Monday, September 03, 2018

Islam as a disease?  I don't think that is wholly wrong

It certainly does seem to fry your brain. China's crackdown on rioting Muslims is probably a bit harsh but maybe we are too soft with the Jihadis who attack us

INTERNMENT camps, rehabilitation, ethnic cleansing, torture and suffering. No, this isn’t a description of the Nazi regimen in the 1940s. It’s China right now.

As we speak, over a million Muslims in China’s northwest region of Xinjiang are allegedly being held in prison-like camps disguised as “re-education facilities”, according to human rights organisations, US officials and survivors.

There are also reports of Muslim inmates forced to eat pork and drink alcohol, which are forbidden in their religion.

An official Chinese Communist Party recording compared Islam to an “infectious disease”.

The recording, obtained by Radio Free Asia, said: “Members of the public who have been chosen for re-education have been infected by an ideological illness.

“Being infected by religious extremism and violent terrorist ideology and not seeking treatment is like being infected by a disease that has not been treated in time, or like taking toxic drugs … There is no guarantee that it will not trigger and affect you in the future.”

Former inmates have described disturbing indoctrination programs that can last several months, in which they’re forced to renounce their religion and pledge allegiance to the state.

Xinjiang is a large autonomous region in the country’s northwest bordering the former Soviet Central Asian republics, Mongolia, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India.

Estimated hundreds of thousands of Muslim Uighurs — a Turkic ethnic group primarily based in Xinjiang — have been subjected to arbitrary detention and torture here for years.

Chinese authorities have been accused of intensifying its crackdown on the minorities in the region since the 1990s.

Over the past decade, the region has transformed into an occupied surveillance state, where the people, including their movements and beliefs, are controlled by the government.

It all started in 2009, when thousands took to the streets in a mass demonstration in the region’s capital, Urumqi. They were protesting the recent killing of Uighur migrant workers in Guangdong, in the country’s south.

Buses were smashed, stones were thrown through shop windows and passers-by were assaulted, according to media reports. They set vehicles on fire, with riot squads brought in to restore order with tear gas and armoured vehicles.

There were 197 fatalities, and almost 2000 injuries before order was restored.

By any country’s standards, such a protest would be heavy-handed, but in authoritarian China — where protests are neither allowed nor tolerated by the Communist government — it was next-level, and armed police were brought in to contain the violence.

Communist Party officials responded by effectively creating a surveillance state.

In a Black Mirror-style system, every resident of the region was given a label: “Safe”, “Normal” or “Unsafe”, which was determined by their age, faith, religion, foreign contacts and overseas travel. Those in the “Unsafe” category were sent to internment camps.

According to US officials, they installed facial recognition cameras, mobile phone scans, conducted DNA collections, and increased an intrusive police presence.

The Chinese government does not deny the existence of the camps, but it claims the institutions are just re-education facilities that teach Chinese language and Chinese laws on Islam and political activity.

But those who have lived through them beg to differ.

Mass detentions of Uighurs are reported to have started early last year. Citizens might simply disappear in the middle of the night, or upon disembarking a returning flight to the region.

Iman*, who came from a middle-class Uighur family, studied in the United States and elsewhere in China.

When he came back to Xinjiang, he was detained upon arrival, despite breezing through interrogators’ questions and having nothing incriminating on his person.

He was later taken to a prison-like internment house, where his meticulously-structured days would consist of re-education films and workshops in which he was taught to reinterpret Islam. The light in the bedroom, which he shared with two dozen other men, was never turned off.

After 17 days of hell, the guards released him with a chilling warning: “I’m sure you may have had some ideological changes because of your unpleasant experience but remember: Whatever you say or do in North America, your family is still here and so are we.”

But now, he was part of Xinjiang’s intrusive surveillance database — his “criminal” status forbade him from entering shopping centres, boarding public transport and setting foot in public buildings.

It's unknown how many prisoners may be held in the camps, but a Human Rights Watch report estimates that up to 800,000 of the region’s 22 million population may have been in them.

Even outside of the camps, all aspects of life are controlled for the minority residents.

According to a Buzzfeed News report, growing a beard or naming your child Muhammad or Medina can get you reported to police.

Women are reportedly banned from wearing burqas and veils in Xinjiang. Residents are no longer allowed to fast. And as of 2016, millions of residents were made to surrender their passports and seek permission from the government in order to leave China.

The city is rife with checkpoints, where authority figures can go through your phone for any evidence of religious language in text messages, overseas phone calls or banned social media apps like Facebook and Twitter.

The Chinese government, meanwhile, maintains its security crackdown on Xinjiang is for safety reasons.

In an editorial earlier this month, state outlet The Global Times said the government’s actions had helped “salvage” the region, which was on “the verge of massive turmoil”.

“It has avoided the fate of becoming ‘China’s Syria’ or China’s Libya,”’ the paper said.

To this day, the government denies all accusations of internment and torture.


Italy and Hungary Create 'Anti-Immigration Axis'

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and Italian Interior Minister Matteo Salvini have pledged to create an "anti-immigration axis" aimed at countering the pro-migration policies of the European Union.

Meeting in Milan on August 28, Orbán and Salvini, vowed to work together with Austria and the Visegrad Group — the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia — to oppose a pro-migration group of EU countries led by French President Emmanuel Macron.

Orbán and Salvini are seeking a coordinated strategy ahead of the March 2019 European Parliament elections to defeat the pro-immigration Party of European Socialists (PES), a pan-European party representing national-level socialist parties from all EU member states. The objective is to change the political composition of European institutions, including the European Parliament and the European Commission, to reverse the EU's open-door migration policies.

At a joint press conference, Salvini said:

"Today begins a journey that will continue in the coming months for a different Europe, for a change of the European Commission, of European policies, which puts at the center the right to life, work, health, safety, all that the European elites, financed by [billionaire Hungarian philanthropist George] Soros and represented by Macron, deny.

"We are close to a historic turning point at the continental level. I am astonished at the stupor of a political left that now exists only to challenge others and believes that Milan should not host the president of a European country, as if the left has the authority to decide who has the right to speak and who does not — and then they wonder why no one votes for them anymore.

"This is the first of a long series of meetings to change destinies, not only of Italy and of Hungary, but of the whole European continent."

Orbán added:

"European elections will be held soon, and many things must change. At the moment there are two sides in Europe: One is led by Macron, who supports mass migration. The other side is led by countries that want to protect their borders. Hungary and Italy belong to the latter.

"Hungary has shown that we can stop migrants on land. Salvini has shown that migrants can be stopped at sea. We thank him for protecting Europe's borders.

"Migrants must be sent back to their countries. Brussels says we cannot do it. They also said it was impossible to stop migrants on land, but we did it. "Salvini and I, we seem to share the same destiny. He is my hero."

Macron responded:

"If they wanted to see me as their main opponent, they were right to do so. It is clear that today a strong opposition is building up between nationalists and progressives and I will yield nothing to nationalists and those who advocate hate speech."

Salvini fired back:

"From the beginning of 2017 to the present day, the France of 'do-good Macron' has rejected more than 48,000 immigrants at the Italian border, including women and children. Is this the 'welcoming and supportive' Europe that Macron and the do-gooders are talking about?

"Instead of giving lessons to others, I would invite the hypocritical French president to reopen his borders and welcome the thousands of refugees he promised to take in.

"Italy is no longer the refugee camp of Europe. The party for smugglers and do-gooders is over!"

In July, Salvini said that he wanted to create a pan-European network of like-minded, nationalist parties:

"To win [the Italian elections] we had to unite Italy, now we have to unite Europe. I am thinking about a 'League of the Leagues of Europe,' bringing together all the free and sovereign movements that want to defend their people and their borders."

Salvini proposed that the network include Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders, France's National Front leader Marine Le Pen, and Hungary's Orbán, among others. He also said that the European Parliament elections in 2019 should be a referendum on "a Europe without borders" versus "a Europe that protects its citizens."

Salvini has repeatedly criticized the European Union over mass migration, accusing the bloc of having abandoned Italy as it struggles to deal with the more than 600,000 migrants who have arrived in the country since 2014. The problem has been exacerbated by EU regulations.

Under an EU rule — known as the Dublin Regulation — migrants must seek asylum in the country where they first enter the European Union. This has placed an inordinate burden on Italy, given its geographical proximity to Africa.


This had nothing to do with racism.  Dr Bawa-Garba was struck off because she was incompetent

Dr Hadiza Bawa-Garba was convicted in 2015 of gross negligence manslaughter, after Jack Adcock, a six-year-old boy, died in hospital while under her care. Last week, the Court of Appeal ruled that she be allowed to resume her career as a doctor. That decision came after a prominent campaign had alleged that Bawa-Garba, of Nigerian heritage, had been a victim of racism by the medical hierarchy. The facts suggest otherwise, and point, on the contrary, to how the accusation of ‘racism’ was used to obscure reality in this case.

The facts that resulted in Bawa-Garba’s manslaughter conviction were truly shocking. In her four-week Crown Court trial the jury was advised to deliver a guilty verdict only if they felt Bawa-Garba had committed negligence that was ‘truly exceptionally bad’. Despite this high bar, she was convicted. She then attempted to appeal her conviction, but the Court of Appeal dismissed her arguments as meritless. It noted that ‘this jury was left in no doubt as to the truly exceptional degree of negligence’ in this case.

Throughout her trial and attempts to appeal, Bawa-Garba was represented by an expert team of lawyers, led by a Queen’s Counsel. The trial judge was a High Court judge with considerable experience of medical-negligence prosecutions, and the Court of Appeal said he ‘provided a masterly analysis of the case’ in his direction to the jury. There was patently no irregularity or injustice behind the jury’s conviction.

The trial judge sentenced Bawa-Garba to a two-year prison term, but suspended it after noting that, in the words of the High Court, the ‘effect of the conviction meant that her career was over’. He clearly expected her to be struck off the medical register. But to the consternation of the General Medical Council (GMC), which is charged with ensuring proper medical standards, her disciplinary tribunal merely imposed a one-year suspension from the register.

This decision was then overturned by the High Court, which ruled in January that anything less than a striking-off was inconsistent with the nature of the jury’s conviction. In reaching this conclusion, the court concluded that Dr Bawa-Garba’s ‘truly exceptional bad failings’ caused such a ‘serious departure from the principles of good medical practice’ that public confidence in the medical profession would be undermined if she was allowed to resume her medical career.

That should have been the end of it. But the case was given a further lease of life by a campaign that accused the GMC of having racially discriminated against Bawa-Garba. Earlier this year, the British Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (BAPIO) wrote to the GMC to accuse it of an inherent bias against black and minority ethnic doctors, as reflected in its ‘pursuit’ of Dr Bawa-Garba. The letter was widely covered in the medical press. And a few days later, the Muslim Doctors Association, an organisation with over 6,000 members, claimed that striking off Dr Bawa-Garba ‘highlights the important issue for debate concerning the treatment and fate of BME doctors working in the NHS’.

The charge of racism against the GMC spread to the mainstream press, with the Daily Mail quoting BAPIO president Dr Ramesh Mehta as saying that ‘the GMC may have been partly influenced by the fact that Dr Bawa-Garba, a Muslim who moved to Britain from her native Nigeria in 1994, wears a headscarf’. ‘We are saying that racism is one of the parts of it’, he claimed.

None of these campaigners was able to refer to a single fact that supported the charge of ‘racism’. Indeed, by failing to address the truth, the ghastly truth that resulted in a boy’s avoidable death, these campaigners showed that they were more interested in hurling racially charged brickbats at the medical hierarchy than in learning lessons from what had happened. In her original trial, the prosecution amply justified the GMC’s position that public confidence in the medical profession would be weakened if this doctor was not struck off.

First, Dr Bawa-Garba had misdiagnosed the boy’s illness as a stomach bug when he actually had a far more serious infection. This misdiagnosis became negligent, said the Crown, after the doctor received blood-test results which ‘any competent junior doctor’ would have interpreted properly. Second, the Crown alleged that when Jack’s condition deteriorated, the doctor was grossly negligent in that she had ‘failed to properly reassess’ him or to seek advice from a consultant. She failed to review properly a chest x-ray or to give Jack antibiotics until four hours after that x-ray. She failed to make proper clinical notes. And she failed to raise concerns with a senior consultant, despite speaking to one on two occasions. On the second occasion, she said that Jack had improved and was bouncing about. A final detail, unrelated to the cause of Jack’s death, was that when efforts were made to resuscitate him, Bawa-Garba arrived and hampered their efforts, in the mistaken belief that Jack was another boy in the ‘do not resuscitate category’.

Having regard to the above facts it is hardly surprising that the GMC sought to persuade the High Court that Dr Bawa-Garba had to be struck off, on the grounds that any lesser sanction would undermine public confidence in the medical profession. Contrary to what campaigners have alleged, the GMC’s actions and the High Court’s acceptance of its stance had nothing to do with Dr Bawa-Garba’s race, religion or wearing of a headscarf. It was the reasonable consequence of her own incompetent treatment of a boy who died in her care.

The GMC, the NHS, the press, the courts and the public at large should always seek out the truth. Instead of hitting the ‘racism’ button, those making excuses for Bawa-Garba ought to have done a little research into why she was convicted and struck off in the first place. Her treatment never had anything to do with racism.


Trans activists have declared war on free speech

Censorship and violence are used to shut down debate about gender recognition.

Over the past year, trans activists in the UK have repeatedly shut down debate about the British government’s proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act – a change in legislation that will make it considerably easier for people to self-identify officially as male or female, regardless of their birth sex.

In September 2017 an attendee at a meeting of a feminist group, We Need to Talk, formed in response to the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act, was attacked in Hyde Park Corner by a trans activist.

Indeed, We Need to Talk has struggled to hold any meetings at all such has been the campaign of intimidation and harassment on the part of trans activists: in November, an event in York was cancelled due to pressure exerted on the venue by activists; in January, the same thing happened again, this time in Glasgow; and in March this year, an event was cancelled at Millwall Football Club, before a group of trans protesters blocked the stairs to prevent a We Need To Talk event at Bristol’s Jam Jar.

Activists then made a bomb threat to another women’s organisation, A Woman’s Place UK, which also wanted to debate the future of the Gender Recognition Act. Even a left-wing newspaper, the Morning Star, has been attacked for daring to suggest that making it easier to change one’s gender might be something we should debate.

And it is not just on the margins of the left that trans activism has been shutting down discussion. Campaign group Trans Media Watch lodged an official complaint last year against the BBC on the basis that two of its programmes – Transgender Kids: Who Knows Best? and an edition of Newsnight discussing gender recognition – featured too many critical voices on the trans issue. (In fact, they both presented a balanced range of views on the subject of transgender identity in adults and children, which so few programmes do now.)

Then there was the case of Jenni Murray, a host on BBC Radio 4’s Women’s Hour, who, in 2017, experienced the full wrath of a trans activist scorned. Her ‘crime’ was to ask whether someone who had experienced the privileges of growing up as a man could ever be a woman. For doing so, she was denounced on social media, and condemned by Stonewall UK.  ‘Trans women have every right to have their identity and experiences respected, too’, Stonewall’s statement ran. ‘They are women – just like you and me – and their sense of their gender is as ingrained in their identity as yours or mine.’

Why was Murray being condemned, though? Her argument is perfectly legitimate: she was merely asking whether men, no matter what they feel, can ever be women. For posing this simple logical question, she was met with demands that she be fired.

The most worrying of all the instances of trans intolerance came this spring, when the editors of the Sun, The Times, the Daily Mirror, the Daily Express, the Daily Telegraph and Metro were required to appear before parliament’s Home Affairs Committee’s hate-crime inquiry to answer concerns that the media have fuelled hostile sentiment towards minority groups, specifically transgender people. Labour MP Stephen Doughty took the opportunity to challenge newspaper bosses over two stories he perceived as being ‘negative’ about transgender people.

But take a look at the articles Doughty was complaining about, and you can see just how threatened free and open debate on the issue of trans identity now is. Take ‘We need to investigate the causes of this sudden transgender explosion’, by Tory peer Norman Tebbit. He was merely questioning why so many young people were suddenly being referred to the Gender Identity Development Service (GIDS) at the Tavistock and Portman Trust, the national centre for treatment of children and adolescents experiencing gender dysphoria and other issues related to gender variance.

‘Evolutionary change seldom comes so suddenly or across such a wide front’, wrote Tebbit, ‘so I think it is time we had some research into the extent of the phenomenon both in time and geographical reach’. Tebbit was hardly being controversial. In fact, he was merely reiterating the same concerns as those voiced by Dr Polly Carmichael, the director of the GIDS, who, having seen her service’s caseload expand 35 times over in the past 10 years, called for investigation and research into the rise in transgender referrals. Yet Doughty seemed to be suggesting that such reasonable requests were tantamount to attacks on trans people.

History is replete with examples of the silencing of the press and free speech in general by those in power. The trans lobby may think it represents a weak and vulnerable minority, but its views have been adopted by those in power (hence the proposed changes to the Gender Recognition Act). Trans activists would do well, then, to study the history of press freedom. Seeking to dictate which views are permissible, and which are not, will not further the freedom of trans people to be who they want to be, but it will result in less freedom for all.

In his proposed preface to Animal Farm, ‘The Freedom of the Press’, George Orwell wrote: ‘If publishers and editors exert themselves to keep certain topics out of print, it is not because they are frightened of prosecution but because they are frightened of public opinion. In this country intellectual cowardice is the worst enemy a writer or journalist has to face, and that fact does not seem to me to have had the discussion it deserves.’

I think it is high time we had this discussion.



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, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and  DISSECTING LEFTISM.   My Home Pages are here or   here or   here.  Email me (John Ray) here.  Email me (John Ray) here


No comments: