Monday, January 04, 2016
Stop appeasing the Islamic extremists demands British PM as he calls for the whole country to be loyal to British values
Has Cameron finally grown a pair?
David Cameron yesterday pledged to end the appeasement of Islamist extremism, and demanded that everyone in Britain show 'loyalty' to this country and its values.
In a stark warning, he said 2016 will be a 'test of our mettle' in the battle against radicals with a 'seething hatred' of this country and the West.
Issuing an uncompromising New Year message, the Prime Minister said anyone who walks the streets of Britain must subscribe to its values, including freedom and tolerance.
The UK and its people should 'revel' in their way of life, he said, as he promised to 'come down hard' on radicals.
Mr Cameron's words reflect his determination to confront what he calls the 'poisonous ideology' that has turned young Muslims against their country.
There is huge concern in government, the police and the security services about the radicalisation of young Britons online by Islamic State militants.
At least 700 Britons are thought to have travelled to fight for IS in Syria and Iraq, and around half have returned home.
His comments come ahead of the publication this year of a major review into how to promote integration in communities cut off from the rest of society.
The review, by civil servant Louise Casey, is expected to deliver some 'hard truths' to the Muslim community and lead to new policies.
In a video posted on the Downing Street website, Mr Cameron said extremism was a major social problem which he would 'take on'.
He has previously warned of the dangers posed by people in Britain who 'quietly condone' the extremist ideology of IS, without explicitly supporting violence.
Yesterday he reinforced his message that it was not only the gunmen and bombers who needed to be tackled.
'When our national security is threatened by a seething hatred of the West, one that turns people against their country and can even turn them into murderous extremists, I want us to be very clear: you will not defeat us,' said Mr Cameron.
'And we will not just confront the violence and the terror. We will take on their underlying, poisonous narrative of grievance and resentment.
In a video posted on the Downing Street website, Mr Cameron said extremism was a major social problem which he would 'take on'. He was speaking just two months after the ISIS terror attacks in Paris
'We will come down hard on those who create the conditions for that narrative to flourish. And we will have greater confidence in – indeed, we will revel in – our way of life. Because if you walk our streets, learn in our schools, benefit from our society, you sign up to our values: freedom; tolerance; responsibility; loyalty.'
The choice on extremism was whether to 'appease the extremists or take apart their ideology, piece by piece', he said.
Mr Cameron identified tackling extremism as one of the 'big challenges of our age', along with poverty, social mobility and housing. He said the country was in the middle of a 'turnaround decade' in which he wanted to transform society, having built a strong economy.
His words on extremism will cause dismay among many Muslims, who feel they are being unfairly singled out.
In a speech on extremism in July, Mr Cameron warned that young Muslims may be turning to terrorism because they grow up in insular communities and have no 'allegiance' to this country. He said some young people are vulnerable to swallowing 'poisonous' propaganda.
Last year Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, claimed that as many as 2,000 Britons are fighting alongside Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq – at least three times the official estimate.
More than 70% of doctors struck off in Britain are trained abroad: Alarm over patient safety despite promises to overhaul competency exams three years ago
Three out of four doctors struck off the medical register in 2015 were trained abroad – the same figure as three years ago – despite promises to toughen up competency tests, MailOnline can reveal.
In 2012 the General Medical Council (GMC) vowed to act when it emerged those who qualified overseas were five times more likely to be struck off than British graduates.
But new figures obtained via a MailOnline Freedom of Information request show little has changed, renewing fears that foreign doctors are not up to scratch.
The investigation will add weight to growing concerns about patient safety, which has again come under the spotlight in recent weeks following a controversial change in EU rules.
A new system will allow thousands of European doctors and nurses to come to the UK to work without vital checks being carried out on their qualification and safety.
Critics have said the change shows a 'scandalous disregard' for patients – and regulators warn they will be unable to protect the public from unsafe health workers.
Meanwhile, the Mail's FOI revealed that, among doctors already working in Britain, 273 of the 374 struck off for misconduct or incompetence in the past five years were foreign-trained, while 66 of the 85 removed from the medical register in 2014 received their medical degree overseas.
So far this year 48 of the 68 doctors who have been struck off were trained abroad. With only one-third of the 270,000 doctors on the medical register trained outside the UK, it means those from overseas are still five times more likely to be struck off than their British qualified counterparts.
Three years ago, after similar figures were revealed, the GMC promised to introduce measures to ensure foreign doctors faced a more rigorous assessment.
But MailOnline understands plans for a new, national licensing exam were put on hold when the row erupted over junior doctors’ contracts. There is no timeline on its introduction, although as an interim measure the GMC has said a tougher assessment for international medical graduates will be launched next year.
Nevertheless, the chairman of the British International Doctors Association (BIDA) was adamant such a measure would not solve the problem.
Dr Chandra Kanneganti instead pointed the finger at a ‘subconscious’ belief among patients that foreign doctors have had inferior training to their UK counterparts.
He told MailOnline: 'It's not racism, it's just the impression people have.
'Also, you often get many different doctors treating a patient, so if a mistake happens an Asian doctor may get singled out for complaint just because of this subconscious bias [that he or she is not as well qualified].'
Dr Kanneganti added: 'It's not about new doctors arriving in the UK because there aren't any coming. Between 2011 and 2014 the number of doctors coming from India alone dropped by 70 per cent because visa rules were made stricter.
Almost 11,000 European doctors and nurses were granted permission to work in the NHS last year and numbers are steadily rising because the health service is so understaffed.
But there are already concerns about existing EU rules which prevent them being tested on speaking English because this could impede their 'freedom of movement' rights.
Regulators can only request certificates stating EU workers have already passed English tests – whereas those applying from elsewhere in the world face rigorous exams.
Experts say the new passports – European Professional Cards – will jeopardise patient safety even further.
Rory Gray, whose 70-year-old father David died at the hands of Daniel Ubani, a German GP with poor English and limited medical knowledge, said: 'It is a scandalous disregard for people's lives... Instead of trying to strengthen the checks necessary to protect patients, the EU has made them even more weak and non-existent.'
Niall Dickson, of doctors' regulator the General Medical Council, said the new rules 'would further jeopardise our ability to protect patients'.
A GP in Romania, for example, will apply via Romanian authorities, who will have just two months to verify he genuinely has the training and experience he claims to have – and that this is sufficient for the UK.
They should check whether he has been suspended for poor care or other wrongdoing, but there is no legal requirement to this. If the deadline is missed, doctors and nurses will be issued a passport automatically.
'It's not people coming the last three years, it's those who have been practising here a while [who are being struck off].'
But despite suggesting the problem was linked to more experienced doctors rather than newly-trained ones, Dr Kanneganti insisted a regular competence test was not necessary.
He said: 'There are already procedures in place to identify knowledge gaps and address them so I don't think there needs to be blanket competency tests every ten years.'
The challenge for the BIDA and the GMC, Dr Kanneganti believes, is demonstrating to the public that foreign-trained doctors are as good as British doctors.
'We have the same skills and knowledge. It's about showing patients there is no difference in the treatment they receive, regardless of a doctor's race and colour,' he said.
BIDA’s vice-chairman agreed about ‘subconscious bias’ but Dr Umesh Prabhu, who trained in India, attributed it to ‘white decision-makers’ in the health service and branded the NHS ‘institutionally racist’.
‘There are other complex reasons, like poor training, cultural differences, communication problems, poor support for BME doctors at early stages and poor induction,’ he added.
When asked whether the figures showed the GMC had failed in its attempts to address the problem, Roger Goss of campaign group Patient Concern told MailOnline 'the figures speak for themselves'.
To practise in the UK, doctors currently have to pass exams testing their medical knowledge and English language skills.
But a study published last year concluded that the pass mark was set too low – and insisted that foreign doctors who pass are not up to the same standard as newly-trained doctors in Britain.
Researchers at University College London and the University of Cambridge found that international graduates got substantially lower marks in exams for would-be GPs and physicians.
Foreign doctors must pass an English language test and the GMC's Professional and Linguistic Assessment Board (PLAB) test, designed to ensure that overseas doctors demonstrate the same level of medical knowledge and clinical skills as UK graduates who have completed their first foundation training year.
Researchers said that raising the exam pass mark 'considerably' – by up to 20 per cent – would ensure both sets of doctors were of a similar standard.
But they also warned this would cut the pass rate and could cause a shortage of candidates for the NHS, which is heavily reliant on foreign medical staff.
Around one in three doctors registered with the GMC qualified in other countries, with 25 per cent obtaining their medical degree from outside the European Economic Area.
Earlier this year a study revealed that male doctors are two-and-a-half times more likely to be sued for medical negligence or face being struck off than their women peers.
It also showed the GMC had seen a 64 per cent increase in complaints between 2010 and 2013.
Niall Dickson, Chief Executive of the General Medical Council, said: ‘Doctors coming to the UK from overseas make a huge contribution to our health service and the vast majority provide safe and compassionate care for their patients.
'It's important that these doctors are given the support to enable them to adapt to UK practice and it is fair to say that in the past not enough has been done to help them.
'However in the small number of cases where doctors fall short of our standards it is right that we take action to protect patients, as these figures show that we do.
'We are strengthening the assessment which we set for international medical graduates before they practise in the UK.
'A new version of this test will be launched next year. Beyond this we want to introduce a standard assessment which both international and UK medical graduates will have to take before they treat patients in this country.
'We want to create a system in which all doctors meet the same standard, regardless of where they qualified.'
On the allegation of 'institutional racism' within the NHS, a Department of Health spokesperson said: 'One of the great strengths of the NHS workforce has always been its diversity.
'Any form of discrimination - including racism - is absolutely unacceptable.
'The NHS has strong mechanisms in place to address discrimination, and any staff who experience it should raise it immediately with their manager or trust's leadership team.'
Muslim teenagers set Christmas tree on fire in New Year’s Eve rampage in Brussels
A VIDEO of teenagers lighting a petrol bomb under a Christmas tree while yelling “Allahu Akbar” has sparked outrage in Belgium.
The incident occurred in a square near the Clemenceau metro station in Anderlecht, in the Belgian capital Brussels, on New Year’s Eve.
In the video, originally uploaded to Facebook and later posted to Liveleak, a group of people approach the tree before one throws an object underneath.
Seconds later an explosion can be heard, and the tree is quickly engulfed in flames. As they run away, the teens can be heard yelling “Allahu Akbar”.
The original uploader, named as Mohamed Amine in the video description, has since taken down his Facebook page.
Brussels residents took to Facebook to express their outrage. “Today they will set fire to a Christmas tree, tomorrow they will behead a Christian,” wrote one man.
“When they celebrate Ramadan nobody bothers then, so why do they attack the beliefs of others?” another said. “We will not stop celebrating the birth of Jesus.”
One man said he was “shocked by what I saw last night in Brussels”.
“Brussels is no longer a free city,” he wrote. “Anyone who has ever had the opportunity to travel abroad may realise that the situation in Brussels is neither normal nor tenable in the long-term.
“Brussels will die economically, socially and touristically, especially if no drastic policy is conducted within 10 years. I am very serious.”
One man described the attack as an “act of racism [and an] attack [on] our customs”, while another said: “The only solution is to return foreign offenders to their country with a good ass-kicking.”
It followed a second video taken on the same evening showing a gang of youths pushing a car down an escalator of the Clemenceau metro station.
The car crashed on its side while shocked riders watched from an adjoining escalator, as the youths run away swearing and yelling. No one was injured but train services were suspended for the rest of the evening
One of the youths was arrested, local news site HLN reported. It is not known whether it is same group of youths in both videos.
Brussels MP Jamal Ikazban hit out at the both the perpetrators and security services on his Facebook page, The Daily Mail reported. “I have a thought for the person who wakes up quietly this January 1 and finds out that his car is in the subway,” he said.
“It is not only not funny, but what is the most frightening it is to imagine that it is possible to take a car in the underground despite the warnings of level 3 AND 4, the presence of the military, the many cameras.
“Let us imagine for a moment that same car full of explosives in the subway and you will understand that we are entitled to ask ourselves the question of the effectiveness of all these new security measures.”
Belgium has been on high alert since the Paris attacks, and the Brussels suburb of Molenbeek in particular has been singled out as the terror capital of Europe and a breeding ground of extremists.
Muslim leaders including the Grand Mufti of Australia back fatwa against Islamic State
They're panicking about a backlash. Other Islamic states -- particularly Saudi Arabia -- are also brutal. Why no condemnation of them?
Saudi Arabia, a Muslim country operating under Sharia law, whips rape VICTIMS and only gives them pardons if there's a major international outcry. Saudi Arabia also amputates the hands of thieves. Pakistan, another Muslim country, executes atheists under its notorious blasphemy laws. The Iranian "Happy Video" dancers were sentenced to 91 lashes and prison time for recording their video. In Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran and Afghanistan homosexuality is an executable offense.
Australia's leading imams have backed a fatwa against the Islamic State terrorist group, warning that any support for the group contradicts Islamic teachings.
In a New Year message to the nation's Muslim community, the Grand Mufti of Australia together with prominent imams from NSW and Victoria have given their religious opinions and urged congregations, particularly the youth, to listen to their religious leaders.
The Grand Mufti, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, who is the leading representative of Australia's Sunni Islamic scholars, said "most Islamic Legal Circles and Fatwa Boards have condemned ISIS, declaring that Islam is innocent of all these barbaric actions despite ISIS using the term Islamic in its name. The term 'Islamic State' has been usurped by ISIS," he said, using one of several acronyms for IS.
"We stand with all organisations that have condemned ISIS and declared innocence from its inhumane actions.
"Locally we would like to bring to the attention of our youth, and those who lead them, that ISIS is a trick designed to prey on youth, either by their being killed or locked up in prison. We doubt the origins of ISIS because since it was established it has not done one thing for the benefit of Islam and Muslims. Rather its actions and barbaric acts have been against the way of God," he said.
"Therefore we warn our youth regarding the deceitful propaganda that ISIS uses through social media such as Facebook and Twitter. We remind our youth in Australia that social media and the medium of the internet cannot be a trusted means regarding religious knowledge."
Dr Mohamed's comments come as Muslim leaders around the world, including 70,000 clerics in India, have issued a fatwa against terrorist groups including ISIS and after the Australian National Imams Consultative Forum released a document, Australian Muslim perspective on some key contemporary concerns, addressing religious issues raised by IS's activities and recruitment.
The document examines dozens of issues from citizenship in Australia and Islam, to jihad, and makes statements backed by more than 20 Australian imams against slavery, suicide, and foreign fighting. It bluntly states that the so-called caliphate in Syria and Iraq, as proclaimed by IS is not legitimate and therefore Australian Muslims have no obligation to follow its dictates.
Sheikh Mohamadu Saleem, of the Board of Imams in Victoria, also had a New Year message for the community, saying that violent extremism is neither religious nor Islamic.
"We condemn and deplore ISIS's violent propaganda that is perpetrated against innocent civilians in the name of Islam as the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said: 'Harm is neither inflicted nor tolerated in Islam.'"
He said that "ISIS is trying to justify 'violence against innocent civilians' by interpreting texts of the Koran and hadiths, statements of Muhammad 'cherry-picked and out of context' to suit their violent actions. Majority of the leading scholars and Islamic organisations have vehemently denounced ISIS for its illegitimate and misleading propaganda."
Sheikh Yahya Safi, the imam at Australia's biggest mosque in Lakemba, said: "I stand with the Islamic scholars from around the world who have condemned the actions of ISIS that contradict the teachings of Islam and I have stressed this on many occasions, especially in my Friday sermons."
Sheik Taj el-Din al-Hilali, the former grand mufti of Australia, has also warned that IS is like a trap that had tricked people and countries.
"Joining them is a type of madness that does not concord with the teachings of any religion. I warn the Muslim youths from all over the world against joining ISIS or supporting them in any way," Sheikh Hilali said.
"Joining such a group or supporting it contradicts the Islamic teachings 100 per cent, because this group is clear in breach of the Islamic teachings."
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.