Monday, March 30, 2015

Boehner: Iran Has 'No Intention' of Keeping Its Word on Nuclear Deal

THE GUARDIAN: Speaker slams Obama, says Iran has ‘never kept their word about anything’ / Promises new sanctions will ‘come quickly’ if no agreement reached

Iran has “no intention” of keeping its word on an agreement being negotiated in Switzerland over its nuclear programme, House speaker John Boehner said on Sunday.

The top Republican’s comments came as negotiations in Lausanne approached the 31 March deadline for the drafting of a framework for a deal, under intense criticism from Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu.

Speaking on CNN, Boehner said he had serious doubts about the talks. “We’ve got a regime that’s never quite kept their word about anything,” he said. “I just don’t understand why we would sign an agreement with a group of people who have no intention of keeping their word.”

If there was no agreement, Boehner said he would move “very” quickly to impose new sanctions on Iran.

“The sanctions are going to come and they are going to come quickly,” he said. » | Dominic Rushe in New York | Sunday, March 29, 2015

Bill Maher Laments 'Deeply Stupid' Political Correctness on Far Left

Bill Maher blasted "deeply stupid" far-left liberals on Friday for being too politically correct, criticizing Hollywood elite for its reaction to designers Dolce and Gabbana's comments on "synthetic" children. "What is the point of attacking people who are ninety-five percent on your side?" Mr. Maher asked on his HBO show "Real Time," Mediaite reported Friday. Last…

Rechtspopulist Geert Wilders in Wien: “Freie Ausreise für Jihadisten”

VIENNA ONLINE: Mit einem ungewöhnlichen Lösungsvorschlag für das Problem ausländischer Kämpfer in Syrien und im Irak hat der niederländische Rechtspopulist Geert Wilders am Freitag aufhorchen lassen: Er verstehe nicht, warum westliche Regierungen diese Menschen an der Ausreise hinderten.

“Wenn ein Jihadist gehen will, lasst ihn gehen, aber hindert ihn, daran zurückzukehren”, sagte der Islamkritiker bei einer Pressekonferenz mit FPÖ-Bundesparteiobmann Heinz-Christian Strache in Wien.

Er wolle nicht, dass Jihadisten irgendwo Verbrechen begingen, aber wenn sie es schon tun müssten, “dann ist es mir lieber, die Verbrechen werden in Syrien oder im Irak begangen, als in meinem eigenen Land”, so der Niederländer. » | APA/Red | Freitag 27. März 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Salafismus in Deutschland

Der Salafismus ist im 19. Jahrhundert in Ägypten entstanden und eine ultrakonservative Strömung innerhalb des Islams. Geprägt ist die Bewegung von stark intoleranten Zügen, so werden etwa alle Nicht-Salafisten, auch andere Muslime, zu den Ungläubigen gezählt. Der Begriff der "Salafisten" bedeutet - aus dem Arabischen übersetzt - "fromme Altvordere". Welche Gefahr besteht für uns hier in Deutschland, vor was müssen wir uns fürchten?

Gäste: Katharina Fegebank (Grüne Hamburg), Abdullah Uwe Wagishauser (Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat), Usman Naveed Ahmad (Imam aus Hannover) und Petra Loztkat (Amt für Arbeit und Integration in der Sozialbehörde) moderiert von Sami Khokhar.

Diese Sendung wurde am 02. Februar 2015 auf TIDE TV sowie Radio TIDE live ausgestrahlt.

Iran Nuclear Deal Progress: Sudden Thaw in Decade-long Atomic Standoff

It's a bitter stand-off that's lasted a decade, involving sanctions and dozens of marathon talks. And now the US and the EU are on the verge of reaching a deal with Iran, over its nuclear programme.

The Glazov Gang – The Real Meaning of "Allahu Akbar"

Daniel Greenfield (Shillman Fellow, Freedom Center)

HT: Robert Spencer @ Jihad Watch »

EXCLUSIVE: Twisted Obsessions of Killer in Cockpit: Lubitz Trawled 'Dark Side' of the Web

SUNDAY EXPRESS: KILLER co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was trawling suicide and gay websites as he spiralled into mental illness.

The 27-year-old also had problems with his eyesight and tore up sick notes from his doctors after fearing his mental state could lose him his job.

Just weeks before crashing the Germanwings Flight 4U 9525 plane, killing 149 passengers, he had learned he could also face a big pay cut and changes to his company pension.

A police source in Dusseldorf said: “We have a team disassembling his computer, and that of his girlfriend, because the information that we received was that he trawled the dark side of the web visiting, among other things, sites containing gay porn, suicide themes and sexual perversions.”

Lubitz also endured the nickname “Tomato Andy”, a German term for repressed homosexuals and a dig at his previous job as a flight attendant.

Reports have suggested he was troubled by his sexuality and also seeking treatment for vision problems. Last year he scared a girlfriend with remarks that showed his mind was in a dark and secretive place. » | James Murray and James Fielding | Sunday, March 29, 2015

Andreas Lubitz's Father 'Devastated... a Man Whose Life Has Broken Down'

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Sympathy for father of Germanwings crash co-pilot, who is "at the centre of a tragedy he did not seek"

The father of the Germanwings co-pilot who allegedly deliberately crashed his plane into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board, is “devastated, completely shattered” by his son’s act, a French official who spoke to him said.

“He is carrying on his back the entire weight of the drama. He is a man whose life has broken down,” said Bernard Bartolini, the mayor of Prads-Haute-Bléone, a small town near the site of the crash.

The parents of Andreas Lubitz have not spoken in public since the crash on Tuesday. They were questioned by French police during their stay in France and German police were due to talk them when they returned to Germany.

Mr Bartolini said he met them when they visited the crash site and attended a memorial ceremony nearby on Thursday along with families of the passengers and crew who died. » | Rory Mulholland, in Paris | Saturday, March 28, 2015

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The New Statesman Special Report - The Great Koran Con Trick

NEW STATESMAN: Scholars claim that Islam's holy book is not quite what it seems

The news that a recent scientific paper on the common genetic roots of Jews and Palestinians had been suppressed by learned journals, because of the political sensitivity of its conclusions, made for depressing reading. Findings that might have provided reason for hope, or even for solidarity between the Arab and Israeli peoples, were instead considered too hot to handle.

The furore over the geneticists' discoveries will have come as no surprise to other academics in the Middle East and the Muslim world, where even the most apparently dispassionate research can be swept up in the blinding ideological sandstorms that choke reasoned dialogue. Such is the intensity of feeling that many who work in highly charged areas of scholar- ship - history and archaeology, for example - choose to keep a low profile, circulating their work only in trusted academic circles. Thus the censorship that plagues the Middle East seeps into every corner of intellectual life.

Nowhere is this more true than in the study of the origins of Islam, where some of the conclusions being drawn are potentially even more explosive than the argument that Israelis and Palestinians have common ancestors. Tucked away in the journals and occasional papers of the world of Islamic studies is work by a group of academics who have spent the past three decades plotting a quiet revolution in the study of the origins of the religion, the Koran and the life of the Prophet Mohammad. The conclusions of the so-called "new historians" of Islam are devastating: that we know almost nothing about the life of the Muslim prophet Mohammad; that the rapid rise of the religion can be attributed, at least in part, to the attraction of Islam's message of conquest and jihad for the tribes of the Arabian peninsula; that the Koran as we know it today was compiled, or perhaps even written, long after Mohammad's supposed death in 632AD. Most controversially of all, the researchers say that there existed an anti-Christian alliance between Arabs and Jews in the earliest days of Islam, and that the religion may be best understood as a heretical branch of rabbinical Judaism. » | Martin Bright | Monday, December 10, 2001

Hitler’s British Girl

‘You Are Always Close to Me’: Unity Mitford’s Souvenirs of Hitler

THE SPECTATOR: Hitler’s adoring notes to Unity Mitford – and her family’s campaign to stop my book

The English aristocracy has had its fair share of misfits, and one of the most far-fetched was Unity Mitford. No novelist would dare invent the story of a young woman of 19 who settles in Germany in 1933, determines to captivate Hitler, and succeeds. Eva Braun, the long-term mistress whom Hitler married in the last days of his life, gives way in her diary to jealousy and spite. There is evidence provided either by Unity herself or Nazi officials that Hitler held her hand, stroked her hair and called her ‘Kind’ (child). During his preparation for world war in the summer of 1939, he found time to arrange for a Jewish couple to be dispossessed from their apartment in Munich in order for Unity to have it. He also paid various expenses. » | David Pryce-Jones | Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sweden’s Feminist Foreign Minister Has Dared to Tell the Truth about Saudi Arabia. What Happens Now Concerns Us All

THE SPECTATOR: Margot Wallström’s principled stand deserves wide support. Betrayal seems more likely

If the cries of ‘Je suis Charlie’ were sincere, the western world would be convulsed with worry and anger about the Wallström affair. It has all the ingredients for a clash-of-civilisations confrontation.

A few weeks ago Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister, denounced the subjugation of women in Saudi Arabia. As the theocratic kingdom prevents women from travelling, conducting official business or marrying without the permission of male guardians, and as girls can be forced into child marriages where they are effectively raped by old men, she was telling no more than the truth. Wallström went on to condemn the Saudi courts for ordering that Raif Badawi receive ten years in prison and 1,000 lashes for setting up a website that championed secularism and free speech. These were ‘mediaeval methods’, she said, and a ‘cruel attempt to silence modern forms of expression’. And once again, who can argue with that?

The backlash followed the pattern set by Rushdie, the Danish cartoons and Hebdo. Saudi Arabia withdrew its ambassador and stopped issuing visas to Swedish businessmen. The United Arab Emirates joined it. The Organisation of Islamic Co-operation, which represents 56 Muslim-majority states, accused Sweden of failing to respect the world’s ‘rich and varied ethical standards’ — standards so rich and varied, apparently, they include the flogging of bloggers and encouragement of paedophiles. Meanwhile, the Gulf Co-operation Council condemned her ‘unaccept-able [?] interference in the internal affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’, and I wouldn’t bet against anti-Swedish riots following soon.

Yet there is no ‘Wallström affair’. Outside Sweden, the western media has barely covered the story, and Sweden’s EU allies have shown no inclination whatsoever to support her. A small Scandinavian nation faces sanctions, accusations of Islamophobia and maybe worse to come, and everyone stays silent. As so often, the scandal is that there isn’t a scandal. » | Nick Cohen | Saturday, March 28, 2015

Battle For Tikrit - ISIS Fighters Under Attack In Iraqi City - The Rise Of Islamic Extremism

ISIS Exposed: The Hellish Reality of Radical Islam - Erick Stakelbeck

'There's a Great Deal of Mistrust in Iran towards Washington'

Iran is hoping to reach a deal over its nuclear program at ongoing talks with the P5+1 group in Switzerland. That's amid an unprecedented thaw in relations which is upsetting some of Washington's closest friends. RT spoke to Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, an independent researcher on Iran.

Confused? Shiites in Iraq Armed by US, Shiites in Yemen Bombed with US Help

The US has been providing intelligence for the Saudi operation in Yemen. And Washington has drawn controversy over how it splits friends from foes when it comes to the Middle East.

FRANK GAFFNEY: New York Times Endorses 'Eye for an Eye' Approach

The New York Times' Ben Hubbard on Tuesday wrote a glowing piece of puffery focused on Saudi Arabia, titled "Saudi Justice, Harsh but Able to Spare the Sword." In it Mr. Hubbard admits that the kingdom's harsh punishments, including beheadings and amputations, are based on the shariah (Islamic law) and are viewed as unchangeable and derived…

Die seltsam schnelle Festlegung auf eine Wahrheit

BASLER ZEITUNG: Die Untersuchung von Flugzeugunglücken dauert meist Jahre. Beim Germanwings-Absturz schien nach 48 Stunden alles klar. Ermittler und Piloten sind empört – und warnen vor fatalen Schlussfolgerungen.

Der Ablauf widerspricht allen Regularien einer neutralen Aufklärung eines Flugzeugabsturzes. Keine 48 Stunden nachdem Unglücksflug 4U9525 von Germanwings gegen einen Berg in Südfrankreich prallte, scheint der genaue Ablauf festzustehen. » | Samstag 28. März 2015

Quand Gérard Depardieu était musulman

DIRECT MATIN: Le documentaire du psychanalyste Gérard Miller sur Gérard Depardieu diffusé lundi sur France 3 revient sur un épisode méconnu de la vie de l’acteur. Le comédien s'était en effet converti à l’islam en 1967. » | Par Direct Matin | mercredi 25 mars 2015

Pro-Hassan Rouhani Iranian Editor Defects While Covering Nuclear Talks in Lausanne

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Amir Hossein Motaghi says he no longer sees any “sense” in his profession as he could only write as he was told

A close media aide to Hassan Rouhani, the Iranian president, has sought political asylum in Switzerland after travelling to Lausanne to cover the nuclear talks between Tehran and the West.

Amir Hossein Motaghi, who managed public relations for Mr Rouhani during his 2013 election campaign, was said by Iranian news agencies to have quit his job at the Iran Student Correspondents Association (ISCA).

He then appeared on an opposition television channel based in London to say he no longer saw any “sense” in his profession as a journalist as he could only write what he was told.

“There are a number of people attending on the Iranian side at the negotiations who are said to be journalists reporting on the negotiations,” he told Irane Farda television. “But they are not journalists and their main job is to make sure that all the news fed back to Iran goes through their channels.

“My conscience would not allow me to carry out my profession in this manner any more.” Mr Mottaghi was a journalist and commentator who went on to use social media successfully to promote Mr Rouhani to a youthful audience that overwhelmingly elected him to power. » | Ahmed Vahdat and Richard Spencer | Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015

Yemen Bombed: 'Crisis Could Deepen to All-out Sunni-Shia Religious War, Real Aim Is to Stop Iran'

Over a dozen are killed or injured in Yemen as Saudi Arabia and its allies push on with a full-scale campaign of airstrikes against rebels in the country.

US Declassifies Document Revealing Israel's Nuclear Program

ARUTZ SHEVA: Obama revenge for Netanyahu's Congress talk? 1987 report on Israel's top secret nuclear program released in unprecedented move.

In a development that has largely been missed by mainstream media, the Pentagon early last month quietly declassified a Department of Defense top-secret document detailing Israel's nuclear program, a highly covert topic that Israel has never formally announced to avoid a regional nuclear arms race, and which the US until now has respected by remaining silent.

But by publishing the declassified document from 1987, the US reportedly breached the silent agreement to keep quiet on Israel's nuclear powers for the first time ever, detailing the nuclear program in great depth.

The timing of the revelation is highly suspect, given that it came as tensions spiraled out of control between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama ahead of Netanyahu's March 3 address in Congress, in which he warned against the dangers of Iran's nuclear program and how the deal being formed on that program leaves the Islamic regime with nuclear breakout capabilities.

Another highly suspicious aspect of the document is that while the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel's sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document. » | Ari Yashar, Matt Wanderman | Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Saudischer Blogger Badawi: "Auf wundersame Weise 50 Peitschenhiebe überlebt"

SPIEGEL ONLINE: Der saudische Blogger Raif Badawi hat aus der Haft einen Brief geschrieben, den der SPIEGEL abdruckt. Das Schreiben zeigt einen mutigen, ungebrochenen Mann.

Wie überlebt man eine Auspeitschung? Wie fühlt sich der Alltag in einem saudischen Gefängnis an? Erstmals seit seiner Verhaftung meldet sich der saudische Blogger Raif Badawi per Brief zu Wort - nach fast drei Jahren in Haft. In dem Schreiben, das der SPIEGEL in Auszügen nachdruckt, berichtet er von seinen Eindrücken und Erfahrungen. Er schreibt, dass er auf "wundersame Weise fünfzig Peitschenhiebe überlebt" habe, während er umringt gewesen sei "von einer jubelnden Menge, die immerzu Allahu akbar rief". Und weiter schreibt er: "All dies grausame Leid ist mir nur widerfahren, weil ich meine Meinung ausgedrückt habe." » | Freitag, 27. März 2015

What Religion Was Andreas Lubitz? Debate Grows over Germanwings Pilot's Background

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES: Since it emerged that Germanwings airlines' co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately 'accelerated' the plane after locking out the captain to crash the jetliner into the French Alps, there have been many who have raised questions on his religious background.

Close friends of the 28-year old Germanwings pilot remember him as a "rather quiet, but a friendly young man."

Many on social media, however, refuse to believe the explanation that the German pilot, whose full name is Andreas Guenter Lubitz, had no terror links and in fact "had no reason to do it."

During the news conference, French prosecutor Brice Robin refused to give information on Andreas Lubitz's religion, saying: "I don't think it's necessarily what we should be looking for."

But that has not stopped many from counter-arguing that the religion of the pilot, who deliberately crashed the Germanwings Flight 9525 killing all 150 people onboard, is an important cue to investigate the motive of the "mass murderer." » | Johnlee Varghese | Friday, March 27, 2015

Glenn Beck vs. Grover Norquist

Glenn Beck Accuses Grover Norquist of Ties to Islamists

Longtime Republican Party icon Grover Norquist defended himself Thursday on an hourlong television show against accusations by conservatives that he has ties to people who've worked for Muslim Brotherhood front groups. Mr. Norquist, founder of Americans for Tax Reform, refuted the allegations going back more than a decade on Glenn Beck's program on The Blaze TV.…

Thursday, March 26, 2015

LAWRENCE FEDEWA: An Impeachable Offense

This is serious business. What no one seems to want to talk about in public is the fact that the negotiations between Iran, the United States and its allies have the potential to lead to a world war. If Iran is seen by Israel to be close to developing a nuclear warhead to go with its…

As ‘Woman in Gold’ Premieres, Meet the Man Who Battled for the Klimt

Gustav Klimt's 1907 'Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer I' (Public domain)
TIMES OF ISRAEL: The real-life lawyer behind the gripping restitution of the ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I’ says he still gets emotional in the painting’s presence

NEW YORK — The Neue Galerie, a mid-sized museum on Fifth Avenue and East 86th Street in Manhattan, gets pretty crowded around lunch. The Café Sabarasky (named for the institution’s co-founder Serge Sabarasky, who opened the Neue in late 2001 with Ronald Lauder) is a hot draw, but the artwork lingers longer than the pastries.

On the second floor of this converted mansion, designed by legendary Gilded Age architects Carrère and Hastings and once owned by Grace Vanderbilt, there hangs the portrait of a woman who died 90 years ago. Her story is still being told.
Adele Bloch-Bauer was part of a prominent Austrian-Jewish family, patrons of the arts whose belongings were plundered by the Nazis. Among the works stolen were two portraits of Adele by Gustav Klimt, commissioned by her husband. The first – with gold leaf applied directly to the canvas – is the more famous. “A painting sold on refrigerator magnets” as Charles Dance’s character, a lawyer skeptical about restituting the work to its rightful owner, reminds us in the new movie “Woman in Gold.”

After World War II, surviving members of the Bloch-Bauer family escaped to the United States. Their artwork remained behind – the “last prisoners of war.” The case of “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I” made international headlines (and has been the subject of documentaries) but “Woman in Gold” is the first time it has been dramatized. » | Jordan Hoffman | Thursday, March 26, 2015

Suite Française: Official Trailer (2015)

SUITE FRANÇAISE Official Trailer (2015) starring Sam Riley, Margot Robbie, Michelle Williams, Tom Schilling and directed by Saul Dibb

Yémen : la grande peur de l'Arabie saoudite

LE POINT: Riyad est intervenu au Yémen pour tenter de contenir les appétits de l'Iran qui a désormais des alliés ou affidés partout au Proche-Orient.

La hantise de l'enfermement est souvent facteur d'interventionnisme pour les pays qui se rêvent en puissances régionales. C'est le cas du Pakistan, qui tente depuis longtemps de satelliser l'Afghanistan, de peur qu'il ne tombe dans l'orbite indienne. Ça l'est également de l'Arabie saoudite, engagée depuis plusieurs années dans une lutte d'influence à la fois géopolitique et religieuse avec l'Iran, aujourd'hui motif de son intervention au Yémen.

Ces deux pays ne sont pas seulement les uniques puissances régionales, l'Irak et la Syrie étant livrés au chaos ou à la guerre civile ; ils sont également les porte-étendard des deux grandes subdivisions de l'islam : sunnite pour l'Arabie saoudite, chiite pour l'Iran. Or le vent de l'histoire souffle en ce moment dans le sens du chiisme, pourtant minoritaire dans le monde musulman, et de Téhéran, qui a déjà des obligés à Bagdad, Damas, Beyrouth, d'où la nervosité dont Riyad fait preuve ces derniers temps. » | Par Yves Cornu | jeudi 26 mars 2015

Angela Merkel spricht über die Tragödie des Germanwings-Flugzeugabsturzes (with English Subtitles)

Ex-Muslims: Three Stories of Losing Faith in Islam (Newsnight, November 29, 2013)

For parents who devoutly believe in their faith, a rejection of their religion can be a huge shock. This report spoke to three people who have left Islam - and have faced discrimination and punishment from their families.

Jindal Talks Tough on Islam

MEMPHIS FLYER: “These are terrorists who are beheading and killing … They’re Muslims. They’re not a religious minority.”

One of the problems faced by each of the last two American presidents — George W. Bush and Barack Obama — has been how to discriminate rhetorically between Muslims in general, who constitute 23 percent of the world's population and encompass many countries that the United States is allied with, and the kind of militant Islamic movement that America has been struggling against on a variety of battlefronts since at least September 11, 2001.

Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, a potential presidential candidate and one of several who are likely to appear in Memphis before the GOP nomination is decided in 2016, was in town on Friday to address local Republicans at a closed "Leadership Event" fund-raiser at the Racquet Club.

He told reporters at a preliminary press conference at the Signature Air terminal that the dilemma was less real than it seemed, and, further, that the Obama administration, in particular, was guilty of mincing words in the struggle against radical Islam.

"You've got an administration whose officials, like [Attorney General] Eric Holder, saying things like 'We're not in a type of war.' You've got a State Department saying, 'We're not going to kill our way to victory," said Jindal. "This is nonsense. This is ridiculous. These are terrorists who are beheading and killing. ... They're Muslims. They're not a religious minority. ... The reality is that this is an enemy we must defeat. We must hunt them down and kill them." » | Jackson Baker | Thursday, March 26, 2015

Snub Speculation: White House Can’t ‘Find Time’ to Meet NATO Chief

When NATO's chief scheduled his visit to Washington this week he was hoping for a personal meet-up with the US President. Instead, Jens Stoltenberg had to settle for a chat with the Defense secretary, because the White House reportedly didn't get back to him. RT's Gayane Chichakyan has more from Washington.

Germanwings Crash Raises Security Threat Posed by Insiders

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL: At least eight plane crashes in past four decades suspected deliberately caused by pilots or other insiders

Evidence that the co-pilot on the Germanwings flight that crashed in France on Tuesday locked the pilot out of the cockpit is raising fresh concerns about a danger that aviation and security regulators consider among the least controllable: the potential threat posed by insiders.

The pilot of the Germanwings Airbus A320 jet, which crashed in the French Alps with 150 people on board, had left the cockpit just before the plane began its descent, French prosecutors said on Thursday. The pilot was unable to re-enter the cockpit and the plane crashed roughly 10 minutes later. » | Daniel Michaels | Thursday, March 26, 2015

Saudi Leads Ten-nation Sunni Coalition in Bombing Yemen's Shia Rebels

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Reports of 150,000 troops mobilised with American backing as Middle East plunged into open sectarian war

Ten Sunni-led Arab states have joined in air strikes and other military operations against an Iran-linked Shia militia in Yemen, plunging the Middle East into an openly sectarian regional war.

Overnight, Saudi Arabian jets, advised by the United States, bombed positions of the Houthi rebel group which has seized much of western Yemen and driven the Sunni, western-backed President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi into flight.

Reports from the scene said that as well as military positions, one missile hit a civilian area near Sana'a international airport, killing six to eight members of two families. The Houthi-run health ministry said at least 18 civilians were killed and 24 others were wounded.

Britain also said it was supporting the action, citing the Houthis' "disregard for the political process". It was not clear if British forces were participating in any way.

Egypt, Sudan and Jordan confirmed they were supporting the operation and were discussing sending air, navy and ground forces to support their Saudi allies and financial backers.

Al-Arabiya television station, which is close to the Saudi authorities, said that besides the internationally recognised Yemeni government loyal to Mr Hadi, Morocco, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain had also joined the coalition and sent planes. » | Richard Spencer, Middle East Editor | Thursday, March 26, 2015

Richard III 'Given Dignity Denied in Death' as He Is Laid to Rest

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Fallen king's remains buried in Leicester

The burial of a king began with the words of a Queen.

Her Majesty did not attend the service to reinter one of her most divisive predecessors but her 142-word message to Richard III greeted the congregation as they arrived at Leicester Cathedral.

As tributes went, it was hardly glowing. Her words, printed in the order of service, spoke not of honouring Richard III, but “recognising” a king “who lived through turbulent times”.

But then this was not a funeral. It might have featured the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, a poem composed by the Poet Laureate and members of the royal family, but it was technically a service of reinterment. For the king had already been given a funeral, presided over by Franciscan monks in the days after he died on the battlefield at Bosworth in 1485. » | Tom Rowley, Special Correspondent, in Leicester Cathedral, video from ITN | Thursday, March 26, 2015

IS Stones To Death Man & Woman In Mosul For Adultery

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES: In yet another display of how the Islamic State (IS) implements the Sharia law, a resident of Mosul narrated another recent incident of stoning to death of a man and a woman for adultery. The witness was a clothing store owner whose outlet is near a government building where the incident happens.

Abu Mohammad al-Lahibi, the shop owner, said the woman was in her 20s and married. Lahibi was not sure if the woman was given a fair trial since none was held before the stoning.

The two were handcuffed, while the woman wore a full face veil called niqab. Twelve IS militants stood before the condemned couple and had bags filled with stones. They started to throw stones on the two. On the third stone, the “adulteress” was killed, while the man died after her, recounts Lahibi. » | Vittorio Hernandez | Wednesday, March 25, 2015

ISIS Presents Conversion to Islam of Christian Captured in Syria

THE JERUSALEM POST: Unconvincing ISIS video shows Assyrian captive converting to Islam » | Ariel Cohen | Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Related »

'Islamist Extremists,' Phrase Rejected by Obama, Embraced by Allies

While President Obama and his aides insist that Muslim extremists have nothing to do with Islam the religion, other world leaders are leaving that approach behind. British Home Secretary Theresa May on Monday announced a get-tough policy that includes a comprehensive strategy to combat what she called "Islamist extremists," a phrase the Obama administration officials have…

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Erdoğan Plan for Super-presidency Puts Turkey's Democracy at Stake

THE GUARDIAN: The Turkish president’s attempted power-grab is slated from within his own party as divisions between the country’s executive and legislature deepen

Turkey’s strongman leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, is facing unexpectedly spirited, across-the-board resistance to his plan to create a Putin-style super-presidency, a move that opposition parties warn could spell an end to parliamentary democracy and result in a virtual dictatorship.

Erdoğan, the founding leader of the neo-Islamist Justice and Development party (AKP), has ruled Turkey in increasingly authoritarian fashion since becoming prime minister in 2003. Barred under party rules from seeking a fourth term, he switched to the presidency last August and has been manoeuvring to increase his executive powers ever since.

The strategy looks similar to Vladimir Putin’s successive shifts from the Russian presidency to prime ministership and back again, which have kept him in overall charge in Moscow since 2000. The now deposed Pervez Musharraf pulled off a similar trick in Pakistan, bolstering his presidential authority at the expense of the prime minister and parliament.

Ever choleric, Erdoğan appears oblivious to these precedents, and to his growing reputation for harsh crackdowns on popular dissent, street protests and independent journalism. This week saw the jailing of two Penguen magazine cartoonists who dared to poke fun at him.

He is counting instead on his high profile and personal popularity among religious-minded working-class and rural voters to give the AKP a big majority in national elections due on 7 June. In theory, the necessary constitutional changes he wants could then be pushed through. » | Simon Tisdall | Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Do British Muslims Have a Problem with Apostates? (The Big Questions, 15/3/15)

Enemies of the State: ”Jews Must Leave Israel” – Anjem Choudary

WOW, after an amazing week of election coverage in Israel, where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won in an unbelievable landslide, we feature several analysts from Israel who are ecstatic about the victory and one British Muslim teacher of the shariah, who is not happy at all with any Jews in Israel. Tune in to hear how Anjem Choudary dispassionately explains Islamic doctrine and how it is essential for all the Jews to leave Israel and go to another country to live, or deal with the prophecies of Islam, which has the Muslim jihadis conquering the Jews and obliterating them from Israel. Folks, this is some serious stuff, don't miss it!

ISIS-held Assyrian Hostage Converts to Islam

Sargon David converts to Islam after two months of detention
by ISIS militants in northeastern Syria.
ARA NEWS: Dohuk, Kurdistan Region – The Media Center of the Islamic State group (IS/ISIS) in “al-Barakah state” (in reference to Hasakah, northeastern Syria) released Monday a videotape showing the Islamization of an Assyrian hostage held by the group.

Sargon David, an Assyrian man from Tel Temit in northeastern Syria, who had been held hostage by the group since the militants stormed the Assyrian villages in the area.

David appeared in the video uttering the Islamic Shahada in a sign of conversion to Islam. He was then named by the group’s militants as Abu Omar.

The IS group addressed the Christian community in Syria in the video message saying that many of the Assyrian residents in the countryside of Tel Temir have converted to Islam “and received the caliphate’s blessing”. » | ARA News | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Oxford Union Invites Hate Preacher Anjem Choudary to Speak Despite Being On Bail for Being Member of Banned Terror Group

DAILY MAIL: Hate preacher Anjem Choudary invited to speak by debating society / Said it would be a 'great privilege' to have Choudary as the star guest / Got invite day before Theresa May announced crackdown on extremists

Hate preacher Anjem Choudary has been invited to speak at the Oxford Union despite being on police bail on suspicion of being a member of a banned terror group.

The notorious rabble rouser received his invitation from the debating society a day before Home Secretary Theresa May announced a crackdown on Islamic extremists.

The letter said it would be a 'great privilege' to have Choudary appear as the star guest.

Choudary, who once said that Woolwich terror victim Fusilier Lee Rigby would 'burn in hellfire', was even offered a choice of days on which to attend the debate entitled: This house believes that radicalism is born at home.

Britain's most notorious hate preacher proudly showed off his invitation after launching a hate-filled rant against Western society outside the Houses of Parliament yesterday.

He said: 'I am still on police bail after being arrested by Scotland Yard in September last year. 'But the police can't stop me from speaking. They can't stop me from going to the Oxford Union where I've been invited to speak.' » | Arthur Martin for The Daily Mail | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Sinner in Mecca (Trailer)

For a gay filmmaker, filming in Saudi Arabia presents two serious challenges: filming is forbidden in the country and homosexuality is punishable by death. For filmmaker Parvez Sharma, however, these were risks he had to assume as he embarked on his Hajj pilgrimage, a journey considered the greatest accomplishment and aspiration within Islam, his religion. He brings back the story of the religion like it has never been told before, having endured the biggest Jihad there is: the struggle with the self.

THE DAILY BEAST: Gay Muslim’s Secret Pilgrimage to Mecca: Parvez Sharma took the long trip to Mecca with two big secrets: He’s recording his journey on his phone, and he has a husband back home. » | Nina Strochlic | Wednesday, March 25, 2015

France Declares War on Radical Islam

GATESTONE INSTITUTE: The moves are part of a raft of new anti-terrorism measures aimed at preventing French citizens or residents from joining jihadist groups abroad. The new powers are controversial because they can be implemented without judicial approval.

"These are legal tools, but not tools of exception, nor of generalized surveillance of citizens. There cannot be a lawless zone in the digital space. Often we cannot predict the threat, the services must have the power to react quickly." — Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France.

"When you do a projection for the months to come, there could be 5,000 [Europeans waging jihad in Iraq and Syria] before summer and 10,000 before the end of the year. Do you realize the threat that this represents?" — Manuel Valls, Prime Minister of France.

The French government has cut the social welfare benefits of nearly 300 jihadists who have left France to join the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Amid a rapidly expanding jihadist threat, it has also started confiscating passports, imposing travel bans and blocking access to jihadist websites.

The moves are part of a raft of new anti-terrorism measures aimed at preventing French citizens or residents from joining jihadist groups abroad, and at slowing the spread of radical Islam at home. Muslim groups are criticizing the flurry of activity as "Islamophobia." » | Soeren Kern | Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Islam Needs to Reform or Leave, Says Canadian Leader of PEGIDA Movement

THE STAR: PEGIDA, a controversial European movement, plans to ‘send a message’ in a rally that has been denounced in the House of Commons and the Quebec legislature.

MONTREAL—Islam needs to change or it needs to leave.

That’s the message from one of the leaders who has brought to Canada a controversial European movement that unites political conservatives, anti-immigration activists and neo-Nazis with the goal of beating back a perceived rising tide of Islamic fundamentalism.

Jean-François Asgard is one of five people to have launched PEGIDA Québec earlier this year, the latest branch of a global anti-Islam movement that was created last fall in the German town of Dresden.

PEGIDA (the name is a German acronym for Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West) was founded by a convicted burglar-turned-graphic designer who planned a protest against the opening of 14 refugee centres in his city. It has risen rapidly, gathering more than 20,000 people at its peak and provoking warnings and denunciations from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

That has done little to stop its global growth and there are now branches across Europe, in Australia, Britain and the United States. There is also a national PEGIDA Canada group as well as a branch in British Columbia.

“The incompatibility of Islam with the west is flagrant and that’s the reason that PEGIDA and the Western patriots are rising up. It’s not just to counter Islam but to say that if Islam doesn’t reform itself, Islam needs to get out of the west,” Asgard, 33, told the Star in the group’s first interview ahead of a controversial march planned for this weekend. » | Allan Woods | Quebec Bureau | Tuesday, March 24, 2014

Origins of ISIS – Special Coverage

In a special report, RT America examines the origins, power and expansion of the terrorist group known as the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as ISIS). RT’s Ben Swann delves into the roots of the organization while Ameera David explains how the group amasses the millions of dollars it requires to operate. Finally, Manuel Rapalo explores how the Iraqi army fell apart despite benefiting from billions of dollars of US money – and military hardware – meant to ensure security.

En Syrie, l'EI enrôle des bataillons d'enfants

LE POINT: Ils sont appelés les "lionceaux du califat". Endoctrinés et armés, parfois dès l'âge de 8 ans, plus de 400 enfants font la guerre pour le groupe djihadiste.

Plus de quatre cents enfants en Syrie ont été entraînés au combat par les combattants extrémistes du groupe État islamique (EI), a indiqué mardi l'Observatoire syrien des droits de l'homme (OSDH). Le groupe djihadiste soumet les enfants, appelés "lionceaux du califat", à des entraînements intensifs militaires et religieux dans les territoires qu'il contrôle en Syrie, précise l'ONG. Des vidéos diffusées sur des comptes proches de l'EI montrent des garçons, dont certains âgés d'à peine 8 ans, chargeant des fusils, tirant et marchant à genoux à travers les broussailles. » | Source AFP | mardi 24 mars 2015

Saudi Arabia Moves Military Equipment to Border with Yemen

Prince Saud al-Faisal, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, at
a press conference in Riyadh.
THE GUARDIAN: Violent political tensions in Yemen are reaching such ferocity that neighbouring Saudi Arabia is beginning to fear for its border regions

Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, US officials have said, raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening conflict.

The buildup follows an advance by Iranian-backed Houthi Shia militants who took control of the capital Sana’a in September and seized the central city of Taiz at the weekend as they move closer to the new southern base of the US-backed president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The armour and artillery being moved by Saudi Arabia could be used for offensive or defensive purposes, two US government sources said, while two other US officials said the buildup appeared to be defensive.

One US government source described the size of the Saudi buildup on Yemen’s border as “significant” and said the Saudis could be preparing air strikes to defend Hadi if the Houthis attack his refuge in the southern seaport of Aden. » | Reuters in Washington | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Anti-Semitism in Europe akin to 1930s: Jewish Leader

President of the World Jewish Congress Ronald Lauder
THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: 'We Jews are the sentinels at the forefront of this war' a prominent Jewish figure in America says

A prominent Jewish figure urged the United States on Tuesday to beware surging anti-Semitism in Europe and warned that seven decades after World War II Jews on the continent are having to look over their shoulders once more.

World Jewish Congress (WJC) president Ronald Lauder told a congressional committee in Washington that the United States could not sit by quietly, with events such as the recent attack in France underlining the growing threat.

"Once again, like the 1930s, European Jews live in fear," said Lauder, a billionaire businessman who inherited a fortune from his mother Estee Lauder's cosmetics empire.

"The United States can and must speak loudly and clearly to condemn this evil for what it is - the radical Islamic hatred of Jews."

"To defeat this new flame of radical Islamic terror and survive... the United States must lead," stressed Lauder, whose mother was Jewish and in whose faith he was raised.

The WJC represents Jewish communities in 100 countries. » | Agencies | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Bundeskanzlerin Angela Merkel zeigt sich vom Absturz tief betroffen

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

America and Iran 'Taking Part in Joint Military Operations in Iraq'

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Officials admit US providing intelligence from air to Iran-led attack on Tikrit

The United States is taking part in joint military operations with Iran, admitting it is providing aerial surveillance over the current battle for Tikrit.

The assault on Isil-held Tikrit, Saddam Hussein’s home town in Iraq, has stalled in recent days after initial success.

Troops loyal to the Baghdad government, along with Iran-backed Shia militia and some Sunni tribesmen, have surrounded Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant fighters in Saddam’s old palace complex and one other part of the city, but have been unable to make further progress.

The attack has been openly master-minded by an Iranian general, Qassem Suleimani, head of the internationally-focused Al Quds division of the Revolutionary Guard, who has been photographed on the front lines.

An official from the US-led coalition operating air strikes against Isil in Iraq and Syria confirmed to the Reuters news agency that it was now providing intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance from the air to support the attack.

The United States is also said to be awaiting an imminent formal request for the coalition to join in military operations directly from the air, which it would be likely to grant. » | Richard Spencer Middle East Editor | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Canada Plans to Expand Air Strikes against IS Militants

BBC AMERICA: Canada will extend its air strike campaign against Islamic State (IS) into Syria, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced.

"In our view, ISIL [IS] must cease to have any safe haven in Syria," Mr Harper said in the House of Commons.

Canada's mission against IS will also be extended for one year, beyond October's election and well into 2016.

Opposition leaders have criticised Mr Harper for drawing Canada into a war with unclear objectives.

The move means Canada will be the first Nato country, other than the United States, to strike inside Syria. » | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

WESLEY PRUDEN: Sodomite Suppression Act Ignites Panic in California

ANALYSIS/OPINION: Life can be good inside a bubble, where the sun always shines, life is a bowl of cherries and it comes with whipped cream and no calories. You could ask almost anyone in San Francisco, where the only disappointment inside the lavender bubble is among the gay caballeros who don't get to carry the six-foot…

CAL THOMAS: How a Bad Iran Deal Could Destroy Israel

In 1982, during one of many visits to Israel, I had the opportunity to speak with Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who told me, "Israel needs friends." He added that in the end, his nation could not trust any nation with its fate and security. The protection of Israel, he said, was ultimately the responsibility of Israelis.…

US Accuses Israel of Spying on Nuclear Talks with Iran

THE GUARDIAN: Israel denies Wall Street Journal reports that it shared confidential information from talks with members of the US Congress in attempt to derail any deal

The US has accused Israel of spying on international negotiations over Iran’s nuclear programme and using the intelligence gathered to persuade Congress to undermine the talks, according to a report on Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal cited senior administration officials as saying the Israeli espionage operation began soon after the US opened up a secret channel of communications with Tehran in 2012, aimed at resolving the decade-long standoff over Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

The apparent decision by the White House to leak the allegations is the latest symptom of the growing gulf between Barack Obama’s administration and Binyamin Netanyahu’s government over the Iran talks, in which the Israeli leader suspects US officials of being ready to make too many concessions at the expense of Israeli security. Intelligence analysts suggested that the leak reflects the degree of anger in Washington at Netanyahu’s actions, and could mark a more serious blow to the already tottering relationship. » | Julian Borger Diplomatic editor, and Mairav Zonszein in Tel Aviv | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

California Lawyer Seeks to Put 'Shoot the Gays' Proposal on 2016 Ballot

THE GUARDIAN: Matt McLaughlin wants homosexuality punished ‘by bullets to the head’ / State attorney general may be powerless to stop proposal going forward

A California lawyer says he wants to legalize the execution of gay people, and there may be nothing the state’s attorney general can do to stop the proposal from moving forward.

Matt McLaughlin, an attorney in Huntington Beach, California, filed paperwork to bring his proposal, which would sanction the killing of gay and lesbian residents on the basis of their sexuality, before voters in November 2016.

The initiative, named the “Sodomite Suppression Act”, is awaiting further review by the office of the state attorney general, Kamala Harris, who does not appear to have the authority to block it. However, the measure is unlikely to reach voters, as the California supreme court can intervene to prevent measures that violate the state constitution from reaching the ballot.

The so-called “shoot the gays” proposal would mandate “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head, or by any other convenient method”. McLaughlin, a lawyer since 1998, declared in his proposal that it is “better that offenders should die rather than that all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath”.

The initiative would also make it a crime to support gay rights, punishable by a $1m fine, up to 10 years in prison and expulsion from the state. It would be illegal to distribute “sodomistic propaganda” to “any person under the age of majority”. Being a “sodomite” or distributing “sodomistic propaganda” would disqualify a resident from serving in public office or public employment and from enjoying any public benefit. » | Lauren Gambino in Los Angeles | Monday, March 23, 2015

Germanwings Airliner 4U 9525 Crashes in French Alps

BBC AMERICA: A Germanwings plane carrying 150 people has crashed in the French Alps on its way from Barcelona to Duesseldorf.

The Airbus A320 - flight 4U 9525 - went down between Digne and Barcelonnette. None of the 144 passengers or six crew is expected to have survived.

The plane crashed after an eight-minute descent, an official said. It is not clear if it sent a distress signal.

The dead are believed to include 16 German schoolchildren. French and German leaders have expressed shock.

"This is the hour in which we all feel deep sorrow," German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters, adding that she was planning to travel to the crash site. (+ BBC videos) » | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Home Secretary Theresa May Pledges Blitz on Hate Preachers and Sharia Courts

DAILY EXPRESS: HOME Secretary Theresa May has pledged to crack down on Muslim extremists and hate preachers.

A review of Sharia courts and a ban on fundamentalist clerics spreading bile-laden messages would be ordered if the Tories are re-elected, she said.

Extreme groups trying to infiltrate schools, universities, town halls and charities also will be rooted out.

Mrs May used her last major speech before the general election to underline her stance on the Islamist threat to British society.

She said: “We have been clear all along that the Government’s counter-extremism strategy must seek to defeat extremism in all its forms, but it’s obvious from the evidence that the most serious and widespread form of extremism we need to confront is Islamist extremism.

“Extremism is not something that can just be ignored.

"It cannot be wished away.

"It must be tackled head on.”

Laying out her wish list of counter-terrorism measures in an uncompromising speech, Mrs May called on British Muslims to help to tackle extremism.

She said: “To those who choose consciously to reject our values and the basic principles of our society, the message is equally clear – the game is up.

"We will no longer tolerate your behaviour.

"We will expose your hateful beliefs for what they are.” » | Anil Dawar | Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Afghan Woman Farkhunda Lynched in Kabul 'for Speaking Out'

BBC AMERICA: An Afghan woman who was lynched after being falsely accused of burning the Koran was killed for tackling superstitious practices, witnesses say.

Farkhunda, who was beaten to death by a Kabul mob last week, had been arguing with a mullah about his practice of selling charms to women at a shrine.

In the course of the argument she was accused of burning the Koran and a crowd overheard and beat her to death.

Hundreds of Afghans protested on Monday against the attack.

Farkhunda, 28, was beaten, hit by bats, stamped on, driven over, and her body dragged by a car before being set on fire. (+ BBC video) » | Monday, March 23, 2015

Mob Launches Anti-Semitic Attack on Stamford Hill Synagogue

THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Six arrested after group of more than 20 men and women launch attack on north London synagogue as they shout 'kill the Jews'

A drunken mob of more than 20 thugs shouted "kill the Jews" as they stormed into a north London synagogue while young worshippers celebrated the end of the sabbath.

The anti-Semitic abuse was hurled by the group of men and women as they first beat up a young man outside before chasing him inside, breaking windows and attacking others.

Part of the chaotic incident in Stamford Hill was captured on video before the intruders were beaten back as the worshippers grabbed chairs to protect themselves.

Scotland Yard said six people - four men and two women - were later arrested on suspicion of public order offences and assault. (+ video) » | Agency, video source, YouTube/vos9es | Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015

JUDSON PHILLIPS: Glenn Beck and the Republican Problem

Glenn Beck is one of America's best known radio and TV personalities. He might be called a conservative but that isn't really accurate. Mr. Beck runs his own talk show, the Blaze TV and Internet network as well as a radio network that features his show as well as other shows. Mr. Beck recently told the…

Glenn Beck: Karl Rove Has 'the Spine of a Worm'

Conservative radio host Glenn Beck heightened his ongoing battle with former Bush adviser Karl Rove, saying he and other establishment Republicans "have the spine of a worm, the ethics of whores, and the integrity or pirates," on Friday. Following Mr. Beck's announcement that he was leaving the GOP, claiming establishment Republicans don't stand on conservative principles…

Counter-Terrorism Bureau Warns of Jihadi Threats to Jewish, Israeli Targets in Europe

Terror threat to Israelis in Africa has risen, travel advisory says.

THE JERUSALEM POST: The Counter-Terrorism Bureau warned on Sunday that global jihadi elements will likely seek to carry out additional attacks on Jewish and Israeli targets, particularly in western and northern Europe.

The warning appeared in an annual travel advisory guide issued by the Bureau, a part of the Prime Minister's Office.

It noted the string of terror attacks in 2014 in Belgium, France, Denmark, Canada, and Australia, adding that these "raise concerns over additional attacks against Western targets, including Jewish and Israeli targets." Militant veterans of battlegrounds in Syria and Iraq who return to their countries, and local extremists inspired by terrorist organizations, are behind the threat of more attacks, the advisory, issued before the Passover holiday, said. » | Yaakov Lappin | Sunday, March 22, 2015

Israel : PM Netanyahu Says Peace Agreement Must Be Negotiated, Not Imposed (Mar 20, 2015)

Obama Details His Disappointment With Netanyahu In First Post-Election Comments

Read the Huffington Post article here

Obama kritisiert Netanyahu öffentlich

DIE PRESSE: Der US-Präsident greift den wiedergewählten Regierungschef für seine harte Haltung gegenüber den Palästinensern an und setzt sich für eine schnelle Einigung im Atomstreit mit dem Iran ein.

US-Präsident Barack Obama hat den israelischen Regierungschef Benjamin Netanyahu öffentlich für seinen Wahlkampf kritisiert. Die von Netanyahu kurz vor dem Urnengang gemachten Äußerungen über arabische Wähler stünden im Gegensatz zum "Besten", was der israelischen Tradition eigen sei, sagte Obama der "Huffington Post" vom Samstag. Netanyahu hatte kurz vor der Wahl auf seiner Facebook-Seite vor "Scharen" arabischer Wähler gewarnt, die der Opposition zum Sieg verhelfen könnten. » | APA/dpa | Sonntag, 22. März 2015

L'extrême droite européenne réunie en Russie

LE POINT: Une dizaine de partis de l'extrême droite européenne, pour certains réputés néo-nazis, se sont réunis dimanche à l'invitation d'une formation pro-Kremlin.

Des représentants d'une dizaine de partis de l'extrême droite européenne, pour certains réputés néo-nazis, se sont réunis dimanche en Russie lors d'un forum organisé par une formation pro-Kremlin, défendant les "valeurs traditionnelles" familiales et critiquant les sanctions contre Moscou liées à la crise ukrainienne.

Près de 150 membres de mouvements nationalistes, comme les partis d'inspiration néo-nazie grec Aube dorée et allemand NPD ou le parti bulgare Ataka, réputé pour sa rhétorique violente anti-minorités, ont discuté du "soutien des valeurs traditionnelles" familiales défendues par Vladimir Poutine, du conflit en Ukraine ou encore de la politique "orgueilleuse" des États-Unis. » | Source AFP | dimanche 22 mars 2015

New Dark Age Alert! Malaysian Parties Chase Islamic Vote with 'Death by Stoning' Law

THE SYDNEY MORNING HERALD: Kuala Lumpur: Six months after Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak stood before the United Nations and urged Muslims worldwide to be moderate in their religion, members of his own party are supporting a law that punishes adulterers with death and thieves with amputation.

Lawmakers from Mr Najib's United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) joined the opposition Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) to pass Islamic criminal law, or hudud, in the opposition-held state of Kelantan.

The move has drawn criticism from other parties in their respective coalitions, while human rights groups say it's an unconstitutional step for secular Malaysia. » | Niluksi Koswanage and Liau Y-Sing | Monday, March 23, 2015

Australia a Puzzling Hotbed of Islamic State Recruiting

SALON: CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A nightclub bouncer who reportedly became a terror group leader. A man who tweeted a photo of his young son clutching a severed head. A teenager who is believed to have turned suicide bomber, and others suspected of attempting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State movement. All of them, Australian.

The London-based International Center for the Study of Radicalization and Political Violence reports that between 100 and 250 Australians have joined Sunni militants in Iraq and Syria. Given Australia’s vast distance from the region and its population of just 24 million, it is a remarkable number. The center estimates that about 100 fighters came from the United States, which has more than 13 times as many people as Australia.

Experts disagree about why Islamic State has been so effective recruiting in Australia, which is widely regarded as a multicultural success story, with an economy in an enviable 24th year of continuous growth.

Possible explanations include that some Australian Muslims are poorly integrated with the rest of the country, and that Islamic State recruiters have given Australia particular attention. In addition, the Australian government failed to keep tabs on some citizens who had been radicalized, and moderate Muslims have been put off by some of Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s comments about their community.

Greg Barton, a global terrorism expert at Monash University in Melbourne, said Australia and some other countries underestimated Islamic State’s “pull factor.”

“We’re all coming to terms with the fact that this is a formidable targeter and predatory recruiter that goes after individuals one by one with a very masterful use of technology, and our sense of confidence that because we’ve got society working well makes us secure misses the point,” Barton said. » | Rod McGuirk, Associated Press | Sunday, March 22, 2015

‘In Islam, They Are All Rotten Apples’: Activist Ex-Muslim

NEW YORK POST: There was a time when author and activist Ayaan Hirsi Ali believed it all: that, according to Islam, the infidel should die, that the Koran is infallible, that those who violated sharia law — thieves, gays, adulterers — deserved to be stoned to death or beheaded, as they were each Friday in a public gathering place she and her brother called “Chop-Chop Square.”

Today, she is that rare thing: a public intellectual who, despite death threats and charges of bigotry, calls for an end to Islam — not just as the faithful know it, but as we in the West think we know it.

“The assumption is that, in Islam, there are a few rotten apples, not the entire basket,” Ali tells The Post. “I’m saying it’s the entire basket.”

In her book, “Heretic,” Ali argues for a complete reformation of Islam, akin to the Protestant reformation of the 16th century. Though her own education led her to reject Islam and declare herself an atheist, she believes that for the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims, there must be another way.

“If you are a child brought up to believe that Islam is a source of morality” — as she was, in Africa and Saudi Arabia — “the Muslim framework presents you with the Koran and the hijab. I don’t want to be cruel and say, ‘You grow up and you snap out of it.’ But maybe we who have snapped out of it have not done our best to appeal to those still in it,” she says. » | Maureen Callaghan | Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Baroness, Islamic Extremists and a Question of Free Speech

'The Creator is the one who should decide what the laws
should be,' said Abu Essa Niamatullah
THE SUNDAY TELEGRAPH: Two groups campaigning to get British Muslims involved in the election are "clever fronts" to win political access and influence for Islamists holding extreme views, writes Andrew Gilligan.

At first glance, it looks admirable: two closely connected campaigns, called YouElect and Mend (Muslim Engagement and Development), to get British Muslims involved and voting in this year’s general election.

Mend says it is “creating and supporting an environment in which British Muslims can confidently and critically engage in politics”. One of YouElect’s leaders, Jamil Rashid, told the Islam Channel: “We’re all part of this society, so I think it’s extremely important that Muslims stand up and be counted.” Who could disagree? That, no doubt, is why the Electoral Commission has made Mend an “official partner” in registering Muslim voters for the coming campaign; why at least 10 Labour and Tory MPs joined the launch of Mend’s “Muslim manifesto” in the Commons earlier this month; and why even Lynton Crosby, the Conservative campaign director, addressed a Mend fringe meeting at last year’s Tory conference.

Mend also holds events with police chiefs, gets funding from the EU and is a “key partner” in the Hacked Off campaign for state-backed controls on the press. The truth, however, is that these distinguished bodies and people have been conned. Both Mend and YouElect are clever fronts to win political access and influence for Islamists holding extreme and anti-democratic views.

When not giving reassuring interviews, Mr Rashid is a director of the London-based Muslim Research and Development Foundation, the think tank of one of Britain’s most notorious hate preachers, Haitham al-Haddad, an extremist cleric and Sharia judge from east London.

Haddad describes democracy as “filthy”, regards music as a “prohibited and fake message of love and peace”, states that Jews and Christians are the “enemies of Allah” who will “all go to hellfire” and advises Muslims not to “integrate … as simple as that”.

On March 6, Mr Rashid spoke at a rally organised by Cage, the pro-terrorist lobby group which had the week before provoked outrage by describing Mohammed Emwazi, “Jihadi John”, as a “kind and gentle” man who had been “radicalised by MI5”. He described Cage as “the leaders in our community – we are all Cage, and we stand with them in all their endeavours”. Ismail Patel, the director of YouElect, is also spokesman for the British Muslim Initiative, closely linked to Hamas, the terrorist group which wants to destroy Israel, and the Muslim Brotherhood, which wants to replace secular democratic government with a caliphate under Islamic law.

Then there is Mend. It, too, has defended Cage, accusing the media of trying to discredit the group after the “Jihadi John” episode. It, too, has links to Haddad, who, despite his views on democracy, has appeared in a Mend video urging Muslims to vote. He has said in the past that voting may be permissible to return a Muslim majority government in “50 years, something like this” as a prelude to “Islam spreading all over the world”.

Mend is next month launching an election tour, to “reinforce the importance of electoral participation” and encourage Muslims to go to the ballot box. A star speaker at five of the six events listed will be Abu Eesa Niamatullah, another British extremist who opposes democracy. » | Andrew Gilligan | Sunday, March 22, 2015

Pentagon Investigates 'IS Online Threat' to US Military

BBC AMERICA: The US defence department says it is investigating an online threat allegedly made by Islamic State (IS) to about 100 of its military personnel.

A list of names and addresses was posted on a website linked to the group alongside a call for them to be killed.

The group said it obtained the information by hacking servers and databases but US officials said most of the data was in the public domain.

A US security source told the BBC that those on the list were being contacted.

The group, which called itself the Islamic State Hacking Division, said the personnel named had participated in US missions against IS.

It urged its supporters in the US to "take the final step" and "deal with" those named. » | Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Der Umgang mit dem Islam in der Schweiz

VIMENTIS: Seit einigen Jahren hat sich die Wahrnehmung von Muslimen weltweit und in der Schweiz verändert. Der Umgang mit Muslimen beschäftigt die Bevölkerung. In der Schweiz gibt es hierzu zwei aktuelle Beispiele: die kantonale Volksinitiative zur Einführung eines Verhüllungsverbotes im Kanton Tessin, das schliesslich Musliminnen das Tragen von Burka und Niqab verbietet. Vergleichsweise hohe Wellen hat 2009 auch die Anti-Minarett-Initiative geworfen. Die am heftigsten diskutierten Themen im Zusammenhang mit dem Islam werden im Folgenden kurz vorgestellt und erläutert.

Muslime in der Schweiz

Der Islam ist nach dem Christentum die zweitgrösste Religion weltweit. In der Schweiz stellen Muslime die viertgrösste Glaubensgemeinschaft dar: nach den aktuellsten Zahlen von 2011 sind dies 320'958 Musliminnen und Muslime. Diese Zahl ist seit der Erhebung von 2000 praktisch konstant geblieben. Während den grossen Einwanderungswellen ab den 1970er sowie 1990er Jahren sind viele Flüchtlinge und Arbeitskräfte aus muslimischen Ländern in die Schweiz gekommen. Etwa 90% der hier lebenden Muslime stammen somit ursprünglich aus dem Balkan und der Türkei. Insofern überwiegt in der Schweiz ein europäisch geprägter Islam. An der Gesamtbevölkerung bemessen machen Muslime nach den Berechnungen des Bundes heute rund 4.5% der ständigen Wohnbevölkerung aus. Die Mehrheit lebt in den Städten, rund ein Drittel besitzt den Schweizer Pass und etwa die Hälfte spricht eine Landessprache als ihre Hauptsprache.

Es ist wichtig zu betonen, dass die Muslime in der Schweiz weder ethnisch und kulturell noch hinsichtlich ihrer Einwanderungsgründe eine einheitliche Gruppe bilden. Die Bandbreite der Auffassungen ihres Glaubens reicht von weltlichen und modernen bis hin zu streng traditionellen Ansichten.

Nach Schätzungen praktizieren nur 10 bis 15% der Muslime ihren Glauben tatsächlich. Dies liegt in der Grössenordnung der anderen grossen Religionsgemeinschaften in der Schweiz. Die grosse Mehrheit der in der Schweiz lebenden Muslime sind also rein „nominelle“, da sie ihren Glauben nicht praktizieren. Dies heisst allerdings nicht, dass sie nicht gläubig sind. » | Von Ronja Harder | Dienstag, 26. November 2013

University's 'Anti-Semitic' Israel Conference Condemned

THE DAILY TELEGRAPH: Southampton University's decision to organise a conference questioning Israel's right to exist has been condemned as 'legitimising anti-Semitism'

A leading British university has been condemned for hosting a conference questioning Israel’s right to exist which critics say will legitimise anti-Semitism.

Pressure is growing on Southampton University to cancel the three day event, planned for next month, or face growing anger from academics, politicians and its own fund-raisers.

One prominent lawyer has already said he would think twice before hiring someone from the south coast university.

Mark Lewis, who has represented a string of celebrity clients, said he would look “unfavourably” at CVs sent by graduates of Southampton.

And one of its most respected former alumni has returned his degree in protest and at least one major patron of the university is said to be considering withdrawing funding. » | Patrick Sawer, and Jonny Paul | Saturday, March 21, 2015

Zukunft | CH | Brennpunkt: Die Rückkehr vom Dschihad aus Syrien und Irak zurück nach Europa

Mit in der Sendung sind: Beatrice Gall, Geschäftsführerin der Stiftung Zukunft CH, Daniel Zingg, Islamexperte, Pfr. Hansjürg Stückelberger, Präsident Stiftung Zukunft CH und langjähriger Präsident der Menschenrechtsorganisation CSI M.H., Islamwissenschaftler und Theologe, Prof. Dr. Albert Stahel, Schweizer Politik- und Wirtschaftswissenschafter, Professor für Strategische Studien an der ETH Zürich und der Universität Zürich, Lukas Reimann, Schweizer Nationalrat

Diese Sendung wurde zum Teil in Schweizerdeutsch (Schwyzertüütsch) aufgenommen.

Sweden's Foreign Minister Reviled as an Enemy of the Prophet

GATESTONE INSTITUTE: Evidently, Sweden's Foreign Minister was unaware that that by criticizing Islamic sharia customs, such as flogging a blogger a thousand times and the ill-treatment of women, she was, in fact, seen as turning against Islam itself.

There appears to be a genuine but concerning lack of knowledge in the Swedish government about Islam and Islamic affairs.

"It makes no difference what she says. In Islam, it is for Muslims to determine whether or not one has criticized their religion." — Johannes J.G. Jansen, author and historian of Islam.

From a Muslim perspective, any criticism or infringement of sharia law and Muslims' obligation to wage jihad [war in the service of Islam] is a violation of their freedom of religion.

In other words, it is incumbent on Muslims to "terrify" non-Muslims (referring to the Koran 8:60). But when they succeed, Muslim spokesmen accuse their frightened victims of suffering from "Islamophobia," and demand that Western authorities denounce and persecute people beset by the psychiatric malady.

There is nothing, however, to indicate that Margot Wallström and other members of the Swedish government have been driven by fear. They have no knowledge of what orthodox Islam is about, and evidently believe that the religion is benevolent and peaceful, but unfortunately hijacked or misinterpreted by evil men.

As predicted, Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallström's criticism of "medieval" conditions in Saudi Arabia has caused great parts of the Muslim world to rise up in anger against her and Sweden, the country she represents.

"Almost the entire Muslim world joins in the criticism of Wallström," wrote the Swedish national daily Dagens Nyheter on March 19, adding that around thirty Muslim countries have distanced themselves from Wallström's comments. The Arab League has denounced her for criticizing the lack of human rights in Saudi Arabia, and on Saturday the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), which represents 57 Arab and Muslim states, as well as the Palestinians, accused her of having "degraded Saudi Arabia and its social norms, judicial system and political institutions". » | Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard | Saturday, March 21, 2015