Wednesday, June 26, 2013
More multiculturalism in Britain: Unlicensed Algerian cab driver is jailed for rape
An unlicensed taxi driver was jailed for raping a passenger in his car nearly one decade after being cleared of an almost identical attack. Mohamed Hacene-Chaouch, 46, of Catford, south-east London, took advantage of the drunken 24-year-old woman after she spent a night out in Soho, central London.
The victim had been at a birthday party with friends and was so intoxicated that licensed black cabs had refused to take her home.
By the time the Algerian married father-of-five picked her up on Tottenham Court Road, she was slipping in and out of consciousness.
Hacene-Chaouch, who was unlicensed and had convictions for touting, drove to her home in Hackney, east London, before the attack. He admitted picking the victim up but claimed no sexual activity could have taken place because he was only parked up for a minute. However, CCTV cameras proved he was lying.
Hacene-Chaouch was convicted of rape following a trial at the Old Bailey, before being jailed for seven years and three months today.
Jurors were not told Hacene-Chaouch had been acquitted of an almost identical attack in the Tottenham Court Road area in 2004.
Sentencing, Judge Wendy Joseph QC told him: ‘It must have been clear to you that she was helplessly and hopelessly drunk. ‘She told you she was so drunk no black cab would take her. It is clear she could hardly stand and was barely able to walk.
'You had positioned yourself where such people as her were found and you knew well that such touting was against the law. I am quite satisfied there was an element of predatory behaviour.
‘She trusted you to take her safely home. She was clearly vulnerable, obviously helpless and in your power. After that attack she suffered panic attacks and had great difficulty in sleeping.
‘She has found it impossible to form any new relationship with a man. She is a straightforward, sensible and practical young woman.
‘She holds out some hope for the future but recognises it will take a long time to get over what happened to her. You refuse to accept the wrong you have done. I have never heard the least scintilla of remorse.’
Before being led down to the cells, Hacene-Chaouch gestured to his wife in the public gallery and said: ‘I am innocent. I never touched her’.
He was convicted of touting for hire on several occasions between 2004 and July 2012. On January 27 this year he was waiting at the junction of Tottenham Court Road and Charing Cross Road.
The woman had been out for a meal to celebrate a friend’s birthday before joining others at a bar. She became separated from her friends and was trying to get a cab home when she bumped in Hacene-Chaouch.
She said: ‘I remember having the overwhelming feeling of being alone. I remember being in the car, in the back seat, and going in and out of consciousness. It’s very blurry but I think I got sick in the car and he was upset.’
Hacene-Chaouch stopped at a garage so she could withdraw £25 for the fare before parking up near her home. He then groped her between her legs before forcing her to perform a sex act on him.
She told her flatmate the following morning and the attack was reported to the police. The driver was traced through CCTV from the garage and from the street outside the victim’s flat.
Hacene-Chaouch denied oral rape but was convicted. He was also alleged to have stolen her mobile phone and camera, but a separate theft charge was withdrawn by prosecutors during the trial.
He was banned from operating as a taxi driver for ten years and ordered to pay a £120 surcharge. Hacene-Chaouch will also have to sign on the Sex Offenders Register for life.
A defence of the British social class system
Unlike Alan Milburn, I like the games of class and status because they give point, style and texture to existence
There is something sordid about SM. Its advocates indulge themselves in smutty special pleading to justify their peculiar tastes. I refer not, of course, to sado-masochism, but to that other contemporary vice: social mobility. Or, at least, to fussing about it.
Alan Milburn, a Blair health secretary, is now fussing on behalf of the Government’s Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission. Two thirds of correspondents in its latest survey complained that progress in Britain depends on who, rather than what, you know. (Opinion was split, however, on whether their own background had been influential.)
Any advanced culture has class systems: methods of attributing merit to individuals. Once, that merit was determined by how much of Sussex you owned (something which had earlier been determined by how murderously you roughed-up your neighbours).
Britain’s class system was well-established by Chaucer’s day, with its nice hierarchy of yeoman, esquire and “gentilman”. This last category, still with us, was then enhanced by a mobile immigrant. This was an idea: the “gentiluomo” of Castiglione’s The Book of the Courtier, which established an enduring conception of elegance and manners.
Socially, anyone can mobilise to become a gentleman. It’s a matter of talent and desire more than contacts or inheritance. True, education creates the opportunity. Education is capital, a priceless source of immaterial wealth. That’s the point of getting one. Redbrick powered my own record-breaking lap times in the mobility race.
The problem is different: all too often the social mobility argument is not about enhancing opportunity, but inhibiting the exceptional. Exceptionality worries the SM lobby. We have seen this before. Procrustes insisted on making everyone fit his standardised iron bed, using amputation if necessary. Then there is Kurt Vonnegut, whose 1961 short story Harrison Bergeron is set in 2081, and has a Handicapper General whose job is to put masks on beautiful people, attach weights to the athletic and make the intelligent listen to nasty sounds on headsets to impair their superior thinking.
The SM argument is founded in fear and doubt, not good materials for any foundation. Yes, our class system presents many obstacles – but the mobile negotiate them, while the stationary stare dolefully at what stands in their way. If it is true that David Cameron has never spoken to Commissioner Milburn about his role, it may not be because Eton and Stokesley Comprehensive have their cultural differences, but because PM finds AM dull.
Of course things are determined by who you know. Life is a performance, not solitary confinement. But why should this surprise us? Genius might be cultivated in solitude, but its exercise requires a public audience. The same goes for charm and wit. You cannot be charming and witty alone in a room.
As for wealth, I do not know any rich kid who would not have been better off if his banker’s card had been taken away at birth. And while the present cabinet has a lot of sumptuous Etonian bottoms, the school’s pupils have been less mobile in sport, architecture, literature, science, technology and pole-dancing. So c’mon, fusspots.
I like the games of class and status because they give point, style and texture to existence. But if we are to be socially mobile, I want a two-way street. As de Tocqueville knew, a healthy culture can be judged by whether people hope to rise or fear to fall. I want a bit of each. Perhaps more of the latter, since fear is so inspiring. “I’m sorry, Mr Milburn,” I imagine the BA hostess saying. “I know you’re Handicapper General, and you’ve had a government handout for a first-class ticket, but we don’t think you’re suitable.” Down you go. That’s the promise of real social mobility.
DOD Produces Special Poster for Transgender, Bisexual, Lesbian and Gay Pride
On Tuesday, June 25, the U.S. Defense Department will give special recognition to "gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemembers"--as well as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender civilian workers--for their "dedicated service to our country."
And this year, "Pride Month" at the Defense Department comes with a poster:
The red, white and blue poster -- designed for the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute located at Patrick Air Force Base in Florida -- includes the followiong quotation from President Barack Obama:
"For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America's promise to all our citizens. Armed Forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans."
OutServe-SLDN, an advocacy group for LGBT military personnel, called it "appropriate and gratifying" that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is following the precedent set in 2012 when then-Secretary Leon Panetta hosted the Pentagon's first LGBT Pride Month.
But the group isn't happy that the DOD memorandum announcing Tuesday's Pride event for gays, lesbians and bisexuals did not mention transgenders in uniform:
"While acknowledging transgender civilian DOD employees, the memorandum notably omits any mention of the contributions of transgender people in uniform -– presumably because transgender people remain barred from service by outdated and obsolete medical regulations.
“Transgender people have served this nation with pride, honor, and distinction –- and continue to do so in the hundreds, if not thousands. It’s past time to honor them for their service and sacrifice, and past time to end the discredited and obsolete practice of forcing them to serve in silence and fear,” said Army veteran and OutServe-SLDN Executive Director Allyson Robinson in a news release issued earlier this month.
LGBT Pride Month is celebrated each June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that erupted after a police raid on a gay bar.
Tomorrow, the Defense Department will celebrate the December 22, 2010 repeal of the Pentagon's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. Homosexuals have been allowed to openly serve in the U.S. military since September 20, 2011.
German Left Attacking critics of Islam
National parliamentarians from Die Linke, Germany's post-communist Left Party, recently presented the federal German government with a Minor Inquiry (Kleine Anfrage or KA) concerning the government's policy towards the conservative German website Politically Incorrect (PI). This is only the latest effort by left-wing multiculturalists to quash open discussion, and criticism on Islam by designating the discourse "anti-democratic"and "right-wing extremist."
As the online rules of order for the German parliament or Bundestag explain, the KA in Section 104 allows the Bundestag's president to receive questions for the federal government about "certain delineated areas." Normally the president calls upon the government to answer the questions in writing within 14 days, although agreement with the KA authors can extend this time limit.
As the German-language KA Wikipedia entry explains, this procedure serves as a means of parliamentary control over the government by calling upon it to give account of a given state of affairs.
Die Linke's May 13, 2013, KA (document 17/13573, available in PDF format here) notes that "Islam-hostile internet portals" like PI with its "tens of thousands of visitors daily" and parties such as the Freedom Party (Die Freiheit) and Germany's Pro movement (Pro NRW/Pro Deutschland) "warn against a supposed ‘Islamization of Europe.'" In PI reader comments, meanwhile, Muslims "are collectively humiliated and denigrated in a racist, xenophobic, insulting, hate-filled, and at times violence-glorifying manner."
Referenced by the KA and previously reported by this author (see here and here), PI and Die Freiheit, with common members such as Michael Stürzenberger, have conducted a petition drive for a referendum to stop a proposed Center for Islam in Europe-Munich (Zentrum für Islams in Europa-München or ZIE-M).
The KA references a story from the Munich-based German national newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung discussing how Stürzenberger commonly compares the Koran with Adolf Hitler's Mein Kampf and Die Freiheit rallies have featured signs stating "Christ is truth, Muhammad is a lie." Previously reported by this author as well (see here and here), the KA also notes that the Bavarian Office of Constitutional Protection (Verfassungsschutz) has recently begun monitoring Bavarian chapters of PI/Die Freiheit due to "anti-constitutional" sentiments.
A previous August 18, 2011, Die Linke KA (17/6823) had also dealt with PI/Die Freiheit in the wake of the July 22, 2011, massacre perpetrated in Norway by Anders Behring Brevik. This earlier KA bemoaned in Germany an "increasing hostility to Islam precisely among high earners and people with high levels of education." In this context "populist and xenophobic campaigns against ‘Islam'" appeared to the "extreme right in Europe" as a "recipe for success for their propaganda" and an "entrance ticket into the political middle." Die Freiheit was one of several attempts to found "anti-Islam parties" while PI had become a "central forum of Islam haters in the German-speaking area."
Yet in citing an article from Berlin's leftwing Tageszeitung (taz), the 2011 KA noted that the federal Verfassungsschutz had not deemed PI's outlook as anti-constitutional given PI's self-professed "pro-Israeli, pro-American" character. The article noted additionally PI's "emphatic profession of loyalty to the Grundgesetz," Germany's Basic Law or constitution.
The government's answer on September 5, 2011, (17/6910) to the various questions concerning matters such as membership and statements of PI/Die Freiheit and other groups in the 2011 KA continued this analysis. With respect to Die Freiheit, there were "not sufficient indications" to classify Die Freiheit as "rightwing extremist." The "overwhelming majority of PI entries," meanwhile, "made no use of classical rightwing extremist argumentation patterns, but rather was to be situated within the Islam-critical spectrum."
While some PI contributions had "anti-Muslim or in parts even racist content," these were "practically exclusively" in the comments section and were "even there the exception." Thus a "rightwing extremist effort (still) did not allow itself to be discerned" at PI.
Not to be deterred, Die Linke responded on October 31, 2011, with yet another KA (17/7569) about "anti-Muslim agitation" citing several sources such as newspapers warning against PI, Die Freiheit, and other groups. In this KA, Die Linke indicated that it was not so much interested in a "secret service surveillance of the Islam- and Muslim-hostile scene" by the federal Verfassungschutz as a "societal ostracism of this body of thought just like every other form of racism and anti-Semitism."
Among other questions, Die Linke wanted to know what connections PI had to "religious groupings from the evangelical, dogmatic-Catholic, and old Catholic milieus." The government's response (17/7761) on November 17, 2011, however, reiterated the position taken in 17/6910 and noted that "individual statements" did not suffice to define an entity as "extremist" but rather demanded an "overall observation."
In 17/13573 Die Linke repeated many of its previous questions and inquired whether the federal government still maintains its previous outlook in light of recent Bavarian decisions. This is the latest Die Linke salvo in an ongoing campaign to bring about a self-proclaimed political "ostracism" of PI/Die Freiheit and other groups.
Yet the irony was not lost on Stürzenberger, who pointed out to PI that Die Linke, with much of its roots in East Germany's Communist Party, is itself an object of federal Verfassungsschutz surveillance.
The future of a free and open discussion of Islam in Germany seems perilous with the likes of Die Linke, a totalitarian-legacy group, continually demonstrating its propensity to use the German federal government as a tool of intimidation against Islam's critiques.
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.