Bad Advice From Pope Francis, Who Tells Us Not To Fear
by Hugh Fitzgerald
“Pope expresses concern over national policies dictated by fear,” by Giulia Segreti, Reuters, March 11, 2018:
Pope Francis on Sunday expressed concern over national policies dictated by fear, speaking only one week after Italy’s general elections which brought populist and anti-immigrant parties to the forefront.
The Italian elections were over in early March, and the parties in Italy that the Pope clearly was referring to as “dictated by fear” managed to make the greatest electoral gains. These parties are not really, as the non-Italian media and the Pope himself suggest, “anti-immigrant,” but, rather, they are “anti-Muslim immigrant.” There is a difference. Chief among these center-right parties is La Lega (“The League”), headed by Marco Salvini, who constantly declares that Islam is “incompatible with European values,’’ and unremarkably notes that Muslim immigrants are responsible for some of the country’s economic and security problems. It is to be expected that The Arab Weekly would describe La Lega as “a xenophobic and racist party that regularly speaks of an ‘Islamic invasion’ in Italy.” But the party is neither “xenophobic” nor “racist”; there is no “irrational hatred of foreigners,” but a rational fear of, and opposition to, Muslim migrants, based both on their observable behavior in Europe and on an understanding of the ideology of Islam. The “racism” canard, repeated ad nauseam, has to be refuted, just as often, by stating the obvious: Islam is not a race, opposition to Islam is not “racism.”
Pope Francis, the stout defender of Islam and Muslims, the man who has claimed “there is no such thing as Islamic terrorism,” that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence,” that “Islam is a religion of peace, one which is compatible with respect for human rights and peaceful coexistence,” is naturally alarmed by the increasing success of the so-called “anti-immigrant” parties. He who has made the defense of migrants and especially, of Muslims, a key pillar of his five-year papacy, finds that Italian voters do not agree.
Although the pope did not specifically refer to the elections, his words may resonate as a strong criticism of Italy’s center-right bloc which has strongly campaigned using anti-migrant policy promises.
“The world today is often inhabited by fear. It is an ancient disease … And fear often turns against people who are foreign, different, poor, as if they were enemies,” said the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.
The “fear” of Islam and of Muslims that many now experience, especially in Europe, is not an unfathomable “ancient disease,” but a rational response to the unprecedented influx of people who, because of the ideology of Islam to which they are in thrall, cannot, and do not wish to, integrate into European societies. Muslim migrants are quite understandably feared not because they are “foreign, different, poor” as Pope Francis may think, but because they have been taught in their Qur’an to believe that they should regard non-Muslims as the “most vile of creatures,” that they should heed the 109 Qur’anic commandments about waging violent Jihad against the Infidels, including several verses specifying that they should “strike terror” into the hearts of those Infidels, and that they should never take “Jews and Christians as friends, for they are friends only with each other.” (5:51) There is little desire expressed in Italy, the subject of Pope Francis’s latest vaporings, to remove non-Muslim immigrants — many of them “foreign, different, poor” — including Chinese, Hindus, Filipinos, Eastern Europeans. Not being Muslims, none of these immigrants are irremediably hostile to Italy and to Italians. After more than 35,000 terrorist attacks by Muslims around the world since 9/11/2001, it makes perfect sense to “fear” the millions of Muslims now in Europe, and to work to prevent more from coming. Instead, Pope Francis wants to welcome still more of them, wants Europeans to believe, despite all the evidence, that there is no reason to “fear” the Muslim influx.
The Pope thinks “fear” is somehow an illegitimate emotion for fashioning political policies. Why? In 1917, the records of the Duma show, Aleksandr Kerensky mocked the Bolsheviks, even asking aloud during one particularly contentious debate, “What are you going to do — shoot us?” There was laughter from his supporters, while the Bolsheviks remained tellingly silent. We all know how that turned out. Having no experience of such people, Kerensky did not fear them, and failing to fear them, did not suppress the Bolsheviks when that was still possible. Throughout the 1930s, Winston Churchill, a lonely voice of reason, continually expressed his alarm about the policies and plans of Adolf Hitler. He “feared” what was to come if Hitler was allowed to get his way during a time of supposed peace. Churchill was correct to be “fearful” of the Nazis. Others — the Cliveden Set, Lord Halifax, Prime Minister Chamberlain — were too hopeful that accommodations could be made with Hitler; these people were not “fearful” enough of his monstrous plans. Were we in the West not right to be “fearful” of the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe after World War II? Were we wrong to create the Nato military alliance out of “fear” of Soviet military aggression? Were we wrong to be “fearful” of the powerful Communist parties in Italy and France in the postwar period, and as a consequence of that fear, we channeled huge sums to the anti-Communist left in those countries? Didn’t that do the trick, keeping the Communists from coming to power in either country?
Are we not right to “fear” Putin’s Russia, and its attempts to undermine Western democracies through meddling in our elections, spreading false news, and in many insidious ways employing social media on the Internet to weaken the social fabric of our societies? Shouldn’t we fear Vladimir Putin’s effort to control the Eastern Ukraine? Are the European nations now expressing solidarity with the British by expelling Russian diplomats wrong to fear what Putin’s agents will do unless there is a clear and united response to this latest poisoning of a former Soviet agent on European soil?
Should we not be “fearful” of China’s ruthless economic competition, its theft and exploitation of American companies’ patents and trade secrets and its unfair trade practices? Shouldn’t we be fearful of Chinese bullying of its nearest Asian neighbors, including its staking of its claims to expansive territorial waters in the South China Sea? Aren’t we right to “fear” Kim Jong-un’s nuclear threats? Should we not “fear” the war on free speech being conducted on our college campuses, where those who speak sensibly about Islam are shouted down, or their audiences by pre-arrangement walk out, or those speakers on Islam are prevented even from coming to the campus in the first place?
What about causes dear to this Pope’s heart, such as global warming? Does Pope Francis think we should be a little “worried” but not “fearful” of the consequences if we are collectively unable to limit the use of greenhouse gasses? We know what his answer to that would be. When it’s his ox that’s gored…
Similarly, should young women not be “fearful” of Muslim grooming gangs in Great Britain, now that we all know what happened in Rotherham and so many other places (Telford, Rochdale, Oxford, Newcastle), and know, too, that elsewhere in Great Britain, similar gangs may have claimed as many as a million victims? Should non-Muslim women not be “fearful” of sexual attacks by Muslims, attacks that have soared in Europe in recent years — in Paris (especially on the metro), in Berlin, in Cologne, in Malmö, in Stockholm?
Does the Pope think it would be wrong — unwarranted, unhelpful — for Jews in Europe to be “fearful” of Muslims? When two elderly Jewish women in Paris were murdered, in separate incidents, by Muslim neighbors, with one of them stabbed repeatedly, then thrown out a window, while the other’s incinerated body is found in her apartment, which had been set on fire, might “fear” not be the clear-headed response? When a Muslim gang kidnaps a young Jewish man, Ilan Halimi, and for three weeks holds him hostage, torturing him until he finally dies from that torture, isn’t “fear” — along with fury — fully justified? When three small Jewish children are shot dead by a Muslim terrorist in front of a rabbi, the father of two of them, who is then also killed, should Jewish parents not feel “fear”? When Jewish pupils are taunted and beaten up by Muslim classmates so that they have to change schools? When the French Jewish leader, Roger Cukierman, already in 2015 declared that “All violence [against Jews] in France, and we must say this, all violent acts today are committed by young Muslims”? Does the Pope think it would be crazy or “unhelpful” for Jews to fear Muslims and, as a consequence, to support those policies, opposed by pollyannish Pope Francis, to limit the number of Muslim migrants?
The absence of “fear” when fear is warranted should not be praised but deplored. We should also recognize that there can be too little of the right kind and too much of the wrong kind of “fear”: the police in Rotherham were insufficiently fearful of what was happening to the English girls who were the victims of mass rapes, and too fearful of being called “racists” if they pursued the Muslim grooming gangs.
Pope Francis has it wrong. Those who intelligently fear Islam and the large-scale presence of Muslims in Europe have much to be fearful about. They fear Muslim terrorists, responsible for so many tens of thousands of attacks since 9/11. Of course, they fear Muslim sexual predators, with the grooming gangs in Rotherham only the most publicized example of what has apparently been going on across the U.K. They fear the attacks on Jews, homosexuals, on priests, on those who publicly criticize Islam or Muhammad. For a few unflattering paragraphs he wrote in a 2006 article for Le Figaro about Muhammad, the teacher Robert Redeker has ever since had to live in hiding under police protection. Others, such as the writers Eric Zemmour and Alain Finkielkraut, may not be in hiding, but they do require extra security for their speaking engagements, and cannot move around without worrying about their safety, because of what they write and speak about Islam. All those who care about the freedom of speech in Europe should now be “fearful,” despite the Pope’s glib assurances that such “fear” is uncalled for.
There are other things to “fear” about the Muslim presence in Western Europe, aside from the threats and acts of violence. Europeans now find themselves faced with ever-mounting expenses, as their governments offer long-term support to increasing numbers of Muslims who are in no hurry to be employed, but eager to batten on a host of benefits — free housing, free medical care, free education, family allowances — offered by the generous welfare states of Western Europe. An estimated 40% of Muslim youth in France and 50% in Germany are unemployed, but far from destitute. Rather, they receive a wide range of social benefits. For example, an estimated 40% of welfare outlays in Denmark go to the 5% of the population that is Muslim. According to Otto Schily, former German interior minister, speaking of immigrants in general: “Seventy percent of the newcomers [since 2002] land on welfare the day of their arrival.” As to unemployment, Christopher Caldwell notes that “in the early 1970s, 2 million of the 3 million foreigners in Germany were in the labor force; by the year 2000, 2 million of 7.5 million were.” In 2015, only 500 out of 163,000 asylum seekers in Sweden had found jobs by the next year; the rest remained on the dole. Such colossal spending on unemployed Muslim immigrants makes taxpayers angry, and because they do not see their governments willing to cut down on those benefits, also “fearful” for the future of the Swedish welfare state. Europeans have other reasons to fear the Muslim influx. They fear Muslims who, with their astoundingly high rates of criminality, fill disproportionately the prisons of Western Europe (at great expense to the state), where they conduct prison da’wah, often resulting in “convenience conversions” of non-Muslim prisoners who are eager to “join the biggest gang” (that is, the Muslim gang) in order to insure their own security. They fear the willingness of their own societies to capitulate, by authorizing prayer rooms in schools and workplaces, by granting Muslims permission to interrupt work or class schedules in order to say some of their five daily prayers, by allowing the five-times-a-day Call to Prayer to be electronically amplified and broadcast, even though such a call is no longer necessary, given that a smartphone app can vibrate at the appointed time as a “silent” Call to Prayer. Europe’s Kuffars fear that Muslims may eventually come to dominate, through demographic jihad, the countries of Europe. All those who have these fears and are not paralyzed by them are exhibiting sober signs of sanity; it is the Pope’s denial of any problem with Islam that is unhinged.
Pope Francis’s attempts to dismiss “fear” as a legitimate reaction to the Muslim invasion of Europe only serve to confuse, and to undermine the morale of, the indigenous peoples of Western Europe. May Pope Francis be persuaded to take an early retirement, like his worthier predecessor Benedict, and when the white smoke next rises from the Sistine Chapel, let us hope it will signal the choice of a successor equal to the task, someone unafraid to fear the onslaught of Islam.
Two British (they once held British passports - they were not British, and NEVER English) members of the Islamic State, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Amon Kotey, who were allegedly part of a group of British jihadis dubbed 'The Beatles', have complained about having their UK citizenship revoked. Believed to be part of a cell which became notorious for beheading hostages, the two men spoke to the Associated Press from detention in Northern Syria, saying they can't get a fair trial after losing their citizenship.
The cell gained widespread media coverage for torturing and killing several hostages in 2014 and 2015, including American, British and Japanese journalists and aid workers. The beheadings of British aid worker David Haines and US journalist James Foley are among the crimes the group is said to have committed.
One of them said the killings of captives was "regrettable" and could have been avoided. Though they spoke of their membership in the Islamic State group, they did not admit to belonging to the cell or to have been involved in any of the kidnappings or killings. Elsheikh called the allegations "propaganda."
Elsheikh, whose family came to Britain from Sudan when he was a child, was a mechanic from White City in west London. Kotey, who is of Ghanaian and Greek-Cypriot descent and converted to Islam in his 20s, is from London's Paddington neighborhood.
Elsheikh traveled to Syria in 2012, initially joining al-Qaida's branch before moving on to IS, according to the US State Department's listing of the two men for terrorism sanctions. It said he "earned a reputation for waterboarding, mock executions and crucifixions while serving as an (IS) jailer." Kotey served as a guard for the execution cell and "likely engaged in the group's executions and exceptionally cruel torture methods, including electronic shock and waterboarding," the State Department said.
In the interview, the two men denounced the media for the spreading allegations of the "Beatles" cell, at one point depicting the accusations as concocted as a pretext to kill them with drone strikes in Syria. "No fair trial, when I am 'the Beatle' in the media. No fair trial," Elsheikh said.
They also denounced as "illegal" the British government's decision in February to strip them of citizenship. The revocation of citizenship exposes them to "rendition and torture," Elsheikh said, "being taken to any foreign land and treated in anyway and having nobody to vouch for you. When you have these two guys who don't even have any citizenship ...if we just disappear one day, where is my mom going to go and say where is my son," he said.
Turkish leaders: Islamic Takeover of Europe Inevitable
by Hugh Fitzgerald
Alpaslan Kavaklioglu and Turkish President Erdogan
This is not about a warning from Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen, Mario Salvini, Tommy Robinson, or Robert Spencer. It is, rather, a triumphant prediction of the inevitable Islamization of Europe, through demographic Jihad, made by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and by the head of the Turkish Parliament’s Security and Intelligence Commission, Alparslan Kavakl?o?lu. Read what they have to say, and send it along to others. If you were not already alarmed, now would be a good time to start. But do not let that worry paralyze you. Instead, put it to good use.
Turkish leaders, including Muslim President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and a member of ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey, are warning
Not “warning,” but triumphantly “predicting.”
the Christian world that an Islamic takeover of Europe is taking place – an indication that the continent that once boasted a majority of Christians is giving way to Muslims’ mass migration.
Alparslan Kavaklioglu, who serves under Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as the head of the Turkish parliament’s Security and Intelligence Commission, insisted that Muslim dominance throughout the European continent is already spreading, claiming that it is just a matter of time before Europe is taken over by Muslims.
“The fortune and wealth of the world is moving from the West to the East,” Kavaklioglu recently declared, according to the Gatestone Institute. “Europe is going through a time that is out of the ordinary – its population is declining and aging, it has a very old population, so people coming from outside get the jobs there.”
Or receive generous welfare benefits, as so many Muslim migrants do.
Kavaklioglu then laid out the evidence that Europe is already in the midst of a Muslim takeover.
“But Europe has this problem: All of the newcomers are Muslim – from Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and Turkey,” he alerted Europeans. “Those who come from these places are Muslim. It is now at such a level that the most popular name in Brussels, Belgium is Mohammed. The second most popular name is Melih [Malih] and the third one is Ay?e [Aisha].”
The Muslim Turkish leader gave his take on what is on the near horizon for most of the area that was once the former Ottoman Turkish Empire in the not-too-distant past.
“[With this continuing trend], the Muslim population will outnumber the Christian population in Europe,” Kavaklioglu stressed. “This… has increased the nationalistic, xenophobic and anti-Islam rhetoric there. Hence, marginal, small parties have started to get large numbers of votes… But there is no remedy for it. Europe will be Muslim. We will be effective there, Allah willing. I am sure of that.”
In a commentary for the Gatestone Institute, Turkish journalist Usay Bulut, who is now based in Washington, D.C., pointed out that Kavakl?o?lu’s pro-Muslim jargon is similar to that of Erdo?an’s.
“Kavaklioglu is not the first Turkish official to stress the importance of population growth,” Bulut noted. “In 2009, President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an – who was prime minister at the time – called on the public to have at least three children per family. The greater our numbers, he said, ‘the stronger we will be.’ Since then, Erdo?an has been trying to encourage Turkish nationals to multiply.”
A strengthened plea was heard again by Erdo?an in 2013.
“We need a young and dynamic population,” insisted the leader of Turkey, whose population is 99-percent Muslim. “Right now, the West is in trouble. But we do not want to put Turkey in the same trouble. I am calling on my country through mothers: Do not take this sensitivity of ours lightly. We need to make this widespread, in waves. We need to make this happen. The [value] of this cannot be measured with money or any other physical wealth.”
Just last year, Turkey’s president encouraged his fellow Muslims throughout Europe to overrun the once-Christian nations.
“The places where you work and live are your homelands and new countries now,” Erdogan assured Muslim migrants in Europe in 2017, according to the Gatestone Institute. “Drive the best cars. Live in the most beautiful houses. Make five children – not just three. For you are the future of Europe.”
Current conquests undertaken by Turkey in decades past and today indicate that it is his aim for Muslims to be the norm – not the exception – in Europe.
Turkey Islamized northern Cyprus through a military invasion in 1974, [but] to Islamize the much more powerful European continent … Turkey has been promoting demographic – rather than military – jihad,” Bulut pointed out. “Yesterday, while many Europeans are still pilloried for viewing mass migration from Muslim-majority countries as a threat to Western culture – and are still accused of ‘xenophobia,’ ‘Islamophobia’ and ‘fear-mongering’ – the city of Afrin, in the Kurdish area of Syria, fell to Turkey.”
“Economic growth happens in parallel with population growth,” Erdo?an said, as reported by the foreign news site. “The population of Greek Cypriots is more than one million. Just make your own population grow.”
Tactics of the past have given way to modern methods, as violence has been substituted with a buildup of seemingly innocuous mosques all over the European continent – just as the proliferation of mosques is seen in the United States.
“The Turkish military terrorized the indigenous Greek Cypriots, causing them to flee to the south,” Bulut noted. “The Turkish government then imported thousands of illegal settlers from Turkey to northern Cyprus, to change the demographic structure of the illegally occupied territories. This attempt by Ankara to guarantee that Muslims outnumber Christians globally has been accompanied by the erection of mosques – ‘from Europe to Africa, from the Balkans to the Central Asia’ – by Turkey’s government-funded Diyanet (Religious Affairs General Directorate).”
In just several years – from 2010 to 2016 – Europe’s Muslim population jumped from 19.5 million (3.8 percent) to 25.8 million (4.9 percent), according to the Pew Forum.
If Turkey’s leadership is correct, just a couple of decades is all it will take to make Muslims’ European takeover complete.
“Kavaklioglu claimed Europe’s fate will be sealed within 20 years,” WND noted. “He said the greatest obstacle to the successful Islamization of the U.S. is President Trump and his alliance with Israel.”
If Turkey’s leadership is correct, just a couple of decades is all it will take to make Muslims’ European takeover complete.
“Kavaklioglu claimed Europe’s fate will be sealed within 20 years,” WND noted. “He said the greatest obstacle to the successful Islamization of the U.S. is President Trump and his alliance with Israel.”
Top atheist fears Islamic takeover
Fearing that the Muslim invasion of Europe is more than just a fading trend or hot air spewed by Muslim leaders, one of the world’s foremost atheists, Richard Dawkins – a best-selling author and evolutionary biologist – alerted his followers on social media that celebrating the demise of Christianity in Europe is not wise.
“Before we rejoice at the death throes of the relatively benign Christian religion, let’s not forget Hilaire Belloc’s menacing rhyme: ‘Always keep a-hold of nurse – For fear of finding something worse,’” Dawkins posted on Twitter Wednesday.
Impressing [sic] his warning, Dawkins actually lamented the decrease in number of those adhering to Christianity – a faith he has relentlessly attacked for decades – and feared the ramifications of the skyrocketing numbers of Muslim youth. He noted an article published by The Guardian, ’Christianity as default is gone’: The rise of a non-Christian Europe,’ that showed research indicating that a dozen European nations now have a majority of young people who do not identify with any religious faith.
A professor of theology and religion at St. Mary’s University in London, Stephen Bullivant talked about the burgeoning numbers of Muslims in Europe.
“The Muslim birthrate is higher than the general population, and they have much higher [religious] retention rates,” Bullivant told The Guardian.
A self-professed “equal opportunity religion basher,” Dawkins has come under fire for his hard take on Islam, as well as on Christianity.
“Dawkins has previously voiced concern over the decline of the Christian faith, ‘in so far as Christianity might be a bulwark against something worse,’ which he echoed in his tweet,” Fox News reported.
“It’s tempting to say all religions are bad, and I do say all religions are bad, but it’s a worse temptation to say all religions are equally bad because they’re not,” Dawkins told The Christian Post. “If you look at the actual impact that different religions have on the world, it’s quite apparent that at present the most evil religion in the world has to be Islam.”
For that commonsensical and truthful remark, Dawkins deserves our thanks.
And in a different way, two malignant and disturbing Turks, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Alparslan Kavaklioglu, have helped by saying what they believe to be true, about the inevitability of a Muslim Europe, thereby making it harder for the ostriches among us to still keep their heads firmly in the sand.
In his brilliant film, La Regle du Jeu, often considered one of the greatest film ever made, the director Jean Renoir, tackling a serio-comedy of manners in a French upper class setting of the late 1930s, discusses the rules of the game, the mores that specify proper behavior, though they may be applied differently. Each clique in the world has its own customs, mores, and language. Breakage of those rules is seen as a moral transgression as well as outrageous cheating.
When should rules be enforced and who should be punished? Realistically, political and official organizations like human beings lie and cheat, tell white lies, utter what Winston Churchill once called "terminologicaly inexactitudes," in conduct that contradicts generally accepted ethical codes but is not a cause for alarm or condemnaton. This was not, however, the case with the breakage of the rules of the game by the Australian cricket team playing in Cape Town in the third test match with South Africa. Australia was losing and in an act of despersation deliberately tampered with the ball to get advantsge in the game. Three members of the team conspired to alter the ball by using sandpaper to change its trajectory to make the ball swing more than normal, making it more difficult to hit.
Cricketers are supposed to be role models, and not cheaters. On March 25, 2018 the three players of the test team, Steve Smith the captain, David Warner, deputy captain, and Cameron Bancroft a batsman were sent home in disgrace as a result of behaving "not in the laws of the game," euphemism for cheating. Two were banned from playing for a year and the third for 9 months by the official group Cricket Australia. It was a bitter experience for Smith, the "golden boy of cricket," whose test batting average of 947, the second best ever after the immortal Don Bradman with 961, earns him the title of the top ranked cricket test player in the world.
Cheating of this kind is not unknown. A particularly infamous incident in the U.S. was the scandal concerning the "golden boy" of football, quarterback Tom Brady who was accused of conspiring to deflate footballs used in the AFL Championship game in January 2015, and who was suspended for four games in 2016 for violating NFL policy on integrity of the game. The Australian case was more meangingful since cricket is the national sport, important in the image of Australian national identity. It is said that the position of cricket captain is second in importance only to that of the prime minister.
The rules of the game are important for sport, why not for politics? The Australian captain confessed his responsibility for cheating and apologized. The difference in political behavior is the unwillingness to admit breakage of the rules, or indeed even refusal to admit that they exist. Many cases can illustrate this but a few examples can suffice.
First is Russia, now accused by more than a dozen countries for being responsible for use of a military grade nerve agent in an attempt to murder a former Russian double agent and his daughter in Salisbury on March 4, 2018. The poison is now understood to have been applied to the front door of their house. Russian authorities, masters of moral gymnastics, persist in denying any responsibility, protest against the decisions to expel Russian diplomats, and threaten to retaliate against the actions of more than 20 countries and organizations in expelling more than 150 Russian diplomats and intelligence officers.
Russian assertions are shameless. On one hand, they say that Russia does not have any information on the lives of Russian citizens on the territory of Britain, on the other hand they know the British intelligence special services played a role in the poisoning. They hold that the British authorities have adopted a prejudicial, biased, and hypocritical stance. They argue those authorities have acted at the expense of common sense, rules of civilized interstate dialogue, and principles of international law.
Russia denies the use of nerve gases, including Novichok, more deadly than VX, that target part of the body's nervous system, though the agent is made in the Russian lab Yasenevo, run by SVR .
Britain was slow to deal with the 14 suspicious deaths in the last decade of various Russians living in the country. Now the UK has begun to implement the rules of the game. It is beginning a counter offensive against fake news by Russia as well as terrorists on social media to combat propaganda, misinformation, and extremist material. Prime Minister Theresa May is aware that there are 2,800 bots, computer programs that generate posts on social media, and at the least can cause disarray and confusion. Every part of the government and every agency will participate in examining these.
The UK is also examining, as are US authorities, the extent of money laundering by anonymous owners in the country. According to the US Treasury, some $300 billion is laundered in the US every year. Estimates for UK suggest it is $125 billion. In both cases, it is probable that the largest share is held by Russians, including property transactions of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Unexpectedly, we have just learned that the rules of the game apply in the Far East. The meeting on March 26-27 in Beijing of Chinese President Xi Jinping and North Korean President Kim Jong Un may have been harmonious and intimate, but the Chinese leader reminded his guest of the rules. The elder generations of leaders of the two countries maintained cordial relstions, trusted, and supported each other, and "wrote a fine story" in the history of public relations. But Kim had broken the rules since he came to power in 2011. He had purged officials close to Beijing; one of them was his uncle Kim Jong-nam whom he had murdered by having him smeared with VBX in Malaysia. The North Korean also had conducted weapons tests on Chinese holidays and events.
In Asia educational rules are disregarded with frequent cheating at exams in India as examiners are not interested in honest behavior or are being paid off. Question papers are leaked, examiners dictate the answers while 10 million students take the tests for the 600,000 public funded university seats. Democratic India has misplaced the rules of the game.
In the Middle East the Palestinians also have been unwilling to recognize rules of the game. Two instances need be mentioned. One is that the U.S. Taylor Force Act suspends aid to the Palestinian Authority as long as it pays stipends both to the families of terorists killed while attacking Israelis, and to captured terrorists. Yet the PA still pays directly to the families, providing $343 million, 7% of the PA annual budget. A second issue concerns Hamas which is organizing a March of 100,000 Gazans to storm the Israeli security fence around Gaza. This is supposed to signify the return of Gaza "refugees" to their homes though in effect it may be the heralding of a third Intifada. Left unsaid is the non existence of more than a few "refugees". A refugee born on the same day of the creation of Israel on May 14, 1948 would be almost 70.
A third persisting issue in which the rules of the game are absent is the flagrant antisemitism in the British Labour Party, and the inabiliy or unwilliness of the leader Jeremy Corbyn io deal with it, to condemn forthrightly manifestions of this disease, and to expel from the party those responsible for it. Since he became leader in 2015 more than 300 cases of antisemitism by Labour Party members have been referred to Corbyn. In recent weeks a number of breakage of rules have appeared. An MP named David Lammy, one of the few black Labour MPs, was attacked by leftists in the party who want to deselect him from Parliament because he expressed solidarity with the Jewish population in his constituency. He had attended a rally with the theme "Enough is Enough."
It gets worse. A few Labour websites have proclaimed that it was the Jews, in the form of the Israeli Mossad, who were responsible for the Salisbury poisoning.
A former mayor, the Pakistani born Salim Mulla, of Blackburn declared that Israel was behind the recent school shouting in the U.S and behind ISIS. Worst of all, a more prominent person, Christine Shawcroft, member of the Labour executive committee, head of the "disputes panel" and director of the Trotskyist group Momentum defended two despicable characters:one was a former LP candidate who had posted on Facebook article denying the Holocaust. The candidate Alan Bull, had been suspended for posting the article that was entitled, "The International Red Cross confirms the Holocaust of 6 millions Jews is a hoax." The other person is a former mayor of the London borough of Tower Hamlets, a Bangladeshi born British politiciam Lutfur Rahman, who was dismissed from his office for election fraud.
Perhaps we need a new formula, a film, a documentary, even a musical, to explain the meaning and significance of the rules of the political game. Our leaders must stress the importance of the principles that uphold moral conduct, and punish without qualification the transgressors who break the rules.
This is the transcript of Part 2 in which he makes two important points:
First he suggests that this horrific event, one among many of recent years, is being turned into a kind of ‘good news story’ about heroism thereby deflecting anger about the reality, and second on the concept of honor which he shows to be completely absent in Islamic thought – In other words you can’t really act with honor if your opponent doesn’t even have the concept of honor. Below is the transcript in readable form:
Good day my friends. This morning I learned with a lot of sadness about the death of the officer of the gendarmerie. Monsieur Arnaud Beltrame, who was a lieutenant colonel of the gendarmerie, and who gave his life to be exchanged for a hostage, a woman, in fact; and what makes me sad as well is to see the politicians talk about “his honorable gesture”. Since when are those politicians aware of the meaning of the word “honor”?
So today they are trying to —sorry for being the wake-up caller — but what I find out today is that they are trying to — by this heroic act, on which they are focusing all the attention— they are in fact trying to transform this story into a “happy ending”, literally. That means that they know that people have had enough of negative stories, and if from time to time there is a heroic act, or something out of the ordinary which allows for them to believe one more time in humanity, then they should be served that. And then it helps to make them forget the absolutely disturbing realities, which they don’t want to talk about.
For example, the failure of the French strategy in the fight against terrorism. As if such a thing even exists! Because I don’t call “fighting terrorism” having the police write down the [names of] the potential terrorists, put them in a file which they call an S-file, and then wait until the terrorist acts and kills people. If you call that a “strategy of the anti-terrorist fight”, sorry, you’re not there yet. That was my first point.
Secondly, I would like to remind you one thing: you know there was this guy, [in France] who was called public enemy number one. He wore glasses and he drove a large BMW. I think his name was Mesrine. Jacques Mesrine. Voilà; I remember the name now. Jacques Mesrine. And Jacques Mesrine — I saw a documentary about him, and he was at some point surrounded by cops; he was in a flat in Paris, he was surrounded by cops and he asked their chief to come, to come upstairs; so, the chief arrives. He enters the apartment in which he was surrounded. Mesrine serves him champagne. They drink, they drink a glass each, and then Mesrine decides to follow him and he surrenders to the police. If you watch even movies of that time, fictions, of the time, they presented the criminals as having a certain “honor code”. At the time there was one.
With the Islamists, I would like to tell you, I thought that the authorities understood that since the time Islamists have been attacking France, I thought it was a fact that was understood, but in fact I can see that it’s not [understood] yet. The Islamists, when they go to commit an attack, it’s with intention of killing and being killed. And they strictly don’t have any honor “code” in this story.
I invite you to watch a video, an abominable one made about three weeks ago, where for one hour I’m reading a book, (I’ll put it in the description) a book by which the bearded ones, who train the jihadists, are inspired. But not only that. It’s a book you can find in the universities of the Islamic world, in the mosques, in the courts, all that; it’s a book which is relatively known, but it’s an extremely important book for those who study the doctrine and those who are in charge of communicating the doctrine. Volume thirteen, page forty, is about I brought you, just, voilà, this is the first page, and this is page forty which I read at about 1:45 of the video I told you about. Well, what is it about?
I can tell you from the memory, I don’t need to look at the text. I’ll tell you in Arabic and then I’ll translate it. So, what is it about? At the time when two armies would meet to fight there was always at the beginning, at the beginning of the battle, it was a custom that one person would come forward from the adversary camp and said to Muslims:
“Send me one of your men! I will fight with him man to man!” So, they would meet one to one and they would fight. So sometimes there would be one duel, two duels, three duels; depending on the motivation of both sides. What does this text, this theological text of reference, tell us? What does it say? It says:
If a non-believer comes forward to ask for a duel, man to man, sword against sword, or fist against fist, or whatever, it is authorized, it is lawful —speaking in the Islamic terms — to kill him with a shot of an arrow. Because he is a non-believer, a mushrik, as he is described exactly in the text, which means he’s an associator [with Jews and Christians]. And there is no word to give him [and to keep].
So, [you see] cowardice is totally permitted. This means that if this group of gendarmes was faced for example with bandits surrounded in a bank, who demanded, I don’t know, who demanded a getaway car and the possibility of leaving with their booty and a hostage, at that point you could still negotiate. You could still try to talk to them man to man; if they held a woman hostage, you could tell them: “Listen, let the woman go. Let her go. We have all day, we will do it man to man; I’ll come, I’ll replace her, everything will be all right.” You could have had this conversation! You could!
But with the Islamist terrorists IT DOESN’T WORK. They won’t appreciate the gesture. They won’t enter in a treaty with you; they won’t give you their word and respect it. They won’t talk to you man to man. There is no notion of “honor”. You will never manage to put them into this logic of “man’s honor” even if it was a thug’s [honor]. It doesn’t exist where they come from. Explicitly, they have the explicit duty of not doing that with you; of not respecting their word given to you.
So, ignoring this —if we go and recount the story in an extremely factual way —The French state offered one of its men, a lieutenant colonel in this particular case, offered him in holocaust, offering him in sacrifice to a terrorist. That’s all. I know that there was a story, a back story. But the facts are there: the French State offered one of its men from the constabulary to a terrorist who then assassinated him.
So what I would advise you, what I would advise you today, is to go and be trained by the Algerians, to be trained by the Russians, whom you hate, because the media told you that Putin is an abominable monster who kills the terrorists, or the “moderate rebels”, my bad, sorry. I invite you to be trained by the Israelis, by the Americans. I’m citing for you nations that don’t offer their men to terrorists.
Today, today, this country, which we call France, is sending us an image such that you ask yourself if they are really like that, or if there’s someone doing this on purpose. A similar submission to the terrorists is unheard of anywhere else in the world. No country in the world is submissive like that; I’m sorry.
In February, Dr George Whale was offered a job as a research fellow in the field of digital creativity, but last Friday the university's HR department withdrew the offer when they found out about his political activities online.
Dr Whale said: "You have a situation here where an employer is looking at the history of what you do in your own time and saying 'we don't want you to work here . . . Even if people don't like my opinions, freedom of speech demands that unpopular opinions be heard."
He said: “By excluding educated dissenting, i.e. non-left-liberal, voices, (universities) are limiting high-level debate and discussion of some of the most pressing issues of our time, such as mass immigration, Islamisation, globalisation. If the academic elites find my views and those of others like me so deplorable, and are so confident of their own moral and intellectual correctness, then why are they so damn terrified of engaging with us?”
In 2015, Dr Whale stood as the candidate for Lewisham West and Penge for the anti-Islamisation party Liberty GB, which he had co-founded two years before. Liberty GB describes itself on Facebook as "a patriotic, anti-Islamisation party promoting Christian civilisation, Western freedoms and British culture", but its focus is opposition to the spread of Islam.
Last year, the party's leader Paul Weston made international headlines when he was arrested for quoting Winston Churchill on the steps of Winchester Guildhall.
In an email sent to Dr Whale, Mark Smalley, the university's head of human resources, said: "During our pre-employment checks we have undertaken a search of the world-wide web and have found publicly available (and readily accessible) information associating you with anti-Islamic and anti-migrant views that, both in terms of the views themselves and the way they are expressed on-line, are incompatible with the values and policies of the university, particularly those pertaining to equality, diversity and inclusion. . . If the university were to become publicly associated with this material by employing you, ... there is a high risk of serious reputational damage to the university."
Replying to the university's email, Mr Whale wrote: "It is, of course, no secret that British universities are dominated by the hard left, that seeks at every opportunity to enforce and impose its intolerant, anti-English dogma and drive out alternative voices. This explains why at least 80 percent of UK academics are leftists, and free speech is disappearing from academia."
“Everything I have done and said has been within the law - I do not have a criminal record. Moreover, I reserve the right to voice unorthodox, politically inconvenient opinions. Many gave their lives to defend this fundamental freedom.”
Dr Whale believes that the university retracted his job offer so as not to upset the student and lecturer population. He said: "I think it was just a practical measure, they were worried about the reaction they would get from students. There's a gross inbalance inside the universities. It's a very Soviet tactic, to try and silence your opinions."
Dr Whale holds a PhD in Creativity and Cognition, an MA in Computing and Design, and a BA in Fine Art, and as well as his political writings has published numerous academic works about digital design. He has held research positions in universities such as the University of Westminster, and Queen Mary, University of London, but says he has been unable to find work in academia over the last few years because of his political beliefs.
Pressured by Public Opinion, Geneva Opens An Investigation of Tariq Ramadan
by Hugh Fitzgerald
“Geneva launches Ramadan school probe,” SwissInfo, March 21, 2018:
Canton Geneva authorities have called in two experts to conduct an external investigation into accusations of sexual misconduct alleged to have been perpetrated by Swiss academic Tariq Ramadan against pupils he taught in local schools.
The role of the canton’s education department in the affair will also be probed following allegations that some students had raised the alarm between 1984 and 2004 when the Islamic scholar taught in the area.
Ramadan is currently in prison in Paris facing three accusations of rape. In November a Swiss newspaper reported allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct by four unnamed Swiss women. He denies the allegations and is currently on leave of absence from Oxford University.
The Geneva investigation has been launched in the wake of mounting public pressure for answers. Earlier this month, a letter signed by some well-known figures in the French-speaking part of Switzerland was sent to the cantonal authorities demanding that action be taken.
The education department said it could not launch an internal inquiry as Ramadan no longer held a post in Geneva. [!] A preliminary report from the newly formed external inquiry is expected towards the end of this year.
The two investigators are being granted access to all relevant documents relating to the case, while current and former education department employees would be released from confidentiality obligations, the authorities said.
Here are a few questions for the Canton of Geneva:
1) Why did it take a public outcry by “well-known figures in the French-speaking part of Switzerland” to get the Canton of Geneva to open an investigation into Tariq Ramadan’s sexual behavior with four girls he taught in a Swiss high school?
2) If it is true that “students [high school students of Tariq Ramadan] had raised the alarm between 1984 and 2004 when the Islamic scholar taught in the area,” how could twenty years of such alarm-raising continue without any internal investigation?
3) What were these “confidentiality obligations” concerning Ramadan that education department employees in the Canton of Geneva are to be released from only now?
4) Why does the Canton of Geneva estimate it will take until the end of the year, 2018, for this external investigation to be complete — that is, not for another 9 1/2 months?
5) Is there any evidence of pressure being brought to bear to delay (so that the statute of limitations would apply), or even to prevent, an investigation into Tariq Ramadan by the Canton of Geneva? In particular, has there been any pressure from any Islamic group, especially one associated with the Gulf Arabs who now own so many high-end properties in Geneva, Montreux, Lausanne, Vevey?
(ANSA) - Rome, March 28 - An Italo-Moroccan accused of belonging to the Islamic State (ISIS) Islamist terror group was arrested in Turin on Wednesday and police said he had been planning to use trucks for attacks and seeking 'lone wolves' to carry them out. Elmahdi Halili, 23, the author of the first ISIS propaganda message in Italian, was captured at the end of a probe by anti-terrorism police in the northwestern Italian city.
At the moment of his arrest, Halili reportedly shouted "Tyrants! I'm going to prison with my head held high".
Turin Police Chief Francesco Messina said "he is a very motivated individual, with no intention of repenting. We had to act immediately to eliminate this threat: Halili could have carried out attacks. He had moved from self-indoctrination to trying to contact others, 'lone wolves', who could carry out terrorist actions, and he was weighing how to use knives and how to prepare trucks for attacks," In some cases he met these lone wolves, Messina said, who were Italians converted to Islam, Ghanaians and Moroccans, often already known to police for other crimes.
The head of the DIGOS special security police in Turin, Carlo Ambra, who coordinated the operation, said "it was time to intervene. We couldn't afford to let him identify a target to strike. There was a need to act immediately". Ambra said the operation was called 'Love and Hate' because "Halili said that Islam is a balance between these two feelings: love for believers and hate for unbelievers".
I don't know if these further arrests are of the 'lone wolves' that Halili was trying to form into a pack, or other jihadists.
Italian police say they have arrested five people connected to Anis Amri, the Tunisian who carried out the 2016 Berlin Christmas market truck attack and was later killed in a shootout with police in Italy.
In a tweet Thursday, police said one of the five was believed to have procured the fake Italian identity papers that allowed Amri, a failed asylum-seeker, to move around Europe. The arrests were the latest in a marked uptick in recent police operations targeting suspected extremists.
Tommy Robinson suspended from Twitter - possibly permanently
Most of the newspapers have the story within the last hour.
Tommy Robinson - ex-leader of the English Defence League - has been banned from Twitter.
His account is marked as being "suspended", but the BBC has learned that the US company has decided to permanently revoke his access.
Twitter declined to comment, but it is understood the decision was taken after Mr Robinson was judged to have breached its "hateful conduct" policy. It had previously temporarily suspended the activist several times.
In addition, Twitter has acted against another account - @tommysnewspage - which had also been associated with the 35-year-old.
Mr Robinson continues to operate a Facebook page, a YouTube account and a personal website.
Robinson made explicit reference to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who recently travelled to Austin, Texas, to threaten social media firms for allowing opinions contrary to his on their platform.
The author of Mohammed’s Quran added: “The establishment wants to be able to say things about us without us being able to say things back, without being able to defend ourselves or explain our positions. This is how indoctrination works. Now people will only get one side of the story on Twitter.”
I expected the Hope not Hate funding Mirror newspaper to be jubilant. But the comments are most critical at this attack on free speech. The best rated comment (thus far) sums it up
"What about the jihadists Twitter accounts they are still allowed one rule for one and another rule for anything politically correct."
The United States Must Leave the UN Human Rights Council
by Michael Curtis
By now it is clear that the UN Human Rights Council, created in 2006 with noble intentions on the basis of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is one of the international organizations that has little interest in the real violations of human rights in the world. The majority of the 47 members of the UNHRC have shown little concern for their mandate, to be responsible for strengthening the promotion and protection of human rights around the globe, for addressing situations of human rights violations and making recommendations on them. How sanguine could one be about a group that includes Cuba, Congo, Burundi, Angola, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Venezuela, China, UAR, and Pakistan.
Moreover, the geographical distribution of membership is weighted in favor of Africa and Asia: African states 13; Asia and Pacific 13; Latin America and Caribbean 8; Western Europe and others 7; and Eastern European 6. Membership can also be evaluated in the light of the Global Gender Gap report of the World Economic Forum that lists the gap in 144 countries: almost at the bottom are Pakistan, Qatar, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, members of UNHRC.
It is not too strong to argue that UNHRC has been perverted to such a degree that it is a useless and worthless organization, hypocritical and skilled in its formulation of double standards for different countries. Those double standards mostly relate to the disproportionate amount of time and number of critical resolutions relating to the State of Israel. As of 2017, Israel was condemned 78 times, compared with peace loving Syria 29 times, friendly North Korea 9 times and Iran 6 times. Most non-democratic states, such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, and China, have never been condemned.
Every observer recognizes that the agenda of the Council is biased against Israel, virtually transforming it into an international anti-Israeli platform. Only one country is permanently on the UNHRC agenda, Israel. Every March, UNHRC spends two sessions to debate human rights violations in the countries of the world. and one whole session devoted just to Israel
What is most disappointing in the operation of UNHRC is that the democratic states have been reluctant to end the anti-Israeli bias, but have acquiesced in it, often by abstaining. The continuation and the extent of the bias was fully displayed by the meeting of the 37th session of UNHRC on March 23, 2018 which approved eight critical resolutions, one each on the peace-loving countries, North Korea, Iran, and Syria, which evidently have not troubled the world, and five on Israel that it apparently considers a menace to the world.
It is worth looking at the five specific anti-Israeli resolutions, to see the extent of the hypocrisy and bias of UNHRC. Details have been drawn from the analysis of Hillel Neuer, Executive Director of UN Watch.
The first is a resolution drafted by Syria and submitted by the Islamic group. UNHRC is deeply concerned at the suffering of the Syrian citizens in the occupied Syrian Golan due to the systematic and continuous violation of their fundamental and human rights by Israel since the Israeli occupation of 1967. The resolution was accepted, 25-14 and 7 abstentions.
A second resolution called on all states to ensure their obligations of non-recognition, non-aid or assistance with regard to the serious breaches of “peremptory norms of international law” by Israel. In particular, it referred to the acquisition of territory by force, and called for cooperation to reverse Israel’s illegal policies and practices. This was passed by 43-2 (Australia and U.S.) and 1 abstention. Besides the U.S., Australia, a new member of UNHRC, was the only country that voted against this and all the other anti-Israeli resolutions.
The third resolution expressed grave concern at the continuing violation of international humanitarian law and the systematic violation of the human rights of the Palestinian people by Israel, the occupying Power. This agreed by 41 countries to three disagreements (Australia, Togo, U.S.).
The fourth called on all states not to provide any assistance to be used specifically in connection with the settlements in the territories occupied since 1967. This included financial transactions, investments, purchases, procurements, provision of services, and other economic and financial activities benefitting Israeli settlements. It passed 34 to 4 (Australia, Hungary, Togo, U.S.), and eight abstentions.
The fifth resolution, somewhat incoherent, called on everybody to implement the recommendations in three reports: the independent commission of inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict (written by William Schabas); the independent international mission on the implication of Israeli settlements on the civil, political, economic, and cultural rights of the Palestinian people; and the UN Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict (the Goldstone report). Most important was non-involvement in the provision of arms to Israel. It passed by 27-4-15, and the majority included Belgium.
Interestingly regarding this resolution, left unsaid were two factors. One was that Schabas had worked as a legal consultant of the PLO and his report cannot be considered neutral. The other was that the report by Judge Richard Goldstone was critical, but in April 2010 he retracted many of the charges he made in it.
In the voting, Australia and the U.S. by voting against all the five resolutions demonstrated political sanity in this theater of the absurd. Surprisingly, Germany voted in favor of three, and the UK in favor of two resolutions.
The UNHRC has been obsessed with the question of Israel and disputed or occupied territory, and Israeli settlements. In September 2014 it approved, by 32 votes and 15 abstentions, a data base of companies doing business in areas under Israeli “occupation” including East Jerusalem and Golan Heights. In February 2018, it reported on 206 companies with ties to settlements, in effect a backlist of Israeli and multinational companies active in disputed territory, and really advocacy of BDS.
The biased resolutions of UNHRC are not simply obstacles to any hopes for progress for negotiations to end the Israel-Palestinian conflict and are thus counter-productive. They are also an obstacle to any real discussion of violations of human rights in the world, and are therefore a defeat for anyone interested in ending these violations.
The UNHRC resolutions have no enforcement mechanism but they are a disgrace to impartial analysis and do not reflect any perspective for a just and lasting solution of the conflict. U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley has been strongly critical of the UNHRC, has said that U.S. patience with it is not unlimited, and has threatened to leave. The time to leave is now. President Donald Trump, in disappointment with international organizations, has already quit UNESCO, and cut UN funding. He should now withdraw the U.S. from UNHRC.
You have to be of a certain age to remember how important the Domino Theory was to American foreign policy in the 1950s and 60s.
This was the theory according to which all the countries of Southeast Asia (and beyond) would fall to communism if one of them did so. It was therefore vital to prevent any of them from falling.
It is difficult to assess the worth or otherwise of this theory. Counterfactual history is hardly a science, or even a branch of knowledge. Who can say what would have happened in Southeast Asia if the Americans had acted differently, according to some other geopolitical theory? It is not even possible definitively to decide whether the policy followed was a success or failure. Even at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives and untold destruction, to say nothing of the economic cost to America itself, it did not prevent the spread of communism in Indochina. On the other hand, communism spread no further, nor did it last indefinitely. Whether its durance was longer or shorter because of the war will remain forever a matter of speculation.
The Domino Theory seemed to have held in Eastern Europe, though in reverse. Leonid Brezhnev enunciated a doctrine of his own, namely that a country, once communist, could not return to capitalism (a Marxist equivalent of the Islamic doctrine that once Islamic, a country could not revert, which is one of the reasons why Spain, or al-Andalus, looms so large in the mind of fanatics). But it was obvious that once an Eastern European country had seceded from communism, the holdouts — Romania and Albania — could not long survive.
Recently there has been another kind of contagion in Southeast Asia, that of surrogate motherhood. Rich foreigners, for some reason unable to have children, have sought surrogate mothers, first in Thailand, then Cambodia when the practice was prohibited in Thailand, then Laos when it was prohibited in Cambodia. There had been a domino effect in prohibition.
A case has recently been settled in Bangkok (after 4 years of legal wrangling) in which a young Japanese billionaire, Mitsutoki Shigeta, who paid thirteen mothers in Thailand to have his children before the prohibition came into force, has been declared their sole legal parent. His initial explanation of his rather extraordinary behavior was that he had political ambitions and wanted to create voters for himself, though this, if meant seriously, would have suggested that he wasn’t very good at arithmetic; but the judgment took into account the fact that he was certainly in a position to bring the children up in comfort, if not happiness.
The surrogate mothers were poor women from the countryside and Shigeta paid them about $15,000 each to bear his child. This was surrogacy on an almost industrial scale, on the production-line model. In awarding sole parenthood to Shigeta, the court took notice of the fact that he was in a position to give the children a good upbringing, at least from the material point of view, and that he was the only parent who had actually wanted the children.
Most people’s immediate reaction to this story is one at least of distaste, and even of disgust. On the other hand, they do not find it easy to construct an entirely rational reason for their instinctive feeling that people (and particularly someone like Shigeta) should not be permitted to behave in this way. It is, in fact, rather easier to construct the opposite argument.
Thirteen women, who were not coerced into agreement, were enabled to accumulate a capital sum that would probably otherwise have been beyond them to accumulate. It would give them the opportunity to start a small business, perhaps; and if you argued that they were coerced by their economic circumstances into agreeing to Shigeta’s whim, you are in effect arguing against free will.
In a sense, everyone is coerced by his circumstances, for no one lives, acts or takes decisions in no circumstances whatsoever that are not of his choosing; the degree of coercion differs, no doubt, but it was never alleged that Shigeta held a gun to the women’s heads. He tempted rather than coerced them; and probably (though I have no evidence of this) the women succumbed to the temptation with the agreement of others around them. The situation, then, was the product of free human choice.
Whether the thirteen children brought into this world in this unusual fashion will be happy or emotionally well-cared for must be a matter of pure speculation. As far as I know, no one has ever behaved in precisely this way before, and so there can be no evidence, even merely probabilistic, either way. In any case, we do not insist on parents guaranteeing their children a happy life before granting them a licence to reproduce. Such a remedy would be far worse than the disease of bad parenting that it is supposed to cure.
Moreover, it is unlikely that Shigeta’s example will be followed by many people. He is clearly a strange man, for only someone very strange could even have thought (I was about to say conceived) of such a mode of conduct. He doesn’t pose a threat to society, Thai, Japanese, or any other. Indeed, Japan is suffering from so low a birth rate that the accession of thirteen children to it might be counted a blessing.
Such are the arguments in favour of permitting people to behave as Shigeta and his surrogate mothers behaved, yet I think that many people would be left unsatisfied by them. Their instinct would tell them that this is not the way humans should behave, that in some way not easily definable it was turning humans into objects merely to meet whimsical desires and instrumentalising human life: and this would be so even if everything turned out happily for all concerned, and the surrogate mothers and consequent children were all treated well.
There is a conflict between the Promethean view of life, that it should be entirely without limits (except, perhaps, those suggested by a utilitarian ethic), and the view of life that accepts limitations that are neither of our own devising nor rationally arguable but only agreed by instinct and tradition. My own view is in unstable equilibrium between the two. I find it difficult to be entirely consistent.
What we have here is a failure to appreciate the president.
by Conrad Black
It is distressing to see my friend of nearly 40 years, George Will, writing such words of frenzied despair about the president and his national-security adviser–designate, John Bolton. It is also worrisome to see my cordial acquaintance of 20 years, Richard Haass, writing as mournfully as he did last week of the end of the Liberal World Order. One expects, a year into an administration that went to war in the election campaign against the entire political class in both parties and among the national media (such as George Will) and the foreign-policy establishment (and Richard Haass is one of the very best of them), that there will be panic below decks. One hears it every day from Joe Scarborough and Wolf Blitzer and their legions of screeching sound-alikes. But George Will and Richard Haass are eminent men, flag officers on this ship. That George Will has a cultural and temperamental problem with Donald Trump is no surprise, and neither is Richard Haass’s concern that the Western Alliance is crumbling (though that, if true, has more to do with the Alliance-deaf previous two administrations and the flabby complacency of most of America’s so-called allies).
George Will is one of the country’s outstanding polemical writers, but he should not be squandering that talent on mind-reading and misrepresenting the president. John Bolton absolutely does not think and will not be “suggesting that the United States should seriously consider embarking on war crimes.” George has no standing to say that “Trump has no convictions.” Whether or not George or others agree with it, the president has done his best to enact the program the voters approved when they elected him. He has appointed judges who believe they should carry out the law and not the current political reinterpretation of what that great paragon of modern liberal jurisprudence Eliot Spitzer described as “a flexible constitution.” Trump has drastically reduced illegal immigration, reformed and reduced taxes, deregulated, stimulated economic growth, succeeded in gaining China’s serious cooperation in dissuading North Korea from gaining a nuclear first-strike capacity, and armed the Ukrainians with anti-tank weapons and committed to providing Eastern Europe with anti-missile defenses. He is working to reduce the U.S. trade deficit, has assisted importantly in raising oil production by 5 million barrels a day, and emancipated the American people from President Obama’s mad promise to reduce American carbon use by 26 percent in the next twelve years (in the Paris climate agreement), while the world’s leading polluters, China and India, pollute more, and Western Europe does nothing, though with great unctuousness.
With a more suave individual enacting the same policies, George Will would, on past form, be an appreciative supporter; it is very dismaying that such a substantive person and eminent commentator and old friend is unable to distinguish often annoying (though usually rather entertaining and even refreshing) Trump flimflam and posturing from the substance accomplished by an administration that has, despite the continuing war with most of the political class, had the most successful first year of any newly elected administration since Eisenhower’s, if not Franklin D. Roosevelt’s. It is also worrisome, given his stature, that George Will is not setting a more thoughtful example, and has gone back to snide name-calling, as in his still-remembered reference to George H. W. Bush as emitting “the tinny ‘arf’ . . . of a lapdog.” Donald Trump as a public personality is an acquired taste, or not, but, like all holders of high public offices, he has the right to be judged on his record.
George Will presupposes that “this scatterbrain’s Swiss-cheese-style tariffs are too sloppy to reflect forethought.” Mr. Will is not a trade wonk and the whole point is to shrink the trade deficit. Steel and aluminum were as good a place to start as any. Of course China will compromise; the trade specialists will work out something so complicated that no one can figure it out, but the result will be a sharp reduction in the present imbalance in China’s favor, and some repatriation of jobs to the U.S. At the least, George Will should give the president some credit for opposing Chinese theft of American technology. The takeaway from the initiative to reduce the trade gap with China is that the administration is confident that the North Korea arrangement is already practically in place. Trump said to the New York Times at the time of his visit to China several months ago that he had indeed deferred taking action with China on the trade front because of the need for China’s entire cooperation to deter Pyongyang from nuclear military deployment by a method short of precise American attack on its military targets. His assertion to the Chinese and North Koreans that if North Korea did not desist, the United States would eliminate the North Korean nuclear program militarily, should promote an agreement a little like that over missiles in Cuba in 1962: no nuclear weapons in either Korea, a divided peninsula, and no attempt at regime change. Both sides would get what they originally wanted.
The Iran agreement was insane: It gave Iran ten years to become a nuclear power, if it chooses to honor the porous and ineffectual monitoring program the treaty provides. But the agreement covers only fissile material, not the Iranian missile program or Iran’s development of a nuclear warhead compact enough to be delivered by a missile, and both of these activities are proceeding apace. The method to combat this is essentially the same formula that has been employed with North Korea, though without a Chinese analogue: draconian sanctions and explicit threats that, if a reasonable agreement that no such nuclear military capability will be sought is not concluded, there will be U.S. military interdiction of it. Once the Iranians realize the administration is serious, they will act rationally. The portrayal of this policy as the aspiration to commit “war crimes” is shameful and outrageous.
And neither Mr. Will nor Mr. Haass shows the least recognition of the fact that Donald Trump is the only possible savior of the nuclear non-proliferation system. It must be said for the Iranians that at least they correctly identified the hypocrisy of the existing non-proliferation regime: a club that others could join if they didn’t seem likely to be irresponsible, although all were piously urged to abstain and leave a monopoly of ultimate military power in the hands of the incumbent cartel-members, who haven’t really done anything to fulfill their promise to disarm (nor should they, as the whole concept is insane). The five founders of the United Nations achieved nuclear military status; then India had to do so as China had, Pakistan because of India, and Israel was a special case. South Africa renounced its status when the apartheid system was dismantled. Ukraine renounced the nuclear capability it inherited from the Soviet Union and all major powers guaranteed its borders, a promise Putin’s Russia has flagrantly violated, and President Trump is the only head of a guarantor country who has done anything about it.
Trump’s chief offense has been breaking ranks with the bipartisan coalition that produced the only period of absolute and relative decline in American history.
If I did not have such high regard for Richard Haass, I would fear that he had taken leave of his senses in writing, as he did last week, that the Trump administration had taken the “decision . . . to abandon the role [the U.S.] has played for more than seven decades” in the world. It is difficult to imagine what possessed him to utter such nonsense. The whiplash between George W. Bush’s almost mindless promotion of democracy (even to setting up a prefabricated failed state in Iraq and supporting anti-democratic parties in democratic elections, as in Gaza, Lebanon, and Egypt) and the feckless pacifism and appeasement of the Obama administration certainly shook the confidence of the world — whether friend or foe — in the United States. Richard Haass purports to believe that declining to ratify the Paris climate accord and to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and seeking to renegotiate the $70 billion trade deficit with Mexico and drastically amend the Iran nuclear arrangements, are evidence of Trump’s scuttling of America’s preeminent and indispensable role in the promotion of democracy and the free market, which goes back to Roosevelt’s Quarantine speech in Chicago in 1937. This is bunk; Trump is returning to that policy.
Richard also decries that “the U.S. is experiencing unprecedented attacks from its own president on the country’s media, courts, and law-enforcement institutions,” and relates this to the rise of “authoritarianism” in such places as Turkey, Russia, and China, and to Britain’s Brexit vote. Trump isn’t the problem, but among the symptoms of the problem are that the director and deputy director of the FBI have been fired for cause as the Bureau virtually became the dirty-tricks arm of the Democratic National Committee, and that, as the Center for Media Studies and Pew Research have both recorded, 90 percent of national-media comment on Trump is hostile. Trump may have aggravated some of the current nastiness, but his chief offense has been breaking ranks with the bipartisan coalition that produced the only period of absolute and relative decline in American history.
If Trump succeeds, the abrasions he sometimes causes will be worth enduring. I commend to my hand-wringing friends the wisdom of dual citizen (Australian and American) Nicole Kidman, who advised her Hollywood peers to have some respect for the elected president and some understanding that if he does well, the country does well. These are almost the only sensible words that have been heard from Hollywood since Ronald Reagan left there for Washington in 1980 (to have dinner at George Will’s house).
The letter and the demonstration follow on from recent revelations regarding Mr Corbyn’s beliefs and associations – three Facebook groups to which he belonged which were all teeming with anti-Semitic tropes and his support for a mural painted back in 2012 that was obviously anti-Semitic.
So enough was enough. Here is an extract from the Board of Deputies letter to Corbyn:
Jeremy Corbyn did not invent this form of politics, but he has had a lifetime within it, and now personifies its problems and dangers. He issues empty statements about opposing anti-Semitism but does nothing to understand or address it. We conclude that he cannot seriously contemplate anti-Semitism, because he is so ideologically fixed within a far-left worldview that is instinctively hostile to mainstream Jewish communities.
When Jews complain about an obviously anti-Semitic mural in Tower Hamlets, Corbyn of course supports the artist. Hizbollah commits terrorist atrocities against Jews, but Corbyn calls them his friends and attends pro-Hizbollah rallies in London. Exactly the same goes for Hamas. Raed Salah says Jews kill Christian children to drink their blood. Corbyn opposes his extradition and invites him for tea at the House of Commons. These are not the only cases. He is repeatedly found alongside people with blatantly anti-Semitic views but claims never to hear or read them.
Again and again, Jeremy Corbyn has sided with anti-Semites rather than Jews. At best, this derives from the far left’s obsessive hatred of Zionism, Zionists and Israel. At worst, it suggests a conspiratorial worldview in which mainstream Jewish communities are believed to be a hostile entity, a class enemy.
…There is literally not a single day in which Labour Party spaces, either online or in meetings, do not repeat the same fundamental anti-Semitic slanders against Jews. We are told that our concerns are faked, and done at the command of Israel and/or Zionism (whatever that means); that anti-Semitism is merely “criticism of Israel”; that we call any and all criticism of Israel “anti-Semitic”; that the Rothschilds run the world; that Isis terrorism is a fake front for Israel; that Zionists are the new Nazis; and that Zionists collaborate with Nazis.
Rightly or wrongly, Jeremy Corbyn is now the figurehead for an anti-Semitic political culture, based on obsessive hatred of Israel, conspiracy theories and fake news that is doing dreadful harm to British Jews and to the British Labour Party.
It would seem that someone close to Corbyn understood that these issues were calling into question the moral basis of the Labour party itself, so the Labour leader responded to the Board of Deputies with this letter: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-43540795
Thank you for your letter to the Labour Party concerning anti-Semitism issued as a press statement last night.
First of all, let me acknowledge the anger and upset that provoked it, and repeat my offer of an urgent meeting to discuss the issues you have raised as soon as possible.
I stated yesterday, and repeat today, that I will not tolerate any form of anti-Semitism that exists in or around our party and movement. I am committed to eliminating anti-Semitism wherever it exists.
As I told the Labour Party conference in 2016, anti-Semitism is an evil that led to the worst crimes of the 20th century. Prejudice and hatred of Jewish people has no place whatsoever in the Labour Party, and every one of us has a responsibility to ensure it is never allowed to fester in our society again.
I recognise that anti-Semitism has surfaced within the Labour Party and has too often been dismissed as simply a matter of a few bad apples. This has caused pain and hurt to Jewish members of our Party and to the wider Jewish community in Britain. I am sincerely sorry for the pain which has been caused, and pledge to redouble my efforts to bring this anxiety to an end.
While the forms of anti-Semitism expressed on the far Right of politics are easily detectable, such as Holocaust denial, there needs to be a deeper understanding of what constitutes anti-Semitism in the labour movement. Sometimes this evil takes familiar forms - the east London mural which has caused such understandable controversy is an example. The idea of Jewish bankers and capitalists exploiting the workers of the world is an old anti-Semitic conspiracy theory. This was long ago, and rightly, described as "the socialism of fools".
I am sorry for not having studied the content of the mural more closely before wrongly questioning its removal in 2012.
Newer forms of anti-Semitism have been woven into criticism of Israeli governments. Criticism of Israel, particularly in relation to the continuing dispossession of the Palestinian people, cannot be avoided. Nevertheless, comparing Israel or the actions of Israeli governments to the Nazis, attributing criticisms of Israel to Jewish characteristics or to Jewish people in general and using abusive phraseology about supporters of Israel such as "Zio" all constitute aspects of contemporary anti-Semitism. And Jewish people must not be held responsible or accountable for the actions of the Israeli government.
The Labour Party has always opposed anti-Semitism, old and new, and always will. We are proud of our deep historical links with Jewish communities, and to have fought alongside generations of Jewish men and women against fascism, prejudice and discrimination. This is a part of our common heritage from which we will never be separated. But I acknowledge that anti-Semitic attitudes have surfaced more often in our ranks in recent years, and that the Party has been too slow in processing some of the cases that have emerged. Early action has nevertheless been taken, and we will work to speed up procedures, to deal with cases of anti-Semitic abuse or attitudes.
I am committed to making our Party a welcoming and secure place for Jewish people. Zero tolerance for anti-Semites means what it says, and the Party will proceed in that spirit. That demands among other things the overdue full implementation of the recommendations of the Chakrabarti report, including a programme of political education to increase awareness and understanding of all forms of anti-Semitism.
The battle against anti-Semitism should never become a party-political issue. It must unite all of us if we are both to honour the memory of the victims of the bestial crimes of the 20th century and build a future of equality and justice for all.
In that spirit, I must make it clear that I will never be anything other than a militant opponent of anti-Semitism. In this fight, I am your ally and always will be.
I think too that It remains to be seen just what Mr Corbyn will do to erase the perception that he and his allies are deeply anti-Semitic.
They are anti-capitalist and anti-West, and because they see Israel as part of the West they question her very existence. They have sided in the past with Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran in seeking Israel’s destruction, and Jews who mostly support Israel, even if subliminally, are therefore guilty by association.
But as it is ‘racist’ to be anti-Semitic and racism is a big no-no, Jews are not officially the enemy of the Corbynistas, but Israel probably still is.
An extremist who attempted to build an army of child jihadists has been jailed for life with a minimum of 25 years for a range of terrorism offences.
Umar Haque was convicted of attempting to groom children as young as 11 at the Ripple Road mosque in Barking, east London, where he showed them footage of beheadings and conducted terrorism role-play exercises. The self-confessed Isis supporter was also convicted of planning to use guns and a car packed with explosives to strike 30 high-profile targets including Big Ben, the Queen’s Guard and Westfield shopping centre in east London.
The court heard he played Isis propaganda to students at the fee-paying Lantern of Knowledge Islamic school in east London, where he taught an Islamic studies class despite having no teaching qualifications and being employed only as an administrator.
Sentencing him at the Old Bailey on Tuesday, Mr Justice Haddon-Cave said Haque, 25, wanted to do “something big” and his ambition was “extreme and alarming”.
He was a “very real” threat to the young and old alike, the judge said, adding: “Haque was a dangerous liar. He is intelligent, articulate and persuasive, with an easy smile. He is narcissistic and clearly enjoys the power he wields over others.”
The judge told Haque: “You have violated the Qur’an and Islam by your actions, as well as the law of all civilised people. It is hoped you will come to realise this.” He said this on Friday when sentencing Ahmed Hassan for his bomb at Parson's Green tube station. I dread to think where he is getting it from; some senior Ministry of Justice official I expect.
Haque could be heard talking about “domination” and “hunger and insecurity” as he was sent down.
Fundraiser Abuthaher Mamun – 19, from Barking – who was said to have “renounced” Haque’s extremist view of Islam, was jailed for 12 years with a further year on extended licence.
Haque’s confidant Muhammad Abid – 27, from Newham, a qualified cupping therapist – was handed four years and three months in prison for failing to report the plot.
Left to right Umar Haque, Muhammad Abid, Abuthaher Mamun
In bugged conversations, he talked about being inspired by the Westminster Bridge atrocity in March last year. Haque said: “We are here to cause terror, my brother. We are a death squad sent by Allah and his messengers to avenge my Arab brothers’ blood.”
In the months before his arrest, he bragged about recruiting 16 children, telling Ripple Road youngsters he intended to die a martyr and IS was “good”.
One of the youngsters later told police: “Umar has been teaching us how to fight, do push-ups, given strength and within six years he was planning to do a big attack on London. He wants a group of 300 men. He’s training us now so by the time I’m in Year 10 [aged 14-15] we will be physically strong enough to fight.”
Police believe Haque attempted to radicalise at least 110 children at the mosque and the school, with 35 of them now receiving long-term support. Prosecutor Mark Heywood QC said a specialist social worker had assessed nine of the boys affected by Haque’s indoctrination. “Although they are clear what they saw was wrong, they are left conflicted and without answers which leads them to be particularly vulnerable to grooming. Some speak of having flashbacks of the videos and nightmares centred around fear of death and punishment in the after life, perhaps in reference to (the video) of the young boy seen buried and in a grave.”
The Charity Commission previously opened a statutory inquiry into the Lantern of Knowledge Educational Trust. It is also investigating the Ripple Road mosque.