Sunday, April 20, 2014
Multicultural love in Britain
A man who beheaded his teenage girlfriend with a kitchen knife before stabbing himself has been jailed for life.
Aras Hussein, 21, attacked Reema Ramzan, 18, with the blade while she was still alive before plunging it into his own chest in his flat in Sheffield.
Sentencing him to life, with a minimum of 20 years in jail, Justice Laura Cox said his motive for the attack was 'unclear and may never be known'.
After the attack, he was seen on the street by a neighbour, naked, holding a wad of money and a passport, and covered in blood.
The body of Miss Ramzan, left, was found in the kitchen of Iraqi-born Hussein's, right, flat on June 4 last year
The killer admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied murder. However, he was found guilty of murder at Sheffield Crown Court.
Mrs Justice Cox said Hussein had used 'severe and sustained' force to decapitate Reema in a 'chilling and brutal' attack.
She said: 'The pathological evidence indicated that she was likely to be alive while decapitation was taking place although at some stage, mercifully, she would have lost consciousness.
'The pain, terror, anguish and desperation she would therefore have suffered, as you inflicted these appalling injuries upon her and ended her life, is truly horrifying to contemplate.
'Why you did this to a young woman who was your girlfriend is unclear and may never be known.'
The court previously heard that Miss Ramzan had arrived at Hussein’s flat in Sheffield at approximately 2.30pm and had brought with her around £5,000 in cash, as well as her passport and a substantial amount of Iraqi currency.
The jury was told Miss Ramzan did not tell her family she was going to meet Hussein and it was not clear what her intentions had been prior to her death.
Mrs Justice Cox: 'While you were both in the flat you stabbed [Reema] in the chest and decapitated her, in what was clearly a chilling and brutal attack.'
After the attack, Hussein took off his clothes, stabbed himself and wandered into the street. The court how he approached a member of the public - who was waiting for a friend near Hussein’s block of flats - and asked him to take him to hospital.
The man refused, but alerted emergency services who arrived minutes later. The court heard that when the defendant got back to the flat he also called the police and was still naked when they arrived.
Prosecutor Graham Reeds QC said a neighbour of Hussein's heard a woman 'screaming for dear life' that afternoon, and that the defendant told emergency workers who came to his aid: 'I don't know why I did it.'
He said Hussein told the paramedics: 'She liked me but I raped her. What I did was wrong. I need punishing for it.' And he told them: 'Why are you helping me? I've murdered someone.'
Miss Ramzan was studying health and social care at Sheffield City College and lived in Darnall, Sheffield with her family who, the court was told, disapproved of the couple's relationship.
During the trial, the jury heard how on one occasion Hussein had threatened to show the victim's family sexual pictures he had taken of her if she broke up with him.
Mr Reeds outlined another incident when Miss Ramzan's brother Sohail argued with the defendant after spotting red marks around his sister's neck.
Hussein's lawyers said he was suffering from diminished responsibility at the time of the attack due to schizophrenia, but the jury rejected this.
Miss Ramzan's family said after the verdict: 'Words cannot describe the pain we feel not having her here.
'Reema was not just a beautiful girl to look at, she was a beautiful girl inside; so kind and helpful, she was always smiling and we loved her so much. We couldn't have wished for a more loving and caring daughter and sister.'
Detective superintendent Phil Etheridge of South Yorkshire Police, who investigated the case, said: 'This is an incredibly sad and heartbreaking case and my deepest sympathies are with Reema's family and friends.
'Reema was a kind and considerate young woman who had a bright and promising future to look forward to. Regrettably, her life was taken far too soon and in such tragic circumstances.
'This has been a difficult investigation however I am satisfied with the verdict today and I hope it provides some form of closure for Reema's family.'
Regulating Hateful Speech Won't Stop Hateful Crimes
Glenn Miller's long trail of bigotry and violence is not an argument for censoring speech—or for spying on people who have done nothing more than say ugly things
First the terrible crime, then the terrible idea. In the wake of the Overland Park shooting spree of April 13, in which a neo-Nazi killed three people at a Jewish Community Center and a Jewish retirement home near Kansas City, the notion is being floated, yet again, that we might be able to stop such crimes if only we were less rigid about the Bill of Rights.
The shooter, who has gone by various names over the years but has usually been known as Glenn Miller, has a long history as a vocal white supremacist and anti-Semite. This background prompted Emily Bazelon to write an essay in Slate headlined "A History of Hate" and subtitled "Could anything have been done to stop Frazier Glenn Miller?" Miller, she notes, posted frequently on Vanguard News Network, a website so drenched in malice toward nonwhites and Jews that it makes Stormfront look like Shalom Sesame. Comparing America's legal tolerance for hateful speech with the more restrictive rules found in many other nations, Bazelon writes: "If you think we have the balance wrong, you have company."
The Slate story stops short of endorsing controls on bigoted speech, but it also stops short of rejecting them. And Bazelon offers no caveats when she invokes the Department of Homeland Security's infamous 2009 report on right-wing extremism, bemoaning the backlash that led the department to renounce the paper and to reduce its staff devoted to the domestic right. Law enforcement, Bazelon writes, "should quit training all their resources on Islamists and start watching people like Miller."
Similar sentiments have surfaced in other venues. "We have recently seen in Kansas the deadly destruction and loss of life that hate speech can fuel in the United States," Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) said this week. "Not all hate speech leads to physical acts of violence, but all hate speech is a form of violence," the Bergen Record editorialized. And in an April 15 op-ed for The New York Times, historian Kathleen Belew echoed Bazelon's complaints about the DHS paper's fate: "The department shelved the report, removing it from its website. The threat, however, proved real."
Now, it's certainly true that Miller has a long history as a notorious bigot. When I was growing up in North Carolina, he and his organizations—first the Carolina Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, then the White Patriot Party—were fixtures in the news. He was in one of the cars in the caravan that opened fire on anti-Klan activists, killing five, in the Greensboro Massacre of 1979. As head of the Carolina Knights he sent his troops to intimidate blacks in the area, and after going underground in the mid-'80s he issued a hit list to "Aryan warriors" that awarded different numbers of points for murdering different targets: "Niggers (1), White race traitors (10), Jews (10), Judges (50), Morris Seligman Dees (888)." (Dees is the founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center.) Miller finally got caught with a cache of weapons that violated so many laws that he could have been imprisoned for decades for them alone, quite apart from the crimes he was plotting to commit with them.
But he wasn't imprisoned for decades. He turned snitch, agreeing to testify that two former comrades had killed customers at a gay-oriented porn shop and taking the stand in a sedition trial of 13 white supremacists. He ended up doing far more to hurt than to help the prosecutors: He probably perjured himself, and when the defense poked holes in his claims the government lost credibility with the jurors. (In each case where he testified, the prosecution lost.) Still, his cooperation got him out of a lot of jail time. He was sentenced to just five years, and he served only three.
Of all the policies that someone might want to second-guess here, the First Amendment shouldn't even enter the top 50. Miller isn't a man with a history of nasty but peaceful speech who suddenly snapped; he's a man with a history of violence who committed yet another violent crime. To return to the question in Bazelon's subtitle—"Could anything have been done to stop Frazier Glenn Miller?"—the answer is: Yes, but it doesn't have anything to do with restricting Americans' speech rights. Miller could have been put away for eons way back in 1987, but instead the government offered him a deal.
And that DHS report that Bazelon and Belew want to rehabilitate? Its biggest problem is that it blurs the boundaries between "extremist" opinions and actual violence—the same error on display when people react to Miller's murders by saying the state should keep an eye on all that hate speech out there. The paper's author, Daryl Johnson, hasn't been consistent about whether he meant to call nonviolent extremism a threat, but usually he says that he did. "Extremism has a much broader definition [than criminal or violent behavior], because it is the phase that precedes terrorism," he wrote in 2012. "Extremism involves ideologies that facilitate individuals and groups toward violence and terrorism." This is the attitude that disturbed civil libertarians when the report was leaked. It is also unhelpful in understanding Miller's crime, since Miller's long history of hateful speech didn't precede his career as a terrorist so much as it accompanied it.
Belew's chief interest in the DHS report is to defend its discussion of veterans. Johnson's paper, she writes,
singled out one factor that has fueled every surge in Ku Klux Klan membership in American history, from the 1860s to the present: war. The return of veterans from combat appears to correlate more closely with Klan membership than any other historical factor. "Military veterans facing significant challenges reintegrating into their communities could lead to the potential emergence of terrorist groups or lone wolf extremists carrying out violent attacks," the report warned. The agency was "concerned that right-wing extremists will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to boost their violent capabilities."
Whatever you think of this argument, it's a stretch for Belew to get from there to her conclusion that this "threat...proved real." The DHS was worried that far-right groups would recruit from the troops who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. Miller was neither a new recruit to the right nor a veteran of America's post-9/11 battles—the war he fought in was Vietnam.
Finally, let's try to put an end to this absurd claim that the security state's police are devoting "all their resources," as Bazelon put it, to Muslims. Fusion centers—intelligence-sharing shops that are run on the state and local levels but get a lot of money from DHS—continue to churn out reports on all manner of alleged threats to the homeland, not just the Islamic ones. Daryl Johnson doesn't work for the Department of Homeland Security anymore, but he still makes a living in the homeland security business, running a consulting company called DT Analytics that contracts with fusion centers and police departments. Meanwhile, undercover cops have run terror stings aimed not just at Muslims but at other Americans, from the far right to the far left.
If those infiltrators didn't catch wind of Glenn Miller's plans while they were playing agent provocateur, it isn't the first time a police apparatus missed a threat. You can give an agency power and resources, but that doesn't mean it's going to use them wisely. Keep that in mind as people propose plans they think could stop such crimes from happening again.
Rev. Graham: Muslims Who ‘Want to Practice Sharia Law’ Should ‘Go Back Where You Came From’
“We should be afraid of sharia law” in America, and Muslims here who want to practice sharia should go back to where they came from, “to those nations that recognize sharia law,” said Rev. Franklin Graham, head of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
In a recent interview with the Charlotte Observer, Graham was asked, “Some say you demonize Islam, and Christians in this country have opposed building a mosque or are worried about Sharia law. Isn’t it –”
Graham, who oversees the international Christian aid group Samaritan’s Purse, said, “We should be afraid of Sharia law. We should be absolutely afraid of it. No question about it, because there’s no tolerance in Sharia law. It persecutes those that do not believe in Islam.”
“And I would say to Muslims in this country, if they want to practice Sharia law, go back to where you came from, to those nations that recognize sharia law,” said Graham. “But we have our own laws here.”
Sharia law is the law of Islam, governing public life as well as private life. “Also meaning ‘path’ in Arabic, sharia guides all aspects of Muslim life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings,” states a backgrounder on sharia published by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). “Marriage and divorce are the most significant aspects of sharia, but criminal law is the most controversial.”
Some of the crimes addressed by sharia include fornication and adultery, wine drinking, theft and highway robbery. Some of the punishments for such crimes, according to the CFR, include flogging, stoning, amputation and execution. Honor killings are also widespread.
The CFR also noted, “Other practices that are woven into the sharia debate, such as female genital mutilation, adolescent marriages, polygamy, and gender-biased inheritance rules, elicit as much controversy.”
Following his comments against sharia law, Reverend Graham was asked about his own Biblically based opposition to homosexual “marriage.”
The reporter asked, “Opposing same-sex marriage because it’s the Bible – I’m trying to say, that is a religious law too, isn’t it, that we should not let gays and lesbians get married because the Bible says they shouldn’t be?”
Graham said, "I believe the Bible from cover to cover. I believe the Old Testament, as well as the New Testament.”
Reverend Graham is the son of the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham, who is 95 and reportedly now largely confined to his bed.
Muslim drivers at Cleveland airport refuse to drive cabs with Gay Games advertising
But that's OK. You are only "homophobic" if you are Christian
Roughly 25 Muslim drivers dispatched to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport are refusing to drive cabs adorned with advertising for the region’s upcoming Gay Games, citing religious reasons.
Two of the three companies operating at Ohio's largest airport were informed by the drivers — one-third of the airport’s total fleet — last week that they will no longer participate in the airport’s dedicated taxicab program. The companies, Ace and Yellow Taxi Cab, were told by the drivers that their decision was based on religious reasons, airport spokeswoman Jacqueline Mayo told FoxNews.com.
Ann Gynn, a spokeswoman for the Gay Games, said she believes the protest is an “isolated” case and not indicative of the beliefs held by most residents in Cleveland and Akron, where the Gay Games will be held on Aug. 9-16.
“What we’ve been seeing for the last couple of years is a lot of positive support and a welcome atmosphere within the community,” Gynn told FoxNews.com. “This was a decision by those individual cab drivers. It was a personal decision.”
This is the first year that the nonprofit Gay Games, which are open to all adults regardless of sexual orientation, has utilized advertising atop taxicabs, Gynn said. They were unveiled early last week, she said.
“What’s surprising is that the Gay Games are about inclusion,” she continued. “The Gay Games are open to everybody. This is about inclusiveness on sporting fields and welcoming people as they are.”
The affected taxicab companies will now backfill the airport’s fleet with metered vehicles until each company can hire replacement drivers. That process is expected to take up to three weeks, Mayo said.
“The airport is committed to providing this necessary customer service to our arriving passengers seeking transportation from the airport to their final destination,” airport director Ricky Smith said in a statement obtained by FoxNews.com.
Patrick Keenan, general manager for the third taxi company at the airport, Americab, said two of his drivers initially opted not to work due to the ads. One of them has since returned, he told FoxNews.com on Friday.
“He cited religious reasons,” Keenan said of the unidentified driver. “I didn’t foresee it being a problem … We have no problem with the signage and [the protest] doesn’t reflect the views of our company.”
Launched in San Francisco in 1982, the Gay Games are open to anyone aged 18 or older. Tom Waddell, a gay athlete who could not be open about his sexual orientation when he competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City, sought to create an event where people could compete and be open regarding their sexuality.
The Gay Games, according to organizers, are based on three principles: participation, inclusion and personal best. Typically, roughly 10 percent of approximately 9,000 participants in its 35-plus sports identify as non-LGBT individuals.
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 and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.