Sunday, December 11, 2016
Geert Wilders convicted of inciting discrimination
DUTCH anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders was found guilty Friday of insulting and inciting discrimination against Moroccans, a conviction he immediately slammed as a “shameful” attack on free speech and an attempt to “neutralise” him.
Presiding Judge Hendrik Steenhuis said the court would not impose a sentence because the conviction was punishment enough for a democratically elected politician.
Wilders was not in court for the verdict that came just over three months before national elections. His Party for Freedom is narrowly leading a nationwide poll of polls and has risen in popularity during the trial.
Wilders quickly released a video message, in English and Dutch, slamming the judgment and vowing to appeal.
“Today, I was convicted in a political trial which, shortly before the elections, attempts to neutralise the leader of the largest and most popular opposition party,” Wilders said. “They will not succeed.”
The politically charged prosecution centred on comments Wilders made before and after the Dutch municipal elections in 2014. At one meeting in a Hague cafe, he asked supporters whether they wanted more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. That sparked a chant of “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!” – to which he replied, “we’ll take care of it.”
Prime Minister Mark Rutte, speaking after the verdict, underscored that he and his Liberal Party would not consider forming a coalition with the Party for Freedom unless Wilders retracts the comments. “That is our stance and it remains our stance,” Rutte said at his weekly press conference.
Prosecutors say that Wilders, who in 2011 was acquitted at another hate speech trial for his outspoken criticism of Islam, overstepped the limits of free speech by specifically targeting Moroccans.
He had insisted he was performing his duty as a political leader by pointing out a problem in society.
On Friday, he was convicted for the interaction with the crowd of supporters in the Hague cafe, which judges said was carefully orchestrated and broadcast on national television. He was acquitted for similar comments he made in a radio interview a week earlier, which the judges said did not amount to inciting hatred.
Steenhuis stressed that freedom of expression was not on trial. “Freedom of speech is one of the foundations of our democratic society,” the judge said. But he added: “Freedom of speech can be limited, for example to protect the rights and freedoms of others, and that is what this case is about.”
Abdou Menebhi, president of the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Migration and Development, welcomed the judgment. “For us, it’s a very important verdict,” he told The Associated Press. “This gives the Moroccans who felt like victims a renewed belief in a democratic society.”
He said it also sent a message to Wilders’ supporters. “This man is not looking for solutions for you,” Menebhi said. “His is an ideology of smearing Europe, migrants, Muslims, without offering alternatives.”
When did brown sauce and Union Jack knickers become racist?
The owner of a novelty gift shop called ‘Really British’ says he has been smeared as a RAY-CIST! by a bunch of bigoted, brain-dead Guardianistas. Chris Ostwald claims to be the target of an online campaign aimed at forcing him to change the shop’s name.
He’s accused of being ‘pro-Brexit’, as if that’s on a par with paedophilia, and has been hit with a boycott.
The store only opened at the end of November, but Chris has already lost one member of staff who resigned after her first day because she was fed up with the abuse. And she’s Spanish.
People have been walking in to the shop, on Muswell Hill Broadway, in North London, simply to complain about its alleged ‘racism’. He’s been warned that the place will be picketed to deter potential customers.
From the furious reaction on anti-social media, you’d think Chris was selling National Front T-shirts, BNP baseball caps and signs reading ‘No blacks, no dogs, no Irish’.
All he’s doing is flogging quintessentially British nick-nacks and souvenirs, such as brown sauce, London Underground tea-towels, Union Jack knickers, Prince Charles’s favourite socks and models of the Queen.
Mind you, the mere sight of our national flag is enough to give these Left-wing mentalists an attack of the screaming ab-dabs. Chris says he was forced to take down two Union flags for fear of reprisals. How long before some self-appointed social justice warrior decides to lob a brick through the window?
A Facebook page called Muswell Hill and Friends provides a forum for this confected ‘anti-racist’ rubbish. Some of the protests are hilarious.
One nutter wrote: ‘Like many people I live in London because of its international nature, and for me having a big sign saying “Really British” makes me feel you’re implying that other businesses in the area are therefore somehow “not really British”.
‘Some will no doubt say I’m over-sensitive but I can’t help thinking that given the recent divisive referendum and the current political climate you might have chosen a more inclusive name in 2016.’
OK, so this could be a publicity stunt designed to get some free advertising for Chris’s new venture. He certainly seems to be enjoying the attention. But I have no doubt the rabid reaction he describes is genuine.
We lived down the hill from the Broadway for 12 years, so I’m familiar with the area. It’s where the Davies brothers — Ray and Dave — mainstays of the Kinks, that most English and proudly working class of pop groups, grew up. Chris even sells Muswell Hillbillies mugs, after the band’s 1971 album of the same name.
Muswell Hill has always had pretensions, though. It’s one of the posher parts of the London Borough of Haringey, which voted 75 per cent to Remain in June.
Like its near neighbour Crouch End, it’s home to people who can’t afford to live in super-affluent, artsy-fartsy Hampstead and Highgate. Consequently, house prices have gone through the roof. A bog-standard semi will set you back over £1 million.
These days it’s been colonised by Guardian-reading middle-class professionals, who can afford the mortgage payments. And they are precisely the kind of folk who find any hint of patriotism not only ‘racist’ but borderline Nazi.
I just wish they were a little more inventive with their invective. Their knee-jerk inclination is to scream ‘RAY-CIST!’ at anyone who offends their sensibilities. It’s the all-purpose insult intended to silence those who disagree with their political agenda.
You voted Leave?
Think immigration is too high?
Don’t believe in climate change?
The whole ‘racism’ slur is so tiresome and predictable that it has become utterly meaningless.
But it’s not difficult to imagine them going out of their tiny Chinese minds — to borrow an expression from the late Denis Healey — over a shop called Really British in the heart of Remain country.
It’s a daily reminder, as they trek to the health food cafe for their quinoa-infused soya wheatgrass wossnames, that they LOST.
How on earth, otherwise, can anyone get outraged about a suburban novelty shop, six miles from the centre of our capital city, selling British bric-a-brac, memorabilia and models of the Queen and flying the Union flag? It’s deranged.
In the normal course of events, I wouldn’t take much notice of ‘social media storms’. But this one is directed at defaming a small businessman and destroying his livelihood unless he falls into line and changes the name of his shop.
And it is also an illustration of the post-Brexit vote pantomime in microcosm. The Remoaners don’t really have any convincing reasons to stay in the sclerotic, corrupt and currently imploding European Union.
In fact, the noisy attempts to derail Brexit have almost nothing to do with the benefits or otherwise of being a member of the EU.
No, it’s all about them.
Ranting and raving about Leave voters being racist, ignorant and gullible scum of the earth is simply another way of reinforcing their own inflated opinion of themselves as morally superior beings. It’s why Chris Ostwald’s shop has been singled out for self-righteous abuse, too.
By smearing him as a RAY-CIST! these potty, po-faced protesters are burnishing their right-on credentials. They may be Muswell Hillbillies but — unlike those ghastly Little Englanders who wave the Union flag and voted for Brexit — they want everyone to know that first and foremost they are caring, compassionate ‘citizens of the world’.
To adapt Ray Davies, from the title track of that 1971 Kinks album:
I’m a Muswell Hillbilly boy,
But my heart lies in old West Somalia.
Makes you proud to be British.
The Spectator: ‘Big Parts of Rock ‘n’ Roll Are Quietly Right-Wing’
Writing in Britain’s magazine The Spectator, Rod Liddle argues that there are, and have always been, “right-wing” rock musicians.
Liddle makes his argument after popular rock musician Kate Bush expressed admiration for British Prime Minister Theresa May. May is the leader of Britain's Conservative Party.
Talking to Maclean's recently, Bush said, “We have a female prime minister here in the UK. I actually really like her and think she’s wonderful. I think it’s the best thing that’s happened to us in a long time. She’s a very intelligent woman but I don’t see much to fear. I will say it is great to have a woman in charge of the country. She’s very sensible and I think that’s a good thing at this point in time.”
Bush received criticism on social media for the comments. According to Liddle, there are more conservatives in rock and roll than is widely thought:
Bush comes from a prog-rock background, a rather pompous genre which was never known for its revolutionary fervour...Over the Atlantic, the Canadian prog-metal band Rush were dedicated followers of Ayn Rand. That other blue-collar blind alley of rock music, heavy metal, had plenty of conservatives here and in the United States, insofar as anyone involved cared about politics at all. Even the few metal bands considered cool by the left-wing music press were right of centre. In the 1970s Iggy Pop (James Newell Osterberg from Muskegon, Michigan) released a magnificent, howling opus called ‘I’m a Conservative’. Brilliant, brilliant satire, the liberal music press agreed, clapping their hands. Until Iggy said: ‘Uh, no, I actually am a conservative.’ So was Ted Nugent, and so were a whole bunch of others.
Liddle also notes that Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker was a Republican Tea Party supporter, and that Leonard Cohen defended Israel. He also argues that there was a pro-capitalist element to punk rock:
The independent record labels which sprang up in the wake of punk were not anti-capitalist — far from it — they were just anti the in-effectual and conservative capitalism which pertained among the likes of EMI and CBS. Punk was also a reaction to the sopping wet liberalism of the hippies; and the poster boy for the post-punk movement, Ian Curtis of Joy Division, was a fervent Thatcherite. Or at least he was before he killed himself.
Liddle concludes: “Rock music is an intrinsically conservative medium, no matter how much its proponents and champions in the music press might try to pretend otherwise.”
10 Things We Should Learn From the Ohio State Attack
by Shireen Qudosi, a Muslim writer based in California.
Americans returned from Thanksgiving to news of the latest jihadi attack waged by a Somali Muslim, Abdul Razak Ali Artan. Declaring that he had reached a "boiling point," the 18-year-old Ohio State University student drove a car into a crowded area on the Columbus campus. He then exited the vehicle and attacked the crowd with a knife. Artan injured 11 students before being killed by a university police officer.
Artan was a legal resident who came to the US through Pakistan in 2014. He arrived with his family, securing a refugee status after having escaped from Somalia.
Ohio State University President Michael V. Drake, along with Ohio State Governor John Kasich, shied away from identifying the cause of the attack. This despite Artan's last Facebook post embracing a chilling message that in part read, "By Allah, we will not let you sleep unless you give peace to the Muslims..."
Terrorism expert Walid Phares is clear about the motive. In private correspondence, Dr. Phares shares his belief that the Ohio State attack is "Another case of urban Jihadism. At this point the issue isn't even a link or not to ISIS or al Qaeda, but a link to the specific ideology called Jihadism. This is the generator of terror."
In his book, The War of Ideas: Jihadism Against Democracy, Dr. Phares charts irreconcilable views between democracy and the violent ideology of jihadism that promotes a doctrine of death. Writing in The War of Ideas, Dr. Phares shares the insight that seems to escape academia and a former GOP presidential candidate:
"The ushq al mout (love of death) is the backbone of suicide bombing and gives terrorism its most frightening firepower. Indeed, once the fear of death is subtracted from political planning and public concern, there are no limits to the power of Jihadism"
In the case of Ohio State jihadi Abdul Artan, the question is how did a child once fleeing Somalia under the fear of death then embrace death when finally under the protection of the greatest superpower? Further, how did decades of experience as a refugee escaping persecution not deter Artan from the jihadi doctrine of death? Answering these questions requires understanding how violent ideology slips through the slightest cracks in the system.
America is dealing with a crushing rise of jihadi dark web chatter that privatizes radicalization. Indoctrination into a violent political ideology thrives through combination of secret portals and chat rooms like AMAQ on Telegram that provide safe online communities for jihadi talk. Instant radicalization paired with travel to or from red-flag nations, broken immigration vetting and tracking systems, lack of community emphasis on assimilation, and the politicization of mosques as polarizing hotspots, places individuals on a three month fast track to radicalization.
Just three months prior, Artan was featured in ‘Humans of Ohio State' - a profile in the university's student paper - that showed Artan hyper-focused on prayer spaces and identity politics. Three months later, he's pledged allegiance to ISIS in a killing spree. We could conclude that time period of radicalization was just this brief- or we could, far more reasonably, conclude that Artan's use of the left's victimhood narratives dovetail quite comfortably with his jihadi beliefs.
That is the hard reality we're faced with. Instead, talking points have shifted to Islamophobia as a public health crisis for Muslims. And rather than recognizing the victims, mainstream media is humanizing the attacker as a social outcast who "loved America." That real problem is the killing sprees some Muslims are engaging in; it is not the mean words penciled and shoved into the mail slot at the local mosque. The inability of Muslims to recognize a present danger versus fear of a hypothetical threat, only further places all Americans at risk because it prevents us from being able to collectively move forward in dealing with radical Islam.
It also places Muslim Americans at greater risk; the more Muslims deny the causal link between Islam and jihad, deflecting attention to a self-victimizing rhetoric, the more rest of America grows frustrated. It is also worth asking whether Muslim American organizations and communities that obstruct discourse and discovery by misdirecting away from real problems should be included in a broader perimeter of public inquiry. Instead of dealing with the most recent eruption of radical Islam, the issue is swept under the rug and upon it sits the incubus we call Islamophobia.
Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Islamist groups like CAIR, who could not step away from the abacus of Muslim grievances for just one day, continued tallying letters (real or scripted) rather than looking beyond themselves to see that Muslim American communities have a much bigger problem: radicalization.
In fact, across American there were only a handful of outlets and personalities that are pressing for truth in dialogue. This includes Conservative Review's Carly Hoilman, who took to higher ground in a piece titled "Difficult Conversations: Challenging Islam in the Wake of the Ohio State Attack."
It also includes Michelle Malkin who tweeted, "Ohio State University jihad has virtually disappeared from national headlines -except for the p.c. ‘Muslims fear backlash' stories." That pattern was also spotted by the The Foreign Desk, which noted dark web chatter was on the rise with talk hailing the attack and allegiance being shown in the form of profile pics replaced with a photo of Artan.
Being able to move forward means treating thought process behind this attack as a forensic scene that requires precision and analysis. That scene tells that that the only public health crisis an ideological virus with a three month incubation period. This means that the next attacker is set to be radicalized by Inauguration Day.
Studying that virus for actionable intelligence means observing how that strain has formed and how it influences another host. Yet, the Ohio State attack was one of the least exhaustively covered jihadist attack on American soil; due to the uncomfortable questions it raises, the media dropped the issue like a hot potato.
The implications of the attack encompassed key crisis points facing our nation and new administration, including immigration, travel to red-flagged state sponsors of terror, and questions of assimilation. Not only were these though questions glossed over, but the intelligence we could gain from them were missed opportunities, including:
1. Failing to look at the radicalization of the Somali Muslim community and its troubled history in the United States as one of the leading actors of domestic terror.
2. Waiting for ISIS to confirm the attack rather than moving proactively on the facts that jihad comes from the doctrine of war in Islam. That doctrine is not limited to ISIS. It will continue to be a problem long after ISIS is defeated - if it's defeated.
3. Failing to spot that ISIS does not claim every attack; they prefer to take credit posthumously. ISIS didn't claim three radicalized women in France who failed carry out attacks against Notre Dame, but it did claim radicalized women in Kenya. ISIS also didn't claim New Jersey attacker Ahmad Khan Rahami, though the pattern of attack mirrors ISIS.
4. Failing to see that Ohio State attacker Adul Artan self-identified with ISIS in Facebook statement that called for the message being screen-grabbed before it was deleted. This is standard direction under ISIS to individual actors so that ISIS may identify the attack as a pledge. Those directions appear on page 12 of the latest issue of Rumiyah, an ISIS propaganda magazine.
5. Failing to identify the relevance of Artan's pledge to ISIS versus Al-Shabab, a Somalia-linked terror group that, itself, in 2012 pledged allegiance to Al-Qaeda. If the most popular Somali terror group is Al-Shabab, and the most popular Pakistani terror group is Al-Qaeda, what does it say that Artan would self-identify with ISIS? This is particularly noteworthy considering Artan's family fled Somalia for Pakistan in 2007 before arriving to the United States in 2014. The desired affiliation with the most popular and coveted terror group on the planet right now - rather than the group associated with national identity - tells us that ISIS has come a long way from being a ‘JV team' and has secured global appeal.
6. Failing to understand that when ISIS claims Artan as a soldier, they're telling us that the face of war has shifted. Artan's last online statement confirms that theirs is ideological war, born in an ideology, bursting kinetically through physical attacks. Their soldiers don't wear uniforms and their war zone is the public space. Their targets are civilians.
7. The media and politicians' premature resurrection of gun control debate in a desperate attempt to politicize the attack along the lines of their preferred policy solutions. Of course, it became that a knife and vehicle were also used as weapons in the attack.
8. Ignoring the correlation between attacks in Europe and Canada with the Ohio State attack, all of which follow the 2014 instructions of then ISIS chief spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani who called for mobilized attacks using any tool available, including weaponizing vehicles.
9. Ignoring those instructions to weaponized vehicles were again detailed as a call to action this past Thanksgiving, also shared in the most recent issue of Rumiyah.
10. Trusting the public face of the Muslim community rather than engaging in investigative journalism to discover the true nature of comments shared by Artan's brother and his network of family and friends. His brother's Facebook page shows almost zero awareness of the gravity of the attack, no denouncement of Artan's actions as being against an Islam Muslims publically claim jihad has nothing to do with, and no sympathy for victims of the Ohio State attack.
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.