Friday, October 31, 2014
Sharia Law or Gay Marriage Critics Would Be Branded ‘Extremists’ under Tory Plans, Atheists and Christians Warn
Anyone who criticises Sharia law or gay marriage could be branded an “extremist” under sweeping new powers planned by the Conservatives to combat terrorism, an alliance of leading atheists and Christians fear.
Theresa May, the Home Secretary, unveiled plans last month for so-called Extremism Disruption Orders, which would allow judges to ban people deemed extremists from broadcasting, protesting in certain places or even posting messages on Facebook or Twitter without permission.
Mrs May outlined the proposal in a speech at the Tory party conference in which she spoke about the threat from the so-called Islamic State – also known as Isis and Isil – and the Nigerian Islamist movement Boko Haram.
But George Osborne, the Chancellor, has made clear in a letter to constituents that the aim of the orders would be to “eliminate extremism in all its forms” and that they would be used to curtail the activities of those who “spread hate but do not break laws”.
He explained that that the new orders, which will be in the Conservative election manifesto, would extend to any activities that “justify hatred” against people on the grounds of religion, sexual orientation, gender or disability.
He also disclosed that anyone seeking to challenge such an order would have to go the High Court, appealing on a point of law rather than fact.
The National Secular Society and the Christian institute – two organisations with often diametrically opposing interests – said they shared fears that the broad scope of extremism could represent a major threat to free speech. » | John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor | Friday, October 31, 2014
As Cook noted in an essay for Bloomberg Businessweek, he has been quite open about his sexuality with many people. But there’s a difference between friends and colleagues knowing you’re gay and telling the planet.
Just a few years ago, states were writing into constitutions that marriage was strictly between a man and a woman. Now the CEO of the world’s most valuable company can proclaim that he considers “being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.”
“The world has advanced to the point that (sexuality) is a total nonissue,” said Gerald Storch, a former CEO of Toys R Us. “Ten years ago, CEOs might have kept it closer to the vest because of consumer backlash.” » | Thomas Lee | Friday, October 31, 2014
Le Front national a annoncé vendredi avoir "levé la suspension temporaire" d'un de ses élus récemment converti à l'islam qu'il avait suspendu samedi, le parti lui reprochant d'avoir fait du "prosélytisme" en son sein. Devant le "bureau exécutif du parti réuni en commission des conflits", Maxence Buttey "a pu confirmer son engagement comme élu municipal du Front national à défendre les idées de son mouvement, notamment la lutte contre le communautarisme et la promotion de la laïcité", écrit le parti dans un communiqué. "Il lui a été signifié ainsi qu'à l'ensemble des protagonistes de ce dossier que l'envoi de vidéos à caractère religieux dans le cadre de fonctions militantes n'était pas acceptable", poursuit le document, qui conclut qu'"en conséquence, après ce rappel des devoirs qui incombent à un élu du Front national", la suspension est levée. » | Source AFP | vendredi 31 octobre 2014
Two former heads of the Army have called for greater recognition of the first Muslim soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross, in a move intended as a “riposte” to the “sickening extremism” of Isil militants.
General Lord Dannatt and General Lord Richards lead a group of peers, MPs, historians and religious leaders who say children should be told about the role played by Muslim troops in the First World War.
In a letter to The Telegraph they say that the actions of Sepoy Khudadad Khan in a battle at Ypres 100 years ago on Friday “exemplified the courage” of many who served in the war.
The knowledge of his role, together with that of the other 400,000 Muslims who fought alongside British troops, is vital to “fully understand the multi-ethnic Britain that we are today”, they add. » | Edward Malnick | Friday, October 31, 2014
Baroness Tonge suggested Western support for Israel has triggered the growth of extreme Islamic groups “determined to get their own back” through terrorism.
Nor was it a surprise that there had been attacks in Canada and a terrorist plot exposed in Australia since both countries had “unhesitatingly supported Israel” with the UK and US.
“Both of these countries have unhesitatingly supported Israel with the USA and the United Kingdom,” she said. » | Martyn Brown | Friday, October 31, 2014
Sexual exploitation of vulnerable children has become the social norm in some parts of Greater Manchester, fuelled by explicit music videos and quasi-pornographic selfies, an MP has warned.
The systematic grooming of boys and girls remains a “real and ongoing problem”, a year after Greater Manchester police (GMP) was forced to admit it had failed abuse victims in Rochdale, said Ann Coffey, a former social worker who is now the Labour MP for Stockport. “My observations will make painful reading for those who hoped that Rochdale was an isolated case,” she writes in a significant report.
She said Britain needed a big change in attitudes towards child sexual exploitation similar to how perceptions of gay rights have changed over recent decades. She believes such exploitation should be declared a priority public health issue, like smoking, obesity, alcohol and drug use, so that a more strategic approach can be developed. » | Helen Pidd, northern editor | Thursday, October 30, 2014
HT: Robert Spencer @ Jihad Watch »
A UN-appointed human rights advocate had already prepared a voluminous account of Tehran's egregious transgressions, including persecution and imprisonment of religious minorities, alarming numbers of executions and systematic disregard of due process by Saturday, when Reyhaneh Jabbari, a 27-year-old woman who had spent the last seven years in prison, was hanged. Jabbari became an international symbol of the regime's brutality, with the UN and rights groups such as Amnesty International decrying her death sentence. Jabbari's execution served to punctuate this week's hearings, including the independent forum in Geneva on Thursday and a procedure today before a UN Human Rights Council panel. » | Jonathan Wachtel | Friday, October 31, 2014
Une décision "malheureuse", qui "renforce les éléments extrémistes et la politique de refus des Palestiniens", a jugé Israël jeudi après la reconnaissance par la Suède de l'État de Palestine. "Le gouvernement suédois doit comprendre que les relations au Moyen-Orient sont plus compliquées que le montage des meubles Ikea, et qu'il faut agir en ce domaine avec responsabilité et sensibilité", a déclaré le ministre israélien des Affaires étrangères, Avigdor Lieberman, dans un communiqué. » | Source AFP | jeudi 30 octobre 2014
Tim Cook wuchs in Alabama auf, einem der konservativsten, lange rückständigsten US-Südstaaten. Trotzdem blieb er seiner Heimat verbunden, selbst nachdem er als Apple-Chef zu einem der mächtigsten Wirtschaftslenker aufstieg. Als ihm Alabama jetzt seine höchste Ehre antrug, die Einführung in die Alabama Academy of Honor, nahm er das gerne an.
Seine Dankesrede jedoch nutzte Cook für eine Abrechnung: Im Kapitol der Landeshauptstadt Montgomery rügte er Alabama am Montag für seine Unterdrückung von Minderheiten. Es sei empörend, dass Homosexualität dort immer noch als Kündigungsgrund gelte: "Wir können die Vergangenheit nicht ändern, aber wir können eine andere Zukunft erschaffen."
Der 53-Jährige sprach sich dabei selbst aus der Seele. Dass Cook schwul ist, war ein offenes Geheimnis, seit er 2011 das Erbe des Apple-Gründers Steve Jobs antrat: Cook marschierte in San Franciscos LGBT-Parade mit und rangierte seit Jahren ganz oben in der "Power 50"-Liste der US-Schwulenzeitschrift "Out". » | Von Marc Pitzke, New York | Freitag, Oktober 31. 2014
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia — Ahmed al-Ghamdi's long, bushy beard and red-checked headscarf are emblems of his conservative approach to Islam, which is no surprise for a man who once supervised the Saudi religious police in the holy city of Mecca.
But it was something surprising about Ghamdi that brought me to his apartment in a scruffy, low-income section of Jeddah in the sweltering summer of 2011. I wanted to know why he had announced that, after extensive research, he could find no Islamic basis for Saudi society's most distinctive feature: its strict gender segregation.
As his wife, sister, and mother listened in with obvious pride, Ghamdi explained that he could no longer take "at face value" religious rulings that gender mixing is haram -- that is, religiously prohibited. "I wanted to go to their underpinnings, so I began collecting all the texts relating to this matter from the Quran and the Sunna [examples from the life and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed]," he said. "My conclusion was that not a single text or verse in the Quran and Sunna specifically says that mixing is haram. The word 'mixing' is not even in the Quran."
Instead, he said he found plenty of texts "that proved that mixing happened at the time of Prophet Mohammed" and that "it is just another part of normal life."
Ghamdi's declaration sparked weeks of impassioned national debate. It also got him fired from the religious police, which enforces the ban on mixing.
His story is but one example of how the religious landscape of Saudi Arabia -- often regarded as fixed and monochromatic -- is increasingly a landscape in flux.
We are not witnessing a Reformation in the birthplace of Islam. Mosque and state remain closely bound in Saudi Arabia, basic law is derived from sharia, and the king is known as the "Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques," a reference to the holy places of Mecca and Medina.
But the religious attitudes of ordinary people are changing, as is the relationship between the House of Saud and its clerical establishment. This evolving religious scene is marked by less clerical control of social behavior, increasing diversity of religious thought, and more polarization between progressive and extreme right-wing versions of Islam. These changes have already diminished the monarchy's ability to use religion to enforce social conformity and political obedience. And as the kingdom struggles with questions over succession and the Middle East's escalating mayhem, these changes will bring added challenges to the House of Saud's grip on power. » | Caryle Murphy | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
A 14-year-old boy suspected of planning a series of bombings in Vienna was reported on Thursday to have been offered $25,000 (£16,000) by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) to carry out the attacks amid claims that two other youths recruited in the same way remain at large.
The arrested youth has not been named by authorities, but has been identified by the Austrian media as Mertkan G, the son of Turkish immigrants, who has lived in the country for eight years. He was arrested on Tuesday but details are only now emerging about his case.
Among the sites in which he has admitted planning to plant explosives is Vienna's Westbahnhof station, one of the busiest in the country, used by 40,000 travellers each day. » | Justin Huggler, Berlin | Thursday, October 30, 2014
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Speaking at the annual PinkNews Awards in Speaker’s House, Mr Hague, the First Secretary of State and Leader of the House of Commons spoke of his time in the Foreign Office, and the importance of the “abolition of draconian laws that restrict the lives of LGBT people in other countries”.
He said such laws “subject innocent people to imprisonment, violence and stigmatisation.”
“While we’re making progress in Britain and elsewhere because the situation in other countries is not only difficult it is worsening as you know. It is completely incompatible with international human rights laws to make illegal consenting same-sex relations and to deny rights to people on the basis of their sexuality. (+ video) » | Joseph Patrick McCormick | Thursday, October 30, 2014
Vitaly Milonov, the politician behind St Petersburg’s anti-gay ‘propaganda’ law that has since been adopted federally by the Russian Parliament, suggested Mr Cook could bring “the Ebola virus, AIDS [and] gonorrhea” to Russia.
“What could he bring us? The Ebola virus, AIDS, gonorrhea? They all have unseemly ties over there,” Mr Milonov told the FlashNord website. “Ban him for life.” » | Scott Roberts | Thursday, October 30, 2014
Cameron asked Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to consider further funding to help Britain's push to develop cities in the north of the country and connect them to London using a high speed rail line, a statement released by his office said.
Qatar is one of the world's richest countries and is already heavily invested in British firms and property.
Among its highest profile investments are London's tallest building, the Shard, which was funded by the Qatari royal family, and the upmarket Harrods department store owned by sovereign wealth fund Qatar Investment Authority.
"The Prime Minister ... encouraged the Emir to consider more opportunities across the country, particularly the government’s plan to establish a Northern Powerhouse by connecting our great Northern cities and the development of high speed rail," the statement said. » | William James | London | Thursday, October 30, 2014
The Al-Aqsa compound, or Temple Mount, which is a central cause of the latest violence, was shut down to all visitors as a security precaution. It was the first full closure of the site, venerated by both Jews and Muslims, in 14 years.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denounced Israel's actions as "tantamount to a declaration of war" and his Fatah party called for a "day of rage" on Friday. It was not clear if Al Aqsa would be opened to Muslims on their holy day. » | Luke Baker | Jerusalem | Thursday, October 30, 2014
The events leading to the no-trespass order occurred at La Plata High School in La Plata, Md., a small town about 30 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., SoMDNews reports, a website for three local newspapers.
The dad is Kevin Wood, a former corporal and eight-year veteran in the U.S. Marine Corps.
Wood was initially upset because he did not want his daughter, a high school junior, to participate in instruction about Islam. » | Eric Owens, Education Editor | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The Roman Catholic Church has condemned the British Government as un-Christian over its rejection of rescue missions for refugees drowning in the Mediterranean.
Bishop Patrick Lynch, who speaks for the Church in England and Wales on migration, said the decision not to support a rescue missions was “a misguided abdication of responsibility” to thousands of desperate people feeling war and persecution in the Middle East and Africa.
He said that as Europe’s “leading naval power” the UK has a moral responsibility to step in to save those risking death attempting to reach Europe.
His remarks came as the Home Office reiterated its stance that search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean, where around 3,000 migrants are estimated to have drowned this year alone, were simply acting as a “pull factor for illegal migration”.
It claims that rescuing migrants has led to more deaths. » | John Bingham, Religious Affairs Editor | Thursday, October 30, 2014
Sweden has officially recognised the state of Palestine, the Swedish foreign minister said, less than a month after Stockholm announced its intention to make the controversial move.
“Today the government takes the decision to recognise the state of Palestine,” Margot Wallström said in a statement published in the Dagens Nyheter newspaper on Thursday.
“It is an important step that confirms the Palestinians’ right to self-determination,” the foreign minister said. “We hope that this will show the way for others.” » | Agence France-Presse in Stockholm | Thursday, October 30, 2014
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The American broadside, in an interview in The Atlantic magazine, followed a month of heated exchanges between the Netanyahu government and Washington over settlement-building in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem, which Palestinians seek as the capital of a future state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
"The thing about Bibi is, he’s a chickenshit,” the unidentified official was quoted as saying, using Netanyahu's nickname and a slang insult certain to redden the ears of the U.S.-educated former commando.
"The good thing about Netanyahu is that he’s scared to launch wars," the official said, alluding to past hints of possible Israeli military action against Iran's nuclear program. "The bad thing about him is that he won’t do anything to reach an accommodation with the Palestinians or with the Sunni Arab states."
Netanyahu, the official was reported to have said, is interested only in "protecting himself from political defeat ... He's got no guts." » | Jeffrey Heller, Reuters | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Patricia Ward taught language arts at the school for 28 years, spokesman Patrick Calabria said in a statement.
"We are in shock," Calabria told the New York Post. "The staff in her department is teary-eyed. We are providing counseling to the staff who need it. It’s a very sad day. A lot of people are taking it very hard." » | Andres Jauregui | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Israeli Right-wingers have revived highly contentious plans that could effectively silence the Muslim call to prayer, known as the adhan.
In a move that risks stoking already simmering tensions in Jerusalem between Jews and Arabs, a member of Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition is tabling legislation that could put strict limits on Islamic prayer calls from mosques in the city and across Israel.
Robert Ilatov, a parliamentarian with the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, is sponsoring the bill with the support of Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli foreign minister who is also the party's leader.
While the legislation is being justified on the grounds that prayer calls often produce "intolerable noise" that disturbs many citizens' sleep, it is bound to prompt accusations of religious intolerance and prejudice against Israel's Muslim minority. » | Robert Tait, Jerusalem | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
FOX NEWS: Professor beheaded in what witnesses first thought was Halloween prank » | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
US relations with Israel have plunged to new depths of bitterness and hostility as senior officials in the Obama administration decried Binyamin Netanyahu as a “chickenshit prime minister”, “coward” and a man more interested in his own political survival than peace.
The furious assessment delivered in anonymous but no-holds barred comments in an interview with the American journalist Jeffrey Goldberg in the Atlantic underline a state of anger with Netanyahu that is characterised as “red hot”.
The remarks are particularly telling in having been made to Goldberg, a Washington insider who has interviewed both Obama and Netanyahu, and who warned US-Israeli relations were in a “full-blown crisis” that could only get worse after the midterm elections.
Speaking to the Israeli parliament – the Knesset – a few hours after the comments were revealed, Netanyahu angrily insisted he was “under attack simply for defending Israel”, adding that he “cherished” Israel’s relationship with the US. » | Peter Beaumont in Jerusalem | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
The woman, who appeared to be in her 60s, was discovered dead outside an apartment building in Farmingdale at around 8 p.m. Tuesday, Nassau County police said. » | Kenneth Garger | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Le président turc Recep Tayyip Erdogan inaugure en grande pompe ce mercredi 29 octobre, jour anniversaire de la fondation de la République, un nouveau palais présidentiel à l'origine d'une vive controverse avec ses opposants et les défenseurs de l'environnement.
Déjà rebaptisé ironiquement la «Maison blanche» par ses détracteurs, cet immense «palais blanc» («ak saray» en turc) va remplacer l'actuel siège de la présidence, beaucoup plus modeste mais historique, qui a accueilli les onze précédents chefs de l'Etat de l'histoire de la Turquie moderne depuis 1923. » | afp/Newsnet | mercredi 29 octobre 2014
The foreign affairs minister says the government is trying to verify reports that an alleged Australian Islamic State (Isis) recruiter has been killed in the Middle East.
Mohammad Ali Baryalei, alleged to be the most senior Australian involved in the Isis conflict in Iraq and Syria, reportedly died four or five days ago.
Baryalei has been accused of recruiting Australians to fight alongside Isis forces.
The foreign minister, Julie Bishop, was unable to confirm whether he had been killed. » | Staff and agencies | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
BayNet.com reported that La Plata High School in Charles County, Maryland has issued a No Trespass order after parent Kevin Wood — a former U.S. Marine — called the school and threatened to disrupt classes if his daughter’s world history class continued to study the religion and its impact on human history.
Wood reportedly telephoned Vice Principal Shannon Morris last Thursday enraged over a homework assignment which dealt with the formation of Middle Eastern empires centuries ago. History teacher Katie O’Malley Simpson said that the history curriculum has never been considered controversial in the past.
“The assignment has been given for years,” O’Malley-Simpson said.
La Plata High School Principal Evelyn Arnold issued a No Trespass order against Wood after hearing about the contentious call, in which Wood promised to come to the school and disrupt classes if Islam was mentioned any further.
O’Malley-Simpson called the decision to ban Wood from campus “unusual,” saying, “We don’t file no trespassing charges lightly. We would only do that when we feel someone has threatened the safety of staff and students.” » | David Ferguson | Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Earlier this year international outrage was sparked after a horrific story of gang rape in the Indonesian province of Aceh emerged.
A group of men raided a woman’s home and found a 25-year-old woman with a married man.
Accusing them of adultery, the vigilantes, one of whom was a 13-year-old boy, gang-raped the woman, dousing her and the man with sewage before marching them to the sharia police.
Despite what happened and the trauma of gang-rape, the sharia police in Langsa insisted the woman would be caned for alleged adultery.
That story never left my mind.
Securing access to meet sharia police chief, Ibrahim Latif, I found myself in Aceh soon after. » | Patrick Abboud | Tuesday, October 28, 2014
The commission raided the shop after they received a tip from a client complaining about the cakes that featured a plane and anti Islam messages. The six men working in the shop were arrested.
The messages were inspired by Geert Wilders’ idea for a new Saudi flag. His idea changes the Islamic declaration of faith into anti Prophet, anti Islam and anti Koran words. » | Janene Van Jaarsveldt | Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Besides the risk posed by German jihadists returning from Syria, there was also the danger of violent clashes on German streets as rival extremist groups turn on each other - mirroring the conflicts of the Middle East, he told a security conference.
De Maiziere said security forces believed the greatest danger came from radicals striking out alone, as happened in Canada last week, when two soldiers were killed in attacks that police said were carried out by recent converts to Islam.
"The situation is critical. The number of threatening individuals has never been as high as now," he said. "We represent freedom, and are therefore an object of hate."
The domestic intelligence agency (BfV) has warned that ultra-conservative Salafism was becoming increasing popular -- boosting the number of potential recruits for Islamic State. » | Alexandra Hudson and Sabine Siebold | Berlin | Tuesday, October 28, 2014
A senior Iranian official has claimed that the recent spate of acid attacks on women in the country “is the work of foreign agents,” whom he accused of seeking to undermine the stability of the Islamic republic.
At least eight women have had acid thrown in their faces this month in the city of Isfahan, a Unesco world heritage site 200 miles south of Tehran. Some local reports say as many as 20 have been attacked.
In the weeks before the attacks began, clerics railed against the wickedness of “bad hijab” — lax adherence to the formal dress code — by women, and the victims are thought to have been targeted for being seen in “immodest dress”. » | Ahmed Vahdat, and Harriet Alexander | Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Armed soldiers have been stationed in Whitehall amid fears that terrorists will try to attack ceremonial guards in the wake of shootings in Canada.
The soldiers, who are armed with machine guns, have been deployed at the entrance to Horse Guards Parade where thousands of tourists gather every day to witness the Changing of the Guard. » | Steven Swinford, Senior Political Correspondent | Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Après avoir pris dimanche le contrôle de l'université irakienne de Mossoul, le groupe Etat islamique (EI) a décidé d'interdire divers enseignements dans les facultés dans son califat autoproclamé en Syrie et en Irak, révèle le site italien Linkiesta.
Dans un texte daté du 24 octobre et diffusé lundi sur les réseaux sociaux, l'EI annonce prohiber le droit, les sciences politiques, l'archéologie, l'éducation physique, la philosophie et l'hôtellerie.
La narration et le théâtre en français et en anglais sont aussi interdits, ainsi que la traduction. » | mardi 28 octobre 2014