These are all the Blogs posted on Thursday, 6, 2012.
Thursday, 6 September 2012
Re: a tale of two countries
Released on bail pending further investigation does not mean conviction, and the couple have not been charged and probably won't be. But yes, the balance has tipped too much in favour of the criminal. However, here is another tale of two countries:
In the US – population 311.5 million (1) – there were an estimated 13,756 murders in 2009 (2), a rate of about 5.0 per 100,000 (3). Of these 9,203 were carried out with a firearm.
In the UK – population 56.1 million (4) – there were an estimated 550 murders in 2011-12 (5), a rate of about 1.4 per 100,000. Of these 39 were carried out with a firearm (6).
Certainly having fewer guns means fewer deaths from guns.
Only male traffic wardens are now active in the mosque area in Palma's Pere Garau district. Dornier, the company responsible for the concession, made the decision after various incidents occurred. Female employees were insulted by men who were visiting the mosque, the company said.
Initially it was decided that the traffic wardens would patrol the neighbouring streets in twos. But because of a lack of staff it was ultimately decided to withdraw the female traffic wardens.
The charges were disputed in the Muslim Association of the Balearics. At no time was the city council asked to withdrawn female traffic wardens, they said. They respected the women and their work. However, many visitors to the mosque were angered by the tickets. The parking situation was difficult, they said, and many of the fauthful were unemployed.
Even after the taunts and threats for appearing on TV, and whispered criticism of "immodest" outfits, the attack on actor sisters Areza and Tamana, and their friend Benafsha, came as a surprise.
The trio were minutes from moving out of a neighbourhood in which conservative locals made them feel unwelcome, walking to meet a minivan full of their possessions, when six men surrounded them in a lane, lined with high-walled compounds. They left Benafsha bleeding to death outside a mosque with stab wounds, and the injured sisters desperately seeking help.
"I didn't see the TV programme, I just heard the local boys saying that one of them played a role with boys," said Yaqin Ali Khalili, owner of a shop that the women frequented.
Word travels fast in Kabul, and within a couple of days other female actors were being intimidated. A prominent young actor, Sahar Parniyan, received death threats and has gone into hiding. On the rare occasions she still ventures out she has to wear the burqas she used to despise.
"The threats were in calls at midnight, or 2am when I was deep asleep, using very bad words and repeating 'you will be next for assassination'," Parniyan told the Guardian in an interview at a secret location. "I cannot continue my life as an actress in Afghanistan, although I love my job. The Taliban are against women, but so are other groups ... Afghanistan is not made for women, whether actresses or not." Actress is so much less clumsy but PC rules at the Grauniad.
But although they survived the violent assault that killed their friend, they are now awaiting another kind of punishment. After a few hours in hospital for treatment after the attack, they were taken to prison, where they face intrusive virginity tests and possible charges of prostitution or collusion in the attack. "We have already sent them to the forensic office to do an examination, to make clear whether these girls are having illegal relations with anyone," said prosecutor Ghulam Dastegir Hedayat, who is responsible for western Kabul where the killing took place. The sisters, instead of seeing their attackers jailed, may face years in prison for "moral crimes".
A senior police officer involved in the case also believed the women were probably attacked for refusing sex, and pointed to their lack of education as evidence they were prostitutes – even though he is a commander in a force where more than three-quarters of new recruits are illiterate.
Jones told The Kentucky Enquirer he heard a noise in his basement around 2 a.m. Monday and grabbed his .22-caliber rifle. He sat in a chair with a clear view of the door, saying he fired when the intruder burst in.
“I aimed right for his heart,” said Jones, who served in the military from 1941 through 1946. “I didn’t go to war for nothing. I have the right to carry a gun. That’s what I told the police.”
Jones said he had no fear as he waited for the intruder.
“Was I scared? Was I mad? Hell, no,” Jones said. “It was simple. That man was going to take my life. He was hunting me. I was protecting myself.”
Mr. Jones will not be charged. Meanwhile in Great Britain a couple living on an isolated farm were threatened by four intruders. The husband shot two of them non-fatally. The couple was arrested and held for three days before being released on bail "pending further investigation."
Under pressure from pro-Israel Democrats, the DNC held a floor vote to reinstate language affirming Jerusalem as the capital of Israel that had been omitted from its 2012 platform. The stadium full of Democratic delegates loudly booed the resolution and rejected it three times in a voice vote, before convention chairman Antonio Villaraigosa went ahead and unilaterally approved it (h/t BuzzFeed):
It’s hard not to have sympathy for Villaraigosa. Pro-Israel Democrats have been lobbying the DNC all day to change the platform, and convention leadership probably assumed this vote would be the end of it. The shock on Villaraigosa’s face shows you how far in denial the Democratic Party has been about the anti-Israel sentiment spreading among its ranks. Think he’s picturing how many TV ads replaying this moment Sheldon Adelson’s money can buy in Florida?
This video should chill every pro-Israel Democrat to the bone — actually, scratch that, it should chill every pro-Israel American to the bone. Israel relies on bipartisan political support from the U.S., it’s strongest ally. This floor vote at the DNC portends a day when that bipartisan support may cease to exist.
House Intelligence Chairman Rogers Confirms Israeli PM Netanyahu Confrontation with US Amb. Shapiro
Israel PM Netanyahu
Source; The Atlantic
Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlanticpublished an article today based on a transcription of a Detroit radio interview with House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers that confirmed the confrontation we posted between Israeli PM Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. It reveals a deep sense of frustration by Netanyahu with the lack of red lines from the Obama Administration in the face of IAEA reports of the Islamic Republic’s acceleration of nuclear enrichment program that has entered the zone of immunity with the Fordow centrifuge cascade hall buried deep in a mountain near the city of Qom. The Obama Administration has kicked the can down the road by indicating that it would not act militarily, if at all, until evidence is produced that Iran is assembling nuclear devices. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Dempsey recently commented in London that if Israel undertook a unilateral attack with the US would not be complicit. Then there were Netanyahu’s reported fury over apparent leaks from the Israeli security cabinet meetings about Iran threat discussions. His anger was piqued by reports in Israel and world media that the US allegedly sent messages to Tehran via European intermediaries that if Israel does launch such an attack the US would not support it; moreover that the Obama Administration informed Iran that it shouldn’t use the occasion to attack US assets in the Gulf region.
Rogers was interviewed by WJR radio host Frank Beckmann. Rogers’ comments lend the picture of sharp exchanges between PM Netanyahu and Amb. Shapiro.
The following are excerpts from The Atlantic article:
Rogers' description of the meeting directly contradicts repeated Administration assertions that there is "no daylight" on the Iran issue with the Israeli government. Shortly after the meeting took place, Israeli press reports appeared suggesting that Netanyahu and Shapiro had engaged in an argument, but Shapiro soon dismissed those reports, calling them "silly" and saying, "The published account of that meeting did not reflect what actually occurred in the meeting. The conversations were entirely friendly and professional."
Rogers, speaking to WJR radio host Frank Beckmann, painted a very different picture. He said the meeting, originally scheduled to be a discussion of intelligence and technical issues between himself and the prime minister, spun out of control when Netanyahu began lambasting Shapiro over the Administration's Iran policy. When Beckmann asked Rogers to describe the tenor of the meeting, he said: "Very tense. Some very sharp... exchanges and it was very, very clear the Israelis had lost their patience with the (Obama) Administration." He went on, "There was no doubt. You could not walk out of that meeting and think that they had not lost their patience with this Administration."
Rogers said Israeli frustration grows from what they see -- and he sees -- as a refusal by the Obama Administration to outline an endgame: "(I)t was very clear the overarching policy has been frustrating mainly because I think it's not very clear. What we walked out of that meeting knowing is that the Administration was trying to defend itself." By the end, he said, there was a "sharp exchange between the Administration's representative there, our ambassador there, and Mr. Netanyahu, which was unusual to say the least, but I thought at the end of the day maybe productive."
Beckmann then asked: "Is it inaccurate to say it was a shouting match?" Rogers answered: "I can say that there were elevated concerns on behalf of the Israelis." When asked if he had "ever seen that sort of thing before," Rogers answered: "No not that directly. We've had sharp exchanges with other heads of state and in intelligence services and other things, but nothing at that level that I've seen in all my time where people were clearly that agitated, clearly that worked up about a particular issue where there was a very sharp exchange."
Rogers went on to describe what he understands to be the Israeli frustration, and, apparently, his frustration, with the impact of sanctions: "Here's the problem. ....I support the sanctions. But if you're going to have a hammer you have to have an anvil. You have to have at least a credible threat of a military option. So it's having an effect, yes, it's having an effect on the Iranian economy. It is not impacting their race on enrichment and other things, and that's very clear." He went on, "I think the Israeli position is, 'Hey, listen, you've got to tell us -- I mean, if you want us to wait' -- and that's what this Administration's been saying, you've gotta wait, you've gotta wait, you've gotta wait -- got that -- 'but then you've gotta tell us when is the red line so we can make our own decisions about should we or shouldn't we stop this particular program."
And Rogers had harsh words for the Administration, which he says has made it very, clear to the Israelis what they shouldn't do, but hasn't delivered a message to the Iranians with the same clarity: "There are a lot of pieces in play on this. But I think again, their frustration is that the Administration hasn't made it very clear -- they've made it very clear to Israel in a public way that they shouldn't do it, but haven't made it very clear to Iran in a public way that there will be tougher action, which could include -- and I argue peace through strength, so you just need to let them understand that that's an option so we can deter them from their program. And right now the Israelis don't' believe that the Administration is serious when they say th
at all options are on the table, and more importantly neither do the Iranians. That's why the program is progressing."
When asked by Beckmann at what he believes the Israelis will say "enough is enough," Rogers answered: "Certainly when you walk out of that meeting you get the feeling that they are finally at wits' end, and that's what concerned me about the meeting."
He went on, "I will say that as a part of their decision point or data point when they go through the process of should we or shouldn't we, it was clear that our American elections have worked its way into one of those data points. I thought, well, maybe that hedges their response until maybe after the election. But what I got out of that, walking out of that, was yeah they're considering it, but at this point they're very frustrated because they don't' know what happens after the election, and their window for impacting the program they believe is starting to close."
Rogers also said that what he calls Obama's uncertainty has caused problems for the U.S. across the Middle East. "You know, it's a very interesting argument when you're in the room and talking about options. The meeting was designed, it was supposed to be between Netanyahu and myself on some intelligence cooperation matters and other matters, when it came to Iran and Syria and other things, and kind of devolved into this meeting where the ambassador was confronted directly... what was very apparent to me was a lot of frustration with the lack of clarity and the uncertainty about what their position is on the Iranian nuclear program. And that's what I think I saw across the Middle East. The uncertainty about where the United States' position is on those questions has created lots of problems and anxiety that I think doesn't serve the world well and doesn't serve peace well."
Rogers spoke, as well, about the Iranian nuclear timeline: "So the big question is the dash. And the dash is, we know they have an enrichment program, it's highly likely they have a weaponization program. You have to have both of those parts for a nuclear weapon program. And the dash is when does weaponization mean you can put it on a missile and fire it off?
The Israelis are upset because that dash question seems to be shortening and they already believe they have enough enrichment for more than one nuclear bomb. That's why their anxiety is high and the United States position isn't all that clear." Beckmann then asked Rogers how close the Israelis believe that dash period to be. Rogers: "The Israelis believe it's short. I mean, Netanyahu made it very clear he thought it was a matter of weeks. If they decide to do the dash it could be four weeks to eight weeks, which is a month or two months. Our intelligence analysts believe it would be a little longer than that. But the problem is, nobody really knows for sure. But we do know, and I think everyone agrees, including, you know, our European intelligence allies and other things that they are clearly marching down this road."
APT Video: Investigation of Radical Islamic Chaplain at Northeastern University Led to Dismissal
Former Northeastern U. Muslim Chaplain
Abdullah Faaruuq and APT
President Dr. CharlesJacobs, ISBCC Dedication
American for Peace and Tolerance (APT) released a new video about the culmination of an investigation leading to the dismissal of a radical Islamic Chaplain at Northeastern University in Boston with ties to al Qaeda and Pakistani terrorist groups involved with attacks on US personnel in Afghanistan and the deadly 2008 Mumbai attacks. The APT video presents a dossier against Imam Abdullah Faaruuq Muslim Chaplain at the Islamic Center of Northeastern University, the largest private university in the Hub City; fourth largest in the US. Both Faaruuq and the head of the Northeastern University Spiritual Life Center were dismissed by University President Dr. Joseph Aoun, following an internal review prompted in large measure by the APT investigation.
Dr. Charles Jacobs of APT said:
Our video shows that there is a culture of extremism at the Islamic Society of Northeastern University (ISNU) - the Muslim student group on campus under the leadership of its spiritual advisor, Imam Faaruuq".
His relationship with Northeastern University has been terminated. We commend Northeastern's President Joseph Aoun for this, but more needs to be done. We need to understand how this was allowed to persist for years, and we need to be sure there are processes in place to monitor and correct any teachings of hate at the University.
We noted the long battle between Dr. Jacobs of APT and Imam Faaruuq and the latter’s extremist and terrorist support in a January 2012 NER article, “Dialogue with Radical Muslims is Dangerous to American Jews”.
The Investigative Project on Terrorism reported that on December 21, 2010, a Federal District Court in Boston convicted Tarek Mehanna “on four counts related to his desire to provide support to al-Qaida and three counts of lying to federal investigators.” The IPT report went on to cite what enabled federal prosecutors to obtain Mehanna’s conviction:
A former friend who struck a deal with prosecutors testified about a 2004 trip he and Mehanna made to Yemen in hopes of attending a terrorist training camp. They planned to go to Iraq after that to fight American troops.
When that didn't work, Mehanna came back to the United States and translated jihadi videos, including al-Qaida's "39 Ways to Make Jihad." Defense attorneys argued the work was protected free speech. But prosecutor Aloke Chakravarty told jurors the translations provided terrorists "training material to get ready to serve and participate in that fight."
We raise this because the head of the Free Tarek Mehanna Committee was none other than Imam Abdullah Faaruuq of the ISBCC who is also Muslim Chaplain at Northeastern University. Faaruuq also held fund raisers for Afia Saddique known as “Lady Al-Qaida.” Saddique, the IPT reported was:
an MIT-educated neuroscientist, arrested by Afghan officials in 2008, who found notes about mass casualty attacks in her possession. During questioning by U.S. officials, she grabbed an Army officer's M-4 rifle and fired it at the Americans.
In our NER expose of the ISBCC and the Boston Jewish community, we noted an encounter between Faaruuq and Jacobs, the former presenting him with roses as a peace offering. That was in June, 2009. Given these recent revelations about Faaruuq, Jacobs spearheaded a campaign to have Faaruuq discharged as Chaplain at Northeastern U for his support of radical Islamic terrorist causes. That campaign culminated in Imam Faaruuq’s dismissal in late August. Jacob’s commented:
It's very hard to understand why Northeastern administration has for so long tolerated the troubling and extremist influence of Chaplain Faaruuk on Northeastern's Muslim student organization . Until we began exposing Faaruuq in 2010, the ISNU website openly promoted to Northeastern Muslim students radical books and extremist leaders who call for jihad, the genocide of Jews, and death for homosexuals.
We are concerned that extremist influence on Muslim students at Northeastern might be a factor in inciting terrorism. Recently another Northeastern graduate, Rezwan Ferdaus, pleaded guilty to plotting an attack on the Pentagon and Capitol buildings in Washington.
Jacobs noted that Northeastern's President Aoun, had been appointed to an academic advisory board on antiterrorism that reports to the US Department of Homeland Security. Aoun told the Boston Globe that "we need more research and training related to security." Jacobs commented: “Perhaps Aoun felt that his own Northeastern campus was an appropriate place to start.”
While the dismissal of Chaplain Faaruuq by President Aoun is commendable, Jacobs believes, “ It demonstrates the kind of leadership that is required on many college campuses which harbor hate promoting extremists."
He called on Northeastern University to take additional steps in dealing with Islamist extremism on campus, and reduce the threat of further radicalization of Northeastern's Muslim students.
Jacobs called on President Aoun “to investigate The Islamic Society of Northeastern's, activities, funding sources and any radical faculty members who promote hate on campus”.
Watch the APT Video, "Islamic Extremism @ Northeastern University":
One More Good Reason For America To Cease Giving Egypt Aid
Qatar to invest $18 billion in Egypt
Thursday, 06 September 2012
Qatar's Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani said Doha “will inject investments in Egypt worth $18 billion over five years.” (Reuters)
By AFP CAIRO
Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem said on Thursday his country will invest $18 billion in Egypt over the next five years to help shore up the economy, which has taken a beating since last year’s uprising
Doha “will inject investments in Egypt worth $18 billion over five years,” he said in remarks carried by the official Egyptian news agency MENA.
Qatar will invest in electricity, natural gas and tourism mainly, he said after talks with Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi.
Last month, Qatar announced that it would provide Egypt with $2 billion in aid, with a first tranche of $500 million already being transferred.
Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil said the balance would be transferred in September, October and November.
The Egyptian central bank’s reserves have fallen sharply since Mubarak was forced out in February 2011. Reserves are down to $14.4 billion from $36 billion a year and a half ago.
The cash short fall raises fears about Egypt’s ability to maintain imports of basic commodities such as wheat and refined fuel and to honor its international financial commitments.
Egypt has faced serious and growing economic challenges since the ouster of president Hosni Mubarak last year, with key foreign currency earner tourism falling as well as incoming investment.
Last month, Cairo asked for a $4.8 billion loan last month from the International Monetary Fund.
No reason to object to the rich Gulf sheiklets giving billions to Egypt. It keeps them off the streets: both those who give and those who receive. But it makes no sense for the Americans, or other Western powers, to try to delay the moment when Muslims everywhere have to figure out what it is about Islam itself that explains the many failures -- economic, political, social, intellectual, and moral -- of Muslim states and societies.
When Qatar -- and possibly the Emirates, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and others -- start giving Egypt aid, that will not make Egypt even "more Muslim" than it was. But it will cause resentment, among Egyptians, should those Qataris, Emirates, Kuwaitis, Saudis, ever decide to lower the level of aid. And it will start to cause resentment, too, among the Arabs -- Qataris, Emiratis, Kuwaitis, Saudis -- who will begin to feel that there is no need to share with the Umma. The giver will give reluctantly, the receiver receive as if by right, and An Era of Bad Feelings will inevitably begin, as the Egyptians see themselves as culturally more advanced than the desert Arabs on whom they must now depend.
And with the Americans and other Westerners no longer feeling that they have to contribute to prop up Muslim and Arab states, and the people in the West recognize just how fabulously -- and undeservedly -- rich Qatar, the Emirates, Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia (and other Muslim members of OPEC) are, they will lose the desire, and the habit, of lavishing money on Egypt, Jordan, the "Palestinian" Authority, Pakistan, and so on.