Wednesday, November 30, 2011

"Family Protection Bill" in Iran protects nothing but the man

Another travesty of human rights in the land of the cobalt-blue glow of civilian nuclear reactors.

From FOXNews November 29 by Amy Kellogg

Agencies Question Need for Iran's Family Protection Bill


Panelists at last week's press conference discuss Iran's Family Protection Bill.

From left: Ann Harrison, Amnesty International; Rouhi Shafii, International

Coalition Against Violence in Iran; Roya Kashefi, Association des Chercheurs

Iraniens; and journalist Masih Alinejad.

The Iranian government calls it the Family Protection Bill, but activists call it the “Anti-Family Protection Bill.”

It would give men the right to take a second wife without the permission of the first, and it would enshrine a man’s right to have an unlimited number of temporary marriages, which can last from 10 minutes to 99 years. Those arrangements come from Shariah law and have always existed in Iran, but the Family Protection Bill would make them official.

Two groups -- the International Coalition Against Violence in Iran, and the Association of Iranian Researchers -- arranged a press conference in London last week to raise awareness of the issue. Amid the upheaval in Iran right now -- the hardship associated with sanctions, and the political strife -- they question why such a law, which has been winding its way through Iran’s government for several years, even needs to be on the table.

Women opposed to the articles in the bill that pertain to polygamy went on a brave and creative odyssey more than a year ago to confront it, traveling around Iran to talk to women whose lives have been adversely affected by their husbands taking second wives.

The women wrote their stories on pieces of cloth; if they were illiterate, they had someone else write them down. Then they sewed the pieces together into a quilt.

The quilt is still in Iran, but a digital image was smuggled out.

“Most of the stories are from around Iran, not from Tehran. They are sad stories,” said Rouhi Shafii of the International Coalition Against Violence in Iran.

Here is a translation of one of the stories:

“A few years after my marriage, my husband started telling me, jokingly, that I looked like an old woman. I was five years younger than he. He began beating me and broke my hands several times. When he talked of taking up another wife, I took it as a joke. He wouldn’t do that, I thought. We have two children. But one day he married a young girl and wanted to get a two story building to bring his bride to live with us. I made him swear on the Koran not to do that, and he took his child bride elsewhere. He forgot about us and spent all his earning enjoying his bride. I was providing for the children by working at people’s homes or hairdressing salons. My younger son says: ‘when I grow up, I will kill my dad.’”

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UN Human Rights High Commissioner in the Maldives should " slain and driven out of the country"

Notice the tolerant and inclusive words of respect after the UN Human Rights commissioner said the Maldives needs to open dialogue on the flogging of women for alleged adultery and the restriction on non-Muslims becoming Maldivian citizens.

"... the religious conservative Adhaalath Party issued a statement on Thursday contending that tenets of Islam and the principles of Shariah were not subject to modification or change through public debate or democratic processes."

Well I guess someone in the Maldives must be an Islamophobe!

From Minivan News November 27 by Ahmed Naish

Islamic Minister, MPs, PPM and religious groups condemn UN Human Rights Commissioner

Statements by visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay calling for a moratorium on flogging as a punishment for fornication and criticising the Muslim-only clause for citizenship in the Maldivian constitution have been widely condemned by religious NGOs, public officials and political parties.

In an address delivered in parliament last Thursday, Pillay said the practice of flogging women found guilty of extra-marital sex “constitutes one of the most inhumane and degrading forms of violence against women, and should have no place in the legal framework of a democratic country.”

The UN human rights chief called for a public debate “on this issue of major concern.” In a press conference later in the day, Pillay called on the judiciary and the executive to issue a moratorium on flogging.

On article 9(d) of the constitution, which states “a non-Muslim may not become a citizen of the Maldives,” Pillay said the provision was “discriminatory and does not comply with international standards.”

Local media widely misreported Pillay as stating during Thursday evening’s press conference that she did not believe the Maldives had a Constitution, which prompted a great deal of public outrage. Her comment, however, was in response to a challenge from Miadhu Editor Gabbe Latheef, who asked “if you believe we have a Constitution, why are you speaking against our Constitution?”

“I don’t believe you have a Constitution, you have a constitution. The constitution conforms in many respects to universally respected human rights. Let me assure you that these human rights conform with Islam,” Pillay said on Minivan News’s recording of the press conference, however her phrasing was widely misinterpreted by the media.

Shortly after Pillay’s speech in parliament, Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari told local media that “a tenet of Islam cannot be changed” and flogging was a hudud punishment prescribed in the Quran (24:2) and “revealed down to us from seven heavens.”

Bari noted that article 10 of the constitution established Islam as “the basis of all the laws of the Maldives” and prohibited the enactment of any law “contrary to any tenet of Islam,” adding that the Maldives has acceded to international conventions with reservations on religious matters such as marriage equality.

In his Friday prayer sermon the following day, Bari asserted that “no international institution or foreign nation” had the right to challenge the practice of Islam and adherence to its tenets in the Maldives.

Meanwhile, the religious conservative Adhaalath Party issued a statement on Thursday contending that tenets of Islam and the principles of Shariah were not subject to modification or change through public debate or democratic processes.

Adhaalath Party suggested that senior government officials invited a foreign dignitary to make statements that they supported but were “hesitant to say in public.”

The party called on President Mohamed Nasheed to condemn Pillay’s statements “at least to show to the people that there is no irreligious agenda of President Nasheed and senior government officials behind this.”

The Adhaalath statement also criticised Speaker Abdulla Shahid and MPs in attendance on Thursday for neither informing Pillay that she “could not make such statements” nor making any attempt to stop her or object to the remarks.

The skin is pretty thin in Islam.

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Salafists and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt win first round of elections

It's official, although they are still finishing counting the ballots. The "moderate" Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists are in control of Egypt.

May God help us all, especially the Copts and other non-Muslims, and including those Muslims seen as "not Muslim enough"

From ANSAmed November 30

Egypt: Muslim Brotherhood in the lead, press

(ANSAmed) - CAIRO - The Muslim Brotherhood are the top party in Egypt according to the first reports by local press outlets. While vote counting continues for the uninominal part of the first post-Mubarak parliamentary elections, indications show that the Freedom and Justice party, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and the Salafi party coalition Al Nour are in the lead in six governorates, according to the daily paper Al Ahram. According to the daily Al Shouruk, Freedom and Justice raked in 47% of the votes while the secular and moderate Egyptian Bloc coalition received 22%. In the first round of voting, which ended yesterday, the residents of nine governorates cast their votes, including those in Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Asyut and Port Said.

Coptic Christians more worried than even over elections

The die have been cast and the winners appear to be the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists. Not good news for Copts, who have been bearing the brunt of Islamic hatred in Egypt for ages. As Egypt moves closer to a solid new government, expect to see an increase in the discrimination against Copts and more violence directed at the "people of the book"

From AINA November 29 by Elizabeth Arrott

Egypt's Coptic Christians Fear Fewer Rights After Elections

Cairo (VOA) -- With Islamist groups expected to do well in Egypt's parliamentary elections, many Coptic Christians are concerned that their limited rights will come under greater threat.

The trash of millions of people collects in Cairo's Garbage City, the narrow lanes filled with plastic, metal, wood - anything the district residents can resell to eke out a living.

The slum, on the outskirts of the capital, is home to a large Coptic Christian community. Many are trash collectors, or zabaleen. And above the squalor is a testament to their faith - the largest Christian church in the Middle East, cut into the hillside that begins the plateau east of Cairo.

For Christians, Egypt is the land revered for sheltering a young Jesus and his family. But it has long been the province of an Islamic majority, a fact that some Coptic Christians say Muslims are quick to point out.

Said, who gives only his first name, says Christians are discriminated against.

He says Coptic Christians do not have the same rights as other people in the country, and that others look down on them as if they are not human. Said says discrimination was institutionalized under the old government, with restrictions on church construction and the ability to change one's faith. The current military government has proved no better, he says, cracking down on a Coptic protest march last month, in a violent night that left 25 people dead.

Now, some Christians say, it can only get worse. The elections that started this week are expected to favor Islamist parties, including the conservative Salafis.

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Self-destruction in Iran

This is the second time in a month where there has been an explosion at one of Iran's nuclear facilities. The official line is that there is nothing to see, move along. Satellite photos show massive damage and billowing smoke. Is it possible the Israelis, along with other participants have managed to do an inside job, maybe the second in 30 days? You be the judge after reading the statement from Israel.

Whatever the reason for the blast, there is cause for joy over this latest setback to the nuclear program of an enemy of the world.

From The Australian November 30 by Sheera Frenkel

A second Iranian nuclear facility has exploded, as diplomatic tensions rise between the West and Tehran

AN IRANIAN nuclear facility has been hit by a huge explosion, the second such blast in a month, prompting speculation that Tehran's military and atomic sites are under attack.

Satellite imagery seen by The Times confirmed that a blast that rocked the city of Isfahan on Monday struck the uranium enrichment facility there, despite denials by Tehran.

The images clearly showed billowing smoke and destruction, negating Iranian claims yesterday that no such explosion had taken place. Israeli intelligence officials told The Times that there was "no doubt" that the blast struck the nuclear facilities at Isfahan and that it was "no accident".

The explosion at Iran's third-largest city came as satellite images emerged of the damage caused by one at a military base outside Tehran two weeks ago that killed about 30 members of the Revolutionary Guard, including General Hassan Moghaddam, the head of the Iranian missile defence program.

Iran claimed that the Tehran explosion occurred during testing on a new weapons system designed to strike at Israel. But several Israeli officials have confirmed that the blast was intentional and part of an effort to target Iran's nuclear weapons program.

On Monday, Isfahan residents reported a blast that shook tower blocks in the city at about 2.40pm and seeing a cloud of smoke rising over the nuclear facility on the edge of the city.

"This caused damage to the facilities in Isfahan, particularly to the elements we believe were involved in storage of raw materials," said one military intelligence source.

He would not confirm or deny Israel's involvement in the blast, instead saying that there were "many different parties looking to sabotage, stop or coerce Iran into stopping its nuclear weapons program".

Iran went into frantic denial yesterday as news of the explosion at Isfahan emerged. Alireza Zaker-Isfahani, the city's governor, claimed that the blast had been caused by a military exercise in the area but state-owned agencies in Tehran soon removed this story and issued a government denial that any explosion had taken place at all.

On Monday, Dan Meridor. the Israeli Intelligence Minister, said: "There are countries who impose economic sanctions and there are countries who act in other ways in dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat."

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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Threats of kidnappings in North Africa; thanks Al-Qaeda!

More sabre-rattling from Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.

From AKI November 29

Terror: Al-Qaeda 'planning N. Africa kidnapping wave of Westerners'

Algiers, 29 Nov. (AKI) - Algeria's secret service agency believes a branch of Al-Qaeda is planning a wave of abductions of Westerners in North Africa, according to a local news report.

The Department of Investigation and Security, or DRS, has informed its neighbours in the Sahel region that Al-Qaeda Organization in the Islamic Maghreb has a plan to kidnap Westerners in the Sahel, according to a report in Algerian daily el-Khabar.

Sahel the countries bordering Saharan and sub-Saharan Africa: parts of the territory of Senegal, southern Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Algeria, Niger, northern Nigeria, Chad, Sudan, northern Ethiopia and Eritrea.

The next kidnappings were slated to be carried out by Mauritanian terrorists.

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Dozens of Christians murdered in Nigeria as the jihad rolls on

45 dead Christians and Obama says nothing. 45 dead Christians and liberals say nothing. 45 dead Christians and religious leaders in the U.S. say nothing.

How many more do you want before you'll notice?

From Compass Direct News November 28

At Least 45 Christians Killed in Plateau State, Nigeria

Charred interior of Christian-owned home burned by Muslim assailants in Barkin Ladi, Plateau state.
Remains of a Christian house in Nigeria

Fulani Muslim herdsmen along with Muslim soldiers have killed at least 45 ethnic Berom Christians in Plateau state in the past week, Christians in this northern-central Nigerian town said.

Smaller attacks beginning on Nov. 20, reportedly over allegations by Fulani Muslims of cattle theft, preceded an attack on a Barkin Ladi church on Nov. 23 that killed four Christians, and an assault the next day left 35 Christians dead in Barkin Ladi and nearby Kwok village, according to area Christian leaders.

Church attendance was decimated yesterday as thousands of Christians have left the area.

“Christians are fleeing the town because we have no guns to fight back,” said one woman in a group of six Christians trying to leave Barkin Ladi. “Muslims have guns, and they have their soldiers fighting for them, so we have no choice but to leave town.”

Almost all churches in the town cancelled or held reduced worship services on the first Sunday (Nov. 27) after the crisis was contained, as nearly all area Christians have fled to Jos or have left Plateau state, long hit by ethnic property conflicts fueled by anti-Christian sentiment. In March 2010 ethnic Berom Christians, who live as farmers, suffered attacks from Fulani nomads who graze their cattle on the Beroms’ land, resulting in hundreds of deaths in three villages near Jos.

In the attack on Thursday (Nov. 24), the Fulani Muslims were shouting “Allahu Akbar [God is greater],” said farmer Choji Pamjamo, 51.

“On Thursday at about 9 a.m., the Muslims’ call to prayer was made at the Izala [Islamic sect] mosque,” Pamjamo said. “And shortly after that, we saw hundreds of armed Muslims invading the town from all directions, attacking and killing Christians. They were shouting ‘Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar, Allahu akbar,’ as they were burning properties belonging to Christians.”

Pamjamo confirmed Christian leaders’ account of an attack on a Church of Christ of Nigeria (COCIN) congregation in the Sabon Layi (Rantya) area of Barkin Ladi the previous night (Nov. 23), saying that among the four Christians killed was Bible teacher Yakubu Pam.

David Gyang, 51, an elder at the COCIN Barkin Ladi church, said Muslims set off a religious crisis by attacking Christians at the church site on Wednesday night (Nov. 23) and then launching a major offensive the next morning.

“Some of the Christian victims in this attack that I know include a Christian police officer, one Mr. Bulus, who is the station officer of the Barkin Ladi police station,” Gyang said. “He was inside his house on that day, and these Muslims broke the walls of his room and went inside to kill him and his son. A second Christian victim is Solomon Pam. He was attacked and had his hand broken.”

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Gyang lamented that Muslim soldiers brought to town to restore order joined their fellow Muslims in killing and maiming Christians.

“Muslims soldiers took sides with their fellow Muslims and were shooting and killing Christians,” he said. “They also had soldiers guarding mosques in the town, but none was sent to watch over our churches, and that is the reason Muslims were able to burn the Baptist church in the town.”

The COCIN church in Barkin Ladi had an average Sunday service attendance of about 1,200 people, but yesterday only 50 showed up, he said.

“We could not go on with the worship but held a prayer meeting, and then our pastor left to Kwok village for the burial of the 26 killed there,” he said.

Sources told Compass that along with the 26 Christians killed in Kwok village, nine others were killed in the attack on Barkin Ladi on Thursday (Nov. 24). Compass found that the area attacks on Christians began Nov. 20, the day of the alleged cattle theft, with the killing of three Christians outside Barkin Ladi, and then two Christians in the town were killed on Nov. 21.

The next day, a Christian was beheaded behind a popular hotel in Barkin Ladi known as the White House, sources said. The attack on the COCIN church ensued the following evening.

Al-Shabaab kicks 16 relief agencies out of Somalia

They are trying to convert young Muslims away from Islam and they have a political agenda. Al-Shabaab can control the population by getting rid of those NGO's that stand in it's way of implementing sharia, and trumping up accusations is just par for the course..

From the BBC November 28

Somalia's al-Shabab militants close UN aid offices

Al-Shabab fighters have closed down several aid agencies working in famine-hit Somalia, including some from the UN, accusing them of political bias.

Militants stormed aid offices in the towns of Baidoa and Beledweyne, which like many southern areas are controlled by al-Shabab, witnesses say.

Al-Shabab has long restricted the work of international aid groups but on Monday banned 16 groups outright.

Years of conflict mean Somalia is worst hit by the East African drought.

The lack of rain is said to be the worst in 60 years.

The list of groups banned outright included the United Nations children's agency, Unicef, and other UN bodies, the British charity Concern and groups from Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden.

Unicef spokesman Jaya Murthy told the BBC a group of men, suspected to belong to al-Shabab, occupied their offices in Baidoa and ordered staff to leave.

"They just said they [Unicef staff] should go home immediately and our office is now their office," Mr Murthy told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme.

The al-Shabab statement accused the groups of exaggerating the scale of the problemsin Somalia for political reasons and to raise money.

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Trying to recapture their youth from 1979

The British embassy in Tehran was breached by Iranians protesting the new rounds of sanctions against it, specifically the sanction by Britain which will effectively cut Iran off from any international banking or finance. I say great, let them create and run a sharia-compliant financial sector within their Islamic neighbors and use that for their spending money. Problem solved.

The fact that Iranians got into the compound, ransacked parts of it and managed to tear down the English union jack and replace it with their own Islamic flag shows just how much respect Iran has towards countries which they see as their enemies. Why have an embassy in the first place when there is no true and honest respect from one side? This is madness, and a madness which will get innocents killed.

From CNN November 29

UK condemns embassy incursion in Iran

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- Britain condemned Iran for allowing protesters to storm its embassy and a separate diplomatic compound in Tehran on Tuesday, warning there will be "serious consequences" as a result.

The incursion happened after about 1,000 people gathered near the embassy to demand that the British ambassador be sent home immediately. The rally began quietly, but some participants then stormed the building, breaking down the door, throwing around papers and replacing the British flag with an Iranian one.

A CNN producer saw protesters -- identified as students in state news outlets -- throwing stones at the embassy's windows. They scuffled with and overwhelmed police at the embassy gate and around the compound.

British Prime Minister David Cameron described the incursion as "outrageous and indefensible" and demanded that Iran immediately ensure the safety of all British Embassy personnel.

Iranian security forces are responsible for guarding the embassy under international law, he said.

"The failure of the Iranian government to defend British staff and property was a disgrace," he said. He called on Iran's government to guarantee the safety of embassy staff, return property seized in the fracas and prosecute those responsible.

"The Iranian government must recognize that there will be serious consequences for failing to protect our staff," Cameron said. "We will consider what these measures should be in the coming days."

By Tuesday evening, the protesters had been cleared from both sites by police, the semi-official Fars news agency reported. Police arrested 12 students as they left the diplomatic compound, called Gholhak Garden, the news agency said.

British diplomats and their families and Iranian families who work for the British Embassy live at Gholak Garden, in northern Tehran. Foreign Secretary William Hague said the "irresponsible action" had put the safety of diplomats and their families at risk and caused extensive damage to embassy property.

He had spoken to his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, Tuesday to "protest in the strongest terms," he said.

"While he said that he was sorry for what had happened and that action would be taken in response, this remains a very serious failure by the Iranian government," Hague said. "Clearly there will be other, further, and serious consequences."

Wait for another, even more strongly worded memo soon.

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CAIR goes after anti-jihad website; FBI may investigate

There are many anti-jihadists and anti-jihad blogs, this one being part of that group. All of us do this because we want to protect our freedoms and liberties from jihad and sharia, while upholding those rights for all, including Muslims. Being anti-jihad is not being anti-Muslim, although many will continue to try and smear us with that label. I have been personally threatened and have been told to watch my back, Hamas-linked CAIR as well used its Islamist powers to have me fired from my local college for daring to instruct on Islam. This blog is not immune from what has happened to Bare Naked Islam and I expect one day to go through the same demonization and law enforcement scrutiny. Until that time, we are all brothers in arms, and your support of BNI, as you support Islam Today Oregon is vital in defeating Islamic hegemony and their goons in the trenches such as Hamas-linked CAIR.

God speed, BNI, we are with you.

From The Washington Post November 25

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — A Muslim civil rights group on Friday asked the FBI to investigate a series of threatening posts on an anti-Islam website.

The threats posted by visitors to the Bare Naked Islam website include a post from one person who urges Christians to “kill every Muslim twice” and mentions that he routinely drives by a specific northern Virginia mosque. Another recommends blowing up mosques.

In making the request, Council for American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the Internet is replete with hateful commentary about Muslims. But he said these comments differ because they routinely contain explicit calls for violence.

“The Internet is a cesspool of bigoted speech, but this is something else entirely,” Hooper said.

The Bare Naked Islam site depicts flames superimposed over a mosque and declares: “It isn’t Islamophobia when they really ARE trying to kill you.” In an email, the site’s author, who identified herself as a New York City resident named Bonni, said she tries to delete comments that call for genocide against Muslims. But she said she does not consider a threat to be explicit unless it targets a specific individual.

“Wishing for all mosques to be blown up is not a threat in my opinion. Certainly not any different than you see all over the signs at Occupy Wall Street where they call for the killing of all bankers and Jews. Nobody stops them and the media defend those threats as Free Speech...

Yes, Bonnie but do you really think anyone in power will see the hypocrisy of their own words?

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How many Islamists does it take to create a new constitution?

250 would be right. In Libya, 250 Imams and other Islamic religious leaders demanded the new constitution reflect the will of Allah and enshrine Islam and sharia as the only law of the land.

Of course this gathering of 250 also said that there version would be a "moderate" form of Islam and sharia so not to worry.

Uh huh, anybody want a bridge, slightly used?

From AP/Yahoo November 28

Islamists want new Libya based on Shariah law

TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — Dozens of Libyan imams and other religious leaders have demanded the country's constitution be based on Islamic Shariah law and have also urged the transitional

government to get weapons out of the hands of former rebels.

Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, chairman of the National Transitional Council, said last month that Shariah law would be the main source of legislation in the new Libya.

But he stressed it would reflect a moderate Islam. Other leaders said the matter is still to be decided.

The 250 Muslim leaders met in Tripoli on Monday for a conference organized by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs. They were seeking a common voice on pressing issues for Libya.

They urged leaders to deal with tribal tensions and disarm the ex-rebels who toppled Moammar Gadhafi, calling them "mujahedeen."

FGM; Don't talk, Don't help

What is it about Islam where they cut their women in order to please the man? The practice is found in other cultures but is predominate within Islamic countries. It should not be predominate in non-Islamic countries, however it is becoming that in England. Every year, 3,500 young girls suffer the indignity of having their clitoris removed, and anyone who complains is a dirty Islamophobe. Wait, do I hear the Arab countries, Western feminists and the liberal media combining forces to help rescue these victims of Islamic ideology?


From The London Evening Standard November 28 by Anna Davis

3,500 girls are at risk of mutilation in the capital

More than three thousand London girls are at risk of genital mutilation every year, experts warned today.

The report by black and ethnic minority women's organisation Imkaan found that in the city 3,500 baby girls are born every year to mothers who have suffered female genital mutilation, and therefore are at risk themselves. This is an increase of 65 per cent in 10 years.

Only one thing can be traced to this obscene rise in FGM; immigration from Arab countries.

Imkaan is calling for all school teachers to be trained to help girls who are facing violence and is calling on David Cameron to tackle the issue.

Marai Larasi, director of Imkaan, said: "It is not acceptable that in 2011 many girls and women living in Britain face extreme, violent threats to their safety and even to their lives. These issues are neglected because of fears of being labelled at best culturally insensitive and at worst racist.

One could be accused of a "hate crime" by any Muslim who feels their "culture" is being threatened by questioning a tenet of Islam.

"There would be outrage and a national scandal if this were happening to little white girls. Every girl should be protected, no matter her background."


The report's authors said girls from African families, as well as Afghan, Turkish, South Asian, Kurdish, Arab and Irish traveller families are among those who could be at risk...

Uh, the Irish? Unless they are referencing Muslims from Ireland this makes no sense.

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Monday, November 28, 2011

Something new; jihad in the Philippines

Not really that new, although this kind of attack is unusual in that tourists have not been targeted in two years, and that last attack happened at the same hotel. This time the victims were celebrating a wedding and didn't know what hit them.

The method may change slightly but the message stays the same.

From MSNBC November 28

Wedding tragedy: Hotel bomb kills 3, wounds dozens in Philippines

Suspected Islamic militants detonated a powerful bomb that killed at least three people and wounded 27 others in a budget hotel packed with wedding guests in the southern Philippines, officials said Monday.

Investigators believe the blast and ensuing fire that gutted the two-story Atilano Pension House in downtown Zamboanga City late Sunday was a terrorist strike and that it was not linked to the wedding, city police director Edwin de Ocampo said.

Still, many of the victims were from a group of more than 20 people who occupied six of the hotel's 35 rooms for a planned ceremony Monday.

Citing witnesses, the BBC reported that the explosion destroyed the upper levels of the hotel.

"We should not show that we're panicking because that is what these troublemakers relish to see," Zamboanga Mayor Celso Lobregat told The Associated Press by telephone. "We have good leads. We will get all of them."

Good luck with that, Lobregat.

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Iran says bu-bye to British ambassador

Angry at possible crippling sanctions against them, Iran votes to expel the ambassador from Britain. Not unexpectedly, Britain responds with the most polite of replies "...we will respond robustly in consultation with our international partners."

Translation to American English, "We will get together and complain loudly, maybe write a strongly worded memo, but that's about it for now"

From The Telegraph November 27 by Adrian Blomfield

Tehran votes to expel Britain's ambassador

Dominic Chilcott, who took up the position of ambassador just a month ago, could be forced to leave the country within weeks after a motion to downgrade Iran's diplomatic ties with Britain was passed overwhelmingly by the Islamist republic's parliament.

The step was taken after Britain, Canada and the United States announced fresh sanctions against Iran last week in the wake of a report by UN weapons inspectors which provided the most compelling case yet that Tehran is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

Britain was singled out, however, after it became the first state to impose direct sanctions on Iran's central bank. Financial institutions in the City were also banned from doing business with their Iranian counterparts.

Despite pressure from Israel, Washington has baulked at following suit, arguing that such a step would cause deep financial pain for ordinary Iranians and could cause the price of oil to soar. If its central bank faced widespread international sanctions, Iran would find it virtually impossible to import and export oil, food and other commodities except on the black market.

It is the first time in the UK's postwar history that Britain has imposed a total boycott on the entire banking industry of a foreign state.

Iranian MPs were incandescent in their fury towards Britain, known by many in Iran as "the Old Fox". After announcing that the motion had been carried by 171 votes to three, Ali Larijani, the hawkish speaker, warned that even tougher penalties would be imposed on Britain, saying: "this is just the beginning of the road."

The resolution, which declared the British government to be "worse than the devil", must now be approved by Iran's Guardian Council. It is unlikely that the body's spiritual elders, whose main role is to ensure that legislation cannot be deemed un-Islamic, would block the move.

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"This is supposed to be a Christian country, but the law seems to be on the side of the Muslims."

Yes, Mrs. Halawi you are absolutely correct. A Christian country doesn't mean the same as it did a few decades ago, and the reasons are exemplified in the experience you just had. You cannot talk about Islam or Muslims in any way other than glowing; to do so invites the kind of retaliation being heaped on Mrs. Halawi. The burden of the accusation rests solely on the shoulders of the Muslim, they can say they are offended by anything said, and it is taken at face value, particularly when it is directed against Christians.

There is growing hatred for those seen as inhibiting the spread of Islam, and as the intolerance of anything non-Muslim grows, so will the accusations against Christians. England, indeed all of Europe is withering under the onslaught of Islamic hegemony and Mrs. Halawi's case is a symptom of a much more malignant disease.

From The Telegraph November 27 by Jonathan Wynne-Jones

Christian worker loses her job after being 'targeted' by Islamic extremists

Nohad Halawi, who worked at Heathrow Airport, is suing her former employers for unfair dismissal, claiming that she and other Christian staff at the airport were victims of systematic harassment because of their religion.

Wait, I thought that only Muslims could be harassed because of their religion. After all, the MSM tells us this is so and they never lie about Islam.

She claims that she was told that she would go to Hell for her religion, that Jews were responsible for the September 11th terror attacks, and that a friend was reduced to tears having been bullied for wearing a cross.

Mrs Halawi, who came to Britain from Lebanon in 1977, worked in the duty-free section as a perfume saleswoman of the airport for 13 years but was dismissed in July.

Her case is being supported by the Christian Legal Centre, who say it raises important legal issues and also questions over whether Muslims and Christians are treated differently by employers.

It comes amid growing concern among some Christians that their faith is being marginalised and follows calls from Lord Carey, the former Archbishop of Canterbury, for Christians to be given greater legal protection in the wake of a series of cases where they have been disciplined or dismissed for practising their faith.It also raises further questions over race relations at Heathrow Airport.

Last week, Arieh Zucker, a Jewish businessman, complained that he has been repeatedly singled out for full-body scans by Muslim security staff at the airport.

The 41-year-old mortgage broker from London has accused them of "race hate" and is threatening to sue for racial discrimination after being made to "feel like a criminal" while being scanned.

Mrs Halawi's case centres on whether she was treated unfairly when she lost her job in World Duty Free in Terminal 3 after she spoke out over what she described as bullying and intimidation by her Muslim colleagues of her and other Christians.

She said that she was the subject of a complaint by an Islamic colleague which was specious and that when she raised her own concerns as a Christian, she was the one who was dismissed.

Now she is distraught at losing her job on allegations made by what she describes as a small group of "extremist" Muslims.

Mrs Halawi, 47, said: "I have been sacked on the basis of unsubstantiated complaints so there is now great fear amongst my former colleagues that the same could happen to them if one of the Muslims turns on them.

"This is supposed to be a Christian country, but the law seems to be on the side of the Muslims."

A mother of two, she says that she had always got on well with her Muslim colleagues and relations between staff of different faiths had been good in the past, but that the atmosphere became increasingly uncomfortable with a growing number of employees espousing "fundamentalist Islam".

She says they harassed Christians at work by making fun of them for wearing crosses, ridiculing Jesus and telling them they would go to Hell if they did not convert to Islam.

"One man brought in the Koran to work and insisted I read it and another brought in Islamic leaflets and handed them out to other employees," she said.

That is called Da'wa and it is the same as preaching to convert.

"They said that 9/11 served the Americans right and that they hated the West, but that they had come here because they want to convert people to Islam.

Uh, yeah.

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