Politic?

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.

Monday, August 03, 2015

Jewish Philanthropy

"[My debt] applies to so many young people who were on the Kindertransports. It was Quakers and other Christian denominations who brought those children to England."
"In the 1930s thousands of Jews, mainly women and children, were helped by Christians who took enormous personal risks to save them from certain death. We owe a debt of gratitude."
Lord George Weidenfeld, British House of Lords

Egyptian Copts have some measure of state protection under the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Who went so far as to condemn the oppression they had suffered, and their fears during the one-year presidency of Mohammad Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. And who went so far in January of 2015 to visit the main Coptic Church in Cairo to declare his support for his fellow Egyptians, including Christians.


Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (2nd R) talks next to Coptic Pope Tawadros II as he attends Christmas Eve Mass at St. Mark's Cathedral. (Reuters)


For the present they are not persecuted by the state. Under former President Hosni Mubarak relations were static, but no new Christian churches were to be built, nor old ones refurbished. Egypt is 90 percent Muslim. In Libya, Islamic State affiliates took credit for beheading 21 Egyptian Copts who were on temporary work assignment there. Egypt responded by sending in its military jets to bomb the ISIL camp. 

In parts of Syria and Iraq which have succumbed to Islamic State's caliphate, Christians have been cleansed from the geography. Four years ago over a million Christians called Syria their home. Since Islamic State's campaign to enslave, torture, crucify and slaughter the Christians that lived there, 700,000 have fled, abandoning their historical, Biblical-era homeland.

At one time Christians constituted half of Lebanon's population; they are now reduced to a third. Under the Palestinian Authority, the Christian population in the West Bank has been severely diminished; Bethlehem's population of Christians was halved. In Israel, by contrast, the Christian population, both Arab and non-Arab has risen, enjoying civil rights protection.

Recently, 150 Syrian Christians were flown to safety and refuge in Poland, thanks to the humanitarian work of the Weidenfeld Safe Havens Fund which focuses strictly on support for Christian refugees from the Middle East. That 150 flown to haven in Poland will receive eighteen months of support to aid them in their new homes, transforming their lives from helpless flight to promise of delivery from languishing in refugee camps.

A young Christian Syrian couple with their seven month old daughter flank Miriam Shaded, a Polish church charity worker, who will help the families resettle in Poland, in Warsaw last week. Shaded has a Syrian Christian background and works for the Esther Foundation. (courtesy)
A young Christian Syrian couple with their seven month old daughter flank Miriam Shaded, a Polish church charity worker, who will help the families resettle in Poland, in Warsaw last week. Shaded has a Syrian Christian background and works for the Esther Foundation. (courtesy)

Lord George Weidenfeld, a life peer, philanthropist, founder of the European Institute for Strategic Dialogue, a Jew and honourary vice-president of the World Jewish Congress and fiercely committed Zionist, 95 years of age, is also a committed rescuer of endangered Christian populations. Troubled by the plight of one of the world's oldest Christian communities, he has focused on doing what he can to help where he can.

In acknowledgement of the scale of the numbers fleeing persecution, he knows he cannot save the world in a sense, but he is resolved to give two thousand Christian families a new lease on life. He has faced critics who complain his rescue plan is restricted to Christians. Because his rescue doesn't include Yazidis, Druze or Shiite Muslims, the U.S. government has declined participation.

The contrast between what one determined man can achieve with the limited means at his disposal, and that of the Gulf monarchies, sitting on untold riches yet unmoved by the plight of fellow Middle Eastern Arabs to the point where they sit with aplomb on oil reserves, and wait for countries of the West to step in and absorb refugees they themselves have no intention of diluting their population base with, is of polar opposites.

Lord Weidenfeld will explain to anyone who is interested, that 77 years ago when he was in his teens he was taken from Vienna to London.  There the Plymouth Brethren provided for him, giving him opportunities to feel he was worth protecting. Sir Nicholas Winton pioneered trains to carry over 650 children out of Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia to the United Kingdom, from 1938-1940. 

Sir Winton, was termed the ‘British Schindler,’ and he died in July. Now Lord Weidenfeld's focus is on Christians whose plight is dire; his way of returning the kindness done to him.

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An Act Too Despicable

"You can't detach the situation in the Palestinian territories from acts of extremists on both sides."
"Any act of extremism may turn over whatever tranquility we seem to be living in."
Gilead Sher, head, Center for Applied Negotiatons, Tel Aviv University

"I am shocked over this reprehensible and horrific act. This is a terror attack in every respect. The state of Israel takes a strong line against terrorism regardless of who the perpetrators are."
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

"I never imagined that this could happen, that someone could come and burn people alive while they are sleeping."
"I don't know what those people were thinking. What do they have inside their hearts and minds?"
Hassan Dawabsheh, Duma, West Bank

Funeral of Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh
Funeral of Palestinian baby Ali Dawabsheh, killed in a house fire in Duma early on Friday. Photograph: APAimages/Rex Shutterstock
The government of Israel is clear enough; the assumed "price tag" attack in the West Bank town of Duma by two masked men suspected to be Jewish ultra-Orthodox fanatics represents terrorism. How else can it possibly be deciphered? Up until this attack the malevolent and potentially dangerous attacks on churches and mosques, on Palestinians and on Jews marching in Gay Pride parades were likely considered nuisances to be ignored.

 The fire-bombing of a home's bedroom where all four members of the household were soundly asleep speaks to an escalation in the radicalization of ultra-Orthodox extremism. "We have no protection. Settlers burned mosques, cars, trees, attacked people in our village and in the nearby villages but nothing happened to them", stated Abdel Haleem Dawabsheh, a teacher in Duma, West Bank.

In June the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes was subject to an arson attack. At that time two suspects belonging to an extremist settler youth group were arrested. Critics of the government say nevertheless that Israel hasn't been enforcing the law when settlers cause such unprovoked and mindless attacks. A residual consideration of the settlers as 'pioneers' seems to restrain authorities from doubling down on these terrorists as though they were merely errant youth.

"This policy creates impunity for hate crimes and encourages assailants to continue, leading to this morning's horrific result", a statement from the Israeli rights group B'Tselem read. In the past three years Israelis have set fire to nine Palestinian houses in the West Bank, and a fire bomb was tossed at a Palestinian taxi, with no one charged in any of these cases.

Palestinian property has come under attack for years and mosques have been targeted as well as churches. And nor have all the attacks focused solely on Palestinians; the extremists view leftist Israeli groups as enemies, as well as they do Israeli military, attacking their bases as well. Two recent dismantlings of unauthorized buildings constructed by settlers on land owned by a Palestinian are thought to have incited the latest attack in Duma.

In this attack where an 18-month-old infant was killed, his parents and four-year-old brother suffering critical burns to their bodies, it will be a miracle if the atrocity doesn't claim more victims with the infant having suffered burns to 60% of his body and his mother, Riham Dawabsheh, 90% of her body. All were rushed to an Israeli hospital for treatment, their conditions critically severe.

The Israeli military stated that in the dark of night attackers broke the windows of the Duma home. These courageous religious fanatics then tossed firebombs into the bedroom where all members of the family slept. And that bedroom exploded in a fireball that took an instant to destroy the house. The assailants who are wanted for murder, took the trouble to scribble "Long live the Messiah", "revenge", and "price tag" as a message that their mission is one of blind destruction.
Israelis hold placards during a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the death of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, the toddler who was burned to death by suspected Jewish extremists.
Israelis hold placards during a demonstration in Tel Aviv against the death of 18-month-old Ali Dawabsheh, the toddler who was burned to death by suspected Jewish extremists. Photograph: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images
The suspicion, recriminations, hatred and attacks by Palestinians against Israelis are far more frequent and take a far greater toll in human life than this atrocity has done. And this is the Middle East where tribal, clan, and religious sectarianism plays rife with people's trigger-ready emotions. But nothing can exonerate one group or the other for the choice they make to wage war and to slaughter one another.

Since the founding of the Jewish state in 1948, Palestinian leaders have never reached the point where any among them reached the conviction that ongoing hostilities and inciting to violence will gain them nothing, and a peace agreement will finally give the Palestinians a homeland they claim is their right. It may be their right, but it will have to be on land shared separately by Israel, each accepting their parcel. Clearly, the settlers have long exhausted their humanity in their drive for sole ownership.

If majority-Hindu India is capable of reaching a peace agreement over a border dispute with Muslim Bangladesh that has simmered ever since 1947 when Pakistan was founded out of India, and Bangladesh broke away from Pakistan, Israel and the Palestinians should be capable, finally, of settling their 70-year hate-fest. Nearly 37,000 people lived in 111 Indian enclaves inside Bangladesh, and 14,000 lived in 51 Bangladeshi enclaves in India.

The agreement between the two states was to trade over 150 pockets of land between them. Now both Indians and Bangladeshis are finally realizing the citizenship reflective of their ethnic heritage and social, political and religious choice.


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Sunday, August 02, 2015

Destroying a Fantasy

"It's the first real evidence that there is a possibility that a part of the aircraft may have been found. It's too early to make that judgement [that it is indeed part of the missing plane] but clearly we are treating this as a major lead."
Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss

"It has been more than one year, and now they claim to have found debris of MH370 on an island? We don't accept this. We do not believe what they claim."
"The finding does not constitute anything."
Dal Shuqin, sister of of downed plane victim

The devastating loss of 239 people who travelled aboard Flight 370 on March 8, 2014 which disappeared mysteriously when it lost contact with air traffic control and failed to respond to anxious calls, then seemingly veered off its flight path, has left grieving family members still insisting on the belief that the plane had landed somewhere, and eventually all the passengers and crew will be found, alive.

News that a piece of detritus from a Boeing 777 has washed ashore on the French island of Reunion in the western Indian Ocean is no reassurance to these family members, but a threat that reality will impinge on their dreams of being reunited with their loved ones. That a wing flap has shown up on Reunion and that Flight 370 is the only missing Boeing 777 must seem a cruel irony.

The mystery of what happened and how it happened may not be advanced by discovery of the wing part, however, even if French investigators feel there is a possibility that some data may be gleaned from the wing part as to whether an explosion had occurred. The plane part travelled on ocean currents so far from where the plane is assumed to have gone down that it is unlikely searchers will be led to that area where the plane disappeared.

A marine geologist at Australia's James Cook University has explained that large objects travelling vast distances across the Indian Ocean do not represent a rare anomaly. When a man lost his vessel off the Western Australia coast in rough seas last year it turned up eight months later off the French island of Mayotte, west of Madagascar, some 7,400 kilometres from its point of disappearance.

Investigators believe that satellite data point to the plane turning south into the Indian Ocean once it vanished from radar. An alternate theory holds that the plane travelled north, or landed somewhere after being hijacked, and it is this latter belief that keeps bereaved family members hoping that their lost ones will eventually show up.

They have no wish understandably, for investigators to conclude after closely examining the wing flaperon that damage points to the plane breaking up in the air, or doing so as it hit the ocean and how violently it hit. The hope they hold so fondly will be destroyed and they will be further devastated.

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Three Strikes And You're Out...

"Even if you're going to try to remove him, it's inhumane in his medical condition to send him to a war zone where he will have no access to medical care."
"His continued detention, based on the new medical evidence that we have, constitutes cruel and unusual treatment."
Arghavan Gerami, defence lawyer

"In addition to your criminal record, which is a valid consideration in assessing the issue of danger to the public, members previously took note of the fact that not only was there an escalation in dangerous criminal behaviour but there was little evidence of rehabilitation to mitigate the danger concerns."
"You do not accept responsibility for your conduct, you have claimed that you were duped into committing the bank robberies."
Immigration Division custody decision
Ahmed Ali Ahmed.
Ahmed Ali Ahmed. Family photo

What a dilemma. What to do with a convicted felon living in Canada without official status, whom the Immigration and Refugee Board ruled should be deported, when his country of origin and citizenship is less than anxious to welcome him back with open arms. Yemen, to be sure, is in a state of war, with its legal government unseated by a sectarian religious offensive, determined to place their own candidate in the presidency. But attempts to remove this man predated the insurgency.

Here is a young men, in the custody of immigration since the completion of a two-year sentence for robbery. He has a torn ligament in his knee, which has been refused reconstructive surgery to be performed on the Canadian dime. Meanwhile, the Canada Border Services Agency will attempt for the fourth time to remove Ahmed Ali Ahmed from Canada.

Since the Yemeni mission in Ottawa seems disinterested in discharging its duty to a Yemeni citizen clearly in need of representation, and repatriation, the fourth attempt to remove him and return him to his country of birth may not succeed either. In which case, Ahmed Ali Ahmed will continue to fester in prison, since he is considered a risk to reoffend, as well as being a flight risk. Flight, that is, from impending removal.

This man, like others in similar situations, represents a true nuisance factor. His criminal record in Canada is not just for robbery, but includes sexual assault, and forgery convictions as well. Not a very nice young man, and clearly a risk to Canadians should he be released. The board has rejected arguments that detention for this man constitutes cruel and unusual punishment.

And nor does Canada consider his detention indefinite. The airports in Yemen have reopened.

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Killing Turkish Civilians is Barbaric; Kurdish Civilians Not So

"We condemn this bombardment that led to the martyrdom of people from the Kurdistan region and call on Turkey not to bombard civilians again."
"[The PKK separatists] must keep the battlefield away from the Kurdistan region in order for civilians not to become victims of this war."
Iraqi Kurdish President Massoud Barzani

"There were six houses in this area, and all of them have been destroyed. The people targeted here are innocent civilians. The Turkish state is targeting Kurdish villagers on the excuse of PKK guerrillas."Feqi Muhammed, local villager-witness
© Murad Sezer

The Government of Iraq's Parliament has demanded that Turkey stop its incursions into Iraqi territory, bombing border villages, invading Iraq's sovereign territory. "The Turkish military aircraft have inflicted serious damage to the lives and property of the Iraqi people and neighboring border villages during their bombing operations inside Iraqi territory," read a statement by the Parliament.

Turkish warplanes blasted village of . 9 civilians lost their lives #ZergeleKoeyuendeKATLİAM
Following the Islamic State suicide attack on the Turkish Kurdish town of Suruc that killed 32 Turkish Kurd socialists and wounded another 100 who were planning to aid Syrian Kurds trying to restore the town of Kobani on July 20, the Kurdistan Workers' party accused the Turkish government of "supporting and cultivating" Islamic State, that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had used the Kurds as a buffer against ISIS.


The Frankenstein that Turkey had encouraged in its rampages against Syrian President al-Assad's regime has outlived its usefulness for Turkey's President and his Justice and Development Party. And Turkey's Kurds, voting in the June elections, succeeding in overturning Erdogan's majority status to a minority, fairly well sealed the fate of the peace agreement between the government and the Kurdistan Workers' Party.

Four years of frustration for Erdogan in his campaign to do all he could to destroy the Assad regime has ended in failure. The United States couldn't be persuaded to bomb the Syrian military, nor to adequately fund the Syrian Free Army whose Sunni Islamist credentials Erdogan thoroughly approves of. Turkey's enablement of Islamic State hasn't resulted in the regime's fall, nor has Iranian and Hezbollah involvement with the regime's response to Islamic State resulted in either's destruction.

With Turkey's decision to finally agree to fulfilling its obligations as a NATO member in aiding the U.S.-led airstrike coalition, it has now opened itself to attacks by Islamic State. Sometimes such gambles are taken for purposes not immediately recognizable. Now, even while it is attacking ISIL positions, it is dedicating more of its resources toward attacking the PKK positions in Iraq. And at the same time threatening Kurdish parliamentarians for purported involvement in "terrorism".

The Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party's successful defence of Kobani with aid from coalition airstrikes while the Turkish military stood by on the border preferring not to intervene, hoping that Islamic State would demolish the PYD was yet another epic disappointment for Erdogan. That the PYD has chosen to cooperate with the Syrian regime to work on pushing back ISIL, represents another ulcer in his stomach wall.

The PYD is a reflection of the detested PKK as far as Turkey is concerned, both terrorist groups whose presence and reason for existence, to agitate for the eventual creation of a Kurdish state is intolerable. All of which made the bombing raids on PKK's north Iraq presence this week a given. The two-and-a-half-year-old truce is in shambles. Erdogan's decision to abandon himself to vengeance against the Kurds will risk his country's equilibrium as much as the Kurdish agitation does.

But the inconvenience of Kurdish fighters representing the only viable militias that have succeeded in halting the Islamic State advance, the Kurdish militias' successes in regaining some towns that fell to ISIL, has earned the Kurds new respect from the international community. Certainly, the United States has given full recognition to the fact that however well they train Iraqi troops as an example, it is an exercise in frustration. The Kurdish militias, on the other hand, fight with courage and conviction.

The international community's willingness to acknowledge Kurdish military prowess, the democratic nature of its governance, the acceptance by the Kurdish communities of people of minority ethnic and religious status, its protection of Christians and Yazidis, has gained it high regard. Mr. Erdogan's efforts to isolate and slander the Kurds, describing them as terrorists in their zeal to agitate for a homeland of their own only serves to highlight the Turkish president's paranoid hatred.

Islamic State presented as an alternative to Bashar al-Assad's regime. Now that the regime remains in power in that part of Syria it has been able to cling to, Erdogan's attention has turned to the Syrian Sunni militias, most of them now aligned with al-Qaeda offshoots and Islamists in their own right, just not quite as blood-curdlingly barbarous as Islamic State, though they too have been accused of human rights violations.

This is the Middle East, after all.




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Gatestone Institute


  • "There are districts where immigrant gangs are taking over entire metro trains for themselves. Native residents and business people are being intimidated and silenced... The reasons for this: the high rate of unemployment, the lack of job prospects for immigrants without qualifications for the German labor market and ethnic tensions among migrants." — Der Spiegel.
  • "Every police commissioner and interior minister will deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car....[O]ur colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas exist. Even worse: in these areas, crimes no longer result in charges. They are left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture." — Bernhard Witthaut, Chief Police Commissioner of Germany.
  • "The gangs traffic in heroin and cocaine, run brothels or are active in the contraband smuggling business. The brutality with which they carry out their activities has made them very powerful, the police are afraid of them. The state is passive with respect to these clans, the politicians ignore the phenomenon... This negligence has, over the years, enabled the emergence of a criminal parallel society. This would not have happened if the authorities had acted early and decisively." — Der Spiegel.
  • "When I say that steps must be taken to ensure immigrants comply with rules and regulations, I'm immediately branded as a far right extremist. But order is exactly what is needed." — Volker Mosblech, Duisburg City Councilman.
Spiraling levels of violent crime perpetrated by immigrants from the Middle East and the Balkans are turning parts of Duisburg, a key German industrial city, into "areas of lawlessness" — areas that are becoming de facto "no-go" zones for police, according to a confidential police report that was leaked to the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel.

The report, produced by the police headquarters of North Rhine-Westphalia, the most populous state of Germany (and also the state with the largest Muslim population in Germany), warns that the government is losing control over problem neighborhoods and that the ability of police to maintain public order "cannot be guaranteed over the long term."
Duisburg, which has a total population of around 500,000, is home to an estimated 60,000 mostly Turkish Muslims, making it one of the most Islamized cities in Germany. In recent years, however, thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians (including Sinti and Roma "gypsies") have flocked to Duisburg, creating a volatile ethno-religious cauldron.
According to Der Spiegel:
"There are districts where immigrant gangs are taking over entire metro trains for themselves. Native residents and business people are being intimidated and silenced. People taking trams during the evening and nighttime describe their experiences as 'living nightmares.' Policemen, and especially policewomen, are subject to 'high levels of aggressiveness and disrespect.'
"In the medium term, nothing will change, according to the report. The reasons for this: the high rate of unemployment, the lack of job prospects for immigrants without qualifications for the German labor market and ethnic tensions among migrants. The Duisburg police department now wants to reinforce its presence on the streets and track offenders more consistently.
"Experts have warned for some time that problem neighborhoods could become no-go areas. The president of the German Police Union, Rainer Wendt, told Spiegel Online years ago: 'In Berlin or in the north of Duisburg there are neighborhoods where colleagues hardly dare to stop a car — because they know that they'll be surrounded by 40 or 50 men.' These attacks amount to a 'deliberate challenge to the authority of the state — attacks in which the perpetrators are expressing their contempt for our society.'"
The leak of the document comes amid a spike in attacks on police by mobs of immigrants, not only in Duisburg, but across the country.

In the Duisburg neighborhood of Marxloh, for example, a horde of Lebanese immigrants on June 29 attacked two police officers who were attempting to arrest two men for smoking cannabis on a public sidewalk. Within minutes, the officers were surrounded by more than 100 men who tried to prevent the arrests from taking place. Ten squad cars and dozens of police reinforcements were required to rescue the two officers.

Also in Marxloh, two men who got into a fight on June 24 used their cellphones to call their friends for backup support. Within minutes, more than 300 people had gathered at the scene. At least 100 police officers attempted to separate the two groups, but the mob quickly turned on the police. According to Duisburg police spokesperson Ramon van der Maat, "It happens time and time again, we are called to an incident that at first does not seem so bad. But then we need nine, ten or eleven police cars to restore order."

In Gelsenkirchen, another city in North Rhine-Westphalia, two police officers on July 24 tried to pull over a driver who ran a stoplight. The driver got out of the car and attempted to flee on foot. When police caught up with him, more than 50 people appeared from virtually nowhere to prevent the suspect's arrest. A 15-year-old attacked a policeman from behind and began strangling him, rendering him unconscious. Massive amounts of police reinforcements and pepper spray were needed to bring the situation under control.

In Berlin, some 30 members of rival immigrant gangs got into a fight on June 24 outside a nightclub in the Neukölln district of Berlin. After police arrived, the mob began attacking the officers. More than 60 police officers were needed to restore order.

Also in Berlin, dozens of police officers were deployed to break up a brawl between 50 members of two rival immigrant families at a public playground in Neukölln on June 4. The melee began when two young boys got into a fight, which quickly spiraled out of control after adult family members got involved on behalf of each of the boys.

One day earlier, more than 90 police officers were deployed to break up a fight between 70 members of rival immigrant clans at a public playground in Moabit, an inner city neighborhood in Berlin. The fight began when two women got into an argument over a man, and turned violent after more and more family members got involved. Two police officers were injured.

On June 8, more than 50 police officers were deployed to break up a brawl at a wedding reception for Bosnian immigrants in the Tempelhof district of Berlin. The melee began when two wedding guests got into an argument that led to fisticuffs. Within moments, more than a dozen other people joined in. As soon as the police arrived, however, the rival clans stopped fighting each other and began attacking the officers. One of the wedding guests hit a police officer over the head with a chair; the officer was critically wounded. Other officers were attacked with bottles, while still others were spit upon and verbally abused.

In an interview with the German newsmagazine Focus, the head of the police union in North Rhine-Westphalia, Arnold Plickert, warned of the emergence of no-go zones in the cities of Cologne, Dortmund, Duisburg and Essen. "Several rival rocker groups as well as Lebanese, Turkish, Romanian and Bulgarian clans are fighting for supremacy of the streets," he said. "They make their own rules; here the police have nothing more to say."

In an August 2011 interview with the newspaper Der Westen, Bernhard Witthaut, Chief Police Commissioner of Germany, revealed that immigrants have been imposing "no-go" zones in German cities at an alarming rate.

The interviewer asked Witthaut: "Are there urban areas — for example in the Ruhr — districts and housing blocks that are 'no-go areas,' meaning that they can no longer be secured by the police?" Witthaut replied:
"Every police commissioner and interior minister will deny it. But of course we know where we can go with the police car and where, even initially, only with the personnel carrier. The reason is that our colleagues can no longer feel safe there in twos, and have to fear becoming the victim of a crime themselves. We know that these areas exist. Even worse: in these areas, crimes no longer result in charges. They are left to themselves. Only in the worst cases do we in the police learn anything about it. The power of the state is completely out of the picture."
The threat posed by immigrant clans has been growing for many years. In October 2010, Der Spiegel published an article — "Large Arab Families: The State Cowers in Fear of Criminal Clans" — which warned of the emergence in Germany of a "parallel society of criminality" run by "immigrant mafia clans with thousands of members" who are "taking advantage of legal loopholes, social welfare services and international contacts with dominant organized crime groups." The article said the state was helpless to confront the problem because German authorities were "pussyfooting around."

According to Der Spiegel:
"The gangs traffic in heroin and cocaine, run brothels or are active in the contraband smuggling business. The brutality with which they carry out their activities has made them very powerful, the police are afraid of them. The state is passive with respect to these clans, the politicians ignore the phenomenon.
"This negligence has, over the years, enabled the emergence of a criminal parallel society. This would not have happened if the authorities had acted early and decisively: As early as 2004, a Commission of the Federal Criminal Police (BKA) warned that the ethnic groups were out of control and also warned about the so-called Mhallamiye-Kurds [an Arab-speaking ethnic group with roots in southern Anatolia], including the Bremen-based clan known as Family M.
"At the time, special investigators from federal and state governments criticized the lack of any efforts at integration and attacked the German judiciary. It was said that due to misconceived tolerance, the courts exacerbated the problems with their persistent lenience.
"The report warned of 'insular ethnic subcultures that were already firmly established under considerable abuse of the existing weaknesses of the federal government's immigration and asylum law.'
"Today these criminal structures are so entrenched that they 'could only be partially dismantled,' and this only with the support and cooperation of 'all relevant authorities, judicial assistance and the expansion of criminal tactical investigative measures.' In other words: actually never."
The article reveals that some delinquents possess more than a dozen different identities, and that it is common for them to continue collecting social welfare benefits because German privacy laws prevent police from being informed of a suspect's whereabouts.

According to a police investigator interviewed by Der Spiegel, the immigrant clans "view German society as one to be plundered; they see us as born losers." This is unlikely to change anytime soon, he added, because there are nearly 1,000 children in the clans in Bremen alone.
In her book titled "The End of Patience," the late German juvenile court judge Kirsten Heisig warned about the growing danger posed by the so-called ethno-clans:
"A family, father, mother, 10 to 15 children, in some cases up to 19 children, emigrated from Lebanon. Some children were born in the 'homeland,' others in Germany. Before the mothers give birth to their last child, they already have grandchildren. Therefore, a clan increases at breathtaking speed. In official documents, the nationality of the families is given as 'stateless,' 'unknown,' 'Lebanese' or increasingly 'German.' It refers to government social welfare transfers and child benefits.
"An extended family easily generates hundreds of police investigations. If drug trafficking or other illegal transactions intrude on the turf of a rival clan or even of gangs from different ethnic backgrounds, the problem is solved by killing each other, or at least attempting to do so.
"The female family members are focused predominantly on theft while the males commit crimes from all sectors of the Penal Code: drug and property crimes, threats, robbery, extortion, bodily harm, sexual offenses and pimping to murder. The children grow up largely unchecked in these criminal structures."
According to Roman Reusch, a former top public prosecutor in Berlin, young people born into the immigrant clans "are consistently trained to become professional criminals." He said the youths were growing up in an environment in which "the most serious crimes are completely normal." He added: "They have developed a self-service mentality. They are determined to take whatever they want, whenever they want, and as often as they want." This makes them an "ideal reservoir for the foot soldiers of organized crime."

After Reusch attempted to initiate a crackdown on the clans, he was summarily removed from his post. His politically correct successor had a clear message for how he would henceforth deal with the criminals: "I do not like the word 'toughness.'"

Back in Duisburg, the newspaper Rheinische Post offered a glimpse into the reality of German multiculturalism by means of an interview with a streetcar driver. "I wish I would not have to drive the train through this neighborhood [Marxloh]," he said, adding that he often has to apply the brakes because immigrant children are playing on the tracks. "If they are chased away by the police, they are immediately back again as soon as the officers are gone."

As for those riding the trains, there are far more fare evaders than paying passengers, because conductors are afraid they will be assaulted if they ask immigrants to present their tickets.
Duisburg city councilman Volker Mosblech expressed his frustration with the intractability of the situation in Marxloh: "When I say that steps must be taken to ensure immigrants comply with rules and regulations, I'm immediately branded as a far right extremist. But order is exactly what is needed."

Nearly a half-decade ago, Chancellor Angela Merkel admitted that German multiculturalism has "utterly failed." Speaking to a meeting of her center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in Potsdam in October 2010, Merkel said:
"We are a country which at the beginning of the 1960s actually brought [Muslim] guest workers to Germany. Now they live with us and we lied to ourselves for a while, saying that they will not stay and that they will have disappeared again one day. That is not the reality. This multicultural approach — saying that we simply live side by side and are happy about each other — this approach has failed, utterly failed."
At the time, many voters had hoped that Merkel's comments would transform the debate over mass immigration to Germany. Since then, however, immigration, especially from the Muslim world, has continued unabated.

Germany is now home to the largest number of immigrants (8.2 million) of any member state of the European Union. Germany also has the second-largest Muslim population (5 million) in the EU.


German police in riot gear, accompanied by armored vehicles and water cannons, charge into a street battle between Kurds and radical Islamists in Hamburg, Oct. 8, 2014. (Image source: N24 video screenshot)


Germany continues to be the recipient of the largest number of asylum applications in the EU. Germany received more than 200,000 asylum-seekers in 2014, and that number is expected to more than double by the end of 2015.

According to the latest statistics, more than 179,000 people applied for asylum in Germany during the first six months of 2015. Most were from Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq, Kosovo, Serbia and Syria.
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute. He is also Senior Fellow for European Politics at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter.

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Gatestone Institute


  • Turkey says that it, together with the US, wants an IS-free zone in northern Syria. That is fine. But who will fill the vacuum in areas cleared of IS?
  • Turkey simply finds joining the international campaign against the Islamic State an opportunity to install pro-Sunni Islamist rule in areas now controlled by IS.
  • In all reality, Prime Minister Davutoglu wants to replace extreme Islamists with less extreme Islamists. Turkey is trying, with U.S. help, to make Syria an extension of Turkey for Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Islam.
After several months of reluctant negotiations, Turkey has anxiously decided to join the allied battle against the radical Islamists who fight under the flag of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or Islamic State, ISIS, IS). Turkish jets bombed IS strongholds inside Syria, and police detained hundreds of IS supporters operating in Turkey, including two leaders. Moreover, Turkish ministers hastily signed a decree that would allow the U.S. military to use the critical Incirlik air base for strikes against IS targets. Incirlik, in southern Turkey near the Syrian border, is close to many IS strongholds and will cut response times for U.S. aircraft, increasing the efficiency of anti-militant operations.

Turkey says that it, together with the U.S., wants an IS-free zone in northern Syria. That is fine. But who will fill the vacuum in areas cleared of IS? That is an extremely important question Turkey's American allies should think about with extreme care. Turkey simply finds joining the international campaign against IS an opportunity to install pro-Sunni Islamist rule in areas now controlled by IS.

This is how Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu describes, with all the unrealistic euphemism he could think of, the militias he apparently wishes would replace IS's brutal Islamists:
"We need to support moderate opposition forces there. Moderate opposition forces means all those forces who are tolerant of other Syrian citizens, who do not commit any terrorist crimes and who do not collaborate with the Syrian regime, which is responsible for all these humanitarian tragedies in the last four, five years."
The key word here is "moderate." In all reality, Davutoglu wants to replace extreme Islamists with less extreme Islamists. And the less extreme ones come under a different flag: the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which Turkey has vehemently supported over the past few years, in the hope that it would fight and topple Turkey's regional nemesis, Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

The FSA was formed in August 2011 by Syrian army deserters, and was based in Turkey. Unsurprisingly, its fighters are 90% Sunni, which explains the real appeal to the Sunni supremacist Davutoglu. The FSA militias are a ragtag group of rebels with a cause: to build a Sunni Islamist Syria, albeit not a Salafist Syria. The group does not have a real structure, money or sophisticated weapons to fight either Assad or the Islamic State.


Members of the Free Syrian Army's Al-Tawhid Brigade pose for a photo in Aleppo, in 2012. (Image source: Vice video screenshot)


In Syria's civil war, it is not uncommon to see fighters moving from one group to another. In March, for instance, the US-backed "moderate" rebel group, Harakat Hazzam, disbanded and its members joined extremist groups such as the al-Nusrah Front (ANF), an al-Qaeda offshoot, and the Levant Front, a coalition of rebels, also with ties to al-Qaeda. The ANF has, in addition, picked up thousands of men who once fought under the flag of the FSA.

Almost invariably, the groups fighting in Syria, with varying degrees of violence, are Islamists. If Davutoglu can market the FSA to his American allies, he will be nurturing, on his private agenda, another Islamist group that can potentially become another band of jihadists. Davutoglu is trying to make Syria an extension of Turkey for Muslim Brotherhood Sunni Islam.

In 2012, the Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued an open letter to opposition groups in Syria, including the FSA, accusing them of carrying out kidnappings, torture and executions. A United Nations-sponsored inquiry commission documented war crimes committed by these groups.

Some FSA-aligned groups have been criticized for having an affiliation with radical Islamists. The group itself was accused of summarily executing innumerable prisoners it held. Furthermore, the UN offered credible allegations against opposition groups, including the FSA, that they were recruiting children as soldiers. The FSA was mentioned in a 2014 HRW report detailing the widespread practice of using child soldiers -- just as the IS is doing. All that is reasonable when you recall that some FSA-aligned brigades are working with hardline Islamist groups, including al-Qaeda and Ahrar Al-Sham.

Such is the profile of the "moderate" rebel group that Turkey supports and tells the U.S. is the "good guys" fighting for democracy in Syria.

In other words, with U.S. help, Turkey wants to build, in parts of Syria, a Sunni Islamist rule, which it hopes will expand into other Syrian regions, finally reaching Damascus.

This may not be a realistic scenario, but even its progress can potentially create new Frankenstein monsters in Syria, with, most likely, "moderate" Islamists taking off their masks and becoming the radicals they in fact are.
Burak Bekdil, based in Ankara, is a Turkish columnist for the Hürriyet Daily and a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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Friday, July 31, 2015

Swatting Moles

"You know people will make a way - they will dig under the fence."
"The ferries became too difficult so now they are trying the trains. People will swim if that's too difficult."
Uhrad, 30, Eritrean accountant, Calais migrant

Migrants camp in squalid conditions on a site dubbed 'The Jungle II' in Calais (PA)
"It's like trying to swat moles. All we can do is take them out of the terminal area and then leave them there. And then five minutes later they can be back inside again."
Claude Verri, UNSA police union

"Calais is suffocating The tourists have stopped coming here because all they see on the telly is stories about migrants and they are afraid to come."
"The government is incompetent. When migrant camps build up in Paris they move them on. But when they're here in Calais, they don't give a damn."
Gilles Duvauchelle, cafe owner, Calais, France

Long queues formed on French roads after striking workers blocked access to the harbour with burning tyres (AFP/Getty)


It began with a slow and steady buildup. First migrants in their hundreds, then a swelling of newly arriving men, and women with children, becoming a desperate horde in the tens of thousands. All hoping that by some miracle of mind-over-matter their search for haven and a future will be over. They will have arrived at a port that will open arms to receive them, offer them a new start in life and the future will be returned to them.

A perfectly deplorable storm that was inevitable has blown into Europe, enveloping Italy and Spain, France and Britain, with migrants hoping against hope that they will manage, somehow, to find themselves in ... Germany ... where they will find employment and live satisfactorily ever after. Germany feels otherwise; Italy and Spain are exhausted with coping, and Britain and France will soon be at one another's throats.


A sign near the M20 in Kent directed at David Cameron (Neil Hall/Reuters)


In recent days Calais has been transformed from a tourism port stop to a large sprawling jungle of tents and scheming migrants hoping to outwit and outrun the security forces arraigned against their completing their self-appointed mission of jumping the barriers that are restraining them from freedom and a new life they imagine will be theirs, sooner they hope, than much later.

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Signs that read: "Beware -- Do Not Add To Recent Deaths -- Danger of Death", do not deter the determined. After all, many of those who have reached this point are already escaping death. Reading in English, French, Arabic and a handful of other languages, posted on the barbed wire fence around the Channel Tunnel terminal, it is just yet another hurdle in their massive task of transporting themselves by any possible means onward into the heart of West Europe.

Each night several thousand migrants storm through the barricades attempting to keep them from penetrating Europe. More secure fencing is about to be installed at Britain's cost in a few days' time. Knowing that things will only become more difficult, the impulse to continue the attempts while they yet may keeps events churning. Calmer Mediterranean conditions have enabled more migrants to reach Europe from Libya and Egypt

French riot police watch from a distance, prepared to move expeditiously whenever migrants are seen clambering over or cutting gaps through the double fence. "I don't care if they put a fire there, I'll still get over it", 28-year-old Darood from Ethiopia states; he has nothing to lose since most of his family is now dead, he says. He failed to burst through yesterday, but today's another day, another try.

Police had arrested 300 people attempting to break into the tunnel terminal on Thursday. Each time a gap is cut in the fence, workers move to fix it. Police keep attempting to push back the migrants. It's unknown how many eventually manage to get through to Britain. Officials claim to have caught 18,000 stowaways between January 1 and May 21. Some of them find death, not deliverance, through electrocution or by falling off trains or trucks.



The British highway congestion blocking the expressway is set to be relieved by using truck parks near Folkestone on land owned by the Defence department. Calais ferry workers and their wildcat strikes have added to the mayhem, halting ferry and train services repeatedly. All combining to create the perfectly dreadful perfect storm of instability and human tragedy.

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Days of Rage

"I feel a sense of shame, and moreover a sense of pain. Pain over the murder of a small baby. Pain that from my people, there are those who have chosen the path of terrorism, and have lost their humanity."
Israeli President Reuven Rivlin

"To our brothers in Fatah in the West Bank your circumstances allow you to carry out a quality act of resistance. The crimes of the occupation exclude no one. Will any of your noble men make us proud?"
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman, Palestinian Authority
A house fire in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank, suspected to have been set by Jewish extremists, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child, injuring both the parents and four year old son. (Oren Ziv/Getty Images)
A house fire in the Palestinian village of Duma, West Bank, suspected to have been set by Jewish
 extremists, killed an 18-month-old Palestinian child, injuring both the parents and four year old son. 
(Oren Ziv/Getty Images)

No single ethnic or religious group has a monopoly on lurid fanaticism. The lunacy of psychosis seems to emanate through unstable minds captured by the rigid formalism of religious extremism.
Israel most certainly has its share of citizens of ultraorthodox Judaism whose faith is driven single-mindedly to hatred of those whose vision of the divine is not as devoted as their own.

These are people whose faith is beyond notional, a faith that directs their minds and their actions toward acts of ferocious brutality.

It is why an ultrareligious man who had once before violently attacked peaceful marchers at a Gay Pride parade in Jerusalem, repeated that performance with a vengeance, stabbing six people innocent of any intention to do him harm. It is why young religion-addled Israelis abducted a Palestinian boy and murdered him in revenge for Hamas having done the same to three young Israeli boys.

It is why some suspected Israeli settlers from the West Bank set fire to several homes of Palestinians, killing a year-and-a-half-old child, causing burns to 60 percent of his four-year-old brother's body, and sending the parents as well to hospital to recover from their burns.

An Israeli soldier stands near a house in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus, where a Palestinian infant was killed July 31, 2015, in an arson attack, apparently by Jewish extremists. (Photo by FLASH90)
An Israeli soldier stands near a house in the Palestinian village of Duma, near Nablus, where a Palestinian infant was killed July 31, 2015, in an arson attack, apparently by Jewish extremists. (Photo by FLASH90)

And it is why the general Israeli public is in a renewed sense of shock that among them live arsonists and murderers whose religious devotion has irremediably tainted their humanity. It is why the Israeli papers are replete with one article after another condemning such people and bemoaning their having besmirched the entire Jewish Israeli community.

And it why the Palestinian Authority's Mahmoud Abbas seeks to stir condemnation once again within the United Nations with a picture of Israel as a state planning genocide of Palestinians.

Above all, it is why Hamas has issued a call to all Palestinians to express their rage by planning and carrying out "lone-wolf" attacks to protest yet another "unforgivable Israeli atrocity" clearly requiring an "exceptional response from our people and their resistance" according to Hamas spokesman Husam Badran. "This crime renders occupation soldiers and settlers a legitimate target for the resistance everywhere and in all conditions", he urged.


Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for President Abbas's office, accuses the Israeli government in its support for settlements for having driven the attack. "This is a heinous crime that wouldn’t have happened if the government didn’t defend the settlers, and didn’t insist on building in the settlements."  And of course corollary logic would have it that if the Palestinian Authority truly represented the interests of Palestinians it would long since have agreed to living in peace with Israel, recognizing its Jewish character and exhorting Palestinians to live side by side in a state of their own.

It's early days yet, but so far, since the funeral of the Palestinian baby several riots and attacks have eventuated. A riot took place near the Temple Mount, according to Army Radio. But then riots by Palestinians, livid with rage that Jews dare to worship at the site of the holiest place in Judaism, are a common enough phenomena. In another incident, someone opened fire on an Israeli vehicle in the West Bank; the car hit by bullets, the people within fortunately unscathed.

Then again, cars in the West Bank driven by Jewish settlers are often stoned or fired upon; sometimes there are casualties, sometimes not.  Rioters in the Jerusalem-area Palestinian village of Isawiya tossed firebombs and rocks at police officers with no injuries as yet reported. So, in other words, normal life in Israel and the West Bank continues.

The news of more serious attacks, successful in their intent, which also represents 'normal' occurrences in Israel and the West Bank, have yet to surface.

And, of course, the European Union has responded to the situation in its inimitable way. Calling upon the Government of Israel to "...take resolute measures to protect the local population. We call for full accountability, effective law enforcement and zero tolerance for settler violence", in a demand by a spokesperson for EU foreign affairs head Federica Mogeherini.

It takes no genius to parse that demand that the 'local population' referred to means the Palestinians, not inclusive of the Jews.

It is as though without the thoughtful reminder of the European Union, in its concern for part of the population, government authorities in Israel, reeling from yet another dreadful incident implicating fanatical Jews, is not intent on fully committing to ensuring that justice is done.
 

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Psychotic Islamist Barbarism

"What we are fighting, in Islamist extremism, is an ideology. It is an extreme doctrine. And like any extreme doctrine, it is subversive. At its furthest end it seeks to destroy nation-states to invent its own barbaric realm. And it often backs violence to achieve this aim — mostly violence against fellow Muslims — who don't subscribe to its sick worldview."
"But you don't have to support violence to subscribe to certain intolerant ideas which create a climate in which extremists can flourish. Ideas which are hostile to basic liberal values such as democracy, freedom and sexual equality. Ideas which actively promote discrimination, sectarianism and segregation...."
"And ideas also based on conspiracy: that Jews exercise malevolent power; or that Western powers, in concert with Israel, are deliberately humiliating Muslims, because they aim to destroy Islam. In this warped worldview, such conclusions are reached — that 9/11 was actually inspired by Mossad to provoke the invasion of Afghanistan; that British security services knew about 7/7, but didn't do anything about it because they wanted to provoke an anti-Muslim backlash."                                                                          British Prime Minister David Cameron, Birmingham speech, July 20, 2015


The Afghan Taliban have a new leader to take up the Islamist jihad from where it was left off by the death two years earlier by its original leader, Mullah Omar. There is little doubt that Mullah Akhtar Mansoor will dedicate himself to performing as well in the position as did his predecessor. The show must go on, and there is little lashback against the fundamentalist Taliban that can convince them that their obligation to jihad be curtailed in the greater interests of humanity.

In Pakistan the Islamic terrorist Malik Ishaq who directed the Taliban and al-Qaeda-linked Lashkar-e-Jhangvi group was killed by police during an assault on a police convoy in an attempt by followers to free him from police custody. Eleven other Islamist jihadis were killed along with the terrorist chief, including his two sons Usman and Haq Nawaz in an exchange of fire with police.
www.dailymotion.com

While Washington has finally admitted recognition of evidence of Sarin used during Syrian regime combat operations, the village of Al-Safira in northern Syria where the chemical depot of the Syrian Army is stockpiled is under attack by Islamist groups including Jabhat al-Nusra, an al-Qaeda affiliate. The concern that Islamists may take possession of sarin, the lethal nerve gas leads to scenarios occurring where al-Qaeda too will use chemical ammunition.

Turkey is finally conducting airstrikes against Islamic State installations in neighbouring Syria and in Iraq, having decided to throw in their lot with NATO rather than continue covert state support for Islamic State jihadis. Presumably, foreign Islamists will no longer be ushered through Turkey to join Islamic State in Syria. Simultaneously, Turkey is bombing the only militias successful in countering Islamic State, the Kurdish PKK.

In northern Punjab state near the border with Pakistan, Indian police have found bombs on the railway tracks at the Dinanagar railway station. Attacking terrorists wearing Army uniforms believed to be from Indian-administered Kashmir fired on a bus, injuring passengers at the bus station, then attacked a police station in Gurdaspur district. Several policemen were killed, one was Punjab's Superintendent of Police; six wounded, and three others also killed, as well as the five armed terrorists.


From Syria to Iraq, Libya to Egypt, Afghanistan to Pakistan, Iran to Cameroon, Mali to Nigeria, Bangladesh to the Philippines, Islamist fanatics are busy proving to the world that Islam is the foremost religion of peace in the world. In these countries where hundreds of millions live under threat of organized and random Islamist terror threatening their lives, resulting in hordes of refugees, Islam is on the move.

Islamists are heeding the call to jihad. Just as powerful a decree within Islam as jihad is the imperative to spread Islam, to help transform the non-Muslim world into a wider Muslim world. Jihad and prosetylization have become polarized; jihad slaughtering non-Muslims and Muslims alike, and yet Islam is recognized as being the fastest-growing religion in the world, with more people conveting to Islam than any other religion.

Fanatical Islam is cleansing the Middle East of its historical Christian populations as pogroms and ethnic cleansing have picked up apace. The once-feared al-Qaeda rebellion against Western-tolerant Muslim governments and rulers now appears almost benevolently moderate in their measured though stern approach to the imposition of universal Sharia.



The viral spread of a more vile intolerance and unspeakable glee in committing outrageous atrocities against ethnic and religious minorities, along with journalists and representatives of the West while creating very special theatrical slaughters carried out by children instructed in the niceties of mortal carnage appear to appeal to a wider audience resulting in eager recruits storming the barricades to join Islamic State.

The fearsome reputation of Islamic State as a terrorist organization par excellence has resulted in haunting the imagination of those not enraptured by the sight of anguished prisoners led in a row of orange jump-suited garb to await their death throes. A Pew Research Center global poll has revealed that the ISIL menace ranks higher on international consciousness than any other issue among citizens of Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Japan, Korea, Jordan, Lebanon, Australia, Indonesia and Palestine.

Poll respondents also indicated their unease with the Iranian nuclear program, with Russian and Chinese belligerence, with cyberattacks, and with global economic instability. Earlier this swiftly-passing month, British Prime Minister David Cameron spoke of his government's strategy to subdue extremist ideology as "the struggle of our generation".

www.dailymotion.com

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Concerning Concerned Canadian Muslims

  • We acknowledge the extraordinary experience of acceptance of Muslims in Canadian society.
  • We are committed to countering the impact of the hate-filled ideologies of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Khomeinists and other extremist groups, on Canada.
  • We decry the promotion by extremists of 'cultural victimhood' as an insidious tool to attract supporters and lay the groundwork for radicalization.  
  • We reject the unfettered use of accusations of "Islamophobia" to inhibit free speech and silence the discussion on Islamist extremism in Canada.
  • We urge Canada to enact stronger policy initiatives to contend with extremist ideologies that generate radicalization.
  • We support the legislative measures adopted by Canada to protect Canadians from terrorism.
  • We unequivocally support Canadian legislation prohibiting forced marriages, female genital mutilation (FGM) and other such loathsome practices.
  • We support Canada's continued involvement in the military mission against ISIS.
  • We support Canada's listing of the Iranian and Syrian regimes as state sponsors of terror.
Above are the inspiring statements of the collective voice of a coalition calling themselves Muslims Facing Tomorrow. Their website, muslimsfacingtomorrow.com introduces the curious to their mission within Canada as Muslims disturbed beyond complacent isolation from those Muslim-Canadian groups that distinguish themselves by the tactics of divisive and hateful propaganda against those with whom they disagree or who raise their traditional ire.

The full-page advertisement published in Canadian newspapers on Thursday, 30 July 2015 is unequivocal in its support of the current Government of Canada's attempts to protect all Canadians against home-grown terrorism, of Canada's involvement in international efforts to confront radical Islam, and in its rejection of Muslim societies within Canada purporting to speak for Canadian Muslims who accuse those critical of political Islam of "Islamophobia".

MFT final ad for press


Muslims Facing Tomorrow, a coalition of Muslim groups that have formed to counteract the efforts of political Islamists who have much in common with and support groups like Hezbollah and Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and celebrate Iranian influence in Canada has stated its commitment to advancing the interests of all people regardless of ethnicity, religion, civil status, gender orientation or any other indices that generally tend to set people apart from one another.

This timely, refreshing and vitally critical exposition of an entirely humanist mode of expressing solidarity with all the citizens of Canada with a common interest in advancing human society, human rights and equality among people, sets in perspective a hitherto not fully recognized effort on the part of people dismayed at seeing their religion used as a tool of medieval violence, threatening co-existence even among Muslims whose sect is viewed as that of heretics.

It is beyond reassuring to know that Tarek Fatah, Salim Mansur, Irshad Manji, Nazeem Afshin-Jan and Raheel Reza are not alone in their dedication to defending the religion they know and love while confronting the destabilizing efforts of fanatical Muslims living in Canada and spreading their message of suspicion, hatred, rejection of equality and the opportunity to live in peace with their neighbours. Muslims Facing Tomorrow spurs those on the sidelines to raise their voices in support of Canadian values.

Aligned with them in Muslims Facing Tomorrow is the Coalition of Progressive Canadian Muslim Organizations, Muslim Committee Against Antisemitism, Canadian Thinkers' Forum, Muslim Youth Expressions and Forum for Learning. While Canada is beset in some quarters with the threat of militant Islam, we are fortunate to have among us Canadians who subscribe to the tenets that support their belief that Islam is a religion of peace, rejecting those that seek to assert otherwise.

Canadian Muslims who have accepted Canadian values and who deplore the fanatical Islamism that prevails throughout much of the Middle East, Southeast Asia and North Africa today, have finally raised their voice to inform the Canadian reading public that there are indeed righteous among the faithful whose values are distinctly oriented in opposition to militant, human-rights-abusing Islamism.

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Gatestone Institute


  • While many in the international community and media hold Israel fully responsible for the plight of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abrash offers a completely different perspective.
  • Referring to widespread corruption under the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank, the former Palestinian minister reveals that Palestinian academic institutions, including universities and colleges, have become "commercial projects for granting certificates that have no scientific value or content."
  • This is a voice that is rarely given a platform in mainstream media outlets in the West, whose journalists continue to focus almost entirely on stories that reflect negatively on Israel. Western journalists based in the Middle East tend to ignore Palestinians who are critical of the PA or Hamas, because such criticism does not fit the narrative according to which Israel is solely responsible for all the bad things that happen to the Palestinians.
  • Abrash's criticism of Hamas and the PA -- whom he openly holds responsible for the suffering of their people -- actually reflects the widespread sentiment among Palestinians. Over the past few years, a growing number of Palestinians have come to realize that their leaders have failed them again and again and are now aware that both Hamas and the PA, as corrupt as ever, are hindering efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip.
It is almost unheard of for a prominent Palestinian figure to hold the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas equally responsible for corruption and abuse of power.

Dr. Ibrahim Abrash, a former Palestinian Minister of Culture from the Gaza Strip, recently surprised many Palestinians by publishing an article that included a scathing attack on both the PA and Hamas, holding them responsible for the continued suffering of their people.
In his article, Dr. Abrash also holds the two Palestinian parties responsible for the delay in rebuilding thousands of houses that were destroyed or damaged in the Gaza Strip during last year's military conflict between Israel and Hamas. He points out that Hamas and the PA have been holding each other responsible for the suffering of Palestinians. "Sometimes, they also put all the blame on Israel for all that is happening in the Gaza Strip," he said.

Referring to the ongoing power struggle between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, which reached its peak with the violent takeover by Hamas of the entire Gaza Strip in the summer of 2007, Dr. Abrash accused the two rival parties of exploiting their dispute to cover up corruption in vital sectors of Palestinian society.

"In light of the division [between the PA-controlled West Bank and Hamas-run Gaza], corruption and absence of accountability have become widespread," Dr. Abrash wrote. "This division has led to the collapse of the political system and the system of values, and an increase in corruption. This has also allowed many opportunists and hypocrites to reach important positions, where they do anything they want without being held accountable."

J'Accuse. Dr. Ibrahim Abrash, a former Palestinian Minister of Culture (left), accuses Palestinian Authority and Hamas officials of corruption, extortion, opportunism and hypocrisy. Pictured in the middle is PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and at right Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh.

And while many in the international community and media continue to hold Israel fully responsible for the plight of the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abrash offers a completely different perspective.

Noting that the Palestinians of the Gaza Strip have fallen victim to the power struggle between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority, he says that no one today knows who is supposed to be helping the people living there.

"The interests of the people have been lost as result of the two parties' rivalry," Dr. Abrash said. "No one knows who is in charge of the people's needs in the Gaza Strip -- Hamas, which is the de facto authority in the Gaza Strip, or the Palestinian Authority and its national consensus government. Or is it UNRWA and the donors who are responsible? Or is it the sole responsibility of Israel as an occupation state? To whom should the people direct their complaints?"

Referring to widespread corruption under the PA in the West Bank, the former Palestinian minister reveals that Palestinian academic institutions, including universities and colleges, have become "commercial projects for granting certificates that have no scientific value or content."

Dr. Abrash points out that no one knows whether universities and colleges in the Gaza Strip are subject to the supervision of the Ministry of Education in the West Bank or the Gaza Strip.

He also blasts the PA's Ministry of Civilian Affairs for exploiting and extorting Palestinians who seek travel permits, especially those wishing to leave the Gaza Strip. He goes on to hold Hamas responsible for "harassing" Palestinians who wish to leave the Gaza Strip through the Erez border crossing (to Israel). Dr. Abrash claims that some Palestinians are forced to pay bribes to Palestinian officials to obtain a travel permit.

"Many people have been subjected to blackmail and procrastination [by Palestinian officials] after Israel eased travel restrictions at the Bet Hanoun [Erez] border crossing," he said. "But the people are afraid to complain, out of fear that they would be denied travel permits in the future. What is happening at the border crossing has created favoritism and bribery."

Dr. Abrash concludes his article with a rhetorical question: "Isn't it shameful and irritating that while Israel has been issuing travel permits for those with special needs, some influential [Palestinian] officials are placing obstacles? Until when will they continue to manipulate and blackmail the people of the Gaza Strip?"

Dr. Abrash's article represents a rare voice of sanity among Palestinians. This is a voice that does not blame all the miseries of Palestinians on Israel alone and holds the Palestinians leadership also responsible for the continued suffering of their people.

However, this is a voice that is rarely given a platform in mainstream media outlets in the West, whose journalists continue to focus almost entirely on stories that reflect negatively on Israel.

Western journalists based in the Middle East tend to ignore Palestinians who are critical of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. That is because such criticism does not fit the narrative according to which Israel is solely responsible for all the bad things that happen to the Palestinians.

Dr. Abrash's criticism of Hamas and the PA -- whom he openly holds responsible for the suffering of their people -- actually reflects the widespread sentiment among Palestinians. Over the past few years, a growing number of Palestinians have come to realize that their leaders have failed them again and again. Today, many Palestinians are aware of the fact that both Hamas and the PA are responsible for hindering efforts to rebuild the Gaza Strip and that the two parties are as corrupt as ever.

But when will the international community and media wake up and comprehend what many Palestinians came to understand years ago, namely that the real tragedy of the Palestinian people has been -- and remains -- bad and irresponsible leadership? Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen as long as the world continues to see Israel as the villain.

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