This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

This Candidate (for resident status) Demonstrates An Inability To Adapt

"This was very nasty [physical attack]. You are now in Canada. We do not place restrictions on the way that women live here, unlike in some other countries."
"Just because you think that someone has displayed bad manners, getting into a fight is no remedy for that."
Judge Kirk MacDonald, provincial court, Edmonton
The Edmonton courthourse
Ed Kaiser/Edmonton Journal   The Edmonton courthouse

It surely isn't going too far to conclude from this stunning tale of a clash of cultures and religious ideology reflecting yet another instance when a man from a patriarchal culture has demonstrated his incapacity to adjust to a welcoming country's social and cultural values, that this judge suspended judgement beyond what the action that took place on November 6, 2015 warranted.

The man, Aadel Moradi, 39 years of age, had emigrated from Iran to Canada fifteen years earlier. In that period of time, demonstrating his unwillingness or/and inability to integrate into Canadian culture and accept the social values of his new country more than cried out for him to receive the full brunt of the law for his criminal offence. This is one individual; his Iranian heritage is only part of the problem; enlightened Iranian men would likely condemn his behaviour.

Instead, Justice MacDonald, who even commented that in his opinion it was "very sad" that the accused was incapable of identifying and honouring Canadian social mores, decided to place the man on an 18-month probationary period, after he had, through his lawyer, pleaded guilty to assault. Had the assaulter been anyone other than an Iranian immigrant, the full legal penalty of his actions would have fallen upon him.

In fact, it wasn't only the judge that relented, deciding to handle this display of contempt for Canadian values with kid gloves. He, it appears, conceded to a joint submission by the Crown and defence lawyers, who between them decided that the man's violently offensive actions should receive a lesser penalty than the jail sentence the judge had originally considered.

As Crown prosecutor Bethan Franklyn informed the court, Mr. Moradi and his wife had been accosted by a co-worker of the wife, who had noted their presence in the mall, and simply wanted to say a bright 'hi there!' to someone he regularly interacts with at their place of employment. This happened in late October. Mr. Moradi responded by indignantly asking how the man knew his wife.

He then ordered the man not to speak with his wife. And on November 6, Mr. Moradi accompanied his wife to the office in downtown Edmonton where she worked, requesting an audience with the human resources personnel to discuss the mall incident. He eventually spoke with Ross Undershute, chief executive of the health consulting organization, ordering him: "No men are allowed to speak to his wife, and she can't speak to any men".

When Mr. Undershute explained that this would be an impossible state of affairs in a working environment, the husband refused to leave the premises and asked to do so, and became abusive. He "clawed and scratched" Mr. Undershute's face, spat at him, and attempted to kick, knee, slap and bite Mr. Undershute, who suffered scratches to his nose and lips.

Lawyer Rob Shaigec informed the court that his client had been offended by his wife's co-worker's public approach, speaking to his wife without first introducing himself to his wife's husband, presumably to seek permission to do so, for based on his culture and upbringing this scenario represented a social misdemeanor. This, of a man who had lived one-third of his life in Canada.

Little wonder the couple, parents of a six-year-old boy, has since separated. Mr. Moradi's wife may yet be flexible enough to adapt successfully to Canadian social mores of equality and decency, and be able to raise their son in a milieu that will be conducive to his becoming a credit to the country. As for Mr. Moradi, one of the conditions of his probation is that he take an anger management course, and perform 50 hours of community service.

He is furthermore, forbidden from approaching his wife's office and nor may he make any contact with Mr. Undershute as well as three others of his wife's co-workers. It is this man's controlling pathology that led him to ventilate his rage that other men had dared to impinge on his perceived ownership of his wife; blaming the culture is only a part of the problem although the culture entitles men to believe that absolute control of women is a divine right.

But not in Canada.

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Friday, August 26, 2016

Facing Jihadi Threats in Canada

"[ISIL and al-Qaeda] continue to appeal to certain individuals in Canada." 
"[While some Islamists promote violence online and radicalize their peers, recruit and fundraise] others may consider travelling abroad to join a terrorist group or conduct terrorist attacks themselves."
"[By the conclusion of 2015, roughly 180] individuals with a nexus to Canada [were suspected of being involved in terrorist activities abroad, an increase from 140 the year before]."
"[Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group under Iran's tutelage] remains one of the world's most capable terrorist groups."
"Hezbollah has networks around the world, including in Canada, and uses the networks for recruitment, fundraising and procurement. Hezbollah terrorist operations abroad represent a threat to Canadian interests."
2015 Public Report on the Terrorist Threat to Canada

"Canadians can be assured that the RCMP is carefully monitoring these individuals who have returned to Canada as it is a top priority."
"[Government is making use of] a number of tools [inclusive of passport revocation]."
Scott Bardsley, press secretary, Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale

"It's tremendously difficult to collect credible evidence that would satisfy a Canadian court for prosecution."
"Nobody likes to lose a case, but federal prosecutors seem to be loathe to do anything but an open and shut, iron case."
Larry Brooks, former Canadian Security Intelligence Service counter-terrorism official 

"Canada is fundamentally a safe and peaceful nation, but we are not naive about the security issues that dominate the world's attention."
"[Canada's threat level stands at medium; an attack] could occur."
Ralph Goodale, Public Safety Minister

At least two terrorist groups out of the Middle East, both of which, Hezbollah and Hamas, are registered on Canada's list of terrorists, have had a long, infiltrated presence in Canada. What's more they have a surprising level of support among Arab-Canadian Muslims. Flags symbolic of both terrorist groups show up unfailingly at various Muslim-Arab-initiated protests, despite the outlawed status of the two groups.

A new report just released by Canada's public safety minister outlines Canada's "principal terrorist threat", and directly identifies both Islamic State and al-Qaeda, but also identifies Hamas and Hezbollah. Obviously, these groups have reason to feel they can operate within Canada, to recruit and to fundraise without fear of detection, much less repercussion. Canada's intelligence agencies know of their existence and where they pose potential threats but it seems in the interests of not offending the groups among whom they have support, little is done about their presence.

Of those Canadian Muslims who have exited Canada to travel to Islamic 'places of peace', which is Islamspeak for Muslim countries, and those countries engaged in violent jihad, a good many have returned to Canada after their fighting sojourns abroad. Those in the 'extremist travellers' category number 20 percent women who serve as 'brides' for the jihadis, and become trained in fighting as well. Some go abroad with their children in tow.

And some of those children are indoctrinated into conflict themselves, as Islamist-celebrated 'lion cubs' of Islamic State, of Hamas, of Hezbollah who provide the children with miniature-sized uniforms and teach them how to shoot guns, accustoming them to bloodshed initially through the videos of conflict and beheadings, occasionally allowing the children to star in their own roles as executioners.

The report mentioned the manner in which authorities handle jihadi returnees to Canada once their overseas terrorism experiences are behind them. An estimated 60 jihadis have left Syria to reenter Canada, with newfound skills in the craft of terror-conflict, and they set out to indoctrinate, to recruit, to increase the membership of Canadian Muslim men and women eager to become part of the new reality in Islamist jihad.

Where investigative, intelligence and policing authorities come up against a brick wall is providing satisfactory proof of a legal nature acceptable to a Canadian judge that someone with Canadian citizenship had engaged themselves in terrorism in a foreign country where terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIL have their base of action.

Thus far in this tense atmosphere of Islamist terrorism, twenty Canadians have been convicted of offences relating to terrorism in the past dozen years with another 21 having been charged and either awaiting trial or being situated on outstanding warrants. The latest such threat, unrecognized until the 11th hour that he was a threat to Canada, was neutralized by police, on the cusp of his plans to use an explosives vest in a busy shopping mall.

Aaron Driver switches off his video camera in a screen capture of a recording seen during a press conference for what the RCMP are calling a terrorism incident, in Strathroy, Ontario on Thursday, Aug. 11.
THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang    Aaron Driver switches off his video camera in a screen capture of a recording seen during a press conference for what the RCMP are calling a terrorism incident, in Strathroy, Ontario on Thursday, Aug. 11.

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"It Was Apocalyptic"

"We came out to the piazza, and it looked like Dante's Inferno."
"People crying for help, help. Rescue workers arrived after one hour ... one and a half hours.
Agostino Severo, Illica, epicentre of quake

"It was very, very violent and absolutely terrifying. I don't even know how to describe the sound."
"I managed to get out of my house but my pharmacy is destroyed."
Mauro Massimiliano, 49, Amatrice, Italy
An 8-year-old girl is rescued from the debris of a collapsed building in Pescara del Tronto.
The scene was captured on video by CNN affiliate Sky TG24.

The 6,2 Richter-scale magnitude tremblor that hit heritage medieval towns gracing the hilltops of Italy in the middle of the Apennine Mountains struck so early on Wednesday morning that sleeping residents of the towns hardly knew what hit them. They would have suspected an earthquake, since only seven years earlier one such tremblor destroyed a nearby town, as the latest one did their own. It is now known that 250 people did not survive the wreckage that became their beautiful towns' destruction.

Imagine the myriad of such scenes; a woman seated before a destroyed home, blanket covering her shoulders, in the shock of the aftermath, not knowing where her family members were, but suspecting they were all dead from the catastrophic earth movement. "It was one of the most beautiful towns of Italy and now there's nothing left. I don't know what we'll do", she said, distraught at the magnitude of the changes that had suddenly transformed her life.

A woman rests in the courtyard of a convent in Amatrice on Friday, August 26, two days after a 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy. Hundreds of people have been killed, and the death toll is expected to rise as rescue teams reach remote areas.
CNN -- A woman sits in front of a destroyed convent.
About 300 people had been killed after a huge earthquake struck L'Aquila; now seven years later nearby Amatrice has suffered the same fate, along with surrounding villages in the central regions of Umbria, Lazio and Marche. Rescue workers were using sniffer dogs in attempts to detect signs of life, people still alive under the rubble, whom they could focus on rescuing.

The government has mobilized an all-out rescue with convoys of army trucks, of bulldozers, of ambulances and flatbed trucks driving the narrow, hazardous mountain roads. An appeal for people to donate blood went out nation-wide. Everything in the villages hit is covered with a fine white dust, vehicles sit crushed under masonry, many houses were sliced into portions, while other parts were left standing, interiors exposed to view.

Rescue workers from Italy's alpine rescue service accustomed to working in caves and on mountainsides, dug frantically through the huge rubble piles with their hands any time a suspected victim was detected, in hopes of saving yet another survivor. Injured people being carried away on stretchers were wrapped in blankets and bedspreads, the coverings that they were evacuated with from the beds they were in when the quake struck.

A man leans on a wall in Pescara del Tronto.
CNN -- A man leans on a well, in Pescara del Tronto

"There are many people still under the rubble. It's very dangerous work digging into the wreckage -- especially if there are more aftershocks", cautioned a police officer. "I was sleeping but suddenly heard this strange noise. I woke up and saw that everything was destroyed", Marianna, a nun helping to care for elderly people staying at the convent of the Most Holy Crucifix, said. Two other nuns were rescued by a pair of forest rangers: "They performed a very heroic act, they risked their lives. I'm sure God will reward them", said sister Marianna.

"Listen, I know it's not nice to say but if you need to pee you just do it", a ranger said comfortingly to an 80-year-old woman awaiting rescue from under the debris of her home, knowing it would take a little more time to effect her rescue. She was eventually rescued, but her 47-year-old daughter hadn't survived the quake. "It's totally collapsed, there's nothing left", said a man whose wife was weeping on his shoulder, viewing the ruins of their home.

An aerial view shows the damage in the village of Saletta on August 26. Strong aftershocks in the region have rattled residents and emergency crews.
An aerial view shows the damage in the village of Saletta on August 26. CNN

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

Obama, Leading The Way To Peace

Looking for help.  Photographer: Getty Images/Getty Images

"The Agency [CIA] has contingency plans for supporting democratic uprisings anywhere in the world. This includes providing dissidents with communications, money, and in extreme cases even arms. But in this case [Syria], the White House ordered it to stand down."
"[At the beginning of the (nuclear) talks in 2013, the U.S. position was for Iran to dismantle much of its nuclear infrastructure but by the end of the talks in 2015, Secretary of State John Kerry and his team] agreed that Iran would then be allowed to build an industrial-scale nuclear program, with hundreds of thousands of machines, after a ten year period of restraint."
"The Revolutionary Guard continues to develop increasingly sophisticated weapons systems, including ballistic missiles inscribed with threats against Israel on their nose cones. Khamenei and other revolutionary leaders, meanwhile, fine-tune their rhetorical attacks against the United States, seeming to need the American threat to justify their existence."
Jay Solomon, The Iran Wars
Barack Obama began his presidency with the clearly stated intention of altering the state of American relations with the Middle East, the Arab and Muslim world, to present the United States as a friend, not an opportunistic oppressor, and to gain or regain trust that was ostensibly lost when his predecessor invaded Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein, gaining the hostility of countries other than Israel by the process. His intention was made known publicly; the world was invited to witness diplomacy at the highest level in action.

Of course, when the senior Bush's administration entered Iraq to restore sovereignty to Kuwait, the coalition that challenged Iraq to withdraw from Kuwait included Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates. There was no resentment then at American intervention in Arab/Muslim affairs. American support for the Shah of Iran earned the United States the undying enmity of the Ayatollahs who deposed the Shah and transformed Iran into the Islamist state -- with malevolent intentions toward its neighbours and the West -- that it has since become.

One of the first international overtures expressed by the newly-elected Barack Obama to the presidency of the United States was to state his intention to extend an open hand in greeting as a friend, to the Islamic Republic of Iran. This, before the new president even travelled to Egypt to extend his friendship to the Muslim world. Ayatollah Khomeini was pleased to respond to that gesture with a clenched fist which has never since, by his successor opened to resemble an open hand, following through on Khomeini's grand plan to dominate the Middle East and remain at crossed scimitars with the West.

When Iran's Greens comprised of the regime's opponents, Western-oriented liberal-minded Iranians staged a massive protest against the confining strictures of the Ayatollahs they fully expected that the United States would render encouragement and even practical assistance of some kind, but none of that ever materialized. The Obama administration preferred to look the other way. And it has continued that manner of disengagement in the Middle East; it betrayed its long-time regional ally, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and supported his successor the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohammad Morsi.

And when Syrian Sunnis held their protests against the Baathist Shiite regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the preference of the Obama administration was to continue to look the other way. No encouragement was forthcoming from the United States which had, under the second (G.W.) Bush administration continually expressed its wish to help the Arab/Muslim Middle East on its road to democracy. The all-out war that Assad launched on the protesters guaranteed a civil war would result, and as the country disintegrated into factions, foreign Islamist fighters infiltrated.

Bashar al-Assad has enjoyed five years of punishing push-back against Sunni Syrians, depriving almost a half-million of them, men, women, children and the elderly, of their lives. The country's infrastructure lies in ruins. Of the 22-million Syrians that comprised the population, half have become displaced, four and a half million of them refugees, over one-quarter of whom have invaded Europe looking for an exit from hell.

In Gouta three years ago, Assad launched a sarin gas attack killing 1,300 Sunni Syrians by asphyxiation. This event caught President Obama's attention since he had warned Assad to avoid the criminal excesses of chemical warfare. But the threat he had issued was never acted upon and even though in concert with Moscow, Washington went through the theatrical charade of having Assad declare all his chemical weapons assets to be destroyed, not all were revealed.

So that napalm is now being packed into the barrel bombs previously just packed with shrapnel, to make a more effective killing machine; the shrapnel, if it doesn't kill often results in massive wounds' with the napalm added, Assad's 'terrorist enemies' can be shredded and their flesh burned, all in one fell swoop and that's efficiency in killing for you. Those deadly barrel bombs have been falling on the civilians living in Syrian neighbourhoods in Aleppo and elsewhere at the rate of 220 weekly.

If verification was needed beyond the claims of the victims and the medical personnel examining them, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons' investigators have detected the precursors of nerve agents at Syrian regime facilities that Assad's gatekeepers had somehow overlooked, failing to declare them when his chemical weapons stockpile was ostensibly being surrendered for removal and eventual destruction.

The Syrian-American Medical Society has found that three out of every four of the previously verified 161 chemical attacks in Syria took place after Mr. Obama's warning of dire consequences to ensue should President Assad use chemical weapons on his population. A study was released by the SAMS, titled A New Normal: Ongoing Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria, revealing the strategy of the Assad regime, which chose to substitute chlorine gas for the previously utilized sarin gas in bombarding Syrians.

Mr. Obama was more interested in, and fixated on U.S. relations with the Syrian regime's most reliable backer, however; detente with Iran's ayatollahs was top of the list of priorities for the American president, and if there were sacrifices to be made to accomplish that, then so be it. According to Wall Street Journal foreign correspondent Jay Solomon, in his new book, The Iran Wars, Iranian negotiators in the G-5 nuclear deal threatened to retreat from any bargaining with the White House if the U.S. intervened to remove Assad from power.

The tide has completely turned in Assad's favour, where a year ago the dimension of the rebel advance seemed to spell the end of the Baathist regime. This, despite the Shabiha death squads, the Iran-backed Shiite militias from Iraq, the Lebanese-based Hezbollah prepared to do the bidding of Iran, and Iran's own al Quds brigade of the Republican Guard, all working to destroy the Syrian rebels' advances in aid of supporting Bashar al-Assad's rule.
Image result for russian naval bombardments, syria

Thanks to the nuclear deal, Iran once again has discretionary spending potential, and while some Quds Force commanders have died in the Syrian conflict, others are prepared to continue directing strategic battles and Iran-sponsored mercenaries from abroad, including Central Asia are gaining ground on the rebels with their Islamist supporters against Assad, thanks to the entry of Russian warplanes and members of its military on the ground in Syria as well as naval ships pounding off long-range missiles into Syria from the Caspian Sea.

And now the Russian air force has also added cluster munitions, to the napalm, shrapnel and chlorine raining down from Assad's barrel bomb rampage in Aleppo and Homs, Idlib and Daraya. And the Obama administration is content to co-ordinate its military and intelligence agencies in the Middle East for coordinated air attacks, joint command and control headquarters, accelerating a bombing campaign to target the foreign terrorist groups in Syria, when the absolute foremost terrorist group -- Assad's murderous regime -- gets its free pass.

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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

The Iran Threat

"Tehran's fanatical, aggressively destabilizing regime, and its friends and influencers in Canada, already have enough of a presence in this country and beyond. Rather than weaken, we must limit the ayatollahs' avenues into our nation, contain this global threat, and embrace sound international efforts to encourage constructive democratic change in Iran."
Shabnam Assadollahi, former Iranian political prisoner, David B. Harris, lawyer, director INSIGNIS Strategic Research Inc., Canada

"Hezbollah and its pious youth are shining like the Sun and they are a source of honour for the Muslim world."
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Tehran, Iran
A handout picture released on March 8, 2016 by Sepah News, the online news site and public relations arm of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard, shows a member of the Revolutionary Guards next to a missile launcher in an underground tunnel at an undisclosed location in Iran.(Photo: STRINGER, AFP/Getty Images)

Iran has busied itself dispatching its Republican Guard Corps al Quds division into Syria to shore up the fortunes of the Alawite regime of President Bashar al-Assad in battering Syrian Sunnis into submission. In the process slaughtering hundreds of thousands; a figure approaching in fact, a half-million people, killed by their own government targeting them in punishment for daring to question their president's authority.

The Lebanese-based terrorist group Hezbollah, a creature of Iran, tutored and armed by the Iranian al Quds corps has been dispatched, as a Shiite Iranian proxy to fight at the side of the Syrian military as well. Iran has inspired and supported Yemen's Shiite Houthi in conflict with the western-backed Sunni majority government. Iran's machinations can be seen in Hezbollah's attacks against Israeli interests and Jews in Europe.

There are fears of the Iranian Republican Guards' focus on nuclear power and the Ayatollahs' ambition to feature nuclear warheads on the noses of the intercontinental ballistic missiles their scientists are busy updating. Tehran has been implicated in violent assassinations in Germany and France, bombing in Lebanon and Argentina, and with covert operations in the United States and South America.

Its current, 'moderate' president, Hassan Rouhani, had been involved in previous negotiations with the UN Security Council over its nuclear program, hoodwinking and stalling and finally putting off resolutions until the most recent round of negotiations brokered by the European Union, the United States and the UN Security Council members plus Germany to an agreement favouring Iran's nuclear future.

None of which has slowed down its nuclear research, its ballistic missile tests, its executions of regime opponents, including children and female prisoners, gays, Baha'i and others considered expendable by the nature of their offence to the Islamic Republic of Iran's brand of hard-line Islam. A religious doctrine so malevolent that women prisoners if they are still virgins, are raped to close off their entrance to paradise after state execution.

Intelligence reports are rife with Iranian plans to develop electro-magnetic pulse weapons capable of being deployed to destroy power grid infrastructure and electronic equipment in 'enemy' territory. American experts in electro-magnetic pulse weaponry theory are cognizant of U.S. Congressional EMP Commission warnings, that EMP weapons could have the effect of destroying American infrastructure.

Qadr H long-range ballistic missile Iranian Fars News Agency image of a Qadr H long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile fired by Iran's powerful Revolutionary Guard on March 9, 2016. (Fars News Agency, Omid Vahabzadeh / AP)

Canada is as vulnerable to this potential as is the United States and Europe, where electrical grids could be impacted to extinguish our advanced technological civilization and with it, survival. Closer to the region in which Iran towers as a threat to its neighbours, it released a ballistic missile inscribed with a destination: Israel. In its bid to promote regional fellowship and good relations between neighbours.

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Islamic Ruination of Ancient Religions' Sites

"It is with deep regret and great pain that I had to enter a guilty plea on all the charges brought against me. I would like them [the people of Timbuktu] to look at me like a son that has lost his way, and to accept my regrets."
"[I was] influenced by a group of deviant people from al-Qaeda and Ansar Dine. [I hope my punishment will] serve as a purging of the evil spirits I got involved with."
"I would like to give a piece of advice to all Muslims in the world not to get involved in the same acts I got involved with, because they will not lead to any good for humanity."
Ahmad al-Faqi al-Mahdi, former Ansar Dine/al-Qaeda member, Mali

"The courts have been slow to recognize this, but there is a clear link between crimes committed against people and attacks on their cultural heritage."
"The ethnic cleansers in the Balkans, like the jihadis in Iraq, Syria and Timbuktu and other places, are keenly aware of the significance of this, which is why they devote so much personnel and resources to the destruction of religious and cultural landmarks."
Andras Riedimayer, scholar of Islamic art and architecture, Harvard University, U.S.A.

The rubble left from an ancient mausoleum destroyed in Timbuktu [File: Joe Penney/Reuters]

Fanatical Islam empowers its believers to embark on a passage to serve Islam by destroying all vestiges of other religions' sacred objects. Just as Islamist jihad instructs the faithful of their duty to the Prophet to emulate him in his violent conquests of those unwilling to convert to Islam by taking it upon themselves to religiously follow in his conquering footsteps to wreak terror on the vulnerable, the prohibition in Islam against graven images requires that those of others be destroyed, since Islam is not consistent with tolerance of other religions and their symbols.

This man who stood before the International Criminal Court, pleading guilty of having led others to destroy shrines, damage mosques and burn sacred, irreplaceable manuscripts in their zeal to do their duty to Islam, spoke earlier this week of having been wrong to heed recruiters citing sacred passages of Islam to justify the spree of wreckage that was embarked upon. Only he can know how genuine his remorse is, or simply a manifestation of his admission of wrong-doing, leaving him in a difficult place. As a teacher who studied Islamic law in Libya, he is not the innocent he portrays himself to be.

Prosecutors have agreed to accept a reduced sentence to be imposed on this man in recognition of  his admission of guilt. Which may point to the precise reason he was willing to admit guilt and remorse, knowing it would lighten his sentence. The maximum sentence possible for the crimes he and others committed with himself as a ring-leader amounts to 30 years' incarceration. By the simple enough expedient of presenting his admission of guilt, he effectively paved the way for a vastly reduced sentence.

The court's chief prosecutor stated it was al-Mahdi "who identified the sites to be destroyed and who provided the means" by which the carnage could be carried out, with pickaxes and crowbars in the "unleash[ing of] a destructive rage" ruining priceless monuments. There are other ways in which Muslims can embark on a mission to destroy the sacred sites of another group, ethnic and religious, by claiming those sites as their own. It is what Arab Muslims have embarked upon in claiming their own status in Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, where history recounts the heritage of ancient Israel.

The Islamist penchant for destroying the sacred sites and objects in the Middle East and North Africa has resulted in the obliteration of sites of early civilizations existing long before the entrance of Islam on the world scene. The veneration of these places relates to their status of world heritage sites and as such important to all of humanity. But there is little new in all of this. Throughout the 1400 years of Islam's introduction to the world, it has destroyed churches, cathedrals, synagogues and temples of others, building mosques over their ruins.g

In Mali, particularly in and around ancient Timbuktu, jihadis still roam. A lawyer for the International Federation for Human Rights explained that lawsuits were filed for women and girls who had been raped, with many forced to 'marry' jihadis, while others, captured and used as sex slaves by the fighters suffered the fate of women of whom Islamic texts assure Muslim men that women of conquered areas are theirs to do with as they wish, taking their cue from the Prophet Mohammad.

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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Alarming Oblivion

"The struggle for the soul of Islam between Islamists and humanists goes on in Canada and the U.S.A., not just in the Middle East, Europe and South Asia."
"[Nothing but extremist literature was found present in several mosque libraries.]Further research is required to determine the depth ... of this problem."
Study: “Lovers of the Death”? — Islamist Extremism in Mosques and Schools
Thomas Quiggin, former intelligence analyst, Saied Shoaaib, journalist

"[The study is an] exercise in shoddy research [generalizing about Canadian mosques and Islamic institutions]."
"If the writers have any evidence of criminal activity such as the promotion of terrorism and violent extremism, then they should report it immediately to the authorities. Otherwise, this is nothing more than an attempt to sow fear and distrust towards Canadian Muslim communities without any evidence of wrongdoing or proper context. Such writing only fans the flames of ignorance at a time when vandalism of mosques and hate incidents against Canadian Muslims are increasing."
The National Council of Canadian Muslims

"This is not a Muslim-bashing exercise. This is an attempt to deliberately provoke the government and the media into addressing the actual issues of what's going on. Here's the material that's actually being taught, here's where it comes from, here's how it's getting there. Is this acceptable in Canada, yes or no?"
Thomas Quiggin, former intelligence analyst with the Privy Council Office and the RCMP
A Muslim prays over a Quran.
A Muslim prays over a Quran.
Both Mr. Quiggin and his colleague and study co-author, Mr. Shoaaib, originally from Egypt and well versed in Islam and extremism within the religion, conducted research in mosque libraries and Islamic schools to reach the conclusions that their study reveals. Their concern was hugely elevated by the fact that in some of these places it was only extremist literature that could be found as resource material, relating to Islam. Including the texts written by two fathers of modern extremist Islam,
— "In the Shade of the Qur’an" and "Milestones" by Sayyid Qutb, an author seen by some as an inspiration for groups including al-Qaida;
— the complete works of Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, the founder of Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam.

The material that they were able to access and analyze, including social media postings, confirmed for them their apprehension that most Canadians, and certainly including leading politicians prefer to turn away from the obvious dangers inherent in the situation of institutionalized Islamist radicalization. It is their contention that this presents a vital issue too grave to ignore, the danger supported by the number of young Canadians that have accepted the role of violent jihad in Islam.

The warning voices of those Canadian Muslims whose outlook is humanist and moderate are not being heard, and if they are, they are ignored. The Canadian Council of Imams is clearly displeased with the airing of this study's conclusions. A year earlier the Senate defence and security committee had issued a report warning that some foreign-trained imams have spread extremist religious ideology unreflective of Canadian values, contributing to radicalization. Has anyone else in government read that report and looked into its findings?

Before the previous Conservative-led government invited the Islamic Republic of Iran to shutter its embassy and missions in Canada, it had provided its brand of fanatical Islamist school curricula to some Canadian Muslim schools practising Shiite Islam; inflammatory, racist, bigoted and alarming material that became the cause of an investigation.

Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah have written often and cogently of their alarm at the presence of extremists in the Muslim community in Canada spreading their messages of hatred, division, uncompromising Islamist exceptionality and violent jihad. The study's co-authors personally attended four mosques and three Islamic schools in the Ottawa area to gather the information that has concerned them and which should be of great concern to our intelligence and security agencies.

They have found reason to be alarmed about what they have identified as troubling activities — including homophobic statements and promotion of Holy War — at certain mosques in Montreal and Toronto. The promotion of holy war is simply jihad, the obligation of all faithful Muslims to accept their responsibility in pursuit of Islamic domination. There are several options, the slow and inevitable cultural war achieved through immigration and the more overt option of violent jihad.

In denouncing the study's findings, Muslim groups and organizations in Canada typically resort to defaming the authors with claims amounting to viral Islamophobia, claiming innocence and embracing the status of victimhood. Claims that the majority of kind-natured and good-mannered Canadians, anxious not to appear discriminatory, are prepared to accept and apologize profusely over.

What practical use is there in governments and the policing agencies in Canada undertaking exercises in de-radicalization given the reality that the Islamic establishment itself in Canada is implicated in and guilty of promoting Islamist extremism among its faithful? The custodians of Islamic values will extend themselves to infiltrate their ideas into the Canadian way of life and the government attempts to reverse their teachings? Pure lunacy.
“I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship but Allah. He is one and has no partner, and I also bear witness that Muhammad (PBUH) is the Servant and Messenger of Allah, whom Allah sent with the ‘Religion of Truth’ [Islam] and with Guidance so that this Truth and this Guidance [Islam] will become established in the land over all other religions, although the ‘Disbelievers’ (Jews, Christians, Hindus and Atheists) hate that.” Friday night mosque prayers
Sermon Arabic + EnglishTarek Fatah, September 25, 2015

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Saving Children's Lives Through Borderless Charity

"Hello dear Madam!
"This boy is my cousin who has been suffering from hole in heart. If you can do anything for his good health, we would be very thankful to you."
Farhad Zaheer, teacher, Jalalabad to Anna Mussman, Israel

"I realize helping a child from a country which Israel has no diplomatic relations [with] is not easy, but perhaps possible."
"Thanks so much and Shabbat Shalom."
Anna Mussman, 69, retired U.S. State Department official
Doctors at Wolfson Medical Center perform open heart surgery (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
Doctors at Wolfson Medical Center perform open heart surgery (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
When Ms. Mussman (whose Holocaust survivor parents gave birth to their daughter in a displaced persons camp in Germany), contacted Simon Fisher, executive director of Save a Child's Heart located in Holon, Israel, she had little doubt that he could help. Just as Farhad Zaheer, whose relatives asked if he could help their 14-month-old son Yehia, had confidence that if he asked Anna Mussman, help would be forthcoming.

Little Yehia, living in Peshawar, Pakistan, of Afghan parents was born with his two main arteries reversed. If that wasn't trouble enough, he also had two holes in his heart. Yehia's parents made contact with a local specialist capable of performing the needed surgery, but the charge was $7,000. Yehia's father sells flour for a living. The family had saved $200, soon eaten up by medical bills. They approached Mr. Zaheer on a trip back to Afghanistan to attend a family wedding, for help.

Mr. Zaheer had once worked on a teacher training project in Nouristan Province and he had come to the notice of Ms. Mussman, then overseeing the project for the U.S. State Department. After he had contacted her asking for help for the infant, she recalled reading about an Israeli charity that provides free surgeries to children from developing countries.

Yehia's father would not divulge the family name, fearing a backlash for having taken his child to Israel for medical treatment. Thus becoming the first child from Afghanistan to be treated by Save a Child's Heart. In its 20 years of operations half of the charity's four thousand patients have been Palestinian children; 200 others, children from Iraq and Syria. Children from Tanzania, Ethiopia and Moldova have also had treatment in Holon, Israel, where the charity is positioned.

Ms. Mussman put Mr. Zaheer in touch with an Iranian American who had worked in Jalalabad. That diplomat provided the required visas for the family needing to cross into Israel through Turkey, to make that trip. Then a translator was required to help the father, speaking Urdu and Pashto. The Hebrew-speaking staff at the hospital needed to communicate with Yehia's father.

Finally, a retired rug seller who had left Kabul for Israel 32 years earlier agreed to translate. The surgery was undertaken with a medical team of almost a dozen people. The eight-hour surgery took place near Tel Aviv, at Wolfson Medical Center, Holon. On the completion of the surgery the baby, covered in bandages was wheeled out to see his father.

Sympathetic people surrounded the father, offering empathy and congratulations.

Doctors from Save a Child’s Heart monitor the catheterization procedure of a six-year-old Haitian boy at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. Photo by Flash90
Doctors from Save a Child’s Heart monitor the catheterization procedure of a six-year-old Haitian boy at Wolfson Medical Center in Holon. Photo by Flash90

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Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Classical Chicken-or-Egg Conundrum : Does 'Islamophobia' Drive Muslims to Jihad? Or Does Violent Jihad Cause 'Islamophobia'?

"We have to disengage them [radicalized youth] from notions of violence first. Trying to talk them out of this. I think it can never be one person. It has to be a social network that deals with these young people. It has to be more powerful than the baqiyah [ISIL cohorts] family. That becomes everything to them. We have to offer them something back, an alternative."
"They treated me like they treated their elderly auntie, or their mums. Some laughed [during interviews] and said, ' know you're a coconut, but at least you're willing to listen'." ['Coconut' describes someone not a genuine Muslim; brown outside, white within for Daesh recruits].
"At this point, we know who many of these young [radicalized Muslim jihadis] are, we know about their childhood or teenage pain, their struggles and concerns. We know the importance and process of social bonding they go through, the power of feeling part of something meaningful. It is a new religious movement; they used to call them cults."
"We need to stop asking 'Why?' and start asking 'What can we do about the next Aaron Driver? [self-radicalized Muslim convert, lone wolf, jihadist attacker]."
Professor Alexandra Bain, Fredericton researcher, convert to Islam

"I think of all the models that I've seen around the world, Aarhus is the one we're most representative of. [It] was nice to see what they were doing because we're following the same philosophy [Countering Violent Extremism, Aarhus, Denmark]."
"Mentorship is one [idea] we have on the radar. We have already had some conversations with some groups that are trying to get off the ground here in Calgary."
Sgt. Paul Dunn, Calgary Police Service, co-ordinator, "ReDirect" program

"People can call here and we have a confidential and anonymous phone line, which is answered by psychologists, social workers, criminologists, and they offer help to the families. This is what is important."
"Our objective here is not to judge, but to help."
"The role of the federal government should only be to facilitate and coordinate these centres. The real work happens at the local level. We have to find a way to work together and share expertise."
Herman Okomba-Deparice, Montreal CVE initiative 
Regional and local CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) community groups are dedicated to identifying and contacting what they feel are 'youth at risk' of self-recruitment into violent jihad, responding to the invitation extended by Islamic State to young Muslims, mostly men, who find the ISIL message resonating with their idea of how Muslim youth should be reacting to what those who empathize with what they appear to identify as 'growing pains' of young men struggling into adulthood finding community with jihadists.

What motivates them, according to this understanding is 'Islamophobia' and the resentment it incurs from young Muslims who feel ill done by through the non-Muslim community directing suspicion toward them and in the process insulting their religion and their personal identification as Muslims. So does that suspicion erupt from nowhere? Or has the world been witness over the past several decades to violent fanatics launching attacks against Western symbols, infrastructure, nations and people in vengeance attacks against those who 'mock' the Prophet Mohammad.

The Prophet, after all, speaking in the name of god, gave promise that it is god's intention that his final religion manifesting in Islam must one day rule the world in one vast caliphate when all must surrender to Allah, venerate his prophet Mohammad, and obey Islamic Sharia law. Any who deny this, who object to this aspiration, who cast aspersions upon the theistic ambition and reject it for any reason, automatically become enemies of Islam and thus are marked for destruction.

Those faithful who contradict this reading of Islamist doctrine have not read their Koran, nor have they listened to the imam who delivers Friday night services, since both are rife with incontrovertible instructions to the faithful not open to an interpretation other than what is plainly written and decanted by mullahs, ayatollahs and imams directly from the Koran and the instructions that Mohammad left for the posterity of Islam.

An image of Aaron Driver is projected on a screen during a news conference. He stated his plan to carry out a rush-[hour attack in a major Canadian city. Chris Wattie/Reuters

If someone enters my home and behaves in an insulting, destructive and arrogant manner I have every right as the homeowner to request that he/she leave, absent civility. When Muslims migrate to lands where Islam has not yet become a heritage, cultural, social, political heavyweight as it has over the years in the Middle East, parts of southeast Asia, North Africa and elsewhere, another kind of jihad has insinuated itself through cultural alteration of the prevailing social system, religious devotion and cultural heritage.

Those hoping to persuade young men who have accepted the responsibility imposed upon them by Islam instructing its believers to honour the most basic of obligations to Islam, which is jihad, are arguing against the religion's fundamental values, even though they don't think of it in this way. In an extremely sensitive area; focusing on the effect that the call to jihad has on 'vulnerable' Muslims living in the West, these community organizers are bringing a public focus to Muslim communities; that they breed violence.

The germ of radical Islam when introduced to a non-Muslim environment is a reflection of Islam's clear and basic tenets, which in time become a threatening plague against the receiving society which has welcomed Muslim immigration with the best of intentions. Islam, by its very uncompromising, totalitarian nature as a political, religious, ideological, social and cultural force is non-assimilationist. Muslims are constrained by their religion, encompassing their total life, from integrating fully into other societies.

At the opposite end of the spectrum, Muslims who emigrate to the West do not necessarily, in the aggregate, do so to consciously effect a change to impact a non-Muslim community with Islam, though, loving Islam, they would be pleased if that were to happen. Gradually, over time, with an ongoing influx of Muslims entering society a demand surfaces that the emerging community be recognized as exceptional, and that it be granted special 'equalization' empowerment, such as recognition of Sharia.

It is a type of social capillary action; a minority religion becomes far less of a minority as its numbers increase and it attains social heft from which it begins to demand recognition and 'equality'. Islam, despite its violence, its dysfunction, its effect in tribal and sectarian hatreds resulting in one sect attacking and slaughtering another, is recognized as the fastest-growing religion in the world today.

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