Following a seven-day inquiry in April, inspector John Gray said he was dismissing the appeal by the Bengali Welfare Association to demolish a locally-listed school to make way for the new domed building. In his decision, released on Tuesday (June 19), Mr Gray said he did not feel the benefits the new mosque would bring the town’s Islamic congregation outweighed the loss of the 140-year-old Victorian structure it would replace.
The association has been using the school on London Road as a makeshift mosque since 1996, but said it is now not fit for purpose. It had argued the new traditional Islamic mosque, which would have had 100ft minarets and a morgue, it wanted to build was necessary to accommodate the town’s growing Muslim population.
However the inspector said the loss of the school would harm the architectural conservation area along the London Road.
In his report he said: “Put very simply, the features of merit and significance for the conservation area that would be lost by the demolition of the existing school building would not be adequately replaced or reflected in the proposed development.”
Mr Gray said the Bengali Welfare Association’s arguments for the new mosque had also been weakened by the fact they had chosen not to act on the 2003 permission they got to extent the school building. He added "I saw nothing in the condition of the existing main building that could justify its complete demolition in favour of redevelopment.”
The council now need to put an enforcement notice of some kind on the Bengali Welfare Association to make them repair this listed building which they deliberately neglected to further their case for demolition.
Abu Khaled Toameh: Palestinians in Disarray Dimming Peace Push by Obama
Khaled Abu Toameh, Jerusalem Post
While we read of efforts by the Obama West Wing in the White House to re-ignite a moribund peace process between Israelis and the Palestinians, the realities are the Palestinians are falling to pieces.
Thus, the Netanyahu government has no peace partner to deal with. Moreover, it appears that some of the more extreme factions have been involved in some of the repression in Syria.
As the world focuses its attention on the Palestinian Authority's plan to ask the United Nations in September to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines, the Palestinian political scene is in disarray as a result of power struggles, personal and political rivalries and divisions.
Everyone seems to be against everyone in the Palestinian territories. Fatah against Fatah, Fatah against Hamas, Hamas in Gaza against Hamas in Syria, Mahmoud Abbas versus Mohammed Dahlan and many other senior Fatah figures, Hamas and some in Fatah against Salam Fayyad, Islamic Jihad versus everyone and everyone versus the Syrian-based Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command.
Ironically, it is their shared hostility toward Israel that keeps the rivalries and internecine fighting from erupting into a full-fledged civil war.
The ongoing power struggles and disputes in the Palestinian arena raise serious questions as to whether the Palestinians are ready for statehood.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who is spearheading the effort to acquire a Palestinian state through the UN, and not at the negotiating table with Israel, is facing increased opposition from within the Palestinian Authority and his ruling Fatah faction.
The main charge against Abbas is that he and a handful of his top aides are making crucial and historic decisions without consulting others.
At least five senior Palestinian Authority and Fatah officials have come out against Abbas's statehood bid.
But there is no doubt that the biggest challenge to Abbas these days is coming not from Hamas, but from his own Fatah faction.
Abbas's recent decision to expel Dahlan from Fatah is threatening to divide the faction into two separate parties. Dahlan is enormously popular among many Fatah cadres in the Gaza Strip, where there is great anger over Abbas's decision.
Many Fatah leaders are now threatening to quit the faction in protest against the dismissal of Dahlan. Even those who are not known as Dahlan supporters have come out against the decision because of the way it was taken.
They point out that the removal of Dahlan was carried out illegally and without the approval of Fatah institutions. They also note that as a member of the Palestinian parliament, Dahlan enjoys parliamentary immunity – a fact that Abbas preferred to ignore when he decided to remove him.
Another Fatah leader who is now challenging Abbas is Marwan Barghouti, who has been in Israeli prison for the past nine years after being convicted of organizing armed attacks against Israelis. Barghouti's wife this week published a letter she sent to Abbas in which she accused the Palestinian president and his top aides of turning their backs on her husband.
On the other hand, the Fatah-Hamas "reconciliation" accord, which was announced on May 4, seems to be going nowhere. The two rival parties were supposed to announce the establishment of a unity government this week. But the announcement was postponed indefinitely because of Hamas's refusal to accept Salam Fayyad as prime minister of the new government. It also seems that not everyone in Fatah is happy about the idea of having Fayyad as prime minister.
Hamas, meanwhile, is also witnessing a power struggle between its leaders in the Gaza Strip and those sitting in Syria, especially in regard to the reconciliation pact with Fatah and the fate of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who has been held by Hamas for five years.
Two weeks ago, Palestinians were shocked when they learned that militiamen belonging to Ahmed Jibril's Popular Front-General Command opened fire at a demonstration in a refugee camp in Syria, killing 14 people and wounding many others.
While we may refrain from feeling any schadenfreude at the Palestinian disarray, it does prove once again that what the West and the Obama are being confronted with is traditional internecine tribal warfare in the roiling Arab Spring. The late Israeli Foreign Minister of note, Abba Eban said in 1973, “the Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity” for peace, because they have no civil body polity. If what Toameh describes persists, then the Fatah Hamas unity deal is a sham and the threat of a unilateral declaration with Organization of Islamic Conference member nations at the UN this fall may not materialize. The Obama Administration quest for a Middle East peace deal, in light of these revelations of internecine warfare among Palestinian factions by Toameh, would appear to be totally delusional.
The old joke used to be that Ha Shem should have made the ancient Hebrews turn right instead of left to the Holy Land during the Exodus from Egypt. Then the joke continues - the Jews would have had all that Saudi crude oil. Now the tables have dramatically turned with discoveries of massive offshore natural gas fields in the Mediterraean coming on stream in 2013 and prospective development of oil shale fields with estimated reserves of more than 250 billion barrels. The principal oil share deposits are located southwest of Jerusalem in the Shefla basin. This would make Israel the third largest country with oil shale reserves. The estimated oil reserves would make it only second to that of Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.
The major backers of the Israeli oil shale field include some heavyweights: Rupert Murdoch of NewsCorp, Lord Jacob Rothschild, former US Vice President Dick Cheney. Probably the best news is that according to this map of oil shale deposits in Israel and Jordan, these discoveries lay within the existing State of Israel and in Jordan, but, not in the disputed territories, Judea and Samaria. According to National Post (NP) columnist Lawrence Solomon of Energy Probe, the Israeli technology involved with fracking these oil shale deposits could deliver a barrel of oil at a cost of $30 to 40 each. Further, if current pilot tests prove out, the technology might be licensed for export to countries with significant oil share deposits. Howard Jonas of Israel Energy Initiatives CEO of US communication company IDT said in a Solomon Financial Post (FP) column,”Israel’s new energy.”
“None of the major oil companies are willing to do business in Israel because they don’t want to be cut off from the Mideast supply of oil,” explains Howard Jonas, CEO of IDT, the U.S. company that owns the Shfela concession through its subsidiary, Israel Energy Initiatives. Jonas, an ardent Zionist, considers the Shfela deposit merely a beginning: “We believe that under Israel is more oil than under Saudi Arabia. There may be as much as half a trillion barrels.”
Solomon’s FP column identifies the team that IEI has put together to exploit the oil shale development in Israel;
To win this war, Israel Energy Initiatives has enlisted some of the energy industry’s savviest old soldiers – here a former president of Mobil Oil (Eugene Renna), there a former president of Occidental Oil Shale (Allan Sass), over there a former president of Halliburton (Dick Cheney). But the Field Commander for the operation, and the person who in their mind will lead them to ultimate victory, is Harold Vinegar, a veteran pulled out of retirement and sent into the fray. Vinegar, a legend in the field, had been Shell Oil’s chief scientist and, with some 240 patents to his name over his 32 years at Shell, revolutionized the shale oil industry.
Lord Rothschild notes the potential geo-poiltical impacts of this Israeli oil shale development:
The company’s oil shale technology “could transform the future prospects of Israel, the Middle East and our allies around the world.”
Watch this interview with Larry Solomon of Energy Probe on Israel’s energy discoveries and potentials impact on the World geo-political landscape.
Dexter van Zile is the Christian media analysts at the Boston-based Middle East media monitoring group, CAMERA. He is Israel and paid a visit to the Deheishe Palestinian Refugee Camp on the West Bank and took these pictures in the Ibdaa Cultural Center as evidence of incitement to hate against Israel through pictures in this children's center. View the pictures and read his report. The Deheishe Refugee Camp is run by UNWRA, and American taxpayer dollars through voluntary donations made to UNWRA support this hate-mongering for impressionable Palestinian children.
Every few years, a dance troupe comprised of boys and girls in their early teens from the Deheishe refugee camp in the West Bank, embarks on a tour of the United States and Europe. These child dancers, performing under the auspices of the Ibdaa Cultural Center, have, in some quarters become the symbol of innocent Palestinian suffering. For example, the Mennonite Central Committee used footage of the troupe in its 2005 movie Children of the Nakba to highlight the impact of the Arab-Israeli conflict on Palestinian children. As the Ibdaa troupe dances on stage in the opening scene of the video, a narrator describes the scene as follows:
Children from the Deheishe Refugee Camp in Bethlehem tell their story through traditional dance and music. The story retells how Palestinians were forced out of their villages by the Israeli military in 1948, how they have struggled to return to their homes and villages, and how they have risen up to shake off military occupation. The children perform this dance around the world. They want the world to know about their pain and feel their yearning to return home.
The dance troupe has received similar laudatory coverage from local newspapers publicizing its performances in the U.S. On July 11, 2003, The Sacramento Bee (California) published an article titled “Palestinian dance troupe offers message of hope.” Written by Fahiza Alim, a staff writer for the Bee, the article describes the Ibdaa troupe as “a group of children who perform dances of history, protest and hope.”
That same day, Jonathan Curiel of The San Francisco Chronicle reported that one of the troupe's dancers described the Ibdaa Cultural Center as encouraging “teenagers to channel their energy into poetry, music, dance and other creative outlets – not stone-throwing or suicide bombings.”
The Ibdaa Cultural Center's Facebook page states the center's mission “is to provide a safe environment for the camp's children, youth and women, to develop a range of skills, creatively express themselves, and build leadership through cultural, educational and social activities that are not readily available in either the camp or occupied Palestine. Ibdaa strives to empower participants with the confidence to face their difficult future, while educating the international community about Palestinian refugees.”
In light of all this publicity, the Ibdaa Cultural Center seems something akin to a Boys and Girls Club or the local YMCA or YWCA in the U.S.
There's a fly in the ointment, however.
A recent visit to the Ibdaa Cultural Center reveals that the institution gives prominent display to images that demonize Israel and valorize acts of violence. The images are located in plain sight, in the public areas of the building – the stairwell and the restaurant/coffee shop. For example, one mural located in the center's stairwell valorizes a woman throwing a stone and another in the same stairwell depicts a young man launching a Molotov cocktail with a slingshot in particularly heroic terms.
These images can been in photos taken on June 20, 2011.
The walls of the cafeteria display other images that demonize Israel. For example, across the hallway from the restroom hangs a poster of depicting a hand squeezing an orange into a cup shaped like the Star of David.
[T]he hand in this image is squeezing an orange which has a label marked "Jaffa". The juice is dripping down into a mold in the shape of a Star of David and forming into a cityscape, most likely that of Tel Aviv. The inference is that the orange cultivation and industry, originally established by Palestinians, has been mobilized to advance the building of the Jewish state.
Another painting on display depicts two children, a boy and a girl, reaching for a scrap of food on the ground (a banana peel?). The girl is being dragged away by her pigtails by a soldier. Given the context, the intent is to demonize Israeli soldiers.
Taken together, these images incite hostility toward Israel and to valorize people who have engaged in acts of violence in the course of the Arab-Israeli conflict. This contradicts the stated goals of the Ibdaa Cultural Center. Rather than giving the young people living in Deheishe refugee camp an alternative to hostility and violence, the center is allowing its public spaces to be used to encourage acts of violence and demonize Israel. The images undermine the prospects for peace by promoting a sense of grievance and hostility toward Israel and by portraying those who engage in violence as heroes.
To underscore the incongruity, next to the Ibdaa Cultural Center's entrance there is a plaque that displays an excerpt of UN Resolution 194 in both Arabic and English that states “refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date …”
There is nothing peaceful about the images inside the building, however. Given the context, displaying images such as this at the Ibdaa Cultural Center makes about as much sense as displaying handguns and drug paraphernalia on the walls of teen centers in the U.S.
In sum, the story is this: The Ibdaa Cultural Center, an institution that receives funds from the Middle East Children's Alliance, a non-profit in the U.S., and which has been lionized by journalists and peace activists in the West, is exposing the youth of a Palestinian refugee camp to anti-Israel incitement.
UNRWA Does Not Police Ibdaa
CAMERA has contacted officials from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and inquired about the images on display at the center. Commenting on background, UNRWA officials stated that the agency does not have the authority or resources necessary to police the behavior at non-UNWRA facilities (such as the Ibdaa Cultural Center) in the refugee camps.
Several important questions remain, however.
Who painted the murals in the stairwell and in the cafeteria? Children?
Why does the center choose to allow its walls to be used to incite violence and valorize acts of violence against Israel?
Is this the message that the Ibdaa Cultural Center is sending to the youth it serves?
How long have these images been on display at the Ibdaa Cultural Center? A search for previous versions of the center's website at archive.org internet search indicates that at least one image has been present since at least 2003, toward the end of the Second Intifada.
Has UNRWA communicated any displeasure over the display of these images to the leaders of the Ibdaa Cultural Center? While the organization does not have any direct authority over the Ibdaa Cultural Center, it is impossible to believe that UNRWA does not have at least some influence over the operations of the center.
Have Ibdaa's donors (such as the Middle East Children's Alliance) complained about these images?
CAMERA has sent an email to addresses posted on the Ibdaa Center's Facebook page and will post any relevant responses provided.
What is the Real Reason Behind the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation closing?
According to the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) report, the so-called activist wing of the Muslim American Society (MAS), a Muslim Brotherhood front group listed as a unindicted co-conspirator in the 2008 Holy Land foundation trial and convictions, ‘shut down’. According to the IPT report, the MAS Freedom Foundation (FF) formerly headed by Mahdi Bray, who is recovering from a stroke that occurred late last year, is shutting down because of lack of funding given a press release issued last Friday, June 17th.
Last September the NER published an investigative report, “ Coming to a Mosque Near you: Pimping for Terrorists” based on video and other documentation that showed Mahdi Bray of the MASFF and former UK Parliamentarian and head of Viva Palestina raising over $55,000 in 2009 on behalf of Hamas, a foreign designated terrorist group, at the Islamic Center of Central Florida in Orlando.
We noted in our report:
California Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Terrorism, made a formal request to Attorney General Eric Holder on December 1st, 2009 to open an investigation into George Galloway and his organization Viva Palestina based on allegations that they are raising funds in America for the terrorist group Hamas. In his letter to attorney General Holder, Sherman noted:
Viva Palestina USA is not a 501(c) (3) entity and my staff could not determine whether the organization has any legal status in the United States.
Sherman went on to comment on the following statement made by Galloway as he handed over a substantial amount of cash to Hamas President Ismail Haniyeh in March, 2009 in Gaza as captured in this video:
Here is the money. This is not charity. This is politics. The government of Palestine is the best people where this money is needed. We are giving this money now to the government of Palestine. If I could, I would give them 10 times, 100 times, and more. [Emphasis added].
This statement [. . .] is compelling evidence that the major purpose of Viva Palestina is to provide material support to Hamas.
[. . .]
At the behest of Republican Congresswoman Sue Myrick's office, the independent video evidence presented here was sent to Steve Emerson of the investigative project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org). The video has since been released to the FBI, Treasury Department, and IRS for fraud, violations of the FARA Act and possible violations of providing material support for terrorism.
This documentary - in reality a film dossier - exposes Galloway, in the words of a Canadian government official, "pimping for terrorists." This documentary shows episodes of Galloway dispensing funds to Hamas representatives and making his pitch to the audience at the June, 2009 ISCF event. You will see film clips about the criminal record of MASFF leader, Mahdi Bray, as well as the global connections between Galloway and Iran, Hamas, Venezuelan dictator Chavez and Communist Cuba.
[. . .}
At issue is whether Attorney General Holder has authorized an investigation of Galloway, Bray, and Imam Musri concerning fraudulent fundraising for Hamas in America. This video dossier offers compelling evidence. The silence of the Justice Department and the Obama Administration to bi-partisan requests for investigation of the Galloway Hamas terror financing nexus in America is troubling. Perhaps this You Tube video dossier will raise public ire and result in Galloway being declared persona non grata in the United States. Moreover, it could result in federal prosecution of Bray and Imam Musri of ISCF for violation of IRS and Patriot Act provisions giving material support to the foreign terrorist organization, Hamas. This filmed dossier should raise serious local investigations of possible mega-mosque terror financing and abuse of IRS tax exemptions. Stay tuned
Notwithstanding the stroke that befell Imam Mahdi Bray, did the requests for investigation by California Congressman Brad Sherman in 2009, coupled with the dossier video produced by J. Mark Campbell and Alan Kornman of The United West, result in discussions by the USDOJ leading to the retirement of this Muslim Brotherhood ‘civil rights’ group, the MASFF, for providing material assistance to Hamas?
Fitzgerald: Mahdi Bray, Just A Country Muslim From Norfolk, Virgina
The Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation has just been in the news, and the following introduction to Mahdi Bray, its former president, and all his works and days, may be useful. It is re-posted from 2005.
A convert to Islam, Mahdi Bray is not one of those, like Ibrahim Hooper, who has attained national prominence. He is a tireless worker at the local level, however, and in his dual presentation of self, or presentation of dual selves, most instructive. Soft-spoken and smiling and all sweet reason, and with a comfortably American voice, when addressing Infidels, he becomes something quite different for Muslim audiences, where he has been known to chant-and-rant, as in his call of support for Hamas before a crowd in Washington, or whipping up a crowd to show up at a courtroom to mock the proceedings which involved charging a Muslim with plotting to kill the American President. He is also careful, at the local level, to carry out all those carefully-calibrated and well-publicized deeds of supposed charity - to earn Infidel goodwill - that are described as being so useful in the conduct of Da'wa at Muslim sites.
In his last appearance in The Boston Globe, some months ago, he is seen in a photograph (he made sure there would be a Globe photographer handy) helping to lift a box of donated food for the poor, which we are naturally supposed to believe is disinterested Muslim charity, but zakat, of course, can only be given to Infidels for the sake of promoting Islam. Just as Muslim websites carefully offer detailed instructions as to how Muslim parents can get their way, when making special requests (for prayer-rooms and the like) of teachers and school administrators, there are detailed instructions as to how to obtain favorable publicity - and the ostentatious "donation to charity" has been mentioned as the kind of thing local groups can engage in.
Bray, retaining his soft-spoken Virginia ways, seldom fails to remind non-Muslims that he is "just a country Muslim from Norfolk, Virginia"; this Americanizes it, makes it wholesome, familiar, unthreatening. As the director of something called the "Freedom Foundation" at the Muslim American Society. Bray has frequently denounced acts of the American government that are meant to defend American citizens from Muslim terrorism.
The list of those he has chosen to vocally defend is instructive. At least since July, 2004, he demanded the return of Ahmad Abu-Ali from Saudi Arabia:
"MAS Freedom Foundation's Executive Director, Mahdi Bray, called the continued detention of Ahmed Abu-Ali, an American born citizen and an honor student, in a Saudi Arabian jail a "national disgrace and tragedy."
But when Abu-Ali was finally extradited to the United States, presumably fulfilling that demand that he be released from a Saudi jail, Mahdi Bray was still not happy:
"We're deeply grateful to the Almighty for the return of Abu-Ali to the United States of America," said Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation Executive Director Mahdi Bray. "However, I am still greatly troubled and concerned about the manner in which our government has dealt with Abu Ali and his family.
"Nothing short of his release and return to his family is acceptable to us."
When Abu-Ali, who was eventually charged with plotting to kill President Bush, appeared for his hearing at a courthouse in Virginia, those whom Mahdi Bray had helped urge to come to protest did. Violating court decorum, they entered the court and laughed at the judge as he announced the charges.
Even before he went to bat for Abu-Ali, Mahdi Bray had stood up for Abdurrahman Alamoudi, the man connected to the Boston Mosque which benefited from a sweetheart land deal, arranged by a dangerously ill-informed Mayor Menino. Abdurrahman Alamoudi's sinister views and connections can easily be found discussed in detail on the Internet, but it was not his hatred for Infidels, or his plans for Islamic dominance, that got him in trouble. In the end, it was his part in a plot to assassinate Crown Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia that ended in Alamoudi's receiving a 23-year sentence.
And now, to complete the trilogy, Mahdi Bray bemoans the treatment of Al-Timimi, the Muslim leader in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., who was just found guilty of urging followers to fight the Americans in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
But standing up for Abu Ali, and Al-Timimi, and Abdurrahman Alamoudi, are just part of Bray's activities.
In October 2000 he appeared at a demonstration called in support of Hamas and Hizbullah:
"In American Jihad, [Steve] Emerson notes that when Abdurrahman Alamoudi of the American Muslim Council, who is now serving a 23-year prison sentence for a terrorism financing conviction, encouraged the Muslim crowd at an October 2000 rally cosponsored by MPAC to declare their support of the jihad terror groups Hamas and Hizballah, "MPAC's Political Advisor, Mahdi Bray, stood directly behind Alamoudi and was seen jubilantly exclaiming his support for these two deadly terrorist organizations." This was just three weeks after Bray "coordinated and led a rally where approximately 2,000 people congregated in front of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, D.C." Emerson reports that "at one point during the rally, Mahdi Bray played the tambourine as one of the speakers sang, while the crowd repeated: 'Al-Aqsa [Mosque] is calling us, let's all go into jihad, and throw stones at the face of the Jews [sic].'
Mahdi Bray was at another demonstration in December of that same year:
On December 22, 2000, MPAC's Mahdi Bray organized a rally in Lafayette Park outside the White House to celebrate a "Worldwide Day for Jerusalem." In Arabic, the crowd responsively chanted with the emcee, "Khaybar, Khaybar oh Jews, the Army of Muhammad is coming for you!" Posters calling for "Death to Israel" and equating the Star of David with the Nazi swastika were openly displayed and anti-Semitic literature calling for the destruction of the Jews and Israel was distributed. Members of the crowd burned the Israeli flag while marching from the White House to the State Department.
Bray spoke at this rally, along with Imam Mohammed al-Asi, former director of the Islamic Education Center in Potomac, Maryland, who exhorted the crowd to violence in the name of Islam. Al-Asi said, "Now, all our khatibs (speakers), our imams, our public speakers, should be concentrating on militarizing the Muslim public. This is not a time to make a speaking issue out of this ... Muslims have to familiarize themselves with every means possible ... Rhetoric is not going to liberate Al Quds and Al Aqsa. Only carrying arms will do this task. And it's not going to be someone else who is going to carry arms for you and for me. It is you and me who are going to have to carry these arms."
And here is some testimony before Congress about Mahdi Bray:
United States Senate Committee on the Judiciary
Terrorist Recruitment and Infiltration in the United States: Prisons and Military as an Operational Base.
Statement of J. Michael Waller
Annenberg Professor of International Communication
Institute of World Politics
Before the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security
Senate Committee on the Judiciary
14 October 2003
Appendix 2: Key Organizations Involved in Muslim Prison Recruitment
National Islamic Prison Foundation (NIPF) - Contact: Mahdi Bray; 1212 New York Ave. NW, Suite 525, Washington, DC 20005. This is the same address as the American Muslim Council (AMC).
• "Specifically organized to convert American inmates to Wahhabism."
And at www.masboston.org, the website of the Boston chapter of the "Muslim American Society" there are quite a number of items of interest. The first is the listing of the "Trainers" of Muslim activists ("training" in how to talk to Infidels at Outreach Meetings or in the conduct of Da'wa or in dealing with inquisitive media). In fact only one "trainer" is listed: Mahdi Bray
Imam Mahdi Bray is a long time civil and human rights activist. He is currently the Executive Director of the Muslim American Society (MAS) Freedom Foundation, and the President of the Coordinating Council of Muslim Organizations (CCMO). He also serves on the Board of Directors of the National Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice and the Interfaith Alliance, and also on the Advisory Board of the American Muslim Council and Muslim Public Affairs Council. He is a Washington, DC, Television and Radio Talk-Show Host.
He has served as a major consultant and a political advisor to Bonner & Associates, Washington's largest grassroots lobbying firm, the National Center for Housing Management, Alexandria City Redevelopment & Housing Authority, Community Relations Department, The City of Norfolk, Virginia, Department of Community Improvement, and the Independent Voter League. He has also served as a Political Advisor and Strategist, to several national, state, and local political campaigns. He is also the author of, 'The Masjid (Mosque) Voter's Guide' and 'The Political Guide for Masjid (Mosque) Activists.'
Also, Imam Mahdi Bray is one of the main organizers for the No War on Iraq movement.
He has also served as a liaison between President's White House Faith-Based Initiative Program and congressional affairs on behalf of the Muslim community.
On another page, there is an advertisement for a Muslim summer camp where students will experience "Tarbeya":
"At MAS, the Tarbeya process is considered the most important process and the Tarbeya department is one of the permanent departments in the organization. This belief traces its origin to the teachings of Prophet Mohamed as he -- peace be upon him- --invested a lot of effort doing Tarbeya for his companions. As a result of his effort, he did not only leave a great message, the message of Islam, but also left a great generation that carried the message and spread it all over the land and moved humanity from darkness to light. Islamic history proved that whenever this process was considered, Muslims were able to succeed and Islam prevailed. Imam Hassan Al-Banna, the founder and the leader of a great Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, said 'Whenever you find the good Muslim you find with him all means for great success.'"
Note the praise of Hassan al-Banna, described as "the founder and the leader of a great Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood." Anyone who does not know what the Muslim Brotherhood stands for can simply google that organization. Hassan Al-Banna (his grandson, Tariq Ramadan, pretending that his own unwillingness to disown Al-Banna is merely a matter of noble filial piety, a filiopietism that compels him not to publicly disown "my grandfather" when in fact the real reason he does not distance himself from his grandfather is that he agrees with the program of the Muslim Brotherhood). Hassan al-Banna not only organized secret cells in Egypt, but would also give public addresses, whipping up his followers. And what better way for those followers to express their ignited enthusiasm, than to go out and attack non-Muslims (Copts and Jews), to beat them, even to kill them, and of course to destroy their small businesses. After one such speech in Cairo, on November 2, 1945, the whipped-up mobs did exactly that.
The next time a smiling plausible fellow shows up at a public gathering, no longer shaking a tambourine, and shouting hosannas to Hamas and Hezbullah, but offering a tone of sweet reasonableness, of more-in-sorrow wistfulness about the mean-minded misunderstanding of Islam, and the terrible victimization of Muslims, see if he manages to describe himself as "just a country Muslim from Norfolk, Virginia" with a smile and an ah-shucks shrug meant to suggest two things - he's just as American as he can possibly be, and therefore, so to is this wonderful doctrine of Islam that we keep hearing all those untrue and unfair things about. If you hear about Norfolk, Virginia, and the "li'l ole Muslim" routine, you can be sure you are in the presence of Mahdi Bray.
And if he offers an Infidel audience a practiced display of Taqiyya and Tu-Quoque, and a look of wounded innocence, it might help to have this article handy, so that they will know about Alamoudi, Abu-Ali, Al-Timimi, and that tambourine shout-out in Lafayette Park for such terrorist groups as Hamas and Hezbollah. It won't put a stop to the act, but it will no longer be a hard act to follow.
And remember how another li'l ole country boy, this one from Concord, Massachusetts, named Ralph Waldo Emerson, who famously cautioned wariness:
"The louder he talked of his honor, the faster we counted our spoons."
The more we hear tell about the "tolerance" and "peace" and all-round goodness of Islam, the more we feel the urge to count aloud, not the number of spoons, but the number of victims of Jihad-conquest (Christians, Jews, Zoroastrians, Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhists, and the more we feel impelled to count up all the onerous disabilities that those non-Muslims who were not killed or forcibly converted at once but permitted to survive as dhimmis under Muslim rule, suffered through time and space, over 1350 years, from the Iberian Peninsula to the East Indies, wherever Islam ruled and Muslims dominated.
BAGHDAD — Terrorist attacks, including a bombing Tuesday that killed two dozen people, are intensifying across Iraq as the country’s political blocs step up discussions about whether the coalition government will ask the United States to keep some troops here past the end of the year.
In separate incidents Tuesday that both Sunni and Shiite extremist groups are suspected of carrying out, twin car bombs detonated at a heavily fortified town council building in Diwayana province, an explosion tore through a cafe in southern Iraq, and rockets and car bombs shook different sections of Baghdad.
The violence comes as U.S. officials continue to look for signs that the Iraqi government will reach consensus on whether it wants any American troops to remain past their scheduled Dec. 31 withdrawal date.
On Monday, Iraqi President Jalal Talabani held a meeting of top-ranking Iraqi government leaders, including Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, to try to jump-start discussions on a continued U.S. presence.
But with broad divisions remaining over such a move, Iraqi and U.S. officials think it could be weeks, if not months, before any formal request would be made to the White House.
Complicating the discussion, radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr said through a spokesman this week that his Sadrist political bloc will withdraw from Maliki’s governing coalition if any U.S. troops remain.
“We think that the extension of the U.S. in Iraqi is a red line,” Salah Alubadi said. “If this happens, we will present a lawsuit to the federal court.”
Other politicians are skeptical of Sadr’s influence on the process, and there are signs that continued uncertainty about the readiness of police and military forces could prompt Maliki and his rival, Ayad Allawi — a former prime minister who heads the Iraqiya political bloc — to reach an agreement for at least a few thousand troops to remain into 2012. Allawi was traveling and did not attend Talabani’s meeting.
Mayson al-Damaluji, the spokeswoman for Iraqiya, said even some Sadrists who attended Talabani’s meeting expressed concern about Iraq’s long-term security.
“We have national interests like the water sources and the oil fields, and we must ask ourselves: Are we able to protect it?” Damaluji said. “We made that question [Monday] to the prime minister and are waiting for his answer.”
Security concerns come amid mounting frustration about disruption caused by terrorist attacks.
On Tuesday, 25 police officers and Army officials were killed in Diwaniyah, a predominantly Shiite area in south-central Iraq, when two cars were detonated moments apart at a compound that includes both the governor’s home and the provincial government headquarters. It was the second attack in less than a week on a heavily fortified provincial council building.
Also Tuesday, in Musayab in Southern Iraq’s Babel province, at least two people were killed and eight wounded when an explosion tore though a cafe, Iraqi security officials said.
In southern Baghdad, a bomb detonated in a minibus, often used here to transport commuters and shoppers. At least one person was killed and three were injured. An Iraqi army convoy also struck a roadside bomb on Baghdad’s Palestine Street, killing one soldier and injuring three others and two civilians walking nearby, Iraqi security officials said.
Several mortars were fired Tuesday afternoon onto a joint Iraqi-U.S. base in eastern Baghdad, probably from the Shiite-dominated Sadr City neighborhood. It was unclear whether any U.S. troops were injured, but Iraqi security officials said civilians were wounded in a nearby neighborhood when three mortars landed short of the base.
“It is necessary to revise the current security plans,” Tariq al-Hashimi, Iraq’s vice president, said Tuesday in calling for the formation of an committee to examine the problem.
But there were signs Tuesday that Iraqi security officials are making some progress in containing the violence.
In Baghdad, officials arrested four men on allegations that they made 27 assassination attempts on government or security officials in recent months.
Security officials in Ramadi in Anbar province in western Iraq also intercepted two cars packed with explosives Tuesday. The drivers of the vehicles, who were arrested, were apparently attempting to bomb the headquarters of the Anbar Provincial Council, security officials said.
From "The Forms of Action at Common Law" by Frederic Maitland, Lecture III, p. 27:
"Now the possessory assizes: In sharp contrast to the action begun by Writ of Right there now stand three possessory actions, the three Assizes of Novel Disseisin, Mort d'Ancestor, and Darrein Presentment."
Yes, I know Glanvill did not write Glanvill and Bracton did not write Bracton. But what does that matter? Don't speak to me of hideous Shari'a. Speak to me of the Assize of Novel Disseisin, Mort d'Ancestor, Darrein Presentment. There. That's better.
No, it hasn't worked, all those arguments, full of well-grounded appeals to history, to Islamic doctrine, to the sectarian, ethnic, and economic divisions within, and among, Muslim states, that cry out for exploitation by Infidels who recognize the need to divide and demorallize the Camp of Islam, and to buy time to educate the Western public.
It hasn't had much appeal. The time for it is coming, but is not yet there.
Meanwhile, we've run out of money. Everyone, including those who have no idea what such terms as "Jihad" and "Dhimmi" and "Jizyah" and "Dhimmi" may mean, and have no sense of Islam as a Total Belief-System that inculcates the idea that permanent war between Muslim and Believer is required of the former, until the latter submits, and all obstacles everywhere in the world to the spread, and the dominance, of Islam are removed.
That's just caviar to the general.
So let's stick to something everyone can understand.
The current strategy -- in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in god-knows-where --is wrong because it is based on a failure to grasp the nature of Islam, failure to read and study its texts, failure to understand the attitudes of Muslims, especially in the West, failure to understand the atmospherics of Muslim states, societies, communities, families.
But we will leave, one hopes, both Iraq and Afghanistan not because there is widespread recognition of the wrongness of that strategy. Too many people voted for it. Too many people cheered it on. Too many officers convinced themselves it all made sense. Too many soldiers and Marines fought for what turns out to have been a vain strategy, and the thought that they did so, and that some of their friends died to further this vain strategy, is too painful for them to accept, so some of them at this point still don't.
But everyone understands that gigantic sums have been spent in Iraq and Afghanistan, to keep those countries whole, and to make them prosperous. It was idiocy. And idiotic too are all the sums spent - squandered -- on treacherous, evil Pakistan, and hopeless Yemen, and preposterously self-important Egypt, and sly little (only four times the size of mighty Israel, that Colossus) Jordan, and the perennially demanding, whining, threatening Arabs of Gaza (the Fast Jihadists of Hamas) and of "the West Bank" (the Slow Jihadists of Fatah, quondam PLO).
We are flat broke. And Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the U.A.E., Qatar, each have many hundreds of billions piled up, with more every day. Let them pay for their Muslims and Arabs. Or not. What do we care? Why should we want to delay the day when Arabs and Muslims are forced to recognize their own wretchedness, their political and economic and social failures, their intellectual and moral backwardness, all of it attirbutable to Islam? Why keep sending them money, and putting off the Day of Recognition, that salutary nagnorisis?
Argumentum Ad Pecuniam. Right now, it hits the spot.
D'après le rapport parlementaire qui dévoile ce chiffre, les efforts du gouvernement pour lutter contre le phénomène sont encore insuffisants. Le sujet sera au cœur des discussions du Conseil des ministres mercredi.
Début juin, le ministre du Travail Xavier Bertrand estimait à «plusieurs milliards d'euros» le montant des fraudes sociales et des abus annuels, détectés ou non. Ce mardi, un rapport parlementaire publié par l'AFP donne un chiffre un peu plus précis : plus de 20 milliards d'euros. «Soit 44 fois plus que la fraude actuellement détectée», écrit le rapporteur des travaux de la Mission d'évaluation des comptes de la sécurité sociale (Mecss) de l'Assemblée nationale, Dominique Tian, député UMP des Bouches-du-Rhône.
Effectivement, la Mecss, qui a procédé depuis près d'un an à 28 auditions et six déplacements dans les régions, avait détecté l'an dernier 458 millions d'euros de fraudes. Le parlementaire se dit «convaincu que la fraude sociale représente des montants financiers bien plus importants que ce que les premières évaluations réalisées laissent supposer».
«Entre 10% et 12% d'entreprises sont en infraction»
Concrètement, le rapport évalue la fraude aux prélèvements (cotisations patronales et salariales non versées en raison du travail au noir) entre 8 et 15,8 milliards et celles aux prestations (indemnités d'arrêts maladie, allocations familiales, RSA etc..) entre 2 et 3 milliards. Pour ce qui est travail illégal, l'élu UMP juge que «la pratique est courante, pour ne pas dire banalisée, dans certains secteurs de l'économie». Selon lui, «entre 10% et 12% d'entreprises sont en infraction et entre 5% et 7% de salariés ne sont pas déclarés». Le rapport s'inquiète aussi du développement d'«escroqueries organisées par des réseaux de fraudeurs».
Tout en soulignant les efforts du gouvernement en matière de lutte, le rapport pointe du doigt des résultats «insuffisants». Ses auteurs soulignent notamment que «l'ampleur des déficits sociaux et la volonté de mieux maîtriser la dépense publique rendent nécessaire un meilleur contrôle de la dépense sociale». Et de citer l'exemple de plusieurs pays européens qui se sont déjà engagés dans cette voie, notamment le Royaume-Uni et l'Allemagne.
Une carte Vitale biométrique
Le rapport, qui fait 53 propositions, recommande d' «améliorer le pilotage par l'État de la politique de lutte contre la fraude sociale» et de simplifier le «cadre juridique». La Mecss préconise de «rétablir le face-à-face pour la constitution de dossiers initiaux de demandes de prestations sociales et pour lesquels les téléprocédures facilitent la fraude». Elle demande également une carte Vitale biométrique, à durée limitée, «qui contiendrait l'ensemble des données de sécurité sociale de l'assuré» et qui serait délivrée par les mairies, comme pour les passeports ou les cartes d'identité.
Pour mieux «cibler les publics fraudeurs», le rapport encourage également la généralisation du «Data Mining», ou exploration des données, qui consiste à croiser de multiples données venant de différentes sources. Les organismes sociaux qui peuvent désormais échanger des informations avec le fisc ou les banques vont bénéficier d'ici la fin 2011 d'un Répertoire national commun de la protection sociale (RNCPS) qui permettra de repérer des prestations incompatibles dans différentes branches.
En matière d'arrêts maladie abusifs, le rapport suggère de développer les «contre-visites» dans le privé et ce qui serait nouveau, chez les fonctionnaires.
Des primes de «présentéisme»
Enfin, pour lutter contre l'absentéisme, le rapport suggère «le principe des primes de présentéisme» à l'image de ce qu'ont fait les hôpitaux de Marseille, en accordant 219 euros bruts aux agents n'ayant aucune absence dans l'année. «Cette politique, à certains égards désolante, a eu un effet immédiat puisque le taux d'abstentéisme a reculé de 0,5% en 2010», alors qu'il a augmenté dans les autres hôpitaux, selon le rapport.
Pour sa part, le gouvernement doit mercredi, en Conseil des ministres, faire le point sur son action en matière de lutte contre les fraudes sociales, avec des communications du ministre du Budget, François Baroin, du ministre du Travail et de la Santé, Xavier Bertrand, et de la ministre des Solidarités, Roselyne Bachelot.
Leo Rennert On Yelena Bonner, Andrey Sakharov, And The Washington Post Obituary
Yelena Bonner, who died at age 88, and her late husband, Nobel Peace laureate Andrei Sakharov, were the leaders of a small band of heroic Russian dissidents who risked life, limb and social status in their unrelenting fight against the Soviet regime in the 1970s and 1980s. They were exiled to Gorky, 250 miles from Moscow, but even then continued their campaign against Soviet repression. In the eyes of sympathizers around the world, Bonner was the real face of the dissident movement.
Bonner and Sakharov were equally outspoken in their denunciation of anti-Semitism in the Soviet Union and elsewhere. And they made no bones about the fact that antisemitism and attacks to defame and delegitimize Israel were closely linked.
In its June 20 edition, the Washington Post runs an extensive obit of Bonner by Kevin Klose and Emma Brown ("Yelena G. Bonner, 88 -- Activist, Sakharov's widow was lifelong critic of Russia" page B-5).
While Klose and Brown rightly credit Bonner and Sakharov for their courageous battle against Soviet totalitarianism, they totally ignore their equally outspoken opposition to rampant anti-Semitism and to spreading attempts in the West to undercut Israel's security with spurious "peace" plans and pressures to make suicidal concessions to the Palestinians.
As a result, Post readers wouldn't know Sakharvov's insistence on "safe borders" for the Jewish state and his declaration that "all the wars that Israel has waged have been just, forced upon it by the irresponsibility of Arab leaders." Nor would they be able to read about his indictment of the Arab world for refusing to absorb hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees -- "With all the money that has been invested in the problems of Palestinians, it would have been possible long ago to resettle them and provide them with good lives in Arab countries."
As for Bonner, the Post article at a minimum should have noted her address to the Oslo Freedom Forum two years ago, which demonstrated that, even at her advanced age, she had lost none of her feistiness in defending Israel and exposing anti-Semitism.
Oslo was the perfect venue for Bonner's speech, which she intended for worldwide consumption. As she noted, it was a return engagement for her earlier visit in 1975 when she accepted her husband's Nobel Prize because Soviet leaders wouldn't permit him to be there in person.
Taking full advantage of the platform afforded her, she sounded a ringing alarm about "anti-Semitism and anti-Israel sentiment growing throughtout Europe and even further afield."
She lashed out at fellow human-rights activists, demanding to know "Why doesn't the fate of the Israeli soldier Gild Shalit trouble you in the same way as the fate of the Guantanamo prisoners? During the years Shalit has been held by terrorists, the world human rights community has done nothing for his release. The real step towrd peace must become the release of Shalit. Relese -- not exchange for 1,000 or 1,5000 prisoners who are in Israeli prisons serving court sentences for real crimes.:''
And then she really unloaded: "To my question of why human rights activists are silent, I can find no answer except that Shalit is an Israeli soldier. Shalit is a Jew. So again, it is conscious or unconscious antisemitism."
Speaking directly to an Oslo audience closely connect with Nobel Peace Prize awards, she didn't spare them either -- "At one time, the Nobel Peace Prize was the highest moral award of our civilization. But after December 1994, when Yasir Arafat became one of the three new laureates, its ethical value was undermined. I haven't always greeted each selection of the Nobel Committee of the Norwegian Storting with joy, but that one shocked me. And to this day, I cannot understand and accept the fact that Andrei Sakharov and Yasir Arafat, now posthumously, share membership in the club of Nobel laureates."
She ended her speech by reflecting that 34 years earlier, when she accepted Sakharov's prize, she was filled with joy, adding: Today, I feel Alarm and Hope" -- the former about spreading antisemitism and anti-Israel campaigns; the latter because "I hope that countries, their leaders, and people everywhere will recall and adopt Sakharov's ethical credo: "In the end, the moral choice turns out to be also the most pragmatic choice."
The Washington Post and the two by-liners on the Bonner obit -- Kevin Klose and Emma Brown -- should be ashamed for excising this sterling human-right chapter in the life of Yelena Bonner.
Noearly 20 Billion Unaccounted For In Iraq, But Iraq Calls It Iraqi Money And What's More, Has Already Blamed The Americans
Missing Iraq cash 'as high as $18bn'
Iraq's parliament speaker tells Al Jazeera unaccounted reconstruction money is three times the reported $6.6bn.
19 Jun 2011 07:08
Osama al-Nujaifi, the Iraqi parliament speaker, has told Al Jazeera that the amount of Iraqi money unaccounted for by the US is $18.7bn - three times more than the reported $6.6bn. ["Iraqi money" -- "unaccounted for by the U.S." -- what intolerable gall]
Just before departing for a visit to the US, al-Nujaifi said that he has received a report this week based on information from US and Iraqi auditors that the amount of money withdrawn from a fund from Iraqi oil proceeds, but unaccounted for, is much more than the $6.6bn reported missing last week.
"There is a lot of money missing during the first American administration of Iraqi money in the first year of occupation.
"Iraq's development fund has lost around $18bn of Iraqi money in these operations - their location is unknown. Also missing are the documents of expenditure.
"I think it will be discussed soon. There should be an answer to where has Iraqi money gone."
The Bush administration flew in a total of $20bn in cash into the country in 2004. This was money that had come from Iraqi oil sales, surplus funds from the UN oil-for-food programme and seized Iraqi assets. [what about American aid? and American cancellation of Iraqi debt? Al Jazeera is being wildly inaccurate here]
Officials in Iraq were supposed to give out the money to Iraqi ministries and US contractors, intended for the reconstruction of the country.
The Los Angeles Times reported last week that Iraqi officials argue that the US government was supposed to safeguard the stash under a 2004 legal agreement it signed with Iraq, hence making Washington responsible for the cash that has disappeared.
Pentagon officials have contended for the last six years that they could account for the money if given enough time to track down the records.
The US has audited the money three times, but has still not been able to say exactly where it went.
Al Jazeera's Iraq correspondent, Jane Arraf, reporting from Baghdad, said: "It's an absolutely astonishing figure - this goes back to 2003 and 2004.
"There is going to be a fairly wide net cast - some of them [involved in mishandling of this money] are thought to be US officials, but many here believe that it is the Iraqis who have filled their pockets.
"Safeguarding the money was up to the Americans ... after the invasion, provisional authority here was run by the American military.
"Piles and piles of shrink-wrapped US dollars came here, but the cash coming in is not the important part - it is what happened to it after [it got here]. [it's "the important part" for Americans, whose money -- pace Al Jazeera above, it largely was]
"There are no documents to indicate who got it, where it was spent and what was ever built from it."
Australia: Dhimmi Judge Lets Lying Burka Babe Off the Hook
This story is as infuriating, in its way, as Defence Minister Stephen Smith's refusal to see the blooming obvious in the case of the Afghan National Army recruit who took murderous pot-shots at his non-Muslim Australian 'colleague'.
Readers here may recall the case of an Australian female convert to Islam, one Carnita Matthews, who was originally tried and convicted to six months' jail after it was discovered she had made a false statutory declaration (that is, she accused a police officer of being 'racist' and of having forcibly removed her burqa, but the cop's car-cam showed clearly that what the stat dec said he'd done to her, and what he had in fact done, were two entirely different things).
But she appealed; and now a clueless judge, claiming that because the woman who made the stat dec was fully veiled there is doubt as to whether that woman was Ms Mathews, has granted that appeal. This decision being greeted by much Allahu-akbaring from a squad of aggressive and arrogant Mohammedan males who escorted Ms Matthews to the court and out of it. Makes me wonder whether the whole thing was a set-up from the beginning.
Anyway, here is the latest installment in this appalling story, as reported by the ABC, by Channel 9, and by Sydney's Daily Telegraph. I include the additional reports as it is instructive to see what the ABC leaves out. It is also instructive to compare the headlines.
The DT report also reveals to us that Ms Matthews has been caught flouting road regs no less than six times previously. She may be a convert to Islam but she has all the contempt for non-Muslim law and for non-Muslim persons that one sees in the Muslim born-and-bred. - CM
'A Sydney woman (sic: a Sydney Muslim woman - CM) sentenced to jail for accusing a police officer of trying to remove her burka has won her appeal.
'Carnita Matthews (I wonder what her new 'Muslim' name is? - CM) was found guilty in June last year of making a false statement.
'Ms Matthews was sentenced to six months' jail after she accused the officer of forcibly trying to remove her veil during a random breath test in Sydney.
'He fined her for not displaying her P-plates properly and she accused him of being racist.
What race is Islam, again? This is really getting old. - CM
'A District Court judge has upheld an appeal against the guilty verdict because of doubts about who had made the written complaint about the incident which was central to the case.
Because, as you will see from the other news report, she never took off her Slave Mask and Sack whilst making the stat dec...And presumably, had the guy at the cop shop where she made that declaration, politely requested that she remove her Slave Mask so he could verify her identity, and told her that he would not accept the declaration without her doing this, there would have been more screams of 'raacist! bigot! hater!'...And what would have happened if, supposing she would not unveil, he had insisted that she be fingerprinted?- CM
'The judge found the prosecutiion could not prove that she knowingly made a false complaint and whether it was actually her who signed off on it.
'Her lawyer Stephen Hopper says she is pleased with the outcome.
I'll bet she is, lying, scheming, nasty little Muslimah that she is. Her legal Jihad has paid off nicely. - CM
"Carnita's feeling very relieved. She's glad it's all over. It's been a harrowing experience, particularly that a lady (sic: I would not call her a 'lady', myself - CM) who has had no prior convictions (not anything that landed her in jail, yes; but she isn't exactly what one would call a model road-user, to judge from the Daily Telegraph piece linked below - CM) was sentenced at the first instance to six months in jail", he said.
Making a false statement about a police officer is a serious offence, and this creature has gotten off on the slimmest of technicalities; what is more, a technicality only made possible, in the first place, by the highly anti-social act of wearing a mask that conceals her identity in public. - CM
"Clearly there was an issue relating to the identity of the person who signed the statutory declaration."...
Yes, and if you can't see that this sets a very nasty precedent, you're an idiot, Mr Hopper.. and Judge Jeffreys, too. I suggest that in future any be-burka'd Muslimah who shows up at a cop shop to make a statutory declaration should be requested and required to remove her Slave Mask for verification of identity, first up, no ifs and buts. And fingerprinted, to boot..
Anyway, now for Channel 9, who provide some highly-enlightening and rather disturbing video footage.
'A Muslim woman who accused a Sydney police officer of ripping off her burqa to see her face has had her jail sentence overturned after a judge decided the woman's identity could not be verified.
'Carnita Matthews, 47, was initially sentenced to six months in jail for deliberately making a false declaration to police.
'She alleged an officer had removed her burqa to confirm her identity after pulling her over while she was driving near Campbelltown despite a police in-car camera recording that confirms the officer did no such thing.
'However Judge Clive Jeffreys said that he could not be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the woman who made the complaint to police was Mrs Matthews.
'The judge said the signatures on Mrs Matthew's license and the signature on the statement given to police were completely different.
Hmmm. But I seem to recall, that in an account of the trial a police handwriting expert argued that the signatures were identical. I wonder whether anyone thought to try checking for fingerprints on the stat dec and then comparing that with Ms Muslima's fingerprints? And if her voice was recorded on the cop cam, has anyone run a voiceprint comparison? And in any case, if someone else (swathed up in a burqa, claiming to be Ms Matthews while not in fact being Ms Matthews) made such a declaration - a maliciously false accusation - there would have to have been contact and/ or collusion between the two, since the date and time and place of the incident could only have been known to Ms Matthews. - CM
'Jeffreys added that the person who gave the statutory declaratiion to police was wearing a burqa at the time, making it difficult to confirm that the person making the declaration was in fact Mrs Matthews.
And that is a good and sufficient argument for the imposition of a burqa ban, Australia-wide. - CM
'Mrs Matthews' victory was marred by violent scenes outside the local Downing Centre courts, where a large group of her supporters clashed with (sic: attacked - CM) police and media.
Emboldened by the Judge's perceived capitulation, the Muslims attacked at once. And none of them were arrested for it? - CM
'The largely male group chanted "Allah Akhbar" as they fanned out of the court in a tight group around Mrs Mathews.
I wonder whether this whole thing was a set-up from the beginning? - CM
'Mrs Matthews' lawyer, Stephen Hopper, said, "Carnita's feeling very relieved. She's glad it's all over. It's been a harrowing experience".
And those of us in Australia who know about Islam, and its modus operandi, would describe this saga not as 'harrowing' but as simply infuriating. - CM
The Daily Telegraph has some more, and the information about her prior record of less than stellar driver behaviour.
(The second link will allow you to read the 158 'reader comments' made so far) - CM.
'Carnita Matthews, accused of making a false statement, has history of not paying fines'
'The woman at the centre of the burqa row, Carnita Matthews, has a long record of driving offences and a history of not paying her fines.
'Court documents have revealed that she had been fined seven times for traffic infringements before she was stopped by police in June last year for not displaying her P-plates in the incident that sparked the row that spilled over to the District Court yesterday.
'Since she first received her learner licence in 1998 at the age of 33, she has twice had her provisional licence suspended for totting up too many demerit points and twice had her licence suspended for non-payment of fines.
'The State Debt Recovery Office had to recover the fines. Both of those two suspensions for non-payment of fines were later lifted.'
I wonder how she wangled that? But...what a piece of work she must be. - CM
'It is not known how many times she was physically stopped by police and whether she had her face covered by a burqa or niqab on those occasions. A number of times she was caught on camera speeding and disobeying traffic lights.
'After being stopped by police last year for not displaying her P-plates, Ms Matthews was ordered to pay $278 in fines and court costs.
'She claimed on Channel Seven and allegedly in a statutory declaration to Campbelltown police that the officer who stopped her had attempted to tear the burqa off her face, a claim that was proven untrue by the police patrol car video camera.
'A magistrate last year found her guilty of making a deliberately false statement and sentenced her to jail for six months. Ms Matthews appealed, saying there was no proof she was the person in the burqa making the statement and Judge Clive Jeffreys in the District Court yesterday upheld her appeal.
But she also made the claim in public, on Channel 7. Does she deny that, too? And is the wording of the stat dec similar to the wording of her accusation as made on TV? - CM
'The news comes as women wearing a burqa may be ordered to remove it to identify themselves in the wake of the Carnita Matthews case.
Yes. This is the least that can and should be done, as soon as possible. - CM
'Police Minister Mike Gallacher has revealed that police do not currently have the legal power to require women to show their face if the women refuse on religious or cultural grounds.
If you are caught flouting the traffic regs...or committing a crime, say, such as shop-lifting, then you should damn well be required to show your face to the Law, then and there. - CM
'He said he wanted the law tightened up.
Yes. About time it was. - CM
'"Police powers in relation to face coverings are not clear", Mr Gallacher said. "It's time to address that."
He said he had spoken to rank and file police who wanted the situation clarified.
I wonder how many of them, too, have had unpleasant run-ins with masked witches like Ms Matthews? - CM
'Any decision on whether to appeal the controversial judgment by Judge Clive Jeffreys would not be made until after the judge hands down the reason for his decision which is expected tomorrow.
'The government is also considering passing new laws requiring people who make complaints against police, or in the case of witnesses giving evidence, to have to provide at least one fingerprint and their signature.
'This follows the finding by the judge that he could not be certain that it was Ms Matthews who made the statutory declaration complaining about the officer who stopped her car, because the person who handed the document in to the police station wore a burqa.
"Mr Gallacher said he was waiting until Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione returned next week to discuss exactly what needed to be done.
'He said he did not expect this to inflame community anger (that is, NON-MUSLIM community anger - CM) about women wearing full face coverings.
News flash, Mr Gallacher: to judge from the tone of the 158 or more comments that rapidly appeared in response to one of the online news reports about this extraordinary judgment, many non-Muslim Australians are simply furious. - CM
'He said he had been told that there was nothing in Muslim culture or religion that stopped women from identifying themselves in certain circumstances.
Suure, that's what he's been told. But why, then, all those allahu-akhbars when the case went Ms Matthews' way? - CM
'Yesterday, Ms Matthews avoided jail because her identity could not be proven.
'Mrs Matthews, 47, from Woodbine in Sydney's southwest (a heavily-Islamised area of Sydney - CM) had been sentenced to six months in jail for making a deliberately false statement that a policeman tried to forcibly remove her burqa because he was a racist.
'But Judge Clive Jeffreys said yesterday he was not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was Mrs Matthews who made the racism accusation because the person who complained to the police was wearing a burqa at the time.
'The absurdity of the law is that, to reach the level of proof of identity to make the case, Mrs Matthews would have been required to identify herself by lifting her burqa at the police station - what started the uproar in the first place.
'More than a dozen Muslim supporters linked arms and began chanting :Allah akbar' as they stormed out of Downing Centre Court with Mrs Matthews concealed behind them.
'Tempers rose and they began jostling with police after several members of the group attacked cameramen.
Why were they not arrested then and there? - CM
'It marked a stark difference from their behaviour minutes earlier, when they had quietly assembled outside the lifts for prayer shortly after the judge's decision.
No, they were just psyching themselves up. And now for an extraordinary statement by the Muslimah's dhimmi lawyer..-CM
'Mrs Matthew's lawyer Stephen Hopper defended their actions saying: "They are obviously happy with the result and are expressing it in a way that is culturally appropriate to them".
By attacking cameramen and 'jostling' with police? Good god, Mr Hopper, do you realize what you're saying? That 'celebrating' by breaking the law is 'culturally appropriate'? - CM
'Judge Jeffreys said yesterday that even if Mrs Matthews had made the complaint, he could not be sure she knew it was a "false" statement.
"I am not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that she made the complaint", he said.
"Even if I was satisfied that she made the complaint, I am not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it was knowingly false".
Except, of course, that the account in the stat dec and the exchange featured in the cop car cam bear absolutely no resemblance at all to one another in any particular. She said he tried to rip off her burqa. He did no such thing; he did not lay a finger on her. - CM
'Mrs Matthews made the claim in her court appearance last year, saying police could not prove it was her behind the burqa when the complaint was handed in to police. The local magistrate rejected it.
'The case had lit up the religious debate when a magistrate found Mrs Matthews had deliberately made false complaints that Sergeant Paul Kearney was racist and had attempted to tear her burqa off her face when she declined to remove it on request.
'She was pulled over for a random breath test last June, and accused Sgt Kearney of racism only after he booked her for failing to properly display her P-plates.
'The incident was captured on a patrol car video camera and helped clear Sgt Kearney, prompting calls for all police cars to carry in-built cameras to avoid false claims.
"I've got my P-plates on my car...there was nothing wrong with how they were displayed", Mrs Matthews says on the video. "You look at me and see me wearing this and you couldn't handle it. All cops are racist." She then threatens "100 per cent" that she will take the matter to court and fight the charge.
'France was the first country in Europe to implement a full ban on covering up faces in public.
'France's burqa ban descended into farce when the first women to be summoned before a European court for illegally wearing the garments were refused entry, because they would not remove their face coverings.
Anyone who refuses to show their face to the law, is up to no good. That is true of those two Muslim females in France, and it is equally true of Ms Muslima Matthews.
Post scriptum. I encourage people to click on the Daily Telegraph link above, and read the comments. This unedifying saga has not escaped the notice of ordinary non-Muslim Aussies, and they are putting two and two together. I think, judging from the fact that the majority of commenters were demanding a burqa ban, that if one of the main parties could screw up the courage to make such a ban part of their party platform at the next election, they would be in on a landslide.
And as for community anger (the non-Muslim kind) it is well and truly boiling.
Here is Maurie L of Port Macquarie, stating "What really made me angry is the sight of a QC DEFENDING the lousy liar. Then saying the anger-smitten mob were just displaying their joy at the verdict. Looked like they were wanting to fight everyone, to me". 'Is this for real?' remarks sarcastically, "That's why they don't allow women to drive in Saudi Arabia".
'Paul - Two laws, one nation', of North Sydney, wrote - "One law for Aussies and one law for Muslims? how does that work? It's no wonder that Muslims in Australia have a bad name when you see the ratbag outburst outside the court by these loonies who think they have a right to usurp Australian Law and then brag about it. She should have been locked up as originally sentenced...".
Floyd of Sydney added some useful additional information, presumably gleaned from local news last year. He describes "the media circus that these people created when they attended, yes, attended the local station in person to make the complaint. She was even flanked by none other than Mamdou Habib [And he has form, as regards Muslim lawfare. - CM]. So the issue here is, not that an anonymous complaint was made claiming to be her, but whether or not her identification was checked at the police station at the time of the complaint...".
And Ben of Melbourne observed sarcastically - "So it was her because she made the complaint, but it wasn't her because she wore a mask? - Mandatory drug testing of judges, please".
I'm afraid one is rather inclined to wonder whether somebody nobbled the Judge.- CM.