Monday, August 30, 2010
German banker in trouble for telling the truth
Saying that Jews are genetically related is antisemitic?? How absurd can you get? It's a central Zionist claim that modern Jews are descended from the ancient Israelites and genetic studies confirm that there is an unusual degree of genetic relatedness among Jews -- and that the genes concerned are of middle Eastern origins!
And what he says about Muslims is little more than a summary of the news
German government leaders have condemned a central bank executive for making anti-Semitic remarks before the publication of his book today that takes a critical look at Turk and Arab immigrants.
Chancellor Angela Merkel said the Bundesbank would have to examine whether board member Thilo Sarrazin could remain in his post after making "completely unacceptable comments that show contempt for groups within our society".
Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle and Defence Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg said Mr Sarrazin was out of line for his comments about Jews, remarks that were also criticised by Jewish leaders in the country responsible for the Holocaust.
"All Jews share a particular gene, Basques share a certain gene that sets them apart," Mr Sarrazin told Welt am Sonntag newspaper ahead of the release of his book "Deutschland schafft sich ab" (Germany does away with itself).
Mr Sarrazin, a Bundesbank board member, denied he was stirring racism. He has faced heavy criticism for making disparaging comments about Muslim immigrants. Mr Sarrazin has repeatedly created uproar for criticising Turks and Arabs in Germany.
"There's no room in the political debate for remarks that whip up racism or anti-Semitism," Mr Westerwelle said.
"There are limits to every provocation and Bundesbank board member Sarrazin has clearly gone out of bounds with this mistaken and inappropriate comment," Mr Guttenberg added.
Stephan Kramer and Michel Friedman, leaders in Germany's Jewish community, also criticised Mr Sarrazin, 65, a member of the centre-left Social Democrats (SPD) and former finance minister in the city-state of Berlin. "Someone who tries to define Jews by a genetic make-up is consumed by a racist mania," Mr Kramer said. "How long can an institution like the Bundesbank tolerate this?"
"Enough already!" Mr Friedman wrote in Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "No more tolerance for this intolerance. It's okay to provoke thought but enough of this baiting and defamation. We don't need any hate preachers, especially in the Bundesbank."
Ms Merkel, in an interview with ARD, pointed out the Bundesbank was independent but said the central bank would deal with it. "I'm certain there will be discussions in the Bundesbank about it," she said. "It's not only about monetary issues. The Bundesbank is also a national treasure, in and outside Germany."
Almost 3 million people of Turkish origin and an estimated 280,000 of Arab extraction live in Germany.
Leaders in Mr Sarrazin's SPD have called for him to quit the party and resign from the Bundesbank.
Mr Sarrazin's comments have also embarrassed Bundesbank President Axel Weber, who some German leaders have backed to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as president of the European Central Bank next year.
The Bundesbank has tried to distance itself from his remarks, saying they are his personal opinions and not linked to his role at the bank. The central bank requires evidence of "serious misconduct" to bring about Mr Sarrazin's dismissal.
The central bank last year stripped Mr Sarrazin of some of his duties. If the central bank's board voted to remove Mr Sarrazin, the move would then need the approval of the president.
In the book, Mr Sarrazin argues that Muslims undermine German society, marry "imported brides" and have a bad attitude. He said young Muslim men were aggressive due to sexual frustration.
"Sadly, the huge potential for aggression in this group is obvious. The Arab boys can't get at their Arab girls," he said. "In the end, they use the German girls from the underclass who are easier to get, and then they hold them in contempt because they're so readily available."
Muhammad cartoons to return in new book
THE Danish editor who published 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 that caused outrage across the Muslim world said today that he will soon republish the drawings in a new book.
The book - written by Jyllands-Posten cultural editor Flemming Rose and titled The Tyranny of Silence - will be published on September 30, five years to the day since the cartoons first appeared in the newspaper.
The publication of the cartoons provoked angry, and in some cases deadly, global protests by Islamic extremists.
In an interview with Danish newspaper Politiken, Rose said he was not trying to be provocative, stressing that he simply wanted to "tell the story of the 12 drawings and put them into a context of (other) pictures considered offensive."
"I am sure that a lot of people don't know what I think of these drawings. My concerted wish is to explain myself. I have nothing but words to do so, but once people have read the book ... maybe they will be able to see the broader context. Words should be answered with words. That's all we have in a democracy, and if we give that up, we will be locked in a tyranny of silence," he said.
Rose, who received numerous death threats after first publishing the cartoons, said he wanted to launch "a broad European debate ... about how we should live in the 21st century. The cartoon crisis shows what we can expect in the 21st century."
Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, who drew the most controversial drawing - featuring the Prophet Muhammad wearing a turban shaped like a bomb with a lit fuse - will also publish a new book in the coming months containing his cartoon, Politiken reported.
Earlier this month, Jyllands-Posten said it erected a barbed-wire fence around its offices for protection from terrorist attacks.
Ninth Circuit Upholds Religious Liberty in World Vision Case
Earlier this week the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued an important religious liberty decision that protects the right of faith-based social service organizations to protect their religious identity and mission.
The case involves World Vision, a nonprofit Christian humanitarian organization focused on the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision was sued for religious discrimination by two employees it fired after learning that they did not agree with World Vision’s doctrinal beliefs.
As a general rule, federal nondiscrimination law demands that private employers ignore religion in making employment decisions. But the same law includes an accommodation for “a religious corporation, association, educational institution, or society.” The question in Spencer v. World Vision was whether World Vision fit this definition and therefore qualified for the accommodation.
Two of three judges agreed that World Vision, even though it is not a traditional house of worship, is entitled to the institutional religious liberty accommodation. Circuit Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain wrote the opinion for the court.
This ruling comes at a time in the life of this nation when faith-based organizations face increasing burdens. Illustrations include D.C. lawmakers’ refusal earlier this year to protect the right of D.C. Catholic Charities to uphold its religious identity and character while providing social services in the District. Because it refused to compromise its religious belief that marriage is the union of a husband and a wife, Catholic Charities was forced to stop offering adoption services and providing spousal benefits to its employees.
Similarly, earlier this year the Supreme Court ruled that state universities can deny equal recognition to a Christian student group that refuses to accept members and leaders who disagree with the religious beliefs of the group. Under this ruling a Christian student group could be denied recognition “if it does not allow an atheist student to lead its Bible studies.”
Not surprisingly, many of the threats to religious liberty and right of association discussed in these and other sources stem from nondiscrimination dictates that seek to control the conduct of private citizens and private organizations.
Protecting the religious freedom of faith-based organizations and other civil society groups is an important part of building an American where freedom, opportunity, prosperity, and civil society flourish. They meet important needs and shape people’s identity, and the existence of such organizations also serves as a check on government overreach. As Heritage’s William E. Simon Fellow Ryan Messmore has argued, the role, power, and influence of government grows when the role, power, and influence exercised by religious communities shrinks. The ability of groups like World Vision to make employment decisions based on their deepest convictions is important for sustaining freedom and a robust civil society.
The Ninth Circuit’s decision in the World Vision case will likely be proposed for further appellate review. For now, however, it stands as an important victory for institutional religious liberty.
Muslims and the Mainstream Media Equals Madness
Wow! The Washington Post has identified “rabble-rousing outsiders!” I don’t think I’ve heard language like that since southern segregationists complained about young civil rights activists descending on Mississippi. So who are these interlopers stirring up the unwashed masses? No need to guess: It’s anyone who dares criticize plans for an Islamic center near Ground Zero in Manhattan. According to Jason Horowitz, the author of a story on the front page of the Post’s Style section, New Yorkers take a “dim view” of them.
Mr. Horowitz informs us that the planned Islamic center has become “the prime target of national conservatives who, after years of disparaging New York as a hotbed of liberal activity, are defending New York against a mosque that will rise two city blocks from Ground Zero.” The hypocrisy! Have they no shame?
Mr. Horowitz was no doubt so busy reporting this big story that he missed the bulletins about Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean – no nasty national conservatives they! -- also opposing the Ground Zero Islamic project.
However, Mr. Horowitz did score an interview with Ali Mohammed who sells “falafel over rice” in the besieged neighborhood and who has “reached his saturation point.” Opponents of the project, he says, “got nothing to do with New York and they don’t care about New York. They are trying to create propaganda.”
Yes, of course, this is a New York thing. Foreigners wouldn’t understand. The terrorists who brought down the Twin Towers had a bone to pick with the Big Apple. That explains why Mr. Horowitz doesn’t ask Mr. Mohammed who he thinks attacked us on 9/11/01, their ideology and goals. Indeed, there is not a single sentence in his article relating to such matters.
Besides, New York City’s “entire political establishment” thinks the Islamic center is a dandy idea. And when a political establishment speaks, who has the right to question them? Certainly not politicians and reporters and bloggers from outside the five boroughs! The noive of some people!
Mr. Horowitz also interviews Oz Sultan, a spokesman for the project, who sings from the same hymnal: “The people behind this [Islamic center] are New Yorkers. These are local yokels.”
How does that square with Mr. Sultan’s refusal to rule out the possibility that funds for this $100 million project may be raised in Saudi Arabia and Iran? Inquiring minds may want to know; Mr. Horowitz does not even ask.
Instead, he makes clear whom he does not view as local yokels or even real New Yorkers: “the city’s tabloids” whose reporters and editors “know they have a good thing going” – in stark contrast to Mr. Horowitz and the prestige media which cover stories like this strictly from a sense of civic obligation.
If this piece were exceptional, it would be unfair of me to give it such a tongue lashing. But, as I’ve argued before, it’s part of a pattern, a trend -- one that, despite criticism, continues to strengthen. A companion piece in the Post exclaims that the Islamic center will contain “a Sept. 11 memorial (!)” but never bothers to question what that memorial might say about the 9/11 attacks. Will they be described as an atrocity or merely a tragedy? Who will the memorial say was responsible and on behalf of what belief system were they acting?
Similarly, a Washington Post interview with Daisy Khan, the wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the key organizer of project, is headlined: “When Will Muslims Be Accepted?” Ms. Khan tells the veteran journalist Sally Quinn: “The Republicans are really going after us."
Quinn responds by asking Daisy Kahn point blank: nothing -- nothing about the project’s funding, nothing about the Imam’s past statements regarding 9/11 (American policies were an “accessory”), Osama bin Laden (“made in America”), Hamas (the Imam would prefer not to characterize the group), terrorism (“complex”) – nothing. It’s as though Daisy Kahn has purchased an advertisement.
Another interview with Ms. Khan, this one by Tamer El-Ghobashy in the Wall Street Journal, also consisted of one soft ball question after another. For example:
How did you react to the Anti-Defamation League registering their opposition to the location of the center?
What are the features of the planned center that people may not have heard about?
What element of the fallout from this proposed center concerns you most?
A New York Times piece on the controversy similarly avoids all and any uncomfortable questions. Its reading of recent history: “On top of the fear and confusion in New York about Islam after 9/11, a movement had begun to spring up against Muslims seeking a larger role in American public life.” What movement would that be? Who leads it? Where do they meet? Shouldn’t the Times – the Times! – include some attempt to substantiate the announcement of the birth of such a terrible “movement”?
Last week, I was a guest on “To the Point,” a radio show broadcast on public stations around the country and moderated by Warren Olney whom I consider both professional and fair. But, to my chagrin, he asked not a single question about Imam Rauf’s beliefs and when I tried to quote the cleric he cut me off saying that was a distraction from the real issue. Which is what? Warren later told me he thinks it’s “America’s tradition of religious freedom.” But I – and most critics of this project – have never argued that Imam Rauf doesn’t have a First Amendment right to build a mosque anywhere he owns property. I’ve argued that he should not be above scrutiny.
To some, that makes me an Islamophobe and, according to Time magazine, I have plenty of company. A cover story titled “Is America Islamophobic?” asserts that “many opponents” of the Islamic center “are motivated by deep-seated Islamophobia.” Not a shred of evidence is offered, though Time does cite a poll that finds 46% of Americans believe Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence against nonbelievers.
Goodness, why would anyone think that? Could it have something to do with the fact that there have close to 16,000 terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam since 9/11/01? Just last month, Time had on its cover the photograph of an 18-year-old Afghan girl whose nose and ears were sliced off by members of the Taliban because she had violated Islamic religious law as they interpret it by “running away from her husband’s house.” The word “Taliban” means “the students.” Students of what? Engineering? Dentistry? No. Of Islam.
Let’s say it one more time loudly for the media moguls in the cheap seats: Most Muslims are not terrorists. But in the 21st century, most of those slaughtering women and children in the name of religion are Muslims. This is a movement. This is a reality. And it is a problem. It ought to be seen by Muslims as very much their problem – a pathology within their community, within the “Muslim world,” within the ummah.
Instead, the richest and most powerful Islamic organizations – often financed by oil money from the Middle East -- incessantly play the victim card. Daisy Khan tells ABC’s Christiane Amanpour that in America, it’s “beyond Islamophobia. It’s hate of Muslims."
Time encourages this grievance mentality (or tactic) by asserting that “to be a Muslim in America now is to endure slings and arrows against your faith — not just in the schoolyard and the office but also outside your place of worship and in the public square, where some of the country's most powerful mainstream religious and political leaders unthinkingly (or worse, deliberately) conflate Islam with terrorism and savagery.”
No, they don’t. What they conflate with terrorism and savagery are al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas, Lashkar-e-Taiba, al-Shabaab, Abu Sayyef, Fatah Al-Islam, the Muslim Brotherhood and dozens of other groups that justify their terrorism and savagery based on their interpretation of Islamic doctrine.
Many of the country’s religious and political leaders would like to hear more of their Muslim neighbors say plainly: “Not in my name! Not in the name of my religion!” They are distressed when they learn – not through the mainstream media – that Imam Rauf has said instead: "The United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda."
He said that some time ago when he was still answering questions from the media. In recent weeks, as a national controversy has swirled around the biggest project in which he has ever been involved, he has been “unavailable.” Time does not criticize him for stonewalling as they would criticize any non-Muslim who declined comment for a cover story. Instead, Time excuses him, saying he seems to have been “stunned into paralysis” by the unfairness of it all.
Is this moral posturing or cowardice or self-delusion or the byproduct of the multi-culti ideological mush that so much of media have been both eating and dishing out? Whatever the cause, they really have gone mad. Small wonder that the rabble is becoming roused -- with our without the help of those pesky outsiders.
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.
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