Archive for October 2008
The first is that we should stop treating British people as if they were members of a confessional group, stop trying to mediate the State’s relationship with them through self appointed, and often very politically extreme religious and “community leaders”, and appreciate that true multiculturalism is something different than what Amartya Sen calls “plural monoculturalism”.
The second option is to treat Muslims as a monolithic bloc, and to proceed on the basis that Muslims will go over to Al Qaeda, unless we do a deal with Islamist groups – like Jamaat-e-Islami and the Muslim Brotherhood – which promise only to advocate and carry out acts of terrorism abroad. The thinking is that Muslims are intrinsically a “problem”, and that we therefore need to cut a Northern Ireland-style deal with their ‘leaders’ who will keep their followers from blowing themselves up, in return for being granted a privileged position by the state, as intermediaries and advisers.
Even if I don’t like multiculturalism, I really believe we agree in much of the content of the two options. So which one do you think that UK politicians support? Just read the post carefully, it’s a very important one…
One of the directors of Venezuela’s National Electoral Council (CNE), Vicente Díaz, solicited an official investigation of whether President Hugo Chávez has violated electoral laws by “acting as chief of state [while] promoting candidates from the electoral option of the [United Socialist Party of Venezuela] PSUV.”
“The President of the Republic has political rights as a citizen, and the norms do not prohibit her or him from electoral action. What they do prohibit is [electoral action] while exercising his or her public function,” said Díaz during a press conference Tuesday.
Specifically, Díaz said that Chávez promoted the PSUV during the recent inauguration of a petro-chemical complex constructed by the state oil company PDVSA.
Also, Chávez made campaign-related threats directed at Manuel Rosales, who is the current governor of Zulia and candidate for mayor of Zulia’s capital city, Maracaibo, while addressing a group of Zulia business leaders about national economic policy last Saturday, said Díaz.
Read also Chávez goes wasting Venezuelan’s money.
And here there is more about Chávez’s desire of jailing Manuel Rosales.
Eric Breininger has been one of Germany’s most-wanted men since he joined the Islamist Jihad Union terrorist organization. He’s now resurfaced in a video from Afghanistan. His message: He has no plans for an attack against Germany.
German officials have been looking for the young man for months. It is a search that has spanned the globe, but which had largely been fruitless. Until Tuesday that is, when Eric Breininger, a young German man from the western state of Saarland, popped up in an Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) terror video claiming he is currently in Afghanistan.
In the video, Breininger — a 21-year-old convert to Islam who has adopted the nom de guerre Abdulgaffar el Almani — sounds little like the terrorist German officials suspect he has become. Indeed, in the six-minute-long clip, which was posted on the IJU Web site on Tuesday, he sounds more like a young schoolboy reading his homework out loud in front of the class. The mini-movie is called “A Call from Hindu Kush,” and its message is clear: “I am currently in Afghanistan and am not personally planning an attack on the country of Germany,” Breininger says into the camera.
The statement seems to be a direct response to growing concerns that Breininger was preparing to do just that — and that such an attack could be imminent. Much of that fear stems from knowledge of the group Breininger has joined. The IJU had close contacts with three terror suspects arrested in the western German region of Sauerlandlast year. The three, Fritz Gelowicz, Adem Yilmaz and Daniel Schneider, stand accused of trying to build a bomb for at attack in Germany. The IJU was also responsible for a suicide attack in Khost, Afghanistan carried out by Cüneyit C. from Bavaria. The March attack killed four people.
(…) Breininger’s video is not unlike others in the genre. He accuses the German government of double standards for promoting democracy in some parts of the world but not standing up for Muslims when they are treated poorly. He says that Germany is a potential target for Islamists because the country’s military, the Bundeswehr, is stationed in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan and that pulling soldiers out of those countries would reduce the danger of an attack. He warns that he and his comrades will wage “war against the occupiers” until the countries occupied are “liberated.” Any country that is a military ally of the United States, he says, should expect to be attacked.
This is especially the case in prisons around Casablanca, where the majority of al-Qaida insurgents have been held, the Med Basin Newsline reported Tuesday, citing the city’s Okasha prison, where al-Qaida-aligned inmates were reported to have taken over an entire ward.
Sources told the news agency that opponents there were intimidated or assaulted until they were transferred or accepted al-Qaida’s rule, which includes strict adherence to Sharia law. Some who have opposed the Islamic militants — most of whom were convicted for terrorism offenses — have been strangled to death, the sources said.
UPDATED: read also Attacks on Spanish enclave continue.
Around 40 African migrants took advantage of flood damage at the border to cross into Spain’s North African enclave of Melilla from Morocco on Monday, police and local government officials said.
Just consider that Moroccan king has given several amnesties to jailed terrorists who had not been condemned for killing people. And then the state of Moroccan prisons. Hmm, what a marvellous perspective.
Catholics in Russia learned today that two priests, Frs. Otto Messmer and Victor Betancourt, both Jesuits, were beaten to death at their apartment in Moscow.
According to the website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Russia, the two priests’ bodies were discovered at around 9:00 p.m. on October 28 at the Moscow apartment owned by the Jesuits.
The Jesuit Conference reports that a fellow Jesuit discovered the priests after he went on their apartment to check on them. Upon finding their bodies, he contacted the police.
The police determined that though the priests were found in the same apartment, the murders took place on different days. Father Victor Betancourt Ruiz (42) from Ecuador was killed on October 25, and Father Otto Messmer (47), who was the Provincial of the Jesuits in Russia was murdered two days later after returning home from a trip abroad. The motive for the murders is yet to be determined.
A former computer programmer for the Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada was convicted on five terrorism-related charges on Wednesday. Justice Douglas J. A. Rutherford of the Ontario Superior Court of Justice ruled that the programmer, Mohammad Momin Khawaja, had given money and support to a terrorist group that planned bombings in England. A British court found five people linked with Mr. Khawaja guilty last year of taking part in the bombing plot, which was not carried out; they were sentenced to life in prison. The Canadian judge said prosecutors had failed to prove that Mr. Khawaja knew about the British group’s plans to bomb British targets, but he found Mr. Khawaja guilty of having created a remote bomb detonator that the defendant called the “hifidigimonster.” The defense said that Mr. Khawaja thought the plotters planned to use the device in Afghanistan or Iraq.
“There is ample evidence apart from the support and preparation for violent jihad with the mujahedeen in Afghanistan or elsewhere, establishing that Momin Khawaja knew he was dealing with a group whose objects and purposes included activity that meets the (Criminal) Code definition of terrorist activity,” the judge wrote in his 24,000-word decision.
“His most tangible and visible facilitation of that activity was his work in developing the Hi-Fi Digimonster, the remote trigger for an IED. He agreed to build about 30 of them. On the evidence, it is unclear what he knew or anticipated as to where they would be used, or that Khawaja even cared where they would be used. His emir or leader asked him to provide them and he agreed.”
Allam told Pope Benedict he specifically objected to Cardinal Tauran telling a conference in August that Islam itself promotes peace but that “‘some believers’ have ‘betrayed their faith,’” using it as a pretext for violence.
“The objective reality, I tell you with all sincerity and animated by a constructive intent, is exactly the opposite of what Cardinal Tauran imagines,” Allam told the pope. “Islamic extremism and terrorism are the mature fruit” of following “the sayings of the Quran and the thought and action of Mohammed.”
This is something really dangerous and interesting. If someone as peaceful, as rational and as cultivated as this man, considers that Islam is a Religion of War, we should think about it for a minute… carefully.
Suicide bombers struck targets across northern Somalia on Wednesday, including a U.N. compound, officials said. There were deaths and dozens of injuries, but an exact figure was still unclear.
“We are still counting the bodies,” said Ismail Adani, a spokesman for the government of the breakaway republic of Somaliland, where bombers hit the U.N. compound, the Ethiopian Consulate and the presidential palace.
Suicide bombers also attacked two intelligence facilities in the northern Somali region of Puntland on Wednesday. The two suicide bombers died in the attack and six security officials were wounded, said Muse Gelle Yusuf, governor of Somalia’s northern port city of Bossaso. The region is a hotbed of abductions and piracy.
UPDATE: 19 killed in 3 terrorist attacks.
A senior Whitehall official who left highly classified intelligence documents about al-Qaida and the capabilities of the Iraqi security forces on a train was fined £2,500 today by Westminster magistrates court after admitting negligence.
Richard Jackson, 37, who was on secondment from the Ministry of Defence to the Cabinet Office at the time, 37, of Yateley, Hampshire, was charged under a section of the Official Secrets Act covering the safeguarding of information.
It is the first prosecution of its kind and it had been widely assumed in Whitehall he would be disciplined by internal procedures rather than charged under the criminal law. The court heard he had already taken a “drastic” pay cut and effectively been demoted by three grades.
I don’t know the facts, but it seems rather odd someone who is a senior official forgets such documents in a train, isn’t it?
Among at least 24 aid workers killed in Somalia this year was one who was beheaded last month specifically for converting from Islam to Christianity, among other charges, according to an eyewitness.
Muslim extremists from the al Shabab group fighting the transitional government on Sept. 23 sliced the head off of Mansuur Mohammed, 25, a World Food Program (WFP) worker, before horrified onlookers of Manyafulka village, 10 kilometers (six miles) from Baidoa.
The militants had intercepted Mohammed and a WFP driver, who managed to escape, earlier in the morning. Sources close to Mohammed’s family said he converted from Islam to Christianity in 2005.
(…) The Muslim militant announced that Mohammed was an infidel and a spy for occupying Ethiopian soldiers.
Mohammed remained calm with an expressionless face, never uttering a word, said the eyewitness. As the chanting of “Allah Akubar [God is greater]” rose to a crescendo, one of the militiamen twisted his head, allowing the other to slit his neck. When the head was finally severed from the torso, the killers cheered as they displayed it to the petrified crowd.
Don’t think any comments are needed. Only that where is the outrage on this kind of killings?? There is NONE!
Female senators staged a walkout from the federal parliament Monday to press for action on better protections for women after a national newspaper published details of Tasleem Solangi’s death.
“How long will women be buried alive and made to face hungry dogs? Women are not given their rights,” opposition lawmaker Semi Siddiqui said.Ibrahim Solangi, 28, has been in custody ever since Taslim’s death in March and is awaiting trial on murder charges, said Pir Mohammad Shah, the police chief of the Khairpur Mirs district in southern Pakistan. Taslim’s husband was also her first cousin.
Speaking to reporters in Karachi on Monday, Taslim’s father said he was locked up in his home and forced to watch from a window as dogs chased her and then mauled her when she fell down exhausted. She then was shot, he said.
Gulsher Solangi said the killing was the culmination of a land dispute. He said his nephew had beaten Taslim throughout the five months of their marriage to pressure him to hand over his small farm.
Faced with more threats, Gulsher Solangi said he had fled with his wife and another daughter and abandoned his home.
Zameer Hussain Solangi, the girl’s father-in-law, claimed Monday that his son confessed to the killing under police torture and that the allegation regarding the dogs was “baseless.”
He said a tribal council later declared the dead woman an adulterer and compensated the husband with her jewelry.
Amazing: she was killed because his father didn’t want to hand over his farm and the tribal council disguised everything as an honor killing because she was an adulterer!!! A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!!
AsiaNews.it has more. Read it: it’s worth it.
Out of desperation, much of the continent is selling itself into a new era of corruption and virtual slavery as China seeks to buy up all the metals, minerals and oil she can lay her hands on: copper for electric and telephone cables, cobalt for mobile phones and jet engines – the basic raw materials of modern life.
(…) It is my view – and not just because I was so nearly killed – that China’s cynical new version of imperialism in Africa is a wicked enterprise.
China offers both rulers and the ruled in Africa the simple, squalid advantages of shameless exploitation.
For the governments, there are gargantuan loans, promises of new roads, railways, hospitals and schools – in return for giving Peking a free and tax-free run at Africa’s rich resources of oil, minerals and metals.
For the people, there are these wretched leavings, which, miserable as they are, must be better than the near-starvation they otherwise face.
I recommend to see the photos inside…
You can also read Will killing of oil workers harden China’s Darfur policy? about the consequences for Darfur of the recent murder of several oil Chinese workers. The Sudanese Government has blamed a rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM), which in turn has denied any implication in the murder and has accused the Government of trying to distract the international community from its own crimes in Darfur.
Meanwhile China and Russia have signed a pipeline deal: from Siberia to China:
‘The pipeline agreed on,’ the report goes on to say, ‘would have a capacity of 15 million tons of oil per year and would be a branch of the main East Siberia-Pacific Ocean trunk pipeline, which is still under construction.’
Hmm, interesting development.
Mohammad Khan, 28, who grew up in Qatar, was found guilty of raping a woman he met the night before at 3D nightclub in Melbourne. At 5:30am the next day the woman awoke in an alley to find a man on top of her being jeered on by friends. The woman believed she was drugged.
Don’t think I can comment on this, really.
His wife and supporters welcomed the news that MEPs had picked him for the Sakharov prize, worth €50,000 (£39,500) Previous recipients include Nelson Mandela and the East Timorese leader, Xanana Gusmao.
“Hu Jia is one of the real defenders of human rights in the People’s Republic of China,” said Hans-Gert Poettering, president of the European parliament.
Hu was sentenced to three and a half years in jail this spring on subversion charges, amid what human rights campaigners described as a coordinated crackdown on activists before the Olympics.
This video shows the actual harrassment from police officers on Hu Jia:
The Organisation of the Islamic Conference has secured a deal in which they will withdraw their opposition to a Brazilian gay NGO gaining accredited status at the UN in return for a ban on gay, lesbian or transgender issues being discussed.
We would have to consider the reactions IF this agreement would have been reached by any Christian denomination…
Chinese President Hu Jintao met with the visiting Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero in Beijing on Saturday.
Hu said, as this year marked the 35th anniversary of China-Spain bilateral ties, China is willing to work with Spain to strengthen bilateral cooperation for joint development. Hu expressed hopes of further high-level exchanges among governments, parliaments, parties and local agencies between the two countries in the future.
He also urged enterprises of both countries to increase mutual investments and take active measures for trade balance. Exchanges and cooperation in the areas of culture, education, science and technology, sports and tourism are also expected to expand, said the President.
In addition, Hu stressed the two countries should strengthen negotiations and cooperation on important international issues like global finance, climate change, anti-terrorism and food safety, so as to safeguard the common interests of both countries.
Zapatero said the Spanish government attaches great importance to its relationship with China and is willing to play its role in promoting a Sino-European relationship in the future. China and Spain established an all-round strategic partnership to put forward bilateral cooperation in 2005.
Even if it’s logical to find new allies and to work hard for new commercial partners, I believe the moment is not the most appropriate one, with Zapatero begging for a seat in the G-20 meeting.
Police arrested four men in connection with last month’s suicide attack on a hotel that killed 54 people, authorities said Friday.
The four are suspected of “indirect involvement” in the blast at the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad, police chief Ahmad Latif said. They are the first known arrests in the Sept. 20 attack.
The attack was a reminder of the gathering threat posed by Islamist militants in nuclear-armed Pakistan.
Latif said the men were arrested in different parts of Punjab province, but gave no more details. They were brought before an anti-terrorism court where a judge gave police permission to hold them for questioning for one week.
- Pakistan militants threaten more bombs.
- Afghan Ambassador kidnapped in north-west Pakistan.
- Pakistan gets a message against closer co-operation with US.
- Pakistan: US did not warn of any strike.
- WHO cancels polio jabs for Afghan children after doctors killed.
- Pakistan’s tribal areas: A wild frontier.
- Pakistan strikes back and accuses US of cooperating with terrorism.
- Pakistan restores three judges ousted by Musharraf.
- india accuses Pakistani intelligence of terrorist attack.
- Afghanistan accuses Pakistani intelligence of the terrorist attack against the Indian embassy.
The mighty U.S. arsenal of nuclear weapons, midwived by World War II and nurtured by the Cold War, is declining in power and purpose while the military’s competence in handling the world’s most dangerous arms has eroded. At the same time, international efforts to contain the spread of such weapons look ineffective.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, for one, wants the next president to think about what nuclear middle-age and decline means for national security.
Gates joins a growing debate about the reliability and future credibility of the American arsenal with his first extensive speech on nuclear arms Tuesday. The debate is attracting increasing attention inside the Pentagon even as the military is preoccupied with fighting insurgencies in Iraq and Afghanistan. The unconventional tools of war there include covert commandos, but not nuclear weapons.
For my part, that is a great error. Even if you’re not going to use it, your ennemies know you have that weapon and it can surely serve as a deterrent in case someone wants to attack you.
A government-sponsored commission in Kenya has accused a number of top-level officials of inciting and funding ethnic violence in the country that left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands displaced following disputed elections late last year.
The report, which was embargoed by a separate government commission, was leaked to FOXNews.com. It makes allegations against 219 persons, including many government ministers.
Their names are included in the “Schedule of Alleged Perpetrators,” a 54-page appendix to the report of the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights, or KNCHR, on violence related to the country’s December 2007 elections.
Most of the accused are supporters of the Orange Democratic Movement, or ODM, whose leader, Raila Odinga, nonetheless supported the establishment of a tribunal to try those politicians responsible for inciting the post-election violence. Odinga, who is not accused, belongs to the Luo tribe.
Oh, yeah, how many MSM are going to report on this? Hmm, let me think…
A close associate of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says the Iranian president has fallen ill under the strain of his position.
The official Iranian news agency has quoted Mohammad Ismail, a parliament member and close ally of the Iranian president, as saying Ahmadinejad was sick “but will eventually heal.”
Kowsari, who made his comments early Sunday, accompanied the president on his September visit to the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York.
The problem is not only Ahmadinejad. Although I would like him to look for this as a God’s call: “don’t continue with nuclear weapons’ program, Allah doesn’t want it… you have even fallen ill“.
(UPDATE) Angel has written more about this.