Wednesday, February 11, 2015
Isn't multiculturalism wonderful?
Kuwaiti refugee who murdered wife after torturing her for two hours with screwdrivers and a drill while blasting out Koran to hide her screams is jailed for at least 23 years
A Kuwaiti refugee who murdered his wife after horrifically torturing her with screwdrivers and a drill while blasting out the Koran to mask her screams has been jailed for 23 years.
Thahi Manaa beat his wife Sara Al'Shourefi, 28, for two hours with metal bars, an electric drill, two screwdrivers and shelf during the 'ferocious and chilling' attack.
The bloodstained weapons were found near the mother-of-four's body, which police found stuffed in cupboard after Manaa had bound the woman's legs with parcel tape.
One of the screwdrivers was found sticking out of Mrs Al'Shourefi's eye socket and a section of her scalp had been torn from her head.
The living room attack at their home in Firth Park, Sheffield, in March last year took place while Manaa's mother and two of the couple's children - aged two and four - were also inside the locked house.
Manaa, 37, even telephoned a travel agent during the assault to make plans for his getaway.
Jailing him today, Mrs Justice Cox said: 'It was a ferocious and chilling attack of unimaginable barbarity.' She said the victim suffered multiple blows while she was already on the floor bleeding and crawling around on her hands and knees. The judge said: 'She was alive for most of the assault though she may well have been rendered unconscious in its latter stages.
'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.'
The judge said the sentence would have been longer but it was accepted that Manaa had been suffering from a psychotic illness for a long period of time and it was a 'significant contributory factor' in the killing.
She added that he had subjected his wife to 'repeated acts of violence and abusive and controlling behaviour' since she joined him in this country. Manaa stared at his feet in the dock as an interpreter repeated the judge's words to him.
A total of 270 injuries were found on his wife's body, there were a large number of puncture wounds to her head and neck and clumps of her hair had been torn out. Her scalp was hanging off her head, she had been kicked and stamped upon and a knife had been used on her neck.
Lead investigator Detective Chief Inspector Zaf Ali said afterwards: 'This was a horrific and brutal attack on a woman that has left four young children without their mother and family completely destroyed.
'Until the day of her death Sara was kept isolated by Manaa and suffered serious domestic abuse at his hands in silence, believing it was not culturally right to speak to the police or medical professionals against her husband.'
Nicholas Campbell QC, prosecuting at Sheffield Crown Court said: 'It was a sustained and brutal attack and Sara received sadistic injuries.'
Manaa admitted manslaughter on the grounds of diminished responsibility but denied the murder. He was found guilty of murder by the jury after a two-and-a-half week trial.
The murderer previously claimed he had no memory of the attack and told a psychiatrist the couple had ongoing rows about a shelf he put up in the living room.
'His wife wanted it to be moved,' said Mr Campbell. 'There was an argument and he hit her with his hands and with the shelf he was trying to reposition.
'He said he hit Sara on the head and shoulders with the shelf and she became a little tired. He offered to take her to hospital or call 999 but she told him it would not be necessary. He went upstairs but when he came back down she was lying on the floor. There was a screwdriver sticking out of her left eye.'
Manaa told Mrs Al'Shourefi 'she was not up to his demands' and was described by another psychiatrist as a 'depressed individual who is also controlling, possessive and jealous'.
The court heard he took four wives, which is allowed in his culture, and had an 'unshakeable belief' that each of his wives were unfaithful to him.
Neighbours heard high-pitched screams and the sound of banging coming from the house on the morning of the murder. One said: 'It seemed as if Sara was being tortured. It seemed as if she was in a lot of pain.'
Another witness heard Manaa hitting his wife. 'She pictured Sara on the floor with the defendant coming in and out of the room shouting and hitting her. As the assault continued the screams became more laboured until everything went silent.'
Manaa later told his nephew Ahmad Jabber: 'I have killed my wife.' Mr Jabber told police: 'His eyes were bulging and he seemed to be like a crazy person as if he was out of his mind.'
Manaa fled to the UK in 2010 and his wife a year later as 'stateless' refugees. He was granted leave to remain in the UK until 2016. The couple, who married in 2004, brought their three young children with them and had a fourth child while in Britain.
Mrs Al'Shourefi's only close relative in the UK was her younger sister Narjis Farhoud who lived just two minutes away from the family's privately rented home, with the rest of her relatives in Kuwait. 'Her isolation from the family at home is a significant factor in the events which unfolded,' said Mr Campbell.
When she married, Mrs Al'Shourefi was pretty with long, black hair but by the time of the tragedy became subdued, wore glasses and had limited reading and writing skills.
Her younger sister told how she was not allowed out of the house alone and even had to ask her husband to buy sanitary towels. 'From being good-natured and happy she lost her joy in life,' said Mr Campbell.
Her husband swore at her but she was not allowed to raise her voice at him and she was forbidden from attending English classes or going shopping. Mrs Al'Shourefi confided in her sister that Manaa beat her but she said she 'had to bear it' as he continued to dominate her.
He threw 'everything in front of him' at her and would hit her for the slightest reason. 'He punched her regularly and when she tried to protect herself he would grab her hand and control her movements,' said Mr Campbell. 'He would pull out chunks of her hair.'
After her death on Tuesday, March 4, 2014 chunks of her hair were found in a bag in the kitchen which the deceased had collected.
'Narjis believed not a week would go by without her sister being assaulted in one way or another although Sara told her she was hit almost every day,' Mr Campbell said.
Manaa threatened to kill her if she reported it to the police and she was worried she would lose the children. 'Sara said she accepted all of this behaviour because she loved him,' said the prosecutor.
To isolate his wife even more he took her mobile phone at the beginning of 2014 - preventing her from calling Narjis or her family in the Middle East. Narjis from then only had contact her sister through her mother-in-law.
In a statement which Narjis asked to be read in court before Manaa was sentenced she said: 'Why did you do it? Why did you just not divorce her? You treated her as a slave. Had you no mercy for all the good things she did for you and your children. You tortured her from the moment you married her. Was this not enough for you? Why did you have to kill her.'
Islamic book burners
by Jeff Jacoby
BOOK BURNING is as old as books, and as current as this week's news.
The Associated Press reported on Monday that Islamic State fanatics have ravaged the Central Library of Mosul, the largest repository of learning in that ancient city. Militants smashed the library's locks and overran its collections, removing thousands of volumes on philosophy, science, and law, along with books of poetry and children's stories. Only Islamic texts were left behind.
"These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah," one of the ISIS jihadists announced as the library's holdings were emptied into sacks and loaded onto pickup trucks. "So they will be burned."
There was more book-burning soon afterward, when Islamic State vandals sacked the library at the University of Mosul. "They made a bonfire out of hundreds of books on science and culture, destroying them in front of students," AP reported. Lost in the libricide were newspapers, maps, and texts dating back to the Ottoman Empire. UNESCO, the UN's educational and cultural agency, decried the libraries' torching as "one of the most devastating acts of destruction of library collections in human history."
Perhaps the most chilling words ever written about book-burning were penned in 1821 by the great German poet Heinrich Heine: Dort wo man Bücher verbrennt, verbrennt man am Ende auch Menschen — "Where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people." Today that axiom is etched on a plaque in Berlin's Bebelplatz, the public square where more than 20,000 books deemed "un-German" and "decadent" were destroyed in a vast Nazi bonfire on the night of May 10, 1933.
Though Heine's words are indelibly associated now with the Holocaust, they have lost none of their grim prescience. Just one day after news emerged of the book-burnings in the Islamic State's so-called "caliphate," the jihadists released a video exulting in the horrific murder of Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasasbeh, who was burned alive in a metal cage.
There is something uniquely diabolical about setting books on fire, a lust to obliterate that almost ineluctably leads to even more dreadful evils. It is no coincidence that those obsessed with annihilating the physical expression of dangerous thoughts or teachings so often move on to annihilating the people who think or teach them.
"A book is a loaded gun in the house next door. Burn it," orders Captain Beatty, the book-hating fire chief in Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury's dystopian classic. "Take the shot from the weapon. Breach man's mind. Who knows who might be the target of the well-read man?"
Yet if the long and heartbreaking history of book-burning teaches anything, it is that books cannot be killed by fire. Pages can be burned, libraries can be reduced to ash, treatises can be found guilty of heresy or sedition and set ablaze. But ideas are not so easily extirpated. Heine's books were among those the Nazis flung on the bonfires in 1933; so were the books of more than 2,000 other authors, including Bertolt Brecht, Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Ernest Hemingway, Leo Tolstoy, and Franz Kafka. Josef Goebbels assured the enthusiastic crowd that they would "commit to the flames the evil spirit of the past." The books, however, are still alive. It was the Third Reich that went down in flames.
The story of books is the story of books being suppressed — a story of staggering cruelty, and of equally staggering futility. The destruction of Mosul's libraries prompted one Iraqi parliamentarian, Hakim al-Zamili, to compare ISIS to the Mongols who conquered Baghdad in 1258. Then, too, prized works of learning — on history, medicine, astronomy — were demolished. "The only difference is that Mongols threw the books in the Tigris River, while now [ISIS] is burning them," al-Zamili said. "Different method, but same mentality."
Indeed, in their bloodlust and zealotry, the book-burners of ISIS have many antecedents — Crusaders, Mongols, Nazis, Wahhabis, Khmer Rouge. But ISIS too will find that it is easier to slaughter human beings than to destroy ideas.
The Talmud records the death of Chanina ben Teradion, a 2d-century Jewish sage killed by the Romans for violating a ban on teaching Torah. It was a terrible death: He was wrapped in the scroll from which he had been teaching and set on fire, with wet wool placed on his chest to prolong the agony. His horrified disciples, forced to witness his death, cried out: "Rabbi, what do you see?" He replied: "I see parchment burning, but the letters are soaring free."
Any brute can burn parchment, or ransack a library, or blow up a mosque, or bulldoze cultural treasures. But not even mighty armies can destroy the ideas they embody. The Roman Empire couldn't keep the letters from soaring free. ISIS can't either.
AFA: ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ Glamorizes Abuse, Degrades Women
The American Family Association, a conservative, pro-family group, is urging movie theaters around the country not to show "Fifty Shades of Grey" when the movie debuts on Valentine's Day.
“Nothing in ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ builds up society, respects or empowers women or demonstrates healthy relationships,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Rather, the film glorifies abusive relationships and glamorizes abusive tendencies such as stalking, bondage sex, intimidation and isolation.
"In fact, the Centers for Disease Control’s standards of emotional abuse and sexual violence include nearly every one of the interactions between the two main characters. Both movie theaters and moviegoers can stand up to this kind of disgusting content that’s touted as 'entertainment' and choose not to show or pay to see the film.”
The movie tells the story of a young college graduate, Anastasia Steele, who is introduced to sexual bondage, abuse and sadism/masochism, by a character named Christian Grey, whom she met during a newspaper interview.
“The irony is not lost that the film’s main character is named 'Christian,' while this film presents anything but a 'Christian' view of intimacy,” Wildmon continued. “The idea that anyone would think this film is in any way appropriate demonstrates an incredibly unhealthy view of relationships and sexuality. A more apt title for the movie would be 'Fifty Shades of Evil.'
"Without question, this film will have a corrosive effect on cultural views of what normative sexuality ought to be," Wildmon continued.
"Healthy relationships seek to safeguard the emotional and physical well-being of another; this film promotes inflicting emotional, physical and psychological harm on another for the sole purpose of self-serving sexual gratification. It is the epitome of elevating abuse, and we call on all theaters to reject promoting such abuse on their screens.”
The American Family Association is not the only group condemning the movie before it airs.
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation is among the concerned groups sponsoring a Twitter campaign called #50DollarsNot50Shades, which encourages people to skip the movie and donate $50 to a domestic abuse center instead.
"Hollywood doesn’t need your money; abused women do,” says the social media campaign.
Store Wars: Americans Weigh in on Wedding Business Clash
Liberals may claim no one’s “hurt by a gay wedding,” but they can’t fool the American people. Voters are more concerned than ever that this race to redefine marriage comes at a price. A slim plurality of people told the Associated Press that they support same-sex “marriage” – 44% to 39% (a whopping 15% had “no opinion”) – but there are plenty of strings attached. Fifty-seven percent of the respondents believe that families like the Kleins, Stutzmans, Nangs, Odgaards, and others should have the right to turn down same-sex “wedding” business.
No American – business owner or otherwise – should have to violate their beliefs to compete in the marketplace. Michigan’s David Kenney, who was a part of the poll, sided with the vendors. “Why make an issue out of one florist when there are probably thousands of florists? The gay community wants people to understand their position, but at the same time, they don’t want to understand other people’s religious convictions. It’s a two-way street.”
That consensus also spilled over into the public square, where a solid majority thought government officials and judges should be able to opt-out from issuing “marriage” licenses to same-sex couples. As more Americans cut through the media’s spin, they’re finally starting to understand that the debate isn’t about discrimination but participation in a ceremony that violates people’s faith. These are the stories the media doesn’t want to tell. But you and I are – and it’s starting to make a difference.
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.