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Thursday, March 30, 2017

Judith Bergman : Austria: Does the Church Really Care about Terrorism?


  • The Austrian Military Intelligence Service has predicted that up to 15 million migrants from Africa could arrive in the EU by 2020.
  • Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, recently admitted on Austrian television that he had come to "rethink" his approach to the migrant crisis: Instead of accepting all the refugees, aid should be given in the Middle East and Africa, so that migrants could stay there.
  • "Will there be an Islamic conquest of Europe? Many Muslims want that and say: Europe is at the end." — Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, Festival of the 'Holy Name of Mary', September, 2016.
  • Cardinal Schönborn subsequently backtracked, saying that his words had been misinterpreted as an attack against Muslims and refugees: "Europe's Christian legacy is in danger, because we Europeans have squandered it. That has absolutely nothing to do with Islam nor with the refugees. It is clear that many Islamists would like to take advantage of our weakness, but they are not responsible for it. We are."
In his Christmas sermon, broadcast live on Austria's ORF and Germany's ZDF TV channels, Catholic diocesan Bishop Aegidius Zsifkovics of St. Martin's Cathedral in Eisenstadt, Austria, pontificated that tightening borders is an "erroneous opinion":
"Barbed wire, fences and walls are now many people's answer to the refugees [coming into] Europe. The terror of a few, as last seen in Berlin, reinforce many of us in this erroneous opinion".
Bishop Zsifkovics declared that we cannot let "Cowardly terror attacks, like that in Berlin, succeed in destabilizing our society, making us colder and less solidary. Let us not allow the terrorists this triumph -- we will not be ice cold like them!"
Since the bishop's speech, the Austrian Military Intelligence Service has predicted that up to 15 million migrants from Africa could arrive in the EU by 2020. The report predicts that a sharp rise in unemployment across the African continent will create a new wave of economic migrants, which will dwarf the current one, which has brought over a million migrants to Europe since the migrant crisis began.


Austrian diocesan Bishop Aegidius Zsifkovics. (Image source: Catholic Church of Austria)

In November 2016, Austria's interior ministry indicated that of the 287 Islamic radicals identified in the country in the past few years, 40 percent arrived as migrants looking for asylum. The data covers a period from early 2011 until 1 July 2016.

Bishop Zsifkovics' sermon was broadcast only five days after Anis Amri, an illegal immigrant from Tunisia, rammed a hijacked truck through the crowd at a busy Christmas market in Berlin, murdering 12 people and injuring many others.

Bishop Zsifkovics is Austria's representative in the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE). According to the organization's website, "The COMECE Secretariat works for the rights of migrants, refugees and hosting societies to be harmonised and respected in the EU for the sake of the common good in the Christian spirit of welcoming the stranger".

The Archbishop of Vienna, Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, tipped to become the next Pope, appears to have a more realistic take on developments in Austria. His recent comments represent a sharp departure from the virtually unanimous view of the migrant crisis in the Catholic Church, represented by Bishop Zsifkovics.

 Cardinal Schönborn recently admitted on Austrian television that he had come to "rethink" his approach to the migrant crisis: Instead of accepting all the refugees, aid should be given in the Middle East and Africa, so that migrants could stay there, Schönborn said. He added that he was becoming "more cautious" in his attitude, as migrants had arrived in "unbelievable number" and "We have had to learn, this [crisis] goes well beyond our capacity and ability."

His statements made big headlines, and were described by one Austrian commentator as:
"unusual words for a representative of the Church... But they are also words which prove the cardinal's [sense of] reality. Yes, the enormous onslaught of asylum seekers has overwhelmed us -- yes, you can admit that."
That such a view is considered "unusual" says it all.
Cardinal Schönborn has clearly harbored doubts about the migrant situation for a while. In September 2016, he made headlines when speaking at the festival of the "Holy Name of Mary," which was introduced 333 years ago to celebrate the Western victory over Ottoman forces at the Battle of Vienna, in 1683. In his speech, Cardinal Schönborn asked, "Will there be an Islamic conquest of Europe? Many Muslims want that and say: Europe is at the end."
He subsequently backtracked, saying that his words had been misinterpreted as an attack against Muslims and refugees:
"Europe's Christian legacy is in danger, because we Europeans have squandered it. That has absolutely nothing to do with Islam nor with the refugees. It is clear that many Islamists would like to take advantage of our weakness, but they are not responsible for it. We are.... One must not take my homily to be a call to defend ourselves against the refugees, this was not at all my intention."
Already in February 2015, the British anti-extremist think tank, the Quilliam Foundation, translated an ISIS document, which detailed plans to use Libya as a gateway to Europe, sending terrorists masquerading as refugees, and urging ISIS fighters to flood into Libya from Syria and Iraq to then head for Italy and elsewhere[1].
What the ISIS document describes is known as a hijra, which means spreading Islam, or jihad, by emigration. According to the Quran:
"And whoever emigrates for the cause of Allah will find on the earth many locations and abundance. And whoever leaves his home as an emigrant to Allah and His Messenger and then death overtakes him, his reward has already become incumbent upon Allah. And Allah is ever Forgiving and Merciful." (Quran 4:100).
Unfortunately, national decision makers all over Europe ignored the news contained in this ISIS document -- an ironic result considering the current hysteria over "fake news".
One can think of many valid reasons for Cardinal Schönborn to "rethink" his approach to the migrant crisis. One of them is the inability of Austrian police to protect Austrian women from sexual assaults by migrants. In a pathetic move to cover up their helplessness, Austria's police distributed 6,000 rape alarms on New Year's Eve to prevent a repeat of the mass sex attacks in Germany a year ago. If activated, the complimentary gadgets emit a shrill sound aimed at chasing away potential aggressors.

The precaution does not seem to have been very effective, especially not in Innsbruck. According to the Express, on New Year's Eve, "Vienna's emergency services were inundated with calls across the country as reports of multiple sex attacks emerged, reportedly committed by dark-haired men with beards". In the city of Innsbruck alone, some 18 women reported having been groped by up to 10 men on Innsbruck's main square, where around 25,000 gathered. Senior police official Ernst Kranebitter said:
"We have not had anything like this happen here before. They were dancing around the victims and then suddenly grabbed their breast or stuck their hands between their legs. That's what made it hard for others to notice what was going on -- it all happened amid festivities."
In Oberdorf, Upper Austria, during the annual Christmas performance by the local kindergarten, a 24-year-old Somali man suddenly appeared on the stage during the performance, took a Koran from a plastic bag and began to preach. When he was arrested, he began yelling "Allahu Akhbar" ["Allah is the Greatest"]. "We were petrified and had tremendous fear for our children," said one of the kindergarten teachers. The Austrian news outlet, OE24, speculated: "What the African wanted to achieve with his Koran action... is still unclear". Indeed, after so many years, the battle cry of "Allahu Akhbar" continues to baffle Europeans. What could it possibly mean?

Then there is a 72-year old grandmother refusing to eat and dying in hospital, after apparently losing the will to live. On September 1, 2015, she had offered her hand to a 17-year-old asylum seeker from Afghanistan to pull him out of a canal where he was swimming; he then raped her. He is due for release from prison in a few months, after serving a 20-month sentence, and will not be deported.

Are these events what Bishop Zsifkovics had in mind when he preached that accepting migrants from the Middle East and Africa must continue, as doing otherwise would destabilize society and give the terrorists the victory of making Austrians "ice cold like them"?

Since New Year's, in the Innviertel region, statues have been beheaded, prayer books burned and sacred images destroyed. Police have said the attacks could be religiously motivated, but they have not yet identified any suspects. On New Year's Eve, a chapel in the village of St. Radegund was attacked, and damage done to a statue of the Virgin Mary. Prayer books and wooden objects from the chapel were burned in a nearby wood. Another chapel at the nearby town of Auerbach was also attacked, with vandals smashing the glass guarding two Virgin Mary statues and stealing at least 22 murals, which they burned in the woods. A few days later, in Braunau am Inn, a third chapel was attacked. A figure of Jesus was stolen from a cross, as well as several other objects, and a statue of St. Barbara was beheaded.
In the past year, Innviertel has witnessed an influx of migrants as part of Europe's ongoing crisis.

While it remains to be seen who did this, the beheading of religious statues certainly raises the legitimate suspicions of a religiously motivated attack. If so, might Bishop Zsifkovics and others in the church who think the same way be persuaded to rethink their stance?

Bishop Zsifkovics, unlike Cardinal Schönborn, but with so many of his peers in Western Europe, seems to view reality as something they can bend to their wishes and discard at will, especially if it offers the opportunity for moral posturing. The destabilization of Europe has already begun. Bishops such as Zsifkovics are unfortunately helping to speed it along.
Judith Bergman is a writer, columnist, lawyer and political analyst.

[1] The ISIS document states:
"... It has a long coastline and looks upon the southern Crusader states, which can be reached with ease by even a rudimentary boat and note that the number of 'illegal immigration' trips from this coast is massive, estimated to be as high as 500 people a day, as a low estimate. According to many [of these immigrants], it is easily possible to pass through Maritime Security Checkpoints and arrive in cities. If this was even partially exploited and developed strategically, pandemonium could be wrought in the southern Europe. It is even possible that there could be a closure of shipping lines because of the targeting of Crusader ships and tankers".
In September 2015, Newsweek Europe also reported on ISIS making calls for hijrah to Libya on social media.
=====================

Denis MacEoin : The Two "Islamophobias"


  • While it is not surprising to find Muslims offended by certain words or images, it is distressing to find Western courts and other bodies only too willing to turn "Islamophobia" into a criminal offence in countries that otherwise value free speech and open expression.
  • When the Dutch politician Geert Wilders was brought to court on a hate speech charge, all he had done in fact was to ask a simple question about Moroccan immigrants -- should the Netherlands take in more or fewer? That is a question with many potential answers based on political, social, or demographic grounds. It is a rational question that is, almost by definition, one that could be asked in the Home Office of any state that receives immigrants.
  • "Forty percent of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior." – Dutch-Moroccan Monitor 2011.
  • We, and not our opponents, must place ourselves in a position to define what is and what is not real "Islamophobia." If we cannot do that, others will conflate criticism and hatred, and clamp down on both at once.
If we had to choose one thing that has obstructed many Westerners from understanding modern Islam and undermined our ability to handle its excesses, it would be our perception of Islamophobia. How many times have fair and honest criticisms of one aspect or another of Islam, rebukes of behaviour, or literary and artistic expressions of Muhammad or other figures been loudly shouted down or banned on the grounds that such criticism was "Islamophobic"?

In Europe, individuals have been arrested, tried and sentenced for "Islamophobic" utterances. As Judith Bergman recently commented, in Europe it is becoming a criminal offence to criticize Islam.

In 2011, Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, for example, a former Austrian diplomat and teacher, was put on trial for "denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion [Islam]," found guilty twice, and ordered to pay a fine or face 60 days in jail. Some of her comments may have seemed extreme, but the court's failure to engage with her historically accurate charge that Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl and continued to have sex with her until she turned eighteen -- its regarding the historical record as somehow defamatory -- and the judge's decision to punish her for saying something that can be found in Islamic sources, illustrates the betrayal of Western values of free speech. A charge of "Islamophobia" was enough to confine the freedoms that most Westerners take for granted.


Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a former Austrian diplomat and teacher, was put on trial for "denigration of religious beliefs of a legally recognized religion [Islam]," found guilty twice, and ordered to pay a fine or face 60 days in jail, simply because she made the historically accurate statement that Muhammad had sex with a nine-year-old girl -- something that can be found in Islamic sources. (Image source: ICLA video screenshot)

Sabaditsch-Wolff is not the only person to suffer for this "offence". Danish author Lars Hedegaard suffered an attack on his life and lives in a secret location. Kurt Westergaard, a Danish cartoonist, suffered an axe attack that failed, and is under permanent protection by the security services.
In 2009, in Austria, the politician Susanne Winter was found guilty of "anti-Muslim incitement", for saying, "In today's system, the Prophet Mohammad would be considered a child-molester." She was fined 24,000 euros ($31,000) and given a three-month suspended sentence. The phrase "child molester", like the charge made by Sabaditsch-Wolff was based on the fact, recorded by Muslim biographers, that Muhammad had sexual relations with his new wife A'isha when she was nine years old (after marrying her when she was six).

Neither historical fact nor literary sophistication (as the British author Salman Rushdie learned to his cost) are able to deflect charges of Islamophobia.

What is worse is that, while it is not surprising to find Muslims, especially those from unsophisticated backgrounds and little education, offended by certain words or images, it is distressing to find Western courts and other bodies only too willing to genuflect to those charges and turn "Islamophobia" into a criminal offence in countries that otherwise value free speech and open expression.

Recently, the Dutch politician Geert Wilders, a man who could very well become Prime Minister of the Netherlands in 2017, was found guilty of "inciting discrimination and insulting a minority group," merely for asking voters whether they favoured larger or fewer numbers of Moroccan immigrants – a legitimate if controversial political question. Wilders, of course, is known for his antipathy towards Islam, but pertinent concerns about its influence in a democracy do not make him an "Islamophobe", despite repeated accusations of it.

Fear of being "Islamophobic" affects not just the lives of outspoken individuals but the lives of whole populations. Because leading politicians are desperate not to offend Muslims, they often shape public and foreign policies to avoid even the appearance of "Islamophobia". This is, at the domestic level, done to avoid giving offence to growing numbers of Muslims in countries in Europe and North America.

Giving offence invariably results in outraged Muslims chanting death threats in the streets; outraged but well-controlled leaders of Muslim organizations appearing in radio and TV interviews masquerading as victims of government or police intolerance, and demands for banning this newspaper, that book, or the resignation of a politician who said something unwise.

A careless word of offence may ruin trade relations with a Muslim state or threaten the cancellation of lucrative arms sales to a human rights-abusing, obscenely rich oil-state in the Gulf. A controversy like this happened to the British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson in early December, when he condemned Saudi Arabia and Iran for their sectarian proxy wars in Yemen and elsewhere -- only to have his views angrily rejected by the Prime Minister, who had just returned from the Gulf on a visit to promote British goods and services. In a shifting world -- with Britain pulling out of the EU and desperate for trade deals anywhere it could find them - hurting the feelings of people who can buy you up and spit you out is hardly advisable.

And this is where accusations of "Islamophobia" come into their own. Fear of it results in leaders such as Barack Obama, John Kerry, David Cameron, and Pope Francis repeating "Islam is a religion of peace" or "terrorism has nothing to do with Islam", when, in fact, Islam has never been free of religiously-inspired violence and the terror attacks we see around the world today have everything to do with Islam and its call to jihad. Denying that involvement for fear of giving offence or encouraging further violence means that Western powers have handicapped their own ability to recognize the source of conflict, target it, and end it.

President Obama's history of avoiding offence and staying apart from direct action in the Middle East was the result of such woolly thinking -- not just woolly thinking but lying through his teeth.

Those of us who express sincere concerns about Islam in general or specific beliefs and actions committed in the name of the religion, yet wish to have respect for Muslims as people and for those aspects of their lives that are not a cause for concern (prayer, alms-giving, celebrations, pilgrimages, social work, mysticism and so forth), have to speak and write in a manner that shows we are not "Islamophobes". We need to do this if we are to be taken seriously, allowing our thoughts the chance to be heard and not dismissed as "bigoted" or "racist".

Much critical work is, however, greatly undermined by a vast quantity of bigoted, racist and genuinely Islamophobic comment on social media and elsewhere. This material, some of which will be quoted here, comes from a deeply worrying trend associated with the far-right, as well as associations of white supremacists. While a great many of these comments or videos on YouTube clearly come from people who seem semi-literate or poorly educated, this is by no means universally true. Many have obviously made limited efforts to educate themselves about Islam. But their efforts at self-education fall short. They repeatedly make factual errors or leap to wild assumptions. They do not know an Islamic language, have never consulted primary sources, nor have they read serious academic studies or reference books such as the Encyclopedia of Islam. But when someone with qualifications challenges their ignorance, they become angry and call their critics "apologists for Islam", something that has happened to the present writer more than once. It is never enough to point out that one may be personally critical of Islam, for they do not seek rational debate or moderate opinion, only hardline condemnation.

For such people, it is never acceptable to point out that a majority of Muslims are good people, honest, charitable, spiritual. No, for them, all Muslims must be evil, Satanic (a common term), liars and murderous terrorists. Both their language and attitudes betray them as being close to, if not at times, also anti-Semites. Much the same sort of slurs, falsehoods, and calls for murder are increasingly used again about Jews; and it is an understanding of anti-Semitism that acts as a measure for judging these anti-Muslim rants. Anti-Semites create stereotypes about Jews, that they are liars, money-grabbers, conspiratorial enemies of Gentile society. So too, real Islamophobes stereotype Muslims, claiming they are all violent, bent on the overthrow of Western governments, deceivers using the principle of taqiyya [dissimulation] to lie to non-Muslims. Both forms of hatred stem from fear of people who are different, both find their most loyal following in the same parts of society where the Nazi party found its supporters.

In 2015, an Australian body named the Online Hate Prevention Institute, led by Andre Oboler, a British Zionist who has fought hard against anti-Semitism, carried out research on anti-Muslim hate on social media sites. On December 10, 2015, the Institute published an interim statement entitled the Spotlight on Anti-Muslim Internet Hate Report and intended to publish a full report in March 2016. Sadly, the Institute has been unable to find further funding for this work with the result that this valuable research may never be made fully public or available to government ministries.
In the introduction to the interim report, we read:
This report is based on over 1,100 items of anti-Muslim hate in social media reported and categorised by the public through our FightAgainstHate.com reporting tool. The vast majority of the hate this report is based on was found on Facebook. The report indicates the volume of content by category, and how effective Facebook has been in responding to content in each category. The vast majority of this hate has not yet been removed.
This author was given access to a considerable part of these 1,100 items and can testify that many of them are genuinely disgusting and filled with hatred. Here is a short selection of comments taken from them and from other websites, including YouTube. They are self-explanatory. Even to suggest that there are reform movements within Islam is beyond the pale to someone whose username is "IzlamIsTyranny". Some of the milder comments include:
Repeated calls to drop a nuclear bomb on Mecca, for example, or calling on others to stab Muslims, calling Muslims "sandmonkeys" -- statements one can find in several places -- are deeply offensive. Have these bigots forgotten how many Muslim preachers call Jews "the sons of apes and pigs"? Imitating the people you despise can hardly be an intelligent policy or one calculated to win friends in places of influence.

When the Dutch politician Geert Wilders was brought to court on a hate speech charge, all he had done in fact was to ask a simple question about Moroccan immigrants, should the Netherlands take in more or fewer. That is a question with many potential answers based on political, social, or demographic grounds. It is a rational question that is, almost by definition, one that could be asked in the Home Office of any state that receives immigrants. Governments make such decisions regularly, and many have to answer similar questions since the influx of vast numbers of refugees into Europe since 2015. Wilders's concern about Moroccans has a rational basis in the Dutch-Moroccan Monitor 2011:
Forty percent of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior.
In Dutch neighborhoods where the majority of residents are Moroccan immigrants, the youth crime rate reaches 50%. Moreover, juvenile delinquency among Moroccans is not limited to males; girls and young women are increasingly involved in criminal activities.
But when someone says we should stab Muslims in the throat or, "slaughter all Muslims", there can be no question that this is hate speech, and hate speech with murderous intent. Our problem is that politicians, church leaders, and decent people in general may be led to conflate the two forms of utterance -- the intelligent and critical as against the bigoted and violent. For Wilders and others who want to criticize Islam or ask questions about some Muslim behaviour, the presence of genuine Islamophobia is no help at all. It muddies the waters everywhere. Before the matter gets out of hand, responsible critics of Islam badly need to act to silence this hate speech by joining forces with governmental and social media administrations to clamp down heavily on it. We, and not our opponents, must place ourselves in a position to define what is and what is not real "Islamophobia." If we cannot do that, others will conflate criticism and hatred, and clamp down on both at once.
Dr. Denis MacEoin is the author of a forthcoming book on causes of concern about Islam. He has degrees in Islamic studies and is a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
====================

Giulio Meotti : Islam Strengthening in Europe with the Blessing of the Church


  • There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church's blindness about the danger Europe is facing.
  • "Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church.... the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot." — Laurent Dandrieu, cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles.
  • "It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world...Islam, through the sharia, their law...allows violence against the infidels, such as Christians....And what is the most important achievement? Rome." — Cardinal Raymond Burke, interview, Il Giornale.
  • "[T]hey are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of 'Allahu Akbar', they want to take over." — Laszlo Kiss Rigo, head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community.
  • François Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: "We've got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum," Fillon said. "Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!"
Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will "soon be Muslim" because of our "stupidity", warned Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei. Liberati claimed that, thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans, Islam will soon become the main religion of Europe. "All of this moral and religious decadence favours Islam", Archbishop Liberati explained.

Décadence is also the title of a new book by the French philosopher Michel Onfray, in which he suggests that the Judeo-Christian era may have come to an end. He compares the West and Islam: "We have nihilism, they have fervor; we are exhausted, they have a great health; we have the past for us; they have the future for them".

Archbishop Liberati belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe. They speak in open opposition to Pope Francis, who does not seem too impressed by the collapse of Christianity due to falling birth rates, accompanied by religious apathy and its replacement by Islam.


Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei (left) belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe, and who speak in open opposition to Pope Francis (right).

Pope Francis's official vision is personified by Bishop Nunzio Galantino, who was appointed by the Pontiff as the Secretary General of Italy's Bishops.
Last December, Galantino gave an interview in which he dismissed any religious motivation behind jihadist attacks and claimed that, instead, "money" is what is behind them.
There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church's blindness about the danger Europe is facing. One is the cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, Laurent Dandrieu, who writes:
"Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church. The Church is watching the establishment of millions of Muslims in Europe... and Muslim worship in our continent as an inescapable manifestation of religious freedom. But the civilizational question is simply never asked .... By breaking away from the Europe's indigenous peoples and their legitimate concerns, the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot".
Dandrieu lists Pope Francis' gestures and speeches in favor of Islam and migrants:
"On October 1, 2014, the Pope received Eritrean survivors of a shipwreck off Lampedusa; on 8 February 2015, he made a surprise visit to a refugee camp in Ponte Mammolo, northeast of Rome; on April 18, he used the first official visit of the new Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, to demand 'a much larger commitment' for migrants; on 6 September 2015, at the conclusion of the Angelus in St Peter's Square, he called for 'every parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to host a family' of refugees; on March 24, 2016, he chose to celebrate the Holy Thursday in a structure housing 900 refugees, and to wash the feet to twelve asylum seekers; on May 28, he received children whose parents died in a boat that sank, filled with migrants; during the general audience of June 22, Francis went down to the crowd to bring back fifteen refugees".
But as Liberati's case demonstrates, resistance to Pope Francis' vision of Europe is growing inside the Catholic Church.
"It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world", Cardinal Raymond Burke said.
"Islam, through the sharia, their law, wants to rule the world and allows violence against the infidels, like Christians. But we find it hard to recognize this reality and to respond by defending the Christian faith (...) I have heard several times an Islamic idea: 'what we failed to do with the weapons in the past we are doing today with the birth rate and immigration'. The population is changing. If this keeps up, in countries such as Italy, the majority will be Muslim (...) Islam realizes itself in the conquest. And what is the most important achievement? Rome".
The first to denounce this dramatic trend was Italy's most important missionary, Father Piero Gheddo, who said that, due to falling fertility and Muslim fervor, "Islam would sooner rather than later conquer the majority in Europe". These concerns do not belong only to the Conservative wing of the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a candidate tipped to be the next Pope, is very close to Pope Francis, and is a centrist. Last September, on the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey's Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, Schönborn delivered a dramatic appeal to save Europe's Christian roots. "Many Muslims want and say that 'Europe is finished'", Cardinal Schönborn said, before accusing Europe of "forgetting its Christian identity". He then denounced the possibility of "an Islamic conquest of Europe".

After a Tunisian, who arrived among a flood of migrants into Germany, murdered 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin, the Catholic archbishop of the German capital, Heiner Koch, another "moderate" Catholic leader appointed by Pope Francis, also sounded a warning: "Perhaps we focused too much on the radiant image of humanity, on the good. Now in the last year, or perhaps also in recent years, we have seen: No, there is also evil".

The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Miloslav Vlk, also warned about the threat of Islamization. "Muslims in Europe have many more children than Christian families; that is why demographers have been trying to come up with a time when Europe will become Muslim", Cardinal Vlk claimed. He also blamed Europe itself for the Islamic takeover:
"Europe will pay dearly for having left its spiritual foundations; this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it. Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society".
Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia, has also questioned Pope Francis' "welcoming culture".

Among the Eastern Catholic bishops there are many voices raising concerns about Europe's demographic and religious revolution. One belongs to the leader of the Catholics in Lebanon, who paid an extremely high price for the Islamization of their own country, including murder and exile, and now see the danger coming to Europe itself. "I have heard many times from Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: faith and the birth rate", Cardinal Bechara Rai said.

Another voice belongs to the French-born Bishop Paul Desfarges, who heads the diocese of Constantine in Algeria: "It's no surprise that Islam has taken on such importance", Desfarges said. "It's an issue that concerns Europe".

Sydney Cardinal George Pell then urged "a discussion of the consequences of the Islamic presence in the Western world". Pell was echoed by Laszlo Kiss Rigo, the head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community, who said that "they are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of 'Allahu Akbar', they want to take over".

On the political level, there is another a tendency, that of strong Catholic leaders who challenge Pope Francis on the Islamic question and immigration. The most important is the French presidential candidate François Fillon, one of the first politicians who "doesn't hide the fact that he's Catholic". Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: "We've got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum," Fillon said. "Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!"

These politicians, bishops and cardinals might convince Pope Francis not to abandon Europe, the cradle of Christianity and Western civilization, to a looming dark fate. Michel Onfray wrote at the end of his book: "Judeo-Christianity ruled for two millennia. An honorable period for a civilization. The boat now sinks: we can only sink with elegance". It is urgent now to prevent that.
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.
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Shoshana Bryen : Who are Those Refugees Australia Doesn't Want?


  • The refugees are the collateral damage in Australia's widely criticized "Stop the Boats" policy, the rule that asylum seekers who try to reach Australian shores by sea will never "make Australia home," even if they are genuine refugees, are children or have skills. — Los Angeles Times.
  • "[T]he arrivals by sea seem to prompt anger. One reason for this could be that migrants and refugees who try to reach Australia by sea are, in fact, coming illegally. Those that are being resettled through its Humanitarian Programme, meanwhile, are registered refugees being accepted under Australia's international obligations." — J. Weston Phippen, in The Atlantic.
  • Then-Secretary of State John Kerry worked out the deal with Australia to "fast track" the immigrants, but did not tell Congress. It would be illegal if the deal was considered a treaty negotiated by Kerry. According to the Constitution, it would have to have been sent to Congress for ratification.
It is hard to complain about Australia -- democratic, sunny, cheerful, and oh, those koalas and kangaroos. On a more serious note, Australia is a welcome ally, participating in military operations around the world with American forces and sharing our concerns about aggressive Chinese behavior in the South- and East China Seas. Australia is spending billions to modernize its military forces.
But a few things about Australia should be made clear as President Trump scuttles an Obama-administration deal to take 1,250+ refugees currently in Australian-run internment camps in Papua New Guinea and Nauru. Internment camps? Papua New Guinea and Nauru?
The Wall Street Journal explains:
Under laws first put in place in 2001, successive Australian governments have required asylum seekers coming by boat to be intercepted. The conservatives, on winning power in 2013, set up a maritime blockade that Mr. Turnbull has offered as a model for Europe. But the system began to unravel after Papua New Guinea's highest court last year ordered the closure of the Australian-operated immigration center on Manus Island, ruling asylum seekers were being held illegally.
So chipper Australia has been intercepting ships at sea and dropping the passengers off on less well-developed islands. They are mostly men from Myanmar (Rohingya Muslims), Malaysia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia, although there some women and children. The Los Angeles Times further explains:
The refugees are the collateral damage in Australia's widely criticized "Stop the Boats" policy, the rule that asylum seekers who try to reach Australian shores by sea will never "make Australia home," even if they are genuine refugees, are children or have skills. "If you come to Australia illegally by boat, there is no way you will ever make Australia home," an Australian army chief warned in a 2014 video aired online and on television in countries such as Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
Australia does take thousands of refugees each year under official programs. J. Weston Phippen wrote in The Atlantic:
To be sure, it's not that Australia has an issue with refugees–in fact, it has agreed to resettle 12,000 Syrians, atop the refugees it typically takes through its Humanitarian Programme. It granted 13,800 refugee visas between 2013 and 2014, and 20,000 between 2012 and 2013.
But the arrivals by sea seem to prompt anger. One reason for this could be that migrants and refugees who try to reach Australia by sea are, in fact, coming illegally. Those that are being resettled through its Humanitarian Programme, meanwhile, are registered refugees being accepted under Australia's international obligations. The two main parties also contend that its policies deter human-smuggling.
So off they go to Nauru and Manus.
Out of sight, perhaps out of mind until the UN documented serious problems in the camps, including physical, emotional and sexual abuse. The Guardian (Australia) published a series last summer on abuses at the Manus camp, following the leak of more than 2,000 "incident reports" detailing "assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions endured by asylum seekers held by the Australian government, painting a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty." Although children make up only 18% of those in detention, more than 51% of the incident reports involve children.
The Manus Island regional processing facility, where Australia sends illegal immigrants. (Image source: Australia Department of Immigration and Citizenship)
Cases of depression and self-harm are high; two people set themselves on fire last year, one of whom died, and one girl swallowed bleach. Many have reported that the biggest problem is the sense of paralysis at being trapped in limbo indefinitely, according to Tracey Donehue, a former teacher at one of the facilities interviewed by the Los Angeles Times.
Following the very unpleasant exposure, the government of Malcolm Turnbull announced in August 2016 that it would close one center on Manus Island, but would bring none of its internees – 854 adults, all men – to the Australian mainland, raising the question of what to do with them. Australia's Immigration Minister, Peter Dutton, said Canberra's "position is very clear, and that is we are not going to accept people who have sought to come to our country illegally by boat, they will not settle permanently in our country."
Enter President Obama.
In September, Turnbull agreed to resettle Central American refugees who were in a processing center in Costa Rica. At the time, Australian officials said firmly there would be no quid pro quo. "There will not be a people swap," announced Scott Ryan, a special minister of state. The American agreement to take Australian internees came two months later, providing a convenient way for Mr. Turnbull to keep his promise to his people and get rid of people who had become a public relations disaster.
Then-Secretary of State John Kerry worked out the deal with Australia to "fast track" the immigrants, but did not tell Congress. In November, responding to information it received, WND reported that the chairmen of the House and Senate judiciary committees demanded details:
"Congress only learned of the deal through media reports two weeks ago [November, 2016] and – according to a letter sent to administration officials by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) – the deal is not only a matter of grave national security concern, but it could be illegal."
It would be illegal if the deal was considered a treaty negotiated by then-Secretary Kerry. According to the Constitution, it would have to have been sent to Congress for ratification.
Asked if he had discussed the deal with then-candidate Donald Trump, Turnbull said, "We deal with one administration at a time and there is only one president of the United States at a time." But Donald Trump is now president and his decision appears to have left the Australian government with few choices.
Asked if there was a "Plan B" for Australia, Turnbull said he was examining several options, but that Australia would not back down on its decision not to let those refugees stopped at sea enter the country:
"Our expectation naturally, given the commitments that have been made, is that it will go ahead. The only option that isn't available to [the refugees] is bringing them to Australia for the obvious reasons that that would provide a signal to the people smugglers to get back into business."
Whether there is an agreement to be had between the United States and Australia for the resettlement of Australia's interned population or not, it is clear that this deal had more to it than the Obama Administration -- or the Turnbull government -- wanted to admit. The United States and Australia both had reasons not to admit the migrants closest to their borders, but trading Central Americans who wanted to come to the U.S. for Muslims who wanted to reach Australian shores would allow Turnbull to keep a campaign promise and Obama to divert attention from the massive breach of America's southern border.
Shoshana Bryen is Senior Director of the Jewish Policy Center.
======================

Giulio Meotti : Quebec: The Crisis of the West


  • Quebec, like the entire West, is facing an existential demographic and religious crisis.
  • Quebec's death spiral is explicitly linked with the calls for increased immigration. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who put an end to the military campaign against the Islamic State, just called on Muslim migrants to come to his country.
  • Resistance to Quebec's dramatic collapse of Christianity does not necessarily require a new embrace of an old Catholicism, but it certainly does need a sane rediscovery of what a Western democracy should be. That includes an appreciation of Western identity and Judeo-Christian values -- everything Trudeau's government and much of Europe apparently refuse to accept.
Welcome to Quebec, with its flavor of an old French province, with its beautiful landscapes, where streets are named after Catholic saints, and where a gunman just murdered six people in a local mosque.

Violence can be the consequence of societal convulsions, as in the 2011 massacre on Norway's island of Utoya, in a country that prided itself of being ultra-secularized, and part of the global "good society". Quebec, also, like the entire West, is facing an existential demographic and religious crisis.

George Weigel, writing in the American publication, First Things recently called Quebec "Catholicism's Empty Quarter". "There is no more religiously arid place," he wrote, "between the North Pole and Tierra del Fuego; there may be no more religiously arid place on the planet".

Sandro Magister, one of Italy's most prominent journalists on Catholic affairs, wrote, "while Rome talks, Quebec has already been lost".

Quebec's Catholic buildings are empty; the clergy is aging. Today, inside the Church of Saint-Jude in Montreal, personal fitness trainers take the place of Catholic priests.
The Théatre Paradoxe in Montreal now sits where the church of Notre-Dame-du-Perpétuel-Secours was before it shut. The former Christian nave is now used for concerts and conferences, while Christian hymns on Sundays are replaced by disco shows.

The Church of Saint-Jude in Montreal is today the "Saint-Jude spa" for "wellness worshippers," complete with personal trainers, trendy cocktail parties and custom-built crucifix-shaped benches in the changing rooms. (Image source: Montreal.TV video screenshot)

The Catholic Diocese of Montreal sold 50 churches and other religious buildings in the last 15 years.
On May 24, 2015, the last Mass was celebrated in the famous Church of St. John the Baptist, dedicated to the patron of French Canadians. The Auxiliary Bishop of Quebec, Gaetan Proulx, said that "half of the churches in Quebec" will close in the next ten years.

In Denys Arcand's film "The Barbarian Invasions," there is a moment when a Catholic priest surveys the worthless religious art kitsch with which his diocese is burdened, to point to the irrelevance. The old priest says:
"Quebec used to be as Catholic as Spain or Ireland; everyone believed. At a precise moment, during the year 1966 in fact, the churches suddenly emptied in a matter of months. A strange phenomenon that no one has ever been able to explain".
"Man without history, without culture, without country, without family and without civilization is not free: he is naked and condemned to despair", writes Quebec's philosopher, Mathieu Bock-Côté.

The state of Catholicism in Quebec today is indeed desperate. In 1966, there were 8,800 priests; today there are 2,600, most of whom are elderly; many live in nursing homes. In 1945, weekly mass was attended by 90% of the Catholic population; today it is 4%. Hundreds of Christian communities have simply disappeared.

The Quebec Council of the Religious Heritage has reported that in 2014 alone, a record 72 churches closed.
The situation is even worse in the Archdiocese of Montreal. From 257 parishes in 1966, there were 250 in 2000, and in 2013 only 169 parishes. Christianity seemed at the risk of extinction; the Archbishop of Montreal, Christian Lépine, launched a moratorium on the sale of the churches.

While Quebec's authorities used an aggressive secularism as a tool to advance multiculturalism, Quebec witnessed a dramatic rise in the number of young Muslim men who joined the Islamic State. Terror attacks were committed by converts to Islam -- people who rejected Canadian relativism to embrace Islamist fanaticism.

 "Quebec's secularist fundamentalism has gone so far as to impose on all state and private schools -- the first instance of its kind in the world -- an obligatory course on 'ethics and religious culture'", Sandro Magister wrote.
An academic report concluded:
"Canadian census data shows that Islam is the fastest growing religion in the country, and that although most of the Muslim population growth is related to Muslim birth rates and migration, since 2001 the Muslim population has also increased as a result of religious conversions by non-Muslim Canadians".
Quebec's demographic decline is also telling. The birth rate has fallen from an average of four children per couple to just 1.6 -- well below what demographers call the "replacement rate". Quebec was unique compared to developed nations in the intensity and speed with which total fertility rates dropped.

Quebec's death spiral is explicitly linked with the calls for increased immigration. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who put an end to the military campaign against the Islamic State, just called on Muslim migrants to come to his country.

According to demographers, the province of Quebec alone needs between 70,000 and 80,000 immigrants a year to compensate for its low birth rate. But to compensate for a demographic fall, what happens when one of the most famous Catholic territories in the world undergoes such a cultural and religious revolution?

Resistance to Quebec's dramatic collapse does not necessarily require a new embrace of an old Catholicism, but it certainly does need a sane rediscovery of what a Western democracy should be. That includes also the appreciation of the Western identity and Judeo-Christian values -- everything that Trudeau's government and much of Europe apparently refuse to accept.
Half of Trudeau's ministers were not sworn in with a religious oath. They refused even to say "so help me God".

Quebec's motto is: "Je me souviens": I remember. But what, exactly? In "Catholicism's empty quarter", will the winner be Islam?
Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.
=================

Yves Mamou : The French Inquisition


  • "It is a shame to deny this taboo, namely that in the Arab families in France, and everyone knows it but nobody wants to say it, anti-Semitism is sucked with mother's milk." — George Bensoussan, historian of Moroccan heritage, on trial for saying that.
  • "When parents shout at their children, when they want to reprimand them, they call them Jews. Yes. All Arab families know this. It is monumental hypocrisy not to see that this anti-Semitism begins as a domestic one. " — Smaïn Laacher, French-Algerian professor of sociology.
  • This witch-hunt against Bensoussan is symptomatic of the state of free speech today in France. Intellectual intimidation is the rule. Complaints are filed against everyone not saying that Muslims are the main victim of racism in France.
  • In December 2016, Pascal Bruckner, a writer and philosopher, was also brought to court for saying: "We need to make the record of collaborators of Charlie Hebdo's murderers." He named the people in France who had instilled a climate of hatred against Charlie.
  • Muslims, especially young Muslims, as the new revolutionary labor class. It did not matter that most of them were not working: they were "victims".
  • "Anti-racist vigilance became a gag rule... Anti-racist organizations are in the denial of 'Muslim racism.'" — Alain Finkielkraut, philosopher and academic.
An important red line in France has just been crossed. In true dhimmi fashion, in a move reminiscent of both the Inquisition and the Dreyfus Trial, all of France's so-called "anti-racist" organizations have joined a jihad against free speech and against truth.
On January 25, 2017, France's "anti-racist" organizations -- all of them, even the Jewish LICRA (International League against Racism and anti-Semitism) -- joined the Islamist CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia) in court against Georges Bensoussan, a highly regarded Jewish historian of Moroccan extraction, and an expert on the history of Jews in Arab countries.


Georges Bensoussan, a highly regarded Jewish historian of Moroccan extraction, and an expert on the history of Jews in Arab countries. (Image source: Jusqu'au dernier video screenshot)

Not only did the Islamist CCIF and the Jewish LICRA unite against him, but also the French Human Rights League, SOS Racism and MRAP (Movement against Racism and for Friendship with People).

Bensoussan is being prosecuted for remarks he made during a "France Culture" radio debate, about antisemitism among French Arabs:
"An Algerian sociologist, Smaïn Laacher, with great courage, just said in a documentary aired on Channel 3: It is a shame to deny this taboo, namely that in the Arab families in France, and everyone knows it but nobody wants to say it, anti-Semitism is sucked with mother's milk."
The documentary that Bensoussan was referring to was called "Teachers in the Lost Territories of the Republic," and was aired in October 2015, on Channel 3. In this documentary, Laacher, who is a French professor of Algerian origin, said:
"Antisemitism is already awash in the domestic space... It... rolls almost naturally off the tongue, awash in the language... It is an insult. When parents shout at their children, when they want to reprimand them, they call them Jews. Yes. All Arab families know this. It is monumental hypocrisy not to see that this anti-Semitism begins as a domestic one."
No complaint was filed against Laacher. But as soon as Bensoussan, in the heat of a radio debate, referred to Arab anti-Semitism as "sucked in with mother's milk", CCIF, followed by all anti-racist associations, brought Bensoussan to supposed justice. Their accusation was simple: "mother's milk" is not a metaphor for cultural anti-Semitism transmitted through education, but a genetic and "essentialist" accusation. It means: "all Arabs are anti-Semitic" -- in other words, Bensoussan is a racist.

Professor Smaïn Laacher, of the University of Strasbourg, denied the quote and told the website Mediapart. "I have never said nor written that kind of ignominy". He filed a complaint against Bensoussan, but later withdrew it.

Judgment will be rendered March 7. ---» SEE BELOW

This witch-hunt against Bensoussan is symptomatic of the state of free speech today in France. With the leading Islamist CCIF stalking "Islamophobia", intellectual intimidation is the rule. Complaints are filed against everyone not saying that Muslims are the main victim of racism in France.

In December 2016, Pascal Bruckner, a writer and philosopher, was also brought to court for saying in 2015, on Arte TV, "We need to make the record of collaborators of Charlie Hebdo's murderers". He named people in France who had instilled a climate of hatred against Charlie: the entertainer Guy Bedos, the rap singer Nekfeu, anti-racist organizations like The Indivisibles, or the journalist Rokhaya Diallo and the supremacist movement for "people of color" known as Les Indigènes de la République ("The Indigenous of the Republic").

It was not the first time that Islamists filed complaints against people they dislike. Charlie Hebdo was twice brought to court by Islamist organizations. Twice, the accusations of Charlie's Islamist accusers were dismissed.

But with the Bensoussan trial, we are entering in a new era. The most venerable, the most authentic anti-racist organizations -- some of them are older than a century -- are, shamefully, lining up with Islamist organizations.

This tipping point was initiated in the 1980s by with SOS Racism. This organization, founded to organize young Muslims and help them to assimilate into French society rapidly, became a political movement, manipulated by the Socialist Party. SOS Racism and its slogan, "Don't hurt my buddy", rapidly became a new direction to the working class. With the working class attracted by the far-right party Front National, the Socialist party needed a new "clientele". They chose Muslims, especially young Muslims, as the new revolutionary labor class. It did not matter that most of them were unemployed: they were "victims".

Thirty years later, it is easy for Islamist organizations to take the reins of this ideology of victimization, and to transform "anti-racism" into a fight against "Islamophobia".

In 2016, at a symposium in Paris dedicated to "False Friends and Useful Idiots of Secularism", Alain Jakubowicz, president of the Jewish anti-racist group LICRA, described the anti-racist field war:
"Today, CCIF (Collective against Islamophobia) is the leading anti-racist organization. This is terrifying. Today, CCIF and Indigenous of the Republic are the leading fighters against racism... not against anti-Semitism, because they do not care. This is not the question for them. And they are very clever to recruit "useful idiots" like rap singers. And Muslim youths, who have good reason to protest being those "left behind" in French society, see their idols promoting CCIF and its accusations of "state racism". In 2016, how is it possible to talk about a racism practiced by the state in the French Republic ? This is unbelievable!"
In 2017, what is unbelievable is to see the same Alain Jakubowicz and the Jewish LICRA sitting side by side in court with CCIF to file a complaint against a prominent historian who simply speaks what he sees about the cultural transmission of anti-Semitism within the French Arab and French Muslim community.

Richard Abitbol, president of the Confederation of French Jews and Friends of Israel, accused Jakubowicz and LICRA of obeying the "necessity for them to find a Jewish scapegoat to build a virginity in order to comply with those who fight Islamophobia".

To evaluate the treason of this Jewish anti-racist movement colluding with its worst enemy, it is important to remember that LICRA has been created to defend Samuel Schwartzbard. In 1920, in Paris, Schwartzbard had killed Simon Petlioura, a Cossack leader responsible for killing thousands of Jews in Ukraine. Schwartzbard was acquitted. LICRA militants were also famous in the 1930s for their street-fights against far-right anti-Semitic "Camelots du roi".

But the LICRA disarray can be generalized to all the "anti-racist" movements. SOS Racism -- which in 2008 supported the firing of a veiled Muslim employee by her employer -- is today a follower of CCIF.

The venerable French League of the Human Rights (LDH), in 2006, had two prominent members -- Antoine Spire and Cedric Porin -- resign from the LDH and publish an op-ed in Le Monde accusing the LDH "of responding to the racism experienced by young people of immigrant background by showing complacency towards the Islamist organizations that claim to represent them".

When the French philosopher Robert Redeker received death threats from Islamist terrorists because he criticized Islam, the LDH stated that it did not share the "noxious ideas" of Mr Redeker, but conceded that, "whatever one thinks of the writings of Mr Redeker, there is no reason for him to undergo such treatment".

Regarding the MRAP (Movement against Racism and for Friendship with People), it is enough to say that its leader, Mouloud Aounit , publicly joins Tariq Ramadan of the Muslim Brotherhood to fight "Islamophobia".

In September 2009, Sihem Habchi, president of the feminist association Ni Putes, Ni Soumises (Neither Whores nor Doormats), wrote in France Soir: "When I see MRAP, LDH, and Ligue de l'Enseignement accept female genital mutilation as a cultural practice, I realize that these people are not ready to help me to be free".

In court, in defense of Bensoussan, Alain Finkielkraut, philosopher and academic, explained to the judge:
"A rogue anti-racism makes you to criminalize a concern instead of fighting the cause of this concern. If the court obeys to this injunction, it will be a moral and an intellectual catastrophe".
Finkielkraut should have added: a political and civilizational catastrophe.
Later, at the radio Finkielkraut added: "Anti-racist vigilance became a gag rule.... For a long time, racism in France had only a white face and his victims were Arabs, Blacks and Romas". In other words, it is forbidden today in France to say that anti-Semitism comes essentially from the (not all, but a big part of) Muslim population.

 "Anti-racist organizations are in denial of 'Muslim racism'. And LICRA today is joining the denial of an anti-racist party". Finkielkraut, a senior member of LICRA, sent his resignation to the organization's board.
Yves Mamou is a journalist and author based in France. He worked for two decades for the daily, Le Monde, before his retirement.
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Public furor leads to George Bensoussan acquittal

'Is it I who must stand before this tribunal today? Is it not anti-Semitism that has led us to the present situation that should be judged?'

Following widespread public furor over what has been compared to the world-changing Dreyfus trial and described as a "Stalinist show-trial", a French court acquitted Jewish historian Georges Bensoussan of hate speech charges over his statement that Arabs receive anti-Semitism with their “mother’s milk.”
The 17th Criminal Tribunal of Paris acquitted Bensoussan on Tuesday, saying in their ruling that the plaintiffs failed to substantiate the hate speech charges and concluded that Bensoussan merely “misspoke” in quoting without intention to incite hatred.
Bensoussan, a Holocaust scholar and one of the world’s leading historians on Jewish communities in Arab countries, was put on trial in December after a Muslim lobby group and a French human rights organization founded by Jews in the 1920s initiated a criminal lawsuit against him for the statement he made during a 2012 radio interview.
In November 2015, the Paris prefecture hurried to prosecute the distinguished historian in criminal court for paraphrasing another academic, Smain Laacher, a non-Jewish French filmmaker whose family originates from North Africa. In reality, Laacher had said in an interview that for many Arab families, anti-Semitism is in “the air that one breathes.”
In the radio program discussion, Bensoussan praised professor Laacher for his bravery and said, paraphrasing Laacher, “As Laacher very bravely said ... in France, in Arab families ... anti-Semitism is imbibed with one's mother’s milk.”
It took only three days for a group of pro-Islamic activists to bring a claim against Bensoussan to the French media watch-dog, CSA, accusing the historian of propagating "biological racism.”
Bensoussan called the charges "intellectual terror", and leading French scholars dismissed the lawsuits against Bensoussan as an attempt at “intimidation” in a statement in December. Other writers came out in Bensoussan's favor, and there is widespread feeling that world coverage, especially in the English language press, including Arutz Sheva, was instrumental in securing the exoneration.
A friend present at the January 25th trial reported Dr. Bensoussan's words there:
"For more than a quarter of century, I have been working as a researcher on the mechanism that defines hatred and makes it a self-fulfilling phenomena. The area of my specialty is Jewish conditions in Islamic countries.
"Already back in 1965, the Moroccan writer Said Ghallab wrote in his work titled The Jews Go to Hell, "The worst insult that a Moroccan can deal to another Moroccan is to treat him as a Jew. It is with this milk of hatred that we grew up." Today, more than 65 years later, we have 28% supporting the supremacy of Shariah law over French law, according to the research conducted by the Montaigne Institute under the leadership of Hakim el Karoui. And under all these circumstances and in these realities, is it I who must stand before this tribunal today? Is it not anti-Semitism that has led us to the present situation that should be judged?"
George Bensoussan concluded his speech in a quietly dramatic way, in a completely silent court room: "Tonight, Madame President, for the first time in my life, I had the temptation of exile."

 http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/226359
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Burak Bekdil : What Turkish Islamists Understand about 'Education'


  • According to the 2016 findings of the Programme for International Student Assessment, Turkey dropped from 44th spot to the 49th (out of 72 countries surveyed), compared to the last test in 2012.
  • The curriculum removes, for instance, all mention of world-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say from the 12th grade music class chapter on "Music Culture", which covers Turkey's Western music composers. Say has been a vocal critic of Erdogan's Islamist policies.
  • Some 31.2% of Turkish students below 15 years of age underperformed in mathematics, sciences and reading.
  • As long as Turkish youths are religiously devout, Erdogan thinks, scientific failure will not matter. Better to have a young student like the girl in the TV interview than a thousand bright Silicon Valley-class young innovators.
It is customary for Turkish TV crews to interview young students at the start of their mid-term holidays, with the cliché closing question invariably being, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" This year's school holiday in January was no exception. One interview, however, produced a chilling portrait of a girl, aged just 7 or 8.

"I have big goals," she answered the interviewer. "They will get bigger and bigger. Step by step," she said. The girl said she wanted to start by becoming a district or village head. Then a lawmaker, a minister, prime minister and finally the president of Turkey.

Up to this point, TV viewers must have watched her with amusement. Then the reporter asked her: "What would you do if you became the president?"
In a calculated, tranquil tone, the girl answered: "I would reinstate the death penalty".

She was merely one of the products of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ambitious social engineering project to "raise devout generations".

A proud moment in President Erdogan's educational plans to "raise devout generations": A CNN-Turk interview with a young schoolgirl who announces, "I would reinstate the death penalty". (Image source: CCN-Turk video screenshot)

In 2013, then Prime Minister Erdogan's government made it compulsory for students in fourth grade and higher to take up "religion" classes. In religion classes, the Turkish curriculum almost exclusively teaches the virtues of Sunni Islam, but non-Muslim and Alevi students also must attend these classes.

In 2014, Turkey's National Education Council recommended making Ottoman Turkish a compulsory course at all schools. After an uproar in the secular public, the council recommended making the Ottoman language a compulsory course at religious "imam schools," and an elective course at other schools.

In a 2015 speech, Erdogan boasted that since his government came to power in 2002, the number of imam school students had risen from a mere 60,000 to 1.2 million.

In its latest "Islamist touch" on the education system, Turkey's Education Ministry devised plans to include renowned Turkish and Muslim scientists in its new draft curriculum. Under the plan, works by Muslim scientists will be taught in physics classes, in addition to the works of scientists such as Newton, Einstein and Maxwell.

For instance, ninth-grade students will learn the works of al-Khazini and al-Biruni on density. In their force and motion course, they will learn Newton's laws of motion, but Avicenna's works on the concept of inertia will also be taught. In tenth grade, students will learn the work of Ismail al-Jazari on hydrostatic balance and al-Farabi's work on sound waves. Other touches of "Muslim science" will be the acoustic features in Mimar Sinan's works of architecture, and Ibn al-Haytham and Averroës' work on optical systems. In 11th grade, students will learn about the scientific aspects of the 15th century cannon developed by Mehmed the Conqueror. The work of Ismail al-Jazari and the Banu Musa brothers on mechanical systems, such as levers, will also be taught. Twelfth grade will feature the 15th century scientists Ali Qushji and Ulugh Beg's work on space material and their movements.
The draft, however, is not only about additions, but also about dropping the names of unwanted characters from the curriculum. For instance, it removes all mention of world-renowned Turkish pianist Fazil Say from the 12th grade music class chapter on "Music Culture", which covers Turkey's Western music composers. Say has been a vocal critic of Erdogan's Islamist policies and was subjected to a controversial and long-lasting blasphemy case, in which he was charged and convicted over tweets in which he quoted the 11th century Persian poet Omar Khayyam, in 2012. Appealing his 10-month imprisonment in the case, which was suspended for five years, Say was acquitted in September 2016 on charges of "insulting religious beliefs held by a section of society".

All that is normal in a country ruled by an Islamist leader who thinks all good belongs to the Muslim culture and all evil to the others. In a 2014 speech at a gathering of Muslim leaders from Latin America, Erdogan claimed that Muslim sailors reached the American continent in 1178 -- exactly 314 years before Columbus. He also claimed that Columbus, in his memoirs, mentioned the existence of a mosque atop a hill on the coast of Cuba.

Where do all these Islamization efforts leave Turkey's education standards? Not, unsurprisingly, in a proud place. The results of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) education test have revealed some of the most pressing problems in Turkish education. According to the PISA findings in 2016, Turkey dropped from 44th place to 49th (out of 72 countries surveyed), compared to the last test in 2012.

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the number of Turkish 15-year-olds who scored below average on the triennial PISA test is three times higher than the number of students who scored below average in more successful countries. Some 31.2% of Turkish students below 15 years of age underperformed in mathematics, sciences and reading. In contrast, only 10% of students in countries that neared the top of the list underperformed on math, sciences and reading. Between 2012 and 2016 Turkey's ranking dropped from 43rd in science to 52nd and from 41st in reading to 50th.

Erdogan does not mind. As long as Turks are religiously devout, he thinks, scientific failure will not matter. Better to have a young student like the girl in the TV interview than a thousand bright Silicon Valley-class young innovators.
Burak Bekdil, one of Turkey's leading journalists, was just fired from Turkey's leading newspaper after 29 years, for writing what was taking place in Turkey for Gatestone. He is a Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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