Sunday, December 20, 2009
The "cultural sensitivity" of the British police kills woman
Twice, in the weeks before she was murdered by her father, Tulay Goren told the police that she feared for her life. And twice she was ignored. Mehmet Goren, who was convicted of murder yesterday, killed his 15-year-old daughter because she had fallen in love with an “unsuitable” older man. To Mehmet, the affair made her a “worthless commodity” who could not be married off for a £5,000 dowry. The authorities did nothing to protect her, even though the police became involved when her father attacked her boyfriend, and even though Mehmet demanded in front of police officers that his daughter take a virginity test. Only a decade after her murder in 1999 has justice been done.
“Honour killings” in Britain? Impossible. To many people the case of Tulay Goren will come as a shock, but not to me. I know from personal experience, and from working with victims, that such “honour” crimes are a huge social problem in this country. The shame is not just that it is happening on such a large scale, but that it is so often covered up for fear of upsetting cultural sensibilities. Serious crimes are being treated as a matter for diversity officers rather than for the police and the courts.
There are measures in place to help potential victims of honour crimes, but they are not being used to anything like the extent that they should be. In 2007 Parliament passed the Forced Marriage Act, which enables magistrates to issue protection orders to stop women and girls being married against their will. If necessary, victims, a third of whom are under 16, can be taken into care. Passports can be confiscated, and parents can be forced to reveal the whereabouts of daughters who have gone missing from school, most likely because they have been taken abroad to be coerced into marriage. According to a recent Home Affairs Select Committee report, 2,500 British girls have gone missing from schools and are believed to be at risk.
But the law will have been in vain if authorities refuse to use it for fear of being accused of being racist. Up until last month, 86 forced marriage protection orders have been issued, yet not one of them was in Bradford, Leicester or Tower Hamlets. Is this because forced marriage is not a problem in those areas, all of which have some of the largest Asian populations in Britain? Or is it because authorities there are failing to use the powers for fear of creating offence? I am afraid it is the latter.
Two years ago Cleveland Police set up a helpline for victims of forced marriage. In that time it has received more than 300 calls. If that is the scale of the problem in an area where only 3 per cent of people are from ethnic minorities, imagine how many calls police in areas with large Asian populations would get if they became more proactive.
If a white child went missing from school or rang a helpline to complain that she was being taken away to be married, you can be sure it would be followed up. But I have seen at close quarters what happens when the child is Asian. Many schools and social service departments decline to act. Recently, I tried to get posters put up in schools around Derby, but the headteachers refused on the grounds that they didn’t want to upset the local communities. A lot of people still consider forced marriage to be part of Asian culture and that it is offensive to intervene. But it is not part of anyone’s culture to be abused.
Since the Government set up its forced marriage unit in 2005, 400 victims of forced marriages have been repatriated from abroad. One third of them were minors. But we are still only scratching the surface because people are very unwilling to face up to these “honour” crimes. Consider this: Tulay’s mother took ten years to report her daughter’s killing. And I know only too well the guilt and shame that prevents victims of “honour” crimes talking about what has happened to them.
In 1981, aged 15½, I was taken out of my school in Derby and told by my parents that seven years earlier I had been promised in marriage to a man from Punjab. They showed me a photograph of him. They had not even met him themselves, but they wanted me to marry him because they knew it would give them great status to be able to get this man into Britain and gain him citizenship.
When I refused to go through with the marriage I was locked in a room. My mother told me: “unless you marry who we say, you are dead in our eyes”. Unknown to my parents I had a boyfriend, and I ran away with him to Newcastle where we slept in a car and washed in public toilets before we managed to find a bedsit.
I spent seven years in hiding and it was only when I heard that my 24-year-old sister Robina had set fire to herself rather than suffer the shame of leaving a violent arranged marriage, and had died as a result, that I returned to Derby to campaign against forced marriage. Even now my brother and surviving sisters will cross the road rather than talk to me.
I was lucky compared with many victims. When I was on the run in Newcastle I told my story to a policeman who agreed not to send me back home. Unfortunately, the police often fail to believe girls who tell them they are in danger; they are treated like stroppy teenagers who have fallen out with their parents. Tulay Goren begged to be put into a children’s home. If she had been listened to she would be alive now.
Over the past 20 years attitudes towards domestic violence among the white population have changed immeasurably. No longer do police say “it’s just a domestic” when they receive a call from a woman who is being attacked by her husband. Sadly, different standards still apply to violence among Asians. While it is too late for Tulay Goren, I hope that the story of her appalling and avoidable death will finally wake us up to the abuse taking place in our midst and that we will stop trying to excuse forced marriage as just a price to pay for multicultural diversity.
Beyond mere hatred
Palestinian anti-Semitism has long been recognized as a vehicle of hatred. From academics teaching that Judaism permits murder and rape of non-Jews, to religious leaders teaching that Islam demands the extermination of Jews, Palestinian anti-Semitism is a compelling force driving hatred and terror.
The Palestinian Authority depicts Jews as the archetypal force of evil throughout history. Jews are said to be responsible for all the world's problems: wars, financial crises, even the spreading of AIDS. Jews are a danger to humanity.
Whereas this paradigm has been used before, the Palestinians take it a step further, turning demonization of Jews into the basis for Palestinian denial of Israel's right to exist and a central component of Palestinian national identity.
Because of Jews' evil nature, according to this Palestinian principle, nations of the world have been involved in continuous defensive actions to protect themselves. The anti-Semitic oppression, persecution and expulsions suffered by Jews throughout history are presented as the legitimate self-defense responses of nations.
Ibrahim Mudayris, a PA religious official, delineated this ideology: "The Jews are a virus similar to AIDS, from which the entire world is suffering. This has been proven in history... Ask Britain!... Ask France!... Ask Portugal... Ask czarist Russia - who invited the Jews and they plotted to murder the czar!... Don't ask Germany what it did to the Jews, since the Jews are the ones who provoked Nazism to fight the entire world" (PA TV, May 13, 2005).
The apex of this Palestinian ideology, and possibly its purpose, is to use this demonization of Jews as the basis for denying Israel legitimacy and to present Palestinians as the ultimate victims. According to this Palestinian model, the Jews, who are said to have no history in the land, would never have considered coming to "Palestine": Europeans created Zionism as the final act in the long series of self-defense measures, to rid themselves of the "burden" of the Jews.
Political commentator Fathi Buzia recently explained this on official PA television: "Europe, led by Britain, founded Israel... The Jews in the time of Herzl caused European societies to lose sleep. They wanted to be rid of them, and implanted them in Palestine" (PA TV, June 17). Dr Riad al-Astal, a history lecturer at Al Azhar University in Gaza, explained it this way: "In aiding Zionism, Britain's first aim was to be rid of the Jews, who were known to provoke disputes and disturbances and financial crises in Germany, France and other European states" (PA TV, December 28, 2003).
THIS DEMONIZATION of Jews as the reason for delegitimizing Israel has been an integral part of Palestinian ideology, voiced by political, academic and religious leaders since the establishment of the PA. Already in 1998 the official PA daily described both Hitler's attempt to exterminate the Jews and British support for Zionism as defensive measures: "Hitler did not have colonies to send the Jews so he destroyed them, whereas Balfour... [turned] Palestine into his colony and sent the Jews. Balfour is Hitler with colonies, while Hitler is Balfour without colonies. They both wanted to get rid of the Jews... Zionism was crucial to the defense of the West's interests in the region, [by] ridding Europe of the burden of its Jews" (Al-Hayat al-Jadida [Fatah], June 12, 1998).
This is not merely incitement; this is the foundation of Palestinian ideology. Israel is denied legitimacy and Palestinian victimhood becomes the foundation upon which a Palestinian national identity is created. Therefore, the Palestinian anti-Semitism construct is so problematic and hard to dislodge. Since the aim of Palestinian anti-Semitism is not merely to promote hatred, but part of a systematic demonization of Jews to deny Israel's right to exist, proving that Jews are evil has become an element of the ongoing Palestinian narrative.
Indeed, even in the period of the Annapolis Conference, the PA has never stopped disseminating a steady diet of hatred of Jews and Israelis. It has accused Jews and Israel of spreading AIDS among Palestinians, causing drug addiction among youth, planning to destroy the Aksa Mosque, and murdering Yasser Arafat. Jews are said to have lived in ghettos not because of European hatred, but because they see themselves as superior and do not want to mix with non-Jews, while the Palestinian chief religious justice recently said that the Koran warns of the Jews' inherently evil traits. Zionists are said to have forced Palestinians to undergo "selections" during the War of Independence, whereby the fit were put in labor camps and the unfit killed - some even burned alive.
All this and much more, since the renewal of the peace process.
The tragic reality is that this Palestinian anti-Semitism and its conclusions may already be ingrained in Palestinian society. During a talk show for teens on official PA TV, a young girl explained the reason Jews live in Israel: "About the problem of the Jewish presence: You'd agree that the Jewish presence in the land of Palestine was nothing but the liberation of all the countries of the world from the source of evil. The evil that is found in the Jews has become a germ among us, which is a cancer that buried us and is still burying. And we are the ones who suffer from this cancer" (PA TV, June 23, 2002). The adult moderator did not correct her. And why should he? She was merely reiterating the basis of Palestinian national identity.
IN OTHER countries, anti-Semitism has been a tool to promote hatred for a variety of internal reasons. As such, when hatred was no longer necessary, anti-Semitism as a government policy could be eradicated, as in post-Nazi Germany.
But the goal of PA demonization of Jews transcends mere hatred. Anti-Semitism is its political tool to defame Zionism, deny Israel's right to exist and create victimhood as the glue that cements Palestinian national identity. Because this political goal will exist as long as Israel exists, Palestinian anti-Semitism will be much harder to uproot.
If there is ever to be peace in the region, Palestinians must define a new Palestinian national identity - one that doesn't rely on anti-Semitism and the eradication of Israel's legitimacy as its foundation.
Australia's proposed internet filters 'thin end of the wedge'
I don't agree with Justice Kirby often but I do on this one
Former High Court judge Michael Kirby has criticised the Federal Government's internet censorship agenda, saying it could stop the "Berlin Walls of the future" from being knocked down.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Communications Minister, Stephen Conroy, announced he would introduce legislation before next year's elections forcing ISPs to block a secret blacklist of "refused classification" (RC) websites for all Australian internet users. Most experts agree that Conroy's policy will not result in any meaningful dent in the availability of harmful internet content, will create significant freedom of speech issues and will be prone to abuse by politicians.
Almost 20,000 people have voted in a Fairfax Media poll on internet censorship and 96 per cent of respondents oppose the filters, which the Government itself has admitted could be easily bypassed and do not cover peer-to-peer, instant messaging or other communications protocols. Nearly 120,000 Australians signed a petition against internet censorship by online activist group GetUp.
In an interview with Fairfax Radio this morning, Kirby said some circles feared the controversial policy would be "the thin end of the wedge of the Government moving in to regulating the actual internet itself". "Once you start doing that you get into the situation of Burma and Iran where the Government is taking control of what people hear and what information they get," he said, adding that Australia's approach hadn't been attempted anywhere else in the world.
Google has also entered the debate, saying yesterday the scope of the content to be filtered went too far beyond child pornography and that the "heavy handed" approach would restrict freedom of expression. "Refused Classification (or RC) is a broad category of content that includes not just child sexual abuse material but also socially and politically controversial material - for example, educational content on safer drug use - as well as the grey realms of material instructing in any crime, including politically controversial crimes such as euthanasia," Google Australia's head of policy, Iarla Flynn, said. "This type of content may be unpleasant and unpalatable but we believe that government should not have the right to block information which can inform debate of controversial issues."
Kirby and Google's concerns mirror that of Sydney University Associate Professor Bjorn Landfeldt, who said yesterday that there was no clear definition of "refused classification" and the goalposts dictating what content is prohibited could be substantially widened in future. Already, the refused classification category includes a significant proportion of legal material such as regular gay and straight porn sites, fetish sites, euthanasia material and innocuous sites that have been mistakenly prohibited.
"It was through 'public complaints mechanisms' like the one Conroy is proposing, that classic literature such as The Catcher in the Rye, Ulysses and The Story of the Kelly Gang were once banned in Australia," GetUp said.
Landfeldt also criticised the pilot trial report used by the Government to justify the policy, saying the trials were designed to succeed from the outset, presented no new information and were now being used by the Government to further its political agenda.
The Government has said 15 other Western democracies have implemented the same filtering plan but most of the other countries have made the scheme voluntary for ISPs and the blacklisted content is limited to child pornography. "Australia's proposed regime would uniquely combine a mandatory framework and a much wider scope of content, the first of its kind in the democratic world," Flynn said.
In a phone interview, Flynn said it was too early to say what effect the filters would have on Google's services but "if you were to look at YouTube today and ask: 'Is there material on YouTube which could be considered refused classification?', the answer would have to be 'yes' ".
Conroy's policy has attracted significant ridicule from international commentators and media, with news headlines such as "Australia plans Chinese-style internet filtering" and "Joining China and Iran, Australia to filter internet" appearing on the Telegraph.co.uk and FOXNews websites.
Politically correct = not saying what’s often true
Political correctness is a cancer on the heart of America. Like the real cancer, it is slowly killing us and all that we stand for. It is our death knell. Political correctness, or PC, was hatched decades ago by left-wingnuts posing as peaceniks and bra burners. And like that lone bandit cell that grew into a tumor, it became a monster that metastasized throughout our society. The monster today is the multi-headed special interest groups and their ACLU attorneys who have become the law of the land and the thought police.
That this is so has never been more evident given the news that is in the forefront in our modern day Crusade against the Islamic forces of evil. This wording is most appropriate because it is in fact what it appears to be: A de facto religious war. To sugarcoat it would be to surrender to the forces of political correctness and their inherent evil.
That surrender has been manifested most recently by the mass murder by an Islamic terrorist insider who infiltrated our Army at Ft. Hood, Texas. We knew about the major’s murderous intentions before he killed those 13 people. It is a common tactic applied by his jihadist brothers in the Iraqi army and police forces.
But we failed to act because we didn’t want to be seen by the world and Islam as anti-Muslim. For that very same reason, we are putting three of America’s finest and most self-sacrificing warrior SEALs on trial for “allegedly” punching a despicable terrorist bastard in the stomach.
Strong language, I know. I also know that he was one of the masterminds that led to the capture, murder, and hanging from a bridge the burned and mutilated bodies of four American contractors employed by our government to protect government officials and diplomats over there.
And now, we have five jailed terrorist recruits who are American-born Muslims -- men of dogs who put their version of a religion over their country.
The United States is the Great Satan that gave them unparalleled opportunities through a life of promise through education. And now, our primary concern is bringing them “home” for a fair trial, as opposed to an uncertain fate in Pakistan. These bastards are guilty of nothing less than treason, but you can bet there is a plethora of slime-ball lawyers lining up to throw doubt on their “original” intentions, so that they may again walk the streets of freedom conspiring to act out their next deeds against us, free to infiltrate our society. Why? Political correctness: We want the world to see us as fair and just, and not anti-Muslim.
Whatever happened to our sense of crime and punishment; our sense of actions and consequences; our sense of doing time for a crime? Liberals may spout from their “kiss and make up” lips that we are fair and just, unlike our enemies. But I ask, where is the justice? Ask the Fort Hood 13 and their loved ones and friends; ask the three Navy SEALs and their brothers in arms.
These are but the most recent. Throughout this Mid-East war are multitudes of our troops who have not received fair and just treatment from their own forces and government for alleged violations of the rules of engagement and the treatment of captured murderous prisoners. There is absolutely nothing fair and just about this war. Political correctness is the booby trap that has ambushed America and its defenders, and continues to do so.
Weak-kneed armchair generals and admirals, from the Pentagon to the rear echelon Battlefield, have abandoned our “boots on the ground.” That, for the sake of career promotions made possible by kissing the rear ends of liberal, left wing Congressional power brokers and keepers of the military purse; they who wallow in the dirty sty of political correctness.
This is but one huge example in a sea of examples of the national suicide that is destroying America. Like the smoker who should not be surprised with a diagnosis of lung cancer, America should not be surprised with a death dealing diagnosis of PC cancer. It is slowly killing us, and if we don’t stop it now, later will be too late.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.