Friday, November 13, 2015
Picking people out of the sea is not enough, says British PM as he vows to 'smash' people smuggling gangs behind migrant crisis
This is just a re-run of what Australian Leftist PM Kevin Rudd said -- and will be equally ineffectual. It's only a refusal to give residence to illegal arrivals that will have any effect -- as Australia has shown under its present conservative government
David Cameron today warned that rescuing drowning migrants from the sea Is 'not enough' and British forces will be used to 'smash' the criminal gangs behind the crisis.
Speaking aboard HMS Bulwark in Valletta harbour, the Prime Minister said the movement of millions of people was was 'the biggest problem facing Europe today'.
He said Britain would have to show 'resolve' in tackling the problem, targeting people traffickers encouraging people to try to cross from north Africa to reach the shores of Europe.
The Prime Minister is attending a major international summit bringing together European and African nations in Valletta, Malta.
He marked Armistice Day on board the Royal Navy warship, laying a wreath with Home Secretary Theresa May.
Mr Cameron said the UK was a 'moral nation' which was involved in efforts to tackle the humanitarian crisis.
He added: 'Saving lives is not going to be enough. We need a real partnership with the countries from which these people are coming and that is what this summit in Malta is all about, bringing together the countries of Africa, the countries of Europe, so we can work together.
'Britain will play a huge and historic role. Our aid programme means we can get into those countries and tackle not just the poverty but the failures of government, the corruption, the conflict and all the things that cause people to leave their homes and make this perilous journey.
'As well as responding with humanity and with partnership, we also have to respond with resolve and that is what the next stage of this mission is going to be about.
'Because, to be frank, it's not enough just to pick people up and save their lives, we have got to go after the criminal gangs that were loading them into the boats and offering them the false hope in the first place.'
He told HMS Bulwark's crew: 'We need to smash those gangs and that is what the next stage of this work is going to be about.
'It will be difficult work but it's absolutely essential and we will give you everything you need to make sure that work gets done properly.
'In the end we have to break the link between getting on the boat and getting the chance to come to Europe.
'As long as that ability to do that is there, the criminal gangs keep on exploiting people in the way they are today.
'So, we know what needs to be done - the humanity of a moral nation, the partnership of a country that acts with others to get things done in the world and a country that knows resolve is going to be absolutely key to dealing with this.'
He said the UK was the only 'major country' meeting both its Nato commitment to spend 2 per cent on defence and 0.7 per cent of gross national income on aid.
'We are the engaged nation that recognises the hard military power that this great ship represents but also the incredibly important soft power of an aid programme that can help knit together and mend the countries from which so many people are coming,' he said.
Amphibious assault ship HMS Bulwark was despatched to the Mediterranean in April to help rescue migrants attempting the treacherous crossing from North Africa to Europe.
Mr Cameron told the crew: 'You should be incredibly proud of the lives you have saved. There will be people who will live out extraordinary dreams and lives that wouldn't have happened were it not for what you have done in the Mediterranean.'
Honor killing in America: DOJ report says growing problem is hidden in stats
The estimated 27 victims of so-called "honor killings" each year in the U.S. don't fit neatly into the FBI's exhaustive Uniform Crime Reporting Statistics.
Hidden among thousands of nondescript murders and cases labeled as domestic violence are a mounting number of killings motivated by a radical and dark interpretation of Islam. Honor killings and violence, which typically see men victimize wives and daughters because of behavior that has somehow insulted their faith, are among the most secretive crimes in society, say experts.
“Cases of honor killings and/or violence in the U.S. are often unreported because of the shame it can cause to the victim and the victim’s family,” Farhana Qazi, a former U.S. government analyst and senior fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies on Terrorism, told FoxNews.com. “Also, because victims are often young women, they may feel that reporting the crime to authorities will draw too much attention to the family committing the crime.”
Even cases that appear to be honor killings, such as the Jan. 1, 2008 murder of two Irving, Texas, sisters that landed their father on the FBI's most wanted list, cannot always be conclusively linked to a religious motivation. Without hard evidence, critics say, ascribing a religious motivation to crimes committed by Muslims demeans Islam. Yet, federal authorities believe they must be able to identify "honor" as a motive for violence and even murder if they are to address a growing cultural problem.
“Honor Violence Measurement Methods,” a study released earlier this year by research corporation Westat, and commissioned by the U.S. Department of Justice, identified four types of honor violence: forced marriage, honor-based domestic violence, honor killing and female genital mutilation. The report, which estimated that 23-27 honor killings per year occur in the U.S., noted that 91 percent of victims in North America are murdered for being “too Westernized,” and in incidents involving daughters 18 years or younger, a father is almost always involved. And for every honor killing, there are many more instances of physical and emotional abuse, all in the name of fundamentalist Islam, say experts.
“Typically seen in the form of physical or emotional abuse, rape or kidnapping, honor violence also includes harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM) and forced marriage. In extreme cases, murder,” said Stephanie Baric, executive director of the AHA Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by women’s rights activist and FGM survivor Ayaan Hirsi Ali. “In sharp contrast with domestic violence, families and communities often condone honor violence, which makes it more difficult to identify and stop.”
While women are generally the victims of honor violence, men also may be targeted if they reject an arranged marriage or are assumed to be homosexual. Victims may also be pressured to commit suicide, and may do so without even realizing they are victims of honor-motivated violence, said Baric.
In 2012, the mother, father and sister of 19-year-old Aiya Altameemi were charged with beating her because she refused an arranged marriage to an older man.
For police who encounter apparent honor crimes, the investigation is typically treated as a regular crime or murder probe, usually under the umbrella of domestic violence. While both issues are tragic and problematic, experts say there are critical distinctions, and that honor violence requires a different approach.
Detective Chris Boughey, of Peoria, Ariz., calls Oct. 20, 2009, a day that “changed my life forever.” That was the day Iraqi immigrant Faleh Almaleki murdered his daughter, Noor Almaleki, by running her over with his vehicle for becoming “too Westernized.” Boughey was assigned as the lead investigator and has since dedicated his career to educating others and taking on similar cases in numerous other states -- from Alaska and New York to California, Washington state and Pennsylvania.
“In the Almaleki case, I learned very quickly that we would receive no assistance from the family," Boughey said. "In fact, we received out-and-out defiance and resistance. Although we know they are involved, it can be very hard to prove in a court of law.”
Other honor-motivated tragedies in the U.S. have garnered headlines.
- In 2012, police arrested the mother, father and sister of 19-year-old Aiya Altameemi in Phoenix after they allegedly beat, restrained and burned her for reportedly declining an arranged marriage with an older man and talking to another boy.
- In 2009, Aasiya Hassan was beheaded by her husband, Muzzammil Hassan, at the Buffalo, N.Y., Muslim TV station where they worked for allegedly requesting a divorce. The Pakistani-born killer defended himself at trial, never denied his guilt and was convicted in 2011. A few months before Hassan was killed, Sandeela Kanwal was strangled by her father outside Atlanta for failing to “be true to her religion” because she wanted to leave an arranged marriage.
- In the 2008 case in Irving, Yasser Said, a cab driver from Egypt, is suspected of shooting his two daughters, Amina, 18, and Sarah Said, 17, in the back of his taxi because they were dating non-Muslim boys and embracing Western culture. Said has been a fugitive ever since.
- In 2007, an Illinois man – Subhash Chander – set an apartment fire that killed his pregnant 22-year-old daughter, son-in-law and 3-year-old grandson because he disapproved of the marriage.
- And in one of the earliest widely reported cases of honor killing in the U.S., 16-year-old Palestina Isa, of St. Louis, was murdered in 1989 by her father Zein Isa, who was helped by her mother. Zein Isa was angry that his daughter had gotten a job and was dating an African-American boy. Both parents were convicted of murder and sentenced to death. Zein Isa died on death row in 1997, while his wife's sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole.
Honor violence is an even bigger problem in other parts of the Western world, with a reported 11,000 cases of honor violence recorded in the United Kingdom in the last five years while incidents also have been documented in Canada, Germany, France and Sweden.
Baric affirmed that given immigration trends in the last decade -- an influx from Middle Eastern and South Asian countries where honor violence is part of the culture -- the problem will continue to worsen if authorities don't identify and address it. Boughey said honor violence, whether it be abuse and murder, FGM, or forced marriage -- is much more widespread in America than most people realize and, as it stands, authorities have no proper system in place to track it.
“Honor violence has been largely misclassified by law enforcement, by no fault of their own," he said. "They simply didn’t know the signs and symptoms of honor-related violence. They do not have the training on how to effectively identify and investigate these cases.”
One of the biggest challenges, Boughey said, is the social pressures to not be deemed “culturally insensitive.” That can keep social service agencies from alerting law enforcement when honor violence crosses their radar.
“Some agencies won’t intervene even after these young women have come forward," he said. "I am not quite sure when we as a country decided that it was more important to be politically correct than doing the right thing.”
Boughey and his police partner Jeff Balson, working with the AHA Foundation, have developed a curriculum to train law enforcement and members of social service organizations to properly identity such cases, as well as provide adequate help for victims and advocate the need for legislation to be enacted specific to honor violence.
Mainstream Muslims condemn honor violence without equivocation, said Ibrahim Hooper, spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“If anyone mistreats women, they should not seek refuge in Islam,” he said.
Republican Muslim Coalition Executive Director Saba Ahmed also said such “barbaric acts” are in total conflict with the teachings of Islam.
In 2013, President Obama signed the Transport for Female Genital Mutilation Act, which prohibits the transportation of a child from the U.S. for the intent of FGM and in 2014 the Department of Health and Human Services held a civil society listening session on the domestic response to the violation. Whether or not the federal government will take further measures to address honor violence remains to be seen, and the DOJ did not respond to a request for comment regarding its action plan based on the study it funded.
But according to Paula Kweskin, human rights lawyer and producer of the Clarion Project’s documentary “Honor Diaries,” the most important thing to be done to combat the issue is to talk about it loudly and frequently.
“Honor violence can result in murder," Kweskin said. "FGM permanently disfigures a woman. Honor violence can shatter communities, causing suffering for generations to come. Culture is no excuse for abuse. We cannot let women suffer in silence any longer.”
Christian Music Festival Can’t Use Public Square in Toronto for Invoking Jesus
A Christian music festival has been given the boot by the board of Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto for what it says is a violation of its rules against proselytizing.
“A Christian music festival is crying foul over a decision by the board of Yonge-Dundas Square to cancel its permit for 2016 because of claims the group violated terms of its contract by proselytizing,” Inside Toronto reported on Nov. 3.
“The festival, Voices of the Nations, has been using the publicly owned square for nearly a decade for what festival director Peter Ruparelia said is a showcase for the music of artists from various denominations and cultures, but the group is no longer welcome, according to local councilor and board-member Kristyn Wong-Tam, because it has ignored repeated warnings by the board not to use the stage to proselytize a particular religion,” the news outlet reported.
“‘I’m not at liberty to get into the specifics of the reason why they’re not welcome back to the square,’ Wong-Tam told the news outlet. ‘Staff did raise with them on two separate occasions over two years that they needed them not to proselytize and there’s a contract they singed in guidelines for usage...They know why they’ve been asked to find alternative space. There is a process provided to them on how they should appeal and it’s clearly outlined.’”
Inside Toronto reported that the concert director told them other religious groups use the square.
“’There’s been an Islamic group that has been chanting, there’s been a Hari Krishna group in the square,” said Ruparelia, who added that no proselytizing was done in speeches, but “There is no God like Jehovah” was repeated in a song during the concert, which took place in August.
The Canadian-based pro-life website, lifesitenews.com, launched a petition last week to protest the board’s action and on Monday Ruparelia and representatives of the website delivered the petition with more than 40,000 signatures to Toronto Mayor John Tory’s office.
Lifesitenews.com quoted Yonge-Dundas Square manager Natalie Belman in a commentary as saying that singing about Jesus amounts to proselytizing.
“This is nothing more than blatant discrimination against Christians,” Lifesitenews.com posted in a commentary on Nov. 3. “Can you imagine the City Official saying something like this to a Muslim or Jewish group and getting away with it?
“Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto need to hear that Christians have as much right to be in public spaces as anybody else,” Lifesitenews.com said in the commentary. “It’s time to join together and urge the mayor and the city to reverse this outrageous decision.”
“As Christians we need to come together and unite as one,” Ruparelia said in a video posted by lifesitenews.com after the petition was delivered. “And what better cause now … this cause is to unite the body of Christ.”
The Indonesian Jihad on Christian Churches
In compliance with Islamic demands, Indonesian authorities in the Aceh region have started to tear down Christian churches. Their move comes after Muslim mobs rampaged and attacked churches. At least one person was killed; thousands of Christians were displaced.
On Friday, October 9, after being fired up during mosque sermons, hundreds of Muslims marched to the local authority's office and demanded that all unregistered churches in Aceh be closed. Imams issued text messages spurring Muslims from other areas to rise up against churches and call for their demolition.
On Monday, October 12, authorities facilitated a meeting with Islamic leaders and agreed to demolish 10 unregistered churches over the course of two weeks.
Apparently this was not fast enough to meet Muslim demands for immediate action. On the following day, a mob of approximately 700 Muslims, some armed with axes and machetes, torched a local church, even though it was not on the list of churches agreed upon for demolition.
The remains of a church in the Aceh region of Indonesia, still on fire, after hundreds of Muslims attacked it on October 13, 2015. (Image source: CCTV video screenshot)
The Muslim mob then moved on to a second church, an act that led to violent clashes. One person, believed to be a Christian, died after being shot in the head. Several were injured, as Christians tried to defend their church against the armed mob.
Approximately 8,000 Christians were displaced; many fled to bordering provinces. Their fears were justified: Islamic leaders continued issuing messages and text messages saying, "We will not stop hunting Christians and burning churches. Christians are Allah's enemies!"
Instead of punishing those who incited violence and took the law into their own hands by torching and attacking churches, local authorities demolished three churches (a Catholic mission station and two Protestant churches) on October 19. In the coming days, seven more churches are set to be demolished; in the coming months and years, dozens more.
Authorities had originally requested of church leaders to demolish their own churches. "How can we do that?" asked Paima Berutu, one of the church leaders: "It is impossible [for us to take it down] ... Some of us watched [the demolition] from afar, man and women. It was painful."
The situation in Aceh remains tense: "Every church member is guarding his own church right now," said another pastor
As for the displaced Christians, many remain destitute, waiting for "desperately needed clean water, food, clothes, baby food, blankets, and medicines." As Muslim militants were reportedly guarding the border with an order to kill any Christians crossing the line, reaching the Christians is difficult.
Many Muslims and some media try to justify this destruction by pointing out that the churches were in the wrong for not being registered. In reality, however, thanks to Indonesia's 2006 Joint Decree on Houses of Worship, it is effectively impossible to obtain a church permit. The decree made it illegal for churches to acquire permits unless they can get "signatures from 60 local households of a different faith," presumably Muslims, as well as "a written recommendation from the regency or municipal religious affairs office" -- that is, from the local sheikh and council of Muslim elders: the same people most likely to incite Muslims against Christians and churches during mosque gatherings. Christian activists say there are many mosques that are unregistered and built without permits, but the authorities ignore those infractions.
Others try to justify these recent attacks on churches by pointing out that they took place in Aceh, the only region in Indonesia where Islamic law, or Sharia, is officially authorized, and where, since 2006, more than 1,000 churches have been shut.
Yet in other parts of Indonesia, where Islamic law is not enforced, even fully registered churches are under attack. These include the Philadelphia Protestant Church in Bekasi -- nearly 1,500 miles south of Sharia-compliant Aceh. Even though it had the necessary paperwork, it too was illegally shut down in response to violent Muslim protests. On December 25, 2012, when the congregation assembled on empty land to celebrate Christmas, hundreds of Muslims, including women and children, threw rotten eggs, rocks, and plastic bags filled with urine and feces at the Christians. Police stood by and watched.
A church spokesman stated, "We are constantly having to change our location because our existence appears to be unwanted, and we have to hide so that we are not intimidated by intolerant groups. ... We had hoped for help from the police, but after many attacks on members of the congregation [including when they privately meet for worship at each other's homes], we see that the police are also involved in this."
Bogor is another area where Islamic law is supposedly not enforced. Yet the ongoing saga of the GKI Yasmin Church there illustrates how Islamic law takes precedence over Indonesian law. In 2008, when local Muslims began complaining about the existence of the church, even though it was fully registered, the authorities obligingly closed it. In December 2010, the Indonesian Supreme Court ordered the church to be reopened, but the mayor of Bogor, refusing to comply, kept it sealed off.
Since then, the congregation has been holding Sunday services at the homes of members, and occasionally on the street, to the usual jeers and attacks by Muslim mobs. On Sunday, September 27, the church held its 100th open-air service.
The Indonesian jihad is taking place in varying degrees all throughout the East Asian nation and is not limited to Sharia-compliant zones such as Aceh. For the country once hailed as the face of "moderate Islam," the "extremist" behavior one would expect of the Islamic State (ISIS) -- hating, attacking, and demolishing churches -- has apparently become the norm.
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.