Friday, January 20, 2012
Racist Norwegian child protection authorities
Indian couple have children taken away by Norwegian social workers because they were feeding them by hand. Behaviour that is good enough for a billion Indians is not good enough for tiny Norway, apparently. There is a lot of authoritarianism in the Nordic countries
An Indian couple have had their children taken away by Norwegian social workers because they were feeding them with their hands and sleeping in the same bed as them.
Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya lost custody of their three-year-old son and one-year-old daughter eight months ago after authorities branded their behaviour inappropriate.
The drastic measure led to intervention from the Indian government who contacted Norwegian authorities in an a desperate attempt to return the children.
Norwegian Child Protection Services removed the youngsters from their home in May, 2011, leaving their parents horrified with the outcome of the report.
Father Anurup told Indian television channel NDTV: 'They told me ‘why are you sleeping with the children in the same bed?’. '(I told them) this is also a purely cultural issue. We never leave the children in another room and say goodnight to them.'
Anurup added: 'Feeding a child with the hand is normal in Indian tradition and when the mother is feeding with a spoon there could be phases when she was overfeeding the child. 'They said it was force feeding. These are basically cultural differences.'
Mrs Bhattacharya said: 'My son was sleeping with my husband. They said he should sleep separately from your son.'
The parents have been told that they can only see their children twice a year, for an hour during each visit until the kids turn 18 when they will no longer be bound by the current restrictions under current Norwegian law.
Despite the Indian government's intervention, Norwegian officials are refusing to meet the request for any further explanation.
Norway's Child Protective Service has come under much scrutiny in the past for excessive behaviour in their handling of child cruelty. Lawyer Svein Kjetil Lode Svendsen said: 'There has been a report in UN in 2005 which criticized Norway for taking too many children in public care. 'The amount was 12,500 children and Norway is a small country.'
With the Bhattacharyas' visas set to expire in March, they have revealed that they will be forced to stay against their will until the return of their infants.
Is Anti-Zionism Anti-Semitism?
Appearing at Harvard University shortly before his death in 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. responded to an apparently hostile question from an audience member about Zionism, saying, “When people criticize Zionists they mean Jews, you are talking anti-Semitism.”
Is this universally true? Does criticism of Zionism always equal anti-Semitism?
On the one hand, the answer is no, criticism of Zionism does not always equal anti-Semitism. There are Israeli Jews and American Jews who are critical of the modern State of Israel, and they can hardly be called anti-Semites (unless we are willing to brand all of them self-hating Jews). Similarly, there are Christians who love the Jewish people and believe that, in a unique way, God is with them, and yet take strong exception to many Israeli policies. They too can hardly be called anti-Semites.
On the other hand, it is quite often true that anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are two sides of the same ugly coin, especially in the Muslim world. The recent comments of Mufti Muhammad Hussein, the religious leader of the Palestinian Authority, serve as a stark reminder of just how deeply anti-Zionism and anti-Semitism are often intertwined.
In a speech celebrating the 47th anniversary of Fatah and aired on Palestinian Authority TV on January 9th, the Mufti cited a well-known Hadith (an Islamic tradition attributed to Muhammad): “The Hour [of Resurrection] will not come until you fight the Jews. The Jew will hide behind stones or trees. Then the stones or trees will call: ‘Oh Muslim, servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.’” (As reported by Palwatch.org, a July, 2011 poll sponsored by the Israel Project indicated that a staggering 73% of Palestinians “believe” this Hadith.)
These sentiments are enshrined in the Hamas charter, with Article 7 citing the identical anti-Semitic Hadith, prefaced by this comment: “Hamas has been looking forward to implementing Allah’s promise [to annihilate the Jews], whatever time it might take.”
In the Mufti’s speech, and in keeping with Islamic tradition, Hussein also stated that the only tree behind which a Jew will be able to hide himself is the Gharqad tree (since it will keep silent). “Therefore,” he explained, “it is no wonder that you see Gharqad [trees] surrounding the [Israeli] settlements and colonies.” (We can assume that the Mufti actually believes this.)
So, the hostility expressed towards the Israelis is simply the continuation of historic, Islamic anti-Semitism.
The moderator who introduced the Mufti stated (with passion) that, “Our war with the descendants of the apes and pigs [meaning the Jews] is a war of religion and faith,” basing himself on another anti-Semitic tradition found in Islam, a tradition often cited by contemporary Muslim leaders.
For example, “in a weekly sermon in April 2002, Al-Azhar Sheikh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, [then] the highest-ranking cleric in the Sunni Muslim world, called the Jews ‘the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs’,” while in 2001, “Saudi sheikh Abd Al-Rahman Al-Sudayyis, imam and preacher at the Al-Haraam mosque – the most important mosque in Mecca – beseeched Allah to annihilate the Jews. He also urged the Arabs to give up peace initiatives with them because they are ‘the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs.’”
Similar examples, from recent years and from past centuries, could easily be multiplied. In fact, the Nazis were able to exploit the Jew-hatred found in many Islamic traditions in forming a coalition with prominent leaders in the Arab world, the most important being the Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini. (Remember that this predates the reestablishment of Israel in 1948.)
This deep, historic hatred of the Jews continues to fuel anti-Zionism in the Muslim world today. And so, during the demonstrations in Egypt’s Tahrir Square in last year’s so-called Arab Spring, Yehudit Barsky noted that protestors brandished pictures of former President Hosni Mubarak with a Star of David on his forehead, invoking the “image of a conspiracy by Jews to control world leaders, including their own.”
The alleged conspiracy Barsky refers to is, of course, the notorious anti-Semitic forgery known as “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.” The book remains a perpetual bestseller in the Muslim world and has also been dramatized for Islamic viewers, most notably in the 41-part series titled “Horseman Without a Horse,” broadcast on Egyptian state television in 2002. In the final episodes of the series, “the Jews are portrayed as leading a conspiracy to form a Zionist state in Palestine while taking the lives of anyone who stands in the way. The series comes to a close with an inscription: ‘Who fights the occupation is not a terrorist’ and contains other thinly veiled political comment on the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”
Whole books could easily be written on this subject with almost endless examples cited, but the lesson should be clear: While not all anti-Zionism can be fairly equated with anti-Semitism, in the religious Muslim world, the two are deeply intertwined.
Shopkeeper in Britain upsets jobseekers by demanding Polish language skills
Shopkeeper Naveed Hassamin has infuriated jobseekers in Cornwall by turning away anyone who doesn't speak Polish. Mr Hassamin placed an advert in the window of Costcutter in Bodmin, Cornwall, stating that a "knowledge of Polish" was "preferable" for the position. But he has been forced to withdraw the advertisment after a string of complaints from unemployed local people desperate for work.
Paul Baynon, 23, a jobseeker from Bodmin, said: "They asked me if I spoke Polish, and when I said no, they said that is what they were looking for, so I didn't have a chance. "They didn't say in the ad that they wanted a translator."
Unemployed local Robert Mill, 27, said: "I would have liked the job at Costcutter because jobs are hard to come by in the town. "I enquired about the position but I can't speak Polish."
The supermarket has a Polish food section and sells the Poland Express newspaper.
Store manager Mr Hassam said he had a lot of Polish customers and required someone who could order the products for him.
The number of Polish migrant workers living in Bodmin - population 13,000 - is not known. But according to Cornwall Council's local education authority, there are currently only 23 primary and seven secondary school children attending schools in the area whose first language is Polish.
Mr Hassam said: "I have had complaints but the advert was not intended in a bad way, I have got rid of it now. "We have a lot of people from Poland coming into the shop and I wanted someone who could understand Polish so they could order products for me and read what they are because I can't read Polish.
"I didn't mean it to sound like we only wanted someone from Poland to get the job, it could have been someone from Britain who could speak Polish. "I just thought employing someone with a knowledge of Polish culture would mean we could provide them with a better service."
A spokesman for the Equality and Human Rights Commission said: "An employer can say it needs someone who can speak a specific language to do a job if that is a genuine requirement, for example for a translator role. "This is lawful if the focus is on the skill needed to do the job, not the nationality of the person sought."
Moldovan squatters and a week that showed how good British citizens suffer while parasites flourish
For society to work, we need to believe that it is reasonably fair — not absolutely fair, because nothing is, but broadly decent in apportioning rewards and penalties.
Nothing does more to breed anger and disaffection among law-abiding British people than a belief that good citizens are exploited, while the bad ones flourish.
Whenever a householder is arrested by police for rough handling of a burglar, gypsy encampments defy eviction orders or an illegal immigrant is granted asylum; when school pupils receive absurdly inflated exam grades or an ambulance-chasing lawyer screws an insurance company for a client’s phoney whiplash injury, our trust is severely damaged.
Most of us instinctively want to believe in our politicians, judges, teachers, police, doctors. We would like to suppose that they know what they are doing, and act broadly in our interests.
But there are times when such faith is hard to sustain, and this week is one of them. We might start with the least serious, though nonetheless deplorable, case which has hit the media.
Janice Mason owns a house in Walthamstow, East London, which had been her childhood home and she was about to sell. She suddenly discovers that it is occupied by a family of Moldovan squatters — four adults and four children — who have changed the locks.
The police say they are powerless to intervene, because squatting is a civil, not a criminal matter. Mrs Mason therefore faces a huge bill for securing these people’s eviction.
Yet any of us can see the injustice of her being obliged to pay a penny to get back her own property. In a properly ordered society, the Moldovans would be summarily removed by the police as soon as it is plain they have no legal title.
Beyond that, since the squatters have breached the code of behaviour we should expect to be observed by all newcomers here, they should be marched smartly aboard a plane back to Moldova. However, nothing of the kind will happen, of course.
Mrs Mason will pay one set of lawyers to get her unwelcome interlopers removed, if she is lucky. Another set, who parade themselves as crusaders, will leap to the Moldovans’ defence, their fees paid by us.
Before long the squatters will probably be ensconced in a detached house in Kensington, living on benefits and sending their children to Eton.
The next case up is that of a 27-year-old Romanian woman named Firuta Vasile, to whom Bristol City Council denied housing benefits — she has already claimed £25,500 on other pretexts, and has four children aged from two to 11.
This week a judge overturned the council’s decision, saying that Ms Vasile must be given housing benefit, since she has established a status as a self-employed person, claiming to earn £100 a week selling the Big Issue.
Her lawyer, another of the multiplying plague culture of defenders of the oppressed, trumpeted outside court: ‘This is a victory for people struggling to work to support their families’.
What nonsense! British taxpayers ask: why do we pay out thousands of pounds of our hard-earned money to support a woman who should properly be claiming benefits from Bucharest City Council, not Bristol? Why did not the judge display the common sense of a gnat?
Then there is a matter of Victor Akulic. He is a 44-year-old Lithuanian who might reasonably be described as a career rapist, since he has served several terms of imprisonment for sexual offences back at home, before committing a further appalling sex attack here in 2010. A judge sentenced him to a minimum eight years of imprisonment, reduced in the Appeal Court this week to seven years.
Lady Justice Hallett inquired how it was possible for a man with Akulic’s record to stroll into Britain unchallenged. The answer is that since he has EU identity documents, he is free to travel from country to country, choosing where to commit his next atrocity from a lavish menu of choice.
The Appeal Court was told that Mr Akulic has applied to serve his sentence back home in Lithuania, closer to home comforts, so he may not be a burden on the British taxpayer for too long. This seems a trifle optimistic. It is more plausible that the Lithuanians will leave us stuck with him.
The last of this week’s cases is the gravest. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has upheld the appeal against deportation of Abu Qatada, a radical cleric who has been described as one of the most dangerous sponsors of terrorism in Europe.
The British government went to great lengths to secure from the Jordanian government — which wants to try Abu Qatada — formal assurances that he would not face torture.
The ECHR accepted these assurances, but nonetheless upheld the man’s appeal on the grounds that evidence obtained by torture might be used against him at his trial.
This wicked man, an unashamed jihadist, has already cost Britain £1 million in benefits, legal and jail costs. His wife and children are living in London at public expense.
Home Secretary Theresa May asserts that the Home Office will not let the matter rest there, but what can she do? Even if more hundreds of thousands of pounds are spent on further appeals, the ECHR has shown itself an impregnable bastion of folly, indifferent to the most conspicuous national security interests.
The ECHR predates and has nothing to do with the EU. The poor quality of its judges, some of them from Europe’s least reputable societies, is common knowledge among governments.
Britain has been lobbying to improve the quality of Strasbourg justice, and David Cameron proposes to make a speech on this theme soon at the Council of Europe. But it is hard to believe anything will improve within the present structure.
British justice, and the interests of British society, have suffered so much at the hands of the ECHR that there seems a powerful case — though massive legal and political obstacles — for severing our bonds to it.
The Court is largely discredited, and does us much more harm than good. Why should we indefinitely suffer its nonsenses, often damaging to our security, merely in the name of European solidarity?
Meanwhile, here at home, we are weary of hearing of abuses of both our national hospitality and laws.
A friend of mine served for several years as an interpreter at an immigration appeals tribunal. She eventually resigned in disgust, because she could no longer bear being party to systemic malpractice.
The case that triggered her departure was one in which a European woman carelessly told her: ‘I have two children but my lawyer says I must claim five, so I will get more money.’
As an interpreter, my friend was barred from revealing her knowledge of this remark to the tribunal, as it would have been a breach of client confidentiality. We, as citizens, are asked to swallow such betrayals almost daily.
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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here. 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.