Thursday, December 31, 2009

After the Airline Bomb Scare, Is It Time to Start Ethnic Profiling at Airports?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 28, 2009. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated

ERIC BOLLING, FOX NEWS GUEST HOST: In the "unresolved problem" segment tonight, is political correctness to blame for allowing that would-be bomber from Nigeria on the Northwest Airlines plane? Think about it. The guy was on a watch list. He paid cash for his ticket. He had no luggage. Meantime, elderly grandmothers are getting stripped searched before they can board. Is it time to start profiling passengers?

Joining us now is Ann Coulter, author of the book "Guilty: Liberal Victims and their assault in America" now in paperback. And from L.A., Matthew Littman, a former senior advisor for the Obama campaign.

Ann, I'm going to start with you. Boy, you know, so what if we profile? They're trying to kill us. Jihadists are doing whatever they can, pulling things out of the book trying to kill us. And it's like we're fighting with one or two hands behind our back. Profiling, good or bad?

ANN COULTER, ANNCOULTER.COM: No, I've been a big proponent of it for quite some time. I mean, we should have started 20 years ago with the Pan Am flight 103 that went down over Lockerbie. We certainly should have started after 9/11. And instead, as always happens when there is a terrorist attack like this, there are a billion inconvenient procedures put on two million passengers a day only in the United States. Think of this. For seven years, we've been opening our computers, turning over lip gloss, taking off sweaters and jackets. And this guy gets through? And now they have more useless procedures they're coming up with, not allowing passengers to go to the bathroom for the last hour of the flight. Well, okay. Blow it up two hours before the flight lands. Ending the in flight entertainment. Allowing no one to have anything on a lap during that last hour. It's just - it's - it is the perfect solution from politicians who don't have to fly commercial air and let the rest of us be treated like sheep for no purpose whatsoever.

BOLLING: Right. Matthew, what about it? So what if I profile a guy who is really, you know, I mean, let's face it. There are Islamism jihadists out there. I don't hear the Christian groups looking to blow planes up over Yemen.


BOLLING: Why is that such a bad thing?

LITTMAN: Well, first, I actually am surprised myself. I did agree with some of what Ann said, which shocks me. But I think in this case, it's just a question of more competence rather than profiling. I mean, this guy was on a list of a few hundred thousand people as a potential terrorist. So he is somebody who should have been stopped at the airport, fully searched and not allowed to fly into the United States. We don't need anybody on that list to fly into the United States.

So, I don't think it's necessarily an issue of profiling. I think it's an issue of competence. And right now, look, Ann is right. For seven years, we've had to take off our shoes at the airport. Can't go to the bathroom for the last hour of a flight. You know, we keep getting lucky with some of these terrorists that they're incompetent that the guy chose not to blow up the plane from the bathroom, but went to his seat. I have no idea why. Maybe to make a bigger deal out of it, but we're lucky in that they're incompetent. We're not always going to be lucky.


LITTMAN: We have to be able to - I'm sorry.

BOLLING: Well, no, let me throw it over to Ann real quick. You know, we have three Navy Seals in January, who are going to go to trial and try not to be court martialed for trying to get some information out of a man...


BOLLING: ...who killed four people in Iraq. So, again. Go ahead, go ahead.

COULTER: I mean, we also have, you know, the Army doctor at Fort Hood, who had been talking about how we need to cut - it's his religious duty to cut off the heads of infidels and pour hot oil down their throats. And the war on terrorism is a war on Islam.

The problem is, I mean, it isn't just competence. Once you start down the line of saying we not only will not consider whether the Army doctor is a crazed radical Islamist, or whether the passenger who bought his ticket with cash in Nigeria and who's own father has warned us, it's -- once you start (INAUDIBLE) will not consider whether the person is an Islamic radical, you inevitably end up with the situation we're in now.

And I also would like say, especially with a former Obama advisor on the program, I mean, this is - this was part of the selling point of for Obama liberal. Andrew Sullivan pointed out, you know, what are these radical Islamists going to do when they look and see the president of the great Satan. And you know, he has brown skin. And he attended madrassas. And he talks about how he's so moved by the call to prayer five times a day. He used to hear in Indonesia. If anyone can say we're going to look for radical Islamists, it ought to be President Obama. If he does that, if he institutes racial profiling at the airports, I'll vote for him.


Bowing to Muslim demands for special treatment just encourages the fanatics

Generally speaking, showing respect to other cultures and religions is a great virtue that can create peace and harmony among different civilizations. However, it is vital to distinguish between, for example, traditional dancing and the stoning of women until death as parts of various cultures. Tolerance for the former is useful; however, tolerance of the latter is entirely destructive. It is also fundamental to know the effects of respecting some cultural or religious aspects on those who belong to the culture or follow a particular faith. There is a delicate balance between showing respect and showing weakness to some cultures.

For example, after the publishing of the cartoons of the prophet Muhammad by the Danish newspaper in late September of 2005, there were no violent demonstrations by Muslims for a four-month period. The violent response to the cartoons occurred in early February of 2006; only 72 hours after the magazine apologized for publishing the cartoons. This apology was likely perceived by radical Muslims as weakness, and thus initiated a wave of Islamic violence that spread to many parts of the world.

Similarly, making concessions to Islamic Shariah law can serve as a provocation to radical Islam, as it gives the radicals the impression that the West should bow to their Islamic laws. These radicals will remain unsatisfied until the West complies with all of their demands to practice additional aspects of Islamic Shariah law, including cruel punishments and discrimination against women, gays and non-Muslims.

For example, if the decision-makers in U.S. were to accept that Muslim taxi drivers should be allowed to refuse to transport passengers carrying dogs or alcohol with them on the grounds that doing so is "un-Islamic" (as Muslim taxi drivers demanded in Minneapolis in 2007), then these decision-makers should also be ready to exempt other Muslims from paying taxes in the U.S., assuming that the Muslims considered paying such taxes "un-Islamic"! Are the decision-makers here ready to allow this to happen under the banner of religious freedom?

Another crucial point in this regard is the question of how much we should change our laws to accommodate the Islamists' demands. Making concessions to Shariah law is a potentially endless process that could ultimately result in the passage of unconstitutional and barbaric laws within the U.S. If every religious group in the U.S. is allowed to practice its own tribal or religious law instead of constitutional law, then the whole notion of a unified country will no longer exist.

In addition, the decision-makers in the U.S. need to realize that allowing mosques inside secular institutes such as universities was one of the earliest steps that aggravated the phenomenon of Islamism in other parts of the world, as it allowed radicals to have easy access to, and enough time to meet with and radicalize, motivated young Muslims. The U.S. must be aware of this possibility and reject the Islamization of its secular institutes under the banner of religious freedom.

In 2008, to accommodate Muslim students, Harvard tried having women-only gym hours. This could be seen as a form of discrimination against male students, who had to change their workout schedules as a result of the new policy. This is a clear form of sex discrimination. Furthermore, what if the Muslim students ask that gays not be permitted in the gym at any time, as homosexuality is a grave sin in Islam? Will the university bow to this as well to respect the religious demands of such Muslims?

Harvard should be also ready to apply the same principle if some followers of a certain faith ask the university one day to prevent Muslims from entering the gym as, in their view, the presence of Muslims in the gym offends their feelings and goes against their religious values. In such a case, would the university also accommodate the religious demands of this religious group -- just as it accepted the demands of Muslim students -- and prevent Muslims from entering the gym? The only way to get out of this dilemma is to ask both Muslims and non-Muslims to fit themselves within the non-discriminatory framework of the university.

In brief, accepting the idea that our constitutional laws can be broken to satisfy the Muslim population can actually open the gate for both discrimination against non-Muslims and the practice of many unconstitutional and inhumane Shariah laws.

We also need to distinguish between religious values, such as fasting, that predominantly affect the person who practices them, and those religious values that have a negative effect on others. The U.S. must insist that Muslims here practice their faith and fit it within the borders of the American legal system, and not the other way around.


PC Brigade's threat to Britain's fire service: Harman's 'equality' drive will discriminate against middle-class areas

Fire stations in middle-class neighbourhoods are set to close under 'class war' plans being drawn up by Harriet Harman. The Equality Bill being pushed by Labour's deputy leader will impose on councils the duty to allocate fire protection on the basis of social class. The Bill, described as 'socialism in one clause', has already created controversy by forcing local authorities to tackle 'socio-economic disadvantage' when making decisions on 'spending and service delivery'.

But ministers have admitted it also means fire chiefs will also have to prioritise the poor when drawing up plans. The theory is poorer areas need better cover because they tend to suffer from a greater number of fires owing to the worse state of their homes and a lack of smoke alarms.

Fire authorities are funded by a levy on council tax - and middle-income homes already pay more for their fire cover through having higher council tax bills. Yet fire chiefs could be forced to downgrade fire stations and their equipment in middle-income areas in order to concentrate their limited cash on the threat of 'chip pan fires' in poorer neighbourhoods.

The new rules will affect around half of the fire authorities in England and Wales - and Miss Harman is actively considering extending them to all authorities. Michael Foster, a minister in Miss Harman's Government Equalities Office, revealed in a Parliamentary answer: 'The duty will apply to local authorities, and therefore to fire and rescue authorities (FRAs) where these form part of a local authority. 'We are discussing with the Fire and Rescue Service and other appropriate stakeholders whether the duty should be extended to all FRAs.'

The plans will first hit fire authorities in shire areas with county councils - namely Tory territory.

Miss Harman's plans are expected to exacerbate dramatically the number of fire station closures across rural and middle England.

Former deputy prime minister John Prescott made it easier to close stations as part of Labour's 'modernisation' process of the fire service. Fire chiefs were told to concentrate their efforts on 'local authority and housing association' properties, 'single parent families' and 'drug abusers'.

The Queen's local fire station in Windsor, Berkshire, is being closed at night - despite the devastating 1992 Windsor Castle fire.

The decision to impose the same obligations on fire chiefs as councils was quietly slipped through last month when the Equality Bill was making its way through the Commons. The Bill returns for its committee stage for three days in January, and officials say that Miss Harman is 'very determined' to see the legislation pass before the General Election. The Liberal Democrats have said they support the decision to extend inequalities obligations to the fire service.

But Caroline Spelman, Tory communities spokesman, said: 'The public will be shocked that Harriet Harman's new law may force cuts to local fire stations and fire protection for certain homes just because they don't tick the right box for Labour ministers. 'It is already the case that local fire stations have been axed thanks to Whitehall rules imposed by Labour. These proposals have nothing to do with fairness and everything to do with Labour's obsessive class war. 'Given fire coverage is paid for by a levy on council tax, every home deserves fair and proper coverage to keep families safe whatever their background. 'The public want to see fair play, not special treatment for narrow partisan advantage.'

The Government has justified the Equality Bill on the grounds that 'social class still holds a powerful grip over people's lives'. A spokesman for the Government Equalities Office said: 'Everyone benefits from a fairer, more equal society. The socio-economic duty is about providing fair opportunities for everyone, regardless of their background. 'It will not mean less resources, it will actually mean authorities will need to consider how they deliver their services.'


Teach Your Children to behave

Rampant discussion swirls through our society as to whether or not there has been a degradation of cultural values. The question of whether civility has been sacrificed to the altars of personal convenience and “non-judgmentalism” concerns many Americans who are entrusted to pass this value to future generations. If you want to see the struggle in its full majesty, enter one of our modern theatres of community interaction – the family restaurant.

Since the passage of civil rights legislation in the 1960s, the family restaurant has become a center of shared communality. There may be other places, but nothing allows multiple generations to interact across cultural and economic levels quite like a moderately-priced local restaurant. Unfortunately, the rules of civil behavior seem to be disintegrating before our very eyes. This devolution has manifested itself through our children.

It has become apparent that while today’s parents want to take their children to restaurants, they are often unwilling to instruct their kids how to properly behave in this public forum. It used to be that children would go to a restaurant and stay in their seats. If a child started to misbehave, one parent would take the youngster out of the restaurant until he (or she) settled down. Regrettably, that no longer appears to be standard behavior.

After observing frequent occurrences of children aimlessly walking, climbing over the back of seats and generally disrupting other diners’ peaceful enjoyment of their meals, it was time to consult the professionals and see if standards had really changed.

I started with the servers, and the large majority stated that they had observed a significant change in how parents control their children. Their general impression was that standards have slipped substantially, and they often feel frustrated and helpless as they watch parents allowing their kids to run rampant. Servers must often move through small spaces while carrying large food platters. They prefer – if only for everyone’s safety – that patrons stay out of their pathways. They are reluctant to confront parents because they’re concerned both about what management might say as well as the impact on their tips (which are often a significant portion of their compensation). So they leave the matter to management.

Management feels a little less helpless, but not much. One restaurant manager with 30 years in the industry described how basic manners have deteriorated in the past 15 years. Children, she said, frequently disrupt restaurant operations and the parents too often are unwilling to rein in their behavior. Managers, she continued, were in a difficult position because people don’t like to be told how to raise their kids. If the manager confronts the parent, they risk losing a loyal customer. But if they don’t, it’s the other patrons who start to get upset.

That sometimes leaves it to the customers themselves to make comments. Occasionally this occurs and a war can break out. One manager stated that she recently had to break up an argument between a regular customer seeking a peaceful meal and another patron unwilling to control their child. The manager had to arbitrate the dispute knowing that one of the customers would probably be lost for good. A choice had to be made and, unfortunately, the real loser was the restaurant.

This manager suggested that perhaps this was regional behavior, principally related to the loose interpretation of proper parenting often found in Southern California. But when the same question was asked of restaurant employees around the country, it was found that sadly, the manager was incorrect – in fact, bad behavior appears to be occurring everywhere. Parents appear increasingly unwilling to rope in their children, and fellow patrons are suffering the effects.

The importance of this is larger than one might first perceive. Children have often misbehaved at home, but parents would always make sure they respected others in a public forum. Last week, a friend related a story about his own children. He was told how well-behaved his kids were by someone who saw them frequently. The man replied that he wished they acted that nicely at home. But he didn’t really understand the larger issue – all children are challenging at home, but it’s most important how they act in public environments.

If children of today aren’t given any guidance about proper behavior in public, what will be their guideposts when they get older? How will they act when they go away to college or move away from home? If they aren’t taught by their parents that being considerate of others in public forums is essential behavior for a civil society, where and when will they learn?

Graham Nash wrote a song called “Teach Your Children” that had a different focus, but I suspect he would not have thought that our society would be faced with such basic challenges as controlling young children in public. If we cannot accomplish this as a society, where are we headed?



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, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The 20,000 snooper army: Vast number of town hall bureaucrats get power to enter British homes without a warrant

As many as 20,000 town hall snoopers have assumed powers to enter people's homes without a warrant and search for information, a survey revealed last night. The research details for the first time how a raft of intrusive laws has allowed council staff to barge into homes and businesses uninvited.

The bureaucrats are benefiting from the 1,043 state powers of entry in primary and secondary legislation – more than 400 of which have been created by Labour. These include checking for fridges which do not have the correct eco-friendly energy rating, making sure a hedge is not too high and inspecting a property to ensure 'illegal or unregulated hypnotism' is not taking place.

Alex Deane, director of Big Brother Watch, which carried out the research, said: 'Once, a man's home was his castle. Today, the Big Brother state wants to inspect, regulate and standardise the inside of our homes. 'Councils are dishing out powers of entry to officers for their own ease, without giving due thought to the public's right to privacy and the potential for abuse. There needs to be a much closer eye kept on the number of officers granted the right to barge into private premises without a warrant.'

Using Freedom of Information laws, Big Brother Watch, a new privacy campaign group, asked councils in Britain to reveal the number of staff they had authorised to conduct property searches. The research, entitled 'Barging In', found there were at least 14,793 officers with that power – the equivalent of 47 officers in every local authority in Britain. More than a quarter of councils either refused or failed to answer the FOI requests.

But based on the responses given by other town halls, there are 20,000 snoopers with the power to enter a person's home or business. The survey relates only to town hall staff. If police officers, paramedics and firefighters are included, the total would be in the hundreds of thousands. Northamptonshire County Council and Glasgow City Council have the most officers able to enter your home, with almost 500 each.

Councils have been handing out the powers despite the fact Gordon Brown has expressed concern about the practice. In 2007, the Prime Minister said: 'I share the concerns about the need for additional protections for the liberties and rights of the citizen.'

Town halls are also carrying out thousands of 'spying' missions under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act. The law was passed nine years ago to fight terrorism, but access to the spy powers has been extended to 653 state bodies - including 474 councils. Cases uncovered by the Mail include Kent County Council carrying out 23 telephone subscriber checks as part of probes into storing petrol without a licence and bringing a dog into the UK without putting it into quarantine.


Britain's public prosecutor is forced to defend his socialist past

Britain's top prosecutor faced charges he is a 'socialist' yesterday after he flatly rejected Tory plans to give homeowners the right to kill burglars. Keir Starmer, the controversial Director of Public Prosecutions, said he could see no case for a change in the law, despite public outcry at the recent jailing of a man who beat up an intruder. Shadow Home Secretary Chris Grayling called for stronger rights for householders after Munir Hussain was sentenced to 30 months for assaulting a gang member who held his family hostage at knifepoint in their home.

The intervention was the second time Mr Starmer, a former left-wing human rights lawyer, has publicly denounced Tory policies on crime. The DPP risked further controversy yesterday by repeating his support for the Human Rights Act, which the Conservatives have vowed to revoke. Mr Starmer's double outburst provoked claims that he has politicised the post – which has traditionally been seen as independent of politics.

The DPP, who edited left-wing publications in his youth, was forced to defend himself against the charge of bias. BBC interviewer Martha Kearney said: 'You have published magazines called Socialist Alternatives. You have had a political background.'

Mr Starmer replied: 'These are things of 25, 30 years ago now. They're not relevant to the work I do now. I hope that since I've been in office I've made it absolutely clear that every single decision is made absolutely independently.'

The DPP, who was named after former Labour politician Keir Hardie, said it was 'a little bit unfair' to brand him left-wing because of his name. But he then went on to dismiss Tory plans to help homeowners out of hand, when he could have stated simply that his job is to uphold whatever laws governments pass.

Current rules mean that homeowners can use 'reasonable force' against intruders. The Tories say they want to change the law so that prosecutions would only occur if homeowners used 'grossly disproportionate' force. But Mr Starmer said: 'The current test works very well. I can't really see the case for a change in the law at this stage. 'I have faith in the current arrangement which is the use of reasonable force. There are many cases, some involving death, where no prosecutions are brought. 'We would only ever bring a prosecution where we thought that the degree of force was unreasonable in such a way that the jury would realistically convict.'

He insisted that the case of Munir Hussain was different because he had pursued the intruder down the road and then assaulted him. 'What the law doesn't allow is for individuals after the event having pursued someone who may have been an intruder to then seek some sort of summary justice,' he said. 'We can't allow our system to be undermined by those exacting summary judgment in that way.'

Privately, party officials were furious that Mr Starmer had again been drawn into a public denunciation of their policies. 'He is there to enforce the law,' one said. 'He is not there to make the law.' A Tory spokesman added: 'It is for Parliament to make the law. We are still committed to reviewing the law if the Conservatives win the next election.'

Mr Starmer tried to insist that he had 'neither agreed nor disagreed with the government or the opposition' on human rights law. But he then went on to make clear his fears for the consequences of tearing up the law, which the Tories would replace with a British Bill of Rights, which is blamed for a host of politically correct court rulings to help terrorists and criminals.

'My concern is with victims and witnesses,' Mr Starmer said. 'The Human Rights Act has been a very effective instrument in progressing the rights of victims and witnesses. I'm anxious that there isn't any halting of that progress.'

In his interview, Mr Starmer said he is still looking at submissions to a public consultation on the law on assisted suicide. The DPP has drawn up guidelines for courts, which have been dismissed as a killer's charter.

And he said that decisions on whether to charge MPs and peers with fraud and other 'dishonesty type offences' over their expenses claims would be made 'in the reasonably foreseeable future'.

It is perhaps inevitable that Keir Starmer finds himself on a collision course with the Tories. Named after socialist firebrand Keir Hardie, Mr Starmer, 47, spent his formative years as what a former flatmate called a 'hard left' campaigner, running a group called Socialist Alternatives. He published the group's magazine, widely regarded as an impenetrable collection of left-wing jargon.

But it was good training for a man who would go on to befriend Cherie Blair and forge a reputation as one of Britain's foremost promoters of the developing area of human rights law. In 2007 he successfully challenged Home Office control orders against two terrorist suspects on human rights grounds.

His appointment as Director of Public Prosecutions in July 2008 was seen by critics as among the most blatant attempts by New Labour to pepper the establishment with those who share their ideological commitment to European human rights law, which is blamed for a host of politically-correct rulings.


Palestinian prof admits Arab denial of Temples is baloney

Before Israel founded, 'Muslims would not have disputed connection Jews have'

A prestigious Palestinian professor told WND that the Muslim denial of a Jewish connection to the Temple Mount is political and that historically Muslims did not dispute Jewish ties to the site. "If you went back a couple of hundred years, before the advent of the political form of Zionism, I think you will find that many Muslims would not have disputed the connection that Jews have toward [the Mount]," said Sari Nusseibeh, president of Al-Quds University in eastern Jerusalem. "The problem began arising with the advent of Zionism, when people started connecting a kind of feeling that Jews have toward the area with the political project of Zionism," Nusseibeh stated.

Zionism refers to the political movement that supports the reestablishment of the Jewish state in the land of Israel.

According to sources inside the Palestinian Authority, Nusseibeh has come under some PA pressure for writing in a recent study that Jews historically revered the Temple Mount before the time of Muhammad and Islam. The PA sources denied any security threats against Nusseibeh but conceded that PA President Mahmoud Abbas' office had asked the professor to issue a clarification acknowledging the Palestinian line denying Jewish ties to the Mount. The sources indicated that if Nusseibeh did not issue a clarification his position as Al-Quds' president could be in jeopardy.

Nusseibeh, however, denied that he has received any threats over the matter. "I am surprised that people are surprised by what I wrote. There is nothing in Islam that denies the fact that Judaism is one of the religions of the book," he said.

Nusseibeh contributed to an Israeli-Palestinian study about the Temple Mount entitled, "Where Heaven and Earth Meet: Jerusalem's Sacred Esplanade." In the study, Nusseibeh does not affirm the existence of the Jewish Temples on the site but writes the Mount was revered by Jews before the time of Muhammad.

The PA long has denied any Jewish historic connection to the Temple Mount or Jerusalem. In a previous WND interview, Chief Palestinian Justice Sheik Taysir Tamimi declared the Jewish temples never existed and Jews have no historic connection to Jerusalem. He also claimed the Western Wall really was a tying post for Muhammad's horse, the Al Aqsa Mosque was built by angels, and Abraham, Moses and Jesus were prophets for Islam. Tamimi is considered the second most important Palestinian cleric after Muhammad Hussein, the grand mufti of Jerusalem.

"Israel started since 1967 making archeological digs to show Jewish signs to prove the relationship between Judaism and the city, and they found nothing. There is no Jewish connection to Israel before the Jews invaded in the 1880s," said Tamimi. "About these so-called two temples, they never existed, certainly not at the [Temple Mount]," Tamimi said during a sit-down interview in his eastern Jerusalem office.

The Palestinian cleric denied the validity of dozens of digs verified by experts worldwide revealing Jewish artifacts from the First and Second Temples throughout Jerusalem, including on the Temple Mount itself; excavations revealing Jewish homes and a synagogue in a site in Jerusalem called the City of David; or even the recent discovery of a Second Temple Jewish city in the vicinity of Jerusalem.

Tamimi said descriptions of the Jewish Temples in the Hebrew Tanach, in the Talmud and in Byzantine and Roman writings from the Temple periods were forged, and that the Torah was falsified to claim biblical patriarchs and matriarchs were Jewish, when they were prophets for Islam. "All this is not real. We don't believe in all your versions. Your Torah was falsified. The text as given to the Muslim prophet Moses never mentions Jerusalem. Maybe Jerusalem was mentioned in the rest of the Torah, which was falsified by the Jews," said Tamimi. He said Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses and Jesus were "prophets for the Israelites sent by Allah as to usher in Islam."

Asked about the Western Wall, Tamimi said the structure was a tying post for Muhammad's horse and that it is part of the Al Aqsa Mosque, even though the Wall predates the mosque by more than 1,000 years. "The Western Wall is the western wall of the Al Aqsa Mosque. It's where Prophet Muhammad tied his animal, which took him from Mecca to Jerusalem to receive the revelations of Allah." The Kotel, or Western Wall, is an outer retaining wall of the Temple Mount that survived the destruction of the Second Temple and still stands today in Jerusalem.

Tamimi went on to claim to WND the Al Aqsa Mosque , which has sprung multiple leaks and has had to be repainted several times, was built by angels. "Al Aqsa was built by the angels 40 years after the building of Al-Haram in Mecca. This we have no doubt is true," he said.

The First Temple was built by King Solomon in the 10th century B.C. It was destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 B.C. The Second Temple was rebuilt in 515 B.C. after Jerusalem was freed from Babylonian captivity. That temple was destroyed by the Roman Empire in A.D. 70. Each temple stood for a period of about four centuries.

The Temple was the center of religious worship for ancient Israelites. It housed the Holy of Holies, which contained the Ark of the Covenant and was said to be the area upon which God's presence dwelt. All biblical holidays centered on worship at the Temple. The Temples served as the primary location for the offering of sacrifices and were the main gathering place for Israelites.

According to the Talmud, the world was created from the foundation stone of the Temple Mount. It's believed to be the biblical Mount Moriah, the location where Abraham fulfilled God's test to see if he would be willing to sacrifice his son Isaac. The Temple Mount has remained a focal point for Jewish services for thousands of years. Prayers for a return to Jerusalem and the rebuilding of the Temple have been uttered by Jews since the Second Temple was destroyed, according to Jewish tradition.

The Al Aqsa Mosque was constructed in about A.D. 709 to serve as a shrine near another shrine, the Dome of the Rock, which was built by an Islamic caliph. Al Aqsa was meant to mark what Muslims came to believe was the place at which Muhammad, the founder of Islam, ascended to heaven to receive revelations from Allah. Jerusalem is not mentioned in the Quran. It is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible 656 times.

Islamic tradition states Muhammad took a journey in a single night on a horse from "a sacred mosque" – believed to be in Mecca in southern Saudi Arabia – to "the farthest mosque" and from a rock there ascended to heaven. The farthest mosque became associated with Jerusalem about 120 years ago.

According to research by Israeli Author Shmuel Berkovits, Islam historically disregarded Jerusalem as being holy. Berkovits points out in his new book, "How Dreadful Is this Place!" that Muhammad was said to loathe Jerusalem and what it stood for. He wrote Muhammad made a point of eliminating pagan sites of worship and sanctifying only one place – the Kaaba in Mecca – to signify the unity of God. As late as the 14th century, Islamic scholar Taqi al-Din Ibn Taymiyya, whose writings influenced the Wahhabi movement in Arabia, ruled that sacred Islamic sites are to be found only in the Arabian Peninsula and that "in Jerusalem, there is not a place one calls sacred, and the same holds true for the tombs of Hebron."

A guide to the Temple Mount by the Supreme Muslim Council in Jerusalem published in 1925 listed the Mount as Jewish and as the site of Solomon's Temple. The Temple Institute acquired a copy of the official 1925 "Guide Book to Al-Haram Al-Sharif," which states on page 4, "Its identity with the site of Solomon's Temple is beyond dispute. This, too, is the spot, according to universal belief, on which 'David built there an altar unto the Lord.'"


Old-fashioned standards live on in Africa

A gay couple was jailed for "gross indecency" in Malawi after the country's first same-sex public wedding ceremony over the weekend, as several African states were clamping down on homosexuality. A police spokesman said that Tiwonge Chimbalanga and Steven Monjeza, the first Malawian gays to publicly wed in a symbolic ceremony on Saturday "will appear in court soon to answer charges of gross indecency".

Homosexuality is banned in the conservative southern African country where the public discussion of sex is still taboo. Malawi's penal code outlaws homosexuality and sodomy, which is punishable by a maximum of 14 years in jail.

Countries such as Uganda, Senegal and Burundi have intensified their efforts to repress homosexuality in a continent where 38 out of 53 countries have criminalised consensual gay sex.

Hundreds of people attended Saturday's ceremony held at a guesthouse in Blantyre and spiced with traditional and hip-hop music. The couple wore traditional robes. "I went there to see for myself a gay couple," Finiasi Chikaoneka, one of the hundreds of people who thronged the venue, said. "There were many people who were just curious about the whole affair because this was the first time that gays have come out openly," he added. Monjeza told the crowd he and Chimbalanga had been living together for five months, having first met at church.

The Malawi Law Society, a grouping of some 150 lawyers in Malawi, has condemned the wedding, saying it was illegal and "against the order of nature". The society's secretary, Mercy Mulele, was quoted by the Daily Times urging police action as the wedding was "against the laws of Malawi".

Gift Trapenze, who heads the Centre for the Development of People (CEDEP), which fights for gays, prostitutes and prisoners, defended the couple, saying "they were expressing their legal rights". He said the wedding was aimed at "testing" Malawi laws which were silent on such matters. "The two individuals were expressing their sexual orientation as human beings. The police should not interfere in this matter," he said.

The government does however recognise the existence of gays in Malawi and often calls on them to come out so as to help in the fight against AIDS, which affects around 14 per cent of the 13 million population.

Trapence said 21.4 per cent of gays were infected with HIV. He said gays had been driven underground because of fear of the anti-gay culture and imprisonment.

The anti-homosexuality laws on the continent have sparked condemnation from local and international rights groups. The Ugandan government drew worldwide condemnation for its proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill that would punish homosexuality with life imprisonment, and threatens anybody who promotes homosexuality with jail.

In Senegal a group of 24 men were arrested on Christmas Eve for allegedly engaging in homosexual acts and holding an authorised party. They were released the following day but remain under investigation.

In April, Burundi President Pierre Nkurunziza promulgated a bill that made homosexuality an offence punishable by up to two years in prison. Human rights groups have condemned the move, saying the government's treatment of gays and lesbians is worsening.



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, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Leftist bigot resents popular Jewish songs

JEWISH SONGWRITERS have created some of the most enduringly popular songs of the season -- Irving Berlin's "White Christmas," of course, but also "The Christmas Song," "Silver Bells," and "I'll Be Home For Christmas," among others. Some people might view that as a heartening, only-in-America expression of interfaith goodwill and warmth. But not Garrison Keillor:

"All those lousy holiday songs by Jewish guys that trash up the malls every year, Rudolph and the chestnuts and the rest of that dreck," he fumed in a recent column for the Baltimore Sun. "Christmas is a Christian holiday -- if you're not in the club, then buzz off." His piece bore the sour headline: "Nonbelievers, please leave Christmas alone."

Remember the days when Keillor was endearing and witty? It's a shame to see him grown so cranky and intolerant. What kind of grinch thinks "White Christmas" is "dreck?"

Well, here's hoping that all the songs written by those "Jewish guys" didn't put too big a damper on Keillor's Christmas this year. And let's hope no one ruined it entirely by letting him know that the Jewish connection to Christmas didn't start with Irving Berlin.


British photographers issue plea to end police hostility towards them

More than 350 photographers have issued a joint plea to end the "hostile" and "humiliating" use of anti-terror laws to prevent them taking pictures in public. The professional and amateur photographers have signed a letter, published in The Sunday Telegraph, calling on ministers and the police halt the practice of them being stopped and searched while they are taking images in public places.

Their plea comes despite a warning from senior police to junior officers and Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) not to misuse the controversial legislation.

The letter, whose signatories include Rosemary Wilman, the president of the Royal Photographic Society, and the photographer and historian Professor John Hannavy, says: "Rather than treat photographers as terrorists, the Government should amend the Anti-Terrorism Act to prevent its misuse and explain to police forces that a hostile attitude towards photographers is unwelcome."

It said those using cameras in public were frequently being searched, which they found "humiliating". Among those to have been targeted by police is Grant Smith, one of the country's leading architectural photographers, who was apprehended by seven officers while taking pictures of a church in the City of London.

Earlier this month, the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) sent a warning to the chief constables of 43 forces in England and Wales to remind them that "unnecessarily restricting photography, whether from the casual tourist or professional, is unacceptable".

In response its treatment of photographers, the City of London Police earlier this month released details of an arrest made by officers who spotted a man filming on his mobile phone, which it said had helped to avert a terrorist attack on the capital. Footage shot on the Algerian man's Nokia N95 mobile phone showed he had filmed at railway and tube stations and shopping centres. Senior officers said it was a "hostile reconnaissance" video. Counter-terrorism police and MI5 discovered that the man and his brother, in their 40s, entered Britain on false passports a decade ago. The pair have since been deported after being convicted of fraud charges and serving their sentences.

In a separate reminder to his own officers, assistant Metropolitan Police commissioner John Yates said: "These are important yet intrusive powers. They form a vital part of our overall tactics in deterring and detecting terrorist attacks. We must use these powers wisely. Public confidence in our ability to do so rightly depends upon your common sense."


British Equality Bill: Will A New Law Essentially Outlaw Evangelical Christianity And Roman Catholicism In The U.K.?

Did that headline get your attention? It should. A new law is dangerously close to becoming law in the U.K. that would essentially outlaw evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism. Not that "The Equality Bill" specifically designates those faiths as illegal in the legislation itself. Rather, the bill outlaws specific beliefs and practices that are fundamental to both evangelical Christianity and Roman Catholicism. In fact, experts are saying that "The Equality Bill" would create a volcanic eruption of litigation in U.K. courts and would ultimately force those who wish to continue to practice anything that even looks like traditional Christianity to go underground.

So just what is the Equality Bill? The Equality Bill allegedly aims to consolidate all existing anti-discrimination laws into a single legal framework. However, it actually goes much farther than any "anti-discrimination" laws in the U.K. have ever gone before. On the surface, this legislation seems like a good idea. After all, who wants to discriminate against old people or people of other races? You can read a summary of this legislation put out by backers of the bill right here. It actually contains a few good proposals.

But it is also a vicious attack on traditional Christianity. The Telegraph quotes a top level official from the "Ministry for Equality" as saying the following when he was asked whether the Equality Bill would lead to legal action between churches and atheists.... "Both need to be lining up [their lawyers]," he said. "The secularists should have the right to challenge the church."

Secularists should have the right to challenge the beliefs and practices of the church? What in the world? So exactly what would the Equality Bill mean for churches in the U.K.?

Evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics would be wide open not only to lawsuits but also to unlimited government fines and even criminal prosecution if....

* They are found to discriminate against homosexuals or transsexuals in any area of employment - including the hiring of pastors and priests.

* They are found to discriminate against homosexuals or transsexuals in any preaching or teaching.

* They are found to discriminate against hiring married men or women as priests as the Roman Catholics have done for centuries.

* They are found to insist that pastors or priests remain celibate (as in the case of Catholics) or only have sex within marriage (as in the case of evangelicals).

* They are found trying to prevent any of their clergy from entering into same-sex civil partnerships.

* They are found to be trying to prevent their pastors or priests from having sex change operations, living openly promiscuous lifestyles or engaging in any other form of sexual expression.

So essentially, if the Equality Bill is fully implemented, no religious organization is the U.K. will be able to preach or teach against sexual immorality, will be able to discriminate against the sexually immoral when hiring clergy or will be able to take a formal moral stand against sexually immorality in any way whatsoever.

Some analysts are even claiming that if the Equality Bill is adopted, all hiring for church positions that do not spend at least 51 percent of their time leading worship and preaching would be subject to regulations that would ban discrimination against those from other religions. So, for example, a Baptist church would be forced to consider an Islamic candidate for a position that ministers to the youth but that also performs other non-teaching functions much of the time as well.

Basically the Equality Bill would be a total nightmare for both evangelical Christians and Roman Catholics in the U.K. The fact that the law is written in such vague terms would open up the floodgates for all kinds of endless litigation. If the Equality Bill becomes law, free speech and free expression in churches in the U.K. would be deeply chilled as church leaders struggle with the never ending threat of lawsuits, fines and criminal prosecution.

* The days when churches in the U.K. could openly preach against sexual sin would be over.

* The days when churches in the U.K. could openly have any say over the sexual behavior of their clergy would be over.

* The days when churches in the U.K. could openly discuss what the Bible says about "right" and "wrong" would be over.

* Thus this would essentially mean that end of legal evangelical Christianity and legal Roman Catholicism in the U.K.

That sounds quite dramatic, but that is the truth of the matter. In fact, Baroness O'Cathain, a Tory lawmaker and an evangelical Christian, said last week that the Equality Bill is the "single most damaging Bill to come before the House in my 18 years as a Member".

Are you starting to get the idea? We are living in the last days, and the truth is that Christian persecution is exploding all over the world. Christians in western nations have always thought that it was something that happened "over there", but now Christian persecution is moving forward with blinding speed in places such as the U.K. Ultimately, there will be no escaping persecution. If you plan to be a Christian in the last days you will face persecution as long as you are on this earth. You better get ready for it. If you are a Christian and you are not already being persecuted, you will be soon.


The Leftist version of "openness" in Australia

As Obama has vividly shown, saying one thing and doing the opposite is the Leftist way

KEVIN Rudd's government has refused more freedom of information requests in its first full financial year of power than John Howard's did in its last full financial year in office despite Labor's stated program to increase transparency of public information. The annual report of the Freedom of Information Act, which was quietly released just before Christmas, shows that 1530 requests, or 6.09 per cent, were refused in the 12 months to June 30. In the 12 months to June 30, 2007, the last full financial year of the Howard government, 1499 requests were refused, or 4.39 per cent. The refusal rate in the past financial year was also higher than in the power change-over year of 2007-08 when 1368 requests were refused, or 4.36 per cent. The percentage of requests granted in full in the past financial year compared with 2006-07 also declined, from 80.6 per cent to 71 per cent.

However the government's response times improved. In the 12 months to June 30, 83.29 per cent of FOI requests were dealt with in less than 30 days, compared with 67.89 per cent in the previous financial year and 77.15 per cent in 2006-07.

The Prime Minister's own department granted full access to 12 of 32 requests (38 per cent), while in 2006-07 Mr Howard's department granted full access to six of 16 requests (37.5 per cent).

The tighter flow of information came despite the government embarking on a series of major reforms of the FOI Act, including the abolition of conclusive certificates, which allowed ministers to veto FOI releases without any reasonable public interest explanations for their actions.

The opposition seized on the figures and accused the government of keeping a tighter rein on the flow of information. Opposition legal affairs spokesman George Brandis said the Rudd government's performance on FOI was "yet another example of the mismatch between the government's rhetoric and the reality of its performance". "Early this year, the then Special Minister of State Senator (John) Faulkner launched a new FOI policy and promised a fundamental change towards a pro-disclosure policy," Senator Brandis said. "But it has sunk without trace and has not been prosecuted by the new minister, Senator (Joe) Ludwig. "The heroic pro-disclosure rhetoric stands in stark contrast to the cold, hard statistical reality that would show that there is less freedom of information under the Rudd government than under the Howard government."

A spokesman for Senator Ludwig said the government remained committed to FOI reform.

The report said that about 80 per cent of FOI requests related to personal information, with Centrelink (37 per cent), Veterans Affairs (22 per cent), and Immigration and Citizenship (21 per cent) receiving the most requests.



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, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Hypocritical British Left performs U-turn on love and marriage ahead of election

Gordon Brown is preparing to pitch Labour as the party of marriage and the family in an audacious bid for core Tory votes. In a shift in strategy ahead of the general election, the government is abandoning its long-standing ambivalence towards wedlock, conceding that children fare better if their parents are together. A green paper to be published in January will outline new measures to shore up “stable parental relationships”.

Labour’s 11th-hour acknowledgment of the importance of marriage has been derided by the Conservatives, who accuse the government of ignoring evidence about the benefits for the past decade. The Tories are preparing their own green paper on promoting family units, setting the scene for an election battle for the parental vote.

Since 1997 Labour has directed resources at children rather than their parents, fearing voters would see attempts to shore up the declining traditional family unit as discriminatory or judgmental. Ed Balls, the schools secretary, now admits the strategy was a mistake. “Because we knew it was complicated we ended up not talking about families and talking about children instead. One of the things that we lost a little bit is that actually, while supporting children is very important, adult relationships are very important too,” Balls said.

Speaking to The Sunday Times ahead of the launch of the green paper, he announced that his department was “changing the direction and face of [family] policy”. “In the past I think our family policy was all about children. I think our family policy now is actually about the strength of the adult relationships and that is important for the progress of the children,” he said.

Labour’s change in policy comes amid concern over the number of children brought up in broken homes. One in four now lives in a single-parent family, compared with one in 14 in the early 1970s. Almost half of children are born outside wedlock. Married couples became a minority in Britain this year for the first time since records began.

While Labour will stop short of saying marriage is “superior” to other committed relationships, the new policy will highlight how much better children fare if their parents stay together. Balls, who is married to Yvette Cooper, the work and pensions secretary, said: “One of the big signifiers of whether children do well is if there are strong adult relationships in the home. We want to look at what more we need to do to support and nurture family relationships.”

In compulsory sex and relationship lessons to be introduced from 2011, children from the age of seven will be taught about the “nature and importance of marriage and stable relationships for family life and bringing up children”.

The green paper is expected to suggest more resources for marriage counselling services such as Relate and to propose a change in culture in public services away from “mother and baby” to “mother, father and baby”. Balls is particularly keen to find ways to prevent partnerships from collapsing during the weeks after a baby is born.

Balls admitted that he backed marriage: “Yvette and I are married. I personally think it is better but I certainly would not say that to other people.” He has been consulting a panel of “agony aunts” about how the government can reduce divorce rates and help children whose parents are splitting up. There will be no softening of the government’s opposition to tax advantages for married couples. Ministers say this would discriminate against the 4m children brought up by non-married parents. David Cameron, the Conservative leader, has pledged to recognise the importance of marriage through the tax system.

David Willetts, the party’s family spokesman, said: “It is extraordinary that after more than a decade in which Labour has focused exclusively on children, the penny is finally dropping. “All the evidence is that marriage is strongly linked to greater stability for the child.”


Media falsely reporting Bethlehem Christmas

Like clockwork, every year at this time reporters file misleading and, in some cases, outright false reports about the state of Christmas in Bethlehem. They claim Israeli policies have wreaked havoc on the city's economy and that Israel is responsible for the massive flight of Christians from Bethlehem. Yet the news media completely ignore Muslim intimidation and get their facts wrong on documented history and the true state of affairs in this ancient town.

A widely circulated Reuters article, for example, laments "Christmas cheer hasn't spread to all of Bethlehem's residents," squarely blaming "an Israeli wall" for the town's misfortunes. Britains' Press and Journal also paints a dismal picture of Bethlehem, claiming the city is "divided by a huge wall" and that the "26ft-high security wall completes the isolation of Bethlehem and prevents it from ever expanding." The piece also wrongly states that about 2 percent of Bethlehem's population is Christian.

An opinion piece by Austen Ivereigh in the London Guardian, meanwhile, also claims Bethlehem is "shuttered and depressed" by an "Israeli separation wall." "I don't just mean the structure itself – 30 feet high, bristling with watchtowers and formed of grey concrete slabs – but where it is built, deep into the town itself, far into the West Bank, severing Bethlehem from Jerusalem and ensuring the relentless expansion eastwards of Jewish-only settlements built on land seized from Palestinian farmers," the Guardian piece claims. Regarding the "wall" that "surrounds" Bethlehem: Israel built a fence in 2002 in the area where northern Bethlehem interfaces with Jerusalem. A tiny segment of the barrier, facing a major Israeli roadway, is a concrete wall that Israel says is meant to prevent gunmen from shooting at Israeli motorists.

Israel had good reason to build the wall in that one small area, since terrorists in 2000 and 2001 routinely shot and killed Israeli motorists at the adjacent roadway. The rest of Bethlehem is not encircled by any wall or fence. Actually, unless one enters the city from the area interfacing Jerusalem, a traveler coming in from any other entrance will not even encounter the barrier.

The barrier, most of which is a fence, was constructed after the outbreak of the Palestinian intifada, or terror war, launched after the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat turned down an Israeli offer of a Palestinian state. Scores of deadly suicide bombings and shooting attacks against Israelis were planned in Bethlehem and carried out by Bethlehem-area terrorists. At one point during a period of just 30 days in 2002, at least 14 shootings were perpetrated by Bethlehem cells of Arafat's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades terrorists, killing two Israelis and wounding six.

Many times Muslim gunmen in the Bethlehem area reportedly took positions in civilian homes in the hilltops of Christian Beit Jala, which straddles Bethlehem. Beit Jala afforded the terrorists a clear firing line at southern sections of Jerusalem and at a major Israeli highway below, drawing Israeli military raids and the eventual building of the security barrier there.

Another popular theme of the mainstream media in recent years is that Bethlehem's Christian population is dwindling because of the "barrier." Amazingly, Ivereigh's piece in the Guardian falsely claimed: "Bethlehem is shuttered and depressed not because of Koran-wielding thugs but because the wall has smashed its economy. The town has become a ghetto, severed from lands to the north and west by the wall, and to the south and east by settler-only roads and a forest of checkpoints, leaving it barely able to trade."

Simple demographic facts disprove this contention entirely. Israel built the barrier seven years ago. But Bethlehem's Christian population started to drastically decline in 1995, the very year Arafat's Palestinian Authority took over the holy Christian city in line with the U.S.-backed Oslo Accords. Bethlehem was more than 80 percent Christian when Israel was founded in 1948. But after Arafat took control, the city's Christian population plummeted to its current 23 percent. And that statistic is considered generous since it includes the satellite towns of Beit Sahour and Beit Jala. Some estimates place Bethlehem's actual Christian population as low as 12 percent, with hundreds of Christians emigrating each year.

As soon as he took over Bethlehem, Arafat unilaterally fired the city's Christian politicians and replaced them with Muslim cronies. He appointed a Muslim governor, Muhammed Rashad A-Jabar, and deposed of Bethlehem's city council, which had nine Christians and two Muslims, reducing the number of Christians councilors to a 50-50 split. Arafat then converted a Greek Orthodox monastery next to the Church of Nativity, the believed birthplace of Jesus, into his official Bethlehem residence. Suddenly, after the Palestinians gained the territory, reports of Christian intimidation by Muslims began to surface.

Christian leaders and residents told this reporter they face an atmosphere of regular hostility. They said Palestinian armed groups stir tension by holding militant demonstrations and marches in the streets. They spoke of instances in which Christian shopkeepers' stores were ransacked and Christian homes attacked. They said in the past, Palestinian gunmen fired at Israelis from Christian hilltop communities, drawing Israeli anti-terror raids to their towns.

In 2002, dozens of terrorists holed up inside the Church of the Nativity for 39 days while fleeing a massive Israeli anti-terror operation. Israel surrounded the church area but refused to storm the structure. Gunmen inside included wanted senior Hamas, Tanzim and Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades terrorists reportedly involved in suicide bombings and shooting attacks. More than 200 nuns and priests were trapped in the church after Israeli hostage negotiators failed to secure their release.

Some Christian leaders said one of the most significant problems facing Christians in Bethlehem is the rampant confiscation of land by Muslim gangs. "There are many cases in which Christians have their land stolen by the [Muslim] mafia," Samir Qumsiyeh, a Bethlehem Christian leader and owner of the Beit Sahour-based private Al-Mahd (Nativity) TV station, told WND in an interview in 2007. "It is a regular phenomenon in Bethlehem. They go to a poor Christian person with a forged power of attorney document, and then they say we have papers proving you're living on our land. If you confront them, many times the Christian is beaten. You can't do anything about it. The Christian loses, and he runs away," Qumsiyeh told WND, speaking from his hilltop television station during a recent interview. Qumsiyeh himself said he was targeted by Islamic gangs. He said his home was firebombed after he returned from a trip abroad during which he gave public speeches outlining the plight of Bethlehem's Christian population.

One Christian Bethlehem resident told WND her friend recently fled Bethlehem after being accused by Muslims of selling property to Jews, a crime punishable by death in some Palestinian cities. The resident said much of the intimidation comes from gunmen associated with PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah organization.

A February 2007 Jerusalem Post article cited the case of Faud and Georgette Lama, Christian residents of Bethlehem who said their land was stolen by local Muslims, and when they tried to do something about it, Faud was beaten by gunmen.

One religious novelty store owner recently told WND that Muslim gangs regularly deface Christian property. "We are harassed, but you wouldn't know the truth. No one says anything publicly about the Muslims. This is why Christians are running away."

Lastly, a main news media contention this year has asserted that the "wall" in Bethlehem has devastated the city's economy. But last year scores of mainstream news reports documented how Bethlehem's economy had its best year since 1999. This year's economic downturn in Bethlehem is largely due to the reliance of the city on tourism, which is down worldwide due to a global economic crisis – a fact not mentioned in a single news report that WND reviewed about Bethlehem's woes.

Last year, even the New York Times was forced to admit Bethlehem's economy was doing well. A Times article datelined Bethlehem was titled "Palestinians work to jolt West Bank back to life." The piece allows, "Both Israeli and Palestinian officials report economic growth for the occupied areas of 4 to 5 percent and a drop in the unemployment rate of at least three percentage points. The improved climate has nearly doubled the number of tourists in Bethlehem and increased them by half in Jericho." The Times quotes Victor Batarseh, the Palestinian mayor of Bethlehem, triumphantly declaring: "It has been the best year since 1999." "Our hotels are full, whereas three years ago there was almost nobody. Unemployment is below 20 percent," he said.


Radical Islam’s Defiling of Christmas

Posted by Joe Kaufman on Dec 25th, 2009

Today, while Christians around the world are celebrating Christmas, radical Muslims will be gathering in Atlanta, Georgia for the beginning of their annual hatefest. The irony of this cannot be understated, as the group sponsoring the event, ICNA, and its followers openly denounce Christians and propagate material cursing and calling for violence against Christians.

ICNA or the Islamic Circle of North America was created nearly 40 years ago as the American affiliate to the terror-related Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), the Muslim Brotherhood of Pakistan. But while JI has focused the majority of its faith-based ire on Hindus, the religious groups of choice for ICNA’s attacks have primarily been Jews and Christians.

One of the main functions of ICNA is the spread of Islam. The group does this via its dawah or religious outreach program, Why Islam (WI). Too many times, though, ICNA’s religious outreach is used as a venue for the worst of bigotry. Common targets include Jews, Americans, Israelis, homosexuals, fellow Muslims and Christians. The following quotes are presently found on WI’s web forum discussing the latter:

* “First of all, muslims do not believe in the G-d of the corrupted Bible, but we do believe in Allah… Anyone who says ‘la ilahe ilallah’ (there is not god but Him)… is guaranteed with eternal life in heaven… Abt penalty, there is no penalty to be done for our sins. This is [sic] wat u christians made up!!”

* “[T]he Americans don’t care about their Allies… Even though, speaking Islamically, they are our enemies and not allies… no Kaffir can be an Ally to a Muslim against a Muslim… Like Allah says in the Quran, Baqarah 2, ‘Never will the Jews nor the Christians be pleased with you… till you follow their religion’… [T]hey are not friends of anyone besides themselves… their friendship is an illusion.”

* “[T]he Christ that Christians believe will come before the Rapture is actually the anti-Christ who the Zionist-Jews will think to be their promised-Messiah… Most Christians don’t know this. They live in their capsule of ignorance that is hardened by the western main-stream media… [T]heir greed and covetousness for consumption is likened only with Satan in the Bible.”

These statements are horrific on their own, but what makes the situation even worse is that the moderators for the group have used similar – even worse – rhetoric themselves, defending Hamas and discussing committing violence against American troops.

Why Islam is not the only entity comprising ICNA. The organization also encompasses a youth group, an educational facility, a multimedia division, a magazine, and a number of smaller local chapters. One of the chapters, the Southern California office (ICNA-SC), uses religious materials to propagate hatred and violence against non-Muslims.

Hadiths for Muslims are vital, as they are only second to the Quran in importance with regard to Islamic religious texts. ICNA’s versions of the Hadiths contain rabidly anti-Christian bigotry. A current example of this is from a Hadith book entitled Malik’s Muwatta, found within ICNA-SC’s online library. It states, “May Allah fight the jews and the christians. They took the graves of their Prophets as places of prostration. Two deens shall not co-exist in the land of the Arabs.”

On its website, ICNA-SC has many other hate manuals as well. One, entitled Priorities of the Islamic Movement in the Coming Phase, is written by the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, Yusuf al-Qaradawi. In Priorities, al-Qaradawi lauds Hamas as being “steadfast” and “brave.” In the text, al-Qaradawi also talks about his belief that Christians should give up their rights and be ruled by Islam. He writes, “Christians and other religious groups will not come to any harm if they give up their right so that their Muslim compatriots may rule themselves by their religion and effect the laws of Allah in order to gain His Grace.”

Another of ICNA’s chapters, its Atlanta, Georgia office, this weekend beginning today, will be celebrating its annual function, featuring its normal list of extremist speakers. It’s a major event for ICNA, as the organization is advertising it atop its national website. The theme for this year is ‘Save Family – Save Society.’ In reality, society needs to save itself from ICNA.

The above quotes are only a small illustration of the bigotry that is spread by ICNA against Christians (and others). And so it is ironic, if not offensive, that ICNA would use Christmas to launch its hateful affair.

While ICNA desecrates Christianity this day, its leaders and members will thrive off of the goodwill of a generous American public that is ignorant of ICNA’s sinister goals and terror-related history. Hopefully the government will be giving us all the best Christmas present we could ask for – an investigation leading to ICNA’s closure.


Boy molests younger brother; Old-fashioned "cure" unacceptable

In some societies, sending a boy to a prostitute for his first sexual experience is traditional

An Australian father who is accused of forcing his teenage son to have sex with a prostitute — out of fear that he was gay — may face rape charges.

As the rest of the family celebrated Christmas 2007, the father allegedly took his son to a motel in North Rockhampton, where he paid the prostitute to have sex with his son, according to The Morning Bulletin, a newspaper in Rockhampton. He left the room, demanding that the boy show him a used condom as proof he finished with the prostitute.

A magistrate decided on Tuesday that there was enough evidence to bring the father to trial.

“First [he] didn’t want to say anything to me,” the boy's mother testified. “Then he told me his father took him to a motel room and there was a prostitute there. He wouldn’t talk, he just started crying.”

Detective sergeant Christine Knapp said police first became aware of the situation when the father tried to report his son to authorities six months later, in May 2008, saying the boy was abusing his younger brother. The father said he “tried to sort it out himself by taking his son to a prostitute” to no avail.



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, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Help knock out CAIR in Round 1

It’s the unbelievable story you won’t hear about anywhere else

The media, from Fox News to CNN to ABC and the New York Times, are all pretending there is no threat to the First Amendment being made by the Council on American-Islamic Relations – the Muslim Brotherhood's walking, talking public-relations factory based right here in Washington. CAIR is trying to end-run freedom of the press in America by challenging the publication of a breathtaking expose of the group by WND Books and authors P. David Gaubatz and Paul Sperry.

It's called "Muslim Mafia: Inside the Secret Underworld That's Conspiring to Islamize America" – and not one news agency in America other than WND has had the guts or the chutzpah even to tell you the amazing revelations found in it. That's right. There's been a total media blackout – including by Saudi-friendly Fox News. (You've probably heard about Rupert Murdoch's deal with Prince Al-Walid bin Talal – a story also broken exclusively by WND.)

Instead of telling you the truth about CAIR – namely that it is an unindicted terrorist front group operating with impunity in America – the media have allowed CAIR easy and open access to airwaves to spread their pro-Hamas, pro-Muslim Brotherhood propaganda. But now, thanks to WND and the brave work of the "Muslim Mafia" authors, all that might be about to change.

CAIR sued author Gaubatz and his son, who penetrated CAIR's inner circle operations, posing as an intern and ferreting out thousands of pages of documents headed for the shredder. WND sprang to their defense, bringing in a remarkable legal team, including Martin Garbus, Daniel Ellsberg's attorney in the Pentagon Papers case. As a result, CAIR is now on the run.

This week, CAIR found itself on defense – facing accusations that it has no standing to file suit. It's not even a legal corporation in Washington, D.C., as it claims, WND's legal team pointed out. In other words, CAIR doesn't even legally exist!

It seems just two weeks after CAIR was named by the Justice Department in May 2007 as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorist finance case in U.S. history, the organization changed its name to the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network, explains attorney Daniel Horowitz in a motion to dismiss the case filed in federal court in the nation's capital. But that's not the organization that sued over "Muslim Mafia."

A federal judge in Washington issued a restraining order Nov. 3 barring the Gaubtazes from further use or publication of the material – 12,000 pages of documents along with audio and video recordings – and demanding that they return it to the Muslim group's lawyers. But the FBI also has shown interest in the material, stepping in with a warrant Nov. 23 to examine the papers and recordings, apparently as part of its concern about CAIR and its terrorist links to Hamas.

Of course, none of this is newsworthy, according to the rest of the media - including Saudi-friendly Fox.

* A book that exposes a supposed civil-rights organization for Muslims as a terror front.

* A suit filed against the authors that attempts an end-run around the First Amendment.

* The FBI steps in to subpoena the documents before they go back to CAIR under court order.

* Now the defense team shows CAIR has been masquerading not only as a Muslim civil-rights group, but even as a legal corporation in the nation's capital.

Not a story here? Right! Honestly, my expectations are that the rest of the media will continue to bury their heads in the oil-rich Saudi sand, so to speak.


Britons shun PM's roadshow to "define" Britishness

After his government has done its best to destroy all that is traditionally British, this nut thinks he can re-invent it

Gordon Brown’s national roadshow to promote the concept of Britishness has turned out to be an expensive flop. The public, councillors and even ministers have declined to attend events organised to determine if there is a case for a full British Bill of Rights and duties, or a written constitution.

The Conservatives say ten members of the public turned up to the first event in Leicester in December 2007, which cost £37,000 and was hosted by Jack Straw. They say that after that embarrassment, his Ministry of Justice restricted attendance at Governance of Britain events to people selected, and even paid, by the ministry.

They also claim that councillors have increasingly spurned the events. A total of 21 local authority representatives turned up in Leicester, but attendance fell at subsequent events to 11, then 10, 7 and 2. Finally, at an event in Newcastle on November 21 this year no councillors or officials turned up.

Even ministers are understood to have snubbed the roadshow. Nick Brown, the Labour Chief Whip and Minister for the North East, pulled out of last month’s event. Michael Wills, the Justice Minister, who had attended the previous events, also failed to attend.

Eleanor Laing, the Shadow Justice Minister, said: “Since 2007 we have had gimmick after gimmick on what it means to be British . . . Now, the public has spoken: Gordon Brown’s Britishness roadshow is a colossal waste of money. With the public finances in a mess, any plans for an even bigger nationwide non-event should be scrapped now.”

Mr Brown laid out his vision of a Britishness roadshow in his first statement to Parliament as Prime Minister. “It is right to involve the public in a sustained debate,” he said, urging Britons to consider their common values and the case for going farther with a single document codifying the duties and rights of citizens.

Mr Wills hit back yesterday at the Conservatives. “It’s disappointing that they have such little regard for what it means to be British and the importance of this identity in a challenging world,” he said. The total bill for the Britishness events was expected to be less than £1 million, he added.

Labour officials denied that the public had snubbed the events. They claimed that 457 of the 500 people invited to the first five events had attended; and 225 of the 240 invited to return for the reconvened events had done so. They insisted that small payments were the norm in research of this kind, to recognise the time and commitment that participants had given.


British hunters have another win

Judge casts doubt on legality of covert filming by anti-hunt activists

Scores of foxhunters can sit easier in their saddles on the biggest day of the sport’s calendar today after a judge cast doubt on the legality of covert filming by anti-hunt activists. The ruling, in a case that cannot yet be reported, lays down that covert surveillance by third parties must be authorised in line with procedures in the Regulation of Investigating Powers Act (Ripa).

The Home Office says that the Act must be used in accordance with the European Convention on Human Rights. “It also requires, in particular, those authorising the use of covert techniques to give proper consideration to whether their use is necessary and proportionate,” official guidance states. This suggests that the type of speculative surveillance carried out by some organisations and hunt monitors cannot be authorised because it is not necessary or proportionate for the prevention or detection of an offence under the Hunting Act.

The Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) is so anxious that forces may be acting unlawfully that it has asked for advice from the Crown Prosecution Service. Richard Crompton, Chief Constable of Lincolnshire and Acpo’s spokesman on rural affairs, said that until the prosecutors’ guidance had been received, police would continue to accept information from members of the public and third parties if they believed that the Hunting Act had been broken.

Simon Hart, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, however, has written to all chief constables to notify them about the court ruling. He said: “It means that police forces are regularly being presented with evidence unlawfully gathered without authorisation under Ripa. Most examples of covert surveillance we are aware of in relation to hunting could never be authorised whoever was carrying it out as the surveillance was in no way proportionate to what it sought to achieve.”

As more than 300 hunts gather in towns and villages for Boxing Day meetings, the ruling should help to make the mood the most optimistic it has been for years. Enthusiasts are also convinced that this is the last season when the ban on their sport will be in force. The Conservatives have pledged a free vote on repealing the legislation if they win the election.

Julian Barnfield, huntsman with the Heythrop Hunt, in Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, is a frequent target for anti-hunt activists. He said: “To be frank, I am plagued by them. They don’t just film me and the hunt openly and covertly, some are verbally vile.” Four charges against him of illegal hunting have been dropped for lack of evidence. Covert footage was used but Mr Barnfield and his lawyers did not make an issue about the legality of it because they were unaware that there might have been a problem. Mr Barnfield, 46, has raised the issue with David Cameron and said that the Tory leader was sympathetic. “He doesn’t hunt with us any more but he supports us,” he said.


The Illegal-Settlements Myth

The conviction that Jewish settlements in the West Bank are illegal is now so commonly accepted, it hardly seems as though the matter is even open for discussion. But it is. Decades of argument about the issue have obscured the complex nature of the specific legal question about which a supposedly overwhelming verdict of guilty has been rendered against settlement policy. There can be no doubt that this avalanche of negative opinion has been deeply influenced by the settlements’ unpopularity around the world and even within Israel itself. Yet, while one may debate the wisdom of Israeli settlements, the idea that they are imprudent is quite different from branding them as illegal. Indeed, the analysis underlying the conclusion that the settlements violate international law depends entirely on an acceptance of the Palestinian narrative that the West Bank is “Arab” land. Followed to its logical conclusion—as some have done—this narrative precludes the legitimacy of Israel itself.

These arguments date back to the aftermath of the Six-Day War. When Israel went into battle in June 1967, its objective was clear: to remove the Arab military threat to its existence. Following its victory, the Jewish state faced a new challenge: what to do with the territorial fruits of that triumph. While many Israelis assumed that the overwhelming nature of their victory would shock the Arab world into coming to terms with their legitimacy and making peace, they would soon be disabused of this belief. At the end of August 1967, the heads of eight countries, including Egypt, Syria, and Jordan (all of which lost land as the result of their failed policy of confrontation with Israel), met at a summit in Khartoum, Sudan, and agreed to the three principles that were to guide the Arab world’s postwar stands: no peace with Israel, no recognition of Israel, and no negotiations with Israel. Though many Israelis hoped to trade most if not all the conquered lands for peace, they would have no takers. This set the stage for decades of their nation’s control of these territories.

The attachment of Israelis to the newly unified city of Jerusalem led to its quick annexation, and Jewish neighborhoods were planted on its flanks in the hope that this would render unification irrevocable. A similar motivation for returning Jewish life to the West Bank, the place where Jewish history began—albeit one that did not reflect the same strong consensus as that which underpinned the drive to hold on to Jerusalem—led to the fitful process that, over the course of the next several decades, produced numerous Jewish settlements throughout this area for a variety of reasons, including strategic, historical and/or religious considerations. In contrast, settlements created by Israel in the Egyptian Sinai or the Syrian Golan were primarily based initially on the strategic value of the terrain.

Over the course of the years to come, there was little dispute about Egypt’s sovereign right to the Sinai, and it was eventually returned after Nasser’s successor Anwar Sadat broke the Arab consensus and made peace with Israel. Though the rulers of Syria have, to date, preferred the continuance of belligerency to a similar decision to end the conflict, the question of their right to the return of the Golan in the event of peace seems to hinge more on the nature of the regime in Damascus than any dispute about the provenance of Syria’s title to the land.

The question of the legal status of the West Bank, as well as Jerusalem, is not so easily resolved. To understand why this is the case, we must first revisit the history of the region in the 20th century.

Though routinely referred to nowadays as “Palestinian” land, at no point in history has Jerusalem or the West Bank been under Palestinian Arab sovereignty in any sense of the term. For several hundred years leading up to World War I, all of Israel, the Kingdom of Jordan, and the putative state of Palestine were merely provinces of the Ottoman Empire. After British-led Allied troops routed the Turks from the country in 1917-18, the League of Nations blessed Britain’s occupation with a document that gave the British conditional control granted under a mandate. It empowered Britain to facilitate the creation of a “Jewish National Home” while respecting the rights of the native Arab population. British Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill later partitioned the mandate in 1922 and gave the East Bank of the Jordan to his country’s Hashemite Arab allies, who created the Kingdom of Jordan there under British tutelage.

Following World War II, the League of Nations’ successor, the United Nations, voted in November 1947 to partition the remaining portion of the land into Arab and Jewish states. While the Jews accepted partition, the Arabs did not, and after the British decamped in May 1948, Jordan joined with four other Arab countries to invade the fledgling Jewish state on the first day of its existence. Though Israel survived the onslaught, the fighting left the Jordanians in control of what would come to be known as the West Bank as well as approximately half of Jerusalem, including the Old City. Those Jewish communities in the West Bank that had existed prior to the Arab invasion were demolished, as was the Jewish quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem.

After the cease-fire that ended Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, Jordan annexed both the West Bank and East Jerusalem. But, as was the case when Israel annexed those same parts of the ancient city that it would win back 19 years later, the world largely ignored this attempt to legitimize Jordan’s presence. Only Jordan’s allies Britain and Pakistan recognized its claims of sovereignty. After King Hussein’s disastrous decision to ally himself with Egypt’s Nasser during the prelude to June 1967, Jordan was evicted from the lands it had won in 1948.

This left open the question of the sovereign authority over the West Bank. The legal vacuum in which Israel operated in the West Bank after 1967 was exacerbated by Jordan’s subsequent stubborn refusal to engage in talks about the future of these territories. King Hussein was initially deterred from dealing with the issue by the three “no’s” of Khartoum. Soon enough, he was taught a real-world lesson by the Palestine Liberation Organization, which fomented a bloody civil war against him and his regime in 1970. With the open support of Israel, Hussein survived that threat to his throne, but his desire to reduce rather than enlarge the Palestinian population in his kingdom ultimately led him to disavow any further claim to the lands he had lost in 1967. Eventually, this stance was formalized on July 31, 1988.

Thus, if the charge that Israel’s hold on the territories is illegal is based on the charge of theft from its previous owners, Jordan’s own illegitimacy on matters of legal title and its subsequent withdrawal from the fray makes that legal case a losing one. Well before Jordan’s renunciation, Eugene Rostow, former dean of Yale Law School and undersecretary of state for political affairs in 1967 during the Six-Day War, argued that the West Bank should be considered “unallocated territory,” once part of the Ottoman Empire. From this perspective, Israel, rather than simply “a belligerent occupant,” had the status of a “claimant to the territory.”

To Rostow, “Jews have a right to settle in it under the Mandate,” a right he declared to be “unchallengeable as a matter of law.” In accord with these views, Israel has historically characterized the West Bank as “disputed territory” (although some senior government officials have more recently begun to use the term “occupied territory”).

Because neither Great Britain, as the former trustee under the League of Nations mandate, nor the since deceased Ottoman Empire—the former sovereigns prior to the Jordanians—is desirous or capable of standing up as the injured party to put Israel in the dock, we must therefore ask: On what points of law does the case against Israel stand?



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, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.