Thursday, April 01, 2010
Belgium (Belgium??) prepares to impose nationwide ban on face-covering veil
The face-covering veil is set to be banned within weeks in Belgium, making it the first country in Europe to make the wearing of Muslim clothing illegal. Women who flout the ban will face from one to seven days in jail or a fine of €15 to €25.
While President Sarkozy is encountering obstacles to his plans to outlaw the face-covering niqab in France, Belgium’s main parties are united behind the move and the influential home affairs committee voted for it unanimously yesterday.
A vote in the full Belgian parliament is expected on April 22 and a “yes” vote seems assured given the political consensus. “Wearing the burka in public is not compatible with an open, liberal, tolerant society,” said MP Daniel Bacquelaine, from a French-speaking centre right party who proposed the Bill. “The burka is contrary to the dignity of women. It is a walking prison.” He added: “We cannot allow someone to claim the right to look at others without being seen. “It is necessary that the law forbids the wearing of clothes that totally mask and encloses an individual.”
Denis Ducarme MP, also from the centre-right Reform Movement, added: “This is a very strong signal that is being sent to Islamists. I am proud that Belgium would be the first country in Europe which dares to legislate on this sensitive matter.”
Under the proposed law, groups could apply for a temporary derogation for festivals or other special events. The legislation does not apply to headscarves, but will make it illegal to wear any garment concealing the whole face or making it unrecognisable.
The ban would be imposed in streets, public gardens, sports grounds and buildings “meant for public use or to provide services” to the public, according to draft Bill.
Isabelle Praile, vice-president of the Muslim Executive of Belgium, warned that the move could set a dangerous precedent. “Today it is the full-face veil, tomorrow the veil, the day after it will be Sikh turbans and then perhaps it will be mini skirts,” she said. “The wearing of a full-face veil is part of the individual freedoms” protected by international rights laws, she added.
While few women in Belgium wear a face-covering garment, tensions have been heightened after a prominent burka-wearer, Malika El-Aroub, was arrested along with 13 others in 2008 in connection with an alleged suicide attack plot. The arrests came on the day of an EU summit although the police did not confirm the suspected target.
Ms El-Aroub, whose first husband was killed in Afghanistan after he assassinated an anti-Taleban leader, became well-known for running a jihadist website from her home in Brussels and is currently on trial for allegedly trying to recruit fighters for Afghanistan.
A Muslim maths teacher has been given until the middle of next week to return to her classroom after a lengthy court battle to stop her wearing a veil at work.
In June last year, a Belgian MP of Turkish origin was sworn in at the Brussels regional parliament wearing an Islamic headscarf in a first for the country.
In France, the Council of State, the nation’s highest administrative body, has warned that a prohibition on full-body Islamic veils in public risked being found unconstitutional. President Sarkozy said last year that such clothing was “not welcome” in France and last week repeated his intention to ban it.
Britain has become a country that lives in fear of pervasive government regulations
When Joanna Ornowska took a series of elegant pictures of a pregnant friend, she proudly gave the digital snaps to Boots to be printed. But the store refused to process the 30 photographs - because they were too good. Workers said the portraits looked to be the work of an expert and did not believe the 25-year-old student took them.
Her model, eight months pregnant Malgorzata Kulinsha, 26, took the snaps on a memory stick to a Boots store in the Lower Precinct Shopping Centre, in Coventry, West Midlands, last week.
She was challenged by staff who accused her of breaking copyright laws, which make it illegal to print professional photographs without their owner's permission. Miss Kulinsha returned the following day with her friend's student ID and a signed letter proving she was studying for a degree in photography at Coventry University. But the Boots staff demanded a further letter written on headed paper.
Even when both women went to the store to prove that the photographer and model were happy to have the snaps printed, staff refused to back down and the pair were sent away empty-handed.
Miss Ornowska, who was born in Poland but moved to the UK three years ago, said: 'Boots said the photos looked so professional that they didn't believe I had taken them. It was crazy. 'They were demanding a letter on headed paper to prove I was the photographer, but I explained to them that I was a student and did not have my own photography business.
'They showed me a book of rules and regulations which said customers needed the photographer's permission to print pictures, but nowhere did it say anything about needing such a letter.
Ms Kulinsha planned to take the pictures back to show her family in Poland. 'The photos were special to me. I don't go home very often and I wanted something to bring back to my family'
'I could have developed the pictures myself in the darkroom. But I needed them done quickly and I couldn't see what right it was of theirs to say I couldn't have copies of my own work. Should I start taking bad photos to get them printed?'
Miss Kulinsha asked her to take the portraits to show her family at home in Poland, where they do not have access to e-mail. Her friend used a Canon digital camera to take a series of photos of the blonde cradling her bump against a dark backdrop in a studio at the university. But because of the delay caused by Boots, Miss Kulinsha caught a plane home without the snaps.
She said: 'I spent ages putting on my make-up and getting dressed up to have the pictures taken. But even with the model and the photographer stood in front of them, Boots still wouldn't print the photos for us.
'The photos were special to me. I don't go home very often and I wanted something to bring back to my family, but instead I felt I was being accused of stealing someone's work.'
Miss Ornowska's university tutor Jonathan Worth condemned the store's reaction. He said: 'Joanna has only been taking pictures for a year but she is an incredible talent. The shop has asked for proof she took them, which there is obviously no possible way of doing. It's ridiculous. 'I suppose it's a bit of a back-handed compliment to her, but it was very inconvenient.'
Austin Mitchell, Labour MP for Grimsby and a campaigner for photographers' rights, added: 'Boots are clearly barmy. It's not their responsibility to enforce copyright law and they are just being over-punctilious.'
Boots last night apologised for its 'over-cautious' staff. A spokesman said: 'We have a legal obligation to ensure that we do not infringe any copyright laws including those of professional photographers. 'In the case of Joanna our store staff were over-cautious and on reflection should have sold the pictures. We have refreshed all procedures in this particular store and the staff have been fully briefed regarding appropriate customer care.'
I-VAWA: Liberal lies tempt women to embrace a radical agenda
The International Violence Against Women Act, recently introduced in Congress, is a bill that purports to curb partner violence around the world. Who could ever be opposed to that?
But look more closely, and you’ll discover a billion-dollar manifesto that is larded with ideological assumptions, logical non-sequiturs, and outright falsehoods. Many women may come to believe its alarming statistics and demand its passage – and that’s what makes this bill so worrisome. Behind its innocent-sounding name, the International Violence Against Women Act will fund “female empowerment” programs that would serve to break up families, vilify men as abusers, and leave millions of women dependent on the state.
The bill does that by defining domestic violence expansively to include “coercion” and “psychological harm,” convincing women to call the police at sign of the first sharply-uttered word, and then slapping a restraining order on the couple that has the effect of precluding partner counseling or reconciliation.
I’m not going to claim that Democrats Sen. John Kerry or Rep. Bill Delahunt of Massachusetts truly desire to undermine the fundamental family unit. But the fact is, their bill is awash in a sea of Orwellian half-truths that are designed to scare women out of the protective embrace of the family. If even half the bills’ 15 findings were truthful, I might think about supporting the International Violence Against Women Act. But it turns out to be a sham, a scientific legerdemain that calls to mind the United Nations’ now-discredited predictions on global warming.
Take I-VAWA’s leading claim that “up to 70% of women in some countries report having being victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives.” Two years ago University of New Hampshire researcher Murray Straus published the results of a survey of university-student dating violence in 32 countries around the world. The results? About a quarter of the students acknowledged a slap, a shove, or other type of partner violence in the past year, and – get this – women were more likely to be the aggressors than men.
The I-VAWA bill deftly omits mention of that inconvenient truth.
Then there’s the indelicate qualifier, “up to.” Exactly what does that mean? Turns out the “up to 70%” points to two obscure studies from Nicaragua and Papua New Guinea -- and neither of the studies were peer-reviewed. That’s the mistake the United Nations global warming panel made when it warned the Himalayan glaciers were doomed to melt by 2035.
The I-VAWA bill makes other claims that any half-intelligent person would immediately recognize as preposterous. Like the sky-is-falling claim that “Violence against women dramatically impedes progress in meeting all of our global health goals.”
Really? Around the world, the leading causes of death are infectious diseases, heart conditions, and cancer. So TB, malaria, and measles are all caused by partner abuse? Cancer, too? I know it sounds funny, but that’s what Sen. Kerry and Rep. Delahunt want us to believe.
Kerry and Delahunt also declaim that domestic violence is contributing “dramatically” to maternal mortality. Better tell that to the Pan American Health Organization, because they’re on record as saying, “It is not yet known what proportion of maternal mortality is due to domestic violence.”
Then there’s the old chestnut that “1 in 4 women are abused during pregnancy” – that one is calculated to convince all the chivalrous souls out there to jump on the I-VAWA bandwagon. But wait! The World Health Organization’s 10-country survey of domestic violence found the real figure is closer to 4-12%, not one in four. Weren’t liberals the ones who invented fuzzy math?
Overall, the bill contains 15 findings. Of the 15, none of them are objective, verifiable, and truthful: That’s right, the International Violence Against Women Act, to put it delicately, is filled with fibs. As a result of its ideologically-driven recommendations, I-VAWA is more likely to harm than help women.
A Druze stands up to Obama
The Druze are a non-Jewish religion of partly Muslim origins. It is part of their gospel to be loyal to whatever country they inhabit
The man who is rapidly distinguishing himself as head and shoulders above 99% of the Jews in Israel just delivered a long-overdue poke in the eye to Our First Muslim President, peace be upon him. The great Ayoub Kara seems to divide his time between encouraging more Jewish babies to be born in Israel and standing up for the rights of all Jews to live in Israel. Whattaguy!!
Deputy Minister: If US Balks at Veto, Shun 'Hussein Obama'
Nisan 15, 5770, 30 March 10 10:10
by Gil Ronen
(Israelnationalnews.com) Deputy Minister Ayoub Kara reacted acerbically to a BBC report that the United States may abstain from using its veto power if the UN Security Council votes to condemn Israeli building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem.
"If Israel does not receive backing from the United States in the Security Council and the US does not veto a resolution of condemnation,” said the Deputy Minister for Development of the Negev and Galilee, “we should cut off all contacts with Hussein Obama and call upon the American people to raise a cry of dissent against the belligerent policy that has been implemented of late – first and foremost by the president of the US.”
The “abuse” and “aggression” toward the prime minister is abuse of each and every Israeli, he said, in a reference to the humiliations Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has undergone in his visits to the White House.
Kara intentionally used Obama's Muslim middle name, leaving out his first name, which is also of Muslim origin.
Kara said Netanyahu should receive maximum backing within Israel, and particularly inside the Likud party.
Dep.-Min. Kara was hosted for the Passover seder at Pisgat Ze'ev, along with dozens of Christian Zionists who came from the US to celebrate Passover in Israel.
Dep.-Min. Kara, a Druze, is one of the most proudly and aggressively Zionist members of the current coalition. He has compared his connection to the Jewish people to that of Yitro (Jethro) and Moses. The Druze see Yitro – whom they call Shuaib – as their greatest prophet.
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.