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Thursday, 31 July 2014

Wrong to Have Animals Killed in War

IDF canine Tamara and Staff Sgt. T.

From "Military dog killed in Gaza blast saved handler's life":
IDF canine Tamara took the worst of the impact in house explosion • Her handler, Staff Sgt. T., was moderately wounded • "She was his best friend; he's grieving for her," says his mother • Oketz Unit holds ceremonies for dogs killed in action.

A dog from the IDF's Oketz K9 unit who was killed last week when a booby-trapped house in Gaza exploded saved her handler's life.
I have to say that I consider immoral to have dogs or other animals take part in military operations - be it Israeli or any other - as they cannot give their consent.

Why Criminals Are Afraid of Classical Music

Youths in a British 'sink' estate - classical music reduces graffiti and drug dealing

Published on American Thinker

By Enza Ferreri

Apparently, many young people, especially those with an antisocial disposition, dislike classical music so much that Bach, Beethoven and Mozart can even be played to discourage young hooligans from intimidating, harassing and robbing store customers.

This experiment has been tried and has succeeded over many years in several locations.

The earliest occurrence I could find goes back to the mid 1980s, when Canadian outlets of the 7-Eleven convenience store franchise began to play easy listening and classical music to drive away teenagers who were loitering outside their stores. Following the success of this new way to fight anti-social behaviour, companies from McDonald's to Co-op, transport authorities and countless shopping malls around the world have employed it.

In the UK, the first to adopt this method to cut crime and disorder was the Tyne and Wear Metro system, in England's North East, in 1997, pumping out Haydn and Mozart at its underground stations to deter vandals and loiterers, after the success achieved by the underground system in Montreal, Canada, in the mid 1990s.

The results were so positive that other British transport providers imitated the scheme, including the bus station in Stanley in County Durham and the much bigger London Underground system. The most effective deterrents, according to Transport for London, were anything sung by Pavarotti or written by Mozart.

In Holywood, County Down, in Northern Ireland, the town centre manager Steven Dunlop said that groups of youths as young as 15 caused problems near the post office which opens late at night:
"They climbed onto the roof of one building, were spitting on pensioners, abusing other people and creating an atmosphere which was putting off custom," he told BBC News Online in Belfast.
He was unsuccessful in persuading the council to play classical music to keep away the louts, but
contacted a professor at Queen's University in Belfast who did a PhD on the effects of music on the human mood.

"He found that young people were into tap and hiphop beats - faster beats of music - and they find classical music intolerable," he said.
In January 2005, The Economist was reporting that Co-op, a national chain of grocery stores in the UK, was playing classical music outside its shops whenever youths started hanging around and intimidating customers. It had the desired effect of dispersing the troublemakers.

Despite original scepticism from some who didn't appreciate the power of classical music and education ("I don't believe that such measures will have any long-term positive impact in terms of deterring menacing teenagers, whatever other benefits playing Mozart might bestow on shoppers and Underground travellers. If anything, I have a feeling that it'll probably encourage a few punks to simply use the music as a background score to their misbehavior, a la 'A Clockwork Orange.'"), it's been working, as its constant use seems to indicate.

And not just food stores, but also other types of retailers in the Yorkshire city of Leeds adopted this approach, including travel agencies, opticians and funeral services, still owned by the Co-op, with support from the police, Leeds City Council's Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and local residents.

Hoping to repeat the success obtained in various parts of Britain, Neil Honeywood, security manager of Leeds Co-op's Food Division, said:
"Youngsters gather outside stores because it's light and there's a supply of food and shelter from the rain.

"But they can become noisy and intimidating - and that's when the nuisance starts. But classical music usually moves a group on within minutes. They don't want to listen to that - it's just not cool."
Since then the same method has been employed several times. In 2009, stores in some cities and towns of South Yorkshire, in Northern England, used it with success, as "loss prevention" manager Peter Cooper explained:
"We had an issue with young people hanging around outside the stores which was intimidating for shoppers and staff.

"This problem has been dramatically reduced since we introduced the music. The youngsters are definitely not classical music fans, and tend to disappear as soon as we turn the music on.
It's been working across the pond too.

Whether at New York's Port Authority Bus Terminal, La Guardia, Newark International and John F. Kennedy International airports, and Pennsylvania Station; at Portland, Oregon, light-rail stations; in Seattle's parking lots; or in Anchorage, Alaska, Town Square, classical soundtracks have helped to stop or reduce anti-social behaviour and even crimes like fights and drug dealing.

Canadian cities have also been playing classical music, including opera, from speakers in public places, such as subway platforms, to keep people from loitering.

In Australia and New Zealand, same pattern and same success stories. In Queensland, Australia, the classical music played by a local rail company in train stations reduced not only loitering but even vandalism and graffiti.

It worked in a Liverpool housing estate as well, where different types of music were played at different times of the day and, in an area where classical music was played, youngters stopped writing graffiti.

In Germany, a slightly different approach. A minister, who is also a pianist, produced a CD of Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in which he played accompanied by the Deutsche Oper Berlin, entitled "Adagio in the Car". The intent was to calm down motorists, thus preventing road rage and road accidents.

The evidence seems plentiful, even though the experiments have not been performed in controlled laboratory conditions. Why, then is classical music such an effective crime and antisociality deterrent?

The simplest explanations, in the time-honoured scientific tradition of Occam's razor, should be considered first.

Teenagers, especially those with uneducated ears like the anti-social types that linger around where they are not wanted, don't like classical music, and in addition they think it's not "cool" to be seen by their peers listening to it.

A simple key factor, according to Leicester University's Adrian North, is unfamiliarity - which even those who are not psychology researchers like North know that in music is related to taste. The targets in these "experiments" were clearly unused to strings and woodwind, but for the more musically literate an atonal barrage may work better. Mr North tormented Leicester students with “computer-game music” in the union bar. It cleared the place.

Still other explanations, leaving aside physiological analyses and neurotransmitters, are in the nature of classical music itself. Much of it conveys a sense of order, symmetry and beauty, that deeply conflicts with the disorder and ugliness that these young hooligans may have in their minds while loitering. It also acts as a calming influence against aggressive and destructive impulses, creating a more peaceful atmosphere.

Giovanni Bietti, musicologist, pianist and artistic consulant of Rome's Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, explains:
"Beethoven was profoundly convinced that music could make a great social contribution. He, like Mozart and Haydn, had a rational picture of music, which is why in their compositions the initial contrasts are always resolved through the rules of musical composition, creativity and intelligence. It's clear that these logical and musical processes, which inevitably resolve the conflicts giving order to thoughts, discourage those who do not accept the rules. And it is equally clear that even those who do not know music perceive them, because the subliminal message of these compositions is strong enough to convey this sense of order to anyone."
In conclusion, it's easy to see - at the other end of the spectrum - the link between criminal behaviour and rap, link deriving not just from the rap lyrics but also from the "music" - or rather cacophony - itself.

And, on a larger scale, a society that is enthralled by the vulgarity of Amy Winehouse acoustically and Tracey Emin visually can clearly be seen on an aesthetic and moral downward path from many other different indicators.

There are forms of expression that exalt and bring out the worst of us and others that exalt and bring out the best of us. In many ways, while rap encourages the anti-social in each of us, classical music keeps it at bay.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Tower Hamlets Supports Palestinians: What a Surprise

The Palestinian flag flying on the London Borough of Tower Hamlets Town Hall

Has the London borough of Tower Hamlets become a little Muslim enclave in Britain's capital city?

Lutfur Rahman, the directly-elected mayor of Tower Hamlets, in East London, today ordered the Palestinian flag to be flown from the town hall as a "gesture of humanitarian solidarity" with the victims of the fighting in Gaza.

Who is he to make such decision? What about people living in his council or in London who want to express solidarity with the Israelis killed by Hamas rockets?

Rahman also said that he was supporting a collection by the Tower Hamlets branch of Unison - Britain's biggest trade union - for the charity Medical Aid for Palestinians.

Muslim charities - or organisations giving money to Muslims - have to be treated with great suspicion until they have been subjected to thorough investigation as has been done in the USA, where the largest Islamic charities were shut down and prosecuted for financing terrorism. Britain's Charity Commission must do the same here. Islam's doctrine of zakat prescribes that one eighth of all obligatory Muslim charity must fund jihad, the holy war in the name of Allah.

Interestingly, it has come to light that the Palestinian Authority refused millions of dollars worth of medical aid from Israel twice in the last week.

The area of Tower Hamlets, which has been at the centre of electoral frauds and intimidations, has for years been colonised by Muslims who in local elections tend to vote for candidates of their "faith". Under Lutfur Rahman, Tower Hamlets Council has been trying to enforce Islamic law.

Empty Pews, Bursting Mosques

Not many words are needed.

Just compare the two pictures from the Mail Online, both taken at the end of last month, few hundred yards of each other in the East End of London.

The top photo shows a Sunday morning service in the churche of St George-in-the-East on Cannon Street Road. Only 12 people attended the service.

The photo at the bottom shows worshippers gathered for Friday midday prayers outside the mosque on the Brune Street Estate in Spitalfields. Since the mosque holds "only" 100 people - an enviable number for many churches -, the Muslim believers overflowed in the nearby streets.

As a terrible coincidence, adding insult to injury, Canon Michael Ainsworth of St George’s, that the Mail describes as "putting on a brave face", was beaten up in 2008 in his churchyard by three "Asian" (read "Muslim") youths, in an incident which police treated as a "faith-hate" attack.

The chairman of my party Liberty GB, Paul Weston, wrote about it at the time, and so did I a few years later.

Is this the country we want to live in? A country where decent, altruistic, peaceful and loving people are replaced by their exact opposites?

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Students Tired of Studying Support Palestinians

"British students stand with Gaza against Israel’s assault" is the title of an article on the Stop the War Coalition website.

Today, the student movement issued a statement "in solidarity with the people of Palestine", signed by National Union of Students Officers - representing millions of British students - and over 100 pro-Palestine student leaders.

If all these luminaries concentrated on what they are supposed to do - educating themselves - instead of taking up fashionable causes about which they know next to nothing, maybe they could have learned that the correct spelling of the word for writing and other office materials is "stationery":
The Palestinians’ right to education has been particularly hard hit by the siege. Basic educational equipment including books, paper, computers, stationary and desks are all in limited supply and Israel routinely cuts off Gaza’s electricity supply.
Shame that these students don't even have that excuse for their lack of education.

Now We Must Apologise to Muslims for Our Dogs; What Next?

A Scottish terrier dog during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

That Muslims don't like and don't want to have direct contact with dogs - simply because their prophet Muhammad hated them and instructed them to consider these animals "unclean" and "impure", like pigs - many people in the West know by now, from the many stories going back at least a decade about Muslim taxi and bus drivers in our countries refusing to take passengers with dogs, even disabled people and blind persons with guide dogs.

Now comes the news that Malaysian politicians and "religious" (we know which religion, so the media could have just said "Muslim") leaders have attacked the use of Scottish terrier dogs during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony, claiming it was "disrespectful to Muslims", "shameful" and "offensive".

Around 40 Scottie dogs, all wearing tartan dog coats with the name of each team on them, were used in the opening ceremony in Glasgow last Wednesday to lead teams around Celtic Park.

The Scotties were a much loved touch, except for the followers of Muhammad.

Apparently making things worse was the fact that the Scottie supposed to lead the Malaysian team, Jock, sat down and refused to move, so that he had to be carried by the team representative.
Mohamad Sabu, the deputy president of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party said: "Malaysia and all Islamic countries deserve and [sic] apology from the organiser.

"This is just so disrespectful to Malaysia and Muslims – especially as it happened during Ramadan. Muslims are not allowed to touch dogs, so the organiser should have been more aware and sensitive on this issue.

"It is hoped this incident can teach other Western countries to be more respectful in the future."

Dato Ibrahim Bin Ali, a far-Right politician, former MP and founder and president of Malay supremacist group Perkasa also called for an apology.

"I think it is unbecoming. The hosts have not been sensitive enough – especially in a so-called knowledgeable and civilised society like Britain," he said. "It is shameful and has offended not only Malaysia as a Muslim country, but Muslims around the world."
And people still refuse to acknowledge that Islam is a supremacist ideology.

Now we are supposed to apologise to all the Muslims of the world, no less, just for keeping dogs. What next?

Son of Hamas: Hamas Wants Conquest and the Caliphate

From the horse's mouth. An interview that CNN surprisingly broadcast on July 24.

In this video the son of one of the founders and leaders of Hamas, Mosab Hassan Yousef, enlightens the audience about the true aims of Hamas, which - sorry if this is a spoiler - have nothing to do with the protection of Palestinians, whether children or adults, or the fight to liberate them from Israel's "oppression".

Asked why he rejected the political and military objectives of Hamas, for whose leadership he had been groomed, he answered:
For the simple reasons that we see right now in Gaza, that Hamas does not care about the lives of Palestinians, does not care about the lives of Israelis or Americans. They don’t care about their own lives. They consider dying for the sake of their ideology a way of worship.
About "coexistence", he explained much more than I would have thought a mainstream media outlet like CNN could have taken:
Hamas is not seeking coexistence and compromise. Hamas is seeking conquest and taking over. And by the way, the destruction of the state of Israel is not Hamas’ final destination. Hamas' final destination is building the Islamic caliphate, which means an Islamic state on the rubble of every other civilization.
The interviewer Don Lemon then, after reminding Yousef that in his book he says that Hamas targets civilians as a tool of war, asks him to tell the audience about the Hamas he knows from growing up in the West Bank, to which Yousef replies:
In the mosques, Hamas taught us that without shedding innocent blood for the sake of the ideology, we wouldn’t be able to build an Islamic state. They were preparing us from the age as young as five years old. This is the ideology that Hamas was feeding us. And honestly it’s impossible almost for anybody to break through and see the truth and real face of Hamas and be able to leave at some point. As you see in my case, I had to lose everything just to say no to Hamas. And today when I look at the children of Gaza and I know what they’re fed, I know that they have no choice.
Yousef converted to Christianity and is the New York Times bestselling author of the book Son of Hamas (Amazon USA), (Amazon UK) , his autobiography published in 2009.

H/t Benny Smith

Monday, 28 July 2014

A Haven for Persecuted Christians?

Coffins of Christians killed for their faith in the Middle East

A reader and Facebook friend, Felipe, wrote to me saying that he's a young Christian tired of seeing the world getting worse and our Western civilisation getting lost.

"We are even persecuted by standing up in our righteous cause" he writes, "we have no strength because we don't have our own space".

So he suggests that persecuted Christians should relocate and flourish as a new nation, in a new place that he thinks could be Argentina.

"Argentina is a vast and rich country in terms of soil, stock, water... there is a lot of unused land and we could create a society that eventually grows and takes more control to eventually be an example and God knows what from there", he says.

Since most Europeans don't seem to worry about what's going on and only think of shopping and travel, doing nothing while they are invaded, he believes that they can join in this relocation too. Felipe claims: "I think Europe needs a solid back-up for anything coming."

This part of the plan doesn't look realistic to me. Apart from the practical difficulties of all native Europeans moving to Argentina, the same problems of invasion from Islam and the Third World are likely to follow them to the South American country. If people don't recognise the disastrous situation here, they won't recognise it there either and won't do anything to stop it.

But the rest of his idea is good, although I don't know how it can be put into practice.

Christians are persecuted, oppressed, kidnapped and killed all over the world, and they have nowhere to go. They flee Iraq to go to Syria, only to find there the same horrible fate again.

I had heard before the idea of an "Israel for Christians", a haven for them. In my opiniont it's worth exploring and spreading the idea.

Protect UK Lorry Drivers from Illegals

Liberty GB campaign Protect Our Truckers!

My party Liberty GB has just launched a campaign to defend British lorry drivers who are threatened and attacked in ports of continental Europe by illegal immigrants.

Sunday, 27 July 2014

Guess What Londonistan and Babel Have in Common

London has become a Tower of Babel. A salon wanted me to have my hair cut and styled by a hairdresser who couldn't speak a word of English and could only speak Arabic. How can you have your hair done by somebody with whom you can't communicate?

In pizza restaurants, people who take the orders for take-aways regularly confuse "artichoke" (word with which they are probably unfamiliar) with "cheese", whereas they are in fact, well, like (arti)chalk and cheese. And, being a takeaway, you can't send the dish back to the kitchen and have it replaced. By the time you discover the mistake, you're at home.

The ultimate affront is having discovered an Italian restaurant in the Edgware Road - a central London thoroughfare that could hardly be distinguishable from Cairo, Beirut or Baghdad - with signs in Arabic: I suppose they must have them, unless they want to lose all their business in such a heavily Arabic area.

Friday, 25 July 2014

Syrian Jihadis' First Imminent Threat to the West Is to Norway

Norway's security services PST's chief Benedicte Bjoernland (centre) announced a national security alert

First, Norway. The UK could be next. There will be an Islamic atrocity sooner or later.

Norway’s security services, PST, warned of an imminent, “concrete and credible” threat to the Scandinavian country in the week that marked the third anniversary of the mass killings by Anders Behring Breivik.

The terrorist attack, "probably within a few days", will come from fighters involved in the conflict in Syria. The target, how or when such an attack would take place is unspecified.

According to PST’s assessment, about 50 people have travelled from Norway to fight in Syria. Half of them have gone back to Norway, and the intelligence agency could not rule out that people involved with this threat are already in Norway.

From RT's "West under threat: Terrorists from Syria are heading to Norway - officials":
A terrorist group has left Syria and is heading to Norway, said Norwegian intelligence officials. The statement comes the day after the country’s authorities were informed of a possible “terrorist attack” and took security measures.

We received information that a group of people have traveled from Syria with the goal of carrying out a terror attack in the West, and Norway is specifically named,” Jon Fitje Hoffmann, a strategic analysis chief from PST, the Norwegian security intelligence group, told TV2, the largest commercial television station in Norway, “That was the starting point for the situation we are in now.” [Emphasis added]
From the Financial Times:
“We have information that a terrorist attack is planned on Norway in a short time, probably within a few days,” Benedicte Bjørnland, head of the security services, told a hastily called press conference on Thursday.

“We have received information that there are people who have fought on the ground in Syria involved. We are keeping all possibilities open. We will work intensely to develop a clearer picture of the threat.”

Thursday, 24 July 2014

UK Taxpayers Forced to Pay Sharia Charity

Red Cross mission attacked by civilians in Gaza

I wrote here about how the donations from zakat (Muslim obligatory charity) increase particularly during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan. This is worrisome, since zakat money is used to fund jihad and terrorism worldwide, as Sharia commands.

One international charity based in Britain, Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW), has been banned from operating in Israel because suspected of funnelling cash to Hamas.

Now its UK affiliate, Islamic Relief UK, proudly announces:
This Ramadan, your donations to Islamic Relief will be doubled, pound for pound, up to £5 million, with match-funding from the UK government!
British taxpayers will thus be forced to finance an operation with possibly sinister aims.

H/t to David Brown and George Whale

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The Illiberalism of "Liberals"

Sir Godfrey Kneller's portrait of classical liberal philosopher John Locke

This article was inspired by the reading of a piece by one of my favourite authors, Theodore Dalrymple, entitled "The Rosenbergs, Always".

Its subtitle is "Liberals remain soft on Communism."

The problem is that those who today, especially in America, are called "liberals" are not liberal; they are soft on communism because they are cut from the same cloth. The use of the word "liberal" to mean people on the Left originated perhaps from Norman Thomas, six-time presidential candidate for the Socialist Party of America, who, according to the newspaper The Spokesman Review of 26 February 1967, said:
The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism, but under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened.
This quote is disputed, but not this other, from a 1951 letter to Norman Thomas from Upton Sinclair, the American author who ran for Congress for the Socialist Party twice and for the governorship of California for the Democratic Party in 1934:
The American People will take Socialism, but they won't take the label. I certainly proved it in the case of EPIC. Running on the Socialist ticket I got 60,000 votes, and running on the slogan to 'End Poverty in California' I got 879,000. I think we simply have to recognize the fact that our enemies have succeeded in spreading the Big Lie. There is no use attacking it by a front attack, it is much better to out-flank them.
Also undisputed is the fact that American socialists have tried to adopt other names for themselves, both to diguise the nature of their doctrine and because of American instinctive dislike for totalitarian ideologies like socialism.

Reassurances like the Social Democrats USA's "Social Democracy is a true American tradition" are felt necessary to overcome a natural American diffidence.

This is why US socialist Edward Bellamy inspired the formation of the Nationalist Clubs. The June 1898 edition of the organ for Fabian Socialists in the United States, the American Fabian magazine, observes:
In Bellamy, social science and imagination were combined at their best. He has given us a substantial revelation whose scientific deductions from economic phenomena are unassailable. In the work of speeding the light he has made the valued distinction between Nationalism and Socialism. Nations advance toward their destiny upon lines marked out by the temper of their peoples, the character of their institutions, the conditions of soil, climate, and surroundings. Consequently the forward movement must be by national rather than international pathways. Bellamy saw this clearly, and formulating his Socialism to a purely American applicability, named it Nationalism. What has been the result? We hear no more the philistine cry that Socialism is an alien product. The far-reaching influence of "Looking Backward" has given us a native development of this definite form of Socialism, and has made possible the realization of his dreams in the near future. [Emphasis added]
Whatever one thinks of real liberalism (or socialism, for that matter), classic liberalism is very different from socialism.

To see that it's sufficient to look at their respective concepts of human rights, for example. Liberals view human rights as negative rights, namely freedom from interference from the state or other individuals, whereas socialists and communists see them as positive rights, namely entitlements to the statisfaction of every man's need, following Karl Marx's formula for communism: from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Taliban Rejects "Extremism" in Religion

Pakistani Taliban spokesman Shahidullah Shahid

A Reuters article contains the intriguing phrase, intriguing because reportedly it's from the Taliban: "Muslims also should avoid extremism in religion".

Jihad Watch remarks:
The Taliban, in saying this, demonstrate that they don’t consider themselves to be “extremist.” This word is thrown around everywhere, but like “moderate,” no one bothers to define it precisely. Everyone assumes that its meaning is obvious, but it isn’t. It would be useful and illuminating to have a debate between Muslims who support the Taliban and Muslims who oppose it on what constitutes “extremism.” But that will never happen, as it would require honest discussion of Islamic doctrines that Muslim spokesmen in the West are doing a fine job of obfuscating.
It's true: nobody has defined "moderate" or "extremist" in Islam. That's how and why these terms are used to foster the Islamophilic agenda: because they're useless. The fact that the Taliban can use the term "extremism" to dissociate itself from it (and to condemn it), as they don't consider themselves extremist, tells you a lot about the vagueness and consequent inutility of the word.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

Ramadan Charity Funds Atrocities

Published on FrontPage Magazine.

By Enza Ferreri

It's Islam's holy month of Ramadan, and many advertising boards in the streets of London - or, more appropriately, Londonistan, as it befits a city with such a large, influential and radical Muslim population - invite Mohammedans to pay their zakat (Muslim obligatory charity).

Zakat donations in the UK have greatly increased in the last few years, and Ramadan is traditionally a time when zakat giving grows.

The posters portray cute kids and people in distress, reminding Muslims of their duty to help them.

How nice. Are these truthful reflections of the philanthropic nature of the "religion of peace"?

Let's see. The problems with zakat are essentially two.

The first is that Islamic charity should benefit only other Muslims. Not exactly a generous spirit embracing all humanity.

The Quran teaches:
Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other. (48.29)
This is after all consistent with the rest of Islamic teaching, which cautions Muslims against befriending infidels:
Let not the believers Take for friends or helpers Unbelievers rather than believers: if any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah: except by way of precaution, that ye may Guard yourselves from them. But Allah cautions you (To remember) Himself; for the final goal is to Allah. (Quran, 3.28)
Islamic law forbids zakat from being used to help non-Muslims.

WikiIslam reiterates:
There is scholarly consensus (ijma`) that zakat cannot be given to non-Muslims, as mentioned by Ibn al-Mundhir, Kasani, Ibn Qudama, Buhuti, and others.
Muwaffaq Ibn Qudama, a great Hanbali Imam, says in his Mughni:

'We do not know of any difference of opinion among the people of knowledge (ahl al-`ilm) that zakat on wealth cannot be given to a kafir' Ibn al-Mundhir said, 'There is consensus of all those whose positions we know from the people of knowledge that a non-Muslim (dhimmi) cannot be given any zakat.'
Christian refugee victims of the flood that devastated Pakistan in 2010 know this part of Islamic doctrine even too well. They were denied aid largely donated by the post-Christian West - which didn't seem to care very much about this politically correct form of discrimination - unless they converted to Islam.
“The tireless work of Caritas continues in all directions, in every diocese and without discrimination on the recipients,” said Bishop Max John Rodrigues of Hyderabad. “In the diocese, we help everyone. Many religious and Catholic volunteers are working in the area. I see a lot of solidarity: Muslims, Christians, and Hindus are united in suffering.

As far as the aid brought by Islamic charity groups, they defend themselves by saying that according to their doctrine, the money from the zakhat (Islamic alms) should go only to Muslims,” he added. [Emphasis added]
Similarly, the prohibition also explains why the contribution from Muslim countries to the Haiti 2010 earthquake relief - since Haiti has almost no Muslims - was puny, and the aid from one of the US largest Islamic charities, LIFE for Relief and Development, was used just to build mosques in the Caribbean country.

And that's not all. Non-Muslims can in some cases be allowed to receive charity donations, but only to attract them to Islam:
Alms are only for the poor and the needy, and the officials (appointed) over them, and those whose hearts are made to incline (to truth) and the (ransoming of) captives and those in debts and in the way of Allah and the wayfarer; an ordinance from Allah; and Allah is knowing, Wise. (Quran, 9.60) [Emphasis added]
Shaykh Muhammad Saalih al-Munajjid says:
It is permissible to give regular charity – not obligatory charity (i.e., zakaah) to poor kaafirs, and to exhange gifts and with them and treat them well to soften their hearts towards Islam. [Emphasis added]
This is a candid peace appeared in the United Arab Emirates’s The National, for example:
One hundred new converts to Islam will each receive an equal share of Dh1 million donated by the Zakat Fund. Zakat, the third pillar of Islam, is a mandatory tax for every Muslim who is financially able to contribute. It is calculated at 2.5 per cent of financial assets, but has different rates for a variety of other sources of wealth, such as livestock and minerals.

New converts are one of eight broad categories defined as deserving recipients of zakat in Islam.
The second problem with zakat is even more serious. It's not enough that Muslim charity does not do any good to the rest of the human species; it's also meant to do it harm.

Of the eight broad categories of recipients of zakat referred to in the above quotation, one merits our close attention.

The Quran's verse 9.60 quoted before lists as recipients those "in the way of Allah". And this is what it means:
Zakat can be given in the path of Allah. By this is meant to finance a Jihad effort in the path of Allah, not for Jihad for other reasons. The fighter (mujahid) will be given as salary what will be enough for him. If he needs to buy arms or some other supplies related to the war effort, Zakat money should be used provided the effort is to raise the banner of Islam.
The classic manual of Islamic law Reliance of the Traveller couldn't be clearer:
h8.7 It is obligatory to distribute one's zakat among eight categories of recipients (O: meaning that zakat goes to none besides them), one-eighth of the zakat to each category...

h8.17 The seventh category is those fighting for Allah, meaning people engaged in Islamic military operations for whom no salary has been allotted in the army roster (O: but who are volunteers for jihad without remuneration). They are given enough to suffice them for the operation, even if affluent; of weapons, mounts, clothing, and expenses (O: for the duration of the journey, round trip, and the time they spend there, even if prolonged. Though nothing has been mentioned here of the expense involved in supporting such people's families during this period, it seems clear that they should also be given it).
One of the most prominent Islamic scholars, Shaykh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, currently listed as 31st of the world’s most influential Muslim figures according to The Muslim 500 - an annual publication compiled by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre in Jordan in cooperation with Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in the United States - was quoted in an article entitled "Spending Zakah Money on Jihad" as saying:
If war is waged anywhere to achieve this goal, namely to free the occupied lands of the laws and the tyranny of disbelievers, it is undoubtedly a case of Jihad for the sake of Allah. It thus needs to be financed from the money of Zakah...
During a BBC Panorama programme of a few years ago - whose interesting title "Faith, hate and charity" left no doubt concerning what faith we were talking about - Qaradawi was described as "a favourite of the [then] London Mayor" Ken Livingstone, who truly welcomed this supporter of jihad to London, "a city of all faiths" (and no hope).

Qaradawi's followers in London, the BBC reporter John Ware explained, included the fugitive Hamas commander Mohammed Sawalha (no doubt a title of honour), and his following in the Middle East was so big that the good doctor had his own talk show on Al Jazeera. "He makes no bones about the relationship between charity and politics", Ware added.

During the documentary Qaradawi volunteered:
I don't like this word "donations." I like to call it jihad with money. Because God has ordered us to fight enemies with our lives and our money.
This is the theory. The practice is even more explicit.

Earlier this month it emerged from India’s Intelligence Bureau accounts that the Islamic charity Jamaat-ud-Dawa has been diverting for terror activities the funds it raises and has used charity money to fund the Mumbai 26/11 attacks of 2008, in which over 160 people died. This dossier is even more significant in the light of the recent ban on Jamaat-ud-Dawa imposed by the United States.

Among the recipients of "jihad charity" is also ISIS.

Recently, British-based charity Islamic Relief Worldwide (IRW) has been banned from operating in Israel as suspected of funnelling cash to Hamas. According to Israeli officials, IRW activities in the Palestinian territories are run by Hamas operatives.

IRW receives money from institutional donors, government funding, individual zakat donations and affiliates around the world, including Islamic Relief USA (IR-USA), praised by Obama.

It's not the first time that IR-USA, the largest US Muslim charity and sponsored by major American corporations like Microsoft and General Electric, has been accused of funding Hamas.

In America, the majority of the charities that have been investigated for financing terrorism were found guilty. According to Shariah Finance Watch,
The largest Islamic charities in the US were shut down and prosecuted for funding terrorism.

The fact is, Islamic charities fund Jihad through the system of zakat simply because Shariah–Islamic Law–says they must.

It is not unlikely that we’ve just brushed the surface on this activity in the West.

Only recently, for instance, has the British Charity Commission begun to earnestly scrutinize Islamic charities for material support of terrorism.

How widespread might the problem be?
How indeed?

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

UK Taxis Showing Support for Caliphate?

London black cabs

There is a rumour that taxi drivers in the UK are putting black ribbons on their aerials or bonnets to show support for jihad and the new caliphate.

I haven't found any online news media source for this. The original source I found is the Bournemouth English Defence League.

The advice, if you see these taxis, is to take photos and number plates and report them to the local council. Vlad Tepes also suggests asking the drivers why the ribbon is there.

It may seem trivial, but small things can have a much more profound effect than it may appear at first sight. We should take a lesson from the "zero tolerance" policy enacted by Republican Mayor Rudolph Giuliani in New York, who was in office from 1994 to 2001.

In an effort to eradicate crime from the city, his policy consisted in responding to any infraction, however insignificant. Graffiti and broken windows were among the things not to be tolerated any longer, as doing so was giving the offenders the wrong signal - a weak reaction from the authorities - and therefore encouraging them to go on to more serious offences.

"Zero tolerance" was highly effective. The reduction in crime in delinquency-ridden New York City during the 1990s was astonishing: “one of the most remarkable stories in the history of urban crime,” according to University of California law professor Franklin Zimring.

H/t to Vlad Tepes

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Ethiopian Man Does What We Should Do: Expose Foreign Aid

Ethiopia's Gambella region

It's not just the comic - but in reality tragic - waste of public money from both the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Legal Aid system.

It's also the umpteenth confirmation that the money given to Third World countries as foreign aid helps local tyrants to better oppress their people. And it's one of those very people now who is saying it not only in words but also in actions, so convinced he is of it as to be prepared to sue Britain. "Ethiopian farmer gets legal aid... To sue us for sending aid to Ethiopia: Case that will be funded by taxpayers branded as 'ridiculous' by MPs":
Ethiopian man launches taxpayer funded legal action against British Government despite never having set foot in the country.

Farmer claims ministers are funding a one-party state in his homeland that has helped regime inflict 'brutal treatment' on thousands.

Taxpayers will pay for both the farmer's lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development.

Legal action has been branded as farcical, bizarre and ridiculous by MPs angry he was able to lodge court documents before law change...

The 33-year-old Ethiopian – granted anonymity to protect his family – says ministers are funding a one-party state in his country that has breached his human rights. He says foreign aid helped the regime inflict ‘brutal treatment’ on thousands of farmers driven from their land, against the International Development Act 2002.

Taxpayers will pay for both the farmer’s lawyers and a defence team from the Department for International Development, in a case that could cost tens of thousands of pounds. This is in addition to the £1.3billion Britain has sent to Ethiopia since 2010...

Papers lodged earlier this year state he had to leave his family and flee to a refugee camp in Kenya after being beaten and tortured trying to protect his land. The UK has contributed to a £510million Protection of Basic Services fund which has allegedly ‘contributed’ to the programme of displacing the farmers.

O [the farmer] is not personally seeking compensation, but wants the Government to change its aid policies and stop bankrolling brutal regimes. If he succeeds, ministers could be forced to review donations to other nations accused of atrocities, such as Pakistan and Rwanda.
Stopping bankrolling Pakistan would be an excellent idea, as I have written before in this blog, and indeed even better would be to isolate Pakistan as it was done with South Africa.

What is particularly ironic in this story is that it was the drought and famine crisis in the country in question, Ethiopia, that in the '80s inspired Bob Geldof and other pop singers to launch Band Aid, so that Ethiopia became the symbol of these misguided efforts to help the Third World.

Punishment Is Good for You

Inmate in a British prison

Leftists - namely the socio-communist end of the totalitarian bloc, the other being the Nazi-fascist - keep telling us how terrible, inhumane and even ineffective prisons are.

The truth, as usual, is the opposite of what they say.

Not only prisons maintain offenders in the impossibility to offend while the sentence lasts and, if there is a high probability of punishment (which, alas, is not the case in Britain now), the criminals' knowledge of arrest and imprisonment acts as a deterrent, making jails the most effective way to reduce crime, so they are good for the innocent. They are also good for the guilty, the criminals themselves.

Theodore Dalrymple, who knows a thing or two about the subject, declares that they are the delinquents' own version of the rehab centres of the rich and famous.

Dalrymple, with his decades-long experience as psychiatrist in prisons and hospitals of underclass neighbourhoods, knows what he's talking about, unlike the many socio-communists who've never come even close to the squalid realities they are so fond of pontificating about. He writes:
He was thin and malnourished in the manner I have described. Five feet ten, he weighed just over 100 pounds. He told me what many young men in his situation have told me, that he asked the court not to grant him bail, so that he could recover his health in prison—something that he knew he would never do outside. A few months of incarceration would set him up nicely to indulge in heroin on his release. Prison is the health farm of the slums.
Indeed prisons are not the only punishment which is good for both the punished and everybody else.

Children and teenagers have become a health threat. If you are on a London double-decker bus and a school or another large group of kids get on the bus, you will be subjected to such amount of high-decibel screaming noise that you'll risk becoming deaf.

My neighbour's two toddlers use loud screaming and screeching as their main, nearly only, form of communication.

In addition, their favourite game is to throw all sorts of things, from toys to shoes, from rubbish to clothes, into our garden, which borders theirs.

Kids are kids, of course. But it's the responsibility of parents to educate them, indeed to socialise them, so that they don't grow up as total savages.

Anti-spanking fanatics are just that: fanatics.

Spanking doesn't hurt the child, physically or psychologically, and is an essential tool of communication between adult and child when the latter is still not capable of understanding certain words and concepts:
For most children, claims that spanking teaches aggression seem unfounded. Some studies suggest that aggression is more closely linked to permissiveness, negative criticism, and watching television than spanking, and even more so than even abusive physical punishment.
What do children have to do with prison inmates, you may ask. Not much. We are just talking about the way the mind works.

The whole learning process of animals, including humans, is based on a system of rewards and punishments.

What is worse: to spank a kid or to render the whole population of the world deaf?

Noise is of course not the only problem here. Children who grow up without discipline will become the sort of antisocial adults who throw litter in the street, show no respect for the others, are rude and in not-too-extreme cases become criminals, in short the kind of adults that we see more and more numerous around us. From the same source:
With spanking bans have come increased rates of child abuse, aggressive parenting, and youth violence.
In this, as in many other cases, the Christian teaching is the best:
Today's outbreak of out-of-control children can be directly traced to the failure of parents to discipline their children. Modern advocates of "timeouts" and similar forms of discipline miss the essential point that God intends spanking to underline the cause-and-effect relationship of disobedience and punishment. Swift and firm parental punishment is the necessary means of teaching children that their disobedience will not be allowed, and that they will be brought into obedience, one way or the other.

Of course, the Bible refers to punitive corporal punishment, not to injurious abuse. Parents should learn the method of judicial spanking, never using spanking as a demonstration of anger or wrath. As a judicial act, the spanking should be administered in a serious, private, and sober way by a parent who teaches the child that this punishment is necessary for the specific act of disobedience. Spanking is judicial in the sense that it is not the result of a parental loss of temper, nor of a parent's whim, but of moral necessity.

Of course, parents should inflict sufficient pain to make the point clear, and to make certain that the child fears the punishment. The very act of spanking affirms parental discipline, and humbles the spirit of the child. The pain is real, but temporary. The lesson must be equally real--and far more enduring.

Healthy discipline must emerge from a healthy family life and from the loving relationship between parents and children. Parents tempted to find an easier or less controversial method of discipline must realize that timeouts and grounding are generally more counterproductive and frustrating than anything else.

The attacks on spanking are thinly disguised attacks on parental authority. If current trends continue, Christian parents may find themselves forced between obeying the law of the land or the law of God. Who knew that parenting in the 21st century would require such courage?”

Monday, 14 July 2014

The Caliphate Means Constant War on Us on a Scale Not Yet Seen

A jihadi flying the black flag of Islam in the city of Raqqa, Syria

While the British government is making its own citizens pay for the jihadis allowed to return to the UK from Syria and Iraq, both in terms of money – through the £1.1 billion cash injection for defence announced today, £800 million of which will fund an extra investment in intelligence and surveillance to deal with the threat of terrorism – and in terms of intrusion and greater state power – through emergency laws to monitor phone and internet records “to stop terrorists" –, people hear of the establishment of a caliphate in the Middle East without the media – with few exceptions – providing any explanation of its real significance.

In Islam, only a caliphate has the authority to declare offensive war on infidel countries. That's why Osama bin Laden was so keen on it and called for Muslims to "establish the righteous caliphate of our ummah", after Abdulhamid II’s Ottoman caliphate was abolished by the Turkish Republic of Kemal Ataturk in his secularisation (short-lived) attempts in 1924.

And that's why jihadis always explain their acts of terrorism in terms of defensive war, as a response to the infidel's armies occupying Muslim lands, for example.

Egyptian-American scholar of Islam and Middle East history Raymond Ibrahim over 3 years ago explained the caliphate concept and predicted the re-establishment of a caliphate. If, as in science, accurate predictions confirm the validity of the theory from which they derive, we must take his words very seriously:
The very existence of a caliphate would usher a state of constant hostility: Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate is obligated to wage jihad, at least annually, to bring the “disbelieving” world under Islamic dominion and enforce sharia law. Most of what is today called the “Muslim world”-from Morocco to Pakistan-was conquered, bit by bit, by a caliphate begun in Arabia in 632.

A caliphate represents a permanent, ideological enemy, not a temporal enemy that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions — economic or otherwise. Short of agreeing either to convert to Islam or live as second-class citizens, or “dhimmis” – who, among other indignities, must practice their religions quietly; pay a higher tax [jizyah]; give way to Muslims on the street; wear clothing that distinguishes them from Muslims, the start of the yellow star of David required for the Jews by the Nazis during World War II; have their testimony be worth half of a Muslim’s; and never retaliate against Muslim abuses-the jihad continues.

A caliphate is precisely what Islamists around the world are feverishly seeking to establish – before people realize what it represents and try to prevent it. Without active, preemptive measures, it is only a matter of time before they succeed.
Another US expert on Islam, Robert Spencer, has recently written:
And now it [the caliphate] is here, although it is by no means clear, of course, that The Islamic State will be viable or long-lasting. If it is, however, the world could soon be engulfed in a much larger conflict with Islamic jihadists even than it has been since 9/11. For in Islamic law, only the caliph is authorized – and indeed, has the responsibility – to declare offensive jihad against non-Muslim states. In his absence, all jihad must be defensive only, which is why Islamic jihadists retail laundry lists of grievances when explaining and justifying their actions: without these grievances and a caliph, they have to cast all their actions as responses to Infidel atrocities. With a caliph, however, that obligation will be gone. And the bloodshed in that event could make the world situation since 9/11, with its 20,000 jihad attacks worldwide, seem like a harmless bit of “interfaith dialogue.
Offensive jihad to force all the world to submit to Islamic law is a duty for the ummah (the worldwide Muslim community), and no amount of media whitewashing can change that. The source to consult is not The New York Times but the Quran:
“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.” (9:29)

Friday, 11 July 2014

Leninist Scotland Can Go Its Own way

The Wallace monument, honouring Scottish freedom fighter William Wallace

Watching last night's Question Time, which was in Scotland and devoted half of its time to the question of Scottish independence - it was also the last QT before the September referendum -, confirmed and strengthened my opinion that England would be far better off without Scotland.

We are used to seeing on that BBC panel show constant displays of the worst that British Marxism-Leninism has to offer, but last night's programme really took the biscuit.

The discussion consisted in a non-stop talk of equality and increasing gap between social classes. A chap in the audience, with his face contorted by hatred, expressed the view that it's disgusting that rich people exist. No doubt, if he had half a chance, he would make sure that none are left, by robbing them blind if not by bloodier means.

Such unadulterated class hatred and communism will guarantee the economic collapse of an independent Scotland, as the history of all attempts to run a socialist economy will attest.

Hearing these people talk, you would have thought that they've never seen a history book, never heard of Stalin, Mao, Fidel Castro and what they did to their countries.

The discussion sounded surreal. There was no public debt - mostly created by their favourite party, Labour -, money was found on trees or fell from the sky like a Biblical manna and it was endless, always there to prevent food banks and maintain people happy and free to pursuit their favourite activity, doing nothing, and choose their preferred lifestyle, idleness.

When the subject became public health, more scorn was poured on Westminster and England - where cuts and food banks reigned supreme - for not spending enough money on the NHS, which in England was practically being taken to pieces.

Not in Scotland, oh no. There, more and more funding will be made available to the NHS. Where the money will come from nobody even thought of asking, it's such a non-compassionate question.

By the way, "compassion" was the most frequently uttered word of the night.

In this context, it wouldn't surprise me - but it would rather be totally consistent with the whole picture - what one of the panelists highlighted: that the SNP has devoted only one page out of the 650 of its manifesto to the subject of economic policy. The panelist in question was Alan Savage - not coincidentally a businessman -, the only sensible person participating in the debate, who was totally isolated the whole evening and at times mocked.

I don't know where the prevailing Scottish acidic and vitriolic political views - also evident in the voting patterns of that land - come from, but they have all the appearance of inevitably leading, if the vote to the referendum is Yes, to the establishment of the Soviet Republic of Scotland.

The prospect of a Yes vote looks increasingly likely, as the gap between the groups of people declaring themselves for a Yes or No vote in opinion polls narrows. The latest survey, carried out today by Survation, gives this result: Yes - 41%; No - 46%; Don't know - 13%.

In early January of this year the corresponding figures were: Yes - 28-29%; No - 42%; Undecided - 29-30%.

Let's hope Scotland goes its own way and take all its poisonous Leninism with it.

I end quoting from a piece in The Spectator, whose title, "Vote yes, Scots – and set the English free", sums up my feelings:
When we weigh such considerations, we start to realise some of the practical benefits to England of Scotland voting yes. Mr Salmond claims Scotland is self-supporting. This is true in the same way that grown-up children who live with their parents are self-supporting. The higher per capita spending that flows north of the border would stay in the English Treasury. Just think what the English (and Welsh, and Northern Irish) could do with it. Scotland has a culture of welfarism: England is seeking to rid itself of one. Separation means one nation no longer has to accommodate these damaging differences. The area north of Leeds and Manchester that Mr Miliband has this week complained is economically underperforming could become home to businesses fleeing what may well have to become a penal taxation regime in Scotland. Indeed, Mr Osborne should stand by to grant special tax status to Carlisle and Newcastle to make them the Cayman Islands of the north. [Emphases added]

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Hobby Lobby: A Lesson from America

The Hobby Lobby company

Not many people in Britain have followed the Hobby Lobby case, named after the American company that won an important battle for religious freedom against the bullying of the totalitarians - in this episode feminazis and supporters of state intervention in personal affairs.

In this area the United States seems more progressive in the true, not socialist, sense, and less prepared to submit to cultural Marxism's oppressive demands.

Hobby Lobby is a company owned by Christians. At issue was whether, according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare, "closely held companies like Hobby Lobby could be forced by the government to provide abortifacient coverage to its employees, in defiance of its owners’ deeply held religious beliefs".

"In a 5-4 ruling written by Justice Samuel Alito, the Supreme Court ruled that Hobby Lobby and other closely held companies do not have to provide contraceptive coverage that conflicts with the religious beliefs of the companies’ owners."

Non-profit companies already enjoy this dispensation, and now the government must provide religious accommodations to “closely-held” for-profit companies too. “Closely-held” means for example, as in this case, owned and controlled by members of a single family, as opposed to impersonal, publicly-held corporations.
One of the main reasons the Obama administration’s arguments failed to convince five justices is that the federal government did not necessarily need to mandate employer-provided contraceptive coverage in order to ensure access to contraceptive coverage. For example, rather than mandating employer coverage, the government could have easily established its own program to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage.
Like the the employees of non-profit companies that hold religious beliefs, the employees of for-profit companies with similar religious objections will still have access to insurance coverage without cost sharing for FDA-approved contraceptives; Hobby Lobby's objections concerned only abortifacient drugs, namely substances that induce abortion.

This is a very reasonable, well-though-out decision.

The way many (anything but) "liberals" reacted showed very clearly how the average IQ of Lefties is so much lower than that of conservatives and Right-wingers, very likely because it requires brains to oppose the dominant ideological orthodoxy, whereas any idiot can just unthinkingly follow the easy, lazy, non-intellectual path of going along with it.

A criticism of the Supreme Court’s decision from our politically-correct geniuses was that it denies women access to birth control, as if not being able to force someone to pay for something were the same as not having access to that something. In fact, bosses, by paying their employees a salary, enable them to pay for whatever they wish to buy.

Another "argument" was that the court ruling discriminated against women. In reality, the opposite is true, as "the only contraception-related discrimination baked into law by Obamacare was against men. After all, male contraception like condoms or vasectomies was never covered by the law".

The scream "It's not about abortion, but birth control!" showed the inability of some people to understand the difference between substances that prevent conception and substances that intervene after conception and destroy a fertilized egg. This case concerned only 4 types of contraception that can result in the destruction of a fertilized egg, while Hobby Lobby paid for 16 different types of non-abortive contraceptive coverage for its employees.

Some "pro-choice" brainboxes compared a human embryo to a fingernail: let's hope they don't choose medicine as their career.

"If you're going to argue human life doesn't begin at conception, the burden is on you to create human life in its absence" tweeted in reply Sean Davis of The Federalist.

But those contorted views do not represent the majority.

A Rasmussen poll of 1,000 likely US voters found that they approve of the Supreme Court’s decision by a 10-point margin. 49% of them agreed that business owners should have the option of exempting themselves from ObamaCare’s HHS contraceptive mandate if it violates their religious beliefs. Only 39% opposed the Hobby Lobby court ruling, while 12% were undecided.
In addition, the poll found that 58 percent of voters say a company’s level of contraceptive coverage is not an important part of their decision to work there, compared to 38 percent who say it is at least somewhat important to their decision of where to work.

While 43 percent of voters think businesses should be required by law to provide health insurance that covers all government-approved contraceptives for women without copayment or other charges, 47 percent say companies should not be required to comply with the contraception mandate.

The same poll found that 48 percent of voters believe the government is a threat to Americans’ religious rights, while only 30 percent of voters believe the government protects those rights.

Intrusive Emergency Laws "To Stop ISIS Terrorists"

Aseel Muthana and older brother Nasser went fo fight in Syria. Aseel Muthana said: 'Jihad is obligatory.'

Predictably, having so many terrorists in our midst - in addition to the danger - will have the consequence of more intrusion in our personal lives and more state power. From The Telegraph, "Emergency laws to monitor phone and internet records 'to stop terrorists'":
Emergency laws will be brought in next week to force phone and internet companies to hold records of customers’ calls, texts and visits to websites.

The fast-track measures are necessary to defend national security against the terrorist threat from Iraq and Syria, David Cameron said.

The consequences of not acting are “grave”, the Prime Minister said.

The measures are a response to a ruling by the European Court of Justice which struck down regulations that enabled communications companies from retaining data for police use for a year.

Internet and phone companies will soon start deleting it – a move that will have “serious consequences” for police and counter-terror investigations, Downing Street said.

The emergency laws will also create a “clearer legal framework”, at the demand of companies, for when police and intelligence agencies want to intercept terrorist and criminal communications.

The need for new laws is “urgent”, Downing Street said. There is cross-party agreement.

“It is the first duty of government to protect our national security and to act quickly when that security is compromised,” David Cameron said.
Except that the only really effective security measure, not letting these would-be terrorists back into the country, is what this government is not prepared to enact.
“As events in Iraq and Syria demonstrate, now is not the time to be scaling back on our ability to keep our people safe. The ability to access information about communications and intercept the communications of dangerous individuals is essential to fight the threat from criminals and terrorists targeting the UK.

“No government introduces fast track legislation lightly. But the consequences of not acting are grave.

“I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities – that is not for this Parliament. This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe.”

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Protect Our Borders from Syria and Iraq Jihadists

A Musim man waves the black flag of Islam in Iraq

Why should people who take a bus or Tube train in London be in fear for their lives from a bomb attack? Is it right that air passengers should be afraid of terror threats when they board a plane and also be subjected to continuous disruptions for the same reason?

Every day we hear news of more young Muslims – often born and bread in the UK but not “British” in any true sense of the word – travelling to Iraq and Syria to join groups fighting in a jihad (Islamic holy war) to establish an Islamic state over there. These Muslims also promise to come back to Britain and create a climate of terror over here.

Their threats have to be taken with the utmost seriousness: we have seen from media reports and internet videos how ruthless these fighters are with the lives of others and how determined they are to ethnically cleanse the Middle East of Christians.

Despite Prime Minister David Cameron’s empty reassurances that Britain will not ignore this security threat, former MI6 director of global counter-terrorism Richard Barrett has said the numbers are too high and the security services won’t be able to monitor all the jihadists returning to the UK. It is "out of the question", he added.

Top counter-terrorism expert Cressida Dick, the Metropolitan Police's assistant commissioner and head of specialist operations, has warned that Britain will live with the consequences of Syria and the rise of Islamic extremism within its own borders “for many, many years to come”.

The jihadists returning from Syria, due to its relative vicinity to Europe, are considered “the biggest threat to Britain's security” and a “greater threat than al-Qaeda terrorists in Pakistan and Afghanistan”. The British Home Office identifies Syria as “the most significant development in global terrorism.”

Charles Farr - the Home Office’s terror chief - and others warned that the Syrian war is stoking the biggest terror threat to the West since September 11, and this problem is predicted to persist for as long as the hostilities will continue.

It is simply foolish to believe that the threat is minimal or behind us. So far we’ve just been lucky

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Chairman of the Intelligence and Security Committee - which oversees the UK’s intelligence agencies -, wrote that new measures increasing security checks at airports are “unavoidable” because jihadists are deploying "devilish technical skill" to create ever more sophisticated devices to evade existing security measures.

He wrote that he had encountered a level of complacency among some elements of the public which he found "seriously disturbing", adding:
It is simply foolish to believe that the threat is either minimal or now behind us. We have, indeed, been fortunate but, sadly, this has not been because the terrorists have, since 2005, given up trying to do us harm. As Andrew Parker, the head of MI5, has made clear, each year there have been serious plots which if they had not been identified and disrupted would have led to the deaths and mutilation of many British citizens.

The police and the security services have been very successful but we must not underestimate the devilish technical skill of those terrorists who design ever more sophisticated means of concealing explosives in mobile devices, in clothing and in otherwise innocent objects. They have been hard at work over the last year.
Only last week Britain's airports were put on a new terror alert following intelligence warnings that al Qaeda's chief bomb maker - Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, who is now said to have sworn allegiance to ISIS - had linked up with jihadists in Syria to pass on his skills.

It couldn’t be clearer that these people mean business. Some “British” Syria fighters have admitted preparing to carry out terrorist acts.

Possible links have also been found between three Muslims based in Cardiff, Wales - Isis militants who were present in a propaganda video filmed by the group - and two other men from the same part of the city, who are in prison for having planned to blow up London's Stock Exchange.

Black flag of Islam over Downing Street

A “British” jihadist has warned of the “black flag of Islam” flying over Downing Street and Buckingham Palace.

Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the “Caliph” of the Islamic State spreading between Iraq and Syria, has promised support to “oppressed” Muslims everywhere and told his soldiers: “You will conquer Rome and own the world”. Islam supporters hacked a Facebook page dedicated to Pope Francis and filled it with vulgar and offensive words and images: just a warning about things to come.

There is no doubt that militant Islam is on the rise in the world, and we’ll ignore it at our own peril.

We must protect our borders from these would-be terrorists

We must protect our own borders. It’s suicidal to allow would-be terrorists who have already shown their allegiance to violent jihad and acted on it to return to Britain, when top intelligent and security experts have made it clear that we cannot accurately monitor this threat once inside the country.

The party Liberty GB has among its party policies the only measure that would guarantee a greater safety for British people:

“Stop from returning to the UK anyone, including British citizens, who has left the country to fight alongside or support Muslim militias or jihadist groups abroad.”

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Italy Is One of the EU Largest Net Contributors

Net receipts from the EU budget, based on 2009 budget data (negative amounts show net contributions)
Member state Per capita

(in euros)

(of national GDP)
Total amount

(in million euros)
Austria −59.7 −0.18 −499
Belgium 90.0 0.29 968
Bulgaria 77.4 1.76 589
Cyprus −34.0 −0.18 −27
Czech Republic 150.4 1.11 1,575
Germany −107.3 −0.37 −8,797
Denmark −211.0 −0.53 −1,163
Estonia 416.2 4.02 558
Finland −113.8 −0.36 −606
France −100.4 −0.34 −6,461
Greece 267.2 1.30 3,009
Hungary 265.1 2.68 2,660
Ireland −35.0 −0.09 −156
Italy −100.7 −0.41 −6,046
Lithuania 438.2 5.33 1,468
Luxembourg 2364.5 3.05 1,167
Latvia 218.8 2.62 495
Malta 17.4 0.13 7
Netherlands −90.2 −0.26 −1,488
Poland 160.5 1.66 6,119
Portugal 196.4 1.25 2,087
Romania 74.8 1.24 1,609
Spain 9.7 0.04 444
Sweden −43.6 −0.13 −404
Slovenia 92.8 0.55 189
Slovakia 88.8 0.78 481
United Kingdom −62.7 −0.24 −3,865

One William Gruff left this comment to my post The Looting of Italy:
Italy is not and has never been a nett contributor to the EU. Not a nett contributor means not a contributor at all in precisely the way that being a public sector worker means not a tax payer. In the same way, Scotland makes no contribution to the 'U'K, despite partisan claims to the contrary.
This sums up the kind of widespread ignorance and prejudice about Italy, largely due to media distortions, that my Italian journalist friend Alessandra Nucci laments in her article, "The Looting of Italy", that attracted that comment.

The comment requires a documented reply.

Above is a table for the year 2009 reproduced from Wikipedia, based on research by Deutsche Bank Research. The net contributors are shown in blue.

Wikipedia says:
The four largest net contributors in absolute terms are Germany, France, Italy, UK.
The four largest net contributors in per capita terms are Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy.
The four largest net contributors as a proportion of GDP are Denmark, Italy, Germany, Finland.
Only Italy and Germany are among the four largest net contributors in all categories. It's also easy to see from the table that in absolute terms Italy contributes almost double the net receipts from the UK, the country from which our commenter friend William Gruff hails.

As you can see, in total amount Italy is third, little behind France, which Italy, though, overtakes in terms of per capita contributions. As a proportion of GDP Italy comes before both Germany and France, and is second only to Denmark, an economic lightweight compared to Italy.

Also observe how Italy is usually placed by the international media together with Spain, Portugal and Greece, which are among the largest net recipients - along with Luxembourg and some Eastern-European countries -, therefore at the other end of the spectrum.

A table showing member states' net contributions to the EU’s annual budget for the period from 2000 to 2011, compiled by the European Commission, can be found here. Again, somewhat counterintuitively, if the figure is negative it means that the country has received fewer payments from the EU than it should and is therefore a net contributor to the EU’s budget.

This table shows again that, except in 2000, Italy has been a large net contributor all these years.

Even the German news magazine Der Spiegel wrote at the end of 2012, accompanying the article with a clear graph:
Italy is the country that most contributes to the European budget...

Compared to the 2011 Gross Domestic Product, no other country has contribuited so much to the European budget as Italy...

...but, despite its strong debt, [Italy] has not yet received a cent from the various European "parachutes".