Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Britain is now getting "boat people" too

Australia and Britain are both surronded by seas, which is a substantial barrier against illegal immigration.  The barriers concerned beat Mr Trump's wall by a mile.

But for years various mainly Muslim illegals streamed into Australia by boat and were generally referred to as "boat people".  Australia put up with that for a while but the Australian navy  now intercepts the boats and sends the would-be migrants back whence they came. 

So it is ironic that Britain too is now receiving illegal immigrants by boat.  The Royal Navy is a formidable force so with a bit of political will Britain's boat people could be stopped too

British interior minister Sajid Javid says the fast-growing number of would-be immigrants crossing the English Channel from France in dinghies is a "major incident".

Nearly 70 people have been intercepted in the past three days as they try to reach England by crossing one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.

Javid is also seeking an urgent call with his French counterpart over the weekend, his ministry said.

"He has insisted the Home Office treat the situation as a major incident and has ... asked for daily updates," it said in a statement on Friday.

It added that Javid wants to ensure everything possible is being done to deter migrants from attempting the dangerous crossing, "amid concern that it is only a matter of time before people lose their lives".

The Member of Parliament for Dover on England's southeast coast, Charlie Elphicke, has called for more government funding to deal with the arrivals and the Home Office said Javid has asked border officials to look at options for bringing in extra patrol ships.


UK Welcomes Extremists, Bans Critics of Extremists

The British government's idea of who is -- and who is not -- a legitimate asylum seeker becomes stranger by the month.

In November it was reported that the Pakistani Christian mother of five, Asia Bibi, was unlikely to be offered asylum by the British government due to concerns about "community" relations in the UK. What this means is that the UK government was worried that Muslims of Pakistani origin in Britain may object to the presence in the UK of a Christian woman who has spent most of the last decade on death row in Pakistan, before being officially declared innocent of a trumped-up charge of "blasphemy".

Yet, as Asia Bibi – surely one of the people in the world most needful of asylum in a safe country – continues to fear for her life in her country of origin, Britain's idea of who should be allowed to travel to the country (and stay) looks ever more perverse.

One person, for instance, who has had no trouble being in London is Dr Ataollah Mohajerani, Iran's former Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Mohajerani is best known for his book-length defence of the Ayatollah Khomeini's fatwa against the British novelist Salman Rushdie. After the Khomeini's call on the world's Muslims to kill Rushdie for writing a novel, Mohajerani wrote a 250-page book, A Critique of the Conspiracy of The Satanic Verses, which justified the death-sentence. For more than a decade, however, apparently fallen out with part of the regime in Iran, Mohajerani has been living in Harrow, where he intermittently keeps up his campaign against Rushdie.

We have also seen time and again how extremist clerics such as the Pakistani clerics Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman and Hassan Haseen ur Rehman have been allowed to enter the UK despite their track records of supporting the murder of people merely suspected of having blasphemed against, or apostasised from, Islam. Nevertheless, while the UK government continues to allow clerics such as these to enter Britain, it develops an ever-growing banned list of people who are not Muslim but who have been critical of aspects of Islam. It is almost as though the UK government has decided that while extremist clerics can only rarely be banned, critics of such clerics can be banned with ease.

Some people might say that as it is 30 years since Mohajerani wrote his book justifying the murder of a British citizen, we should all let bygones be bygones -- as though advocating murder is the sort of thing anyone might do in a moment of weakness. The problem is that the trend for taking a laxer view of extremists than of their critics keeps on happening. The Canadian blogger Lauren Southern may not be allowed into the UK because she constitutes a threat to public order. Yet, this week we learned that the UK government has allowed in a man called Brahim Belkaid, a 41-year old of German origin, believed to have inspired up to 140 people to join al-Qaeda and ISIS. The British press this week discovered that he was able to settle in Leicester nearly five years ago after returning from Syria, where he is suspected of having supported terrorist groups. It does not appear that Belkaid has used his time in the UK to lie low or mull over his past mistakes. As his activities on the streets and on social media attest, he has in fact been openly continuing to preach and recruit for his radical version of Islam.

As The Times reported this week, Belkaid was photographed handing out hardline translations of the Quran to fans celebrating the local football team's victory in Leicester in 2016. He has also used his social media presence to call for the destruction of the USA and to promote his own extremist views as well as the views of other extremists like him.

His Facebook messages have included messages with bullets and a sword on them saying, "Jihad: the Only Solution". In another post, he poses smilingly with one arm on a carton of washing powder labelled "ISIS". By any analysis it is clear that Belkaid is doing in Britain precisely what he was doing in Germany.

There are several possible explanations for how such an insane policy could continue to operate in the UK. The first is that the British government does not know what it is doing, and that while it is unbelievably good at spotting Canadian bloggers who it thinks might pose some risk, it is just less adept at recognising the names, faces and backgrounds of well-known ISIS recruiters. That is one explanation. But it is the sort of explanation -- known in Britain as a "cock-up theory" -- which begins to run dry as a pattern develops. After all, to have allowed in one jihadist may look like an accident, to keep on letting them in looks like carelessness. Moreover, that this goes in tandem with the extreme strictness applied by the UK government to any critics of Islam who may be trying to enter the UK begins to look like a policy.

It is also possible that this is a policy decision. The British government may honestly have come to the conclusion that while Islamist extremism is a containable problem, the possibility of wider public "radicalisation" against elements of the Muslim community in the UK and worldwide is a much more serious one. To put it another way, they may have decided that the terrorist attacks in Westminster, Manchester, London Bridge, Borough Market, Woolwich and elsewhere are unlikely to be repeated, while Darren Osborne's solitary attack on worshippers coming out of Finsbury Park Mosque last year is part of a pattern.

Other than the "cock-up theory" or a general (if misguided) policy decision, it is hard to see what else is going on here. The decisions that keep being revealed to have been made by the UK border agency and the whole asylum and immigration policy of the UK government are so inexplicable that they are precisely the sort of thing to give rise to the most fevered and fetid conspiracy theories -- such as that politicians and civil servants are more afraid of being accused of "racism" than of letting Islamic extremists loose in the country. If the UK government wants to avert the spread of such conspiracy claims, it should act hard and fast. Specifically, it should be able to crack down hard to prevent people like Belkaid from being allowed to reside here. Curtailing such easy, open-and-shut cases would do an enormous amount to reassure the British public and to persuade us that although the UK's border agencies may not be perfect, at least they are not suicidal.


Danes Pass Law Requiring New Citizens to Shake Hands

Denmark will require anyone who takes Danish citizenship to shake hands at the naturalization ceremony, under a law passed on Thursday, which lawmakers say is aimed at Muslims who refuse on religious grounds to touch members of the opposite sex.

The law has prompted strong reactions from some of the mayors who must conduct such ceremonies, and who are upset that they will become the faces and fists of a policy they call awkward, “purely symbolic” and irrelevant to an applicant’s qualifications.

They say the Danish Parliament, which approved the measure, has artificially elevated a social custom to a national value.

But Denmark is not alone. Authorities in Switzerland and France have recently cited “lack of assimilation” in rejection of citizenship to foreigners who refuse to shake hands with officials.

“If you arrive in Denmark, where it’s custom to shake hands when you greet, if you don’t do it it’s disrespectful,” said Martin Henriksen, a lawmaker who has been critical of Islam and is the right-wing Danish People’s Party’s spokesman on immigration.

“If one can’t do something that simple and straightforward, there’s no reason to become a Danish citizen.”

He said the law, which will take effect on Jan. 1, was required because of “Muslim immigration to Denmark over a long time,” and added that he hoped it would be followed by a ban on Muslim women wearing veils at citizenship ceremonies.

The country’s integration minister, Inger Stojberg, declined an interview, but wrote on her Facebook page that a handshake was a “visible sign that you’ve taken Denmark to heart.”

Some Muslim and Jewish groups prohibit or discourage their faithful from touching members of the opposite sex outside their immediate families.

The handshake requirement, which includes a provision that the wearing of gloves is unacceptable, is the latest in a series of Danish anti-immigrant measures that critics say are symbolically charged but serve little purpose.

The government recently announced plans to isolate certain migrants it wants to deport on a small, out-of-the-way island, and Parliament approved funding for the project on Thursday.

This summer, the Parliament prohibited the wearing of face veils in public, although researchers say only about 200 Muslim women follow the practice in Denmark. In 2015, the country sharply cut social programs for asylum seekers, and a law passed in 2016 allows the authorities to confiscate migrants’ valuables to help cover the cost of their stays in Denmark.

The handshake requirement will deter few applicants for citizenship, officials said, but it sends a harsh message to Muslims, and many mayors who conduct citizenship ceremonies said they would find ways to avoid it.

“It’s against my ideology and conviction to have to force other people to have body contact,” said Thomas Andresen, the mayor of Aabenraa, near the border with Germany.

To circumvent the law, Mr. Andresen said, he could either arrange to have local officials of both genders take part in the ceremonies or have state officials take over. Either way, he said, he would look for pragmatic solutions while protesting legislation “gone too far.” Mogens Jespersen, the mayor of Mariagerfjord, a northern town, told the national broadcaster that he would disregard the law and accept a nod or a bow from an applicant refusing to extend her hand.


David Walliams accused of racism over children's book character Raj the Indian shopkeeper who comically mangles the English language

His books have sold millions since he embarked on his second career and became one of Britain’s best-loved children’s authors.

But TV comic David Walliams has been engulfed by a racism storm over his depiction of Asian shopkeeper Raj in his stories.

Last night critics rejected the accusation as another example of pointless political correctness.

Author and education expert Toby Young said: ‘There seems to be a whole army of politically correct do-gooders in contemporary Britain who are always on the lookout for things to get worked up about. But no Indian shopkeeper will be offended by Raj.’

The row echoes the recent furore over The Simpsons’ Indian immigrant shopkeeper Apu, which led to the character being dropped.

Raj is known for his canny way with money – trying to sell items past their sell-by date – and comically mangles the English language.

In Walliams’s book Bad Dad, Raj says: ‘I am not a bad man. I just use best-before dates as a very rough guide, rounding them up to the nearest decade!’

And in Grandpa’s Great Escape, Raj cannot say the main character’s surname Bunting – pronouncing it ‘Bumting’ instead.

He was played by Harish Patel in the BBC1 adaptation of Walliams’s The Midnight Gang, which was shown on Boxing Day. Walliams also appeared, playing the headmaster.

The Raj character was condemned by Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim rights group the Ramadhan Foundation.

Last night critics rejected the accusation as another example of pointless political correctness

One said: ‘It’s a stereotypical character. To target a community and suggest that community’s shopkeepers are involved in selling out-of-date food is deeply unacceptable. It’s distasteful. In most cases these shopkeepers have been the fabric of their community for decades and I am uncomfortable with that joke.

‘I’d love to have a conversation with David Walliams about it just to understand what his rationale is.’

Veteran anti-fascist campaigner Gerry Gable, editor of Searchlight magazine, said: ‘Walliams is planting in kids’ minds that Asian shopkeepers are villains or not to be trusted. The whole stereotyping is disgraceful. It’s the same kind of stereotyping you would have seen in anti-Semitic literature before the war about Jews cheating in business. I find it really alarming.’

But Toby Young said: ‘The people shouting “racist” are nearly always white, privately educated Lefties who’ve appointed themselves moral guardians. Raj ignores sell-by dates and tries to rip off his customers, but those aren’t things people associate with Indian shopkeepers. Those are just characteristics David Walliams has given him for comic purposes.’

It’s not the first time Walliams has been caught up in a racism storm.

He starred with Matt Lucas in the sketch show Little Britain, which came under fire for characters such as Thai mail-order bride Ting Tong. A 2008 report condemned the series for jokes that ‘pander to prejudice’.

And last year Walliams was accused of ‘yellow-facing’ after dressing up as North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un for a Halloween party.



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


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