Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Exodus from France Leads Aliyah to 10-Year High

THE JEWISH PRESS: Aliyah was up by 32 percent compared with 2013.

Immigration to Israel hit a 10-year high in 2014 with the arrival of approximately 26,500 new immigrants, 32 percent higher than last year’s 20,000 new “olim.”

France for the first time topped the list of countries of origin for immigrants, with nearly 7,000 Jews moving to Israel in 2014, double the 3,400 who came last year.

The other unusual rate of aliyah was from the Ukraine, from where 5,820 Jews moved to Israel, nearly three times the 2,020 who made aliyah in the previous year. » | Jewish Press Staff | Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Vœux du président François Hollande aux Français pour l'année 2015

Retrouvez les vœux du président François Hollande aux Français pour l'année 2015.

Österreichs Monarchisten hoffen auf Wende

In anderthalb Jahren zieht in Wien ein Neuer in die Hofburg. Es wird ein Präsident sein, nicht ein Kaiser. Doch wenn es nach den Monarchisten geht, wird zum letzten Mal ein Bürgerlicher Staatsoberhaupt werden. Denn nach ihren Plänen wird die Republik bald wieder altem Glanz Platz machen.

Den SRF Artikel hier lessen

Happy New Year! Bonne année ! Gutes Neues Jahr! ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! Felice Anno Nuovo! Felix sit annus novus! Blwyddyn Newydd Dda! ! سنة سعيدة L'Shannah Tovah!

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all my visitors, followers, and Twitter followers a wonderful, healthy, happy, and prosperous New Year. May 2015 be your year! Thanking you all for your continued and loyal support. – © Mark

Neujahrsansprache der Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel aus dem Bundeskanzleramt in Berlin

Monday, December 29, 2014

Claptrap? Sir Winston Churchill’s Family Begged Him Not to Convert to Islam, Letter Reveals

THE INDEPENDENT: He might have been a staunch protector of the British Empire, but the British Prime Minister had a love of the Orient and Islam

The family of Sir Winston Churchill urged him to “fight against” the desire to convert to Islam, a newly discovered letter has revealed.

The Prime Minister who led Britain to victory in World War Two was apparently so taken with Islam and the culture of the Orient that his family wrote to try and persuade him not to become a Muslim.

In a letter dated August 1907 Churchill’s soon to be sister-in-law wrote to him: “Please don’t become converted to Islam; I have noticed in your disposition a tendency to orientalise, Pasha-like tendencies, I really have.

“If you come into contact with Islam your conversion might be effected with greater ease than you might have supposed, call of the blood, don’t you know what I mean, do fight against it.”

The letter, discovered by a history research fellow at Cambridge University, Warren Dockter, was written by Lady Gwendoline Bertie who married Churchill’s brother Jack.

"Churchill never seriously considered converting," Dr Dockter told The Independent. "He was more or less an atheist by this time anyway. He did however have a fascination with Islamic culture which was common among Victorians." » | Matilda Battersby | Sunday, December 28, 2014

This article seems to be ludicrous, given the fact that Churchill wrote the following about Islam:
How dreadful are the curses which Mohammedanism lays on its votaries! Besides the fanatical frenzy, which is as dangerous in a man as hydrophobia in a dog, there is this fearful fatalistic apathy. The effects are apparent in many countries. Improvident habits, slovenly systems of agriculture, sluggish methods of commerce, and insecurity of property exist wherever the followers of the Prophet rule or live. A degraded sensualism deprives this life of its grace and refinement; the next of its dignity and sanctity. The fact that in Mohammedan law every woman must belong to some man as his absolute property – either as a child, a wife, or a concubine – must delay the final extinction of slavery until the faith of Islam has ceased to be a great power among men. Thousands become the brave and loyal soldiers of the Queen: all know how to die: but the influence of the religion paralyses the social development of those who follow it. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world. Far from being moribund, Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. It has already spread throughout Central Africa, raising fearless warriors at every step; and were it not that Christianity is sheltered in the strong arms of science, the science against which it had vainly struggled, the civilisation of modern Europe might fall, as fell the civilisation of ancient Rome.
Source: Wiki »

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Islam's Dysfunctional State: In Isis-controlled Syria and Iraq Everyday Life Is Falling Apart

THE INDEPENDENT: Basic services such as water and rubbish collection are failing and residents are struggling to find food

Isis’s vaunted exercise in state-building appears to be crumbling, as living conditions deteriorate across the territories under its control, exposing the shortcomings of a group that devotes most of its energies to fighting battles and enforcing strict rules.

Residents say services are collapsing, prices are soaring and medicines are scarce in towns and cities across the “caliphate” that Isis proclaimed in Iraq and Syria, belying the group’s boasts that it is delivering a model form of governance for Muslims.

Slick videos depicting functioning governing offices and the distribution of aid fail to match the reality of growing deprivation and disorganised, erratic leadership, the residents say. A trumpeted Isis currency has not materialised, nor have the passports the group promised. Schools barely function, doctors are few and disease is on the rise.

In the Iraqi city of Mosul, the water has become undrinkable because supplies of chlorine have dried up, according to a journalist living there, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. Hepatitis was spreading and flour for bread was becoming increasingly scarce, he said. “Life in the city is nearly dead, and it is as though we are living in a giant prison,” he said. » | Liz Sly | Friday, December 26, 2014

Die Freiheit Statement zum IS

Western Leftists Stand Up for Their Comrades in Islam

THE AUSTRALIAN – OPINION: THIS year was for Australia, as for much of the world, an annus horribilis. The downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 by Russian-backed rebels and the Sydney siege by Islamist jihadist Man Haron Monis announced to our nation the return of an old foe: totalitarianism.

The Lindt cafe nestles in Martin Place, a cosmopolitan promenade steeped in the story of Australia’s rise as a liberal-democratic nation. At one end sits the General Post Office, rendered sublime by the imagination of immigrant Scottish architect James Barnet in a neoclassical revival of the Italian Renaissance. At the other there’s the Australian Provincial Assurance building, a towering art deco tribute to technology and modernity erected at the dawn of totalitarianism in 1937; it is this that houses the Lindt cafe.

Martin Place is a standing celebration of the Australian story, our civilisation’s love of aesthetic beauty, our embrace of modernity, our legacy of civic freedom. It is guarded by the Cenotaph, whose inscription “Lest we forget” is a melancholic reminder of that old adage: the price of liberty is eternal vigilance.

Islamic State’s totalitarian ideology is clarified in Dabiq magazine and Flames of War, a documentary that justifies its genocidal barbarity using propaganda concocted by the 1960s communist Left. In socialist and Islamist propaganda, the West is portrayed as an imperialist colonial leviathan that stands between eternally oppressed minorities and the second coming of international socialism. The utopian socialists and Islamists both promise world peace — after their bloody revolutions, of course. » | Jennifer Oriel | The Australian | Saturday, December 27, 2014

Morocco Says Exodus Film 'Represents God' and Is Forbidden in Islam

THE GUARDIAN: Film’s distributor receives written notice to ban Hollywood import because scene depicts God in the form of a ‘child who gives a revelation to the prophet Moses’

Morocco banned the Hollywood biblical epic Exodus: Gods and Kings because it “represents God” which is forbidden under Islam, its distributor said on Saturday.

The distributor said it had received written notice that Ridley Scott’s blockbuster contained a scene that represents God in the form of a “child who gives a revelation to the prophet Moses”. Initially, cinema owners were informed verbally that the film had been banned, media reports had said.

“I deplore this censorship,” distributor Mounia Layadi Benkirane said in a statement.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, has also banned the movie, citing “historical inaccuracies”. » | Agence France-Presse in Rabat | Saturday, December 27, 2014

Syrie : Damas prêt à rencontrer l'opposition à Moscou

LE POINT: La Russie, principale alliée du régime de Bachar el-Assad, pourrait accueillir "une conférence de dialogue entre Syriens sans ingérence étrangère".

Le régime syrien est prêt à rencontrer l'opposition à Moscou pour tenter de trouver une issue à la guerre qui ravage le pays depuis près de quatre ans, a annoncé samedi le ministère des Affaires étrangères.

"La Syrie est prête à participer à une rencontre préliminaire et consultative à Moscou pour répondre aux aspirations des Syriens qui sont celles de trouver une issue à la crise", indique une source non identifiée au sein du ministère dans ce communiqué, cité par l'agence officielle syrienne Sana. » | Source AFP | samedi 27 décembre 2014

Boycott Halal Movement in Australia Set to Escalate

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: The virulent Boycott Halal movement in Australia is set to escalate with a petition to federal parliament in the New Year demanding the Corporations Act 2001 be changed to mean only Muslims bear the cost of halal certification on everyday products.

Halal products are those deemed permissible for Muslims to eat or use under religious law. Many mainstream products in Australian stores are halal certified including food from SPC, Nestle, Kelloggs and Kraft. Supermarket chains pay for certification for some products, as do dairy factories and meat processors. » | Chris Johnston | Saturday, December 27, 2014

Worse Than the Dictators: Egypt’s Leaders Bring Pillars of Freedom Crashing Down

THE GUARDIAN: Adly Mansour and now Abdel Fatah al-Sisi are ruling by decrees, banning protest and severely curbing freedom of speech

Egypt is enacting authoritarian laws at a rate unmatched by any regime for 60 years, legal specialists from four institutions have told the Guardian.

Since the overthrow of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, Morsi’s successors in the presidency, Adly Mansour and Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, have used the absence of an elected parliament to almost unilaterally issue a series of draconian decrees that severely restrict freedom of expression, association and assembly.

The speed at which the decrees have been issued outpaces legislative frenzies under the dictators Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak, and is matched only by the period that followed the toppling of the Egyptian monarchy in 1952, according to Amr Shalakany, associate law professor at the American University in Cairo; Amr Abdulrahman, director of civil liberties at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights; Mohamed Elhelw, head of legal research at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms; and Ahmed Ezzat, a human rights lawyer, and previously a legal researcher at another prominent rights group. » | Patrick Kingsley in Cairo | Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Erdogan's 'New Turkey' Drifts towards Isolation

BBC: There is an old saying in Turkish: "The Turk has no friend but the Turk." As this country drifts towards isolation under the leadership of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the proverb is ringing uncomfortably true.

During his 11 years as prime minister, Turkey rose in prominence. It began negotiations for European Union membership. It hugely increased its diplomatic presence, particularly in Africa. Its biggest city, Istanbul, now hosts one of the world's largest airport hubs with an airline that flies to more countries than any other.

But in the past months, perhaps two years or so, something has soured. The world's statesmen still stop by - the US Vice President, Joe Biden, arriving this week - but Turkey today is distinctly lacking friends.

When the UN General Assembly voted last month for new non-permanent members of the Security Council, Turkey confidently assumed it would secure a seat. But, humiliatingly, it lost out to Spain and New Zealand: A slap in the face for Mr Erdogan, elected president in August. » | Mark Lowen | BBC News | Istanbul | Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Erdogan Tells Europe to Stop Criticizing Turkey

REUTERS: (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan slammed European countries on Friday for criticizing deteriorating press freedom in Turkey and said they should instead try to find a solution for what he said was increasing Islamophobia in the continent.

Turkish police earlier this month raided media outlets close to U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan accuses of forming a 'parallel state' to undermine his rule and orchestrating a graft scandal targeting his inner circle.

The European Union, which Turkey has been seeking to join for decades, said the media raids ran counter to European values, a criticism already dismissed by Erdogan. On Friday, the President repeated his discontent, with a visibly harsher tone.

"We are not Europe's scapegoat," Erdogan told a symposium of civil servants. "We are definitely not a country that Europe can point its finger at and scold. Instead of criticizing us, Europe should find a solution to increasing racism and Islamophobia." » | Reuters | Istanbul | Friday, December 26, 2014

The Queen's 2014 Christmas Speech

Islamic State: German Author Given Unprecedented Access

BBC: A German author given unprecedented access to territory controlled by Islamic State (IS), has told the BBC that IS is stronger, more brutal and harder to confront than he had expected.

Juergen Todenhoefer spent 10 days in Mosul, Iraq and Raqqa, Syria where he filmed daily life and spoke to fighters.

He told Caroline Hawley what he found. (+ BBC video) » | Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas! Joyeux Noël ! Frohe Weihnachten! Buon Natale! Felix Nativitas!

'We Three Kings', an original painting by James C. Christensen.
Collage : Google Images

Germany: Thousands Stage Anti-immigration Rally, Rail against 'Islamization of West'

THE JERUSALEM POST: The rally by a fast-growing grass-roots movement calling itself PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, was its 10th and largest so far.

DRESDEN - More than 17,000 people took part in Germany's largest anti-immigrant rally to date on Monday in the eastern city of Dresden, gathering to sing Christmas carols and listen to speakers complain about immigrants and asylum-seekers.

The rally by a fast-growing grass-roots movement calling itself PEGIDA, or Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West, was its 10th and largest so far.

"Germany is not a land of immigration," PEGIDA leader Lutz Bachmann told the cheering crowd, which waved Germany flags and chanted criticism of media it accuses of biased reporting. » | Reuters | Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Sunday, December 21, 2014

North Korea Threatens to 'Blow Up' the White House after Claiming to Find 'Clear Evidence' that the Government Was behind Controversial Sony Film The Interview

MAIL ON SUNDAY: State news agency posted saber-rattling anti-U.S. statement / Claimed it would attack 'citadels' of United States including The Pentagon / Also said government officials dictated content of pulled film The Interview

North Korea has threatened more attacks against the U.S. government and other American institutions in the wake of the hack on Sony which cancelled the release of The Interview.

The government - which was outraged by the film showing the assassination of leader Kim Jong Un - also claimed to have 'clear evidence' that the U.S. government engineered the project as a 'propaganda' attack against North Korea.

In a ranting post published by the state news agency KCNA, Korean authorities hit back in an escalating war of words in which they say they will 'blow up' the White House - while bizarrely continuing to deny they have anything to do with the cyber attacks on Sony.

'Nothing is a more serious miscalculation than guessing that just a single movie production company is the target of this counteraction.'

'Our target is all the citadels of the U.S. imperialists who earned the bitterest grudge of all Koreans.

'The army and people of the DPRK are fully ready to stand in confrontation with the U.S. in all war spaces including cyber warfare space to blow up those citadels.' Read on and comment » | Kieran Corcoran for MailOnline | Sunday, December 21, 2014

L'État islamique a exécuté 100 de ses djihadistes étrangers déserteurs

LE POINT: Selon le "Financial Times", l'organisation djihadiste a créé une police militaire pour éviter la désertion de ses membres étrangers voulant fuir les combats.

Le groupe djihadiste État islamique (EI) a exécuté cent de ses combattants étrangers qui tentaient de quitter la ville syrienne de Raqqa (nord), a affirmé samedi dans le Financial Times un activiste opposé au régime syrien et à l'EI. Ce militant, qui témoignait sous le couvert de l'anonymat et que le Financial Times dit "bien connaître", affirme dans le quotidien économique "avoir vérifié ces cent exécutions" de djihadistes étrangers tentant de fuir les combats. » | samedi 20 décembre 2014

Saturday, December 20, 2014

French Police Shoot Dead Knifeman Who Was Shouting Islamic Slogans

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Investigation under way after man attacks officers in police station in central France

French police on Saturday shot dead a man who attacked them with a knife in a police station while shouting "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great" in Arabic), a source said.

The man injured the face of an officer at the entrance to the police station in Joue-les-Tours near the city of Tours in central France and injured two other before he was shot, the interior ministry said.

Anti-terrorist investigators were probing the incident, a judicial source said.

The perpetrator was a French citizen born in Burundi in 1994 and known to police for common crimes, a source close to the case told AFP, adding that the attacker "shouted 'Allahu Akbar' from the moment he entered until his last breath." » | Agencies | Saturday, December 20, 2014

16 Tage Hawaii für die Obamas

TAGES ANZEIGER: Ein turbulentes Jahr geht zu Ende: Die «First Family» der USA reiste in die Weihnachtsferien nach Honolulu.

Nach einem hektischen Jahr mit internationalen Krisen und einer Schlappe bei den Kongresswahlen ist US-Präsident Barack Obama in die Weihnachtsferien gereist. Zusammen mit seiner Frau Michelle und den beiden Töchtern flog er nach Hawaii ab. » | Samstag, 20. Dezember 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

Kreml will mit Kim Jong-un Sieg über Hitler feiern

Kim Jong-un wird voraussichtlich im Mai nach Russland reisen
DIE WELT: Nordkoreas Diktator Kim Jong-un tritt seine erste Auslandsreise an – Putin bat ihn nach Russland. Der Kreml hat ihn zur Feier des 70. Jahrestags des Sieges über Hitler-Deutschland eingeladen.

Russland hat den nordkoreanischen Machthaber Kim Jong-un zur Feier des 70. Jahrestages des Sieges über Hitler-Deutschland am 9. Mai 2015 nach Moskau eingeladen. "Ja, eine solche Einladung wurde verschickt", sagte Kremlsprecher Dmitri Peskow am Freitag der Staatsagentur Tass.

Es wäre die erste Auslandsreise seit der Machtübernahme Kims. Sein Vater, Kim Jong-il, besuchte Russland 2011 – kurz vor dessen Tod. Damals vereinbarten Moskau und Pjöngjang eine engere Zusammenarbeit. » | dpa/sogi | Freitag, 19. Dezember 2014

Turkey Issues Fethullah Gulen Arrest Warrant

Fethullah Gulen is now a fierce opponent of Turkey's leadership,
especially President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
BBC: A Turkish court has issued an arrest warrant for the influential exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen.

Mr Gulen, who is based in the US, is accused of establishing and running an "armed terrorist group".

He was once an ally of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan but has now been accused of plotting to overthrow the Turkish government - a claim the cleric strongly denies.

The US is thought to be unlikely to act on any extradition request.

The move comes amid a national crackdown on perceived supporters of the cleric.

Over 20 journalists working for media outlets thought to be sympathetic to the Gulen movement were arrested last weekend.

Eight of them were freed on Friday on the orders of a court in Istanbul. Those released include Ekrem Dumanli, editor-in-chief of Zaman newspaper.

Four others, including a TV station boss, remain in custody. » | Friday, December 19, 2014

'We Will free India of Muslims and Christians by 2021': DJS Leader Vows to Continue 'Ghar Wapsi' Plans and Restore 'Hindu Glory'

MAIL ONLINE: Even as Opposition parties up the ante over alleged incidents of religious reconversion, the Dharm Jagran Samiti has declared that it will ensure India becomes a Hindu Rashtra by 2021.

Licence to stay

Speaking in Agra on Thursday, a Dharm Jagran Samiti (DJS) functionary said Muslims and Christians will have to convert to Hinduism if they want to stay in this country.

The DJS has been at the forefront of the reconversion - or ‘ghar wapsi’ - programmes in recent times in which some Muslims have been reportedly ‘reconverted’ to Hinduism.

However, their action drew widespread condemnation, leading to the arrest of one activist.

“Our target is to make India a Hindu Rashtra by 2021. The Muslims and Christians don’t have any right to stay here.

“So they would either be converted to Hinduism or forced to run away from here,” Uttar Pradesh DJS head Rajeshwar Singh said. » | Piyush Srivastava | Friday, December 19, 2014

Geert Wilders Was Right

GATESTONE INSTITUTE: "Hate Speech" was invented in the Kremlin of the USSR by political operatives who saw that it could be used effectively against anyone who did not agree with you, whom you wanted to silence.

It would seem indispensable for all people who want to defend their liberty to take a stand against criminal and violent people who aim to destroy or damage their societies. If those people are extremist Muslims, why should they be exempt? And if they are not extremist Muslims, why should they not be protected from the same threats and violence that menace us?

Ironically, however, it is not the violent Islamic teachings inspiring these crimes that are questioned, criticized -- or prosecuted -- as hate speech on major media outlets or among political circles. It is, instead, the victims of these teachings: among others, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Lars Hedegaard, Susanne Winter, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, Imran Firasat, and Geert Wilders.

What Geert Wilders does cannot be called hate speech. It is legitimate a struggle, if occasionally imperfect, to protect the liberties of all of us in the face of unending threats and attacks, most recently from Islamic extremists.

Geert Wilders is not an extremist of any kind. He is a democrat who defends Western values, the most important of which are liberty and life. We should not prosecute Wilders. We should thank him for sacrificing his life to defend us -- and defend him back.
» | Uzay Bulut | Friday, December 19, 2014

The Interview: Official Trailer

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Homosexualité, la face cachée du Pakistan

LE POINT: Le pays punit l'homosexualité de la peine de mort. Pourtant, les rapports entre hommes n'ont rien d'exceptionnel. Explications.

Plus de 87 % de la population pakistanaise serait homophobe, selon un sondage du Pew Institute. Pourtant, selon les Google trends (tendances), le Pakistan serait le plus gros consommateur de porno gay au monde. Un paradoxe que l'on retrouve aussi bien dans les moeurs que dans la culture pakistanaise.

Akbar*, un musulman pieux à la longue barbe noire, vit à Lahore, deuxième plus grande ville du pays. Aujourd'hui, il ne va pas au travail. Sa femme n'étant pas là, il a accepté de nous parler de son passe-temps favori : se travestir devant un miroir. "Je fais mes prières et j'honore Allah tous les jours, confesse-t-il, en se mettant du rouge à lèvres. J'ai même une femme, pour faire plaisir à Dieu. Mais pour mon coeur, je vois des hommes." Comme beaucoup d'autres, Akbar doit cacher son homosexualité. Au Pakistan, les rapports entre personnes du même sexe sont en effet passibles de la peine de mort. (+ vidéos) » | Par Marie de Douhet, au Pakistan | jeudi 12 décembre 2014

* Le prénom a été changé.

Geert Wilders Charged with Incitement to Hatred over 'Fewer' Immigrants Chant

Geert Wilders demanded "fewer Moroccans" as an election slogan
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Popular leader of Dutch anti-immigration party is charged with incitement to racial hatred over "fewer Moroccans” chant

Geert Wilders has been charged with incitement to discrimination and hatred after the Dutch far-Right leader led chants of "fewer Moroccans” at an election rally.

It is not the first time the leader of the Freedom Party, famous for his peroxide blond mane of hair and currently leading in the opinion polls, has found himself in the dock on charges for his comments on Islam and immigration.

“I have said what millions of people think and find. For the second time, one apparently wants to deal with someone who speaks the truth,” said Mr Wilders.

“It is a travesty that I have to defend myself in court for this. The public prosecutor would do better to devote his time to prosecuting jihadis instead of me. The Party for Freedom is the largest party in the polls. Apparently the elite does not like that.” » | Bruno Waterfield | Thursday, December 18, 2014

My comment:

Isn't it high time that the EU had a US-style First Amendment? – © Mark

Niederlande: Wilders muss wegen Äußerungen zu Marokkanern vor Gericht

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Der niederländische Rechtspopulist Wilders muss sich wegen Diskriminierung und Aufhetzerei vor Gericht verantworten - die Staatsanwaltschaft erhob Anklage. Hintergrund sind Wilders' Äußerungen gegen marokkanische Migranten.

Den Haag - Die niederländische Staatsanwaltschaft hat Anklage gegen den rechtspopulistischen Politiker und Vorsitzenden der "Partei für die Freiheit" (PVV), Geert Wilders, erhoben. Der Politiker müsse sich wegen Diskriminierung und Aufhetzerei strafrechtlich verantworten, teilten die Ankläger in Den Haag mit. Wilders werde vorgeworfen, "eine Gruppe von Menschen wegen ihrer Rasse beleidigt" zu haben, hieß es weiter. Politiker könnten in ihren Äußerungen grundsätzlich "weit gehen", dies sei Teil der Meinungsfreiheit, erklärte die Staatsanwaltschaft. Das Diskriminierungsverbot schränke die Meinungsfreiheit aber ein. Ein Termin für den Prozess steht noch nicht fest. » | anr/dpa/AFP | Donnerstag, 18. Dezember 2014

After the Pakistan School Attack, We Need to Talk about Islam

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Pretending that Islamist extremism has nothing to do with Islam simply plays into the radicals' hands: it is time to discuss religious reform

"There is nothing in Islam that justifies acts of terror." (Prime Minister David Cameron reacting to the beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby by two Islamists who shouted “Allahu Akbar" and quoted 22 verses from the Koran.)

"They don’t represent Islam or Muslims in Britain or anywhere else in the world." (David Cameron’s reaction to the massacre by Islamists in Nairobis’s Westgate shopping centre of anyone who failed to name the mother of the founder of Islam or recite verses from the Koran.)

"This hateful ideology has nothing to do with Islam... Let the message go out that we know Islam is a religion of peace." (Theresa May’s speech to Conservative Party Conference, 2014.) Islamic State has "nothing to do with the great religion of Islam, a religion of peace." (David Cameron, denying any connection between the creation of an Islamic caliphate and Islam.)

"[The massacre in Pakistan] is nothing to do with one of the world's great religions - Islam, which is a religion of peace." (Prime Minister David Cameron speaking after a group of Taliban gunmen murdered 141, including 132 children at a school in northern Pakistan.)

Please. Enough.

The mantra that Islamism "has nothing to do with Islam" is well-intentioned. It aims to delegitimise the terrorists and strengthen the vast majority of Muslims who oppose terror. It is no doubt what the "comms" experts are telling the Prime Minister to say. But they are wrong. The unthinking, kneejerk, pro-forma and near-Orwellian denial of the deep and manifold connections between Islam and Islamism has to stop.

Forget Alistair Campbell. We have to start "doing religion" because, as I learnt in 2008-2010 when interviewing 25 young British Muslims who had taken a journey in and out of extremism, we have to start "doing" Islam if we are to defeat Islamism.

We are petrified of speaking obvious truths. When a lord recently dared to invite Muslim leaders to address the violence in the Koran, he was condemned.

This groupthink has to stop. » | Alan Johnson * | Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Alan Johnson is the editor of Fathom and a Senior Research Associate at The Foreign Policy Centre

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Around 15,000 Turn Out for Dresden's Biggest Ever PEGIDA Anti-Islam Rally

Netanyahu Slams European "Hypocrisy" as Court Orders Removal of Hamas from Terror Blacklist

Masked Hamas members take part in a rally in support of the
armed Palestinian factions in Rafah
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Decision to remove group from list on "technical" grounds comes as European parliament votes in faour of Palestinian statehood

Benjamin Netanyahu accused Europeans of failing to learn from the Holocaust on Wednesday after Europe's second highest court removed the Palestinian militant group Hamas from the EU's terror blacklist.

The Israeli's prime minister's furious broadside came on a day of frenetic diplomatic manoeuvering that saw the European parliament adopt a resolution backing Palestinian statehood while Palestinian officials at the UN prepared to table a motion setting a timetable for a peace agreement.

Mr Netanyahu ignored those developments in remarks issued by his office but instead focused on the European court decision, along with a meeting in Switzerland of signatories to the Geneva Convention which he said was aimed at examining war crimes allegations levelled against Israel.

"Today we witnessed staggering examples of European hypocrisy," the Israeli leader said, pointedly comparing European conduct to the "friendship of the people of the United States" in remarks welcoming the visit of Joni Ernst, a newly-elected US Republican senator.

"In Geneva they call for the investigation of Israel for war crimes, while in Luxemburg the European court removed Hamas from the list of terrorist organizations.

"Hamas that has committed countless war crimes and countless terror acts. It seems that too many in Europe, on whose soil six million Jews were slaughtered, have learned nothing.. The friendship we see from the United States stands in complete contrast to what we are seeing regretfully in Europe." » | Robert Tait, Jerusalem | Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Kommentar: Der unheimliche Islam - Warum Pegida so viel Zulauf hat

DEUTSCHE WELLE: Jetzt demonstrieren sie also wieder, die "Patriotischen Europäer". Wieder in Dresden und wieder gegen die "Islamisierung des Abendlandes". Die Aufregung ist groß - zu Unrecht, wie Daniel Heinrich findet.

"Pegida" ist ein Label. Nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Es ist ein Label für eine Bewegung, die weit mehr ist als Pegida, Hogesa, die AfD oder bierselige CSU-Parteitage in Niederbayern, auf denen die Wertegemeinschaft des christlichen Abendlands beschworen wird. Denn eigentlich ist es, um beim Bayerischen zu bleiben, schon fast "wurscht" wie man das Ganze nennt. Fakt ist: In Deutschland haben viele Menschen momentan Angst vor "dem Islam". Es ist ein diffuses, unkonkretes Gefühl des Unwohlseins, das sich speist aus einer ganzen Melange von Ereignissen und Themen: der 11. September und die allgegenwärtige Angst vor islamistischem Terror, Debatten um Kopftücher und Burkas, die Radikalität des "Islamischen Staates", Muslime aus Deutschland, die als Dschihadisten dort hinreisen, der Zustrom von Flüchtlingen aus den Ländern, in denen der IS wütet - und der Dauerbrenner, ob die muslimische Türkei jetzt zur EU gehört oder nicht. » | Von Daniel Heinrich | Montag, 15. Dezember 2014

Runa Khan: 'All Muslim Women Should Be How I Am'

BBC: A mother-of-six has been jailed for five years and three months for promoting terrorism on Facebook.

Runa Khan, 35, of Maple Road West, Luton, had admitted inciting terrorism in Syria by posting a picture of a suicide vest and messaging details of a route into the country on Facebook.

Before her sentencing, reporter Rani Singh met Khan on several occasions and on Sunday interviewed her for BBC Newsnight.

Khan talked about what she had done and was challenged about her views. (Watch BBC video) » | Friday, December 12, 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Anti-Islam Demos: Merkel warnt vor „Pegida“

HANDELSBLATT: Die Anti-Islam-Gruppe „Pegida“ hat viele Sympathisanten. Jeder zweite Deutsche hat Verständnis für die Demonstranten, die Mehrheit der Bürger fürchtet den Einfluss radikaler Islamisten. Die Kanzlerin ist alarmiert.

Berlin. Jeder zweite Deutsche hat Verständnis für islamfeindliche Demonstrationen wie die von „Pegida“: So lautet das Ergebnis einer repräsentativen Yougov-Umfrage im Auftrag von Zeit Online. Ganze 30 Prozent der Befragten gab an, voll und ganz Verständnis für Demonstrationen wie in Dresden zu haben, weitere 19 Prozent stimmten für „eher ja“. Nicht einmal ein Viertel der Befragten hat kein Verständnis für die Demonstranten.

Gruppierungen wie Pegida, die „Pflichtbewussten Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes“, spielen erfolgreich mit der Angst vieler Deutscher: Fast drei Viertel aller Bundesbürger hat Sorge vor einem wachsenden Einfluss radikaler Auswüchse des Islams wie etwa der Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat. Für die Umfrage wurden 1107 Deutsche zwischen dem 12. und 15. Dezember befragt.

Auch bezogen auf die deutsche Flüchtlingspolitik stimmt eine Mehrheit der Bundesbürger mit den Ansichten der Anti-Islam-Bewegung überein: 30 Prozent der Befragten sind der Meinung, Deutschland nehme „deutlich zu viele Flüchtlinge“ auf, für weitere 29 Prozent sind es „eher zu viele“. » | Montag, 15. Dezember 2014

Tagesschau 20:00 Uhr, 15.12.2014

Themen der Sendung: Erneut "PEGIDA"-Demonstration in Dresden, Diskussion über "PEGIDA"-Bewegung, Geiselnahme in Sydney gewaltsam beendet, BER-Chef Mehdorn kündigt Rücktritt an, Urteil zugunsten von HRE-Aktionären, EU-Kommission zu Mautplänen, Generalstreik in Belgien, Achtelfinal-Auslosung der Champions League, Das Wetter

Wieder "Pegida"-Demonstration in Dresden | Journal

Offene Fremdenfeindlichkeit oder demokratischer Protest? Die Organisation „Pegida“ löst heftige Reaktionen aus. Bei einer erneuten Demonstration in Dresden hat das rechtskonservative Bündnis mehr Sympathisanten denn je mobilisiert. Aber auch der Widerstand gegen die Rechtspopulisten wächst.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Angela Merkel condamne les manifestations anti-islam en Allemagne

SAPHIR NEWS: La chancelière allemande a condamné, vendredi 12 décembre, « avec la plus grande fermeté » les manifestations « anti-islamisation » qui se déroulent en Allemagne depuis plusieurs semaines, principalement à Dresde, dans l’est du pays.

« Il n'y a pas de place en Allemagne pour la haine religieuse, quelle que soit la religion d'appartenance », a déclaré la porte-parole d’Angela Merkel, Christiane Wirtz. « Il n'y a pas de place en Allemagne pour l'islamophobie, l'antisémitisme, la xénophobie ou le racisme », a-t-elle insisté.

Un groupe baptisé « Européens patriotes contre l’islamisation du pays » (Pegida) organise depuis quelques semaines des « manifestations du lundi », calquées sur celles qui ont conduit à la chute du régime communiste de l’ex-RDA. Pegida, emblématique de cette mouvance populiste, a récupéré le slogan de l’époque, « Nous sommes le peuple ». Lundi dernier, il a crée la surprise en réunissant 10 000 personnes à Dresde (et 9 000 contre-manifestants), en surfant notamment sur les fantasmes quant à l'influence de l'islam dans les société européennes. » | Rédigé par La Rédaction | vendredi 12 décembre 2014

Le «Pegida» fait grossir la vague anti-islam

TRIBUNE DE GENÈVE: Le succès grandissant des «manifestations du lundi» contre l’islam et les réfugiés inquiète de plus en plus les autorités

Le cortège grossit chaque lundi et prend une ampleur qui commence à inquiéter les autorités. Les «manifs du lundi», dont les initiateurs revendiquent l’héritage des mouvements citoyens qui ont fait tomber le mur de Berlin, descendront de nouveau dans la rue aujourd’hui aux cris de «nous sommes le peuple» comme il y a vingt-cinq ans dans l’ex-RDA.

Mais le mouvement «Pegida», qui est l’abréviation en allemand de Patriotes européens contre l’islamisation de l’Occident, n’a rien à voir avec la révolution pacifique de 1989. Les revendications sont clairement dirigées contre l’islam et les réfugiés, et les cortèges infiltrés par les néonazis. » | Par Christophe Bourdoiseau, Berlin | TDG | Dimanche 14 décembre 2014

Pegida-Bewegung mobilisiert noch mehr Anhänger

DIE WELT: Auch an diesem Montag sind in Dresden Tausende auf die Straße gegangen. Anhängern der islamkritischen Pegida-Bewegung stellten sich Demonstranten des Bündnisses "Dresden für alle" entgegen.

Die Anti-Islam-Bewegung Pegida mobilisiert ungeachtet der Kritik etablierter Parteien an ihren Parolen immer mehr Sympathisanten. Am Montagabend folgten in Dresden rund 15.000 Menschen – mehr als je zuvor – dem Demonstrationsaufruf der "Patriotischen Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes"[.]

Zeitgleich mit den Pegida-Anhängern gingen in Dresden erneut deren Gegner auf die Straße. Zu Gegenkundgebungen, zu denen die Bündnisse "Dresden für alle" und "Dresden Nazifrei" aufgerufen hatten, kamen laut Polizei mehr als 5600 Menschen. Das waren deutlich weniger als noch vor einer Woche, als 9000 Gegendemonstranten gezählt wurden.

Nach der Kundgebung vor der Semperoper zogen die Gegner weiter zum Rathaus, wo sie in Sichtweite der Pegida-Auftaktkundgebung gegen Rassismus protestierten. » | dpa/epd/fp | Montag, 15. Dezember 2014

Dresden Marchers Fan Anti-Islam Flames in Germany

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: More than 10,000 people march against the "Islamisation of the West" in Dresden

Heavily armed riot police were out in force on the streets of Dresden on Monday night as more than 10,000 people demonstrated against the "Islamisation" of the country, in the latest show of strength of a far-right populist movement that mainstream politicians have described as "a disgrace to Germany".

Pegida, a German acronym for Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of the West, is leading a grassroots movement that is setting the political agenda in Germany, despite being just two months old and with no links to existing parties.

The Justice Minister, Heiko Maas, said they were a "disgrace to Germany", while a state minister in North Rhine-Westphalia called them "Nazis in pinstripe".

Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, condemned the protests earlier on Monday and called on those taking part to "take care that they were not exploited" by the far-Right.

"There is freedom to demonstrate in Germany, but there is no place for propaganda and slander against people who come here from another country," Mrs Merkel said.

In Dresden, police were out in force to keep rival protestors apart as thousands also took part in a counter-demonstration.

"Muslims come here and they want to build mosques and wear burqas, but if we go to their countries we have to follow their rules," said one of the Pegida protestors, a nurse who gave her name only as Bianca. » | Justin Huggler, Dresden | Monday, December 15, 2014

Sydney Siege Press Conference: Police Say Attack Was an 'Isolated Incident'

Police confirm that three people have been killed following a dramatic police shoot-out which ended a 16 hour siege at a cafe in Sydney's city centre

Read the Telegraph article here | Telegraph Video and agencies, video source APTN | Monday, December 15, 2014

Sydney Siege: Hostages Held in Lindt Café

BBC: Several people have been taken hostage by at least one armed man at a Lindt cafe in Sydney, Australia.

Hundreds of armed police have sealed off the normally busy Martin Place in the central business district.

At least three people have been seen inside the cafe with their hands up against a window, and holding up a black flag with Arabic writing.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has described the incident as "deeply concerning".

He said it was not yet clear who was behind the incident but that it could be politically motivated, and that the National Security Committee had been briefed.

"I can think of almost nothing more distressing, more terrifying than to be caught up in such a situation, and our hearts go out to these people," he said.

About six hours into the siege, three people were seen running from the building. The circumstances of their exit from the building are not clear. (+ BBC videos) » | Monday, December 15, 2014

Sunday, December 14, 2014

CIA-Folterbericht: Grossbritannien liess Passagen schwärzen

Die britische Regierung liess Passagen des US-Folterberichts unkenntlich machen. Worin liegt das Interesse Grossbritanniens, dass nicht der gesamte Bericht öffentlich wird? Gespräch mit Grossbritannien-Korrespondent Martin Alioth.

The Number of Britons Choosing Islam Doubled in the Past Decade

WORLD BULLETIN: Inter-faith think report survey shows approximately 5,200 converts to Islam across Britain

The number of Britons choosing to become Muslims has nearly doubled in the past decade, with one of the most comprehensive attempts to estimate how many people have embraced Islam, according to news source the Independent.

While previous estimates placed the number of Muslim converts between 14,000 and 25,000 an inter-faith think tank estimates the real figures could be as high as 100,000 with nearly 5,000 converts each year nationally. » | World Bulletin/News Desk | Saturday, December 13, 2014

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Britain's Unrequited Love

GATESTONE INSTITUTE: Willing to be endlessly open and hospitable, Britain finds itself at a loss when that hospitality is neither respected nor returned.

It is worth asking why British Muslims should have their scripture represented in the coronation of the new monarch, when many will not even pray in their mosques for the well-being of that monarch. Including passages from the Quran in the coronation is a mistake because of the old problem of reciprocity — and at the same time as no Christian (let alone a Jew) can even set foot in Mecca. Then what about also representing Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, and atheists?

In synagogues in the UK, British Jews every week in their service have a prayer for the long life and happiness of the Queen. It is a moving and heartfelt moment, not to mention a clear signal that Jews in Britain are utterly loyal to the state. So why should British mosques not have a similar prayer? Because many Muslims in Britain simply do not share the good Lord Harries's kindness, tolerance, inclusivity or indeed liberalism.

What is the answer? Perhaps bit more kindness, a bit more generosity, the offering up of a few more of our treasured traditions. That will do it, we think, surely?

The tradition of liberal tolerance, fostered in Britain, was one of the greatest gifts this country gave to the world. That inclusive tradition of John Locke and John Stuart Mill, however, always leaves itself open to abuse by people willing to use liberalism's flaws — not least its tolerance of intolerance — to end liberalism. » | Douglas Murray | Monday, December 08, 2014

Germans Rise Up Against Islamization

GATESTONE INSTITUTE: There is a mounting public backlash over what many perceive as the government's indifference to the growing influence of Islam in German society. This backlash represents a potentially significant turning point.

Despite efforts by German politicians and the media to portray PEGIDA as neo-Nazi, the group has taken great pains to distance itself from Germany's extreme right. The group says that it is "apolitical" and that its main objective is to preserve what is left of Germany's Judeo-Christian culture and values.

"Many people in Germany have legitimate concerns about the spread of radical Islamic ideology, which promotes violence against non-Muslims, robs women and girls of their natural rights, and seeks to require the application of Sharia law.... Because the rule of law, tolerance and freedom of religion are fundamental Western values, the PEGIDA movement must leave no doubt that it is precisely these values that it seeks to defend." — Bernd Lucke, leader, Alternative for Germany Party and professor of macroeconomics, Hamburg University.

Thousands of German citizens have been taking to the streets to protest the growing "Islamization" of their country.

The protests are part of a burgeoning grassroots movement made up of ordinary citizens who are calling for an end to runaway immigration and the spread of Islamic Sharia law in Germany.

The guardians of German multiculturalism are fighting back: they are seeking to delegitimize the protesters by branding them as "neo-Nazis" and by claiming that the Islamization of Germany is a myth contrived by misinformed citizens.

But there is a mounting public backlash over what many perceive as the government's indifference to the growing influence of Islam in German society. This backlash represents a potentially significant turning point—one that implies that the days of unrestrained German multiculturalism may be coming to an end. » | Soeren Kern | Saturday, December 13, 2014

French Front National Vice President Florian Philippot 'Outed' as Gay

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Closer reveals that Florian Philippot, Front National number two, is homosexual, releasing photos of him with his boyfriend in Vienna, sparking row over private life, public interest and the FN's ambivalent attitudes to gays

A French gossip magazine sparked outrage across the political spectrum on Friday by "outing" the far-Right Front National's vice president, Florian Philippot, as homosexual.

The rare breach of Gallic press protocol is an embarrassment for the FN, whose attitude towards homosexuals has historically ranged from ambivalent to downright homophobic.

Closer, which scored a global scoop in January by publishing photos of French president, François Hollande, visiting his secret lover Julie Gayet, on Friday released pictures of Mr Philippot with his boyfriend, an unnamed TV journalist, on a trip to Vienna last week.

"At last a real weekend away from Paris," it headlined, followed by an inside article entitled: "Yes to love for all" – a play on words with France's recent Marriage for All bill legalising gay marriage.

Politicians across the board slammed the revelation as an unacceptable breach of Mr Philippot's private life. » | Henry Samuel, Paris | Friday, December 12, 2014

Friday, December 12, 2014

Merkel Condemns Racism as Dresden Anti-Islam Marches Grow

NEWSWEEK: Chancellor Angela Merkel condemned a series of anti-Muslim demonstrations centered on the eastern city of Dresden, saying via an aide on Friday that there was "no place in Germany" for hatred of Muslims or any other religious or racial group.

"In the name of the government and the chancellor I can say quite clearly that there is no place in Germany for religious hatred, no matter which religion people belong to," said the chancellor's spokeswoman, Christiane Wirtz.

"There is no place for Islamophobia, anti-Semitism or any form of xenophobia or racism," she said of the growing Monday evening marches in Dresden under the motto PEGIDA, standing for "Patriotic Europeans against the Islamization of the West".

Public expressions of anti-immigrant sentiment are largely taboo in mainstream German politics because of the Nazis' mass-murder of Jews and other groups in the Holocaust. Merkel argues that Germany needs immigrants to avoid demographic crisis. » | Reuters | Friday, December 12, 2014

Statement of Geert Wilders During His Interrogation by the State Police

GATESTONE INSTITUTE: As a democratically elected politician I name the problems that I see.... That is my duty. That is why I have been elected. I rely on objective facts and figures.... Because they are the truth.

I do not intend to hurt or offend people either... Already for over 10 years, I have lost my personal freedom.

In my fight for freedom and against the Islamization of the Netherlands, I will never let anyone silence me. No matter the cost, no matter by whom, whatever the consequences may be.

To speak with the words of Martin Luther King: "I close by saying there is nothing greater in all the world than freedom. It's worth going to jail for. It's worth losing a job for. It's worth dying for."

The Hague, December 8, 2014.
Today, Dutch parliamentarian and PVV leader Geert Wilders made a statement during his interrogation by the Dutch State Police. The State Police interrogated Mr Wilders on behalf of the Dutch Public Prosecutor, who is considering to prosecute Mr Wilders because the politician had asked his voters during the election campaign whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.
Our freedom is being threatened. Threatened by a violent totalitarian ideology – Islam – that brings with it death and devastation. Threatened by a politically correct elite that does not tolerate criticism of Islam and mass immigration, and that nurtures cultural relativism.

I rise up against this. » | Geert Wilders | Tuesday, December 09, 2014

PEGIDA: Merkel verurteilt Anti-Islam-Bewegung

ZEIT ONLINE: Es gebe in Deutschland keinen Platz für Hetze gegen Gläubige oder Fremdenfeindlichkeit, sagt die Bundeskanzlerin. Joachim Gauck nennt die Pegida-Anhänger Chaoten.

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel (CDU) sieht die Demonstrationen der Anti-Islam-Bewegung Pegida kritisch. Mit Blick auf die jüngsten Proteste des Bündnisses sagte die stellvertretende Regierungssprecherin Christiane Wirtz in Berlin, es gebe in Deutschland keinen Platz für Hetze gegen Gläubige, für Islamophobie oder Fremdenfeindlichkeit. Merkel verurteile solche Tendenzen auf das Schärfste.

Dennoch müsse die Regierung die Sorgen der Bürger ernst nehmen. Die Zuwanderung nach Deutschland und die steigenden Asylbewerberzahlen beschäftigten die Bevölkerung, sagte die Sprecherin. » | dpa/sdo | Freitag, 12. Dezember 2014

La Belgique rend un dernier hommage à la reine Fabiola

TRIBUNE DE GENÈVE: Les Belges ont rendu hommage à la reine Fabiola lors de funérailles nationales.

La Belgique et le gotha mondial ont rendu ce vendredi 12 décembre un dernier hommage à la reine Fabiola. Les funérailles nationales ont été empreintes de sobriété, avec une touche très musicale, comme le souhaitait la veuve du roi Baudouin.

Sous une pluie drue, un corbillard, encadré par des cavaliers de la garde royale à cheval, a quitté en début de matinée le Palais royal de Bruxelles, où reposait la cinquième reine des Belges depuis mardi, pour rejoindre la cathédrale des Saints Michel et Gudule, distante de quelques centaines de mètres, accompagné par la famille royale au grand complet.

Le cercueil de chêne clair, sur lequel un petit drapeau belge noir, jaune et rouge avait été déposé, a été porté jusqu'au chœur de la cathédrale et posé à même le sol. » | ats/Newsnet | vendredi 12 décembre 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Gambian President Attends Rally with Protesters Declaring: ‘Homosexuality Is Forbidden in Islam’

Yahya Jammeh
PINK NEWS: The President of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has attended a mass rally against homosexuality in the country’s capital Banjul.

AllAfrica reports thousands of protesters marched from the Gambian Parliament on Tuesday carrying placards and banners declaring: “Homosexuality is Inhuman”; “Even cows don’t do it!” “Homosexuality is forbidden in Islam”.

Islam is the majority religion of Gambia, with around 95.3% of the population being Muslims.

In November, President Jammeh signed into law a bill which calls for life imprisonment for people caught taking part in same-sex sexual activity. » | Scott Roberts | Thursday, December 11, 2014

Monaco Princess Charlene Gives Birth to Twins

BBC: Monaco's Princess Charlene has given birth to twin babies, Gabriella and Jacques, the palace has announced.

Prince Jacques is next in line to the Monaco throne, a rich principality on the southern French coast.

A statement said both babies were doing well. Gabriella was born first, with Jacques arriving two minutes later.

Their father is Prince Albert II, 56, son of the late Hollywood actress, Grace Kelly. Charlene, 36, is a Zimbabwean-born former Olympic swimmer.

The couple married in 2011. » | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Switzerland Orders Community Service for Returned Islamic State Jihadist

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Convert to Islam, who spent two weeks in training camp in Syria before changing his mind, has been spared jail with 600 hours of community service

Switzerland has ordered a returned recruit of the Islamic State group to do 600 hours of community service and will not send him to prison, in the country's first sentencing of a foreign jihadist fighter. Swiss Attorney General Michael Lauber's ruling went into effect this week, he told public broadcaster RTS late Wednesday.

The 30-year-old recent convert to Islam, from the western Swiss canton of Vaud, had travelled to Syria late last year to join an IS training camp.

The man, whose name was not given, told the broadcaster he had been indoctrinated over the Internet.

"I was new to Islam... The videos I saw and the discussions I had online made me feel like I had to go there," he said. » | AP | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

German Eurosceptics Embrace Anti-Islam Protests

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Political row in Germany as justice minister speaks out against protests gripping city of Dresden

The wave of anti-Islam protests gripping the German city of Dresden have ignited a political row, after the leader of the country's rapidly growing Eurosceptic party publicly backed the protesters.

Ten thousand people took to the streets of Dresden on Monday in the latest in a series of weekly rallies under the banner of Patriotic Europeans against the Islamisation of Europe, or Pegida, to protest against what they say is the erosion of Germany's Judeo-Christian culture by Muslim immigrants.

Bernd Lucke, the leader of the anti-Euro Alternative for Germany party (AfD), provoked outrage when he backed the protesters on his Facebook page, saying it is "good and right" that people are giving voice to their fears.

"It is a sign that these people do not feel their concerns are understood by politicians," he wrote.

The AfD, which opposes the single currency and further integration, but is not against the EU, has made considerable gains in recent state elections. » | Justin Huggler, Berlin | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

EU Judge Gives Jean-Claude Juncker the 'Key Task' of Defeating Euroscepticism

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Your mission is to defeat Eurosceptics, the EU's most senior judge tells the president of the European Commission

Europe’s most senior judge has told Jean-Claude Juncker that his political mission is to prevent Eurosceptics from trampling on “the fruits of European integration”.

Vassilios Skouris, the president of the Court of Justice, Europe’s highest judicial body, made the extraordinary comments in a ceremony aimed at upholding the political independence of the European Commission.

He instructed Mr Juncker that his “key task” was to prevent the critics of the European Union from reducing the powers of institutions such as the Luxembourg court he oversees, or the commission in Brussels.

“I would like to say a few words about your mission,” Mr Skouris said.

“You are taking up office during the worst financial and economic crisis that Europe has suffered at a time when the European ideal is beset by criticism from Eurosceptic circles. Thus your key task is to prevent the fruits of European integration being trampled in the dust.” » | Bruno Waterfield, Brussels | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Isil Terrorists Throw Man Off Roof 'For Being Gay'

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Pictures of the murder posted on jihadist website provide further evidence of Islamic State's reign of terror in Syria and northern Iraq

Isil terrorists have released pictures of themselves throwing a man off a roof for allegedly being gay.

The murder took place in an area of northern Iraq controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil).

Nine armed insurgents, their faces concealed by black balaclavas, are shown gathered on the roof of a three-storey building, while their victim plummets to the ground below. » | Telegraph’s Foreign Staff | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Deutschland wacht auf. Wir sind das Volk! - PEGIDA

Friedlich und vereint gegen die Islamisierung und Verfremdung unserer Heimat! Für den Erhalt unserer Kultur, unserer Werte und für den Schutz unserer Familien.

Wir distanzieren uns von Gewalt und jeglicher Art von Extremismus.

British Christianity: Churches Decline While Islam Grows; Is America Next?

CHRISTIAN POST – OPINION: Gov. Mike Huckabee recently retraced the steps of Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, and Ronald Reagan with a group of ministers and faith leaders. After touring Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and the Churchill War Rooms, he remarked that both Margaret Thatcher and Winston Churchill were heavily criticized and often dismissed yet they remained steadfast to name and fight evil.

"During two periods of massive global change," Huckabee argued, "if these world leaders had been ambiguous about evil the world would be quite different."

For Churchill, evil was Nazism and fascism. In 1936 he said of Stanley Baldwin's government, "They go on, in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all-powerful to be impotent."

For Thatcher, evil was socialism and communism. She said, "I am in politics because of the conflict between good and evil, and I believe that in the end good will triumph.

"And what a prize we have to fight for: no less than the chance to banish from our land the dark divisive clouds of Marxist socialism." Ronald Reagan alone stood with her, as the only world leader to call the Soviet Union what it was: "the Evil Empire."

Why did they fight, despite their opponents' incessant impotence, ignorance, and impudence?

According to Huckabee, they fully understood what evil is: "Evil creates oppression and takes from the human soul that which is most like God—because freedom, creativity, and joy all come from God. And when a government devalues human beings, it sins against God."

They also knew what is good. Thatcher said, "We want a society where people are free to make choices, to make mistakes, to be generous and compassionate. This is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the state is responsible for everything, and no one is responsible for the state." » | Bethany Blankley | CP Op-Ed Contributor | Tuesday, December 09, 2014

David Cameron: I Still Want Turkey to Join EU, Despite Migrant Fears

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: The Prime Minister says a European Union without Turkey is 'not stronger but weaker'

David Cameron has said that he still “very much supports” Turkey joining the European Union, despite his Government's inability to control numbers of EU migrants coming to the UK.

The Prime Minister was quizzed about his support for Turkey’s accession to the EU during a visit to Turkey to meet the country’s Prime Minister and President.

Mr Cameron said he had discussed Turkey’s accession to the EU during talks in Ankara on Tuesday afternoon with Ahmet Davutoglu, the Turkish Prime Minister.

The visit was his first since 2010 when he told the Turks the backed the country’s goal of joining the EU. He said then that he wanted to “make the case” for Turkey’s EU membership.

Asked if he still felt that way despite his Government’s inability to control inward migration from EU countries and bring net migration down to the tens of thousands of people, he said that he had discussed it again with Turkish Prime Minister.

He said: “In terms of Turkish membership of the EU, I very much support that.

“That’s a longstanding position of British foreign policy which I support. We discussed that again in our talks today”.

In a speech at the Turkish parliament in Ankara in July 2010, Mr Cameron said: “I’m here to make the case for Turkey's membership of the EU. And to fight for it.” » | Christopher Hope, Ankara, Turkey | Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Pegida: Patriotische Europäer gegen Islamisierung

Begleitet von Gegenprotesten sind in Dresden erneut rund 1.700 Menschen gegen eine von ihnen befürchtete Islamisierung auf die Straße gegangen. Es war bereits die fünfte Kundgebung des sogenannten Pegida-Bündnisses, "Patriotische Europäer gegen Islamisierung des Abendlandes", in der Elbestadt in Folge.

«Hass in Deutschland wird salonfähiger»

20 MINUTEN: Demos gegen Flüchtlingsheime, Proteste gegen eine angebliche Islamisierung Deutschlands, Randale von Hooligans und Rechten. Experten warnen vor gefährlichen Entwicklungen.

Was ist los in Deutschland? In Dresden versammeln sich seit Wochen selbst ernannte Patrioten zu Montagsdemonstrationen und protestieren gegen alles Mögliche: gegen angeblichen Asylmissbrauch, muslimische Extremisten, eine Verwässerung der deutschen Kultur und die vermeintliche «Islamisierung des Abendlandes».

Anfangs waren es ein paar Hundert Leute, nun sind es jede Woche mehrere Tausend. Und inzwischen gibt es in vielen anderen Städten Ableger der Dresdner Bewegung, bei der sich auch Neonazis, Hooligans und bekennende Islamfeinde unter das Bürgertum mischen.

Es mehren sich rechtsextreme Übergriffe auf Asylbewerberheime und Proteste gegen neue Flüchtlingsunterkünfte. Auch der Gewaltausbruch eines Mobs von Hooligans und Rechten in Köln vor einigen Wochen – im Namen des Kampfes gegen Salafisten – sorgt noch immer für Ratlosigkeit. Rechtsextremismus-Experten beobachten die Entwicklung mit Sorge und fürchten, dass sich etwas zusammenbraut im Land. » | sda | Montag, 08. Dezember 2014

Monday, December 08, 2014

Aufmarsch in Dresden: 10.000 Islamfeinde bei Pegida-Demo

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Das rechte Bündnis "Patriotische Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes" zieht immer mehr Anhänger an. An einer Kundgebung in Dresden nahmen 10.000 Personen teil, offenbar kam es zu Zusammenstößen mit Gegendemonstranten.

Dresden - Anhänger wie Gegner des rechtspopulistischen Bündnisses "Pegida" haben am Montagabend in Dresden Tausende Menschen mobilisiert: 10.000 Demonstranten nahmen nach Polizeiangaben auf der Seite der "Patriotischen Europäer gegen die Islamisierung des Abendlandes" (Pegida) teil - so viele wie noch nie. An den Gegenprotesten, zu denen unter anderem Kirchen und das Islamische Zentrum aufgerufen hatten, beteiligten sich 9000 Menschen.

Wie der MDR berichtet, kam es im Verlauf des Abends zu kleineren Auseinandersetzungen, bei denen von beiden Seiten Feuerwerkskörper flogen. Ein Pegida-Unterstützer sei festgenommen worden. Weitere Zwischenfälle wurden zunächst nicht bekannt. Die Polizei war mit 1200 Beamten aus mehreren Bundesländern im Einsatz. » | eth/dpa/AP | Montag, 08. Dezember 2014


Geert Wilders Defends ‘Fewer Moroccans’ Chant, Quotes Martin Luther King PVV leader Geert Wilders is sticking by his ‘fewer Moroccan’ statements made earlier this year, the anti-Islam campaigner said in a statement on Monday.

‘I am not taking back a single word I said,’ Wilders said in the statement he gave to police investigating claims he incited racial hatred.

Wilders was interviewed on Monday morning on the orders of the public prosecution department. The department said in October Wilders is ‘suspected of having insulted a population group with respect to their race and of incitement to discrimination and hatred’. Read on and comment » | Monday, December 08, 2014

Germans Take to the Streets to Protest against 'Islamisation'

Participants hold up their mobile phones and wave a German
national flag during a demonstration called by anti-immigration
group PEGIDA in Dresden
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Anti-immigrant protests claim to want to preserve Judeo-Christian culture as critics accuse it of harbouring neo-Nazi elements

A new type of anti-immigration protest is sweeping across Germany, as thousands take to the streets against what they say is the growing “Islamisation” of the country.

The new protests, which began in the city of Dresden in the former East Germany, feature no neo-Nazi slogans and have nothing to do with the traditional far right.

Instead the demonstrators have adopted the old rallying call of the protests against the East German communist regime that brought down the Berlin Wall 25 years ago, “Wir sind das Volk”, or “We are the people”. They say they want to preserve Germany’s Judeo-Christian Western culture.

The protests come as Bavaria’s ruling Christian Social Union (CSU) is seeking to distance itself from a draft proposal for its party conference which said that immigrants should speak German not only in public, but at home as well.

Germany is now the second most popular destination in the world for migrants, after the US, and the country is struggling to cope with an unprecedented influx of asylum-seekers.

While Angela Merkel’s government has made clear it will block any attempt by David Cameron to curtail freedom of movement within the EU, the German debate over immigration has focused on those coming from outside the bloc, and on Muslims in particular. » | Justin Huggler, Berlin | Monday, December 08, 2014

DEUTSCHE WELLE: Dresden, Dusseldorf prepare for PEGIDA anti-Islamist protests: Right-wing groups have organized protests with less politically extreme citizens to voice their concern over what they see as the Islamization of Europe. Counter demonstrations, however, are expected to be bigger. » | Monday, December 08, 2014

Recep Tayyip Erdogan Vows to Impose 'Arabic' Ottoman Lessons in Schools

Recep Tayyip Erdogan is planning to make Arabic-alphabet
Ottoman language compulsory in high schools
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Turkish premier wants to reintroduce the language of the old empire, comparing its abolition to cutting Turkey's "jugular"

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has vowed to make lessons in the Arabic-alphabet Ottoman language compulsory in high schools -- a highly symbolic move which enraged secularists who claim he is persuing [sic] an increasingly Islamist agenda.

Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, abolished the Ottoman language in 1928, replacing its Arabic alphabet with a Latin one.

He also purged the language of many of its Arabic, Persian and Greek words to create a new "pure" Turkish closer to the language people spoke.

Critics claimed Erdogan's vow to reintroduce teaching of the language "no matter what they say" was another bid to roll back Ataturk's secular reforms, which were based on a strict separation between religion and state.

Turkey's National Education Council, largely made up of members backed by Erdogan's Islamic-rooted government, voted over the weekend to make classes compulsory at religious high schools and an option at regular high schools.

The council also voted to ban bartending classes at tourism training high schools. » | AFP | Monday, December 08, 2014

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Protests Erupt over British Decision to Open Military Base in Bahrain

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Human rights groups say Britain is being rewarded by the Gulf state's monarchy for its silence over political jailings

Britain’s decision to open a major naval base in Bahrain despite concerns over the country’s human rights record has been met with protests by opposition groups and human rights activists.

Hundreds of protesters were filmed marching through the town of Sitra, a Shia opposition stronghold, calling for the removal of the British ambassador, Iain Lindsay, after the decision was announced.

Activists said Bahrain’s decision to largely fund the base was a “reward” for Britain’s recent silence over the jailing of opponents to the Sunni monarchy.

International groups also objected to the decision. “As Bahrain pursues brutal crackdown, what better time for UK to build military base there?” said Kenneth Roth, Human Rights Watch’s executive director. » | Richard Spencer, Manama | Sunday, December 07, 2014