City officials on Thursday recommended sensitivity training for all city inspectors of taxis, limousines and wrecker services after one of them said in an interview that most of the city’s drivers are Muslim and “a lot of them blow up places.”
I imagine this "sensitivity training" will be put on by Muslims, dictating the proper respect they are due from kafirs because they are Muslim.
In a report released for the first time at the city’s Transportation and Licensing Commission meeting, Metro’s Department of Human Resources also confirmed allegations that inspectors had illegally carried firearms and police badges while on duty, giving motorists the impression that they were police officers.
Not "motorists," but taxi drivers they were pulling over for inspection.
No decisions were made based on the report, which the commission requested after city Police Chief Steve Anderson accused inspectors of using badges, guns and blue lights in the course of their work. The commission’s executive director, Brian McQuistion, had not seen the report before Thursday’s meeting.
But it confirmed much of what Anderson had alleged.
“In this case, there were some considerable missteps that could have been avoided with greater communication with the Metro Police Department, TLC staff, the Metro Legal Department, and the Metro Human Resources Department,” the report said.
All three commission inspectors admitted to carrying firearms while on duty, which investigators found was a violation of civil service policy. After those practices came to light in April, McQuistion said, that practice ended.
But McQuistion himself also received criticism.
“It is reasonable to believe that inspectors believed they were authorized to carry their personal firearms absent further instructions from Director McQuistion,” the report said. “While Director McQuistion made some effort to understand the requirements to obtain a Police Commission (required for firearm use), he did not exercise the due diligence required for such a significant responsibility.”
Would you want to be completely defenseless while pulling over Muslim cabbies most of whom are Somalis?
The investigation also found that inspectors used police badges indicating they were police officers. McQuistion said those badges had been turned in and are no longer in use.
Two of the inspectors admitted to having police lights in vehicles they had used previously, but said the vehicles they use now don’t have them.
The recommendation for sensitivity training for all commission employees, including McQuistion, stemmed from comments one of the inspectors made when he was interviewed.
“One inspector explained that they had 98 or 99 percent of foreign drivers and most were Muslim. He said they did not mind ‘taking you with them,’ ” the report said.
The same inspector told investigators that “a lot of them blew up places,” an unfounded allegation for which no evidence was offered.
No evidence??!! Read the newspapers - any that is but The Tennessean.
Human resources department officials noted “a heightened anxiety” among the inspectors “due to the culturally diverse population that they deal with on a consistent basis.”
Can you blame them? These people aren't Quakers. Somali Muslims aren't an exotic equivalent of the Amish.
The report suggested that all employees of the commission, including McQuistion, would benefit from training in diversity awareness.
“Having a better understanding and respect for various cultures is fundamental to effect working relationships with constituents, will help foster good will, and support the continued safety of inspectors and the community,” the report said.
When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, I'm pretty sure it was called "The Lebanon". Now it's just plain "Lebanon". What happened to the The? Has some other country got it? Did The Gambia steal it to keep as a back-up?
When I visited that country in 2001, I remember being amused by a packet of disposable nappies made by Procter and Gamble, called "Oui Oui!" Well, I'm easily pleased. At that time I think Lebanon still had its "The", but it was hanging on by a thread.
Truth is the first casualty of war. Definite articles may be the second.
Dot Wordsworth has something to say about the the in this week's Spectator (or this week's The Spectator if you must):
‘How do you stand on the the?’ asked my husband. ‘The the?’ ‘Yes, the the.’ We could have gone on all morning, but the phone went, a so-called opinion survey. By the time I had sent them (or him) away with a flea in his ear, my husband had drifted off.
The the in question was the one before Albany, the Regency sets of rooms off Piccadilly that the rich, impatient Alan Clark characterised as possessing ‘cold and miserable squalor’. Most people call it ‘the Albany’, despite snobby objections. If it had retained the name Albany House, there would have been no problem. Dickens referred to it as ‘Albany’, but that was in Our Mutual Friend, a novel with a solecism for a title. ‘The Premises,’ said the articles of agreement, in 1804, ‘shall be called Albany’. That stopped no one. But the real objection, suggests the Survey of London, came in the 1890s (according to Cyril Ray, the club-man, in a letter to the Guardian in 1956) from owners of rooms, such as the influential William Stone, who feared it sounded like a public house without the the.The definite article is definitely troublesome. What of MCC? Again the snobs eschew the article. Yet a plaque in Dorset Square records the founding there in 1787 of ‘the MCC’. Or Guildhall? Its website is resolute in rejecting the article; the vox of the populi who compile Wikipedia are just as resolute in embracing it.
The Strand (as we all call it) has ‘Strand’ on the street sign. The King’s Road has Kings Road, with no apostrophe (another tangle, which we have probed gingerly before, from King’s Cross to Earls Court).
There used to be a weakness for attaching the to the names of some countries (the Lebanon, the Sudan). The Gambia, however, is often curtailed to Gambia. I suppose its article came from the river after which it is named. That country exemplifies the difficulty too of capitalising a definite article that is not italicised. (The Spectator rejoices in its article, except when it chooses not to.) Some, as Jennifer’s Diary used to, capitalise The Queen out of respect. I can’t see that it adds much majesty, even in a jubilee year.
Inshallah fatalism meets management gibberish with a new cliché that has cascaded up the learning curve and looped back going forward. That cliché is: "We are where we are."
Senior management at my workplace use it after they have made catastrophic mistakes, as if that catastrophe were a cruel act of fate rather than an eminently foreseeable act of man. "What can you do?" they shrug. "We are where we are." Politicians use it. Eurocrats will soon be using it about the predictable and utterly avoidable disaster that is monetary union. And sooner or later, if nothing is done to reverse the tide of Muslim immigration, we will be where we will be, inshallah.
Islam is here to stay? We are where we are? You can't turn back the clock?
No it isn't. Let's get out of it. It's a race against time.
Bloodless bean-counters rule over us â€“ where are the leaders?
Talking of mangement, Charles Moore wrote a good piece for The Telegraph a few weeks ago, which I meant to post:
Recently, a man got in touch with me who works for the defence services contractor QinetiQ. He wanted to complain about the way it was run. The company, in his view, suffers from “managerialism”.
Managerialists, he says, are “a group who consider themselves separate from the organisations they join”. They are not interested in the content of the work their organisation performs. They are a caste of people who think they know how to manage. They have studied “The 24-hour MBA”. There is a clear benefit from their management, for them: they arrange their own very high salaries and bonuses. Then they can leave quickly with something that looks good on the CV. The benefit to the company is less clear.
I also spoke to a former senior employee of QinetiQ. He corroborated my informant’s points with gusto. He said managerialists were particularly unsuited to industries such as QinetiQ’s, where scientific knowledge is all. He put it simply: “People who are making bits of technology, or servicing them, should know about technology.”
Skills are not infinitely transferable. “You used to be the editor of a broadsheet newspaper,” he said to me. “How do you think a former chief executive of Ford would perform if he suddenly came and edited a national title?” (or, he politely didn’t say, if the reverse were to happen).
The lack of knowledge at the top of a firm obviously creates a practical problem – “You don’t have people to get under the bonnet. They can only kick the tyres and change the oil.” They don’t understand the needs of the core customer. It also, in his view, creates a moral problem. The workers cannot respect their bosses. Management becomes “not symbiotic, but parasitic”.
I do not know whether these men are right about QinetiQ. I have no experience of the company and no technical expertise. One must also allow for the fact that, in any organisation, there are people with axes to grind. But I did find the way they talked striking. It seemed to accord with so many things I hear about life in so many organisations.
It is a big complaint, for example, about the modern National Health Service. Nowadays, on the dubious principle that all businesses and services are essentially the same, managers are a non-medical breed. The effect can be laughable. I heard of a case in which the managers told the doctors in a big hospital to save money by sending all their instruments away to a centralised off-site sterilising unit. Fine, said one mischievous consultant, but in that case may I have a second set of instruments so that I can work on my patients in emergencies? The managers, having no idea about his instruments, thought he probably could. “That’ll be £2 million then,” he said.
Comparable problems afflict the Armed Forces. They have fought several wars in the past 15 years, dealing with a Ministry of Defence staffed by people who know nothing about war. More generally in the Civil Service, it has become common to reduce specialist skills – language training in the Foreign Office, for example – and to move able people around from department to department. The present permanent secretary of the Home Office had never worked there before she took her present post at the beginning of last year. Since it is a department of fantastic complexity, it is perhaps not surprising that it has recently taken a series of tumbles on such issues as deportations and borders.
You find this hollowing-out everywhere. In schools, the head who does not teach is now a familiar, indeed dominant figure. University vice-chancellors, instead of being dons who move from their subject into administration for a period of their lives, are now virtually lifelong managers, with hugely increased salaries to match. It is even commonplace for charities to be run by people with no commitment to the charity’s specific purpose, but proud possession of what they call the necessary “skill-sets”, such as corporate governance.
With the rise of the managerialist comes a special language – a weird combination of semi-spiritual banality (“unlocking energies”), euphemism, and legalese. If you want to see the difference between people steeped in their trade and people steeped in managerialism, compare the testimony, at the Leveson Inquiry, of the Murdochs, father and son. The wicked old man spoke in the language, simultaneously sharp and blunt, of people who know and run their business. The evasive son adopted the locutions taught in business-school courses, honed by big law firms, footnoted by anxious compliance officers.
My friend at QinetiQ draws my attention to some of the usages which predominate where managerialism rules. The system of internal communications becomes a platform not for sharing knowledge but for propaganda. Human Resources invent things like the Personal Improvement Programme, which is really a means of punishing staff. “Consultation”, he says, is a word meaning that managerialists “tell you what they are going to do, 30 days before they do it”.
These habits are now pervasive across industry and the public services. “Diversity” is always “celebrated”, but it never means diversity of thought. The people who tell you they are “passionate about” X or Y are usually the most bloodless ones in the outfit.
In such cultures, just as the experts, the professionals and the technicians bitterly resent the managerialists for neither understanding nor caring, so the managerialists secretly detest the professionals who, they believe, get in the way of their rationalisations. They are desperate to “let go” of such people. Very unhappy organisations result.
A few weeks ago, after Dr Rowan Williams had given notice of his retirement as Archbishop of Canterbury, there was a story about his potential successor, Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. Dr Sentamu’s critics, apparently, had been saying that he was too much like an African tribal chief. Friends of Dr Sentamu were angry at what they saw as a racial slur.
But it struck me that the qualities of a tribal chief are now shockingly rare in big modern organisations. They might be just the job, and not only for the poor old C of E. The point about a tribe is that it unites its members by ties that are very hard to break. Tribalism, for sure, can be a bad thing, but a tribe understands matters of life and death. It recognises the importance of yesterday and tomorrow as much as today. It maintains the interest of the whole over that of a particular part. The chief of the tribe is not a manager: he is a leader.
No one sensible thinks that a large organisation can exist without being managed. Old stagers in companies, regiments, professions and, in my own experience, newspapers, easily over-romanticise their achievements and are unfair about the poor “bean-counters” who make the sums add up. But management should not dominate. As Lord Slim, who brilliantly led the British Army through the Burma campaign, put it: “Managers are necessary; leaders are essential.” We now have unprecedented numbers of the former, not so many of the latter.
Because, since the credit crunch, Everything Is Different Now, this problem is causing real social division. It explains much of the rage about executive pay. It is not so much the numerical difference between the top and the bottom which causes the anger, as the sense about why that difference exists. It has been arranged by the managerialists. It may even be the chief purpose of the managerialists’ working lives, as they edge towards the exit with the largest portable share of the takings available.
Talking of bean-counters, how many beans are there in a hill? Or doesn't it matter?
A Muslim soldier has been convicted of plotting to blow up a Texas restaurant packed with American troops in the hope fulfilling his religious mission to get "justice" for civilians killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Jurors in deliberated a little more than an hour before finding Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo guilty of attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction, attempted murder of US officers or employees, and four counts of possessing a weapon.
Abdo, 22, did not stand with his attorneys when jurors and the judge entered the room, and he showed no emotion when each of the six guilty verdicts was read by the court clerk. Abdo, who is HIV positive and has been accused of spitting blood at his jailers, wore a mask covering his nose and mouth throughout the trial.
He told authorities he planned to put the bomb in a busy restaurant filled with soldiers, wait outside and shoot anyone who survived - and become a martyr after police killed him.
Abdo told an investigator that he didn't plan an attack inside Fort Hood because he didn't believe he would be able to get through security at the gates.
During the four-day trial, a recorded jail conversation was played for jurors in which Abdo told his mother his religion inspired his actions and he was seeking justice for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.
"Their suffering is my suffering," he said.
(He) chose Killeen because he remembered news reports of the 2009 Fort Hood shooting rampage in which a Muslim soldier is charged, according to testimony. Major Nidal Hasan faces the death penalty in the Fort Hood shootings if convicted at his trial, which starts in August.
Abdo became a Muslim when he was 17. He enlisted in the military in 2009, thinking that the service wouldn't conflict with his religious beliefs. But according to his essay that was part of his conscientious objector status application, Abdo reconsidered as he explored Islam further.
He faces up to life in prison and will be sentenced in July.
Twitter has been flooded with controversy for the last week about the RadFem2012 conference, currently booked into the Conway Hall, which announced its membership as restricted to "women born women and living as women" (it originally said "biological women", but that got changed after much mockery). This disturbed the trans community, which it is meant to exclude, but also those feminists who regard trans-exclusion as something other than radical.
One of the problems with the Internet is that it is possible for people to lock themselves further and further into a restricted mind set where they hear no other voices. On the other hand, it makes it possible for those with a strong stomach to overturn every stone and find out just what people are saying and thinking. It's clear that Jeffreys and her supporters are very hurt and disappointed that so many younger women don't agree with her – Jeffreys blames the corrupting influence of post-modernism and queer theory; "trans-critical" lawyer Cath Brennan - who uses Twitter to deride trans people's experiences and mock non-trans feminists who are their allies - is also a RadFem2012 attendee.
Of course, the trans issue is only one aspect of the conference. Its mission statement makes it clear that this is a "female-only, activism-focused conference with a radical feminist agenda". Space will not be given to anti-feminist sentiments, which is arguably another way of saying that, on most crucial issues, the party line is predetermined and that any dissent from correct "radical feminist" thinking will be stigmatised and driven out. Jeffreys makes it clear in many of her writings that post-modernism and queer theory are the enemy, and that piercing, tattooing, BDSM and role play are all pollutions of a feminism that is nothing to do with choice or preference, everything to do with commitment. Indeed, the Radical Feminist Hub, to which she contributes regularly, links to resources arguing that what it calls "penis-in-vagina" sex is a bad idea, from which women should choose to refrain.
Victor Davis Hanson, once an enthiusiast for the Iraq and Afghanistan ventures, manages to express doubts about possible American intervention in Syria without mentioning the Alawites, and the useful role they play in violently suppressing Sunni fanatics. And throughout one can detect his doubts -- but not anything remotely like a detailed mea culpa -- about the trillions spent in Iraq, Afghanistan (and, as a corollary expense, in Pakistan), and other Muslim countries that remain our enemy.
Nor is there a hint of his now understanding that the best way to deal with the Camp of Islam is not to frantically and expensively try to improve it, but to weaken the power of Islam over the minds of its adherents. And the best way to do that is to to do nothing to discourage the natural pre-existing fissures within the Camp of Islam:, sectarian (Sunni and Shi'a), ethnic (Arab contempt for, and indifference to the wellbeing of, the non-Arab Muslims), and economic (the resentment felt by the Egyptians and other oil-poor Arabs toward the fabulously rich Gulf Arabs).
Nor does Hanson, nor practically anyone else ecognize that if in the Western world, the advanced world, many begin to speak and write about all the ways that Islam itself explains the many failures -- political, economic, social, moral, and intellectual -- of Muslim states and societies, then Muslims themselves would overhear, and be unable to convincingly deny the truth of that explanation. And if we become indifferent to what happens to Muslims, or even welcome the collapse of their societies into violence and even greater despair, and certainly do not welcome them into our midst, nor allow those already in our midst to continue to put forth the most outrageous demands, and instead refuse to accommodate them in any way, we will have adopted the only strategy of self-defense that can conceivably work. If we refuse to help Muslims out, by lavishing aid on them, and allowing some of them to settle deep within our lands bringing with them Islam, undeclared, in their mental baggage, which they then proceed to unpack and to disseminate -- unlike the refugees from Nazis and Communists who spread the word as to the awfulness of the Nazis and the Communists -- we will no longer delay the day of that welcome anagnorisis, when Muslims themselves, or the more intellitgent and morally advanced among them, recognize, however unwillingly at first, the truth of the assertion that it is Islam itself that explains the permanently wretched state of Muslims, a wretchedness, in every sense, temporarily obscured by oil trillions and Infidel-aid billions.
Here's Hanson's article as it appears at National Review On-line: :
Who could not despise the tottering Bashar Assad dictatorship?
The Syrian strongman has killed some 10,000 protesters over the last year; thousands of Syrians are now refugees.
The autocracy arms and aids the terrorist organization Hezbollah. It targets democratic Israel with thousands of missiles and still does its best to ruin neighboring Lebanon.
Theocratic and terrorist-sponsoring Iran has few allies — but Syria remains its staunchest. Almost no other country over the last half-century has proved more hostile to the United States than has Syria.
With sanctions not working, and with the Chinese, Iranians, and Russians not eager to see Assad go, there is lots of talk that the United States and its allies must intervene to help the outmanned and outgunned Syrian opposition — with either arms supplies, training for insurgent groups, or air cover.
At first glance, such a humanitarian intervention seems a good idea. A well-armed insurgency might fight its way to Damascus. Or we could bomb Assad out of power the way we did Slobodan Milosevic in Serbia, or Moammar Qaddafi in Libya — and without the use of ground troops or loss of American life.
Would not the spread of the Arab Spring to Damascus be wonderful — especially given that it would weaken Iran and Shiite terrorist groups that have long killed Americans? Would not fewer die from collateral damage than in future attacks by Assad’s thugs?
But intervention, even if by air or through stealthy military assistance, requires some sort of strategy, and right now the United States does not seem to have any coherent one. We expected that post-Qaddafi Libya, and an Egypt without Hosni Mubarak, would be far better. They might be some day. But right now, emerging Islamic republics are hardly democratic. Some seem every bit as anti-American as were the dictatorships they replaced — and they could be even more intolerant of women, tribal minorities, and Christians.
The point is not that we should support only idealists who promise an Arab version of Santa Monica, but that we do not oust one monster whom we are not responsible for only to empower one just as bad whom we would be responsible for.
Our last three interventions in the Middle East offer all sorts of different lessons, but one common theme predominates: Those whom we wished to help didn’t seem to appreciate it. In Afghanistan, after a decade-long investment of blood and treasure, America is scheduled to withdraw in two years without any guarantee that Afghanistan won’t be ruled by the Taliban, as it was in 2001. Our biggest problem seems to be our Afghan friends, who keep rioting and blowing up their American partners.
We successfully removed Saddam Hussein from Iraq. And by nobly staying on with thousands of troops, we defeated an insurgency and finally birthed a constitutional system in Iraq that is still viable — but at a cost that the American public felt was not worth the eventual outcome.
In Libya, the model was to boast of United Nations approval, insert no ground troops, bomb Qaddafi, and support the insurgents. But because we far exceeded the very U.N. resolution we bragged about, we are not likely to get another such resolution for Syria. A bypassed Congress won’t want to be snubbed again in favor of the U.N. And so far the Libyan air campaign has reminded us that if we do not send in ground troops and risk casualties, we have absolutely no influence on what follows.
Since we went into Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States government has borrowed more than $9 trillion, and it is currently running serial $1 trillion deficits. We no longer pay for our wars, but instead we borrow the money from the Chinese and others who calculate how to profit better than we from the ensuing chaos.
After lots of interventions, we have learned one thing about loud Arab reformers, especially those who were educated at Western universities: They damn us for supporting their dictators; they damn us for removing them; they damn us for interfering in their affairs when we help promote democracy; and they damn us as callous when we just let them be.
These cautionary tales do not necessarily mean that we should not help the Syrian dissidents, only that we must ask ourselves: Who exactly are these guys, how much will it cost to see them win, and when it is over, will our new friends rule any more humanely and competently than the monsters that we removed?
And one final consideration: If intervening in Syria is to be a humanitarian venture, why would saving lives there be any more important than saving far more lives from far more dictators in Africa?
Tunisia After Its Spring: "Obama, We Are All Osama"
Thousands of Tunisians Salafis: "Obama, We Are All Osama"; MC Calls US President "The Ape Obama"
The following are excerpts from a rally which aired on the Internet on May 20, 2012. Crowd: “Obama, Obama, we are all Osama...” (continuous cheer, the slogan rhymes in Arabic obama, obama, kuluna osama) [...]
Speaker: “Some Tunisians and some Muslims are afraid of the jihadists
We must ask, How come?
Because the enemies have distorted the image of the jihadists, presenting them as the enemies of the Muslims.
We say: no! Every Muslim is a jihadist
Every Muslim is a jihadist [...]
The enemies of Islam want us to be like sheep, to act like women.
They want to deprive us of our will.
They plundered Palestine and other lands and holy places.
They want the jihadists behind bars
Why? So that the holy places will not be liberated?
We are all jihadists, supporting Jerusalem, and elevating the word of Allah. [...]
Let us all cry 'Allah akbar' together, so that Obama the ape can hear us. All together now!
Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Let America hear us!
Say 'Allah Akbar!' Crowd: “Allahu Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "We are coming, We are coming" Crowd: "We are coming, We are coming" Speaker: "We are coming, We are coming" Crowd: "We are coming, We are coming" Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar”
Speaker: "Hear us Obama!
Say 'Allah Akbar!'” Crowd: “Allah Akbar” (Men with covered faces do martial arts on stage in front of the crowd) Crowd: Khaybar, Khaybar, oh Jews, the army of Muhammad is returning (Slogan repeats and rhymes: jeisha Muhammad soufa y`aud) (x5) (After several minutes of demonstrating hand to hand combat, the men start demondtrating fighting with wooden swords) Speaker: "We want to convey a clear message one that will reach the heavens." Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Speaker: "Say 'Allah Akbar!'" Crowd: “Allah Akbar” Crowd: "We respond to your call, Oh Allah!" (x3)
Theresa May: "The Aim Is To Create A Really Hostile Environment For Illegal Migration""
Theresa May was talking about immigration from other European countries. But Muslim immigration, including legal immigration, constitutes a much more dangerous threat to the people and culture of Great Britain than do the most illegal of European immigrants. Why can't she, why can't anyone speak forthrightly about the need to create "a really hostile" environment for Muslim immigrants?
From The Telegraph:
The Home Office is drawing up contingency plans to cope with a possible large increase in immigration from Greece if the euro collapses.
She said "trends" were being examined to see whether immigration was rising from countries with stricken economies.
EU nationals are largely entitled to work anywhere in the single market.
If the single currency breaks up, people looking for work abroad may see Britain as an attractive alternative as it is a non-eurozone country.
Asked whether emergency immigration controls were being considered , Mrs May said: "It is right that we do some contingency planning on this [and] that is work that is ongoing."
She said there was no evidence that migration was on the rise, but it was "difficult to say how it is going to develop in coming weeks".
BBC political correspondent Robin Brandt said the government had some room for manoeuvre because there are rules in place for extreme situations which allow for some temporary restrictions on immigration.
Details of the contingency plans followed yet more turmoil in the single currency after Spain's fourth-largest bank, Bankia, asked the government for a bailout worth 19bns euros ($24bn; £15bn).
European markets fell again as the value of the euro slid.
Mrs May also told the Telegraph work is under way to deny illegal immigrants access to work, housing, services and even bank accounts.
"The aim is to create here in Britain a really hostile environment for illegal migration," she said.
"What we don't want is a situation where people think that they can come here and overstay because they're able to access everything they need."
Prime Minister David Cameron said last week the eurozone must decide soon whether it wants to stay together or break-up.
He told MPs: "If it wants to carry on as it is it has to build a proper firewall, it has to take steps to secure the weakest members or it has to work out it has to go in a different direction.
"It either has to make-up or it is looking at a potential break-up. That is the choice they have to make and it is a choice they can not long put off."
A 26-year-old Kuwaiti pleaded not guilty on Monday to charges he insulted the Prophet Mohammad and the Sunni Muslim rulers of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain on social media, the first day of a high-profile and divisive court case in the Gulf state.
Charges were brought by a civil plaintiff, who called for Shi'a Muslim Hamad al-Naqi to be put to death, saying he must be made an example of to others. The case has stoked tensions between Kuwait's Sunnis and minority Shi'as.
Naqi's lawyer asked for his client, who has been in prison since his arrest in March, to be released on bail. The judge declined the request and adjourned the trial until next week.
Sitting in a wooden and metal cage guarded by armed guards in black balaclavas at the start of the trial, a bearded, tired-looking Naqi sat quietly clasping his hands, occasionally rubbing the back of his shaved head and looking at the floor.
Wearing a blue prison uniform and glasses, Naqi was escorted from the cage to face the judge, confirmed his personal details and entered his innocent plea.
The case has caused uproar in Kuwait, where dozens of Sunni Muslim activists and lawmakers have protested against Naqi some calling for the death penalty and accusing him of links to Shi'a regional power Iran, something he has denied.
Shi'as make up about one third of Kuwait's 1.1 million nationals and vocal members can be found in senior positions in parliament, media and business.
Although Kuwait has largely avoided the sectarian violence and pro-democracy uprisings seen elsewhere in the region, it is concerned its sizeable Shi'a minority may turn restive. [or if not "restive" then possibly "volatile"]
Kuwaiti authorities have been closely watching Shi'a-led protests in Bahrain and unrest in the Eastern Province of Saudi Arabia, home to more than two million minority Shi'as.
Kuwait's parliament, where opposition Islamists have grown in influence, endorsed a legal amendment this month that would make insulting God and the Prophet Mohammad by Muslims punishable by death instead of a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail.
Naqi's lawyer and Amnesty International say the death penalty cannot be applied in the Naqi case because the alleged crime took place before the change in legislation.
But civil plaintiff Dowaem al-Mowazry, who is arguing the case against Naqi, said this was a special case.
“We will ask for the implementation of the death penalty for Naqi because he insulted Allah, the Prophet Mohammad and his companions,” he told Reuters after the opening of the trial.
“He will be an example for anyone who thinks he can do such a thing.”
Naqi has told police that he did not write the comments and that his Twitter account was hacked. His lawyer Khaled al-Shatti argued that Naqi should be granted bail because Kuwaitis charged with similar crimes had been granted it in the past.
“He denied the charges. But even if we were to imagine hypothetically that he did say something, this would be an “opinion crime”, not a crime threatening state security,” he told Reuters. - Reuters
A court in Pakistan convicted Shakeel Afridi of treason after he agreed to collect DNA for CIA to verify the presence of al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden.
WASHINGTON: A key US Senate panel has voted to impose pointed and punitive cut in aid dollars to Pakistan for its continued support to state-engineered extremism, although the country described bluntly by one lawmaker as a "terrorist state" will still get at least $ 1 billion in American taxpayer money for 2013.
Angered by a Pakistani court's sentencing of a doctor who helped the US nail Osama bin Laden to 33 years in prison (for high treason), the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday voted for a symbolic but token $ 33 million cut in aid -- a million for each year of the sentence.
The cut came on top of the panel voting to withhold nearly a billion dollars in proposed assistance subject to Pakistan re-opening Nato supply routes, although it still left more than $ 1 billion on the table for a country that has publicly castigated the US for killing a universally reviled terrorist. Further reductions have been threatened if Pakistan does not change course.
The Senate action reflected growing American anger over issues ranging from the Nato supply route stand-off to the sentencing of Dr Shakil Afridi, all of which, some US lawmakers suggest, show that Pakistan is in league with terrorists rather than with the United States.
"We need Pakistan, Pakistan needs us, but we don't need Pakistan double-dealing and not seeing the justice in bringing Osama bin Laden to an end," Lindsey Graham, a Senate Republican who pushed for the additional cut in aid said, while calling Pakistan a "schizophrenic ally."[Pakistan was not, and never could have been, an "ally" of non-Muslim America. It could inveigle America, deceive America, betray America, use America to further its own interests (as in American support for the mujahideen in Afghanistan), but Pakistan could never be an "ally" of America. If Lindsay Graham ever thought it was, it was only because he was deceiving himself].
Lawmakers on the House side have been less kind. Following the sentencing by Pakistan's pro-jihadi courts of Dr Afridi, who helped the US locate bin Laden, California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said "This is decisive proof Pakistan sees itself as being at war with us."
"There is no shared interest against Islamic terrorism," Rohrabacher maintained in a statement, contesting the bromide periodically advanced by the administration that Islamabad is an ally in the war on terror. "Pakistan was and remains a terrorist state."
These and other remarks by US lawmakers suggest that many of them, including Rohrabacher, who supported Pakistan for more than two decades despite its track record of rampant nuclear proliferation and sponsorship of terrorism, have turned against the country, although even now the administration and its supporters advance the idea that Pakistan is better treated as an ally rather than as an adversary.
"It's Alice in Wonderland at best," said Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat who heads the appropriations sub-committee which voted to size down and make conditional some of the aid to Pakistan. "If this is cooperation, I'd hate like hell to see opposition." The United States, Leahy added, is "not going to invest in a country that won't help us in a reasonable way to deal with threats to our forces in Afghanistan."
Meanwhile, Washington and Islamabad clashed over the sentencing of sentencing of Dr Afridi, even as the matter became a political issue in the US election season with some Republicans accusing the administration of throwing him under the bus by publicly revealing his identity and his cooperation even before he could be rescued from Pakistan.
On Thursday, secretary of state Hillary Clinton waded into the issue, demanding that Dr Afridi be released, because "his help was instrumental in taking down one of the world's most notorious murderers that was clearly in Pakistan's interest as well as ours and the rest of the world." The Pakistani foreign office fired back, saying the US needed to respect Pakistan's legal processes and judgments. Congressman Rohrabacher meanwhile is pushing for legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal and a US citizenship for Dr Afridi.
"Secretary Clinton will have to do more than voice protests over the Afridi case. Both the Departments of State and Defense need to take punitive actions against Pakistan. Carrots are not enough when dealing with an adversary. Sticks are needed to prove we are serious," Rohrabacher said.
The lawmaker also contested arguments from advocates of aid to Pakistan that the US should draw a distinction between the civilian government and the military-intelligence cabal who are supporting terrorist groups, saying President Zardari's behavior at the NATO summit in Chicago indicates that he is either in league with the military or under their domination.
"Any money that goes to Islamabad will continue to end up in the pockets of people actively and deadly hostile to America," he said. "The Taliban is only the tip of the spear, the real enemy is Pakistan." [or, more accurately, "the real enemy is Islam"]
CBS, Taybeh and Two Palestinian Cousins Named Qumsiyeh
Source: Christ Conquers blog
Bob Simon’s misleading CBS documentary on the dwindling Christian population on the West Bank caused a row with both he and 60 Minutes producers over their anti-Israel bias see our post, CBS 60 Minutes Report on Christians in the Holy Land Delegitimizes Israel. It drew a rebuke on camera from Israel’s Ambassador to Washington, Michael B. Oren. The event also raised the matter of the real status of the remaining Christian population on the West Bank.
Hisham Jarallah is a journalist based in the West Bank. He published a story on the Gatestone Institute blog about an embattled Christian village, Taybeh, “What CBS Does Not Want to Hear.” His article illustrated what we wrote over seven years ago. That Islamic fundamentalist threats have driven former Christians residents far and wide into the Palestinian Christian diaspora. He noted the most recent incidents:
The number of Christians living in Taybeh is estimated at less than 2,000. Residents say that another 15,000 Taybeh villagers live in the US, Canada and Europe, as well as South America.
Over the past few years, the Christian residents of Taybeh have been living in constant fear of being attacked by their Muslim neighbors.
Such attacks, residents say, are not uncommon. They are more worried about intimidation and violence by Muslims than by Israel's security barrier or a checkpoint. And the reason why many of them are leaving is because they no longer feel safe in a village that is surrounded by thousands of hostile Muslims who relate to Christians as infidels and traitors.
Just last week, scores of Muslim men from surrounding villages, some of the men armed with pistols and clubs, attacked Taybeh.
Fortunately, no one was harmed and no damage was caused to property.
Palestinian Authority policemen who rushed to the village had to shoot into the air to drive back the Muslim attackers and prevent a slaughter.
The attack, residents said, came after a Muslim man tried to force his way into a graduation ceremony at a girls' school in Taybeh.
The man, who had not been invited to the ceremony, complained that Christians had assaulted him. Later that day, he and dozens of other Muslims stormed the village with the purpose of seeking revenge for the "humiliation."
Were it not for the quick intervention of the Palestinian security forces, the attackers would have set fire to a number of houses and vehicles and probably killed or wounded some Christians.
Palestinian government and police officials later demanded that the Christians dispatch a delegation to the nearby Muslim villages to apologize for "insulting" the Muslim man. To avoid further escalation, the heads of Taybeh complied.
Also at the request of the Palestinian government, residents of the village were requested not to talk to the media about the incident.
Even some of the leaders of the Christian community in the West Bank urged the Taybeh residents not to make a big fuss about the incident.
Jarallah referred to an incident back in 2005 that we wrote about in a FrontPage Magazine article, “A Tale of Two Palestinians”, about Mazin and Samir Qumsiyeh, two Christian cousins from Beit Sahour. Mazin is a notorious antisemitic leader of the International Boycott Divestment and Sanctions involved in incidents while at Yale Medical School in 2003 before his return to take over academic posts in Bethlehem and Ramallah. His cousin Samir at the time was the owner/ operator of a small Christian TV station in the Bethlehem vicinity. Here is what we wrote at the time:
Mazin Qumsiyeh and Samir Qumsiyeh are Palestinian Christian cousins from Beit Sahour in the Palestinian territories. Mazin is an American academic and the virulent leader of several anti-American and anti-Israeli groups and a self-proclaimed Palestinian nationalist who routinely calls Israelis "Zionazis." In contrast, his cousin, Samir, is trying to save the remnant of the once vibrant Palestinian Christian community from what he has called "Islamic thugs" abusing his people and stealing their lands. The Qumsiyeh cousins are a world apart; one is an extremist who would deliver his own people into the hands of Islamic fundamentalists, while the other is a fierce opponent of them.
We noted the concerns of Samir Qumsiyeh, the earlier incident at Taybeh and the observations of Walid Shoebat:
[Samir] has a different picture to paint of the plight of Palestinian Christians. He says they are disappearing fast -- their continued presence in the West Bank is threatened by what Samir Qumsiyeh calls the "Islamic Fundamentalist mafia. Who are taking our lands?" He isn't blaming the Jews. Samir has a dossier of 93 incidents of anti-Christian abuse and over 140 illegal land grabs by the "Islamic mafia gangs." Samir Qumsiyeh has tried to get the attention of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas about this but to no avail.
The latest incident reported by the Associated Press about such persecution is bizarre: A star crossed love affair between a 30 year-old Muslim woman and a Christian man from the village of Taybeh near Ramallah ended in the unfortunate young woman's family murdering her by forced poisoning in an "honor killing," followed by Muslims rampaging through the Christian village and burning 14 homes, including that of the alleged Christian lover. Samir Qumsiyeh noted in the Sunday Telegraph article that the number of Christians in the Palestinian territories has plummeted from 20% of the population in 1948 to less than 2% today and is still shrinking fast. More Palestinian Christians live abroad in a Diaspora in countries like Chile where ex-PLO terrorist Walid Shoebat has told me he found more than 250,000 of them during a lecture tour he did there in 2004. They were living prosperously without threat to their life and property.
Nothing in Taybeh has changed since the 2005 report. Jarallah’s report confirms that it has continued and gotten worse. Too bad Bob Simon had not visited Taybeh, or spoken with Samir Qumsiyeh or caught up with journalist Jarallah. It might have spared both him and the producers at 60 Minutes an embarrassment for which they have yet to apologize.
Just before Egypt's first round of Presidential elections, the High Court ruled against several prominent Copts in a case emblematic of the troubled future for the significant Christian minority. The status of the Copts could worsen dramatically if the Muslim Brotherhood party leader Morsi is elected in the June second round as the troubled country's first national leader after 15 months of turmoil in the wake of the Arab Spring. Note the comments of protesting Copts in Alexandria who call this high court decision " a unjust ruling by a Salafist judiciary."
(AINA) -- The verdict passed by the Minya Criminal Court on May 21 convicting 12 Copts to life imprisonment while acquitting eight accused Muslims in the same case, known as Abu Qurqas sedition, has caused widespread anger among the Copts. Georges Wahib of United Copts, who attended the court session, said that when judge Abdel Fattah Ahmed al-Sughayar pronounced the verdict at the court yesterday "there was complete silence, as it came as a shock to everyone, then cries of grief and wailing could be heard from the Coptic families with shouts of we are innocent, while the Muslim side broke out into jubilation and shouts of Allahu Akbar."
All prisoners were taken to the basement, and the court itself was surrounded by hundreds of military police. For security the court session was transferred to Beni Suef from Minya Criminal Court.
The events of the case started on April 18, 2011 over a speed hump built in front of the residence of a wealthy Coptic lawyer, Alaa Reda Roushdi, which a minibus driver claimed was damaging cars. The fight that broke out led to the death of 2 Muslims, injury to 4 Copts, and the destruction and looting of Coptic-owned homes and businesses (AINA 4-26-2011).
Many rights groups criticized the verdict as being "unbelievable" and "extremely harsh" towards the Copts. All the Muslims defendants, "who torched at least 56 Coptic homes, as well as businesses and barns, were acquitted," said Wagdi Halfa, defense attorney of the Coptic victims, in an interview aired yesterday by Coptic TV Channel. He expressed his incomprehension at how Coptic lawyer Alaa Reda Roushdi, who was not even in Abou Qorqas during the events, and then kept under house arrest by the police for another three days, could get life imprisonment.
Adel Roushdi, younger brother of Alaa Roushdi said during the same TV interview that the Islamists wanted to get rid of his brother because of the parliamentary elections, where his brother was sure to win. He accused the police chief in Abou Qorqas of planning the whole episode.
Dr. Naguib Gabriel, president of the Egyptian Union Human Rights Organization, said that one should not keep silent over the continuing harsh verdicts against the Copts. He called upon the military council to stop the implementation of this ruling and to order a re-trial of the case in an ordinary court in another district. He said "where is the conscience and faith of the judge in connection with the torching of Christian homes and shops by Muslims, as reported by the police?" He also questioned the reason for having the case in front of an Emergency State Security court, where no appeal is allowed, while the charges were murder, attempted murder, congregation and carrying of firearms.
Michael Monier, an American-Egyptian activist and head of Life Party, described the verdict as racist and unjust, adding that "it also shows that the Egyptian judiciary takes its orders from higher authorities."
The European Union of Coptic Organizations for Human Rights (EUCOHR) issued a statement yesterday that it will not keep silent about the injustice in this case, and that it is calling for an urgent meeting with members of the European Parliament in Brussels to explain the tragedy of Copts in Egypt . They called upon the governing Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to use its constitutional powers to nullify this verdict and present the defendants to another court, where the rule of law and human rights are honored.
Dozens of Coptic human rights organizations and hundreds of Copts staged a sit-in at midday on May 22 in front of the Cairo High Court, denouncing the court ruling. The protesters raised banners bearing the phrase "by the mercy of God, the Egyptian judiciary is dead" and "This is a Country governed by beards and not the law." They chanted "Down with the military," "Muslims and Christians -- one hand," and demanded the equal application of justice and non-discrimination between Egyptians.
Attorney Karam Gabriel, who was present at the sit-in, said that the deputy attorney general called the Coptic lawyers and they presented their grievances against the Court's ruling, "which is beyond belief." He said that the deputy attorney general promised to have a look at the verdict and could then present a grievance memo to the military commander. Karam also said that the president of the bar association will also send a grievance memorandum, because one of the twelve convicted Christians is Alaa Roushdi, a lawyer."
Pastor Boutros Anba Bola, who was at the sit-in today, explained that this unjust verdict is passed at this point in time before the presidential election by an Islamist judge in order to make the Christians feel low and depressed so as not to participate in the voting, besides penalizing them for not wishing to vote for Islamists. He told Coptic activist Mariam Ragy in an audio interview that although he is not supposed to recommend any candidate, still he recommends General Ahmad Shafik, "as he is the best one for the Copts."
In Alexandria, nearly two thousand Copts and Muslims have staged a protest in front of the high court denouncing the "unjust verdict of the Salafist judiciary.