Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Sense and Sentimentality
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by Theodore Dalrymple (January 2014)


Recently I have participated in more public debates and discussions than usual (for me, that is). I discovered what many people before me have discovered, namely that it is not logic that convinces but emotion, and that this is so even with highly educated audiences. A carefully constructed argument tends to bore rather than to impress, and even to make him who employs it look arrogant or self-satisfied in the eyes of those who attend. A joke is more effective than a statistic. more>>>

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Posted on 12/31/2013 12:00 AM by NER
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Monday, 30 December 2013
You can't parody Islam, says Palin: Monty Python star believes religious sensitivities have increased so much it would be impossible to make Life of Brian today
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During his Monty Python days he poked fun at everyone from the Establishment to Christianity. But thanks to the threat of ‘heavily armed’ fanatics, Michael Palin has admitted there is one comedy taboo he is too scared to break- Islam.

He said: ‘Religion is more difficult to talk about. I don’t think we could do Life of Brian any more. A parody of Islam would be even harder. We all saw what happened to Salman Rushdie and none of us want to get into all that. It’s a pity but that’s the way it is. There are people out there without a sense of humour and they’re heavily armed.’ 

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 30 December 2013
Sunnis Of Western Iraq Will Never Acquiesce To Shi'a Domination And Shi'a Will Never Share Their Newly-Acquired Power
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All predictable, and all, as readers at NER no doubt recall, long ago predicted, and predicted, and predicted. 

For neither the Shi'a, who now hold power in Iraq, nor the Sunnis, who no longer do, can behave in any other way. Both are affected by the attitudes to which Islam naturally gives rise. And in Islam, the possible outcomes of any contest are only two: Victor, or Vanquished.

Read more here.

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Monday, 30 December 2013
Xinjiang, China: 9 Muslims Attack Police Station, 8 Get Shot Dead
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As reported by Australia's ABC this morning, drawing on Reuters and AFP. As usual, one has to read quite a ways down through the story - in this case, as far as the fifth sentence down - before one encounters the M-word.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-30/an-china-police-shoot-dead-xinjiang-27terrorists27/5179228

"Chinese Police Shoot Eight Dead in Xinjiang 'terrorist attack'".

"Chinese officials say eight people have been shot dead during a "terrorist attack" on a police station in the western region of Xinjiang.

"The attack happened in Yarkand county, in Xinjiang's south, the regional government said in a statement on its news website (www.ts.cn).

"At around 6.30 am, nine thugs carrying knives attacked a police station in Kashgar's Yarkand county, throwing explosive devices and setting police cars on fire", it said. 

"Nine thugs"?  How about 'nine Muslim thugs'? - CM

"The police took decisive measures, shooting dead eight and capturing one", it added, labelling the incident a "violent terrorist attack" which was being investigated.

"Xinjiang is home to a Turkic-speaking Muslim people known as Uighurs, some of whom resent what they see as oppressive treatment by the government.

The Chinese regime is indeed oppressive toward all non-Han minorities whether Muslim or non-Muslim.  But when one thinks about the case of the Muslims within China it is well to remember the special Islamspeak meaning of "oppression".  Even if the Chinese treated the Uighur with the scrupulous restraint and decency displayed by, for example, the Israelis toward the Arab Muslim minority that is resident within Israel, I have no doubt that the Muslims would still bitterly resent their situation, and that significant numbers of them would be sulking, fretting, whining about being 'oppressed' and actively fomenting and attempting violence as and when they thought they could get away with it, (indeed, probably more often and more violently than they do under the current state of affairs) for they would still be living within a majority-Infidel state and under Infidel laws rather than the Sharia of Islam, and that alone is enough to constitute 'oppression'.  The mere existence of Infidels uncowed and free of Muslim dominance, anywhere at all in the entire world, is felt to be  'oppressive' by those Muslims who take Islam most to heart.  How dare such Infidels rebel against allah! They must be attacked. They must be brought to heel. Their heinous 'oppression' and 'persecution' of Muslims must be brought to an end.  For a classic discussion of the danger of legitimising Muslim "grievances", see here:

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2011/11/dangers-of-legitimizing-islamic.html

"At least 91 people, including several police officers, have been killed in violence in Xinjiang since April, according to state media reports.

"This month, police shot and killed 14 people duirng a riot near Kashgar in which two policemen were also killed.

Riots seem to happen a lot in heavily-Islamised areas, all over the world.  Muslims even rioted in central Sydney, Australia, in September 2012. Islam: it's a riot. - CM

"At least nine civilians and two policemen were killed last month when a group of people (sic: reading between the lines, that should probably be, "a howling allahu-akbaring Muslim mob - CM) attacked a police station, also near Kashgar, state media said.

'China has previously blamed some of the violence in Xinjiang on Islamist militants plotting holy war. 

'Holy war'. That is: Jihad.  Got Muslims? - got Jihad. China has Muslims; ergo, China has Jihad. Just like everywhere else that has a Mohammedan colony. - CM

"Monday's attack showed the serious threat posed by separatism, extremism and terrorism, China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said at a regular press briefing.

Come on mate, spit it out: when (and only when) you are dealing with Muslims, what you've got is  - Jihad. The Fifth Column of the Empire of Islam is attempting to overthrow the infidel empire of China. - CM

"it testifies once again to the anti-society and anti-human nature of the three evil forces, and they have caused great damage to the state, the society and the people", he said.

It is Islam, the religion of blood and war, that is indeed anti-society and anti-human (though not, alas, in some respects, anti-human nature, for it answers to and unlooses all the basest aspects of our nature: violence and lust and the desire to domineer over, terrorise and hurt other people, especially those weaker than oneself). - CM

"The Chinese Government will strike hard against them in accordance with the law".

"Many Uighurs chafe at restrictions on their culture, language and religion, though the government insists it grants them broad freedoms.

It should be borne grimly in mind that Muslims if living within an infidel state where they cannot and do not totally dominate the surrounding infidels, and in which they are subjected to Infidel laws, will always complain of being 'persecuted' and 'oppressed'.  As witness those who dwell within the heart of the free Western world, and their continual whining about "islamophobia" and attempts to pretend that they are being subjected to attack. - CM

'Rights groups and exiles say police often use heavy-handed tactics against the Uighur community.

'They say violence has broken out previously when groups of Uighurs protest at police stations.

Muslim 'protests', however, tend so very often to be - if one takes a long hard look at reality - nothing more than violent rioting. - CM

'Xinjiang has been the scene of numerous incidents of unrest (there is always 'unrest' in heavily-Islamised parts of the world - CM)  in recent years, which the government often blames on the separatist East Turkestan Islamic Movement, even though many experts and rights groups cast doubt on its existence as a cohesive group.

There need not be such a group.  Wherever there are Muslims living next to non-Muslims there will be some kind of Muslim aggression toward those non-Muslims; the level and type of aggression indulged in will depend on how strong those non-Muslims are perceived to be. - CM

"Many rights groups say China has long overplayed the threat posed to justify its tough controls in energy-rich Xinjiang, which lies on the borders of Central Asia (that is: majority-Muslim Central Asia - a swathe of overwhelmingly-Muslim lands stretching from Kirgizstan through to Azerbaijan, lands Islamised by past Jihads - CM), India (with its huge and increasingly-aggressive Muslim minority - CM), and Pakistan (nuclear-armed and chaotic majority-Muslim - and attempting to become ever-more-purely-Islamic Pakistan - CM).

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Monday, 30 December 2013
Egypt Arrests Al Jazeera TV Crew
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CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's Interior Ministry says security forces have arrested journalists working for the Qatari-based Al-Jazeera network over alleged links to the Muslim Brotherhood, the leading Islamist group that was last week branded as a "terrorist" organization.

The network said Monday that four of its Cairo team - correspondent Peter Greste, producers Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed, and cameraman Mohamed Fawzy - are in custody since Sunday night.

Al-Jazeera says it's demanding their immediate release.

The ministry says only two Al-Jazeera staff were arrested, an Australian journalist and a second person, a Brotherhood member. It says they were meeting at a five-star Cairo hotel that is used to "spread rumors harming national security."

Egypt's military-backed government has long accused Al-Jazeera of bias because Qatar is perceived to have supported the Brotherhood.

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Rebecca Bynum
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Monday, 30 December 2013
Bigotry at the Arab University of Al-Quds
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In light of the recent demonstrations of ignorance, bigotry, and possibly anti-Semitism exhibited by the members of the two academic bodies -- the Association of Asian American Studies in April 2013 and the American Studies Association in December 2013 -- who voted in favor of a boycott of Israeli academic institutions, it is a seemingly ironic twist of fate that on November 18, 2013, Al-Quds, an Arab University, was suspended by an American university, Brandeis, from continuing the partnership arrangement between the two institutions.

Al-Quds, now with 12,000 students, Palestinians, and residents of Jerusalem, was set up in 1995 in the village of Abu Dis, just east of Jerusalem. Its chief source of funding has been the Ford Foundation; recently it has received funding from the Bronfman Foundation. Its president since 1994, Sari Nusseibeh, a professor of philosophy, is a well-known and respected intellectual, partly educated at Harvard and Oxford, who has established academic relationships with Israeli universities. Regarded by most people as a political moderate, he has publicly called for a peace process leading to a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, and for the renunciation of the Palestinian demand for the "right of return."

Brandeis defines itself as the only nonsectarian Jewish-sponsored college or university in the U.S. Since 2003, Al-Quds has been a partner with Brandeis, which has 4,000 students, in a link intended to foster cultural understanding and to provide educational opportunities for faculty and students. To this end, more than 200 faculty, students, and administrators have engaged in joint research projects and conferences, such as issues of effective teaching and communications. One such exchange, highly paradoxical in view of the bigoted behavior of the American Studies Association, was on the subject of American studies. Others were on conflict resolution and women's studies.

This harmonious working relationship came to a halt as a result of the event on November 5, 2013 on the Al-Quds campus. This was a rally sponsored by a student group, the "Islamic Bloc" or "Islamic Association," a direct affiliate of the Islamic Jihad political party that probably provided funding for it. The group was trying to popularize its ideology. It was supposed to use the event to honor the best students, to make speeches, and to play Islamic music.

However, the group betrayed the declared intention of the event. Instead, it became a celebration of terrorism and incitement to violence. The rally featured individuals in paramilitary dress, wearing black masks, trampling on Israeli flags, carrying fake automatic weapons, and extending their arms in a Nazi type of salute. One of the speeches made involved a re-enactment of the recent death of a member of Islamic Jihad in a fight with the Israeli Defense Forces. Not only was all of this a demonstration of hostility to the State of Israel, but it was also a violation of university policy and contrary to the institutional values and principles of both Al-Quds and Brandeis.

The immediate comment on the event by university officials on November 6, 2013 was unfortunately not satisfactory. The Al-Quds executive vice president, Imad Abu Kishek, who had spent two years (2005-2007) at Brandeis for advanced study, remarked that the leaders of the event were individuals from outside the university. He did also say that the rally had violated university policies and principles. Fred Lawrence, the president of Brandeis, thought this was an oversimplification, since the rally portrayed hatred and violence.

Even more unsatisfactory for Lawrence was the statement of Nusseibeh in his letter of November 17 posted in Arabic addressed to Al-Quds students. In his version of the rally, Nusseibeh stated, "The University is often subjected to vilification campaigns by Jewish extremists with the purpose of discrediting its reputation as a prestigious academic institution with a unique humane calling." He continued, "Some people capitalize on events in ways that misrepresent the university as promoting inhumane, antisemitic, Fascist and Nazi ideologies. These "opportunists," he wrote, were quick to describe the Palestinians as a people undeserving of freedom and independence. They were using the event to muster opinion that "sustains the occupation, the extension of settlements, and the confiscation of land, and prevents Palestinians from achieving our freedom."

As a result, Lawrence, who regarded this statement as "unacceptable and inflammatory," suspended the partnership with Al-Quds on November 18, 2013. Al-Quds had displayed intolerance, not open dialogue to lay a foundation for peace. He also removed Nusseibeh from the board of advisers of Brandeis's Center for Ethics, Justice, and Public life, on which Lawrence has sat since 2000.

As a result of the event, on November 21, 2013, Syracuse University also suspended the relationship it had with Al-Quds concerning its Institute for National Security and Counterterrorism. However, Leon Botstein, president of Bard College, which has joint degree programs with Al-Quds in teaching and liberal arts, differed from the other two U.S. institutions. Although he did not publicly address the issue of the rally, Botstein decided to continue the partnership with Al-Quds.

One can accept that Al-Quds University and Nusseibeh himself are among the more moderate Palestinian advocates for peace and a two-state solution, and that the university operates in an environment that is volatile and full of ideological divisions. It is also probably true that the university administration did not condone the actions of a small group of students. Though Nusseibeh did not offer the desired fulsome apology for the behavior of the students on his campus, he has proposed a conciliatory sop: a course to be given in summer 2014 in English on "Hate Speech and Racism."

Yet the rally event belies the aspirations of Al-Quds that the university hopes to instill a message against hatred, against violence, and against extremism, and also a message to make use of reason in every way. There is little that can excuse the extreme behavior, anti-Semitic as well as anti-Israeli, or that can justify an American partnership with an institution that does not fully outlaw flagrant Nazi-style activity. Expression of differences of opinion is one thing and is most welcome; Nazism is something else. Brandeis was correct and should be applauded.

Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Michael Curtis
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Monday, 30 December 2013
Two imams held as Spain police smash counterfeit clothing ring
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From Expatica

Police have smashed Spain's largest counterfeit clothing ring, arresting 99 people, including two imams, over the sale of 235 tonnes of fake designer clothes and shoes, the government said Saturday.

The ring made the counterfeit items in illegal factories in northern Portugal and then shipped them across the border by van to Xinzo de Limia, a city of around 100,000 people in northwestern Spain, the interior ministry said in a statement. "The network, of Moroccan origin, had 'regional delegates' across Spain who distributed over the past two years 235 tonnes of fake garments and footwear, generating revenues of 5.5 million euros ($7.5 million)," it said.

"Part of this black money was hidden along with bank cards and other financial documents belonging to the organisation in the mosques of Ourense and Xinzo de Limia," it added.

Among those arrested was the imam of the mosque of Xinzo de Limia, whom police said was one of the leaders of the ring. The mosque received nearly 100,000 euros in donations from the ring. The imam at the mosque in the nearby city of Ourense was also detained as part of the operation. His name appears on bank accounts used by the group and police suspect him of helping to launder money earned by the ring.

The authorities detained 65 people in Spain and 34 in Portugal. The arrested include 37 Senegalese nationals, 34 Portuguese citizens, 19 Moroccans and nine Spaniards.

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 30 December 2013
Daily Mail lifts veil of secrecy judge threw over trial of two Muslim lawyers on trial for perverting the course of justice 'for cultural reasons'
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A judge allowed two Muslim solicitors accused of trying to cheat the legal system to hide behind a cloak of secrecy for  ‘cultural reasons’, the Daily Mail can disclose.

He banned reporting of the case of Asha Khan, 30, and her brother Kashif, 34, to prevent them allegedly being shamed in the eyes of their community. In the latest farce involving secret justice, the pair were told they could enjoy the court’s protection because members of their family would pass judgment if the case was reported.

It is a privilege rarely bestowed on defendants in the justice system, which has operated on the principle of transparency for centuries. However, following a challenge by the Daily Mail, the restriction was lifted – enabling the case to be reported. Judge Peter Hughes reversed his original ban after deciding that the principle of open justice was more important than saving the embarrassment of a defendant.

After almost a year of court appearances and legal argument, Miss Khan has been convicted of attempting to pervert the course of justice, while her brother was acquitted of the charge.

They were on trial accused of helping their father, Mohammed, dodge a speeding fine by pretending he was not driving at the time of the offence. In a saga with echoes of the Chris Huhne scandal, he allowed a man who worked for the family to take the blame instead.

At the beginning of the hearings, Miss Khan’s barrister, Glenn Gatland, argued  she would not give evidence properly in the presence of the Press because she was afraid of family repercussions. He said she did not want to criticise her father in public . . . ‘Culturally, it’s very difficult for them to say things in public. The evidence would be impacted on by the cultural background of Miss Khan.’

Judge Hughes accepted the argument and banned reporting of the case but then changed his mind after a two-day legal battle with the Mail. ‘We are dealing with members of the legal profession charged with perverting the course of justice,’ he said.

‘People of all faiths or no faiths should be treated in precisely the same way. We’re not dealing with discrimination against. We’re dealing with discrimination for.’

York Crown Court heard that in August 2010 Mohammed Khan was caught by a speed camera in Newcastle while driving daughter Asha’s silver BMW.

When Miss Khan received the speeding notice, she claimed that the driver was David Moat, who worked for the family. Some months later, the day before Moat was due before magistrates, her brother faxed the court a letter on Moat’s behalf, saying he wanted to plead guilty by post.

Moat was fined £100 with £30 costs and six penalty points for the speeding offence. Prosecutor Jacob Dyer said: ‘There is no dispute in this case that the man actually driving the car was Kashif Khan’s father. It was hoped by supplying the false details that the trail would be lost and the fixed penalty unit would eventually take no further action. But the suspicions of the unit were aroused.’

The Khans work for KK Solicitors in Newcastle and live in the city. Asha Khan, a trainee at the firm, will be sentenced in the New Year, with her father and Moat, who both admitted their part in the plot.

Moat and the Khan family has a history of motor involved fraud. This is from the North East News Chronicle dated October 2011.

A SOLICITOR and four others have appeared in court charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and making false statements in a car insurance scam.

Solicitor Kashif Khan, 33, his wife Asha, 28, and Boston Mohammed Khan, 68, all of Grainger Park Road, Newcastle, appeared at Carlisle Magistrates’ Court yesterday.Also appearing were with David Moat, 45, of St Luke's Drive, North Shields, North Tyneside, ...

Kashif Khan is charged with conspiring to pervert the course of justice and two counts of dishonestly making representations in an insurance proposal to make a gain for himself. He is also charged with the less serious offences of making false statements in an insurance proposal and making false statements in relation to an insurance policy.

Asha Khan is charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Boston Khan is charged with perverting the course of justice and four counts of intending to make a gain for himself by failing to disclose information to his insurance company.

David Paul Moat is charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Chairman of the Bench Gerald Chalk told the defendants: “You all face an allegation of conspiracy and I must send you to the crown court.” No pleas were entered and they were all granted unconditional bail to appear at Carlisle Crown Court on November 7.

I do not yet know what eventually happened at trial - if I can find a report I will link it. 

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Monday, 30 December 2013
At least 10 killed in latest bomb attack to strike Russian city of Volgograd
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From the Telegraph

A second bomb has exploded in the Russian city of Volgograd, killing at least ten people and raising fears of a wave of terrorist bombings.

It was not immediately clear whether the explosion that ripped through a bus carrying people to work during rush hour this morning was the work of a suicide bomber or whether a device had been placed on the bus in advance.

“At ten minutes past eight this morning an explosion occurred on trolleybus 15A in the Dzerzhinsky region of Volgograd. At least 10 people have been killed and 15 injured. The Trolleybus was completely destroyed,” Investigative Committee spokesman Vladimir Markin said in a statement.

The casualty list laster rose to 15 killed and 23 injured, news agencies reported citing regional authorities, although that has yet to be confirmed by investigators.

On Sunday at least 16 people were killed and more than 40 injured in an apparent suicide bombing on the city’s main railway station. 

Vladimir Putin has ordered Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the FSB, to fly to Volgograd, the Kremlin said on Monday morning.

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Posted on 12/30/2013 12:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Sunday, 29 December 2013
Israel’s Christians Who Defend the Jewish State
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Greek Orthodox Fr. Gabriel Naddaf, Christian Israeli Zionist

Source: Facebook

The Wall Street Journal Weekend edition had an article by former Ha’aretz editor Adi Schwartz, “Israel’s Christian Awakening” discussing the grass roots movement led by a Greek Orthodox Priest, Fr. Gabriel Naddaf,  a charismatic former spokesperson for the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Jerusalem.  He hails from the village  of  Yaffia, located between Migdal Ha’emek and Nazareth. Nazareth, with its Church of the Annunciation is the largest Arab town in Israel.  Once the boyhood town of Jesus and predominately Christian, it is now majority Muslim.  Despite this, there are plans afoot to build a 100 foot statue of the community’s most famous son.

Fr. Naddaf, who has been featured in  the Jerusalem Post, Ecumenical News, Fox News, and  Times of Israel  this year is doing something important. He and a team of Christian IDF serving officers and reservists have formed the Israel Christian Recruitment Forum. The aim of the group, Schwartz notes, is “to increase the number of Christians joining the Israel Defense Forces” from among the 130,000 Arabic -speaking Christians who constitute 1.6% of Israel’s 8 million population. Those Israeli Arabic speaking Christians are either Greek Catholic or Greek Orthodox.  Some of their liturgy harkens back to the language of their non –Arabic ancient forbearers, the Arameans – derived from the ancient name for Syria, Aram, who spoke the lingua franca  of Jesus and many ancient Jews, Aramaic.  By contrast there are 1.3 Million Arab Muslims in the Jewish nation.

 A Hebrew University specialist on Christians in Israel Amnon Ramon cited by Schwartz indicated that demographically Christians are closer to fellow Jewish citizens than Muslims; their median age is 30 versus 31; Christian women marry later and have fewer children and their educational attainment surpasses Jews.

Fr. Gabriel is seeking to integrate the Arabic-speaking Christian community into Israel and what better way to do that than through service in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The Forum spokesperson, IDF 1st Lt.  (Res. )Shadi Khaloul, said that “the total number of Christians serving in the Israeli military has more than quadrupled since 2012 from 35 to 150”.  Fr. Naddaf reaffirms that saying, “ Israel takes care of us, and if not Israel, who will defend us?  We love this country, and we see the army as a first step in becoming more integrated with the state.” 18 years old Henry Zahir from the village of Reineh is cited by Schwartz agreeing with Fr. Naddaf saying, “Israel is my country and I want to defend it. The Jewish State is good for us.”

Lela Gilbert of the Hudson Institute wrote about the jeopardy that Naddaf’s leadership has placed both he and his family in a Fox News report, “In Nazareth a Christian-Arab priest seeks full integration into Israeli society”:

On December 6, the son of Nazareth priest, Fr. Gabriel Naddaf, was assaulted and beaten and is now hospitalized. Fr. Naddaf, who is Greek Orthodox, has received death threats for years; the attacker went after his son instead.

Prime Minister Netanyahu commented in a Times of Israel  report on the attack:

I have heard about the threats of physical attacks by extremist elements in Israeli society against Christians, Christian Arabs who want to enlist in the IDF, who want to be part of the State of Israel. Against these people is an extremist group that is threatening them. We will not tolerate this; I will not tolerate this. We will use all of our tools to stop these thugs and we will allow whoever – Christian, Muslim and Druze – wants to link their fate even more to the State of Israel and wants to serve in the IDF to do so.

Fr. Naddaf  commented about the source of the attack on his son in the Times of Israel report, saying, “Arab MKs have not issued any condemnation and I put the responsibility on them. This is the result of incitement that comes from them day and night.”  Schwartz noted  how virulently  an Anti-Israel Arab Muslim Member of the Knesset, Hanin Zoabi,  “wrote Naddaf  calling him a collaborator, accusing him of putting young Christians  in danger.” Zoabi told Schwartz,” We are a national group, not a religious one. Any attempt to enlist Christians is part of a strategy of divide and rule.” Forum spokesperson Khaloul, an officer who served in an IDF parachute brigade, countered Zoabi’s remarks saying,“We are not mercenaries. We want to defend this country together with the Jews. We see what is happening these days to Christians around us in Iraq, Syria and Egypt.”

Gilbert noted in her Fox News report:

In the Middle East, persecution against the region’s ancient churches continues to smolder, flare and rage out of control. Inflamed by Islamist ideology and specifically targeting Christians, brutality has escalated to unprecedented levels.

She drew attention to how Israeli Christians distinguish themselves from Muslims:

Speaking at a September Jerusalem conference, Fr. Naddaf, Capt. Bishara Shlayan, and a Christian IDF reserve officer, Lt. Shaadi Khalloul, offered their historical perspective.

Technically they are not Arabs, they emphasized, but are part of an ancient Christian community  -- a community that did not convert to Islam during the Muslims’ Seventh Century invasion.

“I think we should be referred to as Israeli-Christians,” Capt. Shlayan affirmed, rejecting the Arab-Christian label.  “Yes, we speak Arabic. But our nationality is Israeli. And our religion is Christian.”

In fact, they are not only Christian Israelis, they are Zionists.

Theologically grounded in Aramaic and Assyriac liturgy and worship, this population has followed Jesus of Nazareth since he walked among them. Many of them even hail from Nazareth, his hometown – now Israel’s largest Arab city.

In their view, their spiritual heritage has been nearly forgotten, apart from within their churches. At the same time, neighboring Muslims harass and threaten harm while attempting to eradicate Christian shrines, signs and symbols.

Forum spokesperson Khaloul noted in an October video presentation (see below)  that the group is seeking  to have its  heritage nto included in Islamic and Arabic History Courses.  These Christian Israelis also want to form a Knesset Party, “B'nai Brith”, reflecting Ha Shem’s covenant with Jews and Christians.

When I shared these courageous acts of solidarity with the Jewish state by these Israeli Christians with author and scholar   Bat Ye’or, she responded in an email:

This is quite a change! It is amazing that it took a century for Christians in the Middle East to understand that they were not Arab and that Muslims were not their friends. It is true that they were forced into this situation by France and England which declared that they will no more help them and that Christians had  to militate into the Arab Nationalism non-sense.

Yuval Brandsetter in a Jerusalem Post op ed about Fr. Naddaf, “The Good Father, “noted something that impressed us.  This evident assertion of Israeli Christian identification and solidarity with Israel was a rejection of Dhimmitude; the 1,400 years of Islamic Imperialism imposed on Jews and Christians under the pact of Omar.  He wrote:        

In spite of his lowly position, or maybe because of it, Fr. Gabriel Naddaf has reached the conclusion that Christians Arabs residing in Israel must link their fortunes to the Jewish state. In acting on this conclusion with fortitude and a free mind, Fr. Naddaf stands in defiance of the 1,300-year legacy of dhimmitude – the legacy that both his Jerusalem Patriarch and Istanbul’s Ecumenical Patriarch continue to observe.

Watch this video of Fr. Gabriel Naddaf at an October 2013 Liaison Committee of The Israel Christian Recruitment Forum.

Watch this video of IDF Reservists 1st Lt. Shadi Khalloul, at an October 2013 Liaison Committee of The Israel Christian Recruitment Forum.

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Posted on 12/29/2013 12:00 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Sunday, 29 December 2013
Israel Integrates Ethnic Groups
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These are the times, as Thomas Paine might have said, that try the minds of the ignorant members of the American Studies Association who, in calling for a boycott of Israeli institutions, shrink from the service of academic freedom. Fortunately, these are also the times of glorious triumph as was shown with the arrival at Ben Gurion airport, Tel Aviv, on December 26, 2013 of 38 members of Bnei Menashe (BM) from the Indian state of Mizoram.

This group joins the more than 2,000 other members of Bnei Menashe who came from India and are already living in Israel. The BM provides a remarkable rejoinder to the bigots who categorize Israel as an "apartheid state" but who now have to witness the attempts to absorb an ethnic group. The BM claim to be descendants of Menasseh, son of Joseph, son of Jacob. They regard themselves as one of the ten lost tribes who were exiled from Israel by the Assyrians who invaded the northern kingdom of Israel around 722 B.C.

The tribe moved from Assyria eastwards, to Persia, Afghanistan, Tibet, and China, and to Central Asia, primarily to Northeast India, along the border with Burma and Bangladesh. In the 19th century many of the BM were converted by Baptist missionaries to Christianity. Nevertheless, they engaged in practices akin to those of Judaism, in festivals, funeral rites, and in birth and marriage ceremonies. In 1996 a letter from a member of BM to Benjamin Netanyahu, then prime minister, asserted that the groups were Jews, that they were in the process of converting to Judaism, and wanted to make aliyah to Israel.

After some hesitation about the claims of BM, the chief rabbi of Sephardic Jews, Shlomo Amar, accepted them as Jews, though they need formal conversion to the religion. The essential argument was that the rabbis were not proselytizing but only making formal the conversion of the members of BM who had already accepted Judaism and were in fact "returning" to Judaism.

Not everyone agrees this to be the case, and critics hold that the BM claim is "historically untenable." So far DNA tests on the BM are inconclusive, and are continuing. One study in Calcutta concluded that the masculine side of the tribe bore no links to people in Israel, but the feminine side suggested a genetic profile with Middle East people that may have resulted from intermarriage.

Regardless of the contradictory conclusions of these DNA studies the process of absorption of BM continues. Another 7200 members of the tribe still in India have been accepted for aliyah in a one to two year period after they have been formally converted to Orthodox Judaism by a beth din (commission of rabbis). This conversion will take place in Nepal in order to avoid problems with India. Some accounts suggest there may be as many as two million members of the lost tribe living in Northeast India and Myanmar (Burma).

Membership of a lost tribe of course does not in itself make anyone a Jew. But the definition -- a person with at least one identifiable Jewish grandparent or one who has converted to Judaism -- allows the BM to be acceptable as members of the religion and to immigrate to Israel.

The BM is not the first ethnic group of Jews to emigrate to the State of Israel. The Falash Mura, the Beta Israel (House of Israel) community of Ethiopians who claim to be descendants of Jews who converted a century ago, began arriving in the early 2000s. Their immigration and absorption since 1977 was an official enterprise, largely funded and organized by the Israeli government and the Jewish Agency. Now numbering about 120,000, they have been brought to Israel under the Israeli Law of Return in various airlifts including Operation Moses (1984) and Operation Solomon (1991).

Coming from their basic agrarian society, their integration into the cities and towns in which they now live has not been easy. Yet though they still exist on a lower economic and educational level than the average Israeli, substantial progress has been made, partly because many of the younger Ethiopians have completed mandatory military service, partly because of the educational process, and partly because they have become involved in Israeli political and cultural life, including one Ethiopian young woman who became Miss Israel 2013.

In contrast, the entrance of the BM has been financed and organized by a private body, the non-profit Shavei Israel. This group led by Michael Freund, former aide to Netanyahu, has since 1997 has engaged in activity in locating Jews in places including hidden communities to bring those regarded as having Jewish ancestry to Israel.

Israel is a country that has since its establishment in 1948 been absorbing and integrating Jews from many countries into its society. Its inclusion of ethnic groups such as the Indians and Ethiopians is an illustration of its objective to create a society open to Jews of all kinds. It is also a refutation of the politically-correct bigots who accept the fallacious Palestinian Narrative of Victimhood and depict Israel as a country that discriminates against people.

No doubt the integration of Indian and Ethiopian Jews from the subsistence economic condition of their past to a highly sophisticated economy in a rapid process of modernization is a difficult task, though Israel has tried to ease it by preferential arrangements for them and by training community leaders. The policy of Israel, however, provides a striking contrast with that of the Arab League, which instructs Arab states to deny citizenship to Palestinians. Perhaps the League and the international community in general will now be mindful that Israel wants its inhabitants, Ethiopians, Indians and the rest, to become productive citizens, not to languish in camps.

Michael Curtis is author of Jews, Antisemitism, and the Middle East.

First published in the American Thinker.

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Posted on 12/29/2013 12:00 AM by Michael Curtis
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Sunday, 29 December 2013
Shi'a On The March: Al-Maliki Calls For Replacing Mecca With Karbala As The Qibla
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A fantastic development.

Here.

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Posted on 12/29/2013 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Sunday, 29 December 2013
Volgograd, Russia: Muslim Murder-'Martyr' Blows Up at Train Station, Murders 13, Wounds Many
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The story, via Reuters, appeared just now in Australia's ABC online.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-12-29/several-killed-scores-injured-by-train-station-explosion-in-russ/5177848

"Several Killed, Scores Injured by Train Station Explosion (sic - CM) In Russian City of Volgograd".

"Train Station Explosion"???  It just blew up all by itself??  This headline is useless and downright misleading: if one read the headline and nothing else, one would wonder whether there had been a gas leak, or some other similar accident.  The first line of the story, however, reveals that there was malevolent human agency involved, though to find any reference to the M-word or the I-word one must wait for the sixteenth sentence down.  - CM

"A female suicide bomber has killed (sic: ritually murdered - CM) at least 13 people at a train station in the Russian city of Volgograd in the deadliest such blast (sic: "attack" would have been a better word - CM) outside the volatile (sic: that  is, "majority-Muslim jihad-wracked" - CM) North Caucasus region in nearly three years.

"As many as 50 people were wounded in the blast that blew out the windows of the lower floors of the imposing columned building, a health ministry spokesman told Rossiya-24 television.

"Australian film-maker Lou Petho was opposite the station when the bomb went off.

When the Muslim murderer carried out her mass-murderous attack on Russian non-Muslims. - CM

"We heard this almighty bang and then soon there was dozens of ambulances, fire trucks that came to the train station", he said.  "And soon after that they were taking people out on stretchers.  

"I'm on the bridge at the moment looking down at the station.  I can see there's a body lying on the ground - nobody's picked that one up."

Deepest condolences to our Russian fellow-Infidels on this terrible occasion.  Thoughts and prayers for the families of those who have been killed, and those who have been wounded. - CM

'Mr Petho says the military have been checking the station.

"I have heard, we have asked people, and they've said there's now a real crackdown of any bags, anywhere", he said.

It looks as though Russia would do well to consult with the Israelis, as regards 1/ ways of increasing and maintaining general public awareness of suspicious bags and parcels, awareness such as prevented a Muslim mass murder by 'planted' bomb from achieved on board the bus to Bat Yam earlier this month and 2/ teaching ordinary people - and officials of all kinds, such as security guards, policemen, and others -  how to spot a murder-'martyr' before s/he carries out an attack, for many such an attack, during the 'suicide-bomb intifada' in Israel in the late 20th century, was averted by public vigilance. - CM

"The military did come in because there was a second bag and they've now gone, so I assume that's fine."

'TV footage showed emergency services carrying out victims, with at least one body lying motionless on the ground.

"I heard the blast and ran toward it", a witness, Vladimir, told Rossiya-24.

"I saw melted, twisted bits of metal, broken glass, and bodies lying on the street".

Just such a sight as was seen so often in Israel in the aforementioned 'intifada' or wave of 'suicide' terror raids that they endured before the much -maligned security barrier was constructed; just such a sight as we saw near the finish line of the Boston Marathon earlier this same year; just such a sight as has been seen far, far too often in southern Thailand in the past ten years of non-stop low-level Jihad; just such a sight as in London in 2005; just such a sight as was seen in Bali 2002; and in so many, many, many other places, all over the lands of the non-Muslims, and also within the lands ruined and ruled by Muslims: "twisted bits of metal, broken glass,  and bodies lying on the street".  The sights which are, so very very often, the bloody fingerprints left by the Ummah as it slays and is slain in the 'cause' of 'allah', the god of blood and war.  - CM

'Volgograd is a city of around 1 million people, about 690 kilometres north-east of Sochi, where the Winter Olympics - a major prestige project for President Vladimir Putin - will open in six weeks' time.

And now, finally and at last, the article gets round to mentioning the M-word and the I-word. - CM

"It lies close to Russia's North Caucasus, a strip of mostly Muslim provinces plagued by near-daily violence in a long-running Islamist insurgency.

That is: a strip of mostly-Muslim provinces wracked by Jihad.  And why is there Jihad?  - because, as Hassan al Banna, a founding theorist of the Muslim Brotherhood once put it, "Islam is to dominate, and not be dominated".  Muslims believe it is their right to rule, everywhere.  Wherever and whenever they do not rule, absolutely -  for example, in Southern Thailand, where a Muslim minority lives within a majority-Buddhist state, or in the southern Philippines, where a Muslim minority (locally in a plurality) lives within a majority-Catholic state, or in southern Russia, where majority-Muslim provinces form part of the mostly non-Muslim - secular and Christian - Russian Federation - Muslims sulk, and fret, and plot, and complain of being oppressed and persecuted, and then, if they feel strong enough, attempt by any and all means available, including ultra-violence, to become first locally, then regionally, and finally - as with the Muslims in Northern Nigeria - nationally dominant. Sometimes this process involves splitting off the chunk of turf on which Muslims form the majority, to become a new Muslim entity (as happened with Kosovo and as Muslims are seeking to do in the Philippines); sometimes it involves an attempt to take over and become the absolute rulers - even if in minority - of the entire country within which they live, which is what is happening in Nigeria and has happened in the Central African Republic.  - CM

"Insurgent leader Doku Umarov, a Chechen warlord (that is: jihad gang boss - CM) urged militants (sic: jihad terror raiders - CM) in a video posted online in July to use "maximum force" to prevent Mr Putin staging the Olympics.

The end game is not simply for the most heavily-Islamised provinces to become independent of the Infidel-majority Russian Federation.  The ultimate end game of the Jihadis is to destroy the Infidel-majority Russian Federation altogether; to ruin it, to humiliate it, and to subject it to Muslim rule. For the mere existence of uncowed and unsubjugated non-Muslims anywhere on earth is mortally offensive to the megalomania and malignant narcissism that fills the minds of those who take Islam most to heart.  - CM

'An attack by a female suicide bomber killed (murdered - CM) seven people in Volgograd on October 21.

"On Friday, a car bomb killed three people (sic: that should have been - "On Friday Muslims used a car bomb to murder three people" - CM) in the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk, 270 kilometres east of Sochi". 

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Posted on 12/29/2013 12:00 AM by Christina McIntosh
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Saturday, 28 December 2013
Fitzgerald: Why Is Turkey In NATO?
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Friday, 22 July 2011

Fitzgerald: Why Is Turkey In NATO?

[re-posted from October 18, 2009]

Fitzgerald: Why is Turkey in NATO?

Quaere: Why is Turkey in NATO? Is Turkish membership of any value, or is it a danger to the effectiveness of NATO as that organization must necessarily turn its attention away from Russia to the threat from Islam worldwide, and especially to the threat, foreign and domestic, that Muslims who take Islam seriously pose to the West and to the West's most important military alliance, NATO?

Of what conceivable good, of what possible benefit, is Turkish membership in NATO to the other members of NATO? And why should Turkey be a member, and not instead a country that is of far greater value militarily and morally to that very West that NATO was originally established to protect -- that is, Israel?

Some still choose to describe Turkey, quite backdatedly (it's not the 1950s or the 1960s anymore) as "our NATO ally Turkey." Turkey is indeed a member of NATO. But the main reason for NATO's existence in the past was the military threat posed by the Soviet Union, and Turkey, which was happy to collaborate in efforts to contain its ancient enemy Russia, was a good ally. The Soviet Union was for the Turks their hereditary enemy, Russia, under a slightly different guise, and Turkey could and did offer troops (for the Korean War), and listening posts and airbases.

But who could imagine Recep Tayyip Erdogan offering bases today, or any kind of military aid, that would be part of an Infidel coalition against what would be understood to be representatives of Islam? Turkey today is in the control of a regime that is intent on undoing Kemalism and determined to make Turkey firmly part of the Muslim world -- even if, at the same time, the regime of Erdogan is outraged by any attempts by Europeans to keep Turkey out of the E.U.

How good an ally can Turkey be, with Islam in the ascendant and Kemalism under constant siege, if the main purpose of NATO is now or soon will be to protect Western Europe and preserve the Western alliance from those who, within Europe, are either Muslims or collaborators with Muslims? It makes no sense for the members of NATO to commit themselves to treating an attack on Turkey as an attack on themselves, when the Cold War is over, and a re-islamizing Turkey makes friends with Iran and Syria. Do the other members of NATO think that the Turkish military would come to their aid if any Infidel nation-state in NATO were attacked, from within or without, by Muslim forces? But NATO members are already under attack by the Muslims in their midst, who now constitute a grave national security risk, one at least as great as that posed by domestic sympathizers with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. And they are under attack by Muslim forces, too, in Afghanistan.

Turkey is part of the very Camp of Islam that is the most dangerous threat to the West today, and to what is the Western military alliance, NATO. It makes no sense to keep this Turkey in NATO. It is no longer the Turkey that once was a fit member of NATO under different circumstances, with a different enemy.

It is especially maddening that Turkey, but not Israel, is a member of NATO. Israel is not merely an unshakable part of the West, but the Western world is, as all educated people used to know, not conceivable without the inheritance from Israel as from Greece and Rome. And now that Israel was re-established, after nearly 2000 years, in the ancient Jewish homeland, its disappearance would whet Arab and Muslim appetites, and would a deal a great blow -- understood by so few -- to the morale and to the continued existence of the advanced West, which is the world's best hope for a semi-decent model of existence.

As long as Erdogan and his associates, and those who effectively support them -- including Fethulen Gulen, spreading Islam through his "educational" efforts around the globe from the safety of suburban Virginia [December 28, 2013 Update: 1) Gulen now lives in Pennsyvania and 2) he has had a falling-out with Erdogan, not only over Erdogan's attempt to close Gulen's chain of private schools,but also over policies -- for example, Gulen disliked Erdogan's antics over the Mavi Marmara, a point in Gulen's favor]-- are intent on removing the constraints on Islam that Ataturk (intent on saving Turkey from Islam and the effects of Islam) so carefully and systematically placed on it, there is no point in thinking of Turkey as more than part, a non-Arab part, a partly-secularised part, but still a part, of the Camp of Islam. It should be treated most warily.

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Posted on 12/28/2013 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 December 2013
Some Christian Arabs In Israel Now Refuse To Deny Reality
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And, seeing the treatment of Christians in Iraq, Syria, Egypt at the hands of those who take their Islam seriously, and realizing that the strategy of being more Muslim than the Muslims, when it comes to Israel, hasn't worked (though Hanan Ashrawi, Naim Ateek, and others have supported the PLO as propagandists for so long that they just can't stop now), realize that their only hope for protection is a strong Israel. Archbishop Moubarac of Beirut understood this -- back in 1947 he wrote in support of the Zionists. The Alawite leader who was the father of Hafez and grandfather of Bashar al-Assad, in the 1930s wrote that the Alawites shared interests with the Jews of Mandatory Palestine; his son and grandson, however, chose to fit in, and placate the Muslims, by being fanatically anti-Israel. Perhaps some of the Alawites, like the Christians (or some of the other small peoples of the area, such as the Druse, who must surely be beginning to recognize that the Muslim Arabs are the menace, not the Jews of Israel), will come eventually around to what once the grandfather understood.

Here, at the Wall Street Journal, you can read about what some Christians in Israel have figured out.

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Posted on 12/28/2013 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 December 2013
Nearly 800 Comments To Ivan Rioufol's "Touche Pas A Ma France"
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Read through some of them, at lefigaro.fr, here.
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Posted on 12/28/2013 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 December 2013
In Iraq, Shi'a Government Arrests Sunni MP And His Tribe Resists
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Iraq troops arrest leading Sunni MP in violent raid

Photo
3:47pm EST

By Kamal Namaa

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi security forces arrested a prominent Sunni Muslim lawmaker and supporter of anti-government protests in a raid on his home in the western province of Anbar, sparking clashes in which at least five people were killed, police sources said.

The violent arrest of Ahmed al-Alwani is likely to inflame tensions in Sunni-dominated Anbar, where protesters have been demonstrating against what they see as marginalization of their sect by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's Shi'ite-led government.

Alwani belongs to the Sunni-backed Iraqiya bloc and has been a strong critic of Maliki and an influential figure in the protest movement.

Police sources said a two-hour firefight broke out on Saturday when bodyguards and members of Alwani's tribe resisted police and soldiers who went to arrest Alwani on charges of "terrorism" from his house in the centre of the city of Ramadi.

They said those killed in the fighting included three of Alwani's bodyguards, his sister and his brother.

"Army troops with police special forces were trying to arrest Alwani from his house, but fierce fighting erupted. Five bodies, including one woman, were taken to Falluja hospital," one police source said.

No members of Alwani's family could immediately be reached to give their version of events.

Parliament speaker Usama al-Nujaifi, a Sunni, called the operation a "blatant violation" of Iraq's constitution and a "dangerous precedent".

Sheikh Abdul Malik Al-Saadi, an influential Sunni cleric, called it a "criminal act" that showed authorities' "marginalizing and abusive actions" against Sunnis.

He urged Sunnis to defend themselves. "I call upon Sunnis, protesters and sons of Ramadi to insist upon your demands, because he who dies, dies to be martyr," he said in a statement.

VIOLENCE GROWING

Lieutenant-General Ali Ghaidan, commander of Iraqi ground forces, told state television security forces had also tried to arrest Alwani's brother Ali, whom he accused of involvement in attacks that killed Iraqi soldiers in Anbar.

Ali was killed in the fighting, as well as an Iraqi soldier, Ghaidan said.

"We treated Ahmed al-Alwani well. We told him that we had a warrant for his arrest, and arrested him," he said, adding that two of Alwani's bodyguards were wounded in the operation, which he said was carried out in accordance with the law.

Violence in Iraq is at its worst levels since 2006-7, when tens of thousands of people were killed in fighting between Sunnis and Shi'ites. Bombings, shootings and suicide attacks, many staged by al Qaeda militants, are a near-daily occurrence.

The Iraqi army this week launched a major operation in desert areas of Anbar, a province that makes up a third of Iraq's territory and is populated mainly by Sunnis, to flush out al Qaeda-linked militants who have gained a foothold there.

Another potential flashpoint is around Sunni protests that have been held in Anbar since December last year. In a statement on state television on Friday, Maliki said it would be the "last Friday" the protests and sit-ins would be allowed to continue.

The military campaign and the arrest of Alwani may help Maliki boost his popularity in the eyes of Shi'ites who had called on him to crack down on al Qaeda and on politicians they accused of encouraging violence. Elections are due in April.

Many Sunnis in the region are meanwhile likely to see Alwani's arrest as another example of what they call a crackdown against minority Sunni leaders.

CURFEW IMPOSED

A photo of the arrested lawmaker posted on Maliki's Facebook page purportedly showed Alwani after the arrest with a white bandage wrapped around his abdomen.

Authorities imposed a curfew in Anbar province after the arrest, security sources said. A convoy of army tanks, armored vehicles and Humvees began to arrive in Ramadi by midday. Later, a curfew was also imposed in Salahuddin province.

But scores of people took to the streets carrying guns to defy the curfew, a Reuters witness said.

Adnan al-Muhanna, leader of the al-Bu Alwan tribe, a major Sunni tribe in Anbar to which Alwani belongs, called on the government to release Alwani within 12 hours.

"Otherwise we will not be able to restrain the angry masses and that could lead to undesired consequences," he told Reuters.

Anbar's provincial council held an urgent session and called for Alwani's release and an investigation into the death of his brother, a copy of a statement seen by Reuters said.

The statement also called on all parties to exercise restraint and urged parliament to intervene and defuse tension.

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Posted on 12/28/2013 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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Saturday, 28 December 2013
Rising Concerns in Turkey over Al Qaeda Connections in Erdogan Corruption Scandal
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Turkish Premier Reccep Erdogan and son Bilal                                Saudi billionaire Yasin al-Qadi

The revelations of duplicity in the Turkish corruption investigations have apparently reached Premier Erdogan and his family.  Could these unraveling developments destabilize relations with the Obama Administration over both Iran and Syria?   

Yesterday, we posted on the Turkish gas for gold scheme with Iran.   The boxes of funds uncovered by Turkish prosecutors at the state-owned Halkbank resulted in the arrest of its general manager Suleyman Aslan. 

Now  there  is more on why Premier Erdogan wanted to quash investigations and prevent a prosecutor from making  arrests; possible al Qaeda connections. Those connections involve a shadowy Saudi billionaire  who  the  US has designated terrorist financier , Yasin al-Qadi.  Also involved was the Turkish intelligence service,  MIT,  and Erdogan’s son Bilal.  They conspired to use Muslim charities to channel  funds to an Al Qaeda affiliate in Syria, the Al-Nusrah Front. 

What is troubling is that Turkey is a NATO member, ostensibly an ally of the US.   Obama placed great trust  in forging a  partnership  with Erdogan dealing with problems in the region.  If these reports are confirmed it raises questions about the wisdom of the Administration’s dealing with Erdogan on Iran’s nuclear program.  US policy opposes Erdogan’s  covert support  of the Al Qaeda’s  agenda in neighboring Syria.

American Enterprise Institute Middle East Scholar, Michael Rubin, in yesterday’s Commentary blog Contentions, and Today’s Zaman columnist, Emre Uslu present the background in articles   Turkey Scandal’s Al-Qaeda Angle  and Yasin al-Qadi and the Erdogan Family.

Rubin in the Contentions blog post notes the al-Qadi/Erdogan connection and Al Qaeda money laundering:

Now it seems that the corruption being exposed also has an al-Qaeda angle that harkens back to the Yasin al-Qadi affair. In that case, Cuneyt  Zapsu, a close Erdogan confidant, donated money to Qadi, a Saudi businessman designated by the U.S. Treasury Department to be a “specially designated global terrorist.” Rather than distance himself from Zapsu, the prime minister doubled down and lent Qadi his personal endorsement.

Fast forward to the present day: According to Turkish interlocutors, there are consistent irregularities in 28 government tenders totaling in the tens of billions of dollars, in which kickbacks and other payments were made, a portion of which Turkish investigators believe ended up with al-Qadi’s  funds and charities. These funds and charities were then used to support al-Qaeda affiliates and other radical Islamist groups operating in Syria like the Nusra Front. Erdogan thought he had his plausible denial, but it seems that Turkish government funds supported the growth of these groups, which are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands and which subsumed the more moderate opposition.

Uslu, in his Today’s Zaman column tells us when the al-Qadi/ Erdogan connections first surfaced:

Saudi billionaire Qadi is a well-known figure within the security bureaucracy of the West. Right after the 9/11 attacks in the US, the EU as well as many other countries froze the Saudi billionaire's assets. In recent years, the EU and many Western countries have unfrozen his financial assets; however, security services still suspect him of having links to al-Qaeda networks.

Last June Mr. Qadi and his close associate Qutb were involved in a traffic accident in Istanbul and taken to a hospital. When they had the traffic accident, the prime minister's chief of security was with them in the same car. More importantly, the prime minister's son, Bilal Erdogan, was the first person to visit them in the hospital and “cleaned” the hospital records of the fact that they had had an accident while the prime minister's chief of security was with them.

Even the pro-government Star daily confirmed an allegation that Qadi had met with the MIT chief. After the meeting, they returned to Istanbul and were involved in the traffic accident while Prime Minister Erdo?an's chief of security, Ibrahim Yildiz, was with them in the car.

In that piece, I questioned Mr. Qadi's relations with the prime minister and M?T and stressed the following: “Mr. Qadi may or may not have any relations with any illegal network; that is not important. What is important is that all of these examples create a fuzzy picture for the international community as to whether Turkey has become a center of a range of illegal activities, from nuclear smuggling to money laundering and helping terrorists.” (Today's Zaman, Sept. 29, 2013)

Uslu tells what stopped Turkish prosecutors from arresting Qadi and Qutb this past week:

The details of the investigation have been revealed to the media. Mr. Qadi and Mr. Qutb are two key figures the prosecutor had asked the police to arrest; however, the police refused to comply with the order perhaps because Ankara did not want them to listen to what the prosecutor had ordered.

It seems that the prosecutor had gotten ahold of evidence that made AKP officials so panicked that they blocked the whole investigation process and created a political crisis that has deeply affected the economy.

Now, that these nefarious al-Qadi/Erdogan connections funding Al Qaeda affiliates are out in the open, one can understand the massive protests and calls for Erdogan’s resignation in Turkey.  Will these damaging revelations in the Erdogan corruption scandals blowback against US efforts in the roiling Middle East?  Could these disclosures of Erdogan family connections with alleged  money laundering via Muslim charities to  Al Qaeda  affiliate, the Al Nusrah Front, upend the scheduled Geneva II discussions  in late January 2014  seeking a truce in the 34 month civil war in Syria?  Stay tuned.

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Posted on 12/28/2013 12:00 AM by Jerry Gordon
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Saturday, 28 December 2013
St James’s Church, Piccadilly, installs life size replica of Israel’s security wall during 12 days of Christmas.
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St James Piccadilly is an Anglican church with which I am not yet familiar, despite it being the work of Sir Christopher Wren.  Christina has sent me information on the churches Christmas project, described on the church website here; a full size replica of the wall built by Israel as protection from jihad attacks, which obscures the church and is meant as anti-Isreal, which so easily becomes anti-Jewish, anti-semitic propaganda. 

Christina found this via Richard Millet's blog here, and he already says what I would want to say. 

The replica wall will be lit up at night and for the next twelve days of Christmas (until 5th January) a montage of images and slogans will be continuously projected onto it. Scenes include parts of London with a wall passing through it.

What you won’t see projected onto the replica wall are scenes of bombed out Israeli buses, hotels, pizza restaurants, bars and nightclubs that were ubiquitous in Israel before the wall.

Bethlehem Unwrapped has evening events with anti-Israel polemicists including comedians Jeremy Hardy and Ivor Dembina, musician Nigel Kennedy, columnists Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and Mark Steel, Jeff Halper of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and War On Want’s in-house poet Rafeef Ziadah.

Maybe Ivor Dembina will reprise his notorious Holocaust “joke” in which he mocks the Jewish people for wanting to hog the Auschwitz limelight. According to Dembina Jews don’t really want others to know that gays, gypsies and the disabled were also murdered at Auschwitz because we like to see it as “Ourschwitz, not Yourschwitz”.

Rector Winkett said the reason behind the replica wall was that when 20 of them visited Israel and the Palestinian territories in October “one of the lasting memories of our time there was this wall” It is a shame Rector Winkett didn’t also visit the graves of Israeli children murdered by Palestinian suicide bombers or Israelis left disabled by them.

During the festival members of the public are being invited write on the wall. The address of St James’s Church is 197 Piccadilly. It’s very close to Piccadilly Circus tube station. Feel free to head away from the sales for a few minutes to balance out the hate and the lies. What a good idea. But take a good pen with you.

This replica wall has possibly cost thousands of pounds. There have been designers, architects, curators, materials, scaffolding and a team of builders. With mouths to feed and people freezing to death in this country alone it is shameful that St James’s Church, Piccadilly, has squandered so much on what is nothing more than an anti-Israel propaganda exercise.

It is hard to be an Anglican sometimes when fools such as these are in positions of responsibility. 

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Posted on 12/28/2013 12:00 AM by Esmerelda Weatherwax
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Saturday, 28 December 2013
Boko Haram, Egyptian-Style
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Posted on 12/28/2013 12:00 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
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