Saturday, December 18, 2010
The British Red Cross bans Christmas
The Red Cross has a history of antisemitism. That is why it is crawling to Muslims
Christmas has been banned by the Red Cross from its 430 fund-raising shops. Staff have been ordered to take down decorations and to remove any other signs of the Christian festival because they could offend Moslems.
The charity's politically-correct move triggered an avalanche of criticism and mockery last night - from Christians and Moslems.
Christine Banks, a volunteer at a Red Cross shop in New Romney, Kent, said: 'We put up a nativity scene in the window and were told to take it out. It seems we can't have anything that means Christmas. We're allowed to have some tinsel but that's it. 'When we send cards they have to say season's greetings or best wishes. They must not be linked directly to Christmas. 'When we asked we were told it is because we must not upset Moslems.'
Mrs Banks added: ' We have been instructed that we can't say anything about Christmas and we certainly can't have a Christmas tree. ' I think the policy is offensive to Moslems as well as to us. No reasonable person can object to Christians celebrating Christmas. But we are not supposed to show any sign of Christianity at all.'
Labour peer Lord Ahmed, one of the country's most prominent Moslem politicians, said: 'It is stupid to think Moslems would be offended. 'The Moslem community has been talking to Christians for the past 1,400 years. The teachings from Islam are that you should respect other faiths.'
He added: 'In my business all my staff celebrate Christmas and I celebrate with them. It is absolutely not the case that Christmas could damage the Red Cross reputation for neutrality - I think their people have gone a little bit over the top.'
The furore is a fresh blow to the image of what was once one of Britain's most respected charities. The British Red Cross lost friends this year over its support for the French illegal immigrant camp at Sangatte and its insistence on concentrating large efforts on helping asylum seekers.
Yesterday officials at the charity's London HQ confirmed that Christmas is barred from the 430 shops which contributed more than £20million to its income last year. 'The Red Cross is a neutral organisation and we don't want to be aligned with any political party or particular philosophy,' a spokesman said. 'We don't want to be seen as a Christian or Islamic or Jewish organisation because that might compromise our ability to work in conflict situations around the world.'
He added: 'In shops people can put up decorations like tinsel or snow which are seasonal. But the guidance is that things representative of Christmas cannot be shown.'
Volunteers, however, said they believed the Christmas ban was a product of political correctness of the kind that led Birmingham's leaders to order their city to celebrate 'Winterval'. Rod Thomas, a Plymouth vicar and spokesman for the Reform evangelical grouping in the Church of England, said: 'People who hold seriously to their faith are respected by people of other faiths. They should start calling themselves the Red Splodge. All their efforts will only succeed in alienating most people.'
Major Charles Heyman, editor of Jane's World Armies, said: 'There is really nothing to hurt the Red Cross in Christmas, is there? Would the Red Crescent stop its staff observing Ramadan? 'In practice, the role of the Red Cross is to run prisoner- of-war programmes and relief efforts for civilians. Those activities require the agreement of both sides in a conflict in the first place. Celebrating Christmas in a shop in England could hardly upset that.'
Major Heyman added: 'Moslems are just as sensible about these things as Christians. The Red Cross is just engaging in a bit of political correctness.'
British Red Cross leaders have, however, not extended the ban to their own profitable products. Items currently on sale include Christmas cards featuring angels and wise men and Advent calendars with nativity scenes. The spokesman said: 'The Red Cross is trying to be inclusive and we recognise there are lots of people who want to buy Christmas cards which they know will benefit us.'
The charity's umbrella body, the Swiss-based International Red Cross, has also had politically-correct doubts about its famous symbol. But efforts to find an alternative were abandoned in the face of protest and ridicule five years ago.
A defeat for Britain's Satanic social workers
Couple who fled UK after social workers took their child are declared fit parents by Spanish officials and reunited with baby No2
A baby boy who was snatched from his parents on the authority of social workers has been returned after tests showed the couple are perfectly capable of caring for him. Ten-month-old Daniel was back home with his parents last night after spending most of his young life in an orphanage.
The smiling boy was cuddled by his father and mother, Jim and Carissa, whose names we have changed for legal reasons.
The couple had fled to Spain, where Daniel was born in February, after their other child, Poppy, now two, was seized by Suffolk social services and put up for adoption. They had deemed the couple ‘unfit’ parents who might emotionally harm their daughter in the future. This decision was roundly criticised in the Commons by local MP Tim Yeo as ‘tantamount to child kidnap’.
Daniel was still being breast-fed by Carissa in hospital when Spanish social workers, acting on a tip-off from Suffolk, took him and placed him in an orphanage in Valencia. Now, in a snub to their UK counterparts, Spanish social workers say Jim and Carissa are no danger to Daniel.
Jim, a 42-year-old legal adviser, and Carissa, 32, plan to sue Suffolk social services for breaking up their family. They are also taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights claiming their family life has been destroyed, as they prepare to fight a High Court legal battle to get Poppy back next month.
Last night Jim said at their home in Spain: ‘The Spanish social services say we meet all their criteria for being good parents and we’re delighted. The authorities here did extensive psychological tests on both of us and found we are normal, and capable of caring for our children. We passed the six tests with flying colours. ‘We hope this will lead to our family being reunited with Poppy at last, and the four of us being left to get on with our lives together.’
His parents had moved to Spain when Carissa became pregnant with Daniel and received warnings from Suffolk Council that he might be taken away when he was born. Their daughter had been torn from Carissa’s arms at 12 weeks old in October 2008 when social workers and police arrived at the couple’s home in East Anglia. They were acting on unproven allegations about Carissa from her ex-husband after a difficult divorce.
They refused to believe evidence to the contrary provided by the couple. But the brutality of the snatch led to the intervention by Mr Yeo. He said: ‘Suffolk Council actively seeks opportunities to remove babies from their mothers.’
Meanwhile, Poppy is living with foster parents who hope to adopt her. Suffolk social workers are not allowed to rubber stamp the adoption while Jim and Carissa fight the plan in the High Court.
The crucial test results on Jim and Carissa have been examined by the Daily Mail. We have changed their names and Daniel’s because, under British laws, the identity of the family cannot be publicised while Poppy is up for adoption.
The return of Daniel is a breakthrough for scores of families who have fled overseas to escape the clutches of British social workers.
In a separate move, Jim and Carissa, along with 35 families, have launched unprecedented legal action against UK family courts which have taken 50 of their children for forced adoption. All were deemed at risk of ‘future emotional harm’ from their parents, a condition unproven in science and often used as the premise to remove children from families by social workers.
Jim said: ‘To find our son had gone as she lay in the hospital was cruelty beyond belief. ‘She could not bear to face the heartbreak again of having yet another child snatched from her. So she decided to be sterilised there and then.’
They saw Daniel on nine occasions after he was taken to the Spanish orphanage 10 months ago. ‘He recognised us every visit and since he arrived home he has never stopped smiling at us,’ added Jim.
Civil unions popular among HETEROsexual couples in France
Some are divorced and disenchanted with marriage; others are young couples ideologically opposed to marriage but eager to lighten their tax burdens. Many are lovers not quite ready for old-fashioned matrimony.
Whatever their reasons, and they vary widely, French couples are increasingly shunning traditional marriages and opting instead for civil unions, to the point that there are now two civil unions for every three marriages.
When France created its system of civil unions in 1999, it was heralded as a revolution in gay rights, a relationship almost like marriage, but not quite. No one, though, anticipated how many couples would make use of the new law. Nor was it predicted that by 2009, the overwhelming majority of civil unions would be between straight couples.
It remains unclear whether the idea of a civil union, called a pacte civil de solidarite, has responded to a shift in social attitudes or caused one. But it has proved remarkably well suited to France and its particularities about marriage, divorce, religion and taxes - and it can be dissolved with just a registered letter.
"We're the generation of divorced parents," said Maud Hugot, 32, an aide at the Health Ministry who signed a pacte civil de solidarite with her girlfriend, Nathalie Mondot, 33, this year.
Expressing a view that researchers say is becoming common among same-sex couples and heterosexuals, she said, "The notion of eternal marriage has grown obsolete."
France recognises only "citizens", and the country's legal principles hold that special rights should not be accorded to particular groups or ethnicities. So civil unions were made available to everyone. But their appeal to heterosexual couples was evident from the start. In 2000, just one year after the passage of the law, more than 75 per cent of civil unions were signed between heterosexual couples. That trend has only strengthened: of the 173,045 civil unions signed in 2009, 95 per cent were between heterosexual couples.
As with traditional marriages, civil unions allow couples to file joint tax returns, exempt spouses from inheritance taxes, permit partners to share insurance policies, ease access to residency permits for foreigners and make partners responsible for each other's debts. Concluding a civil union requires little more than a single appearance before a judicial official.
Even the Catholic Church, which initially condemned the partnerships, has relented. The French National Confederation of Catholic Family Associations says civil unions do not pose "a real threat".
While partnerships have exploded in popularity, marriage numbers have continued a long decline in France, as across Europe. Just 250,000 French couples married last year, with fewer than four marriages for each 1000 residents. In 1970, almost 400,000 French couples wed.
What Audiences Applaud in the Arab World
Thanks to monitoring groups such as MEMRI.org, many in the West have become more aware of the tone of popular culture in the Arab and Islamic world. As a result, we have a better understanding of the way anti-Semitism has become a staple of popular culture there. But one needn’t focus solely on the hatred of Jews and Israel that is so prevalent in Islamic societies to understand the shocking differences between what is accepted and even applauded in these cultures and our own.
The New Republic’s Ruth Franklin attended the Marrakech Film Festival in relatively liberal Morocco this month. Her account might have focused on the Western stars in attendance and “the glitz of the film festival” or “the charm and warmth of the Moroccans.” Instead, she wrote about a film screening in which a largely Arab audience reacted with spontaneous applause to a scene in which two women are stoned by a mob.
As Franklin writes: "This was one crowd, on one evening, at one screening; and need it even be said that applause is not the same as stoning itself? But, as the lights went up in the theater and the men and women around me calmly gathered their belongings, I could not help but remember that in an Arab country … liberation, at least for women, inevitably comes with limits. The glitz, the red carpet, and the celebrities might have been the same, but the atmosphere in the theater that night felt very far from Cannes or Sundance."
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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