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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Bruce Bawer : The EU Lectures Journalists about PC Reporting

  • Nor, we are told, should we associate "terms such as 'Muslim' or 'Islam'... with particular acts," because to do that is to "stigmatize." What exactly does this mean? That when a man shouts "Allahu Akbar" after having gunned down, run over with a truck, or blown to bits dozens of innocent pedestrians or concertgoers, we are supposed to ignore that little detail?
  • But that is what this document is all about: advising reporters just how to misrepresent reality in EU-approved fashion.
  • It is interesting to note that while many people fulminate over President Trump's complaints about "fake news," they are silent when an instrument of the EU superstate presumes to tell the media exactly what kind of language should and should not be used when reporting on the most important issue of the day.
"Respect Words: Ethical Journalism Against Hate Speech" is a collaborative project that has been undertaken by media organizations in eight European countries – Austria, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Slovenia, and Spain.
Supported by the Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union, it seeks, according to its website, to help journalists, in this era of growing "Islamophobia," to "rethink" the way they address "issues related to migratory processes, ethnic and religious minorities."
It sounds benign enough: "rethink." But do not kid yourself: when these EU-funded activists call for "rethinking," what they are really doing is endorsing self-censorship.

In September, "Respect Words" issued a 39-page document entitled Reporting on Migration & Minorities: Approach and Guidelines.
Media outlets, it instructs, "should not give time or space to extremist views simply for the sake of 'showing the other side.'"

But which views count as "extremist"? The report does not say – not explicitly, anyway. "Sensationalist or overly simplistic reporting on migration," we read, "can enflame existing societal prejudices" and thus "endanger migrants' safety." Again, what counts as "sensationalist" or "overly simplistic"?
That is not spelled out, either. Nor, we are told, should we associate "terms such as 'Muslim' or 'Islam'... with particular acts," because to do that is to "stigmatize." What exactly does this mean? That when a man shouts "Allahu Akbar" after having gunned down, run over with a truck, or blown to bits dozens of innocent pedestrians or concertgoers, we are supposed to ignore that little detail?

Or perhaps we should entirely avoid covering such actions? After all, the document exhorts us not to write too much about "sensationalist incidents involving migrants," as "[v]iolent individuals are found within every large group of people."

If, however, we do feel compelled to cover such incidents, we must never cease to recall that the "root causes" of these incidents "often have nothing to do with a person's ethnicity or religious affiliation." What, then, are those root causes? The report advises us that they include "colonialism, racism, [and] general social inequality." Do not forget, as well, that there is "no structural connection between migration and terrorism."


When the EU-funded activists behind the document "Reporting on Migration & Minorities" call for "rethinking," what they are really doing is endorsing self-censorship.


At least the report's authors do not have the audacity to maintain that there is no connection between Islam and terrorism. But they do urge us to remember that Islam is "diverse." The notion that it is inherently violent is -- what else? -- a "stereotype."
So is depicting Islam as "grounded in a different reality and lacking common value with other cultures" or portraying Muslim immigrants as being "fundamentally different from the citizens of the host country."
And it is just plain wrong, needless to say, to encourage "the widespread perception that there is a 'cultural clash' between Islam and the West with religion at the heart of the 'problem.'" (On the contrary: Islam is, the report tells us, "a belief system that can exist alongside others.")
And do not dare to suggest that Islamic culture is in any way "inferior to Western culture." Or that Muslim men are "highly patriarchal." (Repeat after me: "Many societies around the world remain highly patriarchal, independent of religion.")
And do not pay too much attention to Muslim women's "clothing styles." Why? Because doing so tends to "homogenise" them. (Banish from your mind the thought that it is the clothing itself that homogenizes them.)

During the last couple of years, many countries in Europe have experienced a veritable tsunami of Islamic migration.
But responsible journalists, according to "Respect Words," must never, ever put it that way:
"When describing migration, don't use "phrases such as 'tide,' 'wave' and 'flood'" (or, the authors later add, "horde" or "influx") because such language can "evoke the sense of a 'mass invasion.'" 
It "dehumanises migrants," you see, and "constructs a false sense among the audience of being 'under siege' by an 'enemy' that must be repelled."
Of course, much of Europe is "under siege"; this fact is becoming clearer by the day; to use milder terms when discussing this topic is to do nothing less than misrepresent reality. But that is what this document is all about: advising reporters just how to misrepresent reality in EU-approved fashion.

"Inform your audience," the report urges journalists, "about the reasons why people feel compelled to leave their homelands, and investigate what connections there may be to policies and practices of European states." Possibly, however, a massive percentage of the Muslims pouring into certain European states are doing so because of those states' "policies and practices" -- namely, their readiness to start handing immigrant families large sums of cash the minute they arrive, to set them up with free housing, furnishings, etc., and to allow them to stay on the dole for the rest of their lives. Many of those countries are more generous to Muslim newcomers than they are to their own citizens who have fallen on hard times; immigrants often go to the front of the line, while elderly citizens of some of these countries – people who have worked hard and paid into the welfare system since the world was young – have been turned out of their homes in order to accommodate newly-arrived Muslim families.

But these obviously are not the "policies and practices" to which the "Respect Words" document is referring. Quite the opposite.
The transparent implication here is that Muslim refugees and asylum seekers are fleeing conditions for which they and others in their countries of origin hold no responsibility whatsoever and that can, in fact, ultimately be traced back to Western wrongdoing, whether in the last generation or centuries ago.

Never mind that Muslims took over Persia, the Byzantine Empire, all of North Africa and the Middle East, Greece, Northern Cyprus, much of Eastern Europe, and Southern Spain. Ultimately, everything that is wrong with the Muslim world is seemingly the fault of the West, so Europeans owe all incomers a new life -- and perhaps even a new country -- peaceably handed over to them so that they can import sharia law?

No, the report does not quite go so far as to make this argument. But the report does caution that even to touch on the question of "whether asylum seekers' claims are genuine" or "whether migrants have a right to be in the country" is thoroughly inappropriate: it places the focus on "law and order" rather than on such things as "the fundamental right of asylum."

Yes, you read that correctly: "the fundamental right of asylum." Never mind that under international law not everyone is entitled to asylum -- and that a huge proportion of self-styled asylum seekers in Europe today have no legitimate grounds for such a claim but are, like many of us, seeking better economic opportunities.

But such facts are inimical to the authors of the "Respect Words" document. In their view, no human being can be "illegal"; therefore, the word "illegal," they admonish, should be used to describe actions, not people.

The only surprising thing about this document is that it actually includes a brief section on anti-Semitism, in which it suggests -- believe it or not -- that equating Israel and Nazi Germany may not be a good idea.
For the most part, however, the report is one long taxpayer-funded catalog of politically correct protocols which -- if adhered to by everyone in Europe who is professionally involved in reporting on events concerning Islam and immigration -- would guarantee a full-scale whitewash of the alarming developments currently underway on this unfortunate continent. 

It is interesting to note that while many people fulminate over President Trump's complaints about "fake news," they are silent when an instrument of the EU superstate presumes to tell the media exactly what kind of language should and should not be used when reporting on the most important issue of the day.

Bruce Bawer is the author of the new novel The Alhambra (Swamp Fox Editions). His book While Europe Slept (2006) was a New York Times bestseller and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Giulio Meotti : Multiculturalism Is Splintering the West




  • Multiculturalism is leading to the "partition", the separation of European societies. – Alexandre Mendel, author of the new book, Partition: A Chronicle of the Islamist Secession in France.
  • Under European multiculturalism, Muslim women lost many rights they should have had in Europe. Multiculturalism is, in fact, based on the legalization of a parallel sharia society, which is founded on the rejection of Western values, above all equality and freedom.
  • The European establishment closed its eyes while Muslim supremacists were violating the rights of its own people.
The European Union's official statistics on terrorism are dramatic:
"In 2016, a total of 142 failed, foiled and completed attacks were reported by eight EU Member States. More than half (76) of them were reported by the United Kingdom. France reported 23 attacks, Italy 17, Spain 10, Greece 6, Germany 5, Belgium 4 and the Netherlands 1 attack. 142 victims died in terrorist attacks, and 379 were injured in the EU. 1,002 persons were arrested for terrorist offences in 2016".
These countries all tried to integrate Muslim communities, but all came to the same dead end.
"As long as that continues, the failure of integration will pose a mortal threat to Europe", the Wall Street Journal wrote after a suicide bombing that killed 22 people in Manchester. 

According to a new book by the French reporter Alexandre Mendel, Partition: Chronique de la sécession islamiste en France ("Partition: A Chronicle of the Islamist Secession in France"), multiculturalism is leading to the separation of European societies.

It is also leading to constant waves of terror attacks.
Last August, on a single day, Islamists killed 20 Europeans in Barcelona and Finland.
A month later, they slaughtered two girls in Marseille, and in Birmingham a Shiite boy was brutally wounded. That is the deadly harvest of Europe's multiculturalism.
It is the most romanticized, seductive European ideology since Communism.

There is an "increasingly permanent chain of 'suspended communities' nesting within nations throughout the West", the American historian Andrew Michta recently wrote.
"The emergence of these enclaves, reinforced by elite policies of multiculturalism, group identity politics, and the deconstruction of Western heritage, has contributed to the fracturing of Western European nations".
Only twenty minutes separate the Marais, the elegant quarter of Paris where Charlie Hebdo's offices were located, and Gennevilliers, a suburb that houses 10,000 Muslims, where the Kouachi brothers, who gunned down Charlie Hebdo's cartoonists, were born and raised.

In Birmingham there is a suburb, Sparkbrook, which has produced one-tenth of the England's jihadists. All of Europe's biggest cities have separated enclaves where Islamic apartheid now proliferates.

There, Burqas and beards mean something. Dressing has always symbolized loyalty to a lifestyle, a civilization.
When Mustafa Kemal Atatürk abolished the Caliphate in Turkey, he forbade beards for men and veils for women.
The proliferation of Islamic symbols in Europe's ghettos now demarcates the separation of these suburbs. The new leader of England's UK Independence Party (UKIP), Henry Bolton, recently said that the Britain is "buried" by Islam and "swamped" by multiculturalism.


(Image sources: Yann Caradec, Coco0612/Wikimedia Commons)

"Multiculturalism," according to the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Carey of Clifton, "has led to honour killings, female genital circumcision and the establishment of sharia law in inner-city pockets throughout the UK."

Under European multiculturalism, Muslim women lost many rights they should have had in Europe. They face "honor crimes" for refusing to wear an Islamic veil; for dressing up in Western clothes; for meeting with Christian friends; for converting to another faith; for seeking a divorce; for resisting being beaten and for being too "independent".

It is one of the great ironies of multiculturalism: five European NATO members are now fighting in Afghanistan against the Taliban who enslave women, while in Europe the same thing is taking place in our own ghettos.

Under multiculturalism, polygamy has increased, along with female genital mutilation (500,000 cases across Europe). Multiculturalism is, in fact, based on the legalization of a parallel sharia society, which is founded on the rejection of Western values, above all equality and freedom.

In addition, the fear of "offending" Islamic minorities has been leading to wishful blindness. That is what happened in Rotherham, a city of 117,000 people in northern England, where the mass-rape and grooming of at least 1,400 children by "rape gangs of Pakistani origin" was allowed to go on for many years.

Under multiculturalism, anti-Semitism has also skyrocketed, especially in France. The French weekly L'Express just devoted an entire issue to the "new malaise of the French Jews".

All Europe's recent political earthquakes are a consequence of the failure of multiculturalism. As the British Historian Niall Ferguson said, the main reason for Brexit was immigration.
"Many people in the UK looked at the refugee crisis in Europe and thought: if they get a German passport, they will come to Britain and we will not be able to stop them. This was a key issue for voters, and legitimately, because the Germans had opened the doors to a vast influx from the Muslim world. If you looked at these things from the United Kingdom, the reaction was: wait a moment, what if they come here?"
In the Netherlands, the rise of Geert Wilders is the direct result of the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Dutch Islamist and the anti-multiculturalism backlash that followed it.

 In France, Marine Le Pen's political ascent coincided with two years of major terror attacks, in which 230 French citizens were murdered.

Moreover, the extraordinary success in the recent general election of the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party is the consequence of Chancellor Angela Merkel's fatal decision to open the doors to over a million refugees and migrants. Beatrix von Storch, an AfD leader, just said to BBC that "Islam does not belong to Germany". She explained that it is one thing to allow Muslims privately to preach their Islamic faith, but another to appease political Islam, which is trying to change German democracy and society.

The European establishment has closed its eyes while Muslim supremacists were violating the rights of its own people. Many Islamists then knocked at the doors of Europe with ever more determination. Multiculturalism has been killing and destabilizing Europe as only Nazism and Communism have done before.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Amir Taheri : Kurdish Secession and Mysteries of Identity


An old Arab adage asserts that there is always something good in whatever happens. The secession referendum held in the autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq is no exception. It has added to tension in the region, awakened many old demons and diverted attention from more urgent problems. At the same time, it has also provided an opportunity to examine and debate some important issues in a cold and clinical manner as opposed to the inflammatory style current in our neck of the wood.

One such issue concerns the relationship between ethnicity and nationality.
It is important because the Middle East which, is and has always been a mosaic of ethnicities, has arrived at the state of nation-statehood, a la Europeen, through an historic shortcut that bypasses the ethnic conundrum. In Europe, the birthplace of the modern nation-state, the concept of citizenship provided a synthesis between ethnicity and nationality. All European states are multiethnic entities; and, yet, few of them experience ethnic tension the way it affects the emerging nation-states of our region.

The assumption on the part of Iraq's Kurdish secessionists is that statehood should coincide with ethnicity. However, if that were the case, almost all Middle Eastern states would have to be divided and subdivided, by one account, to create least 18 more states.

Kurdish secessionists dismiss that account with the argument that most ethnic groups in the region are too small to merit statehood.

In other words, size becomes a justification for secession.

They also claim that Kurds represent the largest ethnic group without its own state. That, of course, isn't true. In the Indian Subcontinent, the Dravidians, numbering over 300 million, do not have a state of their own. The same is true of the Punjabis, some 100 million of them, who are divided between India and Pakistan with reference to religious differences into Muslim, Hindu and Sikh sub-groups.

In Africa, the Hausa and the Ibo, who number 40 and 35 million respectively, don't have states of their own. In China, the Uighurs (22 million) and the Manchus (12 million), not to mention the Tibetans with 4 million, have had their states wiped out by the Han majority.

There are more Pathans in Pakistan than in Afghanistan, more Irish in United Kingdom than the Republic of Ireland, and more Hungarians outside Hungary than inside it.

The second argument is that since Iraq is an "artificial country" created by Sykes-Picot, there is no reason why anyone shouldn't walk out of it. To start with, despite the fashionable buzz all over the place, the so-called Sykes-Picot "plot" has nothing to do with the current shape of the Middle East.

Sykes-Picot was a draft treaty by Britain, France, Russia and Italy to carve out the Middle Eastern possessions of the Ottoman Empire after the First World War. However, the draft never received final ratification by the four countries involved.
Before the war ended, the Tsarist Empire collapsed and the new Bolshevik regime published the text of the draft as part of propaganda against "Imperialist powers."
The draft envisaged giving large chunks of Anatolia to Russia, an ally of Britain and France and Italy. But when the Bolsheviks seized power, Russia became an enemy; there was no reason to give it anything.

As for Italy, it had performed so miserably in the war that Britain and France decided it merited nothing but crumbs of the cake, in the shape of a presence in Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. With Sykes-Picot rendered inoperable, Britain and France made new deals later reflected in several treaties, notably of Lausanne and Montreux.

In any case, to say Iraq is "artificial" is meaningless because all states are artificial; none has fallen from the heavens fully shaped. It took the United Sates almost 200 years to assume its present shape, by admitting Hawaii, annexed in 1898, as its 50th state in 1959.

A century ago there were 32 nation-states in the world; today there are 198, the majority of which are newer and more "artificial" than Iraq.

In some cases, ethnic identities are either fabricated or exaggerated in pursuit of political power. For example, the Castilians and the Catalans share the same Christian faith, speak variations of the same Latinesque language, and are hardly distinguishable from one another by outsiders. Yet, we have a Catalan secessionist movement in Spain. The reason is that Catalonia has always been a support base for leftist movements in the Iberian Peninsula while the rest of Spain, especially Castile and Galicia, has been conservative.

Ironically, the more multi-ethnic a state, the more successful it has proved in history. The Sumerian state was "pure" in ethnic terms but vanished without trace. The Roman Empire, open to all ethnicities up to the position of the Emperor, lasted over 1000 years, and perished when it tried to impose uniformity through its new official religion: Christianity.

Countries where citizenship is not based on ethnicity or religion offer inhabitants freedoms unavailable elsewhere. In a small street in Paris, Rue des Petites Ecurries, shops and cafes belonging to all sorts of Islamic sects, Jews and Christians exist side by side without anyone cutting anyone's throat, at least not yet; something unthinkable in "pure" places such as the ISIS or the Taliban "emirate."

There is nothing easier to invent than "traditions" upon which ethnic identities are constructed. To fabricate a new identity, Ataturk adopted the Latin script, and purged the Turkish language of Arabic and Persian vocabulary, using French words instead.
Now, however, we see the old Ottoman ghost coming back to reassert itself.

Some Kurds, tried a similar scheme by including the vowels اعراب (Irab in Arabic) in the Arabic script and, imitating Ataturk, purged many Arabic and Persian words. The result is that their new-speak appears more Kurdish but is hard to understand especially when it comes to classical texts of their literature.

There is much talk of identity these days. But human identity is protean, subject to tangential twists and turns of individual and collective life.

For example, the identity of Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Masoud Barzani (also known as "Kak Masoud" -- "Brother Masoud" in Kurdish) is not exactly the same as the identity of the Peshmerga who drives his bullet-proof Mercedes. Kak Masoud was born in Mahabad, Iran, an Iranian subject, but spent the first 12 years of his life in the Soviet Union. He then spent a decade in Iraq before being forced out by the Ba'athist terror machine, finding refuge first in Iran and then in the United States. That does not make him any less Iraqi or any less Kurdish, if only because the two are not incompatible but complimentary in his case.

An Iraqi citizen is easy to define and recognize because citizenship is a politico-judicial status that can be tested and ascertained. When it comes to ethnic and/or religious identities, however, we are often in terra incognito.

Two things are certain about anyone of us: our humanity and our citizenship. Everything else is subject to dicey speculation and convoluted definitions.


(Image source: Joaoleitao/Wikimedia Commons)


Amir Taheri, formerly editor of Iran's premier newspaper, Kayhan, before the Iranian revolution of 1979, is a prominent author based on Europe. He is the Chairman of Gatestone Europe.

Vijeta Uniyal : Germany: The Progressives' Post-Election Meltdown

  • On election night, around 400 leftist agitators gathered outside the Cologne's central railway station, chanting, "Whoever is silent, is complicit."
  • The irony of this moment should not be overlooked. The German left was not only silent when thousands of migrant men raped and sexually assaulted 1,200 women on New Year's Eve of 2016, but also, during the weeks that followed, when they tried to bully the female victims into silence by calling them racists and liars for daring to identifying their attackers as migrants.
  • With the AfD in the Bundestag, the country's political landscape finally reflects the actual political mood of the country. It is a view that has been completely missing since Germany's self-inflicted migrant crisis began two years ago.
The German voters certainly spoke in last month's general election, but the establishment in Berlin is having a difficult time coming to terms with what they said.

The right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD), winning 12.6 percent of the vote, became the third-largest party in the German parliament by securing 94 of the 700-odd Bundestag seats. In states that used to be East Germany, the AfD got 20.5% of the vote, second after Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

The election result was not only a big breakthrough for the AfD -- created just four years ago -- but also a historic debacle for the two major parties that have dominated the country's post-war political landscape for almost seven decades.
Chancellor Merkel's conservative CDU, with 33% of the vote, suffered its worst election result since 1949, and so did the Social Democratic Party (SPD), the world's oldest Socialist party, with 20.5% of the vote.

News of the AfD's strong electoral showing triggered far-left protests across Germany. On election night, the German public broadcaster Deutsche Welle reported:
"The crowd [in Berlin] was continuing to grow outside the building where the AfD were celebrating their historic election result. Protestors chanted slogans such as, 'Racism is not an alternative,' 'AfD is a bunch of racists,' and 'Nazis out!'"

Far-leftists protest the election gains of the Alternative für Deutschland party (AfD), in Berlin, on September 24, 2017. (Photo by Jens Schlueter/Getty Images)

Also on election night, around 400 leftist agitators gathered outside the Cologne's central railway station, chanting, "Whoever is silent, is complicit."
The irony of this moment should not be overlooked. The German left was not only silent when thousands of migrant men raped and sexually assaulted 1,200 women on New Year's Eve of 2016 on that very place, but also, during the weeks that followed, when they tried to bully the female victims into silence by calling them racists and liars for daring to identifying their attackers as migrants.

Germany's political establishment and mainstream media also went into bouts of grief and anger. They refused to accept the electoral verdict and appeared furious at the voters' rebuff. "What the hell is wrong with the East Germans?," asked the German business newspaper Handelsblatt, adding that "Many Germans are emotional and angry about this outcome."

Shortly after the announcement of the election result, the German weekly Die Zeit launched a social media campaign encouraging its two million Twitter followers to tweet anti-AfD messages using the hashtag #87Prozent ("87 percent") -- thereby highlighting that the majority of the country's electorate did not vote for the right-wing party.

"How could the AfD gain ground? Could this have been prevented? And whose fault is it?" inquired the weekly newspaper Der Freitag in its headline.

If the "Antifa" agitators and the media were having tough time coming to terms with the democratic verdict, the established German parties across the political spectrum were busy trying to disenfranchise the elected representatives of the newcomer, AfD.

As the news of the AfD's entry into the parliament began to make rounds, an all-party campaign to block the AfD from chairing parliamentary committees in Bundestag kicked into action.

Chairs of the parliamentary committees are allocated to the parties on the basis of their legislative strength. As the third largest group in the Bundestag, the AfD will be eligible to head some of these committees.

The Social Democratic Party's senior politician, Michelle Müntefering, launched a signature campaign to prevent the AfD from heading the Bundestag's culture and media committee. "A "far-right party" should not be allowed to inject its "nationalist venom" at sensitive positions of the parliamentary system," quoted Der Spiegel, citing Müntefering's campaign letter. Prominent figures from politics, journalism, arts and culture had signed the letter, which claimed that an AfD member at the helm of the committee would imperil the country's "free and diverse cultural and media landscape".

That seems a strange claim, considering that those who signed the letter were part of the very media establishment that systematically blocked the AfD from the media's "diverse" landscape. 
In the first quarter of 2017, for example, "only four AfD representatives had been invited to appear on Germany's four biggest political talk shows [out of 162 politicians] on the public broadcasters ARD and ZDF," the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle confirmed.

The AfD holds the prevalent political culture in the country responsible for the hysteric reaction to its electoral success. Petr Bystron, chief of the AfD's Bavaria state unit, told Gatestone Institute:
"[Attempts to] discredit the AfD and the protests on the election night are a testament to the skewed understanding of democracy, lack of respect towards the voters and towards differing opinions,"
It is also intriguing to see how the so-called liberal elite on both sides of the Atlantic think they can overturn electoral verdicts through meaningless signature campaigns or pompous-sounding hashtags every time their side loses at the ballot box.

The fear of the AfD influencing the workings of the powerful parliamentary committees, however, is a real one. Committees that can set up inquiries and expose the inner workings of the state apparatus are a serious nuisance for the ruling political class.

The AfD has made no secret of its intention of hauling Chancellor Merkel before a parliamentary committee to look into her decision to open the country's borders to hundreds and thousands of migrants in 2015.

What might not be good news for the political establishment, however, might be good for the German democracy. With the AfD in the Bundestag, the country's political landscape finally reflects the actual political mood of the country. It is a view that has been completely missing since Germany's self-inflicted migrant crisis began two years ago.
Vijeta Uniyal, a journalist and news analyst, is based in Germany.

Soeren Kern : The Czech Donald Trump !

  • Andrej Babis, one of the Czech Republic's wealthiest people, presents himself as a non-ideological results-oriented reformer. He has pledged to run the country like a business after years of what he calls corrupt and inept management. He is demanding a return of sovereignty from the European Union and rejects the euro.
  • Babis's anti-establishment party ANO (which stands for "Action of Dissatisfied Citizens" and is also the Czech word for "yes") is centrist, technocratic and pro-business. ANO, which rejects political labels, has attracted voters from both left and right, pulling support away from the established parties.
  • "The West European politicians keep repeating that it is our duty to comply with what the immigrants want because of their human rights. But what about the human rights of the Germans or the Hungarians? Why should the British accept that the wealth which has been created by many generations of their ancestors, should be consumed by people... who are a security risk and whose desire it is not to integrate but to destroy European culture?" — Andrej Babis, candidate for prime minister of the Czech Republic.
A "politically incorrect" billionaire businessman opposed to further EU integration is on track to become the next prime minister of the Czech Republic.

Andrej Babis, a Slovak-born former finance minister who has been sharply critical of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door migration policy, is leading the polls ahead of general elections, set for October 20.

Babis, one of the country's wealthiest people, presents himself as a non-ideological results-oriented reformer. He has pledged to run the Czech Republic like a business after years of what he calls corrupt and inept management. He is demanding a return of sovereignty from the European Union and rejects the euro; he argues that it would "be another issue that Brussels would be meddling with." He has also said he plans to cut government spending, stop people from "being parasites" in the social welfare system, and fight for Czech interests abroad. Babis is often referred to as "the Czech Donald Trump."

Babis's anti-establishment party ANO (which stands for "Action of Dissatisfied Citizens" and is also the Czech word for "yes") is centrist, technocratic and pro-business. ANO, which rejects political labels, has attracted voters from both left and right, pulling support away from the established parties. Babis has said that ANO aims to replace left and right with "common sense."

A recent poll shows that support for ANO has grown to 30.9%, while the support for the Czech Social Democrats has dropped to 13.1%. The pro-Russian Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia has 11.1%; the nationalist Civic Democratic Party 9.1%. TOP 09, the only openly pro-EU party, will not pass the 5% barrier of entry into Parliament; it is supported by only 4.4% of Czech voters.

Babis's approach to the EU is pragmatic: "They give us money, so our membership is advantageous for us." He does not want the Czech Republic to leave the EU, but he is opposed to the country joining the eurozone:
"No euro. I don't want the euro. We don't want the euro here. Everybody knows it's bankrupt. It's about our sovereignty. I want the Czech koruna, and an independent central bank. I don't want another issue that Brussels would be meddling with."

Andrej Babis (left), then Finance Minister of the Czech Republic, meets with Austria's Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz (right) on February 13, 2015. (Image source: Austrian Foreign Ministry)

Babis has expressed opposition to mass migration: "I have stopped believing in successful integration and multiculturalism." He has called on Merkel "to give up her political correctness and to begin to act" on securing European borders:
"In return for billions of euros, she should make sure that Greece and Turkey completely stop the arrival of refugees in Europe. Otherwise, it will be her fault what happens to the European population. Unfortunately, Mrs. Merkel refuses to see how serious the situation is in Germany and in other EU nations. Her attitude is really tragic."
Babis blamed Merkel for the December 2016 jihadist attack on a Berlin Christmas market:
"Unfortunately, the migration policy is responsible for this dreadful act. It was she who let migrants enter Germany and the whole of Europe in uncontrolled waves, without papers, therefore without knowing who they really are. Germany is paying a high price for this policy. The solution is peace in Syria and the return of migrants to their homes. There is no place for them in Europe."
Babis has rejected pressure from the European Commission, which has launched infringement procedures against the Czechs, Hungarians and Poles for refusing to comply with an EU plan to redistribute migrants. In August 2016, he tweeted:
"I will not accept refugee quotas for the Czech Republic. The situation has changed. We see how migrants react in Europe. There is a dictator in Turkey. We must react to the needs and fears of the citizens of our country. We must guarantee the security of Czech citizens. Even if we are punished by sanctions."
In June 2017, Babis reiterated that the Czech Republic would not be taking orders from unelected bureaucrats in Brussels:
"We have to fight for what our ancestors built here. If there will be more Muslims than Belgians in Brussels, that's their problem. I don't want that here. They won't be telling us who should live here."
Babis has called on the EU to establish a system to sort economic migrants from legitimate asylum seekers: "The EU must say: You cannot come to us to be unemployed and immediately take social benefits."
In an interview with the Czech daily Pravo, Babis said:
"We are not dutybound to accept anyone and we are not even now able to do so. Our primary responsibility is to make sure that our own citizens are safe. The Czech Republic has enough of its own problems, people living on the breadline, single mothers. The West European politicians keep repeating that it is our duty to comply with what the immigrants want because of their human rights. But what about the human rights of the Germans or the Hungarians?
Why should the British accept that the wealth which has been created by many generations of their ancestors, should be consumed by people without any relationship to that country and its culture? People who are a security risk and whose desire it is not to integrate but to destroy European culture?
"The public service media in some countries have been brainwashing people. They have been avoiding problems with the immigrants. Politicians have also been lying to their citizens. This has only increased tension between the indigenous population and the immigrants. It is not acceptable that Europeans should have fewer rights than immigrants.
"It is unthinkable that the indigenous European population should adapt themselves to the refugees. We must do away with such nonsensical political correctness. The refugees should behave like guests, that is they should be polite, and they certainly do not have the right to choose what they want to eat. Europe and Germany in particular are undergoing an identity crisis. There is a deep chasm between what people think and what the media tell them....
"Many of the Middle Eastern refugees are unusable in industry. Many of them are also basically illiterate and they only know two German politicians: Merkel and Hitler."
Soeren Kern is a Senior Fellow at the New York-based Gatestone Institute.

Fjordman : How Barcelona Became a Victim of the Barcelona Process (2017 Barcelona attacks)

  • The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe -- thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable.
  • When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing jihadist attacks increases as well.
  • It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe's leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.
The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. On March 11, 2004, 192 people were killed, and around two thousand injured, in the Madrid train bombings.

In hindsight, that attack marked a new phase in the modern Islamic Jihad against Europe. After the Madrid bombings, London was hit with deadly bombings on July 7, 2005. In recent years, the frequency of jihadist attacks on European soil has increased dramatically.

It is probably not a coincidence that Spain was an early target of Islamic terror. The Iberian Peninsula, present-day Portugal and Spain, was for centuries under Islamic rule. Militant Muslims have repeatedly made it clear that for them, reconquering Spain is a priority.


The murders on the pedestrian street of La Rambla in Barcelona on August 17, 2017 were not the first Islamic terrorist attack in Spain. (Image source: JT Curses/Wikimedia Commons)

Ironically, some people in Barcelona seem to view tourists who pay for short-term visits as a greater threat than Muslim immigrants who come to stay permanently. One can hear similar reactions among some radical left-wing activists, for instance, in Greece.

Mass tourism can potentially cause problems such as overcrowding and local pollution. Nevertheless, it is noteworthy that only a few days before the terror attack in Barcelona, some locals were complaining about an invasion of tourists. One radical left-wing group, Arran, published footage of tourist bikes in the city having their tires punctured in acts of deliberate sabotage. Of course, the problem might be even greater if there were too few tourists.

Meanwhile, a real invasion of Spain and Europe is taking place. For years, huge numbers of illegal immigrants from the Islamic world and Africa have been entering, especially through Greece or Italy. Spain, too, has seen a spike in the number of illegal immigrants. The Spanish-controlled enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in North Africa are under increasing pressure as points of departure for migrants.
The Madrid bombings in 2004 were immediately followed by the election in Spain of the Socialist politician José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. His policy of appeasement of Islam and the Islamic world was, sadly, not the first. Western Europe's appeasement of Islam stretches back at least to the 1970s.

With the 1973 oil embargo, Arab countries in the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) used oil as a weapon and tool for blackmail. European countries started giving concessions to Arabs to ensure their oil supply and, they doubtless hoped, avoid terrorism. These concessions were not just limited to economic affairs. They also included opening Western Europe up to Islamic culture and Muslim immigration. The author Bat Ye'or has written extensively on this subject.

As part of the Euro-Arab Dialogue, a Euro-Mediterranean Partnership between the EU and the Arabic-Islamic world was launched in 1995 with the so-called Barcelona Process. Its purpose was to strengthen the ties between Europe and the Arab world in the fields of trade, economy, environment, energy, health, migration, education, social affairs and cultural cooperation.

This Process has been in force for decades. Despite it, the increasingly stronger ties between the EU and Arab Muslim countries rarely receive critical scrutiny from the European mass media. There is even a Union for the Mediterranean, which most Europeans have never heard of.

As the official website of the European External Action Service (EEAS), the diplomatic service of the European Union (EU), stated in October 2017:
"The Union for the Mediterranean promotes economic integration across 15 neighbours to the EU's south in North Africa, the Middle East and the Balkans region. Formerly known as the Barcelona Process, cooperation was re-launched in 2008 as the Union for the Mediterranean.... Projects address areas such as economy, environment, energy, health, migration, education and social affairs. Along with the 28 EU member states, 15 Southern Mediterranean countries are members of the UfM: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Palestine, Syria (suspended), Tunisia and Turkey. Libya is an observer."
The Islamic Republic of Mauritania in western Africa, a full member of the Union for the Mediterranean, has the same formal status there as Denmark, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and Poland. Although Mauritania was the last country officially to ban slavery, it is still widely practiced there to this day. Yet the country regularly cooperates with the EU on matters of importance to the future of the EU.

The Barcelona Process, promoted by the EU, has helped to facilitate a greater presence of Islam and Muslim immigrants in Western Europe -- thereby also increasing the Islamic terror threat there. That result was perfectly foreseeable. When the number of people who believe in Islamic Jihad doctrines rises, the likelihood of experiencing Jihadist attacks increases as well.

It is unlikely, though, that European political leaders will point to this connection. Doing so would be an indirect admission that Europe's leaders have actively increased the Islamic terror threat against European citizens. This is the brutal truth they do not want exposed.
Fjordman, a Norwegian historian, is an expert on Europe, Islam and multiculturalism.

Judith Bergman : UK: Extremely Selective Free Speech

  • The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their Dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.
  • The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered "conducive to the public good."
  • At around the same time as the two neo-Nazi groups were banned at the end of September 2017, Home Secretary Amber Rudd refused to ban Hezbollah's political wing in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its 'political' and 'military' wings. In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade.
Apparently, 112 events featuring extremist speakers took place on UK campuses in the academic year 2016/2017, according to a recent report by Britain's Henry Jackson society: "The vast majority of the extreme speakers recorded in this report are Islamist extremists, though one speaker has a background in Far-Right politics...." That one speaker was Tommy Robinson both of whose events were cancelled, one due to hundreds of students planning to demonstrate to protest his appearance. The report does not mention student protests at any of the Islamist events.
The topics of the Islamist speakers included:
"Dawah Training... to teach students the fundamentals of preaching to others... Western foreign policy towards the Islamic world in general... Grievances...perceived attacks on Muslims and Islam in the UK... [calling for] scrapping of Prevent and other government counter-extremism measures [critiquing] arrest and detention of terrorism suspects... [challenging] ideas such as atheism and skepticism... religious socio-economic governance, focusing on the role of religion in fields such as legislation, justice... finance... religious rulings or interpretations, religious verses or other texts, important historical or scriptural figures..."
London was the region with the highest number of events, followed by the South East, according to the report. The most prolific speakers were affiliated to the Muslim Debate Initiative, the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), the Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF), the Hittin Institute, Sabeel, and CAGE. Most speakers were invited by Islamic student societies, and a high proportion of the talks took place during campus events such as "Discover Islam Week", "Islam Awareness Week" and "Islamophobia Awareness Month".

One of the most prolific speakers, Hamza Tzortis, is a senior member of iERA. He has said that apostates who "fight against the community[...] should be killed" and that, "we as Muslims reject the idea of freedom of speech, and even the idea of freedom".

That so many extremist speaker events continue to take place at British universities should be cause for alarm. In March 2015, the Counter-Terrorism and Security Act (CTSA) imposed a duty on universities, among other public bodies, to pay "due regard to the need to prevent individuals from being drawn into terrorism", yet at 112 events last year, the number of extremist Islamist events on campuses have not dropped significantly. In comparison, there were 132 events in 2012, 145 events in 2013 and 123 events in 2014.

Evidence shows that the danger of becoming an actual Islamic terrorist while studying at British university campuses is also extremely real.
According to one report, also by the Henry Jackson society:
"Since 1999, there have been a number of acts of Islamism-inspired terrorism... committed by students studying at a UK university at the time of their offence...there have also been a significant number of graduates from UK universities convicted of involvement in terrorism, and whom... were at least partially radicalised during their studies".
The most well known case is probably that of Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, who in 2002 was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of journalist Daniel Pearl. He is believed to have been radicalized while studying at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the early 1990s.

While removing extremist speakers from campuses might possibly reduce the risk of radicalization, extremist speakers are readily available to talk to Muslim youths outside of campuses. The issue is not hate preachers visiting the UK from abroad. While banning them from campuses will leave them with fewer venues, it by no means solves the larger issue, which is that they will continue their dawah or proselytizing elsewhere.

What, then, have been recent responses by the British government to the issues of Islamic radicalization and terrorism?

One response has been a proposal to tighten existing law on viewing 'terrorist content' online. People who repeatedly view terrorist content online could now face up to 15 years jail, Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced. The law will also apply to terrorists who publish information about members of the armed forces, police and intelligence services for the purposes of preparing acts of terrorism. Tightening the law around viewing terrorist material is part of the counter-terrorism strategy the government is reviewing after the increased frequency of terrorist attacks in Britain this year.


Britain's Home Secretary Amber Rudd has announced that people who repeatedly view "terrorist content" online could now face up to 15 years jail. (Image source: UK Government/Flickr)

Amber Rudd has included 'far-right propaganda' in the new law, saying:
"I want to make sure those who view despicable terrorist content online, including jihadi websites, far-right propaganda and bomb-making instructions, face the full force of the law."
What is 'far right propaganda?' Based on previous British policies, 'far right propaganda' would likely include reading Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch or Pamela Geller's 'Geller Report'. While local hate preachers from legal Muslim organizations freely roam UK campuses, Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller were both forbidden entry to the UK in 2013 by the British Home Secretary, because their presence would "not be conducive to the public good". This is what Geller was told:
"After careful consideration...you should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence here is not conducive to the public good...You have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviours by making statements that may foster hatred, which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK...You co-founded Stop Islamization of America, an organization described as an anti-Muslim hate group... You are reported to have stated the following: 'Al-Qaeda is a manifestation of devout Islam ... it is Islam' [and] 'If the Jew dies, the Muslims will die as well: their survival depends on their constant jihad, because without it they will lose the meaning and purpose of their existence.' The Home Secretary considers that should you be allowed to enter the UK you would continue to espouse such views...".
The letter to Robert Spencer was in almost identical form:
"The Home Secretary notes that you are the founder of the blog Jihad Watch (a site widely criticized for being Islamophobic). You co-founded the Freedom Defense Initiative and Stop Islamization of America, both of which have been described as anti-Muslim hate groups. You are reported to have stated the following: "... it [Islam] is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers... for establishing a societal model that is ...incompatible with Western society..."
The question probably should be: Based on available evidence, are those assessments of Islam accurate? Particularly compared to current messages that seemingly are considered "conducive to the public good."

It is also conceivable that reading quotes from Winston Churchill's book about Islam online would be seen as 'far right' and therefore punishable by up to 15 years in jail. In 2014, Paul Weston, chairman of the Liberty GB party, was arrested on suspicion of religious/racial harassment for quoting an excerpt on Islam from Churchill's book, 'The River War' -- written in 1899 while he was a British army officer in Sudan -- in a public speech.

Another recent government response to terrorism has been to outlaw two far-right groups: Scottish Dawn and NS131, which are aliases for the group National Action, a fringe neo-Nazi group, banned in 2016. Being a member of these groups or merely supporting them is now a criminal offense that carries a sentence of up to 10 years' imprisonment. Amber Rudd said in September:
"National Action is a vile racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic group which glorifies violence and stirs up hatred... Our priority as Government will always be to maintain the safety and security of families and communities... we will continue to identify and ban any terrorist group which threatens this, whatever their ideology".
Apparently, however, to paraphrase George Orwell, some terrorist groups "are more equal than others."
Amber Rudd recently refused to ban the political wing of Hezbollah, an equally racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic group that has actually committed terror attacks all over the world, as opposed to the banned neo-Nazi groups. Banning Hezbollah's political wing would have closed a legal loophole that allows demonstrations in support of the political wing of Hezbollah, while its military wing is banned in the UK. Hezbollah itself, obviously, does not distinguish between its 'political' and 'military' wings.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had written to Amber Rudd asking her to close the legal loophole after Jewish groups pleaded with him to stop a large Al Quds day march, which nevertheless took place in London in June 2017 and featured Hezbollah flags.
While the British government decided that supporters of fringe neo-Nazi groups should be jailed for up to 10 years, it apparently thought that supporting Hezbollah is just fine. In response to Khan, Amber Rudd wrote :
"The group that reportedly organised the parade, the Islamic Human Rights Commission, is not a proscribed terrorist organisation. This means they can express their views and demonstrate, provided that they do so within the law. The flag for the organisation's military wing is the same as the flag for its political wing. Therefore, for it to be an offence under Section 13 of the Terrorism Act 2000, for an individual to display the Hizballah flag, the context and manner in which the flag is displayed must demonstrate that it is specifically in support of the proscribed elements of the group",
In other words, you can go ahead and support Hezbollah in the UK, no problem. Support the far right and you can end up in jail for a decade. Evidently, free speech in the UK has become extremely selective.
Judith Bergman is a columnist, lawyer and political analyst.