitation to the families of the martyrs so it seems like a celebration," the e-mail said, and "have one of the widows of the martyrs make a strong statement on behalf of the families."
In a December 1 e-mail, Hadeel urged al-Assad to use tough language in his speeches.
"Threaten Israel and show our power as a country and a people in case our security is threatened (standing in the face of anyone who wants evil for Syria -- pointing ... at our real enemy)," she writes.
"Just like you said in your first speech, if a war is imposed on us, we welcome it."
She said al-Assad looked good in a military uniform during a speech and signed off by saying, "I am going to the movies."
One e-mail claims to have duped CNN into reporting the words of a fake pro-Syrian commentator. The woman says she created a fake username on Facebook and wrote a commentary that she said later appeared on the air.
An e-mail sent by the president to himself contains talking points for an interview he gave to Barbara Walters on the U.S. TV network ABC in early December. He sent the e-mail Jan. 17; there is no information on who sent the original message or why he re-sent it weeks later.
Al-Assad was to briefly mention government reforms, the e-mail said, but not go into detail because "Americans are too stupid to understand details."
"It would be worth mentioning how ur personality has been attacked and praised in the last decade according to the media," goes the e-mail, written in English. "At one point u were viewed as a hero and in other times u were the 'bad guy.' Americans love these kinds of things and get convinced by it."
Whoever wrote the e-mail ended by saying, "Thank you. U are amazing!"
More fawning from his al-Assad's inner circle came in another e-mail, with the sender writing in English, "I never met an amazing person like u... i get so proud when people meet u and go tell the world how amazing ur. Miss u."
Amid the violence, it appears not even close friends could persuade al-Assad to step down.
"It seems like its getting worse rather than better -- is that the case, or is it the media? What is the long-term plan?" wrote the daughter of Qatar's emir to the first lady, according to an e-mail from August. "It seems like there needs to be an exit strategy."
She made a similar suggestion later that month.
"From what I see there's so many innocent lives being lost. There's still an opportunity for transfer of power, transition without risking a lot," she wrote, according to the e-mail. "It's a natural time to address the nation with the intention of stepping down. The lives lost cannot be retrieved, but there's still a chance to keep a positive image."
"New Hampshire Woman" And Her $3 Million Dollar Trial
New Hampshire jury deadlocks in woman’s role in 1994 Rwanda genocide; judge declares mistrial
By Associated Press, March 15
CONCORD, N.H. — A federal judge on Thursday declared a mistrial in the case of a New Hampshire woman accused of lying to obtain U.S. citizenship by denying her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide.
Jurors had said Tuesday that they couldn’t agree on the two counts in the case of Beatrice Munyenyezi after nearly 19 hours of deliberations over several days. They had Wednesday off, and when they returned on Thursday, Chief U.S. District Judge Steven McAuliffe instructed them to try to reach a unanimous verdict.
(Jim Cole/Associated Press) - The daughter and son of Beatrice Munyenyez leave the Federal Court building Thursday, March 15, 2012 in Concord, N.H. A federal judge declared a mistrial in the case of Munyenyez, who was accused of lying to obtain U.S. citizenship by denying her role in the 1994 Rwanda genocide after jurors failed to reach a verdict.
But they again deadlocked. Jurors sent out at note at about 3:20 p.m. saying they could not reach unanimous verdicts and all agreed that no consensus would be reached through further deliberations.
“You have not failed your duty as jurors,” Judge McAuliffe told them. “Sometimes no decision is the right decision.”
All 12 jurors after being dismissed declined to comment on the case or whether the majority was for guilt or innocence. Lawyers on both sides said they had not been told what the split was.
Munyenyezi buried her face in her hands when the jury foreman announced the outcome but did not cry. She remained stoic.
Her siblings and daughters declined to comment after the mistrial was declared.
Prosecutors Aloke Chakravarty and John Capin would not comment on the deadlock and said it’s too soon to say whether they will try Munyenyezi again.
David Ruoff, one of Munyenyezi’s lawyers, said he expects the government will prosecute her again.
“I think they’re understandably disappointed,” Ruoff said. “You think you have a good case and you can’t convince 12 strangers you’re right.”
He and co-counsel Mark Howard met with Munyenyezi in the courthouse lock-up after court. He said she was emotional and confused by the verdict.
“She didn’t quite know how to interpret it,” Ruoff said. “We told her we beat substantial odds by hanging the jury,” adding that convictions are far more prevalent.
Ruoff estimates the cost of prosecuting and defending Munyenyezi thus far totals nearly $3 million. More than a dozen witnesses and defense investigators were flown in from Rwanda and housed in hotels. Three interpreters of Kinyarwandan were hired and housed. Investigators from both sides made trips to Rwanda to prepare for trial.
Prosecutors say Munyenyezi was an extremist Hutu who killed and ordered the rapes of untold Tutsi victims — not the innocent refugee she claimed to be in 1995, when she applied for a visa and later when she applied for and obtained citizenship in 2003.
To prove Munyenyezi lied on her immigration and naturalization papers, prosecutors had to convince the jury she took an active part in the genocide, contrary to sworn statements on the federal forms. The only other similar trial in the U.S. involving immigration fraud related to the Rwanda genocide ended in a hung jury last May in Kansas.
A Swedish court has ruled that a 17-year-old girl's marriage by a Sharia court in the West Bank is invalid in Sweden, overturning a lower court's decision.The girl, who is now 19-years-old, was married in June 2010 in a Sharia court located in the West Bank town of Hebron, ten days before her 18th birthday, according to Swedish court documents.
When she and her husband moved to Sweden they sought to have their marriage registered with the Swedish Tax Agency (Skatteverket). But the agency denied the couple's application, arguing the marriage couldn't be registered in Sweden because the woman hadn't turned 18 at the time of the wedding.
In 2004, a change to Swedish law meant to prevent child marriages made marriage under the age of 18 illegal, even if the marriage was entered into abroad.
The woman, who lives in Kristianstad in southern Sweden, nevertheless took her case to the administrative court, which ruled in her favour, finding that at the time of the wedding the woman, who was also pregnant, was so close to the age of majority that she was indeed mature enough to understand the significance of marriage.
Sweden's Supreme Administrative Court (Högsta förvaltningsdomstolen) struck down the lower court's decision, ruling that the woman's marriage was invalid in Sweden.
"For the registration of a foreign marriage to occur, it must be made clear in the application that the conditions for registration have been fulfilled," the court wrote in its decision. "In this case, it was clear from the application that the conditions for registration were lacking because XX hadn't turned 18 at the time of the marriage."
Well at least she wasn't 9 years old and pregnant when she got married, I am glad Sweden is showing some balls now and then.
This has nothing to do with Sweden dictating how other nationalities should behave, they can marry whatever underage girl they want in their own country. This has to do with Swedish law in the country of Sweden. If you decide to live here, you should show enough respect of your host country to obey the law,
finally sweden following the equal law for all instead of creating exceptions for religious tradition. live in sweden obey swedish laws period. besides why did they take this to court why not just marry again on paper in sweden?
Muslim Brotherhood Front Group Caught on Video using ADL Talking Points to Oppose Florida ALAC Legislation
Ahmed Bedier spokesperson for Convicted Abe Foxman of ADL
Palestinian Islamic Jihad Terrorist Al-Arian
In our most recent disclosure on the ADL lobbying effort to quash the Florida American Law for American Courts legislation (ALAC) SB 1360/HB1209, we told you we would publish a video captured by the investigative team of The United West (TUW) at the Florida Muslim Capital Day on February 28, 2012. That video was released last night by the talented .J Mark Campbell of TUW. It is stunning. In the video, Ahmed Bedier, ex-Tampa CAIR director and founder of Muslim Brotherhood front, United Voices for America (UVA) is shown promoting the use of the ADL talking points in opposition to both the Florida House and Senate versions of ALAC. We noted this in our post about the National Conference on Jewish Affairs (NCJA) request that Foxman and his coterie leave the ADL:
We know that the ADL in Florida was viewed as complicit in the attack against this measure. Ahmed Bedier, the ex-Tampa CAIR leader and founder of the Muslim Brotherhood front group United Voices for America was caught on film by The United West investigative team at a Florida Muslim Capital Day gathering stating that they would “use them [ADL] for our gain”.
Bedier goes out of his way in the TUW video to nefariously attack the author of the ALAC model, David Yerushalmi, author of the law as a “racist bigot” and is shown using the ADL material in lobbying a Florida legislator. The House version of the Florida ALAC legislation, HB 1209 passed by a veto proof margin, 92 to 24 on March 1st. According to Christopher Holton of the Center for Security Policy, the Senate version 1360 failed to be brought to a vote because of a needless dispute with the bill’s sponsor Sen. Alan Hays (R-Umatilla) fomented by outgoing Senate President Mike Haridopolos (R-Merritt Island). The Senate bill had passed all of the hurdles and could have gone virtually veto proof to Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for signature. Thus, the ADL/UVA effort was not what killed the legislation for this session. Note the comments of someone involved in the Florida ALAC:
The ADL should be lambasted for their opposition to 1360 because they were dishonest in their objections.
Nevertheless, the ADL engaged in a disinformation campaign against the ALAC legislation that was bogus. Tom Trento of TUW believes that this UVA/Bedier investigative video should be used in a national campaign combating ADL and Muslim Brotherhood lobbying against other ALAC state legislation.
We also identified ADL officials involved in creation of the ADL position paper used to lobby against the Florida ALAC legislation and a local South Florida Jewish outreach group that underwrote the ADL team in Tallahassee.
We understand that the ADL officials in the Southeastern region and Florida who were active in lobbying against the ALAC measure were David Barkey, Southern Area Legal Counsel and Florida regional office director Andrew Rosenkranz. Rosenkranz is both an attorney and ordained rabbi and should have known that his arguments about the threat of SB 1360 in barring Jewish Bet Din rulings on divorce and custody were bogus. Watch Barkey and ACLU ally debate recent Florida school prayer legislation.
We noted comments of Rabbi Jon Hausman, expert in both Halacha and Shariah, in our report on the demise of SB1360:
No jurisdiction recognizes the efficacy of a Get to dissolve a marriage, legal dissolution of which is controlled by State statute in every State and Territory of the US.
In a follow up news release, the NCJA noted the terrorist supporting background of UVA head Ahmed Bedier:
Ahmed Bedier is former Communications Director for the Florida chapter of CAIR, a Hezbollah supporter, and attended a pro-Hamas rally in 2008 and is a compatriot of Sami Al-Arian, the Palestinian Arab Islamic Jihad operative who was found guilty of raising money for and lending support to Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Bedier is seen at the beginning of the video praising the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). According to Discover the Networks:
"Bedier has had ties to radical Islam since at least 2002, when he was the Outreach Director for the Islamic Society of Pinellas County (Florida), a mosque whose website features material calling for violence against Jews. Moreover, he has cultivated relationships with organizations and individuals connected to anti-Israel terrorist groups overseas, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Hezbollah."
As we said in our last post on this Florida legislative imbroglio linking the ADL to Muslim Brotherhood front groups UVA and CAIR:
The complicit role of the ADL in the recent ALAC legislation episode underline the NCJA request that it is time for Foxman and his coterie at the ADL to leave. What we need is the equivalent of a “Jewish spring” to sweep out autocrats like Foxman and return the venerable ADL to its original role of exposing anti-Semitism and Israel’s enemies, not supporting them.
Jacobs of AASG Rebuts Farrakhan Jewish Black Slave Libel at UC Berkeley
Louis Farrakhan, Nation of Islam leader at U.C. Berkeley
Last Saturday, Louis Farrakhan, self-styled controversial leader of the Nation of Islam spoke at the ninth annual Afrikan Black Coalition Conference organized by the U.C. Berkeley Black Student Union. He continued to further his libelous accusation that Jews had orchestrated slavery. Farrakhan was an item with the late Libyan anti-Semitic autocrat Muammar Gaddafi and had consorted with Muslim Brotherhood preachers and Imams in Syria.
The campus prides itself as a defender of protected speech under our First Amendment. However, this latest Farrakhan hate-mongering episode didn’t completely pass unnoticed. There was a petition campaign against his appearance at the conference. Even U.C. Chancellor Yudof took on Farrakhan for his extremist cant. The San Francisco Chronicle noted the disquiet with Farrakhan’s talk in what was the birthplace of the Free Speech Movements almost a half century:
At least two opinion pieces authored by student leaders denouncing Farrakhan's appearance were published in the campus newspaper, The Daily Californian, including one by Shawn Lewis, president of the Berkeley College Republicans, who wondered where was Chancellor Robert Birgeneau's condemnation of Farrakhan after the chancellor and others were quick to denounce as racist the college Republicans "Increase Diversity Bake Sale" last September to protest affirmative action-type policies.
Even UC President Mark Yudof weighed in on the Farrakhan appearance, writing in an open letter that "we cannot as a society allow what we regard as vile speech to lead us to abandon the cherished value of free speech."
But that only required that people "condemn these merchants of hatred when they come into our community," Yudof wrote.
U.C. Berkeley student, Noah Ickowitz, a student senator who said Farrakhan had every right to appear on campus, and Ickowitz had every right to protest a speech he said advocated black empowerment at the expense of other groups [gays, Whites, Asian Americans and Jews]
[. . .]
"To those who dare, who arrogantly thought that they could frighten this generation as they used to frighten our parents ... so I ask you, 'What are you afraid of?' “Farrakhan said.”What is it I might say to your students, or your slaves?"
[. . .]
Farrakhan at one point briefly adopted a faux Asian accent and used gibberish after asking the audience if they had ever seen the Chinese picketing, drawing a gasp from some in the crowd.
One female student quietly muttered "Oh no," when Farrakhan said he had "a word to the Jewish students" before warning against a U.S. or Israeli attack on Iran.
Watch this CBS report on the Farrakhan speech at U.C. Berkeley and the crass moral relativism of some of the speakers except student senator Ickowitz.
Dr. Charles Jacobs has an Op-Ed in The Daily Californian today “Farrakhan’s Secret Relationship,” In it he recounts some of his own efforts to bring to the world attention about Islamic black slavery, a topic we covered in our interview with him in the February 2011, NER, “Jihad Slavery in the Sudan”. Here are some excerpts:
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan addressed an estimated 600 students at UC Berkeley last Saturday and told black students not to befriend any Jew without first reading “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews,” a book that promotes the thesis that Jews were behind the black slave trade. Heck of a way to start up a friendship!
[. . .]
But perhaps what is more shocking is Minister Farrakhan’s own semisecret relationship with the modern day enslavement of black Africans by people (and in countries) that the NOI leader has an interest to protect.
[. . .]
We were encouraged to launch the American Anti-Slavery Group, which would document a modern-day slave trade around the globe but would focus on Sudan and Mauritania as the worst cases of slavery. They are also the most controversial and therefore the least likely to be covered by others.
PBS’s Tony Brown Show, the most popular black news program at the time, invited Mohammed and me to speak about slavery. Immediately after our appearance, we were verbally attacked by Farrakhan’s spokesman, who denied that blacks served Arab masters in Sudan or — worse from the NOI’s point of view — that black Muslims served Arab Muslim masters in Mauritania. Farrakhan’s “calling,” funded in part by Arab dictator Muammar Gaddafi, was to break the black-Jewish civil rights alliance while teaching American blacks that Islam was their path to freedom. Not in Sudan and Mauritania, it wasn’t!
The NOI was serious about shutting us up. Samuel Cotton, a black reporter for the City Sun, New York’s second-largest black paper, conducted a thorough investigation that resulted in a five-part series. “Arab Masters, Black Slaves” screamed across the front page in New York’s news kiosks. The NOI warned Sam. They followed and menaced him when he spoke in Chicago, not far from their headquarters. Sam’s book “Silent Terror” — which chronicled his experience reporting on the Mauritanian slave trade — has since become an underground classic.
[ . . ]
Farrakhan has always said that slavery in Sudan and Mauritania was a Zionist lie. Last week, South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, demanded the liberation of 30,000 slaves still held by Arabs in the North. Minister Farrakhan, South Sudan is not a Jewish nation. You met with South Sudanese leaders in the spring of 1994. They begged you for support, and to help free the slaves. They wrote that you told them, “When it comes to a choice between religion or the dignity of the black man I will choose my skin.” You betrayed them. Why?
Why has Farrakhan decided in recent days that he can safely replay his “Jews were the slavers” card? I believe that the anti-Israel/anti-Semitic climate on California’s campuses emboldened him to regurgitate the attack. UC Chancellor Mark Yudof condemned Farrakhan’s message but defended his rights to free speech. I wonder what Mr. Yudof would do if a Ku Klux Klan speaker asked for the same rights and a platform on his free-speech campus.
So farewell, then Rowan Williams. Not sorry you're
“If what we want socially is a pattern of relations in which a plurality of diverse and overlapping affiliations work for a common good, and in which groups of serious and profound conviction are not systematically faced with the stark alternatives of cultural loyalty or state loyalty, [Sharia] seems unavoidable.”
Your catch phrase
What a logorrheic