Monday, 28 August 2017
Christian child forced into Muslim foster care
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The Londonistan Borough of Tower Hamlets. From the Times and the Daily Mail  

A white Christian child was taken from her family and forced to live with a niqab-wearing foster carer in a home where she was allegedly encouraged to learn Arabic. The five-year-old girl, a native English speaker, has spent the past six months in the care of two Muslim households in London. The foster placements were made, against the wishes of the girl’s family, by the scandal-ridden borough of Tower Hamlets.

In confidential local authority reports seen by The Times, a social services supervisor describesthe child sobbing and begging not to be returned to the foster carer’s home because “they don’t speak English”.

The reports state that the supervisor heard the girl, who at times was “very distressed”, claiming that the foster carer removed her necklace, which had a Christian cross, and also suggested that she should learn Arabic.

It is understood that the child told her mother that when she was given her favourite Italian food to take home, the foster carer would not allow her to eat it because the carbonara meal contained bacon.

And more recently the girl told her that ‘Christmas and Easter are stupid’ and that ‘European women are stupid and alcoholic’,

The two placements were made by the scandal-hit Tower Hamlets borough council against the wishes of the girl’s family.

Local authorities are required to give due consideration to a child’s religion, racial origin and cultural and linguistic background’ when placing them into a foster home.

To protect the child, The Times has chosen not to identify her or the unusual circumstances that led to her being taken into care earlier this year.  Children can be taken into foster care when the parents are good and loving, for example if they are taken ill with a long-term illness and the council doesn't think that any other relatives are suitable. Grandparents often struggle to convince council officials that they are still fit enough to cope with a young child, despite their often being the family childminders while fit parents work, and despite the government decree that we older generation are now fit enought to work outside the home until nearly 70 before we receive our state pension that we have paid for since our teens. This isn't necessarily the case here; it was the situation in several instances that I know of elsewhere.

The girl’s mother is said to be horrified by the circumstances her daughter has been placed in.

A friend told the newspaper: ‘This is a five-year-old white girl. She was born in this country, speaks English as her first language, loves football, holds a British passport and was christened in a church.

‘She’s already suffered the huge trauma of being forcibly separated from her family. She needs surroundings in which she’ll feel secure. Instead, she’s trapped in a world where everything feels foreign and unfamiliar. That’s really scary for a young child.’

The girl lived with her first carer, who is believed to have worn a niqab outside the family home, for four months. Her current carer wears a burka, which covers her face entirely, when she is out in public with the child.

In April this year, an Ofsted inspection at Tower Hamlets council found ‘widespread and serious failures in the services provided to children who need help and protection’. The council’s children’s service was rated as inadequate and found to have an ‘entrenched culture of non-compliance with basic social work standards’.

Tower Hamlets refused to respond to requests to explain why it had chosen to place a white, English-speaking Christian child with Muslim foster carers, including one household where she was unable to understand the language spoken by the family.  

Tower Hamlets declined to reveal how many cross-cultural foster placements it was overseeing. The council also refused to say whether it had a shortage of white British foster carers. It cited confidentiality obligations and accused The Times of putting at risk the stability of a vulnerable child’s foster placement and schooling.

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Posted on 08/28/2017 1:53 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 27 August 2017
Second man seized over Buckingham Palace knife terror incident
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So he wasn't a lone wolf then. From the Telegraph

Scotland Yard has arrested a second man after the suspected terror attack outside Buckingham Palace on Friday night. The unnamed 30-year-old was seized at a West London address on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism.

A 26-year-old man from Luton was arrested outside Buckingham Palace late on Friday after he drove at police before lunging for a 4ft sword and repeatedly shouting “Allahu Akbar”.

The attacker is also being held under terrorism legislation and a warrant for his further detention has been granted.

Scotland Yard initially said they were not seeking anyone else in connection with the attack.

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Posted on 08/27/2017 6:38 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 27 August 2017
PC-Free Sunday: Jolson sings 'Mammy'
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I'd walk a million miles for one of your smiles...

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Posted on 08/27/2017 5:54 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Sunday, 27 August 2017
Canada Suffers from Unimaginative Government
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by Conrad Black

Canada is suffering from a prolonged drought of imaginative government. Since Stephen Harper bucked an otherwise universal international trend and reduced HST, and durably shrunk, as he hoped, the public sector share of the Canadian economy, our federal legislators have under-achieved. Nothing important and novel has been done except the unfolding legalization of marijuana.

There is no serious discussion of health-care reform, though Canada is one of the few countries in the world that claims to ban private medicine. We are in fact rationing medical care for many victims of chronic health problems, and have failed to advance any policy option except throwing more tax-paid funds at the question.

There is no known discussion of a constitutional update, although Quebec has elected the most avowedly federalist government since Jean Lesage, if not Maurice Duplessis, and has said it is ready to negotiate its approval of the Constitution, which was left hanging after the failure to adopt Meech Lake.

Canada is suffering from a prolonged drought of imaginative government

There is no approach to taxing and spending except raising both, and no discussion of penal reform, though at least the Javert-like severity of the Harper-Toews tyranny has abated. There has been no attempt to make welfare and poverty-reduction more effective, and, as was recently mentioned here, all that has happened with the aboriginals is to dismantle the commendable Harper government requirement for accountability of the native governments and leaders — thereby providing some of their leaders with a blank cheque to go on squandering billions of dollars devoted to that population, which deserves better, but not necessarily more mis-invested money.

It is an outrage that anyone in this country and in these times should pay an income tax of 53 per cent; it is the money of the people who earn or otherwise legitimately receive it — that income is their money, not the state’s. Canadians have become so passive and docile, no one seems to utter a peep about governments taking more than half the income of the wealthier section of the population. Such a condition can only be justified in a state of emergency, and Canada has not had such an emergency since the Second World War. Everyone agrees that governments provide essential services, and there is general agreement about what most of those services are, but few imagine that they are being provided as efficiently and imaginatively as possible.

Canadians are always preoccupied with the proximity of the United States, and that country is in shambles

Canadians are always preoccupied with the proximity of the United States, and that country is in shambles because the population has constitutionally rebelled against 20 years of bipartisan misrule that gave the world the Great Recession, the Iraq War, the migration crises, the appeasement of Iran and North Korea, a flat-lined U.S. economy, oceanic emissions of debt, and the enthronement of witless political correctness that forbade even the utterance of the words “Islamist extremism.” This leaves us under the mistaken belief that Canada has no need to aim for better than its current status quo. It is similar to the reflex to believe that because the least prosperous third of our people receive better health care than their American analogues, we have a world-class health-care system.

If Canada — which is the least populous and economically smallest of the G7 countries and the only one that is neither the founder nor principal home of a great and ancient civilization based on a distinctive language — wishes to distinguish itself from its peers, it will have to do so not only by being peaceable and serene, which it is, but by being an innovative laboratory for good government and imaginative legislation.

The world needs to break the left-right sclerosis: technological advance creates more unemployment than employment; we are all over-committed to the service economy where there are too many academics, lawyers and consultants who add relatively little value to the economy (unlike farmers, factory workers, miners, most doctors, and many teachers and executives). The only visible statesman who utters a word of such things is the new French president, Emmanuel Macron.    

The world needs to break the left-right sclerosis

To summarize some points I have made here over several years, as food for thought: we should sharply reduce all income taxes on lower personal and corporate taxes, have a personal ceiling of 35 per cent and 20 for companies, but impose a wealth tax on high net worth people of one per cent, which would be paid by operating or supporting approved bona fide plans to employ and train disadvantaged people. It would be reduced toward zero as the number of designated poor people was reduced. Taxes on elective (largely luxury) spending and most corporate financial transactions could be raised a few points.

All drugs should be legalized, with compulsory treatment for hard drug addicts (if necessary, in confinement), and the industry’s revenues would accrue to the federal and provincial governments equally. (The War on Drugs has been the worst defeat the West has endured since the fall of Saigon.)

Private medicine should be accepted, all graduating medical doctors should contribute three months to the public health-care service at modest pay, and there should be user fees and declining benefit scales for people of above-average wealth. Universality is bunk; we must help those who need it.

All drugs should be legalized, with compulsory treatment for hard addicts

All but the most egregious or recidivistic non-violent law-breakers should be released from confinement and their sentences should be changed to community or private-sector service at Spartan pay and accommodation but relatively full liberty under supervised release. Most of the Harper prisons should become assisted housing.

Aboriginal communities should have to conform to the same standards of administrative integrity as others, and all adult aboriginals should have the opportunity to change their status, with financial assistance, to un-hyphenated citizenship. The federal government should increase immigration by 50 per cent and more actively seek it in Central and Eastern Europe (without rolling back any other region), and should reduce transfer payments to any province that did not decertify teachers’ unions and apply a performance standard to their compensation.

Equalization payments, which began as a sop to the federal ego when Duplessis forced the St. Laurent government to acknowledge the constitutionally guaranteed right of provinces to a concurrent jurisdiction in direct taxes in 1955, should be reduced by half, over five years. Ottawa should incentivize at least one province to scrap its securities regulation quagmire, replace it with a more explicit and better staffed anti-fraud regime, and welcome practically all capital to this country, as long as at least half of large deposits were retained or invested here for five years. It’s no concern of ours how the money was made, as long as the depositors and investors observe our laws and do not re-enlist the funds for unacceptable purposes elsewhere. The oppressive money-laundering rules are just an excuse for governments to micro-manage our lives. Serious international criminals don’t have much difficulty evading them.

The Atlantic provinces should become one, as should the prairie provinces

Some of these steps would be challenged constitutionally and would have to be re-legislated until the composition of the higher courts were less infested by judges intoxicated by the Charter and who recognize the high court of Parliament.

The Atlantic provinces should become one, as should the prairie provinces, giving the country five provinces of between 2.5 and 14 million people each. The Senate should be composed of exceptionally talented people in all serious fields, appointed for five-year, renewable terms, and should have a limited, but not trivial, right to delay or alter legislation from the House of Commons. The governor-general should become the elected president of the Commonwealth of Canada, and be co-chief of state with the monarch, and the president and prime minister should have powers roughly equivalent to those of the president and prime minister of France.

It’s a long list, and not all of it would ever be done. But if we started discussing seriously any significant part of the above suggestions, or something like them, we would engage the attention of the world. If we substantially enacted them, Canada would be widely emulated and would be one of the five most influential countries in the world within 20 years. Why not?       

First published in the National Post.

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Posted on 08/27/2017 5:11 AM by Conrad Black
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Sunday, 27 August 2017
Make Up for Him and Mission for Her in Paris
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by Michael Curtis

That face, that beautiful face, is now a center of amusement in Paris. For centuries that city has been the world center for style and elegance for women. It's about time that men, especially politicians, displayed an attractive public image and are ready for their close up. The question arises however, are they holding the mirror up to nature?

Do all French politicians want to look like film stars? It was enchanting news that the handsome, youthful looking, French President Emmanuel Macron during his first three months in office as president had employed a makeup artist named Natacha for his appearances in a TV studio and in the presidential Elysee Palace at a cost of 26,000 euroes ($30,695). Sacre bleu, since these are cutting times in France.

 Macron not is the first president to have employed a similar person. Macron's predecessor Francois Holland, the "shampoo socialist" with thinning hair, spent 11,000 euros a month for a stylist barber, and Nicolas Sarkozy, with more hair and a beautiful wife, only 8,000 euros a month.

Moreover, French politicians are not alone. British Labour leader Tony Blair, in  six months spent £1, 800  on cosmetics and make up. Curiously, his stylist changed his hair parting from right to left, while Blair politically moved the other way during his tenure in office. Was she hiding his real face? Even more questionable is the case of former Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. He only paid £90 for a haircut, but his British-Italian barber got an MBE (Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) for his services.

During the French presidential campaign Macron was a relatively new face, but it was a fresh face; now we know why. His beautiful hair, stance and allure allowed him to be nicknamed Jupiter, a forceful leader like the chief Roman god. But gods, like humans, have their day. With each make up Macron has been losing popular support. Part of the reason is that he has been cutting jobs as well as hair.

Macron been undertaking austerity measures, cuts in the budget, in housing benefits for students, in defense. Courageously, he has suggested changes in French labor laws, making the 35 hour week more flexible, and a controversial proposal for the EU to pool financial resources to protect against future crises.

Seen by some as authoritarian, Macron has encountered problems in relations woth other members of the EU. The most striking is the quarrel with Poland over the EU rules on cheap labor going from eastern Europe to more prosperous EU countries. Poland is the largest source, 300,000 to 400,000 a year of these "posted workers." These workers while abroad continue to pay into tax and social security systems of their own countries, and so employers can hire them them for lower wages than citizens of western countries.

Meanwhile, Macron has been faced with a domestic-public issue. Part of the yothful image of the 39 year old Macron has come from photos bicycling with his wife, Brigitte, and the repeated tale of his romance starting at the age of 15 with his married drama teacherat school , 24 years older, first his partner and then his wife. Brigitte has playfully stated that the two of them have breakfast together, she with "my wrinkles" and he with his "youth."

So far there is nonoficial statement on how much Brigitte spends on makeup and it would be in bad taste to ask for one. She appears to have an ageless style, and perhaps will become an icon.

Occasionally, it is indicated that the age gap between them is exactly the same as between Donald and Melania Trump. However, there is a difference. Melania is the acknowledged "first lady" of the U.S  Unlike the situation in the U.S., there is in France no official recognion of the wife of the president as first lady. There has been tolerance of informal relations of French presidents with their mistresses, even to the extreme one, the companion of Francois Mitterand, living in the Elysee Palace where his wife also lived, but there has not been an offical title, status, or budget for the wife of a president. Neither the French  constition nor any protocol defines any clear role for a spouse. At the moment Brigitte has three assistants, fewer than past comparable companions of presidents.

The situstion now is confusing., as the result of revelations during and since the presidential campaign. Macron probaby won the election because the opposition candidate was not Francois Filon. This right wing candidate, at one point leading in the polls, became invoved in a scandal when he falsely claimed his wife Penelope was his paliamentary assistant. However, she was paid public funds for little or no work. The scandal was compounded because she was also accused for being paid as a literary consultant to a magazine owned by a friend of Fillon. She was rarely consulted.  

Since the election, two further matters affected the "first lady" issue. Macron's actual opponent Marine Le Pen has been accused of misusing EU funds; some of her staff has been paid for non existent jobs in the European Parliament. Macron was unfortunate that the person he had chosen as defense minister, Sylvie  Goulard , the only woman appointed to a major cabinet position, was involved in a scandal and resigned on June 20, 2017. Her political party MoDem had used European Parliament funds to pay the party staff in France.

Macron has tried to resolve the issue by a so called  Charter of Transparency. It states that no legal text codifies the role of the president's wife, but makes public the role that Brigitte can play and the financial funds available out of the budget of the presidency. Her mission will involve activity in areas such as as education, health, diasability, culture and gender equality, climate change, and violence against women and children, and special missions that may be neccessary.

None of these activities require make up or cosmetics for President Macron but his decision and clear statement on Brigitte's role can be a useful model for Melania and a future US First Lady..

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Posted on 08/27/2017 4:53 AM by Michael Curtis
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Saturday, 26 August 2017
Did Politico smear Phares in 2016 to protect the Iran Deal?
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by Tom Harb

Back in November, and after President Trump won the election and formed his transition team, a few opposition media, notably including al Jazeera and Politico, launched acerbic attacks against then Trump foreign policy advisor Dr. Walid Phares without reason. The attacks were most likely triggered to smear Phares in order to intercept what the Iranian regime (and the Muslim Brotherhood) thought would be an imminent appointment of Phares to a position in the Trump administration. The smear material, imported from a similar wave of slander launched by the same forces in 2011 after Romney appointed Phares to his team, regurgitated the infamous libel by a Mother Jones hit piece, authored by Adam Serwer that year. The attack itself was crippled by the sources Serwer used. Nothing in the piece was founded in reality, only allegations and quotes by political enemies. The Mother Jones smear piece was demolished by National Review in 2011 and by investigative reports in 2016, when The Washington Post delivered another smear piece against Phares based on the far-left website’s original article. The completely discredited Mother Jones narrative was used multiple times regardless of its untenable foundation. It is evident that those behind the campaign against Phares care only about how they can trash the scholar – and those propagating the attack apparently care nothing for true credibility – disregarding the incredulity of the sources used. 

However, one piece posted by Politico's Yousef Saba on November 16, 2016, after Phares returned to the private sector, went even farther. Saba imputed words to Phares as translated from an Arabic interview. claiming Phares told Elaph, a liberal Arab media, that: "Reports that President-elect Donald Trump may deport Muslims ‘can be described as bulls---,’ and are perpetuated by ‘the Muslim Brotherhood or the Iranian regime,’ according to Walid Phares, a Trump adviser on national security issues." Saba pretended that Phares used the term "Bulls--", which according to our research in Arabic was never uttered. Reviewing decades of archives on Walid Phares, he never used this word (nor any similar ones) in any language. But Saba aimed at smearing Phares from the onset and use the term in a sensational title. Phares could sue Politico if he wanted.

Beyond the concocted word attributed to Phares, Politico was trying to ridicule the advisor for daring to stipulate that Iran and the Muslim Brotherhood actually have "lobbies" in the United States. The ridicule is on Saba and Politico as indeed these two powers have significant pressure groups and networks within the US, as affirmed by many members of Congress and several Arab countries. The political goal of the publication and its blogger was to strike at a possible candidate who may have been asked to join the administration. This was a preemptive hit—just in case the scholar was called upon to enter the White House. Apparently, the opposition did not know that Phares was not to join the Trump administration in 2017. Perhaps another goal was to pile up attacks on the "potential candidate" so that he would not be called upon and thus assist the President and Congress in their handling of the Iran Deal. It is well known that the Iran Deal was backed by Politico and the wider opposition. A Walid Phares inside the administration would be problematic for the backers of Iran's policies in the region and the agenda of the Ikhwan. Hence the November 16, 2016, attack.

This leads us to believe that at every juncture when Dr. Phares might be even theoretically considered for a position in the administration, he will be served with a hit piece. This isn’t even really a question because in this day and age, ethics have become quite a rare commodity among the media.     

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-campaign-muslim-iran-231529

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Posted on 08/26/2017 6:48 PM by Tom Harb
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Saturday, 26 August 2017
Buckingham Palace suspect 'was armed with 4ft sword' and repeatedly shouted "Allahu Akbar"
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From Sky News

A man tackled by police near Buckingham Palace was armed with a 4ft sword and repeatedly shouted "Allahu Akbar" - God is greatest - during the struggle, Scotland Yard has said.

The force has revealed the suspect drove a blue Toyota Prius "deliberately" at a marked patrol car before being confronted by officers. He then reached for the weapon in the passenger footwell, police said.

CS gas was used during the arrest, in which three officers were injured.

Commander Dean Haydon, of the Metropolitan Police counter-terrorism branch, said the suspect "deliberately drove at a marked police vehicle and stopped in front of it".

He added: "Uniformed officers then confronted the driver of the vehicle and during that confrontation the driver reached for a 4ft sword that was in the passenger footwell. CS gas was used as part of the arrest and during the struggle the individual repeatedly shouted the words Allahu Akbar."

A 26-year-old man from the Luton area is in custody at a central London police station.

I think that safely counts out radicalised Anglicans. 

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Posted on 08/26/2017 7:09 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 26 August 2017
Colin Kaepernick Is No Victim
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by Gary Fouse

Listening to some of the silly comments coming out of Wednesday's Colin Kaepernick protest in front of the NFL offices in New York made me laugh. One would have thought that the out of work quarterback was Joan of Arc, Jackie Robinson and Jesus Christ all wrapped into one. He is none of the above.

Kaepernick, you will recall was the second string quarterback who decided to kneel rather than stand during the National Anthem because of his sympathy for the Black Lives Matter movement. To hear Kaepernick describe it, you would think America was still mired in the days of the 1950s South. His antics caused many fans to switch to other sports like lacrosse or Chinese checkers rather than put up with this drama.

I recall back in 1968 when US Olympians John Carlos and Tommie Smith raised their fists in the black power salute while on the winners' stand in Mexico City. It caused a furor and they were sent back home. Over time, however, most of us (me anyway) have been able to put their gesture in perspective. They had a right to be indignant over the way blacks were being treated in certain parts of America in 1968. Now is a different day. That is why I take issue with Kaepernick's actions, which are spreading and threaten to cause real discord within the NFL.

After last season, Kaepernick made the decision to opt out of his 49ers contract and become a free agent. However, to date, no NFL team has signed him, which has led to charges by some that the NFL and its owners have conspired to keep him out of the game.

I doubt that very seriously because a conspiracy between that many people (over 30) doesn't stay a secret very long. More likely that most or possibly all of the owners have decided that the majority of their fans don't want this character smokin' into town, wearing their team's colors, and playing his games with the National Anthem. If Kaepernick were so good that he could take their team to the Super Bowl, they would be in a rush to sign him. However, we are talking about a backup quarterback here-at least on most of the league's teams.

Here is something else that Kaepernick (and most other observers) have overlooked. As one who has lived in three other countries, I became used to standing when their anthem was played. It didn't mean I owed my allegiance to that country; it was just proper respect and it was expected. Now that the NFL is playing games in England and soon in Mexico, it would be the custom to play the two respective national anthems. Would Kaepernick take a knee in London while "God Save the Queen" was being played? Of course not. Then why can't he stand for his own anthem?

Colin Kaepernick has put himself in this situation. He should man up and tell people to knock off the protests and the signs of solidarity from other players who are starting to emulate him. The last thing any team needs is division within the locker room over this issue. If some team chooses to sign him, that is their business. If not, he should take the consequences of his actions like a man.

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Posted on 08/26/2017 7:06 AM by Gary Fouse
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Saturday, 26 August 2017
Sebastian Gorka Forced Out/Resigns From White House
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HuffPo reports the chief of staff General Kelly revoked his security clearance while he was on vacation. Mollie Hemingway writes at The Federalist:

Sebastian Gorka is resigning his post as Deputy Assistant to President Trump, multiple sources familiar with the situation have told The Federalist.

In a blunt resignation letter, the national security and counterterrorism expert expressed dissatisfaction with the current state of the Trump administration. “[G]iven recent events, it is clear to me that forces that do not support the MAGA promise are – for now – ascendant within the White House,” Gorka wrote. “As a result, the best and most effective way I can support you, Mr. President, is from outside the People’s House.”

Gorka’s letter expressed unhappiness with the direction the Trump administration’s foreign policy has taken, as signaled by the president’s recent speech on Afghanistan:

“Regrettably, outside of yourself, the individuals who most embodied and represented the policies that will ‘Make America Great Again,’ have been internally countered, systematically removed, or undermined in recent months. This was made patently obvious as I read the text of your speech on Afghanistan this week…

“The fact that those who drafted and approved the speech removed any mention of Radical Islam or radical Islamic terrorism proves that a crucial element of your presidential campaign has been lost…

“Just as worrying, when discussing our future actions in the region, the speech listed operational objectives without ever defining the strategic victory conditions we are fighting for. This omission should seriously disturb any national security professional, and any American who is unsatisfied with the last 16 years of disastrous policy decisions which have led to thousands of Americans killed and trillions of taxpayer dollars spent in ways that have not brought security or victory.”

During his time in the Trump administration, Gorka focused on issues such as countering the Muslim Brotherhood, the crisis in Qatar, supporting efforts to draft a new long-term national security strategy, and combatting China’s economic warfare. Before coming to the White House, Gorka was the Major General Matthew C. Horner Chair at Marine Corps University and also contributed to Breitbart News.

Gorka’s tenure at the White House was marked by unusually vociferous attacks against him and his family by left-leaning media organizations and the Democratic Party. This includes personal attacks against his wife, mother, and son.

A source close to the White House said of his decision, “This was more or less going to be a done deal when Bannon submitted his resignation. Not because he didn’t have a protector, but because there is no point in having your life ruined every day if you’re not going to get much accomplished.” The same source said that what did change after Bannon left was that anti-Bannon factions began erecting bureaucratic road blocks to undermine Gorka internally.

The Forward has written dozens of attack pieces against Gorka, including several attempting to align him with Nazism. Most recently that publication retracted a story about his son’s schoolwork. Gorka strenuously objected to allegations he had ties to Nazi groups in his family’s home country of Hungary, where he had previously been involved in national politics. Even detractors eventually acknowledged the Nazi accusations were unfair smears.

In his letter, Gorka made clear that he believes in the promise of the Trump presidency despite being concerned about its present direction.

“Your presidency will prove to be one of the most significant events in modern American politics. November the 8th was the result of decades during which the political and media elites felt that they knew better than the people who elect them into office. They do not, and the MAGA platform allowed their voices to be heard,” he wrote, adding, “Millions of people believe in, and have chosen, you and your vision of Making America Great Again. They will help eventually rebalance this temporary reality.”

UPDATE: In response to this story, the White House issued a statement that said, “Sebastian Gorka did not resign, but I can confirm he no longer works at the White House.”

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Posted on 08/26/2017 4:29 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Saturday, 26 August 2017
Aldi praised for allowing ‘Muslim’ checkout worker not to sell alcohol on a till after ‘raising concerns’
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From the Sun

SUPERMARKET giant Aldi has been praised after a checkout worker "raised concerns" about selling alcohol at their till.

The sign at the end of one of the conveyor belts in the Northampton store stated: "No alcohol is able to be served on this till. Sorry for any inconvenience." 

Customers looking to buy beer, wine or spirits instead had to queue at one of the other checkouts instead.

A picture of the till was posted online where it received a mixed reaction on social media, with dozens praising Aldi for its handling on the situation. Mostly, but not exclusivly by people with islamic names.

But not everyone was happy with the situation and tweeted their frustrations directly to the supermarket. . .  "Wrong decision. Muslim staff at my local Aldi have no problem checking our alcohol or pork products. Everything is sealed after all."

The Sun hasn't allowed any coments on this one - I wonder why? I would also remark that Muslim shopkeepers seem to have no problem selling alcohol in their own businesses (where they get the profit - and can use it for dawa, jihad and suchlike) but these objections only occur in shops where the non-muslim colleagues can be put to inconvenience by doing the Muslim's share of the work, and inconveniencing the kuffur customers. 

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Posted on 08/26/2017 4:02 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 26 August 2017
Terror probe as man with weapon arrested outside Buckingham Palace
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Overnight the weapon which was first described as a 'sword', then was played down as a mere 'knife' is now being described as a 'large bladed weapon', so NOT something a normal person might carry for trimming knitting yarn or peeling fruit. And there is also confirmation that he has been arrested under the terrorism legislation.

From the BBC  and the Express 

Counter-terror police are investigating after two police officers were injured while arresting a man with a knife outside Buckingham Palace.

Officers saw a "large bladed weapon" in the man's car when it stopped near the palace on Friday evening.

Detective Superintendent Guy Collings later added: “A man in his mid-twenties has been arrested by police after they spotted a weapon inside his car. The quick and brave actions of both officers meant that the suspect was detained very quickly. No members of the public had any interaction with this individual at the scene. He will now be questioned by detectives in police custody. It is too early in this investigation to speculate any further.”

Social media users first suggested that the knifeman had been carrying a sword – while others thought he was holding a machete.

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Posted on 08/26/2017 2:10 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 25 August 2017
Buckingham Palace on lockdown after attack on police officers - latest news
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It's all happening tonight. It's a Friday. The moon is new...
From the Telegraph

A man has been arrested after attacking police outside Buckingham Palace. There were reports the man had a sword. Two officers were injured when restraining the suspect.

There was a heavy police presence outside the palace on Friday evening. The Queen was not in residence when the attack outside the palace happened.

One witness described seeing the man wrestled from a car by police having apparently driven his vehicle towards them.

Kiana Williamson told the Press Association: "We turned up and there was one police van and one car, there was also a civilian's car that had veered towards the police car. They were trying to get the man out of the car, shouting, more police were arriving on to the scene and the man was fighting back.I saw one injured policeman with an injury to his arm although it didn't look severe..."

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Posted on 08/25/2017 3:52 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 25 August 2017
Knife man 'shot after attacking soldiers' in Brussels
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From Sky News

State broadcaster RTBF reported the man had attacked two soldiers with a knife in Boulevard Emile Jacqmain.

Belgian prosecutors said the suspect was still alive, but in a critical condition.

RTBF reported the suspect was a Somali man who is alleged to have shouted "Allahu Akbar" before the attack.

A spokeswoman for the prosecution service said: "With the identity that we currently have it is a 30-year-old man who is not known for terrorist activities." It added that the soldiers suffered slight injuries, one to the hand and the other to the face.

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Posted on 08/25/2017 3:01 PM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Friday, 25 August 2017
Robert Azzi and Another of Those “Ask-A-Muslim” Events
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by Hugh Fitzgerald

“With ‘Ask A Muslim Anything’ Events, N.H. Man Hopes To Tackle Misunderstandings Around His Faith” is the title of a recent report at WBUR, which you can find here.

So here we are again, with one more of those Ask-a-Muslim-Anything Defenders of the Faith. There is a piquant aspect to this, in that the defender in question, Robert Azzi,  is a Lebanese American, born a Christian, who as a young man was so impressed with “one close friend who had such an appealing, accepting outlook on the world” that he converted to Islam.

Azzi has been “encouraging dialogue” in New Hampshire, in  “series of conversations that he’s been leading at community centers, churches and town halls across New Hampshire.

Many Muslim-Americans will tell you that this is a tough time for them. From the 9/11 attacks to President Trump’s proposed travel ban, Muslims in America feel besieged by discrimination and misunderstanding.

So Robert Azzi, a Lebanese-American Muslim who lives in Exeter, New Hampshire, is hoping to clear up some of that misunderstanding by encouraging dialogue with an invitation to “Ask a Muslim Anything.”

At a recent event in the town of Dublin, in the southwestern part of the state, he welcomed a small audience with the traditional Muslim greeting.’”

“As-salamu alaykum. Peace be upon you.”

Azzi is a veteran photo-journalist who spent years in the Middle East, after growing up in New Hampshire, where there are very few Muslims. Azzi started these conversations a year and a half ago because of what he saw as growing Islamophobia. He wanted to address people’s fears and questions head on.”

“I challenge you to ask me challenging questions,” Azzi told his audience in Dublin. “There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”

Among the questions he got on this night was: ‘Why are so many people in this country afraid of Muslims?’”

“It’s really interesting to me about why people are fearful,” Azzi responded.

Is that “fear” really a puzzlement? Could more than 30,000 attacks by Muslims on non-Muslims since 9/11 have something to do with why “people are fearful”? Might the incessant news, weekly or daily, of such attacks by Muslims, somewhere in the world, in New York, Washington, London, Manchester, Paris, Nice, Toulouse, Brussels, Madrid, Barcelona, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Wurzburg, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Turku, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Beslan, Cairo, Alexandria, Mumbai, in Orlando, Fort Hood, Chattanooga, San Bernardino, and hundreds of other places, make people “fearful”? Might the ISIS killers, in their videotaped appearances, quoting from the Qur’an to justify their mass-murdering of those they considered to be Infidels, or showing the world with what enthusiasm they decapitated a line of orange-suited Christians, just as Al-Qaeda so enjoyed putting online its beheadings of Western journalists and aid workers, have something to do with making people “fearful”? Might the news of the mass rapes of Yazidi girls and the mass murder of Yazidi men, make people “fearful”? Might the attacks on Christians by Muslims in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Iran make people “fearful”? Might the Muslim grooming gangs in England, with their thousands of young female victims? Does Robert Azzi think there is no reason to be fearful of Muslims, no reason to worry about what Islamic texts — the Qur’an and Hadith and Sira — teach Muslims about Infidels?

Azzi traces it [people being fearful] back to the 9/11 attacks, which he says encouraged the false impression that that’s when Muslims suddenly arrived in America, when in fact they have been here for centuries.

Azzi’s leap from the 9/11 attacks to when Muslims “actually” came to America is bizarre. The 9/11 attacks did not lead to anyone raising the issue of when Muslims came to America, as he claims. That matter was raised only some years later, and by Muslims themselves, propagandists who wished to engage in backdating of a Muslim presence, in an attempt to suggest that, as Barack Obama so memorably put it in his Cairo speech, “Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

This campaign reached its absurd zenith when the State Department’s Phyllis McIntosh issued a report in 2004 entitled “Islamic Influence Runs Deep in American Culture.” In this report, she claimed that there was even a Muslim in Columbus’s crew: “Islamic influences may date back to the very beginning of American history. It is likely that Christopher Columbus, who discovered America in 1492, charted his way across the Atlantic Ocean with the help of an Arab navigator.” This is flatly untrue; that “Arab” navigator was a Jew, the converso Luis de Torres, who knew Arabic but was neither an Arab nor a Muslim. “May date back” and “It is likely that” are weasel words designed to protect from criticism a claim that is made up entirely out of whole cloth. Then there is that other dubious claim — made with very slight supporting evidence — that, among the African slaves brought to America were many who had been Muslims in Africa. Muslims, Azzi has claimed, “have been part of our historical and cultural experience for nearly 400 years.” Back to 1600? His earliest example, from 1706, is of a slave owned by Cotton Mather, named “Onesimus.” You can be sure that if he had any earlier examples, he would have mentioned them.

No one knows how many of the slaves were Muslim. Estimates are given, without any evidence, from 5% to 30%, but both figures seem to have have been plucked out of the thin air. If there were more than a handful, why did the slaveowners not seem to notice their presence? Nor did the other, non-Muslim slaves. And even the handful of Muslim slaves who did arrive would have been living in an overwhelmingly Christian environment, not in a Muslim community, without mosques or madrasas or copies of the Qur’an necessary to help perpetuate the faith, and the Islam they brought with them in their mental baggage would likely have been extinguished by the next generation.

Azzi offers only conjecture, based on his assumptions about names, to produce what he thinks are examples of Muslims who took part in the Revolutionary War. He comes up with exactly six.

One veteran of the American Revolution at Concord and Bunker Hill was a freed slave named Peter Salem, who’s believed by some historians to have been Muslim. Other soldiers with Muslim names include “Salem Poor, Yusuf Ben Ali, Bampett Muhamed, Francis Saba and Joseph Saba.” “Who’s believed by some historians” is not exactly firm evidence. Why doesn’t Azzi name those historians? And where is their evidence? Peter Salem might well have been given his surname by slave-owners thinking of the “Salem” of the Old Testament (which later became, in Genesis 14, “Jerusalem”), or of the nearby city of “Salem” north of Boston named after it. The same could explain the “Salem” in “Salem Poor.” “Peter” is not a Muslim name. As for the others Azzi lists as those with “Muslim names,” “Saba” is both a Jewish and a Muslim surname. Neither “Francis” nor “Joseph” are Muslim names. Only two of the six he lists — Yusuf Ben Ali and Bampett Muhamed — appear likely to have been Muslims.

A handful of Muslims does not make Islam “part of the American story.” The first mosque founded in the United States, in a building borrowed for that purpose, dates from 1929; the first building erected as a mosque dates from 1935. Robert Azzi wants you to believe in a Muslim presence, both backdated and exaggerated, as a way of staking a Muslim claim to America, as if that would somehow make the ideology of Islam more American and, presumably, less disturbing. But what counts are what the immutable Islamic texts teach, not when Muslims arrived. Hindus and Buddhists arrived even later than the Muslims, but their beliefs, unlike those of Muslims, do not flatly contradict the First Amendment (as to both freedom of religion, and freedom of speech), nor do they represent a permanent threat to non-Hindus or non-Buddhists, as Muslims do for non-Muslims.

Azzi displays his victimhood: “Trump has ‘painted a crescent on my forehead and a target on my back,'” he claims, “with more than a hint of anger in his voice.” He has received threatening phone calls and hate mail.” How many? He doesn’t say. Just take his word for it. He’s a victim.

So to battle the fear mongers, the hate mailers, the sowers of discord, the enemies of coexistence, he has decided to let his fellow Americans hear directly from an American Muslim — that is, from Robert Azzi himself — as to what Islam is all about, in order to break down the intolerance that Muslims must endure.

A few nights later, at the Community Church in the neighboring town of Harrisville, Jack Calhoun posed a question that Azzi often hears: “Why don’t we hear more condemnation of terrorism in the name of Islam from the Muslim community?”

Azzi offers a terse answer: “Because you’re not listening.”

He points out that Muslims from Tehran to Istanbul to New York denounced the 9/11 attacks, while scores of prominent Muslims around the world have condemned ISIS. But Azzi argues those stories are often overlooked in the current climate.

After 9/11, there were large demonstrations all over the the Palestinian territories to celebrate the attacks. There were smaller, similar demonstrations in Egypt. But most important, despite the condemnations by Muslim governments of the attacks — could they really have dared not to condemn them? — none of those same governments condemned the celebrations by the Palestinians and others. Why not? And there were large demonstrations against the 9/11 attacks, and in sympathy with the American victims in only one  Muslim country — Iran.

“Muslims denouncing terrorism and violence didn’t fit the binary narrative that had taken hold in this country of us versus them,” Azzi says. “You know, there’s this great prayer in the Muslim community that says: ‘Please God, don’t let it be a Muslim.'”

This is an example of Extreme Victimhood. Azzi does not realize how offensive it is that the “great prayer in the Muslim community” after an attack is to first worry over how such an attack will affect Muslims, when they ought to be thinking about the victims of Muslim terror attacks.

Azzi want you to believe that Muslims “denouncing terrorism and violence”  are not reported on. But he has it exactly backwards. The American and other Western media have been extremely eager to report on Muslims “denouncing terrorism and violence,” take these denunciations seriously even when they are clearly pro-forma, and are quick to report, too, the assertions by apologists, from Presidents on down, that the “real Islam” could not possibly have had anything to do with Islamic terrorism.

Azzi acknowledges that Islam has a problem with fundamentalism, but he claims that Christianity does as well. This is the usual tu-quoque argument. “Christian fundamentalism” may be a problem, but it is not a problem on the same scale, or with a similar origin, as “Islamic fundamentalism.” Where are the tens of thousands of victims of Christian fundamentalism all over the world? Just as important, where are the Biblical texts that command Christians to wage war on all non-Christians, to “kill them wherever you find them,” to “smite at their necks,” to “strike terror in their hearts”? Where are the equivalents in the Gospels to the 109 “Jihad” verses in the Qur’an? There are none. Nor is Jesus to be likened to the warrior Muhammad, who in his last ten years took part in 65 different campaigns, helped slaughter 600-900 prisoners of the Banu Qurayza, attacked the Jewish farmers at the Khaybar Oasis, killed them and took their women as sex slaves. Muhammad himself took the Jewish girl Saafiyah at Khaybar as his sex slave, raping her on the same day that he killed her father, husband, and brother. Whenever Muhammad  expressed a desire to have those who mocked him killed, his followers were happy to comply.  None of this apparently bothers Muslims, who regard Muhammad as the Model of Conduct (“uswa hasana”) and the Perfect Man (“al-insan al-kamil”). Azzi knows all of this, but he’s not about to volunteer such information.

What Azzi pretends not to know is that mainstream Muslims are all “fundamentalists.” That is, they take the Qur’an literally, some with more and some with less commitment to acting upon its commands. Azzi makes a curious remark, that “while we believe that the Qur’an is the literal Word of God that it is not meant to be read literally.” Who is this “we” for whom he claims to be speaking? Mainstream Muslims certainly are supposed to take the Qur’an literally. What theological grounds support Azzi’s claim that “it [the Qur’an] is not to be taken literally”?

“Do I condone the condition of women in most Muslim majority countries?” Azzi asks. “Absolutely not. I don’t condone it. I think they live a terrible life, and they live under terrible conditions. [But] there is nothing in Islam that supports or embraces that kind of horror or terrorism.”

Azzi admits that women in most Muslim countries “lead a terrible life” and “live under terrible conditions.” He then claims that “there is nothing in Islam that supports or embraces that kind of horror or terrorism”(against women). But if that is true, then what explains the miserable condition of women in “most Muslim majority countries” and the much better condition of women in the countries where Christianity has prevailed? Doesn’t Robert Azzi owe us an explanation for that “terrible life” of women under Islam that has nothing to do with Islam?

Robert Azzi cannot possibly have managed to forget so much of the Islam he is attempting to defend. According to the Sharia, Muslim women can inherit half as much as men (Qur’an 4:11); their testimony is worth half that of a man (2:282); polygamy is licit (Muhammad, the Perfect Man, allowed himself at least twelve, and possibly as many as fourteen wives), and so are sex slaves, “those whom your right hand possesses”; a Muslim man is allowed to beat his disobedient wife, though “lightly”; a Muslim man need only pronounce the triple-talaq to divorce his wife; and women are described as inferior to men, both in the Qur’an, for “the men are a degree above them” (2:228); and in the Hadith, that is, in Sahih Bukhari 6:301:  “[Muhammad] said, ‘Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man? They replied in the affirmative. He said, ‘This [is because of] the deficiency in her intelligence.’” None of this is mentioned in Azzi’s meretricious account of Islam.

And Azzi argues that America has been complicit in propping up some of the regimes that oppress women.

Azzi immediately attempts to deflect the blame from Islam, and the texts and teachings that explain the oppression of women in Muslim societies, onto  America, which is “complicit” in “propping up some of the regimes that oppress women.” This is a curious remark coming from someone who has been quite at home in the most oppressive regime for women of any of them — that of Saudi Arabia — where he even made friends with members of the ruling family. Azzi has worked over many decades taking photographs in Saudi Arabia, and even published a portfolio of photographs of the country with an introduction by His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al Faisal. His work on Saudi Arabia has been consistently uncritical. See, for another example, the praise he offers this cruel theocratic state in “Saudi Arabia: The Kingdom and the Power.” Rather than America, isn’t it Robert Azzi who has an unrivalled record of being “complicit” in the mistreatment of Muslim women in Saudi Arabia and, by extension, in the rest of the Muslim world?

Azzi knows perfectly well that the American government does not endorse in any way the oppression of women anywhere. Inability to change another country’s policies does not equal complicity. What would he have America do about the Muslim countries, and about those verses in the Qur’an and stories in the Hadith that support the mistreatment of women? How would Robert Azzi react, if the American government were to stop being “complicit” by ending support for these regimes, including military or other forms of aid? He would be outraged. And he would be particularly exercised if the American government were to make an example of Saudi Arabia, one of his favorite subjects for photographs, with a regime clearly dear to both his heart and to his bank account.

Does Azzi think America should end its support for Saudi Arabia until that misogynistic regime allows women to drive, or to work alongside men, or to be able to travel without the permission, or presence, of male relatives? Does he think the American government should downgrade relations with any country that permits polygamy? I doubt it. One would like Robert Azzi to tell us exactly what he thinks of how women are treated in Saudi Arabia, and what he would have the American government do to show it is no longer, as he puts it,  “complicit” in the mistreatment of Saudi women. Would he ever have the decency to admit that his own previous work on Saudi Arabia was uncritical, at times even fawning — which explains that introduction-cum-endorsement of his “Saudi Portfolio” by His Royal Highness Prince Saud Al Faisal — and would he accept the charge that he, too, has been “complicit” in promoting a view of the country that downplays the oppression of women, and certainly does nothing to connect that oppression with Islam itself?

These are all questions for study and discussion.

The Harrisville audience is, for the most part, sympathetic, welcoming Azzi’s effort to open a dialogue about Islam.

“I think it’s essential,” Tom Porter said after the event. Porter is a lawyer, conflict mediator and Methodist minister who teaches at Boston University’s theology school. “And I like his approach. That he’s saying, ‘I’m not going to tell you all the good things about Islam; I’m going to answer your questions. I want to be in dialogue with you.’ I consider him a soulmate.”

Though Azzi describes his desire for a “dialogue,” what he offers, rather, is a Q-and-A where he, with his “answers” to those ask-anything-questions, always has the last word. And while he may promise that “I’m not going to tell you all the good things about Islam,” — there are so many, after all — he is certainly not going to tell you anything bad about Islam. Misogynistic Muslim societies, he insists, have nothing do with the real Islam, though Azzi never tells us  where that widespread misogyny might come from, preferring to switch the focus of attention, and object of blame, to the “complicit’ Americans.

“Janet Selle, who came to Harrisville from Keene, said she appreciated what Azzi had to say about the “gentleness of Islam.”

Did Janet Selle “appreciate” what Azzi has to say because she wants so much to believe his feelgood remark, despite the paucity of supporting evidence? For where is this “gentleness” of Islam? Has it been on display in the “Palestinian”– and not only “Palestinian” —  celebrations of terror attacks that have killed American workers in New York and Washington, on 9/11? Are the murderous attacks by terrorists on Jewish men, women, and children in Israel and the “West Bank,” with the victims blown up,shot, stabbed,  on busses and at pizza parlors and even at family Passover celebrations, by Muslim terrorists treated as heroes for smashing in the heads of three-year-olds? Has that “gentleness” been on display in the attacks on innocent Christians in Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, or the attacks on Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh? Is that “gentleness” on display in the handiwork of ISIS, Al-Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Boko Haram, the Taliban and many other terrorist groups, not just in their attacks on Christians, but against the wrong kind of Muslims (e.g., Shi’a), or those who, by the lights of the fanatics, are deemed insufficiently Islamic? Has the “gentleness of Islam” that so impressed Janet Selle what comes to mind when we consider those more than 30,000 attacks by Muslims on Infidels since 9/11? Has that “gentleness” been on display in such Qur’anic verses as 9.5 (the Verse of the Sword), 9.29, 8.12, 8.60, 2.191-193, and 47.4, a representative half-dozen of the more than 100 jihad verses that Janet Selle can easily google up and ponder, far from Robert Azzi and his deeply deceptive inveiglements. Has Selle been impressed with the “gentleness” of Muhammad in calling for the murders of those who mocked or attacked him, as Asma bint Marwan, Abu ‘Afak, and Ka’b bin al-Ashraf? Or are we right to think that Janet Selle is unfamiliar with those blood-curdling verses, and those assassinations of Muhammad’s enemies,  and unlikely to seek them out, in her eagerness to accept Robert Azzi’s insistence that Islam’s “gentleness” is just one more bit of evidence that ISIS and similar groups have “nothing to do with the real Islam.”

Her comment suggests she’s been easy to convince:

“It’s really important to hear the other side [the “good” and “true” and “peaceful” Muslims like Robert Azzi], and not just radicalism or the fundamentalists [ISIS, Al-Qaeda, the “extremists” who “distort” the peaceful religion] that he talked about. It’s important to hear where the belief really stems from,” Selle said.[And that would be….?]

“Azzi says these have been tough years for Muslims like him [victimhood again –tough years for Muslims like Azzi, who might get an occasional dirty look, but not for the non-Muslim targets of Islamic terrorism all over the world who might be shot, stabbed, run over, blown up?], but the positive response to these evenings gives him hope.”

“It reinforces in me [sic] that these are really good people,” Azzi says. “You know, the haters aren’t here. The haters don’t come out. This is a Muslim town hall. I’ve never used that line before, but that’s what it is.”

Comment: Janet Stelle believes it is “important to hear where the [Islamic] belief really stems from.” Of course — it comes from the immutable Qur’an, the Hadith, and the Sira. But that’s not what Robert Azzi will be talking about. His sanitized version of Islam keeps out all the many disturbing verses and stories in the Islamic texts, admits to some unacceptable behavior by Muslims but insists, with enough feeling to convince such terminally naive Infidels as Mr. Porter and Ms. Selle, that this behavior has nothing to do with Islam, though he apparently deems it unnecessary  to furnish an alternative explanation.

The people who don’t show up at Azzi’s events do so not because, as he falsely claims, they are “haters,” but because they know too much about Islam to be able to endure listening to Azzi’s blend of victimization, tu-quoque, taqiya, and outright lies. Their desire not to have to listen to such nonsense is understandable. But if they can possibly steel themselves and show up for these events, painful as it may be, and come armed with questions that Azzi, who has invited everyone to ask him, as a Muslim, anything about Islam, will not be expecting, and for which he will have no satisfactory reply, the result could be most salutary.  You will be doing this as a service to your fellow Infidels in the audience, to provide more than a momentary stay against confusion. If you don’t show up, that audience will have only the meretricious Robert Azzi upon whom to rely, and he has for a long time been honing his skills in presenting  a soothing, innocuous, plausible, and entirely preposterous version of Islam, that many people are all too ready, even eager, to believe.

First published in Jihad Watch.

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Posted on 08/25/2017 7:28 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Friday, 25 August 2017
A Middle East Grand Bargain Must Create Kurdistan
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by Sherkoh Abbas and Robert Sklaroff

President Trump’s itinerary during his first overseas trip revealed both his goal and its attendant strategy—although it remains officially unstated—as he tries to fashion a durable end to the Syrian civil war and the birth of a restructured region.

In the process of touching-base with the nerve-centers of each of the three major Middle East religions, he attempted to eliminate the Islamic State without empowering Iran.

Conspiratorial Liberals yelp when he recruits Russia, and acolytes of the Obama Administration condemn his having maneuvered around Tehran.

But he must defang the ayatollahs, lest they ally with North Korean missile-rattlers and threaten World War III.

This is why he keeps an armada in the Gulf, while maintaining a beefed-up presence in the Sea of Japan and encouraging Beijing to block Pyongyang from nuke-testing, for he must stretch the depleted military in theaters a half-globe apart until it has been rebuilt.

And that’s why he has embedded Americans with Kurdish forces attacking Raqqa, for it is impossible to be a “player” without having placed pieces onto the board.Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster, the U.S. national security adviser, was triggered to inform Turkey on May 1st  that the Kurds were to receive heavy machine guns, mortars, anti-tank weapons, and armored cars after the Turks had lethally-bombed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria the prior Tuesday. That reflected autocrat Erdo?an having again  “distracted”  world attention from targeting the primary target, the Islamic State.

Accommodating this major reconfiguration of regional forces, President Vladimir Putin said that Russia saw no need to arm the Syrian Kurds, but said Moscow would maintain working contacts with them.

Secretary of Defense James "Jim" Mattis had decided to arm the Kurds directly rather than via any regional country, finally reversing Obama’s following-from-behind intransigent passivity.

He is implementing key aphorisms derived from his storied career defending America.

Indeed, Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) recognized arming the Kurds constitutes “an immense milestone.”

In the process, Mattis has recognized The Road to Defeating the Islamic State Runs through Kurdistan, an essay—illustrated by a settlement-map—that succinctly details the historic, military, economic, religious and political implications of this overdue stance.

Visiting Trump in this charged atmosphere, Erdo?an chose the wrong time to be bellicose against Israel and America.  His post-referendum dictatorial effort to promote Jihad was again manifest through two decrees; one that expelled more than 4,000 civil servants and another that banned television dating programs.

That these actions were  not being well-received. That was reflected in the fact that the latter two hyperlinks [al-Monitor and Aljazeera] are from Arab websites, suggesting welcome-recognition of a tilt toward inter-alia the Sunni Gulf states, plus Qatar, the locale of a major American military presence over NATO-aligned Ankara ,which is increasingly aligning with Iran against the potential for Kurds to achieve independence.

That would serve as the culmination of battle-plans we have proposed for almost a decade. In 2008, we identified Kurds as an “invisible people”  and   advocated confronting the major source of global terrorism,The Road to Iran Runs through Kurdistan - and Starts in Syria. In 2015, we showed why the United States cannot evade this trouble-spot,[The Pathway to Defeating ISIS Runs Though Kurdistan And Starts in America. In 2013, we  concluded The Kurds can lead a reconstituted  Syria, at peace with all of her neighbors.  In 2014, we suggested NATO Must Help the Kurds Now.

That is  why Kurds are seeking recognition of their enormous military sacrifice and their unique political feat, noting their carefully-constructed federal system in Rojava;  the area of Northern Syria comprised of four self-governing cantons.

Resolving vague territorial claims would yield a regional Diaspora in Turkey, Iran, and Russia, although Stalin purged much of the USSR-population a half-century ago.

Recognizing that Russia has unilaterally created safe-zones, and buzzed American jets near Alaska and Crimea, it will remain vital to coordinate militaries functioning in close-quarters, to ensure spheres of influence do not inadvertently trigger  conflict.

If America retracts support for anti-Islamist Kurds, Erdo?an will be free to promote his brand of Muslim Brotherhood ideology; the dangerous ramifications of which have been explored [Islamophobia: Thought Crime of the Totalitarian Future].

NATO can reassure Turkey that creation of an independent Kurdistan south of its border, joining with the federated section of northern Iraq, will remove inordinate fears that secession-agitation will persist on its eastern reaches.

 Turkey needs to accept this type of endpoint, for its military killed six members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in air strikes in northern Iraq .

What really irks Erdogan is that “U.S. arming Syrian Kurds shattered Turkey’s Ottoman Empire ambitions. ” Both  America and Turkey will face a de-facto proxy-war unless Erdogan heeds the more conciliatory tone struck by his Prime Minister.

The schism between the United States and Turkey was illustrated during their press  event.  These leaders deemed different entities as “terroristic”.  Trump cited PKK; whereas Erdo?an cited YPG/PYD .

This perhaps explains the anguish expressed by Turkish security guards, when they beat protesters—primarily Kurds and Armenian outside t their D.C. embassy .

We suggest the following blueprint should be followed to prompt Moscow to help oust Iran from Syria. It would allow the Kurdish-plurality in northwestern Syria to extend its governance to the Mediterranean Sea, blocking Turkey from expansionist temptations.

The multi-front war against Islamists is recognized by Western leaders such as US Senator Ted Cruz (R, Texas) and globally Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu—to have supplanted the Cold War paradigm of former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

Perhaps the ultimate method to illustrate the wisdom of this approach is to discount an oppositional paradigm, such as the false claim that American involvement in Syria would merely be a manifestation of Western Imperialism in Rojava. 

Instead, America should  implement Point 12  of Woodrow Wilson’s 14-Point Plan that advocated establishing Kurdistan more than a century ago. 

At long last, America Must Recognize Kurdistan  by serving as midwife for a new country [assuming this is the electoral outcome of the originally scheduled September 25 plebiscite sponsored by the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq. That  would assist in finally defeating  the Islamic State.  This would offer immediate and long-term geo-political  dividends.

______________________________________________________________________________________________

Sherkoh Abbas is President of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria; Robert Sklaroff is a physician-activist and supporter of Kurdish self-determination. This article constitutes the policy of the Kurdistan National Assembly of Syria, conveyed to America and to the world, representing the Kurds of Syria.

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Posted on 08/25/2017 5:03 AM by Sherkoh Abbas and Robert Sklaroff
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