A One-Sided Suicide Pact in Germany
by EDWARD CLINE
Soeren Kern, writing for the Gatestone Institute in his November 16th article, "IslamNeeds a Fair Chance in Germany," reported a significant development in Germany that portends dire consequences for that benighted nation and for all of Europe: the city of Hamburg signed a "treaty" with organizations representing its Islamic population.
The "treaty" features a series of concessions, not by the Muslims to secular authority, but by the secular government of Hamburg to the Muslims. The "treaty," which requires ratification by the city's Parliament, grants Muslims "rights" and "privileges" enjoyed by no other religious group there.
The November 13 agreement, signed by Hamburg's Socialist Mayor Olaf Scholz and the leaders of four Muslim umbrella groups, is being praised by the proponents of multiculturalism for putting the northern port city's estimated 200,000 Muslims on an equal footing with Christian residents....
The most controversial part of the accord involves a commitment by the city government to promote the teaching of Islam in the Hamburg public school system. The agreement grants the leaders of Hamburg's Muslim communities a determinative say in what will be taught by allowing them to develop the teaching curriculum for Islamic studies.
Moreover, Muslim officials will also be able to determine who will (and who will not) be allowed to teach courses about Islam in city schools. In practice, this means that only Muslims will be allowed to teach Islam and that pupils will not be exposed to any critical perspectives about the religious, social and political ideology of Islam.
Under the wide-ranging accord, Muslims in Hamburg will also have the right to take three Islamic holidays as days off from work. Up until now, it has been up to individual employers to decide whether or not to grant Muslim staff religious days off on a case-by-case basis. In addition, Muslim students will be exempt from attending school on Muslim holidays.
The agreement also includes provisions for the construction of more mosques in Hamburg, the upkeep of cultural Islamic facilities, the authorization for Muslims to bury their dead without the use of coffins, as well as the counseling of patients and prison inmates by Muslim clerics.
Moreover, the "treaty" will guarantee "broadcast slots alongside Protestant and Catholic broadcasts on public and private radio and television, as well as broadcasting council seats for Muslims with the northern Germany NDR public broadcaster and Germany's federal ZDF television channel."
When has one ever heard of Muslims making concessions to the secular authority of a country they have settled in? "We will stop harassing, beating up, and shooting Jews. We will stop desecrating Jewish and Christian cemeteries. We will stop vandalizing churches and synagogues. We will stop preying on white non-Muslim women and raping them. We will stop demanding that people cease defaming, criticizing, and mocking Islam. We will stop subjecting our women to clitoral amputation. We will stop persecuting gays and apostates. We will stop murdering, maiming, or disfiguring Muslim women who refuse to wear any kind of head covering or veils or any other kind of effacing clothing. We will stop forcing our women into arranged marriages. We will stop the brutal butchering of animals by bleeding them to death while they are still conscious. We will stop demanding that infidels and non-believers respect and observe our holidays. We will stop...."
Well, no, they won't. Why should they? They've got the tiger by the tail, and the tiger is a toothless polecat.
The edifice of marriage is always worth repairing
Wedded bliss doesn't exist - but a deeper passion does happen. Comment from Britain
There are innumerable reasons to admire our monarch, but 65 years of conjugal accord comes close to topping the list. Note that I do not use the trite expression "wedded bliss". I have yet to meet any long-hitched couple who've been skipping around in a permanent state of ecstasy for multiple decades. Most lengthy relationships are only one part romance to two parts endurance test. Many people claim they're never bored in their marriage, when what they really mean is they are yoked to someone who takes eccentricity and intransigence to new heights of bloody-mindedness.
Even when you do have the great good fortune to be married to someone interesting, they can't be riveting over the cornflakes every day for 50 years. My own husband is a walking compendium of intriguing facts, but I still want to sink an axe into his skull every time he mentions local planning regs. It's no wonder that when the late Anne Bancroft was asked the secret of her 41-year marriage to Mel Brooks, she growled, "Just working hard." I bet the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh would concur with that: not only have they had to head up "the Firm" for 65 gruelling years, they have also had to support three of their children through equally testing matrimonial disappointments.
I couldn't help but imagine the Duke sending a salute across the ether to retired Navy officer Nick Crews, whose excoriating email to his divorced children bemoaned their "copulation-driven" splits. I don't imagine Crews is any more prudish than most naval men of his ilk - more likely he believes it's weedy to abandon a decent spouse for the sake of erotic diversion. In the not-so-distant past, couples worked their way through such indiscretions in the same way they would tackle financial or medical problems: there may have been damage to the render and chimney pots, but nothing that troubled the whole stately edifice. But we Generation X types are too recreation-minded to bother with tedious repairs; it's no wonder we find the long-entwined so mesmerising, yet baffling.
I have had some fun imagining what Crews would say about the female banker who reportedly divorced her husband because of his "boring attitude" to sex. I imagine it would be something along the lines of, "Brace up woman! My generation didn't get to where we are today without enduring a spot of sexual tedium." As any marital veteran will tell you, you can cherish a passion for your spouse that's far deeper than mere sexual flames. However, you may have to stick in your marriage for a fair few decades to appreciate that wisdom.
Children must experience nature in order to learn that it's worth saving
Britain's Greenie George gets practical
We don't have to disparage the indoor world, which has its own rich ecosystem, to lament children's disconnection from the outdoor world. But the experiences the two spheres offer are entirely different. There is no substitute for what takes place outdoors; not least because the greatest joys of nature are unscripted. The thought that most of our children will never swim among phosphorescent plankton at night, will never be startled by a salmon leaping, a dolphin breaching, the stoop of a peregrine, the rustle of a grass snake is almost as sad as the thought that their children might not have the opportunity.
The remarkable collapse of children's engagement with nature - which is even faster than the collapse of the natural world - is recorded in Richard Louv's book Last Child in the Woods, and in a report published recently by Britain's heritage conservation body, the National Trust. Since the 1970s the area in which children may roam without supervision has decreased by almost 90 per cent. In one generation the proportion of children regularly playing in wild places in Britain has fallen from more than half to fewer than one in 10. In the US, in just six years (1997-2003) children with particular outdoor hobbies fell by half. Eleven- to 15-year-olds in Britain now spend, on average, half their waking day in front of a screen.
There are several reasons for this collapse: parents' irrational fear of strangers and rational fear of traffic, the destruction of the fortifying commons where previous generations played, the quality of indoor entertainment, the structuring of children's time, the criminalisation of natural play. The great indoors, as a result, has become a far more dangerous place than the diminished world beyond.
The rise of obesity, rickets and asthma and the decline in cardio-respiratory fitness are well documented. Louv also links the indoor life to an increase in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and other mental ill health. Research conducted at the University of Illinois suggests that playing among trees and grass is associated with a marked reduction in indications of ADHD, while playing indoors or on tarmac appears to increase them. The disorder, Louv suggests, ''may be a set of symptoms aggravated by lack of exposure to nature''. Perhaps it's the environment, not the child, that has gone wrong.
In her famous essay The Ecology of Imagination in Childhood, Edith Cobb proposed that contact with nature stimulates creativity. Reviewing the biographies of 300 ''geniuses'', she exposed a common theme: intense experiences of the natural world in the middle age of childhood (between five and 12). Animals and plants, she contended, are among ''the figures of speech in the rhetoric of play . which the genius in particular of later life seems to recall''.
Studies in several nations show that children's games are more creative in green places than in concrete playgrounds. Natural spaces encourage fantasy and roleplay, reasoning and observation. The social standing of children there depends less on physical dominance, more on inventiveness and language skills. Perhaps forcing children to study so much, rather than running wild in the woods and fields, is counter-productive.
And here we meet the other great loss. Most of those I know who fight for nature are people who spent their childhoods immersed in it. Without a feel for the texture and function of the natural world, without an intensity of engagement almost impossible in the absence of early experience, people will not devote their lives to its protection. The fact that at least half the published articles on ash dieback have been illustrated with photos of beeches, sycamores or oaks seems to me to be highly suggestive.
Yet More Sexual Insanity
The architects of the sexual revolution have a lot to answer for. Part of the 60s counter-culture revolution, the sexual anarchists did all they could to remake society in their own sordid image. And sadly they have basically succeeded. The levels of sexual insanity seem to be at an all time high.
But scarier yet, there seems to be no end in sight to the perversion and degeneracy. Everywhere we look we see more bitter fruit from the 60s sex revolution. A day does not go by without more examples of how Western societies are committing sexual hara-kiri.
So let me offer you four more recent examples of this. Undoubtedly next week I will have another four or so for you. But these matters must be pointed out, if for no other reason that it might produce a backlash of common sense and moral revulsion. Who knows, maybe this can be turned around if enough folks wake up to this reality.
Let me begin in Europe. Consider this headline: "Sex therapists call for legalisation of `virtual' child porn to `relieve paedophiles' urges'." The article begins, "Two sex therapists have sparked outrage in the Netherlands by calling for `virtual' child porn to be legalised to relieve the urges of paedophiles.
"Amsterdam hospital sexologists Rik van Lunsen and Erik van Beek claim allowing perverts to view drawings or computer-generated images of children would `regulate their desires'. The Netherlands outlawed all sexual representation of children in 2002 as technology made imaginary images too realistic.
"But Mr Van Beek told the Dutch media:'I think that repressing you fantasies can lead to frustration and ultimately, for some types of paedophile, to a greater likelihood of doing something wrong. `If you make virtual child pornography under strict government control with a label explaining that no child was abused, you can give paedophiles a way of regulating their sexual urges.'
"Mr van Lunsen added: `We don't make enough of a distinction in public debate between "healthy" paedophiles, people who are not paedosexually active, and delinquent paedosexuals. We're not responsible for our thoughts or our fantasies, we're only responsible for one thing - our actions'."
There you go folks - according to these two sexperts, there are "healthy" paedophiles, and we cannot control what we think about. Yeah right. What planet is this pair living on? But wait, there's more. Things are not a whole lot better in Britain.
Check out this headline: "Primary school teachers `could face sack' for refusing to promote gay marriage". As the news item reports: "Liz Truss, an education minister, refused to rule out the possibility that teachers, even in faith schools, could face disciplinary action for objecting on grounds of conscience.
"Miss Truss said simply that it was impossible to know what the impact of the legislation would be at this stage. Her admission came in a letter to a fellow Conservative MP, David Burrowes, last month. Mr Burrowes, a practising Christian, originally wrote to Maria Miller, the equalities minister, raising concerns about the impact on schools of the Coalition's plans to change the marriage laws.
"It followed the publication of a legal opinion by Aidan O'Neill QC, a barrister in the same London chambers as Cherie Blair, commissioned by the Coalition for Marriage, which campaigns against same-sex unions. Mr O'Neill, an expert on human rights, was asked to advise on the impact redefining marriage to include same-sex couples could have on schools, churches, hospitals, foster carers and public buildings.
"Among his conclusions was that schools could be within their statutory rights to dismiss staff who wilfully fail to use stories or textbooks promoting same-sex weddings. Parents who object to gay marriage being taught to their children would also have no right to withdraw their child from lessons, he argued. And, in theory, the fact that a school was a faith school would make no difference, he added."
In America things are just as bad it seems. From Washington we get this scary story: "Washington College OK's Exposure of Young Girls to Transgender Male in Locker Room". The story goes as follows: "College officials at Washington's Evergreen College gave approval to a transgender male to expose himself to young girls in the locker room. The college told the young girls to dress behind a curtain if they don't like it.
"Alliance Defending Freedom reported: Alliance Defending Freedom sent a letter to Washington's Evergreen State College Thursday after college officials claimed that its non-discrimination policy doesn't allow the school to stop a man from exposing himself to girls as young as six years old in a women's locker room. A local district attorney has also stated that he doesn't plan to enforce the state's indecent exposure statute to protect the girls.
"The 45-year-old male student, who dresses as a woman and goes by the name Colleen Francis, undressed and exposed his male genitalia on several occasions in the presence of young girls who use the college's locker rooms. Students from Olympia High School and children in the Evergreen Swim Club and Aquatics Academy share use of the locker rooms with the college. Rather than prevent the man from using the locker room, the school has installed curtains and asked the girls to change behind them.
"`Little girls should not be exposed to naked men, period. A college's notions about "non-discrimination" don't change that,' said Senior Legal Counsel David Hacker. `The idea that the college and the local district attorney will not act to protect young girls is appalling. What Americans are seeing here is the poisoned fruit of so-called "non-discrimination" laws and policies. Placing this man's proclivities ahead of protecting little girls is beyond unacceptable'."
And in Maine we learn about this: "Middle Schoolers Subjected To Graphic Gay Indoctrination". The report states: "Shortly before Maine became one of the first states to approve gay marriage at the ballot box, a school district in the state was ahead of the curve with a presentation of graphic gay sex acts.
"Promoted as part of the school's `Diversity Day', 25 students in a middle school class were subjected to the filth by a group called Proud Rainbow Youth of Southern Maine. The reprehensible display included advising students about safe homosexual sex acts and suggesting the use of saran wrap during oral sex if a dental dam is not available.
"The mother of one 13-year-old upset by the presentation told the media that the PRYSM speaker also used profanity when spreading the gay-centric message. `I've had to let him know that no matter what situation he gets in, my suggestion is not saran wrap. My suggestion is to abstain altogether,' she said.
"School curricula regularly operates outside of parents' influence, and most children are taught to respect and obey their teachers. It must be incredibly frustrating for the millions of students who hear one view at home and a starkly different opinion in class.
"A spokesperson for Protect Marriage Maine weighed in on the controversial incident, saying this is likely just the tip of the iceberg. `If there was any doubt that gay marriage would be taught to young children in Maine schools just as it is in Massachusetts and Canada, that doubt should be removed now,' he said, adding activists will likely `force gay marriage instruction of young children' now that the state allows such unions."
Talk about bitter fruit. We have had a half century of the sexual revolution and things are looking pretty ugly. But sadly things have likely not bottomed out yet. Hopefully enough concerned parents and others will stand up and be counted here before the West goes the way of Sodom and Gomorrah.
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, 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.