Reader’s links for March 13 – 2016

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In order to preserve the flow of conversation about various posted items, and also in order to make it easier for visitors to find the list of related links being shared by other readers, regulars and interested parties in one place, each day a post is automatically created at a minute past midnight ET.

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Thank you all for those that take the effort to assist this site in keeping the public informed. Below, typically people can find the latest enemy propaganda, news items of related materials from multiple countries and languages, op-eds from many excellent sites who write on our topics, geopolitics and immigration issues and so on.

About Eeyore

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

65 Replies to “Reader’s links for March 13 – 2016”

  1. Sidestepping Apple dispute, Obama makes case for access to device data

    AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday made a passionate case for mobile devices to be built in such a way as to allow government to gain access to personal data if needed to prevent a terrorist attack or enforce tax laws.

    Speaking at the South by Southwest festival in Texas, Obama said he could not comment on the legal case in which the FBI is trying to force Apple Inc. to allow access to an iPhone linked to San Bernardino, California, shooter Rizwan Farook.

    But he made clear that, despite his commitment to Americans’ privacy and civil liberties, a balance was needed to allow some intrusion when needed.

    “The question we now have to ask is: If technologically it is possible to make an impenetrable device or system where the encryption is so strong that there is no key, there’s no door at all, then how do we apprehend the child pornographer, how do we solve or disrupt a terrorist plot?” he said.

    “What mechanisms do we have available to even do simple things like tax enforcement because if in fact you can’t crack that at all, government can’t get in, then everybody is walking around with a Swiss bank account in their pocket.”

  2. Israel calls on powers to punish Iran for its missile tests

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday called for world powers to take “immediate punitive steps” against Iran, following its ballistic missile tests last week.

    A series of tests conducted by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards caused international concern, with the United States, France and other countries saying that, if confirmed, the launch of nuclear-capable ballistic missiles would violate U.N. Security Council resolution 2231.

    Netanyahu has been vehemently opposed to the international deal with Iran which led to the lifting of economic sanctions in January, and his position has put him at odds with U.S. President Barack Obama.

  3. Rebels shoot down Syrian warplane

    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Rebels shot down a Syrian government warplane over western Syria on Saturday, rebels and a military source said, although there were conflicting accounts on whether it had been brought down by a missile or anti-aircraft guns.

    The Syrian military source said militants had targeted a warplane while it was landing in Hama province, bringing it down, and calling the attack a breach of a “cessation of hostilities” agreement.

    A rebel group operating in the area, Jaish al-Nasr, said it had brought down the jet with anti-aircraft guns. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, however, said a rebel group had brought down the jet with two heat-seeking missiles.

    Syrian rebels have previously shot down Syrian warplanes with anti-aircraft guns.

    They have called on their foreign backers including Saudi Arabia to supply them with anti-aircraft missiles to confront Syrian and Russian warplanes. But they say these weapons have so far not been provided, reflecting concerns that they could end up in the hands of groups such as Islamic State.;_ylt=AwrC2Q7rnORWK0UAdGTQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByMHZ0NG9yBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM3BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

  4. CAIR: No Terror Orgs in US
    Clarion Project presented the true picture of Islamist extremism in the U.S. including an extremist group with a history of terrorism.

    The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)’s downplaying of Islamist extremism has reached a new low. In a contentious segment on Newsmax TV with Clarion Project’s Ryan Mauro, a CAIR-FL representative made the outrageous claim that no terrorist organizations have existed in the U.S. since 2001.

    The segment on DML Unfiltered (Watch the segment below), hosted by Dennis Michael Lynch, was centered on Jamaat ul-Fuqra (now known as Muslims of the Americas), an extremist group with a history of terrorism that claims to have 22 “Islamic villages.”

    Mauro showed exclusively-obtained photos from a law enforcement raid on one such “village” in Colorado in 1992, where authorities discovered hidden stockpiles of arms, including in underground tunnels. The group was also in the process of building a satellite communications system. Many of the group’s other “villages” continue to operate.

    Mauro then mentioned that CAIR is now intertwined with MOA/Fuqra. CAIR-FL’s Communications Director Wilfredo Ruiz responded with an outrageous claim that “there has not been a terrorist group operating in America since 2001 because of the effectiveness of our intelligence and law enforcement.”

  5. Obama condemns Trump’s ‘divisive’ rhetoric

    Obama gave a mocking rebuke Saturday of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump for his incendiary language on the campaign trail. At a Democratic fundraising event in Dallas, Texas, Obama took a swipe at Trump’s sideline wine label — just a tiny piece of his sprawling business empire.

  6. ISIS Now Possesses Anti-Aircraft Missiles; Can Reach Europe
    The admission puts civilian and military planes in Europe, North and West Africa in danger. This was the fate of flight MH17 in 2014.

    The U.S. and U.N. have confirmed the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) in Libya now possesses shoulder-held missiles capable of downing civilian or military aircraft.

    The admission puts planes in North and West Africa as well as all of Europe in danger.

    The Islamic State’s stock of MANPADs (man portable air defense systems) originated from the stockpiles of weapons looted after Libya’s dictator Muammar Gaddafi was overthrown by rebels in 2011.

    Gaddafi was believed to have possessed 20,000 MANPADs (Russian-made SA-7 and SA-16 models) by the time of his demise. An American team, acting in Libya after the coup, managed to locate and destroy 5,000 of the missiles.

    The team leader, speaking on the condition of anonymity told The Independent, “There’s a large number still there in Libya, where some of the larger militia groups still maintain the stocks that they originally took control of back in 2011.” He acknowledged that others have been smuggled to extremist groups fighting in the Sinai, Syria, Nigeria and Mali.

    “We might never know where they went,” he added.

    • This is another scary one, it needs to be read and understood. The danger isn’t just that ISIS has manpads in Libya but it is also the fact that these are easy to smuggle into Europe or North America. The remaining missiles are enogh to protect a stronghold as well as create terror in Europe and North America. Imagine what it would be like with commercial aviation being help hostage by the threat of manpads.

    • Al Qaeda in Syria seizes bases, weapons of Western-backed group:

      The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front seized bases and weapons from a Western-backed rebel group in overnight fighting in northwestern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday.

      Rami Abdulrahman, director of the Observatory, said the Nusra Front had also detained dozens of members of the 13th Division rebel group, one of the factions that has received foreign military aid, capturing U.S.-made anti-tank missiles.

      The 13th Division, which is led by the prominent rebel commander Ahmed al-Seoud and fights under the banner of the Free Syrian Army, said on Twitter that Nusra Front fighters attacked its bases and seized weapons, but gave no further details.

      Nusra Front accused the rebel fighters of launching surprise attacks on its own bases in the town of Maarat al-Numan in Idlib province in northwest Syria. It said some Nusra fighters had been captured.

      The clashes came two weeks into a cessation of hostilities in Syria and on the eve of peace talks in Geneva between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the opposition.

      The halt in fighting, agreed by government forces, rebel groups and their international backers, excludes Nusra Front and Islamic State militants.

      Nusra Front fighters have often taken part in offensives alongside other rebel groups. But they have also fought them for territory, defeating groups such as the Western-backed Syria Revolutionaries Front and the Hazzm group last year.

  7. Indian Muslim Women Take Muslim Personal Law to Court

    Nisa – a progressive Muslim women’s forum based in Kozhikode, India – filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking to declare as unconstitutional sections of the Muslim Personal Law. These elements deal with the practice of triple talaq (a divorce obtained by the husband saying “I divorce you” three times), polygamy, nikah halala (bar against remarriage with divorced husband without an intervening marriage with another man) and inequality in intestate succession.

    “We are just asking for the basic rights guaranteed by the Constitution to all Indians,” said Nisa President V.P. Zuhara, stated,

    This petition is coupled with another one filed a few weeks ago by another Muslim woman regarding the same matter.

    K.Alilutty Musaliar, the general secretary of the largest group of Sunni scholars in the state responded to the development by saying sharia laws could not be questioned.

    Kerala High Court Judge B. Kemal Pasha said Muslim Personal Law discriminated against women on matters related to dowry, divorce and inheritance and this was in contradiction to the Quran’s position on these issues.

  8. DAILY MAIL Attackers scream ‘Allah Akbar’ as they open fire kill up to 11 people including five-year-old boy at Ivory Coast beach resort popular with Westerners

    Gunmen armed with AK-47s and hand grenades target popular hotel
    At least 11 people have been reportedly killed in the attack in Ivory Coast
    Video footage has emerged showing people running for their lives

    • Ivory Coast: Shooting at Grand Bassam beach resort (BBC, Mar 13, 2016)

      “Gunmen have attacked a hotel in a beach resort in Ivory Coast, reportedly killing at least five people.

      Unidentified assailants fired on guests at the Etoile du Sud hotel in the town of Grand Bassam, about 40km (25 miles) east of the commercial capital Abidjan.

      The hotel is popular with both local people and foreigners.

      Ivory Coast was seen as a model of stability in West Africa until a civil war erupted in 2002.

      The conflict pitted the mainly Muslim north against the largely Christian south. Since then, peace deals have alternated with renewed violence.

      Radio France Internationale quotes a military official as saying five people were killed, but other reports put the death toll higher.

      A witness of Sunday’s attack told AFP news agency that “heavily armed men wearing balaclavas” had fired at guests at the L’Etoile du Sud hotel, which AFP says was full of expats in the current heatwave.

      BBC regional reporter Maud Jullien says Ivory Coast has been identified as one of several countries in West Africa at risk of being targeted by Islamist militants.

      Luxury hotels in countries further north have already been targeted by such groups.

      In June 2015, 38 people – most of them British tourists – were shot dead in the Tunisian resort of Sousse, in an attack claimed by the self-styled Islamic State (IS)…”

  9. Islamic State Closing in on Germany
    Stabbing Is First ISIS-Inspired Attack on German Soil

    A 15-year-old German girl of Moroccan descent stabbed and seriously wounded a police officer in Hanover. The stabbing appears to be the first lone-wolf terrorist attack in Germany inspired by the Islamic State.

    The incident occurred at the main train station in Hanover on the afternoon of February 26, when two police officers noticed that the girl — identified only as Safia S. — was observing and following them.

    The officers approached the girl, who was wearing an Islamic headscarf, and asked her to present her identification papers. After handing over her ID, she stabbed one of the officers in the neck with a six-centimeter kitchen knife.

    According to police, the attack happened so quickly that the 34-year-old officer, who was rushed to the hospital, was unable to defend himself. After her arrest, police found that Safia was also carrying a second, larger knife.

    “The perpetrator did not display any emotion,” a police spokesperson said. “Her only concern was for her headscarf. She was concerned that her headscarf be put back on properly after she was arrested. Whether the police officer survived, she did not care.”

    On March 3, Hanover Public Prosecutor Thomas Klinge revealed that Safia had travelled to the Turkish-Syrian border in November 2015 to join the Islamic State, but that her mother had persuaded her to return to Germany on January 28.

  10. Turkey: Normalizing Hate
    World Champion Violator of Right to Freedom of Speech

    According to the 2015 statistics of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), 28 lawsuits were opened by applicants against member states regarding their violations of freedom of expression. Ten of those applications (complaints) were made against Turkey’s violations of freedom of expression. Turkey ranked first in that category.

    Turkish law professor Ayse Isil Karakas, both a judge and elected Deputy Head of the ECHR, said that among all member states, Turkey has ranked number one in the field of violations of free speech.

    “619 lawsuits of freedom of expression were brought at the ECHR between 1959 and 2015,” she said. ” 258 of them — almost half of them — came from Turkey and most were convicted as violations of freedom of expression.”

    For a country that fancies itself a candidate for EU membership, that is quite a record. Actually, when it comes to deciding what thoughts are warmly tolerated and what thoughts are severely punished, Turkey is extraordinary. If the statement involves Jew-hating for instance, it is welcomed by many.

    Seyfi Sahin, a columnist in the Islamist pro-government newspaper Vahdet, wrote on January 31:

    “I believe that the gorillas and chimpanzees living in the forests in northern Africa today are cursed Jews. Those are mutated, perverted people.

    “Believe me, this view is stronger and more scientific than the Darwin theory. We Muslims, and those who believe that, do not have the banks, the money, the organizational power in the world of science, or the propaganda power to scream those truths.

    “But we have our wisdom, our faith and our Allah. Alhamdulillah (Praise be to Allah).”

  11. Russia: Turkish Troops in Syria for Operation Against Kurds (abcnews, Mar 13, 2016)

    “Russia on Sunday accused Turkey of sending its military across the Syrian border to prevent Kurdish groups there from consolidating their positions, while Turkish authorities imposed curfews on two mainly Kurdish towns where Turkey’s security forces are set to launch large-scale operations against Kurdish militants.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Russia has evidence of Turkey’s “creeping expansion” in northern Syria.

    “According to our information, they are digging in a few hundred meters from the border inside Syria,” Lavrov said in an interview with Russian REN TV broadcast on Sunday.

    In southeastern Turkey, authorities have imposed curfews in several flashpoints since August to root out militants linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, who had set up barricades, dug trenches and planted explosives. The military operations have raised concerns over human rights violations and scores of civilian deaths. Tens of thousands of people have also been displaced by the fighting.

    The governor’s office for Hakkari province, which borders Iraq and Iran, said a new 24-hour curfew would take effect in the town Yuksekova at 2000 GMT (4 p.m. EDT) Sunday, adding that entering and leaving the town would also be banned. The announcement came as news reports said dozens of tanks had been deployed to the town.

    Soon after, authorities in Mardin province announced that a round-the-clock curfew would take effect in the town of Nusaybin — on the border with Syria — at midnight.

    Residents were seen leaving Nusaybin on Sunday, packing cars or heading toward the bus terminal even before the curfew was announced, the Dogan news agency reported. Some tanks were parked at a school ahead of the planned offensive, it said.

    Turkey’s military last week ended a three-month operation against the militants in the historic Sur district of Diyarbakir — the largest city in the country’s mostly Kurdish southeast. On Sunday, authorities eased the curfew in some streets and one neighborhood of Sur, but the siege over the district’s main areas was still in place.

    The PKK has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union. A fragile peace process between the PKK and the Turkish state collapsed in July, reigniting a battle that has cost tens of thousands of lives since 1984.

    Lavrov was asked about a REN TV report broadcast two weeks ago of Turkish tanks and artillery along the Syrian border near the Syrian city of Kobane. The foreign minister said he had seen the reports, but gave no further details about what Russia maintains is Turkey’s military presence inside Syria.

    Lavrov said Turkey has declared a sovereign right to create a security zone on Syrian territory to prevent the unification of Kurdish enclaves located to the east and to the west in northern Syria.”

  12. Huge Moroccan Protests Against UN Chief Stance on W. Sahara (abcnews, Mar 13, 2016)

    “Hundreds of thousands of Moroccans are demonstrating to protest the U.N. chief’s remarks about the contested Western Sahara territory.

    Morocco considers the vast mineral-rich region as its “southern provinces” and took offense when U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon used the word “occupation” after a visit this month to refugee camps for the region’s native Sahraouis in southern Algeria.

    Protesters on Sunday filled the streets of Rabat after leading Moroccan political parties, unions and non-governmental groups called for a national demonstration. Authorities claimed there were up to 3 million.

    The U.N. has been trying for years to hold a referendum on independence for the territory, which was annexed by Morocco when Spain withdrew in 1975. Morocco proposes increased autonomy instead.

    Ban also called for renewed peace efforts during his trip.”

    • Morocco’s Parliament Strongly Condemns UN Chief Biased Stance (moroccoworldnews, Mar 13, 2016)

      “Members of the two houses of Morocco’s parliament strongly condemned on Saturday the provocative and biased stance of the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the Sahara issue.

      In a statement issued following an extraordinary session, members of the two houses of parliament stressed that the comments delivered by the UN Chief “ignore the noble objectives” of the United Nations and are a “flagrant breach” of the principle of impartiality that the UN Secretary General must observe.

      “This deliberate breach by the Secretary General aims to hide his failure, during two terms as the head of this international organization, to make tangible progress in the settlement of the issue,” the statement pointed out.

      The UN chief ignored the historical realities related to the Sahara issue, including the United Nations positions, particularly since 2008 following the presentation by Morocco of the autonomy proposal which was deemed serious and realistic by the international community, the parliament’s members said, adding that Morocco’s autonomy plan represents a basis for negotiations particularly following the failure of the referendum option….”

  13. World’s largest umbrella being installed in Makkah Haram (saudigazette, Mar 13, 2016)

    “Work started on Thursday for the installation of the world’s largest folding umbrella in the northern courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Makkah.

    This is the first of the eight high-tech giant umbrellas and 54 small ones to be installed in the Grand Mosque in the coming six months.

    Being manufactured in Germany, each canopy will consist of a giant clock, screens of guidelines for worshippers, air-conditioners, and surveillance cameras. Each umbrella will have a height of 45 meters and weigh 16 tons. It will give shade to an area of 2,400 square meters when open.

    Some 25 engineers, specialist technicians, and safety experts from Germany will supervise the installation process and electronic operating mechanism….”

  14. Athens says backs Turkish observers on islands (france24, Mar 13, 2016)

    “ATHENS (AFP) – Greece said Sunday it backs the presence of Turkish observers on its Aegean islands in a bid to speed implementation of a plan to return migrants stranded there to Turkey.

    “We hope they (the Turkish observers) come to the islands… Amid the chaos there needs to be order and it would be stupid to refuse (help),” Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas told Skai television.

    With Europe facing its worst migration crisis since World War II, Ankara and the European Union agreed a plan last week to try to stem the flow of migrants and refugees.

    Under the draft deal, the EU agreed to resettle, for every Syrian readmitted by Turkey from Greek islands, another Syrian from Turkey to EU member States.

    The controversial plan, set to be finalised at a two-day summit in Brussels opening Thursday, is designed to eliminate incentives for migrants to come to Greece by boat…”

  15. Russia to supply 1.5 million tons of oil to Afghanistan annually (khaama, Mar 13, 2016)

    “The Russian authorities are mulling to supply up to one and half million tons of fuel to Afghanistan annually in a bid to help the country with its fuel consumption demand.

    Russia’s Deputy Minister of Energy Yury Sentyurin has said Russia could easily supply 1 to 1.5 million tons of oil products to the Afghanistan on annual basis.

    According to the Russian officials, the contribution by Russia will help Afghanistan with its demand of 6 million tons of oil on annual basis.

    Sentyurin said Afghanistan consumes more than 3 million tons of petroleum products for its own personal needs and uses another 3 million for the coalition forces, according to the local media reports.

    Insisting that Russia does not intend to supply Afghanistan with all of the 6 million tons of oil products, Sentyurin said “I do not think that we need to monopolize the market. We have proposed a strategic idea to our Afghan partners to form a strategic national reserve.”

    Russia has also offered to carry out further exploration work in northern Afghanistan, according to a report by the state-run news agency Sputnik.

    The report further added that this feat could be undertaken by the company, ‘Zarubezhgeologiya’. The proposal was made in the framework of the Russian-Afghan intergovernmental commission.

    Russia has stepped up efforts to expand trade, economic and social relations with Afghanistan and recently agreed to turn a long-standing debt payable by Afghanistan into a non-refundable aid.

    Meanwhile, the Afghan officials are keen on resumption of activities by Russian companies in the country, mainly the housing industry, considering the expertise of the Russian companies that could play a vital role in improving the economy of the country.”

  16. All Unquiet On The Tajik-Afghan Frontier (khaama, Mar 13, 2016)

    “A murky security operation on Tajikistan’s border with Afghanistan on March 5 brought attention briefly back to an area that for nearly 25 years has rarely seen an entire week pass without some sort of incident taking place, Radio Liberty reports.

    The reported firefight between Tajikistan’s security forces and an armed group from Afghanistan that left a Tajik border guard and one of the Afghan combatants dead comes as the situation on both sides of the frontier is changing — and as warmer spring weather heralds the likely start of increased hostilities in areas of northeastern Afghanistan that border Tajikistan.

    There is a lot in play at the moment along Tajikistan’s frontier with Afghanistan’s border provinces of Badakhshan, Takhar, and Kunduz.

    Some of the processes underway might lead to a further deterioration in the security situation along this almost perpetually unquiet border. However, the Afghan government’s renewed attention might help government forces gain better control over the area.

    This week, RFE/RL’s Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk, assembled a Majlis, or discussion panel, to assess what happened along the Tajik-Afghan frontier on March 5 and, more importantly, to talk about what is changing along either side of the border.

    Azatlyk director Muhammad Tahir moderated the panel. Participating from Dushanbe was Rashid Ghani Adbullo, an independent political analyst, while Amin Mudaqiq, the director of RFE/RL’s Pakistani service, known locally as Mashaal, joined in from a studio in Prague where I was also in attendance. Although I wanted to hear what our guests said, I threw in a few comments of my own as well.”

  17. 26 militants killed in Afghan forces air and ground operations: MoD (khaama, Mar 13, 2016)

    “At least 26 anti-government armed militants were killed in the air and ground operations of the Afghan national security forces in the past 24 hours.

    The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said the operations were conducted in the various parts of the country, involving securit personnel from different security institutions, including the Afghan Air Force.

    According to an operational update by MoD, at least 12 of the militants were killed in air and ground offensive in Shindand district of Herat province and 7 others were wounded.

    MoD further added that 6 militants were killed during the clearance operations in Nad-e-Ali district of southern Helmand province.

    At least 7 militants were killed during a seprate operation in Charchino district of Uruzgan province, MoD said, adding that several villages were cleared of the militants during the ongoing operations in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shahabuddin in Baghlan province.

    MoD also added that various types of weapons, ammunition and explosives were seized after an explosives cache was seized from the residence of a Taliban commander in Dand-e-Ghori and Dand-e-Shabauddin where 7 safe havens of the militants were destroyed.

    A Taliban commander identified as Rohani was also killed during an operation in Nejrab district of Kapisa province and two of his companions were wounded, MoD added.

    The anti-government armed militant groups have not commented regarding the operations so far.”

  18. TURKEY – ANKARA – At least 27 dead and 75 injured in blast in Turkish capital Ankara just weeks after 30 were killed in car bomb there

    Explosion struck central Guven Park near the Education ministry
    Several vehicles were destroyed or damaged in the blast
    Takes place less than a month after car bomb that killed 29 people
    The US embassy in Ankara had warned about a potential terrorist attack

  19. New BOMBSHELL for EU: Danish politicians demand referendum after voter shift on union (express, March 13, 2016)

    “MORE European Union turmoil is looming with more than 30 per cent of Danes signalling they would vote to leave Brussels if a referendum was held tomorrow.

    The figure of 33 per cent represents a major shift towards joining growing animosity towards the union when compared to only 25 per cent wanting to leave in 2013.

    The calls for independence from the red-tape loving bureaucrats comes as The People’s Movement Against the EU has demanded the government holds a referendum in the country.

    The cross-party campaign platform argues after 40 years as members of the 28-strong block, it was time to give the next generation of Danes a vote.

    It has now launched a petition to force the government’s hand on the issue.

    Movement MEP Rina Ronja Kari said: “When you compare today’s EU with the EU the Danes joined over 40 years ago, there has been a drastic change from a trade cooperation to a European Union that interferes in virtually every part of our society.

    “So we think it is fair enough to ask: ‘was this actually what you wanted? Or would you rather leave the EU?’”

    The latest poll shows those signalling a wish to remain were at 56 per cent, with 11 per cent undecided, showing a slim majority to stay in the EU.

    But election researcher Kasper Møller Hansen said: “Although there is a majority to remain in the EU, there is wind in the sails for Eurosceptic voices.”….”

    • Germany: ‘You are no alternative,’ say anti-AfD protesters

      Protesters denouncing the anti-refugee Alternative fuer Deutschland (AfD) party marched through Stuttgart on Sunday, following the party’s success in the regional elections. Banners calling the party “arsonists” and reading “you are no alternative” could be seen as the crowd rallied outside the Maritim Hotel where the AfD’s victory party was being held.

  20. Egypt’s justice minister fired following comments on ‘imprisoning prophet’

    Ahmed El-Zend has been facing widespread criticism on social media for making comments that were considered to be blasphemous

    Egypt’s Justice Minister Ahmed El-Zend was fired on Sunday little less than a year in office in the wake of widespread criticism of comments he made regarding the Muslim Prophet Muhammed that were considered to be blasphemous.

    The decision was taken by Egypt’s Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, state-run news agency MENA said. However, Ismail’s cabinet is yet to reveal the reasons for sacking El-Zend.

    Last week, in response to a TV host’s question on whether he would jail journalists, El-Zend said, “Even if he was a prophet, peace and blessings be upon him.”

    The 70-year-old then briefly uttered Islamic words of repentance before adding that “the culprit, whatever his description is… I am not talking about jailing a journalist or jailing a teacher, I am saying jailing a defendant.”

    El-Zend, who is infamous for making controversial media statements, has been facing a wave of criticism on social media after his comments went viral and were largely interpreted as an insult to the Prophet Muhammad, the most sacred figure among Muslims and whose sayings comprise a prime source of Islamic jurisprudence.

    “Slip of the tongue”

    “The thing that a Muslim or a non-Muslim is held culpable for is what is done willfully,” El-Zend said when he called in to a TV show on Saturday, stressing that it was a slip of the tongue.

    “I ask God Almighty for forgiveness over and over and over again… I know my apology will be accepted [by Prophet Muhammad].”

    Al-Azhar, the highest seat of Sunni Islamic learning, issued a statement on Sunday warning against blasphemous comments regarding the Prophet, even those made unintentionally.

    An Arabic Twitter hashtag calling for his trial went viral in Egypt and Saudi Arabia, with numerous Muslim users expressing anger over his comment and heaping scorn on him even after his apology.

    Prior to becoming justice minister, El-Zend was the head of the powerful Judges Club, of which the majority of Egyptian judges are members.

    Before El-Zend’s sacking was announced, the Judges Club issued a statement saying that they stand by the justice minister in the face of the “systematic smear campaign against him.”

    Last May, El-Zend’s predecessor Mahfouz Saber resigned as justice minister after saying that sons of garbage collectors should not be judges, which was widely seen as a classist statement and earned him heavy criticism in the days leading up to his resignation.


    For every police ‘martyr,’ 10,000 ‘terrorists’ should be killed: Egypt justice minister

    The minister of justice said that all the death sentences issued against members of the banned Muslim Brotherhood would be carried after all appeals are exhausted

    Egypt’s Minister of Justice Ahmed El-Zend said in a TV interview on Wednesday that he believed that for every fallen “martyr” from the Egyptian police and Armed Forces, 10,000 Muslim Brotherhood members and their supporters should be killed.

    “I believe that if 40,000 terrorists were killed it would not be enough for the martyrs. I swear to God that the fire burning in my heart will not die except when for every martyr, 10,000 Muslim Brotherhood members and supporters are killed,” El-Zend said while giving condolence on the Sada El-Balad TV channel for personnel killed in the war on terrorism.

    The minister vowed that all the death sentences issued against members of the Brotherhood, including former president Mohamed Morsi, would be carried out after all appeals are exhausted.

    El-Zend’s comments immediately created controversy on social media across the country, with the hashtag “#El-Zend” trending for many hours in Egypt.

    Although he did not mention the justice minister by name, former vice president Mohamed ElBaradei posted a tweet which many believe was meant as a criticism of El-Zend’s vow.

    “There are constants for any society: Freedom and human dignity, knowledge and value are the core of any future. The social consensus is a necessity to build any nation, as well justice, and not revenge,” the Nobel laureate said.

    Last November, in an interview with the BBC, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi ssid that it was unlikely that mass death sentences handed down to hundreds of Islamists following the ouster of Morsi would be carried out, arguing that those verdicts were preliminary and can be appealed.

    The Muslim Brotherhood was officially designated a terrorist organisation in Egypt in November 2013.

    El-Zend became minister of justice in 2015, after serving for years as the head of the powerful Judges Club

    He was among the most outspoken opponents of the Muslim Brotherhood during their short one year in power 2012-2013.,-,-terrorists-should-be-ki.aspx

  21. CNN – Trump stage-rusher: ‘Donald Trump is a bully’

    The man who rushed the stage at a Donald Trump rally in Ohio sits down with CNN’s Martin Savidge for an exclusive interview

  22. DAILY MAIL – Back on the streets of Britain, fanatic who ‘inspired 7/7’: Convicted terrorist returns to the UK to celebrate Eid festival just days after his release from US prison

    Babar Ahmad jailed for 12 years last July after being extradited to the US
    He had pleaded guilty to providing material to support terrorism online
    Freed in June after authorities took into account 8 years in custody in UK
    Last week, he slipped back into Britain to celebrate Eid festival with his parents, staying in their London maisonette
    The Telegraph – Babar Ahmad: My support for the Taliban was naive

    Former computer expert from south London urges young Muslims not to become pawns of the Islamic State

    www ( dot ) telegraph( dot )co( dot ) uk/news/uknews/terrorism-in-the-uk/12192382/Babar-Ahmad-My-support-for-the-Taliban-was-naive.html
    BBC News – Babar Ahmad (FULL) interview: My support for Taliban was ‘naive’ –

    A British man jailed over a website considered a key moment in the birth of online jihadist propaganda said he had been “naive” to support the Taliban. In his first broadcast interview, to the Victoria Derbyshire programme, Babar Ahmad, 41, said he had “not knowingly” supported Osama Bin Laden. Ahmad was jailed in the US in 2014 after fighting a record eight-year campaign against extradition. He condemned so-called Islamic State as “alien” to his heritage and beliefs.

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