Friday, May 31, 2013

Is Europe dying? Mideast expert says Islam is Europe's future

(WJD) In the wake of the brutal jihadist murder of a British soldier, an attack on a French policemen, and a series of riots by mostly Muslim young in Sweden, all Europe is asking itself what has gone wrong. One expert has an ominous answer: Europe is dying and Islam is its future

"It is all a result of a European softening," Dr. Mordechai Kedar told YNet on Tuesday, "which the Muslims see as a weakness, as if they received Europe in their hands for free."

Kedar explains that European Muslims, for the most part, do not want to assimilate into European society, and are building their own autonomous enclaves that are essentially separate and autonomous from Europe's non-Muslim citizens.

"Once," says Kedar, "a French man of Algerian descent told me that they didn't move from Algeria to France, they brought Algeria to France."

This is the result of a general cultural and social malaise that has set in across the continent. Birth rates have collapsed, economies are stagnant, and Europe's belief in its own right to exist has fallen apart. "Europe has lost its will to live as Europe," Kedar comments. "It is gathered into museums, into history."

Europe's Muslim minorities, on the other hand, are growing quickly. They believe in the integrity and even the superiority of their own culture. This demographic and cultural gap is leading to more and more violent clashes with their host societies. And these clashes are likely to get worse.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hezbollah kicks Hamas out of Lebanon

BEIRUT (Middle East Online) - The powerful Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah called on Hamas members and officials who are still present in Lebanon to leave the country 'immediately and within hours.' The decision comes as a response to the Palestinian Islamist movement’s role in the ongoing war in Syria against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Media sources close to the Palestinian national liberation movement Fatah in Lebanon said a Hezbollah senior security official informed Hamas representative in Lebanon, Ali Baraka, that all of those related to Hamas on the Lebanese territory became have become unwelcome.

The military unit of Hamas has broken ties with former ally Syrian President Bashar Assad and has begun training members of the opposition’s Free Syrian Army in Damascus, according to a report by The Times of London.

Anonymous diplomatic sources told the Times, earlier this month, that members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades were training Free Syrian Army units in the rebel-held neighborhoods of Yalda, Jaramana and Babbila in the Syrian capital.

“The Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades have been training units very close to Damascus. These are specialists. They are really good,” a Western diplomat with contacts in both the Assad regime and the Syrian opposition told the London daily newspaper.

According to the Times, Hamas has been helping the rebels in digging a tunnel beneath Damascus in preparation for an attack on the city, a skill that Hamas has honed by constructing tunnels to smuggle supplies from Egypt into the Gaza Strip.

A Palestinian source from Lebanon’s Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp reportedly said that Hamas’s aid to the rebels is common knowledge, however Hamas officials have denied any affiliation with Syrian rebels.

The political bureau of Hamas was situated in Damascus. The organization’s leaders enjoyed the protective patronage of the Syrian regime and aid from Hezbollah.

By late December 2011, when the Syrian uprising started shifting into high gear, Khaled Mashaal, Hamas’s top political leader, quietly left Damascus in February last year and relocated to Qatar.

That same month, Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh allegedly declared the movement’s support for the Syrian opposition.

Syrian state-run media accused Mashaal of being “ungrateful and treacherous.”

As far as Khaled Meshaal is concerned, the underlying logic is simple: His movement’s new patron and funder, the Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, is a vocal opponent of Assad’s regime.

Middle East crackup: Phony ‘nations’ to break apart

(NYP) Expect major tears in the map of the Middle East this summer and fall, as states created by outsiders a century ago finally rip apart.

“Nations” better understood as “tribes with flags” are unlikely to survive the two-year (and counting) bloodbath in Syria and the rising violence in Iraq. Or the turmoils in Bahrain and Yemen and the flood of refugees into Jordan — you name it. It even looks like we’ll see the emergence of independent Kurdistan.

The powers that be are preparing for the new Mideast realities — acquiring allies, aiding fighters and gaining influence in key hotspots. Well, most powers: America’s sitting it out.

After all, the War on Terror will soon “end,” our president tells us. And the hated Iraq war by now is a bad memory, right?

Well, watch Iraq in September.

Dore Gold, the director of the Israeli think tank the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, points out that that’s when the Kurds of northern Iraq will start fulfilling agreements (already signed) to export oil independently of the central government in Baghdad. And oil wealth is all that’s left to hold Iraq together.

About then, the Syria war seems likely to transition to partition, as the breakup of Sykes-Picot gets in high gear.

Sykes-Picot? Go back to 1916, when diplomats Sir Mark Sykes of Britain and Francois Georges Picot of France signed a secret agreement to divide the region after their nations won World War I.

The deal created national borders out of thin air, drawing lines to suit the needs and whims of the Europeans — and mostly ignoring on-the-ground ethnic, religious and sectarian realities.

The Brits and French withdrew by mid-century, replaced by Arab kings, dictators and tyrants. But the Sykes-Picot maps remained, defining the new states’ borders.

Until the Arab Spring moved from countries like Egypt and Tunisia (states not dreamed up by Sykes and Picot) to places like Bahrain and Yemen — where the upheavals triggered deeper internal religious, sectarian and tribal divisions.

Similar in-country sectarian unease had already started to undo the state of Iraq, as we left it to its own devices.

By now Iraqi Sunnis, who once held power in Baghdad, have little stake in their country (except those oil revenues, which they’re increasingly not getting their share of). While defending their own turf against the Shiite-dominated, Iran-allied central government, Iraq’s Sunni Arabs are also supporting their Syrian brethren fighting to wrest power away from the Alawites of President Bashar al-Assad. The old Syria-Iraq border is now mostly imaginary.

In fact, the Syrian war is drawing in everyone in the region.

On the Shiite side, troops from Iran and its Lebanese-based lapdog, Hezbollah, fight alongside Assad. The Saudis and Qataris are propping up the anti-Assad Sunni rebels.

Turkey (which also has Sunni allies in Syria) has meanwhile made peace with its own rebel Kurds and is now encouraging neighboring Kurds to split from Syria and Iraq.

Mid-June will bring Russia’s “peace” conference in Geneva, where all sides supposedly will agree on the region’s future. Yet Moscow plainly sees the gathering as the time to start dictating Syria’s post-war terms.

The various rebel groups and their backers won’t go along, for now, with any solution short of Assad leaving the country — dead or alive.

The fighting in Syria, then, will continue for quite a while — even as Secretary of State John Kerry puts America’s prestige behind the Russian-led Geneva conference (and even as Washington officials continue to leak “plans,” which never materialize, to enter the Syria fray.)

Armed stalement is still the most likely outcome — with a de facto breakup of Syria into Kurdish, Sunni and Allawite mini-states.

Moscow won’t mind: Assad will rule a Damascus-coastal corridor, where most Alawites live, so Russia will keep its influence and its naval base in Tartous.

Iran’s “Shiite crescent” will remain intact, too — from Lebanon through Assadistan into southern Iraq.

But Sunnis will control most of the rest of current Syria, giving the Turks, Saudis and Qataris their piece of the action. Kurdistan will be carved out of current Syria and broken Iraq.

Key Sykes-Picot borders will be gone — with Jordan likely teetering and “central” governments in states like Yemen and Lebanon largely impotent.

What are America’s interests in any of this? Doesn’t matter. By opting to sit out, we’ve basically forfeited any say in the outcome.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Myanmar Buddhists burn Muslims businesses and mosques after Muslim man splashed gasoline and set Buddhist woman on fire

LASHIO, Myanmar (AP) — It was a terrifying sight: hundreds of angry, armed men on motorcycles advancing up a dusty street with no one to stop them.

Shouting at the top of their lungs, clutching machetes and iron pipes and long bamboo poles, they thrust their fists repeatedly into the air.

The object of their rage: Myanmar's embattled minority Muslim community.

Residents gaping at the spectacle backed away as the Buddhist mob passed. Worried business owners turned away customers and retreated indoors. And three armed soldiers standing in green fatigues on a corner watched quietly, doing nothing despite an emergency government ordinance banning groups of more than five from gathering.

Within a few hours on Wednesday, at least one person was dead and four injured as this region of Myanmar became the latest to fall prey to the country's swelling tide of anti-Muslim unrest. [...]

The rioting in Lashio started Tuesday after reports that a Muslim man had splashed gasoline on a Buddhist woman and set her on fire. The man was arrested. The woman was hospitalized with burns on her chest, back and hands.

Mobs took revenge by burning down several Muslim shops and one of the city's main mosques, along with an Islamic orphanage that was so badly charred that only two walls remained, said Min Thein, a resident contacted by telephone.

On Wednesday fires still smoldered at the ruined mosque, where a dozen charred motorcycles lay on the sidewalks underneath its white minarets. Army troops stood guard. The wind carried the acrid smell of several burned vehicles across town, and most Muslims hid in their homes.

When one group of thugs arrived at a Muslim-owned movie theater housed in a sprawling villa, they hurled rocks over the gate, smashing windows. They then broke inside and ransacked the cinema.

Ma Wal, a 48-year-old Buddhist shopkeeper across the street, said she saw the crowd arrive. They had knives and stones, and came in two separate waves.


Egyptian Cleric Calls on Allah to Annihilate Jews, Make Them Widows and Orphans

British Muslim Hate Preacher Choudary: We Reject Human Rights

Trouble In Islamic Paradise? Palestinian Minister of Religious Endowments Insinuates That Sheik Qaradhawi Should Be Killed

Video: Teens Train with Weapons at Al-Qaeda Youth Camp in Syria

India: Mumbai Muslim institute is enrolling girls for jihad

Condell: Muslims must reject jihad

Egyptian NASA: We Must Stand in Front of a Mirror and Face Our Enemy — Ignorance

Obama-backed Syrian rebels massacre Christian village

(Examiner) Members of the Free Syrian Army reportedly attacked the Christian-dominated al-Duvair village in Reef on the outskirts of Homs on Monday, where they massacred its citizens, including women and children, before the Syrian Army interfered. [...]

While the sources describing Monday's massacre are supportive of Assad, it's possible that it occurred since the rebel groups fighting the Assad regime are composed mainly of members of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda affiliated groups and have committed war crimes and atrocities in the past.

Jabhat al-Nusra, the branch of al-Qaeda that fought and killed American and allied troops in Iraq, have positioned themselves in Syria and control the rebel movement.


French police arrest suspect in soldier stabbing, prosecutor ties the attack to Islam

PARIS (AP) — Traces of DNA on an orange juice bottle and a surveillance video of a man praying in a mall led to the arrest Wednesday of a young suspect accused of stabbing a French soldier who was patrolling a crowded area just outside Paris, officials said.

The attack came days after a British soldier was slain on a London street in broad daylight, raising fears of potential copycat strikes. France has also been on heightened security alert since its military intervention in January in the African nation of Mali to oust Islamic radicals.

The French soldier is recovering from his injuries and has been released from the hospital.

The suspect was captured on camera offering a Muslim prayer in a corner of a busy shopping mall 10 minutes before he went after the soldier Saturday at the La Defense financial and shopping district, French prosecutor Francois Molins said Wednesday at a news conference in Paris.

The 22-year-old French suspect, identified only by his first name Alexandre, bought the juice and the pocketknife used in the attack an hour beforehand, Molins said.

"The intent to kill is obvious. The suspect doesn't hesitate to stab several times with impressive determination," Molins said.

The suspect was arrested Wednesday outside Paris at the house of a friend who has not been implicated.

"The suspect implicitly confessed when he told police 'I know why you're here,'" Molins told reporters. "The nature of the attack, the fact that it happened three days after the London attack and a prayer that was carried shortly before the attack make us believe that he acted in the name of his religious ideology and that his wish was to attack someone representing the state. "

The suspect, who was unemployed and homeless, was identified through DNA on a plastic juice bottle, said Christophe Crepin, spokesman for the police union UNSA.

Molins said the man came under scrutiny after a street prayer in 2007 and authorities had his DNA profile on record after a series of petty crimes as a minor. He converted to radical Islam around age 18, Molins said.


Pakistani Taliban's second-in-command among 5 killed in US drone strike

Wali ur-Rehman, center, the deputy leader of the Pakistani Taliban, in 2011.
LONDON (NYT) — A suspected American drone strike killed the deputy leader of the Pakistani Taliban early Wednesday, two Pakistani officials said, dealing a potentially serious blow to an insurgency that has killed thousands of people in Pakistan and encouraged Islamist attacks in the United States.

The deputy leader, Wali ur-Rehman, was among five people killed when missiles fired from a drone struck a house just outside Miram Shah, the main town in the tribal district of North Waziristan, two Pakistani security officials said.

A Taliban commander, speaking in a telephone interview on the condition of anonymity, confirmed that Mr. Rehman, who had a $5 million United States bounty on his head, had been killed.

The official Taliban spokesman, however, said he had no information on the strike. “I am not denying nor confirming it,” the spokesman, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said in a telephone interview from an undisclosed location. [...]

A tribal administration official in North Waziristan said that militants had used the targeted compound for meetings and dining. “Half of the compound has been destroyed,” he said, adding that the death toll may increase.

From a mountainous district of South Waziristan, Mr. Rehman was responsible for dozens of suicide attacks on Pakistani civilians and guerrilla assaults on Pakistani army troops. He also organized attacks on NATO troops across the border in Afghanistan, which helped bring him onto America’s list of most-wanted.

In 2010 the United States government listed Mr. Rehman as a “specially designated global terrorist” and offered a $5 million reward for information leading to his arrest.

Over the past year, Mr. Rehman developed serious differences with the Taliban leader, Hakimullah Mehsud, who is also wanted by the United States. Militant sources said the two men disagreed over the future direction of the Taliban insurgency.

Also killed in Wednesday’s strike were two Uzbek militants, officials said.


Monday, May 27, 2013

European Nations End Weapons Embargo, Creating Path to Arming Syrian Rebels. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

BRUSSELS (NYT) — European Union foreign ministers on Monday allowed the arms embargo on Syria to lapse, opening the way for member nations to provide lethal aid to rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad if they chose.
From an interview with Jabhat al-Nusra jihadist rebel fighter:
(The Economist) [...] We are fighting to apply what Allah said to the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. We are fighting so people don’t look to other people but only to Allah. We don’t believe in complete freedom: it is restricted by Allah’s laws. Allah created us and he knows what is best for us.

What future do you see for Syria—or do you even see a Syria in the future?

We want the future that Islam commands. Not a country with borders but an umma [worldwide Islamic community of believers] of all the Muslim people. All Muslims should be united. [...]

What about other Sunnis who are more moderate than you?

We will apply sharia law to them.

What about Alawites?

Allah knows what will happen to them. There is a difference between the basic kuffar [infidels] and those who converted from Islam. If the latter, we must punish them. Alawites are included. Even Sunnis who want democracy are kuffar as are all Shia. It’s not about who is loyal and who isn’t to the regime; it’s about their religion. Sharia says there can be no punishment of the innocent and there must be punishment of the bad; that’s what we follow. [...]
Yes, what could possibly go wrong?

Al-Shabaab gloats on Twitter about Woolwich death: Somalian jihad link to suspected Islamist killers

Poll: Two-thirds of UK citizens believe Muslims and white Britons face 'clash of civilisations'

Protests over murdered British soldier, pressure on Cameron: "Muslim killers, off our streets"

LONDON (Reuters) - Around a thousand far-right protesters shouting "Muslim killers, off our streets" marched through central London on Monday against a backdrop of swelling anti-Muslim feeling following the killing of a British soldier last week.

Lee Rigby, a 25-year-old soldier, was hacked to death in broad daylight in a south London street by two men who said they killed him in the name of Islam. The attack has shocked Britain and stirred an anti-Muslim backlash, including attacks on mosques.

In a tense but largely peaceful demonstration, supporters of the far-right English Defence League (EDL) rallied in London outside Prime Minister David Cameron's residence waving placards and shouting anti-Islamic obscenities.

"Islamic extremism is probably the number one threat to Britain," said one protester, Ben Gates. Other demonstrators chanted "Muslim bombers off our streets".

Another protester, Samuel Hames, said, of Rigby: "He survived his tour of foreign lands and comes home to his family and what happened to him is disgusting."

Nearly 2,000 people marched at a similar demonstration in the northern city of Newcastle on Saturday. Two men were arrested overnight for throwing firebombs at an Islamic cultural center in Grimsby, in the northeast of England. Similar attacks were recorded last week.


Syria fighting rages, more chemical attacks reported

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Heavy fighting raged around the strategic Syrian border town of Qusair and the capital Damascus on Monday and further reports surfaced of chemical weapons attacks by President Bashar al-Assad's forces on rebel areas. [...]

The Syrian military pounded eastern suburbs of Damascus with air strikes and artillery and loud explosions echoed around al-Nabak, 80 km (50 miles) north of the capital, where fighting has cut the highway running north to the central city of Homs, the pro-opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights group said.

Opposition activists said Syrian troops backed by Lebanese Hezbollah fighters were pressing a sustained assault on Qusair, a town long used by insurgents as a way station for arms and other supplies from Lebanon.

For Assad, Qusair is a crucial link between Damascus and loyalist strongholds on the Mediterranean coast. Recapturing the town could also sever connections between rebel-held areas in the north and south of Syria.

Hezbollah's deepening involvement in Qusair has raised the prospect of renewed civil war in Lebanon, where two rockets hit the Shi'ite Muslim movement's stronghold in south Beirut on Sunday and one was fired from south Lebanon towards Israel.

The rockets struck hours after Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah promised that his anti-Israel guerrillas, fighting alongside Assad's forces, would win whatever the cost. [...]

In Harasta, an eastern Damascus suburb largely under rebel control, dozens of people were afflicted by respiratory difficulties after an apparent overnight chemical attack, according to opposition sources. Video showed victims lying on the floor of a room, breathing from oxygen masks.


Gaza: Pregnant woman beaten to death by in-laws

GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A one-and-a-half-year old boy keeps calling for his mother, unaware that he will never she her again, and that his father's family may be responsible for her death.

Nawal Fathi Tafish Qudieh, 25, lived with her family-in-law in the town of Khuza, east of Khan Younis. On Saturday she was allegedly beaten to death by her in-laws. She was seven months pregnant at the time, and the baby also died.

Nawal's brother Ahmad says that his sister was humiliated, insulted, verbally abused and beaten by her mother-in-law and her husband's family.

Nawal's family even offered her a piece of land to build a house on and live in with her husband and family to get away from the abuse, but her husband refused to leave his family.

"Due to the problems she was exposed to, she was banned from entering the kitchen. She used to wait for her mother-in-law to leave the kitchen in order to be able to enter the kitchen," Ahmad told Ma'an.

On the day of her murder she had entered the kitchen without making sure her mother-in-law had left the area, her brother said.

"Her mother-in-law and sisters-in-law began beating her on the head, abdomen and back. They did not feel sorry for her or even for the baby she carried in her womb for the seventh month."

Her brother-in-law then began beating her with an iron pipe, with the family joining in until she lost consciousness, Ahmad said.

They dragged her body into the landing of the house and left her there until an ambulance arrived and tried to resuscitate her, but it was too late.

Both Nawal and her unborn baby died. Medics at Shifa hospital said that the cause of death was bleeding in her brain due to blunt force trauma.


Bombings kill at least 57 in Baghdad as Iraq security erodes

"... we’re leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq... And we are ending a war not with a final battle, but with a final march toward home."
~Barack Obama, December 14, 2011.

Fast forward to May 2013.
BAGHDAD (AP) — A wave of car bombings tore through mostly Shiite Muslim neighborhoods in and around the capital Monday, leaving at least 57 dead in the latest outburst of an unusually intense wave of bloodshed roiling Iraq.

The blasts are the latest indication that Iraq's security is rapidly deteriorating as sectarian tensions exacerbated by months of Sunni-led antigovernment protests and the war in neighboring Syria are on the rise.

Iraq has been hit by a wave of bloodshed that has killed more than 300 people in the past two weeks alone.


Memorial Day 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Anti-Kissing Jihad: Islamists Attack Turkey 'Kissing Protest'

Turkish demonstrators kiss each other on 25 May 2013 to protest against moral warnings at subway stations
in Ankara. (Photo: AFP)
(AFP) Islamists attacked a group of kissing couples who locked lips in a Turkish metro station to protest a morality campaign by the authorities in Ankara, the local press reported on Sunday.

One person was stabbed when about 20 Islamists chanting "Allah Akhbar" (God is Greatest) and some carrying knives attacked the demonstrators on Saturday, the Milliyet and Hurriyet newspapers reported.

About 200 people staged the kissing protest after officials in the Ankara municipality, which is run by Turkey's ruling Islamist-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP), admonished a young couple for kissing in the street.

Turkey is predominantly Muslim but staunchly secular, although the government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has introduced several measures opponents see as a sign of the creeping Islamisation of the country, including restrictions on alcohol.

Iran claims it has new long-range missile launchers

(JPost) Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi stated during a ceremony on Sunday that Iran’s Defense Ministry and the Aerospace Division of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard jointly developed a new long-range surface-to-surface missile launcher. According to the report on Iran’s Press TV website, Vahidi stated that the missiles were for defensive purposes.

“Today, the Defense Ministry, with the key strategy of self-confidence, hard work and self-sufficiency, designs and manufactures different weapons and military systems in aerospace, naval, aerial, ground, electronic and optic fields,” said Vahidi.

Iran has a habit of triumphantly declaring technological achievements that many Western analysts find doubtful, but there is often no way to check if the new declared technology actually works.

Iran’s defense minister also said that it would have a strong response to any aggression, making the enemy regret their attack.

“Iran does not want war with any country and will not be the initiator of any war or conflict, but will also not allow any aggression or hostile act [against the country],” Vahidi added, according to the report.


Bahrain's FM: Hezbollah head Nasrallah is a terrorist, must be stopped

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain's foreign minister has called the head of Lebanese guerrilla group Hezbollah a "terrorist" after Hassan Nasrallah said his fighters would help bring victory to its ally President Bashar Assad in Syria's civil war.

The comments represent a departure from the traditional Arab view of Hezbollah as a main force against Israel and show the widening sectarian divisions in the region over the war in Syria. [...]

Sunni-ruled Bahrain has been rocked by political turmoil since majority Shi'ite Muslims took to the streets in 2011 to push for reforms and more say in the government. Bahrain's rulers blame regional Shi'ite power Iran, Hezbollah's main backer, of fomenting the unrest

"Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, said that Hezbollah Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah is a terrorist and is declaring war on his own nation," the Bahrian News Agency reported, quoting the minister's twitter account.

"Stopping (Nasrallah) and saving Lebanon from him is a national and religious duty," he added, according to BNA.


London terror: The British wake up for a few seconds before going back to sleep

London (CNN) -- In the wake of an alleged terrorist attack on one of its soldiers, Britain is forming a task force that will examine the forces behind extremist groups in the country, Prime Minister David Cameron's office announced Sunday.

The group, led by Cameron, will "have a general focus on extremist groups, but accept that in practice the greatest threat is from Islamist extremists," a statement from Downing Street said.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the task force needs to look at "extremism from all quarters" while forming an effective strategy.


France: The stabbing of a soldier near Paris "bore the hallmarks of Islamist terrorism"

PARIS (Reuters) - The stabbing of a French soldier near Paris by a man who is still on the run bore the hallmarks of Islamist terrorism, the interior minister said on Sunday, and police said it may have been inspired by the murder of a British serviceman in London.

Anti-terrorism investigators are hunting for a bearded man aged about 30, possibly of North African origin, who fled into a crowded train station after attacking the 23-year-old soldier from behind with a knife or a box-cutter on Saturday.

The French soldier survived the mid-afternoon attack, which was carried out three days after a British soldier was hacked to death on a busy London street by two men shouting Islamist slogans.

"There are indeed elements that lead us to believe it (the French attack) could be an act of terrorism," Interior Minister Manuel Valls told France 5 television. "I won't say any more at this stage as the investigation is only beginning."

Police union UNSA spokesman Christophe Crepin said there were similarities with the British attack.

"I think this person wanted to imitate what happened in London," he told Itele television, echoing the defense minister who said the soldier had been targeted because of his uniform.

President Francois Hollande and Valls have both warned against jumping to conclusions about the attack, which security specialists said fit a pattern of radicalized individuals acting spontaneously in Western states.


However, Valls did say that France faced a growing threat from an "interior enemy" made up of Islamist radicals, many of whom he said wanted to punish the country for sending troops to Mali to help drive back an offensive by Islamist rebels.

He said dozens of French citizens who had returned to France after fighting with jihadist groups in Syria, Afghanistan or central Africa posed the most serious threat.

A police source told Reuters the attacker fled without a word after striking the soldier, who was patrolling the La Defense business neighborhood west of Paris with two other servicemen when he was stabbed in the back of the neck.

The assailant struck at least once and narrowly missed the soldier's jugular vein in what Valls said earlier was a deliberate attempt to kill. On Sunday the soldier was recovering at a military hospital near Paris, French media said.


Hundreds of European Muslims left for Syria to join jihad

EU says 500 Muslims have joined jihadists in Syria.
(JPost) Western leaders are concerned about the increasing amount of European Muslims who are fighting in Syria for ideological reasons. Since the fall of 2012, intelligence information indicates a rise in European Muslims travelling to Syria in order to join Islamic groups fighting the Assad regime. Hundreds of Muslims from the United Kingdom, Ireland, France and Belgium, among other places, are reported to have left for Syria over the last year. In the Netherlands, the amount has increased from a few dozen a couple of months ago, to at least one hundred in April 2013.

In March 2013, video footage appeared of Dutch-speaking Islamist fighters active in Syria. About a hundred Dutch jihadists are said to have joined radical combat groups such as Jabhat al-Nusra, which they themselves refer to as ‘an Islamic resistance army.’ Their objective in travelling to Syria is to help “their brothers and sisters” in their struggle against the Assad regime. Among them are boys and girls in their twenties, especially but not exclusively from the cities of Delft, the Hague and Rotterdam. So far, at least two Dutchmen have been killed in Syria, the 21-year old Mourad and the 20-year old Soufian.

The jihadists are from various ethnic backgrounds – Moroccan, Turkish, Kurdish or other - but also include converts to Islam. One convert planning to travel to Syria told his story during an interview on Dutch television in March. The 26-year-old Rogier converted to Islam two years ago and quickly radicalized. In a recording that he had prepared by a way of a farewell message to his parents, he declared that he had answered Allah’s call and had left in order to stand by the Muslims who are suppressed in Syria. In the interview, he explains that he “could not sit and watch his sisters in Syria being raped and his brothers being beheaded,” convinced that it is his duty “to defend his brothers and sisters.” Radical youth romanticize the battle in Syria but are likely to be disillusioned once they arrive, often having barely any knowledge of Arabic and lacking combat experience. The parents they leave behind have stated in interviews that they are extremely worried. One Belgian father personally travelled to Syria to find his 18-year-old son, contacting leaders of rebel groups in a desperate attempt to locate his child.


Rockets hit Hezbollah stronghold in Beirut, wounding 4, including 3 Syrians

BEIRUT (AP) – Rockets slammed Sunday into two southern Beirut neighborhoods that are strongholds of Lebanon's Hezbollah group, wounding four people and raising fears that Syria's civil war is increasingly moving to Lebanon. [...]

The rockets were launched hours after the militant group's leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, vowed to help propel Assad to victory in Syria's civil war and warned that his overthrow would give rise to extremists.

One rocket fired Sunday landed in the Mar Mikhael district on the southern edge of the capital, striking a car exhibit near a church on the street and causing all four casualties, a Lebanese army statement said. Another struck the second floor of an apartment in a building in Chiyah district south of Beirut, about two kilometers (one mile) away from Mar Mikhael. The apartment's balcony appeared peppered with shrapnel, but no one was wounded.

The state-run National News Agency said among the wounded in the Mar Mikhael blast were three Syrians.

A security official said rocket launchers were found in woods in a predominantly Christian and Druse area in suburbs southeast of Beirut. The official spoke on condition of anonymity in line with regulations.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

Muslim rioting continues in Sweden, schools, cars burned

(CBC) Stockholm suburbs suffered a fifth straight night of unrest as rioters burned two schools and 15 cars, and tried to damage a police station, Swedish police say.

Police spokesman Kjell Lindgren said Friday that 13 people, aged between 18 and 25, had been detained after the disturbances.

Rioting on this scale is unprecedented for the Swedish capital and has raised questions about the country's attempts to integrate foreign-born residents, who now make up some 15 per cent of the population, the BBC reported.

Stockholm county police Chief Mats Loefving blamed local youths, both with and without criminal records.

"In the midst of all this there is a small group of professional criminals, who are taking advantage of the situation to commit crimes like this," the BBC cited him telling Swedish Radio. [...]

Stockholm police got reinforcements Friday from the cites of Goteborg and Malmo in anticipation of more unrest, police spokeswoman Marie Hummer said. "We also need fresh officers as there is a busy weekend of events ahead, including a big horse race."

In one suburb, more than 80 per cent of the 12,000 or so inhabitants are from an immigrant background, and most are from Turkey, the Middle East and Somalia, the BBC reported.


French soldier on patrol in Paris stabbed in the neck by a Muslim

PARIS (Reuters) - A French soldier patrolling a business area of western Paris was stabbed in the neck on Saturday by a man who quickly fled the scene and was still being sought, a police source said.

The soldier, patrolling as part of France's Vigipirate anti-terrorist surveillance plan, was injured in the stabbing around 1800 p.m. but would survive, the source said.

French daily Le Parisien cited police sources as saying the suspected attacker was a bearded man of North African origin about 30 years old, and was wearing an Arab-style garment under his jacket.

Syrian Slaughter Getting in the Way of UN's Israel-basher

Poor Robert Serry, United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process. His usual job is to focus on Israel-bashing and the Syrian crisis is getting in the way. Nevertheless, the UN official did his best to refocus the attention of the Security Council on his blame-Israel priorities. Analogizing mass murder in Syria to the plight of Palestinians, Serry said: "the coming weeks would be critical on two major diplomatic fronts - negotiations to halt the increasingly bloody crisis in Syria, and ending the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict." In his briefing, Serry started with Israel and spent twice as long speaking about Israel than Syria. As the UN has pitched for decades, giving Arabs what they want immediately is now "critical;" the parties "cannot afford to lose" the moment. He proceeded to praise the Palestinians for having "shown countenance in diplomatic fora" - (how soon unilateral declarations of statehood are forgotten) - and to announce that the only "exception" he could see to the parties exercising laudable "restraint" was Israel's building of apartments. He referred to the Israeli father of five recently murdered by a Palestinian as a "settler" - a nomenclature specifically designed to downplay the attack - and then he made the de rigeur exculpatory reference to "settler violence."

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

FBI Kills MMA Fighter Ibragim Todashev Linked to Boston Marathon Bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev

(Newsmax) An FBI agent shot and killed a Florida man who turned violent while being questioned about the Boston Marathon bombings early on Wednesday, the bureau said.

A friend of the dead man identified him as 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev of Orlando, a Chechen who had previously lived in Boston, the Orlando Sentinel and Orlando television stations reported. Two brothers named by the FBI as suspects in the April 15 bombings were also ethnic Chechens with roots in Russia's volatile North Caucasus region.

The FBI said in a statement that a special agent, "acting on the imminent threat posed by the individual, responded with deadly force. The individual was killed and the special agent was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries."

It said the shooting occurred in Orlando, Florida, while the special agent and other law enforcement agents, including two Massachusetts State Police officers, were interviewing the man about the blasts that killed three people and injured 264 others at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

"A violent confrontation was initiated by the individual," the FBI said, without providing further details.

Todashev's friend, Khusn Taramiv, said Todashev knew bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev because both were mixed martial-arts fighters but had no connection to the bombing.

"Back when he used to live in Boston, right, they used to hang out," Taramiv told Central Florida News 13. "He met them few times 'cause he was MMA fighter the other guy was boxer, right. They just knew each other, that's it."

The shooting occurred at an Orlando apartment complex where several people of Chechen descent lived. Taramiv said Todashev and others in the complex had been questioned several times by law enforcement agents since the day the Tsarnaev brothers were identified as the bombing suspects.


Gaza Hamas Students: Clean the World of Jews

(INN) The Hamas-affiliated student union in Gaza published a cartoon Tuesday in which a person whose body is made of a Palestinian Authority flag is seen throwing a Star of David – one of the best-known Jewish symbols – into a garbage can.

Text under the picture says, “Keep the world clean.”

The cartoon uses a Star of David rather than an explicitly Israeli symbol, indicating that it is meant to refer to Judaism or the Jewish nation as a whole and not the state of Israel alone.

The student union in question is known as the Islamic Bloc – in Arabic, al-Kutla al-Islamiya. It operates in high schools, universities and other educational institutions in Gaza. Its primary purpose is to teach the next generation about the importance of, in Hamas’ words, freeing Palestine from the Israeli occupation.

Hamas views all of Israel as occupied territory and justifies attacks on Israeli civilians as “resistance.”

Many teenagers active in the Islamic Bloc are sent to join the al-Kassam Brigades – the Hamas cells responsible for rocket fire on Israel. Some teen boys are sent to join the cells before finishing high school.

Multiculturalism FAIL: Muslims riot wildly in Sweden, cars torched, police officers wounded

BRUSSELS, Belgium (The Local) — Youths set cars aflame and threw stones at police and emergency services for the third consecutive night in the poor suburbs of Stockholm, one of Europe's wealthiest capitals.

Rioters Tuesday night attacked a police station in Jakobsberg, damaged two schools and set on fire an arts and crafts center, in spite of Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt's call for people to "pitch in to restore calm."

It's believed the riots are linked to the death of a local man, shot dead by police on May 13 after reportedly threatening them with a machete. Since then riots or related incidents have been reported in nine suburbs, especially Hubsy, home to about 12,000 people.

"We've had two nights with great unrest, damage, and an intimidating atmosphere in Husby and there is a risk it will continue, said Reinfeldt on Tuesday.

"We have groups of young men who think that they can and should change society with violence," he added. "Let's be clear: this is not OK. We cannot be ruled by violence."

Officers dispatched to Husby have been accused of using racist language against residents, calling them "monkeys," "rats" and "niggers" on Sunday night, when at least 100 cars were torched.

"I can understand the police officers were stressed, but this language is unacceptable, and unfortunately nothing new," Rami al-Khamisi, founder of the Megafonen youth organization, told The Local.

The riots have come as a shock for Sweden which was long seen as a model for many in Europe both for its social welfare system and for the successful integration of migrants — though not everyone has shared in Sweden's success. Unemployment for native born citizens is at 6 percent, compared to those born outside, which is at 16 percent.

While other European nations have sought to shut their doors to migrants, Sweden has seen immigration as a opportunity to bolster the work force as a counterweight to the country's ageing population.


Man beheaded with a machete in the streets of London by two Muslims uttering 'Allahu Akbar'

(Woolwich) Today on the streets of South London a car ran into a man wearing a 'Help for Heroes' T-Shirt (Military charity), the two black men inside then got out and beheaded the man while uttering that most peaceful of phrases 'Allahu Akbar'. The two murderers their deadly deed done instead of running away,  hang around for the police to arrive and encourage bystanders to take their photos while they wait.

When armed police arrived at the scene they found themselves attacked by these two men, the first (brandishing a big knife) was simply shot by a Policewoman, the second found the gun he aimed at the police backfiring, resulting in him losing the fingers from his gun hand.

Reports have it that the victim was a soldier from the nearby army camp at Royal Artillery Barracks. Dark days indeed if, as I think, that Muslims are openly beheading British soldiers on the streets of England.

Meanwhile at the bBC, they are continuing to fog the story, and no doubt they will air an article where Muslims will be written up as victims by fearing a backlash.

Here is a running commentary from a bystander on his twitter feed:
Update: More details from The Telegraph:
When bystanders in John Wilson Street heard a car smashing into a street sign, they turned and saw what they thought were two black men trying to help a white man they had run over.

Instinctively, some started to head towards the chaotic scene in Woolwich, south east London, to offer help, or stopped their cars so they could call for an ambulance.

But what they were witnessing was not a suburban road accident, but the most brutal murder imaginable, as two Al-Qaeda inspired Islamic terrorists hacked at their victim “like a piece of meat” in an “animal” frenzy on the suburban pavement.

The soldier they had targeted was so badly butchered that it looked as if “they were trying to remove organs”, according to one man who saw the first terrorist murder on British soil in eight years.

When they finally finished beheading and mutilating the soldier’s body, they appeared to say a prayer “as if it was a sacrifice”, one witness said.

Police took so long to arrive at the scene that the killers casually paced up and down the street, their hands dripping with blood, making a series of pronouncements that were filmed by onlookers.

“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you,” one of them said in a London accent.

It was 2.20 in the afternoon when Islamic terrorism returned to Britain’s streets and claimed its first victim since the 7/7 suicide bombings of 2005. [...]

An eyewitness called James saw two black men get out of the car and said: “We thought they were trying to help him, we thought they were involved in this crash.

“Then we saw two knives - a meat cleaver - they weren't small knives, they were like big kitchen knives used in a butchers. They were hacking at this poor guy. We saw the whole incident.

“We thought they were trying to remove organs. They were just hacking at him. Digging and digging and digging and digging. Horrendous.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Israeli, Syrian troops trade fire in Golan Heights

JERUSALEM — Israeli and Syrian troops exchanged fire across their tense cease-fire line in the Golan Heights on Tuesday, prompting an Israeli threat that Syria's leader will "bear the consequences" of further escalation and raising new concerns that the civil war there could explode into a region-wide conflict.

The incident marked the first time the Syrian army has acknowledged firing intentionally at Israeli troops since the civil war erupted more than two years ago. President Bashar Assad's regime appears to be trying to project toughness in response to three Israeli airstrikes near Damascus in recent months.

In the exchange, an Israeli jeep came under fire during an overnight patrol in the Golan Heights, a strategic plateau which Israel captured from Syria in 1967 and later annexed. Syria claimed it destroyed the vehicle after it crossed the cease-fire line.
The Syrians, naturally, declared it a major victory:
The Syrian army released a statement claiming that its forces “destroyed an Israeli vehicle with everything that it had in it.” The Syrians said the jeep was attacked only after it crossed the cease-fire line in the direction of a village called Bir al-Ajam, one of several on the Syrian side that have changed hands in fighting between rebels and Syrian army forces in recent months.
“The jeep was on the Israeli side of the line,” said Capt. Eytan Buchman, an IDF spokesman. He said the vehicle was struck by one bullet and the soldiers were unharmed.

Iraq: More than 95 killed, more than 200 wounded in sectarian spillover from Syria

(Iraq) Iraq's wave of bloodshed has sharply escalated with more than a dozen car bombings across the country, part of attacks that killed at least 95 people and brought echoes of past sectarian carnage and fears of a dangerous spillover from Syria's civil war next door.

The latest spiral of violence - which has claimed more than 240 lives in the past week - carries the hallmarks of the two sides that brought nearly nonstop chaos to Iraq for years: Sunni insurgents, including al Qaeda's branch in Iraq, and Shiite militias defending their newfound power after Saddam Hussein's fall.

But the widening shadow and regional brinksmanship from Syria's conflict now increasingly threaten to feed into Iraq's sectarian strife, heightening concerns that Iraq could be turning toward civil war. [...]

"You cannot remove the Syrian element from what's happening in Iraq," said Sami al-Faraj, director of the Kuwait Center for Strategic Studies. "The outcome of the war in Syria has big consequences for both Iraq's Sunnis and Shiites. What we see now is an extension of that in some respects."

The worst of Monday's violence took place in Baghdad, where 10 car bombs ripped through open-air markets and other areas of Shiite neighbourhoods, killing at least 48 people and wounding more than 150, police officials said.

In Balad, about 80km north of Baghdad, a car bomb exploded next to a bus carrying Iranian pilgrims, killing 13 Iranians and one Iraqi, a police officer said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to brief the media.

Meanwhile, in the predominantly Shiite city of Basra in southern Iraq, twin car bombings - outside a restaurant and at the city's main bus station - killed at least 13 people and wounded 40, according to provincial police spokesman Col. Abdul-Karim al-Zaidi and the head of the city's health directorate, Riadh Abdul-Amir.

"All of a sudden, a thunderous explosion lifted my car and put it back on the ground," said Sami Saadon, a Basra taxi driver who suffered shrapnel injuries in his chest. "I could barely open the door and I crawled outside the car, where smoke and dust were everywhere."

A car bomb later struck Shiite worshippers as they were leaving a mosque in the southern city of Hillah, killing nine and wounding 26, police and health officials said.

Monday's violence also struck Sunni areas.

A car bomb in Samarra, north of Baghdad, went off near a gathering of pro-government Sunni militia waiting outside a military base to receive salaries, killing three and wounding 13. In the western province of Anbar, the hub of Sunni power, gunmen ambushed two police patrols near the town of Haditha, killing eight policemen, officials said.

Also in Anbar, authorities found 13 bodies dumped in a remote desert area. The victims, who included eight policemen kidnapped by gunmen on Friday, had been killed by a gunshot to the head, officials said.


Monday, May 20, 2013

Hezbollah suffers big losses in Syria battle, Obama 'concerned'

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas have fought their biggest battle yet for Syria's beleaguered president, prompting international alarm that the civil war may spread and an urgent call for restraint from the United States.

About 30 Hezbollah fighters were killed on Sunday, Syrian activists said, along with 20 Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad during the fiercest fighting this year in the rebel stronghold of Qusair, near the Lebanon border.

That would be the highest daily loss for the Iranian-backed movement in Syria, highlighting how it is increasing its efforts to bolster Assad; it prompted U.S. President Barack Obama to voice his concern to his Lebanese counterpart, Michel Suleiman.

If confirmed, the Hezbollah losses reflect how Syria is becoming a proxy conflict between Shi'ite Iran and Arab states like Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which back Assad's mostly Sunni enemies. Dozens of dead in sectarian bombings in Iraq on Monday and killings in the Lebanese city of Tripoli compounded a sense of spreading regional confrontation.


Nazi Flag Seen Flying Near Palestinian Mosque

The Nazi flag flying in Beit Omar (Photo Courtesy: Shneior Nachum Sochat, Tazpit News Agency)
(The Blaze) Israeli settlers on their morning commute got quite the eyeful Monday morning when they saw a swastika-emblazoned red flag flying near a mosque in Beit Omar, a Palestinian village outside of Hebron.

Thousands of residents of Jewish settlements near Hebron and Bethlehem in Judea (the southern West Bank) drive to and from work on the road from which the flag was visible.

The Tazpit News Agency, which photographed the flying Nazi flag, reports residents “were astounded” to see the symbol under which millions of Jews were massacred during World War II now being prominently displayed by residents of a Palestinian town.

Uri Arnon, who saw the flag, told Tazpit News Agency: “I felt we were going back 75 years, losing our hold on the land. The Arabs no longer feel the need to hide their murderous tendencies, announcing out loud that they wish to destroy us.”

Aryeh Savir of the Tazpit News Agency tells TheBlaze, “The IDF’s [Israel Defense Forces] Coordination Office of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) latest response is that they are waiting for members of the Palestinian electricity company to come in and remove it because it is on power lines.”

Beit Omar, also known as Beit Ummar, is located in a part of the West Bank known as Area B in which the Palestinian Authority runs the day-to-day civilian affairs, while the IDF is responsible for military and national security related issues.

There has been a history of Nazi sympathies among some Palestinians. Most notoriously, the Palestinian leader Haj Amin al Husseini who served as Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during the 1920s and 1930s, was an outspoken Nazi collaborator and even met with Adolf Hitler. He also recruited Muslims to serve in the SS. This famous photo with Hitler was taken in 1941.
Just last week, Columbia University Professor Joseph Massad was widely criticized for posting a column on Al Jazeera’s website in which he claimed that Zionism is anti-Semitic and that there is an “affinity between Nazis and Zionists.” Due to the outpouring of criticism, Al Jazeera removed the column form its site over the weekend.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Japan - The Land without Muslims

The Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam.

"In Japan, Islam is perceived as a strange religion, that any intelligent person should avoid."
(TJP) There are countries in the world, mainly in Europe, that are presently undergoing significant cultural transformations as a result of Muslim immigration. France, Germany, Belgium and Holland are interesting examples of cases where immigration from Muslim countries, together with the Muslims’ high fertility rate, effects every area of life.

It is interesting to know that there is a country in the world whose official and public approach to the Muslim matter is totally different. This country is Japan. This country keeps a very low profile on all levels regarding the Muslim matter: On the diplomatic level, senior political figures from Islamic countries almost never visit Japan, and Japanese leaders rarely visit Muslim countries. The relations with Muslim countries are based on concerns such as oil and gas, which Japan imports from some Muslim countries. The official policy of Japan is not to give citizenship to Muslims who come to Japan, and even permits for permanent residency are given sparingly to Muslims.

Japan forbids exhorting people to adopt the religion of Islam (Dawah), and any Muslim who actively encourages conversion to Islam is seen as proselytizing to a foreign and undesirable culture. Few academic institutions teach the Arabic language. It is very difficult to import books of the Qur’an to Japan, and Muslims who come to Japan, are usually employees of foreign companies. In Japan there are very few mosques. The official policy of the Japanese authorities is to make every effort not to allow entry to Muslims, even if they are physicians, engineers and managers sent by foreign companies that are active in the region. Japanese society expects Muslim men to pray at home.

Japanese companies seeking foreign workers specifically note that they are not interested in Muslim workers. And any Muslim who does manage to enter Japan will find it very difficult to rent an apartment. Anywhere a Muslim lives, the neighbors become uneasy. Japan forbids the establishment of Islamic organizations, so setting up Islamic institutions such as mosques and schools is almost impossible. In Tokyo there is only one imam.

In contrast with what is happening in Europe, very few Japanese are drawn to Islam. If a Japanese woman marries a Muslim, she will be considered an outcast by her social and familial environment. There is no application of Shari’a law in Japan. There is some food in Japan that is halal, kosher according to Islamic law, but it is not easy to find it in the supermarket.

The Japanese approach to Muslims is also evidenced by the numbers: in Japan there are 127 million residents, but only ten thousand Muslims, less than one hundredth of a percent. The number of Japanese who have converted is thought to be few. In Japan there are a few tens of thousands of foreign workers who are Muslim, mainly from Pakistan, who have managed to enter Japan as workers with construction companies. However, because of the negative attitude towards Islam they keep a low profile.

There are several reasons for this situation:

First, the Japanese tend to lump all Muslims together as fundamentalists who are unwilling to give up their traditional point of view and adopt modern ways of thinking and behavior. In Japan, Islam is perceived as a strange religion, that any intelligent person should avoid.

Second, most Japanese have no religion, but behaviors connected with the Shinto religion along with elements of Buddhism are integrated into national customs . In Japan, religion is connected to the nationalist concept, and prejudices exist towards foreigners whether they are Chinese, Korean, Malaysian or Indonesian, and Westerners don’t escape this phenomenon either. There are those who call this a “developed sense of nationalism” and there are those who call this “racism”. It seems that neither of these is wrong.

And Third, the Japanese dismiss the concept of monotheism and faith in an abstract god, because their world concept is apparently connected to the material, not to faith and emotions. It seems that they group Judaism together with Islam. Christianity exists in Japan and is not regarded negatively, apparently because the image of Jesus perceived in Japan is like the images of Buddha and Shinto.

The most interesting thing in Japan’s approach to Islam is the fact that the Japanese do not feel the need to apologize to Muslims for the negative way in which they relate to Islam. They make a clear distinction between their economic interest in resources of oil and gas from Muslim countries, which behooves Japan to maintain good relations with these countries on the one hand, and on the other hand, the Japanese nationalist viewpoints, which see Islam as something that is suitable for others, not for Japan, and therefore the Muslims must remain outside.

Because the Japanese have a gentle temperament, and project serenity and tranquility toward foreigners, foreigners tend to relate to the Japanese with politeness and respect. A Japanese diplomat would never raise his voice or speak rudely in the presence of foreigners, therefore foreigners relate to the Japanese with respect, despite their racism and discrimination against Muslims in the matter of immigration. A Japanese official who is presented with an embarrassing question regarding the way the Japanese relate to Muslims, will usually refrain from answering, because he knows that a truthful answer would arouse anger, and he is both unable and unwilling to give an answer that is not true. He will smile but not answer, and if pressed, he will ask for time so that his superiors can answer, while he knows that this answer will never come.

Japan manages to remain a country almost without a Muslim presence because Japan’s negative attitude toward Islam and Muslims pervades every level of the population, from the man in the street to organizations and companies to senior officialdom. In Japan, contrary to the situation in other countries, there are no “human rights” organizations to offer support to Muslims’ claims against the government’s position. In Japan no one illegally smuggles Muslims into the country to earn a few yen, and almost no one gives them the legal support they would need in order to get permits for temporary or permanent residency or citizenship.

Another thing that helps the Japanese keep Muslim immigration to their shores to a minimum is the Japanese attitude toward the employee and employment. Migrant workers are perceived negatively in Japan, because they take the place of Japanese workers. A Japanese employer feels obligated to employ Japanese workers even if it costs much more than it would to employ foreign workers. The traditional connection between an employee and employer in Japan is much stronger than in the West, and the employer and employee feel a mutual commitment to each other: an employer feels obligated to give his employee a livelihood, and the employee feels obligated to give the employer the fruit of his labor. This situation does not encourage the acceptance of foreign workers, whose commitment to the employers is low.

The fact that the public and the officials are united in their attitude against Muslim immigration has created a sort of iron wall around Japan that Muslims lack both the permission and the capability to overcome. This iron wall silences the world’s criticism of Japan in this matter, because the world understands that there is no point in criticizing the Japanese, since criticism will not convince them to open the gates of Japan to Muslim immigration.

Japan is teaching the whole world an interesting lesson: there is a direct correlation between national heritage and permission to immigrate: a people that has a solid and clear national heritage and identity will not allow the unemployed of the world to enter its country; and a people whose cultural heritage and national identity is weak and fragile, has no defense mechanisms to prevent a foreign culture from penetrating into its country and its land.

Kenya: Police kill Muslim 'terror couple' after five officers wounded

(Kenya) A police official in Nairobi says police shot dead a couple suspected to be terrorists after they threw four grenades, wounding five officers.

Augustine Nthumbi, the officer in charge of the Githurai Kimbo area on the city's outskirts, said Sunday investigators raided the flat where the couple were staying following a tip and ordered them out of their house.

Nthumbi says the couple refused to surrender, threw grenades and used their eight-month-old baby as a human shield. Nthumbi say two grenades were recovered from the house.

Police have not confirmed affiliations but the use of grenades falls within a pattern of attacks by the Somali-based terror group al Shabaab.

Kenya has experienced a string of grenade and gun attacks blamed on the al Qaeda-linked group.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Suspected US drone in Yemen kills 4 al-Qaeda terrorists

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — A suspected U.S. drone strike killed four al-Qaida militants Saturday in a southern Yemeni province once overrun by the group, according to security officials.

The officials said the attack took place around dawn in an area called Deyqa in Abyan province. Officials spoke anonymously because they were not authorized to brief the media.

Yemeni forces battled al-Qaida in Abyan province last year, routing militants from major cities that al-Qaida had briefly ruled during the country's 2011 political turmoil. The militants fled to surrounding mountainous areas after Yemen's military, assisted by the United States, forced them to retreat.

According to several research groups and The Associated Press's own reporting, there has been a dramatic rise in such drone strikes in Yemen since the country's new U.S.-backed president assumed power early last year.

Washington says al-Qaida in Yemen is among the group's most dangerous and active branches worldwide.

One dead, dozens wounded in Muslim-Christian clashes in Egypt

ALEXANDRIA (Reuters) - One person died and dozens were wounded during clashes between Muslims and Christians late Friday night outside a Coptic church in Egypt's second city, state newspaper al-Ahram reported, in the latest violent sectarian row in the Muslim-majority country.

A quarrel between two young men, one Christian and one Muslim, morphed into a family feud that sparked clashes in a western district of Alexandria.

The two sides threw firebombs at each other before security forces intervened and cordoned off the area around the church.

Police arrested eight people after about two hours of fighting, a security source told Reuters.

In addition to the political and economic turmoil Egypt has endured since Hosni Mubarak was overthrown in February 2011, tensions have risen between Muslims and Christians, especially since the election of Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in June.

Christians make up about 10 percent of Egypt's 84 million people and have complained that the authorities have failed to protect them since Mubarak was ousted, giving radical Islamists a free hand.

At least five people were killed and more than 80 injured in clashes last month between Christians and Muslims at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo after a funeral service for four Christians killed in sectarian violence with Muslims.

13 killed, 10 police kidnapped in Iraq Sunni-Shia violence

RAMADI, Iraq (Reuters) - Suspected Sunni Muslim militants killed four state-backed Sunni fighters in Iraq on Saturday, security sources said, apparently viewing them as collaborators with the Shi'ite-led government of a nation plagued by sectarian hatred.

Sunni-Shi'ite tensions in Iraq have been amplified by the conflict between mostly Sunni rebels and President Bashar al-Assad's Alawite-dominated forces in neighbouring Syria.

The four "Sahwa" militia fighters were killed in an attack on their headquarters on the outskirts of Garma, 9 km (six miles) east of Falluja, a city in the western province of Anbar.

Gunmen also ambushed and kidnapped 10 Sunni policemen near Ramadi, the capital of Anbar, a Sunni heartland bordering Syria.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attacks, but Sunni militant groups have been behind previous violence targeting security forces in a campaign to destabilise the Baghdad government, which they reject as illegitimate. [...]

In other violence, tribesmen clashed with security forces and set four of their vehicles ablaze after a woman and three of her young children were killed in an army raid north of Ramadi.

A car bomb parked near an entrance to the town of Latifiya, south of Baghdad, killed five people, police said.


Armed Tuareg and Arab groups clash in northern Mali

BAMAKO (Reuters) - Fighting has broken out in northern Mali between Tuareg separatists and local Arab-led gunmen, only days after the African country won a $4.2 billion aid pledge to help it recover from a conflict with Islamists affiliated to al Qaeda.

Rebel and military sources both confirmed the clashes, although they differed over precisely which groups were involved.

The violence highlights how pockets of fighters who escaped a four-month French-led offensive against the al Qaeda-linked militants in the north are undermining efforts to restore state authority ahead of a presidential election set for July 28. France said this week the 'terrorists' had been defeated.

The MNLA, a Tuareg rebel group, said its forces were attacked in the town of Anefis by a column of Islamist fighters on Friday. Its Paris-based spokesman, Moussa Ag Acharatoumane, said fighting continued on Saturday morning, with two of the group's fighters and at least seven Islamists killed so far.


Islamist rebel groups clash in northern Syria (plus kidnappings galore)

BEIRUT (AP) — A wave of tit-for-tat kidnappings between rival Islamic militant groups in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo risks sparking large-scale internal fighting between rebels after clashes killed at least four militants earlier this week, activists said Saturday.

The director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Rami Abdul-Rahman, said a coalition of rebel groups known as the Judicial Council had accused another armed opposition faction, the Ghurabaa al-Sham, of plundering factories in Aleppo's industrial neighborhood. Aleppo, Syria's largest city and a former commercial center, is split between rebel and government control.

Any internal fighting between rebels in the city would play into the hands of the regime, which is trying to tarnish the image of the opposition by saying it is dominated by extremists linked to al-Qaida network. [...]

The two groups, the Judicial Council and the Ghurabaa al-Sham, clashed on Tuesday near Aleppo in fighting that left four members of the Judicial Council dead, Abldul-Rahman said. He added that the Judicial Council is now holding dozens of members of Ghurabaa al-Sham captive.


Gunmen seize elderly father of Syria's deputy FM

A slow day if Mohammedland.
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) – Gunmen on Saturday abducted the elderly father of Syria's deputy foreign minister, his office and a Lebanese TV station said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Armed Syrian opposition groups have targeted top officials in President Bashar Assad's regime and their families in the past.

The father of Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad was seized Saturday in the village of Ghossom in the southern Daraa province, Mekdad's office said. An official in the office said the man is in his 80s, but he did not know his name.

The abduction was also reported by Beirut-based Al-Mayadeen TV, which has several reporters in Syria and is seen as sympathetic to the regime.


Armed groups bomb Libyan military posts in Benghazi

BENGHAZI (Reuters) - Armed groups attacked military posts in Libya's second city Benghazi with bombs and a rocket-propelled grenade, an army commander said on Saturday. [...]

No one was hurt in the four overnight attacks on three Benghazi army posts, said the military commander, Hamed Belkhair. Homemade bombs were thrown in three of the attacks and a rocket-propelled grenade was fired in the fourth, he said.

The army had sent extra forces to the eastern city after a car laden with explosives blew up near a hospital there on Monday, killing three people. Attacks on police stations have become a frequent occurrence in recent weeks.

"The national army is being subjected to these attacks because they are doing a great job of cleaning the city of criminals' shelters," said Belkhair.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Russia Sends Warships to Syria

(WJD) Russia has sent at least 12 naval warships to patrol its naval base near Syria, an aggressive move warning the U.S. and the west against intervention in Syria's bloody civil war, several news sources reported Friday.

The New York Times reported that Russia has also sent advanced anti-cruise missiles to Syria. Previously, the Russians had delivered missiles called Yakhonts to Syria, but reportedly, this new shipment includes missiles with a more effective advanced radar.

The United States and Russia have been planning an international conference aimed at ending the conflict in Syria, which has resulted in some 70,000 deaths.

Meanwhile, the Times also reported that Israel has warned Syria to stop the transfer of advanced military weapons to Islamic militants. Israel has repeatedly signaled more military strikes will be considered to keep that from happening.

Earlier this week, mortar shells fired from across the Syrian border landed on Mount Hermon. Israel closed the popular hiking spot in the Golan to the public for a few hours as a precautionary measure.

NY: 16 Palestinians arrested for selling bootleg cigarettes and funneling the money to Hamas and Hezbollah

One of the arrested is linked to 1994 murder of Yeshiva student Ari Halberstam on Brooklyn Bridge.

14 of the arrested are in the US illegally.

NEW YORK (News12) - Sixteen people have been arrested in connection with a Palestinian cigarette smuggling ring that has possible ties to Middle East terrorist groups.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and the NYPD busted the ring on Wednesday they say has made millions of dollars selling tax-free cigarettes in the city and upstate. Members of the ring allegedly dodged $80 million in taxes and pocketed at least $10 million.

Prosecutors believe the ring was run by brothers Basel and Samir Ramadan, of Ocean City, Maryland. Law enforcement officials say some members of the group may be affiliated with Hamas and Hezbollah.

Among those arrested is Youssef Odeh, 52, of Staten Island, a supporter of notorious terrorist Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman. Rahman is serving a life sentence for his role in an attempted 1993 plot to blow up New York landmarks.