These are all the Blogs posted on Saturday, 5, 2012.
Saturday, 5 May 2012
3 Convicted, 6 Acquitted in Somali Child Sex Trafficking Case
The AP story carried by The Tennessean:
A Tennessee federal jury split its verdict Friday in Nashville against nine men accused of operating a sex trafficking ring run mostly by Somali refugee gang members.
Three men were convicted and six men were acquitted. The defendants are among a total of 30 who were indicted in the case that spans from Minnesota to Ohio and Tennessee.
A Somali witness identified only as Jane Doe No. 2 testified that she was used as a prostitute by gang members starting at the age of 12. She cried in court as she described being taken to several apartments in around suburban Minneapolis to have sex with other Somali men for money, sometimes as little as $40.
She later described a trip to Nashville where she was found by police.
Defense attorneys contended the witness willingly had sex with multiple defendants and lied about it so her conservative Somali family could save face.
Idris Ibrahim Fahra, Andrew Kayachith and Yassin Abdirahman Yusuf were found guilty of conspiracy to commit sex trafficking of children by force, fraud or coercion. The three men were also charged with sex trafficking and attempted sex trafficking, but only Fahra was convicted on one additional count of sex trafficking.
Seven of the nine defendants are of Somali descent. Another was born in Ethiopia. Kayachith was born in the U.S. and is of Laotian descent.
Jennifer Thompson, defense attorney for defendant Fahra, said Jane Doe No. 2 was a runaway who manipulated people around her and was fed information from a St. Paul, Minn., police investigator. Thompson also said Jane Doe No. 2 was an adult who was the same age or older than the men she was having sex with.
Another witness, who was identified in court as Jane Doe No. 5, testified that she saw young women and girls being used as prostitutes in a Nashville apartment. She testified that she was being used to have sex with men in Minnesota when she was around 15 or 16 years old.
Luke Evans, a defense attorney for Fadumo Mohamed Farah, said Jane Doe No. 5 was mentally ill and not taking her medication when she testified. He argued that she suffers from paranoid delusions and can’t tell fiction from fact...
Oh yes, these men were the real victims of these terrible little girls - where have we heard this before? How do these defense attorneys sleep at night?
Posted on 05/05/2012 6:42 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Religious butchering now commonplace in Britain, leading vet claims
From The Telegraph
Non-Muslim Britons are being forced to eat animals slaughtered in "appalling" pain because religious butchering is becoming so common, a former chief vet has claimed.
Prof Bill Reilly, ex-president of the British Veterinary Association, said cutting the throats of lambs, chickens and other animals without stunning them breaches legal requirements because it causes significant pain, fear and distress. British and EU law permits the method of religious slaughter to account for Muslim and Jewish dietary practices, but stipulates that the animals must not be caused "unnecessary suffering."
Prof Reilly called for the practice to be dramatically curbed, suggesting that some slaughterhouses are refusing to stun animals simply to cut costs, rather than for religious reasons. Writing in the Veterinary Record, he said the number of animals having their throats slit while still fully conscious – a practice known as non-stun slaughter – was "unacceptable".
A quarter of all meat on the British market is now killed according to the non-stun Halal principle despite the fact the Muslim community makes up only three to four per cent of the British population.
The figures mean that much of the meat from non-stunned animals is being consumed outside the religious communities which require it, and most secular people would avoid eating the meat if they knew the circumstances under which the animals died, Prof Teilly said.
He wrote: "In my view, the current situation is not acceptable and, if we cannot eliminate non-stunning, we need to keep it to the minimum. This means restricting the use of Halal and Kosher meat to those communities that require it for their religious beliefs, and where possible, convincing them of the acceptability of the stunned alternatives."
Posted on 05/05/2012 2:31 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Muslim woman beat girl, 10, with steel ladle for not reading enough of Koran
A Muslim woman who repeatedly beat a 10-year-old girl with a steel ladle for not reading enough verses of the Koran is facing jail today.
Asia Parveen, 31 brandished a knife at the child after accusing her of lying about her prayers. Parveen, who was five months pregnant at the time, also forced the girl to stand with her arms outstretched for four hours, Snaresbrook Crown Court heard.
The girl, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, escaped from the house in Stoke Newington, north London, and police found her alone at a bus stop in Waltham Forest, east London, almost four hours later in the early hours of the morning.
Doctors identified 56 injuries when she was examined at hospital,
Parveen, who is a mother-of-three, accepted causing some of the injuries with the ten inch cooking spoon but said others must have been caused when the girl 'fell over.'
Prosecutor Tom Nicholson told the court an argument started between Parveen and the girl on August 15 last year during Ramadan.
'The girl was praying from the Koran and Ms Parveen accused her of lying about how many of the verses she had read,' he said. 'She was 10 at the time. Ms Parveen took a metal spoon about 10 inches in size and the Crown's case is that she hit the child with it repeatedly over a half an hour period, causing extensive bruising over both arms, her legs and head. 'The Crown's case is that Ms Parveen said she was going to kill the girl and ran to get a knife from the kitchen.
'The girl had no alternative but to leave at around 10pm. She got a bus and a train and it was about 1.50am when the police found her at a bus stop in Broadway Parade, Waltham Forest. She was on her own and extremely cold. She was taken to hospital and an examination found she had suffered 56 injuries.'
Parveen admitted a single count of child cruelty but insisted that she only used the spoon once or twice on the girl's arms and bottom.
Judge Martyn Zeidman accepted Parveen's basis of plea, saying it would not be in the public interest for the child to give evidence. 'On the face of it, the defence assertion is incredible. But I don't regard it in the public interest to make the child give evidence. In any view, the defendant has behaved in an absolutely disgraceful way, and what an irony that the child was encouraged to behave in a godly fashion when this was far from godly.
Adjourning the case until June 15 for reports, Judge Zeidman told Parveen: 'I'm releasing you on bail but that gives no indication on what will be the eventual sentence.
'All options are open so you must not assume that because you got bail you will necessarily avoid an immediate prison sentence.'
It does not say that she is the child’s mother; so what was the relationship? Is the little girl the child of a senior wife? Where is her husband in all this? Where is the child’s father?
Posted on 05/05/2012 2:39 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Finally Goes on Trial
Just in time for the presidential election.
(CBS News) GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba - The first step in the long-delayed trial of the man who has said -- who has boasted -- that he orchestrated the 9/11 attacks on America was set to begin Saturday.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other alleged al Qaeda operatives were to be arraigned at the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Four years ago, the Bush Administration brought Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other top 9/11 suspects to trial here in a military courtroom.
But when President Obama took office, he ordered the Guantanamo facility where suspects were being held closed. He said the suspects instead would stand trial in a regular criminal courtroom in New York.
But opposition to that was so intense, they had to scrub those plans. And now, the proceedings were to be held right back where they started and in the format first envisioned -- military trials at Guantanamo Bay.
Without Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed, September 11 would not have happened. The confessed mastermind, known as "KSM," proposed to Osama bin Laden the plot to not only hijack airplanes, but fly them into buildings.
On Saturday morning, KSM was to appear in before a military judge to face 2,976 charges of murder in the worst terrorist attacks ever on U.S. soil. Also being charged are Waleed bin Attash, an alleged al Qaeda operative; Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who allegedly would have been a hijacker but couldn't get a visa; and Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Hawsawi, who allegedly helped finance the attacks.
Four years ago, the Bush administration brought them to trial in the same military courtroom.
It was the first time the public had seen KSM since his capture in 2003 -- and he was unrecognizable. Thin, and with a long, bushy beard, KSM also was defiant: He fired his lawyers, railed against America and told the judge he wanted to plead guilty because, as he said, "I'm looking to be martyred."
Although the five suspects said four years ago they wanted to plead guilty, we're hearing from defense attorneys that they've now changed their minds and may not plead guilty this time.
That would mean these proceedings would continue, giving the five a platform to keep bashing America.
Posted on 05/05/2012 7:20 AM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Mali Islamists attack UNESCO holy site in Timbuktu
- Malian fighters from the Ansar Dine Islamist group attacked and burned the tomb of one of the town's saints, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, residents and a regional official said on Saturday.
The militants broke off doors, windows and wooden gates from the grave and burned them, they said, in the first reported attack on a shrine in Mali.
El Hadj Baba Haidara, an elected member of parliament from Timbuktu told Reuters some young people were discussing how to react despite being unarmed. "There is a risk the people may revolt because this is something that affects their dignity. This tomb is sacred, it is too difficult to bear," Haidara said.
Timbuktu Muslims on their way to Friday worship at the tomb of Sidi Mahmoud Ben Amar and those of other saints were stopped and threatened by armed men from Ansar Dine, one resident said.
"What you are doing is haram! (forbidden). Ask God directly rather than the dead," one of the armed men told the residents, according to Ahmed Ibrahim, a resident who witnessed the scene. "After uttering those words, three of them (armed men) entered the mausoleum, ripped and burnt pieces of white clothing that surrounded the tomb of the saint in front of everyone," Ibrahim said.
Haidara told Reuters the act by the Islamist group could spark a violent reaction from the population, and that he had urged the U.N. body to help protect Timbuktu's heritage sites."They attacked the grave, broke doors, windows and wooden gates that protect it. They brought it outside and burn it, because to build a tomb is contrary to the principles of Islam," he said. The men said they would return to destroy other tombs.
No one at UNESCO was immediately available to comment.
Posted on 05/05/2012 3:41 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Rare Paul Revere Print Found At Brown University
From the History Blog with thanks to del:
Marie Malchodi, a technical assistant in the preservation department of Brown University’s John Hay Library, was looking through a collection of books donated by Solomon Drowne, a physician and graduate of Brown’s class of 1773, when she came across an engraved print stuffed inside the back cover of the 1811 edition of The Modern Practice of Physic by Robert Thomas. Labeled “Buried with Him by Baptism,” the print is an engraving of Jesus being baptized by John in the river Jordan. A crowd of onlookers watch from the shore while angels look down from on high. God is represented by a sun with Hebrew lettering inside. (EDIT: the lettering is YHWH in reverse. Revere neglected to engrave the lettering on the plate backwards so all the prints he made from that plate spell the name of the God backwards instead.) He speaks through one of the rays of the sun saying: “This is my beloved Son, – hear ye him.”
The design is not what you would call top of the notch. Dürer was in no danger of being eclipsed by this particular printmaker. It was the “P. Revere Sculp” signature in the bottom right that made Malchodi realize the piece might be historically significant. She brought it to Richard Noble, the rare materials cataloguer for the John Hay Library, and he recognized the style as typical of the work of silversmith and Revolutionary War hero Paul Revere’s print work. “That’s just crude enough to be him,” is how he put it.
Noble did some research to see if he could confirm the print was made by Paul Revere. He found out that not only is the print documented as one of Paul Revere’s engravings, but it’s extremely rare with only four other copies known to exist. Even rarer, this print is the only one of the five to have the full plate mark visible. The other four have been cropped, removing the mark left by the edges of the metal plate when it was pressed against the paper.
Revere began making prints in 1765, most of them on political themes supporting the colonial cause. He didn’t always make the original drawing, however. One of his best known prints, “The Bloody Massacre perpetrated in King Street, Boston on March 5th 1770 by a party of the 29th Regiment” was copied from an original drawing by Henry Pelham.
Why did Revere create the print in the first place? How did the Drowne family come to own it? Based on Jesus and John’s position chest-high in the water, Noble categorizes it as a theo-political cartoon depicting a Baptist ceremony. In his book, Brigham indicates that he could find no evidence that it was ever used publicly in a book or religious pamphlet. He also could find no model in any British book or periodical that Revere might have used as inspiration for this style of baptism depiction. Noble believes it may have been a one-off printing, meaning that Revere only made a few at a time to give to friends and close acquaintances who requested it, which also explains why the print is so rare.
“It appears to be an American original, by an American original. The son of French Huguenot refugees who eventually became, by all accounts, a Unitarian. The print thus marks a stage in the evolution of that aspect of Revere’s life,” Noble said.
Solomon Drowne and his family were prominent members of the First Baptist Church of Providence, Rhode Island, also known as the First Baptist Church in America because it was in fact the first Baptist church in America, founded by Roger Williams in 1638. Drowne was dedicated to the Revolutionary cause, serving as a surgeon for the Continental Army from 1776 to 1780 and then as ship’s surgeon on the privateer sloop Hope. (He published a journal about his time on board the Hope; pdf here.) It’s certainly conceivable that Paul Revere might have given the print to Drowne, but he could have gotten it any number of ways.
Posted on 05/05/2012 6:15 PM by Rebecca Bynum
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Martin Sherman On Haaretz
Into the Fray: ‘Haaretz’ vs the Jews
By MARTIN SHERMAN
The success of the post-Zionist strategy hinges on breaking the sense of kinship between the Jewish people and the State of Israel.
Independence Day is not a holiday for Israeli Arabs. Sixtyfour years ago, they lost their land and their national honor... [their aversion to] the national anthem “Hatikva” – which talks of “a Jewish soul yearning” – should serve as an incentive for devising symbols and events with which all Israeli citizens can identify without being false to themselves. – Haaretz editorial, April 27
And the two words that are the most important are “Nefesh Yehudi” [A Jewish soul]”. When I hear those two words I know why I am here. I know what I am doing here. – An oleh in an Independence Day interview on the significance of “Hatikva” – April 26
It is not often that I find myself disagreeing with The Jerusalem Post’s Caroline B. Glick. Indeed, for many years I have had nothing but the highest regard for her intrepid and articulate defense of Israel and Zionist ideals.
However, I am compelled to dispute the views articulated in her last column, “Post-Zionism is so 1990s,” in which she appears to convey the view that the threat of post-Zionism has waned into insignificance, or at least receded into obsolescence.
Regrettably, this claim is misplaced and misleading, and although I sincerely wish she were right, I fear that her analysis is unrealistically optimistic and gravely underestimates the true danger.
Post-Zionism more pervasive than ever
The advance of post-Zionism is arguably the greatest menace confronting the Zionist endeavor today, everything it stands for, everything it has accomplished and everything it strives to accomplish. It is imperative not to be lulled into a false sense of security.
I would, therefore, counsel caution before assigning any real significance to the fact that public events in Israel are conducted with greater decorum today relative to the 1990s when, as Glick points out, they tended to be more frivolous, irreligious and disrespectful of Jewish history, culture and heritage.
Despite deceptive appearances, post-Zionism is more pervasive and pernicious than ever.
Seemingly impervious to reality that has repeatedly refuted its doctrine, post-Zionism is hammering on the doors of the mainstream Israeli establishment – and gaining increasingly frequent access. What was unthinkably seditious – indeed legally punishable – barely a generation ago is now fashionably avant garde.
Post-Zionism and the Left
Glick writes: “Despite their best efforts, Netanyahu remains in power and the Left can’t get any traction with the public....”
While this is accurate, the crucial question is how has this affected the party platforms and the conduct of policy?
Two things are worth noting. First, Glick appears to equate the Left and “those who are interested in forcing Israel to make more concessions to the Palestinians” with the phenomenon of post-Zionism.
Clearly, such a “one-size-fits-all” categorization would raise howls of protest from many who would object to branding as “post-Zionists” an array of prominent figures who played central roles in forging the history of Zionism, yet advocated territorial compromise.
However, while lumping all “left-wing” elements into a monolithic ideo-political post-Zionist grouping may be going a little too far, it must be recognized that there is a seamless symbiosis between the self-professed Zionist- Left and the self-confessed post-Zionist radicals.
This facilitates an almost “frictionless” migration and cross-fertilization of political philosophies and policy proposals between these groups.
In turn, this has generated a deceptive ambivalence that often blurs the ideological distinction between the two, making the transition from the one to the other almost imperceptible.
Ideological obliteration of the ‘Right’
The repercussions of this “quasi-equivalence” have been profound and pernicious, resulting in an overwhelming leftward deformation of the Israeli polity and the ideological obliteration of the “Right” – which leads me to the second thing I wish to note.
Glick’s observation regarding Binyamin Netanyahu’s ability to stay prime minister, and the Left’s inability to gain electoral traction – while seemingly true – obscures a far more ominous reality.
For although Netanyahu has indeed managed to retain power, he has adopted policies that are far more concessionary (i.e. leftish) than even Oslo peace laureate Yitzhak Rabin, who was excoriated by the Right for betraying the Zionist ethos, ever dreamed of offering the Palestinians.
Moreover, while it is correct that in terms of parliamentary representation, parties labeled “left-wing” may have been diminished, the parties labeled “right-wing” have largely adopted their “left-wing” agenda.
An astonishing spectacle is unfolding before us, with the ostensibly “right-wing” Likud exhorting the Palestinians to enter into negotiations over a proposed settlement which it itself vehemently rejected not long ago as excessively concessionary – this at a time when all the Likud’s previous reservations are being proved correct.
If that were not enough, the head of Kadima, the main opposition party (established by once super-hawk Arik Sharon, together with once super-hawk Tzachi Hanegbi), ex-Likud defense minister Shaul Mofaz, has declared, a priori, that he would accede to 100% of the Palestinian territorial demands – all this before engaging in negotiations with them.
So while the formal party-affiliated representation of the Left in the Knesset has been reduced, the substantive ideological representation of its dovish political doctrine has acquired overwhelming dominance.
Apart from the marginal fringes of the Right, almost all the parliamentary factions have platforms not only far more dovish than the anti-Oslo Likud platform of the 1990s, but even more dovish than the pro-Oslo Labor vision as laid out by Rabin in his last Knesset address in 1995.
Since the 1990s, the political system has, for all intents and purposes, been gutted of any assertive Zionist party platforms that reject the bogus Palestinian narrative – which is, in large measure, the sine non qua of the post- Zionist credo.
Size doesn’t matter
A deeply disturbing trend is emerging before our eyes: Almost the entire gamut of mainstream political parties has – with varying degrees of reluctance/enthusiasm – accepted the basic tenets of the Palestinian narrative, which negate the Zionist narrative. In doing so, they have opened the door of respectability to post-Zionism, and laid down a red carpet for its access to all the vestiges of the Israeli establishment.
So while Glick is correct in asserting that “the Left” and its post-Zionist affiliates have garnered only marginal public support, this is one instance in which “size doesn’t matter.” For they do not need to win elections to effectively impose their rule on the country – or at least to prevent their ideological rivals from implementing theirs.
No matter what the results at the polls, the Left and its more radical ideological co-travelers can promote their agenda and impede that of their pro-Zionist adversaries through their dominance of the legal establishment, the media and much of academia.
Recent decades are replete with infuriating examples of how an insignificant minority view has been imposed on the nation by means of an ideologically biased judiciary, ruling in favor of PC (Palestinian-compliant) petitions, brought before it by radical left-wing NGOs, generously funded by foreign sovereign sources, and accompanied by massive media hype.
Attempts by the parliamentary majority to redress this deformation of the democratic process have been met with furious – and largely successful – resistance.
Legislative initiatives designed to enhance financial transparency of tax-exempt NGOs, and to address accelerating erosion of the credibility of the judiciary were foiled – almost incredibly with Likud-led government complicity – because they would – wait for it... undermine democratic governance.
The voice of post-Zionism
Having eviscerated the Zionist political parties of any resolve and self-confidence, and emboldened by the reticent response of their adversaries, the post-Zionists have set their sights on the symbols of Jewish sovereignty. They have turned the focus of their assault away from the political front lines to the conceptual hinterland and to the spiritual roots of the Zionist movement.
In this sinister enterprise, their lack of electoral support should not be taken as a measure of their reach. They have other means to amplify the volume of their voice and the efficacy of their message.
A major element of this assault is being conducted via Haaretz. In a string of recent editorials and a barrage of opinion columns, it has sallied forth with an overt drive to eradicate references to the Jewish character of the foundational ethos of Israel.
Consider the following editorial headlines:
• “Israel should consider altering its anthem to include non-Jews” (March 2)
• “Israel needs an anthem that represents Arabs and Jews” (March 12)
• “Israel needs national symbols all citizens can identify with” (April 27)
Ostensibly, the objective is to redraft the trappings of public life to allow the Arab minority to identify with, and participate in, state-related activities, ceremonies and celebrations. However, it takes little analytical effort to discover that this is but a flimsy veneer concealing a unambiguous campaign for the conversion of Israel from the “nation-state of the Jews” to “a-state-of-all-its-citizens.”
Assuaging Arab regret
The current focus of attack is the wording of the national anthem, “Hatikva,” which Haaretz tells us, “ignore[s] the existence of an Arab minority in the State of Israel – a minority for whom this land is also their land.”
According to the paper, “No Arab citizen who had any self-respect, political awareness or national consciousness could sing these words without committing the sins of hypocrisy and falsehood.”
Elsewhere, we are told why this is so: “Independence Day is not a holiday for Israeli Arabs. Sixty-four years ago, they lost their land and their national honor.”
I am trying to get my head around this. Is one of the nation’s major newspapers really calling on the public not only to understand the sorrow the Arab minority feels that the genocidal attempt of its ethnic-kinfolk to obliterate the Jewish population failed, but to take far-reaching steps to accommodate this sadness?
How are we to assuage their melancholy at having “lost their land and national honor” in their failed Judeocidal effort? Are Jews really expected to forgo the victory and to suppress the expression of their national identity to alleviate the discomfort of the defeated? One cannot but wonder what the consequences would have been had the fortunes of war been reversed? And how are we to restore their “national honor” (much less their ‘land”) – or to compensate them for their loss – without de-Judaizing Israel and deconstructing the Zionist ethos.
But that is what the post-Zionists are really aiming at. However, to achieve this goal of dismantling the status of Israel as the nation-state of the Jews, they first have to achieve an intermediate goal: to decouple Israel from its Jewishness, to denude, and then break, the bond of kinship between the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
Hence the assault on the Jewish emblems – first the anthem, next the flag, then the Law of Return. After all, why should the Jewish Diaspora have unfettered access to the country and not the Palestinian diaspora?
This is a question the post-Zionists – and Haaretz – will doubtless be raising soon in editorials.
The nature of nations
Nations are not a mere amalgam of people who happen to inhabit a piece of real estate. As the liberal philosopher John Stuart Mill observes, to function as a nation populations need to feel “united among themselves by common sympathies which do not exist between them and any others.... The strongest of all [these common sympathies] is identity of political antecedents; the possession of a national history, and consequent community of recollections; collective pride and humiliation, pleasure and regret, connected with the same incidents in the past.”
So how do post-Zionists propose to generate a new sense of "pan-Israeli" nationality when one segment of the population sees in the 1948 Jewish victory a reason for pride and pleasure while another segment sees it as a source of regret and humiliation?
The members of the Arab community in Israel made a call in 1948. They elected to throw their lot in with a Jewish – repeat Jewish – state. They could have left, as did many of their kin. They can leave today if they feel they cannot identify with the fabric of national life here.
They can follow the example of many Israeli citizens who came here from economically developed nations, precisely because they felt their national affiliation was not with their country of birth, but with the Jewish homeland.
Arabs in Israel who feel their national identity is incompatible with political realities and the conduct of public life have many options. Demanding that the victors relinquish their ethos to accommodate the defeated is not one.
This must be made clear – for any ambiguity will herald great tragedy.
Posted on 05/05/2012 11:26 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
Saturday, 5 May 2012
A Musical Interlude: 'Leven Thirty Saturday Night (Arthur Schutt Orch.)
Posted on 05/05/2012 11:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald