Reader’s links for May 25 – 2016

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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 May 25 – 2016”

  1. Slow melt: Depleted European military forces go to mosque and bow to Allah

    Here’s a group of events that doesn’t need a whole lot of additional commentary. Five or six years ago, you had to tell people why developments were signs of a collapsing West. Today, it’s only the most blinkered and mentally resistant among us who don’t get it.

    Breitbart reported earlier this month on the visit of a British army delegation, from the 4th Infantry Brigade (the “Black Rats”), to a Tablighi Jamaat-affiliated mosque in Dewsbury, UK.

    If “Tablighi Jamaat” sounds familiar, it’s because the San Bernardino, CA terrorists, who slaughtered 14 Americans and injured 22 more in December 2015, were connected with it. The group is aligned with the hardline Deobandi sect.

    Conveniently, the Dewsbury mosque is Tablighi Jamaat’s global headquarters. The British soldiers were visiting the mosque for orientation – and, reportedly, to sell Deobandis on the mission of the army.

    • Read this and weep, not only are the sending the troops to mosques to pray in public relations stunts and assigning them to develop an EU army that will be unable to do more the oppress the European natives, they are also stationing the (for the most part) semi disarmed forces now light infnatry in penny packers in East Europe to make more Russian soldiers injure themselves laughing at what NATO considers adequate defense.

  2. Pauline Hanson: Australian anti-Islam MP ‘confident’ of comeback (BBC, May 24, 2016)

    “Controversial Australian politician Pauline Hanson says she is “quietly confident” of being returned to parliament at the 2 July election.

    Ms Hanson gained worldwide notoriety when she led the anti-immigration One Nation party in the 1990s.

    She lost her seat in 1998 and has since repeatedly failed to gain a position in state and federal legislatures.

    But changes to voting laws and a so-called “double dissolution” of parliament will favour Ms Hanson.

    Ms Hanson is running for a seat in the upper house, the Senate, where changes to the ballot will give voters more control over where they direct their preferences.

    Other parties previously did preference deals to keep Ms Hanson out of parliament.

    But under the double dissolution rules used to call this election early, all seats in the Senate will be declared open on 2 July, rather than the normal half.

    This means the normal quota of votes needed in a state to win a Senate spot reduces by half, to 7.7%.

    Ms Hanson told the Nine Network on Tuesday that she was “quietly confident” of winning a place.
    “Previously the major political parties never preferenced me. This time the preferences belong to voters,” she said.

    The Australian Broadcasting Corp’s election analyst, Antony Green, said Ms Hanson had a “realistic” chance of picking up a Senate seat in Queensland state, although she faced some strong competition from other independent candidates.

    Ms Hanson was a hugely controversial figure in Australian politics after she was elected to Australia’s lower house in the 1996 election.

    She claimed in her maiden speech to parliament that “mainstream Australians ” were victims of “reverse racism” and criticised welfare for Indigenous people.

    She also said Australia was “in danger of being swamped by Asians”.

    More recently Ms Hanson has strongly supported banning Muslim refugees, mosques and halal certification in Australia…”

  3. Muslim Members of Congress Speak on Hate in Era of Donald Trump (nbcnews, May 24, 2016)

    “At a standing room only event at the National Press Club in Washington on Tuesday, the only two Muslim members of Congress, Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Andre Carson (D-Ind.) spoke in detail on the casual bigotry against members of their faith during the political rise of Donald Trump.

    Rep. Ellison became the first member of the Muslim faith in history to be elected to Congress in 2006. In 2008, Rep. Carson arrived after a special election to represent Indiana’s 7th district following the death of his grandmother, Julia Carson, in late 2007.

    While the Congressmen have faced discrimination in their day, they say that the presidential campaign of real estate mogul Donald Trump would appear to have made the situation worse.

    On December 8, 2015, Rep. Carson received a death threat to his congressional office in Washington. This came just days after Trump’s campaign declared a new policy: that all Muslims be stopped from entering the U.S.

    “Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on,” a press release posted from Trump’s site stated. Five months later Trump has not backed away from the policy.

    “It’s not just Trump,” Rep. Ellison pointed out, saying that Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain made similar statements during the 2012 campaign. “The political season that we’re in attracts candidates who will say anything to achieve electoral success,” Rep. Ellison added.

    “One of the scariest moments of this election was when a man named Frank Gaffney was added as a top aide to Senator Cruz,” Ellison told reporters.

    Gaffney is a former Reagan Administration official and founder of the Center for Security Policy. He’s also been described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of America’s most notorious Islamophobes.”

    The Congressmen explained the that mainstreaming of anti-Muslim bigotry has real consequences and is antithetical to what the founding father’s mandated in the First Amendment of the Constitution in the free exercise clause and the establishment clause.

    “What is the fallout? Make no mistake about it these things have consequences. I remember when the ground zero faux controversy was going on, a man got into a cab asked the driver if he was a Muslim and the man began to stab,” Rep. Ellison said.

    Ellison is the Co-Chair of The Congressional Progressive Caucus which focuses on issues of income inequality, labor and equal pay….”

    • Obama won’t do it, Trump will but will want Russia to back off on the survaliance flights and ships off US Naval ports.

    • ‘The most racist programme I’ve ever watched’: BBC faces Twitter backlash over controversial documentary The Last Whites of the East End – while some viewers say ‘it’s only telling the truth’ (dailymail, May 25, 2016)

      “A BBC documentary showing the evolving communities of the East End has drawn criticism from viewers who branded the programme ‘racist’ and accused it of ‘white supremacist propaganda’.

      The Last Whites of the East End received mixed reviews on Twitter last night, with some branding it the ‘most racist programme I’ve ever watched’ and others threatening to cancel their licence fee.

      However, while not all were impressed with the show, some did applaud the BBC for giving an ‘honest’ insight into the east London borough of Newham where 73 per cent of the local population is now made up of ethnic minorities and Black British.

      The programme looked into how cockneys are becoming an endangered species in the borough, with many moving towards Essex, after 70,000 immigrants moved in over the past 15 years…”

  4. It’s all the host country’s fault! Swedish police blame migrant sex attacks on ‘Nordic alcohol culture’ and European women’s ‘non-traditional gender roles’ in new report (dailymail, May 25, 2016)

    “Swedish police have blamed the rise of migrant sex attacks on ‘Nordic alcohol culture’ and the ‘non-traditional gender roles’ of European women.

    A new report says refugees struggle to ‘handle the alcohol’ and ignore the consequences for girls when they simply feel ‘horny’.

    It warns that girls are called ‘whores’ and left in fear of walking the streets because migrants see it as a way of ‘demonstrating their power over girls’.

    The report, entitled The Current Situation of Sexual Molestation and Proposals for Action, says: ‘Control is exercised over women through violence, thus shaping her according to the man’s idealised vision of femininity.

    ‘During the exercise of violence, men can feel they embody a typical “male”.

    ‘In other words, the violence makes possible what is considered masculine and can provide “benefits” for the perpetrator.’

    It notes that Sweden has the worst rates of physical and sexual violence against women in the European Union, it was reported by Breitbart.

    The report said: ‘Sweden tops the new EU Statistics on physical and sexual violence against women, sexual harassment and stalking.

    ‘The conclusion is that the results are a consequence of Nordic alcohol culture, but also of non-traditional gender roles.’

    Sweden said it expected around 60,000 asylum seekers in 2016…”

  5. Egypt Deports French Journalist Amid Crackdown on the Media (abcnews, May 25, 2016)

    “Egypt deported a French journalist without explanation on Wednesday, the reporter and his newspaper said, the latest move in an ongoing crackdown by President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi’s government on freedom of expression and the media in this Mideast country…”

  6. Germany: Merkel calls new migrant integration bill a ‘milestone’

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel described a newly adopted draft law on the integration of migrants as a “milestone,” in Meseberg on Wednesday, following a two-day meeting of the German cabinet at which ministers created the bill.

    SOT, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor (German): “I think that it is a milestone that the federal cabinet has passed a law on integration. The new integration law, which stipulates the challenge and requires support, clearly shows that our offers are open and these offers are classified according to the everyone’s outlook for remaining [in Germany]. We have paid special attention to such topics as easier access to the job market, access to employment, access to integration courses. And we have agreed on the necessary measures. I think that it is very important now that the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees and the Federal Employment Agency work in a coordinated and harmonious way.”

    SOT, Sigmar Gabriel, German Vice Chancellor and Economy and Energy Minister (German): “In a few years this law will be seen as a first step towards immigration legislation. It has been dubbed the ‘immigration law 1.0’ Why? Because the law stresses those elements that should be at the centre of the immigration legislation – to pursue an objective to create an opportunity for newcomers for a new long-term homeland.”

    • Yeah the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees. Their chair is a Turkish Social Democrat, Aydun Özoguz, her two brothers are known Islamists. It’s no biggie, of course.
      And this is what the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees writes in their strategy paper on the “refugee” crisis:

      “A fundamental change is imminent. Our society will become more diverse, that will be demanding, even painful at times. Our coexistence will have to be re-negotiated every day. It is up to us if we want to see the chances in this, or difficulties. To be an immigration country means that not only the people who come to us must integrate. Everyone must embark and embrace the changes.”

      Quoted from:
      “Humane, honest, just – cornerstones for an integrated policy on refugees in Germany
      The Federal Government Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration, Minister Aydan Özo?uz presented an issues paper for an inclusive refugee policy in Germany on 09.21.2015.”

  7. Afghan Taliban announce successor to Mullah Mansour (BBC, May 25, 2016)

    “The Afghan Taliban have announced a new leader to replace Mullah Akhtar Mansour who was killed in a US drone strike.

    In a statement, the Taliban acknowledged Mansour’s death for the first time and named his successor as Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada.

    Analysts say it is unlikely the group will change direction under hardline religious scholar Akhundzada…”

  8. Kenya refugee camps: Somalia president warns against closure (BBC, May 25, 2016)

    “Somalia’s president has called for “a better way” to bring home refugees from his country, with Kenya insisting that it will go ahead with its plan to close the world’s largest refugee camp.

    The Dadaab camp is home to more than 300,000 Somalis.

    President Hassan Sheik Mohamed told the BBC that forced repatriation was not in the best interests of either country.

    Kenya says it wants to close the camp over security concerns, saying attacks on its soil have been planned there…”

  9. Syria conflict: Kurds launch campaign north of IS-held Raqqa (BBC, May 25, 2016)

    “A US-backed alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters has begun a campaign to expel Islamic State (IS) militants from land north of Raqqa.

    The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) is believed to have deployed about 30,000 fighters.

    US-led coalition warplanes will support the offensive and Russia has also given its backing…”

  10. DAILY MAIL – AUSTRALIA – ‘Eating our bacon reduces your chance of being a suicide bomber by 100 per cent’: Butcher says he meant no offence with sign he posted in his shop window

    A butcher’s sign has raised a eyebrows on the NSW South Coast
    The sign said eating bacon reduced the chance of being a suicide bomber
    Narooma butcher Jeff Rapley had put the sign up earlier this month
    Mr Rapley said he meant no offence adding he has a Muslim assistant

  11. USA – NYC – Black jail imam says discrimination, not razors in his bag, got him fired

    A former New York jail chaplain who was axed in 2010 after security officers at the Manhattan Detention Complex downtown found razor blades and scissors in his bag is now suing the city and the Department of Correction for at least $2 million, saying he was unfairly ousted because he is Muslim and black.

    In the Manhattan Supreme Court suit filed Tuesday, Imam Zulqarnain Abdu-Shahid claims he thought he had surrendered the items as he left security at the jail, known as The Tombs, and was then “surprised” to find the contraband “had been placed” back in his satchel when he stopped by the locker room.

    The 56-year-old father of three immediately returned to security to surrender the items, the papers say, but was promptly cuffed and paraded through the facility.

    He was then arrested and charged with four felony counts of promoting prison contraband in the first degree, and four misdemeanor counts of promoting prison contraband in the second degree.

    Following Abdu-Shahid’s arrest, a videotaped search of his room at the facility was conducted, the papers say.

    On the recording, the corrections officer directing the search can be heard snidely asking if they might find “jihad” on some of the recovered tapes.

    The Staten Island resident was later cleared of any wrongdoing by two grand juries, but was still terminated.

    Abdu-Shahid charges that, during his 20 years as a chaplain for the facility, he “witnessed numerous fellow employees mistakenly bring through security items that were considered contraband.”

    And despite the imam’s “exemplary record of service,” he was treated “more harshly and less fairly than others in similar situation who were not African American and Muslims,” the suit reads.

    The complaint cites Deacon Radcliffe, who gave a cellphone to an inmate charged with murder — despite the fact the inmate had restricted phone privileges — but was never terminated, and went on to retire.

    The papers also mention the questionable conduct of Rabbi Leib Glantz, who threw a bar mitzvah in the jail and was not penalized — while Muslim administrative Chaplain Umar Abdul-Jalil received a suspension and lost vacation time for signing off on the party.

    Glantz resigned after The Post exposed the bash, and was indicted on housing fraud charges by the feds in 2011.

    “Plaintiff never intentionally attempted to bring the scissors and razor in the Manhattan House of Detention,” says the suit, which alleges racial discrimination, religious discrimination and retaliation. “Plaintiff was singled out due to his race and religion.

    Abdu-Shahid — formerly named Paul Pitts — has done time himself, serving 14 years in prison for murder after he and three others held up a Harlem supermarket in 1976 and left a customer dead. He was also arrested on rape charges in the 1960s, but those charges were dismissed.

    A spokesman with the city law department said they “will review the complaint.”

    “The City of New York and the Department of Correction are Equal Opportunity Employers, and Commissioner Ponte has zero tolerance for racial or religious discrimination,” said a spokeswoman with the Department of Correction.

    Abdu-Shahid’s attorney did not return messages.

  12. TURKEY – MIT no longer have to register weapons, according to new amendment

    Senior MIT officers can now choose not to register movable property such as weapons, vehicles or munition purchased for carrying out duties and transport them without documents, which is causing concern about transparency after Syria weapons shipment scandal.

    The Turkish National Intelligence Agency (MIT) will no longer have to register “movable properties” including weapons and munition they purchase and can now transport them without registration documents, according to a new cabinet amendment.

    Decision number 2016/8769 dated on April 5 2016 is a change to the “Movable Property Bylaw of Turkish Military Forces, Turkish National Police and National Intelligence Agency”, published in an official gazette on May 24. According to the amendment, a senior officer can now decide not to register movable property such as weapons, vehicles or munition purchased for the duties of MIT. The amendment also removed the obligation to file a receipt when receiving, delivering or transporting these assets.

    Before the amendment, the only movable properties that could be received or transported without a receipt were insignificant assets such as water, gas, sand, and pebbles. Putting arms and vehicles on the same level as such assets could cause serious concern over transparency, especially given the MIT’s recent scandal over alleged weapon shipments to Syria in January 2014. Three trucks accompanied by MIT were searched in the southern province of Adana in raids by police and gendarmerie on the orders of prosecutors who were acting on tip-offs that they were carrying weapons. This was according to the testimony of the prosecutors, who now face trial for treason and revealing state secrets.

    The government, led by then Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, first claimed the cargo of the trucks was a ‘national secret’, but later claimed the trucks were carrying food and medical supplies to the Turkmen population in Syria. Critics of the government alleged the trucks were in fact supplying arms to rebel groups fighting in the Syrian Civil War and to the Islamic State (ISIS).

    On May 29, 2015, the Turkish daily Cumhuriyet released footage of the search, confirming that the trucks were in fact carrying weapons. Editor-in-Chief of the Cumhuriyet, Can Dündar, and its Ankara bureau chief, Erdem Gül, were sentenced to more than five years each in prison on charges of revealing state secrets.

  13. USA -Canadian-Iranian Citizen Sentenced to Three Years in Prison for Conspiring to Violate Iran Sanctions

    Ali Reza Parsa, 45, a Canadian-Iranian dual citizen and resident of Canada, was sentenced to three years in prison for his participation in a conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (IEEPA) and the Iranian Transactions and Sanctions Regulations (ITSR).

    The sentence was announced by Assistant Attorney General for National Security John P. Carlin and U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York.

    “Over the course of six years, Parsa repeatedly violated export control laws and aided Iranian entities in procuring high-tech electronic components that have both commercial and military uses,” said Assistant Attorney General Carlin. “With this sentence, he will be held accountable for circumventing important U.S. laws designed to protect our national security interests. One of our top national security priorities remains safeguarding our national assets from those who may wish to do us harm.”

    “As he admitted in court, Ali Reza Parsa conspired to purchase high-tech electronic components – some used in the production of rockets and missiles – from American companies for eventual delivery to Iran through Canada,” said U.S. Attorney Bharara. “He has now been sentenced to three years in prison for his violation of federal law.”

    Parsa was arrested in October 2014 following an investigation by the FBI and U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS). He pleaded guilty on Jan. 20, 2016, before U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams of the Southern District of New York, who also imposed Friday’s sentence.

    According to the indictment filed against Parsa and other court documents publicly filed in this case and statements made in court proceedings, including at Friday’s sentencing hearing:

    Between approximately 2009 and 2015, Parsa conspired to obtain high-tech electronic components from American companies for transshipment to Iran and other countries for clients of Parsa’s procurement company in Iran, Tavan Payesh Mad, in violation of U.S. economic sanctions. To accomplish this, Parsa used his Canadian company, Metal PM, to place orders with U.S. suppliers and typically had the parts shipped to him in Canada or to a freight forwarder located in the United Arab Emirates, and then shipped from these locations to Iran or to the location of his Iranian company’s client. Parsa provided the U.S. companies with false destination and end-user information about the components in order to conceal the illegality of these transactions.

    Parsa’s criminal scheme targeted numerous American technology companies. The components that Parsa attempted to procure included cryogenic accelerometers, which are sensitive components that measure acceleration at very low temperatures. Cryogenic accelerators have both commercial and military uses, including in applications related to ballistic missile propellants and in aerospace components such as liquid-fuel rocket engines.

    In addition, following his arrest and while incarcerated, Parsa continued to violate the IEEPA and the ITSR by conducting business for Metal PM and Tavan Payesh Mad, including by ordering parts from German and Brazilian companies for Iranian customers. Parsa subsequently directed a relative to delete email evidence of his ongoing business transactions while in jail and emphasized the need for secrecy in their dealings.

    Neither Parsa nor any other individual or entity involved in transactions that gave rise to his conviction applied for or obtained a license from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for the transactions.

    Assistant Attorney General Carlin joined U.S. Attorney Bharara in praising the outstanding investigative work of the FBI and BIS.

    This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D. Lockard and Anna Skotko of the Southern District of New York, with assistance provided by Trial Attorney Mariclaire Rourke of the National Security Division’s Counterintelligence and Export Control Section.


    CBC Canadian citizen sentenced in U.S. for breaking Iran sanctions

    Ali Reza Parsa, 45, pleaded guilty to helping procure electronic components with possible military use

    A Canadian-Iranian dual citizen was sentenced in the United States to three years in prison for violating sanctions against Iran, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday.

    Ali Reza Parsa, 45, a resident of Canada, pleaded guilty in January in U.S. District Court in New York and was sentenced on Friday, the department said in a news release.

    “Over the course of six years, Parsa repeatedly violated export control laws and aided Iranian entities in procuring high-tech electronic components that have both commercial and military uses,” Assistant Attorney General Carlin said.

  14. Trump casts shadow over UN climate talks

    The talks in Germany to flesh out December’s historic global climate deal are probably not at the top of Donald Trump’s agenda this week.

    But the diplomats from 196 nations huddled in Bonn are keenly aware of the fact that the “The Donald” is now within spitting distance of the White House — and it’s making a lot of them nervous.

    It’s not hard to see why.

    The last Republican standing in the US presidential race has described climate change as a hoax perpetrated by China to gain competitive advantage in manufacturing over the US, an eccentric theory even among climate sceptics.

    More recently, he said he was “not a big fan” of the Paris Agreement, the fruit of two decades of stop-and-go (but mostly stop) wrangling between rich and developing nations.

    “I will be renegotiating those agreements, at a minimum,” Trump told Reuters in an exclusive interview last week, betraying an unfamiliarity with the UN’s consensus-based process.

    “And at a maximum I may do something else.”

    Under the Paris accord, 196 nations have pledged to hold global warming to well under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), and to help poor countries cope with the impact of climate change while weaning their economies off fossil fuels.

    Sidestepping a recalcitrant Congress under Republican control, US President Barack Obama has used executive power to aggressively confront global warming at home and abroad.

    Especially during his second term, the US, along with China, has been a pillar of the tortuous — and sometimes torturous — UN talks.

    The prospect of a Trump presidency precisely at the moment when nations are inching towards ratification of the delicately balanced deal sends shivers down the spines of negotiators here.

    When asked what worried him most at this stage, Seyni Nafo, climate ambassador for Mali and president of the Africa Group, snapped: “Trump winning the election.”

    It is at least reassuring, Nafo added, that — according to the rules — it would take four years for the United States to withdraw from a ratified treaty.

    France’s top climate diplomat, Laurence Tubiana, agreed that Trump in the White House could do serious damage to the new climate regime.

    “If the US government is implacably hostile to the Paris Agreement, it won’t help,” she told journalists on the sidelines of the talks.

    “But I don’t think it will derail it,” she added.

    Historical precedent, however, is not especially reassuring.

    The Kyoto Treaty — which dangled in limbo for seven years before entering into force — was fatally weakened from the moment the administration of George W. Bush refused to ratify.

    Japan, Russia and Canada later pulled out.

    The Paris Agreement is on track to enter into force in record time, possible before the end of this year.

    Indeed, a lot of countries would like to see it locked in — with the US on board — before a new president is sworn in on January 20.

    In Bonn, some negotiators have sought solace in the idea that public opinion would discourage Trump from reneging on the US commitment.

    “There’s election rhetoric, and there’s the real world,” said Elina Bardram, the European Union’s top negotiator.

    “The US public has also been very pleased with the climate agreement.”

    Trump is scheduled to address an industry energy summit in Bismark, North Dakota on Thursday.

    The fact that he has sought counsel from a known climate sceptic and fracking advocate, US Republican Representative Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, has not escaped notice here.

    But the danger for the global climate pact may be less what Trump does within the UN forum than at home, said Alden Meyer, director of strategy and policy for the Washington-based Union of Concerned Scientists.

    “I don’t think a president Trump would necessarily pull the US out of the Paris Agreement,” he told AFP.

    “It is more that he would not take the domestic actions needed to meet the US target.”

    Under Obama, Washington has pledged to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

    Climate negotiators, however, may take heart in the news that an Irish golf course owned by Trump has cited global warming as the reason for erecting a protective sea wall.

    “The evidence for increased storm activity associated with climate change suggests that the erosion will accelerate,” the permit applications reads.

    video – Seyni Nafo, climate ambassador for Mali and president of the Africa Group

    • I hope Trump pulls us out of the agreement, these are designed to destroy the western economies to punish us for being successful.

  15. Grand Imam of Al-Azhar discusses perceptions of Islam with France’s Hollande

    Egyptian Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Al-Tayeb said on Tuesday that Al-Azhar would support French president Francois Hollande in correcting the perception of Islam after recent terrorist attacks in France and Belgium.

    Al-Tayeb, who met with the French president on Tuesday, added in a media statement that he agreed with President Hollande on an official exchange between Islamic institutions in France and Al-Azhar in order to educate a new generation of Islamic scholars and leaders about the religion in true and objective way.

    In the meeting with the French President, Al-Tayeb explained how Al-Azhar supported international peace in communities worldwide, giving special attention to France.

    The Grand Imam then denounced recent terrorist attacks that took place in France and Belgium.

    The French presidency welcomed El-Tayeb’s visit to France in a Tuesday statement by the Elysee palace.

    According to the statement, Hollande and El-Tayeb discussed French priorities in fighting radicalism as well as the situation in the country following the Paris attacks.

    President Hollande praised the efforts of Islamic leaders in fighting radicalism.

    Al-Tayeb’s meeting with President Hollande was also attended by French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and minister of interior Bernard Cazeneuve.

    Immediately after his arrival in Paris Tuesday, the Grand Imam attended the second forum of eastern and western elders where he addressed Europeans and all Muslims around the world, stressing the importance of dialogue and building trust between religions and cultures.

    During his speech at the forum, Al-Tayeb stressed the importance of how people of every nation should adopt ideas of coexistence – which will in the future lead to maintaining the identity of any religion – rather than thinking to preserve minorities’ rights.

    “I call on all Muslim citizens in Europe that they must know they are native citizens in their communities, and that full citizenship will never contradict the idea of coexistence,” said El-Tayeb.

    This week’s events are considered to be the forum’s second meeting, following a meeting which took place in the Italian city of Florence in June 2015.

    Al-Tayeb arrived in the French capital following a historic meeting with Pope Francis in the Vatican on Monday. The unprecedented meeting of the two religious leaders signaled the renewal of relations between Al-Azhar and the Vatican following five-years of suspended relations.

    France is home to 4-5 million Muslims out of a population of 66 million.

    In March, El-Tayeb visited Berlin where he met with top clerics in Germany’s Catholic church and addressed the Bundestag, urging religious tolerance.

    Last November, the Al-Azhar grand imam denounced the deadly terror attacks carried out by Islamist militants in Paris, describing them as “hideous” and “hateful” and urging the international community to work towards combating terrorism.

  16. US adds two Pakistan-based groups to terror blacklist (tribune, May 25, 2016)

    “The United States on Wednesday designated two Pakistan-based groups with links to the Taliban as global terrorist threats.

    As “Specially Designated Global Terrorists”, US citizens are forbidden from associating with the Tariq Gidar Group (TGG) and the Jamaat ul Dawa al-Quran (JDQ)…”

  17. Militants attacking US and Afghan forces to be targeted: US (khaama, May 25, 2016)

    “Militants attacking the US and Afghan forces will be targeted and will have no safe haven, the US Department of State has said.

    Mark C. Toner, deputy spokesperson for the State Department, told reporters “If you’re going to carry out attacks, if you’re going to lead attacks against our forces and against Afghan’s forces – Afghanistan’s forces – then you’re going to be targeted and you’re not going to have safe haven.”

    Toner was responding to a question regarding the US airstrike that targeted the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Akhtar Mansoor.

    “And I also think that it sends the message that the Taliban must decide what its future is going to be and whether it’s going to be part of a peaceful political future for Afghanistan. And there is a path towards that,” Toner said.

    He also added ” And I also think that it sends the message that the Taliban must decide what its future is going to be and whether it’s going to be part of a peaceful political future for Afghanistan. And there is a path towards that.”…”

  18. Kenya troops kill 21 Al Shabab fighters in Somalia (gulfnews, May 25, 2016)

    “Mogadishu: Kenya’s military said on Wednesday it had killed 21 Al Shabab fighters in Somalia where its troops are trying to defeat the militant extremist group that has often struck civilian targets inside Kenya.

    Kenyan troops, which are in Somalia as part of an African Union (AU) deployment, struck a group of Al Shabab fighters in the west of the country, near the Kenyan border, David Obonyo, spokesman for Kenya Defence Forces, said in a statement.

    Al Shabab spokesman Abdiasis Abu Musab said its fighters had killed five soldiers, wounded eight and burnt one military vehicle in the fighting. The reports could not be independently verified.

    Obonyo said the Kenyan troops suffered no casualties…”

  19. No handshake exemption, Swiss canton rules (gulfnews, May 25, 2016)

    “Geneva: Religious belief is no excuse for refusing to shake a teacher’s hand, Swiss regional authorities ruled Wednesday, reversing one school’s controversial decision to grant exemptions for Muslim pupils wary of touching the opposite sex.

    Parents or guardians of pupils who refuse to shake a teacher’s hand in the northern Swiss canton of Basel-Country could now face fines of up to 5,000 Swiss francs (Dh18,350), regional education authorities ruled.

    “A teacher has the right to demand a handshake,” they said in a statement.

    The decision comes after a national uproar over revelations last month that a middle school allowed two brothers, aged 14 and 15 with Syrian nationality, not to shake their teachers’ hands after they complained that doing so was counter to their religious beliefs if the teacher was a woman.

    They argued that Islam does not permit physical contact with a person of the opposite sex, with the exception of certain immediate family members.

    To avoid effectively permitting discrimination against female teachers, the school decided to exempt the boys from shaking hands with any of their teachers, regardless of sex.

    That decision — made independently by the school in the northwest Therwil municipality without involvement of the canton’s authorities or local officials — triggered an outcry across Switzerland, where the tradition of students shaking their teachers’ hands as a sign of respect is deeply entrenched.

    Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, who was among the many senior officials and public figures who weighed in on the matter, insisted on Swiss public television last month that “shaking hands is part of our culture”.

    Explaining Wednesday’s ruling, authorities said “the public interest concerning gender equality as well as integration of foreigners far outweighs that concerning the freedom of belief of students.”

    The school, which amid the uproar had turned to the cantonal authorities for guidance, said it was “relieved” at Wednesday’s ruling.

    “Now there is clarity on how to proceed,” it said in a statement, adding that it would lift the temporary exemption in place since school began last autumn.

    “This decision has recently been communicated to the family,” it said.

    The cantonal authorities pointed out that if the two students at the heart of the controversy once again refuse to shake hands, “the sanctions called for by law will be applied,” it said.

    The public focus on the case has already landed the family in difficulty, after media revealed they were seeking to become Swiss.

    Cantonal authorities last month announced that naturalisation proceedings had been put on hold.

    The father of the two boys, an imam based in Basel and a Syrian national, moved to Switzerland in 2001 and was granted asylum.

    Basel’s migration office was seeking more information about the circumstances under which the father’s asylum request was approved.”

  20. Al Arabiya fires dozens in restructuring move (gulfnews, May 25, 2016)

    “Dubai: The Saudi-owned pan-Arab Al Arabiya has fired dozens of employees in a restructuring move.

    Saudi Akhbaar24 broke the story claiming fifty employees had been let go, among them some well-known and long-serving staffers.

    A trusted source, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the news to Gulf News but said most of the information and names mentioned in some media reports were not accurate…”

  21. Expert report advises against refugee camp in Turkey’s Mara? (hurriyetdailynews, May 25, 2016)

    “Three experts charged with assessing plans to build a container city for around 27,000 Syrian refugees near predominantly Alevi populated villages in the southern province of Kahramanmara? have all advised against the construction of a camp…

    Professor Rü?tü Hatipo?lu, who prepared the agricultural report, said it was questionable whether the move is in the public’s interest, as the meadow where the camp is planned is currently used to feed the villagers’ animals. There are 119 farmers and 30 cattle in the village, the report stated, explaining that even the meadow earmarked for the camp falls short in providing the annual fodder need of 547 tons. It currently provides almost 16 percent of this need, which would be exacerbated by the building of the camp….”

  22. Kurds in Syria will let you down, Turkey warns US (hurriyetdailynews, May 25, 2016)

    “Turkey’s deputy chief of staff has warned a top U.S. commander visiting Turkey that cooperating with the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria is highly dangerous.

    “Do not be surprised if the YPG lets you down when the fight against ISIL gets tough,” Deputy Chief of Turkish General Staff Ya?ar Güler told General Joseph Votel, the head of U.S. Central Command (Centcom), during a two-hour meeting in Ankara on May 23.

    According to reports, the top commanders briefly supervised efforts to build up local forces in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), discussing an anticipated operation against ISIL stronghold Raqqa and developments on the “Azaz-Jarablus line,” which Turkey considers a “red line.”

    Güler reportedly outlined Turkish efforts in the fight against ISIL, including the opening of the ?ncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana, logistical support and intelligence sharing. However, he also pointed out that the United States falls short in providing Turkey with similar support in pushing ISIL militants from the Azaz-Jarablus line using “moderate” opposition forces rather than the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

    “An important threat will disappear if you provide support to the moderate opposition rather than the PYD to clear this line of ISIL,” Güler was reported as saying. Turkey considers both the PYD and its militia forces the YPG as off-shoots of the PKK, against which it has been conducting military operations in southeastern provinces for the last few months.

    The Turkish general reportedly signaled that Turkey would not permit a takeover of the aforementioned region by the PYD.

    He also underlined that Turkey has no intention of dispatching soldiers into Syrian territory without a decision by the United Nations Security Council.

    Votel arrived in Ankara late on May 22, following his visit to Kobane to meet U.S. military advisers working with Syrian Arab fighters and the leaders of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes the YPG and the PYD.

    His visit comes at a time when Ankara has been calling on the U.S. and its Western allies to stop supporting the PYD. Washington has provided air power and small arms ammunition to the militant group, saying the PYD and the YPG are “reliable” partners in the fight against ISIL.

    The United States has roughly 200 advisers on the ground in Syria but no combat units. Votel’s visit comes as the first of 250 more U.S. special operations forces are beginning to arrive.

    Kurds play a dominant role in the U.S.-backed SDF, providing the core of the forces that have pushed back ISIL in the country’s northeast.

    The SDF has a total of around 25,000 Kurdish fighters and around 5,000 Arab fighters, and Washington is pushing to bring more Arab forces into the group.”

  23. Two jihadists get 6 yrs (2) (ansa, May 25, 2016)

    “(ANSA) – Milan, May 25 – Two jihadists who were wiretapped speaking about attacking the NATO base at Ghedi near Brescia were given six years in jail Wednesday. Tunisian Lassaad Briki and Pakistani Muhammad Waqas were arrested in July on charges of belonging to ISIS. The pair were also planning other attacks in Italy, a court in Milan found.”

  24. List of French targets found in Adeslam’s home (thelocal, May 25, 2016)

    “Investigators have found a list of targets for future terror attacks in France on a computer believed to belong to attacker Salah Abdeslam.

    The discovery suggests that Abdeslam – the only surviving member of the group which carried out November’s deadly attacks – had plans to carry out further killings in France, according to French news site BFMTV…”

  25. CBC – Montreal police gets new hate crimes unit

    New unit will compile information on incidents motivated by hate, work to prevent their escalation

    Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and the city’s police chief, Philippe Pichet, unveiled a new police unit dedicated to hate crimes Wednesday.

    The unit is billed as the first of its kind in Quebec.

    “The unit will be tasked with centralizing all information on both hate crimes and incidents motivated by hate,” Coderre said.

    While the city’s police force has documented and investigated hate crimes for years, the focus on incidents motivated by hate is unique.

    He said such incidents involve behaviour motivated by prejudice or hate but that aren’t necessarily criminal acts.

    “The incidents nonetheless have a troubling effect on the victims and lead to a heightened sense of insecurity,” Coderre said.

    “These incidents can also lead to actual hate crimes, a precursor to something more serious.”

    The unit will be responsible for documenting such incidents. The information will allow police to identify situations with the potential for becoming hate crimes and intervene in order to prevent them.

    “Prevention is the framework here,” he said. “We want to stop these incidents from going further.”

    Coderre said the unit responds to concerns raised by a number of community groups and emerged out of a focus group on anti-Semitism that he was part of last year.

    Coderre said the new police unit will work closely with the city’s anti-radicalization centre, created last year.

    On its website, Montreal police define a hate crime as one “motivated by prejudice or hate based on factors such as the victim’s race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, gender, mental or physical disability or sexual orientation.”

    • Montreal Gazette – Montreal police creating unit to investigate hate ‘incidents’

      Just as the Quebec government revealed it was backing away from its own, controversial hate crimes legislation, the city of Montreal announced it was setting up a specialized police unit to document and analyze not just hate crimes but hate “incidents.”

      Defined as any incident “that is not a crime but that can affect the sense of security of a person or identifiable group because of their race, national or ethnic origin, language, colour, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or disability,” hate incidents, real or perceived, will be investigated wherever they take place – whether at work, school or on the Internet, said Mayor Denis Coderre.

      “Despite our irreproachable reputation of being a safe city, every year there are hate crimes and incidents,” Coderre told reporters gathered at City Hall. “Some make headlines, some don’t. Two weeks ago, for example, I was profoundly shocked to see that two gay men were attacked in the street for the simple fact that they were kissing.…When something happens should we close our eyes and say this is an isolated incident, and tell ourselves it doesn’t happen here? No. You have to react, denounce and intervene.”

      There will be no special budget for the unit, however, which will see three police officers – one analyst and two investigators – added to the personnel already monitoring and investigating hate crimes.

      Instead, the success of the operation will depend on the public’s input, to denounce suspected hate incidents as victims or witnesses, before the perpetrators commit hate crimes, said Montreal Police Chief Philippe Pichet.

      Like the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence (CPRLV) which is a partner in the endeavour, this is an approach aimed at preventing violence, Pichet said.

      To report a hate incident or crime, Montrealers can call 911, fill out a form on the police website, or call the CPRLV.

      Asked how three extra police officers would be able to tackle the enormous quantity of Internet based hate – including insults and threats posted and shared across social media – Pichet said the unit’s strategy and resources will evolve with the need.

      He couldn’t say how police would respond to hate incidents, given they are not criminal acts, however.

      “The first step is to get an accurate picture of the situation of hate incidents,” Pichet said, “then we can find solutions,” through education for example, and follow-up with victims to improve their sense of security.

      In Montreal, police investigated 60 alleged hate crimes in 2013 and 76 in 2014 – an increase of about 25 per cent. The Montreal police could not provide an exact number for 2015, but Pichet said there were about 70 hate crimes investigated every year, most of them against property – incidents of vandalism, for example.

      Across the country, according to a report released by Statistics Canada based on data from 2013, police-reported hate crimes have been on the decline, down 17 per cent over 2012.

      The exception are hate crimes directed at Muslims and Arab and West Asian populations in Quebec, which increased by about eight per cent from 2012 to 2013. Compared to other categories of hate crimes, these tend to include more attacks on, and by, women.

      Fo Niemi, the head of the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), said the vast majority of hate crimes are never reported to the police, a situation he hoped would improve with the new unit.

      “This has been 15 years in the making,” Niemi said. “We’ve been calling for a coordinated, proactive approach tied to the police since 9/11… Only one out of 10 hate crimes are ever reported.”

      As police are able to provide a more accurate picture with data on hate incidents, Niemi said, they will get more support from affected communities and more people will come forward.

      The announcement happened to coincide with news from Quebec City Wednesday that Quebec Justice Minister Stéphanie Vallée was withdrawing the clauses related to hate crimes in the government’s contentious Bill 59, after months of slow, heated debate, leaving only those clauses related to forced marriages.

      Asked how he felt about the provincial government backtracking on its efforts to fight hate crimes, Coderre said it was “the minister’s prerogative.”

      “Bill 59 or not, this was already part of our agenda of “living together,” Coderre said. Indeed, Coderre first called on the police to establish a dedicated unit in June 2015, after a dozen anti-Semitic symbols were spray-painted on the Lachapelle Bridge between Montreal and Laval.

      “This isn’t just about anti-Semitism or xenophobia. When we witness repeated acts do we wait for a crime to happen or do we take responsibility?”

      Hate crimes and incidents can be reported to police by phone at 514-280-2222 or on their website or they can be reported to the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence at 514-687-7141 or

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