Thursday, August 21, 2014
British Prime Minister: No Freedom of Speech for ISIS Sympathizers
Britain already greatly restricts speech
British Prime Minister David Cameron announced Sunday that the United Kingdom (UK) is cracking down on the speech and activities of sympathizers of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)--also known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
In an oped, Camerson said the group represents a "poisonous extremism" that poses "a clear danger to Europe and to our security."
“If people are walking around with ISIL flags or trying to recruit people to their terrorist cause, they will be arrested and their materials will be seized,” Cameron wrote in The Telegraph.
“We are a tolerant people, but no tolerance should allow the room for this sort of poisonous extremism in our country,” he added.
“The creation of an extremist caliphate in the heart of Iraq and extending into Syria is not a problem miles away from home,” Cameron emphasized in his column. “Nor is it a problem that should be defined by a war 10 years ago. It is our concern here and now.
"Because if we do not act to stem the onslaught of this exceptionally dangerous terrorist movement, it will only grow stronger until it can target us on the streets of Britain.”
Cameron’s remarks follow increasing instances of recruitment attempts by ISIL (also known as the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State) in the UK. Last week, leaflets were being handed out on Oxford Street in London encouraging British Muslims to join ISIL in jihad in Iraq. An ISIL flag was also recently flown at a housing project in East London.
“Here in Britain we have recently introduced stronger powers through our Immigration Act to deprive naturalised Britons of their citizenship if they are suspected of being involved in terrorist activities,” Cameron noted in the oped,
“We have taken down 28,000 pieces of terrorist-related material from the web, including 46 ISIL-related videos. And I have also discussed the police response to this growing threat of extremism with the Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe. The position is clear.”
The exact number of British ISIL recruits is not known.
However, "François Hollande, the French president, told a press conference [in January] that up to 700 Britons were in the Middle Eastern country,” while the British government “stood by estimates that 350 Britons are fighting in Syria,” The Telegraph reported in January.
“A humanitarian response alone is not enough,” Cameron added in his oped. “We also need a broader political, diplomatic and security response. For that, we must understand the true nature of the threat we face.
"We should be clear: this is not the 'War on Terror', nor is it a war of religions. It is a struggle for decency, tolerance and moderation in our modern world. It is a battle against a poisonous ideology that is condemned by all faiths and by all faith leaders, whether Christian, Jewish or Muslim.”
Cameron also outlined recent steps the UK has taken to stop ISIL.
“On Friday we agreed with our European partners that we will provide equipment directly to the Kurdish forces; we are now identifying what we might supply, from body armour to specialist counter-explosive equipment. We have also secured a United Nations Security Council resolution to disrupt the flows of finance to ISIL, sanction those who are seeking to recruit for it and encourage countries to do all they can to prevent foreign fighters joining the extremist cause.”
“This is a clear danger to Europe and to our security,” the prime minister concluded. “It is a daunting challenge. But it is not an invincible one, as long as we are now ready and able to summon up the political will to defend our own values and way of life with the same determination, courage and tenacity as we have faced danger before in our history. That is how much is at stake here: we have no choice but to rise to the challenge.”
Cameron penned the column after receiving a letter on Saturday from Nicholas Baines, the Bishop of Leeds, asking the prime minister: “What is the overall strategy that holds together the UK Government’s response to both the humanitarian situation and what IS is actually doing in Syria and Iraq?
“Behind this question is the serious concern that we do not seem to have a coherent or comprehensive approach to Islamist extremism as it is developing across the globe,” said the bishop, whose letter was supported by the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bishop Leeds also mentioned “the plight of tens of thousands of Christians who have been displaced,” asking if the British government had “a coherent response to the plight of these huge numbers of Christians whose plight appears to be less regarded than that of others?”
Feminism and Pop Culture Wage War Against Fathers
There are many issues modern society and culture face today, many of which are troubling and threaten to undermine our Liberty, values and way of life. Our culture is in a state of flux, in a battle of ideas between those who defend traditional values and those who believe their ideas are better than those of our ancestors. The traditional family of a father and mother, who together raise their children to be good citizens, is at the heart of civil society, but it’s also under constant assault.
In the family structure, the father is of utmost importance, as he is the head of household whose role, among others, is to be the provider, protector and principled leader for his family. This sounds a bit old fashioned, but it has worked for centuries. Yet despite the evidence of fathers being a crucial aspect of the family, our culture is pushing them out at the behest of feminists, pop culture elitists and many within the media.
Take for example recent comments made by pop singer Katy Perry. She told Rolling Stone, “I don’t need a dude” to have and raise a baby. Surely she can’t be serious. It would be scientifically impossible for her to have a baby without “a dude” regardless of whether she was in a relationship, or visited a sperm bank. Whichever direction she chooses, she will need “a dude.”
This scientific truth suggests that a man is needed to be there for the child. Presumably, she doesn’t need a man after she has a baby – that is, she doesn’t need a father to help raise her baby. Certainly because of her wealth and fame, she could provide material needs for her baby, and pay others to raise her child while she’s on tour. But why not marry a man who can be the father of her child? Perry was raised by a mother and a father, yet apparently she has bought into the idea that wealth can “make up for the flesh-and-blood influence of a loving father.”
Katy Perry may have all the money she needs, but that’s not true for most single moms. Statistics from the Heritage Foundation show that children raised in married homes are “82 percent less likely to be poor than children in single parent homes.” For the sake of the children’s future, both parents are necessary.
Perry’s assertion that she doesn’t need a father for her child no doubt has many feminists cheering. Feminists have for some time insisted that men are expendable and useless idiots. They suggest that men are oppressors of women, and that masculinity is a thing of the past. They want birth control to be paid for by society, which is a bit ironic seeing how it takes a man for them to even need birth control in the first place.
Feminists and various celebrities have done considerable damage to the family structure. Television sitcoms such as The Simpsons, Family Guy and Modern Family, to name a few, make a mockery of doltish men in every episode, and, therefore, these shows significantly downplay the role of the father in the family. The message these shows are sending is that fathers are unimportant, are often the cause of dysfunction, and at best what they say and do is silly.
With the assault on the family today, fathers have a more critical role in the family than in previous years. With the direction our culture is heading, and the determination of some to purposefully tear down the family structure, the responsibility of the father has increased. No one questions the importance of mothers, but fathers need more than ever to be involved in the lives of their children, to give them the support they need, to be there when they are afraid, to guide them in the path they should go. Fathers need to discipline their children, correct them when they do wrong, and praise them when they do right. Fathers should still provide for their families, they should show love and compassion for their spouse and their children. They need to be courageous, unshakable in their faith and principles, and they should be proud of their masculinity because that is the way they are created.
Fathers can’t sit back and assume all is well. They need to pay attention to what is going on in our culture and do something about it. They should start with their own families, and then provide the support and encouragement to fathers whom they know are struggling. Above all, the father should not quit, should not give up and should not give in. The stakes for the future of our country are too high.
Grandparents are key to our prosperity
David Cameron wants to recognise grandparents' contribution to raising the future generation. He is right: Granny is key to our well-being. Helping grandparents is a display of enlightened Government action.
This Coalition has ignored the family for too long. It has penalised stay-at-home mothers — at their peril, as Nick Clegg discovered during one of his radio shows. It has tried to erase the distinction between marriage as a religious union and a secular institution. The result is that the Conservatives' reputation as the family-friendly party has been rubbished.
Cameron fears he may pay for this negligence at the election: and it is to woo the grey vote that the PM now pledges perks and privileges to the more than 200,000 grandparents in the UK who are stepping in to help raise grandchildren. Having whipped up their hostility with previous moves — remember the outcry over the granny tax, which had Dame Joan Bakewell spitting? — Dave hopes to smooth those ruffled (if now sparse) feathers.
But supporting grandparents' links with their progeny and their children will boost more than granny and grandpa. It will help build what sociologists and economists call social capital — good, old-fashioned relationships based on trust and loyalty. These are fundamental to prosperity, as Robert Putnam suggested in his 2000 classic "Bowling Alone". His words have been proved right: the latest Prosperity Index shows that when a nation's social capital is eroded, as has been true of Italy and France in the last few years, the country's economy struggles. Investors, like everyone else, prefer a community where collaboration and cooperation thrive.
An added bonus, from granny's point of view, is that those countries with a healthy social capital are also those where people live longest. Go, granny!
Anti-Semitism and its limitations
by CAROLINE GLICK
Outside the US, throughout the Western world, anti-Semitism is becoming a powerful social and political force. And its power is beginning to have a significant impact on Israel's relations with other democracies.
Consider South Africa. Following a lopsided vote by the University of Cape Town's Student Union to boycott Israel, Jewish students fear that their own student union will be barred from operating on campus. Carla Frumer from the South African Jewish Student Union told The Times of Israel, "If they prove we are a Zionist organization and support Israel, they can have us banned and seek to de-register us."
In Sydney, Australia, Jewish families received a triple blow last week when Jewish children on a chartered school bus were assaulted by eight anti-Semitic drunken teenagers.
The first shock was that their children, some as young as five, were terrorized on their school bus.
The second shock was that the bus driver made an unscheduled stop to allow the anti-Semites to board the bus and harass the children.
The third shock was that after catching six of the eight assailants, the police let them out of jail the same evening.
Taken together, the incident revealed an obscene comfort level among Australian authorities with the terrorization of Jewish children. Jewish families cannot assume that their children will be protected by non-Jews, whether they are school bus drivers or the police.
Unfortunately, these stories do not begin to scratch the surface of the rising tide of anti-Semitism in the developed world. From Paris to San Paulo, from Berlin to Boston the public space Jews can enjoy without fear is becoming more and more limited.
The same is the case in leftist political circles.
Last week, Paul Estrin, the president of Canada's Green Party, was forced to resign for his pro-Israel views. On July 25, Estrin posted a pro-Israel essay on the party's website. His post caused a furor among the party faithful. The Green Party's leader, MP Elizabeth May, distanced herself from Estrin. And almost the entire party leadership denounced him and demanded his resignation.
In an essay published this week in the Canadian Jewish News, Estrin explained that he joined the party because he wanted to make a difference in the spheres of the environmental protection and human rights. He did not believe that working to achieve these goals in the Green Party would require him to disavow his support for Israel. His recent experience showed him that he was wrong.
In his words, "I am now convinced that one simply can't [support Israel] within the confines of Canada's Green Party."
Similar sentiments have been expressed in recent weeks by pro-Israel members of Britain's Labor Party. After party leader Ed Miliband sided with the majority of the party membership and against Israel in Operation Protective Edge, Kate Bearman, the former director of Labor Friends for Israel, published an article in the Jewish Chronicle announcing that she was quitting the Labor Party.
Bearman wrote, "I feel Ed Miliband's rush to a condemnation of Israel's ground incursion into Gaza gave me no choice but to say goodbye to the party I have always voted and campaigned for."
A survey of Britons taken at the end of last month by YouGov showed that 62 percent believed that Israel had committed war crimes in Gaza. This includes 72% of Labor supporters and 57% of Conservatives.
In other words, nearly two-thirds of Britons believe that Israel has no right to defend itself. And since Israel is surrounded by forces that seek its destruction, we can extrapolate that nearly two-thirds of Britons would, at a minimum, have no problem with Israel being wiped off the map.
This rising political force of anti-Semitism is already impacting previously supportive governments' policies toward the Jewish state. Bowing to the anti-Israel positions of his Liberal-Democrat coalition partners, British Prime Minister David Cameron decided that arms exports to Israel will be suspended if Hamas continues its current round of war with Israel.
The primary engine propelling Western nation after Western nation to abandon their support for Israel and deny the protection of law to Jewish communities is the rising power of Muslim minority communities in these countries. As Douglas Murray explained in an essay published by the Gatestone Institute this week, when it comes to Israel and Jews, otherwise integrated, moderate Muslims in Europe are quick to join jihadists in denouncing Israel and rallying behind anti-Semitic curses and threats.
The unanimity of anti-Semitic prejudice among Muslim communities in the West, and its impact on the politics of Western nations, indicates that in the future, Western nations' polities toward Israel may have more in common with the positions of Sunni Arab states than with those of the US.
Since the dawn of modern Zionism more than a century ago, Arab societies have united around the cause of destroying Zionism as a political force and Israel as a physical entity. As a result, the default position of Arab governments has been to support Israel's destruction. They have advanced this goal through various means, including going to war against the Jewish state, supporting proxies and other irregular forces in their efforts to kill Jews and harm Israel, and using international organizations - first and foremost the United Nations - to institutionalize international anti-Semitism directed against the Jewish state and to criminalize Israel with the aim of expelling it from the international community.
In recent years, we have seen a gradual, quiet disassociation of various Sunni Arab regimes from the war against Israel as they viewed their interests as more aligned with Israel than with its battlefield foes.
The first time this occurred was during Hezbollah's war with Israel in 2006. In the opening weeks of the war, Egypt and Saudi Arabia were demonstrably excited at the prospect of an Israeli rout of Iran's proxy army in Lebanon. As they saw it, an Israeli victory over Hezbollah would deal a powerful blow to Iran's hegemonic designs over the Persian Gulf and Egypt. It would end the Muslim Brotherhood's romance with the mullahs in Tehran.
This Sunni Arab support for Israel only abated when then prime minister Ehud Olmert's serial blundering in his leadership of the war convinced Sunni leaders that Israel would not score a strategic victory.
Over the past six weeks of Operation Protective Edge, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates have been even more open about their preference for an Israeli victory, which they view as a blow to the Muslim Brotherhood. Today these regimes feel far more threatened by the Muslim Brotherhood and Iran than they did eight years ago. Indeed, so great is their desire for an Israeli victory over the Muslim Brotherhood in Gaza that they are willing to publicly express their position for the first time.
It is not that "the Arab street" in Mecca and Cairo has stopped hating Jews. It is simply that the regimes are willing to neutralize the political influence of Jew-hatred in order to ensure their survival.
In the future, such a commonality of interests may be the only way for Israel to cultivate strategic cooperation with Western nations.
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.