Reader’s links for April 20 – 2015

This post has all its contents in the comments. For the newest freshest videos and news stories of interest to the Counter-Jihad and the Geopolitics of Islam, please click comments and add to, or read what is posted there.

Some will be integrated into the day’s posts and others not. But this way we can keep a great news flow going without interfering with the conversations about the issues under the various essays and news items in the posts that will be presented throughout the day.

Thank you all for your informative and important contributions.

About Eeyore

Canadian artist and counter-jihad and freedom of speech activist as well as devout Schrödinger's catholic

57 Replies to “Reader’s links for April 20 – 2015”

  1. FBI terror sting nabs 6 in Minnesota, California (CNN, Apr 20, 2015)

    “The FBI has arrested at least six men in what officials called an ISIS-inspired terror plot.

    Details were scant Sunday night, but federal law enforcement officials told CNN the men were arrested in Minnesota and California in a sting operation.

    There was never a direct threat to the public, the sources said. The plot was controlled by the FBI, which is a common tactic in terrorism investigations.

    A news conference offering details on the sting operation and arrests is expected for Monday in Minnesota, the sources said.”

  2. IRAN – SHIRAZ – Video of dogs being killed prompts protests in Iran

    A short film showing several stray dogs being brutally killed in Iran that went viral has prompted protests with celebrities joining animal lovers in condemning the cruelty.

    The two-minute video featured the dogs dying after apparently being injected with burning acid in an industrial area of Shiraz, 900 kilometers (530 miles) south of Tehran.

    The Fars news agency quoted the animal welfare activist who filmed the undated footage as alleging that those responsible had been paid “$4 for the body of each dog”.

    Vice President Masoumeh Ebtekar, whose Tehran office was the venue for the biggest protest so far with 500 people on Sunday, criticized the killings and called for an investigation.

    There should be “an immediate end to unconventional population control methods for stray dogs,” she said in a letter to the interior ministry published by the official IRNA news agency on Monday.

    She urged authorities to “deal with the criminals responsible”.

    Protests have taken place in Shiraz and other cities including Qazvin and Karaj, both west of Tehran.

    Dog ownership is controversial in Iran as Islamic custom regards the animals as unclean.

    Some families do keep dogs as pets behind closed doors and, especially in more affluent areas, walk them outside.

    A bill drawn up by hardline lawmakers last year would have outlawed dog ownership with offenders liable to up to 74 lashes.

    State television showed Ebtekar addressing the protesters on Sunday at the environmental protection department she heads, telling them “municipalities, under the supervision of city councils,” hold responsibility for pursuing the incident.

    “Hurting animals is unacceptable under any circumstances,” she told the crowd, according to the ISNA news agency.

    Ali Karimi, a retired star of Iran’s national football team who played for Bayern Munich, wrote alongside a picture of his two dogs on Instagram: “Dogs are the kindest domestic animals. I hope those who, under any excuse, did this to these animals get what they deserve.”

    The municipality of Shiraz was besieged by telephone calls from angry citizens after the footage surfaced last week, municipal official Jafar Omidi told Fars.

  3. Erdogan, Obama to open Turkish mosque in US: Turkish FM

    Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Center will allow Muslims to unite and worship freely, says Cavusoglu.

    The presidents of Turkey and the U.S. will open the Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Center in Maryland, Turkey’s foreign minister said Sunday.

    Mevlut Cavusoglu, on a three-day visit to Washington, visited the center that also has a middle-sized mosque, and lunched with representatives from the American Muslim community.

    “During a phone call, President Erdogan asked President Obama to accompany him in opening the center together and President Obama accepted his offer’in principle,’” Cavusoglu told the representatives.

    If Obama’s schedule allows at the time of the opening, he will accompany Erdogan.

    The complex is built on a large area and consists of a coffee house, gift shops, cultural center, amphitheater and exhibition hall, computer lab, library, Turkish bath/hamam and guest house.

    Cavusoglu said the center has been constructed as a place where all Muslims in the U.S. could come together and worship freely.

    He said Muslims have faced increased challenges across the world, particularly due to rising Islamophobia.

    “Our duty is to tell the true Islam which is a religion of peace . Islam does not tolerate terrorism. But unfortunately al-Qaeda and Daesh terror groups have tarnished the image of Islam,” he said.

    Daesh, also known as Islamic State is neither Islamic nor is a state, he added.

    Recalling that Turkey has contributed to the construction of the center in Maryland, the top diplomat said Turkey has contributed to development and infrastructure projects in Muslim countries, citing Somalia, Djibouti and Myanmar.

    Cavusoglu also touched on Pope Francis’ comments on 1915 events.

    Francis said Sunday that “the first genocide of the 20th century” had struck Armenians, referring to events that took place during World War I when a portion of the Armenian population living in the Ottoman Empire sided with invading Russians and revolted against the empire.

    The Ottoman Empire relocated Armenians in eastern Anatolia following the revolts and there were Armenian casualties during the relocation process.

    Armenia has demanded an apology and compensation, while Turkey has officially refuted Armenian allegations about the incidents saying although Armenians died during the relocations, many Turks also lost their lives in attacks carried out by Armenian gangs in Anatolia.

    Ankara agrees there were Armenian casualties during World War I but says it is impossible to define these events as “genocide.”

    The European Parliament also passed a resolution recognizing the 1915 events as “genocide.”

    Referring to the resolution by the pope and European Parliament, Cavusoglu said recent anti-Turkey propaganda showed that it makes a big difference when Muslims are victims or subject of an event.

    There is a clear double standard against Muslims, he said.

  4. Tunisian official: 12,000 militants blocked from joining jihadist groups abroad

    According to Tunisian authorities, the small North African state has been the origin-point of 2,000-3,000 foreign fighters who have joined the ranks of jihadist groups.

    Flaunting the Tunisian’s government achievement in the fight against militant Islam, on Saturday Tunisia’s Interior Minister claimed that his government has prevented some 12, 490 nationals from “leaving Tunisian territory to combat zones” in Iraq, Libya and Syria in the last two years.

    According to AFP, speaking to a parliamentary committee, Interior Minister Najem Gharsalli also told Tunisian officials that in the first quarter of 2015, some 1,000 suspects have been tried in courts for alleged links to terrorist organizations.

    While Gharsalli stopped short of providing any figures regarding sentences doled out, a spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, Sofiene Sliti, explained that 83 verdicts had been delivered out of 124 actual court cases. He too however, did not go into detail as to the nature of these verdicts or whether anybody was actually charged.

    In March, Tunisian militant believed to belong to the Islamic State group assaulted the Bardo Museum in the capital of Tunis, killing 24 people including 20 foreign tourists and sparking what one Interior Ministry spokesman called a “large-scale campaign against the extremists.”

    Tunisian authorities imitated a widespread crackdown after the attack, detaining 20 suspects and plunging the country into a nation-wide state of increased security.[…]

  5. Australia and Iran will share intelligence to fight IS (BBC, Apr 20, 2015)

    “Australia and Iran have agreed to share intelligence about Australians fighting with militant groups in Iraq.

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has said the deal will help both countries in their efforts to tackle Islamic State (IS).

    She added that Australia would have access to information gathered by Iranian operatives in Iraq.
    Ms Bishop spoke after her meeting with President Hassan Rouhani, during her first visit to Iran.

    About 100 Australians are believed to have travelled to Iraq and Syria to fight with IS, with authorities warning they present a serious threat to domestic security.
    There are also concerns about supporters of IS and other radical groups within Australia.

    At the weekend, five teenagers were arrested over an alleged plot to carry out an attack at a World War One centenary event….”

  6. Yemen: Dozens feared dead in air strike on arms depot (BBC, Apr 20, 2015)

    “Dozens of people are feared dead in Yemen’s capital Sanaa after an air strike on a missile base caused a huge explosion that flattened buildings.

    Witnesses compared the blast, which sent a plume of smoke hundreds of metres into the sky, to an earthquake.

    The explosion occurred in the Faj Attan area of the capital, near the presidential compound.
    A Saudi-led coalition bombing campaign has been targeting Yemen’s Shia Houthi rebels since late March….”

  7. MONTREAL – Quebec students face terrorism and explosive charges, plead not guilty

    Sitting side by side in the prisoners’ dock, two 18-year-olds were formally charged in a Montreal courtroom on Monday with four terrorism-related crimes, including possessing explosives and attempting to leave Canada to take part in terror activities.

    Mahdi El Jamali and Sabrine Djaermane, who are said to be boyfriend and girlfriend, appeared in court after being detained without charge since their arrest last week. Police said they had reasonable grounds to fear the two could commit a terrorism-related offence.[…]

    A large group of supporters showed up in court during the couple’s appearance, and several family members waved and blew kisses toward the accused as they were led out of the courtroom and back into custody. […]

    Mr. Giroux said family members are taken aback by the nature of the charges. “They’re kind of appalled, surprised, disappointed. It’s not because you’re a Muslim that you’re necessarily a terrorist – these folks seem like very good folks,” he said.
    CTV – Young couple facing four new terrorism charges

    […]Monday’s hearing was an emotional affair, with relatives of the young couple in court, crying as they saw the accused appear and being led out of the courtroom.

    El Jamali and Djaermane are both students at Cegep De Maisonneuve, and five other students from the school are believed to have flown overseas to join Islamic State fighters in the Middle East.

    Because El Jamali and Djaermane are facing terrorism-related charges they will have a difficult time convincing the court to grant them bail until a trial begins.

    video on the page :

  8. TURKEY – Koran-shaped cake baked with layers of trouble for religious class

    Turkey’s top religious authority is investigating school on allegations of preparing sanctimonious sweets.

    An Islamic seminary class is the subject of a preliminary investigation by religious authorities in Turkey for allegedly baking a koran-shaped cake in the Black Sea province of Tokat in 2013.

    Apparently outraged by the blasphemous babka, Turkey’s top religious authority – the Diyanet – stated that the cake did not comply with the spirit of the Holy Birth of the Prophet Muhammad and the koran, according to Turkish daily Hurriyet.

    The providential pastry was baked within the scope of the Holy Birth Week in Turkey’s north-central Zile district according to students.

    However, they Diyanet’s head cleric Mehmet Gormez said the Holy Birth was not a birthday celebration in the traditional sense.

    The Diyanet denounced the cake as “unacceptable,” even if it had been prepared by Koran course students.
    Mo’s birthday – Cake cutting ceremony ( in Jersey City USA ) :

  9. On atlas shrugs :

    Unprecedented: Obama sends Muslim Holy Cloth for offering at Ajmer Sharif

    Obama’s ‘chadar’ presented in Ajmer Sharif Dargah

    Ajmer/Mumbai: A ‘chadar’ (sacred cloth) sent on behalf of the people of United State of America and President Barack Hussein Obama, was ceremonially presented at the Dargah Ajmer Sharif on Monday morning.

    The ‘chadar’ was presented by Haji Syed Salman Chishty, the ‘Gaddi Nashin’ to mark the 803rd annual Urs celebrations of Hazrat Khawaja Moinudeen Hasan Chishty, a revered Sufi saint.

    US Ambassador to India, Richard Verma, had handed over the ‘chadar’ on behalf of President Obama to Haji Chishty in New Delhi last week.

    “It’s a historic day and a welcoming moment. It’s the first ever gesture of extending spiritual greetings of peace to Ajmer Dargah Sharif from a non-South Asian country’s Head of State,” a pleased Haji Chishty told IANS, on the gift of the ‘chadar’.

    • Avi Lipkin (aka “Victor Mordecai”) teaches that BHO’s mission for Saudi Arabia includes destroying both Iran and Israel, so enabling Iran to attack Israel would “kill 2 birds with one stone”. Both nations would be weakened and easy prey, after such a war.

  10. Jersey police baffled by strange burka-wearing statue left outside gas station

    The three-foot-tall crudely spray-painted statue appears to depict a Muslim woman holding an AK-47.—r2v2CEH69WwEE/

    Burlington police investigating statue of burqa-clad woman holding rifle

    BURLINGTON – City police are investigating how a statue of what appeared to be a woman in a burqa and holding a rifle ended up in the bushes next to a gas station on Route 130.

    In a statement posted to their Facebook page this weekend, police said they were alerted to the statue’s presence by a city resident who found out about it after seeing a video on social media.

    A report from the Burlington County Times described the statue as appearing to be that of a woman dressed in a burqa, the outer garment worn by some Muslim women, and holding an assault rifle. Police said the rifle was painted on the statue.

    Officers then went to the location, the Gulf Station at the corner of Route 130 and High Street, and removed the statue, according to the police statement.

  11. US warship heads to Yemeni waters to intercept Iranian weapons shipments, Navy officials say

    U.S. Navy officials say the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen and will join other American ships prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen.

    The U.S. Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea amid reports that a convoy of Iranian ships may be headed toward Yemen to arm the Houthis.

    The Houthis are battling government-backed fighters in an effort to take control of the country.

    There are about nine U.S. ships in the region, including cruisers and destroyers carrying teams that can board and search other vessels.

    The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the ship movement on the record.

    US warships are reportedly heading to Yemeni waters to intercept an Iranian arms shipment

    US Navy officials say the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen and will join other American ships prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi rebels fighting in Yemen, the AP reports.

    The US Navy has been beefing up its presence in the Gulf of Aden and the southern Arabian Sea amid reports that a convoy of Iranian ships may be headed toward Yemen to arm the Houthis.

    The Houthis are battling government-backed fighters in an effort to take control of the country.

    The UN Security Council passed an arms embargo on aid to the Houthi rebels on April 14th. Iran is also prohibited from exporting weapons under a 2006 UNSC resolution.

    These Iranian shipments would violate multiple standing UNSC measures while aiding rebels who are currently fighting a Saudi-led coalition. The coalition consists of several Arab countries and is receiving logistical and intelligence support from the US.

    The coalition is attempting to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government, which was largely disbanded when the Houthis pushed through the capital of Sana and into southwestern Yemen in late March.

  12. April 20 2015 – Toronto house explosion

    CBC – Toronto house explosion leaves 1 dead

    At least 12 other homes damaged by Monday afternoon blast

    A man was pulled out from the rubble and pronounced dead at the scene.

    “For the one house in particular, it’s completely demolished. There’s nothing standing,”

    Toronto police Insp. David Vickers told reporters there was no evidence to suggest the explosion was drug-related.

    “There is no indication this is any sort of drug or meth lab,” he said.

    One dead after explosion levels house in Scarborough

    One person has died after an explosion — a “mini earthquake” — in a home in Scarborough which destroyed one home and damaged four others. Crews are searching debris for any other victims.

  13. Turkey says shares Armenians’ pain over Ottoman-era killings

    Turkey on Monday sought to reach out to Armenians ahead of the 100th anniversary of the mass killings of their ancestors in the Ottoman Empire, saying it shared their pain and wanted to heal the wounds of the past.

    The statement by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu stopped well short of recognising the World War I killings as a genocide — as Armenians want — but explicitly referred to deadly deportations of “Ottoman Armenians”.

    “We once again respectfully remember and share the pain of grandchildren and children of Ottoman Armenians who lost their lives during deportation in 1915,” Davutoglu said in a statement released by his office to mark the centenary of the start of the tragedy on April 24.

    Armenians consider the mass killings a genocide, a term Turkey has consistently rejected.

    Davutoglu made clear once more in the statement that Turkey did not accept the word genocide to describe the killings.

    “To reduce everything to a single word, to put responsibility through generalisations on the Turkish nation alone… is legally and morally problematic,” he said.

    But the relatively conciliatory tone of the statement contrasts with the furious reaction from Ankara early this month when Pope Francis used the term genocide to describe the killings.

    Davutoglu had on April 12 lashed out at Francis for what he described as “inappropriate” and “one-sided” comments on the issue.

    The latest statement said the “Ottoman Armenians” would be remembered at a service to be held at the Armenian patriarchate in Istanbul on April 24, in what appears to be a first.

    Davutoglu said Turks and Armenians should “heal their wounds from that century and reestablish their human relations”.

    The statement builds on an expression of condolences issued by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan while he was still prime minister in April 2014.

    In that statement, Erdogan described the killings as “our shared pain” in what was then the weightiest statement yet from a Turkish leader on the issue.

    Armenia and Armenians in the diaspora say up to 1.5 million of their forefathers were killed by Ottoman forces in a targeted campaign ordered by the military leadership of the Ottoman empire to eradicate the Armenian people from Anatolia in what is now eastern Turkey.

    Turkey says hundreds of thousands of Turks and Armenians lost their lives as Ottoman forces battled the Russian Empire for control of eastern Anatolia during WW I.

    The controversy has long prevented the establishment of normal trade and diplomatic relations between Turkey and neighbouring Armenia.

    Davutoglu said that “human bonds” forged during centuries of coexistence in Anatolia should be re-established between Turks and Armenians.

    He also warned “third parties” against reopening “historical wounds” and said efforts should be made for a peaceful future based on “fair memory”.

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