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Recent Publications by New English Review Authors
The Real Nature of Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
As Far As The Eye Can See
by Moshe Dann
Threats of Pain and Ruin
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Oil Cringe of the West: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly Vol. 2
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Impact of Islam
by Emmet Scott
Sir Walter Scott's Crusades and Other Fantasies
by Ibn Warraq
Fighting the Retreat from Arabia and the Gulf: The Collected Essays and Reviews of J.B. Kelly. Vol. 1
edited by S.B. Kelly
The Literary Culture of France
by J. E. G. Dixon
Hamlet Made Simple and Other Essays
by David P. Gontar
Farewell Fear
by Theodore Dalrymple
The Eagle and The Bible: Lessons in Liberty from Holy Writ
by Kenneth Hanson
The West Speaks
interviews by Jerry Gordon
Mohammed and Charlemagne Revisited: The History of a Controversy
Emmet Scott
Why the West is Best: A Muslim Apostate's Defense of Liberal Democracy
Ibn Warraq
Anything Goes
by Theodore Dalrymple
Karimi Hotel
De Nidra Poller
The Left is Seldom Right
by Norman Berdichevsky
Allah is Dead: Why Islam is Not a Religion
by Rebecca Bynum
Virgins? What Virgins?: And Other Essays
by Ibn Warraq
An Introduction to Danish Culture
by Norman Berdichevsky
The New Vichy Syndrome:
by Theodore Dalrymple
Jihad and Genocide
by Richard L. Rubenstein
Spanish Vignettes: An Offbeat Look Into Spain's Culture, Society & History
by Norman Berdichevsky
















Tuesday, 27 January 2015
What Didn't Happen Then, And Part Of The Reason Why
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Ben Kingsley says that Europe "didn't grieve" just after the war for the murdered Jews. Oh, it's worse than that. European governments, and especially the British government, showed little sympathy to the Jewish survivors of the camps. It tried to prevent them from getting to Mandatory Palestine. Ernest Bevin, Attlee's Foreign Secretary, himself threatened "the Jews" if they insisted, as he delicately put it, "in pushing to the front of the line" -- as if, for god's sake, they thought they might merit special attention in the immediate post-war period.

And efforts were made not to publicize what had happened to "the Jews." Germany was to be rehabilitated, quickly, and all those Nazis in the German judiciary, in the universities, in the medical field, were quickly reinstated. And the German Parliament, as soon as the Occupation was over, passed one law dear to the hearts of so many Germans, forbidding the death penalty. And just a few years after the war, practically everyone was back in business in Germany and some, like Reinhard Gehlen and his colleagues, were now on the American payroll, and others, like Klaus Barbie, were also on the American payroll or helped, throuh such prelates as Alois Hudal, to make it to Argentina, like Eichmann, or Brazil, like Mengele. 

Just the other day "Night Will Fall," a movie made by Alfred Hitchcock, from materials assumebled by Sidney Bernstein of the British Minsiter of Education, about the death camp of Bergen-Belsen and its liberation by British troops, was finally shown to the public on January 26, on HBO. It had never been shown publicly before, even though some of its footage "provided some of the most damning testimony presented at the Nuremberg war crimes trial."

And why was it not shown publicly, after the war? Because in Great Britain, whose nationals had made it, it was deemed that such a showing was inimical to British interests. The review in The Wall Street Journal explains why:

"It [the film[ would be housd, from 1952 on, in the archives of the Imperial War Museum. Then four years ago the IWM undertook the enormous task of restoring andd digitiziing the documeentary, along with the long-missing sixth reel. Now titled "Night Will Fall," the film leaves no question as to the reason it was withheld. Its commentators note that the British government then, whose policy was to bar any flow of European Jews to Palestine, was not eager to present a film that would create a great deal of sympathy for these survivors, as such a film surely would."
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Posted on 01/27/2015 4:22 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Short-- And Long-Term Memory Loss In Europe, And Elsewhere
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The Old World is suffering from senile dementia. Story here.
 

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Posted on 01/27/2015 1:05 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Internal Emails Show Al Jazeera English Banning Use of Terms ‘Terrorist,’ ‘Militant,’ ‘Islamist’
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Using Islam or Muslim is right out - not even a question. This email was obtained by National Review:

From: Carlos Van Meek 
Sent: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 10:06 AM
To: AJE-Newsdesk; AJE-Output; AJE-DC-Newsroom
Subject: Terrorists, Militants, Fighters and then some… 

 

All: We manage our words carefully around here. So I’d like to bring to your attention some key words that have a tendency of tripping us up. This is straight out of our Style Guide. All media outlets have one of those. So do we. If you’d like to amend, change, tweak.. pls write to Dan Hawaleshka direct who is compiling the updates to the Style Guide and they will be considered based on merit. No mass replies to this email, pls. 

 

EXTREMIST – Do not use. Avoid characterizing people. Often their actions do the work for the viewer. Could write ‘violent group’ if we’re reporting on Boko Haram agreeing to negotiate with the government. In other words, reporting on a violent group that’s in the news for a non-violent reason.
 
TERRORISM/TERRORISTS – One person’s terrorist is another’s freedom fighter. We will not use these terms unless attributed to a source/person.
 
ISLAMIST – Do not use. We will continue to describe groups and individuals, by talking about their previous actions and current aims to give viewers the context they require, rather than use a simplistic label.

NOTE: Naturally many of our guests will use the word Islamist in the course of their answers. It is absolutely fine to include these answers in our output. There is no blanket ban on the word.
JIHAD – Do not use the Arabic term. Strictly speaking, jihad means an inner spiritual struggle, not a holy war. It is not by tradition a negative term. It also means the struggle to defend Islam against things challenging it. Again, an Arabic term that we do not use.
 
FIGHTERS – We do not use words such as militants, radicals, insurgents. We will stick with fighters. However, these terms are allowed when quoting other people using them. 
 
MILITANT – We can use this term to describe individuals who favour confrontational or violent methods in support of a political or social cause. For example, we can use the term to describe Norwegian mass-killer Andres Behring Breivik or Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh. But please note: we will not use it to describe a group of people, as in ‘militants’ or ‘militant groups’ etc.

 

J. CARLOS VAN MEEK | HEAD OF OUTPUT | NEWS 
AL JAZEERA ENGLISH
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Posted on 01/27/2015 4:24 PM by Rebecca Bynum
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Big American Turnout To Pay Respects And Meet The New King
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Saudi Arabia's one claim on American attention is its money, derived not from any industry on the part of its subjects, or entrepreneurial flair, but solely as the result of an accident of geology. For its security, for its doctors, for its engineers, for its-practically-everything, it relies on the advanced West. Its mosques and school textbooks continue to inculcate hatred of non-Muslims. Individual Saudis, and some institutions too, support such groups as the Muslim Brotherhood (and Hamas, which is the embodiment of the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza and "the West Bank"), All-Nusra Front and even the Islamic State. Saudi Arabia stands for unenlightened despotism,the criminal law according to the Shari'a, or hudud (that is, floggings and the lopping off of limbs and decapitations, and being able to buy your way out of punishment by the payment of money to a victim's family), the treating of women as mute niqabbed chattel, and the mistreatment even of foreign non-Muslims who dare, behind closed doors, to try to sing Christmas carols, or observe some Hindu ritual.

The Saudis, totally dependent on the West, are encouraged to think that the Western world needs to court them, and few things do as much to swell their heads, quiite unnecessarily, as this visit by so many American dignitaries to "pay their respects" to the dead king, Abdullah, and to his successor Salman. Quite a contrast to the American absence at the Charlie-Hebdo march in Paris, a few weeks ago.

The report here.

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Posted on 01/27/2015 12:44 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Obama Shares A Light-Hearted Moment With A Friend
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Posted on 01/27/2015 12:29 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Why Damian Pachter Fled Buenos Aires: “Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system.”
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Damian Pachter, Buenos Aires Herald journalist, Tel Aviv 1-25-15

Source: Ha'aretz

Yesterday, we posted on the arrival in Tel Aviv of  Buenos Aires Herald journalist Damian Pachter fleeing Argentine after his scoop of the death of Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman. A press conference was held yesterday in Tel Aviv. Ha’aretz  published Pachter’s account that was picked up on The Daily Forward blog, “Why I Fled Argentina After Alberto Nisman Scoop”.

What Pachter describes in his recounting of his experience mirrors many of the elements in Israeli-Argentinean Gustavo Perednik’s book, now in English translation, To Kill without a Trace: A Prequel to 9/11- Iranian Bombs in Buenos Aires.  Gustavo depicts  a country led by a succession of corrupt governments caving in state terrorism attacks by Iran and proxy Hezbollah. All because of Argentina’s abandonment of nuclear cooperation agreements stretching back to the era of the Shah, which ended in the early 90’s. Argentina was conveniently close to the Iran/Hezbollah terror base in the triangle frontier border separating it from neighboring Paraguay and Brazil. Former Argentine President Carlos Menem had been bribed by the Islamic Regime as early as 1986 with funds deposited in Swiss accounts. He turned turtle after the AMIA Jewish center bombing in 1994 under pressure from cabinet ministers. This despite information obtained by Judge Jouan Jose Galeano  from Manouchehr Moatamar an Iranian defector in Caracas  of Iran’s and Hezbollah’s complicity in planning and executing the 1992 Israeli Embassy, 1994 AMIA and Panamanian commuter plane blasts. Ironically Galeano late figures prominently in the 2001 trial corruption conduct.  The bombing of the Alas Chiricanas Flight 901  from Colon to Panama City that killed 12 Jewish businessmen was deemed by both Panamanian and US investigators as an act of terrorism. It occurred one day following the AMIA bombing on July 18, 1994. Menem’s cabinet urged him not to provoke the deadly Islamists. Instead, given his Syrian Muslim background before his Catholic conversion and family contacts there he opted to create an enormous cover up. A cover up  the late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman eventually unraveled. That  followed the exposure of accusations of corruption in  the conduct of the four year trial of accused Buenos Aires police officials that ended in  2005 with their exoneration. Nisman worked with the aid of intercepted calls and transcripts, obtained from Argentinean spy chief , Antonio Horacio Stiuso of SIDE. He was able to use that information to enable the issuance of the 2007 Interpol arrest warrant for Iranian and Hezbollah leaders. They were involved in planning and executing the 1992 and 1994 terrorist attacks that killed 25 Israelis and 85 Argentineans injuring hundreds.

Nisman’s likely murder and cover up of his recent Complaint against President Cristina Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman is in line with the trail of corruption and  cover up in response to State sponsored terrorism of the Islamic Regime in Tehran and proxy Hezbollah.  The alleged dropping of charges against the Iranian perpetrators of the 1992 and 1994 Buenos Aires bombings  in exchange for a trade deal for oil fits the revelation of the pattern of  the 20 year web  of official deceit and corruption that led to Nisman’s death in January 2015. 

Here are some  excerpts from the Ha’aretz/ Daily Forward article by Pachter:

When my source gave me the scoop on Alberto Nisman’s death, I was writing a piece on the special prosecutor’s accusations against President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, her (Jewish) Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, two pro-Iran “social activists” and parliamentarian Andrés Larroque. I learned that Nisman had been shot dead in his home.

The vetting process wasn’t too tough because of my source’s incredible attention to detail. His name will never be revealed.

Two things stood in my mind: my source’s safety and people’s right to know what happened that day, though not necessarily in that order.

Of course, for both speed and the contagion effect, Twitter was the way to go. The information was so solid I never doubted my source, despite my one or two colleagues who doubted me because I only had 420 Twitter followers — a number now eclipsing 10,000.

As the night went on, journalists contacted me in order to get the news from me even more directly. The first to do so was Gabriel Bracesco.

Once I tweeted that Nisman had died, hundreds of people quickly retweeted the news and started following me. That was my first of many sleepless days.

“You just broke the best story in decades,” lots of people said. “You’re crazy,” was another take. Either way, nobody questioned that the situation was very grave.

The following days were marked by a government trying to create an official story. First, the head of state suggested a “suicide hypothesis,” then a mysterious murder. They of course were not to blame.

Encounter with Argentine Intelligence officer:

After several hours on the road, I arrived at the bus station, where I remained for a couple of hours. It turns out this was a big mistake: I think that was the place someone started watching me. But I didn’t realize it back then.

I didn’t want to stay too long in any one place, so I walked over to a gas-station joint nearby. My friend contacted me and said: “I’ll be there in 20 minutes.”

I was sitting around there for two hours or so when a very strange person came in. He wore jeans, a jeans jacket and Ray-Ban sunglasses. I noticed him immediately but stayed where I was. He was sitting two tables from me.

Suddenly I felt a finger on my neck and jumped like I never did my whole life.

“You’re a bit jumpy son” — it was my friend making one of his jokes. “You’re under surveillance; haven’t you noticed the intelligence guy behind you?”

“The one with the jeans and Ray-Bans?”

“Yeah.”

“What does he want?”

“Stay calm and look into my camera,” my guy said as he took my picture. Well, actually he took a picture of the intelligence officer, who left five minutes later. I have that picture here with me.

I then had to consider the best thing to do, because when an Argentine intelligence agent is on your tail, it’s never good news. He didn’t just want to have a coffee with me, that’s for sure.


Pachter’s conclusion:

After I left Argentina I found out that the government was still publishing wrong information about me on social media. The Twitter feed of Casa Rosada, the Argentine presidential palace, posted the details of the airline ticket I had bought, and claimed that I intended to return to Argentina by February 2 — in other words, I hadn’t really fled the country. In fact, my return date is in December.

Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system. I still haven’t figured out everything that has happened to me over the past 48 hours. I never imagined my return to Israel would be like this.

You may read more, here.

 

 


 

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Posted on 01/27/2015 11:07 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
At least five held in 'anti-jihadist' raid in France
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Breaking news from the French edition of The Local

 At least five people have been arrested after an anti-jihadist operation in southern France, which is still ongoing. The operation took place in the small town of Lunel east of Montpellier in southern France, from where around 20 young people have left for Syria. Six of them, aged 18 to 30, have been killed since October.
   
Crack French security forces launched the operation at 6am in a building in the centre of the town, according to witnesses that spoke to AFP.

Another witness said authorities had taken away his brother. "They flattened me, got me on the floor, hit me. Then they took away my brother," this man said.
 
French security sources have pointed to the small town of Lunel as a "recruitment network" for jihadists.
   
Some 1,400 people living in France have either joined the jihadist cause in Syria and Iraq or are planning to do so, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said earlier this month.
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Posted on 01/27/2015 11:19 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Slow Jihadists Of Fatah: "Everything In Its Time"
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Posted on 01/27/2015 10:16 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Clear-Eyed Pat Condell
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Watch, and listen, here.

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Posted on 01/27/2015 9:53 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Professor Carol Swain Of Vanderbilt States Some Home Truths, And Refuses To Be Intimidated
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Her original article on Islam here.

Her summary of what has happened to her since here.

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Posted on 01/27/2015 9:38 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Afraid To Confront Head-On The Menace Of Islam, Manuel Valls Has A Terrible Idea
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Posted on 01/26/2015 9:52 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Lebanese Shiite Politician: Hezbollah, A Puppet Of Iran, Endangers Lebanon And Its Shi'a
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Ahmed Al-Assad says that Hezbollah members who went with Iranians to Quneitra on the Golan were courting trouble, and they got it.

Here.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 9:24 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
El-Sisi, Egypt's Greatest Leader, Knows Which Identity To Embrace
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It is not clear that the American government, or other governments in the West, understand what El-Sisi is trying to do. He is trying not only to do as much damage as he can -- no one can destroy -- the Muslim Brotherhood, but to do what he can to limit the tug of identites -- Arab, Islamic -- other than that of "Egyptian." His recent remark shows that he understands perfectly that Egypt, alone among the Arab states, has a sufficiently long history, and within that history a sufficiently long pre-islamic period in which pride can be taken (and it is that period, and that alone, in which tourists have an interest), and the more Egyptians focus on "Egypt" the less likely they will be to heed the siren song of Islam, of the supposed Islamic identity of a country whose truest Egyptians are the Copts, or rather those who stayed Copts, for so many of those who claim to be Arab and Muslim in Egypt, including those who torment and despise the Copts, are themselves the descendants of Copts who were forcibly converted over the centuries, either directly or to escape the terrific pressure of having to pay the Jizyah and be subject to other disabilities as well.

Of course El-Sisi cannot change, by himself, the political culture of Egypt, and there are plenty of examples -- you can see some at www.memritv.org -- of crazed Egyptians, including those who are newsmen, professors, journalists,religious leaders, still with their conspiracy-theories and absurd views of the universe. But he's doing, with what he has to work with, a good deal.

When he says this in a recent speech to an audience of Copts:

"Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. That is why we must not call ourselves anything other than 'Egyptians.' This is what we must be -- Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed! I just want to tell you that -- Allah willing -- we shall build our nation together, accommodate make room for each other, and we shall like each other, love each other, love each other in earnest so that people may see."

then you understand that Egypt has a leader who is not, as Nasser was, someone consumed with pan-Arabism, and in being the leader of "the Arabs." Nor is he, like Sadat, full of self--importance, and insufficiently aware of the dangers of an Islam unconstrained. Sadat had a falling-out with the Muslim Brotherhood,but in his earlier years (the British imprisoned Sadat during World War II for being pro-Nazi) he was much closer to their world view, and while he regarded the Ikhwan as a political threat to himself, Sadat would never have seen concluded that Islam itself was a problem, or that Egypt should de-emphasize the "Arab" component of its identity. And he mistreated the Coptic Pope.  El-Sisi is doing what he can to promote the Pharaonism of Taha Hussain, and that is a fantastic turn in Egypt's history. If the young leftists so unhappy with the methods employed by El-Sisi's regime still refuse to see that El-Sisi is is an enlightened despot and that everywhere in the Muslim lands the best that can be hoped for is an enlightened despot, then they have an unrealistic view of the primitives who make up so much of the Egyptian population. And if someone brings up the "democracy" in Tunisia, one should note the uniqueness of that example. For Tunisia is a country that had a half-century of Habib Bourguiba and those who followed his militantly secular  line. Beji Caid Essebsi, the leader of the secular forces just voted in, is 88 years old, of the old Bourguiba line, and he is experienced enough to know not to trust the feline leader of Ennahda, Rachid  Ghannouchi, nor those who think deals can be made with such people, and he, and those around him, will be ruthless and "undemoractic" if it turns out they have to be, to protect the half ot the Tunisian population that wants to be French from the half of the population that wants to be Saudi.

It is a stroke of luck that Al-Sisi has become the ruler of Egypt, supported by others of apparently similar views in the army but not only in the army. He is the Copts' great hope. He is the great hope, too, of those Muslims who know that something is very wrong with Islam. He has read Taha Hussain, and taken that "Pharaonism"  to heart. Enough nonsense about the "Arab spring" and "spreading democracy." That won't do in Muslim lands; only the enlightened despot can constrain Islam and help to create secular class. Ataturk, who was such an enlightened despot, ruled Turkey for nearly 20 years and that rule ended only with his death. In those days, far from prying eyes and nosy reporters, Ataturk could do what he had to without having to worry about what Western public opinion thought. El-Sisi has a much harder job. May this man of the hour not prove to be the man of an hour, but given the time to do what he knows he must to save Egypt, just, from disaster.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 8:41 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Stephen Budiansky Reviews Abram De Swaan's Book On Mass Killings
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Here.

There is at least one thing in this review that you will never forget. And you shouldn't.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 8:34 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Tom Friedman, Nicholas Kristof, Fareed Zakaria, Charlie Rose Explained
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Posted on 01/26/2015 4:55 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Isis urges new attacks after Paris shootings
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From the French edition of The Local

The Islamic State jihadist group Isis urged Muslims on Monday to carry out new attacks similar to the Paris shooting at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where 17 people were killed.  

Abu Mohamed al-Adnani, referring to attacks in France, Australia, Canada and Belgium, urged "Muslims in Europe and the infidel West to attack the Crusaders where they are...We promise that in the Christian bastions they will continue to live in a state of alert, of terror, of fear and insecurity... You have seen nothing yet," the recording said.
   
He added that the group would consider as "enemies" those Muslims who were able to carry out such attacks but failed to do so.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 3:42 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 26 January 2015
A Musical Interlude: For Nature, No Kind Of Weather Is Bad (Alyssa Freundlich)
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Listen here. 

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Posted on 01/26/2015 12:56 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
When It Comes To The Weather, Nature Doesn't Play Favorites-- Only Men Do
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Nature doesn't prefer one form of weather to another. It's Man who does. Or some men -- and it depends on where those men live, and what weather they are used to, and what weather they seldom, or never, get to experience. If you live  near the Equator, you don't yearn for a beaker full of the warm south, as you would if you lived on Hampstead Heath. If you live in sun-starved Germany, even under an occasional sky of Prussian blue, Goethe's Kennst du das Land, wo die Zitronen bluhm will certainly make you dream of lands away, and the impulse that verse exploits helps to explain all those German tourists now able, as they were not when those verses were written, to visit by the tens of thousands the isle of Capri. A Russian child's famous wish goes like this: Pust vsegda budet solntse (may the sun always be), a sentiment deemed so simple, obvious, and universal, that it is found in Russian first-grade readers. But it might not be true for someone in the desarts adust of the Sahara, or the savannahs of sub-Saharan Africa.. No, when it comes to the weather, pust budet anything at all, depending only on what you as a matter of course have and have not. As for me, and possibly you, I say bring on the blizzard, make way for the heaviest conceivable Metel'. As long, of course, as we are all l-l--beaned-up. As the old song says, in its clear-eyed version, "I've got my gloves to keep me warm."

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Posted on 01/26/2015 12:51 PM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Breaking Developments in Probe of Death of Argentine Prosecutor Nisman
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Alberto Nisman’s ex-wife  Federal Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado in Buenos Aires, 1-24-15

Source: Martin Di Maggio/EPA

 

This weekend there were dramatic developments in the investigation into the death of Argentine Prosecutor Nisman involving his ex-wife, Judge Sandra Arroyo Salgado and Buenos Aires Herald Journalist Damien Pachter.   According to a report  from the Buenos Aires  Herald  Arroyo Salgado returned from a trip to Europe,   testified  for more than 8 hours before Investigative Prosecutor, Viviana Fein.  Arroyo Salgado requested  standing  in the investigation as a plaintiff on behalf of two teen age daughters from her marriage to Nisman .  The Herald noted that, “Should Arroyo Salgado be considered a plaintiff, she will have the right to request that investigators of her own choosing be involved in the probe into Nisman’s death. Judge Palmaghini has yet either to grant the request.”   In her testimony,  “she  provided information about Nisman’s sudden return from Europe and her doubts that he committed suicide.  Arroyo Salgado is a federal judge for the San Isidro district.

The Herald reported on court actions at the hearing given Judge Arroyo Salgado’s testimony:

During her testimony, Judge Fabiana Palmaghini ordered that new and confidential measures to collect evidence be implemented and the Federal Police was seen at Nisman’s residence. Fein also announced that she was awaiting the results of new ballistics tests that included samples for DNA testing and to determine if the bullet removed from Nisman’s body was fired by the gun found at his side.

There had been questions raised following the death of Nisman under mysterious circumstances that it was possibly not a suicide, but rather a murder. We noted in an Iconoclast post that Argentine President Kirchner  suggested in letters posted on her Facebook page  that Nisman’s death  it might a murder by rogue agents  from  the country’s intelligence service.   That despite Nisman’s allegations that both Kirchner and Foreign Minister Hector Timerman may have been part of a cover up involving withdraw of charges against several  Iranian officials in exchange a billion dollar trade deal  with Iran .  His investigations were contained in a Compliant that led to the issuance in 2007 of an Interpol warrant for the arrest of those Iranian officials allegedly involved in the 1994 AMIA Jewish Center bombing in Buenos Aires.

The Guardian in an article on  Saturday’s  court hearing in Buenos Aires noted who Kirchner accused of

involvement in Nisman’s death:

Fernández fingered spy chief “Jaime” Stiuso (whose real name is apparently Antonio Horacio Stiuso) as her main suspect. The 61-year-old intelligence operative has become a household name after Fernández alleged that Stiuso provided Nisman with hundreds of hours of intercepted calls on which the prosecutor built his case, accusing the president of attempting through secret negotiations to derail Nisman’s attempts to extradite five Iranian officials to stand trial for the AMIA Jewish community center blast in 1994.

Stiuso has never been seen in public and has been interviewed only once in his life, last month a few days before Fernández fired him from his top post at the intelligence secretariat.

“Stiuso was obsessed with the AMIA case,” says Rodis Recalt, the journalist from Noticias magazine who interviewed him. “He worked closely with Nisman to build the case against Iran.”

“Stiuso left Argentina, just in case,” says Recalt. The larger question remains who blew up the AMIA 20 years ago, still one of the most politically charged open wounds in Argentinean society.

“It doesn’t matter if I know who blew up the AMIA,” Stiuso told Recalt before being dismissed by Fernández. “All that matters is what I can prove.”

Given the role of Argentina’s intelligence agency, SIDE, in the Nisman investigations, Judge Arroyo Salgado had been involved in several investigations involving the intelligence services.  The Herald noted that “in 2012 the judge, who is a former public defender, indicted former SIDE intelligence agency head Juan Bautista “Tata” Yofre for having hacked public email accounts between 2006 and 2008 to sell information.”

Damian Pachter, The Buenos Aires Herald Reporter

Source: Reuters

 Saturday, Damian Pachter, The Herald journalist who broke the story on Nisman’s death fled Buenos Aires, arriving Sunday  in Tel Aviv. Ynet.com reported the circumstances behind his flight  in a story, Journalist who reported Nisman's death lands in Israel:

  Pachter announced via the Argentinean Journalist Forum on Saturday that he noticed "suspicious surveillance", and thus decided to escape. "I am leaving because my life is in danger," said Pachter, who specializes in international relations.

"The journalists' forum is notifying that Damian Pachter left the country due to threats over his personal safety," the group wrote on its Twitter account." As Pachter explained to the forum, yesterday he noticed suspicious sources trailing him, and felt that he had to leave the country at this stage."

Meanwhile, a police source told the Associated Press on Friday night that the ten officers in Nisman's security detail were taken in for questioning. According to the source, the investigators are examining how long it took the two officers posted outside Nisman's door to inform their commanders that he did not answer his phone

 

 Damian, who has Israeli citizenship will be holding a news conference today about the circumstances behind his flight from Argentina.  Ynet.com   these comments from  Pachter: 

"I came to Israel because I am an Israeli citizen I lived here the most important years of my life and this is a place where I feel safe," Pachter said Sunday after landing in Israel.    

"I left because the Argentinean government pursues  me because of my news report regarding the death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman who died in unresolved way last week.  So I was the first who reported  on that and now I am kind of suffering the consequences," he said.

Watch this Reuters video interview with Pachter upon arrival in Israel:

 

As Alice in Wonderland might comment about the circumstances of Nisman death, “curiosier and curiosier”.  Earlier today we interviewed Yedioth Ahronoth intelligence columnist, Dr. Ronen Bergman who  met Nisman in Israel through the auspices of  Argentine – Israeli, Gustavo Perednik, author of To Kill without a Trace: A Prequel to 9/11-Iranian Bombs in Buenos Aires.  We hope to bring you an article in the February  New English Review  regarding Bergman’s entre to Nisman and role in facilitating Nisman’s liaison with Israeli intelligence officials, both former and then currently serving. Bergman, at the time  was in the final stages of completing his major investigative work, The Secret War with Iran: The 30-Year Clandestine Struggle Against the World's Most Dangerous Terrorist Power”.

 

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Posted on 01/26/2015 10:36 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital treats 1,500 victims of Female Genital Mutilation in just FIVE years
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From the Birmingham Mail

A Birmingham hospital has dealt with 1,500 cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in just five years. The shocking statistic was discussed this week at a meeting of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.

Members were told that cases of the sickening practice peaked at Birmingham’s Heartlands Hospital in 2013 with 349 recorded victims - nearly 20 per cent more than the previous year.

It means around six victims are dealt with at the Bordesley Green-based hospital every single week, showing the true scale of the hidden crime.

FGM has been illegal in the UK since 1984, and since 2003 anyone taking a child out of the UK for the barbaric practice faces 14 years in prison. Despite the rise in hospital cases and an increase in reports to police in 2014 there has not been a single conviction in the UK.

The hospital told the Mail that it deals with an average of six cases every single week and added that all of the victims had been mutilated abroad during childhood. The panel was told by the Muslim Women’s Network that the current support and counselling for victims was simply not good enough. Well stop doing it then. And shop the old crones when they are shipped in, or the little girls are shipped out. 

The charity said the latest case it uncovered was just last week and involved a young Yemeni girl from an unnamed Birmingham school.

The Digbeth-based charity said it was regularly contacted by people in the West Midlands who were victims of FGM. It now runs a number of awareness raising workshops with girls inside Birmingham schools, but added that it had particularly struggled to engage with the Yemeni community.

Nobody has been convicted of FGM related offences in the UK but it carries a maximum prison sentence of up to 14 years. It is illegal to take a child out of the country to carry out FGM, but a current legal loophole means that the victim has to be a permanent UK resident for a prosecution to proceed. It was estimated in 2011 that 137,000 survivors of FGM are living in the UK.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 10:35 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Saudi King Salman Funded Islamists and Anti-Semitic Clerics
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King Salman of Saudi Arabia

Source AP

President Obama cancelled a day of sightseeing in India with Michelle to travel to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to pay a condolence call on the half brother successor to the late 'reformer' King Abdullah, King Salman.  Through the diligence of David Weinberg at the Washington, DC-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) we now know the extent to which Salman funded the Mujahideen in the Afghan secret wars of the 1980's, contributed to a questionable Islamic charity with terrorist ties and praised anti-Semitic clerics, one of whom was a mentor to the late Osama bin Laden.  We wonder if the West Wing and State Department did its due diligence upon the announcement of Salman's designation as successor to the late Abdullah?  If they did, they kept it quiet.  We also wonder what views Salman may have on the reform of the Kingdom's medieval punishment practices, decapitation, lashes for criticism of the Wahhabist extremist ideology, oppression of women and gays, if the later even deign to come out?  All of this is spelled out in Adam Kredo's article in today's Washington Free Beacon, "Saudi Arabia’s New King Helped Fund Radical Terrorist Groups."

Here are some of the revelations from Weinberg at FDD, former CIA officers Bob Baer and Bruce Riedel.

 

However, throughout his public career in government, Salman has embraced radical Muslim clerics and has been tied to the funding of radical groups in Afghanistan, as well as an organization found to be plotting attacks against America, according to various reports and information provided by David Weinberg, a senior fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies.

 

In 2001, an international raid of the Saudi High Commission for Aid to Bosnia, which Salman founded in 1993, unearthed evidence of terrorist plots against America, according to separate exposés written by Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, and Robert Baer, a former CIA officer.

Salman is further accused by Baer of having “personally approved all important appointments and spending” at the International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO), a controversial Saudi charity that was hit with sanctions following the attacks of September 11, 2001, for purportedly providing material support to al Qaeda.

Salman also has been reported to be responsible for sending millions of dollars to the radical mujahedeen that waged jihad in Afghanistan in the 1980s, according to Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who is now director of the Brookings Intelligence Project.

“In the early years of the war—before the U.S. and the Kingdom ramped up their secret financial support for the anti-Soviet insurgency—this private Saudi funding was critical to the war effort,” according to Riedel. “At its peak, Salman was providing $25 million a month to the mujahedeen. He was also active in raising money for the Bosnian Muslims in the war with Serbia.”

Salman also has embraced radical Saudi clerics known for their hateful rhetoric against Israel and Jews.

Salman has worked closely with Saleh al-Moghamsy, who tweeted in August 2014 that “Allah only gathered Jews in the land of Palestine to destroy them.”

Al-Moghamsy also stated in a 2014 television interview that “the hatred of Jews toward Muslims is an eternal hatred.” He also claimed in 2012 that Osama bin Laden had died with more “sanctity and honor” than any infidel, or non-Muslim.

Despite this rhetoric, Salman has maintained close ties to al-Moghamsy.

Salman chairs the board of an organization run by al-Moghamsy and has sponsored the cleric’s public events, including a 2013 festival. Salman and al-Moghamsy were pictured many times together at that event, according to regional reports.

Al-Moghamsy also has been an adviser to two of Salman’s sons, one of whom posed for a selfie with the cleric in July.

Salman also has reached out to other hardline preachers, including Safar Hawali, a one-time mentor of Osama bin Laden who has called for non-Muslims to be expelled from Saudi Arabia.

In 2005, Salman called Hawali to inquire about his health and in 2010 praised him upon the release of a book.

While crown prince, Salman also made a point of phoning Aidh Abdullah al-Qarni, a Saudi author currently on the U.S. Terrorist Screening Center’s No Fly List who has praised Hamas and called Israelis “the brothers of apes and pigs.”

Additionally, Salman, in his role as crown prince, has recently visited Saudi Arabia’s grand mufti, the nation’s highest religious authority, who has asserted that 10 is an appropriate age of marriage for girls and called for the destruction of all churches in the Arabian Peninsula.

Weinberg, who has been tracking Salman closely, said that the new monarch is taking up his predecessor’s mantle of moderate reform.

“Just like King Abdullah tried to present himself as a reformer, some are trying to suggest that the new king, Salman, is a moderate who will continue his half-brother’s so-called progressive policies,” Weinberg said. “But just look at where Saudi Arabia is after Abdullah: people are being decapitated and flogged by the state in the streets.”

“Women are systematically oppressed by their own government, and the regime continues to propagate incitement and intolerance,” he continued. “Salman’s background funding mujahedeen abroad and embracing hateful clerics suggests that he is at best a political opportunist who will tolerate continued religious extremism, even if he does not hold such views himself.”

Will President Obama  follow the precedent of  bowing to King Salman , when he greeted the late Saudi King Abdullah in London   during a meeting?  Watch this You Tube video  from  a Fox New's O'Reilly Factor report.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 5:12 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Which Medical Treatments Today Will We Someday Regard as Barbaric?
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Medical history is instructive, if for no other reason than that it might help to moderate somewhat the medical profession’s natural inclination to arrogance, hubris and self-importance. But the medical curriculum is now too crowded to teach it to medical students and practicing doctors are too busy with their work and keeping up-to-date to devote any time to it. It is only when they retire that doctors take an interest in it, as a kind of golf of the mind, and by then it is too late: any harm caused by their former hubris has already been done.

Until I read an article in a recent edition of the Lancet, I knew of only one eminent doctor who had been shot by his patient or a patient’s relative: the Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese neurologist Egas Moniz, who was paralyzed by a bullet in the back. It was he who first developed the frontal lobotomy, though he was also a pioneer of cerebral arteriography. As he was active politically during Salazar’s dictatorship, I am not sure whether his patient shot him for medical or political reasons, or for some combination of the two.

The article in the Lancet doubled the number of eminent doctors I knew of who had been shot. Professor Luigi Maria Bossi, an eminent gynecologist in Milan, was shot dead in his office in 1919 by a jealous husband, who fired first at Bossi and then at his wife, Bossi’s patient, and then turned his gun on himself.

Bossi was responsible, inadvertently, for the death of Constance Holland, Oscar Wilde’s wife. He operated on her in 1898 for a fibroid in her uterus and the complication killed her five days later.

The operation was probably unnecessary, because Bossi wrongly attributed the urinary symptoms from which Constance had been suffering to the fibroid. In fact, she was almost certainly suffering from multiple sclerosis, a disease which had only recently been recognized and of whose existence and symptomatology Bossi, who was not a neurologist, might not have been aware.

Constance began to suffer from the symptoms even before her husband’s conviction. From 1889, six years before his imprisonment, she suffered from sudden lameness in the leg, which came and went in a way characteristic of the disease. She then suffered a variety of neurological symptoms, including neuralgia and weakness of the arm. Bossi undertook to cure her and performed an operation on her two years before he operated again and killed her.

He may have operated because he thought that Constance suffered from hysteria, for he also believed that gynecological conditions were a cause of insanity and hysteria and was the author of two books on how to cure insanity by gynecological operations. Such beliefs, that now seem to us so absurd that it is a wonder to us that anyone could ever have held them, were not uncommon at the time, and Freud himself, under the influence of his friend, the ear, nose and throat surgeon Wilhelm Fliess, believed that a condition of the nasal septum could cause hysterical symptoms. In the 1920s a man called Cotton tried to cure schizophrenia by taking out all the patients’ teeth, on the theory that infected teeth were the cause of the condition.

What are our theories today that will seem absurd to our successors, what unnecessary or dangerous operations performed on the flimsiest of hypotheses? We can never know. Properly conducted trials repeatedly demonstrate that widespread practices are useless at best and harmful at worst. However, there is a more fundamental principal of medical ethics than First do no harm. It is that Something must be done.

First published in PJ Media.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 5:37 AM by Theodore Dalrymple
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Monday, 26 January 2015
El-Sisi Visits Church on Coptic Christmas Eve
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Raymond Ibrahim writes at Gatestone Institute:

"Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. That is why we must not call ourselves anything other than 'Egyptians.' This is what we must be -- Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed! I just want to tell you that -- Allah willing -- we shall build our nation together, accommodate make room for each other, and we shall like each other, love each other, love each other in earnest so that people may see." — Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, President of Egypt, addressing Egypt's Christian Copts.

Egyptian President el-Sisi did the unprecedented and congratulated Egypt's Christian minority in their cathedral – a small but courageous step on the long road of what el-Sisi calls Egypt's "religious revolution."

On January 6, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi became the first Egyptian president ever to visit the St. Mark Cathedral during Coptic Christmas Eve Mass and offer his good wishes to the nation's Christian minority.

Because Islamic law bans wishing non-Muslims well on their religious celebrations, all previous presidents -- Nasser, Sadat, Mubarak, and of course Morsi -- had never attended Coptic Christmas mass.

As expected, the greetings el-Sisi received from the hundreds of Christians present were jubilant. His address was often interrupted by applause, clapping, and cheers of "We love you!" and "Hand in hand" -- phrases he reciprocated. He said, among other things:

Egypt has brought a humanistic and civilizing message to the world for millennia and we are here today to confirm that we are capable of doing so again. Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. This is why we must not call ourselves anything other than "Egyptians." This is what we must be -- Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed! I just want to tell you that -- Allah willing, Allah willing -- we shall build our nation together, accommodate each other, make room for each other, and we shall like each other—love each other, love each other in earnest, so that people may see… So let me tell you once again, Happy New Year, Happy New Year to you all, Happy New Year to all Egyptians!

 

Egypt's President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi became visits the St. Mark Cathedral during Coptic Christmas Eve Mass. (Image source: YouTube video screenshot)

 

While this speech may seem commonplace to the average Western observer, in the context of Egypt, it is very controversial. Consider what other Muslim Egyptians said in the days before Coptic Christmas.

On loudspeakers, an imam at the Abu Hamda mosque in Kafr al-Dawwar near Alexandria condemned the very notion of congratulating Christians, not just on their own holidays, but even general holidays. He said Christians are "miscreants" and "polytheists," that they are "unclean," and that, accordingly, they should never be wished a Happy New Year, or a good year ahead, because "goodness" can only exist in a monotheistic perspective, whereas Christians hold that God had a son, making them infidels and polytheists.

He further quoted Koran 9:28, which says "O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean." Most Muslims listening to him were likely familiar with the follow up verse, 9:29, which calls on believers to war against the People of the Book—Christians and Jews—until they are utterly subjugated.

Being disgusted by "unclean" Christians is not an uncommon theme among Egyptian Islamists. In this video, for example, of Dr. Abdullah Badr -- an Egyptian Muslim scholar, graduate of Al Azhar and professor of Islamic exegesis, who spent ten years in prison under Mubarak and was released under Morsi -- explains how "disgusted" he is by Christians, to the point that, if a Copt were to touch his cup, he would not drink from it:

I get grossed out. Get that? Disgust, I get grossed out man, I cannot stand their smell or ... I don't like them, it's my choice. And they gross me out; their smell, their look, everything. I feel disgusted, disgusted.

Of course, many will dismiss these imams and clerics as on the "fringe extremist" movement. What, then, of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi -- one of the most influential Islamic clerics in the world, author of over 100 books on Muslim doctrine, and head of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, members of which have had meetings in the White House? This man also condemns the act of congratulating Christians during Christmas (but supports the death penalty for apostasy and maintains that the prophet's injunctions must be obeyed at all times -- even if they require one to murder).

Days before Christmas, the elderly Qaradawi appeared in a video condemning any Muslim who somehow participates in Christmas, which he called a "sin, shameful, and indecent," as well as a product of "stupidity" and "ignorance of Islam's commandments":

Did you see all the celebrations that are taking place in Doha's streets [Qatar] and commercial centers for the birth of Christ, or "Christmas," as they call it?... How can we celebrate Christmas when we don't even celebrate our Prophet's birthday? It is a sin, shameful and indecent. It also shows stupidity in the way we deal with others, and ignorance of Islam's commandments."

Meanwhile, Georgetown University professor John Esposito has hailed Qaradawi for engaging in a "reformist interpretation of Islam and its relationship to democracy, pluralism, and human rights."

If condemning Muslim participation in Christmas festivities is not limited to extremists and Islamists, it is also not limited to Egypt. It appears every year throughout the entire Islamic world, including in non-Arab nations.

Thus, in Turkey, as Burak Bekdil reports, "The final week of the year featured the usual scenes in Turkey: A man dressed as a janissary [Ottoman warrior] chasing another dressed as Santa Claus in order to give him a good beating... Provincial education directors warning pupils against "Christmas and New Year celebrations..."

In Indonesia, the Islamic Defenders Front, according to Temo, "asked President Joko Widodo not to wish the country's Christians a merry Christmas," as "the president would be deemed an apostate should he opt to do so," meaning he would deserve the death penalty.

The reason for all this resistance to greetings "infidels" is clear: Based on Koranic verses and hadiths [the sayings and acts of Muhammad), there is consensus among Islam's ulema [religious scholars] that Muslims are not to greet or congratulate non-Muslims on their holy days and celebrations, as doing so implies non-Muslim beliefs -- which contradict Islam's -- are valid (see The Al Qaeda Reader, pgs. 89-91, for textual citations).

However the Indonesian president may have responded to Islamist threats, we know Egyptian President el-Sisi did the unprecedented on Coptic Christmas Eve and congratulated Egypt's Christian minority in their cathedral -- a small but courageous step on the long road of what el-Sisi calls Egypt's "religious revolution."

 

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Posted on 01/26/2015 5:21 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 26 January 2015
Newcastle teenagers attacked Jewish man in Gateshead because of Middle east conflict
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From The Chronicle, HT Mike

A plot to attack a Jew on the streets of Tyneside was motivated by conflict in the Middle East, a court heard.

A gang of Newcastle teenagers hatched a twisted plan to randomly target a member of the North East’s biggest Orthodox Jew population in Gateshead.

Balawal Sultan, who hours earlier sent a text message saying he was “going Jew bashing”, said the attack was a protest about the conflict in Palestine. Sultan, Kesa Malik, Hassnain Aliamin, and a 16-year-old lay in wait behind a van in Bensham, Gateshead and pounced on a man as he walked home to his family. . . the pack of thugs chased him down the street, throwing a piece of wood at him. A court heard the 41-year-old victim tripped as he fled in fear and was surrounded by the teenagers as he lay on the ground. One of the thugs was threatening to kick him in the head when he was saved by his friend’s intervention.

The attackers claimed they were only in the area looking for a new mosque but one of them admitted the planned attack was motivated by the dispute between Israel and Palestine.

After all four teenagers pleaded guilty to racially aggravated common assault, the victim said he has been left feeling unsafe in his own community.

He said in a statement to Newcastle Crown Court: “I feel shaken and unsafe to walk the streets in my own community. “I have never experienced fear and terror like it and I have no doubt I was attacked for being Jewish I was targeted because of my religion and I’m now scared to walk past members of the Asian community with whom otherwise I have no problem.  . . . I’m part of a very close community and this has had a far-reaching impact, word having spread and fear having also spread. . . I’m a peaceful person from a quiet and peaceful community and I’ve never been in that position before. . . "

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite said: “The defendants had deliberately travelled to the area in Gateshead where there were members of the Jewish community with the particular intention of targeting someone from that community. The Crown say the victim was targeted because he was wearing traditional Jewish attire, a black suit and white shirt and a black hat. . . "

Sultan said when they saw the victim they chased him and threw a stick at him as a “protest about the Palestinians and about the Jewish community” but denied making any contact with him.

Sultan, 18, of Croydon Road, Arthur’s Hill, Newcastle, Malik, 19, of Wingrove Gardens, Fenham, Newcastle, Aliamin, 18, a delivery driver and college student, of Croydon Road, Arthur’s Hill, and the now 17-year-old all admitted racially aggravated common assault.

Aliamin’s barrister said he accepted the attack was racially motivated and unpleasant and apologised for it. He said he had brought shame on his family. Barristers for the other two will mitigate for them at a later date, when they will be sentenced.

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Posted on 01/26/2015 4:33 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 25 January 2015
Five footballers from east London who quit UK to transfer to ISIS in Syria linked to Jihadi John
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From the Mail on Sunday, the Sunday Times and Espresso

Five radicalised footballers from east London who left the UK to join ISIS may hold the key to helping western authorities locate British executioner Jihadi John.

The group of militants all moved from their native Portugal to London, where they converted to Islam before adopting extremist views and travelling to Syria to join the terrorist network's ranks.

The men, who lived in Leyton and Walthamstow, have long been on the radar of intelligence officials - who believe the group plays a vital role in the production and dissemination of the sick beheading videos featuring Jihadi John.

In July 2014 - 39 days before James Foley became the first Western hostage to be murdered - one of the east London cell's ringleaders posted a message on Twitter indicating he had advance knowledge of the American journalist's grisly fate. 

Nero Saraiva, who lived in a one-bedroom council flat in Walthamstow for three years, tweeted: 'Message to America, the Islamic State is making a new movie. Thank u for the actors.' Just over a month later James Foley was beheaded in a YouTube video entitled A Message To America.

Abandoning a five-year-old son in the UK, Saraiva has gradually worked his way up the ranks of Isis. An old Facebook profile claims he graduated with a civil engineering degree from UEL in 2011 and later worked in “gas network operations” for a construction firm.

Although he studied engineering in Portugal, UEL is understood to have no record of him attending. Saraiva’s former partner, who did not want to be named, also had no recollection of him enrolling on a British course. “He was on jobseeker’s allowance most of the time,” she said.  The former partner said they had split up more than four years ago, a few months after the birth of their son. “He hasn’t paid a penny [in child support] since,” she added.

European security officials now believe Saraiva and his East London cell are responsible for the filming and dissemination of the series of sickening beheading videos, including the execution of British hostages Alan Henning and David Haines.

Experts hope the group's link to Jihadi John, who speaks with a London accent, will help them build a background profile of the ISIS executioner and his networks - and aid in any mission to capture or kill him, the Sunday Times reports.

MI5 are said to have worked out the identity of Jihadi John but have not yet released his name.

All five of the football-playing jihadists showed a passion for football in their younger years, and after moving to the UK, would often meet in a Portuguese-run cafe in east London to watch matches.

It is still unclear how they were radicalised in Britain but the borough of Waltham Forest where they lived is known to be home to a number of Islamic extremists. 

Also among the five, who all moved to London over the space of several years to study or find work, is Fabio Pocas, the youngest member of the group at 22.

Now using the name Abdurahman Al Andalus — a reference to Moorish rule in the southern region of Iberia — Pocas lives in a town called Manbij with a teenage jihadist bride from Holland.  In one Facebook message, he wrote: “Holy war is the only solution for humanity.”

All five of the men had family roots in Portugal's former African colonies and some were brought up to be Christians.

They travelled to London separately but at one point, a few of them shared a flat in Leyton, according to Expresso newspaper in Lisbon.

Celso Rodrigues da Costa, 28, is believed to have had training sessions with Arsenal - but was not offered a contract by the club. Last April, he was seen in an ISIS video shot on the banks of the Euphrates in Syria with an AK-47 in hand. In the clip, he slammed the West and denounced school teachers as 'drug dealers and paedophiles'.

Celso is thought to have followed his older brother, Edgar, to Syria in 2012. His 31-year-old sibling, who studied management and accounting in Portugal before emigrating to London, is thought to leading a band of foreign militants in Aleppo.

The fifth member of the cell, a 26-year-old former Catholic known as Sandro, was the last to travel to Syria and was reportedly killed last October in a coalition airstrike.  

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Posted on 01/25/2015 4:09 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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